This is spectacular. 299 Days appears at 0:32. This is worth 32 seconds of your life to watch.
Thanks to all of you who made 299 Days the (unexpected) success it has become. Thank YOU.
This is spectacular. 299 Days appears at 0:32. This is worth 32 seconds of your life to watch.
Thanks to all of you who made 299 Days the (unexpected) success it has become. Thank YOU.
***This is the updated version of this review. The original review was titled “Ten things I love about the Century Arms C39 v2 AK47 – but one I don’t.” The one thing I didn’t like was the lack of a side rail mount but now they include a side mount rail. (They are also offering a cool feature related to this but it hasn’t been released yet so I sholdn’t say what it is, but it’s perfect for this gun.) So I officially have zero things I don’t like about the C39 v2!***
I read a lot of gun reviews and I don’t like most of them. They all sound the same. So I’m going to write one the way I want them to be – in the Glen Tate conversational writing style. Here goes.
Bottom line: Get a Century Arms C39 v2 AK-47. This is especially true if this is your first AK. I’ll explain that more below.
Where I’m coming from: I’m a practical guy with limited money to spend on guns; you’re probably in the same boat. I don’t spend time on internet gun forums arguing over whether a Timney or Geisselle trigger is better, or about some new gadget (that won’t be the latest and greatest in six months). None of that will matter when SHTF.
I believe in getting good, solid guns in the hands of as many people as possible so they can defend themselves and others in the coming Collapse. I demand quality and reliability, but don’t give a crap about doodads and fads.
Another thing: I don’t raise my nose at certain gun brands. (Well, except Hi-Points, but that goes without saying.) Let’s be honest, several years ago Century put out a couple batches of lower quality AKs. Most were solid, but some weren’t. That was years ago and they have stepped up their quality-control game by leaps and bounds. They make seriously great guns now. So don’t be the raised-nose snob guy who’s living in the past and out of touch with the current reality. But, hey, crap-talk Century all you want. That just means there are more Century guns out there for me to buy.
A quick note to avoid confusion: There are two versions of the C39, the version one (“v1”) and version two (“v2”). Get the v2. The v1 had a goofy rear sight and non-adjustable front sight, and furniture that wasn’t compatible with other AKs. Century listened to feedback from all of us and fixed these things on the v2. So be sure and get a v2.
So here are the eleven things I love about the C39 v2:
1.Reliable This is the most important thing. Preppers like us are going to use these guns in all conditions and, when SHTF, we can’t ship them off to the factory to be rebuilt. I had zero malfunctions or any problems of any kind with my C39 v2 and I’ve been shooting it for over a year. By the way, the C39 v2 worked flawlessly with every kind of AK magazine I have, including Romanian 75-round drum mags. No failures to feed or extract, no rattles, nothing coming loose, nothing breaking, no nothin’.
2. Price These are going for about $750 now, which is a steal. The C39 v2 compares favorably with an Arsenal AK, which is about $1,200. There’s no AK in the $750 ball park, especially any that are good. There are some cheap – and potentially low-quality AKs – for about $600. Why not spend a little more and get a good one? I note that C39 v2s were about $600 a year ago, but, because they kick so much ass, the market has spoken and now prices are higher. Get one now, before they crack the $1,000 threshold.
3. Accurate OK, I’ll be honest: I’m not a bench-rest shooter who measures groups down to the thousandth of an inch. I find that obsessing about tiny differences in accuracy hinders a shooter when it comes to how we will actually use our AKs: shooting bad guys, usually at 25 to 50 yards and probably in urban or suburban settings. Wasting precious hundreds of a second doing the mental calculations on the effect of that 3 mph cross wind when a gang of thugs is breaking down your door is stupid. Here’s what matters to me: I got one-inch groups at 25 yards with iron sights and rang an 8-inch steel gong at 100 yards all day long. ‘Nuff said about accuracy.
4. Oversized Magazine Release Sounds like a small thing, but it isn’t. Check out the C39 v2’s huge mag release paddle:
Compared to a standard AK mag release:
That extra big C39 v2 mag release paddle is a big deal when you’re doing fast mag changes. And, given that a prepper will probably be using an AK for self-defense against lots of bad guys at once, quick mag changes could save your life. I haven’t seen jumbo mag releases come standard on other AKs.
5. Safety Lever with Bolt Hold-Open Notch Another nice feature that comes standard is a notched safety level that allows for bolt hold-open. (Why all AKs don’t come with this, I’ll never know.) Well done, Century.
6. Made in the USA! Whoa. I never thought I’d be able to say that about an AK. C39 v2s are entirely made in America. Every single piece. I think Century is brilliant to do this. At some point there will be an importation ban on AKs and foreign AK parts. Century will be smiling and selling the only AKs on the market.
7. Milled Receiver Most AKs, even some high-end Arsenals, have stamped receivers. This means that a piece of metal is basically bent into a rectangular shape. This works fine, but having a receiver milled out of a block of metal is better. There is no milled AK that remotely touches the $750 price point.
8. Solid Trunnions The rivets that hold key components of an AK together are called “trunnions.” A cheap AK has sloppily inserted trunnions, often with a tiny space between the receiver and the trunnion. Not the C39 v2. The only other trunnions I’ve seen as solid as this are in my Rifle Dynamics AK – but it costs $2,500.
9. Coating The C39 v2 has a black nitride finish that seems thicker and more robust than on most other AKs. By a lot. It’s really noticeable and adds to the overall feel of quality and solidness. I think maybe the coating can repel bullets. Well, maybe not. But kinda.
10. Trigger Century uses its own trigger system, the RAK-1, and puts it in the C39 v2. I’m not a trigger snob, but I know what works well, and this trigger does. Like everything else with the C39 v2, the trigger feels solid. It broke at about 5 pounds and has a nice reset.
11. Side Rail for Optics In a summer 2016 upgrade, Century Arms is adding a side rail mount for optics. This is a huge plus. (I haven’t personally tested this mount but everything I’ve seen about the C39 v2 is solid, so I can easily presume these mounts are, too.) This is another example of Century actually listening to people using their AKs, much like they listened when people said the rear sights on the C39 v1 needed to be changed. It’s not common for a gun manufacturer to keep perfecting a product. Thank you, Century, for listening.
Final Thoughts: I said above that the C39 v2 would be a great “first” AK. By that, I meant if you only get one AK, it should be a C39 v2. I didn’t mean a C39 v2 is a “starter AK” that you’ll need to add accessories to and then eventually “move up” to a “real” AK. Not at all. If you have one AK, it should be reliable and have all the features you need, and none of the doodads you don’t – and it should be affordable. The C39 v2 is that gun.
Here are some other reviews of the C39 v2 for your reading and viewing pleasure.
Take care and let me know your experiences with a C39 v2. Email me at glentate123 AT gmail.com.
Do you have a moral obligation to help everyone during the Collapse, including people like this:
Is it your duty to help someone who is so stupid and brainwashed that they think a BB gun for $39.44 a is a “sniper rifle”?
I’ve changed my mind on this question. And I’m curious what your thinking is on this.
I used to think that I had an obligation to help just about everyone when the Collapse hits. I thought that God had given me some skills and put me in the path of people like the Team and that we should take what God gave us and save anyone who needed help. Anyone. Maybe you did too or still do.
I still firmly believe that God has put me in a position to help people when the Collapse hits. I also believe that we have a duty to help the innocent – you know, people who for the past several decades haven’t mocked us and supported a system of taxation that steals about half of what we own.
But that second part, the thing about helping anyone? Nah. Not anymore.
It’s simple. Why would I risk my life, my family’s lives, or my Team’s lives to help someone like that $39.44 “sniper rifle” idiot? Why would I give precious supplies like food or water or medicine to that idiot? That would be immoral because it wouldn’t be fair to me, my family, or my Team to put them at risk just so I can feel good about myself helping someone who would round me up and throw me in jail if they could.
Let that sink in. Tens of millions of your fellow Americans want to throw you in jail or worse. The $34.99 “sniper rifle” person obviously believes in gun control. They obviously think horrible people – like you and me – can just put a “sniper rifle” in their Walmart cart and then go shoot people. (Maybe while munching on some Oreos they also got at Walmart.) Idiots like this would love to use government force to take our guns (which means risking the lives of police officers, not themselves of course). This person is obviously not only stupid but also evil – they want to use force against you when you haven’t done anything wrong.
And you’re supposed to help these people? Not at all.
Don’t feel bad during the Collapse when they beg for food or water and you walk right past them without saying a word. Slowly shake your head and keep moving. And keep an eye out for an ambush by them and their peace-loving Leftist friends who would steal your stuff if they could. (They’ve already stolen about half of what you earn, so what’s a few cans of beans and a bottle of water?)
Is walking past these haters immoral? Nope. How can you justify to yourself, family, and friends squandering precious supplies so some dumb asses who would slit your throat in ten seconds can live another day? Why – so the dumb asses can have more time to figure out how to hurt you and your loved ones? How is that moral?
It’s not. We all know about self-defense when it comes to using violence to defend yourself or loved ones. Well, the same is true about self-defense when it comes to not giving away your supplies to the detriment of yourself or loved ones. Don’t be “nice” by helping the liberal dumb asses who demand your stuff.
This is different than actively harming them. I will not just shoot people because they’re liberal idiots. That would be immoral. More importantly, I believe that when I die I must account to God for the decisions I made in my life. “I put a couple rounds in his face because he had a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker” is not a good answer.
But here’s the cool thing: You don’t have to harm dumb asses when the Collapse hits. They will already be in a world of hurt because they’re unprepared and dependent. By simply walking past them, you will be giving them the justice they deserve because they done’t deserve your help. But they don’t deserve to be shot just because you felt like it. That’s the moral line, in my opinion: You don’t have to help these people, but you can’t harm them for no reason. Just let them enjoy the socialist paradise they wanted: scarcity, hunger, government control, gangs, etc. Hey, that’s what they wanted. These are the people who actually thought Venezuela was a good idea; let them enjoy Venezuela-like living conditions.
If you’re bothered by the thought of not helping liberal idiots then think of it this way: Those people made hundreds or maybe thousands of choices over their lifetimes to be the intolerant, dependent, hate-filled shit bags they are. They decided early on that getting people to give them things was easier than working. They decided over and over again to not check into the facts – such as simply looking at the box with the BB gun in it to see that it was, indeed, a BB gun. They cast their lot with the easy life of taking, whining, and guilting people into giving them things – and then hating the people who work hard and love freedom. Like you.
There will be plenty of innocent and decent people to help during the Collapse. Do so. Prep hard now so you can help as many good people as possible here very shortly. Focus on people who deserve help – and that’s not everyone. Get used to making hard decisions like this now. It’s better to work these moral issues out in your head now than when you’re stressed, tired, and hungry. Get mentally tough now.
Oh, and if you feel like you really need to help a liberal dumb ass, give them one of those $34.99 “sniper rifles” you got at Walmart.
I have a friend who left his wife for a waitress. I realized that what happened to him is the perfect illustration of why Donald Trump is winning now, why he will disappoint people, how things will ultimately get fixed – and why all of this is so understandable. Let me explain.
My friend married a great woman (not the one pictured). He was a very good man. He showered her with love. He made a good living and provided everything she wanted. She was very grateful. At first.
Then she realized he was a bit of a sap. He was a push over. He would unconditionally love her and put up with some bad behavior. It wasn’t anything too bad at first, but soon she realized he wouldn’t hold her accountable. Plus, he had no where to go. She was losing respect for him.
She started to take advantage of him. It was a slow process, but after a while she was open about it. He wouldn’t do anything about it. Each time he let her get away with something, she respected him less and took even more advantage of him.
He finally did something about it. Well, not really, but kinda.
He went to a bar. When he walked in, a beautiful waitress smiled – a warm, true, magnetic smile – and asked, “What can I do for you?” A naughty thought crossed his mind, but instead he said, “A beer would be great.” She smiled that warm smile again and said, “You got it.” She seemed genuinely happy to serve him. She was, but it was also her job.
He could not get that smile out of his mind. He started going to that bar. A lot. He got to know the waitress. She was smart, caring, and funny. (Oh, and hot. Really hot.)
He found out the waitress was divorced with two kids and having a tough time making ends meet. She liked him. A man like him would be perfect. She wasn’t a horrible person, but she was going to use any advantage that came her way. And he had just come her way.
The solution was pretty obvious to my friend. His wife was ignoring him at this point and the waitress was everything he wanted. And the waitress needed him – not the other way around.
He started to think about leaving his wife for the waitress. He knew in his head that it wouldn’t last with the waitress (and his friends, like me, agreed.) But his heart was doing all the thinking. He really, really needed to be appreciated and treated well. He deserved it. He was being taken advantage of and, quite simply, he didn’t have to put up with it. He was right about that. His friends (again, including me) had to admit that things couldn’t get much worse with his wife so he might as well roll the dice. “But don’t expect permanent bliss,” I told him. His smile at the thought of being with the waitress changed to a slow nod. “I know, I know,” he said. “But,” he stared off into the distance, “You don’t get it, man. Things are so cold at home. I need some warmth. Even if it’s a bad idea.” I nodded. I couldn’t argue with that.
When he told his wife it was over, she was shocked. Not that she felt rejected – she had no respect for him – but she was stunned that the chump finally figured it out and was doing something about. Then she started thinking about all that she’d lose when he left. Her life on the gravy train was ending. That’s what made her mad.
She focused her anger on the waitress, the “tramp” as she called her. Why would he leave a nice wife for a tramp?
You’ve probably figured out by now that the husband is the average Republican, the wife is the Republican Party establishment, and the waitress is Donald Trump.
I think Donald Trump will be a huge let down to Republicans if he wins the Presidency. But – I have to admit – I can’t blame Republicans for looking to him. They’ve been treated like crap and taken advantage of for years by the Republican Party. Even though they know in their heads that Trump will end up disappointing them, their hearts are doing the thinking. And I can’t argue with that.
Here’s another reason why the story of my friend so perfectly illustrates the Donald Trump situation. In the story of my friend, there is one good person, one bad person, and one opportunist.
My friend is like many Republicans who, on average, are decent people. They want things to work out. They are reluctant to hold people accountable because they’re too busy to manage the relationship and, more importantly, they expect the other party to operate in good faith. That’s how they are, so they expect others to be that way.
The wife, obviously, is bad. She loves the gravy train, like the Republican establishment. Enough said about that.
The waitress is more complicated. She’s not an evil gold digger, but she sees an opportunity. She has lots of life experience and thinks – correctly – that my friend should go into a relationship with her with his eyes open. He shouldn’t expect permanent bliss. She’ll bat her eyes at him, but he’s a big boy who is making a conscious decision and knows that he must live with the consequences. She is surprised my friend never asked her the obvious question of why her first marriage broke up. He didn’t ask, of course, because he didn’t want to know the answer.
How did things turn out?
My friend found out that, indeed, the waitress was not perfect. She assumed he knew what the deal was and acted accordingly. He was stunned – and devastated. Again? This had happened twice? He assumed his life was over.
Nope. He quit looking for happiness from humans and reaffirmed his faith in God. He found a woman in the same boat. She was also a person of faith. They went into a relationship with their eyes wide open, and based their ultimate happiness on something higher than human beings, who will always disappoint you. And they kept each other accountable. They worked hard at the relationship instead of assuming everything would work out because the other person was decent.
And they’re truly happy.
This is what America needs to do. After the tramp disappoints you, get back to your faith and work hard on a new relationship. Don’t expect bliss. Work to make a relationship – based on something higher – work. And it will.
This guy is your enemy. (During the Collapse, that is.)
He doesn’t seem like it; in fact, he looks kind of wimpy. He’s not a jack-booted Homeland Security trooper breaking down your door to take your guns, so he can’t be a threat, right?
Wrong. Dead wrong. He’s a bigger threat to most of you than the government.
Of course the government will be a threat, especially in urban areas where they will congregate and hold onto power in their fiefdoms. Gangs will also be a threat (more on that in Part 2 of this series). My point is that the guy pictured above – the unprepared neighbor – is the one most likely to actually try to take your stuff and, if neccessary, hurt you and your family.
Who is this guy and why is he a threat?
He’s the guy who lives next to you. Just an average guy. Maybe you even gently tried to bring up the topic of prepping with him. He looked at you like you were from Mars and said, a little sarcastcially, “Oh, like those people on Doomsday Preppers?” Being a good (feminized) male in the suburbs, he thought preppers were a bunch of right-wing crazies who just had some weird fetish about (icky, icky) guns. He had plenty of opportunities to prepare but spent his time and money on concerts, trendy clothes, and whatever else most of America thinks is more important than taking care of their families in a crisis.
Then the Collapse hits. Very soon his high-end grocery store is out of goat cheese and the police are no longer functioning. After the shock and total disbelief wears off, he is terrified. Not just scared, but lose-your-mind hysterical. He’s been awake for several days because of all the gunfire he’s hearing, the baby has been crying, and his wife has been screaming at him for hours to “do something!” (This, of course, is a story in itself because she was the one who told him he can’t have a gun like Todd and Chloe in the 299 Days book series.) Your unprepared neighbor is not thinking rationally. He’s desperate. Studies show that after about 72 hours without food, people – even “nice” ones – will do horrible things to feed themselves and their families. He needs to shut her up, get some food, and feel safe. He’ll do anything to make that happen. Anything.
He remembers that conversation he had with you about “having a little bit of food in case the power goes out during the next ice storm.” He remembers seeing you putting a gun into your car that day you went to the shooting range. It all becomes “clear” to him: You need to give him food and a gun. It’s only fair. Besides, he tries to reassure himself, you are a nice guy. You’ll help.
He walks over to your place. He’s nervous and scared of what he’ll do. He politely knocks on your door. You don’t know it’s him so you don’t answer – home invasions are happening everywhere and the last thing you want to do is let anyone in.
The knocking gets louder. Then even louder; by now, it’s pounding. Who ever it is banging on your door is angry.
Finally, you recognize his voice.
Should you let him in?
How you answer this is a personal choice and depends on the circumstances. However, my point is that you must recognize this guy for what he is: your enemy. That’s kind of harsh, but here’s why.
You can’t solve his problem.
You can’t feed him and his family for the next few months or even years or guard his place all night instead of guarding your own. You just can’t. That was HIS job and he failed miserably. He feels humiliated that he didn’t take care of his family – and his wife won’t stop yelling at him. You are the reason (in his mind) that his problem isn’t getting solved. So, instead of you being able to solve his problem, you ARE his problem.
Whether or not you let him in and give him a little food, he will start to talk to all the other neighbors who, of course, are not prepared either. They will decide that you’re a “hoarder.” Maybe the authorities are out looking for “hoarders” or “illegal guns” and one of the neighbors suggests that they turn you in. You get the picture. This guy is your enemy.
What can you do? Two things.
First, recognize that a seemingly harmless guy like this will, indeed, be your enemy. Recognizing this is the first – and biggest – step in successfully navigating this problem.
Second, get the hell out of that neighborhood at the first sign of the Collapse.
Consider this scenario: During the Collapse, you need some antibiotics for your sick child and have some ammunition to trade. You need to do more than just have the ammunition on hand to trade – you need to know how to go to the post-Collapse trading post and get the deal done. Without getting killed.
People have been trading for things they need for thousands of years. Trading will certainly happen after the Collapse – in fact, trading will be huge because most of the “normal” stores won’t be operating. Count on it: You will be shopping at a trading post in the future.
So prepare for it now.
There are three levels of preparing for post-Collapse trading: getting stuff, being mentally prepared for the rough trading post, and then perhaps running a trading post of your own as a merchant or security contractor.
The first level is getting a bunch of stuff that people will want so you have things to trade. Here is a good article on 40 things that are cheap now but will be immensely valuable during the Collapse. Many of you have already done this, though. You have stuff to sell, but now you need to move up to the next level – which is how to shop without getting killed.
The second level is mentally preparing for shopping in a trading post which will probably look more like a backwoods logger bar than a shopping mall. You need to get mentally ready for how different it will be from your current peaceful world. You see, most of us don’t hang out with potentially dangerous people so we don’t know how to carry ourselves in these situations. I’m an exception to this. For the past 30 years or so, I have been lucky to go to tough-as-nails logger bars with the real Steve Briggs when I visit my home town. I understand how these places work. You don’t look at anyone else’s woman, you apologize when you bump into someone, and you ignore drunks who want to fight (unless they insult your woman – and you beat the shit out of them if they touch her). (This song illustrates the code of conduct I’m talking about.) A logger bar is how a trading post will be.
Only worse. You need to be mentally prepared for the fact that thieves will be killed – very brutally. There may be some unsavory things for sale. A great introduction to life at a post-Collapse trading post is from the TV show Jericho. Watch here at 14:53 – 17:00, 19:50 – 25:33, 28:47 – 32:33, and 34:52 – 35:40. Here’s my point: You need to confidently walk into that trading post, quietly do your business, and leave as fast as you can. There will be, especially at the beginning of the Collapse, lots of people who yell about “fair prices” or insist on paying with a credit card. Don’t be one of those people.
The third level, and the one most people haven’t thought about, is operating a trading post of your own. You might be the merchant or the security protecting the establishment. Lots of you reading this have tons of guns and some training. You’d make excellent security contractors. You’d be paid a portion of the sales, which is how you could feed your family. You could make sure the place operates honorably instead of like a giant garage sale of drugs and prostitution. (And you could kill anyone who tries to bring women or – God forbid, children – in for sale.) You’ll need to have sufficient firepower to fight off the gangs that will try to muscle in on your trading post. But start thinking about this now.
Before you have to.
This three-minute video of a bunch of modern wussy males illustrates perfectly what most “enlightened” Americans think in our feminized culture: there should be no differences between men and women.
I strongly disagree for two reasons. One is life-or-death. One is quality of life. Those are pretty big deals.
First, the life-and-death reason. When the Collapse hits, trying to pretend men and women are not different will get people KILLED and RAPED. All those feminized males out there will assume the gangs roaming around freely (because the cops are gone) will treat women with the same respect the hipsters have for women. Wrong. Deadly and tragically wrong.
How can “smart” people like the well educated hipsters be so wrong? Easy. All these upper-income, sheltered, weak males have no idea what bad people are like – they’ve never met any in their nice subdivisions or hip urban apartments. Worse yet, these brainwashed wusses actually think the only bad male behavior in the entire world is done by “rednecks.” Like in the (icky, icky) South. The feminized males think the only thing keeping women down is traditional American male values. (Traditional men are actually great for women, but that’s a long blog post for another day.)
Here’s another practical way that wussified thinking will get people killed and hurt after the Collapse: the fear of being “macho.” A fair number of modern males (I can’t call them “men”) will feel guilty or weird about defending women. That’s acting “macho,” which is the absolute worst thing a wussified male can do. During the Collapse, feminized males will hesitate to raise their voices – let alone raise an (icky, icky) gun – to defend women. The gangs will laugh, kill the men, and rape the women.
The second reason I disagree with the idea that men and women aren’t different is quality of life – for both men and women. (This applies now, before the Collapse, but will also apply during the Collapse.) Most men want to be men and most women want to be women. In general, men like to be masculine and women like to be feminine. It took decades of public school and TV sit coms to drive this (natural) way of thinking out of us. But, when no one is looking, most men like a good steak. And most women, when no one is looking, like to bake cookies. I mean, cookies are delicious. I rest my case.
Trust me: Men and women are much, much happier in a relationship when each one can act like his or her gender. Ask a woman who unsuccessfully nagged her husband but then gave up and let him go be a man – life is better in the house. Most men will treat a woman like a queen when she treats him well. Both are happier (and the sex is better! For both of them!)
Oh, and for anyone thinking I’m some caveman who thinks women are inferior, I note that my wife is a doctor. She’s very tough and very smart, and can do tons of things I can’t do. And that’s OK. I’m a man and can do tons of things she can’t do. You see the picture? Men and women are different. And that’s OK.
Wow. I didn’t think I’d have this strong of a reaction, but I did. The Gun Dudes Podcast is ending after seven years.
I was thinking: It’s just a podcast. Am I seriously saddened by this? Yes. Big time. Here’s why.
I changed. Entirely. Starting in 2008, I went from a fat suburban go-along, get-along sheeple “male” (not man) to what I am today. When my transformation started seven years ago, I simultaneously started listening to this podcast done by three UPS drivers in Salt Lake City who talked about guns and joked around. The Gun Dudes. They were hilarious.
They were just like me. I instantly “knew” them just by listening to them.
Over the last seven years, the Gun Dudes did what I did: We grew. We changed (for the better). We became “famous” (in our little world, that is). We became what we wanted to become. That’s an amazing sentence, so I’ll repeat it: We became what we wanted to become. We transformed together and at the same time – 2008 to the present. What a ride.
Once I had an amazing conversation with the lead Gun Dude, Carl. We were talking about how much time the books (in my case) and the podcast (in his case) take and the effect it has on our families. Then one of us (I forget who) said, “Not everyone will understand this but: We have so many cool things we can do with our time that it’s really hard to do normal stuff, stuff we should probably do. We have cool people to know, cool stuff to do. Gun classes. Meeting Massad Ayoob. Going to SHOT Show. Shooting with Special Forces guys. Talking to Jack Spirko. We never expected any of this. This is a good problem to have.” Very true, Carl. Very true.
Probably the most profound effect the Gun Dudes had on me was confidence. Sounds weird, I know: confidence from a podcast? But when I was (painfully) transitioning from suburban softie to a gun guy, I wondered if there was something “weird” about me. The Gun Dudes, episode after episode, showed me that us gun guys are funny and laid back. We’re just normal dudes who like guns; nothing weird about that. It was amazingly comforting.
Here are couple of my Gun Dudes memories that will make you smile.
I’ll never forget the first time the Gun Dudes read one of my emails on the air in 2009. It was way before I wrote the books. I couldn’t believe that “celebrities” read my email.
The next amazing Gun Dudes memory I have is also from before I wrote the books. I emailed them and told them that I was thinking about writing a novel and they were in it. (They are: the Stan, Carl, Tom, and Travis characters who help Special Forces Ted move the equipment out to Marion Farm.) They read it on air and were, like, “Wow. We might be in a novel. How cool is that?” I told them I was putting them in the books, in part, to force myself to finish the books. I knew that if I told them I would put them in the books, but didn’t finish the project, that I would have let down the Gun Dudes. I’m serious. It motivated me to finish the books.
Then I sent them each a copy of the books. They couldn’t believe they were in them. I was blown away that these “celebrities” thought it was cool that I – little ol’ me – put them in a book.
I was on the show five times. Each time we recorded an episode, I would tell them, “I can’t believe I’m talking to the Gun Dudes.” They’d say the same about talking to “Glen Tate.” It sounded so amazing to hear that.
A last fantastic memory about the Gun Dudes is when the narrator of my audio books, Kevin Pierce, recorded hilarious promos for the show. The main one said, “You’re listening to the Gun Dudes, which is a free podcast. You get what you pay for.” I smile every time I hear that. A big, hearty, down-to-your heart smile. God, I love those guys (purely heterosexually, of course, as they would say).
I will miss the Gun Dudes. Fortunately, I have their contact information and a standing invitation to come down to Utah and hang out with them, which I plan on doing. What else are you going to do that’s fun in Utah?
My final thought is a huge, huge thank-you to them. I know how much work it is do stuff like a podcast or write books. I want to thank the Gun Dudes for putting on an amazing and life-changing – seriously, life-changing – podcast. Tens of thousands of people benefited from you guys spending your Saturdays goofing around in front of a microphone.
Whoa. The title of this blog piece will offend a lot of good people; maybe you’re one of them. Here’s why I say that the Fourth of July means nothing to me. It has to do with the difference between America and Amerika.
The Fourth of July is a celebration of America – “the land of the free.” In America, people could live their lives without ever thinking about government because it had such a small role. Free from ridiculous government intervention, people started businesses or worked at good jobs, raised their families, owned modest but comfortable houses, put their kids through college, lived in a decent and moderately religious society, and could feel proud that they lived in the greatest country God ever created. Seriously. The greatest. I know this because I used to live in America and saw the goodness of America with my own eyes.
But America is no more. I won’t list off all the reasons. But you know – deep, deep in your heart – that America doesn’t exist anymore. You hate to admit, but it’s gone. Gone. The sooner you come to that realization, the better off the transition will be in your mind to what is coming next.
What replaced America? Amerika. Much like the difference between the two spellings, on the surface Amerika pretty much looks like America. We still have malls and professional sports teams and all that. But when you look past the surface, there are enormous differences.
Amerika is about “free” stuff from the government. Health care and welfare and mortgage assistance and … the list goes on. Amerika is about how people can get the government to force other people to pay for their stuff. In the process, Amerika has become materialistic and shallow. Amerika is also about a staggering loss of civil liberties. Amerika kind of looks like a capitalist economy, but it’s actually a liberal corporate elite making huge sums of money from foreign workers while people here can’t find decent jobs. That’s Amerika.
I hate Amerika.
When I see people waving flags on the Fourth of July, it looks like a celebration of Amerika to me. Now, you might be waving the flag and celebrating America. If so, I have tons of respect for you because you’re keeping the dream alive about America, and we’ll need people like you to remember America to give us a template for when we rebuild Amerika after the Collapse.
I look at flag waving on the Fourth and – with great remorse and sadness – see Amerika. The country currently represented by that flag is Amerika, not America. There is nothing to celebrate about Amerika. In fact, seeing that flag reminds me how much we’ve lost.
As readers of the 299 Days book series know, I pretty much chronicle what happens in each of the 299 days of the upcoming Collapse. The entry for July fourth is just another day in the lives of the people in the books; they do not wave the star and stripes. In fact, most of the people in the books reflect on July fourth about how America turned into Amerika and they’re deeply saddened.
That’s how I feel and why the Fourth of July means nothing to me.
I miss America.
Whoa. These turned out even better than I thought they would. Here’s the link to them if you’re interested.
This is the nightstand at the real cabin.
People are always asking me about other books I like. Mark Goodwin has written several really great ones that I think 299ers would like.
His latest three-book series is the Days of Noah. It’s about a man in a collapsing, end-times America. His previous series was the three-book Economic Collapse Chronicles, which was more a prepper series than an end-times one. The Economic Collapse Chronicles are outstanding. In fact, the audio version of the Economic Collapse Chronicles was narrated by Kevin Pierce, who is the 299 Days narrator. Listening to Kevin do Mark’s books is how I picked him for mine.
I also note that Mark was kind enough to put me in the acknowledgments for the first book in the Days of Noah series.
I hope you enjoy these books.
Here’s a cool idea I came up with that maybe you can use.
I have my rifles in those Bore Stores silicone gun sock protectors, you know, like this:
Bore Store gun socks have a velcro enclosure at the end:
But the gun socks all look alike in the safe. So I had Tactical Tailor make some specialized name tapes for me that go on the velcro closure at the end of the gun sock:
You’ll note a little velcro tab at the far right end of the name tape; this allows the velcro end of the Bore Store to close. You end up with this:
I color code each type of rifle and use different colors of stitching to tell the guns apart at a glance:
If you’re interested in getting some of these, contact Tactical Tailor and ask for Caitlin. (I don’t make any money off of this; it’s just a cool thing I’m sharing with 299ers.)
Toilet paper will be like gold when SHTF. Ask survivors of the Argentine collapse of 2001, the Russian collapses of the 1990s, and Katrina survivors.
But with that tube in the middle of a roll, toilet paper takes up a lot of space. Not anymore.
I put several rolls in a Ziplock Space Bag, the kind you put the vacuum nozzle on and it sucks all the air out. (Costco currently has them in a package of assorted sizes for cheap.)
I suck the air out of the bag and tap down on the rolls with a mallet. This collapses the tube in the middle and makes the toilet paper extremely flat.
Oh, and a bonus: your TP is airtight and dry. It pops right back up when you let air in. The perfect way to store TP – and save a ton of space in the process.
Hope this works for you.
Keep on prepping’.
Thanksgiving is a really important day for me. Most holidays are “whatever” days where I go through the motions and wonder what all the hype is about. I feel like most of the secular ones are made up and commercialized. Not Thanksgiving, though. Oh, sure, there’s a commercial aspect to it, but I can somehow ignore it and concentrate on the real meaning of the holiday.
Being thankful – and openly saying so on a day like Thanksgiving – is more than just acknowledging that God has done amazingly good things for you. I don’t get preachy, so I’ll try not to dwell on that aspect of it.
So, instead of talking about God, I’ll talk about you. Here’s what’s in it for you: being thankful is good for you. It makes you more appreciative. It makes you think about what’s good in your life, instead of reacting to all the little things that are bad. Looking at all the things you’re thankful for puts things in perspective, and you need that.
Some of the things I’m thankful for that 299 Days readers will relate to are, first, this amazing community we’ve built up. What a stunning array of human beings you guys are. I could write for pages and pages about all the people who have emailed, PM’d, and met me in person and their stories. The books have profoundly affected thousands of people in extremely positive, life-changing ways. Which brings me to my primary thing to be thankful for: God using me to reach thousands of people and really, really helping them. I said I won’t get preachy, so I’ll leave it at that, except to say: what an honor, the honor of a lifetime (eternity, really) to be used like I have been.
On Veteran’s Day, everyone casually says, “Thank you, veterans, for keeping us free.” Corporations say this in their ads to make veterans and their families feel good so they come in and buy things. Politicians say this to get votes. It’s sort of like mindlessly saying “bless you” or “gezuntite” when someone sneezes. People just say it. They don’t think too much about it.
I have a very clear vision of exactly how veterans keep us free. They do two things. First, they enter the military culture. They take an oath to support and defend the Constitution – not an oath to obey orders from politicians – and they see senior NCOs and some officers who live by that. They see with their own eyes that they, as members of the military, work for the Constitution, not whomever is the President at the time. This keeps us free from a President who would be a tyrant if he could get the military to carry out his unconstitutional orders.
The second thing veterans do to keep us free is that they take take this culture of serving the Constitution back with them to civilian life. There are literally millions of veterans who are now out of the military and living among us who will not tolerate unconstitutional behavior by a President. These veterans have the culture and military skills that allow them to be a spectacular deterrent against any President who wants to be a tyrant. These former-serving veterans are forward deployed in our neighborhoods to pick up the fight for freedom.
That’s what I mean when I say, “Thank you, veterans.”
I am spectacularly happy with how the audio books turned out. We snagged the best narrator in the world (in my opinion), Kevin Pierce.
You can get your first 299 Days audio book free when you start an Audible subscription.
If you’ve already read the Kindle version, you can (very inexpensively) upgrade your existing Kindle book to an audio book with Whispersync.
Already (the first day of the release!) the reviews are fantastic. I’m giving Kevin Pierce a lot of the credit for that.
Thanks to each and every one of you. Seriously.
This is huge! You’ll see why this is such a big deal below, but first the important details:
Now that all the important details are out of the way, I’m bursting with enthusiasm to tell you about why this is no ordinary audio book release.
Audible, which is by far the biggest seller of audio books, is really backing 299 Days. They gave us the very, very rare honor of pre-sales – and over two months of pre-sales, which is extremely rare. Audible is treating 299 Days as one of their big launches.
If you’re not an Audible subscriber, please become one by getting Book One for free. Starting your subscription with 299 Days really, really helps us – and will allow us to get the word out about the series to many more people. (You can cancel your subscription at any time.) Make sure that 299 Days is your first purchase as a new subscriber. It’s so important, and I would be so appreciative, that I will send you a signed book mark if you start your Audible subscription with a 299 Days book. It’s easy to get your book mark: just send me an email (glentate123 AT gmail.com) with your name and address and I’ll mail one out. (I do this all myself; I’m not big enough to have a staff!)
We got one of the very best narrators in the audio book world to narrate and produce this series. Kevin Pierce has narrated more audio books via Audible’s ACX system than any other person on the planet. He’s good. Kevin has several best sellers to his name. We had 212 narrators audition for this series. Kevin was the one. I can honestly say that this story doesn’t really come to life until Kevin Pierce reads it. Kevin can read my mind and tell my story better than I can.
Listening to the audio books, even if you’re already read them in print, adds a tremendous new dimension to the story. You get much more out of the story hearing it than simply reading it. You will discover new facets of the story from the audio books. I did, and I wrote them!
So, in sum, Audible is rolling out the red carpet for this series, you can get Book One free (and a signed bookmark) by starting your subscription to Audible with a 299 Days book, you can pre-order the books now, all ten come out on October 26th, they’re easy to give as gifts, the narrator is amazing, and you will get much more out of the story by listening to them even if you’ve already read the story in print.
Let’s get the 299 Days message out to even more people with audio books.
PS: Here is a free sample of Book One – you can hear the narrator reading the Prologue from the beginning of Book One!
People are asking me how they can get the word out about the audio books. A great question. The answer is:
1. Get Book One free by becoming an Audible subscriber starting with that book. Here’s the link to the Audible page for Book One. If you do this and email me (glentate123 AT gmail.com) I will send you a signed book mark. How does subscribing to Audible with Book One help get the message out? Audible (which is an Amazon company) knows that if people subscribe to Audible because of a book that the book is hot and motivating people to action. The Audible/Amazon computers start to promote that hot book with the “You Might Also Like” stuff. Trust me, subscribing because of a particular book means thousands of more people will see the book on their computer screens. It’s the best way to get the message out.
2. Think of people you know who will listen to audio book instead of reading. Some people are listeners and others are readers. Some people drive a lot and audio books are great for them.
3. Do a review of the books on Audible or Amazon. Same thing with the Audible/Amazon computers: they know that a book is hot if people are reviewing it.
4. Get the Whispersync version on Kindle. This is cool: If you have the Kindle version of a book, you can upgrade to the audio book version for only a couple of bucks. This, too, tells the Audible/Amazon computers that a book is hot and thousands of “You May Also Like” suggestions follow.
5. Forums! Get on forums and post a thread about the books and the audio books in particular. This is huge.
6. Facebook post. Put up a post about the audio books. You can link to this blog post with all the details: http://299days.com/audio-books-you-can-pre-order-now/
7. Facebook share. Share posts on Facebook about the audio books.
8. Sign up for the free bonus chapters by email. You can do that on the home page of www.299Days.com. You’ll get occasional updates on the books, including the audio books, from these emails. You also get the really cool free bonus chapters emailed to you. For free.
9. Email and Facebook message your friends about the audio books. You can include the link with the details (http://299days.com/audio-books-you-can-pre-order-now/).
10. Tell friends about the books and that they’re out now on audio book!
Thanks everyone. You are making 299 Days more than a book – it’s a message to get prepared.
Wahoo! Book Nine was released on July 31.
Here’s the link to Amazon for it.
This book ends the series in a way (but not really) with the final battle in Olympia and the beginnings of the Rebuilding. The cover of the book, which is one of my favorites, says it all: a new flag flies over the capitol.
Please review Book Nine (and all the books) on Amazon. Reviews are extremely, extremely important. The number of reviews tells the Amazon algorithm that a book is a good one to list as an “You May Also Like” selection when someone is looking at similar books. This is huge, huge, huge to getting the message out about prepping and 299 Days.
Also, please share this link on your Facebook page and encourage your friends to read the series. They’ll thank you later.
Speaking of thanks, let me thank you for reading the series. I am always humbled and amazed by you guys. Thank you, thank you, thank you. – “Glen”
As you know, tens of thousands of illegals are streaming into the US right now. We are told that many of them are children and some of them are hungry and have nasty, but treatable, conditions like scabies and lice.
Glenn Beck recently made huge waves by announcing that he would organize a relief effort and provide humanitarian support to the illegals, mostly aiming to help the children on the border. This made a lot of Patriots mad. Including me.
I’m a Christian first and a Patriot second, so I stopped to think how a Christian, in my opinion, should approach this.
Christians should be guided by the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. In these passages, a Jewish man is beaten by robbers and left for dead on the roadside. A rabbi and a supposedly religious man pass the man by but neither stops to help him. Finally, a Samaritan helps the man. This was remarkable because the Samaritans and Jews had a long history of battles and hated each other. The Samaritan gives first aid and then transports the man to an inn. He pays for a few days of the man’s stay – for as long as it takes him to recover. That’s the key.
Does the example of the Good Samaritan mean Christians should help the illegals?
In my opinion, yes, but only until they are healthy enough to return. Like the Good Samaritan, I believe we should offer temporary aid to anyone who needs it to allow them to recover. The Good Samaritan paid for a few days of the man’s stay at the inn, enough to let him recover. The analogy here would be to try to treat the medical conditions of the illegals so they are healthy enough to return to their home countries. This would be fulfilling our Christian duty, in my opinion.
It’s like when someone runs out of gas and is stuck on the side of the road. It makes sense to help them by giving them a gallon of gas so they can get to a gas station and then be on their way. That’s giving them the temporary help they need to, in effect, recover. But it doesn’t make sense to give them your credit card and tell them to buy all the gas they need for the rest of their life.
By letting illegals into the US, we are effectively giving them all the welfare they need for the rest of their lives. I know that many illegals work hard and aren’t on welfare, but a good number of them are. Once those kids are in the US, most of them will be on welfare for at least a while, and maybe a long time. It’s a lot like giving them having our credit cards to buy all the gas they want for the rest of their lives.
And that’s way more than the Good Samaritan did.
There’s an age-old debate in the prepper community between guns and gardens. The gun people say you need to have security to protect yourself during the Collapse; the garden people say you can’t fixate on guns and ignore food production. Of course, you need both but sometimes a small portion of the garden people feel morally superior because they’re peace loving and not “aggressive” like us gun guys. These garden people say, “You can’t eat a gun.” To which I reply: “Your wife never got raped by a garden.”
Look at every single collapse that’s happened in the world and you will see that vicious bands of thugs roamed the cities and country and stole, killed, and – yes, we don’t like talking about it – raped.
Take the economic collapse in Argentina in 2000 for example. Read the accounts of a survivor, FerFal, as he describes what happened out in the country to those peaceful and decent farm families. Who were unarmed. Russia in the early 1990s is another example. Bosnia. We all know what happened there.
It’s not just rape. Good old fashioned stealing is a problem for peaceful gardeners. I find it amazing that gardeners will erect sophisticated barriers so deer and other animals don’t eat their crops, but they have no real defense against people walking up and stealing all the food they so diligently protected from deer. News flash: a gang, or even a hungry neighbor, is much more of a threat to your food supplies than a deer. Defend your garden accordingly.
“Oh,” the peaceful gardener will say, “I have a gun to defend my homestead.” What kind of gun? “Grandpa’s 30-30.” Not good enough. Count on bad guys to be much better armed – perhaps even rogue military and law enforcement – and definitely count on them to rove in packs of several men. Don’t think about scaring off one person; think about killing a street gang.
Once they get to your house, you’re dead. You need to keep them away, far way. You need full-time long-range snipers – yes, plural – and you need a warning and communication system. You need to have extremely badass-looking men with impressive weapons and gear that bad guys instantly realize they don’t want to mess with. You need word to get out that you have a bunch of warriors. Gangs and especially hungry neighbors will move on and try to take someone else’s garden that’s only defended by Grandpa’s 30-30. Good.
Can every single peaceful gardner acquire a security team? Nope. This is what community is for. A community has a security team that does this work. But how does the security team eat? They can’t be out pulling weeds when they should be patrolling.
The answer is so simple and, quite frankly, it baffles me that liberty-minded gardeners don’t realize this: trade. The security teams will trade their services for food – that can now be grown because there are no bands of gangs stealing it. This is the free market. I can’t believe some hardcore libertarian gardeners who think everyone should garden. They are wrong.
Here’s another fallacy to the idea that gardening is king for everyone: the assumption that everyone is set up to garden. Take my cabin, for example. There isn’t much space that has any sunlight. But there’s plenty of space to house the Team and store our vital supplies. Gardening doesn’t work for everyone.
So the next time someone says, “You can’t eat a gun,” remind them, “Your wife never got raped by a garden.”
“Joe Tantori” is a real guy. He’s just like I describe in the books. He really has a training facility and really is a Patriot. Joe is an extremely interesting guy.
Joe is putting out a really great AR-15 that’s different: it has the latitude and longitude of his facility engraved on the lower – and this is the “Rally Point.” As in, if you have one of his rifles, you have an invitation to come to his facility when the Collapse comes and be with like-minded people. His facility is the Rally Point.
Here’s the web site about his rifle, which he calls the Ft. Discovery Expedition Rifle. Here’s an interview with Joe about the Rally Point and the rifle on Bob Mayne’s Handgun World Podcast (Joe comes on at 20:23).
We’re at a thrilling time in our history. Patriots are putting manufacturing rifles with the latitude and longitude of a rally point. Think about that.
I wanted to let everyone know about some cool people I’ve met: the NuManna Food Storage dudes. They’re like us: Patriots, preppers, and fun. They make really good freeze-dried meals that store in handy buckets for up to 25 years. Numanna meals are Team-tested and Team-approved. It’s what we stockpile out at the real cabin. Here’s a picture of Pow hogging up all the NuManna mac n cheese.
Here is Cliven Bundy with a bucket of Numanna food:
Numanna donated a bunch to the Bundy guys. This is a company that believes in what we believe in.
Give NuManna a try. There’s only two things that give me peace of mind in this pre-Collapse era: (1) having lots of ammo, and (2) having lots of long-term storage food. Peace of mind is a big deal.
NuManna has a $25 gift certificate for 299ers. Use coupon code 299Days until June 13 to get the gift certificate. Pretty good way to try ’em out. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s some NuManna out at the real cabin:
I recently had a chance to realize the sacrifices I’m making for being a prepper. My marriage would be a lot more harmonious if I weren’t prepping. I would have a lot more free time, and money. I wouldn’t have to think about diseases and gangs. I could be a normal American.
And I’d soon be dead. So would my family.
I know with absolute certainty that a collapse is coming. I also know that doing relatively small things now will allow me and my family and the Team to live. Not only live, but live semi-comfortably through the worst period of American history ever. When up to 90% of the population is dead or dying, I’ll be having pancakes with my family and my brothers, the Team. Fist bumps and maple syrup as we head out for a day of work protecting people. “This never gets old,” I’ll say. “Beats the shit out of selling insurance,” Pow will say.
So the marital strife I’m suffering now will quickly be seen as a small price to pay. Who knows: she might even utter at “thank you” when she realizes all her man did for her and the kids. The time I spent now on radios, fish anti-biotics, water treatment, escape plans, and generators will seem like nothing at all – it will seem like the best possible use of time ever. Ever. And money? This weekend I was sealing small bags of rice and beans that had a price tag of “$1.00.” I smiled. I knew that when I pull those out of storage, that same bag will cost $100 – if anyone is still taking American dollars . I will smile again. Even harder, and I’ll feel the warmth of knowing that I did the right thing, despite all the sacrifices.
MAG 40 is the Massad Ayoob Group’s 40-hour pistol and legal course. I highly, highly recommend it. Great pistol training and a 20-hour course of self-defense law that’s the best in the nation. Oh, and it’s not all “law school” legal instruction – it’s actually interesting and easy to follow.
The class was full of really cool and interesting people. Here are some photos.
I finally got to sign a woman’s shirt! Well, she was fully clothed and her husband was standing there – so it wasn’t the “rock star” autographing that I had in mind, but it was a blast to do it anyway. Angie is awesome (and a really good shooter).
This is me and Chaz from the Road Gunner Podcast:
This is Marc with a “C”, a MAG40 instructor and well known to listeners of the Gun Dudes podcast:
This is Erik, a letter carrier from Pittsburgh who shot a perfect 300 score on the qualifier. This mailman can shoot:
This is Sticks, a podcaster from the Armed Squirrels Project:
I did alright on this target (4 yards, 18 rounds):
The TSP Gear Shop, who does all the 299 hats, stickers, shirts, and patches, donated some of the awesome “Untrained Civilian Goofball” patches. Here’s John B, a great guy from SE Missouri, imitating the guy on the patch (who is me):
Here is me and my nemesis (just for fun) Jon Hoddaway of Nighthawk Custom Training. We did a hilarious exchange on a joint taping of the Road Gunner, Polite Society, and Armed Squirrels Project podcasts:
Yes, Jon makes me look super skinny and sexy.
If you ever get a chance to do a MAG 40 class, do it. The Gun Dudes have one coming up September 10- 13 in Utah. That’d be a hoot to attend.
You guys are more than just “readers” – you’re community. I value your opinion. I received 212 (!) auditions from narrators. I narrowed them down to the 12 below. I won’t guarantee that your pick will be the guy, but I’m very interested in what you guys think.
Each narrator is listed below in alphabetical order. A link to his audition is provided (in one case, to his three readings). They are all reading the same passage (the extra-readings guy has two extra) so you can get a standardized reading. This allows an apples-to-apples comparison. The standardized reading includes various characters’ voices, including a female one.
There’s a handy poll feature below so you can simply rank them that way. You can go on Facebook or email me with your picks, but it’s way, way harder for me to keep track of your picks that way. The poll feature is the way to go.
Thanks again for being a community.
OK, here are the narrators (in alphabetical order):
Thanks to all of you – hundreds of you – who pledged to the Kickstarter campaign to make the movie. Movies cost a lot of money (if you do them well) and, accordingly, we needed to raise a lot. We didn’t.
I wouldn’t have changed a thing about this Kickstarter campaign. We did everything we needed to do. I have no regrets.
I want to thank “HD” (Hollywood Dude, the producer), Autumn “PR Girl” Torres, and Josiah “19 Delta” Wallingford for putting in a ton of really good work on this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now it’s time to get the audio books released…