5.56 Timeline

So much for Black Dog Machine .22 Mags

Shawn has long ranted and called BDM products junk. Mine worked, so I was happy with them.

But I hadn’t used my BDM .22 mags for a while. I went to pull them out of storage and I found they all had cracked. One failed catastrophically, and all the other have bad cracks propagating through them.

I paid $35 each for these. I never abused them. What a bad deal.

Put me firmly in the “Don’t buy Black Dog Machine magazines” camp.

Some Things You Asked About

We have talked about a few things thins month I have noticed comments from readers asking about where they could get one.

First up is the leather M1907 sling used by the military on the M1903, M1 Garand, M14 etc etc. There are a few makers out there but if you want one made EXACTLY like the original then At The Front is your guys. I buy from them often and their quality is top notch. Yes price is equal to the quality and commitment to exact original specs. But it is not more than the turner sling.


They make a lot of really good stuff I’m sure you may be tempted to buy.

Next is the BAR belt. Now, At The Front makes a exact repro of the belt in the OD/tan like color but if you want a real original like the OD green ones me and Howard own then you are in luck.

Omahas has original never issued nice green post WW2 BAR belts like used by SOF troops in the Vietnam War. These are getting very hard to find ow a days. I would act quick on them if you have ever thought you’d want one. Holds 4-5 twenty round mags per pouch. Will also hold various 762 mags.

Several people have asked about the ERDL I wear while hunting. Well, I’m usually wearing the real stuff I bought over a couple of decades and paid too much for. But I also buy from my friend Trey Moore. You may see his ads on the website if you don’t use an ad blocker. Trey makes exact repros of the 3rd pattern ERDL jungle fatigues worn in Vietnam.


Trey also sells exact copies of Tiger Stripe made to a couple of the original patterns, not the funky modern commercial tiger stripe. He has all kinds of Vietnam stuff.

Last week I have been annoyed beyond tolerance by friends about where to get Colt parts now. A small panic buy is taking place just for colt rifle parts. You can buy them here. He is a bit high priced but not as high as ebay and gunbroker 2nd hand sellers. I have bought from them in the past when needing something very hard to get. Ken Elmore has the hook up with Colt having worked with and for then for years.


Quick Reminder, Gooseneck Mounts Exist

For those of you that still have ARs with fixed iron sights, don’t forget that there is such a thing as a gooseneck mount.

There are a great many surplus gooseneck mounts out there. Some can be purchased for less than $10 shipped to you. I got the one pictured above for $8 shipped to me.

There are a few different heights, not all allow for using of iron sights, but they will let you mount a full sized reflex sight such an an Aimpoint, or Eotech (don’t use an Eotech).

Might not hurt to have one around.

Review: Kinetic Energy Tools Brass Deflector

About 2 weeks ago Mike Weiss from KET reached out to us and asked if we would like to try his Brass Deflector. We said yes, so he quickly mailed us one.

This Brass Deflector is very simple, and folds up small. It came in a little zip lock bag.

Opening the bag, you will find two clips and body of the deflector, and a zip lock covered bar or arm. Also a KET velcro patch.

The support arm in the photo is folded up in the deflector body.

You choose between the two clips. The black clip is for clipping onto a rail, the tan clip is to clip onto a scope. Pick the appropriate clip and slide the arm onto it.

The arm has Velcro on both sides giving plenty of flexibility in how you mount it.

I think it is really cool how they made their logo patch Velcro, so you can remove it and run your own moral patch if you wanted to.

I found the black clip for railed uppers also worked great on fixed carry handle uppers.

It is not a brass catcher it is a brass deflector. Due to it being Velcro you can adjust it as you see fit. I found I could have it drop brass right beside while I shot. I could angle it slightly to control where the brass went, if I wanted to have them thrown forward to backwards. It is so light I didn’t noticed that it was there when I used the gun, and could nearly instantly snap it on of off.

The larger clip easily worked on my 30 and 34mm scopes. It even allowed me to use the brass deflector on odd setups.

Now I know some of you guys probably think that collecting up brass at the end of the day is the most fun part of a range session and having the brass end up in a nice little pile beside you would take all the fun out of that, but for everyone else, this is a cool product.

Now if I had just seen this online, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second though. Having used it, I’m going to keep one around. It is so light and small that it takes negligible space in the range bag. Very easy to adjust and to clip on and off. It is light and doesn’t get in the way during run and gun. It keeps me from having to search around and hunt down my good brass.

It took a little adjustment, I found between the two clips and the Velcro I could get this to work all my ARs. I don’t think you could get it to work on an AK or some of these other guns with low sights and or right side charging handles.

If you are tired of chasing your brass around, get one of these.

KET website is https://kineticenergytools.com/ and you can buy their Brass Deflector on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VQ2TG2J/

The M18 Claymore Mine – Updated

The M18 claymore mine is maybe not a household name but I would bet it’s close to it now a days thanks to Hollywood , books and people with hands on experience in the population. The M18 is a command detonated mine that is directional. You set it up and aim it in the zone you want to blast to cover. When fired it projects about seven hundred 18-inch-diameter (3.2 mm) steel balls into the kill zone at 3,937 ft/s . very nasty. The effect range is 50 yards with a max wounding range supposedly out to around 250 yards.

I would argue it came to fame during the war in Vietnam where it was very effective.

My Dad was a Vietnam war vet and told me a story about the Claymore that is pretty impressive. One night while on watch with another soldier watching outward, a NVA soldier had crawled close to the razor wire and was about to pick up one of the claymore and turn it around to face back into the American line. Dad was beside the other guy who had the detonator. Dad said once the communist grabbed the claymore with both hands and lifted from the ground, the other guy hit the clacker. The mine went off when about 5 inches from the communists face.

After sun up, Dad and a few other went out to inspect the remains and report back. The attempted trickster was a giant red smear. There was an unexpected bonus though. He had a partner a few yards beyond him who had been watching him from behind a fallen log. He must have just had his head up enough to see over the log when the mine went off. Dad said it looked like some one had taken a sword and sliced the top of his head off from the bridge of the nose up. One of the other soldiers puked when Dad mentioned the exposed brains looked like scrambled eggs with ketchup. Dad was a huge fan of the Claymore. So much so that he had to have his own. That’s what you are looking at in these photos.

Countless books written about Vietnam by veterans tell stories about how effective the m18 was. I don’t doubt there are more than a few stories about it from the ongoing forever wars.

The mine comes with everything you need in the handy M7 bandoleer “Claymore Bag.” You get the electrical hand held firing device, or as Dad called it, the” clacker”, which in Vietnam required 3 squeezes to get the desired result. You get the legs to stick the mine in the ground and point it. You get the electrical wire for the firing device to the mine and a device to test the firing device to make sure it works.

It all packs up into the bag nicely. The flap even has instruction on how to use the mine printed on water proof fabric. Because its the military.

“Don’t point it at yourself”

I have no experience with one other than this one which sadly doesn’t work. I’m sure Kevin ( Hognose) would have lots to say about them if he were still with us. Dad told a few stories about them and how some of the locals would steal the C4 out of them to use as a fire fuel but his interest in the more technical minutia of the mine was non-existent. Maybe Howard got to use one against the haji or fellow Marines and will chime in.

The design is very popular because of its effectiveness and being command detonated. I supposed it makes the hippies of the world feel better since it’s unlikely a kid could accidentally step on it like older pressure mines. As far as I can tell around 20 countries use or produce their own copy of it,. Including Vietnam. When guys you used to blow up with it are impressed enough to adopt it, you know you had a winner.

Update – Howard

Play more with Claymore

I got to detonate one in training, set them up once but never used them outside of training. In Iraq, I think we were worried about civilian causalities and collateral damage.

It was always stressed to us to press the claymore against our chest (before setting it up) to check if it matches the curve of our chest. That way we would know if it was facing the correct direction day or night. I always felt that you should be able to easily tell by feel when you held it. I never saw the point of that bit of the training, but it probably helped someone out there.

My favorite thing about the Claymore is that it has two locations to place a detonator. This allowed you to hook up multiple claymores to daisy chain them. Detonate one, and all the attached ones detonate also.

I was once at a Modern Marine Expo and a company demonstrated a newer Claymore design. About half the size, and was suppose to be more effective. I’ve never seen or heard of that design since then.

The claymore bags make for great man-purses. Carry stripped MRE, supplies, etc. Very handy. I still have the bag from the claymore I set off. I’m not kidding, it is a great size for general purpose use.

The legs have spiked bottoms, use the spikes. In training people would just set the claymore on the ground and it would easily fall over. Push the spikes into the ground to make sure the claymore stays pointing towards enemy.

When I got to set off a claymore I was so excited. We set up targets down range and got into a bunker and I set off the claymore. When we went out to check these echo targets I was soo very disappointed. These 20 inch by 40 inch cardboard targets only had something like 1 or 2 pellets hits on them. I had expected them to be completely shredded and destroyed.

But to be fair, 1 or 2 pellets at that velocity would likely render a hostile incapacitated.

I wouldn’t mind having a couple on hand for emergencies.