In the works

So working a month straight at a time has benefits which include lots of overtime. It also has its negatives such as neglecting writing and keeping up on this bad boy. That being said I have completed my LR-308 build and its awesome if I do say so myself. I am going to get started on an article regarding that whole process. As always I have been recording and editing my weekly podcast with Allie Howe Guns of Hollywood. We will be releasing our 25th episode this Saturday so that is exciting. I came across a Nagant Revolver which I needed so today I put in for some pistol permits which is a blast as always.


Thanks for checking me out and reading what I have to say and checking the podcast out as well. I like that format a lot so I will be looking into starting a solo podcast soon. Either way I should have the LR-308 article out in a week or two so check back for that.






Case Study: Versatility of the 870 platform

The Beginning

For the most part the pump shotgun game is divided into two main camps; 870 or 500. Although there certainly are other pump shotgun makers out there that maker cheaper and more expensive versions of the pump shotgun the big two are Remington and Mossberg. When I was in the market for a pump gun I was basically making a choice between these two. I did not want something super cheap with no aftermarket, and I couldn’t spend the type of money to get into the higher end pumps. I became familiar with shotguns using the Remington platform and was used to the controls. Although I can operate a tang safety just fine having learned from O/U skeet gun I had for a time I still preferred the button safety. So my journey with the 870 began. I started out with a standard 26″ vent rib rem choke 870 express and this was fine. I left it well alone for at least a year and it was my constant companion to me whenever I went clay shooting.

The Beginning

First Permutation

My descent into madness began with the tacti-itch, that difficult to resist urge that most modern gun owners have to remove and semblance of traditional practicality and turn it into a liberals nightmare of blackgunnedness. This descent began simple enough. It began with a great deal on a 18.5″ cylinder bore, single front bead barrel that I found in the Bargain cave of my “local” Cabela’s. Quick and easy to switch between the 26″ and 18.5″ barrels for whatever reason I had the 18″ stayed on 90% of the time whether it was for skeet or hand thrown clays. I look back at this stage with the slightest tinge of regret because the dirty 18.5″ barrel with wood furniture gives that patrol car aesthetic that is still kinda cool.

I began thinking of furniture though because as I said this was a descent and it could not be stopped. I still to this day am just accepting the mantra of buy once cry once. Being a resident of the great state of New Jersey, we still have an AWB and pretty much the only thing you can have a collpsible stock on is a pump shotgun. Therefore I felt compelled to do so. I had my mind set on the pinnacle of of tacti-cool, the pistol gripped collapsible stock. I found a Blakhawk! Knoxx stock set for a good price at a gun show and jumped on it. After playing with the collapsible function of the stock for a while I was just tickled by my purchase. I proceeded to buy a Choate +2 extension and Mesa Tactical combination side saddle and picatinny rail. After throwing it all together I marveled at the tacticalness it possessed. I thought I was good to go, that is until I finally take it to shoot after all this tinkering only to realize the side saddle interferes with the new forend and wont cycle the gun. After a few four letter words and some pouting I packed it up for the day. All I had to do was simply take a Dremel to the forend so it would cycle. All is right in tacti-world again. This was until i put a red dot on top and realized my comb height was not nearly tall enough to get a decent and consistent sight picture. I then ordered some CAA m4 style stock cheek risers which did not fit he blackhawk stock because it is thicker than an m4 stock even though it looks the same. They would stay but weren’t exactly perfect so my sight picture still stunk. I  gave in and chose to go down to the basic stock, no dot, and do some clay shooting with it. It felt as if the stock was made out of a cheese grater. This stock may work for some but sure wasn’t working for me.


Modified Forend

The Cut to Make It Fit

Second and Final Permutation

So I basically took a gun that I could shoot a 23 hit round of skeet with and made it useless, fantastic.Inspiration came when I took my certification for hunter’s safety. Even though buying a compound bow got me interested in hunting I wanted to have the added flexibility of being able to partake in shotgun seasons as well. I took stock and realized the biggest problem was… THE STOCK. I also wanted to ensure that this gun would have some flexibiilty in its philosophy of use. I basically wanted a do-all gun and the 870 is the place to start. I wanted to have a viable defensive shotgun that I could also deploy as a hunting gun. I was almost all the way there just needed to get it to fit me properly. I needed that comb height for using anything rail mounted so I turned to Magpul. With the Magpul SGA stock I can add .75″ using oem parts and adjust that further with a little ingenuity if needed, I am a big guy so the available long length of pull is also nice. Removal of the pistol grip also returned the gun closer to original ergonomics and worked with the controls a lot better.

With the ergonomics improved I turned to aesthetics. I always turn to black as a color choice in most everything and was kinda tired of it. Plus I wanted to get closer to earth tones for the previously mentioned hunting applications for this firearm. So I chose to go with the Magpul stock in FDE. Now that I was settled on FDE I could not just leave the gun black with FDE furniture. I decided to go for broke and try and locate a Cerakote Applicator near me. I found Gus from Dynamic Combat Solutions through Cerakote’s website and after filling out a contact form was contacted via email. After talking logistics and checking out his Instagram Page I was convinced his shop was a good fit for me. I decided to go with burnt bronze which is an interesting color because it goes well with the FDE but gives a clear two toned definition to the gun, once you add the original black accent pieces I felt the look would be dynamite. I wasn’t wrong it came out great, Gus’s work was top notch I have a gun that looks sick, is a little easier to camoflague, and will withstand some abuse. This color changes depending on lighting. it gets bright and gold in hue in harsh bright light and gets a deeper browner color in shady light.With the addition of wraps and some naturally aquired ghillie style camoflauge this gun can certainly blend in with the wooded hunting grounds of New Jersey. With the current complement of barrels, optics options of the rock solid mount provided by the mesa rail, and the adaptibiity of the stockset; I am confident that there is not an application whether it be hunting, defense, or otherwise this system cant handle.  It was a long journey and well worth it, I learned a lot.


Finish is a bit darker in subdued lighting.


View Through ability of Mesa Rail


The Finish Looks Brighter and More Golden In Harsh Bright Light


The Gun

Conclusion and Future

I certainly did learn a lot about my buying habits and what is important in the gear we buy. My advise would be if you are interested in a bit of kit that you arent already familiar with get some range time with it first before you put your time, money, and sanity into it. Currently all I am running is the standard comb height and bead and fiber optic from sights. I am upgrading the 26″ barrel to a  more robust light pipe fiber optic system to make it more distinct while viewing through the rail. As for the mounted optics I am looking at getting a rail mounted ghost ring system either through LPA sights or Hi-viz. These would provide back up to a Vortex Optics SPARC 2.



Softcore DIY: Magnetic Gun Storage

All guns have something in common… metal. What works with metal and metal alone? Magnets. Magnets can be very useful in different facets within the shooting sports from organization to defensive storage. There have been some entrepreneurs who have refined this and  marketed the benefits of magnets for the average shooter. I was drawn to magnets while wandering through Harbor Freight one day. My issue that I needed to fix was storage. I have one of those smaller Stack-On 8 gun cabinets that had been proving unmanageable, While all my guns where in their homemade gun socks (more on that on a later post), pouches, or cases I always found it difficult to organize my long guns amidst a sea of handguns that just wouldn’t stay put. At first I bought one little 15 pound magnet which I affixed a picture frame hook to and was able to hang my little Ruger SR-22 by its pouch’s zipper. With this success I was sold. I went back the next day and found that they sell 2 packs of 65 pound rated magnets with built in hooks for like 6 bucks. Now these hooks are not that long and are metal so just hanging the gun from the trigger guard is not an option. That being said zip ties are your friend. A zip tie on my little homemade pouches make for a great loop to put on the hook. Holsters can be zip tied to hang from the hooks as well. if you desire the trigger guard hanging method then the hookless magnets and some fasteners from Home Depot can rig up quite well. Your only limited by your ingenuity.

Another type of storage that someone created a product for is defensive readiness. For use in places where a cabinet safe or lock may not be practical a magnet is used. It’s a strong magnet that is coated with a non marring rubberized finish and comes installed on a mounting bracket. I am going to look into mocking up a prototype DIY version twice as strong for less than a quarter of the price and will write that up once I finish that up.

The spirit of this series  that I’m starting is that of ingenuity and since each person’s setup and needs are a little different, I feel these posts to be only the beginning or the rough draft of the possibilities one can create with some basic tools and a little sweat equity.


Please forgive the poor photo quality taking a picture of shiny things in a harshly lit cabinet interior proved too hard for my iphone.

DIY Magnet

Check it out.

Check out one of my latest reviews on Rimz Review.


Going on another Gun and Gear Review Podcast Tonight and will be discussing many things including my coming review of the Henry Classic Lever Action .22

Decisions Decisions.

Every now and again a gun owner enters periods of intense desire for firearms which can be met with not enough money to facilitate all the interests at that time. Here in NJ I find this typically is exacerbated by the handgun permitting system that we have. The troubles of getting new permits tend to make people get at least two or more at a time. This may not seems too bad but when you add the 90 days expiration and one gun a month (OGAM) policy it adds to an even more stressful buying experience. 

I find myself in such a quandary, two permits coming soon and a myriad of choices and interests in what to buy. Ive narrowed my interests into a few things. The first will be a compact level carry gun in the vein of Glock 19 or S&W M&P9c. Next I have fallen in love with modern S&W J frames which although perfectly acceptable carry guns have certain drawbacks which make compact semi-autos more attractive. The two wildcards that I ran across are the Ruger SR-22 and the Walther PPX. Decisions decisions, what’s a man to do. 

To make these decisions more difficult me and two friends who share the costs and manpower of reloading are going to be upgrading from a Lee single stage to a Dillon progressive, as well as a bulk order of components. Enough whining on my part all this rationalizing and interest in concealed carry brought me to an article from The Detroit News the full article can be found HERE

Bottom line is something that I have always agreed with, the more law abiding citizens having and carrying legal firearms, the safer society will get. Apparently the Chief of Police agrees.

One step forward let us hope there won’t be two back.

The full article from the Chicago Tribune can be found here.

In short a U.S. District Judge ruled Chicago’s city wide ban on both retail and personal sales of firearms to be unconstitutional. This starts to get you all warm and fuzzy for the 2A until the realization hits that it is not a done deal. There is still time for the city to appeal, which under the command of Rahm Emanuel is not unlikely. He is already outspoken against the decision. The city has even jokingly blamed the glut of illegal guns in the city on lenient state and federal laws. Yeah I’m sure all the saturday night specials and mac 10s were straw purchased. The city stated “We need stronger gun safety laws, not increased access to firearms within the city.”, give me a break.

As evidenced in the past, I’m sure the powers at be will find other ways to suppress the second amendment rights of its residents. Which is why I titled this entry as I did.


NJ Bonus: I actually had an audible response when I read this bit, “The latest court ruling in the long legal fight came one day after Illinois, the last state to approve a concealed carry law, began accepting applications from residents who want to carry concealed firearms in public.”. Oh really, NJ has a concealed carry law, could have fooled me. Although we are a “may-issue” state, it’s laughable. My completely non scientific research goes as follows. In NJ where I currently live and have lived in for most of my life I know anecdotally of a handful  of people who have carry permits, I’m talking count on one hand, handful here. These people only have their permits based on the fact their business is in guns or they transport a lot of cash frequently, which makes them targets. Who they know probably doesn’t hurt either. To contrast that, when I was living in Ohio and Michigan I knew a bunch of people, personally, who had carry permits and carried often. These were average blue collar folks, college professors, and grandmothers. Im talking a wide spectrum of folks, who for a small fee and training exercised their second amendment rights freely.



My First Podcast.

I recently took part in my first podcast on Gun and Gear Review for The Firearms Radio Network. I had a great time talking with Jake, Ryan, and Joe. You can watch the recording of the google hangout on youtube.