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Mel Tappan’s Personal Survival Letter # 12

Issue No. 12

More Tips on Survival from Rhodesia

by Al J. Venter

It’s been a while since I last covered the African survival beat; since then there have been many developments.
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia (as it’s now called) has a black government, the war has escalated, more whites are clinging to
more elementary survival tenets -if only to stay alive- and now a new area of hostilities has opened; South West
Africa, a vast territory as big as Texas and Louisiana together, with a population of only one million people.

The first attacks on white farmers in South West Africa (also called Namibia) took place a couple of months ago.
Several farmers were killed in ambushes or murdered in their homes because they were unprepared for the
onslaught before the insurgent gang was “taken out” by South African security forces.

Through it all there are a variety of new developments which have particular application to the homeowner. With a
deteriorating security situation becoming endemic world wide, it’s well to take note now! Tomorrow might be too

In the Rhodesian context one factor has emerged above all others; that physical protection is essential when a
terrorist or hostile threat is real, that the terrorist is really dangerous when things are made easy for him, finally, that
elementary protection is relatively cheap. You can cover your window frames with chicken wire instead of
expensive additions; you can fence the perimeter of your property in an effective way using good common sense,
keeping costs down, and applying a few basic principles to safeguard your daily routine.

One of the more salient points to emerge from Rhodesia in the past year is that the Government there regards any
farmer inadequately protected if he does not have sonic explosive device on his premises with which to hit back
during an attack. This device is over and above normal firepower, auto or semi-auto.

It includes various explosive devices, even claymore mines, which can be detonated electrically from the home and
placed in strategic positions around the ground from where a terrorist attack is likely to take place. In this respect a
farmer is encouraged to look at his property from the viewpoint of an attacker -where would be the most likely
place that he would hit you from?- and to place a bomb there.

More recently, Salisbury has been giving serious thought to handing out 60mm mortars to farmers to help them in
their efforts, for it has been found that attacks usually waver if the reaction is strong enough.

An interesting statistic to emerge lately is that in the 500-odd attacks that have taken place in Rhodesia’s war on the
farming community in which people have lost their lives, barely two dozen were killed in their homes. The vast
majority died in ambushes on the roads or on their lands, from landmines or vehicle incidents involving terrorists.
Many of those that died had inadequate home protection.

This fact is underscored by the fact that there have been several incidents where large bands of terrorists have been
put to flight by little old ladies who answered fire with fire.
Many families have learnt to adjust to bunker life around their homes. Anti-rocket or mortar bunkers outside the
bedroom window might not be a pleasant sight, but most families -including the children- quickly adjust. Bunkers
also save lives, although the African terrorist is notorious for his inability to master simple communist firing
devices. Still, there are lives lost in this war every day.

Most activity around the home narrows down to how safe is the security fence? Many are designed to keep
terrorists out. Most do, but occasionally one hears of incidents where families have been wiped out after dark when
terrorists have cut through the wire.

A point made by a specialist in Rhodesian security recently stresses that a perimeter fence is useless unless it is
either illuminated, alarmed, or guarded.

Illumination might not be advisable in rural areas; it acts as a beacon to any terrorist band loose in the bush and
looking for something to hit. Guarding can be impractical and expensive. Also, for a farmer and his wife alone, it
can quickly become tedious and lead to unproductivity. The answer then is an elementary alarm system, several of
which are available on the open market.

The problem is that none is foolproof. The Israelis with all their experience maintain that they allow for one false
alarm in their border alarm system per kilometer per month. You must expect the same around the home, especially
where there are animals about; domestic and wild.

I’ve spent many a night on a Rhodesian farm when the alarm has sounded. Usually one tends to reach for one’s
gun, but a farmer familiar with his system can soon tell by listening whether the threat is for real or not. It’s also a
good idea to segment your alarm system into the four quarters of the compass. That way, when a light indicates that
something is happening, for instance, on the northern sector, you know immediately where to look.

Believe me, I’ve also spent a few nights this year on unfenced South West African farms. You feel the lack of
really solid sleep after only a week. God help those that live permanently under that kind of stress.

I cannot emphasize often enough a few of the supreme security commandments involving the home.

If someone is going to get you quickly, he can do so by lobbing a grenade into your living room. Screen the
windows to every room you use during the day and night. Get a good portable fire extinguisher, which you keep in
the bedroom. A fire can happen at any time. Also, keep a length of hose permanently attached to one of the kitchen
taps. It could save your home and your life.

The Irish terrorist development has proved time and again how invaluable are heavy drapes or curtains. Recent
bomb attacks have resulted in the maiming of people -women and children- by flying glass following an explosion.

And don’t underrate this threat; just look at glass imbedded into a wall after a blast to see what these razor-sharp
splinters could have done to you. Lastly, vary your routine. Try sleeping in different rooms if you think a threat is

One incident happened not long ago in the Wedze area of Rhodesia. The maid brought a group of terrorists through
the security fence and pointed out the main bedroom of the family. They then sent a Russian 85mm shell into that
bedroom, but because the man and his wife were sleeping in the passage that night, they were not injured and
managed to drive off the killers.
Don’t underestimate the use of dogs. Really big, well-trained dogs that bite when provoked can be a godsend when
the going is tough. Their task is elementary: it is to protect. Teach them to protect you against strangers by not
easily accepting strangers in the vicinity of the house. So your friends complain about the dogs when they visit you;
they’re also going to ask you about puppies when you have them; so breed a good strain such as Bouvier or
Alsatian. They’re killers.

Motor vehicle protection -in terms of anti-ambush fire-power- is also likely to become a reality sometime in those
parts of the world where terrorism threatens to take hold. In Rhodesia there are some vehicles that look like
over-decorated Christmas trees. Many have 36 separate barrels protruding from them; pointing towards the front,
rear and sides. Almost all of them can have their barrels fire electrically from inside the cab at the flick of a switch.

The average terrorist is going to think twice about hitting at something that is going to blast back. That much is for

Think about what you are doing carefully and always use good common sense in setting up your own security
system. See what others have done; here Rhodesia is probably the best example in the Western world at the present

And if you’re still not sure, get together with a couple of buddies and bring in a specialist. He’ll tell you all you
need to know about home security, bombs, and booby traps.

Switching On Your 870

by Howard L. Wallace

Editor’s Note: Many of our subscribers have in their arsenal one or more Remington 870 pump shotguns. Mel has
mentioned in Survival Guns and in other articles the virtues of this excellent defense weapon, especially the
reliability of the pump mechanism. However, if there is one drawback to a pump shotgun, it is that it takes two
hands to operate it with any efficiency. In the light of day, a pump shotgun can be used almost as fast as an
automatic. If you need to use your gun at night though, you almost need three hands- one to hold the light and two
to operate the shotgun.

Garth Choate, the resident weapons genius of Bald Knob, Arkansas, solved that problem with his excellent
flashlight holding bracket that can be attached to the 870 or any other shotgun with a flat-sided receiver (see Issue
No. 4).

While Garth’s bracket made it easy to use a flashlight with the 870, it did not change the fact that you must move
the switch on the light to turn it on and off. This means you normally would carry it with the light on constantly
while you searched. While not a problem if what you are looking for is small and fuzzy or is good to eat, if it is
something that is likely to shoot back a constant beam of light is going to make a beautiful aiming point.

To overcome this dangerous situation, one of our subscribers, Harold Wallace, installed a thumb-operated switch
on the side of the Choate mount and allows us to share his idea with you in PS Letter. We suggest the switch be a
momentary-type that automatically ​switches the light off when you release the pressure. In his notes Mr. Wallace
talks about the “Gem” brand of light.
Since he bought his light, the company has gone out of business. However, the Kel-Lite brand of flashlight with
metal switches will work the same way. If you have some flashlight where the switch screws are not positive and
negative, you will need to go into the light to make the connections. The flashlight bracket is available from Choate
Machine and Tool Co., Box 218, Bald Knob, AR 72010. Be sure to get his complete catalog. B.P.

After installing a flashlight mount on my 870, I realized that turning the light on and off with my left hand was very
awkward. A remote switch, operated by a free finger, would allow the light to be turned on while sighting on a
target and immediately off to keep from making a target of yourself.

I went to an electronics store and purchased a push-button switch, connected a wire to each pole of the switch, and
then connected the wires to the screws which hold the switch to the body of a Gem Lite flashlight. Gem Lites are
ideal for this application because the screws are positive and negative terminals.

Other flashlights could be used, but wiring inside the light’s switch would have to be done. I also used small pieces
of heat shrink tubing to protect the connections at the poles of the remote switch.

I then fashioned a bracket for the switch from a piece of 1x1x1/16” aluminum angle stock. I then assembled the
switch in the bracket and tried the switch in several positions until my right thumb could comfortably activate the
switch while the rest of my hand gripped the stock.

Next I glued the bracket in the position I had chosen, to the flashlight mount with super glue and drilled and tapped
a hole for a 4/40 x ¼” machine screw through both the bracket and the mount. I put some LocTite on the threads
and installed the screw. I had to grind off the excess threads flush with the back of the mount. Some flat black paint
on the bare aluminum completes the installation.

Survival Wheels
By Rick Fines

The battery under the hood of every vehicle is the one component responsible for more breakdowns than any other.
It is also one of the few pieces of your machine which can not be repaired or rebuilt by any practical means.

Because they can’t be readily opened or examined, few of us know much about batteries beyond the fact that they
eat your clothes and bite your hand when you fool with them. To further complicate the matter, a number of
incorrect and incomplete articles on the subject manage to get rehashed in the popular press from time to time.

With reasonable care and careful installation, it’s perfectly possible to count on a battery of moderate quality to last
at least five years in normal service. Conversely, with only a touch of sloppy preparation and a lack of care, it’s
possible to replace $100 batteries every few months and never really know why.

We have touched on various phases of battery selection and operation over the past year. This month’s column will
cover the subject in depth.
To understand what batteries are all about, a number of technical terms should be understood:

Ampere​: The unit of measure of current flow.

Ampere-Hour (AH)​: A unit of measure for battery capacity, obtained by multiplying the current flow in amperes by
the times in hours during which the current flows. (Example: A battery which delivers 5 amperes for 20 hours has
delivered 5 amperes x 20 hours, or 100 Ampere Hours.)

Capacity:​ The ability of a fully charged battery to deliver a specified quantity of electricity at a given rate (usually
measured in amperes) over a definite period of time.

Cold Cranking Rating:​ The number of amperes a battery at 0 degrees F can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain a
voltage of 1.2 volts per cell or higher. (Open circuit cell voltage is 2.1.)

Counter Electromotive Force (CEMF):​ The voltage of the battery plus the voltage drop due to the internal
resistance of the battery. Charging voltage must be greater than CFMF to charge a battery.

Cycle:​ In a battery a discharge and recharge constitute a cycle.

Electrolyte:​ Automotive batteries use an electrolyte composed of Sulfuric acid and water. The nominal specific
gravity of the electrolyte is 1.260 to 1.270 in a fully charged battery operated in a normal climate.

Hydrometer​: A float type instrument used to interpolate the state of charge in a battery by measuring the specific
gravity of the electrolyte.

Open circuit voltage:​ The voltage of a battery measured when it is neither receiving nor delivering power.

Reserve Capacity Rating​: The length of time in minutes a battery will operate the essential car accessories if the
generator or alternator fails. The average requirement to operate these accessories at night is approximately 25

Specific Gravity (Sp. Gr.)​: The strength or percentage of the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte is measured by the
specific gravity of the electrolyte, i.e., the weight of the electrolyte is compared to the weight of an equal volume of
pure water.

To make the hydrometer readings make sense, use the following table:

Approximate State of Charge

Percent of Charge Specific Gravity of Electrolyte at 80 degrees F

100 1.265
75 1.225
50 1.190
25 1.155
discharged 1.120 or less
As you may have gathered by now, it’s necessary to cross-reference the terms to arrive at an understanding of many
of them. While you should be familiar with all of them, probably the most important to understand are those which
relate to ratings. Ratings are the numbers that determine how much batteries cost and how good a job they will do
in your vehicle. If you do not comprehend the rest of the terms, you will not be in a very good position to care for
your own batteries, or to maintain a survival storage stock.


Modern automotive batteries have really changed very little in the past forty or so years. Designs have simply been
altered to accommodate the varying electrical requirements imposed by changes in automotive design and use. The
basic unit is still the lead-acid cell. Each cell produces 2.1 Volts; 6-Volt batteries contain three cells, 12-Volt
batteries six. Each cell -or element- is made of alternating positive and negative plates held apart by separators.

The positive active material is composed of lead dioxide (Pb 02) and the negative active material consists of sponge
lead (Pb) in combination with an inert expander material to assure porosity. The active material is carried on a lead
grid which serves to conduct the electrical energy to and from the reacting active material. Each cell is immersed in
an electrolyte solution of sulfuric acid and water.

At this point, we can dispel a great old wive’s tale. The water in question is not distilled water, but rather any water
which is drinkable. Tap water works just fine. There are no automotive manufacturers operating in the world today
who cut their concentrated sulfuric with distilled water, or who use distilled water anywhere in their process.

They do, of course, periodically have their process water tested for contaminants like copper and iron. If your
battery is consuming enough water so that the contaminants introduced from tap water make a difference, the
problems are so severe elsewhere in the charging system that the use of distilled water is of no use anyway.

Who Makes Batteries?

Most of us know who makes our cars, guns, knives, and most anything else for which we pay more than a few
dollars. Not so with batteries. I’ve often heard the virtues of one brand extolled to the heavens over another when
both batteries were absolutely alike -other than the labels- and were made on the same day in the same factory.

As an example, when I was an engineer in the battery industry, the Los Angeles Automotive Division of ESB
Incorporated manufactured batteries for the following concerns, among others: Original equipment for Ford’s Pico
Rivera Assembly Plant, Ford replacement batteries, Chrysler original equipment and replacement, Atlas (Standard
Oil) replacement, Montgomery Ward replacement, J.C. Penny replacement, Texaco replacement, and Shell

The other large manufacturers, i.e. Globe-Union, Gould, General, and just a few others of much smaller size,
control most of the market.

Far more important than the label to you is being careful where you buy a battery. The worst place on this planet is
from a service station. The battery the pimply young man charges you top dollar for has very likely been
improperly stored (we will discuss storage in detail later), and improperly activated and charged.

To make certain the whole show goes south, service station people seem to take extension courses in improper
installation. As an example to show that I don’t simply have a prejudice against service station folk, Standard Oil of
California returned all their warranty adjusted batteries to the Los Angeles electrical lab of ESB Inc. for teardown
failure analysis.
While it was true that many of the batteries failed because of manufacturing defects, it was also true that more than
half of all returns simply needed a recharge to bring them up to specification. That means that the service station
man either failed to do his job properly, or missed other faults in the installation which caused the new battery to be
unable to work. A few of the batteries involved failed because the gas jockey got creative and filled the dry-charged
battery with Coke, plain water, and, in one case, urine- rather than electrolyte.

The best place to buy any battery is where many batteries are sold, installed, and serviced. In most areas, that means
a Sears, Penny’s, or Ward’s automotive center. These operations rotate their stock rapidly so that batteries do not sit
around and discharge.

The people who do their installations may not be graduate engineers, but because they do the same job day in and
day out, you may be reasonably assured that they have some idea of how to accomplish it. Since many of them
work against commission, they will also not ignore contributing faults to battery failure from elsewhere in the

Wet Batteries and Dry-Charged Batteries

You will notice that all the batteries stocked by a Sears operation are of the wet variety; that is, they leave the
factory fully charged and ready for installation. The batteries that Mr. Clearasil showed you at the corner petrol pit
were most likely dry charged. Dry charging is not at all new and has some points, but few of them are in your favor
if you are buying a battery for use now.

The process is essentially for the convenience of the retailer who does not rotate his inventory and does not want to
be troubled with wet batteries in stock. To properly activate a dry battery requires the gas station man to open a
package of acid and carefully fill each cell to the same level above the plates.

He should then put the battery on charge at a low or moderate rate until the specific gravity of the electrolyte
measures 1.250 and the temperature of the electrolyte measures at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. After the charge is
completed, he should then carefully fill the battery to the level rings with additional electrolyte from the package he
already opened. If the dry battery has been stored properly, that is in a cool, dry place, and the installer does his job;
all will be well. Maybe.

What the fellow will probably do is to scrounge around until he finds some sort of container of acid, which may, or
may not be sufficient to fill the battery. He will then pour what he has into the holes until they run over, and may
leave the last one or two partly dry. The next step is to turn his giant battery charger to the “fry”' setting and boil
your new battery for however long it takes him to remember to unhook it.

If he checks any other component in the system, you should be surprised. If he has a hydrometer, it will likely be
broken. When you find in a few days or hours that your money has bought you only silence from your starter, you
might take up jogging as a practical consideration because getting satisfaction will involve quite a run-around.

One point none of the ads will tell you about is the fact that one of the last manufacturing steps in a new wet battery
is a high-rate discharge test. The new battery is subjected to a current draw of perhaps three times what it might
ever be called on to deliver in service.

Loads of 800 to 1200 amps are common, depending on the size battery involved. The current is maintained for
about 4 or 5 seconds. This jolt served to uncover all manner of manufacturing defects that would otherwise be
discovered under your hood.
A few years ago -and I do not believe things have changed much- a defect rate at the H.R.D. test station of about
800 units per 100,000 tested was common. Some factories ran as few as 100 and others as high as 1,500 per
100,000 tested. We always figured that we still missed at least one defect for each one we detected on wet batteries.
Since the test could not be performed on dry batteries, it is reasonable to presume that a defect rate of about 2% for
wet batteries and 4% or more for dry units is about average. If you have a defect rate of 4% combined with the
scary variables introduced during activation by the gas station man, you may count on at least a 10% chance of
buying a dud.


A good many new batteries in perfectly serviceable condition fail because they are improperly installed. Attention
to a few details is important:

1. Is the hold down in good shape? If not replace it. The vibration induced from operating while bouncing around
will cut the life of a battery by more than half. The movement will also loosen connections and fatigue the cables.
Another consideration is that the battery may bounce around enough to manage to dead short and set fire to your

2. Are the cables clean? If they have been in any vehicle long enough to warrant replacement of the battery to
which they are connected, they must be serviced. At the very least the contact surfaces of the clamps must be as
clean as a new silver coin. Gray will not do. The battery posts must also sparkle. The best thing to do is to replace
both cables when a new battery is installed.

Side terminal batteries present a special problem. The screw which engages the threads in the terminal pack up with
sulfates which are very hard to remove. This corrosion not only impedes the flow of current, but also makes it
impossible to apply the proper amount of torque in tightening the connections.

3. Check belts for condition and tightness and make certain that the alternator or generator mounting is tight and in
good shape.

Storage for Survival Use

We must presume that in a survival situation, there will be no ready source for new batteries. Some years ago, the
term “rebuilt battery” was a common one. Up until the late 1950’s, it was also a factual term. Since then, the
one-piece, epoxy or heat sealed battery container-cover has come into use.

It is impossible to open 98% of the batteries made today without destroying them. The few concerns who still
advertise “rebuilt” batteries are simply selling used batteries removed from wrecks, which have been cleaned up
and charged. Some may be serviceable, but none can claim to be rebuilt.

There are also several products on the market which claim to “rejuvenate” batteries. The products rejuvenate the
sellers, but they do nothing at all for batteries. Most claim that by removing “harmful sulfates” from the plates, the
battery will be restored to use.

Those sulfates happen to be the active material in the discharged state. If they were in fact removed, the result is
obvious. Some of the additives do soften heavily sulfated active material, but the result is a battery that soon fails
due to bottom shorting brought on by excessive sedimentation of the active material. In simple terms, all the paste
falls off the grids and makes a pile in the bottom until it reaches the plates and shorts them.
The only alternative left is to buy some new batteries and retain them in storage until needed.

Buying new wet batteries offers some advantage in quality, but more care is necessary in storage. If the batteries are
simply stuck away on a shelf for a year or so, they will be of no use at all when needed. As the batteries slowly
discharge and the specific gravity of the electrolyte approaches 1.000 (water), the active material will react with the
water to form lead hydrates. The hydrate crystals are hard and resist formation back to their original compounds,
plus they tend to “grow” through the separators and permanently short the cells. To determine how fast batteries of
conventional construction discharge, use the following table:

At 100 degrees F. self-discharge loss is .0025 Sp. Gr. per day.

At 80 degrees F. self-discharge loss is .001 Sp. Gr. per day.
At 50 degrees F. self-discharge loss is .0003 Sp. Gr. per day.

Many people believe that the way to maintain a wet battery in storage is to hook it to a trickle charger and forget it.
Not so. Even a continuous charge of one amp over a period of months will wear the battery out from overcharge.

The very best way to long-term store wet batteries is to make certain they are fully charged, wrap them in a plastic
bag and place them in a deep freeze. The chemical reaction of self-discharge will be slowed to the point that the
batteries may be stored for many months with no attention whatever. When they are needed, they should be allowed
to warm to room temperature, charged until they reach a Sp. Gr. of 1.265 and installed.

For those concerned about damaging the battery by freezing, these numbers should be of use:

Specific Gravity Corrected to 80 degrees F. Temperature at Which Battery Will Freeze

1.250 -62 degrees F.
1.200 -16 degrees F.
1.150 +5 degrees F.
1.100 +19 degrees F.

The “cold storage” was used some years ago to supply Chrysler Corporation with batteries while ESB Inc. in Los
Angeles was on strike for several months. The method worked well for many thousands of units and will work fine
for the four or so batteries you may plan to store. If you plan to keep the batteries around without the deep freeze
storage method, keep them as cool as possible and charge them back to 1.260 Sp. Gr. once a month. Do not charge
them any longer or any more than necessary.

Maintaining an inventory of dry batteries means that you have more of a chance of having a dud in stock, but the
storage methods are far simpler. Keep the battery and the packaged acid stored in a clean, cool, and dry place. The
colder the better, but the situation is not at all critical as it is in the case of wets. When the battery is ready for use,
follow the activation instructions we discussed a while back.

After the battery has been in use for a few days, check it again to make certain the specific gravity of all cells is
where it should be and the electrolyte level is correct. When you make this check, or perhaps before, you may
discover some of the defects which get through in dry batteries.

Reversed cells, missing separators, and many others may account for the failure of new batteries when you can least
afford problems. If, for example, five cells check out with a specific gravity of 1.260 and one shows perhaps 1.220;
you know you have a mechanical problem within the battery. You have little choice but to replace it.
Even though the car continues to start and seemingly run properly, you run the risk of damaging your alternator
through the overcharge the system will continually generate in an attempt to cause the defective battery to supply
sufficient CEMF to trigger the regulator to drop the charge voltage.

The batteries you select for storage should be the very best available, and of the highest ampere hour rating
available in the appropriate group size. To make this a bit clearer, bear in mind that the common group 24 battery
(fits many Chevrolets) is available in AH capacities ranging from 35 AH to over 80 Ampere-Hours. While the light
batteries often work fine on summer days, consider these numbers which are important when the weather gets a bit

Cranking Power Available from Fully Charged Battery Power Required to Crank Engine with SAE
10W-30 Oil
at Various Temperatures at Various Temperatures
Temp. Power Temp. Power
80 degrees F. 100% 80 degrees F. 100%
32 degrees F. 65% 32 degrees F. 155%
0 degrees F. 40% 0 degrees F. 210%

Note that at zero, your engine requires more than twice the power from a battery capable of delivering less than half
the power it can yield on a balmy afternoon.

One of the best dry batteries available is the Atlas brand, sold by many Standard Oil affiliates and other licensees.
Atlas makes something of a nuisance of themselves with their vendors in an attempt to achieve good quality
control. Their packaging is also excellent for long-term storage, as it contains both battery and acid in sturdy

As an indication of how long a dry battery may last under reasonable storage conditions, I recently activated a dry
charged battery for aircraft use that had been stored in a cabinet in my old electrical lab for many years, then at my
home for another five years. The battery came up to charge very nicely and was subsequently installed in an
aircraft. Two years later, it’s still quite serviceable. The battery in question was manufactured in 1944.

The difference between it and the problem inherent with dry batteries purchased and installed in service stations is
that the activation and installation procedures performed with this antique were perfect, and the quality control in
force for aircraft batteries built in ‘44 was excellent. Assuming you activate your stored dry battery properly -and
barring factory defect- you may count on at least ten or more years of shelf life from a dry battery.

If a dry battery has been on the shelf for many years, it’s quite possible that moisture in the air has reacted with the
sponge lead of the negative plates to form lead oxides. If this is the case, it will take longer than normal to bring the
battery to a state of full charge, and a very low rate should be employed to avoid excessive heating.

Special Tools

The tools needed to install and service batteries are simple and not at all expensive. Attempting to get along without
them is an invitation to expensive difficulty. The following should put you in good shape:

1. Filler syringe (DO NOT top off batteries with a garden hose).
2. Battery cable puller.
3. Cable clamp spreader.
4. Terminal and cable clamp cleaning brush.
5. Battery carrier.
Battery Charging

As we mentioned earlier, many batteries are “fried”; that is, permanently damaged when new, by prolonged and
excessive charge rates. Here are the correct rates for fast and slow charges:

Suggested Rate and Time for Fully Discharged Condition

Rated Capacity
(Reserve Minutes) Slow Charge Fast Charge
80 Minutes or less 14 hrs. @ 5 amperes 1 hr. @ 60 amperes
7 hrs. @ 10 amperes 1 ¾ hrs. @ 40 amperes

above 80 to 125 minutes 20 hrs. @ 5 amperes 2 ½ hrs. @ 40 amperes

10 hrs. @ 10 amperes 1 ¾ hrs. @ 60 amperes

above 125 to 170 minutes 28 hrs. @ 5 amperes 3 ½ hrs. @ 40 amperes

14 hrs. @ 10 amperes 2 ½ hrs. @ 60 amperes

above 170 to 250 minutes 42 hrs. @ 5 amperes 5 hrs. @ 40 amperes

21 hrs. @ 10 amperes 3 ½ hrs. @ 60 amperes

above 250 minutes 33 hrs. @ 10 amperes 8 hrs. @ 40 amperes

5 ½ hrs. @ 60 amperes

This is rather detailed information for our purposes, but it’s far better to at least start with the right numbers than to
guess. In every case, it’s far better to use the low settings if at all possible.

Safety Precautions

In many respects, batteries should be treated with as much respect as your firearms. The dilute sulfuric acid used is
capable of producing minor skin burns and more serious eye damage. If you get some on the skin or eyes, rinse
with cool, clear water.

When batteries are charging, they release a very explosive mixture of hydrogen and oxygen generated from the
chemical decomposition of water. Sparks caused by any number of sources can set off this mixture with spectacular
results. Batteries can explode with enough force to break the container into fragments, shower the surrounding area
with acid, and injure anyone nearby. Avoid sparks and wear eye protection.


Survival planning must become rather detailed when we consider items that simply will not be replaceable in time
of need. Since batteries may not be repaired in any practical sort of way, they must be made to last as long as
possible and backed up with a reasonable replacement stock.

Three or four batteries of each group size you require should be sufficient for most. Obviously, if we use a figure of
four years as the nominal life (it should be longer) of each battery and even take into account that one may be
defective, your battery supply will likely last as long as you have any chance of maintaining motor vehicles in
Notes on Rural Defense for the Private Citizen in Times of Disorder
by Jeff Cooper

There has been more than enough mass civil disorder on the urban scene in recent years to cause a number of
people to take theoretical refuge in the country. Such planning may have merit -granted a number of conditions
which may or may not materialize- but whenever one chooses to fall back on his own resources he does well to
reinforce them, insofar as he is able.

Material assets such as shelter, food and water, fuel, tools, and proper clothing are necessities, but they are
valueless if one cannot protect them. One should devote a bit of thought to just how they are to be personally
protected, since police protection will be presumably defunct.

If one can slip out of sight he need never consider defensive tactics. If he can’t be found, he can’t be bothered. Thus
the safest spot, when confronted with overwhelming force, is right in the heart of the enemy host, passing yourself
off as one of him. I have a friend and client who did just that about a generation ago, and survived for over eighteen
months -in health if not comfort- while he waited for a break. It’s quite a tale and I hope to see it published one day.

But this is rarely an option, for a number of obvious reasons. If one “takes to the hills” he must have a base, and
though he should try to make that base unobtrusive, he can hardly make it invisible.

He can, however, take precautions. In Wigwam Creek, which forms the south boundary of Rhovanion, as we call
our place in Montana’s Gravelly Range, I found the remains of an honest-to-God “retreat” some years ago. This is
about fifty miles south of Three Forks, in the midst of Blackfoot Country, and any mountain man who got caught
here by an early autumn had serious problems.

Unless he could arrange to move in with some complaisant Blackfoot girl -and at once- he was faced with death by
cold and starvation on one hand and a somewhat quicker but more ornamental death at the hands of the Indians on
the other. He had to hole up, quickly and out of sight.

About a mile upstream from where the creek debauches from the hills onto the Madison River plain a tributary
creek comes in from the left, dropping over a small cascade that can be negotiated by a man on foot but not by a
horse. If you climb through that notch you find a V-shaped canyon leading south, with walls about 100 meters high.
The east slope is timbered, the west is sagebrush. The stream is swift and several feet deep. It should flow through
the winter, even at 40 below. Here is firewood, water, and cover.

Naturally there was plenty of game 150 years ago- there still is. Down in that canyon bottom a rifle shot is inaudible
to anyone not close at hand, and woodsmoke from a small fire will dissipate before clearing the skyline.

Here was a good spot -for an experienced outdoorsman- and a mountain man of that age acquired experience
quickly, or never. Here he built his shelter and, except for its fallen roof, it is still there. It is basically a stout and
well-designed fireplace-cum-chimney, with a very small sleeping space, about two by three meters,

The roof, when in place, was far too low to permit a man to stand erect, and there were no windows in evidence.
Every cubic foot of air in that cabin was heated, night and day, by logs cut and hauled personally, without benefit of
Apparently ventilation was achieved by means of small spaces left between walls and roof. The entire structure,
saving the log roof, was of piled rock, chinked with mud. And there you were, snug as a bug, until the snows
melted. You ate fresh meat and drank fresh water- period.

If you suffered neither accident nor illness, you could make it. And then, in the spring, the Blackfeet would still be
there. That was survival. It may have been magnificent, but it was not fun. It was not fun then and it is not fun now.
A society of hedonists need not even attempt it.

It may not come to that, of course. There are interim conditions, and one is that in which things have gone
completely agley in the cities but the rural scene is still viable. This introduces the idea of “roving bands”, so often
mentioned in the doomsday press but not so often clearly portrayed.

What does the solid citizen, gone to earth in his rural hideout, do about roving bands?

Obviously two factors override all others here. These are alertness and disparity of force.

Alertness is the first principle of personal defense. One must know that he has a problem before he can begin to
solve it. This means simply that one either sets a watch or he hides. We can stand watches back-to-back for a
limited time only, and while doing so we cannot do anything else.

Watch-in-three is nearly as bad, but watch-in-four (four hours on and twelve off) can be maintained indefinitely,
including time for other work. It permits all-night-in every other night, and if “dogged”, as in the Navy, it rotates so
as to get each man the evil “mid watch” (midnight to four) only one night in four.

The only way to be relatively sure that a watcher stays awake is to have two people on watch at all times, checking
on each other. That means a minimum of eight able-bodied lookouts. If we add two more to take care of emergency
substitutions and coordination, we find that the smallest group that can maintain a secure, long-term lookout is ten.
That’s a big order- hard to recruit, hard to control, and ​hungry​.

The mission of any lookout or sentry is to notify all concerned of the presence of a threat, and, if possible, of the
direction, distance, and nature of the threat. In exceptional cases the lookout may be able to halt the threat, but to
give warning is his primary job. The means by which the warning is given will vary widely, but generally it will be
an audible signal.

Radios and telephones are convenient when they work, but they must always be backed by a noisemaker. The use
of gunshots as a warning code is widespread, because it is simple, but it has serious drawbacks. (Among other
things, if it gets mixed up with an actual shooting its meaning is lost.) Various sorts of horns have been used for this
purpose since the problem first arose -quite some time ago- and nowadays several kinds of C02-powered screamers
save lung power.

In any case, the first duty of the lookout is to tell the people, not to tangle with the intruder. In some circumstances
he may be able to shut the exit in some ostentatious way, which has a chilling moral effect upon unwanted
company. (I once knew a guard dog that would let anybody in- but nobody out. Effective, once the word got

If you can’t set a watch, the other choice is to hide. If only one or two people are on station they cannot sleep
aboard. Asleep in your bed you are helpless against any skillful prowler, and will be hopelessly pinned down if
even a small group materializes out of the dark.
Thus, if a man alone expects an intrusion, he must pack up and sleep in a brush pile some 300 meters away from his
base building. (Our foregoing mountain man could not do this in the Rocky Mountain cold, so he took a chance
every time he slept. But remember how meticulously he hid his hideout.)

Needless to say, lookouts keep mobile, stay off skylines and in the shade, and leave no record of their passage.

Once you know that an intruder is intruding, you take the initiative. You do not wait for him to carry out his plan,
whatever it may be, but you move quickly to place yourself so that the first contact he makes with you puts him at a
tactical disadvantage. Whenever possible, any challenge should be delivered from abaft the beam, and by choice
from out of sight. It need not be hostile, as long as it manifests the challenger’s complete control of the situation.

Passive protection, such as barriers, fences, walls, and padlocks, have some value but are not to be trusted
completely. A chain link fence -unsightly and fearfully expensive- is easily defeated by a cheap pair of bolt cutters
if it is not kept under continuous observation. As a rule, effective fortification is too expensive for all but
governments and oil sheiks.

Tactics is an art, rather than a science. It may be thought of as the orchestration of human violence.

The great tacticians have always been creative innovators, and their exploits regularly leave us with the “Why
didn’t I think of that!” impression. Nonetheless, as in music, one must know the rules thoroughly before one can
break them effectively, and there are certain precepts in tactics. They may not be exactly rules, but we do well to
observe them.

One is “seize the initiative”. Do not react to the other’s plan. Cause him to react to yours. Even though he may have
started things by intruding on your territory, act in a way that he does not expect.

I recall a neat little episode in one of Stewart White’s mountain tales. The principal topped a rise in the Rockies and
could just make out the twinkle of a campfire far below. Not knowing whose it might be, he reacted with stealthy

He dismounted and picketed his horses, muzzling them to prevent neighing. He then slipped silently down through
the forest, careful to stay under cover and not to snap a twig. At long rifle shot he observed the camp carefully for
perhaps twenty minutes, noting no sign of life.

He then moved carefully in a ¾ circle, under cover, observing from every direction but directly upwind. Satisfied
that the proprietor was either asleep or away, he zigzagged carefully inward until he could look directly at the fire
from behind a screen of leaves about thirty paces out. Nobody home, so he stood up. At that point a quiet voice
from somewhere behind him said, “All right, Mister. Just put the rifle down and walk right on in.”

Your intruder or intruders may not be hostile, and they may not be dangerous. This is difficult to ascertain unless
you recognize them personally, but you may not morally take forceful action until you know. Your natural wit will
have to serve you, since while the extremes of “All male, numerous, and heavily-armed” and “Half-grown, alone,
scared, and empty-handed” are easy, the gradations in the middle may not be.

Obviously, disparity of available force alters the need for caution. If numbers and armament are greatly in your
favor you can afford to take chances that you would not if the deck were stacked the other way. Still, mere strength
is not necessarily the deciding factor. A well-contrived ambush can be won by a much weaker force, particularly if
nothing of the sort is expected.
A person seeking only to be left in peace will not open up without warning, though this might be a desperation
measure adopted after repeated deadly threats. Warning shots are usually a mistake, since they suggest either
trepidation or incompetence, or both. (An exception might be a burst of automatic fire, since there are those who
can be scared off by the mere presence of a machine gun.)

If at all possible, the challenge and response should be verbal; establishing that the resident is ready, willing, and
able to protect what is his, but that he is really not a rich target anyway. Scaring hostiles away is never very
satisfactory, be they mosquitoes, crocodiles, or people, because they will be back later, with friends. Still, people
can reason, and a decent man will use reason until he is finally convinced that it is just not going to work.

The sort of action we are considering here may be seen as falling into the category of guerrilla warfare, from the
Spanish for “little war”, which is a very nasty thing indeed. You can’t play it for laughs, because it is not funny at
all. It is a guerrilla principle never to get into a “fight”, in the sense of a confrontation involving an exchange of

A successful guerrilla action is completely one-sided, and is over before the loser knows it started. If -God forbid-
the time actually comes when police power collapses (as it seems to have already done in the South Bronx) and
citizens actually have to protect themselves against these roving bands, those who succeed will observe that

Keeping It Together
by Carl Kirsch, M.D.

It is common in stress situations for muscle tension to occur throughout the body. In addition many people, as they
attempt to do things under stress, have a tendency to tense their muscle systems and to push themselves for
performance. This combination of muscle tension will make it even more difficult for the individual to perform
well. Functioning well under stress-induced muscle tension is difficult enough as it is.

Why does muscle tension interfere with performance? One reason is that muscle movement always involves a
balance between two opposing muscles, one of which contracts and one of which relaxes. This dynamic balance
functions so that the individual’s movements and body posture do not become unstable and the optimum amount of
muscle work can be performed with a minimum of effort.

When the muscles tense, both the relaxing and contracting muscles are tense so that the working muscle
(contracting muscle) has to function against resistance from the relaxing muscle, which should not normally
happen. Thus, the contracting muscle has to work harder and use up more energy to perform its task.

In addition, there will be increased difficulty and thus more energy expenditure in maintaining normal body
stability and balance. Finally, each muscle has an optimum length from which it must either contract or relax in
order to perform most efficiently. If the muscle is too relaxed (stretched too far) or too tense (contracted or
shortened) it will not be at its optimum length and, as a result, will not produce as much work.

Therefore, the working muscle which is under stress tension will not be at its optimum length and so will perform
less work than usual. These are the reasons why stress-induced muscle tension clearly interferes with your ability to
perform physical tasks well.
Dr. Laurence Morehouse co-authored with Leonard Gross ​Maximum Performance (Simon and Schuster 1976), in
which he utilized some of these concepts. I highly recommend getting this book because it discusses in detail their
exercise training method called “dynamic relaxation”.

In this method you learn to relax your muscles to the point at which you might be barely standing and then
introduce just the amount of tension necessary to perform the exercise or task. This will yield optimum
performance. Their system is quite effective and is based on the muscle functioning properties I discussed above.

An important additional aspect of muscle tension is its effect on breathing. It is usually not recognized that during
breathing every muscle group of the body participates in the process similar to the way many muscles participate in
any kind of dynamic body movement.

Bioenergetics, an area I have specialized in, has been cognizant of this and utilizes it as one basis of its treatment.
So, if your muscles are tense from stress, this will make your breathing more difficult because your chest, abdomen,
and diaphragm will be trying to move against the pressure exerted by the tight muscles.

People commonly experience one form of this tension as trying to breathe against a band around their chests. This
tension will decrease the amount of oxygen that you get so you will not have maximum energy available. The
tension will also reinforce the decreased breathing and breathholding patterns that I discussed in the last column.
You can see how a cycle is set up in which dysfunctional breathing and muscular tension recruit each other in a
dynamic system, the result of which decreases an individual’s ability to perform under stress.

What are the effects of stress on the cognitive or mental functioning of a person? Anxiety, fear, and pain all
interfere with an individual’s ability to focus and to think clearly, and these emotions are all part of a stress
syndrome. I have mentioned previously that dysfunctional breathing and muscle tension are physical ways people
contain and control these feelings. This is done so that they will not feel overwhelmed.

However, whenever breathing becomes dysfunctional and muscle tension (especially in the head, shoulders, and
neck) is marked, I have found clinically that people have difficulties in focus and thinking. Individuals who can
relax and/or express their emotions and stay with themselves or “centered” usually show less of these effects. Their
awareness of what is happening to them helps them function better.

Thus, we can see how muscle tension, breathing, and mental clarity are all interrelated. Because of this, the
exercises I will give you will emphasize breathing first. Later they will deal with muscle tension and finally with
mental focus. I consider breathing to be the key element in this triad because with restoration of proper breathing
some relaxation and mental clarity immediately occur.

In contrast, I find that exercises that deal with muscle tension and focus when there is improper breathing are only
marginally effective. We will work with all three after some breathing exercises in order to take advantage of the
synergistic effect of their interrelationship.

The central role of breathing in performance can be illustrated by the story of Dr. Roger Bannister and how he
broke the four-minute mile barrier. Dr. Bannister was a physiologist and he studied in detail the stress, muscle
effort, and respiration patterns that occurred in sports. Through his studies, he realized that the two central issues
that were affecting the athletes’ inability to get through the four-minute mile mark were respiration and concomitant
oxygen saturation of the blood, together with a psychological barrier.
He developed conditioning techniques and used breathing of a mixture of air and oxygen that was sixty-six percent
saturated with oxygen for the athlete to breathe just before he ran. He found in laboratory studies that this oxygen
saturation enabled the individual to run longer and as an additional benefit to feel positive and slightly euphoric.
This aided in dealing with the psychological as well as physical barriers.

With this information he was able to break the four-minute mile mark. Using these techniques many others after
him were able to run the mile in under four minutes. This is in accordance with my experience that respiration is
central to all stress preparation.

Mental functioning under stress is influenced by more than breathing and muscle tension. Emergency hormones
(corticosteroids, nor-epinephrine, epinephrine, and others) are secreted. These affect the brain as well as the rest of
the body. The mental effect of these hormones is not fully understood at this time.

Yet in their role of protecting the person’s life these hormones can have complex and contradictory effects. They
can prepare the individual for the classical position of fight or flight. If neither is possible (as often occurs in
modern life) the individual is in the stressful position of restraining his biology.

It is like having one foot one brake and the other pressing the gas pedal to the floorboard. It is no wonder that
turbulence, confusion, and lack of focus result as well as the other stress effects we have talked about.

Other types of situations produce a “shock” effect. Here the physiological response is to protect the brain and vital
organs from the effect of the trauma. This effect can occur at times when there is no physical trauma (death of a
loved one, automobile accident with no injury, etc.) and is experienced with a distant, automatic type of behavior
and lack of sensations and emotions. This shock effect can be seen in many stress situations and will lead to
impaired functioning.

The individual’s style of coping will also determine how he functions mentally under stress. For example, some
people are always at their limits (wits end, frazzled) so that when a moderate stress occurs they can’t function, they
become exhausted, and sometimes become despairing, depressed, or weepy. Others maintain a contained, paced
style and are able to absorb stress with minimal dysfunction. Still others are controlled and rigid in their styles and
when stress violates their controlled way of dealing, they become anxious and confused.

You can see that there are a multitude of factors that influence stress responses. The essential preparation principles
and exercises I am presenting are designed to prepare you so that you will be in good physical shape, know your
coping style well, and experience situations that are usually stressful as non-stressful. In addition, for those
situations that you do experience as stressful, you will have developed methods of handling the stress. But the
major thrust of our work will be preventative so that we can raise your threshold for experiencing stress.

Here is another breathing exercise. I suggest you do it in addition to the two-hand exercise (See PS Letter No. 10).
If, after doing this one for awhile you find the two-hand exercise is working properly, you can consider
discontinuing it. However, I want to emphasize that it is better to do an exercise longer than necessary that to stop it
prematurely. This way you are sure of obtaining the desired effect.

Increasing resting breathing capacity: The major focus of this exercise is to increase the amount of air which you
take in (i.e. your breathing capacity) when you are in a resting, quiet position. It will also have the effect of easing
some of the muscular tension aspects of your respiration so that no extra work takes place with high capacity
The importance of a high resting breathing capacity is that the more oxygen you take into your system at rest, the
more energy you will have available for your normal tasks and for meeting stress.

This means that you’ll have more reserve before you will have to call on the secondary, or emergency, stress
breathing mechanism. Also, since these secondary breathing mechanisms tend to be associated physiologically with
anxiety, this will diminish the amount of fright or anxiety you will experience under stress.

Begin the exercise by sitting in a comfortable upright position in chair with both feet flat on the floor. If you prefer,
you can sit cross-legged on the floor, but your back should be straight or well-supported. Exhale as fully as possible
but make sure not to strain. Then inhale, slowly, counting at approximately one second per count, and see what
number you reach before you notice that you are beginning to strain.

The first time you do this you may go beyond that number before you notice that you’re straining. If so, exhale and
do it again until you settle on the number of seconds or counts that you can inhale without straining. You then will
inhale for that amount of counts and exhale for an equal amount.

For example, let us say you can inhale for ten seconds or the count of ten without straining. Then, you would first
inhale to the count of ten and then exhale for the count of ten and to repeat this eight times. No matter what your
count is, you should do eight repetitions or cycles. A cycle is an inhale and an exhale.

This exercise should be done to your count for one week. At the end of a week, you can try to increase it by one
count. If you can do that without straining, use​ that count. If you find that you are straining continue doing the
exercise at your original count for another four days and then see if you can increase it. If you can, do it to the new
count. If not, continue at the original count, checking every four days until you can increase without strain.

Under no circumstances are you to increase the count if you find yourself straining. Doing this exercise without
straining will gradually retrain your breathing patterns. You should not increase the count by more than one in any
seven-day period so that the retraining can take full effect. Continue doing this exercise until you can inhale and
exhale to the count of sixteen without straining.

At that juncture, you’ll have reached the goal of the exercise and will have increased your resting breathing
capacity to the point at which you will only require two breaths per minute when you are in a relaxed non-active
state. This will give you a good reserve to handle stress from.

When you are able to do the sixteen count breathing, I suggest that you continue the exercise for at least two weeks
in order to be sure that your body has been re-trained. I also suggest that you check yourself every two months after
that to make sure that you can maintain the same sixteen count breathing.

Life stresses, illness, injuries, etc. have a way of changing breathing patterns, so by checking on yourself you will
become aware of any change in your reserve. If your breathing pattern has changed, you should then repeat the
exercise until you build up to the count of sixteen again.
Letter from the Editors
We would like to thank all of our subscribers who participated in our reader’s survey. We received a wide variety
of good ideas, a few well-deserved complaints, and a number of compliments. The main idea you got across to us
was that you wanted more how-to articles to help in preparation for self-defense in a time of terror. We think you
will see that we took this to heart by the two excellent articles by Al Venter and Jeff Cooper on this subject. We can
assure you the future will hold many more.

While speaking of what the future holds, I will mention our subscriber’s biggest complaint: “Why can’t you get the
issues out on time? Everyone else who writes a newsletter does.” Let me first say that we are just as interested as
you are about getting issues into your hands. We do not like complaints, and since we sell the subscription for a
given number of issues, we obviously cannot make money unless we fulfill subscriptions.

There is no way we can turn out issues as easily as those newsletters that are basically written as reactions to
current news and trends. This means the writers must only read current events, and then sit down and write their
thoughts and suggestions. Most of our articles, especially Mel’s, take much research and practical usage to be ready
to write.

For instance, Mel’s article on the .45 auto pistol in Issue No. 9 took over three months to assemble the guns.
Another three months were spent carrying and testing the guns to see how they held up in actual use. Included in
the preparation of the article was the time and expense of firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition to test the
reliability and accuracy of each.

It was only after this extensive effort that Mel was able to write what is now the only objective information
available on the full spectrum of .45 auto pistols. The effort and time that goes into our articles is the main reason
for the delays in the newsletter.

This has been compounded by the fact that Mel Tappan has been very ill for the last few months. Actually, for a
couple of days I was worried if he was going to be around at all- however, the crisis passed and it looks like I am
going to be stuck with him for many more years.

Nevertheless, since it is difficult to test .45’s, .357’s, and high-powered rifles in a hospital or bedroom, he has not
been able to do much research for the summer. It is for that reason that Issue No. 12 has taken so long to get out.
Mel is now recovering, but it will probably not be until the first of the year that he will be back to normal.
Therefore, Issues No. 13 and 14 may also be delayed.

I would like to thank our loyal subscribers -we have had less than ten cancellations over the entire life of the
newsletter- for their support and understanding. The prevailing comment seems to be that since PS Letter is the
only place they can get information on the important areas of physical survival, and the articles are so good, then
while they wish the issues came out more often, they are well worth the wait.

For those who can not face the delays, we will remind you of our guarantee. At any time we will refund the full
price of the remaining issues of your subscription- no questions asked. New subscribers are entitled to read two
issues- if after reading them they feel that PS Letter is not worth the cost we will refund their complete subscription
price and they can keep the two issues they received.

Another thing you will not find in the pages of PS Letter is long reprints from other newsletters. I know of some
newsletters that over 25% of their pages are constantly taken from other letters. When we find something worth
reprinting we either will include it as a bonus with your issue, or we will arrange with the editors of the article to
provide it for you either free or at a very nominal cost.
With this issue you will find two interesting reprints. We offer them as a bonus to make up somewhat for our
delays. Both deal with the economy. One is from ​Reader’s Digest and the other is from ​Mother Earth News​. We
hope you will read them carefully to better understand the deepening problem of the current economy

In that same vein, we have arranged with Gary North, editor of ​Remnant Review,​ for our subscribers to receive
Issue No. 16, Volume No. 6, which regularly sells for $3.00 an issue, for only $1.00. Not only will this introduce
you to one of the better economic and current events newsletters, but this issue contains a super article on the
dangers the US faces in the near future from Soviet aggression. It is an anonymous inside report by someone who
knows US weaknesses. It is must reading.

Gary is one of those editors that really put research and thought into their articles and we can recommend his
newsletter as a good investment. When writing for the $1.00 issue, be sure to mention PS Letter or he will send
your buck back. The address is Remnant Review, 713 Cornwallis Rd., Suite 100, Durham, NC 27707.

New .45 Ammo from Hornady. Mel has received a couple of boxes of a new .45 ammo available from Hornady that
looks like it will replace the Remington 230 grain FMJ load for sociable use. It is designed around an idea that Mel
has mentioned for quite a while. The difference is in the truncated cone shape of the 230-grain bullet. This means
that the business end of the bullet looks like an ice cream cone with the point cut off.

This does two things, first it allows it to feed smoothly in auto pistols and second it punches better holes in people.
This second reason should mean it should show better expansion cavities when Mel can get out and do the testing.

The new ammo has about the same ballistics as the Remington load but Hornady also has made the bullet available
so those who reload can step it up for a little more punch.

We like to mention those who do a good job and one company that we have found to be excellent, both for price
and especially for service, is Ron Shirks Shooting Supplies (RD No. 3, Box 1775,Lebanon, PA 17042, Phone:(717)
272-5671). He seems to carry a complete line of products and usually has in stock even hard to get Smiths. His
delivery is fantastic- my last order took only eight days from the time I sent it to him to arrive at my door.

For those who do not have an FFL, you should be able to get your local gun shop to order from him for some
charge- usually 10% over the Shotgun News Price. (You will find his ads in any issue of Shotgun News and if you
have a Federal Firearms License you can order direct.)

Speaking of reloading, Mel tells me he is still researching his article on reloading that should be available for one of
the next few issues. He plans not only to cover equipment and techniques but also will concentrate on powder
storage and reloading for survival situations.

Back in Issue No. 8, Mel mentioned that the HK-91 with the polygon barrel would only handle military loads
without malfunctioning. Therefore it was important to buy only the standard full metal cut barrel for survival use. It
is interesting -and disappointing- to notice that the latest price list from HK does not list the full metal barrel
version as available any longer.
Therefore, if you have not gotten a 91 for your survival arsenal and want to now buy one, you are going to have to
really search around to find one. The model number tells which barrel is offered. Model Al is the standard stock full
metal barrel and the A4 is the folding stock metal barrel. A2 and A3 are polygon barrels.

For you who are still dragging your heels on getting your food storage, we mention that Mountain House
Freeze-Dried Foods will be raising their prices about November 1. This is their third raise in less than a year.

On that same vein, most gun and ammo manufacturers automatically adjust their prices on the first of each year. If
you are looking to buy either guns or ammo, you might want to keep your eyes open for good prices during the
Christmas period. B.P.

Bill’s Food Box

By Bill Pier

Without seeming to be beating a dead horse (because this horse is very much alive), I feel it is important to keep
our subscribers reminded of the problem with pre-packaged food storage programs- or as known in the trade
“year’s supplies”. These can be found in most food storage advertising with testimonials that they will “store
forever without rotating”, and “save you money over store-bought food”. They differ in size and content, but they
all offer the promise of a “quality year’s supply”.

Let me state up front, for those who do not know, that I own one of those companies, SI Equipment, which sells
these packages of food. I have tried to make sure that SI’s units do not have some of the obvious errors discussed in
this article and my advertising no longer makes obviously puffed statements. SI’s units still have the basic problem
that is inherent in any pre-packaged program- it is not designed for your family.

Puffed-Up Advertising

Let me get rid of a couple of puff statements right away. First, nothing lasts forever -except maybe taxes- therefore,
while dehydrated foods will store for long periods of time you will need to rotate your storage items. For more
details see Issue No. 4. Second, dehydrated foods do not save you money over fresh or canned foods in the
supermarket. They do eliminate waste, can save time, and when you know how to use them it is hard, if not
impossible, to tell from the store-bought kind, but they do tend to cost 10% and up to 30% more than fresh or

The one exception to this is items such as dehydrated onion slices which you buy in three-ounce jars in the
supermarket- they are cheaper per ounce purchased in No. 10 cans. Third, we are faced with the statement of
“balanced diet" or “nutritious foods”. One enterprising firm sells a “two year’s supply” of food for a surprisingly
small amount of money.

When checking over the listed items and quantities I find that this “balanced diet” gives you no meats, a single 4 oz.
serving of green or yellow vegetables every 3 ½ days, a single serving of fruit every four days, a single serving of
essential fats and oils every four days.

You may ask, “What do you get to eat in between these feasts of balanced foods?” It seems you live on
carbohydrates. There are plenty of potatoes, wheat, rice, and other grains to fill in with “nourishing balanced
meals”. This is only one example of the problem. Another program that is highly recommended by a “nutritional
expert" provides a diet that makes it mandatory to serve either mashed potatoes, green peas, or beans at every meal
-including breakfast- if you are not going to have two servings of mashed potatoes for dinner.
This inadequacy of diet usually comes about because the companies are trying to provide as many cheap calories
and grams of protein as they can in their unit. They sit down with a calorie per $1.00 cost chart and load their
programs with those foods that provide high calorie count per $1.00. Then they throw in some fruits and vegetables
to give a better balanced look and “Voila” a year’s supply.

While this may seem a sneaky way to do something, at least they show you a listing of foods and if you have done a
little research you can figure out you are being taken for a ride on the balance of the foods and can refuse to buy.

The Missing Ingredients

A careful check of most pre-packaged food programs will usually turn up one or more of the following: 1) Almost
universally, a lack of adequate fats and oils. Many programs list one No. 10 can of margarine or butter powder as a
sop to the fats and oils. Unfortunately, this is not enough.

As a minimum, look for four No. 10 cans of margarine, butter, or salad oil. Less than that means someone goofed.
2) Inadequate amounts of sugar sources. You need sugar or honey to properly rehydrate dried fruits and vegetables.
If the unit has less than three No. 10 cans of honey or sugar, then the company is either shorting your supply or
wants you to get your own on the outside. 3) An inadequate calorie or protein count.

Under stress conditions you need adequate food intake. Your supply should have at least 1500 calories and 70
grams of protein per day available. This is a marginal supply and any less should be avoided. I would hope that
most of our subscribers would have a supply that provides at least 2000, and preferably 2400, calories per day.

Before you relax too far because you already have bought a supply read a couple of paragraphs further- remember
“all that glitters”. 4) Lack of real meats. While those who do not eat meat can tell you your body does not need
meat to be healthy, we who eat meat on a regular basis find it a hard habit to drop. If you are a meat eater, you
should plan for some meat in your survival diet- at least enough to give you one good serving of meat every three

Fitting a Size 10 Appetite into a Size 4 Menu

Another problem that is not as widespread any longer, but is unfortunately still found with some units, is to greatly
overstate the calorie count or not to say anything about the count at all. They just proudly say “a full year’s supply”
then pick a figure for calories and grams of protein out of the air and put it in their ad. In the past I have seen ads
that have overstated the calorie count as much as 40%.

Almost worse are the ones that say nothing and when you finally get it all figured out -a dreadful task for a layman-
you find this super bargain gives you a whopping 800 calories a day and 40 grams of protein.

What Can You Do?

First, know who you are buying from. There are a number of concerned dealers who have knowledge that can help
you make good choices. They can modify their existing units to meet your family’s need or design a complete new
one just for you. Avoid those companies that offer only packaged programs and continue to pressure you into a
package even when you want to change. Either they do not have a way to change their program, they are salesmen
not interested in food storage, just making a profit, or they are interested in food storage but do not know much
about it.
Second, check the price. There are no free rides in food storage. A fairly good storage program for one person, for
one year, with any kind of variety and balance, 1500 calories and 70 grams of protein per day, and with no
freeze-dried meats, will cost from $600 to $800 depending on what is in it. A program with meats will run about
$100 more. The top of the line units that provide 2400 calories and adequate protein, a wide variety of fruits and
vegetables, fats and oils, sugar sources, and some freeze-dried real meats will run from $900 all the way up to
$1500 per person per year.

Third, look at the supply listing. Does it have at least six No. 10 cans of varied fruits, six to eight No. 10 cans of
vegetables other than potatoes, and at least four cans of margarine powder, butter powder, or salad oil? Is there
adequate powdered milk? Are there at least three cans of sugar sources? If the unit falls short in one of these areas
you might want to think twice or at least ask some pointed questions of the salesperson.

Remember! You are going to have to live on this supply sometime in the future. If it does not do the job you think it
will, you and your family are going to suffer. Time spent in checking out your supply now can save lives tomorrow.