Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
I’m kicking off this week’s mailbag with some gun-care commentary from one of my loyal readers. He offers a great suggestion — but I want to hear what YOU think. Take a look below and then send an email to SPYfeedback@LFB.org.
And while you’re at it, I want to hear any other spy and survival questions (and suggestions) you have — so be sure to send them my way.
Now let’s dive in.
Add this to your thoughts on gun cleaning: Johnson paste wax. It is great for the outside of the metal and wood parts. Once you use this, you will like it.
— James H.
Thanks for the information, James. I’ve never tried this product myself, but I know some people who like to use a wax on the wooden parts of their firearms, so I’ll pass this along. It sounds like a good option.
Now I’ve got a question for you. I’ve also seen Renaissance Wax mentioned on a lot of gun forums. Have you tried it? What do you think? Shoot me your thoughts at SPYfeedback@LFB.org — or if you’ve got another suggestion, I’d love to hear it.
In one article, you mention that your everyday carry is a 1911; when that is too large to conceal, you go with a Sig P938. I like those choices but am surprised given the lean toward polymer handguns in our government organizations. Could you comment on why this is your choice? Of course, I realize this is all personal preference, but I’d like to hear your rationale.
— Jim S.
With the way modern handguns are engineered, in my opinion, you can purchase a quality firearm whether it’s metal or polymer. In fact, I’ve owned both metal and polymer guns. As you mention, a lot of it comes down to personal preference.
I know some people knock polymer because they say it won’t hold up. But unless you live in an extremely cold region, a polymer firearm should hold up just fine. Honestly, I believe the government buys the polymer handguns because they’re cheap and easy to operate.
What size and how many batteries do these lights take? I bought a bunch recently from your website:
- SEAL Torch 2000s
- 5,000-lumen headlamp
- Billy-club flashlight.
— Chuck S.
I’m glad you asked, Chuck. Quality batteries are just as important as the flashlight that uses them.
Here are the number and type of batteries you need for each device:
- SEAL Torch 2000s — 3 AAA batteries OR 1 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
- 5,000-lumen headlamp — 2 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
- Billy-club flashlight — 3 AAA batteries OR 1 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery.
Before you buy just any battery, I recommend checking out Panasonic eneloop batteries. These are rechargeable alkaline batteries that can be reused over 2,100 times — so they’ll last you a lifetime.
I have regular city water, not well water, in my home. Is there anything I should do to treat the water before storing it long term? Or is it safe enough to store as is?
— Alice T.
The city that provides your drinking water already treats the water before it comes out of your tap. (That being said, we’ve all seen the quality of water some cities are willing to provide for their citizens.)
Even if you’re storing water that’s already been treated, it certainly doesn’t hurt to use a product with chlorine dioxide such as Aquamira water treatment drops or purifier tablets, which can prolong the shelf life of your water storage supply.
Do you recommend any ID protection services?
— Michelle M.
Because I can do many of the same things a credit monitoring service would do without having to fork out a monthly fee, I don’t use any ID protection service myself — so I can’t say I recommend them. What I mean is all these companies claim to do is monitor your credit report, but that’s easily something you could do as well.
However, I do recommend placing a freeze on your credit with the three major credit reporting agencies, which should block anyone from accessing your credit without your knowledge.
Additionally, I suggest checking your credit report every six months to make sure there aren’t any mistakes or fraudulent activity.
Finally — as boring as it is — you should review your credit card and bank statements on a monthly basis.
Mr. Hanson, this may sound a little strange, so I hope you’ll forgive me if it’s nothing. Do you know anything about a group of renegades or rogues or whatever the right term is who were using the CIA’s facilities and using the CIA as a cover but whose loyalties were elsewhere? And even when they found out who all of them were, they had a hard time unraveling it. Do you know anything like that?
— David S.
I don’t know anything about that. To me, it just sounds like some conspiracy theory someone put on the internet.