All posts by MadOgre

Armchair QB MARLIN

Once Again, I am delving into the Dankness that is the Office of the CEO… This time, in the new office of MARLIN FIREARMS as now owned by RUGER.   The big question is what is to be done with Marlin now? 
The short answer, and the first answer… Is to keep doing what is being done.  And that includes  Existing manufacturing processes.  Quality Control Must Not and Can Not Slip.  Period.  The last time Marlin was acquired – it was a disaster.  That can not happen again.  Better to ship Late than to Ship Shoddy.
Now, Ruger acquiring Marlin offers Marlin some good opportunities. Such as rapid prototyping of new products and manufacturing of new lines for future products.  While keeping the traditions of Marlin’s history and style in current product lines.   This gives Ruger the opportunity to keep all of the Modern Cowboy Action under one roof.  Because Ruger has made lever actions in the past – and few if any remember them fondly.  This is going to take some of the Cowboy Steam away from Cimmaron and back to US Made. 
Doubling Down on the Cowboy Action genre is going to be important not just because of historic political reaction trends… But because the Western Genre is always cool and popularity surges happen. 
So let’s talk about the Western Expansion plan.  The CB line needs to be expanded first and foremost.  

The CB line offers the handsome straight stock configuration and a long octagonal barrel to give the rifle that distinctly old west and mesquite smoke flavor to the .45-70. But this is something that needs to be spread out across the line. I’d like to see a 39CB… A CB version of the 39A – which is pretty much the finest .22LR lever action rifle in the history of mankind.

The next CB’s that needs to happen is a longer barrel version of the 1894CB series. Currently limited to 20″. Which is a length that makes ballistic sense… But it just doesn’t have the look or feel. It’s also only available in .357 Magnum. Which is great. But I want to see it in .44 Magnum as well. And while we’re at it… Where is the option for .45 Colt? A gun that can handle .45 Colt loads, as well as .454 Casull. Because right now, anyone wanting a .454 Leve Action is going to have to go either Brazilian or Italian. And that just isn’t right.

While we’re at it… Let’s talk about the hottest thing happening in Lever Actions right now… Midwest Industries forends. Like them or not – they are popular like Sports Cars with Automatic Transmissions. Why, Marlin, are making customers go to the Aftermarket to supply what they want? That needs to be fixed. Why can we not buy this out of the box, directly from the manufacturer? Through an FFL of course. The Tactical Lever Action is here. And for that – You Are Welcome, Sirs. I was one of the few pushing this before anyone else was thinking about it. Two guys pushed it actually… Myself, and Gabe Suarez. And now the concept has taken root. Proving the Inception Principle… the most dangerous thing is an idea.

Let’s get into maybe what Magpul could contribute… A version of their shotgun stock not only looks good – but allows for some adjustability in length of pull to make sure the rifle fits the owner. And thanks to a suggestion, what a different forend might look like. Combined with a Big Loop… This is going in a good direction. Hmm… I don’t like the position of the Red Dot. Let’s move it forward.

There we go. That’s better.

There are two Lever Action Users out there. The Traditionalists, and the Modernists. The Traditionalists are the Cowboy guys and the Collector guys. They need to be satisfied. And a Cowboy Action Shooter guy is going to want his lever action in .45 Colt. Why not offer something for them? And that brings me to another product line… A Marlin 1892. That Winchester 92 pattern rifle is the most elegant designed lever action ever produced. Overseas reproductions corner the market. Here’s where Ruger’s manufacturing can come into play. With some design changes to incorporate greater safety, and enhanced accuracy.

The Marlin Product Line as a whole needs to be streamlined. Because it’s rather confusing to the Casual Observer. I’d kill off the .444 as it’s own line and just include that caliber into the 1895 Line. I would also add the .460 and .500 Magnum chamberings into the line somewhere. These would be great in a Trapper type carbine or a Co-Pilot.

I’d ax the Bolt actions the 795’s and the XT series completely. A big question surrounds the Model 60. Should it stay, or should it go? Personally, I’d hate to see it go. They always sold well, and many of us have fond memories of them and we probably still have one or two in the collections at home. So the options are, leave the line as it is… Expand the line to match the planned spread like the rest of the brand… Or we kill the line completely. Killing the Model 60 would be wrong. So we’re going to have to expand it.

So what are your thought and what would you do? And don’t say bring back the Levermatic. For the Love Of All That Is Holy…

Gerber vs CRKT

For a decent budget knife, CRKT and Gerber are both competing for Sub-80 Dollar knife budget. Both have some interesting knives, and both are knife companies I used to hate. But when you kinda start to groove on these new mini-cleaver type folders, these companies are a great choice. But which one is better?

Let’s look at their two very popular options. CRKT’s PILAR in size Large. The Large PILAR isn’t much bigger than standard PILAR, but it’s enough to make all the difference in everyday use. I am quite fond of it, and it makes small cutting tasks kinda fun. It’s a delightful knife.

The Gerber Flatiron is just cool. The blade shape, the handle shape… It’s a great knife to hold on too… and if your cutting jobs are mundane, this is a cool way of taking care of that work. You just like HOLDING it.

Both knives are of the same construction type… An asymmetrical frame lock on one side and composite scale on the other. Both sport a pocket clip. But that’s where the similarities come to a screeching halt. Because, let’s be frank here… The Gerber’s pocket clip blows. And as of yet, know one has stepped up to make a replacement that might work better. It carries just fine, but getting it to clip over your pocket is a real PITA, and I’m not talking about the bread. It almost ruins the knife.

Overall, the CRKT is the easier knife to carry, open, close and put back into the pocket. It fulfills the function of a folder better. And I think the build quality is a bit better too. The blade steel is D2, which is an advantage. Though, the Flatiron is available in D2 as well. But D2 out of China is pretty much just meaning its made out of some sort of actual steel and not just melted tin cans.

Once both knives are open though, the edge (sorry) goes to the Gerber with it’s longer cutting edge and straight razor geometry. It cuts better and can take a finer edge than the PILAR. And that sounds like it makes the Flatiron a clear winner… But the problem is that it’s stiff to open, even after a redesign has improved it. It’s stiff to close, even after a redesign to improve that as well. And again, the Clip is the worst thing in the world. It’s so bad, that I’d rather take it off completely and just carry it in a sheath… which doesn’t exist.

So which one wins? The CRKT wins. Overall it’s the better pocket knife – which is what these are. And it’s fun to use. Whereas the Flatiron just because a pain in the ass.

Accessorizing your gun

If you are going to set up a Rifle with accessories… You really need to take in the purpose of what the rifle is for. What the Mission and Objectives are. We see failures of this in AR-15’s all the time. So much so that it seems like people just like hanging toys off their rifle, because such owners at the Range and in the Classes tend to spend more time fiddling with the accessories rather than concentrating on the task at hand, which is engaging and destroying the target. The mission of a tactical firearm is the application of fine-focused violence.

The question is where, when, and at what range that violence needs to be administered. When you apply these such failures of reason to a noble arm such as a Marlin Lever Action, you compound the Sin and you should probably either fall on your sword, or fix your Kit. Let’s look at this rifle below… As it sits, this gun is Clown Shoes.
The Strengths of a Lever Action is the svelt profile, lightweight, and exceptional handling while delivering reliable and hard-hitting, sledgehammers to the target. But that’s not what we have here.


Taking a Lever Action and turning it into a modern Cowboy Tactical gun is fine… I’m not mad at that. I’ve done it myself and have promoted the practice over a decade ago. The areas we need to look at are the Optics and the Objects hanging off the forend.
Ignoring the fact that the Scope Mount is backward… This is a completely wrong scope mount to start with. It’s far too high for the gun. The natural line of sight on a Lever Gun is very low over the action and barrel. You know this if you are paying attention because that’s where the iron sights are. Not up high. The Scope is also set far too back. If this scope is actually set for your eye relief, then you are mounting the rifle incorrectly and you probably need to take a class. Then there is the question of if this is the right optic for the mission. If the mission is precision marksmanship, then the scope is probably incorrect, and the vertical foregrip is an interference.
If the mission is CQB work, then the scope is also incorrect, and the Bi-Pod is only adding hindering incumbrance and opportunities to snag on things and otherwise screw things up.
So, to fix this… You need a different optic, or at least move the scope foreward enough for good eye relief and to avoid the scope cutting your eyebrow. Google Weatherby Eyebrow.

Here we see a scope mounted properly. Low enough that you don’t need a cheek riser, and forward enough for good eye relief. Also note – the occular bell of the scope is not interfering with the hammer.
Here’s another good example of a tactically minded lever action. The Extended Eye Relief scope, or EER, is mounted well forward which gives you good clearance, doesn’t upset the balance of the gun, and it allows for fast target acquisition. And you can see, it’s nice and low. This is perhaps the most ideal set up for a magnifying scope on a lever action.

Then you need to decide if you should ditch the VFG or the bi-pod.
Considering that this rifle is a short to intermediate-range brush gun, I’d suggest tossing the bi-pod. I’d also suggest ditching the VFG because Hand Stops or an AFG would work better. For a short-range gun, I’d suggest an optical gunsight that maximizes your field of view. That means something none-magnified. But if you have failing eyes and you need some degree of Zoom, an EER optic would be much better suited to a Lever Gun.

In the case of non-magnifying optical gunsights. You can run any sort of Red Dot you like… The only requirement being that you mount it low. Something in a form like an ACOG will not do as that is designed to go on a flat topped AR and put the line of sight up where a regular AR iron sight is. This is too high for a Lever Action. Also, I’d suggest avoiding any bulky Red Dot sights. Go with something compact. Go with something that offers a wide field of view. These can be mounted further back on the receiver, and you’ll end up with a very nicely balanced weapon.

If you have to put anything out in front of the action. Bi-Pods and VFG’s are just not helping you. They are taking away from the advantages the lever-action platform gives you. Which is exceptional handling. If you need grips and pods and such… Honestly, you probably need a different rifle. At most, a lightweight and low profile tactical light. I’ve seen some accessory items that will allow you to carry one or two spare rounds on the fore end. Okay, that’s cool. Kinda dumb, but it’s cool though. Because you can’t reload a Lever Action Rifle like it’s a Tactical Shotgun with a fast move and slip that shell into the breach like John Wick. That’s not happening. But a spare round handy is fine if you like it.

The absolute best Lever Action set up though… Is completely naked with a sling.

I was called arrogant.

The other day, I was called arrogant, stuck up, and such. That I act like I’m too good to join in certain conversations and to be friends with people. This is far from true… In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

You see, I have some pretty harsh self-esteem issues. I struggle with this daily. It’s one of the reasons I’ve pretty much stopped blogging almost completely… Why I only occasionally record videos. Why I don’t really take part.

Internally, I feel like I have nothing to contribute. And if I do, my words hold no value anyways. You haters out there – and I know I have more than my share – could not possibly come close to the scathing rebukes I give myself. The self-loathing and criticism is epic.

Let me be perfectly honest here… For the last decade, longer actually… I’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts. Not occasionally… But daily. Constantly. There have been a few times when I’ve actually planned on doing just that. Find a nice place to park, put on some Pink Floyd and just end it. You see, that’s been my inner dialog. But I decided that no matter what – I’m not going to do that. Though, inside I have to admit that I actually want to.

I feel like before I can let myself find peace… I have some work to do yet. I’m not afraid of dying… I’ve had a “near-death experience” before and I was disappointed in “coming back”. I wanted to stay there. I look forward to returning there. But not yet.

Arrogant… I wish. I’d like to know what that feels like. Maybe I was, back when I was in my 20’s. But now that I’ve hit 50, I pretty much have forgotten what that could even mean. If you hear me talking about myself – I’m not trying to impress you. I’m trying to tell myself that maybe I have some self-value here, and that I’m good enough to be apart of whatever the situation is. Maybe. Because really all that ever really does for me is make me feel worse.

Let me be clear – I am not asking for help or reaching out. I’m only seeking a cathartic release in this confession. This is not a cry for help and you do not need to take this as a call to action and I don’t need anyone to reach out. This has been well over a decade, and I’m still here. Like it or not.

That Old itch again…

I’m getting that old timey itch again… for a Cowboy Gun. I’d love a Colt Single Action Army, and for me that means a Ruger Vaquero. The Transfer Bar Safety is the business and that’s a requirement. Because if I am only going to have 6 rounds in the gun, I want to keep all six chambers loaded. A Six Shooter is best with Six. Not the standard Colt load five and carry it with the firing pin down on an empty cylinder.

I know of three cases in the last decade where a person with a single action revolver dropped the gun and it hit hammer first, discharging the firearm and the bullet impacted the person in the lower abdomen. One case was fatal, one wasn’t quite but should have been, and the other the person was luckly and only lost a testicle and has to use a pump to have an erection… Okay, so two of them should have been fatal. But never mind all that… my point is the Transfer Bar Safety is a Must Have item for me.

Ruger makes a fine revolver and their Single Action Revolvers are, in my opinion, the best value for the money. I was also a fan of the Beretta Stampede, which also had a transfer bar safety. Unfortunately, they discontinued those… They were great looking pistols to be sure. I know other makers are putting out fine Colt Clones… and there is nothing wrong with them at all. They are probably better guns than the original Colts were. They are made with the original pattern and some slight upgrades… and they have the firing pins on the hammers as the Colts did. So those are non-starters for me.

I think I am most fond of the 5102 model at this moment. Not sure why, maybe I’m itching for that big fat .45 Colt round. Because that cartridge proves that these guns are just not Outdated by any means. That cartridge is still getting work done, and in a Ruger… it can do even more. I also like the 4.6 inch barrel. Just a little shorter, I think it feels just as good, points just as good, and looks just right to me.

Long Arm Open Carry

There is a time and a place for everything. Getting a snack is neither the time or the place for packing any long arm in the current political environment in the lower 48. We’ve seen mass shootings. We’ve seen Swattings. We’ve seen all manner of mindless and or intentional evil and anything to do with an AR-15 or AK variant is exceptionally scrutinized by the media and the public at large. The left is salivating over gun control. And you taking it upon yourself to openly carry your rifle to order your Bacon Double Cheeseburger isn’t helping “The Cause”.

We all know about our Rights. We all know about the Constitution. What is very evident though, is we do not all know about Optics. And I’m not talking about optical gunsights. I’m talking about How Things Look from the Outside. Because like it or not, we are not living in an area where seeing people in civilian clothes packing long guns is a normal thing in Urban Areas. You are not helping. What you are doing is making people nervous as hell. You are not teaching them. You are not educating the public. You are actually, if anything, making everything worse.
Quick thank you to Miguel Gonzalez for getting me worked up about this.e

You see, people can not read minds. No one knows you have benign intentions. What what’s been happening, you might be working yourself up to cut loose. No one knows otherwise. But what everyone does know – is that you look like one shady dude that needs to be greeted as soon as possible by the local law. That’s all we know.

Look, there has been times when I myself have openly packing all manner of long arms. From AR’s to AK’s, to PSL’s, to Tactical Shotguns and even Sterling SMG’s. While riding motorcycles. Yes… I did that. But I was also out in the middle of nowhere in Rural Utah Flyover Country. Not in a Suburban Area where I’m going into public places and places of business and ordering up a Smoothie while Exercising my Rights to Keep and Bear. Through the majority of this country, it’s ill advised to even keep that rifle in the back window of your truck.
Hell, we had that in our High School Parking Lots when I was a kid. I used to do that myself! But even that is a poor idea most places, most times these days. As much as I hate it… America has changed. We have to be smarter. We have to be more cautious. We have to be more subtle. At the same time we have to be Ready, yes. Always. Just don’t be That Guy that draws attention to yourself for hells sake. With Red Flag laws being a thing now, you could have a co-worker that drops a dime on you and next thing you know, there’s a knock at your door and people are outside waiting to come in and search your shit and to take away all your guns. Go ahead and beat your chest and spout off your bravado. The nail that stands up is the nail that gets hammered. There is a time and a place to make your stand. Pick your battles. Read THE ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu.

Springfield Armory MC Operator

If I were in the market for another full sized, railed 1911, I’d be looking for a Springfield Armory MC Operator. Let me tell you why…

Back when I was still in the Gun Industry, a Springer Rep came with a number of guns to try out first hand. I shot the lot of them, but the one I kept coming back to was the MC Operator. It just felt awesome in the hand, was exceptionally accurate for me, and it was flawlessly reliable.

A couple years after that, I was visiting the MARSOC armory at Camp Lejeune. We were fitting holsters for their new Colt Rail Guns, that won the contract to replace the MC Operators. The Marine Operators there spoke highly of the Springers and talked about how they never had problems with them… and the new Colts were giving them fits and nightmares. This made a lasting impression on me… and here I am years later again, and the MC Operator remains just as accurate and reliable for those that I know that have them and shoot them.

There are a lot of great railed 1911’s out there on the market. But few provide the bang for the buck value that the Springfield MC Operator gives you.

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.”