The Ideal Pump Action Shotgun

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For some reason I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the best pump action shotgun.  Well, here’s the deal… There is no best pump action shotgun.  There’s no ideal pump action shotgun.  It doesn’t exist.  There is no such thing.  Even my beloved 870 is not the ideal shotgun.  It’s not perfect.
c36337ff606aca242fd4fdf763a9f8c8My top Pump Action Picks are as follows:
1.  Remington 870.
2.  Mossberg 500/590.
3.  Benelli Super Nova.
And that’s it.  Those 3.  In that order.  And really, the Benelli if you want the option for 3.5″ shells.  Which is nice, but unnecessary.  But I do like the stocks and the sights.  But not much else.

My ideal pump action shotgun, which doesn’t exist, would be a hybrid of the 870 and the 500/590.
I like the Steel Receiver and the Bolt of the 870.  But I like the Shell Lifter and Safety on the 500.  If I could have an 870 fitted with a Mossberg Safety and a Mossberg Shell Lifter – and use the Magpul shotgun stock – That would be just about damn near as ideal as it could get.   Let’s add good Rifle Sights to it, and interchangeable choke tubes.  That would do it, pretty much.
The Magpul stock on a Mossberg is probably the ideal set up.  Or at least the most ideal set up I’ve handled.  It’s very ergonomic and feels great… keeping the felt recoil under control and keeping the safety right there where you need it.

Rest in Peace, Zachary.

168024_1747442679284_1674515_nMy little Brother, Zachary Hill passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this morning. He leaves behind his sweet young bride, Mackenzie Hadlow Hill.
Please pray for her.
Zack is a gentile soul with big heart, an Artist, and was a two tour Combat Veteran. A true Warrior Poet… that always sought Peace. He loved to play games and chill with his family and friends. And he was a prolific writer.
Zack was also a Traveler… He adventured in other countries… Through Mexico, Japan, and Italy. Now he’s gone to the Undiscovered Country.
While he’s away from us for the time being, we know we will see him again.
This is a time of great faith and pain for the Hill Family. Zachary Hill is already sorely missed. We’ve wept for him ever since we got the terrible news. I have never wept so much or felt heartache so much. I’ve wept till I was sick and am still weeping. Zach wasn’t just a brother, he was also a dear friend.
Here’s something about us Mormons though… We believe that families are eternal. And our circles of friends are too. Those relationships we have on Earth will be the possessions we will always keep.
Humans do not have Souls, we ARE Souls and what we have are bodies. And while Zach left his body, he is still and will always be Zach. And one day we will see him again. He is still my Brother. And he always will be. While we are grieving, Deveni Hill and I believe that he too is grieving for having to leave behind his friends, his family and his new bride, Mackenzie Hadlow Hill. He would not have wanted to leave her now. But he had to… Our Father in Heaven has a plan for Zach, as he does for all of us. But things happen for a reason and it’s our struggle to make sense of it in this mortal world… through our limited and narrow optics that are full of confusion, distraction, and pain.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ… When you look at all of it in total… What is it all for? Just so we can one day kneel at his throne? No… That’s not what it is all about. It’s all about Love. It’s all about Family. It’s all about our personal relationships with those we love and how we can be together forever. I truly believe that. And it gives me comfort. Though I still grieve painfully… Zach always has been, and always will be, my brother.

We miss you, Zach.  We love you.

Paul Genesse has set up a GOFUNDME for Zach’s Widow.   She needs all the support she can get in this painful time.

Four of my Favorite Folding Blades +1

To me, my Carry Knife is just as important, if not more so, than my Carry Gun.  Because I USE my carry knife for all kinds of things… even things in a manner not recommended by the manufacturer.

Here’s four of my favorites.  More importantly, these knives are the ones that are most special to me.

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Continue reading Four of my Favorite Folding Blades +1

Ruger’s new American Pistol

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There’s a lot to be said about the new Ruger American Pistol.   But let me start out by saying that it’s a great shooter.  It’s a great looking gun too.  Out of the box, it’s been 100% reliable.  First shots with it – were exactly where I wanted the bullets to go.  The trigger is great, and easily one of the best in the business.  It’s up there with Walther PPQ and HK VP9.

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The internal machining of the new Ruger shows that’s up there with SIG and FNH in terms of quality.  That says a lot.    Every part is done exceptionally well.

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The feel of just the polymer frame is excellent.  It doesn’t feel chinsy and hollow like say, a SIG 320 does.  It feels like it’s quality.  Because it really is.    20151228_122108 (2)

The American Pistol departs from the normal “Like a Glock” pattern. This is a whole new mechanical system here, and the proof is in the feel of the trigger… Which is excellent.  20151228_122144

I like how they beveled the leading edges of the frame rails.  Which makes assembly easier than most autos.   The rails are also much longer than normal Poly-Strikers, and they are polished.  Thus giving the Ruger American Pistol a very smooth action.20151228_122206 (1)

Another nice thing about the Ruger American Pistol is that the steel sub-frame is machined out of one solid piece of steel.   Giving the whole pistol a much more solid feel than other gun of this type.20151228_122215 (1)

And dare I say it?  It’s one hell of a good looking pistol too.    The lines, the proportions… it looks “right” and it feels just as good too.  20151228_122223 (1)

The sights are standard Novaks, so finding and installing aftermarket sights should not be a problem.  It you like Novak 3 Dot sights – you are in luck.  If you like something different – the options are vast.  20151228_122230 (1)

Take down and such is just like a S&W M&P or a SIG P320… Lock it back, push the lever down, pull the slide off the front.
Ruger has said that these pistols will not replace the SR series of pistols.  But let’s be real – it will.  Because to buy an SR pistol, you will have to look at this gun and say “No, I don’t want that”.  Which is a statement you will not hear very often or ever.

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Interchangeable backstraps are included with the gun.  It comes with the Medium size installed, and you can opt for the Small or Large as you wish.  The Medium size though, feels small as it is.  20151228_122244 (1)

Ambi Slide lock lever and Mag Release.  Works perfectly from either side.  I love the angles on the gun.  It looks fantastic.  This is the best looking new gun to come out since the HK VP9 and M&P…. Both of those are sexy looking pistols too.  But I really like the looks of this new Ruger.20151228_122250 (2)

Ruger has said that they have no interest in a Military Contract. And have in the past refused to even participate. Ruger looks to have changed their minds on that.  In fact, they have mentioned the military requirements in the development of this pistol.    And having shot this gun and the other possible contenders – Ruger actually has a dang good shot at a Military Contract for this gun.  As well as contracts for LE Agencies across the globe.

Well done, Ruger.  Well done indeed.  I’ll be buying one soon enough.  Speaking of buying them.  They should be available for ordering as of Jan 1st from your local dealers.  Initial supply is very limited, so patience will be required for some time.  MSRP is 575, which means this should hit the streets at about 500.  It’s easily on par with everything else on the market at that price – and better than most.
Ruger, you’ve come a long way, Baby.  You have arrived.
Now make a Compact version for me.

1911 External Extractors

20151229_150235I hear this all the time… usually from Mouth Breathers… “Those SIG and S&W 1911’s are crap because they have external extractors.  No gun should have them.”

Dude – Just shut it.   Most modern autopistols all have external extractors.  All the guns that are well known for utter reliability have external extractors.  John Mosses Browning even put them on the Hi-Power!   Glocks.  SIG’s.  Beretta… very few guns have Internal Extractors and those that do generally are problematic.

I’ve shot a lot of 1911’s.  I’ve got a lot of 1911’s.  And what I don’t have or have ever shot – was a 1911 with an external extractor that had a problem that was extractor related.   Ever.   You don’t hear about Glocks and FNS’s with Extractor problems… do you?  No!  You really don’t!   Sure – maybe somewhere out there in the vastness of the internets, under some dark rock in a dark corner – someone had a Glock Extractor problem.  But really, on the whole… such problems are pretty much just non-existant.

If you think an external extractor is problem – you really just don’t know what you are talking about.

What to do with these two lovelies?

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I still can’t decide on what configurations to build with these two lovelies.   I think one should be a pistol at least.  They were both transfered as “pistols”, so maybe both into pistols.  Light weight builds, but they don’t have to be airweights.  Maybe one pistol and one light carbine?  I want them to be unique.
Post links to images of suggested builds and the Parts I should buy for the builds.  Help me out here.

Some thoughts on a Saturday Morning

I’m a 1911 guy.  I became a 1911 guy when I was a teenager.  My girlfriend’s father, Dave, instructed me on the ways of the Old Slab Sides.  I think I was the only guy that dated his daughter that he liked.  He was a cool guy too. But he introduced me to the gun and how it operated.  Which is good.  Because not very long later the US Government put a 1911 in my hand without any instruction.    I really liked the 1911.  Dave too.   Looking back, I liked hanging out with Dave more than his daughter.     I’ve had a lot of 1911’s since.

1911’s have developed a reputation for being less than reliable.  This is because saying “1911” is like saying “Pickup Truck”.   You can’t say all pickup trucks are unreliable.  Make, Model, Condition, and Maintenance Records are all important, no?  I’ve found 1911’s can be just as reliable as Glocks.  Can.  Not all.    There’s one specific word though that when combined with “1911” that should always be avoided.  That word is “Ultra”.  Don’t get any “Ultra” 1911.  Any 1911 that has the word “Ultra” on it, or even near it – just don’t do it.   Also, any barrel length below 4″ is best to be avoided.  This goes along the same lines as the word “Ultra”.

Continue reading Some thoughts on a Saturday Morning

I’ve not seen that since…

I can’t remember when I had last seen it… Not for at least 15 years.  So long, I didn’t even think it an issue.  Like Small Pox, I thought it had been cured.

We had an AR-15 at the range that was having problems.  We looked at everything and we finally found the cause.

A loose gas key.

This was a S&W M&P15.  And the Gas Key was not staked.  It had worked loose and was causing every issue you can think of.   It was the last thing we looked at.   The bloody Gas Key.  Huh.

 

Why you need to buy a Ruger LC9S Pro

We’ve seen some interesting developments in defensive pistols this year.  And by Development, I mean product enhancements, changes, tweaks… that may or may not be Earth Shaking, but are nice none the less.    Here’s my favorite one for 2015.  The Ruger’s LC9S Pro.
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Ruger finally made the LC9 right.  This is finally what the gun should have been right out of the gate.  In fact, it’s so good, that not only does it top this list… but it’s so good that if you already have an other version of the LC9 – just sell it and go buy this one.

It’s not what Ruger put into it, it’s what they deleted.  Ruger deleted the manual safety.   Thank You.  The unnecessary and redundant safety on this gun is like a pretty girl with a festering boil between her eyes.   The poor dear… It’ll be alright…

The other thing Ruger deleted was the magazine disconnect safety.   A Magazine Disconnect Safety is to guns what Double Clutching is to Cars.   It’s outdated and unnecessary, and pisses you off when you come across it.  Whoever thought it was a good idea to put that in there in the first place, needs to explain that to Jerry Miculek.

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Here’s the great things about the LC9S Pro:

1.  It’s affordable.  MSRP is 450 with Retail around about 400 bucks.  One place I know had them for 389.  That’s crazy.
2.  It’s light.  The thing weighs nothing.
3.  It has a good trigger pull.  Some have said it’s a bit long, but come on.  This is an EDC CCW pistol, not a Match Blaster.  The trigger is excellent for the purpose of this pistol – and I’m a Trigger Snob and I’m saying this.
4. It has good sights.  And by good I mean they are usable and you have a bunch of Aftermarket options that you can swap them out for.
5. It’s skinny.  Going hand in hand with the light weight, this gun being so skinny means it can disappear on you when packing… it just evaporates.  Gone.  Stealthed Out.   And since Concealed means Concealed, this is a good thing.
6.  Ruger has a 9 round magazine for it.  So if you have to go Fangs Out and Loud you can reload with a higher capacity magazine. I’d suggest buying 3 of those and one extra spare at the normal flush fit size.  So you can rotate your magazines to keep the springs in order.  I do that with all my guns, and I’d do that with these too.  Carry with the short mag in for EDC Concealment… and my Reloads will be with the Niners.  Done.

I’m going to say this now – and it’s going to be shocking.  I like the Ruger LC9S Pro better than the S&W Shield.  There.  I said it.  It’s out there.  I like it better than the Glock 43 as well.  That grip is too small for me to hold onto well, the LC9’s grip fits much better.  And its much easier to conceal than the Shield’s grip.

Here’s my top 3 compact single stack 9mm’s:
1. Ruger LC9S Pro
2.  Springer XDS 4.0
3.  Walther PPS

Conflicted

I’ve been struggling with this subject for some time.   Not just the subject, but even if I should post this.   Publishing my thoughts on this – feels dangerous.  But the First Amendment is backed up by the Second.  So here it is:

Here’s the thing.   Sometime ago I observed a TSA Agent going about her business of providing Security Theater at the Airport.  She was Muslim, and wearing her traditional Muslim head-covering.   My knee-jerk reaction was that of anger.  It was her people are the reason why we have the TSA now.  Why we have to take off our shoes at the Airport.
But what got me even more angry – was that I got angry about that.  Damn it!  I’m not racist.  I never have been.  I’m not against anyone of a different faith than mine!  I’ve been wired against Hate all my life!
You see, I swore an Oath that I took and still take very seriously.  To protect the constitution.  To protect those that believe and say things that I might disagree with, but I’ll fight to the death to protect their right to say it.   That includes Muslims who wish to worship Allah and hold to the beliefs and practices of Islam.
Here’s another thing.  I’m a Mormon.  One of our Articles  of Faith says:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

We know what it feels like to be looked down upon for being different.  Mormons were driven out of their homes, several times.  Our church built homes only to be forced to leave them.  We built a whole city, only to be forced to leave it… A new temple that took so much sacrifice to build.  (Nauvoo) We only got to use it for a little while.  The Hayes Administration tried to block Mormon Immigrants.  A Governor declared a genocide on us.   If you study Mormon history, you find you are studying persecution and abuse for a very long time.  One of my own family was murdered for simply being Mormon.

So when we hear people speak like how Donald Trump is speaking, a part of us feels sick inside to see this happening again, even to another people.   It’s wrong, and all of my upbringing is against it.

And yet, there is a part of me that agrees with Trump’s assertion that we should hold off until we “figure out what’s going on” as he said.  Is holding off until we have a viable vetting process such a bad idea?  President Jimmie Carter did just that.  Yet when Trumps says that, he’s a badguy?  I don’t get that.

Continue reading Conflicted