Category Archives: Gat Pieces

“The 5 Most Overrated Guns of All Time”

Caleb over at Gun Nuts Media posted an interesting piece of clickbait/S-rank trolling yesterday. My list would look somewhat different but I can’t disagree with his choices, except maybe the Luger (do anyone outside of collectors/closeted Nazi fetishists still think that P08s are cool? All I can think of are srs historical gun collectors and these guys). The FB thread where Caleb posted the article has spawned the predictable complaints and jimmy-rustling that I guess he hoped for.

This is easily my favorite

My list would look something like this:

1) John Browning’s beloved 1911: Not to take anything away from the genius of the design that continues to influence basically all pistols, but you can’t argue that the it isn’t dated compared to more modern designs. The original old school sights are garbage, but it’s limited capacity as a big bore single stack is the primary (huge, glaring) flaw today. The fact that CAG/ACE/whatever Jedi-level SOF have moved away from the design should be a clue, but there will always be derpy commentators out there repeating the same worn out Cooperisms about mythical “one-shot stops,” “low capacity only matters if you plan to miss a lot,” and of course “they all fall to hardball.” But I guess the number of people willing to pony up thousands of dollars for Wilsons, Nighthawks, Les Baers, et al. shows no signs of dissipating, so long live the “king of the feedway stoppage.”

2) Glock Perfection: The flipside of the above mentioned coin for those who respond to criticism of the 1911 with cries of “just buy a Glock.” Nope. The OEM sights are still garbage, and Glock fumbled their selling point of “bulletproof reliability” pretty badly IMHO with the earlier (pre-Gen 4) .40 cal models and newer 3rd Gen 9s like mine. And the less said about .45 GAP, the better.

3) Everything Caleb said about the M14: Every. Single. Word.

4) SKS: Everything that can be said about the M14 (e.g. incredibly short service life aside from certain ceremonial units) goes double for the SKS, with some additional caveats all its own. The SKS has even lower standard capacity than the M14, with the extra downside of using an internal magazine that must be topped off with stripper clips. The M14 at least gets a little extra oomph from its 7.62N caliber, whereas the SKS is limited to the same M43 rounds as its bigger, better brother the AK. And the SKS isn’t even accurate enough to be used as a DMR like the retrofitted M14s used by the US. The only thing that keeps it from being bumped up to the #3 spot is that (as Caleb also pointed out) the SKS seems to be less popular now that prices have tripled compared to when I bought a M59/66 years ago. It’s still a gun for poor people though, and everyone can agree that the opinions of poor people don’t matter.

5) Mosins: Caleb is on point here as well. Just because some people with lots of skill and trigger time can make 1000yd shots doesn’t mean that throwing an Archangel stock and NCStar scope on your C&R piece is going to turn you into Vasily Zaitsev or Simo Hayha. It’s a gun for people who really liked Enemy at the Gates for some reason, and for those who don’t have the patience to save up for a Ruger American.

Dishonorable mentions: bullpups and PDWs (looking at you, FN P90), DA revolvers bigger than a J-frame snub, and anything in .40 S&W.


Friday Recap

Well somehow I made it all the way to Friday without posting here. For shame.

I received 1k of 9mm from Freedom Munitions on Monday and got to try it out on Tuesday. So far FM is living up to their reputation for making quality practice ammo at prices that undercut most everyone else. I only went through about 170 rounds but accuracy was good and reliability was 100%. Some credit is also due to the Apex extractor and other parts that were replaced and seem to have fixed the G19’s FTE issues completely. It even passed the 10-8 extractor test where it couldn’t before, FWIW.

I also put some more rounds through the AR and got to stretch the red dot on steel out to ~165m (I paced it off, no rangefinder). While I qualed in OSUT with a CCO out to 300m, I exclusively used ACOGs on M4s once I got to Big Army, except for the M145 when I was a SAW gunner (worst optic ever, BTW). Since that was 4 years ago, I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve done much distance shooting with a red dot. While I was able to make good hits, I think that I need to repaint the steel in a different color since it was somewhat difficult to pick up visually against the mountain/backstop.

I also really need to get a good shot timer so I can reliably gauge my performance on drills like the FAST test. The current crop of iPhone apps I’ve tried can’t seem to pick up all of my shots reliably. Adjusting sensitivity and having a friend hold the phone next to me or placing it on a table at my side made no difference.

I did notice that when trying a variety of other handguns (my buddy’s 1911, FN, and SIG), that they all feel really weird in my hands now. It’s been several months since I’ve shot anything other than some flavor of Glocks, and I guess that muscle memory is having some negative effects as well.

I continue to struggle with pistol marksmanship and gun handling skills more than anything else, and I’m still embarrassing myself with Dot Torture. I attribute this to a lack of serious training with handguns in my youth, followed by a big gap in my experience during my time in the .mil when I hardly shot one at all. The last month and a half with the G19 down for repairs hasn’t helped either. Hopefully I can get out again next week and bring my scores back up.

Glock Fix, Pt. 2 – Replacing the Extractor & Spring Loaded Bearing

So after a couple weeks with no new extractor showing up at my door, I emailed the folks over at Apex Tactical Specialties to check on my order’s status. After a minimal amount of back and forth we were able to figure out what happened, and without further prompting Apex went ahead and resent the whole thing through a different carrier and forwarded me the updated tracking information (and ignored my offer to pay for re-shipping the order). I was able to track the delivery while I was out of town celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family, and we arrived home this afternoon to find the little brown envelope in our mailbox at last.

The receipt, with a little something extra added

Something extra

I won’t go through the process of how to swap an extractor and spring loaded bearing as it’s explained in plenty of detail and probably better than I could elsewhere on the internet.

1100 rounds in

New parts on right side, old parts on the left

The new spring loaded bearing is obviously longer than the original. Less apparent from the photo is how much beefier the Apex spring is than the OEM model. The improved geometry of the Apex extractor over the Glock part is promising.

I’ve got 1k of new Freedom Munitions 115gr FMJ coming that should be here on Monday, and then I’ll be able to get it wrung out and see if this fixes my G19 issues for good.

P.S. I didn’t take advantage of any Black Friday deals, although I am sorely tempted by Geissele Automatics offering their G2S trigger for only $115.

Thursday; Packing/Unpacking and Two Videos

A package from Midway USA arrived at my door today with a Glock spring loaded bearing I’ve been needing, along with some B-8 Repair Centers. Still waiting on my new extractor to finish (hopefully) fixing the issues with my G19, but I won’t get to check it out for a little while yet as I’m in the process of packing for a backpacking trip with friends this weekend. Here’s a couple of videos that I found interesting this week:

1) Forgotten Weapons posted this piece examining a prototype Colt made to fill the SOCOM request for an Offensive Handgun Weapon System that ended up being won by H&K with the Mk. 23. It’s an interesting combination of time-tested features from 1911s, design elements borrowed from failures like the Double Eagle and All American 2000, and just plain weirdness like a spring-loaded, frame-mounted compensator for attaching a suppressor. While it’s no surprise that Colt’s entry lost, it still makes for a fascinating piece of SOF weapons history.

2) Trigger Time TV posted this video to their YouTube channel with Frank Proctor explaining the how’s and why’s of using a 50 yard zero and how to establish it from the ten yard line. I use a 50/pseudo-200 zero myself. While I’ve never tried it from 10 yds, I’ll be sure to try this technique the next time I confirm zero.

Glock Fix, Pt. 1 – Replacing the ejector

I’ve been admittedly distracted lately since I picked up the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for my now outdated Xbox 360, but yesterday I received a package from Brownells containing a Glock Gen 4 “Trigger Housing with Ejector” (part #30275). The other parts I ordered from different vendors are still en route, but I decided to go ahead with the ejector swap.

Google brought me here, which is pretty good for the broad strokes with the added step of switching out the ejectors before replacing the original trigger housing. Since the step-by-step details can be found elsewhere, I’ll skip through that to show the differences between the old and new ejectors (with apologies for my poor iPhone photography skills).

Old part on the left, new one on the right, connector and pin above

Note the slightly different shape between the Gen 3 housing and the Gen 4, particularly the “feet” at the bottom that prevent the newer parts from being used in an older frame. The 30274 ejector geometry looks to sit lower, more towards the rim of the cartridge, and is noticeably beefier in design. This should fix the erratic ejection issues I’ve been having, but I will go ahead and replace the extractor as well to prevent further FTEs.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

As promised, I went to the gun show this morning in Glendale. As this was my first show in a few years (I think Rep. Giffords was still in office and pro-2A the last time I went), it was an opportunity to get reacquainted with the whole scene.

Crossroads of the West used to be the bigger gun show that came to town and was held at the Phoenix Fairgrounds. Due to the state fair going on right now, it was moved to University of Phoenix Stadium. I’m not sure if it was originally supposed to be larger before the change of venue, but the result was about 1/6 the size and correspondingly reduced number of vendors/booths/tables that I remember from shows past. Meanwhile, the price has gone up from $10-12 back in the day AKA 4-5 years ago (IIRC) to $17 this morning. So it looks like my gun show dollar isn’t going as far as it used to (paying 141.6% of the price for 16.6% of the goods, if my math holds up).

Quality also seemed down overall from what I remember. But rather than dwell on the rows upon rows of dollar store knives, no name optics, and knock off gear, I’ll run down the bright side:

1) I don’t think I saw a single Colt 6920 going for over $1K.
2) Lots of nice milsurps around, especially Garands and Springfields.
3) Plenty of cool old pistols also, including a decent Savage 1907 (although I’m more of a Colt Pocket Hammerless kinda guy) and a pretty good Union Switch & Signal 1911.

I didn’t see my unicorn AKA PTR 32KFR, or even the threaded 10/22 Takedown I’ve been looking out for. Good prices were to be had on CZ and HK pistols I was interested in, but I’m not in the buyer’s market right now*. Ammo prices were okay, and at least J&G still had plenty of 7N6 for sale. I did try to check out the new Kershaw/Emerson folders but what I saw didn’t impress me as a potential cheap replacement for my CQC-7. The search goes on.

*Things to do before I let myself buy another gat: new tires for my bike (since the cool fall weather means I’m out of excuses not to ride to school), new extractor/ejector/etc. for the problematic G19, a real-deal shot timer, a new EDC folder or just pony up for a replacement blade from Emerson, more 9mm and 5.56 ball, Oh, shit! I never did get those BUIS for the AR, and of course I could always use more magazines…

It never ends. One more for the books.

Link Dump, Historical Odds & Ends

1) Gizmodo put up some amazing pictures of the Blue Angels at SF Fleet Week:

Srsly amazing

More behind the link.

2) More low level fly-bys over at Last Stand on Zombie Island. Most eye catching was this one:

Because flying over bridges is for Capitalist pig-dogs…

Casual research seems to indicate that the picture in question was a victim of some Soviet-era airbrushing (they had a lot of practice with that sort of thing), but not outright ‘shopped. On top of which, the story itself checks out.

3) The Firearm Blog has this piece about the IRA’s improvised recoilless cookie cannon. The ingenuity that went into these is fascinating.

4) Another weird historical oddity courtesy of Forgotten Weapons; a Finnish Suomi SMG with under barrel flamethrower.


5) Reaching a little further back, I can’t remember where I found this imgur photoset looking down the sights of historic military firearms, but it sure is interesting to see how many you can identify without looking at the captions.

6) Going waaaay back now, I got this link from the Knight’s Armament FB page to demonstrations of fighting and mobility in 15th century suits of armor. It’s quite impressive to see how quickly and easily the wearers can move while wearing what appears to be fairly ungainly armor, at least compared to my own experience with IBAs, IOTVs and plate carriers.

7) Back to the present: SilencerCo has dropped another great video on their YouTube channel, with typical high production values, drool-inducing suppressors, and ’70s porno soundtrack.

Their A/V department is on point, as usual.

8) Jerking the Trigger posted this piece regarding the utility of the Law Tactical folding stock adapter for use with AR pistols. I definitely see the merit of the idea, although I don’t currently own an ARP or have needs to justify a PDW in my battery.

9) Outside magazine published a nicely done takedown of Jamie Smith, tactical Walter Mitty extraordinaire.

“At one point, Smith’s cell phone rang. Sanford recalled him turning away, saying, ‘Oh, I got to take this. It’s the number two guy for the FBI. I got a special case I’m working for them.'”