My apologies for being a bit quiet lately. My family and I are getting ready to move to again… buying a house… and making big life changes here. But it’s all good. We’re excited and happy!
For those that don’t know… Krav Maga is the type of Martial Arts developed in Israel. I don’t practice it myself, my preference being Shotokan. Since I don’t practice it, I am no expert in it. However I do have an opinion. I think it’s an “All or Nothing” type of thing… You make a move and it either works, or you are totally screwed. Just my impression, this is probably what you need in Israel if you are the One Guy in the doorway protecting a room full of babies from the guy with a gun trying to get in. I may be wrong. Like I said, I’m no expert in Krav Maga. I think I would like to take a few classes in it and learn more.
HOWEVER… I’m not wrong in this: Krav Maga Shooting looks dangerous as hell and I don’t want anything to do with it, based on this video:
I’m critically low on my Gun Maintenance Products. I have 3 products that I use and really prefer over everything else. I need to order some of each.
First is LUBRICATION. There is nothing better on the planet – NOTHING – that can touch the lubrication of SLIPSTREAM STYX from Crusader Weaponry. This stuff is beyond slick. I use it in any mechanism that needs some lubricant. This is also what I use when I am reassembling things… such as firearm internals, revolvers to rifles, and any other mechanical device. It doesn’t gum up, doesn’t dry out, and it protects those internals better than anything else I’ve ever found. It was designed for this purpose… for marine conditions. Salt Water conditions. So it can handle humidity, keeps your weapon operating in the worst conditions. This stuff works on any mechanism and I used it all the time on my motorcycles, inside cables and levers for super slick controls.
Second is MPRO-7 Cleaner. This is a full synthetic cleaner unlike most others. It’s more of an astringent than a solvent. So you spray it on, and wipe it off, done. Work great on the inside of your bore, exterior wipe downs, and deep detailed cleaning. I also like that it doesn’t strip the metal completely bare… it leaves a thin film on the parts that is neither oily or sticky… just… smooth and clean. I don’t know how to describe it better than that. Let’s just say – you should use this stuff too. Get it in the pump-spray bottle, and you will love it. It also works well on cleaning motorcycles.
The Third product that I’ve come to really like, and need more of now, is FIREClean. Abe and Dave of DNA Guns turned me on to this stuff last year. It’s a CLP. It cleans and it lubes very well for a CLP. I usually don’t like CLP’s. But I like this stuff… You see, I’ve found that living in the Coastal Carolina area, the humidity here combined with the ocean’s salt spray that gets caught in the air and gives the air that nice coastal smell that I love – is actually quite harmful to firearms. And considering I really don’t care for stainless steel too much – I’m always wiping my guns down to make sure they remain protected. When I first came here, every month I was wiping off a thin layer of orange dust… the beginnings of rust. FIREclean stopped that. It leaves the guns with a nice protective coating… a nice oiled finish that doesn’t feel oily but protects the guns.
Some time ago I stripped the black coatings off my Becker Combat Bowie and my Becker Companion knives. This leaves a bare high carbon steel blade… that will corrode if you even look at it sideways. You see, I use my Tactical Knives when I cook and that Becker BK9 Combat Bowie is my main cooking knife now. I didn’t like it before because that black coating didn’t let it slice very well. It added a lot of drag. Stripping the coating has let it slice meats very cleanly. It’s fantastic. It’s also bare high carbon steel, so it needs protection. FIREclean is perfect for this. I’ll use the knife and as soon as I’m done, I’ll wash it off with hot soap and water, and then I’ll rub a drop of FIREclean on each side of the blade and spine to protect it until my next cook. So until Becker/KA-BAR makes a more stainless version of the BK9 – I’ll continue to use Fireclean on it and on all my guns.
Trade Ins. Guys, you really need to watch your trade-ins very closely. This is an area where a lot of shops can lose money for a few reasons, or you can do your customer a great disservice.
You’ve got to look at the firearms like how Hooter’s uses their lovely girls. The girls are what brings the guys in, they are not making any money from the girls themselves. Stay with me here. You have a store full of Merch. For most Gun Stores most everything else in that store is a higher Margin item than most every gun you have in inventory.
Great customer service is a perception that belongs to the Customer, not you the Retailer. For you, that is the Goal and not the accomplishment. Don’t every think you have it… because then you stop striving for it.
I was looking for something on the Old MadOgre.com site and stumbled on some of my old articles in PDF format.
There are a few more I used to have, but have lost or the file corrupted. Shame.
Here’s most of my articles for CCM.
My current picks for the best production 1911’s you can buy. I’m going to roll with some specific guns and give some more details. But following the recent AR-15 article pattern, I’m going to stick with regular production 1911’s and not touch on Custom and Semi-Custom. Otherwise this list would be all about Nighthawk, Ed Brown, Les Baer, and Wilson Combat.
1. Springfield Armory: I’m putting Springfield as a top choice because their guns are consistently well above par, and their customer service just might be The Best in the entire gun industry. Their policy is that they want you to be happy with your gun. So you can buy a Springfield without hesitation. Any complaints I have heard about Springfield usually involved the person having some extreme form of Unrealistic Expectations. “I had a problem with my GI Model so I think Springfield should give me a TRP! With a 3 day turn around!” That kind of thing.
Picking 3 guns out of their line up, the TRP, the MC Operator, and the Champion LW Operator. (Champion being Springfield lingo for “Commander”) I would really like to see Springfield do a “CCO” type pistol, and Loaded LW Commander, er… Champion.
As some do not know, MARSOC was buying and using the Springfield MC Operators for years and years before Colt snagged the contract. Considering Colt’s new CEO is a former Marine General… Hmmm… I’m sure that contract award was completely legit.
2. SIG. SIG really hit the ground running making just what could be best overall 1911’s you can buy. Problem with them though, is that they departed from tradition with a sharp turn. Non traditional external dimensions/profiles, with external extractors. Then they came out with their “Tradition” series – which does look like a regular 1911, but still has that exterior extractor. However, these guns are so good… I just love them. Very much so. Their C3 and RCS are amazing CCW guns. And this gun here…. It hits all the right buttons. Make this a Commander sized, SIG. Please. You can’t go wrong with a SIG 1911.
3. PARA USA. It’s not a secret that I’ve just never really cared for Para’s guns. But ever since Para Ordinance became Para USA, they have been making huge strides. Their LDA trigger system, I still don’t care for. If you like it, that’s fine. I just don’t. However their regular 1911’s… They have evolved into guns that are just excellent. Their new Black Ops 1911 is unquestionably a fine 1911 handguns by any measure. But it’s their Elite series that I really dig. Simple, no front slide serrations… and this one is almost perfect. Just please, get rid of that fiber optic FSP. I’ll take a regular tritium FSP, thank you. I’ve talked with some of the guys from PARA USA, and they are taking their guns very seriously. They want to be the best. And you know what? They keep on this road, they sure will be. I’m liking where they are going.
4. Remington’s 1911 R1. This comes as a surprise to me… but Remington’s R1 family of 1911’s are just flat out excellent. All of Remington’s problems do not exist in or effect their 1911’s. And they are offering these well built and solid 1911’s at extremely reasonable prices. They make one that I would be very tempted to add to my own collection. Tell me that isn’t just gorgeous. Remington is using a very good steel alloy, and are sporting very nice finishes.
Now if they could just put this attention to detail into the Marlin Lever Actions – I’d be a happy happy Ogre.
5. STI. Specifically, STI’s Lawman 4.0, and the Nitro 10. I favor the Single Stacks, and I favor the guns that use the bushings… but that Nitro 10 is just too cool, so I can forgo the bushing requirement.
6. Dan Wesson. Because Dan Wesson. Their Bobtail Commanders are probable the most FLAWLESS 1911’s I’ve ever seen that didn’t cost more than a good used car. Their 10mm Razorback is just too damn good. But the ones to really look hard at, are the Valor Black and the CCO. Perfection. Where is the Valor Black Commander though? Oh, and hey, CZ USA – Make these in 10mm as well. I don’t really dig the Titan 10, because I don’t hunt Vampires, professionally, so I don’t need all the race-gun hints. I want a clean and simple 1911, in 10mm… that’s not stainless.
Here’s what I look for in a 1911: Simplicity and understated elegance. I don’t like bushingless bull barrels. I don’t like full length guide rods. I really don’t even particularly care for ambi-safeties. And the one thing I really don’t like – but they are almost universal… The Novak style ramped rear sights. But I can live with it. I will also stay away from anything that even resembles a “Series 80″. I prefer Commander length barrels. The 4″ to 4.25″ barrel lengths. They balance just right to me. I do prefer if I can get it, the light weight frames, but will take solid steel happily. I also do not like extended slide releases and safety levers. The “Tear Drop” style safety lever is my favorite. I do prefer a bobbed hammer or commander style hammer, followed up with a nice wide high ride beaver-tail. Those work for me.
One to keep an eye on: Rock Island Armory is getting better and better, not every year, but every day. They are like the Kia Motors of 1911’s… they used to be cheap and laughable, but now they will make you turn your head, “What is that? THAT’s a Kia?!?” RIA is having that same effect. While not one of my top choices now, they could be at some point in the future sooner than anyone could expect.
Question came in:
“Mad Ogre, can you make a list of the best AR 15 rifles according to your expertise? I’ve read you articles and it seems to me you’ve done your homework! Would really like to know which AR 15 manufacturer rifle would catch your eye!”
That’s a good question, but also technically complicated. Saying “AR-15″ is like saying “Pickup Truck”. Asking for the best Pickup Truck would require me to respond with “What are you going to do with it?” It’s far easier if I know the specific applications you are going to use it for, because of all the options and configurations out there. And with AR-15’s there are far more nuances that go with them. So instead of specific models, I’m going to simplify this. I’m going to list in order specific manufactures. Companies that are making production gun sold through dealers… not custom guns.
My TOP 5, Starting at the top and working down:
These are the only production AR-15 Rifle Makers that I would personally spend my own money on. Reason I picked these are due to the overall quality and consistency that I have seen. These guys are consistently putting out the best products. Each one of these Brands are worth exploring. Which specific rifle – depends on your application or the configuration that you are looking for. These are also companies that I have personally talked with and know there commitment to putting out top quality rifles. There are a couple other companies out there that could have made this list as a Runner Up – but I just don’t like their finished products… I’ll give you one example. Black Rain. They are making some good products. BUT. Their finishes are ghastly and they insist on using a muzzle device that you could seriously use to drill through layers of sedimentary rock and discover oil with. They have to ship them with a rubber cap over it because the muzzle device will chew through the packaging during shipping. They WILL tear the crap out of any case you put them in as well. For what purpose do you need that for? It’s just tacky. If they would tone it down – I could take them more seriously.
Now, let’s talk configurations. For a Jack of all Trades configuration, I like a carbine length barrel, with full rifle length handguards, and I like a free floating barrel. I don’t like quad-rails, but I do like the option of putting on an accessory where I want it. My favorite new rifle on the market that meets this criteria:
The Daniel Defense DDM4V11.
So if I had to pick just one rifle, that would be it.
On my page about Firearms Finishes, a question popped in from one of The Horde.
For those new here, The Horde are like minded Readers of MadOgre.com – and by extension as some have said, members of WeTheArmed.com. I’ll leave that up to you to self-identify as you wish.
Question: “Enjoyed the article on the different firearm finishes. I do have a question to ask….
I have come across an old Colt 1911 made in 1913. The seller states it has been refinished with the NP3 finish. Even though it appears to be a professional job, I’m concern that it defaces the value of the gun. Does anyone know if this devaluated the firearm any? I appreciate your responses.”
That’s a great question and an interesting topic. Here’s the Short Answer: Yes. Unfortunately any time you refinish a gun, you basically ruin it. Investment wise. Pure collector value issue. However for a working gun, it’s just the opposite. It restores and protects, and in the case of a finish like NP3 – enhances it. So it really comes down to what you want the gun for.
The long answer: We also have to take into account the value and condition of the firearm, as well as it’s individual history. Let me explain. Let’s say you have a Winchester 94 that your Pops got you when you were a Wee Lad. It’s your working gun, your truck gun, your ever year deer getting gun… It’s worn and getting corroded and could use some help. This gun might be a “Pre-64″ example…. So off the cuff one would say, “No, don’t refinish it!” However you have a lot of personal history with this gun and you want your kid to enjoy it too… and his kid. Well, just the old Rub Down With Oil treatment isn’t going to cut it and that gun would get retired quick…. So maybe this example would be a good candidate to get a good refinish done. Black-T or a good semi-gloss black Cerakote would be good choice for this. Or, have a good gunsmith do a refinish with a Hot Blueing after some polishing up… So you can keep using it as you have been.
Okay, now say that same gun was your great grandfathers, well cared for, and is in really good condition… It’s vintage was a lot older. Well, in that case, it’s value could be quite high and such a vintage gun should be left as it is, or if you want to use it… Here, the decision is yours.
Now let’s say your great grandfather rode with Butch Cassidy and this rifle was own by one of Butch’s boys… or rode with Sheriff John Pope and ended would of Butch’s boys with that rifle. Well, that gives that gun a much higher value than Book Value. Of course – such value requires documentation to substantiate the history. But let’s say you have that. That changes things…. Refinishing that gun? HELL NO. That’s American History and should be preserved. There will be Collectors looking for that gun.
Now there is another collector type out there… Blood Guns. Weapons used by murderers. I’m not going to go into that stuff… but those collectors? They don’t even want you to clean it, so no refinishing for those guns.
Most modern guns though, mass produced, common types that are still in production… Refinish it however you like. Really the skirmish line comes down to if it’s in production or not. If it’s no longer in production – take a moment to think about getting it refinished or not.