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July 23rd, 2019 by AmSJ Staff

Q&A With James Talmage Stevens On Preparedness

James Talmage Stevens knows more about the preparedness movement than probably anyone alive. He’s been a leader in it since 1974, when he wrote the book, Making The Best of Basics. The handbook has sold over 800,000 copies since hitting the shelves at Kmart during the gas crisis. Over 500 pages long, it’s considered an encyclopedia on preparedness, everything you need to know. It is even made out of rice paper, in case you need to eat it.
Talmage tells me we’re undergoing a “doom boom” currently, due to the
lingering poor economy. There are all kinds of things popping up related to preparedness – even prepper dating sites. Talmage has been putting food away since he wrote the book – and it’s still good. I asked him what are the most important things people need to know about preppers.

RACHEL ALEXANDER What is the prepared movement?

JAMES TALMAGE STEVENS It’s being ready for inevitable catastrophic situations. You can’t go back to kindergarten, you know too much now, you’ve got the knowledge that things are going to happen. You’ve been there, you’ve done it. Your life has changed forever as you knew it, and it will change again. Most TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) is positive. If you possess additional knowledge, you’re now more responsible, if you care to use this knowledge.
TEOTWAWKI doesn’t really mean the end of the world. It means things change for you positively or negatively, mostly positive, such as
getting married, having kids, etc. It’s not about just being prepared for a catastrophic world event, but life catastrophes, e.g. your car gets hit in the parking lot. It allows you to continue as if nothing happened. Of course, no one is truly self-sufficient except God. Look at it as triages that need to be sustained. For example, a garden is composed of the three Ps: produce, prepare and produce food. Unfortunately, people aren’t focusing on the right words. Not everyone
can plant a garden on the third floor of an apartment building. But you
can have indoor plants on your countertop. It also provides healthier,
raw food with more nutrition; and as long as you can flush your toilet,
you don’t have to leave your home other than to get water.

RA How should gun owners keep their guns prepared?

JTS I was raised shooting squirrels and rabbits, and I served in the military. People should have guns if they want to. I hate people like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who drive around with their armed guards – but I can’t. There is no legislation that will ever stop people from using guns. We have a right and should take advantage of it. I have a .22 long rifle, an AR-15, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .45 pistol and a .32 Franz Stock pistol.

RA What do you think about the recent hype over a zombie apocalypse?

JTS Do you know what zombie means? Hollywood has created this image that a zombie is an undead person. It ain’t gonna happen, God’s in charge of this earth, and nobody’s rising from the grave. Now here’s what zombie means: If you were addicted to something, you’d do anything for a fix. You would lose control of your ability to be rational. Similarly, in the case of a massive disaster, if you needed water or food, you’d do
anything to get it. If you know anything about the psychology of predators, they almost always go for the weakest and easiest target.

RA While researching preppers, I came across comparisons of the chaos and crime in the aftermath of a hurricane to what could happen on a
worldwide scale should there be a huge disaster. What do you think of
all the prepper shows out now? There’s Doomsday Preppers, Doomsday
Bunkers, Armageddon Arsenals, and Meet the Preppers.

JTS They’re taking everything to extreme. Someone learns something
and thinks they’re as knowledgeable as someone else, yet they have no experience. They are living the Walter Mitty life [someone living in a fantasy world].

RA What do you think are the biggest threats that could result in doomsday? A biological attack? Financial collapse? A natural disaster like a massive earthquake or volcano? Nuclear weapons?

JTS The biggest threat is you; it’s other humans. Because they believe the system is going to take care of us. I believe this is the greatest country on earth, set up with religious overtones to provide for all this freedom. The greatest threat is the devil. Everyone gets a blue ribbon just because they played? I don’t think so. There is competition for limited resources. Obama can write all the executive orders he wants taking my stuff, but he cannot take my food, savings and life earnings within the system. I pay property taxes, taxes on my employment, and I choose to be frugal and thoughtful and considerate, and you want to come and take it just because you wasted your resources on playing golf? I’m coming to get your golf bag.

RA How do you respond when people accuse preppers of being fringe?

JTS Mormons and Baptists are fringe. Republicans are fringe. It depends on what the conditions are. Everyone has some fringe in them. What about the people who buy a Prius? It’s like former vice-president Al Gore flying around in his private jet urging people to save gas – get a life! He sold a major asset to Al Jazeera.

RA What are your thoughts on preserving game meat?

JTS I made a lot of deer and turkey jerky. There are many ways to preserve. You can even freeze dry at home. Pickle it, salt it. Refrigeration and freezing are the most expensive and risky ways to store food. Our house doesn’t need air conditioning.

RA How has the prepper movement changed over the years?

JTS It’s shifted from tactical to practical. There are more people “living ready” now. Although there are now more guns and camo, you don’t need to include that aspect.

RA What are the “WAGs” you refer to?

JTS WAG stands for “Wrong Agenda Group.” These people have all the answers, but they just don’t under the question. They take (borrow) information and get into ruts. You’ll see things like “101 things you need to have when SHTF” – yet that particular article doesn’t even apply. It came from Argentina, which has vastly different needs than we do here. The WAGs simply repeat what others do. The top prepper blogs are merely aggregators of feeds.

RA Tell us about your radio show, which I enjoyed being a guest on.

JTS on Blogtalkradio is all preparedness; there’s no politics or religion, except spirituality. There are no conspiracy
theories, or things that may offend ladies, who are 85 percent of our listeners. It is teaching and instructional. I used to do 40 hours a week. I am also a regular guest on the radio show Freedomizer [patriot topics].

RA Where did the term “prepper” come from?

JTS Shawn Dutton, who runs the Phoenix Militia, came up with it. Note that the Phoenix Militia is not the same as the types of militias that were prevalent in the 1990s, that were more anti-government. The Phoenix Militia is all about preparedness.

RA What is the difference between a prepper and a survivalist?

JTS Survivalists are a bit more radical than preppers. Preparedness is practical, it’s a way of living. You can live anywhere. It’s an attitude for dealing with the unknown. Additionally, there are bushmen and homesteaders, which include urban, suburban and exurban homesteaders.

RA Any final thoughts?

JTS Final thoughts: It’s our responsibility as parents and citizens to take care of our families, to teach and feed them. It’s not a governmental responsibility. The government was doing it for awhile, and back then they did a good job. Fairly good lifestyle 50 years ago, easy society to live in. My childhood was idyllic. Now it’s very difficult,
they keep whittling away with what made it great. We’ve let other people run our lives for so long that we don’t recognize the fact that we’ve given up rights. Today there’s much legislation you can’t buy a chainsaw without a permit. It’s Satanic, it’s evil, it’s not just opportunism, or free enterprise gone mad.
Do not rely upon first responders. You are your first responder, your first line of defense. You can’t always depend on your neighbor, or your partner, professor, school. We now live in a changed world. AmSJ

Editor’s note: Visit Stevens’ websites at
Article by Rachel Alexander

Posted in Editor's Blog Tagged with: ,

February 21st, 2017 by jhines

[su_heading size=”30″]‘APOCALYPSE’ DIY Gun[/su_heading]

In the event of a societal breakdown this is a simple DIY gun you can build yourself from pieces found or purchased at a hardware store.

If you can imagine a national emergency, societal breakdown, military law, national confiscation or natural disaster when firearm access has been prevented or denied, you can also imagine having to build guns on your own. Well, here’s a SHTF weapon that you can make from hardware store items.

And if nothing else, it’s a practical and fun hack in upping your McGyver skill, and improving your SHTF know-how. By the way, please, ignore the political statements at the end of the video. We chose this video strictly because of its gun-building content.

There are many homemade firearm instructional videos on the internet. This is just one example, and it’s a pretty good one because it requires a minimal amount skills in welding and a little machining. It’s not too labor-intensive but it does require some basic hand and machine work, have a look.

Video Transription
This story begins the way a lot of guy stories begin: At a hardware store. But I would bet nobody here is looking for the kind of stuff that we’re here looking for.

[Introduction music]

Now when we say “Apocalypse Gun” we’re not talking a total apocalypse. You know, where you’re basically running around in a loincloth, hungry and crapping in the woods, we’re talking about some sort of societal breakdown. Maybe Martial law, and at the very least, a situation where guns and ammo have been banned and confiscated. There has to be the assumption that there will still be normal commerce, electricity available, et-cetera. And under those conditions, a hardware store will become a very valuable resource. All parts of the apocalypse gun can be bought at hardware stores, or be ordered from hardware suppliers online. And while the gun can be made with only hand tools, we sure didn’t do it that way.

This is called a top-level assembley drawing, and it lists all the parts in the entire gun. Every item on the parts list references a drawing or instruction on how to buy a part.

Ok what we’re looking at here is an animated exploded view of the CAD model of the gun. Everything I designed is done completely in CAD before I even think about cutting metal. Yeah I used to do it the Royal Nonesuch way, where I’d just run out there into the shop and start cutting and grinding, and I won’t say it isn’t still a temptation, but I’ve learned over the years that this is the best way to do things. And he’ll learn that eventually, too.

In this section view, which is basically a slice right down the middle, you can see the breach which is inserted into the barrel. We made it from a scrap piece of 22 barrel, which was turned down in diameter, chambered, and welded in place. What’s interesting, is we originally only planned for this gun to fire ball-bearings using stud gun blanks. And that’s why you see this different type of breach here, this short little piece, and in fact that’s what the original barrel had in it; but then we figured out that the ideal material to use for this little breach was a little segment of 22 barrel that we had lying around, we figured ‘hey, why not leave it a little long, leave some of the rifle barrel in there, and leave the ability to fire the .22 as well?’ In fact, that’s where the name comes from, the 2238, it .22 and basically a 38, three-eighths diameter ball-bearing.

Taking one last look at the breach made from the 22 barrel scrap, we welded this part in, but you could easily thread these two together. What we’re looking at in detail here is what you call a slide cap. This is another part that could either be welded on, like we did, or threaded on. All slamfire guns have to have a firing pin in this area. Royal Nonesuch likes to make his out of a blob of weld, but I like to CNC Machine mine. And of course you could always just drill a hole and put a pin through there, or a screw through there, all sorts of ways to solve that.

Just in case you were wondering what the three holes were for, on the frame of the gun, this answers the question. It was just in order to screw it down to some other plate so we could clamp it down to the CNC machine and do all our work on it. And you can also see that the frame is made up of two pieces of two and a half-inch wide of really crappy hot-rolled steel called ASTME36. So you don’t even need a big ‘ol piece of steel to do this, you could make two little ones, weld it, sand it down, whatever. But you can get this stuff at Home Depot or some kind of hardware store.

Alright, so, here’s how you unload it. I’m gonna go ahead and– it’s easier to figure it out if you take the springs off. This little shuttle here, first you’ve got to pull the trigger to be able to pull the slide back, this little shuttle goes down this notch, you can slide the whole receiver tube or whatever you wanna call it, and there’s the round. Stick another one in there, engage the little shuttle, pull the trigger, make sure you use all four or five of our hands… Yeah I guess the smart thing to do would be if you have an easy, dis-engageable set of springs. But anyway, for now, we’ve got this!

[Fires twice]

Huh, keeps giving me an error on the chronograph. Don’t know why.

[More firing]

Well I hope you appreciated the Apocalypse hardware store gun build. Note that yeah, we used some pretty expensive equipment in this build, but we definitely didn’t have to. It’s all about thinking outside of the box, and using the resources you have available to you. Most of all, be safe out there, folks.

Sources: David Smith, Royal Nonesuch Youtube, Serbu Firearms

Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with: , ,

January 5th, 2017 by jhines

Make a Bang with this 45 ACP Survival Pistol

If you couldn’t afford a real pistol could you make one out of ordinary metal pipes? Obviously, yes for many of us preppers are into DIY (do it yourself) and there are lots of instructions that you can find on the internet.

The .410/45ACP pistol is a very simple design all required is a barrel fitted for either a .410 shotgun shell or a 45ACP round. The other part is the receiver that houses the plunger with the pin on the inside, this sits on top of the grip.

The grip handle is hollow which can hold a couple of 45ACP rounds or .410 shells. To shoot just screw the barrel with a round in it to the handle. Pull back on the plunger to cock the gun and squeeze the trigger.

When not in use, you can take off the barrel and now the pistol is in two parts which can be placed into your “bug out bag“. You can have as many barrels as you’d like with shells or rounds inserted when ready to go. Its definitely a poor man homemade pistol, what do you all think?, please comment below.

Please use caution and exercise all safety, if you don’t know what you’re doing then do not try this at home.

Video Transcription

Welcome everyone to another epsiode of Royal Nonesuch, today we’ve got my survival pistol, this thing is completely done, modified exactly how I want it. It comes with two barrels, and one is a 45ACP barrel, the other is a .410 shotgun barrel. So let’s just go ahead and take a couple shots with it.

Bottle on the left, 45ACP.


Ah, hit the top.

We’ll have to finish that one off. Just simply unscrew the barrel here, and we’ll swap out barrels, we’ll shoot the .410 next. So you just screw the barrel in, and go ahead and just pull this plunger back, and set it. That’s how this works. So we’ll just go ahead and finish that bottle off.


Since this is a survival pistol, I tried to design it as simply as I could. Obviously, the barrel screwing into the receiver is very simple, and also the trigger mechanism is simple, as I’ll show you in just a second here. So this thing has already been fired, so it’s safe. You just pull this plunger back, here, and you lift up the trigger, so, just like that. You can see the trigger catches in this notch here, and when you pull the trigger, it swings out of the way and fires. Really really simple and easy to use. I also wrapped the handle in paracord, and covered that with electrical tape, and then in the bottom here, actually, this handle is hollow, and I stuck a 45ACP shell inside there, along with a .410 shot shell in there. So, it’ll hold two rounds, so, all you need is just the pistol. In a survival situation, just stick it in your backpack, you have it, it breaks down very small, and you can carry two barrels if you’d like, but you just go ahead and un-tape this, and the rounds will fall out, and you can use ’em. so that’s pretty awesome.

Let’s go ahead and do some more shooting with this.

We got a 45ACP loaded up, we’re gonna go ahead and try to take out that other bottle.


Woah. That thing sprayed back all the way to here. Even without sights on this thing, it’s pretty easy to point and shoot at close ranges, but I could add some sights for some added accuracy. We hit the bottle right here on the top, and it just completely obliterated it. That’s one of the great things about the 45ACP, it’s just such a powerhouse, anything it hits it pretty much destroys. And also, there’s no need for really an extractor or anything mechanism, because the rounds just fly right out of the barrel. So that’s pretty cool, too.

Alright, let’s shoot one more .410 at that bottle down there, it’s got a little bit of drink left in it still, let’s go ahead and finish it off.


Heh, literally a hand-cannon!

Let’s go ahead and see how this .410 barrel patterns. We’re shooting some 2 1/2-inch shells out of this thing, and we’re gonna see what happens at about five yards. So let’s go ahead and give this a try. We’ll shoot the top at five yards, and then the bottom at ten yards.


Ok, let’s go take a look.

As you can see, a pretty large spread. The barrel is rifled, it’ll shoot .410 and 45 long colt, so it has to be rifled, so the shot does spread out more than it would if it was smoothbore, but at this distance you could pretty easily take a squirrel or something with it for sure. Or a rabbit.

We’re just gonna go ahead and shoot instead at three yards instead of ten, because at ten it’s just gonna spread out way too much. So this would be about the distance if you’re dispatching an animal or a snake or something, you know, this is what will happen, so, let’s see what kind of result we get.


Alright, let’s take a look.

As you can see, we’ve got maybe about a one-foot spread right here of pellets. So that is a very good killzone for this pistol. Let’s go ahead and do some more shooting with a 45ACP barrel.

We’ve got a 45ACP loaded up, this is about 15 yards, we’re going to see if we can get some hits. No sights.


Ooh. Just gonna take a couple more shots.

Let’s go ahead and see just how fast you can reload this thing. So we’re gonna go ahead and shoot, and then load the next round and see how fast we can do that. Alright, so, let’s see if we can stay on-target, too.

Here we go.

So there’s the first shot, unscrew the barrel, fling the round out, put the round in, screw it in, and cock it.


Pretty cool! Fifteen yards, it is very easy to hit the steel with it, for sure.

Thank you very much for watching, everyone. This is a really awesome pistol to shoot, hope you guys enjoyed the short overview of it, it’s gonna be in my backpacking bag any time I go on hikes or anything, because it’s just a really simple and easy-to-build little powerhouse, that’s for sure. I’ll just take one more shot with it and close this video out.


Thanks a lot for watching, everyone, I’ll see you next week.


Sources: RoyalNonsuch Youtube

Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with: , , , ,