19 March 2023

99 Red Balloons...

Eerily coincidental...

This was a very, very popular song while I was in Europe in the early 80's. I probably heard it a thousand times just in the couple of years that I was there. However, I never REALLY listened to it, I just liked the catchy little tune. Not to mention, probably over half the time I heard it, it was being sung in German, so there is that...

For whatever reason, I was looking for something on YouTube one day and I came across this video. I had never listened to the song on video and, since I hadn't heard it for a few years, I thought I'd give it a listen. As luck would have it, it was sub-captioned in English. 

Now, this was more than a little bit interesting to me. I want you to watch this video carefully and read the lyrics as she's singing it. Don't miss any of it and think about the events of last February and all the Chinese (or whoever) ballon activity over our country.
What do you think?

Note: For whatever reason, the video link is not active but you can copy and paste it and it works fine. Please do, and listen to it.

Here is the story behind the song...

15 March 2023

Plumb Stupid Plumbing...

OK folks, kick back and let me tell you a little story.  Some of you will be able to relate to it better than others but I'm pretty sure all of you will appreciate the overall meaning of it. It is funny, frustrating and infuriating, all in one.

To start with, there's a reason that professional electricians, plumbers, roofers and other tradesmen charge what seems to be a ton of money sometimes. That seemingly exorbitant hourly rate includes specialized tools, insurance, vehicles, helpers and more. But mostly?...  You're paying for experience. When you or your neighbor or your brother-in-law are willing to do it, but lack the experience, sometimes the job can be much, much, much more costly than just calling a professional to begin with. Such is the case with the poor lady that is the victim in this crime story. It's important to know that she purchased this house and the resultant headaches, the following is not her fault...

I have a dear friend in a nearby town that I help with certain things when she needs me. She texted me this morning in a bit of a panic saying that she had a pretty serious water leak at her rental house. So, I dropped everything and headed over there. What I found was water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. Yeah, this had been leaking for a WHILE! Talking to the neighbor lady across the street, it had been running for about 10-12 days. My friend's water bill is going to be approximately $116,289.42... give or take $25,000.

So, T-bo and I started tracking down the culprit which took over an hour. We finally found that it was actually coming from inside a shop where there is a pressure tank for the well, AND where the city water ties in for back-up. The tank and the outgoing 1" PVC line are well insulated and encapsulated in wooden structures. So I started tearing into the structures looking for clues while T-bo was doing something else. (For some of you, this story is about to get interesting...)

About 12' or so from the pressure tank, I found the damnedest thing I had ever seen before as far as plumbing goes, and I've been doing this for a very long time.

The aforementioned 1" line comes out  of the pressure tank just above floor level. It's wrapped with insulation batting and tied with baling wire. There is a 6" batt under it and 2 layers of 6" batting on top of it. It couldn't have frozen if it had gotten down to 67 below zero.  HOWEVER, and this is important, whoever installed this pipe thought that the added protection of a heat tape was necessary (it wasn't). Fortunately, (or not) the heat tape burned in two at some point in the past (Picture #1) but the damage was already done. When I pulled the 3rd cover off of the wooden box that this was all encased in, I saw something that took me a few minutes to process. The pipe was obviously separated but it looked like it took a sharp turn upwards from the floor (Picture #2) and it was broken at the apex of this upward sweep. At this point, I'm still tying to figure out just what in the hell I was looking at. All the insulation, mold, rat poop and spider webs made the deciphering a little difficult. Then I saw it... an abandoned 2" line came through the wall from outside, came up the wall a foot or so, then crossed path of the 1" line. 

Now then, understand what I'm saying here, it's going to be important in a minute. The 1" line is traveling along the floor, headed for the far wall. The 2" line came in, up and across where the 1" line was running, about 14-16" above the floor. Are you with me so far? 

The next part of the story will be submitted to Unsolved Mysteries. 

Instead of letting the 1" line just continue on its merry way along the floor, some genius thought it would be a great idea to run it OVER the abandoned 2" line! Now, in and of itself, that's not a deal breaker. No reason in the world to do it but, if that's what blows your dress up, knock yourself out. The problem was Mr. Super Plumber, whoever it was, didn't use any fittings to do this. He just laid across the top of the 2" line then let it droop down to the floor again and continue on its way. No rhyme or reason. The only thing I can figure is that it was intentional sabotage, resulting in a delayed action. I don't know. When I saw the upward attitude of the insulation, before I exposed the pipe, I figured that maybe they had switched to PEX or black poly tubing or something more flexible than PVC. Who, in their right mind, would do that with PVC?

Remember I told you about the heat tape earlier? Well, let me tell you a little bit about heat tape, if you don't already know. Not all heat tapes are created equal. Some are not suitable for PVC pipe. Heat tapes that are to be used on PVC should have a built-in regulator, or thermostat that prevents the temperature from getting over about 140°. It appears that the heat tape in our story may not have been the correct flavor. Anyway, back to our pipe crossing... the 1" pipe was quite obviously in a little bit of distress from crossing over the 2" and going back down. In addition to that, the heat tape was on the bottom of the 1", between the 2 pipes, ensuring that it was tight against the 1". Now get this picture - over a period of time, the tape has heated the 1" pipe up warmer than it should have been, probably keeping it that way for an extended period of time. The pipe gradually softened, ever so slowly. As it softened, the internal water pressure began to expand the pipe. I have no clue how long it has been swelled to the bursting point because the tape has obviously been out-of-order for some time. But, alas, it finally gave up the ghost and burst a week or so ago. The pipe swelled to about 1.5" or so before it popped (Picture #3). Picture #4 shows the difference in the thickness of the walls of the swelled pipe at its thinnest, and the same pipe wherenitnwas at normal diameter. A crack ran from the apex of the hump, over 2 feet back down the pipe. I was astonished by the time I figured it all out! I assembled all the pieces in the bed of the truck to show what it did (Picture #4).

03 March 2023

The History of "The Shooting Bench"

Guess what!?
After being dormant for 3 years, the Shooting Bench is coming back!

TSB is unique in its content and there's nothing like it anywhere in the Southwest. Topics are primarily centered around firearms and everything that surrounds them such as shooting, training, reloading, self-defense, concealed weapons, hunting, gunsmithing, competition, etc, etc. Other topics will include disaster preparedness, survival and the gear and supplies that pertain to them along with communication, knives, current events, trivia, humor and probably some politics here and there! Another passion of mine is freedom, liberty and constitutional issues. I might even throw a song or two in from time to time. The 1-hour show will be aired weekly on one or more of White Mountain Radio's stations beginning sometime in March of 2023.

The History of The Shooting Bench

The Shooting Bench was a radio show that I hosted, uninterrupted, for about 15 years before I finally shut it down in 2020. It started as a 30-minute show, once a week, on a FOX Sports AM station in Farmington, NM in late 2005 or early 2006 if memory serves. Due to the irrational behavior and unprofessionalism of that station, I quickly pulled up stakes and moved to another, much larger and more professional station. The show immediately went to one hour, once a week and shortly after that went to two hours. Life was good! 

Then, sometime in late 2006, a traveler on a highway about 40 miles away was listening to the show and decided that he wanted to meet me and see the store. He was impressed with the content of the show and suggested that I do a podcast. I said, "OK... um, what's a podcast?". Well, we had a lot to talk about and we quickly became good friends. Mike helped me get the podcasts started and a whole new audience presented itself! It took some time to realize that I was now talking to the world and not just northern NM and southern Colorado. 

In November of 2009, I was introduced to internet radio and another change took place. For a little while, I tried to do both but due to a some other changes that were taking place, I went all internet and podcast and abandoned the AM radio show. 

In early June of 2011, The Shooting Bench went to two hours a night, five nights a week on Just Measures Radio Network out of Indiana. The show and the network grew together and it was a lot of fun but I can tell you, doing 2 hours a day, every day, began to tell on me. It takes a lot of preparation to do 10 hours of broadcasting every week, 52 weeks a year, year in and year out!. That continued until November of 2014 when the show went back to one hour, five nights a week. A month later, just before Christmas, I obtained full rights and ownership of the network and The Survival Circle Radio Network was born. Most of the old hosts and their wealth of information came with me from JMR and the network was in full operation again. On 21 June 2013, with no thought or prior planning at all, I just did a show one Friday night that included no news or current events or gun talk or anything! Just classic country music. WOW! It was wildly popular and Liberty Lounge was born. Every Friday after that, I put the world's trials and tribulations on hold and entered into the weekends on a lighter note. I strayed off into classic rock from time to time but for the most part, it was all classic country. Liberty Lounge continued for two hours, every Friday night until I finally shut it all down.

Archived podcasts of The Shooting Bench podcast can be found at www.tsb.podbean.com

19 February 2023



I'm not the first one to write about this subject by a long shot but I'm the first one to put the thoughts of Cope Reynolds down on paper about it (believe it or not, it actually was on paper many years ago).

Between my Christian friends and family and some of the students that have been through my classes, this question has been presented to me many times; "How can a good Christian justify carrying a gun for self-defense, especially in church?", or words of that nature. In the beginning, it kind of caught me off guard and all I could do was pretty much just voice my opinion and use a little common sense but that wasn't nearly enough for some of them so I started digging. I believe that I have come up with enough scriptural evidence to support my actions and those of of my gun-totin', Christian friends. See what you think...

Let's start at the beginning... the VERY beginning!

In Genesis 4:8-12 we read about the first murder. It can be speculated that Cain may have used a weapon of some type as the Lord mentions a couple of times that Abel was bleeding. What did God do? He did not institute club control or rock control or knife control or whatever it was. He punished the one who committed the crime, as it should be.

Exodus 15:3 says “The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name." That God is not a pacifist is evidenced throughout Scripture. Even Jesus Himself, drove the money-changers out of the temple with a whip and turned their tables over (John 2:15). What does Revelation 19:11 tell us? It tells us that the Rider of the white horse does what? "... he doth judge and make war".

In Exodus 20, God implemented the 10 Commandments. There is no mention of weapons, just killing (murder)

In Exodus 22:2 God tells us that if a thief is found breaking into your house “and he be smitten that he die, there will be no blood shed for him”, meaning you are not guilty of murder. This is one of several passages that makes it clear to me that we have, literally, a God-given right to defend not just ourselves and our families, but our HOMES.

Likewise in Luke 11:21 & 22 we are told... 21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace and, 22, But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

While we're in the Book of Luke, let's skip on down to Chapter 22, verse 36... Then said he unto them, "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one".

A person's garment was a precious thing and not to be given up lightly but the possession of a sword (gun) was important enough to Jesus to tell them that if they have no sword, they should sell their garment and get one!

Deuteronomy 22:25-27 deals with rape. Now, what do you think is meant by the words "but there was no one to save her" at the end of verse 27? The implication here is that had someone been around to hear her cry out, they had a moral duty to intervene and protect her. We not only have a God-given right but in my mind, we are directed by God to defend not only ourselves, but others as well.

Numbers, chapter 1. Is this not what the Founding Fathers of America envisioned for us? An armed citizenry, the militia; not a standing army.

I Samuel 13:19-22 is a very interesting passage indeed! After the Philistines had disarmed the Israelites, no ‘smiths were allowed so that the Israelites could not make weapons for themselves, hence the first sword control had officially been instituted! So what did they do? They did the same thing that the Japanese and Chinese people did in later years. Out of necessity, they fashioned weapons from tools and farm implements.

Psalm 82:3 says that we should defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and the needy.

David said in verse 1 of Psalm 144, "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle". What do you think he was talking about here? Surely, David was confident that warfighting was justified in the Lord's eyes in certain instances. 

Many, many people take that part of Isaiah 2:4 that says "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks," and try to say that God wants us to disarm. Isaiah is prophesying the Second Coming of the Lord here. It is exceedingly clear to me that the "swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks" when God Himself returns to rule on the earth, NOT when some other form of government tells us to.

Vengeance is mine” sayeth the Lord... or some such verbage can be found in several scriptures (Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35; Proverbs 20:22, et al). If we witness the commission of a violent crime, we have a God-given right and responsibility to deal with it. If it’s already happened, we have no God-given right and no responsibility to seek revenge and execute judgment upon the perpetrator. If He deems it necessary, God (or the civil authorities) will judge and avenge.

Matthew 26:51-52 Some try to say that this passage proves that Jesus was a pacifist and against guns (or swords). Quite the contrary. Where does Jesus tell Peter to put his sword when he lopped of the ear of the Roman soldier? He said put it "in its place." John makes it clearer, Jesus said to Peter "Put your sword into the sheath" (John 18:11). Jesus didn’t take it away from him or tell him to beat it into a plowshare. Rather, he told him to put it "into the sheath." The sword has its proper place. In and of itself, it is not evil. But Peter was wanting to use it in an improper manner. Jesus came to earth to die. Peter would be interfering with God's plan if he were to be allowed to intervene with the sword.

The same people that say that you should beat your swords into plowshares also say that if someone lives by the sword, they will surely die by the sword, as Jesus says. What that statement actually means is that he who uses the sword for improper purposes will likely die by the same. What Peter did was wrong. He acted on emotion. A criminal or a tyrant who uses the sword improperly, should rightly die by it. But the use of the sword in a proper fashion, to defend one’s person or one’s family or one’s country, is not condemned by Scripture, rather Scripture upholds it repeatedly.

God, nor Jesus, were or are pacifists. As Jesus said in the very next verse, Matthew 26:53, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" Jesus didn’t need Peter's help. The use of force simply wasn’t appropriate for the situation at the time. He was supposed to die. He did not use force because He had to facilitate the plan of our Heavenly Father.

In closing, there are some who say that "we should not have guns; we should just trust in God." My response to those who say this is "let me ask you, do you have a lock on your front door?" They always say "yes." I then ask "Do you lock it when you leave or go to bed at night?" Those who live in the city always say, "Yes." I then ask "Why do you have a lock on your door? Why don’t you just trust God?" The same could be said for motorcycle helmets, seat belts, fire extinguishers and life insurance.

Just because we have a lock on our door or a gun in our closet does not mean we are trusting in either of them to protect us in the same manner in which we’re to trust the Lord. Rather, we simply see the wisdom and prudence of having these tools in order to be good stewards of what God has trusted us with; our lives, our families, and our country, just as He intended.

Cope Reynolds

29 June 2014

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (@Desertscout1)  

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.  

GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

28 January 2023

"On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs"

I have referred hundreds, if not thousands, of people to this piece by Col. Grossman, primarily my students. I don't know why it has taken me so long to put it on my blog but here it is. While a very few people in the self-defense industry will disagree with it, there are a few. In my experience, the ones that disagree are self-aggrandizing and think they have a better analogy that will bring their disciples closer to them. Personally, I don't know how it could possibly be described any better! 

Read it, think about it and read it again. Then use it to help analyze your own ability and willingness to stand up to the wolf. 

Train like your life depends it, because it very well might someday!


 "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs"

By LTC Dave Grossman (RET), author of “On Killing.”

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? – William J. Bennett – in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

“Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.”

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier’s excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers – athletes, business people and parents. — from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. – Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn’t bring your gun, you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: “…denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling.”

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself…


This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. 

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.


In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (@Desertscout1) 

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends.  

GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

25 January 2023

Assault Weapons?

OK, it's time to clarify something here... What is an assault weapon? 

People are constantly trying to correct others over the use of the term, "assault rifle" or "assault weapon". I think some of them are desperately trying to make themselves look more knowledgeable than they really are or, maybe they are just trying to make a political point that really doesn't exist. Either way, they are making way too big of a deal out of it. The point is, it's starting to make them look silly.

Their big argument is that a rifle cannot "assault". They say assault is verb, not a noun. OK, fair enough, I get it. However, when you carried that rifle onto the beach at Normandy to conduct the assault on the enemy thereon, did your rifle not become the tool to facilitate that assault? An assault rifle, so to speak? Even your bolt-action rifle?

Others use the example of the German StG 44 or "Sturmgewehr 44" to make their argument, saying that it was the first actual assault rifle. Why? Well, because "sturm" means to storm or assault in German and "gewehr" means rifle or shotgun. Over the years, it has kind of become the standard term for military-style rifles. So, Sturmgewehr literally means assault rifle. Why? Because it was used to assault. Was it the first assault rifle? No, it wasn't, but it was the first to be named as such. Additionally, since the StG 44 had full-auto capability, the nitpickers claim that in order for a firearm to earn the title of "assault weapon", it must also have full-auto capability.
It doesn't matter if a firearm is short, long, heavy, light, convenient, full-auto, semi-auto, high-capacity or has a folding stock, forward pistol grip or a heat shield. What matters is what it is used for. Daniel Boone's Kentucky rifle was an assault rifle, at times, as was the 1873 Springfield and the Remington '03-A3.

Golf club is a noun. It's used for golfing, that's why they call it that. Do you know what they use a cutting board for? Yep, it facilitates the cutting of meat and potatoes. How about a punching bag? Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what those are used for? You got it! Punching! This noun's only job is to hang there and let you punch it. How about a shooting rest or a fishing pole? Butcher knife? And so it is with the assault weapon.

Oh, and guess what a "hunting" rifle is used for. But hunting, is a verb. How can that be?

31 December 2022


 I pulled this article down for a few weeks while I contemplated the benefits of commercializing this recipe. Several people have encouraged me to do it but, I have decided against it. Some things are more important than money. With times being as they are, I think the benefits of sharing this recipe freely, outweigh the benefits of profiting from it. The recipe below may help some of you with your preparedness efforts and that is worth it to me, so here you go...

I know that there are no less than 863,439 people throughout history that have come up with a similar idea, but, as the Marines say of their rifle, "There are many like it, but this one is mine!" I'm talking about Partisan Bars.

For the last several years, I've had a staple of some type on my mind. I didn't really know what it was but I wanted something that would last a long time without refrigeration, taste fairly decent and be somewhat healthy. Hardtack, from days gone by, was a similar concept. The original hardtack would literally last for many years without refrigeration but didn't taste all that great and it's heath benefits were questionable and it was just boring. I wanted something that was a little less primitive but not really a recreational snack either. I wanted a staple. Something that would get me by comfortably for quite awhile without any additional supplement except water or perhaps a good companion for my Survival Tabs. I didn't necessarily care if it lasted for years but a few weeks or maybe months would be nice.

A good friend of mine came up with something she called Freedom Biscuits and she shared the recipe with me. They were pretty darned good and I'll be saving the recipe but they were still not just exactly what I was looking for. I give her credit for getting me started on this journey!

Enter the Partisan Bars (we'll talk about the name later). I think I have come up with the perfect recipe for ME. Your mileage may vary. You may not like them at all but I do, and I am who I made them for.

The recipe below makes 24-4"x4" bars over 1/2" thick. That's 12 bars each in two, 12"x16" cookie sheets. The bars are fairly heavy and later on in this article I will compare the nutritional value between them and oatmeal cookies and granola bars.

Here we go...

  • 6 tbsp of cultured buttermilk powder.
  • 4 c. high altitude, whole wheat flour. (All-purpose flour works fine but I much prefer the nutritional value of wheat flour.)
  • 4 c. instant oatmeal or old fashioned rolled oats.
  •  4 tsp baking powder.
  • 1 c. crushed nuts of your choice. I use walnuts. The nuts are mainly for protein. I also add one, heaping scoop of protein powder for additional protein. If you're allergic to nuts or would rather not have them, add 2 additional scoops of protein powder.
  • 1 tsp baking soda.
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter. (Shortening works fine but, again, I prefer the nutritional value of peanut butter).
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar.
  • 1 c. raisins.
  • 3 tsp cinnamon. 
  •  6½-7 c. very hot water.
(To change the flavor up a little, you can add some crushed, dried banana chips,  cocoa powder, vanilla, or any other shelf-stable product that you find tasty).

Put ALL the dry products, including raisins, in large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Put your peanut butter (or shortening) in a small container and pop it in the microwave for a minute or so. While it is softening, pour 6 cups of very hot water in the bowl and begin to mix. When your peanut butter is ready, add it into the  mix (a rubber spatula is helpful for removing all the peanut butter from the container). Now mix everything thoroughly. I use hot water to keep the peanut butter or shortening soft while mixing.

I said 6 cups of hot water to start with but now you can add water and mix until the dough reaches the desired consistency. 6 cups will make a very thick dough that can be made into individual bars or cookies if desired. I make mine much thinner by continuing to add hot water until the mix is relatively self-leveling. Pour half of the mix into each pan and spread the dough evenly over the entire area of the pans. It will raise slightly and make your bars over ½" thick 
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.  45 minutes makes them a little drier, which is fine.

Now you can put them in the cookie jar, freeze them, vacuum pack them or put a few in a box in the truck so you'll always have a nutritious snack. Each bar weighs about 5 ounces so a couple of them actually makes a light meal instead of a sugary snack. Great for hunting, traveling or eating on the run!  Drop one in the toaster, slather with peanut butter, get you a class of cold milk and you'll know what they eat for breakfast in Heaven! Don't fret if they get hard. Just eat them!

Now, here's how you make them last...
Just dropping them in the cookie jar (after they cool) will only give you a week or so before they start molding because of the moisture still in them. Ziploc bags are no help. Fold-top sandwich bags are a little better but not much. Just wrapping them in a paper towel worked great because it allowed for complete air circulation and it helped them to dry and harden somewhat. Vacuum packing with your Seal-a-Meal works well but I don't know how well yet. I put several of the bars in all the containers listed above on 29 November and today is 3 January. The ones wrapped in paper towels and the ones that were vacuum packed still don't show any signs of molding so the test continues! Putting them in the fridge extends the life greatly and, of course, vacuum packing AND freezing them will make them last virtually indefinitely. 

Now then, here's the deal. Our air fryer has a dehydrating mode. 2 hours at a 120 degrees and the perfect survival bar is born! It dries them completely but because they are kind of fluffy to begin with, they are not rock hard. They're probably a little too hard for people with bad teeth but a little milk or water will remedy that. Remember, the purpose of the Partisan Bar is to offer a nutritious, convenient, compact way to provide healthy sustenance over long periods of time, not a recreational, fattening snack.

Here's the nutritional breakdown by weight as best as I could figure. One Partisan Bar weighs 5 ounces. That's about the same as 6, medium sized, oatmeal cookies and 3.3 Nature Valley Granola bars.

 1 Partisan bar                   6 cookies                 3.3 Granola bars

Calories - 182                      360                              462
Fat - 7g                                 15g                             13g
Sodium - 40mg                    192mg                         215mg
Carbs - 26g                           54g                              82g
Fiber - 4g                             1.8g                                7g
Sugars - 3g                           26g                              23g
Protein - 7g                             4g                              10g
This is nearly the perfect snack and could easily be considered for a meal. Based on recommended daily allowance, established by the Institute of Medicine, the average person should consume 45 to 60% of their daily calories from carbohydrates and 10 to 35% from protein. This means that a 2000 calorie diet should provide 225-325 grams of carbohydrates and 50 to 175 grams of protein. That's a ratio of roughly 4.5 carbs to 1 gram of protein.
I'm not suggesting that one should try to live on these bars for an extended period of time, however, if you were to eat 3 Partisan bars, 3 times a day, you would consume approximately 1638 calories. 234 from carbohydrates and 63 from protein (again, you can alter your protein with powder). That's 3.7 to 1 and makes the Partisan Bar fairly diabetic friendly! This is assuming that you use walnuts, peanut butter and 1 scoop of protein powder.

The cost?
This will vary slightly, depending on how much protein powder you use, what kind of powder you get, whether you buy the ingredients in bulk, etc.
At December 2022 prices, using crushed walnuts and 1 scoop of protein powder, the whole recipe for 24 bars, costs $6.96. That's a little less than 34 cents per bar.
Now, the name...
Most of you know that I'm heavily into preparedness. I work outdoors and travel a lot. I'm an outdoorsman and a patriot.
Since every conceivable combination of names for bars, cakes and cookies involving protein, power, preparedness, survival, etc. has pretty much been used up several times over, I decided that my bars should be named something that represents a mindset and a lifestyle.
In military terminology, a Partisan is a member of a party of light or irregular troops engaged in harassing an enemy, especially a member of a guerrilla band engaged in fighting or sabotage against an occupying army.
So, the Partisan (or Rebel, if you prefer) Bar was born.
You're welcome!


 In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout1)  

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 

GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!

22 December 2022

Food Shortages Are No Joke!

You've all heard this before. The difference is, this is the last time...

A lot is going on in our country right now. Prices of virtually everything are sky high. We are seeing the beginning of hyper-inflation. Fuel prices are making it hard to do any traveling that is not absolutely necessary. Even just going to work is a difficult. Lumber prices are through the roof which is dramatically affecting new home prices. Groceries are WAY higher than they have ever been and continue to rise and food shortages are becoming very apparent. To top it all off, the chances of being launched into WW III continue to be a concern. 

You guys know all this. Most of you also know that I have been heavily involved in disaster preparedness for my whole life, literally. I have taught many, many classes on it, written a book about it, researched and sold products concerning it and have tried to help people at every turn. I am also the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at my church.

Food, water, medical supplies and the training to use them, alternative power, defense and communications are all vital issues that will affect how well we weather this storm.

I've warned you this whole year about the upcoming price increase for Survival Tabs. Every time I ordered, I thought it would be the last time I could get them at that price. I know y'all have been thinking I was crying wolf but it's finally here. I got a call last week from the sales rep that I dealt with when I had my store and the price is definitely going up at the first of the year. Its not going to be pretty. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, this will be the last time I'll be able to order at this price. Not only is the price going up, demand during these turbulent times is higher than ever. 
 The average price on Amazon is $45 for a single bottle but I am offering this potentially life-saving product for $28 one last time. In order to get this price AND free shipping, you will have to order a minimum of 5 bottles.  Ordering information is at the bottom of this message.

I've posted this several times but for those of you that are not yet familiar with Survival Tabs, here's the deal...
 Survival Tabs are lightweight, compact, very inexpensive and can keep you alive and healthy for long periods of time, maybe even indefinitely.

The following is from the last email to refresh your memory and for the new folks...

"I have personally used and sold Survival Tabs now for about 15 years. They are nutritious, long-lasting and compact. The average person only needs 12 tablets per day to provide all the nutrition necessary to get by with no other supplement except water! I'VE DONE IT! 180 tablets in a bottle provides you with 15 days worth of food for only 28 bucks!! You literally cannot grow your own food this cheap and you can put a year's supply for one person in a small suitcase. They are invaluable for trips, camping, hiking, emergencies or long-term food storage. They come in 4 delicious flavors; chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch and vanilla malt and have a shelf-life of 25+ years!

I'm doing this for friends, family and students because I feel a sense of urgency. This company has not raised its prices for a very, very long time but they are  doing it by the 1st of the year.
Note: Again, the price increase is here now! They will never be offered at this price again."

If any of you have any questions or concerns about this or any other preparedness issue, PLEASE don't hesitate to give me a holler! I will help as much as I can. You can message me on Gab or Facebook for payment information and my phone number will be provided to those that receive this via email or text.

Because I am offering these tablets at such a low price, I cannot accept credit cards because of the fees. I have, in fact, closed my PayPal account which is how I used to take cards so here's how you can pay...

* Zelle, using this email address... Username: Desertscout1

I wasn't going to allow Venmo this time either but out of necessity, I must so for Venmo, the username is also Desertscout1.

* Postal money order to:

Cope Reynolds
650 N. Penrod Rd #554
Show Low, AZ 85901

* If you are local, of course I will accept cash or check
If you have any problems, get a hold of me and we'll work it out.

I plan to make this order on Friday, December 30th so I will need to have payment in hand NLT that day! I know it's short notice but if we're going to beat this price increase, we don't have a choice.

In Liberty,
Cope Reynolds


05 December 2022

Oh Gee, I'm Sorry!

The firearms community has learned a lot about gun safety over the years, particularly in the last 20 years or so. Some things that are considered a gross violation of the safety rules today was commonly accepted not that long ago. You wouldn't believe the number of times that I have been called a "safety nazi", or something similar for pointing out the ridiculously stupid things that some gun owners do, even experienced gun owners.

"Experienced" isn't always the equivalent of "good"! Jason Duncan was on the range with me as an assistant instructor during the training of nearly 2000 students before we each went on to other things. Jason and I have seen some things that would make your hair white and your teeth curly but we NEVER had an accident with injuries of any description because we realized that you only get one chance to do this right. There are no "overs" or "I'm sorry's". You get one chance.

The following story is one of MANY that involves "trained professionals". We have seen cops, soldiers, even special ops soldiers that sometimes do stupid things. The saying that is SO common amongst neophyte shooters is, "Oh, I was trained by So-and-So. He was a cop so he obviously knows what he is doing", or he was in the Army or whatever.

The point is, even these "trained professionals" are not immune from this kind of stuff happening to. Understand this... YOU CAN NEVER, EVER TAKE GUN SAFETY FOR GRANTED! When you are handling a firearm, 100% of your attention should be on that gun 100% of the time! PERIOD!

ALWAYS assume that any firearm that you handle it is loaded!

ALWAYS be conscious of where the muzzle is pointing and NEVER allow the muzzle to cover anything that you are not willing to destroy!

ALWAYS be absolutely certain to keep your finger OFF the trigger until you have made the conscious decision to fire!

ALWAYS be aware of what you are shooting at and what is in line with your target!

(I have embellished the 4 universal safe gun handling rules just a tad for emphasis.)

The officer in this story learned a very, very hard lesson about violating every, single one of these rules!

18 October 2022


              Radiation Poisoning?

With the current threat of a nuclear exchange in which 2 or more countries may be involved, including the U. S., we are beginning to see renewed endeavors to warn people of impending doom. While many of these efforts are well-intentioned, much of the information that is disseminated is nothing but fear mongering and misinformation, oftentimes in an attempt to sell some service or product. Currently, there is a plethora of posts, articles, ads, podcasts, etc. concerning radiation poisoning and what you can do to prevent it or treat it. Much of this well-intended information comes from individuals that are trying to help but are not armed with enough facts. This article is very long but, with the help of a trusted friend in the medical profession that has spent a great deal of time in this field, I think you will find it chock-full of helpful information.

To begin with, there’s much confusion about what “radiation poisoning” even is much less what to do about it. Radiation poisoning or radiation sickness is caused by a large dose of radiation, that was received rather quickly, that does damage to the body internally. Obviously, the amount of radiation that the body absorbs will determine how sick the individual will get.

Now, here’s where the confusion starts… While certain symptoms of radiation poisoning can be treated, there’s no such thing as an “anti-radiation" pill or treatment, contrary to what you hear on the news or see in the movies. The vast majority of people assume that potassium iodide (KI) or potassium iodate (KI03) is some magic cure or preventative for radiation sickness. It is not. KI and KI03 does one thing and one thing only. They protect the thyroid gland from iodine isotopes or radioactive iodine that is found after nuclear detonations or accidents, by filling it with good iodine until it cannot accept anymore, thus preventing the contaminated iodine from entering.

Iodine is a beta emitter, Beta radiation is high speed positrons or electrons They can be stopped by a layer of foil or even heavy clothing.

The half life of the iodine isotopes is about 8-9 days. It is NOT recommended to take KI for more than 10 days UNLESS there is an extended hazard IE multiple detonations.

KI and KI03?

While both products are considered good thyroid blockers and the names are sound nearly the same, that is where the similarities end. Long story short, potassium iodide is superior in every way to potassium iodate.

Potassium iodate is not approved by the FDA where potassium iodide is. The FDA has gone to great lengths to get KI03 pulled off of store shelves but it can still be found on the internet if you look hard enough. Since it is not regulated nor approved, the chemical make-up of KI03 may not be consistent. KI, on the other hand, is consistent, stable, effective, inexpensive, and has a very long shelf life.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, KI tablets have a 10+ year shelf life when stored cool and dry (KI liquid lasts 5 years). However, they also say that the chemical make-up of KI is so stable that it still good much, much longer than that. They say that after 10 years, the tablets may become harder and not dissolve as readily. The solution is to crush the tablets up and mix with juice or something and the effectiveness is unchanged.

The remainder of this article will pertain to potassium iodide (KI) only!


Infants (including breast-fed infants)

Infants have the highest risk of getting thyroid cancer after being exposed to radioactive iodine. All infants, including breast-fed infants need to be given the dosage of KI (potassium iodide) recommended for infants.

· Infants (particularly newborns) should receive a single dose of KI. More than a single dose may lead to later problems with normal development. Other protective measures should be used.

· In cases where more than one dose is necessary, medical follow up may be necessary.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that all children internally contaminated with (or likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine take KI (potassium iodide), unless they have known allergies to iodine (contraindications).

Young Adults

The FDA recommends that young adults (between the ages of 18 and 40 years), internally contaminated with (or likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine take the recommended dose of KI. Young adults are less sensitive to the effects of radioactive iodine than are children.

Pregnant Women

Because all forms of iodine cross the placenta, pregnant women should take KI to protect the growing fetus. Pregnant women should take only one dose of KI following internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine.

Breastfeeding Women

Women who are breastfeeding should take only one dose of KI if they have been internally contaminated with (or are likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine. They should be prioritized to receive other protective action measures.


Adults older than 40 years should not take KI unless public health or emergency management officials say that contamination with a very large dose of radioactive iodine is expected.

· Adults older than 40 years have the lowest chance of developing thyroid cancer or thyroid injury after contamination with radioactive iodine.

· Adults older than 40 are more likely to have allergic reactions to or adverse effects from KI.

Some adults with certain cardiac arrhythmias should limit KI doses. High levels of Potassium can cause heart rhythm changes.

As with all medications it should not be taken for “Just in Case.”

KI Tablets are sometimes in short supply but may be available in bulk powder form. There are many ways to prepare the powdered form of KI.

For those that reload their own ammunition your powder scale can weigh out accurate doses using this formula:
1 grain by weight equals 64.8 mg of KI.

Dosage of KI:

Adults 135 mg once every 24 hours until radiation hazard is past.

Children under 12 or 100 lbs 65 mg.

The best for storage of KI powder, but the hardest to do, is to make capsules. Capsules and the kits to fill them are available on Amazon and other places for around 20 bucks. They take a little practice but make great capsules.

If the proper amount of KI is not sufficient by volume to fill the capsules you are using, crush vitamin C tablets to a powder and use that to make up the difference.

Making a Potassium Iodide Liquid Mixture:

1. Put one 65 mg KI tablet into a small bowl and grind it into a fine powder using the back of a metal teaspoon against the inside of the bowl. The powder should not have any large pieces.

2. Add 4 teaspoons of water to the crushed KI powder in the bowl and mix until the KI powder is dissolved in the water.

3. Take the KI water mixture solution made in step 2 and mix it with 4 teaspoons of low fat white or chocolate milk, orange juice, flat soda, raspberry syrup, or infant formula.

4. The KI liquid mixture will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. It is recommended that the KI liquid mixtures be prepared weekly. Throw away unused portions.
The amount of KI (65 mg tablet) in the drink when mixed as described above is 8.125 mg per teaspoon. The number of teaspoons of the drink to give your child depends on your child's age as described in the following table:

* 12 to 18 years of age and less than 150 pounds - 8 teaspoons = 65 mg dose. 

* 3 to 12 years - 8 teaspoons = 65 mg dose. 

* 1 month to 3 years - 4 teaspoons = 32.5 mg dose. 

* Birth to 1 month - 2 teaspoon = 16.25 mg dose. 

This method works well for adults that are unable to take solids also.

The simplest method with bulk KI is to weigh out the dose and place it in a shot of water and drink it down. But it is NASTY!

So there you have it! Buying huge quantities of KI is unnecessary unless you’re buying for friends or other family members. With that said, don’t wait too long to get it either. During the Fukishima meltdown in 2011, I saw many, many 15 dollar bottles of KI sell for $100 on eBay. If there is a nuclear accident, or if nuclear war becomes more likely, the harder it will be to find and the more expensive it will be.

While you’re buying, get a dosimeter for each member of your family and an inexpensive Geiger counter. Make sure your Geiger counter detects Alpha radiation!

Again, nuclear war is totally survivable. Get educated, keep your wits together and stay prepared!