Gunny Media

The Enthusiast Press delivers advertising and product announcements to the target-audience, and is still a good source of reading material and sometimes fiction – and each media-outlet has an editorial voice that speaks to you differently. For me it’s an up and down vote, for an up and down voice. Let’s start with the two magazines that are currently in the magazine rack next to my comfy living-room reading-chair.

Handloader is pretty straight-up and across-the-board: it’s necessary to be VERY factual since they are dealing with a topic that is potentially explosive. But there is also a good with a bunch of history and “how-we-got-there” type information – about powders and cartridges primarily, but weapons too. Without knowing where we came-from and being able to touch-base with that, it’s hard to keep (or stay) on course – as evidenced in several different cases of ballistic development. I really like what I constantly learn from Handloader, and that in fact there are historical and ground-level things that I DO learn.

Back in subscription after a multi-year lapse is Shooting Illustrated, primarily because a well know and personal-favorite gun-blogger (two actually) has made the leap into semi-gainful employment therewith. The problem I have with SI now after reading its current issue, is a recollection of why it was among the first subscriptions I dropped. There’s a cozy, arm-around-the-shoulder familiarity in the writing, as everything gun-oriented and gunsteriffic is shootsplained to me. After finishing one article about rifle barrels and nitride finishes, I was thoroughly convinced there was NO OTHER WAY POSSIBLE – and wondered why all barrel makers didn’t follow the procedure. It’s like being in a room where the conversation flows like water at you, and they’re tellin’ you whatcha need to know – and it keeps repeating, and unlike The River in the Zen koan, this water and this Zen-versation can be re-entered into again and again – in fact it’s hard to get-out of it. Perhaps not my best use of metaphor, but the alarming and sustained repeatability…just started to wear thin.

The ones missing from the rack because I don’t save or horde magazines are: NRA membership-publication American Rifleman. Like American Motorcyclist, the magazine of the AMA, it comes with the membership and covers NRA political issues, owner-interests, and scheduled events – like the matches at Camp Perry. Also missing from the current magazine rack (and in a HUGE departure from norm, saved for future reference) is the multi-layered and practical-tactical and intellectual SWAT (not what it seems at first). There’s a very good advocacy-driven section to SWAT, and a strong basis on actual-experiences that are brought to bear in the articles as-writrten. GUNS Magazine, and American Handgunner – both of which like others in the FMG media stable, tend to be more user-centric than G&A and VERY photo-centric, because there’s a lot to the visual aspect of guns that draws the eye.

Meanwhile industry main-stay Guns & Ammo recently had a senior moment wherein one well-known, senior contributing editor and writer revealed his true feelings about the dirty plebeian, grunting, gun-owner troglodytes beneath him and the need to keep guns out of their hands. This gentleman with a University education and good grammar skills, seemingly misread and did not understand what the fundamental nature of a Right in this country actually is – and how it was threatened by constant attacks from the Left. Instead, from his intellectually superior vantage-point and apparent feelings of “empathy,” he fed the beast that attacks him – and was therefore ousted from his lofty position. Anyhow they’re pretty advertiser-driven and have never met a new product or major Manufacturer’s output they didn’t particularly like or pimp – including weird curved guns… Currently G&A is a read and toss that I no longer take very seriously.

Metalform Magazines

As the Queen of Snark advises, magazines are perishable, wear-items, so you should stock-up whenever possible. 

Brownell’s was havin’ a sale: $29.99 down to $22.99 On Sale Today! (and they still are on-sale), so I bought two because they’re stainless steel and I liked the look of the follower. Guess which one is the Ed Brown magazine.
Maybe I’ll get s’more…
Quick UPDATE: Midway has ’em on Clearance sale. and I ordered a couple more.

Taking Stuff to a Class

I have been advised in Comments of the need to take more than one or two magazines to my 1-day Defensive Handgun Safety and Manipulation course (with the esteemed Louis Awerbuck) so as not to be constantly off-focus and re-loading, and miss what is being taught. So, on the sage advice of the Goddess of Gunology, (primary among others) and in an effort to NOT be That Guy (who I so often-are) magazines are wear items, and I have been planning and preparing in advance. Today reading ToddG‘s brief on human potential, The Wrong Gun, he discusses the emotional attachment that people develop to the choices they made/make – a kind of false-conscioussness of gunnery that is common and evident among Teh Gun-Culture, and then seek to justify it.
In my case the Sig P220 is there in my “collection” because 1.) it is/was an affordable used-gun choice with a good record of accuracy, 2.) came with the recommendation from a friend who carries one, and 3.) if I have to ever actually *use* it I’m going to lose it to the Po-leece – and that is NOT something I want to happen to my beloved 1943 1911A1. So in effect it’s disposable and replaceable as circumstances may warrant. And since one-is-none I went and bought a second, so now I am also doubly-financially invested, and my emotional attachment is also growing. And since I have been preparing by acquiring additional magazines…

It seems I now have twelve (thanks Unc!)  – good thing I didn’t pay retail or I would be invested close to $400 for all this, and I get real emotional about that amount of money…

Rockin’ Old-School Sigstuff

My friend Uncle came across an old Sig magazine in a dark corner from his Gun-snoot dayze, and currently lacking the base launcher while knowing I did not, sent it to me for a very Merry Christmas!
Quel Surprise! And it happens to be an interesting old(er) magazine in the eponymous caliber beginning with a proverbial 4 and ending with a 5.
And anybody who reads this blog knows, I have a thing for magazines and magazine-y stuff.
All my stuff is spankign new and stainless, this is blue and as you can see in the pics, the magazine uses the spring to lock the base (on the side). Also the magazine-spring fits only one-way in the body, with a pronounced anti-tilt follower – it’s kinda cool…it’s a zipperback! Reminds me of a ZZ Top song…

Expect to see a future comparison test of this and my other magazines, where I rapidly empty them to see if there’s any functional compromises…

Tripp Research 7R-45-WG

Haven’t been feeling many probulations for the Bloggnostications and my colon test came back A+ #1 fine without any bending-over or digital inspection necessary – but then this came today.

Thanks to Gun Geek Rants and No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money   I was alerted to the disaster that had struck Texas and one of our/my favorites in particular.

This fire destroyed at least 1,500 homes, most of Bastrop State Park, and resulted in 2 fatalities. One of the houses that burned belonged to Virgil & Shari Tripp of Tripp research and STI fame. Their shop survived but the house is gone.

Tripp Research is Teh Awesomz! Go get yourself some of their gunny-love and superior-cycling magazines – and anything else to keep ’em afloat… Ok “Our Favorites” is bigger than I intended to suggest, since I’m a small-fry, but it provided an excellent excuse to buy a bulletproof 1911 mag!

It’s the 21st Century and now I have a thoroughly modern magazine for the 1943 Colt 1911A1. I am rather looking forward to running this bad boy.

And Now We Are Six

Seven actually, there’s one in the  ’43.  The Brown Truck of Happiness made a delivery, and my magazine stand is full-er.
I’ve heard some negative stuff about Kimber 1911 quality control lately, but I kinda really-really hope it doesn’t extend to the magazines.
These are hella stout – and if I get another 1911 later with a funnel for a magazine chute, I can always put the humongous base-pads on them.

These are the Kim-Pro TacMags – 7-rounder like His Excellency JMB indicated and designed-for, and which fit the old ’43 best.
Fully loaded 8-round mags, even the ChipMcCormick, are hard(er) to seat and drag noticeably on the slide – at least I noticed it, so I’m just living with it as-is.
How many magazines are enough? 
So far I have these seven and a few more, including an original WWII Scoville and a Risdon – both of which operate and function perfectly, btw.  Not sure what I’m gonna do with the Chip McCormic 8-rounder, maybe give it to a friend with a modern gun that can handle it…

Function Testing

I popped over to the indoor range for a quick function test of the old Colt with Winchester white-box 230-grain JHP’s in the new-old barrel and came back 64 rounds lighter.
While the hardball punched ragged holes, these neatly dissected circles in the paper.  Not that I had much to do with it since I’d forgotten to bring the glasses that help me to see the front sight in focus. I again found that I could get a sight picture with my head tilted back, but I’m sure I looked a complete spazz.
At any rate they didn’t hiccup a bit and the 67-year old girl seemed happy to see me and toss lead.  I’m re-filling all my stand-by magazines with the JHP’s, except the old WWII ones

I also ran four magazines of CCI mini-mag (40 rounds) through the Sig P220 with the .22 conversion upper.
There were about six failures-to-feed where/when the little pellets just didn’t get all the way up off the stick and into battery – so about twice a magazine.
It keeps you busy doing slide-racks and safety checks, but the rest of the equation was a lot of holes in the 9 and 10-ring as you’d expect from a Sig.
Neat little piece!

Magazine Function Testing

Midway delivered my latest magazine order; a Chip McCormick 8-round stainless-steel, a Gen-u-wine Colt 7-round blue, and another Kimber Kimpro 7-round TacMag – and now it’s time to gather up the assortment and do some testing.

Right away some differences are noted, the old-school split follower design and the modern “improved” (or whatever they call it).

 Magazines need cartridges so I dug around and came up with a bunch of the “bullet-blight” rounds from Reno – the White-box stuff that had crusty-rusty fungal growth, and from somewhere-I-don’t-know-what an OLD mixed box with some Remington-Peters 125-grain hollow-points, and other old ball ammo.
Some of the ammo appeared to be crimped in the middle, and the hollow-points I expected would serve as tap-rack-bang clearance drill material – the old gun was designed only to shoot 230-grain FMJ ball and I figured the nickle plated hollow-points would impede function.

After shooting some pics I gathered it all up with my ear-protection and proceeded to Reed’s Indoor range, not my favorite place because I like shooting outdoors better – but Louis Awerbuck teaches there so it can’t be all bad.  I also brought along the Sig P220 for comparison purposes.

At the lane I hung up a big old target and loaded some magazines.  Actually I asked a neighbor-shooter to load a magazine for me, mixing up the hollow-points with the old and crusty ball-ammo to see what surprise was in store.   Surprise-surprise – no malfunctions with the old HP bullets in the 1943 1911A1.  In fact it readily digested them, spat fire and made holes.  Hmmm.  So I decided to try and find the Colt’s link – the reset click-point where the trigger is immediately good-to-go again.  I had found it on the Sig but the ergonomics were quite different (more on that).

Wow! The Colt’s re-set is a very-very short release compared to the Sig.  So I started blasting, trying to find (and hold) the link, trying to shoot with the thumbs forward, trying to find the right place to put my finger on the trigger – and getting the gun dirty.
After a few magazines and a bunch of holes no malfunctions were apparent.  So I taped up some VisiShot targets onto my backer and loaded some more magazines.

And that’s where I ran into a problem.
I couldn’t see the Colt’s sights – the (tiny) front sight really just disappeared against the black background. So I approximated like it was a dark hallway – some shots were better than others.  I kept emptying magazines and getting the gun dirty until I had a FTF where I had to push the slide into battery – still no stovepipes.

Using the bright green tape I found somewhere I created an aiming point with a lot of contrast that would allow the front sight to stand out.  That was fun too, and after trying it out I think the gun shoots a little to the left.

Well that’s it for now – more later…

As always click the pics for big-sizing.


With the gun, “February’s Child” dirty I began to experience some failures-to-feed from an old parkerized magazine that had a fake WWII-style “two-tone” finish effect – and an electro-penciled “Colt .45” on the baseplate.  Not a stovepipe, but a failure to go all the way into battery.
I removed it from the lineup.

I fully expected the Viet-Nam (?) era “Colt” magazines to have a hissy-fit with the hollow-points, but none did.
I’m not even sure if they are actually Colt or some clone or not – but now I’m beginning to think they might be.
The new stainless ones ran flawlessly even with 8-rounds in them, but I had an occasional hiccup with an older Kimber magazine – one with the curvy “Kimber” lettering on the baseplate, but the gun was getting pretty dirty after around 100+ rounds.  You could visibly see the front end getting sooty.  So I switched to the Sig P220 for a bit in order to just have a front-sight that I could actually see.

The bright green tape did help to establish contrast and when I hit off to the side the orange showed up nicely.

The gun continued to run even with the hollow-points while dirty, if the stainless magazines were used.
I’m surprised — there’s nothing to indicate that it should digest ’em at all.

And it’s dirty as all get out.

It’s a WWII High Standard barrel, a replacement unit – go figure.

So over 168+ rounds later now it’s time to clean-up and re-lube.  I understand you’re supposed to put some on the barrel where it rubs against the hood.

As always clickez-vous ilPictorio to embigulate.

Scoville and Risdon and More

I have two perfect-working WWII USGI magazines for the ’43 Colt 1911A1 – a Scoville and Colt-Risdon, and a couple with which I’m less certain about, a good Kimber (Chip McCormick?), and a fake two-tone stovepipe goober.
The uncertain ones have the markings, “Colt .45 Auto” but are otherwise of unknown origin. Some sources suggested, “Vietnam, man!” while others said “Whatever, man.”
Now that I’ve been on the shopping spree for the Sig I’m considering doubling up on the Colt too. I’d like to get more WWII stuff but the prices are as collectibles now starting around $50 – way more expensive a Wilson or a MecGar or a cut-from-billet Les Baer…and I don’t know which ones to get. I’m thinking 7-rounders and no plastic base-pad, because Lew said so in a column.

Click to Super-Duper-Size

For a more incisive post on magazines and huge trophy-wall of collective participating opinions and comments, Tam has a post, “How Many Magazines is Enough?” that adds more value than I possibly could.

Magpul Ranger Floorplates!

Rangers. North Africa and Italy. Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc. The invasion of the Philippines and the Raid at Cabanatuan. Merrill’s Marauders deep in Burma. Binh Duong Province. Mogadishu. Kabul.
From Algeria to central Burma in WWII, from Korea to Iraq – Rangers have sacrificed.

And now to California where they sacrifice again.
Where due to the unique and peculiar, arbitrary and repressive, spastic and fantastic, the bizzaro-world of the Legislature and other circumstances of California Gub’ Laws — magazines can only be 10-rounds – the Magpul Ranger Floor Plate sacrifices two.
Turning 10-round magazines into 8-round magazines.
As a literary ouvre it’s small, The AR as M1 Garand – but without the whomping sectional density of calibre. It is a petite M’forgerie to the bristly old battle-hardened Garande Dame.
But aren’t they cute little magazines!?

And who cares, BFD, since they require a tool for removal from the magazine locking mechanism anyhow. God I hate these useless, stupid, feel-good-do-nothing laws. [sigh]