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 Colt Series 70 pistol, not really a replica of anything that was issued by the U.S. military, at least not in large numbers.  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 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.  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 3" 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 three magazines drop free - 2 of the Metalform 9-round ramped magazines and the 1 Mec-Gar that came with the pistol.  Getting the slide to lock back with the 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.

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

The ejection port is lowered and flared.  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 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 700 rounds, I thoroughly cleaned the barrel, including running the Lewis lead remover through a bunch of times.  The barrel now has a dull shine with a couple dark spots that I can't seem to remove.  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.

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.

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 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 m4carbine.net 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"

          OR


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.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Rainier Arms XTC Compensator - $39.99

Rainier Arms sent me a notification that they got in the barrel that I wanted.  Surfing through their site, while I was there, I found the XTC compensator in the sale pages.  The sale price is $56-something, but when you use coupon code "2014" it becomes $39.99, which I found hard to resist.  The shipping isn't bad either, I only paid like $8 for the barrel, handguard, gas tube and compensator.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Confiscation Letters, The Gun Confiscation Squad, and a Poem

There was a rather disturbing article in the Thanksgiving issue of The Washington Times.  New York City is sending out letters to gun owners, demanding that they surrender their rifles or shotguns.  The time is coming for the new "ammunition capability law" to go into effect.

One NYC resident sent a copy of their letter to The Blaze, which reads:
Immediately surrender your rifle and/or shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter. Permanently remove your rifle and/or shotgun from New York City.
The Truth About Guns posted a scan of one of the letters.  The New York state SAFE act magazine limit is 7 rounds, but in New York City, the limit is 5 rounds, which I did not know.

If you follow the Military Arms Channel website, The Bang Switch, you'll remember the Illinois Confiscation article that ran a little while ago.  State residents may have their guns seized, and be charged with a crime if they allow their Firearm Owner Identification Cards to expire.

The Liberty Digest posted an article about California gun confiscation squads.  The state of California has set up an Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS).  According to the article, California is bypassing 5th and 14th amendment protections against the seizure of property without due process of law, by sending the Armed Prohibited Persons System gun confiscation squad after people whom the state welfare system has declared "a danger to himself or others."  But wait, there's more!  Funding for the APPS comes from firearm purchase fees.  So some of the California residents purchasing firearms, may be funding their own disarmament.

The Liberty Digest article also discusses confiscations in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

A comment on The Liberty Digest article lead me to an American Thinker article about more confiscations in New York.
Following the passage of "The SAFE Act" in New York State, Big Brother got busy pretty quickly grabbing up the guns. Of course nobody was reporting on it very much, until they managed to collect them from the wrong guy and a judge made them give them back.

. . . and because it's sort of related, here's a poem.

Do You Want My Gun
By Dr. Gene Howard c. 1992

Do you want my gun, or do you want my life
Do you want my gun, or do you want my wife.
Do you want my gun, or do you want mt store.
Do you want my gun, or much, much more.
What is it you really want, I must ask myself,
For it is one of the few freedoms we have left.
Maybe it’s something more political you seek,
But cannot accomplish unless we become weak.
I think of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and the rest,
Fooling the people into thinking they knew best
They traded their arms for hoes and wooden staves
And they traded their freedom and wound up slaves.
For when people can no longer defend their rights,
Their days become filled with sleepless nights,
And soon their fears become much, much more
When the secret police knock on their door.
They took them from their family,and their home,
And without a trial locked them up alone.
No visitors, no place that they could go appeal
For they were politically incorrect to party zeal.
Today the majority of us are not politically correct,
And what do the liberals want us to put in check?
That’s right, our guns, they want us to turn them in,
For as long as we have them socialism cannot win.
Each day our liberal government denies our rights,
As they put GOD fearing people in their sights,
So i will keep my gun, and use if if I must
To defend my inherited right to say, “In God We Trust”
For the very foundation of this great land of ours
Is now being threatened, and it it may only be hours,
Till GOD is completely removed from every part,
And this country is stripped of its very heart.
For today freedom of religion is no longer a right,
But a battle ground for which we must fight.
So if you ask me for my gun, the answer is NO!
Try to take it, and if there’s a hell, you’ll know.


Keep your eyes and ears open people!

5th Amendment
[N]or shall any person . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . .

14th Amendment
[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . .



Friday, November 29, 2013

AR500 Armor Black Friday Discount

AR500 Armor is offering some discounts.  Picked up a couple items on my own personal wish list.


EDIT:  Cyber Monday

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Opposite of No-Glare

Lone Wolf Advertisement, image saved from a gun blog

BLING!!

I've seen a lot of 1911 pistols, where the back of slide, ejector, extractor, rear sight, front sight, and the top of slide are serrated to prevent glare. . . and then there's this.  Lone Wolf Distributors is taking the opposite approach, and is Titanium Nitride plating Glock slides.  The cost for refinishing a slide is $105.  You can get them to do sights for you too, if you want.

Sights too!!

Titanium Nitride coating does actually make sense for some firearm parts, and offers many of same benefits of Nickel Boron coating, as made famous by FailZero.  However, and it's a big however, Titanium Nitride coating a pistol slide and/or sights, is probably not a good idea, unless perhaps you are a drug dealer, and you surround yourself with a dozen well-armed thugs at all times.

Sorry, LWD, for beating up on you, but this is kind of goofy, at best.

1911 Barrel Minus 1/3 Rifling - 2.04" Group at 35 Yards

This is too incredible not to share.

Todd at pistol-training.com does these 50,000 round pistol tests.  His latest one is a Springfield Custom Shop 9mm 1911.  Having gone through 53,000 rounds now, the first 1/3 of the rifling in the barrel has worn away.  The pistol was clamped into a Ransom rest for an accuracy test.

A 10-shot group was fired, with Federal match ammo, at 35 yards.  The group measured 2.04", which is better than most pistols will shoot new, out of the box, at 25 yards.

I suppose that is a testament to the accuracy you can get out of a 1911 with a hand-fitted barrel.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

DSG Arms - Free EoTech with DD Rifles, Free Shipping

Screen Cap from DSG Arms e-mail

They're kind of expensive rifles, but good rifles aren't cheap, and these are good rifles.  When you add in the free EoTech sight, it's a pretty darn good deal.

DSG is pretty good for aluminum AR magazines and other gear, if you're like me and don't really need another AR, take advantage of the free shipping offer.  Coupon code "NOFREIGHT4YOU"

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Still Confusion Over Zimmerman Trial

I'm going to post these videos, because there are still a lot of people who don't know who Trayvon really was, or what happened the night of the shooting.

The unedited audio from the call to the police by Zimmerman.  No opinion presented, just the recording.
 

Trayvon was out for snacks, right?  Maybe not.
 
Longer video by philosopher Stephan Molyneux.  Trayvon was 17, over 5' 9", maybe 6' 2", 170 pounds, a football player, and a street fighter (by Trayvon's own personal account), not a 12-year old boy, as the news portrayed him.  Zimmerman racist? - Probably not.
 
I'm not going to say that Zimmerman didn't make any mistakes that night, but it seems fairly obvious that a lot of information was intentionally suppressed by media and other public figures, in order to make the whole thing into something that it wasn't, a case of murdered for being black in public.  Although discrimination may have been an element, it just isn't that simple.  I believe that far too many people have based their opinions on the Zimmerman shooting on incomplete information.
 
Just this weekend, I've been called a bitch and a "dumb ass" (sic) for trying to explain to people that Zimmerman acted in self-defense after being attacked.  The irony of the lack of politeness apparently lost on these people.
 
One individual said that he'd punch someone in the face if he was followed, too, seemingly having learned absolutely nothing from the whole event.  If you haven't read Ayoob's In The Gravest Extreme yet, time may be of the essence.
 
I may take flak for this, but it is my blog, and I'm entitled to post my own opinion.  I'm backing it up with information that seems to me to be accurate and trustworthy.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Couple More From Forgotten Weapons

French Folding Submachinegun
 
You can read a little more on the Hotchkiss Universal here, from the Modern Firearms website.  Somewhat unusual for a French gun, it's chambered for 9mm Luger, rather than something wimpy and obscure like many French service pistols, or the 7.65x20mm MAS-38 submachinegun.  Retracting the barrel, for folding it, requires putting fingers perilously close to the muzzle.

The Hotchkiss Universal is fairly complicated and was probably pretty expensive compared to SMGs of it's day, like the British STEN and American M3 Grease Gun, which were mostly made from bits of tubing welded together, and maybe a stamped steel grip frame, with a barrel screwed on the front.

 
British Farquhar-Hill rifle - Antique Tacticool
 
First designed in 1908, but adopted by the British in 1918. 

The drum magazine of the WW1-era British Farquhar-Hill rifle doesn't have feedlips.  The rounds are held in the magazine by a manual latch.  The feedlips are machined into the receiver, sort of the way it was done with the Mosin Nagant.  After loading the magazine, and releasing the catch on the magazine, the bolt is released by pulling the trigger, which makes it easy to put back into action, but somewhat dangerous for anyone who happens to be nearby, such as your brothers in arms in the trenches, as you are preparing for a run across no-mans-land.

According to the Wikipedia article, the standard drum held 20-rounds, but there were also 65-round drums.  The .303 British cartridge, like most very-old rifle cartridges, is a rimmed round, which doesn't work very well in box magazines.  The rim of the top round in the magazine can get "locked" behind the rim of the round under it.  Drum magazines are a way to get around this, providing that you can made the drum magazine work properly.  As far as I know, the SMLE box magazines worked fine, but at the time the Farquhar-Hill was designed, the SMLE magazines were all 10-round capacity.  However, the year that that the Farquhar-Hill was adopted, there was a run of 20-round Lee Enfield box magazines produced.

The Lee Enfield SMLE remained the primary British service rifle, until being replaced by the L1A1 SLR (Self Loading Rifle) in 1957, which is the inch-pattern version of the FN FAL rifle.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Quick Bushmaster ACR Update

I'm up to 1110 rounds through the ACR with no lubrication, and without cleaning the action.  The manual says that no lubrication is necessary, so I've been running it completely dry.  It doesn't seem to be doing any harm.  I have cleaned the bore and chamber though, hoping to squeeze a little more accuracy out of it.

I've tried a bunch of "match" loads through it, trying to get a decent group, but the best groups I've gotten have been around 2" at 100 yards.  These same loads have been around .9" to 1 1/8" out of my LMT M4.  I tried removing and reinstalling the barrel, and really snugging down the barrel nut.  I tried supporting the handguard at the middle, and back toward the magazine well.  I checked to make sure my rifle rest was solidly locked down and screwed together tight.  Getting a really good group out of the ACR is proving to be frustrating.  My best load to date through the LMT has been a round with a Midway 55gr varmint bullet, which the ACR puts into sloppy 3 inch groups.  Maybe some of the lighter MatchKing or Hornady bullets will do a little better from the ACR, fingers crossed.

I'm not sure if the 1:7" twist barrels are available yet.  They have been extremely slow introducing barrels for the civilian market, which kind of makes the "A" for adaptive kind of a joke.  Mine is a 1:9" twist.  I was told that 1:9" twist barrels will sometimes shoot heavy bullets just fine, so I tried some.  The Nosler 77gr Custom Competition bullets just sort of sprayed.  I actually couldn't keep them all on a 14x14" target.  It was really that bad.  75gr Hornady match bullets did very much better, but still didn't produce anything resembling an impressive group.  69 grain MatchKings were good, but still not impressive.

But at least it runs.  It's chewed through the softest shooting ammo that I could find, and obviously has no problem with hot 5.56mm spec ammo.  Steel case ammo has not yet posed a problem, at least not with the ACR.

It does have magazine preferances, but then most rifles do, to some extent.  A Fusil steel magazine or two have seemed to lock in, and pass the pull test, only to fall back out when a shot is fired (embarrasing).  A couple of my old English SA80 steel magazines lock in well, but then you have to really mash the magazine release to get them back out again.  But the ACR chugs along happily with G.I. aluminum magazines, PMags of various generations and capacities, TangoDown, C Products stainless steel, Lancer and Troy magazines.  I'm not sure if Fusil is even still making magazines, and I suspect that a lot of the old English steel SA80 magazines have been crushed, scrapped, or trashed, as 3 of the 5 that I bought in 2002 have proven to be sub-par.

Oh, and I dumped the trigger that came with the rifle.  I bought a Geissele SSA-Enhanced AR-15 trigger on sale from Palmetto State Armory, and installed it with the ACR hammer spring, which doubles as the selector detent spring.  Soooo much better.  I run an SSA in my main AR-15, and I've got another with a 15-minute trigger job.  The ACR trigger really sucked compared to both, and couldn't even compete with a Tapco AK trigger.  I usually take 2 rifles with me when I got to shoot, and the ACR always came in 2nd place because the trigger pull was always heavier than whatever else I took.  Just unpleasantly heavy if you have anything to compare it to.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't so quick an update.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Forgotten Weapons YouTube Channel

Forgotten Weapons YouTube Channel

Ian McCollum has been posting videos of obscure firearms, and explaining how they work for a couple of years.  He's also done video reviews on military and civilian firearm books, if that's more your speed.

Here's an example.  Halloway Arms HAC-7 .308 Winchester semi-automatic rifle.  There may be about 300 of these rifles.  The design is a kind of a strange conglomeration of elements from the FN FAL, Kalashnikov rifle trigger and operating system, AR-15 bolt and gas tube.  The rifle didn't work very well, and a piece had fallen off of it, but I think it's still an interesting design.  I've been absorbing all that I can about military-style rifles for decades, and I've never seen or even heard of these Halloway Arms rifles.


Starting at the start, it seems that "Ian" is a bit of a gunsmith, engineer, and fabricator.  I'm very jealous of the shop.  Many many thousands of dollars worth of machinery, tools, and components there.

Hat-tip to Samuel Suggs for posting a link to the HK roller-delayed P9S pistol video.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Palmetto State Armory Pigsticker Compensator

Here is the video I put up on YouTube.  It's a little less than two and a half minutes.  I spent way too much time on it, struggling with Windows Live Movie Maker, restarting my computer about a dozen times before I got it all together and working properly.


Since I was rebuilding one of my AR-15 uppers anyway, I decided that I should try a compensator.  I would have preferred a BattleComp, but was not willing to pay the price for one.  There are a few options for similar comps, and the one that I chose was the Pigsticker from Palmetto State Armory.  Things did not go exactly to plan.  Although muzzle flip is minimal. . .


That upper will get it's A2 flash-suppressor back, and I'll probably put the Pigsticker on a 16" barrel at some point in the future, to see how that goes.  When that happens, I'll put up another video.

UPDATE, 2/9/2014

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kinda Pretty

You may think this is stupid.

I wanted to get a picture before I got them all dirty with soot from burned solid propellant.


Those are fresh, never-fired, Starline .38 Special shell casings.

I've reloaded thousands of shell casings, but they've all been at least once-fired.  They never come out of the tumbler that clean, inside and out.  I had a Brownells gift card, and not enough .38 Special brass, so a brown truck brought me these little brass gems.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

MidwayUSA Coupon Code - $10 off $100

Link to offer on MidwayUSA site. They haven't been doing a lot of coupon codes. I guess people have just been throwing handfulls of cash at them since the election and December, so they just don't need to do it.

1. Go Shopping
Add regularly priced, in-stock products to your cart totaling $100 or more - Promo Code JULY413
Excludes Ammo, Reloading Components and Gun Parts
2. Enter Code
Enter the promotion code into the box titled "Promotion Code" on the Shopping Cart page.
3. Receive Discount
See the discount applied in the Order Summary on the right hand side of the Checkout pages.

Special Details
Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. CT on July 4, 2013. Hurry!
Can only be used once per Customer.
Sale, Clearance, out-of-stock, Ammo, Reloading Components, Gun Parts, FNH, Geissele, Nightforce and Sitka Gear products do not count towards the total.
Gift certificates do not count towards the total.
Can only be used on midwayusa.com on regularly priced, in-stock products.
No phone, fax or mail orders please.
Cannot be used with any other promotion code, or combined with Dealer, Birthday or Special pricing.