Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

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Mailbag Monday

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From David N: I bought several boxes of Curad Antiviral Face masks several years ago that are rated good against H1N1, H2N2, H9N2, H3N8, H3N2 VIRUSES. I noticed there is an expiration date on each box. How effective will these be if needed to be used before I can replace?

Answer: Not surprisingly, the older a face mask is, the less likely it is to perform at its full potential. Over time, components such as the strap and foam may degrade, which can affect the quality of the fit and seal.

In addition, expired face masks usually no longer meet the certification guidelines created by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
To play it safe, I would update your survival gear and remember to check expiration dates so you always have gear that isn’t expired.

However, during an emergency, if the expired masks were the only thing you had, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to wear them. The reality is, there are many variables to take into account such as how the masks are stored, which will affect their shelf life.

From Judy R: I live in NY and I feel it is necessary to purchase a firearm. Since I am not law enforcement and do not have a license to carry, would a shotgun or rifle be best to protect my family and home?

Answer: You could ask 10 people what the best gun for home defense is and you could get 10 different answers. The best gun is the gun you are most comfortable shooting.

The biggest advantage to the rifle will be the increased round capacity, since you never want to run out of rounds in a home defense situation.

If I were you, I would go shooting with someone that owns both an AR-15 and a shotgun, and see which one you like the best. (If you do get a shotgun, I recommend the Remington 870.)

From Donald R: What are your thoughts on making a machete part of your survival gear?

Answer: A machete is a great survival tool. It can be used to clear brush, chop wood, and, of course, for self-defense. One of the best reasons a machete can be used for self-defense is because you can defend yourself without getting right up close to your attacker.

In other words, if you had to use a knife, you would obviously have to be closer to your attacker, but a machete lets you keep some distance.

Plus, a machete doesn’t run out of bullets. (The big blade that I prefer is called a Kukri, which is essentially, a better version of the machete.)

From Kenny T: I live in New York. I have a Glock 19 that is my favorite concealed carry firearm. It is not legal for me to carry this weapon and probably never will be.

However, with three daughters, I do like to carry it when I legally can. My question is: When in NY should I carry and take the risk or should I not carry and take that risk?

Answer: I personally wouldn’t take the risk of illegally carrying a firearm. I know plenty of guys that take this risk who live in places like New York and California, but I don’t take it.

Especially, because I make my living doing firearms training, so it would ruin what I do for a living and how I provide for my family if I were to ever get caught. This really is personal call only you can make.

From Matthew G: I’m brand new to shooting. I want to start going to my local range to decide what kind of gun I want. What should I bring? Any advice for such a beginner?

Answer: The best thing you can do is to rent many different guns and find which one is best for you. We all have different size hands and you need to find what fits you best and is most comfortable to shoot.

Don’t let anyone at the range tell you that a specific gun is the best one for you since you need to figure this out on your own. One firearm I would start with is the Glock 19. This is a simple gun to shoot and operate and is very popular for concealed carry.

As for what to bring, you can bring your own ear and eye protection or you can rent this stuff from the range. Also, if you have a friend who is knowledgeable about shooting, I would certainly bring them with you.

From Cory S: What is the best way to store (bury) a weapon and ammo for a length of time in case it is needed in the future?

Answer: Cache these items in PVC pipe. When you put the items in the pipe, make sure they are in a mylar bag that is sealed with an oxygen absorber in it.

In other words, put your guns or ammo in a mylar bag, seal the bag with an iron, and then put it in the pipe and bury the pipe.

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