Showing posts with label Lucky Gunner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lucky Gunner. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

From Around The Web

Massad Ayoob links to CSM Ret Zins talking about the benefits of using the distal joint of the trigger finger instead of the pad. These gentlemen deposit more handgun shooting knowledge into the urinal after too many beers than I possess. While relatively my opinion is meaningless I concur. I like the joint as a reference point and also think it makes for a smoother/ straighter pull than the pad.

Also no longer in the Bayou Rennaisance Man linked to a post by FerFal that discusses some commentary from the recent civil war in the Ukraine. The themes of food, water filtration, cash in a stable currency and or precious metals, communications and back up plans for heating, electricity, etc are consistent with most disaster preparedness thinking.

Our friend Displaced Louisiana Guy talks revolvers vs semi auto's. I semi inspired that post. The hard truth (and where I disagree with my buddy) is modern quality semi auto handguns are as reliable, if not more so than revolvers. Still revolvers have some advantages. First the failure drill for a revolver is just pulling the trigger again. Second the fixed barrel means you can execute repeated 'contact shots'. Third being thin at the barrel (AKA just barrel not slide frame) and butt (no mag) makes them more concealable than a similarly sized auto. Fourth for a worst case scenario revolvers can handle a lot wider range of ammo. All revolvers need is enough powder to move the bullet and do the job but not so much as to blow the gun up. Semi auto's need to cycle which is a bit more problematic. If folks are home brewing reloads I would take my chances with a steel .357 long before a Glock.

Downsides are the guns are considerably more fragile. More than a casual bump to the cylinder will put one out of action. Also they don't hold many bullets and the reload times suck.

I prefer auto's but do not feel under gunned for most normal civilian type situations packing a wheel gun. Some of them are very easy to shoot well. With one particular revolver I basically stopped shooting inside 50 meters because it was boringly predictable. Might just have 6 but if I can put those 6 in a pie pan at 75 yards the odds they will count are very high. Also a 158gr JSP .357 mag is no joke in terms of ballistics. I'll carry it for anything less than Grizzly bears. If I ever move to serious Grizzly country well I will buy a .44 mag and load it with 240 grain SP ammo.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

REPOST Sort of Repost- Southern Prepper 1 Scenario Video and Ammo Discussion

I have posted this video before, twice if I recall. Anyway it brings up a very good point. Ammo matters a lot and it is prudent to consider A) stocking it deep and B) the opportunity for resupply in your chosen caliber during some sort of event.This is a point I like to occasionally revisit.

After watching this video I opened the safe and pulled  out my ammo and mag records. I am very pleased to say we are finally above my desired ratio of 5.56 ammo. 3,000 rounds per military pattern rifle is not a bad place to be. You can always use more ammo but I am happy with my 5.56 situation. I have spent a lot of money to get here but the blissful calm that came over me when I saw that the stash exceeded my desired ratio was worth it.

This video is, for me, a sort of gut check that I occasionally revisit. Buying the FAL sort of complicated my situation but then again I sold a 30-30 so it is a wash on logistics and a capability upgrade. This gut check sits well with my goals for the rest of the year which are (roughly in order):
An AR stripped lower receiver (more of a gun ban insurance thing than a SHTF thing)
10-20 more FN-FAL mags
Some more FAL spare parts. Specifically springs.
Another case of 5.56
A case of 7.62x51

maybe some Glock mags if I get to it.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Reader Question- Armed Roadtrip

Reading your posts, watching the situation around here. Trying to hold on for a little longer. Some questions about your road trip?

How have you checked the state, local laws concerning weapons along your route? This interests me for we have a cross country trip planned for late next year. I know laws can change, and do. So tell us please how have you checked the laws, are there some states, areas you plan to avoid even if it adds a few hours to your trip?
thank you
Annie Mouse

Ryan here:  First and foremost I am not a lawyer and do not constitute anything I say as legal advice. Consult your trusted legal advisor, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Yes one should be aware of state laws concerning traveling with firearms. For my trip from LA to the PNW, which will likely move in a generally north and west fashion there are pretty much just pro gun states in the middle.

States to avoid? California, Mass, NY, NJ, MD and Conn.

Colorado's AWB is to put it mildly problematic. To my knowledge magazines posessed before  July 1, 2013 date are fine but ones acquired after July 1, 2013 are verboden. Picking up the nearest standard evil high capacity magazine to me, which happens to be a 30 round 'European' surplus AK-47 magazine probably older than I am it does not have a date stamped on it. It also does not have a serial number or something. These mags are readily available for sale (though not in new unissued condition for $6.99 like they used) in most of the US. Of course new models of magazines (say Magpul makes a new generation of AR mags, etc) would be readily identifiable but how can we prove (or disprove) whether the specific AK mag on my side table was owned by me on 1 July 2013? Being a guy with a pretty decent memory I know I haven't bought those specific mags in years but I couldn't prove that beyond a reasonable doubt. How that will play out in the courts is an open question as far as I know. The hard on the ground truth is if you are sober, law abiding and probably white the 17 round mag in your Glock or the 30 round mag in your AK/AR is probably not going to get a second look from a cop. On the other hand if you are not sober, law abiding and white or the cop is having a bad day or is a jack boot thug you might get arrested, jailed, etc.

Most good states have a state level preemption on adding silly gun laws. This is why hippy dippy zones in states like AZ, WA, and OR can't decide to do  something ridiculous that the rest of the state doesn't want. It gets more complicated in states that do not have that preemption. That is why a gun which is legal on Daddy's farm in Ill might not be legal in the Chicago area (where you really need it!).

I have done road trips where it would have been convenient to go through California. Instead I chose to go further east and avoid California. I did that primarily due to the gun issue. Somehow I always seem to have one of those evil semi automatic 'assault rifles' and a few 30 round magazines with me!

I would say if you have a gun (or magazines) that should not be in a specific place and can reasonably avoid that place it would be prudent to do so. Another hour or two on a multi day road trip to avoid a potential hassle is a good move to make. To add to that I believe in speaking with my wallet. Areas that are really anti gun usually do other things I do not agree with. I would rather spend money in areas that are more in line with my beliefs.

If I was going to a place with problematic gun laws I would comply with them. Revolvers and pump shotguns are legal pretty much everywhere and work just fine for self defense. Also I tend not to regularly go to anti gun places so it isn't a huge issue.

Situations where you can not conveniently bypass anti gun areas located between A and B are problematic. Say for some reason you have a need (moving, etc) to have a verboden weapon with you? This is a very personal decision. Realistically you could probably just have that gun wherever you would normally keep it, roll the dice, drive through and nothing would happen. Say you are understandably hesitant to take that risk but are stuck and want to be safer. A weapon in a locked innocuous (think tuff box not gun case) not stored in the passenger compartment would be pretty safe. Unless they get a search warrant or your vehicle is impounded (and they have to do an 'inventory') not much could be done. Presuming you do not do stupid things in stupid places with stupid people the odds of that are low.  Place that locked container with a whole bunch of other stuff, ideally with that secured (think cargo trailer or moving van full of stuff) and the odds drop even more. If the cops have gone to the effort to dig through your Uhaul full of stuff, found and opened the one locked box in the middle that has a folding stock AK with a few mags you are probably screwed anyway. Like any other big boy rules type thing you make your choices and accept the consequences.

Anyway I hope that gives you some things to think about.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

When Your Optics and AR Platform Rifles Break? Part 2

I had planned on When Your Optics and AR Platform Rifles Break? being a stand alone post. Then a couple things happened.

First our friend Meister did a good post on the subject and I thought you should check it out.

Second after reading Meisters post then looking back at mine there were some glaring omissions in my first post. So I intend to address those.

Iron sights. This is really only a discussion with AR pattern rifles as the current fad is flat top rails on the receiver (a good idea) and low pro gas blocks to allow the full length rails (a questionable idea IMO) which everyone seems to like today.

Fundamentally I start with iron sights then potentially add an optic. So the end is that I have a set of redundant ZEROED sights for my rifle. Why do I do this?

The first reason is cost. Lets say a budget AR costs $650ish and a baseline professional grade (BCM, Colt, LMT) is $950-1,200ish. After digging deep to buy a rifle you might need to save for awhile to get an optic. Presuming you have an A2 style front sight/ gas block the only cost to a BUIS is the $40-100 for the rear sight.

Note: You do need to make a decision here to go with a fixed site or a folding one. The decision is made based on the type of optic you plan to eventually use. In general magnified optics necessitate a folding site while red dot type sights let you go either way.

Second is redundancy. With sights a rifle is effective to a quarter mile or so with the biggest limiting factor being the shooter. Without sights a rifle might be good to 25 yards or so. If there was a convenient affordable option to have a second extractor and ejector for just $50 I would!

Third to look at the other side; why not have iron sights? To save $50-100 cost and an ounce or two of weight? Pshaw. New topic.

Magazines. I made a critical error in not touching the topic of magazines.

In magazine fed weapons most feeding issues are caused by magazines. Before going any further my immediate test is always to try another magazine. The vast majority of the time it solves the problem.

Mag issues come from crap mags and wear n tear. Don't buy crap mags. Get either OEM or military contract mags. The only exceptions that come to mind are Magpul rifle mags (I am not sure their Glock mags are ready for prime time yet) and various quality brands of 1911 mags. Removing crap mags from the equation we are left with wear and tear.

Magazines really need to be thought of as a semi disposable item like say tires for a car or socks. They just plain wear out. Once they hit the end of their life span feeding issues pop up and get worse over time until you either totally rebuild it or toss it.

Meisters point about feed lips, etc is valid. That being said unless you have an oddball special snowflake rifle (Valumet .308, etc) or are in one of those states where mags have to be pre ban mags are cheap enough one might consider what their time is worth and just replace bad mags.

Right now PMAGs are well under $15 a piece (10 or more PMAGS @13.25 per at Lucky Gunner). You can consistently find military contract type aluminum (C products, etc) under $10 per, as low as 6-7 is not uncommon.

I believe in stocking mags pretty deep. 10+ per pistol and 20+ per rifle. The biggest reason for this is the darn things wear out. Since I can not say 100% replacement mags will always be available at today's very affordable prices I have some spares factored in to my stocking levels.

Anyway I think that hits the points I really wanted to add to the conversation.

Friday, October 16, 2015

When Your Optics and AR Platform Rifles Break?

John Mosby wrote When You Break Your Optic which is a very good article discussing the ruggedness of quality modern optics. He brings up some excellent points. Modern quality optics designed for combat use (vs deer hunting, airsoft, etc) are pretty darn rugged. I hesitate to name brands and get too deep into that debate but brands like Trijicon, Aimpoint, Eotech and the Leupold LEO/mil line come to mind. Also the Burris MTAC is hell for stout (albeit with a weight to match).

Before going on I should talk about my background because it applies to this conversation. I have over a decade of service in the Army. Some reserve and some active. Split among various types of units but all people who use their weapons for hard realistic training on a regular basis and in ground combat. I have been to so many ranges, live fires and field problems it would take too long to list. I have also deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. The point is not to brag or some junk but to illustrate that I have used/shot a whole bunch of AR type rifles and been around a metric shit ton off them being used/shot. Ditto for optics.

Based on personal experiences and direct observations on combat optics:

-I have seen a handful of Eotech's and a couple of Aimpoint's fail. The Eotech's half strait up failed and half failed to hold zero/ take adjustments. The Aimpoints all kept functioning but failed to hold zero/ take adjustments. These optics were just plain worn out. They all had at least 2 deployments (aprox 27 months of combat time in Baghdad) as well as lots of training and range time. The use these optics took exceeds what any civilian user would do in a lifetime. Except just maybe John who trains a lot and likes to throw his rifle all over the place.

-The screws that hold the batteries in Aimpoint's tend to occasionally get mis threaded or lost. A couple spares (with the spring etc) per optic in the safe and maybe one per every several rifles in say a squad rifle repair kit would address the problem. They are about the size of a small gumball and I suspect fairly affordable.

-Eotech's. While I would agree with the consensus that they are the weakest of the big 3 (Aimpoint, Eotech, ACOG) they do not seem to have a single weak point. I should note being the weakest of those 3 is like being the #3 heavyweight power lifter at a major regional meet. Yes you are weaker than the two who placed higher but you are still ridiculously strong.

-ACOG's are damn near bombproof.

I also got to thinking about the AR-15 platform of rifles. Mostly this is based on military experience but I have a fair bit of experience on the civilian side as well.

Based on personal experiences and direct observations on the AR-15 platform:

-The receiver extension AKA buffer tube on adjustable stock (M4) type rifles is a weakest link of the chain. I have seen several break. They can take very little pressure at an angle before breaking. That IMT junk where you use the butt to break your fall does not work with this setup. Note if you want to whack someone with your M4 buttstock do it in a strait thrust.

-Lots of ejectors and buffer tube springs causing problems. We could debate whether this is a direct failure or a lack of adequate preentative maintenance but all the same. Stock spares of these parts.

-Tons of little pins getting lost during cleaning. So many pins, springs, extractors, etc. Even a few firing pins. My advice is that unless you have a decent place inside with an honest to goodness floor AND access to spare parts in a combat/ survival situation I would only strip an AR-15 down to the complete bolt carrier group, charging handle and the receiver. Clean the barrel with a rod or boresnake, wipe down the inside of the receiver and the BCG to get the crud off, relube and you are good to go.

[As an aside I have often wondered how long I could use an AR-15 with only this method of cleaning. Unless Lucky Gunner decides to send me a few dozen cases of M193 ball we are unlikely to find out but I suspect a very long time. Certainly long enough that a survivalist/ G would rotate back to some permissive area where a detailed cleaning would be safe and prudent.]

-Occasionally extractors strait up break. Again we could debate if preventative maintenance should catch it but I have seen it enough I would say the part is a fairly weak link.

-Once in a blue moon a bolt breaks.

Anyway I hope that my ramblings give you some things to think about and just maybe use to feed your stock spare parts, etc.

The comments section is open as always.

Monday, October 12, 2015

AR-15 Twist Rate Breakdown

This article on AR-15 barrel twist rate over at Stag is excellent. For the less initiated who are only going to shoot the most common 55 grain M193  and  62 grain M855 (or similar wt bullets) just get whatever twist rate is cheapest for a given brand of chrome lined barrel.

It is only at the margins where things start to matter. To briefly summarize faster twist rate favors heavier bullets and slower twist lighter ones. If you want to shoot the newly popular 77 grain open tip match ammo which are well reputed for both long range accuracy and terminal ballistics you want a 1/7 or 1/8 barrel. If you are a varmit shooter always using those light 50 grain bullets go 1/9.

Good info to have.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Prepping Through Dry Stretches

There are certainly different levels of preparedness. Some folks are happy with a case of buckshot for the family shotgun, a good water filter,  a stash of emergency food sufficient for a regional disaster (say 30-60 days) and a shoe box full of batteries for flashlights and radios. Aside from rotating canned food if you go that way (which is a good idea it has a lot of pro's and limited downsides specifically weight and occasional need to rotate them) and batteries, which with some organization can be done through normal use this guy is done.

Other folks want higher levels of preparedness, some much higher. For folks on the longer end of the spectrum of preparedness goals it is a long journey. It is years or most of a lifetime of work. A marathon not a sprint if you will. In any multi year effort there are going to inevitably be times where you loose focus or life's demands creep up. Medical issues can come up and money gets tight. Sometimes we just plain get bored or lose interest. Now it is easy to do nothing about preparedness for a week or a month but when a month turns to 2 or 3 it can be an issue.

So what can we do to minimize the down sides of these inevitable events?

-Hold what you have got! This means keeping up on needed maintenance for small engines (or going all the way and draining fluids, etc), rotating fuel and mid term type food, occasionally cleaning some guns, etc. If we can do this at least we should be able to maintain the levels of preparedness we worked so hard to get to.

-Automate whenever possible. Metals Pimp does a regular monthly plan for silver and gold. Set it up on a CC or transfer from your bank and forget it. [As soon as I get a better picture of what my post divorce money situation will be I will set one of these up.] I think there are similar plans for food storage out there.

-If the reason you are slowing down/ distracted only affects one area (space, time, money, physical stuff, etc) then focus on the other areas. If you are broke you can still do PT and dry fire. If you are short of space you can still train. If you are short on time you can still accumulate supplies. Work on what you can work on. You get the idea.

So those are my general ideas about how to manage the inevitable dry stretches. Now here are a couple thoughts on how to get out of them.

-Shift focus. Start a new preparedness related hobby. If you are a big radio guy get into shooting. If you are a big shooter get into canning. If you are a big time gardener work on pt.

-Do something useful but a touch indulgent. Splurge on a cool new radio then play with it. Build that precision rifle or get licensed and pick up that Enduro bike you have wanted. Dig deep to find the money for that class. You get the idea. [Incidentally I am going to try hard to make ECQC happen in 2016 as a present to me. Also an Appleseed.]

-Reevaluate and set new goals. Look at where you are and where you want to go. Find some goals to be excited about and get back to work.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Foundational Precious Metals Post 1 of 2

Our friends Peter formerly Bayou Renaissance Man and Jamie of My Adventures in Self Reliance have both recently mentioned precious metals. I got to looking and realized I did not have (or could not readily find) a good foundation post on precious metals. So my intent is to write one.

Before getting started it should be noted I am  not a doctor, lawyer, accountant, financial adviser or anything like that. I speak solely of my own experiences, observations and beliefs. You should check with whatever sort of people, officially licenses or otherwise, then make your own decisions. Consider yourself officially disclaimed.

First we should narrow the scope of this post. My intent is to talk about the purchase of physical precious metals. So immediately I am excluding ETF's and various places that offer to store PM's for you in terms of purchase options. Next I intend to focus on bullion metals. Bullion being various bars, coins, etc that are purchased for the value of their physical metal content. This is different from 'numismatic' or collectible type coins. Numismatic coins carry a value based on their age/ history and condition; a rare 300 year old coin in excellent condition might have a bullion/ melt value (the actual value of the precious metals in the coin) of $300 but a collectible value of $5k. Numismatic coins are a whole different ball of wax and outside the scope of this discussion. We are also not really talking about jewelry. The primary reason we are not talking about jewelry is that it tends not to be a good deal in terms of bullion value and a lot of stuff floating around is fake. The one exception I can think of is for countries where the purchase of non jewelry precious metals is heavily restricted. At that point I would buy simple jewelry like plain wedding bands, bracelets and necklaces but I digress. So we have narrowed the scope of this discussion. Also I guess to further narrow things down I am talking about silver and gold. I am not talking platinum, palladium, copper or my favorite precious metal lead.

As to buying precious metals you can primarily go to a local dealer or an online one. Both have advantages and disadvantages. That is a long conversation. I will note that it is important to consider the complete out the door cost of a given item. Online guys charge for shipping, etc sometimes at high rates. Brick and mortar guys can be a real asset, especially if you want to make a big purchase today. Also the local PM guy can be a pretty handy 'grey market' asset. Their downside is often these folks do not treat smaller, normal Joe Everyday purchasers, very well. The premiums some of them charge are ridiculous. As to putting my money where my mouth is on buying PM's. For the last 3 years or so I have been buying from Montana Rarities and have no complaints though if a local dealer would treat me square he could earn my business in short order.

The pricing of precious metals is a little weird. They are traded on the open market like any other commodity such as wheat or pork bellies. This is called 'spot price'. That being said spot price does not tell the whole story in terms of precious metals for physical delivery. This is called a premium. It is probably a touch more complicated with a wide array of fees, long term contracts, etc all but we will keep it simple.

Theoretically an ounce of gold is worth spot price when it is a bunch of little flakes in a tiny container. The folks at the South African mint making Krugerrands or any other coin have costs to turn those flakes into the shiny coin we covet. Also they have this crazy desire to make money. Those folks sell the coin along with a bunch of its friends to a dealer. That guy also has costs and a desire to make a profit. Depending on the size of the operation there may be a couple progressively smaller dealers between production and the point of sale to Joe Everyday. In fairness to the people involved in this chain they obviously should be compensated for their efforts and they operate on razor thin margins.

These costs generally represent the premium between spot and the real physical price of a given item. Generally premiums are pretty level. Say it is spot plus 5-10% depending on the item involved. This baseline part of the premium is theoretically static or at least pretty consistent.

However sometimes premiums go crazy. At times we can see significant gaps between spot prices and the actual price of a coin in your hand. Why does this happen?

In general I can see two real reasons. One I know and one I think I have seen some evidence of and tend to believe. They both tend to flow together.

One piece is good old economics 99. The reasons large institutional investors buy (largely paper/ electronic) gold is different than the reasons people buy physical precious metals. If the indicators for institutional investors are down and the indicators for buying physical PMs are up you can get a gap. Think of it like this. The Jim Beam factory had a fire so they are having a rough week but it is Friday night and bottles of the stuff are flying off the shelves inn your town. Also physical PM's are a surprisingly small market. A modest increase in demand will mean shortages. Pretty quickly this new demand will get built into the market, maybe within a week or two.

The other piece is that arguably there is considerable evidence that big banking interests, specifically Goldman Sachs manipulating gold and silver prices. With those resources it would not be hard to do but this manipulation would not necessarily cross over to the physical PM market.

Why would a person choose to buy precious metals? In my mind there are four readily apparent reasons.

-First is some sort of speculation. Buy low/ sell high, that sort of thing. Though most people do this with ETF's or such maybe a person might want to physically hold the metals because they are a contrarian investor, have some sort of worst case concerns or something. I am neutral about this sort of plan. It has worked out well for some folks so I am not against it per se, just that it is outside the scope of this discussion.

-Second is some sort of tangible investment but in a more buy and hold kind off way than the first option. I generally like this plan. PM's do not grow via compound interest the way some other investments might. On the other hand when you look at compound interest and factor in inflation the tale is a bit less favorable to those 3-4 percentage points a year. It is said in the time of Shakespeare an ounce of gold would buy a fine men's suit and it still does. If you wanted to stash say a few grand (or more) for ten or twenty years especially if the local currency is unstable or you see bad times coming PM's would be a good way to go.

-Third is as a hedge against inflation or a currency collapse. We will get to it later but I really like PM's in this context. A situation with high inflation or maybe even a currency collapsing but where the fabric of society doesn't entirely break is where I think PM's thrive.

-Fourth is for some sort of mad max type scenario. I do think silver and gold would be traded in this type of scenario but that their value would pale in comparison to say fishing hooks, AA batteries, condoms, etc or especially .22lr, various 12 gauge ammo or guns (purchased for good prices and thoughtfully sold with a decent holster/ sling a few boxes of ammo and if applicable a few mags). In this scenario a person would be most prudent to be thinking past the immediate event a year or two to the recovery which of course implies you have put considerable energy and resources into getting to that point, then put some money into a big ole bag of silver or 5 and as much gold as they can afford.

Maybe we could say there are some other reasons but one could probably generalize them under one of the ones I mentioned at least for the purpose of this conversation.

Something The Money Changer said is worth mentioning here. I think he stays heavy on silver for longer than I would but still generally good advice to consider.

So we have talked a bit about precious metals and briefly described the reasons a person might choose to purchase them. Those reasons matter because different purposes are best suited by different kinds, or at least quantities of silver and gold.

Let us talk about the pro's and con's of silver and gold in general, before getting to specific products.

- Affordable. Right now spot is around $15 which puts a generic 1 ounce silver round a shade under $18 and pre 64 US Coinage 90% is at about 16x face. (This is slightly skipping ahead to specific products but my goal is to illustrate affordability here which necessitates it.) Assuming you are not a homeless junkie these are prices at much anyone can get into precious metals. Buy an ounce or two every payday and over time it will add up.

-Divisibility. The smaller dollar value per bar/ coin make silver the small bills of the PM world. If you wanted to trade for a weeks groceries either strait across or, more realistically, by selling some coins to a dealer then using the cash to buy the groceries a few ounces of silver are the ticket, not an ounce of gold.

-The small dollar amounts involved let you start off small. There is a reason a baseball player doesn't start with the NY Yankees, a lawyer doesn't argue his first case to the supreme court, etc. This way when you screw up, which you will (spending way too much on shipping, pay a silly premium to a local pawn shop, etc) the real dollar amounts involved are negligible. Ten percent screw up factor in a couple hundred bucks of silver purchased while you are learning is the cost of a pizza. 10% screw up on a 10k USD purchase after you unload those jet ski's hurts.

-Heavy/ bulky. You do not need to have too much money in silver for it to get heavy and to a lesser degree bulky in a hurry. A decent normal guy stash of 3-4 grand in silver is going to be heavy. Much more than that and it gets quickly into wheel barrow/ pick up truck territory. If your goal is to have a whole bunch of silver to trade for things over the long run this is a good thing. The downside is if you have to go somewhere.

I know a guy who has a lot of silver. He is well past wheel barrow territory and deeply into pickup truck territory. If he needed to move in a hurry, say to avoid a natural disaster or some sort of crime thing, a good chunk of the weight his truck could take would be silver. Obviously if he could only leave with a backpack the vast majority of that silver would have to be left behind. Now if he had half or two thirds of that value in gold it could fit in a small pouch in a day pack.

-Compact. An ounce of gold is worth about $1,200 bucks. A little tube holding 10 ounces of gold would be worth $12,000. You could fit that in a pants pocket.

-Recognizably.  Gold has a weird almost magical attraction. A fractional gold coin might just get you through a checkpoint you are not supposed to get through or convince a crooked official to look the other way.

-Compact. Think being in a store that only accepts bills under $20 with a hundred. In some scenarios making change could be very difficult so at a minimum your negotiating power is bad and at the worst the price of the thing could just become the coin in your hand.

You probably noted that the pros/ cons of silver and gold are polar opposites. Both have valid roles and they compliment each other well. For pretty much every scenario a person will end up with some mix of gold and silver.

As to the ratio between them.

On the lower end it favors silver. A guy who has a few hundred bucks to put into PM's should probably jut buy silver.

Long term trading favors silver.

If portability and extreme compactness are issues then gold is the way to go.

On the high end it favors gold. If a person had a bunch of money, either in one shot or over time, to put into PM's the compactness of gold is needed.

I am going to break this into a 2 part post because I am tired of writing and need to get something up since it has been a few days. In part 2 I am going to talk about specific types of gold and silver products and throw out some recommended ratios/ products that might fit different needs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What Have You Done To Prepare Lately

I picked up a couple of budget chest rigs to fill some gaping holes in my gear stash.

The FAL needs a chest rig so I got this
I want an MVT Versa Chest Rig but right now the tactical nylon budget is tight and while I do love the FAL it is kind of an ancillary rifle. I'll probably pick one up this fall/ winter when the fairly predictable run on politically incorrect guns as well as the mags/ ammo that feed them happens.

For the old Commie Warhorse I got a

Also bought some silver a week or so back when it was under $15. These days I would say silver is a deal under $20, under 16 and fugetaboutit. The rest of my discretionary funds are getting stashed for another ammo purchase. Probably a case of 7.62x51 but if I get impatient might just get more 5.56.

Other than that there has been a renewed effort on diet and physical fitness plus some dry fire.

So that is what I have been up to. What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lucky Gunner Lounge: Choosing the Best Ammo For Your Rifle by Oleg Volk

A very good article. 

My thoughts:

1- Use appropriate ammunition for the weapon. For most this is easy and just a matter of choosing the right caliber. For older guns however this can be more complicated. As a general rule shoot the kind of ammo the gun was designed to use. A sixty year old 1911 or High Power was made to shoot ball ammo so don't get surprised if it has issues with modern defensive ammo. For some older weapons, particularly those converted 7.62x51 Mausers, be careful about pressure. You could probably get away with a few rounds of umbiguous Winchester PP 150 grain SP hunting ammo for hunting season but more is probably pushing your luck. Low recoil loads or a moderately powered hand load might work as well. If you do much additional shooting I would stick to NATO spec FMJ or better yet; give that rifle designed as a stop gap for rear guard troops an easy retirement of a box of ammo or two a year and the place on your wall it deserves.

2- Use appropriate ammunition for the task.

A- Some rounds are more value targeted than others but accuracy costs money. Expecting budget priced com blog ammo to perform like US made match grade ammo is fooling yourself. Tula is fine ammo for a day at the range or a moderately accurate rifle planned to be used inside a couple football fields but I wouldn't want it for a hunting trip where 400 meter shots are common. Accurate ammo costs more.

B- Also more potent bullet offerings cost more. Depending on how much gun you are using and what you are shooting at this might matter. If you are shooting animals at the upper end of (or arguably beyond) your guns capability then buy good bullets.

Sometimes you need to stash a couple hundred rounds of the good stuff then back it up with a case of less good but decent stuff.

3- Oleg's approach to finding the right ammo for your rifle is sold. Once you find it then stock up! We could argue about how much ammo, my thoughts on how much ammo are on the record, but whatever your happy number is get there.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Progress on 2015 New Years Resolutions (Goals)

Start hunting
Continue fishing
More food (that fills holes identified in inventory)

Better organize caches
Get another grinder (Corona?)
Pick up some additional rechargeable batteries to have 2 (3 is better) spare sets per new piece of commo gear
5gal kerosene
2x 5gal propane tanks. I have added 1 to the stash.
1x kero lantern w/ 4 wicks and spare globe
Various tools TBD maybe
1x brace and bit Got a drill for my birthday so that is something.
1x buck saw or large bow saw
Chainsaw support gear (me thinks gloves, chaps, spare chain, file, plenty of 2 cycle oil, spark plugs, bar oil, etc)
Files for chainsaw and hand saws
10 pounds various nails
Cordage: Big thing o twine, some bank line, 1 spool of 550 cord, 5x 100 ft light rope
Establish E&E caches as needed

Organize a good household first aid kit Going to say I am most of the way on this one. I need to put it into a container or some sort but the general setup is pretty good.

Full inventory of long term storage food
Inventory gear, spare parts and other moderately priced items
Better organize gear and such

Overall I am sucking at my goals. I have failed in part because of not regularly looking at them. Oh well. Some good things have happened, I went to a sweet pistol course, got some ammo bought a FAL and a cargo trailer. Also I got a case each of 5.56, 7.62x39 and .308. Since I am planning on most of next year being screwed for gun stuff I can work on other things.

How are you doing on your goals for this year?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Notice of Upcoming Changes at JRH Enterprises

Notice of upcoming changes-
We have sold New Pinnacle Autogated PVS14 night vision devices with a REAL 10 YEAR factory warranty at prices lower than wholesale for quite some time now. Truly many wholesalers offer LESSER PVS14's for $3300 or more- WHOLESALE (in other words to dealers buying dozens at a time, not Joe Consumer buying 1).
Our PVS14 High performance model for example has a retail from the manufacturer of $3795. We have had it on sale for 4 months now at $3,150. You'll also note that we changed from the P+ model to the High Performance model as the "Upgraded" version a few months ago. This change to a HIGHER SPECIFICATIONS unit costs us a good bit more, but gives you a unit with much HIGHER SPECIFICATIONS than the P+ unit previously sold as the "Upgraded" unit.

In short, your currently getting much more and paying the same as a few years ago
That sale price will have to end soon. We will still be able to offer it less than the almost $3800. retail, but EXPECT the price to increase in the next few weeks.
All I can say is that we are giving ample warning. The new price will still be a GREATLY DISCOUNTED SALE PRICE, but it will be higher than what is shown right now.

Remember, a "sale price" is a sale price folks, it doesn't always last forever.  
So, EXPECT the sale price of $3150. to end soon. And if you want to lock in an awesome price on a NEW REAL PVS14 with a REAL 10 year factory warranty then you need to be doing it soon.....    
Ryan here:
I love my PVS-14. They are expensive and we all have budgets as well as competing demands but if you can swing it I strongly recommend purchasing one.  Even beyond price increases the period of time where you can buy NODs, FLIR, body armor, guns and cases of 5.56, 7.62x39 and .308 rifle ammo to feed those rifles, etc may close at some point. Either our economy will go totally TU and us normal people won't be able to afford stuff we can now, or laws will change limiting access to these items. Of course if things completely break down normal commerce will be suspended and nobody would trade away stuff like NODs or military pattern rifles anyway. Well maybe for a sailboat or a cabin but certainly not for a few hundred dollar bills.

Friday, August 21, 2015

State of the AR-15 Union Summer 2015

The other day one of my soldiers brought up buying an AR-15. He knows I have one and so does another soldier who works with us. He asked my thoughts on buying one.

I asked what his budget was and he said about a grand though he would like to have some room in that for accessories, maybe swapping furniture, etc. I got onto the computer and did some digging.

There are so many AR's out there at really competitive prices. We saw a Bushmaster Patrol for $650. Not a brand that you can brag about (like LaRue, Noveski, DD, etc) but a good Chevy/ Ford tier  work horse gun. Rugers new DI gun comes in around $700. Heck we saw a Colt 6920 for $850. To be fair I am talking internet dealer prices so add $60-80 once you pay shipping and a local dealer to do the paperwork.

He talked about potentially building one. I said I'd help if he wants. However with the price of these new, solidly decent guns it would be hard to justify.

Mags can be readily had for $13 and under.  PMC M193 is 37 cents a round at Lucky Gunner.

Anyway there are a lot of good guns out there at awesome prices. Ammo and mags are readily affordable and affordable. Heck 10 years or so ago I paid $850 for a no name budget tier rifle and money was worth a lot more then. If I had left that money in a mayo jar today I could buy a Colt 6920LE which is a whole lot more gun.

I expect the non politically correct gun situation to get bad this winter, heck maybe this fall, as the election madness gets going full force. Inevitably prices will go up and availability will go down. This means almost inevitable panic buying followed by shortages and scalping. What I a getting at is that there is going to be a period, say several months on the short end and a year on the top end, where the market for AR's and such is going to be bad. Best front load purchases planned for the next year or so to the coming 3 months give or take.

Better get while the getting is good.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Training # 2: What To Train On

When I wrote my first real post on commercial firearms training I envisioned it being a 3-4 part series. The first part I wrote awhile back.

Training #1: Barriers to Training

I discussed barriers to training in that part. Now let us say we have moved past those barriers and are seriously looking at getting quality training.

John Mosby did an excellent post on this.

What Classes Should I Take?

I find little to argue with in Johns post. If my goal in this post had been to create a list of classes ranked by priority that people should take A) mine would look a whole lot like Johns and B) since John got to it first I would take that off my 'to do' list, link to Johns post and go about my merry way.

However I have a slightly different goal then John did. My goal is more to lay out a conceptual framework which you can use to set long term goals, rank order the sub goals to ultimately get to the place you want to be at.

First we have to establish where you are.

The hard part about this is that most of the people who find their selves in this predicament do not have a sufficient background to really assess their skill level. We will walk through things for Joe a hypothetical person.

Lets say we make a list of generally useful skills we have and rank order them from most capable to least capable. Say it goes like this for our hypothetical person Joe:
-Rifle shooting (big time into varmint hunting/ distance shooting)
-Pistol shooting (recreational plinking on a monthly basis).
-Combatives (wrestled in HS, did some boxing in College)

Second we have to establish where we want to go. This should logically be based upon skills we believe we will need in the future. The difference between this and the first list is what you need to train on.

Now we have to prioritize. As John Mosby says FOCUS ON THE 25 METER TARGET!  You are far more likely to get mugged than find yourself shooting that F Class 300 win mag at targets 800 meters away or be the first on the scene in a trauma situation than execute core light Infantry competencies such as patrolling, react to contact, squad attack etc. I am not saying these Infantry skills, like Max Velocity teaches aren't important. They absolutely are. It is just that you might want to  focus on the relatively likely mugger in parking lot scenario first.

Here we also want to look at out relative skills for things we can potentially 'test out of' or at least prioritize a bit lower. Remember the goal is not to be amazing at a couple things and suck at others but to be well rounded (skills not waistline;) and progress in a logical way.

A veteran ER nurse does not need to take a red cross first aid class because it is on some list. As to our fellow Joe; he has been shooting rifles at little pests for a long time. He spends weekends smoking Prairie Dogs at 400+ meters. He mostly uses a bull barreled 22-250 but sometimes takes his AR-15 out. The point I am getting at is that Joe is totally good to go on basic rifle marksmanship and good on basic to intermediate long range rifle shooting. Instead of a 'this is how to shoot a rifle' class Tim might need one on tactical movement or close range marksmen ship.

So in closing:
1- Do an inventory of your current skills
2-Figure out the skills you think you will need based on the situation(s) you foresee.
3-Rack and stack the classes you need to get from 1 to 2 prioritizing more likely to be used skills and putting the skills you have a start on and less likely to be needed ones at the bottom of the list.
4- Get started.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

RE: Peter Talks Arms and Ammo

I was talking about mags and ammo then our friend Peter replied with a thoughtful comment that merits further discussion.

All good points. I congratulate you on thinking things through, making informed decisions based on your own situation and likely needs, and acting on them. I wish more people would do the same.

I'm in a situation where my health is dictating what firearms I can handle. After a heart attack in 2009, I ended up with quadruple bypass surgery. With a chest held together by copper wire (not to mention a fused spine and damaged sciatic nerve from an earlier injury), I find that I simply can't shoot a heavy-recoiling weapon for more than a couple of shots at a time without some pretty serious aches and pains cropping up. As a result, I'll be getting rid of most of my shotguns, keeping only a couple of 20ga. weapons that will have to do for times when I need one. I have a bunch of 12ga ammo, including really good stuff like Brenneke slugs and Federal Flite Control buckshot, but if I can't realistically expect to use them, it's time for them to go. I'll use the money I get for them to go towards a FLIR/NOD.

In the same way, I'm cutting back on all my rifles with the exception of those I regard as essential for defensive or hunting use. I'll probably standardize on .30-30 as a hunting round, because it's relatively low recoil and lever-action rifles are relatively light and handy. I have several AR's: I built them all myself, buying a few assembled lowers, buying other stripped lowers and assembling them myself, and putting on quality top ends from Bravo Company, Troy, etc. I have several thousand rounds of 5.56mm to feed them and enough magazines for now. However, I have to seriously think about my heavier-recoiling 7.62x51mm. battle rifle and the 1,500+ rounds of .308 ball I have in stock for it. Given my chest and back issues, should I sell them and apply the money to things I need more urgently? Trade-offs like that are important.

I think you're doing a great job of balancing needs versus wants, and acting accordingly. I'll try to do the same.

Ryan here:

Peter, It seems like you are being intentional about things which is always a good start.

You mentioned shotguns. Honestly the 20 gauge will do most everything the 12 gauge does with lower recoil. I stick to the 12 gauge for commonality but well I am a healthy man with enough meat on my shoulder to take the recoil. Going to 20 gauge is a fine call.

As to rifles which are more the point of discussion. You seem to be vested in AR's and the 30-30. Both are fine setups. The AR in 5.56 is plenty for a defensive cartridge and they are darn handy. The 30-30, though I sold mine is a fine short range medium to large  game round. It is a fine round roughly equivalent to 7.62x39.

Peter mentioned a 7.62x51/308 rifle. Also if I recall, previously mentioned buying a paid of AR-10's.

My answer to that question would be if you perceive a need for that capability, specifically shooting at longer ranges or at people behind some sort of light to moderate cover. 

Without getting into the intermediate vs battle rifle mess 7.62x51 hits hard. I recall a thread where a guy said he experimented with at 5.56 AP ammo, hollow point ammo, bonded ammo and barrier blind ammo then decided to just buy a darn .308 and load it with plain old FMJ ammo. Something to be said for a bigger bullet.

 If that is a capability you want to retain the question of whether to keep 7.62x51 rifle(s) on inventory is answered. The new question is how do you temper the recoil of a .308 to comfortable levels to  allow a reasonable amount of training and use if needed.

When discussing recoil we have two angles to work from the cartridge and the gun. Since we are talking about 7.62x51 the cartridge angle is pretty much settles.

Though to play devils advocate let us look at other available alternatives. There is stuff like 6.8 SPC and 300 black out that, while they exceed 5.56 stats still do not come close to 7.61x51. That being said they might pass the 'good enough' bar and merit consideration. The downside of these special snowflake cartridges have massive issues with commonality and fail the hardware store test miserably (though I did see 300 blackout at Wally World the other day).

If we are solid on 7.62x51 that leaves us with the gun. I will go point by point on this.

-Weight. Heavier guns have less recoil. Think of it like engines and vehicles. A 454 big block in a corvette is a recipe for speed.  454 in a bus or a dump truck is adequate but not impressive.

We see this all the time with people choosing super light guns for the ladies in their lives. A little polymer .380 like my LCP or an Airweight J frame is going to have some recoil. A steel gun or a larger gun in general is going to be more pleasant to shoot. The recent trend of almost AR-15 weight AR-10's sort of worries me in this regard. A 6 pound M4 style AR-10 is going to have considerably more recoil than a traditional 10-11 pound battle rifle.

Of course weight has its own issues. However depending on your concept of use for a rifle a heavier gun merits consideration. If your concept of use is for a gun for defensive use at a relatively fixed location like a 'retreat' or a check point, which I think are excellent roles for a full powered cartridge, this is an easy decision.

-Muzzle devices. I use this as a generic term for the various breaks/ compensators/ flash hiders that are currently available. A good muzzle device can really do a lot to temper recoil and there are a lot of good ones available these days at all price points. For whatever it is worth my AR has a battle comp.

-Recoil pad.
A limbsaver does a lot to make harder kicking guns more tolerable.

Roll it all together and you will have a milder recoiling rifle. An 11 pound FAL/M1A with a good muzzle device and a limb saver is going to be a lot different than a 7 pound AR-10. 

In conclusion I think by intentionally setting up a rifle you can probably have a setup that will work.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bug Out Trailer #1 of ?

So after much deliberation I purchased a cargo trailer. It is a single axle 6x10 enclosed trailer with a side door and a ramp in back. Like most trailers in that size range it is rated for a ton of cargo.

On a related note Peter of Bayou Renaissance Man did a  couple good posts on trailers 1 and 2 that are worth reading.

I wanted the larger option (vs a 5x7-8) with moving various longer objects than with additional supplies. While weight is definitely a concern, especially since the tow vehicle is not entirely optimal the extra space could come in handy for lighter bulkier items like clothing or a couple of mattresses. Also my general observation from using trailers is that floor space is at a premium. A trailer will often, especially with odd items, have the floor fill up and only be packed halfway to the top. While not with trailers I have experience packing in a hurry and know we are always less efficient than when packing in a deliberate manner. As such it is probably wise to plan on having more cargo room than you really need.

Also the ramp will be very handy for moving heavier items.

I thought about doing some sort of travel trailer conversion setup but, at least for the time being abandoned that idea.  What we would like will not work in the space available so that idea is indefinitely postponed. For it to be feasible we would need to adjust expectations downward to say sleeping everyone but still storing stuff in tubs, cooking outside, etc.

Note to self: I might be able to figure out a way to set up some short (usually you can do say 1 6 foot high shelf or 2x3 footers) shelves on the sides  then put a piece of plywood with some 2x4 reinforcement down on top then put some foam or something on top to sleep on it. On a really budget side gas cans and or ammo cans would work till I could buy shelves. So this project could get in play for maybe $40. That is in my budget so it is a lot more actionable. If I put that in the back half the side door would still be accessible. May have a solution here.

On a semi related note a small travel trailer is a great option if you have the cash to afford one. A 'toy hauler' with the ability to comfortably sleep, cook, etc plus a dedicated cargo space would be awesome for this. You could use that space for a 4 wheeler or all sorts of sweet bug out stuff.

USNERDOC recently purchased a sweet trailer that looks to be totally set up for a bug out situation.

Seems like a sweet set up. The wood stove and solar being ready to go are pretty awesome. Nice work if you can get it I guess.

What are the next steps?

1- Really firm up my vehicle based bug out setup. Basically a cushy car camping setup along with food, the coleman stove and lantern with propane, pots n pans, some water, the Berkey water filter, the genny, chainsaw, fuel, solar and medical plus of course some guns n a half dozen cans of ammo.  May include my sun oven and some other things, will have to play with it.

2- Have this stuff ready to go in big rubber made type tubs. This stuff might potentially be stored in the trailer. I'll have to play with that one.

3- Figure out how I am going to put that stuff in the trailer in an organized way. Toying with the idea of shelving. Kind of want to have my cake and eat it too here as I want to be able to use shelves yet get them out of the way when they are not desirable. The best idea I have come up with yet is to get some of those pre fab metal shelves and strap them into the trailer.

4- Be much better prepared and happy.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hot Summer Days EDC

It has been awhile since I have done one of these and things change. Right now it is a hundred degrees outside with humidity in the 35-45% range. It's pretty much like a sauna all the time.  So right now my EDC is set up to be as light as possible while still having the core needs covered.

From left to right.

-Knife Al Mar Eagle HD.

-Chapstick. Not a preparedness item but can have a handy second use for fire starting.

-Spare mag for Ruger LCP

-Bic Clic Lighter

-Ruger LCP ina Safariland Model 25 pocket holster. I love this little holster. You might notice the spare mag is loaded with plain ole 90 grain FMJ. There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost ball ammo is 100% in my gun. Hollow points gave it at least one jam and with the price of em I can't put enough through to be sure it will be reliable without going broke. Second with a caliber that has notorious penetration issues (over for FMJ and under for many other offerings) I am confident FMJ is going to make two holes in a person. More moles equals more bleeding which, for my purposes is a good thing.

-Wallet. Usual ID, cards, etc and cash. I try to have $100 as my 'zero' so it floats between 200 and a hundred.

Not shown. Phone because it is taking the picture. Keys because, well I am not sure why.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More on Ammo and Magazine Numbers

I talked about this recently and a couple things seemed worth mentioning.

As to ammo numbers. My stated numbers, long on the record, do not factor in training, zeroing a new scope, etc all. This was my biggest lesson from Firearmagedon. To include training ammo one could be really intentional, figure out how much ammo they average shooting every month and how many months they think a shortage will last. So if I shoot 100 rounds of 9mm a month and believe a shortage will, as is about average, last almost 6 months that would be 600 rounds of 9mm I need for training. Say I might want to take a class during that time, well we should round it up to at least an even case of 9mm, maybe even a case and a half. Ditto for the rifle. On a lazier end a person could just get 500 rounds if they do not shoot a lot.

As to mags the primary driver of my minimum magazine numbers is not some SHTF Rorkes Drift storming the walls gun fight scenario. I have no illusion about living through so many SHTF gun fights that 5.56 30 rd PMAG # 20 is going to come into play. Instead it is actually a ban scenario where, as Commander Zero says, what I have is ALL I AM EVER GOING TO GET. Having 10 or more factory full capacity mags per Glock might seem silly now. Say a ban happens (though I think we are safe for 2-4 years). In 2 years I have a good buddy who buys a Glock 19 and really wants just 1 full capacity mag to keep with the gun in his bedside table. He was dumb for not buying mags for a gun he planned to get but he is a buddy and I want to help. In 3 years a mag gets lost in the grass while shooting. In 5 years a mag has the feed lips just plain wear out. You get the idea.

When it comes to mags I stock them DEEP. As a shooter I had the unfortunate luck to come into gun owning age during the tail end of the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Bag. Full capacity factory Glock mags were going for $150 (in 2002/3 dollars) and it was a sellers market. As soon as that ended I snagged some full capacity mags. (Note, they will not make the mistake of allowing a sunset clause into anti gun legislation again) As I became more of an intentional survivalist I bought more mags. At that point good surplus AK mags were going for 6-7 bucks a pop so even a college kid could afford a dozen. Fast forward a couple years and there was a presidential election coming up. Of course one side wanted to get rid of all that stuff. I happened to graduate from college and start a big boy job where I made decent money.

Swore to myself I would do everything possible to avoid being stuck without the tactical advantage that a good supply of full capacity magazines offered. So I did without other non essential things I wanted and spent some money on mags. Bought mags not just for the Glock,  AR or AK I had but for the one I wanted to purchase down the road some time. Not going to say my situation there is perfect because of course resources are finite and there are competing demands. Still you won't see me paying silly panic prices for mags and if I want to give a couple to a buddy I have them to spare.

Remember kids, the second amendment does not cover full capacity magazines. From a legislative perspective they are definitely the most vulnerable piece since 1) they are not protected and 2) they wear out and are at best semi disposable.

That is all I have to say about that. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

 Ordered another dozen mags for the FAL as well as the sight adjustment tool it needs.

Ordered a Dutch Oven which was long overdue.
Dry fire-
Gear- Glock 19 withBlade Tech AIWB holster.
Drill- 1 shot from concealment.
Par time- 1.7 seconds.
Extreme low- 1.3
Extreme high- 1.8 seconds
Average 1.35-1.55

This session was better than yesterdays. The overall average was down .05-.1 of a second but the extreme high was down more like 2 tenths of a second.

Oh yeah almost forgot WE GOT A CARGO TRAILER! More on this later. All in all between the FAL, spare parts kit, mags, the case of Federal 7.62x51 XM80 and the trailer this was the most expensive month of preparedness ever. Not intentional, just sort of how things worked out, but still a lot happened. Obviously most months are not like this. 

What did you do to prepare this week?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Range Report and Sunday Randomness

Took my DSA Arms SA 58 Voyager, which for the sake of simplicity will hereby be referred to as FN-FAL or simply FAL out to the range today. Apparently you need a tool to adjust the front sight. Not like a tool is nice to have but like you need one, or maybe 4 hands. I need to So that downgraded this trip from a zero session to a familiarization fire. The gun was pretty close to zeroed for Federal XM80 149 grain FMJ out of the box though it seemed to shoot a bit left.

Zero is an interesting discussion for 7.62x51 as it's trajectory is a bit more angled than the 5.56. In 5.56 I favor a 50 meter zero though the angles are flat enough one could argue the whole discussion is just mental masturbation. The point for a fighting or  general purpose rifle is to keep the rise and fall of the round inside a fairly narrow box, both up and down, for as long as we can. Of course less up means the down comes sooner but life is full of trade offs.

Generally speaking for 7.62x51 if you are 2 inches up at 100 you will be 2 inches down at 200. Beyond that one will need to adjust their sights (including utilizing some sort of BDC) or hold over about 18 inches for 300 meters and a yard or so for 400. In any case that didn't get done today.

The recoil on the FAL was suprisingly light which makes sense I suppose due to the adjustable gas system and fairly heavy weight of the rifle. The trigger was a little heavy but crisp. It'll do fine, I just have to get used to it.

On a random note in case you weren't already feeling inadequate this guy played (well was drafted and practiced) in the NFL then became an astronaut. Like an actual NASA went up to space astronaut. Talk about excelling at a truly elite level in two widely varied fields.
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