Category Archives: TTD

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.


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.

Gun Lust: 7.62x39mm Edition

My first rifle (aside from a .22 LR bolt action and a .410 O/U when I was a kid) was a Yugo SKS I purchased from J&G Sales in Prescott shortly after my 18th birthday, back when they were only $110 out the door (or $100 a piece if you bought two or more). Over the next couple of years I also had a cheap WASR-10 (I think I paid $330ish for it. Those were the days…) and a Mini-30 that I picked up for some reason at a gun show instead of the Russian Red Lancaster that I had my heart set on. The latter was such a POS that it almost turned me off from Ruger firearms forever, but that’s another story…

They have all long since been sold off, but I’ve developed the bug of late for a rifle chambered in an intermediate .30 caliber. I’ve been impressed with handling and shooting my buddy’s Arsenal SLR107, but I’m not crazy about the left-side folding stock or spending 4 figures on a piece of stamped ComBloc steel. Pricing also eliminates the higher end milled Arsenals like the SAM-7R, as well as anything from Krebs Custom or Rifle Dynamics.

Staying on the cheap side, the hot ticket seems to be another Century built rifle; either the Yugo M70 N-PAP or (if I decide that the barrel’s lack of chrome lining is a deal breaker) the American made C39. Both of these seem like decent quality, affordable gats for blowing through some cheap steel-case at the range.

On the other hand, I’m not 100% committed to the Kalashnikov pattern yet and the contrarian side of me wants to go with another oddball (despite the fact that I still have a bad taste left from that Mini years later). There’s always the VZ-58 series rifles from CZ, but they’re currently out of production (although still easy enough to find online) and require different mags than run-of-the-mill AKs. I don’t have much faith or any real interest in any of the lesser 7.62x39mm ARs like the Rock River LAR-47, and availability (or the lack thereof) rules out the unobtanium KAC SR-47. Ignore any reports you may have read about these rifles over the years, they simply don’t exist.

Pictured: the final resting place of the SR-47

Which brings me to the PTR 32.

Really, how can you say no to that face?

Match grade, chrome lined barrel, takes AK magazines (reviews indicate it prefers Bulgy Circle 10s, but who doesn’t), with HK durability and AK reliability. What’s not to like? Well, PTR Industries has them listed as “Temporarily Out of Production,” but they still turn up on Gunbroker and certain online dealers. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for a top railed version (Model 32 KFR) at the gun show this weekend.

Tuesday, Range Day

Enjoying this morning’s cool weather (71 degrees! although it was 81 when I finished), I took the opportunity to drive out and do some shooting in the desert as I’ve been itching to reshoot Dot Torture.

What followed was a comedy of errors:

1) My first attempt resulted in 35/50 from ~3m. It was difficult to diagnose any specific failing over the others, but I was very disappointed with my shooting from the draw using my usual AIWB holster*, especially considering this was something I worked on last week. This was maddening.

2) I used the better part of another box of ammo to work on my draw. From concealment, my splits were hovering around 1.83 seconds. I switched to my Blade-Tech OWB holster and got down to 1.36. Still too slow, as I’d really like to get these numbers down to 1.5 and 1.0, respectfully. Something else that needs more practice…

3) I had previously used the Surefire shot timer on my old iPhone 4S. It never worked very well for me and the entire phone gave up the ghost over the summer. In need of a replacement on short notice, I got an iPhone 5C only to find that the Surefire app is no longer offered in the iTunes store. I downloaded the Innovative Applications shot timer app over the weekend and today was my first time trying it out. Performance was spotty at best, no matter how I tried to dial in the sensitivity. This was not aided by the unusually strong winds (more of a brisk breeze, really, but still sufficient to blow over my target stand in the middle of a string). TANSTAAFL, so I guess I will finally be needing to pick up the real thing.

4) Shooting the drill two more times didn’t lead to any better results, but it did burn up the rest of my ammo. Infuriated, I compounded my errors and shot even worse when I tried again. Looks like I’ll putting in my order with Freedom Munitions sooner rather than later.

5) Upon reaching the 1,100 round mark, my G19 appears to have entered the terminal stages of “late model third generation Glock extractor syndrome.” One FTE in the first 700 rounds, two FTEs in the next 200, and today FIVE more, with four of them being classic stovepipes. In all cases, the ammunition used at the time of the failures has been Federal or American Eagle 115gr FMJ. The gun will be sidelined until I can replace the extractor, ejector and spring loaded bearing. More on PMCS issues in a later post.

6) After picking up my brass and packing away my range bag and target stand, I began to drive away only to find that I had left my shooting table folded up and leaning against the passenger side of my truck. Alerted by the sound of it sliding off the rear quarter panel and hitting the ground, I saw it in my side mirror and was able to stop in time to retrieve it. It was just a little extra kick while I was still mentally down from my performance.

As much as I would like to attend some high volume professional training, I feel like there’s currently just too many things I suck at to get the most out of such an opportunity and justify the cost, both in terms of time and cash outlay. It can be difficult not to feel disheartened about shooting after days like today, but I try to stay upbeat (a day on the range beats a day spent doing most anything else), take away the things I need to work on (re: all of them) and be more diligent with my dry firing routine in order to continue showing improvement.

*I practice on the range with a Dale Fricke Archangel but I carry in an RCS Vanguard 2. I find the VG2 more comfortable for sitting, bending, driving, and other daily activities, but the Archangel allows reholstering and doesn’t risk burning my junk after a long string of fire. Both have roughly the same angle for the draw, so I don’t feel too bad about using different gear to train with, and I still practice dry fire repetitions with my carry setup.

Week’s End – 05OCT2014

Starting with an iPhone shot from this past Tuesday’s impromptu solo range trip.

Shooting rifle and pistol at steel in BLM desert

Things to do in the coming week:

1) Finally finish reading The Lion’s Gate. It’s been sitting at fifty-some percent complete on my Kindle for far too long now.

2) Order a set of Magpul MBUS Pro folding sights for the AR. Also pick up some more B-8 Repair Centers.

3) Install and zero the aforementioned irons. Work on not sucking so much with pistol. Probably shoot Dot Torture to benchmark where I’m at. Maybe try the rifle version posted by Nate over at MCC if time allows.

4) In the same spirit as the above, I need to take the time to dry fire much more regularly. I’ve slacked off over the summer and this deficiency has shown itself in all aspects of my shooting.

5) Check out the Thursday night steel match at Phoenix Rod & Gun.

Deep breath. Another one in the books.