Monday, January 6, 2014

Magpul moving to Wyoming and Texas

Magpul announced a few days ago that it would be moving out of Colorado and away from their new restrictive gun laws. They are planning on moving operations to Wyoming, and opening a corporate headquarters in Texas. I say good for them. I don't see any reason for staying in a state where you can't sell your most popular products.

They posted this message on their website:



Company Is Moving Operations to Wyoming and Texas

Magpul Industries announced today that it is relocating its operations to Wyoming and Texas.

The company is relocating manufacturing, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Magpul is leasing a 58,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility during the construction of a 100,000 square foot build-to-suit facility in the Cheyenne Business Parkway. The Wyoming relocation is being completed with support from Governor Matt Mead, the Wyoming Business Council and Cheyenne LEADS.

Magpul is moving its corporate headquarters to Texas. Three North Central Texas sites are under final consideration, and the transition to the Texas headquarters will begin as soon as the facility is selected. The Texas relocation is being accomplished with support from Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

“Magpul made the decision to relocate in March 2013 and has proceeded on an aggressive but deliberate path” says Doug Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Magpul Industries. “These dual moves will be carried out in a manner that ensures our operations and supply chain will not be interrupted and our loyal customers will not be affected.”

The company began a nationwide search for a new base of operations after legislation was enacted in Colorado that dramatically limits the sale of firearms accessories – the core of Magpul’s business. Magpul plans on initially transitioning 92% of its current workforce outside of Colorado within 12-16 months and will maintain only limited operations in Colorado.

"Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” says Richard Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer for Magpul Industries. “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”

About Magpul:

Founded in 1999, Magpul was launched to manufacture an innovative device to aid in the manipulation of rifle magazines while reloading under stress. The company’s name comes from the original product called the Magpul. Over the last decade Magpul has continued to grow and develop into additional product areas using much the same mission and process with a focus on innovation, creativity, and efficiency.

For more information, please contact Duane Liptak, 303.828.3460 x170.

Check their website for more information, including responses from the Wyoming and Texas Governors.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wilderness Tactical Instructor belt: 5 year review.

A little over 5 years ago I bought a 5 stitch Instructor belt from Wilderness Tactical Products. They came highly recommended from pretty much every source I could find.

I consider these great belts. The 5 stitch model is plenty stiff, and does a good job of holding up your gun, extra mag, and all the rest of the stuff we tend to carry around every day.  An added bonus is these belts are made in the USA. 

I really like the way these belts work. You slide the belt through the buckle, around the moving post, and back out the way it came where you Velcro the tag end down so it doesn't flop around. You have  about a 5" adjustment range, and can adjust to any spot in that range. You don't have to worry about having a hole to line up where you need it. This is nice to adjust for when you have your gun on, when you don't, and for how tight or loose you want it. For instance, I wear the belt a lot looser when I am carrying AIWB than when carrying strong side. With the gun in front it needs more leeway to move with your body. 

I have worn this belt every day for over 5 years. The Velcro is wore out, on both the hook side and the soft side. There is also wear on the belt itself from my keys and holster clips running against it.  The belt itself is still very stiff and has non of the bend that cheap belts get after a while. I have no doubt I could keep wearing this belt and it would keep doing its job. I ordered one of these for my brother for Christmas this year and since I was already placing an order I figured I might as well order me one too...

One interesting thing that The Wilderness offers is you can send your belt back to have the Velcro replaced. They will do the hook side for free, or both sides for $15. Of course, you would have to pay for shipping both ways. I thought about doing this, but by the time I paid for shipping I would be close enough to the price of a new belt that I don't really know that it is worth it. Still an option though. 

When it was time for a new belt, I could have ordered from any of the newer companies that make gun belts these days. I knew the quality of Wilderness belts, and I knew they did everything I need a gun belt to do, so I ordered from the same company I had before and was not disappointed when my new belt arrived. If that isn't an endorsement I don't know what is. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bringing them up right: Brought my son shooting.

Christmas eve we got some free time so I loaded up the guns in the truck and took my 8 year old son shooting.  He shot his Winchester 67 .22 some then wanted to shoot my AR.  He did well with it, popping some balloons.  He really likes using the red dot.

Here is the thing:  If we are to keep our rights we have to keep interest alive in them.  The old saying is, If you don't use them, you lose them.  The best way to do that is bring people shooting, especially your family.  If you can spark their love for firearms early then it will stay with them for life.

We had a great time shooting, and then breaking the guns down and cleaning them when we got home.  That is good clean family fun.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Getting ready to train: What to bring.

You have finally decided to get some professional firearm training. You pay your deposit and are waiting for the day to come.  Here is what you should bring.

Check out the school's website. 

They will have a page listing the things you need to bring. Some of the things you may think you won't need, but it is on the list for a reason.


Make sure your gun is in good working order.  Clean and lube it before you go.

It is a good idea to bring a spare gun if you can.  If you don't have a spare gun, bring along some spare parts of the things that may normally break.  Training tends to put more stress on guns and gear than just plinking at the range.  A cleaning kit and lube would be a good idea as well.

If you are not able to bring a spare gun, the instructor may have back ups, although it will probably have a fee attached.


Usually the listed round count for the class is the minimum you will shoot. You should bring at least a couple hundred rounds more than what is listed.  Some people say to bring 500 more, others say to double the recommended amount.

One other thing I do is pour all of my ammo out into an ammo can. You don't have to mess with a bunch of boxes and trays and there isn't any trash to keep up with. 

Eye and ear protection

You should bring some dark glasses, and some clear or yellow shooting glasses as well. 

You should really invest in electronic ear protection if you can afford it. These are ear muffs with microphones that let you hear what the instructor and other students are saying, and then automatically shut off when you shoot. It is so much easier than trying to hear through regular muffs or constantly putting your ear pro on and off. I use the Peltor 6S and they have worked well for me. Be sure to bring extra batteries. 


Most classes will list you need at least 2 or 3 magazines. I like to bring as many as I can. Reloading mags all day is a necessary part of the deal but I like to minimize it as much as possible. The less you have to stuff ammo in mags the better you can be paying attention to what the instructor is saying. 

I will have all of my magazines except for 2 loaded before I get there. I leave the 2 unloaded for the dry fire work at the beginning of class. If you are training with somebody you haven't worked with before it is a good idea to contact them via phone or email and make sure having your mags loaded before hand is ok.  You will probably want your gun to be unloaded when you arrive unless you have information otherwise.

You may also want to invest in a magazine loader such as those made by Uplula if you are going to a high round count course, or just aren't used to repeatedly loading mags with your thumb.

Holster, mag pouches, belt, etc.

Training is a great way to test out gear!  You get to see what works well, what works ok, and what you should probably replace.  You want to bring quality gear.

Your holster should be of a design that stays open at the top to ease reholstering.  You will be drawing and holstering a lot during the class and you don't want to be fumbling with the holster the entire time.  I personally like kydex holsters, but a good quality leather holster with a reinforced mouth works as well.  Another consideration with IWB holsters is the holster should be big enough to cover the entire barrel of the pistol.  Minimalist holsters have become popular for concealed carry but tend to be bad for training because the barrel and slide of your gun will become hot from firing a lot.  You don't want to burn your leg(or worse if you carry appendix IWB like I do!) from sticking a hot gun inside your pants with nothing covering it. 

Your belt, mag pouches, and any other gear used during class should be of high enough quality to not hinder you.  You want to be learning, and practicing all day, not fiddling with your gear.  Bringing a spare holster or two isn't a bad idea as well.

I am a firm believer that you should train how you carry.  But, if your EDC is a little .380 you carry in your pocket, you may want to bring another rig more suited to training.  Learning the fundamentals is the same with a full size duty gun as with a small pocket pistol.  If you go down this road, bring your EDC gear too and run at least a few drills with that setup.  Your instructor may have some tips for your specific method of carry as well, don't be afraid to ask.

One thing that recurred throughout this article is the need for spares.  You should bring spares for pretty much everything feasible.  Training is hard on gear, which is good.  If it is going to fail I would sure rather it happen during a controlled class than in some violent encounter on the street!  But at the same time, you don't want to have to sit the rest of the class out because your gun or a piece of your gear broke.

Again, the school's website should have a list of everything you need to bring.  I wanted to expand of some of the more important things and throw a few tips in there as well.  I hope you found this post helpful.  Feel free to leave comments or suggestions.  You can also contact me by the link at the top of the page if you have any questions I would be glad to help. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

My range update

Did some more work on our range a while ago and did a quick video of me running through it.  It is nice having a set up like this to play with and be able to run training drills and IDPA style drills any time we want.  Going to start working on getting some steel targets.

Sorry about the video quality. I really need to invest in something better to do video than an old iPhone...

Friday, October 18, 2013

So you want to carry a gun? What you need to get started.

If you have been thinking about getting your carry permit and carrying a gun for self defense, here is a list of things to consider and the basics of what you will need. This is intended to be a basic guide, you should research each of these points in depth. This is a minimum list, and doesn't include things like flashlights and knives that you should also carry on a daily basis.


There are a couple of things to consider before you start carrying a gun for self defense. The first is, if you get put into a situation where you need to use your gun, do you think you will be able to take that person's life? Sure, he will probably run away as soon as you draw but what if he/they don't? You have to come to grips with this before hand. If you don't think you can end human life then carrying a gun is not going to be for you.

After you come to grips with that you need to learn when you can and can't shoot, where you can and can't legally carry, and when you should get involved with 3rd party situations(the answer is never, unless something that shocks humanity is going on.) If you intervene in a man beating a woman, she may press charges against you for hurting her husband. Carrying a gun doesn't make you a cop, or a hero, and the act of carrying a gun isn't a magic talisman that wards off evil.

Mindset is a huge subject and is hard to fit in one bullet point. People have written articles, and even entire books on just this one subject. I suggest finding some of these and studying them.

Carry Permit:

In most states, you will need to get a permit to legally carry a gun. Requirements vary wildly state by state so check with to see what you need to do. There are a few states where a permit is not needed such as Arizona and Vermont.


You don't have to go super expensive and spend $3000 on a custom 1911, and I actually suggest you don't. But at the same time, you should spend enough to get a quality firearm. I have owned several of the super cheap pistols available on the market. They are fine for range toys if they work at all. Most don't. After all, if you are carrying a gun for self defense and you need to use your firearm, it will be in a life or death situation. I would suggest a Glock in 9mm.  However, people are different, so I would suggest trying some different guns out if you can. Most ranges have guns you can rent and shoot. The key here, is the shooting. A lot of the tiny pocket guns that people love are a good bit more difficult to shoot WELL. Whatever you choose, put in the time to become proficient with your weapon. Anything from .380 acp to 10mm will be ok, although there are pros and cons to each. Don't get too carried away by caliber or bullet weight. All handgun rounds suck at stopping people. The old way of thinking was to use the biggest reasonable caliber. I would rather use a slightly smaller caliber and shoot them a whole bunch. This is one of the places magazine capacity comes into play. Another is multiple bad guys.

9mm to me has the best overall package of sufficient power, pistol size, magazine capacity, and light recoil. It is also the cheapest to shoot, allowing you more practice for the same amount of money.


Pretty much any modern, quality defensive ammo will do fine. Speer Gold Dots, Winchester Ranger SXT, Hornady Critical Defense are a few good examples.  You do want to use a quality hollow point. They have slightly better stopping power, leave a bigger hole, and are less likely to over penetrate and hit people behind the bad guy. 


You need a quality holster, that is made for your model gun. Holsters that are "one size fits many" usually aren't very good. You will see that a lot in the cheap nylon holsters.  The leather/kydex hybrid holsters such as the Crossbreed SuperTuck and the Aegis Armory are the most comfortable IMO. There are several companies that make these, and most of them are good. Check reviews before you buy. Full kydex holsters are good as well. If you want to carry concealed(and you do) then an Inside the Waist Band(IWB) holster will conceal much easier.

You want to be able to get a full firing grip on your pistol from the holster. Your adrenaline is going to be pumping and fixing your grip after the draw isn't likely to happen. 

Most people end up going through a few holsters before they find the one that is right for them. 


A good gun belt makes carrying much easier. A quality reinforced belt will hold the weight of the gun better than a crappy Walmart belt. Look for reinforced nylon such as the Wilderness Tactical 5 stitch Instructor belt or double thick leather such as those made by Beltman.


You don't have to buy specific clothes to carry a gun, but you do need to make sure what you wear works. If you are using an IWB holster you may need to go up a size in pants to make room for the gun and holster. Tight fitting shirts will allow the gun to show when you don't want it to. Loose, dark colored T-shirts and button up shirts work much better at hiding the gun.


Formal training is not required past the class you may need to take to get your permit. I have an article here discussing the pros and cons of taking a defensive pistol training class. Cliff notes version: Get it. As much as you can.


You need to practice!  Everything from basic marksmanship to drawing from concealment, get off the X drills, shooting while moving.  Some of this can be practiced with dry fire in your home.  Some of it you have to get to the range and put the time in.

Overall, the decision to start carrying a gun for defense is a pretty big one.  It requires a commitment and learning from you.  There is a little more to it than just throwing a .38 in your pocket.  You need to be proficient with your gun BEFORE you need it.  You need to be safe with your firearm, make sure you have the 4 safe gun handling rules learned and ingrained.  I hope this article is a good starting point for you.  Feel free to leave me any questions or comments you may have.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reminder: Check Your Carry Permit Expiration Date

 REMINDER!! Check the expiration date on your Carry Permit!!!  It may be closer than you think!

UPDATE:   I received my new permit in the mail on November the 6th.  A little over a month without the ability to legally carry a firearm on my person.  Pay attention!


So the other day it dawned on me that my carry permit was going to expire soon.  I checked the date, and it had actually expired a week earlier!  Then, because I am working a lot of hours right now, I couldn't make it up to the county probate court to re-apply because I was not getting off before 5pm.  So finally yesterday I get off at a reasonable time, head up to the court house and re-apply.

Georgia has a fairly simple process to get a Georgia Weapons Carry License(GWCL.)  The GWCL is good for 5 years.  Some of the details are dependent on the county in which you live.  Such as in some counties you have to go to the jail to have your prints done.  When I got my current carry permit, I had to go to the probate court, get some paperwork, bring it to the jail to get printed, get more paperwork and bring it BACK to the probate court and finally everything gets put together and sent in.  There was separate fees you had to pay to the probate court and to the jail.  Now my county has a much better system.  I went to the probate court, they reprinted me, took my picture(the Georgia permit now has your photo on it) and filled out a paper all right there.  Paid my money and left, took all of about 15 minutes.  Very painless process.

BUT, the lady told me I could expect a 6 WEEK wait!  Hopefully it will come back before then but if not I could be looking at the end of November before I can legally carry again.  While not as good as having it on you, at least in Georgia you are legal to carry loaded and concealed in your car without a permit.  Luckily the government shutdown is not supposed to affect the state issued gun permit system.  I got my current permit in the mail 12 days after I applied.  That's pretty good.

The moral of the story is, check your expire date on your permit and have it redone a couple of months ahead of time so you do not lose your ability to lawfully carry.  Hope this quick reminder has been helpful.

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