Firearms General (235)
I just got in a couple of cases (10 boxes x 20 rds each) of Hornady 5.56 TAP with the 75gr T2 bullet. Yep, its 5.56 TAP and not the 223 version.
The 5.56 is a little hotter and uses the T2 bullet with cannelure. It also comes in normal brass (not black). Traditionally, the 5.56 variation has been very hard to get. Additionally, it is designed to work in 1:9 and 1:7 twists.
Browsing some internet forums reveals that the law enforcement that use it, like it. Ballistics-wise it gets very good results and reviews. Here is Hornady's writeup from their law enforcement page: http://hornadyle.com/_img/hornady_tap_report.pdf
I was a little surprised to see that it is loaded with LC (Lake City) brass but Hornady has said that it uses other people's components in addition to their own (specifically TAP). There must have been (or is) a huge demand for them to not use (or have) their own brass. Mine is head-stamped LC08 and LC09.
Anyway, there is a lot of material written on this round including comparisons of the 223 and 5.56 variant. I am happy that it is available, at least for the time being. I like the concept of their SuperPerformance 5.56, but this can be found for significantly less and has been known to down fairly large game.
Anyway, some pics (click pic for closeup):
The Browning Tax Back Promo is back!
Purchase a new Browning firearm at retail from April 1, 2012 thru April 30, 2012 and Browning will reimburse you up to 8% in U.S.. funds for the $ales tax. See your dealer before this offer, like your tax refund, is history. (offer excludes Buck Mark and 1911-22 pistols. Offer only available in the U.S.)
For example, if you spend $1,000 and pay 8% sales tax, you can get $80 back from Browning – that's like getting an 8% discount.
It's easy -- here's how it works for you:
- For convenience, download and print a copy of the "Browning Tax Relief" program flyer found below.
- Purchase any new Browning firearm from a Preferred Browning dealer (Offer excludes Buck Mark Pistol and 1911-22 pistols).
- Make your purchase starting April 1, 2010 through April 18, 2030 at your Browning dealer.
- Make or get a copy of your receipt.
- When you get home, fill out the Tax Relief program coupon and send it in to Browning.
It's that easy!
If you purchase your new Browning in a "no sales tax" state, send in your coupon for special consideration.
Unfortunately, that doesn't cover the sales tax in my state and BuckMarks have been excluded :( I still regret selling my BuckMark Varmint.
I get asked about multi-state carry quite a bit. Since being former UTAH CFP instructor (my certification expired and I did not renew) I am glad to see that more and more states recognize each other's CCW licenses. In more good news 49 states in the Union issue CCW licenses (post here). Many even recognize those that have licenses from a state other than their home state. Utah and Florida CCW licenses are often regarded as the best to hold since they both issue to non-residents and are recognized by the majority of states (20-30).
Not all is good news though. Not all states issue licenses to non-residents and even more states don't recognize any out-of-state licenses.
To confuse matters even more some states only recognize out-of-state licenses only if they are a resident of the issuing state. For example, Florida is one of those states. In order to use Utah CFP reciprocity in Florida you must actually be a resident of Utah.
There is Federal Legislation pending to provide for National recognition of a CCW license, much like a driver's license is. It is H.R. 822. More information about it can be found in my blog post: HERE. I don't know how far it will get, but we can always hope.
More bad news is that some states have taken nitpicking reciprocity and looking for any small reason to not honoring other states licenses. States usually have a 'similar provisions' requirement. This means that as long as the requirements for a CCW license in state A is "similar" to state B it should be honored. Unfortunately, in some cases this has been interpreted to mean "EXACT." States have been dropped from reciprocity for differences as minute such as:
- State A's license is good for 4 years and state B's was recently extneded to 7 years. This is why you may have noticed Florida has been dropped from some state's reciprocity.
- State A only requires x hours of training while State B requires additional hours, or State A requires live fire while State B does not. This is why you have seen Utah dropped from some state's reciprocity.
When traveling you are required to adhere to the rules of the state you are in. Just because your home state allows you to be in an age restricted area (bar) doesn't mean that you can in another. In fact, some states do not even allow you to CCW in a restaurant that even serves alcohol.
DISCLAIMER: I am only talking about being in the same vicinity of alcohol. Legality aside, it should be obvious that the consumption of alcohol and CCW'ing is a bad idea.
If it sounds like a lot of fuss it is because it is. When I traveling I ALWAYS consult with the laws of each state. Easier said then done?
The best two resources for beginning CCW research laws that I have found are (not surprisingly) Utah's and Florida's reciprocity websites. They each have links to the State(s) in question that you can click on and go to directly. Occasionally, a State's link does change. If it is bad you can fish around the provided link and can usually find the new one. Florida is a little different in the fact that it is issued by the Dept of Agriculture.
- Utah Dept of Public Safety Reciprocity Page
- Florida Dept of Agriculture - Conceal Carry Reciprocity Page
I hope that you find this useful. Let me know!
Well, I my wife has claimed my 'go to' rifle is now hers. It was a lightweight RRA that I put together. I can't complain, it replaces her past favorite - an Inland M1Carbine from CMP. It is a great rifle, but ammo is a little spendy (looked at the price of Speer Gold Dot 30 Carbine?)
I have other AR15s but nothing that I want to use as my 'go to' rifle. I started pricing out what I wanted, and those quickly rose to more than I wanted to spend or simply was too long of a wait to get. At the top of my list was a Noveske or BCM. Surprise! My budget (less than $1000) is less than my want list. I need to compromise want vs need.
Putting together a BCM seemed to be in the same ballpark as an assembled LMT or Colt. My local shop is a big Colt dealer (I think they are direct) and have good prices. Very few people will say bad things about the quality (and QC) of a Colt. Sure, sure, there is that whole name/price thing but they have come down dramatically over the years to be competitive. And yes, I have seen a few 6920's that shouldn't have been shipped out. Overall, however, they build a great product. Incidentally, this will not be my first Colt (I had an HBAR previously).
To reduce cost I will forgo free floated barrel and 6' of rail. This means I will not be able to attach my tactical Cuisinart for making margaritas. Again need vs want. I joke, but the $300'ish price difference between a 6920 and 6940 goes a great distance to paying for an EOTech and BUIS.
Time is also a consideration. While I don't need it this week, I want to get it well before November. There is that whole election AND end-of-the-world thing. lol. Despite what happens with either prices and availability will (excuse the pun) shoot up.
Colt especially sells everything they build. My shop had 4 come in this week. Two were pre-sold and the other two sold within a couple of hours. I apparently missed them by a day. I see them in stock online, if I want to pay $200 - $400 more. I will wait and support my local shop too. BCMs are hard to get also.
Before anyone gets upset about getting a Colt, I do own several other brands of AR rifles and I have staked my share of castle nuts and keys. The price spent upgrading parts (BCGs, stocks, buffer springs) can be put towards a new rifle and I still have my range rifles. I just want a low frills goto rifle where I don't have to do anything. Except for a place to put my batteries, an EOTech with BUIS and SureFire flashlight, the rifle will stay stock.
Will it be worth the extra $ vs a 'tier 2' rifle? I think so, but I will let you know.
Here is Colt's spec page: Colt Carbines
For folks that didn't know, I am a big fan of the Steyr pistols. Highly underrated! If you search there are a few posts about my S40.
For fans or those looking to get one now is the time to have your dealer source one (through there normal distributors) I just got the Steyr newsletter and they have just received a shipment of new pistols:
New Shipment Just Arrived!
We just received a new shipment of pistols from Austria including long awaited M40-A1, M9-A1, and C9-A1 models. Most dealers have been sold out for a while, so see your dealer soon as these are sure to go fast as well. We also received 9mm threaded barrels and some HS.50's in both single shot and the new magazine fed M-1. Be sure to check our website, as many other items arrived as well.
This long needed legislation heads to the Governor's desk. It will protect the names and addresses of ccw'ers. Sheriffs have been relunctant to turn over the info, but a NEWSPAPER sued for the info. The court ruled that ccw'ers had no expectation of privacy and ruled for the newspaper!
I get asked about this occasionally and the primary source link seems to disappear/move:
There it is, in writing, proof that the world's most elite cold weather warriors carry Glock 20 10mm's.
The choice of a Sirius Patrol pistol was also determined by concerns about encounters with aggressive polar bears. Most Danish units use 9mm automatics like the CF but the Sirius Patrol learned through hard experience that 9mms had insufficient 'stopping power' to deal with angry adult polar bears. As a result, Sirius Patrol members carry a more powerful 10mm pistols for self-defence, employing the 10mm Glock 20 automatic.
and the footnote:
 The CF's 9mm Browning has begun to show its great age. The Danish approach to automatic pistols is well worth emulating. Perhaps DND should consider issuing a modern 9mm automatic to southern units and 10mm Glocks to northern Canadian Rangers as well as any 'southern' troops who are preparing to deploy to the north.
Here is another description too:
Slaedepatruljen Sirius - The Sledgepatrol Sirius (Arctic LRRP; Navy)
This very special unit maintains a permanent military presence in the arctic regions of North/Northeast Greenland. It's origins can be traced back to the WWII experience with "Operation Resolute", where a guerilla-force of hunters tracked and eliminated German meteorological stations. These stations would have provided vital weather forecasts to the German air force and navy.
In its present form, Sirius is based on small two man patrols with a dog sledge and 11 dogs. The service time is 25 months without any leave and the only outside contact, besides by radio, is the annual supply ship. The main patrolling activity is carried out in the 4 month winter period, where wind speeds of 100 knots or temperatures below -40 can occur. Under these conditions, the patrols must cover several thousand kilometers to complete their designated routes. This objective can only be achieved by using dogsleds, as snowmobiles would be noisy, require vast amounts of fuel, break down and be unable to warn against polar bears. Ultimately: You can't eat a snowmobile in a survival situation!
The weapons carried also reflect the harsh conditions. Only bolt-action rifles (M17/M53) performs reliably. The standard SIG210 Neuhausen sidearm was recently replaced by the 10mm Glock 20, as the stopping power of multiple 9mm rounds proved to be insufficient against a polar bear. The members are recruited from the regular services and must be sergeants at least. They may not be married or otherwise engaged and the selection procedure stresses the psychological evaluation of their personality. Of course, they must also achieve top marks at the NATO Arctic Warfare School in Norway.
Alaska State Troopers episode: Alaskan Standoff
This was an interesting episode that I saw this week (2/26) as a resident shot and killed two moose with a Glock 20 10mm to save his dog from continuing to be trampled.
We know it was FMJ ammo as the AST asked the resident to confirm that it was not hollow point ammo. Why that makes a difference (from a LEO standpoint) I am not sure, but more penetration from a hardcast or FMJ would be better in this case any way.
When asked how many rounds were used the resident said it was about 4. hmm..appears that the 10mm is indeed a good defense for the woods and pretty good for hunting too.
10mm enthusiasts knew that, but there are always some that seem to want more proof.
Charter Arms has been talking about this for a couple of years but I hear that the 40S&W Pit Bull is now shipping!
This snub is about 20oz and a 5-shot. Its big advantage is that it fires 40S&W! More importantly EXTRACTS the cartridges without the need of full moon or half moon clips. I nice trick considering the 40S&W is a rimless (nothing for the extractor star to grab onto) semi-auto round (ok, ok, semi-rimmed but still not normally doable in a revolver).
I know some folks sneer at CharCo and it has been a long time since I have owned one, but they have a long history of innovation. You know the 'drop safety' that all modern revolvers have today? That was pioneered by CharCo and GIVEN to gun companies royalty free!
I seem to be carrying 40S&W a lot and it is definitely a lot less expensive to shoot than 357mag but more punch than 38SPL (IMO) although I do wonder about speedloaders?
Definitely neat and worth checking out. Oh, 9mm (+P rated) will be coming out shortly and 45ACP later.
Pic from their website:
Pretty rare Hornady has an ammo recall.
Link: Hornady Press Release
Hornady Manufacturing Company is recalling seven (7) lots of Item#9249, 500 S&W 300gr. FTX Custom Pistol Ammunition. These lots were shipped between September 9, 2010, and October 17, 2011.
Item number 9249, Lot Numbers:
ornady Manufacturing Company ballisticians have determined that some cartridges from Lot #’s 3101327, 3110256, 3110683, 3110695, 3110945, 3111388, 3111885, may exhibit excessive chamber pressures. Use of this product may result in firearm damage and or personal injury.
DO NOT USE HORNADY CUSTOM PISTOL AMMUNITION
ITEM #9249, 500 S&W 300gr. FTX, FROM THE ABOVE LISTED LOT NUMBERS.
The lot number can be found printed on the lower portion of the box label.
THIS NOTICE ONLY APPLIES TO LOT #’s 3101327, 3110256, 3110683, 3110695, 3110945, 3111388, 3111885. If you own any one of these Lot #’s or have any questions regarding this recall, please call 800-338-1242. Hornady Mfg Company will make all arrangements associated with this return and replacement of the product.
ANY OTHER LOT NUMBERS OR ITEM NUMBERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THIS RECALL AND REQUIRE NO ACTION.
Thank you for your attention. We apologize for this inconvenience.
Someone asked about the Wilderness 5 stitch and in-the-waistband (IWB) carry. My original post neglected to mention IWB.
I have had the opportunity to try out a couple of different holsters and come up with some thoughts...
CompTac CTAC with Glock 23: No problem what-so-ever. Very comfortable and usable. Wore it out to dinner with the wife without any concerns.
Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe with fullsize M&P: Same as above except that I didn't wear it out to dinner
C5Leather with Dan Wesson Commander (1911 with 4.25" barrel): This is a hard-body leather holster with a reinforced mouth and a loop on each side for retention.
This setup is considerably heavier and bulkier than the first two. It was noticeably easier to put it on as my Galco belts are so thick that it is often hard to thread it through the holster.
The cinching ability of the Wilderness was also nice as you can adjust it perfectly!
After about an hour of trekking around hills with my dog it felt that the extra weight caused the top of the pistol (grip) not to snug up against my body. Good thing that it cinches. Here I think that thick leather has the advantage of keeping a pistol snugly against your body.
Unfortunately, I don't have any IWB holsters for my bigger/heavier pistols, but I suspect it is the same - ok for short periods of time but for extended duration carry I would opt for the "CSM" (polymer lined) belt which is stiffer.
I have had a Hornady Lock N' Load (LNL) AP press for about 5 years. I saw Hornady's "Ammo Plant" and had to ooh and aah. 'Ammo plant' pretty much describes what it is. See here: Hornady Ammo Plant
(pic from the Hornady website linked above)
I immediately went to price the components needed to upgrade my LNL to an "Ammo Plant" and found it is more than for me to buy another complete progressive press (although not an ammo plant). Broke = Bad ooh, ah.
However, looking at bullet feeders I saw that RCBS has a new gravity feed bullet feeder which will retail for about $36! RCBS link and here is a really good REVIEW OF RCBS gravity bullet feed from accurateshooter.com.
(pic from accurateshooter.com link above)
This is great because the Hornady electric bullet feeder retails for $350 by itself! Incidentally, RCBS has their own electric bullet feeder too. The pistol kit is $540! Double oooh and awe!
I am going to order the $36 gravity feeder. Slower than the electric versions? Of course! However, since I put them on one by one now, I think I will be ok. Now, I just need a gravity case feeder!
ETA: doesn't look like the feeder is actually out yet.
I was actually going to write an article about DoubleTap and Buffalo Bore ammo but I was pleased to see that Jeff Quinn of GunBlast.com has just (Jan 2012) written an article on the same topic complete with his on chrono #'s from a variety of platforms! This is awesome since it is the rainy season here and because of the overcast can never seem to get my Chrony to work.
Anyway it is a great article with up to date ammo info for fans of full power 10mm ammo.
I am a big proponent for using a quality belt (meaning durable, well-stitched and stiff) for CCW. In fact, I think that belt selection comes second to only the pistol itself (assuming proper, proficient, and safe usage). A holster and a pistol will tear up cheap belts and a non-stiff belt will not hold and distribute the weight of a pistol. It doesn't matter if it is a generic belt from Wal-Mart or a Kenneth Cole from Macy's -- for CCW you need a "gun" belt.
I would rather have a good belt and a $20 holster than a $20 belt with a $200 custom holster.
Traditionally, to me, this has meant a good thick 1.5" width leather belt. There are several good brands and Galco is a personal favorite because of quality, durability and immediate availability to me locally. I have had the same one worn daily for over 10 years! A little spendy at about $75 but after going through countless "dress" belts, well worth the money.
More recently folks seem to be recommending "instructor belts" made originally and famous by Wilderness. Recently, at a Armorers' Course I felt like a fish out of water being 1 (or 2) there NOT wearing one. That reminds me I need to order some tactical pants too..
I chose a Wilderness because they are reputed high quality (I have seen no complaints about their stitching), they offer exact sizing, and they are made in the U.S.. There are several other brands but they were not any less expensive. I chose 5-stitch since the 3-stitch doesn't seem stiff enough for a pistol. They offer an even stiffer "CSM" model which adds a layer of polycarbon in between the belt layers. I own a similar leather/carbon hybrid belt. It is VERY stiff. I think this has disadvantages too (see # 4 below).
It is basically a nylon-web belt that is double-layered except for the end portion that goes through buckle. This model has 5-stitches that run along the length of the belt to add stiffness. One side has a metal buckle finished in RoGuard black. The buckle is pointed so that a carabiner can be attached if using with a rappelling rig. The loops through the buckle and back through a "floating lock bar" that is inside the buckle. That lock bar basically pivots back and forth and has one size with teeth so that it grab onto the the belt locking it in place. This allows the belt to be cinched down at any point. The extra belt (after going through the buckle) goes to the side and attaches to the belt via velcro. No more flopping around! (disadvantage below) I didn't do any picture because there a million of them on the web and mine looks like every other one.
To me there are some other advantages to this type of belt:
- Price: they are available for about $40
- More impervious to wet weather (hello, Seattle!) and also dry quickly (vs. leather)
- Incredibly thin and lightweight
- Stiff (5-stitch) but still able to be rolled up compactly for transport (like in a pack)
- Buckle design allows infinite adjustment! no more having to choose between the belt hole that is either loose or too tight. This is great for carrying different loads, switching from no CCW to OWB or IWB. You could also use it in a pinch as a cinching strap.
- Slim buckle with RoGuard finish. You can also use it with a rappelling harness (I haven't done that in years)
I immediately put fullsize S&W M&P pistol in a BladeTech belt holster onto the belt. The pistol hung without any problem and was comfortable.
I then put on one of my heaviest pistols on it to see how it fared -- a S&W 1006 (about 42oz) also in a Hume OWB leather holster holster. There was noticeable drag in the holster from the heavier pistol (duh). I cinched it tighter to mitigate the extra weight. It carried well although slightly snug. Usable but not a comfortable as a good leather belt. My opinion is that if you are going to carry something heavy a lot you should get the CSM option (or a leather belt).
I had heard that looping the belt through holsters because of its double-thickness might be a problem. Not so. In fact, it was easier to thread through than my super-buff thick Galco belt.
One thing that is odd, at least to leather belt wearers, is that for most people the extra length of belt goes towards your strong side. Depending where you wear your holster this means that the length may run into your holster. In the couple of holsters I tried this was not an issue but I don't carry 3 o'clock. If you do, you will want to get a belt that is measured exactly (each manufacturer has instructions on how to do this) so that you don't get a belt with excessive length. Wilderness offers them in your exact size while others offer them in even sizes and some only S-M-L, etc.
Disadvantages? Not many and questionable importance, but..
- Slower to put on and take off, and noisy due to velcro
- I did notice that if you have a lot of pet hair in your hose it does also seem that the velcro on the belt attracts it.
- It is not very dressy, I couldn't get away with it at my work, although I am going to try.
- Extra belt length goes to the strong size
- Seems like they are "tacti-cool." Function over form for me, but not low key. You can wear a thick leather belt and no one will think anything of it.
- Thinness makes it harder to do the "one handed pistol rack" if that is desired. It is actually doable with the 5-stitch depending on the pistol but I suspect the CSM is better, but it is hard to beat a good thick leather belt for this.
I will see how well it holds up, but great quality and usability for the price!
ETA 2/19: added post on IWB carry available: HERE