Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reloading Woes...

So some time last spring, I ran into a guy selling a Lee Loadmaster for $150 all set and ready to go for .45ACP.

I figured it was a good deal and that it would be a good press to learn on, so far all I've learned is that I should have bought a Dillon. Now some of this is probably my fault as I did take the press apart to clean and lube it when I finally got to mounting it on the bench (almost a year since I purchased it) and have not been able to get it running right since. Initially I was fighting with the case feeder, that was a loose/loose situation as the instructions that come with the press are garbage and even with the improved media I've found on line I couldn't make the case feeder work. So I abandoned the case feeder, you really don't need one anyway right?

Then there was that stupid chain that actuates the powder measure, don't even get me started on that, It seems I won the lottery on that one when I called Lee to order some replacement parts only to break that chain a couple times. I finally ended up using an old dog tag chain I had laying around and got that part of the press working.

I got the press indexing properly, adjusted the bullet seating depth and started to load, after about the 5th round (including the ones that were not the proper length) the priming system, which is mostly cheap plastic jammed up on me when a primer got sent up sideways through the trough and completely mangled the primer slider and the top piece of the primer trough. Having tried to call Lee several times and not being able to get through, I called Factory Sales and was able to order FIVE primer sliders and two primer troughs, although even after confirming over the phone that the troughs I ordered were for the Loadmaster...they really aren't so I need to send the wrong ones back and order the correct parts.

Not to be discouraged, I took another go at it after cleaning up the mangled primer trough and inserting the new primer slider, I managed to get ten rounds loaded up that were correct and about 5 rounds with mangled / up-side-down primers loaded before the priming system locked up again.

So I think I'm going to order the correct troughs and give it one more try before melting that POS down and ordering a Dillon 650, actually I think I'm just going to order a 650 anyway and call it a day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

That income tax refund time is coming and the Mrs. and I are doing our gun shopping...

I'm truly torn on what I want, we're all ready talking of attending a training class this summer/fall as part of a vacation package and we're both looking at some new options.

For years I've been pining over the Sig 226X5 Tactical, I've always enjoyed shooting the 226, and a single action 226 just seems like too much of a good thing. It's just too bad that to get a regular 226 SAO only exists as a Master Shop gun running around $3K. I the Tactical would be a shoe in if it weren't for limited holster selection.

 Sig 226 X5 Tactical

Next on the list is a Dan Wesson VBOB, what's not to like? All ready have mags and holsters, I can't think of one negative aspect to this gun. It's exactly what I want in a carry 1911 and the price is reasonable.
 Dan Wesson Valor Bobtail

I've also been anticipating the coming of the HK P30LS 9mm, but I'm somewhat less than enthusiastic now that it's arrived. Mags are expensive, HK customer service has a less than stellar reputation, and did I mention the mags are expensive?


I HATE topics on "Which gun should I buy" but I'm just having a hard time deciding on this one, I don't think I could go wrong with any purchase and these three are not common enough to be able to shoot them at a range with rentals.

I've shot plenty of 226s and Bobtailed 1911s, but never a P30, so I'm thinking the P30LS just needs to stay on the bottom of the want list. Which leaves the X5 and the VBOB.

The VBOB would be easier to conceal, but I've had no problems concealing full size 1911s or the XDM and the X5 is pretty close in size. I'll for carry and IDPA, so it's a matter of what division I want to shoot. I all ready shoot Custom Defense Pistol (CDP) with my Les Baer and do well, and if my wife starts shooting she'll probably be shooting in Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP) or Stock Service Pistol (SSP) and I don't want to compete directly against her...of course I could always buy the Sig and still shoot CDP with my Baer and not worry about it and just use the 226 as a range gun/carry gun but not for competition, but I don't see that happening if I make that purchase.

Blade Tech does make holsters for the X5, but I'd rather have wider options, I'm wondering if a MTAC slide would do the trick?

Oh well, I've 10-16 weeks to ponder over it...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And my Sheriff Thinks "We" Shouldn't be Armed.

These signs are hung on the door ways of our Sheriff's office and are visible when exiting the building from the staff entryways.


Oh yeah, I "feel" safer all ready. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Been Said Time and Time Again...

Having the right belt really does make a difference.

While my precious belt was tough/sturdy enough for carry duty, two of my favorite 1911 OWBs have 1-3/4" slots while my belts have been 1.5". I was noticing a hitch in my draw and finally caved in and bought a 1-3/4" belt from 5.11 to use for those two holsters and it really does make a difference.

So, just for the sake of redundancy, having a good belt that is of appropriate quality to carry a load and matches the slots of your holster really is a must. You don't have to spend $50+ for a good belt, the 5.11 belt while no stellar piece of work is low cost and seems serviceable, if I can wear this thing out I'll let you know.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Springfield XDM Size Comparison Pictures.

When Springfield fist came out with the XDM-40 I was pretty interested in what the 9mm version would hold.

I purchased my XDM-9 in December of 2008 and so far have been pleased in it's performance. So far I have just over 3000 shots fired and it has not choked during "normal" firing. I had some issues while shooting from retention with some 115gr FMJ but shooting with 124gr+P JHPS resulted in no issues.

While the gun is on the large side, it is not the mammoth that some make it out to be and is not "too big" to carry concealed if one is determined to dress around the gun.

While I don't have any pictures of me concealing the gun, here are some reference pictures so show actual size of the gun.

These are taken from a post on

So one of the reasons that I was hesitant about picking up the XDM is that a lot of people were commenting that it would be too large for CCW, I compared them in store to several guns that I carry on a routine basis and in some cases it was smaller, but in the few cases where it was larger, it wasn't much larger.

Here's some pics I took this evening, you can get a general idea of dimensions from the mat.

Note that I align guns by the trigger guards, when you think about it, it's basically the one aspect of most guns that are similar and gives a better visual of actual size difference.

Now up until recently, my main carry gun had often been a 5" 1911, while the XDM has over twice the capacity of a 1911, size wise it's actually smaller than my Les Baer as shown.

(Sorry about the finger, but due to the slide profile of the "M" slide, it liked to tilt grip up when laying down)

Side by side, standard thickness grips on the 1911.
The "M" is not as thick as I thought...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

At Last, a Replacement to the Aging Colt Mustang

When Sig came out with the P238 I was as giddy as it gets. I've held off on getting one as I've been waiting for this day to come (OK, the recall helped holding off as well), the Sig P238 is now available with a stainless steel frame.

SIG 238 HD

Stock Photo: Sig 238 HD

For those that are going to ask why on Earth would you want a HEAVIER pocket gun? Well, when you take a steel framed Colt Mustang and shoot it next to a KelTec, you'll feel the difference.

I've been holding out on replacing the Mustangs in carry rotation as there just wasn't a stock item from anyone that matched up to it spec for spec. The Kahr MK9 was a contender but I'm just not sure about the micro 9mm gun. We don't pocket carry the Mustang or Mustang +II that we have. The wife and I both carry our Colt .380s IWB as her pockets are too small to fit chap-stick in without it printing and I'm just not that fond of pocket carry although I do have a pocket holster for the Mustang if I should ever change my mind.

Now all I need is for Sig to come out with the equivalent of the Mustang +II and we'll be set. I've been wanting to shelf the Colts as the pool of spare parts for the Mustangs dwindles every year. Just in the short time I've had mine the parts available from both Brownells and and Numrich has diminished. While I'm not worried that one of them is going to break, they are becoming too valuable to risk a breakage.

For those that are fond of the Colt .380s, here's our current set of steel-framed models.

Colt Government .380

 Top:Colt Mustang +II 
Bottom: Colt Mustang

The Sig 238 differs in a couple different areas, one being that it features a removable mainspring housing.

Sig P238 Parts List from User's Manual

Colt Mustang Parts List

I WILL be purchasing one of these Sig 238HDs and will do some side by side comparisons at a later date to be determined.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Revolvers for SD - am I missing something???Originally Posted @

This was posted today and it's definitely a head scratcher.

About the only real benefit I have seen mentioned pro revolver is the "You can't limp wrist a revolver" argument, which is a very good one 10-3-10 Edited to add:

Also of note regarding a revolver vs. semi-auto argument is that while using an auto at close proximity to your attacker you risk forcing the gun out of battery if the muzzle end of the slide is making contact with the body or the slide getting interfered with while shooting resulting in a jam, with a revolver this is a non-issue.

I'm just not getting the revolver thing. I like them and have a number of them. But I'm finding that many of the revolver claims are not very accurate. I understand the nostalgia and affection for revolvers, I have that too, but I’m speaking from a self-defense perspective only.

From this it could be deduced that I’m anti-revolver, but that’s not the case at all. I’ve been carrying my S&W Model 60 a lot lately. But for those that say they wouldn’t feel under-gunned with a revolver, I have to say, between a five shot, slow reload, requiring high manual dexterity under extreme pressure, apparently I’m failing to see the logic of choosing a five shot over a 15 shot.

Here are the typical claims:

1- they're light
2- they're compact
3- they're reliable
4- insensitivity to ammo
5- simple failure to fire drill - just pull the trigger again
6- they’re easier to shoot – just point and shoot, i.e. no safetys, decockers, etc.

1- Well they're light if you get the airweight models. E.g. my S&W 340 (I think that's the model) weighs 12 oz. But that's not the whole story. That light weight is carry friendly, but I've yet to hear of anyone that enjoys shooting it. The standard response is "You won't feel recoil in a gunfight." You may not but you cannot avoid the effects of it, and heavy recoil, as with the airweight snubs will have to be dealt with. I think that also suggest that more training and practice would be wise for these hard recoiling guns.

The AR Wishlist.

I've had my Bushmaster since Sep of '03 and my Noveske for about a year. I think I've finally decided on what I want to do with them.

My Noveske is a 16" mid-length and I think this is going to be the route I take with it.

American Defense RECON X (Extended) Scope Mount with 30mm rings: My current optic choice is a Millet DMS, if I like the set up I'll probably go with a Trijicon AccuPoint 1-4X, the main reason for these choices in optics is that I am horribly left eye dominant and unless I start shooting lefty I can never get a clean sight picture with a red dot without closing my left eye. If I'm going to shoot with one eye, I might as well have the option of magnification and I really don't want both a red dot and a magnifier mounted, I want a simple set up not some Swiss Army Black Rifle Mutation.

BCMGUNFIGHTER Charging Handle: Both the Bushmaster and Noveske will be getting these, actually I think I might go ahead and order one handle today...I always hated the tiny handle and these look much more sturdy than the current enhanced latches that I have on both guns.

Magpul ACS: I just like the lines of this stock better than the EMOD etc. It still looks like it will give a comfortable spot weld and still allow LOP adjustment.  

Daniel Defense Omega Rail 9 Mid Length : While I don't want to mount a corkscrew, GPS unit, stapler and chainsaw bayonet to my gun, a quad rail may come in handy for a light or bipod etc. and I don't want to mess with having to alter the rifle. The Omega rail should just drop right on.

Magpul AFG (Angle Forward Grip): I love this thing and about jumped for joy when I saw it's release. I am not fond of vertical foregrips and this looks like just the ticket.

Both guns will probably get the MIAD grip kit as well.

For the Bushmaster which is an older ban model with an A2 receiver I'm going to take simpler approach, as previously stated, the charging handle and the grip are going to get changed out, but other than that the rifle is probably going to stay as is and I'm most likely just going to outfit it with a Trijicon Reflex with the handle mount and 6.5" MOA dot.

If anything it will make for a fun shopping experience and the Noveske shouldn't look overloaded with crap either, the rifle has a very sleek appearance and I'd hate to take away from that.

When all is done it should look close to this: