Tag Archives: Rifles

Crazy Gun Sales

I’ve never seen gun-sales like today. It’s been busy since Black Friday, and really busy all week. But I’ve never seen it like today. We broke records. We completely sold out of all AR rifles. They are gone. Done.
We have more on order, but I don’t think we will ever have the AR stockpile like we had before… They are going to trickle in and be sold before they hit the shelves.
All of our 5.56mm/.223 ammo in 50 round packs or larger is all gone as well.
I still have .223 Remington in 20 round boxes… your Varmageddon, V-Max and Ballistic Silvertips, and that’s it.
I’ve never seen anything like this.

Edit:  To give you guys an idea of the volume I’m talking about… When it comes to inventory, Basin Sports is one of the biggest new gun dealers not just in the state of Utah, but in the western states.  We had one hell of an inventory of tactical rifles.  Yeah… they are all gone now.

Random pics of me with my favorite rifles.

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This is “The Green Marlin” which became the Cowboy Assault Rifle, or CAR-30-30, or Tactical Lever Action.  It started out as a stock Marlin 336C which had some serious water damage to the stock that ruined the finish.  I was going to do a John Deer logo on the side of it, but then I decided I hated that color.  The gun its self though was straight up awesome.  Barrel cut down to 16 on the dot, and an 11 Degree Target Crown and a 1 Piece firing pin and the Trigger Happy trigger from Wild West Guns.  The result was a 30-30 that would print 1/2″ groups with LEVERevolution ammo.

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This is what replaced my Crusader Modified Rock River… which no matter how good or accurate it was, it was too damned heavy.  This is a very lightweight build that Gundoc tweaked for me.  Slipstream treatment and a Battlecomp round out the details.  Topped with an EOTech, to get on target fast.  Accuracy is more than enough to make me laugh wickedly.  Yeah, I’m not giving anything up on the Rock River’s accuracy.

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Now, I’m holding a Rossi M92 in .44 Mag.  And I do love the 92’s, the gun in the photo that brings this to the front of the pack, is the one Evil Jim is caressing.  That’s his SBL.  This is the .45-70 Thumper that forced me – FORCED ME – to buy a Guide Gun of my own.  I don’t have a pic of me holding mine, so this one will do.

Notice that out of all these rifles in this post – most are Lever Actions.  There’s a good reason for that.  I love Lever Action Rifles.  Especially one’s with some modern touches that enhance the Lever’s ability to hit – and knock the shit out of the target.
It was asked, “What is Crusader going to do if there is another Assault Weapons Ban and you can’t build AR’s anymore?”  What will we do?  We’ll do custom Lever Actions.  I’m one of the few Trainers out there that actively train  – an encourage – Lever Actions.

Unpossible!

There is a certain outdoors oriented magazine that recently did a test on cheap rifles.  They took the most popular rifles that retail for less than 500 bucks, and did a quick and dirty accuracy test.

Weatherby Vanguard
TC Venture
Marlington X7
Savage Axis
Ruger All American

The results were than the Marlin X7 rifle handed it to all the others.  Drastically.  According to this test, the Marlin was much more accurate than all the others, showing a one hole group compared to the other’s patterns.

Okay.  I’ll buy that.  This Marlin X7 was more accurate with the Test Ammo than the others.  But they didn’t test other loads through the other guns.   Generally what happens is that one gun can favor one particular load more than others.  As is this case.  In spite of what this test shows, I’d much rather have a TC Venture or a Vanguard than the Marlin X7.
The Savage is at a disadvantage here.  At 299, it’s the cheapest.  But for a hundred bucks you could drop in a Timney trigger.  But it up to the 400 dollar range, still well within the test price range, and then you would have a very competitive rifle.

I’d like to see this test conducted again, with the Savage trigger swapped, and with a number of different loads tested for a more “Accurate” test result.  Because I’ve personally seen groups from the Vanguard S2 rifles and the TC Ventures that were just amazing.  I’ve also heard reports from more than a few Marlin X7 owners that these rifles are indeed shooters.  I can’t deny that.  One is from a source that I will not question.  I have nothing against the Marlin rifle here… But fact remains that this test was rather shallow and only skimmed the surface.

Must Have Upgrades to your AR

Everyone is now getting into the AR Platform.  Either in the .308 size, which we can call the Heavy, and the AR-15’s classic .223/5.56mm size, which we will just call it an “AR”.    We’ve seen people from all walks of life coming in and buying their first AR type rifle.  They’ll come in and look at all the variety and it can be bewildering.  Really when you ask the guy at a well stocked gun counter to look at an AR, that’s like saying you want to look at a “Truck”.  It really doesn’t help the guy – or you – out at all.  Tell him what kind of an AR you want.  “Varminting”.  “Tactical”.  “Basic”.  Give the guy something to work with.   He wants to help you get what you want.  It can be frustrating and a huge waste of time if he hands you a dozen different AR’s and you say no to everything because your wasting his time letting him show you Tactical configurations when you are wanting a Varminting type rifle.  I’ve heard at another gun store the clerk getting fed up and saying “Why don’t you come back when you know what you want?”  That’s a failure from both parties if that happens.  You are the customer, you have the money, you have the control here… so try to guide that clerk and help him.  Most Gun Counters are staffed with guys that either don’t know any more than you do about guns and are just Helpful Sales Staff, or they are dedicated Gunnies that don’t have those Sales Skills.   Very few Gun Stores are staffed with Guys that know how to help a customer and know their way around Firearms.

So you get that cool AR that you want.  What do you need with it?  We can start at the front or back, where do you want to go first?  Front?  Okay…  At the Muzzle, most AR’s are coming with a standard Flash Hider.  This is a device that defuses the muzzle flash and reduces the light that is emitted when you shoot at night.  This is a good thing on a military gun.  Not all that helpful on most AR’s though.  But it looks “MilSpec”.  Many milspec looking flash hiders will help reduce muzzle climb a bit, but mostly they just make the gun louder and “Look Cool”.  There are a lot of different options out there, but I like to go with a Compensator or Muzzle Brake type device.  This is going to redirect the muzzle blast in such a way as to pull the rifle forward for the net result that you feel less recoil.  This is going help you keep your sights on target.   On a tactical gun, where you are buzzing off multiple shots, it helps you keep all those rounds in the kill zone.  On a Varminter, it lets you keep your target in your scope so you can see your hit, even at long range or if your scope is at high magnification.   Either style gun you go with, this is a good thing.

For this, I suggest a BATTLECOMP unit.  They are compact, light, simple, and is designed by a NASA Engineer.  You know those guys… they used Rocket Powered Sky Cranes to lower a Robot down to the surface of Mars.  What more pedigree do you need when it comes to expertise in Vectored Thrust?

Moving back into the action, the heart of the rifle is BCG.  The Bolt Carrier Group.  Really it isn’t so much who’s BCG you use, but how you treat it.  The very best thing you can use for your BCG, is SLIPSTREAM.  Here is a very long thread about Slipstream with lots of people’s impressions after using it.  You can order it from Amazon.com, and if you throw in a couple UPRISING books, then you’ll even get that Free Shipping.  There you go.  What makes Slipstream an Essential addition to the gun is that it makes that BCG so slick, that it increases reliability in all conditions.  Especially in extreme conditions such as with heat and dirt.   You can use it just like a regular oil, and use it generously.  The more you use it, eventually the less you’ll need as the nano particles will embed and become permanent.

Under the BCG is the trigger mechanism, again, Slipstream, but under that is the pistol grip.  Most AR’s are coming with the standard A2 Pistol Grip.  This grip is one of the very worst ever conceived by man. Or in this case, conceived by a very effeminate she-man with tiny girly hands that drinks while holding a pinky up.  This grip should not be on any AR of any type, no matter what.  Ever.  The grip is a more personal thing here.  I can’t tell you specifically which one to get.  But get one.   Magpul has two out, the MOE and the MIAD.  And now there is a rubber coated MOE version as well, so I guess three.  Get the MIAD if you are going to bother.  You can set it up to fit you best.  There is also the ERGO grip, which I like.  And the Hogue grip, which is also a very good grip.  Other companies out there are making grips, and there are some good ones.  Tapco, Mako, US Palm, Tango Down, etc… pic one and get rid of that crappy A2 grip.

Up on top of the gun, you need sights.  Depending on your configuration, you may need a set of Iron Sights for the front and rear.  If that’s the case, the set to get is from Diamondhead.  If you are going to run just irons on a gun that doesn’t come with them, these really are the only option.  But a set of Diamondheads even as a back up is absolutely the way to go.  Don’t think that if you are going to use Irons as a backup to your Optic, that you can cheap out on them.  If you are in a situation where you really need your Back Up Sights – you probably are going to want some accuracy with them as this is probably a very critical situation.  Don’t cheap out here and get the cheap Magpul flip ups… Popular and Good are too different things.  Don’t make me mention Lady Gaga.  Yes, I just said that the Magpul flip up sights are the Lady Gaga of rifle sights.  We don’t like plastic sights on our Glocks, why would we actually want them on our Rifles?  MapPuls are good because they are cheap and light, and that’s it.  They are place holders until you get your Diamondheads.   The Diamonheads are excellent because they actually let you be more precise with your Sight Alignment.  This means better accuracy.  Tighter groups.  And I think they even help you get that sight picture a little faster than standard Peep Sights.

Red Dot or Magnified Optic?  For a simple low cost Red Dot, there is only one option worth spending your money on.  Lucid HD7.  You can pick them up for 200 bucks, and it’s money very well spent.  If you can’t afford the Lucid, don’t buy something cheaper to hold you over… just save your money and run Iron Sights for awhile.  That will get you your Lucid quicker.  If you want something higher end, there are the optics from EOTech and Aimpoint.  Which ever one you like the best is fine.  The Military uses both for a reason.  Tough and Reliable.  Going up from that, there is Trijicon.  They have the SRS which I am quite fond of.  Up from this, we can look at the magnified optics, and again, Trijicon is the Cat’s Meow.  Higher end than that, and you have Elcan, which we at Crusader Weaponry put on our Broadsword rifle for Demo purposes.
Then there are the 1-4 variables.  Burris makes a few good ones.  They make some half decent fixed 3 or 5 power units, but I really like their 1-4’s… but the one to get is Trijicon if you can splurge for it. Really, which optic to pick really comes down to what kind of shooting your are doing, your eyes, and your style.  This is a more personal option here.

The stock.  There is nothing wrong with the standard A2 or M4 style stocks.  But the Magpul MOE and CTR stocks are becoming very common now days.  And adjustable stock can be a good thing, but too many guys are stroking their buffer tubes like a 14 year old boy with a playboy.  Don’t do that.  Set it to a length that fits you and leave it the hell alone until you have a reason to adjust it.  It’s not a toy.  It’s a freaking Rifle Stock.  If you are spending time playing with your stock, you are wasting time that could be better spent, I don’t know… reloading magazines or sharpening your Becker BK9 Combat Bowie knife.
Some stocks have storage compartments.  These should only be for 1 thing.  Batteries for your Optic.  Don’t keep anything else in there.  Everything else can be kept in your pack or vest or LBE, glove box, wherever.  But not on your gun.  I’m not even sure I like storage at all on my AR’s anymore.
My choice for a stock?  Just a basic Magpul MOE stock is good.  It looks sharp, it’s light, and it’s simple.

What do you guys think are Essentials for an AR.

It’s growing on me

This is not a Prop from the set of STARGATE.  This is not Admiral Adama’s sniper rifle.  This is not a mock up for the new HALO game.  It’s the TC Dimension hunting rifle.

It’s “Wash Your Eyes Out With Bleach” ugly.  The option of swapping barrels means nothing to me… So why do I like it?

Well, as stupidly hideous as the damn thing looks… it feels awesome when you bring the gun up to your shoulder.  And the trigger… honestly, it’s one of the best “Hunting” triggers I’ve ever felt on a gun intended for actual hunting.  It has some weight to it… but there is no movement and it breaks as crisp as any gunwriter metaphor can equate.  It’s not a Bench Rest Trigger… but you don’t want that on a Field Gun.  Too many people think they do… and those people are terribly wrong.  You want a trigger that has a touch of deliberate intent, and then breaks exactly at the moment you want it to.  Like this trigger.  The height of the comb is perfect for when you mount any reasonable scope.  This allows a good consistent cheek weld, consistent aim through the scope… and combine with that trigger… this is going to let you make those once in a life time shots all the time.

.22 Rimfire for serious defense?

I’ve always scoffed the use of .22LR for Self / Home defense.  But consider the following.

The HK MP5, in .22 LR.
CCI Stinger, a .22 round at 1640 FPS.

A combination such as the above as a lot of potential for a .22LR House Gun or Truck Gun.  The Stinger is pretty much the hottest thing going for .22LR that I know of.  It claims 1640 FPS, which is smoking for these little Rimfires.  Put 25 of those little suckers in a little carbine such as this HK MP5, or an S&W M&P15-22, or even a good Ruger 10/22, and you just might have something there.

I know I don’t want to catch any of these Stingers, and certainly not 25 of them.  That’s a pretty goodly amount of fire power in a package that even a small child or frail adult or very strange ladyboy could handle with little problem.

We’ve nodded at the value of a training analog using such rimfires to offset the cost of ammunition with 5.56mm and the like.  Ammo is expensive, but luckily .22LR can be had in bulk at the average price of 20 bucks for 500.

As a survival tool, .22LR is a clear winner for sure.  Packing 500 rounds is pretty easy compared to 500 rounds of anything else.  Lots of ammo on hand, cheap ammo, it has a lot going for it.

.22LR is a very lethal little round when used with good accuracy.  It’s killed quite a few things over the years.  And it’s been used with success as a defensive tool as well.  However the point of Defense is not to Kill.  The point of Defense is to Stop A Threat.  The mad man with the knife is the model often used as an example, and perhaps this is unfair for the rimfire, as it’s also unfair to most handguns… only thing that really works there is a 12 gauge anyways and even then you are going to use multiple shots, so what chance does your 9mm have let alone a .22?    The most often “Defense Use” of a weapon is pulling the gun up, pointing it at the Threat and saying “STOP”.  This usually works because even stupid bad guys don’t want to get perforated regardless of caliber.  And a scary looking .22LR like the picture posted is probably going to be every bit as effective for this purpose as anything else.  If not, you have 25 bullet points in your argument to present… I am thinking that this might be convincing enough.

Wild animals don’t speak English, and can be unimpressed with your fancy gun regardless of caliber.  Noise often scares them away and any gun shot can do the trick quite often.  Having a high capacity here is a very good thing though because if the warning shot (ONLY FOR WILD ANIMAL THREATS OUTSIDE OF THE CITY) fails to send the critter running away, it’s going to come at you.  Some animals are much tougher to stop than others.  Badgers for one.  I hit one with a car and then a .45 and it just got pissed. (I was the one that ran away!  Evil little fucker!)

The key here with a .22 LR for Defense is ammo.  You want to use the good stuff for this.  And I’m talking STINGERS or VELOCITORS.  I’d not use anything else.  The cheap bulk stuff is good for plinking and practicing, but for serious use, keep your mags full of the quality made stuff.  Mini-Mag HP’s are the Minimum.  Shot Placement is more critical than ever here because the stopping factors such as hypovolemic shock are not going to come into play here.  The hotter rounds as mentioned are your best bet for penetration and tissue/organ disruption.  Hollowpoints are advised as well.  Not because they expand, because they rarely do reliably… but because the flatter ogive cuts more tissue instead of pushing it apart out of the way.  To get the Shot Placement that is so needed, practice becomes very important and again, the .22LR lets you do this.  So if you are practicing all the time with your .22 and you can make 5 fast hits in a blink at the sound of the buzzer… that’s a pretty solid defensive response.

Feel free to discuss or argue below.

An all Titanium AR.


I was asked if Crusader could do this. WHY? Crusader builds serious use guns. Titanium would be as much as an advantage in a fighting gun as Spinners would be on the Hubs of Police Cars. Besides, Titanium has some problems. Galling and Cold Welding being among them. The rifle according the Nemo’s site is almost 9 pounds. So instead of getting one of these, how about an armory full of Broadswords?
From the video, the guy says it is “Wildly impractical for the End User.”
Hey, if they want to known for making expensive useless crap… They just unlocked that achievement. Using Titanium just to say “It’s Titanium” is rather asinine. Titanium isn’t Magic. But that’s fine for them. Crusader will remain known for making seriously excellent guns and lubricants.

Lever Action Collection

A fellow that shall not be identified has brought in his gun collection for liquidation.  Here are just some of the guns.

Winchester Commemoratives, some in .30-30, others in .38-55. Yes, this photo makes an awesome Wallpaper!

If there are any guns you want – Please come to Basin Sports in Vernal Utah, 511 West Main Street.  You have got to see these for yourself.  If you want to pay for one over the phone to have it shipped to your Dealer – Dude, I wouldn’t recommend it.  Some of these guns have the original boxes and they are DELICATE.