Saturday, August 13, 2016

Swab Its Bore Cleaning Products Review

Swab Its Bore Cleaning Products Review

I first saw the Swab Its at the 2015 SHOT Show and simply didn’t get the concept of them - hmm disposable foam bore cleaners. Yeah the concept was cool, however I wondered why anyone would buy such an expensive single use product.  Like many times in life I was wrong. The reality I figured out a full year later is that Swab-Its are a well made non-damaging bore cleaner which can be cleaned and continually reused many...many times.

Despite my inability to understand the product, the Swab Its concept it pretty cool and simple and I am lucky they kept hounding me to try them. What I thought were foam tips are actually a highly durable plastic foam which can be washed and cleaned with simple soap and water or most commercially available solvents over and over again.  One of the Bore-Whips I have tortured has a little over seventy or so cleans and it is still holding up fine. If I was packing out on a hunting trip, I would not worry about anything more than one of the extremely lightweight Swab Its Bore-Whips.

The secret to the durable cleaning swabs is a patented lint-free plastic foam which is far more durable than “regular” foam. The appropriate bore sized tips also have a hard plastic sub-tip under the plastic foam which allow the tips to have a tight fit down the bore. Unlike linty cotton swabs the Swab Its can clean a bore in one pass in most cases due to the tight 360 degree bore cleaning coverage. Usually one pass was all I needed to get a nice clean bore down my very dirty .22LR match 10/22 rifle barrels and AR15 barrels. Cleaning various handguns and rifles with the other caliber specific Bore-Tips proved to deliver single pass cleaning with nothing more than WD40 on the Bore-Tip. I even use these on my airguns.

Swab Its was nice enough to send me a sample of their entire line of products to feature in the article. The Swab-Its line includes a number of products incorporating the bore tip technology available in various forms including screw in Bore-Tips which fit any standard 8/32 and 5/16-27 threaded cleaning rods on the market. I love my comprehensive Otis cleaning kits and they accept any 8/32 threaded cleaning tool such as the Bore-Tips. I was able to just screw in a tip matching the caliber of the gun getting cleaning and pull it through normally. Yes, now my little Otis kits have Swab-Its Bore Tips tucked in them as well. If you like the pull through Bore-Whips concept, Swab-Its even has a Bore-Whip with a threaded end to accept their Bore-Tips or any other cleaning tools that will fit the standard threading.
Cleaning my often dirty Aero Precision
Custom AR15 pistol build.

Another simple and easy cleaning product from Swap-Its are the caliber specific Swab Its Bore-Whips which have a long flexible nylon tail permanently attached - slip it down and pull it through the bore and your are done. This is basically an inexpensive flexible Otis style breech to muzzle cleaning device which also serves as an Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI) with its bright florescent color. Another useful set of cleaning tools are the Cleaning Tip and Foam Swabs which make detailed cleaning a breeze and allow you to get into all those nooks and crannies of a gun. Clean the and use them again and again.

Swab-Its in all their Bore-Whips, Bore-Tip, Cleaning Tips, and Foam Swabs formats are a freaking awesome idea. They hold up extremely well, deliver a pristine lint-free bore with only one or two passes, can be used with your favorite cleaning fluids, and most importantly can be used over and over again.

Made in USA

Swab-Its Bore-Tips & Bore-Whips
Sizes: .22cal, .243cal, .30cal, .357cal, .40cal, .45cal, 12gauge, 20gauge and 410 gauge
Easier, faster and simpler than traditional patches and jags.
Replaces patches and jags in traditional firearms cleaning.
Provides superior barrel cleaning.
Provides 360 degree bore coverage.
Provides uniform application of oil for storage.
Lint free Bore-tips® are plastic foam over a plastic core.
Economical, washable and reusable.
Stands up to most commercially available solvents.
Color coded for easy caliber identification.
Threaded to fit on standard 8/32 and 5/16-27 cleaning rods

Swab-It Swabs and Tips
Sizes: 3" mini tip swab, 3" precision tip swab, 5" large surface swab, 6" extended reach swab and 9-piece kit
Workhorse Double-ended swab, Double-ended Tear Drop Chamber Swab

.45ACP Bore Tips
.357/9mm Bore Tips
.30/7.62mm Bore Tips
.40/10mm/.410 Bore Tips
.22/5.56 Bore Tips
Detail Cleaning Tips
Multi-Surface Cleaning Foam Swabs
Bore-Whips .22/5.56mm


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Also Featured - Aero Precision -

Sunday, August 7, 2016

American Precision Arms - Precision Rifle Scope Rings

American Precision Arms - Precision Rifle Scope Rings
10% off through Nov 30th 2016 for Readers

While searching the world wide interweb for precision rifle rings American Precision Arms was a name that kept coming up being noted by top and competitive shooters as the best scope rings available. 

Over the last year I have featured them in many builds including some stock and tricked out Remington 700 builds with Timney Triggers and XLR billet chassis, but I thought this critical component needed some extra attention. The American Precision Arms rings are $195… gulp, yeah. If you want to play in the league of the elite precision shooters, you might as well pull out the checkbook.

Jered (CEO APA - Right) & Nate Staskiewicz (Left)
When I say big league accuracy, I mean stunning un-freaking-believable accuracy. On really good days I can manage some solid .25” 100-yard groups, but top and shooters can do that at 500-yards. For example - Until the 2016 Shooting 3Gun season I sponsored an up and coming youth 3Gun competitor named Nate Staskiewicz who had now turned pro and likely will and on on the competitive Army Marksmanship team. 

American Precision Arms .308 rifle 3-shot 969-yard .764” group shot by Nate Staskiewicz
The kid is phenomenal behind a gun and currently is one of the top five competitors nationally - yes, he has even been featured on 3Gun Nation. I simply could not afford to sponsor him on a part time writers salary now that he is “that good”.  In the picture below with Jered (CEO of American Precision Arms) you can see Nate proudly with his custom American Precision Arms .308 rifle with his 3-shot 969-yard .764” group. His Leopold optic was mounted with the APA Rings. Let’s think about that for a moment ¾” at nearly 1000-yards. 

That my friends is precision. When I am talking about elite precision shooters, I am talking about this level of talent behind a super custom premium gun, so spending $195 on a critical component like “rings” does not sound so crazy and even spending $3000 on full custom rifle does not sound crazy.

I am by no means that “quality” of shooter, however I have been impressed with what these all 7075 T651 Aluminum American Precision Arms Scope Rings have delivered. I must admit most rings are junk that lack precision from one ring to the next. This produces a variety of bad issues including misaligned optics, unusual torsion on the optic tube, unrepeatable zero after removal and re-installation, rings coming loose, and overall durability issues.  Most people would be surprised to find out that most competitive shooters remove their optics from the gun each time and case it separately in another hard case to avoid bumps from damaging very expensive optics. It makes sense to have a set of rings which deliver repeatable accuracy after re-installation.

Jered at APA asked me to test this at 300-yards. With his rings, removal and re-installation of an optic will not change the zero on any of my rifle at 300-yards. This is handy to know if you have a favorite custom AR15, AR10 with a quick release Red Dot mount that you swap out for a nice optic for longer range shooting. If you happen to have a custom $3000 American Precision Arms rifle, then you should have a set of their rings as well.

The quality of these 7075 T651 Aluminum rings is exceptional and I would say likely the highest quality of any rings available. The company offers them in both 30mm and 34mm sizes in various heights to fit any need.

After talking to Jered recently about the incredible groups Nate shot with his custom American Precision Arms .308, he offered readers 10% off just by mentioning this article.  The only catch is that the offer will expire November 2016. If you have a precision rifle, you owe it to yourself to invest in a set of these rings.


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American Precision Arms -

Chris Reeve Knives Insingo Sebenza Review

Chris Reeve Knives Insingo Sebenza Review

When we start talking about the best pocket knives on earth we have to talk about the Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza. From my perspective the Reeve Sebenza is without question the finest hard use folding knife on earth. Sure there are more expensive folders out there in the custom market and high end sharpened pry bars marketed as knives, however if you want and honest to goodness cutting tool, I have yet to find another production folding knife of its equal. After picking up a standard 3.6-inch Sebenza last year, I was lusting over the adapted Wharncliffe style Insingo Sebenza blade. A few months later, my wait was over and I opened my Chris Reeve Knives shipment bounding with excitement. This style of blade has become a favorite of mine for all purpose utility cutting chores.

If I could take one folding knife anywhere or even into space it would be a large Sebenza. The starting price for a large 3.6” bladed Sebenza 21 is $410. It is far from the $40 clam packed Buck knives at bulk retailers and is for the person who wants or needs the absolute best heavy duty folding knife money can buy. Chris Reeve Knives offers the basic/plain model all the way to specialty, computer generated anodized designs, to your own custom CNC graphics with prices that quickly jump to $800 or more depending on blade steels and the level of handle customization. If you can imagine a design on a Sebenza handle, they can likely make it. Whether you choose the Plain or the Custom Sebenza this classic knife delivers a stronger and more secure locking mechanism & handle, top tier crucible steel blade and quality, fit & finish which is only equaled on meticulously custom knives. The Sebenza pretty much defined the term "custom-production knives".

Chris Reeve Knives is one of the preeminent legends of the knife industry, however like many of us, Chris had to find his way to becoming one of the most celebrated knife makers in the world.  Chris Reeve was actually a Grand Prix motorcycle racer in the 1970s, however his original background goes all the way back to machining, tool, and die manufacturing. Chris began his knife making business in Southern Africa where he enjoyed quite a bit of attention. When he and his wife Anne moved to the US, they vowed to make the knife business a success and the rest is not just history, but a legacy of cutlery greatness.

Let’s look how well respected he is in the industry:
1987 Knifemaker’s Guild of Southern Africa "Best Folding Knife"
2000-2013, 2015 - 2016 for "Manufacturing Quality Award"
2003 "Collaboration Knife of the Year"
2005 "Collector Knife of the Year"
2006 Grays Sporting Journal "Gray's Best" Award
2007 "American Made Knife of the Year"
2008 "Overall Knife of the Year"
2008 Field and Stream "Best of the Best"
2010 "Overall Knife of the Year"

This is not just another liner lock. The Walker liner lock has proven to be reliable and strong and is used everywhere in the knife industry, however if you want to step up in strength, most do not know that another popular and heavily imitated frame lock design was actually invented by Chris Reeve Knives as the Reeve Integral Lock - RIL. The RIL increases reliability and strength of the Walker lock design mainly because the RIL designs are built around thick high strength metal handles which also form the liner lock versus just a thin liner. Reeves uses .150” thick 6Al4V Titanium for his handles, so the resulting lock is about as strong as you can possibly make a locking mechanism without increases bulk and weight substantially.

Just like my other drop point Sebenza, this Insingo Blade Sebenza shares all the same fit, finish, feel and features but just with a bit different blade. There are really only four materials represented in the final Sebenza which include CPM S35VN stainless steel, 6Al4V titanium, 303 stainless steel, and phosphor bronze.  The CPM S35VN stainless steel is used to form the precision concave precision ground modified Insingo blade which pivots on a phosphor bronze bushing for extremely smooth operation.

Everything from the S35VN steel to the hollow grind has been tuned and optimized over the years to deliver the best folding cutting tool on the market. Use the Sebenza and the is immediately noticeable.

The Chris Reeve knives have an understated level of class that is conveyed in the raw 6Al4V titanium handles assembled with 303 stainless steel screws and 6Al4V titanium fittings. Its an elegant look all wrapped up in a stunning level of precision tolerances that most German sports cars would be envious of.  

Having seen well worn Sebenza's before, I can tell you that the titanium handles wear just like that perfect pair of jeans and develop a patina. I am not sure if it's the titanium being affected by the elements, or the titanium itself wearing, however it's a beautiful effect. It takes years, however the look makes you love the knife even more.

From a handle strength perspective, there really is no equal. I mean come on, the Sebenza features two titanium handles which together add up to over 1/4". There is nothing in my life I would ever use a cutting tool for which would break these handles.  

When you actually start cutting something instead of just parading around with it, the Sebenza design delivers everything you would expect in a design refined for over twenty years. The CPM S35VN stainless steel takes a razor sharp cutting edge and holds it for a very very long time even when cutting very tough materials. There are many great steels available, however S35VN delivers corrosion, toughness, and wear resistance balance at a higher level than other steels.  Part of that performance is due to Reeve's blade design and grind refined over the years and the steel used for the blade.

Reeve modified the original Wharncliffe style blade to have a bit more belly and tune it for his Sebenza Insingo blade design. The result is an amazing cutting blade that provides a more precise straight cut through the draw stroke than drop point blades. What you will find with the Reeve’s knives are that the blades cut extremely aggressively. I have a lot of sharp knives, however the Sebenza’s are hard use knives with a razor edge that stays sharp for an extremely long time.

Without placing a Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza in hand, it is literally impossible to convey the beauty, feel, and quality of a Sebenza just through words and pictures.  I loved my first drop point Sebenza so much I ordered a second with the Insingo blade. The next time you have $100 burning a hole in your pocket, I challenge you to save $300 more and buy that "just one great knife"... buy a Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza. The only regret you will have is not doing it sooner.

Tested - Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 21 Insingo

Large Sebenza 21 MSRP $410
Small Sebenza 21 MSRP $350

Blade Material: CPM S35VN Stainless Steel
Blade Hardness: 58-59 RC
Blade Length:  Large - 3.625" (92 mm), Small - 2.94" (75 mm)
Blade Thickness:  0.125" (3.175 mm)
Overall Length: Large - 8.335" (212 mm), Small - 6.875" (175 mm)
Handle Material: 6Al4V Titanium
Handle Thickness: Large - 0.150" (3.81 mm), Small - 0.125" (3.175 mm)
Weight: Large - 4.7 oz. (133 g), Small - 3.0 oz. (85 g)
Fittings: 303 Stainless Steel
Thumblug: 6Al4V Titanium
Pocket Clip: 6Al4V Titanium

Chris Reeve Knives -

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