Benjamin David

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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12 Foot Pounds, 600 FPS Plus, Crosman 1322

| August 18, 2020
crosman 1322
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.

In the quest for 12 foot ponds of energy, I decided after all the modding to my Crosman 1322, that I would over pump and see what I could generate in terms of power. I originally expected that I was going to have to increase the barrel length to get to 12 foot pounds of energy. As it turns out, it is achievable without a longer barrel, some increased air cylinder volume, and a steel breech. But just barely.

fps-1322-12 fpe

Over pumping resulted in shot strings that were over 600 fps with 14.3g Crosman premier domed and pointed, pellets. My highest that I could record is the 618 FPS.

The sweet spot for consistent shot strings for my pistol now lies around 16 pumps, for over 580 fps. I’ve taken rabbits past 65 yards with the Crosman 1322 in Wyoming winds, and I have no ethical or moral qualms with the dispatching energy at even greater distances.

In ideal conditions, I’d like to use a rest, or shooting sticks, and try to take a rabbit or grouse, past 100 yards. I’m still toying with the idea of a few more inches of barrel length so I don’t waste air, but am not sure I want increase the gun size and decrease the backpack portability of the pistol.

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Get Outside

| August 7, 2020
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.

It seems almost impossible to get outside and get away from people lately. There is an influx of people heading to mountain towns and destinations with recreational opportunities. With the increase human traffic, there has been an increase of liter, trash, and even damage to public use areas.

Its obvious from the resurgence of Corona cases in California that people want to get outside, and have ignored or got lazy about social distancing and other common ways to prevent the spread of covid-19.

While it seems impossible to avoid these people, its not. They mostly seem to need amenities, near by stores, boat access, and mostly paved road access.

As soon as you take a back road, get on foot, put in some mileage, or make any sort of greater effort, its possible to get away from people.

My girlfriend and I managed to fish and paddle an entire lake to ourselves. As well as camp without seeing a another sole. We only shared the experience with a few coyotes, some big fish, and a pair of bald eagles.

So do a little research, get a few back country map, and make an effort to really get outside. If you don’t, or can’t, and you must be part of the masses crowding easy to access public space, please be responsible, wear a mask when appropriate, don’t set your camp up on the water, and pick up after your shit.

Also, if you do get out on water wear a life vest like the ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket I’m wearing above, and if you want a really fun way to fish, do it with a Tenkara rod. It’s how I caught the cutthroat I’m releasing in the picture above.

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Hunting & Angling Kayak

| June 29, 2020
Kayak
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 picked up an entry level Tamarack Angler kayak by Lifetime, for fishing and hunting. I avoid buying expensive items just to strip them of their bells and whistles to modify. Which is what I plan to do with this kayak. Since this will be an angling and duck hunting rig I decided to start with an inexpensive, but well made and well reviewed model. The Tamarack Angler kayak is a 10 foot kayak, that includes some decent features for the price.

The kayak itself is sturdy, stable, and tracks well. Aside from the two included hatches feeling a tad bid flimsy, and the seat being an obvious place for an upgrade, everything seems well built.

I immediately bought an ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket locally. Its a great vest and has more bells and whistles than I probably need for fishing from the kayak. I also ordered a camouflage paddling and shooting specific life vest by Onyx, so that I don’t become a sad and preventable drowning statistic this duck hunting season. I’ll probably switch between the two, and my girlfriend will potentially use it for stand up paddleboarding and fishing.

I’ve only owned the kayak for a week at the time of writing this, but have already managed to casually get a good number of miles of paddling in. I’ve caught fish, and used it to access areas I typically could not in my TideWe hip waders.

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler kayak should make for a good fishing and hunting rig with the right modifications. As a fishing kayak, its great value for money. That’s just my current experience and opinion, as an outdoor enthusiast, not a pro kayaker or fisherman.

Where to Buy?

While I do include affiliate links to Amazon for the Kayak, because purchasing any items helps support the continued publishing of TheGoby.com, I suggest shopping around for a better price. While I don’t trust whatever buying or QC is involved with getting products into Walmart for absurdly low prices, the Tamarack can occasionally be bought there for under 300 dollars. I purchased mine through Big 5, because in California, they have not cowed to gun grabbers the way Dick’s Sporting Goods did, and I am happy to support those who support my lifestyle, and hopefully the lifestyle of future generations. Albeit somewhat political, I firmly believe we should put our money where our mouth is, and I do.

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Doubling Down

| May 1, 2020
free stock
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.

Maybe you aren’t invested in the stock market, and watching what its doing lately, you wonder why you would want to be. Or maybe you bought 1 stock 5 years ago for $30 and it is now trading at $8. You could lose your mind, sell, and accept nearly a 75% loss. Or you could consider it an opportunity to buy that same stock again today, at a MASSIVE discount.

Oh by the way, if you want a free stock, or maybe two free stocks, and don’t care to read to the end. Here’s the link. Open a Webull brokerage account and receive ONE (1) free stock! Deposit and get an additional free stock!. Webull is running a really smart promotion where they are giving people free stock for new signs ups, and to share the word about Webull, instead of wasting money on other traditional marketing methods.

I look at investments in the stock market, as long term investments that will pay me dividends. Long investments don’t try to time the market. And neither do I. Except, I do take some guesses as to how I can average my cost of a position in a stock to be as low as possible.

What that means?
That $30 stock is now a dismal $8 stock. On the bright side its on sale for 73% off! If you have confidence in that company’s stock to recover to two thirds of its pre-crisis price you should consider doubling down. Not exactly, and not quite literally though. Check out the example below.

What happens if you buy 3 more of that stock at $8?
Buy 3 shares at $8 for a $24 dollar investment, plus the original $30 stock, for a total investment of $54.
– Effectively you nearly double your total investment in the stock.
– If your stock pays dividends, you’ve quadrupled your dividend payment.
– Your average cost of that stock is now $13.5 per share… Not $30.

Yes its still a loss right now. Your cost was $54 for a market value of $32. However, at an average cost of $13.5 that stock only needs to recover to $19, not a $30 market price to break even. Everything beyond that point is an increase in wealth in the form of appreciation. Also, consider you will now quadruple any dividend payment by having 4 positions, instead of 1. In a normal market, that would be a huge fluctuation, but in an economic dip with massive volatility, and prices at all time lows, its more than likely companies will recover, and so will their share prices.

Everything I’ve mentioned I’ve tried to keep simple. It takes into account a few simplified principles like ‘dollar cost averaging’ and a more fun one ‘Buy the Dip and Sell the Rip‘.

I have a long term investment plan, I don’t sell the highs, unless I lose confidence in a business or investment and move my position to another stock, index fund, or ETF. I also typically focus on buying higher dividend stocks, and try to increase my position by buying frequently, and even more-so when stocks are on sale, like they are right now.

Disclaimer! I am NOT a professional. Nor am I a financial advisor. I am not offering advice, I am offering up my experience, and what I do to never worry about my investments. In fact, with my approach, I see markets dip and I see it as a huge opportunity to increase the amount of dividend payments I will receive for a smaller investment than I would have had to make a few months ago.

If you aren’t investing, get started. Open a Webull brokerage account and receive ONE (1) free stock! Deposit and get an additional free stock!

I wasn’t above signing up to take advantage of a free stock. I also funded it the minimum $100 to get a second free stock. I would consistently be funding and buying through another trading platform anyway. I actually, received stocks that are worth $16, for signing up, and then for doing what I would have done anyway.

So get started. There is no reason not to. Also, take the time to learn. Learn about the businesses you want to buy shares of. Read about dollar cost averaging. View the dip as an opportunity, and take advantage of it.

Stay healthy, and get wealthy!

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Fresh Air

| April 28, 2020
Eastern Sierra
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 Eastern Sierra Mountains are a great place to clear your mind and get fresh air amid the corona virus crisis. Aside from truly necessary visits to the grocery store, hardware store, and post office, I’ve been inside my home working.

My workload has actually increased quite a bit during the crisis, and while I am grateful for work, I am jealous of the many folks outside, getting fresh air whilst collecting some combinations of unemployment, SBA, and stimulus checks.

I’d probably be less bitter if I was also dipping my hand in the cookie jar, but I am not. While we will all pay for the stimulus and bailouts, in some form or another, at least some of us will have had an extended spring break on the taxpayer’s dime, whilst others, myself included don’t get that government sponsored vacation time.

I had to get some outside time, so I scouted a large meadow with aspen stands above a peak that I had been interested in visiting, and had previously investigated via satellite photos.

The break made me feel much better mentally, and even physically. My work desk posture is not the best and the consequence is discomfort and dull pain.

Being outside gave me an opportunity to appreciate a time in the future when we will be able to get out more freely. It gave me a mental break from work. It also gave me an opportunity to physically loosen up, as well as get some vitamin D.

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