Showing posts with label P Mags. Show all posts
Showing posts with label P Mags. Show all posts

Thursday, August 14, 2014

PMAG 30 AK Initial Impressions

Picked up a couple of these PMAG 30 AK mags not too long ago. Fiddled with it a little bit. Initial impressions are as follows:

- A lot lighter than a standard Euro surplus AK mag or even one of the lighter thinner metal ones. This shouldn't be a big surprise but given that it is a relatively heavy rifle anyway ounces count.

-Looks like, like a thicker curvy sibling to a normal PMAG. Like it's brick house but still hot sister.

-While normal AK mags seem to work fine without an anti tilt follower it is still a nice touch.

-Initially fit was a bit tight in my rifle. This was sort of a concern for me as these rifles have been made to so many slightly different specifications in so many places over the years it could be a problem. I honestly had to pull pretty hard to get it to seat. After the first couple times practicing the reload it seemed to shave a little bit off the sidewalls and worked just fine after.

-This does bring up a point of concern for me. PMAGs last basically forever in AR's but the attachment mechanism is a lot less strenuous on the mag. The AK mag style could be a lot rougher on the plastic of the mag, especially the front piece that has to hook onto the rifle before you 'rock' the mag in. Time will tell I guess.

- Value seems pretty good with street prices in the $14-16 range. Lucky Gunner has them for $15. Five years ago I would say $15ish AK mags would be a non starter but with surplus ones rising in price and getting worse in quality every year it isn't a bad deal.

I don't know that you NEED to run out and replace already functional mags with these but if you are short on mags it might be worth looking at them.

Oh yeah and Lucky Gunner is selling a case of Tula 7.62x39 for $229.

Have you got any PMAG 30 AK mags? If so what do you think of them?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Crystal Ball 2014 Edition

This is the time of year where I talk about what I see coming down the pike. First I will say that I do not have a crystal ball, yadda yadda yadda; then I will immediately follow that with some predictions. Of course it is worth noting that I am not a doctor, lawyer or financial advisory and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Basically my thoughts are my own so if you choose to follow them all of the risk is on you; the only good part is that I don't take 5% off the top and a third of your growth plus monthly fees.

Indicators will be polarized as to whether our economy is recovering. Some indicators will keep growing because eventually folks will come out of their shells; ex people will buy homes, folks move and families reach the time where buying a house is right for them regardless of the market. The biggest single divide between them will be how easily a number can be inflated or manipulated. Example the stock market will probably do well but the number of people out of the work force will increase and the number in crap jobs (low wage, permanent part time, no bennies high turnover) will increase even more.

I fear that rule of law will continue to diminish on many fronts. Example if a young white thug punches an old black person for no reason it is a hate crime but if a poor disadvantaged urban youth does the exact same thing to a cracker it's somehow not a hate crime, barely a misdemeanor.

If a liberal breaks a firearms law it will not be prosecuted but if a conservative does they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Crime will generally rise but it will be kept quiet in the media and obscured in official reports. I see larger organized robberies including the home invasion type to increase as more people, some of whom have a military background, are unable to gain easy legitimate income and may even be pushed to desperate measures.

Increasingly economic winners and losers will not be decided by good business sense or keen competition but government connections deciding winners and losers.

Generally your job prospects are good in government and get better at higher levels (.gov, .state, .county, .city) with the exception of the military.

We are facing a downsizing not seen since the Clinton era. Lots of soldiers and NCO's as well as company and field grade officers, myself  and American Mercenary included, face the risk of being involuntarily separated. They may cut up to 20% of these officers, of that population probably 6% have derogatory stuff (disciplinary, really bad evaluations, etc) and will be easy pickings but the rest are going to be fully qualified Officers who are probably combat veterans. I'm not too worried largely because there isn't a huge point in worrying about it. I'll get my records strait and if they say I'm fired well I'll be sad then move along n do something else. It would be a weird/ rough/ poor year or so but we'll figure it out. It helps that we've made choices (college, saving, low debt load) that would help if need be.

I think inflation is going to keep eating away at our real purchasing power. Say we call real inflation 6% (to choose a number) well if you let that roll for 3-4 years it hurts a lot. Eventually in the next few years, or maybe sooner, it will reach a point that the government can't keep the proverbial car between the lines on the road. The best case I see is the late 70's and early 80's stagflation, the worst is pretty bad.

The whole health care mess is going to continue. I suspect the more we see of this law the worse it will be for average Americans. As it becomes clear the middle class, specifically it's younger members are subsidizing the working and not working poor to benefit the medical insurance industry many normal people are not going to be happy. This could be sadly entertaining to watch.

I don't think our "representatives" are going to get any better at working together to solve actual problems.

What could we pull from these predictions in terms of actionable ideas? (Again noting I'm just a guy with a blog, don't bet the farm on something I think.)

It would be prudent to get yourself medically squared away, especially if you currently have decent insurance. Get that surgery you've been putting off, get that knee fixed, fix that crown that is about to go, get lasic or family planning type surgeries if you want them. Simply put I do not think health care is going to get more accessible, cheaper or better in the near future so it would be prudent to catch up on whatever you need now.

Along those lines if you have been planning a major purchase such as a home or some land that will require credit I would look hard at getting that done. Rates are climbing and in the mid term (say 3-5 years) I can't see them getting better.

Replacing things large and small that are on the verge of going out while you still have an income so it is a minor inconvenience vs a major problem would be prudent. It could be the daily driver that you know is about to go out or a pair of boots from the 80's held together with shoe glue. Right now if these things break replacing them is unpleasant to some degree, on the high end you might have to put off a vacation. On the other hand if in 9 months you've been out of work for 6 months and are barely keeping a roof over your head replacement could be impossible.

Inflation both hidden (smaller servings, 10 cans in a case instead of 12, etc) and not so hidden will keep pushing food prices up. Stuff like coffee, rice and wheat , canned food or long term emergency kits are simply not going to get cheaper.You might want to reread or read The Alpha Strategy, the PDF is all over the net, for some ideas here.

If there is gun stuff on your annual list I would recommend pushing it towards the front. When we get close to the mid term elections the situation could get ugly. Maybe you want a new carry gun or Momma needs a 20 gauge, whatever. Ammo isn't exactly where I'd love it to be but with 7.62x39 in the $230/1k range and good 62 grain 5.56 in the low 40 (42) cent range it's probably time to weigh the chance of prices dropping another 5-10% with the risk of things going nuts. Personally I've been buying 7.62x39 for a couple months and am going to get some 5.56 soon. Prices on shotgun and hunting rifle (30-30, 30'06, etc ammo have stayed more or less flat so that is a no brainer to buy now. Anyway I would look to be done buying guns, ammo and mags for the year around the middle of summer at the latest.

What to do with money these days is a fun question. If you are smart you save, period. The old saying that if you always save 10% you'll never be broke has a lot of merit. Personally I think the stock market is inflated, dependent on continual federal government crap bond purchases and generally a bad place to put your money. Savings accounts are paying interest that is effectively (when you count inflation) negative. Sure you need at least some of the Emergency Fund in the bank in case you get munsoned in the Philadelphia Airport for 4 days or drop the transmission from the family hauler 2 states away but beyond that it's a bad place to park cash. So what to do with it. Here are a combination of my thoughts and things we are actually doing.

Pay down debt. The conventional wisdom is that paying down debt in an inflationary situation is foolish because you can pay it off later with cheaper dollars. The problems with that idea are 1) it presumes you are making more money to keep up with inflation. If paying off the debt is unpleasant now imagine when the grocery and fuel bills double but you make the same amount? Also 2) Looking at ways to make money or at least save money if you put cash towards a loan with a 5% interest rate you are saving and in effect making back 5%. Also 3) the pay it back in cheaper dollars plan presumes you keep your job/ income. High inflation makes for ruinous economic circumstances. Even if the $1,000 mortgage paying is worth $600 in real dollars it's hard to pay when you are unemployed.

For goodness sakes pay off any adjustable rate debts. Look, rates are going to rise, I cannot say when but they will. To people whose vehicles or homes are dependent on paying a loan whose interest rate will likely increase significantly it will be ruinous.  If you listen to nothing else I say get those debts paid off or turn them into fixed rate loans. The only exception I see is a loan/ card/ line of credit that is at an advantageous rate WHICH YOU CAN PAY OFF AT THE END OF THIS MONTH OR ANY GIVEN ONE IF NEEDED.

-Buy food and ammo. Get all you may possibly need (obviously considering the shelf life of food) and maybe some more. During firearmagedon a guy with a case of 5.56 and a case of 9mm set aside to sell could have done really well for himself. In coming potential events a guy with a couple hundred new in the package PMAGs could double, triple or even quadrupole his money.

-Put money into yourself. Take a class to learn to use a combat rifle by a pro like Max Velocity, get a certification to prove to a stranger you know how to do something like weld, work on engines or whatever. Get a degree or a second degree to improve your competitiveness at the current job or get a better one. Remember nobody can take away what is in your head.

-Put money into things that will let you earn money/ barter. If you are a welder get a genny and a setup to do small jobs on your own. If you are a mechanic buy tools and spare parts. If you are a carpenter buy tools, nails, hardware and lumber. If you can reload any type of ammo stock deep in powder, primers, lead and all manner of casings. If you can garden stock seeds deep for your own use and trade.

-If you have big money there are some bargains out there in real estate. A person could buy a couple duplexes or 3 small houses that are in reasonable shape in decent neighborhoods and get a modest reliable income out of them. When said person eventually sold those homes they would also benefit from appreciation of the property.

Along the big money lines I would look at relatively low upkeep businesses: trailer parks, storage facilities and stuff like that with a proven track record of earning money. In this situation do consider the necessity to have the time to do it yourself or cost to have a competent manager in place. If you don't have managerial desires consider the possibility of buying a share of an existing business. Say Bob's storage is a productive profit earning business but they can use a cash influx to buy 5 acres next door that are for sale and expand, you put up the cash and Bob gives you 25% of the business, win/ win.

-Put money into things that will improve your situation. Build a chicken coup and get chickens, put up a fence you need to use part of your land that has been fallow, buy a milk cow, build some raised beds to grow a bigger garden, put in a good road on the back 40, etc. You get the idea.

-Purchase bargains on useful items. If Joe 6 pack is going to sell Daddy's .357 mag, his mall ninja AR, a good generator or a toy 4 wheel drive truck that screams Bug Out Vehicle fast to make bills somebody is going to show up on short notice with cash offering 70 cents on the dollar, it might as well be you. Either you can flip the stuff to make a quick buck (since you can wait 30 days for a buyer willing to pay 95 cents on the dollar) or you use the stuff for awhile and keep it to sell on a rainy broke day.

-Put money into things you are going to need at some point. Maybe your kids will need AR's to go play with Dad on the weekends or sooner or later your farm/ business is going to grow and you will need a larger generator, another vehicle, a piece of equipment or something. Maybe you've been putting off buying a .338 Lapua for awhile. I don't know what applies to your situation. The point is to look towards future purchases and make them with today's available dollars ideally hiding them from inflation and thus saving money over the future cost of said item(s).

Anyway those are my thoughts on that. What do you think is coming in 2014?

Monday, July 22, 2013

How Many Magazines Are Enough?

Modern Survival Online shared their thoughts on ammo and was nice enough to link to my recent post. They also mentioned magazines.Since I didn't address mags it seems to be worth touching on. I will share the numbers of magazines I consider sufficient as well as the thinking behind those numbers.

Core Defensive rifle-20
I stock AR-15 mags

Core Defensive pistol-10
I stock Glock 9mm magazines

Non core defensive rifle-14 magazines
Like mags for an AK that is just lying around

Non core defensive pistol-6 magazines

(These would be for a gun that is useful but not primary so you can get by with a few less.)

Various nonessential weapons- 4-6 magazines
Maybe for a baby Glock or some sort of .22. I am comfortable stocking these lower because they are either ancillary or for various oddball heirloom type guns.

These numbers are roughly 3 basic loads per weapon (strictly speaking that would be 21 rifle mags like these Troy Battle Mags and 9 pistol mags like Glock 17 mags but round numbers are nice). My thinking is as follows. Obviously the first set are to carry. The second set are to replace the first set if they are lost/ broken or wear out. The third set are for equipping friends, barter or trade. The allocations are not exact but that is sort of the thinking. It is worth saying these are minimums. Thirty to forty percent more is great, fifty percent more is even better and double is not totally crazy. Between Armageddon and such I wouldn't mind having a few spare mags cached here or there above the minimums.

How many mags do you think are enough?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Firearmagedon and Garden Update

Today I had some idle time around mid day. Decided to go out to all the local gun shops kind of inventory/ price checking. Here is what I found

Gun availability- A wide variety of guns were readily available. All sorts of AR's plus other military pattern rifles. Of course lots of hunting/ 'precision' rifles, shotguns and .22's. Pistols were available though you might not be able to get a specific model. Part of that I think is just that a lot more variance is in the pistol market. [EX I wouldn't notice the lack of a 16" mid length BCM rifle when they had a half dozen various AR's on the wall. I would be far more likely to notice a Glock 19 not being there.] You could probably get something pretty comparable though. Lots of XD's and M&P's present. Glocks were sort of hit and miss.

One guy was definitely trying to get some pre panic prices (they may be consignment at which point he doesn't determine the price) on a few military pattern rifles but I've been seeing the same guns there for awhile so there do not seem to be any takers. However broadly speaking prices were OK. They are probably around 125% of normal or so.

Mags- Lots of AR mags. Prices for PMAG's, Lancers, etc were about $21ish. TAPCO AK mags from $15-20ish. Glock mags were semi available with prices around $30. That's not too bad since they were $26-27 retail in a local shop before this. Bunches of XD mags available. Didn't see ANY .Ruger 10/22 mags and only a few off brand AR .22 conversion mags. The shop that had the silly rifle mag prices had some silly prices for AK (unambiguous used steel @ $30) and M1A mags (unambiguous metal @ $50) . Hell I guess you can't fault a guy for being optimistic.

Ammo- Prices are generally coming down but availability is spotty. Saw .223 at a couple places. It seems to be running .60c a rd or so for brass cased range meat. .308 everywhere but it's running a buck to a buck and a quarter for brass cased range meat. No 9mm/ .40/ .45 ball to be found. The stuff is coming in a trickle then going out just as fast.

Full availability of shotgun ammo. Target loads, small game hunting, turkey and buck/ slug are all available. That in and of itself might be a reason to own a 12 gauge shotgun.

.22 ammo. Availability was limited at best. The shop that had the optimistic rifle and mag prices had a few inflation adjusted 325 round bricks of Federal Auto Match for $40. That price was probably optimistic guess somebody might need .22 ammo who will pay that. (In the last month and a half or so I've purchased 3 of them, 1 at $21 and 2 at $17.)

At other places I saw a few various 50-100 round boxes of .22lr. Some Winchester and some CCI. 

Well that's the firearmagedon update. In general things are getting better which is good. Unfortunately ammo is lagging behind. Hopefully that will get better in the coming weeks.

As to the garden. The strawberry plants did not die but they were definitely not going to bear fruit. They went into the trash today. The tomatoes are going well. Except a bird ate the two almost perfectly ripe tomatoes I was waiting to pluck from the vine and put into a meal. That filled me with more rage than was probably reasonable. Talked to some folks about it. Apparently you need nets to protect the maters from birds here. I'll do that tomorrow. The taters and beans seem to be doing just fine. The cherry tomatoes are good. The peppers just haven't done anything, not dead but haven't grown or anything. I'm kinda thinking they might have been in too small of pots. Stuck em in the larger ones the strawberries were in so maybe that will help. Well that's the garden update. Some good, some less good, lots of time outside and learning.

Anyway I hope you all have a good Saturday.

How is the firearm/ mag/ ammo situation in your area?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Scene On The Ground In Southern Arizona/Has The Potential AWB Got You Doing Anything?

Today I went around and did a survey of our local gun shops. Not a Glock mag over 10 rounds to be found. The 17 round 9mm Smith and Wesson M&P Mags were sold out but I saw a handful of the 13 rounders (if you need them email me). Lots of XD mags (ditto). A few AR mags to be had. Some 20 rounders and a few Thermamolds I think. One shop had a stash of PMAGs they were guarding like their daughters honor.

Saw a couple AR's. An Olympic Arms rifle with a stainless barrel was going for $1,400 and a basic Del Tonic was going for $1,200. Both AR's were sold almost immediately. Like came out of the box and got sold to folks who have been waiting for them. The shop owner was tossing a couple mags in with each gun free of charge. They are keeping prices reasonable and only increasing based on the rise in their costs. As the owner said "You guys are my customer base and will continue to be my customer base after this is over." He is a gruff old guy but a strait shooter.

There are plenty of pistols available in the stores. Maybe not every model conceivable but if you want a handgun you can get one. Shotguns, rimfire and bolt guns seem unaffected. Ammo wasn't too bad. I did notice that the same .223 I bought for 9 bucks (per 20rds) a box about a week ago went up to 13 and there is a limit of 5 boxes per customer.

The private party market here is crazy. Supply is catching up to demand but at stupid prices. Tons of guns worth $800 two weeks ago are now up for sale at 2 grand or more. Quite a few parts guns with total no name stuff I would not have paid $650 for 2 weeks ago are now up for sale for 2 grand or more. Folks have decided that WASR AK-47's are now worth $900 on up. It looks like a lot of folks have brought dusty rifles out of the safe to cash in on the hysteria.

The trades folks are trying to do are interesting. Folks seem to be fleeing .40 in favor of 9mm and oddball toys (PSL's, old Colt 1911's) for semi auto rifles like AK's and AR's. I don't know how many of these trades are actually executed but that's what folks are going for anyway.

Now to the next part of this post.

Has The Potential AWB Got You Doing Anything?

Personally I am not emptying our savings, maxing out the credit card or anything crazy. Have however pushed back some other things and prioritized the stuff we can use the most. I have bought or ordered about 14 various AR magazines plus a few 22 mags and bought about $400 in AR spare parts. A lot of this is really stuff that was on the list but hovering just below the level that gets acted on. Looking for another handgun or two if the right opportunity presents itself. That is about all I can do but really all we NEED to do so it is OK.

If you are doing anything to prepare for what may be coming please let us know in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reader Questions: M1 Garand Sale

To yesterday's post and the ongoing discussion about selling guns " Anonymous said...You *really* want to sell an M1 Garand at this particular point in history? With BHO about to be re-elected with a new 'mandate' from the Aurora shootings to permanently ban semi-autos once and for all? 
No offence, but give yourself an early Christmas present and wait for the new year to consider sell that 7.62x51 piece of awesomeness."
TOR here: Yes  I do, otherwise I wouldn't be selling it. Maybe more accurately I don't totally want to sell it but I want other stuff more than I want to keep it. As to a potential ban. There is a solid chance President Obama will be reelected. I don't think any sort of ban is imminent or even likely due to a variety of factors such as people's opinions and our current political climate. That being said my prioritization of potentially targeted items has gone up a bit, maybe from gun hording condition yellow to gun hoarding condition amber if you will.
One could argue that selling a gun in a time where there is an uncertain political climate might not be smart. Then again, as the case is, I am selling off weapons that are in (to me) redundant/ unnecessary calibers, or otherwise do not really have a solid place in my defensive battery. I am not saying the Garand is a bad gun or whatever, just that the resources currently sitting in said Garand could better serve me elsewhere. Keeping a gun that doesn't have  a solid place in your plan doesn't make much sense.
The more pertinent question might be "Ryan, what do you plan to do with the money from selling an M1 Garand?" If my plan was to sell a couple guns and spend the money on internet poker or a years supply of frozen pizzas it probably wouldn't be a good choice. However if the plan is to use that money to either acquire gun(s) or ancillary stuff thereon  that fit better into my defensive battery or food storage/ etc I would say it makes pretty good sense.  As to specifically what I plan to purchase that is still kind of up in the air. It depends on what I happens between now and any potential sale and on when and how much cash I get. If some rifle plates haven't come home with my by then I will take care of that. Ditto for a few more Pmag's. Half of whatever I get will probably go towards whatever ancillary stuff like mags or night sights is next on the list and the other half toward the purchase of some sort of firearm. I kind of have an urge to get a pretty nice AR-15. The whole landscape of the AR-15 market has really changed in the last few years. A lot of nice rifles have come out at real nice price points. When funds allow I will probably order a complete upper from Spikes Tactical or BCM then shop around for a lower.

Hopefully that answers your question.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I put some time into my systems over the long weekend. I need to find a few things and order some odds and ends in the near future. Still good progress was made. Will get off my lazy butt and do some posts on this stuff soon.
As Zero noted it is about time to freak out that the next administration, in this case most likely a lame duck Democrat will bring about another AWB or whatever. If I was just a shooter this would be easy as I would toss all available resources towards guns, ammo and mags. However since I need to worry about eating, drinking clean potable water, communication, shelter and such there are certainly trade offs. Luckily I have had a few years working a decent paying job to fill most of my needs and some of my wants. Thus I don't need to freak out but looking at where I am and prioritizing filling a few holes is not a bad idea. I sort of overlayed my biggest holes with the stuff most likely to be easily taken out of circulation (at current prices) and got a shopping list.
The stuff I see as most vulnerable are imported items and magazines. For example imported Siaga shotguns and dirt cheap HK G3 and AK-47 mags could be gone in a single executive order or a change in import regulations. I don't own or have a huge desire to own a Siaga, though if I did I would get one and plenty of mags. Since I picked up some mags for the PTR-91 I may get some day that is off the list.
Today I ordered an AK-47 spare parts kit and 10 more European surplus AK mags. I don't really need the mags but at $9.95 a piece they are a great deal.They give me enough to comfortably equip another AK which is a nice option to have. If I never get there they will go into the barter/ charity pile. This purchase is the last I really want to make before November timeframe.

However if I can get around to it picking up 10 more PMAGs, 10 more Glock 9mm mags, and an AK drum would be nice. Speaking of which does anybody have experience with an AK drum that doesn't suck and is currently available at a reasonable price? I have to weigh it up against other things on the list and am not sure where this stuff will fall. Still though November is a long time away.

It is probably not a bad idea to take a look at your situation. If you have a gun lying around with just 2-3 mags, especially one that you rely on it might be prudent to order a few more just in case.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

 On the bright side I am finally starting to feel normal again. However between work and life nothing amazing happened this week. I did some cooking which was good. Wifey has been taking it easy so Miley and I have been cooking. Nothing too crazy but if you don't use those skills you start to lose them. I have also been reading a lot which is cool. Got all caught up on blogs plus also some select chapters of various field manuals. Learned some interesting stuff and was pretty entertained in the process.

Moved some money around and I should be getting a plate carrier and rifle plates this week. Also I have been looking at optics. Awhile back I was thinking EoTech but after a recent trip to the range I really like and shoot better using an optic that has some magnification. I LOVE the ACOG but alas, hangs head in shame, it is too expensive. I am looking at the IOR M2 scopes. Got to do some more research and run the numbers. Still might be awhile.

I also tore up our place and finally found my P Mags. Unfortunately I have a few less than I thought I did. Oh well that can be rectified later. Think I'm going to start using some at work to evaluate them.

I started working on next years Wish List which makes up at least part of the New Years Resolutions. Nothing new or huge there. Working on protective gear as well as some outdoor type stuff. Just kinda coming up with ideas now. Then I will weigh different categories and think about what I can realistically do in a year. More to follow in a month and a half or so. Come to think of it I need to look at where I am on this years New Years Resolutions. Don't have much time to finish things off.

My home brewed beer is better after waiting another week. They said it needed 3 weeks but 4 turns out to be more accurate. It is less cloudy and the carbonation seems to be more uniform. Also the bitter after taste has gone away. It is a relatively light, slightly sweet and refreshing ale.

For a slow week I guess it wasn't too bad. Next week is going to be pretty packed. Posting may be abnormal this coming week.

What did you do to prepare this week?
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