Showing posts with label 1911. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1911. Show all posts

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Accuracy Standards- Rifles

Thinking in groups of people can kind of move in cycles. This is true in meat space social networks as well as internet ones. Internet ones are different because we tend to be reading things instead of having conversations. So while Bob, Jim and Jill might have a conversation here Harry, Sally and Frank can hear the same thing the next day. Anyway.....

The American Partisan folks and I seem to be thinking a lot alike lately. American Partisan wrote a good post on practical carbine accuracy. Their points about practical field shooting being different from a nice day on the range with a rest being different are totally valid but that isn't where I am going.

I am reminded of the old construction saying that there is fast, good and cheap but you only get to pick two. (So you can have fast and good but it won't be cheap, or cheap and good but it won't be fast, etc) In this context we would have accurate, reliable and affordable. Admittedly that is an over simplification. With rifles we also have the variable of weight but then we are getting pretty far down into the weeds with concept of use and such.

The important question at hand is how much accuracy do we need. I suppose we would have to categorize rifles into a couple concepts of use. Categories need to be defined.

Fighting rifle. A magazine fed semi automatic rifle used for personal combat. Ranges will vary but in a non military context 3-50 meters are most common with occasional shots closer to 100m.

(Seriously cases where a civilian or cop is shooting past100m or so are at best rare. Off hand I can not think of any though admittedly I haven't proactively looked. If you know of any please shoot me breakdowns of the stories.)

Precision rifle. Scoped rifle used for shooting at longer distances or situations where a high degree of accuracy is needed. Call it a sniper rifle or a hunting rifle, whatever.

Accuracy Standards:

Fighting rifle- 4 MOA

Precision rifle- 2 MOA


Fighting rifle- 4 MOA. Why 4 MOA? That is a solid head shot at 100 meters. At 300 meters its a 12 inch circle which is a very good chest shot. At 600 meters it is a 24 inch circle which probably puts the round in someone's torso.

4 MOA is also, if I recall, the contract standard for the Colt M4 rifles we carry at work. Someone probably did the same kind of thinking I did in the previous paragraph.

I would argue that a 4 MOA rifle will do anything you can reasonably expect out of a fighting rifle.

Pretty much any serviceable rifle will shoot this. If an AR can't shoot 4 MOA something is wrong with it. (though typically AR issues manifest themselves more in reliability than accuracy). Most AK's can shoot under 4 MOA. Every AK I have personally fired can meet or exceed this.

Precision rifle: What just 2 MOA? That is a shot on a partially concealed head at 100 meters or a full head at 200. That keeps you in good torso shots (12" is a pretty vital circle when centered on the sternum) out to 600. Honestly unless you are a legitimate military sniper or some sort of championship high power guy an honest 2 MOA rifle will out shoot you.

Reliability- For fighting weapons reliability is obviously important. Nothing is absolute and mechanical devices sometimes fail. However if your gun is failing regularly then you need to address the issue.

In firearms (at least in the modern era, I can't speak to before that) there is traditionally an inverse relationship between reliability and accuracy. To make a gun more reliable you increase clearances between parts to allow for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up/ etc. Bigger clearances mean movement between parts which ultimately means less predictability in where the bullet goes AKA wider shot group. Think about say an AKM. On the other hand especially with precision machining capabilities now available it is easy to make for really tight clearances which means less movement and more accuracy. However the gun is less reliable because those tight spaces between parts offer little room for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up.

1911's are a good case for this. A mil spec 1911, even a new one, has some play between parts, that in part makes them reasonably reliable. I probably make fun of 1911's sometimes but a Colt or Springfield will work fine if you have reasonable expectations. Even those shot out WWII guns will typically run. However accuracy is nothing to write home about. On the other hand a target model 1911will be a lot more accurate. The modern ability to make parts accurate to a tiny fraction of an inch allows this. However the same super tight build that makes the gun accurate means it is a lot less reliable. This brings us back to the good fast and cheap. You can have accurate, reliable and affordable but you only get to pick 2. A $700 1911 can be accurate or reliable. Now a $3,000 super fancy boutique production Ed Brown/ Nighthawk/ Wilson Combat will be accurate and reliable but cheap is out the window.

It is easy to exceed both of these numbers. Finding standard production AR's that shoot 2 MOA is easy. These days really accurate bolt action rifles are out there also. There is a pretty good chance that the Hunters Special Rem/ Sav/ Moss package with a scope on sale at Wally World is a 1 MOA rifle. There are a lot of reliable options at a variety of different price points.

The point I am striving for here is that the odds are high whatever guns you have are accurate enough so quit worrying about that. Put the time/ energy/ money into worrying if the meatsack behind the gun can do its part.



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Navy Seals Adopt Glock 19!

Hey All, Another nail in the handgun mental masturbation argument.

The Navy Seals Adopt the Glock 19

Between them and the FBI 9mm Justification can we finally let the silliness rest? I am not saying everyone should sell their beloved 1911 .45 then run out and buy a Glock 19, rock whatever you want I don't care. What I am saying is that at a minimum objective arguments against both the Glock platform (and it's M&P cousin) as well as the 9mm cartridge for use against 2 legged predators are basically invalid from the get go.

The comments section might be fun here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

From Around The Web

Tam is about halfway through her now standard 2k with no lube or cleaning test with her sweet 1911. So far there are two failures (one of which might well be attributed to questionable random ammo she had) which is pretty solid. Without doing math in public that is well under .01%. Also it looks good.

This has me really wanting to do some sort of 1911 project. I wanted a cool pistol to go with my FAL and have been thinking about different ideas. A nice 1911 would fit the bill. I kind of want to build a cool old school (well to me anyway) 80's era Colt 1911 with Pachmyr rubber grips and Novak low profile sights. Or I could go with the Longmire and get a plane jane one with Elk grips.

[Don't have a clue how I would fund it. Also it would not be the best way to spend that money which if I shopped hard could get a serviceable but budget M4 pattern AR-15 for a truck gun and another Glock for a rainy day but I digress. Thinking about what we want to buy/ build is half the fun anyway and 2-3 times a year money has a way of appearing so who knows. On a serious note I will get a case each of 5.56, 7.62 ball AND a truck gun M4, though maybe not in that exact order, before thinking about it.]

Oleg Volk talks about Selecting Handgun Pairs for Carry and Home Defense. My thoughts on the subject:
-Oleg makes a good point about similar methods of operation, especially for an inexperienced shooter. Commonality is good as one system is easier to become proficient with.
-The two guns need to be different enough in size to really be distinguishable. A full sized handgun and a gun on the top end of the compact range (I'm talking to you G19 and Commander Sized 1911's) do not really offer much in terms of different options.
-Magazine and caliber commonality is good if you can get it. 
- Modern upwards compatible handgun systems (Glock, M&P, XD, etc) that offer sub compact if not quite pocket sized models as well as larger compact to service sized handguns offer really good possibilities in this area. A G26 to carry and a G17 at home with a light on it by your bed is a heck of a set up.
-If wheel guns are your thing the classic combo of a little j frame .38 and a big ole .357 mag is a great option.
-I know a couple guys who have a full sized .45 for a house/ woods/ range gun and a little .380 pocket rocket to carry. This is a pretty decent set up; the only criticism I could bring of it is that they probably carry the .380 when they should have a real gun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

From Around The Web

Tam is doing one of her 2k tests on her sweet custom 1911. This should be interesting. On a somewhat related note my inner non financially responsible gun nut has been whispering about 1911's in my ear for a couple weeks. I might just cancel my queued mental order for a stainless .357 mag (which has long been on the list) and go that way. A .45 wouldn't be a bad BBQ/ woods gun. Maybe at some point I will treat myself.

Our friend Harry, who has been around for awhile, wrote a couple of excellent posts recently.

-Well buckets for drilled wells

-If I could only have a few survival books on the shelf

Good stuff. I will add the books I don't have to the list for sure.

Reid Hendricks talks his current EDC

My light summer EDC

The Basics of Handgun Shooting in 60 Seconds

Normal posting will resume this weekend.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gun Time Warp: Skills and Strategy Matter Not Hardware

Lets just say that tomorrow I woke up and my firearms battery was very different. Instead of the more modern guns in our current battery I had a Remington 870 Wingmaster with an 18.5inch cylinder bore barrel and a 28" modified choke, a Marlin model 60, a J frame .38, a 1911 or maybe a K frame .357 and a 30-30 Winchester. All of these guns were available a half century ago in the 1960's.

I could hunt anything in the Continental US, have a solid CCW pistol as well as a house gun a shotgun that will do anything plus a good rifle and a .22. I would be down a lot in capacity but honestly that is rarely the issue which decides the day for Joe Six Pack civilian. Realistically this setup could handle all manner of sporting, home defense and a pretty nasty Katrina like SHTF scenario. I won't lie and say it is equal to a Glock 19 and AR or AK but assuming the operator does their job in anything short of a full on war the difference in capacity is rarely needed.

What I am getting at is that skills and strategy matter a lot more than hardware. If you are on a basic guns type budget it might be worth putting money into training before looking at upgrading your guns.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Letter Re: Checking Your Handguns for Feeding Problems: Round Nose Versus Hollow Points

This chain Checking Your Handguns for Feeding Problems: Round Nose Versus Hollow Points, re, re has gone on long enough and got off track enough that I have to weigh in. In no way am I disparaging Jim Rawles or his excellent blog. Jim has been a friend to me and this blog. I read his excellent blog daily. When you accept guest posts inevitably some will be a bit off track. 

To briefly recap a guy has a pair of Taurus pistols (a .45 Millemium Pro and a  TCP .380)and prudently, though a bit late, decides to actually try shooting his chosen defensive ammo out of them. Go figure both of them failed to feed multiple times within a few rounds.

The first reply is from one guy who goes into the history of care and feeding on 1911's (don't worry we will get there in a minute) and rambled about how hollow point ammunition is just a marketing gimmick. The second reply is from some guy who suggests using a dremel to polish the feed ramp of your pistol to improve feeding.

Onto my thoughts in no particular order:

1) Go figure a couple of new unproven designs by a notoriously mediocre company with spotty quality control had issues. Taurus revolvers are generally servicable but newly designed auto's probably aren't a good idea. (Though I have heard good things about their 1911's) Seriously this is like Lou Gehrig dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, how the hell did he not see it coming.

Weapons you are going to use to defend yourself and family (vs hunting, plinking, fun, etc) absolutely need to be built to a professional standard. They need to be able to be shot a lot and feed anything. Glock, Sig, HK, Smith and Wesson (M&P and revolvers), Springfield (specifically the XD), Beretta and Ruger all build guns to a professional standard. It would be an uphill battle to convince me there is a Taurus (specifically their automatics) or a Kel Tech that meets such a standard.

I'm not saying you have to spend a ton of money on a gun. We all have competing priorities and budgets. If you aren't willing to save another C note for a Glock/ M&P get a basic gun like a good used revolver instead of some POS automatic.

2) To further elaborate a fighting pistol needs to feed all ammunition put into it. We can break feeding issues down by broad gun type. In order older guns, pieces of junk and 1911's.

2A) Older guns. The older military surplus and pattern guns (WWII through the 1970's give or take) were designed to shoot ball ammo either FMJ or strait up lead round nose. I do not fault these guns for that. It was the ammunition used at the time so it just makes sense. With these guns IMO you have two valid options. The first is to just shoot ball ammo. A good friend of this blog (though lately absent) who is big into surplus guns and has quite an enviable collection does this. He often swaps through various high power's of different makes and it would be cost prohibitive and impractical to test and keep track of which gun feeds what ammo. So he just shoots ball in them. I'm not in love with this option but for some folks it makes sense.

The other option is to get your gun worked over by a qualified gunsmith who specializes in your particular type of gun. Send your high power to a high power guy, your older surplus 1911 to a 1911 guy, etc. This can be cost prohibitive. Unless there is some compelling reason you want to carry that particular gun it might be better to buy a modern pistol of professional grade.

2B) Pieces of Junk. Yes, I am saying that currently produced pistols which do not reliably feed modern defensive ammunition are pieces of junk. Do not buy a piece of junk for defensive purposes. Expecting a piece of junk to work when you need it is just not realistic. You wouldn't get upset when $10 Soldiers Choice scotch doesn't taste like Ballantine's let alone Glenlivet. Why should guns be any different? I am on the record as being in favor of quality used guns instead of new lower quality guns.

2C) 1911's. We addressed the older milsurp type 1911's already, as to the rest. At the risk of offending somebody here is my observation on 1911's. Two types of 1911's actually work reliably. The first are basic Mil Spec type guns from quality manufacturers specifically Springfield and Colt. These guns will shoot all day long with the accuracy you would expect from a service weapon (good but not amazing). The second are really high end custom guns like Ed Brown and Wilson Combat or the high end Colt's. These guns work well but they cost as much as a decent used car. Probably outside most peoples budget for a carry gun. If you can afford it without shorting yourself elsewhere then rock on.

The problems with 1911's come, in my not so humble opinion, from fly by night custom 'Bob's Mom's basement' makers and lower end "target guns". Bob sucks as an armorer and certainly is not a craftsmen. He slaps together a bunch of different brand parts without a clue what he is doing. There are issues with fitting and stacking tolerances. As to the lower end "target guns". Modern manufacturing technology makes it easy to crank down tolerances which makes guns more accurate but at the expense of reliability. Tight tolerances without serious quality control and craftsmen level fitting make for an unreliable gun. There is a reason AK's and those old WWII 1911's (with ball ammo they are designed for) will run all day long dirty as can be, they have fairly loose tolerances.

3) Good on this guy for actually testing his gun with the defensive ammunition he carries. I think far too few people actually do this and it is important. We could debate round count here. I've seen some folks say you need to shoot 500 rounds of carry ammo to know it is reliable. Honestly I am not doing that unless someone else foots the bill. Typically I shoot about 50 rounds. Since the only centerfire semi automatic pistols we own are Glock's there are never any issues, this is just a check.

4) To support #2 I do not carry super expensive all brass hollow points like the new Cor Bon stuff. I carry 115gr JHP Federal Classic Personal Defense. Awhile back I got a case of the stuff from Lucky Gunner for like .35 cents a round. They have it in stock now but given the state of things prices are considerably higher. They will come back down in due time at which point I will buy another case.

5) I am strongly against any home gunsmith work (not to be confused with basic armorer tasks like swapping out a simple drop in part) on defensive weapons unless you have some training and genuinely know what you are doing. By all means explore and try new things. Just do it with plinking/ fun, hunting or sporting guns. If your home repair/ work on a clay shooting shotgun or deer rifle fails worst case your day at the range or hunt is ruined. In the grand scheme of things neither of those are a huge deal. On the other hand if defensive weapons fail you and your family could end up dead.

This means either buy guns that work reliably which can be repaired using drop in parts (the way to go) or if that does not work or the problem is too serious take your defensive weapons to a legitimate gunsmith who is competent, or even specializes, in that particular weapon.

6. In conclusion- Buy modern professional grade guns for defensive use. If they break take them to a legitimate gunsmith to be fixed.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

AZ and Open Carry

So I have been down here in Arizona for a few months. We like it a lot. The weather is generally real nice, stuff is pretty cheap, very pro gun. (For background we come from a pretty gun friendly open carry legal state.) This brings us to open carry.

First I will discuss trends I have seen in OC down here and then we will talk about OC as a concept. Pretty much every time we go to a place with a lot of folks (like Walmart or a grocery store or a festival/ parade) I see at least one person open carrying. Almost all the folks open carrying are (at the risk of judging ethnicity by appearance) white men. I have seen 1 Hispanic fellow open carrying and 2 women.

Personally ,with no statistical backing, I do not think there are more people packing guns around  than at home in the PNW. I just think the ratio of open carry is a lot higher down here in Arizona for whatever reason.  Should anybody have actual evidence that shows different I would love to see it.

Broadly speaking most seem to be lower middle to middle class (for whatever that means). There have been no definite trends in terms of guns. A few Glocks, a few Kel Tech's, some double action wheel guns, either a black powder pistol or a single action revolver, a nice stainless 1911 and a Sig. As to holsters I have seen 1 nice leather rig (the guy with the 1911 who also carried 2 spare mags and either knew what he was doing or at least how to buy like he did), a few kydex holsters, some various cheapo leather rigs, and a bunch of el cheapo Uncle Mikes nylon rigs.

I do appreciate that everybody we have interacted with that was open carrying was very nice. The (to some people) scary looking biker dude packing a SAA knock off in an Uncle Mikes holster with his significant other trying to find the right toy for some little kid were nice to us and Walker. A chick packing a Kel Tech (PF9?) was quite pleasant and careful not to smoke near our kid at a parade. They were probably good folks or at least realized armed people need to behave at a higher level.

Now it is worth touching on Open Carry as a method of carry. My YouTube acquaintance Hoss USMC is a big open carry advocate as well as a patriot. I have talked it a bit with him in the comments of various posts on his channel. Anyway...

Open carry is a deterrent to problems. Strait up folks are a lot less likely to try and mug you if they see a handgun. I used to need to travel to a pretty sketchy town for basic services. Packed my 1911 OC and never had any issues. Some people might say folks will target you because you have a gun but I think that is dumb. People who want to steal a gun will break into a house or a car that has a Glock/ XD/ HK sticker on it, not try and roll a dude packing a pistol who will likely shoot them.

A lot of folks try and talk about the statistics of cops getting killed with their own guns or whatever and relate them to open carry. This is invalid because cops are in an oppositional situation with a lot of criminals and marginalized folks. That just does not relate to Joe Bob open carrying a pistola to Starbucks then Bed Bath and Beyond and eventually for some sushi. He is not in an oppositional situation with any thugs.

Personally I do not open carry as a rule. I OC if in a state where that is the only way I can legally carry. Did so in my trip down here. This is mostly for my wife. She would rather not have people looking at us and such stuff which I understand.

Concealed carry gives an advantage in terms of tactics because you could surprise a person with a weapon.

Friday, January 11, 2013

EDC Contest Entry #7 Dan

Hey Folks, I am pleased to bring another entry for our EDC Contest. First we will quickly recap what is going on. The broad strokes are this. I want to share and discuss the stuff we carry around every day AKA EDC. Taking pictures of our stuff and talking about it is my goal.

The prizes will be as follows:
1st Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
2nd Place: 1 Blackhawk Holster donated by ($50 value)
3rd Place:  1 Snare-Vival-Trap cough garote cough donated by Camping Survival ($17 value)

Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value)

Check out the details and my example post here. 

 Onto Entry #7

1. Colt's Government Model 1911 (stainless) in .45 ACP. Used these guns since I began carrying a pistol in 1998, and I'm comfortable with them. Loaded with 8 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense 185gr FTX. Carried at about 4:00 on my right side.

2. Milt Sparks "Summer Special 2." I love this leather holster, it rides and conceals well and of course fits the Colt like a glove. Though it's not in the photo (it's on my pants!) the belt makes *all* the difference with this gun/holster -- I use a 1.5-inch wide brown bullhide belt, made by Jim Speidel (The Beltman) -- and it holds the weight of that big pistol very well. The price of the belt was worth every penny. Carrying a heavy gun with a floppy belt is misery. 

3. Blackberry for work.

4. Cheap "Sacred Fire" LED Flashlight. I think I got this thing for $10, since I got tired of carrying my SureFire 6Z around and wanted to see how something smaller would work out. It has a glow-in-the-dark tailcap, which I like, and will take either a AA battery or a CR123A (which makes it brighter, and what's in there). I figured if I liked having this smaller pocket light, I'd get something better after it died (and for ten bucks, it was a good test, right?), yet it's been going for more than two years now. I'm probably pushing my luck with this one and since I do use it quite a bit, should look at getting a Fenix or another smaller SureFire.

5. Victorinox Swiss Army knife -- Officer's model. Gets used every day. Smaller and lighter than a full-size multi-tool, and I use the scissors on this knife way more than I'd ever use the pliers on a multi-tool.

6. Carmex lip balm for chapped lips. This is good stuff.

7. Keys for truck and house.

8. IMCO Super Triplex. A really slick little lighter, made in Austria, and a handy thing to have even for a non-smoker. The fuel cell with the wick is removable, and lets you light things like camp fires, pipes, and whatnot that needs distance from the lighter. I think the company is out of business now, which is a bummer.

9. Don Hume leather single-stack mag pouch with an 8-round Colt's magazine. Also loaded with the Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Sits at about 8:00 on my belt.

10. Gerber Paraframe knife. Very light and sharp and only 20 bucks, so I wouldn't cry if I lost it. My father-in-law just gave me a really nice CRKT M4 knife for Christmas, though, so I think the Gerber is going to be shuffled to the "backup" role.

11. Wallet. Made out of baseball glove leather, this has only gotten better with age. Holds the usual ID, CCW permit, cash, cards, etc.

I'm a Levi's/T-shirt/flannel shirt and hiking boots kinda guy, so that's what I typically wear over/with all this.

Occasionally the Colt gets replaced by an old J-frame Smith & Wesson 342PD AirLite Ti in .38 Special, which rides in a little leather Mitch Rosen "Workman" holster -- a very light (11 oz) and easy-to-conceal revolver, especially in the summer. Not much fun to shoot, though.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

For Sale: Colt ACE II Conversion Kit

This item is pending sale.

I am selling my Colt ACT II Conversion Kit. It is listed elsewhere but I wanted you all to have a chance. I'm asking $330 and would be willing to entertain trades. Since this isn't a firearm I could send it to any non socialist state in the mail.

Please direct any inquiries to

Edited to include: Since one person asked others might wonder. Yes I am open to trading. However as is the problem with trading it would need to be something I can use. Right now I am in the market for a CMMG .22 conversion kit for the AR as well as a rail mounted pistol light (surefire or streamlight) but am always open to a variety of gear, tools, knives, ammo, magazines or precious metals.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Trimming Things Down- EAA Bounty Hunter SS 12 Gauge Sold

Continuing this trip's trend of gun sales that started with the 1911 I sold an EAA Baikal Bounty Hunter II coach gun today. The funds will either finish of Project Upgrade AR or go towards something else, probably a small pistol. Still looking to sell the Garand and a wheel gun but those will probably happen down the road.

I think Project Upgrade AR is already sufficiently funded. That means today's proceeds should be able go towards something else. Not sure what exactly, the amount would pay for a small pistol, but that is a matter for another gun show day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gun Safe Find- Colt Ace II .22 Conversion Slide

So I was looking for something or another and stumbled into a cloth wrapped package in the corner of the gun safe. It was a .22 conversion kit for the .45. I really didn't know exactly what I had. It was given to me and was promptly put away then forgotten. I was not sure exactly what it was worth so I hopped onto the internet and did some looking. It turns out that these Colt conversion slides/ kits are fairly rare and sought after. It was pleasant to find out that the thing is worth some dough.

As I do not have a .45 any more the conversion kit is unnecessary so I want to sell the thing. My tentative price for this conversion kit is $300 unless I find out some new information. (If I am way off on value either way here please let me know.) The proceeds will finish of the new M4 fund if need be or ideally go for a little hide out pistol or a .22 conversion kit for an AR.If by chance anybody is interested shoot me an email @

That was today's cool find while going through my stuff. Hopefully I have a few more cool expensive things waiting around to find in the near future. Not holding my breath but selling off stuff I do not need is probably going to fund a few projects in the near future.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I did a pretty good amount of running and 2 rucks. For the second ruck I took a cue from John Mosby and put on a ruck for 3 miles as fast as I could go. I did not run (Running with weight is something that should IMO be seriously managed due to it's impact on your body) but went as fast as I could sustainably go. The split was a tiny bit over 13 minutes a mile and the weight was about 40 pounds. I enjoyed this ruck because it was quick and smoked me. I have gotten sucked into an brisk and long ruck pattern which has very different cardiovascular demands. Walking 8-12 miles with a ruck certainly has benefits but a fast 3 miler does also. This new trick will stay in my workout routine. Did a good lift today. No screwing around, just got in there for military press and dead lift then left. While it is not my long term plan lifting once a week seems to be working for me.

I fiddled around with a solo stove a bit. It is a neat little piece of kit that I can definitely see living in my bug out bag. The thing is quality made and very light. A full review will be done as soon as I have experimented with it some more.

Started fiddling around with my new Cold Steel pipe hawk. It is pretty handy for cutting the odd limb here or there. While not up to ax work this type of smaller stuff is really what I use a wood cutting implement for while camping or whatnot. The handle is pretty long but it shows when you swing the thing. This sucker might find a place in kit somewhere too

Sold off my 1911.  It will let me fill in some shortcomings and simplified our logistics. Also it will fund the new AR project. I call that a win win situation.

Looking to go for the long haul? Keep secure with Nightgear Snugpak sleeping bags.
Anyway things have been pretty busy. Lots of catching up with friends and family. Kiddo has had a riot chasing all manner of animals 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Hard Right Over the Easy Wrong- 1911 Sold

1911 gone and a few hundred dollar bills in hand. I have been planning this for awhile. We discussed selling guns in general (specifically the Garand) before and it is worth revisiting. I have mixed feelings about this. Really liked that gun. Just so cool looking and historic. While not a collectible model it is a cool period piece.

I sold it for two reasons. The first is that it let me eliminate a pistol caliber. Now we have pistols in 9mm and .38/.357 magnum (well and .22lr but that is not an issue). This greatly streamlining our logistics. Also more importantly it fits all of our needs. I have 9mm for carry and if need be tactical use and .357 for a woods gun. I would feel pretty happy with a big fast .357 round for anything in the lower 48. Secondly I just didn't use the .45 very much. I enjoy the compact nature and round count of the Glock 19, if I had to have just 1 pistol it would be a G19. For a woods gun I like revolvers. No huge reason for this, maybe just because it helps me justify keeping them around.

A third benefit is that Wifey is now capable of using every handgun we own. (She likes the .38 but admits she shoots a Glock better). This really wasn't an issue as the 1911 wasn't a gun that was key in our defensive plans but it is an added benefit.

[I am not saying my 1911 was a bad gun or anything. The Springfield Mil Spec I had performed like a service pistol should with solid reliability and good combat functional accuracy. I cleaned it and didn't shoot the cheapest junk reloads available but did not baby it or anything. Simply put the gun did what it was supposed to. Just that I didn't need to own it any more for the reasons discussed above. ]

Also the Garand might have a potential buyer. As we have talked this and it is not a done deal I see no need to rehash.

I am kinda going crazy on this whole minimalist thing and tentatively looking to unload 2-3 more guns. Times are getting hard for guns in the safe that do not have a purpose. It might not be entirely accurate to say that I am going all minimalist. We could sell half our guns and still have a solid collection by most peoples standards. The goal is to have the right quality weapons, as well as tools, equipment and other stuff but they are other discussions, to fit our needs. This means over time I will continue selling things that do not fit the bill, even if they are close, and replacing some of them with the right stuff until things are where they should be.

So back to the pertinent question of what do I plan on doing with said cash. Things are still up in the air. I think the imminent purchase of rifle plates is sufficiently funded but will wait to be sure that is good. A Bravo Company upper and a bolt to match are likely candidates with a lower to follow. There is some little stuff that is necessary and on the short list but that is easier to pick up piecemeal. Also an AR-15 .22 conversion kit is on the horizon.

Anyway that is what happened today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I have been banging my head against the wall with blogger for a few days. Brute forcing technology can be a real exercise in frustration. Today I finally got it figured out, well at 95% solution anyway. The rest I know how to do and can knock out tomorrow evening.

Normally today would get "What did you do to prepare this week?" but not a lot is happening here. Between time and energy being spent on getting ready to move and generally being in limbo some stuff is on hold. Once home for vacation I will order some rifle plates. Additionally I am trying to sell the M1 Garand and 1911. Both have potential buyers. However if they are serious, have the cash and we can agree on a deal is to be determined. Hopefully both sales go through and I can put some cash toward pretty important accessories and a bit towards a vital survival tool new toy. Worst case if I can't sell the 1911 it will probably  be my PNW pistol for the foreseeable future. The Garand would get hauled along to sell/ trade at our next location.

This week I will keep running, lift some weights and hopefully tighten up my diet. The running/ rucking half of the August Challenge is going well but the weight loss half is almost totally stalled. Hopefully being a bit more intentional and keeping better track of what I eat will help here. It had better because it isn't fun.

Anyway I am going to surf the web a little bit and turn in early. Despite having no good reason for it I am pretty tired today.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gun Porn Post

In my collection there are a couple guns (1911 and M1 Garand) that are marked for sale. One may be spoken for and the other I will have to put a bit of effort into. The two should get me at least a grand though $1,100ish would be better. For awhile I was thinking about different things I could get with that money. A little pocket pistol like a Keltech P3AT or the Ruger knock off would be nice. Then again the new takedown 10/22 is super cool and I have a total gun crush on it. Of course I can always use another AR or Glock 9mm. So many options. Then I got to really thinking.

What I actually need to do is take care of a bunch of little stuff to really get the guns I already have (admittedly not a bad battery) set up properly. Over my time here I have done most of the heavy lifting in this area by purchasing plenty of mags, spare parts and some ammo. Still there is some work left to be done.

About 3 guns need trijicon night sights. The Glock which lives in the bedroom should have a light attached to it. My Springfield '06 needs to get drilled into so I can put a scope on it. On the bright side I've got a 3x9 Leupold lying around so that should be a pretty affordable project. I am still looking at options but both a rifle and a shotgun could use lights too however that might not make this round of purchases. There are probably a few other little things I can use.

Another thing to do when I get home is get my M4agery set up properly. I have the gun and an ACOG to go on top of it. Prior to putting that on I need to get a backup iron sight and zero it. (Previously it had a detachable carry handle) Still toying with the idea of putting a light on it. The thing doesn't have rails and at this time I don't plan to mount anything else so buying them just to make a light slightly easier would be a waste and I don't really want a rail anyway. That means either one of those hose clamp type setups or using a novel little piece of rail that hooks into the A looking hole in the front sight. The rail setup looks like the way to go as it lets me use all manner of lights and is in about the right location. For about 8 bucks it is worth fiddling with anyway. I don't think it would be stable enough to hold a zero on a laser but for a light as long as it points straitish that is good enough.

On another front I have recently switched from carrying a Buck 110 back to the clip in your pocket one hand folder type knife. It is so convenient to just slip a knife into my pocket and have it vanish. Also the Buck is way more knife than I need the vast majority of the time and I have one handy in the car anyway. Currently I am carrying a medium sized Cold Steel Voyager. I am not totally thrilled with the thing but it was already in my pile of knifes. One of my guys had an Ontario Rat 1 which looked pretty nice (and got good review online) and for about $35 it it is worth rolling the dice. I am not totally opposed to paying more for a knife but would want to be able to handle one before doing so which is problematic here.

On yet another front you can get the new 2012 15th Anniversary Edition of the LDS Preparedness Manual for free download from You may or may not agree with their theology but Mormon's have their stuff together when it comes to preparedness. It would be foolish not to take advantage of the free resources they offer to the public.

Anyway I am going to wrap this up. Hopefully you all have a great weekend.

I have received some interest in the two guns I plan to sell which is suprising and cool. The 1911 is a Springfield Mil Spec .45 and the M1 Garand is well, an M1 Garand. The 1911 may go to a buddy who I always offer right of first refusal (and he does the same) on gun sales. As to pricing I am pretty out of touch and will have to do some research to get a final solution.

The complication that spawns this post is that I am in Germany and my guns are at home in the PNW. Not going to inconvenience a family member that has been doing me a favor with taking detailed pics, let alone shipping through an FFL or a personal sale. In the early fall I will be headed back to the US. Any action would have to take place at this time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blah, Life and Sickness

Well I have pneumonia. It wasn't a huge suprise as I have had a wickedly nasty cough for almost 3 weeks. It has been sort of a weird thing because aside from a wicked cough (with the caviate that I have done next to nothing physically straining since being sick) and being kind of physically and mentally tired all the time but overall I pretty decent. Turns out it is kind of an odd strain so it was hard to diagnose but eventually they figured it out. So now I am on some drugs to treat it and they seem to be working.

When I had double pneumonia back in Fall 2010 our medical folks were moderately concerned I was going to die. I was the sickest I have been in my entire life. I was barely coherant and weak as could be. Maybe I am somehow weak in the lungs or something. Who knows. Anyway.

As to the recent video and talk about 1911's and the comment on snubbies that seems to have gotten folks all bent out of shape. I have a post basically written in my head that will explain my opinions on a lot of background and conceptual stuff but just don't feel like writing it today. I am mentally just too tired to bother. My desire to argue is minimal and my desire to argue with people who aren't talking about actual facts or data is nonexistent.

I am coming to wonder if guns are a topic that cannot be talked about rationally. If I even mention that a gun is anything less than absolutely perfect folks get seriously bent out of shape. It sort of makes sense why gun rags write that every gun is just completely awesome. Then again it sort of makes sense that I think their reviews and articles are complete shite and I haven't bought a gun rag in years.

I may have called a good time to buy a couple days back but last night I finally bought PM's. Silver was at about $28.09 and Gold at about $1570. They had been slipping back up and it seemed like a good time. Who knows anyway. Tomorrow I am probably going to go bike shopping. Not sure I will get anything but I do want to see what is available here in the $300-400 price range.

For awhile I was listening to the news online at work. I listened to some Dave Ramsey too but I think I am good for that once a week or month at the most. I love his stuff but it is aweful repetetive. Over the last couple days I have stopped that and started listening to rock music instead. I read or at least skim the drudge every day and if I have time check out the BBC but music lets me drone out and be productive which is a good thing. Also the news has been making me mad lately and music gets me going so the decision is easy.

Anyway I hope you all have a good day and maybe I will put together something more on point tomorrow.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

1911's Suck?

 The recent 1911's suck video by James Yeager seems worth talking about. In case you missed it here is the video:

For the sake of intellectual honesty and to have a little Devils Advocate fun I am going to say things 1911 lovers will not like. Anyway here we go. 

The reasons people buy 1911's often have a lot more to do with their history, lineage, machismo factor and fact that the mighty Jeff Cooper carried one than anything about the actual gun itself.

1911's are big, heavy, don't hold a lot of bullets, are not lefty/ambi friendly and have controls that are difficult for many people to use well.

If you look at the 1911 honestly they probably (which I say just because doing a comparison would be a hassle) get bested as a defensive/ service weapon by modern handguns like those made by Glock, Springfield (XD), S&W MP, etc all in any honest test.

To be completely blunt if the 1911 was designed today it would probably never be made and certainly would not become popular. 

Sorry 1911 lovers, it really isn't anything personal and everything I said is true. You wouldn't be fuming right now if it wasn't. End Devils Advocate fun.

Moving forward I think 1911 reliability issues and failures can be attributed to a few distinct categories. I will discuss them in no particular order.

Age- A gun made in 1917 that still has all original parts might reasonably have some issues. I once went to the range with a buddy who brought an old family heirloom 1911. It was a neat old gun of WWI vintage. After about 50 rounds the barrel bushing broke and the slide flew off into the dirt with the recoil spring and plug going all over the place. We picked up the parts and he got a new bushing. Not a huge deal really, metal fatigues, springs weaken, etc over long periods of time. A lot of these real old guns probably need a little TLC and just need to be retired as safe queens.

Manufacturers- So many people have made 1911's and most of them sucked at it. I stick with popular manufacturers and common models for a very good reason, they are far more likely to work well than no name or the fly by night guys.

Any yahoo master gunsmith can slap some plug and play parts together in his mom's basement custom shop and try to sell it for big money. On the opposite end of the cost spectrum the super cheapo ones often have issues too. Expecting a $350 no name 1911 to function like a Springfield, Colt or Kimber is probably is just not realistic. While some deals are better than others you generally get about what you pay for.

[DIY- The plug and play factor of 1911 parts has also lead to a lot of people trying to be gunsmiths and slapping a bunch of random parts together with predictably poor results. If you or your buddy screw with a gun and it stops working the fault doesn't lie with the gun. Also if you buy a used 1911 the guy who owned it a decade ago may have tried this and left the gun messed up.]

Maintenance- 1911's and in particular custom/ target models which we will discuss later are more picky about maintenance than a lot of modern service type handguns like Glocks and XD's. As Larry Vickers said "[i]f ... you treat your pistols like we all treat our lawnmowers then don’t get a 1911 – use a Glock."

Tolerances and "Target models"- As noted in the video the old WWII era 1911's had significant tolerances, such that they would often rattle if shaken. However they also shoot reliably. There is a very direct relationship between tolerances, accuracy and weapon malfunctions. Tighter tolerances make for more accurate guns but they also mean that guns are more likely to malfunction.

Over the last 30 years or so a lot of 1911 manufacturers have tried to cash in on the "target" designation. They made the guns more accurate by tightening up the tolerances significantly which is easy with modern manufacturing techniques. This allowed them to make the gun  significantly more accurate and add 30-60% to the price. However many of these guns are equally accurate and jamtastic. Even the really expensive "target" type guns can be "picky" or only "like" one brand of ammo or have "unexplained feeding issues". As Tam noted awhile back it is interesting that a $1,200 gun is "picky" or has "unexplained feeding issues" but a $200 gun that does the exact same things is a jamomatic piece of junk. My personal advice is to keep the "target" models for competition/ ranges and to carry a service gun with it's significantly higher reliability and amply capable accuracy.

Those 4 areas are where I think most 1911 issues come from. One could argue that they are really not that hard to mitigate. Simply using a modern 1911 made by a major manufacturer and doing reasonable maintenance on it will go a long way.

My general observation is that standard models from major manufacturers like Springfield and Colt function like the service pistol the 1911 was designed to be. In other words they are reasonably reliable and accurate enough to be a viable defensive weapon. I haven't found them unduely maintenance intensive but I take pretty good care of guns anyway.

For the sake of full disclosure I own a Springfield Mil Spec 1911. I have used it for concealed carry and home defense and would not hesitate to do so again. I do not have anything bad to say about it. However I am trying to sell it which shows where my money is really going. I don't really do anything with it these days and it is complicating my logistics. Also by selling it I can get another Glock 9mm.

As to the bottom line. In my opinion if you like 1911's and are able/ willing to mitigate their weak points I do not see why a 1911 can't serve you well. Just because they aren't the highest tech and most low maintenance/ reliable gun out there doesn't mean they aren't good enough.

Thoughts? This should be fun.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Squaring Up My Collection

I have made the decision to sell my M1 Garand and Springfield Mil Spec 1911. The 1911 probably has a buyer lined up. The M1 Garand sale may take some proactive work when I get back to the states.

The biggest selling point with the 1911 sale was that it would eliminate a caliber and go a long way towards simplifying my logistics. Also could parley the cash from it into another Glock 9mm. I would only have Glock 9mm and .38/.357 mag to worry about stockpiling. That being said I will hold onto at least a few hundred rounds of .45 ammo and a few mags because common caliber ammunition is a good thing and I got it awhile back at decent prices. I wish I had done this when I sold the .40.

I don't really have anything against the 1911 platform. It is just that I don't really every find myself carrying it. Mine is a full sized parkerized model which isn't ideal for my purposes. I would like a commander sized lightweight stainless 1911 and maybe some day one will come to our house. However it is a want not a need and I will not be inclined to indulge those for some time.

The Garand is a nice gun and all but tying up several hundred dollars in potential resources for a collectible is not a great idea for the place I am at in life. Not quite sure what I would do with the cash. I may use it to pick up a bunch of small stuff like night sights, etc. Then again the new takedown 10/22's are pretty neat and lots of well set up AR's at reasonable prices have come out in the last few years. Or it might just be fun to put something together myself.

I can't say when  these sales will be made but the guns have shifted from a "keep" status to a "sell when convenient."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stuff From The Interwebz

How to live in your car

A very nice minimalist chest rig for an AK. I think they also make a 4 mag model. I will probably pick up one of these when I get around to filling out my whole AK setup.

A gal talks about how to carry a gun and a baby. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for women who carry handguns that are not a) subcompact/ cracker jack box sized or b) in a diminutive caliber like .32 or .380. She is not a big lady or wearing a "I have a gun vest" or a parka.

Highlight, quote and understatement of the day "if your child can get to the trigger that is bad." My .02 cents on that topic. First put on your gun then grab the kid. Kid doesn't go where the gun is because it wouldn't be comfortable for everybody involved. I carry appendix inside waist band slightly to the right. Kiddo either goes on the left hip if he is just riding or in my chest area if I am doing the comforting screaming baby thing. Since we are talking about kids and guns it is worth rehashing my core belief on this topic. Simply put guns are secured or under the physical control of an adult. In other words lock it up or carry it.

Today I have been intrigued by Iceland's reaction to the whole great recession/ economic collapse thing. 1, 2, 3.

Also I stumbled into a new blog Jerking the Trigger andreceived an email about the Open Garden project.

Hope that stuff gives you something to read and enjoy or at least think about. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Of Safeties and Fingers

I appreciate Gabe Suarez and his company Suarez International. Like every organization they have the weapons they advocate and are out to make a buck. Hey capitalism is cool so that is all good. Awhile back (not as I am writing this but as you are reading it) they did a lot of talking about safeties and the finger on the trigger.

Gabe Suarez made a great point that the M1911 and the AR-15 have done a lot to influence modern training when it comes to weapons safeties. I think that these two weapons were for so long the weapons our military carried is significant. No matter how much folks don't want to admit it most weapons, training and techniques stuff  trickles from the military to law enforcement to civilians.

If a weapon has a super fast (AR, M1911, M1A, most DA auto's, Mossberg 500, etc) and easily accessible safety then use it. If in the case of say the AK or the Remington 870 the safety is not so accessible then don't worry about it. With the AK I would just take the safety off when I thought I might likely fire and with the 870 I would keep the chamber empty unless I might likely fire the gun. While this might be a slight generalization modern firearms aren't going to go off while you carry them unless you pull the damn trigger. Most have mechanisms so they won't fire even if they take a sharp impact unless the trigger is pulled.

Physically accessible safeties IMO have a lot more to do with people's psychological comfort than actual mechanical functionality. A good friend and experienced shooter who is my buddy is half scared of his Glock 19. He has shot more guns than most folks I know but is just used to semi auto's with a physically accessible safety.

Personally in terms of handguns I grew up on double action revolvers. They don't have a 'safety' but that big heavy trigger pull makes sure you don't fire it on accident. In any case it is psychological. The trigger makes the gun fire. My first handgun was a Glock .40. Again if you don't want to shoot the thing you don't squeeze the trigger with your nose picker. Really not complicated. I guess it is something you are comfortable with or not.

Finger on the trigger is to me a more complicated issue. It is also a great example to show that life is not black or white but full of grey. By far off the trigger is the way you should train and get muscle memory. However I think there are some situations where one might put their finger on the trigger and not immediately shoot. For example I know a guy who is a cop. He pulled a guy over for a half dozen infractions (the vehicle had issues and he had a suspended license and tickets) and as soon as he went towards the truck the guy got out and grabbed a machete from the bed. Needless to say the cop pulled out his gun. The dude was about 18 feet away and just standing there with the machete. My buddy had his finger on the trigger and as he said it he had about 7 pounds of pressure drawn back on that trigger. He started talking to the guy (he was in a bad spot needing to get to work but having a suspended license, a truck that has issues, tickets, etc) and eventually got him calmed down.

Personally at the risk of generalizing I see it being situations where there is an identified threat and you may have to shoot. I would not put my finger on the trigger unless there was a definite target. The reason I would not squeeze the trigger is that the threat had not forced me to shoot. YMMV.
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