Picture of the Day – The SIG P228

There was a time in law enforcement that the SIG Sauer P228 was the quintessential Fed gun.  It was issued or authorized by many Federal agencies such as the FBI, and USSS.  The P228 was a great handgun to carry for plain clothes assignment, as it has great balance, and could be shot very well.  In modern days of plastic handgun, the P228 still has class.  It truly is the benchmark of the classic SIG line.

Photo of the Day: Dry Fire Training Setup

This photo was sent to us by one of our more dedicated students after he discovered Next Level Training’s SIRT pistol. Though optimized for the laser training pistol and rifle bolt, this can be used with virtually any dry practice setup. An A-frame ladder can be utilized for virtually any conventional or unconventional braced position. With this setup, your training is truly only limited by your imagination. Single target and target to target transitions are just the beginning. So stop making excuses and start off the year right with some solid training.

Made In The USA: Two AR Related Issues Solved


I recently completed a stripped Gen 2 Noveske Chainsaw Grade lower and topped it off with a BCM mid-length upper with a Centurion Arms rail.  For my optic I chose both a Trijicon ACOG (the compact 1.5 X 16S, see here) or a short base EOTech (see here).  A good looking, well set up AR with optics, Made In The USA!  For white light, I mounted a Surefire X300 Ultra.   Fits and looks good, and is lightweight  . . . I even like the way the activation switches work, except for one issue, see below.  (Prior Jerry Jones MSW post about the Surefire is here).

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Photos of the Day: Old School Blaster by Hilton

I set the time machine back about 10 years to revisit with the very first full house custom 1911 that Hilton built for me. I carried it on duty for a few years before retiring it to range duty. Before its retirement, it got shot quite a bit. Over 20,000 rounds through it, including a fairly steady diet of my agency’s then-issue Winchester 230gr Ranger +P (RA45TP) round. Eventually it was too much for the Kart barrel, which cracked from the barrel lugs to about halfway down the barrel.

The pistol went back to Hilton, who tightened the slide to frame fit, and fit up a rare National Match barrel and bushing set produced on contract by Israeli Military Industries. These barrels look and shoot great. The pistol also wears a prototype rear sight that later became the production 10-8 sight. Continue reading

Photo of the Day: Robar Guns Glock Slide

Back in August, Hilton and I had the pleasure of touring Robar Guns‘ facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Our friend Freddie Blish gave us the full tour and an education on the NP3 process along with its advantages and applications. He turned us on to a few slides they still had in stock for builds, so Hilton and I both ordered complete top ends for our Glock 17s. These slides come complete with all small parts, a match barrel and we supplied the 10-8 sights. All the metal parts on the top end are coated with Robar’s excellent NP3 finish, and the custom slides come with the corners tastefully contoured and useful front slide serrations.

I’ll be doing a full range report when the schedule lightens up a bit.



The SIG SAUER P224-9-SAS-DAK is one of several variants of the new P224 branch of sub-compact SIG SAUER Classic Line Pistols.

The new SIG SAUER P224 pistols are now making it to the market on a regular basis and this one is mine.  Holding true to all the quality, accuracy and ergonomic features of the SIG SAUER Classic Line pistol family, the P224 is the first of the sub-compacts for this line.

About the size of a G26, the 9mm P224 holds 12+1 in 9mm and 10+1 for the .40 and .357 SIg variants.  This particular model came with 2, 12 round magazines.  An added feature of the P224 is that it will accept and run the larger magazines from the P226 and P229 pistols.  A sleeve is in development to fill the gap between the mag base and the end of the grip for the P229 magazines.

The SAS, or SIG Anti-Snag, model has had all the sharp edges blended and since it is a DAK it lacks the de-cocking lever assembly. The DAK or, Double Action Kellerman, is a DA trigger system that runs at about 5.5# and does not stack.  It makes for a very smooth and consistent DA only trigger action. Combine that with the rounded butt, E2 Grip System, smooth edges and minimized slide catch lever and you have a very slick and concealable package.  Knowing that I can carry 30+1 rounds of 9mm between the gun and a single spare P226 magazine gives me added confidence in the gun overall.

There are several variations of the P224.  They, along with all the pertinent specs, can be found here on the SIG SAUER web site.

I’ll be shooting and hopefully carrying this gun over the next few months and will post updates as I progress.


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: Robar Glock

On our recent visit to Phoenix (AZ) for our 1911 Armorer’s Course, we had the pleasure of visiting with Freddie Blish and Robbie Barrkman of Robar Guns. Known for his extremely durable firearm finishes and Glock modifications, we took a look at one of his creations. This custom Glock is built on a Robar slide, Robar match barrel, and modified Glock frame with grip reduction, texturing, and beavertail. The slide is machined for the Trijicon RMR with suppressor height BUIS. The trigger work is superb with minimal take-up and a clean break.

I had not been all that excited about custom Glocks as it goes against my Glock philosophy, but these guns made me change my mind. I have a custom slide on order, and as soon as my G17 frame arrives, I will be sending it off to Robar. The texturing is especially nice, as it offers a grippy surface without being abrasive. The grip reduction removes the finger grooves and the high cut underneath the trigger guard improves the ergonomics more than I would have expected.

As expected, the slide is coated in PolyT2 and barrel is coated with the ultra slick NP3 for great corrosion resistance and enhanced lubricity.

Visit robarguns.com for more information.

Photo of the Day: Student M45A1

It is now officially Day Two of the 10-8 Consulting 1911 Armorer’s Course. One of our intrepid students brought their fairly rare MARSOC M45A1 to class to work on. It has already been through a high round count pistol course, and belongs to an educated end user who knows how to keep his 1911s running. It was no surprise it passed all our function tests with flying colors.

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.

Photo of the Day: M45 Spring Testing

Our friends at the Colt Custom Shop graciously supplied us with some of the dual recoil springs and guide rods for long term testing in other 1911 platforms. As seen in my earlier article on the M45 Spring System, the dual spring system does function in a standard 1911 platform, but we will be looking at long term results, such as long term reliability and whether or not there are adverse effects on the slide and frame. Stay tuned!

Photo of the Day: Visiting with an Early 1911 Build

Today’s photo of the day is one of my early projects from almost 10 years ago. I built it on a Colt 1991A1 with all the Series 80 parts in tact. I spent a lot of time on the trigger and adjusted the timing of the S80 parts so that they are transparent to the shooter. After about a year, the original Ed Brown thumb safety sheared, so it was replaced with a strong side only CMC unit that I had in the pile. I also replaced the slide stop with an early 10-8 unit for good measure. All the parts were addressed by hand, including removal of all machine marks from the frame and slide, thorough dehorn, and polishing of all the pins. The S&A magwell was also blended by hand with external recontouring inspired by a build I had seen from Larry Vickers. I can’t take credit for the scallops; they were done as a favor to me by Stan Chen back in the day. This pistol has some good honest wear on it, which looks nice on the satin blue finish. Bluing doesn’t protect nearly as well as modern polymer finishes, but boy it looks a lot better when it wears. Just don’t keep it around salt water.

Photo of the Day: Goldmember’s 1911?

While visiting my buddy’s local gun shop, I saw this in the repair bin and knew I had to share it. The pistol appears to be plated with actual gold, and fully engraved. You get exactly ONE guess as to what caliber for which the pistol is chambered. You’ll notice even the sights are plated. Just goes to show you that the taste some people have exists only in their mouth.