The ChapStick Trick

Greg Ellifritz, over at Active Response Training posted a great trick for those who have lights mounted on their weapons.

A quick, cheap fix
A quick, cheap fix

Long training sessions can leave a nasty carbon buildup on the lens of the light which can be darn near impossible to clean completely. His trick? A little ChapStick on the lens. Makes clean up a breeze and doesn’t affect the output of the light in any significant way.

You can read more about this little trick and find out where he discovered it here.

God Bless and have a great weekend!

The Old Girl Barks Again!

Webley Mk II
Webley Mk II

For the first time in about fifty years this old Webley MKII barked and sent lead downrange. The old girl tossed 255 grain copper coated (not jacketed) lead bullets with the grace and style befitting her age. Given that she is now close to 120 years old, those rounds didn’t move with the same speed or punch they once might have but then again she wasn’t battling the Boers and their allies for control of Southern Africa, facing a charging Zulu warrior, a “Hun” in the trenches of the Somme or a Nattack at Dunkirk. She was punching holes in paper at 30 feet on an indoor range.

She served her time, through countless regional conflicts and two World Wars until she ended up on these shores, cut down to accept the more common (and cheaper) .45 ACP instead of the .455 Webley cartridge she was designed for.

File_000 (1)She was my grandfather’s before she was mine. From sometime in the 1950’s until just a few years ago she protected three generations of my family that lived and grew up in his home. She was the first center fire firearm I ever laid eyes on. I was taught that this was a tool for a very serious purpose and I learned that lesson along with the lesson that it is a man’s responsibility to protect and safeguard his family.

Her trigger is long and heavy but smooth from over a hundred years of service and use. She is heavy, built to withstand the rigors of a much harsher time. The rounds I used were built by hand with very precise and light loads so as to not inflict any damage on the old girl’s frame or cylinder. The slow burning powder and light loads combine with her heavy frame to give her a very unique recoil impulse; a slow roll rather than a snap. Her bark is still strong and warns of an ability to inflict damage that is only slightly diminished by time.

With well over a hundred years of history protecting an empire and a humble southern family it was an honor to take he out to the range. It was a connection to history and a connection to the man who raised me, who was a father to me that I cannot be described with mere words. I am truly blessed to have been able to do so.

She will make another trip to the range before too long. On that trip a fourth generation of our family will be able to make that connection. I hope it means as much to them as it does to me.

God Bless.

Monarch (Prvi Partizan) .38 Special

I have been buying .38 Special Monarch (re-branded Prvi Partizan) as practice ammo for several months now so I thought I would share my my experiences and thoughts.

Monarch (Prvi Partizan) .38 Special
Monarch (Prvi Partizan) .38 Special

I started practicing with the Monarch for ammo for several reasons. At $18 for a box of 50 it is fairly cheap for .38 Special. Despite the price, it is a semi-jacketed hollow point. for me, that is an added bonus because, in a pinch, I could use it for self-defense as well as practice.

So far, the quality has been fine. I have not had a malfunction in in several hundred rounds which is better than the Federal ammunition I was buying before. It seems to be plenty accurate and I don’t notice my groups opening up at all with this ammunition. I don’t have a chrono so I don’t know how consistent it in in term of performance but, based on my groups, it doesn’t seem to vary too much. Unlike some ammunition from former Eastern Block nations it doesn’t seem to be any dirtier than any other round I have used.

The brass seems well made and the first fifty I reloaded all worked fine. They probably worked a little better than the reloader did. I buckled two cases but those were my mistakes and had nothing to do with the brass.

God Bless

 

 

Range Report: Vickers Tactical Glock 43 +2 Magazine Extensions

I finally made it to the range to test the Vickers Tactical/TangoDown +2 magazine extensions for the Glock 43 that I posted about a week or two ago (link). I wanted to make sure they fed properly and that they would drop free.

Standard G43 magazine compared to Vickers Tactical +2
Standard G43 magazine compared to Vickers Tactical +2

I ran almost 100 rounds through the various magazines including the one equipped with the Vickers Tactical +2 Extension and had no feeding issues whatsoever. That’s a good sign but before I carry these anywhere besides the range I plan on running at least a couple hundred more rounds through them. Call me crazy but I don’t like to bet my life, and more importantly the lives of those I love, on something until I had at least 300 flawless rounds through it.

The magazines with the +2 extension are definitely more comfortable to shoot. The extra inch or so of length allows me to get pretty much my whole hand engaged with holding and controlling the pistol. In some cases, that can be cause of feeding issues in extended magazines. The extra room gives the pinky finger leverage to change the feed angle. I didn’t see any sign of that and even tried to cause a malfunction with extra pressure from the lower fingers. It didn’t seem to cause an issue.

With the longer “grip area” I was curious if accuracy would improve. It didn’t. There was no noticeable decrease in group sizes with or without the extension. The better feel from the longer grip didn’t have a measurable increase in controlability and follow up shots were no faster than without the extension.

Four magazines side by side; Vickers +2 extension, Pierce +1, Glock pinky extension and flush fit magazine
Four magazines side by side; Vickers +2 extension, Pierce +1, Glock pinky extension and flush fit magazine

The second biggest concern I had about these magazines was whether or not the extension would prevent the magazines from dropping free of the firearm when the magazine release is pressed. They did not…sort of. What I found is that because of my had position none of the magazines would drop free. In nearly all cases the lower part of  my hand contacted the magazines and prevented them from dropping free. This is something I will definitely have to practice while dry firing. I was able to consciously force my fingers away from the magazine and in that case it did drop free…right over the firing line. I had to get a ceasefire called so I could retrieve it…oops. Which is probably what particular bad habit developed.

Anyway, so far, so good with these magazine extensions.At this point I would still recommend them but I still want to do a good bit more testing before recommending them for carry.

God Bless.

Hogue Bantam Boot Grips For The Ruger LCR

Last week I posted about the new grip I purchased for the Ruger LCR,  the Bantam Boot Grip from Hogue. I had a chance to get out to the range with it and wanted to share my initial impressions.

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First, the obvious. The smaller Bantam grips are nowhere near as comfortable or controllable as the Hogue Tamer grip that came with the LCR. Now with that said, the Bantam still provides good control and the recoil is still very manageable. I actually like the feel of of the little boot grips on Smith & Wesson J-Frames (yes, I know that’s weird) and this grip feels nearly as good and may give slightly better control although I will need more time on the range to test that out.

Like everything else this is a trade off. In this case a smaller and more easily concealed grip that gives up a little in control and recoil management. Without the Bantam grips there is no way I could carry the LCR in my pocket, so for me, this is a worthwhile trade off.

God Bless.