I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there, or ladies that have a lot of military experience and got to shoot some neat stuff. Comparing the Ruger 10/22 to being in fire control on an AC130 Spectre gun ship is comparing apples to oranges. I will say that I have shot a lot of semi-auto military style weapons and although I have fun shooting them, bringing a wife or friend that lacks the experience or has a fear of recoil can limit the types of firearms you are using. The first Ruger 10/22 I owned had a pretty long break in period. I had a lot of issues getting it to reliable cycle, but I had a lot of friends that gave me advice on how to tweak these firearms and having a reliable break in period was normal.
A friend suggested that I just fire a lot of ammo through it and eventually it will break in. Anothe friend said to use some hot ammo like 22lr stingers and it will speed up the process. I tried both of these, but after about 500rds, I still was annoyed at how many jams I had, I thought it was the gun magazines, but we’ll soon find out. My other friend suggested I take the gun appart and try to polish it with nylon pads, very similar to what you use to clean dishes. I took his advice and spent about 15 minutes polishing the gun, I used a little CLP inside and took it out for another range trip. I tried shooting some cheap Remington 22LR ammo and the gun functioned almost 100% of the time. I was probable getting a failure to fire less than every 300rds which for a 22LR rifle, that is not that bad.
I admit that I have been called a perfectionist. I have several years experience in working in the music industry and in that line of work, only the best work gets noticed. When it comes to maintaining a car, you can waste a lot of time working on things that aren’t going to increase your mileage or prevent it from getting hit by another car. Although many of us like to take our favorite firearms out of the safe from time to time, and wipe them down and look everything over, there can be a point where shoving a cleaning rod down a barrel too often will cause excessive wear and tear.
In a Carbine course, we got a good lecture on some of the BS that people are claiming about the amount of maintenance the AR15 direct impingement guns need. The reality is that they sure as heck do need to be cleaned more than any other semi-auto military rifle, but not as much as some people claim. The reasons the military makes soldiers do this so often is to basically just keep them occupied. Keeping the gun lubricated and putting a few drops where it’s needed is all we had to do while running a Carbine course and not a single one of us had an issue. Be careful about how much you use your gun cleaning supplies on your firearms, but also, make sure you have the right tools for the firearm. There are some neat cleaning brushes and tools that you can get from Otis gun cleaning kits and they will help you get into the areas that are hard to reach.
Today I got to fire a Ruger LCP along with the LCR revolver. There seems to be a lot of breha when it comes to getting a .380 pistol these days. I don’t think I really ever felt the urge to go that small when it comes to calibers, but since CCW is actually more popular now than it was 10yrs ago, and people are finding that small compact semi-autos are far more reliable than previously, people will take the light weight over a larger caliber. The Ruger LCP can take laser grips from Crimson trace, and I highly suggest that you consider that. I was never a big fan of putting lasers on handguns until I started thinking about very small and compact firearms that had terrible small sights. The laser grips will help improve your hits and give confidence.
I have several Ruger factory gun magazines for my LCP, but I decided to pick up a few Promag magazines. Promag had a good reputation in the 1990s for magazines that weren’t as pricey as factory magazines, but were still considered reliable. I have several magazines for my Beretta 92FS, and although I did have a jam on one hollow point round, it has never jammed on ball ammo. I would consider these to be excellent range magazines, but I would do a lot of testing to make sure you are sure the gun feeds reliable with an defensive ammo. Some magazines may need to be tweaked a little and if you have problems be sure to call a factory rep. Most gun magazine manufacturers will replace a magazine if it does not work properly.
The first week I wore the Style 1232 I noticed only a little extra weight from the walking I did, but I actually noticed immediately that the soles of my feet were fine. The inside of the boot fit me well and I did not develope and sores or rough spotss. My feet also did not sweat real bad and I was working in 80F weather. The boots didn’t breath as well as sneakers, but who would expect that. After 2 months of wearing the same boots for almost 6 days a week. I have had almost no pain my feet and I have actually been able to lift more than I normally can without issues. I guess it sounds pretty bad to have to talk about my poor physcial health, but just because you are wearing tactical gear, doesn’t mean you have to be the fastest runner on your team.
We were new to the idea of carrying tactical footwear, but our customers basically gave us enough feedback on what they wanted us to carry that we went out and contacted Original Swat to find out about being a dealer. All of our Staff are presently wearing the product line and we’ll fill you in as time goes by on various styles and what people think of them. I personally got a hold of the Style 1232 from Original Swat boots and given that I have had my fair share of foot problems, I wasn’t really sure how well my feet were going to handle wearing boots. I had the unfortunate experience of having foot surgery on both feed in the last few years and my physical movements have been restricted because of the problems. I was forced to wear sneakers in most situations just because they were much softer on my feet.
Gun magazines have various levels of quality. Some gun magazines are meant as throw aways i.e. 1911 magazines made in Tawain. I have several 1911 GI magazines that were pretty good range mags, but when they jammed up on me, and I could blame it on the gun springs, it was time to toss them. Buying Wolff gun springs that cost about $8 for an $8 magazine isn’t really worth my time, plus I’ve found that many of these have worn out followers and it’s really not worth the headach to tweak them, plus I’d consider them to not be worth using for self defense. Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick make very good gun magazines and both of them should help get your 1911 to be more tolerant of various types of ammunition.
The one thing I have learned over the years is that no matter how much money I spent on a firearm, I’m still going to have something break. When you put thousands of rounds through a firearm the you will eventually have to learn some level of gunsmithing. After taking some of my guns to gunsmiths and having to wait for months to get simple things done, it’s good to pick up an AGI video and do the changes yourself. The same goes for gun magazines. Parts on a gun magazine can wear out and depending on how much you spent on the magazine, you may want to just toss it in the trash. For some magazines, you will only have to replace the springs to get it back to reliable functionality.
Hogue grips are molded from a synthetic rubber that will help you keep your grip during rapid fire or slow fire engagements. There are other options for replacing your factory grips on semi-autos and revolvers. Remember that it is normal to have to customize a firearms grips because all of us are not the same, and one way to improve our accuracy, and shooting skills is to customize a firearm to our particular tastes. You may want to think about this the next time you go to a gun shop and check out the same model firearm, but with different grips.
Some firearm manufacturers have caught on to this and are now selling the handguns with removable backstraps which will adjust the distance the trigger is from your hand. Glocks are being sold this was as well as the M&P line of pistols. I have a lot of friends that have put packmayr pistol grips on there Glocks long before Glock caught on. As firearms evolve so will the accessories adjustability. Decal gun grips are a simple answer to having a better hold on older model Glocks.
There are a great many arguments on the gun forums about how bad of an idea it is to carry using a vests becuase it supposedly gives you away. Well, if you are 22yrs old and wearing a vest and it’s 80F outside, you probable will look out of place, but you have to realize that most bad guys don’t think like that. If you factor in how many people that carry concealed firearms vs. the statistics that don’t, you’re probable over thinking. Find out which guy you really prefer to carry and dress accordingly. The Eotac Style 102 lightweight vest is extremely popular with many of our customers living in Texas and in the Southwest do to it’s 100% cotton material. It gives you some protection against the sun and won’t weigh you down.
The Eotac style 103 vests is a fairly new vest, but it has been growing in popularity due to it’s length and pocket designs. I don’t normally recommend carrying a fiream in outerwear, but the Eotac vest will help you conceal a full size auto and be able to stow a firearm in the outer pockets without printing. The elastic straps inside the pockets will secure any other knives, flashlights or magazines for added security. This is not a lightweight vest, but I think that it is very well balanced and does not look too tactical for a concealed carry vest. The Style 101 vests are by far the most tactical looking, but we do have some operators that wear them under another lighweight jacket and prefer the soft fabric over a harness locking vest.
Some of the guns we see that people often swap out the grips for are Sig Sauer factory grips. While some people may like this, many find them to be a little slippery and could use something that helps keep the hands tight during firing. Hogue Grips come in fingerless and fingered grips. These grips will help fill in the space between your fingers and make you feel like you’re holding a pair of brass knuckles. I’ve done many tests where I took 2 of the same handguns to the range and let novice shooters try both, I asked them which gun they preferred and they almost always preferred one over the other. After they decide, I tell them it’s the same gun, just different grips and the cost of the upgrade is under $25. Sometimes using the gun you have and making a small tweak is all you need to improve your shooting skills and confidence.
Sometimes we find our preferences as far as the look and reliability of a firearm for duty carry or self defense. The reality of finding a firearm for an operator that works for them is customization and pistol grips can be the key. No handgun or rifle will fit everyone. There are plenty of firearm manufacturers that are putting out combat reliable firearms, but with handguns, gun grip is extremely important. There is a lot of BS that comes from from training instructors and the gun boards about which firearm is the BEST, but the one that works the best for you is the one that fits you. Rifle stocks can be meastured by measuring from the inside of your elbow to your trigger finger, but pistol grips are a little bit different.
I prefer the Eotech optics for most fighting within 200yds. I have yet to pick up one of the G23 FTS magnifiers because I am waiting to find out if there is going to be a 4x version coming out. To me there is zero magnification and then there is 4x, and then I move up to 10x. I really find there to be no real reason to do the 1-3x or anything between 5-8x. The magnifer is an good idea for someone who already owns the Eotech and wishes they had an ACOG. You may think that is a funny thing to say, but it’s true. The Trijicon ACOG is a nice optic, but it does have it’s limitations in close up fighting and if you want to mount a red dot on top of the scope, you’ll be dealing with extremely high mounted optics for 30% more money.
I think there is a difference between what a SWAT Team should be planning to use as far as accessories and gear and what Military personal should expect. I have had my fair share of experiences with combat Eotech rifle scopes optics and optics that I would just consider for hunting that were very durable. I have never had a bad experience with an optic that cost me more than $200. I’ve had some optics that have been on my hunting rifles with 5000 or more rounds and I have never had a loss of zero. Although we all know that there are differences in the types of optics, most of us won’t have issues if we mount them properly. Most combat optics will come with a mount or already are a one piece unit like the Eotech rifle scopes.
I must admit that I have my preferences when it comes to handguns and rifles, but I realize because I like something more than another, it doesn’t mean that they are functionally better. I’m aware of dust tests on firearm where one beats out another, but for non-military endurance levels, most of what I normally handle is in the top tier. Firearm maintenance is another area that people don’t like to venture into, because some people seem to think that just because it’s got a good reputation for being reliable means it’s always going to work for them. Tools break, operators can abuse, and climate and enviroment can have an impact on your weapons, but when it comes to proficiency with the firearm, customization is something I strongly encourage.
I took a family member to the range to get them to try out 9 handguns. Everything from 38 Special, 9mm, 40 S&W, 45acp and 357 Magnum. Some of the 9mms I used were the same guns, but with different sights and different grips. Novice shooters tend to not notice the slight differences in the guns and just think that because it has different pistol grips, it’s a different gun. I had Factory grips on a Sig 226 and Hogue grips on another, and yet another one had the Hogue Grips with the finger grooves. It turned out that this new shooter preferred the finger grooves on the Sig 226, but didn’t realize she was shooting basically the same firearm the whole time. One had night sights which she didn’t care for because they didn’t work too well during the day. I wonder which one she would have picked if we were shooting in low light?