Your Hump Day Reading List for March 4, 2020

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Hump Day Reading List

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:

Shotgun chokes for defensive use

While the shotgun has seemingly fallen out of favor for defensive use, the fact remains that it’s still a viable choice in the role of home (or homestead) defense. It’s arguably the most effective arm available, and it benefits from not being a dreaded “assault rifle”.

Back in the day when the defensive shotgun was more popular, the serious shotgunner would have the barrel modified to produce consistent shot patterns at specified distances. The forcing cone would be lengthened and the barrel “back-bored”, all to produce the desired patterns. Hans Vang, of Vang Comp fame, was the guru of shotgun modifications and many people swore by his magic.

I, being a cheapskate, discovered that I could achieve the same results by the simple expedient of using screw-in chokes and patterning the load I used in the gun. To this day my defensive shotguns have screw-in choke tubes, the kind you’ll find on many (if not all) “sporting” shotguns.

This article is a little light on background (the author doesn’t seem to understand why cylinder chokes were preferred by the Vang Comp fans, and that influence on the rest of the defensive shotgunning community), but the tests with choke tubes are good and serve to illustrate why I still use them.

(It should be pointed out, however, that the effects are highly dependent on the load being shot. I’ve patterned a number of buckshot loads in my guns, and even with identical specifications the loads from various manufacturers performed significantly differently. Any shotgun/load combination needs to be tested for best results!)

This week in Personal Safety and Security:

How to spot hidden cameras

Invasion of privacy in ostensibly protected areas is a real problem. In public restrooms, hotels, and bed-and-breakfasts, surveillance cameras have caught people in embarrassing situations. Sometimes the result is a crime, sometimes it’s just voyeurism, but it’s always wrong.

Spotting those cameras, however, is getting harder and harder. Cameras are getting smaller and easier to hide, and their construction lends itself to camouflage that makes them blend in so thoroughly that they’re easily missed by most people.

This article shows you some tricks to spotting hidden cameras. If you value your privacy, read it and put the information to use whenever you’re away from home.

This week in Preparedness and Health:

How prepared are you for common emergencies?

For years I’ve been preaching the doctrine of rational preparedness: prepping to survive the most likely, the most plausible, events first. Only after those have been thoroughly covered should one think about prepping for the outliers.

The problem is that prepping for a grease fire in the kitchen just isn’t as sexy as gearing up for a mass civil insurrection, despite the fact that they happen far more often — and a lack of preparedness for handling small fires can result in being driven out of your home.

This article isn’t sexy, but it’s very real. These are the kinds of things you should be prepared for first, before worrying about North Korean paratroopers.

– Grant Cunningham


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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