Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ruger 10/22 - Ubiquitous Excellence

The Ruger 10/22 is one of the firearms that is extraordinarily pervasive throughout the US. As a well made, yet inexpensive .22 LR semi-auto rifle, the Ruger 10/22 has been made by the millions and sold probably everywhere that such firearms are legal to own on Earth. There are third party companies making literally every part including receivers. It's been made in a variety of rimfire calibers and can be found at just about any gun shop in the US. People love them and customize the snot out of them.

And I never owned one.

Until now. About mid-way though 2018 I signed up for the Appleseed Project two day class in Macon where you need a rifle with good irons and a sling. They suggest a .22 rifle for it's cheap and plentiful ammunition as you need around 500 rounds for the two day event. I was planing on taking my ProjectCarbine and a .22 LR. The Ruger American Rimfire would have been a good choice but the iron sights were installed incorrectly from the factory. I purchased a new 10/22 with walnut stock and had the local gun shop install swivel studs for a sling. It's Ruger's basic carbine with 18 inch barrel and wood stock (PN# 1103).

I've owned semi auto .22s for years. The Stevens 62 was the first rifle I ever owned and still have it but it never struck me as a great rifle despite not having any real trouble with it. The Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 was loads of fun but I traded it years ago for something more important. It's also currently banned from Appleseed Project classes. The older Marlin 60 I have would make for a great truck gun but not necessarily the best choice for the class due to the tube magazine. I decided to pick up the Ruger to see what all the hype was about.

After learning a little bit about what the 10/22 is and it's design, I can completely agree with the people. I get it. The Ruger 10/22 is simple. It is devilishly simple. The way the barrel mates to the receiver blew my mind once I saw it. Two bolts. That's it. Just two bolts hold the barrel to a point on the receiver and it works so well. You can tear a 10/22 down with simple hand tools sitting on your couch. You can literally build a new one from entirely aftermarket parts while binge watching Netflix from your living room without a workbench or vice in a few hours.

The customization options are outrageous. From heavy barrels and caliber conversion to hand crafted wood stocks or cool-guy stocks that make it look like a G36, a P90 or even a M249. Some where even converted to full auto with absurd cyclic rates. They have target models, take-down models and even a pistol version called the Charger. 

Bill Ruger truly nailed it with the 10/22.

I have a low round count (about 150 rounds) with the rifle since purchasing it but so far I've enjoyed it. I can absolutely see building a fully customized rifle in the future and even have plans to do so.

I completely recommend the Ruger 10/22 for everyone.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tricking Out Guns - Upgrading the Gen1 M&P Shield

One of my carry options has been the M&P Shield 9 with thumb safety for the last few years. While I've been thinking about making changes to the Shield, for the most part I've left it stock with the exception of Talon grips. That said, since I've been on a Tom Clancy, Jack Ryan series kick, I decided to make a few changes.

In the series, Jack Ryan's oldest son, Jack Jr., works for an off-the-books, private intelligence firm referred to as The Campus. Several of the operators of The Campus carry the M&P Shield for their more clandestine actions.

The changes I've made are the basic changes that I make to all my carry guns; tritium iron sights and a weapon light. In this case, I've foregone my usual TRUGLO TFX's for a set of Trijicon HD's with the yellow outline. The Streamlight TLR-6 will serve as the light. However, I have an additional change for kicks and giggles; a Lone Wolf Distributors AlphaWolf threaded barrel.You know, for wet work.

I'll be running the stock barrel most of the time but I am very interested to see how this all works with the DeadAir Wolf 9SD especially in the short config. This is going to be fun.

As for holsters, Gearcraft Holsters has an order for their IWB with all the goodies for my gun I can expect to be delivered in June or July.

And yes I am excited for the Amazon Jack Ryan series.

Update: I had recoil spring / guide rod failure in June. I went to swap out the threaded barrel and the assembly spontaneously self-dissembled. I was able to locate the 2 guide rod pieces and the springs  and manually reassemble the gun but it was a giant pain.I ordered 2 replacement spring assemblies.

A post shared by Ian Kocher (@der.yetti) on

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Carbine Build - #ProjectCarbine

The main focus of this build was to create what I call the 'Cool-Guy' AR15. Initially, the project started off as a buildup of a cheap DPMS Oracle, however, after examination of the parts list on the DPMS, I determined that the 4140 steel barrel and commercial spec buffer tube were not 'Cool-Guy' enough for this build. Therefore, replacements were needed. In essence, the parts that needed to be good such as the barrel and action should be of excellent quality where the rest can be re-purposed from existing parts. As the project progressed, the idea, while satirical, ended up being to build a legitimate firearm that I could grow into as I become more proficient with a rifle. 

When I found out that the Oracle had a commercial spec buffer tube, I opted to re-assign the built DPMS lower to another project. I pulled a stripped Anderson lower from inventory and assigned it to the build.  I had set it aside until I could source all the parts I wanted. I had the 4140 barrel and carbine length gas system stripped from the Oracle's upper. I later removed the ejection port cover and forward assist from the upper in preparation for Cerakote finishing. I chose a Geissele MK8, 13 inch rail to act as a free-float handguard and rigid mounting point for any accessories such as a weapon light and front sight. During the planning phase, I setteled on two options for barrels but I knew it was going to be a mid-length gas system and 14.5 inch barrel. I ended up choosing the Faxon Firearms GUNNER 14.5 inch barrel with mid-length gas system. I had initially considered the FN-made, Spikes Tactical "machine gun" barrel but the cost vs benefit of the double chrome lined FN barrel vs the Faxon QPQ didn't pan out for me; I opted for the Faxon for it's QPQ finish and price. Prior to Cerakote-ing the receivers and rail, I knew I wanted and an adjustable, low profile, gas block. After searching and searching, the only suitable option came from Superlative Arms as the barrel requires a .625 inch gas block, something difficult to find in the adjustable form. Given that the barrel is under the 16 inch minimum for Title 1 firearms, I had Moss Pawn and Gun do a pin and weld using a Surefire WARCOMP to keep everything Title 1. I'm not ready to do tax stamps for firearms just yet. While the barrel was getting a pin-and-weld, I had GA Firing Line complete the Cerakote job. Both of them completed their tasks quickly and with quality results.

The Cerakote job is excellent. I ended up with Cerakote's SIG Dark Grey (H-210Q) and I really like the way it looks and feels. It's very modern looking. I've already been putting the durability to the test.

Once I had the upper assembly completed, I topped it off with Magpul MBUS Pro sights because I love them. I also added a few MAGPUL MLOK accessories. With a fully built upper, I pulled the DPMS lower assembly off of ProjectBasic for testing. Once, initial testing was complete, I began sourcing the lower parts needed. I built out the Cerakoted Anderson lower with a standard Anderson parts kit but used a Geisselle Super Dynamic 3 Gun flat shoe trigger. The stock I used was a Magpul MOE-SL mil-spec I had in inventory; a temporary solution until I settle on the stock I want. During testing, I found I had trouble seeing the narrow and dark front sight post initiating a purchase of Blitzkrieg Component's bright yellow / green replacement front post. They also have a tritium front post.

For the final touches I scooped up a Midwest Industries cantilever, QD mount for use with a Primary Arms 1-6 Gen 3 with the ACSS reticle. It wasn't necessary but I had the fine folks at 42 North gun shop lap the mount rings and level the scope. They have done a ton of small stuff to help me get this rifle to a place where I am happy.

The build has run flawlessly so far allowing me to declare this rifle as mechanically complete. The only parts missing from the upper are a Radian RAPTOR-SD charging handle, a bolt carrier group of my choosing and a Surefire SOCOM-556 RC suppressor. I'm considering replacing the Magpul MS3 sling with a Slingster and adding a Surefire WARDEN to the mix. I will look to picking up a Bravo B5 SOPMOD Enhanced stock but we will see.

So far, I am ecstatic about how this build has turned out. It seems to shoot well enough and the trigger break is so clean and I'm running the default 4 lbs spring. The rifle isn't exhaustively heavy with everything. I haven't really been able to do any real shooting with it but as soon as I am able, I will stretch this baby's legs. I have no real changes I'd like to make!

CZ 75 P-01 - 2 Years of Service

I've had the CZ P-01 for over 2 years now. It's been my primary carry gun for the most part during that time. I'm still going through holsters and made a few changes to the pistol and the way I carry it but it's continued to be fantastic. Some days I swap out for another pistol such as the P-10c or M&P9 Shield but I almost always end up going back to the P-01.

The pistol's current form is wearing a set of tritium fiber optic TruGlo TFX Pro iron sights and an Inforce APL-c. This seriously limits my selection of holsters to custom made deals but given that I spend half my year on night shift, it makes sense to have a white light to illuminate the dark corners of the world.

I've also switched my carry method to inside the waistband for day-to-day. The latest holster I'm using is the Gearcraft Holsters IWB made here in Georgia. It isn't the worst option but after several months of use, I've found issue with the canted clip mounting in combination with the belt clip design tends to leave the holster loose and on a few occasions, the holster came with the pistol on draw. It's a well made holster but I wish they had the option to change the cant. Update: It turn's out one of the holes is elongated to allow for adjusting cant. This are great holsters but I still wish they had a tuckable option for my setup.

I have no idea how many rounds I have through the gun. It's not a huge number but should be around 1,500 to 2,000 or more. I've shot just about everything FMJ wise that's immediately available and have had very few issues.

The only real complaints I have are my lack of skill with the double action trigger pull and the rubber coated base plate of the magazine has a sharp corner that pokes my fatty sides becoming painful after a while when carrying the spare magazine on the same side.

I need to spend more time with the pistol but CZ has solidified the P-01's position in my carry rotation as a primary, go-to option.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

YouTube HQ Shooting - Details

We don't have all the details of the attack yet but since it's already being used as a piece of political ammunition, here we go. Shields to max, I guess.

Here's a breakdown of some of the gun control laws in place in California and how they didn't stop the YouTube HQ mass shooting; at least 3 people were shot by the perpetrator with a handgun who then shot their self. You can guarantee that Mass Shooting Tracker will chalk this up as a mass shooting (update: they already have).


-Firearm Safety Certificate - Can't buy unless you have a certificate.

-Universal Background Checks - Private transfers must go through a dealer to run a background check.

-Enhanced Background Checks - California's DOJ goes through federal and state databases to check eligibility.

-Ammunition Transfer - You have to go through a licensed dealer to buy ammo. There is a transfer fee. Same goes for online ammo. You can buy but it has to be shipped to the dealer for transfer.

-Assault Weapons Ban - California's AWB is pretty weak by comparison to other places but it still exists.

-Firearms Registration - All newly purchased firearms must be registered to the CA DOJ.

-10 Round Magazine Limitation - Pretty obvious.

-10 Day Waiting Period - At a minimum this applies to all first time buyers.

-Microstamping for Semi Auto Pistols - CA requires that new semi auto pistols have microstamping before they can be accepted onto the approved firearms list.

-Approved Firearms List - CA requires all handguns sold in the state be submitted to their DOJ for evaluation.

-Red Flag Laws - Legalized confiscation if authorities think you're a threat.

-Gun Free Zone - I don't have access to the employee handbook but it's isn't a stretch to imagine YouTube doesn't allow personal firearms on their property but I can't confirm that.

What else would you like to add?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Buying a Silencer or Suppressor - Silencer Shop's Kiosk and Services

DISCLAIMER - Guns are loud, wear appropriate ear and eye protection.

Other DISCLAIMER - I'm not being paid or receiving any kick backs etc from Silencer Shop or anyone at all for this article.


Recently, I decided to buy a silencer. This is the process I took to buy one plus some other cool background stuff.


Silencers for firearms have been around for quiet a while. Hiram Maxim's son filed a patent in 1909 for the first known design calling it a "silencer." In 1934, Congress enacted the Nation Firearms Act, or as I will refer from henceforth NFA or NFA 1934, which created two groups of firearms and firearm devices; Title 1 and Title 2. Title 1 firearms were the guns the writers of the law thought people used for normal activities like hunting and personal defense and the Title 2 group is for firearms and devices they considered exceptionally dangerous or didn't have sporting purposes such as machine guns, short barrel firearms, silencers, poaching, etc. At the time, instead of out right prohibiting firearms (rumor has it they didn't believe they had the power to do so), Congress used the powers of Taxation and power of Commerce granted to them by the Constitution to place an excise tax on Title 2 firearms to regulate said devices. This was the IRS's new firearm division that later became the BATFE. A $200 tax (or $5 tax for specific firearms), registration of the Title 2 device, fingerprints, extensive background checks and storage requirements in exchange for a tax stamp are all part of the NFA world.

Silencers, or suppressors and 'cans' as they are more commonly referred to in the firearms world, work by encapsulating and regulating the expanding gasses of the rapidly burning gun powder. This reduces the auditory signature created by a gun shot but not eliminating it, hence why many refer to silencers as suppressors in the firearm community. Depending on numerous factors such as bullet velocity, barrel length, amount of gun powder, etc, this regulation can reduce the intensity of the sound of a gun shot by a fairly significant amount; around 30 dB. A firearm such as a bolt action rifle chambered in a full power, rifle caliber such as 30-06 with a decent length barrel can produce a decibel level in excess of 160 dB. For perspective, typical conversation is around 60-70 dB according to a quick Google search. A jet engine at take off can be around 130 to 150 dB. Your garbage disposal can be around 80 dB. OSHA says sustained 90 dB (specifically dBA) is acceptable. Basically, a gun shot is one of the loudest things you can come in contact with on a regular basis. Due to the levels involved, it's not unusual for a person to "double up" on ear protection by using ear plus and ear muffs. I've personally shot a 45 ACP 1911 with a 5 inch barrel without ear pro outside with out significant damage but I only did it once and isn't something I'm willing to do regularly. The 1911 in 45 is listed around 159 dB on the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation's website. They do list the AR-15 in .223 Remington but they don't mention barrel length.

Basically, guns are loud. Even a lowly 22 rimfire rifle can be pretty loud at 143 dB. That said, I really like shooting my Henry lever action rifle with those .22 CB Short rounds when I'm at the farm. Very quiet by comparison to a normal .22 LR. At least quiet enough that I'm willing to shoot without ear pro fairly regularly.

Since the introduction of NFA 1934, silencers have been devices that the general public typically only see in movies and other media. People for the most part have no exposure to them. This lack of exposure does little to dispel myths and can help propagate misunderstandings surrounding the devices in both their operation/function and the laws regulating them.

Thanks to video games and certain spy movies, I remember thinking silencers made a whisper quiet, high pitched, pew sound that you may not even hear in a quiet library. Recently, that stereotype has been corrected.

Although this was some time ago, when I found out I could own one I decided that a suppressor was right for me. I did research on how to go abouts doing so and learned a lot. The paperwork surrounding silencers seemed daunting and, frankly, a little scary. I figured someday I would get around to it but just not now. Enter Silencer Shop.

The Process I Took

Some time ago, the ATF changed a few requirements with what has become known as 41P. This removed a few requirements and added others. You are welcome and encouraged to read up on the changes. With 41P, the process becomes significantly more streamlined and reduces the chances for errors on the forms or at least so I'm told.

Along with selling silencers and the corresponding accessories, Silencer Shop has since introduced a few services such as their Tax Stamp service, Trust service and Form 1 service.

To aide in the purchase process, they created a kiosk that has the ability to scan your fingerprints (needed for the ATF forms) and the passport style photo you need to send with the appropriate form; Form 4 in my case.

After the multi-year deliberation, I finally decided to take the plunge into the NFA world and buy a suppressor suitable for 9mm pistols. This needed to be able to work with my ProjectPDW build and other 9mm pistols. It would also give me the option to shoot .300 AAC Blackout if I wanted to. I found a suitable suppressor, or can, that would work for me. More on the device later.

I op-ed to pursue the trust method since this gives me the ability to add heirs should I have children that, once of age, would be able receive my property, in the event of a situation such as death or incapacitation. It also allows me to add persons that I would like to be able to have legal access to the devices, such as a spouse/significant other or parent, that way they can enjoy them or access them, for legal reasons, without breaking any laws should I not be available at the moment to control access.

Setting up a trust through Silencer Shop turned out to be easy. They sent web based forms that I filled out of who I wanted the settlor, the trustees and beneficiaries to be. Give it a name and that's pretty much it. They create the paperwork for you then you sign and have it notarized. Other companies also have NFA trust services but I have no experience with them though people that I trust have recommended others.

If you wish to use Silencer Shop's Tax Stamp service, you create a profile on their website or at the kiosk, inputting all the pertinent information and filling out a questionnaire. You upload the trust information and paperwork to their website along with the passport style photo and fingerprints you put in at the kiosk. They check all the paperwork and fingerprints for compliance then e-file the Form 4 along with the $200 for you. I'm told that this takes about a week to complete. As an update to this article, April 3rd was when I received the Form 4 for signing via Docusign. Silencer Shop should be preparing to E-File it shortly.

Once the ATF has the paperwork, it will take several months (current projections are around 7 months for E-file Form 4, Trust) for them to complete the background check needed then mail out the tax stamp. The stamp will be mailed to the store I purchased the suppressor from who will call me once everything is ready to be picked up. Update: It appears that Silencer Shop will snail mail the Form 4 instead of E-File. That would explain why I couldn't find wait times for Form 4 Trust E-File. Bleh...

Waiting sucks but depending on the shop you buy from and when you buy it (tax return season is apparently the worst), they may allow you to shoot the device at their range while you wait. You are not allowed to take it home since that would be considered a transfer.

The can that I bought is modular enough that I can use it for both 9mm and supersonic .300 Blackout but it doesn't mention anything about 5.56. It's also segmented meaning that one part unscrews from the main body allowing for a shorter configuration. The can is fairly heavy so the shorter, or K configuration, is welcome even though the suppression is significantly reduced.  So far, I've only run the can in the full length configuration but on both my CZ P-09 and ProjectPDW. With subsonic 9mm, the full effect is spectacular. The noise levels are fantastic. ProjectPDW is an absolute pleasure to shoot. If there wasn't anyone else at the range, I wouldn't bother with any ear protection when shooting subsonic ammunition. The P09 is just as fun but there seems to be significant debris that ejects rearward so shooting glasses are a must. You should be wearing shooting glasses anyway.

I've come to really like my new purchase and it completes ProjectPDW in a massive way. I'm looking forward to buying more.

A post shared by Ian Kocher (@der.yetti) on

In the same way I posted the Maryland HQL, I will post my wait times.

Purchased Device - 03/22/2018
Silencer Shop Compliance (Docusign Form 4) - 04/03/2018
Form 4 Mailed - Unkown
Check Cashed - 04/22/2018
Stamp Received - Pending

*CAOHC's list PDF Here