Firearms General (226)
Their customer service is much improved! But first I will describe my early skepticism...
A few years ago I have mentioned that I have had several instances of bad luck in dealing with American Security (safes). I tried to buy a spare shelf a while back with frustrating "they will call you back" and countless voicemails. After describing my problems to the place I purchased it they said that they had the same problem and they gave me a shelf from their inventory! Definitely a life customer there.
I had also bought a little S&W-branded (AmSec made) travel safe for carrying a handgun. It was finger pattern activated (or key) and could be bolted to an included plate that I was thinking of bolting in the trunk. My first clue of its quality should have been all of the S&W phone #'s covered with a basically "don't call us (S&W) call the maker AmSec" stickers on it. One day the safe just locked open...with the key in it. I guess I should have been happy it wasn't locked closed. I pulled the warranty card to find that it had looooong expired (I don't even think it was 90 days). It's now a paperweight.
These experiences led me to use my AmSec for only storing paperwork (the AmSec that worked), but to be honest I needed a bigger safe anyway. AmSec was not on the list of brands I looked at. But I digress...
Anyway, in all of AmSec's documentation I can't find the bottom bolt hole sizes. So the other day I called AmSec and was routed to customer service. It said that there was one person ahead of me -- and within a couple of minutes a live person answered!
She looked up up the bolt size (1/2") and even emailed me a pdf! Excellent customer service! Weird that their anchoring document shows a bolt with a PLASTIC expansion sleeve, but really the size is all I wanted to know. I include it here now. For my next safe (running out of room again) I will reconsider AmSec.
It is all over the internet that AmeriGlo would have taller sights for suppressed M&Ps out this year (rumored release was this past January). Well, I couldn't find them on their website, so I emailed them.
Turns out that they are still coming and anticipated for release in the Fall. Although delayed this is still good news. Lots of M&Ps out there, and lots of threaded barrel options, including a couple from S&W themselves.
The Story Behind the S&W (registered trademark) M&P (registered trademark) "SpecOps" threaded barrel 9mmWritten by Reg Mathusz
Here is an interesting tid-bit of information about the short run of S&W (registered trademark) M&P (registered trademark) "SpecOps" pistols most noted for its billboard size "SpecOps" marking and factory 13.5x1LH threaded barrel.
It comes from here: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_20/315295_.html
from an insider from GemTech:
Gemtech Government & Industry Liaison
Joined: Sep 2003
USA ID, USA
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 5/27/2010 9:15:28 PM
Originally Posted By MrGreg:
I've heard it has trouble indexing on some cans because the shoulder was made for Gemtech suppressors, though, so YMMV.
***Not usually one to jump in just to set things straight, but I hear yarn this sometimes... and it's not entirely true. The original threaded 9mm barrels from Smith & Wesson were NOT spec'd *for* Gemtech suppressors, they were initially made for a European government order, which envisioned B&T of Switzerland's suppressors. In the middle of things, we ended up doing the suppressors for it, but had to use the metric barrels that were already made. We later got S&W spun up and running with 1/2-28 barrels (which will be put on the commercial market one of these days). There's nothing wrong with the 13.5s, but the U.S. market generally prefers the SAE threadings. The remaining metric threaded barrels went into the Sports South "Specops" model guns.
The S&W factory .45acp threaded barrels, btw, are just a bit longer than the aftermarket ones that were made without benefit of seeing the factory ones. I'd always advise you use the original manufacturer's barrel over an aftermarket if you have the ability.
GEMTECH TEAM GUY
ARFCOM INDUSTRY DISCLOSURE: iPhone 4G.
quiet things for quiet professionals
Interesting! So, there is some European Agency (Swiss maybe?) running around with M&Ps and GemTechs!
I wonder what sights they are using?
My M&P SpecOps:
Seems like a lot of folks are marking these up quite a bit due to supply & demand. I am pleased that there a still some folks keeping prices down even though they could easily raise their prices. My local dealer Federal Way Guns is one such place and I just got an email from DSGArms: http://dsgarms.com/ProductInfo/CO6920.aspx that they now have Colt 6920s in stock for $995!
There are still good deals out there if you look and are willing to wait.
p.s. I am not affiliated in any way with either place but respect their business models, and really like my 6920 :)
Grach.....rhymes with Glock!
is it just me or is this weird article? The first sentence...mayor to announce tougher federal penalties are two things that don't normally go together. http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-plan-to-combat-gun-crime-159415415.html
Gun owners plan to attend Town Hall Seattle meet on urban violence - Seattle gun rights | Examiner.comWritten by Reg Mathusz
For those wondering why S&W had a Sigma and an SD line of very similar products. To me it looks like they are merging the two from this announcement yesterday:
About a week ago I dropped by Blade-Tech to pick up holster. Their customer service is stellar and they had the holster done (at no charge) in a day, even cutting it to custom length for me. Anyway, you can read the details here: http://fortreg.com/firearms/?p=2149. But, this is about the tour...
Blade-Tech kindly offered to give me a factory tour which I gladly took them up on. For those that don't know Blade-Tech is located in Puyallup, WA (kind of between Seattle and Tacoma).
I was first struck by the size of the facility. I parked and walked up to a building marked BladeTech. That was the first suite which was not retail accessible. I kept walking...and walking...about four suite lengths. That's when it dawned on me--The whole strip was Blade-Tech! They have grown quite a bit since they first opened up Lakewood, WA!
They currently occupy approximately 30K square feet. They were literally expanding (knocking out walls, etc) into 45K as I took the tour with eyes on expanding even more. If you were thinking that they are a small shop, you would be wrong!
I didn't realize it, but they have two knife divisions and a fire safety equipment division. They build soft goods, for example fire extinguisher carriers.
Speaking of soft goods, they are expand that line into the vest/armor carrier market! Think Tactical Tailor type gear.
Back to the tour...
I saw an injection mold machine used for their Revolution line of holsters. It uses little plastic pellets that are shaped/sized like wood stove pellets. I think they said there are two.
I was lucky enough to be there while the Kydex mold machine (sorry, not sure what it is actually called) was running. I will try and explain it as best I remember. It runs two molds at once.
Basically there are Kydex sheets of different thickness depending on what they are making. Interesting, because I have noticed that some of their competitors only use one thickness. Logically, Blade-Tech's IWB holsters are thinner than a level III duty holster. I didn't count, but there were at least three different sizes.
So, these sheets are placed into ovens and heated up. The pistol molds are placed on top of two separate vacuums. These molds have tiny holes in them. The heated sheets are placed on top of the mold and the vacuum basically sucks them onto the shape of the molds!
Several large blowers then cool the roughly formed holsters. If you pictured someone with a hair dryer to heat the Kydex to mold it and then a fan to cool it off, you have the right concept, just not nearly on the same scale or technology.
From the holsters are checked by hand. Actually, let me just mention that I was genuinely surprised at how much a Blade-Tech holster is made by hand. It then goes to a person that actually puts a mold of the firearm to finish fitting. After that it goes to a person that puts the mounting hardware in, and then finally off to a QC person.
I would be very surprised if someone ever gets a holster that their pistol doesn't fit in.
Speaking of molds! This was my favorite part of the tour. Row and rows and rows and rows of stacks of molds of pistols! While I was there I spied a mold for a S&W 4566. I see an order being placed shortly. In case you couldn't tell I was really impressed with the number of molds they have. They also do flashlights, multitools, and revolver speed loaders.
I seriously doubt that anyone in the industry has more molds than Blade-Tech does.
I asked why the Blade-Tech website did not list all the holster/pistol combinations that I know they have. For example, the traditional belt holster has a huge list of selectable pistols (like the 4566), but if you go to the Eclipse it is quite a bit shorter (no 4566).
Regarding this, there are a couple things to point out:
- There is a new website coming out and the current one is incomplete for all of the molds they have. If you call customer service they do have a full list. (They do have a toll free number too.)
- They haven't made molds for all of the holster combinations they could possibly make. In other words they probably have not made an Eclipse for a S&W 4566, although they can.
- They plan on offering the Eclipse for everything they have in the standard belt line. Unfortunately, they are not the same mold so they have make it.
- The Revolution holsters use completely different molds and they are VERY cost prohibitive. I wouldn't count on the list of supported pistols to expand greatly. They will probably only have/get molds for the most popular pistols (so, no 4566).
I asked about turn around time. They are currently at 5 weeks. This is in line with a lot of Kydex holster makers. They were actually embarassed - they had prided themselves that they until recently had a 1 -2 week turnaround previously. They are currently running 3 shifts a day including weekends to get caught up!
Now, order back logs might raise concern that QC could suffer, especially as employees work increased/more shifts. However, I was surprised and impressed that everyone there seemed to be happy--from customer service, to sales, to Kydex molder, fork lift driver, etc. Definitely a sign of a good company.
So--great products, superior variety of pistols molds, exemplary customer service and they have happy employees? Blade-Tech is definitely doing things right.
Heads up potential Seattle visitors! Last week the "May Day Zone" became weapons banned & confiscation, authorized by the mayor's emergency powers executive order. Makes you wonder -- what would happen in a real and protracted emergency Like Hurricane Katrina? Or an eruption in the Ring of Fire?)
Anyway, article from the local news today:
Peaceful protesters said violence perpetrated by a select few wrecked their message a week ago on May Day, but the ...
Did you know that all weapons in the Seattle "May Day Zone" were banned and confiscatable yesterday?Written by Reg Mathusz
You may have heard about the Seattle "May Day Protests" and the "Black Bloc" of self-proclaimed anarchists causing mayhem and destruction.
You may have even heard that Mayor McGinn banned "weapons" that included sticks, rocks, flag poles, etc. But, what you may not have known is that he actually banned *all* weapons and the police were allowed to confiscate them.
Am I being alarmist? Maybe not when you consider that this is a Mayor that attempted to uphold former Mayor Nichols' illegal firearms ban -- despite being told by the Attorney General that is was illegal, ruled against in court, ruled against in Appeals, and then finally ruled against by State Supreme Court! See a trend here? What was the order called?
ORDER AUTHORIZING THE CONFISCATION OF WEAPONS
Now, I know of no instance where there was a problem for a legal CCW holder (a valid reason why the framers of our 70s CCW laws made it CONCEALED carry) but the order is written vaguely enough to cover licensed CCW holders.
To the Mayor's credit the order did not apply to lawfully kept weapons in place of business or residence. HOWEVER, legal CCWers should have been exempted also! Walking to your car or driving home could have put you in violation of the law in which your firearm would be potentially confiscated and you would face a $500 if convicted.
You might be wondering how this order is legal? Well, actually it appears that under RCW38.52 it is:
RCW 38.52.020: (b) To confer upon the governor and upon the executive heads of the political subdivisions of the state the emergency powers provided herein;
RCW 38.52.070: (2) In carrying out the provisions of this chapter each political subdivision, in which any disaster as described in RCW 38.52.020 occurs, shall have the power to enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat such disaster, protecting the health and safety of persons and property, and providing emergency assistance to the victims of such disaster. Each political subdivision is authorized to exercise the powers vested under this section in the light of the exigencies of an extreme emergency situation without regard to time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law
Now the interesting thing is that even under Emergency Powers heads of political subdivisions are still answerable to the Governor. This explains why the ORDER AUTHORIZING THE CONFISCATION OF WEAPONS mentions that a copy was sent to the Governor and King Co. Executive.
The order was written to expire in 48 hours or earlier. True to his word the Mayor did rescind it today.
I include copies of the orders here since these things tend to disappear after time and memory.
You may have seen my post Caution: Do NOT use S&W M&P compact in a Blade-Tech Revolution (FS) holster.
In a nutshell I found that putting my M&P compact into the Revolution was not a good idea because magazine pops out (they actually only make it for the fullsize). The problem was, of course, only with the compact. Fullsize M&P in the Revolution was fine.
Blade-Tech saw my post and responded quickly that they would check it out, and send me a replacement that worked with both! I also asked that they cut the holster to the compact size. You will see pics why shortly.
When I told Blade-Tech that I could pick up the holster, since I was local, they invited me for a tour of their factory! OK, the holster thing first...
Click on the pic for fullsize.
Here is a close up of the holsters, I just thought it was interesting that my original had a S&W logo with little "Military Police" lettering while the new one has the opposite:
Holsters side by side to show difference in length (fullsize vs compact). Actually the new one is a little lower, the pic makes it look more dramatic than it is.
I think that little bit of material circled is the difference between the two. It was hard to get them both at the same angle to compare. Trust me there is a difference.
Top: Fullsize in the Revolution
Bottom: Compact in the new custom compact
If barrel length is important to you - this is how it should look
This is what the Compact pistol looks like in the Revolution holster which had the mag problem.
Here is what the fullsize looks like in the new compact holster. Looks worse in this pic than the next two.
From these next two pics you can see that it BARELY pokes out
Keep in mind my mag drop problem with the Revolution Holster was caused by using a pistol in their holster which it was not actually designed for (compact in a fullsize holster)! Blade-Tech provided a fix for my problem unsolicited and went above and beyond in customer service-- making me a new holster that worked with the fullsize AND compact and, at my request, even cut it for the shorter pistol for the compact pistol!
I really like the new holster. I hope they add it to the line up.
It's past midnight, my factory tour story will have to wait until tomorrow. But, I will leave you with this....I saw a mold for a S&W 4566 and Steyr pistols. In fact, I am pretty confident that no one has more molds of pistols than they do, and they are not all on their website yet.
Well, it has been awhile since I posted 1911 hammer drop to half-cock (July 22, 2010!) Some projects just get pushed back. I have been messing with 10mm and 40s a lot more than 45ACPs lately, but I digress.
To recap my previous post...
The problem was that my 90s Edition Springfield 1911A1 (kind of in between the GI and the MilSpec before they offered either) had been converted with Ace Hindman's help to 45 Super and spent a number of years running Ace's "Tactical Loads" (185gr @ 1200-1400fps). Unfortunately, I suspect, that accelerated wear help bring about intermittent hammer drop. Meaning that the hammer falls from cock to half-cock. Not good.
Here is what it looked like (from the original post):
Examining it showed a little more wear on the hammer than I would like. I filed on it and was softer than I would have thought. In fact, I messed it up.
Oh well, I like ring hammers and might as well swap it out. Might as well do a few other things too since the parts more than likely would have to be fit. Here is what I ended up doing:
- STI Match Sear – these are HARD and are almost perfectly cut out of the bag
- EMC Ring (commander) round hammer – I just like the look of these and they are bars tock for the purists.
The sear and hammer went together perfectly!
- Colt 1991 Commander grip safety – because I don’t need/want a beavertail, I don’t want to notch the stock one for the ring hammer. This one dropped right in.
- Wolff Sear Spring - very mild arching
- Replace frame pins – they had become loose, falling out if you tilt the pistol
- Colt aluminum solid long trigger – I love this trigger in my Delta. No frills, no set screw to back out. People looked at me like I was crazy. I think that if I had gone with a normal lightweight trigger I would not have had to arc the new sear spring. It replaces a Pachmayr long trigger (its polymer!)
- STI extended safety (more on this below). I actually wanted a classic 1911 Army-style safety but couldn't find one. Oh well, single-sided safety it was.
So, I needed to fit the original stock safety to work with the new parts. So, I fit it (more like attempted). It actually came out decently and functional but it dropped down to the "fire" position a little too low and the detent stop was a little off. A safety is cheap and I am kind of picky. My local gun smith fit it and checked that everything else was ok.
Here is what it looks like (finally) completed:
There we go, only 2 short years later it is completed and a new life for a pistol that I originally bought in 1990. At least I got better at taking pictures.