Go to try one of these today:
thumbnailImpressions? Well…I had been pretty curious to try one. After getting the chance to try it, my enthusiasm has gone from “I need five of these” to “Eh..two will be plenty.”

Now, before you say anything, yes I have seen all the YouTube videos about the ‘proper’ way to shoot this thing. That said, it is still wildly impractical for anything beyond ‘narrow hallway’ venues. Would I feel comfortable with one in the house at 2am? Maybe. But unless you think spending $390 for a gun that, in my opinion, is best used at distances where you can do target identification using the Braille system, I think there are better options.

Recoil? Well, obviously, yes, there’s recoil. The furniture is too slick for my tastes. The forend, especially, was prone to sliding right out of my hand. A Hogue or Pachmyer ‘rubbery’ forend would be my choice. The strap on the forend helped, but my hand still slid around a bunch.

Throw a ‘wrist brace’ on there and I’d be much more pleased. Honestly, I’m not thinking of many circumstances where I would not be better served with a handgun or a carbine. Like a lot of niche guns, nine times out of 10 it isn’t the right tool for the job. But that tenth time….

However, it has a ‘cool’ factor, is fun to play with, and someday they’ll probably legislate it into NFA badness, so I might get one just for the sake of that. As a primary weapon, I cant see any circumstance where it would shine over a handgun or M4. But, as a ‘specialty’ kind of thing it might be useful. Either way, interesting to play with, and I’ll probably get one, but unless it has a stock on it i’m going to relegate it to ‘range toy’. YMMV.

As an autoloader, however, I might be a little more inclined to think that it has a tactical niche.

Another P95DC

Picked up a thoroughly neglected P95DC Ruger off Gunbroker for $200, delivered.

There was , literally, not a drop of oil or lube anywhere on it. Just driving out the slide release to facilitate takedown took the use of a punch and hammer because everything was so tightly seized. But, got it all apart, smoothed everything with some steel wool, lubed it up like a nervous virgin on prom night, and now it seems to be doing well. I’ll take it to the range this weekend to function test it and then tuck it away for the Deep Sleep.

I’ve found these old P-series pistols to be quite the value. They can be had pretty cheaply and they are extremely durable. Although the P85/89 series are way, way, way overbuilt for a 9mm I have no doubt they’d survive just about any punishment that could be dished out at them. I have a bunch of the P89’s floating around, I prefer the P95DC out of the entire line of P-series guns.

20170909_113936The P95DC is decock (hence the DC designation) only…no manual safety. Just point and shoot. Single or double action. And it’s far less bulky than the P85/89. At only $50 more than what a HiPoint dealers at, it’s a far better choice. Cheap enough to be, basically, disposable but ‘real gun’ enough to trust in Katrinaville.

On the flip side, Ruger made some delightful 9mm carbines that shared mags with the P-series. The carbines never sold well and now when you can find them they command insane money. Still, I’d really like to have one.

Although I’m pretty vested in Glocks, I love the P95 for it’s suitability as a secondary or tertiary level of redundancy. It is the perfect gun for leaving under the floorboards at the cabin, tucked into the springs under the drivers seat, or stashing at an undisclosed location.

Bang, bang, click

Took my DMR-style AR to the range today. Fired about 10 rounds through it and started having problems. Failure to extract/eject. In fact, in many cases the bolt didnt even unlock. Hmmm.

Ok, unload and let’s see whats going on. Pulled the bolt carrier and thought that, since it was new, I hadn’t really lubed it up. So, a quick couple of sprays of CLP and put it back in the gun. No joy.

Disassemble bolt. Aha! Gas rings!

20170903_130229Stagger them properly, re-assemble, no joy.

Alright, now I’m really curious. My buddy is shooting an AR that is also virtually new (less than 50 rounds) so we went ahead and swapped bolt carriers and bolts (yeah, yeah, I know….) Same result. My carrier/bolt worked fine in his gun. Ok, try the ammo. His ammo failed in my gun, my ammo worked fine in his.

Ok, clearly the issue is not in the receiver (upper or lower). It’s gotta be something in the gas system. Couldn’t really do much at the range without proper tools. Came back to the house and took off the forend. Please note this:

20170903_154204Those two screws keep the gas block in place. See how that one is backed out? The other one is also loose. How loose?

20170903_154115.That loose.

“Well there’s yer problem!”

:::sigh::: You know, I have been shooting AR rifles for over thirty years and this is the first time I have ever had anything like this happen. Solution? A dose of Loctite and some torque.

And, really, if I had the proper hex wrenches with me at the range I could have taken care of this right there…so, lesson learned. I’ll head to the range tomorrow to confirm that, indeed, was the problem.


Ruger bolt gun that takes Mini-30 mags

Ruger announced today that they will be adding a new chambering to their Ruger American Ranch line up – 7.62×39! The new Ruger American Rifle Ranch 7.62×39 will feature the same 16.12″ medium contour, threaded, hammer forged barrel found other American Rifle Ranch offerings. It feeds from Mini-30 magazines and weighs in at under 6 pounds.

This interests me on several levels. Even though the days of $100 cases of 7.62×39 are long gone, there’s still plenty of 7.62 AK ammo to be had. Ruger used to offer the 77 in this caliber and I really would like one, but a bolt fun that takes a (somewhat) readily available magazine? Yes please.

Purpose? Well, you can hunt with an AK or SKS, of course…I’ve seen it done. But a nice bolt action with a decent scope would probably serve better, and if you’re already stocking the AK round why not streamline logistics?

I’ll be getting one (or three) of these as soon as my vendors have them.


So this happened…..

20170726_104914A used but not terribly abused .45 ACP GC NM Series 80. 1911’s are fun guns to play with, but the notion that they are somehow the pinnacle of combat handgun design would seem to ignore the last hundred years of gun development.

I picked it up as a range toy, and because the price was right, but I’ll happily swap it for a pair of Glock 9mms or a HiPower.

Nice El Paso Saddlery scabbard, though. But…..left handed.

Deer Lodge Gun Show

Still a buncha 10/22 Steel Lip magazines, and $10 Magpuls availalable. Retail is for suckers.
The Deer Lodge gun show was today. Drove out there with a buddy and looked around. Surprisingly, I ran into someone I recognized who was, I think, more surprised to see me than I was to see them. Either a ruptured appendix isn’t as debilitating as everyone thinks or..well…

Saw a few interesting things at the show. Most notably a Valmet in 7.62×39, a couple PTR’s, and a bunch of 870’s in various condition hovering in the $200-225 range.

There were a buncha AR’s floating around but, short of another Obama/Hillary panic, I think AR’s have gotten to be taken for granted…there are so many out there now that we’re only surprised if we don’t see a dozen of them on a dealers table. But…us old timers…we can remember some days when you could not get your hands on an AR for love nor money. Happened before, will happen again. I truly do think this window we are in will be the Golden Age of buying an AR…. a time when you could have one for less than the cost of a new Glock…but that window will, I think, start closing as supply starts to dwindle and demand slowly inches up.

Good trip, nice time, mediocre show, but always nice to go and always nice to run into folks you meow.


DMR range time

Pmags….still got some.

A mixed bag.

Headed to the range to sight in the rifle I put together. (I won’t say ‘built’ because all I did was match up an already-assembled upper with an I-put-it-together-lower… that ain’t ‘building’.)

The IOR brand of scopes are fine scopes, and I like them alot. BUT…they can be pretty involved when it comes to zeroing. Since the M2 has a a BDC I needed to zero it at 100 yards and then reset the turrets.

20170607_164100See the top of the turrets and how it has three screws? You loosen the two outer screws (Never the middle screw. Thats trouble.) Notice the two rows of knurling around the turret? Hold the bottom row stationary and turn the top row to adjust point of impact. When thats done, tighten the two screws.

I really need a spotting scope because there was a lot of fire-a-round, walk-100-yards, check-target, walk-back-100-yards, repeat. Got it pretty much where I want it at 100 yards, now I need to fine tune it by making up some quality reloads and not the slapdash stuff I put together last night using assorted brass.

Oh, and this thing really needs a different trigger in a major way. I can sort live with the stock for now, but that trigger was horrible. If anyone wants to recommend a trigger that is better than your average rack AR but no so touchy you’d be scared carry it around in the zombie apocalypse….lemme know.

Headed to the 300 yard range, dialed the BDC to ‘3’ and started busting rocks. Elevation was pretty close to spot on but I need to work on the windage a tad. Again, when I’ve got some really good quality reloads made up, thats when I’ll start working on it again.

No failures of any kind. I need to seat the 62 gr. bullets a tad deeper in the case. Used the RCBS AR dies with the taper crimp. I really need to sit down with the case trimmer and uniform up some brass.

All in all, promising, but still just a .223.


For a while I’ve had a bit of an irrational urge to build up my version of a ‘Designated Marksman’-type rifle. Basically, an accurate AR that isn’t so trick you cant carry it afield, but not so spartan that you cant hit stuff out to several hundred yards (which, really, is about as good as the .223 is going to get in my opinion.)

For a number of years, I’ve had an IOR M2 scope sitting around here gathering dust. It has an illuminated reticle, BDC out to around 600 yards, very nice adjustments, steel tube, German glass, and is hell-for-stout. Have it sitting in ARMS QD rings. But…all dressed up and nowhere to go.

20170530_190128I found it in a pawn shop years ago for around $300. Having had very favorable experience with my IOR 10×56 scope, I figured this one would be a good scope to have for the money. It’s got a BDC calibrated for 62 gr., illuminated rangefinding reticle, and I just happen to have an ARMS QD mount sitting around. Now…what to put it on.

Also sitting around gathering dust are a stack of these:

20170530_190253No better time than the present. Again, these are purchases from years ago that have just been sitting around. A stripped lower (not to be confused with a low stripper) is fairly worthless without the innards…so:

20170530_190350Stag had a sale on these a year or two ago and I picked some up. I figured I could bide my time and wait for the sales to put together the parts I needed to cobble together a fun AR. Need a milspec buffer tube while I’m at it. Ordered these a month ago and Stag finally got the bloody things here today. Booooo Stag!

20170530_190155Ok, we have the lower put together. What do we put on top of it?

Stag had a bit of a sale a few weeks ago and they had an upper that looked very much like what I was after.Stag 15 DM-VRS-X Upper Half. On sale for $320. With bolt carrier group. And charging handle.  Ok, sure.

20170530_190559Alright, let’s grab a screwdriver, punch, and brass hammer and get this thing cobbled together.


“I call her ‘Vera’.” – J. Cobb

I  need to save my pennies and pick up a Magpul PRS stock, and a nice trigger. Once that’s done all I need is some quality brass and bullets and it’ll be time to play. But, I just put the A2 stock on there because I had one laying around and I really want to be able to go out to the range and play a bit.

Purpose? I have no idea. In my opinion, the .223 is a bit light for anything out past 400 yards or so…too light a bullet to buck the wind, and a bit light in the mass department. Sure, I don’t want to get hit with one but it’s not my first choice for shooting out there. No problem with it at intermediate ranges. I suppose this thing would shine for that situation where you want something you can use within normal conflict distance out to something a little longer range.

Realistically, though..this will most like be a range gun with some infrequent gopher shooting thrown in for practical challenge.’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

The barrel is a 1:9 20″. It’s what was available. A 1:7 would, I am told, be a better choice since it would be more optimal for the heavier 69-75 gr. bullets. Well. ya take what ya can get.

I’ve some Lapua .223 brass floating around, and about half a keg of Varget, so I’ll load up some Win 62 grainers and go break this thing in…if I ever have some free time.

Note that this isn’t really ‘building’ an AR15 any more than putting together an Ikea dresser is ‘building’ furniture. Any idiot can buy the off the shelf parts and assemble on of these…clearly, an idiot has. This kind of modularity is one of the AR-series great strengths. There’s enough aftermarket crap out there that you can tweak it into exactly what you want. As i said, all I’ve got left to do is a Magpul PRS stock and a trigger.

I’ll let you know how it shoots.


Subsonic stuff

Still a few bundles left.
Well, in typical Montana fashion it dropped 2″ of snow the other day, and then today it was dang near 75 degrees. No point even trying to make sense of it…it’s Montana. Just roll with it.

Off to the range.

20170519_165345So I’ve been keeping track of what the supressed .22 likes and doesnt like. So far the best thing I’ve found has been Remington Subsonics. I’ve tried CCI Quiet, CB Longs, and American Eagle Suppresor…and they are positively anemic. In fact, the CCI Quiet didnt even make it to the backstop. I genuinely believe a steel ball bearing out of a slignshot would  have had a better trajectory.  When the thing finally does make it to the backstop, I measure for five-shot group.

20170519_172357Interestingly, just regular CCI ‘Standard’ velocity stuff does pretty well. But, so far, the nod goes to the Rem SS. I need to grab a few boxes of Eley and other premium .22 ammo and see how it performs. But, thus far, it looks like at some point I’m going to want to lay in a few cases of the Rem.