All posts tagged Midwest

Combat guns and plinking guns and just having fun

I remember all of those times I spent arguing with people on gunboards about which gun was better and which guns were pieces of junk.   I started out collecting many of the Soviet era military style rifles, namely the SKS rifles.   There are some fun accessories from Tapco that can make even an old relic like an SKS into a more modern looking rifle, but even if it’s not an AK, you can always customize the firearm to your liking.   I wouldn’t expect to use an SKS for house to house clearing, but if you got it for $200 and want to improve the fit to your liking, go right ahead.

One problem I have found with many of the semi-autos I owned was that the length of pull on the guns was very short.  This was not something I go too worked up about with the plinking firearms I owned, but for a primary weapon, the rifle stocks you use on them should fit you like a glove.   Customizing a firearm to fit you is an important step in learning how to effectively use a firearm.   I have learned that the hard way with various rifle scopes that ended up putting a ring around my eye because the stock was so short, I forgot to adjust my bean and got a good thunk.  There is nothing wrong with changing the butt pad on any gun you own to fit you.  Just be aware that when you are wearing a heavy coat or winter clothing that LOP might need to be shorter, so don’t modify your stocks too much, and think about an adjusteable stock for just that purpose.


Buying guns for novice and youngsters

I have had several regrets in selling off firearms that I wish I would have held on to.  One of  my biggest regrets was selling a Russian Saiga rifle off because I couldn’t get anything but 5rd magazines for it, and then I found out that it was possible to legally alter the firearms so that it could take 30rd magazines.   It was a very small gunsmithing alteration that would have been done in a few minutes.  You just had to know that it could be done.


Another regret I had was selling off a Ruger 10/22 rifle because the gun wasn’t very accurate compared to my Marline bolt action rifles,  but after taking several kids to the range, I found out that the children under 8yrs old had trouble with the length of the rifle stocks and something as small as the Ruger 10/22 would have worked since it had such a short LOP.   If a gun isn’t junk, you may want to think about why you should hang on to it, because you may wish you did.


Bans on gun stocks and accessories

I feel sorry for some of the people that are gun owners and are presently stepping into the word of AR15, AK or Mini 14 ownership for the first time and live in anti-gun States.  I have had some really bizarre conversations with friends in California and New Jersey that had to take AR15 or FAL gun magazines and have blocks welded into them so they couldn’t take more than 10rds.  To some people these sounds like a good thing, but the real problem is  you are taking something that is functional at a certain operating system and potentially messing the whole thing up.  Magazine capacity restrictions are like putting smaller gas tanks on cars to keep people from speeding.   The other problems that many in New Jersey or California and other States run into are gun accessories like flash hiders or folding stocks, these are all usually banned.

I find the whole issue about bans on gun accessories like bayonets and folding stocks to basically be about people trying to put band aids on your kids body parts where there is no bleeding expecting to stop another person from beating him or her up.    Nobody wants to talk about how most gun crime is from the drug trade which basically is a self inflicted problem due to our Federal Government getting involved.    Gun accessories like, bayonets, flash hiders, folding stocks,  collapsing rifle stocks have no bearing on reducing crime and putting people who are a threat to society in jail for long periods of time would have more impact on reducing crime than making law abiding citizens block 20rd magazines so they can only hold 10.


gun grips and bare hands

As we progress into the tactical accessories market, the more we realize that when we make  one change to a firearm there is a good chance we may have to make another.   For example, there are a lot of rifle scope and rifle stocks  out there, but one may feel too short in the summer when we are wearing a t-shirt, and the other may feel too long if we are wearing a heavy coat.   I still laugh when I hear people say that the AK was built for short people, when the reality was that it was designed for people wearing winter clothing, and that’s why the stocks are so short.

The M4 carbine stock is designed for people that are wearing body armor and may not fit into your shoulder very well if you are not wearing any.   These are minor things to think about, but just as we think about the type of holster we are wearing, we should think about what kind rifle stocks, and how we are going to be shouldering and using a Carbine or Rifle.   Anyone that has gone on any extensive hunting trip will gladly get rid of an extra 2-3 lbs of weight if they can which is why so many prefer a Mini 14 for hunting over a 5rd AR15 type of rifle.


M4 Carbine setup for murphy’s law

I’m sure you’ve done plenty of research into combat optics, which is the toughest and which reticle is best for you,  but are you setup for a backup plan if your sighting system goes down?   Using loctite on all of the places that need to be locked down does wonders for reliability, but in combat, sometimes your optics can get smashed or even shot.    There have been several advertisements showing up about ACOGs getting hit by bullets and even surefire flashlights that took bullets and still worked, but sometimes a broken scope that is loctited to your gun will become a nightmare in a combat situation if it is broken.

I personally do not like the idea of fold down front sights because I never thought the permanent front sight obscured my targets if I hed the gun right, but some people really don’t like the front sights there when using red dots or Eotech gun sights.   Quick detach rifle scope and rifle sights are becoming more common because this is a reality of combat.   I think this is being a little too anal, but if it works for them, that’s their decision.   I do see some people operate Eotech gun sights with no backup sights and I think it’ll  be a matter of time before they show up a range with dead batteries and realise that their gun is going to be as accurate as a blunderbuss.   If you set your cowitness sights up, you can use them as primaries or backups at any point.   Using fold down front sights is an extra step to getting your Carbine backup if the primary optic goes down, but that’s just my opinion.


Do we all wear the same size gloves?

rifle stocksAnd the answer is no, we do not, so why do people expect us to be able to shoulder the same size rifles or grip the same size handguns comfortable?  Even if you’re a guy, you’re not all built the same, and luckily the military has caught on to this.    If I had a nickel for every WWII vet I know that made a comment on how big the Garand was and how many of them had trouble shooting one, I’d be rich.   The M1 Garand is a very accurate and powerful rifle, but not everyone could hand them.   If you field a rifle of the same caliber today, and allowed people to adjust the stock for their comfort, recoil issues go away.

In the last few months I’ve had a lot of consultation with new gun owners about home defense weapons and assessing how they could be deployed and used within their homes.   Many of them always thought about handguns being used in their homes and never rifles but there are carbines with rifle stocks that use the same rounds as the pistols.  Everyone seems to think that a rifle is too much or too hard to manage, but now that pistol caliber Carbines are so prevailant.  Why not.    I prefer to mount lights on rifles rather than handguns, and I also know that most novice shooters will be safer and more proficient with a Carbine over a handgun.   At the very least, a rifle is easier to retain and become a baseball bat than a handgun.   Please keep in mind that bullet selection is extremely important when deciding on a Carbine or rifle in your home.   There are some very well thought out M4 rifle stocks, Beretta Storm, and shotgun stocks that are very good for home defense.


Customized rifles and shotguns

rifle stocksThere is another issue that I see come up when taking new students to the range.   I usually bring various military style rifles with me to get people to adjust to recoil and realize the common military style weapons that exist in the world.   Many of these individuals, after a day on the range tend to select the gun that fit them the best.   When I first got into shooting rifles, I started out with all of the military surplus firearms that came into the Country in the early and mid 1990s.   There may never be another time where Soviet style weapons are imported into this Country.   The military warehouses got cleaned out after the fall of the Soviet Empire and American gun owners were the beneficieries.

When I started shooting these rifles, I was lucky if I could hit a pie plate since my shooting expertises was at the novice level.    I’ve shot within 2 inch groups with all of these weapons in the last few years with handloaded ammo so I know that my shooting skills had achieved there peak with these types of firearms.   Another thing I had to do before being able to shoot these rifles comfortable is to upgrade all of the rifle stocks to longer lengths.  I put on various rifle stocks on my SKS rifles, MAK90s and Romanian and Bulgarian AK styles weapons.    I told some of my students that when choosing a Primary rifle or Carbine for Defensive training, don’t hesitate to customize the weapon to your personal comfort.  Put the rifle buttstock on your rifle that you feel comfortable with and make sure you measure your length of pull.   Many of those AK style weapons are too short for us taller types but it is possible to get longer rifle stocks that can get you closer to your comfort zone.

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