On Ebay: Sentry Alarm Mines
I have pondered the subject of perimeter security for some time and I have decided that it is probably the hardest to come up with a hard and fast rule. You have to sleep at some point. And even if you have enough people to keep watch, how much advance notice will you have? I have looked into 12 volt motion detectors, but so far I have not found a better option than these hand welded alarms on Ebay. They use a standard .22 short nailgun blank, available at Home Depot. If you are handy you could make them yourself, but at $20 each they are a pretty cheap investment for a pretty important aspect of long term survival.
Officially these “alarm mines” are made for paintball games to simulate a military Claymore mine. I purchased mine several months ago and it didn’t come with any paperwork, but apparently there are now directions and warning signs. Please check the legality of them in your local jurisdiction, but for the most part, they are harmless and not considered a “booby trap,” which are of course totally illegal. It also goes without saying to avoid doing stupid things with them, like setting off other charges and whatnot.
If you look at the pictures, it is easy to understand how the alarms work. The housing has both stakes to mount the alarm in the ground, and holes to mount the alarm on a tree or post. The trigger is just a spring captured nail that you raise and rest on a flat bar. Tie the trigger ring to some monofiliment, and you have a trip wire. When the monofiliment is walked into, or tied to a trigger object (see below), the trigger is pulled off the bar, mashing the .22 rimfire blank and setting it off. The simplicity of the design is genius, and best yet, it works. I tried it with 6 lb. monofiliment both stuck in the ground and mounted to trees. You wouldn’t think that those little legs would be strong enough to hold the unit in the ground as you walk by the trip line but the tines are set up perpendicular to the trigger so even in soft Florida sand they work great.
You will find the .22 rimfire blanks at Home Depot, Lowes, or even on Amazon. These are not the flat blanks for starter pistols, though those would work as well. The nailgun blanks are much more powerful and much louder. They come in level 2 to level 5, but I have only seen them for sale up to level 4. In backyard testing, the level 4 are not twice as loud as the level 2, but they are definitely louder. They are also harder to remove from the alarm, but not so hard as to be prohibitive.
No mater how many of these alarms you put out, in a real survival situation you will probably only get one good warning shot. Once you know what to look for the alarms are easy to spot, even with very thin monofiliment. That most attacks will come at night is a plus with these, because you may get more than one trip, but no attack is a good attack.
If you have a bugout location already picked out, your most valuable resource in to think like trapper. If you have never looked into this hobby and profession, the trap is never about where you think the animal might walk. Successful trappers learn the art of guiding the animal into the trap. You do this by creating a path of easy travel surrounded by paths of difficult travel, without it looking like the situation was created for the trap.
In my example here in the pictures you can see that I mounted the alarm horizontally on a tree, so the trigger is a downward motion. Then I found a path between a tree and brush pile that I can encourage a human predator to take by laying brush and trees without a dozen yards or so on both sides.
So the route doesn’t look like a door, and the perfect place for a booby trap or ambush, I lay a stick across the path as if it fell there. This gives the illusion of nature, while still retaining the path of least resistance, which like electricity, bad guys always seem to seek.
When the bad guy kicks the stick out of the way, or steps on it, the alarm will sound. He may light up with a gun, firing into the woods, but he doesn’t know that he just alerted the sentry 1/4 of a mile down the path, and one that will never be hit by his wasted bullets.
Sounds pretty tactical and romantic huh? Just remember that real life is what happens when you are making other plans. These alarms are about as scary a survival item as you will purchase, because if they work as promised, you have a threat on your doorstep, and who knows how big a threat it will be. The very best any of us can hope for is to gain an awareness advantage, and if need be, bug out of the bug out. These alarms may give you an edge at best if a gunfight is inevitable, and because they are so low tech, there is little chance that they will fail.
Please note also that this Ebay seller was not given a proper heads up about the sales coming in, so he may be a bit overwhelmed. If you are one of the early readers on Monday morning you might want to get int there and get yours before the late readers click in. I will at least email him that he may see some orders this week.