Category Archives: Written Reviews

Gear Review: Stealth Body Armor By SafeGuard Armor

Stealth body armor made by SafeGuard Armor, LLC is manufactured from 100% DuPont™ Kevlar® armor panels enclosed in a CoolMAX® outer vest carrier. Stealth is the sleek design in their line of body armor products specifically intended to be worn concealed, under a shirt or jacket.

The amazing technology employed in creating Stealth body armor is evident in the final product weight. It is a much lighter when compared to any of the vintage military-style flak jackets, yet boasts truly amazing specifications with regard to stopping live rounds from penetrating the panels.

There are many configurations of Stealth armor to choose from, allowing the intended wearer to customize his or her vest based on the balance of available budget versus desired level of protection. Individual options available to choose from include Ballistic Level II, Level IIIa; Edged Blade Level 1, Level 2; and Spike Level 1 or Level 2.

The Ballistic Threat Level II option offers protection against any round fired into the vest up to a 9mm 124 grain FMJ traveling at 1175 ft/sec (358m/sec). Level IIIa armor protects the wearer from rounds up to .44 Magnum 240 grain moving at 1400 ft/sec. (427m/sec).

Upon viewing multiple online video demonstrations of the Ballistic Threat Level II vest absorbing 9mm handgun rounds, it became quite obvious it works as intended. After what I’ve seen, there’s no mistaking its ability to protect the wearer from traumatic gunshot wounds.

The Stealth vest is designed to be worn concealed, and as such, is designed to cover and protect only vital organs high in the torso, leaving the lower portion exposed. This is a trade-off to a vertically taller design which would shift upward and bulge awkwardly when the wearer tries sitting or squatting.

Stealth body armor boasts a 5 Year Warranty, and is certified and tested in full compliance with the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0101.03/04 standards, this according to SafeGuard Armor.

Also available in black.

Stealth body armor is available in white or black (pictured).

Stealth body armor is available in either a Black or White outer carrier, and comes in 7 sizes, allowing for a correct fit for virtually any frame size. Even though it is manufactured in such a wide range of sizes and is highly adjustable via the wide Velcro bands, the fit is not ideal for women with a high bust-to-waist ratio. But then again, no worn-to-be-concealed body armor is.

Stealth body armor is shipped in a black, heavy-weight, nylon zippered carry bag which includes convenient handles. This is a nice bonus!

To order yours online, or to inquire further, you can contact SafeGuard Armor at:

SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC
1925 Timberline Road, N19
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 626-6038
info@safeguardarmor.com

Review sample courtesy of SafeGuard Armor!

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Book Preview: Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms

Cover Art

Cover Art

From the Publisher: This book will help you to prepare for two end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it (TEOTWAWKI) events: the EMP attack and the solar storm. Each threat is carefully studied with analyses of its likelihood and potential impacts on our nation’s critical infrastructures. Practical preparations are outlined, including steps to meet the fourteen basic needs in the absence of modern utilities, and the use of Faraday cages and uninterruptible power supplies to protect personal electronics. Several techniques for constructing ad-hoc Faraday cages are presented. The shielding effectiveness of homemade Faraday cages is measured and compared, including metal garbage cans, foil-wrapped boxes, fire safes, static bags, ammo cans, and microwave ovens. Finally, a low-cost method of constructing a room-sized Faraday cage is presented.

About the Author: Arthur T. Bradley, Ph.D. is the author of the bestselling “Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family.” He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and currently works for NASA. Dr. Bradley conducts seminars around the world, teaching families how to establish effective disaster preparedness plans.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (February 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469941554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469941554
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches

Editorial Reviews:

“A concise summary of two of the most important threats of our time.”–Tom Jansen, Emergency Management Consultant.

“Arguably the best book currently written on the subject of electromagnetic pulse and solar storm preparedness.”–Maggie Ledbetter, fellow prepper and author of Living Simple.

“Presents useful data showing what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t when constructing a Faraday cage . . . a guide filled with practical advice.”–Boris V., Professor Emeritus, Electromagnetics Research.

“Does a great job of distinguishing the differences between the preparations needed for solar storms and EMP strikes.”–Shane Connor, Ki4U

The book currently holds a full 5-star rating at the Amazon.com marketplace!

Special thanks to Arthur T. Bradley for the preview/review sample!

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Book Review: Survivors: A Novel Of The Coming Collapse

Survivors Cover Art

Survivors Cover Art

James Wesley, Rawles work of fiction Survivors:  A Novel of the Coming Collapse, (Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2011) gives a horrific view across parts of the globe of rampant hyperinflation. Events unfold quickly, almost dizzyingly so. The main players of the story happen to be aware enough of the world around them to be at least in some type of preparedness mode.

Survivors presents a world view through very different perspectives from the characters. Each one is trying to make their way in a world of turmoil. Lars Laine, disabled veteran, resides in Four Corners with his wife and future sister-in-law.   Ian Doyle, Air Force Pilot and his wife Blanca lose their daughter in a distant relative’s neighborhood riot. Ignacio Garcia, leader of the ruthless gang of thugs “La Fuerza” plan to use the opportunity of ‘without rule of law’ to take thuggery to a new level.  Sheila Randall stores seeds at the behest of her mother for the purpose of using bartering as a means of income. The most disturbing part of the storyline comes with Andrew Laine, brother of Lars Laine, who has to make his way home to the United States from his deployment in Afghanistan. Andy’s trip is extensive due to lack of air or sea travel that occurs due to “The Crunch.”

What seems to be missing from Rawles’ gripping tale was an ending as well as character dimensionality. An ending of any sort would be preferable to just an end to a chapter. There is no indication of segue to a continuation of the story at a later date, nor is there a sense of finality. This leaves the reader with the sense of something undone and unfinished, as well as painfully wanting more. What the characters lack is any real sense of grief, fear, loneliness or loss of equilibrium due to world gone topsy turvy. This makes it difficult to transport oneself into the story, and see the ruination of America through the character’s eyes.

This is a fantastic wealth of information with a disturbing first twenty pages that are eerily reminiscent of today’s news. Stopping just short of being a great story, Survivors is technology heavy in presentation, so much so that the average reader may have difficulty comprehending the scope of firearms management. Unfortunately, this three hundred and seventy page novel complete with glossary of terms and ham radio shorthand often reads like a technical manual seasoned with a thin veneer of fiction for flavor. What is interesting about this concept is that for the reader that is seeking to have a greater understanding of options in a situation where paper money is useless, this is extremely valuable information. One is able to gain a greater concept of what becomes valuable in a world ruled a bartering type of operating system. This concept is hammered home in the reference to “…ammo is practically worth its weight in silver.”While you can gain a great many how-tos from the story, set any preconceived ideas aside about gaining an emotional or personal view of a post apocalyptic world.

James Wesley, Rawles is the author of Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse and a nonfiction survival guide, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It. Rawles served in the United States Army as a Military Advisor from 1984 to 1993. He is currently a freelance preparedness and survival consultant as well as the editor of the ever popular preparedness website Survivalblog.com.

James Wesley Rawles’ Survivors is available from The Amazon Marketplace in hardcover, Kindle, and audio book formats.

Review sample courtesy of the author James Wesley Rawles.

PG
About The Author: MOTH (Mother Of The House) is the Co-founder and Editor-In-Chief of Radical Survivalism Webzine.

Preview: Sport Berkey

The Sport Berkey

The Sport Berkey

The Sport Berkey Portable Water Purification System eliminates or reduces up to 99.9% of  unpleasant taste and odors, cloudiness, silt, sediment, chlorine, Trihalomethanes, VOCs, detergents, pesticides, harmful microscopic pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E-coli (greater than 99.99999%) , other pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals such as aluminum, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, and Radiological contaminants such as Radon 222.

If a source of water is used that may contain significant bacteriological or viral contamination, the manufacturer recommends that two drops of plain chlorinated bleach or iodine be added before filtering. This will destroy the minute pathogens such as viruses. The disinfectant added will then be filtered from the water, thus removing its odor, color and taste.

The Sport Berkey provides from 160 up to 640 refills, depending on the level of contaminants in the water source.

New Millennium Concepts Ltd., the manufacturer of Berkey Products says: “The Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier is the ideal personal protection traveling companion – featuring the Ionic Absorbtion Micro Filtration System. The theory behind this innovation is simple. The bottle’s filter is designed to remove and/or dramatically reduce a vast array of health-threatening contaminants from questionable sources of water, including remote lakes and streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries where regulations may be sub-standard at best.”

Two Sport versions are available: The Sport Berkey and the Generic Sport Berkey. The difference being the Generic Sport is shipped with no text printed on the bottle, though custom text printing is available.

Replacement filter elements are also available to extend the unit’s usable life.

The Sport Berkey sells for under $40 and is available from http://www.berkeywater.com/SportBerkey/

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Review: PDN Personal Firearm Defense DVD Series

Personal Firearm Defense DVD Series

Personal Firearm Defense DVD Series

Personal Defense Network, creators of the Personal Firearm Defense DVD Series, says:

“The Personal Defense Network has created the Personal Firearm Defense DVD Series to help teach you how to use your firearm to defend yourself, your family or those you care about.

Rob Pincus, premiere firearms trainer and managing editor of Personal Defense Network, will teach you step-by-step techniques for defensive training with efficiency and consistency.”

The DVD I received for review was entitled “Shooting In Realistic Environments” and the instructor (Rob Pincus) succeeds in providing instruction that thoroughly covers the specific subject matter. A number of questions I’ve personally wrestled with regarding the use of my handgun in real life scenarios were answered in a very direct way when I watched the DVD.

The DVD is comprised of the following:

  • Opening
  • Three Safety Rules
  • Defensive Shooting Fundamentals
  • Lateral Movement
  • Balancing Speed & Precision
  • Critical Incident Reloading
  • Threats in a Realistic Environment
  • Dynamic Shooting Session A
  • Figure-8 Drill
  • Dynamic Shooting Session B
  • Closing

The DVD also includes bonus segments covering two additional quick tips and a final chapter entitled “Who is Rob Pincus?”

I find that Rob is very wordy when he instructs, and there’s not a single adjective that frightens him, so be prepared to listen as well as watch. He walks the students featured in this video through helpful indoor shooting drills, as well as 360 degree defensive handgun training. Everything presented is set-up to resemble what one would likely experience in defending against attackers inside the home, or in common urban settings.

I enjoyed watching and learning from the DVD, and give the Shooting In Realistic Environments DVD 5 out of a possible 5 stars. I highly recommend it to anyone who owns a handgun and is not professionally trained in defensive handgun tactics.

Review sample courtesy of Personal Defense Network. You can purchase the DVD series directly from their online store.

Would you like your survival or preparedness product reviewed here? If so, please contact us at: submissions@RadicalSurvivalism.com

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Gear Preview: Goal Zero Nomad 7M

The Goal Zero Nomad 7M

The Goal Zero Nomad 7M

The Goal Zero Nomad 7M is a portable solar panel system to be used to charge your 12 volt DC auto accessories, rechargeable batteries, and most handheld electronic gadgets.

Earthtech Products, the maker of the Goal Zero, says: Designed for the rugged outdoors and built to last the Nomad 7 Watt Flexible Solar Panel is an adventurer’s dream tool. It is completely weather proof, so you can use it anywhere, in any weather conditions. The Goal Zero utilizes the latest in flexible solar panel technology, monocrystalline solar panel technology, which provides the most power per square inch. The Nomad 7 Watt flexible solar panel can charge up all of your 12v devices quickly with the included 12v cigarette adapter. The Nomad even has a built in USB charging port, to quickly charge up all of your USB devices (Iphones,Ipods, Smartphones.) It even has a bult in pocket for your devices and chargers. It features super strong and flexible nylon hooks on all corners to ensure you can firmly secure it, where ever you need to. This foldable solar panel even folds up and fits into the included foldable fabric carrying case to insure it doesn’t take up valuable space in your backpack. On your outdoor journeys, feel safe in the knowledge that you have portable power, where ever the trail leads you.

Shelf Reliance Says: For the minimalist on the go the Nomad 7M delivers an ultra-compact yet powerful solar panel that enables you to charge your handheld devices directly from its USB and 12 Volt DC charging ports.

Features include:

  • USB charging port
  • Compatible with most USB devices
  • 12 Volt DC charging port
  • Includes 12 Volt female cigarette adapter for charging auto accessories
  • 30% smaller than comparable panels
  • Only weighs 13 ounces
  • Pocket for devices and for cell charger
  • Compact foldable fabric case
  • Durable loops for hanging
  • 5+ year lifespan

The Earthtect Products Goal Zero 7M sells for under $90.00 and is now available from Shelf Reliance as well as from the Amazon Online Marketplace.

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Gear Review: Peltor Combat Arms E-A-R Plugs

Peltor Combat Arms E-A-R Plugs

Peltor Combat Arms E-A-R Plugs

If you shoot firearms for recreation, sport, or by profession, you NEED to use hearing protection. Frequent exposure to the high-decibel sounds produced by small arms fire will inevitably damage your hearing. It does not matter how tough you think you are, if you press your luck too many times, you will pay a penalty in terms of hearing damage.

In light of that, let’s talk about hearing protection. Specifically Peltor’s #97079 Combat Arms E-A-R plugs.

From the Manufacturer: “The Combat Arms are the ultimate shooters earplugs providing two way protection. The olive end is designed to provide constant passive noise reduction best used in an indoor shooting range. The yellow end features a filter which allows normal conversation to be heard while simultaneously limiting harmful noise from gunfire – ideal for an outdoor range.”

Peltor’s indoor/outdoor E-A-R plugs are designed to work in any shooting environment, be it indoors and out. The yellow end offers noise-activated (momentary) protection up to NRR 22dB for outdoor range use, while the olive end provides conventional (constant) NRR 22dB for indoor use. The earplugs are made with a patented triple-flange design and comprised of soft non-irritating polymer for all-day comfort.

The Combat Arms E-A-R plugs are backed by Peltor’s 25-year reputation of excellence. These are the same earplugs used by the U.S. military and for good reason; they work as advertised. They are reusable, there are no valves to wear out, and they ship with a small black storage container for safe keeping. Now, the hearing protection choice of law enforcement, the military, and shooters all over the world can be your choice too.

I use the Peltor Combat Arms for both target shooting and also when I mow the lawn. Between target practice, and mowing the 3.8 acres of countryside we call our yard (which takes me a whopping 4 hours), I spend a lot of time wearing these especially in the summer months, and I can say they are reasonably comfortable and they do work very well.

I give the Peltor Combat Arms E-A-R plugs 5 out of a possible 5 stars. They can be purchased from the Amazon Online Marketplace for under $10 per pair.

Review sample courtesy of my wallet.

Would you like your survival or preparedness product reviewed here? If so, please contact us at: submissions@RadicalSurvivalism.com

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Preview: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport

The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport

The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport

The Smith & Wesson M&P15 has earned the reputation of being one of the most reliable AR-15 clones in existence. With several variations of the model already available, Smith & Wesson has introduced a more affordable version, without compromising the outstanding reliability of the M&P15 line. They call it the “Sport”.

Features:

  • Model: M&P15 Sport
  • Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO
  • Capacity: 30 Round Detachable Magazine
  • Action: Semi-Auto
  • Barrel Length: 16″ / 40.6 cm
  • Barrel Twist: 1 in 8″ 5R Rifling
  • Front Sight: Adjustable A2 Post
  • Rear Sight: Magpul Folding MBUS
  • Overall Length: 35″ Extended / 32″ Collapsed
  • Stock: 6 Position Telescopic
  • Weight: 6.45 lbs. / 2,925.7 g
  • Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Melonite
  • Receiver Material: 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Receiver Finish: Hard Coat Black Anodized
  • Chromed Components: Gas Key, Bolt Carrier
  • Purpose: Competitive, Recreational, Professional/Duty, Home Protection, Hunting

The Suggested Retail Price is set at $739.00, but as of this writing, the M&P15 Sport can be purchased through online retailers for around $640.00.

The M&P15 Sport product page can be viewed here.

A full review of the M&P15 Sport is available from TheTruthAboutGuns.com

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Food Review: Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix

Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix
Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix

By: RSOPerator

Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix is ideal for making healthier pancakes and waffles when compared to store-bought box mixes. The variety of grains used in creating the mix provides an extra boost of added nutrition to the most important meal of the day. For the adventurous cooks out there, you can tap your creativity by using Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix as a base for pie crusts, crepes, and many types of bread.

Directions for use as follows: Mix 3 1/3 cups Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix with 2 ½ cups water (use less for thicker pancakes) and stir gradually. Do not over mix. Cook on a hot griddle. This recipe yields 18 4-inch round pancakes.

For waffles or crepes: Mix 2 ¼ cup of mix with 2 cups of cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and mix in slightly, do not over mix. Cook as desired.

I’ve tried mixing milk into the recipe to make fluffier and even richer tasting pancakes, but, unlike common box mixes, the Thrive mix seems to reject the milk, leaving a lumpy mass instead of an evenly mixed batter. Sticking to water for preparing the batter is clearly the way to go.

I found that the taste of the Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix is a significant improvement over any store-bought brand I’ve ever used, including Bisquick. Now, when I prepare pancakes, I use the Thrive mix exclusively.

To create some variety in our pancake breakfasts, I often mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or Thrive Blueberries, and the family loves my pancakes regardless of which of these I add.

Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix is available directly from Shelf Reliance (http://shelfreliance.com), or any of their Independent Consultants, packaged in a pouch, pantry can, #10 can, pantry can case, and #10 can case.

I give Thrive 6 Grain Pancake Mix 5 out of a possible 5 stars. It also holds a perfect 5 star customer rating on the Shelf Reliance website.

This one is a definite winner, and we are acquainted with several other families who enjoy it so much over store-bought brands that they order it by the case! Yes, it is that good.

Review sample courtesy of Shelf Reliance Ohio.

Would you like your survival or preparedness product reviewed here? If so, please contact us at: submissions@RadicalSurvivalism.com

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.

Gear Review: Fox Large Transport Pack


Fox Large Transport Pack

Fox Large Transport Pack (shown in Woodland Digital)

By: RSOPerator

So, you say it’s finally time to get your bug-out gear together and you need a reasonably priced, good quality bag to get it done?

The Fox Large Transport Pack is a frame-less design, constructed with rugged tactical polyester with a rubberized, waterproof bottom. It features tough nylon webbing throughout, and is compatible with standard Molle gear via the abundance of straps covering the back and sides. As a bonus, the pack accepts a standard hydration bladder for no-hands hydration.

The pack also features heavy duty, self-healing zippers throughout, and polyurethane coated lining to aid in repelling moisture. Do keep in mind, however, that while the pack is “water repellant”, my own experience with basement plumbing proves it is not fully waterproof.

In examining the pack, one finds that it is comprised of a large main compartment with an interior mesh zippered pocket, a front zippered compartment with exterior zippered pouch, an adjustable web waist belt, adjustable padded shoulder straps with d-rings, padded back with breathable mesh backing, sewn-on top carry handle, and both top and side adjustable compression straps with polymer quick release buckles.

The dimensions of this rather roomy pack are 19″ x 15″ x 8″, which is enough space for all of my personal bug-out gear including MREs, a full change of clothes, basic tools, and other miscellaneous emergency doodads. One could also make room inside for emergency drinking water, but I chose to carry it via a one-quart G.I. style canteen which I attached to the side via Molle straps.

As far as bug-out bags go, this one is my choice in the sub-fifty dollar range. There are indeed nicer tactical transport packs out there that do include a padded waist belt, but for the price, this one is still better than average in terms of function and design.

I give the Fox Large Transport Pack 4 out of a possible 5 stars. If the poly material did a better job of keeping water out, and it included a padded waist belt, I would have eagerly given it a five-star rating.

The Fox Large Transport Pack (Item Number 56-439) is available for under $50 and comes in Olive Drab, Black, Digital Woodland, Foliage Green, Army Digital, Coyote Brown, and now Multicam!

For your convenience, I have provided a direct link to the Fox Large Transport Pack, which is available at a very reasonable price through the Amazon.com marketplace.

Review sample courtesy of  my wallet.

Would you like your survival or preparedness product reviewed here? If so, please contact us at: submissions@RadicalSurvivalism.com

PG
About The Author: RSOP is the co-founder & Executive Editor of Radical Survivalism Webzine, as well as a Family Preparedness Consultant with nearly five years of personal experience in the self-reliance game. RSOP's many preparedness roles within his own group include team mechanic, head of security, electrician, and project designer/engineer.