Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Training Day With the Kids: Armscor XT22, M22 Carbine & Kodana Archery Range



My nieces were on vacation at my place for summer break. One of them was interested in firearms and ninja stuff (15 years old), while the younger one (9) was more into animated movies, practical jokes, and generally girly stuff.

On a fine Sunday afternoon we paid a visit to the Makati Cinema Square (MCS) because they wanted to give archery a shot as well as learning how to shoot a pistol and rifle. After securing permission from ther parents (who are both firearm owners), we went off to learn new things.

I made it a point to teach the Rules of Firearm Safety. This was my primary goal for the day. I hope that getting them started with the right attitude would serve them well as they grow up and share these common values.

At the MCS you have the Kodana Archery Range and the Armscor Shooting Range. Lovely combo ain't it?

 she wears a mask to protect her identity and loved ones

We started at Kodana first. The older girl (15 years old) was cool with arrows and she's a decent shot with her traditional Ifugao bow. No sights with iron-tipped arrows. It took a little getting used to the recurve's sighting apparatus but she became a good shot in a few rounds! It was important to get the fundamentals from the instructors and then to repeat the proper form afterward. Her best grouping for the day was head-sized at 15 meters. Not bad at all.
 
the ninja in training

Next we visited ARMSCOR. The younger one was more curious about this one and we got down to business after I gave them the all-important safety talk. Both of them were a little shocked at how loud the guns at the nearby bays were. It took a while to get used to it. We needed about 10 minutes before we could settle in the new environment.

I think the noise was the main obstacle to my students or to all new shooters. I think the Korean lady next bay was also a new student but was going nuts with her .45, yay.




I demonstrated and taught the basics: posture, grip, sight alignment, trigger squeeze, and follow through. Our equipment for the day were the ARMSCOR XT-22 and M-22 Carbine, both in .22 Long Rifle. These were quieter and the low recoil makes them enjoyable to shoot and handle. As a bonus we also used the Armscor 1911 .45. Those made the bigger holes on the photo below.

All weapons functioned flawlessly even if they were dirty range guns. 


As you could see, the M22 Carbine on the left was inherently more accurate than a pistol. Fantastic grouping from 1st time shooters!

At the end of the day the girls learned how to do all of this in a safe manner and land decent shots using two kinds of weapons. I'm just really glad we all had a great time!


Stay vigilant!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Coming Soon: New Product Reviews!

I am pleased to have acquired a bunch of nice things to evaluate. Since all of these are personal acquisitions, I've taken my time testing each item. Nothing gets me more giddy than having new gear to tinker with! Some of these are old news but not to my side of the pond.


Survival Gear:
BioLite Camp Stove
Sawyer All-In-One filter
Luci Solar Lamp
Lifestraw water filter

Ammunition:
Armscor Super Quiet .22 LR solid-point
Highland ZX Super Quiet Subsonic .22LR solid-point

EDC:
Leatherman Juice multi-tool
Kershaw Cryo folding knife
Marksman Pocket Hunter


In a few days we'll see how they measure up to the hype.



Stay vigilant!

It needs to be said

I just want to say THANK YOU to all those who have helped and continue to do so. From our end, it is our job on the ground to ensure that every penny is accounted for and given to the right people.



Happy New Year!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Please Help the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan



Friends, it is time to go out and do the right thing. Please send your help to the victims of super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) by visiting the UNICEF TYPHOON YOLANDA APPEAL or through the PHILIPPINE RED CROSS websites right now. 

If there are organizations that I trust to make sure our assistance reaches the right people, it would be these two.

 
http://www.redcross.org.ph/

http://donate.unicef.ph/campaign/24/typhoon-yolanda-emergency-appeal

Your money will not be put to waste and your help will have tangible results. 






Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

UPDATE: Please send your help via UNICEF and the RED CROSS on THIS link.



Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name is Haiyan) is expected to make a direct hit on my country this Friday. By then, its wind strength is predicted to reach over 130 mph making it the most powerful storm to hit us in the past 3 years. Typhoons also bring a lot of water and that is the other half of this potential calamity. 

At home my family has drinking water for a month, a water filtration system in case I need more, battery chargers, and extra food to go the distance. We are completely flood-proof because my house is standing way above sea-level and we've hardened against flying debris.

I sure hope this storm does not turn out as bad as the weather guys think it would. I'm a lot more prepared to deal with this one, but I'm worried about everybody else. I've got two more days before it hits us so I'll spend some of it sharing some of my stuff with my brother and sister who live nearby. 

How this matters to Zombie Survivalists:
If we get hit by typhoons about 22 times a year, with one or two of them being very powerful, I really think I'll be fighting the living dead knee-deep in the pouring rain. 

Infrastructure will degrade much faster if there is no functioning government to maintain the drainage systems. Water-borne diseases are expected to be another hazard alongside the deadly Solanum Virus. If Malaria or Dengue kill you instead of a zombie, you still lose.

I think its time for me to buy a few rafts and perhaps a kayak like this: The Oru Kayak. This amazing thing folds neatly into a big suitcase thing! Perfect for storing several of these in my smallish garage. 
 


Today is the day I started seriously thinking about fighting zeds on a boat. It makes perfect sense.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Lessons from Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana):

It has been four years since Typhoon Ondoy which unleashed unprecedented damage to the country. Scientists say that we never had a storm like that in 60 years. Well now that it happened once, I personally believe it can happen every year.

In my part of town, nearly 17 inches of rain was dumped on us in less than a day. Total damage amounted to over one billion Dollars, there were many fatalities, and millions of people in Metro Manila were affected.

Things were bad. Calamitous. Floodwater rose to two storeys high in various residential areas all over Metro Manila (16 cities, population 12 million). But guess what? Our Bayanihan spirit got nearly every able-bodied Pinoy to come out and help.

In years prior to this disaster, people were content to just "let the government do it". This time, ordinary folks in unprecedented numbers came out to lend a hand.


Bayanihan is basically defined as the community coming to help out a neighbor. When Ondoy hit, we did this on a national level. Image from Wikipedia.

Typhoon Ondoy basically awakened the inner survivalist or prepper on a national level. Thank goodness our preparedness has come a long way since then. This applies to government and private initiatives. Suddenly, it is a company by-word to have risk-reduction meetings every quarter. In my own gig where I became head of Risk Management, people on all levels have been talking about emergency kits, flood prevention, first-aid certifications, and more. 

My secret alter-ego (TZH) was quite happy to see that "prepping" has finally become mainstream. Perhaps I'll have a much easier time finding like-minded folks to prepare against the undead hordes when they finally come.

In the end, I hope the spirit of Bayanihan (pronounce it like bah, yah, neeh, hun. say it fast, and in one go) will prevail WTSHTF and keep our society help keep our society from falling apart. Too often we see post-apocalyptic films depicting warring tribes and utter barbarity following the collapse of a modern society. Watch the movie The Road to get an idea.


Stay vigilant!




Sunday, November 3, 2013

Vacation Report: Anaheim, CA & Hillsboro, OR

Greetings from Oregon!

I've been on vacation here visiting family for the past 3 weeks and I've had a great time going sight-seeing and shopping nearly every day.

I was also in LA to take my family to Disneyland. It never gets old even if I've been there 5 times already. The Halloween theme was pretty nice. "Its our kingdom now" Captain Hook merrily proclaimed. There were more than the usual number of zombie kids and parents on the happiest place on Earth.

We then traveled north to go trick or treating in Oregon. The kids over here were more into minion bananas and Rapunzel costumes.

 picking out our pumpkin


 a break from urban living

I haven't been to the States since '97, and a lot has changed. Bigger population, GPS everywhere, more channels on the TV, and  fancy new shopping areas to name a few. I used to live in Vancouver, Canada for a few years but I was within striking distance of my family. I also made various road trips to California and Arizona, so I've been around.

The Little Differences
I was really happy to stock up on survival gear from various sources such as REI and Cabela's, the latter being my own personal Disneyland!

1. Gun Stuff: Warranties and Replacements
Just so my American readers know, firearm and firearm-related accessories cost 3x as much when they are sold in my country. I can bring stuff home from Cabela's, but its a very long and difficult process that I'm not willing to go through at this time.

Good thing we have as many fantastic gunsmiths as you guys do because we do not have immediate access to return-policies and warranties.

If something breaks, it will take weeks before Kel-Tec sends me a replacement. For other brands like Para-Ordnance or Kimber, the wait has been known to take nearly a year. Never mind that, the legendary Metrillo Gun Corporation will fabricate anything for me in no time at all.
 
2. Survival necessities for the Philippines are very different compared with the West Coast and most of the USA.

The United States is gigantic land mass and has diverse environmental conditions. The Philippines on the other hand is made up of 7,100+ islands, all of these are in the tropical zone. We have a few cities in high altitude, but most of my countrymen live in either very dense urban centers that are a several million in population size, or in agricultural zones in the form or farmland or by the sea.

We are also visited by typhoons about 22 times per year on average. Half of those are direct hits. This
means we'll be fighting the undead hordes knee-deep in floodwater more often than not.

This affected my shopping list. I was focusing primarily on water-filtration gear. We'll never go thirsty in a long-term crisis, but keeping the water clean will become a challenge. Finding food will not be as hard because the open spaces between our homes are teeming with naturally-occurring edibles which are very nutritious.

Its just the darn weather hazards and our incredibly populous city centers which will be the greatest survival challenges.

3. Home Construction Materials and Layout

In the Philippines, most houses in the suburbs are built out of concrete and have a perimeter fence made of stone. Our Oregon home and nearly all our neighbors have theirs constructed out of wood/drywall and do not have perimeter walls or fences. Two cats and small dog from next door frequent my kitchen windowsill to ask for treats. The photo with a lot of trees is our neighborhood in Hillsboro.

a neighbor's house in Manila for reference

The photo above is something more familiar to me. Walls in the suburbs are the norm, and concrete is the abundant construction material. Termites and typhoon gusts are the things we usually brace for.

In a defensive scenario, the stone perimeter wall will serve me quite nicely because it limits the entry points to my front door. My home's walls are about 5 feet tall and it will help me a lot against the undead since their line of sight from the street level will be obstructed. More on that in my Home Defense section.


3. Weather & Gear
We never have snow and there aren't any deserts. Nobody dies in the Philippines from hypothermia or dehydration. What will mess us up are the typhoons, floodwater, and water-borne diseases.

Tropical issues like rust, mosquitoes, Dengue, Malaria, Leptosirosis, Diarrhea, rabies, drowning, garbage, trenchfoot, and other wet-weather stuff are some of the things that affects my choices. It will also affect how we will be fighting the undead and the tools I'll be needing to succeed.

------------------------

I'll be boarding the plane tomorrow at 1PM and I can't wait to come back next April. I met a lot of nice folks and made many new friends over here. My whole family will miss our stay, three weeks sure went by pretty fast!

I'll be testing out my new gear and will prepare my usual product reviews.


Stay vigilant!



Saturday, August 31, 2013

HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY TZH!

Dude, has it really been three years already? 
 
When I started this blog back in August 31, 2010 I really did not have much of a plan. The word "prepping" was not yet in the dictionary. Zombies were beginning to become mainstream. Survival was only starting to make a blip on popular culture.

So here we are, we've read all the books. We saw Brad Pitt's World War Z, we knew it would suck but we still saw it. We're up to our eyeballs with zombie survival marketing gimmicks, and we think we've had enough. Well, not quite. Despite all this, I'm quite pleased at how things have come along.

Nowadays, it will no longer raise any eyebrows if you're into prepper stuff. Its great that people are more aware of the need to get ready in case TSHTF. My parents don't think I'm a such a weirdo for stockpiling rainwater, food, various weapons and ammo in my house.

I know first aid, I can cook, I can run faster & carry more things, I do yoga. I know kung-fu. My wife now gets it. She digs that I'm in better shape than I used to be three years ago.

My daughter is now turning five years old in less than two months. She's the reason why I want my family to be READY TO SURVIVE ANYTHING. This includes a very possible zombie apocalypse. Today I could say that we've got more than a fighting chance.

Perhaps my little one may have to take up an axe someday to destroy those who threaten to devour her loved ones, but for now that can wait. In a year's time her training will begin.

*****

Looking back at my previous articles I'm pleased to see that the most popular pages are from the SURVIVAL STRATEGIES section. I have to admit that firearm-related topics get tons of attention but we all agree that weapons are only a small part of making it out alive.



So what's next? 

I've acquired a few new skills, weapons, and cool gear for review. As usual, I'm still chasing my dream to join the International Practical Shooting Association's World Shoot in Florida in 2014. I'm also working on storing supplies around the house, EDC, Get-Home-Bag equipment, and survival food. With the last item, Mrs. Zombie Hunter has been quite helpful!

I'll also never stop trying to be a super dad to my little girl. She's got an athletic streak and I hope to get her into competitive sports soon. 

*****

Time flies yo. I hope I've been able to entertain or share useful ideas, but most of all I hope ya'll have had it as good as I've had this year.



Stay vigilant!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Smashing Coconut Test III: GAMO Silent Stalker Whisper Air Rifle (.177)




I've had my Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper air rifle for nearly a year now with over a thousand rounds shot through it. With the Gamo Pro Magnum pellet I can group under 2 inches at 26 meters (or 28 yards) from the standing position. I'm a happy guy.

Why an Airgun?

This break-barrel air rifle is using a new IGT gas piston system that does not have the recoil and sensitivity that spring systems have. Unlike other airguns, it does not need to refill by a hand pump or CO2 tank.

This thing is no toy, it could shoot 7.8 grain .177 caliber pellets at an average of 970 feet per second. Ammo is cheap and lightweight, and you can use this to hunt small game and train your family very affordably. The sound moderator or silencer on the rifle is also quiet enough to do all these without attracting unwanted attention.

This is an ideal survival tool, but can it kill zombies?

Equipment:
  • Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper (.177)
  • Gamo Pro Magnum pellets
  • a spoon 
Target: 
  • 3 coconuts, husk removed (needs to be "ripe" for maximum shell strength)
The Test:
  • Can an air rifle penetrate a human skull?
Technique:

We will most likely employ this weapon from an elevation so I shot at the coconut from my balcony at approximately 40 degrees and then from ground level.

The Results:


Coconut 1

Coconut 1 was fired upon from my balcony from 28 yards away five times. You could see in the photo that there are 3 holes on top and then two hits below that did not penetrate. This shows that you can punch through the shell if you hit it squarely.

The white stuff tasted good. I didn't eat the lead, don't worry. 

I cracked the coconut open with my United Cutlery M48 Tomahawk and was pleased to see three pellets inside. They were deformed flat and took out decent-sized chunks.

Coconut 2


The second coconut was a lot more interesting. I must have landed my shot at a certain spot that caused it to split open. Crack! Coconut juice flowing out! Gnarly.

I don't expect to split a zombie skull like that, but the impact was quite convincing.

The third coconut was a larger sample and had already gone stale. The shell is nearly twice as thick as the others but the pellet also punched through.

Check out the video below, note that from 26 yards away you could barely hear the rifle, good to know that the silencer works.




Conclusion:

I am very pleased to report that this air rifle chambered in .177 caliber pellets can punch through a coconut and do significant damage to the brain. With good aim, these are likely to penetrate a zombie's skull. I hope that destroying them would require less than two well-placed shots. 
 
I'm limited to relatively short distances with this weapon, but I'm good enough to hit a zed's eyeball at around 30 yards. That would definitely take them out.

This weapon is now part of my survival gear. My family can practice marksmanship and hunt small critters. With 2000 pellets easily stored in my pants, a comfy chair, and a cold drink with me on top of my hidden post at my roof, I could whittle down zombies that come close to my fortification.

The white coconut meat was my rewarding afternoon snack. Tasty!

*****

For my next round of tests I need to acquire a pig's skull for me to shoot at. Why a pig's skull? Because they can be readily obtained from our local butcher. These are thicker than human skulls but should prove to be a definitive penetration test. 





Stay vigilant!





May is Zombie Awareness Month

Pull out your gray ribbons folks, its time to remind our like-minded friends and family that May is Zombie Awareness Month.

This means we'll be seeing a lot more zombie-themed stuff on TV, the internet, zombie products, and other such things to capitalize on the occasion. Favorite topics on many other resources will cover how to kill them, what weapons are great to use, possible origins of the Solanum Virus, etc.

 *****


For The Zombie Hunter, Zombie Awareness Month is all about getting back to the basics. 

Here are a few productive activities to work on for the next 30 days:

1. Finish your Bug Out Bag already.

2. Check your emergency supplies at home. Can your family really last more than three months? Medicine, food, water, ammunition, those are just the beginning.

3. Review your emergency map. Review it with your family. Where is your escape route, where are possible infested areas, how many backup shelters do you have?

4. Enroll your kids into summer programs with survival skills. The Red Cross, Jungle Camp, Martial Arts, Cooking, etc. Teach your children valuable life skills. 

It is entirely possible that they world will still be infested with the living dead long after our generation has gone.

5. Inspect your home's defenses and make important improvements.

6. And pay it forward! Share your knowledge with other survivalists! A "LAMOE" or Last Man On Earth will not win the zombie war. 


*****


Big thanks to the Zombie Research Society for the reminder. They're been an important resource for me over the years and you could visit the survival section of their forums. Cool stuff there.

Like ZRS always says: "What you don't know can eat you!"





Stay vigilant!



Monday, April 29, 2013

Now Reading: Juggernaut, Adam Baker


I have in my hands my eBook copy of Adam Baker's "Juggernaut". Buy the Kindle version here.

I also enjoyed Adam's article on his blog entitled "Going Out With a Bang". We remember Captain Lawrence Oates, and his courageous sacrifice and similar heroic deeds in zombie apocalypse fiction.


Read often and regularly. Our brain needs a workout as much as our muscles do.  


Stay vigilant!