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Firearms Safety

SIG P226 Winchester Ammo

Get a new gun for Christmas?  Congratulations!  Owning a firearm is a very positive thing, but it comes with the very serious responsibility of safe handling, storage and use.


A firearm will never discharge without human intervention.  This means a loaded gun laying on the table is no threat to anyone, unless a person walks over and begins to handle it.  So, the firearms community developed a set of four rules to follow when handling a firearm.

All firearms are always loaded – Always treat a firearm as if is loaded.  Even if you just checked it, always assume it is loaded.  There are many cases where someone thought the gun was unloaded, and tragedy struck because it was not.

Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy – Don’t point a gun at your friends, wife, husband, dog, TV or anything else that would be hurt, killed or destroyed by a bullet.  If you accidentally discharge a firearm that is pointed in a ‘safe’ direction, no one is killed.  If you are pointing the gun at a loved one…

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Here in the United States, we take one day off every year to pause and reflect on those things which we are thankful for.

I am thankful for my family: my wife, children, and parents. Each of them has made me a better person by setting examples and inspiring me to be more than I am today.

I am thankful for my country.  Here I am free to pursue my dreams, worship God in my own way, and to live my life free of fear.  No other country in the world has done more to foster freedom and liberty in the world than the United States.

I am thankful for the men and women who willingly stand up and walk into harm’s way to protect the citizens of my country.  Whether you carry a M4 in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, stand watch on an aircraft carrier, or drive a patrol car through the cities and counties of our own country, each of you stands up every day and goes where others will not, to defend our fellow citizens, asking only one question: If not me, then who?

I am especially thankful for Marcus Luttrell and all of the servicemen in our country’s elite fighting units who are called upon far too frequently to walk into battle, to do the impossible missions that are asked of them.  These soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen willingly suffer more, mentally and physically, than we have a right to ask of them.  Yet, they refuse to stop or quit because their countrymen still need them.

I am thankful for the medical technology, and a free and competitive market that has given it to us.  Our current health system helped my father beat cancer more than 20 years ago, and it is helping my mother beat it today.  Our health system saved the life of my wife and our daughter, when she was giving birth and complications arose.  Under a socialized form of health care, I would be without these people, and as such I am very thankful for the men and women of the United States who have stood up to fight against the current health care bills in the US Congress.

Lastly, I am thankful for you, dear reader.  You have chosen to spend some small part of your day to visit, read, comment, and support my sponsors.  Without you, I would not be able to do this.

Thank you.

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May Preview

Welcome to May.  This month I have some exciting evaluations planned for you.  Included in this month’s evaluations: custom hearing protection, zombie killing flashlights, and AR accessories.

Hearing protection may not be a sexy topic, but it is a serious one.  For you to keep your hearing and to enjoy a lifetime of shooting, some type of protection is a must.  There was a time that custom-molded earplugs and electronic ear muffs were out of reach for most shooters due to their high prices.  Well, this month, I take a look at some custom-molded earplugs that sell for less than $15 and electronic ear muffs that go for less than $50.

I also have an evaluation of a new tactical flashlight that runs on AA batteries, but throws more than 600 lumens! To describe this light as bright is a major understatement.

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Corrosion Protection: Which Gun Oil Works?

Pick up a copy of the Brownells or Midway USA catalogs, and you can find a wide selection of gun oils and protectants that are supposed to provide corrosion protection for your firearms.  But how can you tell which ones are the best?

Fortunately, several people have done some research to help give you an idea on which oils provide good rust resistance.

Over at,  there is an article called “Corrosion Protection Products: How to Keep Your Rifle Rust-Free in Storage.”  In this evaluation, corrosion protectants were tested: Break-Free, Corrosion-X, Eezox, FP10, Rem-Oil, Slip2000, Strike-Hold, and Mobil 1 15W50 (motor oil).  Using a salt water spray in the testing, they found Eezox and Corrosion-X provided the best protection, though I was very impressed by Break-Free’s performance.

I also encourage you to check out the article “GUN CLEANING CLINIC: Knowing The Limits Of Rust Preventives” on the Brownells website.  In this test, the following products were tested:  Birchwood Casey Sheath, Boeshield T-9, Break-Free CLP, Break-Free Weapon Wipes, Brownells Cosmoline, Brownells Rust Preventive No. 2, Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil, Rig Universal Grease, Tetra Gun Lubricant, Valvoline 5W-30 motor oil, and WD-40.  In the Brownells test, the samples were left in an outdoor environment for 72-hours, during which they experienced high temperatures and a rainstorm.

The best performers in the Brownells test were Boeshield T-9, Brownells Cosmoline, and Rig Universal Grease for long term storage, and Brownells RP2, Tetra Gun, and WD-40 for corrosion resistance that is usable on your daily carry guns.

Of course, both tests tend to demonstrate the extremes of hardship on your guns.  I would imagine with just a little care, any of the products would be capable of protecting your firearms.  However, everyone can, on occasion, get caught in a rainstorm or otherwise expose their gun to the elements.  In those cases, picking one of the better protectants may prevent some rust from showing up on your hunting rifle or concealed carry pistol.

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Good Gun Deals Can Still Be Had

For the past couple of years, gun and ammunition prices have been creeping upward.  Since the 2008 elections, the prices on some firearms have skyrocketed.  If you are in the market for a firearm, don’t be afraid: good deals can still be had.  You just have to be patient, and be ready to deal with cash when you find something you want.

Smith & Wesson 64 NYPD

For example, a friend of mine at work had a nice NYPD Smith and Wesson model 64-1 revolver.  This was one of the last revolver models approved by the NYPD for carrying.  My friend, a retired NYPD cop, was keeping his full-sized duty gun but was trying to get rid of this one, a 2″ barrel K-frame with a bobbed hammer.  He only wanted $100 for it.  I was willing to buy it sight unseen at that price, and cash quickly exchanged hands.  As a Smith and Wesson revolver guy, I can’t resist picking up a pre-lock gun that has some history behind it.

In another example, my father called me just a little while ago.  One of his friends has some pistols he is looking to sell for some extra money.  For $150, my dad picked up an unfired FEG P9R with two magazines, holster, and ammo.  Looking around at some of the auction sites, the same gun starts at $295 and goes up from there.

Recently, a local police academy was liquidating some of their unused inventory.  Back in a corner of their firearms vault were more than a dozen Ruger Mini-14’s.  Most of the rifles were unfired, and none had ever been issued for use on the street.  In fact, most of them had merely sat in the vault for about a decade, completely unmolested.  The price?  $250 each.  I missed out on that deal but would have bought every one of them if I could have.

The point I am trying to make is this: unless you must purchase a specific firearm today, be patient.  Ask around at work, at church, and at other gatherings.  There is always someone who has a gun but would rather have some money.  Once people know you are in the market for something, word of mouth will bring the deals to you.  You just have to know what you want and be willing to pay cash immediately.

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Gun Gifts: Christmas Shopping Ideas For The Firearms Enthusiast In Your Life

Trying to figure out what to buy the gun-guy or gal in your life for Christmas?  Here are a few ideas:

Less Than $20

In the Gravest Extreme, Stressfire, and the The Gun Digest Book Of Concealed Carry are all excellent books written by Massad Ayoob.  I highly recommend each of them.  Another very good book for someone interested in self protection is Armed Response: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Firearms for Self-Defense by David Kenick, which I reviewed here.

Most ammunition can be purchased for less than $20/box.  For a single box, your local dealer is probably the best vendor.  For a larger quantity or for harder to find calibers, an online vendor like Natchez Shooters Supply, AmmoMan, or Midway USA is the best bet.

Speaking of ammunition, quality AR-15 magazines can still be had for less than $20. My favorites are the Bownells with the Magpul anti-tilt followers, but I also like the Magpul PMAG polymer magazines.  Brownells is shipping as quickly as they come in, so if you order ASAP, they will likely be shipped before Christmas.

Bore brushes, cleaning patches, solvents, and oils are always needed and a good idea as a stocking stuffer. My current favorite CLP is from Rand Innovations. Check out my review here.

Less Than $50

A NRA membership is perhaps the most important gun-related gift anyone can give this year.  $25 includes a magazine of your choice plus all of the standard benefits such as firearms insurance, life insurance, legislative updates, and much more.

Handgun magazines are a useful gift.  (The metal/polymer kind, not the paper mailed to you monthly kind.)  With the run on all-things-gun, certain magazines, such as the Glock, have gotten more expensive ($25-30 typically), but almost all common handgun magazines can be had for $35 or less.

More Than $50

A high intensity flashlight such as the inexpensive SureFire G2 Defender or the ultra-powerful Streamlight ProTac HL 3 are excellent choices for tactical lighting.

streamlight and batteries

If your someone special owns a J-frame Smith and Wesson revolver, the Crimson Trace LG-405 Grips are an excellent purchase!  Trust me, you surprise your significant other with a set of these, things are very good on Christmas morning!

While an AR-15 is certainly more sexy, the ubiquitous .22 rimfire rifle is a fun rifle to shoot plus it is inexpensive to purchase and keep fed with rimfire ammo.  Nearly every rifle maker has at least one .22 rimfire in their line.  Ruger’s 10-22 is pretty much the gold standard, but I really like the inexpensive, tube fed Marlin 60, which can be had for less than $150 at your local dealer or even WalMart.

Price Is No Object

If price is not a consideration, a training at the Safety Solutions Academy, Gunsite or Massad Ayoob Group. Even better, arrange a private corporate shooting event in Ohio that can include machine guns, armored vehicles and cannons.

Cute Blonde Training with Pistol