Saturday, April 14, 2012

Been busy, reloading bench made and a few changes in my inventory

Hey all, it's been a busy month since I last posted.  The reloading bench and the associated sundries have arrived.  The bench itself is made (and already a mess, LOL) and the 8ft bench has been returned.  I've already determined the 6ft bench with the backwall/pegboard isn't stable enough to keep the press as still as I'd like, so I'm coming up with a plan B.

I was planning on picking up an XD slim in .45ACP when it was released (which was originally slated for March), but plans have changed, it seems.  As I write this I have the new Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm sitting on the desk in front of me.  It's a slick little firearm and there's a ton of great touches put in place by the designers.

I haven't had the time to take it out to the range, yet, but I only just picked it up this very afternoon.  Once my buddy gets back from his 3-gun match in Austin, I'll take it out to his range and post up my thoughts on how it shoots.  I'll post up a quick open box review along with a smattering of pics to tide everyone over in short order.  Until then, here's a pic:

In other news, I've received my order from Palmetto State Armory and aside from a slight hiccup with my order (nothing critical) I'm pretty satisfied with the price, service and delivery time.  The order contained everything I needed to complete a stripped lower and turn it into a pistol AR15.  Also included was a 10.5" upper with a 1:7 twist barrel and some Magpul upgrades.  Again, a pic will serve as a much better example than my incessant rambling.  I'll just finish up with this - the AR's final destination will be a suppressed SBR for home defense.  Badguys beware!  LOL.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Made the first step in establishing my reloading bench

Ordered a 6' Craftsman bench, pegboard/light backer and a 5-drawer module for the whole shebang.  That establishes the workspace, but the press will be mounted on a custom "pillar" that will be anchored to the wall.  I'll throw some pics up once I have something to show.  The goods should be delivered next Wednesday, so hopefully this time next weekend I'll be ready to start loading some .223Rem. :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Everything old is new again

Got the AR15 back last week, and everything looks good to go.  I've been trying to get my hands on a Spike's 10.5" MOE upper, but one retailer got them in and sold out in less than 15 minutes while I was talking to the Mrs about the purchase.  Ah well.

Since plans have changed to move my reloading area into the old office, everything has been put on hold while I figure out how to configure the workspace.  My reloading equipment will also share space with my other hobby - building scale models.  Money's being diverted again, it seems...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Out with the old, in with the... old?

No, you didn't read that incorrectly.  I actually repurchased my custom AR15 back from the dude that bought it from me.  He shipped it last Tuesday, and I haven't heard anything yet from my FFL about it arriving.  I'm chewing my nails here, I really want it back in my hands!

The plan is to submit my paperwork to convert it to an SBR with both 5.56 and 300AAC Blackout uppers, then when I'm ready I'll start the long road to getting a can for it in .30cal.  Top candidates are the YHM Ti Phantom and the AAC 762-SDN-6, with me leaning heavily towards the AAC suppressor.

Looking forward to getting my baby back.  Now only if it would get here!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A couple of rifles cut from the team

We had our gun show here in San Antonio this weekend, and I wound up taking the Ruger GSR and my Savage Mark II .22lr with me.  When I came home, I did so with empty hands and a significantly fuller wallet.  The funds will be stored in savings until I figure out what I really want in a long gun.  The Springfield Armory SOCOM 16 is being researched, and I even found one at the gun show to handle.  I gotta say, it was nice.  Unfortunately, it was not nice enough to justify the new gun price on a used rifle.

I'll spend my time researching the SOCOM 16 for issues and will decide on a price point for picking one up so I can jump on it when one pops up.  Until then - no rush.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quick update on what's going on as of late

Alright, time for an update.  Been busy at work, lots of projects going on that require my full attention, and I'm also dedicating a lot of my off-duty time to self improvement.  I'm studying for my Security+ certification, as well as getting my MGIB benefits lined up through the VA.  Once the MGIB is squared away, I'll get enrolled in classes to get my bachelor's in Information System Security.  Not as much fun as firearms, but it is what it is.

On the firearm front, I've got some bad news.  Seems my new Ruger GSR is afflicted by an inability to feed cartridges from the new Ruger polymer magazines.  While reading through one of my new favorite gun-related forums (a shout-out to Andy, who runs, I've noticed I'm not the only one afflicted with this horrible disease.  What's worse is I've already sunk in a few extra hundred into this rifle in accessories (one of Andy's sweet Ching Slings, two 10rd poly mags and an XS Sight Systems Ruger GSR rail).  Not sure if I want to continue holding out and waiting for Ruger to provide a solid solution to the FTF issue, or if I should cut my losses and sell the GSR for something else.

Keep in mind that this FTF issue seems to only affect a small minority of GSRs, so it's just my uncanny "luck" that landed me in this position.  All hope is not lost, as Ruger's customer service is still some of the best in the industry.

That said, I have been eyeballing the new Springfield Armory XD-S pistol that was just unveiled at the 2012 SHOT show.  21.5oz (confirmed by SA and Rob Leatham, 29oz was a typo) with an unloaded single-stack magazine, 1" wide at its widest point (located at the slide stop), 5+1 rounds of .45ACP, external extractor and a 3.3" barrel.  Sounds good!  What I'm not thrilled with is the fiberoptic insert in the front site.  Too many issues with durability and snagging, in my opinion.  I'll probably change it out for a tritium site of the proper height.

While I'm highly interested in purchasing one for a new EDC solution, I think I'll let some other folks "beta test" this pistol to make sure I don't buy something with a lot of bugs to iron out.  Maybe if I wait long enough, they'll release a version of this pistol with a 4 or 4.25" barrel.  If you're interested in checking out the new pistol, check out this Guns & Ammo video hosted by Mr. Leatham himself:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Ruger Gunsite Scout in my hands, plus some goodies!

Just got my new rifle in today. Fell in love at first sight and decided I had to have one. Sold off my Savage 10FP LE .308 to fund this purchase, let's see if the decision was the right one. Here's my little preview for those that care to read through my wall of text.

'Dat stock... ooh baby!
The GSR has a nice laminate stock in subdued black and gray tones, and aggressive checkering where you'd expect it. The rifle barrel and action is a matte blue finish, with the bolt and bolt handle in a natural stainless. The bolt hangs up a little while manipulating it at the rearmost position, but I've read that it will smooth out with use. A bit of Tetra grease and some time on the couch should help a bit. Wow, that sounds a bit kinky, LOL!

The GSR comes equipped with iron sights, the front is a protected post with two "wings" and the rear is what looks to be a variation of the Mini-14 peep sight. The peep has a moderate aperture size, probably somewher between the long and short range/low-light apetures you'd find on the current M16/M4 rifles. Perhaps some day I'll get out my caliper and measure the aperture inside diameter.

Bangswitch boogie
The trigger isn't too bad out of the box, but it could use a bit of attention to smooth it out a bit. I noticed some creep and takeup, but the break was decent enough. Some dryfiring will likely help here as well. Before I go crazy on that, I will acquire some snap caps to avoid causing undue strain on the firing pin.

All your (optics) base are belong to us
The most notable feature of the rifle is the forward-located optics mounting point. The base is a picatinny-style, and works well with my chosen Aimpoint Comp M4s red dot. I will suggest that anyone looking to mount a red dot go with the lowest solution possible, and you should give up any hope of being able to cowitness with the irons while using optics of any sort. I purchased an Aimpoint 3x magnifier and TwistMount from Botach Tactical for a great price, which showed up on Wednesday.  After mounting it I discovered that the whole thing is just too far forward to be at the proper eye relief to use the magnifier.  What a pity.  I'm thinking I may get the XS Sights picatinny mount and install it so I can try again with the Aimpoint setup.  It'd be a crying shame if I had to ditch the whole setup, you know?

MAGnificent, just what I needed
Immediately after purchasing the GSR, I ordered two Alpha Industries .308 Type 2 magazines to go with it. These magazines are doublestack with a single feed lip system, designed to reduce overall length. If my hand-scale is properly calibrated, I'd say they're a bit lighter than the stock mag as well. The Type 2's are also lacking the inner liner to give you a bit more leeway in loading your .308's long, which may give me more options in determining the most accurate handload for this rifle.

Just one problem with these Alpha Industries mags: They don't work as advertised! They state on their website that these mags should work without modification to the magazine or firearm. Well, they don't. The folding, springloaded ejector mated to the receiver binds on the magazine feed lips at the very rear. Worst part is if you try to force it, it will keep the ejector in the down position which will cause a FTE. No friggin' bueno. I've got a request for support in with the company as of the 18th of this month and I'll keep everyone updated on how they handle the situation.  No contact from them as of yet, so it's looking like I'll have to call them and hold their feet to the fire.  That's unfortunate.

Anywho, here's a pic of the GSR with the Alpha Industries .308 Type 2 magazine and the Aimpoint setup without spacers:

I like it, what about you?  Got a Ching Sling in black leather coming in shortly, will post when it comes in!