Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday Follies

Spring Power-
By Pudge

The other day as I was sitting studying up on some random moments in history, I get a video call from everyone’s favorite counter jockey. The tupperware gunsmith himself needed some thoughts on a Vietnam era 1911 that he was working on. Well, knowing that I love ‘antiquated’ equipment, even though it still gets the job done better than most, who better to call. After some Mack grumblings, the well known ‘sproing’ happens. Pretty sure that recoil spring plug got launched to the other side of Atlanta. A few more choice words that only a well-seasoned tradesman knows and it was time for round two. A little encouragement from yours truly and we were ready to see if the next one could rival a NASA launch. I was not disappointed when ‘doiiing’, this one took off with even more gusto than number one. I’m pretty sure they are forever stuck in the ceiling of the garage as a permanent fixture from now until the end of time. This did it for Mack. Well, nothing a nice oat soda or two couldn’t fix but definitely gave me a lot of good laughs. 

Anyone who has worked on any sort of firearm before I’m sure can relate to the above chronicle. Just make sure you pass these stories on to others because you never know when a friend needs a good laugh.


Probably wouldn't have happened with a recoil spring plug like this!


Friday, September 11, 2020

Freedom Friday

Let's talk about 12 Sept 2001 for just a minute. A CIA paramilitary guy got off a plane in Karachi. An aging Air Force Senior Master Sergeant hugged his kid and left for Hurlburt Airfield on the gulf coast. The FDNY and NYPD were, at the time, conducting search and rescue operations. They'd soon become search and recovery. 3/75 started gearing up. Wills were written and signed. Cars sold. Leases terminated. Bar tabs paid. Strippers hugged. Dogs given away. There was a war on. The U.S. Navy, doing Admiral Halsey proud, moved heaven and earth to get all the carriers ready for action. TLAMs were checked and double checked. The Air Force, after not being allowed to plaster Tehran, Baghdad, Pyongyang, and Kabul the day before, geared up for a conventional fight. To include the above mentioned reservist who knew all the ins and outs of the MH-53E Pave Low III. And over the course of the next couple of weeks we kicked the ever loving hell out of the Taliban and Al-Quaeda. The near entirety of the U.S. military was unleashed against our nation's enemies. The Coldstream Guards, Her Majesty's Own, played the Star Spangled Banner at the changing of the guard outside of Buckingham Palace. A few years later, I wore a FDNY patch on my plate carrier. Danny wore a backwards Yankees hat under his MICAH. I refused to condone the American league and couldn't support the Mets. And that's all there really is to say about 12 Sept 2001. And that's all we need to say about it. Because as a Nation we came together. And on 9/11 a lot guys didn't say anything that didn't need to be said. A janitor, who was an Eagle Scout, followed a group of fire fighters up because he had keys. A rugby player and an accountant decided that they'd give it the old college try. And won our first victory of the GWOT. A former Rhodesian national policeman, who wore the big yellow patch just like Uncle Cart, did his level best to ensure his head count was correct. When he came up a couple short, he went running back into hell to do his duty. A senior fire fighter started heading up when the recall was issued and his head count came up short. Mister Luke knew what he was talking about when he preached the importance of an accurate head count.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Tuesday Tips

Drills Edition-
By Pudge

Last week we discussed creating a training plan for the range to make sure we made the most out of our time and ammo. So today I’d like to talk about a few drills that I like and use to measure performance. A quick search on the all-knowing internet will inundate you with so many drills it is hard to know where to start. If you’ve seen it or read about it, I’ve probably tried it out. But after lots testing, I’ve narrowed it down to the ones that I believe are best. I’ll still run other drills but just not as often as the ones mentioned below. (These can be used for handgun or rifle. Time standards and distance may adjust based on chosen weapon system.)
Warm-up Drills-
Eleanor Drill by Sage Dynamics- (https://www.sagedynamics.org/) This is meant to be shot cold as you show up to the range. The goal is to not miss under 2.5 seconds. It is a good combination of first round accuracy and speed. (video of drill- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiW4Az7buVw&t=17s)
Baer Standards Drill by Baer Solutions- (https://baersolutionsllc.com/freetargets) Like the Eleanor, this is meant to be shot cold as well, but should also be shot at the end to see progress from your training session. (video of drill- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7yecZPunGY)
Training Drills-
Dot torture- (https://pistol-training.com/drills/dot-torture) I will always do this drill anytime I get a new handgun and will usually use it as a metric for that handgun until I can run the drill clean. (video of drill- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guxSc0o6lAU)
Cadence Standards by Sage Dynamics- (https://www.sagedynamics.org/) Great drill to make sure you have a solid grip during cadence strings of fire. (video of drill- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBsOcJVoX6s)
Assault Course Drill- (https://pistol-training.com/drills/10-round-assault-course-2) Good drill to get moving and shooting from varying distances. (video is in description link)
Cool-down Drills-
25 meter Bull- Some people use this for warm-up but I like to use it as a cool down to rehash the fundamentals and really drive them home as the last thing I do. It also makes me have to stay focused after potentially a long day in the sun. This drill is usually shot using a B8 target, 10 rounds in 10 minutes. Yes, this is a long time for 10 rounds but the point is pure focus on accuracy. You can shoot a round, dryfire a few times, load and shoot, repeat until all 10 rounds are fired. (I’ll usually complete the drill in 2-4 minutes because too long creates adverse effects.)
As I previously stated, there are so many drills out there it is hard to decide what is useful and what is just some fake operator kung fu. https://pistol-training.com/drills is a good place to start. The best advice I can give you is to try a bunch out, decide which ones assess the skills you deem most critical and stick with them. Now get out there and get better.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Malfunction Monday

Breaking Stuff-
By Pudge

I know Mack is going to chime in and try to make me feel bad because I broke an almighty Glock part. I’ll preface this by saying that it wasn’t a true piece of tupperware but it still had their guts. I somehow managed to break, not the normal way, a Glock firing pin. This is the first one I’ve broken like this, but surprisingly (or not), I’ve broken 2 other %100 Glocks prior to this. I’m what you would consider “hard on stuff.”

Oh no! I broke perfection! (And I found a unique way to do it.)


Look at that clean break!
 
So, let’s look at some facts and then try to diagnose this break. (A quick aside, I was only able to find one other article on the entire interwebs about a similarly broken firing pin.) Not exact numbers, but I have fired roughly four thousand rounds of NATO spec 9mm, another two thousand rounds of various ammunition, mostly steel cased, and probably put about another two thousand dry fires on my “Not-a-Glock”.
How did I find out it broke? Thank goodness I was dry firing when I found it. I was shooting invisible holes in my light switches and all of a sudden, my trigger wouldn’t reset. I looked in from the rear of the slide and it didn’t appear anything was catching. I then took the slide off and saw the rear portion of the firing pin that catches on the trigger bar was floating back and forth. So, off came the striker plate and out falls all my little striker pieces including a new piece that wasn’t supposed to be there. After pulling apart some other tupperware like pieces and swapping parts like Tuco in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, I got that gun running again. But now I’m standing by for everyone’s favorite Counter-Jockey/Glock Armorer to make sure I don’t break anything else.

I spent awhile scouring the depths of gun forums everywhere looking for what may have caused this or similar mishaps only to find a single, one-page conversation about the same type of break. After all this searching, the creator of this conversation never actually pin-pointed why it broke. Luckily, I get to be around amazing men every day that put Uncle Sam’s hard-earned tax dollars to work. After a quick conversation with our Company armorer, it appears that the culprit is definitely the NATO spec ammo. (NATO spec 9mm is usually hotter than normal +P so it has some oomph to it.) He also confirmed that while an odd break, it is not out of the norm for guys who put a lot of NATO spec ammo through their guns and has happened to a fairly good number of people in my Company. We shoot the wonderful plastic fantastics that come in 15 and 17 round flavors for work.
This just reiterates that no matter how “Perfect” your firearm may be, it is always good to have a spare or some spare parts for just these occasions. Welp, time to get back out there and see what else I can break!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Technical Thursday

 The world, pretty much, has agreed that the M-4 platform is the way to go. And with much gnashing of teeth, we have agreed that 5.56mm is the preferred caliber. But is it the best?

So, last evening, Mr Garabaldi, and I were discussing assorted things, to include World War One German merchant raiders. Cause that's the life of a gun blogger, folks. It ain't all hot chicks and free guns.

Ah, sorry, I digressed there for a minute. So, AR's. Legos for men. But is 5.56mm the best climber for Joe's weapon?

In short, yes and no. I think it would be just fine if issued in a rifle length platform. Or issued with something other than 62 grn semi armor piercing bullshit developed for an impossibly stupid requirement against a threat that no longer exists in the original form.

I'm a big proponent of a rifle, rifle I say, in 5.56mm shooting 77grn Sierra MatchKings in a barrel with 1/7 twist rate. Because fuck you and your man dress, Haji.

But that doesn't run well surpassed. And it's really hard to move around in a Up-Armored Humvee with a damn musket. 18 year old PFC Mack can attest to that fact.

So, maybe we need a platform with something like an 11.5 inch barrel shooting .300 JDJ (SCREW YOU REMINGTON) for room clearing urban environments where we are either vehicle mounted or fast roping out the side of a Blackhawk. Oakleys not included.

And damn. What if we are fighting some Iranian trained insurgents wearing surplus Russian body armor in Syria. Then that old 6.8 SPC II seems mighty fine. And you will never convince me that a Barrett REC-7, shooting 115 OTM, with a KAC Masterkey underneath isn't the best weapon ever devised since John Garand got around the Army not wanting a detachable box mag. 

The AR platform is pretty damn effective. And thanks to its modularity it can be tailored to any situation that arises. 

But unfortunately, the DOD seems to think the pistol is where Joe and Jane should have modularity. And that's the dumbest damn thing done in the name of jointness since Robert Strange tried to make the F-111 a carrier based interceptor. 

And hell, at the end of the day, 55 grn M193 out of an 18" barrel is pretty damn devastating on soft flesh. Maybe we should go back to that. And do away with that dumb ass three round burst while we're at it.

Thanks for stopping buy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tuesday Tips

Range Training Plan-
By Pudge

Today I’d like to briefly discuss how I prepare to go to the range by creating a training plan for the day. This enables me to have some focus and accomplish some quality training instead of just blasting away ammo. (Even though there are definitely times to just get some good blasting out of the way.)
I’ve found that the more firearms I acquire the harder it is to keep myself on track. Because of this, the first thing I do is decide which guns are going with me. If I built or bought something new then this is the first on the list. I always want to shoot and sight in any new gun as soon as possible because who knows when I’ll get the chance again and if I’ll need it before then. I want to be ready. After this, I choose which other firearms should go with me based on what I want to work on. If I’m doing long-range I will try to stay with long guns. If I’m doing quick, in close shooting, I’ll leave the long-range hole pokers at home. The only exception to this is that I always bring my primary carry gun because you can never be too proficient with what you carry every day.
Once I have my firearms chosen, I decide what exactly I’m wanting to work on. Time and ammunition play a large roll in this. I also look at how long it’s been or how rusty I may be on certain skills. If deer season is coming up, I’ll focus a little more on my long-range accuracy. If I’m getting ready for a competition or just staying proficient, I’ll usually bring the home/self-defense guns. Then, it is time to create the training plan itself. I’ll write down my drills and with what guns they will be shot with prior to heading to the range. This looks like a checklist and I will follow it until completion.
An example below based on maintaining self-defense proficiency.
*All Carry Gun from concealment
-Eleanor Drill (Carry Gun)
-3” dots at 5, 7, 15 yds (Carry Gun)
-Transitions (Carry Gun and AR)
-Box drill (Carry Gun and AR)
-El Madison (Carry Gun and AR) (This is a variation of the El Presidente that is done with both handgun and rifle)
-Forward/Rear/Sideways Movement (Carry Gun)
-25M Bull (Carry Gun)

Conducting the Eleanor Drill


Working on my long-range abilities
 
Having a range plan keeps me focused and allows me to AAR post range time. This helps me shoot less ammo but increase my capabilities. I have certain drills I will run each trip and a notebook where the gun/time/accuracy/date are all listed out so that I can track progress. This list can also help me determine what I need to work on based on the increase or decrease of scores on these benchmark drills.
I hope this can help everyone get out to the range and stay focused and hopefully save a little ammo while the ‘pick your panic’ is going on. *A final note- Sometimes you just want to bring everything out to plink and have fun and that is perfectly ok. Enjoy and have fun because that is how we are going to get others into responsible gun ownership.

Monday Musings

Staccato XC vs Nighthawk TRS-Comp By Pudge I called Mack and told him I was going to do another handgun comparison and he was very happy t...