Wednesday, 22 February 2012 10:10

Safety Notice: Hornady recalls 500mag 300gr FTX

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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:

  • 3101327
  • 3110256
  • 3110683
  • 3110695
  • 3110945
  • 3111388
  • 3111885

Product Recall Item 9249

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.


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.


Thank you for your attention. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Sunday, 19 February 2012 04:28

Wilderness 5 stitch IWB carry

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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

(pic from 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.

Saturday, 18 February 2012 09:09

With SwampFox Ammo gone what are the full power 10mm options?

Written by Reg Mathusz

I was actually going to write an article about DoubleTap and Buffalo Bore ammo but I was pleased to see that Jeff Quinn of 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.

The 10mm PISTOL by Jeff Quinn via

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:

  1. Price: they are available for about $40
  2. More impervious to wet weather (hello, Seattle!) and also dry quickly (vs. leather)
  3. Incredibly thin and lightweight
  4. Stiff (5-stitch) but still able to be rolled up compactly for transport (like in a pack)
  5. 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.
  6. 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..

  1. Slower to put on and take off, and noisy due to velcro
  2. 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.
  3. It is not very dressy, I couldn't get away with it at my work, although I am going to try.
  4. Extra belt length goes to the strong size
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Saturday, 28 January 2012 12:41

Thoughts on carrying round chambered vs unchambered

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This came up on a thread about M&Ps on (HERE). It reminded me of a conversation I had on Friday with a coworker who carries his Keltec P380 unchambered. I wrote this response and thought I would post it here...

The problems with carrying empty chamber to me are:
1. Requires the use of two hands. I don't know about you but I am usually carrying stuff. Yes, I will drop what I am carrying but those extra seconds could cost..
2. Relies on more precise motor skills than I prefer to have to use under stress. Consider that you may have to do this moving, or taking cover
3. Requires that everything during the charging sequence to work and charge the pistol. If any one thing fails then the pistol is essentially a big rock. For example, what if the bullet fails to chamber, or the slide doesn't completely go into battery? You have essentially a rock in your hands.

This is exacerbated with one handed racking. Not only does your equipment need to support this (flat pistol sights, hard belt or hard holster), but you will need to clear your cover garment and rack the pistol, with the same caveats as (2) and (3) above,  without being able to see what you are doing (do you really want to look away from the assailant?) and you may possibly be in motion.

Definitely not something I want to have to rely on, especially during stress and with an assailant. So, I guess to answer the OP's question, yes I carry chambered. :)

Saturday, 21 January 2012 04:55

Shot Show heavy metal (part 2)

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Ok, Colt's new gatling gun SEE HERE is awesome, but with Dillon it has already been brought'd (I know, really bad movie reference).

It is not exactly new but defines awesome. If you are unfamiliar check youtube for videos.

Available for your armored car, Suburban, watch tower, or turret -- perfect for zombies, aliens, and just about anything else -- the almighty Dillon Aero mini-gun..


Perhaps I just like obscure things but here is an item that I haven't seen much about from SHOTSHOW 2012. Awesome in its own way. From Outdoor Channel:


I, of course, assume that it is a plate carrier and has hydration bladder attachments? :)


Thursday, 19 January 2012 11:36

Lot's of new new zombie stuff -- but Colt goes big!

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There are a lot of zombie defense items at SHOTSHOW 2012. I don't know how I missed it, but has a pic of the ultimate zombie defense item.  Quite frankly Colt has 'brought it.' Although they are not marketing it as an anti-zombie gun, I think it is perfect (think Jonah Hex).


That's right -- a frakkin' gatling gun!! Awesomeness!

A lot of bandwidth is spent debating the 'proper' staking of an AR15 gas key.  Additionally, some on the internet stress that having 1 in 7 twist is the best.  I guess that this is because twist isn't optimized for different applications/rifles/bullet weights/etc. Reading some posts on internet forums you would think that any other twist simply won't fire a bullet.

Anyway, back to gas key staking. For some reason some folks are unwilling (or unable) to re-stake it themselves. DSARMS has come up with a non-traditional solution ds-arms-looks-to-end-gas-key-staking-with-thier-new-keyloc that is quickly visible to verify and requires no additional work. It is nice for the folks that simply don't like the look of the traditional hammer & punch method.


I don't know anything about their BCG's but it is very clean looking.

Oh, and on the second topic of twist did I mention that S&W is releasing an AR15 with 1 in 8 twist!
Why do I mention it? Because they feel that it is the best all around twist for those wanting to shoot the range of 55gr - 77gr bullets. This is something that companies like Olympic Arms, Rock River Arms, LaRue have been saying for awhile.

Twist is always a compromise that I don't think that 1:7 is necessarily the best for a 16" bbl semi-auto civilian rifle.

From S&W:

the reasoning for the barrel twist change to 1-8 vs. 1-7 is to allow shooters with bullet weights in the 70-77 grain have optimum accuracy as well as shoot great with the 55-69 grainers.

Here is a nice little Shooting Times article about handloading the AR that talks briefly about twist:

He is someone that agrees:

A twist rate of 1:8 inches is the best compromise for those who wish to shoot reasonably light and reasonably heavy bullets in the .223 Remington, and it is what I prefer for all-around use.

Some folks on the internet will be angry. :)

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