Monday, February 23, 2015


I had a very rare free night last week that enabled me to go blow off a little steam at the range. It had been a while since I had had a chance to play with my Ruger 22/45. Several months, in fact. I had upgraded the sights to the fiber optic front/v-notch rear sights that come standard on the Mark III Hunter sometime since the last range trip, and I was anxious to get it zeroed and see how they performed.

More importantly, I was anxious to see how I would perform. And not just because of the cobwebs that accumulate on the skills from lack of use either. The reason for the anxiousness (and the upgraded sights) is that my eyesight has been slowly getting worse, and I needed to see if the new sights would help or make things worse.

After reveling in perfect to near perfect eyesight all my life, I was slightly dismayed a few years ago to get the verdict from the eye doc that I was now farsighted with 20/25 vision. Okay, that's not the end of the world and well short of being legally blind. What he didn't tell me (or, perhaps, I didn't hear) was that presbyopia comes with the aging process.

Why is this important to shooters, you might ask? (you really should be asking, by the way)

For those not yet initiated or familiar with this "harmless" condition, presbyopia "is a condition associated with aging in which the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects." (source Wikipedia) See where this is going yet (no pun intended)? Yep, for me, everything inside of arm's length (and I've got a pretty generous wingspan), more or less, is a blur. That includes the front sight on most weapons.

Yes, my love affair with parentheticals marches on gleefully unabated (I would seek therapy, but where's the fun in that?)

Anywho, the sight upgrade was an experiment to see if the fiber optic front sight would stand out better to my, now less capable, eyes than the standard black front blade sight since focusing on the front sight is one of the cornerstones of proper marksmanship fundamentals.

And the short answer is...not so much.

In fact, if anything, the bright red front fiber optic sight was BLURRIER than the standard, black, front blade sight. Of course, that could just be my perception/memory from the last range trip many moons ago.

The blurriness made sighting in a chore until I bowed to the inevitable and put my cheater readers on under my safety glasses. It was a little awkward, but man was that front sight SHARP with the cheaters on. Of course, with the cheaters on, there was no distinguishing the point of aim at the target except in the most general sense of the word. There was a target shaped blob down range. Beyond that, it was put the front sight in the general middle and hope for the best.

So, no, there will be no photos of targets today.

I will, gratefully, tell you that all rounds found the target. I could manage a quarter sized hole at 3 yards. At 7 yards, the dispersion was not hideous with some rounds touching and others at least in the same zip code. At 15 yards, things were starting to really open up a bit (though not quite to shotgun pattern status), and I didn't press my luck at 20 yards.

That brings us to the $64,000 question of what do I (or anyone else with a similar problem) do about it.

The most expensive option is Lasik surgery. Not in the cards for me right now.

Next up is eyewear. Progressive (i.e. bifocals and no line bifocals) lenses are supposedly a viable workaround for the problem. I will be discussing this with my eye doc the next time I see which will be after I get a full time job again with the associated health and vision coverage.

Another option is to go with optics. The 22/45 has a rail on it which Ruger thoughtfully included in the box. I have a cheap red dot that I bought for it. Let's just say I was underwhelmed (perhaps I need to revisit it again with a renewed interest).

Red dots have their pluses and minuses like any other system. All but the best can be prone to washing out in bright sunlight. They require batteries (unless you want to drop over $1000 on an ACOG). Depending on the dot size, they are less precise than scopes. On the plus side, they put the target and the reticle on more or less the same focal plane which is where they become of interest to me. For a competition or bedside gun, this may not be a bad option.

Since this is not a home defense or low light gun, a handgun scope may be a better solution for this particular gun. Scopes are great for precision. Speed...not so much. Perhaps with practice, speed would improve. Then again, perhaps speed is overrated since the objective is to put rounds on target with precision.

Bottomline, if you are middle aged or getting there as fast as you can, it's probably a good idea to start thinking about how your eyesight is going to change as you age and how it will impact your ability to shoot. There are solutions, but you need to think about which will be the best for you for each application.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Podcast with Molon Labe Forum

Molon Labe Forum - Powered by vBulletin

Mez and I were lucky enough to spend some time talking with the gents from Molon Labe Forum.  One of my favorite things about SHOT Show is that we're surrounded by friendly, like-minded people.  Making that trip every year is like attending a family reunion.

If you're interested, and have a bit of time to eavesdrop in our conversation, click here.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

SHOT Show 2015: Various new items

This post will be a broad catchall for various manufacturers.  I do not have many pictures, if at all, due to the fact the resident photographer was not able to attend due to work commitments, not due to my laziness to take them.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

That being said, Most of the major manufacturers were disappointing in they had little that was new or revolutionary some of it was down right crap catering to tacti-cool instead of practical and useful.  Most of the new, innovative products came from small shops that will be highlighted in other posts.
In light of that, here are some cool items from various manufacturers.

Browning: (

Browning introduced a new 1911.  The 1911 - .380.  It is a 2/3 size 1911 chambered in .380.   This is a re-chambering of their 2/3 size .22 that has been out for years.
This is a neat product I want to check out in more detail myself.  It sits well in the hand, it a little larger than the standard pocket .380, but smaller than a full size gun.
I think it will do well as a concealed carry gun or as a fun range toy, even as training gun for new shooters who may not be able to hold onto a fullsize 1911 in .45.

Check it out, it is a cute little gun and I have high hopes for it.

Ruger: (

Ruger came out with a long list of new items for 2015.  Some items are very interesting.

1. BX-25 trigger assembly for the 10/22 rifles.  One of the big problems with the standard 10/22 rifle is the trigger.  It sucks.  Normally you call Volquartsen and buy one of their custom triggers, but those are $250 dollars and not very cost effective unless you are building a custom precision 10/22.  In comes the BX-25 trigger.  This is a factory produced trigger that gives  you a 2.5 - 3.5 pound trigger with a crisp, clean break.  All for $90.  Much better value than Volquartsen.
I look forward to checking this out for my 10/22.

2. Trigger for the AR-15 rifle.  Ruger has introduced their own trigger for the AR15 rifle.  The sample I tried was very nice.  If you are looking for a trigger upgrade for your AR, Ruger now gives you an option.

3. 10/22 Charger pistol.  Ruger has brought the Charger 10/22 pistol back but in a take-down version.  Combine this with the new BX-25 trigger assembly and you have a nice little .22 pistol that breaks down and is very back-packable.

4. LCR revolver now in 9mm.  Normally this polymer frame snub-nose revolver comes in .38 special and .357.  Now Ruger has chambered it in the popular 9mm cartridge.
It uses a moon clip to allow the cases to be easily ejected.
If you already shoot a 9mm pistol and want to try a snub-nose revolver but don't want to buy/reload for a different caliber, now's your chance.  Check out the LCR in 9mm.

5. LCP .380 pistol with improved trigger and better sites.  One of the problems with the LCP pistol is the uncomfortable trigger and crappy sights.  Ruger has now fixed these issues.
You might want to reconsider the Ruger LCP with these upgrades.

6. LC9 pistol - Now the favorite LC9 pistol comes with the option of a manual safety.

7. Synthetic stock for the Ruger Scout rifle.  This less expensive polymer stock replaces the heavier wood laminate stock but also lowers the cost of the rifle.

8. Wood laminate stock with adjustable length of pull now available in the 77 series bolt action rifles.
The length of pull is adjusted through the use of spacers.  Similar to what is used on the Scout rifle.

9. Bearcat .22 revolver now has optional adjustable sights.


1. Chassis system for the MVP line of bolt action rifles.  This was a common theme for SHOT 2015, many manufacturers were putting their bolt action rifles into chassis systems and this included Mossberg.  This is good for target shooters as you can choose your grip and buttstock to semi-customize the rifle to fit you.  And get the benefits of a fully free-floated barrel and the ability to add tacti-dodads such as lights or other optics such as night vision.

2. Fiber optic peep sight for their shotguns.  Very need and easy to see sights if you are looking for better sights for your shotgun.

IWI: The makers of the Tavor. (

1. IWI has reintroduced the Galil rifle.  The Galil Ace.  For those who don't know what a Galil is, it is an Israeli designed/built AK-47 rifle.  So whats the big deal, it's just another AK right?  Nope, the Galil is an AK-47 built right.  The Galil Ace now fixes many of the ergonomic short comings of the original Galil without sacrificing  quality or accuracy.
If you love the AK platform of rifles and want something that has better ergonomics and ability to attach optics and lights and other tacti-dodads, look at the IWI Galil.  It just may be what you are looking for.


1. Short stroke hammer system on cowboy revolvers.  This system is primarily designed for the mounted cowboy shooters who need to hold onto their guns while riding.  The hammer is shorter and wider and the cocking stroke has been reduced to make it easier to cock the gun.
It does eliminate the safety notch, but this is not a problem as competitors only load 5 rounds in the gun anyway.

2. Possible octagon barrel on their revolvers.  This is not officially in the catalog, but it should be.  Please pester Cimarron to add this to the lineup.  The octagon barrel is very sexy.

Winchester Ammunition:

1. .17 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum)

A couple of years ago, Winchester introduced a new rimfire cartridge aimed at giving varmint hunters closer to centerfire performance while still using the rimfire package. 
In comes the 17 WSM.  It fires a 20 grain bullet at 3000 feet per second or a 25 grain bullet at 2600 feet per second.  Think of it as a 17 HMR on steroids.  
This additional velocity should extend your effective range to 200-300 yards with a flatter trajectory and more energy (400 Ft-Lbs at muzzle, 200 Ft-Lbs at 200 yards) than the standard 17 HMR or .22 Magnum cartridges.  

If you are looking for more power out of your rimfire, then take a look at the 17 WSM.
I am now seeing the ammunition show up in stores.  Pricing is approximately $16-$20 per box of 50 rounds.  Not outrageous giving the power and performance.  If you want more performance you are stuck going to a centerfire round.  

By: Mez

SHOT Show 2015: Unique-ARs - making your AR personal and sexy

The AR15 rifle is one of the most popular and most sold rifles in America today.  One of the problems with the AR is it is made of Aluminum and Polymer parts.  It is very difficult to customize these materials unlike a fine piece of wood. 
You can Cerakote your AR rifle almost any color or colors you want but that is basically the extent to beautify your rifle. 

Now with Unique-ARs ( you can truly make your AR rifle your own.  Unique-ARs makes handguards with various designs for your rifle.
Choose from an off the shelf pattern or have your own design made into your handguard.  They can even drill and tap your handguard if you need to add picatinny rails for additional accessories. 

If you don’t like the basic black they can anodize or Cerakote your handguard and rifle to your liking.

Pricing will start at approximately $175 and goes up depending on the complexity of the design.  But this is on par with any other freefloat handguard you will buy on the market.  As comparison the new keymod handguards by BCM or Midwest Industries are $260 and $230 respectively.  Unique-ARs is very cost competitive especially since you are getting a custom handguard. 

Below are some samples of what Unique-ARs can do for you and your rifle. 
Who says Aluminum and plastic has to be dull and boring?

By: Mez

SHOT Show 2015: Target Stands - Right Now Range and Down Range Fabricators

Here are a couple of innovative target systems we found at SHOT Show 2015.

First up is the Right Now Range ( created by Neely Burks (Founder & CEO).  The Ready Range is a cardboard target system that is lightweight, portable, reusable, inexpensive and recyclable. 

The Right Now Range comes ready to use, find an appropriate place to shoot, unfold the Right Now Range, stake it out and you are ready to go. 
High quality targets are printed on the outside or tape your own to the front panels.  It also comes with a 3-tiered shelf for use with 3-D targets such as clay pigeons, tin cans, fruits, etc.  The shelf unit can be stored inside the main compartment for easy transport. 

Being cardboard, it is lightweight and highly portable.  No fear of richocets as with steel.  At $29.99 it is inexpensive.  Use the Right Now Range over and over until it no longer holds together, then send it to the recycler.   

I think you will get good value for your dollars with this product. 
We at The Gundivas are working to obtain a Right Now Range and will do a more detailed review in the future. 

The next item is manufactured by DownRange Fabrications, Inc.  (

Down Range Fabricators makes target stands for paper and clay pigeons.  What caught my eye was the hanger for clay pigeons.  These are inexpensive spring steel hangars used to hold up standard clay pigeons. 
You can use the stands manufactured by Down Range Fabricators or buy the hangars alone and create your own stand. 
The hangars are inexpensive, approximately .40 - .60 each and can be purchased individually or in packs of 10, 25, 50 or 100. 

See the website for details on how you can use these hangars. 
If you like shooting clay pigeons, check out DownRange Fabricators.  They have a unique product that will help you.

By: Mez

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Industry Day at the Range: Multiple Impact Bullet

Advanced Ballistic Concepts is a Colorado-based business that has introduced the Multiple Impact Bullet.  It piqued my interest and I took a moment to talk to Todd Kuchman about their product.

I'm not going to lie, these rounds are not cheap.  They're more expensive than the standard defensive round, but with a 14" spread from a .45 caliber round, that's a whole lotta center mass.  Unlike standard defensive rounds, these fragments are tethered together.  As the "bullet" leaves the barrel, it fragments into four pieces tethered together, so you end up with four points of impact: the middle slug travels down the center sight line, and the three tethered fragment spread to 14".  One shot, four points of impact.

It's a round I'm excited to try.

Monday, February 2, 2015

SHOT Show 2015: Thermal imaging for your Smartphone

Another unique item we found at SHOT Show 2015 was a micro thermal camera that attaches to your smartphone (Apple or Android).  It is produced by Seek Thermal ( and retails for $299.  Yes, that is a micro thermal camera for $299.  
See thermal signatures out to 1000 feet.  The XR (extended range) variant will see objects out to 2000 feet.  

Most other thermal imagers are out of the price range of the average consumer, Seek thermal  specifically designed this camera to be affordable by the masses.  The free app to run the camera can be downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play.   

I don't have much information, best to visit their website for detailed information. 

SHOT Show 2015: Nite Beams

One of the great things about SHOT Show is it is not all about guns or gun related products.  There are many other products that have other uses.  One of these products is NiteBeams.  (

Nitebeams makes LED lit safety products.  Products include Pet collars, leashes, arm bands, shoe laces, baseball caps, beanie caps, safety vests, even horse bridles.  All lit with LEDs to give you extra visibility up to ¼ mile radius.
If you don’t see a product that fills your need, give them a call, they might be able to prototype exactly what you need.   

Battery life is approximately 70-80 hours and most products are washable, just remove the electronics before washing.  Different color LEDs are also available.  LEDs can be solid or flashing.  
Pricing starts at approximately $20 and goes up.  Not an outrageous price for a valuable safety device with many uses. 

If you need to be seen, check out Nitebeam products. 

By: Mez

Industry Day at the Range: Magstorage Solutions

This product is something that I'm so in love with that I've actually become a dealer.

I don't know about you, but when the insanity hit Colorado and we found out we were going to be limited in magazine capacity, I bought mags for guns I didn't even own yet.  The result is that I have boxes of mags just taking up space.  Space that we really don't have in our 647 square foot house.  Magstorage Solutions is going to fix that.

You can mount this in your vehicle and not worry about losing mags.

I must have this.

You know you want a set, too.
The mags slip in securely with a satisfying "snap", but aren't impossible to remove.  The holders are easy to attach to a wall, with just four screws.  Since the attachment points are keyholes, if you need - for whatever reason - to take the whole thing off of the wall, just push the bottom of the holder up and slip it off.

Do you want to keep your mags in your gun safe with your rifles?  No problem, they've got an answer for that too.  With the neodymium magnet kit ($16.95), you can attach your mag holder to any steel door.

The wall unit (holds six magazines) retails on their website for $35.95 and the car unit (holds six magazines) retails for $109.95.

I like this product so much that I see a give-away in the future.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Industry Day at the Range: WM Tactical

Over the next few posts, Mez and I are going to be talking about the things that caught our eye at Industry Day.  In years past, we've spend a lot of focus on shooting the new toys and haven't spent any time in the non-shooting area.  This year, we set out to remedy that and we're so glad we did.  We got to see some really cool things that we might have overlooked on the show floor.

One of the booths we stopped at was WM Tactical.  What I would have given to have these multi-axis sights at my AR classes.  Since I did both classes with iron sights, having the ability to adjust them 45* to either side would have made my life so much easier on the 9-hole.

Life would have been so easy if I could have just flipped the sights to the left.
I had the chance to talk to the guys from WM, and this is what they had to say:

I have to admit, I'm sold.  The retail listed on their website is $299.95 and I wouldn't be surprised if a set showed up on my AR in the future.

Everybody Loves Kitten Videos

So I give you, Abby the Abandoned Shitten, in her RapDom Tactical beer koozie.  Every year, RapDom gives away beer koozies at their booth (though we use ours for wine bottles). 

Must protect the wine.

I've always wondered if it would fit a pocket critter like a teacup chihuahua (it doesn't) or a kitten.

I haven't been brave enough to try to strap it onto the shitten because she's sharp and pointy and not afraid to use her sharp, pointy parts.  My daughter came for a visit this morning and offered to help dress Abby.  We came out of it with surprisingly little bloodshed, though Abby may kill me in my sleep tonight.

In all honesty, cool factor aside, I've not had a chance to try their products, but they look to be well-built and sturdy.  Check them out if you're in the market for gear.  They have everything from gloves to bags.