Category Archives: General Information

HPA of 2015 Reintroduced in 115th Congress as H.R.367

As anyone on the ASA’s mailing list would know, the 115th Congress has reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act of 2015 (previously talked about here), this time as H.R.367 “To provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns.” Yeah, I’m hoping they work on that title a bit, but it was just introduced yesterday and currently has 43 Cosponsors.

Text for the bill has not yet been provided, but in the coming days it will likely be a verbatim copy of H.R. 3799, along with a companion Senate bill.  While I’m not getting my hopes up, introduction into the 115th Congress gives it some advantages that it didn’t previous enjoy.  While there was a slight increase in the Republican edge in Congress, there was previously and it never even got a committee hearing.  No, the advantage comes from the fact that not only would this bill have a significantly better chance to NOT get vetoed, it also has a proponent in the President Elect’s son, who notably met with SilencerCo CEO Joshua Waldron.

In any case, I’m cautiously optimistic, while I wholly suspect the pending stamp refund to get axed from the bill faster than an M-10’s cyclic rate, that was always there as a negotiation concession.  As said before, be sure to keep up the communication with your representatives telling them you expect to see their support of this during this session.

Edit: Found this thread, good bit of information on it, and it will likely be updated with a who’s who of key figures in getting this thing moving, so pay attention, and we might end up with a good list of representatives who need to be contacted.

Post Election To-Do List: Hearing Protection Act of 2015

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Well, a lot’s happened so far in November- so without rehashing what everyone’s seen nonstop for the last week or so, lets just say, some bills that may have been hung up to to not having a chance of getting signed, may actually start to see the light of day.

The one I’m personally looking forward to seeing get some action would be good ole’ H.R. 3799 / S.2236, the Hearing Protection Act of 2015.  In case you didn’t catch it when it was introduced, it’s a House and related Senate bill to remove “Silencers” (Suppressors) from the NFA and regulate like a long arm, 4473 / NICS and out the door (depending on state and local laws).  While in the short term, suppressor prices would probably spike as everyone would be buying them up the second they’re deregulated, but long term, once you can buy ’em off over-the-counter, so to say, the boom that will bring to the industry will be fun to watch.

Right, so down to what you can do to help- currently both bills have been languishing in committee since last year, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations for the House bill, and the even more exciting Committee on Finance for the Senate bill.  Republicans have House, Senate, and as of January, the White House.  There are no more road bumps left to getting this thing passed except the ones we allow.  That said CONTACT. YOUR. REPRESENTATIVES.  <- The form linked here will autopopulate a letter to your local reps based on the address you use, which you can change.  Personally, I added a line at the end indicating that I look forward to action on the bill that has sat since November of last year.

Facebook Page Activated!

 

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As much as I would like to think there are folks out there randomly visiting my site to see the newest thing I decided to talk about, that is just not how people generally find out about updates.

In an effort to make this easier, I’ve launched a Facebook page where links to new articles will be shared, making it easier or folks that follow to see when something new is up, and hopefully be able to share it more conveniently.  It’ll also be nice to be able to have discussions there, where communication will likely be quicker… as much as I try to pay attention to comments on here, if my phone lets me know every time someone comments, I’ll likely be a lot more active in answering questions, or thanking folks for sharing info.

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This will also enable me to easier get vendors and other communities involved.  So come visit on Facebook and stay tuned, once I get some content linked over there and start getting some likes, I may have to feel out doing a giveaway or setting up an event!

American Shooting Centers – Sporting Clays: Back in Business

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This one’s a little more local/personal than most of my posts, but I just wanted to give a quick shout out to shooters in the Houston area.  Everyone in the area knows how bad the flooding has been since a few months ago and the kind of crazy we saw in town, but you may or may not be aware that until just a few weekends ago, one of the only decent Sport Clays courses in the area, at ASC, was down for the count.

While they had a limited reopening, still not too long ago, it was questionable when their sporting clays fields would be reopen, and if so, in what condition patrons would find them.

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Well, I’d like to report, that they’re back up and running, and I’m digging the new arrangement.  Blue course feels a bit more challenging that it did before (but is still nowhere near the red course’s difficulty, so no need for concern for the casual shooters).  A few of the stands weren’t open at the moment, and you can still see that repairs are underway.  Also, a new system is in place with a “pay as you go” instead of pre-loaded amounts.  The pricing is a bit cheaper to build in the free presentation pairs, but since we usually shoot at those anyway, it’s just additional savings.

I’ll head back out in a week or so for a more detailed report and get some more pictures, as this was just a quickie 50 round run to see how the place looks after being under water for 3 months.

Cleaning for beginners, Cleaning Kit How-To

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Well, I said I would get to this eventually so here goes.  How to get a new shooter up and running with a basic cleaning kit.  I’m not going to go into detail here on the cleaning process, that would best be covered in individual guides- but we’ll do a basic overview of the process and what bits and pieces you’ll want in your kit to let you do so.

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So first off, basic break down of the process you should be following as soon as possible after shooting.

  1. ALWAYS Verify firearms are unloaded and remove any ammunition from the workspace.
  2. Field Strip (or as far down as you’re personally comfortable with and feel is necessary at the time, the deeper the better) firearms used one at a time.
  3. Give all parts a brief wipe down with a clean and dry rag (or cloth patch if you like).
  4. Spray parts and surfaces down with MC25 Solvent (my preference, plus it smells nice) and allow to set briefly, or, if you like, simply spray or wipe with a rag/patch soaked with CLP.
  5. Spray chamber and inside of barrel liberally with solvent of choice.
  6. Wipe Solvent / CLP soaked parts with clean rag / patch to remove initial fouling.  Repeat above steps until rag / patches return clean results.
  7. Use CLP soaked (followed by dry) Q-tips (seriously, click link, way better than the ones for your ears) to detail clean Chamber, Breechface,  Lugs, and other detailed areas.  Use pipe cleaners (the absorbent kind, not craft pipe cleaners) to get into harder to reach spots.  Additionally, a toothpick or dental pick wrapped in one layer of thin cloth works pretty well for buildup in tight crevices.  Use solvent-soaked toothbrush for very fouled areas, especially fouling on intricate areas.
  8. Run calibercorrect Boresnake through barrel at least 3 times, ALWAYS from Chamber -> Muzzle.  NEVER pull through from Muzzle end to Chamber.  Wipe down the feed ramp with CLP soaked rag / patch again, just for good measure.
  9. Wipe all parts down with dry rag / patches.  At this point, there should be minimal to no fouling showing on any cleaning material after wipes.
  10. Lubricate per needs of your firearm with oil and/or grease*
  11. Reassemble firearm and wipe off excess oils.  You may elect to SPARINGLY apply a bit of CLP to a rag and rub a protective coating on the exterior metal surfaces of the firearm.  This will depend on storage and intended further use, but can be of benefit when the firearm is going back in a safe for a while.
  12. Cycle the weapon’s action liberally to distribute lubricants.

*Opinions on lubricants is another hot-button issue.  My personal theory here: If you have the money to spend, by all means, Mil-Comm makes great products, and my friends who’ve used their stuff where their life depended on it swear by it.  BUT, on a budget, I figure any jackoff in their basement can slap a cool logo and guarantee on a bottle of mineral oil and come up with a story on how long they spent researching it, then charge an arm and leg for it.  Know who does spend a ton of verified money on high-performance lubricants that need to hold up to a variety of environmental conditions for thousands of hours of intense use?  Automotive lubricant companies, that’s who.  Enter the cheapest-per-volume high-performance firearm lubricant you’ll find, and likely one purchase will keep you lubing for years:

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That’s right.  It’s good enough for moving parts in a metal box full of explosions driving a shaft to several thousand revolutions per minute for ~450,000 hours before you should replace it, in nearly any environment you’ll find on Earth.  I think it’ll hold up just fine keeping a couple of surfaces and moving parts slick over the course of a few hundred cycles before it’s wiped off and reapplied.  Similar logic applies to grease- Mil-Comm stuff is the shit, and recommended by SIG for their products.  But Lucas Oil White Lithium Grease is hard to beat with it’s track record and price point.

Additional thoughts-

  • A brass brush, and traditional steel rod with brush attachments are still good to have on hand in case of heavy fouling.
  • A bottle of Windex (or generic ammonia based glass cleaner) is good to have if you’re planning on shooting corrosive surplus ammunition.  Just be sure to clean properly afterwards.  The ammonia doesn’t replace a step in the process, only adds one before you do the first round of solvent.
  • Seriously CLP is awesome.  Have some.  Have extra.  This stuff works for all kinds of stuff, from sticky door locks, to bicycle maintenance.
  • A box of some sort is nice.  I honestly can’t remember from where mine originally came into being.  I believe it was a hard case for one of my father’s old electric grooming devices.  Perfect size for the range bag though, so it just kind of stuck.  Small tool or tackle boxes work pretty well though.
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  • Medical exam gloves are awesome to use while cleaning.  You will get fouling all over your hands.  You will get solvent all over your hands.  You will get lubricant all over your hands.  The pleasant smelling MC25 isn’t too bad to get on yourself, but still best to avoid getting most of these chemicals all over yourself.  Use protection my friends.
  • A Bore Light, such as the one mentioned in a previous post, is a great additional tool to have in the kit, so you can have a look in tight places, and check how spic & span your barrel interior is after running those boresnakes through.
  • As far as a toothbrush, a military-style one that has the large and small bristle area is awesome, but what do I always have around?  Worn out former dental toothbrush, after good cleaning of course.  They last about the same interval anyway.
  • Additionally, a small screwdriver set and punches (as needed by your particular firearms) are good to keep on hand in your kit.

Enjoy, and shoot clean.

Considering your first firearm: Part I

What kind of gun should I buy?

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This is one of the more common questions I get, along with “Should I get A or B?”  It’s not the easiest to answer, because it depends a lot on what you’re looking to do with it.  In this post, I’ll try to address this as easily as possible, and point you in the right direction of further researching your decision.

Luckily, I’ve created a handy chart to help!  Follow along to see which type of firearm may be a good fit for you, and follow the green, yellow, and red lines to examples at different relative price ranges with green being the cheapest and red being the most expensive.

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Basically, you first have to ask what purpose you’re looking for your firearm to fill.  The big 4 roles (and most common firearms for such) here being:

  • Home Defense (Shorter Pump Shotguns, Full Size Handguns)
  • Concealed Carry (Compact and Subcompact Handguns)
  • Shooting Sports (All types, regulations specify specifics)
  • Hunting (Rifles, Long Barreled Shotguns, Big Bore Handguns)

 

DSCN1478DSCN1309b644746_10100331270762683_1519565809_nDSCN1503While there’s obviously a bit of a overlap between categories, and there’s a lot of desire in many new buyers to want to get something to fill as many roles as possible, it’s best to decide what you want most and get something that will fill that role as best as possible for what you want to spend.  The problem of having a Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none is going to become apparent fairly quickly when attempting to practice or put the firearm to use for it’s intended purpose.

For instance, a common mistake is wanting to get a shotgun that can just as easily be used for sport as it can for home defense.  The requirements are very different for these two roles, and even in cases where it can be readily converted (for instance, a Mossberg 500 / Maverick 88 could have the tactical stock / pistol grip swapped out for a traditional field stock, and the 18″ barrel changed out for a 28″ Vented Ribbed barrel with a choke, or vice versa) it’s rarely going to do nearly as well as it would just have a dedicated platform for what you’re trying to get out of it.

There are exceptions, of course, for instance practical shooting sports such as IDPA, which specifically exist to promote the use of, and thus increase in skill with, personal defense weapons.

For additional help in choosing a specific firearm for sport purposes, this was an awesome read by a true professional in the world of shooting sports.

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Terminal Ballistics and You! *Controversial!*

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That’s right, I’m tackling *that* subject.  It’s all coming out here.  9mm vs. .45ACP, FMJ vs. Hollow Point.  BATTLE ROYALE!  Yes, this is going to be controversial, as this is one of those topics that will always cause an argument and be basically flame bait on any forum, guaranteed.  Also, while this is opinion, it’s backed up by a video of a very renown doctor who has worked in trauma situations where he’s seen many a gun shot wound which I believe ANYBODY who intends on carrying or keeping firearms for protection should watch.

Before I even bother saying anything more on the subject, here is the video.  It’s long, but worth it.

So, the takeaway here is this- terminal ballistics between handgun calibers and types of bullets is negligible.  What’s more important is hitting somewhere vital, thus the important bit on the shooter’s end is picking a platform and cartridge that reliably lets them get as many accurate hits on the target as they can as quickly as possible.

What does this mean to people who want to carry a handgun for self defense?  Think less about picking the bullet you think will do the most damage in theory, and concentrate on picking what’s comfortable for you to practice with and carry regularly.  It doesn’t matter how high tech or specialized that piece of brass and lead is if you’re not able to get it on target, or not carrying the firearm that delivers them with you because it’s size or weight is uncomfortable.

Additionally, another argument that comes up is of course between FMJ and HP, or other different rounds.  Again, per the doctor here, the important thing really is penetrating and damaging vital structures.  Another argument that frequently comes up is fear of overpenetration causing injury or death beyond your initial target.  As seen in this video, even with FMJ handgun rounds, chances of a center mass hit exiting the target are iffy, but exiting with enough energy to continue doing damage?   I’ve searched for a long time on this, but if someone could provide me a single document case of a round overpenetrating a person and striking and injuring someone beyond them, especially through walls as is often the argument, I’ll personally buy you a drink next time you’re in the greater Houston area for opening my eyes to it.

The last takeaway here?  Get a shotgun for home defense use, and as always, practice, practice, practice.

I welcome comments to this.  Opinions?  Please share!

Edit, for further reading, with some very interesting statistics that backup the above opinion, have a look at the numbers and graphics collected and assembled by Greg Ellifritz over at Buckeye Firearms Association.

Basic How-To, Mossberg 500

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Alright, this one is going to be short, but I got a request from a new Mossberg 500 owner (and new shotgun owner in general) without a manual who wanted some basic instructions, such as safety, loading, unloading, that sort of thing.  This user is already aware of basic firearm use and safety.

So, right to it- most important is Safety Lever location, which is pretty obvious in this case.DSCN1479Rear for Safety ON, Forward for Safety OFF (pictured) showing red.

  • The Mossberg 500/590 line varies in magazine capacity, so here’s a breakdown of Capacity by model for 2 3/4″ and 3″ shells:
  • 835 Models: 5+1
  • 535 Models: 4+1
  • 500 Models: 5+1, 7+1 with high-capacity Magazine Tube
  • 505 Models: 4+1
  • 590 Models: 8+1

Note: As mentioned in the manual, many are shipped new with a wooden dowel rod in the end of the magazine tube to limit magazine capacity due to Migratory Bird Laws (capacity limit for hunting).  Additionally, “Bantam” models include a dowel that limits capacity to 1+1.  If there’s demand for it, I’ll expand this post with removal instructions.

On to LOADING:

There are two parts here that I’ll be showing, which makes it less confusing than the way it’s laid out in the manual.

The first part is if you would like to load to maximum capacity, having one round in the chamber, action cocked, and kept with the Safety ON.  This is how you would want to load the firearm if you were intending on carrying and using it, for instance when going out hunting, so that you can employ the firearm quickly and relatively quietly by just throwing the Safety OFF and ready to fire.

PART I: PRE-CHAMBERING A CARTRIDGE (if desired)

  • Ensure the Safety lever is ON (rear, NO RED DOT)
  • Cycle the action open (pump to the rear)
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  • Place one shell, facing forward, in to the Ejection Port, letting it fall and rest on the Loading Ramp.
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  • Cycle action closed (move pump fully forward), chambering the shell.
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The second part is how to load the magazine tube.  When done in addition to the above, you’ll achieve maximum capacity, and are ready to fire by simply switching the Safety Lever OFF.

Additionally, you could do this on it’s own without loading a round into the chamber.  This is generally how most people keep the firearm if kept loaded to be used in a home-defense role.  It’s thought of as *safer* and if needed, all that needs to be done is cycling (racking) the action.  It’s often stated, but quite debated, about the psychological effect of a shotgun racking sound as a criminal deterrent- personally if they’re already in MY house, the best warning they’ll get is a Safety clicking OFF if they’re listening really closely, but to each their own.

PART II: LOADING MAGAZINE TUBE

  • Rotate (cant) the weapon so that the Loading Port is accessible.
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  • Place shells facing forward into the port one by one, sliding them into the Magazine Tube until they’re secured by the Cartridge Stop (visible in picture above as a tab on the right side of the cartridge rim)
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  • Do this until you’re reached capacity.  You’ll know you’re at capacity when you can no longer completely insert another shell.

UNLOADING:

Just like loading, unloading is done in two parts depending on whether or not there is a round chambered.  First, I’ll cover removing the chambered round, as you’ll want to do this before further handling the firearm to unload the magazine.  If stored WITHOUT a round chambered, skip to Part II.

PART I: UNLOADING THE CHAMBERED ROUND (and ensuring the next round in the magazine is not chambered)

  • ENSURE SAFETY LEVER IS ON (REAR, no Red Dot)
  • You’ll notice that you’re unable to cycle the action after it’s already cocked.  In order to do so, you’ll have to depress the Action Release Lever to the left of the trigger.  This is also a good visual indicator of whether or not the firearm’s action is cocked.
  • Depress the Action Release Lever while slowly opening the action (moving pump to the rear)
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  • With the Ejection Port facing downwards (towards a surface onto which you would like to eject the cartridge), complete cycling the action open (moving pump fully to the rear).  This will cause the chambered round to eject from the firearm.
  • This sets up the Feed Ramp to begin loading the next cartridge from the Magazine Tube, which we want to avoid.
  • SLOWLY move the action just slightly forward, so that the next cartridge is released from the Magazine Tube on the Loading Ramp.
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  • While in this state, rotate the firearm over so that the cartridge can drop free out of the Ejection Port.  It’s important not to move the action too far forward.  If unable to be removed from the Ejection Port, just move the action slightly back toward the rear until it is able to be dropped free.
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  • After this is done, close the action (pump fully forward), while observing that no round is chambered.  Proceed to Part II.

PART II: UNLOADING THE MAGAZINE TUBE

  • This part’s easy.  Rotate (cant) firearm so that the Loading Port is accessible.
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  • Remember I pointed out the Cartridge Stop earlier?
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  • Well you’re going to press on it (easier to do if you press closer to the round).  With each press, the next cartridge in the Magazine Tube will pop out into the Loading Port, allowing you to remove it.
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  • Repeat until all rounds are removed and you can clearly see the Magazine Tube follower instead of the rear of a cartridge.

Well, there you go.  If anyone would like any more detail, please let me know.  I may eventually expand this post into maintenance / disassembly instructions, and how to remove the dowel rod from the Magazine Tube to increase capacity.

Also, see my previous post reviewing the Kicklite stock / Ultimate Arms Gear kit for the Mossberg.DSCN1491If you liked the foregrip shown on the 20ga Mossberg 500 in this review, check it out here.

 

 

 

Getting Started!

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Welcome to Grey Arsenal

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Right, so I’m new at blogging- cut me some slack for the first little bit while I get things up and running here.  First order of business, getting myself a decent set up for taking pictures.  This I promise:  No more terrible on-the-bed or carpet pictures like the ones I’ve taken above.

I also promise that I don’t even own that comforter any longer.  Not sure what I was thinking there.   Anyway- as soon as I’m good to go with getting some non-distracting pictures on here, I’ll probably kick this thing off with some quick ‘n dirty takedown guides.  Honestly, all of these will be available elsewhere, but as mentioned on the About page, these will be partially existing as guides by me for my friends and family, and I’ll try to make them as clear and detailed as possible.

Later on, I’ll get into some slightly more exotic ones that may not be as easy to find, ones I know I had to dig around for a bit to find (anyone in the audience need to know how how to disassemble their FN Model 1922 or DWM P08 Luger?  Stay tuned.)

Disclaimer: I’ll be handling some fun stuff here, and as much as I’d like to laugh evilly whilst twirling my waxed mustache and claim that everything you see belongs to me, I’ll likely be showing firearms belonging to friends/family here too, generally for the purposes of doing a tear down guide or review on something to which I wouldn’t otherwise have access.  Also, the information here is for, well, information purposes only, don’t rely solely on what’s posted here, especially if you’re having an issue with your firearm, and especially ESPECIALLY if it’s an immediate safety issue.  I’m just giving a guiding hand, and am not liable for you ruining your brand new boomstick.  For any problems/issues that can’t be addressed by a basic strip-n-clean, it’s always best to either contact the manufacturer to check for warranty, or a local well-reviewed gunsmith.