Screw WordPress

I hate infinite scrolling. If I don’t check my facebook every day, then my news feed gets so long that my computer freezes before I get caught up. Unfortunately, I have learned that WordPress forces all blogs to use infinite scrolling, or the equally bad ‘load more posts’ system.

I’m planning to leave WordPress over this stupid bullshit. In the mean time, please use the monthly Archives links to the right if you want to read my older posts. Do not submit to this ‘infinite scrolling’ insanity.

More info here:

http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/disabling-infinite-scrolling/

http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/there-we-go-again/

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1-Year Review

Here we are, quickly approaching the end of 2015. It’s been a hellish year. I lost by dear friend a little over a year ago, I was sick for the first 6 weeks of 2015, I spent 2 weeks in the hospital in May, and spent several weeks recovering after that. My wife changed jobs so we had to move several hundred hours north, leaving behind several good friends in the south, and losing the option to visit several others.

Dear God, I hope 2016 goes better!

Priorities include getting a job and spending more time working on worthwhile projects, instead of wasting time on stupid crap.

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New version of FourSevens Preon

There’s a new version of the FourSevens Preon lights. Although I dislike the new version of the Quark, the new Preons are an improvement over the old version in almost every way.

Personally, I think the old version looked more graceful. Also, you can currently buy replacement bodies, switches, etc for the old model so it’s possible to convert a P1 to a P2 or vise-versa. www.foursevens.com/products/accessories/Preon&list=

And I still wish that a reputable manufacturer would offer a light that uses a 10440 battery! (Since you might not know, a 10440 is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that’s a similar size to a traditional AAA battery. They deliver 4.2V instead of 1.5V like a traditional disposable batteries, allowing even higher outputs).

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Flashlight Review: FourSevens Preon 2

A few years ago, my wife bought me a FourSevens (formerly 4Sevens) flashlight. This one is a Preon P2. The P1 uses 1 AAA battery and the P2 uses 2 AAA batteries. This makes the P2 a lot longer size but the second battery makes the flashlight significantly brighter. The difference in brightness is minor at Low but really significant at High. Note: all brightness outputs and battery lifespans discussed here are for the P2 model.

The Preon series has the same simple user interface as the Quark Mini series. It has 3 basic brightness settings: Low, Medium, and High. The flashlight starts at Low when you turn it on, and tapping the power switch increases the output to Medium and then High. Tapping the button again switches back to Low. Going Low-Medium-High over and over again eventually unlocks 4 ‘hidden’ modes: Strobe,  SOS emergency, high signal beacon, and low signal beacon. It’s nice that these modes are ‘hidden’ so that they don’t get in the way in day-to-day life, but they’re still available if ever really needed. For example, the SOS emergency mode will run for almost 5 hours on 1 set of AAA batteries.

Cons:

  • The finish on the pocket clip wears easily around the edges.
  • The light turns on accidentally in my pocket because I have a click-button switch. Loosen the head to guarantee it doesn’t get bumped on by mistake.
  • Short battery life! AAA batteries have low capacity.

A high-output flashlight fed by tiny batteries inevitably has a poor battery lifespan. The circuitry in the light regulates the current to the LED, controlling brightness at the lower levels. On High, the flashlight doesn’t restrict the current at all for maximum brightness. As the batteries start to die, the High setting gets dimmer and dimmer until there’s no difference between High and Medium. However, the brightness of Low and Medium don’t decrease until the batteries are very depleted.

It still took me some time to notice the decline since I don’t use High mode very often. Since this happens over time, the decline is not readily apparent until High matches Medium. The first time I replaced the batteries, I kicked the High output back to full power, and it was like discovering the light all over again.

But what should you do a bunch of half-dead AAA batteries? They’re too good to throw away but too low to serve in a high-use capacity. I guess you could put them in the TV remote or something.

Me? I personally went to rechargeable batteries about a year ago. It started when I was given one flashlight with a rechargeable battery and an almost-universal battery charger. Just having a quality charger (Nitecore I2) was enough to break through the barrier. Now all I needed was to buy batteries, I didnt’t have to research and buy a charger. Now, whenever the batteries start to get low, I just charge them. Yes, NiCad and NiMH batteries should be fully drained and fully emptied, but I’m OK with wearing out my batteries a bit sooner. Even if I charge them every week, they’ll still last a few years, and they’re still a lot cheaper than running disposable batteries. Best of all, I don’t have an ethical/ecological debate every time the power starts to drop. I don’t have to hold-back to save batteries anymore. I just use the light at whatever power level is best for the situation, and don’t worry about draining expensive AAA batteries.

Pros:

  • Incredible brightness for its size: 160 Lumens (Gen 1) or 190 Lumens (Gen 2)
  • Three brightness modes
  • Slick, simple, convenient user interface
  • Thin, sleek, and lightweight: perfect for the edge of your pocket.

The output on High (160 Lumens) is brighter than the top-level tactical/defensive lights a few years ago. More importantly, I cannot emphasize enough how slim and light this thing feels. It’s by far my favorite flashlight because of the comfort factor. I prefer it over my full-power Quark. The Quark feels complicated compared to the Preon. The P2 is 5 1/2 inches long, about 1/2 inch thick, and weight less than 1 ounce without batteries. My scale indicates that a set of 2 AAA batteries weighs 0.80 ounces. Honestly, carrying the P2 clipped in my pocket feels a bit like carrying a writing pen.

I recommend the Mini-Quark and Preon series to anyone looking for a practical, quality flashlight for day-to-day use, but I recommend them with special enthusiasm to anyone who isn’t normally a ‘flashlight guru’. The Preon is a better choice for a light that will be carried daily and used occaisonally. The Mini-Quarks use bigger batteries, so they’re less convenient to carry but have significantly longer battery lives, making them a better choice for a flashlight that will live in a drawer, glove box, backpack, etc. There is a downside to the Mini series, but that’s a discussion for another time.

http://www.foursevens.com/products/flashlights/Preon

http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00914ZM18

 

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Warning: Sub60Ounces

I’m back! Yes, after 6 months away, I’m finally ready to resume my sporadic posts. As a start, I’m going to resume my series on ultralight weight AR-15s. I’ve spent a fair bit of time gathering details on different parts such as their weight and cost. Of course, I’m relying on manufacturer’s claims, which may my inaccurate or inconsistent. But today, I bring you a warning about a fellow ultralight enthusiast.

Throughout these posts, I will sometimes refer to a tumblr account, Sub60Ounces.

A sneak-peak posted by Sub 60 Ounces (edited by me)

A sneak-peak posted by Sub 60 Ounces (edited by me)

Sneak peak of his finished build

It’s a great resource and I came to many of the same conclusions that he did, but some of his other decisions were very poorly thought out. For example, he decided to use a nut instead of a magazine release button. It forces him to disassemble the gun to reload it, and it only saves him 0.04 ounce. He made some unwise and potentially dangerous decisions, so please, read on to help avoid some potential pitfalls.

Continue reading

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No man …

 

 

DSC_0019

 

 

 

 

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Featherweight AR-15 Barrels

Today’s post will focus on barrels for lightweight AR-15s.

Barrels

People far wiser and with far more experience than me have said that a carbine’s balance is far more important than it’s overall weight. I tend to agree. More than anything, I like the idea of a carbine that is easy to point & swing, and that means a light weight muzzle. The easiest way to cut muzzle weight is by getting a lightweight barrel and handguard. However, there are practical limits to the weight of the barrel. We’re dealing with extremely high pressures here. Standard 223 Remington has a chamber pressure of about 50,000 PSI. It’s dangerous to have a barrel that is too thin.

A shorter barrel is lighter weight, but a carbine must have a barrel that is at least 16″ long under federal law (NFA 1934). You can build an AR-15 pistol, but that has other issues for another discussion. One way to shorten the barrel is to permanently attach a muzzle brake or flash hider to the barrel, but that causes problems with disassembling the rifle if anything is damaged. A lot of companies make “lightweight” barrels, but most of them don’t publish any details of the barrel profile. All we can do is compare them visually and search the internet for other people who have made comparisons. Some “lightweight” barrels really are not, but I forget which companies have a bad reputation for misrepresenting their barrels.  If you’re seriously interested in building a carbine with a 14.5″ barrel, please go read this post: jerkingthetrigger.com/2014/01/23/14-5-barreled-uppers-maximizing-performance-and-your-options/

Mag Tactical Systems

Anyway, the lightweight barrel from Mag Tactical Systems seems to be an extremely thin profile. It appears that MTS was FAR more aggressive than most companies when they were designing their lightweight barrel. It looks like they cut every bit possible to create a true ‘pencil’ barrel. It should be noted that is uses a 0.625″ gas block and a midlength gas system. That’s generally a good thing, but the 0.625 gas block limits your options, but you were probably going to choose a lightweight gas block anyway. It’s also noteworthy to me that the MTS barrel is only $110, which is cheap for an AR-15 barrel. They claim the barrel weighs “1.2 pound” which would be a tiny bit over 19 ounces!!!

Update 2015: I have since learned that this is actually a Faxon barrel, and is about $30 cheaper from MTS than from Faxon. Also, I do believe that it is the lightest barrel that is commercially available.

magtacticalsystems.com/index.php/2013-07-29-03-32-36/barrels

barrel profile Mag Tactical

VooDoo Innovations

Second is the lightweight barrel from VooDoo Innovations (which is connected to Adams Arms). While VooDoo barrels have a good reputation, but main reason I’m showing them is to illustrate the differences between barrel profiles. I used two pictures from their website, and put them side-by-side. You can clearly see the difference in how they’re cut. I think this is a good ‘baseline’ to compare with other barrels.    www.voodooinnovations.com/barrels

barrel VooDoo profile comparison

V7 Systems

And of course, I have to mention the V7 Systems barrel, just because it’s from V7 Systems. If you don’t know, V7 Systems is a company that specializes in ultra light weight parts for the AR-15. You’ll see more of their parts show up in future posts about ‘Project Featherweight’.

However, the V7 Systems barrel doesn’t even show it’s profile! Overall I’m not interested in the V7 barrels. Their 16″barrel costs $468! It comes with a titanium gas block pre-installed. It weighs 24.5 ounces with the gas block, and the gas block alone weighs 0.78 ounce, so we can deduce that the barrel itself must weigh 23.7 ounces, which is a full quarter-pound more than the barrel from Mag Tactical Systems! The fact that it comes with a gas block pre-installed means that if you were planning to use any other gas block, then you’ve basically wasted money on an expensive titanium gas block for nothing. I’ll explain later why I would *not* choose a titanium gas block for an ultralight carbine, especially if money doesn’t matter.

On the plus side, the V7 barrel uses polygonal rifling and a match grade chamber for better accuracy. This is one case where we need to determine what we want. If we want an affordable featherweight, the Mag Tactical barrel is a better choice. If we want a more accurate light-ish carbine with no price limit, then the V7 barrel is a better choice.

www.v7weaponsystems.com/collections/barrels

Custom Barrels

Of course, if you cannot find a barrel that you like, and you absolutely must have the perfect barrel, then you can get a custom barrel made or have ADCO modify any barrel you want (except those treated with hardening techniques like Melonite). However, you can expect to pay $120 just to have the barrel modified, not including shipping both ways, and the cost of the barrel.

Overall, I would personally choose the barrel from Mag Tactical Systems.

www.adcofirearms.com/shopservices/

www.adcofirearms.com/shopservices/shop_qnew.cfm?code=Contour%20Barrel

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Featherweight AR-15 Introduction

This is the first part of many dealing with ultralight AR-15 carbines. As you may know by now, I am a light-weight junkie!

Light weight is EXPENSIVE! But I dream of building an ultra light weight carbine. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but I hereby dub this “Project Featherweight”. I will be attempting to figure out the details of the lightest weight components.

However, I haven’t figured out my  exact goals yet, or my cost/benefit breaking point yet. For example, is it really worth an extra $100 just to save 1 ounce? This issue comes up again and again, because lightweight is expensive. Do I want to make the lightest carbine possible, regardless of price? Regardless of function? I can save weight by removing important parts. Even the lightest flash-hider is still 1 extra ounce that isn’t technically necessary. Even more weight can be eliminated from the forward assist, dust cover, sights, etc. A carbon-fiber handguard is lighter than an aluminum handguard, but cannot attach accessories. Is it worth the extra weight to be able to add those accessories?

Those questions will have to remain unanswered for now. Maybe I’ll find an answer by the time I’m finished with this series.

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Glock-magazine Carbine Roundup

This is a ’roundup’ of all the pistol-caliber-carbines that use Glock magazines.

Why? Because Glock magazines are lightweight, affordable, common, and reliable. They’re also single-feed, unlike the typical Uzi, MP-5, or Colt 9mm carbine magazines. In case you don’t know, some double-feed magazines will spew out ammunition if bumped or dropped the wrong way. Also, unlike an Uzi magazine, Glock magazines work in Glock pistols, so it is possible to have a carbine and a pistol that share not only ammunition, but also magazines!

Also, I have wanted a Glock-magazine pistol-caliber carbine for years! Hopefully this post will help me organize my own thoughts  and feelings, so I can finally choose a carbine. I’m going to start with the least expensive carbine and work up to the most expensive.  Not coincidentally, the most expensive gun on this list is a fully-custom AR-15. Hey, custom AR-15s are expensive! But they’re great for people who like to tinker. Continue reading

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Affordable AR-15 (some assembly required)

I never thought I’d write this, but you can now get an AR-15 for around $600. They used to be $800+ for the cheapest models, and then the buying craze of 2013 happened. Now, the bubble has burst. Everyone bought a bunch of AR-15s during the big panic about gun bans, and the now no one is buying. The AR-15 companies are struggling. Rifles and parts are just collecting dust as they sit on shelves. The end result is that several AR-15 companies are having HUGE sales, just to get rid of excess parts.

Rifle Kits

A “rifle kit” includes everything to assemble an AR-15 except for the receiver, sights, and magazine. (Some kits do include a magazine.)

$50 lowers

The lower is the part that is legally classified as the “firearm”. You must ship it to a local gun-dealer, then go in to the shop, fill out paperwork, do a background check, etc. You can expect the gun dealer to charge you a fee of about $35 to $50. You should call and ask before you buy a receiver. If they want much more than $50, you should probably call some other gun shops.

Sights

After you have a receiver and rifle kit, all you need are some magazines and a rear sight or some kind of scope (like a red-dot sight). Magazines are extremely common, so I won’t go over that here. Traditional sights (aka iron sights) are extremely reliable, but they’re only OK, not great. A red-dot sight is nice, but they use batteries. If you plan to leave the sight turned on constantly, make sure to change the batteries often, and you should probably choose a model with a longer batter life (like an Aimpoint or the AA model from Primary Arms).

Iron Sights:

Inexpensive Red-Dot sights:

 

 

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Outland Tracker sandals review

In short, DO NOT BUY! AVOID! AVOID! AVOID!

The Good:
Cheap
Comfortable
Adjustable

The Bad:
Flimsy construction

If you wear sandals on a regular basis, these sandals will not last long. I bought a pair at Big 5 Sporting Goods sometime around April, in preparation for a trip in late May. I really appreciated the adjustable back strap compared to the Columbia TechSun sandals that I ususally buy. They were also cheaper than Columbia sandals by about $10. They failed only 4 months later.

I wear sandals daily and I wear them when I drive. With my leg extended to the pedals, the weight of my foot rests against the back strap of the sandals. My issue with Columbia TechSun is that the back strap is too loose, allowing my heel to rub the floor and the edge of the sandal, causing callouses. I loved the Outland Tracker sandals at first because I could adjust the back strap tighter. Unfortunately, it seems the strain of holding the weight of my foot was more than they could bare. The stitching gave out while I was running errands with my wife, only a few hours before a road trip. I spent the next week wearing hot, sweaty Fila Skeletoes shoes with only 1 pair of now-very-stinky toe socks.

If money were no object, I would consider just buying a dozen pairs of Outland Trackers and replacing them whenever they break. However, they are not cheap enough or comfortable enough compared to Columbia TechSun sandals to make me buy a new pair every 4 months. I’ll admit that my Wonderlite dress shoes are comfortable enough to justify buying a new pair whenever they wear out. I think Wonderlites are several steps above all other dress shoes in comfort.

Update: They were recently sold on “closeout” for $20/pair. That’s actually fairly tempting. My new TechSun sandals aren’t nearly as comfortable as my Trackers. I cut the defective ankle strap off, and am still using the Trackers as slip-on sandals for around the house, getting the mail, retrieving items from the car, etc.

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Innately Harmful

“Banning guns is the only sensible solution to the problem of gun deaths and injuries in the United States. The idea that we can’t ban them because someone will still attempt to own one, is fallacious and empty headed. If you feel that way, then all laws are useless because they get broken everyday. Why bother to have laws banning murder when people will still murder each other? You can easily see that you lack any ability to think critically. Logic escapes anyone who doesn’t understand that fewer guns means fewer gun deaths.” – Bill W on youtube

 
Generally speaking, we pass laws against things/actions that are harmful, especially to others. Murder hurts people. Theft hurts people. Heck, even running through a Stop sign is dangerous (although it doesn’t always hurt someone). Even many so-called “victimless” crimes are still harmful. Cocaine harms the user and has no possible harmless use. Cocaine also contributes to other crimes as addicts engage in profitable criminal activity to finance their addiction.

Guns, however, are not innately harmful. There are many legitimate uses and users of firearms. It’s been a while since I looked up the exact numbers, but there were about 7,000 homicides with firearms in 2013. Also, one firearm builder (Ruger) sold over 1 million firearms in 2013. There are easily more than 200 million guns total in the US, but no one is really sure. (The BATFE estimated 223 million in 1995, and many more have been sold since then). So in a country that owns well-over 200,000,000 guns, I think 7,000 murders a year is a very low percentage. That’s about 0.035% – no, not 1/3 of 1%, it’s more like 1/30 of 1%. For the sake of our rough-math, we’ll say that it’s about 1 out of 2,800 guns. Regardless of the roughness of my numbers, I feel quite confident in saying that 99% of guns are not used for homicides, that homicide is the exception, not the rule. Even if we expand the list of gun “victims” to include suicides (any seriously suicidal person will not be deterred by “gun control”), the number is still well below 1% of misuse.

Continue reading

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Internet in the 90s

I really need to get back to blogging … I have a fair number of posts written that I just need to edit & post.

But this has been on my mind for a few months. I watched a viral video called ‘Teens react to 90s Internet’. It did not live up to its promise.

It wasn’t really teenagers reacting to 90s internet, so much as teens reacting to a 1997 educational/instructional video about how to use the internet. It described opening a browser, connecting, internet safety (like not giving out personal information), etc.

I’d really like to see teenagers use a dial-up 56k internet connection, running a simulated/recreated AOL browser (shouldn’t be hard to find one of those old CDs). I want to see the shock on their faces when they see a 4-gigabyte (not terabyte) hard drive and a processor running at 220 megahertz (mine is running at 2.16 gigahertz). I want to watch them download a file with a maximum speed of 5 kilobytes per second (I’ve seen my own downloads exceed 2 megabytes per second). I want to watch them search the internet without ‘google’, to watch them struggle with search sites like Excite or Ask Jeeves. I want to see them use AOL ‘keywords’ and to be restricted to only AOL-approved websites.

I remember those days. I remember trying for days to download an single song without getting disconnected (ahhh, Napster…). I remember my father’s “huge” 20 gigabyte hard drive (I have more than that in my cellphone). I remember a time when only the rich had cellphones, and smartphones didn’t exist at all.

In some ways, I feel like we’re cycling back around to AOL’s business model, just with more processor power. Look at  products like the iPad. Apple restricts what kind of applications you can install on an iPad, and what those apps are allowed to do. The web browser is the one place they don’t restrict content.

Although I haven’t used a Chromebook, from what I understand, they’re barely even computers. They’re really more like glorified terminals that are entirely dependent on cloud computing, and are nearly useless without an internet connect.

Windows is a bit better because you can install apps (which Windows usually calls ‘programs’) from any publisher. In addition, even the smallest & weakest Windows machines still have some internal storage and are capable of working offline. However, instead of just creating a user-account like in previous Windows editions, Windows 8 strongly encourages you to sign-in to Windows using your Microsoft account. Yes, the same Microsoft account that links in with their Outlook email service, Bing Rewards, and any other Microsoft web service. It just strikes me as a lot like the old AOL model of trying to unify all services under one company.

Yeah, I know I’m just letting this drop. My thoughts got off topic, and I seem to have lost my original point. I think it was something about “kids these days don’t know how good they have it” or something like that.

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Self-fulfilling Popularity

You may be familiar with the concept of a “self-fulfilling prophesy.” They occur when a person makes a prediction and then that prediction makes the person act in a certain way. For example, a student says “I’m going to fail my math test.” Since the student is already expecting failure, there’s a lack of motivation to study for the test. The end result is that the student fails the test and says “See, I knew I would fail.”

I think there is also “self-fulfilling popularity.” If a system is innovative and revolutionary, it becomes the new gold-standard to which all competitors are compared. Buyers adopt the new system while competitors race to catch up, and the new system becomes entrenched. Third party companies begin offering ad-ons for the system whether they’re apps for a device, speakers for an iPod, or grips for a rifle. These aftermarket accessories and third-pary support offer additional incentives to buy the original system, which further helps the system endure competition. The system’s early popularity guarantees it’s ongoing success. People continue buying them just because they’re popular. Continue reading

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Firearm Accessories 4: Get a Grip on It!

Ok, you have a gun, a case to transport it, a kit to clean it, spare ammo, spare parts, tools, and maybe a laser, light, or red dot sight.  So what else could you POSSIBLY need, right? Well fortunately for your wallet, there’s nothing else you really need. From this point forward it’s all about comfort & convenience.

Holsters & Slings
If you ever, ever think you might need to carry your gun, then you should have a holster for your handgun and a sling for your long gun. There are too many holster companies and types to list, but make sure you buy quality.

Slings come in 3 basic types: single-point, two-point, and three-point slings. I don’t have any experience with 3 point slings, so no comment. Single point slings generally suck, but they can be convenient in some situations (and I actually have 1 rifle that can only use a single-point sling). Two-point slings do a much better job of carrying a rifle, but they’re a bit less maneuverable and they can become tangled around the gun. To prevent tangling, check out the $6 Blue Force Sling Sleeve.

Personally, I like the idea of “convertible” slings that can either be used as a single-point or a two-point sling. For example, check out the Magpul MS3 and Tactical Link Convertible. I have an older Magpul MS2, and I generally just leave it as a two-point sling, but it’s nice to be able to put it on another rifle as a single-point if the situation ever calls for it.

“Ergonomic” Upgrades
Strictly speaking, putting a new grip on your rifle won’t make it any faster,  accurate, or more powerful. It is arguably a complete waste of money, but it’s also arguable that if you can make your gun more comfortable, then it is worth a few dollars. Just don’t get carried away spending huge amounts of money to make your gun look feel nicer.

For pistols, check out Hogue Grips and Talon Grips. For the AR-15 I’m especially fond of the UCWRG Grip 23 and anything from Magpul. Other AR-15 products are available from Troy Industries, Mission First Tactical, Bravo Co, VLTOR, B5 Systems, and Ace Ltd.

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Firearm Accessories 3: Getting on Target

Ok, you have a firearm with a carrying case, ammunition, magazines, cleaning kit, and maintenance tools. You have everything you really need but there are some more things that can help you put shots on target.

Continue reading for a summary of Lasers, Lights, and other Sights.
Continue reading

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Firearm Accessories 2: Keep It Running

Ok, you have a firearm and a way to transport it. Now, you’re ready to start shooting but you’ll need a few things if you want to keep shooting for very long.

I’m going to cover ammunition, magazines, cleaning kits, and tools in this post, so click here to see more –> Continue reading

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Keymod: What’s the Big Deal?

If you don’t know, Keymod is a new-ish system for mounting accessories on rifles. Keymod was released in June 2011. After 2 years on the market, many companies are producing handguards with Keymod slots.

This is the 15-inch long Keymod rail from Strike Industries. Instead of a round tube, it is an angular collection of 7 flat sides.

This is the 15-inch long Keymod rail from Strike Industries. Instead of a round tube, it is an angular collection of 7 flat sides.

So what accessories do we have so far?

Excluding the products made by Impact Weapon Components (IWC), here’s what I found:

  • 1 qd sling mount
  • 1 flashlight mount
  • 2 handstops
  • 2 harris bipod adapter
  • several sets of panels (to cover the abrasive Keymod slots)
  • and LOTS of picatinny rail adapters

Frankly, I just don’t see anything special about the Keymod system. It seems that Keymod is just as dependent on bolt-on Picatinny rails as every other slick/modular rail. Yes, IWC makes several accessories for the Keymod system, but they already made the exact same accessories for other slick rails before Keymod was released.

Overall, Keymod appears to be only a slight improvement over the slick rails that came before it, yet it relies on flat surfaces instead of smooth rounded surfaces, and it looks very uncomfortable in the hands. I just don’t understand why everyone acts like Keymod is a big deal!

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Firearm Accessories 1: Cases

Ok, so what do you need after you get a firearm? The market is certainly flooded with accessories, but what is really important? Today, I’m discussing cases for your handgun or long gun.

Regardless of what gun you own, it’s helpful to have a good way to transport it. Cases for long guns & handguns are either hard cases or soft cases. Hard cases have a rigid plastic or metal shell, typically lined with foam. Hard cases provide the most protection for your firearms but they are more bulky & awkward. Soft cases are padded nylon, canvas, fabric, or leather. They’re generally more convenient than hard cases. They may have extra pockets for tools & ammunition, and they may have multiple carrying straps for comfort.

However, be warned that some soft cases, like leather or cotton, may attract moisture from the air and hold it against your gun, causing rust. Synthetic materials are far less likely to cause problems but it’s not impossible. You should still keep them oiled and stored in a dry location. Invest in a dehumidifier if you live in a humid area.

Continue reading

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Intro to Firearms 7

When it comes to self-defense, it is important to have a firearm that fires quickly, so I recommend semiautomatics and double-action revolvers. They fire each time you pull the trigger. There are many other fine firearm designs, but a slow bolt-action rifle would be a poor choice in a crisis because it is so slow that you might not have time for a second shot. You need multiple shots if you miss or if there’s more than one attacker.

Please understand that this started as a simple list of guns that I recommend researching more. I started adding descriptions, and now it’s a full-blown post. These are only summaries of my limited knowledge, so you should still research each option.

For the sake of being brief, I cannot include very many specific details on each gun. We would need a long chart just for the Glock models alone.

I added an ***asterisk*** next to the firearms I personally plan to buy eventually.

As an alternative idea, you could buy a 22lr gun that *looks* like a badass self-defense gun, like the GSG 22LR 1911 or S&W M&P-15-22. It would be cheaper to buy, cheaper to shoot, and would still be intimidating for self defense. However, it would suck if you ever needed to actually use it for self-defense.

As one final note, always buy the best firearm you can find. Find your perfect tool, and then buy the nicest version. If you are only going to own one, then make it the best one.

Keep reading for my recommendations: Continue reading

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Ruger 10/22 Scope Rail Options

I previously mentioned that adding a scope to the Ruger 10/22 means you lose the option to use the iron sights. That isn’t true any more, so here’s a summary of the best scope-rails on the market. Note that I have only tested the MSP rail so far, but plan to try the others eventually. I am confident they are all high quality, but they are each a very different design.

Mounting Solutions Plus SLR-10/22 Long
http://www.mountsplus.com/AR-15_Accessories/AR-15_Scope_Rings/SLR-1022-BL.html
I bought this rail because it is less expensive than the Nodak Spud option, and it was available before the Ace in the Hole sight. Overall, it’s a good & simple system. It is simply a scope rail with a very low center groove so that you can still see the sights. There are other similar systems on the market for far cheaper, but they are also far lower quality. I tried a few of those before I found the MSP rail. I feel like I wasted my money on those inferior systems.

Mounting Solutions Plus SLR-10/22 Short
http://www.mountsplus.com/AR-15_Accessories/AR-15_Scope_Rings/SLR-1022-BS.html
The only real reason I can think of to buy the short rail is if you know you’re only going to use a very small red-dot type of sight. The short rail should be compatible with the Tech Sights for the 10/22, but I think the Nodak Spud system is a better option than combining the MSP rail with Tech Sights.

Williams Gunsight “Ace in the Hole” http://www.williamsgunsight.com/gunsights/AceInthehole.htm http://www.midwayusa.com/product/259159/williams-ace-in-the-hole-sight-set-with-picatinny-base-ruger-10-22-steel-blue This scope rail includes a simple peep rear sight. It uses a special front sight, so it is only compatible with standard “taper” barrels.

Nodak Spud NDS-26 combined with the NDS-23 or NDS-40 http://www.nodakspud.com/NDS-22.htm The NDS-26 is the rear rail & sight for the 10/22 receiver, while the NDS-23 and NDS-40 are front sights for different kinds of barrels. The NDS-40 is the front sight for standard taper Ruger barrels, while the NDS-23 is the front sight for .920 “bull” profile barrels. While the Williams “Ace in the Hole” system appears intended for use like a fine target-style peep sight, the Nodak Spud system is designed to mimic a military-style ghost ring rear sight that is faster but less precise. Nodak Spud is the right choice if you want to create a training rifle to match your defensive rifles like the AR-15. The Nodak Spud system is the only real option if you want to run with a .920 bull barrel. It may be the nicest system, too, but it is also clearly the most expensive. It costs more than twice as much as MSP rail or Williams rail. It is also

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