Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shotgun Patterning: "00" Buckshot

this picture makes me smile
I. What is Patterning?
There are all sorts of brands for shotgun ammo out there. It is important to remember that each individual shotgun will have a unique pattern or spread for these at various distances. Even if you & your wife have the same type of gun and ammo, it is likely that their patterns will be different!

The most common ammo type is the "00" buck, pronounced "double ought" buck. These are  2 & 3/4 inches & each of these contain 9 pellets. Since shotguns belch out these out of a smooth bore barrel, they don't travel in a straight line. This is important so you could choose the ammo with a pattern that will suit your lifestyle.  


II. Shopping Spree
I purchased stuff that was available in major shopping malls or gun stores. Too bad I could not find any of those low-recoil Federal Premium shells, those are fantastic. My loot bag consisted of a box of 40 rounds from each of these goodies: 
  • Armscor "00" buck
  • Armscor #4 birdshot
  • GB "00" buck, made in Spain
  • Jethro "00" buck
    • Tactical Edge -  2 1/4 Inch bantam, 6 pellets per shell
    • RC1 Shotgun Shells, by A-Zone Arms & Ammo

    III. Testing Procedure
    The ammunition were fired with my Benelli M3T at 5, 7, 10, & 15 meters on a single target board per brand.  After each shot, the holes are marked & encircled to indicate the spread since they get bigger the farther I go.

    The goal is to help me find the ammo that will have a consistent pattern of pellets.  I'm also looking for stuff that's capable of cycling my weapon's semi-auto setting. My gun can do either pump action or semi-auto, but I prefer the latter so I can shoot faster.

    Now lets get to the fun part!


    IV. The Fun Part
    ARMSCOR "00" buckshot
    The ammo cycled my semi-auto mode. Nice. If I need to rock and roll, I can do it w/ this brand. At 5 & 7 meters, I got a nice round 3-inch spread. It got much wider at 10 and 15 meters measuring 9 and 10 inches respectively.

    A "doughnut" shape developed as the target became more distant. This is a tendency for some ammo to make a shape similar to Homer Simpson's favorite snack. The pattern looked good because majority of the hits landed in the Alpha zone even at 15m.



    GB "00"
    A lot of multi-gunners seem to favor this brand. This imported stuff cycled my semi-auto & kicks noticeably harder than the rest. The spread of the patterns had pretty much the same compared to Armscor's "00" buckshot, but I noticed that the last shot at 15 meters seemed to have drifted to the left side of the target paper. 



    RC1 Shotgun Shells
    The label says that these are "economy" shells that are reloaded from once-fired shells. They're pretty cheap too. The patterns were very similar to the previous two, but the pellets mysteriously drifted to the lower left again the way GB's did. Bad news is that this could not cycle my semi-auto & I had to use pump action for each shot.  Good news is that the patterns seemed consistent and held a tight grouping.


    Jethro "00"
    This cannot cycle my semi-auto.  Bummer.
    Big surprise: this ammo had really tight patterns! The light recoil must be a contributor to this. At 10 meters, it had an amazingly close grouping of just 5 inches in diameter. That is a lot of stopping power focused on a very small area. Remember that each "00" pellet is equivalent to a .32 caliber bullet. A smallish pistol round, but devastating when 9 of these are flying at you with each blast.


    Tactical Edge -  2 1/4 Inch "bantam"
    This ammo type is slightly smaller than the standard "00" buck and has 6 pellets instead of the usual 9.
    • Upside: I can load 8 of these in my magazine compared to the 7 from the regular size. Lowest recoil.
    • Down Side: Pump Action only.
    I was pleased at how the groupings were comparable to the other brands. Take note that each shot made a ring or "doughnut" shaped pattern from 5 to 15 meters.


    Bonus Stage: Armscor #4 birdshot
    This was a lot of fun. This ammo is designed for shooting birds. Do not use this for defense because the tiny little pellets will just irritate your target & won't stop them from shooting back. Same banana with zombies. The pattern we made was entertaining to look at because of the insane amount of holes we made on the target paper. If you need new ways to feed your family in a prolonged crisis, this can help a lot.


    V. Summary

    As of this test I found that for my particular defense requirements, Armscor's "00" buck works best for me because the patterns held a consistent shape & had a small diameter from 5 to 15 meters. It also cycles my weapon's semi-auto mode. For pump-action only, I'm torn between using Jethro and the Tactical Edge bantam shells because of the tight patterns for the former and the additional round I could carry with the latter. 


    There are other types of ammo to try later on. I'm looking forward to testing the various magnum (3 inch) and single-slug rounds that I bought from the November 2010 Gun Show. 

    This is an opportunity for me to contribute to that debate about other buckshot types, especially with  "000" and "0" for our next installment of Shotgun Patterning.


    Stay vigilant!



    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Jack Enrile Cup 2010, Philippine Practical Shooting Association Nationals

    Jethro "The Jet" Dionisio won first place in the overall results for the standard division at the 2010 Jack Enrile Cup Philippine Nationals.  My shooting hero has done it again!  We all know that he's world famous for dominating the top world shooting events in the past two decades.

    Other big names won the top positions for the various categories such as Enrico Papa for modified, Jeufro "Jag" Lejano for production division, and Raul Arambulo for the revolver category.  JJ Racaza took the #1 for the open division.  I've seen the guy on the History Channel on that really cool show called Top Shot.  

    I'd love to fight side by side with these guys.  I'll bet they'd be able to take down thousands of the undead all by themselves!

    Yours truly placed somewhere on the bottom of page three out of six for the standard division rankings.  I did pretty okay and promise to do better next time. Not for glory, but for my loved ones.

    *****

    The Zombie Hunter prefers the standard division because it allows only a few modifications for your weapon.  Production and Revolver are pretty cool too, but I just love the stuff I've done for my 1911.  

    When TSHTF, batteries will become scarce so your fancy red dot optics will not survive a prolonged crisis.  Don't forget that those tricked out race guns are also quite bulky!  I endorse training with iron sights so you can endure.  The same logic applies to your tacti-cool out assault rifles equipped with EOtech & Aimpoint sights.  

    Electronics will eventually fail.  Iron Sights are forever!

    The Zombie Hunter also enjoys shooting those round steel plates w/c represent heads.  Those are the only worthwhile target when fighting the living dead.  


    *****

    Here's stage 12 from the event plus how I dealt with the bad guys.  Read the notes to see it from The Zombie Hunter's perspective.
    click the picture to zoom in

    When competing, you gotta think of these stages as actual combat scenarios. Even if most of them use the usual IPSC target papers, you can pretend that they are zombies.  Even if they don't have "heads", the point is to plan your attack and eliminate the targets in the most efficient manner.  

    The most important element for all this is creating a dynamic training regimen. Being prepared for any situation is numero uno for the true survivalist, and practical shooting is an incredibly fun way to develop the skills and discipline to face the coming storm.


    Check out the match details to find out more about the different stages.  It was a fantastic event and I made a lot of new friends!  



    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Fight the Power: Save Wikileaks

    The war for the control of information on the internet has reached new heights.  Wikileaks.org has been shut down by a U.S. provider, Amazon and Paypal have also withdrawn their services in an attempt to strangle the voice of freedom.  



    We all know that every government in the world will try to conceal any coming outbreak that could endanger the populace.  They will do this!  Perhaps to cover up their inadequate defense plans, to lull us into ignorance, to help them save THEIR skin at the expense of YOUR FAMILY.  

    There is hope.  

    Countless supporters of free journalism & transparency have joined hands to keep the site running.  Mirror sites have also been set up to stay ahead of the agents of the Thought Police.  Donations are still coming in, and every centavo matters.  

    Just like the undead, they also plan to attack our brains by limiting the flow of life-saving knowledge!

    Wikileaks could be one of the few remaining sources that could warn us.  Do your part to help you stay informed so you will never get caught unprepared WTSHTF!


    Add your voice to the thousands of journalists and freedom fighters.  Got Facebook or Twitter?  Spread the word before its too late.  

    "Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master. "
    - Pravin Lal

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Disease Outbreak Monitoring

    Fellow Survivors, head on over to the World Health Organization's Disease Outbreak News section on their Global Alert & Response page.  Bookmark it right now. Check it & your other news sources on a daily basis.  This is an expansion of Survival Strategy #5.

     I wonder what's threatening my family this month?

    Here you will find recent information on diseases that may come knocking on your door.  It also details the various actions you authorities are taking.  They're doing something, YOU need to take it further. 

    As we've discussed, go the extra mile when reviewing articles on these health hazards.  Keep tabs, but never leave it to the authorities to protect your family.


    Vigilance, The Zombie Hunter's Way 
    Keep these in mind when reviewing your sources:
    • Something more sinister may be afoot and we should always learn more.  Look for the bigger picture: What forces are behind these outbreak?  How are you threatened?
    • Pay attention to the big incidents, but never underestimate the small & less known ones!  Even the little bugs could mutate into something far worse.
    • Never be satisfied with what is printed on paper. Look for omissions or conflicting reports.   The unnoticed outbreak will be the deadliest one.
    • Learn how to determine the credibility of a report.   Who is the journalist?  WHO stands to benefit if the news is inaccurate?  Are we being misled or distracted?
    • Be an expert on the nature of various health hazards.  Knowing symptoms, infection-prone areas, and how these diseases are transmitted will help you protect your loved ones.

    *****

    As the report states, there is another round of Avian Influenza threatening the region.  

    Words too big?  Bird Flu!

    Hong Kong is noteworthy because its a gateway to the whole world.  As you are reading this, health agencies everywhere are beefing up their defenses.  Even if the report was filed on November 17, this is already OLD NEWS and the virus has been spreading way before.  Infection waits for nobody.


    What should we do?

    Support your health organizations and agencies.  Learn everything about your enemy.  Your local community should benefit from your knowledge.  Find out what the authorities are planning to do so you will not be left out.  They will be deficient, so its your job to protect your home when things are going bad.

    If there's a crisis in a far away country, try to share some of your blessings with the needy.  Haiti is in an ugly mess right now so we should do our part.  One less sick person is a step towards prevention!

    On the home front, learn & share good hygienic practices with your loved ones.  Remind them what is out there so they're prepared.  It should be a team effort, you cannot do this alone.


    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Survival Strategy #7: Buy Quality Stuff

    I would like to share this article on the California Knife & Tool website regarding the many downsides of buying counterfeit or fake knives.  

    If you've been to flea markets like The Ruins at BF Homes in Paranaque, Greenhills Shopping Center, or the lower levels of the Makati Cinema Square, you'll encounter many shops selling knock-offs of popular knife brands such as Smith & Wesson and Columbia River.

    Learn from my experience: these blades are proven to wiggle & eventually snap off during serious use.  Poor quality plus the bad karma for supporting piracy means the product will fail at the moment you need it most.

    The moral lesson here is to stock up only with quality goods.  This applies to everything.  Your clothes, shoes, weapons, tools, bags...  All of these are essential to survival.

    People forget that survival is also about ENDURING the crisis. It may take years & even decades for the world to recover from a global outbreak.  If you're serious about protecting your family, don't risk their lives on cheap stuff!

    Make sure your gear is built to last, 'coz warranties are void WTSHTF.




    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Year-End Events: Practical Shooting


    The Firearms and Explosive Office of the Philippine National Police will be hosting the Battle of Gun Clubs 2010.  It is a LEVEL II event that will be held on December 2-5 at the ARMSCOR Firing Range at the city of Marikina.  This is the biggest shooting even of the year and I've been preparing for this tournament for some time.  I can't wait to see how I'll do at this year's standings!


    ARMSCOR and their shooting ranges have training programs for safety and various levels of shooting proficiencies.  Gun Safety programs are for everybody at all skill levels, and even for those who do not own a firearm!  You can rent them at reasonable rates too.  Their instructors are the best in the industry so I highly recommend their services.

    Apart from my usual training, I'll also be competing at this weekend's tournament at the 5th Philippine Military Academy Class of '66 Shooting Competition at November 20 at Camp Karingal, Quezon City.  Its a LEVEL I event so we are expecting a few stages for the event.   My target is to join a major tournament at least three times a year. That should keep me sharp.




    I'm looking forward to seeing my old shooter buddies and trade notes.  Perhaps I could convince them to think about preparedness in case TSHTF

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Mecha VS Zombies?

    Fellow survivors, it is my honor to present the NMX04-1A.  It will be the first mecha prototype that could give us the edge in the coming Zombie Apocalypse!

    Who wants some?

    "Big Red" was Designed and created by Mr. Carlos Owens, the head of Neogentronyx.  A former US Army Heavy Equipment Mechanic, his company is presently developing mecha and  various  projects such as an advanced body armor, the NG-09 Skybike, and more.  

    Like many of us growing up, he's dreamed of piloting walking robots to save lives or defend the homeland against invaders.  Only this time, the threat he may fight against may come from within.  

    His main goal is to create a working prototype to prove its strengths in various real life applications.  Its not hard to imagine the many advantages the mecha platform will have for military, industrial, forestry, firefighting, space exploration, zombie killing, and other exciting fields. This should attract greater funding and interest for the advancement of the new mecha development industry. 

    Mr. Owens is a rare breed.  Its not often that we find creativity combined with real world skills and the drive to craft ideas into reality.  Many of us are merely content to dream big.  Mr. Owens & The Zombie Hunter are no such people.  

    His mecha is now in the late stages of development, and the results are promising.  Big Red is already capable of movement, its functioning hands can grasp various objects or dish out impressive crushing power.  Its controls are relatively simple: the pilot straps inside the machine's chest area and the machine can mimic basic human movements.  

    Advantages

    Walking & moving like a human offers tremendous mission versatility compared to wheeled or tracked vehicles.  Having legs means you could travel nearly any terrain type, from rocky and snow-covered hills, shallow rivers, wooded areas, etc.  Its arms also let you manipulate your surroundings.  You don't need to drive around a fallen tree,  just pick it up! 

    And don't forget that the mecha can amplify your strength a hundred fold.  Crushing zeds with your metal hands will be be no sweat at all.

    The biggest edge with a mecha is its cost efficiency when mass-produced. 

    You'd never guess it, but the mighty M1 Abrams is a grossly inefficient weapon for fighting the zombie war: 
    • Each costs a whopping $6.21 million Dollars. 
    • It takes forever to build and relies on too many advanced technologies.
    • Its engine guzzles 3.8 Liters of diesel fuel per 6 kilometers.
    • The main gun, a massive 105 mm cannon has practically no effect on even a small group of zombies. 
    • Eeach shot from this gun costs as much as your dad's precious Toyota.

    *****

    Allow me to present my own Zombie Fighting Variant: the NMX04-1Z.

    This is a specialized modification of the NMX04-1A that I have designed specifically for the efficient destruction of zombie hordes en masse.  I hope Mr. Owens would approve.

    My proposed improvements would add capabilities that will make it superior to any fighting vehicle at a greatly reduced cost and maintenance.  All of the modifications rely on existing technologies.

    click to zoom

    Technical Specifications: NMX04-1Z
    Manufacturer: Neogentronyx (USA)
    Type: Humanoid Powered Exoskeleton
    Height: 15 feet
    Mass: 3 Metric Tons
    Motive System: Bipedal Mecha
    Maximum Speed: 3 KM/hr. (projected speed)
    Communications System: Standard VHF/AM communications gear w/ power supply
    Target & Tracking System: Heads-Up Display capable helmet linked to shoulder weapons
    Power Plant: Prototype Hybrid Advanced Fuel Cell + Internal Combustion Engine

    Armament:
    2x Flamethrowers, on each hand
    2x forestry-grade chainsaws (can cut trees), arm mounted
    2x battle fists: crushing force = 5,000 psi
    2x .50 caliber machine guns, shoulder mounted
    2x Bomb Dispensers, leg mounted

    Overview:
    In order to face the challenges of an all-out zombie war, armies need to re-evaluate and tailor their present arsenal for the coming threat.   On a mass-production level, the NMX04-1Z is designed to be a cheaper & more effective zombie-killing platform compared to traditional tanks & infantry fighting vehicles.

    Capabilities:
    • Its proposed primary weapons are a pair of .50 caliber machine guns mounted one on each shoulder.  They are controlled by the targeting system built into the helmet.  This is already in use with the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter.  Accuracy is maximized as the pilot only needs to look at his target using his right or left eye as the mouse cursor, a trigger then fires one or both guns.  One shot at a time will do the trick.
    • Its back could carry more ammo than you could count, plus fuel & whatever the pilot needs.
    • If it ever gets swarmed by too many zombies at a time.  The mecha could use a dispersal bomb system to scatter them.  The cockpit and legs need to be shielded against this low-grade explosive.  Multiple bombs could be carried in the legs.   
    • Most of the work will be done with its chain saws attached to each arm, this will let it cut through up to ten zombies per swing at a leisurely pace.   Supporting troops can mop up.
    • Heavy armor is not required since the undead do not utilize firearms.  This will reduce cost and overall weight. 
    • The hybrid advanced fuel-cell + internal combustion engine will allow up to 12 hours of operation so a backup team should be ready to provide assistance to the mecha's pilot in case it needs to exceed operating hours.  A flatbed truck could serve as its transport.
    • It is best suited to being supported by infantry teams in case the pilot needs to bail out, pee, or refuel.  The vehicle can be recovered later on when the zombies disperse.  

    The combination of lower production cost, anti-zombie armament, and superior mobility makes this an asset to any army that will face the undead. 

    *****
    It is my dearest hope that governments & big industry takes note of this mecha prototype.  A single defense contract is all we need to gain the upper hand.  

    Got a friend or dad who works at Boeing, Caterpillar, Inc. or Detroit Arsenal? Spread the word!




    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Survival Strategy # 6: The Home Defense Analysis, Part 1 (INTERIOR)

    Staying up at night because the zombie horde could crash into your home and eat everybody?    I sleep well because I did a Home Defense Analysis that turned my home into a castle.  Let me help you.

    Start by going to Floorplanner.com, its an awesome resource.  Quickly make one for your home, then take a screen capture & print it out.  Do not share your plans with people you don't trust!  This information should not fall into the wrong hands.


    For Part One, we will focus on the interior.  



    Identify these attributes:

    1. Weak points that undead intruders will try to break down.  - Reinforce these right away.  Glass windows & screen doors are good enough for mosquitoes and burglars, but you need something strong enough for THREE zombies per square foot.  Iron bars are a popular choice.  DO NOT FORGET to seek advice from your significant other to make sure that your reinforcements are aesthetically sound.  Sturdiness is your department.

    2. Defensible Areas - a place that has many advantages where it will be easy for you to hold off multiple attackers.  If they break in, you can make a stand here.  Stick to your goal of buying precious time for your family to either escape or destroy the intruders.

    3. Places to Barricade and Reinforce - Even after reinforcing your weak points, you still need to know what will need to be boarded up.  Your storage inside your home should have wooden planks, nails, saws, and hammers so you could accomplish this in the shortest amount of time WTSHTF.

    4. Emergency Exits - Every home needs more than one of these.  You need it mostly for Fire.  Against a zombie horde, you need these so your family would never be cornered & trapped.


    5. Hidden Weapon Cache - When an emergency happens, you will need to secure your family.  Placing hidden & secure weapon safes in strategic locations will let you accomplish your main goal w/o wasting time.  This could come in handy in a hectic fight.  Remember the rules of gun safety!


    I created an analysis using a floor plan similar to my home.  I determined what I needed to do and have thus achieved peace of mind.


    click to zoom



    Your improvements to the home will protect your family & impress your woman.  

    A well-made Home Defense Analysis will keep burglars, the living dead, your daughter's suitors & similar pests away from your loved ones.  

    Stay vigilant!




    Now head on to this page for part two.







    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Zombiethon 2010


    There will be a gathering of zombie enthusiasts this October 30 called "the Zombiethon 2010".  


    It is scheduled to commence around 10-11PM along Timog Avenue in Quezon City.  My informant tells me a certain Sam w/ the mobile number 0915-7833624 has more information on the event. A Facebook page called Dead Zone also seems to be behind all of this.

    Practice makes perfect.  The Zombie Hunter believes in this.  So I would try to convince the organizers to attempt an accurate simulation of a horde's behavior.  This will help us practice against their movement patterns.  If they do this properly with a large enough crowd, this would prove to be a valuable opportunity.  

    BE PRODUCTIVE: LEARN SOMETHING
    • I would pay attention to how a group or individual survivors could try to avoid, wade through, or even attack the horde.   I want to see how you could try to do all of these things while protecting your family and carrying your bug-out-bags.
    • I do not encourage bringing toy guns.  Its tempting to shoot your plastic boomstick on a crowd, but someone could get hurt.  Even those seemingly harmless Nerf Guns could injure someone w/o eye protection!  Focus on studying survival techniques, not fooling around.  
    • Make some friends.  Exchanging zombie survival techniques with other like-minded folks is always a worthwhile endeavor!



    My fellow survivors, time is precious, treat this as a scientific exercise.  Try to learn as much as you can to enrich your zombie fighting knowledge.

    YSYGC2ZK4WES

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Possible sighting?

    I got a report from a reliable source from Bacolod City, the beautiful City of Smiles.  The informant was attending the annual MassKara Festival and spotted what he believes to be a walking corpse.


    I heard it was awesome.


    He followed it for several hours along Lacson Street at the STREET DANCE COMPETITION.  Thinking at first it was just a costume, he realized that the bogey in question had a putrid smell and showed many signs of un-life.



    Spot the not?


    The "zombie" shuffled down the road while being jostled around by endless waves of dancers forcing it up the street. It did not perform any of the choreography but seemed to be following a group of  "big-boned" female spectators. As our agent pulled out his camera to document it, someone shoved into the creature's hands a signboard for a local restaurant with the words "kaon ta!" which  translates to "lets eat!".  It was probably his only thought.

    It held on to it for a while and dropped it a few blocks later after it spotted another herd of women similar to its initial distraction.

    This mysterious figure disappeared beside a Philippine Red Cross tent. I hope my contact was wrong about this sighting. If this were an actual zed, I also pray those medical guys would know how to deal with that thing. I would know what to do in a heartbeat, but they are not me.


    Trouble brewing?

    Could this be sighting 001?  Or was this just some smelly drunk guy with a really messed up face? Unlike most you fools, I will take this sighting seriously.  


    Think of the innocents!





    What if that thing bit someone?

    Is the infection about to spread?  Is this be beginning?
    Right or wrong, I'll be ready because I am The Zombie Hunter.

     Stay vigilant!



    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Super Typhoon Megi

    A powerful storm is coming!

    Have you prepared your emergency gear? 

     Does your family know what to do? 

    Is the home secure? 

    What if the power will be out for a long period?

    Don't forget to observe how the authorities deal w/ this one. Its gonna be big, so take all the necessary precautions.

    What does this have to do with the zombie apocalypse? This is not just a weather update, its our readiness exercise in case TSHTF.


    Stay safe survivors!

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Survival Strategy #5: Vigilance & Self-Reliance

    Never again should we allow ourselves to be caught unprepared by calamities such as Typhoon Onody, the H1N1 Virus, bird flu, and SARS. 

    Lazy, hard headed, slow to learn and quick to forget lessons from even the most recent disasters.  These would describe majority of the human race. Fortunately, the Zombie Hunter is no such person.  I remember the floods that swept away our homes & suffering of loved ones.  And I'll never forget the complete inability of our government to manage calamities. I learned the hard way, so let me share my wisdom with you, my dear fellow survivor.

    Since I can't trust the authorities to rescue my family, or even inform me of danger in a timely manner, I've become a master of information and my surroundings.  Its a simple thing to gather news bits from various sources, but the real art is being able to see the bigger picture.

    Follow these simple steps:


    1. Use Online Resources

    A. Health Services
    This has local updates on emerging communicable diseases like Dengue, Bird Flu, Influenza A-Z, Malaria,  etc.   Even if these diseases do not turn you into a brain-eating member of the living dead, underestimating them could be a fatal mistake!

    Take a look at crisis reports, emergency response procedures and training manuals.  Some of them could provide clues to what is building up around the world. 


    click to zoom

    Warning:   Always be suspicious of these sources. They've been known to downplay major major problems.  Either they are covering up a royal mess that they started, or they've decided that your community is now expendable so that they could save their own skin.  See the Redeker Plan c/o Zombie Wiki. 



    B. Weather Updates
    Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration

    Weather Underground


    Why do I monitor the weather every day?  'Coz Infectious Diseases can spread like wildfire during calamities.  Each storm is an opportunity for us to study how government & local services respond to these emergencies.  They have their strong points, but there will always be holes.  Don't let your family become a victim of their deficiencies! 

    There are more resources out there.  Be creative and keep regular watch!



    2. Get Involved!

    A. Look beyond the headlines. 
    Often a source of confusion, given our media's compulsion to sensationalize anything.  With a little practice, you'll be able to piece clues together.  As Max Brooks says, look for topics such as "rabid people", "psychotic criminals biting others", "cannibalism", "mass hysteria", "mystery virus", etc. Seemingly unrelated cases could actually be a huge outbreak lurking around the corner.

    B. Volunteer!
    Join the local fire brigade, organize and participate in earthquake drills, join your company's first aid seminar.  Take all of these stuff seriously because building a strong community will help more people.  Like we mentioned earlier, ordinary folks will save the day.

    C. Be a good neighbor, make friends.   
    Get to know the people next door.  You never know when you'll need to help them out or take shelter in their place when SHTF.  Studying them closely would help you find out who you could count on when things turn ugly.

           Take notes and remember important details:  
    • Mr. B's family next door looks athletic and could probably defend their home against the undead
    • Mr. G who lives down the street gives me the creeps and may not lend a hand
    • Mrs. R's husband owns several guns but looks friendly.  
    • Mr. L may have a nervous breakdown when TSHTF but his home looks well-stocked w/ supplies
    • Mr. V's home is that eccentric cube-shaped house w/ a single tiny window on each side, looks like the best fortress in the neighborhood.  I wonder if they're nice...
    (sample list only)



    Its up to each of us to stay on top of things.  Coz if you get caught w/ your pants down, the zombies will just eat your sorry ass.

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    The Walking Dead

    The Walking Dead is a TV series based on the comic of the same name by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore.  Its gonna premiere at October 31, 2010. That's Halloween baby!



    I'm gonna let Mrs. Zombie Hunter know that the director of The Shawshank Redemption is doing this.  That oughtta get her to give it some thought.  

    I mean, wasn't Shawshank one of the best movies ever created?  That oughtta help her get through the blood, gore, and other things creep her out.  Completely understandable.  

    And it could prove to be educational in case TSHTF.

    Here's the link to the official trailer...

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Survival Strategy # 4: make your own emergency map

    Your family needs to be prepared for any disaster.  It could be Super Bird Flu, SARS, Hurricane Katrina the 2nd, a Zombie Outbreak or any similar catastrophe.  Taking time to create an emergency map will be  essential to survival.

    Mosey on to Google Maps and take a print screen of your surrounding area.

    know your turf


    Our objective is to gain an intimate knowledge of your area in case of an emergency.   Use this map to know what to avoid, identify safe zones, and areas to gather resources.

    Here's an explanation of my map legend:
    • High Risk Resource - Commercial establishments like malls or shops that have supplies (food, tools, medicine, etc.) your family will need to outlast an extended calamity.  Factors such as proximity to Danger Zones, and choke points makes it risky to go here.  Especially if it looks easy for a horde of zombies to overrun.  Go here only as a last resort.  Do not stay in this area no matter how tempting potential loot may be.  Malls are zombie magnets!
    • Places to Avoid - Extremely dangerous areas.  These may be choke points where people may congregate and thus attract a large zombie hordes.  Large groups of panicking people may gather here to clog intersections with vehicle and foot traffic to create a deathtrap.  Think of other risky areas and mark them on your map.
    • Danger Zone  - This is a very large area that is hazardous due to a combination of reasons such as high population density, lack of natural and man-made barriers such as rivers & hills, subdivision walls, guard houses, etc.  Basically areas where infection and zombie infestation would be hard to avoid and contain. If you need to travel somewhere, plot a route that avoids these areas & bring the appropriate equipment.  
    Identifying Danger Zones will also be important in case you need to mount a rescue attempt.

    • *Relative Safety and Resistance Areas - Places with lower population density, defensible structures, natural & man-made barriers, ease of travel, and other favorable conditions that would make it less vulnerable to a mass panic or zombie attack. 
    • Ideal Resource  - This is located in a much safer area compared to High Risk Resources.  Smaller commercial arcades that are easy to defend against a horde of zombies, have good barriers and a feasible escape route.  They are not found near major thoroughfares or population centers.  A lot of high rise office buildings have canteens and pantries, their fire escape routes are also retractable from the ground.  Neighborhood groceries & convenience stores, small-town pharmacies, sari-sari stores, utility buildings from Meralco, Manila Water, and others are pretty good candidates.
    • Possible Safe House or Shelter - In case your present safe house is overrun, train your family to find the safest route to the next safe house.  Avoid areas that would be crowded with disorganized survivors.  Organized groups are good, but always be on your guard! These places should be easy to defend and barricade.  Don't forget your emergency exit.  Safe houses should also be located w/in a reasonable distance to an ideal resource point. 
    Nothing is static: Keep in mind that these zones could shift from safe to dangerous after an outbreak.  Try to anticipate how these changes could take place at various stages of an emergency. 

    After putting the map together, share ideas with your family.  Talk about recent calamities about how streets became crowded & trapped, what places were looted, etc.  When you're done, print out multiple copies, laminate and distribute to members of your household. Keep 1 or 2 in your bug out bag, but don't share them w/ people you do not trust!

    There you have it.  After completing this activity, you'll be glad to know that your loved ones will know what to do.  With that worry out of your head, you can now focus on other important survival activities.

    Stay vigilant!

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    stepping up

    Today is DAY ONE for my return to my physical training at a nearby gym.  This supplements my practical shooting, and will help keep up w/ my coach the Major. I gotta get back to my old form.


    Past Awesomeness
    Nearly a lifetime ago, I was in our high-school's Tae Kwon Do and swimming varsity teams.  For a whole decade, I was in really awesome shape. Looking good in a bikini Speedo was a daily thing.  


    Decline
    The excesses of college life had nearly erased my exceptional physical condition.  Back in the 1990's, everybody seemed to be partying harder and getting more smashed than folks do nowadays.

    Chalk it to Y2K nihilism.  

    Another big problem was my brush w/ Gangrene on one of my feet from a botched operation.   Long story.  Funny how the color of my diseased foot reminded me of the living dead.  It left me unable to run or do strenuous exercise for another 4 years.  If the SHTF then, I'd be screwed. 


    Getting Back
    I've been on and off from the gym and could not get it to stick.  Finally in late 2009, Mrs. Zombie Hunter and I started running & worked our way up to 30 KM/week.  It took a long while to reach 5Km in 30 minutes.  The first months were miserable!  It was like shaking off a decade's worth of laziness, booze, sleeping late w/ bags of Growers Savory Hot Peanuts.  

    I've nearly quit booze & have lost a total of 15 pounds after 5 months.  Going back to serious training is a logical progression.  My new PT will improve my stamina & shed another dozen pounds to get into top form.  And thus I have committed myself to doing this & my running for as long as I could stand on my two feet.


    You Can Do It Too
    Anybody can turn things around with enough motivation and commitment. You'll be rewarded with a way better looking body, improved mood & higher energy levels.  Just give yourself a realistic target and think of it as an investment for yourself. 


    And if that ain't enough motivation for you, perhaps the impending Zombie Apocalypse ought to get your lardy ass moving!

    With washboard abs, zombies are doomed.  Wife is happier.



    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Weapons: Handguns

    Melee Weapons are good, but firearms are better.

    After you have learned the principles of Gun Safety and possess a sound mind & cool temper, you may consider getting yourself a pistol as your first firearm against the living dead.  They are easy to obtain legally and come in a delightful variety to suit your needs.


    Revolvers
    Armscor M206 .38 Special
    the trusty sidekick

    Made famous by cowboys and the Lone Ranger, they are renowned for their reliability, easy operation & maintenance. The only down side is that they carry limited ammunition and are slow to reload.

    The minimum caliber you should consider is the .38 Special for its proven stopping power against human threats, undead or otherwise.  I recommend the use of JHP or Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition. This type of bullet expands upon entering, allowing it to transfer more of its energy to the target by creating a larger wound cavity.  As a rule, your ammunition should be able to penetrate 12 inches of flesh to reach a vital organ.  For the undead, the brain is the only relevant organ.  Smaller ammo will need more shots, but having a tiny pistol is better than none at all.

    Shot placement, caliber, & skill will contribute to stopping power.

    Higher caliber revolvers are also good, but you will not be able to conceal or bring them around easily. In pre-SHTF conditions, concealment will be very important because it will be intended to protect you against living & breathing (non zombie) bad guys. 


    Semi-Automatic Pistols
     Para-Ordnance P16.40 
    thank you Canada

    Compared to revolvers, these carry more ammo, are much faster to reload, and have way more choices in model. 

    The 9mm caliber is one of the world's most popular ammunition types for personal defense.  This is due to its accepted reputation for stopping power + higher capacity compared to larger ammo types.  Ballistic tests and real-life experience has taught many a patrolman the comparable performance of the 9mm JHP to the much larger .45 caliber.  In my opinion, the main benefit of the 9mm is that you can carry a lot more ammo in your magazines on a reasonably-sized pistol.

    *****

    I use a Para-Ordnance .40 caliber pistol as my primary weapon. Its magazine can carry up to 17 rounds +1 in the chamber.  I've got 50 rounds of JHP for both pistols and another 400 for practical shooting training.  The revolver I'm using is an M206 from Armscor & serves as a backup weapon.  If I had it my way, I would get a high-capacity 9mm for Mrs. Zombie Hunter so she can defend the home when I'm away.


    Remember folks, practice and teach Gun Safety to your loved ones! 

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Boy Scouts - these guys have real skills

    Like most of us, my parents got me into the Boy Scouts when I was grade 3.  It was mostly fun & games, but I did learn a lot of survival tips from them.  By the time I was grade 6, I was quite the outdoorsman.

    As early as 1987 I was already getting prepared in case TSHTF.


    I learned these really important skills and could do most of them competently:
    • First Aid (learn this first)
    • various funny looking knots
    • building a makeshift tent
    • finding north w/o a compass
    • compass & map reading
    • International Morse Code (I suck at this, but I've got the cheat sheet)
    • how to properly handle a knife
    • teamwork & being a good kid
    • water collection 
    • building a fire
    • foraging for food
    • fishing (and my granddad taught me how to hunt w/ guns)



    If you've forgotten these, quickly get in touch w/ the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Scout Center Dot Net. I salute these boys & girls. More folks should learn to be like them. 

    It would be best to inquire on how to join the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.  The stuff you can learn can help you survive and thrive when the world is thrown into madness when the zombie hordes arrive.  Just don't mention anything about "SHTF preparedness" or else they'll probably call the cops. 

    Do it for your family.  Learn a skill today!

    Ain't it cute that those little Grade 3 Cub Scouts already know how to handle themselves?  It would be ironic but comforting to see kids teaching their couch potato adults how to set up a proper campsite & hunt for food. 


    “Take Nothing but Pictures;
    Leave Nothing but Footprints;
    Kill Nothing but Zombies.”


    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Survival Strategy #3: Get Into Shape

    Unlike most of you boys and girls, I've been learning some really important skills.

    About two years ago, I started training in Practical Shooting and have been attending outdoor survival seminars.  I've also quit being a lazy bum and shed 14 pounds after nearly  4 months of running 5 kilometers 4x a week.  Not only did Mrs. Zombie Hunter appreciate my improved looks, I've got the stamina to survive.

    Learn from me.


    Physical Training VS The Zombies: 

    1. You gotta start somewhere.  
    For the 1st month, get your partner to walk with you for at least 30 minutes to an hour every day.  After a whole month, start jogging.  Once you make it a routine, you can do this forever!  And from here, you can even go to the gym to really get some muscle.

    Set a long-term goal.  Focus on something like "by this time next year, I'll have a real sexy-ass body for Boracay...". 


    2. Strength is good, stamina is better
    When SHTF, you will need the staying power to run distances with your bug out bag. You may need to carry one or two of your loved ones on your back while evading the living dead!



    3. You gotta learn a martial art.  
    Karate, Boxing, Ninjitsu...   Any of these will give you the discipline and fighting spirit to survive!  You gotta cultivate the warrior's mindset.  Learn to overcome your fear so you can focus on defending your loved ones.

    Zombies will mindlessly eat your brains. Don't hesitate to ventilate theirs!



    The S will HTF soon, get started today.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    The Rules of Gun Safety

    Folks, this is too darn important.

    Like any tool, firearms should be used properly and only by competent users.

    Train your family to live by these rules!


    The 4 Rules of Gun Safety


    Rule # 1
    Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
    • Always assume that a gun has a bullet in the chamber and is ready to shoot!
    • Learn from a competent instructor how to properly operate a gun so you can be certain of its status.


    Rule # 2
    Never point the gun at anything you do not want to destroy or kill.
    • Inexperienced users will point the gun without thinking of the gun in their hands. Therefore, if you are holding a gun, point it towards a designated "safe area" at all times.
    • Never play with guns.


    Rule # 3
    Keep your finger straight and off the trigger.

    • Never insert your finger on the trigger unless you are already aiming at your target and are about to shoot.
    • A common cause of accidents is when people keep their fingers on the trigger while running, falling, getting startled, or forgetting about their trigger fingers!


    Rule # 4
    Be absolutely sure of your target, and what is around it.  


    • Always be 100% certain of your intended target before you even point your gun at it.  Be aware of what is behind the target or what you can accidentally hit.
    • Your bullets may also penetrate walls and hit people on the other side. 
    • You are responsible for all of your shots even in a life-threatening situation!


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

    Gun Safety For Children

    Stop 
    Don't touch 
    Leave the area 
    Tell an adult

      • Children need to recognize what a gun looks like so they can take the appropriate action by leaving the area w/o touching it, and then to notify an adult right away.


      Never compromise with any of these rules!

      Friday, September 3, 2010

      Shopping for Weapons

      Melee weapons can help you kill zombies.  They don't need ammo. The downside is you gotta be w/in arm's reach to kill 'em. Close enough to smell brain breath.  This sucks, but its better than nothing!

      I was at the mall today w/ Mrs. Zombie Hunter.  She was shopping for a fancy dress while I said I was going to the hardware store. 

      She lets me go, probably thinking I was up to "my silly zombie fighting thing".  I dutifully march off thinking that my loved ones will appreciate my efforts if ever the SHTF.

      *****

      Remember yesterday's bug out bag list? I evaluated two hardware stores that may cater to our special survival needs.


      click the photos to zoom in
      It was nice to see that True Value had camping equipment, 1st aid kits, solar powered lights, & a wider choice of potential melee weapons.  Ace didn't have any of those survival gear!

      Winner = True Value

      *****

      At the tool section I found a bunch of hammers, even a big-ass sledgehammer! They're not so good at killing zombies because they lack a sharp point.
      I'm not Thor.

      I did find a crowbar.  Its a handy tool but is inefficient as a weapon.  I continue shopping for something better...

      Gordon Freeman would want this, but I'll pass.


      I hit the jackpot at the Gardening Section.

      gardener VS zombies?

      I found these axes at the bottom shelf close to the floor.  Perhaps so that Gimli could pick them up easily.
      R to L: Lotus, Greenfield, American Camp Ace, Lotus and Lotus w/ belt sheath. (mobile phone for size reference)

      Lotus: Php 395
      - wooden handle, heavy axe head. plain looks, but feels solid

      Greenfield: Php 339
      - metal haft w/ a nice curved plastic grip to absorb the shock of impact, shiny.

      American Camp Ace: Php 1,549
      - ridiculously expensive because its imported from the USA, certified by the American Society of mechanical engineering standards.  so I guess its the toughest axe in the bunch.

      Lotus w/ belt sheath: Php 495
      - has a flimsy belt sheath, smallest of the bunch.  Its haft/handle is only as thick as my index finger so it don't look like this could take sustained punishment.


      My choice: Greenfield.  Its grip and haft are sturdy and seems like it could split zombie skulls all day long.  Its the cheapest too!  I'll just make my own sheath.


      *****
      I also found a garden machete from Buffalo.

      Its not the same as the traditional Machete or Bolo w/c is shorter and has a thicker blade that could do stuff like cut sugarcane, bamboo, or the arm off your daughter's suitors.

      This costs Php 369 but is not suited for combat.  I doubt it could even cut off a zombie's head.  Coz I wanna kill a Zed with one strike, the Axe comes out the best melee weapon to be found in a hardware store.

      *****

      And so today we've learned that you can buy a decent axe in the mall to serve as your first weapon against the living dead.

      Stay vigilant!