2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good times at the range and the aftermath...

A Day of shooting beats the hell out of whatever else on most days!!

Went to indoor ranges twice this past weekend. On Sunday I went to the Powder Room in Powell with Kevin and Monday I went to the AimHi Range in New Albany (yes, the one I blogged previously about a suicide at) with Greg. Had a good time on both days. Didn't remember to take pics on Sunday but I will post a earlier vid of my P220 just for the hell of it anyway...

Sunday with Kevin at The Powder Room

Headed out to the Powder Room in Powell to shoot some .45 with the SIG P220 and some .38 I had laying around with my Ruger Security-Six and to get it sighted in as well. Kevin brought his Glock 36 (which I love), his Beretta 92 and Ruger LCP. Pretty uneventful over all. Loaded mags, fired and left. Got a fairly good zero on the Security-Six. That pistol is just plain awesome. I cannot over emphasize that. Got to fire a few rounds through Kev's 92. Beautiful pistol, it the Inox model with that satin stainless finish. I forgot how nice those were to fire.

I did OK with the SIG, I need to get that out more often and run rounds through it. Sometimes as a casual shooter I get focus locked in one or another of my pistols and don't get enough familiarly with the others to keep proficient. With the SIG I know part of my problem is transitioning from the 3-dot system used in most of my other pistols to the "figure 8" 2-dot system on it. There is a valid argument made by some to keep your collection small and practice with it exclusively to maximize proficiency. I agree with that philosophy. I cannot make myself part with some of my pieces though. Oh well, its better to have and not need that to need and not have sometimes..

In case you forget what the SIG and I look like together

Monday with Greg at Aim Hi Shooting Range in New Albany

That's Greg on the left there, one of my "war buddies" from deployment. He is the one that not only got me to volunteer for deployment but indirectly (OK, directly) influenced me to start owning firearms over the past 2 years. We went to the range in New Albany where the woman took her life last week. It was pretty much business as usual although I don't think anyone was using the pistol range where she killed herself. Good crowd for a Monday, go early if you want to get on a line without waiting.

My goals

Ok, while I shot with Kev on Sunday just to basically put some rounds downrange and do a bit of final sighting in with the Ruger, Mondays shooting was specifically aimed at 3 goals:
  • Proficiency training with my S&W M&P40c which I am currently using as a CCW pistol
  • Initial zeroing of the EOTech XPS on the mamba AR
  • Initial zeroing of the Magpul MBUS sights on the mamba AR
The indoor rifle range there only goes out to a distance of 74 feet (about 22.5 meters) so I could not get a final good zero or verify it at longer ranges. However, it was close enough that when I get to go back outside I should be "in the neighborhood" for all intent purposes enough to only have to make minor adjustments. I used 1" orange stick on piasters on a paper silhouette to aim at. I actually used 2 with the EOTech realizing that with it the rounds should impact slightly below the point of aim (per their manual) to account for the minimal parallax inherent with the sight's height over bore. Again, good enough for now.

Surprisingly, it was easier to zero my groups with the iron sights than the EOTech, go figure? Most likely my familiarity with the iron sights on an AR had major play in this. Felt good knowing even my aging eyes and sagging body are capable of producing some respectable groups still. This was also the first time firing the "Black Mamba" since it was finished and it performed as well as I expected. Greg was impressed with the Magpul MOE hand guards and rear MBUS sight. I was impressed with the fact that it was grouping very well off of a rest. The rifle maybe has 300 rounds down range with the 60 I put through it yesterday. It is still being broken in. I tell you what though, I really have no problem firing it Southpaw as I do now. My muscle memory shooting that way is solidified and it is almost now counter intuitive to fire it off of the right shoulder. I also now notice that I am unaffected firing it lefty with my face being on the same side as the ejection port. The built in brass deflector does its part and ejected cases bounce off it and arc harmlessly to the side of the rifle. There is a bit of spray from the port of any excess lube on the bolt and bolt-carrier at first, but wearing proper eye protection and a joy of shooting quickly overcome that. I swear that when I am behind the sights of a rifle concentrating on my breathing and sight alignment that I am as relaxed as much as (or even more so) than I am doing almost anything else. It seems almost bizarre that while in the midst of so much noise that I could be so relaxed, but you really do zone out and focus in the moment. Even the recoil of the rifle seems almost distant. At the point where I feel the trigger release I snap a mental picture of all the elements of the shot, sight picture, where my breathing was at, how my body position felt, where the trigger broke...everything. Doing that allows a shooter to "call their shot" and you would be surprised after practicing it how well you get at calling flyers and alibis. Thanks to the instructors at Appleseed at getting me into that grove.

My zeroing of the MBUS sights, yellow is the first group, red second and green third, I fired another after adjusting one more time but forgot to take a pic of it, it was pretty much where the green group is but to the left of it, not bad for an "old guy" if I do so say myself..

Speaking of noise, there was a guy next to us using an AR variant in .308...KaBOOM!! You definitely knew it was there! Loved it! The guy said he was going to use it on a feral hog hunt, good luck buddy! At one point we had him on our left with the .308 and a guy and his wife on our right with a 7.62x54 Mosin popping off...excellent! Bring the boom - bring the fun!
The guy with the .308 AR...BANG, he was a pretty nice guy too...

After all was said and done with both the MBUS and EOTech, both are sighted in at that particular distance, which should be good enough on a man sized target out to 200 - 250 meters without too much concern for having to use a hold over/under to put rounds on center mass.
Shooting the Black Mamba

Ha Ha, still laughing at myself for naming my rifle! Regardless, it ran great, not a hiccup at all. All of the Magpul furniture combined for a great look on the range. Both Greg and I agree that the rifle was a good one and the choice of optics was the right one.

Here is Greg shooting it.

..and here is yours truly shooting controlled pairs with it..and if you are wondering it takes a few extra seconds to load because I drop the PMag and trap it with my "winter fat" against the booth and have to wiggle a bit to get to it without it crashing to the floor.

The M&P40c, my "Winter" gun

Put a box of .40 downrange in the M&P40c. Results were as expected. Not a pistol that I would be taking to the Olympics, but capable of hitting targets that I need to hit at 7 yards well enough to make them sit down and thing about their evil ways. I feel confident carrying it as my daily weapon while it is cold enough to conceal it well until it is warm enough that I have to go back to the P-3AT for most situations.

An Experiment...

Greg brought his Glock G-27, which was one of the pistols I had considered when buying the M&P40c. I did an impromptu accuracy test at 7 yards with both shooting at 1" orange circles with two 3 round groups. Here are the results:

As you can see, the first group from the Glock is clearly the "winner" of the contest. Both pistols shot very well, at 7 yards either grouping on an assailant would make them LAY down and think about their evil ways.. I still prefer my M&P basically for ergonomics. Either way, you won't go wrong carrying either of these in your waistband.

Zombie Nazis attack!!

If you are into gun culture or you have been to a range lately, chances are you have seen the zombie targets like the "Zombie Bob" target I posted a pic of last year on the range. Well, saw a new angle on it...Zombie Nazis!! Whats better than shooting a zombie or a Nazi? Doing it both at the same time of course!! These targets also play well with the themes of popular video games released over the past few years. Now those anti-gunners out there crawling the web looking for examples of irresponsible gun ownership..listen up. Shooting at these types of targets does not produce mass murdering fiends...its just for fun...so go eat your tofu, listen to Air America Radio and STFU!!

Multiple zombie Nazis were involved in the incident....

Needless to say, they DID NOT fair very well in the outcome!!

What could be better.....


No actual Nazi's were killed in the filming of this clip....shame..

The Aftermath

Of course the result of all of this firearm goodness and fun is a armful of dirty weapons to clean. I remember cleaning weapons in Basic Training and AIT as mostly a quiet time that we were left alone to clean our M16's and the Drill Sergeants left us alone for the most part unless we got caught screwing around. They most likely were enjoying a break from the round-the-clock guidance they normally had to disperse. I remember that if we kept our voices down we could have a few words amongst ourselves and share news from home - this was BI (before Internet) and we did not have routine access to news. I remember once the Drills got us all riled up during rifle and bayonet drills by telling us that we were going to go to war with Iran (this was only a few years past the failed Iran rescue mission and hostage ordeal). Ah memories, nowadays cleaning means being in the basement with a bunch of carbon, a cleaning kit and myself. In "the real world" you would always clean your primary weapon systems first and then your secondary and so on. At home, I can clean what I want when I want (with the exception of my Mosin or any other weapon used with corrosive ammo, they go first!) Here are a couple of things that I have been using lately to help alleviate the chore of weapons maintenance.

**HEY ITS THE DISCLAIMER*** Once again, I am not a paid spokesman for any product reviewed on Hueys Gunsight. I am not paid nor do I expect any compensation for my comments. All items are purchased by me for me and my views are soley my own. Thanks FCC!!

Various weapons in different stages of cleaning on my work table, I often clean multiple firearms at once in a round robin method based on what cleaning steps or materials are used.

Crusader Arms Slipstream Lubricants and M-Pro7 Cleaner

Slipstream Lubricants: Talked a bit about Slipstream a while back. Well, it seems to be living up to the hype. I notice a definite decrease in friction and friction related noise in my weapons treated with it. Those nano-lubricants seem to be working well! I use it exclusively on my Black Mamba (ha ha, still laughing) and the grease lubricant on the slide rails of all of my pistols. A bit pricey but it seems to be worth it. Website here..

M-Pro7: Picked a bottle of this up from the Powder Room a month or so back. It claims to clean weapons with carbon, lead and most copper fouling quicker and easier than normal cleaners. It works. It works well. There seems to be some detergent action in it as it will slightly foam in some applications, but spraying it on your bolt and letting it sit for a minute and then brushing off generates amazing results.. Website here..

CAT M-4 Bolt Cleaning Tool

Anyone who has had to clean an AR will readily recognize the following picture.

Other than the locking lug area of the upper receiver (aka the "asshole") of an AR, the next most frustrating part to clean for most people is the bolt and bolt carrier. The bolt is that piece in the center of the pic and the bolt carrier is the larger one on the left. The bolt rides (is carried) inside the bolt carrier, hence the names. The other pieces in the upper right are the firing pin (which itself rides in the bolt and is struck by the hammer to fire a cartridge), the cam bolt (which keeps the bolt in the carrier) and the firing pin retaining pin (guess what it retains). Yes, to you purists I did not remove the extractor. I did before the pic was taken and cleaned under it. With the black donut on the spring and the pain in the rear it is to get back on I decided to leave it alone for the pic.

Anyway, traditionally some of the hardest to reach and clean places in the weapon are the inside of the bolt carrier. The CAT M-4 partially solves this problem.

The tool itself is simple enough. Just a machined piece of metal really. How its machined is what makes it (sort of) useful.

Remember how I said one of the hardest places to clean was the inside of the bolt carrier? Traditionally you used the chamber brush of your weapons kit to get in there with enough CLP to try and do decent job to get rid of the carbon build up. Whats the big deal with carbon? Well, carbon under pressure hardens (think of how a diamond of formed) and if enough of it build up and hardens on the working surfaces of your bolt and carrier, it can not only damage them but can also take the tolerances out of spec and cause not only stoppages but also dangerous conditions as well. When you are talking chamber pressures upwards of 55,000 psi it doesn't take much to let the tiger out of the bag.

Getting back to the tool, the one end of the tool is a flat scraper that can be put in the "short" end of the carrier to scrap carbon build up on a metal divider in the bolt carrier with a central hole which the bolt itself rides upon. It is not a perfect fit in mine. The tool is supposedly built for a "Milspec" bolt and carrier, and mine is supposedly one itself (per S&W). It does a good enough job either way. The manufacturer even put a slot on the end through which you can pass a cleaning patch to upgrade from "tactical tolerance" to "inspection clean". The problem I have is that the other side of that hole has the same issues with carbon build up but due to the design of the other side you cannot insert it in the "long" end of the carrier. I understand the emphasis was to create a tool that a soldier in the field could grab and quickly scrap their bolt to make it function, but it would of been nice to also include a way to take care of the other side of the carrier as well.

The other end of the tool is designed to clean carbon off of what is called the "bolt tail". This is the rear end of the bolt that fits against the interior divider that the tool addressed above. I never have really had an issue getting this part cleaned under most scenarios. Apparently this area is a real concern because there is yet another tool out there for this purpose that actually has an articulating arm for scraping the carbon off. I prefer this "solid state design" of the CAT M-4 as there is virtually no way this thing could possibly break under normal conditions. Usually a generous squirt of CLP followed by a little elbow grease using a bore brush on a cleaning rod would clean it right down to the metal leaving no carbon remnants. Again, seeing how this could be used by a grunt in the field to quickly do a once over on it to get that "tactical tolerance" level reached I cannot find too much to fault with it. Again it is not a perfect fit on my bolt, but pretty damn close. A little pressure to one side while rotating it takes care of any tolerance variations nicely.

The tool also has a "+" shaped hole for cleaning your firing pin and another hole that will accept 1/4" slotted tool heads for screwdrivers and such, nice touch there.

All in all its not a bad little tool. Now the downside, the price. I bought this for $35 which I consider a bit high considering the only thing I think it did really well that I would not be easily able to do otherwise was scrape carbon from the inside of the "short" end of the bolt carrier. Even this could be done with a special carbon scraping tool that can be bought for less than $15 from Brownell's online. As a general tool to issue to troops it is not a bad choice and the company's web site states that "The tool is currently undergoing field evaluation by selected units deployed in the global war on terrorism." It does pack nicely into an issue Otis cleaning kit and provides some additional functionality for only a few ounces so in that regard I got to give it some earned praise. But again to me the cost is just a bit high for my liking as a recreational shooter. But if you are one of those types that wants to have the newest and coolest gadget for your AR then you are a fool like me, it follows that your money and you will soon be parted. To their credit, the company seems to be honestly trying to make something that is intended to get into the hands of our servicemen and women. They offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied. I am not going to take them up on their offer and will continue to use the tool and see if my opinion as a sideline sheepdog changes over time in regards towards it.

The website for the CAT M4 is here. I hate to be down on any product as I feel this is really one of my few negative comments about an item, but it is what it is. A good tool for some, but not all.

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