A “safe” pistol the Ruger LC9.

I went to the range today.  One of the other shooters was having an issue with a LC9 so I got the chance to look at it.

This Ruger LC9 would not fire.  New out of the box, the owner could chamber a round, but he could not make it fire.  He was asked if it had a key lock the owner said no.  So the owner was told to contact the company and if necessary send it back.

I went and took a look at the Ruger web site and they they note that this pistol has a key lock.  My best guess is that at some point the key lock was used on this pistol rendering it inert.  Fortunately this owner choose to test his firearm before relying on it.

Moral of the story:  Test your gear, avoid unnecessary extra safety locks.

Astigmatisms and Red Dots.

Every so often I see or hear a complaint about how someone just bought a new Red Dot optic(or similar reflex sight) and got a defective one with a screwed up reticle.

Now there are the occasional defective optic, but usually the answer is that the person has an astigmatism or other eye problem that they did not know about causing the dot to look like something other then a circle.  I know a guy who bought an Aimpoint PRO and sent it back for being defective.  He sent the replacement back also complaining how he was sent two defective optics in a row.  It wasn’t the optics that had the problem.

So, how do we diagnose if the problem is the person or the optic?  First option is to have someone else look through the optic.  If that is not an option, simply rotate the optic when looking through it.  Some people will see a J shape, or a figure eight(or similar infinity sign), multiple dots, etc.  If these remain the same when the optic is rotated, it is the persons eye that is the problem.  If this aberration rotates with the optic, the optic is at fault.

Most people will find that these issues go away when they wear their corrective lenses.  Others learn to live with it, finding a point on the deformed reticle that they can use.  For example the top of the J, or in between the circles of an figure 8.  For some they can not deal with this so they do not use red dot type optics.

A couple of observations from the range.

Wolf Ammo oiledIt is not a very good idea to oil your ammo with penetrating oil.

Recently I have seen a few scopes come off rifles under recoil.   Buy good mounts, and make sure that they are installed correctly and you can often avoid the problem.  In the picture below the mount came with the wrong screws which were too short.  The scope came off giving the owner of the rifle a nasty cut.

TC Encore scope mount

I saw a new bipod called the “Flex Bipods”.  While it is not a “Tactical” bipod, it is an interesting rest.  First it is rather light for its size, lighter then a comparable Sinclair F-Class bipod.  Second is that it is designed to flex, for pre-loading the rifle.  And lastly is that the feet on it(adjustable for height) are very gripy and grab the ground, carpet, and even the concrete shooting bench well.

Flex BipodThis Flex Bipod is about 20oz, breaks down small and flat for storage, has swivel and height adjustment.  Price is around $200 dollars which makes it competitively priced with its competition.  It would not be right for people who don’t use bipod pre-load.  I think it is nifity and might be good for some F-class shooters but it would not be the right bipod for me.


Paratroop Gear WW2



Howard found this picture of the lay out of a Paratroopers gear from WW2.   I don’t know where it came from originally be we picked it up from Ar15.com.

Obviously the belt is heavy modified by riggers.  Its said to be a radio mans gear due to the radio. but I think it may be an officer or Artillery observer, The small radio, from what I understand was about the same as a walkie talkie and was for use inside the smaller units,like and officer calling up his company commander not the one used by the regular radio men

Prevention And Care Items In The Field


When I go out for any extended time in the world while hunting or hiking or anything that has me in the elements with a gun for extended time, I do a few things as precautions.  I’m not one to worry about the finish getting dinged or scratched and I don’t over clean my weapons. I’m not a clean my gun even if I fire one round, kinda guy.     But, I  do want to keep my stuff working in the field if I fine myself in some bad weather.    Normally this is not something I worry too much with Ar15s. Sometimes it is if the weather is bad enough, but mostly its to protect much more delicate then combat guns, like a hunting shotgun or something in a hiking back pack.




Above are some of the things I carry into the field depending on gun or conditions.  I keep them in a pocket and wrapped up and folded to be small as possible. With careful selection and thought, they can be something so light you don’t notice it or its negligible.

To the right is a “birth bag” from Colt firearms.   It is the tough plastic bag that Colt rifles come wrapped in from the factory., They have a rust prohibiting oil  all inside the bags since guns may set on a shelf a long time.  They are tough and do not tear easy and fit any AR15.  I fold one of them up tight and wrap a strong rubber band around them.  they weigh nothing really and will fit in any decent size pocket.  If I am out hunting with a vintage shot gun or rimfire rifle and it starts a very strong rain or sleet. I can yank it out and stick the gun inside. The oil cuts down the chance or rust and protects the gun.   Even out with an AR15 or other EBR its nice to have if the weather gets bad enough, or you have no where to set the weapon down but into soft mud or  you need to cross a deep stream.  You can imagine its handiness without my help I’m sure.


In the middle is something always in most of my gear, chest rigs, back packs, one in my jeep and again, depending on weather/situation, one in my pocket.   It is a few sections of a GI cleaning kit, some eye glasses alcohol wipes to clean optics lenses( or my eye glasses) some patches and a cleaning brush.   I learned this lesson when a friend and I went camping and the sling  on his carbine let go and the muzzle went 3 inches into the mud.   We had to clear the barrel immediately or things could have went very bad.  And of course it goes without saying I ALWAYS have a small 2 ounce bottle of lube on my person.

the last thing on the left is a plastic lubricated plastic bag for  magazines.   If the weather is bad or I have no idea what may be going on, I have at least 1 fully loaded thirty round magazine for my rifle protects and in a pocket.   I think this explains itself really.



I think its good policy.  I seriously suggest you  think about your area and a way to carry some small protective items to take care of your weapon in the field in a situation you have to act fast.  It has saved me a lot of grief and may save you too. Not everyone shoots just from a bench or buys safe queens and these items take up very little space and weight.

Haley Strategic Partners Thorntail light mount


I recently picked up a Haley Strategic Partners Thorntail mount for Surefire Scout lights and have been quite pleased with it. The Thorntail is made for HSP by Impact Weapon Components and like everything I’ve handled from IWC I found it to be of high quality and well made.



IMG_9190 IMG_9191

The Thorntail’s claim to fame is that it allows the light to be mounted in the previously unused space between the rail sections on a standard quad rail handguard, and that the light can be mounted further out towards the muzzle end of the weapon. It is also reversible so it can be mounted on either side of the weapon based on user preference.



The Thorntail really shines on carbine length rails as it frees up rail space and allows greater latitude in front grip/hand placement.  It also places the light in a perfect position to be activated by the off hand thumb.




I’m no Haley fanboy but on the flip side I won’t discount something just because he makes/endorses it if it proves to be a useful bit of gear. I’ve found the HSP Thorntail to be an excellent mount and would recommend them to anyone in the market for a light mount. In addition to being sized for the Scout light, the HSP Thorntail is also available with a variety of ring sizes to fit/mount most common hand held flashlights.