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Plastic parts in your favorite carbine?

A tale of woe, disappointment and some buyers remorse unfold here, as I regale you with my sad tale of cleaning my Beretta firearms after a day of fun at the range.

Seems I forgot a rather crucial step while disassembling my recently purchased Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine, namely cocking the weapon before one begins to take it down. Seems that when this step isn’t done, when you pull the upper off the lower, the hammer in the up position breaks off the end of the plastic spring guide rod that operates the bolt cycling while the weapon fires. Whoops. 1

This is a grievously disappointing situation, that the Beretta firearms manufacturing family would cut corners in production by using plastic in crucial parts that the entire weapon operation depends on. I mean, these boys been making weapons for 500 freaking years, you’d think they would do better than this crap! Yep, that tiny ‘T’ shaped bit is the piece that breaks off, leaving you SOL for a firearm. So, what breaks next, the plastic firing pin hammer? Yep, that’s plastic too, with a honking stout spring to drop it on the firing pin, since it has no mass to transfer the hit with and that spring gives the Cx4 trigger it’s ‘feel’.  All the neat features, the ability to choose which side the ejected cases go out, the ambidextrous choice of the charging handle, the shared magazines with the Px4 pistol platform, are seriously diminished by these plastic internals.

So, I take the pieces to work, where I have some decent tools, and decide I’ll give it a shot at repairing / improving this plastic junk while my $40 replacement unit from Brownell’s shows up.

I chuck it up in our shop lathe and dress off the end of the shaft where the ‘T’ end broke off, drill it out to 7/64″ diameter about 1/2″ deep and tap the hole to take a #6-32 screw.


I fit the guide tab back onto the plastic rod, press the spring down over the rod (which is amazingly stiff, by the way) and secure it on the rod with miniature vice-grips. Then I screwed the buffer end onto the rod and slathered the whole end with industrial grade super-glue. I let it cure for about an hour, then eased the vice-grips off. Surprise! It stays together!


I really am surprised the stupid rod stayed together at all outside the weapon, considering the diameter of that ‘T’ end is a puny .132″ with the amount of tension on the rod from the spring.


I suspect this may either work surprisingly well, or it will break off again on the first shot fired. I’m leaning towards working well, because I now have a stainless steel screw plus the entire end fitted into the buffer / tail piece and made one with the rod by super-glue to take the load of operation. And when this thing fires, I suspect the spring on this rod is compressed 100%.

Upon reassembly, everything went right back into place just as it should, and the bolt cycles by hand just like it should.

We’ll see. In the meanwhile, I’m seriously looking at some steel replacement parts from Sierra Papa for ending the worry about this ever happening again.


Reloading by the book, but…

Welcome to daylight savings time for 2017. (Yawn…)

Anyway, to the point. You may have seen my previous posts on 9mm ammunition reloading. I gave lots of specific ways to safely reload your own ammo, and things to watch out for to stay safe while pursuing this hobby / craft. Despite all that effort, things can ball up into a knot right in the middle of your fun.

No, my issue didn’t blow up my favorite gun, no one was harmed or injured in this case, just a severe malfunction, if it had happened in the middle of an encounter with a home invader or other criminal on the street.

It seems that the factory suggested (specified, actually) dimensions for certain firearms don’t jive with reality, sometimes. As in the picture above, where I’m measuring the cartridge overall length, ‘by the book’ to 1.135″, I’ll suppose that particular round will work in 90% of all 9mm pistols out there. I can’t verify that, because I only own 4, a Taurus, a Hungarian army unit, and two Beretta Px4 series, one full size, one compact. I had taken the fresh reloads to the local range, with some buddies, to try out the Hornady brand 147 grain jacketed hollowpoint bullets in my Beretta Px4 Storm full size pistol. I had mixed the various types of bullet loads, as I always do to simulate the ‘reality’ of a hastily loaded ammo magazine in a hostile situation where I just load in whatever I can grab. So, I’m popping along, all is working fine…suddenly we got no fire, after only 3 or 4 shots. Checking the chamber to see if there was a failure to feed (never happens with the Beretta or the other 2 brands I have) I discover I can’t pull back the slide, because we’re all jammed up! Won’t budge for the biggest guy in the group, either. Fortunately, the Beretta is so easy to disassemble, that I can take apart the pistol and find that a cartridge is jammed firmly into the barrel chamber. Prying it out with a screwdriver blade from my always carried Leatherman multi-tool, I find it’s one of my fresh reloads with the Hornady bullet! Can’t figure out why that round jammed. I did the usual redundant, multiple checking on every cartridge I reloaded and brought to the range. What’s going on here? So, I put the pistol back together, a few more rounds work perfectly, then jammed again! Another tear down  reveals another Hornady bullet, jammed in the chamber again! Unloaded all the magazines and culled all those hollow point rounds for later investigation.

Well after returning home and cleaning all my toys (always do that, people, you may forget and leave the crud in your weapon for months!) I can now see what’s going on. I take one of the undamaged hollow point cartridges and drop it again into the ‘go-no-go’ gauge, drops right in. Try the same cartridge in the removed barrel of the Baretta Px4… NOPE, it won’t seat in the barrel! The base of the cartridge may be sticking out about .020″ and will go no further in. Conclusion: The ‘by the book’ overall cartridge length of 1.135″ won’t work with the Berettas! At least not with that Hornady brand 147 grain hollow point bullet profile.

Image from ‘Midway USA LoadMAP’ data book (apparently no longer printed) shows the HP/XTP at 1.135″9mm 147 gr data_01

I suspect the ‘squared off’ shoulder of the bullet profile is contacting the end of the barrel chamber of the Beretta. You can see the distinct conical shape and edge of the bullet in my picture above. The solution to the problem is to have to seat the bullet further down into the case. As I pointed out in another post about hand loading ammo, the seating depth is critical to proper and safe use of the ammo. Too deep makes severe pressure boosts. So, I take the cartridge back to the loading press and ‘tweak’ the over all length until the round fits home properly in the Beretta. Since I never load cartridges to the ‘max’ powder charge, and generally only one step above the minimum starting load, I’m thinking I’ll be OK after pressing in the bullets another .015″ to an over all length of 1.115″. Again, referring to the Midway USA LoadMAP data, I used 3.8gr of Unique powder which is well below the maximum load. Cross referencing the information in the book ‘Modern Reloading‘ by Richard Lee, we get essentially the same data for powder brand load and cartridge overall length ± .005″.

Dear Reader: Any and all advise, methods, information, etc posted here is for information only. The methods I use or describe entail risks that I judge personally acceptable for use as an ammunition reloader. Proceed at your own risk, use your best judgment as I must, before attempting anything published anywhere in my blog pages.

I’ll post again if anything ‘blows up’!

Update: 3-13-17.

This issue appears to be with the Beretta pistols, the Taurus PT 92 and my Hungarian army pistol, AND the Beretta Cx4 Storm 9mm carbine eat this cartridge made to the suggested book specification of 1.135″ length without problems, seating the cartridge perfectly in the chamber.

Essential Oils and health

Most of my posts in this blog have been related to general topics of basic survival, such as interesting and useful gear, tool, vehicles, basics. Well, health is a major concern when we’re in a SHTF situation. So, I’ll put in my two cents on that this time, by talking about something I’ve developed a personal interest in, and have personally used for a number of aliments now.

Essential oils have been with us for thousands of years, from the first Christmas where the wise men from the east brought gifts that included frankincense and myrrh. These were precious in those times, and extremely valuable for a number of healing properties.

The first issue to address is the quality of an essential oil and the concentration of the elements of that oil that give it the useful medicinal quality we’re looking for. There are all kinds of brands out there and all levels of quality. Prices can be stunning for the volume of oil you get for certain oils. One main line brand sells their Helichrysum oil for $75.00 for 5 milliliters in a tiny bottle. Now, the quality of this brand, DoTerra, is unquestioned but budgets being as they are I had to choose the next best brand for certain oils that were just too pricey. I have a number of oils from DoTerra and they’re outstanding. The main qualification for choice in my opinion is to get ‘pharmaceutical grade’ or ‘Therapeutic grade’ as this designation claims that the useful concentration of the oil elements is of sufficient strength to be of use for health and healing issues. There are oil brands out there that are essentially ‘perfume’, but these are worthless for any kind of therapeutic use. So, read the label and description closely before you buy. The brand I personally have used numerous times and has an excellent rating on, is “Majestic Pure”, along with “Healing Solutions”, “Herb Pharm” and “Sun Essential Oils” that make up most of my inventory.

I’m incorporating into this post the extensive list of essential oils I’ve compiled for my personal reference. This information was picked out of the mass of sources online, after the source was deemed reliable and knew their stuff. A very large amount of the data was taken from ‘Dr. Axe‘ website, an alternative health expert with an excellent reputation. Another expert in plant based diet is Dr. Michael Greger who has written an excellent book on that subject called “How Not To Die“, which I gave to everyone at my house for Christmas.

Guide to essential oil use by ailment or need.

Information assembled by Surviving Urban Crisis for your off-grid medicine cabinet, which every prepper must have. After ‘doomsday’, doctors will be hard to find, and generally speaking, the ‘naturopathic’ way is more tolerable to the body anyway.

For information only, no suggestion whatever of medical information or suggested usage.

NOTE: I do not personally ingest essential oils, nor do I recommend ingesting any oils. However, should you find information from a reliable source, such as Dr. Axe, which implies you may ingest oils, follow the guidelines EXACTLY and use at your own risk. The concentration of the oil element ingredient may be toxic when ingested, therefore it’s crucial to follow such instructions completely and accurately and I recommend half the dosage they suggest until you’re certain you’re not having any negative results.

This information is widely available on the internet, but somewhat scattered and usually found in a format where the essential oil is listed, then all the ailments that it may help, so I arranged them by use or aliment instead.

As you see, there are multiple uses for each oil, and multiple oils for the same use. This is useful because some oils are far more expensive or hard to find than others. And while some may find the scent of one oil to be enjoyable, others will find that same oil to ‘stink’, in their opinion. For instance, I think melaluca or ‘tea tree oil’ just plain smells disgusting, but both my daughters seem to think it smells nice and clean. I can tolerate it enough to get the beneficial effects from it, but I’m complaining on the inside about it. So the wide range of available oils and multiple uses will allow one to find an enjoyable aroma and relief that works for their personal satisfaction. To be safest while using essential oils, it is recommended to dilute ALL to the minimum ratio of one drop essential oil to five drops of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil.

All these essential oils can be purchased here.

Useful roll on bottles for mixed oils and carrier oils can be purchased here.

We have a few diffusers listed here. A diffuser is very useful for dispersing the essential oils into a room for inhalation therapy for an individual or several people at once.

Unless noted as a ‘recipe’, this list is to reference a single oil for the indicated aliment. All such mixed oils are linked to their source page. One huge source of essential oils and their uses is found here. Dr. Axe is also a major source of health and natural food information.

All oils should be diluted (for topical use) at a 1:5 mix, that is one part essential oil and five parts carrier oil.

Acne: Clary sage, cypress, lavender, tea tree, juniper berry. Source. Mix 1:5 in carrier oil, apply on location. Or add 1 or 2 drops to 1 oz distilled water, mist on face. Avoid getting into eyes.

Allergies: Basil, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree. Source.

Helicrysum, oregano, ravensara. Mix 1:5 in carrier oil, apply over sinuses and bottoms of feet.

Analgesic (Pain relief): Allspice, basil, bay, bergamot, birch, cajuput, chamomile, coriander, elimi, ginger, lavandin, lavender, lemongrass, marjoram, mullien, niaouli, nutmeg, peppermint, pimento, pine, ravensara, rosemary, rosewood, wintergreen. Mix one or two oils at 1:5 in carrier oil, apply to locations, massage.

Anti-aging: black pepper, nutmeg, pimento, jojoba, frankincense, lavender, pomegranate. Source.

Antibiotic: Basil, bay, bergamot, calamus, chamomile, melissa, tagetes, oregano .

Anti-depressant: Benzoin, bergamot, birch, chamomile, cassia, clary sage, davana, grapefruit, jasmine, lavandin, lavender, lemongrass, melissa, neroli, orange, patchouli, petitgrain, ravensara, rose, rosemary, rosewood, vanilla, ylang ylang.  Source.

Recipe: A  2008 study with 58 hospice patients presented some interesting conclusions regarding the effectiveness of essential oils for depression. The hospice patients were given hand massages once a day for one week with an essential oil blend in 1:5 percent dilution ( one measure of essential oil mixed with five measures of carrier oil) with sweet almond oil. The essential oil blend consisted of these essential oils in equal ratios:

  • bergamot C. aurantium var. bergamia }
  • frankincense Boswellia carterii (Birdw.) } (1 measure each oil with 5 measures carrier oil.)
  • lavender Lavandula angustifolia (Mill.) }
  • (This would be, for an example, 1ml each of bergamot, frankincense and lavender plus 15ml of almond oil, making 18ml total blend. )

All patients who received the aromatherapy hand massage reported less pain and depression with the conclusion that aromatherapy massage with this essential oil blend is more effective for pain and depression management than massage alone. Source.

Lavender and Chamomile Massage Blend for Depression


  • 20–30 drops pure lavender essential oil
  • 20–30 drops pure chamomile essential oil
  • 2 ounces grapeseed oil


  1. Blend all ingredients well into a glass jar.
  2. Massage into your entire body, or take it to your masseuse and ask him or her to use it, 2–3 times per month.
  3. You can also use hand and neck massage oil daily or even massage into the bottoms of your feet at night before going to bed. Source.

Essential Oils for Depression Risks

Use any essential oils sparingly, whether internally or topically. High levels might cause reactions and sensitivity, so be sure to do a skin patch check before using on a regular basis. You also want to use caution if you take blood pressure medications or have an existing heart condition. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any new treatment.

It’s important to make sure that any essential oils you choose are 100 percent pure. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor first. While most oils are safe for children, please do proper research and review with your physician.

Antioxidant: Allspice, black pepper, cilantro, ginger, nutmeg, orange, oregano, sage, vanilla, wild orange.

Antiseptic: Allspice, anise, bay, benzoin, bergamot, birch, buchu, cajuput, chamomile, camphor, cardamom, carrot seed, cedarwood, citronella, clary sage, clove, cumin, cypress, davana, elemi, eucalyptus, fennel, frankincense, ginger, grapefruit, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavandin, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, marjoram, mullein, myrrh, myrtle, neroli, niaouli, nutmeg, oakmoss, orange, palmarosa, parsley, patchouli, pennyroyal, peppermint, petitgrain, ravensara, rose, rosemary, rosewood, sage, sandalwood, spearmint, tagetes, tangerine, tea tree, thyme, vetiver, wintergreen, yarrow, ylang ylang. Mix any oil or combination of one or two into 1:5 carrier oil, apply to location, bandage.

Anxiety: Benzoin, bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, dill, frankincense, lavender, lemon, neroli, rose, vanilla, vetiver, ylang ylang. Source. Diffuse or inhale. Massage into the skin, applied to back of neck and temples.

Arthritis: cumin, ginger, fir needle, frankincense, myrrh, orange, (source). Anise, arnica, benzoin, birch, black pepper, buchu, calamus, cassia, galbanum, juniper, myrrh, niaouli, nutmeg, parsley, pennyroyal, tarragon, thuja, rue, wintergreen. Mix with carrier oil, apply on location add warm compress. Massage areas. Add to warm bath. Diffuse.

Aphrodisiac: Cardamom, clary sage, clove, coriander, jasmine, marjoram, neroli, nutmeg, orange, patchouli, ravensara, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, tuberose, vanilla, vetiver, ylang ylang

Asthma: Cypress, eucalyptus, frankincense, peppermint. Diffuse. Inhale from steam method. Apply to chest, throat, or back.

Athletes foot (fungus): Helicrysum, marjoram, patchouli, tea tree.

Bee Sting: Roman chamomile, basil. Apply on location. Cool compress on location.

Bleeding, cuts, wounds: Bay, benzoin, birch, caraway, cardamom, catnip, cedarwood, cinnamon, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, helicrysum, hyssop, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, lime, myrrh, myrtle, parsley, patchouli, pennyroyal, peppermint, rose, sandalwood, thuja, wintergreen, yarrow. Apply on location. Bandage.

Bone health: Fir needle. Bone healing. Bone bruises

Bronchitis: Cypress

Bruises: Arnica, frankincense. Bruise cream

Cancer fighting: Almond, cinnamon, fir needle, vanilla

Calming (of the nerves): Angelica, calamus, chamomile, catnip, clary sage, cumin, helicrysum, hyssop, lavandin, lemongrass, marjoram, melissa, mugwort, peppermint, petitgrain, rose, vetiver, ylang ylang.

Carpal tunnel: Cypress

Cleansing: Arborvitae, cilantro, eucalyptus, fir needle, grapefruit, juniper berry, myrrh, orange, oregano, tangerine, thyme, tea tree, wild orange.

Common cold & cough: Cedarwood, fennel, fir needle, frankincense, marjoram, myrrh, myrtle, sage, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme. Natural Head Cold Remedies.

Congestion: Cypress

Cramps (muscle spasms): Angelica, anise, basil, bay, bergamot, bitter almond, black pepper, cajuput, calamus, chamomile, camphor, caraway, cardamom, catnip, cedarwood, citronella, clary sage, coriander, cumin, cypress, dill, eucalyptus, fennel, galbanum, ginger, helicrysum, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, mandarin, marjoram, melissa, myrrh, neroli, nutmeg, orange, peppermint, ravensara, rose, sage, sandalwood, spearmint, tagetes, tangerine, thyme, wintergreen, yarrow.

Dandruff: Lavender, wintergreen, thyme, lemongrass, evergreen, cypress, oregano and tea tree. Any mixed 1:5 in coconut oil. Also 50/50 mix of natural apple cider vinegar and water, massage into scalp for a few minutes, rinse out. Repeat for 5–7 days and see if you notice a difference. If you experience any irritation, discontinue or use every other day for 7–10 days

Decongestant: Anise, cajuput, camphor, eucalyptus, galbanum, niaouli, pennyroyal, peppermint.

Digestive aid: Angelica, anise, bay, bergamot, black pepper, buchu, chamomile, caraway, cardamom, catnip, cilantro, citronella, clary sage, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, frankincense, ginger, hyssop, juniper, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, melissa, mugwort, myrrh, neroli, oregano, palmarosa, parsley, pennyroyal, peppermint, rose, sage, spearmint, tangerine, tarragon, wormwood, yarrow.

Dizziness / B.P.P.V. Blend Basil (Ocimum basilicum), marjoram (Origanum majorana), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), peppermint (Mentha piperita), and cypress (Cupresses sempervirens). Dilute with V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex or coconut oil to apply topically. Also, mix Geranium, Frankincense, Lavender, Peppermint, and Helichrysum, in coconut oil, apply to around ears, diffuse or inhalation.

Depression: See anti-depressant above.

Diuretic (to increase urination): Angelica, benzoin, birch, bitter almond, buchu, caraway, cardamom, carrot seed, cedarwood, citronella, cumin, cypress, fennel, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, helicrysum, hyssop, juniper, lemongrass, marjoram, mugwort, mullein, orange, parsley, patchouli, pine, ravensara, sandalwood, thuja, thyme, wintergreen.

Earache: Almond, clove or garlic in carrier oil drops in the ear. Tea tree in carrier oil rubbed around the ears. Source. Basil or frankincense rubbed behind the ears. Source.

Eczema: Almond, lavender, geranium, tea tree, or myrrh mixed with coconut carrier oil. 1:5 ratio. Source.

Anti-epileptic: Anise, rue. Information.

Expectorant: Angelica, anise, benzoin, cajuput, caraway, cedarwood, elemi, fennel, frankincense, ginger, helicrysum, hyssop, jasmine, lavandin, marjoram, mullien, myrrh, myrtle, niaouli, oakmoss, peppermint, ravensara, sage, sandalwood, tea tree, thuja, thyme, yarrow.

Fever reducing: Angelica, bay, bergamot, birch, bitter almond, cajuput, chamomile, cassia, citronella, eucalyptus, ginger, helicrysum, hyssop, lemon, lemongrass, lime, melissa, mullien, niaouli, palmarosa, parsley, patchouli, peppermint, rose, sage, sandalwood, tansy, vanilla, wormwood.

Flatulence (expel gas): Allspice, angelica, anise, basil, benzoin, black pepper, buchu, cajuput, chamomile, caraway, carrot seed, cassia, catnip, cinnamon, clary sage, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, frankincense, ginger, hyssop, juniper, lemongrass, marjoram, melissa, myrrh, neroli, orange, parsley, peppermint, pimento, rosemary, sandalwood, spearmint, thyme, wintergreen, yarrow.

Gall Bladder: Rosemary

Headache: Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary. Source. Source.

Mix peppermint and lavender essential oils with coconut oil and apply to upper neck and shoulders.  Peppermint oil improves circulation and lavender reduces muscle tension which can quickly relieve headaches. Source.

Hair Growth: Arnica, mustard, rosemary.

Heart: Clary sage, frankincense, lavender, ylang ylang. Mix equal portions these oils into 5 times as much carrier oil, apply over heart once daily. Use of a roller bottle applicator works well.

Hemorrhaging, stopping: Benzoin, cassia, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, lime, myrrh, myrtle, parsley, patchouli, pennyroyal, peppermint, rose, sandalwood, wintergreen. Apply on location, bandage tightly, apply pressure. Call 911.

Hemorrhoids: Cypress essential oil is the most effective oil for reducing and preventing hemorrhoids. Apply 3-4 drops with a cotton ball. Also, helichrysum oil can help improve hemorrhoids.

Hypothyroidism: Combine three drops of frankincense oil with five parts lemongrass oil and five parts clove oil. Rub these directly on the thyroid, which is located at the front lower part of your neck. You can also try putting two drops of frankincense oil on the roof of your mouth twice daily.

  • Similarly, try rubbing 2–4 drops of lemongrass oil and myrrh directly to the thyroid area along with the reflexology points on the feet (big toes) and on the wrists multiple times per day.
  • To combat muscle or joint pain, try a soothing bath using geranium, clove, myrrh and lemongrass oils.
  • To fight fatigue, try a combination of peppermint and citrus oils, such as lemon and grapefruit.
  • To improve your mood and reduce anxiety or irritability, use chamomile, frankincense and lavender oil, either diffused in your home or added to a bath.

Insomnia: Cypress, fir needle, lavender, vanilla, ylang ylang. Diffuse. Mist on linens or place on pillow. Apply on feet or neck, massage 1:5 in carrier oil.

Inflammation: Arnica, bay, benzoin, bitter almond, chamomile, camphor, cedarwood, citronella, cypress, frankincense, helicrysum, jasmine, lemongrass, mandarin, manuka, melissa, mullien, myrrh, myrtle, neroli, orange, oregano, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, sage, sandalwood, spikenard, tagetes, tangerine, tansy, tuberose, vanilla, vetiver, yarrow, ylang ylang.

Intestinal worms: Anise, bergamot, bitter almond, cajuput, chamomile, caraway, citronella, fennel, geranium, hyssop, mugwort, niaouli, nutmeg, peppermint, tansy, tarragon, thuja, wormwood.

Liver (tone, strengthen and detoxifying): Angelica, chamomile, cypress, helicrysum, mandarin, peppermint, rose, rosemary.

Lymph glands: Calamus (Cautions: Caution is advised on the use of calamus essential oil, since large doses can cause mild hallucinations), cassia, galbanum, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, myrrh, oregano, cypress and frankincense oils parsley, tarragon. Information

Menstruation: Angelica, bay, cajuput, chamomile, caraway, carrot seed, cassia, catnip, cedarwood, clary sage, cumin, davana, fennel, frankincense, hyssop, jasmine, marjoram, melissa, mugwort, oregano, parsley, pennyroyal, peppermint, rose, sage, spearmint, tarragon, thuja, thyme, wintergreen, wormwood.

Purification: Angelica, birch, carrot seed, coriander, fennel, juniper, mandarin, parsley, pennyroyal, rose, sage, tangerine.

Promote sweating: Angelica, black pepper, catnip, citronella, marjoram, melissa, mustard, myrrh, yarrow.

Rashes: Geranium, lavender, rose.

Relaxation: Allspice, angelica, bay, benzoin, calamus, clary sage, galbanum, davana, mandarin, manuka, mullien, pimento, ravensara, vanilla.

Restless legs: Cypress,

Reddening of the skin (to increase blood flow of the skin): Allspice, ginger, juniper, pimento, thuja.

Sedative: Anise, bay, benzoin, bergamot, bitter almond, chamomile, camphor, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, dill, frankincense, jasmine, lemongrass, mandarin, marjoram, melissa, myrtle, neroli, orange, patchouli, petitgrain, sandalwood, spikenard, tagetes, tangerine, tansy, tuberose, vanilla, vetiver, ylang ylang

Shingles: Peppermint, oregano Source Tea tree, helicrysum Source

Skin care: Almond, basil, bergamot, birch, cedarwood, cinnamon (skin infections), clove, eucalyptus, cypress, galbanum, geranium, grapefruit, helicrysum, hyssop, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, myrrh, patchouli, pine, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, tea tree, ylang ylang.

Sleep: Calamus (Cautions: Caution is advised on the use of calamus oil, since large doses can cause mild hallucinations) jasmine, lavender, mullien, vanilla

Sprains: To reduce inflammation and increase circulation to the area apply cypress essential oil.  To reduce bruising and decrease inflammation apply frankincense oil and to reduce pain use peppermint oil.

Mix 2 drops of each oil together with 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and apply to the sprained area 3-5x daily then put on warm compress over area for 2 minutes. Source.

Sore throat: Clove, eucalyptus, hyssop, juniper berry, lemon, thyme, oregano, peppermint.

Easy, Anti Sore Throat Steam Inhalation Source.


  • 3 drops clove essential oil
  • 3 drops juniper berry essential oil
  • large bowl of boiling hot water


  1. Add the clove and juniper berry oils to a large bowl of boiled water.
  2. Drape a towel over your head to create a tent over and around the bowl.
  3. Relax and breathe in the fragrant steam for 5 minutes. Of course, be careful not to burn yourself.

You can also add 3 drops of lemon oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus oil to your water, gargle for 10 seconds and then drink. See information on ingesting essential oils.

Stimulant: Allspice, angelica, anise, birch, cajuput, calamus, camphor, caraway, cardamom, carrot seed, cassia, catnip, citronella, coriander, cumin, elemi, fennel, galbanum, ginger, grapefruit, hyssop, mugwort, mustard, myrrh, niaouli, nutmeg, parsley, peppermint, pimento, rosewood, sage, tansy, tarragon, tea tree, thuja, thyme.

Tonic: Allspice, angelica, bay, birch, buchu, cajuput, chamomile, caraway, carrot seed, cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, cumin, cypress, elemi, fennel, frankincense, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, hyssop, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, melissa, mustard, myrrh, neroli, nutmeg, orange, patchouli, pimento, ravensara, sandalwood, tangerine, thuja, thyme, vetiver, wormwood, yarrow.

Toxins (removing): Angelica, bay, benzoin, bitter almond, black pepper, buchu, caraway, cardamom, carrot seed, cedarwood, citronella, cumin, galbanum, ginger, grapefruit, melissa, mugwort, mullein, orange, parsley, patchouli, ravensara, thuja, thyme, wintergreen.

Varicose veins: Cypress

Vomiting: Basil, cassia, ginger, nutmeg.

Wounds, healing: Benzoin, bergamot, birch, cajuput, chamomile, camphor, caraway, cardamom, carrot seed, cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, clary sage, cumin, cypress, davana, eucalyptus, frankincense, fennel, galbanum, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, helicrysum, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavandin, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, marjoram, mullein, myrrh, myrtle, neroli, niaouli, nutmeg, oakmoss, patchouli, rose, rosewood, sage, sandalwood, spearmint, tea tree, thyme, vetiver.


How they could have stolen the election.

UPDATED: 11-15-2016

It seems the liberal world has been turned upside down! Donald Trump, chosen by the DNC and compliant media as the only candidate Hillary Clinton could possibly defeat, HAS WON THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENCY! Despite the massive voter fraud and plots I’ve outlined here, Trump has a record number of electoral votes AND the final tally of popular votes by about 700,000. This, with the details leaking out that 3,000,000 illegal aliens voted for Clinton in the usual democrat strongholds!

We’ve now had a solid week of non-stop riots by the leftist progressives, bused into various liberal leaning cities by George Soros’ organizations like ‘’. Seems the leaders are rumored to be getting $35/hour to play ‘patriot’. And the usual leftist loser whiners are complaining about the electoral college not being “fair”. Too bad they were educated in government schools, it seems. There’s a reason for that process: The electoral college and why it matters

OK, now on to the original ‘pre-election’ posting:

Yeah, yeah, I know, it all never happened, right? Nobody in power ever cheats to keep power or get one of their pals into office, right? And the government on both sides of the aisle claim it never happens.  If you don’t think that happens, if you believe that crap from the government, you might as well stop reading now, because you’re gonna have your world turned on its head shortly.

See, the government keeps it buried because that’s how they can get and keep power, by committing election fraud. Note the word ‘election’ categorizing this particular type of fraud. And the media, being willing pawns and puppets of those in power, particularly the democrat side of it, will go along and try their damnedest to keep this kind of thing buried, because that’s what the lapdog media does.

Now, there’s considerable difference between election fraud and voter fraud. Election fraud is very covert, near impossible to detect while in action if it was programmed with any skill at all, and the only way it can be uncovered is for the hue and cry of the voters to demand that the “winner” numbers be verified by the actual so-called paper trail from each machine of each district of the suspect counties. (Also, watch your touchscreen machine very closely, checking to see if by ‘accident’ your vote gets flipped to the other party for president as you final check your selections.)  IF this demand for verification is done, well, looky here, the figures don’t match! Why don’t they match? Because of a little game laid out in detail here. The computer programmer who was instructed by a republican politician in Florida to write a few lines of code to flip a percentage of the opposition candidate to his pal running for the position. Absolutely invisible unless an expert code writer examines the program for these few lines of odd code that accomplish the mission. And, it can be written so that on a date past its useful life, it will self erase, leaving no trail what so ever. All so very easy on these millions of 10 year old, hackable, out of date Windows operating system, touch screen machines. And the Diebold machines have their own little hack. Sometimes the voting machine hacking is so rampant that even CNN will say something about it.

Now, concerning voting fraud, as defined by law, is done by individuals who are illegal aliens, or others, as in bused into various counties, to displace the legal citizens votes in close elections in order to get certain persons of a certain party elected to power. These politicians provide cash or other incentives to these bused in people, or promise lots of free benefits to the illegals who are voting, like promises of free housing, education, medical care, etc.

You may be thinking, well they have to do this all over America to win. Nope, not even close to ‘all of America’. See the map below. There are 3,144 counties, or equivalents, in the USA. The blue counties are the hot spots for the democrats to keep the action going in their favor. California, in particular, is a hotbed of corruption, because of the generally leftist position of the Hollywood types, millions of illegals living there and no voter ID required to vote. And it has the most electoral votes of any state in America. 55 big fat votes, all in one nice tidy package. There are over 10,000,000 people in Los Angeles county alone in CA, which again reinforces the idea and tactics of concentrating their efforts in these major population areas. Winning CA gives the democrats a huge advantage, as the opposition would have to win Texas, Georgia and Delaware to counter that one win.county-votes

All along the west coast, as you see, is good ol’ true blue, cream of the crop, democrat gold voting. And if you overlay the next map with these democrat strongholds, you may be surprised to find that most of these counties he won just happen to fall in no ID or minimal ID states.

Blue states that elected Obama in 2012. By the way, he only garnered 50.6 percent of the popular vote, but it was the PLACES he won in that made the difference.


And then, the no photo ID states and the states with simple photo ID and the ‘strict’ photo ID. The only photo ID states Obama apparently won was Florida and Michigan with the hand full of blue urban counties.


In the no ID states, voter fraud is simple and easy. Just walk up with a name, ANY name on the books (which REALLY need to be maintained and purged of dead and moved away voters), and they hand you a ballot. Simple. But, every so often, a democrat operative screws up and gets caught in the act. But of course, these are just the amateur goof-offs, way, way down the ladder from the “pros”. And don’t think for a minute that they won’t cheat on their own party to promote the one they want to be the prime candidate, showing how poor ol’ Bernie was sunk by ballot box stuffing the good old fashioned democrat way. Too bad they didn’t notice the security cameras, huh? And all across the nation we have these curious instances where the numbers just don’t seem to add up! The officials have all these nice answers down pat for those few who may be curious as to just how they come up with these numbers. The party operatives, numbering in the multiple thousands of people, are all hard at work pulling monkey business they will ask forgiveness for when they get caught, but knowing its wrong from day one as they try and rig the outcome for ‘their guy’.

But that’s just the ‘street level’ fraud game. Think it ends there? Oh, no, not by any means, this is all the way up to our elected ‘lawmakers’.

With our out of date, junk electronic voting machines, systems have been hacked in multiple states!

Yeah, it’s a sad and depressing or infuriating (depends on your personality) situation for the voters of America. I saw way back when our state went to the ‘modern electronic voting method’, right off, the PROBABILITY of easy tampering with these systems, even with just the basic knowledge I had of computers and their inner workings at that time. By no means do I pretend to be a code writer, but I did know enough of their works to realize that somebody who knew what to do could easily rig the system. Some programmer could be paid off or threatened into doing as the masters bid, lest they suddenly catch a bad case of ‘suicide virus’ like the 40+ people who had been slated to testify against the Clinton crime machine.

This election year has been the worst in history with the vitriol, personal attacks, lack of stated policies to actually fix problems, background manipulation by insiders like Clinton and foreigners like George Soros,  main stream media bias and propaganda in favor of the democrats (though they have always been that way). The only way this gets fixed is, in my opinion, to go back to some form of paper style ballot system that is more modernized than the days before ‘computerized voting’, something like the Florida ‘Votomatic’ punch card type, which can be machine counted pretty fast.


I fail to see how the above voting idea of Gore vs Bush of 2000 fame is so ‘complicated’ that they had to recount certain Florida counties all those times. True, you can’t change your mind after you make a punch, but so what? The cards are then run through a mechanical counting machine which reads and tallies the punches, then the number of cards counted are verified with the county / district number of supposed voters that cast those ballots, and you’re done. If the number of cards and number of voters don’t match, then there’s been some monkey business.

Then we have the monkey humping media. My, my, how in the tank, up the darkside of Clinton these clowns are! Trump denies sexual assault allegations of women popping out of the woodwork within the last few days of the election. Trump gets taped talking man trash with some reporter, ‘locker room talk’ that an unbelievable number of men talk, but would never, no way, actually DO that crap. Its a ‘one up’ game, who can say the most outrageous thing. Meanwhile, wikileaks exposes crap on Clinton that would destroy any mortal candidate. Media covers Trump scandals 54 minutes, Clinton wikileaks less than a minute. And it’s not just Trump they dumped on, not by a long shot. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate and that Johnny come lately Evan McMullen all got their share of grief from the all democrat, all the time biased media. And all those “polls” towards the end, spun the hell out of them, for sure. A little oversampling towards the democrats called? Yeah, just a little, like 80% dems and 20% everything else. All mind games to dishearten non Hillary voters….Oh, it’s no use to get out and stand in line for hours to vote….See? All the polls says she’s gonna win it anyway. That’s what they wanted you to think!

So, there you have it. My take on how they did it. Now, we’ll see if it true as this was written 2 weeks before election day.




Well, we have some ‘choices’ this time!

Seems it can’t be helped, the whole world is entangled with American politics this time around. Anywhere in the free world that gets any form of American news, the people have an opinion on the American presidential race. Clinton vs Trump. This is my blog, my opinion take it or leave it, see what you think.

Hillary Clinton. Really, are you kidding me? The most corrupt democrat politician in the USA is their choice for president? And they picked poor old Bernie Sanders to run against her! What a laugh that was supposed to be! BUT, crazy ol’ Bernie just about put ’em into a blind panic when he was doing so well for a while, right? He was never meant to get that close, and I’m betting their panties were in a knot for a while there. OK, have I pissed off the democrats reading this already? As I heard a conservative radical speaking at Yale the other day say, “Facts are facts, they are real. Sorry about your feelings”. The supporters of this uber-lying, life-long career criminal politician say ‘well, she’s never been indicted!’ Yeah, I suppose not, because the democrat DC teamwork has unraveled or stalled said investigations and indictments to frustrate the republican investigations. The latest email scandal COULD have prosecuted her, but with a quick private meeting will Bill, Loretta has put the brakes on any charges coming out, even as the FBI clown specifically stated she’s at least guilty of gross negligence! But, again, no charges. Besides all the probable criminal acts over the past 40 years, and the string of ‘suicides’ of people who would have testified in these matters, the sheer lack of any morals in pursuit of the most powerful position in the world should have disqualified her. Rep. William Dannemeyer listed 24 people with some connection to the Clintons who had died “under other than natural circumstances and called for hearings on the matter, which of course went nowhere. But beyond the sheer ineptitude and corruption, there is a serious health issue they are strenuously trying to keep hidden from the public, which is the reason she rarely talks to reporters, rarely does personal TV interviews and has a probable body double.

I’m personally convinced that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease after viewing the collection of Hillary’s ‘weird episodes’ that have been caught on film, which fit the professional doctor’s distance diagnosis perfectly. This ever gets out, like if she spazzed out during the upcoming debates, she should be medically disqualified to run for president, as the stress of the office (stress is one of many triggers of these ‘fits’ she has) would keep her so doped up she would be useless. And her latest weird persona displayed in video conference to union workers in Las Vegas, again no personal appearance. So, probably by medical condition or possible criminal indictment, at last, Tim Kaine may take over, and I don’t like him either

I’m a professional grade photographer, among other talents, and I have ‘the eye’ for details of people and things that many other people don’t catch right off. I’ve seen for months what appears to be two different ‘Hillary’s‘: One, the haggard, tired old bag of the real Hillary and the ‘other’ Hillary who is thinner, has different ear structure, and fewer of the deep facial wrinkles and saggy jowls the  real Hillary has.  She is really, really close to the looks of the real Hillary, however, which is the whole point of having a double, right?


The pictures are from the week when she spazzed out at the 9-11 thing, less than two hours after they stuffed her into the van, stiff as a board. Same woman? I don’t think so, pal. Oh, and the cool blue shades? Dyskinesia, early stages, related to the Parkinson’s.

And the main thing, for me, against Clinton AND her uber leftist running mate,  Tim Kaine, is that they are violently against the 2nd amendment (remember Bill Clintons ‘assault weapon ban’?), which is the cornerstone of American freedom as that is the ultimate guard against total government domination. If you are disarmed, as they did in Australia, they can essentially do as they damn well please and you can’t do squat about it.  If they “win” the white house, she will sit down with HER phone and pen and write executive orders to the degree that the 2nd will become useless, particularly after they install several ultra leftist supreme court judges (“they got it wrong on the 2nd amendment”) to skew the court left for the next 20-30 years, and then, next, the destabilizing and utterly mad idea to bring in 500,000 or more muzlims, young men of good fighting ages, from the worst parts of the world, and we see already what’s going down with that here before that many more are added.

Voter fraud. Now there’s an interesting topic that the democrats insist ‘doesn’t happen’. Yeah, right, and 0bama took certain counties in democrat no ID states with 110% of the ‘registered democrat’ voters. And other counties with not a single republican vote. Here’s a couple little charts that make you go ‘hmmm, wonder how that happened’:


This first chart shows the election results for the last election, 0bama vs Romney.


The second chart shows no ID states and those with ‘non strict’ photo ID. Ain’t it curious how 0bama won almost every no ID state and a lot of those with lax photo ID? Just coincidence, I’m sure, right? Enough with the democrats.

Donald J. Trump. Now there’s a gem. Before his ‘conversion’ to republican, virtually all his current views were totally opposite, back when he was a democrat supporter and pals with the Clintons. The Donald has no experience in government, other than buying favors FROM those in power. Which might be a good thing?


Trump gave in excess of $100,000 to the ‘Clinton Foundation’ for favors from Bill when he was in power. He was anti-gun, now pro gun and endorsed by the NRA, no less. He was pro-choice, now pro-life. In other words, complete 180° flip-flop from where he was. Can’t take personal criticism at all, which may be the reason he’s running for president in the first place. To get revenge against 0bama for deeply insulting him during that ‘roast’ before the presidential season even started? Makes me wonder what he’s going to think of the relentless leftist ‘Hollywood comedy types’ on late night shows ripping him every night. And he lies as effortlessly (or unaware) as the most long term DC politician you can imagine. Picking Mike Pence as his running mate gives Trump some creds with religious conservatives and is a pretty strong advocate for the 2nd amendment.

Then, there’s the distant 3rd choice group, the Libertarians. I like 90% of the Libertarian positions on government, particularly the less government the better. The idea of no longer being the world’s policeman is also sounding pretty good, among all the other different ideas.  Frankly, on the surface at least, Gary Johnson for president has a lot of appeal, 62% of America thinks so as well, per their website. Myself and one million other people who have signed the petition for Johnson to be allowed on the presidential debates, think so. That would be a bigger game changer than when Ross Perot got in between Bill Clinton and Bush 1. And as far as the main two choices, it’s like comparing two crap sandwiches to a nice hamburger. Johnson sounds pretty pro-gun, in interviews. What’s funny about some of the stupid comments against Johnson is that we hear ‘oh, that’s that pot-head Libertarian, right?’ Yeah, and what about the ‘pot-head’ we have for president today? He bragged about it on the late night show gigs, did he not? Democrats counted that statement as a positive. Both Johnson and Weld won and were reelected in democrat states as republican govenors! They balanced the states budgets and left a surplus in the bank when they left office.

However, on the down side of the Libertarian ticket, Bill Weld, the VP guy was just as anti-gun rights as any rabid democrat you can think of, and just as vapidly stupid with his comments on gun control, until he was tagged as VP on the Libertarian ticket. Now, he’s flip-flopped on the issue, similarly to Trump, all ‘pro-gun rights’ now.

I have an idea that if Johnson gets in on this first debate (probably not, it seems) or in the next ones, things may go wildly different when people find a viable 3rd choice in the running. I voted Libertarian once, a long time ago when Harry Browne was running. I don’t regret voting my conscience then, nor will I this time either.

I have not quite decided who will get my vote. Damn sure won’t be Clinton. Trump is just crazy enough to be either the best president in decades or the next worse thing after a Clinton “win”. Johnson and the LP ticket are so very different than the main two choices that I think if they should win, we could get so much personal freedom back from the politicians and prosperity that our heads would spin. The debates will tell the tale in the next few weeks. And as usual, I’ll probably decide at the last minute as I step up to the hackable electronic voting machine.


Shadowbanned into Submission!

Twitter has shadowbanned my account, @A_M_Perez. What does this mean?  I have been completely censored.  People at Twitter apparently don’t like what I have to say.  I primarily tweet and deb…

Source: Shadowbanned into Submission!

Well, here we are folks, proof yet again how the left thinks they can “suppress” CONSERVATIVE free speech through the power of shady, sneaky, leftist Nazis. Twitter and Facebook BOTH will shut you down if you don’t play by their leftist views of “free speech” (basically you must be a leftist wussie and only talk about ‘nice things’ that they dictate are ‘nice’. Then we have Google, yet another billionaire leftist who has been ‘adjusting’ the search engine to deflect the auto complete filter to OMIT any negative search suggestions on Clinton.

See this vid:

Use alternative search engines, any one you please, and type in the same searches like Clinton indictment (clinton ind…) and see what the auto complete fills in, for PROOF that Google is trying to swing 10 million voters to Clinton by suppressing negative, true information. Besides that, you know that Google tracks everything about you, right? So, I haven’t used ’em in 3 years. I use

There are many more non tracking search engines to choose from as well.

By the way, if 0bama gets away with giving control of the internet away to foreign interests (like the UN) free speech and what’s left of privacy is GONE. Call your reps and demand they stop him!

A little hiccup in the gas supply!

Well, down south they have had a bit of a hiccup with the gasoline supply. Seems over in Alabama somewhere, there was a break in the main supply pipeline to Georgia and parts of the coast. So, for a few days the supply was essentially cut off. Well, now what an interesting preview of what a ‘real’ loss of supply would be like.

Not that this little thing was even a shadow of what would be going down if there had been an EMP blast in the upper atmosphere over the middle USA. That kind of thing would shut down EVERYTHING, not just a temporary little blip in a localized situation. But, none the less, in no time at all local gas stations had added $2.50 to the price of a gallon of gas.


Of course the Governor of Georgia promptly smacked them with ‘gouging charges’ for being so greedy. But as soon as one station got smacked, another would be doing the same thing. This is of course STUPID on their part, because motorists will remember for a long time that Abdul’s quicky-mart jacked ’em up nicely before other stations even ran out of gas. Those pissed off people will not likely go there again any time soon.

Meanwhile the petroleum company scrambled to make a work around pipe for getting the supply back on line for the area, and gasoline is now flowing at about the same capacity as before the break. (No mention of apparent sabotage, but you know us prepper types…always speculating about that kind of thing, right?) The local news was telling folks that it may be the end of the year before prices go back down to ‘pre-event’ levels. We’ll see.

This little event also illustrated just how quickly a taken for granted supply GOES AWAY in an insignificant ‘crisis’ like this, which was really only a minor annoyance.

At any rate, the point is that us prepper types try and anticipate these kind of things to try and mitigate our own situations during times like this. Several ‘gerry cans’ of gasoline treated with Sta-Bil gasoline stabilizing product may get one through a situation much longer, with careful usage, than Poor Joe Downdestreet who has nothing. I suggest if you, too, go this route, to store your several cans of gasoline in a separate storage building so that if anything went bad and a fire started with it, at least perhaps your house doesn’t burn down with the gasoline supply. I would keep all flammable items like this (propane, charcoal, etc) in this outbuilding.

offroad camping

How much fuel to have on hand? Well, how far do you intend to run during a major crisis? Personally, I suspect the ‘entire world’ will seem to go into total gridlock / panic should something truly significant actually happen. So, I’m ‘hunkering down’ with my local group to ride it out for about three weeks. By that time, if the government hasn’t collapsed along with everything else, or they have attempted to SHUT DOWN everything else with the National Guard / cops / military like they did in New Orleans, we’ll send out a few members to scout around and see what’s left to pick over or see how well the authorities have dealt with the situation. It will not go well this time if they try again to disarm law abiding citizens who are safe in their homes “for their own protection against looters” as they did in New Orleans. (Visions of hurricane Rita come to mind)katrinia

Sitting there for hours idling your engine will put you in the same position as all those people you see pushed off into the grass. If you’re not moving, shut down the engine!

One last thing: Seems that these stations that had run out of gasoline….still had plenty of DIESEL fuel, it seems. Hmm. Maybe I’ll find a used VW diesel. They will also run on peanut oil, you know. At least the older one will.


How I do reloading 9MM ammo

OK, in reference to my previous post about ‘not blowing up your Glock‘ and because of the expense of buying ammo for new toys , I am now catching up my supply of 9MM ammo by keeping a close eye on discounted ammo sales at a local Gander Mountain sporting goods store and other local gun shops and reloading my own ammo. As an aside, I have begun a personal ‘boycott’ of the local Dicks’s sporting goods because they pulled their ‘scary looking’ AR-15’s in 2012 (and their prices aren’t that great either). Walmart hasn’t stocked any in a long time (they’re consistently sold out of 9mm) and ‘Cheaper Than Dirt’ online has stopped selling weapons entirely. Academy sporting goods supposedly still stocks AR’s, but you have to specifically ask to see one and they’ll only bring out one at a time. That’s kind of politically chickenshit, but at least they’re available “under the counter”.  However, the store managers are supposedly taking down the personal information of any customer who buys more than 10 boxes of ‘assault weapon ammo’,  so I’m not buying there for that infringement, and Gander Mountain beats their prices anyway.

It has been a number of years since I loaded any 9MM, preferring .357 magnum for sheer power over the 9MM round, and in light of the blown up Glock I referred to previously, I have reviewed the entire process of my own reloading as I outlined somewhat in that posting. Each hand loaded cartridge now goes through the following process:

I buy my once fired brass from a local gun range, where they sort and clean the brass, and bag it up in approximately 500 round bags, by weight, plus a few thrown in to cover the inevitable cases that must be discarded. This brass is polished again in my own tumbler for two or three hours until it is as ‘like new’ as possible. They have an excellent sorting machine, and I rarely find an oddball case in the mix, but have occasionally found a .380 case or two (that’s OK, I reload that also) or a 9MM Makarov case.

So, the process begins by carefully researching accurate, real information from the powder manufacturers for the particular weight, brand and caliber bullet I’m dealing with at the moment. Most of the powder manufacturing data will also include a vital bit of information, namely the “O.A.L.” the overall cartridge length. This is must have information for the tiny 9MM case, not only for the proper functioning of the rounds cambering correctly (without blowing up your Glock), but because pressing the bullet only .015″ too far into the case can DOUBLE the firing pressure of the load. And for a lot of pistols, that ain’t good.

Hodgdon      Alliant     Accurate      IMR       Vihtavuori

There are a number of ‘reloading information sites’ on the web. I find these to range from pretty useful and reliable to the other extreme of ‘I’m not touching that idea’. If you use these sites, proceed with careful consideration and at your own risk.

So, after a thorough polishing session, the brass is ready for the very first step, namely inspecting the empty cases for defects of the neck (like a partial eject from somebody’s firearm which makes a heavy nick in the rim) or the case is split. If it’s merely a little out of round from being stepped on at the range, no problem, the sizing / decapping die will take care of that. (Sorry about the crappy quality of the pics for this post, it was just a phone camera). I wear nytrile gloves during the process because fingerprints will accelerate the brass going ‘dull’ in storage. And when using cast lead bullets, keeps the lead off my fingers.


Next it’s run through the sizing / decapping die and then size checked with a 9MM Lyman case gauge. At this step, I also clean out the primer pocket. If the cleaning tip doesn’t fit the primer pocket (which obviously wouldn’t allow the primer to seat properly) I’ll try fixing the problem with the reamer on the other end of the tool. If it still won’t allow the cleaning tip to easily fit in, I toss that case.  You will run across that condition far more often than you may expect.


Checking with a sizing gauge at this point may seem too soon for some reloaders, but there’s a reason for this step. If the case doesn’t just fall into place at this point, the case may be ‘Glocked up’, being stretched at the base where a standard sizing die won’t reach. Glocks are notorious for stretching cases at that point because of their unsupported ‘6 o’clock’ open base design. If this step was ignored, or the gauge not even used as some reloaders don’t bother with, it will jam up in your barrel breach like driving a cork into a bottle. Bad situation during a competition run or a shootout with a bad guy. See the next picture for what that looks like:


This case had been run through the sizing / decapping die, but still won’t fit the gauge. It will have to be full length resized with a Lee ‘Bulge Buster’ kit which will cure this problem 9 out of 10 times. The kit will full length resize a loaded cartridge, but in that 1 out of 10 times when it won’t drop into the gauge after the process, I would rather catch it before the assembly even starts, like at this step. So, when I run across one of these, it is set aside in a bin for full length resizing in a batch, some time later. For that 1 in 10 that just won’t resize properly, I won’t waste any more time and materials, and toss the bad case. Also doing the gauge check at this stage will find the occasional oddball, like a missed .380 or 9MM Makarov which will fall down into the gauge as shown here:


A 9MM Makarov is actually marked on the headstamp of the case, as with “9mmM’, the extra ‘m’ indicating the specialized cartridge. Yep, that one got buy me and I wasted a primer on it instead of checking before the primer was installed. Pushing out a live primer is risky, because it may set it off or may damage the primer anvil, causing a misfire. So, that one is wasted.

To make a consistent quality of ammo, I check the powder charge and over all cartridge length on the first cartridge of each row of the cartridge box, meaning that critical part is checked 10 times out of 50 loads. I use a Lee beam scale for powder measuring because although it’s “slow” it is absolutely accurate. The only caveat is that it must be level for it to achieve that accuracy, thus the level bubble in the plastic case on the base.






Generally speaking, my Lee Precision turret press and dies will make a pretty consistent over all length with a tolerance of about .005″ of the ‘perfect’ setting. And the powder charge measure is within .01 or so of a grain of where it’s set. I have used a progressive press before, but I find the quality to be less than ‘my standards’, with messed up primer installs and the occasional split case getting by until after it’s assembled. I suppose if I closely inspected every case beforehand, I could weed out the split cases before they got that far. I prefer the slower method I use currently because with the increased inspection steps, my reloads are as about as close to ‘factory’ specs as can be done.

Next after the cartridge is assembled, another visual inspection then dropped into the case gauge again, which verifies the finished cartridge is up to specs.

0808160845a   0808160836a

If the finished reloaded cartridge just drops right into the gauge all nice and flush, it’s good to go. But even with this much nit-picking, every so often something will go a little sideways, like below where somehow the primer got stuffed into the pocket sideways. Whoops.


So, get out the bullet puller, tear it down, and start over. This primer can be pushed out with the sizing / decapper die carefully, with the bullet, the powder charge and case being salvageable.

With all this quality control and slow procedures, it takes me about 30 minutes or so to make 50 rounds of ammo. But, in my personal opinion, I make ammo with the idea being that one of these bullets may change the course of history depending on that quality or lack thereof. Or if nothing else, if misfired at a criminal invading my house, resulting in him winning the encounter. Imagine if Adolf Hitler had been killed in world war one. Perhaps the bullet intended for him by the opposing army had missed the mark because of a low powder charge or some other minor defect that escaped the factory inspection. If that bullet had killed him, how vastly different would world history be today?



Don’t Blow Up Your Glock!

Hi, Folks.

Well, while cruising YouTube the other day, I ran across one where the dude was filming himself shooting his .45 caliber Glock. Things were going fine…until the thing blew up in his hands! Ouch! This isn’t an exclusively Glock problem, but strangely seems to happen to that brand more often than we would like. Read on.

Fortunately, other than some bruising, he was OK. Watch his ‘boom’ and his analysis of what happened here.  He is spot on for the cause of his malfunction, as he pointed out that he had shown someone what over crimping of a hand reloaded cartridge looked like and forgot to reset his sizing dies back to where they were supposed to be!

Folks like him and myself, who reload their own ammo, have an obligation and self interest to pursue this activity with the utmost care and caution, because “simple” mistakes like this can be devastating! One may find all sorts of ‘load guides’ on the internet for hand reloading of cartridges, but unless you’re an experienced person who is self confident enough to risk blowing up a weapon and possibly losing a finger or eye in the process, you should stick with the ‘professional’ guide books one can buy or download free from the gunpowder manufacturers websites, such as Accurate Powders. These books and online sources are the ONLY sources of information on this ‘hobby’ that I trust.

If you’re feeling not quite up to par, or you’re emotionally distracted (fussing at the kids or arguing with your wife), or have a headache or a TV going in your loading area, you are asking for trouble because of dangerous distractions or missing a detail you would normally catch if you weren’t feeling bad. So, load another day when you feel OK….and turn off the stupid TV!

As the Glock boomer pointed out, the critical mistake he made was over crimping the case neck as his loading gear produced the final stage of the process of seating the bullet into the case. His nice illustration pointed out that in that situation with his Glock, or any other auto-loading, straight walled cartridge firing weapon, you have a possible disaster in the making. The bullet, wedged into the area ahead of the chamber neck, has no place it can go, so the massive pressure of the gunpowder gases has nowhere it can go other than to find the weakest area of the weapon to escape through. And considering the typical chamber pressures of a normally fired .45 caliber bullet is in the area of 20,500 PSI, when it’s backed up against a bullet “plug” in the barrel, well, then you can count on disaster. A .357 magnum full power load cartridge can routinely hit over 34,000 PSI, but that’s a different critter altogether, for a completely different firearm.

Now, I’ve reloaded my own handgun (and some rifle) loads for quite the while now. And I have had an issue or two that could have been much worse than they turned out. On one occasion I was running .357 magnum handgun cartridges, lightly loaded for Cowboy Action shooting. I switched over to .38 special on the same loading machine and ran a few hundred of those. Then I went back to the .357 cartridges, but forgot to ‘reset’ the powder measuring device for the slightly longer .357 cartridge. So, I get out to the next competition match for that sport and about halfway through the day, I’m in a stage, shooting away when my rifle goes ‘putt’ instead of ‘bang!’. I instantly noticed that, and as I worked the lever, sure enough an empty casing is ejected. I knew then that I had fired a ‘squib’ load, which is an under charged situation which lodged the bullet in the barrel instead of  firing it out to the target. Had I not paid attention and fired the next bullet in line, that would have probably blown up my Winchester lever gun. Instead, just lesson learned and match lost.

I no longer use that particular loading machine ( a Lee Pro 1000) not just for that issue, but additionally because I now prefer to inspect each and every bullet, case, primer and powder charge for every single cartridge I reload on my Lee turret press. And the turret press can switch over to a completely different cartridge setup by just changing the turret assembly with the required dies installed into it. It takes a few more pulls of the handle to crank out a cartridge, but I feel the process is worth it for the better quality ammo I can produce. I also meticulously weigh the powder load at the start of every session, and again half way through the usual 50 cartridges at a time, verifying the charge against the manufacturers data, and use calipers to measure the finished cartridge dimensions to make sure they are as close as possible to those specs, plus or minus within .002″ particularly of the case neck as I reload 9mm Luger ammo for my new toys and other 9mm handguns. Reloading your own can save a pile of money. Or get you better stocked up for ‘whatever’.

9mm dims

For a 9mm cartridge, as you see above, the highlighted numbers are the crucial ones. The .380 neck diameter MUST be met as closely as you can, for every cartridge you reload. Being .002″ over probably won’t hurt anything, unless the gun is so filthy the firing chamber won’t allow the cartridge to seat at all. The overall length must not be exceeded or you’ll be having failure to feed properly issues and / or the situation also pointed out in the video where the bullet ‘ogive'(at the .3550″ dimension) is too close to the start of the rifling which can also create a disaster. Being undersized, say at .370″, is where you start risking a ‘boom’.

Anyway, if you were on the fence about reloading your own ammo, don’t be too put off buy this kind of thing. But you must be extremely vigilant about every step of the process. Watch the YouTube channels of people who have been successfully doing this for quite a while, like FortuneCookie 45LC or perhaps Ammosmith Reloading for some useful ‘how to’ information.

Safe shootin’, pardner.

Beretta Storm Pistol and Carbine

Welcome to my latest posting under a split topic of tested gear and firearms.

And that will be on the latest item from Beretta, their “Storm” series of pistols and carbines that share ammo. In this particular version, the 9mm platform. Cx4_PROFILE_L

Px4-full Images from

Some years ago, Ruger made a series of pistol caliber carbines that they labeled ‘Camp Carbines’ and came in .45 caliber and 9mm. I had the 9mm Camp Carbine and found that the Smith and Wesson 53 series pistol shared the magazines with the Camp Carbine. Since both had been on the market for quite a while, one could easily find many useful accessories, such as 30 round magazines that worked on both.  Kept that pair for quite a while until the political climate changed when 0bama became president.  So for a Christmas gift, I “loaned” this pair to my brother, who basically had nothing for self defense in his home. No, I didn’t take it back after 0bama only became the world’s greatest motivator in the firearms business, yet didn’t ever get his gun-grabbing wet dreams fully engaged, thanks only to the majority party in congress being the spineless republicans who barely stood up for our 2nd amendment rights. They still sat on their thumbs while he relentlessly cranked out executive orders while giving congress the middle finger, which infringed citizens rights in many areas.

The 2016 election cycle is now down to two of the most disgusting choices of ‘president’ in my lifetime, and as Han Solo might quip, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”. Clinton, of course, has been anti-gun rights her entire criminal politician career, and Trump was anti-gun before he ‘converted’ to republican. Question is, will he revert back to the original Trump should he be elected? There’s no question at all, that should Clinton be elected, that our Constitutionally guaranteed rights will instantly and constantly be under attack by manipulation through the supreme court ‘getting it wrong on the 2nd amendment’ and insane federally imposed regulations of all sorts by executive order. In any case, I sense a disturbance in the force, if you will, that smells of the dark side. At least that’s my excuse for going out and buying some new toys since that Rossi .357 lever gun last year.

So, checking around my local gun stores I’ve done business with, I worked up a package deal with my buds at the store where I bought all my Cowboy Action Shooting gear and grabbed the Cx4 Carbine and the Px4 Pistol at the same time. The links take you to the Youtube channel of Hickok45, who has posted a very large number of gun evaluation videos without generally showing little, if any, bias against or for the guns he reviews. I took that Rossi lever gun and left it there on consignment to get a few bucks back on the deal, which was $1,450 or so out the door after taxes for the pair. I had researched pistol caliber carbines pretty well prior to this decision, and while there a quite a few out there, there really aren’t that many that have the complete magazine interchangeability and manufactures reputation that this Beretta set has. Also these are available from Beretta in .40 caliber and .45 ACP platforms. The way I figure the ‘worst case scenario’ for the coming years, I’m guessing that if Clinton wins, there won’t be a firearm or bullet left on any shelf in any store across the USA before she’s sworn in, because they’ll all be bought before she gets the chance to ban them all like Bill did with so-called ‘assault rifles’. So, in that kind of situation, having a side arm and carbine that share a pretty common caliber bullet just may be a good thing.  And even better, is having the skills / equipment to reload your own ammo.

OK, now, finally on to the actual guns. The Beretta brand is famous, apparently, for their ergo-dynamics and design configurations and it shows very well with the Cx4 carbine and the Px4 pistol. I suppose that being in the business for a few hundred years helps with that. And the package deal that I experienced with both items was very satisfying.   The Cx4 Carbine came out in a huge cardboard box, which had me a bit confused at first. However, as things were brought out, my grin got bigger and bigger. Seems the Cx4 Carbine deal included a hard case, a soft backpack type case, 3 butt plate extensions, picatinny rails on top and the lower fore-grip set, along with a “hidden” rail, 2 seventeen round magazines, a thumb saver magazine loader, the sights adjusting tool, a sling, cleaning kit, the manual and warranty papers.


I added one of the butt plate extensions to the one installed from the factory to make it perfect for length for me. The AimPoint style sight I’ve added fits in the hard case with no problems. However, the rail mounted flashlight I like on my weapons has to come off for it to go back into the hard case, because I like it on the left hand side of the lower rail block so I can thumb it on or off. A compact laser would fit nicely on the lower front rail underneath without having to come off, which is nice because it wouldn’t compromise your point of aim from taking it on and off.


Sight installed

The ‘hidden rail’ is revealed by pressing in the front sling post, allowing it to slide out for mounting a small item, perhaps a miniature laser and in case you don’t like the lower rails located where your favorite holding position might be.


I put a label on the sight with the battery type listed so that I can keep track of such things. The hollow spaces between the butt plate extensions are handy for small, crucial items like that. You only need a slotted screwdriver for access, which of course should be in your Leatherman type belt tool that you wear daily, right?

Next, the Px4 Pistol. Almost as many ‘freebies’ came with it. Comes in a typical manufacturers hard case, along with 2 extra back strap options, 2 seventeen round magazines,  a cleaning kit, the ‘thumb saver’ loader again, and your paperwork.


My hands are kind of large (maybe bigger than Trump’s) so I swapped out the standard installed back strap in favor of the extended one that you see in the center of the case. . The weight is surprisingly light because of the mostly polymer construction, but it has a hefty barrel / slide weight which makes it comfortable to shoot and recover position for the next shot very quickly. Since the Px4 has a built in lower rail, I’ll very likely add a compact laser to it.

As Hickok45 demonstrated in his videos, these guns are ambidextrous in configuration and can be ‘flipped’ to suit a left handed shooter very easily. They are also accurate, easy to shoot, utterly dependable.

Because the Storm series is fairly fresh, the aftermarket hasn’t yet caught up with the higher capacity magazines that were available for the 92 series pistols and the earlier version carbine which shared up to 30 round magazines. But, Beretta has a nice deal for the 20 round magazines they do stock. Don’t know how much longer it will be in effect, but I ordered 2 twenty round Px4 magazines and got their custom retention holster with magazine holder attached for $18 off the retail price of $28 as a nice discount. Shipping was pretty quick, only about 3 business days to get here. The fitted holster is fully adjustable for the angle of draw you prefer and the magazine holder adjusts for retention tightness pretty well.

So, there you have it. An excellent pairing of carbine and sidearm, for that particular niche. I’ll get back later, after a few thousand rounds through each and do a part two posting.