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March 14, 2023

March 2023 ADC Newsletter

Preparedness Issue

Let's take a moment to consider current events and how they might effect us individually:

The Russia Ukraine conflict continues to escalate. Russia has dipped into decades-old ammo reserves to continue supplying its troops. The surrounding nations friendly to Russia like Belarus, are ramping up to support the conflict with technology, ammunition, and weapons. In the meantime, US and NATO ammo manufacturers are cranking out arms and ammo to be sent to Ukraine. I am reminded of a quote by Albert Einstein: "I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." ...maybe not for the reason Einstein thought, but likely because we will be running low on modern munitions. Russia's ability to continue participating in this conflict will rely on shifting tactics. While they like rattling the nuclear saber, my personal belief is that no one wants to push the button. We can't rule out rogue states, terrorists, or Electromagnetic Pulse weapons. The other option, what I believe is the more viable option, is cyber attacks. In the midst of our own financial woes, bank worries, and the UN, WEF, and other Bond-villain-esque groups hinting at cyber conflict (just like they hinted about a pandemic prior to March 2020), I think that we can almost expect that.

Thanks to a heavy regulatory environment, some chemicals, like TNT, (which is still the basis for the majority of military explosives), is primarily made in Asia. Because China is a bit grumpy with us lately and more ideologically allied with Russia, it's not inconceivable that they could stop supplying us with the elements and materials we need to continue to make munitions at a wartime pace. They could... but I don't think so. My suspicion is that the Chinese government is only too happy to supply both sides of the conflict and let the world continue to burn through its ammo stockpiles. The longer this goes on, the more debt both sides incur, the more money the CCP makes, and the fewer military-age males on both sides they will have to deal with in the long run.

It's a remarkable paradox that all nations must supply each other with the technology and materials (not to mention personnel) necessary to fight each other. If I may wax philosophical for a moment: as American citizens, do we have any particular dislike for the Russian public? The Chinese public? Do you think the Russian people hate the Ukranian people? Well, they might now due to propaganda and the atrocities being committed by both sides, but they didn't before. Their Governments and political ideologies are certainly a threat, but the people of those nations are not their government. Despite that, the tax dollars and national efforts of each nation are being drained to produce the very weapons that these respective governments will order their citizens to kill each other with. With that in mind, who is the enemy? The Russian People? The Chinese People? The Ukranian People? Or are these governments showing themselves to be the enemy of the people? Think on that for a bit. In addition to the tragic loss of life, this war impacts our economy, energy supplies, and at some point when this conflict is resolved, The Ukraine will forever be an unexploded ordnance nightmare littered with the firepower of every nation, not to mention the improvised ordnance that the combatants leave behind.

What does all this mean for you and me? Well... as firearms owners, we will see impacts on ammunition supplies and firearms parts. I am experiencing delays in the manufacturing of my own parts due to manufacturing resources being diverted by government contracts to supply weapons parts to Eastern Europe. We are living in interesting times, that (unless I am much mistaken) are bound to get more interesting at a rapid pace. The Silicon Valley bank collapse is a warning shot, but it is being blown out of proportion and I think that's being done to deliberately frighten people, just like COVID was used to frighten people. Remember that? "2 weeks to flatten the curve" became "wear a mask everywhere," "get arrested for going to church," and "take an injection or lose your livelihood." Fun times. There are some wild-cards in world politics like Iran, Israel, N. Korea, and our out-of-control Southern Border that aren't helping our national security situation.

I'm not in the Intelligence business, but you don't have to be to see the rapidly-deteriorating conditions. As if that weren't enough, we have environmental zealots who apparently would rather see Americans starve to death than have fuel for their vehicles, or to heat their homes, or to cook their food, or wash their clothing. I'm not going to try to predict the future or what might or might happen due to our nation's financial situation, international relations, energy, border and airspace insecurity. What I can do is ask you to consider that society is a fragile condition of forces in balance. There are events threatening to upset that balance. I recommend you take some steps now that will help you survive temporary "blips."


Let's think about supply chains for a moment: NATO and Russia's allies are both burning through ammunition like Grant through Richmond. Both sides need to engage their commercial manufacturers to re-supply. The elements and chemicals that go into ammo manufacture are hazardous, highly regulated processes and materials. There are only a few companies in the world that are capable of making primers and propellants on the industrial scale, and they make those components for military and civilian customers alike. The end result of this is competition for the same mineral resources (mostly mined in China) to supply an increasing world-wide demand.

For the moment, ammunition on the US market is available and prices are better than they have been for a bit. I expect that, in the very near future, between the military demand for ammunition and components and more anti-gun laws at the state and local levels, we will see scarcity and high-prices again soon. Credit card companies like Discover have announced that they will attach codes to purchases at gun stores to track those transactions. The threat of central bank digital currencies with this technology means that gun and ammo purchases may be limited by the payment processor eventually. The passing of legislation in New Mexico that makes it easier to sue gun manufacturers and dealers is just a measure to accelerate putting as many of them as possible out of business.

I plead with you almost every email to buy ammo, but I'm going to make some more specific recommendations in this email. You should have, on average, 5000 rounds of ammo for every firearm you own. About 4000 rounds of that should be multi-use ammo, practice ammo that could serve as defensive ammo in a pinch. 500-1000 rounds should be dedicated high-quality defensive ammunition. Remember what characteristics you are looking for in quality defensive ammunition: adequate penetration and expansion. Avoid ammunition that is going to accelerate wear like steel-cased Russian or Chinese stuff, unless you are shooting it in AK's (for example) that are made for that kind of ammo.

Make sure you have plenty of magazines, as getting them may be difficult and they do break. I would make sure you have an barrel or 2 for your firearms. Have extra batteries for electronic optics and make sure your firearms are sighted in. Repair parts like critical springs and pins are good to have.

Store your ammo in military ammo cans if you can get them, they are the best for protecting ammo from moisture and pressure changes. When I moved from Ohio to New Mexico I had ammo cans that were closed at 500' above sea level that weren't opened again for 6 months or more after being at 8000' above sea level. All of them held pressure the whole time. I don't recommend vacuum-sealing ammo, as occasionally bullets can get sucked out of the cases.

If you are a handloader, monitor the condition of your powder, if it starts turning greenish or smelling like vinegar, it's possible it can spontaneously combust. You can check it with methyl violet strips available on Amazon.


  • COVER - is something you can use as temporary shelter, clothing, insulation, camouflage, etc... It includes your clothing, but also accessories like ponchos, emergency mylar blankets, and poncho liners (these are very handy).
  • CUTTING TOOL - you need a good knife. Folding knives are ok for every-day use, but you should have a bushcraft knife. I recommend the Mora bushcraft knives. These are often available for less than $10 on amazon. When I had to evacuate for the Cerro Pelado fire last year, I actually shaved with mine until I could get to the store and pick up some razors.
  • COMBUSTION DEVICE - Lighters and matches are OK, but a ferrocerrium rod works when these won't.
  • CORDAGE -- Bundles of paracord are life-savers. I usually cut several 8-10 foot lengths, a few 20-foot lengths, and some small loops.
  • CONTAINER - something to carry water in.
  • COMPASS - Don't rely on your phone and GPS too much.
  • CANDLEPOWER - get some good flashlights, I recommend streamlight, surefire, and modlight. Extra batteries and a way to charge them like a solar USB charger are a must.
  • CLOTH (COTTON OR CHAMOIS) - In the words of Ford Prefect: "if you want to survive out here, you have to know where you towel is."
  • CUP - something to drink from, eat from, heat water in, etc... I recommend a small stainless steel or titanium mug.
  • CARRIER - a bag to hold it all, check out 5-11, Tasmanian Tiger, or Eberlestock.


The above list is generally intended for survival in the wilderness, and while a lot of it is adaptable to urban survival, I would maybe alter the scheme somewhat and recommend some additional "C's."
CURRENCY - You want to have a good supply of cash. Don't rely on check or card.
COMMUNICATIONS - Make sure you have extra charging cables for phones, radios, and other electronic sommunications devices.
CLOTHING - Make sure you have clean, serviceable clothing packed and ready. Undergarments, belts, socks, shoes, coat... clothing that can layer for any weather conditions. While you may be tempted to stuff a bag with old or beat-up clothing, remember that you may have to go to work and out in public and you might have to rely on what you have for a week or more.


In difficult times and situations, don't underestimate the power of something comforting. An occasional comfort helps you keep a positive attitude which is your best asset. Something simple like a book, a game, a snack food... these things can help take the edge off the situation. I recommend you avoid alcohol and tobacco as much as possible during these situations if you can, they tend to encourage over-reliance.
Your relationships with other people in these situations, as many of you well know, can be somewhat strained. Keep in mind that those who aren't experiencing what you are tend to carry on as though nothing is happening, and even tend to increase the demands on you as if they are somehow helping. Be prepared for that and know when to not answer your phone or email.


Having some food set aside for emergencies is a good idea. Survival food like military MRE's are OK, but I wouldn't rely completely on those - they have a lot of sodium and are loaded with calories. The same goes for things like mountain house meals, beef jerky, and the like. Salt, dehydration, stress, lack of sleep - these will affect your physical well-being, which impacts your mental well-being. Protein, fiber, and potassium-rich foods should be in your supplies.


Important documents like titles and deeds, licenses, diplomas, DD214's, SF86's, passports, and medical/insurance records should be stored in one box that you can grab and go. Safe deposit boxes are relatively secure, but what if you need your paperwork on a day the bank is closed? What if there is a bank run and they shut their doors? Have your important documents ready to go in hard copy. Don't rely on digital only just in case there is some event that impairs electronic devices.


When we take on the responsibility for animals, they rely on us. Return the favor, prepare for bugging-out or bugging-in with your pets. Have extra food, necessary medications, leashes, chew toys, familiar blankets, etc... A sudden and drastic change of routine can be very traumatic for them. They will also sense your stress. They can put up with almost everything as long as they have their owners.


Be prepared, not scared. Preparedness leads to confidence and good decisions. We have a small window of time, I recommend you make the best use of it. In the meantime, push, push, push on your representatives to pump the brakes on some of their radical policies.

No updates this newsletter on classes or gear, but my business license is now active in Idaho, so I will have some items available soon.
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