Just Another Day at the Range

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Went to the range with a good friend today to show him my methods of drilling with a fighting carbine.  I’ll make sure to have a tutorial on that soon, but for now, just some normal pictures.

Here’s a few of the toys:

 

Didn’t end up shooting the Savage Hog Hunter, BUT I remembered to bring ammo for the Savage FV-SR!  It isn’t even funny how quiet the Aguila Colibri rounds are.  Hell, standard .22 rounds aren’t even that loud!  I swear, you don’t even realize you’re sending lead down range with these powderless cartridges.  The Aguila SSS (stands for Sniper SubSonic) is pretty quiet as well and actually has some decent range capability compared to the Colibri rounds, which start to fall after about 15 yards.

 

 

Taught a lot of fundamentals and practiced a few drills with the AR and it made me think, “Damn, there will never be a point in my life where I will ever have enough ammo (especially now with all the panic buying that’s about to happen).”  I’ll need to dedicate a whole week to go over my carbine.  I love my baby :’)

 

And finally, a couple impromptu videos from my potato phone of me abusing the hostage swinger target!  First video was a herp derp, my hand depressed the extended magazine release and I failed hard haha.

 

 

New Target (and dog!)

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Got a busy week ahead of me, but my Hostage Swinger Target came in the mail over the weekend so I HAD to find time to try it out.  I decided to wake up early and head to the range with a friend to test the target.  Wow.  What a great investment.  Set up was quick and painless, you don’t have to worry about it falling in the wind, and no more worrying about replacing paper.  Also, the feedback is instant; there’s no more taping up holes or debating where your last round hit.  The sound of lead on steel immediately tells me that I’ve hit the target.  If you’re looking into target shooting, paper is the way to go, but for tactical situations and competition, you just can’t beat steel.
Featuring the Glock 34, Gen 3 and the FNP-40
Tribute pic to Nutnfancy😉 haha
AND… the Squirrel Shooter!
Ended up buying the Savage Mark II FV-SR in .22 for varmint and small game hunting.  Threw on a cheap Barska scope so I could keep it lightweight and fast.  It’s quite a shit piece of glass, but it keeps its zero and cost $20, so I can’t complain.  I absolutely love Savage’s Accutrigger and their prices are always very competitive.  Would’ve been a perfect day to put some rounds on paper and sight it in, but I left the ammo on my desk after I told myself repeatedly, “Don’t forget the .22s, don’t FORGET THE .22S!”  All in all, a great way to start our Tuesday !
Plus, a new addition to the crew, a beautiful future bird retriever!

The Great Quail Hunt! (not)

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With school, work, and trying to get started on my career, it’s been hard finding time to shoot, cook, or go outdoors, but I finally got my chance!  Quail season opened up this weekend so a couple of my friends and I went to the Mojave desert.

We were ready to zap some birds, but we got skunked.  HARD.  Heard one call for about 5 minutes, never laid eyes on a single bird, but it was quite refreshing to get out with good company.  We all enjoyed the camping and nature walks with shotguns!

I have to warn you, though, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT EVER get Flander’s Beef Patties.  Absolutely disgusting.  Sure, you get 16 patties for eight dollars, but it’s NOT WORTH IT.  I’m not a meat snob, but good God, what a waste of cow.  Anyways, night time was great, we had scotch, cigars, and cards.  The down time provided us with a great opportunity to go over the upcoming election, and, more importantly, the California ballot measures.  Overall, good time getting away from the ennui of daily life.  Hopefully the next trip we’ll actually run into some birds!

2 More ARs

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Today, I helped my friend finish his two AR builds that he’s been working on for months.  We drove to Riflegear and picked up two Spikes Tactical ST-15 lower receivers, got home, and started putting everything together.  The uppers had been assembled awhile ago so all we did was assemble the lowers.  Didn’t take too long and everything came together well!  Had a little issue with the safety sticking, but that seemed like a simple break-in problem, so no big.  These two bring my AR building total to a whopping six😛
Every time I work on these rifles I can’t help but think how awesome they are.  The level of customization is unparalleled in firearms; long gone are the days of the simple black rifle.  The AR-15 reigns over tacticool wanna-be ninjas to second-shaving, high speed competitors and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.  I’m not just an AR fanboy; I’ve shot the Mini-14, AKs, and the Sig 556 extensively, but when you compare price, modularity, and ergonomics, you cannot beat the AR platform.  People argue that the AK is more robust and reliable, and sure, I don’t doubt it’ll function after being shit and stepped on by an elephant, but when in the hell am I going to have that problem as a civilian shooter?  Hell, Team America’s been saving the world for decades and it’s proven itself time and time again.   Anyways, it’s been awhile since I put one together, so I decided to give them a bit of due credit.

Awesome Upgrade for AK Rifles

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I love the AR-15 and I would trust my life with one, but the durability and ruggedness of an AK variant rifle is hard to beat.  It’s a cool, cost-effective, and, dare I say, a quintessential part of any gun enthusiast’s collection.  I’ve never had a single problem with my Century Arms 5.45×39 except for the fact that I only have ONE!  I had bought a Midwest Industries quad rail for it (a great piece of hardware!), but I just couldn’t keep the wood furniture (which we had hand-finished) off the rifle.  The look and feel of the AK is so iconic and I ended up selling the rail.  If I could buy another AK to tacticool out, I would most definitely get another.

Why am I making you read all this?  Because there is a product out there that enhances the AK, in my humble opinion, in terms of speed and ergonomics, without detracting from the traditional, battle hardened, old-world beauty of this rifle.  Introducing, the L.I.N.C.H. AK charging handle by Davis Tactical Solutions (http://lastroundholdopenak47.com/)!  It’s a nonreciprocating charging handle on the left hand side that DOESN’T require any modifications to the rifle!  All you have to do is replace top covers and you’re ready to spit out stinky as hell Russian corrosive ammo.  The handle itself folds forward to prevent any snagging and such.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about this product and apparently so are others; the website states that there is a 3-4 week wait because of high volume sales.  I’m ordering one right now before the price goes up ($120 isn’t bad at all for this great piece of kit).  The Military Arm Channel did a fantastic review on the upgrade, which I showed to all of my friends and now we’re all pumped to get our hands on one.  I’ll try to get one soon and tell you how it is in person.  STAY TUNED FOR RANGE TIME.  I’ve been busy with work, school, and the passing of my grandfather, but I’ll be going to the range next week to test out my new Savage Mark II – FVSR, play with the VTAC railed AR, and work some more on my Glock 34, hopefully with new steel targets!

MAC’s review on the L.I.N.C.H.

Troy/VTAC Alpha Rail

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When I was first building my 20″ ‘precision’ AR, I thought, “Hey, more weight, less recoil, not gonna walk around with it,” but now, over a year later, I’ve come to the conclusion that it might be a bit impractical to have a 20 lbs, rifle.  So I stripped it of its 12″ Yankee Hill Machine Diamond quad rail and replaced it with the longer, but LIGHTER and much less bulkier Troy/VTAC Alpha Rail.

I love this thing!  It’s exactly what I was hoping it’d be: light, thin, and modular.    The fit and finish is perfect; it’s obvious that it’s a quality product, but what else can you expect from Troy and VTAC?  Can’t wait to take this bad boy to the range and see how the rifle feels.

Sequoia [Day Three]

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The final day of our trip started early with spicy instant noodles, rice, and fried Spam.  I don’t care what it’s made of, but Spam is delicious, so quit your judging!  The plan for the day was to head down to Crystal Cave for a tour and a final stop at the General Sherman tree so we cleaned up, packed up, and hit the road quick.

We made it down the windy path to Crystal Cave pretty fast (PROTIP: Use lower gears when going downhill!  People always forget that on these mountain roads!), but we missed the sign at the beginning of the turn out that said “TICKETS NOT SOLD HERE, BUY AT X AND Y”.  To our dismay, the attendant at the lot told us they were booked til 1PM and we didn’t want to wait 2 hours for a tour we’d been on years ago.

Got down to the General Sherman Tree.  It was probably just as exciting as the previous sentence.  I’ve seen it three times in the past and the first time was like, “WHOA, THIS THING IS F***** MASSIVE!!!! PICTURE TIME!!!,” but you get over it pretty quick.  It is quite impressive though, the thing is pretty damn huge, so make sure to check it out if you’re in the area.

With that, we made the long way back home.  It was a great getaway from the usually busy schedule I have, with amazing weather (approx. 75°/55° compared to the anticipated 95°+), and pretty damn good food.  The stunning views, crisp mountain air, and the company of my crazy family made for a wonderful weekend adventure.

Sequoia [Day Two]

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Saturday started off quite swell; woke up from a comfortable night’s sleep to a hot cup of instant coffee and a small fire.  Once we’d really woken up, I got started on the scrambled eggs and croissants.  Unfortunately, the croissants were a bit flat from transport so we had to make due, BUT breakfast of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon on croissant went well!

We took our time to clean up and started for Buck Rock, a fire lookout station built on top of, you guessed it, a rock.  It overlooks the north side of Sequoia and the beginning of King’s Canyon National Park.

     

Approximately 17 miles from our Stony Creek campground, Buck Rock was a great morning stretch; a brisk walk from the car to the stairs was followed by a short, very vertical climb to the top.  172 steps later, the lookout provided a beautiful 360° view, including the Western Divide.

               

After our descent, we stopped at the Hume Lake Christian Camp for a quick lunch.  The great thing about camping and being out in the outdoors is that most average foods end up tasting pretty damn good after trucking around for hours.  A simple burger and chili cheese fries were no exception.

Sigh… then I took a wrong turn so we decided to skip the Grizzly Falls and Boyden Caverns.  I’d been last year, but I wanted my family to see it so *sad face*.  We returned to camp and it was siesta time.

Nap time was followed by dinner time where my mom and I made pasta with meat sauce, sausage, and garlic bread with the finest Merlot California has to offer.

The stars soon filled the night sky and illuminated our campsite.  If you’ve never seen the stars out in the middle of nowhere, you’re missing out on an incredible sight.  The Milky Way was clearly visible as were several satellites and even a few shooting stars.  It was absolutely beautiful.

Everyone soon turned in and I stayed out to watch the fire die out, but about ten minutes after my mom had gone to bed, I heard a noise directly in front of me.  I shined my Fenix E21 and there she was, a lone doe, no more than 10 feet away from me!  Startled me quite a bit and I think she felt the same way because she took off pretty quick into the brush.  Made for a surprising and fun ending to a relaxing day.

Aside

Sequoia [Day One]

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After a few hours of sleep, a six hour drive, and our first (and only) bear encounter, we arrived at the Stony Creek campground!

          

We promptly set up the tents and kitchen so we could get started on my mom’s signature camping dinner: Gaelbi and daeji-bulgogi with doenjang-jigae and rice (of course).  Most of you are probably thinking, “What the hell did I just try to pronounce?,” but don’t worry worry, translations are coming!  I began batoning some firewood with my trust Ka-Bar while my mom started prepping the stove.

Gaelbi is Korean sweet short rib (beef) that’s become quite popular here in the states.  We cooked it to temperature on a pan and grilled it over the fire for that smoky Korean BBQ finish.Next up is the daeji-bulgogi, or the spicy pork with onions which we put on a pan and cooked on the grill.  

The rice and doenjang-jigae, or Korean soy bean paste soup (not particularly my favorite dish, but what the hey), was ready by the time the meat was cooked so you put it all together with some fresh ass veg and you’ve got Korea Mom’s go-to camping dinner!  The result is a wonderfully balanced dish, the sweet and savory short ribs duke it out with the spiciness of the pork, but the rice and cucumbers quickly settle the temperature so your taste buds can go for more.

     

The rest of the night included cleaning, changing into warm clothes, and resting for the long day ahead.  You never know who or what could be out in the woods at night so these next few photos are what brought me comfort.

Gear Up!

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Came back from work and started gearing up for tomorrow.  This is basically what I would take on a non-intensive weekend camping trip.  Got the first aid, paracord, Ka-bar, Fenix E21, Spyderco Tenacious, and all the stuff I need to photograph and video (plus a couple of “just in case” items haha).  Gonna help my mom marinate the Korean BBQ short ribs and pack the rest of the gear.  Let’s do this!