Archive for Guns

Social Media Murder – Why This Shooting is Different

No Guns for Under 21?

Gun Owners Restricting Guns

Defensive Handgun Sight Options & Philosophy

Mosin Nagant Trigger Job – DIY

AR15 Magazine Maintenance & Disassembly

SKS Restoration

Home Defense Shotgun Build – DIY

Custom Mosin Nagant Scout Rifle

Toughen Up your AR15


In the world of firearms people usually fall into one of two categories, AR15 fans and AK47 fans and while this won’t be an article comparing the two, knowing the differences gives us a better understanding into why toughening up an AR rifle might be a good choice for you.

In many people’s eyes, the AR15 style rifles are a little lacking in the durability department for hard duty use and training. The reasons for this are mostly due to the gas operating system and certain areas of the design.

Now I personally don’t look down on the AR the way some do (although I do love my AK) but if your looking for a way to add a little durability to your AR then here are a few tips.

1) First lets start with the barrel. Now this is one of the two areas of an AR style rifle that are the most important parts of the gun and need to be good quality. So to toughen it up the best option is to go with a chrome lined, cold hammer forged barrel either in a government or heavy barrel profile. This will make extraction easier, even with the dirtiest of ammo and will increase the life/round count of your barrel. Buy from companies with a good reputation for quality CHF & chrome lined barrels.

2) Next we look to the bolt carrier group. One sure way to toughen it up is to go with a chromed plated or nickel boron coated BCG. This will give you much greater shooting time before having to break down and clean your rifle. There are several companies making chrome and nickel boron coated BCG’s and most are of good quality.

3) Next we look at the trigger pins. These hold your hammer and trigger in place and can on occasion back out and cause malfunctions. The easy solution for this is to pick up a set of Anti Walk Pins, you can pick them up just about anywhere and they’re easy to install and they prevent the pins from backing out of the lower receiver.

4) Finally we look at the gas system. This is the biggest complaint from AK fans in that the gas system fouls up the action by blowing hot gas and carbon back into the receiver. The easiest way to fix this is to go with a piston system for your AR. It eliminates this particular issue but do make sure the piston kit you install is a quality kit.

So there you have it, if you want to bring the durability level up on your AR style rifle, there are four ways to toughen it up.

Gun Control Alert – Mag Capacity Legislation


As always the anti-gun crowd are back in full force. In light of the recent events in Aurora, Colorado and all the fear pushing the media and politicians have been doing, a new magazine capacity restriction bill is on the table and rumor has it that its up for a vote as early as July 31 2012.

Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) have gotten together to add an amendment SA 2575, to the the Cyber Security Bill, S. 3414, that’s up for a vote in the next few days.

The wording of this amendment is almost identical to the magazine restrictions in the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. The Amendment is as follows …..

S.3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 …. SA 2575

SEC. ll. PROHIBITION ON TRANSFER OR POSSESSION OF LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES. (a) DEFINITION.—Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after paragraph (29) the following: ”(30) The term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’— ”(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; but ”(B) does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.”. (b) PROHIBITIONS.—Section 922 of such title is amended by inserting after subsection (u) the following: ”(v)(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

”(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply to the possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed within the United States on or before the date of the enactment of this subsection.

”(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to import or bring into the United States a large capacity ammunition feeding device. ”(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to—

”(A) a manufacture for, transfer to, or possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States or a State or a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, or a transfer to or possession by a law enforcement officer employed by such an entity for purposes of law enforcement (whether on or off duty);

”(B) a transfer to a licensee under title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for purposes of establishing and maintaining an on-site physical protection system and security organization required by Federal law, or possession by an employee or contractor of such a licensee on-site for such purposes or off- site for purposes of licensee-authorized training or transportation of nuclear materials;

”(C) the possession, by an individual who is retired from service with a law enforcement agency and is not otherwise prohibited from receiving ammunition, of a large capacity ammunition feeding device transferred to the individual by the agency upon that retirement; or

”(D) a manufacture, transfer, or possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device by a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.”.

(c) PENALTIES.—Section 924(a) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘(8) Whoever knowingly violates section 922(v) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”.

(d) IDENTIFICATION MARKINGS.—Section 923(i) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following: ”A large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after the date of the enactment of this sentence shall be identified by a serial number that clearly shows that the device was manufactured after such date of enactment, and such other identification as the Attorney General may by regulation prescribe.”

So there we have it in all its glory. Right now we must act and act quickly. Call, email and write your enators daily until this go to the floor for a vote. We have to stop this from passing, otherwise we’ll end up back in the dark days of the Assault Weapons Ban.

Modifying Guns – Good or Bad?


I know alot of gun owners who would have no problem taking a file, hacksaw, drill or even a torch to their firearms to modify them in one way or another, it’s just a part of owning a gun for them. At the same time I know many gun owners who’d never even think about modifying so much as a rear sight unless it was broken.

So the question I’ve been asked on more than one occasion is whether or not its a good idea to modify a firearm. The answer is really all dependent on what firearm and what your considering modifying.

A high priced bolt action hunting rifle that was designed to perform a specific task for instance is probably best left alone outside anything other than replacing an optic or adding a bi-pod or some other accessory. A pump action shotgun on the otherhand is such a simple design, usually inexpensive and so easy to modify that if you want to turn it into a project then go ahead.

I personally love nothing more than relaxing on a Saturday afternoon covered in metal filings and polish while modifying one of my guns. There really is nothing like taking something and making it your own by putting a little time, money and elbow grease into it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are more than a few of my firearms that I choose to leave stock but if the outcome has the potential to be greater than the investment then I say go for it. There is nothing quite like a little home gunsmithing to sooth the soul.

Scout Rifle – What is it?

The idea of a Scout Rifle is something I’ve been facinated with for awhile now. Its a particular type of firearm that I’ve noticed has gained alot of popularity and is being talked about quite alot lately.

But just what is a Scout Rifle?

The term Scout Rifle was coined by Jeff Cooper in the early 1980’s (if you don’t know who Jeff Cooper is I highly recommend doing a little research since he was one of the most influential and knowlagable firearm and training experts to ever live). The term was used by Mr. Cooper to describe a certain type of rifle that he envisioned would be just about the perfect all around rifle for almost any situation. So lets take a look at the characteristics, as set forth by Mr. Cooper, that a proper Scout Rifle should have.

First he described the Scout Rifle as being a bolt action rifle which allows for maximum reliability and durability.

Next a proper Scout Rifle should be in a caliber like .308, 7mm-08 or something similar, but should preferably be a .30 caliber round.

It should weigh less than 6.6 lbs (3 kilograms).

It should have dependable iron sights and an optic of some sort.

It should use a practical sling.

It should be capable of hitting a man sized target out to 450 meters without a scope.

An overall length of 1 meter or less (a hair over 39 inches)

And last but certainly not least, there should be easy access to the top of the action to allow for easy and rapid reloading (this last characteristic usually means that a forward mounted “scout” style scope is required).

So judging by these guidelines there aren’t alot of true Scout Rifles on the market. Sure there are a few companies that make a model of Scout Rifle like Ruger, Springfield and Savage, but these tend to be a little pricey and hard to find. For my money I perfer to build a rifle of my own but thats a whole other article.

So there you have it, those are the basics of what a true Scout Rifle is. Now go get yourself one and enjoy!

Choosing a Home Defense Shotgun


Alot of people are looking towards the shotgun as their “go to” home defense firearm and for good reason. A shotgun has alot going for it in a home defense situation ….. it’s simple to use, uses a highly effective round which is very versatile and just the look and sound of a shotgun is a very menacing thing, sometimes that alone can end an situation.

So it’s easy to see why alot of people choose to go this route. But what are some of the things you should look for in a home defense shotgun? Well the answer to that question varies depending on your personal situation …… things like the size and design of your home along with how close you are to other homes and how much property your home sits on are all things you’ll want to take into consideration since those things can have an affect on things like barrel length and what load your using.

All that being said there are some basics that I’ve found useful and a good place to start when choosing a good defensive shotgun.


First is barrel length. A good all around length for a defensive shotgun is about 20 inches or less. Now if your defensive situation involves you home sitting on a larger area of land that you’ll want to defend then you might go for a longer barrel but most people just looking for a defensive shotgun for in home use will find the shorter barrel just makes more sense.

Next you’ll want to make sure you comfortable with your stock setup. I’ve found that having a pistol grip makes more “tactical” style shooting easier. Now this doesn’t mean you should do away with your shoulder stock, in fact having a setup that uses a pistol grip and shoulder stock usually gives you the most control over the gun.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a reloading system in place somewhere on the weapon. Now what I mean by this is that you’ll want extra ammo somewhere on the gun. Some options for this are stock mounted shell carriers, side saddles shell carries that sit on the left hand side of the receiver and slings or bandoliers that hold several rounds of spare ammo.

Another things you’ll want to look into is getting a good mount and flashlight on your shotgun since just as with any defensive weapon you never know what time of day or night it will be when you need to use your weapon.


You’ll notice that two things that you might otherwise think I’d mention were left out ……. those being choice of Gauge and what particular Brand to look at. The reason those were left out is because I feel they are less of a necessary factor and more of a personal choice.

The question of gauge really comes down to preference and choosing shotgun loads that compliment your weapon in a defensive situation …. an example would be that if your shotgun is a .410 gauge then I’d definitely recommend using proper defensive ammo as opposed to bird shot, whereas in 12 gauge many times birdshot might be enough to take care of the situation.

As far as brand goes …… a shotgun is a shotgun and its petty hard to screw it up, especially if its not a semi-auto. So go for the model and brand you prefer.

So those are the basics as I see them. Choosing a shotgun doesn’t have to be too complicated and usually doesn’t have to require too much of an investment, just remember to choose wisely.

Mosin Nagant – To Sporterize or not?

The Mosin Nagant has gained quite a bit of a faithful following over the years. Many a gun owner has observed the simplistic beauty of this well made and abundant rifle. Many of these Mosin lovers are what you would call purists, they love the rifle to be kept in its original condition and configuration even when that condition may not be the best. Many of these purists despise the process of what has been called “sporterizing” mosin rifles. They’d rather see a Mosin restored to its original beauty than bastardized into something completely unrecognizable.

But just what is wrong with sporterizing a Mosin Nagant rifle to make fit in with more modern rifles, or even just to have a fun project to work on?

I’ve always looked at it this way ……. A Mosin is about a $100 dollar rifle that can be picked up just about everywhere from sporting goods stores to gunshops and gunshows to online retailers. SO why not go ahead an have a little fun with one? They’re easily replaced and make a great platform for a variety of projects from hunting rifle to target gun and from scout rifle to a tactical bolt action.

Now having said all that I have to admit I do understand where the purists are coming from and I have to admit to being a bit of a closet purist myself due to spending entirely too much time restoring and old 1940 Tula last year and spending most of my time with it simply oiling and staring at it’s current beauty.

So who has it right? The purists or the sporterizers? Well honestly I think there is more than enough room for both and my recommendation is to buy two Mosin Nagants and have one of each!

Tagua Leather Holster Review

Tagua gun leather goods are manufacturered in Paraguay and they make a wide variety of holsters, belts and other gun and gear related leather goods. I first ran across their company a year or so ago because a friend of mine has one of their OWB holsters for his Beretta 92fs and its a good solid holster.

About 5 or 6 months ago after my wife decided she wanted to get her concealed carry license and of course she wanted a new gun for carry and we ended up getting the Ruger LC9 for her. Well we needed a holster and so I started looking around on ebay to see what was out there. I ran across an IWB Tagua holster for the LC9 for about $30 bucks with free shipping and it looked solid so I ordered it.

I have to say that the holster looks a little plain, almost generic, but is made from a good think leather that holds its shape well and retains the pistol perfectly. There is no retantion screws or straps, so its all held tight by the leather and your belt but this seems to works great.

Almost 6 months of use (and yes I’ve carried it more than a few times myself) I can safely say that this is a good quality leather IWB holster and one I can easily recommend. It’s held up very well and it’s definitely a company that I’ll be looking at for my next holster purchase.

Blackhawk CQC Leather IWB Holster Review

Finding the right holster for concealed carry can be an exhaustive and expensive process that includes buying and trying out several different style and brands of holsters before eventually find the right one for the right situations.

We all know that depending on what we’re wearing and what time of year it is we’re probably using at least a couple different holsters for our carry pistol.

About 6 months ago I came across a Blackhawk CQC leather IWB holster, one I’d seen many times at various gunshops and sporting goods stores and quite frankly I mostly ignored them in favor of other less expensive or different style holsters.

This particular day though I decided to try it out since I had just picked up a new Glock 26 and I needed a holster for it and thought if I didn’t like it I’d just take it back. All I can say is that I now realize I’ve never made a better holster purchase.

The overall feel of the holster is great, its the perfect thickness to allow for secure retention and still be very comfortable inside the waistband up against the body. I’m a big proponent of having a good sweatguard on my holsters and this one completely covers the rear of the slide to protect the gun. The retention adjustment screw works as expected and allows u to perfectly adjust the tention on the triggerguard to your personal preference. I like the single loop design as it allows for easy one handed removal of the holster. The holster is perfect for any degree of carry, from middle of the back, strongside, appendix carry or cross draw. Also the holster has been a great choice for both cold weather and during this summer while wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It also comes in a very large variety of models to fit just about any pistol or revolver on the market.

Overall, in my opinion the holster is as good or better than some custom holsters at almost twice the price. Needless to say I’ve been very pleased and can highly recommend this as a great choice for a CCW IWB holster.

What makes a Firearm Reliable?

What makes a firearm reliable?

This is a question that alot of new gun owners (and some experienced ones) have been asking for quite a long time.

The answer is a little complicated because there may not be one anser. Depending on who you talk to, different things might add up to a reliable firearm. Some people will choose the simplicity route and say that the simpler a gun is, with less moving parts, the more inherently reliable it is and there in alot of truth to that.Some people will say reliability comes from having a good reputation of being able to fire a certain number of rounds through a gun without a failure, and that too is an excellent way to gauge reliability. Others will say that a tried and true design like a bolt action rifle or 1911 pistol that has been battle tested for decades is the true test of reliability.

These are all good ways to judge reliability and ways that help when buying a new gun since in many cases we have to judge a guns perceived reliability before we buy and hope we made a good decision.

The best way to judge a firearm’s reliability is by actually getting it in your hands and being able to have faith in your firearm because its always worked whenever you’ve needed it to.

Alot of people throw out certain models and manufacturers as being reliable and in many cases this brand name reputation is deserved but isn’t always a guarantee of reliability nor does it mean that other brands can’t be just s reliable.

I personally try to use all the above factors as a way to help determine reliability.

Even that cheap Saturday Night Special that you inherited from your grandfather, the one that sits at the back of your closet, even that can be a reliable gun if it serves you well.

Remember, choosing a firearm for reliability involves alot of factors, but in the end if your firearm serves you well than consider it reliable regardless of who made it.

U.N. Arms Trade Treaty – Anti 2A

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. If your a gun owner and gun lover, chances are this is something you’ll be hearing alot about over the next couple of weeks and well into this fall.

So what is it and why does it matter to you?

Well as far as the what is it question, thats not too dificult to define, at least not on a face value level. Essentialy the ATT is a U.N. Treaty that looks to prevent firearms from making it into the hands of criminals and terrorists through import and export of certain types of firearms.

The basic tenants of the ATT at this time as described by the International non-government and human rights organisations including Amnesty Inernational, Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (who lead the Control Arms Campaign) are as follows ……..

It would ensure that no transfer is permitted if there is substantial risk that it is likely to:

be used in serious violations of international human rights or humanitarian law, or acts of genocide or crimes against humanity;

facilitate terrorist attacks, a pattern of gender based violence, violent crime or organised crime;
violate UN Charter obligations, including UN arms embargoes;

be diverted from its stated recipient;

adversely affect regional security;
or
seriously impair poverty reduction or socioeconomic development.

Loopholes would be minimized. It would include:

all weapons—including all military, security and police arms, related equipment and ammunition, components, expertise, and production equipment;

all types of transfer—including import, export, re-export, temporary transfer and transhipment, in the state sanctioned and commercial trade, plus transfers of technology, loans, gifts and aid; and
all transactions—including those by dealers and brokers, and those providing technical assistance, training, transport, storage, finance and security;

It must be workable and enforceable. It must:

provide guidelines for the treaty’s full, clear implementation;

ensure transparency—including full annual reports of national arms transfers;

have an effective mechanism to monitor compliance;

ensure accountability—with provisions for adjudication, dispute settlement and sanctions;

include a comprehensive framework for international cooperation and assistance;

Now at this time it’s hard to tell what the details of the treaty will be as it should be obvious by the language being used by those being asked to participate in the drafting and implementation of this treaty are somewhat vague and could be made to mean many different things.

Also it should be pointed out that the treaty isn’t finalized just yet as the negotiations are ongoing throughout July 2012 until it is expected to be signed by the majority of U.N. countries including our own as President Obama has already pledged to sign on the 27th.

Do take note that this treaty would have to be ratified by the Senate in the fall to be put into law.

Now how does this affect us, the average gun owner? Well thats the question isn’t. It”s clear that the Att seeks to directly affect and even control trade, import and export of firearms, but what kind and in what ways at this time is still up for debate.

My personal opinion is that any law or treaty, (especialy one designed by a international body such as the U.N. that is an externa body not of the constitution’s design) that could affect firearm manufacturing, designing, distribution, retailing or ownership in any way, shape or form is directly contrary to the 2nd Amendment and therefore I’m very much opposed to it.

So as this month goes one we’ll find out more about this treaty and how it aims to affect us and our 2nd Amendment rights.

If you want to make your voice heard on this issue please contact your senator and join the NRA who are actively fighting against this treaty.

End of the World Guns

What is an “End of the World Gun”?

There is a pretty simple answer to that question.

An” End of the World Gun” is a firearm that is so simple & basic by design, so reliable & durable, so easy to use, that it could survive the “End of the World”.

Chances are that as a gun owner you probably already have at least one such firearm sitting in a closet or safe. Probably something that you rarely take to the range and probably don’t think about too much.

The reason you don’t think about them too much is because most “End of the World Guns” are older, more basic designed style firearms, things so antiquated by today’s standards that they are inherently simple and reliable by design.

Some features you’ll want to look for in an “End of the World Gun” are non-semiauto, bolt action, break action, single shot and even lever or pump action and lever action.

Some great examples of “End of the World Guns” are, Mosin Nagant, or any good solid bolt action rifle, single or double barrel, break action shotguns, most of your standard double and single action revolvers, Rossi or H&R break action single shot rifles, Marlin lever action rifles and any pump action shotgun.

So there you have it. You’ve probably got one or two “End of the World Guns” already in your collection and even if you don’t most of ’em are pretty cheap to pick up.

AR 15 Basics – Bolt Carrier Group – BCG

Along with your barrel, your Bolt Carrier Group is the “Heart” of your AR rifle. So choosing the right one is very important to the overall quality and dependability of your rifle.

The “Mil-Spec” or industry standard for BCG’s are as follows …… Carpenter 158 steel, shot peened, gas key secured with grade 8 fasteners, chrome lined and parkerized. While there are some variations and options like different coatings, these standards will be the same for most BCG’s on the market.

One of the first things you want to look for in a BCG is that it’s been MPI and HPT tested. MPI stands for “magnetic partical inspected” and HPT stands for “high pressure tested” …… basically these are tests to help determine if there are any issues with the BCG such as cracks or hairline fractures that could cause failures. These tests are also use on barrels as well.

Now many companies test their BCG’s in these ways but some companies “Batch” test their BCG’s which basically means that for every batch of BCG’s they produce, they only test one BCG. Definitely something you’ll want to check into when purchasing. Companies like BCM, Daniel Defense, Spike’s Tactical & Palmetto State Armory are examples of companies who individually test their parts.

Next you’ll want to check the staking of the gas key on your BCG. Now this can be pretty hard to do if your buying online so do your research on the different companies to find out who has a good reputation in this department.

For those that don’t know what the staking of the gas key is, I’ll explain. The gas key is the part of the BCG that comes into contact with the gas tube coming from the gas block on the barrel and it is what the gas blowing back from the barrel comes into to contact with to cycle the action of the bolt. Because of all the pressures associated with this and because the gas key is attached to the rest of the BCG by two small hex bolts, it’s inportant that those bolts are properly “staked” into place to prevent them from backing out or loosening due to the pressure and causing a failure.

The next thing you’ll want to take into consideration is wether or not your getting an AR15 style BCG or an M16 BCG. The differences are noticable at the rear of the BCG where the top and bottom of the M16 style BCG are the same length adding weight and stability to the action and also slightly slowing down the cycle rate which of course is preferable for full auto rifles. The AR15 style BCG has the bottom rear of the BCG cut back to reduce weight and cost of the BCG.

Now while most civilian shooters won’t notice the difference between these two types of bolts, now days the two kinds of bolts are so comparable in price that you might as well just go for an M16 style BCG.

One final thing to keep in mind is the chrome lining. Some companies advertise chrome lining on their BCG’s and some don’t, but keep in mind that chrome lining in the body of the BCG where the bolt rides and inside the gas key is an industry standard. So while you may not see it advertised, I’m not aware of any company currently manufacturing a BCG without chrome lining.

So thats its, those are the basics. There are some customized options out ther like specialty o-rings and ejector springs that you’ll sometimes find on some BCG’s but for the most part those are upgrades or customizations and aren’t a part of your standard BCG.

Ammo Prices – Why So High?

Well you’ve probably noticed that ammo prices seem to be creeping up lately. They’ve actually been slowly creeping up for about the last 6 months but it appears that only recently have people begun to notice.

So why do prices seem to be going up and what seem to be the most commonly affected calibers?

First we’ll answer the caliber question and that’ll help answer the why.

The calibers that seem to be affected the most by this price jump seem to be your most common calibers with 7.62×39 – 9mm – .40S&W – .223/5.56×45 being the most noticable calibers to creep up on price.

So on to the why. Now keep in mind that gun sales are at somewhere over three times what they were three years ago at the end of ’08 begining of ’09. This in itself will increase demand for ammo putting more pressure on manufacturers to do thing like purchase new equipment which can affect prices and availability.

Also if we take notice of the above mentioned calibers that seem to be affected most we can see that the semi-auto pistol and “Tactical” rifle market seems to be affected the most, which makes sense as many new gun owners are purchasing these exact types of firearms.

Another thing we have to take into consideration is, why are there so many new gun owners and why are they purchasing these most common calibers for these types of firearms in such quantities? The answer is simple …….. Politics.

Since the 2008 elections politics have driven gun and ammo sales for many obvious reasons and that in turn affects price …… simple theory of supply and demand.

So here we see it again, less than 6 months before the next election and it seem like along with gun and ammo sales steadily rising that the manufacturers are ahead of the game with supply and demand. They know their product is in high demand for the election and their going to enjoy it while they can.

My advice is as always, stock up on what you can when you can, because ammo is getting a little hard to find and just because we might be getting milked a bit by some manufacturers be assured that with a declining economy and a dollar loosing value that prices won’t be going down anytime soon.

Remember, a gun without ammo is just a funny looking paperweight.

AR15 vs AK47

The debate between AR and AK lovers has been going on for years and will likely go on for many more, after all these are the two most popular rifles on the planet. But lets compare a few key aspects of these two rifle platforms and see if we can come up with a clear winner in this decades long debate.

Before we start this comparison, I’d like to point out a couple of things. First off for the sake of comparison, we’ll be sticking to specific calibers, the 5.56×45 or .223 for the AR platform and the 7.62×39 caliber for the AK. We’ll stick to these calibers since they are the most popular and most common and they are the calibers the rifles were designed to fire. Also for the sake of comparison we’ll be assuming that the AR platform is a direct impingement system as it is again the most popular and most common and what the rifle was designed to operate with.

So let’s jump right in …….

Appearance – This is a draw as this is a personal preferance issue although in my opinion I believe the AR is a better looking rifle. DRAW

Accessories – The AR wins in this catagory. While the AK platform has many accessories on the market available for it, the AR has far more and its modular design lends itself to adding accessories much more than the AK design. EDGE AR15

Controls/Features – These two rifles are very different in this catagory and for many that makes it a clear choice for a winner but honestly to me this is a draw. The reason is that some will look at the AR platform and say that because it has more controls and features built into the design, thus creating more ways to manipulate the weapon, that this makes it the better rifle. However others will argue that the simplicity in design of the AK platform lends itself to being the easier rifle to operate and manipulate. In my opinion both points of view are correct and it really boils down to knowning your rifle and training with whatever rifle you choose. DRAW

Action – By action I mean comparing the AR’s Direct Impingement gas system to the AK’s Piston gas system. In this catagory I have to call it a draw. Even though some will say that the AK piston gas system has been around longer and the AR gas system got off to a rocky start, by modern standards both gas systems have a good reputation and function very well for their given platforms. DRAW

Accuracy – This one has to go to the AR15 as it has been consistantly more accurate through different types and rates of fire, than the AK47. Now part of this has to do with the overall design of the rifle and part of it is the caliber it shoots. EDGE AR15

Range – Again this one has to go to the AR15 platform. The reasons for this are simply that the 5.56×45 has and effective range of about 600 meters compared to the 7.62×39’s effective range of about 500 meters. Add to that the fact that the 5.56 round has far less bullet drop out past 300 yards than the 7.62 does and you understand why the AR wins in this catagory. EDGE AR15

Durability – This one should be a no brainer, even AR fans should know that the durability of the AK in any number of conditions and circumstances is better than that of the AR. Simplicity of design, fewer moving parts and tougher building materials all add up to the AK winning this one.
EDGE AK47

Reliability – This one may be a little harder for the AR folks to swallow but just like with durability, the AK wins this one. The reliability of the AK has been proven time and again for a couple of decades longer than the AR has been around. In addition to that, the simplistic design and piston system lends itself to less potential problems than the AR platforms due to issues like a gas system that without cleaning has the potential to foul up the action and cause failures. EDGE AK47

Supported vs Unsupported – This category is a litte more complicated and honestly something that alot of AR and AK lovers don’t always think about. The basics of it are that the AR15 platform has never served in an unsupported capacity, and by that I mean that the AR platform has always served with a standing military, repair technicians, spare parts and an armory standing behind it. The AK on the other hand has served for decades in an unsupported capacity in many conflicts from Asia to the Middle East and Africa to South America and has continued to prove itself even in the toughest conditions without support from any of the earlier mentioned support the AR has benefitted from. Now this doesn’t mean that the AR couldn’t hold its own in an unsupported capacity, simply that as of yet it hasn’t served successfully in one. EDGE AK47

So there you have it, nine categories. Three categories are a draw, three going to the AR platform and three going to the AK platform. So what does this prove, well it proves that there’s a reason why these two rifles are the most popular on the planet. You’d be well served with either of these rifles, in fact why not have one of each!

Why Glocks Suck!

So there is alot debate about Glocks. People either seem to love ’em or hate ’em. But today we’re going to be answering one very important question that both Glock haters and lovers should know the answer to ……… Why do Glocks suck?

So lets look at some of the things people complain about most when it comes to the Glock pistol.

First off, the sights. Everyone, even alot of Glock lovers seem to hate the sight, they’re cheap, plastic and just low grade compared to many sights on the market.

Next is the controls. How many Glock owners complain about the mag release and slide stop and eventually end up replacing them with extended controls.

Then we have the grip texture and grip angle. How many businesses are there making a living by stippling frames and shaving backstraps because Glock lovers have to modify their Glocks to work for them.

Then of course we have the looks. Lets face it, Glocks aren’t the prettiest girl at the ball. They’re more reminiscent of the less attractive girl you try to push off on your friend so you can have a chance at her cousin.

So those are the reasons why people tend to dislike Glock and those very same reasons are the thing Glock lovers modify or replace most often while proclaiming their love for Glocks.

So now back to the question ……… Why do Glocks Suck?

Glocks suck because with all the things that people complain about and modify on their Glock, and because it looks like something Gaston Glock originally intended to be a hammer …….. Glocks suck because despite those reasons, its so damn reliable and durable that u just can’t go wrong with one, because crappy controls, sights, grip angle and all ……… it just works!

Marlin 795 Rifle Review

There are many .22 lr rifles out there on the market. So many in fact that it can be quite a chore to decide which one might be right for you. Today we’ll look at one I picked up a few months ago, the Marlin 795.

At first glance it’s a rather standard looking semi auto 22 rifle by todays standards. It’s a blued steel barrel and action with a synthetic stock and comes with one 10 round stainless steel magazine.

It comes in at 37″ inches long, with an 18″ inch barrel and weighs in at just under 4.5 lbs (pretty light even for a 22 rifle). It comes with a crossblot safety right behind the trigger, which I personally prefer to some of the other tang style or flip style safeties on the market.

Now in addittion to the standard features that most .22’s offer this one also offers a couple features not commonly seen on less expensive .22’s.

First off it has a last round bolt hold open which is a great feature to have on a 22 because like most of us out there who don’t realize the mag is empty until we hear the click when we pull the trigger, this one lets you know your empty with you having to dryfire your rifle.

The next feature I particularly liked about this rifle was the bolt release lever in front of the trigger making it easy to get your rifle back on target after inserting a new mag, simply by using your trigger finger to flip the release down and let the bolt forward and chamber a new round.

Accuracy was what you’d expect for a .22 rifle with an 18″ barrel. I was shooting 2″ inch groups at 50 yards in an unsupported position. I’m sure the rifle is far more accurate than I am as I’m sure a better marksman than I could easily get smaller groups with this rifle at farther distances.

With its weight and overall length I think this rifle would shine as a camping or backpacking rifle for plinking or small game hunting because its easy to carry without worrying about adding too much weight and space to the rest of your gear. Also if your looking for a smaller lighter 22 rifle for your kids or wife this would fit the bill nicely.

Now I got this rifle on special at a local sporting goods store for $115 plus a $25 dollar rebate, so $90 bucks all said and done. Regular price on these run around the $120 to $140 range which puts it in line with other 22’s on the market like the Savage 64 or Remington 514 or the Mossberg 702.

All in all its reliable, fun, well built rifle with a couple extras over some other 22’s on the market and for the price its well worth picking one up ……. after all, who couldn’t use another .22.

AR15 Basics – D.I. vs Piston System


There seems to be quite a debate going on recently about what is a better gas system for the AR platform. So we’re going to take a look at a few of the basics concerning these two very different gas systems and compare the two and hopefully help you, the end user, decide what will work best in your rifle.

First off we have to acknowladge that the AR platform was designed to work with the Direct Impingement gas system and that for the most part Piston Systems are basically just add-ons or adaptations of the original DI designed rifle. It’s basically a modification to turn a rifle designed to work properly with DI into a piston rifle.

Some area where the DI system outshines a Piston system are as follows ……..

Free Float barrels – This is an obvious one, basically even though you can technically free float a piston rifle, it makes little sense as your negating the purpose of free floating a barrel by adding a moving piston that connects the barrel to the receiver.

Less Moving Parts – Again, pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Less moving parts equals less parts to have issues with.

Lighter weight – Self explanitory, although a few ounces shouldn’t make or break your purchasing decision.

More Common – This equates to easier to find and cheaper to purchase parts, along with more compatability with other rifles that might be used for parts interchangability.

Accuracy – This is another area where it should be obvious that by having a moving piston adding recoil, right above your barrel, your going to loose accuracy, especially for follow up shots.

Cost – Obviously because of its commonality and because its usually the way a rifle is manufactured, the cost is significanty less than that of a piston system.

Industry Standard – This comes into play because at this time there really is no industry standard for piston systems like there are for DI system rifles. There are many good companies that manufacture high quality piston kits or rifles designed to function with a piston system, but those companies do not all manufacture their kits and parts to be interchangable as every other part on an AR platform rifle is.

Now lets look at a few areas where the Piston System does a particularily good job ……..

Cleaner running & Heat Resistance – This is the biggest and most obvious advantage over a DI system on an AR platform rifle. The biggest downside to the DI system is that it dumps hot gas and fouling into the action of the rifle and the piston system takes care of this problem by venting all the gas elsewhere making the rifle easier to clean and require less maintenance and cleaning.

Reliability – Because of the issues with the DI system fouling up the action a case can be made that a Piston system is inherently more reliable than a DI system because fouling and carbon build up do not enter the action and potentially cause reliability problems.

Suppressors – One reason suppresors tend to work better with Piston systems is because the nature of a suppressor restricts gas coming out of the muzzle and with a DI system all that restricted gas that would normally be blown out of the muzzle gets directed back into the action and not only causes even more fouling than normal but has also been known to cause excessive gas to come out to areas of the receiver like the charging handle area and blow gas into the face of the user. For this reason a Piston system, which drastically cuts down the amount of gas that is distributed into the chamber, is perfered for rifle fitted with suppressors.

SBR – Piston systems also tend to function very well on Short Barreled Rifles because of the higher port pressure, making Piston systems popular on barrel lengths shorter than 16″.

Running Dry – The piston system is much more capable of running on a dry chamber and action as opposed to a DI system that requires much more lubrication to continue to operate efficiently due to a high rate of carbon build up and fouling distributed into the action of the rifle.

So those are the pro’s and con’s of Direct Impingement vs Piston Systems on AR platform rifles.
In the end, for most civilian shooters, the differences are negligable and either system will work very well for just about anything you will ever use your rifle for. It really comes down to personal choice.

AR15 Basics – Choosing A Barrel

Lets take a look at some of the differences and options you need to consider when choosing what barrel to go with for your AR15 rifle.

First let go over the different types of barrel steel and processes used to make the barrel. These will be CMV, Stainless & CHF

Chrome – Moly – Vandium (CMV)
This is the most common type of barrel steel used. It comes in mainly two forms.

4140 – carbon spec. 0.43 – Some say this mat be more thermally stable?
4150 – carbon spec. 0.48 – Some say this may be better for full auto?

Most shooters (even heavy shooters) will never notice a difference between 4140 & 4150 CMV barrels

The US military uses 4150 CMV

Stainless Steel
Stainles barrels are heavier

They can also be more accurate because the alloy is more maliable and allows for finer precision during the manufacturing process, if manufacturer takes time to do so.

Buy from a respected manufacturer to ensure barrel was precisely made for better accuracy

Cold Hammer Forged (CHF)
Cheaper cost per unit for manufacturer but manufacturing equipment is much more expensive making it harder to profit unless many units are produced and sold, which is why so few companies produce CHF barrels compared to those companies that produce CMV barrels.

CHF barrels are usually chromed lined.

Unlike standard barrel manufacturing, where a barrel blank is placed on a lathe and a machine drills the rifling into the barrel blank, with CHF a barrel blank is placed in a CHF machine and a mandrel with reverse rifling on it is placed in the barrel blank and the machine presses the steel onto the mandrel to press the rifling into the steel.

This process has the potential to make for a more durable and longer lasting barrel if done correctly, otherwise it offers no more barrel longevity than standard manufacturing processes.

Buy from respected manufacturer to get the benefit of a more durable barrel. FN is the manufacturer of choice for many shooters as they manufacture this same barrel for the US military.

Chrome Lined vs Non-Chrome Lined
Chrome lined barrels tend to be better at extraction and corrosion resistance and cleaning but tend to be slightly less accurate than standard non-chrome lined barrels, but this difference is so nominal that most users will never notice a difference.

If there is a difference it is probably more likely due to poor manufacturing than the chrome lining.

If you’ll be shooting steel cased or dirty ammo often chrome lining might be a better option for you, otherwise it really makes no difference and chrome lining is more expensive (by about $50 to $75 for a barrel), so if you don’t plan on shooting that type of ammo don’t waste the extra money.

Barrel Twist Rate
The barrel twist rate basically means how many complete revolutions does the rifling make inside the barrel.

For example a 1:7 twist rate means that every 7 inches the rifling makes one complete revolution around the inside of the barrel. So the smaller the second number, the faster the rifling spins the bullet.

The most popular are 1:7 and 1:9 (although a newer 1:8 twist rate is becoming more popular).

Basically the twist rate breaks down like this – the heavier/longer the bullet is the more spin is needed to stabalize that bullet, so for instance a 62gr 5.56 would have much better accuracy and range out of a 1:7 twist barrel than a 1:9.

The best overall twist rate will be 1:7 because it’s accurate with the widest range of bullet weights and lengths (although some people claim that a 55gr bullet can be overstablized in a 1:7 twist barrel and loose some accuracy, the percieved accuracy loss is still negligable and most shooters wouldn’t notice a difference)

All in all 1:7 is going to be your best bet although it can be slightly more expensive, it is fast becoming the industry standard. However if all u plan on shooting is 55gr loads then you might be better served just getting a 1:9 twist and saving a little money.

Chambering
Chambering is pretty simple, make sure your barrel is chambered for 5.56mm ammo.

This allows you to fire either 5.56x45mm ammo or the cheaper .223 ammo.

If you purchase a .223 barrel you should not fire 5.56 ammo out of it.

Most AR barrels are 5.56 but there are still a few manufacturers out there making .223 only rifles, so be aware.

Barrel Lengths
There are many options for barrel lengths, 8.5″ – 10.25″ – 11.5″ – 14.5″ – 16″ – 18″ – 20″ and a several others.

We’ll only be discussing the most popular lengths 14.5″ – 16″ – 20″

16″ is the most popular as is suites most types of shooting including long range, CQB, defensive shooting & just having fun at the range.

14.5″ is basically the same in function and purpose as the 16″ except due to laws a 1.5″ muzzle device must be permanantly attached to the barrel to ensure the length is at least the 16″ legal limit

20″ is usually religated to longer range shooting and range use and generally considered to be less desirable for CQB or defensive situations where a shorter barrel would be more useful.

Barrel Contours
Your standard barrel contours are Lightweight (pencil) Barrel – M4 Contour (government profile) Barrel – Heavy Barrel – and many other barrel designs, many of which are custom or fluted designs that each offer their own unique advantage and disadvantages. We’ll discuss the most popular.

Lightweight (pencil) barrel is very popular for a lighweight easily manuverable rifle design. If your doing a lightweight build this might work for you, but keep in mind that it does have a shorter life than other barrels and should not be choosen if your a heavy shooter who puts alot of rounds through your rifle.

M4 contour (government profile) is pretty much the standard in most carbine length rifles. It offers good weight with good barrel life. Great for most shooters.

Heavy Barrel is a considerably (in barrel terms) thicker barrel adding life and heat resistance to your barrel but it does so in exchange for more weight.

So thats it, the basics of AR15 barrels. Hopefully this article will hep you in choosing a barrel for your next AR purchase or build.

What makes a Firearm Reliable?

Ruger LC9 Review

Glock vs M&P

Glock is without a doubt the most popular pistol around, and for good reason, its a durable, reliable and all around solidly designed pistol. There is however another pistol on the market that is taking a shot at the title of “Most Popular Pistol” and thats the Smith & Wesson M&P series polymer pistols.

Lets compare the two pistols and see how they stack up.

First off let’s look at the triggers. The Glock trigger is a little spongy when firing from the forwardmost position, and has a bit of takeup before the break but is very crisp breaking trigger with a short reset. The M&P is equally as spongy (at least for the first few hundred rounds out of the box) but with a longer take up and slightly longer reset. It does however have an overall more consistent trigger pull between letting the trigger out to the reset point of all the way forward. I’ll give the Glock a slight edge out of the box but not much since after about 250 rounds I actually began to perfer the M&P trigger.

Next we’ll look at the magazines. Both mags work well and have no issues. The M&P either come in stainless or melonite coated stainless and drop free perfectly. Th Glock mags Perform just as well but have the polymer coating that adds some durability to them. I’ll give the edge to the Glock mags definitely for their durability.

Next will be the controls, your slide lock and mag release. On both pistols they function the same and for my money I see neither as being better then the other since they are both easy to operate. The M&P controls do give you a little more area to to get a grip on so for those of you out there who like to replace your Glock controls for extended controls you might like the M&P better out of the box. I’ll call this one even as they both function as they should.

Now let’s talk about the ergonomics of the pistols. The Glock is not known for its comfortable grip, it was designed as a military sidearm, nothing more nothing less, it was designed to work, not be ergonomic. The M&P on the other hand is a very ergonmic pistol and very comfortable to shoot. The edge definitely goes to the M&P.

Looks are the next thing we’ll discuss and hands down this goes to the M&P. The Glock is a very utilitarian looking pistol due to its afore mentioned design, and theres nothing wrong with that and I do know more than a few people who see the beauty in the Glock’s simple design, but the M&P is a much better looking pistol.

Finally we’ll look at the reliability and durability of these pistols. There is no doubt that even though the Glock has had much more time to prove itself that both of these pistols are equally as reliable and durable. Both pistols have been designed with rugged durability in mind. This one is a tie.

So bottom line is this, the Glock is a fantastic pistol and it will be the king for a long time I’m sure, but the M&P is for all intents and purposes an upgraded Glock. It takes everything we love about the Glock and adds better ergonomics and better looks. Either one of these pistols will serve you well for a long time.