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.
This is a combined video of my review of the Leupold HAMR and the run and gun exercises I’ve done with it. Its a 4X32 scope and red-dot combo. The full (long) cut of the run and gun is right after the jump . . .
Well it seems like I’ve finally done something wrong to this gun. She’s failing with disturbing regularity. Sometimes the round doesn’t make it into the chamber, and instead get bit by the bolt. Sometimes the bolt cycles and doesn’t grab anything. Sometimes the bolt-hold open device fails to engage.
After some substantial troubleshooting, I determined damage had happened to my bolt and bolt hold open device, possibly due to resting on a magazine, but also potentially from the magpul p-mags that I’ve been using. You can see the way they interact . . .
This combination took me a while to set up. Installing the full length top rail was a huge pain in the ass but it allowed me to mount a 512 eo-tech and riser in front of my ATN Spirit. With a Gen 2+ tube its not the best NVD available, but its certainly a cut above entry level units. Using a 1x lens and picatinny mount in conjunction with the IR output of the Inforce WML means I can confidently engage targets within 100 yards.
While current generation Tavors come with a full length rail, I had to buy mine from Canada Ammo. Made by Ranch Tactical, this rail is certainly a cut above the NEA equivalent, but it does have some fitting issues still. The rail fits over the lower profile gas block, effectively removing the rear flip up sight and covering the IWI proprietary NVD or magnifier mount.
The night vision I’m using now came from this site here: