Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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I have thrown knives for years and have yet to find a real training in the art and usefulness of throwing a knife… That being said, I can only pretend I can hit my target about 25% of the time… Do you have any advice?

-From Joe B.

Answer: Personally, I don’t recommend carrying throwing knives for two main reasons.

First, depending on where you live it can be illegal to conceal or even carry throwing knives.

Second, unless you’ve spent years mastering the skill of throwing knives, they can be very difficult to use and something I would never recommend for someone who is new to knives.

Of course, I think everyone should carry some sort of knife on them for close quarters defense and for survival purposes. A knife in your hand is a lot deadlier than trying to throw it for 99.999% of people.

However, if you do throw your knife, it will still distract the attacker even if it doesn’t sink into them. This gives you time to rush them or to flee.


First time gun buyer here. I can’t decide what to buy, but I know I want something I can comfortably handle. What are your thoughts on owning a .22 vs a 9mm for home defense?

-From Brian T.

Answer: When it comes to home defense or concealed carry, I recommend a 9mm over a .22 for the simple fact that the 9mm has more stopping power.

Even though a .22 can cause damage and easily kill someone, the 9mm is more powerful and provides more stopping power.

For example, a 9mm round can penetrate 12 inches. A .22 round won’t penetrate that far, and when you are trying to stop an attacker you want to stop the threat, which is usually done by damaging a vital part of the body.

I would definitely stick with a 9mm round for home defense. (I use Speer Gold Dot as my 9mm home defense ammo.)


I live in a remote area and we are consistently having problems with the safety of our drinking water. We go through water filters way too quickly. What is your opinion on using water treatment tablets instead of filters?

-From Cory B.

Answer: The question of filtering water vs. treating water really depends on what your situation is.

Basically, if you are drinking water from a high mountain river then the water is probably pretty clean and you could simply use tablets.

However, there are a few different reasons why I prefer using my water filter to get me fresh drinking water.

First and most importantly, in a survival situation, chances are that I would be drinking from a dirty water source that may have floating bugs or other nasty things.

If I just treat the water with tablets, I’m still going to have the floating bugs and other dirt.

Second, most tablets take at least 30 minutes to treat the water before it’s safe to drink.

In a survival situation I want to be able to stop and drink water immediately at the source because I may need to keep moving.

Overall, I think a filter provides the best way to provide clean drinking water.


Are you familiar with powdered graphite for cleaning firearms? Is this safe to use?

-From Randy H.

Answer: In my opinion, dry lubricants don’t do as well of a job at lubricating the moving parts of the firearm.

Both dry & wet options can be used and each have their advantages, but I personally like to use a liquid lubricant.

If you use a powder, make sure its weapons grade. I’ve known a few people who use graphite on heavy automatic weapons, especially in desert conditions.

Before using graphite make sure all parts are completely stripped of “wet” lubes and greases. Never apply oils or greases on top of graphite.


My family and I almost became victims of a home invasion. A man attempted to break through a window on the side of our home. I grabbed my gun and started yelling at him. Would I have been justified shooting him through the window?

-From Pete L.

Answer: I’m not a lawyer and a lot of this will depend on the state laws where you live. But, in general terms if your state has a Castle Law then typically the individual must be inside your “castle” for you to use deadly force.

On the other hand, you and I know criminals can shoot through windows. So, if it was a scenario where the criminal was shooting through the window and you could see him then self-defense laws may work in your favor.

Basically, it all depends if you were in fear for your life or serious bodily injury.


I’m new to the AR-15 scene. I am thinking about building my first one. Can you explain to me what the “bolt carrier group” is and why it’s so important?

-From Adam T.

Answer: The bolt carrier group is a critical part of the AR-15 and M16 rifles. It’s part of the upper receiver of the rifle.

When a round is fired, the gas from the cartridge is funneled back into the bolt carrier. The gas fills the chamber and forces the bolt carrier back against the recoil spring.

As the bolt carrier moves back, the cam pin twists the bolt. This unlocks it from the chamber so the bolt carrier group cycles rearward.

Within the bolt carrier group there are a lot of smaller pieces with all of them working each time the rifle goes bang.

When you buy a bolt carrier group, do not go cheap and definitely buy quality.

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