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[Belated] Memorial Day 2013

[Apparently I fumbled the scheduling for this which should have posted yesterday]

A quote from Abraham Lincoln:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Freedom is most certainly not Free – eternal vigilance is but one price; the highest price was paid by those we honor today.

h/t Knife Rights

Oklahoma Twister: Please Donate to Relief Fund

The news regarding just how devastating the Oklahoma tornado damage is just keeps getting worse.

Please donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund

If you know someone looking for a relative there, check the Red Cross Safe and Well registry.

Photo of the Day: Chiappa Mare’s Leg

Today I’m busy chasing down a lead on a better job so here’s a picture of Chiappa’s 9″ barreled Mare’s Leg they displayed at the NRA Annual Meetings.

Chiappa Firearms' new 9" bbl Mare's Leg

Chiappa Firearms’ new 9″ bbl Mare’s Leg

I like this version much better than the 12″ barreled models that are also available, because the 9″ barrel is most accurate to the iconic shortened Winchester 1892 that Steve McQueen carried in Wanted Dead or Alive. Chiappa chose to introduce theirs with the  “D” shaped lever from the early episodes but the tear drop shaped lever is also available separately.  Best of all, since it is manufactured as a pistol (not a shortened rifle), it can be transferred easily with no NFA paperwork.  Impractical as all get out, but cool as hell.

Steve McQueen

Picture of ProMag’s 10 Round MKA 1919 Magazine

New 10 round magazine for MKA1919 from ProMag

ProMag’s new 10 round magazine for MKA1919

Nobody else seems to have up a picture of it so I thought I’d post it here.  Image retrieved from the ProMag 2013 digital catalog disc I picked up at the NRA convention.  Midway’s site says it should be available 5/26/13.  I didn’t find mention of a mag coupler but the mid-body interruption of the waffle pattern may suggest one is in the works.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Custom Gun Storage Furniture

At the NRA convention this weekend there were several companies offering various ways of concealing firearms in furniture.  The different approaches and solutions to hiding firearms in plain sight vary by company but all are clever.

Secret Compartment Furniture has the most diverse collection of standard offerings of those at the show with products ranging from coat racks and night stands to bookshelves and headboards.  SCF’s designs depend on primarily on camouflage to keep your items safe and yet be quickly accessible but there are options an owner can install to increase security. Here’s an example of their curio cabinet:


SCF curio cabinet with long arm storage and second hidden drawer

Also exhibiting were the folks from LedgeLOKR.  LedgeLOKR appears as a display shelf or mantlepiece but include a drop down compartment that can hold firearms.  Features include a gas charged cylinder that quickly lowers the hidden contents but prevents the compartment from simply falling open and a very discreet locking mechanism that keeps access very quick and simple.

LedgeLOKR concealment shelf / mantlepiece

LedgeLOKR’s shelf is very impressive in its discretion and function

If you want the ultimate in customization and craftsmanship you might want to consider the ARMoire.   Each one is custom designed to the customer’s specifications.  The type of wood, finish, dimensions and storage configuration are all taken into consideration.  Options include electronic opening with fingerprint or voice recognition and the ability to be wired into your home alarm system.  Prices start at $10,500 for the base model and delivery time is stated at 90 days or less.

Each ARMoire is custom made to order with choice of dimensions, wood, finish and storage options

Each ARMoire is custom made to order with choice of dimensions, wood, finish and storage options

In partnership with the NRA, Jotto Gear offers an in-wall diversion safe that is a bit easier to accommodate for those of us currently working the Dave Ramsey plan.  The NRA Home Defense Cabinet is similar to products from Tactical Walls and Stash Vault but incorporates a biometric fingerprint scanner to release the locking gun racks within.  The scanner can hold up to 90 fingerprints (ten for you and the rest for whomever you choose) and can be recoded as needed.  The unit mounted directly between wall studs (16″ ctr to ctr) and the frame of the mirror that covers it is shipped unfinished so you can stain or paint it to match your existing decor.

Just an ordinary mirror?

Just an ordinary mirror?

I like the idea of concealed spaces just for the idea that if a thief doesn’t know about it, the contents can’t be stolen.  Seeing new concepts marketed that also allow for some level of security and still provide quick access is encouraging. 

Update: While composing this I stumbled on Gentlemint’s extensive list of interesting objects with secret compartments. It’s worth perusing.

Update2: Stash Vault’s website currently seems to be experiencing problems…

NRA Convention 2013: Friday (bonus)

Per the request of a friend, I asked the reps at the Smith and Wesson booth if they would consider making a special run of their X-frame (.500 S&W/.460 S&W) revolver as a 10 shot .357 magnum.

Their reply was a solid, “No.”

NRA Annual Meeting 2013: Friday (updated w/ pics)

Watch this space for updates. (all images are clickable to embiggen)
Additionally, check out my (relatively new) Twitter feed @1WithABullet

I tend to like gadgets and such so expect to see a few curiosities in here.  In fact, to start off here’s a picture of Mossberg 500 converted to accept Saiga 12 magazines by Black Aces Tactical.

Black Aces Tactical 'Pro Series Receiver' kit converts a Mossberg 500/590 to accept Saiga 12 magazines

Black Aces Tactical ‘Pro Series Receiver’ kit converts a Mossberg 500/590 to accept Saiga 12 magazines

It is currently sold as a kit, primarily consisting of a new receiver and bolt.  The fitting and action are well done and it has Type 3 hard anodizing on the receiver for a durable finish.

Next up is from Black Rain.  It’s an AK platform prototype currently called the ‘Freedom Fighter’.  Features include an easily manipulated thumb safety and also a right-sided mag guide that works much like a magazine funnel but still lets the shooter see the contact points necessary for rocking in a mag.  Mounted to the shoulder the stock placement is perfect the attached rail system.  Currently the arm is rather heavy but that is something that will be addressed as the design progresses.  Note also the AR-15 contained trigger unit (blue) that will be available soon.  It’s a single stage 3lb design that has a very nice clean break.

Looking much like the M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens is an AK pattern rifle prototype from Black Rain.

Looking much like the M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens is an AK pattern rifle prototype from Black Rain.

AP Industries, makers of excellent superlight carbon fiber handguards and shotgun speedloaders

AP Industries, makers of excellent superlight carbon fiber handguards and shotgun speedloaders

AP Industries is one of the companies that I specifically wanted to visit this weekend.  They make a fantastically lightweight AR-15 handguard that cleverly utilizes a standard barrel nut to attach the forend.  Additionally the handguards can be easily customized with rails, QD sockets and such that mount to the vent slots.  Their shotshell carriers and speedloaders are impressive too, with obvious care in design and machining.

Despite the ‘period of transition’ that Magpul is undergoing they still had quite a few new products to show.

Magpul's new AK magazine and pistol grip (with handstop)

Magpul’s new AK magazine and pistol grip (with handstop)

Magpul AK mag - closeup of non-tilt follower

Magpul AK mag – closeup of non-tilt follower

Not new but still good to see was the Stealth Gray furniture.  It’s darker that I thought it would be but looks good.  Notice that the forend is a midlength.  The new color is still in the pipeline but has been pushed back until the market is a bit less… frantic.

Magpul Stealth Gray - STR stock, MOE grip and Midlength Forend

Magpul Stealth Gray – STR stock, MOE grip and Midlength Forend

Magpul also has new steel back up iron sights (BUIS) called MBUS Pro’s and 1911 grips but my photos of those were not suitably in focus to post here.  I will try for better pics again tomorrow.

Another one of the ‘must see, must hold, “take my money now!”‘ items: the IWI Tavor.



Ergonomic and user friendly, I particularly like the way the bolt can be easily released by the hand inserting the magazine.  It appears that the only way to lock the bolt back is on an empty magazine though.  Trigger wasn’t bad but wasn’t great either (service grade), but then again it is a bullpup.

MKA 1919 tricked out for competition with side-charging handle on the forend and collapsible stock with 10 round magazine in place.

MKA 1919 tricked out for competition with side-charging handle on the forend and collapsible stock with 10 round magazine in place.

Some of you might have read my posts about converting my Saiga 12 and also using it in competition.  I still enjoy shooting it way more than I should however, I have been watching the development of the MKA 1919 as a competitive shotgun.  Partly because I am wary of low serial numbers, but also because magazines of greater than 5 round capacity were not readily available for the MKA 1919.  It offers several advantages over the Saiga platform, namely: straight-insertion magazines, ability to seat a magazine on a closed bolt, the magazine release button, bolt release and safety lever are in the same place as the M16/AR15 family, internally threaded choke tubes using the common WinChoke thread and it has a last round bolt hold-open.  The guys at imgww have railed hand guards with side-charging handles and collapsible stock modifications too.  Supposedly a replacement lower (not the serialized part) specifically designed to mount AR-type stocks is in the works also. Now that factory 10 rounders are available, even at $80 per mag, [down from $129 O_o although rumor is ProMag *cough* will be offering one for $33], I might have to consider getting one just for the cool factor.  I do love a ridiculously overdone [This is my] Boomstick.

Which leads me to my last pic of the day: EMF’s Baker Shotgun.  It’s esssentially Pedersoli’s Howdah pistol with a stock but it does have its own charm.  Charming in that you can blast your target and set it on fire at the same time.  (apologies for the lack of focus)

EMF Baker Cavalry Shotgun - Brutal Charm

EMF Baker Cavalry Shotgun – Brutal Charm

That’s it for today.  Check back for more tomorrow.

NRA Annual Meetings 2013: Send Me Your LiveBlog Requests

I will be attending multiple days of the NRA Annual Meetings in Houston, Texas (May 3-5th, 2013) and am offering to post pictures, Q&A answers, mini-reviews, etc. for my readers.  The Annual Meetings convention is like an ‘Everyman’s S.H.O.T. Show’ with hundreds of manufacturers displaying their products.  If you want a particular product picture, want a nebulous description of what it feels like in the hand or just want to know what Roy Jinks favorite ice cream flavor is let me know.  Just leave your request in the comments to this post and I will try my best to respond to as many as I can each day.