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New Gun Owners

July was a huge month for gun sales and new gun owners across the country and in all demographics. With that comes a lot of new gun owners which spark debates around the ethics of carrying a gun. Now I’m not going to sit here and debate that on the internet, because the internet is full of trolls. And frankly for me, this is not up for debate, if you can legally carry and feel comfortable to do so, you should! I want to take a few minutes to just remind the new owners of a few key pieces of info.

First and foremost, you need to know what the safe gun handling rules are. At a minimum they are: Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Keep the firearm unloaded until ready to use. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until ready to fire. Know your target, and what’s behind it.

Second, get training. I can’t stress this enough! If it’s your first gun, or you aren’t that familiar with them, seek out a professional to get training. Again, I said professional! Not just the loudest guy at the gun range or that one friend who tries to appendix carry his Desert Eagle everywhere. Everyone learns differently and good instructors can make all the difference. Small difference to technique or teaching can make a world of difference for some people.

Third, get the right gear. You want a hard-sided/kydex holster, not soft fabric. There are plenty of horror stories of soft fabric or thin suede folding over into the trigger guard while someone is holstering their firearm and causing a negligent discharge. A hard-sided holster really is a must. A quality belt that is correctly size is incredibly important to keep the firearm, and your pants, where you need them to be. Cheap belts can break or not keep the holster secure while you are carrying it.

My biggest thing for new gun owners is to also take everything with a grain of salt. Everyone has their favorite gun, holsters, tactical setup, ammo, etc. Find what comfortable and safe for you, and train with it. But that is the key, train with it! Know that gun intimately and how to safely manipulate, holster, draw, and field strip it. The better you know the firearm, the more comfortable you will be with it, and the more likely you are to carry it.

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Springfield Hellcat Review

Recently I got a couple of Springfield Hellcats in stock and I couldn’t miss an opportunity to put one in my own collection! I was asked by a few people what my opinion on the gun has been so far. With that in mind, I thought I would share my opinions in a blog post. I tried to be as impartial as possible, but as many of you know, I am a big fan of Sig and have a couple P365’s. The 3 things I will focus on in is the trigger, grip & feel, and my performance with the gun.

The Hellcat is Springfield’s entry into the high capacity micro-pistol market with a “class leading” 13+1 round capacity chambered in 9mm. The trigger pull came in at around 5.5lbs for me. The trigger is flat faced with a trigger bar safety. I wasn’t a fan of the travel and play in the trigger, personally. It was about a ½” of travel, then another ½” to break. Reset is about ½” also. There is a tactile and audible reset. The trigger itself isn’t particularly special when comparing it to the P365, which in my opinion is much better than the Hellcat. Now the Hellcat’s trigger is much better than the XDs, for those who have them.

I was able to find the grip on the gun, despite it not having a “Grip Zone”. The texturing is surprisingly nice! It’s aggressive enough to maintain traction with it in wet conditions, but not so rough that it will sand your skin when you carry. It does have stippling forward of the trigger for your weak side thumb or your trigger finger. It has carried over serrations on the back of the slide and on the front for those who press check their pistols. Overall, for my stubby, fat fingers the grip was comfortable, but those with bear claws may find it a bit too small. Comparing this to the P365, I think the grip on the Hellcat is better. It just feels nicer in my hand.

My overall performance with the Hellcat was virtually indistinguishable from the P365SAS with no malfunctions. The sights on it are a U-dot sight with tritium front dot that was very easy to see. I wish the Hellcat had night sights standard.  It would have really set itself apart from the P365SAS whose sights are non-existent in low light conditions. Additionally, for those who may have an issue with limp-wristing a firearm, causing malfunctions, despite my best efforts to induce an issue from poor grip and recoil management, it functioned perfectly. My groupings at 10 yards were consistently within 5” which for me is more than sufficient in a pistol of this size.

I think the gun is a big advancement for Springfield, who I have never really been a fan of. I think the gun stands on its own very well, could be a great carry gun for almost anyone, and I will be recommending it as a great carry option. 

My Pro’s for the gun is that it is comfortable in the hand, better slide serrations for grip, it includes a 13 round magazine standard, and it’s a sturdy made firearm. My cons, the trigger doesn’t feel good to me, it missed out on the night sights, and it’s made in Croatia. For some of you that won’t make a difference, for others, Made in America is important. I’m not so impressed that I am retiring my Sig, I still think I favor the P365 more. I am going to carry the Hellcat for a little while and put it through its paces some more and see if I can break my Sig bias.

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Glock 44 Review

I mentioned that we are expanding and new things were coming. Many people ask our opinions of new firearms, subscriptions boxes, knives, etc. So, we will be introducing our own reviews for products. We understand there are hundreds of reviewers out there and rarely is there any vast difference between them. We want to take your suggestions on products to review and give our honest opinions, hopefully in a fresh perspective or if nothing else in a concise manner. What we review will be paid out of our own coffers and will be as impartial as possible. We will keep the reviews short and direct, so you aren’t drudging through 18 pages of back story and personal history before you find what you are looking for. Hopefully you find these helpful!

I have been sitting on this for a while. I’ve tried to like the new .22lr offering from Glock, I really tried! But after a few hundred rounds through the 44 I have to call it, it is terrible. Not only is it terrible, but a waste of money. I bought it initially hoping that having a .22 the same basic shape and size as a 19 could help some of my newer shooters to transition into a more capable round, but I couldn’t put this in a novice hands unless I wanted to show them all the various and multiple ways a gun can malfunction. Additionally, the sights aren’t adjustable and they desperately need to be.

I haven’t found any ammo that the 44 likes. I’ve tried 20-50 rounds of 6 different .22lr offerings, and each one had the same overall performance. Stovepipes, double feeds, failures to eject, and failure to feed were common. After the first box of ammo I started keeping track. On average I found that 1 out of 5 shots had an issue. So, I started researching and I’m not alone… not by a long shot! Issues reported include failing extractors, striker eating away at the spacer sleeves, cracked slides, and a myriad of other complaints. Overall it appears that it’s a crap-shoot if you are going to get a unit that is sighted well, doesn’t malfunction, and fires most ammo. If you are part of the lucky few that get one of those, I’m hearing they are a great!

My overall opinion: don’t waste your money. Glock does a lot of things well; this isn’t one of them. The number of functional issues should be heavily weighed if you want to buy one of these pistols. I would caution anyone getting one to make sure to inspect it regularly and wear your eye protection! There have been episodes of the 44 having catastrophic failures, although rare. If you must have a .22lr pistol, this isn’t the one you want to add to your collection.

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Reloading Revolvers

I want to take a little time to talk about revolvers. This post may not appeal to the majority as any people find revolvers to be antiquated. This can be due to the limited number of modifications and customization, smaller capacity, and difficulty many people have reloading them quickly or easily like a semi-auto. I will admit, reloading a revolver quickly is not as simple as a semi-auto and often requires special tools, equipment, training, and in some cases specifically designed pistols. Today I want to talk about a few options for faster reloads for modern revolvers which includes speed strips, speed loaders, and moon clips. You can click on any of the photos below to see an example of each reload.

Speed strips are little rubber holders that keep the bullets contained in a row. This keeps the bullets organized and spaced out so you can usually put 2 bullets into the cylinder at once.  There’s a reason for this! They are designed for the “shoot two, load two” method. This keeps you with a full cylinder at all time. The method is to engage your target twice and take cover. With the speed strip, you would open the cylinder barrel facing down at a 45-degree angle and press the ejector rod halfway up and release. The 2 cases that were fired would stay half ejected due to the expanded ends from being fired. You would remove them, take out your speed strip, press the two rounds into the open holes and peel the strip away leaving these fresh bullets in the cylinder. This method obviously takes a lot of practice to master and has a lot of merits. It was very popular by the FBI during their early years before adopting semi-autos.

Click the picture to see a speed strip reloadClick the picture to see a speed strip reload

Click the picture to see a speed strip reload

Click the picture to see speed loader reloadsClick the picture to see speed loader reloads

Click the picture to see speed loader reloads

Speed loaders come in two main varieties, the HKS and Safariland styles. Both styles require you to empty your cylinder completely and load all the rounds at once in the same position with the barrel facing straight down with the cylinder open. The primary difference is how the two release the rounds into your firearm. The HKS style you would hold the cylinder in your non-dominant hand and place the loader on top of the cylinder with all the rounds partially in their spaces. You then use your dominant hand to twist a knob on the top of the loader dropping all the bullets in at once. With the Safariland, you would again hold the cylinder in your non-dominant hand, barrel down, push the loader into the cylinder and the force of you pushing the entire loader onto the cylinder would release a spring holding the bullets in place, dropping them into your gun. In both styles of speed loader you would let the loader drop while you close the cylinder to re-engage.

The last method of moon-clips is the fastest method but does require a gun specifically cut to accept them. A moon clip is a small stamped piece of metal that has all the rounds pressed into it and held together. Your gun will need to have a cylinder cut to accept this because the piece of metal stays with the bullets and goes into your gun with them as one unit. Again, you would empty your cylinder and face the barrel straight down, gripping the cylinder with your non-dominant hand, and using your dominant hand, drop the entire moon clip/bullet combo into the gun and close the cylinder. That’s it! The clip holds the rounds together during the load and unload when you eject the spent cases. This is the fastest as you don’t need manipulate additional knobs, strips, or anything else. 

Click the picture to see a moon clip reloadClick the picture to see a moon clip reload

Click the picture to see a moon clip reload

Admittedly when talking about reloading, modern revolvers isn’t as easy as hit a button and slam a new magazine into the gun. You want to practice your method of reloading, so the entire process is part of your muscle memory. You don’t want to think about it, you want your body to go through the motions effortlessly and smoothly. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Regardless of if your EDC is a revolver or semi-auto, continued practice and training to optimize your effectiveness and time on target is key.