Make A Generator Out of a Lawn Mower Engine and Car Alternator

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S&W M&P 9mm At The Range & Gen 4 Glock Problems

Survival Think Tank just picked up a new Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9mm pistol, so naturally it was time to get to the range to see how it would hold up.  All it all it was a solid shooter.  There were no failure to feed or failure to eject malfunctions noted.  500 rounds were shot through this weapon on this visit to the range.

New S&W M&P 9mm

The very first mag produced the following group at a range of 21 feet.  Not bad for the first mag and for not having visited the range since January.  I was a little rusty and the groups improved as I warmed up and familiarized myself with the M&P.

M&P In Front of 4x6 Notecard

The things I liked about the pistol:
  • Metal sights standard out of the box
  • 3 grip choices with easy 5 second change (I like large)
  • Ambi slide release
  • Can switch mag release for left hand accommodation if you desire
  • Visual chamber indicator (not mechanical), you actually see brass
  • Smooth trigger
Things that I think could be improved, but I'm just being really picky:
  • Long travel on trigger reset (in the video you see me pull on one of the shots because I'm used to the Glock 34 reset).
  • Could enable me to shoot dime sized groups every time...oh wait, that's just my lack of practice!
The M&P was not the only firearm I brought to the range today.  I also brought my trusty Glock 34 and my Ruger Mark III.  I never go to the range without a good .22 pistol.  They are lots of fun and CHEAP to shoot.

From left: M&P, G34, Ruger Mark III

I was also at the range with my best friend.  He purchased a Generation 4 Glock 17 on the same day I bought my M&P.  He didn't have my same luck as he experienced multiple FTFs (failures to feed) and one FTE (failure to eject).  Photos follow.

Gen 4 Glock 17 Failures to Feed

Gen 4 Glock 17 Failure to Eject

Despite the bad day for his Glock, he's optimistic that it is just going through a break-in period and that these malfunctions will cease after a few hundred more rounds.  I don't share his optimism.  I might be compelled to send this back to Glock if it were my pistol.  That many failures could either indicate a lemon or a larger production issue.  This is strange as I've never owned or known anyone that owned a Glock that malfunctioned like this.  He used multiple magazines and multiple ammo types.  Malfunctions occurred with more than one type of ammo.

UPDATE on the Gen 4 Glock FTF/FTE problem:
Nah, [industry expert] predicted it would happen with the more lightly loaded ammo I was using.  Much domestic ammo is loaded to traditional 9mm specs which would NOT blow up your grandaddy's Luger or Browning Hi Power.  Modern NATO spec is hotter stuff, higher velocity.  He recommended I use European ammo like Fiocchi or Sellier and Beliot (S and B).
 This is happening fairly often with the new Gen4 G17s.  Obvious (and most agreed upon) cause is the stiff new recoil spring.  Many competitors use soft springs with custom handloaded ammo to get the softest recoil possible, therefore faster back on target, less muzzle rise, etc.  More powerful ammo needs  a more powerful spring to counteract all of that rearward momentum of the slide.
 Clear as beer?  I can send you a link from but I figured you'd like it in officer dummy talk ;)
There is a thread discussion on this issue at here.  You don't need to register but you can and the forum is full of good info.

In summary I really enjoyed the M&P.  I'm hesitant to recommend it until I put it through all it's paces but so far, it's doing really, really well.  I can say that I might wait a little bit and do some deep research before thinking of purchasing a Gen 4 Glock 9mm.  After what I saw my friend go through, I want to make sure it was only his pistol before investing my money (and maybe my life) in a weapon with multiple malfunctions from day one out of the box.

In the following video you'll see me shooting the M&P and there is even some footage of my friend shooting his Gen 4 G17.  Good stuff!

Impromptu Road Trip And A Severe Winter Storm

I was recently informed (see: ordered) that I needed to make a last minute trip to Norfolk, VA from the DC area for military business.  I made it out of DC just in time before the weather started degrading.  The only problem is my return trip tomorrow! I have my video camera, so we'll see how it all turns out.

Part 1: Impromptu Trip Before A Severe Severe Winter Storm

Part 2: Impromptu Trip + Winter Weather Conditions

Made it back just fine!  I just took it easy, i.e. slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

Does Anyone Have $5 I Can Borrow To Register As A Subversive?

We The People

This is an outrage.  To the Jewish friends of SurvivalThinkTank, how do you feel about registering with your government as a subversive?  Sound familiar?  Ever had any subversive thoughts?  Can I hide in your attic with my pocket Constitution when they come looking for me?

South Carolina just passed the "Subversive Activities Registration Act"

(1) "Subversive organization" means every corporation, society, association, camp, group, bund, political party, assembly, body or organization, composed of two or more persons, which directly or indirectly advocates, advises, teaches or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means;

SECTION 23-29-60. Registration of members of subversive and foreign-controlled organizations.
Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him.

Where does this end?

Notice how you can't attempt to "control" the government or you are a subversive terrorist, i.e. what about "We the People?"

I thought it was our job as the people to control the government?  Not in South Carolina.  If you feel you have the right to control the government you are an anti-government terrorist.

Do you have $5 I can borrow to register?  What about when it goes to $5,000?  $50,000?

Now there is precedent in the US.  Nazi Germany required Jews to register.  I wonder how the Jewish people felt about the Nazi government?

Feel free to report me as subversive to the SS.  I think I hear jackboots outside my door.

Feel free to send this article to everyone that loves freedom and still feels that We the People are in control, not the government.  Here is the link to cut and paste:

Congressman Ron Paul On Dollar Collapse and Civil Unrest

Congressman Ron Paul gives us some straight talk on the possibility of the Dollar collapse and civil unrest.

When we hear an elected US Congressman even TALKING about this, we need to wake up and start seeing what could be on the horizon.  Are you ready?

Beat the Horde!

Here in the Washington DC area we are currently getting slammed by a pretty hefty snow storm.  The weather reports are calling for 20-30 inches of snow which is unprecedented for this area.  The time to stock essential stores is not the day before the snow.  In the video below, I'll show you why.  The stores can be picked bare in a matter of short hours.

Imagine if we were facing an economic collapse or a terrorist attack on our infrastructure?  This is only a snow storm and it has rocked the area, rendering the local governments and people prisoners inside their homes and offices.  Do you have enough food, water and the means to make your shelter warm if you lose power for days or weeks?  This is a real possibility.  The power is on right now, however it has been flickering.  Don't wait on the government to help you.  Be ready for adverse weather and other potential problems by preparing now.  Follow me below as I make a trip to a local area Safeway grocery store:

Getting Rid of Your Corrective Lenses Before TEOTWAWKI/Collapse

This article chronicles the author's experience before, during and after all LASER or Intralase LASIK surgery.  Unlike other patient testimonials, the author will objectively outline how this elective procedure has enhanced his survival abilities...shooting, swimming and general adventuring.  This is not an endorsement of any medical procedure.  It is only the author's perspective on his experience.  Please do your own extensive research before deciding on any elective surgery.

According to the National Eye Institute the number of Americans suffering from Myopia (nearsightedness) in the 1970's was 25%.  Today you may be alarmed to discover that the number of American's suffering from Myopia is a whopping 41%.  Many can debate as to the cause, i.e genetics or maybe reading this Survival Think Tank article on your computer screen?

If you currently have a need to use corrective lenses for your every day vision requirements, you may want to consider laser vision correction surgery.  If you have never heard of IntraLASIK,  please point your browser here for a quick primer.  As a military aviator the author of this article was recently recommended to participate in a study to determine the effects of "All LASER or Intralase LASIK" on military aviators.  PRK was a viable option but according to the hard statistics in this particular case, a better chance at 20/20 may be realized with current All-LASER (IntraLase) LASIK technologies being deployed by U.S. military aviation medicine.

In addition to the official medical study, the author was also concerned with the growing possibility of a total economic collapse brought on by the decline of the U.S. dollar, soaring unemployment or underemployment, shadow real estate inventories or a possible Black Swan event (terrorist attack, major natural disaster, flu pandemic et al).

In the post-economic collapse environment you will have to live with what you have.  There will be no opthamologist to perform refractive surgery, no optometrists to conduct eye exams, and no factories to fill eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions.  Some of you may depend on your corrective lenses to function.  Some of you may not even be able to see your alarm clock in the morning without your corrective lenses.  Imagine not having access to these lenses when the SHTF?  What would you do in a post-collapse environment as a blind man or woman?  The time to prepare for this is now, not after a systemic collapse of society as we know it.

The following is the author's experience as it happened(s) during his LASER refractive surgery experience.  This article will be updated as more data becomes available.

In the beginning of my path to LASIK surgery, I was told to remove my contact lenses 14 days prior to my preoperative exam (Preoperative appointment minus 14 days, surgery minus 28 days).

Preoperative Appointment (Surgery minus 14 days) - I arrived at the military medical facility at 0800 on the morning of my preop.  I was told not to wear contact lenses for 14 days prior to this appointment.  I followed those instructions religiously without cheating.  Wearing contacts could reform your corneal surface and mess up your testing.  Listen to your doctor.  Chances are, he's smarter than you on the subject of eyeballs.  The tests conducted were extensive.  They measured the thickness of my cornea with a handheld electronic device.  They took about 50 photos of my eyes and probably more than that.  They constructed a 3D image of my eye and mapped the thickness across my cornea.  They dilated my pupils and looked inside to determine eye health.  It was at this appointment I was told that I would be an excellent candidate for all-laser (IntraLase) LASIK.

Informed Consent (S - 7 days) - On this day I was briefed for hours on all the statistical data available on LASIK to include possible flap complications and all possible problems that could happen.  I was also shown the laser device and explained about the advanced system that would cut the flap and correct my vision.  In the past, surgeons cut the corneal flap with a steel blade known as a microkeratome.  This is still performed today, but the military always uses the most advanced and current technology approved by the FDA on their special forces and aviators.  The flap-cutting laser at my military treatment facility is only 1 of 30 in current existence in the United States.  It cuts the flap to fit back down on the cornea like a "manhole lid" making the healing process faster as well as decreasing the chance at any flap problems in the future.

After being fully informed of the procedure, benefits, drawbacks and potential problems I was given paperwork to sign as well as my prescription medications for the surgery.  I was given PRED FORTE (steroid drops) to start the day before surgery.  I was also given antibiotic drops to guard against infection post-op, and wetting drops.  I was given a prescription for Restasis to pick up the day of surgery.  I was given UV sunglasses as well as sleeping googles to keep me from rubbing my eyes in my sleep.  I was told to be very careful post-op not to rub my eyes or take showers with high water pressure for the first week until my eyes could heal.

All-LASER (IntraLase) Surgery Day (S + 0) - Everything went great!  From the time I walked into surgery to the time I walked out was 45 minutes.  After walking into the administration room adjacent to the operating room I went over my information.  They asked my name, rank, SSN, date of birth and what procedure I thought I was having today.  I answered the questions and they verified all the data.  I could hear the guy in front of me (I was the second LASIK operation of the day) talking and answering questions during his surgery.  He kept saying things like, "wow, this is weird" and "I can smell my eyes burning."  It was sort of strange hearing the guy talk about his procedure while it was happening in real time.

After he was done, he walked out and looked at me and said, "Piece of cake dude!"  I laughed and the doctor called me into the operating room (where the big lasers were).  He again verified my name, rank, SSN, DOB and asked me what procedure I thought I was having that day.  He verified everything and then took another look at my eyes to verify everything yet again.  He put some numbing drops in my eyes and told me to relax.  AFter this he had his assistant put me in horizontal position below the two laser machines that would be involved in my surgery.  The assistant handed me a couple stress balls, one for each hand.

The doctor then carefully and methodically explained to me EVERYTHING he was about to do, before he started.  He placed a few more drops in my eyes, and then marked the surface of both of my corneas to make sure he had cornea flap placement taken care of.  He then gave me the Clockwork Orange treatment and used some serious tape to hold my eyelids open.

Then came the most uncomfortable part of the whole procedure:

He placed a suction ring on my right eye and applied some pretty respectable negative pressure to the suction ring.  Of course he explained everything before he did it.  The suction ring was pretty darn uncomfortable but I would not call it painful.  You just wish it wasn't there.  After the ring was securely stuck to my right eye, he "docked" the flap cutting laser to my suction ring.  He then told me to hold steady and watch the blinking light.  I did so and he said, "initiate the procedure."  What happened next was a little "weird."  My vision turned into a milky blur from one side of my field of view to the other in about three seconds.  The flap was cut!

He then repeated the flap cutting procedure for my other eye exactly as he had done for the first.

Then came the flap peel and the laser correction.  He used a small instrument to peel back the super thin corneal flap that the laser had just created on both eyes.  After the flap was peeled back I was given the actual laser correction treatment.  I could hear a series of loud pops.  Synchronized with every pop, my vision seemed to get clearer and clearer.  The doctor said, 3, 2, 1 and then no more popping sound.  He swiveled the machine away from my head and began to reposition the flap back over my eye.  He applied a liquid of some sort, replaced the flap and then used a "squeegee" type device to ensure the flap was replaced properly.

This was repeated for the other eye.

After this, he said, "alright, all done.  You can stand up now."

I stood up and my vision was all cloudy and distorted but I could tell a definite difference in my vision.  He told me to go home and go to sleep and follow the instructions on this piece of paper (that he handed to me).  I got back to my hotel room and pulled out the paper.  It was printed in a huge font to help folks that just finished their procedure.

"One dose of PRED FORTE (steroid) drops every two hours for the first two days and four times per day after, one dose of antibiotic drops every two hours for the first two days and four times per day after, one dose of Restasis drops twice per day until out and then general rewetting drops as needed.

Wear the goggles you were supplied when sleeping.  DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES!  Wear sunglasses with UV protection when outside.  No swimming for 30 days, careful with showers."

The Day After...

The day after surgery (S+1) - At 0800 the day after surgery I went in for my first check-up.  I sat down with the doc and he said, read this line.  After reading all the lines he said, congratulations you are about 20/15.  I was really surprised that I could be 20/15 that quickly after the surgery.  He then looked at my eyes with a few instruments and scanned them to insure everything was in its place.

He said, "Make sure you take your drops and wear your eye shields and sunglasses as needed.  I think you are going to be very pleased with your results.  The surgery was a success."

Two Days Post LASIK

Everything is going great.  I'm still taking eye drops (steroid, antibiotic, rewetting) and recovering well.  Vision seems sharper today than yesterday.  Still wearing safety glasses to avoid any inadvertent eye accidents, i.e. dog scratches, twigs, etc., etc.

Five Days Post LASIK

Vision a little sharper than S+2.  More to follow.

Expect future updates on how this surgery helped or hurt range scores and general survival preparation activities.

The author of this article is an active duty military officer and the subject of a military medical study on the effects of LASIK on active duty military aviators.  The author's opinion is his own and not influenced or endorsed by the U.S. government or any private company affiliated with LASER refractive surgery.  You are encouraged to do your own independent research before deciding on any surgical procedure.

We Are Hemorrhaging Jobs In The U.S. - The Fallout Will Be Catastrophic

It's the same story all around the United States.  Everyone knows it.  It's an open secret.  We are losing jobs at an alarming rate and we are falling into a major economic depression.  The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, AKA the Ministry of Information is constantly readjusting, manipulating and recalibrating their numbers to lessen the perception of the real situation on the ground in America.  I spotted the above posting while exploring the area and snapped a shot with my camera phone.  People are out of work and getting desperate.  I applaud those that take whatever work they can get to survive.  I hope that whoever posted this banner makes it in this looming economic crisis.

Folks need to be innovative to survive and thrive.  What happens when the homeowners don't have the money to pay those that would shovel their driveway?  With unemployment benefits running out for many, we will see crime surge in the coming months and into 2011.  Be armed.  If you are in a state that does not allow this, move away.  Don't pay state taxes to a state that restricts your Constitutional Rights to keep and bear arms.  Why feed the oppression?

STT Indications and Warnings (I&W): The Survival Think Tank assesses that the unemployment rate will soar above the current 10.0% U3 depression benchmark into 2011.  This sustained high unemployment rate will have 2nd and 3rd order effects on statistics like crime rates, foreclosures, city infrastructure (services), increased taxes, predatory collection of taxes by IRS and state tax collectors and a number of other effects.  You may already see these signs in your area.

Photos like the one included in this intelligence report can also be seen on the right side of the web page (scroll around).  The Survival Think Tank will be posting micro blog intel updates to give the reader a ground truth idea of what's really going on.  Using technologies like TwitPic I am able to post photos to this website in near-realtime from the moment I observe them in the field.

If I run across a relevant shot, I'll micro blog intel update (MBIU) them to this website for your benefit.  Please feel free to comment or post.  Visit often as I'll be sending burst transmissions whenever possible.

We will also post photos of survival related activities, i.e. shooting, et al.

Stack it Deep!