Firearms & Self-Defense

    PM-G Makarov Grip

    It's an interesting bit of kit, made in Israel where they might still have a fair number in circulation, I have no idea.  Or maybe they just see a good business opportunity, either way interesting.

    It's for the single stack Makarov and adds a lever to remove a magazine, more normal for us westerners but not exactly a push button, more of a push to the muzzle.  There is a bar that pivots on a pin mid grip and works well and with less likelihood of unintended ejection from a bump to the magazine release. It makes the pistol a little chunker, but with a much nicer hand filling feel.  If you have ever gotten slide bite, this will cure it (I have not, but my hands are medium sized).

    I won't say that it bring the Makarov into the 21st century, it is an improvement.

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    The Makarov


    imageThis simple, heavy reliable pistol is a great stash pistol or just a fun range toy, but as a CCW pistol it falls pretty short.  It's heavier then a S&W shield, being made of all steel and it's 9mm Makarov (9x18mm) round is no equal to the 9mm Luger (9x19mm) around.  It's a fixed barrel blow back which might make it theoretically more accurate, but this is reduced by the crappy sights and the long SA/DA trigger for the first critical shot.  It is a fantastic piece of history that would not leave you feeling unarmed, with a safety that works the correct way and a fantastic selection of  holsters and accessories.  It's heel mounted magazine release is not what I would consider as big a negative as most, it does prevent accidentally releasing the magazine of you lean against or bump the traditional 'Mercian release.

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    The Modern Minuteman

    wpid-wpid-modern-minuteman-2014-09-10-09-41-2014-09-10-09-41.jpg The modern minuteman is an idea that is bantered about the community, a lot. Some of it is fantasy and some it is not, but all of it is shrouded in the mystic of 1776, were some set of militia members were part of a quick reactionary force that was ready with in minutes. A modern minuteman is assumed to also be able to be ready in just a couple of minutes, and the only way that can happen is if you are already packed.  You will not have time to go through you box of holsters to pick out the right one for the occasion, or even pack a pack for the right season.  What you can grab and throw on your boots is all you will have for a couple of days.


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    More Turning Ballistic Water into Wine

    wpid-wpid-wpid-IMG_4486-2014-09-5-11-24-2014-09-5-11-24-2014-09-5-11-24.jpgA 12 gauge shotgun has it’s limitation there is no doubt, but it is also an awesome weapon, if you can work within those limitation. I have done a previous post on turning bird shot into slugs, this time I’m going to talk about turning bird shot into buck shot. Buck shot comes in various sizes, and the most normal is #00 Buck (pronounced “double-ought”), it is .330" in diameter. I’m actually loading #0 Buck (single ought) which is .320 of an inch and works well also as a gallery load for my Nagant, that runs .313 bore diameter. I do a future post on gallery shooting and loading for that.

    Basically, the same motivation exists here as with slugs, it provides you a cheap practice alternative to $1 per shot, buck shot and could provide help to your neighbor who has that 500 of bird shot, and needs to turn it into something more ballistically capable in a time of social distress.  Your neighbors might be your best defense against looting and other social ills.  Even your Fudd neighbor can be helpful with the bird/skeet gun, if we fill it up with something more potent than #7.5 field shot.  Remember to verify or remove the choke, a hack saw might be the best option (remember to keep it to 18.5 inches, if that kind of thing still matters then).

    When melting lead, always wear protective gear, like goggles and gloves in a well ventilated area, this is doubly important during times where medical care might not be available.


    The buck shot mold I’m using is a Sharp Shooters Mold and it is not well designed. You really have to wear heavy welders gloved with it or you would be burned. There is a wooden handle that only covers metal on 3 sides, and there is no way to pry the mold open with out touching metal, and it just flops open. It was cheaper than the Lee #00 buck mold and was available in the rather odder size of single-ought that I wanted. Remember that the Lee model does not come with handles and they need to be ordered separately.

    I you want just to cast for your 12 gauge, just get the Lee Mold and handles, you will not regret it.

    I water drop everything I cast, the thought is that is creates a little harder skin on the pellet, I don’t know if that really matters in a shotgun, where you are driving them down the bore in a shot cup, and of course no lubing is required.

    I'm also less critical of the pellet being perfect for the shotgun as I am with a bullet for a rifle or pistol.  The pellet is going to have a little numb from where it is cut, and a wrinkle in the pellet might be a sign of my unprofessionalism, but should not effect performance in any meaningful way.


    The shot will be on a spruce, and all you need to do is take a pair of diagonal cutter, and snip them free, soon you’ll have a bowl of shot.




    Unlike what we did for loading slug, there is no reason to cut the crimp free. All you need it to pick open the crimp, large enough to pour out the bird shot, and stick 9 pellets in.

    wpid-wpid-wpid-IMG_4495-2014-09-5-11-24-2014-09-5-11-24-2014-09-5-11-24.jpgBy hand start to work the crimp, back into place, If you have a drill press, you can use it just as a press, but a bolt in with a pan head in to help put the crimp back in place.

    You might have to roll the shell on a hard surface, to reform the very top, as it might get a little munged up when you opened up the crimp. The size of a 12 gauge shotgun bore is .729 on an inch, but with a chamber of .800, and the inside diameter of a piece of 3/4 inch Schedule 40 pipe is .804. I needs to fit a piece of Schedule 40 pipe with room to spare, if it does not fail out under it’s own weight you have a problem. I have yet to have a shell fail to feed, in over 300 rounds, but it is your responsibility to make sure the shells work in your shotgun. In normal times, always use purposely build Buck for self defense, this is a cheap way to practice and might become valuable to be able to do in not so normal times.

    You can always use overshot card, it has the advantage of being a cleaner reload, in the sense that there is less deformation of the mouth of the shell, and if the card is clear, it’s easy to see that it is buck shot. If I was loading in a situation that I would call, austere, I would not bother. Once you have created the pellets, you can do all the reloading with a 10 penny nail and some hand strength.


    Lastly, don’t forget to mark them, I use a “B”, for these, since they don’t have a clear over shot card that you can see the payload. Loading bird shot, when you are expecting buck (or vise a versa) could be dangerous to other, in the case of skeet, or to you in the case of self defense.

    I hope this encourages some of you to get a mold and learn how to use it.  For your neighborhood, this could make it a much harder target to looters, which in turn provides you and yours some additional security.  It also provides a cheap way to practice with that scatter gun of yours collecting dust in the closet.

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    Grab and Go

    wpid-IMG_0004-2014-06-21-11-18.jpg A bump in the night, riot in the street or those blue helmets guys (euphemism) rolling down your street. You need to grab your rifle and some support gear. Nothing is a good a a full set of kit, but sometimes the speed of action prevents you from arriving in your shiny knight armor. This doesn’t mean you need to show up naked either? If you keep a truck gun or one near your bed, it pays to have something to go with it.

    The US PEACEKEEPER RAPID DEPLOYMENT 'GO-BAG' PACK, is a purposely build bag of good quality, that holds a fair amount of gear for any impromptu emergency you might face with a rifle in your hands. It’s not meant to take the place of any battle rattle kit out, but it can hold the supplies you might need at a moments notice.

    Numerous cop have an active shooter bag that goes with a long gun they might have available, this concept of the grab and go bag for the armed citizen isn’t much different.

    I’ve found the bag to be comfortable if not over loaded (adding some additional padding on the shoulder strap helps) and stays in place pretty well in moderate movement. Adding a waist strap really anchors it much better then the smaller velcro attached loop on the back of the bag. As a self confessed gear queer, my first instinct is to stuff why to much crap into the bag but that would be a mistake. It’s not meant to be a substitute for a load bearing equipment (LBE) harness or a backpack, it seems to fit the same role as the battle belt, with the exception that it’s a grab and go, rather then a wear all time kind of thing. It holds about the same amount of gear as the battle belt, with the disadvantage of all the gear being on your support side and with the advantage of being quicker to gear up, and being less person specific,so anyone of the same general height can you the grab and go bag.

    Equipment that fits in the US Peacekeepers bag:

    2-4 AR-15 Magazines, 6 M1 Carbine 30 round magazines, 6 33 round Glock Magazines or 2 308 20 round magazines.
    1-2 pistol Magazines
    VOK/IFAK Kit
    SOF Tactical Tourniquet
    Sharpie Pen
    Knife (Dogfish CKRT)
    Pepper Spray
    Baofeng 5r with handset (6AA battery box with Li-Ions)
    Flashlight (not shown)
    2 Cliff Bars
    Quart of Water


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