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Complacency Kills

Couldn’t think of a more appropriate title, but I suppose the one above is true enough.

All equipment can fail, especially firearms. It is why we do preventive maintenance.

Shot my 5.45 AR a couple of weeks ago, everything was fine then. I set it aside and put off cleaning (I could because I was using non-corrosive ammo). When I went to clean it yesterday I found the barrel nut was now loose.

Now it is likely that just the process of heating and cooling from shooting eventually broke the barrel nut loose, but it is also possible that the nut or the upper has cracked. Possibly even the threads on the upper broke. So, I get to pull it apart and check.

Things can fail, even when we are not looking. Especially when we are not paying attention.

I am reminded of a shooting class I was in. One of the students was having an issue with their pistol. The instructor was CCWing that same model revolver as his second carry gun so he pulled it out to let the student use it. Much to both of their dismay, that second gun wasn’t working either.

Bubba’s Glock is Baaaaack!

Today we have another older article from our departed friend Kevin O’Brien.

Something about the way a Glock’s nylon parts interact with a Dremel, a woodburning tool, or a soldering iron, seems to bring out the best beast in Bubba. For example, we had the infamous “stricken with Gleprosy” Glock we described as “a marital aid for a Komodo lizard” back in May, 2014:

glock-stipling-gone-stupid

Can’t unsee that, can you? That was ugly, but the one that probably inspired the most shock and horror was this one, from 4 July 2013, which we billed as: The Continuing Adventures of Bubba the Gunsmith — Glock edition.

Bubbas_Glock_mod

Indeed, most sentient Bubbas would disclaim any involvement in the horror above.

The Gunbroker auction (which has now aged off GB) ended, if we recall, without the gun meeting what struck us as a stratospheric reserve.

glock-19-trigger-guard

Well, guess what? It’s baaaack!

Hat tip Miguel, who says “The Fitz Special is NOT a fashionable or safe thing.” We’d actually disagree with that, because a Fitz Special was a double action revolver, so it had a stiff enough trigger pull that it would not, essentially, shoot you itself. In 2013, Bubba was selling the Frankenglock with a “DeSantis Belly Band,” which made us note:

‘Cause nothing says “Bubba is My Gunsmith” like a testicle with a 9 or 10 millimeter hole in it.

We’re not sure the twitter ad is for real because the Glock in the GB ad is described as a G23, and the Glock in the twit pic is described as a G19, even though it’s the same picture from 2013. It may be a sales scam or a come-on for a holdup.

On the other hand, the 2013 bravado about a belly band is a pretty good match for the

Anyway, if you feel unreasonably impeded by trigger guards, and don’t want to blow your balls off (or, maybe you’re a female without any, or Caitlyn Jenner/Bradley Manning looking for some way to get rid of a pair, but you’re still diffident about inflicting gunshot wounds upon your nether regions), then consider a real Fitz Special. Here’s a nice one from GunBroker; it’s on a .455 Colt New Service military pistol, with uncertain origins, but it sold for $1,000.

Colt Fitz Special

Here’s another undocumented Fitz, with a story it’s an original Fitz on a Smith and Wesson Model 37, again a completed auction from GunBroker. This one sold for $400 — somebody got a steal, even if it’s a clone.

Smith 37 Fitz Special

Conversely, the muzzle of this one looks a bit crude. Not Bubba crowning, but not as good as it might be. And the host gun is an economy-priced Charter Arms .44 Bulldog, so it’s priced accordingly: starting bid of $250.

Charter Arms Bubba Fitz

Exercise for the reader: compare the old revolver Fitz Specials or clones, to this abortion of a Glock, and count your blessings that the capability to hack metals is not as widely indulged as the capability to butcher plastics.

And if you want a Fitz Special, be patient and set a GunBroker alert. One will come to you in due course. You can stick that safely in your belly band, unlike a similarly hacked Glock.

And leave the sex-change surgery to board-certified surgeons

Golf tips for the discerning shooter Part 1

I often tell people you can take golf training tips and replace golf with “shooting” and they apply.

Yesterday, at work, one of the vendors I purchase from sent me a calendar that has golf tips.  Let us have some fun and see how well they apply to shooting.

All credits goes to whom ever made that golfing calendar.

Lets look at the advise for December 2018:

Golf is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off.

Chi Chi Rogriguez

Replace “Golf” with “Shooting” in that quote and I would agree.

There are plenty of ways to work on your long and short game in the off season.  Up the difficulty of the shots on your practice may by placing a tee upside down on a coin and try to touch it with out knocking it over.  This will be nearly impossible but will greatly improve your control.  To work on your chipping, place a towel or garbage can about to feet away and practice getting whiffle balls to drop on the towel or in the garbage.  For your drive, head out to the garage and swing a weighted club.  Doing this all winter will make swinging your normal driver feel effortless.

Calendar

So. . .

They are saying you should dry fire when you can not get out to the range.  If you are sick or snowed in, you can still dry fire at home for free.  Other practice alternatives can include air rifles, air soft, etc, to help you get practical trigger time when you are at home.

Also they say it is good to vary it up with harder to shoot, heavier, or greater recoiling guns.  If you practice a little shooting double action only with your revolver your Glock or 1911 trigger is going to seem even easier to shoot.  If you practice shooting a heavier guns, your standard guns are going to feel lighter.  I like doing the occasional practice with a .40 or my Glock 30 as it makes shooting the 9mm seem like nothing.  Just the same with rifles.  If you can run a 308 rifle well in rapid fire, the 5.56 will seem trivially easy.  Make practice harder than what you expect to need to do.

Standby for the next installment of golf advice for shooters.

My first SBR.

A long time ago, in the ancient barbaric times of 2007, I finally had an approved Form 1 to make a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR).  Back then we didn’t have the pistol braces so doing the paperwork for a SBR was considered the best way to go.

I don’t remember why I choose to go get a SBR, but I have loved the short AR15 ever since.

I decided no expense would be spared, I would build a top notch SBR.  (Tier 1 wasn’t a phrase used back then, but that sort of mentality).

It was common knowledge back then that short AR15s were generally unreliable.  The LMT 10.5 inch upper was said to be the exception.  That it would “run like a raped ape”.  (It wasn’t till years later I learned that was a racist term).  LMT also used a medium profile barrel heavier than a standard M4 barrel on their 10.5 inch uppers.

I wasn’t going to use my old RRA lower for this, I would buy a brand new top of the line lower to build this top of the line gun.

So I went with a LMT lower.  The gun ended up looking like this:

Let me take a moment to explain some of the decisions and setups shown.

I wanted a flip up rear sight, so I went with the Troy rear sight I purchased for use in Iraq.  Troy sights are still an excellent product, but I much prefer to use other brands now.  Not to mention that the Troy Industries has done some questionable things since then.

I wanted to free float the barrel so I had a Larue 7.0 free float rail installed by MSTN.  It made for a very nice configuration.  Back then I wasn’t set up to build uppers, and MSTN was very highly regarded.  I believe they are still around but I don’t hear much about them.  I had him test fire the upper for me.

“YOURS IS BUILT AND GOT SHOT YESTERDAY. A FRIEND AND COWORKER WAS THERE
AT THE RANGE, AND I LET HIM SHOOT A MAGAZINE THROUGH YOUR UPPER.

HE ON THE SPOT DECIDED TO GET ONE FOR HIMSELF. HE WENT AND PICKED UP AN
LMT LOWER FROM THE SHOP WHERE WE DO BUSINESS AND HAS ALREADY SENT IT
OFF TO BE ENGRAVED.” Quote from Wes.

I choose to use a Diamondbond coated LMT Bolt.  MSTN was out of Diamondbond coated LMT Bolt Carriers so I purchased a coated Young MFG carrier.  I also purchased a second coated Bolt Carrier Group.  I’ll come back to this detail later.

A PRI Gasbuster was picked as it was the ultimate charging handle of its day.

I used the SOPMOD stock that came with the LMT lower.  I added a KAC QD sling attachment to the stock as back then LMT stocks did not offer a QD mount in them.

I used a CQD sling for a while back in Iraq.  I decided to go with CQD sling mounts on my SBR.  It was a good while later that I learned the SEALs were using the same mounts, I still think they were copying me.

Back then I think I tried every mainstream AR grip on the market. (No I didn’t use the one that let you put a revolver grip on your AR).  I eventually settled on the old A1 grip.  No finger bump.

For a while I ran the Eotech 512 forward mounted because the weight up front also helped reduce muzzle flip.

 

There were many many things I loved about that configuration, but it had a few fatal flaws.

Lets first talk about mistakes I made.

The LMT lower I purchased had an issue with its finished.  It was flaking off near the safety and the trigger pins.  I should have rejected it and had it replaced.

That sorta worked out ok with due to another mistake I made.

I had a local trophy shop engrave it for the NFA engraving requirements.  They really fucked it up.  I ended up having a pay more to send it off to Orion/TheGunGarage to have it properly engraved, the bad engraving fixed, and the lower finish touched up.  They work they did was awesome, but I shouldn’t have had to have that work done in the first place.

Back then some of the ammo I shot was Norinco.  This Chinese ammo seemed to lack the flash suppressant than most American ammo has.  When I fired my first round through this upper it made a tremendous amount of flash and blast and I instantly knew I was going to get a suppressor.  I wanted a Knights NT4, but my local didn’t didn’t have one and I let them talk me into a Gemtech M402.  The M402 is a good can, but ultimately wasn’t what I wanted.  Had I bought a NT4 I would probably still be using it as my main can today.

One of the biggest mistakes of mine was picking Eotech.  Back then, it was common knowledge that Eotech was great and Aimpoint sucked.  Just like how it was common knowledge that the world was flat.  Everyone knew that Eotech sights were faster, and because it used common AA batteries you could pull batteries of a remote to keep it running.  I didn’t know back then that I would have to room clear to the living room TV remote just to try and keep the Eotech running.

Now lets talk about the issues outside my control.

I had two Diamondbond LMT/YoungMFG bolt carrier groups.  One has been flawless, has seen tons of rounds, and just held up awesome.  It still resides in my favorite AR.  The other is. . . finicky.  That other coated LMT bolt causes random malfunction in what ever gun it is put in.  I was never able to figure out why.  It still sits in my parts bin.  That carrier however has seen tens of thousands of rounds of 5.45 and held up awesome.  Diamondbond is an amazing coating.

Chrome lined barrels can be very accurate.  LMT can make a very accurate barrel.  But my barrel was threaded poorly.  This wouldn’t have been an issue except I wanted to run a suppressor.

Either way this barrel had massive point of impact shift when suppressed.  10 minutes of angle.  That meant that I could either zero the upper suppressed or suppressed.  Since then I have multiple barrels that have had zero POI shift when suppressed, and that is what I have grown accustom too.

That was the ultimate deal breaker for me.  To not be able to quickly switch between suppressed and unsuppressed.  But I still love the 10.X inch barrel length on the AR.

Patton’s Revolver And The M1911

Above of course is the famous side arm of  General Patton.    This Colt  Model P is of course chambered  for the classic widowmaker, .45 Colt. or .45 Long Colt if you like that better.   I won’t go into its purchases history and serial number and blah blah blah. That has been done to death.    It was the pistol that Patton used in his Mexican expedition to personally waste one man and helped down another man.   Patton reportedly strapping their bodies across the hood of his Dodge car like slain trophy deer when he drove back to report to Pershing and thus earning his promotion to 1st Lt.

The ivory, never pearl!, grips has two notches filed in.  It doesn’t take much  to guess what they were for.

Over the years  while talking about Patton and his sidearms, people have wondered to me why Patton didn’t carry a M1911.   Well, he was issued a Colt M1911 and he did carry it for a time. Then something happened that ended that.

Patton was a master pistol shot.  He even competed in the Olympics one year.   As a master of the Handgun, Patton was like everyone else and always wanted to improve the trigger. He would stone the parts to give his guns the “hair trigger”  he liked.    Upon getting his M1911 he of course filed  and stoned the parts to make the trigger as light as he liked.

The rest of this story has a few versions I have read over the years.  One has it  that at some point Patton stamped his foot and the gun discharged , grazing his leg. The parts having been altered to the the point of being unsafe.    I find this story  told a million times to be unlikely.   Even with messing with the FCG of a M1911  it would have been nearly impossible for it to go off without depressing the gripe safety. Patton would not have pinned it or altered and the safety to have been defective or  deactivated. Patton carried his  Peace maker with a load of 5 rounds, hammer down on an empty chamber. He would unlikely carried a 1911 cocked , with a round in the chamber back then.

The story  I think is probably more accurate and the one  I like the best is a bit more colorful.     While at some  watering hole in TX or Mexico around the local population and while drinking, Patton while radiating  confidence  and  performing the macho antics of the area and its culture shoved his 1911 into his waist in the “Mexican carry”  ( no holster) fashion.  The gun went off and grazed Patton and very nearly cost Patton  the cojones that made him the most famous tank commander of of WW2.       Apparently this rattled Patton as it would most.   Patton of course blamed the gun  and not his alterations to it not advised by the factory.   It is much more likely Patton almost shot his sack off after being a little drunk and showing off.

Patton did use the M1911 while he served in WW1 but after seemed to prefer his 6 shooters. Below is part of an article from the 1971 August issue of Guns&Ammo.

 

“In those days, Patton was quoted as saying that the auto was an arm of two parts, while the revolver required nothing other than loose ammunition. Also, the pistol was totally dependent on the condition of the magazine for proper functioning. He once told his nephew that the automatic pistol was a fine noisemaker for scaring people but that it was well to practice with the revolver if it was going to be necessary to fight with handguns to live. Patton also often stated that the handgun should never be drawn and pointed unless it was intended to shoot to kill. The nephew, Frederick Ayer, Jr., went on to become a fine pistol shot, eventually serving as a high-ranking FBI agent during WWII. As a boy, Ayer witnessed a very early version of Hogan’s Alley (FBI Academy) animated target training, as practiced by his Uncle George Patton and a well-to-do Massachusetts sportsman. Col. Francis Throope Colby had set up a white-painted metal screen in his basement in the early 30s and projected upon it his own pictures of charging African game and spear-waving natives. Colby and Patton loaded .22 pistols with the now-unobtainable explosive-tipped rim­ fires and competed with each other in naming and hitting marks on the pictures. It is said they also competed in profanity, something else Patton used as part of his “warrior” window dressing.  These practice sessions were part of Patton’s life in the period between World Wars I and II.”

“Shortly after the 1916 excursion into Mexico, he was ordered to the Allied Expeditionary Force for the World War in Europe. Patton was still on Pershing’s staff, but now detailed to be the first U.S. commander of tanks. When he landed in France in 1917, he carried an ivory handled .45 Auto. As far as is known, he left his Single Action behind, for all of WWI.”

Patton earned the Distinguished Service Cross and promotions for WWI tank operations that go beyond the scope of this article. There is no record of his having to fire his handgun in hand-to-hand combat, although in later years he was known to have claimed six Germans for that period.

At one point, Patton lay severely wounded after a foot charge on a machine gun nest, his ex-orderly tending him in a muddy shell hole. As he did so, Corporal Joseph T. Angelo used his own and Patton’s .45 Autos to fire on German emplacements not far away. In later years, Patton also joked about how he (when conscious) and Angelo took pot shots at low-flying German planes during the several hours before heroic action by Corporal Angelo resulted in Patton’s rescue and recovery.

The .45 Auto which Patton carried evidently served with more dependability than the earlier .45s he tried and put aside, yet there is little or no record of his carrying it again. The ivory handled pistol was seen briefly during maneuvers in 1941 but was superseded for a time by a Colt .22 Woodsman! The .22 rode with Patton while he was training tankers in the California­ Arizona desert near Indio, in 1942.

Maybe it was Patton’s romantic nature that  gave him preference for revolvers like the ones carried by his heroes of the civil war.  Or maybe he just liked the more powerful rounds the guns could fire.