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Mel Tappan’s Personal Survival Letter # 32

Issue No. 32- June, 1982

Countering Anti-Gun Propaganda


by Reginald Bretnor

The current anti-gun campaign in the United States, powered by public hysteria and funded by potent and variously
motivated lobbies, is a direct threat to every survivalist. The reason is simple. The survivalist concept is based on a
realistic evaluation of the possibility of domestic chaos, either as a result of nuclear war, civil disorder, or even
natural catastrophe.

In any of these situations, those forces of law and order which even now are doing a less-than-perfect job of curbing
the criminal predator will, in all probability, not be able to cope at all. Self-defense will have to be the order of the
day.

And in today’s highly-technological society, self-defense without adequate weaponry is simply a sick joke.

Consequently it behooves every survivalist -and indeed, every honest citizen- to do his or her utmost to stop the
anti-gun movement before it can get much further. The purpose of this article is to provide some factual
ammunition for those of us who may not already have it.​1

Of course, simply arguing with the dedicated anti-gun “activist” is almost invariably a waste of time- like trying to
debate religion with Khomeini. The guy ​knows​, and no amount of reasoning or evidence will sway him.

But the people he is trying to influence -media men, politicians, average citizens who have not made up their minds,
possibly your own neighbors- these are a different matter. If we hope to swing them our way, we are going to have
to show them, not only how very wrong the anti-gun activist is, but also what makes him tick.

There are two ways to attack any social problem: realistically or symbolically. The hideous dilemma of violence in
our society is, if we are to believe the anti-gun people, a simple one: exorcise the demon gun, and it will go away.
Thus the gun, the handgun especially, becomes first the symbol, ​and then the cause​, of all violence.

This eliminates the necessity for examining the problem, for thinking things through, for admitting those past errors
which have brought the problem into being- the unrestrained mass-media exploitation of violence, absolute
permissiveness from infancy through the drug-soaked ‘teens, and a fantastically complicated legal system
seemingly designed, not to effect justice, but to make work for too many lawyers and an entrenched judicial
bureaucracy.

The symbolic attack on the gun and gun ownership, then, basically depends on knee-jerk fear reactions, and its key
catchword, “gun control” -like the word “disarmament”- carries a false promise.
However, by no means all advocates of “gun control” are well-intentioned, badly-frightened idealists doing their
confused best to make this a safer world. The extreme Left provides much of the impulse behind the campaigns,
and it is also interesting to note that leadership in these campaigns so frequently emerges from cities with long
histories of civic corruption, mob influence, and much violent crime. Tammany’s notorious Tim Sullivan, the
founding father of anti-gun laws in the United States, is a prime example.

The Points to Counter

Regardless of their motives, all anti-gun campaigners employ similar propaganda lines and campaign techniques:

-They confuse and distort the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

-They argue that the passage of anti-gun laws will result in a sharp drop in violent crimes, especially murder, and
they cite alleged examples in support of this contention.

-They state that the availability of firearms (and especially of handguns) is an incentive to crime.

-They also argue that firearms in private hands are not a deterrent to crime, that law enforcement officials are
uniformly in favor of strict “gun controls”, and that the public, were it not denied the opportunity, would
overwhelmingly vote such controls in.

-They assert flatly that privately-owned weapons are of virtually no use in a national emergency.

-They systematically attack gun owners and such gun organizations as the National Rifle Association, picturing us
as irresponsible and socially hostile.

In support of their statements, they cite their own public opinion polls and a variety of hand-picked “experts”:
political, academic, and media.

Each of their claims is founded on falsehood; point by point, each can be disproved; and it is especially urgent now
that all of us who are concerned with preserving our remaining freedoms present the evidence as often and as
forcefully as we can, in print and, wherever possible, in the audio-visual media.

The Second Amendment and Its Deliberate Distortion

This is the keystone of all anti-gun activity today. We are told repeatedly that the men who wrote the Constitution
and the Bill of Rights didn’t mean what they said- in spite of the fact that they were broadly educated and adept in
the use of the English language.

Two points are especially important. The Amendment reads: “​A well-regulated militia being necessary to the
security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The last word is the all-important one. You cannot ​infringe something that does not exist. The right to keep and
bear arms was then accepted ​without question as actually antedating the Constitution itself. It was one of the
inalienable rights of free men, with its origin in English Common Law, and as such it was incorporated in such
documents as the Constitution of New Hampshire, adopted before that of the United States was written.

The second critical word is ​militia​. At that time, it did not mean our present National Guard or anything resembling
it. It simply meant the armed citizenry.​2 ​Therefore the Amendment does not create a militia; nor does it grant the
militia the right to keep and bear arms. It simply cites the need for an armed citizenry as one reason for not
infringing​ that existing right.

Anti-Gun Laws and Crime

Because anti-gun laws in the United States have ​never caused a drop in violent crime where they have been enacted
-and indeed often seem to have been responsible for its increase- the anti-gun agitator invariably has to go abroad
for his examples. His favorite is Great Britain. We are told that because the British have repressive gun laws, these
laws are responsible for their very low murder and violent crime rate.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You can believe characters like Teddy Kennedy- or you can believe Chief
Inspector Colin Greenwood of the Yorkshire Constabulary, who devoted a year at Cambridge University to
studying the effect of those laws in England and Wales. He found that their passage and enforcement had had ​no
effect whatsoever on violent crime- and on gun crime especially. Instead, both had increased. (We scarcely need to
mention Northern Ireland, where similar laws are in effect.)

Availability of Firearms and Crime

If there were any substance to the anti-gun claims in this regard, we would invariably find crime rates rising in
direct proportion to the ease with which firearms -and particularly handguns- could be obtained. Prior to the 1920s,
except for the Sullivan Law, there was almost no anti-gun legislation except the prohibition against carrying
concealed weapons, and even that was by no means universal.

You could buy guns by mail. No registration was required. ​And every major city in the country was safe to live in
and safe to walk around in, day or night. There were, of course, many “tough districts”, but even they were safer
than the ordinary streets of today’s New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Miami- you name it.

Again, if anti-gun laws meant anything, we would expect a state with virtually ​none -none against owning a
handgun, none against carrying one concealed or in a car, in fact none at all except those imposed by the federal
law of 1968- to have an appalling violent crime and murder rate.

Vermont is such a state today.​4 ​And it has the ​lowest homicide rate in the United States.​5 ​On the other hand, those
states and cities with the most restrictive gun laws have experienced sharp increases in their murder and overall
violent crime rates. Miami, with the highest murder rate in the nation, is the best example.
Privately-Owned Firearms as a Crime Deterrent

The anti-gun contention that our guns do not and cannot deter criminals is totally false. According to a University
of Toronto study, ​300,000 burglaries are deterred by US handgun owners every year​. Again, a survey by Professor
Don Kates of the University of St. Louis Law School​6 ​showed that armed women killed or wounded 43% of
would-be attackers; 50% of the assailants were seized without a shot being fired; and only 7% got away.​ Finally,
when Orlando, Florida police trained 6000 women to shoot handguns after a number of brutal rapes, rape cases
dropped by 90%, and Orlando became the only city in the country to show a drop in overall crime.

The Real Attitude of Law Enforcement Officials

Here again we find outright lying, apparently with malice aforethought, the statements backed by quoting carefully
selected police figures, usually from heavy-crime cities. Actually, responsible national and city surveys have shown
that an overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers oppose “gun control”. The Crime Research Project,
conducted in 1977 by the Second Amendment Foundation together with the American Law Enforcement Officers
Association, surveyed 34,000 chiefs of police, sheriffs, and officers throughout the country.

-Almost 80% felt current “gun control” laws had no effect on crime in their areas.

-More than 86% indicated that, if they were ordinary citizens, they would keep a firearm for protection.

-Nearly 64% believed an armed citizenry deters crime.

-More than 83% stated criminals would benefit most by any ban on handguns.

-Almost two-thirds believed Federal gun registration would not assist them significantly in solving crimes.

Another police opinion poll was ordered in February 1976 by Boston Chief of Police Robert DiGrazia, himself a
“gun control” advocate, and was carried out by the Department’s Planning and Research Division. Because of the
strong anti-gun posture of so many Massachusetts politicians, it is especially significant.

-83% of the respondents opposed a ban on the private possession of handguns.

-Police administrators strongly approved of handgun possession in homes and places of business.

-Though a sizeable minority was opposed to the carrying of handguns on the person, the majority approved of it.

-Administrators considered that their officers were even less receptive to control than they themselves.
Is the Public in Favor of Strict Anti-Gun Laws?

Part of the anti-gun mythology is that a majority of the public want strict “gun controls” but -because of the
machinations of the NRA and other elements in the “Gun Lobby”- never get the chance to vote them in.

The public in Massachusetts was given such a chance in November 1976, when a referendum banning the private
ownership of all handguns was put to the vote- and defeated by a 3-to-1 majority.

Are Privately-Owned Guns Valueless in a National Emergency?

Here we are offered another myth with no substance, one which history denies absolutely. During the Battle of
Britain, for example, at the request of the British and in addition to the weapons provided by our government or
purchased from US manufacturers, thousands and thousands of rifles, shotguns, and handguns were contributed by
American shooters and sportsmen and shipped overseas. There was no question in the mind of, say, Winston
Churchill that they would have been immensely valuable in the event of a German invasion.

The anti-gun argument against the military capabilities of the armed citizen really needs no further answer. If it
does, the Afghans have provided it.

The Attack on the NRA and Other Gun Organizations

This attack has, from its inception, been an organized smear campaign, involving not only vague falsifications and
much name-calling, but deliberate slander by anti-gun politicians and left-leaning media men. The cartoons of
Herblock and the comic page strip Doonesbury are good examples. Gun organization members have been depicted
as bloodthirsty idiots, as Fascists, and generally as enemies of what we are led to believe would, without guns, be a
safe and sane Utopian society.

It would be interesting to see an unbiased survey of gun organization membership. It would show, I think, that most
of us are pretty much middle-of-the-road Americans; that those of us who are hunters tend to be more
conservationists than butchers; that we have no desire to shoot our fellow man, and indeed would do so only very
reluctantly and if we were forced to it. And it would also show, I am convinced, that the percentage of us with
criminal records -especially those involving the use of firearms or force of any kind- is considerably lower than
among the non-gun-affiliated population.

Survival in the dangerous future of our very dangerous world poses many challenges. Not the least of these is the
necessity for frustrating those who -whether misled or themselves deliberately misleading- would deprive us of the
instruments we need for our survival either within our threatened society as it now stands or, if worst comes to
worst, in what we can preserve of it.

Much of the corroborative material in this article has been either quoted or paraphrased from the ​Daily News
1​

Digest,​ Vol. 8, No. 15 (week ending 2/3/82) published by Research Publications, P.O. Box 39850, Phoenix, AZ
85069. This is perhaps the best concise statement of the argument against anti-gun laws available today, and I am
happy to acknowledge my indebtedness to its editor, W.A. “John” Johnson.
2​
“I ask who are the militia? They consist of the whole people, except for a few public officials.” (George Mason,
debating ratification of the Constitution in 1788. Patrick Henry concurred.)
Thomas Jefferson, discussing a possible federal dictatorship, stated in 1811 that it would be opposed by state
militias, made up of “every man able to bear arms”.

That was the universally accepted meaning at that time, and this is emphasized by statements like George
Washington’s: “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty
teeth and keystone under independence... to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally
indispensable... The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference- they deserve a place of
honor with all that’s good.”
3​
Greenwood, Colin. ​Gun Control​, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972.
4​
Dept. of the Treasury, BATF. ​State Laws and Published Ordinances, Firearms.​ 1981.
5​
1979 figures.

Kates, Don B., Jr. (ed.). ​Restricting Handguns, The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out​. n.p. North River Press, Inc., 1979.
6​

(Caroline House Publishers, Inc., 920 West Industrial Dr., Aurora, IL 60506.)

The Whole Story of Off-Road Driving- Slow and Easy


by Rick Fines

We talked about this subject some time back, but the emphasis was as much on equipment as technique. Remember
that in a survival context, very little off-road driving will be necessary. The norm will be operations on poor roads,
roads in bad repair, and improved trails.

Off-road driving is a sporting exercise in which the object is to challenge the skill of the operator and the durability
of the equipment. Survival operations have, as their goal, transportation with as little stress as possible on the driver
or the equipment. The macho derring-do of the parking lot Jeep crowd should be left there.

The first general rule of off-road driving in a survival situation may be summed up in two words: slow and careful.

Should you find yourself in soft sand, and the going is getting too soft and squishy for comfort, DO NOT stop.
Maintain momentum, and gradually gain speed if possible. As you do so, survey the surroundings and try to steer
for firmer ground. Make no sharp turns. If you have stopped and find yourself in very soft stuff, resist the urge to
wind the engine up tight and pop the clutch. The predictable result will be that you bury your vehicle up to the
frame rails.

Proper procedure is to engage the lowest gear you own, make certain the front wheels are pointed straight ahead,
and attempt to let the engine move the machine at idle speed. If your mount happens to be four-wheel-drive, you
still have one trick to try. As the engine slowly turns over at idle with all four wheels moving, move the steering
wheel about halfway to lock in each direction.
Sometimes the front wheels will find something to their liking and drag the rest of the machine along with them.
More likely, at this point you are simply stuck. Get out your hydraulic jack and raise the buried wheel(s) up and out
of the hole they have dug for themselves. Find some rocks, or at least some brush and sand, and fill the hole(s). If
the sand is very soft or wet, it helps to carry a piece of ¾-inch plywood, perhaps two feet square, to place the jack
on before attempting to lift the vehicle.

Unless the wood is used to distribute the load, you may simply jack the jack down into the sand while the vehicle
remains immobile. Note that this procedure sounds quite easy as you sit reading in your comfortable chair. Such is
not always the case, and it becomes tempting to fill the hole maybe halfway up, then hope for the best. The usual
result is that you will have the fun of starting over again. Take the time to do it right.

The rule to follow when driving up or down very steep hills is to approach them in such a way that your vehicle tilts
no more than necessary. ​Never attempt to turn around on a steep grade. When descending a very steep grade,
engage the lowest gear in the box. Avoid using the brakes.

Should you lock the brakes and slide, control will be nil. If you must use some sort of brake, try to use the parking
brake rather than the service brakes. The parking brake acts on the rear wheels only, and will tend at least to keep
the nose pointed dead ahead. With most of the modern foot-operated parking brakes with separate releases,
operation is too clumsy to be practical.

If the grade is up, engage a low gear and build speed slowly so as to avoid breaking traction. Do not make a running
leap at the obstacle unless you are totally certain you will make the top- and you ​know what’s on the other side.
Should you stall in the middle of the incline, engage reverse and back down at idle speed. Again, avoid the brakes.

Rules for deep mud are about the same as those applicable to sand. Remember to be even more cautious, as mud is
much, much dirtier to dig in and out of than sand. No fun at all.

Rules for rocky areas are simple: GO SLOWLY. Incredible damage may be caused by even low-speed impacts with
rocks. While this advice might seem too obvious to belabor, the problem is that prudent operators often drive into a
rocky area and exercise immediate caution.

As they get the “feel” of the particular terrain, the general habit is to build up speed gradually to the point of hazard.
An old friend in exactly those circumstances -and with a great deal of experience- neatly poked a hole in a
crankcase and had to hike a long, long way as a result of a close encounter of the wrong kind.

Fording is a treacherous experience at best. As a sporting exercise, it can be great splashy fun, particularly if there
are other sporting souls about to pull you to dry land if you fail to make the crossing. When there are no souls at all
about, it’s amazing how cold and deep the water becomes, and how silent and heavy the vehicle seems when water
kills the engine. A very important rule is never turn the engine off if the exhaust pipe outlet is under water.
The back pressure imposed by the blocked opening can do a good job of preventing the engine from starting again.
The best policy is to slide out of the seat before you ford, and hike around to find a more negotiable passage.
Another firm rule is never to ford unless you can see the bottom, or have walked across and know exactly how deep
the water happens to be, as well as the condition of the bottom.

Because a stretch of water happens to be rather narrow, do not presume it is also shallow unless you know for a fact
it is. What could have been a disaster in a survival context happened to a jeeper in the California mountains some
years ago, and this writer had the dubious pleasure of watching.

The fellow decided to ford a healthy stream, and had the good sense to get out and actually wade halfway across.
He smiled, noted the water was about up to his knees, and sloshed back to his truck. The driver backed up a few
dozen yards and took a run at it.

About a foot past the point at which he had so happily stood moments before, he stopped. Suddenly. It seems a
boulder about the size of a boar hog was firmly implanted about mid-stream, just below the surface. It’s still there.
So is the truck.

Advice relating to water depth frankly seems an insult to readers, but note that there are many fine vehicles sitting
underwater in places sufficiently remote and beyond help that archeologists will be the next persons to see them.
Worse yet, more than a few still contain driver and passengers.

Another hazard besides simply flooding out the engine concerns the water pump. If the fan must be partially
submerged when running, the force it generates churning water instead of air can be sufficient to tear the pump
apart. If water that deep must be crossed, take some time and remove the fan only; leave the pulley and drive belts
to the water pump in place. When the other side is attained, put things back together.

Driving off-road at night presents hazards of its own. The fatigue factor is great, which makes things far worse.
Even with brilliant lighting, perceptions are distorted quite a lot. A popular way to beat the odds -or try to- is to
install a lighting array sufficient to illuminate a Strategic Air Command B-52 runway. In a survival context, turning
the night to day is hardly a practical idea.

The US military, on their “survival” vehicles, uses a far different approach. The standard blackout driving light
mounted on all tactical vehicles is so dim and unobtrusive that it cannot be seen more than 50 feet ahead of the
vehicle. The soft glow of the dim driving light, combined with red dash lamps and a low, safe speed, has worked
well for more than 40 years of use.

In extreme heat or cold, avoid shutting the engine off if a halt is to be for only a short time. In very hot weather,
never shut the engine off immediately after hard or high-speed running. Allow the machinery to idle for a few
minutes so the cooling system may carry residual heat out of the block. If a rest of several hours is planned, go
ahead and shut down. Otherwise, the risk of hot-start vapor lock is great.

Most modern off-road vehicles have fuel systems designed for street use, so the risk is great. While this is perhaps
not the time to get into nuts and bolts, note that one of the most common off-road fuel system modifications is
installation of an electric fuel pump, either as a primary or as a booster. The idea is sound, but most of the pumps
are installed up under the hood where they do precisely no good.
Electric automotive fuel pumps are designed to push- not pull. The place to install electric pumps is back as close to
the fuel tank as possible, up between the frame rails. The idea is to maintain pressure in the entire fuel line,
especially under the hood where things get hot and vapor lock originates. The pressure raises the boiling point of
the fuel to the point that it cannot vaporize -and vapor lock- in the line. With the pump under the hood, fuel will
heat, expand with no resistance back toward the tank, and boil. Result- vapor lock.

Assume the sun is shining, the road is fairly good, and you and your machine are buzzing happily along at a good
clip. For whatever reason, you encounter a sudden and unexpected dip deep enough to cause the vehicle to become
airborne for a moment. The natural, instinctive reaction when things get out of control is to climb on the brakes,
even though they have obviously no effect when flying through the air.

The problem comes when they get back to Earth. If the wheels and brakes are firmly locked by a rigid leg wedged
against the brake pedal, and forward speed is considerable, something or several things may break. Should you
manage to overdrive your vision of the road and become a passenger on a short, unscheduled flight, remember to
stay ​off​ the brakes.

As Jeff Cooper has pointed out several times, owning a piano does not make one a pianist. Owing 60 payments on a
shiny new four-wheeler does not make one a skilled off-road driver. To develop the skills, find someone with
experience and ask him to demonstrate. Do not venture off alone to remote areas to experiment. Do your learning in
the company of a competent teacher, and recall the key words of survival off-road driving: ​slow and careful​.

Pest Control
by G. Richards

Modern methods of pest control began as a result of advances in chemical technology during the 1940’s. By
maximizing food output and alleviating many insect-borne diseases, pesticidal agents such as DDT played a
significant role in the final outcome of World War II. Since that time, the use of specialized and more efficient
chemical pesticides has become a mainstay technique in high-yield commercial agriculture.

Insecticides, herbicides, and rodenticides are currently our most common solution for defeating certain pest
problems. They are also our most efficient short-term solution. If one is confronted with a widespread and rampant
pest problem, the judicious and limited use of one of these chemical agents is indicated; however, “chemical
warfare” on pests is not always the best approach for the following reasons: Pesticides may not always be readily
available; some of these chemicals are very toxic; and insects frequently develop tachyphylaxis to insecticides. As a
result, chemicals that were previously effective against the species cease to be useful.
The extensive (and often excessive) use of pesticides can result in a variety of harmful and undesirable
environmental effects. Since many of these agents are not readily biodegradable, their entry into the ecosystem food
chain can poison ancillary wildlife, livestock, and helpful predators. For these two reasons, other preventative
methods for controlling pests should be chosen initially.

Preventative Insect Control

Preventative insect control methods minimize food crop vulnerability to insect damage without the danger of
chemical toxicity to you or your livestock. Since most “survival” farming is primarily structured toward growing
crops for self-sufficiency rather than for commercial value, three basic gardening techniques may be utilized.

1. ​Cultivate a variety of crops​. Since different plant species are generally not subject to the same insect pests, a
higher variety of planted crops will decrease the likelihood of insect infestation. Also consider growing plants
known to be a deterrent to insects and small animals. Onions, garlic, and the marigold flower, ​Tagetes minuta,​ may
be planted throughout the garden. Amazingly, these plants do discourage insects.

2. ​Use mixed-area planting layouts.​ A mixed-area planting scheme means planting perhaps three small sections of
corn about the garden instead of one large section of corn. By interspersing the sections of plant varieties around the
growing area, one segments and isolates each plant species. This method of gardening forms natural barriers to
protect each section of crops. During a hard season it may prevent infestation of the entire crop.

When using such a mixed-area layout for planting, remember not to plant sections of crops together that are of the
same plant family, or attacked by the same insect. For example, the tomato fruitworm, corn earworm, cotton
bollworm, and tomato budworm are all the same insect. Likewise, the cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts,
broccoli, radish, and turnip are all of the cabbage family and susceptible to the same insect pests.

3. ​Establish a yearly crop-rotation schedule.​ If you had a lot of insect damage to a particular plant last year, don’t
plant the same crop in the same area this year. Many insect species tend to encyst, or lay their eggs in the soil.
Yearly crop rotation to other areas in your garden will decrease plant damage by reoccurring hatches of insects.

In addition to these three natural gardening methods, various non toxic sprays and powders may be used to protect
plant crops from insects. Dry powders such as lime, sulfur, or diatomaceous earth may be dusted onto plant leaves
and stalks for repelling worms, larvae, and slugs. Another powder, boric acid, may be sprinkled in the cabinets of
your house for repelling roaches, silverfish, and ants. Four non toxic liquids which can be mixed and sprayed to kill
insects are:

1. 3% mineral oil emulsion in water,


2. 6% salt solution (2 tablespoonfuls table salt in 1 quart water),
3. 5% coal oil emulsion (1 part coal oil and household soap in 19 parts water), and
4. Strong tobacco-water solutions.

The effectiveness of these sprays depends upon daily applications.


Non-preventative Insect Control

As previously mentioned the strongest short-term method of controlling insect populations is by the use of
insecticides. Although there is a possibility of chemical toxicity, the use of these agents may be warranted during
outbreaks of severe infestation that endanger your food supply. The following table lists some of the safer
insecticide products with their chemical and brand names.

Insecticide* Active Ingredient Brand Name

Pyrethrum Pyrethrum (made from a kind of chrysanthemum). various

Rotenone Rotenone (South American arrowroot). various

Carbaryl 1-napthyl methylcarbamate Sevin

Diazinon o,odiethyl o-(2-isopropyl-4-methyl-6 pyrimidyl) phosphorothioate Spectracide

Malathion diethyl mercaptosuccinate s-ester. Korlan

*Listed in order of their safety to humans, Pyrethrum being the safest and Malathion and Diazinon the least safe.

Pesticides are almost never used as full-strength solutions. To use them as safely as possible, they must be
highly-diluted, so follow the directions carefully while mixing, wear protective clothing, and work in
well-ventilated areas.

Rodent Control

High rodent concentrations are sources of health hazards and probable property damage. Rats and mice are direct
disease vectors to man, and are capable of transmitting bubonic plague, typhus, tularemia, rabies, trichinosis, and
tuberculosis through food contamination or direct contact. They have a high reproductive potential, producing
20-40 offspring each year.

Since the newborn reach sexual maturity within 2-3 months, this represents a possible 1000+ animals, ​under ideal
conditions,​ from a single pair! Good or bad, disease helps to regulate dense rodent populations- but what about the
animals that may contaminate livestock feed or your stored supplies? Bats and mice display such a high commensal
adaptability that 64 US cities are currently receiving federal assistance for rodent control.
Rodent control is a particularly difficult area of pest control. Since these animals are able to detect some chemicals
at parts-per-billion concentrations, their extreme taste sensitivity may lead to an avoidance reaction of
poisoned baits. For this reason, rodenticide treatment alone is often insufficient to decrease animal populations
effectively. Current recommendations for reducing rats and mice densities are based on 3 parameters of action.
They are:

1. Removal of possible rodent shelter,


2. Removal of all possible food sources, and
3. Destruction of all possible rodents.

By making your homestead unsuitable for rodents, you may prevent the pest problem from occurring or escalating.
This means removing extraneous sources of cover, such as lumber piles, and clearing areas around building
structures and stacked firewood. Installing sheet metal collars or discs around trees and utility poles will prevent
climbing by rodents as an accesway to attics or lofts. Storing livestock feed and garbage in metal containers will
help reduce possible food sources for rats and mice. Garbage should then be transported and either buried or
burned.

Cats and small dogs make excellent “mousers”, but if you don’t want them around your place, you can usually
control small concentrations of rodents with traps and repellent. Though not considered a permanent solution,
common agents such as naphthalene flakes, sulfur, lime, and creosote compound have shown rodent-repellent
activity.

Rodenticides available for common use may include red squill, arsenic, strychnine, or warfarin (a blood
anticoagulant) as their ingredient. Each of these compounds may be a poison hazard if handled incorrectly.
Predators, such as cats or dogs which may take poisoned rodents, may be poisoned secondarily, so caution is of
importance when using these toxins.

Rats and mice will differ in their taste acceptance of various rodenticides. Mice will eat strychnine; but rats will
usually refuse it. Norway rats will eat red squill baits, but roof rats and mice will rarely take them. An advantage of
anticoagulant baits (warfarin) is that the active ingredient is present in very small quantities and does not produce
the avoidance reaction by the animal unless impurities are present. This makes warfarin among the safest and most
effective of common rodenticides available.

Stronger poisons for rodent control generally require registration and permission by state or local government
officials. Analogs of cyanide and sodium fluoride represent such a great toxicity potential that professional
licensing is required for the handling and use of these toxins. If the rodent problem you face is presently of this
magnitude, you should definitely seek the assistance of the health department and state wildlife service- or move.
Suggested Reading

“SCAT”. ​Pest-Proofing Your Garden​. Charlotte, VT. Garden Way Publishing, n.d. $1.50.

Downs, D. “The Mighty Marigold”, ​The Mother Earth News.​ Vo1. No. 70, p.76.

McEwen, F.L. ​The Use and Significance of Pesticides in the Environment.​ Wiley-Interscience, 1979.

Carruth, LA. ​Household Pests.​ Bulletin A-72, Dept. Entomology, Agricultural Experiment Station, Univ. of AZ,
Tucson.

VITA Books Are Great


by Bruce Clayton, Ph.D.

Reviews of five publications of the Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA), 3706 Rhode Island Ave., Mount
Rainer, MD 20822.

Since the publication of ​Survival Books 1981, I have naturally become the focus of a large number of survival
bibliophiles, all of whom have been very eager to contribute lists of suggested books for the next edition. Well,
somewhere in this influx of mail, someone sent me a brochure from the Volunteers in Technical Assistance
(VITA), an association affiliated with the Peace Corps, which provides technical advice to third world countries.
Some of their titles looked interesting, so I asked for review copies.

VITA is ​a gold mine.​ Every survivalist should know about their books. Here are five volumes that really excite the
imagination.

Small Farm Grain Storage​, in three 8 ½” x by 11” volumes, about 500 pages in all. (Set $18.95, or $6.95 each.)
These manuals were written to help a Peace Corps advisor to increase the productivity of primitive grain farms
without resorting to elaborate and expensive techniques.

Volume I is ​Preparing Grain for Storage,​ which covers primitive (low cost/low energy) methods of harvesting,
threshing, cleaning, and drying the grain. It includes plans for low-technology grain dryers, solar-powered and
otherwise.

Volume II is ​Enemies of Stored Grain​. This is a 167-page discussion of simple ways to prevent problems from
insects and rodents in the grain supply. Both chemical and non-chemical methods are described, along with some
pretty creative discussions of rat trapping.

But the real winner is Volume III. About a year ago in these pages, I suggested the novel idea that a survivalist
might improve his security by spending as much money on bulk grains as he spends on firearms, and then feeding
his neighbors.
The idea was that if they don’t starve, they don't attack… which is the best of all defenses. (Thank you for the mail
about this idea, incidentally. I appreciated your suggestions.) The only obvious technical difficulty with this
suggestion was the problem of how to store a very large supply of grain without spending an unreasonable amount
of money building a silo or barn for storage.

Volume III is ​Storage Methods​, written for primitive farmers who have a lot of grain to store but no money to
spend. It turns out that one of the preferred primitive methods of storing grain is to seal it in heavy plastic bags and
bury it deep in the ground. As simple as that.

This method was invented by farmers in parts of the world where food is scarce, farmers are poor, and bandits are
plentiful. (Imagine ​The Magnificent Seven​.) They bury the grain, obscure the hole, and it’s safe until they need it
again. Not only does this solve the problem of food for the neighbors, but it offers the security of an abundant,
theft-proof reserve food supply.

The details involve sealing the dry grain (wheat, rice, corn, beans, or peas) in airtight plastic bags (5 to 7 mil). The
bags are then buried deeply enough that exploring rodents are not likely to find them (three or more feet). The
living grain uses up the oxygen in the bags within a few days, after which insects and molds cannot grow. The cool
earth refrigerates the grain and keeps it fresh.

What could be simpler? (As a matter of fact, though, there is something simpler. If you go to a wholesale grocery
outlet, you will find ten-pound, airtight bags of beans, rice, and corn suitable for burying as is. We have a few in the
ground now and will let you know in a few months how it works.)

Another winner is VITA’s ​Village Technology Handbook ($9.95 in English, $10.95 in French or Spanish). This is a
387-page handbook on primitive or expedient methods of digging wells; transporting, storing, and purifying water;
developing latrines; earth-moving devices for road building; food processing and preserving; home utilities (stoves,
washing machines, etc.) and many other subjects.

One notable section supplies five designs for expedient food coolers, sort of homemade swamp-cooler ice boxes.
Note that this is not a manual for Mother Earth News dilettantes, but for Peace Corps workers who have to be able
to ​prove​ that everything really works. I think it’s a real find.

Last, but certainly not least, is VITA’s version of “survival wheels”. The book is called ​Automotive Operation and
Maintenance ($6.50), which doesn’t sound very exciting at first. But after leafing through it for a minute you
realize that it was written for someone having car trouble in the middle of the plains of Africa or some similar
AAA-forsaken location.

Consider these topics: operating on pioneer roads; traveling in convoy; getting stuck in mud or snow, hung up on a
solid obstacle or stuck while fording; procedures when stranded; salvaging a capsized vehicle with a winch;
extricating a stuck trailer; and a chapter on field expedients (1ike how to use a nylon stocking as a fan belt!).
One chapter is devoted to selecting and modifying a vehicle for this kind of cross-country use. “Even a mediocre
vehicle with available parts is better than a great vehicle that is down for lack of parts.” About 4WD’s: “Some are
primarily intended as recreational vehicles, including the Scout, Bronco, Blazer and Universal Jeep. They are
excellent for carrying personnel or light loads at reasonable cost, but despite what the manufacturers may say, they
are not intended for the strenuous type of service for which the Land Rover, Toyota, or Jeep trucks are prepared.”

This review has only scratched the surface of these books, and has not even mentioned the many other titles in the
VITA line. Their current list has more than sixty titles, including a few like ​Wood Conserving Cook Stoves, Solar
Cooker Construction Manual, Helical Sail Windmill, Hand-pumps for Village Wells, How to Salt Fish, Design
Manual for Water Wheels, Bandages Impregnated with Plaster of Paris​, and a lot more. I suggest that you write to
VITA for their brochure (free) and look it over. The VITA material is so applicable to survivalism that it is hard to
over-endorse it.

An employee of Grant Manning’s embezzled him a few months ago and, as a result, he has had serious business
problems, which he assures me are now resolved. His new address is 3417 Purer Rd., Escondido, CA 92025,
714-741-2891 and his new assistant is Dawn Hoffman. He asked me to tell you that the Yaesu FRG-7 is being
discontinued. As modified by Radio West, this is probably the best all-round compromise for a general
communications receiver (see PS Letter No. 17).Grant has a few on hand, as do some other dealers, but the supply
is limited.

Editor’s note: When I read the following, I thought, “So there are others who have felt this way”, and I know that
you will have the same reaction. How do I know? Because you would not be a subscriber to this newsletter unless
you had had ideas and experiences similar to those David Rhoads mentions.

Mr. Rhoads publishes ​The Rhoads Conclusion​, an outstanding economic newsletter ($95 per year, $60 for six
months, P.O. Box 22674, San Diego, CA 92122). In his March, 1982 issue he takes a provocative look at our
decaying civilization. I particularly liked his remarks on terrorism. As a special to PS Letter subscribers, he will
send you that issue for $1.00. He has also written ​How to Survive a Spastic Economy ($14.95 plus $1.00 postage
and handling from the above address), which features excellent graphs and charts along with sound economic
advice. N. T.
A Salient Current Economic Event
by David E. Rhoads

Remember your first year at school? The teeter-totter episode? It was fun going up and down in the approved way
for the first half hour or so. But then your imagination cranked up and you began to innovate. First, you’d slip off
the board when your end was at the bottom, just to give your buddy on the other end a surprise express ride down.
After awhile, nobody would teeter-totter with you, so you learned to stand in the middle of the board with a foot on
either aide of the pivot, and to shift your weight rapidly until you had the thing see-sawing at 10 times its design
speed!

That’s when the teacher read you the teeter-totter rules. And she summed up with that oft-to-be-repeated phrase:
“You have to learn to control yourself.”

But you slipped again and again through life. You were bawled out for not keeping within the lines in your coloring
book. You were a slow learner because your mind wandered and you stared out the window a lot. Your grades were
lousy.

You were a loner, a misfit, couldn’t wait your turn in discussion groups, asked embarrassing questions like: “When
does the number ‘1’ stop and the number ‘2’ begin? At a whole 1? Or at 1 plus half the next 1? Or just a little past
1? Or does it take two whole l’s to make a 2?” Obviously there was something dramatically wrong with you. So
teachers and other adults shook their heads, clucked their tongues, and gravely announced that you’d never amount
to a damn.

Still, there were those disturbing exceptions. Like the IQ test teacher thought you’d score so low that she could
dump you in a “special learning” class, but you came in with the highest score she’d ever seen. The geometry
teacher thought she’d nail you for daydreaming, so she had you come to the board to prove a proposition she’d just
outlined. You studied the thing for a moment, then proved it... but not in the way the teacher had in mind. So you
spent the next half hour explaining your proof to her.

Generally, though, your life was spent “within the lines”. You quit questioning, and concentrated on fulfilling the
expectations of your society and its institutions. You did as you were told. And you accepted all those horrible
judgments heaped on you by people who should have known better.

You did your trick for the army, because that was the way it was done; you picked an “acceptable” career, one that
even your government recommended; you bought a home, complete with new lawn, in a “nice” end of town; you
spent a lot of time at work so you’d look good and “progress in your career”; you avoided making waves because
they’d jeopardize your future, whatever that was.

You saved your money in a bank savings account, and later bought the stocks your Merrill Lynch broker
recommended; you joined the Rotary Club and tried to play golf; you joined that insipid PTA; and you became
precinct captain for your political party even though you couldn’t stand the candidates once you got to know them,
and the goings-on in those smoky back rooms made you sick to your stomach. In short, you played the game.

More than that: you made your kids play too. You forced them to do their homework; you worried that they weren’t
fitting in any better than you did at their age; you made them choke down their peas and practice their musical
instrument; you marched them down to play little league baseball and to join the scouts.
But things still wouldn’t work right. Your savings didn’t keep pace with inflation. Everything that Merrill Lynch
sold you went to hell before the ink was dry on your order. No matter how much time you spent at work, there was
always some sick workaholic there who aced you out of the next promotion. Your spouse was settling into an
emotionally numbing routine… even began scheduling sex… weekends only, never on Wednesdays. And the
sparkle went out of your kids’ eyes.

They began to look like the zombie that you’d become. And the things you thought were symbols of your success, a
nice car and an executive position, began to look more like a crypt than a monument to your having arrived.

Finally you lost your grip. You stopped wearing a tie and jacket to the office. You began to speculate in
commodities on company time. You let your kids drop out of scouts and little league. You let your crew cut grow
until the company president told you to get it cut. You let the weeds take over the lawn. You sent your resignation
to the political party, complete with a sticker at the bottom that said: “Don’t vote, it only encourages them.” And
your wife and boss began to worry about you. But your kids and your dog understood, and they seemed to like the
change.

Still, you tried to stay on the straight and narrow. It became harder and harder, but you forced yourself to go
through the motions. You forced yourself to keep within the lines.

The effect of this forced march on your life was profound: two disks in your back ruptured; your knee joints began
to disintegrate; your eyes failed at both ends of the scale; you were 30 lbs. overweight; you smoked 3 packs a day;
you drank so much you could never remember driving home; you beat your kids and yelled at your spouse; and you
were so unpleasant to be around that your secretary would weep at her desk, and your workmates and old friends
would avoid you whenever they could. You hated yourself, and you couldn’t love anybody.

Then you developed cancer. You wouldn’t know it for a long time, but it had to happen. It was a physical
manifestation of the tumor that your life had become. Your spirit was almost dead, so your body began preparing to
go too.

Then one day, as you neared age 40, deep down inside you, where the last spark of your Self was about to give up
and go out, you heard a small, quiet voice. It whispered: “Bullshit- this ain’t living! Something’s wrong. Who the
hell’s been drawing all those lines I’m supposed to stay inside of? What creep presumes to tell me that this is the
way I’m supposed to live? He’s sick, whoever he is. And he’s made me sick too!”

Immediately, that last spark of your dying Self began to glow again. And you started on the long road back to life.

The years since that turning point haven’t been easy, but they’ve been gratifying. The tumor’s been in remission for
two years now. The treatments were finished over a year ago. The eroded disks and vertebrae have somehow filled
out again, and you can do anything you want- except for yard work and dishes. You quit smoking and haven’t
touched a drink in two years.
You lost that 30 lbs.; finally bought some bifocals; and with special exercises and a knee brace, you hiked as much
as 12 miles a day in the mountains this summer, with full pack. Best of all, though, you find the lines of your
spouse’s face beginning to soften; your kids are actually talking to you about their deep inner feelings; and your
dog voluntarily spends more time with you. You find that you’re beginning to like yourself, now that you’re not
trying to live someone else’s definition of life. And you can truly love someone else again.

The tough part is that you realize that you’re now a revolutionary, you’re a renegade, you’re going to have a price
on your head and be hunted down before this era is over.

But that’s the way it is when the man running the rat race is nuts.

I’m going to tell you something that explains why all this has happened to you: every era is dominated by a world
view. That world view, the way a civilization perceives itself, is a product of its dominant production concept, of its
foremost method of economic organization. And the group of sickies who presume to run society will co-opt that
concept.

Let me illustrate. In the middle ages, the dominant work concept centered on agriculture. The world was
discovering that selective-breeding would produce superior lines of plants and animals. Royalty, then, glommed
onto this fact and developed it into the concept of royal bloodlines.

They fed that back to their subjects to justify their positions of power and authority: by virtue of their superior
bloodlines, they had to lead; it was their destiny as set out by God and by nature. The populace, already familiar
with the benefits of selective-breeding, accepted the idea of royal superiority without question. And thus the kings
and queens ruled.

Today, the dominant concept is the factory. The people who presume authority over our lives have co-opted that
concept and they’ve assigned themselves all the managerial position: they “manage” our economy; they “oversee”
our educational development; they “mold” us into socially useful resources in factory-like schools; through the
army, they “modify” and “program” us for special applications; with 660,000 pages of new rules every year in that
management guide called the Federal Registry, they dictate and control our every move so their production line will
run smoothly.

They even have a quality-control department: the police and investigative agencies. These weed out and “rework”
the “products” that don’t adapt, the people who color outside the lines, or, heaven forbid, who even try to draw their
own lines for a living. They send these rejects to jail or an asylum where their behavior is scrutinized and
“modified”.

You can tell who the “managers” are in our factory. They’re the elite, who build bomb shelters for themselves
while they stake us “products” to the target zone to assure Russia that we won’t fire our missiles first. They send
their kids to private schools while they dictate to us where we have to send ours, even if we have to bus them there.
They mix as they wish in their own sphere, but they demand that “factory” schools and “factory” offices maintain
strict ratios between races and ethnic origins- which they, the managers playing God, will determine.
They maintain secret foreign bank accounts while their agents (the IRS and Treasury) break laws looking for ours.
They bust our kids for smoking pot while they have wild coke parties and even blow confiscated grass on the job.
They lecture us about sacrificing for the good of the factory while everybody from the congressional doorman to
the president take “a little something” under the table (not Reagan, it was Johnson). Kill a manager and you’re put
into prison for life- kill one of us and you’re rehabilitated, set loose in months.

You and I have consented to all this. We’ve accepted our fate and the judgment of these elite because it’s today’s
world view. It’s how things are supposed to be. So if you’ve been cursing yourself for coloring within the lines for
40 years, let up on yourself.

Now that you’ve broken out of that way of thinking, now that you’ve questioned the basis on which our “leaders”
have assumed their authority, now that you’ve raised yourself above the level of “product” and have taken
responsibility for your life -in defiance of the elite if need be- you can draw your own lines for living.

Recognize, though, that when you assume ownership of your Self, you’ll have to tear it away from some factory
manager who thinks he owns you. That’s what makes you a revolutionary. And it makes you life-threatening to the
manager- after all, if there’re no products, how can there be managers? So your opting out of the system is a
personal threat to those sick, insecure, “elite” managers. They have to send their quality-control and behavior
modification people after you… it’s a matter of self-defense.

Don’t expect Reagan to change things. The managers will either use him or consume him. We’ve gone too far to
turn back now. We’ll have to see this sickness through to the end.

So what do you do, get back inside the lines? NO! Stay away. Lines are deadly. They’re designed to manipulate
you, to keep the managers in control.

Financially, the government forces you to play its game by making the ownership of some things illegal, such as
large amounts of unreported currency in deposit boxes. They withdraw privileged tax status from things like gold
and diamonds. They extend privileged tax status to assets that you declare and register with them, as with IRA and
KEOGH plans. They represent social security as a retirement insurance to induce you to take one of their numbers
and forever report all of your activities into their system.

Defend against this by shunning their systems. Don’t join social security, or opt out of it if you can. Don’t open
IRA or KEOGH accounts. Ignore the “added cost” of holding gold and other collectables; go ahead and buy them.
Don’t leave unnecessary tracks; operate outside the banking system whenever you can. Don’t ever give out a
complete financial statement on yourself. (An incomplete statement is legal. It’s the overstated and fictitious ones
that send you to jail!) And for God’s sake, don’t ever ask the government for help.
Stay away from ALL government manipulations: don’t buy a house just because it’s a tax shelter- look at how
many insolvencies today were set up by that device; don’t put your money into tax-free savings accounts-
remember the millions lost in tax-free municipal bonds; minimize the cash you keep in “insured” accounts- the
insurance virtually doesn’t exist, it’s so woefully inadequate that it’s tantamount to a fraud; don’t ever buy
government savings bonds- they’re not a share in America, they’re a share in financial suicide; stay away from
bonds, stocks, or anything else that Merrill Lynch tells you is a good deal- when they advertise something it’s
because they’re looking for suckers to dump their own inventory on.

This applies to all aspects of life. Don’t send your child to a public school. Find a private one or start one at home.
Hire your own guard service. Don’t depend on the police. Arbitrate. Don’t go to the courts for justice, they’ll just
pauperize you.

Provide for your own security and welfare, and for those you love. Find others you can trust with the idea and work
together to set up your own social security, because the government’s model won’t be there when you arrive at old
age. The private model is called “community”. Get into one now.

Get in touch with yourself again. You’ve been taught that human nature is crap, that you need an elite to protect
you from your neighbor and from yourself. Don’t believe it. Every human being can be sensitive, social, caring,
loving, everything that Jesus Christ was. You discover that when you take time to meditate, to get to know yourself.

I said the “managers” are sick, and that’s literally true. They’re mentally ill and they sense their sickness, but they
can’t deal with it, so they project it onto us. Then they set about punishing us, the objects of their sick projections.
Our elite refuse to cure themselves. They can’t face the rot in their own souls, so they tell themselves that you and I
are the rot in society, that we have to be controlled, and that they’ve been selected to do the controlling. Sick? You
bet! And terribly dangerous.

Buy yourself a place in the country. Spend time there. Work on it yourself. Find that feeling again that comes with
good honest physical sweat. Get back to nature. Bump into it. Discover your dimensions again. You’ll be surprised
by how grand you really are.

Part of the sick managers’ scheme is to make you think you can’t cope outside their system. It’s a lie. Try a little
self-sufficiency. You’ll surprise yourself. Nature equipped you not merely to survive, but to prevail.

Don’t break any laws. You don’t have to… yet. You’re not cheating on taxes if you buy collectables and don’t
resell them; you’re not lying to the Treasury Department if you don’t report overseas assets that don’t fall into their
report criteria; it’s not illegal to own guns and to practice with them on your own farm, and it’s not against the law
to chat with your neighbors about what to do if society dissolves into chaos.

True, all these things will be illegal someday, probably within our lifetimes. The “managers” can’t have their
“products” owning gold, guns, and a place to hide from their controls. So in the public interest (the factory interest),
they are going to try to take these things away from you- indeed, they’d do it now if they thought they could get
away with it.

Luckily you don’t have to face that test yet. So get out and get in shape mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Excerpted from ​The Rhodes Conclusion​, October, 1981.


Abilene
by Jeff Cooper

“All the gun you’ll ever need, and more.” said the ad.

“Wow!” said we. “Some gun that must be. Technology must have surpassed itself at last. Fairly boggles the mind!”

Think upon it! What sort of gun would be “All you’ll ever need”? And more! The Paris gun, perhaps, with its
seventy-mile range? The 30mm Gatling in the A-10, at 4000 rpm? The smoothbore 120 of the Leopard tank? Or, to
be more humble, the illustrious M-1 Garand, the BAR, a 16/.22/.30-06 ​Vierling,​ or maybe the Peabody Spoonbill?

None of the above. What the ad described was a new .44 Peacemaker from A.I.G., Inc., 101 Powdered Metal Drive,
North Haven, CT 06473, called the “Abilene”. Fancy that!

We recently caught a title in one of the gun rags that proclaimed, “You can survive with a single-action!” Quite so.
You can also survive with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. Or without. Did you ever hear what John Coulter survived
with? Something seems to have gone agley with the English language, or is it just that too many of us just write
before we think?

There is a purpose for a .44 Peacemaker (which is more than can be said about many new gun offerings- or old
ones for that matter) but its purpose is scarcely general. For targets, or house defense, or uniformed patrol, or deer
hunting, or small boat action, or bowling pin contests, it is not one’s first choice of type. What it is good for is
emergency protection against heavy animals under rough conditions and hard usage- dust, mud, immersion,
corrosion, and neglect. That is a pretty specialized need, but if you have it the Abilene should interest you.

In very few situations are wild beasts an unexpected danger to man, and in those situations the beast is usually quite
a bit huskier than should be engaged with any sort of sidearm. But the .44 magnum is still the most we can get with
a production pistol, and there are circumstances in which a rifle is not likely to be ready in the hand.

In truth it is hard to document a case in which a .44 magnum, worn ready on the belt, has saved the life of a man -or
that of his wife, child, or friend- from a bear, or a lion, or a crocodile, or a domestic bull. But it could happen. Why
a single-action model might be more efficient than a double under such conditions is moot, but there are those who
consider the trigger-cocking wheelguns too delicate for really rough work.

Be all that as it may, the Abilene is a new Peacemaker .44 (also available in lesser calibers) which, like the New
Model Rugers, is “six-round-safe”. Six-round-safety is of only casual interest to anyone who is going to shoot with
a .44 magnum, but it is vital to the manufacturers of these weapons in this day of grotesque product liability
rip-offs. Poor Bill Ruger was almost unhorsed by that idiotic judge in Alaska who ruled that it was Bill’s fault that
some knothead did not know how safely to carry a pistol of the design that had been around since 1873!
So the Abilene may be carried safely with all chambers loaded, a feature achieved by means of a pivoted member
inserted into the forward surface of the hammer which is forced into its firing position only when the trigger is
pulled, and cannot reach the firing pin otherwise.

It works- though to the eye it appears to invite fracture at the pivot with long, hard use. Should this fracture occur it
would not result in accidental discharge, but only deactivate the weapon. The pivoted member may be so strong that
it will never break, of course, but this cannot be discovered in the short term.

Apart from this ingenious safety feature, the Abilene is a perfectly straightforward revolver of its type- nice
looking, well-finished, and businesslike. It is not all the gun I’ll ever need, and more, but needs differ- and
“​Vive la difference​!”

A standard behavioral flaw of most of the .44 magnum wheelies is the “splash factor”. To a markedly greater
degree than the lesser calibers, the big .44 tends to spray powder and lead sideways, and even rearwards, from the
flash-gap between cylinder and barrel.

This often causes the .44 shooter to find himself a “firing line of one” as his colleagues decline to stand alongside
when he shoots. The Abilene we tested was inoffensive here. It did not splash appreciably with the jacketed
ammunition we used, and plain lead bullets are not really appropriate for serious work with the .44 magnum.

The extractor assembly detached itself on the first round, and we found that its retaining screw was seated in a
plastic cup instead of locking metal-to-metal. This was corrected and gave no further trouble.

Sight adjustment became something of a problem during testing, since the rear sight could be depressed far enough
to compensate for a low front sight. This was only significant at maximum ranges, and is affected a good deal by
both choice of ammunition and the shooter’s build and grip.

About the only bad point we found which cannot be corrected is the oversize aperture through which the hammer
strut enters the butt, which invites intrusion of all sorts of trash, in addition to any water that may be flying around.
In wet cold, one may anticipate icing at this point unless the piece is worn in a protective holster or under protective
clothing.

For those fortunate few whose activities place them in danger from heavy beasts, the Abilene could prove to be an
excellent sidearm at a good price. (SRP $274.95)
Alternative Energy Source List and Bibliography
by Eric & Anne Teller

We’ve included this specific source list because we feel these resources will be of great value to you if you’re
serious about getting into alternative energy. The equipment, complete information, and technical details needed to
design and put together your own homestead retreat power system, as suggested in this series of articles, can be
found here.

Alternative Energy Engineering


P.O. Box 339
Briceland Star Route
Redway, CA 95560

Their catalog, priced at $1.00, is an excellent source for specialized 12-volt energy accessories and equipment.

Alternative Sources of Energy, Inc.


107 S. Central Avenue
Milica, MN 56353

A useful publication which we highly recommend is ​Alternative Sources of Energy magazine, subscription rate
$16.50 for 6 issues, $30 for 12 issues.

Crutchfield
1 Crutchfield Park
P.O. Box Caller 1
Charlottesville, VA 22906

These people offer a choice selection of high quality, reasonably-priced 12-volt stereo radios, cassette players,
speakers, and alarm equipment.

Jim Cullen Enterprises


P.O. Box 732
Laytonville, CA 95454

This is a complete source for 12-volt equipment and accessories including solar panels. Their catalog is priced at
$2.50. Jim Cullen’s book, ​How To Be Your Own Power Company,​ is a “must” for those seriously interested in
12-volt power. It’s available from the above address for $10.95 plus $1.25 for postage and handling.

Earthmind
4844 Hirsch Road
Mariposa, CA 95338
Michael Hackleman’s newest publication, ​Better Use Of... Your Electric Lights, Home Appliances, Shop Tools-
Everything That Uses Electricity,​ is available from Earthmind for $9.95. This invaluable, up-to-date book enables
you to obtain or modify common household appliances to be compatible with low-voltage power systems. We have
found his past writings to be accurate and valid, and his experiences and conclusions concur just about 100% with
our own. This latest book is an excellent summary of recent technology and solid-state component utilization.

Exide Corporation
101 Gibraltar Road
Horsham, PA 19944

They offer a helpful battery information catalog, ​Renewable Energy Batteries​.

Sencenbaugh Wind Electric


P.O. Box 1174
Palo Alto, CA 94306

This company is an excellent source for wind-powered 12-volt equipment and accessories.

Solarwest Electric Company


232 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

They offer extensive equipment for producing solar electricity.

Winco
Division of Dyna Technology, Inc.
East 7th at Division Street
P.O. Box 3263
Sioux City, IA 51102

This is a source for the time-proven Winco 12-volt wind charger.

Cloudburst- A Handbook of Rural Skills and Technology.​ Brackendale, British Columbia, Canada: Cloudburst
Press, 1973.

“Cycle Power, Part II”, ​The Mother Earth News,​ 68:134, March-April, 1981.

Cullen, Jim. ​How to Be Your Own Power Company.​ New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1980.

Davidson, Joel. “Living with Photovoltics Today”, ​Alternative Sources of Energy​, 52:6, November-December,
1981.
Facts about Storage Batteries.​ ESB Brands, Inc., P.O. Box 6949, Cleveland, OH 44101, 1965.

Greenlee, Lyman. “Electric Power From the Wind”, ​Alternative Sources of Energy,​ 4:13, January, 1972.

Hackleman, Michael. ​Better Use of... Your Electric Lights, Home Appliances, Shop Tools- Everything That Uses
Electricity​. Culver City, CA: Peace Press, 1981.

Kettner, Ken. “Wind Chargers: Small Can Be Beautiful”, ​Alternative Sources of Energy​, 38:2~29,
September-October, 1979.

Lindsay, Thomas J. ​Secrets of Lead-Acid Batteries​. Manteno, IL: Lindsay Publications, 1979.

----​Technical Report: Power Inverter Technology.​ Manteno, IL: Lindsay Publications, 1978.

Lindsley, E.F. “Emergency Power For Your Home From Battery/Inverter Systems”, ​Popular Science,​ 217:154,
July, 1980.

Mages, Loren. ​Electric Generating Systems.​ Indianapolis: Howard Sams and Co., 1970.

Marier, Don. “Measuring Water Flow”, ​Alternative Sources of Energy​, 1:810, July, 1971.

McCullagh, James. ​Pedal Power​. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1977.

McGuigan, Dermot. ​Harnessing Water Power for Home Energy.​ Charlotte, VT: Garden Way Books, 1978.

Paul, Terrance D. ​How to Design an Independent Power System.​ Necedah, WI: Best Energy Systems for
Tomorrow, Inc., 1981.

Robbins, Eldon. “Deep-Cycle Batteries”, ​Popular Science​, 209:98-113, August, 1976.

Stationary Lead-Acid Battery Systems.​ ESB Brands, Inc., P.O. Box 6949, Cleveland, OH 44101, 1972.

Tomei, Frank. ​Auto Alternator Technology Handbook.​ Fairfield, NJ: 1.55 Publications, 1978.

What Is A Battery​? Keystone Battery Corp., 35 Holton Street, Winchester, MA 01890, 1978.
Notes on Batteries
by Rick Fines

Editor’s note: Rick Fines is the Manager Material Utilization, Automotive and Industrial Division for Exide
Corporation, one of the larger battery manufacturers, and has contributed to several of the manuals listed in the
Teller’s bibliography. N. T.

The term “deep-discharge” has come to be an advertising term, rather than an engineering description. I would
point out that many batteries sold as “deep-cycle”, i.e. those intended to operate trolling motors, are essentially
identical to automotive types. Other than the markings and the terminal connection details, plates and separators are
identical to ordinary starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) batteries. Batteries intended to provide power for electric
golf carts and factory service vehicles are also similar to automotive types.

Separator quality is better, and the density of the paste used to make the positive plates is generally higher than that
employed for ordinary automotive use. The batteries of this type are, however, made in the same plants on the same
machinery as the automotive types. The proper term for batteries described in ad literature as “deep-cycle” should
be “heavy- duty”, “high capacity”, or, as the Victorians would phrase it, “best quality”.

It’s important to understand that “stationary-service” batteries are vastly different in every detail of their
engineering and specifications than electric vehicle, automotive, trolling batteries, and other adaptations of the basic
SLI battery. The Tellers mentioned that a life of “… twenty to twenty-five years… is not unusual.” (PS Letter No.
31.)

Do not confuse the stationary-service batteries, which can -in properly-engineered installations- last 20 or more
years, with so-called “deep-cycle” automotive types, which absolutely will not do so. For example, many golf cart
batteries fail after only a season or so of use. With meticulous care, a life of three years would be considered
excellent for golf cart batteries used in commercial service. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how long
automotive-type batteries might last in a power system bank arrangement, but anything past five years under totally
ideal circumstances would be a gift.

******

Be very careful ​not to put one or more batteries on a trickle charge for an indeterminate period. After the batteries
are fully charged (the lead sulphate present in both positive and negative plates has chemically converted to lead
dioxide and metallic sponge lead, respectively), the current from the trickle charger will continue to work, but in a
very detrimental way.

The grids of the positive plates will tend to “form out”, meaning that the framework of the metallic grid structure
will tend to convert to lead dioxide, the same as the active material the grid supports. When that happens, the life of
the battery is nearly over, as active material will quickly build in the sediment chambers and bottom short the cells.
In any event, capacity will be reduced to nearly nothing as the grid structure, which also conducts energy from the
active material to the element straps, deteriorates.
If batteries are to be out of service for some period of time, charge them until they are at full capacity (see PS Letter
Issue 12, article on battery care), disconnect all cables, and carefully clean the tops of the batteries. The slight
residue of acid which accumulates on the top of batteries in service forms a current path which hastens discharge.
Once the batteries are fully-charged and clean, put them in the coolest place possible. Like all chemical reactions,
the self-discharge characteristics of the lead acid battery are minimized as temperatures drop.

Note that if an individual battery, or a bank of batteries shows a tendency to lose charge, as measured by specific
gravity of electrolyte in the battery cells, or by monitoring of the bank’s open-circuit voltage with an expanded
scale, or digital meter designed for the purpose, a problem exists which must be solved. Hitching up a charger
“powerful enough” to maintain the charge in the complete bank will cause some problems. Let’s say that one
battery has failed, for whatever reason.

The deficient battery will not supply its full measure of counter-electromotive force to permit the charger’s circuitry
to drop back on the charge rate. As a result, the remaining batteries will be subjected to a high rate of charge, as
though the entire bank required a recharge. Result? Fried batteries due to overcharge, complete with buckled
separators, formed out grids, and total deterioration. As an observation, a 10-amp automotive battery charger would
be more than sufficient to maintain a dozen or more large 12-volt automotive batteries in a trickle charge situation,
which is, in any event, not suggested.

Remember that if long battery life is desired, keep the charge rate ​low​. High charge rates produce heat and gassing
to dispose of excess energy supplied to the batteries faster than they are capable of chemically converting, or
charging. As hydrogen gas is generated at the grid frames within the positive plates, the gas must escape through
the porous positive active material, then bubble up through the electrolyte and escape.

Excessive charge rates can cause gas to form faster than it can find a way out of the active material. The result will
be that the positive active material is cracked away from the grid, the plate is buckled, and the jagged chunks of
loose positive active material dislodged by the high charge rate, besides no longer contributing to the capacity of
the battery, will try to burrow through separators and short the cell.

******

Throwing two different size batteries into an automotive electrical system must be done with care. Simply installing
them in a parallel arrangement could be fraught with problems. If one battery was partially discharged and the other
was charged, the alternator would fry the charged battery while trying to charge the flat one. Automotive alternators
are designed to do a very limited job.

They are not nearly as durable or forgiving as the old generators. If an automotive alternator is expected to charge a
large, deeply-discharged battery, there’s a good possibility that the unit will heat up and pop its diodes. Be sure to
read the books mentioned by the Tellers on this subject.
If a second battery is to be grafted to the system, a marine-type selector switch should be installed to at least avoid
the problems described above. Installation of heavier than original equipment alternators will also help. Bear in
mind also, as discussed elsewhere, no automotive -or similar- battery can be truly described as a “deep-discharge”
or “deep-cycle” battery. While the golf cart batteries come as close to that description as any of the automotive
derivatives, they still miss the mark by a good bit. The charging systems on automobiles are by no means designed
to stand the continuous-capacity output required to bring up large, fully-dead batteries.

Notes on Generators
by Rick Fines

A fully-reliable electric plant requires -after careful selection and professional installation- a continuing program of
system exercise and checklist maintenance. By “reliable” I mean a generator set that runs at constant speed. In the
sets with which we are concerned, oscillation frequency is a direct function of generator rotation speed. If generator
speed fluctuates, line frequency will wander and the result will be unreliable operation and possibly severe damage
to appliances. (Note: household current oscillates 60 times per second- 60 Hz or 60 cycles.)

The first step in selecting a house current motor-generator set is to determine what size is appropriate. Generators
are rated in output wattage and appliances are rated by watts consumed. For rating purposes, compensate for motor
starting loads by multiplying running watts by three. If, for example, the running watt rating of a motor is 600
watts, the starting load would be 1800 watts.

Three times may seem a bit much but this is the starting load that appliance motors draw, particularly those which
bear high inertial starting loads, such as compressor drive motors in freezer plants. Even though the peak load may
last only a few seconds, the generator set should be sized to accommodate maximum starting surge loads. Your
local power company service has nearly infinite surge capability, but the sets you will consider do not and
excessive over-rating can cause permanent, expensive damage.

To determine the generator size required, total the wattage of all devices which could or may operate at the same
time (remember to use starting loads, not running loads). Add another 25% to your total to allow for unanticipated
additional equipment. Although most generator sets are rated for “continuous-duty”, it’s a good idea to add another
10% to make certain that the machine is not required to run full-tilt to maintain the load. For example, if you could
use 5500 watts at the same time, a generator set of 7500 watts capacity would be a sound, conservative choice.
A generator set running at 100% of rated load will have, for one thing, zero surge capability. Think of your car as a
comparison. Your Cadillac, for example, will easily go 105 miles per hour, just as it will go 65 miles per hour.
However, if you were to roll the Cad up to 105 and hold it there hour after hour, the engine, transmission, or
cooling system would fail before many hours went by. At 70, no problems would likely develop. Operating a
generator at something less than its rated load will pay off in lower fuel consumption, longer engine life, and
greater reliability.

******

A typical 7500-watt plant will require about 16.5 horsepower to operate. A gasoline plant will consume around a
quart of fuel per 1000 watts generated, per hour of operation. Fuel consumption for a Diesel set will be 30-40%
less. Let’s say that the 7500-watt, gasoline-powered generator set, operating continuously at less than full load,
burns 1.25 gallons of fuel per hour. That works out to about 30 gallons per day. Incidentally, in less than six months
of ​continuous​ operation, the engine driving that generator would require a thorough overhaul

******

As a commentary on selection, consider the following as a guide for long-term durability and cost, No. 1 being the
least desirable:

1. Air-cooled, gasoline-powered generator sets: available in low- to moderate-output equipment. Used in portable
and recreational vehicle plants; the least expensive way to power a generator.

2. Air-cooled, natural gas or LP-powered: used on low to moderate output equipment intended for permanent,
indoor installations in which gasoline fumes could be hazardous. Use of an LP gas conversion on an engine
designed to operate with gasoline will yield 20-25% less power than if the engine is fueled with gasoline. That’s the
figure engineers use but salesmen do not often mention.

People with campers equipped with LP appliances know that LP is not exactly a common commodity to buy at the
roadside. LP requires more sophisticated equipment to transport and store than other fuels, and is hardly likely to be
plentiful in a survival situation. Leaking LP from a highly-pressurized storage vessel can be exceedingly dangerous.
Unlike dripping gasoline which at least can be seen, LP has far more insidious habits.

3. Liquid-cooled, gasoline-powered: used for moderate to the low end of high output equipment as well as in
“vintage” high-output rigs. High fuel consumption and fume hazard are disadvantages, while lower initial cost
and easier cold-start capabilities are a plus.

4. Liquid-cooled, natural or LP gas-powered equipment is ruled out as outlined in No. 2 preceding.

5. Liquid-cooled, Diesel-powered: this is the answer. Used in top line, moderate-output and all modern,
high-capacity plants. While Diesel engines in cars and light trucks make as much engineering sense as pogo sticks
for butterflies, the Diesel is optimum for the constant-speed, long-term operation of a generator set.
Fuel consumption will be much lower, and fume hazard in the generator space will be nil. Noise levels will be
higher, and, like Diesel exhaust, will be more objectionable. The engine will last many more hours between
overhauls than a comparable gasoline engine, but will cost several times as much to buy and overhaul when the
time comes.

The periodic exercise of the plant is also more important, as Diesel engines don’t like to start when cold, and simply
refuse to do so when cold and neglected. Because current Diesel fuel has such high wax content, it may be
advisable to install a header tank between the primary fuel supply and the injection pump, so that room temperature
fuel can be introduced to facilitate cold starting.

Once smooth running is achieved and engine coolant has reached operating temperature, the system may be
switched to primary fuel. If the fuel storage area is cold, be certain to equip the engine with a fuel pre-heater, as
well as efficient fuel filters/strainers.

6. A final generator type bears mention, but is not suggested. Some generator sets are sold with no engine unit, but
are equipped with a drive shaft intended to be hooked to the power take-off of a farm tractor or truck. For a number
of obvious reasons, these units are OK for short-term, standby service, but not survival dependence. It makes no
sense to tie up a tractor and its large engine, or a truck and its even larger engine, to do a job which could be done
for less cost and lower fuel consumption by a stationary engine.

Be prepared to spend a lot more for an installation at No. 5 level than for one at No. 1 level.

******

Some determined scrounging can unearth very good deals on obsolete, particularly military, equipment. About a
year ago, this writer located a 25,000-watt water-cooled, gasoline-powered US Navy standby set, vintage 1943, for
$300. The unit had all sorts of capabilities built into its elaborate switchboard, but that switchboard was intended to
have at its disposal the heart and mind of a machinist’s mate all the time it ran.

The huge Hercules engine had the liquid appetite of a thirsty wino. Old equipment of this type is interesting,
beautifully-crafted, and easy to repair. Are antique AC plants practical? No. For limited, non-continuous use, they
are fine and represent great value for the money. For long-term use, they are not the answer.

Editor’s note: In Issue No. 7, Vol. 9 of R ​ emnant Review (P.O. Box 7999, Tyler, TX 75711. Telephone
214-597-6691), Gary North recommends that you contact Robert Platt Associates (P.O. Box 158, Springtown, PA
18081), a source for Diesel generators. N. T.

******
If you have installed a generator set of any sort, remember to do ​all​ the following:

1. At least every month, and preferably twice a month, exercise the plant. Start it, allow the engine to warm up
fully, and place the generator online. (Make certain that your installation switching permits you to manually
disconnect your commercial service ​first.​ Otherwise some expensive and entertaining pyrotechnic displays could
result from improper connection/switching.)

2. Replace the engine starting battery at least every 24 months. Don’t question it- ​do​ it.

3. Follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for ​all​ oil change, lubrication, and service intervals.

4. Replace all belts, hoses, etc., every 24 months.

5. Learn to start the engine manually, with the hand-crank.

6. Consult the manufacturer (not necessarily the salesman) for suggested spare parts inventory.

7. Hope you will never have to depend on the generator.

Item seven is not intended for comic relief. A generating plant of any sort requires lots of money, fuel, skill, and
time to operate on a continuous basis. The beauty of the system the Tellers described in their articles is that they do
not have to rely on their continuous-duty AC generator continuously.

Those of you who are catalog buffs will want to subscribe to the ​Catalog Shoppers News ($14 per year US, $16 to
Canada and Mexico, $30 US for overseas airmail, Pinkerton Marketing Inc., 135 Oak Terrace, Lake Bluff, IL
60044). This newsletter provides updates and reviews of catalogs, as well as tips on good buys. Did you know, for
example, that J.C. Whitney and Warshawsky catalogs are identical, and that Markline now offers a phone censor? I
found a seed catalog I’d never heard of (Lockhart’s), one featuring archival supplies (Light Impressions Corp.), and
one on gun parts (Bob’s Gun Shop).
Survival Gunsmithing- M1A
by J.B. Wood

Some readers, I’m sure, will have genuine original US M-l rifles, the ugly but reliable old Garand. Most of you,
though, are likely to have the modernized versions of this design, the BM59, BM62, or the M1A. So, in the parts
list and discussion that follows, I’ll concentrate on the M1A, the one most commercially available.

For those who do own Garand originals, the principle difference is in the feeding system, and it should be noted that
a large number of spare cartridge clips should be added to the parts list instead of spare magazines. As everyone
knows, the old M-l flings these out on the last shot, and survival circumstances may not allow retrieval.

For the M1A, the spare parts list should include the following: firing pin, extractor, extractor spring, extractor
spring plunger, ejector, ejector spring, recoil spring, gas piston, gas valve spring, gas valve spindle, valve spring
pin, and spare magazines.

The spare firing pin and extractor require no explanation. The extractor spring is for insurance against possible
age-weakening, and the plunger is in case of lose during takedown of the bolt. The ejector is also in this category,
as it’s never likely to break, but it can go far if there’s a slip in the takedown or reassembly operation. The spring is
on the list for the usual reason, in case of fatigue, far in the future. For this, the symptom will be sleepy ejection.

For what I call the “recoil spring”, the proper term is “operating rod spring”. By any name, eventual age-weakening
is normal if the gun receives average use. In regard to the same spring on the old Garand and the M-14, military
armorers routinely replaced this spring on most guns brought in for maintenance, even if it was causing no
difficulty. Since this spring sustains full compression each time the bolt cycles, this is logical.

The gas piston is really a far-into-the-future item. With proper maintenance, using a stainless steel brush to keep it
cleared of gas scale and powder residue, it will last for many years. It must be recognized, though, that with heavy
and constant use there is the possibility of “burnout”, erosion of the flutes, and some gas blow-by.

This can affect proper impact of the piston on the operating rod, and may cause incomplete bolt travel and
misfeeding. In a survival situation, with the possible use of scavenged ammo of unknown origin, erosion becomes
more of a possibility. The other factors also apply, extended hard use and minimal cleaning.

The valve spindle and valve spring pin are in-case-of-lose parts, but the valve spring itself is an item that will
require eventual replacement. Its proximity to the gas porting system subjects it to high temperatures in rapid or
continued firing, and heat will hasten the fatigue factor for any spring.

On the other hand, widely-spaced shots will not produce enough heat to affect the spring, so the necessity of
replacement will be less pronounced if rapid firing is seldom done. This is an inexpensive part, so several
replacements can easily be added to your kit and this will insure proper gas regulation for many years.

Spare magazines you’ll have, of course. When I add this item to any list, I always feel that it’s unnecessary to
mention it, as any survivalist will have at least three spares for any gun in his battery that has a detachable
magazine. Aside from the extra firepower they provide, it must be kept in mind that any box magazine, no matter
how strongly made, is perhaps the most easily-damaged part of any gun. If a magazine is dropped on rocky ground
or any hard surface, a very slight deformation of the feed lips can cause a spectacular jam, and multiple spares are
then of great importance.
And now into the realm of the possible, but unlikely: The trigger and sear assembly (two parts), and the hammer are
strongly made and super-hardened. However, on the slight chance that the sear or its engagement beaks on the
hammer might someday chip, the Ultimate Worrier may want to add these spares to his list.

The same thought can apply to the hammer spring. In survival use, the gun would likely be loaded and cocked for
extended periods of time, and this could contribute to eventual weakening. On the other hand, this spring usually
has ample extra strength, so the spare may not be needed.

Both front and rear sights are so sturdy and well-protected that I doubt they would ever need replacement, unless
the gun were dropped off a cliff. For the anything-can-happen kit, I suppose, the rear sight components could be
added to the list. In this same off-the-cliff category would be the trigger guard.

Since it locks the trigger group into the receiver, any deformation that it may incur would take on considerable
importance. For the more affluent, a complete replacement trigger group might be considered. This would provide
an instant no-gunsmithing cure for anything that might go wrong in that area.

There is one rare form of damage that should be mentioned because of the essential nature of the part. On the right
side of the receiver, the rear half of the operating rod, which carries the cocking handle, is exposed. An impact of
sufficient force can bend the flat part inward. If the deformation is severe enough, the next firing will jam the bar
firmly against the side of the receiver, and everything stops.

In the one case of this that I actually examined, the gun had been dropped on rock from horseback-height. I have
also been told of an incident in Korea, in which case the exposed bar had been struck by a bullet (the gun, in that
case, was an M1 Garand). The operating rod is not a particularly expensive part, so a spare could easily be added.
In some instances, slight fitting of the bolt lug recess at the rear may be necessary.

A final note, which I’ll repeat in any discussion of a gas-operated gun: the gas system area must be kept clean and
dry​. Never use a lubricant of any kind in a location where it can migrate to the gas piston or gas cylinder. The heat
in that area will bake oil or grease into a hard film that can retard proper piston movement, and it is very difficult to
remove.

The M1A is not, I’m sorry to say, covered in either of the books that I usually recommend. For an exploded view
and parts list, write to Springfield Armory, 420 West Main St., Geneseo, IL 61254. If you purchased an M1A new,
the original factory booklet with these features should have been supplied with the gun.

In basic mechanism there are many parallels with the US M-1 Garand, and it is in the ​Gun Digest Book of Exploded
Firearms Drawings,​ Second Edition, on page 259. Takedown and reassembly instructions for the Garand are on
pages 411 through 419 in the ​Gun Digest Book of Firearms Assembly/Disassembly, Part IV: Centerfire Rifles.​