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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.

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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!

Research

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.

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Taurus 66 Silhouette Review

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Super Subsonics

 

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K5 tactical tomahawk: rugged as stone!

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Safariland Armorwear

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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.

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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

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!

Research

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

Taurus 66 Silhouette Revie

The Taurus Model 66 Silhouette is tailor made for long-distance revolver work.The Taurus Model 66 Silhouette is tailor made for long-distance revolver work.
I like short-barreled revolvers. When you’re going to pack a wheelgun around all day, every day, there’s nothing like a snubbie with two inches or so of tube out front. And for nearly all of my working life as a deputy sheriff, I carried and used the “cop’s compromise,” an easy-to-holster 4-inch number. But when it came to bulls’ eye or PPC shooting, where you needed a little more precision, I was no different than most of my fellow competitors.
I gave up on practical portability and opted for a full six inches of barrel length. Later on–when facing the challenge of a steel ram 200 meters downrange–I took up a big magnum revolver with 8 3/8 inches of barrel. When your target is way off, you just plain need more barrel.
Clearly, Taurus understands this equation. Determined to fill every possible shooting niche, these energetic Brazilians now offer a high-quality revolver with a barrel that measures one foot from forcing cone to muzzle crown. That’s right–12 full inches of tube. Where modern revolvers are concerned, that has to be some kind of record.
The gun itself is a variation of the company’s bread-and-butter Model 66–a seven-shot .357 built on a medium frame. It’s called the Model 66 Silhouette.
The Benefits of More BarrelLonger barrels at longer ranges are better for two reasons. First, when the barrel is longer, the sight radius (the distance between the front and rear sights) is longer. And the greater this distance is, the more precisely the sights may be aligned.
While a longer sight radius does not–in and of itself–make a gun more accurate, it does allow a competent marksman to get a little closer to the gun’s full accuracy potential. But there is a downside to that long sight radius. A front sight that’s farther away from the shooter is harder to handle.
That distance magnifies tremors on the part of the shooter. But to be honest, when you’re shooting from a rest or any other stable position, this is less of a factor than it would be when shooting offhand. As far as the new Taurus goes, I suspect many of them will be equipped with a scope or projected dot sight, and thus the sight radius problem will become moot.
The second advantage of the long barrel is that it gets the most from the ammunition. In most handguns, varying amounts of powder are left unburned when the bullet exits the muzzle. A longer barrel simply gives the system a longer combustion chamber. A great deal of current .357 ammunition comes loaded with fast-burning powder and light bullets.
This is done in the interest of lowering the recoil impulse and making short-barreled defensive revolvers more efficient. But remember that the first .357 loads–made in the mid-1930s–came with 158-grain bullets and were loaded to some really hot (up to 1,500 fps) velocities.
At present, you can buy .357 revolvers with barrels less than two inches to as long as a foot. You can also buy .357 ammunition with bullets as light as 110 grains and as heavy as 180. To get the most out of the long-barreled revolvers at their intended long range, use 180-grain bullets.
The laws of external ballistics tell us that longer bullets of a given diameter tend to retain their energy and trajectory better than the shorter ones. And that is exactly why Taurus took the radical step of putting a 12-inch barrel on the Model 66. This is a revolver intended for serious long-range work.
Considering ErgonomicsThe visual impact of this new revolver is pretty abrupt–the barrel just seems to go on forever. The Taurus logo–lasered into the barrel–seems isolated at the mid-point of the tube. My particular test gun was blued, but it can also be had in matte stainless. But I am pleased to report that an unscoped Model 66 Silhouette doesn’t really feel awkward when you pick it up.
That’s because the designers bucked the current trend toward heavy, full-length underlugs. Instead, this gun has a short underlug that’s just long enough to shroud the ejector rod. The remainder of the barrel is round with an integral sighting rib on top.
As part of my shooting evaluation, I tried several one-handed shots at a bulls’-eye target and it was easier than I thought; the long barrel isn’t all that heavy.
The gun comes drilled and tapped for scope mount bases on the barrel, but since I didn’t have time to install a scope for my range test, I removed the base in order to use the excellent plain black sights. The rear is adjustable for windage and elevation, while the front is an integral ramp. This sighting arrangement is just what it needs to be–large and easy to see, plain black, offering a clear and distinct sight picture.
The Model 66 Silhouette’s rubber grips, in the author’s opinion, are excellent and do as much as anything to add ergonomics and “pointability” to an outsized revolver.
I also like the grips very much. They’re rubber and of a shape that Taurus has developed over several years of experimentation. Completely surrounding the square butt frame, the grips are shaped with shallow finger grooves. They are also just a little smaller at the bottom (where the little finger sits) and taper upwards to where the long middle finger comes around. The shape is excellent and contributes to the general pointability of a really outsized gun.
It’s a relatively easy revolver to manage. This subjective impression was reinforced when I tried the trigger.
Taurus uses a DA/SA revolver action that is usually quite good, but the single-action trigger on my specimen was excellent to outstanding–clean and crisp at about three pounds, with no creep and very little overtravel. That’s exactly what a handgunner needs in a tool intended to shoot long-range targets.
It’s a fact that long-range shooting is now well established with American handgunners. With this model, Taurus has introduced a gun well suited for shooting varmints and at least medium-sized and (possibly) deer-sized game.
In competition, the new Taurus qualifies for the Unlimited Class in IHMSA shooting. But aside from these specific uses, I suspect the revolver will become a “just plain fun” gun. Taurus also offers the Model 66 Silhouette in .22 Long Rifle and .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire.SHOOTING RESULTSTAURUS MODEL 66 SILHOUETTEAMMO USED AVERAGEVELOCITY(fps) STANDARDDEVIATION(fps) GROUPSIZE(in.)HORNADY 140-GR. HP/XTP 1,411 21 1.60PRO LOAD 158-GR. JHP 1,298 36 1.55REMINGTON 165-GR. JSP 1,456 13 1.63HORNADY 158-GR. HP/XTP 1,419 21 1.74REMINGTON 165-GR. CORE LOKT JHP 1,349 14 1.33WINCHESTER 180-GR. PARTITION GOLD JHP 1,146 45 1.61FEDERAL 180-GR. JHP 1,231 54 1.07REMINGTON 180-GR. SJHP 1,248 24 1.27PRO LOAD GAME STOPPER 180-GR. FPJ 1,161 13 1.49NOTES: Accuracy results based on a 7-shot group fired at 25-yards from a RansomRest. Velocities were measured with an Oehler Model 35P chronograph with skyscreens placed approximately 12 feet from the muzzle.

RANGE RESULTSPreparing for a trip to the range, I loaded the ammo box up with an assortment of nine different loads. For the reasons already stated, I chose ammunition with the heavier bullets. There were four 180-grain loads, one 165-grain, three of the traditional 158-grain weight and a single 140-grain load.
I like to try every .357 revolver that comes along with that Hornady 140-grain XTP, as it is probably the single most accurate .357 Magnum round I’ve found.SPECIFICATIONSTAURUS MODEL 66 SILHOUETTEImporter: www.taurususa.comAction: Double-Action RevolverCaliber: .357 Magnum (also .22LR and .22 WMR)Capacity: Seven roundsBarrel Length: 12-inchesOverall Length: 17 1/4-inchesWeight: 50 ouncesSights: Fully adjustable rear,integral ramp frontGrips: RubberFinish: Blued or matte stainlessPrice: $414 blued($461 matte stainless)
At the range I set up a Ransom Rest and C-clamped it to a solid concrete bench. Then I placed the revolver in the machine rest inserts and clamped it down tight. A barrel this long develops a great deal of leverage against the recoiling rocker arm of the Ransom Rest and I anticipated that it would take quite a few rounds in order to settle the gun into the rubber inserts before I began to get good results. As anticipated, the first few groups were elongated vertically, but several dozen shots downrange produced nice, round groups. Then I started shooting a seven-shot group with each load. I also had the Oehler 35P chronograph working and clocked the velocities. Once the gun was settled in and working, the session proceeded uneventfully. The target, by the way, was 25 yards from the firing point.
I was very pleased with the results. This particular revolver was happy with just about everything in my ammo assortment. After firing all nine loads and measuring the groups, I averaged the group sizes and found the Model 66 Silhouette would reliably produce 7-shot groups (once around the cylinder, one shot from each chamber) which averaged 1.48 inches.

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Intelligent Armour MultiCam iPad/Netbook Case

The Product:

Here at Warzbot, we are occasionally contacted by companies that stumble across our Blog and ask us to review their products. Never being ones to pass up the chance to play with new gear we happily accept.

Intelligent Armour, a UK based company, contacted us and asked us to evaluate one of their new products iPad cases. The evaluation unit they sent me was a fantastic padded “envelope” in MultiCam.

This case measures roughly 14 x 10 x .75 inches and just exudes durability. If I were to choose one word to describe the case, it would be “overbuilt.” The materials are absolutely confidence inspiring

Compartments:

The Intelligent Armour case features three compartments

The main compartment is secured by a large strip of super-sticky Velcro that runs along the entire length of the case. Inside this compartment is lined with a super-soft material to keep your screen scratch-free.

There is a secondary pocket secured by a smaller strip of Velcro that might be ideal for storing things like cables or airline tickets.

Finally, there is a zippered pocket where one might store more minor things more prone to being lost.

Overall Impressions:

I found that the case was so overbuilt for its purpose that it borders on overkill for the intended purpose of securing an iPad. While I have no doubt that an iPad ensconced in this case would survive all sorts of abuse, I found the case was much better suited for protecting small netbooks.

I was able to securely transport my MacBook air in the main compartment while using the outer pocket to hold the power supply. I tossed the whole package into a carry-on bag without having to worry about damaging the MacBook Air. The tiny regional jet I was on required me gate-check my carry-on bag… a prospect that typically makes me cringe. The Intelligent Armour case, however, helped me keep all of my computer-stuff together in a tiny package that I was able to take out of the carry-on before gate checking quickly.

Tom Bihn Synapse Review

The Tom Bihn Synapse backpack is a lightweight, ultra-sleek bag designed for day travel, hiking, or any outing where only the necessities are needed. It has a very efficient design that allows you to pack the bag to capacity without sacrificing organization or easy access. The Synapse I received to test was the Synapse 19, the smaller version of the Synapse 25. The Synapse comes in different fabrics, and the one I received has an ultralight Dyneema/nylon ripstop exterior (Cordura nylon also available) with a Read More

Badlands 2800 Split Design Backpack

For those who don’t know Badlands BackPacks is a new line just 7 years old but not a new company. The parent Corp is Vortex packs, if your climbing Kilimanjaro you wear a Vortex pack, in fact I believe their pack has been to the summit more than any other. So the company has a solid reputation of making top of the line gear.

Good thing for us we don’t hunt Elk and Deer at 20,000 feet so we just don’t need to pack in so much on our backs. The Badlands brand is targeted toward hunters specifically and the 2800 Badlands pack is a prime example of that thinking in practice. I approached this review with caution, as I get tired of companies slapping Camouflage on products and calling it hunting gear. I don’t like to replace my gear every year. When I buy a piece of gear I will pay extra for it,but only if I truly believe I can get 10 years of service out of that gear. My gear always have to pull double and triple duty as Spring Camping gear, Summer cook outs, vacations, plus be in top shape for the hunts when I will beat on it the hardest. I currently use a Madden Mountaineering 4500 (The numbers are the number of ci, cubic inches) That backpack has been doing its job since the late 80’s and I can say its never had a single problem, but it is designed more toward Sherpa duty than general hunting gear. It’s really a big duffel bag with extra pockets. Russi Mountaineering has bought Madden and it doesn’t even appear that they currently make the pack I use.

badlands 2800 openSo how are the Badlands 2800 different? First of all I must honestly say that when I first saw this pack I was a bit confused. My empty pack didn’t look anything like the pictures I swore there was something missing. That’s because the backpack is a Split Pack and I just hadn’t ever seen anything like it before. The pack takes a normal 2800 cc back pack and breaks it into 4 compartments with a total of 7 pockets. Then it adds in a tension and weight dispersing strap design that allows you to carry heavy material centered on your back for balance: I.E. Elk Quarters. A design obviously thought up by someone who has lost their gear stashing it under a tree while they packed out meat. As most know losing a good backpack is terrible but ALL YOUR GEAR in that pack is a hunt ruining experience.

The two side compartments have two pocket each and inside and outside pocket. The Outside pocket was not only the perfect shape but size for a full size pistol. The zippers were covered with a large molded rubber grip making it easy to open the pockets quickly even with thick gloves on. They used a yellow Aramid thread on all the seams and stress points of the pack. Aramid thread is normally used for bedding down fire barriers or high end upholstery, Aramid is a 110 lb test thread, this allows them to build stronger seams without having to build huge anchor points which make a pack look bad with stitch seams running all over hell and back.

kx032 fabricThe entire pack is made from a material Badlands calls KX032, its more of blend of materials to get a designed effect. There are 3 layers of material that make up KX032 The first is a Waterproof Urethane shell. This breathable material so if you stick something in there that is damp moisture gets out but it doesn’t get in, helps prevent mold from developing in your pack during the off-season. As some readers may of experienced pulling their backpacks out of the closet in the southern states where we use swamp coolers, the basements of midwestern states, or even the garage just about anywhere. Urethane is great for this but its just not tough so they combined it with the second layer, which is a Nylon. The Nylon has been around forever, it seems and when you want something to be strong Nylon is the way to go but the problem for hunters is Nylon sounds like your wearing a pair of corduroy pants on the hunt. Every preformed belts for backpacksmovement, every branch all attempts to snag and makes a scratching noise as you pass by. So Badlands added a third material that is wind proof, waterproof and feels like a soft felt. It absorbs noise well and is hard to making a scratching sound on. I raked a blade across the fabric several times the fabric fairly smooth and very hard to get traction to begin to slice into the top layer. The first 4 –5 rakes didn’t even damage the Real Tree Hardwood camouflage print on the outer layer. Satisfied that the pack wasn’t going to get ripped to shreds amongst the rocks and trees we moved on to a comfort and function test.

comfortable backpackThe size of this pack is perfect for strapping to the front of the 4-wheeler while I head up the mountain for a day or two walk. It didn’t hang over the edge and strapped nicely to our Kawasaki 4-wheeler’s both big and small. The top of the pack has a huge over sown handle built in for to make packing the pack easier or if your dragging it through an Airport it doesn’t have to be on your back to carry it comfortably. The Badlands backpacks have a built in back brace and a preformed back arch support that has not only thick but comfortable padding. The padding is not soft which means the nylon winds up cutting into you anyway on other backpacks, nor is it hard its just a nice shock absorbing pad that holds the shape of your body, which according to them allows better blood flow. Supposedly that is important I will just have to take their word on it as we have no way of proving that fact. I found the pack to be very comfortable even when heavily loaded. We stuck 200 lbs of steel in the pack and I strapped it on and could easily move my arms and didn’t have a feeling of being pulled back or toppling. I believe its rated at 80lbs in case you were wondering.

I found one thing that I would like to see improved on the pack that was the extra D rings sewn to the sides on the front of the backpack. I would of like to see these made out of aluminum or steel. For no other reason than I wanted to cinch a holster to it that requires me to twist the gun to draw and I was afraid eventually I was going to break them using them for something they were not designed for.

Frankly there was not one area design, technology, durability and usability that I didn’t find that this pack exceeded every competitor I have seen or heard of. The company kind of threw a slap of the glove to us to find something wrong with their product as they seem to take great pride in their business and it shows. They are the only company with a “No Fault” lifetime warranty. That means had a seam ripped out when we loaded it with 200lbs of metal. They still fix it for Free. The Pack just has to be fixable. There just isn’t much you can do to cloth that can’t be fixed. I picked on the D-rings for my own personal use but for what they were intended for they would last a lifetime. I know that this backpack will last guy who treats his gear terribly a lifetime, and those who don’t, never need to fear any type of problems. Truly an excellent hunting backpack I would recommend that Stores Call Badlands for Dealer prices. If you would like to just buy one of these great packs ask a local outdoor dealer why he doesn’t stock one for you. Just Click here to find a Badlands 2800 online dealer.

Ruger Compact Rifle in 308

I first saw this little gem at the National Shot Show last January 2001.  A man held the Ruger Compactrifle in his hand holding a 454 Casull cartridge up to the action muttering about how that would be perfect for his dream project which had obviously been in his mind for a long time at that point.(Don’t ask me how he got live ammo into the show)  This is one of those guns that us Dealers will wind up killing if we don’t get behind it.  I got one of the first to hit the distributor with customers standing around as we emptied that mornings shipment.  They all jump at the compact that I had order specifically as a youth gun.  The words “that’s perfect for humping up a mountain” was the agreed upon phrase then the doubts came in, “it’s too short, the muzzle blast will kill you”, and “I’ll bet that will kick the hell out of you in .308” .   That type of immediate response to a product that had never been shot is what got us doing reviews in the first place. Read More

RUGER P345 PISTOLS

We are going to go ahead and pass on this announcement now. You should know that all attempts to obtain a p345 for Review have gone unheard. Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., (NYSE: RGR) the nations largest firearms manufacturer, is proud to announce the introduction of the Ruger P345, a trim new .45ACP pistol with many advanced features.

The Ruger P345 pistol features a slimmer-profile and stainless steel slide with a completely recontoured polymer grip. This new pistol has a 4.2-inch barrel, eight round magazine and fixed white-dot front and rear sights. The Ruger P345 pistol also features an unobtrusive internal lock, magazine disconnect, loaded chamber indicator, and all-new camblock design, which helps absorb recoil.

Ruger pistols are known for their reliability, performance and value, and the Ruger P345 continues this proud tradition, said Sturm, Ruger President, Stephen L. Sanetti. The P345 offers new engineering refinements and new ergonomic styling that pistol shooters of all skill levels will appreciate. When you pick one up, you instantly grasp its superb new handling qualities.

The smooth, short trigger pull of the Ruger P345 helps improve accuracy, while the ergonomically shaped polymer frame provides a comfortable grip. The slimmer contoured frame and slide of the P345 reduce overall weight, and the well-defined grip checkering improves handling and control.

Two Ruger P345 models are being introduced: the KP345PR and the KP345. The KP345PR features a Picatinny-style rail under the forward portion of the frame to mount popular pistol accessories. Both models will be available beginning in May 2004.

Ruger KP345 Pistol

Model Number 6644
Catalog Number KP345
Frame Black Polymer with Checkered Grip Area
Slide Stainless Steel
Finish Polish/Satin Stainless
Caliber .45 Auto
Barrel Material Stainless Steel
Barrel Length 4.2″
Rifling/Twist 6 Grove, 1:16″ RH
Magazine Capacity 8 Rounds
Front Sights Dovetailed Fixed – White Dot
Rear Sights Fixed – Two White Dots
Overall Length 7.5
Weight Unloaded 29 oz. (approximately)
Features Magazine disconnect, Loaded chamber indicator, Internal lock
Standard Accessories Plastic storage case, Instruction manual, Gun lock, Two magazines
Suggested Retail Price $540.00

 

Ruger KP345PR Pistol

Model Number 6645
Catalog Number KP345PR
Frame Black Polymer with Checkered Grip Area, Accessory Rail
Slide Stainless Steel
Finish Polish/Satin Stainless
Caliber .45 Auto
Barrel Material Stainless Steel
Barrel Length 4.2″
Rifling/Twist 6 Grove, 1:16″ RH
Magazine Capacity 8 Rounds
Front Sights Dovetailed Fixed – White Dot
Rear Sights Fixed – Two White Dots
Overall Length 7.5
Weight Unloaded 29 oz. (approximately)
Features Magazine disconnect, Loaded chamber indicator, Internal lock, Picatinny-Style Accessory Rail
Standard Accessories Plastic storage case, Instruction manual, Gun lock, Two magazines
Suggested Retail Price $548.00

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