Question and Answer

This is a Q&A session.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

We get a lot of smaller  questions sent to us weekly.  So today I am going to rapid fire answer a few of the easiest to get  the info out to those who want it.

What caliber of ammo was used in the m40 in viet nam?    7.62 NATO  M118 special ball

5.56 green tip vs car door?  Yes, M855 will go through a car door

What ammo for 1:7 twist?   Any ammo is fine for 1/7  despite what you may hear or read otherwise, 1/7 will shoot as low as 40 grain all the way to 90 grain

winchester unertl scope? Winchester did not make Unertl scopes, Unertl is the maker not the model. Winchester did sell scopes but they have another name and were used some in WW1 and 2

Does a colt le6920 have a firing pin spring? No,  the colt 6920 is the closest you can get to a military M4 and is milspec other then  the barrel length and full auto. The 901 does use a firing pin spring.

colt 901 dry or lube?  Lube. all guns need and work better with lube. Always.

does colt rail gun come with night sights? No, the USMC  rail gun does, not the current civilian model. The USMC model will be sold in 2013


How are Super Sniper scope?  SWFA SS scopes are generally considered good for the money.  Their HD line receive excellent reviews.  I owned a side focus 10x and thought it was very good for a cheap scope.  I also owned a 5-20 and thought highly of it.  However SWFA has been criticized for how they have been handling some sales and preorders.

how to modify 25 ammo for better performance?  We highly recommend against modifying factory loaded ammunition for self defense.  Modified ammo can have various issues from poor feeding to blowing out the center of the projectile when fired, and leaving a ring shaped section of the bullet in the neck of the barrel.  As for .25 ACP, often a round that has good penetration is recommended for self defense.  A large part of ammo selection for the .25 is finding what will work reliable in your firearm.  The various 50gr full metal jacket rounds from the major ammunition manufactures are what is often recommended.


A Boy and His AR15 ( My 6940 )

I often post pictures of my Colt 6940  on gun boards or the looserounds facebook page and people ask me about it. They want to know how it shoots what I have on it and why I use what I use. SO , I decided to talk a little about my gun and why it is the way it is.  It is not perfect or anything special but after years of changing and always evolving my shooting style and methods and most importantly my mindeset, I have settled on it the way it is for now.

As can be seen above, there is a varied combination of parts on my carbine. None of them are added just to make it cool and none of the things I added make the gun less functional.  As I have said many times before, I do Not believe in the idiotic KISS theory. By that I mean I do not think adding a light or an optic is adding “useless tacticool crap”.  Of course some people can and do take it too far, but using things on your gun to give you more capability and a edge over the bad guy is common sense.  Somethings are gimmicks and a waste of money that should have been spent on ammo. But optics, lights and slings are never ever a waste of money( unless its crap cheap products). You do need to think carefully about what to add and if you know how to use it. If not, you can learn. But you would do well to make sure you understand it. Even something as simple as a weapon light could do more harm to you then good if you do not know how to use it during a fight. That may seem to not make sense, but you can blind yourself if care is not taken or draw fire towards you and give away your position. SO yeah, fighting with a light is not just as simple as turning it on and shooting.

To start with, I use the magpul CTR stock. This is one of the few magpul products I liek and is worth having. For the most part I do not like or have much use for a lot of Magpuls stuff.  They make some great stuff, but they also make a lot of gimmicks. I like the CTR because it locks, has multiple ways to mount my sling, it is light, thin and comfortable.  big plus is the latch is not easy to hit and let the stock collapse if I have to use it rested on something. The rubber but plate is nice, not to help with recoil but to keep it from sliding off my plate carrier or other nylon gear.

Next is the charging handle and BUIS.  I like the Knights armament 600 meter sight.  I usually use the standard , but I switched to the micro so the mount for a PVS-14 would clear it. The KAC is my 1st choice always. I have used a lot of different models but I will always recommend the KAC.  The charging handle is the BravoCompany  Gunfighter CH.  I use the medium. The large snags everything on my gear and really digs into the body and the small is not much different from the standard latch.  I find the Medium to be the best of both worlds. It is truly more then just an extended handle. It is very tough and the re design was well done, well thought out and bullet proof. Enough has been said about the quality of the gunfighter already and I am sure it is nothing new to anyone.  I do not use a PRI gas buster cause I ain’t got a can and the Badger breaks. Pure and simple. The badger breaks.

Next is the grip. I love the tango down battle grip. I have small fingers and the ergonomics of the TD grip just work for me. I do not like the MIAD, or the cheap MOE.  The angle of the new Larue and the Bravo company grips do not do it for me. I feel the TD give me a better position to work the trigger for proper trigger control and it will store two batteries int he bottom.  I  use a Knights ( KAC ) ambi safety. I use this because I bought it before Colt started selling their ambi safety but, I feel no need to switch and have utmost confidence in the KAC product anyway. I use the cut away insert for the right side. I found that a full length safety would often drag on my gloves as I went to fire when indexing my trigger finger along the gun. The cut away solved this nicely and is still easily hit with the thumb.

On the left of the gun you can see I have added a BAD lever , a Norgon ambi  mag release and a KAC  QD socket.  The BAD lever makes reloading very fast. It does not always work with every AR15 on the market ( read cheap ) but it makes thing very fast and give me the ambi feature I feel is important on a fighting gun. I do however , feel there is a whole lot of room for improvemt with this type of add on.  The one reason I truly appreciate it is that I can lock the bolt back without taking my firing hand off the grip. If you have to clear malfunctions, the BAD lever really shows its worth. Downside is that you can become dependent on it like a crutch. You can find yourself trying to hit it on a gun that does not have it during a reload and that can slow you down a second or two. That may be enough to slow you forever. So keep that in mind and train with and without it if you have one.

The Norgon mag release. Nuff said. The ambi feature I love so much and deem valuable for a fighting gun.

The KAC QD socket is there because for right now, the 6940 does not have rear QD sling points.  I and a lot of others feel this is the best place to mount a two point sling on the rail. Personal choice, but it gives you more room with the sling. Since the 6940 has one in front, I can move the sling position to the rear or front depending on my needs. And with QD sling swivels it is easily done in no time at all.

Inside is the geissele ssa trigger. Now I will almost always tell you to use the milspec trigger and for good reason. It is hard to beat for toughness durability and reliability. The gun was meant to work with the standard trigger in it. And You can shoot it with all the precision needed. The AR15 is not  benchrest rifle nor is it a sniper rifle. If you are a competent shooter, you can shoot just as well with stock trigger as any other as long as it is safe and functioning correctly. It is not a hunting rifle. Think of the “match trigger ” in your fighting carbine the same as you would as having a light match trigger in your CCWD side arm. Now, if you are an experienced shooter, with a lot of years behind a gun with proper trigger control that can shoot a standard trigger to your full potential. Then by all means try out a SSA or something like it.  Stay away from the Rock River Arms triggers. To be blunt, they are crap. They are fine for the bench rest range shooters who fire 200 rounds a year. But time and time again, high round count carbine classes have shown that the RRA trigger will fail you. It is just not rugged. If you have one that works, great, but its a matter of time before it stops feeling so sweet and starts feeling like mush. If its a target or varmint rifle, that fine. But do not put it on a duty rifle or fighting rifle. It may cost you dearly one day.

My optics of choice are the Aimpoint T-1 and ACOGS, I mainoly use the T-1 because it is just the best all around work horse sight. I do not even know why aimpoint makes RDS that are not T-1s or something like them. No need for much more!! It is small, light, so tough Larry Vickers dropped it out of a chooper twice and it faired better then the gun it was on, and shot it, ran it over, sunk it, and dragged it on a gravel road for miles.  You can see the video on line. Funny thing was it was suppose to be a Daniel Defense add. I think it sold more T-1s then rifles. Those of us who used the T-1 before the video, knew how great it was before the test.  Batteries last almost long enough for you to collect a social security check and it has NVG settings and of course Larue makes his excellent QD mounts for it. A must have to any optic.  I use the KAC over sized adjustment nob that holds and extra battery inside. Not that it will likely ever be use, but you never know, the battery may be bad.

A neat side bonus is the Larue mount has room inside for a couple more batteries, some blow or anything else you may want to hide.

Up front I use the SureFire scout light with Vampire head. The head lets me switch from white light to IR light for the PVS-14  I can mount on the carbine or use helmet mounted.  To activate it I use the Surefire dual SR07 switch. It is a pressure switch and a on/off button switch combined. It snaps over the rail and is so useful I do not know how I ever lived without it.  The PVS-14 is seen below the light using the rifle picatinny mount.

The PVS14 mounted on the carbine. You can see how snugly the KAC micro BUIS fits under the mount nicely. The T-1 has several night vision setting and makes shooting at night as easy as invading france.  Hits out to as far as 100 yards can be made very easily on a night with moon out and stars. On a dark night the Vampire head makes easy work of hitting targets at night.  The IR flashlight can not bee seen with the naked eye so you need NV. But if the bad guy has NV, you stick out like a turd in vanilla ice cream, so you got to be careful how you use it. Just like a white light.  KNOW YOU EQUIPMENT AND WHEN TO USE IT PROPERLY!!.   Together they are a very effective force multiplier that will allow you to dominate a night fight.

My rail covers  are simply Larue tactical index clips. You can use as many or as little as you like and customize them around accessories. They even have clips the will help you route wires around the gun and secure them tightly.  They are slimmer than panels and weigh slightly less. Weight can be a factor even with panels in certain environments and times. It is not a big deal for me, but I always make a effort to save a few ounces  if I can, even if its not a top priority.

After years of suffering 3 point and single point sling fiascoes, I settled on the one sling that made me forsake all others. The Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Applications SLing. ( VCAS).  It is everything I ever wanted in a sling. I hate 3 points and I hate having single points hit me in the nuts.  The VCAS is tough, comfortable and easy to adjust in a hurry.  I add QD sling swivels so I can take it on and off in a hurry or move the sling to the front, rear or to the other side if need be. I like it. it would take something awfully special to make me stop using it and switch.

Now this is not my only AR by far, but is  the one I reach for first and the one I will depend on for everything.  I have no need for a middy, and I am sold on monolithic upper. I have not seen a more accurate factory  rack grade fighting rifle. The Colt Chromed lined 4150 1/7 barrel is always my choice.  After close to 10 million AR15s  on one side of that number or the other, I feel they know how to make a AR15. With that in mind, colt has never failed me and got my Dad home from Vietnam.  I find the 16 inch barrel to feel my needs and I do not need a rifle shorter.  Plus if used in home defense inside, I do not want to blow out my ears with a 10.5 inch barrel. Nor do I want to explain why I used a NFA rifle or risk losing it forever to some police locker.

For magazines, I use about any quality mag, USGI, Pmags and lately the new Lancer mags, the advanced warfighter mags.  I found the HK mags to be pure hype with not real performance gain to justify the price.  Just like every other HK product I have tried  I do like the surefire 60 round mags. The two sent to me have held up well despite all my abuse and have not failed me. They have limited uses, in some cases but I think they are worth having. I would suggest buying at least one before the election, no matter how it will turn out.If things go wrong, you may never get one for the current price again.

SO that is my carbine, It is not set in stone, but what you see is pretty much how it stays. Optics will be swapped for certain roles and some times it will have a small bipod or VFG. but the items on it in the pictures are the serious fighting upgrades that always stay  on it unless a much better and proven part comes along to replace it. They may do the same but be tougher or  better ergo wise. But the purpose they fill would be the same.

Steps of the Draw for Personal Defense.

When it comes to drawing your firearm for defensive shooting, there are a lot of techniques being taught.  Some people want no steps, while others want long complicated steps in presenting the firearm.  I have always been middle of the road when it comes to the steps of the draw. The main goal in the draw should be using the most efficient movement to get the firearm into the fight.  I have always used a six (6) step method to teaching the draw. The benefit of using these key steps is consistency in the draw for Duty Carry or Concealed Carry.

1.) Grip

2.) Clear

3.) Lock

4.) Grab

5.) Punch

6.) Trigger Press

In each step there are several things going on that you need to incorporate.  It is important to remember, depending on the encounter, you may not complete all six (6) steps. Most deadly force encounters (shootings) happen in low light, at extremely close distances, from three (3) to seven (7) feet. Incorporating these steps in the draw will address close range as well as longer range engagements. I will discuss the importance of each step.

The Draw:

Grip – This first step is critical as it sets the entire tone of the engagement.  The outcome could be won or lost right here.  Several things are going on at the same time: Support hand is clearing clothing and comes to the center of the chest (Grab position). Gun hand breaks holster retention and acquires a positive, high in the web of hand grip, with trigger finger indexed along the side. Movement should also start happening at the same time, (i.e. stepping off line or back).

Clear – Keeping the support hand on your chest, clear the firearm from all gear and clothing. This is the time that you will be taking the safety off of a firearm that has a safety (i.e. 1911, HK USP, Berretta). Continue your movement off line.

Lock – Bring the firearm up presenting the firearm towards the threat. This is a close quarters encounter shooting position (arms length). It is important to keep your support hand on your chest incase you have to fire.  This will help you avoid putting rounds through your own hand.  If you are not shooting from this position quickly transition to Grab.

Grab – Push the firearm forward and towards the center of your body. At the same time come underneath the trigger guard with the support hand and acquire a high ready two handed grip. The firearm should be high enough that your peripheral vision should start to pick up the front sight. Having the firearm in this position of the draw is critical to set you up for the next step.

Punch/Sights – From the Grab position push the firearm towards the threat while acquiring your sights. This should be a straight forward motion like a punch. Pushing the firearm straight out will avoid fishing or bowling of the firearm and sights. This straight motion from the Grab will help you pick up the sights faster. At this point your movement (stepping off line) should be ending, as you are preparing to fire.

Trigger Press – Once you have your sights on target, move your trigger finger from indexing to the trigger. All of the steps mean nothing if you mash the trigger and don’t get the rounds to hit. Use good trigger fundamentals and press.

These steps are a guide to help you in your training. All of the steps should be used in one fluid motion when presenting the firearm from the holster. The only time you should think about the steps is when you are going to shoot from one of the Lock, Grab or during the Punch steps.  Mix it up during your training. I had a fellow officer who would regularly train firing from the Lock position through the Punch, while moving off line, from close quarters.

Close Quarters Encounter:

Lock – If you have to fire from this position, slightly cant the firearm away from your body, rock back a little to make sure your rounds are contacting center mass. Canting the firearms slightly will ensure the slide cycles properly, especially if multipule rounds are needed.


I feel, in the civilian Concealed Carry field, not enough attention is focused on close quarters encounters. Remembering the important steps in the draw, Lock, Grip and Punch are important fundamentals.  You are more likely to be stabbed than in a gun fight and that means close range. The steps will help you identify shooting skills you may need in protection of your family at home. In your house you will more than likely be at very close range to a suspect. Use the high ready Grab to move in your house or pull it back to Lock if you have to push someone away and then shoot.


Bore obstruction and web raffles.


A couple of weeks back one of shooters at our range left a .30 cal brass rod in the bore of their rifle and fired.  Later the rod was found near the 100 yard line.


When the shooter fired his rifle, the increased recoil caused his rifle scope to hit him and cut him.  The rod ended up shorter by 6 inches.  .30 cal at one end and .338 on the other.  The silver you see on the rod is some of the rifling that was stripped out of the bore of the rifle.

As always, it is a good idea not to fire your firearms with any bore obstructions.


I see a great many cheap optic break at the range, or brought to the range broken.  In trying to help someone take off a seized cap on a Tasco scope, the whole turret came off.  Nikon scopes have great glass, but I have also seen several of them fail on the range during zeroing.  The cheap holosights(also popularized by many current video games) is one of the worst.  Not only do they break easily, people have issue trying to zero them, or even getting them bright enough to work in the Florida sun.  If your going to buy a cheap optic for plinking, I would recommend looking at the BSA as they tend to work, or Primary Arms.  However I would not recommend either of those a fighting firearm.


From around the web:

The Michael Gingher Foundation is having a drawing for a Springfield M1A Loaded Model.  Money is going to help students perusing gunsmithing education.

Team Ranstad is having another large raffle, info can be found here.

I have purchased tickets for both of these.

Weird Sh-t Happens

Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.


Weird Sh-t Happens
Flashlight on Fire
Last week, while serving as a Range Safety Officer at an outdoor range, I heard someone yell ‘Fire’ and it clearly had nothing to do with shooting.  I was nearby and saw a flashlight which was mounted on a rifle, the flashlight was on fire.  The flames were 3-4 inches high.  I’m told initially the flames wee 1 1/2 to 2 feet high.  It quickly went out but if by itself or our efforts is not clear.   The plastic case of the light was damaged and did not burn significantly before it was over.  The end cap had come off, one of the batteries was blackened, the other was not.  A couple minutes later, as the owner attempted to remove the batteries, it flared up again with a mini-explosion which burned his arm.  He thought that his face had flame or chemical burns but luckily only his eyebrows and hair were singed.  He was thankful to still be wearing his eye protection.
The event appeared to have been caused by defective batteries.  The owner was thankful that it had not occurred while the gun was at home in his safe, or worse, while in the trunk of his car on the ride home.
The batteries had come with the light when purchased.  I do not have the identity of either.  I have read of spontaneous fires from bad cell phone batteries and some other batteries.  I experienced a spontaneous fire many years ago due to dry chemicals from a high school science lab trash can mixing with other materials when dumped into a second trash can.
Perhaps this fire could have been avoided by using better quality batteries.  I doubt the makers of the light would have included these if they knew of a potential problem, or would they?  Could they both have been from the same manufacturer?  Some foreign manufacturers have very low standards.  The light did not appear to be one of the better quality brands.  Perhaps it’s better to spend a little more money for better quality when purchasing your gear.
What if instead of being mounted on a rifle, this light had been in his pocket?  Or your pocket, or hand?
Howard:  It is a known issue that cheap or Chinese lithium batteries can explode.  This is one of the good reasons why you should buy quality batteries.  While I was in the service, I had to guard a building which had caught fire due to improper storage of lithium radio batteries.  So I was tasked with standing near the fire and telling other people not to stand near the fire, everything tasted funny for a couple of weeks afterwards.  Buy good batteries, store & dispose of them properly and you will avoid this issue.

My survival and Get Home Gear Part 2

In part 2 of my posting about my survival gear and get home bag I will show and explain the extra items added during winter and cold weather months.

Obviously the winter requires different clothing gear and other things to stave off dying from exposure. So, with the change of the year I add more to the  gear and I also swap to another pack to carry the extra clothing and survival items.  The pack I use is the large ILBE pack for winter. Everything in the 3 day assault pack seen in my last article on the subject is moved over into this pack. It is heavier then the small pack, but I feel when the weather is more extreme, it is worth the trade off.

The large pack will hold another human inside it if used to its fullest potential. It also will allow you to attach the 3 day pack to the outside. MOLLE covers the back of it and sides for any additional things you want to add with buckles to secure it. The pack has two side zippers so you can get into it without going through the top. You can see in the picture that I added a GP pouch in front and an extra nalgene bottle holder on the side.  The other side secures the therma rest air mattress nice and tight.

The winter gear  in the picture above goes into the large winter pack with all my other normal stuff.  In it is a gortex parka and pants that are water proof and wind proof, a set of silk weight pants and shirt to wear under normal clothes if its not too cold or just cooler and wet. I also keep another two pair of smart wool socks and some wool gloves, a neck gaitor and a fleece hat. One the right side is a  ECWS wild things extreme cold weather parka. It is not water proof but will repel water. It is for extreme cold but dry weather. As inside layer I have a grid fleece pull over shirt with grid fleece bottoms. I also have two pelican water and shock proof cases to carry various things to keep them safe and dry, like cell phones or any sensitive things.

A close up of the gortex. Also is the picture is an extra WXP source water carrier I add to the outside of the pack.

A close up of the fleece and other layers. All of it goes into a water proof ruck sack liner to keep it dry in a heavy rain or a spill into a river or falling over a water fall.

The gas mask is something that I sometimes add to my kit. It does not stay in it full time, but depending on where I am going or other factors I can add it.  I think that a gas mask and plenty of extra filters are a very smart thing to have in your preparedness kit. Some may think it is crazy but it could very well come in handy and  be the most important thing of your entire life in the right situations.  Not all masks will protect against chemicals or biological and nuclear so make sure you get what you think you need. I am more worried about major civil unrest and maybe areas CS gas is being used.  If some one drops mustard gas in my area, just a mask won’t be helping me by itself so its a moot point. If you live in an area with chemical spills, you need  a different set of chemical protection gear so read up and learn about it before spending a ton of money on something that would melt to your face.

Now, my gear is not just for fighting my way home or evading and escaping some unknown evil force. It is also for helping my through a catastrophe.  It is more likely I would get stranded some where then to fight off aliens from the future.  So I always make sure to have plenty of things to signal with.

Here are three examples of what I consider some of my most important items. These are used to signal  if I roll over a hill.  Are lost in the woods or  need to  flag down a medical chopper or the police depending on what is going on. A cell phone is great. But some times even if you have a GPS, maybe they do not. Or if could be so heavy brush, they can not find you. If a medical chopper is coming and seconds count. It is best to have something to signal with RIGHT NOW.   For this I have these three things. A military VZ17 signal panel with orange and pink sides that folds out to become fairly large and very easy to see, A yellow smoke grenade and a MK 7 hand parachute signal flare.  All can be seen from ther air easy and the panel can be laid on the ground, in a tree, on top of a broken down car or waved in the air on a large pole or stick by the person needing help.  I also carry a smaller US airforce pilots signal panel  small enough for a pants pocket on my person when on a long hike and keep two or three in the  vehicle just in case along with road flares and signal mirrors and chemical lights.   You are more likely to be trying to stay alive and need to signal help before you ever need to get away from some invading force like in Red Dawn, so always have several forms of signaling for help.   For the rest of my gear and summer month items read the Part 1 of this series.

Militec and Chloride

Article Submitted by Josh Berry

One thing I often see on gun websites is the debate on lubrication for your firearms. Generally this is a fairly subjective topic with lots of opinions on just what is the best. A common brand I see get mentioned more than I wish is Militec-1.

If you know anything about them the company makes some pretty big claims to their products performance and how the Army has cheated them out of contracts based on pure bias. I am writing this to kind of dispel those claims and shed some light on just what exactly Militec-1 is and could do to your rifles.

I am sure that by now everyone here has been to the Militec website to look up some of their claims, but if you have not here is what they have to say about their product.

  • MILITEC-1 treated weapons have been tested and proven to be more accurate, deliver higher muzzle velocity with the same load, and show decreased wear at all critical wear points. Also, the weapons subjectively “feel” better in blind tests.

  • MILITEC-1 has a very low evaporation rate and will not dry out and “disappear” like MilSpec CLP. Firearms remain properly lubricated for a much longer period of time. In fact, MILITEC-1-treated firearms can even be taken out of extended storage and fired immediately with no additional care. It seems to be an unfortunate but unavoidable fact of life that the proper care of weapons is sometimes ignored. MILITEC-1’s long-term lubricating potential helps guard against this eventuality and will allow even badly neglected weapons to fire without jamming. After proper application with MILITEC-1 insures that a weapon will fire properly first time, every time.

  • MILITEC-1 makes firearms much easier to clean. Since MILITEC-1 seals metal surfaces, fouling and other residue do not build up as quickly. In most cases, a weapon can simply be wiped clean with little effort. This saves a lot of time and frustration and makes cleaning almost fun.

  • MILITEC-1 is ideal for firearms that are exposed to harsh weather conditions. After proper application, a light coat of MILITEC-1 is highly corrosion resistant – approximately three times more effective in preventing rust than MilSpec CLP. This will cut down on damage caused by damp weather, and makes MILITEC-1 especially useful for firearms carried on motorcycles, bicycles or boats.

  • A MILITEC-1-treated firearm can be wiped completely clean and dry and will still retain adequate lubrication. That’s right – no liquid lubricant, but still completely lubricated. This is because MILITEC-1 is in the metal, not just on the surface, so the liquid component is unnecessary. This unique self-lubricating effect was used to great advantage in Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. Clean, dry MILITEC-1-treated weapons continued to fire even in blowing dust and sand, since there was no liquid for the dust particles to adhere to and gum up the works. This same effect is useful in extremely cold conditions where there is no liquid to congeal and slow down or freeze the action.

Now those things are great and grand……if they were true, sadly they are not. Here is something you probably have not read but should-  This goes over pretty well how Militec-1 truly performed over time as it was tested numerous times, its a good read and well worth your time. If you want the short version…Militec-1 has never passed military trials and when it was awarded a NSN the company that awarded it admitted to basically cheating to let them get the pass.

Another thing you probably have not read or heard about is that Militec-1 has Chlorinated esters in it. Now if you don’t know Chlorinated esters when combined with metals that are placed under high tensile pressure(ala firearms being fired) will and does lead to stress cracks, this is a phenomena called CSCC(Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking).

Here is a great article on it and what happens.

This is a big reason Militec-1 should never be recommended for firearms, the area of the bolt will be subjected to heat, pressure, and stress all of this combined with the chlorinated esters in Militec-1 can and have caused premature wear on bolts.

When you begin to look at lubricants you should make sure to really dig into it online and make sure that it does not contain any chlorinated esters in them.

Glock 21 Gen4

I had the opportunity to test drive a Glock 21 Gen4 this weekend. I wanted to do a quick review as this was the first time I had shot the Gen4 21.  This is a firearm I recommended a friend purchase. He called me for advise, stating he had a friend who wanted to sell him a new Glock 21 Gen4. We shot it this weekend and I was impressed. Both of us are very familiar with the .40 cal Glocks having carried them as law enforcement officers and we found the 45acp Glock was a delight to shoot.

I shot a variety of ammunition though it to test the recoil of different loads.  I ran Federal 230gr ball, Hornady Critical Defense 185gr FTX, and full power LE Winchester Ranger 230gr SXT (RA45T). The new dual recoil spring drastically reduced the recoil of the 45acp rounds. The 230gr ball and the Hornady Critical Defense felt almost like shooting LE Gold Dot 147gr 9mm. I could feel a noticeable difference when firing the Winchester Ranger but it was still very manageable.  I had no problem putting multiple shots in quick succession center mass.

The Gen4 grip was nice, with no back straps it felt like the Glock 21SF model. While the Glock 21 Gen4 is a very large pistol, it felt small in my hands. When firing, I forgot all about the fact I was shooting a 45acp, even with the Winchester Ranger ammo.

In fact the recoil was so soft, a great opportunity to demonstrate how manageable the Glock 21 Gen4 is presented itself. My friend had his teenage daughter with him this day. She had never shot a firearm before and after a few minutes of instruction she was ready to take on the 45acp.  We did not make it too easy for her, we placed our man sized targets at 7 yards/21 feet. After firing her first round she was quickly placing rounds center mass. She had no problem manipulating the firearm and as time went on she was more confident in quickly putting rounds on the target. She stated she liked the size and feel of the 9mm/40 Glocks more but had not problem handling the larger size of the Glock 21.


Overall Impressions:

There are many reviews of the Glock 21 Gen4 out there. I did not want to get into all of the different shooting aspects of the Glock 21 as they have been covered. As far as the handling of the Glock 21 Gen4, it performs like a Glock.  It ate everything we put into it. The Glock 21 Gen4 was a big surprise for me in the recoil department.  I just did not think the recoil would be as soft as it was. The fact that a petite teenage girl, who had never fired a firearm before, picked it up and was throwing lead down range without a problem says a lot.  If you are looking for a 45acp that is very comfortable to shoot, check the Glock 21 Gen4 out.


My First Ever Rifle Competition

Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.

Match was held at the Manatee Gun & Archery Club.

My First Ever Rifle Competition


How I Entered a State Championship Match Not Knowing What The Hell I Was Doing.

Actually, I did know what I was doing, in that I already knew that much of what I was doing was wrong.  Recently, sitting at this very same computer where sit I now, I heard the voice of the Malechild, Fruit Of My Loins.  This is the one to whom I offered room and board while he attended a facility  of Higher Learning after completing his service in the Marine Corps.  Although, after the Marine Corps, what else could there be that anyone would need to know?  And didn’t someone else say that they learned all of lifes important lessons in Kindergarten?  (Pronounced ‘Kin- dee garden’ for most of us).

Anyway, he was heard to say telephonically to a friend, that a match was to be conducted nearby and the prizes were substantial, not simply for winning, but there was a drawing for ‘door prizes’ simply for showing  up and completing the whole thing.  Exclaimed he, the odds of winning a door prize were worth the cost of the entry fee.  ‘I have a rifle that could do it’ proclaimed I, thinking that perhaps he would borrow it to use.  But he was working as a Range Safety Officer at that same range on that same weekend, I could enter, meaning me, he said.  He would pay the entrance fee.

I hadn’t thought about a match like that.  I’m a pistol kinda guy.  There’s been quite a few periods where I would do a thousand rounds a month or more.  I’m been to more than a few classes, learned from some Big Name people, took it seriously.  I own and shoot rifles too, casual plinking, some for hunting, some are reproductions of guns from the 1800s.  I also practice a little bit of military style stuff and some close range defensive practice in case of zombie attacks, the End Of The World As We Know It, or the Martian invasion, but this match, I learn, is at a thousand yards.

A thousand yards.  Now, I had shot at a thousand perhaps twice, nothing serious, just plinking, hoping to have a spotter see where my hits went into the dirt bank.  I have done much more of the same at something over 500 yards though not often nor even regularly.  At that distance I have shot, or at least attempted serious groups with military rifles and my budget version of a precision rifle. Results varied.  Fair at best.

My previous best at long distance, meaning 500 to 560 yards was only minimally acceptable.  And that was usually military style shooting, shooting at something sized to represent a persons torso, this match was at twice the distance so the targets would be bigger, right?  Wrong, they were smaller.  The targets were ‘gongs’, hanging flat circles cut from thick steel.  They were only eight inches across.

With a hunting rifle and hunting quality ammunition, I knew that under ideal conditions, I could hit that, yup, all the way out to 300 yards.  My precision rifle, with better quality ammunition would do much better than that, but how much better, I didn’t know.  When I ‘built’ that rifle I only hoped for one M.O.A. (minute of angle,), meaning that under ideal (really, really perfect) conditions it could keep it shots in about an 11 inch circle at 1000 yards.  Realistically, I expected to be able to keep my shots in an 18 or so inch circle perhaps a little better.  I figured the equipment could do that if I did my part.

Earlier this year, while learning about the perils of parallax, I accidently shot a target with this rifle and my ammunition of choice which was both very bad and very good.  The specific details are complicated enough for a story of their own, but suffice to say the incident ended with two distinct groups of four shots, one of 1 1/8th inch and the other of 7/8th inch, from 300 yards.  That’s about 1/3rd of a M.O.A.  Three times better than I wished for.  It was clear then that the rifle and ammunition had potential, much more than I had hoped for, if only I could learn how to use it.

I was not real excited about this event, I wasn’t prepared for it and maybe not even really interested, but, Kidlet wanted it.  I then discovered the high, I thought, entry fee was not for the whole event, it was that much per day.  When he learned about that, his interest would drop, I was certain, so I skipped four possible practice and sighting in sessions.  Turns out, he knew and still wished to try, so two days before the match, with my best friend as a spotter, I was at the bench.

My ammo was pretty standard, made it myself, Varget gun powder, 43.8 grains of it measured with calibrated dippers, and a Sierra Match King bullet (SMK).  However I had the 168 grain weight bullets.  Known for great accuracy and lower price compared to its competitors, the 168 grain SMK is famous for its accuracy, but not at 1000 yards.  The cartridge I was shooting was the .308 Winchester, commonly referred to as the ‘Three-oh-eight’.   A critical point for this bullet comes at approximately 800 yards. The bullet is slowing down and passes back through the ‘sound barrier’ and thereafter travels slower than the speed of sound.  At that point of transition there is turbulence which affects the bullet, so about 800 yards is considered the maximum for this load.  But, it is what I had.

My ‘action’ and barrel were a slightly  older model made by Savage, the model 110 Tactical, which I had purchased used some years ago.  I had recently replaced the incredibly poor quality original stock with an  ‘Ultimate Sniper’ stock made by Choate.  Not particularly the highest quality, but I didn’t want to mortgage the house to buy a really high quality one and the Choate would still be far better than what had been on that barreled action.

The rifle scope which I had on that gun for years had been an attempt by a low end scope company to make a higher end scope.  It had been long discontinued and actually came apart when last I went to adjust it.  I now had a Zeiss.  Known for good quality, I got mine cheaper because had it been a demonstrator model.  The glass is wonderfully clear and the adjustments do exactly what they are supposed to do.  This precision of the ‘controls’ of the scope is important to be able to adjust the bullets impact to exactly where you want it and to be able to repeat that.  For someone shooting different bullets, having different target distances, etc., this is very important.  On many cheaper scopes these adjustments are only approximate or even just hopeful.  For people looking to buy a rifle scope I have long said to forget about the price in the beginning.  First, determine exactly what characteristics, features you need in your scope, find all with those features, then buy the most expensive one which you can afford.

These matches are shot from a solid ‘bench’, cement in this situation.  Front and rear ‘rests’ are allowed and pretty much obligatory if one wants to actually hit anything.  At these distances and size of targets, simply attempting to steady the gun on a tree stump or handy rock simply ain’t gonna do it.  The rear rest may be a simple bag with a ‘V’ notch to fit the butt of the gun, however the front rest is usually iron, heavy, complex and adjustable for precise positioning of the rifle.  I had purchased such a rest recently but had not used it.

My rest came with two front ‘bags’.  The one bag was fairly standard and could be used for most common rifles.  I used it check the sight settings of a military style rifle and it worked very well, but for my ‘precision’ rifle, it was no good.  The forearm of the rifle was too wide to fit into the notch in the bag.  Attempting to force the gun down into the notch was unsteady.  The rifle needs to move straight to the rear when firing.  This provides for consistency and allows the shooter to continue to see the target through the riflescope.  By using the wrong front bag, the rifle would ‘jump’ off of the bag to the right, so my shots were less consistent and I could not see where my shots were landing in the dirt bank around the target.  If my shots were going high, low, left, or right, I had no way of knowing thus was the need for my friend to ‘spot’ for me.  He watched the target with a telescope and told me where my shots landed so I could make adjustments.

I did not expect to hit such small targets at such a distance, but I hoped that I could shoot consistently enough even if keeping my shots in an 18 inch or so circle that there might be an occasional hit just by chance and that I would not too badly embarrass myself.  However, my inconsistency was far too great.  I suspected it was due mostly to the improper fitting front bag.  So we returned to try again the next morning.

The bag was now being beaten and forced closer to shape which I needed but it was still inconsistent.  Rarely could I see the impact of my own shots.  But I did shoot consistently enough that I could enter the match and not look too much like an ass.  But I knew I needed a better bag.

I had placed a small order from Midway USA for some knives and there was a sale on bullets as well so I had ordered some.  I had forgotten about them until they arrived, which was the day before the match.  These bullets were from the same manufacturer as the ones which I was using but just slightly heavier, 175 grains vs. 168 grains, but more importantly, they were intended for precision at longer distances than the 168.  So I loaded some up, using the same powder and charge as previously and went into the match the next morning with a load I had never fired before.

Some guns just don’t like some bullet/ammo combinations but I thought I should be fairly safe but the heavier bullet would have a different point of impart.  No problem, hopefully.  Before each ‘relay’ of shooting, I would have five minutes to sight in.  I could make any necessary adjustments then, I hoped.

The next morning I checked in.  The wind was relatively calm.  Good, the cross winds are often bad and I know the wind would increase as the day progressed.  A cross wind can easily move a bullet two feet or more from the target at that distance.  All shooting assignments were made randomly and would be randomized again the next morning.  I was assigned to the second of four relays, bench 4A.  Each relay had an ‘A’ and ‘B’ group.  Clay ‘pigeons’ discs used by shotgun shooters to simulate flying birds, had been placed on the bank near the targets.  These clays would be used for getting our rifles sighted in.  The impact of missed shots could be seen in the dirt bank, seeing these misses, the shooters could see how much of any  adjustments were necessary to their sights.

When a relay was started, the designated shooters had five minutes to place their rifles, rifle rests and other gear on their assigned bench, the rifles could be aimed at the clay targets.  A second five minute period then started, both A and B shooters could fire at the clay pigeons during this time.  Shooters used this time to fine tune their zeros for this distance and more importantly, to adjust for the ever changing wind.  The B shooters then had to remove the ‘bolt’ from their rifles to ensure that it could not be fired during the next stage, shooting for the record.  Eight minutes was given for the A group to fire eight shots.  One or more ‘spotters’ would be seated behind each shooter with a high powered optic to watch the potentially swinging target to see if it was hit.  A scorecard was marked for each shot, hit or miss.  The shooters were not given any information about the location of their misses.  Shooters were allow two additional ‘sighted’ shots during this time before starting to fire for the record, these shots had to be clearly announced to the spotter before firing.

My sighting shots were low, perhaps 2 to 2 ½ feet low and to the side.  Way off.  But when my rifle moved in recoil it did not move straight back so that I could still see the bullets impact.  Most of them I could not see.  I could aim precisely, but not being certain where the bullets were impacting I could not adjust to put them where I wanted them.  This continued to occur during firing for the record.  Then the A group removed the bolts from their rifles and the B group had their eight minutes to fire for the record.

There was a break where the targets were repainted then both groups shot again.  Another five minutes of sighters, but then the B group shot first.

About half way through my string, I saw one of my shots almost hit the base of the post on the right of the target, at least two feet low and two feet to the right.  In frustration I aimed at the top of the left post and saw some of my bullets impact near to the target.  I had to get a better front rest which fit the forearm of my rifle properly, allowing the gun to move straight back during recoil.  That would make for more consistent shooting and I would be able to see the impacts and then adjust my aim as needed.

One of the other shooters in my relay hit 11 times out of his 16 shots.

Why hadn’t I been using the correct front rest bag?  My heavy iron precision rest had come with a generic ‘fits most’ bag which I had been trying to use, and had as well, a bag more suited to this rifle, but it was unfilled.  Filling it seemed like it would be a pain in the ass and I had been just too lazy to do it.

On my way home, I stopped at three places which might have such a front end bag though the odds were slim.  I found none.  I even had half a silly notion to replace my rest with one of several similar used ones for sale, but given the price that would have been quite foolish.  My buddy had suggested that I could fill it with sand from an unused sandbag left over from a storm.  I could go the beach and get sand.  Some people in the past used lead shot, small lead pellets used in shotguns, but I did not want to deal with the lead dust they could create, and sand which was not cleaned, filtered and processed could rot my bag from the inside.  In desperation, I did a most unmanly act.  I found a certain paper I had kept,  I read the directions.

‘What!’ I thought, ‘They recommend THAT for filling this bag’.  Not the stuff which usually goes into them and their other models of bags, sand, shot, ground up moon rock (I touched one once, long ago at the Smithsonian), but instead, the same material which is used for cleaning empty brass cartridge cases.  I had that stuff.

Filling the bag was not as difficult as I thought it would be, but spillage was a concern.  The small dried particles of ground up corn cob went into the center portion of the three lobed bag through an opening which had no closure.  Put some in, try to hold the opening shut while trying to force the filling into the outer lobes, repeat.  One had to try to pinch the opening shut while forcing the stuffing about in the bag.  The opening in the bag was later sealed only by later placing it on the metal rest and bolting it into position.  There was a good bit more spillage than I would have thought.  At least I had the good sense to carry out this procedure over my sons computer keyboard and equipment rather than my own, an act which did not pass undiscovered later.

On the second day I had been assigned the first relay, bench 3B.  There was no wind.  I felt a little guilty taking the spot from someone who probably spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours perfecting their equipment and skills who would have loved to have that period before the wind picked up, but it had been randomized, so…

I had forgotten to adjust the side supports of the front rest at the bag.  This meant the bags surface was much wider than the firearm of the rifle and the gun slid from  side to side.  Now my vertical stringing was horrible.  This means that the up and down variation of where my bullets were hitting was EXTREME.  I did not realize it at the time but I probably packed the new front bag too full so the rifle was resting on a relatively ‘hard’ surface and bouncing off of it with each shot.  Could also have been that my breathing was not consistent or I was not consistently placing the ‘butt’ of the gun into my shoulder or a combination of all the above.

On the last of my sighting shots I nearly had to quit the event.  I could not move the bolt of my rifle to remove the empty ‘brass’ and put in a new cartridge.  I had to take a multi-tool from my belt and pound the bolt open.  This happened several times during the shooting, I then realized the cause and took corrective action.

During the sighting in, the spotters saw my plight, I heard some comments, including, ‘He must not be able to see his impacts’. Seeing my pathetic attempts, a couple of the guys tried to guide me on target but my vertical variations were so extreme and unpredictable it was of no help.  Strangely, I amazed myself and moreso them for my horizontal placement of the shots was near perfect, sometimes beautiful in fact.  Just incrediburgable. So perfect from left to right, so astronomically off top to bottom.  And that’s with a gun which is sliding to the side with every shot.

On my two strings for the record I saw very few shots impact.  On the next to last I saw a perfectly centered hit or would have been hit on the target if it had not been about three feet low.  ‘This is it now, my last shot’.  I focused as best I could. I aligned my sights to three feet above the target, carefully steadied then pressed the trigger.  I saw the impact.  Side to side was alignment was perfect and the shot hit exactly where I was aiming, three feet above the target.

One of the other shooters hit 14 out of 16 shots.

There were shoot-offs for winners in each relay, for each day and for the overall winner.  Wind was quite substantial later in that second day.  Cash prizes for the winners of each section.  Then also there a drawing for ‘door’ prizes just for showing up and staying through both days, I won a prize worth 300 dollars.

People who ‘get into’ this type of shooting will buy a large lot of precision match grade bullets then use specialized gauges to inspect them and use only perhaps the most consistent 10 percent of these.  That’s not my style.  The ‘brass’, the cartridge case will also be match grade, again inspected, carefully checked and only the most uniform of the best are used.  I used brass which had been thrown away and recycled, not only not match quality, but from several different manufacturers.  One of the brands was one which I had not used before, the bottom ‘rim’ of these seemed thicker than the others and would hang up in the tools I used to make the ammunition.  It was these which had to be pounded out of my gun.  When I realized this, I checked the bottom of each one before shooting to see the makers markings and set aside those from that company.  Note:  The maker was Privi Partizan. On the other hand,  I have shot over 2000 rounds of their 5.56 M193 ammunition in two other rifles with only one problem occurring which might have been due to the ammunition and have been generally satisfied with that.

When the event was over I assisted with some of the cleanup, taking down sign-in tables and such.  One of the organizers asked if I had figured out what was causing the vertical ‘stringing’, I had not, but I will.  He asked if had figured why some of the brass was getting stuck in the gun.  I told him that it was a specific ‘head stamp’ which I had not used before, that for the match I had used mixed brands range ‘pick-up’ brass.  You could almost see his jaw hit the ground.

I am very curious to fix the cause of the stringing.  Think I’ll work out the bugs and do it again, at least if not a formal match, but keep shooting at a 1000.  Maybe next year show them what I’ve learned.  Might still use cheap brass though.







*** Looserounds, nor Mark, take any responsibility for any reloading data listed above. Always use caution when trying a handload  you have not worked up safely in your own gun. All reloading precautions should be taken when handloading. Always follow reloading manual instructions and warning of the component MFGs.***

Catherine & Carlos On Water filter/Purification for Hiking and Survival

One of our readers asked this question on the facebook page , . I thought it was a detailed enough answer to be posted as a stand alone entry.

You can ask any question you want ( within reason) and Looserounds will do its best to answer it for you. Ask using the site email or through the facebook page.

Q&A question??? What’s the best portable water filter/purifier system out there. Which one is the best value? I noticed you guys started doing the shtf topics.

Cat. You can find me at Anyhow, I’ll cover the 3 popular ones for backpacking.

1. The Sawyer Squeeze Filter is very portable, versatile, and affordable. Watch this video to understand how it works- The only downfall in my opinion is trying to collect water from shallow areas. I think the price is around $50. Great system though for the price.

2. The Steripen Adventurer Opti won backpacker awards. Just as the name suggests it looks like a thick pen. One end holds the battery and the other end has a optical UV light (and also a flashlight). You simply fill a Nalgene bottle with water, turn on the Steri-pen, dip into the water and stir until the light turns off. It removes the bacteria. Here’s their video- It takes 90 seconds to purify 1 liter of water. The downfall is it requires a battery. The cost is about $90.

3. The MSR Sweetwater is probably the most liked for true backpacking and back country hunting. Since it is a pump system it can filter water from puddles. The pumping action does take some time and the unit is slightly larger/heavier than the two mentioned above. However, a great product and one I will add to my hunting pack. Here is a video – The cost is about $90.

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me anytime.


You can also search REI’s website for this products and read others reviews.

I’d also like to add that the Katadyn Exstream works pretty well. It’s similar to the Sawyer filter in operation, but comes with it’s own bottle. You can probably get one for around $40. As Cat pointed out, neither works very well in shallow muddy water. Also, with both of these you do have to periodically replace the filters.


The Swiss Katadyn Group is the world’s Number One for individual water purification systems and products, with a global market share exceeding 50 percent. Katadyn has been…