Just like many things out there, you do have to be very careful what you use when cleaning your firearms. There are gun cleaners that will strip every bit of grease and grime off your gun, but you better remember to lubricate it again. People forget that there are many mechanical pieces of metal in motion and if they don’t function correctly you’re going too shorten the life of the part or have an unreliable firearm. I’ve been on the range enough times to see and hear differences in timing and cycle rates when firearms are lubricated correctly but not everyone will know to look for it, I guess it comes from having a musicians ear.
You may want to consider different gun cleaning supplies for different firearms. Bolt action rifles, semi-auto rifles, handguns, revolvers ect. There are always those hard to reach parts like the chamber of an AR15 and if you don’t have the correct chamber brush, it’s very hard to clean. Revolvers are another thing, I still use q-tips on some of my firearms especially on revolvers, I often find that cleaning the cylinders is very difficult with just cleaning patches. It also does matter what type of ammo you use. Also, remember that cleaning too much can damage a firearm, little things like guide rods can prevent damage and maintain accuracy on a rifle.
There are plenty of people out there that stock piled various firearm magazines in the last 2 years, especially after the Connecticut shooting when everyone thought that President Obama would have the Political climate to ban the AR15. I won’t ask all of you reading this, to raise your hands if you actually thought that would happen. I found it embarrassing to watch people panic. I had a friend who recently picked up his first AR15 a Colt 6920 and got a pretty good deal but it looked like it was sitting around for awhile from a Y2K panic buy, apparently the seller had large quantities of magazines for sale and he asked if it was a good deal.
I told him to buy whatever he wanted but if he was buying large quantities of them he better test them out before he thinks they are all going to work in his AR. Gun magazines are like wine, they need to be store properly, and all are made on different dates. There is truth to the fact that a Magpul Pmag will not be durable 30yrs from now just based on it’s material break down, and metal magazines won’t if stored properly, but how bad is your outlook on life if you have to worry about that? If you got a good buy on bulk magazines take atleast a half dozen of them and test them on the range and make sure they drop free, rotate the magazines when you use them, and when they need to be tossed out, open up the packaged ones and test them out again. Don’t expect the brand spankin newly wrapped magazines to work, I’ve one too many times seen people have issues with magazine dropp
I’ve got a little experience with the Vortex Magnifiers that I can give some comparison and feedback for anyone interested in one. First things first, and even our Vortex Rep said to us, these aren’t combat or military optics but they are pretty darn good. I was able to compare the an Eotech Gen 3 and the Vortex, as well as My own older Eotech Gen 2 Magnifier. I’m probable going to sell off My Gen 2 at some point because it’s pretty obvious to me that the lever you push to let the spring loaded release just begs to break. I often say to people when they start mounting stuff on their firearms that “every screw comes loose and every part can break” and the fewer parts and screws you have the less you have to fail. The Gen 3 is kind of clunky but it just seems to be a better idea.
Now back to the Vortex option, we get a lot of calls from people asking us if these are as good as the Aimpoint magnifier or the Eotech, after playing with Vortex 3mx-3t I have to say that it seems to be all about the mounts, the clarity differences was almost zero, I did find that the eye relief was better on the Vortex magnifier than the Eotech but not by much, maybe 5% difference. These make excellent target identifiers so you don’t have to call a cease fire on the range, just flip the magnifier over and you’ve got 3x. These have been hard to keep in stock and several local Police Departments are giving us feedback about them so I’ll probable post a follow up at some point.
In the years we have been running a retail operation we have all the sales data to tell us what our customers are continuing to use. There are always new guns coming out like the Sig P320, Sig P227, and Glock 42 and Glock 43. People are coming to us about getting holsters from companies like Blackhawk, Safariland, Desantis and Galco. It’s normally 9-12 months after a gun comes out, that the holster manufacturers come out with product and that’s always based on gun sales data and demand. If you buy a Sig Sauer pistol or a Glock, you’re probable going to find more holster options but the more features you want with a holster the fewer your options are going to be.
When it comes to holsters with retention, people have easily adjusted to either the Blackhawk Serpa holsters or the Safariland ALS holsters. I tend to let people pick what they want, but if they are new to carrying a firearm, I do voice My issues with the Blackhawk Serpa design. I’ve used them for years but just like putting Magpul B.A.D. levers on AR15s, you have to pick a mode and stick with it. Muscle memory is extremely important for safety and under stress, if you’ve never trained for it, is going to nab you in the butt. I’ve seen people draw firearms from holster and watch them spin in the air because they didn’t have a good grip on it, there are plenty of Youtube.com videos showing gun accidents with the Serpa, and there are also plenty of people that put a 124gr hollow point through their hand when disassembling a Glock. It happens when you aren’t disciplined and money can’t buy that, thumbreak holsters aren’t as common now that there is so much to choose from but I’d definitely lean towards the Safariland ALS holsters to start with, they are a bit on the heavy side but they work