Loaf of Bread, Gallon of Milk

In the south (I’m sure that it exists nation wide) there is a reckoning that comes with each pending snowfall.  Every local store will be ravaged of its supply of milk and bread.  The weather guessers can predict a light dusting, or 1-3 inches per hour all night, and near fist fights will break out over milk and bread.  Now, mind you, the loaf of bread/gallon of milk crowd all know that it is winter.  Kentucky winters are unpredictable at best.  But, the potential for loaf of bread/gallon of milk always exists.  And basic winter weather preparation doesn’t change.  But, like some strange, unexplainable phenomenon, each time there is snow, a fist fight is in the works over who gets the last loaf of Wonder bread.  It matters not that the day after this predicted one inch snowfall that it predicted to have a high of 52 degrees that day.  Loaf of bread, Gallon of milk. Continue reading

NEW- Hornady “American Gunner” line of ammunition

Hornady is expanding their ammunition offerings in 2015.  One of the products will be the new “American Gunner” line.  I recently came into a couple of boxes of the stuff from another gun writer who was in one of my classes.  (Thanks Tom!) Continue reading


When searching for the “best” ammunition for EDC, premises defense, or the downright silly (but dreaded nevertheless) “zombie apocalypse,” you will likely consider using a law enforcement product, even if you are not an LEO.  Whether for pistol, AR-15, or shotgun, you will likely choose products from these brands/loads:






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Dollar Ammo Club? Check out SendMeAmmo.com

SendMeAmmo.com guarantees regular delivery of top rate ammunition at a reasonable price.

With all the goings on in today’s politics, I am constantly reminded of the tenuous nature of shooting as a hobby. Looming regulations combined with increasing demand for copper and brass drive many folks to hoard ammunition simply when it is available, let alone when it is cheap. Only recently has 9mm production caught up to demand. Not long ago, .223 Remington went for as much as $2000/case on Gunbroker during the height of the scare in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Building up a stash of spare ammo was really the only effective way to insulate yourself from the ever fluctuating supply and demand of practice or hunting ammunition. Until now. Enter: SendMeAmmo.com.

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The 357SIG Cartridge

I purchased my first pistol chambered in 357SIG in late 1995 or early 1996.  It was a SIG Sauer P229.  I had purchased it after reading about the cartridge/gun combination in Velocity magazine.  I bought the gun and loved shooting it.  After a while, it became really expensive to feed, and it was traded for something else to which I don’t remember what.  Over the years, I have purchased guns chambered in 357SIG, kept them a while, and traded them off or sold them.  I have always been enamored with the cartridge, but the not the cost. Continue reading

Distance, Sight Choices, and Some Random Thoughts.

Here of late, I have been involved with some interesting conversations on active shooter problem solving.  I will acknowledge up front that this thought process is somewhat flawed, and borderlines on the academic.  I will also acknowledge that I don’t have all the active shooter answers.  The answer I think we all can agree upon is the fact that good guys with guns is the answer to the active shooter/mass homicide problem. Continue reading

Situational Awareness at the Range


People are often prone to advocate that we should do everything in training exactly as we would do it “for real.” And in the vast majority of instances, I believe their argument has merit. However, we need to adjust our behavior sometimes based on safety concerns, range limitations, and other less than real factors, such as training ammunition. Frangible ammunition has been discussed here in the past but I am here to give you another example of how we need to be attentive at the range. The photo above shows a comparison photo of the front portion of a frangible round that was recovered from a shooter’s AR style rifle. Yes, the rifle type is important here. Continue reading

First Look- SIG MCX Carbine in 300 Blackout.

Last week, I was out at the SIG Academy teaching a class when one of my friends who is one of their engineers showed up with all kinds of cool stuff.

One of these items was a suppressed SIG MCX in 300 Blackout.  I didn’t have a lot of time due to teaching, but I ran enough ammo through it to say without a doubt…….wow. Continue reading

Review: Hornady Practice 223 Ammunition

Hornady Practice 55gr Ammunition in .223, shot alongside Black Hills Mk262 for comparison. Test platform is a LaRue Tactical Stealth upper receiver atop an LMT lower receiver with Geissele SSA trigger group.

Demand for ammunition is as high as it has ever been, and in response, the big three have been cranking out cartridges as fast as they can. Many folks have reported a noticeable decline in quality control, noting function issues, or degradation in accuracy. Winchester “white box” and Federal XM bulk packs have been a staple of mine for training for a long time, and while quality has been generally pretty good overall, this seems to have been variable over the years. A while back, my good friend, Gunsite Instructor Giles Stock turned me onto a loading  that Hornady had put together specifically for law enforcement agencies looking for high quality training ammunition at a reasonable cost.  Continue reading

A Different Look at the .300 Blackout

110gr and 208gr .300 Blackout loads with 5.56 M855 Green Tip in foreground.

When it comes to tacticool ninja stuff, the .300 Blackout cartridge is one spoken of in hushed tones.  Even if we ignore its fabled use by Fox Force 5 and other velcro clad, tobacco chewing, bearded warriors, its conceptual benefits as an urban CQB cartridge are quite clear.  The problem is, once we get away from the mystique, is adoption of the .300 Blackout a smart move for agencies and teams? Continue reading

An Interesting Recoil Spring Failure

We were on the range the other day doing some T&E work, and my partner was shooting his HK 416 from prone from 50 yards.  I decided to be a smarty, and stepped up on the line beside him, and shot his target with my M&P .40.  I was trying to hit where he was attempting to shoot a group at in an attempt to mess with him.   Continue reading

Reloaded Ammunition Concerns

It should not be a surprise to anyone that it is difficult to get consistent supplies of ammunition these days. Unfortunately, that means that the quality of what is being fed into our guns might be a bit (lot) lower than it has been for a while.

It has been several years since I’ve worked on a pistol that suffered a ka-boom. Last month, a personally owned Gen 3 Glock 22 came across my bench at work after one of those events. The owner had been firing frangible rounds from a commercial reloader. I ended up having to replace the internals in the slide. Continue reading


Let’s see what we have (embedded hot links for the curious): 

·        Smith & Wesson stainless “no-lock” L frame revolver, Model 686-4 (Distinguished Combat Magnum Plus, 7-shot round butt) in the 2.5 inch variation, circa 1996, one of the last with a hammer mounted firing pin

·         Ammunition by Buffalo Bore, “Tactical Short Barrel Lower Recoil Low Flash” 158 gr. .357 Magnum JHP (other loadings available), brass by Starline, velocity > 1,000 fps

·         Craig Spegel checkered extended boot grips

·      ·  Lobo Gun Leather “Enhanced Pancake” holster, nice design, appearance, and fit, maker delivers reasonable price and turnaround time

      Quality made in the U.S.A. products, making a highly concealable, versatile, capable, and reliable carry package.  A carry package not commonly seen, but quite a serious contender and still formidable in 2013.

      [Also pictured, not made in the U.S.A.:   Quickstrip™ reload strip (8-shot, loaded to 6) by Tuff Products  (maker/vendor of nifty, well thought-out specialty items)]

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Mk 262 Ammo from Colt?

Not long ago, Colt introduced a new line of ammunition they call their “Hunting and Defense Match”, which is manufactured for them by the renowned ammunition company, Black Hills. Loaded to 5.56 NATO specifications, the 77 grain variant is essentially the Mk 262 Mod 1 Black Hills offering in a Colt box. It’s currently distributed by Midway USA and was in stock until recently. Let’s hope more comes in soon.

Pic Of The Day: Old School Frangible Ammo

During some recent cleaning of the shop, I blundered into a few boxes of these archaic 9mm frangible rounds from the 90′s.  Longbow was one of very few manufacturers offering frangible ammunition back in the 90′s, and this ammo looks quite primitive by modern standards.  I shot the other boxes I found, and the totally square bullet profile actually fed 100% in my M&P.  The primers did not all light off, typical for lead free primers and actually not bad for 20 year old ammo.  In unearthing these ghosts of ammo past, it brought up a few important thoughts that readers should consider if using frangible ammunition. Continue reading