• 08 Jan 2010 /  Firearms

    My buddy and trainer Chris Fry from MDTS recently authored a couple of excellent documents about AR platform malfunctions. He does a great job describing the malfunctions, how to clear them, and how to create them so you can practice. Until I took an MDTS carbine course, I had never even been exposed to one of the complex malfunctions he covers. Any AR15 operator would be well served by studying these documents:

    One would also be well served signing up for any of Chris’ training. He does a great job providing excellent training at an affordable price.


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  • 22 Oct 2009 /  Firearms, Tech

    I recently came across (through a spam email actually) the Safety Bullet. Short version (you can watch the videos there for the longer version), it’s a device that chambers in your firearm just like a live round. If the trigger is pulled while the Safety Bullet is in place, the gun is locked up. Yes, the gun is completely disabled until you obtain the tool to reset it. Admittedly the tool is simply a plastic rod, but in my opinion this is a terrible idea.

    The recommended usage is to load 1 Safety Bullet in the chamber and 1 in the top of the magazine with live rounds below that. If you actually need to use your firearm, you then rack the slide twice to get a live round in the chamber. If you forget to do that and attempt to fire, you have a gun that will not function and you will likely die.

    Revolvers are even worse, you load a Safety Bullet in the next chamber to be fired. To use the firearm you have to manually rotate the cylinder one notch before firing. This is a rather delicate task, and if you lose count and attempt to fire 6 rounds instead of 5 (or 5 instead of 4, or 8 instead of 7, hmm how many rounds does this revolver hold again?), guess what? Gun locks up!

    So, under the stress of an attacker beating down your door, or coming up your stairs or beating a loved one with a pipe, you will have to remember this procedure or render your defensive firearm inoperable. It’s well understood that under this kind of life or death stress, lots of things go out the window. Fine motor skill and complex reasoning (uhhh … like math) being the big ones. I will say it again, this is downright dangerous if used in a home defense firearm. Using it in a stored firearm would not have these issues, so I’m ok with it in that application, but that’s not how it is being marketed.

    I’m all for safety and protecting our dear children, but this is just not an acceptable solution to me. If you’re concerned about your stored firearms, lock them up, even disassemble them if you like. If you have a home defense firearm please look into other solutions that don’t potentially disable the gun for the rest of your life. There are many quick access safes and locking devices out there that are much better solutions than this.


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  • 22 Sep 2009 /  Firearms

    Yesterday Ruger announced a new .22 rifle, the SR-22.

    Official Ruger pic

    Nevermind that it looks like it’s just the Nordic Components kit around a 10/22 receiver, I’m actually OK with that (as long as Ruger properly licensed it). However, I don’t see the niche for this rifle. It sorta looks like an AR-15, but the safety, mag release, and charging handle are all different. This severely limits it’s usefulness as a low cost AR training platform.

    Ok, so that’s not where it fits, maybe it’s just a cool looking plinker for folks who want something “tacticool” but don’t really care about AR training. Fine, but the MSRP of $625 puts it way higher than it should be for that. You could buy a standard 10/22 and  number of accessories to acheive the same affect for quite a bit less. The S&W M&P 15-22 is only $499 MSRP and is actually an AR pattern rifle.S&W M&P 15-22

    In fact, the only advantage I can see of this rifle is that it can take 10/22 mags if you already have a bunch of those. Since a modified 10/22 will do that too for less money, I just don’t see where this rifle fits.

    Regardless, I’m glad to see Ruger coming out with so many new products and responding to the market. I sincerly hope I’m wrong about this rifle and that they sell piles of them.


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  • 08 May 2009 /  Firearms, Things I Like

    So, Montana (which I now completely love and am making plans to move to) has recently enacted a new law. You can read about it here, but the upshot is that federal firearms laws do not apply to in-state manufactured and owned firearms and accessories. For example, a suppressor (often known as a silencer) manufactured in Montana, and owned by a resident of Montana, would not need to be federally registered as they are now.

    Since Montana appears to have The Constitution on their side, 10th ammendment state’s rights issues and all that, it will be very telling to see what the federal government does here.

    I’ll be making popcorn, and packing all my stuff.



  • 27 Apr 2009 /  Firearms

    As you may know, there are several firearms related bills going before the NY state legislature this week. You can see details about them, as well as get contact info from the NRA-ILA site. If you are concerned I urge you to contact your representatives ASAP. Here is my letter, feel free to plagiarize.

    I’m writing today to share my opinions on several firearms related bills that are up for your consideration this week. I’ll be as brief as possible.

    A01093/S01715: While this bill speaks to prevention of illegal sales, it has a provision requiring dealers to obtain liability insurance for the damage the firearms they sell could cause. This clause makes no mention of whether this insurance should cover illegal or legally sold firearms. Having a dealer carry insurance for what a customer who legally purchases a firearm may do is simply ridiculous. This will add an undue financial burden and put local dealers out of business driving more jobs out of NY state.

    A00801A/S01598: This bill adds a 5 year expiration to all firearms licenses and adds a training requirement. While I certainly support the idea of firearms training, I am a certified NRA instructor, the criteria for this training is not specified. Who will decide what the training includes and what are the standards? What will the cost be? How often and where will this be offered? These details can turn a seemingly positive bill into a gun ban. The reasons cited for the 5 year renewal include the fact that firearms licenses are not automatically revoked when a person loses the right to own firearm. That is an administrative problem and does not require new legislation that will further restrict the right, as affirmed by the Supreme Court, of law abiding citizens to own firearms for self defense.

    A01326: This bill would require that individual handguns be made “child-safe” through one of several means. Any of these means either compromise the handguns use for self defense, or introduces mechanical complexities that will reduce reliability.

    A05844/S03098: This bill requires “safe storage” of firearms. The primary issue I have with this is that it requires ammunition to be separately stored from the firearms. This makes it nearly impossible to keep a firearm in a reasonable state of readiness for defense within my own home. Having to retrieve the firearm from a locked box or device and then having to retrieve the ammunition from yet another locked box and then load the firearm will make that firearm all but useless in a stressful and time sensitive situation.

    A02881/S02379: This bill attempts to ban “frangible ammunition”. The primary purpose of frangible ammunition is safety as it disintegrates immediately upon hitting any hard surface. It is useful for training to prevent ricochet and in self defense to prevent over penetration. There is no reason why this should be banned.

    A02882: This further expands the use of the COBIS system. This system has been shown to be completely ineffective and a waste of state funds.

    A03211: This bill bans the possession of .50 caliber firearms. Overall this is poorly written as it is never specified what .50 caliber firearms are being regulated. .50 caliber is simply a statement of bore diameter. As written this would ban most muzzle loading hunting rifles, almost all shotguns, several handguns, several .50 caliber rifles, and the .50BMG rifle. The .50BMG rifle is used for long range target competition throughout the country. It is just another lawful firearm and should not be singled out.

    A06157: This bill expands the existing “Assault Weapons Ban”. The federal government did not renew a similar ban on the information that the ban did not affect crime rates. The bill promotes several fallacies such as “spray fire” and generally prays on fear. This bill includes a provision for confiscation of current legally possessed firearms from NY citizens. This would simply be a disaster. Once again this is an attempt to control crime by managing law abiding citizens.

    A06468/S04397: This bill requires handguns to “micro stamp” ammunition. This will simply cause manufacturers to not make NY compliant pistols, and put the manufactures in NY state at a severe disadvantage, encouraging them to relocate to another state. This technology is also completely ineffective as it is easily defeated within minutes.

    In summary, I urge you to OPPOSE these bills:
    A01093/S01715, A00801A/S01598, A01326, A05844/S03098, A02881/S02379, A02882, A03211, A06157 and A06468/S04397.

    Thank you for your attention,