Archive for November, 2012

Yesterday I came across a website called Survivalist Boards and I just wanted to take a few minutes and spread the word about it.  I joined up and am trying to get a little more involved over there.  So far everyone I’ve encountered has been friendly and helpful.

The forum deals with anything and everything involved with survival and being able to take care of yourself in a natural or man made disaster, or even in a post-apocalyptic world where society has fallen apart completely.  They cover everything from farming to hunting and fishing and firearms.

There are a bunch of groups that you can join to help find people with similar interests or skills.  There are also groups that are location based to help you find people close to you.  Those would probably some of the most important groups since you could get to know fellow survivalists in your area and even work together if need be when the time came.

Anyone who has any interest in outdoor survival or preparing for a disaster should definitely check it out.  I’m sure there is something you could find over there that would interest you.

Anyway, have a great weekend and make sure you subscribe if you like my blog!  I’m going shooting this weekend and I’m going to be trying out a new pair of ear protection as well as some new ammunition.  I will try to have a review and/or video of them up sometime next week.

Taking a Short Break

Posted: November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well its getting close to the holidays and they’re preparing for the snow season at work so I’m getting a little stressed.  I’m going to take a week or two off from posting and try to relax a little.

In the down time I’m going to work on a method for recording more of my range trips.  I’m also working on a way that I can do a few how to videos.  My goal is to incorporate more photos and videos so my site can actually bring people a little closer to what I’m doing and what’s going on besides just reading about it.  My words are great and all but hearing my voice will be like music to your ears I promise.

All jokes aside I will do my best to get a few more posts out before the end of the world on December 21st, 2012 (ok, last joke I promise).  Feel free to contact me while I’m away, ill still be checking my email every day so I won’t be out of reach for anyone who wants to talk to me.  My contact info is over on the About page.

Also, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss my posts in the future!

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Aaron decided to leave his chinese “Type 56” SKS rifle with me while he goes back to school for the rest of the semester.  In a previous post I mentioned that we didn’t shoot it because the barrel was extremely rusty inside and I wasn’t sure it was safe.

After looking a little more and a thurough cleaning, all the “rust” came off. I think looking back that what I thought was rust was in fact just powder deposits left from a previous series of shots that was never cleaned out.  The barrel cleaned up easier than my AR does and now it shines like new.  I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot this thing now.

According to the serial numbers and the information I found, this rifle was manufactured in 1974, making it just under 40 years old.  For the condition it’s in I wouldn’t have guessed it was that old.  My Mini-14 is about 10 years younger and it didn’t look quite this good when I first bought it.

This thing is beautiful and I can’t wait for him to come back home so we can shoot it.  I’ve never shot anything that fired 7.62 ammo and I’ve always been curious about it.  The Tula brand ammunition is exatcly the same cost as my .223 ammo so it wouldn’t be any more expensive than my Mini-14 or my AR15.  When we do finally get around to shooting it ill get a video of it up on my YouTube page.

I mentioned in a previous post, and over on the My Guns page, that my Ruger Mini-14 is wearing a stock made by ATI.  Its a Desert Tan side-folding stock that features removable rails on all sides of the handguard.  I also bought the extended 6″ aluminum rails for the top and bottom, but I don’t use the 2 on the sides at all.

You can find these stocks just about everywhere online including The Sportsman’s Guide, Natchez Shooting Supplies, and even over on ebay.  Two of my local gun shops even keep a few.  I shopped around for the best deal and found it was just as easy to go directly to ATI and order from them.  They were even offering free shipping at that time.

They are available in both Black and Desert Tan and you can buy them with all the extended rails, aluminum rails, folding stock, or fixed stock.  Offering so many different options was a great move on ATI’s part I believe; its one reason I chose them over other manufacturers like Tapco.

This stock impressed me straight out of the box.  For the price I didn’t think it would be made with this quality.  I thought I may need to do a little sanding or adjusting to get it to fit correctly but it fit perfect.  The entire stock is made from a type of heavy plastic, but the screws, nuts, and other hardware were indeed metal.  The rails that came with mine were plastic but I ordered the 6″ aluminum top and bottom rails to upgrade mine.  The instructions were simple to follow and I had it installed in under 30 minutes.

The Strikeforce stock was a good bit heavier than the Federal Ordinance stock that came on mine but without accessories attached it is still light enough to easily carry.  When it had the bipod, vertical grip, and red dot sight however, it was a behemoth to lug around and shooting it freehand quickly made you find some place to use that bipod.

Something I really like, and later implemented with my AR, is the adjustable buttstock.  Being able to slide the stock in or out is great when adjusting to different shooters.  I always preferred shooting it from about midway extended (I have short arms) whereas Aaron and Ryan seemed to prefer fully extended when they shot.  ATI steps it up and gives you an adjustable cheekrest for the buttstock as well.  I found that useful as well.

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The way the stock folds sideways though is kinda strange and awkward to carry, but decent for storage.  The original Federal Ordinance stock folded under the rest of the gun (unless you had an extended mag installed) and was completely out of the way and nearly invisible when folded.  I’m not sure I would ever want to shoot it from the folded position but since I like options, I’m glad the Strikeforce stock gives you the ability to choose.

The only thing I really don’t like about the stock is that the upper part of the handguard is screwed onto the lower half.  This wouldn’t be and issue except that it requires a lot more effort as well as tools in order to disassemble the rifle.  In addition, with the upper rail being mounted only on the upper handguard, its possible (while not that likely) that the sight’s zero could change if any of the screws aren’t fully tightened or happen to loosen during a shooting session.

Its also worth mentioning that with the Strikeforce stock, its a bit more difficult to break open the trigger guard for disassembly.  The pistol grip blocks some of the access used to pry the guard open.  I don’t consider this a problem though because I’ve always had trouble breaking the trigger guard loose.  It just means it’ll take a little extra time and effort.

Overall I feel this is a fantastic product.  I’ve recommended the ATI Strikeforce stock more than a few times over the past year to a few other Mini owners.  Its a great value and allows complete customization of your Ruger Mini-14.  Definitely give ATI a look if you’re in the market for a new stock.

I don’t often talk about my Mini-14 but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it.  In fact its one of my favorite guns.  I was in love with it the moment my coworker brought it in to sell it in August of 2011.  I had never bought or owned a gun before but I knew I wanted that one.  I bought it that evening.

The reason I don’t talk about it often is because I haven’t been shooting it lately.  Its been much more economical to focus on my 22’s rather than blowing through boxes of .223 ammunition.  But I will be shooting it more.  Watching Aaron shoot it Wednesday made me remember why I loved shooting it so much.  I shot it a few times Wednesday but I definitely intend to devote an entire shoot to it on a future trip to the range.

My Mini-14 came with a Federal Ordinance “under-folding” stock when I bought it.  It was pretty cool looking and the wood made it feel like I was holding an AK or something.  Especially when I bought my 30 round magazine made by Tapco.

Unfortunately the Mini-14 wasn’t really designed to have tactical accessories and attaching a scope of any kind was going to be a pain.  So I decided to invest in an entirely new stock for it.  People laughed when they saw it but it looks even more amazing to me now.

The stock I purchased for my Mini was the ATI Strikeforce side-folding stock in desert tan.  With the new stock and add on rails I purchased, I was able to start adding some accessories.  Within months I had a red dot sight, a bipod, and a verticle grip.  Since then I’ve removed all of those and all but the sight currently call my AR15 home.

I learned a lot from my Mini-14 and I am truly happy that it was my first firearm.  Not only did I learn about the mechanics involved in the firing of a gun, but I also learned a great deal about barrels and ammunition.

Mini-14’s are not known to be that accurate.  They’re typically good at medium distances but groups tend to spread the more you shoot. The barrel on my early production Mini is a “pencil barrel”.  This thing is basically as thin as it could be in order to reduce its weight and make it easier to carry.  Unfortunately a thin barrel heats up and begins to warp very fast.  My barrel in particular likes to string bullets diagonally (up and to the left) when it gets hot.  The hotter it gets the farther the shots climb.  Newer Mini’s come with a thicker barrel to reduce this effect.  From what I’ve heard they are now significantly more accurate.

I don’t mind the reduced accuracy.  I can hit a man-sized target at 50 yards no problem.  While I wouldn’t want to take this thing hunting and try to kill a deer at 200 yards, it’s more than effective enough for me to shoot paper.  Besides, if I wanted a precision “tack driving” rifle, I would’ve bought someting that’s bolt action.  There’s just something really exciting and fun about shooting through a 30 round mag in under 15 seconds.

And when the zombies come, ill probably be using my AR anyway.  22lr rounds will work plenty good for head-shots.  🙂

Rather than post about something new today I thought I would wish everyone and their families a happy Thanksgiving.  I also want to take this time to thank my viewers for their support.  It’s been great seeing this blog come together and actually start bringing in consistent views.  Every view inspires me to keep going.  Getting a subscription or comment are even better.  I love hearing from my readers and wish I could hear from more of them.  If you ever have a question or comment feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email (my information is over on my About page).

Speaking of my pages, I’ve been updating my site a bit today.  I went back through some of my old posts and corrected some mistakes I had made.  I also added a page titled Wish List the other day that features things I want to get in the future and why.  My About page has also been updated to show my email address and includes a link to my YouTube page since I’ve begun uploading some of my videos.  I hope to start posting to YouTube more often so I can actually showcase some of my guns and how they shoot.

Once again, thanks for your support and have a happy Thanksgiving!

In keeping with my decision to post every day I thought I would put up a little bit about what went on this afternoon.  My friend Aaron came back home for Thanksgiving and we decided to do some shooting.  He was given a few guns when his dad passed away earlier this year and he brought those along to shoot.

I brought all my guns.  My Mini-14, AR15, SR22, and Sig Sauer 1911-22.  He came with an M1 Carbine, and SKS, a Mini-14, a 357 revolver, and a 380 compact pistol.  We looked over all the guns he brought to make sure they were safe before shooting them but the SKS didn’t pass my inspection.  There was a considerable amount of rust on both the inside and outside of the barrel.  In addition there seemed to be a large chunk broken from the inside of the barrel.  I was disappointed because I was really wanting to shoot that thing.  It was a very cool looking rifle.  All the other guns checked out fine.

The pistols were all fun aside from his 380 compact.  The trigger pull was horrible and after firing the 5 round magazine it made our fingers extremely sore.  The revolver was fun but kicked way too hard for me.  It was a “hand cannon” according to Aaron.  It was still fun to shoot and I would gladly have spent some more time with it.

Very shortly into shooting his Mini-14 we noticed a problem.  One that I was very familiar with.  In the gas block on these rifles there is a “gas bushing” that is pretty much required if you want to rifle to function as a semi-auto.  If it isn’t secured in place the gas from each shot is not properly channeled back to the bolt.  Mine was missing from the day I bought my rifle until I fixed it.  Aaron’s at least was rattling around inside the gas chamber.  We were forced to shoot it as a single shot.  I’m going to fix it for him in the next few days.

The M1 carbine was pretty neat.  I watched him shoot it a bunch and even posted a few videos of it over on YouTube at the bottom of this post.  The only problem it seemed to have was feeding the rounds into the chamber.  After the first 4 shots or so it would start working fine however.  Toward the end Aaron decided to run a few magazines through my Mini-14 since he had plenty of ammo and his wasn’t working well enough.  A video of him rapid firing it is also posted on Youtube at the bottom of this page.


 

All in all we had a great time.  We both got to shoot some guns that we’d never shot before.  And as always it was just good to hang out again since we don’t get many chances anymore.  I might post a few more detailed reviews related to the individual guns we shot but for now this is all.  Check back later!