Fire Resistant Clothing for Fire, EMS and Rescue

A great announcement to local fire departments and rescue squads- we can now get the Tru-spec X-Fire clothing, as well as the Tru-Spec Cordura Baselayer t-shirts. The X-Fire clothing is made from a new Interlock fabric that offers fire protection equal to or greater than than that of regular Nomex fabric, while being more durable. Developed as a spin-off of the fire resistant clothing that was developed for use by the military due to the IED threat, this clothing is now available for fire department uniform and station wear.

All of the X-Fire clothing is fully NFPA rated for use as station wear and as wildland fire fighting clothing, so you can provide your department members with one uniform that fills both roles. By having to buy only one set, you save money. It is certified to NFPA 2112-2007, NFPA 70E, and NFPA 1977 specs. Why settle for pants designed for cops or rock climbing when clothing designed for firefighters, rated to protect you, is available?

The Cordura baselayer shirts have a technology that gives you a fabric that is loose fitting, wicks moisture away like many of the sport fabrics, but is a no melt/no drip fabric for use in high heat/ high risk environments. This technology also developed off the new clothing developed for the military. The end result is a very comfortable T-shirt that also affords a layer of protection as well. These shirts are NFPA 2112 rated for thermal protective performance and NFPA 1975 for thermal stability, and are also fully screen printable. So the next time you are looking to buy some shirts for your department, consider buying some that have some protective ability as well.

For anyone interested in buying these, contact me at tim@oldgrouch.com and I can provide quotes and arrange for you to see some samples once I get back from Korea. I have posted all the technical specs at the bottom of this post for you to review if interested. We will not be stocking these since it is an item that will be almost exclusively department orders, but we can have most orders to you in under a week and can match, and almost always beat, any advertised price on these.

My apologies for the delay in posts, as mentioned I am in Korea for a few weeks on other business, but I am also trying to keep up with the stuff for the shop back home, and of course we are still open and ready to take care of you. With luck I will get to visit a surplus store in Korea and get you some pictures.

A great WWII photo of an immersion heater bathtub….

Looking through the latest issue of Army Motors, I saw a great picture of GI’s using an immersion heater like the ones we offer. Just take the trough under the communal well in the town, add an immersion heater, and you have a hot bath in the field! That is the WWII model, but the later M67 models we sell work the exact same, they just simplified the construction.

There is never any shortage of GI ingenuity!

Immersion Heater Heating Bath Water

Cotton shortages, new parachute cord colors, other great blogs

Yes, we have more colors of parachute cord now- 20+ colors! If you have been looking for more colors, we have them, and we expect to add about 10 more in a few weeks. There are even multicolored parachute cord weaves now! we source all our parachute cord from only US manufacturers, it is 100% MILSPEC made in the USA cord with the 7 strand core. With the growing popularity of braiding parachute cord into bracelets, keychains, and even rifle slings, sales have surged. A lot of customers are also buying our MOLLE Replacement Buckle Sets to use when making the bigger projects like rifle slings.

Made any neat stuff with our para cord? Send us pictures of your projects to tim@oldgrouch.com and I will post a gallery of customer projects!

Did you know there is a worldwide cotton shortage? Yep, there is. That has affected the supply of some items we sell. Right now manufacturers like Tru-Spec are having a hard time keeping up with demand because they cannot find cloth, so they are back ordering items like the 24/7 series pants on us, often for over a month. Prices on them have not risen yet, but we expect them too soon. On clothing there is about a 4-5 month lag time from price increase of material to price increase on the street.

However, canvas tarps have a much shorter lag time, and we are already seeing almost 20% increases on them. We have a new order due in this week, and will have to adjust prices when they arrive.

Bottom line- if you anticipate buying anything made with cotton in the next 12 months, consider buying now to beat the price increases.

Lastly, but certainly not least, a big thanks to John over at No Lawyers- Only Guns and Money for his kind words and great write up about our store! If you don’t follow his blog, you should, he is a great source of info on current 2nd Amendment Issues in NC and across the country!

Thanks everyone!

T

A simple but flexible AR-15 accessory- the magazine bandoleer

The AR-15 series rifles have seen a huge surge in popularity over the past decade. Once just popular with collectors and those with an interest in military arms, the AR-15 is now seen as a serious rifle for varmint hunters, deer hunters in larger calibers, recreational and competitive shooters, and more. Law enforcement has moved more to the AR-15 to replace the shotgun due to the more accurate shot placement it offers and the longer range, and many are seeing the AR series as a great home defense platform, as with the proper ammo it will penetrate walls less than buckshot will.

With this surge in popularity has come a huge surge in accessories. It is now quite easy to spend twice what you pay for the rifle in accessories for it. But there are often low cost alternatives that will serve you will.

One of those is the US Military MOLLE magazine bandoleer. These are made of heavy duty MILSPEC nylon and hold 6 30 round mags, with a shoulder strap. They are a perfect platform for a home defense shooter who wants to have some magazines  handy. Or the military user who wants his backup ammo in a package he can grab and go with instead of just im magazines loose somewhere. of just the recreational shooter who wants to keep his magazines organized.

A number of our law enforcement customers have purchased these for active shooter response it is a bag they can grab and deploy with quickly. They are adding  an IFAK style first aid kit hanging from the shoulder strap, or some are putting the first aid supplies into one of the pockets and using the other two pockets to hold 4 magazines. Either way you get a package that is rugged, compact, and quick and easy to grab and deploy with when you need it. And by using military surplus instead of buying new stuff, you get a far better value for you money.

For all of you with AR-15’s, how are you stowing and carrying you magazines?

 

T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rant about fake veterans

 Really? Really? Is your life so pathetic that you have to go around pretending to be something you are not?

I know most of you are out there saying “Most of them can’t be stupid enough to actually try to pull that off in a surplus store?” Yeah, they are. Seems like surplus stores and gun stores attract the idiots.

A guy just left here after telling me all about his super secret Iraq missions before the invasion, where he had Saddam in his sights but the White House told him not to fire. Sometimes I will confront them, this mouth breather wasn’t even worth the effort.

Here are some of my favorites:

Dude comes in my shop with some stuff to sell. Says he is just back from Afghanistan. I ask what province he was in, since I was recently back as well,  he got a blank stare and they said “well, all over”. Then I asked where he spent most of his time- his answer “Bahrain”. Bahrain? I pushed further and the guy just left.

 One time a guy came in saying how he was Navy UDT before they were called SEALs and telling me about all his exploits. Then he went to his car to get the “Navy SEAL knife” that he was issued in the 50’s and carried through Vietnam. He brought in a USAF pilots survival knife with a manufacture date of 1995. Had it since the 50’s eh?

 My favorite gun shop has a guy coming in claiming he was a USMC sniper with 500+ confirmed kills, all done with a British .303 Enfield.

A guy claiming he was part of a super secret USAF team in Vietnam who were the last ones out of a super secret airfield that was there a year after Saigon fell, and they “blew up the runway with Claymores” just as the last plane took off with them so the enemy couldn’t use it. For those of you who have never seen one go off, a Claymore is devastating on flesh, but at best it would slightly chip the concrete on a runway.

 Guys walk in here all the time 175 pounds overweight looking for Navy SEAL items. I don’t even carry any SEAL insignia because guys who are actual SEAL’s know where to buy this stuff or already have it, and I won’t enable these imposters.

 They always go big- SEAL, Sniper, Ranger. Nobody ever fakes being a cook or mechanic. The new trend is now “I was a contractor”. I guess they figure than one is easier to BS. I have heard guys at the gunshow tell people all about their time contracting in Iraq- except these guys have been selling at gun shows every month since before 9/11. Did they get to come home on the weekends?

Then I get the guys in here that I can clearly can tell are shopping to try to pass themselves off as fake veterans. An exchange will go like this:

 Poser ”Do you sell medals and ribbons?”

Me “We do, what do you need?”

Poser “Can I look at them?”

Me “We keep them behind the counter, just tell me what you need.”

Poser “Well, I need to look at them to see what I want.”

Now anybody who has a legitimate need for awards knows what awards they need. If you can’t name the awards, no way you will remember what color sequence each award is. These guys want to pick stuff that looks good. And that is why if you can’t tell me what you need, you don’t just go rummaging through awards picking ones you think look sharp. Not in my shop anyway. I would rather miss a $5 sale than help these scumbags go be something they are not.

If anyone wants to read all about these idiots being busted, check our the POW Network website. And if you suspect you know one, send them the info, they will expose them if they are a faker.

 And if you are going around trying to pass yourself off as something you are not, please stay the hell out of my store.

T

More innovative uses for surplus immersion heaters

We still have a good supply of the surplus M67 Immersion Heaters but once they run out there will be no more, as these are no longer used by the US military. Our customers keep finding new and innovative uses for them.

M67 Immersion Heater

M67 Immersion Heater

For those not familiar with them, they are very simple. A steel body submerges the combustion chamber under the level of the water to be heated, fuel drips down from the fuel tank controlled by a valve you use to adjust the fuel rate, it hits a cast iron plat to vaporize it, burns in the circular combustion chamber, then the exhaust goes around and up the exhaust stack. No moving parts while it burns at all, so they are very reliable.

Fuel? The military used gasoline, and listed diesel and kerosene as permissible fuels in an emergency. My customers, being an innovative crowd, have used gas, diesel, kerosene, old waste gas they get for free from from junkyards and boat shops, any of those fuels mixed with used motor oil, biodiesel, Coleman fuel,  waste jet fuel from a job at the airport, and a lot of blends of all of the above.

So what uses have they found so far:

  • Heating stock tanks that they use for watering livestock. They run them an hour or so in the evening and the water gets warm enough to not freeze all night. They say surrounding the tank with dirt helps insulate it.
  • Heating a greenhouse. They install the heater in a large water tank and run the stovepipe just like a wood stove. They get the water nice and hot running it for an hour or two, then when they turn the heater off the large tank of hot water radiates heat all night.
  • Heating a hot tub or pool without using electricity.
  • Heating waste vegetable oil used to make biodiesel in order to boil the water off to make it usable.
  • Heating hot water for showers and dishwashing at remote hunting cabins- one customer made a heat exchanger from an automotive heater core that he plumbed into the tank of water heated by the immersion heater, as water flows through it gets heated.
  • Heating large amounts of water to scald chickens, ducks or hogs as part to the butchering process.
  • Heating an ice fishing shack, set on cinder blocks (not sure I trust this, but they say it works great)

And there are more I am sure I am forgetting. For less than $60 it is hard to beat these things for the amazing number of uses they have for a farmer, prepper, (have you considered how to get hot water without electricity?) hunter with a remote cabin, and lots of other folks.

I just sent one to Jack who does the Survival Podcast to get his review of them and input on uses, and I bet he comes up with even more great uses. If you don’t listen to his show, give it a try- he does a great job.

How are you using one of these? Let me know!

T


Why ammo cans are getting more expensive and harder to find.

Everyone has noticed that ammo cans have been harder to find and that when you do find them they cost more. Lots of folks are asking why, and lots of rumors are flying.

First, to dispel the biggest rumor, there has been no executive order or directive that all ammo cans be crushed. Now some are being destroyed, but it is do the incompetence of government workers, no an executive order. But more on that later.

The first thing causing prices to rise is that the Army changed how they issue 5.56 ammo stateside. It used to be that when a unit went to the range they drew ammo that was packed just like “go to war” ammo- it was in stripper clips, bandoleers and and .50 cal ammo cans. That meant that every day lots of cans were opened, the ammo used, and the cans went to be sold. Someone saw that this was wasting money, and they changed so that 5.56 training ammo is now issued in cardboard boxes.  The result is that the taxpayers are saving a lot of money, but there are a lot fewer surplus cans sold.

The second thing is that more and more national retailers are starting to bid on the cans, and that drives prices up. Chains like Northern Tool have found that they can get $15 or more for a 50 cal ammo can. This drives prices up further.

Lastly, you have typical government bureaucrat idiocy. First, somewhere somebody decreed that all ammo cans sold must have the lids removed. Why? Who knows. I guess they are scared to death that some of that evil ammo might be in it. Of course, that same ammo is available to anyone outside the military, but logic does not matter here. So they pay a government employee to sit there and take all the lids off so nobody finds a .223 blank out there.

What happens then? They put them all on a pallet. And they sit exposed to the elements for months before they get sold, letting water pool up in them, causing the insides to rust.

And then those typical government employees strap them down to the pallet.  But what happens when you take the lid off an ammo can? It loses it structural integrity. So what do you do when you are a government employee who doesn’t care if he damages government property? You take the ammo cans that are easily bent and strap them down to the pallet so hard you bend them.

Government waste at DRMO

Government waste at DRMO

And the top ones are badly bent, as you see. But the bottom layers will be bent as well, and it only takes a slight bend before the can won’t shut or seal properly. You can figure at least 20% of the cans on the pallets are now good for little more than scrap. And for no other reason than the folks at the ASP and DRMO are lazy and don’t care.

More waste from DLA Disposition Services

More waste from DLA Disposition Services

So, add all these together, and the end result is that fewer cans are sold, many of the cans that do get sold are junk, and there are more people bidding for that. That all comes together to drive ammo cans prices higher.

All of us in the military surplus business are used to seeing the stupidity that comes with the way the government manages it, but I figured folks out there might like a glimpse into the factors that affect price and supply.

T