I took a vacation recently to Central America. I know what you’re thinking “You work in the gun industry TVPP, isn’t every day a vacation?”
No. It flippin isn’t. Some days are awesome, other days are a pain in the ass, and it’s still nice to unplug every now and again.
So I went solo backpacking across Costa Rica, saw the capital, the Pacific coast, the cloud forests, volcanoes, and the Caribbean coast. It was a good time, and I’d go back again. Because I’m a work-a-holic, I also couldn’t resist visiting a gun shop, snapping some photos, and writing about the gear I used on the trail… Continue reading “A Gun Guy Travels to Costa Rica”
You might remember this little guy from an ultra-budget build I did back in February 2015. At the time the entire gun cost me just over $600.
Well I’ve still got it, and still shoot in on a regular basis. I’ve settled on a Meprolight optic, traded the A2 flash hider for a PWS brake, and removed the fancy Magpul ACS stock in favor of a matchy Magpul MOE stock.
I also bought my first M-Lok accessory for it, and found it to be a pain in the ass to install. I’m definitely a keymod person. The polymer-to-polymer connection of M-Lok was finicky.
Additionally with this rifle I’ve started using IMI .50 Beowulf magazines. I’ve been shooting .50 Beowulf mags for years now, and these are hands down the best I’ve used. They’re much stronger than some of the other .50 polymer magazines out there, and much better sized than the aluminum body mags I’ve used in the past. Definitely a keeper, and I’m glad I got a few.
I love this rifle because of it’s simplicity. It’s light, it’s handy, and it works. Even with the basic Meprolight red dot I can ring that 300 yard gong with consistency. I’d be curious to see how it handled a 10,000 round trial, but I’ve had no issues with it since I put it together. I feel like it works so darn well now that I’m naturally averse to any substantial changes. Firearms can be such a fluid thing for a hobbyist, always trying new concepts, new gear, or new platforms. But it’s nice to have a few guns in the safe that don’t change.
I still think that the most affordable way to get into the AR15 game is through a slow buy used gun. If you piece together the bits, you can take your time, watch for deals, and get a great gun for a great price. You don’t have to scour the internet and scrimp and save at every turn, but if you keep your eyes open and are patient, it pays off.
I traded my Hatsan pump gun for a Pietta 1860 Army. Primarily because I’d just finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. If you haven’t read it, be warned: it is a bleak and violent story, with some very intense landscape descriptions. It was a stellar read. Easily my book of the year so far, and features ample use of black-powder weapons in the guerrilla warfare of mid-nineteenth century Mexico.
I may be born and raised around Calgary, but I’m no cowboy. I suddenly found myself curious about a family of firearms I’d never had interest in before. Not enough to spend several thousand dollars on a real antique, but curious enough to try a fully functioning replica of the original Colt.
This is a .44 caliber single action revolver that uses percussion caps and black powder to launch round-ball projectiles.
It’s a ton of fun.
It’s hands down the largest handgun I’ve ever owned. The 1860 Army essentially has a reloading press built into the frame of the gun. You pour powder, insert a ball, and then ram it into place using the lever under the barrel. Then when a cap is place on the nipple on the rear of the cylinder, and the hammer dropped, the whole thing kicks off to make a ton of smoke and put a round down range. The rear sight on this is actually built into the hammer, and consistently puts the rounds about 8″ high from the point of aim.
With any luck I’ll have a more detailed review for you in a few weeks.
It’s been too long! While I’ve been shooting lots, and keeping up with firearms news in Canada, I have to admit I haven’t been great at keeping this blog updated. So here’s a solid start at some new regular content.
What’s kept me away from the keyboard? Well a few things.
First, we took Zahal’s IDF Tavor course into the United States for the first time, and Lovie and I had an awesome time teaching US shooters how to use their rifles. I finally got some solid hands on time with the IWI US version of the X95, and it certainly does have some interesting things going on. Colorado is a gorgeous space, and we had a great group of students.
Here’s the first wave! This central video will grow as each feature piece is added on. I’ve been working with night vision for years. Looking at different systems and solutions for different people and budgets. This series is going to lay out some of that in as simple a way as possible. There’s lots of details and specific scenarios when it comes to working in the dark, but my goal is to give you the basic understanding and present some comparisons. From there we can start to tackle the fun-stuff.
Stay tuned! Each companion piece will take us into deeper detail on it’s system and topic. And if you have any specific questions about NV gear and the dark, let me know!
The LS64 thermal imager uses the small chassis of the Scout PS32, which I’ve also used, and adds the high resolution and fast refresh-rate from the law enforcement cameras to create one of the most versatile thermal systems I’ve ever used.
On the outside it looks like a black version the PS24 and PS32 imagers. But on the inside it uses an unconventional detector size, a 640 x 512 VOx Microbolometer. That huge detection core allows the LS64 to zoom much further than traditional hand-held units.
The LS series rounds out FLIR’s Law Enforcement line, offering a lightweight alternative to the long range HS and BHS nightvision systems.
These are designed for police to be carried in a patrol car, but they’re available to general civilians. The battery lasted me a little over five hours, and I was able to comfortably detect and identify coyotes and people out past 300 yards.
I had a chance to talk with Brian at the Calgary Shooting Center about his restricted .308 rifles, the MR .308 and the Knight’s SR-25. We only talk about the MR .308, but they are both gorgeous guns to shoot.
These are still very much available in Canada. Keep in mind that we never touch 416 or 417 parts though. Just the MR223 and MR308s. The 416/417 are totally different platforms. (Well subtly different. But different enough that they are incompatible) which is why the MR308 is restricted and not prohibited. FN’s SCAR on the other hand: the civilian version can take military parts, and as a result it was listed as prohibited when the RCMP classified it.
Yes, the MR308 is restricted as an AR-15 variant.