Monday, June 27, 2011

GunUp and Twitter

Tomorrow (June 28) Dan from GunUp will be giving a presentation to industry reps at the NSSF Marketing Symposium in Dallas.

Dan has one simple request for blog readers, mainly those of you who use Twitter-
"I want to utterly and demonstrably show the industry how powerful bloggers can be. I will be setting up a live twitter feed to run in concert with my presentation on June 28th between 1045 and 1115 central time. Would you be willing to rally your readers to tweet a 'I support my gun blogger and want new media events during #SHOT 2012' (or some variation with a #SHOT hash tag) tweet during my presentation? A continuous stream of tweets would be absolutely amazing."
I never got the whole Twitter thing, but if those of you who do could do this, it'd be pretty cool.

Little Magnetic Dudes

We all know that dry fire practice is a good thing.  One of the things you need for effective practice is an aiming point.  Not content with a thumbtack or something stuck in the wall (and sure the landlord wouldn't be a fan either,) I pulled out a pack of magnetic paper I picked up a while back and a black Sharpie, and stuck these guys one the front of my oven.

I've got a good 15 foot or so lane from the living room area carpet.  Not bad for a small apartment, and I can switch them over to the fridge door if I want to stand up and work on handguns.  Of course you can draw whatever shapes you like, and the sheets are 8"x11" and work with ink jet printers, so your target options are quite limitless.

As with all dry fire practice, safety is paramount.  Ensure your firearm is unloaded, and that all ammunition is triple locked in a box in the other side of the building, if not in another building a county away (common sense people...) and do your best to ensure you're directing your gun in as safe a direction as possible (in my building I'm going through a large appliance, utility room, and towards the next apt.'s oven... not the best, but as good as I'm going to get in my building.)

Down the road, it would be nice to add a LaserLyte training laser to the mix. In the mean time, it should help me get back in decent target form.  Cro's been mentioning hitting up some service rifle competitions when he gets back, and I just happen to have an A2 style AR rifle...

G&C at the Front! Commenga Easymag

Cro sent this in from Afghanistan-

So I entered the Connex where my M4 had been stored while I was away and as I always do when entering an arms room, casually glanced around to see what kind of fun toys might be laying around that could make my job a little easier.  The Specialist who had opened the door asked me what I was looking for, and I answered with “just browsing”  We had a short exchange of my enthusiasm for the shooting sports and he reached into a shelf and handed me a small white box saying “ here you will probably like this then, we still have a few left.”  I opened the box and inside was a Commenga easy Mag.   I had seen the magazine advertised in shotgun news for a while and was happy to be able to try one out without having to buy it.  I put it in my ruck sack and began my journey back to my FOB.

After arriving at my tent I was able to examine the EasyMag more closely.  It is an all steel construction, coated black.  The mag is noticeably heavier than the issue GI aluminum mags, and the slot for the magazine catch is milled out of the side wall, but does not create a hole like the Issue mags do.  The magazine is a little longer than the standard issue GI mags, but still fits inside of the standard 2 mag ammo pouch. 

The sliding front section of the magazine can be released by gently but firmly pulling down on the magazine.  When the front section is down it compresses the spring and follower with it, leaving a open tray for the rounds.  The front portion stays in the open position without having to do anything special.  This does make cleaning the interior sidewalls of the magazine easier than the old mags as I was able to take a piece of rag and run it inside instead of swabbing back and forth with a cleaning rod. 

Loading the mag was pretty simple.  I had an ammo can of loose 556 laying around so I just grabbed a bunch of rounds and started tossing them inside of the mag body.  Every 10 or so I gave the back spine of the mag a firm tap with the palm of my hand and the rounds aligned themselves properly allowing me to feed a full 30 inside of the mag.  Once 30 were loaded I grabbed the front part of the magazine and slid It back into position.  It went into place with little resistance until just about fully closed where the spring must have a disconnect because I could feel it releasing and putting the pressure onto the rounds.  

The loaded mag did seem to exhibit a bit more noise than the GI Mags when shaken.  The mag seated with no problems in my M4, and dropped free when the magazine release was pressed.  I was not able to do a range review yet.  It’s a lot harder to schedule a range trip here than back at home, but the mag in my vest and I will run it through the M4 when I get a chance

Did the mag save me time in loading it?  To be honest I don’t know.  I have been loading mags for so long that it’s just kind of second nature to me.  Now did it make it easier to ul-load the mags?  Yes!  I just had to pull the front down and tilt the mag to drop all the rounds into a box.  Now If My ammo is issued on strippers why wouldn’t I just load all my mags on stripper clips?  Well I don’t empty my mags by shooting them all.  Routine maintenance has me un-loading them and cleaning and lightly oiling them along with each round before re-loading the mags.  Believe it or not it’s pretty dusty here.  Now I have never found disassembly of GI mags difficult, but this is definitely easier.  Can the EasyMag be fully disassembled?  I do not know, I didn’t try. 

Would I want them to replace my GI Issue mags?  No.  they are heavier, and they are a little noisier.  But then again I have not completely drank the cool-aid yet and I still use the standard aluminum mags instead of buying p-mags like many of the other guys here.  Why would I stick with GI mags?  Well I have brand new mags in the wrapper that I got at the beginning of the deployment, and I have rarely had issues with Issue mags that I was able to inspect beforehand.  Also I have access to more magazines than I would ever use here,  If I have to leave a mag its not a big deal.  All of the extra ammo I have in my truck is in loaded mags, and it’s a lot of loaded mags. 

Now for a day at the range I think this is a good system if you just have a couple mags and a bunch of boxes of ammo like I often do.  You will save your thumbs a lot of stress with these magazines, and especially if you shoot in sub zero weather in Wisconsin.  The loss of dexterity will not be as greatly affected by this style of magazine.  I personally would not drop this mag  onto a hard surface a lot, but that’s just me.  At $15 dollars a pieces, which is what I found on cheaper than dirt, it’s the same as a p-mag.  Also they do have a NSN for those of you that want the taxpayers to get you yours for trying out before you buy it yourself.