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, May 18, 2010

Now everyone in the Army can unleash their inner artist..

Good post over at the Every Day No Days Off Gun Blog on the new guidelines for painting of M4 rifles by soldiers in the field..

The Army has realized that soldiers are already painting their rifles themselves in theater and has done the common sense thing and allowed it with conditions (no painting of barrels, guidelines for what to tape up when painting, ect). I think its great the Army finally woke up to reality about what REAL soldiers were doing in REAL environments, but they say that the rifles must be stripped before being turned back in. That is a headache in the making as some poor soldier spends his last few days in theater trying to get all of the paint off his M4.

I wonder if a better plan could of been to have special environment specific stocks, hand guards, pistol grips, slings and magazines colored for the AO purchased as well as correspondingly colored optic units and just swapped out in theater by the soldiers or unit armorers It would provide probably 70% of the coverage of the paint job and could be switched out in a matter of minutes..
Here is an example I found online of what a standard AR platform could possibly look like in the field with simple replacement of the furniture and optics with environment specific colored pieces. Yes its not all military pattern and the (nice looking) .45 isn't military, but you get the general idea.

..your thoughts?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sometimes working on this blog is like solving a Rubik's cube..

In case any of you are too young to remember these, there was a time back before the dawn of Nintendo and the like that this thing started a puzzle game frenzy that lasted until Mario and crew came on the scene. It was created by a Hungarian mathematician named, of course, Rubik. In some gaming circles they are still pretty popular. You were given a cube with six different colored sides that rotated on six different axises. You moved the cube sides around until all the colors were mixed up and then tried to put them all back together. Really it was a game of algorithms, patterns of action that would lead to a predictable result. Some people got it, some didn't. I don't think I ever solved one but got to where I could consistently get a couple of sides right.

Anyway, just like the different colored sides of the Rubik's cube, I have several different posts that I am working on currently that all seem to get in the way of the completion of one another. I am spending more time with my family at night which is partially taking away from my blogging time. I will try and get these out in the next few weeks for the few regular folks who stop by to have something to read and some gun porn to look at.

Here is a partial list of what I am working on:

  • Review of the Glock 34..
  • My continued thoughts on the M1 Garand..
  • Review of the EoTech XPS-2
  • Practical, Tactical or "tacticool" accessories...
  • Using weapon lights...not for everybody..
  • The Kimber Custom II, of course..
  • The common rubbish found in gun magazines..
  • A review of the SKS....
  • The Mossberg Maverick 88...
  • The hypocrisy of the Hollywood anti-gunners...
  • ..and a few other ideas that are kicking around my head..

Look, I like re-posting something I read on The Firearm Blog or The Everyday, No Days Off Gun Bog just like anyone else. But for the sake of being original and maybe getting a few of my brain cells fired up into thinking mode I like to get creative now and again as well.

Your patience while I get these sorted out, researched and published is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If there is one thing you can count on from me…

…its my decisive indecisiveness….

Here’s a pic of the Kimber Custom II that followed me home today, Taurus PT1911B-BHW for sale tomorrow, let me know if anyone is interested…


details to follow in another post..

Maybe there is hope for Cleveland after all...

no, not that Cleveland!

This Cleveland!

..aka "The Mistake on the Lake"
..aka "The Peoples Socialist Republic of Cuyahoga" by yours truly...

Well, it looks as though the Ohio Supreme Court is going to take a look at the local laws enacted by the City of Cleveand (aka the Peoples socialist Republic of Cuyahoga) and see if there locally enacted laws prohibiting the carrying of a state licensed CCW run contrary to the Constitution and laws of the State of Ohio once and for all. I, for one, say its about time. Let's settle this once and for all. If I can't carry in Cleveland and it is within their rights to enact such a law, so be it. I will not, however, travel there ever again to spend any of my own money on their local taxes nor will I ever again root for any Cleveland based sports team (not that there is anything to root for to begin with (the drive, the strike and now the elbow).

Links below:

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray's press release

Cleveland.com article

Getting back to basics again

Since my last post was aimed at some basic pistol training, it was ironic to see that the MadOgre posted a vid today about proper pistol grip stance. I guess I have been doing it wrong since I generally use a modified weaver stance (called just a weaver stance in his video) for most of my shooting, though I do have some pictorial proof that I shoot using an isosceles at steel plate...

...this is some very good stuff here...

Thanks to The Mad Ogre for allowing me to repost..

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

TAP-RACK/OBSERVE-ASSESS-BANG....this is why training is important...

Check out how this guy tries to "will" his pistol to correct itself when he has a misfire by staring intently at it...

"We're having problem"...

The comments on the vid on YouTube has some mild Glock bashing, but this looks like it was either ammo or user related...one of the comments suggested that the guy had his thumb riding the slide release the entire time so after the last round it did not lock back. This would explain in the vid why his first course of action seems to be to reach for a new mag...

Regardless of the cause, practicing the basics of immediate action drills will keep you from looking like this guy next time a "boo boo" happens. If this had been a life or death situation with an attacker shooting back this could of been bad. I am not picking on the shooter, he may not have much experience and needs to learn the proper sequence of steps and train with them for the future.

Immediate Action Drill

Traditionally this has been called just Tap-Rack-Bang. I have added the addition of Rack/Observe to emphasize that just simply racking the slide may not be enough. I added the "assess" portion after reading about it in some firearm forums. The old Tap-rack-bang drill instilled an almost instinctive pulling of the trigger during the process. The assess stage puts a mental acknowledgment on this act and provides a "fail safe" if you will to ensure that the target is still valid and no other collateral damage will be committed.

This is a quick run down of immediate action with a auto-loading pistol (performed in order):

  • TAP - Tap the magazine in the well to ensure that it is fully seated to eliminate feeding issues.
  • RACK/OBSERVE - Rack the slide back, slingshot if you will, and let it go forward on its own power - do not ride it back into battery. During this process you should observe the ejection port and chamber area for any issues that may require remedial action on your part. This does not have to be an extensive inspection, just be looking for ejected brass, double feeds ect.. The emphasis on this drill is to get your weapon back in operation as quickly as possible, this "observe" portion of the drill should only minimally detract from that goal.
  • ASSESS - Assess the threat/target again, you should mentally start a new OODA loop since your attention has been diverted from your target to your weapon.
  • BANG - Engage the target if deemed necessary.

Adam's acting debut...

Here is a short film made for a sound effects contest for Blastwave FX and Avid competition staring a friend of mine, Adam W. He was my back up IMO over in Kuwait and currently he is serving as a full time member of the Ohio Army National Guard. All of the uniforms and weapons appear to be props because I am sure Adam would never have his own personal cover on his ACH all bunched up like that....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Revisiting the Taurus PT1911

Well, after musing about it on here last week or so, I went ahead and got another 1911 pistol by reworking some financial numbers that would of made both Enron and our Congressional budget office proud. I budgeted between $600 - and $700 dollars for the pistol and I was, surprisingly, able to get one in the budget I had planned. What did I get? A Taurus PT1911-BHW.

What?!? Another Taurus 1911?!?!

Yes, its strange sometimes how what goes around comes around..

Let's do a short recap of my journey in .45 ACP...

  • Pistol #1: A Charles Daly 1911. Bought used, its classic 1911 lines attracted my eye and its rock bottom price put it in the bag. A good starter gun, I eventually traded it for a newer 1911.
  • Pistol #2: Taurus PT1911AL. Bought when I sold the Charles Daly, this was an attractive dual tone 1911 with a lightweight aluminum frame. The attractive upgrades that Taurus adds to its 1911's sold me on the pistol.
  • Pistol #3: Taurus PT845. I traded in the PT1911 on this poly pistol from Taurus packing a whopping 12+1 rounds of .45 as for some reason I thought the traditional 7+1 and 8+1 capacities of the 1911 as being unsatisfactory. Truth is this was a fine pistol, I loved the fact that you could carry it either in DA or SA "cocked & locked" mode, but the over sized grip and some QC issues caused me to question my deviation from the 1911 path and I sold it at a gun show.
  • Pistol #4: Sig P220. Now this was a great pistol! Bought used it was in fine shape and shot well. I sold it to a friend to pay for some other purchases. Although it was a fine pistol it was more of a duty type weapon where as all I needed was a range gun for .45. Kind of wish I still had it now that I linger on the thought....
  • Pistol #5: Taurus PT1911-BHW. Wow, back to a 1911 patterned pistol again by Taurus. After getting my M1 Garand and seeing Kev get a SA 1911 I started to get the 1911 bug once again. This was a tough purchasing choice but I again went with the Taurus for the value versus cost type evaluation.

So what was it with the Taurus PT1911 that made me choose it again? I guess it came down to price. The other pistol I was considering was a Kimber Covert II that Vance's has for sale for $699 this month. It is a very nice 1911 style pistol. The Taurus was the other this particular one that I bought from The Powder Room for $639 to be exact. The price difference seems minimal really on the surface, but the Taurus came with very nice walnut grips, 8 round mags and 3 dot Novak sights. To get all of this on the Kimber I would have been looking at another $200 and that put the price of it way above what I had budgeted. the Kimber had a better trigger pull and finish to it, as well as a better "street rep" about it. While the Taurus slide to frame fit is very good, I can already tell the surface bluing will have to be replaced by Duracoat at some point. I have to admit I am still second guessing myself on the choice, but am very happy that I have another 1911 in the safe for the present.

I have already reviewed the Taurus PT1911 so I am not really going to go into too much about it other than to point out some features of the PT1911 and my thoughts..

The Bull Head Walnut Grips: Actually one of the main selling points of the pistol to me. These grips are some of the nicest looking wood grips I have seen on a handgun that are actually worth using. Sure, there are some exotic wood grips out there polished and lacquered to a high shine but would you really want to rely on them if you hands were wet for a gripping surface? And what about the cost of them? These grips, which are exclusive to Taurus dealers at the moment, are a combination of North American diamond grips and a European stippling pattern. Matter of fact the two are combined right down the middle of the grip from corner to corner with the Taurus bull head logo right in the middle.

Extended Ambi Safety: A Taurus Trademark on their 1911's, they are usable but I would rather have a single, smaller safety on it, just my preference.

30 LPI checkering on the grip: Nice, a bit sharp on some edges but very functional. (sorry for the fuzzy pic)

8 round magazines: Good steel mags with poly bumper pads on them. Probably worth at least $20 a piece of purchased separately. Unfortunately, I cannot find these for sale on Taurus' web site at all.

Slide to Frame Fit: Very tight, and very nice! Got Slipstream lube on the rails now and the slide moves smoothly back and forth like on ball bearings. Notice in the pic that you can see where the firing pin stop took a beating from me trying to get it off the pistol. There was so much grease in the slide around the safety I was afraid of it getting sticky in there and not working. Taurus will be hearing from me about this. Also keep in mind that the camera shows every little flaw in the metal and blemish that your naked eye misses.

Grip Safety: Extended beaver tail style, it works and it looks "cool" I guess, kind of "meh" to me either way.

Finish: Blued slide and dyed frame, as I already pointed out the finish is one of the week parts of the pistol. I will probably eventually have it redone. The lettering and graphics on the slide are over the top, really Taurus, do you need to advertise in big letters like that on everything you need to sell? Sometimes a bit understated is not only classier but also better. “Uh who makes your pistol…oh, never mind I can read it on the side of it from way over here…..”

Sights: The 3-dot Novak branded sights are functional and easier to use than the notch-and-blade style on the Kimber. If I get serious about using this for a home defense weapon I may look at getting night sights on it.

full length guide rod: "meh", doesn't hurt but I don't know if they really help reliability in a 1911. Everyone else is throwing them on their 1911's and bragging about them so I don't know why Taurus wouldn't do the same.

Barrel and feed ramp polishing: A little QC issue here as the "polished" feed ramp and barrel throat had some burrs that I could feel with my finger when I first got it. A bit of polishing compound and a dremmel made short work of the issue, but still for something supposedly "hand fitted" at the factory there is an issue here.

Trigger: While not as good as the Kimber I looked at, the trigger on the PT1911 is still fully acceptable by my standards. As described below, the trigger pull in the Taurus is affected by an internal safety system as opposed to the Kimber.

Internal Safety (Drop Safety): It should be noted that the Taurus employs a "series 80" style drop safety (firing pin block) as opposed to a "Swartz System" safety. Both systems employ a spring loaded plunger to block the firing pin from moving forward until the pistol is fired to avoid any ND incidents by dropping the pistol inadvertently. Where the Swartz system uses a lever attached to the grip safety to deactivate this safety, the series 80 system is tied into the trigger. Therefore the trigger pull is unavoidably affected to some degree by this system. While it is possible to totally remove this safety system to avoid this, I do not recommend it unless your use of the pistol warrants it for some legitimate reason.

Here are some diagrams on each type of safety system. When I first started researching 1911 pistols for this purchase this was one area that I had no knowledge of, hopefully this info may help someone else out there in the future.
Series 80 safety system as used in the Taurus PT1911. It does affect the trigger pull ever so slightly, some purist will say disconnect it, I say no..

Swartz safety system as used in the Kimber II series of pistol. It utilizes the grip safety and does not interfere with the trigger pull.

Its funny, but for all those out there who say how "unsafe" the Glock series of "safe action pistols" are because they do not include a manual safety, like the 1911, please note how similar in function either of these two systems are to the Glock firing pin block safety. This is especially true for the series 80 system as the Glock uses the movement of the connector - which is moved by the trigger being pulled - to move a plunger out of the way of the firing pin.

Glock Firing pin block safety, similar in overall function to the series 80 used on the Taurus.

Taurus Safety System: I find this system to be totally unobtrusive to the user if they wish to ignore it. If you want to get rid of it all together simply switching out the hammer will remove it totally.

Parts: The pistol is almost completely compatible with standard 1911 parts. Tinker to your hearts desire if you wish. Please be sure not to comprise safety while in the process.

Price: $639. For the price compared to other 1911's on the market the Taurus still is above most in the "value vs. performance" factor.

Range Report: forth coming, but I expect similar results compared to my last PT1911.

So there you go, a brief run down of one of my latest purchases ( I have a few more that I need to get around to writing about). Its a fine pistol, not the best available out there but still “good enough” for the price. If you want $2500 worth of quality go get a Les Baer or Wilson custom. For me, a simple range gun is all I desired and this fits the bill fine. I am still second guessing myself to a degree as to whether or not the Kimber would of been a better pistol, but I am not unhappy to have the Taurus at this point. Hell, maybe I will just buy the Kimber anyway....(just kidding......maybe...).

The 21' rule...

Many people advocate a 21' or so "bubble" in which you do not allow an approaching aggressor to enter if in a confrontation. The reasoning is that 21' is about as far as an attacker can run at an "average" speed and still give you time to draw and engage him.

Take a look at the following video on YouTube and come on back when your done (embedding was removed upon request - guy was probably tired of being lampooned on various other web sites)

21 Foot Rule Less Talk and More action (compiled and shortened) - Youtube

Now take a look at this video (that I have posted in the past)...

...get the idea now?

Your bubble may vary slightly or to a great degree depending upon your training level. The best rule of thumb is to always be vigilant of your surroundings and ready to react to any threats immediately. Even in the second video if the shooter was distracted by a question when the exercise started, he still knew that the "attack" was imminent. Therefore his brain was already prepping itself for action by working out the scenario before hand and his muscles groups were already receiving impulses prior to the target starting. When you encounter danger "in the wild" you will often face it with out any warning. This is where training pays off.

World's amallest cannon in action..

Many of you have probably seen this already, thought I would post it anyway...

neat little cannon. Reminds me of a pic I saw recently of the worlds smallest pistol (and yes i know technically its a revolver, that is a discussion for another time)..

Friday, May 7, 2010

Everything I needed to know about life I learned in the Army...

this comes from an OUTSTANDING book about the M1 that I found thanks to a post by New Jovian Thunderbolt...if you own a M1 or just like WW2 period service literature this is pure golden win all the way around...

..plus, its open source, you can read it online for free, link here..

Thanks to NJT for finding this gem...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nebraska Walgreens shooter sounds off…

Last week a 32 year old Omaha man fatally shot a would be robber in a local Walgreens store who was pointing a shotgun towards another patron and pursued and captured his accomplish. He was carrying his handgun concealed and while possessing a license for OPEN carry, did not have one to carry it in this concealed manner. The police are not going to charge him in the shooting but are citing him on the weapons violation. There has been much discussion about this on weapons boards lately. Here Front Site has a video of a news conference with the shooter and his attorney. While he has good answers about his training and competency to carry and use a weapon, the fact that he did not go the entire distance and get a license for CCW still leave a bad taste in my mouth….

If you are going to own a firearm, carry and train to use it…do it legally people, take the training and get the license.

Sorry, I can’t get the vid to actually link…go take a look…