Archive for July, 2012

How to Make a Kydex Holster

Friday, July 20th, 2012


This post is sponsored by Prepper Academy, the only preparedness program that shows you step-by-step how to rapidly prepare for the coming hard times — no matter what your income or where you live.



Ever want to learn how to make your own custom kydex holster? Here’s how…

For you Kydex newbies, Kydex is basically an acrylic/PVC thermoplastic sheet that is frequently used as an alternative to leather in the production of firearm holsters and sheaths for knives.

The benefits of Kydex are that it is lightweight, thin, durable, and provides excellent retention for whatever application you use it for — be it sheaths, mag pouches, flashlights, or holsters.

Although Kydex holsters and mag pouches have been around for some time now, only in the recent decade do we see the competitive-shooting and military communities embracing them — and if you haven’t yet, I’d recommend you do too.

Given its many benefits, I figured I’d pass onto you how you can make your own custom Kydex gear.

Since making a Kydex holster is one of the more complicated of Kydex crafts, if you haven’t yet I’d highly recommend you first trying to make a Kydex mag pouch to better understand how to work with Kydex (you can see instructions by visiting the following link: how to make your own Kydex mag pouch. Once you’re comfortable with that, making a holster will not be much more difficult.

In this article, I’ll be taking you step by step through the process of making your own Kydex holster (an outside-the-waistband model)

Materials you’ll need


The list below contains all the basics you need to make some great Kydex holsters. Items with the * can be found at KnifeKits.com

  • *Kydex (I like to use .08 thickness)
  • Box cutters
  • Some type of measuring device
  • *Sheath foam (I purchased two 12×11.5×1 sheets)
  • *Rivets/Eyelits (I purchased a bunch of #8-8 1/4 inch size)
  • *Rivet flaring die and guide (I purchased the #8 die)
  • Some wood boards to sandwich the foam
  • Wood clamps
  • Marking tool (pencil)
  • Your pistol
  • A heat gun or good hair drier
  • Gloves to protect your hands from the heat
  • A drill with a 1/4″ bit
  • Optional: It helps to have a craft-board for easy measurements

How to make a Kydex holster

Step 1:

  1. Place the pistol on the sheet of Kydex that will be closest to the waistband.
  2. Leave around a 2-inch gap of kydex above the slide, a 1-inch gap in front of the muzzle, and no gap along the side of the handle.

Step 2: Score the Kydex with some box cutters and split it by hand along the score line
Step 3:

  1. Now, with the reduced dimensions, draw an outline of the pistol making sure to keep the 2-inch gap of kydex along the slide and the 1-inch gap in front of the muzzle.
  2. If you want the non-reflective dull side to be on the outside, be sure to draw the outline on the shiny side.
  3. Also, if you are wearing the pistol on your right-hand side, be sure to point the pistol grip to the right as shown in the picture:

Step 4:

  1. Next, draw out an area that is to be removed from the Kydex to allow access to the grip when you draw the pistol.
  2. Score and remove that area.

Step 5:

  1. Place the pistol on the sheet of Kydex that will be furthest away from the waistband and cut the dimensions similar to Step 1. In this outer half of the holster, you will not need to keep a grip guard (see second picture below):

Step 6:Prepare to form the Kydex by turning on your oven to about 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 7:

  1. Place both Kydex halves on a cookie sheet and place in the oven with the door partially open.
  2. I like to also lay the sheath foam between the oven door and the stove top to warm up the foam. Warming up the foam will help to create a more defined Kydex mold. If you keep the foam at room temperature, it will draw out the heat from the Kydex causing it to cool too fast which will prevent a nicely defined mold.

Step 8:

  1. With gloves on, every few minutes pick up the Kydex to determine if it’s soft and begins to bend.
  2. Once it begins to soften and bend, heat up the pistol with a hot hairdryer or heat gun (this also helps to create a defined mold).
Step 9:

  1. Once the Kydex is very flexible and floppy and the pistol is warm, remove one of the pieces of foam from the oven door and place it on one of the wood boards.
  2. Remove one half of the Kydex from the oven and place it on the foam (with the pencil outline facing up) and…
  3. Place the pistol on the hot Kydex (being sure to match up the pistol with the pencil outline you had made before)
  4. Finally, place the other warm piece of foam on the magazine and Kydex, followed by the other wood board.

Step 10:

  1. Clamp down the two halves of the boards over the foam like a sandwich. Be sure to securely clamp it down — the more pressure the more defined your final product will be.
  2. Let it sit in the foam press for around 15 min

Step 11: Repeat the process with the other piece of Kydex. Here’s what one of the halves will look like when taken out of the press:
Step 12:Draw a sketch of your holster design on both of the halves as follows and cut out the sections not part of the sketch.
Step 13: After cutting out the designs, place both halves together (with the pistol in the middle) ensuring that both sides are flush. Don’t worry if there are any overlapping sections, since these can be fixed later.
Step 14: Now that both halves are cut out, draw holes where you want the rivets to be.
Step 15: Now begin drilling out the holes that you drew in the previous step. Be sure to keep the magazine in-between the two halves to ensure proper alignment.
Step 16: Using the rivet die, begin installing the rivets (eyelits) where the holes are.
Step 17: After installing all of the rivets, you’ll probably notice that there are slight alignment issues between the two halves. To fix this, use a belt sander, file, or heavy sand paper and start sanding the edges so they even out and become aligned.
Step 18: The previous step will leave a rough finish on the edges. Now it’s time to clean them up using a fine grit sand paper.
Step 19: Viola! You now have an effective and beutiful Kydex holster! What I also did (as you can see in the pics below) is took a heat gun to the edges of the holster to bend them slightly in. This helps to mold it to the body better. In addition, don’t forget the belt loops. These are simply made by cutting strips of Kydex, heating them up and bending them into the shape you desire.

Resources

Still need more Kydex?! Here are some great resources for Kydex materials and how-tos:

James Wesley Rawles' Predicts Unraveling of America and What to do About it

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

James Wesley Rawles, former miltary intelligence officer, preparedness expert, and editor of SurvivalBlog.com is forecasting another crisis here in the United States beginning this Fall which will unravel throughout the next 24 months.

In his interview with InfoWars Nightly News’ host Alex Jones, he lays out the coming trends and what we should do about it:

The fate of the European Economic Union and what it means for the United States starting this Fall

“Things are accelarating. There are a lot of policy planners in the Obama whitehouse and…in Europe that are pretty frantic right now. They see the European economic union falling apart at the seams.”

“All I can say with certainty is there is no way they can pay this money back. It’s a mountain of debt and interest rates are starting to spike in Greece, Italy, and Spain. That’s indicitive that the Euro isn’t going to hang in there… There is going to be a collapse of the Euro.”

“We may actually see the united states as a short term safe haven for capital coming out of europe but that…will turn just a few months later. Certainly by this fall, October or November, we’ll see this crisis here in the United States.”

“Inevitably what’s going to happen is a certain chain of events: We’ll have chaos in Europe. We’ll probably see a banking crisis there (full scale bank runs, banking holidays etc). Interest rates will spike, but then the credit rating agencies…are going to downgrade the United States… That is the key trigger event… When that happens we will be no better than Greece and we will go through our own crisis, but on a grand scale.

Once interest rates move, watch out.”

The danger of bank holidays here in the U.S.

“Basically a bank holiday (which we haven’t seen in the United States since the 1930s) would be a government mandated closure of part or all of the banks of the United States to stem off the flood of withdrawals that would take place if we had a bank run.

In the event of a bank holiday, in the modern era it’s not just a physical run, where people are standing in line to the banks. They will cut people off electronically as well. All online banking will be suspended, all atm machines will be shut down.”

“All of the SNAP payments which are on EBT cards now (they used to be food stamps)…are negotiated through the bank check-clearance system. So if they shut down the check-clearance system they also are going to shut down food stamps.

 …

“It’ll be bad enough when the ATMs shutdown…but what about the people living on the ragged edge? What happens when their food stamp/EBT cards no longer work? There will be blood in the streets. There will be major riots in urban areas very quickly after a banking holiday is announced.”

JWR on why precious metals are falling in value

“It’s only because the economic crisis in Europe is so bad, that there’s a scramble for cash and people are liquidating every asset imaginable. They’re selling stocks, they’re selling bonds, and they’re even selling precious metals to meet margin calls.”

“In the short term we’re going to see a mix of both inflation and deflation simultaneously…in the long run though, it will be nothing but inflation and more inflation.

JWR on the long-term inevitability of economic collapse

“I don’t think it can be avoided at this point. Now it could be delayed quite a while. They might have a currency reform here in the States…They might even do something as severe as dropping a zero or even two zeroes off the dollar. Which would cause and overnight boost to the economy…and will give people the illusion of prosperity in the short term…to carry us over. But in the long term, things are going to break down. We will see a full-scale economic collapse. It’s…inevitable.

JWR on World War III

“I think battlelines are being drawn. Just like in World War II with Ally and Axis powers, we could very well see a situation much like World War II where these cabals are formed. It will be interesting to see where Iran ends up, where Russia ends up, where China ends up. Something tells me that the United States is not going to have a lot of friends in World War III .

What we’re seeing right now economically could very well in the course of the next five years, turn into the beginnings of WWIII. It could get literally that bad.”

JWR encouraged by the growing prepper movement

“It’s difficult to say how things are going to play out…I’m amazed to see so many people still in zombie mode, but it’s encouraging to see people reading blogs like mine and listening to radio shows like yours and to see how many people are waking up and making tangible, practical steps to getting their families prepared in terms of water filtration, food storage, communications equipment and so forth because they recognize that there is going to be disruption ahead.”

Society’s degradation as a whole

“The level of civility in our society is dropping. The sissification of our society is definitely in full swing. Very few people are willing to stand up for what’s right. They want to go along and get along and create as few waves as possible.

We live in a society of sheep…sheeple. We have an overweight generation, and undereducated generation, and a generation that’s fixated on their day-to-day pleasures, and when true hard times come they are going to be completely unprepared.

The mass die-off of society

“We live in a sissifed generation and a dumbed-down generation. And unfortunately we’re going to see a massive die off. I can’t see any other solution. Unfortunately it’s going to come to that. It won’t be anything that we precipitate. We’re just going to be spectators but hopefully we’re going to pull through this.

“We’re going to witness perhaps as much as 80% of the American population dying off by the time all is said and done. Because if there is an orchestrated collapse, we are unfortunately living in a house of cards. And the vast majority of the citizenry has no preparations…two or three days of food at home, half a tank of gas, no stored fuel. They are going to be completely behind the power curve, and they are going to be like sheep for the slaughter.”

JWR on preparedness

“It’s difficult to say what the end result will be. All i can say is we’re going to have some incredibly turbulent times for the next couple of years and that people need to get themselves prepared.”

“People need to wake up. It’s now beyond just political rhetoric, it’s beyond the awakening stage. At this point people need to get physically prepared…you’re seeing what’s going on with greece, with their economy cratering and unemployment rate over 30% effectively. We’re going to see the same thing here in the United States. We’ll see our own bank runs, we’ll see our own bank holidays. It could get very ugly very quickly so people need to make tangible preparations.”

“I think it’s important that people get prepared. People need to keep a lot more cash at home and…a good chunk of that should be in 5 cent coins (in nickels) because it’s the only currently minted coin in the united states that’s worth it’s face value — everything else is just a token.

People need to get prepared for this coming banking crisis. I think we will have a delay before it takes place here in the United States because the dollar and U.S. investements will be seen as a safe haven, temporarily.

This is your window of opportunity folks. Get a wad of cash, and it should be in $1 and $5 dollar bills. Not large bills because you’re going to need to be able to make change. Because if there is a banking crisis, people are going to need to resort to cash for just about everything.

Get your food storage squared away. Get a water filter. Make plans to team up with your country cousins or friends that you have that live in lightly populated, rural farming areas.”

Picking a bug-out location

“The crucial thing is you want to be on the side road of a side road. You don’t want to be on any natural line of drift for people fleeing the cities.

All the major highways are going to get flooded with refugees. And the major farm to market roads (the side roads) to a lesser extent, but even fewer people will end up on the side roads of the side roads, that’s where you want to be…the vast majority of the problems will not come looking for you.”

The importance of firearms during SHTF

“The people who are well armed are not going to get picked on. It’s just like urban crime, the people who get picked on are the most vulnerable: the elderly, the infirmed, and the unarmed.

If and when wo do see a major societal collapse, these roving bands are going to come out of the big cities, they’re going to pick on your Prius-driving, Berkenstock-wearing neighbors first. They’re not going to want to pick on somebody that’s well armed, especially in a situation where their advanced medical care has gone away.”

Preparing for a world without internet

“People need to make plans for a world without the internet in the worse case and it’s important that people go to their favorite websites and look up the dotted-quad/IP address and literally write down and…carry that in your wallet.

For the more advanced computer users…you need to explore what’s called the Dark Net. Do a web search on “dark net” and get yourself set up. It’s not as easy to use as the internet through a standard web browser but it’s important that people develop a presence in the dark net so that if the main internet dissapears some day…there’s a good possibility that the dark net will still be up an running.

You also need to get set up with a Bitcoin account so that you can transact business on the dark net. It may become crucial in the next couple of years because the internet as we know it may be either partially or completely taken away from us.

Beyond the darknet the other thing I recommend people do is get themselves licensed as amateur radio operators…because if the internet goes down, we could see a situation where there’s martial law.

Unless patriots can communicate we’re going to be powerless.

For the complete interview , see the following video:

TI Book Review: The Survival Mom

Friday, July 6th, 2012

For those not familiar with Lisa Bedford (aka “The Survival Mom”), she is a wonderful lady who has a fantastic blog that I enjoy following (and you should check out too).

Well, a few months ago I got her book entitled “The Survival Mom” but did not have the chance to read it until recently and let me tell you…I wasn’t disappointed.

Much like her blog, Lisa’s book is jam-packed with a ton of practical information related to emergency preparedness.

Like many other preparedness guides, it covers the basics of food and water storage, creating an emergency plan, communication during a crisis, and getting your finances in order. But beyond that, it also covers many subjects that aren’t written about in other survival literature (probably because they are mostly written by us guys ;)) like some of the following examples:

  • How to do laundry in a grid-down situation
  • How to effectively deal with “that time of month” for you ladies out there
  • How to create DIY cleaning products for everyday use
  • Taking care of baby needs during a crisis
  • How to involve your kids in your preparation plans

If you’re a hard-core survivalist with a fully-stocked retreat and a huge stash of weapons, this book may not be for you. But then again that’s not who The Survival Mom is targeting.

The Survival Mom is a perfect match for your average, every-day suburbanite and apartment dweller who wants to get prepared. And best of all, it helps get them to do it through a chalk full of checklists, helpful tips, and personal examples so as to keep them organized and committed to staying on the path.

Lisa is able to teach and inform with a no-pressure approach that takes away the “overwhelm” that many survival guides instill. It’s organized into small easy-to-read sections that you can come and go to as you please and consume what you need to know at the time you need to know it.

And just because it says “The Survival Mom” doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty in this book that us guys can learn from.

The greatest benefit I found to this book is that it’s an excellent primer for those of us with wives who aren’t quite on board with our prepping “obsession”. The Survival Mom really does an excellent job at bringing prepping to the masses and any prepper newbie reading this will not be turned off with any of the “end-of-the-world” fear mongering that other survival books push.

Personally, I think a lot more can get done with the carrot instead of the stick.

Well done Lisa, you get my vote with this one.

For those interested in purchasing a book you can buy it on Amazon via the following link:

Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios

Although I do receive a small commission if you purchase through this link, in no way does it affect my review of this book. It’s definitely highly recommended!

Pemmican: The Original MRE

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Invented by the natives of North America, pemmican is the original MRE.

Pemmican was used by indian scouts as well as early western explorers as an instant, ready-to-eat, high-energy food. It was light, compact and high in protein, good carbohydrates, and sustaining fats.

Given the incredible amount of concentrated nutrients and calories, pemmican would be a fantastic addition to any bug-out bag

During my college years, my friend and I would use this (in addition to any wild edibles we found) as a primary trail food when doing extended “survival trips” during our southern-Utah explorations.

As an embarrassing side note, most of those times were spent barefoot while wearing only loin cloths (yeah, I know…we were indian wannabes at the time). In one way it was a good thing because it forced us to pay attention. We sure as heck made sure we saw anyone who we came across first before they saw us. This gave us time to fade into the bush and let them pass by. 😉

So anyways, back to pemmican…

Based on personal experience, pemmican is very sustaining and I found it far superior to any MRE or other trail food out there. It not only provides a lot of energy in a small package, it will also keep for many years.

In this article, I’ll be showing you how you can make your own pemmican

How to make pemmican

Traditional pemmican is very simple to make:

What you’ll need:

  • lean meat (beef, venison etc)
  • raw beef fat (I get this for free from my local grocer’s butcher)
  • (optional) berries (blueberries, cherries (no pits), cranberries etc)

pemmican ingredients

Making pemmican step by step:

Pemmican is a combination of rendered animal fat, pulverized dehydrated meats, and if desired some dried fruits. Here’s the process:

Step 1: Dehydrate the meat and berries

Cut up the meat into thin slices and place the meat and berries on drying racks
Dehydrate until the meat and berries are brittle and break when bent (not rubbery)

In the photo above I used my home dehydrator. In college, since I didn’t have one, we would simply sandwich the meat and berries between two window screens and set them out in the sun to dry for a day or two. It was just as effective.

Step 2: Render the fat

For the fat portion of pemmican, you can use tallow (rendered beef or mutton fat) or lard (rendered pork fat). There are multiple methods of rendering your fat. Here’s the three most common (with my favorite being the Crockpot method) (I’ll be rendering beef fat in this example):

Method 1: How to render fat in a Crockpot

  1. Cut up your fat in small pieces and place the fat into the crockpot.
  2. Set the crock pot on low heat.
  3. Cook until you’re left with mostly clear or golden liquid (they’ll be bits of hardened stuff on top).
  4. Remove from heat and strain into a mason jar through a metal strainer lined with a coffee filter, paper towel or cheesecloth.

Method 2: How to render fat on the stovetop

  1. Grind or chop up fat in a blender/food-processor/meat-grinder
  2. Place a pan on the stove and add the ground fat.
  3. Set the heat on the lowest possible setting. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook until you’re left with mostly clear or golden liquid with bits of hardened stuff on top.
  5. Remove from heat and strain into a mason jar through a metal strainer lined with a coffee filter, paper towel or cheesecloth.

Method 3: How to Render fat in the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Cut up your fat in small pieces and place the fat onto a pan into the oven
  3. Cook until you’re left with mostly clear or golden liquid with bits of hardened stuff on top.
  4. Remove from heat and strain into a mason jar through a metal strainer lined with a coffee filter, paper towel or cheesecloth.

Step 3: Combine the ingredients

After dehydrating the berries and meat and rendering the fat you’ll be left with the following:

Before you can combine the ingredients though, you’ll need to shred the berries and the meat. In the old days they’d pound it with a rock to turn it into a “powder”. In our days a blender is a lot easier:

Blending the meat and berries:

  • Throw the meat into a blender or food processor and blend until it turns to a fluffy consistency
  • Repeat with the berries

Now look at the ingredients:

After you’ve dried/shredded your meat and fruit and rendered your fat, simply combine the ingredients as follow:

Pour the liquid rendered fat over the meat/berries until it becomes somewhat saturated (if your fat has already turned to a solid, be sure to slowly heat it until it turns back to liquid before doing this step).
You’ll want to combine enough of the liquid fat over the meat/berry combination until it is saturated

You’ll know when it is saturated enough when you can easily form a ball and it doesn’t crumble apart:

Some final comments if you don’t like all the fat

If you dislike the idea of using animal fat as a binder you can replace it with honey instead. It will keep for a long, long time just as normal pemmican will.

Just keep adding honey to the dried, shredded meat and berries until it binds enough to form it into a ball shape.

Although this option is a lot more tasty, personally I don’t like the sugar rush (and resulting crash) I get when eating this while out in the bush or on the trail. Using fat as a binder seems to provide a lot more stable of an energy throughout the day.