Ok, that was a dumb thing to say, but I still chuckle at one of my buddies comments whenever we’re on the long range. Reaching out and touching someone at 600yds is precisely what a sniper does. I have learned to notice that clarity of rifle optics but one thing that is becoming more and more of an experience is looking through all of the optics out there and their reticles. A long time ago, people were more concerned with the durability of the optic and making sure it wasn’t going to fog up on them when they took the scope caps off in the early morning when they went out chasing whitetails. Now some of your least expensive rifle optics don’t fog up.
I have a few Zeiss Conquest scopes that I’m quiet happy with, but I think I could go with less magnification on some of them. When you are trying to hit a 6ft target at 600yds, it’s really not that hard to see it. When people try and see an X on a 2ft piece of paper in their rifle scopes, that’s a whole other thing and in my opinion something not worth pursuing. I have walked off shooting ranges in the summer time because the mirage given off from the heat was so bad that it was completely impossible for me to even see a target at 100yds and testing my hand loaded ammunition would have been a waste.
I recently attended a World War II gun club event and had a lot of fun being there. I have always know what I liked from the WWII era, but I never really jumped on the collectors bandwagon because most of the guns are in my humble opinion, collectors items. Many of the bolt action rifles that were used during the war are chambered in .303, 8mm and 30/06 and still have a place in the hunting community, but for home defense or modern combat, those calibers are not very common and there aren’t very many gun chambered in them anymore. Finding ammunition is very hard and with todays inflated prices, it’s very much a collector thing.
The M1 Garand is a great and powerful for it’s time, but the function of it is very dated. Having 8rds of 30/06 in a semi auto that is capable of hitting targets out to 600yds easily is far more than what the average deer hunter is going to need. The M1 Carbine would probable be my favorite if the caliber wasn’t so hard to get and there were more bullet designs that could be applied for defensive purposes. The M1 Carbine is more powerful than .357 magnum, but the gun is designed for FMJ and would urge against them for home defense. My favorite is still the Thompson 1927 which can be toted around in gun cases that look like a violin case and will get a lot of laughs when you show up at the range. The 45acp gun is very reliable and will shoot many defensive rounds. The 45acp you get out of this gun is a powerful close range weapon.
I am pretty much stuck on Wilson Combat magazines for my 1911s but I am aware that not everyone likes the way they are extended on the base pads. I am also not an IDPA guy, but I’ve attended a lot of events and I don’t really see much more than Wilson and Chip McCormick being used. The Chip McCormick magazines from what I have seen are pretty much a toss up when it becomes a relibility question between Wilson combat magazines and them. There are several things to keep in consideration with each magazine you try.
The first thing I want is reliability, I would have to say that I’d try 3 magazines with a manufacturer and rotate through about 250 rds and then declare them to work. The second thing I want from a magazine is for it to drop free. Giving the number of gun manufacturers out there I wouldn’t claim that Wilson Combat magazines are always going to drop free for you, but I find them to be the best in these regards. The extended base pads can come in useful if you want extra grip on the magazine when removing it, but I don’t really notice that. If I was shooting a short 1911 gun, I might notice the lack of flush fitting more. My Sig 239 is a great CCW gun but if I had anything that wasn’t flush fitting for that I would probable not like shooting it.
Even if you are someone that get’s very accurate results from your M4 or 14.7 inch barrel AR15. You may be getting hits, but that caliber can become very weak once you get several hundred yards out. When I picked up a chronograph I was blown away by how much velocity I actually got out of short barrel handguns and my M4 rifles because it did not match up with what I previously read about on the internet. I saw 75gr HPBT clock at 2900fps out of my guns when I thought they would have been close to 2750. I know you can push the limits with hand loaded ammunition, but you do have to be careful about excessive wear and tear.
I have been recently thinking about picking up an LWRCI Repr because I have been a big fan of battle rifles and even the military has brought back the 7.62 DMR rifle in various configurations. I have even seen a few British troops show up with FAL rifles with scopes on them. There is also a difference between what you can get out of a 55gr hpbt and a 75gr hpbt out of a 5.56 gun. Sometimes an 18-20 inch AR15 upper receivers will get you far more range and punch than M193 ball ammo. What you can do at 400-800yds with those guns compared to a 55gr bullet is considerable especially with wind drift ect. Of course much of this is up to the skill level of the shooter.
I recently did a walk through at a Dick’s Sporting goods store and I was recently at a Cabela’s here in Pennsylvania. The gun cleaning kits that I had when I first got my own rifle are still being made, but I just don’t have the urge to give something like that as a Holiday present to family members. I’m not sure exactly what is going on, but I have so many family members getting their first firearms and it’s been a lot of fun getting them setup with targets, joining gun clubs and helping them take apart and clean the guns. It’s also been a learning experience because I didn’t know how to do everything until I did a little research.
I still highly recommend that people have atleast one strong one piece cleaning rod for a rifle or handgun around, but that is only for clearing any bore obstructions. Boresnakes are the easiest thing for a new shooter to use because not everyone has young eyesight and can see clearly inside the gun to know that everything has been cleaned. For anyone getting an AR15 or knowing someone getting an AR, the Otis gun cleaning kits are probable the best gift you can give them. Make sure you get the M16 kit because it has special brushes and tools to get into areas that a cleaning rod just won’t touch.
I did a demonstration with one of my friends how using night vision and IR was really easy to pick up from a counter sniper situation if you were projecting it from the same location. For instance, if you have night owl night vision which is pretty good for the money, the IR is located right above the objective lense. If you had something like that mounted on a rifle scope and someone who had the same nightvision, but didn’t turn there IR on, they could find you as easily as you would have if you turned on a flashlight in the night. The best way to aid a sniper in combat is to project IR from above and not directly from a rifle. The point of this is just because you can do something with an accessory on a firearm doesn’t mean it’s really going to give you the edge. You have to know how to deploy it.
I never thought just slapping a laser on my AR15 would be fun, I always thought it was kind of pointless because a laser is virtually a perfect beam of light, but a bullets trajectory changes very fast and the laser is about as good as a red dot or rifle scopes in all practicality. Flashlights are a good thing to have around or on your firearm in your home, but if you are going to use it offensively and not defensively, you have to deploy tactics that hide movement and don’t give your direction of movement away. If you are in your house and hiding in your bedroom ect. In 99% of situations, yelling down the stairs that you have a gun and you are going to blow their head off if they come up will stop a threat being able to identify something in a corner like a burglar in hiding is what your flashlight it for.
In the early part of 2011 I’m going to do more research and pick up a few more lightweight pants. I know 5.11 has a lightweight pants that is 65&/35& poly cotton pant. I have never had issues with my pants holding water, but then again I have never been deployed to Afghanistan and never noticed the difference between the two. The 5.11 taclite pro pant is something I will pick up, but I gotta drive around and check them out at other dealers before I do so. I’ve had too many sizing issues between various companies to be able to just order stuff online.
The Eotac style 203 pants do have an edge over the similarly designed Woolrich Elite pants as far as my opinion about the pocket designs, but some people have different bodies and prefer the larger seated cut on the Woolrich Elite. If I was heavier, I might not like the close fitting that the Eotac pants have. The only thing I am not very fond of on the Style 201 tactical pants is that the stitching on the lower ankle pockets has a few sharp spots on the insides and every once in awhile I get a small jab in my ankle by a something that feels like it’s pulling a hair out of my leg. If I wear long socks the issue goes away, but in the summer you can feel it.
Even though IWB is the most popular, I’m well aware of the number of people that do not carry this way. I’m not going to start mentioning fat people jokes, because I’m not fat and trying to get away from this method in the near future because it’s getting to be too uncomfortable. Maybe it’s some of the new tactical pants I have been trying out, but I’ve been getting some serious bruising from Kydex holsters lately. Paddle holsters are fine for Fall and Spring, but if I have to wear a heavy winter coat, I prefer to carry with a shoulder holster. I’m still up in the air as to what kind of shoulder holster to get because shopping for holsters is like buying clothing, it may fit you, but comfort and flexibility is something you find out later.
Pocket carry means for most of us that we are carrying a small gun, and not everyone feels like that is enough of a gun. I’m not real big on arguing about caliber wars, but I am big on carrying spare magazines and more ammo. I’m fine with 2 magazines of .380 vs carrying a 5 shot .357 magnum. IWB gun holsters are something that needs to be matched up to body size, some guys can fit a Beretta 92FS IWB but that pretty much eliminates anyone that is thinly built. I would make sure you match your shirts up to your CCW method and check yourself in the mirror or ask a family member you trust to ask you if they can tell where your gun is.
The first question I would ask someone if they were asking me for a holster would be to ask them “for what” and then say “how much do you want to spend”. I am starting to feel very uncomfortable in carrying inside the waist. I believe it is probable the best location for CCW, but it can get uncomfortable if you are a 7 days a week carrier. Most cops carry in a paddle or belt holster and that has a lot to do with comfort. I’m hearing good things about Crossbread holsters, but I still haven’t held them in my hands or tried them out. I should be getting a few in sometime next month, but in the mean time, I’ve been carrying with a Don Hume Jit holster and I am finding it very comfortable.
I haven’t had to alter the types of clothing I have worn since switching the way I carried, and I have to watch I don’t lift my arms up too high. I can’t wait for Spring when I can wear some of my lighter weight vests because right now this winter indoor heat at stores is killing me. I almost passed out when I was walking around doing Christmas shopping because the dry heat and lack of breath ability of the heavy winter coat I wore almost made me want to turn around and go home. I have several Fobus holsters that work very well, but even the paddle starts to bother me. A friend of mine took a class with his Fobus holster and said that it hurt at the end of the day after he was rolling around on the ground. I have found that full size autos work very well with the Fobus paddle holsters, but they are not the most comfortable to wear.
I’m going to continue to post info about this because I do not think it is common knowledge that gun safes are far more reliable and easy to access than ever before and there is no excuse for not locking up your loaded firearms. I have conducted several firearms training courses where I have taught students that have never fired a gun before and they were all interested in learning how to keep a loaded firearm in their home and not have to worry about a kid getting a hold of it. Gunvault gun safes are the best option and I strongly suggest people consider putting them in one or more places in their homes. The best place is always the master bedroom, but a biometric gun safe means nobody but you can access it or anyone that you program to can use it.
I’m still waiting for the day when Gunvault gun safes comes up with a safe for a quick access AR15 or shotgun, but there are ways to conceal a location of a Carbine or shotgun and I personally would recommend a Remington 870 over a handgun any day and some ballistics tests I have seen would tend to say that a .223 fragmenting bullet is also a better option in a residential area where dry wall and partical board prevails. Do yourself a favor and pick up the best Gunvault gun safe that you can afford and get your firearms locked up for safeties sake.