Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Finally I think my brain has recovered from the 20+ hours I spent in the classroom over the weekend enough for me to sit down and really put some thoughts out there for my readers. If you notice I didn’t put review in the title. I don’t think a review would do this class justice. That would be like me saying I want to write a review for my first time skydiving. It is an experience. I can describe it to you and give you brief points about it here and there but I believe everyone’s experience leaving a MAG-20 will be different which is why I will only give you my final thoughts on it. That may sound strange for most people but until you take the class you won’t truly understand.

The class was held in Twinsburg Ohio and was hosted by Paul Carlson and Safety Solutions Academy. The class was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in one of their conference rooms. It was very convenient to come right down from the room and not have to go anywhere plus the staff kept the coffee, tea, water, and Chex Mix coming.  For this type of class it was a great fit. The conference room was the perfect size to host 22 students and all the audio video equipment. We had a little problem with a DVD player at the end of day one but Paul sorted it out and everything was ready to go by the second day. (By the way keep your eyes on the Safety Solutions Podcast for a post class interview between Paul and Mas)

After we got settled in on Friday I posted up a little info on the Citizen’s Rules of Engagement class so you can check out the links there. Class started at 8:30 on the dot Saturday with a brand new ball point pen and from that moment on it was massive amounts of knowledge being tossed into your face. The weekend ended with a dead ball point pen and 38 pages of hand written notes. The amount of information was amazing.

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Class photo from the last day

Now I know you are sitting there wanting me to start into what information was covered and give a good outline of the class. As I started todays post I said this is an experience and everyone gets something different out of it. I walked away from this class realizing that everyone that takes carrying a gun seriously needs to take this class for the simple fact that nobody teaches every stage of an encounter as well Massad Ayoob.

Let’s think about the three sides of an armed encounter real quick. First you have the pre event, the moments leading up to the fight of your life. Next is the fight. Finally we have the post encounter. The MAG-20 class covers all three stages of the event in serious depth. You might survive the encounter only to loose your life in court afterwards because you were sufficiently prepared to handle the aftermath. So many people out there teach for the events leading up and even more teach the how to fight portion, but nobody teaches the after the shoot like Mas.

Obviously there are aspects of the class that are respectfully asked to keep off the internet and I will not be the one to break that trust. I will say for those who are planning on taking a MAG-20 that I felt very prepared from reading some of Massad’s books. One of the most beneficial ones in my opinion was “In the Gravest Extreme”  which is a relatively short read with a ton of information.

Again I think that everyone serious about carrying a gun in self-defense needs to take this class. This class packs so much information into the 20 hours that it feels like you are drinking from a fire hose. The one surprising thing I walked away with is looking at the value of life in a new whole new light. I realized that often when you are busy looking for bad things you sometimes miss the good things in life. I realized also why I carry a gun everyday. The gun isn’t just for me, it is for everyone that depends on me. I owe it to my family to be here for them. I’m no good to them if I am a fancy box six feet under the ground. I am also not any good if I’m in a jail cell because I didn’t know how to properly handle the aftermath of defending my life. That reason is exactly why I feel this class was worth every cent and that everyone who carries a gun needs to take this class.

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(From left to right) Paul, Jason, Brian, Massad

Head over to the Facebook page and give it a like. While you are there make sure you swing by Valkyrie Defense Group and like that page also. We are getting our warm weather class schedule sorted out and dates are going quickly so if you are planning on jumping into one of our Concealed Handgun classes or one of our advanced pistol classes get with us and find out what dates we have open.

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BS

I have to say when I get good service I like to let my readers know and today is one of those days. As some of you may remember when going over my thoughts on the Smith & Wesson Vtac I said that I was disappointed with the fact there was only 2 mags in the package. I like to have a minimum of 5 for each gun I carry or train with. I usually keep two loaded with my carry ammo and the other three are my practice/range mags and since most advanced classes require a minimum of three I have two spares that don’t get abused too much to fill in if one goes down or breaks. So I hit the internet last week to find some more magazines to fill the gap S&W left me. In my searching I was starting to get really discouraged. Everyone was either $35+ or out of stock.

Finally I ran across Quantico Tactical and found their three pack deal and jumped all over it. These are factory magazines but instead of being in the fancy packaging they came in individual ziplock bags.

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I was a little leery to place the order because I was having a hard time finding any reviews on Quantico Tactical or their bulk packaged magazines but I ended up ordering them on a Wednesday and had them in my hand on Monday.  We taught a Concealed Handgun class on Sunday. Valkyrie Defense always has one instructor shoot the course of fire alongside the students to build confidence with the students that the instructors can perform everything that the students are asked to do. I did the shooting portion with the students on Sunday and put the new mags to use. (I will post the picture of my target on the blog’s Facebook page tomorrow afternoon to show the progress I am making with adjusting to the Vtac also) All three ran without a problem through out all the drills. I will get them to the range one of these days and step the abuse up and see how they handle it but I am betting they will be fine. If I do find any problems I will be sure to let everyone know but I doubt any issues will arise since these are factory mags.

I will go on record and say if you want some good quick service and want to get a good deal on some M&P magazines (around $26) Quantico Tactical gets my stamp of approval.

Be sure to head over the Book of Faces and like the page. We are coming up on 350 and we always have room for more. Also like the VDG page and check out some of the training dates we have available around Ohio.

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BS

I don’t normally give reviews of products unless I have used them for a minimum of three months. There are a few products I have been testing and taking notes on for over a year now just to make sure I can give an honest and complete review but this product I bought just before Christmas for myself and a few friends and couldn’t wait to write a review for you guys and gals.

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The T.A.S.K or Tactical Ass Scrubbing Kit is the only personal hygiene product on the market I have found. Constructed of anti-microbial mesh and available in two colors, Black or Tan, the T.A.S.K can be used with solid bars like Dove Men (because I am a Man.) or liquid soap. Ladies don’t feel left out, according to Fight or Flight Tactical website

Gals:  It exfoliates to reveal a newer, softer you, and works with your favorite beauty bar.  The mesh’s antimicrobial fibers also prevents bacterial growth, so there’s no lingering ikkiness.

That is cute. Wonder what they say about guys?

Guys: It scrubs off the grime and stank, and even uses your leftover soap slivers. Wash away the blood of your enemies, making you smell and look better as you hear the lamentation of their women.

The T.A.S.K. does have a short break in period which is one of the downfalls I could find. By break in period I mean it takes a few uses to soften it up a little. Just claiming that they come a little stiff is a little understatement. Don’t be surprised if while washing off the blood of your enemies you also wash away a layer or two of your skin. The other down fall I found was the 6″ piece of webbing could be just a tad bit longer so I could get it around the hot or cold water knobs in the shower. Other than those two changes I think this is a well thought out product.

If you have any of your tactical loving brethren with a birthday or gift giving holiday coming up, or if you have one that nobody wants to stack up with on a door breach because the only abusive thing about them isn’t their language,  these make a great inexpensive little gift.  If you are interested in finding one you can pick them up from Fight and Flight Tactical here. If you are interested in more reviews that I have done you can find them under the “Reviews” tab above.

Be sure you remember to like us on Facebook!

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BS

If you are following on Facebook you probably saw a picture I posted up on Friday morning showing off a new toy I picked up.

If you like the blog on Facebook you have see this.

If you like the blog on Facebook you have see this.

I have been looking for a revolver for awhile now. At first I was looking for a Smith Bodyguard or a Ruger LCP. I thought about it and realized that all the guns I really put to work are 9mm. My Dillon is set up for 9mm and is usually cranking out rounds at least one night a week to keep myself ahead of what I use during practice and classes. It became clear that I really didn’t need to add another caliber to the mix and I wanted to keep commonality across the board with my guns. Another reason I wanted a revolver was to mold myself into a more rounded shooter. I want to be able to make sure that when we get a student shooting a revolver I can help them the same as I can for a semi-auto shooter.

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Taurus 905 9mm

I ended up settling on a Taurus 905 in 9mm. The 905 is a 5 round, double single action with a 2 inch barrel. My first impression when opening the box was good. The fit and finish is what you would expect from a new gun. When I was still out searching I ran across a certain brand that actually looked like the barrel was JB Welded onto the frame. Unloaded the gun is pretty hefty. The grips fit me pretty well and the trigger is what I expected from a band new revolver. The 9mm being a rimless cartridge needs a little help staying inside the chamber. The 905 utilizes moon clips and comes from the fctory with a total of 5.

I finally got a chance to shoot it out on our farm. I put about 30 rounds through it before it got too dark. I was using some of my reloads and was pleasantly surprised at the low recoil. The loads are 115gr RN from Xtreme Bullets being pushed by 4.0gr of Titegroup. I am thinking that if these rounds are too snappy for the wife I can even hold a little back on the powder and make it even more manageable but I am doubting it will be a problem. The accuracy is pretty much what I expected for a 2 inch revolver and me behind the trigger. Like I said above I am not a great revolver shooter but I managed a decent group at 7 yards.

The one small problem I did run across was the moon clip was having a hard time hanging onto the 2011 S&B casing. It held Blazer, Federal, and 2012 S&B casing just fine. I guess there is a slight difference in the 2011 specs. I didn’t run across any other problems and was pretty happy with the way it shot.

A closer look at the moon clip

A closer look at the moon clip

I am still up in the air if I am going to carry this gun at all just yet. I can see myself carrying it as a backup gun but not a primary. I don’t want to give up the capacity the Glock offers just yet. I hope to keep practicing and getting better in the way of the revolver, and I will be sure to keep you updated if I run across any problems. As of right now I think this is going to be a great learning piece and I can’t wait to get out and spend a little more time behind it. I intend to get it all cleaned back up and squirt some Slipstream into it and see what difference that will make with the trigger.

Any questions, comments, or tips regarding the Taurus feel free to email me or hit me up on the Facebook Page.

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BS

Liberty Civil Defense has been my new carry ammo for the last month and a half. There are a few cool things about this that I really enjoy about it so far and has had me switching to these as my primary carry rounds all through summer.

First, lets get the specs out of the way. This is a lead free 50 gr. fragmenting monolithic hollow point. The rounds themselves are made of nickel-plated copper with a nickel-plated (brass) cartridge case. Why lead free you ask? I wondered the same thing. I figured they were trying to get a jump on the new laws in California calling for all ammunition to be free of lead and apparently I was wrong. According to Liberty Ammunition, they set out to design the most lethal ammunition in the world and it just so happened that lead free produced the best results. Who knew right?

The reason I started looking into this ammo is because I am always concerned about over penetration. After looking into some of the videos online I liked what I saw. After the initial impact on most ballistic gel tests the round would fragment and dump a ton of energy really quickly. The base seems to travel roughly 11 inches into the gel, but it loses about half of its weight during the fragmentation. The impact and wound channel looks pretty devastating and in a self-defense round that is what I look for. I want to make sure whoever is on the receiving end of my rounds quickly re-evaluates their actions and life choices, and after watching some of the videos I think this is the round to make that happen.

It looks like they picked up Joe Teti from Dual Survival to do some of their videos for them.

One thing I do enjoy about the 50 gr bullet is that a fully loaded Glock 19 mag weighs less than one of my California compliant 10 rounders with standard ball ammo. When you are carrying these in the gun it feels like there is no magazine. In the summer time that is pretty nice since my standard summer time “operator uniform” is shorts, light t-shirt, and my vibram Bikila LS’ (and yes the Vibrams are awesome) so it is nice to have the light gun feel but still have that 15 round capacity.

When I tested the rounds I was pleasantly surprised with the minimal recoil and spot on accuracy paired with the Glock 19. When I say reduced recoil I am serious. It is very noticeable and made follow-up shots great as there was very little muzzle flip. Ladies will appreciate this change from some of the other self-defense rounds on the market. I am a firm believer in there is no such thing as a “one stop shot.” Quick precise follow up shots are going to be needed and the light recoil offered by these rounds will make that possible.

Of course there are quite a few people who aren’t as enthused about what these rounds offer and you can find a lot of differing views and skeptics on Youtube. Here is one of those videos:

The reason I posted this video in particular was the pork shoulder portion. The wound cavity is insane! I am almost certain that would make somebody stop doing whatever it was that prompted the need for an armed response.

Here is another video from Ammunition Depot showing a slow motion on ballistic gel.

Having confidence in your equipment is vital. If you do your research and feel you are better suited with something else, rock on. It is your choice and I am just here showing you options. I am confident that this ammo in my Glock will provide me the protection and performance I need in the summer time. With cooler weather rolling around I am still undecided if I am going to stick with Liberty in the winter or move towards a heavier round. As soon as I make a decision I will fill you in.

If you do decide to try out some Liberty for yourself you can find some at Ammunition Depot right now and they have a heck of a sale price on it as of today (October 15th, 2013).

Make sure you head over to like the Facebook page or subscribe by email in the left hand column.

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BS

We didn’t have a class last weekend so we decided to hit up the range and get some practice in before the next class. It was raining a little when we got there so we decided to give the new concrete in the indoor range a test run until the weather cleared up. As we progressed from drill to drill we ended up on a mag change drill and we had a little equipment failure.

Earlier in the year when things were a little crazy and it was getting difficult to find those ammo and magazines some people had to make sacrifices and pick up what they could find. My buddy ran across a deal that had two KCI mags and a mag pouch.

Mags and pouch

Mags and pouch

So far he has never had any problems with them. All his mags functioned without any issues until one met the concrete after being dropped during the mag change. Mag goes one way, spring and follower go another, and the base plate manages to escape in yet a third direction.

It turns out that the baseplates on the KCI mags are a little weak.

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Good news is the fix is easy and a sturdier Glock brand baseplate will fit. So if you have any KCI Glock mags just keep in mind that you might need to keep a few extra baseplates on hand to keep a mag in the game.

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BS

I received a Lee Precision Carbide 9mm 4 die set for Christmas last year to complement my new Dillon 550b. I had a little problem with it last week when I was loading some extra ammo for the START class. Up until then the dies have worked flawlessly as you would expect from a Lee product. The problem I met apparently is a common occurrence because Lee has now corrected the issue.

The decapper is made up of two separate parts, the rod, and the pin. The roller pin is seated inside the rod itself. The problem I ran into was and it seems a few others have run across is the pin getting stuck in the flash hole and being pulled back out of the rod. Leaving your die looking like this…

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And leaving the pin in the casing looking like this…

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I contacted Lee with their online warranty claim form and the next day had someone email me letting me know that it was taken care of and I had a new decapper on the way.

Apparently this is a common problem enough to force them to change the design from, a two piece as I described above, to a solid machined one piece. They seemed to have announced it in April of 2013 in their “Knowledgeables/FAQ” section.

Would I recommend this die set to anyone? Well it depends. Are they coming with a new decapper design or the old now? If you get a set with the old design can you return it right away for the new one? If there is no problem with returning it I don’t see why it should be a problem. Lee’s customer service was great they returned an email to me in less than 8 hours and no questions asked sent me a new rod free of charge. I feel it is a good die set for the money but they had poorly designed decapper where they are in the process of fixing. If they continue to replace them with out question I would say yes I recommend this set for the value and customer service from the manufacturer. If they start refusing to fix the flawed design or the customer service starts to fall off I will take back my recommendation and encourage people to choose a different brand.

Any thoughts or questions go ahead and send them to me with the contact form above or over on either Facebook or Shooters Legion.

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BS