Monday, June 21, 2010

Basic Firestarting - Without Matches

You Need a Great Little Shovel for Survival

I could blather on about how handy a sturdy shovel is outside of regular planting duties around the yard (which is is excellent at) or you could just watch the more entertaining Cold Steel Shovel video.



Selecting a Fixed Blade Survival Knife




OK here is the Cold Steel SRK knife test video. WARNING THEY LOVE CUTTING RAW MEAT.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Scarey situation I wanted to share.

Test your firearm upgrades before repromoting it to primary defense weapon.


YouTube Video

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blackhawks Sherpa Holster for Glock 19

Having picked up a couple Glock 19 pistols I needed a really good holster. If you are like me no holster is perfect just another set of compromises. My hope is the Blackhawk Sherpa provides enough adjustment to make evenme happy.


YouTube Video


















Posted from my iPhone

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ruger Mark III Slab Sided Competition Pistol Review - Sniper's Squirrel Hunter Build

Ruger Mark III Slab Sided Competition Pistol Review - Sniper's Squirrel Hunter Build

Building the Perfect Day/Night Critter Getter

If a sniper designed a squirrel pistol this would be it. Apparently the question of how accurate could a stock Mark III be was soon to be answered after a recent trip to the gun shop. There is was like a beckoning siren's song, a used Ruger Mark III in stainless for $250. I just bought a Mark III in blue what was I thinking... not sure. OK not completely stainless either, the lower is steel coated with the rust proof parkerized finish Ruger manufactured for certain distributors. Whatever goofy distributor special this slab sided Ruger Mark III Competition was, it was in like new condition with case, two magazines, rosewood grips, weaver rail, a screaming deal, and clearly mis-priced by $250. The sales guy noted the price after I said I would take it and attempted to make the switch up to $450, but alas my Paypal card was faster than he.
Knowing what I know now about this deal of a Mark III, it may have been that the gun was returned for functioning issues and was traded in as such, not sure. I knew that if the previous owner had just gone through my above tuning steps he wouldn't have traded it in.
My first trip to the range with the gun confirmed why it was thrown to the wolves, it jammed like it was designed to be a single shot. I pulled the chamber indicator actuator at the range and it became a different gun altogether with very good reliability and above average accuracy.
Additions were my old trusted Tasco Red Dot sight with A-Square rings, UTG Tri-Rail Shotgun Mount and a high power Green laser powered by a single CR123A battery. It was a pain to find a rail mount for the Mark III. Am I the only one who wanted to mount a 1" laser or tac light to a Ruger Mark III? Volquartsen has a rail mount but $250 was seemed steep for what I needed so I was lucky the $20 UTG shotgun mount worked.
The Tasco was tried and true on my old Colt Cadet 22 and still has a few years of service left and provides 9 levels of dot intensity. The UTG mount is perfect for providing a permanent mount for the green laser and attachment points for a tactical lights for night hunting. You would think this class of laser is overkill, however I would disagree. Less powerful lasers you simply cannot see in daylight and even in dusk conditions dots can be tough to pick up visually on moving
game. The green laser you can SEE even in daylight and for dangerous nut nabbing tree rodents, it's visible at the top of even the tallest trees. Raccoons and other night stirring varmints can be quick moving and sometimes aggressive, so this reliable point and shoot option can be handy.
After polishing the throat and ramp, sharpening the extractor and tweaking the trigger, the results were this 30 round 1" group with CCI Mini-Mag HP. Sub-.5" groups are now common with match ammo.
For night hunting or just taking the dog out after hours a spare 1" tactical light provides plenty of light out to 40 yards. The light mounts and dismounts quickly via a standard thumb screw Weaver scope mount on the bottom rail. Yeah the gun starts to look like something from Bladerunner, but on the other hand it's a very handy pest elimination & hunting tool when it's dark out.
The Sight Mark green laser works great... but...the pressure switch sucks. I have resoldered the connections about a half dozen times and they fail due to the thin wiring. I removed the wiring and soldered a piece of wire from the center connection to the side connection and can now use the rear end cap like a momentary switch with my left index finger - which is a nature grip with my left index finger pointed forward. If I want to lock on the laser I can simply give the end cap a 3/4 twist and it will stay on.
Next steps are install a full Volquartsen Performance Kit, Extractor and possible some new grips, perhaps a 2-6 Simmons scope, but for now I will have to manage with a sub-1" gun... uh I mean two.
More great groups.









FURTHER UPDATES
The laser and red-dot sight setup worked great until I reclaimed the laser for my Kel-Tec Sub 2000 build and burning need on the Mark III slab side for a smaller lighter red-dot that did not require me to hunt for the dot.  I did use the laser quite a bit however as not of my use was at night a much smaller laser would do. For now I am very happy with just a Bushnell TRS-25 mounted on the pistol which provides for a very fast shooting gun and instant sight picture.





Martin Recurve Bow Review

Martin Recurve Bow Review
Sometimes a Bow & Arrow Quietly do the Job
(BONUS - How to Convert Your Take Down Recurve to a Tool-less Take Down bow)



About a 1000 years ago I started shooting a bow. My first bow was a fiberglass recurve from Sears or Kmart with about 15# of pull + 3 indestructible fiberglass arrows that could be shoot into brick and it was the most awesome thing a kid could have. Later I upgraded to Bear Classic compound bow that was adjustable from 40-75lbs of pull and shot arrows about a billion MPH... I grew into it. When I married, my wife gave me a great 30-35# recurve bow that again rejuvenated my love in bows. I lugged that bow to back and forth to the college archery range for four years and shot what I am sure were 1000s of arrows through it. I still have it today, but it's a long un-packable 5 foot long recurve and certainly not something you can
just have packed away in the truck.

Although I have historically enjoyed the potential energy of pulling back more than a few bow string, over the years I have leaned toward firearms and my bowmanship has suffered.

After seeing the movie "The Book of Eli" and realizing that in the post-apocalyptic world of "I ain' t got no ammo", the bow and re-useable arrow is a mighty handy survival tool and it was time once again I restart flinging arrows. Although Eli's bow was a mysteriously high power super easy bolt & tool-less take-down design, the idea of a packable recurve that could take harvest all manner of deer and smaller game seemed like a smart purchase... enter the 40# Martin Jaguar Recurve and a $20 off coupon form Cabelas.

Technically I don't "need" another bow, but having a powerful take down bow that is faster and powerful enough to take down deer all while keeping me out of the $20 per visit gun range seems like a good deal. Seriously don't you think it's a good idea to havesomething when ammo runs low and the zombies are loose?

The Martin Jaguar Recurve is a great deal in the scope of recurve bows. Sure the fit and finish is not premium, but it is good quality and it's power and accuracy will certainly provide more game harvesting abilities than my old recurve. I really like the idea that the bow broken down and will easily fit in my small backpack. The Martin Jaguar bow features a light aluminum riser with a nice rubber grip. The riser has all the potential fun fitment attachment points of a standard compound bow. That's right, all the compound bow goodies will fit and the wood and fiberglass laminate limbs are plenty tough.

I was a little disappointed on a couple fronts. First I was really expecting my Cabela's sourced bow to be the kit which includes bow, arrows, case, and a few other accessories. This was not Cabela's fault, however the never version, although more expensive, is a kit and I was hoping for the un-noted upgrade. Instead it was just the bow in a box with horribly written instructions that leaves you guessing which limb is top and bottom (FYI - it doesn't make any difference, just pick one, label it, and stick to it).

The second was that the camo riser comes with black limbs... seems a camo bow riser should come with camo limbs...right?.

Setup was simple with a bow square. I added a few optional accessories that made the bow fit my intended need. A No-Glove was added to the sting and nocked in place, a XL kisser was mounted above the top No-Glove finger bead to assure shot to shot accuracy.

Some may not like the No-Glove beads in favor of a release, but I actually intended to do both. The point of this setup was to have something simple and reliable when the shit is pressed through the fan. Later I added a TRU-NOCK metal loop for highly accurate release shooting, but if I loose the release, the No-GLove will always be ready.

Zombies and D-Day aside, I have used the No-Glove beads for a number of years and have found that I can deliver faster opportunistic shots than if I have to worry about screwing around with a release or slipping my three finger pad in place.

BowJax string silencers and LimbSaver Ultra-Quads limb silencers were added to quiet down the bow to a whisper. Wrist slings are love-em or hate-em accessories. I happened to have some extra parachute cord and braided up 9' into a short little wrist sling that gives me 9' of useable cord should the need arise and will definitely keep me from dropping the bow from some deer stand... again.

A couple disappointing items. The first is that the arrow rest basically sucks. Why Martin didn't include a standard flipper is a little surprising. Sure you could live with it and I am sure it would last, but the slick plastic moves back and forth in the rest slot and constantly has be fiddled with. It's a critical piece of accuracy that needs replacing. I am planning on adding an upgraded arrow rest to assure I can stay on target.


The other annoying ankle biting item is that it's a take down bow... you know, designed so it can be easily broken down for storage or packing. So why do most Martin and most other take down bows require you to use an Allen wrench that you are going to loose out in the middle of nowhere.

Fortunately converting the Martin Jaguar it to a tool-less take-down bow is an $5 easy conversion. I picked up a couple 3" long 5/16"-18 all-thread/grub screws and cut them to 2-1/4" long. These were screwed back into the cross bolt with some Red permanent Lock-Tite. After that it was as simple as screwing on the threaded knob. This setup gives me a couple advantages. First it locks in place the very looseable cross bolts, and second I can assemble/disassemble the entire bow down by hand is less than a minute without tools.

Before the tool-less take-down conversion, assembly entailed inserting the cross bolt in the riser, spin it to align so that the main bolts will thread, dropping it three of four times, repeating the process, find you hex wrench, hold the limb in placed while attempting to get the thread started for assembly, and then finally start spinning the bolt with the hex wrench. Try all that that in a low light condition in tall grass. Post-conversion, the first couple steps are omitted; simply place the limbs on the bolt, add the two washers and spin on and hand tighten the threaded knob... simple.

The knobs were ere all rubbed down with scotch-brite pads to give them a nice dull finish that matched the flat black limbs. The conversion turned out great and knobs don't stick out too much, but I will keep an eye out for some lower profile versions to lower the profile a bit. A 20 minutes of work well worth the $5.

SHOOTING IMPRESSIONS
Overall the Martin Jaguar is fun to shoot and has proven to be extremely accurate. The arrow rest is driving me nuts and will be remedied soon, but still a pretty accurate bow. The limbs provide a lot of very smooth draw and showed no signs of loading when over drawing.

This bow is really interesting and should appeal to a lot of folks. The hard core compound bow enthusiast will load this down with all their typical sights, nock release loop, peep sight, silencers, and front stabilizers and enjoy something different that feels just like their compound bow. The traditional guys will keep with something closer to an out of box configuration. The beginners will enjoy a great bow at a great price that they can shoot and hunt with for a lifetime. For the nuts like me who believe a powerful, smooth shooting take down recurve might be a key to higher tag filling limits and post apocalyptic survival, the Martin bow is the perfect fit.

UPGRADES!
You know how it is, all the stuff that drives you nuts about something you just bought begins to keep you up at night. With a few upgrade I am happy as a clam.

Bodoodle TimberDoodle Arrow Rest - The POS (as in piece of shit) arrow rest was one component that that was driving me nuts... moving around every third shot. Argh. Behold a Bodoodle TimberDoodle arrow rest for $25 bucks. I have no idea why my local archery shop had one since it was designed for finger shooting and they were a compound bow only shop, but I do know it was the only one and was 50% off it's original $50 price. For the quality it seemed a great deal and was bolted on right in the shop. Though I knew the distinctive design was for finger shooters, I didn't know it was a such as nice little rest until I got home to Google what I bought. Apparently my little clearance arrow rest with a goofy name is one of the most durable riser mounted finger shooter rests available and also one of the few even made. Finger shooters are far and few between and even fewer are finger shooters with a metal riser'ed bow... anyway glad they made it because this thing will last into the next millennium. It features a billet aluminum design with two fully adjustable stainless prongs, a spring loaded shoot though drop away design with all the standard tuning adjustments. Overall I couldn't have designed a better more durable or accurate finger or release shootable rest. This is a rest that has zero maintenance and will never wear out... perfect for a bow that was designed to work under the worst conditions.

TRU-Nock Metal Nock - I knew that if I wanted ultimate flexibility and the best accuracy a release is always preferable over a finger release. The $15 Tru Nock slipped right in between my No-Glove beads and provided a durable attachment point for my Fletcher release. It mounted up easy and leaves nothing to wear our of come loose. A couple nice design points are it replaces your nocks, provides perfect string alignment from shot to shot, and because there is no string twist, your arrow stays on the rest during draw.

Fletcher Archery .44 Caliper - Get it .44 Caliper instead of caliber... took me a couple reads of the package as well. What you get in this feature packed sub-$40 release is quiet, light weight, adjustable trigger, with interlocking machined aluminum jaws. The length strap adjustment wasn't as easy as the screw type to fit, but I do like that the flexible strap allows the head to be tucked in my sleeve relatively out of the way. I nice little release that doesn't break the bank.

Timberline No-Peep - Sadly you need to get this gadget while you can, because Timberline Archery Products appears to be out of business. This no-peep gadget is designed to eliminate the string mounted peep sight. The idea is simple, align the center circle in the middle of the outer circle which is fiber optic illuminated... kind of a align the solar eclipse. Once you do you are in perfect sight alignment and you can just shoot off the sights. My idea was a little different to use the No-Peep as a sight. Hey, if you can use it for alignment then you can use it to sight. I now have it set up to eclipse/align at the point of impact and it works as well as any sight and can be shot with both eyes open for real point and shoot capability. Best of all because it mounts on the inside of the bow, it is more compact and about 100% more durable and smaller than any sight made. Not a bad deal for $10 in the bargain bin at Cabelas.



Cabelas AR Case 35" - I needed a case for easy transport of both this bow and my Ruger 10/22 with folding stock. The $30 Cabelas AR Case fit the bill and allows my bow disassembled, guard, release, and a dozen arrows to be all carried in a case that is only the length of my 28" arrows. Perfect case for lugging to range and for bumping around in the trunk.

Cabelas 55-70 Carbon Fiber Hunter Arrows - The 50-100 original twenty plus year old hollow fiberglass arrows that I saved from the trash bin when my old University switched to carbon fiber arrows have served me well for some time. Today though they are a very sad lot of a dozen arrows in about 6 various lengths with five different fletches... it was time for a new set of arrows.

I walked into Cabelas with bow in hand to assure my arrows were cut to the proper length. Like most retailers, if you buy the arrows there they will cut them and glue them at no charge. What I was pleasantly surprised by was the 30 minutes the Cabelas dude took to have be try out a number of different arrows sets and how each shot and grouped for me. I was encouraged to just hang out and shoot until I found what was comfortable to shoot. He watched to see which arrows flexed and stabilized the best in flight, which were quieter. We tested fletch, spine weight and point weight. The feathered arrows shot the quietest, but for durability and more compatibility with broad heads, I chose the short Blazer fletched 55-70 arrows with 100gr tips. What surprised both of us was how well the short Blazer fletched arrows shot from my non-compound, non-blistering speed bow all while still producing a the tightest tested arrows with 3" groups at 15 yards. Another thing that really surprised us was testing the same arrows in 55-70 and 65-80 spine strengths. The 65-80 produced groups twice as large as the same arrow with a 55-70 spine. All reasons you should really go into a place and shoot a bunch of different arrows to find what shoot best with you and your bow vs. just grabbing something off the shelf.

The arrows I settled on were the Cabelas brand Carbon Hunter series. They are all weight matched, tough C2 carbon construction with microsmooth surface and a straightness of +-.006". Definitely not the most expensive arrows at $60 for a dozen, there is just no way I would dump $100 for those super premium six arrows. Though I hope they last a while, I won't cringe when the envitable breakage occurs and I have lost a $5 arrow vs. a $20 version.

SHOOTING IMPRESSIONS
My first coupe times out... let's just say I was trying hard just to keep the arrows in the two foot target at 15 yards. After a lot more practice, and installation of the upgrades my best groups have shrank to 2 " at 15 yards. Obviously I hope to drop those groups down to my once arrow stacking accuracy abilities at 25 yards.

Reloading Basics

Reloading Basics
Starting Reloading

STILL WORKING ON THIS ARTICLE


Like many folks, I love to shoot, but the economics of shooting as much as you want can get expensive with anything expect little .22s. The solution is of course reloading your own rounds, but when I starting looking around for information, I found losts of confusing information that wasn't really as straight forward as one would think. Sadly the best information I found was not in an article, but on YouTube. Hopefully this article can help you start creating cheap rounds to keep you at the range. I should go without saying, but I am not an expert and following my advise is of course at your own risk to gun, body, life and limb.

HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE BY RELOADING?
That depends on the typical rounds you shoot and how often. For standard range shooting and plinking out of my 357/.38 special I can usually pick up a box of 50 FMJ Winchester rounds for around $18. Assuming I save the brass/shells from that box of rounds all I need is a primer, charge, and bullet for the reload. Primers are around $3/100 ($.03 each) and the Berry's MFG 158gr HP are decent quality and run $28/250 ($.12 each). I can make around 500 rounds from 1lb of $22 Bullseye powder ($.044 each). Total that up and you have around $.194 per round or just under $10 per 50 rounds. The savings is $8 per box and I typically chew through 200 rounds every time out = Savings $32.

GOAL
Obviously I wanted to get into reloading to save money not as a hobby, and dropping $1000 on a reloading setup didn't seem to bright to me. The result was a handy little setup under $100 that allows me to sit on the couch with the wife while watching TV and crank out rounds.

PRESS & RELOADING COMPONENTS

BRANDS
I'll note up front that like everything else there are a number of Reloading Equipment manufacturers and not all the various brands parts and pieces will work together. Dies from one may work with another, however not always. The most critical parts to match up are the press and die sets or any thing that attaches to the dies or press. Miscellaneous Case and Flash Hole Reamers can typically be any brand. I would suggest that your first go around with reloading to stick with one brand, I choose Lee Reloading as they offer a very high quality with a lower cost than almost any other brand.

My reloading setup is based on a simple Lee Hand Press Reloading kit.

Minimum Equipment:

Handy Extras:

Remington 870 Knoxx Stock Review and Rebuild

Remington 870 Defense Shotgun Review and Rebuild
Buckshot, Buckshot, Deer Slug, Buckshot, Buckshot, Deer Slug

For me a shotgun has always been a hunting firearm, but the venerable 12 Gauge is one powerful beast in the field and definitely for defending the home. A couple years ago the wife and I had some idiot attempt to break into our home. Though the intruder was sent running by two gun toting home owners, it made us think about up'ing our personal defense arsenal with a dedicated high capacity defense 12 gauge. The result was my wife backing me on the purchase of a Remington 870 Synthetic 7-shot 12 gauge for home defense. A screw up by my local gun dealer, and an I'm sorry discount allowed me to walk home with a smoking $220 deal on the shotgun I would have bought anyway at $295.

RANGE DAY ONE
So day two of new new elephant gun ownership and the wife and I hit the range. Unlike my wife (don't get ahead of me), I am used to 12 gauge shotguns. My wife did not find it amusing I randomly stacked 2 3/4" #8 shot, 3" 00 buckshot and 3" deer slugs in the tube magazine.
Of Course this was a training aid, but the result was that both the wife and I were begging for a little recoil relieve after 100 rounds of random 12 Gauge shells.

RELIEF IN SIGHT
Though the stock wood or synthetic stocks are just dandy if you are walking the field and maybe only click through a half a dozen shells while missing all manner of potential edible critter, however something cushier is needed for extended tactical training or extended shooting of high power loads. Our savoir came in the form of the Blackhawk Knoxx recoil stock kit which advertises up to 95% felt recoil. Internet videos show one handed 3" slugs shots with little recoil and nearly zip muzzle rise. I was sold and picked one up.

FEATURES & INSTALLATION
The stock kit is available in black and hunting camo pattern and comes complete with simple but sufficient installation instructions, long allen wrench for installation, recoil reducing buttstock and improved forend. A Phillips screwdriver is used to remove butt pad and a large standard screwdriver is used to remove the stock. The forend requires typical front end barrel removal and disassembly for installation. The only hiccup I had was the front end took a little coaxing for install, but nothing a couple minutes of patience didn't cure.

The Knoxx stock screws right in with the included hex bolt and Allen wrench. The forend requires typical front end barrel removal and disassembly for installation.Presto... done.


The Knoxx stock features two recoil reduction systems, one at the grip and the other in the stock. The pistol grip features a sprung cammed system that allows the gun to slide back on a track slightly at an angle. The second recoil reduction is in the adjustable shoulder stock via a standard horizontal sprung mechanism. My expectation was the the Knoxx stock would feel springy, but I have to say that super light clay/skeet loads probably won't budge the springs noticeably. In fact if pressed you could still use the butt to exercise an authoritative Hollywood mob shotgun head check. Suffice to say the springy recoil reducing stock still is plenty stiff and takes excessive force exerted from my fatass to move manually.

Having the shoulder stock adjustable is awesome and also a feature I didn't think would be all that useful. After you shoulder the gun in a t-shirt and then put on a thick jacket you will quickly appreciate that the stock length can be easily and quickly changed with just the lift of a lever even in a field or tacticle situation.  Thia feature should be on every field gun.


RANGE DAY ONE
Finally I had a chance to blast away and get some range time on this beast. I LOVE IT. I think 95% recoil reduction is bullshit, but significant recoil reduction is obvious. I think the springs could be a little softer, however they may loosen up after some longer shooting sessions. The biggest noticeable improvement was secondary shot follow-up. My wife still does not feel comfortable with full 3" buckshot and slug loads for more than a couple shots, but with the shorter buckshot and slug loads are a pleasure to shoot.

Ruger LCP .380 Review

Ruger LCP .380 Review
If it got any smaller you wouldn't be able to grip it
Fortunately in past and current society there has always been a need for cute tiny little concealable handguns that are fun to carry, own, and fire, however I would rather the need for the size be for more fun other than self defense. A gun that is tiny, light, unobtrusive, but available with enough firepower to stop any manner of anti-social critter in its tracks has always been needed. Derringers have almost always filled that bill historically being carried by both ladies & gentleman. The little two shooters provided only dual shots and typically delivered poor accuracy. The next obvious choice for a concealable gun was an air weight snubby revolver or something like a Walter PPK like Bond...James Bond. Revolvers and PPKs are still both a little big for pocket and purse duty unless you are either large framed or large pursed - enter the tiny light Ruger LCP chambered in Bond's favorite caliber. Pair this with your local Concealed Carry license and you have the most comfortable carry gun made for man or woman.

FEEL THE POWER BABY
First off, no the .380 is not as powerful as today's hot 9mm loads, after all a Browning 9mm Short is the same thing as a .380 ACP. Obviously "short" means less power, so it shouldn't be any surprise that the .380 has less pep, power, and energy than the venerable hotly loaded 9mm. That said bullet and ammunition technology today puts a heck of a lot of stopping power into today's .380ACP that I would still bet my life on. In reality, our high tech .380 rounds today probably deliver more stopping power on target than the old round nose FMJ 38 specials and 9mm of just 20 years ago.

My expectation was a loud as hell crack every time I pulled the trigger that left my ears ringing like I left a Bon Jovi concert, neither of those thoughts would have been ideal. A pleasant surprise was the report while shooting. I lit off a clip of FMJ target rounds without hearing protecting just to hear the report and I have to say it was scary quite like a match .22LR round from a rifle. Even the hottest .380 rounds are still sub-sonic out of the LCP. You probably won't wake the neighbors with this as quickly as you would with you 9mm, .40, or your 357.

Bottom line is that I would rather have my 357 magnum loaded to the max in the instant the chips hit the floor, but chances are I'll have the featherweight 9.5oz LCP in my pocket and my 40oz revolver will be at home. The reality is the gun you have with you will always beats the perfect weapon you have at home. With that point I will accept any of the 380 ACP power deficiencies and make the best of it though better ammunition.

FEATURES & WEIGHT
The Ruger LCP is pretty trim on features. No safety, no empty magazine slide hold open, and no laser or bayonet lug, or picatinny rail mounts. It's just a simple no-nonsense pistol that can be pulled snag free and deliver 7 rounds (6+1) with seven clicks of the double action trigger. Minimal features are a non-ambidextrous slide catch and a magazine release. This is not a long range sniper rifle by any stretch of the imagination, but its design fits its purpose. I would have liked to have a full double action trigger meaning that I could hit the primer again should I ever have a primer failure (most failed
primers will fire on the second strike). In testing I had one round of cheap 9mm Short rounds that failed to detonate. As expected a rechamber and second hit of the primer detonated the round. A primer failure in premium ammo is very remote, but I would have like the ability to double click a round if needed. I had no mis-feeds of any kind.

Combined with the diminutive size, you will be stunned at the weight. 9.4oz unloaded feels like a money clip with a couple bills sliding into yourpocket. I have folding pocket knives that weight more than this gun. It's truly, "wow I could carry this everyday everywhere" light.
Cabela's had a special deal on my go around which included small and large zip up gun rugs/bags, Desantis pocket holster, and an extra magazine all for $329... what a deal. The Desantis pocket holster is stunningly simple and effective and provides amazing draw speeds from back and front pockets. I dare you to find non-spandex pants or shorts that the Ruger LCP will not disappear into. I doubt I would ever carry an extra magazine, however it's nice to have it available. This was a nice little kit at a great price that I am sure will put a hurt on the sales of Keltec's similar version of this gun as the fit and finish is superior to the Keltec in every way.

SIGHTS
This is not going to be a competition match class handgun and I doubt that in the situation of fulfilling the gun's intended purpose at point blank ranges, that the sights would even be used, but Ruger still added sights. Not exactly the pinnacle of engineering but they work for the intent of the pistol and print up shots on target in line of sight. Someone already makes a nice little laser that could greatly enhance off-hand accuracy, however I am questioning the usefulness of it in a combat/defensive situation. The cost of the laser is half of the gun... seems an extra LCP for the wife would be a better investment.

SHOOTING IMPRESSIONS
It says a lot when you know someone who bought one of these and every one of his friends & their wives now all own one. That's a hell of a endorsement. After shooting I can see why. The gun is easy to shoot, fun, and really pretty accurate for a tiny little pistol. The report is mild and the recoil is easily controllable. You expect to sacrifice a lot with accuracy, but the LCP delivers impressive groups if you do your part. I ran over 150 rounds through it with only one malfunction. I shot at 1/2 scale silhouette targets. The head shots were a 12 shot group. The torso shots were a 6 shot group. Both at 7 yards, not to shabby for a gun the size of a computer mouse. This were my best groups with careful shooting. Fast shooting produced groups in the paper plate sized range at 7 yards. Still completely acceptable defensive accuracy.

FINAL THOUGHTS
If you think the size of your average computer mouse would be a great size for a handgun, then you are going to love the LCP. Since I first reviewed th Ruger LCP I have had an opportunity to carry and shoot the gun even more.  It is so small you will end up carrying it everywhere.  The problem when I strap on my Glock 19 is that if we are headed out to friend's house for the evening or to the mall a Glock seems excessive.  Usually I slip the LCP in my packet and forget about it because of it's weight all day.  This is a true concealed carry gun which I feel I more than adequate  for nearly any self defense situation for male or female - a great first gun for self defense.. Overall a great little gun that will be with you when the chips are down.

See you at the Range.


McFadden Ultimate Cliploader for Ruger Mark II/III Review


McFadden Ultimate Cliploader Review




Loading clips is now as fast as shooting

My wonderful Ruger Mark IIIs are fun to shoot but they are thumb-busters. I now have six magazines to delay the inevitable reloading pain at the range. When I heard about the McFadden Ultimate Cliploader I was beyond excited; 3 seconds flat to load a magazine sounded like a challenge to see which was faster loading or unloading of a clip.

The instructions are simple:
  • Drop in up to 100 rounds in the hopper
  • Shake the loader to align rounds
  • Insert magazine, pump it a bit if needed, and the rounds will be loaded
  • Note - Sticky rounds may take a little extra jiggling


I picked up an Ultimate Cliploader on eBay form the company and received a fast confirmation that my order was shipped. Days later I had my clear McFadden Ultimate Cliploader in hand. This is a substantial molded Lexan loader which will take all manner of neglect and abuse that would be typical be tossed around inside of backpack and truck bed

Yes it is a gadget, yes its inexpensive, yes it appears to be too good to be true... but it works wonderfully marvelous. THIS IS A MUST HAVE GADGET FOR ANY MARK I/II/III or Browning Buck Mark Owner. 


There is a little learning curve for example you may have to turn the mag catch out a bit, as I did, to assure your magazine spring is fully compressed for a full mag load. As the instructions note, I do have to do a couple pumps to load my Mark III clips, but still maybe 4-5 seconds to load a magazine and20-30 seconds for five magazine... outstanding. Few products are this good as advertised. Outstanding must have product.

SOURCES
McFadden Machine Gun Company - http://www.mcfaden.com/

Ruger Mark III .22LR Review

Ruger Mark III .22LR Review
The pistol we all lusted after



The year was 1980 and I was [cough] much younger and lusting after a Ruger Mark I Target Model with 5.5" Heavy Bull barrel, 10 shot clip and fully adjustable target sights. Yes this was my very own mental version of the Red Rider BB Gun... no leg lamp necessary. A friend's dad had bought one and it was about the coolest gun I had ever seem. To me it looked sexy like a James Bond gun and was touted as being one of the most accurate 22 pistols made. Disappointed as I was, it would be many decades until the desire was fulfilled.

I always intended to pick one up, and Ruger almost got me once when the stainless models hit, but other "fabulous deals" and my persistent complaint of that goofy mag release, had me passing time and time again on a Ruger Mark II all while a VERY accurate Colt Cadet Model 22 filled the void in my heart. Fast forward to the Buck Rogers future of 2009 and I finally am a proud owner of the previously mentioned Ruger but now in Mark III format, um well full disclosure, actually two Ruger Mark III's.

THE DEED
It all happened innocently enough, yeah the same old story... took guns in to sell not trade and ended up licking the gun case in an "O My God... Finally!" moment upon seeing the upgraded Ruger Mark III. Yes my previous complains were resolved with updates including Weaver mount, target sights included, and mag thumb release - joy. Other upgrades I have to admit are not so great such as the pain in the ass magazine safety that prevents firing of the gun without a magazine.

The trade in made the price equivalent to skipping a few lunches and I was walking out happy as a clam with my purchase. It's been a great range gun to have fun keeping my skills intact and has been a blast to fiddle around with and tune. Initial accuracy ran around 1.5"-2" at 30'/10 yards for 10 shot groups. Not great and I was pretty disappointed as I had shot plenty of Mark II that were much more accurate. Part of accuracy problem was I am sure my rising level of frustration and blood pressure dealing with reliability issues.

The sights on the Ruger are great and I have no intent to ever add optics or a scope on this gun, sights will probably be left just as I have always remembered that Ruger Mark I in my head unless I upgrade to a more rugged aftermarket iron sight option, so I guess that leaves a little bench tuning to get the most from the gun.

MODIFICATIONS
I really can't leave any factory trigger alone and lapped the trigger sear and hammer until mirror polished. The take up is long but the trigger now breaks crisply and my average groups drastically shrank.
I loath the magazine safety and found a suggestion of replacing the magazine safety gadgetry with a #10 washer and two 5mm washers. It worked perfectly with a little fitting and now maintains the standard safety, removes the magazine safety and allows the magazines to drop free. Here is the modification I followed.


The extractor was pulled and sharpened with a diamond hone as I have done previously on my Ruger 10/22. This does not provide Volquartsen Edge extractor performance, but greatly improved reliability.  Eventually I relented and purchased a Edge extractor to remedy some extraction issues when the gun was really dirty
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As I have done with all my automatics, the feed ramp and throat are heavily polished with polishing compound and a Dremel tool to a mirror state to increase feeding reliability. I am always stunned how dramatically this improves performance.


Though I love the idea of a chamber indicator, it is a utterly useless feature that rarely identifies the load state of the chamber correctly and contributes significantly to jamming and malfunctions. I was originally having significant feeding issues with most magazines having only 50% reliability. I removed the metal chamber indicator actuator and feeding returned to near Mark II like reliability. The indicator stays on the pistol and fills the space, but now does nothing. Later I filed down the remaining plastic spacer to remove any additional plastic hanging in the chamber and again feeding reliability increased.

Last was to pick up the standard in Ruger Mark III holsters, the Triple K Magazine Clip Pouch Holster for Ruger Mk III. The Triple K holsters can soak your average larger metropolitan phone book with it's oil soaked hide, however the design is a handy with a magazine holder and rugged classic design that is the perfect carry companion for the Ruger Mark III on any outdoor expidition. I will note that it is about the slowest drawing holster on the market, but I don't suppose anyone will be using a Mark III for any wild west shootouts. As the gun sits tight enough to withstand parachute jumps, the retaining strap is superfluous and just ends up in the way. I have been told the sub-$20 Fobus holster is great if you need faster access to your Mark III.
 
RESULTS
Post operation and modification I had a big sigh of relief with the now typical off-hand .75" groups (with called fliers) at 30'/10 yards (to the right) shot with CCI Mini-Mag HP. Nearly all carefully shot groups fall under 1". I have even had a few .5" groups with Match Grade ammo. Throw the gun on a rest and you could probably get those same groups out to 25-30 yards without a problem.


The potential of the Ruger Mark III is out there looming and begging the question what a Volquartsen Performance Kit (Hammer, sear, adj. trigger) could do to the performance. So I have heard, adding this trigger group can decrease group size by half so I might have to give that a try. 

I may look up my old Cryo-Treater. After cryo-treating my previousl Colt Cadet, groups shrank by 1/2 and I wouldn't mind getting solid .5" groups on a regular basis.

RELIABILITY 
After over a year of fiddling, cussing, and having little puffs of smoke come out my ears, I believe I have identified the primary culprit of my reliability issues.  The other modifications did improve reliability, however problems still occurred more than I would have liked.  I read one very smart individual noting that obviously the magazine release was a new feature and on some of the earlier Mark III the magazine release engaged the magazine too high and tightly against the bolt guide.  His observation was that based on the older Mark II the magazine needed about 1/32" of minimum clearance under the bolt guide rail and should NOT be touching or forced against it... her was right.  I popped out the magazine releases on both my Mark III and Dremeled them down about 1/16". I would of course recommend you send any Mark III back to Ruger for service however I like to Gunsmith my own guns. Now both guns run perfectly.  Interesting little machines these guns are, one little tweak can turn frustration into perfection.

RUGER MARK III SNIPER'S SQUIRREL PISTOL - READ THE STORY HERE