Sunday, February 24, 2013

Emboldened Little Hitlers Popping Up Everywhere!

Take a good hard look at this little dictator.  Yep, you guessed it.  It's Mayor Bloomberg, or as I was told today, Broomturd!  This little Hitler somehow pulled the wool over the eyes of the citizens of New York City and was able to ban soda in containers larger than what, 20 ounces?  16?  I can't remember the figure anymore, but he actually put a limit on the capacity of the container you could drink from.  Oh, you can order more than one drink if you want, but he wanted to limit the volumetric capacity of the vessel said refreshment comes in.  It's a lot like that magazine restriction that the legislators passed for the rest of New York State, only more pathetic and even more meaningless.  He actually thinks that people will somehow drink less soda if restricted in the size of the container it comes in.  No, he must be right.  This pseudo dictator would have you believe that this is actually for your own good.  I guess he's never heard of a refill before.

And now, according to the Washington Times, Mayor Doomberg has extended his ban on high capacity assault soda to officially putting the kibosh on 2 liter bottles of soda with pizza delivery!  You read that correctly.  He has banned the sale and/or transfer of high capacity sodas with your pizza.  No more assault Mt Dew will be coming to your door when you call up Domino's.  Nope, your done!

Got some friends over for a football game?  Wanna order a couple of pies? Then you'd better be willing to shell out some extra greenbacks for your sodas.  According to the Washington Times, you can expect to pay $7.50 to pay for the restricted capacity soda bottles that would only cost you $3 if you bought the high capacity 2 liter soda.  Kid's birthday at the pizza joint?  No carafe of soda for you!  You'll have to order individual sodas instead of the higher capacity, and more economical containers.  Going to a nightclub?  No high capacity bottle mixers for you!  Herr Broomturd has made it illegal to have high capacity fun.  The penalties for such offenses as delivering a 2 liter with your order of pizza?  Hard to say.  But if the treatment of a certain veteran, who was convicted of having a gun magazine with a capacity of over 7 rounds is any indication, I expect you will be incarcerated for next 10 billion years.

I might be mistaken, but my guess is that Dear Leader Bloomberg may have overlooked something.  Normal people only eat about this much pizza (photo to the left) and drink about this much soda.  Yeah, I don't know a lot of folks that'll sit there and wolf down an entire pizza and 2 liter in one sitting, but I suppose it could happen.  But like mass murders with high capacity rifles, it's a rare thing.  In 99% of the cases, a pizza is ordered for a group of people, say a family of four.  The pizza is then split between the interested parties as well as the soda poured into separate, smaller containers, which are then consumed by people.  How this was lost on the almighty wisdom of the Anointed One boggles my mind, and will likely consume my soul for the rest of my years, as I walk this earth trying to understand the logic that this man uses to make decisions in his office.

 In all seriousness folks, what the hell is wrong with this country?  How have we fallen so far that we have allowed ourselves to elect leaders who are more concerned about the size of our soft drink container than they are about our increasing debt crisis?  How did NYC even allow Herr Bloomberg to limit the size of their drinks in the first place?  Are people so lazy, so uncaring, so unconcerned that they don't see the writing on the wall?  These power hungry monsters are testing the waters to see how ready we are to accept tyranny in our time.  Honestly folks, I think we are ripe for the plucking.  The sheeple of this country, by and large, have remained silent far too long.  They don't care about what is written in the Constitution, or what their rights are.  They can't name the Bill of Rights, or describe how each one backs the other.  They are content to buy and buy and buy, and as long as you let them consume, they are happy.  Stomp on my rights all you want, but don't take away my ability to watch the President make an ass out of himself on The View.

It's our fault, people.  It really is.  We have stood idly by far too long, and the uninformed voter, the low informed voter, the Unions, the banks, the Fed, and our educational system have been indoctrinating us far too long.  I would like to think that a peaceful solution to this mess we are in is possible, but the more I see of these emboldened little Hitlers popping up in every state, the more and more I feel that my worst fears will come true: There will be an armed revolution.  My children will live to see it.  We will all lose in one way or another.  And whom do we have to blame but ourselves?  If you want to point the finger at somebody, just look in the mirror.  Yes, I know some have been out there, beating the drums and blowing the whistles and sounding the alarm bells, but as much as I praise you, you have been outgunned.  It's far easier to keep people ignorant than it is to keep them informed.

And now our government is emboldened by our President.  His socialist policies, usurpation of the political processes through executive orders, his naming his political opponents in Washington enemies, and his blatant disregard for the Constitution stand as a rallying cry for all the little bastard politicians who would use their position of authority to trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens who just want to be left alone.  It is at all levels that you see this. From corrupt politicians to gestapo police officers who think that they can trample a man's rights just because they are an authority figure.  Welcome to the New World Order.

You people need to wake up!  I know I'm just beating my head against the wall when I say this.  But no matter.  I'm going to keep screaming it until I can't draw breath any longer.  At least when we're all dead, I can stand at the Pearly Gates and say, "I told you so!"  We need to have our politicians vetted properly.  We need to know who they are BEFORE they get into office.  We need to read the Constitution and know the laws and statutes that govern our states, counties and cities.  We need to know what our rights are so that when ignorant cops stop us for open carrying our firearms, we can tell them, with confidence, "no, I won't show you my ID, and you need reasonable suspicion that I am committing a crime in order to detain me."  We need to know the differences between a right and privilege.  We need to stand together.

I demonstrated, along with fellow patriots, at the Capitol steps yesterday.  Despite horrible weather conditions. we stood there, freezing our asses off, with our spouses, our children, and our friends to protect rights that were granted to us by a higher power - not some arbitrary supreme court justice.  Yet, despite the fact that I was proud to be standing among so many like-minded individuals, who wouldn't miss this event for the world, we could have had more; a lot more.  We need to have a ground swell at our demonstrations.  We need the very earth beneath our feet shake as we march on the Capitol.  We need to pack our government buildings when bills are sent in for committee or a vote.  We need to make every effort to make our voices heard to our representatives so they vote in the favor of THE PEOPLE - not the special interest groups that buy them off.

We need to hold our politicians, judges, and police accountable for the wrongs they commit.  Just yesterday, I was told that a man and his son were accosted by a Utah Highway Patrol officer, who said that his son carrying a rifle on his back was illegal since he was under age.  That's bullshit!  The only requirement that this kid needed was that a responsible adult, his father, was escorting him!  Don't believe me?  Google this: U.C.A 76-10-509(2)  That child learned yesterday just what tyranny felt like.  His rights were being trampled, and he witnessed it.  He didn't learn of it from a history book, or some novel.  He didn't have to imagine what it must have felt like.  He was a victim of it!  He tasted Statism through his own experience.  I hope that awful taste lingers in his mouth for the rest of his life, and that he fights it wherever and whenever it occurs.  I hope that boy grows up to be a champion of freedom - to protect those who need protecting.  I hope he becomes a voice for those who have no voice.

My children will learn of patriotism through their lives.  They will learn by my example, my teachings, and my guidance.  I hope that all that I do today will help preserve what I have been able to take for granted for so many years.  I hope they grow up to be patriot activists like me, willing to be inconvenienced to stand up for what I hold so dear, willing to stand in the cold to demonstrate, willing to encourage others to get active and involved, willing to fight and die to protect freedoms for their posterity.

If we leave this country in worse shape than we inherited it, how can we look at ourselves in a mirror?  I, for one, will do everything I can to preserve the freedom we have left, and - God willing - take back some of what we've lost so that my children, and your children will taste the sweetness of freedom and liberty.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Salt Lake City Day of Resistance 2/23

2/23/13, Salt Lake City Day of Resistance rally at the Capitol.  A few hundred of us braved the cold to exercise our First Amendment right to preserve the 2nd.  Today, 2/23, was significant because on Jan 16, 2013, Obama signed 23 executive orders to restrict gun rights of law-abiding Americans without vetting them through the House and Senate.  It also holds significance because the round commonly fired out of America's favorite rifle, the AR-15, is the .223 Remington cartridge.  Additionally, this date holds significance because 2/23/45 is the date that our heroic Marines raised the Flag over Iwo Jima.

For me, the day started last night.  I could feel the flu coming on and it was hitting me hard.  After a few hours of toughing it out, I doped up on some NyQuil and went to bed.  I woke up early today with a pounding headache and sinuses that felt like they were going to explode, but I remedied it with some Robitussin.  After my wife woke up, we got the kids ready, ate some breakfast, and headed out into what we knew was going to be some snow.

We made it out of the driveway, and it hit.  A big storm front was moving over the Wasatch Front and it made the roads very slippery.  Fortunately, our Jeep suffered no loss of meaningful traction, and we arrived about and hour early to the rally.  Experience has taught me that if you want a good parking spot, show up extra early.

About a quarter to the noon start time, we got the kids out, bundled them up, stuck them in the stroller, and made sure we had all the snacks and other goodies needed to keep kids happy.  Then I got out my 3 Percenter Flag and my rifle, and we pushed the stroller up to the Capitol steps.

We had a feeling that turnout might be a bit low because of the weather, so only the most avid supporters of the 2nd Amendment would be there.  We saw a couple kids with rifles slung over their shoulders too.  It was cute, amazing, and heartwarming to see like-minded parents teaching their children to stand for what we believe.  I also met a guy who drove from Idaho to be here in Utah with us.  It was closer for him to drive here than to Boise in a blizzard.  As I've driven in Idaho a couple of times during a blizzard, I tend to agree with his judgment.

After the rally started, more people began to swell the Capitol steps, and we were there holding our signs, our banners, and and weapons in spite of the cold.  I'll say one thing about Mother Nature.  She's a Democrat!  Every rally I've attended this year (three to be exact) has been bitterly cold.  At least the other two rallies didn't involve snow.  My kids were able to tough it out long enough to have news reporters swarm all over them and take pictures, and the National Anthem.  I told my wife to take them back to the Jeep and get warm.  They spent the last hour and a half warming up.  I wanted to stay because I was meeting so many new friends that I have made recently on Facebook and at other rallies.  I also linked up with the leadership from the Utah Militia, and listened to what they had to say.

One thing I can say about gun owners, especially the Dads and Moms who gathered there, they are so friendly and likable.  I would have shaken every hand there if not for the fact that clenching that flag pole in that bitterly cold wind made my hands pretty stiff.  Note to self: Mechanix Gloves are awesome for working, shooting, and general stuff (even in -15 degree F cold), but they do not do well when you are static.  I should have brought my ski gloves, ha ha!

There were some speakers there, but I was making myself busy by mingling and networking.  I gathered with Facebook friends, talked about the Liberty Pathfinders (an organization we have started in UT), as well as just talking about all the cool guns that so many people brought.

There were more awesome rifles and pistols in this group of people than any gun store in Utah!  Of course, I was carrying my Ruger SR556, which by the way got me a ton of compliments.  I also saw a few S&W M&P-15s, a Larue AR-15, a BCM AR-15, a Robinson Arms XCR (7.62x39), a couple of AK's, and even an FS2000.  Impressive.  Some guy walked by with a SBR AR-15 (SBR stands for Short-Barreled Rifle).  Among the rifles, there was a dude with a really nice Remington 870 Tactical that had Mesa Tactical everything it.  He even had the shell carrier loaded with some buckshot.  Then there were pistols.  Oh, pistols of every kind!  I had my Beretta M9A1 under my jacket.  My friend had his XD.  I saw some really nice revolvers in custom leather, drop legs with M&P's in them, of course tons of Glocks, and a particularly nice looking 1911 that I could not identify from my vantage point.  One man brought his son.  They were both carrying AR-15 rifles.  The boy was carrying a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22.  Cute!  I think the best gun present was the Nerf gun that some 8 year old was packing.  It had a sling and everything!

After parading my flag around the grounds, having had my picture taken by God knows how many people and news reporters, the festivities were over.  I shook hands with friends and new acquaintances, and quietly left.  I walked back to the Jeep to get warm.  The People disbanded quietly, quickly, and without incident.  I noted that not a single piece of trash littered the area we demonstrated at.  Gotta love gun owners!  We take care of our garbage, unlike other groups that "occupy" parks and government buildings.

There is bound to be another rally next month. I'll be ready.  For now, I'm going to thaw out and let this cold do it's thing.

-James III%

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SR556 Project; Status: Completed

I've been chipping away at this one for a long time now.  I bought this Ruger SR556 (named SIR 556) in April, 2012.  Yes, it's taken me the better part of a year to get it dialed in just the way I like it.  Originally, I intended to put a magnified optic on top, but after examining the role this rifle was to, and still does, play in my arsenal, I decided that zero magnification was a better option.  I have absolutely no problem putting a good 8" group at 100 yards offhand, standing, with this thing.  Bench rest it, and the group tightens significantly.  For my eyes, that is plenty.  Realistically, this gun wasn't meant for super long range shooting.  It really isn't accurate enough.  Though I've made a couple 400+ yard shots with it, that's really out of it's scope of duty.  This gun is primarily for close in social work less than 50 yards.  I have no problem, however, stretching its legs and putting it to work well beyond that.  And with this setup, I can do it pretty easily out to 200+ yards.  Anymore than that, and I'm really going to need a magnified optic.

Okay, getting into details.  This is a pretty squared away gun.  Not only are the accessories chosen for it proven, but the rifle itself has been shaken down properly, and it's been reliable.  I did have a stuck case one time, but a solid smack of the buttstock into the dirt, as well as pulling back the charging handle, solved that problem pretty handily.

Under Construction
The first thing I should talk about is the optic.  It is an Aimpoint Comp ML3.  The ML designation means that it is not night vision compatible.  The red dot is 2 MOA in size.  This simply means that at 100 yards, the red dot appears 2 inches diameter.  Coming in closer, it appears 1 inch at 50 yards, and out further, it's 4 inches across at 200 yards.  Some folks prefer a larger dot for faster acquisition against the target, but I've found that turning up the brightness until the red dot blooms, and turning it down one click makes it plenty big and plenty bright.  Then if I need to settle down and take a precision shot, I turn it down until I can't see it anymore, and turn it up one click.  Hey, it works for me anyway.  I have the sight mounted in a Larue Tactical LT150 mount.  This 30mm ring and base setup is made of aluminum and as you can see, clamps down around the scope with four screws, providing a very stable platform.  The mount is a quick release, so it can be taken off with no tools.  Theoretically, you should retain zero, but if I remove it from my gun, the first thing I do the next time I go shooting is take a few minutes to verify zero.  I haven't experienced any drift yet, but you never know.

Under Construction
The next thing I should talk about is the weapon mounted light.  The light itself is an Elzetta ZFL-M60.  While Elzetta offers lights with various tail cap function options, I went with a simple rotary switch that provides momentary on/off with the push of the button, constant on if I rotate the switch, and lockout by twisting it out so the switch won't contact the batteries.  This is a simple setup because 99.9% of the time, I'm just pushing the button for a second or two, and releasing.  Light comes on.  Light goes off.  The head is their standard without a crenelated bezel.  I don't need it.  I'm not going to be hitting anyone with the light itself, and there's a barrel in the way of that sort of use anyway.  The output is 235 lumens, which will illuminate a target 3 blocks away.  The light is mounted to a Haley Strategic Thorntail light mount.  This is a solution to a problem that seems like it was made for this gun.  The main problem with mounting a light to the SR556 is that there is a gas block in the front, which houses the piston and the gas port regulator.  This section of the gun gets very hot during operation.  You can't mount a plastic light mount, like the VTAC because the heat will melt it.  Additionally, mounting metal mounts will transfer heat to the flashlight quickly, and heat is the enemy of all high intensity flashlights.  The Thorntail gives good stand off distance from the regulator with a good air gap, and the part that mounts to the rail sits far enough back that it doesn't absorb heat.  It also gives me a good reference point for my thumb when not operating the light.

Under Construction
Up front sits a multi-sling mount from Damage Industries.  It gives me two QD sling positions, as well as a loop and HK mount option.  It also acts as a good hand stop to keep me from over reaching when I'm driving the gun forward.  The vertical forward grip a simple Magpul RVG that acts as a reference point for my support hand.  My wife also likes it because she grips the RVG completely.  That's how she's comfortable shooting.

I removed the Troy BUIS from the weapon and replaced them with Magpul MBUS sights.  I like them better.  They are faster in deployment and it doesn't take three hands to put them back down when not needed.  Irons are necessary for any gun of this kind.  I also shaved a few ounces by switching to Magpul.  Because the Magpul MBUS sights are plastic, I had to mount the front sight back from the gas regulator.  It does nothing to my accuracy at the ranges I shoot, and actually works with my style of shooting because my thumb just comes up from the rail to the release lever for the front sight and it is instantly deployed.  Can't complain about that!

As you can see, the stock was changed to a Magpul CTR.  Aside from it's good looks and streamlined design, it offers stock rigidity over the old skool Ruger stock.  It also offers a rubber butt pad, which lessens the shock to the weapon if I have to slam the butt onto the ground to unstuck a round from the chamber.  It also has metal QD swivel attachment points, which gives me a perfect place to mount a two point sling.  The sling itself is a Blue Force Gear VCAS in coyote tan.  Why tan?  Why not black?  Well, my LBE is not black.  Besides, who knows?  This gun my find itself in another color someday.  Plus, it's a good contrast.  The sling itself, as you can see, is padded on one side, which makes carrying the gun comfortable, and the hardware is metal.  It is a quick adjust sling, which uses a strap that you pull or push to adjust the length on the fly.  This comes in handy if I want to wear the gun on my shoulder, muzzle up (as I will at the Day of Resistance, 2/23 rally), or slung across my chest in training.  Since I used QD swivels, I can orientate the sling with the pad on whatever side I need, depending on how I wish to carry the weapon.

Giving myself another place to mount the sling up front, I installed an Impact Weapons Components 45 degree angle rail mount.  This gives me a two point tactical option for when I'm running and gunning in the desert and need the weapon to be fast, but the sling be unobtrusive in use.  I really like this position, and feel it offers me the best of everything when moving quickly.  The IWC mount itself is two piece, and is machined to fit a 1913 style picatinny rail system.  It clamps down via two screws, which pull the two pieces together.  Loctite is recommended if you intend to fire the weapon at all.  It's limited rotation means the sling won't get twisted up and bind during use.  Because it located the mount 45 degrees offset, it's very compact.  All the edges are smoothed over.  There are no sharp angles to get caught up on gear, slings, or fingers.  Tucked up just in front of my Aimpoint, it's out of the way when not needed, but in all the action when it is.

One thing that bothered me was the trigger.  I didn't like it much.  I changed the grip from the Hogue that it came with to a Magpul MOE and it changed everything.  Now the trigger is fine.  The reason is because that extra material on the back of the grip locates my hand further back, making it so my mongoloid fingers aren't scrunched up into the trigger guard.  It's also very comfortable and saved an ounce of weight in the end.

Right off, you might notice the B.A.D. lever.  I'm currently in my testing and evaluation phase with this piece.  Before getting it, my concern was that it would be really hokey and have no use on my weapon system.  Since running it out in the desert, it didn't impede normal weapon operation at all.  In addition, I had spent some time practicing double feed malfunction/clearing drills at home (with no rounds of course).  When I got to the range, I introduced actual double feed malfunctions using live rounds, and practiced clearing them with the B.A.D. lever.  Whoa!  It was intuitive and made it a very fast and easy process!  I'm stoked!  We'll see how it pans out in the long run, but as long as the screw doesn't work itself loose and falls off, it's staying there.

Under Construction
Because I'm an American, and I love my options, the first sling mount I put on was a Magpul ASAP end plate sling mount.  It works with my SKT Industries single point sling.  When I first installed the plate, I was worried that the ring would rattle and make noise, but it really doesn't.  Any noise is makes is not noticeable above all the other noises associated with handling a weapon with this many moving parts.  No rattle.

The SKT single point sling is very basic.  It employs a simple trigger snap buckle that is spring loaded.  The locking jaw overlaps 90+ degrees and provides a solid mounting option.  The sling also features a quick release buckle, which is covered by a protective sleeve.  The sleeve has a nylon tab that you can pull down away from the buckle itself.  This combination prevents the buckle from being activated accidentally, but allows easy presentation and use, if needed.  Honestly, I haven't unbuckled it but maybe a couple times to check function.  I don't want to use it too often and find it breaking someday.

After Initial Shakedown Last April, 2012
This weapon isn't the lightest thing in the world.  The reason why I opted to change the sights and the stock were born from the fact that this gun weighs in at 10 lbs empty.  Slam a fully loaded PMAG in the magazine well and you have a gun that weighs a shade under 11 lbs!  For everything that hangs off this weapon, that's really not too bad.  And I'm a big guy.  I can handle weight.  Oftentimes, my loaded backpack weighs in around 40 lbs for a weekend excursion over 10 miles into the woods.  There's good weight and bad weight.  An AR15 is definitely good.

Overall, I am totally satisfied with this gun and am happy with the way it turned out.  When you get right down to the bottom of it, the Ruger SR556 is truly a remarkable rifle.  The fact that you could (at the time) get a piston AR15 for less than $1500, with sights, is truly amazing.  As my gun has been used, tested, changed, and used some more, I have really gotten to know this weapon and have had a lot of fun getting it from where it was when I bought it to where it is today.  This is a rifle that will remain in my collection until I die.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Shotgun Project; Status: Completed

Don't say anything.  Just look... ... ... ...

Ah, it feels good to finally wrap up a gun project.  This one went fairly quickly.  The reason is that I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted before going into it, though a couple of products needed discovery during the process.  This is my solution to a home defense problem.  Let's get into specifics.

For those who have followed my blog, my journey started with Ole Plain Jane, a Remington 870 that I bought in July of 2011.  At the time, I wasn't looking for anything other than a simple shotgun for home defense.  But as I used the shotgun, and got to know it better, I found myself wanting a little more than what it offered.  First off was to get new sights for it.  However, that adventure would have turned out quite expensive for me, as getting sights onto a gun that doesn't have them to begin with is costly.  I sold Ole Plain Jane to finance the Remington 870 Tactical that I purchased in late 2012.  It was a couple hundred bucks more than the original shotgun I bought, but it saved me in the end because getting sights on Ole Plain Jane was going to run me $250+ from a gunsmith.  I'm happy I went this route instead.  For my money, I ended up with exactly the sighting system I wanted, plus a bonus in the form of a funny little tactical choke on the end.  More importantly, the gun is not only equipped with this funny choke, but can accept others as needed.  Ole Plain Jane was a cylinder bore with no option for chokes.

I had anticipated getting the Magpul MOE for end for ole Plain Jane and purchased it a few months before buying up into the 870 Tactical.  That said, the Tactical didn't keep it's original for end for very long.  In fact, I think I had it a whole 30 minutes before I changed out the for end.  Now, the reason for this is simple.  For starters, the Magpul MOE for end is larger, and gives more surface area to grip the shotgun.  It also gives me the option of putting a piece of rail, as you can see in this pic here, on either side.  I opted for the left side since my left hand will be operating any lights that find their way onto the shotgun.  I also like the 21st century look that the Magpul MOE gives the weapon.  It brings it out of the dark ages, when man first invented the pump shotgun, and into the modern era of pump action shotgun shooting, which is faster, more accurate, and far more dynamic.  This ain't your granddaddy's old Remington!

Onward in the project, I wanted to address the pitiful excuse that Remington calls a stock.  I hated it on Ole Plain Jane, I certainly wouldn't abide it on my 870 Tactical.  I'm not a fan of pistol grips on shotguns.  It just doesn't work with my body.  If you like a pistol grip, then more power to you.  I prefer a well-engineered and thought out monte carlo style shotgun stock.  That said, I checked into others.  I almost went with a Hogue over-molded stock, which is what I have on my Winchester 1300 Defender.  It's a great stock!  However, price and availability made me somewhat less than enthusiastic.  Plus, I've been spoiled over the last few years with AR-15's and their adjustable stocks.  While at a gun show, I located the Magpul SGA stock on a Remington 870.  I shouldered it and immediately felt that this is the stock for me.  I dropped my cash down on the SGA without hesitation, much to the chagrin of my wife, the household banker.  I could have gotten a slightly better deal online, but I wasn't going to sweat saving $10 bucks online, just to pay it back in shipping.  The design of the SGA stock certainly has its advantages, and while it looks weird, it is ergonomically friendly to me.  It fits like a glove.  The fact that the firing hand is positioned up so high gives a low bore axis feel to the weapon, and helps minimize recoil.  I have the stock a little shorter than the Hogue stock on my Winchester, and I love the length of pull.  It's like the gun fits me perfectly now.

Not pictured is a Nordic Components Teflon coated follower.  I didn't replace the magazine tube follower for any reason other than the fact that the one that came with the gun was made of thin plastic.  On something that critical, I want metal.  It hasn't failed yet, and seems to work well.  I did notice, however, that when loading Sellier & Bellot 2 3/4" buckshot rounds, I can only fit 5 in the tube - not 6.  But I think that's more the fault of the shotgun shell itself.  It's longer than a Federal 2 3/4" shotshell.

Finally, the light.  It was the last piece of the puzzle, and a critical one at that.  Every home defense weapon should have a light mounted to it for a multitude of reasons.  In a review of the Streamlight TLR1-S, I took the time to explain the advantages, disadvantages, and I dispelled some rumors about weapon-mounted lights.  The short description is, "Own the light, own the fight."  Being able to see down dark hallways and into dark rooms gives you many more advantages than if you were operating in total darkness.  My main reason for having a light is target identification.  When things go bump in the night, I want to know that the person I'm aiming my 12 gauge shotgun at is a burglar - not my wife getting up in the middle of the night to take a pee.  Any disadvantage of having a light on a gun pales in comparison to the extreme disadvantage of having to explain to my Mother In-law why I just blew away her daughter at 2 in the morning.

Searching for the best light for this gun's application was the most difficult and rewarding part of the project.  Initially, I tried mounting my Streamlight TLR-1s from my handgun onto the rail section.  I didn't like how the user interface (UI) worked at the angle it was at.  I also didn't like the profile it gave the weapon.  Looks aren't everything, but if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a hokey looking shotgun; and there are a lot of them out there.  I wanted something that would be streamlined, clean, modern, and unobtrusive. I wanted something lightweight and durable.  I had looked into the idea of getting a cantilever mount from Impact Weapons Components, and getting an Elzetta ZFL-M60 on the for end, but in the end, I thought it would be too heavy and bulky.  It took awhile, but I was watching Travis Haley on YouTube, showing a new version of the awesome Thorntail light mount.  I then saw, for the first time, the INFORCE WML weapon light.  The research on this was worth the affects of sleep deprivation I endured the next day at work.  A small, easy to use, lightweight, durable, bright package, all for less than $125 bucks!  The best part is that it comes with it's own integrated picatinny rail mount!  This was definitely worth the look!  At 125 lumens, it is perfect for work inside the house.  Those who say that 125 lumens isn't enough, I suggest having your eyes examined.  I've tried using my Elzetta, at 235 lumens, in the house.  If I point it at directly at a white wall, and tapped the happy switch, guess what happens.  Yeah, I end up blinding myself because it reflects 235 lumens back into my face!  Of course, the keyboard commandos are revved up by now.  "Don't point it directly at the wall!"  Well, yeah, duh.  But in a dynamic situation, where time is life, things can happen.  And pointing a light at the wall is something that very well could happen when the shit is hitting the fan.  But I digress.

The INFORCE light that showed up on my doorstep is coded as such: INF-WML-B-W.  Well, I can't tell you exactly what every letter in that sequence means, but what it does mean is that the light I have is a momentary on/off, high/low/strobe.  I have the capability of disabling the strobe, and also changing the sequence of when high and low come on.  Suffice it to say this:  If I press the button for 2 or more seconds, the light comes on high.  When I take my thumb off the switch, the light turns off.  If I quickly press and release the switch, it's on high constant on.  If I press the switch within 2 seconds, it switches to low.  And if I tap with the switch twice within 2 seconds, no matter what position the light is in, the strobe comes on.  Touch the switch again, and the strobe is deactivated.  It's really easy to do.

The only concern I have is that because of the position of the light, and how far back along the barrel it sits, I get shadows to the right of the weapon when using it in the dark.  This is mitigated by pointing the gun more toward the right.  For my money, the disadvantage of having a standalone light this far back on the weapon beats the obvious disadvantage of clamping a light to the magazine tube and using a funny pigtail cord going back to the for end with a tape switch Velcro'd to it.  Clamps come loose, and cords get caught on shit.  Tape switches fail, and Velcro peels off and gets sticky.  Ask me how I know.  Or I can just take a tenth of a second to point the weapon to the right a little.

The last bits about the light are that it uses a CR123 battery and has a two hour run time.  That's pretty standard.  You can also rotate the back of the body up to cover the switch.  It doesn't fully lock the switch out because I can get my thumb in there, but it makes accidental light discharge highly unlikely.  It's a feature worth having.

Some day, I might get a Burris Fast Fire to put on the shotgun rail, but for now, for all intents and purposes, this shotgun project is done!  Now to finish up the SR-556 once and for all, and move on to the OH-MEGA project!


Friday, February 8, 2013

2nd Amendment Rally Feb 8, 2013

This is a long video, but my friend and myself happen to be in it, and there is a lot of heartfelt talk going on here from gun owners in the state of Utah.  All speeches and statements were made off the cuff.  No planned speakers were in attendance today, and the hardcore gun owners in Utah came today and braved the cold, took the day off work, and were vocal about how they felt.  Look for my good buddy at 12:25 and me at 15:10.  I was a bit reluctant to speak because there were so many good points made, but when asked about the 3 Percenters, I was able to get through a fairly decent statement on who it was that defied the British with arms, and who it is that will be willing to defend this nation against tyranny, should that ever happen.  I'm just glad I didn't have a booger hanging out of my nose when I spoke.  That would have been awkward.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Leatherman OHT - Initial Review

In all my years of owning Leatherman tools, I have been faced with a choice: one-handed tools or one-handed pliers?  I couldn't have both.  Back in January of 2012, Leatherman introduced the OHT (One Handed Tool) at SHOT show in Las Vegas.  This tool caught my eye, as my gripe about the other Leatherman's in my collection was that none of them opened with one hand very well. Usually, when I find myself needing a Leatherman is when one hand is occupied with something else.  Over the years, I've developed a clumsy sort of way to flick open my Wave or, more recently, my Supertool 300.  Mimicked after the opening of a balisong (that's a butterfly knife to you muggles), I grab one side of the pliers body and give it a sort of flick and twirl, and the pliers are out, for the most part.  If I get lucky, I don't catch my knuckles or pinch my index finger in the process.

In comes the OHT.  With this tool, you just grab hold of the handle and give it a healthy "flick," and the pliers fly out willingly.  Let one of the handles go, and the spring action opens them all the way up, and you're ready to go to work.  Oh yes, unlike other competitors, these are spring loaded for ease of operation.  When you are done, you simply grab the release buttons on either side and turn it over to allow the weight of the tool to close in on the pliers, or use your pinky to push the handle up over the pliers head.

When it comes to all the other tools, it's one-one handed as well.  Need your screw drivers, or a knife?  Just orientate the tool to access the component you need and use your thumb to release it.  I've practiced with it, and it works alright.  The tools are really stiff, but I imagine they will loosen up a bit with use.  Oh and every tool is liner locked, so the chances of the knives or screw driver bits folding in on you are minimized.  The tools lock with a solid "click" that I can hear and feel.  I'm very confident in this arrangement.  You can see a 2.37" long blade, a serrated knife, wood saw, hooked strap cutting tool with built in O2 tank wrench, can/bottle opener, #2 Phillips screw driver, small, medium, and large flat blade screw drivers.  All of these tools can be accessed, as said above, by orientating the tool in your hand to access what you are looking for.  And did you see the coyote tan body?  It has each tool shown in a sort of pictograph so you can easily identify it until you memorize where they are. Is it necessary to have this?  No.  But it does at some cool form factor to it.  Boasting a total of 16 tools, if you count the usual suspects on the pliers head - needle nose pliers, regular pliers, removable wire cutter, and hard wire cutters, you have a formidable tool to conquer 95% of the tasks you would employ it for.

Closed up and ready for deployment.  It's a good looking tool open or closed.    Notice the black oxide coating over the stainless steel body.  The coyote tan color comes from the cerakote finish Leatherman employed to this tool.  The  hardware on the end of the handles are tamper resistant torx screws and the hardware used to hold the smaller tools on the pliers head side are standard torx screws.  The pliers themselves are attached to the handle and slide up and down on tracks.  In the picture on the left, you can see a locking tab at the bottom, which locks the pliers shut.  This is really useful if you are using one of the other tools and don't want the pliers jaws coming out and deploying the tool on you.  I'm glade Leatherman thought of this.  Closed, the tool is 4.5" long, which is the same as the Supertool 300.  The weight of the OHT is 9.9 ounces, so just over 1/2 lb.  It's not a bad weight though.  A tool this size, with this much surface to grip, is going to be hefty.

If you want to impress your friends with your Leatherman's primary knife length, get another tool.  The OHT employs an unusually short knife (2.37") for the size of body it rides in.  The clear winner, in this pic, is the daddy of them all, the Supertool 300, with a respectable 3.2" blade.  The downside to the Supertool 300 is that the blade is facing the wrong direction. Then again, the Supertool 300 isn't an one-hander in any sense of the word.  Coming in a close second to the Supertool is the Wave with it's respectable 2.9" blade.  I think the most interesting knife in this photograph is on the Juice S2.  Look at that thing next to the OHT!  At 2.6" long, it spanks the OHT in length.  Of all the tools present, however, the OHT's blade has the better profile for my kind of use.  All blade steels present are 420HC, which is okay, but not my favorite.  Normally, I have a dedicated knife for my cutting tasks, but should you want to rock the OHT's blade all the time, Leatherman has a 25 year warranty, so cut away!

When you talk about overall sizes, the Wave on the left is definitely the runt.  The OHT is smaller than the Supertool 300, though it weighs more.  The Supertool is the hog of the group.  The head on the Supertool's pliers is also larger and seemingly more durable, but the outer dimensions coming to the tip of the needle nose pliers allows it to get into tighter spaces.

Folded up, the OHT and the Supertool 300 are the same length.  I also included the medium duty Wave as a comparison because it's the size of your more classic Leatherman.  Including fasteners, the Supertool 300 is about as wide as the OHT, though it feels smaller in hand.  As far as which Leatherman gets the most use, I'm going with the one not pictured: the Juice S2.  It's also my favorite tool for that same reason.  It goes everywhere with me and sees a lot of use on small to medium tasks.  The Supertool 300 is my working tool, and has seen some hard use in the generator repair industry, and has been a champ.  The OHT fits somewhere in between.  Yes, I intend to put the ST 300 down for awhile and put the OHT through it's paces.  As this is my initial review, I will have an update in 3 to 6 months with some good hard use under its belt.  Should it fail before that, you will know.  But I have high hopes for this tool because I really like it.  I've used it a bit so far, and I can see it and I having a good working relationship.

I have included a video with a lot of the same information above, but it also shows a demonstration of tool operation, as well as one-handed access to the various tools around the handle.  I also compare the Supertool 300 and the Juice S2 in a 3 dimensional format instead of the usually pictures I normally take.