Monday, July 18, 2016

Canik TP9 V2 Streamlight TLR-1 Gap Mod

polymer canik 55 tp9 9mm pistol v2 wage gap, feminism is cancer
Note the gap between trigger guard and the light.
tp9 v2 tlr-1 TLR1 streamlight Canik
Gap virtually eliminated. As much as possible in any case.
guns, firearms, pistol, tactical, weaponlight, handgun
kydex holster

Doesn’t look like much in the pics but if you’ll direct your attention to the size of the trigger guard on the TP9 V2. It was designed so that you can shoot it with mittens on - you simply shove your entire arm into the trigger guard and flap like a penguin to fire. Well, I was not able to reach the switch on the TLR-1 with my trigger finger. Not a big issue, because my support hand thumb could get to it fine. But hey, that support hand could be busy doing something else at the moment light might be needed. Just never know.
So I took the 90Two adapter that comes with the TLR-1 so that I wouldn’t have to jack up the 1913 adapter, and made some mods (and really, who wants a Beretta anyway). The goal was to reverse its orientation inside the light body in order to set the light back slightly, but the adapters have a lug which allows them to be seated in only one orientation. Next, the 90Two adapter fits 1913 perfectly, but it is too tall. That is to say, apparently the slots in the Beretta rail are deeper than 1913. So, shave down the orientation lug and the rail slot lug (you can see the scratches in the pic where sanding occurred). Next, the cross bolt which retains the adapter will now be passing through the adapter from the other side. It already has a hole, it just needs to be enlarged enough to allow the bolt to pass through. Having a belt sander and drill press, this mod took less than 5 minutes.
I dunno, maybe you have a Canik TP9 V2 and you have a Streamlight TLR-1 and you put them together and said to yourself … this kinda blows, if I’m honest. Problem solved.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

3lb True Temper Flint Edge Jersey Pattern Axe

Pic dump of a recent axe project. This is a True Temper Flint Edge Jersey coming in at three pounds. The axe head is basically the same size as a heavier head would be (as you'll see in the pics) but it has a thinner bit. The handle is a House Handle that I received in "first pass" condition, which is to say I got it as it came off the lathe. You've seen these handles many times in older posts.

vintage axe restoration
True Temper Flint Edge Jersey pattern - 3lbs

restoration, refurbished, bushcraft, hand tools

jersey pattern
Hung for life!

3lb Flint Edge in the center. 3-1/2lb heads on either side.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Budget Gear Initial Impressions: New UTG Low Profile Flip-Up Sights

I get it, back up sights, gotta have 'em. Or at least, that's what they say, but I think the sentiment really applies to serious defensive or fighting rifles primarily. So if what you're reading is; Chinese sights and a reviewer who doesn't wholeheartedly believe BUIS are absolutely necessary then you're probably already out the door. That's ok. The deal is, thousands of rifles are sold each year to people who don't train, have no intention of training, have no aspiration or delusions concerning their operator status, and just all around don't take the whole AR15 ownership as an obligation to conform to the pew-pew lifestyle. Far and away more cheap equipment is sold for them than expensive battle tested brands and it's likely these owners are perfectly content, and never find a reason to talk about their purchases. They aren't on forums, or youtube, and they aren't blogging.

Fact is, it's true that I'm not entirely convinced BUIS are compulsory equipment. Obvious examples are found in the competitive world. Sure lots of folks run them, and no doubt plenty of gamers consider them must-have, but if an electronic optic goes down and the shooter has a bad day, there will always be tomorrow.

The modern sporting rifle market is also full of "analog" sighting equipment that does not rely on electronic gizmos. I realize the argument is frequently that a bullet, or fall could potentially take your optic or electronic sighting system out of the fight. I agree entirely, however, I think the same could be said for any sighting system. One bonus benefit of folding irons is that they are compact and tucked in close to the rifle for just that much more protection. It's all true. I can't argue.

Many have said - and I find it to be another truth - they are able to use an optic as a large aiming aperture should the electronics fail. Center up the target in the tube, press trigger, proceed to combat accuracy. At living room distances, point shooting takes little to no practice to master and no sighting equipment is required at all.

Finally, just like with my other rifle, I'll probably never even use the BUIS and since "back-up" consumes fifty percent of this equation, it really boils down to odds. Back-up implies that they are secondary or just in case. When the wallet opens up, the mental gymnastics are as follows. How hard am I going to run this gun? The harder you are on your stuff, the likelier it is to get damaged. The more likely it is to get damaged, the likelier you are to need back-ups. Next, how vital to survival is my blaster? If an airplane part fails causing the plane to crash, everyone dies - ok back-ups are making sense real quick. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying it happens to us all when we start considering our budgets. Sights are expensive, bordering on overpriced in my opinion. They are simple machines, made of inexpensive materials. The brand laser etched on the side must be worth an awful lot to justify the prices we're seeing today.

And so, these ramblings bring me at long last to the point where you're free to draw your own conclusions. After laying out my own thoughts in neat little piles, I can only say that I fall somewhere in the middle apparently. In the end, here I am with BUIS on my gun.

Initial impressions go something like this. I saw that UTG put out these MNT 755 and 955 Low Profile Flip-Up Sights and they actually appeared to have departed from the typical hokey Chinese things we've seen in the past. Often times even the product shots can't mask the poor quality. UTG has also made an effort to bring work to America and produce quality products. While these sights are not US made, I think they do represent that effort toward a better product. They come in priced higher than typical Chinese sights, but still less than essentially everything else, including the budget king Magpul.

First ding is the nylon/plastic/polymer detent ball used to keep the sight up or down. However, the sight uses a locking pin which prevents the sight from folding down while in the up position. How tough it is remains to be seen. This pin must then be pressed in order to fold the sight down again.

Fit and finish is excellent. Are we getting the toughest anodizing on the planet? Probably not. Nonissue. I'll lump design into fit and finish because the design appears mostly original and less derived or straight up copied than other Chinese sights. Small details help give them an overall attractive and legitimate appearance. You'll also note that they are low to the rail and in fact, the rear sight sits on the rail when stowed. They are compact in width as well, without any extra buttons or levers or screws jutting in all directions. The rear windage adjustment knob is compact and neatly marked with an R and arrow.

Speaking of the windage knob, all the moving parts are positive and don't immediately scream cheap or poorly made. The knob has big, tight detents that don't feel like something you might accidentally move. Again, this is first impressions, but the elevation was correct out of the box and a slight windage adjustment got me dead on with my red dot which is at absolute co-witness height (though I'm not sure making a windage adjustment based on the red dot is worthwhile). The rear aperture has a metal detent ball and the tactile different between it and the main ball is noticeable. I have my doubts about the nylon ball.

The cross bar for the rail is a threaded screw, not a square bar, but there was little to no fore and aft movement and lockup was perfect. For an optic mount where you are dealing with a pound or a pound plus moving around under recoil, the square bars make a lot of sense. For an ounce and a half, not so much.

There is no spring flip-up feature which I am personally glad for. I think the focus may have been on simplicity which left more room for quality than gimmicks. There is a locking feature in the up position, as I mentioned before, which eliminates much of the perceived worry from the nylon main hinge detent balls.

So, the primary positive initial impressions are that the sights are cleanly made, were nearly correctly aligned out of the box, and are overall very compact in size. I think this product is worth an initial impression evaluation because I don't find any reviews out there for them right now, and poorly made sights in the cheap Chinese category are typically pretty easy to spot after giving them a once over. Eventually I will follow up after some real use. Pics!

utg sights, BUIS, iron sights,
Note the white detent ball for the main hinge.
BUIS, iron sights, flip up sights, UTG, low profile
Here you can see that they are compact in size.

UTG flip up sights review
Note the pin protruding slightly from the side - this locks the sight in the deployed postion.

Here you see that while stowed, the pin is withdrawn and little bulk is added around the charging handle.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Made from Scratch; Epic Axe Handle Project

It was inevitable. I have always known eventually no handle would really be good enough for me unless I had control over every step of the process. And, I haven't actually reached that point. I am not harvesting the wood myself just yet. Where I live, Hickory does not, or at least not in any abundance, and additionally, I still don't have a good supply for Hickory blanks. It's somewhat cost prohibitive to order them through the mail and for this reason I've come to a cross roads of sorts. I feel that ordering handles through the mail - in any configuration - is no longer a viable solution for my needs (read; wants) anymore. And at the same time I don't have a wood source. Does this mean my axe addiction has come to an end? It might. But not necessarily. I have a couple ideas for the future, and a possible source for wood, but the question remains; will it be a reliable source? Reliability is the word for consistency in the case of Hickory. Will I be able to get the grain orientation I want each time? Will I be able to get the thickness I want each time? These are the issues that have plagued this axe project from day one. I have never had a reliable source for handles or handle material - not as reliable as it should be. And as with any project, if you can't achieve efficiency as it progresses with time, then ultimately you can't continue. Unless of course, you enjoy frustration.

Interestingly, this project brought me to the cross roads I am talking about even though it brought a lot of satisfaction. I finally decided to make my own handles from scratch and the results were very good. However, you will see in the pictures a varying number of blanks and finished handles and in the end I had 5 blanks which resulted in 3 handles. You waste material any time you try something new, and I did here as well. What's more, moving forward there would be less and less waste. So it's not an entirely unfeasible prospect. But, one of the blanks was checked too badly for me to complete and seeing that put the final black mark on the gamble of ordering wood through the mail. Only time will tell the future of axes and O'Dell Studios.

Let's get to the good stuff. I made stop cuts, chiseled off the waste, used the draw knife to reduce the thickness and finished the handles on the belt sander as usual. Nothing fancy here. The hangs all came together nicely and all of these axes went off to their rightful owner, leaving only these pics in my possession. Let's do the pics - I've got lots.

made from scratch, how to make an axe handle

hickory handle stop cuts, hand saw, handmade

how to make an axe handle

This head is from Hoffman Blacksmithing.

custom axe, handemade, craftsman, imadethis

A True Temper 3-1/2lb Michigan pattern.

vintage axes, axe is back, project, wood chopping

A True Temper Red Warrior, marked Kelly Works Connecticut pattern.

hickory handles, bushcraft, axes, vintage, handmade, custom

refurbished axes, custom axe handles

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Video Share Time - AK Muzzle Device Testing

I just stumbled upon this outfit today while trying to help a friend with his AK muzzle device choice and I tell you what, the content going on in this series of videos is pretty remarkable. So remarkable that I felt it was worth sharing. There are lots of folks making a living with youtube, but not everyone is providing content this informative. If you're an AK fan and drowning in the sea of muzzle devices, this video series is a must watch. Tons of data, concise and without the BS.