Thursday, November 02, 2017

DS#1: The Resurrected Vampire!

DROPPED SHOT

A WEE BIT OF BACKGROUND

Definition of DROPPED SHOT: In the practical shooting sports, a shot that fails to hit the target; a miss.

Sometime in mid-1985 I first wrote those words for the first time, for the newly minted FRONT SIGHT Magazine, the journal of the United States Practical Shooting Association. I was the founding editor, and DROPPED SHOT was my back page column. If you’re willing to wade deep enough into the bowels of the Internet, you can find a picture of my competition rig for that year…it’s the cover of the November/December 1985 FRONT SIGHT. It’s a Wilson Combat, and I still have it.

Over the years, DROPPED SHOT has drifted around from publication to publication and finally to the Internet, as soon as Marshal Halloway invented the concept of a “social media” site for gun owners and shooters somewhere around 1991.

I bring this up because I suppose DROPPED SHOT has a life of its own now, and, like my original Vampire Gun™, has come back to life! How's that for a segue!


This is for an upcoming SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE (SOG)...it's my original "Vampire Gun," built by Tactical Solutions way before we started the RIMFIRE CHALLENGE.

It was a Ruger 22/45 back before Ruger offered them with replaceable 1911-style grip panels. The top end was one of TacSol's early 6-inch Pac-Lite barrels. Interestingly enough, the barrel wasn't threaded, because the suppressor "revolution" hadn't started yet.


I shot the gun a LOT (and you've seen it on multiple episodes of SHOOTING GALLERY over the last decade or so), bust as I've built up, or, more correctly, had built up, .22 rimfire pistols, the Vampire Gun got relegated to the back of the gun safe.

I was talking to my good friend Colt Lasco, who's one of the gunsmith geniuses at TacSol, and I mentioned that I still had Vampire #1. Colt said, "Hey, why don't we take the old gun and bring it up to speed?"


Seemed like a good idea! So, this is Vampire #1 brought up to speed...the barrel is now a threaded version. The TacSol brake on the end of that barrel looks cool and makes noise; it may even actually step a little recoil, but who knows with the tiny .22LR. It's funny that when I'm at home, I want the gun quiet; when I go to a match, I want the gun loud, for the time. At a recent rimfire match where I was shooting my Ruger Mark IV, which does not have a threaded barrel, and Gemtech .22 subsonic (which do run that gun), I had to timing strings of 30 seconds each, max time, as opposed to the sub 3-second runs I thought I had had. Quiet not good, LOL!


Vampire #1 now sports an Outer Impact red dot mount, which brings the old — and excellent —  Insight MRDS down a wee bit closer to the bore line than the Primary Arms dot on Vampire #2, the TacSol I built on a Ruger MkIII that has been my go-to RIMFIRE CHALLENGE match gun for several years.  The Insight MRDS is still available, and I believe is the same unit as the Eotech MRDS.




The biggest change to Vampire #1 was replacing the polymer Ruger frame with an aluminum frame and match trigger from Volquartsen. These are excellent,, and I love the way the frame now sits in my hand. The new gun weights in at 1.78 pounds, vs. 2.01 pounds for my Mark III/TacSol competition  gun and 2.95 for my all-steel Mark IV...that weight includes sights and mounts, but not magazines, BTE.


The grips are from Hogue. One thing left to add is a Teandemkross Halo charging ring like I have on my Mark IV. I've used a bunch of different charging handles over the years, and the Halo is the only one that stays put.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What Could Be More Fun...

..than cleaning your .22 silencer! Still, had to be done. I had to soak it apart with Ballistol, which worked super-deluxe.

The big Colorado state championships for the NSSF Rimfire Challenge is coming up, and my Sweetie and I are shooting it. Are we ready? HA!  My plate runs yesterday constitute the sum total of my match practice. Hopefully I can spin this up just a bit this coming week. I'm planning on using the Zebra Gun™ and my Ruger/Tac-Sol MkIII. The MkIV just isn't ready yet. Since any optic put you in Open Class, I'm running optics on both the rifle and the pistol — Vortex on the Zebra Gun™; Primary Arms on the Tac-Sol. I'll clean them both next week, then run some rounds through them and make sure everything is copacetic.

My friend John Farnam has an excellent article in his Quips, reprinted on Ammoland.Com. It's main point bears repeating here:
I think the nature of, or reason for, a particular threat may be interesting from a political or historical standpoint, but that is all secondary. Personal awareness, and acknowledgment that there may be a significant threat to you personally 
1) At any time2) In any place3) In any form4) From any direction5) Under any circumstances6) For any reason, or7) For no reason at all 
is what is most important, probably the only thing that really is important!
Indeed!.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Yet Another Saturday!


Yes, back in the saddle again!

Not saying that we had a big ole time at the Mill Creek Shooting Resort last week, but I realized we shot up pretty much all my 6.5 Creedmoor match ammo (Hornady 140-gr ELD-Match). This is indeed a spectacular facility, located in what I think is the most beautiful part of America, southern Colorado. The accommodations are super, the meals delicious and the shooting beyond spectacular.

We did most of our filming on top of a mesa with ranges from 400 - 1300 yards. The SG episode will focus on training from Sean Murphy at Nightforce and featuring co-hosts Iain Harrison and Di Muller. Thanks to Sean, I did get to push my personal best out to 1300 yards. The combination of the MPA rifle, the 7-35X Nightforce and the Hornady ELD ammo got the job done.

Iain is heading out for a bear hunt next week, and that got me thinking a bit about hunting. We're sort of  on opposite ends of the spectrum  he's the classic "adventure hunter," and he's amazingly good at it. I suspect those expedition days are behind me now, but you never know. I'm more of a "travelogue hunter," focusing on places I've never been. I probably need to think about this more. I will say pretty much the only red meat I eat is game meat. Beef is just not the same anymore.

Since I was in Africa this year, I don't have huge plans for the fall. I would like to get down to FTW or one of the big Texas ranches to break in my new Montana Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor, probably on whitetail, but maybe an exotic like axis or fallow deer.

My Sweetie's out at a 3-Gun match, but I was just a spec burned up from last week's filming schedule. I'm probably going to sped a couple of hours on the range today doing .22 work. I need to sight in my Sweetie's .22 AR that she wants to shoot in NSSF Rimfire Challenge. I was finally able to gather up enough CCI Tactical, the ammo the gun was built around, to get through a few matches. She asked me to put a low power scope on it, not because she might need it in Rimfire Challenge, but because she wants the .22 to mirror her Stag 3-Gun rifle. I gave her my workhorse Leupold 1.5-4X Firedot. I've used that scope for years in both competition and hunting…I think that at less than $400 MSRP,  it's one of the great screaming buys in optics.

I also want to start working with my ancient S&W M41 topped with an UltraDot 30mm.


Grips, which I plan to grind the hell out of, especially around the magazine release button, are Hogue.

Ridiculously good day for new gum releases. As choirs of angels sing, I'm waiting for my Glock 19 Gen 5. I couldn't make the super-secret Glock media event in early August, which coincided with the InterMedia Editor's Roundtable on new products, so I don't have any hands-on yet. I'm willing to bet ti shoots amazingly like a Glock. I'm glad to see the finger grooves gone, but I am apparently one of 3 people in The Entire Universe whose hands fit the finger grooves on the last few generations of Glocks. Also interesting to see Glock abandon polygonal rifling after years of defending it. It'll cut into the aftermarket barrel market, to be sure.

I think it's also very cool that Auto Ordnance has rolled out a 9mm Thompson.


C'mon, admit it! This would be totally cool to use in a USPSA PCC competition. Or add a 1911 .22 (or a conversion unit), and you will be the coolest kid at the NSSF Rimfire Challenge match. I say this as the last — indeed, only! — national champion in the "manually operated" class for Rimfire Challenge. Maybe they can add a retro class, and I could compete with guys running the .22 StG-44 we filmed with this year for GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA and a classic Stoeger .22 Luger. American Tactical Imports also has a .22 AK, but I'm pretty much at a loss for the appropriate pistol…there is a Makarov .22 conversion unit, but I've never seen one in the wild. Of course, somebody would show up with a CZ-75 Kadet, and the arms race would be on!
Finally, I've now started putting rounds through the SCCY CPX-3 .380. The ones I've shot have a really smooth trigger and are exceptionally accurate. I've talked about the larger format .380s before, both when the Ruger LC380 and the Glock 43 came out. The mini-9mms do bark, and I believe they are more appropriate in the hands of experienced shooters. OTOH, the pocket .380s like the LCP2 or Kahrs can be hard to shoot well once the distance gets beyond arms-length. The larger-framed modern .380s are, to me, viable self defense tools, given modern ammunition. They're holster guns, of course...I have been able to cram a Ruger LC9 into a cargo pants pocket, but it looked like I was carrying a concealed encyclopedia.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday


Dinner came out well. I did a chili rub on the salmon — 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder, 1 tablespoon New Mexico red, 1 tablespoon cumin and cooked it on a hot grill for right about 4 minutes. Served it with Cuban black beans with kale…kinda a weird mix, but it worked…the garlic, ginger, onions and spices definitely helped!

I think I'm going to keep the Remington Tac-14 not-a-shotgun. I've patterned it with the buckshot I've got here, but there;s still some I'd like to try. I think I have a good sense of how to integrate it into my self-defense plans here at the Secret Hidden Bunker, thanks to Gabe Suarez. I also really like it as a bedside companion for when things go pump in the night. I'm planning on outfitting it like Gabe's Stakeout 870, eventually with a red dot.


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Independence Day 2017



"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."
— Ronald Reagan

"Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."
— Robert Heinlein

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
— Abraham Lincoln

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
— George Orwell, 1984

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Still Trying to Catch Up with Me


"Life is either a great adventure, or nothing."
Helen Keller

It has been a dead run since I got back from Africa Monday night…I'm still waking up at 3AM trying to figure out where I am. I so love jet lag!

Spent today in conference calls and putting the acoustic tile up on the ceiling of the studio…still not acoustically sound, but boy, it's getting better. A lot of what I'm going to be doing for the next year is Internet-based, and I do really need the studio (which is why I took the chance on building my own studio). I'm moving toward doing live Internet events from the studio and my range…my Internet supplier gave me a breath-taking quote on jacking up my upload speed. At the point we start looking at live event, I'll suck it up and pay the price.


I have to say that I do indeed love Africa. I get that it's not the place Robert Ruark or Ernest Hemingway wrote about…hell, it's not even the place Thomas McIntyre and Craig Boddington wrote about. It is Africa in twilight, but it is the Africa I have, and a part of me counts down the days until I can go back.


I suppose much of it boils down to the shared mythology that so many of us of a certain culture and a certain age share. At least on my part, it's a restlessness, and impossible-to-resist urge to see over one more hill. Merle Haggard called it White Line Fever…"the years keep flyin' by like the highline poles…"


This was a special trip because I shared it with so many old and new friends. Richard Mann is a genius for putting this together; his son, Bat, is an incredible young man. The goal of the Wayland family, who have owned the land Ft. Richmond Safaris sits on since the 1860s, is to make their clients feel like a part of their family, and in this they succeeded spectacularly. Thanks, guys.


I hope we're able to deliver a show that captures the things we were feeling. This will be a 2-episode special for SHOOTING GALLERY in 2018, and we have a tentative approval for a 90-minute Internet/MOTV special. I've looked at the footage John Carter and Brook Aiken captured (note the "drones over Africa" above), and it is nothing less than amazing. Can't wait for you guys to see!


The plans for the next trip are percolating just below the surface. In the meanwhile, I've got to take my rifle apart and get the rest dust of Africa out of every nook and cranny. I'll leave you with one more thought, this one from Robert Ruark...

"If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them."

Friday, June 09, 2017

Universal Background Checks & Waiting Periods

This is what happens when you drop your guard!

There's been a bit of a kerflunkle on the Internet regarding superstar trainer Pat MacNamara's apparent support of a waiting period and universal background checks. So much so that MacNamara's video publisher, Panteao [with whom I have occasionally produced video, so be aware of that] felt obligated to answer the charges on AR15.com.

Frankly, we crucified Dick Metcalf and Jim Zumbo for a lot less.

Without going into MacNamara's sterling service to America as a legend in special forces, I want to, rather, specifically address what is wrong with "universal background checks" and "waiting periods." Let me sum it up very clearly — there is no such thing as "universal background checks" or "crimes of passion" prevented by a waiting period of any length. Both concepts are purely the creation of our blood enemies to incrementally rob us of our rights.

Regardless of who you are, if you accept the premise of either of those comments, you are playing into the hands of people who wish to destroy us. It is no different than saying, "You know, ISIS has a few good points if you look hard enough." Maybe they do, and there are indeed people who like cockroaches, too.

The concept of a "universal background check" has been thoroughly co-opted by what one might call the "Bloomberg Model" antigun legislation. We have extensive legal experience with the Bloomberg Model from our ultimately unsuccessful fight against it in Colorado. The Bloomberg Model, which is quite literally the only thing on the table, has nothing to do with "universal background checks." Instead, it seeks to criminalize numerous activities that gunowners have engaged in for decades, maybe centuries. The intent is to is a major attack on the gun culture itself. It does this by first off changing the definition of transfer.

Since its inception, ATF has defined a "transfer" as a "transfer of ownership," essentially the dictionary accepted definition of a transfer…I sell, trade, transfer ownership of a weapon to you. The Bloomberg Model replaces the common sense meaning of "transfer" with a completely different definition of of the word, "transfer of possession." Under the Bloomberg Model, if I hand you a gun, I have completed a "transfer;" to do so legally I need to have that simple action performed by an FFL. When you had the gun back to me, it needs to be done through an FFL. If we fail to include an FFL for both "transfers," we are guilty of Federal felonies.

This is a brilliant attack on the gun culture. Typically, we spread the culture by contact…I say this as the creator and manager of the NSSF Media Education Program, where I took antigun journalists to the range and taught them to shoot. It works, and it is how we spread our culture. By criminalizing that simple act, we find ourselves stymied, prevented from doing the very activities. we all took for granted the day before. "Universal background checks" are a weapon to destroy us!

To the best of my knowledge, every single "universal background check" initiative is based on the Bloomberg Model. Let me say that again — EVERY UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECK INITIATIVE IS BASED ON THE BLOOMBERG MODEL AND FUNDED BY BLOOMBERG SHELL ORGANIZATIONS. It clear enough for you? If you support such an initiative, you are siding with the Bloomberg machine against the NRA, against gun owners and ultimately against your own self-interest.

Ditto for the "crimes of passion" argument. The idea of a "crime of passion" is that a perfectly normal person is suddenly turned into a killer by the sudden rush of hormones, grabs (or races to the LGS, obtains a gun and shoots up, murders, whatever. In looking at the so-called "crimes of passions" over the years, especially examining them for THE BEST DEFENSE, instead of "perfectly normal people," what we repeatedly see is felons doing what felons do. In scratching the surface of crimes of passion we instead see long-term histories of petty crime, spousal abuse, escalating violence. "Crimes of passion" was originally a phrase applied to "hot-blooded peoples" like Hispanics and blacks, who allegedly were unable to control their passions. It was a lie then and it is a lie now.

Once again, to buy into the enemies' argument, to agree to the ememies' warping of language, is to play the enemies' game. If you play the enemies' game, you lose. We lose.

We have stopped losing in recent years because we have stopped playing the enemies' games. We choose the fight, we choose the battlefield, we reject the language of the enemy. That is how we win.

Because the pressure has been lifted with the election of Donald Trump and the seating of Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, there's a tendency to drop our guard.

I would ask any one of my friends who served in special forces on any one of the far-flung hellholes we sent them to, what are the consequences of dropping your guard?






Sunday, June 04, 2017

Hi! I'm Back!

Well, sorta…for the next couple of months I will be in and out of the country like a yo-yo on a very long string. Every place I'm going says they have wi-fi…more or less…often less than more. I'll do my best, either here on on Facebook (https://m.facebook.com/michael.bane.395), which is sometimes easier from a phone.


On London…I got nothing…if you choose to be sheep, you will be led to the slaughter. London is probably my favorite city in the whole world; I have my favorite restaurants, my favorite pubs, the British Museum. But let's be honest here. England is a country that made a profound choice, to make violence the exclusive property of the State. Even in clear-cut incidences of self-defense, the State has maintained that monololy. ONLY THE STATE CAN EXERCISE VIOLENCE, and there are no exceptions.

The problem with this mindset, this legal determination, is that it requires everyone to accept that ruleset. Enter Islam, a 7th Century warrior sect whose founding principle can be summed up as "Islam or death." When 2 rulesets collide, the most vigorous — the most violent — will inevitably prevail.

The endless "We can't let the terrorists win by changing our lifestyle, our ruleset," memes are patent nonsense. Islam's violence has already changed us and changed our country and our culture…every time we step though the security theatre of TSA, every time we go to a public place, we feel those effects.  And in England, we see the effects of cascading failures.

I thought this article from John Moody at Fox is telling:
For far too long, Western societies, including in the United States, have tried to rationalize what has now become an avalanche of violent hatred of democratic freedom, basic human rights, and freedom to choose if and how to worship. We have asked if some of this is our fault, if we haven’t listened to the voices of religious extremism, or if we have failed to understand their message. The result in Britain: government officials estimate there are more than 20,000 jihadists living among the population. 
Here’s their message: We hate you and want to kill you.
That's why I got nothing on London, or Manchester, or the other Ramadan deaths around the world. The International Left, regardless of country, has made there choice to stand with the terrorists, the murderers of children, the beheaders, the destroyers of our shared past. Illegal immigrants now have a legal status higher than American citizens Don't believe me? Here in Colorado our Governor, always mentioned in the same breath as a potential Democratic Presidential candidate, pardoned a violent felon to keep him from being deported.

Why?

I'm pretty sure Governor Hickenlooper would not take such a drastic action in my behalf. Yet we have the spectacle of mayors and even governors around the country standing up and saying they are will to bend, or ignore, America laws in favor of people who shouldn't be here at all.

Islam in its most violent manifestation is an existential threat to our lives specifically because it bends the State around its bloody fingers. It allows the State to grow in the direction it has always desired — more intrusion, more surveillance,  more control. The reason we see statements like the Muslim mayor of London or Barack Obama or the French leaders that terrorism is "just one of those things," like a tornado or a garbage strike, is that terrorism ultimately works in their favor, e.g., they get what they want by having a small percentage of their citizens slaughtered by the ghosts of Islam's past.

For those of us wandering around the slaughterhouse who may take issue with that prevailing wisdom, there is but one certainty — WE ARE ON OUR OWN!

Don't worry…the power of the State will be arriving in 8 minutes...



Saturday, April 08, 2017

Haven't Much Been in the Mood to Write


Well, actually that's not completely true…I'm scripting for GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA, so I'm spending 6-8 hours a day in front of the computer working. Given all the personal stuff that's been whirling around, it's hard to build up a lot of enthusiasm to tackle the laptop after I shut down the desktop.

Plus, it appears there's been a massive reduction of IQ in the various social media, and wading through the crap just makes me tired and bored. I can't even gin up the enthusiasm to be snide. OTOH, I've been shooting alot, mostly the new Ruger Mk IV Competition, but also some of the bigger boomers. I'm getting my Ruger American .450 Bushmaster ready for a SHOOTING GALLERY episode later in the year. Also started moving rounds through my .22 bolt action rifle, to try for some kind of tune-up for Africa.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! As you can see from the above photo, my Magnum Research BFR 45-70 is now home! I'm probably going to take it out this afternoon and continue striving for carpal tunnel syndrome. First off, let me say that the BFR is a superbly made gun [WARNING: Kahr Arms is a sponsor]! This is my first BFR…as I think you guys know I am a connoisseur — or co-nigh-zee-eer, if you live in the South or Detroit or South Detroit, for that matter — of single action revolvers. I have a lot of them, both production and custom, have shot a lot of them in many many different flavors over the years and irrationally love them all. The first gun I ever shot as a little kid was a Ruger Bearcat .22 single action. The first centerfire handgun I ever fired was a Flattop Blackhawk in .357. The first ammunition I ever reloaded went into that Blackhawk. So there.

The BFR is a pleasant surprise. For a beast of a gun, it has a certain proletarian beauty. Machining is top-notch, the trigger pull is a crisp couple of pounds, the sights are excellent and I like the new BFR gripframe, always a touchy thing for single action aficionados…if you want to start a bar fight at a gather of SA fans, bring up plough-handle vs. Bisley, then stand back. I generally don't like rubber grips on a boomer, but the Hogues on the 45-70 are pretty nice, and I suppose I'll be happy with anything that soaks up a little recoil. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. If not, Jack Huntington does a really great looking modification of the BFR gripframe and knows as much about boomers as any living man except Lee Martin…he built a short-barrelled BFR in 50-110, a caliber which I have shot to the detriment of my shoulder in a Sharps!

To be fair, I have shot 45-70 revolvers before, both the old canon-bronze framed Century 100s, an  early BFR (3 shots!), and a 10-inch T/C single shot I had custom built by J.D. Jones, so I'm unlikely to burst into flames on the first shot. In fact, as long as you're using sane loads, the recoil is not nearly as brutal as, say, a .500 Linebaugh or even a .454 Casull, which has a much sharper recoil wave. I plan to start with 405-gr "Trapdoor Safe" loads, then probably move up to Hornady 325-gr Leverevolutions, which I keep on hand for the Ruger #1. I suppose I can build up to Ashley Emerson's dinosaur-killers after a bit. 
Few other interesting tidbits…Standard Manufacturing is now cataloging their color casehardened, engraved 1911 for $1895. That's a good price for such a great-looking 1911! I handled these at SHOT and was very impressed. Considering that Standard/CT Shotguns builds $100k+ shotguns, they are masters at their craft. 

Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training has an interesting article on "deep deep concealment," carrying a weapon in non-permissive — not illegal, mind you — environment. Definitely word a read! Here's his points on non-metallic knives:
When dealing with a walk through metal detector, these tactics won’t work. In the event that I have to go through one of those, I will carry my ceramic Talonz knife (after replacing the metal dog tag chain with a short piece of paracord) or my G-10 composite copy of the same Fred Perrin knife I mentioned earlier. Neither of these are detectable by any metal detectors. 
I would urge anyone trying to carry plastic, ceramic, or composite knives through a metal detector to verify that they are truly metal free. Some companies insert a small amount of metal in the blades or handles just so people can’t sneak them through metal detectors. Pick up a portable metal detecting wand. The ones most security officers use are fairly cheap. You can pick one of those up for less than $25 on Amazon.com (affiliate links). Better safe than sorry.
So I took his advice. I have one of the carbon fiber versions of the Fred Perrin La Griffe, in addition to the steel version, that I figured should be just as invisible as Greg's G-10 version. I also have a Stone River Gear ceramic neck knife that I was curious about. I called my friends at Tall Guns, who train security guards among other things, to ask if I could bring the 2 knives over an run a wand over them.

We all agreed that the carbon fiber La Griffe was going to be a slam dunk…it is beautiful made, weights just next to nothing and, surprise, lit up the metal detector like a Christmas tree. We were very careful to keep the knife away from its sheath, which has metal rivets, and any other metal. For whatever reason, the little carbon fiber La Griffe Carbone will definitely set off a metal detector! Good to know. I ordered one of the G-10 versions, which I'll check before I use it in an environment where I might be wanded or have to walk through a metal detector.
The Stone River ceramic neck knife (above), which we expected to set off the metal detector, instead passed with flying colors. I suggest you take Greg's advice and verify that your own non-metallic weapons are really as invisible as you think they are!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Great News From Apex Tactical!


The world's greatest trigger manufacturer take customization to a whole new level!!!

From tomorrow's presser:

New Apex Gunsmith Fit Universal Trigger


Apex is proud to introduce the all new Red Anodized Gunsmith Fit Universal Trigger, the one replacement trigger for all (or most) of your custom trigger needs.

What It Does
An industry first, the Apex Gunsmith Fit Universal Trigger is designed to provide what no other trigger does, and that’s offer the end user maximum versatility in a custom replacement trigger. Whether you’re working on a Beretta, Colt, Glock, Sig, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Ruger or Taurus, the Apex Gunsmith Fit Universal Trigger directly replaces the factory trigger with a bright red type 2 anodized solid aluminum trigger body. Requires extensive gunsmithing depending on model trigger and performance features desired.

Expected Results
– Reduces trigger pull by approximately as much as you’d like it to
– Smooth uptake and reset, assuming you do it right
– Reduces pre-travel, over-travel and reset (same assumption as above)

Applicable To What Gun(s)
Works with nearly all pistols, in any caliber, with factory interchangeable triggers.
Does NOT work in Bryco, Hi-Point, Jennings, Lorcin, Raven, Star or similar handguns (because, well, Apex).

Features & Specifications
– It's a pretty shade of Red
– Block expertly tumbled prior to anodizing to provide that smooth-to-the-touch feel
– Requires extensive machining, so grab that Dremel Tool and have at it

In The Package
1 ea. Red Anodized Gunsmith Fit Universal Trigger (in block form)

Installation Resources
There are none. So, good luck with that.

DISCLAIMER

Hello, McFly, this is not an actual trigger and will not work. However, it is actually available for purchase at ApexTactical.com for just $9.95.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Update on Projects


Thought you guys might like to see the progress on my Ruger Mk IV — the grips have been changed from the target grips to a standard set from ShopRuger, a rail has been mounted and the C-More bolted into place. I just started shooting it, and I'll fill you in on accuracy details, hopefully this afternoon after my fun and exciting appointment with the dentist!

On other projects, the Ruger American Ranch Rifle in .450 Bushmaster is definitely going with us to Ox Ranch in Texas for an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY (Shooting tanks and shooting hogs, c'mon! What could be cooler?). Right now it's fitted with a Leupold VX-Hog 1-4X, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a Nightforce NXS 1-4X is in my future!

As I mentioned on Facebook, I am going to tentatively pass on the Ruger GSR in .450 Bushmaster, although it is a beautiful rifle and very true to Jeff Cooper's concept of "Thumper." I've just had a flood of "non-standard" guns/cartridges over the last few months — my .338 Federal Scout and Wilson AR-10, the .458 SOCOM Wilson Combat I built, the .50AE Desert Eagle and the .450 Bushmaster — and a mixed lot of guns coming through the Bunker, so I'm already behind. Besides, now that I've "dialed in" the Ranch Rifle, I'm wondering if I actually need another Thumper!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Okay...Only A Bunch More Conference Calls and I've Made It to the Weekend...

A bunch of wrap-up thingies for the week...

1) Mo' Rugers! Mo' Rugers! Mo' Rugers! Ruger has announced an American .45 Compact. I like the compact 9mm a lot, so I would expect this one to be every bit as good. I assume Brother Ed Head has a review spinning up for DRTV. Ruger also announced 2 more versions of their MK IV .22 pistols, a 22/45 Tactical, based on the upgraded model with the removable grip panels, and a MK IV Competition, which I have on the way to me this week.

This is the pistol I alluded to on Wednesday's podcast. Am looking forward to shoot more Rimfire Challenge this year, and after shooting the Mk IV Hunter version for SHOOTING GALLERY this season, I really want to put the Competition model through the paces. Should be here today or early next week.

It will be fitted with an RDS for this season...

2) Here's Version 3.0 of my EDC:


You may ask yourself why so many versions. Valid question. Just before a match I tanked my untankable Trij RMR06 on my competition USPSA Carry Optics gun. By tanked I mean it stopped holding zero and battery life dropped to minutes...obviously a sick puppy! Plan A was to pop an RMR off one of my other guns, bolt it onto the Suarez G19 I compete with and be good to go. Then Mr. Ham-Hands himself stripped one of the screws holding the RMR in place (Oh come on! Don't you dare tell me you've never stripped a little screwhead!).

Rather than stick with my original plan of screaming and pulling my hair out, I shifted gears on EDC back to my RMR-equipped G26 (not exactly a huge change, to be sure, since my EDC has a G26-sized frame anyway...I didn't even have to change magazines), pulled the slide off the EDC G19 — a very old Glock slide fitted with a first generation Leupold DeltaPoint, and went to the match.

I had always intended to go to a different slide/optic on the ROBAR-build frame, but it was on the back burner. Since I had pieces of Glock scattered all over the place, I decided to move that plan up. I talked to Gabe Suarez and had Suarez International build me up one of their G19 slides in grey with an RMR06 and stacked night sights front and rear. I added a stock barrel and recoil spring assembly. I'll start testing on it today. Once I get around 200 rounds though it, I'll place it into service. BTW, here's a great round-up of Glock barrels from the Victory Gun Blog. I run a Wilson Combat barrel in the competition G19, and it is noticeably different, especially with the Wilson Signature 125-gr Match ammo. If the barrels ever come back into stock, I might even buy a spare! LOL!

And yes, any RDS-equipped firearm that I use for carry is equipped with BUIS!

3) In our Hand Me the Mallet Department..this left me to fix my ham-handed stupidity on the competition gun. Above all things I hate tapping out screws and bolts, especially little bitty screws and bolts. Amazon to the rescue! I have Craftsman bolt and screw removers, but I took a quick look for something a little smaller. I came across Alden MicroGrabits, cutter on one side, extractor on the other. A little pricey, but it looked like what I was looking for. Boom! easiest extraction I've ever done! These things rock...dentists ought to use them. Will have my Trij boxed up and on the way to service today. Meanwhile, I'll stick with the competition set-up I have now.

4) I'll be doing a little big bore stuff next week, working with .44 Magnum single actions for upcoming SGO episode. I admit that part of this is driven by Max Prasac's book I talked about in a previous post. I realized that it has been a while since I worked with the single action blasters, and I kinda missed it. I'm even itching to do some .44 Magnum reloading...maybe it's spring in the air...or a virus of some kind.


5) And one more gun lust point...heard from Big Horn Armory this morning that they are now offering their achingly beautiful big bore lever guns in a 16-inch barreled Trapper version. This is from the presser:
Trapper carbines retain all of the features of the Models 89, 90 and 90A that have made them a resounding hit with hunters and woodsmen who desire a fast-handling powerful repeating rifle that can deliver multiple shots faster than the traditional bolt-action rifle. Receivers and barrels are made from 17-4 stainless steel CNC machined to the tightest tolerances in the industry. All components are made in the USA and assembled by a well-trained staff of gun makers in Cody, Wyoming. Stocks are made from selected American black walnut superbly fitted to the metalwork and checkered to 20 lpi, capped with a 1-inch recoil pad. The generous finger lever accommodates the largest hands even with gloves. Big Horn Armory rifles have the nearly bomb-proof Skinner Sights aperture adjustable for windage and elevation and a post front sight.
In either .500 S&W Magnum, .460 S&W Magnum or .454 Casull...sigh...it would only make my pre-'64 Winchester 94 30-30 jealous!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Inexplicably, It's Not Friday


I'm on my second gallon of coffee to see if I can jumpstart my brain. Fingers crossed...

I've started reading my friend Max Prasac's spectacular book, THE GUN DIGEST BOOK OF HUNTING REVOLVERS. Even if you're not interested in handgun hunting, the book is a wealth of information on big bore revolver shooting (and was Max's previous book, BIG BORE HANDGUNS).

Our SHOOTING GALLERY episode on John Linebaugh's annual big bore seminar in Cody, WY, was very popular. I think a lot of shooters (and I'd include myself in that group) are fascinated with shooting the big boomers. As I said on the show, it is undeniably hard — hard to master that giant explosion so close to your face, hard to handle that much recoil, hard to keep your hand and wrist from crumbling into powder after a hard day of the range. Max is one of the great masters of this arcane art, and it helps that he is an excellent writer. For those of us who love the boomers, the photography is breathtaking.


HUNTING REVOLVERS is the second "significant" firearms book to be published recently — the first is Richard Mann's THE SCOUT RIFLE STUDY. I say "significant" because both the books add new information and impressive depth to our understanding of these 2 niche areas.

Considering that Richard is a pecker-headed West Virginia redneck, the SCOUT RIFLE STUDY is pretty much a masterpiece in multimedia…the only thing I can think of to explain this is that Richard is holding a whole bunch of 10-year-old hackers captive in his basement. I'm pretty sure Richard knows everything about Scout Rifles, and like Max, he knows it because he's put a bazillion rounds through them, tried numerous different configurations, and used them for training and hunting around the world.

I tend to default to people who do, as opposed to people who have carefully examined all the significant Internet forums, blogs (including mine), social media and YouTube — and hell, even taken a class! — to arrive at their conclusions. I know I've ranted about this recently, but it popped up in my head again since Marshal and I have been writing checks to purchase T&E guns.  We tend to buy a lot of guns and gear because we're in the business, and the way to really understand a firearm is to shoot it a bunch. A 30- or 90-or even 180-day test and evaluation period will introduce you to a gun or a piece of gear, but you don't really know it.

I figure Max and Richard have spent the bulk of their disposable income for decades buying and shooting the guns they're now writing about. That would be my definition of "expert."

Sunday, March 05, 2017

OWWWWW…Ickky...

So yesterday I had a wonderful plan…was going to get out the door early, do my various and sundry errands, then spend the afternoon at the range. I'd gotten out my .22 Ruger American bolt gun and a brick of CCI Quiet to do some work off sticks and practice off-hand on close and medium targets. I was darned excited.


Of course the errands ran long, so on the way home I grabbed a turkey sandwich from a little sandwich shop I'd visited before and ate it on the way home. You know what's coming next, right? I'd just stepping into the house and set the groceries down when the cramps hit, and — YEHAW! — they put me on the freakin' floor! Needless to say, I didn't make it to the range…I was lucky I made it to the bathroom…almost.

Bleeeech!

Better today, but if you've ever been through a bad bout of food poisoning you know that it echoes for days. Just what I needed.


Tomorrow on the video portion of the podcast I'm going to be talking .22s. We (me and my shows) sort of drifted away from .22s during the Great Ammo Shortage…it didn't make sense to me to be heavily promoting a type of shooting that was — temporarily — out of reach. With ammo back in the pipelines, I wanted to come back to .22s and to the NSSF Rimfire Challenge, a sport I'm proud to have had a hand in founding. I would like to make the World Championships this year in October.

I'm hearing rumblings of changes in the Rimfire Challenge, and I'm 100% on board in any capacity they might need me.

I'm going to start working with the Mark III I built a couple of years back, the one with the Majestic Arms trigger and the Tac-Sol 6-inch upper. If you recall, that build was one of those "3 Little Piggies" builds where I couldn't get it exactly right. The final product, though, is the absolutely best .22 pistol I've ever shot…until

I was hugely impressed with the new Ruger Mark IV .22 (you saw it on SHOOTING GALLERY this season!). I was tremendously impressed with the 2 Mark IVs I shot — the Hunter and the Target — but especially the fluted-barrel Hunter version. I said on camera that the Mark IV Hunter I'd been shooting was the single best Mark-series .22 I'd ever shot…true. I'm very interested in the Competition model like this Gallery of Guns 100-year commemorative. The Ruger designers when down a similar path to my own…the longer (6 7/8-inch) barrel, but slabbed to reduce the swing weight.

I've got a Mark IV on the way and I'll shoot it against my Mark III. I'm also very interested in the Tac-Sol TLP-22, which I've handled but not shot. Chet, Dan, Mike, Ford and the whole crew at Tac-Sol were able to synthesize the lessons we've learned over the years of the Rimfire Challenge and translate them into a pistol (in the same way they built their X-Ring rifles). BTW, I am lucky enough to have a different sort of X-Ring in the works — on with the cocking handle on the LEFT side…heck, where it should be! I saw Mike Wirth's leftie X-Ring when I was out at Tac-Sol a few years back and put my name on the waiting list if they ever did another run. It's in the oven cooking up as we speak.

I am going all red dot this year, since I'm EDC'ing a Trij RMR. I will probably go back to the old Burris Speed Dot on the rifle…I love that sight! Was cheap, worked great…what can one say? Sort of like the old Tasco ProPoint, one of the first red dot sights I ever bought. The thing still works.

Not sure about the dot on the pistol. I have several options. Right now there's a Burris FastFire on it, but I'm considering a C-More.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Save Your Pennies...



From Swaro this afternoon:
Cranston, Rhode Island - SWAROVSKI OPTIK NORTH AMERICA, a subsidiary of the Austrian based company, announces the dS, representing a completely new generation of rifle scope. This product will highlight the optical features of a conventional rifle scope and combine the technology of digital targeting to form an impressive, complete device. Delivery starts in Europe in July 2017. The launch in the US market will be Shot Show in January 2018. 
The new dS shows not only the correct aiming point, but also the key ballistic data in the head-up display without any distraction and in real time. The key benefit for hunters is that the correct aiming point will be displayed automatically in the rifle scope. With the press of a button, the dS measures the exact distance to the target, having factored in the magnification setting, air pressure, temperature, and angle. This takes into account the personal ballistic data for your firearm/ammunition combination. The windage mark intervals are calculated based on the distance measured, the wind speeds set, and the ballistic data. 
The display shows the distance information, bullet energy, and other features in a high-resolution head-up display that clearly provides you with all the hunting data that can contribute to a successful hunt. The design of the dS with its attractive silhouette will look great on any rifle. 
The scope requires networking with a smartphone. Exchanging data is simple and straightforward via the Bluetooth® interface. The personal data supplied when sighting in the target are input directly into the app and transmitted immediately. 
SWAROVSKI OPTIK has developed a “smart” rifle scope with the dS, which provides hunters with intelligent support. Technical and long-range optical innovations, combined with the hunter’s own expertise, make it possible to remain totally focused even in challenging situations. “This makes an important contribution in terms of allowing hunting to be carried out in a responsible manner all the time,” says Carina Schiestl-Swarovski.
Sure, it's going to cost more than car, probably more than an SUV, but in reality you kid can put him - or herself through college without your help...besides, what's a degree in puppetry worth these days? Get the scope...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Winter is Back, Dammit!


How could this happen, I ask? No more casual afternoons at the range for a while…was really nice to have almost a month of spring in the dead of winter, right about the time when we all start coming down with cabin fever ("I shot six holes in my freezer" as the song goes).

Spent yesterday shooting/videoing for the SGO GP-100 special. Was especially fun plinking with the GP-100 .22 10-shot and CCI "Quiets." Could barely hear a "tink" when the bullets hit the 60-yard silhouette.

Today is V/O for the AMERICAN MARKSMAN finale and some planning for next week's podcast. Since the first segment is video'ed I'm trying to put together a more visual piece for the filming. Next week I fully intend to wear pants, however.

I've done a little juggling of guns for in-house carry. Normally, I stick a .380 in my pocket when I get up in the AM, since I dress comfortably when I'm going to be working in the office all day. Note the dripping understatement in that comment...anyway, with people working outside on the new video studio most days (today being a Snow Day exemption), and me having to occasionally race to a store to pick something up, I wanted something a little more definitive to have on my person. Rather than buy a G43, I settled on the Ruger LC9s I put a couple of hundred rounds through a while back. I have a nice Simply Rugged DEFCON belt holster that is comfortable and easy to carry all day, so I'm going to go that route for awhile.

I never had any trouble with the older long DA pull LC9, especially after Galloway Precision overhauled it. As I said earlier, the LC9s has the best striker-fired trigger I've ever felt. I'm going to replace the Ruger guide rod and spring with a stainless steel captured spring version from Galloway just as a precaution. Still, when I leave the house, it's the red dot G19.

I guess I'll go ride the Spinner for an hour or so...


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Great Circle of Life...


...Ruger style!

Been out shooting me some revolvers, filming for SGO. Aren't they just as cute as a passel of puppies? From top-dead-center, going clockwise, GP-100 .44 Special, Alaskan Super Redhawk .454 Casull, SP-101 Wiley Clapp version, GP-100 .357 Wiley Clapp/Gemini Custom, and .44 Magnum Redhawks by Hamilton Bowen.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fun Day at the Range


Yesterday we began filming for an SGO episode centering on the new Ruger GP-100 .44 Special…I want to talk a little about the history and the enduring appeal of the .44 Special. Since yesterday was B-Roll Day, I got to haul out a bunch of cool guns to shoot, including my Taylor's Schofield .44 Russian top-break, an S&W M-21 .44 Special and a plethora [use "plethora" 2 more times and it's MY word!] of GP-100s in multiple calibers.

As I've talked about on the podcast, I was never a particular fan of the GP-100. I have and had Smiths and Colts in .357, and because of my fascination with big bore handguns, .357 guns didn't much show up on my radar. That changed when my friend Ken Jorgensen at Ruger convinced me to try one of their Match Champion GP-100s. Ken is a revolver specialist and an enthusiastic ICORE competitor, and I know he had a lot of input into the Match Champion (so named as it was designed for IDPA revolver competition).


I got the gun just before I headed out to GUNSITE for a week of filming, so I took the Match Champion and a case of .38 Special ball along with me. In between filmings I had a great chance to run the gun and really liked it. Initially I wasn't crazy about the Hogue grips, but they feel really great in the  hand. I bought the gun and ran it in USPSA revolver competition…no, I didn't win the Cadillac, but I had a lot of fun.

It only got worse from there. We did a SHOOTING GALLERY episode on the ICORE Revolver World Championships, and I used a "vintage" GP-100 6-inch I bought off GunBroker and had overhauled by my friends at Cylinder and Slide Shop. I shot in the"classic" division, which requires speedloaders instead of moon clips.


From there I added a Wiley Clapp 3-inch (customized by Gemini Custom) and a 5.5-inch 10-shot .22 GP-100 for easy practice. I had trouble with my first .22 GP-100…one of the chambers was, in my best guess, not cut quite deep enough, causing the cylinder to bind up. I ended up returning that gun to Ruger, and the second has worked without a hitch. I plink a lot with CCI Quiets, which are…quiet.

One of the things we filmed yesterday was a recoil comparison with self-defense loads in the 3-inch .44 Special, the 3-inch .357 and a 2.75-inch Redhawk. I'm also doing a little history of the .44 Special, working up through .44 Russian (hence the Schofield) to the .44 Magnum. The other 2 parts we need to film are a comparison with other mid-frame .44 Specials (a Hamilton Bowen custom S&W .44 Special "Mountain Gun," a S&W 396 AirLite, a Charter Arms Bulldog and a Taurus 431 stainless steel. As you know, most of my revolvers have been "dinked." The Bulldog was redone by MagNaPort and has been a consistent problem child. The old Taurus, which was a gift from my father decades back, ended up in my safe because my father said it had the worst trigger in history…which is did. Jim Stroh from Alpha Precision completely redid the gun, rounding the square butt and going through the action with a fine-toothed comb. The result is one of the best .44 Specials I own. So the Ruger GP-100 has a lot of competition there. The final part is going through the GP-100 line. I'll do accuracy testing next week.

FWIW, in the last few years I have gone to "designer" cartridges for self-defense carry in both .44 Special and .44 Magnum. In the Specials, I've defaulted to Buffalo Bore Anti-Personnel 200-gr wadcutters at 1000 fps; in the Magnum, as I've mentioned before, I've sett;ed on the Garrett Defenders, 310-gr at roughly 1000 fps.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Is It Friday Yet?


I need to parse this:

13 pounds of horse genitals concealed in woman's luggage; claimed it was for medicinal purposes

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, 
And no one can talk to a horse of course 
That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

Go right to the source and ask the horse 
He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse. 
He's always on a steady course. 
Talk to Mr. Ed.

"Oh Wilbur! Put down that knife!
I'm filming another episode of SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE today, if I can get past a flood of nickel and dime stuff. Like little bitty ducks nibbling at my testicles...

The initial run of the video podcast is a big success, and we will go forward with it. Essentially, we'll be videoing the first segment of DOWN RANGE Radio, which will go up on DRTV Wednesday afternoon. The regular audio version will go up Wednesday morning as usual.







Friday, February 10, 2017

I'm Not Sure, But I Think It's Friday...


Had a GREAT day Wednesday filming episode 13 of SHOOTING GALLERY Season 17 at the Liberty Firearms Institute (LFI) in Johnstown, CO, with John Carter producing/directing and my good friend Mark Passamaneck as guest blatherer. We shot a bunch of pistol caliber carbines (PCC) and, as Mark coined, pistol caliber pistols (PCP, a gateway drug). Was Big Fun! You'll see it around mid-March on SG.

LFI is one of the new generation of "guntry clubs," about as far away from the old dingy basement ranges from the Old Days as you can get. They have 2 25-yard ranges, a 50-yard range,  a 100-yard range (with televised targets so you don't even need your spotting scope), a steel range (frang only), a spectacular retail facility, classrooms, in-house training and gunsmith, an executive lounge, safes for rent, a coffee shop, space for a full-fledged restaurant and even a substation for the local cops on premises. Very impressive! I'm looking at doing a lot of my shooting there until winter loosens it grip.

The guns we had for the episode include, my JP 9mm GMR-13, a Stag 9mm carbine [not currently in production, but slated to come back at some point in the future] set up as a 3-Gun "trainer" Mark's home built (on a QC-10 lower) competition 9mm carbine, a Sig Sauer MPX, an Angstadt Arms pistol, my now-ancient Spike's Tactical 9mm pistol, a Kel-Tech Sub-2000, my QC-10/Dead Foot Arms 9mm pistol build, an IWI X95 9mm and a CZ EVO carbine that we ran out of time before we could shoot!

This is obviously not a survey of all PPCs! SG is now 19 1/2 minutes of edit (for a 30-minute program). I couldn't get in another gun on a bet — no diss on the Beretta CX-4 Storm, the Hi-Point, everybody's favorite cereal box, the KRISS, the AR-ish carbines/pistols (Aero Survival Rifle from TNW, Thureon's GA Carbine, Just Right, Tresna Defense's JAG9G, Flint River Armory's CSA45 (in .45ACP) and the upcoming FightLite MXR) and the insta-carbine, Mech Tech. I reached out to Mech Tech Systems, since I've used them in the past, but we couldn't get anything put together in time. Ditto the "oldies but goodies:" Marlin Camp Carbine, Ruger PC9, the lever guns, the bolt guns (Seen the Rock Island .22TCM bolt guns converted to a suppressed 9mm? Cool!), the other AR-15 platform manufacturers (the uber-AR 9mm was from Olympic, I believe, which just folded; Rock River Arms is still big into 9mm pistols and pistol caliber carbines, as is CMMG). Finally, no Auto Ordnance Thompsons (although I own a great one, rebuilt by Stan Andrewski years ago) or any of the current flood of MP5 clones, including the one from H-K and assorted different flavors of Uzi,  the Chiappa 9mm M1 Carbine that I have NEVER seen in the wild, or the great granddaddy of them all, the Colt 9mm SMG in its semi auto version, the Colt 6951. Oh, or pistol-to-rifle conversions...I already mentioned the Mech Tech, but there's also C.A.A.'s RONI system and the Sig Adaptive Carbine Platform. Did I mention specialty guns, like the 9mm carbine from Trojan Firearms that feeds from an STI 2011 magazine; Nordic Components' interchangeable magazine well carbines, Glock specialist Lone Wolf's Glock magazine carbines and components and a bunch of other pistol caliber lower manufacturers. This is why I launched SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE on MyOutdoorTV.com.

The ultimate feral cat whacker...

Wow! I need a nappie!

I talked to the TNW Corp guys at SHOT, and I am interested in the Aero Survival Rifle in 10mm, which should be a wicked-good home defense weapon...the 200-grain Buffalo Bores are closing out at almost 1200 fps, according to their website. A Brethren MP-5 has been in my sights for a while, but the price tag is still daunting. In all likeihood, my next "pistol caliber carbine" will be an M1 Carbine in .30 Carbine. I have a Hamilton Bowen .30 Carbine Ruger Blackhawk from the Old Days, and it is a very loud hoot to shoot. I'm set up to load .30 Carbine, and I always meant to get a M1 Carbine to go with it. When we were filming the Finals of AMERICAN MARKSMAN, one of the guns our finalists had to use was the M1 Carbine...it looked like a lot of fun to shoot.