Sunday, September 29, 2013

Muzzleloading for Deer

With the air getting cooler and that fall breeze blowing in we've got the windows open and the AC shut off this weekend down here in Alabama. Whenever the weather starts getting breezy like this I always get antsy to get out in the woods and try to bring a deer in to the freezer. Muzzleloading season is right around the corner here so I thought I'd share one of my older hunting posts from my Homesteading website.

Muzzleloading for Deer at Crowsonshire

My muzzleloader is a side-lock CVA Bobcat, which is a very budget friendly gun, but lacks the aesthetically pleasing wooden stock. I've been on a mission to find or craft a replacement for the synthetic black stock that came on the gun, but as I've found online, it seems that any replacement I come up with is gonna cost me more than the entire gun did to start with. I'm no woodworker, but I'll probably go the route of trying to carve my own stock out of some walnut wood I have in the garage. I'll be sure to update with any progress I have here at AllforGun.com

Friday, September 27, 2013

Most People Use it This Way

Bauer Brothers shoulder holster, with S&W 39 snug in place.
For many years my home defense weapon was a WWI vintage 9mm Luger. Due to its age, I was always a little nervous about depending on such an old gun when it could involve a life-or-death situation. Then one day a friend presented me the opportunity to purchase his “almost-new” Smith & Wesson Model 39-2 semi-auto 9mm at a very good price. I bought it. He gave me his Bianchi belt holster and spare mag carrier with the gun, which were made for the 39 and fit perfectly. It was and is a nice rig that I still own.

Since I often traveled a lot to secluded places at all times of day and night in my work, I decided that a shoulder holster would be better to conceal the Smith while allowing quick access, especially when seated in my vehicle. So I made a stop at a gun store to check out their shoulder holsters. The owner was a friend of mine who, hearing my request, simply retrieved a shoulder rig that fit my 39 and handed it to me. Then he turned to wait on another customer.

The thing was rolled into a blob of leather and straps. It was a Brauer Brothers vertical carry holster with spring retention. I untangled it and put it on, like you might do with a sweater. I don’t really recall what I did but I obviously didn’t have a clue as to how it was to be worn. It just didn’t fit me no matter how I pulled at it.

Bianchi belt holster and mag carrier with S&W 39.
The owner finished with the other customer and turned to see me struggling with the straps. Instead of laughing at me, with my head through the rig like a horse collar, he simply asked if he could try it. Then he put it on himself correctly, saying, “Most people use it this way.”

Needless to say, I was somewhat embarrassed by my ignorance of how to wear the thing. It was so simple but I had never seen one on anyone before that. My friend’s tactful way of showing me the correct use of the holster taught me a lesson in how to correct someone while not offending them. I used his line countless times during the course of my life – and fondly remember my friend when I do. The line fits for almost anything.

That shoulder rig is a little snug on me now and I have a couple of other holsters for the 39 that I employ. But like an old friend, I’ll keep that Brauer rig.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Top 10 Concealed Carry Revolvers

My S&W Model 60, in its home away from gun-safe.
The requirements for this list are simple. The gun must be a revolver action handgun; it must be small enough, light-weight enough, and thin enough to reasonably conceal without a parka; it must be chambered in a round worthy of personal protection; it must not be junk, and actually be a gun that I like. While I have not personally fired all of these on the list, I can say that I know or have known people who swore by each of these guns, and I have handled each of them at some point or other (with one exception).

In no particular order:

For Big Bore Fans:
Prefer your bullets to move slow and make huge holes? You'll love the Charter Arms Bulldog. Five shots of .44 special in a double action, concealable package with a variety of options from blued or stainless, with or without hammer, and more. I prefer the stainless DAO model for rugged concealment. Wonder why I didn't pick the Judge or Governor instead? See below.*

For the Techno-Minded:
S&W M&P340 CT. "We's using code words."
Yes, there can be such a thing as a high-tech revolver, and this is it. The Smith & Wesson M&P340 CT. Five shots of .357mag, ultra-light scandium alloy frame, Crimson Trace laser grips. 'Nuff said.

For the K.I.S.S. Crowd:
Simple is as simple does, and that usually means it works. Keep it simple with either of these basic carry pieces. The Smith & Wesson Model 60 (also see my Favorite Firearms article here) and the Ruger SP101, both being low maintenance stainless steel, five-shot, two-inch barrel .357mag stand-outs with three-finger grips and comfortable handling, tie for the lead of this category.

For Old-School Cowboy Types: 
When it comes to old school, nothing says, "I'm yer huckleberry" like a single action revolver. If you're practiced enough, you can be effective with one. Just look at the "wild west." I don't think they had Glocks and Sigs in Tombstone, do you? If this is your thing, have a look at the Heritage Mfg. .32H&R Magnum. Birds head grip and 3.5" barrel for easier concealability. (See what Jason has to say about his Heritage 22 convertible here.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

5 Steps to Turn Your Pawn-Shop Remington 870 Into a Tactical Zombie Slayer

So, you want a tactical shotgun, huh? Don't want to spend the extra money for a gun that says "tactical" on it though? I don't blame you. Build one yourself, no gunsmithing required, for relatively cheap. Here's how.

Go to a pawn shop or used gun store and find a well functioning Remington 870 pump action, in 12 gauge. Should be no more than $250. It doesn't matter how crappy the stock looks, or even if it's broken. You're going to replace it. Just take it home, clean it up, do these five things to it, and you've got a beast ready to rock the zombies for under $600.

1 - Change the barrel. Unless your pawn shop buy was a tactical model (in which case why are you reading this?), then you'll need to install an 18" cylinder bore barrel, for maximum short range shot spread and ease of maneuvering in tight quarters. $110 from Cheaper Than Dirt and others. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/7-R4620#

2 - Extend the magazine. A "plus two" extension will give you  seven in the tube. Many are available at varying prices, but these from TacStar are tried and true, for reasonable dough. $40 from CTD. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/31983

3 - Reduce the recoil. You're a tough guy, sure. But who needs recoil in a rapid-fire situation? Quicken your follow-up shots, make the gun easier for the recoil sensitive to handle, and make it shorter or longer to fit whoever needs to use it, all with this one accessory. The Phoenix Technologies Kicklite Recoil Reducing Tactical Stock. Much more than a butt-pad, this will make shooting comfortable, for $100 or less. I personally wouldn't bother changing the forestock, but it comes with it for the price.  http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/82583#

Sunday, September 22, 2013

10 Reasons You'll Love a Heritage .22 Rough Rider Pistol

1. Cowboy Style - The tradionally styled Rough Rider is styled in the mold of the firearms of the old west right down to the flat-sided hammer. Put this gun in a leather holster on your belt and you'll feel like you're straight off the frontier.

2. Flip Down Safety (Frame Mounted Hammer Block) - A simple yet effective Safety/Hammer-Block is one of my favorite features this gun sports. A red dot shows you when you're ready to drop the hammer, and I always prefer a safety to a transfer bar.

3. Longer Barrel - From 3.5 inch to 4.75 inch to 6.5 inch to 9 inch; this gun gives you some options and more accuracy the longer you get the barrel. I went for the 6.5 inch and have been very pleased with it.
4. Magnum Cylinder (.22 Magnum) - A lot of these guns you'll find in the store come with both cylinders for the same price, but some do not. I lucked out and got mine with both cylinders, new, for less than MSRP by a good bit. Having the extra cylinder is almost like having a whole different gun, and like Dave said in his account of fighting a mammoth squirrel, sometimes a .22 Magnum makes all the difference!

5. Cheap Ammunition- You can't go wrong when stockpiling the .22LR and you can't get cheaper either! Whether you like stocking up for the zombie apocalypse or shooting every weekend at the range, you're probably not going to come out any cheaper than using .22lr.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

.45 ACP Pistols, Full Episode



Watch all three parts of episode one, right here, without leaving the page or clicking anything additional. The playlist will auto-advance through all three parts. To get the full experience, change your setting to 720 HD and try full screen!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

All For Gun TV Ep 1: The .45 ACP

The first of our video series which, I am by utter genius dubbing "Season 1," has been posted to the allforgunTV channel on YouTube! We are posting these in 720 HD, because for some reason my computer complains about rendering in 1080p, which the videos were all shot in. Regardless, the 720 looks good, and we think you'll enjoy the show. We sure had fun making it!

Episode 1 of All For Gun TV is all about the .45 ACP pistol. We shoot, compare, and give our impressions of three vastly different models: Para Ordnance 14.45 LDA, Remington 1911 R1, and Glock 36. Because of the length of the episode, I've broken it into three parts (one for each pistol), which are less than 10 minutes each.

Have a look at the videos, give them a "like," subscribe to the YouTube channel, and even leave us a comment if you're so inclined. We have several more episodes to follow, which will focus on AR-15's, 9mm pistols, and some revolvers. Plus, we have another "season" planned that promises to be even more fun, with Big Bores, Big Booms, and things that go Splat!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sighting-In Optimization with - The Kill Zone Method

Some AR-15 groups at the range.
Ever wonder if there is a range that you could sight-in, or “zero”, your gun that would allow you to just aim-and-shoot and be confident that your shot would do its job? For practical purposes, there is. This is how you can find it and “optimize” your gun sight.

My quest for finding the best sight-in range began with my first scope on my .22 rifle many years ago. Of course I wanted to hit my target at any range but a decision had to be made for that bulls-eye setting. I looked over ballistic charts for the .22 LR. The charts provided rise and fall of a bullet in relation to a line drawn between the muzzle and the target for different range “zeros”, stepping from 25-yards to 100-yards. So the normal thing seemed to be to just pick one of those chart distances for your sight-in zero and memorize the rise and fall figures for the other distances. This information was helpful to know, but it didn’t take into account the height of the sight. Well, call me picky, but that didn’t seem to be the best way to decide what range-zero was best or how to get the most from my gun. Besides, I didn’t want to be doing math while about to make a shot. So I did a little thinking on the matter.

I developed a way to account for my sight’s height above the muzzle and eventually a way to see where my bullet would track with my rifle sighted at any range. It involves making graphs to show the arched trajectory curve in relation to the line-of-sight. With it I could examine the various sight-in ranges to see which one kept my bullet as close to the scope’s sightline as possible for the greatest distance. But I had to decide upon the maximum bullet deviation from the sightline that I felt would still allow a kill-shot if the bullet stuck there instead of dead-center of my sight’s crosshairs.


The Kill Zone:

I envisioned what I call a “kill zone.” Think of shooting down a long, imaginary tube to your target. The tube must be small enough for the bullet shot through it to hit the vital area to kill your target: One shot – one kill. The centerline of the tube is your line-of-sight, which may be represented by crosshairs, red-dot, etc. The tube’s radius represents the allowable bullet deviation that will keep the bullet in that vital area. It can be whatever you decide. For a small-game hunter, the zone radius might be 3/8”, and for a deer hunter it might be 1-1/2” or more. That is equivalent to drawing a bulls-eye on each: ¾” diameter and 3” diameter, respectively. Once a kill zone size is chosen, the sight-in distance can be determined from the trajectory curves. The sight can now be adjusted for optimum use for the combination of gun, sight, ammo, and target involved.



The Easy Way to Optimize Your Sight:

Today it’s not necessary to draw trajectory curves, etc. Now we have personal computers and a smart-phone app for almost anything, including ballistic calculations. I recently discovered the Winchester’s ballistic calculator and iPhone app at their website. These can be very useful for making the right decision for the best range to zero your sights.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Alert! Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

If you or someone you know owns a S&W M&P Shield, send them this info immediately! There appears to be a common malfunction of the trigger safety mechanism in these pistols which, in the faulty examples, can allow the gun to fire if dropped. This makes for a very hazardous situation, and it has been posted by Smith and Wesson as an official product recall as of August 22, 2013. If your shield was manufactured prior to August 19, 2013, it is subject to this recall.

View Smith & Wesson's info directly here. 

From the S&W Safety Notification:
 "Smith & Wesson has identified a condition where the trigger bar pin could damage the lower trigger in certain M&P Shields in a way that may affect the functionality of the drop safety feature of the firearm, potentially allowing the pistol to discharge if it is dropped.
Any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential to cause injury, and we ask that you STOP USING YOUR PISTOL IMMEDIATELY UNTIL IT HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND, IF THE CONDITION IS FOUND, REPAIRED."

Here is the link to a video from S&W showing how to evaluate your gun for this defect.



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