Welcome to your Hump Day Reading List!
This is your refuge from the impersonal Google and FaceBook algorithms that seem to run our lives these days. Instead of a machine deciding what you’ll see, I personally go out and look for great articles that actually have value in the quest for greater personal and family safety.
From all of the articles that I find, I weed out the “fake news” and those that don’t have direct application to some aspect of preparedness. Then, to fight the growing scourge of information overload, I distill everything down to what I believe to be the three most useful articles you can read right now, explain the context of those articles, and identify any bias so you can trust what you read.
It’s a more personal, more targeted, and more efficient way to get the information you need!
Here’s what I’ve found for you this week:
This week in Defensive Training and Gear:
Is gelatin testing relevant?
I’m sharing this article not because I was quoted in it, but to show that there is a wide range of opinions on the viability of gelatin testing for ammunition. Richard does a good job of presenting those opinions in context, and as a result it’s one of the better articles you’ll read on the subject.
The FBI test protocols — and in fact the gelatin itself — were developed to give a reliable, consistent, predictable way to test the terminal behavior of bullets. What engineers are looking for in ballistic testing is consistency of performance, because that’s the biggest hurdle to overcome.
The real value of that testing is in the database of results it generates, which can then be correlated with feedback from actual users and used to predict how well any given bullet will work at a specific task. This information is carefully guarded; ammunition manufacturers typically don’t share it with anyone outside of their company.
This is why I continue to ignore amateur ballistic testing. They don’t use the same materials (ClearGel is not ballistic gelatin and cannot in any way be compared to it) and, most importantly, aren’t able to make the important correlations which give the testing protocol its value.
Until we have the data to make the correlation for ourselves, amateur ballistic testing will continue to be entertainingly useless.
This week in Personal Safety and Security:
Beyond the gun
Kevin Creighton is one of the better defensive shooting writers working today, and he penned this article to explain why you need to carry more than just a firearm.
It’s surprising how many people carry a gun but have no other means to protect themselves. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating again and again: the lawfully carried firearm is a tool of very narrow application, both legally and practically, and almost always inappropriate outside of that range. It is useful only in an extremely small percentage of interpersonal conflicts.
That being the reality, how does it make sense to have it, but nothing to deal with all the other problems likely to be encountered? It’s like an ambulance assuming that all medical emergencies will be heart attacks, and only carrying the tools (and training) to deal with those.
This is why Kevin’s article is important to read and share.
This week in Preparedness and Health:
A fun way to test your preparedness: the “Grid Down Weekend”
When I quiz people about their preparedness progress, the most commonly overlooked item is the testing of the plans. We tend to assume that everything will work like it’s supposed to, which is odd when you think about it: the reason we prepare is for those times when everything doesn’t work like it’s supposed to!
This article from the “Preparedness is Fundamental” blog looks at a fun way to test the complete preparedness response. By having a “grid down weekend” you can see not only if your gear works, but also test you and your family’s ability to handle a sudden change in life habits.
(This weekend should also include eating nothing but your storage food. If it’s not the same as your normal diet, prepare for some nasty digestive issues. That alone should be enough to illustrate why I recommend storing what you normally eat, in quantity and with a “first in, first out” rotation methodology!)
– Grant Cunningham