Skip to content

What are they good for?


SCHV rant

Colt 6945 & the Geissele Super 3 Gun trigger


I bought a Colt 6945.  Why?  Because I wanted one.  Good enough reason for me.

Colt 6945


I ordered the rifle Feburary from Gun Gallery.  In September the tax stamp finally came back from the ATF and I picked it up.  The staff at Gun Gallery were friendly and helpful, so I would purchase from them again.

The Colt 6945 is a short barreled rifle (SBR) version of the Colt 6940.  This rifles 10.3 inch barrel is the main difference from the standard 6940, and is why it is a title II firearm which required me to pay a $200 dollar tax stamp to get it.

The 6940 series of rifles have a monolithic upper with a removable bottom rail.  The barrel uses a proprietary barrel extension and gas tube.  Shawn and others have reported that their 6940s have superb accuracy due to these changes.  Personally I don’t plan to try and use this as a precision rifle, so its no difference to me.

The best thing about a short barreled AR15 is the pure modularity of it.  I can easily swap upper for various barrel lengths and calibers.

2014-09-21 12.01.11


So I really like my 6945.

Colt 6945


Since getting it I have run six different uppers on it.  That is one of the great things about a SBR AR15 is the ability to easily change the uppers for difference barrel lengths and calibers.  I also swapped out the stock trigger for a Geissele Super 3 Gun trigger.

I have several Geissele SSA triggers and I highly recommend them.  I wanted to try the Super 3 Gun (S3G) trigger, so I picked one up a while back.  First it was installed in a LMT lower, where it would often double & rarely fail to reset after a shot was fired.  So it was quickly removed from that lower(I have had other issues with that lower before).  When the got the Colt, I went and tried the S3G trigger in it.  Now in the Colt, the S3G trigger worked fine when shooting offhand or from the bench.  However due to the very short reset, when I was firing from a bipod I experienced unintentional doubles.  This trigger might be great for someone who wants to bump fire, but the reset is a little too short for me.  I wouldn’t recommend the S3G for any serious fighting rifles, but I do recommend the Geissele SSA and the Colt 6945 as they are awesome.


Surefire has released a run of tan X300-Ultras.


1911 Colt M45A1 Surefire Tan X300 Ultra

Review of The Gun By C.J. Chivers


The Gun
By C. J. Chivers

A book review by Loose Rounds Guest Writer Andrew Betts


That the Kalashnikov series of rifles and light machineguns has had a profound impact on geopolitics is indisputable. It has been manufactured and distributed in such large numbers that in many places in the world the word “Kalashnikov” (or local slang for the AK) is literally synonymous with “gun.” While the influence of the gun is well known, there is much about the origin of Kalashnikov’s rifle that is misunderstood. The Gun tells us the story of how the Kalashnikov family of weapons came into existence and it gives us fascinating insight into the ways in which it continues to shape the world in which we live.

Chivers begins with a detailed history of the development of automatic arms and their influence on the battlefield. He tells us about some of the attempts at automatic and repeating arms before the advent of the Gatling gun and then he examines in great detail the life of Richard J. Gatling as well as the development of the weapon itself. We get to see fascinating detail about how the arms business of the 19th century worked and we move on to accounts of the use of Gatling’s gun on the battlefield. We are treated to similar detail about the Maxim machine gun and its own creator as well as its influence on the battlefield. The author then takes us on to an account of Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov’s life and the development of his namesake and its influence.

The story of how the Kalashnikov rifle came into being is not as simple as it first appears. The rifle was a symbol of socialist power and ability. It was inevitable that its origins would be obscured by propaganda. The Soviet Union embellished bits here and there and created total fabrications in other places. The author sifts through the propaganda, public record, and personal accounts to get to the core of what really happened. He takes great pains to unravel the truth by weighing accounts from multiple sources and he painstakingly cites every bit of information. This book is not simply a collection of the author’s opinions, it is a professionally researched factual account.

Chivers provides incredible detail into the lives of Gatling, Maxim, and Kalashnikov and he is just as meticulous in his account of the development and influence of each of those weapons. There are some glaring holes, though. While it would not be practical for the author to cover every automatic weapon between World War I and the end of World War II, it seems reasonable that he spend a little more time on one of the most influential weapons of the time: the US Rifle M1. The Garand is barely even mentioned, nor is the Johnson. The Simonov carbine and the SVT are also only mentioned in passing. The Thompson and other sub machine guns are mentioned but little detail is given. With so much attention given to the Gatling and Maxim, it seems odd to give such short shrift to some of the other notable self loading designs contemporaneous to Kalashnikov’s work.

Later, the author details the absolutely horrid tale of the adoption and fielding of the M16. He pulls no punches. The decisions made at the time were criminally negligent and we see an account of this process at a level of detail seldom seen. The M16 was a failure because of terrible bureaucratic decisions, though, not because of any inherent design flaw. The issues that caused the early failures were eventually corrected and the rifle developed into a durable and dependable combat rifle. In real field environments, Eugene Stoner’s rifle is every bit as reliable as Kalashnikov’s. The author gives us an accurate account of the reasons for the M16’s early troubles but he leaves us at the end of the M16’s birth pains. If the reader had no context, he might believe that the M16 continued to be a terrible rifle.

This book is about the Kalashnikov rifle, though. We can forgive the author for not spending much time on other weapon systems. It is disappointing, then, that the technical discussion of the Kalashnikov ends with the AKM. The author could have given us far more detail about the technical specifications of the various types of ammunition fired in Kalashnikov pattern rifles and machineguns and he definitely could have provided more detail about models such as the AK-74 and RPK. The AK-74 especially deserves substantial attention because it is still the primary issued rifle for several nations. It is barely mentioned and we are not treated to any details of the decision process or the reasons for the development of the 5.45x39mm or the changes that went into the AK-74 rifle.

It is easy to be critical, though. It is far more difficult to do the intensive research and talented writing that goes into a book of this scope. It is a detailed and far reaching story of automatic arms in general and the Kalashnikov rifle in particular. It is entertaining and engaging. The author’s style is such that he is able to communicate a great deal of information without ever losing the reader’s interest. Most of all, though, it is extremely enlightening. It is very unlikely that anyone can read this book and not learn something. For anyone remotely interested in firearms, this is definitely worth your time.



Picture 022b


Though it’s nothing special, I’ve always liked this picture.  The openness of the terrain, lone figure scanning the horizon against the sea of grass, the hint of a rifle waiting to make the shot…

It makes me think of the old quote about how the US mainland could never be invaded by a conventional army because there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.

Colt “N” CAR stock vs. M&A Parts CAR stock


A segment of the AR market that has been gaining in popularity lately are retro/historical AR’s.  A question I see posted on various retro forums quite a bit is for sources of the older CAR style telestock.  Originals can often be found offered up for sale in the various marketplace/used equipment sections of popular gun forums but prices are steadily rising and they sell quickly when offered so you have to be Johnny on the spot to snag one.  The other option is to purchase a new production piece from one of a handful of retailers.  Going that route leads to the question of whether or not new production CAR stocks stack up to the originals.

Having recently been in the market for several CAR stocks I thought I’d show you what I found.

For comparison I have an original Colt N marked CAR stock I purchased used and a new production CAR stock purchased from M&A Parts.  Both are sized for mil-spec diameter tubes.


At first glance they appear very similar.  The Colt having a little glossier and smoother finish to the M&A’s more textured matte finish.

(Colt on the left / M&A on the right)


(Colt on top / M&A on bottom)


(Colt on top / M&A on bottom)





Notice in these pics the top sling loop has a slightly different profile.

(Colt on left / M&A on right)


(Colt on left / M&A on right)



The checkering appears similar though the Colt’s is worn and has definitely seen some use.

(Colt on left / M&A on right)


(M&A on left / Colt on right)



It’s somewhat hard to capture in the pic but the pin appears to be taller or stick up higher in the Colt stock.  I did find with the M&A stock it is occasionally possible to depress the pin enough to cause the stock to be able to be slid completely off the buffer tube when adjusting its length.

(Colt on left / M&A on right)



Notice in this pic the “T” shaped piece the adjustment lever rests on appears thicker on the M&A stock.

(Colt on bottom / M&A on top)



(M&A on left / Colt on right)



(M&A on left / Colt on right)



Notice in this pic it appears, when rested on their butt plates, the M&A fractionally taller/longer than the Colt.

(M&A on left / Colt on right)



The butt appears thicker on the M&A stock, however some of this could be due to material having been worn off the Colt stock.

(M&A on left / Colt on right)



(Colt on left / M&A on right)



(Colt on left / M&A on right)



Functionally they are very similar.  The Colt seems to have a slightly tighter lock up to the buffer tube but both are pretty solid and variances in buffer tubes will always cause a bit of wiggle.  When weighed the Colt stock comes in at 4.39oz., and the M&A stock at 4.57oz.  Although when new I would bet the Colt stock was closer in weight, and has lost an oz or so as material was worn away.

For the Colt purists, those looking to make something 100% historically correct, or those wanting to build something really nice I would stick with the Colt N stock.  For those that just want a lightweight stock, or are satisfied with a close enough look to their retro guns the M&A stock is a solid choice.

The Snubby’s Dirty Little Secret


The Snubby’s Dirty Little Secret
By Andrew Betts



Most of us who have been shooting for a while know that jacketed hollow point ammunition is vastly preferred for a defensive handgun. Pistols and revolvers do not produce enough velocity for the stretch cavity to contribute to wounding the way it does in many rifles so the size of the wound is dependent on the size of the projectile. The wider the bullet gets, the larger the hole is. JHP ammunition is designed to begin expanding shortly after impact to create a wider wound channel. With a larger frontal area, the bullet also slows quickly and therefore presents less risk to people that might be beyond your attacker. Many of us also choose a small revolver for concealed carry because, although they are difficult to master, a small revolver is simple and light weight making it very convenient to slip in a pocket. Let’s face it; we aren’t likely to need a gun. If we do need a gun, we probably won’t have to fire it. If we do have to fire it, the bad guy probably won’t be farther away than we can smell him and we probably won’t have to shoot more than once or twice. That makes a short barrel .38 Special a very reasonable choice. It’s also perfectly reasonable to just pick a quality JHP from one of the four or five big names and be done with it. Or is it?

We live in a golden age when it comes to defensive ammunition design. There are quite a few very well designed, high performance bullet designs out there. Gone are the days when there was great merit to the respective sides in the ancient 9mm vs. .45 ACP debate. Loaded with modern JHP ammunition, both 9mm and .45 perform very well, as does .40 S&W and .357 Sig. HST, Gold Dot, SXT, Ranger, PDX1, XTP, and Golden Saber all deliver very good accuracy and terminal performance and the difference between the top and bottom performers among that crowd is negligible. So why not just choose any one of them and hit the road? Everybody knows Speer Gold Dot is a top performer so if you’re carrying a 2” .38 spl grab a box of the 135 gr +P short barrel load and put it out of your mind, right? Not quite. As it turns out, .38 spl is right on the edge of the performance envelope. Some of those loads will work okay, but not through denim, or they’ll expand just fine when fired through denim in warm weather but cold weather lowers the velocity just enough to prevent expansion. The ammunition makers aren’t exactly lying to us; it’s just that the test protocol can’t always be robust enough to cover every situation. Take that highly regarded 135 gr Gold Dot load, for example. ATK (the parent company for Speer and Federal) gives test results for all their defensive ammunition on their website: The results listed for that 135 gr load indicate that it fails to meet the 12” minimum when fired into bare gel or through the FBI heavy clothing standard and it barely begins to expand when fired through the IWBA heavy clothing standard. In my own informal testing of the load, I accidentally discovered that cold weather can prevent it from gaining enough velocity to expand. I later confirmed that in a separate test.

Keep in mind that the testing done by the manufacturer was likely done in a laboratory environment where the test gun and ammunition were at room temperature. Also bear in mind that a gun carried on the person would be warm, as would the ammunition inside. This ammunition would function just fine at the 95° or so that it’s likely to be at if carried close to the body. If it’s carried in a purse or jacket pocket or left in a glove box though, the ammunition might not perform the way it’s supposed to. Several YouTube posters (tnoutdoors9, ScubaOz, PocketGunsandGear, 4theloveofsnub) have tested Winchester PDX1 and they have produced very mixed results. My own testing indicated that PDX1 will not expand when fired from a 2” revolver through four layers of denim.

Is .38 spl PDX1 garbage? I’m not sure it’s quite that simple. I also don’t believe that anyone’s test is necessarily flawed. I think that this load is only just barely able to expand when fired from short revolvers through heavy clothing. Sometimes. Very small variations in the test environment might be enough to make the difference between the bullet expanding and not. Of course, if it’s that unpredictable in a controlled environment with a homogenous media like gel, the real world performance is doubtful, at least through heavy clothing. PDX1 seems to do just fine through light clothing or in bare gel, though. Maybe it’s a good summertime load but I certainly wouldn’t rely on it in cold weather.

It’s not all bad news, though. To begin with, it’s not like everyone walks around looking like Jay Leno. It is getting colder out there and people do wear more clothes in the fall and winter but even if the bad guy’s heavy clothing does prevent expansion, it’s not as though your bullet magically turns into a Nerf dart. It will still poke a hole in that bad guy and still put a real damper on his disposition. There is also some ammunition out there that works well, even in cold weather, and even through heavy clothing. It’s not some high tech wizardry involving “trocars” or geometric battlespace displacement paradigm. It’s just a good old fashioned lead hollow point. The load that I’ve tested that does work well is the Buffalo Bore 158 gr LSWCHP +P. Otherwise known as the “FBI load”. I sealed the ammunition and revolver in a bag and left it submerged in ice water before shooting through four layers of denim into calibrated 10% gelatin and it did a spectacular job.

Of course, there are certainly other loads out there that can work in adverse conditions, but my advice is to do your best to verify before relying on ammunition to save the life of a loved one. If you don’t have the time or inclination to prepare your own gelatin for testing, you can always tape an old pair of jeans to the front of a row of milk jugs full of water. This method isn’t perfect but it might be illuminating. You can also research the various YouTube, blog, and gun rag tests that are available online. One thing to keep in mind with these tests is that the only way to know that the test media is valid is for it to be calibrated with a .177 BB immediately prior to each test. Look for the BB in the block and expect to see the numbers from the calibration shot. If those are missing, take the test results with a grain of salt. It’s also worth noting that gun rags exist to sell advertising and sometimes a little bias shines through. As with most things in life, a little common sense and effort goes a long way.

Buying LE Trade-In / Used Glocks & What to Look For


One of the most reliable firearms you can decide to buy is a police/LE trade-in or used Glock, if you know what to look for. When looking at one of these used Glocks there are important things you need to look for and replace, if you purchase one.  In this article, I will breakdown some of the key things to look for and avoid, as well as the critical parts that must be replaced after your purchase. A gun store will not let you strip the gun completely down to its small internal parts so you have to understand what to look for, to insure you are getting what you want. This will cover only Gen2 and some Gen3 Glocks, there is a reason for that, and you will see why as we go along.

Gen3 G22 & Gen2 G19

Gen3 G22 & Gen2 G19


First let’s talk about the advantages of buying a police trade-in or used Glock. When you understand what to look for in a used Gen2 or Gen3 Glock, you know you are buying the most reliable and longest serving generations of the Glock design. You are avoiding the sometimes problematic issues with the newer Gen3 and Gen4 designs and you are hopefully spending a lot less on the firearm.  On average you can get the trade-in /used Gocks in the Low to Mid-300 dollar range. I recently helped a co-worker select an excellent condition LE trade-in G23. He spent $314.00 on the firearm, I put in $20.00 worth of parts and it was good to go.  Another huge advantage and one of the main reasons to buy the older Glocks, is no MIM parts. The Gen2 and select Gen3 Glocks have investment cast /machine tool steel locking blocks, extractors and firing pins. You are getting a more robustly built Glock, with higher quality parts in those key areas, vs. the newer Glocks.

Serial Numbers:

You must pay close attention to serial numbers when looking at used Glocks. This will serve several purposes, unique to a Gen2 or Gen3 Glock.  The serial number will help you identify the approximate date of manufacturer and what to look for, depending on it being a Gen2 or Gen3 gun. Look to see if the Serial numbers on the Slide, Frame and Barrel match. If the serial numbers on any three of these only contain numbers, then they have been replace or are aftermarket if they are not OEM Glock.

CGN - Gen2 Mid-1997 / FCM - Gen3 Late- 2002

CGN – Gen2 Mid-1997 / FCM – Gen3 Late- 2002

Gen2 Glocks

Gen2 guns have had several mandatory part changes and upgrades, depending on the approximate date of manufacturer. This will also help you understand how old the firearm is. All Gen2 guns will have the tool steel parts we have already talked about, unless someone changed them out.  In the 2002 Glock armorers guide, replacement of the old slide lock spring to the upgraded slide lock spring is recommended. All Gen2 guns will need this part upgraded.  Some Gen2 guns that have a black trigger bar will need the Six-Part upgrade.  Serial Numbers starting from AA through SL (depending on model) may need this upgrade, if not already done. (see Six-Part Upgrade: below for more information) If you stay in the three letter serial number range starting at (AAA###) and up, you should be ok as far as the Six-Part upgrade is concerned.

Gen3 Glocks

With the Gen3 guns, you want to look at the serial number closely to make sure it was made before Early to Mid-2009. As long as you are under serial number range (MSZ###) or do not have the dip extractor you are probably ok as far as MIM parts.  Sometime in Early to Mid-2009, Glock started using the MIM locking blocks, extractors and firing pins. There may be some mixed MIM/non-MIM parts in the (M) serial number range, so be aware of that. The only required upgrade/replacement part in pre-2002 Gen3’s, is the replacement of the old slide lock spring to the upgraded slide lock spring, as mention above.  2002-2009 Gen3 guns will not require any part upgrades. important to note: if the serial number on the frame starts in the (EAK### through EVR###) range, the rear slide rails are prone to breakage. Glock recommends those frames be sent in for replacement.

Gen2 Extractor / Old Gen3 Extractor / MIM Dip Extractor

Gen2 Extractor / Old Gen3 Extractor / Dip (MIM) Extractor

Non-MIM locking Block (right), MIM Locking Block (left)

Non-MIM locking Block (left), MIM Locking Block (right)


There are some key areas of wear that you can look for, on trade-in /used Glocks. This will help you identify if the firearm has been used excessively or minimally, depending on caliber. Your .40 cal and .357 sig Glock will show more wear in these areas than a 9mm or 45ACP will, due to them being harder on the firearm.  Add all of these indicators up to make a decision on how used you think the firearm is. It will really help if you ask the gun shop, if you can removed the slide (field Strip) the firearm, to inspect the gun. I do not buy any used firearms unless I am able to do this. Bellow are examples of normal wear on 9mm and .40 cal Glocks, nothing extremely heavy.

Barrel Wear Areas

Barrel chatter marks will be visible on the outside of the barrel. The top of the barrel chamber will also have wear marks where it makes contact with the top of the slide. The stronger / more pronounced the wear in these areas will indicate use.

Barrel Wear G22 / G19 & G22 barrels / Slide Barrel Wear

Barrel Wear G22 / G19 & G22 barrels / Slide Barrel Wear

Slide Wear Areas

The outside slide condition will indicate carry use. The inside of the slide will show wear in two particular areas. The inside top of the slide will indicate wear, where the top of the barrel makes contact with the slide as it reciprocates and on the slide rails on each side of the barrel chamber.  Heavy peening wear on the slide rails slightly in front of the barrel chamber area indicates heavy use.

Slide Rail peening G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen2 G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen3 G22

Slide Rail peening G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen2 G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen3 G22

Frame Wear

You want to look at the frame carefully to inspect it for cracks or any major damage. While the frame is polymer (plastic), wear on the outside of the frame is not an indicator of firing use, only carry use. A lot of the LE trade-in guns are carried more than shot.

Frames-Right & Left Sides

Frames-Right & Left Sides

Replacement Part Recommendations:

After selecting the used Glock and purchasing it using the information above, I would recommend purchasing an OEM Glock Spring Kit and have it instaulled. This serves two purposes. (1) If you have a Gen2 or Gen3 with the old slide lock spring, it is in the kit. (2) The spring kit replaces all six of the springs in the firearm and will insure that all springs are fresh as true round count will be unknown. Replacing the main recoil spring is also a good idea when round count is unknown. Since the main recoil spring and slide lock spring are in the kit, this is the best purchase as it will only cost you around $20.00 dollars. Most Glock parts are very inexpensive, if you identify any weird after market parts you are not sure about, replace them.

Spring Kit / Old Slide Lock Spring / New Slide Lock Spring

Spring Kit / Old Slide Lock Spring / New Slide Lock Spring

Six-Part Upgrade:

It is important to note this upgrade is extremely rare to come across, as it was identified over 20 years ago. Some  Gen1 ‘s and early Gen2’s may require the Glock Six-Part upgrade as mention above. If you identify the Glock is one that needs this upgrade, I would suggest passing on that particular Glock as replacing the firing pin and extractor with new MIM parts would defeat one of the main reasons of getting the older/used Glock. If you are looking at a trade-in /used gun, you can easily pull the slide back and look at the trigger bar. If it is solid black and not just dirty from use, it will need the upgrade. This consists of replacing the (trigger bar, firing pin, firing pin safety & spring, extractor and spring-load bearing).

(Top / Right-Side of Frame) Silver Trigger Bar, no upgrade needed

(Top / Right-Side of Frame) Silver Trigger Bar, no upgrade needed

Conclusion / Final Thoughts:

Most police/LE trade-in Glocks have been maintained by a department armorer and will probably have the upgraded parts already in them, from years ago. Used Glocks that where in private hands, will more than likely be the ones that need minor part replacement here and there. I have purchased several LE trade-in /used Glocks. Two of my main personal defensive firearms are a late Gen2 G19 and an early Gen3 G22. These have been my go to Glocks and I prefer the quality of the older Glocks compared to the new offerings. Glock does not care if you are the original owner. They have a lifetime guarantee and if you ever have a problem, simply call them and they will take care of it on their dime. Information on Glock serial numbers can be found here: ( Serial Number) as long as it stays up. If you remember to look for the key things talked about here, you will be walking away with a excellent Glock, that will be very dependable and reliable for years to come.


Front Range Survival Fire Starting Rod Review




A few weeks ago we got contacted via our facebook page by Front Range Survival about their products.

A few days later I got an item from them to test out and review.  As you can see in the picture of above it is is a fire starting fire rod. The handle/lanyard if 14 feet of military grade parachute chord in hunter orange for ease of locating it once you drop it in the grass. Or, if you need to make a shelter, signal help or first aid use in case of things turning really bad.

I and a friend spent the last few weeks working with this thing and it is the best one of these we have ever used. We have looked at fire starting rods and kits over the years and had a lot of frustration and failure with kits that are supposed to be the best.  Not with this one. It sparks immediately and the sparks are large and hot.  The first time we went to use it I crumpled up some dry leaves and some very lightly damp grass. It took three swipes of the knife on this thing and we had a very good flame going that we turned into a fire in no time. It was a cool damp day with a little wind, but the sparks from this thing got the job done.  It is really impressive.



I use the tool with the USGI knife I also threaded with a lanyard. The flat screw driver “blade” made it fast and easy and the two can be wrapped up together.


the Front Range tool is seen here with the utter failure that is the Bear Grylls fire starting tool kit.  I have seen Mr. Grylls use this kit on TV many times and make it look easy. But I will tell you right now, we spent many hours in the best conditions trying to get something going with it to no avail.  It just does not compare, The sparks are tiny and pathetic. It looks good and is a great idea in theory but it just does not hold up to the FRS piece.

On the website, the company describes their thinking and the tools as  follows.

“We set out to make the best survival gear on earth. Everything we carry has been field tested by us.Its our gear… and now it can be yours.

Our flagship products are Fire Starters.”

They had a real winner with this tool.  I am by no means and expert survivalist, but I know quality when I had it in my hands. And when some one as clumsy as we are, can work something so fast you know it is good.   As my friend says. this is the kind of quality tool that makes a person get excited and want to practice their field and bush craft more often. I agree with that statement absolutely.  Everyone who tried the fire starter was instantly impressed and wanted one,  Not many people I personally know has tried one of these that works as well.

After talking about the tool for a while we determined a nice little kit to put together with it for signaling and making fire while on a hike or for whatever reason.

We gathered some things together and found a spare MOLLE GP pouch it would all fit in and leave room for more as we deemed might be needed  and of course we can remove or add to as the situation may dictate. The idea being to have one on you, in a pack or left in your vehicle.   The pouch as seen above comes with the knife with lanyard. The FRS fire started and some cotton and dryer lint ( which with the FRS tool makes fire as fast as a lighter) A signal mirror and a Military pilots cloth signal panel.  Some medical gear and of course a lighter or two will be added as well as some other odds and ends. But this is a good starts so far in our minds.


The Front Range Survival fire rod is heavy duty and the pictures don’t seem to show just how big it is. It is not huge or unhandy but you get enough to do the job. It will last a long time.


I wrapped it up in a sealed bag with some material to help with the fire and cinched it with a rubber band. This will let it easily fit in a single AR15 mag pouch and still have some room left over.  You can store one about anywhere.

A lot of people are always looking for more effective survival and outdoors tools. This is certainly a winner in my opinion, If you do anything or go anywhere you may find you need a fire, this thing is worth having. I would not go on an over night hunt without one of these now.  If you want one, the link to the amazon page is below. You can also read the reviews from buyers there as well.



BREAKTHROUGH ( Military Grade!!) Gun Cleaner 1st impressions



This will basically be a “part 1″ of a more longer lasting test period. Cleaning solvent is one of those things it takes a long time and a lot of different things to really evaluate to my satisfaction.  I wanted to talk about  it and my first thoughts on it as sort of a kick off. As the weeks go buy I will post updates on the stuff and my opinion of it.



I got this cleaner a few weeks ago from a gentleman looking for writers and bloggers to send free samples to for testing. It was being pretty heavily talked about on said page, and obviously was meant to be the new better mouse trap for cleaning.  I gave me address and a few days later got the sample.  I had read plenty of stuff about how safe it was for mother earth and you can even drink it and not get sick, but I did not see anything about what it may or may not work best at, or what it was intended to be.  I fired off an email and asked what exactly was it supposed to be used for .   the response was ..”it will remove all fouling & residue (Brass, Carbon, Copper, Dirt, Grease, Lead, etc.), it’s also PH Neutral which means it’s safe on your firearm’s wood and / or polymers.The ad on Amazon had this to says.”Removes ALL Fouling, PH Neutral, Non-Corrosive, Safe on all Plastics and Polymers, Does not Freeze, Non-Flammable, Non-Water Based, Virtually Odorless, Low Toxicity, Low Vapor Pressure, Non-Carcinogenic, No Components or Characteristics of Hazardous Waste as per EPA, Not Regulated by the OSHA Z-list.

I have some pretty high standard for gun cleaning products and if you read my earlier posts on how to clean precision and match barrels, you know I am hard to please. I have never seen a cleaner that did more than one or two things and did it well.  Actually I never seen a 2in 1 or 3 in 1 cleaner good at any of the 2 or 3 things it is supposed to do.  But I do keep an open mind because I have faith in technology and I have seen better and better solvents come along over the past twenty years.

So, after looking around on the details of the cleaner and what I could find so far, because it is so new, I went and got my carbine. This gun never gets cleaned, just  oiled. the gun is FDE anodized inside and out and the upper was coated black on the inside from carbon. The bolt and carrier had also only been oiled.  I got them out and got my cleaning tools ready not knowing how much elbow grease it would take to work with this stuff.  when you brush your teeth you use the tooth paste and a brush. and no matter how good gun solvents are, they almost always need a little extra help.



I sprayed the cleaner inside the upper and let it set for a few minutes,. Upon the stuff hitting the inside I notice immediately black sludge start to run out. Very few things have done this that was not under a high pressure or  brake parts cleaner.  After 5 minutes of so I wiped it out with a rag. and above is what it looked like.  No brass brushes. Not pip cleaner or any of that. I did use a tooth brush but only to help flick some goop out of the crevices, not because I had to really work at it.   Very nice so far, but, I have found that FDE anodized ARs seem to clean up easier for some reason, It may be in my mind. but it does seem so. So, I went to the BCG.

I sprayed it with the odorless stuff and again, the black water ran off.



I let it set, then just used a red shop rag to wipe it off. No brush.


It did not get all of it out of the inside, but it went a long way toward getting it all.



Cleaned up the bolt as well. But here is the first sign of weakness. It will not remove the hardened carbon on the boats tail and better than the mediocre stuff like Hoppes. Even with the addition of a brush it did not really do much better.  In fact Slip2000 carbon cleaner works faster when trying to remove the hardened stuff.

It is really good at removing the loose sludge that does not need as much work. But it is held up on the hard stuff. I have not cleaned a bore yet to see if it remove copper and lead as claimed, but I wanted to see how it did on carbon first.

A few things to think about first.  Good weapon lube will keep carbon and grit and sand etc,. sort of suspended in the lube. It will not let it stick so to speak. The lube will keep the gun wet and lubricated while keeping the grit and fouling from causing problems.  Obviously this helps a great deal with cleaning, Since it is a lot easier to wipe away lube with fouling in it than it is to scrape it off the metal. Dirty lube might look and seem bad., but it is still doing an important job. A good lube will suspend the fouling and particles and let you wipe it off and re lube so you can get buy a long time until you do a real serious cleaning. That is one of the reasons I rarely clean a fighting gun like I would a match bolt gun. A good lube lets you do that.  I use Slip2000EWL and it excels at this. It does not burn off fast, it stays in place and it is not harmful to your body. It is really super stuff and it is the ONLY lube I use if I have a choice.  So in the case with this cleaner. I think the Slip2000 made the job a lot easier.  That is not a rag on the Breathrough at all.  It needs to be thought of as a system.  If the Slip suspends the crud and the Breakthrough just sprays on and the fouling runs off with no work, I call that pretty good.

But, that is probably not what the makers want to hear or have in mind.  For sure the idea is Breakthrough military grade cleaner is suppose to be super easy to use regardless of the oil used on the weapon.  Alas, that is not how the world works. So I will be be trying it out with cleaning guns with different lubricants and no lube to see if it makes a difference good or bad.   So far, when used to clean guns oiled with Slip2000 it shows some real promise. I would not stop using the SLIP line of cleaners and replace them with this stuff yet, but we will see.


Above is another picture of the carrier simply sprayed and wiped off.  As you can tell, the cleaner leaves no film behind. It is not CLP and does not leave behind any protective film.


I will continue testing it out to see if it is snake oil or worth its price. I can not recommend it yet.  I am not sold on it as of yet but I am curious. The military grade claims is not something I pay any attention to and I advise you to ignore it as well since it really does not matter much in my opinion. I use a lot of cleaners that do not boat military grade properties and nothing else out there beats them.  I am sure that is hype made to cash in on the same people who buy stuff because maybe a NAVY SEAL uses it.   A few more weeks and I will give my final verdict.

If you want to try it out, or read marketing claims yourself, it is now up on amazon.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,659 other followers

%d bloggers like this: