Archive for May, 2010

Gun cases for pistols

gun casesMost of us alreayd know that when we buy a new gun we usually get some sort of factory gun case.   These gun cases are nice for transporting the gun it is intended for and possible can hold a few magazines.   I’ve got a pile of them in my storage room, but I never use them for range trips.    I own a few range bags since I tend to actually use them for more than just packing up guns.   After having several experiences with forgeting to bring ammo, magazines, targets or staplers, I’ve learned to pack up my stuff and leave it in a bag that always comes to the range with me.

Pistol gun cases that come from the factory don’t have room for targets or ammo, and something like the Uncle Mike’s deluxe range bag can be had for under $50.   A few of my range bags can hold approximately 4 handguns and the middle compartments hold ammo, stamplers or targets.   I always put the guns away when I’m done with them, but many times I keep the ammo there.  I realize that if you have optics on any of your handguns you may not want to put so much heavy stuff in one bag, because even though there is padding between the guns, it still is considered a soft case transport.


How much time are you going to waste on cleaning?

Hoppes boresnakesI’ve had this argument with friends when they were arguing that direct impingement guns weren’t really hard to maintain and that spending another $500 on a piston driven AR15 wasn’t worth the money because you could basically buy another gun for that money.    I’d like to see people use the same argument if someone came out with a car that only needed an oil change every 15,000 miles instead of every 3000 miles.   How many times are you going to have to pull over and drop the car off and wait for a mechanic or waste an hour on a Saturday doing an oil change?  Keep that in mind the next time you go shooting and bring 3 or more rifles with you and then spend all Sunday night cleaning them.   If you could cut your cleaning time by 2/3s and reduce the need for brushes and cleaning patches for $20 would it be worth it?

Even though Hoppes boresnakes have been around for awhile, I still know an awful lot of  people that never used them.   I can guarantee you that these are not a gimmick and Hoppes boresnakes  do an excellent job of cleaning your barrels.   Another thing I often see is people jamming cleaning rods down rifles and unknowingly scratching up the inside of the barrel.   A boresnake takes of less room than traditional guide rods and they are easy to clean.    They are caliber specific so you have to consider picking them up for each caliber.    I really appreciated having mine after cleaning 3 rifles that were all 5.56 chambered and just went from one barrel to then next in seconds.   As long as you take good care of your guns, the brushes on the boresnake will clean your rifle as good as any rod driven brush.


Range Report on Sig 220

Galco HolstersMy Sig 220 blasted its way through the first 8rds without a hickup.   I did notice a mini cloud of lint around the gun, and maybe I should rethink some of the shirts I wear to try and prevent or reduce this, but I thought that lint can’t be any worse than dirt and these are combat pistols.    I continued to put another 300rds of 45acp 230gr FMJ ammo and had a stopage.   I had a friend tell me that the Sig Factory rep he dealt with says that the guns should run wet and that they are dependent on using more lubrication than something like a Glock.   Although I’ve never gotten the bug to own a Glock, I guess I’ll have to acknowledge that Glock does have an edge over Sigs in this area.    One thing I have considered doing is putting a  little grease on all of my pistols, that way it won’t drain off as easily as CLP or similiar types of lubrication.   That is something to think about for pistols.

Today was a rare day that I was able to get away from the family life and get out for a day at the range.   My Sig 220 was pretty dirty and it hasn’t been cleaned in months.   There was lint building up in the firing pin area between the hammer and the firing pin.    My initial thougts were to clean it first, but then I thought about the TO HELL AND BACK reliability claims and thought I’d just start blasting.  The gun was pretty dry, but this was a test of my standard CCW guns durability.   I was normally carrying my Sig 220 45acp in an IWB holster.  These Galco Holsters are easy to remove from my belt although I know that clip on holsters have a higher rate of coming off than loop through or other types of holsters.



The blue colar CCW owner

tactical shirtsThe blue colar CCW owner is probable the most common gun carrier you may run into.   I’m not  going to go into a class warfare thing here, but in my opinion, there’s no reason to look down on blue colar workers as opposed to white colar gun owners.   The whole blue vs white thing seems to be a made up argument between people that spent $80,000 on a College education that got them absolutely nothing a small business owner already knew.   Life is full of invenstment opportunities and we need to take advantage of those opportunities.   Getting an education should be viewed in the same manor as buying a house.   You spend money on something, you expect a return, and if the return wasn’t worth it, the investment wasn’t worth it.

Eotac apparel comes with a factory warranty that backs up their products.  If you have any kind of factory defect, they will exchange the product after inspection.   The clothes you wear from some other tactical shirt companies may be cheaper, but how long will they last?  What happens if you wear them to the range and the pants tear out on you?   The 409 mechanic shirt is something anyone working a blue colar working environment will appreciate.   These shirts may at first look like a gimick, but to those who actually fit into this environment, these shirts can carry your custom logo and they will probable breath better and make accessing gear easier compared to a standard issue mechanic shirt.


Observations in training and gear Pt 3

Blackhawk holsters Along with some of the other things stated in the previous blog entry is that anything not held down, will come loose.    We are aware of that when we mount our optics and tighten things down so they won’t come loose and we also use things like loctite to bond it even more.    This is something will really make a difference at the range, the folks that don’t use loctite and put 1000rds through a gun in a weekend may find out the hard way.   We’ve talked a little about firearm retention, but the next common thing to think about is magazine retention.

Chest rights and tactical vests are great ways to carry spare mags.  Practice using them so you know how to release and close the pockets or flaps.   I see guys using their CCW gear on ranges and that is not always the best option.   We hope that the gear we use for daily carry is good enough, but when we have to think about running and jumping under cover, our bodies are doing movement and so is our gear.   I could probable open up a small gun shop for the amount of gear I’ve seen dumped on live fire training sessions and it would probable be  a lot of pistol mags being sold.  Blackhawk holsters makes a cqc magazine holder that gives you a level of retention without using a flap or lockdown holder.   I hightly recommend these.


Observations in training and gear Pt2

Blackhawk HolstersWhen I was at this range and watching students,  I saw the gun industry very well represented, everything from Blackhawk, Safariland, Uncle Mikes,  military surplus, East German  gear, holsters, chest rigs, speed loaders on the students.   The military surplus stuff all work and was simple to use, but it wasn’t as fast to use and much of it wasn’t too pretty and very much for the weekend warriors.   For serious gear, do some research before you buy and try and find a gun shop or gun show where you can actually feel and wear it before you buy.   Many firearms owners have a pile of holsters in their closet for all the ones that really weren’t that comfortable, and blowing a bunch of money on chest rigs and mag holsters, tactical vest ect. that really don’t feel right is going to cost more than many holsters.

I’m biased, I  have to admit it, Blackhawk holsters are my favorite tactical holster.   If i land on my side or bang into something, I’m more concerned about bruising myself rather than “did I break my holster”.    There are some useful $20 holsters out there, but they’ll break if you start rolling around in the dirt with them.    Another observation I had on all of the students, was that the majority of them seemed very awkward in transitioning from Carbine to Pistol.  Many of these students had CCW permits, but they were using paddle holsters and tactical vests that they weren’t use to.    It’s a really good idea for you to think about where you would like to carry a sidearm before you spend money on a tactical vest.   Some tactical vests will have a pistol holster and some will not.


Observations in training and gear

Blackhawk HolstersI was at yet another Carbine training course last week and while I was originally invited to watch the intstructor teach the class and give him feedback on his tactics and speaking skils, I was always keeping a eye open for how well his students were performing.   Like many of the previous classes I sat in on, students showed up with various qualities of keep and shooting skills.   To this day it kinda cracks me up to see some guy with an iron sight AK show up and shoot with guys shooting Match grade ARs, but sometimes I’m impressed with their abilities.

Like many things in this world, it’s not about the gear, it’s about the person, but there are situations where durability and design are going to give you that extra 10% in efficeincy that will give you an edge.    There seems to be a shift away from thumbbreak holsters ever since the Blackhawk Holsters came out.   I’ll admit first and formost, there is very little difference between using your thumb to  open a holster up and using your index finger to realease a handgun, but one way may work better for you over the other.   I’d recommend against using any kind of retention holster for conceal carry, but for duty holsters or training, get a holster that will hold your gun in place while you’re hanging upside down.


Mag pouch options and purposes

Blackhawk HolstersThe are many ways of concealing  a firearm, but when it comes to carrying backup mags, there are far fewer options.   I know plenty of people that carry spare mags around in pockets, but I’ve seen too many times that the top round of  a loaded mag will eventually pop loose or be out of place which could cause a malfunction.   I’d recommend carrying spare ammo along the belt line for 85% of CCW.   There are some tactical jackets that are designed for holding magazines, but I also recommend close the pockets and not leaving them open.   Elastic retention will help hold a mag from side to side movement, but when it comes to up and down movement, those mags will probable hit the ground when you may be reaching for them.

Also keep in mind that there are ways of modifying your mode of carry before you leave the house, some environments are always going to call for different guns and different gear, but it’s best to stick with the best for all occasions.    If you’ve never taken a Defensive training course, I highly recommend going.   You will hopefully get a good instructor and get your money’s worth, but one of the things I can almost guarantee you will learn about, is all of the other students that show up with gear that didn’t cut it.   Blackhawk Holsters are top tier firearm retention  holsters, and they make a single and double stack mag holder that gives you a level of tension without having to deal with a cumbersome flap or snap down mag holder.


The poor mans bi-pod

rifle casesI remember the days when I was learning how to shoot and always tried to put each round in the same hole at 100yds regardless of which type of rifle I was shooting.   My novice approach to shooting exposed my nieve goals of trying to make an SKS rifle a tack driver.   Instead of compensating my aiming for eveyr hit, I should have just aimed the center X and tried to get withing 4 inches and then call it a  day.   Each rifle is capable of shooting a certain group, but sometimes we do exceed a rifles potential and it’s time to move on to something better.

I’ve seen guys throw bipods on rifles and shoot no better than I did when I just shoved my folded rifle cases up and used them for stability.   One of those inexpensive Uncle Mikes case will give you several inches of rise and if you get in a good firing position, keep your barrel off the fabric, you should be able to get as stable as a bi-pod.   Bi-pods will help reduce your wobble, but they still don’t mean rock steady balance if your firing position isn’t good.


Pack your stuff up

rifle casesNot everyone needs to think about long deployments in Afghanistan when getting their shooting gear together, but knowing where your guns and gear are can prevent you from making silly mistakes.   I’ve heard plenty of stories that sound funny at first, but I  know it wasn’t funny when it occurred.   The stories are about people getting a day off from the family and driving an hour or more to a gun range and finding out they didn’t pack any rifle magazines, forgot the ammo, forgot to put a gun in a bag ect.

For those that have been packing bolt action rifles and taking them on trips, you probable haven’t thought about the need for rifle cases that had lots of storage or pockets, but those of us toting M4 Carbines with accessories and gear and those of us testing the ballistics of ammo out, we’re in a different category.  Bulldog and Uncle Mikes have inexpensive gun cases for most of your rifle case needs.

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