Saturday, September 21, 2019

My Korean Glock Mags Are Going Bad

A couple or few weeks ago, I was at the indoor range, and I noticed as I was loading a couple of my 17-round Korean Glock magazines that something was odd.  The feed lips weren't holding the cases very well at the front.  Wasn't long before a bullet jammed against the barrel hood instead of going into the chamber.  The feed lips had spread out.

I went to the outdoor range after work to do some chronograph testing, and noticed that one of my 15-round KCI Glock magazines was not dropping free.  I don't know when or how it happened, but the top-front of the magazine had peeled away.

I guess I'm not really surprised that the mags failed, just a little disappointed.  My first post about the Korean magazines was back in 2010, so I would bet that each of these magazines has well over a thousand rounds through them.  They have been my primary range mags for years.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Photos of New KKM Precision Barrel

Although KKM doesn't make very extravagant barrels (titanium plating, spiral fluting, etc.), they do a fantastic job of what they do - making some of the best stainless pistol barrels in the world.  The one I just received recently is so beautifully finished that I wanted to take a few photos before I put it into the slide and start putting wear on it.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

My Holosun HS507C is Dying/Dead

Okay, I guess I've joined the club.  My Holosun HS507C is failing me.  Yes, I knew going in that this was a possibility, but I didn't really think it would happen so soon.

I bought the Holosun from Aim Surplus on April 14th, with the intention of just trying out the slide-ride red dot concept.  I got about 425 rounds of 9mm fired before it started to shut itself off.  Today I took it out, and fired about three rounds, and then the reticle disappeared.  I can turn it back on, which puts it back into auto-brightness mode, which doesn't work well at all, and then a few rounds later it's turned off again.  It is rather hot today, but I know that hot for July in Pennsylvania only qualifies as "warm" for a place like Louisiana.

I have made no attempt to "torture test" the sight.  Never banged it against anything to rack the slide.  This is just 425 rounds of normal use with standard pressure 9mm.

Although changing settings is somewhat complicated with only two buttons, I like the Eotech-type reticle for this kind of application, and was enjoying using the sight.

I filed a warranty claim with Holosun on July 30th.  I haven't yet received any phone calls or emails yet.
EDIT: Received return label on August 7th
EDIT: Replacement sight shipped August 26th

Friday, July 5, 2019

Open-ended Coupon Codes

I'm going to try to keep a running list of coupon codes that don't expire.  If you want to contribute something, please leave a comment.

1776 United t-shirt store - 1776Mrgunsngear - 10% off
ACME Bullets - 05311 - 5% off all items
Amend2 Mags - BSGW20 - save 20% on your order
Black Rhino Concealment - WLSMOFO - 10% off
Bowers Group Silencers - WLS - $15 off $50+
Condition1 Cases - Gadgets10 - 10% off
Chase Tactical - AR15NEWS - 10% off
Crossbreed Holsters/Belts - TGC15 - 15% off
Faxon Firearms - WLS10 - 10% off
Freedom Munitions - TLBS - 5% off
Gadsden & Culpepper apparel - DTOMUSA - free shipping
GlockStore - THM10 - 10% off
Grizzly Targets - LBS99 - 15% off
Harry's Holsters - TheHumbleMarksman - 10% off
Hobby Metal Kits - tblcn - 10% off steel
Holster Loops - holsterwars - 10% off
Infinity Targets - Tyler15 - 15% off
ITarget Pro - NEWS - 10% off and free shipping
J Dewey Cleaning Rods - JTROD10 - 10% off
Mag Commander - 70415 - $15 off PF940CL 80% frame with lower parts kit
Neomag - WLS10 - 10% off
Nine Line Apparel - MGNG15 - 15% off?
Olight - Gadget10, JM10, or TLBS - 10% off (same for all)
Opticsplanet - Gadgets5 or TLBS - 5% off (same for both)
Peak Ammo - 704tactical - 5% off and free shipping option
Premier Body Armor - TLBS - free shipping
QVO Tactical Holsters - talonsentme - 10% off any holster
SB Tactical - TGC15 - 15% OFF
Short Round Supply - THM2019 - 5% off
Swampfox Optics - WLS15 - 25% off
Tactical Pontoon Triggers - BSGW7 - 7% off
Taran Tactical Innovations - JBOSSTTI10 - 10%
Trigger Fanatics cleaning products - GG10 - 10% off
Sportsmans Guide - GUNSNGEAR - $20 off $100 for firearms purchases, or Hegshot87 - $20 off $100, no exclusions, or WARPOET - $20 off $100
Wilder Tactical belts - VSO - ???  Discount not stated.  Try it, see what happens.

Friday, June 14, 2019

ACME Bullets 5% Off Coupon Code

Coupon code for 5% off all items at ACME Bullets store - "IY6C"
They have lead ingots, if you are a do-it-yourselfer. Prices are pretty low to begin with.

Hat Tip to Isyour6covered®

UPDATE:  Code "IY6C" didn't work last time I ordered.  Coupon code "05311" did work.  The 124gr round nose 9mm bullets hit about an inch high at 50 feet, but groups are good.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Glock Triggers - OEM, Vickers, Apex

I noticed that the Apex trigger seemed to offer a longer length-of-pull.  Having a few different ones on hand, I tried to line up a few on a sight in target to show how they compare.  Connector is the same for all photos.  Frame is a Polymer80, but in comparing the triggers to each other, and nothing else, this shouldn't matter.

OEM plastic Glock trigger:

Vickers/TangoDown plastic trigger:

Apex trigger:

I have large hands, and I like the additional length-of-pull that the Apex offers at least for the 9mm/.40 frames, and it reduces the trigger pull by a few ounces.  The trigger safety dingus will go flush or below flush with the face of the trigger when depressed, and is quite comfortable.

The Vickers safety dingus sticks out when depressed, and the toe is a bit sharp, which can be irritating, and could possibly cause a blister during a pistol class or a high-round-count shooting session.  The Vickers trigger is about half the price of the Apex ($35 vs. $75), but I still prefer the Apex.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last Photo of Rock Island G.I. Before Cutting On It

Posting one last picture of the Rock Island FS GI 9mm before I start to cut on it.  I haven't changed much since I posted the review, with the exception of the stainless EGW National Match barrel bushing, which you can kinda see in the photo here. 

I don't really need to change the trigger, but I want the black trigger for a stainless frame pistol, to be completed later, maybe 2019.  I'm going to need to change the pre-travel adjustment for the new hammer and sear anyway.

It will be getting a new grip safety also, but I'm not going to show that just yet.  The G.I. grip safety isn't so bad, after you "melt" it a little bit, but the web of my hand gets hooked on the frame tangs sometimes, which keeps me from getting a consistent grip.

I now have a milling machine in the basement, so will be doing most of the work myself.  I think I may hand off the slide to a local gunsmith for staking the front sight.  I don't want a dovetailed front sight for this particular pistol.  I want to use the Bo-Mar front sight and I don't particularly want to buy or make a staking tool just for this one job.  I also want the job done well the first time, since I can't just order another Bo-Mar front sight from Brownell's, Midway, or from the manufacturer.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

CMP Have Lost Their Damn Minds!

Okay, so the CMP has been telling us that they'll be selling off 1911 pistols for years now, right?  Well, the Chief Operating Officer of the CMP has announced the terms of the sales.

The price per pistol is to be somewhere around $1000.  Buyers must apply with all the usual qualifications for CMP sales, plus must supply proof of passing a NICS background check, and a copy of the FFL of the licensed dealer that will be transferring the pistol.  "The CMP customer will be required to complete a form 4473 in person and successfully complete another NICS check by the recipient FFL holder before the pistol can be transferred."  Mail order sales of one pistol per year, ONLY.  No sales at CMP stores.  C&R FFL holders are not eligible, for some reason.

I'm not sure where they get off charging $1000 for rattly old pistols that our parents, grandparents, or maybe great grandparents already paid for.  I'm not just disappointed, I'm angry.

Depending on the time period, and manufacturer, the government price for a 1911 pistol would range from about $15 to $492.  You can read a little about that here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

1985, Jeff Cooper Comments on the Beretta M9 Pistol

Kind of follow up to the 80's review of the Glock 17, we have Jeff Cooper's commentary on the then-new M9 pistol, the Beretta 92F in civilian nomenclature in the November/December 1985 issue of American Handgunner, starting on page 61.

Cooper and friends fired a few thousands rounds thought the new service pistol, attempting to wrap their brains around the new design.
The pistol mounts a curious two-sided hammer-dropper on the top rear of the slide.  When this switch is depressed it drops the cocked hammer safely on a live round.  Why it is desirable to be able to do this on both sides of the weapon is not clear.  Dropping the hammer on a live round is not the sort of act one needs to perform in a hurry, and might just as well be handled by a skate key.
The trigger pull in the cocked mode is best described as fair-to-poor, and in the unlocked mode as unsatisfactory.
A curious feature is the placement of the slide-stop so far to the rear that it is normally depressed by the firing thumb when shooting.  This, of course, prevents the slide from locking open on the last shot.  The slide-stop should properly be placed on the right side of the weapon, since her again is a device which is never needed in a hurry.
I often don't agree with Col. Cooper.  This is one of those occasions.  Clearing a double-feed pretty much requires locking the slide open, which would be pretty difficult if the slide-stop were on the right side, and the users hands were wet and/or bloody.  Even besides that, I'm one who charges and empty pistol by thumbing down the slide-stop.  I don't have any problem with the Beretta slide-stop.

There is also a paragraph or two about how the Berettas can be fired by pushing back the exposed trigger bar, which runs along the right side of the frame, but this is so much more difficult than pulling the trigger, that I believe that it's mostly an attempt at fear-mongering.
The unanimous and independently reached impression of those who shot the piece here at the ranch is that it was not designed by, or for, shooters.
Mmm.  Well, the Beretta 92 was an evolution of several older models of similar pistols.  I think it's fair to say that the 92/M9 pistols were designed by shooters who used pistols differently than Cooper, and therefor had different ideas on how pistols were used.

There is, of course discussion of how the 9mm is inferior to .45ACP for the purposes of the pistol's intended goal of self-defense, which is true, when we consider ball ammo, and 1980 defense ammo.  And. . . this also will come as no great surprise.
. . . the old 1911 Colt is the best thing in common use at this time.
And then Cooper closes with some very damning words.
In 1860 the Union Army was sent into combat with a 44-caliber cap-and-ball single-action revolver, a defensive sidearm far superior to that which we have adopted in 1985. . .  When we went to war in 1941 the United States headed its young men the best personal fighting tool the world has ever seen.  Times, however, have changed.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Glock 17 Review from 1985

Another find from the digital copies of vintage American Handgunner.  On page 40 of the September/October 1985 issue is a review of the Glock 17 by Anthony Carlyle.  Although the writer states a preference for blued steel and walnut, he was pretty open-minded about it, and praised most of the same aspects of the design that many have throughout the decades.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Thoughts on Powder Coated Bullets

I'll give my nutshell opinion on pistol bullets. Jacketed bullets are great, but are about the most expensive bullets you can buy, and my range no longer allows them when shooting steel targets after one range officer took a trip to the ER after getting hit with a bullet jacket. Plated bullets, in my experience are tempermental - you will get huge groups if you don't flare the case mouth enough or the crimp cuts into the plating. Lubed cast lead bullets are fine and cheap, but if you rapid fire, you'll end up standing in a cloud of nasty acrid smoke, especially if you use a hot-burning powder like TiteGroup. Powder coating adds a little cost over cast bullets, but you don't get as much smoke, and I get 50 extra feet per second, plus you can use them in polygonal barrels without lead buildup in most cases. Coated bullets are kind of the best compromise, provided that you are not going for ultimate bullseye accuracy.

I will throw in a quick note, that I will not buy Black Bullets again. I measured diameters with a micrometer, and checked the variation in bullet weight, and they were horrible. I don't know if Roger's Better Bullets are cost effective if you need to mail order, but they were three times more consistent in weight in diameter compared to Black Bullets.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lost Secret to Setting Up Seating Dies

The following is a tip published in the May/June 1985 issue of American Handgunner.  It could apply to adjusting seating dies when loading bullets with cannelures or revolver bullets with crimp grooves.  The bolt will work as-is for pistol bullets, but you would have to cut some kind of indentation into the tip of the bolt if you were loading pointed rifle bullets.
Texas reader Lannie Dietle suggests dialing a 7/8thsx14x3-inch hexhead bolt into your reloading press to facilitate determining desired seating depth.
"Ordinarily," says Dietle, "this adjustment is a trial-and-error process, performed with the use of the seating die. The disadvantage of using the seating die is inherent in the fact that the operation can't be observed. One must proceed in small increments, checking constantly, until the proper seating depth is discovered. 
"Using the 7/8ths bolt, instead of the die, one can see both the case and the bullet during the entire operation. All you have to do is press the bullet up against the tip of the bolt until the case mouth is properly aligned with the cannelure.  It is then an easy matter to adjust the seating die by lowering the seating plug until it contacts the correctly-seated bullet.  Subsequent seating is performed using the die." 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Snapsafe Titan XL Modular Safe Review

After putting it off for way too long, I finally bought a proper safe.  After much research and a few calculations, I finally decided that a large modular safe is what I wanted.  I believe that there are currently only two options for that - Zanotti Armor, and Snapsafe.  Zanotti doesn't offer much in the way of fire protection, and Snapsafe seem to offer decent fire protection, so I placed an order for a Snapsafe Super Titan XL.  Price was a buck under $2000 shipped, but it may be different when you read this.  There are smaller, less expensive safes available if you don't need, or can't afford, a safe that will hold 30-something firearms.

I guess I should also note at this point that Zanotti is, and has been, several months behind on filling orders, and Snapsafe keeps stock.

I ordered mine with the mechanical lock, because the keypad for the electronic lock simply lifts off, and the housing is made of plastic.  I have a smaller quick-access safe.  I don't mind if it takes a couple minutes to dial the mechanical lock on the big safe.  The mechanical lock seems fine.  No regrets.

The safe was delivered in a honeycomb cardboard crate on a pallet.  The driver put it in my garage.  Usually if you buy a safe, they won't take it beyond the curb, unless you pay to have it installed.

Getting the top, bottom, and sides of the safe into the basement was cake.  Pulling the door off the front of the safe, and getting that down wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.  The door is smaller than what Zanotti uses, but the Snapsafe door is easier to manage.  I can live with the smaller door.

Now, it was time to move the back of the safe from my garage, up the stairs to the front door, and down the stairs to the basement.  The back panel of the safe weighs about 200 pounds, and measures 38x59", so it's both quite heavy and bulky.  Can't slide it down the stairs, because it will threaten to run away and crush whoever is on the downhill side against the wall at the bottom of the stairs.  Don't attempt to even move this without a shoulder dolly set, so put that in the budget.  If you have a pair of steel-toe shoes or boots, wear them, and really consider buying a $30 pair at WalMart if you don't have them.  Kinda lost control of it, when getting to the overhang at the bottom of the stairs, and the damn thing threatened to kill me, but at that point, I could let it go, and it couldn't do too much damage to the stairs or walls.

Attempting to assemble the safe, I discovered that the sides of the safe were bowed out, and I couldn't get the holes to line up with the studs attached to the back of the safe.  Thought about slotting the holes, but there are a lot of them, and was afraid that the sides of the safe would still look bowed out after I tightened everything down, which would tip off anyone that it wasn't an ordinary safe.  Redneck ingenuity - put a ratchet strap around the sides, and crank on it until those bastards submit.  SUCCESS!  Holes now lined up and 5 out of 6 sides are now mated.  Add $12-15 to the budget if you don't have a ratchet strap.

The front of the safe, having a big hole cut out of it for the door, was not nearly as hard to manage as the back of the safe.  Grab a(nother) beer, the hard part is over.  Line up the front with the sides and top, thread on a few nuts, remove the ratchet strap, and you're almost done.

I secured the safe to the concrete basement floor with drop-in anchors and 3/8" bolts.  The Snapsafe people recommend 1/4" wedge bolt anchors*, but then I'd have to pick the damn thing up off the studs to move it, or disassemble it.  NUTS TO THAT!  It's back in a corner to make it harder to break into, and that also makes it that much harder to pick up.  The drop-in anchors are seated below the surface of the floor.  Four of the anchors, the tool to set them, and standard 3/8" bolts I think were less than $15 from Lowe's.

None of the panels were drilled for the cord of a dehumidifier or lighting.  You will probably want to at least install a Golden Rod dehumidifier, so have a drill bit ready for cutting an appropriate hole in the safe for that, and a rubber grommet for that hole is highly recommended.  Drill the hole before you start to install the interior.

Last step is to reinstall the fireproofing panels, and maneuver the interior panels into place.  Ran into a snag with the interior panels.  The sticker on the left interior panel was on upside down.  It was obvious that either the sticker on the right or left panel was wrong.  I had a 50/50 chance of guessing which one was right.  So, obviously, I guessed wrong.  Because the side panels have rails for hanging the shelving, I couldn't get the bottom panel in.  The rails were in the way.

With the interior installed properly, I put the big shelf up high, and rifle holders around the outside, but you could install more shelves for pistols, cameras, or whatever if you wanted.  The safe comes with multiple interior options, so that you can configure how you like.

Once you get the interior installed, you need to hang the door.  After dealing with the back panel of the safe, hanging the door on the hinges seemed like a piece of cake.  Although it would probably be easier to do with two people, I managed it on my own.  Remove the inside panel of the door, use the key to change the combination, and I'm finally done.  Took me a couple days altogether, a couple trips to ACE Hardware, and a trip to Lowe's for the anchors, but now it's all done.

Breaking into the safe should be quite difficult, since it's anchored to concrete, and can't be tipped over.  There's a wall in the way, so prying it open where it stands should be quite difficult.  If you could pry it up from the floor, you'd have to get the big, 600 pound safe plus contents down the hall.  The railing at the bottom of the basement stairs is actually a part of the wall, so you'd have to tear that down first, before even considering getting the safe up the stairs.  I'm not sure you could get it out the front door without removing the railing outside, and even then you'd have to try to negotiate the stairs and a small landing that abuts the garage.  You'd have to take down part of the fence, and remove a 7-foot evergreen tree if you took it out the back door.  These are a few of the reasons why I didn't buy a welded safe.  I didn't think it was geometrically possible to get a safe the size that I wanted into the basement where I wanted it, and I surely would have needed more help.  Buying and installing two smaller safes rather than one large one would have been cost prohibitive.  I don't know that the Snapsafe is as secure as a Liberty safe, or similar high-end safe, but I knew going in that I was making a compromise.  "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find you get what you need."

A modular safe is maybe not the optimal security solution, but is probably adequate in most situations, and almost certainly better than the thin-gage gun lockers (i.e. Homak, Stack-On).

* - I don't think they really meant 1/4".  Perhaps someone made a typo, or had difficulty with metric to SAE conversion.  The holes in the bottom of the safe are about 1/2" in diameter, which is the diameter of a drop-in anchor for a 3/8" bolt.  A wedge bolt anchor really isn't a bolt at all.  A wedge bolt anchor is actually a stud, and they sell them with a nut that drives the wedge, and secures whatever you need attached to the concrete.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Rock Island 1911 FS GI 9mm Review

Rock Island 9mm with some minor modifications

I picked up a Rock Island Armory 1911A1 5" FS (full-size, i.e. 5" Government Model) GI 9mm pistol from Sarco for about $430 with tax and transfer.  It's basically a replica of a Post-1985 Colt Series 70 pistol, not really a replica of anything that was issued by the U.S. military, at least not in large numbers.  The ejection port is lowered an flared, and the the thumb safety has a little bit of a shelf, rather than the little bitty tab of the G.I. thumb safety.  I didn't want the Tactical model, because the grip safeties do not fit very well, the triggers are not adjustable for pre-travel, and I didn't want to use Novak-type sights.  The RIA GI model is more of a blank canvas.

Why 9mm?  Well, I already have a 1911 in .45ACP, and I shoot a lot more 9mm, like 12 times more.  I have buckets full of 9mm brass.

The pistol came in a plastic hard case with one Mec-Gar 10-round magazine, and a chamber flag.  That's all.  The recoil spring is about 12 pounds, and the bushing is loose in the slide, so you really don't even need a bushing wrench.  A G.I. style L-shaped tool (as shown in photos above, purchased separately) with a slotted screwdriver and pin punch would be a nice and inexpensive addition for detail stripping and tightening grip screws (more on that a bit later).

Out of the box, I measured the trigger pull at 4 pounds, 10 ounces, which puts it about half way in the advertised range of 4-6 pounds.  A trigger job got it down to a crisp 3 pounds, 10 ounces (EDIT: trigger job settled in to about 3 pounds after a couple thousand rounds).  I couldn't get any lower without hammer follow or making the reset weaker than I would like.  The hammer and sear are cast or probably Metal-Injection-Molded (MIM).  The hooks on the hammer were not terribly long, but they were pretty rough, and hooked (not 90-degrees).  The sear had a smooth edge, but no break-away cut.  I'm not sure how long that trigger job will last.  Hammers and sears EDM cut from hardened steel will last much longer than cast or MIM parts.

Stocks are completely smooth, plain wood with a surprisingly low density.  They almost feel like balsa wood.  I think they are comfortably sized, but provide no traction.  I did have the grips screws (plain slotted) loosen frequently with the wood panels, and I believe this was due to the screws sinking into the soft wood over time.  I know these are only a cheap placeholder, so that's all I'll say about the grips.

The pistol passed safety checks - thumb safety blocks the sear, and grip safety blocks the trigger.  I have not had any trouble disengaging the grip safety.  Thumb safety is single-side Colt Series 70 style.  The thumb safety firmly snicks on and off.  Not sure if the firing pin spring is extra power or not, but the firing pin is steel.  I'm not sure that the firing pin would pass a drop safety test the way the Springfield 1911s with titanium firing pins will, although it seems that RIA .38 Super and .45ACP pistols pass the safety test for sale in California, so I could be wrong.

The GI grip safety is not terribly comfortable, even on a 9mm pistol.  The tail on the grip safety is narrow, and is not at all rounded.  I didn't know what was going on, at first.  It seemed like the pistol was kicking far more than a 9mm full-size all-steel 1911 should.  After several shooting sessions, I noticed a callus had developed on the web of my hand.  The hammer was biting me, but not drawing blood.  Bobbing and rounding the hammer and "melting" the underside of grip safety tail make it a much more comfortable pistol to shoot.  After this modification, I fired over 200 rounds in one session with no discomfort.  It's like a completely different experience.  Changing to a commander hammer, and notching the grip safety to clear is a common fix for the same problem.

Although the barrel seems to lock up pretty well, the bushing is quite loose in the slide.  The slide also rattles on the frame a bit.  Best groups were about 2" offhand groups at 50 feet, which is about on par with most service pistols, but not as good as a match pistol.  A bushing that fits tighter to the slide and barrel would likely tighten up groups significantly, and a rear sight with a smaller notch would also help.  There is a lot of light showing on either side of the skinny little front sight.

First groups were about 2 inches high, and an inch and half to the left.  It is my intention to take or send the slide to a gunsmith to have it milled for a Bo-Mar adjustable sight, and have it flat-topped and serrated.  I can drift the rear sight for windage, but have no way to fix the elevation other than filing down the rear sight.  I tried 115, 124, and 147 grain bullets, and it always shoots high.

Reliability with standard velocity round-nose ammo is 100%, apart from magazine-related issues.  147gr flat-points were jammed hard into the ramp at the bottom edge of the barrel.  I got a couple of the flat-points into the chamber to fire, but I gave up after about 6 3-point jams.  The barrel appeared to be throated, and thus you would think would feed flat-point bullets.  That ramp at the bottom edge of the barrel is nearly vertical and the flat points just run right into it and stop dead.  Apparently this is not uncommon, as the manual says to use FMJ only, and other users report that their RIA 9mm pistols won't feed flat-point or hollowpoint ammo.  This is not exclusive to RIA pistols, as there are others with 9mm 1911s with non-ramped barrels reporting the same problem.

I'm debating whether I'm really that interested in buying a ramped barrel.  A good semi-drop-in barrel, with bushing pre-fit (Bar-Sto, Kart, Nowlin. . .) runs more than 50% of the price of the pistol.  The tools to gunsmith-fit a match barrel and bushing alone would cost more than the initial price of the pistol.  Take these costs into consideration when you look at pricing of something like a Dan Wesson, Les Baer, or STI pistol which might set you back $1200 or more.

My 7 magazines drop free.  Getting the slide to lock back with the three Metalform magazines required bending the tab on the follower out to the left side.  The steel follower of the Mec-Gar has the same problem, but can not be adjusted.  I may try to get Mec-Gar to send me one of the newer plastic followers, and see if that works better.  My 3 Chip McCormick 10-round magazines have been working well, so far.

Modest bevel on the bottom edges of the slide, except for the slide catch notch, which is left square.

The magazine well is modestly beveled.  The bottom edges of the slide also have a small bevel - a nice touch.  Ejector is extended, but I believe that all 9mm ejectors are extended.  The pistol comes with a flat steel (not plastic) mainspring housing without any silly lock, although I changed it out for an arched Colt mainspring housing, because I'm used to the hump on a Glock grip.

Finish is a decent-looking and even dark-grey phosphate (Parkerized), at least it was before I clamped the slide in a vise and had to wail on the rear sight for 25 minutes to get it to move just a little to the right.  The matte black, "murdered out" look is kinda growing on me.  I added an extended Wilson slide-stop which is a matte blue, and it's a little darker in color, but you'd have to look pretty close to notice.  When I bobbed the hammer and "melted" the tail on the grip safety, I refinished with cold blue, and again, it's not something most people would notice without looking closely.

The bore was also phosphated, which I wasn't crazy about.  After 2000 rounds, I thoroughly cleaned the barrel, including running the Lewis lead remover through a bunch of times and using aggressive solvent.  The barrel now has a dull shine, and the phosphate finish has worn away.  The rifling is sharp and well-defined.  It's not up to the level of an old Colt or Smith & Wesson, or a match barrel, but let's remember that I bought the pistol new for less than $430 out-the-door.  EDIT: After a couple thousand rounds the Park has worn away, but still doesn't have the polished bore of a really good barrel.

Fortunately, RIA no longer puts a giant Rock Island billboard on the left side of the slide.  There is only a small white logo on the left side behind the cocking serrations.  This I will polish out eventually, before I get the slide blued.

As the base for a hobby gunsmithing project, it's a pretty good place to start - that's really why I bought it.  For a range pistol, it's okay, but you're probably never going to draw a crowd unless you paint is pink or zombie green.  For action matches, it will probably do well-enough with an adjustable sight, as bullseye accuracy isn't usually necessary.  The stock sights being actual G.I. style, are notorious for being hard to find.  Because of the feeding problem with non-round bullets, I don't recommend taking it out of the box, and using it as a defense pistol.  Keeping the bargain-basement price in mind, I guess it's not a bad deal.  It's only about 60% the price of a Springfield Range Officer, so you have some money to buy grips, a larger thumb safety, maybe a magazine well and beavertail grip safety and jig, and fit a tighter bushing, if that's what you want.  The Range Officer does come with an adjustable rear sight, fiber-optic front sight, and a ramped barrel, however.

Modifications as pictured - Wilson Combat extended slide stop lever and magazine catch.  Wolff 17 pound mainspring*.  Wolff sear spring.  Colt arched mainspring housing.  Ed brown reduced power mag catch spring.  Nowlin long match trigger.  Fusion small-radius stainless firing pin stop.  ProMag Tough Grips.  EDIT: Added EGW National Match bushing, which installed in about 10 minutes using a Dremel with a cratex cylinder, and a few file strokes on the lug.  The barrel now locks up TIGHT.

I'm not even close to being done with this pistol yet.  My intention is to build an 80's style custom pistol, complete with period holster rig.  Think along the lines of Pachmayr custom shop, Jim Hoag, and Richard Heinie.  Something that would've made Magnum P.I. drool, and considering trading in his Ferrari to free up some cash to get work done on his plain vanilla Mk.IV.  Maybe one of the dumbest ideas I've ever had, because I'll probably never be able to sell it, much less get out of it what I put into it in the 21st century.

Related Links:
Building a Low-Buck Shooter
Brownells Gun Tech - Jack Weigand 2 1/2 pound trigger pull instructions
Armscor/Rock Island Armory Home Page

* - Discovered that the Rock Island 9mm mainspring is 18 pound.  Didn't really need to change it, but I already had a 17 pound spring, and I didn't have to disassemble the RIA mainspring housing, which is a little tricky.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Magnetospeed V3 Chonograph $323 at Primary Arms.

Magnetospeed V3 @ Primary Arms

Regular price $380.  $323 with promotion code "RANGE."

I have been using one for a few months with the Picatinny adapter on pistols. More expensive than sky screen chonographs, but I wasn't using mine because they are a pain in the hind-end to set up.  It takes maybe 30 seconds to clip-on, or strap-on the Magnetospeed "bayonet" and plug it into the box, and that's pretty much all it takes to set one up.

There is a cheaper Sporter model, but it isn't compatible with the Picatinny mount.

I'll probably write up a review eventually.  Real short story - I use one, and I like it.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Matt Damon Praises Australian Gun Laws

In a recent interview, celebretard Matt Damon praised Australia's "sensible" gun laws.
“You guys did it here in one fell swoop and I wish that could happen in my country, but it’s such a personal issue for people that we cannot talk about it sensibly.” Damon says during a chat Down Under. “People get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK-47s to people on terror watch lists, that’s a non-starter. I don’t know what needs to happen.”
Well, I think I know what needs to happen.  We need to stop watching Matt Damon movies.

Hat tip to RURdy4it

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Updated YouTube Gun Channels List

Gun Channels on YouTube

Added some new stuff, and noted that some of the channels that I had posted have not put up videos in the last year or more, and in one case, a channel changed format.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Palmetto State Armory AR-15 Premium Bolt Carrier Group - $79.99

Click screen-cap to go to PSA product page.

This is one I have to share.  I'm not too sure about the quality of the extractor spring, but everything else sounds good, and it's going to be really hard to beat this, comparing apples to apples.  Just be forewarned that PSA is not the fastest to ship, so it might take more than a week before you get your order.

Hat Tip - Mrgunsngear

Saturday, April 4, 2015

sarah brady Passed April 3, 2015

I'm just going to leave this here, as I can't think of anything particularly respectful to say about it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

mattv2099 Public Service Announcement: Check Your AK Safety

Make sure that your AK won't fire if you flip the safety up too high.  If the safety isn't notched properly, it will trip the disconnector and release the hammer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Glock 19 and 26 Magazines $15 Each

Lucas Tactical is selling some new Factory Glock magazines for $15 each, which I haven't seen. . . ever, I guess.  The 17-round 9mm magazines are sold out, but they have 15-round G19 magazines and 10-round G26 magazines left.

Shipping was $6 for 5 magazines.

It will be interesting to see how many hits I get on this post, given that I haven't posted anything in 6 months.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CDNN Investments $19.99 Glock mag sale

CDNN Investments is selling Glock factory magazines for $19.99 each.  Take your pick of standard-capacity or 10-round mags.  I haven't seen that in a while.  You might also find some used magazines for $14.99.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Worst. Gun Review. Ever.

Beretta's New Super Rifle, by Douglas MacIntyre, was posted to Yahoo! Finance.
Gun company Beretta is tone deaf when it comes to calls for restrictions on powerful guns sold in the United States. It must be the chance to make money.
Now, this is a short article on the Beretta ARX100, which isn't terribly powerful, no matter how you configure it.  And yes, they make money selling guns.  Duh.
And maybe most important of all, the ARX100 is reasonably priced at $1,950, which does not include bullets.
Oh, my!  Only $1950!  I think I have that stuck between the seat cushions in my car.

Most of the rest of the article is regurgitated from Beretta's press release.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tiger McKee - Dry Fire May Induce Bad Habits

Skill Set: Bad Habits by Tiger McKee

Almost everyone recommends dry fire practice, but there may be dangerous bad habits ingrained from the practice, particularly when you cock a pistol or rifle with your finger on the trigger to practice resetting the trigger.  Have you just trained yourself to leave your finger on the trigger when your gun goes "click" instead of "BANG"?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Magazine Update; Korean Glock and AR-15

Korean Glock Magazines

I have a bunch of these, both 15 and 17 round 9mm magazines.  Initially, there were some that were not dropping free when empty, but they have "broken in" and now do drop free from multiple pistols.  I've been in the habit of always taking a Korean mag along when I take a Glock out for some practice, which is pretty often.

Loading the 15-round magazines, along with a couple of Glock factory magazines, I noticed that Korean magazines were noticeably easier to load.  Although I haven't used the Korean magazines all that much, the springs had compressed a bit, and were just a little bit longer than the mag tube.  To the credit of the Koreans, the mags actually never failed.  Regardless, I replaced the Korean springs with Wolff extra power springs, and the Korean magazines soldier on.

All the magazine springs have some use on them.

The KCI spring wire diameter is 0.045".  The Glock magazine spring wire diameter is 0.051".  The Wolff magazine spring wire diameter is 0.048", but is obviously a much longer spring.  It doesn't seem like a lot, but I think you can see that the Korean spring is smaller.

The 17-round magazines don't seem to have this problem, or at least it hasn't manifested yet.

The Korean magazines are significantly cheaper than Glock factory magazines, but consider the added expense of the replacement spring before you buy.  Centerfire Systems sells the Korean mags for $8 and $13 each, and I wouldn't pay very much more than that.  Brownells sells 3-packs of Wolff magazine springs for $18, IIRC.

And yes, I'm sure that that is the right Wolff spring for that magazine, and yes, I can still get 15 rounds into that magazine.

Lancer AWM AR-15 Magazine

I've been trying out one of the opaque black 30-round Advanced Warfare Magazines for a little while.  I was just about to add it to my SHTF stash.  This weekend I was shooting one my carbines, and when I inserted the AWM magazine into the rifle, I noticed that a round popped loose into the action.  Although it struck me as odd, I cleared it, and continued on.  I came home, loaded the magazine back up, and tried that a few more times.  I tried downloading the magazine 1, 2, and 3 rounds.  When inserting the magazine "with vigor," but not abusively hard, I was able to duplicate the failure over and over again.  Dropping the magazine from two and a half to three feet onto a carpeted floor will also release a round about half the time.

I think I bought 3 of these.  I don't think I'll buy any more.

Oh, one of my older Lancer L5 magazines does it too.  D'oh!

It would seem that I am not alone.  Did some searching, and I found a member, G19A3, had reported the following.
Although I cannot recommend Lancers either, I loved the translucency, but found that they tend to "waterfountain" a round or three when slapped in authoritatively on a bolt-locked-back condition. I experienced this with 30rd Lancer L5's and the later 20rd AWM's. I roll only Colt or OKay USGI 20rd & 30rd aluminum mags now. I'm still hoping one day for a translucent mag that doesn't do this. Someone indicated on another thread they have tested the new HK translucent mags for this and they are GTG in that respect, but I haven't tried them yet. I understand AUG mags do this too in a bolt-locked-back condition. Must be something about the polymer to make a translucent mag, even with metal reinforced lips like the Lancers.

CAA MAG17 AR-15 Magazine

The last couple of times I took this magazine out, I had bolt-over-base malfunctions.  This is with two different brands of ammunition.  Never had this happen before with this rifle.

I had it happen twice within about 12 rounds with Wolf Gold .223 Remington, 55 grain FMJ.  I unloaded the magazine, and loaded the remaining rounds into another magazine, and continued shooting without issue.  Went through 4 other different magazines (that day), without issue.  It's hard to draw any conclusion, other than that the CAA magazine is the problem.

The CAA MAG17 also will not firmly lock into the ACR.  The notch for the magazine catch is a little small, and I guess the ACR mag catch is a little larger than that of an AR-15 or M-16/M4.

Fortunately, I only bought one of these.  I like the features of the MAG17, but I'd rather have magazines that don't induce malfunctions.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reflections on SBR Laws and AR Pron

A little over a month ago, the BATFEABCNSAFYIXYZ Tech Branch sent a letter to police sergeant explainting that there is no law against shouldering a pistol, which got me to thinking.

This is a rifle with a 16" barrel.  No problem in most states.

This is a pistol.  No problem in most states, as long as you're 21 and don't attach a vertical foregrip.

This is still a pistol, even if you shoulder it, according to ATF Tech branch.  No worries.

Whoa there!!  This is an SBR.  Purchase or manufacture hindered by red tape.

The pistol with the SigTac arm brace is essentially the same size, with the same upper, as the Short Barreled Rifle, but the SBR requires a permission slip just because it has a proper rifle stock.

You can buy a rifle at 18 years old, but you have to be 21 to buy a handgun. Why? Because handguns are more deadly? In most cases, no, handguns aren't more deadly. It must be because pistols are more concealable.

So why is it that an SBR, which is larger than a pistol, but smaller than a "normal rifle," require fingerprinting, a chief law enforcement officer sign-off, a $200 tax, registration, and a 10 to 12 month wait to get the approval to take possession or build it?

In most states, you can go into a gun shop, or maybe a sporting goods store, and walk out the same day with either a tiny palm-sized pistol, or a long rifle, but something in between the two is taboo and quite heavily restricted?  It doesn't even matter if it's a single-shot or semi-automatic.  A H&R Handi-Rifle with a 15" barrel would be restricted basically the same as a machinegun, which is ridiculous.

The restriction on putting a vertical foregrip on a pistol seems to be just entirely arbitrary.  "They" don't want you to spray fire, and don't seem to want you to carefully aim either.  If you can own a pistol, then you can own a rifle, so what friggin' difference does it make if you hold a pistol with both hands?

Law, law, everywhere a law.  Do this, don't do that.  Can't you read the law?

It doesn't really make much sense, does it?

How about if we change the laws to require that you need to be 21 to buy a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16", or a shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18", and just repeal all of the other nonsensical garbage?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Midway $10 Off $50 Order Coupon

  • Add in-stock products without quantity limits to your cart totaling $50 or more.
  • In your cart, apply Promotion Code "NRASHOW2"


Valid: 12:00 AM CT 03/12/2014 - 11:59 PM CST on 05/31/2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

BOHICA! New Import Ban?

feinstein is at it again.  This time, she's not trying to pass legislation.  No, that hasn't been working.  She is trying to get support to get BATFE to halt the importation of more "non-sporting" guns.  I guess the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the semi-auto import ban of 1989 weren't enough for her.

This is her "wish list" with my comments in red:
  • Prohibit importation of all semi-automatic rifles that can accept, or be readily converted to accept, a large capacity ammunition magazine of more than 10 rounds, regardless of the military pedigree of the firearm or the configuration of the firearm’s magazine well. - To ban military-style firearms that aren't military firearms, which seems very contradictory.  This would stop the importation of the Century WASR-10 rifles and Draco pistols.
  • Prohibit semi-automatic rifles with fixed magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. - I guess seeking to preemptively ban work-around guns with welded-in magazines and 20-round Mauser Broomhandle replicas?
  • Prohibit the importation of the frame or receiver of any prohibited rifle, regardless of whether it is incorporated into a fully manufactured firearm.
  • Prohibit the practice of importing assault rifles in parts and then constructing the rifles once they are in the United States by adding the requisite number of American-made parts. - No more AK parts-guns, wiping out 922(r) compliance, although I don't see how this is enforceable without a new law.  How can anyone tell whether the AK I built in my basement was built last night, or 10 years ago.  Without registration, you can't tell.
  • Prohibit the use of a “thumbhole” stock as a means to avoid classification of a rifle as an assault rifle. - Closing a "loophole" in the 1989 ban.  Naturally, they wouldn't have written in the "loophole" if they could get it to pass without it.  At any rate, classification of an assault rifle depends on the firing mechanism and selector switch, and really has nothing to do with the stock.
  • Prohibit the importation of "assault pistols," in addition to "assault rifles." - I have no idea what this is about.  The importation of assault rifles was part of the 1968 ban, and I don't think there is a definition of "assault pistol," at least in federal law.
Basically this would affect all AKs except for the Century Arms Centurion 39, which is entirely made in America.  Once the supply of parts kits and sporterized AKs already in the country dry up, Krebs Custom, Red Jacket and other builders would have nothing left to build with.  It would also affect the building of semi-only STEN guns, and PPSH pistols, and a whole lot of others.

Of course, this attempt hinges on the 2nd Amendment not protecting non-sporting firearms, and the Supreme Court has already stated with their U.S. v. Miller and D.C. v. Heller decisions that the 2nd doesn't only protect firearms for sporting-uses.

You can read some more at The Bang Switch.  If you haven't written to your senators in a while, this would be the time.

Daily Caller article with Feinstein's letter to Obama about restricting imports.

Or have RURDY4ITNEWS read it to you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

PSA Pigsticker and Rainier XTC Comp Update

A while back, I bought a Pigsticker compensator from Palmetto State Armory, and put it on a 10.5" barrel.  Although it seemed to work fine, the muzzle flash was ridiculous. (Original Post)

Yesterday, I swapped the comp over to my 16" Spike's Tactical 5.45x39mm upper, and today I took it out to do some shooting.  Unfortunately, all is still not well.  The comp shoved the muzzle down hard and to the left.  I also couldn't get the tip of my pull-through cleaning rod out through the end of the comp.  No flash that I noticed, though.

The Rainer XTC did fare much better.  While I had the barrel vice blocks out, I put the XTC on my LMT 16" M4gery  Although there is a bit of concussion, there was no tuning fork "ting," and not too much muzzle lift.  Unfortunately, I had another Tula steel shell case get stuck hard in the chamber, cutting short that shooting session.  Even if I had a cleaning rod, it took a half dozen hard hits with a dead-blow hammer to remove it.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Semi-semiautomatic AR-15

No, I didn't type the title for the post with a stutter.  Southern Gun Company of Cornwall, England developed an AR-15 style 9mm rifle that locks the bolt back with every shot.  The shooter can then release the bolt with a lever put in place where the safety lever would normally be.  It probably sounds more awkward than it is in practice.  Check out the video of the SGC Unicorn rifle in action.

There shouldn't be a need for these shenanigans, but there are, regardless.  I find this solution to an unnecessary problem to be brilliant.  If I were stuck living behind enemy lines in a ban state, I would be trying to do something like this over a "featureless" build, or a bullet-button, or a fixed magazine, or any of that other nonsense.

Beats having to manually operate the bolt like a bolt-action rifle, which is what U.K. shooters have been doing with AR rifles.