Monday, March 27, 2006

Carnival of Cordite

The Carnival of Cordite #52 is finally up.

Gun Blogging at it's best.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

1911 Pron

Flickr PhotoHere is the Rock after the weekend's work. Not much to see here, I took a photo from the only angle that really showed anything new and that's the polished barrel. Oooohhh Aaaahhhh...

Flickr PhotoAs for my Kimber's new trim, I'm not sure one way or the other. I thought I'd love it and I'm just all "eh". I guess I've evolved my taste in that I'm liking guns to look more like working pieces nowadays and shiny, glittery parts aren't workman-like. One good thing is that stainless won't show wear from carry like the other parts were showing. I got the old parts so I can always return it to factory. For now, I'll see how I like living with it.

Mad Max

I just heard that Max Montana joined Thunder Valley. There goes my shot at gunfighter for the year! I just wish he were someone I could look at and say “All I’ve got to do is bring my A game and I got a shot!” But, my A game is still 7 seconds slower per stage.

It’s actually great to have such a talented shooter join Thunder Valley, because it helps make the club look good, and besides there is always B Western.

Now I sound like Manatee.

So Jose, where are the pictures of the rebuild and the new Kimber look? You can’t put up a post without the pictures! I’m dying to get my hands on the RIA. I think I’ll have to stop by tomorrow and take a look at it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Rock Build (update)

The Caspian parts came in today. I spent the better part of the afternoon fitting the new extractor and then the oversized firing pin stop. I hope my extractor never gives me any trouble, those are a bitch if you want them to look good at the back of the slide. The slide stop dropped right in. This morning I spent a couple of hours doing more blending of the frame to the grip safety. I don't know that I'll ever be fully 100% satisfied with it, but then it's my first time doing it.

The tolerances on the Rock will be tighter once I'm done. That may not be as good a thing as it sounds, you want it to function first and formost. I figure you start out tight and work it into shape though, like they say, its easy to take more metal off, its damn hard to put back on.

I've replaced the slide stop and thumb safety on my Kimber with stainless components to see how it looks. I need to either polish them up to match the slide/hammer or make them a dull luster like the trigger, I think I'll see what polished looks like and then dull it up if I don't like it.

Hour count on the Rock is at 9 hours.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

To the Max

As Judge mentioned in his Main Match post, Max Montana came to shoot at Thunder Valley this past weekend and after looking at the scores I can truly say that I hope I don't shoot against him again! You see Max placed 5th in GF at EoT last year, so that makes him darned good.

I'm not trying to embarass Judge, but Max beat his time by 64 seconds, compare that to the remaining three gunfighters who were seperated by 19 seconds. He's kind of in his own class being as how he was second overall in the match beating several good shooters and a couple of VERY good shooters.

I'm really glad he didn't shoot duelist...

As for how I shot, well, I think I did pretty darned well. I had four misses, but that's a low to average number for me. The big improvement for me was that ALL of my times were under 40 seconds and that included my foul-up stage where I jacked a live one out of the Marlin. I outshot Hardscrabble (barely) and that's a good indication. He was shooting GFer so I feel pretty good about that. I placed 16th out of 41 shooters and that made me feel better. I beat those I can and got beat by those I should have gotten beat. Best of all, I came darned close to knocking off Randy Atcher who had an off day with 5 misses and a procedural. (his raw time was 19 seconds better)

Speaking off Raw times, mine wasn't so bad, like I said, 19 off of Randy, but 11 off of Manatee (who won Duelist) and better than Abu and Graver. The next Duelist after me is Copper Quincy 66 seconds back. I guess I'm keeping touch with the front runners. And I did that with my mule ear shotgun!

Aside from scores, the weather was perfect, the guns were flawless as well as the ammo. If anything, I've got good equipment and supplies thanks to my gunsmith and reloader (ME).

Now if I can just get San Pedro Saddlery to send me my holster I paid for back in December, I can start chasing those dammed gunfighters!

Avg. Raw Time
Judge 33.21
Jose 35.21
Is that 2 seconds a mule ear? My ejected live round? Gunfighter vs Duelist? Judge being better? Probably a little of each, but I'll get there and I'll have my day.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rock Build (stage 1)

I started getting parts in to work on Judge's RIA 1911. The Beavertail safety, springs, tactical mag catch and assorted items came first.

Flickr PhotoFitting that beavertail is one lot of filing, boy do I need a bench grinder. You can see that the safety really changes the look of the RIA.

Flickr PhotoDifferent look at the upsweep of the saftey and the "bump" at the bottom. To make this work until I get in the backordered Cylinder Slide Hammer group, I had to bob the hammer. I installed the hex head grip screws and they look fine with the original style checkered grips that Judge bought.

Flickr PhotoHere's a closer look at the hammer, after reforming and bobbing the hammer, I ended up taking off all the checkering, so I cut in some serrations free-hand to make do until the new hammer is in. I didn't do a horrible job and it is certainly much more usable than a slick hammer.

Flickr PhotoThis final shot illustrates that I still have some shaping to do to blend the frame and the safety properly. Judge, you got a final finish in mind?

So far, I have 5 hours in on the gun with many more I'm sure to go. Observations? I need more tools (especially a grinder). I ordered Kuhnhausen's 1911 book as well as a tactical mag catch for my Kimber since I liked the one that is on the Rock right now. I'm not sold on two piece guide rods, I don't get why anyone likes them. I'm suggesting Judge go with a one piece and I'll see if Midway will take back the two piece. The bench block I bought is worth the price just for removing the mainspring pin. I like the look of the bobbed hammer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Range Gear,
...or what to wear when blowing shit up.

Ok, so we aren’t actually blowing shit up, but I liked the title. I recalled a conversation I had with the new cowboy on Saturday, Wild Card Reno McGee, and it got me thinking. He made a comment about gun carts and I cautioned him about the size of his gun cart. “No matter how big you make it you will fill it” I said. I believe that, but when I started looking at all the stuff I drag around from shoot to shoot I realized that cowboys aren’t much different then are tactical brethren.

Having attended several multi-day shooting courses by some of the best in the business, and teaching a few of my own I decided to give you a list of what you should take with you to your next tactical course. Later I’ll compare the list to what you should take with you to your next multi-day CAS event.

So here is my list, in no particular order.

Eye Protection: You will need dark lenses for bright days, and clear lenses for overcast and or night shooting. Any other color (amber/blue/yellow) is purely optional, but most schools will require the 2 types mentioned. I always bring three sets, dark, amber, and clear. I find it covers all of my needs.

Ear Protection: When we are talking tactical shoots then I’m talking over the head ear protection, the bigger the better. You might also want some foam ear inserts to improve hearing protection. My personal favorite is a pair of Peltor electronic hearing protectors with foam ear inserts. I can turn up the volume on the electronic ears and the automatic cutoff along with the foam inserts stops all the big bangs.

Holster: You will need a quality holster with belt loops. The plastic ones like Fobus, Blackhawk and Uncle Mikes can work, but I would stay away from them. If it’s a CCW course then bring the holster you are going to carry for CCW (if it’s one already mentioned then we have to talk). Galco’s and DeSantis make quality holsters that will work just fine…Of course Mitch Rosen makes the best.

Belt: Your belt will hold up more then your pants. It will need to secure your holster/gun and magazine pouch reliably and in the same place all of the time. If your Sears brown belt will do that, then go for it. The odds are it won’t so make sure your belt is up to the task.

Magazine Carrier: Along the same lines as your holster. The wonder plastic will work, but it’s not the best option. You will use these more then the holster so make sure it has belt loops, stays in one place, and can stand up to the pounding.

Flashlight: I’ll not get into the whole flashlight thing, but if you don’t have one then you are missing out on one of the best defense tools in existence. Most handgun courses will do some night fire so you will need a flashlight. A Surefire Nytrolon will work just fine, but why stop with one. I would recommend bringing two flashlights (Maybe a weapon mount light like the M3 and a hand held light, or two sizes of handheld lights, options people, options!) and spare batteries.

Magazines: You will need 6 to 8 quality magazines. I would shoot for 8 because the more you can load in advance the less time you have to spend bent over the case of ammo. Make sure the magazines you bring to the course are good ones and not the old rusty crappy ones you keep for play day at the range. You spent a lot of money for your training; you need to get the most out of it.

Cleaning Kit: You will probably need to clean your gun several times. Usually you will not have to do a full tilt, breakdown cleaning, but you will have to maintain the weapon or malfunctions will rule the day. At the minimum bring some solvent, a nylon brush, a rag, and a bore snake. That should solve all of your problems. You should also through in a multi-tool for minor repairs.

Knee Pads: Concrete, gravel, and kneeling…nuff said.

Elbow Pads: Concrete, gravel, and prone positions…nuff said.

Hat: You are going to be outside and that means dealing with the elements. After a day of having the sun beat down on your head you will be wiped out, and if you weren’t prepared you could be miserable. Cover your noggin. Trust a bald guy, weather and spent brass can ruin your week.

Bandana: You might not think this is a must, but read the above entry and apply that to the back of your neck. I prefer a Buff. I can cover my head or neck with it and it’s light, comfortable and easy to use.

Sun Screen: You would be surprised how many people think the lobster look is a good thing.

First Aid Kit: If you shoot yourself then you will have to hope that everyone else is prepared to render aid, because that is not what this first aid kit is about. This is about dealing with the bumps, bruises, minor cuts, bee stings, sprains, and bad lunches that come with this kind of thing. Band-aids, mole skin, athletic tape, lip balm, pepto bismal, ibuprofen at the minimum.

Raincoat: Everybody shoots in the rain. Be prepared for it.

Footwear: Boots, comfortable boots, I would also bring 2 pair just incase it rains since there are few things worse then wet boots. Avoid sneakers, flip flops, and sandals. You will be running over rough terrain (gravel) and want the most support and comfort possible for several days of this.

Clothes: Your clothes should be functional and appropriate for the location, environment, and weather you are expecting. Avoid shorts and go with lightweight long pants. Many people think it is a requirement that you were BDU clothing to the range. It is not, and don’t be that guy. If you want to look gun chic and you got the money for it then go for the Royal Robbins 5.11 look. Sig-Arms and Woolrich both make equivalent clothing. If it’s a CCW course then you will need to bring clothing that will conceal your weapon. A light weight jacket or vest will work just fine. And make sure you bring enough for the entire event. You might not have access to a laundry and after a torrential down pour you are not going to want to wear the same thing the next day, trust me on this.

Ammo: Do Not Bring Reloads! Make sure you bring quality factory ammo. I have seen a person’s entire week and 1,000 dollars blown because the decided to bring their new wizbang reloads that went belly up. Reliable factory ammo will get it done and make sure you bring about 25% more then required just to be on the safe side.

Spare Gun: if you’ve got it bring it. It will have to be the same caliber unless you just happened to pack along the ammo for it as well. It is best to be the same make and model for ease of transition.

So there you have it, your range gear list for your next tactical school or shooting event. Now keep this in mind because in a couple of days I’ll make a list for a CAS event and we can compare the two.

Ok, This aint cowboy, but it does have some gun references, and damn it's just plain funny.

These guys get it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

March Main Match

Yesterday was the first main match of the year. It was a gorgeous day, bright sunshine and 45 degrees. 41 shooters showed up at Thunder Valley to knock off the winter rust and start having cowboy fun again.

Jose picked me up at 0730 and we met Copper Quincy at 0800 for breakfast. As usual we were some of the first to the range and quickly got our gear together. While we were waiting Jose lit up a Vegas 5 and I enjoyed a H. Upmann. Jose and I were posse marshals so we ended up on separate posses. We also were too busy to take photographs, but I promise to fix that problem next month. We had a great turnout with some great shooters; Vaquero Hayes, Redneck Rebel, Fighting Eagle, Graver, Abu, Rapid Lee, Max Montana, Indy Kid, Calamity Kelly, Randy Atcher, Lizzy of the Valley, Nomore Slim, Manatee, Clyde, Drew First, Marshal Spencer Owen, Hardscrabble, and Swamp Rat Willy just to name a few. We also had some new faces; Baron Von Cisco, Wild Card Reno McGee, and Ace all of which I hope will come back.

I can’t speak much for Jose or Copper, but I shot well. I had three misses for the day all of which were caused by a strange case of the jerks. The new Gigante Sight on my rifle worked fantastic and I was smoking with my shotgun. I wasn’t as fast as I have been, but it felt good, and I seemed to be much more consistent then usual so if I can keep shooting like that all year I will be a happy man. I finished 2nd in Gunfighter because Max Montana shot gunfighter and he is just amazing. I didn’t realize he was shooting in the same category (he usually shoots duelist) and when they read off the awards and I was second I was trying to figure out who beat me. When they read his name I just sighed. Max finished second overall and I finished eleventh overall so that tells you just how much better he is right now. Ahh, if only I had time to practice.

A few beers in the garage after the shoot with the boys and some very funny incidents involving blanks and balloons that I’ll let Jose talk about rounded out the day….Priceless.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rock Island Love Fest

Yesterday was my first day at the range with my new Rock Island and I have to say I was impressed. I will admit that the gun never made it to first base before I changed something. The grips were swapped out for standard Government Issue Colt grips before we ever left for the range. It was a perfect day with the temperature somewhere in the low 50’s and bright sunshine.

I started with basic 230 grain FMJ rounds from 21 feet. On the seventh (7) round the slide failed to go completely forward. I corrected this with a little tap and finished the magazine. All 8 rounds were within an inch. They would have been in the same hole if not for operator error.

I put 5 full magazines through the gun from 21 feet, 4 from 45 feet, and 2 from 75 feet. On my eleventh magazine I had a second incident of the gun failing to go into battery, and on the last round of the magazine failed to feed by coming into the barrel at a very acute angle. These were the only malfunctions for the day.

I fired for accuracy and function. I fired slow and controlled as well as dumping the magazine with rapid fire. The gun functioned well and is more accurate then I am. At 75 feet I managed to keep everything in 6 inch groups and with some of the work I have planned I’m sure I can get that down to 3 inch groups. I also put 3 magazines of Federal Hydroshok, 2 magazines of FMJ reloads and 1 magazine of RNL reloads with no malfunctions.

The grips safety bites into my hand and it will need to be changed for a beaver tail. The thumb safety is a little to small for reliable use and will also need to be swapped. The sights are serviceable for range work, but will need to be drastically improved for combat shooting. The trigger is a little mushy and the trigger pull could be lightened.

I was very happy for two reasons. First the gun is accurate. Second the work I wanted done on the gun is needed so I won’t be wasting money. This is going to be a fun project.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cocked and Locked

Since we seem to be off the cowboy stuff for now, I thought I'd continue with the 1911 lovefest by talking about the only carry mode that you should ever consider carrying a 1911, that is cocked and locked.
Flickr Photo
What's that you say, well, since the 1911 is a single action semi-auto pistol, the hammer has to be manually or mechanically cocked before it will fire. There is no double-action mechanism to do this, the slide or operator has to cock the hammer. To maintain a firearm that is "ready" the hammer has to be cocked, to maintain safety, the thumb safety has to be "on". Hence, cocked and locked.

I'll be the first to admit that this carry mode intimidated me at first. After carrying my SW99 double-single action semi-auto for a few years, I was hesitant about having a piece strapped to me that had that hammer cocked back like that. After consistently wearing it for a mere couple of months now, I'm totally over it. I have no hesitation about carrying my 1911 cocked and locked, it just doesn't faze me anymore and the more you hear about "Glock leg" the more you realize that it isn't the gun that is inheritently dangerous, its the person carrying it. The only safety in reality is between your ears.

Some folks say that you can carry the 1911 in other ways to make it "more safe". One such is to carry it hammer down on an empty chamber. That means you'd have to rack the slide after drawing it to chamber a round and cock the hammer. That certainly sounds safe for any attacker! The other mode is to carry the hammer down on a loaded chamber. This would require you to cock the hammer manually, even slower than empty chamber carry and also that the hammer is in contact with the firing pin. Great idea! Neither of these two modes are recommended by anyone with a brain so don't do it. Carry the gun as designed or get a Glock!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Thats AMMOré

Pardon the pun. I stopped in to the local Dick's Sporting Goods store to see what they had ammo-wise since they're usually running a decent special on shotgun ammo and I was in need. Lo and behold they had my favorite cowboy shotshells on sale 15% off, so I picked up a case, which gave me another 10% off. I love bargains almost as much as food! When I can find a deal on ammo or guns, that's especially gratifying as there's usually not any to be had since the margin on those items is pretty slim.

I then poked around the counter and saw that they had their .45ACP Remington ball ammo on sale for 20% off and so I picked up a couple of boxes for myself. Then I got to thinking that maybe Judge would need some for his new pistol, so I called him and picked up another three boxes. There's nothing quite like the smile I get when I'm walking around the sporting goods store at the mall with 500 rounds of ammo, not to mention the bewildered stares from the hippies in this town. Priceless!

Postcript: I almost fainted when the checkout guy knew something about guns and was very helpful! That's something you don't get in the chain sporting goods stores. Now the guy at the gun counter is a diffent story, there's nothing like that blank stare you get when you ask for a box of .45acp and he just stares at the boxes until you finally point to the box or say "that green one on the second shelf on the left".

Friday, March 10, 2006

You killed my bank account! You bastard!

Ok, not really, but it sounded good. The thought of a custom 1911 just kept sitting at the back of my head and after checking out the local sporting goods store and seeing that they had a sale on the Rock Island 1911-A1 at $309 I couldn’t take it.

I bought the damn thing.

Here are some pictures. I haven’t even field stripped it yet and the tags are still hanging on it, but I wanted a good photo record because sometime in the future I hope to have this puppy tricked out.

I won’t get a chance to shoot it until the end of the month and then I plan on running several different loads through it to see how it eats. My big 3 are Accuracy, Reliability, and Accessibility. I want to get a feel for how well it shoots, how well it feeds ammo, and how easy it is to use. I’ll start making changes from there, but I can tell you now those grips gotta go. They are just fugly!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Build gun

One of the things that I've wanted to do is to buy an el cheapo 1911 and go absolutely nuts on it with replacing parts and de-horning and reshaping whatever I want to. Xavier's post about building a floorboard 1911 has some inspiration and in looking around for a new gun that's cheap and can be reworked into something good, I'm leaning toward the Rock Island 1911 Government. It's dirt cheap at $320 and is a mil-spec gun that has a plethora of parts and none of the extra safeties that manufacturers are compelled to add to the 1911. This is one of the things that affects my Kimber, I love the gun, but that safety kind of hinders me somewhat in what I could do to it. Luckily, I'm happy with it as is. OK, I would like an S Magwell, maybe put stainless slide stop and safety on it, but that's it.

I researched what I'd like to put into a gun by reading 1911 forums on the RIA and Hilton Yam's website and seeing what parts he prefers. Mr. Yam makes wonderful looking 1911s and while I haven't shot one, they are very well thought of as tactical guns. He builds guns for tactical and duty use as the name of his website attests (10-8 being police code for "on duty"). I've no idea what one costs, I'm just pretty sure I can't afford it.

That brings me back to the Rock Island and my plans to make one run as good as a much more expensive gun, say a Springfield Professional or perhaps a Kimber Warrior. This parts list is as nearly complete as I could make it. A slide, barrel and bushing are all that are missing and I figure that if the gun needs those, it really shouldn't be a consideration for a tactical gun and I should pick another platform, like a Springfiled Mil-Spec.

Caspian Ejector $20.00
Caspian Extractor $25.00
Caspian Firing Pin $8.00
Caspian Firing Pin Stop $10.00
Caspian Plunger tube $12.00
Caspian Slide Stop $17.00
CMC Lightweight trigger $17.00
CMC PowerMag 8rnd Magazine $16.00
CMC Tactical Mag release $15.00
CMC Thumb Safety $16.00
CP Shock Buffs $7.00
Cylinder & Slide Tactical trigger set $99.00
Ed Brown 2-piece guide rod $25.00
fitting jig $17.00
S&A Hi Grip safety $35.00
S&A Mainspring/Magwell Flat $75.00
Sights: Trijicon CA02 tritium night sights $95.00
Wolf FP Spring $4.00
Wolf Recoil Spring 17lb $18.00
Grand Total $515

Now exactly why would I pour in that much money into a $320 gun? I won't, at least not immediately. The list is merely to illustrate what it would cost to replace pretty much every part on the gun with a high quality part. Now if the RIA 1911 has a good plunger tube, I won't change it, same goes for the trigger or the slide stop or any of the other parts.

What isn't covered by the list? The truley custom work, oh and tools. Reshaping the sharp edges and enlarging the ejection port, blending the mag well, polishing internals and finally, refinishing the gun. Refinishing brings up another issue entirely, since after replacing parts and reshaping others will require a new coating. Something like Gun-Kote oven cure finish or DuraBake finish would do. Or the gun could be sent off to have a finish applied by a professional refinishing house. Choices choices...

The gun would be a true project as I'd do it a little at a time as money allows, I have two guns right now that I'm comfortable carrying and don't "need" another, but a custom built by me 1911 would be really nice. Of course, would I ever run into the money, a Hilton Yam original would be the top of my list.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Good Advice

A very informative and prolific gun blogger Xavier is quickly becoming one of our favorites. Currently, he has some advice for surviving a gunfight and dispelling those handy witticisms that people regurgitate without thought.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Good Day

AFlickr Photos Judge mentioned below, he and I made time to go to the range on Friday to knock off the rust. All in all, it was very productive and constructive. I got to shoot everything I wanted to shoot, there were no mechanical malfunctions that weren't caused by the dumbass holding the gun (seat the mag Jose). The first thing we shot are the cowboy pistols and did some drills for accuracy, smoothness, draws and then worked into a two pistol string. Next the rifles, It gave me the first opportunity to try out the "Gigante" sight on my Marlin. Well, that baby is just tits! There is no way that you should loose that sight. The other thing that occured to both Judge and myself is that the Marlin is much easier to get into shape for SASS than a '66. Currently, my marlin Cowboy will smoke Judge's '66, part of that is due to me being a guy who works on his guns and the other part is due to the Marlin being a more modern firearm. Coil springs and the advancement in engineering make the Marlin a much more simple gun to work on and therefore tune for Cowboy work. I have no illusions though, with a short-stroke kit, whisper springs and lightning of the hammer and trigger springs, that '66 will eventually be the cat's meow.

We moved from rifles to shotguns and I tested my two for function and we did some times on each shotgun, I got to try out the work I did on my TTN 1878 SXS Mule Ear and try out my '97 after replacing the slide spring and lightning the hammer spring. Everything was in order and all our shotguns performed flawlessly. My '97 is getting to the point right now that with the exception of some of the professionally worked on '97s, mine is the slickest '97 I've handled.

We wrapped up the day at the range by shooting tactical pistols (or defense pistols if you like). Judge had his Glock 17 that he carries for the department and I had my trusty Kimber Eclipse CLE II. I got to workout the new Mitch Rosen holster for the 1911 and it is truly a joy to wear and draw from. The early tightness of the holster had me concerned, but that has worked itself out. I also tried out the 200g semi-wadcutters that I'd loaded up and feared that I'd screwed the pooch on them because I'd misread the info on the reloading manual and put in a half grain less than I wanted. My fears were proved unfounded as the Kimber ate them flawlessly and was as accurate as I am (read mediocre at best). Sorry there aren't more pictures from the range, but Judge and I like to shoot and forget to take pictures.

During the tactical portion of the day Judge ran me through several drills that required one handed shooting, movement and use of cover (or a reprFlickr Photoesentation of cover). We also did some drills for speed draw and due to the nature of my holster, I was faster than Judge, my fastest draw was .87s out of the holster, the problem is that it came as a total suprise when the gun went off, even though I hit the target, so I don't really count that. I was typically in the 1.15 range. I know it isn't terribly fast, but I don't plan on doing any "High Noon" gunfights soon.

On the way back, we stopped at one of the toy stores on our way back and Judge picked up a shotgun bead to use on his sight, seems he fell in love with the "Gigante" sight and had to have one. We wound up at my house cleaning guns in the garage, this picture of my garage should tell you that I need more room. We knocked out the cleaning pretty quick and then I got to working on Judge's '66 putting the sight together.

Flickr PhotoFirst, you gotta take the sight off the gun, I clamped it in my bench vice (with non-marring inserts from Sears). I then drifted it out with a nylon punch and brass hammer. Notice the use of the task chair to support the rest of the gun while in the vice, talk about redneck gunsmithing!

Flickr Photo

Picture of me struggling with that (to me) tiny bead.

Flickr Photo
A picture of the problem, somewhere in there is a shotgun bead, honest!
Turns out, during the process I made a mistake and cut the post I soldered on too short and in trying to crimp the Marbles sight, I broke it. Undetoured, I broke out the grinding wheel on my dremel and ground off all the bad metal, drilled the post hole deeper, polished everything up, cold blued it and then inserted the sight and crimped. Funny thing is that the way its shaped now, the sight actually protects the bead from being banged around, so it might be an improvement. At least that's what I told Judge! Heck, he can't complain, he got a sight for the price of a Monster Burger from Hardees.

Anyway, from 9am to 7pm on Friday, it was all guns all day and you can't get much better than that!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Custom Guns

Yesterday Jose and I went to the range for the first time this year. We shot for a good 4 hours and put rounds through all our cowboy guns before breaking out the modern stuff. I’m sure Jose will post a more in-depth review of our range time, but a couple of things happened that got me thinking.

First, I’m a gun nut. I never have enough guns, and the more shooting I do the more guns I want. I’ve wanted a home defense shotgun for a long time, and nothing I can find fits the bill for me better then the 870 Marine Magnum. It’s a little steep for a shotgun, but it’s something I’ve been drooling over for years.

Next is the battle rifle. Everybody at work longs for the M4 and they are great guns. I never really gave the AK47 a second glance. It was for the gun crazies, you know militia members who were afraid of their government. Now that might fit Jose a little, but I’m far from that type. But the more I think about owning a true battle rifle the more I start leaning towards the AK47. Indestructible, simple, powerful, and cheap, now that’s a combination I can get behind.

The Kel-Tec is a gun I’ve also been looking at recently as a backup to my backup. It would serve the function of a true pocket gun that would give me something to rely on when I’m unarmed.

I won’t even get into my longing for a 3 inch magnum and for all of you that keep telling me they are everywhere you can stick it, ‘cause I can’t find any.

But here is the gist of my post. I put some rounds through my little snubby. It’s the gun Jose did trigger work, polishing, and replaced the sight with a XS big dot. It is now a custom gun, one of a kind, and it was a pleasure to shoot. My cowboy guns have all been modified by Jose and now my tactical guns are starting to get the treatment and I love it. Jose does a great job, and even though he's learning a little at a time I trust him to finish up with a great product. So, maybe this will be my next gun.

I’ll pick up an el-cheapo 1911 from Rock Island. Jose can start swapping out parts as fast as I can afford them and then I’ll have me a custom one of a kind 1911. Hopefully it will shoot as well as Jose’s Kimber which is just a dream to shoot.

So, I’ve just dropped about 1400 dollars in this article. God I hope my wife never reads this blog.