Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Advantage Arms Glock 30 Conversion

I've been having a hard time finding a 19/23 LE kit. I was on's backorder list for over a month and a half. I found 29/30 kits were more available so I picked one up. I only have one magazine for it, so I can't properly use it to train for my CCW, but that's just a matter of time.

I was very nicely impressed with the quality. Even the translucent case is very nice. It even has two locking holes next to the handle. I had some problems getting the slide to lock on assembly, but there's probably a little trick to doing it smoothly. I should probably read the instructions fully. My bad.

It comes with some pretty clear warnings about ammo to stay away from. So, I started of with a 100 rounds of CCI Mini Mags. I couldn't get through a single mag with out a FTF, FTI, or some other strange malfunction. I'm really hoping that it was due to a lack of cleaning or a faulty mag (which I wouldn't be so psyched about).

I've only been to the range once with it and had quite a lot of problems with it. I didn't clean it before I used the kit, so that probably played a huge factor in it's reliability. I've cleaned it pretty well and intend on oiling it up for my next range session. I was happy with the accuracy. I was getting about 2" at 7 yards. Yeah, I know, I suck. That's what this kit is for, practice baby.

I really believe in this kit, even though I had so many problems with it. I went ahead and bought a 19/23 model through GunBroker and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It'll be a great way for my wife and sister-in-law to shoot. They won't have to worry about recoil or excessive noise.

Here's some other reviews (in no particular order):
From shooter2-indy
From Owen
YouTube Video on Assembly

(original 12/14/07)

UPDATED: I just got my 19/23 LE kit. I was on and almost every other Internet retailer's waiting list for one of these and I got sick of waiting. If you're waiting, check out the - I got mine for $238 plus nominal shipping.

My wife and I went out yesterday and shot about 150 rds of CCI Mini-Mags and Remington Golds both in 40 grains. This time I thoroughly cleaned the kit and lubed it with Wilson's gun grease - great stuff by the way. I didn't have any oil on hand, but hoped the grease would suffice. The only problems we had were a few FTE's that were due to the wax-lube build-up from the Mini-Mags. Otherwise, we were able to burn through the 10-rd mags without much trouble. I'm fairly confident that with enough lubrication, the Advantage Arms kits will run great.

I'll have to adjust the sights a little. The 19/23 kit was shooting a couple inches high and a little to the right at around 15-20 yards. I'm really happy that I'll be able to improve my trigger control and general handling at a fraction of the price of 9mm FMJ.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Beta Company: C-Mag

Oh, this thing kicks ass. It stores indefinitely fully loaded, no external devices to manipulate to render functional, and 100 rounds fully loaded! I wonder how heavy that thing is fully loaded?

I just found that and probably others are now selling a version of the C-Mag with a clear back panel for ammo level checks.

UPDATE: I doubt I'll drop the cash for one of these. I found a pretty scathing review and other negative remarks on forums. I think I'll be putting my money into P-Mags instead.

What's for dinner?

I had a few links lying around for MRE's and I thought that it was time that I pull them together for future reference.

Aside from keeping a few extra packages of random food-stuffs, I hardly have a well thought out supply of food and water for emergencies.

I suppose I should start with water, being one can live only 3 miserable days without water before dying of dehydration. Past one day and you'll be irritable at best and feeling pretty sick when you're not intensely busy with keeping breathing, securing shelter, and looking for water. I've been dehydrated before and it must have been relatively severe because I though that death would have been an acceptable alternative (in a purely sardonic way).

So, the two issues I see with water are finding a supply of it and keeping it clean and handy. Maybe that's three... but as for finding it, it would be best to go to your two week storage of water and smile that you have it, then go look for a source where you can get more. Walmart might not be there to bail us out, so I'll plan on getting two 55-gallon barrels to store an initial amount of water. In addition, I'll be saving almost any jug I can to keep about another 55 gallons in smaller amounts. I have two water filters, one for the car and another for the house to keep the water clear of sediment and biological nasties. I'm not too worried about viruses given that we live in North America. That should do for an extended emergency.

As for food, well, I'm pretty short there. I have some freeze-dried camping meals and a few Datrex bars, but we'll need something much more extensive for that. I'm not thinking of the 1-year minimum required by the Church of Latter Day Saints, but somethings sensible. There's food that you need immediately in an emergency, stuff that you can eat without preparation, and things for long term storage. I'll be focussing on a combination of Datrex bars, MRE's and probably freeze-dried items.

The Datrex blue bars are Coast Guard certified and are good for 3600 calories that could be extended to about three days of light activity per person. I haven't tried any yet, but some damn mice found my stash in the basement and somehow smelt the goodies within and chowed down on a couple packets. Little bastards... but it was my fault. I'll keep these bars in my car, at work, at home for those emergencies where I might not be able to get at the rest of my stash immediately. They'll probably be good to barter with later as well.

I'm still researching MRE's, but there looks like there are a few good choices available. According to one article I've read, I'll have to choose carefully since there is a big difference between the civilian rations available. Looks like there are a number of good sources for MRE's like The Epicenter and aPack. For myself, I'll probably look into getting something to cover my wife and I for about two weeks: 84 meals or 7 cases. That's like almost $500 not including shipping and handling. I'll have to do that a case at a time.

(work in progress)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ammo testing

Note to self:

Another Zombie Movie...

WARNING - Spoiler:
I just came back from watching Legend in IMAX. It was a few more bucks, but definitely worth it.

Well to cut to the chase, for about a third of the movie, you'll see Will carrying around a pretty common (for the military) M4 with an ACOG and a rail-mounted light. From this still shot of the trailer, it looks like a laser-light combination, but he never uses the laser in the movie. He never did find night vision which doesn't seem too likely given that he was military. You'll also see him with a Beretta M9A1, what looks like an H&K USP and another semi-auto with a SS slide that he fishes out of a drawer in his apartment (sorry too quick for me to ID). Aside from using his M4 to hunt deer (which is plausible) there aren't any utterly unrealistic firearms depictions in the movie aside from the classic: no hearing damage from discharging a firearm within an enclosed area.

As for the story. I liked it. My wife thought there were too many "what a stupid move that was" or "what the hell was he thinking then" scenes to really enjoy the movie, but my wife always over thinks plots. Aside from using his dog to hunt deer with by chasing them, I didn't see too many things that I thought made the plot unbearable.

I recently read a great article on the Alpha Rubicon site that totally does away with the effectiveness of backpack survival. The author argues that the only stable survival situation in many cases is a small self-sufficient, relatively-isolated community. The movie depicts just this as the final sanctuary of civilization.

Go check it out (correct my mistakes above) and enjoy it. If you're living in NYC if something like this happens, I doubt you'd be as lucky.

Visit the Official I Am Legend Website

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cashman Gunshow Dec 15-16th

This weekend is another "Crossroads of the West" gun show here in Las Vegas. I went to the same show in October. From their website, it looks as though they have four shows here a year.

I'd never been to a gun show before the one in October. I've been to a few trade shows before. Two Macworld conventions - one in Boston and one in NYC and an Outdoor Retailer show in Utah. Those trade shows had glitz and glamor, but it wasn't really the scene where you could really buy something for yourself. You could get a lot of free products, but it was more about showing off the stuff for the upcoming year.

This gun show is more a massive flea market, with the coolest toys you can ever imagine. There's a lot of silly junk as well, but you know what they say about "one man's junk..." Not much glitz or glamor here, but that's alright with me.

I went by myself the first time. I found an online coupon that saved me a buck on the entry cost. When I got there I was buzzing with excitement. There were folks in the parking lot returning to their cars with rifles, pistols, gun cases, and ammo pulled in heavy duty carts. It was awesome and I hadn't even been inside yet. There were families, old folks, young folks, almost anyone you could imagine.

Unfortunately, inside I wasn't able to take any pictures. It was mayhem. I set up my cruising path and drooled over the tables and tables of guns and accessories. I bought some really good beef jerky, some ammo, a mag or two and then I finally decided to pick up my Glock 30. I'd been dreaming of getting one ever since I decided to relegate my Kahr PM9 to "pocket-backup".

There was a huge line since the national background check system had been off-line. I stood in line behind a guy that was buying an XD40 and another who was buying his first Colt AR-15. I can't remember off hand, but I got a pretty good deal. I was given a special option to pay with a personal check rather than have to pay an additional surcharge to use my credit card.

The gentleman buying the XD40 was in his 50's and was buying his first handgun. He had his son and grandson visit him in line and they were off looking for different ammo, so perhaps his son had guns and turned him into a proud gun owner. I said he'd be very happy with his XD40. I told him I had an XD45ACP. I said that the only thing I've heard that comes remotely close to criticism is that they aren't "from" America. Thinking that Springfield Armory made them, he thought they were American. I didn't push it. He'll be happy.

This weekend, my wife is coming with me. We'll probably buy more jerky, some ammo, perhaps a mag or two, and maybe a few odds and ends. I'd really like her to be less mystified with gun culture. I'd really like to see her a shooter as well. I might bring my brother-in-law as well. He's been out shooting with me as well and might enjoy the scene.

I'd really like to buy some stuff off my wish list, but that'll have to wait.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Pearl Harbor Day

USS Shaw under attack

My wife and I were headed to the Post Office today to mail a shipment of Christmas presents off and on the way in I noticed the flag was flying half-mast. I wondered why, and thought it might have something to do with some of the recent rampage-shootings.

While weighing in our packages, the woman working there gave me the date for a form I was doing and said "December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day". I felt bad because I had forgotten - not that it was today, but the date in general. I'm sort of in vacation-mode now and lose track of days sometimes.

I'd like to say thank you to all of the service men and women who died and served that day. I've been to Hawaii a few times, but never to the memorial in Pearl Harbor. I think I should do that my next trip out.

I am of the "younger generation", but I don't want to forget and I want my kids to always remember the incredible sacrifices my grandparent's generation gave for our country. So, thank you to all.

Friday, November 02, 2007

To Hunt or Not-to-Hunt

I've always wanted to go hunting. I can't describe it, but maybe it's being outdoors, maybe it's exercising my rights, maybe it's the challenge and thrill, maybe it's the self-sufficiency... I don't know.

When I think about it, depending on what's being hunted, I don't have any moral qualms. I'm not so superior to think that it's inherently cruel. I did see a video of a guy talking an elephant from about 50 or so yards and it bothered me. On a different note, I don't eat octopus sushi - yeah, because I don't like the texture, but also because I really admire their intelligence and... no, you know what... now I am sounding superior. I don't like the way octopus tastes. I like elephants and lots of other creatures - alive. I don't think I want to get into the rationalization-game here. I just want to learn to hunt. Maybe I'll hunt varmints. Maybe I'll hunt game I can eat. Maybe I'll go after a trophy.

I really do want to earn my right to hunt. I dunno if that makes sense or not, but I know I wasn't raised in a hunting family and that's fine. I do want to respect other hunters and most importantly the game. So, I'll have to figure out how I can get started. That is, if my wife "let's me".

New additions to the gun locker

In the last month or so I've picked up three new additions that nicely round out my arsenal.
Mossberg 590 with a Speedfeed stock (50668)
I was literally talked into this one and if a gun purchase could ever fall into the impulse-buy catagory, this one would be it. We needed a shotgun and I've been thinking about getting one since I began buying guns. I almost immediately upgraded it with a Surefire 623FA.
I had problems installing the fore end because the light hit the bayonet lug attached to the barrel band. The place I bought it from didn't tell me that I might have problems even though the salesman said afterwards that he knew there might be problems. What the hell is that? What a prick. I probably would have bought the fore end anyhow, but it would have been nice to know about potential problems before making the purchase. Surefire didn't have anything about it on their sight either. After two sessions with the store's gunsmith, I had the bayonet lug milled off and I was back in business. I need the light more than a bayonet, I just hate to change a gun unless absolutely necessary - it was necessary. I have to say that I was pretty concerned about the recoil. My .308 Springfield Armory M1A kicked me pretty hard to the point I needed a shooting pad. I'm about 140lbs and don't have a lot of bulk. I've read that with the right recoil I should be able to handle larger caliber firearms. I found a cool article on shooting a shotgun using an alternative stance and it's worked wonders. I'm anxious to try it out with my M1A as well. I'm more bothered by the noise of a heavy OO Buckshot load than its recoil. I still need lots of practice and training.
Glock 19
I am a fan of Glocks. I like their reliability, handling, and range of accessories. I have another 9mm model, the 17. I bought that one a few years ago. The model 19 is a wonderful sized pistol, something that my wife can shoot comfortably. Ultimately, I'm planning on keeping the 17 in the car and the 19 around the house for that bump-in-the-night. I'll have to look into getting a good light for it as well, whether it be hand-held or a weapon-light.
Glock 30
I had bought a Kahr PM9 for CCW. I had barrel-peening problems and still have to have that fixed. I'm confident that Kahr will take care of me, but I ultimately decided that I want to carry a .45ACP. I think I'll need a considerable amount of training to pass the CCW qualification, but that won't have as much to do with the caliber as my trigger skills. I bought a Thunderwear holster for it since there's no way I could conceal a 30 on my hip, not with my build. I'm planning on carrying it with a 9 rd magazine with a 13 rd back up. I still plan on carrying the PM9 in a pocket holster, just in case.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Reloading Resources

Reloader's Nest
Reloading, Basic Rules
Reloading FAQ
Reloading Info
Chuck Hawks on Reloading
Reloading Links
Reloading Steps
Where to Start Reloading

Reloading Setup:
  1. Lee "Modern Reloading 2nd Ed.", Lyman 48th Ed. Reloading Handbook
  2. Lyman Turbo 600 Case Tumbler
  3. Lee Primer Pocket Cleaner
  4. Lee Case Trimmer & Lock Stud
  5. Lee 9mm Case Length Guide & Shell Holder
  6. Lee Chamfer Tool
  7. Lee Hand Press Kit
  8. Lee Deluxe Pistol Dies
  9. Lee Powder Funnel
  10. Lee Improved Powder Measure Kit
  11. RCBS 502 Scale
  12. Frankfurt Arsenal 6" Calipers
  13. Frankfurt Arsenal Bullet Holders
Raw materials:
  • Brass
  • Case Lube
  • Primers
  • Powder
  • Bullets

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A look at SIGarms

I took my brother-in-law to a local gun shop yesterday and began shopping around for something he can keep around the house. We actually looked at a few automatics and an 870 Tactical for first-line home defense.

The initial handgun line up was a G21SF, an XD45ACP, and a SA 1911 Operator. He immediately chose the heft of the 1911. I didn't think to show him a SIG until we were just about to leave. He really liked the SIG and I did too. I never held one before and really liked it, even more so than the 1911.

I've chosen Glock for its dependability and cost-effectiveness. My XD45ACP holds more than a P220, but the SIG merits a closer look. There's so much I still don't know about firearms, but that's the fun.

I just hope we can get to the range soon to rent one out and run it through the paces. I'm still going to pick up a G21SF for myself, but I'll be looking closely into the SIG for sure.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Buying a gun in a different state...

I'm just starting to research whether or not I can buy a handgun in a different state from the one my driver's license was issued.

I'm moving and I was hoping I could buy a new handgun before I went and got a new driver's license.

Any clues any one?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Great advice for taking out a beginning shooter

This was a response on a forum I frequent and I thought it was excellent advice. I wish I knew better the first time I took some friends out to shoot. I look back on pictures from the day and realize that not everyone was always wearing eye protection!
For beginners, I always try to have a classroom session to introduce new shooters to the 4 basic safety rules, and to show them how to align the sights with the target, stance, grip, and trigger press, and the basics of how the handgun functions mechanically (easier than trying to show someone how to load magazines or operate a safety lever or open the cylinder while other people are shooting and making noise around you). The classroom session can be in your home or at a range's classroom (some ranges will let you use the room for free if you are a regular customer and tell the manager that you are introducing a newbie to shooting) if it is not already reserved for a class. Call before you go.

Be sure that the ear plugs or muffs fit properly and actually block the sound before entering the firing line. Lots of beginners don't know how much sound is supposed to be blocked, so they may initially accept incomplete fitting, then get annoyed or scared by the muzzle blast. I tell beginners that the plug or muff should block 90% of the sound, and then snap my fingers next to their ears, before and after fitting the ear protection, so they can experience the difference before going to the firing line. Glasses can cause poor seal of ear muffs, unless the glasses are worn over the muffs.

Naturally, eye protection is a requirement.

The neckline of the shirt/blouse should be fairly high and closely fitted, to prevent hot brass from getting inside. As you may guess, this can be a bigger problem for women, since they are more likely to wear loose or low-necklines than men.

I find that .22 LR is the way to start most people, although people who are seriously hypersensitive can benefit from starting with an air pistol (I have a Daisy Powerline 717 that is inexpensive, has a decent trigger pull and sights, and is far more accurate than even the average experienced shooter), since it has essentially no recoil or noise. It's drawback is that it is a single shot handgun and must be pumped once for each shot.

As for the type of .22, I differ from most people who prefer to start with a revolver. I find that a nice full-size .22 semi-auto is quite suitable for beginners as long as you show them how it works, start them out with only 1 round in the mag, and watch them carefully while they shoot (which you should do anyway, with any beginner). After they have tried a couple of cycles of "one round in the mag", I let them load 2 or 3. If they do fine with that, 5 or 10 is ok. Watch for slide lock to determine empty gun.

It is not "cheating" for a beginner to use a rest at first.

I emphasize that if anything (ANYTHING) does not go according to instructions, the student should keep holding the handgun with finger off trigger, pointing it downrange, and ask for help. I will be right there watching them, so it isn't hard to get my attention. Naturally, I am also watching constantly, so I may see any problem immediately and they may not even have to ask for help. I am always at their shoulder and prepared to block or grab the handgun if they inadvertently turn around.

Other calibers:

.25--not a good choice for beginners, since it is usually only available in tiny handguns that are too small, too fiddly, and have more recoil than the student is expecting.

.32 ACP--again, often available in small handguns with more recoil than expected (i.e. Seecamp .32 or Beretta Tomcat). If you have a nice medium size handgun in this caliber, it can be quite pleasant (Walther PP or Beretta 70S).

.32 Long or .32 H&R Magnum--pretty easy-going caliber in the usual medium size revolver, or target semi-auto.

.380 ACP--Can generate an unpleasant level of recoil for beginners, especially when fired in blowback semi-autos (which is to say, most guns available in this caliber). Fired in a locked-breech gun, the recoil is very mild (Colt .380 Govt. or Mustang, and very old versions of the Llama .380 Government)

.38 Special--Easy- going caliber with the right loads in full-size revolvers (i.e., S&W Model 10 with 4 or 6 inch barrel). Target wadcutters are loaded lighter than the duty rounds, so start with target wadcutters. Duty or self-defense rounds are loaded hotter, and +P loads are quite hot. Short barrels make everything worse (noise, muzzle backblast, recoil).

9mm Luger/Parabellum- -Standard loads have noticeable noise and recoil. +P loads can be fairly sharp.

.40 S&W, .357 Magnum, .45 ACP--all of these can be intimidating to beginners. .40 S&W normal load is practically a +P, the .357 Magnum is very high intensity, and the .45 has long been over-rated in terms of recoil. Choose wisely. Under no circumstances should a beginner shoot a snub .357!

However, some students are quite recoil and noise tolerant, so they may easily adapt to anything you throw at them. Might as well have one or two larger calibers with you, just in case your student is adventurous and wants to try the "big bores" like .357 Mag or .45. Or the student may want you to shoot it just to demonstrate what larger calibers do. No sense making them bored!

.44 Magnum, .454 Casull, .480 Ruger, .500 Magnum, etc.--Just don't! These are only for shooters with some experience.

If you wish to start with a .22 or .38 revolver, I'd suggest shooting in the single-action mode for beginners. The trigger pull is lighter and smoother, and the student is more likely to be able to hit the target. Double action can be frustrating and discouraging. Self-defense revolver training should almost always be double-action, but that can come later.

I commend you on your efforts to teach new shooters and I hope you and your student have fun!

Randall N. Herrst
The Center For The Study Of Crime
"Join now! Learn how to become a more effective activist!"
www.StudyCrime. org
310 213-4709

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Only Black or White?

I subscribe to a couple of forums. One of them is the Warriors for the 2nd Amendment. There are a number of interesting posts there and everyone seems well behaved for a forum. I recently read a post from the 4th.

This fellow presents an interesting argument...
Remember.... Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another:
reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a
choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your
bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one
of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact
through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social
interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is
the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use
reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your
threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon
that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger,
a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger,
and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys
with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical
strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a
The problem I see is that he has limited his argument to a binary paradigm. I'm sure he would agree (reason) that there are many more responses than just "reason and force". (Please feel free to add your own as well...) What about... ?
  • walking away
  • humor
  • non-compliance
  • friendship (I know it sounds silly, but it is an option)
Those are just a couple of general responses. There are probably many others depending upon the circumstances.

I'm not saying that using a firearm to defend yourself is not an option. Just the opposite. I believe that everyone should have that option as a means of self-defense when all other options are exhausted. I understand that those options can quickly run out within seconds depending on the situation, but to think that we walk around everyday with only to possible actions is only inviting serious reprocussions. You're practically flipping a coin with almost any request.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Latin Quotes?

What is up with all of the Latin quotes on gun forums?
"Mao periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem"
("Rather a dangerous liberty than a peaceful servitude")
Thomas Jefferson
"Una salus victus nullam sperare salutem"
(The one hope of the doomed is not to hope for safety)
Does using quotes from a different language make people feel like they are smarter than they actually are? Does Latin remind them of their childhoods in ancient Rome? Wow, you must be not only a learned scholar, but a Spartan warfighter too. I'm so happy for all you.

All I see is a bunch of armchair internet commandos posing as intellectual warriors... Latin quote = I'm SMART, I'm SMART!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Man with guns arrested at HACC

I found this link on one of the forums I frequent and was equally appalled by the lack of due process.

Posted by Tom Bowman/The Patriot-News June 20, 2007 12:57PM

A man armed with a 9 mm pistol who police said talked about Virginia Tech was arrested yesterday inside Cooper Student Center at Harrisburg Area Community College.

The man approached a student and said he had guns in his car, Harrisburg Police Chief Charles Kellar said.

"It would be worse than Virginia Tech if someone broke into my car. I have guns in the car," Dauphin County First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo quoted the man.

John Sakkas of Lemoyne said he heard about a man with a gun at Cooper Student Center during his 8 a.m. speech class today.

The student told an armed HACC security guard that the man had a pistol, and the guards called Harrisburg police, then watched him until police arrived, said HACC spokeswoman Tracy Mendoza.

City police searched the man, found the 9 mm loaded handgun in his backpack, then took him to the police station, Mendoza said.

Kellar said the man had a concealed weapons permit and was legally allowed to carry a pistol. Police searched his car and found a second pistol there and another firearm in his home.

Police talked with Chardo about charging the man. Chardo said what the man said would not qualify as a terroristic threat because there has to be an intent to terrorize another person.

"Because of the statement I was greatly concerned about this fellow," Chardo said. "I contacted the sheriff and had his license to carry a firearm revoked. And I asked police to commit him under Section 302 of the mental health procedures act and that was done. He is now ineligible to possess firearms because he was committed involuntarily."

Chardo said the law says a person cannot possess a firearm if they have been adjudicated incompetent or involuntarily committed for inpatient mental health care. (continues)
What has me worried is how quickly your rights can be stripped away from you with out any checks or balances or appeals.

Of course we don't want another VATech, but we can't let one or two people have control over Constitutional rights that are usually handled by the Supreme Court. This is bullshit!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Kestrel 4500

This is low on the priority list, but it would be a great addition to the toolbox. In addition to distance shooting, it would be great for sport kite sessions, kiteboarding and mountaineering. Granted, I haven't started kiteboarding and I'm not doing much mountaineering anymore. That's why it's pretty freaking low on the list of must-have's.

SafePacker: outback CCW

One of these would be perfect for a day out or on an extended trip. Wonder if they have one for my AR-15? Or another option from Uncle Mike's.

A possible goodie for my CCW Glock?

I've seen some positive reviews about mounting a small red dot to a CCW pistol. I'm impressed with the battery life and I believe it'll still keep a G27 pretty compact.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Justify your spending

"I got interests, not hobbies... you don't have to pay for things your interested in." - George Carlin

I wish I could be content with only interests, but alas I've had a number of hobbies - all of which get to be expensive over time. My long standing hobby has been computers. Sure, at times they've been my profession or at least a significant part of it. I've even been able to write them off for tax purposes. But, I use them a lot in my spare time as well. I don't play computer games often, but I'm usually tweaking my server, etc. It's crazy how much money I've spent on computers over my life time. I've got a network at home that out numbers the family members 2:1 - four of them, looking at a soon to be five.

The reason I'm writing is because I was just looking into the Mac OS X Leopard server that's due to come out next year for around $1000. "Not bad", I think - for what it will do. I can't justify buying it, but I'd definitely consider it. Having my own server kicks ass, even if I'm not using it to commercially host websites.

But then hold on. That's a new Glock, or XD45ACP, with a few extra mags and a half dozen boxes of premium ammo. Now my server will rock for another 5, 10, perhaps even 12 years, since computers age like dog years if not faster.
10.5 dog years per human year for the first 2 years, then 4 dog years per human year for each year after. (from Online Conversions)
But my new handgun or rifle will likely out last me. Especially the way I like to anally clean my weapons. As long as the S doesn't hit the fan... they'll be around a long time. Now that's what I call a value.

At the beginning, my new wife didn't mind my arsenal. Now she's complaining about why I need so many, that's 8 right now. I think we need a couple more to cover our bases and that's just what I'm going to do.

I think I'm going to keep my hobbies as well, but they'll probably get a smaller piece of the pie. :-)

I wonder how others balance their interests?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Liko Kenny kills officer then is shot by passer-by

Bode Miller's cousin kills officer, then is killed by passer-by

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.13.2007

FRANCONIA, N.H. (AP) — A cousin of skiing star Bode Miller fatally shot and ran over a police officer, then was killed by a passer-by who grabbed the officer's gun.
Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said Liko Kenney shot Cpl. Bruce McKay four times, then ran over him with his car after a traffic stop Friday night.

Gregory Floyd, who was driving by with his son, grabbed McKay's gun, then shot the 24-year-old Kenney when he refused to put his gun down, Ayotte said.

"This once again reminds of us of the difficult and dangerous work that is done everyday by the law enforcement of this state to protect each of us," Ayotte said at a news conference in Concord. (continues)

What a stunning story. What catches my attention the most is the brave citizen who stopped Kenney from doing any more damage. Even though Kenny didn't seem like a public enemy, he was obviously unbalanced. Regardless of his history with the police, you can't justify killing a cop, another human being, for those kinds of altercations. I hope Floyd is able to get the best lawyers to protect him from the victim's family.

As terrorism plots evolve, FBI relies on Agent John Q. Public

By Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writer
May 12, 2007

WASHINGTON — The FBI has hailed the breakup of an alleged plot to kill soldiers at Ft. Dix, N.J., as a major success story. But federal authorities acknowledge that the case has underscored a troubling vulnerability in the domestic war on terrorism.

They say the FBI, despite unprecedented expansion over the last 5 1/2 years, cannot counter the growing threat posed by homegrown extremists without the help of two often unreliable allies. One is an American public that they lament is prone to averting its attention from suspicious behavior and often reluctant to get involved. The other is a small but growing army of informants, some of whom might be in it for the wrong reasons — such as money, political ax-grinding or legal problems of their own.

Such dependence on amateurs is "not something that we would like. It's something that we absolutely need," said Special Agent J.P. Weis, who heads the FBI's Philadelphia field office and the South Jersey Joint Terrorism Task Force, which conducted the Ft. Dix investigation.

Weis and other FBI and Justice Department officials acknowledged they probably never would have known about the six men and their alleged plans had it not been for a Circuit City employee who reported a suspicious video.

And, they said, an FBI informant was instrumental in gathering evidence to file criminal charges by infiltrating the men's circle for 16 months as they allegedly bought and trained with automatic weapons, made reconnaissance runs and discussed plans.

Weis and others said the bureau had to rely on the public and on informants in domestic counter-terrorism investigations because of the changing nature of the global jihad and the threat it posed within the United States. (continues)
So, how does the public change from being reluctant to take part in our collective security while balancing the process of observing from digressing into McCarthy-ism?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Kahr PM9 Peened Barrel

After I bought my PM9 last summer, I've had feelings of dread every single time I think about it. I first noticed a problem with the pistol at the range while I was trying to field strip it. Then it would fail to return to battery after a shot. I'm not a very experienced gunner so I didn't realize that the barrel was getting peened after about 30 rounds. I ended the session at about 200 rounds and realized that I need to get this problem fixed.

I've finally done some searching and have realized that I'm not the only one with the same problem. A simple Google search "kahr pm9 peened barrel" yielded a number of valid forum posts addressing the same problem. Thankfully it sounds like Kahr is quick to fix the problems.

I love this gun and desperately want it back in the game. At least I'm not betting my life on it just yet.

Monday, April 23, 2007

One Gun Too Few

Posted on 04/22/2007 7:01:18 AM PDT by Dick Bachert

What the Washington Times of Tuesday, 17 April, aptly headlined as the “Massacre at Virginia Tech” is a tragedy that should—that must—teach this country a number of serious lessons.

First, that all so-called “gun-free zones” are exceedingly dangerous places. For all “gun-free zones” amount to “self-defense prohibition zones” for honest citizens, and therefore “free-fire zones” for psychopaths, “terrorists,” and other homicidal criminals. If common sense did not, certainly the experiences documented by researchers such as John Lott confirm that the less “gun free” an area is (in terms of firearms in the immediate possession of honest citizens ready and willing to use them), the less violent crime occurs there.

Virginia Tech has long been a “gun-free zone” for the purposes of its students’ self-defense. In the name of preventing violence, the university has prohibited every student with a Virginia license to carry a concealed firearm from doing so on campus. Surely debatable is whether such a regulation is even legal—given that such a license is a Virginia statutory right of any individual who qualifies for it (and, I should argue, a constitutional right as well) that no mere administrative body has any authority to deny. Beyond dispute is that events have written in blood just how disastrously that idea worked on Monday, 16 April 2007: Apparently everyone among the student body obeyed the edict, except the killer. The regulation perhaps disarmed students who might otherwise have legally been carrying a firearm with which they could have stopped the killer in his tracks. And the police, who were armed and on the campus, proved ineffective, because they were not on the scene. (continued)

Handgun Wounding Factors

The selection of effective handgun ammunition for law enforcement is a critical and complex issue. It is critical because of that which is at stake when an officer is required to use his handgun to protect his own life or that of another. It is complex because of the target, a human being, is amazingly endurable and capable of sustaining phenomenal punishment while persisting in a determined course of action. The issue is made even more complex by the dearth of credible research and the wealth of uninformed opinion regarding what is commonly referred to as "stopping power."

In reality, few people have conducted relevant research in this area, and fewer still have produced credible information that is useful for law enforcement agencies in making informed decisions.

This article brings together what is believed to be the most credible information regarding wound ballistics. It cuts through the haze and confusion, and provides common-sense, scientifically supportable, principles by which the effectiveness of law enforcement ammunition may be measured. It is written clearly and concisely. The content is credible and practical. The information contained in this article is not offered as the final word on wound ballistics. It is, however, an important contribution to what should be an ongoing discussion of this most important of issues.

Glock animation

The freakin' coolest animations if you're curious how your Glock really works.

New Orleans Residents Arming Themselves

I don't know if it's completely legit for me to post materials from copyrighted material like this, but I'd just hate to lose a link to a good article.
Sixty-four-year-old Vivian Westerman rode out Hurricane Katrina in her 19th-century house. So terrible was the experience that she wanted two things before the 2006 season arrived: a backup power source and a gun.

"I got a 6,000-watt generator and the cutest little Smith & Wesson, snub-nose .38 you ever saw," she boasted. "I've never been more confident." (continues)

New Orleans Residents Arming Themselves

I don't know if it's completely legit for me to post materials from copyrighted material like this, but I'd just hate to lose a link to a good article.
Sixty-four-year-old Vivian Westerman rode out Hurricane Katrina in her 19th-century house. So terrible was the experience that she wanted two things before the 2006 season arrived: a backup power source and a gun.

"I got a 6,000-watt generator and the cutest little Smith & Wesson, snub-nose .38 you ever saw," she boasted. "I've never been more confident." (continues)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Things I gotta think about

The Virginia Tech shootings have had me thinking about a lot...
  • psychological screening before handgun purchases
  • what psychological tendencies do mass murderers have?
  • safety vs. liberty
  • the constitution
  • what are violent crime rates
  • handgun ownership in other countries
  • historical tracking of violent crimes
  • violent crime prevented by self-defense
  • most effective means of self-defense
  • violent crime in cities with gun bans
  • state of Americans today
  • class 3 vs. semi-auto rifles w/ hi-cap vs. long arms vs. handgun crimes

Monday, April 16, 2007

Stressed out over ammo

I don't usually pay much attention to my dreams. But I had a slightly disturbing one last night and I know it's mostly because I'm relatively stressed out in my situation right now. No big deal.

In the dream, I was in a huge house with two elementary school friends - now grown up as well. We had to defend ourselves in the house from hoards of people or things outside. I know, cliche zombie movie. That much was entertaining. I had my small arsenal to which my friends added a couple firearms of their own. I only remember a .357 magnum revolver because I didn't have any rounds for it.

Which brings me to the heart of the "nightmare". We were adequately armed with various handguns and long arms, but I was haunted by the realization that we didn't have many rounds to fend off the intermittent waves of attackers. A few shot shells, a hand full of pistol rounds and a few mags worth of rifle rounds. That was it.

Once I woke up, I began to realize that I don't have a suitable stockpile of ammunition at home or cached away. I only have a total of about 500 rounds, not including about 500 rimfire rounds. I was planning on really building up what I have at hand, but I think I should really consider what I want to keep in stock. I'm not planning on an invasion. I just want to keep a comfortable cache for those "dry" times.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

N Range Indoor Shooting

I found this product from the forum. Looks interesting, but the ammunition is expensive and non-reloadable. A person would probably need about $2000 to get started.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

$5000 Shopping Spree

Starting with what I already have (in black) I'm looking to add some essentials to get me going before I have to start saving again. Additions in blue.
  • Springfield Armory M1a Loaded
    • 4 x 20rd magazines
    • 6 x 20rd magazines $240
    • cleaning kit $15
    • ?? sling
    • ?? spare parts
  • Ruger 10/22
    • 3 x 10rd rotary magazines
    • ?? sling
  • Springfield Armory XD45ACP
    • 2 x 13rd magazines
    • 6 x 13rd magazines $150
    • ?? holster $40
  • Glock 27
    • 3 x 9rd magazines
    • 1 x 15rd magazine
    • 5 x 15rd magazines $125
    • ?? CCW holster
  • Glock 17
    • 4 x 17rd magazines
    • 6 x 17rd magazines $150
    • .22LR Conversion Kit & 3 mags $325
    • ?? holster
  • Kahr PM9
    • 1 x 6rd magazine
    • 2 x 7rd magazines
    • 3 x 7rd magazines $100
    • ?? pocket holster
  • Browning Buckmaster
    • 4 x 10rd magazines
    • 6 x 10rd magazines $100
  • Rifle/Pistol cleaning kits
  • Ammo
    • .308
    • .223
    • .45
    • .40
    • 9mm
    • .22
Priorities are:
  1. 12ga Home Defense Shotgun
  2. POF 556 Piston Upper
  3. POF 762 Piston Rifle
A hypothetical order from Bushmaster
Another from Natchez
And another from Topglock
I'm not doing such a great job staying within my budget, but this is what it is all about. Start big and work down from there.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lost quotes

I just found these in a pile of papers I was going to throw out. Unfortunately I have no idea where I found them. Did I write them? :-) Doubt it.
In America, the burden of proof lies with those restricting civil liberties, not those who enjoy and protect those freedoms.
Liberals have just as many freedoms to protect as anyone else, perhaps even more.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Adjustable Shotgun Stock

I saw that Remington was selling "tactical" versions of their 870 shotguns with these stocks and they look like a great add-on for any shotgun! Knoxx makes some huge claims about how much felt recoil reduction you'll get, but aside from all the numbers, they have some wicked videos showing folks firing the shotgun with someone's should sandwiched between a wall and the stock and even someone firing the shotgun while it was pressed against his belly! I'm a pretty light guy, so something like this really appeals to me.

If you can't beat 'em, send a bunch of cartoons after them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Presidents with military service records

I was talking with a co-worker yesterday about Prince Harry's probable deployment to Iraq. We were talking about the the difference between the British Royalty and the off-spring of our own elected officials. I rather jokingly doubted that any U.S. President would have sent his own son into Iraq.

Of course, it isn't equitable to compare British Royalty to our own president. I'm not trying to argue that one way or another.

It did lead us to a conversation about the tradition of British Royalty to enter military service as compared to America's leaders. I disgustingly commented that it's been a while since we've had a leader with real military knowledge under his belt.

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

So, the question I had was how many U.S. Presidents had active military service (G.W. doesn't count) and what kind of record does the British Royalty have as well?