Easy AR-15 Upgrades

The AR-15 is one of the easiest weapons to upgrade.  With basic tinkering skill you can do anything from installing rails, to flash hiders and the exotic stocks being offered by many manufacturers.  I recently purchased some upgrades from my trusted online vendors to upgrade my Bushmaster XM15-E2S AR-15.

The goal/intent of the upgrades were to transform my Bushmaster AR-15 from an iron sight, every day use shooter to a more specialized long range shooter.  I also wanted the weapon to maintain some short range capability with the Ghost Ring on the ACOG as well as with the quick release of the ACOG.  I could easily slap an Aimpoint Micro on there in about 15 seconds to give it the close in capability.  If you are not sure what I mean by Ghost Ring or Ghost Sights, I give it a brief mention in the Easy AR-15 Upgrades video below:

I started the upgrade process on my Bushmaster with Omega Rails, Magpul ACS stock and Tango Down grip already installed.  I decided that I wanted to go green with my AR-15, OD green that is.  I headed on over to DSG Arms to their Going Green sale.  I'm not sure how long the sale will be going on, so I'd take advantage of it now.  I have no affiliation with DSG Arms, I just know they have great customer service, excellent prices and fast shipping.

I picked up the following from DSG Arms:
I grabbed the following from LaRue Tactical (another highly recommended, but unaffiliated company):
I also decided to slap on an ACOG TA-01 4x32 optic to make this Bushmaster into a longer range shooter (as compared to iron sights).

The first part that I upgraded was the stock.  Installation of the Magpul UBR was a lot easier than I expected (about 5 minutes).  Just replace the buffer tube, slide on the stock mount, tighten a flat head screw (with Loctite) attach the stock to the mount (by hand) and DONE.  Here is what it looked like after installation:

After installing the UBR stock, I quickly installed the grip and CR-123 battery holder (inside):

Harris bipod installation (with LaRue mount) was done without tools, just a few twist screws hand tightened.  Easy:

Then I slapped on the ACOG TA-01 (with Ghost Ring sight):

After installation was complete I had a fully functional 600+ yard accurate shooter with ACOG glass, bipod and stock that afforded the shooter a constant cheek weld.  The cheek weld is a very important aspect of longer range shooting.  The weapon maintained it's shorter range capability with the iron sights (Ghost Ring) on top of the ACOG optic.

All in all, this weapon is ready for virtually any environment but is optimized for shooting in the 30-600+ yard ranges.  Anything inside the 50 yard perimeter will likely require use of the iron sights.  If the mission changes, I'll just need to unscrew the ACOG and quickly attach the Aimpoint Micro.  This can be accomplished efficiently be remembering or marking (with a silver tip sharpie) the location on your rail where you mount your optics.  Once marked and sighted in, the weapons will maintain good accuracy even when detached and reattached.

You don't need a gunsmith to perform these basic upgrades!  Go ahead, give 'em a try yourself.  You'll be happy you did.


Refueling On The Run: Revisited

Not long ago I produced a video on "refueling on the run."  This video outlined how difficult and time consuming the task actually is when you are refueling your whole gas tank on the side of the road.  Most folks only own 2.5 gallon gas cans and those are for the lawn mower.

Very few of you have probably used a gas can to fill up your vehicle as it can be more time consuming than you might imagine.  If you have had to put gas in your vehicle with a gas can it's likely because you've ran out of gas and had to hitch a ride to a station, purchase a gas can and some gas, hitch a ride back and put the 2.5 gallons in the vehicle to get you to the station for a fill up.

Here is the video on how my first Refueling on the Run trial went down (not as fast or easy as I thought):

As you can see in the video, I ran into a few problems.  I didn't close the cap on the can tight enough and leaked gas all over my hands.  The 5-gallon cans are very heavy to hold for an extended time and they take forever to empty into the tank (with the new unsafety nozzles) Another problem is that both of my hands and my attention are absorbed into the task of filling up the tank.  This opens me up to all sorts of hazards if someone is watching and wishes to attack me for my fuel and supplies.

I look like a pretty lucrative target with those big red gas cans on the side of the road preoccupied with the fill up.  To recap, here are the problems I wanted to solve during my "Refueling on the Run: Part 2" video:
  1. Save time
  2. Have both hands free for self-defense purpose during this vulnerable period
  3. Not spend a lot of money
  4. Not have to hold up heavy 5-gallon gas cans for minutes at a time
  5. Not have the high vis 5-gallon cans readily visible to those looking from a distance
I was able to accomplish my goal and you can too if you watch my video and pay attention.  My last video brought a lot of feedback about "finding a better spot to refuel" and "don't use those cans, use the older model."  The video was not intended to show you the best spot to refuel, it was intended to show you how difficult filling up your entire tank on the side of the road can be.  The next video will show you how easy it can be if you take the time and do your research.

The essential item that I acquired to be able to do this cheaply is the Super Siphon.  I picked two of them  up on Amazon for $16.95.

Super Siphon, (1) for $8.95, made in the USA.

I have one for the bug-out bag and one for the truck.  They have more uses than fuel only.  Your imagination is your limit for survival applications.  The Super Siphon works on a simple principle.  Of course, a garden hose works too, but I don't like the taste of gasoline in my mouth so I opted for the modern version of what many call the "poor man's credit card."

Survival Think Tank Warning (STTW):  Stealing is wrong.  I have the Super Siphon for survival application only.  Stealing gas is not condoned or sanctioned by the Survival Think Tank.  There is nothing funny about stealing another man's possessions and it could possibly get you killed or injured in a survival situation if you are caught stealing gasoline.  Please don't do it.

The best way to explain how the Super Siphon works is to just paste the information from the website.
"The "Super Siphon" hose does the dirty task [of siphoning] for you. Just drop the "pump" end of the hose into the liquid you want to siphon and raise the hose up and down a few times to start the flow. The "pump" end contains a stainless steel spring and marble ball that creates a simple one-way value to let the liquid into the hose but not back out."
Yup, that's how it works.  Now let's see the video on how it all worked out:

I hope that this information helps you if you should ever find yourself in a situation where you will need to do a roadside fill up to get yourself home.


Identifying Indicators of Economic Collapse (When to Board the Windows)

One of my favorite places to get data, Neithercorp has recently released an article on identifying the sure signs of economic collapse.  I found the article to be very informative and enlightening.  A couple take aways from the article I found particularly relevant were:

  • Listen to the fundamentals, not the talking heads.  Data, data, data.
  • Shift your paradigm away from traditional economic thinking.  Things are different today.  In the past, many postulated that sovereign default would be unthinkable.  In today's times, it appears that even the US could default.
Now, on to the list that Neithercorp has compiled and transmitted into the cloud of the Internet:

Gold and USD divergence.  In the past when the dollar lost value on the dollar index, gold climbed.  The inverse was true also.  In 2009 there were examples of the dollar index increasing and gold also increasing in value.  This is a divergency example.  When we start seeing more and longer examples of this, watch out.  It is an indicator of looming collapse.

Obviously, if gold were to start to gain an absurd amount measured daily, that would be another tell.

Oil.  The article that I'm writing about mentions oil as a first indicator of economic falter.  This is not difficult to comprehend as more Americas use oil than buy gold.  Because of the volume of consumption, the rise and fall of the price of gasoline will be closely watched by most.  When oil rises to or above $150, and sustains this and higher through and beyond the summer months, this is an indicator of economic collapse looming.

Simultaneous DOW / Dollar drop.  Like gold, when we see the dollar index get stronger, we see the DOW drop.  Neithercorp claims that a sustained drop over a measurable period in the dollar index as well as the DOW will be a clear indicator that collapse is next.

There is much more in the article to read and analyze, but I feel it's best that you visit the source of the data and make your own conclusions.

Fasten your Kevlar helmet (with a shred of tinfoil).  It's going to be an interesting year.


Five Minute Bug-out

You have seen the Survival Think Tank videos on bug-out bags and organization, but what if you only have 5 minutes to gather essentials and get out?  I recently put myself through this scenario and learned a little about prioritization and forgetfulness.

Just imagine for a moment that a major terrorist attack or natural disaster has disrupted our infrastructure. No power, no water, rioting and looting in the streets.  Home invasions are being reported everywhere...

What is your plan?

Here is the major list of components that I grabbed in the 5 minute time limit:
  1. Camelbak MotherLode Pack
  2. NorthFace Cat's Meow 20F Sleeping Bag
  3. Therm-a-rest ProLite Mattress
  4. JetBoil Cooking System (Highly Recommended)
  5. A few bags of Mountain House dried food
  6. Six bottles of water + one standard Nalgene full of water
  7. SwampRat M6 Knife (Check out this video of the M6 splitting wood)
  8. Leatherman Wave stored on an exterior pocket of my M6 sheath
  9. Fenix Flashlight and extra batteries
  10. Glock 19 (Here is one of my early videos discussing the Glock 19)
  11. 32 round 9mm Glock magazine (reloading during a firefight)
  12. Ruger Mark III + 100 rounds (Another Think Tank video discussing Mark III)
  13. Magazine for reading during particularly boring/lonely times
Items that I would have liked to have grabbed:
  1. Spoon
  2. Water filtration capability
  3. Binoculars
  4. Map
  5. Radio
  6. Small tent
  7. Lighter
  8. Hatchet
The main advantage that allowed me to actually meet my five minute time limit was the fact that I have all my gear sorted and in tubs with labels on the outside.  This is where I put my camping and overflow survival gear.  If it were not for the organization of my gear bugging out would have taken much longer.

Here is how it all went down:

Update: The YouTube Channel WorldBankofAmero decided to produce a video on the five minute bug-out

Survival Think Tank Sees Increasing Tent City Growth Nationwide

The economic depression may not have hit you at the time that you read this.  This does not mean that it has not hit others severely.  Survival Think Tank assesses that many Americans are only three paychecks away from foreclosure.  Foreclosure eventually leads to living on the streets if an income stream is not re-established.  Let your mind wonder for a brief moment.  Right now you are likely sitting in a chair, fixated on a $1,000 computer.  Your feet are on the warm carpet and you are wearing clean clothes.  Likely you are clean as you have running water, soap and a shower.

It may be raining and cold outside but you have central heat, or a wood stove to keep the temperature in your home higher than the winter temperature outside and a roof over your head to keep the elements at bay...

...Imagine for a moment that you no longer have these comforts.

You are on the streets, living under overpasses or in abandoned foreclosed homes.  Eventually your path brings you to the tent city.

Special thanks to WorldBankofAmero for producing this video so that all of us can have a peek into the underground world of those that have lost nearly everything:


Catching and Eating Birds

I recently came across an urban survival oriented video on catching and eating birds.  The producer of the video is the YouTube channel George4Vlogging.  Basically George interviews a man that has constructed a trap for catching local birds.  Some of you may not like the idea of catching a killing birds but in a survival situation if you get hungry enough, you might want to eat that bird before you eat your dog or cat. Many of you say, "I'd rather die than" etc., etc., but when the bullet hits the bone and you are hungry everything changes as we will soon see.

Securing Your Bug-out Bag (In the Vehicle or On The Run)

If you do any traveling or adventuring you have heard the stories.  Packs sliced open, contents stolen.  Bag taken while the owner sleeps or while the owner is in the hostel or hotel room shower.  Can you imagine a worse time to lose your belongings?  I can.  How about losing your belongings during or just before a serious survival situation?

In a previous video on TheRoadWarri0r YouTube channel, I talked about reorganizing your bug-out bag.  I also mentioned producing a video on ways to secure your bug-out bag.  Your bug-out bag could range anywhere from a $200 investment to a $2,000 plus investment depending on what you store inside.  You wouldn't leave $200 in your vehicle unsecured would you?  I know I wouldn't.  Security of your bug-out bag inside your vehicle should be a high priority for you if you store it there.

Another need for security: When you are on the run and actually bugging out.  You may find it necessary to temporary cache your bag away while you scout ahead.  Or you may find yourself in your retreat cabin/location in the woods and needing to secure your belongings while out hunting or gathering water.  There are many ways to do this.  One may consider a chain or a small cable lock.  This might work for some applications but if a would-be-thief wished, he or she would just pull out a knife and cut the strap and take your bag for pilfering later.

A year or so ago I found myself backpacking around Australia from hotel to hostel to hotel.  I can't tell you how many stories of woe I heard from fellow travelers on how they "just left their pack for a moment" and it was gone!  Knowing what to expect on my trip across Australia, I did some serious research on pack anti-theft.  After a week or so of looking around I came across the Pac-Safe bag exomesh system.  While no anti-theft gadget is foolproof, the Pac-Safe exomesh has kept and continues to keep my gear safe(er) from theft during my travels both local and international.
Urban Survival: My Arc'teryx pack safely secured to my hotel toilet in Brisbane, Australia

In the video below I display the Pac-Safe security mesh system and go over a few applications where it might prove useful in slowing down a would-be-thief.  Don't only rely on your car security alarm or your locked doors!  Any idiot with a hammer can and will take your bug-out bag, unless...

Stack it Deep!

Bug-Out Bag New Year's Resolution with TheRoadWarri0r

A few months back after checking my bug-out bag I started getting this terrible feeling in the back of my head that I needed to pull it out of my truck and perform a thorough inspection of content.  After weeks of being lazy and saying, "I'll do it next weekend" I finally decided to make it my new year's resolution to get the major reorganization done and get the survival/preparedness monkey off my back.

Not all bug-out bags are the same.  My bag is not an all inclusive "live out of and survive bag" but it is part of a system of survival that when used together meets the requirement.  You may notice a few key items missing from the bag, why? Because I have those items in other logical locations.  Flashlight for instance.  One would think that you would keep that in your main bag.  That may be true for you.  I have one 3D cell LED MAGLITE in my truck for roadside and general use and I keep a Fenix TA-30 in my messenger (office/work/Every Day Carry or EDC) bag for emergency use because it's always with me.  I have a few Surefire lights, but believe it or not, Fenix lights give you the same bang for less money.

One other thing that is "missing" from the bag...Guns and ammunition!  Think about it.  Would you keep a firearm(s) in your car even if it were locked?  I don't keep my firearms anywhere they can get stolen and/or misused.  We must be responsible gun owners and secure our weapons.  They don't belong stored in a vehicle.  Long story short, yes you may notice things that are missing from the bag, but you are seeing only one aspect of my mobile survival triad:
  • Bugout Bag (what is covered in the video)
  • Vehicle Emergency Kit
  • Messenger Work Bag (EDC)
Here is the 10 minute video of how the bug-out bag reorganization went down:

In addition to the video, I took some still shots of everything so you can have a better idea of how the bag is organized, etc.

Main Storage (1)

As you can see above, things started out a little messy.  Take note of the yellow and green dry bags that I have used to store items in my main storage (1).  Purchasing colored dry bags makes it easier when organizing your gear.  I will be the first to tell you that being organized can be the difference between success and failure when surviving in any environment.  When in past military training, I was blindfolded and asked to locate all of the gear I was wearing.  This was a valuable learning technique on the importance of gear organization.  Although the purpose was not immediately clear at the time, I found out later the reasoning behind the training.  You may not always have use of your eyes in a survival situation.  Smoke, fumes and darkness may be there to hinder your access to gear.

Now, more on organization:

This Pack-Rat organizer really helps get things in order in your bag.  I highly recommend you acquire two or three in different colors.  It is kept in main storage (1).  Inside my Pack-Rat is:
  • 30 feet of paracord / 20 feet duct tape
  • Vaseline candle (2)
  • Titanium spork
  • Signal Mirror
  • Blast match
  • Hand warmers (2)
  • Chem lights (2)
  • SERE Reference book
  • Zip ties (3)
  • Snare Kit
  • Emergency cash
Also in main storage (1) are the following items:
  • Military Wool Blanket (keeps you warm even when wet, can be converted to poncho)
  • Military Rain poncho compressed in food saver bag near frame
  • Cooking pot w/ handle, Salt, 30ft paracord inside, held closed by big rubber band
  • Camelbak bladder, empty
  • Green Dry Bag - (5) Days of Dry Food, Katadyn Water Filter
  • Yellow Dry Bag - Main Medical Kit, 3 trash bags, N95 Mask
  • Clear Dry Bag - 3 skivvies, 3 pairs of socks, work gloves, spare pants
You can see how everything "fits like a glove" in main storage with the internal pack straps utilized (1):

In secondary storage (2):
  • Two bottles of water (watch my video to see why only two bottles)
  • Sterno fuel in ziplock bag (I choose sterno because it's not under pressure)
In small zipper storage (3):
  • Battery powered “chem” type light for signaling and tertiary lighting
In wearer's right storage (4):
  • 48oz Nalgene bottle
  • Back-up water purifier, MSR
  • Shot of Chivas scotch (only 12 years old...hey it's for emergencies)
In wearer's lower left storage (5):

In wearer's upper left storage (6):
  • Toilet Paper in foodsaver bag (on top for easy access)
  • Survival blanket
  • Insect net
  • Rubber gloves
  • Razor knife
  • Metal match
  • Metal saw
  • Forceps
  • Fishing kit
On the exterior of the bag tied to the small zipper with paracord is:
  • Small thermometer with compass
  • Storm whistle (to call for help if needed).  The best place for a whistle is somewhere easily accessible and somewhere you don't have to guess about.  I recommend having more than one in your bag.  They are cheap and light.
Lessons learned from last year:
  1. Don't store your batteries in your bag.  Keep them with your EDC office bag.  They will get messed up in the summer heat.
  2. Don't store your lighter in your bag.  Keep it with EDC bag.  Pressure + Heat = Bad
  3. Don't store your pressurized cooking fuel in your bag.  Use something like Sterno.  It's not under pressure and will not explode
I have replaced all hazardous/unsafe items in my bag with non-hazardous substitutes.  For items that had no viable replacement, I simply transferred them over to my EDC bag, i.e. batteries, lighter, etc.

I hope you have enjoyed your time spent here at SurvivalThinkTank.com and at TheRoadWarri0r YouTube Channel. I look forward to any and all comments and video responses.
-Stack it deep!

Executive Order: International Police Granted Full Immunity in US and Not Subject to FOIA Requests

According to the folks over at Big Government, President Obama has recently amended a Reagan-Era executive order regarding foreign police operations in the United States.

I'll quote the article here:
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan issued an Executive Order which gave permission to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to operate within the boundaries of the United States.  Reagan’s EO put INTERPOL under the same basic guidelines as the CIA, FBI, ATF and other Federal law enforcement agencies.
Two weeks ago, without any announcement, debate, discussion or inquiry from journalists charged with “speaking truth to power” President Obama issued an amendment to this EO.  The amendment removed part of Reagan’s order that kept INTERPOL from having full diplomatic immunity while operating within the United States.  In other words:  Under Reagan and right up until two weeks ago, INTERPOL was authorized to operate within the USA but they did not have full diplomatic immunity and had to adhere to certain laws set forth for investigative agencies.  Laws that prohibit authorities from violating our constitutionally protected rights.
I ask the readers of the Survival Think Tank why this has not gone viral?  Where is the mainstream news on this?  Upon cursory research one will come to the conclusion that this is an overt violation of the rights and protections given by our U.S. Constitution.

What are you going to do if INTERPOL kicks your door down without a warrant?