Blogging to you from the Northeastern Badlands of Lake County, Illinois USA, WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! ALL FORMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED JOB PRODUCTIVITY, LACK OF SLEEP, SOCIAL ALIENATION, BIRTH DEFECTS, BLINDNESS, SEXUAL IMPOTENCY, AND / OR DEVIANT FUNAMBULISM. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNITION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. (No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some lubricious adventures with your trophy wife and a future first-round draft pick.) CAVEAT: This blog is not suitable for viewing while at work, while inside a public library, while inside any public or private school, or while inside any public or private restroom. Do not view this blog while driving a motor vehicle or while piloting an aircraft. Viewing this blog may be illegal inside the EU, Chicago, and other parts of the Third World. THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: This blog is a hobby, it is not a livelihood. Even though much of what I blog about relates to firearms collecting and recreational shooting, I am not an expert (by any measure) on any facet of guns, shooting, hunting, or personal defense. Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats or post hunt bourbon-fueled barroom-bluster; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be rugged-country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and miscellany that I review for this blog are purchased / rented / leased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, distilled spirits, recreational pharmaceuticals, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Papal Blessings, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review or blog post. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al stick tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on via one method or another, for one reason or another; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online DNA residue by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!
Please consider RECURRING UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS of ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL POLITICIANS (including but not limited to school records, acquaintances, employment history, Social Media, financial, drug, and psychiatric screenings). Please consider TERM LIMITS; political power corrupts.

'We the Politicians of the United States, in Order to avoid a more perfect Union, manipulate Justice, destroy domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common offense, promote general Warfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Progeny, do blaspheme and eviscerate this Constitution of the United States of America." ("Zack," circa 1966 -1970)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Actually many types of signs do save lives

(Source )

STOP SIGNS, for instance, do save lives if obeyed.  Ummmmm, however I do believe she is wrong about the NO GUNS signs.  IMHO, other than as a hollow political statement, signs declaring NO GUNS are worthless; the gun-toting bad-guys will ignore them and the gun-toting good-guys may just take their business elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review of the Ken Null Model UNS IWB Holster for the Glock 43

This is one of those moments when something old is something new.  Currently I am putting this new holster through its paces as an everyday carry.  I had a great deal of trouble finding an IWB holster for my Glock 43 that was suitable (for me) so I decided to go radically retro;  this Seventrees design from K. L. Null Holsters has roots all the way back into the 1960s.  Above is a copy of a page from a 1969 Seventrees catalogue showing the UNS of 46-years ago.

As with the Walther PPK, the Glock 43 is compact enough to cause problems for the IWB holster designers;  there is a very narrow "sweet spot" of having just enough holster.  It is also difficult to avoid designing a holster that sits either too high or too low.  IMHO it takes someone with intuition and experience to design a stable, comfortable IWB holster for PPK size semi-auto pistols.  At a recent gun fair I decided to try a local holster maker's (a fledgling business owned by a group of Cops) IWB Kydex holster; I donned the holster with its G43 dummy gun and gave it a simple tug-test;  the holster promptly flipped OUT of my waistband and hung from my belt with the dummy gun's muzzle pointing up at my torso.  I politely declined to buy the $50 holster and suggested that the design needed to be further refined.  

I love the detail work on the snap belt loop on the Ken Null Model UNS; it looks a lot like, and may function a bit like, a sewn belt tunnel.  Ken offers this holster for 1.25'' and 1.5'' belts (mine is for a 1.5'' belt).  Bad experiences made me grow to detest mass produced holsters with large, one-size-fits-all 1.75'' belt loops; unless the wearer is sporting a belt that is 1.75'' wide, those holsters don't stay where they are supposed to stay.

Putting this holster on and taking it off is very quick and easy; I can do it in the dark; I don't need to drop my trousers or use a mirror.

(Above) This is the side of the holster that faces the body.  Note how the sweat shield is boned to curl a bit over the end of the slide;  I believe that to be a subtle part of the holster's passive retention.  Once it was broken in, this holster provided a fast draw along with good passive (no snaps or straps) gun retention, a combination that is hard for holster makers to achieve.  The G43 handgun comes out of the holster quick and easy but it does not come out before I want it out;  I am an active old geezer and have no use for any holster that cannot comfortably keep a gun secure during physical activities.

Unlike the explosion of crudely designed and expeditiously manufactured hybrid holsters, this old-school leather holster has no sharp, square edges.  It easily slides into place and then stays where it is supposed to stay until the wearer is ready to remove it at the end of the day.

Thanks again, Ken.

DISCLAIMER: As always at this blog site, this product review is simply a good old-fashioned campfire chat; this is not an opinion on what you should or should not purchase or what you should be using.  What does or does not work for me could be many country miles away from your tastes and needs.  All products I review for this blog are purchased at retail price by me.  I do not accept payment, discounts, "freebies," products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, or sexual favors for doing any review.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review of GALCO VHS Vertical Shoulder Holster System for small frame revolvers

The Galco VHS is a modular concept; by changing the holster and ammo storage you can switch the harness between handgun models and sizes.  I've owned this revolver rig only since November of 2014 but have attempted to shake it down during representative slices of all weather.  Unlike the Jackass Rig and the Miami Classic, all of Galco's tanker style VHS line lack the option for a holster-side tie-down; that can kinda really suck for some of us.  <- EDIT: 04/04/2020 THE VHS HOLSTERS NOW HAVE THE HOLSTER SIDE TIE-DOWN OPTION.  There is an option for installing an offside tie-down, but there are no provisions for anchoring any of the VHS holsters.  With minor exceptions, drawing a handgun from a VHS holster requires two hands or pinning the holster to your side using the weak-side arm.  Yes, I consider the lack of a holster tie-down option a downside to the Galco VHS.  However, I did find that certain revolvers listed for use with Galco's V118 holster have no need for a holster-side tie-down; drawing them from the holster is slick, quick, free, and easy.

Further, using this shoulder rig with no tie-down whatsoever is a problem for me due to the mismatch in weight from one side to the other; I used the two black non-Galco ammo pouches (with cartridges, of course) to add weight to the offside.  While an untied rig is ok for tossing on for a walk around the block or a drive to the deli, I needed it tied down when performing any solid physical activity.  The VHS offside tie-down is via an attachement on the ammo pouch (or via an optional harness attachment if you want to eliminate the ammo pouch).

The small frame revolver used in most of the photos of this review is the S&W Model 640-1 .357 Magnum.

As shown above, the VHS has the widest shoulder straps of the four common Galco shoulder rigs.  I own two of the Galco VHS rigs, one for full-frame 1911s and one for small frame revolvers.  I also own a Galco Jackass Rig equipped for use with 1911s.

Wide shoulder straps help keep loads comfy, but getting the straps set correctly takes time and patience.  In the photo above (without using the offside tie-down), the widest portion of the straps have shifted forward on my shoulders after some outdoor activities.  Wide shoulder straps during summer weather also makes it difficult to remain cool; this rig contributes to profuse perspiration.  When I remove this harness at the end of a summer day there are always wide sweat stains on my teeshirt where the harness was sitting.

As mentioned earlier, I used the two black non-Galco ammo pouches to add weight to the offside to provide a more comfortable balance when not using the offside tie-down.  There are 24-rounds total on speed strips between the black and brown ammo pouches.  Whether that is too much or too little to carry for personal defense is for each of us to decide, but in this case I used the extra 12-rounds strictly for ballast.

This ammo dump-pouch I believe is intended for .38 Special loose rounds; it takes a bit of effort, but the pouch can accommodate the use of speed strips.  I am under the impression that this pouch was never intended for use with .357 cartridges, but I could be wrong.  EDIT:  A reader left us a tip in the comments section on how better to fit cartridges on the speed strips into the pouch

It took some doing to stretch the leather more than I already had, but this is how the .38 caliber cartridges on speed strips will be carried from here forward.

(Above:  Pouch with loose .357 Magnum cartridges)
I mentioned earlier that I was unsure if this Galco pouch was intended for .357 cartridges; well, I have since found that the pouch readily holds LOOSE .357 magnum cartridges but I cannot YET get the leather to stretch enough to hold those cartridges on a speed strip.  If Galco intended that pouch for use with anything other than LOOSE .38 Special cartridges I never found any document on the internet that said so.

The black ammo pouches are not from Galco (they are from Del Fatti Leather).  They work on the straps of most any shoulder rig (such as on this often-worn Ken Null City Slicker rig) as well as they do on a gun belt.

The V118 holster worked fine with J-Frames sporting different grips, including the LG-405 Crimson Trace on my S&W Model 638 Bodyguard.  There is a minor problem when holstering the Ruger SP101 with the standard factory grips, but there are no problems drawing the SP101 from the holster one handed.

The Galco V118 holster for the VHS system is said to fit the following revolvers:

Charter Arms Undercover (2" bbl)
Colt Cobra
Ruger LCR
Smith & Wesson J Frame 340PD
Smith & Wesson J Frame 36 (2" bbl)
Smith & Wesson J Frame 60 (2.125" bbl) .357 .38
Smith & Wesson J Frame 649 Bodyguard (2" bbl)
Taurus 85 (2" bbl)
Taurus 85 Titanium (2" bbl)
Taurus 85CH (2" bbl)

NOTE:  It has been my experience that once a "one size fits many" holster is broken-in for a larger handgun it often (but not always) becomes unsuitable for use with the smaller handguns listed.  EDIT 04/04/2020: I HAVE PUT PLENTY OF MILES ON THIS OLD HOLSTER WITH MANY OF THE DIFFERENT SIZE REVOLVERS LISTED ABOVE; STRETCHING AND WEAR IS NOT A PROBLEM.  

NOTE:  The Galco V118 holster is truly a no compromise ambidextrous holster; it works equally well on either side; it is a very creative design.

My Ruger SP101 and all of my J-Frame revolvers easily draw (tilt) from the Galco V118 holster.  My D-Frame Colt revolvers, with their "girthier" cylinders (the Agent and the Detective Special), require two hands to draw from this holster.  Could I do some additional break-in work on the holster so it would work better with the D-Frame Colts?  Maybe, but I am not certain that the holster would then have enough retention for use with the J-Frames.  It would be best to have separate holsters; one for D-Frames and another for J-Frames.  For now (and probably forever) I will limit use of this rig to the J-Frames and the Ruger SP101.  EDIT 3/6/2016:  It was just a matter of breaking in the holster with the D-Frame Colts; they work fine now.

Although I found it was possible to carry this rig without it, I found it to be more comfortable and more practical to use WITH the offside tie-down (BTW, you have to purchase the tie-down separately, it is NOT INCLUDED with the purchase of the rig).  With the tie-down in use, I no longer needed the extra ammo pouches to try and balance the weight of the rig so I removed them (for this photo, I swapped the boot grip adorned S&W Performance Center .38 Special 640 No Dash for the S&W Model 640-1 .357 Magnum).

I believe this type of rig is designed primarily for use over a shirt and under jacket, which is how I wore it in cooler weather.  During the warm weather months I used it mostly over a teeshirt and under an oversized regular shirt.

It is my conclusion that this rig has far too much leather for carrying such small handguns; I may switch the holster and ammo carrier to a Galco harness that has thinner shoulder straps.  Overall, I am happy with this GALCO rig but I do not (at least not yet) consider it to be an essential part of my carry collection. It was an extravagant impulse purchase for me; it is a pricey rig but IMHO it is equal to the quality received.  I'll continue to work with it from time to time but it just does not (for my tastes, especially during summer months) equal the comfort and convenience of the uber lightweight Ken Null SMZ and SKR rigs.


EDIT 02/15/2020:  BELOW is where I am now with this rig ...

That's the same old holster (Galco has evolved the newer models of that holster to include a tie-down but I opted to stay with this one for now).  I changed everything else to suit my tastes and needs; all components except the ammo pouch were purchased from Galco.  

A) Miami Classic 1'' harness (cooler carry than the 2.75'' original harness but anecdotally not quite as comfortable for bearing weight as are the 1.5'' harnesses)

B) Offside tie-down replaced the ammo dump-pouch and tie-down.

That alloy frame 6-round Colt Agent will now be a reasonably comfortable carry on the longest days (perhaps not during the very hottest days) of the year.  The heavier 5-round .357 Magnum frames that are sometimes too much to bear with the SKR and SMZ rigs now have a tolerable alternative carry.  Life is good.

Yep, this rig is now more to my liking; your tastes and needs may differ.

DISCLAIMER: As always at this blog site, this product review is simply good old-fashioned  campfire talk; this is not an opinion on what you should or should not purchase or what you should use.  What does or does not work for me could be many country miles away from what does or does not work for you.  All products I review for this blog are purchased at retail price by me.  I do not accept payment, discounts, "freebies," products on loan, demon alcohol, or sexual favors for doing any review.  My holsters are as much as a hobby for me as my guns are.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

My most recent range visit

Six government surplus seven-round .45 ACP magazines and my no-frills 1911A1 Springfield Armory.  It was a couple of weeks ago and I spent less than a half hour shooting; it was a quick in and out session, squeezing the trigger as fast as I could re-acquire the sight.

It has been difficult to find the time and energy needed for shooting (and for blogging).  Sometimes life gets in the way of how we prefer to live.


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