Friday, May 30, 2014

ATF: One of Those Days...

Not a bad week here at the ol' blog eh?  Probably haven't consistently blogged this much in a long long while.  I hope you enjoyed it...  its good to be back in the swing of things a bit.  I needed to shake some dust off... but I think its working out.

Nice to start having some guest posts too.  I have another one coming up Monday so make sure you stop by for that.  but in the mean time... down to business...

A:  Bookers.  Because my son damned near stepped on a rattle snake and he didn't get bit.  And when I say damned near... I mean DAMNED near.  So yeah.  Daddy's drinkin' now.  Deal with it.

T:  So far the only thing I've smoked today was that damned snake.  I aim to remedy that directly with a little number from the folks over at My Father Cigars.  Flor de las Antillas.  Oh my....  oh my....

F:  I had intended to write about the most recent 1911 build and how much I've enjoyed it.  But I didn't actually kill anything with it today.  So nope.  Today its the ol' Tracker's time for the spotlight.

Nothing fancy.  Its just a pure utilitarian tool.  Double-action pull is like 35 pounds... and a quarter mile long.  I literally thumb cock it every time I fire it.  And that's fine.  It was good enough for Doc' and Wyatt.  Good enough for me too.  Dammit.  Tell ya what I love about the thing.  Best I can tell its indestructible.  And that can be said about many wheel guns.  But I know this one.  I know what I've put it through.  If I'm going to the swamp.. there is a real good chance this is gonna be on my hip.  The reason should be obvious.

Ok boys...

You're up.

Rattle Snake Ridge

Its not just a cool sounding name.  The name is well earned I assure you.

This isn't the first...  won't be the last...  not the smallest... no where near the biggest.  Now... not every snake we kill is a rattlesnake.  Some are eastern hog nose snakes... which just happen to look a lot like eastern diamond backs.  But when you've killed a few big rattle snakes...  and I mean big... like...  6 feet long and big around as your calf....  not like those wormy little girls you call rattlesnakes out west...  well everything that looks like a rattlesnake is a rattlesnake until its dead.  Classification comes after... and is generally done with out the head...because they can't bite you if you've shot them in the face.

God I hate snakes.  I mean I really... hate snakes.

For those interested this one was dispatched with a .357 federal hydroshok head shot from about 6 feet away.  Taurus Tracker... 6 inch barrel.  Head was mostly gone.. just totally smashed.  I loaded up one round of snake shot and put that into it too...  just on general principle.  Mostly... because I hate snakes.  This one got off easy.  Last one got chopped up with a shovel after it made the dire mistake of being with 100 feet of Rami.  Papa doesn't handle that kind of aggression very well and basically went Freddy Kruger on the rattlesnake.  

Just another day up on Rattle Snake Ridge.  

The Sub2000 (The Perfect Camp Gun?)

The world is full of interesting firearms.  Some of them you find yourself examining and wondering just what purpose its supposed to serve.  I get that alot with my SU-16c.  Another kel-tec that gets that kind of attention is the Sub-2000.

Now...  no question its ugly.  Also... there is no question that there is a cool factor to it as well.  But what's it for?

Something that I think is over looked in these pistol cartridge carbines is the fact that the 16-inch barrel cranks the velocity up significantly.  For example if you have a sub-2000 in .40...  the impact down range is not like the .40 out of your little glock.  How much faster is it?

Its raining and crappy so I'm not pulling out the chrony but the charts say 135 grains bullet rolling out at 1635 fps.  To put that in perspective... that is superior to the .357 magnum.  Its even superior to the mighty 10mm.  So not only is it going to be significantly more accurate than the same shot fired from a pistol, it will also hit far harder.  And if you're shooting your carbine in 9mm, it cranks it up to .357 levels of power.  And that's a big jump.

So it hits a lot harder than your standard sidearm in that same caliber... but its not much bigger than a pistol when it comes to sticking in a backpack, or under the seat in your truck.  It also makes for a nice little kit gun.  Get a pelican case...  fold it up and stick it in there with a couple GMRS radios, a GPS, a good knife, a couple mags, and a pistol that uses the same mags as the carbine.  Maybe a flashlight and some spare batteries...  you've got a badass little go bag that wouldn't take up much room at all but would provide some serious functionality.

I prefer the SU-16 for my truck gun.  I have a little more space available and I prefer the 223 and the AR mags.  But in a survival situation.. a backwoods situation...  or any time when space and weight are at a premium... i just don't see how you beat something like the Sub2000.  Throw a strap and a flashlight on it and it makes a very nice little patrol carbine as well.  Its fast, its really light, and you're going to have just about anyone you come up against outgunned.  Remember... It may be a pistol caliber.. but it isn't hitting that way. Would I grab it over the SU-16 for a patrol?   Well I suppose it would depend on how far I was walkin'.

And boy... a suppressor on one of these would sure be hell on some coyotes.

The down side is if you do pick up a Sub2000, be prepared to spend some time tuning it.  People make all kinds of things out of these little weapons.  Lots of folks hate the front sight and change it pretty quickly.  I find the front sight isn't that bad if you take a little time to set it up... and a small flashlight mounted under it really helps that front sight a ton.  I wouldn't put a red dot on it.  That would prevent you from folding it up, and folding it up is one of the coolest things about it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Prayers for a Friend

Hey guys...  a buddy of ours got some bad news about his health.  So take a minute and say a prayer for Outlaw X.

Now he's probably gonna be pissed enough at me for saying this much about him... but that's just the cross I have to bear I reckon.  So don't make a big to do ok?  But your prayers are appreciated.

I love ya Outlaw X... and I ain't alone.  Accept it ya mean ol' bastard.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In Defense of the 12 twist. (or the untwisting of the mind)

Guest Post:  Allabaster

*** Editor's Note:  This is the first of the new guest posts.  Fair warning...  these gun posts are not going to be written for everyone.  This isn't mass market stuff.  This is gun nerd eggheadery.  Big time.  If you want dumbed down mass market crap... there are plenty of places to find it.  Sometimes you'll even find it here.  But this is one of the few places you will find articles like this.  Also... you will find some unique spelling here.  Allabaster is an aussie.  Deal with it.***

Few things can bring about humility and clarity of thought than being forced to recant from an opinion derived from logic and reason when it is contradicted by the empirical results of practiced application of the before mentioned logic and reason. To stubbornly cling to the questionable fruits of your abstract faculties in spite of the witness of your lying eyes is little more than an exercise in self indulgent hubris.

Therefore being a man who has learned, via the unapologetic hammer of reality’s consequences, to be wary of his own sense of creeping hubris from spates of overactive abstract analysis, I have recanted my position of the ideal twist rate for the 223 Remington in a practical game and varmint rifle.

Now the 223 Remington, being an almost interchangeable round with the 5.56x45mm NATO round standardized in the 1950’s, was always going to have far greater focus of attention placed upon it than other cartridge offerings due to the economies of scale and dedicated platforms that flow to the sporting shooter market from widespread military applications. For this reason it is adapted to game, target, varmint and battle rifle applications with a far greater variety of projectile designs and weights than would ever be afforded a cartridge without the benefits of widespread popularity beyond its own inherit virtues.

The former NATO standard, the 308 Winchester (7.62x51mm), has less in the way of variation of ideal projectile weights, and therefore barrel twists, for intended use as the typical 155 to 175 grain weights are as popular for hunting projectiles as they are for the target variety.

Now my own recantation, mentioned many paragraphs passed, involves the belief that every 223 made should be equipped with a 1 in 8 or thereabouts twist rate to take advantage of all projectiles up to around 75 grains with their superior ballistic properties and sectional densities. This was my firm, somewhat informed, opinion until circumstances conspired against me during my reasonable priced bolt-action 223 varmint build of a few years ago.

The rifle in question, which I have written of many times before, is my Howa 1500 varmint. I have been very impressed with this model of rifle for its relatively modest price and high potential for consistent accuracy out of the box. The only non aesthetic downside I could detect at the time of planning my build was the lack of barrel twist options, namely the 1 in 12 for the 223, which would in turn restrict the range of projectiles I could reliably stabilize. Ultimately the monetary handicap known as “being a student” forced me to blunt my high minded and fast twist aspirations and accept the everyman’s lot in both life and rifle barrels.

With the rifle intended to target varmints out to 400m I decided upon the Hornady V-Max line of projectiles and had great results with the 50gr boat tail version in both snap target matches and with predictability of shot placement in the field. However this projectile had its own inherit limitations as it, and most other projectiles of its kind, are intended to be used in everything from a 22-250 to a 222. This meant the projectile’s ogive shape had to accommodate the throat length of many possible cartridges across the board, not just the 223 dimensions for which it was being used in my case. Consequently the ogive shape is quite angled and less aerodynamic that it could potentially be given the projectile weight.

A relatively new 53gr V-Max offering from Hornady however makes the most of the popular 1 in 12 twist 223 combination. By being intended for use only in the 223, the new projectile can replicate the ogive dimensions of the 75 gr A-Max target projectile. This provides a marked ballistic co-efficient (BC) increase of .290 for the 53gr vs .242 of the 50gr for a very modest weight gain. This does not provide the BC of a 68 grain target projectile, whose BC of around .350 requires a 1 in 9 twist rate, but it mitigates the gap in BC which is predominantly caused by the ‘one size fits all’ nature of most 22 cal projectiles.

What this effectively means is that for a 223 rifle is that projectiles with a length and weight beyond what a 1 in 12 twist can stabilise offer only a real benefit for those who intend for their 223 to engage in extended distance target applications where the improved ballistic properties are the major deciding factor. For any rifle that is intended for use on game or varmint the lack of access to the high BC heavy projectile is not a relevant limitation as such projectiles are not intended for use on either, although they may be arguably be used in a reduced capacity.

It is my hope that there will be, one day, a greater variety of popular chambering specific projectiles released to the market which will open new possibilities for the hand loader to make the most of their common rifle configurations.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive - Ruby Friedman (Justified: Season 5)

Don't mind me... I'm just feelin' a little Kentucky....

Skill, Wierd Habbits, and Bizarre Luck

Man...  what a day.

Ok so this afternoon I decided to have a little impromptu range time.  That is... I went out back and shot some.  See friday our good buddy Will put some pictures up from a trip to the range, and like all good friends do, I busted his balls over it.   Now Will had tagged a fella that had coached him some on his shooting and the fella took offense at my comments.

It turns out this guy is a marine sniper (I'd say was but there are no ex-marines.  They don't exist.).  Lets just say he and I have a difference in opinion about what adequate shooting is... and about what the capabilities of an AR carbine are.   I pointed out that I had several that were sub-moa guns...  and he flatly called me a liar, saying that he had NEVER met anyone that could hold a 223 to sub-moa levels at any appreciable distance.

Well...  far be it from me to pass up a chance to show up an honest to marine sniper. (I hope you're reading this Bane... you weepy old bastard.)

Anyway I grabbed my M&P14... because its bone stock and I didn't want him accusing me of using a ringer....  loaded up 4 winchester 55 grain ballistic silver tips... and headed out back.  In a moment of true high class shooting ingenuity I grabbed a half empty bag of miracle grow and plopped it up on a little plastic table I was using for a bench.  Sandbags... dirt bag....  same thing.

I settled in and aimed what I as hoping was about 22 inches high.  It was a perfect day for this... there was literally no wind at all.  Couldn't have been more still if I was shooting indoors.  I pulled the rifle in... looked  down the POS Chicom scope I have mounted on it (this is my beater rig can ya tell?)  and squeezed off 4 relaxed shots.

I cleared the rifle and then... just on a whim... I stood up and drew the Steyr.  I really don't know why I do this so often but I do.  I just love trying insane pistol shots.  I was aiming so far over the target I couldn't even see thing.  I just pointed in the general direction and squeezed the trigger till it broke.

Then I got on the tractor... drove around the lake...  pulled up to the backstop and found this...

I literally laughed out loud.   I mean you can't make stuff like this up.

Anyway if you look at the actual shooting... note... that is a 1.2 inch group.  From 350 yards away.  I do believe the ol' M&P15 just earned herself a real scope.  I held to high obviously.  Still... I'll take it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

ATF: Plans... Just Plans

Well dammit... by now I was supposed to have two solid reviews up from guest bloggers...  and so far the only thing that has come up is the knife review I did my damned self.  Luke was supposed to write up a review on that MVP patrol he got... but he's off chasing some split tail instead of going to the range like a civilized man aught.

Couple other guys were on board to write reviews and they haven't come through yet either.


Man what a day...  UPS showed up with my wilson combat springs and pins.  Yes... I'm building yet another 1911.  A man has to have a hobby ok? I don't fish. What do you what me to do?  Take up golf?  I build 1911s and ARs.  That's what I do.  Deal with it.

So anyway I'm stoked to get this thing assembled and see what it will do.  I've got a threaded barrel on this one... for no reason what-so-ever.

but no.

I have twin two-year-olds.  And they decided to play paint the walls and carpet with blue loc-tite.

Ah well

A:  Lots.  Becks Sapphire for now...  Russel's Reserve later.

T:  couple of sweet smoked stowed for tomorrow.  I hope to post about that then.

F:  Well I meant to talk about my sweet newly completed 1911... but no...  so instead...  I'm just going to fume...  and drink.  But mostly drink.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SOG SEAL Team Elite

Pretty ain't it?

I have confession.   I have a knife fetish.  Always have.  I've collected all sorts of knives over the years but I thought it was about time I wrote up something on, one of the best all-around big knife I own.  The SOG SEAL Team Elite (STE from now because I feel like a douchebag typing the name)

Full disclosure...  I am a big fan of SOG.  I've had several SOG Tridents and still carry one today.  I've put them through hell and they've never let me down.  I could say as much about the STE, which I've had for years.

 Lets get the specs out of the way...  its a 7-inch blade.  12.3 inches overall length.  Its 10oz or so.  Not bad for a knife this size.  Its got a nylon polymer handle that is seriously grippy.  The steel is Aus8.  And its a quarter inch thick full tang.

Now...  lets get this out of the way...  if you're one the morons that things Aus Steel is not good enough for your knife...  you can go ahead and quit reading now.  Go talk amongst yourselves about how much better the Striders that you don't own are.  You're idiots.  Thanks.

Ok for the rest of you...

I don't know where you'll find a better knife for 100 bucks.  I really don't.  I once drove this thing into a tree and stood on it.  Its skinned dead things.  Its chopped wood.  Its cut some sheet metal a few times.  I've used it to cut wire fence...  drive nails.. and cut nails.  Its tough.

How does it hold its edge?  Mine has held its edge extremely well.  I find that it loses a little sharpness fairly quickly.. but will then hold the rest for a long long time.  If that makes sense.  So maybe it loses 5% of its sharpness in the first few minutes of hard use.. but then it holds the remaining 95% for hours.

The sheath is really nice as well.  Its molle ready so you can strap it up anywhere ya need to.  Its well made with rivets at all the critical points and serious double stitching.  Plus its got a little pouch that will hold an extra mag for your .40.  At least it holds mine.  Sharpening stone my ass.  I hear a lot of the mallninja types complain that the sheath has a velco closure and that velcro is to loud for "tactical" situations.   Ok ninja.  The velcro is quieter than your big slow ass.  Regardless...  are you buying a tool or a costume?  I need a tool.. and the velcro works just fine.  The dead elk you skin doesn't care how loud your velcro is.  I promise.

So... is this the knife for your bugout bag?  Well it sure as hell isn't in mine.  I use it way to much to keep it stowed.  When it comes time to bug out... it will be on belt.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


So I was just playing around with my .50 Beowulf...  and I realized that a 7.62x39 fits perfectly in the bolt carrier.

***mind blown***

Friday, May 16, 2014

ATF: News!

Ok... Ok... I'm late.  Sorry.  Had some friends that needed some help...  What kinda man don't show up to help a friend?  Exactly.

But I'm here now...  so... news.

I have decided to start accepting firearms related guest posts.  Collectively speaking we have literally metric ass loads (as opposed to imperial ass loads? its important that your ass loads be base 10?) of firearm knowledge.  And so I figure its time to start sharing it.

If you have a new weapon you want to write up a review on... or an interesting weapon you want to do a write up on... or other really cool firearms related type stuff...  shoot it to me in an email.  I'll post it here.

And of course... since its my blog...  Booze and Tobacco will also be open for reviews and discussion posts as well.

Things should get started off next week.  Our buddy Luke has a new Mossberg MVP Patrol in .308 and he's agreed to write something up after he takes her to the range Sunday.  Hopefully we'll even get some gun porn out of the deal.

So... send any submission here.

I'm pretty stoked kids.  I hope it works out.

A: Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve.   Oh man...

T: Fallen Angel.  This is an AJ Hernandez cigar...  dark thing. 6x50...  not for the faint of heart.  some kind of Sumatran wrapper.  If ya come across one give it a go.

F:  How about an old standby...  a customized Ruger 10/22...  with a drop in aftermarket trigger...  laminated thumbhole stock and a stainless bull barrel?  awwww.... sweet.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Upon This Hallmark Holiday

"No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. She may have to get up night after night to take care of a sick child, and yet must by day continue to do all her household duties as well; and if the family means are scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidays taking her whole brood of children with her. The birth pangs make all men the debtors of all women. Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the struggling wives, for the lives of these women are often led on the lonely heights of quiet, self-sacrificing heroism."

- Theodore Roosevelt

And now a parable.

Long ago in a Porch Indian Tribe 3 young women were talking amongst themselves about their troubles.  None of the three were able to have children and they were all miserable about it.   After some debate they finally decided they would all go see the medicine man together and ask if could help them.

When they spoke to the medicine man and told him about their problem...  what he had to say surprised them.  The old man explained that he did in fact have medicine that would work for them... but it had a cost.  He told the women if the medicine worked... they would go insane.  He then sent them away... refusing to hear their answers.  He told them to think about it for a night and come and tell him their answers in the morning.

The next day the three young women came to see him.  When the old man ask for their answers... two of the women said yes.  But the third said she couldn't risk such a thing.  So the old man gave the two women the medicine and sent them away.

Mere weeks later both young were with child... and months after that... new babies arrived.

When the babies were a few weeks old all three ladies came to see the medicine man again.  They asked... "when will the madness come?"    He stood a moment and examined them.  Then he said, "its already started.  Look at you.  You can't stand still.  You sway back and forth like a sick horse.  And you are making crazy "goo goo" sounds.  What kind of sane adult makes "goo goo" sounds.  Its ridiculous.  Those babies have already made you insane."

The young mothers laughed as they finally understood.  They thanked the old man and left.

But the third woman was not laughing.  She said, "I didn't know that's what you meant.  If I had known that I would've taken the medicine too.  Give me the medicine"

But the old man looked sadly at her and said, "No.  It is to late.  They made their choice and you made yours.  They chose to sacrificed themselves for the child.  The loved their children even before they were born.  You love yourself."

And then the old medicine man sent her away.

Friday, May 09, 2014

ATF: Gun Dogs

Displaying IMG956921.jpg

We all have our favorite gun dogs.  And I'm not going to make this a pissing contest.  We have our favorite dogs because they are the best suited to our particular styles and types of hunting.  I'm not gonna piss on your Redbone.  They are amazing dogs.

For me and mine though...  we have labs.  And we recently brought home our latest.  Steyr's Bama Trooper.  We call him Steyr.  In the pic he's the big one in the back.

This one was a bit of a reach.  His momma was a competition dog but his daddy wasn't.  It didn't take to long to figure out he'd be just fine though.  Both parents were on site when we went to see the pups.  And I got to work the dad a little bit.  First of all he was beautiful.  Big... about 85 pounds... not big like my old chocolate lab Cas... but still solid muscle.  I found a ball to throw for him.  His instincts were all spot on.  He'd sit at attention and wait for me to throw the ball and he exploded out.  Fast.  Took instruction....  learned...  He did everything you'd expect of a dog for 10x the money.  Julie was watching all this and I looked over at her and she just nodded.  She could see it too.

I love labs.  To me they are like water born tanks.  There is no end to the work they'll do.  They'll swim up stream all day long... and go back for more if you ask them.  And... I love the fact that you can make almost anything out of them.  No... they won't point as good as your high end pointer... but they can and do learn it... and often perform very well.

So...  Now's your chance to brag.  Lets hear about your Gun Dog.

A: SweetWater Georgia Brown...  of all things.

T: Ghurka WarLord.   Holy crap is this thing good.

F:  two Steyr M40a1s.   Just because.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Gun Trusts

Do you have one?    Do you need one?   Have you ever even heard of such a thing?

Let me splain why you may need one.   More and more states are making it legal to hunt with a suppressor (you probably call them silencers).  So lets say you buy one... fill out all the ATF paperwork to own it legally and pay your 200 bucks for the stamp.  Congrats.  You're the legal owner of a suppressor.

Now...  Lets say you're going to the range after work and you have your suppressed weapon in the trunk of your car.   While you're at work your wife comes by because she needs your car for some reason.  She grabs your keys and off she goes.  You didn't think about the gun in the trunk.  

Now lets say your wife gets in a wreck.  Someone finds the silenced weapon in the trunk.  Your wife is not the owner.

Your wife is going to jail. And you're likely going to jail with her.  For a long... long... time.

If you had a gun trust... that wouldn't happen.

Gun trusts permit multiple trustees to use and possess the weapons in the trust legally.  They also prevent additional transfer fees when you die and leave your weapons to your kids.

Another thing to consider is long term asset protection.  Look... we all have a lot of money tied up in firearms.  Its nice to know that no matter what happens... they are safe.  Example...  Your kid is a trustee.  He gets a divorce and the psycho ex-wife is trying to get absolutely everything.  Sorry.  To bad.  So sad.  She can't touch the guns.

These things aren't expensive to set up.  And the protection they provide is worth many times more than they cost.

Give it a look.