Major Self-Defense Myth: Busted

When it comes to self-defense, there’s a lot of advice out there — and not all of it is good. In this edition of the Weekly Drop, I address a common practice for women who walk late at night and offer a better (and safer) solution.

This week’s batch of reader mail also touches on how to protect yourself from radioactive fallout, where to buy cheap ammunition online and why I still won’t use wet ammo.

Here we go…

I usually walk home late at night from the bar where I work. I always carry my keys in my hand with the keys jutting out through my fingers. Recently, a friend told me that wasn’t a good idea because if you punch someone like that, you’re actually MORE likely to break your own hand. Is that true? 

— Sonia R.

I wouldn’t say it would break your hand, Sonia, but it would probably cause you a fair amount of pain since your keys would be jabbing into your palm when you hit the other person.

The fact is I don’t recommend carrying keys this way for the simple reason that if clocking someone did cause you pain, most likely your first reaction would be to drop your keys.

Most women I know who leave work late at night prefer to carry a tactical pen or a stun-gun flashlight, both of which are better suited to stopping an attacker because they can do significantly more damage than a set of keys haphazardly poking through your fingers.

Click here to purchase a tactical pen of your own so you can be better protected in the future.

Hi, Jason. On the back page of the October 2017 issue of Spy & Survival Briefing, you recommend some items for kids going to college. Could you point me in the direction of a good stun-gun flashlight and bulletproof panel? 

— Matt S.

Absolutely, Matt. You can purchase the exact self-defense stun-gun flashlight that I carry here. The same bulletproof panel I currently have in my laptop bag is also available from my Spy Store — just click here.

And remember, if you buy a bulletproof panel elsewhere, just make sure it’s rated at least Level IIIA, which is the highest blunt trauma protection rating in soft body armor — capable of stopping a .44 Magnum.

With all the talk of North Korea detonating a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, I wonder if you could publish a guide on how to protect your family from fallout in the atmosphere. Is a Visqueen room in a house already prepared with food, water, etc. the way to go?

— Jeff V.

The key to surviving a nuclear attack is to limit your exposure, shield yourself and wait for the fallout to decay. Now, the reality is fallout can be carried hundreds of miles from the blast site, so even if you aren’t near ground zero, you are still in danger.

This is why, ideally, you should take shelter in a basement below ground. At the very least, try to hunker down in a windowless room in the center of your home. Wherever you end up, your safe room should be stocked with two weeks’ worth of supplies at minimum.

Using Visqueen (a brand of polyethylene plastic sheeting produced by British Polythene Industries Ltd.) or any other comparable plastic sheeting as an extra layer of protection is a good idea — as long as you make it as airtight as possible.

In short, the more barriers between you and the outside air, the better your chances of survival.

I’ve walked many days in water with my weapons fully loaded but held underwater and literally buried stashes of ammo along streams and rivers, where it stayed totally soaked for weeks. I disagree with your position on wet ammo. My life and those of my professional teammates were dependent on that ammunition working. Don’t know who told you such information that “quality factory ammunition that meets mil-spec standards” cannot be wet. I recommend you readdress the “advice” you’re giving. All that’s needed are precautions in cleaning and lubrication to prevent corrosion on the brass casing and primer of factory ammo. But reloaded ammo by individuals (self-reloaders) — I would never trust to protect anyone’s life or safety. That I would dispose of.

— Fernando M.

You’re certainly right that submerged ammo can work just fine, but the reverse is also true. Personally, I am not willing to take the risk. I won’t bet my family’s life on ammo that’s been waterlogged for a while. I’d rather buy new ammo to be safe.

Thanks for your service to our country and to all your readers. You give valuableinformation on all kinds of topics. I have purchased ammo from various places overthe years — from big-box stores to websites. The best place I’ve found on the internet isLucky Gunner out of Knoxville, Tennessee. They have great prices and usually ship the sameday if an order is put in before 3:00 p.m.

— Gil L.

Thank you for the tip, Gil. I’ve never purchased ammo from Lucky Gunner myself; however, I have heard that they offer low prices and good service, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Thank you for the instructions on using the SurvFilter. You’ve mentioned how many times the filter can be used (250 one-gallon cycles) but I also want to know if there is a shelf life for the filter. I do not plan on using it except in emergency, and that could be next year or 10 years out.

— Charles E.

Great question, Charles. The filters for the SurvFilter don’t have an expiration date if you store them in a cool, dry place. So you can safely store them with the rest of your survival gear and they’ll be ready to use when you need them.

However, if you leave the filters or the device in an attic or a garage in 110-degree weather for an extended period, the shelf life will be five years or less.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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