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Wet tumbling. The good, the not so good, and the awesome?

Mmm Range brass…

Getting brass clean enough for reloading is a dirt simple thing in principle. Wipe clean the outside of the case to ensure does not scratch or deform the brass due to dirt and debris while it feeds into a reloading die. That is all fine and dandy for someone who doesn’t really expend any volume of brass or regularly utilizes a Lee Loader for reloading, but what about the inside of the case? The primer residue and build-up in the pocket? What about tarnish and accumulated dirt and grime? 1911 owners who reload would loathe to leave behind scores of free .45 ACP range brass regardless of how dirty is was. The author fully embraces his Dutch heritage stereotype and if there is unclaimed, spent, centre-fire brass lying about at the local shooting range, it’s getting picked up. Firstly because it’s free brass, and secondly because the author likes to leave the range cleaner than when he arrived.

What to do with the hundreds of free pieces of brass of 9mm Luger or .223 Remington that are strewn about the range on a nearly daily basis? Unfortunately you will likely need to clean them from dirt, grass, and exposure to the elements. Sorting is also an issue, but that will be addressed in a future installment. Back on the topic of case cleaning; TPF did a overview of a Hornady Ultrasonic Cleaner a while ago, and while that method does indeed clean out all the impurities, it does not necessarily mean the result will be gleaming, shiny brass cases. Enter today’s entry into Tactical, Practical and Fantastical, Frankford Arsenal’s Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler. This unit comes complete with the tumbling drum and the drive chassis as well as with inserts, stainless media and a sample of concentrated cleaning solution.

Factory versus range brass

But lets get to the details… The author has been collecting range brass for many years and as such has a fairly decent volume of spent cartridge cases sorted, and stored on reloading shelves. For this review, several hand fulls of .308 Winchester range brass was used for testing the effectiveness of this rotary tumbler. Only after the review did we count out 231 pcs of brass, a far cry from the 1000 pieces of .223 Remington that is claimed as working capacity.

The FA Wet Tumbler

The FA Wet Tumbler

What you get in the box…

  • Drum driving base
  • Dual layer drum
  • Drum retaining cap (x2)
  • Clear insert for cap (x2)
  • Strainer insert for cap (x2)
  • Bag of stainless steel media (2.27kg/5.0 lbs)
  • Sample of concentrate cleaning solution
  • Manual

TPF looked over all the components of the unit and some items stood out for being remarked upon. The first item is the 1.85 gallon (7 litre) dual layer drum whose hard plastic outer shell can withstand the rollers and drive wheels and the mass of brass, pins, and liquids. Inside the drum is a softer rubber that is bonded to the inner surfaces of the drum. This is to quiet down the actual noise of an operating unit and also to ensure that the brass and pins tumble instead of just sliding along the inside of the drum. This is important as there are no protrusions internally to help agitate the brass and fluids while rotating. The end caps will normally be used with the clear window inserts which allow observers to become mesmerized by the continuous churning action.

The two layer tumbling drum (FA image file)

The initial setup was used with the handfuls of de-primed brass, the sample pack of cleaning solution, and filling the container with supplied pins and distilled water. Distilled water, for those readers with a questioning expression, is a water that has most impurities removed and is listed to generate the best results. With the clear inserts in place and water tight, the rotary tumbler was started on a two hour adventure. With a dry media vibratory tumbler the unit settles into a manageable background noise that can be ignored easily. With an ultrasonic cleaner the noise is a hum, plus any case to case vibrations, which can be high pitch, but in general is a low noise level. Compared to either of the others, this rotary tumbler is is not even in the same class. It is loud, as in automotive versus airplane in noise difference… Now perhaps that was from not having completely filled the drum to capacity of cases to be cleaned and allowing huge space for brass and cleaning pins to shift around a large amount contributed to the noise level, it will be revisited in a future utilization.

The dirty and corroded, but FREE range brass

 

Prior to distilled water and cleaning solution.

 

The base drive unit of the tumbler is quite heavy and has a single set of driver rollers with the second set being a pair of idlng wheels. The controls are very simple for the power unit. It has a rotating dial which corresponds to the desired remaining time of operation. No on/off switch, just turn the dial from 0 to 3 hours. The rollers and geared drive units are listed as being rated for a maximum of a 13.4 kg (30 lbs) drum on top of the rollers. This published limit is there both to protect the drive gearing as well as the axles and plastic rotating wheels from excessive loads. For our review we set the unit into motion of a duration of two hours or the possible three.

 

Churning, churning, churning!

The machine chugged away on top of the author’s reloading bench for just over 2 hours and the noise of the churning brass and pins, as well as the drive unit itself could be heard through the floor and across the author’s home. TPF recommends that if you utilize the this wet tumbler, that you perform the actual tumbling either outside, or in a garage as the operational sound level is quite high.

Murky water cannot hide the gleam!

Upon finish of the 2 hours, the water in the drum was murky and dark, yet the cases gleamed like beacons in the grunge. This is where we find the biggest and perhaps the only flaw of this tumbling kit. The strainer inserts are one of the things that seemed lackluster and a far cry from practical. The operator needs to install it onto one end of the barrel and then flip it over to remove the second cover in order to “wash out” the drum and cleaned brass of dirty cleaning liquid and stainless steel pin media. The only problem is that the media does not come out as easily as Franklin Arsenal would lead you to believe. This determination was made AFTER using the strainer in an attempt to “Wash out” the stainless steel media from the cases. Some pins did indeed come out and fell into a home made filtering bucket. However getting fed up with having a clean drum, and pins stuck in cases still, the whole load was dumped onto the filter and the drum rinsed clean and put away.

At this point TPF used a rotary media separator that was partially filled with water which partially covered the load of cases in the rotating hopper. By spinning the hopper, the author proceeded to “separate” media from cases. This method worked spectacularly… What was left was a whole bunch of bright clean and very wet cases. Which is the second part that TPF is less than thrilled about, waiting for cases to dry… The author’s wife put her foot down when the oven was suggested as a means to remove the unwanted water. Luckily the time of year had a nice sunny warm forecast, and the cases were laid down to dry on a towel in the sun. And nearly 6 hours later when the author returned, the cases were dry and better than new in appearance.

231 sparking cases, drying in the sun…

The largest deterrents for stainless steel wet tumbling is the media separation, and the drying of the cases. However the end result of the entire process is an awesome level of cleanliness and sparkling bright brass. The resulting output from the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler (Model# 909544), is extremely clean and makes brass appear new once again. The reviewed unit has an MSRP of $239.00 USD, and can be found at brick and mortar stores across Canada such as Firearms Outlet Canada, located in Ajax, Ontario.

The final result? Shiny!

Is stainless steel, wet tumbling worth the investment and worth the time? That is for you, the reader to decide upon and determine for yourself if it is Practical, Tactical, or Fantastical.

 

Designed by a Canuck! This knife is keenly sharp in function, looks and edge!

Brian-Tighe

Mr. Tighe (circa 2013 image)

For those readers whom are not into knives at all, you can be excused for not knowing who Mr. Brian Tighe (pronounced “Tie”) is. If you are an “edge enthusiast”, you may be familiar with the name. With South Eastern Ontario being called home, Brian Tighe has been making custom knifes for a couple decades and his tool and die experience shows in the manufacturing of his wares. His additional design and photography background serve him well in determining physical aesthetics and what shapes and styles are visually appealing.

As with most knife makers who collaborate with “Mass Production” knife companies, it is a normal occurrence to have an custom knife design adopted and using cheaper materials and processes to create a commercially available knife for the masses. Tighe has created numerous designs over the years that have been adopted into large scale production by Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) and one of the latest ones is the Tighe Rade™ (pronounced “Tie-Raid”). Obviously with the original custom Rade design retailing at over $500 USD it is far away from the casual user and low end collector of knives.

The Handcrafted Tighe-Ride

The custom made Tighe-Ride is a truly beautiful custom knife

From the CRKT website:

In hand or in action, this is one to show off.

Brian Tighe doesn’t know how to do anything subtle. Case in point: his latest everyday carry folding knife with a button lock screams style. The aluminum handle features contoured, textured grooves. A compound ground blade deploys swiftly with a flipper and IKBS™ or ambidextrous dual thumb studs. About the only thing it doesn’t do well is sit idly; it’s apt to go on a tirade.

Designer Brian Tighe of Ridgeville, Ontario, Canada, upped the ante when he created the Tighe Rade™. From tip to tail this one-of-a-kind, high-tech folder boasts looks that seem more at home on a fighter jet than a knife. It’s a welcomed new addition to the impressive line of award-winning knives that Tighe has become so well known for designing.

The tip is ground and reinforced for stronger cutting applications, while closer to the handle it’s perfect for finer cutting tasks and wire stripping. And with its highly stylized aluminum handle and multiple usage blade, the Tighe Rade™ is packed with substance and style. The unique design maximizes overall performance and ease of sharpening, and the easy to operate and disengage button lock keeps everything secure while it’s open.

The sophisticated and modern Tighe Rade™ is one part smooth operator mixed with one part showpiece.

Some readers may wonder how, and why, the CRKT version is so much cheaper than the original. First off, the custom basic Tighe-Rade™ has solid titanium scales (left and right sides of the grip/handle), incorporates an exceptional sealed thrust bearing pivot, and the blades are manufactured from some of the highest quality steel available. CRKT takes the original contours and makes them more economical to produce. The scales are molded and machined from aluminum and mounted on steel liners, plus a simpler and cheaper pivot is used, and the blade steel itself is modified to give acceptable mechanical characteristics at a more cost effective price. Most individuals whom are known as “edge enthusiasts” to the author, do not carry a custom knife for EDC due to the costs, and while there are some who do, they would be the exception to the norm.

CKRT makes a more wallet friendly version.

CRKT ‘s clone has the same shapes and functions, albeit at a more wallet friendly price

The Rade™ features many inclusions not found on most folding knives, and these features give a level of aesthetic grace and functionality that is desired by many knife users. The blade is of a very slight drop point profile with a slightly recurved belly and features a dual ground edge. The dual ground edge is not a combination/hybrid single edge, but two portions of the blade’s edge with differing grinds. For the first 52.5mm (2.06″) of the blade’s 85.3mm (3.36″) overall length, a standard flat ground edge is apparent. From that point and continuing an additional 29.1mm (1.14″) towards the pivot is a hollow ground edge area. The visual effect is obvious and striking aesthetically; however despite the 3.2mm (0.12″) spine thickness, the hollow ground portion will likely effect the overall blade strength so the author cannot recommend utilizing the Rade™ for prying.

The dual ground edge gives a distinctive look and is sharp!

The dual ground edge gives a distinctive look and is sharp!

The blade itself is manufactured from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and pivots around caged ball bearings which are tensioned between a pair of sculpted torx socket pivot heads. The handle of the knife measures 115.1mm (4.53″) in length, and is comprised of the 2Cr13MoV stainless steel liners and the 6061-T6 aluminum scales. The resulting opened length of this knife is approximately 200.0mm (7.88″) and barely tips the scales with a mass of 125gr (4.4 oz). Opening the knife is through use of the flipper tab or the ambidextrous thumb studs and the blade is secured in the open position via a button lock system.

A visually similar, mass production version of the custom Tighe-Tade

A visually similar, mass production version of the custom Tighe-Tade

While very robust; right side, tip-up is the only available carry option

While very robust; right side, tip-up is the only available carry option

The aluminum scales on this knife have an aggressive contour and machining which results in a coarse grip pattern, but the handle itself is scalloped for an individual’s fingers and hand. The author’s hand is rather tight inside the 87.6mm (3.45″) opening, but not unexpected having fingers the size of sausages. However grip is secure and the chances of slipping forwards is next to zero. The pocket clip, unfortunately, has a only the single mounting position opposite of the button lock. This results in a tip up carry position for common right side pocket placement. The button’s spring loaded nature actually help to retain the blade in the closed position due to pressure exerted on the blade. This resistance and the mechanical design of the flipper, make inadvertent opening of the knife a low possibility.

The Tighe Rade™ from CRKT, model number 5290; has an MSRP of $69.99 USD. This knife can be found among Canadian retailers such as at Supply Seargent, located at West Edmonton Mall. One question still remains however, is CRKT’s Tighe Rade™ a Practical knife, a Tactical knife, or a Fantastical knife? That answer is only something you, the reader, can decide.

While not manufactured with the care and quality of the originals, these clones are still decent knives

While not manufactured with the care and quality of the originals, these clones are still decent knives

2015 ended up a wash…. And it is our fault…

I have to personally apologize to everyone. This year has been a truly horrible year for the author for the last 6 months. The author’s mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of the lungs, lymph nodes, and bones. What had started with a cough and some shortness of breath in the beginning of the year, was diagnosed as Influenza, then severe allergies, and then in July, they said the Big “C”. Mom was 74 years old and until this year had never had more than a common cold in all the years she was alive. Amazing and horrific how cancer can develop to Stage 4 without any real symptoms. It actually was not until early November that someone commented that the author’s professional performance was waning, that the author realized that the family situation was effecting ALL aspects of his life. November became the “salvage the employment” situation, unfortunately one’s best intentions cannot halt, nor reverse, the finality of death.

On the anniversary of D-Day, the author’s mom succumbed to cancer, peacefully and surrounded by family.

So the author gives a heartfelt:

Screw You Cancer!

The author apologizes for airing his personal problems, but the fact is that TPF Online has suffered greatly due to the author’s lack of focus and professionalism. No continuing coverage of Bill C-42, the pre-, present-, and post- election. The changes at CSSA, the additions, the growth. All fell by the wayside and in hindsight it could have been done with minimal effort had the author’s heart been into any of it. For all of that we at TPF Online apologize.

2106 however will be the beginning of a renewed focus. Some of the first items to be done will be products from CRKT, Frankford Arsenal, and S&J Hardware. SHOT Show is upcoming, let us know if you have anything you want us to have a look at!

So I hope that you understand what has occurred, and be content in the knowledge that TPF Online will rise stronger than before.

Since it is Christmas Eve, December 24th, that this piece is being written, we at TPF wish all of you a Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate. May it bring you peace, comfort, and a greater closeness with your family and friends! Come the New Year, there are many, many, resolutions to be made! TPF Online has already promised you one of them!

Bill C-42, Royal Assent and Coming Into Force

Another late story from TPF Online and a continuation from a previous entry!

Bill C-42
An Act to amend the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code and to make a related amendment and a consequential amendment to other Acts
AKA: The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act or CSFL Act

CSFL_Act-Royal_Assent

Slow to start, but a mad dash to the finish….

The First Reading of this bill was introduced back on the 7th of October, 2014. And the bill itself generated much controversy even among the firearms community and we at TPF gave our opinion on the Bill way back then in October 2014, soon after it’s first reading in the House of Commons. Second reading was originally supposed to be done on October 22nd, 2014. However that morning Parliament hill was assaulted by a gunman armed with a hunting rifle and Bill C-42 sat in hiatus. That is until April 20th 2015, nearly 6 months after the first reading. What followed was a political whirlwind in terms of speed with which this bill made it’s way through the legal system.

House of Commons

  1. First Reading   2014-10-07
  2. Second Reading   2015-04-20
  3. Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
    Committee Reporting the Bill with an Amendment   2015-05-06
  4. Report Stage   2015-05-25
  5. Third Reading   2015-05-29

Senate

  1. First Reading   2015-06-02
  2. Second Reading   2015-06-04
  3. Referral to Committee   2015-06-04
  4. Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
    Committee Report Presented without Amendment   2015-06-15
  5. Third Reading   2015-06-16

Royal Assent   2015-06-18

WOW. Two months from 2nd reading in the HoC until receiving Royal Assent. That is faster than the speed of light in Political terms… Some portions of the act were to be effective immediately and others were to be enacted in the several months after the bill was passed.

IMMEDIATE PROVISIONS: (as of June 18, 2015)

  1. Mandatory classroom participation in firearms safety courses for first time applicants (aka no more test challenges for new people whom have never had a POL/PAL)
  2. Chief Firearms Officer’s authority is subject to regulations (of which there are no regulations at this time, so no allowed changes)
  3. Increasing penalties for convictions of domestic violence (firearms prohibitions)
  4. Provide the Governor in Council the ability to classify a firearm as non-restricted (Previously only able to classify as restricted and prohibited)

The first point of these is one of the most contentious as it is a technical increase in “gun control” legislation by removing a method of which to enable individuals to acquire a firearms license. This is wholly true, but from a familiarity standpoint, it also means that every single new firearms applicant will be familiarized with a common knowledge set regarding firearm ownership and utilization. From a numbers game, 95+% of all new licensees took the full Canadian Firearms Safety Course , aka CFSC (and restricted version, CRFSC) versus those that challenged the test. The numbers of those who challenged the test has been continuously dwindling over the last decade.

The CFSC supposedly includes information regarding the following topics (The CRFSC is focused towards restricted firearms):

  • the evolution of firearms, major parts, types and actions;
  • basic firearms safety practices;
  • ammunition;
  • operating firearm actions;
  • safe handling and carry procedures;
  • firing techniques and procedures;
  • care of non-restricted firearms;
  • responsibilities of the firearms owner/user; and,
  • safe storage, display, transportation and handling of non-restricted firearms.

The second point is a good thing as it ensures that CFO’s cannot just make up stuff on the fly and force conditions on firearms owners regarding licensing and authorizations to transport.
Point three is a good thing in theory, but to be given a possible lifetime prohibition would hopefully be dependent on the severity of domestic abuse charges. No the author is not being soft on domestic abuse, but take this example; A yelling match regarding finances by a couple that is reported by neighbours and police arrive amid the yelling with no physical violence involved. Police Charge someone with domestic violence as yelling at another is a form of abuse/violence. In that scenario is a lifetime firearms prohibition warranted?

Allowing the government to reclassify firearms as non-restricted, and the fourth and final immediate provision enacted by C-42. Two words, Hot Damned! Since the introduction of C-68 back twenty years ago, the only direction available to government bodies was to be able to classify firearms to Restricted and/or Prohibited classification. This was used extensively back then to make sure that the scary black guns back then were not easily available to firearms owners. Twenty years later, the ability to classify to non-restricted is now an option. If only there was a couple firearms that they could start using this with….

SA_and_CZ858

Classified back from prohibited!

WHAT FOLLOWED! (as of July 31, 2015)
The next activity that occurred was the re-classification of the CZ858’s and Swiss Arms rifles from prohibited status to their original status. The FIRST time that any firearm has been reclassified to a “lesser” classification in over 20 years. The models that were targeted?

  1. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-2P rifle
  2. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-2V rifle
  3. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-4P rifle
  4. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-4V rifle
  5. SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green rifle
  6. SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green carbine
  7. SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green CQB rifle
  8. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special rifle
  9. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special carbine
  10. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special CQB rifle
  11. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special Target rifle
  12. SAN Swiss Arms Model Blue Star rifle
  13. SAN Swiss Arms Model Heavy Metal rifle
  14. SAN Swiss Arms Model Red Devil rifle
  15. SAN Swiss Arms Model Swiss Arms Edition rifle

These fifteen rifle models had been re-designated as converted automatics back in Spring of 2014, and affected roughly 12,500 firearms owned by Canadians to a retail value of over $13,000,000. These rifles were previously classified as non-restricted and restricted due to their barrel length according to the standard classification system enshrined in law. These rifles, on July 31, were reclassified back to their former statuses, yet they are still technically converted automatics. Huh? A WTF!? may spring to our reader’s mind. The FRT, Firearms Reference Table, currently lists the above firearms as converted automatics whose classification is set as non-restricted or restricted by an Order in Council. They are now Prohibited devices that have been government granted non-prohibited status. Not quite the same as being fully reclassified, but it is a start, and since that also means they can be used fully and wholly akin to over 2 years prior, it is a very good start!

Bill C-42. It is here and being implemented in steps…

The next part to the evolution and implementation of Bill C-42 will soon follow!

P.S. Images stolen from the internet as the crew of TPF does not own either of these fine rifles. Thank you Firearms Blog!

The CSSA AGM/Seminars/STYG Dinner – May 30th 2015

TPF apologizes for the delay in posting this. We understand that this is nearly 2 months out of date, but wanted to keep the readers of TPF informed about what has been happening in Canada!

Another year has passed and the CSSA has weathered another year of RCMP shenanigans, political wrangling, and general herding of cats that is the firearms community. And they are doing it well.

The Canadian Shooting Sports Association’s Annual General Meeting and subsequent “Stick To Your Guns” dinner was held on May 30th, 2015 at the Ottawa Conference Centre. It started at 10:00am on Saturday, with several dozen attendees present for the association’s year in review. Notable individuals such as Daniel Fritter (Editor of Calibre Magazine), Chris Youngson (Owner of Canada Ammo), were present as the board outlined the past actions of the association as well as provided financials that showed the growth in membership and a healthy surplus. In fact according to the numbers, the CSSA is at its strongest levels ever both in memberships and in finances. Over 23,000 full members as of that morning. The addition of Mr. John Evers to the Board of Directors was another change that was well received. There were very few questions at the end of the AGM and people broke for lunch.

Of course being a grand CSSA event that was not the only draw that was present for CSSA members. The afternoon held a series of seminars for interested parties to attend. I was told that CSSA members were able to attend for free, and that non-members could attend for a $40 fee that enabled them to attend all three seminars.

  • 1:00pm – 2:10pm – Dr. Gary Mauser
    • World-renowned firearms researcher, Dr. Gary Mauser discussed the latest and greatest statistical trends in the firearms world
  • 2:10pm – 3:20pm – Natural Resource Director-General Patrick O’Neill
    • Natural Resource Director-General Patrick O’Neill shares his vast knowledge on the Explosives Act’s hand-loading and ammunition regulations
  • 3:20pm – 4:30pm – TV Show Host, Keith Beasley
    • CSSA Life Member, Keith Beasley of the hugely popular television show “Canada in the Rough” discusses public relations and the image of firearms owners

TPF feels that the seminars were a great addition to the afternoon time slot. With nearly three dozen people attending each of the seminars, the allocated room was well filled with bodies. There should be many thanks towards these three individuals whom gave their personal time and attention to present at these seminars in order to continue educating the firearms community. It was great to finally meet Dr. Gary Mauser in the flesh, and to once again talk to Mr. Patrick O’Neill and Mr. Keith Beasley.

Obviously the highlight of the day was the Stick to Your Guns (STYG) dinner. This STYG dinner was a truly important one as it was there to honour the CSSA’s Minister of Firearms, the Honourable Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville, Saskatchewan. Mr. Breitkreuz has stated that he will no longer seek re-election and will be leaving federal political life after serving his constituents for over two decades. You read that correctly, he started sitting as an MP since October 25th, 1993. That will be a week shy of twenty two (22) years of being present in the House of Commons come the October 19, 2015 fixed election date. The standing ovation lasted for several minutes….

CSSA2015AGM-01

Several minutes of standing ovation for Garry Breitkreuz, who is retiring after nearly 22 years of representing Yorkton-Melville

Roughly one hundred people attended the Ottawa STYG dinner and they included a slew of well known and respected individuals. Brian Lilley (The Rebel), the aforementioned Daniel Fritter, Chris Youngson, Dr. Gary Mauser, Keith Beasley, Brian Lovig (Daily Split), several MP’s and future possible MP’s, and several of the Office of Public Safety’s staffers. The main guest was Mr. Breitkreuz, which made a pre-recorded video by the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Mr. Stephen Blaney, who took the time to record a message for Garry Breitkreuz and of course plug C-42 a bit, one of the highlights of the event.

Many thanks should be given for the companies and individuals whom made all their various products available for the fund raising aspect of the STYG dinner.

SOG, CRKT, Gerber Gear, 5.11 Tactical, Shooting Chrony, Savage Arms, See All, Lyman, Target Knives, Shepherd Scopes, Canadian Access To Firearms, OTIS Technologies, GunZilla, Pullen’s Gunsmithing, O’Dell Engineering, and Bug-A-Salt

But in the end it the entire STYG dinner was a dedication to a champion in Federal politics. Thank you for decades of service in fighting for firearms owners across Canada Mr. Breitkreuz. You will be sorely missed in Ottawa!

CSSA2015AGM-03

Thanking the champion for so many years of dedicated service to firearms owners.

 

 

 

 

OH. Did we mention the new duck gun that Mr. Breitkreuz got? He may have to wait until they come in ever so slightly closer….

CSSA2015AGM-02

ACTS & PROVE… Even retiring MP’s do it…

Thank you for reading this small, and very late installation of TPF. We will have more to come!

Where does the time go….

Have you ever had the feeling that you never seem to have enough time in the day to do everything you need to do? That was what has occurred here at TPF…

UpdateBlog

 

Unfortunately, the author’s personal life has taken away approximately ALL of their free time and as such something had to take a back burner. Work, health, and family had hoovered all the spare time for the last couple months, and now finally there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately the unintended hiatus left some draft items partially completed and if finished and released now would be out of date.

A prime example of this would be a post regarding the Canadian Shooting Sports Association AGM that occurred on May 30th with the prelude to the passing of Bill C-42.
Another date of note would have been June 18th, 2015 when Bill C-42 received Royal Assent and became law (plus TBD implementation dates).

We will however finish those drafts with the notation that we at TPF are extremely tardy in these being posted.

On the plus side, TPF has a slew of new items and events to review and inform our readers about. So stay tuned because TPF is back!

We are back baby!

Feeding the hungry 10/22…. HCMag provides the buffet!

The most common .22 semi-auto rifle in the world; the Ruger 10/22 is a fully customizable firearm which can be modified nearly as much as the AR-15 platform. Relatively cheap to shoot, and fun to shoot, the biggest chore of owning this popular little rifle is feeding it. The .22 long rifle cartridges are notorious for being hard on the fingers for manually loading in past the 10th round, and unless you have a loading tool, the owners of all of these 10/22 magazines likely will not enjoy shooting off a brick (500 rounds) of cheap rim-fire.

So if TPF were to tell readers that there is a new magazine for the 10/22 which has a 25 round capacity, metal feed lips, an easily controlled follower for loading, they may say that is a good thing! Now, on that same magazine, add in a 20 round pocket and a built-in stripper clip to speed load those extra rounds in just a few seconds. The answer is “TAKE MY MONEY!”. There is good news as such a magazine exists in the form of the HC3R magazine from HC Mags. The HC3R is a short form from HC Rapid Rifle Reload, and just from that title the designed product’s end abilities are fairly obvious.

The HC3R Magazine

HC Mag’s High Capacity Rapid Rifle Reload magazine

The HC3R magazine actually has several features which have been desired over the years in a 10/22 magazine, and while many aftermarket magazines have one or more of these features, very few, if any have all of them.

  1. Larger round capacity than factory magazines
  2. Steel feed lips for enhanced durability and increased lifespan of the magazine for feeding ammunition
  3. A means of dis-assembly for cleaning the magazine
  4. A follower retraction stud, large and lockable into retracted position for spring free loading

Loaded with 25 rounds of .22LR…. But is that it?

Point number one. More rounds readily loaded equals more fun and less time between shots for extended periods and the HC3R has an increased capacity over the original ten (10) round Ruger rotary magazines. While its twenty-five (25) rounds is not among largest capacity magazines available for the 10/22, with one hundred and ten (110) round drum magazines topping those available, it is in line with the majority of aftermarket magazines. The author finds that even a couple dozen rounds can go downrange extremely quickly… What joy!

Steel Lips

Stainless steel feed lips

Feed lips are essential for two reasons, they align the cartridge into proper feed positions and ensure a smooth extraction from the magazine into the firearm’s chamber. Older plastic/polymer feed lips have a history of wearing out after a few thousand rounds. Current generations of polymer are improved in durability but steel, or alloy, feed lips are a heavily desired feature as it greatly enhances the lifetime of a magazine before extraction issues become noticeable. HC Mags knew this and incorporated stainless steel feed lips into the HC3R magazine design.

As anyone who shoots thousands of rounds of .22LR will attest, it is a very dirty round which leaves soot and carbon all over, and if left to build up over time, can cause malfunctions and possibly damage to the firearm itself. Magazines are no exception to this and it is a problem that many 10/22 aftermarket magazines fail to address. With extended usage and hundreds, even thousands, of rounds cause magazines to accumulate crud and can even trap water and dirt and it becomes nearly impossible to clean if the magazine is manufactured by fusion processes, such as sonic welding two plastic halves together. The HC3R is a fully bolted together magazine which allows for unparalleled access to clean every nook and cranny from dirt, carbon, and water. A great plus

A well-known feature in most if not all .22LR magazine fed handguns due to the small component manipulation. In this respect the HC3R shines ever so brightly. The huge thumb stud allows for easy tension control as you load ammunition the common method of through the feed lips. You can easily hold it slightly back to allow for the next round to be loaded without worry of misalignment, or lock it completely back at a fully collapsed position. Be aware that rounds, if not inserted properly, can experience misalignment and stack incorrectly with the cartridge perpendicular to the feed lips instead of parallel.

With all of these features, readers may think that these magazines by themselves are very desirable due to the comprehensive features included in the magazine. So here comes the additional bonus. On the side of the magazine is a slot which stores twenty (20) rounds of ammunition. The back component of the HC3R magazine is a speed stripper clip which has two features. The first is as a cover to retain the side stored ammunition when mounted onto the magazine. The second feature is that in addition to aligning loaded rounds in the magazine, it functions as the speed loading strip for quick reloads. So on a fully loaded magazine you will have a total of forty-five (45) rounds available from a single magazine.

More ammo

Look! An extra 20 rounds in a side pocket!

Spring loaded base for securing the Speed Clip

Notched top for locking the Speed Clip in place

HOW?
Lets start with how to fully load the magazine to maximum capacity by following these steps:

  1. Take a quantity of your preferred .22LR ammunition, at least 45 rounds obviously and have them readily available. Have the empty HC3R magazine present.
  2. Using the thumb stud on the magazine, retract the spring and follower completely and rotate the stud a quarter turn to lock it into position.
  3. Take hold of the speed stripper on the HC3R magazine and pull it away from the magazine. The bottom edge is retained by a spring-loaded guide.
  4. Load up 20 rounds into the clip. The speed stripper clip has a pair of guide channels on the inside of its curved profile. The indicator for a total of twenty rounds is easily visible on the inside of the clip. Loading the clip to 20 rounds is very easy and fast with no need to use force or leverage, as the rim of the .22LR round simply slides into the clip’s aforementioned channels. Loaded rounds can only enter and exit the clip on one edge. Ensure that the clip is oriented such to prevent rounds from falling out of the clip due to gravity and movement.
  5. Ensuring that the rounds do not fall out of the clip, place the rounds into the side storage pocket of the magazine and slide the clip down and away. Now ensure that the orientation of the magazine is such that rounds do not fall out of the magazine.
  6. Load up another 20 rounds into the clip as per step 4.
  7. With the magazine positioned to not drop any of the side storage rounds, and so that rounds do not fall out of the clip, insert the clip into the magazine by pushing the bottom end into the spring-loaded guide, and snap the clip into the retaining notch. That is forty (40) rounds so far!
  8. Turn the magazine over to ensure rounds in magazine are aligned and release the thumb stud. This is the hardest part to ensure that the rounds sit properly in the feed lips. It is due to the rim overlap and position in the magazine. It took TPF several attempts to get it to work properly every time, by practice makes perfect.
  9. Use the thumb stud to relieve tension and load the remaining five (5) rounds to maximum capacity. Total time for the author to load up with practice? Under 90 seconds.

Side pocket rounds retained by the edge of the installed speed clip

Now that the magazine is loaded to full capacity with reserve twenty rounds:

  1. Install the magazine, and shoot the first 25 rounds. FUN!
  2. Remove the magazine. Why? Spinning the 10/22 around to ensure magazine orientation is sure to give you many funny looks if not yelled at for unsafe firearm manipulation.
  3. Using the thumb stud on the magazine, retract the spring and follower completely and rotate the stud a quarter turn to lock it into position.
  4. With the magazine held with the stripper on top, take hold of the now empty speed stripper on the HC3R magazine and pull it away from the magazine
  5. The side storage has twenty rounds waiting for the clip to slide over. Remember the channels holding the rims of the cartridges? It is that easy.
  6. Retract the loaded stripper clip, then with the magazine positioned so that rounds do not fall out of the clip, insert the clip into the magazine by pushing the bottom end into the spring-loaded guide, and snap the clip into the retaining notch.
  7. Turn the magazine over to ensure rounds in magazine are aligned and release the thumb stud. Voila! 20 seconds and another twenty rounds ready to shoot.
  8. Install the magazine, and shoot the remaining rounds. MORE FUN!

Loading forty-five rounds took 90 seconds. Reloading to use all 45 rounds extended that to under two minutes. How long would it take to load two typical 25 round magazines? Longer than a couple of minutes without any tools or loading accessories. Plus the ten seconds to reload. The HC3R is all about time and thumbs saved in loading magazines so that 10/22 users can enjoy more time putting rounds downrange with the least amount of effort loading. The only negative possible is the width of the magazine with the side pocket which may limit the fit up of some aftermarket 10/22 rifle stocks such as the previously looked at Archangel Stock.

But wait! There’s even MORE!

HCMAG's Tactical Pack

The Tactical Pack

If your 10/22 is an extremely hungry rifle like the author’s, chewing through a brick of ammunition per session is not unheard of. The balance of buying multiple magazines versus loading them to go through several hundred rounds in a session of rimfire therapy is an eternal dilemma. Or rather was… HC Mag’s understands the need to feed the rimfire hunger, and released the Tactical Pack for the HC3R magazine.

Space for ammunition galore!

Inside the Tactical Pack

The case itself is thermo-formed with a robust zipper and has both a flexible carry handle as well as a pair of shoulder strap rings on its exterior. The internals are two-fold, with the base filled with EVA foam that is pre-cut to hold all its contents securely. The battle pack contains one complete HC3R magazine, 5 extra speed loader clips with retaining caps, and a quick strip loading box for fast loading of the speed loader clips. Plus multiple pocket cutouts for typical small boxes of .22LR ammunition and a small cutout arrangement for the included set of hex keys for magazine dis-assembly. The upper portion of the case has a zipper closed mesh pocket that encompasses the entire case cover in size, and can be used for targets, bore snakes, and other items that you may wish to include.

The Speed Loading Block – Waiting patiently

The loading box for fast speed strip loading takes couple minutes to fully load up with 100 rounds, five rows of twenty, and setup for usage. Once setup, it takes less than a half minute to load up the five speed loading clips.

Buffet of .22LR ready to load

If fully loaded up with ammunition, the entire case securely holds 545 rounds of .22LR, which makes the Tactical Pack heavy enough to warrant the usage of the shoulder strap included in the package. Of those rounds 245 are ready to use, with an additional 300 rounds in reserve. Unfortunately the reserve ammunition box cut outs are designed for use with paper boxed ammunition, not plastic boxes which are larger and may not fit properly if at all.

The Tactical Pack when fully kitted delivers:

  • One fully loaded magazine with side pocket filled. 45 rounds ready to use
  • Five fully charged speed loading clips. 5 x 20 = 100 rounds ready to use
  • One filled loading box. 100 rounds ready to use
  • Six 50 round factory boxes of .22LR. 300 rounds of reserve

That should keep those hungry 10/22 rifles satiated for the meantime, and with the Tactical Pack having an MSRP of $89.00 USD, and available from Canadian vendors such as Wanstalls Online. What do you, the readers think? Is the HC3R magazine and the corresponding Tactical Pack by HC Mags Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?