Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guliani Dropped Out of the Race

Although it seems a bit premature, that's one more left-winger out of the way, and I'll shed no tears.

Now, if Romney* would drop out, and McCain^ would just say something incredibly stupid to turn everyone against him, gun owners just might stand a chance after November 2008.

* - from Romney's website - " Governor Romney does not believe we need any more gun laws in this country. Like President Bush, he would sign a gun law if it was carefully written to target weapons of unusual and unnecessary lethality or power."

^ - McCain helped draft the McCain-Feingold Act, which became law, and it gagged the NRA and other non-profit groups from endorsing candidates in the months before the 2004 election. He has a record of voting for all kinds of liberal bills.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lauer DuraBake Paint Review

This stuff is advertised as being one of those wonderfinishes. The result I got was far short of wonderful.

I followed the directions on the can. I degreased the brass slug plug and mystery metal belt buckle, sprayed them, and put them in the oven for 10 minutes at 300 degrees.

The paint doesn't stick as well as Krylon spray paint, and it runs. Maybe it was because I had to move the parts while they were still wet to put them in the oven. Either way, runs are bad. It wasn't long at all before the paint was starting to wear off the hard edges of the plug and belt buckle. After carrying my G17 for about a week, the finish on the grip plug has gone from "matte black," to what is, at best, semi-gloss black.

Perhaps if I had abrasive blasted the parts, and baked them longer and hotter, the results would have been a little better, but I really doubt it.

I'll have to see if I can send whats left of the can back to Midway for a refund.

UPDATE:  I sent the can back to Midway, and they refunded me the full amount.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cleaning, My Way

I've been using the Otis Tactical cleaning kit exclusively to clean everything from rimfire benchrest rifles through .45ACP pistols. I'm pretty confident that the "rods" will not harm the barrel, which I cannot say of rigid push-through rods. The only downside that I can think of is that the rods will probably not be able to push the bullet of a squib load from a barrel. Would be nice if it came with an AR-15 chamber/lug brush (it IS a tactical cleaning kit) and a small brush for cleaning breechfaces and other tight areas. There is a little extra room for cotton swabs (in lieu of the brush) in the pouch, which is about the size of thermos cup.
Updated 1/2/09

The little tube of solvent is a CLP (Cleaner, lubricant, protectant) type deal. Doesn't work horribly well for cleaning bores, but will get the job done in a pinch. At home, I've used Kroil, Shooter's Choice, Butch's Bore Shine, or Hoppe's, whichever is easiest to come by and cheaper.  I still use CLP for rust protection sometimes, but I started to use multi-purpose grease (the $2/pound stuff you can find in the automotive aisle) for lubrication.  A coat of the grease works to prevent rust too.

The patches that come with the Otis kit can't really be used 6 times, 3 times is about the max before they're so dirty you can't tell if you're really making any progress.
Sontara patches don't unravel, so there's no threads to hide in the guts of your guns and make them jam.  You may want to order a size larger if you like your patches to fit tight in the bore.  If you are cleaning a 9mm bore, order the 20 and 12 gauge shotgun patches, for example.

How often to clean depends on the action, ammunition, and whether you NEED the firearm to work 100%. Rimfire target barrels probably shouldn't be cleaned too much, you'll just have to dirty up the bore a bit to get it back to where it was the last time you shot. Carry and defense guns should probably be kept pretty clean. AR-15s bolts and bolt carriers should be generously lubricated.

Pat Roger's Keep It Running article on how to maintain AR-15/M-16 type rifles.

Larry Vicker's tips on AR-15 lubrication.

Shotgun cleaning is not an area of expertise for me, and I will not begin to tell you what to do with scatterguns.

Hogdon TiteGroup Powder

Can't be used to load particularly hot 9mm or .45ACP loads without generating high pressures. It can be used to load inexpensive practice ammo, minor power factor loads for 9mm and .40S&W, and minor though hardball replica loads (major PF) in .45ACP. Leaves a fairly tough black coating on surfaces exposed to the smoke, but is not excessively dirty. Powder does throw sparks when the rounds are fired. It doesn't seem to produce as much recoil and is not as loud as some slower burning powder. Meters pretty well in a Hornady Lock-N-load powder measure, but doesn't like to be used with Lee 9mm expander die, as the powder gets fluffed up when the case pops out and the press shakes.

UPDATE, 11/1/09: I had my Glock 26 (3.5" barrel) out last weekend trying out a variation on an old load; 4.6 grains loaded under a 115gr hollowpoint at 1.5". The rangemaster stopped me, because there was a lot of sparks coming out of the barrel. Although I knew it was just the powder, I checked the barrel and the shells for bulges and flattened primers anyway. As I suspected, it was just the powder, possibly with the flash enhanced by the short barrel.

Oh, and I'm at about 10,000 rounds of both 9mm and .45ACP, and still on the first 8 pound jug.

UPDATE, 6/2/2012:  Having run out my small supply of .38 Special factory ammo, I.started to reload 38s.  I have noticed that my hands and forearms aren't getting peppered with bits of carbon or unburnt powder when shooting the TiteGroup reloads, like I was getting with the factory ammo.  I like that.  The garbage that was coming out from between the cylinder and forcing cone was HOT.  4" service revolver or 2" snubby, it doesn't seem to matter.

Unfortunately, when you load TiteGroup under a cast lead bullet, you get a lot of foul-smelling grey smoke.  I don't like that so much, and it's probably not very good for your health.  I bought some Clays powder for use with lead bullets, and I'm not getting as much smoke.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Review: Scherer Slug Plugs for Glock

Glock 17 and Glock 19 with Scherer Slug Plugs
Scherer Slug Plug

For 17/22/24/31/34/35/37 Gen1, Gen2, and Gen3 frames, it's great. Helps keep magazines from hanging up on the web at the back of the magazine well, and keeps dust and junk out of the action.  Will not fit SF frames.

For 20/21/19/23/32 Gen1, Gen3, and Gen3 frames it doesn't quite fill the void entirely, but it does fit, and is an improvement.  Will not fit SF frames.

You can get away with them in some IDPA matches, but not for others.  It depends on whether the person reading the rulebook:
  • Places the exclusion of "[e]xternally visible modifications other than grips or sights," rule higher than the allowance of, "[p]lastic plugs may be used to fill the opening behind the magazine well."
  • Considers the Slug Plug to be a magazine funnel
  • Considers the Slug Plug to be a modification of the grip or a part added to the frame
You can try arguing, but it may not help.  It's a bit like arguing that the Second Amendment says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed," to someone who believes that the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to "the people," because it also says that, "[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," and they think that you are not in the militia, or that well regulated means that states and federal government can regulate the arms of the militia.  There is too much room for interpretation.

Plugs that extend below the frame, are not allowed in USPSA Production division.  You may be able to get away with them in some club matches, at the discretion of the people running the match.

I would use the brass plug from Taylor if I were going to carry a 3rd Generation 20 or 21.  The Taylor plugs fill the void better. The brass plugs are specifically disallowed by IDPA rules, though.

UPDATE, 8/21/2010:  Added Photo
UPDATE, 5/26/2013:  Added that Slug Plugs may or may not be IDPA legal.  Change link to Taylor Slug Plug.  Note that the Scherer plugs do not fit Gen4 or SF frames.  Add notation on USPSA production with link to NROI ruling.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Safety: Eyes and Ears

I guess this is probably long overdue. I see a lot of new shooters, and even some experienced shooters struggle with poor or uncomfortable safety gear.

Smith and Wesson Magnum safety glasses
These are probably the most comfortable pair of glasses that I've ever worn. I wear these pretty much all day at work, and they don't slip down my nose much or otherwise bother me. They are about as scratch resistant as anything, and the price is quite reasonable. If you are going to be out in the sun a lot though, I would suggest getting a higher end pair of sunglasses for UV protection.

E.A.R. Classic foam earplugs
I stopped wearing ear muffs. The muffs don't work well with some rifle stocks. They push the temples of most shooting glasses into the side of your head, which gets to be uncomfortable, and then downright painful. Besides being uncomfortable, for some people, the temples of shooting glasses can prevent a good seal against the head, greatly reducing the noise reduction. I can't tolerate silicone or rubber earplugs for more than about a half hour. These foam earplugs I wear pretty much all day at work, and they really don't bother me. These yellow E.A.R. brand plugs are pretty much the standard, and you can pick them up at many gun shops, shooting ranges, and just about anywhere that sells hardware.

The one problem with ear plugs is that until you get used to them, you may get impacted earwax a time or two. The impacted earwax can sometimes be flushed out with a bulb syringe, but I've had to use a waterpick a couple times.

EDIT: I've been buying the glasses from Omark Safety. They also have the ear plugs; they are Aearo brand.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Holy Crap! 1,000 hits!

Over a thousand hits in a couple months. I'm kinda shocked. The count was around 650 when I last posted about a week ago.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. Christmas was pretty good for me. Mom got me a Garmin Nuvi GPS unit that I will put to good use, since I suck at finding places sometimes.

I went to Kentucky last week to visit the country cousins near Owensboro. The visit was mostly uneventful, but still sort of interesting. Indiana was just about what I expected, not a whole lot to see, but Owensboro was pretty similar to where I'm living in Pennsylvania. The drive to and from the airport in Kentucky was about 2 hours though, whereas the Philly airport is, maybe, 20 minutes away from home.

Airline security is a bigger pain in the ass then ever. The time difference between driving and flying is getting smaller, with the airlines now recommending that travelers get to the airport 2 hours early. At the x-ray machine, I've got to push through my laptop in one bin, my shoes and jacket in another, and then my bag. I'll have to remember to eat at the departure terminal next time, since you can't bring drinks through security.