Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Brownells donates rifles to protect children

Just like the title says, Brownells has donated a bunch of MSR's to be located in school safes for the protection of kids.  Local police had planned on buying them, but Brownells short circuited that plan with a timely step up to the plate.

Color me seriously impressed.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Polish wz.48 training rifle, sheer .22 goodness

Gobbling up the ammo!
Armies the world over have all had the same problem since the first one picked up a bang stick that could shoot accurately.  That is... training unwashed grunts in the manly skill of actually hitting the target.  The less shooting heritage the nation has, the harder the militaries job is going to be.

Different militaries, different ways.  Some simply bull through and teach the troops using their regular issue weapons and ammunition.  Some use regular weapons and scaled back low recoil ammunition (Which is an entire fun category of it's own!).  Some, and by some I mean a great many, begin the process using dedicated training rifles firing low recoil, low noise, LOW COST rimfire ammunition. Yup, .22 rimfire training rifles, and they are a hoot!

What we have here is one countries answer to that chore.  A Polish wz.48 rimfire training rifle, built to closely resemble the Model 38 Mosin battle rifle of the 50's.  

It's a single shot, as many training rifles are.  Wouldn't do to have the wee little baby soldiers spraying a whole five rounds down range, would it?  Nope.... one at a time is best to keep the enthusiasm in check as they learn the basics of rifleman skills. 
An odd split chamber design

The action is supposedly a Mauser design of prewar vintage, but I haven't been able to confirm that.  Perhaps the learned readers here may have some notions?  With it's large '11' in a circle, it leaves no doubt to having been made at the military arms factory in Radom, Poland.  That was the sov-bloc factory code assigned by their masters in the Kremlin.

A bit unusual to my eye, the extractor, huge bar that it is, also forms part of the chamber.  Riding under the bolt in a slot, and worked by the bolt when it's opened, the extractor makes up the rear underside of the chamber almost 1/4" deep.  On a .22 short, that's half the case length!

This design could be problematic, giving issues like case swelling and blow-out an opening to happen.   That being the situation, the Old Fat Man's first round from this rifle was with it held at arms length away from my face, action pointed towards the horizon.   Examining the fired case revealed no real problems.  Yes, it was a bit swelled, but nothing to be concerned about.  Certainly not enough to risk the integrity of the case.

Once that fear was put to bed, much shooting happened, with many wide smiles!

The rest of the rifle, well designed to mimic a Mosin rifle of the time, led to those smiles.  The 8.5 pound rifle sucks up rimfire recoil and makes it vanish.  The trigger is.... phenomenal... for a Soviet bloc rifle.  Right around 2 pounds at let-off, smoooooth, and predictable.  It feels better than most any modern hunting rifle, and puts every Mosin ever made to shame.
Excellent military sights

The sights are pure military, with a welcome twist.  The front sight could probably swap with that of a Model 38 any day.  The rear, a sliding bar with a notch, is crisp and clear to the eye. The very cool part are the graduations, going from 25 to 100 meters with stops along the way.  Designed for the .22 rimfire, I found they were dead on the money at back yard distances.   I'm very much looking forward to getting this puppy out on a known distance range and trying that 100 Meter setting with some high-power targets.

Going over the many markings, which most military rifles will have, one vanishingly tiny line of text was discovered on the left rear of the reciever.  To be read, it was photographed and the image expanded.   It came up to be 'Gibbs, Martburg WVa.  This is the importers mark, naming the Gibbs Rifle company as the culprit for bringing this bit of joy into the country.  Since they were only formed up in 1991, it places this rifle as a relatively new import. Several retailers sold the rifle, with Bud's letting them go for $198.00 when they carried them.  Today, the Wz.48 commands about $400 when one comes up for sale.

As best I can discover, they were made from 1954 (Edit: 1950)up to about 1958 or 1959, and used by the Polish military til the 70's as their standard training rifle.

The example I have managed to acquire here, found at a dealer's shop in Arizona, appears almost as-new.  There is no wear, few dings, and the bore is mirror bright and sharp.  A few ropes through the bore, a half dozen Q-tips, and a wipe with a Tough-Cloth.... and it could have come from Radom yesterday.

As for shooting it....  Good Golly Gosh Darn!  This thing is FUN personified.  Everyone on the patio had a go, and much rimfire happiness was had.  This rifle is the single best reason I've ever seen to drag out that ammo-can of stray .22 ammo collected over the years.  All those partial boxes of target ammo, subsonic, .22 shorts, Hyper velocity, oddball euro-pews, steel cased Rooskie stuff, you name it.... the Polish Trainer gobbled them up and made holes in the target with them.
TINY, tiny, import marking........

The little .22 shorts were a bit fiddly to get in the chamber, but once there they shot beautifully.  In fact, everything we fed this wee beastie shot well.   Discovering it's favorite ammunition is going to be a blast of a journey!

Next on this trainers agenda?  Well..... there's this little girl about to turn 11, who's been pesting to learn how to shoot.....and......

The Polish Trainer shoots well, and easily pushes one to try harder.

Monday, August 20, 2018

'Stealth' self defense?

'I always think everything is a weapon.  It's why I'm still alive'.

Okay..... bwahahahaha..... I can't do that with a straight face.  I'm a fat old school teacher from Pennsylvania. 

Anyway, being surrounded by testosterone soaked young men all day, I DO tend to judge objects by their potential weaponage use.  Mine or theirs. This aluminum pen Kubatan device thingie is a no brainer.

What do you think?  Worth the expense and also, the expense? Think in terms of Joe Schmuck the Untrained, famous contestant in 97% of all physical altercations nationwide.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

What sort of people DO they want?

I've come up against one of those venues that (sadly, not bright enough to tell people in advance)  does not wish to have CCW folks frequent their commercial business.  That started me thinking, yet again.

So.... you don't want people with a Concealed Carry Permit within your venue?  Lets decipher what that really means.

To get a CCW in my county, where roughly 10% percent of the citizens have them, requires a person to be vetted by the county authorities.  They must pass muster with both local and federal systems, have zero criminal history, no record of violent behavior, and not even a sniff of psychiatric issues.

THESE are the folks you DON'T want in your venue.

What does that say about the people you DO want in your venue?

Yeah..... so we won't be attending your events.  We're not really comfortable with the kind of people you wish to attract as customers.  It seems to be a pretty... um.... 'unstable' bunch of customers you are seeking.

SGammo is saleing....

A quick note.  SGammo, good folks and honest ammo dealers, are having a sale on IMI ammunition.

Hunt around their site a bit... lots of good sales just now.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Lyman is having a sweeps!

Middletown, Conn. (August 2018) Lyman® Products new sweepstakes, “What’s On Your Bench,” starting August 13 – September 21, 2018, will outfit one lucky winner’s reloading bench with every tool ever needed, plus a Savage 10 BA Stealth 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. 
Entry is easy*, just sign up for Lyman’s “Zero’d In” newsletter to receive updates and information on great new Lyman Products and you are automatically entered into the “What’s On Your Bench” sweepstakes with a chance to win everything you always wanted for your reloading bench. All sweepstakes entries must be received by September 21, 2018 to qualify and entrants must be 21 years of age or over and residents of the United States.
One lucky winner will receive a Savage 10 BA Stealth long range chassis rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. It features a factory-blueprinted Model 110 barreled action, mated to a custom version of the Drake Associates Hunter/Stalker monolithic chassis modified to Savage’s specifications. With the rifle, the winner will receive a rifle maintenance mat and Lyman’s new Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook, the definitive resource for long range cartridge data.

The winner will also receive Lyman’s Ultimate Reloading System which includes:

  • A Brass Smith All-American 8 Reloading press featuring an extra-large 8-station turret machined out of heavy duty cast iron. This frame is large enough to work with the longest rifle cartridges and is designed for use with any standard 7/8” x 14 thread dies and accepts standard shell holders.
  • A GEN6™ Compact Touch Screen Powder System that takes minimum bench space and offers unrestricted pan and touch screen access for both right and left-hand users. The system is packed with state-of-the-art improvements like fast, 3-minute warmup, anti-static and anti-drift technology and has sophisticated electronic shielding to resist interference from other electronic devices such as cell phones.
  • A Lyman Universal® Trimmer that virtually trims all cases from .22 to .458 without additional collets with the patented Universal Chuckhead.
  • A Pro 1200 Turbo® Tumbler featuring a built-in sifter lid for quick and easy media separation.
  • A voucher for a free Lyman Die Set
  • The 50th Edition Lyman Reloading Handbook, a Lyman tradition of being the only data source using multiple brands throughout and the first produced in full color.
  • A Universal Loading Block for rifle or pistol cases.
  • A Case Prep Multi-Tool featuring all the essential case prep accessories in one compact, double-ended storage tool.
  • A Bench Wrench.
  • An E-ZEE Prime™ Hand Priming Tool that works with any popular brand of standard shell holder allowing instant changeover between primer sizes.
  • A Quick Slick™ Case Lube Pump.
  • A Magnum Inertia Bullet Puller.
  • And Stainless Steel Calipers.

Trevor Mullen, VP of Global Marketing and Business Development for Lyman Products, added, “The ‘What’s On Your Bench?’ Sweepstakes is our ultimate giveaway for 2018. Everything anyone needs to get started in reloading including the firearm! This outstanding prize has a value well over $2,000 and will surely set some lucky person up with the best reloading tools and gear of their dreams.”

*Official Rules
All entries must be received by September 21, 2018. Only official online entries will be accepted. The winner will be selected in a random drawing. Decisions are final. Winner will be notified by email. Winner must sign an affidavit of eligibility which must be returned and received within 21 days of the date mailed to potential winner. Entrants must be 21 or over. No substitution for prizes other than as may be necessary due to availability. Taxes are the responsibility of winner. Odds of winning are dependent upon the total number of entries received. Sweepstakes open only to residents of the United States. Void where prohibited by law and regulation. Not open to employees and their families of Lyman Products Corporation, their affiliated Service Agencies, and participating companies. All Federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Prize winner will be announced on our website at and our facebook page.

For more information on the Pachmayr revolver or handgun grips and the G10 Promotion, visit Lyman at

Comms with Da Boy re: His AR

Q:  Is the whole upper Colt, including the barrel?
A:  Yup.
Q:  Is it a 5.56 chamber?
A: Yup.
Q: How many round through it?
A:  No idea.  500 to 800 on my part.  Who knows on the previous owner, since it was used.

Q: Life expectancy of an AR?
A:  Ah..... now that's an interesting question.  Seeing as how every single part is individually replaceable, at your kitchen table, using a tool kit that costs less than $100... I'd say it will last til you get bored with it, or lose it overboard in a tragic boating accident.  Buy a spare parts kit, and an extra barrel if you wish.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Leapers UTG Back Up Sights, review and images

 BUIS:  Back Up Iron Sights.  Exactly what the sign says.  Sight COMMA, Back Up COMMA, Iron.  In words less dramatic and tacticool, BUIS are sights we intend as a backup to some form of optical unit.

Typically these are folding units that tuck away out of sight until needed.  Magpul plastic BUIS are typical of the breed and very common.  Prices for the species range from a low of $30-ish for airsoft toys up to $200 for machined metal and very high quality.  Magpul, IMHO, is a high-middle level of quality.

Here, we have a low-middle offering from Leapers in their UTG line.  These too are folding sights, and made of what appears to be machined aluminum alloy, with steel fasteners and hardware.

The Leapers sights flip upwards manually, but lock in place when deployed.  A button must be depressed to retract the sights to their folded position.  That button is my sole worry about these things, as it looks somewhat... breakable.

The front sight is a typical AR post, adjustable with a bullet point and rotating for vertical adjustment.  It does not seem to require any special tools, excepting something pointy to depress the adjustment lock.

The rear sight, once deployed, shows us a standard style A2 flip aperture.  One hole big, the other small.  Adjustment marks are mostly visible with the small aperture in place, and the sight adjusts windage via a handy knob.  This knob does not lock into place (word to the wise) although the detents it uses are significant and should discourage stray movement.

The metal make-up of these sights is encouraging, and should be fine for the average range shooter and plinker.  Movement while deployed is minimal, and mostly some bounciness against the deployment springs.  Side to side movement, at least in the set I bought, is nil.They co-witness nicely, as do the Magpul sights.

Are these UTG sights, at roughly half the price, better than the polymer Magpul units?  Perhaps.  For typical range use, plinking, mild competition, and household defense I see no issue.  They are, after all, folding back up sights.  In that role, they live tucked up against the upper rail until needed, and thus are less likely to get banged around.  

I suspect the magpul units, being a tough polymer, may take the edge in ruggedness.  Plastic bends a bit and springs right back, while aluminum alloy really doesn't bend much at all.  That said, the UTG units lock in the deployed position, and I really dig that feature a lot.

My call?  The UTG and Magpul units are a toss up when it comes to utility, with the UTG taking an edge on price and the Magpul just leading a hair on toughness.

The thing is, I'm not beating my firearms up.  My AR's don't get tossed down stairs or banged into trucks.  I don't even let our cats play with them!  

For now, I have both style sights in use, with the Magpul being a known quantity for years now. We'll give these Leapers sights a trial for a while, and see if the pennies saved were worth it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


That moment when you Whoops on an order from an AR parts distributor, and order something unintended because it was in the shopping cart from a previous visit..... and then realize 'Hey!  I just did part of my Christmas shopping!'.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Well now.... isn't that a fine mess? (updated)

I ordered in another lower from PSA, this one a complete pistol setup with the SBA3 brace.

Why?  I suspect Herself will want her own, once she shoots mine.   In fact, I'm sure enough I began ordering the components already... thus this lower.

The plan fell apart this morning when I stopped in at Morr's to pick it up.  UPS noted it delivered there four days ago, but I gave time for it to get into their books.  No rush, I figured.

Maybe I should have rushed.  This morning, after a futile search of the backroom, they reported it had been given over to another customer by mistake.   That customer (who I'm guessing figured he'd hit the jackpot), had a stripped lower there from PSA.... and apparently could not 'tell the difference' when he picked it up.  

We'll see how this plays out.  I'll give the store a few days to fix their mistake.  There's no reason to get upset, at this point.  Things happen.  Let's see how Mr. Morrison deals with this.

Update:   Morr's came through, and fixed their oops. Well handled with little fuss, and an apology. I'm good with the outcome.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Pew-Pew's first date with the range

I'm not smiling.  You can't prove a thing.

See below for what went into Pew-Pew, the fat man's new AR pistol-ish thing.

First 110 rounds fired, and not a single tiny hint of a hiccup. Function is flawless, so far (Also my first time at Morr's indoor range and store.  Darn nice place, and a beut of an indoor range).

Accuracy is surprising, and pleasing, for an AR pistol.  At 25 yards (Indoor range today), the first group to zero the BUIS went into less than an inch.  Four of the holes touched.

This is with my miserable old eyes and bifocal glasses, while kneeling at the bench.  Yeah, I can live with that.

Shooting at speed, double taps at 25 yards, the little beastie proves willing.  All that's lacking is some trigger time for yours truly, to rebuild skills gone rusty.

There was a fair amount of flashing and banging from the wee thing, but with hearing protection and on a well lit range, it wasn't even distracting.  I'll have to observe what it looks like while someone else is is enjoying it.  

I'll be building ammo stores, since this things gonna get some serious range time.   I'll bet money... as soon as Herself gets trigger snuggles with it, I'll be scheduled to build another one.  Probably in pink tiger stripes..... sigh.

Double taps at 25 yards, AFAP.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Quality.... at any cost? At what point is it good enough?

I've had a hankering for quite a while now. More than a couple years in fact. I wanted an AR-15 pistol.  Not any pistol... but one with an arm brace and a longer barrel than most AR pistols.

Okay, lets be honest here.  What I WANT is an AR Personal Defense Weapon, or PDW.  These beasties are characterized by having short barrels (compared to carbines or rifles) and short stocks. The idea is a lot of firepower in a compact package.

Building or buying a PDW means owning a short barreled rifle, or SBR.  That means $200 American in bribery to the feddies, and a year waiting for their permission to take it home.

On The Other Hand.... Sig Sauer put something on the market a few years back, and its that which ignited my Wants.  It was an AR-pistol, with an 'Arm Brace' designed to wrap around the forearm of the shooter and stabilize the 'pistol' for one handed shooting.  With its strap wrapped around the brace, it looked suspiciously like a stock to be shouldered, but NOOooooo, Sig got paper from the BATFIEOU clearly stating it was a perfectly allowable stabilizing brace.

As long as the shooter didn't shoulder the weapon, which would be a federal offense.  Huh?  Yeah.... it was that silly.  Sometime in the last year or two the BATFIEOU recanted that notion, and gave their feddie blessings to all us shooters who wish to touch their stabilizing brace to their shoulder occasionally, without incurring a 20 year all expense paid vacation in club-fed.

This cleared the way for a slew of manufacturers to build exactly what I wanted to own, and removed the road block of egregious licensing fees and obscene wait times on paperwork. It also opened up the AR-15 Pistol to the amateur assembler market. In other words, AR Pistol components became part of our AR-15 'Mr. Potato Head' build-it-yourself world.

Now, yours truly does not own an AR that I haven't assembled myself from dis,dat,and da udder ting.  Frankenrifles all... and they function like champions.  That being the case, why not build my own AR pistol / PDW boomedy boom?

This may surprise ya'll, but this Old Fat Man ain't rich.  In fact, being down for several moons after major surgery, and having my income slashed..... I am downright poor-ish just now.  That means this build had to be financed by thinning 'o the herd.  Yes, I sold some of my collection.  While I was at it, I traded some for a few months rent as well.   In the end, I had enough to live well while healing, and to build meself A TOY!

Building (Assembling?) an AR-15, one is faced with choices.  The quality is all across the board, as well as the pricing.  One must make decisions.   Discerning, intelligent, researched decisions. 

Yes, there are those who will swear up and down that anything built with XXX parts is dangerous junk, which will get you killed, maim your unborn children, and probably start a famine in Vermont at the same time.

Others will say "Hey!  Da boomedy Boom go Bangedy Bang almost every time, and dats good 'nuf".

Me, I'm kinda in the low middle here.  I've owned a bunch of firearms in almost every classification that doesn't require begging for special permission, and I've formed a few opinions.  Pistols, rifles, shotguns.... yeah, quality counts.  AR-15 stuff?  Quality counts, but if they meet basic specs, they will usually perform satisfactorily.

In fact, with all the AR-ish devices that have passed into and through my hands over the years, the only ones that gave me headaches were from what's considered high end manufacturers; Colt and Rock River.

With this pistol build, I believe I'm building something that's going to stay in the family for a long... long.... time.  That being the case, I'm okay with stretching out the wallet and shooting for a little better example of the breed.  But, how much more, and spent where?

In the end, here is what I built.  Meet... Pew Pew:

AR Pistol budget build
  • Yankee Hill Machine bare receiver, bought on sale: $125.00
  • PSA 10.5" upper, with KAK flash can, Midwest Industries Mlok forearm, BCG and Charging handle, and Magpul MBUIS sights: $369.95
  • PSA lower build kit with Magpul grip, Enhanced trigger group, and SBA3 pistol brace: 189.99
  • Sig Sauer Romeo 5 red dot sight bought on Amazon: $129.99
  • Streamlight TLR-1 High Lumen weapon light, bought on Amazon:  $115.70
  • Total on budget build:  $930.63

Now, contrast what I built to what would be a comparable high end weapon, using top of the line components.  You know... the ones some people swear 'won't get ya kilt on the streets'.

 AR Pistol high end build
  • Daniel Defense Mk18 pistol, complete minus sights, on Bud's: $1652.00
  • Troy industries sight set, on Amazon: $168.95
  • Aimpoint Micro red dot sight, on Amazon: $570.00
  • LaRue Tactical Aimpoint Micro optic mount, on Amazon: $148.14
  • Surefire X300 weapon light, on Amazon: $200.00
  • Total on high end build: $2740.09                   
I suppose if I had plans of being a door kicker and entering into running gun battles, I might consider a weapon that costs THREE TIMES AS MUCH as what I built to be a good investment.  On the other hand, every single 'low end' AR-15 I have built has performed flawlessly, without a single hiccup.  That includes taking the cheapest possible budget parts, tossing them together dry, and running 500 rounds through to see what happens.  What happened was.... nothing special.  It fired every single round, accurately, without a fuss, and *without lube*!

By the time I put a sling on it, my PDW build will be a 'tousand dollar toy.  A toy good enough to also be our 'bump in the night' weapon.  In fact, if I can find one local-ish, I'm going to shoot for (get it?) a carbine course I can take with this thing.  Failing that, we will just burn up a case or two of ammo playing.

I guess my basic question is this.  Is there a point at which Cost Vs. Quality tips over and becomes diminishing returns?  

I'm happy with my Pew-Pew build.  It scratches that itch, and serves the uses I have for it.  In a way, It's like my carry pistol.  I've holstered that ugly little Glock for years and years, because it works.  Yes, I have pistols in the safe that cost 3x what the Glock does, but why should I carry them when that ugly $500 Glock performs flawlessly and doesn't hurt my feelings when it takes wear?
Pew-Pew is like that.  Functional.... and I honestly like the way it looks and handles.

Bet ya any amount of cash..... when herself gets around to shooting Pew-Pew, I'll be building another right quick.

Pew..... Pew......

Thursday, July 5, 2018

AR Pistol. I haz a wants.

I put forth this theory:

An AR-15 'pistol' with a 10.5" barrel and a 'Brace' (that is most assuredly NOT a SBR with a rifle stock as the BATFIEO has carefully explained) would make a dandy home defense weapon.  Especially so out here in the semi-sticks where I live.  A place where neighbors are not RTFT on the other side of the wall, and our local po-po ain't local in any way at all.

Equipped with stupid bright weapon light and green laser, both for target ID and rapid sighting.

Maybe something that looks like this:

Only with a few more inches on the tube, and an adjustable 'brace'.  Oh, and sights, just in case there's any sighting to be done.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A PSA regarding Palmetto State Armory...

I have built a handful of ARish devices using components bought from Palmetto State Armory.  Mostly, I've been quite pleased with the products they've sold me.  Decent quality at excellent prices.  In fact, thinking back, I haven't really had a single complaint about anything I've bought from them.

Along the way though, I've learned a few things about ordering from PSA that I'd like to share.

  • Don't be in a hurry.  Really..... Don't order from PSA if you have any kind of time limit before your project idea bursts into flames or something.  They will ship when they ship. It might be a couple days.... it might be a couple weeks.  Remember: Good, Cheap, or Fast.... pick any two.  Fast is not on PSA's radar.
  • Forget about tracking numbers and such.  Somehow, PSA renders them meaningless.  Occasionally they work, but my experience has been hit and miss. More likely than not, my purchase arrived on the same day PSA marked it shipped.  In fact, I have an item still marked 'processing' which arrived here months ago.
  • There's not much point to calling and asking where your stuff is. I only tried this once, but it ended with the distinct impression the organization might be a bit understaffed and over-flustered.  Just have patience.   I have read they will fix any real issues, but understand that ship happens when it happens.
That's about it for the PSA.... um..... PSA.  

Yes, I am waiting on some stuff from them.  
Yes, it promises to be a ball.  
No, I won't tell you what it is.  
You'll just have to wait..... like I am.

I'll share the build when it comes together  (Smile).

Everyday Blades.....

Tam started me thinking about this.

I *think* I've had this Kershaw for about 10 years now. 8 at the least. The Kershaw I bought as backup has been laying in my sock drawer so long the box fell apart. Under $40 at the time, and a squeal of a deal at that.

It's an Onion designed blade, with the 'Speedsafe' opening device. I DO like the fast and easy way the blades snaps out with it's spring assist. It's also easy enough to open against my leg or with two hands so the straights don't wet their panties.

It used to have a more pointier point, but like almost every pocket knife I've had.... something happened to it. I've gotten good at re-shaping blade points, and have arrived at this tiny Tanto profile that just suits how I use pocket knives.

The point snapped off, the anodizing of the scales is worn and dinged, and the edges went shiny years ago. All that just means it's proven itself in some pretty harsh working environments.

A Navy shooter once queried why I was carrying it in my shirt pocket (At the time). I explained I was an instructor in a public school, with high school seniors as students. I had learned that anything in my pants pockets could be lifted or fall out, but not so easily from a shirt pocket. It just took time to learn the draw.

This old bugger still responds to stone and steel, and manages to bear up to daily carry. I've got others, and lot's more expensive ones, but this is what I carry.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Curiosity... what I carry every day.... what do you carry?

As Winter sets in, load outs change. Jackets and vests have 'stay there' stuff in the pockets, and that includes back up guns.

My everyday carry is the same Glock G-30sf .45 I've holstered for.... lets see.... 7 years now.  Give or take.

Not long after buying it, I installed a Lasermax Guide Rod laser.  Crimson Trace doesn't make anything for this pistol, and tells me they don't intend to.  So.... the Lasermax, and after a few hiccups it's been working perfectly all these years.  It's even generated a story or two, which I'll share some day.

The G-30 also picked up a Lone Wolf disconnecter along the way.  That and the laser are the only changes I've made to the basic platform.  Aside from taking a good shot at wearing the finish off from daily carry, that is. 

In the vest, as BUG, my Ruger LCP.  This pistol has lived in one pocket or another for over five years now, removed only to be cleaned and have an uncomfortable box of ammo run through it occasionally.

Both the G-30 and the LCP are loaded with Liberty Civil Defense ammo.  I'm happy with the performance I've seen from it in my testing, but I'm not wedded to it.  One day I'll run out of the stuff, and look around for the next premium defensive ammo I'd like to carry.  Since I tend to shoot very few people..... as in none....I'll have to trust 'statistics' in my ammo selection  (Let's hope I am never forced to add to those statistics).

Alternate BUG, living in the jackets for those really cold days.... a Taurus stainless .357 snubby loaded with 158 grain LHP's  (The classic FBI load).   It too gets fired and cleaned regularly, which is why it wears a decent recoil absorbing grip.  I could see this pistol getting a Crimson Trace grip on it, one day soon.  I'm a fan, when they make something that fits what I have.

Okay, that's the daily carry load, depending on what I'm wearing I guess. The G-30 is rather like my pants.  If I'm wearing one, I'm wearing both.  The BUG's have their place, and generally go along with me anytime it's cool enough to wear a garment.

So.... I'm curious.   What do you chose?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

BlackDog Concealment holsters... a visit to the shop.

A few weeks ago (as I write this), I had the honor of visiting Carl Witt in his dungeon at BlackDog Concealment holsters.  There, I watched as he masterfully crafted my very own IWB hybrid holster.

I found BlackDog holsters through an ad placed in our local gun club's newsletter.  The usual ads, the size of a business card, which local business's use to support a local club and reach out to local customers.

In my case, I noticed just how close BlackDog is to my home (about 10 minutes), and thought to myself "Self... Maybe you can see how this Kydex holster making stuff actually works!"

Contacting Carl, he readily agreed to open the dungeon doors and show me how the magic is made. 

BlackDog is a 'Retirement' business for Carl, who spent his life making machines behave.  Now, he spends time with his son building holsters to, as he puts it, make money to buy beer and gas.  I have a feeling it's gone a bit beyond that at this point.  

I asked how he got started making holsters, and got exactly the answer I suspected.  Carl shoots competition, and just couldn't find a holster he was happy with... so he made his own.  And another.  And another.  And..... before long it just happened.  Asked if he advertises, Carl replied "No, pretty much just word of mouth".  Asked how many holsters he makes a day right now, he says about ten or twelve.   Doing the math on how long it took him to make mine (while I had to keep dancing to stay out of his efficient way), I gather Carl's 'retirement' business is more than a full time affair.

I chose the Hydrid IWB Minimalist holster for my Glock 30sf.  This holster has a leather backing where it touches the body, and a Kydex outer sheath which is molded to fit the pistol.  It attaches to the belt with a springy polymer clip, allowing the holster to be installed and removed easily while fully dressed.  Pistol retention is achieved by the shape of the molded Kydex, and is fairly stiff.

The process of making the holster is pretty straight forward, yet Carl's attention to detail is profound.  There are rows of identical machines, each set up to perform a specific function.  I believe the man orders presses and buffers by the six pack.

When I ordered the holster, I half expected to hear back the 30 'SF' was a no-go.  It has different dimensions than most compact Glocks, and many accessory makers don't work with it because demand is too low.

Silly me..... Carl has that covered.  He has wall full of 'Blue Guns', used to mold the Kedex.  All neatly arranged, classified, and marked.... just like everything else in the work shop.  There is also an impressive collection of lasers and weapon lights arranged in likewise fashion.  They can match up most combinations of pistol and attached light to build a perfectly fitting concealed  carry holster.  In fact, I am now considering mounting a light on my daily carry G-30sf, simply because now I know I can get a holster to fit it.

There is an equally impressive wall full of custom wood and metal dies used to mark off and form the leather and Kydex.   Most appear to be made in house, in separate wood and metal working shops.  Carl is pretty much a jack of all trades, and it shows in the custom jigs and fitting used around the workshops.

So... the real question.... what about the holster?

Like most people who carry for self defense, I have amassed the 'Big Box 'O Holsters'.  Bought at one time or another in efforts to find something better.  That said, I've been been carrying in the very same Galco JAK Slide daily for maybe 15 years.  It's simple, fits, and works well enough I'm willing to let the few down-checks pass. 

I've now been carrying with the BlackDog holster for a few weeks, and find it to be more comfortable than I imagined. It's the first IWB holster I've had that doesn't rub or irritate in any way at all.  It's also at least as secure as the Galco Slide, if not more so.  I like the idea of installing and removing the weapon and holster as a unit, giving me a few less chances each day of having an accidental discharge.

Like any holster, there are a few quibbly things I'd consider changing, and just might ask Carl's advice on.  Those aside, I believe this holster will not be destined for the 'Big Box', but will be worn in rotation with the Galco for quite a while to come.  It's *very* comfortable, quite secure, easy to install and remove, draws nicely, and re-holsters WAY better than the JAK Slide.

I'm happy with it.    

BlackDog holsters gets the Fat Man's approval.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Well, I didn't shoot anyone this morning......

So I've got that going for me.  I mean, not shooting people is on my daily to-do list, and it's always good to get the big stuff out of the way bright and early.

On the other hand, I did put hand to weapon, and was quite ready to go the next step if pushed.

Let me 'splain.   I'll do this in 'bullet point fashion' as chronological order is best I think.

  • I was up at 3am, for a 4:30 alarm.  Blasted leg cramps... so lots of time for coffee, reading, and getting ready for my day.  Towards that end, I was dressed and ready to boogie by 5am. although Herself was not ready till 5:30.... sigh.   By dressed, I mean dressed, and that includes a G-30 in a belt holster and fully charged Fenix flame-throwing flashlight (Which I use all day at work).
  • 5:30, we go out the front door.  My car is parked directly in front of the house. Herself is in a foot cast, and I make that commute to the car as short as possible, both coming and going. Thus the car is 10 feet from the house, along our sidewalk.
  • I 'Chirp' my car unlocked, and open the passenger rear door to toss in a spare uniform for this hot and sultry day.  In the light of the interior courtesy light, a dark lump is on my front seat.
  • First thought.... "What did I leave on my seat?".  Second thought.... "I left NOTHING on my seat".  Third thought.... "I recall not locking my car last night".  Fourth thought.... "Someone put something on my seat".    Now, all these thoughts took place in less than a second.
  • The Dark Lump Moved.
  • .0002 seconds later, the dark something has resolved itself into a white male with a beard, buzzed short hair, a black shirt/jacket/whatever.  Facing rearward, curled up, his face buried into my headrest.
  • I reacted .0003 seconds later.  I stepped back, creating distance, and said the obligatory 'Oh Shit' at the same time one hand went to my weapon and the other to my light. There I froze, waiting movement from the Mr. Dark Lump Dude.  The car interior light was enough to see him by, now that I knew what he was.
  • Thoughts:  "Do I know this guy?" NO.   "Is that one of my sons?"  NO.   "Is that a former student?"  Always a chance.   This took another .0002 seconds.
  • Herself reacts by asking "What's the matter?"
  • I respond with "THERE IS A GUY IN MY CAR AND I'M ABOUT TO SHOOT HIM!".   The thought..... if this guy is conscious that may provoke response.  I've had experience rousting drunks and bums in a former life, and sometimes it takes a real push to get a reaction. They will often play dead just to be left alone.
  • No response from Mr. Dark Lump Dude... except some twitching.
  • I shut the door, backed up to the porch, and engaged my light while keeping a hand close to my weapon.  A few moments looking, and it's pretty clear what I am facing. A scruffy guy who was stumbling down the road, and took shelter in the car to sleep off whatever he's on.  My guess, only slightly educated, would be heroin, alcohol, and weed.
  • Breath, and back down from Defcon 1 to Defcon 2. 
  • Call 911, but first... use my phone to take a few pictures of the guy. I know calling 911 will lock my phone all to hell up and disable every other function.   Mr. Dark Lump Dude never even moves as the flash goes off. 
  • Give a concise description to the operator, get transferred a few times, end up with our State Police who cover this area.  I describe it all again, say thank you, hang up, and begin waiting.
  • Response time was about 15 minutes, as I was quite clear we were in no fear of harm.
  • The nice officers arrived, each took a side of the car, and there was a little bit of 'point the guns' and "Show me your hands!".  Lump Dude had no idea what was happening, where he was, or probably who he is.  To be purely honest, my foremost thought was "Man, please don't shoot him in my car!  That will be a bitch to clean!"  I MAY have said that out loud.  Not sure on that.
  • 6am.... we wiped down the interior with bleach wipes and hit the road to work.
 One lesson learned:  I have grown very complacent on home security. Especially with the passive stuff.  My car should not have been there, should not have been unlocked, and the motion lights should have been working. I should have checked that car before ever getting near it.

Other lessons are coming to light, as I think about it. One is that I should clean my car out more than once a week..... sheesh.