2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


In this time of uncertainty as to whether or not the Obama administration will be able to successfully implement a new "Assault Weapons Ban" many Americans are stocking up on weapons and ammo "just in case". The run on gun stores has left many a shelf and gun case empty and brightened the day of shareholders owners of the major firearm related corporations. Many of the most popular sellers are "tactical" and "black" rifles and handguns aimed at the shooter who wants a weapon that imitates, or improves upon, the capabilities of modern military weapons. At some of the stores I routinely shop it is hard to find entry level AR or AK style rifles and I have even seen Smith & Wesson and Glock pistol levels depleted. Some of those that are left are either more expensive versions of these rifles or are going for premium prices now. My Romanian WASR AK is now going for at least a hundred dollars more than when I bought mine last year. There are alternatives to these pricey firearms that give you what I consider to be more bang for the buck in the military surplus rifle realm. When I am talking military surplus here I am not talking about buying a used M-16 or fully automatic capable AK, those are illegal. I am talking about the rifles your Father and Grandfather might have used in the wars of their generations. Many former bolt action and semi-automatic service rifles that saw front line service in a past war are available to purchase on the civilian market. Many can be found on the racks of your local gun dealer being overlooked by a large number of people in favor of the more pricey and scarcer black rifles down the wall a bit. These "old" rifles still allow you to shoot and hone your marksmanship skills as well as provide a robust "second line" rifle for emergencies or other scenarios. These rifles are most likely not going to be affected by any "Assault Weapons Ban" that may or may not go into effect in the future. Many are fully qualified to be hunting rifles if you happen to live in a state that allows it. Most, if not all, incorporate three of the things that knowledgeable shooters look for in a rifle.

  1. Stopping power
  2. Accuracy
  3. Reliability
I am going to examine one of these rifles that has recently seen a surge in popularity due to its portrayal in the movie "Enemy At The Gates" starring Jude Law as WW2 Soviet sniper Vassili Zeitsev. The rifles in question are the Mosin-Nagant family of rifles that served Russian both with the Imperial army before and after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Soviet Army after. It was the standard Russian rifle through WW2 and up to the introduction of the SKS and AK series of firearms. The rifle still saw use on the "red" side of conflicts during the cold war and has still been found in the hands of insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan to this day. After the fall of the iron curtain in the 1990's many of these surplus Mosins-Nagants found there way from former Eastern Bloc government warehouses into the West as these governments looked to generate capital to replace the lifeline that "Mother Russia" no longer supplied in many cases.

The rifle family itself derives it name from its two primary designers Sergei Mosin (a Russian) and Leon Nagant (a Belgian). Both designed competing rifle designs that went before the Imperial Russian Army for evaluation. The Nagant designed rifle initially won the competition, but internal forces within the Russian government forced the Army to adopt the Mosin design. The Russians then modified it with the feed mechanism from Nagant's rifle and viola, the Mosin-Nagant. Interestingly, I never have been able to find out if Leon Nagant ever got more than name recognition for his contribution to the rifle. It is often called the "Three Line Rifle" which seems strange to some. A "line" in this meaning was a length proportionally equivalent to 1/10 of an inch, so a "three line" caliber was the equivalent of a .30 caliber round. A very "Avant Garde" caliber for its time.

The rifle itself was produced in two main varieties; a full length rifle and a carbine version. The rifle is usually called a Mosin-Nagant M91/30 and the two main carbines found on the market are the M38 and M44. The primary difference between the two carbine types is that the M44 incorporates a permanently affixed folding bayonet on the right side while the M38 does not. Another class of the Mosin-Naganit is the so-called "sniper" versions, these are fairly rare and can run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for pristine specimens. These rifles started as regular infantry rifles but were modified if they were found to have exceptional accuracy at the factory. It is this type of rifle that is seen in the movie Enemy At The Gates and is the reason for a recent increase of interest in the Mosins. I found a link to a article on another blog called Carteach0 where the author details a way to find out if your 91/30 was at one time a sniper rifle converted back into a regular line rifle. Pretty cool if your lucky.
Pictures above are my M44 (left) and my M91/30 next to the M44 for comparison (right)

click for larger views of the following pictures (all copyright 2008, 7.62x54R.net)

Typical M91/30 Rifle

Typical M38 Carbine

Typical M44 Carbine (note bayonet along side of stock in stowed position)

By using the info found here, I was able to determine by the presence of these two screws that my M91/30 at some point in its life had been configured as a sniper rifle, cool!

The rifle uses a very robust bolt design with 2 locking lugs and a massive extractor paw. Most Mosins found on the market have a straight bolt handle which was standard throughout its entire lifespan. There were some rifles that had their bolt handles bent for use as sniper rifles and bolt handle kits are available on the net, but most likely any one you get will be straight. Depending on the particular unit you get there may be issues with operating the action smoothly as quality was not always as important as quantity to Russian arms manufacturers in those days. Usually a bit of sanding and/or grinding will get the action smooth again. There is a knob on the back of the bolt that doubles as the safety, simply pull the bolt back and turn to the left until it hooks on the top of the bolt carrier. It is not elegant or easily accomplished sometimes, but it does work. Removing the bolt is as simple as clearing the weapon and rotating the bolt and pulling toward the rear while pulling the trigger and simple sliding it out. Bolt disassembly is more complex that I can describe here and there are better sources for instruction out there (www.surplusrifles.com). The trigger itself is in keeping with the overall theme of the rifle and is simple, robust and reliable.
Cutaway view of the bolt and action of the Mosin-Nagant series of rifles/carbines.

Contrary to some peoples stance, the Mosin-Nagants are designed with a safety, from the normal "fire" postion, pull the bolt lug straight back and rotate to the left until the bolt rests upon the rear of the receiver walls. While not elegant or especially easy to accomplish, it does provide a rudimentary safety for normal use as a combat rifle. I doubt if many, if any, Russian troops would of ever used it anyway.

It is chambered for the venerable 7.62x39R cartridge which has been in service for over 100 years and is still the primary round used in the RPK machine gun and Russian SVD sniper rifles. The "R" stands for rimmed as it still uses a rimmed case as designed over 100 years ago before rimless designs were feasible. It is a powerful round comparable to the .30-06 round but with a bit more "oomph" behind it. Generally speaking, most shooters will not have the skill required to use this round out to its maximum effective range using their rifle without the aid of scopes and other accuracy improving devices.

7.62x54R round, on the left, compared with other rounds (left to right starting with the 2nd round in) 7.62x39 (used in the AK-47), .45 ACP, .40 S&W, 9mm Parabellum and a .38 Special. Big, isn't it?

Rounds may be loaded by either stripper clips or singly. I have found that the majority of reproduction stripper clips, like this one, do now work well and as a result just load mine round by round.

Unloading is accomplished by depressing a catch on the floor plate to swing it downward and allow any rounds in the magazine to fall free.

Rounds are loaded either singly or by 5 round stripper clips into the magazine through the top of the action. The magazine is a 5 round single stack magazine that protrudes from the bottom of the rifle. It contains a, unique for the time, cartridge interupter which prevents multiple rounds from feeding at once into the chamber and lessens the chances of a malfunction. Removal of rounds is accomplished by opening the action and ejecting any chambered round and then pressing the catch at the bottom of the magazine releasing the floor plate and dropping any loaded ammunition. Surplus rounds can still be found on the market for about $25-$30 per hundred rounds. It should be noted that the vast majority of surplus rounds (read all) of them use corrosive primers in them and will coat the inside of your barrel with salt residue when fired. This will lead to premature pitting and rusting of your barrels lining and will degrade accuracy. It is recommended that you immediately swab out your barrel with water (some people swear Windex with ammonia works best) right after firing and then clean as soon as possible. My thoughts on the matter are this, I doubt any Russian conscript fighting the Nazis in sub-zero weather ever poured water down his barrel and most of those rifles we are using now. I clean mine by running a wet patch down the barrel after I am done firing for the day and then giving the rifle a good cleaning using good 'ol Hoppes #9, which is designed to be used with corrosive residue and smells better than ammonia anyway. I generally do this cleaning shortly after getting home but do not get overly anal about it or the salt issue over all. One thing you may find on a large numbers of these rifles, my M44 included, is that the barrels have been counterbored at the muzzle to provide a new crown for the rifle. This was done routinely by the russians to improve accuracy of rifles whose crowns had been worn or damaged through use or misuse, mostly by improperly cleaning the rifle. While collectors or purists may scoff at these particular rifles, they are still worth owning as they are just as reliable and will shoot better than if they had never been counterbored.

By using a light source in the bore you can clearly see where my M44 has been counterbored to provide a new crown for the barrel.

Stocks for the Mosins were mostly made from whatever cheap lumber the manufacturers could secure. They use a full length bottom stock and partial top hand guard kept in place by retaining rings on the front stock. Deep finger groves in the middle of the stock on both sides provide for a secure grip even when wearing gloves in the middle of a Russian winter. There is a slot for a cleaning rod under the barrel. though it is sometimes hit and miss as to whether you will get one included with your rifle. Many specimens on the market today sport laminated wood stocks which are actually the preferred type of stock for this rifle as they are less susceptible to warping or flexing due to temperature and humidity. Most, if not all, stocks you will find show some sign of wear. I don't see these as signs of age but that of distinction. My carbine was manufactured in 1944 and I like to think that maybe one of the dents on it may of been caused by the rifle being jammed into the stonework of some factory in Russia during WW2 as the owner sought to seek cover from German fire. My stocks are both in relatively good shape for 60+ year old surplus weapons that probably spent at least part of their life in some dark, dank Eastern European armory without care for many years. A little sanding and some polyurethane will go a long way to restoring the beauty of these stocks. The stock on my M44 actually turned out quite well, a little elbow grease and some linseed oil and a deep red hue appeared from a worn piece of laminated wood, almost a cherry color - beautiful. Slight dents and indentations may be removed by applying heat and steam to the affected area. There are many sites out there that detail this kind of restoration. Slings are attached by the use of "dog collar" straps that pass through two slots at the fore and aft of the stock and connect with the issue sling.
After some work with some 0000 steel wool and a rag with linseed oil, my laminate stock on my M44 took on this deep red, almost cherry, hue.

Sights on the rifles are open blade type sights adjustable for elevation in the rear. The front sights are fixed as the Russians did not incorporate discrete marksmanship for most of their conscripts at the time but rather relied on mass assaults and the like. On the rifles these sights are generally graduated from 100 meters to 2000 meters (the round will travel this far, but can you see what your shooting at?), while on the carbine versions they only go to 400 meters normally, although some are ranged for 1000 meters depending on the date and location of manufacture.

Standard rear ramp sight on a M91/3o.

The rear sight on my M44, it is graduated out to 1000 meters.

Because of the straight arm of the bolt, mounting optics on the Mosin is a tricky endeavor. You must either convert the bolt handle to a belt arm configuration which normally entails cutting it off and either having it screwed or welded back on the bolt body in a bent configuration. Another option many shooters have found is to mount a long eye relief (LER) type scope commonly used on pistol in front of the action, a la "scout rifle" style as promoted from the late, great Col. Jeff Cooper. Although, the actual weight of the Mosin itself doesn't meet the requirements of a scout rifle per Cooper's specifications, the carbine versions with a scope would meet most of the rest.

For even a causal collector one of the most important accessories for your rifle or carbine is the bayonet. It is important to recognize the use of the bayonet in Russian doctrine in order to appreciate these rifles fully. Common doctrine during both world wars was that the bayonet was to be fixed at all times in the field except when riding mounted in a vehicle. The 91/30 is a long rifle, with a fixed bayonet the rifle is almost ridiculously long. No make that its so long that it is cool, that's a better evaluation. Back when the average soldier only carried the equivalent of a couple of modern magazines worth of ammunition into battle, the use of the bayonet was a serious endeavor. Even the length of the rifle and bayonet was important when you consider that this weapon was designed when horse mounted cavalry was still an force on the battlefield. Ever see the movie Braveheart? If so you know what long pointed sticks can be used for against cavalry. The standard Russian bayonet design for the Mosin-Nagant has a cruciform, or cross-shaped, profile stick bayonet with a screwdriver tip. These were made to run through and adversary, there was no slashing edges on it save if you caught your enemy with the corner of the tip. The screwdriver tip (flat blade) was a useful tool for the user to use for a myriad of reasons, not the least of all was to help in the disassembly of his rifle. "What? Russians troops don't clean their equipment!" Not true. Movies often portray the Russia soldier as an ignorant peasant thrown to the dogs of war en masse to face their fate with the only tactic being that their overwhelming numbers would eventually conquer their foe. This was true to a degree. Maybe not all of the Russian conscripts received adequate training, but you are talking about an Army that beat back a well trained and disciplined German Wehrmacht from their homeland and then beat them in vicious combat on the Germans own turf. Ill trained conscripts could not have accomplished that.

If you happen to own a M44 carbine version your bayonet is a permanent part of your weapon for all intent purposes. A long grove in the side of the rifle allows it to store along side of the forearm without interfering with the use of either hand to support the front on the weapon on the stock. Of particular note with this carbine in relation to the bayonet is that these were designed to be fired with the bayonet in the extended position. It has something to do with the barrel harmonics being compensated for the extra forward weigh of the extended bayonet. Its true. I find that firing with the bayonet closed and then extended moves the shot group several inches from point of aim. You could adjust the font sight to compensate for this is you wanted too, I haven't and rather enjoy going to the range and having it extended when I shoot. You get a few looks and some chuckles from folks who know what the deal is. Either way you shoot it, extending and storing the bayonet is simple. It just a matter of pulling down on the bayonet by the lug to unlock it from it current position and then move it and let it click back into its locking lug in the new position.

Side-by-side comparison of the bayonet of a M44 (lower) and a standard AKM bayonet (upper), the difference in length is impressive. Soviet doctrine at the time was to always have it fixed except if you were in a vehicle or barracks like area.

The other accessories that commonly come with the rifle are a cleaning rod which fits into a slot under the barrel, a cloth (mine is rough canvas) pouch, an oil can with either one or two chambers for carrying oil and/or a cleaning solvent, a barrel jag for using patches, a crown guide for the use of the cleaning rod to avoid damaging the sides of the barrel, a handle piece for the cleaning rod and a multi-tool that served as a both a screwdriver for disassembly and also a depth gauge for the proper gauging of the firing pin.

The standard "swag" that you get with a Mosin-Nagant when purchased.

This oil and solvent can will undoubtedly be a mucked up mess thick with a cosmoline coating, its worth it to clean it up just to have it. Pretty cool historical item.

Commonly referred to as the "multitool" this is used as a screwdriver and also uses the notches on the lower edge to gauge the firing pin depth when reassembling the bolt.

The assembled parts of the accesory pouch used with the cleaning rod. The patch jag is not shown.

Above all else firing the Mosin-Nagant at the range is the best way to experience these functioning pieces of history.. Please take note, Mosin-Nagants, the carbine in particular, are LOUD!!! Awesomely loud! The big charge of the 7.62x54R cartridge will not burn completely in the barrel on the carbine causing a massive fireball and explosion after the round has left the barrel. I have not had the opportunity to fire one at night but I have read and seen in pics that it is very impressive. If the weather and wind is right I can even feel the heat and shock wave from the muzzle against my face. Recoil is on par with the report. I would not recommend shooting one of these if you are "recoil shy". However if yo are a recoil junkie heaven is only about $100 away if you have these available in a gun store near to you. There is no shame to having a recoil pad on one of these. I use a size small rubber recoil pad on mine and have no shame showing up to the range with it. After the first round rockets downrange anybody looking on usually knows why its there. Russians used to fire these with thick layers of wool and cotton clothing on during the bitter Russian winter and I am sure they still sat around rubbing sore shoulders at the end of a battle.Muzzle blast from a M44 during the day showing the massive blast the 7.62x54R creates

The fireball looks even more impressive at night!!

My own personal range work, I start by scanning the lane for available targets..
..carefully sight in using the appropriate setting on the adjustable sight (note the bayonet in its fixed extended position for the shot)...

...KABOOM!, target never knew what hit it!! Actually, I was just firing to test my grouping here, in reality a target at this range would have very little chance against the Mosin-Nagant. Pictures taken at the state shooting range at Delaware State Park in Delaware County, Ohio.

As you can see I use a recoil pad on mine to provide some protection to my shoulder while firing, 50 rounds with a steel butplate will wear you down after a bit. The shell holder is a cheap $4 Wally World purchase that I use to keep a few rounds handy at the range.

The addicting thing with the Mosin-Nagant (as with most surplus weapons) is that once you own one you open up an entire part of history that you will spend hours researching and learning from. My initial purchase of my M44 carbine was based soley on its low price ($79.99) and looks. Once I got it home I realized I had no idea what this carbine was all about. The importer included a basic instruction manual, but I yearned for more info than it contained. Now almost a year later, and many hours of research and reading later, I can really appreciate what this weapon stood for in the best of times for Russia and the worst. Rather than seeing it as a sysmbol of either a bygone Imperial Army or a communist revolt, I see it as a tool that a common soldier had to use to survive. I see robust and reliable weapon designed to function in some of the worlds most challenging climates. I see a rifle that fought in two world wars and against itself in both sides of a revolution.

I have only scratched the surface of the vast knowledge available on these rifles and carbines. Luckily, there are many outlets available to you to use to research these types of weapons and in particular the Mosin-Nagants.

  • http://www.blogger.com/www.wikipedia.com - A good starting place for info on weapons, usually has links to other places you can start expanding from.
  • www.surplusrifles.com - Another good sight for info on surplus weapons, some good information on disassembly proceedures found here
  • 7.62x54R.net - THE definitive source for Mosin-Nagant info available on the internet in my honest opinion.
In conclusion, owning a Mosin-Nagant is more than just owning a reliable rifle. Its owning a piece of our shared history. Right now the market is still ripe with these for the picking, for $100 or less I hope that this short article has given you enough reasons to go get one.

Bonus - Here's a vid taken on 4/29/09 at the range with me and my 91/30!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Latest Reincarnation of my WASR-10 GP

Oh how boys love to tinker with their toys.

Yes, I know a AKM patterned rifle is not a toy. But I do like to mess around with it to alter its appearance to whatever I am in the mood for at the moment. I generally prefer to go with all original wood furniture on AK's but I have to make an exception once in a while.

Just as a reminder, this is the stock WASR-10 GP as it was when I bought it last year...

...and this is how it looks now!

Sorry, no can do comrade!!

What I've changed to date:

Added a Tapco synthetic stock. I have one of their folding stocks but I just prefer this type overall for its looks and functionality.

I added an enhanced pistol grip from the ATI "Strikeforce" package and also a new fire control group available from Red Star Arms. The FGC removed the long creepy pull of the original group and provides a clean, crisp break for each shot.

Modified the safety lever to allow the bolt to be held open, nice if you are on a range that is picky about that sort of stuff.

Another look at the safety so you can seen how I cut the modification.

I replaced the base sight with a Mojo peep aperture type sight. I have it zeroed for the battle sight setting on the original sight so it should be accurate enough for consistent hits on man sized targets out to about 300 meters if I do my part.

The front hand guard (lower) and heat shield (upper) are also from the ATI "Strikeforce" package. The small tactical rail shown on the side of the hand guard is there in case I want or need to mount my M3 weapon light to it.

and lastly a AK-74 style muzzle brake that I am still undecided about. I will need to run a side by side with it against the stock slant brake to decide which one I will keep on it.

Still looking to get a tritium front sight post, a optics rail to go on the mounting bracket on the left side of the receiver and a few other goodies. More to come.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Did This Really Happen?

"Are we reversing our decision on an assault weapons ban?, no" stated AG Holder in a press conference, "The administration is just progressing its position of the issue in a retrograded manner".

Did we actually win one for the Gipper here?

A few days ago, March 25th to be exact, US Attorney General Eric Holder reversed his, and the Obama Administrations, position on pushing to reinstate the now defunct "Assault Weapons Ban" originally enacted by President Clinton in 1994 during his first term. The idea of reinstating the weapons ban wasn't a new idea to the generally liberal leaning Obama agenda. Although he promised voters that he would only pass "common sense" weapons legislation during his campaign, it has widely been speculated in the media that a push to reinstate this legislation would be on his early list of things to do after the inauguration. What was needed by the administration was a reason, and the sudden US interest in internal violence in Mexico became rallying cause for gun control advocates in the administration. The accusations by Mexican El Presidente Felipe Calderon that the US was responsible for the trafficking of arms from the US to Mexico became the new cry for curtailing the LEGITIMATE sales of LEGAL firearms to LAW ABIDING citizens here in the US. A quick bitch slap in the face by reality changed their focus on the issue I think. Even House Democrats in his own party, 65 of them, signed a petition stating their objection to any further gun restriction legislation, along with the 2 Democrat senators from Montana. Both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed have even spoken up against the proposal (Pelosi is a very, very anti-gun proponent, I had to re-read that part of the Reuters article at least 3 times to make sure that was correct - I am still in shock). Both support the idea that we need to effectively enforce our existing laws in regards to the sale of firearms. "Well, I mean, I think what we're going to do is try to, obviously, enforce the laws that we have on the books," Holder stated in a news conference in which he addressed the administrations reversal of action. That's right, keep back peddling to the edge there my lofty AG.

As I see it, here are some of the key reasons for this reversal of direction:

  • President Obama incorrectly assumed that all in his party universally shared his anti-gun views and he could easily push legislation through Congress and the Senate without bi-partisan support much like the porkulous, er stimulus, bill. In reality gun rights are a universal issue that cross party lines. While the Republican party is usually the most vocal in this area, there are key Democratic demographics that are fiercely pro-gun. And no, they are not all good 'ol boy Southern boys either.
  • The reluctance of many to do this and appear to substantiate Calderon's claim of the role of the US in Mexico's internal problems and thus make us responsible at some point to interfere with their internal affairs.
  • The data that shows that during the last weapons ban that crime as a whole did not change in either the type of crime or the portion to which guns played a role.
  • The fear by party strategists that by pursuing gun legislature so early in his term, with the economy still floundering, that Obama would be seen as a special interest pandering president who didn't "put first things first" and should put all of his efforts into trying and turn the economy around instead of pursuing other agendas.
  • My personal opinion that the ghost of Charlton Heston visited Obama in the White House much like the ghosts did in A Christmas Carol to Ebineezer Scrooge and showed him the error of his ways. (Hey, it could of happened, doesn't anyone else ever watch Ghost Adventures on The Travel Channel?)
  • And of course, massive amounts of lobbying and expressed concern by the NRA and other pro-gun right groups.
Are we out of the woods? Nope. We still have 3 years and 10 months of this administration until his 2nd term, if so elected. That is plenty of time to try and pass some form of legislation, even considering that he will have to pull back from the position again to campaign for his second term just like he did last year. If he is elected to a 2nd term we can surely anticipate massive legislation aimed at cementing his "legacy" as a progressive liberal (I don't necessarily totally subscribe to the notion that he is a socialist) that would most likely target the 2nd Amendment.

So just because we won this round, the fight is far from over. Do yourself a favor and ensure that your voice is heard. I have a link at the top of the column on the left to get a free 1 year membership to the NRA. Go ahead and use it and protect your rights for now and the future.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Get A FREE NRA Membership!!

Thanks to Steve over at The Firearm Blog to putting this out there. The NRA is giving away Free 1 year memberships to new members who join now. This includes everything that a paid membership includes, the insurance, discounts, the magazine of your choice and the piece of mind knowing your voice is being heard in the fight to keep our 2nd Amendment rights. Join now!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Top Sniper On The Military Channel

Just finished watching 2 episodes of this program about an international sniper competition the Army holds for teams from around the services and world each year down at Ft. Benning. In one word: Awesome. If the displayed skill of these shooters isn't enough to impress you, their professionalism and esprit de coprs should do the trick. I especially like to see how the teams from other nations compare to our troops just not in terms of skills but also in some of the equipment they use. One of the teams (Denmark?) was using a rifle in .338 Lapau which is reportedly one of the best anti-personnel and anti-material rounds out there short of the .50 caliber. And then to see them shoot these rifles with skill is adding awsomeness on top of awesomeness. Anyone who's sole experience with discrete shooting is from using the .50 sniper rifle in Battlefield 2 or some other video game, its not just as simple as putting the dot on the target and going boom. Dedicated snipers are skilled at many different field crafts in addition to advanced marksmanship. Add to this the fact that, in order to be effective, most snipers work in small 2 man teams out in front or away from allied troops on the battlefield in order to enhance the element of surprise and you'll easily see why these marksmen earn the right to call themselves elite.

Top Sniper on the Military Channel.

Custom Carry Concepts Update

Found posted on 3/23/09, guess I'll have to hold off getting that new Versaclip for my Bersa .380 Thunder and mag holders for a while. And what does the pic on the left have to do with this? absolutely nothing.

Hello all,
I have to put a suspense on accepting new orders for the time being. I am having trouble getting caught up with the current back log. Please check back later for updates.

For those of you who have orders in process, I have to apologize for the wait that you are experiencing. I am swamped with orders (not a bad thing!) and have not been lucky with juggling my shop/work/reserve schedules.

If you have placed an order you will be receiving a blanket email with a projected delivery date. I am getting caught up but it is, obviously, taking much longer than I had first anticipated.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Custom Carry Concepts Versaclip

Have you ever found yourself in the position where you want to carry your CCW weapon for the day but know at one point or another you will need to take it off because you won't be able to wear it the entire time? I normally carry on my way to work but then have to remove the weapon and secure it in my locked vehicle (itself locked up separately from the ammo) because I am not allowed by law to have weapons at my place of business. I then re-arm myself on the way home once I reach my vehicle at the end of the day. In case you're wondering, I usually carry Fox pepper spray or some other form of self defence with me walking the 3/4 mile or so from the parking lot to my office. I have real nice $70 custom leather IWB holster for my S&W M&P 40c that works great, is great looking and feels great also. Unfortunately, I have to remove my belt to put it on and off or mess around with unsnapping and snapping the retaining loops around my belt on my rear hip where I cannot bend to see clearly. This wasn't working for me so I went looking for a clip on IWB solution to overcome this limitation.

Low and behold, I found the answer to my issue right here in Ohio. Rich at Custom Carry Concepts, LLC makes kydex holsters and accessories for CCW and IDPA shooters alike. Its a small operation out of Northeastern Ohio and he often has a backlog of orders due to his work and personal schedules. In my experience, the wait is well worth the product he offers, especially for the price.

For those not familiar with Kydex, its a polymer plastic that is made pliable with the application of heat and can be formed around objects and then cools solid. It is a very common material used in the production of holsters and sheaths as it can be made without expensive machining or moulding to fit almost any shape. It is also very abrasion resistant with a Rockwell Hardness (RH) factor of 90 on the R scale (HRR scale, not to be confused with the HRC ratings used for steel or other ratings for diamonds and minerals) which make it ideal for something that will be used to insert and withdraw an object consistently.

Where other manufacturers may charge upwards of $60 for a decent Kydex holster, the most expensive item CCC offers is only about $39. The product I selected for my M&P was the $19.95 Versaclip. The Versaclip is a great holster, I'll just put that out there first so you know where I stand. It is durable, holds my pistol like a glove and stays where I put it on my waist. It is also fairly comfortable for a solid piece of plastic placed next to my body, which is important if it is something that you will wear often. It offers more than adequate coverage of the trigger guard so I feel totally confident carrying the M&P with a round in the chamber in it without fear of the trigger being activated in the holsters. It has an adjustable retention screw that you can adjust the tension required to draw. The clip is reversible from right to left handed and can be used for IWB (inside the waistband) or OWB (outside the waistband) use. I really didn't like how the M&P sat in it hanging on my belt in OWB mode, but thats just as well as I only really wanted it as a IWB carrier. You can select from either normal orientation or the standard FBI cant orientation for drawing. Again great product for the price. If I gave ratings it would be a 9.5 out of a 10 for this holster - the only ding being that it would be great if it could have a spare mag holder on the front of the holster to carry my spare mag all in one piece. Are you listening Rich?

The holster "naked"...

...and with my S&W M&P 40c snuggled inside of it.

To give you an idea of how the holster rides on your hip. I have the FBI canted model.

The other product I have bought from him is a mag sleeve which allows me to use full sized M&P mags in my compact with an extended grip surface along the entire length of the mag that wouldn't normally be covered by the pistol grip. Again, great product and a great price ($13).

My M&P .40 compact with a standard 15 round magazine inserted, functional but it could be better...

...so I added one of Custom Carry Concepts mag sleeves and...

...wow! it does look, feel and work better!

Another holster for my Bersa .380 and maybe even my Glock 22 are in my future from this guy. Please buy from him if your in the market, I'm not a paid sponsor, just a very satisfied customer. I would like to see his business succeed and maybe even go to the next level. People helping people as I say...

I have the link to Custom Carry Concepts here, it is also at the bottom of this page.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Texans Fight For the Right To Carry To Work

Check out the following article.

Bill would allow Texans to take guns to work

This article got me thinking about how lucky I am to live in Ohio where this has been partially addressed by SB184 which went into effect back on September 9th, 2008. Commonly misconstrued as the "Castle Doctrine Bill", which was only one area it affected, this act clarified to a large degree much of the grey areas that confronted CCW permit holders previously. I am a state employee and as such am forbidden to carry into my place of work, I can accept that. I normally park in a parking lot over 1/2 of a mile from my place of work that is owned by the county government. I also have the option on days when the weather is really bad here in Columbus (which could be almost any day from October to April) to park in the state owned parking garage underneath our state house building itself. Until this law was passed it was illegal for me to enter unto these premises with a weapon despite the fact that the state had licensed me to carry it. The following change made this now possible:

Sec2923.126 (B)
(9) Any building that is owned by a government facility of this state or any a political subdivision of this state, and all portions of any building that is not owned by any governmental entity listed in this division but that is leased by such a governmental entity listed in this division and that is not a building that is used primarily as a shelter, restroom, parking facility for motor vehicles, or rest facility and is not a courthouse or other building or structure in which a courtroom is located that is subject to division (B)(3) of this section;

I'm good now. I may now carry my CCW weapon on my way to work and then safely, securely and responsibly store it in my vehicle at my parking location without being in violation of the law. This is exactly the type of legislation Texas needs. Hey Longhorns, Aggies, Cowboys and the rest of y'all, give us a call here in Ohio and we'll show you the light.

This link will take you to the bill in its entirety.

Governor Strickland and NRA and BFA representatives at SB184's signing.

Despite of what I think of him in other areas, I greatly appreciate the signing of this bill by Governor Ted Strickland and of his recognition of it as "common sense" legislation . To quote the Governor:
“What we've clarified in this bill I think will go a long way toward providing both law enforcement as well as law-abiding citizens some confidence that what they're doing is, in fact, consistent with the law,”
I couldn't agree more.