Happy Father’s Day Present

glock mug and cup

My wife and daughter gave me a Glock coffee mug and travel cup today for a Father’s Day present. Sweet.

Toys and Play: Training for Life?

cap gun

I enjoy watching my daughter play. Some of the things she plays with are Barbies, Legos, Polly Pockets, stuffed animals, board games and various electronic gadgets.

After observing her, it has occurred to me on several occasions that play is training for the future. A little girl might play with dolls to learn about caring for younger children, or a toy chainsaw to learn how to cut down an evergreen. A little boy might play with blocks to learn how to build, or a toy car to understand how to drive. Think about even a kitten or puppy with a ball. They are learning how to catch prey.

As adults, we still play. Our toys are just bigger (and usually more expensive). We will pay big money to escape our normal life and just play for a little while.

When I was a boy, I played with toys like Star Wars, G I Joes, Blocks, Hot Wheels, and airplanes. I also loved playing with guns. Cap guns, dart guns (foam), and just plain inanimate plastic guns.

If a manufactured toy gun was not available, my brother and I would make a gun out of anything that resembled the shape. A mini war could break out at any time, at any place.

I see now that the toy guns that I had when I was a boy helped start to train me for being a responsible gun owner now. All the “war” games we had back then prepared me with a different mindset than someone who never touched a toy gun. Firearms are not terrible, fearful objects, but tools that are to be respected and used wisely. In the sporting context, they are meant to even be…..well, fun.

Even the military calls some of their training “war games”. They spend millions (if not billions) to play at battle. It may feel like fun to them, but it is actually training.

With all this in mind, I’m glad my parents encouraged me to “train” with toy guns. Some would now categorize their parenting in this area as criminal. I’m glad I wasn’t completely walled off from all that had to do with anything remotely violent. I’m glad they bought me a cap gun.

What’s the Deal with Magpul’s New Color: Sand?


For some time now, Magpul has apparently been moving away from some of their previous popular colors (OD Green, Flat Dark Earth, Foliage) and has been returning to basic black. This is especially the case for their pmags. Recently, the company has released a new color for their AR and AK furniture called “Sand”.

At first glance, this color repulses me. It is almost white. I only see it blending in to the environment in a sandy desert, or maybe in a snow covered region (standing next to the Yeti).

But as I read about this new product, I can see some reasons for this seemingly strange addition:

1.Strength. Magpul is saying that this color allows the polymer to actually be stronger than the original black. This is especially true in extremely cold temps where the material tends to become brittle. Apparently, the previous non-black colors were even weaker.

2. RIT Dye. The company is purposefully putting out a product that they know will be modified. Water-based dyes absorb well into the light material and stay. Works well with spray paint too. Other that making the polymer completely white, Magpul has provided the perfect canvas for the tactical artist in all of us to paint our masterpiece upon. There are many camo design ideas out there on the net for the world to see already.

3. Lower IR Signature. Now, some of us may not care about this one, but I’ll wager there are quite a few in the military who do. Apparently the color and material combo on this product does something to keep it from showing up on infra red as much. Can we say, “Special Ops”?

In Conclusion, I don’t know that I’ll be rushing out to order any of these in the near future. But I guess I can see why Magpul made the addition.

Photo Credit

My New M4 Profile Barrel



I decided that I’d had enough. I wasn’t satisfied with the barrel on my AR-15. I thought I could live with the police-style barrel with the mid length gas tube that came with the rifle. It was very accurate because of the thick metal walls (like a bull barrel), and there was very little recoil. But after a lot of time holding it out away from my body, I realized, it was way too heavy. My back muscles were aching.

The picture below shows why. The top pic is my old barrel. With the hand guard removed you can see that the metal actually widens as it goes back from the flash suppressor to the chamber area.

m4The bottom picture is my new M4 profile barrel. Compared to the old one, the new barrel has a lot of diameter cut out along the way. This not only allows for a grenade launcher (if I so choose), but also cuts down on weight. In addition it’s a carbine length gas system. This puts the minimal weight of the A-post closer to the center of the rifle, again causing it to feel lighter and more balanced.

This change came about when I talked to my “supplier” and we came up with a deal. It was pretty much an even swap. I gave him my heavy barrel (with upper and bolt carrier assembly) so he could set it up on something a little more sniper-ish with a scope. I took his M4 barrel, upper and bolt to make my rig lighter. The results: Love it. I couldn’t be more happy with the feel and balance. No more over-travel. It feels much more balanced in my hands.

The new barrel on the M4 is melonite (instead of chrome). I don’t have much experience with that, so we’ll have to see how it does down the road. I’m probably going to change out the hand guard to match with the other OD Magpul furniture, but the CAR hand guard will work for now. Next, we’ll see how she shoots.

Single Stack 9mm Glock, Model 43, Finally

glock 43

Last year, the Glock 42 was unveiled with much fanfare. I made the case why the pistol in .380 auto was ok for concealed carry purposes. But that a single stack 9mm similar in size to the 42 would be even better. I whined and complained about how Glock needs to listen to the people and get ‘er done. I mean, every glock lovin’ CCW holder I know says the same thing,”If Glock ever came out with a single stack 9mm, I’d buy it.” Well, they finally listened. Enter the Glock 43.

The 43 has almost the same dimensions as it’s smaller (but older) brother. It’s only an inch wide, which is one of my biggest requirements for carrying concealed. The 43 has the same simple, yet dependable features as all the other Glocks. Same trigger, sights, disassembly, magazine release, etc……

Also, because of the fine tuning of the spring, the pistol has been rumored to have a little bit softer perceived recoil than the average 9mm its size.

Glock says that the 43 is its biggest release to date. Considering the history of this gun-making giant, that’s a huge statement. Maybe they’re right.

Photo Credit