Silencers

Silencers

If you live in a state that allows the legal purchase and use of silencers, then it might be time to pay a tax that will bring you far more enjoyment than your April 15 taxes. In spite of Hollywood’s depiction of silencer usage, they are yet one more tool to help prevent hearing loss while enjoying shooting. If you don’t already know a good deal about silencers (and even if you do), continue reading to find out where your hard earned money will be going in the future. 

Personal Experience: My first hands on experience with a silencer was a few range trips back when I had the pleasure to try out my friend’s Ruger Mark III with sub-sonic ammo and a silencer (sadly I don’t recall the brand and model). Before this trip I had always been interested in silencers, but until recently they were illegal to use in Washington State. Silencers in movies are depicted as being “whisper” quiet, and I knew that was not the reality of shooting with a silencer. With my hearing protection on, standing in our lane station, the only sounds I heard were those coming from the slide as the gun ejected and chambered a new round as well as the sound of the casings hitting the concrete floor. It was one of the rare few occasions that my extensive movie viewing pastime didn’t set me up for disappointment.

It’s one thing to say that shooting with a silencer is quiet, but it doesn’t really bring it home like a video does. I did a little digging around YouTube and found this video of a guy shooting a Ruger Mark III with a silencer attached. I don’t know if he’s using sub-sonic ammo or not, but it gives you a pretty good idea of how quiet shooting can be.

 

Need to Know: After shooting with my friend’s silencer, my interest in owning my own went up a good deal. I knew that in addition to the actual cost of a silencer I would have to pay a $200 tax stamp, but I didn’t really know much past that. When you look into buying a silencer there will be two things you need to know (besides state legalities): The caliber and the thread size. Caliber is easy enough since it will be the same as the gun you’re buying it for. The thread size varies, but it’s easy to find out and you can always ask your local shop guy/gal for assistance with that. I found this next video (brought to you by the folks at silencershop.com) to be very helpful and informative relating to silencer attachment.

 

 If you happen to have a silencer or have used one, how was your experience with it? Was it everything you had hoped it would be or were you let down by it?

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FN FS2000

FN FS2000

 

When I think of futuristic, all around cool looking firearms that are available today, the FN FS2000 is at the top of my list.

The Basics:
The FN FS2000 is a semi-auto bullpup style rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO (223 Rem.), and comes with a 1.6x optical sighting package. It’s gas operated and uses a rotating block lockup. The polymer stock is ambidextrous and fired casings are ejected through a forward port on the right side of the rifle away from the operator. Both 10 and 30 round magazines are available. The cost is approximately $2000.

The “11” Factor:
What gives the little extra push from ten to eleven, for me, is the way this rifle combines modular options, light weight, and beautiful lines… Oh, and the fact that our left-handed brothers and sisters won’t be getting a face full of hot gas and brass.

Would any of you consider buying a rifle that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie? Has anyone had a chance to fire one of these? If so, what were your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

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Special Edition Firearms

Special Edition Firearms

Sometimes the crafty marketing teams of various firearms manufacturers will put out a limited first edition or some sort of special edition of one of their firearms. The difference between the limited edition and regular production model can be something as small as stamping First Edition somewhere on the frame, or it could include any number of extras that would be hard to find or not available anywhere else.

Due to the limited nature of these firearms many people will choose to keep their weapon pristine; they will view it as an investment piece to be looked at and touched, but not fired. One such example could include the Winchester Model 94 Crazy Horse Commemorative .38-55 .

 

Some limited editions, like the Walther PPQ First Edition which features a threaded barrel and night sights, entice the owner to fire the weapon.

 How many people out there are interested in limited edition firearms? Are you interested in them from the collection perspective, or for the extra goodies?

 

 

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Dedicated .22 Upper or Conversion Kit

Dedicated .22 Upper or Conversion Kit

The topic of a dedicated .22 upper receiver vs. a conversion kit for you AR platform might be a little retro, but I have a hard time imagining a gun guy or gal holding their rifle and saying, “This topic is so passé!” By now most everyone has had a chance to make up their own mind on which way they’ll go when spending their money, and if they haven’t they’ve probably thought about it plenty.

I personally went the conversion route several years back and have only found limited success with it. Frustration set in early between the failure to extract and failure to load issues. In a good session I was able to fire five rounds before having an issue, and often times it was fewer rounds than that. I’ve tried several different brands of ammo, but so far that perfect round that my conversion kit likes best eludes me. The upside is that I now know what I’ll be doing on my next range day.

Despite the experience with the conversion kit I have, I still think this is a great way to go. I have fired other people’s converted rifles and they worked great. There are also plenty of stories of people firing several hundred rounds consistently without any hiccups. It’s just a matter of finding the best kit for your rifle and then the right ammo to go with it. With most kits being under $250 it’s hard not to go this route.

Dedicated .22 uppers are something I haven’t been fortunate enough to try out for myself yet. There is some appeal to having an upper that is designed to shoot a .22 round. The premise being that an upper designed to fire a specific round will be more accurate and have fewer failures. While this sounds valid in theory, the internet has plenty of first hand stories you can find where this isn’t always the case. That being said, it is almost always the case that dissatisfied people are louder than satisfied people, so a grain of gun powder should be applied. While a dedicated upper will cost you more than the conversion kit, a lack of frustration is priceless.

I’ll continue to experiment with the basic CMMG kit I have to see if I can get it working correctly, but in the meantime I would love to hear about your experiences with dedicated uppers and/or conversion kits. What has worked for you and what hasn’t?

 

 

 

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Obtaining Firearms

Obtaining Firearms

I just heard from a friend of mine that his elderly neighbor passed away recently and that his wife was selling off his gun collection, which is apparently sizable. This in turn led me to think about some of the different ways in which people acquire firearms in our country.

The first (and least likely at least for me) is through inheritance. A family member passes away, and unlike the pharos of Egypt, they leave behind their worldly possessions. If the firearms are left to someone who is interested in them, they will be treated as family heirlooms and passed down from one generation to the next. If they are left to someone who is not, they will be yet more junk to sell as quickly as possible.

The most mainstream method of obtaining a firearm is by going to one’s local gun store. Typically there is a decent selection of handguns and rifles as well as the accessories you might want to add to your purchase. There is usually at least one staff member who is knowledgeable and willing to assist you in finding something that meets your needs, and if not it allows for uninterrupted window shopping. The prices are typically fair, and great deals are less likely, but in addition to the firearm you’re paying for the ability to hold and inspect it before purchase.

A gun show is another popular method of purchasing a firearm, but is generally not for the novice purchaser. The conditions and prices vary from one seller to the next, but good deals can be found by those who are patient and knowledgeable about their intended purchases.

Online purchases tend to be more for those who have openly admitted to having a firearm purchasing problem; the problem being that they are running out of space to warehouse their ever growing collection. The primary benefit of the online purchase is typically a lower purchase price, but this can be deceptive as an FFL transfer fee might also be needed before you can collect your purchase. The downside of the online purchase is that you’re purchasing an item you haven’t personally inspected. Even new firearms can have flaws or issues, so it can end up being a hassle if you’re unlucky.

Estate sales and one to one sales are yet another set of viable options that tend to be more for people in the know concerning firearms. Usually it requires some upfront effort to either find the seller of a specific firearm or tracking down the time and location of the estate sale. Good deals are once again the upside, but be sure to use a healthy dose of common sense when making one on one purchases. Always meet in well lit public places and if something feels off, walk away.

I am personally a fan of going to a local store and purchasing from them. I like the ability to handle the firearm and inspect it myself before handing over the money. In addition to wanting to see and touch the firearm, I want to ask questions about it based on things I may have read in reviews or online forums. Even if the sales person can’t answer all of my questions it brings me peace of mind. Purchasing local also helps to ensure that I’ll have a place I can go to for window shopping and pre-purchase handling firearms in the future.

What are some of the ways you’ve come to obtain your firearms? Do you prefer one method over another, or is it all the same to you so long as there’s a good deal to be had?

 

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