Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Not the kind of poster you'd expect to find in Cali.


The prodigal rifle has returned.  The very persistent FedEx guy pounded on the door long enough to get me up (been working weird shifts...) and had a nice long brown box for me.  The paperwork only says "updated to current specs," but most importantly there's an extractor once again and everything looks good to go.  That was a pretty quick turn around too, FedEx says they received it last Wednesday.

Hopefully I'll be able to get out to the range Thursday or Friday after classes, or failing that Saturday.  Hopefully it doesn't blow up again.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I can haz shorty?

So more and more I feel the desire for an AR in the 10.5-11.5 inch category, and I think the idea of an AR pistol is stupid.  The question is does the $200 and hassle seem worth it for the mere privilege of having a stubby gun? And how much of a hassle is it in Wisconsin?  Something to distract myself during classes this semester I suppose.


Being an inked individual, I'm almost always a fan of tattoos, and if done right you can pull of some pretty funny ones.  Almost wish I had thought of that.

Correia's going on a killing spree...

...but it's for a good cause.  A young man is in need of a rather pricey procedure and for a $50 donation, you can become a Redshirt in one of Larry Correia's upcoming novels.  I'm planning to go over my finances and see if there's hope of becoming a bonifide Monster Hunter before being eviscerated by some ghoul.

Downright Frightening

As Robb says;
You'd have to be a paranoid lunatic to carry a concealed weapon to a child's birthday party.
Not much else to say, other than carry your guns and remember your training.  Bad stuff can go down anywhere.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Polished Turd

I've mentioned offhand a few times that I do actually own a Hi-Point firearm.  It's a Model 995 9mm carbine.  I picked it up dirt cheap years and years ago after accumulating some boxes of 9mm and not owning a 9mm gun.

Now everybody knows the stock Hi-Point carbine, especially five years ago, is butt-ugly, and the "plastic" they used for the stock then had a tendency to feel like mashed potatoes if it got above 80 degrees.  Right around the time I got the thing, ATI announced they were making an aftermarket stock for the 9mm version.  The stock is quite obviously inspired by the Baretta Storm, but more importantly, the material is actually pretty nice.  It's much more solid.

I also had the barrel threaded and a CETME flash hider I had hanging around bored out to accommodate the 9mm, just to make it look a little meaner (the naked tube just looked wrong.)  Top it off with a $30 BSA red dot, and it's a pretty decent looking little carbine.

My only real complaints are the incredibly crappy trigger, low capacity mags, and no good way to rig up some backup irons. (Check that, looks like ATI's got a 17" top rail now.  Plenty of room for the dot and some and a set of BUIS...)

On the up-side, the ergonomics of the ATI stock are actually pretty good.  The blowback action also makes for a pretty gentle shooting carbine as well.  I've never had a malfunction with the gun either (as long as I've stuck to the factory mag anyway.)  In all seriousness, if it wasn't for the whopping 10 round mags I'd say it would be a great home defense gun setup.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Timers

There's a bit of it going around right now, I think it got started by somebody complaining about suggesting women buy .38spc revolvers this time... (we all know my feelings on that crap...)

Anywho, I've had my fair share of first timers out at the range, and I think I've got a pretty good system down.  The pre-planning almost always involves the question "well, what do you want to shoot?(No, really, anything.  If I don't have it I probably know somebody who does.)"  The range trip referenced above for example was strongly based on that question since there were a couple new/newish shooters in the bunch.  (The answers, if you're interested, were "...something cool!" and "an AK, who doesn't like stereotypes?" (Adam is of loosely middle-east decent and has a good sense of humor about it))  Of course things always start with .22lr of some shape or form to get the basics down, plus I don't care how much .22lr people shoot up.  It's cheap enough that I'm cool donating it to the cause.

In my opinion, the most important thing with a new shooter is to make sure they have a good time.  The basics are important, because hitting your target is 3,000 times more fun than just making noise (which is still fun as hell by itself), but like with any habit, you need to hook 'em early.  Standing around lecturing and nitpicking every small detail of their technique can come later.  On the other hand, give a young dance major raised in a strongly liberal household an AK and a bunch of balloons... (ah memories...)(eta: Adam's not the dance major. She's much cuter.)

That brings up another good point, targets.  Paper's great for honing technique, but instant feedback is much more pleasurable.  Not everyone gets pleasure out of punching tiny little groups in the 10 ring, but I have yet to meet the shooter who doesn't love that "PING!" of a steel target.  Pick up a couple party packs of 100 balloons from Box-mart and you're set for some great first time targets.  Less walking too, there's no doubt if you hit it.  (Can be a nice change for us regular shooters too, put a couple small ones out at 100 and see who can pop theirs first... off hand... with 22's.  And some 8" steel at 300 with .22lr pistols is downright hilarious, especially when you hit. Pop........................................................................ping!)

And don't push your first timer either.  If they don't want to shoot the Earschplitten-Shoulderbreaker, that's fine.  Of course they very well could change their mind after you fire off a couple shots and show them it's not going to hurt them (in the BSA Climbing/COPE world we call it "Challenge by Choice.")  I'm sure we can all agree that guy who gives the 90lb girlfriend the .500mag and laughs as it bounces off her forehead should be punched, so don't be that guy.  But if they're perfectly happy popping balloons at 50 yards with the 10/22 all afternoon, just make sure you've got enough balloons.

Whatever happens, just make sure they have fun.  If you take out a first timer and they actually enjoy it, they're gonna be shooters for life, and that's why we win.

I really do want...

To continue on the wishlist and link to Steve again, the Baikal MP-161K looks freakin' sweat.  I think it would be dead sexy with some decent glass up top and some fancy streamlined bipod of some sort.  I'd probably strongly consider it in .17 HMR just because I already have a goodly amount of .22lr semi's and I do like shooting the .17 HMR (granted I've never had to pay for it...)

Steve doesn't think it can be imported, but I don't see why not really.  I'm not a lawyer by any means, but I thought that simply being a rimfire exempted rimfires from most of the stupid rules, hence the GSG-5 and the like being perfectly fine, despite the "evil" features.  This one doesn't even have any of those problems (no pistol grip, 9 shot mag, no muzzle device...)  I mean if they can import Saiga Sporters I don't see why this one wouldn't be fine.

Still kinda want one...

I probably would go with the 4" version personally, although I'm not sure about the holes in the overlug(?).  Still, it appeals to me for the same reason I own a Nagant Revolver.  It's different, kind of weird really, and I like that in a gun.  (The Nagant still gets massive bonus points for looking quite steampunky right out of the box though, the Rhino, like the Mateba before it, definitely has a more Sci Fi feel.)


Got off work an hour and a half ago... and here I am sitting in the coffee house doing the internet thing.  Who needs sleep when you have delicious coffee?

(Couldn't stand the first pic... too cold. I can't stand that much blue in pictures.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And the plot thickens...

Remember that issue I mentioned with my 1911 last week?  Seems that there's a smith down in West Virginia who's been running into the same thing quite a bit lately.  I guess the smart thing would be for me to pick up some different ammo... (although that's easier said than done around here.)

Maybe it's the lack of sleep...

But the new Ruger SR-556 chambered in 6.8 makes my head hurt.  Why not just call it an SR-68?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don't know how I missed this one...

FN is just all sorts of confused... The Firearm Blog linked to a Belgian article yesterday were FN still says the Army's going to purchase up to "10,000" units.

I wouldn't mind a SCAR-H personally though...

Those guns are huge!

No, wait, just tiny guys...

GunPundit posted some photos of Afghan forces and their various small arms.  What caught my eye was the last picture with a couple ANA dudes rocking some M16A2s.  Yeah, 5.56mm type.  I had just forgotten just how small your average Afghan is compared to your typical American service member...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Got distracted...

Didn't really get around to blogging today, felt the random motivation to finish off a super-heavy tank for 40k that I've been working on and off on for a year or so.  The Shadowsword has always been my favorite of the Imperial Super-Heavies, so when they finally came out with an affordable plastic one I had to get it.  I painted it in the colors for my Death Korps of Kreig army that never happened, but thankfully it's well within the fluff for a random super-heavy to get attached to another unit from a different home world, so no real problem fielding the green/grey tank alongside my desert tan Velurian Armored Cav.

The pictures are rather meh, since it's getting dark out and I'm too lazy to set up any good lighting.  But the thing is a beast, almost 10 inches long, and occupies enough space on the table to fit four standard battle tanks.  A standard human sized guy can actually fit underneath the sponson.  It's a biggin'!

Just thought I'd share why I slacked off from here today.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Countdown Begins

Made the 40+ mile round trip to the nearest FedEx location so I could send off the poor little M&P15-22 after work today.  We'll see how long it takes to get back.


...is only good for little birds.


Larry's taking a headcount for signed copies of Monster Hunter Vendetta.  If you are looking for one, head over and let him know.  I'm in for one to compliment my autographed copy of MHI.


A while back I mentioned we're getting close to powered exo-skeleton goodness.  Well I was poking around Wired's Danger Room blog and found a video showing the guys in the pictures actually walking around on various terrain.

The first guy looks more sure-footed than some people I've seen on similar terrain who weren't carrying a crap-load of gear.  Pretty cool for sure.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dirty Girl

Bonus question of the day:  What would cause a 1911 pattern pistol to fail (just barely) to go into battery after the third round, every other time or so, on the same magazine?  (Third "Bang!" and then a light tap on the rear of the slide to jar it that extra 1/16th or so of an inch.)  I was thinking my locking cuts were just dirty or something but it was always the fourth round out of the magazine (essentially brand new Wilson ETM.)

SCAR Drama continues?

Well, maybe not. It seems you can find anything on the interwebs, including FN's Marketing Director stating SOCOM will not be purchasing the Mk16/SCAR-L.
You are correct and I am not hiding any facts. And, as the main customer has stated, they do not plan to buy the MK 16...in my humble opinion, this has nothing to do with performance but rather smartly-weighed budget decisions.
This correspond with what USSOCOM Maj. Wes Ticer told Kit-Up back in June.

After completing testing, US Special Operations Command decided to procure the 7.62 mm Mk 17 rifle, the 40mm Mk 13 grenade launcher and the Mk 20 Sniper Support rifle variants of the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) manufactured by FN Herstal. The command will not purchase the 5.56 mm Mk 16.
The Mk 17 will fill an existing capability gap for a 7.62 mm rifle.  The Mk 16 does not provide enough of a performance advantage over the M4 to justify spending limited USSOCOM funds when competing priorities are taken into consideration.
 Is this the end of rumors and name-calling? Doubtful.  I'm sure there's still plenty of fanboys that are all sorts of butt-hurt over the decision, but I'm going to stick to my original call that the Mk16 simply does not show enough of a performance-to-price difference compared to the M16 family.

The facebook...

Somebody linked the hell out of me on there, but due to facebook's way of redirecting outside links, I have no idea who what or where... grumblecakes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


...is not just a river running through FN's main lobby.

SCAR maker FNH-USA announced today that SOCOM had approved the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle program “family of weapons” for “full rate production.” That includes the Mk-17 SCAR-H which fires 7.62 rounds, the Mk-13 grenade launcher and the Mk-16 SCAR-L which fires 5.56 rounds.
Kit-Up is watching to see how this goes, given prior developments...


Not to get into the various politics involved, but somebody is either very naive, or giggling hysterically in their cubicle over the fact that they got away with this.

h/t - Sharp as a Marble

Monday, August 16, 2010


They gonna hate.

For Tam-

1911 Phase II - Grip Therapy

Got two packages today, one big box (like I could fit a couple pistols in it) from Brownells with the relatively tiny mainspring housing; and a padded envelope just big enough to contain some VZ Grips 1911 grip panels, a baggy of 4 o-rings, and some pieces of grip tape.  (Bet you can guess who charges more for shipping too!)

So as previously mentioned, I went with the "Tiger Stripe" Operator's II panels.  They're a little darker and a tiny redder than they look on the site, but not badly so.

I also picked up a pack of the grip-tape for the front strap, since $7 isn't much, and is sure a lot cheaper than sending off the gun to get checkered.  Quality on the grips is excellent, and they're incredibly grippy.

The mainspring housing fit perfectly, had the flat plastic one off and the spring swapped and new steel housing on in less than 10 minutes (I think I wandered around looking for a clamp to be a third hand to hold a punch to compress the spring longer than the time to actually perform the swap...)  The effect is amazing really, the gun fills my hand much better and points even more natural because of that.  Plus did I mention the new one's steel?  I mean my usual carry gun has a frame made of plastic, but it just never felt right on the ol' 45.

Grips went on like 1911 grips have forever.  I ordered a set of the o-rings to give the screws a little more grab on the slicker G10 material, so they stick out a little more than they did on the old rubber scales, but not enough to feel noticeable.

On to the pictures.

Overall view of the gun-

It really feels like a whole new gun now.  Slightly more heft with that extra steel on back, and overall much much more secure in my hands.  These grips have a lot of bite, and that little extra texture on the formerly smooth front strap is a welcome addition.  I'm sure it'll be a fantastic change on the range too, the front combining with the cuts on the rear of the new grips should keep it well under control during recoil.

Better view of the left grip-

First off I gotta say this is one of the best looking pictures I've taken in a long time... at least in my opinion. Turned out great.

As for the grips, you can see how the front half are dimpled kind of like a golf ball.  This makes that half have a really solid grip, much like the huge checkering on the front of Dan's HK.  I know I complained about them there, but I don't mind the aggressive texture here.  I think due to the grip I use it doesn't bite my hands as much.  We'll find out if I feel that way after shooting it a bit though.

The back half has grooves cut at a 45 degree angle that directly opposes the rotational force from firing.  There's also a mag release cut out on the left panel.  So far it's possibly my favorite feature.  All around they're some fantastic grips if you like super grippy grips. (Did I mention they're really grippy?)  Hopefully I can get it out to the range (gotta restock the .45acp too... on the last box...) soon and see how it handles.

Oh yeah, the mainspring housing-

Steel, arched, checkered.  Fit on my Kimber frame perfectly with no work at all.  Fills that void in the back of my hand and helps get it up high in the beavertail.  No complaints.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Couldn't keep away...

Yeah, watched the last episode of Top Shot.  Good to see Adam douchin' it up right to the end.

Right up there with Rape Whistles...

Seriously... how well do you think this will work?

I do have a whistle on my keychain, but it's a Fox 40 Micro.  It's not a "self defense" item either, it's a search and rescue type of idea, beats the crap out of screaming in the middle of the woods for hours.

Guns & Coffee at the Movies!

Felt like stock picture was necessary...

So me and a couple buddies checked out The Expendables today (ok, yesterday...) and I gotta say, I was not disappointed.  Sly knows how to do an action movie.  Not so over the top as to have you saying "yeah right" through most of it, but enough to make it flashy and fun.  My only complaints are that their carbines could have had more and clearer screen time.  All I could tell was they were 11.5" AR types with Noveske KX3s on the end (and with crap-tastic GI mags... you'd think when your buying your own stuff you'd get good mags...)  That and the guy with the AA-12 burned up all the profits with his gratuitous use of the mini-grenade rounds.

All in all, if you like Rambo-esque action films, get to the theater.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Too True...

Rob Allen found some warning labels for newspapers.  The local paper around here could use some "possibly dated and disproved" stickers far too often.

Friday, August 13, 2010

1911 - Phase One...

Initiate!  Wolf ext. power extractor spring and action spring showed up while I was working.  Noticeably snappier slide.  We'll see how the extractor spring goes next time I hit the range.

Cursed myself.

The scheduled 8 turned into 12.  Needless to say you're somewhat busier some days in this job than others...

Apparently it's an Important Issue

I mean it's only the Second Amendment... but the role reversal is making my head hurt a little.

I love my state...

Such interesting people.  Pretty expensive statement though.

Fitting really...

All sorts of dark, gloomy, rainy. Kinda right for Friday the 13th.

I just hope things stay quiet here at work, the less I have to get out of the car, the better.
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Somebody asked about some broken ones on ARFCOM, and one of Magpul's guys mentioned how many they actually get returned.
Broken PMAGs are actually extremely rare with a return rate of only 0.025% (2-3 per 10,000) on average. However, defective ones do pop up now and again (this has nothing to do with the Impact Covers).
That's pretty dang impressive really.  Oh, and they're replacing the broken ones.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More from Jackson County

It looks as if Jackson County Corporate Counsel Mark Skolos is pushing for authorization from the County Board to prosecute the weapons cases DA Fox won't.

It looks like it may force Van Hollen to commit to an opinion, and given his past leanings I'm pretty optimistic.

There's also a couple opinion letters to the Jackson County Chronicle in support of Fox's decision.  Always a welcome sight.

EDC Kinives

I guess it's that time of the year again, The Munchkin Wrangler wrote a post about his, Tam linked to it, and it made me realize I've never mentioned mine on here.

I'm sure most of you have had moments where somebody has had the "why do you need a knife?" moment, although I can't actually say I have.  I guess the kind of people I surround myself with fully expect it (hell, it's one of the first things my boss tells a knew hire they should have when at work, that and a pen) and I do kind of have the rep of being that kind of guy.

Much like Marco, I've been rocking the Kershaw wares for a few years now.  I picked up a half serrated Kershaw Leek a while back to replace a Gerber Air Ranger that mysteriously grew some legs and walked off (some boy scouts are less than trustworthy apparently.) The Gerber was great, super-lightweight and sharp, and held an edge fantastically, but they've been long discontinued.  The Leek is almost as light, and the assisted opening is all sorts of awesome, especially the last few summers when I was teaching rock climbing.

Since then I've picked up a black, non-serrated one.  The black is less obtrusive when I'm in my work clothes, and the straight edge gets snagged up in stuff a lot less.  I still prefer the serrated one for climbing, as serrations will get through a rope much faster and easier, but for just cutting stuff the straight edge is better in my opinion.

The finish also makes the black one a tiny bit more grippy, my only real complaint about the design.  On the other hand, I've never had any grip issues with it anyway, and it doesn't bring half my pocket out along with it.  It's also incredibly durable, the only real wear marks are along the edges of the pocket clip where I tend to bump into stuff (I'm big and a little clumsy, deal with it.) and that's after a year of carrying it daily.  I don't baby my pocket knives either.

Of course another great thing about Kershaw knives is the last little bit of that blade mark...

Far too many knives these days say China or something similar there.

The Leek is still super-light too, mine weighing a whopping 3.04 oz.  If I forget it in the morning I won't realize until I reach for it (and then feel naked until I get home...)  It's also great at holding an edge, I think I've only gone over it with a stone once since I've bought it.

The other great thing is that the design fits with pretty much any outfit I'd ever wear, anything between jeans and a tux.  Ken Onion knows how to design a good looking knife.

All that for about $50, I'd say it's a damn fine knife.

1911 Facelift inbound

I ordered a set of the "Tiger Stripe" G10 Operator's II panels from VZ grips, will definitely be posting pics and thoughts when they show up.  I ended up going with the Tiger Stripe color partially because it seemed to get the most votes (here and in talking to people) and it looks like the Hyena Brown are all out anyway, so kind of a default win.

Wolf extra power extractor spring is on it's way as well, as I feel the heathenistic external extractor could use a little boost.  Need to pick up some more Wilson Mags and some decent single mag holders too.

ETA: Got shipping notice this morning too! Great turn around.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I blame Canada

Apparently karma didn't like me ragging on the Canadian chap who's M&P15-22 blew up on him, and decided that mine would try it's best to emulate his today.  Last round of my last mag, extra loud BANG! and a lot more smoke close to my face than normal.  I'm fine, but bummed that my favorite range toy is broked.

The bullet continued on it's merry way downrange, scored a decent enough hit, and the bolt locked back on the empty mag as designed, however the extractor went on it's own merry way to the FSM only knows where without so much as a "dear John" letter to the poor dejected bolt.

Yeah, it's gross.  That's 1,000+ rounds of .22lr worth of general crud, and to the benefit of the little Smith, it was still running great until the KB.

Ammo was Winchester Xpert22 bulk ammo.  I normally don't like un-washed .22lr, but it was free.  The round does have a firing pin mark.

I've sent an email to S&W, along with the pics, so we'll see what they've got to say.  All I really want is a new extractor so I can get it back out to the range.

I currently do not plan to sue.

For those of you just joining in (I still get visitors over from TFB at least every-other day): It's all been fixed, with a few updates stuck in.

Rubber Band Follow-up

Cro took it out to the range again on Sunday and put another 250 rounds through it.  I asked what happened, did it just loose it's bounciness? Melt into a puddle of goo?
nope, I ran out of ammo at the range.. didnt expect it to last that long, it was just way too dirty, when it got hot from rapid fire the polymer cases melted.. but its still going strong
(He was referring to the polymer coating on the Tula rounds he was firing.)

Really makes you wonder...


Got called in to work last night.  Probably will hit the range as soon as the rain lets up, then crash and burn sometime in the early afternoon.  Probably not a whole lot of blogging gonna happen between any of that, save for some world changing catastrophe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slight Pet Peeve

Afghans are people, Afghanis are a monetary unit.
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I blame the Interwebs

It seems as though we Americans are causing a run on Bacon.

(Via Tam)

New York Marksmanship

So the blogosphere is pretty well flooded with posts about the shooting in Harlem on Sunday where an individual was struck 21 times, and expected to live.  Crazy indeed, and a paltry display of why the NYPD needs to increase their training budget or take some guns away from some of their own guys.

The big problem is that not only where none of those 21 rounds fired good center-mass fight stoppers, but those 21 rounds account for less than half the total shots fired by the police.  Pretty much anybody who has spent more than an afternoon doing any serious shooting knows you are responsible for every single projectile sent downrange.

As more information becomes available, more and more of those rounds are being accounted for, and it's not helping their case one bit in my mind.
The police said that the man, Luis Soto, 21, was shot during a frenzied encounter — they said he was fighting with another man when one of the two drew a revolver and witnesses reported hearing one or two shots. The man Mr. Soto was fighting with turned and fired on a responding officer, and four officers returned fire, the police said.
 Apparently they can't definitively say who's rounds struck Soto, as they all passed through.  However it is highly likely that some, if not all, of those were fired by the police, as witnesses say they only heard one or two shots before Alvarez fired on the police.

So the guy gets into a fight, the guy pulls a gun on him, and the cops show up and simply light everybody in the neighborhood up.
Three other people, believed to be bystanders, also received minor gunshot wounds. Although it was not immediately clear who fired those shots, all but 4 of the 50 shots fired in the melee came from the police, officials said.
 Oh, wait, not just the locals, but hell, each other.
The first officer to fire was Douglas Brightman, 31, a uniformed officer who has been on the force eight years. He fired two rounds, one striking the bullet-resistant vest of a plainclothes officer, Michael Tedeschi, who was shot in the chest.
Another officer was struck in the hand as well.

I would be appalled to be part of that Charlie Foxtrot.  You show up because a couple guys get into a fight and one of them pulls a gun, and rather than protect, you go ahead and off the guy for the shooter.  Apparently if somebody pulls a gun on you in NYC the last thing you want is for the police to show up.

All I can think of is the scene in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls where Richard gives the HKL cop his gun back after flushing all his rounds down the toilet.  (Paraphrased, the book's at home) "It still serves the same purpose, and if I would have let you keep the bullets you probably would have hurt somebody."

Monday, August 9, 2010

1911 Grips

So I'm pretty sure I want a set of the VZ Operator's II scales to slap on the ol' Kimber, but I can't decide between the "Tiger Stripe" and the "Hyena Brown." What do you think?

Rappeling on the Blackhawk! CQB

So the other day I alluded to a somewhat irregular product review.  I headed up to camp and while I was there I decided to see how the belt handled itself in a more vertical aspect, since its abilities as a gun belt have been pretty well gone over by everyone else.

First off, some of you may recall I won a $50 gift certificate for Blackhawk! from Hell in a Hand Basket a few months back.  I picked up a pair of kneepads they were clearancing for $10, and a tan CQB Rigger's Belt (tan being authorized for wear with ACUs.)

Now for it's main use, a belt that'll keep your pants and gear off the floor, it works fantastically well.  It's constructed of some pretty stout webbing, and the hardware is all "parachute grade" cast metal (don't know if it's steel or aluminum, don't have a magnet on me... I'll fix that when I get home.(ETA- it's Steel))  The tail end has a decent amount of hook & loop to keep it out of the way, and to back-up the main buckle.  I really like this sort of setup, since it seems that my waist size is always right between the holes on any leather belt.  It also has no issues holding up my loaded Sig with it's light and a spare mag.  It is pretty darn good for all day outside-the-waist carry, assuming you're in casual clothes.

But I'm also a BSA certified Climbing Director, so when I noticed that all the hardware is parachute rated, and the webbing is good for up to 7,000lbs, the little greasy gears started turning.  So finally, on the last week of camp for the year, I was able to get up there for a visit, and it so happened to be a rappel day for Climbing Merit Badge.  That last part is important to the plan, as I sure would not want to take a hard fall on just an unpadded waist-belt.  If you fall during a rappel, it's going to be much less of a shock (assuming your belayer is awake;) and an emergency rappel is really what you'd be using it for anyway.  It is not a replacement for a harness.

Seeing as I'm not completely suicidal, I did have my harness on, and ran a Prusik Loop from the belay device to my belay loop, my biggest worry being the buckle on the belt loosening.  The device (a Rescue 8 with ears for those curious) was clipped directly through the triangular buckle on the belt though.  So I hooked it all up and slid down the rope.  It's about a 45 foot decent on our face.

It works.  I also grabbed my little mini-tripod and some duct-tape and rigged up a "helmet cam" with the up-armored camera.

Like I said during the first run, it's not too bad, but it is definitely less comfortable than my padded harness.  You don't realize how much weight actually gets distributed through your leg loops until you're not using them.

After two rappels the belt had not loosened whatsoever, and the heavy-duty double webbed construction kept it from rolling or folding when weight was placed on it.  I'd feel quite confident using it for an "oh crap get me down from here" situation, or simply as fall protection in a high angle environment where a harness is not available.  It boils down to "while you may never actually do it, rest assured that you can."

If you've been contemplating picking one up, do it, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Taurus Judge in SWAT Magazine

I just read the review of the Taurus Judge in the Sept. 2010 issue of SWAT Magazine.  In so many words, the Judge kinda sucks at everything and is really good at nothing.  Pretty much confirms my suspicions.
On the other hand, SWAT has a good record of honest guns and gear reviews.  This is far from the first time I've seen a review of a gun where the writer really tore into it and decided it's really not that great in their magazine.  Refreshing really.  Pick up an issue if you haven't yet, despite the title, they cover far more than just police specific stuff.

As for the Judge, if the upcoming carbine has a smooth bore barrel I may still be interested, as that would help the accuracy problem a bit.  The Steampunk fan in me likes the looks.

Friday, August 6, 2010

#9 Air Freshener

Coming Soon.  It is one of my favorite smells.
(h/t: SayUncle)


New(ish) gear review in the next couple days (actually Monday sounds good.)  Let's just say it's something I know quite a few of us shooters use... but I'm not at the range...


Take a few hundred pictures and you're bound to get something cool.

Modern muzzle loader at the moment of firing:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Slow Bloggin'

Just not feeling it today, had a huge stack of comics and we hit the range later in the evening.  Working third shift tonight and heading up to camp for the morning at least to do some rappelling and say hi if nothing else.

On the other hand, checked out a new (to me) range today, has all the standard "the public can't be trusted so here's a bunch of arbitrary" rules, but you can stretch out to 300 yards.  You kinda forget how far that is if you don't shoot it that often...

The Springfield did pretty darn well too.  I managed to keep most of them in the black of a "NRA 50 Meter slow-fire" target as long as I took my time.  Gonna have to get up there more often I think.

Oh, and a couple more mags went through Cro's AR, rubber chunk is still holding up...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mmm... Coffee...

One of the great things about small locally owned coffee shops.

I'm currently sitting about 10 feet away from the roaster, and it's running.  It sounds really cool when the beans pop (like popcorn... except a five gallon bucket's worth) and the smell is fantastic.

Embody's up to his old tricks again...

It appears that he's suing over getting his carry permit revoked.  Couldn't have happened to a greater guy in my mind.

If you remember back a ways, he's the guy who was detained for a bit after OCing an AK pistol across his back in a local park. Oh yeah, and he had painted the muzzle nut orange to "keep people from hassling him." I don't disagree with the principle of the idea, but that last bit is what throws him clear into Category I Asshat in my book.

(h/t Uncle)

More BattleComp Goodness

Cro shooting it for the first time.  There is a slightly dirty word at the end if you're the kind that get offended by that though, be warned.

I unknowingly stopped recording where the clip ends there (new camera... still figuring things out...) so I missed him saying "it's everything it's advertised to be..."

Monday, August 2, 2010


So it's Shark Week on Discovery Channel, and I just heard a bumper between the commercials and Dirty Jobs saying something about "every now and then we hear about a shark mistaking a human for food." and I can't help but think to myself; "I don't think they're really mistaking..."

Rubber Band for a Spring?

So last night I mentioned that Cro busted the extractor spring on his M4gery partway through the day at the range yesterday, well before I got there.  On the upside, he's been running his RRA built gun pretty hard for for tens, if not hundreds of thousand of rounds, since 2005.  It's amazing in its own right that the spring lasted this long.

So I offered to grab on of the spare bolts I've got laying around these days. A little later he sent me a cryptic text message saying that he had "fixed it with a rubber band... two mags, so far so good."  Needless to say my mind was racking with how this is possible all the drive home and back out to the range.

Now a little background on Cro.  He is an Army Engineer officer, and has a good amount of gunsmith training.  He's a smart guy to start with, and if you know anything about Army Engineers, we tend to be the "only one sure way to see if it works!" kind of guys.  So he had a thought and ran with it.  Since I can, find out what exactly happened after the jump.  There's even a video!


Carlson's Snap Caps in .45acp will not chamber in a Kimber Custom II.  That's $15 well spent...

M&P15-22 KB

Not mine, but I'm sure everybody's heard about the Canuk's "blowing up" on him by now.

If you've been reading my stuff for more than a week, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of the little Smith & Wesson.  It is easily my favorite rimfire gun I own at the moment, and one of the best training tools you can get.  So of course my curiosity peaked when I saw the title of that post.

Well here's my thoughts: Yup, it's a rimfire.  It's almost expected to happen at some point, through a whole variety of causes.  There's a reason the system isn't very common on anything larger than a .22, and really it's only used on the diminutive cartridge simply because the round is too small to squeeze a centerfire priming system into.  And that very firing system is probably the most common cause of out of battery firings on the .22anything rimfire auto-loading system.  The rim is completely unprotected, and the freakin' extractor grabs on to that very rim for the gun to work.  Any chunks of crap that are big enough and hard enough to put a decent size dent in that rim that collect on the bolt face or the breach face have to potential to cause an out of battery detonation.  It's the nature of the beast.

Ok, you're gun blew up, some of the parts may have been lost or broken, and that's never a fun thing.  But you've walked away with nary a scratch, and then you mumble something about legal actions against the manufacturer!?  I know there have been enough comments about the retardation of that idea that he's second guessing it, but wow.  Really?  He also has voiced concerns about the lack of a recall since this is apparently "a common problem."  I guess I don't hang out on the right forums, but I haven't seen or heard about enough similar problems to really feel that's really that big of a deal that they'd order a recall.  He also mentions about how he fears that somebody may have bought one for a child, and he'd feel really sorry if that happened to the kid and they received an eye injury.  I'd feel bad for the kid for not having a parent smart enough to pick up a pair of shooting glasses and earplugs to go with the gun.  I'm pretty sure there's a big safety notice in the manual about wearing eye and ear pro when shooting, oh, just about any gun made since well before the kid was born.

Just had to vent I guess.  I just can't stand people with that much of a lack of common sense or moral ethics.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Inception guns

Kit-up has a screen capture showing that the gun in question is in fact a SCAR-L.  I could have sworn it was a black one though.

Quick Range Trip

So how do I relax after a weekend of weapons qualification for the Army?  Go to the range of course!

Pics were taken with the new camera, it's not too bad, nowhere near the quality of a good SLR, but hey, for a little tough as nails point-and-shoot, not too bad.

I may or may not have had to remove some of the envy-green from my face in that pic.  First time shooting with an ACOG, and I have to say, I want one. Bad.

What you can't see in the pictures is the fact that Cro busted his extractor spring a couple hours earlier and came up with an ingenious field repair.  Let's just say it involves a rubber band and the mind of an Army Engineer.  More on it tomorrow.

Also, got a Wilson Combat ETM, ran it through the gun a couple times, seems to have cleared things up.  Looks like I'll be ordering a couple more.