About Robert Partain

Robert Partain spent 10 years on active duty in the Army as both a medic and a training NCO. He has published hundreds of articles on the internet as well as been published in print form. He currently resides in Alabama. Robert will explore the subject of concealed carry laws and other weapon related issues in society. Follow along as Robert brings his expertise and insight to the Patriot Surplus blog!

Shooting Down Drones Can Cost You Big


It is no secret that there are a lot of hobbyists now flying drones for fun. But, one man’s fun can be another man’s annoyance. In a recent case, a man in Kentucky shot down a drone that was flying over his yard and spying on his sunbathing daughter, or so he thought. It only took a shotgun blast to bring the trespassing aircraft down and that was that. Right? Not quite. The property owner who shot down the drone was charged with breaking a variety of state laws and he may be charged with breaking a federal law. This may sound insane to some people, but the facts are the facts.

Fly DroneDrones in civilian hands is a relatively new experience in America; at least at the numbers we are seeing today. One issue that is popping up when it comes to drone use and abuse is what, exactly, can a drone operator do and not do. And, likewise, what rights do property owners have when it comes to dealing with unwelcome visitors over their land? There are very few answers to these questions as of right now. But, that will have to change.

In those areas, such as Kentucky, that do have a few laws on the books concerning drones, the laws are inconsistent, vague, and often contradictory. This leaves property owners are risk, as this Kentucky man found out.

There is one law, a federal one, that we all need to know about. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) considers drones to be civil aircraft. They have a long-standing law against destroying civil aircraft that is in flight. What this means is that if you shoot down a drone, for any reason, you might find yourself charged with a federal crime that, if convicted, could land you in prison for up to 20 years.

But is it legal for someone to fly a drone over your property or home? The answer is yes. Drones, like any other aircraft, are allowed to fly over as long as they are at a certain height which can vary from state to state. For instance, in Nevada, drones have to stay above 250 feet. What about my privacy and property rights? Well, put simply, you have none. If a drone is simply flying over, and it is above the minimum height level, it is not breaking any law and you are not allowed to blast it out of the sky.

You can, however, track down the operator of the drone (who is supposed to be in line-of-sight) and ask them to go away if you believe they are doing something sinister. You can also ask the local police to intervene. If the drone is posing a risk to others, a real risk, you should report it to the FAA.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

The Taurus PT709: A Great Option for Female Conceal Carry


As more women are obtaining a concealed carry permit, much debate has been going on as to which weapon best suits them. The carry firearm is always a personal choice, as what works for one woman may not work for another. One of the better options on the market today is the Taurus PT709. This is a great little weapon for anyone who wants a lightweight, yet powerful, firearm that is easy to carry and easy to conceal.

Taurus PT709The PT709 9mm is all black and the exterior is almost totally composed of polymer. While it is considered a sub-compact weapon, it has a nice, solid feel and does not feel cheap at all (some inexpensive polymers do feel cheap). The metal slide is solid and smooth.

The big draw of this weapon is that it is light and easy to conceal, two things that most females want in their carry weapons. With its short barrel, it slips into most purses and a wide variety of holsters. It weighs only 19 ounces and its overall length is a mere 6 inches. It can be carried on the inside hip without much printing at all, another important issue for women.

Another benefit is its snag free design that allows for quick removal, and it can ride comfortably on a regular type of waist belt. The trigger has an integrated safety (much like the Glock) and the weapon is striker fired. It has a single-action/double-action feature and adjustable sights.

The weapon comes shipped with an integrated gun lock that is easy and simple to use when the owner wishes to lock down the weapon so that it cannot be fired. The suggested retail price for the PT709 is around $400.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Stun Gun Laws


There are millions of people all over the globe who either need or prefer to use a non-lethal weapon for certain self defense events. Law enforcement and military make up a large portion of this populace, but average citizens make up an even greater part of these people. For many people, stun guns and tasers are considered non-lethal, but this is not necessarily the truth. Stun guns and tasers can, and have, cause death. Because of this danger, many states and cities have enacted laws concerning the possession of these weapons. The following information is provided to help you know what the laws are in your area. This information was correct as of November 2014.

States Where Stun Guns Are Restricted:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin

Cities Where Stun Guns Are Restricted:

It is VERY important for individuals to understand that, while many states allow for possession of stun guns by its residents, there can be specific cities within those states that restrict these weapons. In Maryland, for instance, stun guns are not allowed in: Anne Arundel County; Annapolis, the City of Baltimore and Baltimore County; Harford County; and Howard County. Stun guns are also not allowed in the District of Columbia. In Illinois, stun guns are not allowed in Chicago. In Iowa, they are not allowed in Dension or Crawford County. They are also not allowed in the city of Philadelphia, PA.

Stun GunFor Those Who Travel Internationally, The Following Countries Have Restrictions On Stun Guns:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Hong Kong
  • India (Police Use Only)
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

The Following States Allow For Stun Guns, But Have Certain Restrictions:

Connecticut: Legal with Restrictions: See Connecticut Criminal Law Title 53.

District of Columbia: Illegal in District of Columbia: See DC Code Ann. Title 6, Chapter 23. Firearms Control.

Illinois: Restricted- To possess a taser or stun gun, an individual must have a valid FOID card, as is currently required for firearms.

Hawaii: Illegal- Hawaii State Law. Rev. Stats. Title 10, Chapter 134. Possession and sales of Stunning Devices are banned in Hawaii.

Massachusetts: Illegal- Massachusetts State Law. Ann. Laws of Massachusetts. Chapter 140. Sale of Firearms.

Michigan: Illegal- The Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931. Chapter 750.224a.

New Jersey: Illegal- New Jersey State Law. New Jersey Stat. Ann. Title 2C. New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. Chapter 39-1.

New York: Illegal- New York Consolidated Law (McKinney’s) Book 39. Penal Law. Article 265. Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons 265.00 15-a.

Rhode Island: Illegal- General Laws of Rhode Island. Title 11, Chapter 47. Statute Subsection 11-47-42.

Wisconsin: Legal with restriction. See Carrying Concealed Weapons laws. The prohibition against being armed with an electric weapon does not apply to any of the following:

  • A CCW licensee or an out-of-state licensee
  • An individual who goes armed with an electric weapon in his or her own dwelling or place of business or on land that he or she owns, leases, or legally occupies
  • Possession is allowed if the stun gun is in the home or business; can be carried in vehicle if in a closed case

You can find complete information by visiting each state’s online resources. In conclusion, the best policy when it comes to owning a stun gun is to check with your state and local laws.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Building a Homemade Water Filter


There have been many, many articles written on the importance of water. The reason for that is simple: without clean water, you die. And you die sooner rather than later. As a survivalist, especially if you have family or friends that you will be responsible for, it is critical that you understand as much about survival water as possible. In this article, you can learn how to build a simple, effective homemade water filter.

It is not a stretch to say that in any extended period of “survival” time, you may run out of clean, safe water. The water you have in your emergency supplies will see you through a certain amount of time, but even they will run out at some point. It is important that you know how to filter water for the long-term, given that even purification kits will run out as well.

Here is a simple, but effective, way to filter water using inexpensive items that can be cleaned and used over and over again.

LayersYou Need The Following Supplies:

  • At least 1 two-liter plastic bottle (soda bottles will work fine)
  • Clean cotton or cheesecloth
  • Paper coffee filters
  • Activated charcoal
  • Sand: both fine grains and coarse grains
  • Gravel: fine and coarse
  • Clean container to catch filtered water

How to Build the Water Filter:

Remove the bottom of the plastic bottle. Turn it over and place the mouth of the soda bottle into your catch container. Stuff the cheesecloth (or cotton) into the bottom of the soda bottle (the mouth part of the bottle). This material will be the final stage of cleaning once you begin filtering. Place thin layers (in this order) into the bottle:

  • Charcoal
  • Fine Sand
  • Coarse Sand
  • Fine Gravel
  • Coarse Gravel

You should make at least 2-3 layers (using the same order) until layers are nearly at the top of the bottle. Now, place the coffee filter on top and pour water into the bottle. The water will filter through and be caught as it exits the bottle. This filtering device will remove an enormous amount of contaminants, but certain bacteria may still be in the finished water. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you add a drop or two of regular chlorine bleach into the finished water to kill off whatever may be left over. If you do not have bleach, the finished water can be boiled to achieve the same effect. You can get the internal materials for this filter from any swimming pool supply company.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

3 Free Ways to Store Survival Food


It is no secret that preparing for a long-term emergency can be expensive. This is especially true for those who are just starting out on their prepping journey. With that in mind, here are four simple and free ways that you can store your emergency food supplies. First, however, a few basics. It is important to always keep in mind that air, pests, and moisture are the main culprits with food spoilage. You want to minimize exposure to all of these for the longest shelf-life of foods. The use of any type of container that will allow one or more of these elements to enter should be avoided.

Glass Jars:

Many of the groceries that you buy each week come in good-quality glass jars. These jars can be used for food storage as well once the original product has been consumed and the jar is thoroughly cleaned. You cannot use these jars for canning, however, as the lids will not seal. You can, however, use them (with their original lids) for storing a variety of dried foods. They can be used for storing items such as nuts, cereal, dried fruit, coffee, tea bags, sugar, beans, barley, rice, pasta, flour, etc.

Please note that most of the above items, when purchased, come in paper or cardboard containers. These are exactly the types of containers that air, moisture, and pests can get into. Using a jar with a tight fitting lid prevents this from happening. Make sure you write the date you put the food into it on the jar. As an added layer of protection, food can be placed into zip-lock bags before being placed into the jar and sealed with the lid. This method will not keep food fresh for decades, but it will keep your emergency food safe for a couple of years. Remember to rotate your food every so often.

Food StoragePlastic Soda Bottles:

Another free way to get some storage space for your emergency food stash is to use large soda bottles. Once the soda is gone, thoroughly wash and dry the bottle. Use bottles that have the PET or PETE stamp on the bottom. These bottles have a lower risk of breaking down (chemically) and are the best option for food storage. Make sure you date the bottles and don’t forget to rotate your stock. This method can keep certain foods good for 2 years or so, but they are not entirely rodent proof! Keep that in mind if you have a rodent problem. Soda bottles are best used for storing items such as salt, pepper, spices, beans, flour, rice, etc. They can also be used for your emergency water supply as long as you remember to empty, clean, and refill them once a month.

Food-Grade Plastic Buckets:

These are big pails (3 to 6 gallon) and can often be had for free simply be visiting a nearby restaurant and asking for their empties. You will have to wash them thoroughly, of course, and that includes the lids. Most restaurants will happily let you have them as it removes clutter from their work space. You can use these big buckets in a lot of ways, and not just for food storage.

For food storage, the absolute best method is to put your food into a Mylar bag, heat-seal the bag, and store it in the bucket along with a desiccant pouch or two. Then, seal the lid on tightly. This method will keep dried foods good for decades. If you do not have Mylar bags and heating tools (for sealing the bags), you can use large freezer bags. Just make sure you get as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing it. This method only keeps food good for about one year, but it does work.

If you are just getting started on your prepping adventure and have limited funds, follow these quick and easy tips to score storage containers for free.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Soft Tissue Injuries


If you spend any time at all enjoying the great outdoors, chances are good you will experience, or have to treat someone who experiences, a soft tissue injury. These are, perhaps, the most common types of injuries that we see with outdoor activities. That being the case, it is good to know something about these injuries in order to be prepared for them when they happen.

What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?

“Soft tissue injuries” is a broad term that covers injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries do NOT include serious head injuries, broken bones, dislocations, crushing injuries, or severe back and neck injuries. Some of the more common types of soft tissue injuries include:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Bursitis
  • Bruises
  • Tendonitis

Sprained AnkleTreating Sprains:

Sprains are very common injuries, especially for hikers and hunters. This type of injury comes about because of wrenching or twisting on a ligament. They are often seen in ankles, wrists, and knees. The degree of damage can vary from mild to severe. To treat these injuries, remember RICE:

Rest, Ice, Compression, (and) Elevation.

Treating Strains:

A strain comes about because of overuse, force, or over-stretching of a tendon or muscle. Strains often happen due to tripping or falling or hiking over hard terrain for extended periods of time without the proper conditioning. The treatment for strains in the field is also RICE.

Treating Bursitis:

Bursitis occurs when the fluid-filled sac found in some joints becomes inflamed or irritated. This type of injury is most often seen in hips, shoulders, knees, and elbows. Bursitis is triggered by overuse of the joint and often the person has a past history of this problem. Again, RICE is the best treatment for those in the field.

Treating Bruises:

Bruising occurs because of direct contact between a hard object and a body part. When the blood vessels below the impact site rupture, bruising occurs. In most cases, the person can move along even with a bruise. However, if the bruise is large and painful, you should have the person remain still and quiet for a few moments and check to see if they have a broken bone or limited mobility in the area. A cold pack or ice can be applied to the area to help with the pain.

Treating Tendonitis:

Inflammation or irritation to a tendon can cause tendonitis. This injury is most often seen when repeated motions are performed. Rock climbers may experience this injury, but others may experience it as well if they are doing some activity over and over again that they are not used to doing. The treatment for this injury is RICE.

As you can see, one set of treatments (RICE) can be used to treat a variety of injuries. While it is easy to remember what RICE stands for, don’t be fooled into thinking these treatments are too simple to actually work. These easy treatments have been used for centuries now and the reason for that is because they work!

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

Binocular Tips for Preppers


Binoculars are the sort of prepping gear that you do not miss until you need them. It is good advice to say that sooner or later you will need a pair (or two) of good quality field glasses. Most preppers would do well to have two sets of glasses: one for use in a base-camp environment and the other for use in the field. A good option for base-camp use is a set of 7x50mm binoculars. A good option for field use is a set of 7x35mm binoculars; these are lighter to carry and offer better handling than the larger 7x50mm.

Hang BinocularsTo understand what these numbers mean, in the 7×50 glasses, the 7 refers to the magnification level (how far you can see). The higher this number, the farther you can see; but more weight will be added to the glasses as well. This can be a problem as the more weight there is the less “steadiness” most people have when using the glasses. That second number (50 in this case) tells you the objective size in millimeters (mm). The larger this number is, the more light will enter the binoculars and go to your eyes. Again, the higher this number, the more weight the glasses will have and the less “steadiness” you may have when using them.

Many people are not aware of the fact that with a 50mm lens, they can see fairly well in the dark. Once your eyes have become accustomed to the dark, you will be able to see more with the glasses than with the unaided eye. If there is moonlight, you may be able to see as well as if you had night vision glasses. Note: you will not be able to see into shadowy areas very well at all, so keep that in mind before entering those areas. To get a better idea of how well the glasses will behave in darkness, look at its twilight factor. Many brands will have this information and you want binoculars that have a factor of at least 17.

The second big factor in low light performance is how well the lenses and the anti-reflection coatings allow light to pass through. This is often expressed in a percentage. The higher the quality of the glass, and how well the lenses are ground, makes a big difference. The increasingly effective coatings developed by the optical industry are critical. Reflections on the lenses play hob with how well you can see through binoculars, and poor coatings cut down on how much light gets through. Unfortunately, the only way to know about these points for sure is to look through the binoculars. Some makers do give figures on light transmission, which is helpful, and of course some companies have reputations for quality that you can rely on. Other brands may be a cipher, unless you can actually try them. If you plan on hunting during low light periods, consider buying 8x56mm glasses. They will weigh a bit more, but they provide a much better visual in low light, which is a good trade-off when you need to feed your family.

Consider these tips when you are determining the best set of binoculars for your needs.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

The iPhone Case That Can Get Your Kids Killed

Gun Case

Anyone who follows the news will know that several people have been killed by police because of airsoft-type weapons being mistaken for real weapons. Now, there is a product on the market that will only add to these tragic numbers. It is the iPhone case that looks a lot like a pistol. Usually carried in the person’s back pocket, it can be very difficult to tell this is a “toy,” even from only a few feet away. It is, as many police are saying, an accident waiting to happen.

CaseThere are two models: a semi-auto and a revolver. The iPhone itself is hidden within the person’s pocket, while the “weapon” part is visible. It is safe to say that within days of this idiotic case coming out, public sentiment went through the roof. One of the first online stores to carry the case has already taken it off its site because of public protest. In addition, eBay has also removed it from their site. Even so, there are still online (and off-line) vendors carrying the case and selling them (mostly) to teens.

The potential for accidental shootings by police is so high with these cases that law enforcement across the country has already hit the social media outlets to warn teens and parents to stay away from these things. One New Jersey prosecutor put it this way on Facebook: “A police officer’s job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides to pull this [case] out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation.” He went on to say: “it’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

One Alabama detective put it this way: “This is the most stupid and ridiculous thing I’ve seen in a while. In the pocket, it looks like a real gun and it’s going to draw attention and possibly get you shot.” Just think of the commotion it’s going to cause if you walk into Wal-Mart with that hanging out of your pocket. I have read on the Internet and received officer alerts on real guns that are hidden in cell phones and cell phone cases. This is stupid and very dangerous.

Seeing is believing. Judge for yourself.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

The Smokeless Range Simulator

Shooting Range

Laser Ammo USA has launched its Smokeless Range simulator. What makes this simulator so impressive is that it is priced low enough for civilian use and purchase. It is said to be the first marksmanship and judgmental simulator that is actually affordable. This simulator can be used for either firearm or Airsoft practice, and can be used in the home or office. In the past, only governmental agencies could afford such a device.

The Smokeless Range can be used to hone gun skills on a variety of weapon types. Users can practice with pistol, rifle, or shotgun and train on Fast Draw, IPDA, IPSIC, hunting or home defense skills. The system can be used with Laser AirSoft solutions as well, and thousands of free games are available for download.

Laser AmmoThe Smokeless Range is currently priced at $399. This price includes a high speed camera for Red Lasers or IR, five marksmanship drills, and five recreational drills. Marksmanship drills include: Transitional, Tracking, Speed, Moving Targets, and Matching Drills. The Recreational drills include: Dueling Tree, Target, Trap, Can Toss, and Bomb Blast.

The system is portable, easy to install and allows the use of either Red Laser or IR. It can be used with Airsoft weapons or with personal firearms. Check out the specs below for minimum computer requirements and full details.

  • Windows 7 or 8
  • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core or better (AMD or Intel)
  • Graphics: Intel HD or better (Must support 1280×720 resolution)
  • Disk Space: 500MB or more
  • USB 2.0 port
  • HDMI or VGA port for TV or projector connection
  • Projector capable of 1280×720 resolution and minimum 2000 lumens
  • MSRP: $399

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.

When the Power Grid Grinds to a Halt

Power Grid

Many people believe that the US is vulnerable to attack from other countries or from terror organizations. This is all true, but one of the most devastating attacks we might see in our lifetimes may come from outer space. No, not aliens…solar flares and other cosmic events. We know these events can hit the Earth because they have done so in the past with varying degrees of destruction and upheaval. The problem, of course, is back then people were not as reliant on the electric grid as we are today.

Consider this: how would your life change if the US lost electricity for two years or longer? It would affect your home, no doubt, but it would also affect virtually everything else in your life. No water supply from the tap, no gas delivery for your vehicles, no food delivery to the stores, no banking, no job, no medical services (or very limited services). And those are just a few of things we will have live without until service is returned.

And what about that? How long would it take for America to get back on its electrical feet? Best estimates are that a failure of the nation’s power grid would take at least 4 years to repair (and that may not include full service to all parts of the country). It is important to understand that our government (local and national) has not been doing due diligence when it comes to keeping our grid updated and in good repair.

SolarResearch, studies, and physical inspections of our power grid infrastructure have shown that we are very at-risk for failure. Much of our grid is based on technology that was developed back in the 1970’s (or earlier). Improvements are being made, but not fast enough. It will take decades for the grid to get up to standards, and there may not be that much time before the next cosmic event occurs.

If the grid goes down (and some will say “when” the grid goes down) those living in urban areas will suffer the most. Congress has been told by more than one expert that there is a 100% chance that a severe geo-magnetic event, strong enough to cripple the electric grid is a certainty.

The last huge event that was recorded took place in 1859 and is known as the Carrington event. We were not so tied to electricity then but, even so, this event caused massive problems with telegraph systems which were in use.

If the same type of event occurred today, NASA scientists say it would cause catastrophic damage to the US infrastructure, and that it would take at least 4 years to repair, costing as much as $2 trillion dollars the first year alone. It gets worse, as the Center for Security Policy estimates that 9 out of 10 Americans will die in the first year from starvation, dehydration, lack of medical services, or violence as the nation (especially the cities) turn to “survival crime” to stay alive. Experts from the CIA agree with this assessment.

The only thing people can do to survive this level of upheaval is to prepare for it now by stockpiling food, water and other supplies and also looking for safe “bug out” areas to go to if they live in urban areas. It really is not a matter of “if” but “when.”

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of Patriot Surplus.