Sunday, December 26, 2010

EOTech G23.FTS 3x Magnifier Review

You can see this review by going to the EOTech G23.FTS 3x Magnifier Review at my new site Gunsumer Reports.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Para-Ordnance Para Carry C6.45 LDA Review

You can see this review by going to the Para-Ordnance Para Carry C6.45 LDA Review at my new site Gunsumer Reports.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Caldwell "The Rock BR" Front Rest Review

You can see this review by going to the Caldwell "The Rock BR" Front Rest Review at my new site Gunsumer Reports.

Caldwell Medium High Rear Bag Rest Review

You can see this review by going to the Caldwell Medium High Rear Bag Rest Review at my new site Gunsumer Reports.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Review

You can see this review by going to the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Review at my new site Gunsumer Reports.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hi Caliber Firearms Review

Recently I found out about a new gun store and indoor shooting range in Holly Springs, Georgia (Cherokee County), called Hi Caliber Firearms which is less than 3 miles from my house, so I had to check them out.  My first visit to Hi Caliber was to do some range testing on the Mako AR-15 Recoil Reducing Stock as well as sighting in of an LWRC M6A2 Rifle at 25 yards with a Horus Vision Talon Scope.  At my first visit, I didn't know Hi Caliber Firearms would allow a .223 caliber rifle on the range, but I was pleased to find out that you can shoot a rifle on any of their 10 lanes.  My other option would have been to drive another 15 minutes to a range that has only two rifle stations and where I would have to watch the clock because they charge by the hour.  Below in italics is what Hi Caliber says about their range and I used some photos from their website and Facebook site so you can see the range setup. You can see this information and more at the Hi Caliber Firearms website by going to this link.
  • The backstop is AR-500 steel, capable of absorbing all calibers except .50 BMG. This means rifles are welcome as well.
  • We have 10 lanes, which are each a spacious 4 feet wide.
  • We utilize a target retrieval system which means your targets will come to you from any distance up to 25 yards away No down time while others set up targets! 
  • At Hi-Caliber, we believe that shooting should be enjoyed without a ticking clock. We don't do hourly rentals. Instead, your rental fee means that you can shoot all day on one lane. If you leave and come back the same day, you can resume shooting as soon as a lane becomes available.

This was the first indoor range that I have ever visited that one price would allow you to shoot all day and that price was less than many ranges charge per hour.  This situation is nearly a dream come true for regular shooters.  I wish they would setup a local outdoor range because I know that would be very popular in this area also.

My first impression of Hi Caliber Firearms when I walked in the door was a good one.  The facility is new and the interior gives you the feel of quality right from the start.  This series of photos gives you a good idea of the store, layout and some of the products.

Over the past several months, I have visited the store several times and have gotten the opportunity to meet the owner and several of the staff.  Everyone has always been nice, helpful and knowledgeable about their products.  One thing I want to point out here is that Hi Caliber Firearms is a legitimate establishment supported by a quality staff.  Since Hi Caliber Firearms has a presence, it is nice to know that there is a real store and real people behind those Gunbroker products.

The last thing I want to comment on is their price.  I didn't do a price compare on everything in the store, but I did look up a few items.  The item that stands out the most was their price on the Smith &Wesson M&P 15-22 of $379.  Now that is a good deal.

Bottom Line:
I would recommend all aspects (store, range, Gunbroker) of Hi Caliber Firearms to anyone.  If you are in the Canton, Woodstock, Holly Springs area and have not visited the store and range yet, you should make it a point to check them out.  If you are looking on Gunbroker and see a product is from Hi Caliber, rest assured that this is a reputable business.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tipton Jag and Brush Set Review

The Tipton 26 Piece Ultra Jag & Best Bore Brush Set is one of those items that is hard to review because it is such a simple product.  It either works or it doesn't.  The reason I decided to go ahead and post a review for this product is that it was hard to find any good information stating the exact jag and brush sizes included in the set, and I was interested so I thought somebody else may be also.  I purchased the set from Cabela's for $29.99 plus S&H.  A friend of mine was able to get a set for around $16 from MidwayUSA on sale, but I missed the sale.  You can take a look at this Tipton product by going to the Tipton (actually Battenfeld Technologies) site at this link.  Below in italics is what Tipton says about their product.

  • Combining the Ultra Jags and Best Bore Brushes into one convenient 26-piece set gives you the ultimate storage system for your brushes and jags .
  • Neatly organized in a durable, hinged box with marked cavities, it's easy to select the correct jag and brush for your particular application.
  • Because they are caliber-specific, you can be assured of an optimum fit to your firearm's bore for efficient and thorough cleaning.
  • 17 to 45 caliber (does not include 20 caliber).
  • All jags and brushes have 8-32 threads (17 caliber has 5-40 threads and is a standard bore brush).

Each of the parts of this kit, including the case, can be purchased separately from the Tipton site.  If you go to the Tipton website and check out the brushes, below in italics is what Tipton says about the brushes.  I highlighted in purple the things I feel are important.
  • We believe that the Tipton Best Bore Brushes are the finest ever offered.

  • They meet or exceed military specifications and are designed to satisfy the shooter who wants the best tools to maintain his or her guns.

  • The components of Tipton Best Bore Brushes will not scratch or in any way harm the finest bore.
  • The core is a single piece of brass wire that passes through the threaded brass coupler, guaranteeing that the core will never separate from the coupler in the barrel.
  • Bristles are made from high-quality bronze, which is much softer than barrel steel but more than aggressive enough to scour away lead fouling, copper fouling, and powder residue.
  • Each brush contains the maximum number of bristles that can be inserted for the caliber, 20% more than standard brushes!
  • You will feel the difference.
  • NOTE: Because of their density we recommend that Tipton Best Bore Brushes only be used with a quality one-piece rod and and an appropriate bore guide.
If you go to the Tipton website and check out the jags,  below in italics is what Tipton say about the jags and again the more important items are highlighted.
  • Take a modern bore solvent and squirt it on a brass cleaning jag. The liquid will turn blue as it drips off the jag - it's working so fast, it starts to dissolve your cleaning jag in front of your eyes! If you're following conventional wisdom "clean until you get a clear patch" you might be in for a long night! 
  • Tipton's Ultra Jags feature a patent-pending technology that covers the surface of a traditional push-type jag with solvent-proof material, keeping aggressive modern bore solvents from creating false blue stains that normally indicate copper fouling. Before Ultra Jags, these false blue stains caused users to over-clean their barrels - and that's been demonstrated to destroy accuracy over time. 
  • When you use Ultra Jags, you'll get better, faster cleaning results because you'll know you're getting blue stains from copper fouling from your barrel and not from the surface of your jag. In addition , you will increase the life of your jag by protecting the jags brass core from the aggressive modern solvents with the nickel-plated coating.

The photo below shows how the box is marked inside with the different sizes of jags and brushes.  Notice that there are 12 jags and 14 brushes.  Some jags are intended to be used for multiple calibers.  The list below in white identifies the jag and brush combinations based on the box labeling only.  I have added some more info in green based on further examination of the individual jags and brushes from the Tipton site.
  • .17 jag - .17 brush
  • .22 jag - .22 brush
  • 6mm & .243 jag - 6mm & .243 brush
  • .25 & 6.5mm jag - .25 brush and 6.5mm brush
  • .270 & 7mm jag - .270 brush and 7mm brush
  • .30, .303 & .32 jag - .30 brush
  • 8mm & .338 jag - 8mm brush and .338 brush
  • .348, .35 & 9mm jag - .35 & 9mm brush
  • .375 jag - .375 brush
  • .40, .41 & .416 jag - .40 & .416 brush
  • .44 jag - .44 & .45 brush
  • .45 jag - .44 & .45 brush

Not that it really matters, but the bottom of the plastic box on my set was warped in on both the front and back sides.  You can see this on the front side below.  When I compare my box photo to the one on Tipton's website, it appears that my item being warped was not the plan.

I decided to show the jag and brush for the .243 caliber below.  Also I am showing my old .243 brush that is about 25+ years old at this point.  I was surprised at how worn the bristles were on my old brush.  When sliding the old brush into the storage box, there was a significant amount of extra room compared to the new brush.  From this, you can see brushes will wear out.

For my first trial run of the brushes & jags, I decided clean a Ruger 22 Charger which I was reviewing.  Since I had cleaned the gun on the previous day, I wanted to just run a solvent soaked patch down the barrel using a jag.  The patches I had were U.S. Arsenal Patches 2" diameter.  I learned one thing quick.  These patches are not suitable for use with jags.  They work great with a normal loop patch holder, but the jags would push through the patch each time.  The pressed cotton weave couldn't stand up to the pressure being applied.  I headed off to Dick's Sporting Goods and picked up some Hoppes patches.  These patches seemed to work fine.  The Hoppes patches also seemed much thinner than the U.S. Arsenal so the pressure to push the patch into the barrel is much less.  I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with my patch selection, but the gun got cleaned anyway.

In the process of checking out the jags and brushes, I did find one jag that required me to run a die over the threads to allow it to screw into my cleaning rod completely.

Since I know that all brushes are not made the same, I decided to get a few other .30 Caliber brushes from different manufacturers to compare.  After a quick trip to a couple of gun stores, I ended up with Gunslick, Hoppe's and Pro-Shot for the comparison.

You can clearly see in the photo below that Tipton is the only brush of this group that has the wire core pass through the threaded brass coupler.  The other three brushes have their wire cores compression (swaged) pressed in place.  Also it is clear that the density of bristles is greater on the Tipton, but the Pro-Shot has a finer wire core twist and more spiral rings of bristles.  In addition, you can see that the Tipton and Pro-Shot are all brass construction.  From this, I would say that the Tipton is at least one of the top brushes.

Bottom Line:
Having all jags and brushes in a set and arranged per size really helps out my aging eyes.  In the past I had to engrave the brush base with the caliber and that was extremely small and difficult to read.  At this time I only will utilize 5 of the 12 basic brush and jag combinations.  If you only own a couple of caliber firearms, a set may not be the way to go.  If you decide to go with a set, I recommend keeping an eye out and trying to get the set on sale from MidwayUSA.  At their sale price (if they ever run the sale again), thats a bargain.  Even at the $30 price, I think it is a good deal.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ruger Charger Review: Summary

Ruger Review, Ruger 22 Charger Review, Ruger Charger Review, 22 Pistol Review
I have broken my review of the Ruger 22 Charger (or Ruger Charger) pistol into several parts.  As I continue to shoot the Ruger Charger pistol, I will continue to add more parts to this review.  If you go to any of these parts below, you will see many detailed photos and dialog.
  1. Ruger Charger Review - Part 1: Introduction, In the Box, and Exterior Features
  2. Ruger Charger Review - Part 2: Disassembly
  3. Ruger Charger Review - Part 3: Indoor Range Test Results
  4. Ruger Charger Review - Summary (this post)
The pistol is shown below with a NcStar 2-7x32E pistol scope installed.  Soon I'm going to try out a Bushnell TSR-25 Red Dot scope on this pistol and I believe it will be even more fun for plinking.  I may sacrifice a little accuracy with the red dot, but with the cost of ammo, I can swap the optics and rezero as/if needed.

  • Built on the Ruger 10/22 reliable platform
  • Great accuracy
  • Same reliable rotary magazine as the Ruger 10/22 and accepts same high capacity magazines
  • Attractive wood laminated grip
  • Nice smooth ergonomic feel of the grip/stock
  • Bipod included
  • Front end heavy if your shooting it free hand while using a normal pistol hold at the grip
  • A better trigger would be nice, but you can always upgrade with aftermarket parts.
  • Price maybe?  I'm a little surprised that the cost is about $80 more than the 10/22 rifle, but you do get a case, bipod and laminated stock, all of which are clearly added costs.
Bottom Line:
Ruger has been producing the standard version of their 10/22 rifle since 1964 and that alone has to tell you something.  Ruger taking that platform and turning it into a pistol version is near genius.  The Ruger Charger pistol has built into it over 45 years of development to produce one of the most reliable pistol shooting platforms on the market.  It is extremely accurate and accepts the same rotary magazine and after market high capacity magazines as the 10/22 rifle.  If your looking for a pistol to shoot from a bench or rest at targets or game, you should definitely check out the Ruger 22 Charger.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ruger 22 Charger Review - Part 3: Indoor Range Results

For my indoor range test during my Ruger Charger Review, I decided to utilize a 14 yard range in my basement.  At some point I'm sure I will get some range test results at a longer range, but for now it is hard to beat the ease of shooting at your own house.  The scope I'm using on the pistol is a NcStar 2-7x32E Pistol Scope and is shown below mounted on the pistol.  You can see the other parts of the review by clicking on these links; Part 1: In The Box and Exterior Features and  Part 2: Disassembley.

For this test, I decided to shoot the following .22 Long Rifle ammunition since I already had it on hand.
For each of these tests, I shot a minimum of five 5-shot groups from 14 yards while using the bipod from a bench.  You can see the results below.

CCI Select Round Nose 40 grain

Federal Classic Copper Plated Solid 40 Grain

Remington Target Round Nose 40 Grain

Winchester Super-X Power Point Hollow Point 40 Grain

Winchester Xpert 22 Hollow Point 36 Grain

The above results have been tabulated below showing the minimum, average, maximum, and projected 50 yard equivalent average.  I included this 50 yard equivalent because it will be helpful when comparing against other data on the Internet.  Once I get some real first hand data at 25 and 50 yards, I will add another post with those range test results.

The best group I shot at 14 yards was 0.14" and the worst was 0.70" with an average of all my groups of 0.42".  I think I could have had better results if I would have used a different scope.  I found the scope's eye relief to be wrong for my shooting preference and was having side to side sight picture drift as you can see with the windage shifts on the targets above.

Bottom Line:
Overall I'm very please with the shooting results from the Ruger Charger pistol.  With a different scope and more practice, I believe my results could be better, but I'm not complaining.  The accuracy of this pistol is clearly good and Ruger hit another home run with the Ruger Charger pistol.  If I could change one single item, it would be to add a better trigger.  The trigger pull measures about 4.67 pounds I would prefer it to be lighter for target shooting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Do-All .22 Bullet Box Review (Bullet Trap Review)

Wouldn't it be nice to have an indoor shooting range in your own basement?  Even if it would only allow rimfire weapons, it would still be great.  The other day, I set out to make a spot in my basement where I could start my own indoor range and shoot my .22 pistols.  I decided to do two things.  The first was to make a backstop that would be able to stop and absorb the bullets without a formal metal trap.  The second was to purchase the Do-All 17/22 Bullet Box (Bullet Trap) to see if it would reduce the wear and tear on my wooden (absorbing) and concrete (stopping) backstop.  This review is for the Do-All Bullet Box (Bullet Trap).  You can see the details of my backstop at this link (Poor Man's .22 Bullet Trap).  I purchased the Do-All Bullet Trap from Cabela's for 49.99 plus shipping and handling.

When the Bullet Trap arrived, it was boxed as shown below.  Throughout this review, clicking on a photo will bring up a higher resolution photo.

After opening the box, the basic components are shown below.

Also in the box were the following printed items; Instructions, Warnings, Registration & Returns. 



I arranged the pieces is their approximate locations for assembly.  Note that there were actually 10 screws and the photo only shows 9.  One screw was stuck in the bent piece of metal used for hanging the targets.

I placed the back and bottom pieces in their correct pistons for assembly so you can see how the trap  system is supposed to work.

Each side installs easily with the 5 screws and an Alan wrench provided with the bullet trap.

Before I got if fully assembled, I took measurements to understand the thickness of the steel.  The back plate thickness measured at 0.198" (2/10th".

The bottom plate thickness measured 0.107" (1/10th").

The side plate thickness measured 0.097" (1/10th").

When you are assembling it, you need to remember to put the back rod in place.  All of this information is covered in the instructions provided in the packaging.

Assembly was extremely easy and I had no issues.

Do-All advertises this as a 10"x11" target area.  I would say it is more realistically about 9"x11".  It seems you lose some area at the top by hanging the target and then also at the bottom due to the trap area.

Since I didn't want to deal with any potential stray bullet and holes in my wall, I placed the target on a shelf that I made quickly for my backstop.

The photo below shows the target with a 8.5"x11" target.

This photo shows the target after shooting two shots.  At this point I must be honest and say that I was not shooting at the minimum distance of 25 yards.  Actually I was at 7 yards while shooting my pistol.  After the first shot, I thought I felt something like blowing sand hitting me in the face.  I shot one more time and it was clear that I was having lead splatter bounce back 7 yards and hitting my face.  If you observe the upper target area closely, you can see that the splatter actually penetrated the paper as it bounced back.  Just to be clear, you need to understand that the difference between shooting at 7 yards versus 25 yards will be very small when you compare bullet energy.  Basically you will get the same results (energy transfer at the target like splatter & dust) at both distances.  Since I'm shooting a pistol and not a rifle, there is a possibility that a rifle at 25 yards may have more energy due to increased bullet velocity than a pistol at 7 yards.

I was shooting Winchester 36 Grain Xpert 22 Hollow Points.

After the first two shots, I dumped out all of the particles that I could from the bullet trap.  The trap appeared to collect only 26 grains of bullet fragments.  There were some particles stuck to the back of the target where the bullet impacted, so I will say there was another 10 grains still on the target.  This means that about 50% of the bullet turns into fragments that were not captured by the trap.  As long as you are 25 yards away, I don't see the fragments as a safety risk.  Since I was indoors and much closer than the minimum recommended range (and shouldn't be), I was getting a little concerned.

Next I cut some cardboard and put it behind the target so that it would make it more difficult for fragments to splatter forward from the back plate.

I took another 8 shots for a total of 10 shots so far.

After removing the target, you can see some small pricks on the upper surface area where lead was trying to splatter through the cardboard.

When I flipped the cardboard over, the below shows the lead splatter on the inside upper surface.

The next photo shows the dust accumulation on the lower trap area along with the fragments that were prevented from splattering out of the target and fell on the supporting shelf.

When I poured out all the fragments from the inside of the trap, I collected the pile below.

This pile of fragments weighed in at 146 grains.  8 bullets should be 288 grains.  Again the trap only collected about half of the lead bullets material.

At this point I realized I had a hazardous material issue starting to brew and decided to stop testing the trap with lead bullets.  My concern is that if I'm going to use this in my basement (which I shouldn't), I don't want a basement full of lead fragments and dust.  Take a look at the photo below and you will understand the dust issue a little better.  I also don't want lead dust to migrate to the rest of the house through the air conditioning system or tracking it through on my shoes.  Lead has real health issues as you can see from Wikipedia.  You can see how much lead dust was generated from only 10 shots by looking at the photo below.  A single shooting session with my pistols would be more like 100 shots and that would mean 10 times the fragments and dust.  If I did this on a fairly regular basis, this could create a real health issue.

As far as the trap goes, I was not able to detect any deformation on the back plate from looking at the back side of the trap, so I believe the 0.20" thickness must be good enough for lead bullets.

The photo below shows my Sig Trailside 22 pistol, the ammo used, and the first and only target I used with this bullet trap.

Bottom Line:
I would not recommend this trap for anyone who is interested in setting up a shooting range in their basement unless they plan to use lead free bullets.  Even if you do use lead free bullets, you will need to keep in mind that you will have splatter from the bullets that can come back at least 20+ feet.  Using cardboard, you could mitigate this issue.  Before I went the route of lead free bullets, I would contact Do-All Outdoors and get their input on using lead free bullets with their product.  The trap clearly stops the normal lead bullets and I could see it being used in an outdoors situation where you are at the minimum distance of 25 yards.  I do still have concern that even outdoors you will get lead dust generated and whoever is changing out targets will get it on their hands.  Being a survivor of a serious blood disorder and knowing what I know now about the dust generated, I couldn't see sending any of my children down range to change out a target on this trap.  This brochure from the Texas Department of State Health Services gives more information on the lead dust concern.  In the end I returned this product to Cabela's and asked them to update their website to at least make sure they point out that this product should be used outdoors only and asked that they look into these concerns on this product.

I will try to contact Do-All Outdoors and get some clarification on the use of this trap outdoors and the potential lead issues.  Maybe they can shed some light on these risks and considerations they made when developing this product.  I will update this post with anything I find out.

For now, I'm going back to my development of my Poor Man's 22 Bullet Trap with material that will absorb the bullet and not produce splatter and dust so I can use it in my basement.