Grundig Mini 300 World Band Receiver
With another trip into the field on the horizon, I found myself sorting through my gear the other day preparing for several weeks in balmy Borneo. One item that I dusted off and set aside for my trip is my trusty Grundig Mini 300 World Band Receiver. If you’re not familiar with the company, Grundig (www.grundig.de) started as a German radio retailer and repair company during WWII and became a popular retailer of tubeless radios once the war ended. More than 60 years later, Grundig is a great european manufacturer of consumer electronics and produces everything from televisions to kitchen appliances.
When I travel, I always like to have a reliable radio so I can tune into local broadcasts and get a feel for the country (or state/city) I am visiting. I’ve taken this radio into the field in Mongolia and Belize and take it to the beach and on domestic trips frequently. The Mini lives up to its name very well. It is tiny and very lightweight, measuring 2.5 x 4.5 x 0.75 inches (70 x 102 x 19 millimeters) and weighing in at 4.5 ounces (128 grams). It fits in most standard pockets (jackets, bags, vests, cargo pants) and has a belt loop on the case for those who can’t fit it into the pocket of their skinny jeans.
It is a bare bones radio, lacking many of the bells and whistles that similar devices have. It tunes into AM, FM, and seven shortwave bands. It has a very powerful 20-inch telescoping antenna that provides the listener with excellent reception and a single small speaker (1 inch maybe) that produces a surprisingly loud level of sound. Earbuds are provided with the radio and the output switches to stereo when the listener uses them. The sound quality is amazing using either option and has provided me with many hours of entertainment listening to Mongolian National Radio or the BBC while away from civilization.
When you are traveling somewhere where you will not have access to electricity for several weeks, an energy efficient device is key. The Grundig Mini 300 is the most energy efficient electronic device I have ever used. The unit comes with two AA batteries and in my experience, can run for at least 50 hours without requiring a battery change. It is also a very durable device that has survived numerous falls onto hard surfaces, baking in the sun for hours on end, and exposure to water many times. It is not displayed as “waterproof” or even “water resistant”, but I can attest that it takes exposure to water in stride.
It uses a 1 x 7/8 inches (25.4 x 22.2 millimeters) LCD so you can dial in a particular frequency accurately and also has a clock with alarm and sleep timer. I have nevermore been one to wear a watch and having this with me has kept me on time for a much-needed meal on more than one occasion. The alarm itself is invaluable when you have to wake up early or during long layovers when you can fit in a quick nap and still manage to board your plane on time.
The downsides of this device are few, but there are some. First and foremost, it is only a radio. In today’s modern age of digital music, many travelers want more than just a radio. Personally, I’m not heavily into music and don’t have an extensive mp3 collection. I don’t prefer a specific type of music and enjoy listening to the news and talk radio just as much, if not more than music. I also own several inexpensive (and somewhat disposable) mp3 players that I take with me on most trips.
Another downside is the case. It is a very simple faux-leather and nylon pouch that allows the base of the antenna and the wrist strap to poke through. The case does a great job of protecting the radio from damage, and the device can still play through it with no distortion. Unfortunately, it is so tight that it puts pressure on the tuning and volume dials which invariably causes the user to adjust the device for optimized listening.
The antenna, while very robust and reliable, is also something that could be improved on the Mini 300. The antenna base protrudes 2.25 inches (57.2 millimeters) above the top of the radio making it a little bigger than it needs to be. If it were completely retractable, it would make the device a bit more travel-friendly and less vulnerable to breaking off when maneuvering any tight corners.
Overall, the Grundig Mini 300 World Band Receiver is an excellent piece of gear. It may not work for the technophile that needs all of the newest bells and whistles, but it does a better job than most radios that retail for twice as much. I suggest this model to anyone looking for a travel radio and travel clock with alarm and am looking forward to adding more Grundig products to my gear pile in the future.
FNP .45 Semi-auto Pistol
The FNP-45 features an external hammer, 4.5 hammers forged stainless steel barrel, stainless steel slide, full-length guide rod, C-More Systems fixed three dot combat sights and a checkered polymer frame with interchangeable backstraps and an integrated accessory rail. Every FNP-45 comes standard with three magazines, a locking device, and a lockable fitted hard case.
At The Range
So, today unexpectedly I looked over the rental guns offered at my local indoor range. When I saw it, the Fabrique Nationale .45. I thought, why the hell not. I spent over a year carrying the Fabrique Nationale Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) in the Marine Corps. As I observed the pistol through the glass window, it was presented through the first thing I noticed was its bulk. It is a man-sized gun however upon lifting it found it was quite light and handy. Secondly, I noticed that it had a nice grip texture; it felt like it was going to take a lot to get this big beauty from my hand. Thirdly, I was elated to see that there was a 15 etched at the bottom back of the magazine. Could it be? 15 rounds of .45 ACP bliss? Fourthly, I felt the big butt plate of the 15 round magazine and slammed it as I loaded my first magazine. To my joy, the slide rocked forward and slammed with a noise that said: “Let’s rock!” I was all too happy to oblige this Amero-Belgian creation.
I started out with a single action shot. The only way I can describe the trigger is that it waits with encouraging anticipation and for a second I could swear it was telling me to pull it. The trigger pull melts in your finger much like Reese’s peanut butter cup resting on the tongue of a fat kid. Smooth, steady and precise. I wanted more, it felt as if I could throw all my marksmanship training to the wind and the gun was telling me “ Don’t worry just squeeze me, I will do the rest,” and so it was. At 20 ft. All the holes were one big hole, maybe 2 inches by 2 inches, it felt that no matter how fast I shot the accuracy of the gun was sig-like, (my new term to describe an accurate pistol since Sig Saur is known for accuracy.) A 20 minute short lived love affair with what I would have to say is the best composite framed .45 pistol I have ever shot.
Up until today, I was a Glock 21 aficionado, I have shot XD as well. But the FNP-.45 ACP Semi- automatic pistol took my breath away today. After shooting all my .45 ammo through it, I realized I forgot to try the double-action trigger. I racked an imaginary round into the chamber and decocked it and dry fired with the double-action a few times. It was as smooth as satin sheets. No complaints about the poundage or draw of the double-action trigger.
Then there is the ease of controls. The magazine release, although not noticeably extrusive is very easy to work. I cannot think of one thing I would have done differently with this gun. I am almost sorry I shot it because my favorite Glock 21 would be jealous if she knew the fun I was having with the southern belle from South Carolina.
One thing I did notice, is that my Glock 21 seems to absorb recoil better than any .45 I have shot. Also, my G21 has less muzzle flip. I also like the simplicity of the Glock. I felt that the FNP-45 was much more accurate at distance, I would have to shoot them side by side to compare. Maybe a future article is needed, Glock 21 vs. FNP-.45. Also, I did not field strip the FN; I am sure it’s simple.
25 yards? Hostage situation? No problemo!
Took it out to 25 yards, (75 ft.) and it performed wonderfully. Any spread in the group at the standing position was all me. Still hit all in the 6-inch black circle. This gun is a winner for sure!
When I came home, I googled FNP .45. I came across the FN homepage where they advertise the FNX-.45 was modeled after the FNP-45 which was introduced in 2007. Both the slide and barrel are stainless steel. The FNP-.45 was designed to replace the current M9 pistol that is in use by the U.S. military. Personally, I would choose the FNP-.45 if I were still serving. However, I think that the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round would be better suited as it penetrates most infantry helmets. If I were to design my military issue pistol, it would be in the 7.62x25mm caliber and be designed like the FN-.45, now that would be a humdinger.
History of Fabrique Nationale
Talk about an interesting Firearms Manufacturer. FN has been through two world wars and was the center of research and development for the most innovative firearms inventor of the 20th century, John Browning. In 1897 John Moses Browning made 61 round-trips between the U.S. and Europe before his death in 1926. Post-WWII, once Belgium is liberated from German occupation, FN rebuilds 2 million U.S small arms. From 1953 to 1976 FN produces the GP-35 an updated version of the Browning Hi-Power. In 2007-2008 FN introduces the FNP-45 and the SCAR 16 to the U.S. law enforcement market.
Taurus 66 Silhouette Review
K5 tactical tomahawk: rugged as stone!
The Coleman rechargeable flashlights has been a most useful item in your camping site in the boondocks that have been the favorite destination of your family in summer and even at other times of the year when your kids suggest that you try camping out also in the colder months.
Your family has become an outdoor type family ever since the kids have grown up from their toddler years and have become very energetic boys in their pre-teen years.
Your four children (all boys) are very rowdy kids, but since they are all boys, you are not surprised at all. You yourself come from a family of five kids with only one girl, so you are used to the company of boys. Your sister then even threatened that she will wear pants when she grows up since all her experience as a kid were all experiences of the boys – she did not know then how it was to be a girl. Like your family now, you used to go on many camping trips as your dad then was a duck hunter, always using his Coleman flashlight when seeing a flock of ducks and swiftly shooting them down with his shotgun.
Your four boys now keep teasing Mom to act as a young girl so they can start practicing on how to court a girl. The four have begun eyeing the more attractive lookers among their classmates in school, saying that they have developed the strange feeling now that they want the girls now for company, rather than the boys whom they preferred as playmates when they were younger. Even in the recent campout you had last month the eldest boy borrowed the rechargeable flashlight you brought because he wanted to visit a girl he met that day in her family’s tent, just a few hundred meters away from your own tent.
It was a very dark night so you hesitated in giving the Coleman rechargeable flashlight to him, advising him to visit her the following morning instead. But the boy insisted to go that night saying the girl’s smile was so sweet when he first met her in the morning. “Dad”, he reminds you, “you have always told us to strike when the iron is hot before, remember?”
You have to get some help from Mom on this one. You did not realize that the lesson you gave them before on the hot iron and the need to strike it when still hot could apply to a situation like this one now of your son wanting to visit a girl in a hurry. Mom was as confused; she had to raise her arms up in surrender.
You had to give the led flashlight to the kid, hoping he will not bring back a daughter-in-law for you and Mom when he comes back. You regret having told the kids that “strike when the iron is hot” lesson before. Now you do not really know what your eldest made out of it when he left to see the girl.
Bug Out Bag Clothes
This category is often ignored because people think they can make do with what they are wearing, do not have any spares or are not sure what they should pack. But to ensure survival in an emergency situation, you need the right kind of clothing to protect you from the elements. Extreme conditions like a hurricane, heavy snowfall and dropping temperatures can easily turn fatal if you are not prepared for them. Read More