multiguns

Given the relative price / non-existence of pistol-caliber ammunition these days (up to and including, shockingly enough, .22LR), the rational behind these awesome little toys is somewhat more… lacking, but, still, want:

Converts 12 gauge single or double barrel (break action) shotgun to use 9mm Luger
Rifled for accuracey
Typically shoot’s a 1 inch or less group at 30 ft.
Length of adapter is same length of a typical 12 gauge shell allowing to fit in ammo cases easily
Fits any brake action shotgun that can shoot a 2-3/4 or 3 inch shell.
CNC Machined for precision!
Made in Miles City, Montana USA !!!
Made from Alloy steel!
Three inches long with Rifling
Makes your 12 gauge more versatile for cheap!!!!!

The gentleman behind the ShortLane Chamber Adapters sells them in a variety of lengths (3″, 5″, and 8″), in rifled and smoothbore configurations (the latter being cheaper but less accurate), for basically all the standard shotgun sizes (10, 12, 16, and 20 gauges, along with .410) and even some of the whackier revolver calibers (.500 S&W and .480 Ruger), and capable of chambering pretty much anything from .22LR all the way up to 20 gauge, depending on the overall configuration. They are designed specifically for break-action shotguns – side-by-sides, over/unders, or single-shots – but I suspect, and the reviews seem to indicate, that the 3″ adapters can be used in any pump-action shotgun capable of chambering 3″ shells.

Obviously you are “wasting” at least 10″ of your barrel even with the 8″ insert, but I have to wonder what the shotgun barrel extending past the insert barrel would do in terms of the report… It is certainly no suppressor, but something will change*. And, in any case, you are greatly increasing the flexibility of your shotgun.

Which is what the folks at The Firearm Blog, where I found these little gadgets, were driving towards – making a “survival” shotgun a reality. A lot of folks automatically jump to “shotgun” as their default answer for zombies / bugging out / apocalypse / etc. scenarios, and there is a lot to be said for that particular platform… as well as one glaring problem: ammunition. Shotgun shells are large and heavy, and you yourself are not going to be able to carry too many (in addition to everything else you might be carrying). However, enabling your shotgun to shoot pistol-caliber ammunition while still having buckshot or slugs for more serious applications? That rapidly increases your potential round count while not significantly increasing – or possibly even decreasing, depending on the masses involved – the weight you are carrying.

And while I do not want to take business away from the originator of this shiny idea, I have to wonder if something similar could not be fabricated on a 3D printer… Obviously rifling would be impossible, and the lifespan of a plastic insert would be significantly limited, but if we are talking about “bug out” applications, it may not need to last long. And, of course, testing with a 3D printer and a backyard range makes my little footnote below still quite illegal, but a lot less easily noticed…

Now all I need is a break-action shotgun… I have been eyeing the Stoeger Double Defense series for a while now (Come on now, did you expect anything else from me? I just wish they made a Quadruple Defense, because that would be epic.) but now Mossberg has introduced the HS12, their own variation on that theme (though the latter benefits from not having a safety that automatically engages every time you reload the firearm – why do o/u shotguns have that bit of idiocy built into them?). Hey, at least double-barrel shotguns are something you can actually reliably find these days, though, of course, those two models are sold out almost everywhere…

Yes, I do have a taste for the peculiar. Why do you ask?

(* – On the flip side, I have to wonder how hard it would be to machine an insert like that and add 4-6″ of suppressor-like baffles at the muzzle end of it… Obviously such a thing would be strictly verboten without the appropriate licenses and tax stamps, but for someone with a lathe and a bench-press drill, it would not be that hard to make… or modify an existing insert to have.)

because it is shiny

I have, and need, no better excuse than that for this: 

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What’s that, you say?  It looks remarkably like something from some movie or television series you might have seen once upon a time? 

I have no idea what you are talking about. 

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None at all. 

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In all seriousness, this is far from an every-day carry rig, for a variety of reasons, but the TT-33 is far from an every-day carry firearm, for a variety of reasons as well (most notably its complete and utter lack of anything even approximating an “internal safety”).  However, there is something particularly compelling about putting a firearm in like that in a holster like that.  Obviously it is not a perfect rendition – for instance, the thumb break was impossible with a semi-automatic firearm, and the direction of the buckle on Mal’s rig bugged the hell out of the guy who made mine, so he turned it around – but I dare say it gets the point across. 

If you want one of your own, contact [email protected] at “oldradartech (at) hughes (dot) net”; he can obviously make them for TT-33 platforms, even ones with the whacky-arsed muzzle brake attached, and I imagine you could talk him into something similar for 1911s or a couple other different firearms as well.  From what I understand, this rig design is better-suited for revolvers than semi-autos, if that makes a difference to you. 

(Union of Allied Planets Standard Mineral Claim Form borrowed from here, in compliance with their Creative Commons licenses.  ‘Verse money borrowed from here.) 

(Thanks to Better Half for the latter two pictures.) 

a grandmother’s review of crimson trace

Not here, though; here

Erin contacted me some time back and asked how it was I managed to snag the few things I have for test and evaluation purposes; I told her the simple truth: I asked.  However, it does not hurt to have someone with previous experience with the company in question doing the asking for you, so I got in touch with Iain Harrison of Crimson Trace Corporation fame – the company whose products Erin was most interested in – and saw what pull I might still have with them. 

Turns out, it was enough to score a LaserGrip for Erin’s mother, who proceeded to give a 73-year-old’s perspective on that little marvel of modern engineering; I cannot say as though their products have ever had a review quite like that before. 

Turns out it works pretty well, but could use some improvements here and there – read the whole thing for the full details

tacsol optest… not really sat

Well, I managed to take my somewhat problematic Tactical Solutions AR-22 SBX Upper to the range today, and… well, the best I can say is that it does manage to fire and extract now, and that it is fairly accurate.  When it wants to fire.  Which is not often. 

I was shooting Winchester Super-X Copper-Plated Lead Hollow Point .22 Long Rifle ammunition, and the best the upper managed to perform was four misfires out of a magazine of 25, and the worst was about 7.  The symptom appeared to be light strikes, judging from the aft ends of the rounds – the successfully fired cases (including those I tried to fire again after they misfired once) had significantly deeper creases than the not-quite-duds. 

And just to make sure the ammunition was not misbehaving, I ran a full 50-round box through the Smith & Wesson L-Frame .22 revolver Oleg let me borrow and did not encounter a single misfire of any type. 

*sigh*  To be fair, I am using a Chip McCormick Tactical Trigger Group, and I guess it is entirely possible it could be light-striking the SBX bolt, but my own tinkering with the lower seemed to indicate that its hammer struck harder than a “mil-spec” part kit, so I have no idea. 

At this point, I am going to call the SBX upper a wash until such time as I build out my spare AR-15 with all “standard” components.  I honestly do not know what could be causing the problem, so it is just time to start at the beginning and move forward.  The good news is that Coal Creek Armory has agreed to order in that Magnum Research Magnum Lite rifle I was talking about recently without any agreement on my part of actually purchasing the thing, so that is pretty cool – it will give me an opportunity to try it on and see how it fits, and, at this point, it may turn out to be my go-to .22 rifle regardless. 

I dare say I am slightly disappointed in Tactical Solutions by now; granted, they cannot exactly guarantee full functionality with all potential aftermarket configurations of AR-15s, but I kind of expected better from pretty much one of the leaders in the “conversion kit” industry. 

And just to cap off this all-too-enjoyable day at the range, I had to drop $120… on a new battery for the car.  Bleh. 

armory racks two-gun – a review

Sometimes, I like the do-it-yourself solution, and when I was faced with the somewhat annoying prospect of having my carry firearms rattling around in a dresser drawer, I went and solved that problem myself.  However, sometimes, you can find a commercial-off-the-shelf solution that will work far better than anything I can whip up myself. 

In this case, my little pegboard construct was a wonderful fix… until we bought a new bedroom set, complete with a new dresser for me, with different dimensions for the top drawer.  Darn. 

IMG_3665Enter the Armory Racks Two Gun

IMG_3667Rather than having the firearms laying down in the drawer, the rack inserts a powder-coated, neoprene-coated (an optional add-on I requested) rod down the barrel of the firearms, and suspends them by it.  Alright, I know what you are thinking – shoving metal rods down the barrel of a firearm is one of those things that we just Do Not Do, but the truth is that the powder-coating is softer than the metal inside the barrel, and the little red hanger tip will prevent you from jamming the hanger up against the rifling, or, worse, the all-important crown.  With the added layer of neoprene, there is pretty much no chance of damaging your barrel. 

IMG_3675So, that little bit of understandable concern dispensed with, time for the specifics.  Without your firearms hanging off it, the two-gun variant is 4.75 inches tall, 4.125 inches wide, and 8.75 inches deep, and weighs all of 12.625 ounces.  The rods – hangers – are 0.1875 inches in diameter, and the neoprene adds a bit to that, though it is squishy, of course.  Without the neoprene or red hanger tip, the rack can safely handle .22 and .25 caliber handguns, and with both of those, it can handle pretty much anything else. 

IMG_3668And speaking of firearms, I tested the Armory Rack with my full-metal, full-size Baby Eagle 9mm, Walther PPS, and Smith and Wesson 686 SSR.  Those range from 1 pound 3.5 ounces in weight (my PPS, of course) to 2 pounds 11.125 ounces (the Baby Eagle), with barrels stretching from 3.2” to 4.52” (gain, the PPS and Baby Eagle).  Furthermore, the 686 is about 1.56” wide, which should give us a good idea as to whether or not the firearms can hang out with each other and not hit one another. 

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As you can tell from the top ribs of the PPS and Baby Eagle, over doubling the mass of the handguns does not significantly increase the deflection of the hangers, indicating that the metal rods should be capable of supporting pretty much anything for extended periods of time.  I would imagine that if you put a long-barreled BFR or some other ludicrousness on the rack, it might not like that, but for most pistol purposes, the rods are more than strong enough.  Those rods are about 3” long after the elbow bend, with means only snubbies and other short-barreled handguns will have their chamber faces up against the red plastic nubs. 

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The >4” of width on the Armory Racks gives you more than enough space to hang even wide-body revolvers up against full-size, double-stack handguns.  Sadly, I do not have two revolvers to suspend next to each other, but it looks like there is enough space for them, and, at the very least, you would just hang one revolver and one semi-automatic on this rack. 

[Update]The folks at Armory Racks wanted to assuage my super-large-fram revolver concerns with two pictures – one of a Ruger Super Redhawk dangling happily from a Two Gun rack, and another of a whole family of revolvers hanging out.  Yeah, that looks pretty stable to me.  [/Update]

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So now I guess it is time for the moment of truth…  When I contacted the folks at Armory Racks about the possibility of doing a review, I warned him ahead of time that I was planning on trying to use the rack in my dresser drawer.  I provided him the general dimensions, and he gave me a very tentative confirmation that the rack should work in the situation I proposed.  Well, did it? 

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Yup, but just barely.  And only with the 686, which is just as well, since those are the only two carry sidearms I have (sadly, holsters for the Baby Eagle are somewhat hard to come by, though they do seem to be catching on). 

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Unfortunately, the dimensional changes and sight height differences between the Baby Eagle and the 686 allow one to work, and the other not so much. The top edge of the drawer is about 6.5” above the bottom, so bear that in mind if you plan on a similar application in your house.

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The place where the Armory Racks really shine through, though, is in confined spaces like this one.  As you can see in the picture to the left, not only does the Rack keep your firearms off the bottom of the drawer where they will knock around and present an unsafe, or at least potentially finish-marring environment, but it also frees up the space under the firearms for such things as speedloaders, magazines, and whatever else you can fit under there.  Optimization is always a good thing. 

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And speaking of drawers, if you look in the pictures, you will see a cute little white thing attached to the front edge; this did not come with the rack, but is instead a 3M Command Cord Clip.  Thanks to the design of the rack, the wrap-around nature of the clip, and the adhesive, that rack is not going anywhere, no matter how hard I open or close the drawer, and when it is time to move, one firm tug and it comes off clean. 

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In addition to the rack itself (which came remarkably well packed in a very snug and well-padded cardboard box), I received two bumper stickers, an explanation of the warranties on the rack and a rather comprehensive disclaimer. 

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That disclaimer is as good a place as any to start on the negatives of the Armory Rack, and, unfortunately, there are a few.  Note the third bullet-point: “Never place a loaded firearm on the Armory Rack.”  On the one hand, for firearms with short barrels (such as my Walther PPS), this makes perfect sense – I experimented, and the tip of the hanger rod definitely hit the bullet of the round in the chamber before the barrel crown rested against the rod elbow.  Over time, this could force the bullet back into its casing, which could cause Very Bad Things when that particular round was fired, or, in the worst possible case, the whole cartridge could potentially be forced back in the chamber just enough to impact a floating firing pin and discharge. 

IMG_3681Obviously, we do not want this.  On the other hand, though, longer-barreled pistols do not have any such problems, and then it simply becomes a matter of keeping your finger off the trigger and exercising safe firearm handling habits.  The question of whether or not to keep stored firearms loaded is, of course, yours to answer, but given that these are my carry firearms, and some of my go-to firearms for the bedroom in case of emergencies, well, I may end up ignoring the suggestion for some of them, while having to deal with loading and downloading the PPS every time I rack it.  This is, of course, a small inconvenience, but as the saying goes, “Stop touching it!” (i.e. the more you handle a firearm, the more you have a chance to have a negligent discharge). 

IMG_3666The only way to really address that would be to shorten the rods, but I can see that causing stability problems if one is not too careful, so “it is what it is”. 

IMG_3669Moving on, as you can see, the rack is manufactured in China, not that this matters tremendously to me, but it might to some. 

And, finally, while the finish on the powder-coating was pretty much seamless, and all of the joints were welded/bonded together quite well, the base was not quite level.  I did not really notice this unless I put the Rack on a perfectly level, hard surface, so in a safe or a drawer it is not likely to be a problem, but it is worth noting here. 

Overall, I am quite impressed with the Armory Racks – they are sturdily built, can handle just about any firearm you care to suspend off them (barring some exceptional exceptions), and save you that which is always at a premium in safes or drawers… storage space.  Better yet, the addition of the Two Gun rack to the lineup (which already includes a Four Gun and Eight Gun) allows you greater flexibility to store handguns in tighter/smaller spaces, and I understand yet another option is in the works as we speak.  Once I finally manage to procure an actual safe for my firearms, I will be snagging an Armory Racks 8 Gun, just to keep everything organized and happy, and using my own money to purchase a product that I already have… well, I cannot think of a better recommendation to give for it. 

(Obligatory Up-Yours to the FTC:  As you can see, this post is in the “for hire” category, meaning this site’s disclaimer-and-disclosure is in full effect.  The Armory Rack Two Gun was provided to me free of charge with the understanding that I would write an honest review about it, which shows I have a stronger sense of integrity than a mindless governmental agency who has nothing better to do with their time (apparently) than hassle webloggers.) 

candles… with fire support

Over the course of today, various subchapters (but not all of them, pointedly enough) of the main “gun control” extremist organizations here in America will be gathering around the country to light candles in order to… do something.  By some accounts, the candlelight vigil is in memory of those murdered in the Tucson shooting a year ago.  Others say that they are gathering and increasing their carbon footprints in order to “honor the victims of ‘gun violence’”.  And, finally, still others are saying that this movement will somehow manage to “prevent” “gun violence”.

Honestly, I have no problems with people remembering their dead however they see fit, so long as that remembrance does not harm anyone else and is within the bounds of the law, and if these people think their fallen would want them standing around holding candles, then more power to them.  But let us examine that last claim by the extremists.

How, exactly, does standing around holding candles stop “gun violence”?  Ignore, for a second, the completely meaningless nature of “gun violence” (just like the completely meaningless nature of “gun deaths”), and likewise ignore the inherent dangers of having such a tunnel-vision view on the world.  Just answer me this: how is a group of people – no matter how large and no matter how distributed across the country – standing around holding candles going to stop a murderer from using a firearm to kill someone in a dark alley?  How is it going to stop a rapist from using a firearm to threaten a woman into submission?  How is it going to stop a robber from “whipping it out” to encourage his prey to hand over their wallets?

Simply put, it is not.  Worse, the belief that standing around holding a candle will convince these bloodthirsty thugs to give up their violent ways is much akin to the ancient celebrations around bonfires during the Winter Solstice, with the associated belief that the revelers were “driving back the darkness”.  In other words, this “candle light vigil” being organized by the Brady to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership is nothing more than further substantiation that “gun control” is a cult and those who support it are cultists.

As an engineer and a rational, adult human being, I am exclusively concerned with what works, and history has shown us, time and time again, that “gun control” simply does not work – it does not achieve any of its stated goals, and standing around holding a candle will not achieve the goal of reducing “gun violence”.  So what does stop all violence?

Well, even that is a misstatement of what should be your goals; you see, there is a difference between “violent but predatory” and “violent but protective”*.  The first unquestionably needs to stop, but, realistically, it is only through the second that it will be achieved:

One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure—and in some cases I have—that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.

Speaking more generally, what is the one thing that stops consistently, verifiably, and historically stops murderers, rapists, robbers, and other thugs cold?  A person with a gun.  These days, more often than not, that “person with a gun” is also wearing a badge and a uniform, but as Tam recently said, “If you don’t have your own pistol, you may have to wait the rest of your life for the police to bring theirs.”  Why should we law-abiding American citizens be forced to wait up to 21 minutes (and beyond) for the police to respond to our situation, when our very lives are on the line, and when we know exactly what could keep us alive?

We should not.  So, courtesy of an outstanding idea by the inimitable Weer’d Beard, I am going to take a few moments today to show you what can stop predatory violence being levied against my family or myself, unlike some random collection of paraffin and oils.

Offhand, I would guess somewhere around 2500 ft-lbs of energy being applied to a murderer’s thoracic cavities would do wonders for stopping him from committing any form of predatory violence against me and mine, and thanks to Buffalo Bore Ammunition and Smith and Wesson, that number is fairly easy to achieve:

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Additionally, as you can see, I am very much a modern tool-using monkey in that instead of relying on the weak, inconsistent, and easily-extinguished light from a paltry exothermic reaction, my illumination – a necessary aspect of “identifying my target” is courtesy of a Novatac Storm LED flashlight, putting out somewhere around 120 lumens of crystal clear white light.  To say there is no competition between those light sources would be putting it very mildly.

But that is just what I use when I am out and about on the town…  If we are closer to home, we all know that pistols are only used to get to your rifles, or, in my case, a shotgun, loaded up with eight rounds of reduced-recoil #00 buckshot and four rounds of reduced recoil slugs, complete with a recoil reducing stock such that my wife can comfortably employ it as well:

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This time, our effective, efficient illumination comes courtesy of an original Surefire 6PD flashlight, which, unlike its low-tech brethren also in the picture, actually stands a fair chance of momentarily blinding those it is pointed at with its directed 120 lumens of light.

But what if we do not want to blind ourselves?  Well, that is where the attached flip-up red filter comes in:

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You see, my dear anti-rights cultists, I am only concerned with what works, and courtesy of modern technology, there are so many demonstrably-better methods for stopping predatory violence against me and mine that something as paltry and pathetic as a candle blowing in the wind simply does not make the cut.  Now, if you all want to stand around and remember the loved ones you have lost, that is your call, and you are more than welcome to do as your heart desires so long as it is not hurting anyone else.  But the very second you imply that doing so will somehow affect “gun violence” on a national scale, you are lying, and, worse, you are using the memories of those lost loved ones to perpetrate and give weight to those lies, and that is a pretty damned reprehensible thing indeed.

On the other hand, my peacefully and lawfully owning and carrying firearms affects no one, damages no one, misleads no one, and dishonors no one’s memories, so why is it that you so fervently wish to leave me disarmed and defenseless against a plethora of people who do mean to do harm to my family and myself?  Whose side are you on, exactly?

Thankfully, I know whose side these good folks are on, as they throw their support in behind the only thing we know can stop most kinds of predatory violence against law-abiding citizens, not just self-serving narrowings of the playing field like “gun violence” or other statistics-abusing concepts.  So go take a look at the celebrations of self-defense here at Weer’d’s where he is collecting pictures from all over the world, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, with more to be added as the day progresses. 

(* – One interesting side-effect from not making this distinction is that by holding their candle-light vigils for “victims of ‘gun violence’”, the Brady Campaign and their sycophants are, by definition, memorializing those murderers, rapists, thieves, muggers, robbers, home-invaders, and other scumbags who were shot down in self-defense by their intended victims, or by the police in the execution of their duties.  As always, “gun control” extremists are aiding, abetting, and sympathizing with criminals.  Disgusting.  (For further clarification on this notion, please see here.))