Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

GPal

October 8, 2010

For those who don’t yet know, GPal, the 2nd-Amendment-friendly payment provider similar to PayPal, has been having some issues. There really is a whole lot going on there, and it will take too long to explain everything, although I do want to try my hand at putting together a journalistic post which ties everything together. I am nowhere near that point yet. So far, however, I have been helping to accumulate information at the “GPal Info” wiki:

http://gpalinfo.com

I do not own the wiki and I did not create the wiki; however, I am (so far) the major contributor. As I said, at this point I am just trying to grab facts from various forums (Calguns.net and castboolits.gunloads.com, to name the major two sources) and put them into some sort of organized, “one-stop-shop” for information. There is so much info out there that this is a major task. However, I wanted to make a post about it here, partially to verify to any skeptical Calgunners that I am, in fact, Gun Blobber and have been publishing this Gun Blob for a couple of years now. I have been posting as “gunblobber” on the Calguns forums, and I am proud to say that I achieved one of my goals when I got an informational post stickied to the top of the GPal forum on Calguns.net.

My main goal is to get GPal stopped until they get their problems fixed (if that ever happens). To put it succinctly, the problem with GPal is that they are having problems making payments out to people’s banking accounts. People who have money in their GPal accounts can’t get it out. This has been going on for months and has affected many vendors, both in the 2nd Amendment community and elsewhere. SOME people are getting their money, but usually it is only after weeks or months of waiting, and after several calls/emails/support forum requests to GPal. (It is my experience, and that of many others, that the phone support line is never answered, and e-mails usually go unanswered as well.)

My secondary goal is to alleviate the problem by publishing any factual information that I can dredge up about the GPal situation. The more people know about GPal, its founder Ben Cannon, and his various and tangled relationships with Calguns and other organizations, the better they can direct their energies in a positive way instead of speculating. Knowing at least a little bit of what’s going on is always better than not knowing. So that’s why I’ve contributed to the GPal Info wiki, and why I have posted a lot of questions on the Calguns forums.

You Gotta Fight for your Right to Carry

July 27, 2010

Apologies to the Beastie Boys… but only minor apologies, as I know they probably won’t agree with the sentiment of these lyrics. I churned this out in about 20 minutes, and parts of it are still a little clunky, so I’m open to suggestions. Really the song could use as many verses or couplets as we can come up with, so feel free to contribute. I only made 3 verses because that’s all the original song has. I also referred to the original lyrics (in structure and actual wording) as much as possible, which ended up being almost every line. So if there’s some things that seem a bit out of left field, and you’re not familiar with the original song, look up the lyrics.

You got a basic right to self-defense
You ask the gov’ment “please?” but they just act dense!
You got a clean record, passed the training class
But the jerks preach that power don’t belong to the mass

You gotta fight
For your right
To caaaaaaaaarry

Mayor Daley says your gun can’t leave your yard
That hypocrite has five bodyguards!
Man, leavin’ guns at home is such a drag
My defense comes in a fifteen-round mag

You gotta fight
For your right
To caaaaaaaaarry

Don’t step outta that house if ya wanna self-protect
Trust police to take care of any kinda threat
Gun grabbers busted in and said “We’re gonna take ‘em”
Helmke’s just jealous of our basic freedom

You gotta fight
For your right
To caaaaaaaaarry

EBR Gun Porn

February 1, 2010

I decided to do a little photo comparo of my EBR’s.  I recently bought the Sig 556 and will be selling my AR-15 to (somewhat) make up for it.  There is a $300 rebate on the 556’s right now, so if you want one, now is a good time to get it.  I have other AR lowers and want some specific configurations for future builds, but the Sig pretty much replaces my current AR-15 in the gun lineup. I will be replacing the 556’s “fishgill” handguards with the newer “Classic” 551-style versions.


From left to right: Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in 9mm with Sig mag compatibility; Hungarian AMD-65 AK; Romanian “G” AK; SIG 556; AR-15.

I really wanted to compare the overall length and folded length of the folders:


There is a magazine under the folded SIG 556, as the pistol grip is too angled for the folded gun to rest on the rear of the receiver without falling over. Of course, the AR doesn’t fold, but I wanted to show it at its shortest possible overall length. The AK and the 556 can fire when folded; the Sub-2000 cannot. FYI, the AR-15 with the fully collapsed stock is roughly 32.5″ in length; the SIG, when folded, is 26″ from the front of the barrel to the back of the receiver, or roughly 27.5″ if you include the angled pistol grip in the OAL; and the AMD-65 is roughly 25″ to the back of the receiver (the little nub on the pistol grip probably adds 1/4″ to that, if you want to get really precise).

I just bought the SIG a few days ago and therefore have not put any rounds through it. My AR-15 is a Del-Ton 16″ midlength kit built on an Aero Precision lower. I will be moving the EOTech to the 556 and putting the dinky SigTac holosight on my 10/22. I like the AR-15 platform and will definitely have more AR’s in the future. I definitely prefer the midlength gas system over the carbine gas system (for a 16″ barrel, of course). However, Del-Ton only offers midlength barrels in a straight profile heavy barrel version, which, as the name implies, is HEAVY. I would really prefer a midlength with a lighter profile barrel. However, I think I prefer the midlength with a heavy barrel over an M4-style carbine with a lighter barrel. The barrel on the civvy 16″ M4’s just doesn’t look right sticking out that far past the handguards…. and IMO it’s not reasonable to pay the SBR tax for a rifle with a 14.5″ barrel. I haven’t weighed the SIG vs. my AR yet, but I have to say they feel very close in balance and in overall weight. The SIG barrel is lighter profile, but that’s made up by the piston system. So I think it’s pretty fair to say that the SIG and the AR-15 both fit the same operational profile (16″ barrel, 5.56×45, pretty much the same weight and size) which is why I will be getting rid of the AR, for now. I do like the SIG, but I doubt that I will get any more of them (although the pistol and DMR versions both look awesome, as does the new “patrol” model in SBR variation).

For any of you who doubt that the SIG 556 is really just an AK in AR clothing — take a look at the bolts and carriers:

Yep, that’s the same huge extractor; the same cutout for the same fixed ejector; the same 2 locking lugs. The operating system of the SIG is pretty much 100% AK with a few refinements. So, for those of you playing along at home, here’s how to make a SIG 556 by combining the best aspects of the AK and AR:

1) Take an aluminum AR-15 lower receiver. The buttstock can fold because it’s not a working part of the action.
2) Take a steel AK receiver and turn it upside down, omitting the magwell and FCG. This means that the bolt carrier rails are now on the bottom of the receiver instead of the top. Also, you now have a solid top receiver to mount optics on, instead of the flimsy receiver cover.
3) Chop off the AK’s gas piston and charging handle. Make a new gas piston with the recoil spring captive around the piston. Machine the bolt carrier so that the gas piston can be inserted into it and locked into place by inserting the charging handle completely through the bolt carrier. If that was totally unclear, refer to the photo above. The silver bolt carrier belongs to the 556. The hole to the left side of the image is where the bolt slides in. The hole to the right side of the image is where the gas piston is inserted. The charging handle, when inserted, acts as a pin to hold it in place.
4) Add a rotating 2-position gas valve to the AK’s gas block.
5) Profit.

I will probably do another photo series soon to show how to break down the 556 and exactly how it works. For now, here are a couple of final photos. First of my SIG family (556 and 2x 226’s) and then the 226’s on their own.


Al Roker: Armed in America

November 23, 2008

Apparently this is a special that will air tonight.  MSNBC.com has a few excerpts:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27811624#27811624 (MSNBC.com video player)

It seems to play up the illegal gun trade and doesn’t really mention legally-owned firearms by average citizens.  It interviews a bunch of ATF folks.  The piece on AK-47’s is not bad; the ATF guy being interviewed is definitely a “gun nerd”.  Doesn’t seem like a bad guy at all; he is careful to make the distinction between a “real” AK-47 (full-auto) and the typical civilian-available semi-auto AK’s.  None of the pieces that are online seem to perpetuate any of the typical MSM gun myths.  The piece on the improvised/converted firearms (pen guns, lighter guns, briefcase guns) is pretty interesting in its own right.  It would be cool to visit the ATF vault and just marvel at all the cool stuff they have.

“Illegal Guns”

June 12, 2008

A common trend in newspaper articles and quotes from politicos (seems to be the in-thing to do among Democrats who are trying to back away from their strong anti-gun stance) is to refer to “illegal guns” when really they mean “guns being used or carried illegally”.  The truly illegal guns (full-auto, sawed-off or otherwise short-barreled, etc.) are pretty freaking rare in my experience (except in places like DC and Chicago where broad categories of guns are illegal, of course).  This is a major language problem, and we in the gun rights community should fight it at every step.  In conversation: “What, exactly, is an illegal gun?”  “Can you explain what makes it illegal?”  Being sold, used, or carried in an illegal manner does not make the gun itself illegal.

Scenario: Some felon obtains an everyday pump shotgun.  His ownership of the gun is illegal.  The gun itself is not.  If he sells it to a person who is not prohibited from owning firearms, there is nothing illegal with the situation (although the felon could be prosecuted for having owned a gun when he was not allowed to).  The gun itself is not the illegal part.

Every time I see yet another op-ed about “illegal guns on the streets,” I bang my head against the desk.

weird

May 22, 2008

A good Slate video on shooting guns in Manhattan. Even though it’s under the “Vice Capades” label, the piece itself is good-humored, and all participants seem to enjoy shooting very much. There’s a group of (sexy, young) women out on a “girl’s night” with a “Charlie’s Angels” theme, and a young couple on a date. Quote from the couple: (guy) “I didn’t want to be another dinner and a movie guy.” (girl) “This is the best date I’ve been on, actually.”

Looks like they’re all shooting stainless/black synthetic 10/22’s (or a similar semi-auto .22LR… I don’t know enough about the various Marlins, etc. to be able to tell the difference).

Range Report

April 19, 2008

I went to the range yesterday for the first time in a good long while. I meant to shoot my new AK’s, but the range didn’t like the ammo I brought, so they will have to wait. So I shot my Sig Mosquito for the first time and also my P226.

I brought 4 or 5 different brands of .22 ammo to try in the Mosquito. The Mosquito comes with 2 different recoil springs, one for normal velocity ammo and the other for high velocity ammo. Well, I tried both springs with all the normal velocity ammo, and neither one would make my usual .22 ammo (Remington Golden Bullet) cycle worth a damn. I tried two boxes of Winchester Super-X. The first box went fine, the second one had random trouble, starting off with the first round in the mag but then it got progressively worse. Maybe I should try it again, being careful to rack the slide all the way back rather than simply actuating the slide catch to chamber the first round. Anyway, this is probably no surprise to anybody, but the only ammo that would cycle with 100% reliability was CCI Mini-Mag. I shot 200 rounds of it with no problems. I would have shot more, but I felt that it was insultingly expensive at the range I was using ($8/box).

Then I switched to my P226. I have 10 15-round mags (stocked up when I found them for $20) and one 20-round mag. First surprise: I really liked shooting with the 20-rounder. It’s nice to have that little extra bit on the bottom to grab hold of with the left hand. I have been getting more and more comfortable with “cupping” the bottom two fingers of my left hand around the bottom of the right, but it’s nice to be able to wrap them around the extended mag. Anyway, I went through all 11 mags twice, meaning a total of 340 rounds of 9mm. Ammo was purchased reloads through a local reloading business. This was my first time shooting this ammo, but it all worked great, and I will definitely buy from them again. (Once again an extended range trip with no failure of any kind from my P226. Next to me was a lady with a brand-new custom-job compact Kimber that her husband got her for her birthday. Really pretty gun. She had at least two jams. *sigh*) All appear to be Winchester brass, with 115gr ball ammo. I think the guy said that it’s UMC. Whether because of the shape of the bullet itself or the seating depth, the overall length is noticeably shorter than my usual Winchester White Box 115gr ball.

During that long session, I would say that I definitely improved. This was all off-hand, two-handed grip in a Chapman stance (didn’t know that until I just looked it up…. thought it was a Weaver, but I lock my right arm straight). I kept everything at the same distance…. it wasn’t marked, but I think it was either 5 yards or 7 yards. The dumb kid at the range desk didn’t know exactly. And there were some variations — I tried to stop the motorized target-holder thingy at the same mark each time, but it’s an inexact science. Anyway, here are my best targets of the day:

Top-left target is the final target with the Mosquito. (Only pay attention to the 10 holes on the Shoot-N-C…. others were from earlier.) Not entirely happy with it, but it was my first time shooting it, and it’s a little small for my hand. Bottom-left target is from just unloading with the P226. I can’t remember how many mags this was – at least 5. You can put a lot of ammo downrange pretty quickly if you have enough loaded magazines! The silhouette target is 3 consecutive mags (15-rounders) with the P226, taking my time but not dragging my feet. First mag shot into the middle, gave me a 4 1/2″ grouping or 3 1/2″ if I drop the flyer. Second mag was shot into the head, group is 8 1/2″ (one flyer in the neck covered up by the other target) or 3 1/4″ dropping the flyer. Third mag was aimed at the “7” at the bottom of the target, 4″ group or 2 1/2″ without the flyer. The first four shots of that group were within about an inch. I was so excited. The target on the right was my final one of the day. I was really happy with the results of the silhouette target, so for this last one I shot two 15-round mags fairly rapidly. You can see that I hit the Shoot-N-C with all but 3 shots.

You may also notice that my shots tend left. I guess I need to adjust my sights.

So, there it is. I am posting this here for two reasons: 1) to make a record for myself to check my progress over time; 2) to get a “sanity check” on what’s considered “good enough” or what kind of groups a well-trained shooter will get with similar pistol and ammo at similar distances. Say 5 or 7 yards. I am not talking competition-level here, I just mean somebody who’s good with a pistol. I want to get better; I am still practically a novice. But at the same time I wonder how much better I can get, practically speaking. I guess the goal will be to have those 2 1/2″ to 3″ groups *every* target, and then work up my speed. I think that I’ve only gone to the range with my pistol 10 times or so. I haven’t really been keeping track, but that sounds about right over the past year. I have had one instruction session from an older friend who was a state champion pistol shooter in his younger years.

This is way longer than I wanted it to be. I’ll just cut it off here and ask, broadly, for advice.


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