Veterans Day Thanks

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I am remembering those of you who have served in the American armed forces. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be participating in all these things that I cherish and enjoy. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to walk around without fear. I have a feeling that our country would not look the same if it weren’t for you.

There are people in this world who hate the fact that we are free here in America, those who want to steal kill and destroy what God has blessed us with. It is you who serve/served in the U.S. military that have stood in the way of that destruction. It is you that keep them at bay. If it weren’t for you, those who hate us would be at my house or church instead of just in the news.

I’m guessing there are many of you around me and I’m not fully aware of that fact. I personally know several of you. Sometimes I don’t know you but I see you when I’m out (maybe it’s your uniform, a hat or a license plate that causes me to realize your service).

To you who have or do serve in the armed forces of our nation, Thank you. I appreciate your service. If you didn’t sacrifice, it would have to be me who left my home and family. If you didn’t place your body in harms way, I would have to. Thank you and God bless.

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Lineup

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I thought this would be a fun picture. I grabbed different types of empty brass that I had lying around and lined them up in ascending order. They include from left to right: .22 LR, .32 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .45 Long Colt, .50 AE, .500 S&W.

The last (furthest to right) is the bottom section of a 30 x 173 mm fired from the GAU8 Gatling style cannon. This is the round used in the A-10 Warthog tank killer. Given to me as a gift, it apparently was coated in a lacquer, artistically painted upon, and intended to be used as a shot glass. Considering that this particular round fired depleted uranium projectiles at a velocity of somewhere around 3,300 ft/second and at a rate of 3,900 rounds per minute, it’s no wonder they called the A-10 a tank killer.

 

Toys and Play: Training for Life?

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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.

Bushnell TRS-25 Micro Dot: Best Cheap Reflex Sight

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After getting my AR-15, I had been looking for an optic to mount on the top. I wanted a reflex sight that didn’t break the bank. I like Eotechs, but the funds weren’t exactly there.

To say I did some research before buying is an understatement. We are talking days here.

What kept coming up were the favorable reviews and word of mouth about the Bushnell TRS-25. It was said to be reliable, durable, had a long battery life, and was inexpensive, below $100.

I paid attention to the  reviews on Amazon (over 1500) that rated it at 4.4 out of 5. I also appreciate the review Luke at Triangle Tactical wrote for the sight. That is actually what finally sold me.

Once I made the purchase, everything I found in my research  turned out to be right on. The TRS-25 isn’t the best red dot on the market, but I would argue that it might be the best one out there for under $100.

The name says it all. The inside of the tube is 25 mm in diameter. This may be a little small if only using the dominant eye, but I actually bought it to use with both eyes open. Keeping the weak eye open while acquiring the target really opens up your field of view. Don’t worry, the dominant eye still takes over.

There is no magnification. Once you start looking for that, the price shoots up a good bit.

It uses a CR2032 battery (size of a quarter), and has not shown any signs of dimming in the 6 months I’ve had it. Supposedly it can keep going for a year left on at about half power. We’ll see about that.

There are 11 power settings that are controlled by twisting the larger dial on the upper side of the tube. This obviously changes the brightness settings. “0” is off.

I personally think 11 choices are a bit much, and would probably have gone with half that many, but it is nice on the upper power settings to be able to keep going and be right back at the off position.

As far as the brightness, 10 is about right for me outside on a sunny day. 3 works great inside, and one is perfect at night.

If you want to cowitness with your iron sights, you’ll need a medium riser. This means that if the scope goes out, you can flip your backup sights up and look right through the tube, ready to go. In fact the little red dot lines up perfectly through the middle of my peep sight, and sits right on the top of the front post.

I went with a cheap $10 medium riser from UTG. Despite the bad rap this riser has gotten in some reviews, I’ve had no trouble with it whatsoever. To the credit of both the riser and scope, I have accidentally beaten it against walls, and the dot stays zeroed.

Speaking of zeroing, it was quite easy. The elevation and windage caps unscrew and allow you to use a screwdriver or coin to adjust. the clicks were identifiable, but not too tight for me. In fact the red dot wasn’t too far out of zero right out of the box.

The front lens is a reflective orange color, and there is a slight green tinge looking through from the back, but that hasn’t bothered me at all.

About the only thing that I have to complain about is the Bikini lens covers. I either have to pull them down around the base, or put them in a pocket. I don’t like either option. I mostly go the pocket route.

For the price, I would highly recommend this little red dot. It’s no Eotech, or Aimpoint, but neither is it $500, or more. If you are looking for a cheap, but reliable alternative, buy the Bushnell TRS-25.

Here We Go Again: The Proposed Ammunition Ban Executive Order

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Word of a new executive order from the president was mentioned on Thursday. The newest piece of paper from the Oval Office would ban the sale and manufacture of armor piercing rounds used in the immensely popular AR-15 platform. Not unexpectedly, citizens, lawmakers, and groups such as the NRA are adamantly opposing the move.

One of the effects of the news is ammo disappearing off store shelves and internet pages………..again. People are going crazy with the stockpiling. I’m not talking about just armor piercing rounds, this includes all .223 and 5.56. Soon it may be every caliber. I may be somewhat OK with my other guns, but I have been slowly building my AR ammunition supply. And now this.

It’s possible, I may not see another box of .223 for 12 to 15 months. Look at .22LR. That caliber has still not made a comeback.

My supplier even told me that many AR-15’s are now gone from the market

I guess it’s understandable, considering what has happened in the last 6 years, but come on. I’m just trying to get up to 100 extra rounds right now. Work with me people! Can I have part of your 300,000 round stash? I’ll pay extra.

I guess this just confirms that Barrack Obama is the best firearms and ammunition salesman in history.

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