21 May 2024

Taylor and Company TC73 - US Made Winchester 1873 in 9mm. The Perfect Plinker

 It appears that Taylor and Company will soon be offering high quality, US made versions of the iconic Winchester 1873. The catch is that they are chambered in 9mm and feature a 5/8x24 threaded barrel. I love everything about this idea. Wood stock, blue steel and a threaded barrel? It's case hardened and chambered in the most common centerfire pistol caliber in the US? The only way this could get any better is if there was a provision for a red dot that actually looked good and made sense. Irons will do just fine. Did a mention that it's threaded? I did? Good. It needs an AB Suppressors F4. Why the F4? Back when Percy Maxim was starting to sell silencers, his designs used what looks like crimping in the tube to hold the baffles in place. AB has a similar look. If one could blue the silencer's body, it could complete the aesthetic. 

I want one of these for every reason. In fact, I would purchase this rifle to replace the Kocher family's original 1873 in .38-40. I want this rifle and a pair of the new Taylor and Co TC9 Single Action Army style revolvers to match. The ones with the birdshead grip versions with the 3ish inch barrels. 




15 May 2024

The New Rossi Lightweight Carbine - Your Easy Entry into 8.6 Blackout

 


Rossi teased a new release the other day that I had guessed was going to be a shotgun but it turned out to have been a new inexpensive single shot rifle. Based on the same receiver as the Brawler by the looks of it, the single shot platform will have a street price around $300 with the MSRP at $333. I like the idea as there is a market for inexpensive single shot rifles in hunting calibers that H&R used to fill but currently don't. They got bought up by Palmetto State Armory and are making retro AR's. Something thing I completely approve of. I'll take a DOE SMG clone please.

Anyway, the LWC is a 5-ish pound rifle that offers a number of low recoil calibers useful for hunting. They current list, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, 5.56, .300 Blackout, .350 Legend, 6.5 Creedmoor and the most interesting of all, the new 8.6 Blackout. I think it's odd that they are offering calibers based on .308 Winchester but aren't offering .308. It could be a recoil thing. 

All versions come with black plastic stocks, a 16.5 inch threaded barrel and a short Picatinny rail section for a scope or red dot which you will need as there are no sights. There are provisions for attaching a sling molded into the stocks.

I see this is a hugely welcomed addition. The caliber selection is great but what it means for us shooters is that we now have an 8.6 Blackout option that isn't expensive. Why should you care? That's up to you, but I would like to start using 8.6 BLK as a dedicated Homestead hunting rifle. Here's my plan.

In an effort to keep the noise pollution down on the Homestead during deer season, I've been considering following up on the .300 BLK Remington 700 build as a dedicated subsonic deer rifle. However, what I ran into was that the current rifle setup is driving the Discrete Ballistics custom ordered ammo into the sound barrier. Sadly, I'm getting the supersonic crack during the winter months. When I tested the ammo in the summer it was very quiet but in the winter, it was loud. I was considering replacing the current 16 inch barrel with a 13.9 inch and doing a pin and weld to make it 16 inches to help reduce the velocities enough to keep it quiet.

Green Mountain hasn't had the needed blank in stock for a while now with no ETA in sight. While .300 BLK is worked for subsonic hunting on whitetail for me in the past, I'd like to step up to the 8.6 BLK. If you aren't familiar, the new 8.6 BLK is basically the .308 Winchester version of .300 BLK. Whatever 5.56 is to .308 Winchester, .300 BLK is to 8.6 BLK. It gives to a highly versatile cartridge that can use supersonic loads for longer range and can be stepped down to subsonic levels for suppressed hard-hitting hunting. 

My idea would be to get the 8.6 BLK version of the Rossi LWC. I'm inclined to trim the barrel down and find a muzzle device like the Dead Air break that's silly long and permanently attach it. That would host my Dead Air Primal and the whole affair would be lightweight and silly quiet with some Gorilla Ammunition loads. I'm thinking their 342 grain Pork Shredder might be just the ticket. 

The whole build should be right around 7 to 7.5 pounds with everything on it. Pretty good for a cheap rifle and it would be very quiet. At least the way I see it, the whole new rifle is about the same price as rebarreling the Remington for a third time with a customer barrel. 

11 May 2024

NFA Updates - Things Are Changing and Wait Times Are Reducing

 Back in 2018, I started on the long journey of buying my first silencers for my guns. Silencer Shop had rolled out a process that seemed like the way to go that had made it much easier and less intimidating to handle the paperwork. Trust me, there's a lot of paperwork compared to the typical 4473 and the new processes really dummy-proof it. Now I own three silencers. All of them took 260 days or more before I could officially take possession of each of these devices. Those wait times were absolutely terrible. Well, there's been an update.

The ATF switched to electronic filing back in 2022 and a push to move the entire process for all version of the Form 4 was slow to roll out but is finally done. My Dead Air Primal was handled via the new process back in 2022. Sadly, the Trust eForm 4 still took 263 days. 

According to a video post made by Ian at Forgotten Weapons, he notes that the eForms process in conjunction with electronic payment methods are beginning to substantially reduced wait times across the board. 

The Reddit Megathread for April 2024 NFA wait times are showing eForm 4 Trust times (likely single person trusts) that are taking less than 2 days for approval. This is huge news. 

This is a massive shift from the old ways that just took way too long. Nothing about the NFA paperwork was intended to be friendly or convenient. To be fair, the entire concept of the NFA was always intending to be a massive roadblock to anyone wanting these items. It was indented to be prohibitive. 

I had been hoping to purchase another .22 rimfire silencer and was considering going through the Silencer Central method to see how different it is than the Silencer Shop process but would like to see if the PAY.GOV site is involved. That probably won't happen anytime soon. 

If you're looking to pick up a silencer, now is a good time to get started. 

03 May 2024

Tactical Baby Gear Deuce 4.0 - The Tactical Diaper Bag

 It looks like I still get to try out and test new things after all, it just isn't new gun related stuff. Since we're having our first baby, new baby stuff is in order. For the Dad Bag, I'm starting with the Tactical Baby Gear Deuce 4.0 diaper bag. I wanted the Multi-cam version because I'm a sucker and I love it. Thankfully, it was a gift from family. I had come recommended by an Air Guard friend.


 

The Deuce 4.0 is a laptop style, shoulder bag with a large main pocket and two thinner pockets for tablets or armor panels. More on the armor panel later. The front thin pocket is large enough for a few things like a book or whatever where the rear pocket is fairly thin and is a good place to store the included changing mat. 



You can stuff a medium sized laptop in it but it's tight. The main pockets have the same issue.

Looking at the front of the bag, the left pouch is a thermally lined, insulator pouch to keep things like baby bottles or cans, cool or warm as desired. You'll be able to get either 2 tallboys or 3 regular cans of your favorite drink but it's intended for baby bottles. It's wide enough to put a Cabot cheese block in and deep enough that I figure you could get around 6 blocks into it if needed or a whole regular bag of Frigo string cheese. That's good information right there. Cheese is important.



On the right side, you have two pockets. The upper pocket is a small items pocket for pacies or whatever else you would want quick access to. 

 


The lower, wide pouch is a wipes dispenser with a magnetically closed flap for easy access to the wipes container. Both pouches have a soft hook and loop panel for the attachment of patches of which, two are included; a Mommy and Daddy patch. There are a number of fun patches on the Tactical Baby Gear website. I wanted to put a name tap there but OPSEC says that's a no go.



Wipes Pocket


Hook and loop panels on the front for fun patches and name tape.

On the rear, you have a very large space of MOLLE webbing for the attachment of any mission critical items you'd like. That's pronounced Molly if you've not heard.



More MOLLE than Teddy Roosevelt could shake his Big Stick at.

On the sides of the bag are a pouch for bottles on the left and on the right are MOLLE for the attachment of additional pouches like the Dump Bag pouch or an IFAK.

Inside, the main pocket has a removeable divider that divides the space into two slots. These slots should be big enough for changes of clothes and several diapers. 

 

The T shaped divider can be removed.

The rear portion of the main pocket has two sleeves. One has mesh and the other is just a soft-shell. I started using the mesh pocket for small stuff like a multitool, a glasses screw driver kit, a USB charger and phone cable. I figure the right side pocket would be good for a few food pouches. 

The back pocket is somewhat large but it's not huge. I was wondering if one could have a good bag gun but it turns out that even a suppressed Glock 17 is just too big. Maybe a Flux 365 with a short suppressor would work better but none of my AR's will fit in the pocket. 



My G17 build fits without the suppressor. Maybe something else like the PSA X5.7 would be better.

That's pretty much it for the main features but let's look at the included changing mat. I think it's pretty slick. The changing mat is a three-way folding pad big enough for a toddler. 




It can be pre-loaded with a pack of wipes and a single diaper and can act as a stand-alone unit if needed. Tactical Baby Gear sells these on their own if you want extras for other bags or need a replacement. 

 
We'll see if I ever use it by itself but I like the idea that I can slim down to just the changing station if needed. 

Accessories

In addition to the folding changing pad, the bag comes with a shoulder strap with a pad and two stroller straps for hanging on the handles of your baby hauler. Those should get you into a pretty good spot but there are a bunch of those accessories you can buy to amplify the bag's utility. Let's look at those next.



First up are the packing cubes. The packing cubes are a great touch. The cube is a zipper pouch that you can pack items into and store into a singular, easy to extract and stow bag. They are soft-shelled and mesh bags for things like diapers or burping cloths. Where it helps is, instead of having just a handful of diapers loose, I can take a stack of them and insert them in an organized fashion into the main pocket. Add another packing cube with a replacement onesie and maybe a blankie. 

There are 3 sizes that you can mix and match what you need. I'm hoping to pick up a pair of the smaller ones to diapers and extra onesies.




Next up is the soft armor panel. They offer a sized soft armor panel that slots into the bag. It's only IIIA rated but that would stop most pistol calibers. An AR500 or similar plate would weight around 7 pounds so the soft armor panel is a good trade. A ceramic plate wouldn't weigh as much as the steel but it should still be around 5+ lbs for the same size panel as Hesco's 6x6 side plates are 27 oz alone and you'd need about 3 to make one of the TBG panels. I wouldn't want to sling-carry this bag with the weight of the hard armor. Sadly, we live in a world where this makes sense as people choose to take our their frustrations on other people before they remove themselves from the worldly equation. It's a little expensive at $176 but having 21 oz of additional protection could be handy. 

While there are other accessories, the last ones I want to bring up are the MOLLE pouches. They offer 4 auxiliary pouches. with 1 variant. that you can attach to any of the MOLLE webbing of your choice. One is a wipe dispenser pouch that comes in vertical and horizontal variants, another is a cooler pouch, the next is a bottle pouch but I think my favorite is the Tactical Dump Pouch. 


 

A dump bag or dump pouch is an accessory used on your battle belt or plate carrier to dump what ever you want to while on mission. Usually it's for empty magazines or other items that you need to take back to base with you in a hurry but can't take the time to stow away or index properly such as a puppy, a Twinkie or some random intel you found. Normally it's rolled up for storage but when you need it, you open it up and start stuffing things in. 



In this situation, the dump pouch is for loose baby stuff like a dirty diapers or soiled clothes. Things I don't want to carry in my hand or bag but they need to go with me somewhere. Empty bottles and trash are prefect items for the Tactical Dump Pouch.

Additionally, I'd like to add the auxiliary cooler pouch for extra snacks and formula as needed even if it sits inside the bag. I figure keeping a good supply of Dad Snacks can't hurt either.

Future

I'm really looking forward to running the bag and see if it really works out. My wife had been interested in the backpack version which I'd like to test side by side one of these days. They are a little expensive so maybe I'll hold off for a bit. I'm also interested to see if the stroller my wife picks will be able to hold the bag on the handles making use of the included straps. Stick around to see my updates on the Tactical Baby Gear Deuce 4.0 as the years go be. Deuces. 

01 May 2024

Thompson Center - The Return of the Legend

If you aren't familiar, Thompson Center is a legend in the handgun hunting community. I knew that Smith and Wesson had bought the company a while back but what I had missed what that they had been trying to sell off the brand. Apparently, the previous owners bought it back from Smith and Wesson. In an announcement video posted on the new Thompson Center website, Gregg Ritz has taken over again and expects to be selling products starting in 2025.

What I want to see is the Contender and Encore come back. I have some ideas for dedicated hunting guns that I would like to build some day.