All posts by MadOgre

2019 Buick Regal GS

Being in the auto industry, I get to examine a lot of different vehicles. And when I say a lot, I do mean all of them. And being the opinionated Ogre that I am… I have my biases. This is a personal fault of mine, and I embrace it. However, I am often delighted when I find that a company has really stepped up their game and I have to admit that I am now wrong.

Buick’s 2018-2019 Regal series is generally rather boring, being somewhere in the GM line up as an elevated Chevy, or discount Caddy. But the Regal GS package is a little different. Someone at Buick spiked the dish with a little hot sauce. Because you can have it with a V-6, and All Wheel Drive, and seats that don’t feel like they belong in a retirement home community room. This is something for the Lads… and to be honest, this is something that I am increasingly interested in, Comfortable Sedans that just happen to not be boring.

This is a Car well worth looking at. Well worth taking a test drive in. I think it’s one of the best sedan options out there, and if you are looking for an American sedan… One of the very best in an ever shrinking list. It feels more of a premium vehicle than say, a V-6 Charger… And not as pretentious as a Caddy. I really like it. One of the things I also like about it… the engine is Naturally Aspirated. I appreciate a twin turbo’s power boost, but I like the feel of an NA engine.

This car will compare well against an Audi A6, BMW 326, Genesis G70, as well as certain sedans from Lexus and Acura. So if you are looking at this segment… I think the Regal GS is well worth the consideration.

Guns in Mormon Churches

We have all seen the new Policy put out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If you haven’t, here’s a link to it. For a long time, the church has said that guns carried into the buildings were inappropriate. Now, they have basically outright banned them for anyone that is not a uniformed officer on duty.

I’m a Mormon. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. No, I am not pleased with this. Not at all. One of my ancestors was, in fact, a Martyr of the LDS Church. He was shot off of his horse by an Anti-Mormon mob. Others of my family faced mobs and were driven across the country by Hate. Mormons have a thick history with this as we were driven from our homes repeatedly. My family had suffered from this, as had many others. We’ve seen violence at our church buildings… so being prepared is something that we just do. So no, I am very much not happy about this policy change.

You know what though? Churches are for matters of God, not matters of men or politics. So I’m not going to mix those. It’s not a good mix. That being said, Concealed Means Concealed. If they Trespass me for that, well, then it’s an instant 10% raise as I won’t have to pay tithing anymore. While I might disagree with the policy of the corporate structure of the church, my faith and belief in the gospel remains unshaken.

Here’s why… The Church operates on two different levels… One of them being Spiritual, and the other you can call Corporate. This policy is from that Corporate side of things and is not Church Doctrine. Members such as myself, understand the difference, though to the uninitiated it might seem otherwise. Basically, if it’s not a matter of Doctrine, then it’s a Policy.
Joseph Smith said it himself, “a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such.”

Top 10 for 2019

My Top Ten New Vehicles for 2019. Based on personal driving experience, this is my top 10 vehicles that I would spend my own money on. SUV’s: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, Audi Q5. Sedans: Dodge Charger, Genesis G80 Sport. Coupes: Audi S5, Porsche Cayman. Hatch Back: Golf R. Pickup Truck: For the Full Size, Dodge RAM. Midsize, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

Audi Q5. Avoid the versions with the 2.0T engine. Although they are “just fine” the Supercharged 3.0 V6 engine is just so bloody good. Torque like crazy, they handle great and feel properly quick for an SUV. Very comfortable. Not cheap though. Not by any means. Just worth every penny.
VW Golf R. This is what the GTI should have been. Over 300 horses and 300 torques being thrown to the ground via All Wheel Drive. This isn’t just a Hot Hatch, it’s the Hottest of the Hatches.
Porsche Cayman It’s a better car than their 911. Period.
Audi S5 Audi’s best looking car in the history of the brand. And it drives just as good as it looks, with their fantastic Quattro all wheel drive system… Unstoppable speed.
Genesis G80 Sport. Sport and Luxury combined perfectly, giving you far more car for your money than any Euro brand can offer.
RAM 1500. Fan. I’m just a huge fan. And they are great looking trucks too. Ford and Chevy and trying to look like Electric Razors, and RAM is trying to actually look like a truck.
Taco Pro. Rugged, Reliable, with proven off-road chops. It’s the truck that all other midsized trucks are judged by.
4Runner TRD Pro. The only reasonable SUV that’s still body on frame and can actually still go off roading, not just Dirty Roading.
Dodge Charger. There’s a reason it’s the king of cop cars. But in civilian trim, it’s actually really nice inside, well appointed, and comfortable. And it looks the business.
Jeep Grand Cherokee. Jeep’s best vehicle, period. So many options it can be anything you want it to be. And it looks mean as hell. It’s just not as good in the Rough as a 4Runner for gnarly off-roading. But you can’t get a 4Runner with a Hemi.

Grilling While Armed

The Grilling While Armed book is now Live on Amazon!
This is your Grill HQ Operations Manual. With this book, you will learn by the numbers! We will teach you! You will master your Grill as you master your life! You will become Grill Masters!
Mark Walters of Armed American Radio and I have worked very hard on this project, and it’s been a labor of love. Doing and enjoying what we do… Living the Freedom Lifestyle, with Guns and Grilled Meat!
Order your copy here!

Cleaning and Lubrication

Over the last month, I’ve had an abundance of questions regarding Weapon Lubrication, Cleaning, and about what oils I’ve been using as of late, and what CLP I recommend.

First off, I don’t recommend any CLP product. Because the functions of Cleaning and Lubrication tend to be at odds with one another so any single product doesn’t do both of those jobs well. Some products do one job better than it does the other, and other products the opposite. I favor using the right tool for the job. So I like a dedicated cleaner, and a dedicated lubricant.

MPRO-7 Cleaner is my cleaner of choice. In fact, I’m due to grab another bottle as I am getting low. Anyways.

For a Lubricant, I still have some Slipstream, but as supplies run out and production is stopped, I’ve been using something else more and more. Mobil 1. And here’s why. Oils designed for engines have a lot of other additives than just the base oil. These additives increase the lubrication properties, and they help break down carbon and helps prevent carbon from sticking to the metal. The additives in the oil keep that carbon emulsified and as those particles are in a solution, helps move it away from friction points. A firearm works a lot like an internal combustion engine. Heat and carbon are a result of a cartridge’s Combustion. And no matter how slick the surface is, carbon is going to want to stick to it, build up, and cause problems. This is why Crusader started recommending using the Slipstream oil on top of the permanent application process and eventually stopped doing permanent lubrication altogether. While a lube free coating sounds like a good idea at first, like Socialism, the actual use of it causes its own set of problems and eventually, it’s just a bad idea.

Guns can be Hot. Guns can be Dirty. Guns can be Dry. But they can’t be all three and keep having fun. If you want it to run Hot and Dirty, it’s got to be Wet. Just like a weekend in Vegas.

Ka-Bar Mark 98

What the Mark 98 is, and what it’s supposed to be, might be two different things. Let’s find out.

Let’s first talk about what the Mark 98 is. It’s a beefy liner-lock folder that looks ruggedly handsome. With the battleship gray coating over all the metal, and the G-10 scales, and the pronounced fuller reminiscent of their standard Ka-bar fighting knife, the Mark 98 looks fantastic. It has a 3.5″ spear point blade and unfolds out into an overall length of just over 8 inches. The knife has some heft to it, and it’s handle is thick, making it feel suitable for hard use.

The blade material is 5Cr15, which is a Chinese version of 5Cr15MoV… which is kind of a nothing special type of Stainless Steel. I like it better than AUS-8, personally. It takes an edge well, easy to resharpen, and holds it pretty well for actual real world use that doesn’t involve slicing cardboard strips. So I’m expecting the blade steel to be just fine.

I was pleased with just how smoothly the blade flips open, and that the blade was almost perfectly centered right out of the box. If there is anything concerning about the design, it’s that the liner lock is just a hair thinner than I really like. But it seems to work well. The blade locks up tightly, with no play at all. The detent holding the blade closed is a bit weak, so it doesn’t resist the flip open, so you don’t get that distinct snap on the open without a bit of wrist flick action. But when you do, is opens smooth as a puma.

The knife feels good in the hand. The scales are contoured well, and shaped well. You could really lean on this knife doing some serious cutting tasks, and it wont be uncomfortable through the job. Can I say again just how good looking this knife is? The flipper is a little of spoiler for the lines, but it’s functional and not obtrusive.

The best thing about the knife, is the price. BladeHQ has it right now for less than $20. The question though, is if this Chinese made Ka-Bar is worth the money. The answer to that, is up to you and what you want to do with the knife. So to put this to the test, I have this knife to my Son that broke a previous knife I gave him that featured D2 steel. He’s rough on knives. So he’s going to carry it and use it every day for a month or so, and we’ll check back on it and see how it’s held up. Because if it survives his use – it’s a sold knife and worth the money.

To Be Continued!
Update: After several months of hard use by my son who works in Maintenance for a large facility… The knife has held up just fine. The finish has proven strong, and the blade has held its edge very well. The knife has shown far more value than its cost. Overall, thumbs up.

CRKT M16-01S

CRKT is slowly winning me over, just like how Ruger did. 8 Years ago I’d have never said I was a fan of Ruger, but now I truly am. And with CRKT, even up through last year, I’d have never said I was a fan. But things change. Ruger changed. And CRKT is changing too, it seems. And because of those changes, my mind has changed.

I’ve always liked the looks of the CRKT’s Carson designed M16 series knives. Handsome knives. But I wasn’t a fan of the liner locks on them, and the secondary safety lock mechanism was a flat out turn off. Some time ago, CRKT has changed at least some of them to a Frame Lock design, and they ditched that wart of a secondary safety. So what you have now is a cleaner, more pure, more essential, M16 knife. The way they should have always been.

This knife here that I now have, is the model M16-01S. The series gives you a lot of options in style, serrations, tanto or spear point, and blacked out blades as you like… but this one is the smallest of the M16 series, with a bead blasted finish, plain edge, spear point.

This gives you gorgeous, sleek lines, that looks fantastic from every angle. The blade length is just a tick over three inches, with an overall length of just a tick over seven inches. The blade steel is 8Cr13MoV, which is essentially the same as AUS-8. Which means it’s going to take a very sharp edge, but you’ll have to resharpen it from time to time. Luckily, with this steel (and AUS-8) the bottom of a Coffee Mug does just fine for that.

The blade flicks out with a satisfying *snick* sounds with a flick of the flipper. It’s a smooth action, that opens and closes easily. And the frame lock is, in my opinion, a much more sturdy lock than the previous liner locks. The blade pivots on brass washers, which is a nice touch on a knife at this price point. And the blade is perfectly centered in the frame. The handle material is stainless steel. but because there’s just not a lot of it, the knife is delightfully lightweight. Strong, but light.

The folded knife carries deeply in the pocket. The clip works with slacks very well, as the clip slips over the softer material easily and doesn’t abrade the fabric to wear out your trousers prematurely like some knives are keen to do. The clip is narrow enough to be very unobtrusive. The whole knife, when folded and clipped in the pocket, is very unobtrusive… it carries exceptionally well, and leaves a lot of room in the pocket for your car keys. It carries very very well. The clip also doesn’t get in the way of your hand when holding or using the knife.

Other M16’s in the CRKT line are certainly of the Tactical Folder type. But this one is not. It’s more of a Gentleman’s knife, due to the size and weight and slim profile. But it’s got that rugged tactical look. Imagine bearded and tattooed veteran working a civilian office job. Imagine Matt Best in Business Casual. That’s what this knife is. Unobtrusive, but ready to take the air out of your lungs.

Overall, it seems like these knives are exceptionally well made, and of high quality. Especially when you look at the price. That may be the best thing about this knife. You can get them for well under the 49.99 MSRP. In fact, right now, BladeHQ has them for $31.95. And I’ve seen them for even less… 20 bucks… on Amazon Prime! That makes these an amazing value. Absolutely amazing. I’m not saying you should rush out and get one. I’m saying I don’t blame you if you do.

Here’s my wish though. I wish CRKT would make these in the USA. I’d pay an extra 10 bucks for that. And I wish they would use a better grade of steel. I’d pay an extra 10 bucks for that too. Then, sure, the knife would actually sell for the MSRP and be worth every penny. But I guess they are worth every penny now as it is. I’d just like to see the design executed to its full potential.

BlasTech E-11

The E-11 Blaster Rifle is one of the most famous rifles throughout several galaxies, as it’s been the standard issue for the Empire for several decades. But the real question is, just how good is it?

As we all know, MilSpec certainly isn’t a guarantee for quality, but simply as the establishment of minimum standards. And with the E-11 being in production under license on less than a dozen worlds even Imperial MilSpec is a floating goal. We’ve seen some problems with power-pack compatibility in some cases. But that doesn’t mean there’s a problem with the design because of that. That’s more of a quality control issue. Most of the time though, what we see from the E-11 series, is that they are extremely robust weapons with reliability like a solar cycle. You pull the trigger with a charged power-pack, and the E-11 will fire. Sometimes, even when the safety was on. This was a known defect, Safety Malfunctions have been all too common and usually blamed as a Training Issue, which I agree due to most Stormtroopers lack of weapons training due to budget cuts for Death Star projects, and new Troopers lack familiarity with the use of the weapons while in their Hard Armor uniforms.

The standard short power-pack, or “Shorty Pack” as the Stormtroopers are prone to call them, offers 200 full power shots on the Lethal setting, and 300 on the Stun setting, and about 600 on the Sting setting. The bigger “Bully Pack” ups that capacity for 500 full power Lethal shots. This is enough to keep you in the fight with any Rebel Scum you come across. And honestly, if you are having to reload, your tactics suck.

The Rifle is most often carried with the stock folded for ease of handling, transportation, and storage. But the stock can unfold for greater stability and accuracy if desired. The E-11 has been taken to task about accuracy concerns, but this is once again a training issue instead of a firearm issue. Stormtroopers, who use the E-11 the most, just about never extend the stock or even make use of the electro-optical gunsight, which offers IR/UV/Thermal targeting features. But other Imperial forces do, and they have no problem bullseyeing their targets out to the 500 meter max effective range.

Max Effective Range differs depending on the operational atmospheric environment. Extreme cold or humidity can shorten the max effective range to 300 meters. Other versions of the E-11 can extend the range out to 1200 meters, but they use a completely different powerpack that’s not compatible with standard issue rifles.

Really, the E-11 is a fantastic Blaster, and certainly fitting for all of our Imperial forces needing a rugged weapon. But like any weapon, it’s only as good as the Troops that use it. It’s our suggestion that improved training standards should be the priority over any weapon upgrade program.

HK’s HK45 Tactical

One thing I like about the HK HK45, is that it’s actually a .45 Auto caliber handgun. Unlike Glock’s G45, which is a 9mm. Small details, but with the HK, the small details add up. Outside of 1911’s, the HK45 is one of the very best looking .45 caliber handguns on the planet. And one of the best feeling handguns in the hand. As I said before, it’s in the small details.

The newer HK45 Tacticals are coming with tall suppressor sights. But I like these lower profile night sights that have a nice hook to help with one handed slide manipulations. It’s Ambi-Friendly as you can see with the wrong side slide release lever and the magazine release lever. It has, of course, the expected frame rail and the extended, threaded barrel.

The full sized grip frame allows for a full 10 round magazine capacity. The but it also gives you some very elegant contouring for an amazing feel in the hand. And to make sure it’s good in more than the average hands, the back strap is changeable. The muzzle end has some nice lines to it as well. Gone is the monolithic flat faced of the USP series. The beveling doesn’t just look nice, but it also helps reholstering. I like the fatter magazine floor plates that help in a fast reload in making sure the mag is slapped all the way in and locks properly.

At 31.2 ounces, the HK45 isn’t the lightest of handguns, but it’s not a heavy one either. It balances well in the hand, and with a 1911-like grip angle, it points naturally. The trigger is smooth, and the break is crisp. I do appreciate the DA/SA trigger system. You can carry it cocked & locked, or you can decock it into DA mode, where it’s nice and safe and you won’t have anyone tapping your shoulder, “You’re Hammer is cocked.” I hate that. The 5.2″ Barrel is long enough to give you a good long sight radius. These little details add up to a comfortable handgun that is very accurate and comfortable to shoot. The recoil is cushy.