A “safe” pistol the Ruger LC9.

I went to the range today.  One of the other shooters was having an issue with a LC9 so I got the chance to look at it.

This Ruger LC9 would not fire.  New out of the box, the owner could chamber a round, but he could not make it fire.  He was asked if it had a key lock the owner said no.  So the owner was told to contact the company and if necessary send it back.

I went and took a look at the Ruger web site and they they note that this pistol has a key lock.  My best guess is that at some point the key lock was used on this pistol rendering it inert.  Fortunately this owner choose to test his firearm before relying on it.

Moral of the story:  Test your gear, avoid unnecessary extra safety locks.

Astigmatisms and Red Dots.

Every so often I see or hear a complaint about how someone just bought a new Red Dot optic(or similar reflex sight) and got a defective one with a screwed up reticle.

Now there are the occasional defective optic, but usually the answer is that the person has an astigmatism or other eye problem that they did not know about causing the dot to look like something other then a circle.  I know a guy who bought an Aimpoint PRO and sent it back for being defective.  He sent the replacement back also complaining how he was sent two defective optics in a row.  It wasn’t the optics that had the problem.

So, how do we diagnose if the problem is the person or the optic?  First option is to have someone else look through the optic.  If that is not an option, simply rotate the optic when looking through it.  Some people will see a J shape, or a figure eight(or similar infinity sign), multiple dots, etc.  If these remain the same when the optic is rotated, it is the persons eye that is the problem.  If this aberration rotates with the optic, the optic is at fault.

Most people will find that these issues go away when they wear their corrective lenses.  Others learn to live with it, finding a point on the deformed reticle that they can use.  For example the top of the J, or in between the circles of an figure 8.  For some they can not deal with this so they do not use red dot type optics.

A couple of observations from the range.

Wolf Ammo oiledIt is not a very good idea to oil your ammo with penetrating oil.

Recently I have seen a few scopes come off rifles under recoil.   Buy good mounts, and make sure that they are installed correctly and you can often avoid the problem.  In the picture below the mount came with the wrong screws which were too short.  The scope came off giving the owner of the rifle a nasty cut.

TC Encore scope mount

I saw a new bipod called the “Flex Bipods”.  While it is not a “Tactical” bipod, it is an interesting rest.  First it is rather light for its size, lighter then a comparable Sinclair F-Class bipod.  Second is that it is designed to flex, for pre-loading the rifle.  And lastly is that the feet on it(adjustable for height) are very gripy and grab the ground, carpet, and even the concrete shooting bench well.

Flex BipodThis Flex Bipod is about 20oz, breaks down small and flat for storage, has swivel and height adjustment.  Price is around $200 dollars which makes it competitively priced with its competition.  It would not be right for people who don’t use bipod pre-load.  I think it is nifity and might be good for some F-class shooters but it would not be the right bipod for me.


Paratroop Gear WW2



Howard found this picture of the lay out of a Paratroopers gear from WW2.   I don’t know where it came from originally be we picked it up from Ar15.com.

Obviously the belt is heavy modified by riggers.  Its said to be a radio mans gear due to the radio. but I think it may be an officer or Artillery observer, The small radio, from what I understand was about the same as a walkie talkie and was for use inside the smaller units,like and officer calling up his company commander not the one used by the regular radio men

Prevention And Care Items In The Field


When I go out for any extended time in the world while hunting or hiking or anything that has me in the elements with a gun for extended time, I do a few things as precautions.  I’m not one to worry about the finish getting dinged or scratched and I don’t over clean my weapons. I’m not a clean my gun even if I fire one round, kinda guy.     But, I  do want to keep my stuff working in the field if I fine myself in some bad weather.    Normally this is not something I worry too much with Ar15s. Sometimes it is if the weather is bad enough, but mostly its to protect much more delicate then combat guns, like a hunting shotgun or something in a hiking back pack.




Above are some of the things I carry into the field depending on gun or conditions.  I keep them in a pocket and wrapped up and folded to be small as possible. With careful selection and thought, they can be something so light you don’t notice it or its negligible.

To the right is a “birth bag” from Colt firearms.   It is the tough plastic bag that Colt rifles come wrapped in from the factory., They have a rust prohibiting oil  all inside the bags since guns may set on a shelf a long time.  They are tough and do not tear easy and fit any AR15.  I fold one of them up tight and wrap a strong rubber band around them.  they weigh nothing really and will fit in any decent size pocket.  If I am out hunting with a vintage shot gun or rimfire rifle and it starts a very strong rain or sleet. I can yank it out and stick the gun inside. The oil cuts down the chance or rust and protects the gun.   Even out with an AR15 or other EBR its nice to have if the weather gets bad enough, or you have no where to set the weapon down but into soft mud or  you need to cross a deep stream.  You can imagine its handiness without my help I’m sure.


In the middle is something always in most of my gear, chest rigs, back packs, one in my jeep and again, depending on weather/situation, one in my pocket.   It is a few sections of a GI cleaning kit, some eye glasses alcohol wipes to clean optics lenses( or my eye glasses) some patches and a cleaning brush.   I learned this lesson when a friend and I went camping and the sling  on his carbine let go and the muzzle went 3 inches into the mud.   We had to clear the barrel immediately or things could have went very bad.  And of course it goes without saying I ALWAYS have a small 2 ounce bottle of lube on my person.

the last thing on the left is a plastic lubricated plastic bag for  magazines.   If the weather is bad or I have no idea what may be going on, I have at least 1 fully loaded thirty round magazine for my rifle protects and in a pocket.   I think this explains itself really.



I think its good policy.  I seriously suggest you  think about your area and a way to carry some small protective items to take care of your weapon in the field in a situation you have to act fast.  It has saved me a lot of grief and may save you too. Not everyone shoots just from a bench or buys safe queens and these items take up very little space and weight.

Haley Strategic Partners Thorntail light mount


I recently picked up a Haley Strategic Partners Thorntail mount for Surefire Scout lights and have been quite pleased with it. The Thorntail is made for HSP by Impact Weapon Components and like everything I’ve handled from IWC I found it to be of high quality and well made.



IMG_9190 IMG_9191

The Thorntail’s claim to fame is that it allows the light to be mounted in the previously unused space between the rail sections on a standard quad rail handguard, and that the light can be mounted further out towards the muzzle end of the weapon. It is also reversible so it can be mounted on either side of the weapon based on user preference.



The Thorntail really shines on carbine length rails as it frees up rail space and allows greater latitude in front grip/hand placement.  It also places the light in a perfect position to be activated by the off hand thumb.




I’m no Haley fanboy but on the flip side I won’t discount something just because he makes/endorses it if it proves to be a useful bit of gear. I’ve found the HSP Thorntail to be an excellent mount and would recommend them to anyone in the market for a light mount. In addition to being sized for the Scout light, the HSP Thorntail is also available with a variety of ring sizes to fit/mount most common hand held flashlights.


Surefire 60 Round Mag Loaded for 22 Months


Almost two years ago, I picked up a couple of the then fairly new, Surefire 60 round magazines.  I reviewed and tested them and did my best to get them to fail without damaging them.  I went on to use one of them often with no trouble since then,  The other, I fully loaded and set it aside with the intention of testing it after a year of being loaded.

I totally forgot about the mag and the 1 year point to re test it, until reading some comments by some self proclaimed experts on the error net recently and it reminded me that I had went way past my intended  1 year period.

So, after 1 year and 10 months of setting fully loaded, I took the 60 rounded out in the cold snowy weather today and did a very fast mag dump.  To add to more stress to any feeding issues, I fired the rounds through a 11.5 inch barreled Colt Commando.


I encountered no trouble at all.    I then stuffed some snow and a little ice into the mag, reloaded it fully and let it set in the snow for an hour while I went ahead with some pistol training.  I got the magazine out of the snow bank when the hour was up and proceeded to fire all the ammo without a hitch.   After two years of hearing rumors from people claiming  the mags were not reliable( when it was most likely their craptastic guns the mags were used in) I got no problems.  One of the big myths is leaving a mag fully loaded wears out the springs or weakens them or some such BS.  It doesn’t.  This is one absurd gun myth that needs to die with the old chestnut that shorter barrels are less accurate and the 1/7 twist can’t shoot light bullets.   I have tested two surefire 60 round magazines in every way I know to get them to have trouble( that is not damaging it) while using them as intended.   By that  I mean I didn’t pour powdered graphite inside them or bend the lips or beat it with a hammer,  Sure that would cause a problem, but it would for any magazine.  i also did not do some of the more absurd methods for supposedly keeping magazines working.  Use them as intended with quality firearms and ammo and I just do not see a problem. Of course there is always the occasional factory defect, nothing made by humans is perfect, but I’m sure Surefire would remedy that,   the point is, don’t be so fast to believe comments online when you have no idea what kind of El Jefe special piece of shit, said user may be using the mags in. People always want to blame something other then their precious baby they just paid hard earned money for.

I can say I trust my Surefire 60 round mags now enough to  not have any worries.  I can not speak about the 100 rounders, I don’t have one nor have any intention of buying one.  But, I think the 60 rounders are pretty good mags and are probably  reliable when taken care of and used properly in well made in spec guns. Of course none of this is scientific and really proves nothing,  but with any new mag it pays to test them well before relying on them.


Vintage Toy Guns Of Our Youth

Commandos GreenBeret Marx NewStarTrek

Some old ads  for some of the awesome toy guns from when we were younger and the country was more free.  I have no idea how many plastic green toy M16A1s and plastic cap grenades  I went through as a kid.  Then I moved on to pellet and BB guns.  My first real gun was a WW1 1911 Colt at age 9. But obviously the toys got more time on the range killing commies for Ronald Regan in the early to mid 1980s.

I always asked for the toy guns that looked the most real.  I had a full auto Uzi water gun that would pass as real today. I also had a cap gun MP5SD and a very realistic AK47, the type with the gear in the trigger that made a some what shooting sound and many of the real wood and metal  bolt action “springfield ” 1903 and M14 toys. I even had a few of the cast iron dummy grenades to play with.  I was the best armed kid in the hollow for sure.



I always liked the one above because it kinda looked like the laser rifles used by the  GI Joe’s in the cartoon and comic books.


Above, for the kid who wanted to be able to down a commie Mig.