Archive for January 26, 2012

Mosin Nagant Review for First Time Buyers

No doubt many of you out there are very familiar with the Mosin Nagant rifle, but for those of you out there who are thinking about purchasing your first Mosin Nagant or maybe have never given it a thought at all and simply just ignored the old milsurp rifle, this review may help you to make a decision.

First off this is a .30 caliber bolt action rifle with a straight bolt action and a 5 round box magazine. It has crude but usable sights similar to the AK47. It comes in at about 48.5″ inches with a 28.75″ inch barrel and weighs in at about 8.5 lbs.

Needless to say it’s a fairly long and heavy weapon by today’s standards although there are some variants like the M44 that come in a carbine length.

So while at first glace it may seem like just a big heavy rifle that can’t possibly compare to anything currently on the market there are a couple of things to take into consideration.

First off is the price, at somewhere around $100 bucks this is by far the best deal on a full caliber rifle your going to run across.

Second is the ammo, while not always widely available at your local dealers or sporting goods stores it is widely available online in bulk for extremely affordable prices, somewhere around $75 to $85 for a 440 round “spam can”.

Also as far as the ammo goes, this is a full .30 caliber round with more than enough stopping power for just about anything you might need to put down. Ballistically speaking the 7.62x54r round is almost identical to the .308 cartridge.

The rifle and cartridge together give you a package that offers good accuracy out to about 300 yards.

The Mosin also has quite a number of aftermarket accessories with everything from bent bolt kits and synthetic stocks to scout scope mounts.

Now one downside to the Mosin is that because its a milsurp rifle you’ll need to be prepared to spend a good amount of time cleaning off the cosmoline that was used to protect these rifles while in storage.

So bottom line we’re talking about being able to get a .30 caliber rifle with a 300 yard range and in a caliber thats extremely affordable for somewhere around $100 bucks ……. and at that price its a no brainer, get one and then wonder why you didn’t buy one years ago.

Savage Model 64 Review

The Savage Model 64 has been around for some time. Its gained quite the reputation for being a great .22 rifle. Lets look at some of it features and specs and get a good feel for this rifle.

First off lets get the specs out of the way …..

Weights – 5lbs
Barrel Length – 20.5″
Rate of twist – 16
Overall Length – 40″
Ammo Capacity – 10 rounds
Detachable Box Magazine
Semi-Auto action
MSRP – $160

Now as far as how this rifle feels in hand, the clear answer is …… Great!

Its a fantasitc rifle that works just as well for samll game hunting as it does for plinking. Taking small game with a good scope within 100 yards should be no problem with this rifle.

Now at 5lbs it comes in a bit heavier than some other 22 rifles out there on the market but that weight really isn’t noticed once you get the rifle in action, it really just adds to the overall durable feel of this rifle.

Another thing to take into consideration is that this gun is extremely well priced for its quality, with an average price range of $120 to $130 at most retailers. With the quality of this rifle your going to be comparing it to something like a Ruger 10/22 so for the price (somewhere around $60 cheaper than the Ruger) your getting a great deal.

The only downside to the Savage is the lack of accessories, other than a couple replacement stocks and extra factory mags there isn’t much on the market.

All in all its a great little rifle and one I can easily recommend for all your plinking or small game hunting needs.

Choosing a Primary Weapon

The reasons for wanting to choose a Primary Weapon can be anything from a home defense situation to a full blown SHTF situation like riots or extreme natural disasters where rule of law may not have a strong hold. In these situations having a “Primary Weapon” or “Go To” weapon is a good idea.

Now although in some places owning a firearm may be hard or even impossible, for the purposes of this article we’ll assume your primary weapon will be a firearm.

Now lets take a look at some things to keep in mind when choosing a primary weapon system.

1) Personal Preference – This refers to being comfortable with whatever your chosen firearm is, don’t go out and buy the latest and greatest tactical firearm if your not comfortable with it. Whatever you choose it should be something you can operate efficiently by instinct.

2) Caliber – This is a very important part of choosing a primary firearm, or any firearm because in essence it is the heart of your weapon system. There are a few guidelines I like to go by to help choose a firearm caliber.

A) Commonality – How common is the ammo in case you need to get ahold of some quickly.
B) Availability – How available is it now to make stocking up something that is easy to do.
C) Personal Preference – If you don’t like a certain caliber, then stay away from it.
D) Price – The less expensive the caliber, the easier it is to find and stock up on.

Calibers that fit nicely into these catagories are – .223 – .22lr – 12 gauge – 9mm – .40 – .45 – .308 – 7.62×39

3) Capacity – This is important because a Primary Weapon should primarily be used as a defensive tool and in a defensive situation you want as much capacity as possible because you can’t predict the situation. This would put things like the AR & AK platforms over bolt action rifles or shotguns. While both bolt action rifles and shotguns are incredible tools they do not have the defensive capabilities that a 30 round capacity modern battle rifle has.

4) Reload Speed – This is something to keep in mind because in the event that a defensive situation requires you to reload your weapon you want something that requires as little effort as possible to reload so as to not take too much of your time or attention away from your primary goal of defending yourself or others. Again this consideration would leave out firearms like the pump action shotgun or bolt action rifle in favor of something with a detachable box magazine because even a novice could more than likely reload an AK faster than a well trained operator can reload 6 rounds in a shotgun.

5) Multi-Purpose – This is by far the least important guideline but still one you might want to take into consideration. Do you want a primary that can serve purposes other than just as a defensive tool, things like hunting or breaching. If so then choose your weapon accordingly. But keep in mind that a Primary Weapon should be primarily a defensive tool.

6) Long Gun or Pistol – Last but certainly not least is wether or not your primary should be a pistol or long gun. At first this may seem like a stupid question because long guns are far superior when it comes to stopping power but keep in mind that pistols are an ideal defensive tool because they are easy to conceal, easy to manuver, can be had with good capacity and are magazine fed, all great things to have in a defensive situation.

So there you go, just a few things to keep in mind when choosing a Primary Weapon. Remember whatever you choose you should take the time and effort to train on your weapon and become as efficient as possible.

Whats is Prepping?

What is Prepping?

This is a question that I think alot of people either wrongfully think they know the answer to or just have never thought about it unless they consider themselves a prepper.

One of the most accurate explainations of what a prepper is comes in the form of a story that many of us have heard or read, in fact I don’t think I know anyone who isn’t familiar with this story. Below is the story, or should I say fable, and after reading it we’ll discuss what a prepper is a little further.

The Ant and the Grasshopper
In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”
“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”
“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:
It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.
– Aesop

So thats it, we’ve all heard the story, but how many of us have taken its message to heart? Its really a simple message, prepare for what tomorrow might bring. Its a truely great example of what a prepper is not just because the mentality to prepare is showcased as a recommended and common sense action, but because the mere fact that this story exsists shows that prepping is not some new phenomenon but something that has been around for thousands of years since this story was written around 500 BCE.

Remember its not prepping that is new, its the laziness and convenience that we have fallen victim to that is the new and damaging phenomenon. We as a species have survived on the earth for as long as we have by being prepared for the worst and surviving. The laziness we have fallen into goes against everything that our ancestors tried to pass on to us.

Isn’t it smart to keep a generator if u live in an area that experiences power outages because of weather? Isn’t it smart to keep a spare tire in your car? These are all ways that we prep and evidence that we haven’t just yet lost our instinct to be prepared, but everyday we get farther and farther away from what has kept us alive for so long.

Prepping isn’t the sign of a mentally unstable person, its not just for the “Survivalist” or “Militiaman” living in the woods. Its also for everyone out there just trying to make it to the next day. Imagine how useful prepping could be to someone who lost their job and could no longer afford to go to the store to feed their family. How useful would an extra month or two of food and water be to that person.

So again lets ask ……. What is prepping?

Prepping is just a part of being human and showing a little common sense to be ready for the things that can happen in this world.

Talking to Family & Friends about Prepping

Deals & Couponing

Overlooked Preps

The Most Important Part of Prepping

Where to Start Prepping

Common Preps

MAGPUL B.A.D. Lever Review

The B.A.D. lever from Magpul (or Battery Assist Device) is a great little accessory for your AR rifle or pistol.

For anyone who hasn’t used one, you’ve no doubt seen plenty of them in action or on a friends AR. The device is so simple in its design and intended use and is a great solution to what many people feel is a problem with the AR platform that its a wonder every AR built doesn’t have one installed from the factory.

Now for anyone who doesn’t know, what the B.A.D. lever does is allow you to operate your bolt release/hold open with your trigger finger. A great option for any AR.

But lets look at the operational functionality of the B.A.D. lever in comparison to the original AR designed bolt release/hold open.

The bolt release function of the original equipment simply needs to be tapped with your support hand (for a right handed shooter) to release the bolt and chamber a round so nothing too abnormal or inconvenient.

Whereas the B.A.D. lever allows you to simply release the bolt and chamber a round by flicking your trigger finger and keeping your support hand in the support position.

For the bolt hold open function the original equipment makes it to where you will need to take your trigger hand (for a right handed shooter) off the grip to pull back on the charging handle while engaging the hold open latch with your support hand. A very akward position and it takes you off target and out of a shooting position by removing your hand from the grip.

The B.A.D. lever simply has you pull the charging handle with you support hand and flick the lever with your trigger finger to hold open the bolt while never taking your hand off the grip or away from the trigger.

Now this second option for the B.A.D. lever for holding the bolt open is what I think make this device mandatory for any AR. The bolt release feature is nice but not needed and you should train to run the bolt release as intended anyway in my opinion.

So for an average price of somewhere between $25 to $30 bucks it’s definitely one of the most affordable and most useful accessories to your AR.

Cleaning a new gun

Cleaning a new gun is something that most first time gun buyers don’t consider. Sure they know about the need to clean a used, dirty gun, but why clean a brand new gun? Shouldn’t it be cleaner than it ever will be from this point on? The answer is no.

It’s a fairly basic concept that most expetienced gun buyers are all too familiar with. Most of us buy a new gun and immediately take it home, strip it down and clean it up.

The reason is pretty simple, it’s something I like to call “Gun Grease”. It takes many forms, some are silicone based, some are lithium grease, some are white, some are red, and some are blue. But it all boils down to the same thing, a gun packed full of grease straight from the factory.

Now the reasons manufacturers do this is pretty simple …… They don’t know how long a gun will sit in a warehouse, safe, crate or gunstore case before its sold, so they want to make sure its in pristine and corrosion free condition for when the gun is finally sold.

Now you might be saying to yourself ……

“Why is having a gun with corrosion resistant grease in it a bad thing?”

The answer is simple …… if you’ve ever shot a gun before you know how much powder residue gets all over the gun, and how hard it can be to scrub off. Now imagine that dry powder mixing with a think grease ……. when that happens you get what I like to refer to as “Gun Mud” and it can jam up your action and be hell to clean out of all the little areas of your gun. Trust me, its not fun and suprisingly for some companies actually accounts for a portion of warranty claims because people think something is wrong with their gun.

Now not every company excessively packs their guns with grease, and most of the companies that do are overseas and pack it that way because they spend longer in transit before finally making here to be sold. Some of the biggest offenders of excessive gun grease are Taurus and Sig along with a few other overseas manufacturers.

So to sum up, do yourself a favor and take the time to clean your new gun when you get it home, it just may save you some trouble down the line.

AK47 – Milled vs Stamped Receiver

For those out there looking to buy an AK type rifle one of the decisions you may be having to deal with is wether to buy an AK with a milled or stamped receiver

A milled receiver is a receiver that is cut out of one solid block of steel and milled out to get the shape and design of the receiver.

A stamped receiver is one that is made from a sheet of steel thats pressed in a machine to the shape of the receiver.

Now most AK’s are stamped, the reason is that its quicker and easier to produce, but keep in mind that this is also the way the Russians make their AK rifles because thats how it was designed.

Milled is technically stronger as it has no give or flex so for accuracy its a bit better (but only a very slight bit, probably so slight you’l never notice it)

The milled are more expensive and some people will swear by milled receivers because they percieve them as being better for their rigidity.

But keep something in mind ……. watch a slow-mo vid of an AK firing sometime, what you’ll see is the barrel and receiver “Flexing” everytime it shoots. This flexing is a side effect of how the AK is designed.

Because of this flex a stamped receiver can have a longer lifespan as far as round count than a milled receiver especially for an active shooter, because under the stress of firing a milled receiver it is more likely to crack then a stamped receiver, whereas a stamped receiver will not because it flexes with the gun.

Some people will still try to say that a milled receiver is better but remember, the only reason there are any AK’s with milled receivers is because in the 40’s when the AK was designed (to have a stamped receiver) the technology of welding the bolt rails to the stamped receiver had not been perfected yet and they had failures.

So they moved to a milled receiver to where the bolt rails are just cut into the receiver which solved this problem. But as soon as the technology exsisted that they could reliably weld the rails, they moved back to the stamped receiver in 1959 and it was called the AKM (which is what most of the rifles on the market today are).

So to sum up, a stamped receiver is the way to go, it’s what the AK was designed to use.

The Go Bag Concept

First off, what is a Go Bag? The basic concept of a Go Bag is simply a bag or pack of some sort loaded with the necessary gear to get you out of a bad situation quickly.

Most of us would probably use this tool in a home defense situation where we would want to be able to grab something quickly to have all the needed gear to defend our home and our family, wether by defending an area of our home or by fleeing the situation as safely as possible.

Now lets talk about what a Go Bag isn’t. It isn’t a Bug Out Bag. This isn’t something you’ll want to load with a bunch of useless equipment geared at helping you bug out. You simply want the essentials needed to get you out of a bad situation quickly.

Sounds pretty simple, but there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing a bag or pack to fill this roll and what gear to put in it.

First off is the bag itself. There are several options that we’ll go over that will give u an idea of what will work best for you. The most common option are …….

Backpack

At first glance this seems to be a great choice for a go bag as it can be easily carried on the move and usually has plenty of room for gear, but it is not in fact a good choice. The key reason is because it is a BACKpack and therefore can not be easily accessed with out removing it from your body.

 

 

 

Tactical Vest (LBV or MOLLE)

A great option as it can carry everything you need and nothing you don’t and can be customized to suit your specific needs as far as gear placement. The only down side is getting it on in a bad situation, it could be a bit cumbersome to get on and keep a hand free for a weapon or other defensive tool, but overall still a great option.

 

 

Fanny Pack (or other wait mounted gear pack)

This is perhaps one of the best options as it is just big enough to carry whatever you might need and small enough to stay out of your way. The only downside is having to wear what is basically a Fanny Pack even if it does say Maxpedition.

 

 

Sachel

This is what I personally use. It works well because its easy to get off and on with one hand while keeping the other free for whatever you might need and its more than big enough to carry whatever gear you need. The only downside is that most satchels are usually fairly big in that most are designed to handle paperwork and things like laptops, so you will have excess space.

 

 

Now lets get on to what gear you should think about putting in your Go Bag.

The basics should be ……

Pistol

Holster for your pistol

Extra magazines or ammo

Flashlight

Small First Aid kit

Spare keys to all vehicles and locations

Cell Phone

So thats it, not really too much need for anything else, although everyone will have their own opinions on what may work best for them.

Just remember to keep it simple to avoid confusion in a bad situation.

AR15 Basics of Buying or Building

If you’re a first time buyer or builder of the AR platform there are a few tips that hopefully might help you out in making your purchasing decisions for either your parts or a complete rifle.

The first thing to remember when buying an AR …… most of the parts being used, no matter what the name your buying, either came from the same place or were made using the same equipment and made to the same specifications if your buying a “milspec” rifle.

Now if your going for a higher end rifle that has stricter tolerences and is built to a higher standard for more accuracy (although those companies sell milspec rifles as well) then thats a different story.

The next thing we need to understand is, what is “milspec” for an AR rifle. First off, there are only 2 companies that know what true milspec is or create true milspec rifles and those companies are FN & Colt because these are the only 2 companies that have government contracts and create true milspec rifles.

Most of what we in the civilian market call “milspec” is really just an industry standard chosen to get as close to true milspec as possible without the government inspection process. These industry standards include things like …..

5.56mm chamber (shoots 5.56 or .223)

11595E Barrel Steel

Manganese Phosphate finish barrel

F-marked front sight

Standard threaded 1/2 x 28 tpi barrel for muzzle device

Forged A2 front sight base w/ bayonet lug

Barrel is machined from chrome-moly, high vanadium steel and hardened to a U.S. government Mil-spec of Rc 26-32

The barrel, and all external steel parts, are manganese phosphate finished IAW 5.3.1.2 of Mil-STD-171, the U. S. government’s recommended protective finish for steel

Barrels are .950 diameter under the handguards .750 under the front sight base (standard M4 contour barrel)

Forged A3 upper reciever made from certified forgings, hardcoat anodized IAW Mil Spec A8625, Type III, Class II, black per No. 37038, Table IX with nickel acetate seal, as per the Mil-spec

Buttstock tube is the mil spec thickness 1.145″ OD

M4 style feed ramps

So those are some of the “Milspec” specifications that most manufacturers are adhering to, but they are basically just industry standards, but for our purposes we’ll just use the term “milspec” as the closest you can get to a true milspec rifle is something from Colt and it still won’t be true milspec.

So if u are just getting something milspec, its all the same as far as parts quality. You may have some differences like types of finishes or chrome lined barrel or not, or a different barrel twist depending on what u go with but thats pretty much it.

Most of your recievers are going to come from the same places like Cerro Forge, FNMI or Colt then they are just marked for the company who buys and finishes them.

Most lower parts kits are all identical unless your installing a Geissele trigger or something similar (you’d be suprised how many companies use DPMS lower parts kits in their rifles) so there’s nothing to worry about there.

Most barrels are going to be either Mossberg, ER Shaw, DPMS or FN

Remember that all these parts may have a certain name stamped on them but that doesn’t make them different from most of the other parts out there that may have come from the same place or at least manufactured using the same proccesses and equipment to create those parts to the same milspec/industry standard.

The biggest issue with buying an AR has nothing to do with parts ……… its all about assembly, pick a company that has a good reputation for assembling rifles the right way, who MPI & HPT test there parts and who have a good customer service/warranty service. Some of the best companies in those catagories are suprisingly DPMS & Spike’s Tactical (although I know alot of people think Spike’s is overrated ….. they do have great customer service and they test all their parts, not just batch test)

As far as options go, a few of the bigger options that you’ll want to take into consideration are barrel twist, barrel & gas system length, chrome lined vs non-chromed lined barrel and barrel contour.

The twist rate is going to depend on what weight ammo your shooting, since the most common, most available & most affordable round is going to be 55 grain I’d recommend a 1:9 twist (which basically means that the rifled grooves in the barrel that spin the bullet make one complete revolution around the inside of the barrel every 9″ inches ….. a 1:7 would be every 7″ inches) getting a 1:7 twist works better for heavier bullets like the 62 grain.

As for the chrome lined vs non chromed lined option, thats a personal choice. Chrome lined usually tend to be easier to clean, have better extraction and if u use alot of different loads on your rifle it can help with reliability. Non chromed lined barrels are going to be more accurate but reqiure a little more effort to clean.

Now for the barrel/gas system length decision, this is one that has so many options that its an article in and of itself. The most popular and reliable will be the 16″ barrel with a carbine length gas system or the 20″ barrel with a full length gas system.

Lastly the barrel contour decision has just as many options if not more than the barrel length and gas system options but the standards are …….

M4 contoured barrel (most popular on the 16″ carbine version)

Bull/Varmint barrels (great for any length but mostly for target or small game shooting)

Heavy barrel (a good solid barrel that has a bit of a longer life than most but adds a bit of weight to the front end)

Light or “pencil” barrel (great at weight saving but if your an active shooter I wouldn’t recommend this as its has a shorter life as far as round count goes)

Remember that you don’t have to spend $1500 bucks to have a good quality AR and building one yourself can definitely help save you some money on a quality build.

Well there you go, those are the basics as I see them, hopefully it helps out a little when making your decision to buy or build your AR rifle.

SWAT Responder Budget Range Bag Review

Most if us have tried too many bags and packs to count when it comes to carrying and storing our gear, wether its for a trip to the range or a permanent home for some of your gear. So I’m happy to say that after 2 years of using and abusing the SWAT Responder Range bag, that its held up amazingly, especially when you consider the purchase price, which we’ll get to in a minute.

The bag measures in at 17″ long 13″ wide 8″ deep.

It comes with a front and rear pocket with MOLLE, and the front pocket comes with 7 mag pouches (although only 4 of them can accommodate a double stack mag) and both pockets come with a velcro attached, removable pistol pocket.

It also has 2 side pockets with a main compartment and a zipper outside pocket covered in MOLLE

Of course the main compartment is the most important part of the bag and its well big enough to handle just about whatever ammo, pistols or accessories you throw at it. It also includes 2 removable, velcro attached dividers for the main compartment (although you’ll hardly have a need to use them).

It comes with a shoulder strap and double wrap-around carrying handles which are nothing special, but work as expected.

The 2 biggest concerns I had upon first inspection of this bag was the hooks & D-rings for the shoulder straps and the zippers on the bag. However, even though those at first sight appear to be the weakest points on the bag, they have held up very well over 2 years of use.

The zippers are touted as being water proof as is the rest of the bag and I can say that after taking this to the range several times in the rain, they do work as advertised.

My average trip to the range involves around 20 to 30 lbs of pistols, ammo & accessories thrown into this bag and drug to the range 2 to 3 times a month for the last 2 years, thats no light duty use for something of this size.

On to the price.

Two years ago I picked this up on cheaperthandirt.com on sale for $19.97 + shipping. Now regular price on this is $29.97 but several times a year CTD does put it on sale.

At that price and with all the storage and durability you get with the SWAT Responder its a hell of a deal. All in all I can easily recommend this for anyone as an excellent option for a budget range bag or even your main gear bag, because regardless of the price, it holds up to the more expensive competition on the market.

Are You a Prepper?

That seems to be a question that I hear more and more lately, one that suprisingly seems to be growing in popularity. Now as many may know, I am of course what you would call a prepper. I stock extra food, water and other supplies for those “Just In Case” situations that happen from time to time.

But what about you, are you a prepper? Well lets take a look at a few things and maybe ask a few questions that will tell you if you are a prepper, or if maybe you should be.

First off, do you live in an area where natural disasters happen if not frequently then steadily? You know, places like the south and southeast coasts with hurricanes, the Pacific rim with earthquakes, the north with snow storms or even good old “Tornado Alley”?

What about other bad situations, do you worry about things like a bad economy, loosing your job or seeing the country fall into a depression over bad economic policies?

If you answered yes to one or any of those questions then ask yourself this, have you made any preparations to be able to take care of yourself and your family if any of those situations happened?

If you have then you are a prepper, it may not be to the degree that some people prepare and are what you would consider a prepper, but you are a prepper.

You see thats all a prepper is, just someone who takes the time and consideration to show a little common sense and prepare for those things which may be likely to happen.

Now if you haven’t prepared for any of those possible events that could happen, then ask yourself another question. What would it hurt to be a little prepared for those situations?

Another way to look at it is this, do you have car insurance, home insurance, a spare tire, an emergency car kit, do you have an AAA membership, do you keep an umbrella in your car, or a flashlight in your house? These are all ways that your already preparing for things that haven’t happened yet and in many cases, hopefully won’t.

What we need to understand is that prepping is really just going back to doing things the way humans did them for thousands of years, we as a species used to prepare for the bad times, we stocked up on food for the winter, we prepared for the things that we hoped wouldn’t happen but knew might. We lived this way for a very long time and it kept us alive and well and somehow in the very recent past we’ve managed to loose that need and desire to prepare for those things, we’ve become lazy and spoiled by our Tv’s, Mcdonalds, Wal-marts & shopping malls. We’ve forgotten what it was like to be self sufficent and prepared for whatever situations might arise.

Prepping for bad times is just common sense and just a natual way of life that ensures we have the best chance to make through all that life has in store for us, nothing more, nothing less.

So ask yourself again ……… Am I a prepper?

If the answer is no, then ask yourself ……. Should I be?

SHTF Ammo: What Calibers to Choose?

SHTF Ammo: How Much is Enuff?

Government Control and You

I often wonder about the mental capacity of a person who regardless of political leaning seems to enjoy when government tightens its hold on the American people in one form or another. My brain simply implodes at the very thought of those people marching, and screaming for “Government intervention”. Why do I feel like I’m in a minority in this country when I want less governmental interference in our lives? Has the state of our union become so grave that people in a fit of blind hysteria are helpless without the government?

There are some circumstances where I can understand welcoming governmental action, mostly concerning national security with regards to people who mean to harm our country and its citizens. Unfortunately, I see almost no screaming, marching or protesting for issues like these recently, and haven’t seen any since right after 9/11. However I do see people in the streets marching and protesting to have the government take control of banks, car companies, the healthcare industry, energy corporations, your local fast food chain, and now the internet. I would love for someone to tell me the last time that government control over something actually worked out to the advantage of the people.

Now I know all the arguments about banks screwing people, and oil companies jacking prices up and destroying the environment, but let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.

Let’s begin with the banks. The government “sponsored/owned” Fanny and Freddie had just as much to do with the economic problems we are having as anyone else, and yet have experienced no protests, marches, or governmental harassment. Then on top of everything else, the whole idea of giving loans to people who couldn’t afford it came from the same government officials and “community organizations”(who call themselves progressive democrats) that are now the ones calling for the heads of the people in the banking industry. Now does the banking industry and some of those on wallstreet have any responsibility for our problems? The answer….. Yes, of course they do, but in the big picture they are the end result of something that started long before it ever reached their doorstep. What they did was take what was a problem for them (government regulation/government control that forced bad loans) and tried to profit off of it. Should they have done that? ….. No, of course not, but let’s not execute the “Lieutenant” when the “General” gave the order.

Now let’s talk about Big Oil. They are what they are, a company that delivers a product for profit, period. That’s what they are, and in the world of profit vs. expense they are in the bottom 5% of worldwide industry. The average oil company maintains between a 2% and 4% profit margin per year. Now to put that into perspective your local grocery store maintains between a 15% and 25% profit margin per year. Most companies regardless of industry manage to maintain profit margins of at least 10% or better per year. So while yes, oil companies profit billions of dollars per year they spend at least 25 times that much to make that profit.

The point of all this is to remind people that even though everyone on TV tells you that these are bad evil companies and industries, you must realize that they have an agenda, and that agenda is more government control.

Is there really anyone out there (besides the politicians who would be in control) who really wants the government to control even more of their lives than they do already? I can’t possibly believe anyone really wants it. I know it sounds good when you’re out there protesting, and saying “it’s for the good of the nation”, but do you really believe it. Do you really want the government controlling almost every aspect of your life? If left up to the current administration, they would control your eating habits, your healthcare, your schooling, your house, your banking business, the way you get and pay for your energy, and now they even want to control what you watch and listen to not only on TV and radio, but also on the internet.

What next, waiting in line for your government bread and cheese?

America, is this what you want?

We all need to remember that for over 200 years we have been the envy of the world, and the reason for that is because of all the freedoms we have enjoyed. We have been that envy also because we were allowed by our very existence “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. These are not just words, they were what our fore fathers knew in their hearts was the truth. They knew that it wasn’t the government that gave us our rights, it was our creator. Now whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant, the meaning is the same, it means we should have the freedom and ability to govern ourselves because of our very existence. Government control is the very antithesis of that sentiment.

We need never forget that even though we have all grown up being comfortable with our freedom and liberty, that it is a very precious and fragile thing. Our country is still young and susceptible to being shattered. More powerful nations than ours have come and gone in the blink of an eye in the context of how long man has been on this earth. Two hundred years is nothing when compared to the Greek, Roman, or British Empires that came before us. Let us not slip into the same trap of complacency that they fell into.

The time has come. We Americans need to stand up and be heard; we need to take back our country. We need to shout at the politicians that this is our country, and they work for us. We need to put aside our petty differences of party and stand together and realize that freedom and liberty are good for all of us, and that Government controlling so much of our lives is not the answer.

America I ask you to please consider what I have said. Do this not because I want you to do what I say or think what I think, in fact that is the very reason you should listen, because giving government control over everything will restrict your freedoms to act, speak, and even think differently. America embrace your differences and use your differences to give you strength to stand together and realize that we need our freedom and liberty kept intact, and this administration is witling away at our freedoms.

The time is now, stand up and let your voice be heard. This great country can only stand for so long while having its very foundation torn out from under it.

The time for complacency is over; America is still strong. Let’s show our politicians what “We the people” really means.

Beginner’s Guide to the AR15

So you’ve finally done it, you’ve decided to go to the “Dark Side” and get a “Black Rifle”. The time has come to get your first AR15.

This is where I found myself a few months ago, so I’m going to give you an idea of what to expect as you begin building your first AR15 rifle.

First off, yes, regardless of wether you’re actually building the rifle piece by piece or wether your buying a complete rifle, you will be building it in one way or another.

Without a doubt the biggest upside and downside to the AR platform is the almost LEGO-like ability to change every single part on the rifle to suit your wants or needs. The ability to add as much or as little to the rifle almost at a whim.

The upsides to this are obvious, but the downside doesn’t show itself until its too late. The downside I’m talking about is the almost magical ability of the AR to almost literaly reach into your pocket and spend your money on all sorts of new accessories and gadgets to hang on itself, things that you never thought you’d want or need.

This almost Merlin-like ability doesn’t show up right away mind you, it takes time. You’ll find yourself spending more and more time online just “looking” at small needed items to upgrade your rifle.

Next thing you know you’ve decided to order a quad-rail, just incase you ever decide to buy any other accessories, but of course your fine with the rifle just as it is. Then once the quad-rail shows up and is installed you begin to think “Man, a good vertical grip would work good for this, and I might need some rail covers too”.

Before you know it once a week UPS is showing up to deliver yet another accessory for your AR. As time goes by, and the weeks roll into months, you decide to add up what you have in your rifle. This was a mistake, the shock is staggering, and you suddenly realize the horrible things that will happen if your wife ever finds out you’ve spent more on this rifle than you did on her engagement & wedding rings combined with this years Birthday and Christmas presents.

So there you sit, months later with a rifle now worth well over triple what you originally paid, fearing the thought of your credit card bill coming in, and yet ……. you just can’t take your eyes off the thing, you look forward to getting to the range this weekend just so you can show off all the new gadgets you’ve thrown on it since the last time you were here, and then the worry and fear about all the money you’ve spent just goes away.

You go to sleep dreaming of that next upgrade …… maybe a new bi-pod, or a nickel boron trigger, or maybe it’ll be that new stock you’ve been looking at, who knows. Then you drift away into a deep sleep with a satisfied smile on your face.

Blackthorne AR15 Review

The Blackthorne AR15 rifle has a rather poor reputation in the online community. Forums across the net are littered with posts asking “Should I buy a Blackthore AR15?” with a mountain of responses explaining how the Blackthorne AR15 is all but a pile of scrap metal not worth the cost to ship it.

Most of these post come from people that have a friend who used to own one, or saw one jam up at a range, or heard some expert at the gunshop talk bout them, but these responses rarely ever come from someone who has actually owned one. So let’s take an unbiased look at this company with the less than stellar reputation.

First off we need to understand one very important thing ……. Blackthorne is not an AR manufacturer, they are an AR assembler, they buy parts in bulk from other companies and assemble the upper receiver assemblies, then ship the to the customers, thats it, thats all they do.

Second, we need to understand where they buy their parts from, and I think some of the answers may suprise you. Lets take a look at a standard M4 style Blackthorne kit, just a basic model and see what parts are used.

Upper receiver – LMT blemished or LAR Grizzly

Barrel – ER Shaw, Mossberg or Wilson

Lower parts kit – DPMS, CMMG or D.D.

Bolt Carrier Assembly – DPMS or Wilson

Handguards – Tapco or similar

Now it took alot of research to find out what parts Blackthorne uses, since most companies don’t want people knowing that you can get their parts cheaper through another company, also you have to understand that whatever parts you get will be dependent on what they have in stock at the time your kit is being put together.

So as we can see while not extremely high end parts are used, they are parts from reputable companies that I think most of us trust.

So where does Blackthorne’s bad reputation come from? Well first off the fact that they’ve been known by a couple of other names and their reputation was just as bad then as it is now doesn’t help, but the real problem behind their reputation comes because of their quality control.

Remember Blackthorne is just an assembler and shipper of parts, and because of that you’d think they’d be able to do that one thing well, but unfortunately it can be hit or miss. I’ve seen everything from a improperly staked gas key to an improperly tightened barrel, and with things like that happening it’s easy to see why they have the reputation they do.

But let’s look at the upside.

The standard Blackthorne parts kit cost $420 without the stripped lower receiver and includes everything you’ll need to build a rifle and it ships free. So depending on what lower you buy you can walk away having only spent $520 bucks on a complete AR15 built using quality parts. To put that into context, buying the same parts Blackthorne uses yourself would cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 to $550 bucks depending on where you buy, so by ordering from them you can save $100 or more and have some of the parts assembled.

Bottom line.

If you don’t mind tweaking a rifle a bit if some of the assembly wasn’t up to par and you want to save money on quality parts to get a good rifle for a budget price, then Blackthorne is for you. Otherwise spend the extra $200 to $400 on a DMPS or BCM and call it a day.

Spike’s Tactical Nickel Boron Trigger Review

I was looking for a little something to add to my AR15 carbine, because as most of you know you can never stop adding things to an AR. So I ran across the Spike’s Tactical Nickel Boron Battle Trigger group and I thought I’d give it a try.

Swapping out the trigger is easy enuff as most of your know and there’s nothing unusual about this trigger group that’s any different. The trigger group is complete so no parts from your old trigger group will be needed.

Once I installed it, and after a bit of dry firing, it was time to get to the range.

There are several things that seperate it from my mil-spec DPMS trigger group that it replaced.

First off when firing I noticed that out of the box the Spike’s trigger is much stiffer, and at first I was very disappointed. Now it felt like it was about a 6 lb trigger pull, but the stiffness really threw me off, but I’m glad to say that after a couple hundred rounds the stiffness went away.

Next we have the take up before the break, and this is one of the areas where the trigger shines, there is almost no noticable take up in the trigger before the break, as soon as you apply 6 lbs of pressure the trigger breaks.

This leads us into the very clean breaking trigger, no slop, no spongy mess, just a clear clean break, a good upgrade from my previous trigger.

Now for the reset, the reset is a fair bit shorter than my previous trigger but doesn’t have that clear audible click I enjoy in my triggers which my DPMS trigger did have. You can however feel the reset point very clearly, so not too bad.

All in all, at a price of $59.95 at most online retailers its a good solid upgrade to your mil-spec AR trigger for a good price. It won’t be what you want to get if your putting together a competition rifle, but for a little range time and some run n’ gun fun this will definitely do the trick nicely and add a little Nickel plated Bling to your rifle at the same time.

Taurus PT709 Slim Review

Taurus has come a long way in the firearms industry in the last 10 years, and the PT709 Slim is just one example of how far they’ve come in being a big player in the firearms industry.

The 709 is a compact slim pistol designed for mainly concealed carry. It weighs in at 19 oz, is 6″ long, 4 1/2″ tall, 7/8″ wide & is chambered in 9mm, with a 7+1 capacity, giving it plenty of bang for it’s size.

It is comparable to the Ruger LC9 and Kel-Tec PF9 in size, weight & capacity, however what makes the 709 stand out among the others is the trigger, it’s not a long 11 to 12 lb double action trigger, the trigger on the 709 comes in at right about 6 lbs with an extremely clean break and short reset, truely one of the best triggers I’ve felt on a small practically pocket sized pistol.

Now along with having an extremely light trigger (by pocket pistol standards) it also has a manual safety. Now some people will cry foul on that for a carry weapon but it doesn’t bother me at all, especially since I never use it. I guess it’s just a nice feature to have if your uneasy about carrying in condition 1.

The pistol shoots extremely smooth and very accurate at self defense distances, the only complaint I have about the pistol is the grip, it is quite a bit smaller than the grips on the afore mentioned LC9 & PF9 making it a bit harder to find the right purchase on the grip when firing, especially for follow up shots. Now this is just a small complaint and if you don’t have freakishly long fingers like I do then this may not even be an issue for you, but it is worth mentioning. The upside about having a small grip is that when conceal carrying the smaller grip means less of the gun is sticking up out of your IWB holster.

Now let’s discuss price. MSRP on these is around $489 and is completely out of the ballpark, most new 709’s will go for somewhere between $300 to $350 depending on where u shop and I’ve seen used 709’s sell for as little as $225, so keep your eyes peeled for a good deal.

All in all it’s a great concealed carry pistol for a great price, easily one of the top choices for a slim conceal carry 9mm.

What does America mean to you?

This question has been popping up in my mind alot in the last 2 years, and more than likely you’ve had a conversation or two that have brought this same type of thought to the fore front of your mind as well. To find the answer to that question I think a person has to balance two things to get their answer. First you have to take into consideration what the founders of this country wanted for us, the future generations that they foresaw living here, and two, what do you see forsee for us, and more specifically for yourself and your family in this country.

Now the first part of your consideration should be fairly easy to answer, we all grew up hearing the stories about our founding fathers, about their struggle to make this a free nation for all men and women. We know the constitution (or at least we should) and the bill of rights. We know that our founders wanted this nation to allow for every man, woman, and child “Life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. They wanted us to be as free a nation as possible without slipping into anarchy. They wanted the states to be able to have final say over their own residents instead of one all powerful king/federal government making all the rules and decisions, and for each of us to be able to seek out our happiness, and know that we would not be persecuted for wanting to live our life the way we saw fit. To them the definition of America was Liberty and Freedom.

Now for the second part of your consideration, I suggest you really take the time to think about it, because this is the most important part, especially with the times we find ourselves in now. But before you answer remember one thing, the reason your are even allowed to take into consideration how you feel about this country, and are able to become part of the decision making process to decide what this country will be is because of that Freedom and Liberty our founders gave us.

Not that you asked but I’m going to tell you anyway. My idea of America and what is means to me is fairly simple, although not always short in explenation. The short answer is: Freedom, Liberty, States rights and the ability for everyone to be able to seek out their own happiness.

The long answer (as if you wanted to know) is still fairly basic in it’s intent, but may take a little longer to explain. I believe the founders set us up with the best possible government that this world has ever seen. I believe that they knew that there were things they could not forsee, and tried to create something that would allow for maximum freedom and liberty regardless of how our country grew and changed. I believe that by keeping true to the founders intentions of having states rights above the federal government’s we are all closer to maximum freedom regardless of what party you belong to.

I believe America is a melting pot, and more importantly a family. We are a family tree with many branches, branches that reach far across the earth, and in that family tree we have people as different as night and day. This family we are a part of is a beautiful, colorful family that doesn’t always get along, and doesn’t always agree, but in the end we all still love eachother because we are in fact a family.

I so often see people fighting over who has what rights, I see marches in the street, and picketing in front of government buildings. I all too often hear someone from one side or the other screaming about their right that they hold dear, while at the same time saying that the other side doesn’t have a right to do something they hold dear.

We have spent far too long arguing about who gets what rights, and who shouldn’t have their’s, and not enough time arguing that everybody should be able to have the right to live their life as they see fit, as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights. States rights are just the first step into helping everyone seek out the Life, liberty, and happiness they deserve.

So, I hope you’ll think long and hard about the questions posed to you, because these are questions that need to be answered by every american. I hope you put you whole heart into answering the questions. As for me, I’ve been thinking for awhile now, and my answer in the simplest way possible, is this …..

What is America to me? ……… A family free to pursue our happiness.

I.O. AK47 Review

The I.O. AK47-c is a standard AK variant, pretty much what you’d expect from an American company building AK’s. Now lets look at the two types of I.O. AK’s there are on the market.

The first type is the older model I.O. AK47’s that were Romanian parts kit builds with some U.S. made parts installed, these parts being the muzzle nut, muzzle brake, barrel, gas piston, trigger group, receiver & the furniture. Now this is what I consider a “Hybrid” made I.O. AK and is basically an upgraded WASR. These models sold for a variety of prices depending on where you purchased them and ranged from $550 to $650 when they first hit the market more than 5 years ago, but can be found now for around $450. Basically they were good solid AK’s that took a WASR and added enuff parts for 922r compliance and fixed some of the WASR’s more common issues like mag wobble and feeding problems. These models are no longer offered by I.O. but there are still plenty of them out there on the market for sale.

The second type of I.O. AK47 is the 100% U.S. made AK47-c with all parts manufactured here in the U.S. and assembled at I.O. headquarters. These are the current models that I.O. offers. They have various models all bascially the same AK with different furniture and accessories. These models are fairly well built and affordable, ranging in price from $400 to $550 depending on where u buy, but value wise I say stick to $450 or less. Now in fairness I have heard of some issues with people complaining about canted sights and loose handguards but nothing too serious and nothing any worse than any other manufacturer out there.

I personally perfer the older “Hybrid” models as I have a fondness for it being built with original eastern block parts, but can recommend the newer models as well.

Another thing to mention is that I.O. has a lifetime warranty that they are known for honoring quite well without any headaches.

All in all I think the I.O. is a good value in an AK47 platform. Definitely worth checking out, it’s a good solid AK that would make either a great shooter or even a great start to a tactical AK.