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.