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 Gunbroker.com 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.