Tactical Semi-Auto Shotguns.

I have a great fondness for the Gauge.  And when it comes to The Gauge, I am a firmly in the House of Remington and consider the 870 to be where it’s at.

I’ve considered and examined and have fired all the Semi Autos out there.  The M4 is certainly the Mercedes Benz of the class.  However at it’s price… a Thousand Dollars more than most everything else, is it worth it?  Man, I don’t know.  It’s cool… but I am not sure its a Grand More of Cool.

You know what gun I keep coming back to?  The 1187.  Reason?  I like the position of the Bolt Release.  To unleash that bolt on a Tactical Reload, it’s center bottom, easy to get to and faster than a tiny little button that everyone has positioned in the worst possible place.  A small button with no geographic reference point on the gun… just alone in the field of the receiver some place where your hand can get struck by the charging handle if you don’t get it out of the way.  Every semi auto in current production that feeds from a Tube does this and they are all wrong… all save for the Remington 1187.

I believe this to be a key advantage.  Because regardless of how many shells your tube gets stuffed with, its going to go dry and you are going to have to do a fast tactical reload.  I think this is a winning position.    Not only that, but the 1187 can run the same iron sights that you can on the 870, making it scary accurate with slugs.

This is why my pick on the Semi-Auto Shotgun for fighting… the 1187.  For impressing other guys, the M4 remains just fine.

Monday’s Motorcycle: Learning to Fly

I’ve had a lot of emails from people who have never thrown a leg over a motorcycle, wanting to know where to start.  Some of those emails would have me believe they are actually considering purchasing a new 2012 ZX-14 to “Learn On”.  Uh huh.  Yeah, my Dad taught me how to drive in a Formula 1 car too.

If you are going to start to learn, you need to start out with the basics, because I don’t need idiots like that jacking up my own insurance.  Get real.  Start simple.  My first bike was quite larger, but it wasn’t the first bike I had ridden.  That was a Honda (shocker) 125.  It was fun.  And much faster than my BMX bike or my 10 Speed.  So it was pure thrills on that thing.

Start out with a 250.  But decide if you want to learn on a Sport or a Cruiser.  It’s been reported that a full 1/3 of new 250 bikes are being sold to women.  Which is interesting because that’s about the same ratio of questions I’ve been getting.

If you want a Sport Bike, the Ninja 250 is the Tried and True choice for the fledgling Valentino Rossi. They are fun to ride, plenty fast, yet not so powerful as to get out of control in a hurry and put you into a tree.  It’s a smart choice.  Riding a Ninja 250 well teaches you technique, body position, braking, and everything you need to learn to go fast and ride safe.  Also, they are bulletproof little machines that you are going to want to keep around.  And they look cool.

There is another upshot to the Ninja 250.  60 miles to the gallon.  It sips fuel like a china doll at a tea party.  Really I don’t think there is a more efficient production vehicle out there that costs so little and returns so much enjoyment.

You can have just as much fun blasting through a canyon on a 250 as you can bigger bikes.  You just don’t have the blinding top speed that will get you sent directly to jail if you get caught doing it.

Okay, so flying a Rocket isn’t your thing?  You want to look at scenery in front of you instead of behind you in the rear view mirror?

Here’s is my beloved Sister on her new to her Rebel 250.  Probably the best Learning Bike ever made period.  Nothing about it is intimidating to a Novice Rider, yet it’s still cool looking, gets great fuel economy, and you get pick them up for about a Grand on up depending on Vintage and Miles.  The one thing I’ve learned about these little Johny Rebs is that they tend to have as much attitude as their Riders. Which means they can have a lot.

There is nothing to fear on one of these lean machines save for those people who are chatting on their phones and texting when they should have eyes up and hands at Ten and Two.  When you are riding though, you learn to spot those guys a mile away.

These are my two recommendations for Learning to Ride.  I don’t care if you are Chick or a Dude, these are where you start.

I know a local guy that’s learning, he’s spend some extra bucks to get a new Honda CBR250, and I’ve seen him jetting around town…. he’s doing great.  Another guy I know, he picked up a ZX-6.  Two weeks later his bike was totaled and he is on crutches.  I’m not saying you can’t learn on a bigger bike, but it’s just a better way to start when you start out slow.

Besides… the DMV test is all about Slow Speed and Control in a tight space.  I think the Utah Rider Test is performed in the same space one could park 2 Chevy 2500 Trucks.  It’s very tight.  Now if you can master these bikes, then go take your test on a 600 so you are golden on any size bike… but only if you can pass that test.  To do that, you are going to need a lot of practice, and the 250 is a good place to start.

The 200 Dollar Rescue Glock Project is now completed.

You guys may remember how I rescued an old abused Glock. It cost me 200 bucks, which is about 50 bucks more than a Hi Point and a Box of Ammo.
Well, if you don’t remember, I was working at the gun store one day when a fellow brought in a ragged old Glock that was just beat to hell. We gave him far too much for it on Trade In. The thing was so bad, it wouldn’t be able to be resold. In fact, it didn’t even function. The Trigger wouldn’t reset. The slide… well, the dude tried to polish off all the Black and make it shiny. He failed. The frame looked like a Pit Bull’s Chew Toy.
So I filled out the 4473, purchased it from the store and took it home.  It was mine.
The trigger needed new parts.  I had a small collection of such parts.  Some aftermarket, some Factory Glock.  I replaced everything in the trigger mechanism.  The result was more than satisfactory.  I like it a great deal.  After test firing, I was satisfied in the gun’s function.  But I hated to look at it.  Since I couldn’t hurt it anymore than it had already suffered, I modded it.

This was what it looked like when I got it.   Nasty.   I cut down the frame from 22 length to 23 length, then I ground off bits and sanded bits and then stippled it. It now feels nothing like a Glock in the hand, and it fits my hand perfectly.
This weekend at Crusader HQ, I took that slide and gave it a fine Media Blast to remove all the problems, old finish, and to rough up the slide so the Cerakote could stick to it better. I took my time on this and really made sure I got everything nice and even.
Then Joe hit it with some Cerakote in a new color I really dig… “Magpul Flat Dark Earth”. This is a darker flat dark earth or Coyote Tan color than is the norm. Looks really good.

The completed gun, better view.

The gun feels better in the hand than it looks.  Feels slightly smaller, grippier, and comfortable.  This Glock is becoming a personal favorite.  I really like the results.  If I pick up another model 23, I might chop it down to 27 length.  Just for fun.