Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recoil Magazine

Yesterday I picked up the premier issue of Recoil... a touch on the expensive side for a gun rag, but I figured I'd give the new publication a shot (heh,) besides, it's a larger format than your standard magazine, the photos looked really good, and I needed something to occupy me during the downtime in my shift last night.

Quick and dirty: If I took ARFCOM and turned it into a well produced print magazine, this would be it.  Airsofters will geek, and Costa/Haley leg-humpers will probably be locked away for weeks after picking it up (they're not in it, but it's got that feel.)

More in depth... the articles vary as much as the requisite insanely expensive gun reviews (Nighthawk Predator and HK556A1,) a crazy expensive custom "bug-out vehicle," and an interview with JJ Racaza.  There's a full DIY article on polymer stippling, with step-by-step photos of the author going to town on an M&P pistol, and another showing how to thread the hole in your AR lower for the rear takedown pin retaining spring so you don't launch the thing across the room when you take the rear plate off (something I probably will do on future builds.)  Also very few ads, and none of that "cont. on pg. 87" crap you find in other magazines.

There are, on the other hand, advertisements involving scantily clad women, and (at least in the first issue) a lack of articles about techniques or tactics.  It really seems like more of a "gear-whore" centric magazine.  On that note, however, there is a great breakdown of all the gear featured on the cover of the issue right in the first few pages.  I think the only things they forgot where what socks and underwear the model was wearing (seriously... that's about the only thing they didn't mention.)  The "full-size custom" pull-out target is a bit of a let-down though, it's kind of small and looks quite gimmicky.

They don't have print subscriptions set up yet, so I'm not sure what the savings will be for that route (and I hope it's worth it, otherwise they'll need to drop the cover price down from the current $8.99 to keep me interested long-term) but it's probably worth looking at if your into that kind of stuff, and there is a lot of content crammed into one issue.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Sometimes you just gotta...

From here.  If you wanna mess with them, you need to click "join" (make sure to change it to not attending) and then you can write on the wall.  Good times.

Freedom Group Buys Para USA

There was a rumor going around a couple weeks ago regarding this, and it's been confirmed.  Looks like the Freedom Group wants to fill their handgun void.

One Handed Tourniquet Application

A couple more realistic methods for self application of a CAT type tourniquet on an injured arm.

Libyan DIY Weapons

A good collection of images of various improvised and recycled weapons used by the Libyan resistance fighters from The Atlantic.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Comedy

"Thin Wall Challenge" is quickly becoming one of my favorite series of YouTube videos. Plus he's just awkward enough to make it doubly hilarious.
(Warning... some swearing, and the entire premise revolves around his neighbors doing it.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Magpul 2012 Catalog

Love them or hate the fanboys, Magpul always puts out some innovative stuff.

The 2012 Catolog is up for download here.

That'll Add Some Realism...

Apparently they used live ammo for many of the scenes in "Act of Valor."

Cool beans. From the previous trailers, I'd just thought since they had SEALs in the film and plenty of Technical Advisors that actually know their shit, they just kept the CGI at a more realistic level.

(h/t ENDO)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snowy Carbine Day

Nothing warms you up like a hot barrel and 40lbs of unnecessary gear and armor.  My wallet said I needed to use the M&P15-22 today though.


That is the awesome benefit of having a sub-caliber training analogue of your primary weapon systems.  I didn't have a whole lot of .223 laying around, and I can't afford to go out and get a couple hundred rounds to burn off.  Thankfully I have a few bricks of .22lr handy, and the little Smith & Wesson rifle is set up darn close to my go-to full-size rifle.  Still got valuable training, and didn't have to spend a lot of money.

Cro, on the other hand, has stockpiled it for years, and he's breaking in a new BCM rifle.

My feet are still cold.


Back from some cold-weather carbine practice... I'm gonna edit some photos while I warm up.  Check back in a bit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Specialty Tools

Between the J-frame upgrade last week, and today's vanity top/sink/faucet replacement, all I can say is specialty tools are generally worth it.

Last week I stabbed the crap out of my thumb with a screwdriver because I didn't have a Rebound Slide Tool (in my defense, I hadn't found one for less than $20 before this one...)  Needless to say, next time I order anything from Midway USA, that's getting tossed in with the order.

Today Dad helped me out with yanking off the old vanity top and faucet in the bathroom, and strongly suggested a Basin Wrench was a worthwhile investment.  We found one at a local place for about the same price, and the frustration saved was well worth $8, even if I never replace a sink again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Starbucks Appreciation Day


Apparently the Brady Bunch is still miffed that Starbucks went with the "whatever the local law allows" view on carrying (especially openly) of firearms in their shops, and are trying to get another boycott of them on Valentines Day (somehow in retaliation for us gunnies making fun of their candle idiocy the other week...)

Of course this means our side will just declare a "buycott" and have another Starbucks Appreciation Day on February 14th.

I'll probably participate, despite my Coffee Snob-ish dislike of their particular coffees, and urge you to do the same.  If nothing else, it's a decent place for a lunch date, especially given the day.


Gotta drive 30 miles north to ship out the M&P22 for repairs, then it's gaming day... may post something later, may not, who knows?!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Industry Building

Alcataz, San Francisco Bay, CA


Flipping through the newest Cabela's catalog and saw this-

20 Ga., 11.4" barrels, and black powder, so the ATF can go to hell.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Started to convert a bunch of the .nef raw files from the trip to California last fall into .jpegs so I can actually upload them onto stuff... the big laptop has been cranking away at it for about two and a half hours now, and that's just one folder...

Procrastination's a b____

Friday, January 20, 2012


Something I've noticed from the pictures I'm seeing this year, is a lot more new pistols being shown at SHOT with extended and threaded barrels.

Such as the new Sphinx polymer gun (Photo and more at Gear Scout)
It's good to see more and more guns coming out "suppressor ready," and a lot more people accepting suppressors not as a piece of assassin kit, but merely another bit of safety equipment.  Now to get Washington to realize that...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Possibly the coolest thing yet...

Who doesn't want an AK that breaks in half?

J-Frame & Apex

I just finished installing the Apex J-Frame spring kit in the 442, and for now let's just say, it's pretty sweet.  Where there once was stacking and a pretty heavy trigger, there's now a somewhat lighter one, that's smooth and consistent throughout.  (Need to find my trigger gauge to see how much lighter it is now though.)

I followed the two videos Apex has on YouTube, and they're pretty good for walking you through the install.  I will also second the advice that you invest in this tool if you plan on doing the install.  My thumb would have thanked me, rather than had a screwdriver blade jammed under the nail.  First time in a while I wanted to pass out while doing some gunsmithing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tavor by end of 2012?

I didn't even know Charles Daly was operating again... Anybody know more?

SigSauer P938

Side by side with the P238.  Only a little longer than the .380, and supposedly should fit in some of the same holsters.

Like I said when I first heard though, I'm sure it'll be too rich for me, despite being darn close to my ideal CCW gun.

ETA: MandaFern found this link with more info.


Shane (of Multitasker fame) snuck this one out-

As a fan of mono-poding off the magazine with my ARs/M4, I can't wait to get my hands on one to try out. Hopefully before I head over to the 'Stan.

Mossberg HerpDerp SPX

I mean levergun SPX...

Let's put it this way; I like the handguard, I can see the usefulness of rails on any rifle.  Personally, I don't want them on my lever rifles, but hey.  On the other hand, the rest of your gun looks like you drug it through the Tapco booth with a shit magnet on the ass-end.  Stop it.

I saw these up on an Arfcom GD thread last week, and the massive cry was "Photoshop!! Can't be real!!" followed by wailing, gnashing of teeth, and the souls of many crying out to put and end to all this asshatery in the marketing and R&D departments at Mossberg.  I give it two weeks after they're released (if they actually go through with it...) until somebody puts the chainsaw grip on one and the entire mall-ninja population fully explodes. (wait... that might not be a bad thing...)

I may just have to fall asleep tonight cuddling my beloved Win94 and assuring the ol' girl everything will be all right...

Ok S&W...

The Croatians are beating you to the punch... get on that!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Magpul Shotgun Stuff

More than just a foregrip and stock-

Words after the jump.

Freedom Group Buying Para-Ord?

That's the rumor GearScout heard, and it makes sense for the reasons stated.

APEX FSS and Self Defense

I was so tempted to put "SD" up there rather than "Self Defense..."

Anyway, Robb decided to strap a shock-collar to the Drama Llama and got a discussion going about installing the fancy APEX race trigger in your carry M&P.  The trouble, as Uncle mentions, is that Robb's particular M&P40 is lacking a thumb safety (the FSS does not work with the thumb safety varients like mine.)

Tam makes an excellent point in the comments-
Generally (and especially in foreign-object-in-the-triggerguard reholstering incidents) length of travel is more likely to prevent an unplanned loud noise than weight of pull.
Personally, my M&P9, which is on my side right now, has the APEX DCAEK in it, because the stock trigger on the M&P is the guns biggest (maybe only) flaw.  It cuts down tremendously on the amount of stacking, grit, and inconsistency that comes from the factory.  As soon as they release the thumb safety version of their RAM, that will be going in my gun as well, since that's now the only complaint I have about the trigger.

10-8 Modular Rear Site

Looks like a neat idea.  Could have your blacked out rear for competition, then swap it out for some tritium dots for low-light defense with the turn of a screw.  More at Gear Scout.


Nothing like driving all the way to the coffee shop to realize your wallet's still in your work pants... in the bedroom........

Give me a few minutes here.


For L.E. and .gov types... pics at TFB.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Guest Post: 8mm Turk Ammo Tear-Down

Hey there Guns & Coffee fans!!  This is CRO.  So since the winter weather has hit the great northern state of Wisconsin I have decided to clean out the corner of the basement where my reloading bench lives.  The first can I grabbed was a .50 cal can that had my 8mm Turk inside.  My brother had recently picked up a Syrian Mauser and wanted some food for it.  I pulled the first bandoleer out of the can and removed 2 full clips of ammo.  I saw some cracked necks on a few of the cases and gave the bullets a wiggle.  The bullet pulled clean out of the case with just my hand strength.  Out of the 10 rounds I checked I was able to pull 3 of the bullets clean out of the case.  Now I could not give my brother some crap ammo to fire out of his Mauser as he is not too familiar with old surplus and does not know what to look for in selecting safe ammo to fire.  I decided to go through all my Turk and sort out the good stuff from the bad and all the bad I would pull for the bullets and powder.  Now for those of you who have been doing the surplus thing in the last ten years you are sure to have run across the 8mm Turk, and many of you are fully aware of the “quality” that this ammo has made for its reputation.  I decided that even though the supply of Turk is now drier than a Baghdad rooftop in July, and trust me that’s dry, I thought it might entertain many of you that know this ammo too well to know your not the only one who had “well worn” ammo.
That’s right, I’m not embaressed to let you see my messy bench top… I told you it needed cleaning.  But you can see the Turk bandoleer in its complete form.  And bottom center is the 50 cal can it has been stored in for a few years.

The clips were held one up, and one down inside each pocket.  The buttons are the thinnest stamped metal buttons I have ever seen, they do not have any edge to grab a hold of so getting a pocket open through the small buttonhole is very difficult.  I would not want to have to open one of these under stress!!  The ends of the bandoleer are just one foot of thin cloth one inch wide.  There are no buckles so the ends have to be tied together.
This is just the full clips on top of the bandoleer. So far so good right?  Well lets take a closer look-

1947. Yep.

So here are 3 very typical cracked necks seen on the ammo.  The bullet is very loose.  I was able to push the bullet inside of the case with only finger pressure.  No pliers or bullet puller needed here!   Now can you shoot these?  Yes,  Should you… probably not.  Have I shot bullets like this??  Yes.  Why?  I don’t know,  I was young and didn’t know better.  Do the vent hole work in my Yugo Mauser?  Yes.  Thankfully.

This was the worst cracked case I had.  The brass was just brittle.
Pulled bullet,  I would not exactly call that a cannalure.  More like a really, really tight crimp.
Fill er to the top!!  The powder would be just under the bottom of the bullet.  I have a suspicion that these were compressed loads.

No the pliers were not used for the bullet pulling.  The electrical tape covered jaws work great for holding surplus 30-06 rounds when reaming out the primer pocket,  why is it in the photo??  I told you I need to clean up.

I wanted to keep the powder to load some cases eventually.  Because I am not aware of and current load data for using surplus 1940 Turk powder I measured 20 cases of powder to get an average weight.  Surprisingly the loads were consistent.  The average was 48.2 the variance was only a few tenths of a grain.  There was the occasional case that varied as much as a grain but I think there were only 2 of them.  The powder is a flake type powder.  Reminded me of shotgun powder.  It was very different than the IMR 4895 I am used to dealing with.  I do not currently own a 8mm Die for the RCBS otherwise I would load a few and give a report.  Guess I’ll save that one for later.

I've shot plenty of this stuff over the years, and as many of the MilSurp shooters out there know, this stuff is hot, and it's not surprising the powder is jammed in the case.  Dad and I used to joke they simply filled the case with powder, jammed the bullet on top, and called it a day; and it looks like we may not have been that far off. "Powder measures are for pussies!"

As Cro mentioned, it'll work in a bolt-action Mauser fine, since it's a strong action, and has gas channels to redirect wayward pressure, but I strongly suggest you DO NOT use Turkish 8mm Mauser ammo in any Semi-Automatic rifle! Blown cases happen quite regularly with Turkish 8mm ammo.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I can see the meeting...

"That Judge is selling like hotcakes... but I wish it was uglier..."

Some trends need to go die in a hole.

"Journalists" and Bloggers

So I was sitting here poking around the interwebs (ordering a J-Frame kit from Apex and a set of screwdrivers... look for that next week) and sipping my coffee when a guy approached me and said he's a writer for the local newspaper, and if I'd be interested in talking to him for a bit.

This... could be fun.

He's writing a piece about some of the local businesses closing, and looking for opinions on the local economy, which overall, is about normal for the country right now (a local medical manufacturer just announced they were moving shop yesterday though, so 200 jobs evaporated and people are worried again.)

Anyways, we chatted for a bit, and his visible level of respect went up a few notches when I mentioned I'm a combat vet, and in the National Guard, and have lived in town nearly three times as long as he has (we moved here when I was like six months old.)  I then knocked it back down after he complimented me on my Eee PC and I mentioned I was a blogger... he seemed to close up a little bit and ended the interview shortly after that.

Just thought that was interesting, make of it what you will.


Woke to find I have a lovely sinus thing going on (thanks Dan!) and that we finally got some snow, a measly two inches of powdered fluff that doesn't help make ski trails at all.  Thankfully it's payday, so I'm less than broke and was able to buy some cough drops to try and loosen up my nose and keep my voice from running away.

I braved the cold and snow anyway and came down to the coffee shop (snowshoes are in the trunk, just in case) and hopefully the caffeine will help jump start the idea motors in my brain.  If not, well, Mushroom Swiss Bison Burger is today's special at Cafe Espresso, so...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

M&P22 Grumbles

After 300 flawless rounds Sunday, took it out yesterday and had failures-to-fire right out of the case.  Seems that at some point between leaving the range Sunday and going back out Tuesday, the firing pin return spring lost its sprung.

Having done the seemingly impossible, I'll be contacting S&W Warranty Services...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More New Magpul Stuff

From SSD.

A few of the items have already been released, but it looks like they're finally making a fixed stock for the AR platform.

Shorter LOP than an A2, storage, and means to mount a short rail to mount a monopod on the rear.  Looks good.  Possibly a good call for a "budget" PRS setup if you don't need/want the adjustability in the field.

US Palm Announces 45 Round Quad-stack AK Mag

On their facebook-
Okay, Jan 10 is close enough: for our good friend Steven S. who has impulse issues, here's one of our new product announcements for SHOT 2012 debut: a 7.62x39 45 round quad stack magazine! Yes, US PALM has successfully cracked that nut, and these babies rock! More, later, but for now, oh-yah! Estimated MSRP will be $99.95.
While I like seeing more innovation, I don't think the price is worth an extra 15 rounds in the box.  To each his own though.

Tuesday Morning Range Trip

Gonna head out in a half hour or so to do some longer range plinking (or at least as much as 100 yards can be considered "long range"...)  Cro's got a new toy to show off, so hopefully some photos today or tomorrow, depending on when I can edit them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

An Open Letter to The Anti-Gun Folks

From A Girl and Her Gun.  Go read and be proud to know awesome people like this.

M&P9... They Work

Tam and Uncle both mentioned it the last couple days, 2,000 rounds with minimal cleaning and maintenance, and they keep chugging away.  Mine has similar numbers and exactly 2 stove-pipe malfunctions with TulAmmo steel cased stuff (both rounds from same batch.)

Magpul Sneak-Peak

A few pages of the 2012 Magpul Catalog have shown up over at Gear Scout...

I'm hoping the new mags and floorplates will be out in time for my upcoming deployment.

Agilite Injured Personnel Carrier

Looks pretty cool, more at SSD, including a video.

Basic idea is a strap system for hands-free casualty evac.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Almost Missed It!

3 year Blogoversary is today!

Went to the range to try Manda's new pistol, now a house full of people over watching James Bond.  Good day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

M&P22 First Look

I took some time today to field strip Manda's new gun and take some shots of the insides and some comparison shots with the "real steel" M&P9.


Obviously, the hole in the muzzle is smaller on the little one, and you can make out the barrel nut that holds the barrel assembly together.  It is the same setup as the Walther P22, unsurprisingly, and P22 thread adapters work if you plan to use the M&P22 as a suppressor host.

The slide on the 22 seem to have slightly sharper corners than the 9, and the polymer is smoother, as well as the finish on the slide being somewhat different, more of a satin black than the 9mm's finish.


Externally, they're pretty much a match.  Both have the hinged bottom half that acts as a trigger safety, and feel the same against your finger.  Internally, there's a bit of difference in how they work, which I'll get to in a bit, however the end product is a better feeling trigger than what S&W is putting in the centerfires (primarily due to the striker system.)  Take up and break are near the same as my M&P9 with Apex parts installed, although a little lighter; but where it really shines is the reset.  It's audible, tactile, and about 3,879 times better than the centerfire's trigger.


The sights are similar, but obviously not identical.  The 22 is cut similar to the 9mm's, however there is only a single white dot on the front sight blade, and the rear is adjustable for elevation, as well as the normal drift adjustment for windage.  Elevation adjustment is a nice touch on a .22lr, given the inconsistencies common in different .22lr manufacturers.

Thumb Safeties-

The 22's thumb safeties are actually slightly further rearward than the centerfires, which causes MandaFern to have difficulty getting a good high thumbs forward grip, since it's just barely too much of a stretch to ride the safety for her.  It's not a show stopper, and on the M&P9 and my 1911, her thumb instinctively goes where it belongs.

Another con (for me) is that it has a magazine disconnect "safety," and it doesn't seem to be as easy to defeat as the centerfire's is.


Takedown is a bit different on the two guns, the 22 requiring the slide to be fully forward, and the takedown lever needs to be pulled out about halfway from the frame, then takedown is consistent with most blowback pistols I'm familiar with (pull the slide to the rear, then up and forward off the barrel.)

Now we can start to see some of the internal differences between the S&W centerfire M&Ps and the Walther built .22lr version.  Most notably, the barrel is fixed to the frame, held in place by the barrel nut pressing against a barrel shroud and tensioning it against the frame, identical with the barrel system on the Walther P22.  The rimfire pistol also does not have a captured recoil spring, unlike the centerfire guns.

The barrel extension has a nice little ramp cut in to help with feeding-

and the magazine definitely shows the Walther rimfire heritage-

M&P22 on left, P22 on right.

What surprised me about the M&P22 however, is that it is not a striker fired gun like the centerfires, or a DA/SA like the Walther, but is actually a fully shrouded Single Action hammer fired system.

No wonder the trigger feels good!

Hopefully we'll have a chance to get out this weekend sometime and get some rounds downrange and see how it feels and shoots.

Sig P224 Ad

Found by Guns Holsters and Gear.  The P224 is essentially a cut down, sub-compact P229.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teaser Shot!

More in depth look tomorrow, but for now...

It's her gun, so she got to choose the background.  Penguins rock anyway.

It's not mine, but MandaFern's very first purchase!  (It's always good to know the girl you're dating isn't a criminal or anything.)

I'll get more photos (inside and out) tomorrow, along with some comparisons with the "full size" 9mm, and the P22.  Ok, maybe not the P22 tomorrow; it's filthy and I need to do more research into what is and isn't the same on the those two guns.

.40S&W Rhino Coming

Will be at 2012 SHOT.  More info at Gun Nuts Media.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Israeli Bandage Application

Good little refresher video from PerSysMedical (h/t to SSD) on various ways to apply the Israeli Bandage-

I keep one in my range bag, and one in my blowout kit on my vests (personal plate carrier and my Army one.)  They are pretty amazing little things.
(Just a reminder, while a good video, this is no replacement for proper medical training.)

Monday, January 2, 2012


I've been practically eye-humping this rig from ATEi for the last week or so...

From ATEi's Facebook page

Minus the laser (just not a fan of the CTC setup on the M&P...)
May just have to save up while I'm gone...