Friday, October 26, 2012

Firearms Accessories - Lost And Found Again

I have a decent amount of guns, ammo and firearms accessories. Not all that many accessories, I am sort of  a purist when it comes to guns, I get them and usually shoot them as they are but I still have some firearms accessories. Mostly, I simply do not accessorize them - but in recent years, as age would have it, I have added glass optics to a couple of them. The old eyes are not what they once were - not terrible but certainly no longer 20/15 as they used to be.

Yet, I have had a number of firearms accessories over the years. Things like holsters, scopes and scope mounts, alternate grips, extra magazines, extra parts like extractors, ejectors, bolts, screws and springs, alternate stocks - and I'll just stop there. No need to go on, I hit the one I want to talk about. Before I talk about that one, let me say something about most of the firearms accessories I have on hand. I do not use them and wind up putting them away. Sometimes there are out of sight and out of mind for years.

The one I want to talk about is one of those out of sight for years ones. I uncovered it not too long ago from where it had been hidden from view and memory for way too long. Recently, I was cleaning up under a heavy, home made, wood shelving unit that I have in the back of my basement. I use that primarily for storage. It has three shelf levels and space under it on the floor, all suitable for storage. I have various items on the top shelf, from empty fish tanks (that I usually use for reptiles or amphibians) stuffed full of animal care accessories, to a decent sized cooler, to an incubator for eggs (normally for fowl eggs but I use it for tortoise eggs), to empty pistol cases, to some gun accessories in a couple of cardboard boxes, to whatever else fits up there. On the next level down, I have a 20 gallon tank that houses 4 juvenile Hermann's Tortoises, a 10 gallon tank that houses colonies of Blaptica dubia (a species of fairly big roaches used as food for reptiles) and crickets (yes they are sharing accommodations), and a tank with three Crested Geckos and a toad. There are some other things on that level, like a couple of jars of tortoise food pellets, some crested gecko diet powder (mix with water for a nutritious diet - and it works too), light bulbs for the tanks, and other stuff like that. On the next shelf down, I have some emergency food supplies, a small cooler, a few gallons beer jug in which to make beer (failed first attempt - probably poisonous by now), and some other stuff for my animals and assorted junk. On the floor, under those three levels, I have a few power tools and a few buckets of emergency food (like a 40 pound bucket of beans and a 20 pound bucket of oatmeal and others).  All around the outside of and inside of the unit, there are nails hammered into the wood but left protruding about 1.5 to 2 inches that I use as hooks on which to hang things, like fish nets for my aquarium, rolls of duct tape, tools and yada-yada. On one end of the shelving unit, I have a piece of peg board. I have several things hanging on that end such as cleaning rods for rifles, C-clamps, squares, battery operated air pumps (for minnow buckets or for my aquariums if the power goes out), bubble-packs of deer scent (for this upcoming season), and so on.

It is amazing the stuff that accumulates. More amazing is the stuff that gets stuck somewhere and is not seen for years, maybe even more than a decade. Such was the case recently, as I said above, when cleaning up the mess that the shelving unit had become. Before I had all the emergency food buckets and some cased power tools on the floor under the unit, I used to store wood down there. I had it raised up across some pieces of 2x4 that I laid directly on the floor so as to avoid the good wood from getting badly warped or moldy. Worked pretty good but it was time to put the wood that I still wanted out in the upper level of the garage (the wife had a second floor put in a few years back while I was out in AZ for work, for a few months - one of my better surprises upon return home from one of my many extended work details afar).

Well, it was in with and under much of the wood that I found something I had forgotten I owned. It was something that Pete G (the General) had given me years ago and that I had used for awhile until I realized it was fucking up my shoulder more than the standard one that was already on my gun. It was a, Remington manufactured, steel folding stock for a Remington 870 shotgun. I was sure surprised to see that again; it must have been under there for at least 5 years without even being thought of by me, maybe more like 10 or 15 years. I really don't remember when was the last time I had seen it.

Well, taking a good look at it made me think maybe I had seen it within 5 years or so. The reason I say so is because while it was rusted, it was not as rusted as I would expect if down there for more than 5 years. Then again, who can tell? My basement is pretty dry and that is the room in which we have the boiler and the furnace. Still though, I would have expected it to be completely covered  in rust had it been under there for, say, 10 years. That is, at least without me having pulled it out and cleaned it up a bit in the interim. As it stands now, it has a good share of surface rust but not too bad. I think it would clean up nicely and I suppose that is a project for me for the next couple of days, or next week, or month, or year. As I have said before, I am the great procrastinator. Actually though, when it comes to rust on gun parts or even on most firearms accessories, I usually act with haste to remove the rust and put a protective coating of Breakfree CLP on the piece. Since I am a bit snockered right now, I have had two large Zombies and am working on a Russian Zombie (just add 2 ounces of Potato Vodka to an already Rum filled Zombie), I think I will hold off on cleaning it up. I have work tomorrow and thus it will probably have to wait until Sunday or perhaps Monday.

One other thing I noted, a not so good thing, it is missing the screw to attach it to the stock. I vaguely recall finding a large screw on the basement floor not too long ago and being flabbergasted as to what it belonged. Wanna bet where that screw belonged. I hope I tossed it into a corner somewhere and not into the trash. If I threw it out, I am pretty sure I could find an exact replacement at Numrich Gun Parts or that I could find a suitable replacement at Home Depot.

There is one last bit of information about this stock. On one side of it, the metal has been stamped: "For Law Enforcement Only". Now, I have to wonder if this was put there by Remington when it was manufactured or if, perhaps, it was added later either by a law enforcement agency or a retailer who dealt with law enforcement. There are more than one reason to wonder who stamped that into the metal. First of all, even here, in the the semi-commie, totally anti-gun, state of New York - as far as I am aware there has never been a ban on folding stocks for pump action shotguns. So, the regular folks, those not in law enforcement, the We The People people should have been legally able to possess such a stock. Secondly, such stocks, for pump action shotguns, were never banned federally for the regular citizenry (therefore the reason they were never banned in NY since NY based its ban on the federal one, except for the sunset provision and thus we still have an assault weapons ban in NY state). So, one would have to wonder, why would Remington put that on the stock. I doubt very much that they did so for the reasons I just mentioned. Now, it may have been illegal in New York City for anyone but law enforcement but I still doubt that Remington stamped those words on the side of this stock and there is yet another reason that makes me doubtful. You see, if Remington had done it, I kind of figure they would have stamped it on there so you could easily read it when the stock was held upright. Upright for a folding stock would be when the stock was planted on your shoulder, the top of the stock being the part that was uppermost. If you look at the wording "For Law Enforcement Only" on this stock, it winds up being upside down when the stock is held upright. That just does not seem copacetic to me. I would tend to think Remington would put the wording there to be read easily when the stock was in an upright position. Maybe I can send an inquiry to Remington and see what they have to say about it.

Regardless of the stamped restriction, since it is not a legally based restriction (at least here in NY State), I am thinking of cleaning up this bad boy and putting it up for sale. Who knows, I might get more than just a few bucks for it. When is the last time you saw a Remington 870 with an original Remington manufactured, all steel, folding stock on it. I would bet it will bring a pretty penny even in its current condition. Otherwise, I may just give it away since I am not going to use it. (That is unless I decide to rob banks for a second career and who knows what the future holds - maybe I should clean it up and hold onto it in case times get really tough.) If I give it away though, it is going to have to be to a very good friend or to an exceptionally talented arse kisser.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Latest Firearms Related Acquisition... a rifle scope that I ordered a day or two ago. As you may remember, I have written about wanting a somewhat inexpensive bolt action rifle in a caliber like .308 or .30-06 but one that promises to shoot well. When it boiled down to it, that meant either a Remington 700 series rifle, a Savage 111 or a Marlin XS7 or XL7. I have been dreaming of getting one, and putting it off for one reason or another, for quite a while. When I look back, I see I wrote up the Marlin XS7 back on September 11, 2009. A day after that post, I wrote about looking for one at a gun show - here. Several months later, in February 2010, I mentioned it again, in another blogpost. While still wanting to buy one, I was considering picking up an AK instead. Was I wavering? Not really, I just had some priorities to work out and did wind up purchasing an AK. Then, yet once more and several more months down the road, back in October 2010, I heard the Siren's Song of either a Marlin XL7 or a Marlin XS7 calling me.

Then - a dry spell. I did not write about the Marlin XS-7 for two years. I did not think about it all that much either. I bought other guns, in that time period, that either caught my fancy or that filled a niche that needed filling in my firearms inventory. Maybe, just every now and then, I thought of one for a moment. I know I saw them at guns shows but always at inflated prices. So I bought other things like a Remington  1911 R1, a Browning Citori Lightning Shotgun and some others. How pleasantly surprised was I when I saw that there was one available at the Hessney Rod & Gun auction earlier this month in no way can even compare to how happy I was to have had the high bid on it. So yes, I finally bought one of them, a Marlin XS7 in .308 caliber! Yes, the hankering to own one has been with me awhile, over three years; I am the great procrastinator but usually accomplish my goals, often later than sooner, as I did this time.

I accomplished my goal of getting myself a Marlin XS7 but I surely have not completed the job of doing it properly. This rifle does not come with sights, instead it comes with a mounted scope mount rail. That left me with the need for some optics. Being this is a less than $400 rifle, I was not about to spend a lot on a scope for it. I did want something that would stand up to regular use, a variable power scope in about the 3 to 12 power range, that I could get at a decent price. I started to look online, for such a deal, last week. What I came up with was a choice between about a half dozen manufacturers' products. I looked at some from: Burris, Bushnell, Hawke Optics, Nikon, Pentax, Redfield, Tasco, and Vortex. I decided on going with Hawke Optics. The particular scope, that I chose, from them is the Hawke Varmint Side Focus (SF) 2.5-10x44. I ordered it from Optics Planet, they had one left in stock and had a price $20 lower than the one offered by the manufacturer. That $20 can go to buy the scope rings, which in the midst of a brain fart, I forgot to order at the time I placed the order for the scope.

I picked this scope primarily because I liked the power range and the price. It was only $169.99 with free shipping. As for that power range, the 2.5 magnification will be optimal for close in deer hunting here in the woods of New York State, or for longer distance shots on deer, or across a field at a Woodchuck, or down range at a target. The 44mm optics will let in plenty of light. In addition, the scope has finger adjustable turrets for windage and elevation. Not needing a tool to adjust the scope is a big plus for me. Speaking of adjustment, the windage and elevation can be adjusted in 1/4 M.O.A. clicks. The scope also has a fast focus eyepiece and has a parallax adjustment dial on the side of the scope. The eye relief is only 3.2 inches but I can live with that without giving myself a black eye. The scope body is a 1" mono tube. The lenses are fully multi-coated. Of course, the scope is waterproof, shockproof and fogproof. The box contains the scope, see through flip-up lens caps, a cleaning cloth and a instruction manual. Sadly there is no sunshade, that is an option that need be purchased separately. As for the brand, I had never before heard of Hawke Optics as far as I can recall but they got some good marks from people whom I asked about them.

Another major selling point, besides the power range, was that it has a mil dot reticle - well, an improved version or so I think. Hawke Optics calls it the 1/2 mil dot reticle. It has the regularly placed dots on the crosshairs as does a mil dot but also has an additional hash mark between each dot for more precise aiming adjustment. It sounds like a good idea. Hopefully, the image will not look too crowded. I think it will give a good sight picture after seeing the accompanying image of one, looks to be very nice.

The scope should arrive this coming week since it has already shipped. In the mean time I had best get out there to a local establishment and buy some scope rings. I have read that the bolt handle on the Marlin XS7 can be a bit problematic in that it hits scopes mounted too low. So, I would guess, a pair medium or high rings, as opposed to low rings, should do the trick of allowing the bolt enough room to be operated without it hitting the scope body.

I will do a review sometime after I have used it for awhile. More info, on this scope, can be seen at:

All the best,
Glenn B

Remington Store Offering 20% Off Prices, Even Sale Prices

They sent me a promo code to use RCUSA020. It said the code was one time use and I used it almost immediately (Christmas shopping). I am guessing though that by one tikme use they mean one time per customer. If interested - why not give it a try and see if it works. If you ever wanted to buy a Remington knife, gear or clothing, or if you need Remington gun parts or firearms accessories, this is a good deal (remember if the item is already on sale, this coupon gives an additional 20% off).

All the best,