DefendTek Tactical LED

| September 23, 2020
DefendTek DTM1C
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

The DefendTek Tactical LED, model DT-M1C, is a low cost 300 Lumen tactical flashlight that uses rechargeable batteries, and allows you to toggle a strobe setting.

While on a trip away from home, my girlfriend prevented a home invasion. I decided that we needed to immediately improve our home security, and defensibility. We have firearms ready to use at a moments notice, but some sort of warning, and the ability to see in the dark, or even dissuade home invaders would be ideal.

I got the DefendTek Tactical LED, model DT-M1C, because it is a compact tactical flashlight that fits on my Springfield XD, but can easily swap onto any picatinny rail, like the M-LOK rail on the underside of my AR15 NBS Free Float handguard. At $24.95 on Amazon, its a hard to argue against purchasing one.

Features Include:

  • The DefendTek Tactical LED, model DT-M1C, is a compact model.
  • Strong aluminum construction
  • 300 Lumen Cree LED
  • Strobe and Steady Light Modes
  • Easy to operate quick release
  • Uses 3v CR2 Rechargeable Batteries (Includes 1 non-rechargeable)

DefendTek DTM1C Side View

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Bright. I chose 300 Lumens, because any brighter, and it could blind the operator.
  • Strobe or Steady Modes, let you disorient a target or just illuminate a them.
  • QD rail mount design
  • Uses common CR2 Rechargeable Batteries
  • Low Price, great value, does not break the bank. Leaves you with money to buy additional batteries and a charger if you don’t have one already

Cons:

The option of steady or strobe modes is great. However, how you select the mode leaves a lot to be desired. Pushing a lever turns on the light in steady mode. Turning it off and then on again starts the strobe mode. You can not choose the mode separate from toggling the power. A better design would separate the functions.

Overall

Its good quality, with lots of features. There are some things to be desired, like mode of operation selection, however it can’t be beat for the price. The price point leaves you with room to buy additional CR2 batteries and a charger. I really wish DefendTek would update the light, I’d happily buy the next generation with my minor gripe addressed.

Alarms

We also added a bunch of really simple, but effective door and window alarms. If you are interested, I use these, everywhere. If one goes off anytime it shouldn’t, then whatever caused an alarm to trip will be immediately met with a firearm, and the DefendTek DT-M1C.

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Basic Reloading Equipment

| September 11, 2020
basic reloading eguipment
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

I’m going to cover the basic reloading equipment needed to get started reloading. I won’t get into the why you should or shouldn’t reload.

The gist is this… If you want to reload to save money, you probably won’t achieve your goal of saving money. Its not true all the time, like with reloading premium hunting rounds or thousands of rounds, but most of the time, you won’t save money, you’ll just get to shoot more for the same amount of money. It usually takes A LOT of rounds for the average shooter to break even. Basic benefits are ammo availability, custom load development, ammo security, and volume.

Now that I’ve briefly commented on why someone might reload, I’ll dive right into the basic reloading equipment that you’ll need. Beyond the equipment, the most important things you can get, in any combination, are a mentor, reloading training, a reloading data book.

I’ll use the .223 Remington as a reloading equipment example, since its in such high demand. However, dies, shell holders, and other equipment and consumables like gun powder, for 9mm, or other calibers are all similarly expensive or inexpensive to get into depending on your perspective. My reloading equipment list also assumes a single stage press, where you only perform one reloading step at a time. Its the cheapest method to start reloading your own ammo.

Reloading Steps

I’ve broken down the functions of reloading equipment into the six steps they perform.
1. De-prime/Resize
2. Clean
3. Prime
4. Powder Fill
5. Seat Bullet
6. Measure/Adjust/QC

Equipment List for .223 Remington

This is the equipment list that you will use forever, or untill you upgrade to other presses. It excludes consumable equipment, and ammunition consumables listed further below.

Consumable Equipment List

This is equipment that lasts a long time, but eventually needs replacement.

Consumables .223 Remington

  • Bullets
  • Cases(pick them up after you shoot them, and pick up other peoples cases)
  • Powder
  • Primers
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High Country Boil

| September 9, 2020
High Country Boil
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

A high country boil is exactly what it sounds like. Its a low country style boil, with invasive Signal crawfish, caught in the high country on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada.

I won’t get too granular on the differences in crawfish, and there ARE differences. Of the many species of crawfish, there are Red Swamp Crayfish(common in a low country boil), Virile or Northern, Ringed, Rusty, Shasta, and Signal. And many more.

In our area, Signal crayfish are invasive, they are also the largest species of crayfish anywhere near us. Unlike other crayfish in North America, many Signal crayfish have claw meat, worth the effort.

I’ve noticed the “catch. clean. cook.” caption on a lot of things on youtube in the last year. I’m not sure what exactly the fantasization with the fishing, gathering, and hunting process is in the last year. Maybe its just folks getting antsy in quarantine. Regardless of why the process is interesting, it’s certainly important.

Catching

Catching is straight forward. I use traps, like these, baited with chicken parts. I occasionally catch by hand, but am careful not to get pinched. I’m not sure you’d get ‘badly’ injured, but also can’t imagine it would feel great to get pinched by a large Signal Crayfish.

Transportation

I toss all my captured crayfish into a tote with a battery operated air bubbler, for transportation home.

Clean/Purging

Once home, I transfer the cray fish into a bigger tote with a larger volume of cool de-chlorinated water. I de-chlorinate with an aquarium water de-chlorinator.

I let the crawfish sit in the tote for at least 24 hours, without food. Nobody wants to eat a poop vein full of black crud. 24 hours is the minimum to let a crawfish purge itself of waste. 36 to 48 hours is even better.

Worth mentioning is salt. Adding epson salt, in short gives the mud bugs diarrhea, and can speed up the purging process. Some folks use table salt which may kill your crawfish. I’m sure some country bumpkin will tell you how to salt things and how his ‘granpappy’s granpappy done it’, but I couldn’t care less. Giving crawfish time to purge, and not losing them to salting, seems to work best for me.

Cook/Boiling

I bring a solution of water, lemon and salt, up to a boil, then drop the crawfish in. As soon as the water starts to boil again, i set a timer for 12 to 15 minutes.

At the same time I start the boil… I start another pot of brine. It includes bay leaves, pepper, salt, seasonings, lemons, and whatever the hell sounds good on crawfish.

When the crawfish are done boiling, they get a quick rinse in cool water, and then get added to a hot soak in the brine. They get brined for a few minutes, then plated for consumption.

My process, right or wrong, purges the crawfish, cleans them of any parasites, and them brines them for a great flavor.

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Reload 12 Gauge Steel

| September 4, 2020
Reloading 12 Guage Steel
Photo Credit: Keith Knoxsville
A Hen and a Drake Green Teal on the truck bed. Not a limit on anything, but a fun morning out.

Want to reload 12 Gauge steel shot? Tired of not having the right ammo locally available? Living in California an dealing with ammo background BS? I got over it, and I’m happy to be able to produce any shot shell I want or need, at an economical price.

With California ammo background checks and associated costs, plus the lead free ammo cost compared to lead, as well as the lack of local availability, reloading hunting shot shells makes economical sense.

Equipment
12 Gauge Lee Load All 2 - $58.99 - $72.99

Consumables
10 Lbs. Steel #5 Shot – $19.99
200 Steel Shot Specific Wads – $20.12
200 Primers (x2 100 box) – (3.59*2) = $7.18
250 Overshot Cards 1/8″ – $5.03
1 Lbs. Shot Powder (Alliant Green Dot, Alliant Steel) – 23.99

Consumable Cost
$76.31 = 19.99 + 20.12 + 7.18 + 5.03 + 23.99

Total Cost = Equipment Cost + Consumable Cost
$135.30 = $58.99 + $76.31

You can expect to load 160 1 ounce loads, with the limiting factor being the steel shot. All the other supplies will load nearly double that amount of shells. If you can even get a hold of #5 steel, and its a decent hunting load. A box will probably cost between 12 and 17 bucks for 25 rounds. The above listed equipment will load 160 shells, or 6.4 boxes. Meaning you’ll probably break even on the consumables, and break completely even after your first 400 – 500 rounds.

All of the above doesn’t even consider the ammo background check costs, lack of availability of ammo, and any costs saved on trips to the sporting goods.

Its a winning deal just to avoid California’s asinine ammunition laws.

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