Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

Archive for March, 2011

Great…. Another Election…

Whelp… I know it has been a couple of days, but what a surprise.. Another election… Now I’ll state up front that I am a Conservative supporter, they have many ideals which appeal to me more so than most of the other parties. How you choose to vote and your reasons are entirely your own.

That being said, here in Canada there are really only a select few registered parties whom are not anti-gun in some form or another. Yes a CPC policy plank is to get rid of the long gun registry. However, anyone who thinks that every CPC MP is agrees with that is blind to a fault in regards to the CPC. That being said, the CPC are the only party is not anti-gun.

The Liberals have campaigned in the past to ban handguns, and ban semiautomatic firearms.

The NDP have stated that handguns have no place in urban areas.

Let me state that firstly both parties are spewing complete and utter BS when it comes to the typical anti-gun rhetoric. “If it only saves one life!” is a common phrase used by the anti-gun proponents to appear to justify their anti-gun crusades. Yet when it comes to spending coin to keep our military alive, they scream it’s a colossal waste of money. hypocrites! The Liberal Party of Canada, backed by the NDP and the Bloc state that $35 billion is too much money for F-35 fighters. Excuse me?

The current aircraft of the air force is the F-18 Hornet whose design is over 30 years old. $35 Billion dollars for 65 aircraft over 30 years. That includes spare parts, support structure and training to both fly and maintain the aircraft. In 2009, Canada spent $20.5 billion on its military forces or 1.3% of Canada’s GDP. Now to put that into perspective, an Airbus 320 passenger plane costs nearly $100 million apiece and another $8 million annually on maintainance costs for a simple slow moving people mover. 65 X $108 million = $7 billion alone, not including the training, support staff, and replacement parts… Wait a minute… Where is the level of overspending????

Obviously the blatant use of single figures not broken down is a common tactic used to bridge suggestions to an audience; $35 billion sounds worse when you do not state it comes from $1.16 Billion per year in spending.  This is especially rich coming from the Liberals, who sent our military over to the deserts of Afghanistan, knowingly into harm’s way, and equipped with GREEN uniforms and NO transportation. Oh yeah, that is right, the LIBERALS cancelled our helicopter order back in the 1990’s.

I really don’t care if you believe in the “mission” our forces have over in the sandbox, I do believe that everyone should support our troops 100%. That means the best training and equipment possible. Please ensure that you support our troops by stopping by HERE.
Canadian Troops

I would rather the members of our armed forces return home to their loved one in embraces of hugs and smiles than in draped boxes. YOU can help that.
Please get out and vote. These men and women who are sacrificing their innocence, risking their lives and combatting evil as carrying at great tradition of prottecting Canada so that we can have the freedoms and choices not available in many other societies. Voting for our elected leaders is but one small part of that legacy, please honour it.

To keep it back to a firearms related topic, many businesses across Canada, which sell firearms and accessories support our troops. Darren Cole @ One Shot Tactical comes foremost to mind. To our troops abroad and at home, keep safe and godspeed.

SOG SOGZilla – A basic folder.

As stated in the previous post, TPF was given the opportunity to review knives and multi-tools from several manufacturers over the upcoming weeks and months. First up is a basic level folder offered by SOG Specialty Knives and Tools, more commonly known just as SOG.

SOG - SOGZilla03

SOG - SOGZilla

A basic knife with a lock back folding blade, the SOGZilla comes in two sizes, large and small with blade lengths of 96.5mm(3.8″) and 82.6mm(3.25″) respectively. Both sizes feature nearly identical characteristics from a design standpoint. Since TPF received a small blade version, that is the focus of this review.

SOG - SOGZilla

SOGZilla with blade locked open

The SOGZilla folder has been out now for a couple of years and has been marketed as a cost-effective folder for EDC usage. There are several design features which stick out at prospective owners of this knife. With a fairly large profile spear point blade and a back lock design, the SOGZilla doesn’t win any technology contests but sticks with classic, well proven, designs which have been in use for a long, long time. Some added features bring this knife into a more accepted design with modern knives. The addition of a broken loop/hole on the spine of the blade is meant for one-handed opening and can be accomplished with some practice. The Zytel plastic handle, sporting a version of the SOG logo, makes for a lighter mass knife and creates a decent grip pattern which, in conjunction with the finger grooves, makes it feel secure to hold.

SOG - SOGZilla

SOGZilla reversible clip detail

Another nice feature about the SOGZilla is the reversible pocket carry clip held in place by a single screw assembly. Coming in a variety of colours and available with optional partially serrated blade or black nitride coatings, the SOGZilla has several variations to choose from. At 125g (4oz) the small blade SOGZilla is a relatively lightweight knife, although the large blade is slightly heavier at 150g (4.8oz) with an additional stainless steel handle option adding another 25g (0.8oz).
The following is a video (without sound) showing the SOGZilla features and general lines of construction.

SOG’s SOGZilla is available at many knife stores across Canada, both online and at retail locations, as well as direct from SOG themselves. MSRP for the reviewed SOGZilla is $43.00USD and ranges up to $55.00 MSRP for the larger bladed, Stainless-Steel handled version.

SOG Speciality Knives and Tools’ SOGZilla – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?

Blades and Multi-tools – EDC and otherwise…

EDC items

S&W Spec-Ops knive & SOG Power Pliers

Lets be frank. I am not a knife guy. I will be the first person to tell you that, when it comes to any sort of blade or edged tool, I have very little experience and knowledge in regards to quality and metallurgy. Like many people, knives are simple tools to have around in case it is needed. As such, knives with price tags in the several hundred dollar range ar just as effective to me as those in the tens of dollar range. I’ll take a multi-tool over a knife everyday for usefulness. That being said I do carry both a knife and a multi-tool for every day carry (EDC). An SOG multi-tool has been a part of my wardrobe for over a decade and having it on my belt was part of my morning ritual and basically second nature, it has seen several countries and logged many thousands of kilometers with me. It has even been mailed home from the airport twice in recent years due to its common place at my side. The knife is newer to me as I only started having one for EDC in the last couple years.

This year at the SHOT Show, I meandered to the SOG booth in order to see about donations for fundraisers for the CSSA and while there I asked them if they could tighten my nearly 15 year old set of SOG Power Pliers. I had since worn out the awl and the blade to a bluntness best described as spoon-like, and the whole assembly was loose enough to give a balisong (butterfly knife) a run for it’s money in ease of opening. SOG surprised me by offering a brand new version to replace my old version (which still had Patent Pending on the handles). I accepted, and after a couple of weeks feeling naked with out the familiar tool at my side, a new one arrived. With it was a note stating that the donations for the CSSA were coming and that some sample products to review were as well.
The SOG booth was not alone in offering to let me review their products, and in every single case I told them that I was not that knowledgeable with blades. They all seemed to want to make me into a knife guy. I do pride myself in having an open mind and always seek new knowledge, and so it was with very little hesitation that I accepted their offers.

Upcoming in future TPF installments are coverage of blades and multi-tools from companies such as SOG, Gerber, and CRKT amongst many others. Stay tuned!

Ammo Vault – A advance in ammunition storage systems?

Whether a hunter, target shooter, or just a plinker; many people like to have their preferred load with them in a plastic lightweight ammo containers or pouches. Whether it holds a half dozen rounds, or several dozen; shooters seem to like the semblance of organization and protective value derived from ammunition containers. Two of the biggest names in this area are MTM and Frankford Arsenal, with a multitude of re-branded versions available as well (J&J, RCBS, etc…).


The traditional 20 round slip-top case

The specific version being discussed today on TPF is the 20 round slip-top style of ammunition container. A simple effective design to protect ammunition from casual abuse and the elements. The simple slip top design is also biggest problem of these boxes as people have had their ammunition spilled due to instances where the top slides off due to poor friction, container orientation or even mis-handling. Add into that the inability to compensate for bullet lengths and thereby risk tip damage from moving in the container and from container impacts.

Knowing this, Frankford Arsenal has decided to enter a new design into the ammunition case market which prevents such from happening. Introduced as the Ammo-Vault, this container has designed in many features that eliminate the major flaws and problems of the traditional slip-top design.

  1. Constructed from impact resistant materials to survive multiple drops without cracking or breaking.
  2. Includes a foam insert to protect bullet tips and to reduce, or even eliminate, rattling.
  3. Has a locking feature which prevents inadvertent top separation.
  4. Adjustable height for secure storage of many calibres and OAL.

Cutaway of the new Ammo Vault

Now the Ammo Vault reviewed here is the medium length version, designated the AV-RMD-20, and the list of calibres it supports is impressive at 70 designated calibres. However! Individuals such as myself, have different loads and overall lengths dependent on the firearm’s feed type, the bullet mass, let alone purpose for the ammunition. As such TPF measured the approximate working dimensions for the Medium Ammo Vault.

The Ammo Vault (AV-RMD-20) will hold 20 cartridges whose have a maximum case diametre of 12.7 mm (0.50″) and an overall length ranging from 61mm-90mm (2.4″-3.5″) long.  That means that very common calibres such as the .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5x55mm Swiss, .308 Win, and including the .30-06 Springfield (and child cartridges) will fit into the Medium Ammo Vault. At the longest listed dimension, the AV-RMD-20 is secured by a single set of teeth on the container. You CAN put in cartridges shorter that what is previously listed (such as .223 Remington) but they will rattle around and not be secured in place by the foam in the top. Obviously with the foam contained in the top portion of the container, bullets are to be placed in with tip “up”, but if unconcerned with tip protection, rounds like iconic .30-30 Win will fit in this case if stored “tip-down”.


The AV-RMD-20 with .308 & .30-30 snap caps

The Ammo Vault for medium length cartridges has $9.99USD MSRP and is available from many Canadian retailers who carry Frankford Arsenal products.

Frankford Arsenal’s Ammo Vault – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?

Toronto Sportsmen’s Show – March 16-20, 2011

March 16th:

Well, I’m going to head down to the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show tonight and for Thursday through Saturday, I’ll be helping man the CSSA booth and promoting said organization. I’ll be editing this post as the days progress and uploading an image or three from the show.

OH! Don’t forget to grab the $2 off coupon available from the CSSA HERE. Yeah it’s only $2 off the $19 admission fee, but $17 is better than $19.

March 17th:


CSSA booth across from air range

Well, spent the day volunteering for the CSSA Booth, barely got to wander around and see what was around. As always I have tons of fun interacting with people and promoting the CSSA. Add up a dozen or so new members and a few dozen bits of CSSA swag. I forgot my media card reader however… Maybe send my loving wife to FutureShop for one…

So on day one of my participation, I had brought down a couple rifles to display at one of the two CSSA booths. Displayed both of my late uncle’s hunting rifles, a Savage 99E (.308 Win), and a 1960’s era Weatherby Vanguard (.300WM). The latter is all original and immaculate. It drew in many of the hunters who admired those beautiful lines of the Weatherby and the classic lever goodness of the Savage.

March 18th:

Once again showed up for volunteering with the CSSA. I really seem to enjoy talking to people about the CSSA. While I doubt I could ever be a media face/debater for the CSSA like Tony B. or John E, it is always fun for me to engage in face to face discussions. In addition to the above mentioned rifles, today brought out the M-1 Garand with a couple en-bloc clips and a bayonet. Amazing to see so many younger people stop and admire the Garand. Call of Duty and/or Medal of Honor video gamers who got to see the real thing. Considering I bought the Garand specifically because I wanted to see if the “P-TING” of an ejecting en-bloc was true from my playing of CoD, I cannot fault these gamers at all. Busy day and once again, another 10AM to 8 PM shift, made for another long, yet rewarding day. Since the CSSA provided IPSC with a spot right next to one of the CSSA booth in the hunting hall, I was able to have a great conversation with Pat Harrison for nearly 45minutes. What a great person to talk to about training, action shooting and camaraderie of the shooting community. I think he thoroughly enjoyed himself in promoting IPSC in such a venue.

Had one individual come back around near 8PM and us (CSSA) packing up, just so they could hold an actual Garand. Always happy to oblige.

March 19th:


CSSA booth in the "Hunting Hall"

Never did get around to getting a flash card reader… Today was my last volunteer day for the CSSA, once again brought out the three rifles, and the Garand once again was the most popular.  Worked the booths from 10PM to 3PM and finally had a couple hours to wander the show and ended up buying a nice hoodie and a flag for “Support Our Troops”.  By the end of the third day, my feet were done, voice was to a point that I couldn’t yell, and I was thoroughly sick of dragging my gun case with rifles back and forth… Glad my part is over and even looking forwards to the next one.

Some people may say the show is not as good as it once was, and my response would be that change forced a reboot of sorts. I do miss the old facilities (Parking is 5x better and the single floor layout is so much nicer to navigate), but I’m happy because otherwise there would not be a Hunting Hall due to former Mayor Miller’s ideological idiocy.

Multitasker Tools – TUBE

In this installment of TPF we take a peek at specific purpose tools meant for the AR-15 platform. Whether you have a old slab side Colt from the Vietnam era, or a brand new tricked out Armalite, these tools may interest you.

Multitasker has made three different levels of tools specifically for the AR-15.

TUBE Parts

The TUBE, Ultralight, and the company’s self named Multitasker, are their different levels of tools geared towards the field maintenance of the popular AR-15. At the 2010 SHOT Show, I was fortunate to talk to Mr. Shane Keng of Multitasker and talked to him about their AR platform specific tools and conduct a review of them. In today’s review we will be looking at the simplest product offered by Multitasker; The TUBE.

A simplistic description of the TUBE is an aluminum pen-like chassis with two removable aluminum caps. The caps are threaded on utilize o-rings which prevents the caps from coming loose and getting moisture inside the tool. The upper cap with the retaining clip  has a built in pin pusher for AR upper/lower take down. The spring steel retaining clip doubles as a small (3/16″) flat screwdriver. The lower cap is plain and has no additional features.. Breakdown of the chassis of the TUBE has two distinct areas. The upper part contains a magnetic 1/4″ driver socket which comes with a removable A2 sight adjustment tool (4 prong). The lower part incorporates a male threaded #8-32 mounting for the included carbon scraper and hook shaped steel pick, but also allows for a variety of cleaning attachments to be used such as those from OTIS. The TUBE can be carried like a pen in a pocket when assembled (scraper and pick contained in the lower cap), or in a Molle loop with the clip holding it securely. At under 2oz in mass, it is very lightweight.

Expansion Kit

TUBE Expansion Kit:

Offered as well is a small carrying case with internal pockets and a ten piece 1/4″ bit set. While without a loop or other fastening device, the expansion kit makes an already specific tool have far more potential applications. Made with a fairly sturdy nylon covered case and a heavy duty zipper for securing the case close, the expansion kit is rugged and built for abuse and every day carry wear.

For those interested in Multitasker’s TUBE, you can order it from Brownells. Where the TUBE and it’s accessory package are listed for $39.95USD and $19.99USD respectively.

Multitasker’s TUBE – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?

P.S: Some images of how much can be stored in the accessory kit. Included: Multitasker TUBE, expansion case w/bit pack, chamber flag, .223 chamber brush, 24″ wire Pull, 3 lock-up swabs, .22 bore brush , dry lube, and a bore reflector.

Reloading labels – a DIY project

Ahh reloading.

To many, reloading represents the ultimate method of increasing accuracy for their firearms, to others it represents a very cost effective means of obtaining greater volumes of ammunition to shoot. For a select few reloading is a time when they experience a form of peaceful serenity and effectively tune out the stresses and tribulations of everyday life.

My uncle who taught me about reloading fell into that third group of people. He reloaded to get away from work, wife, kids, and basically was able to lose himself in meditation for several hours every so often. It was more than a science to him, it was a means to escape and focus on something that gave him peace, tranquility and satisfaction. I have inherited binders of loading data that my uncle used but found out that while he was very good at reloading he was not as thorough as I would have liked. A 3″ D-Ring binder loaded full of calibres, bullet weights, and trajectories. The problem was however that not anywhere did these loads indicate primers, powder type and mass/volume, nor even brass types. I had a binder full of very nice information that I could not duplicate. My solution? A reloading label as shown. I use them on every MTM case (and other bullet box) I own.

Why bother you may ask? If, like myself, you reload for a dozen or more calibres and have different loads for each dependent on the purpose, suddenly you can have literally 30 to 40 different combinations. And as no two guns shoot identically, for each subsequent chambering of said calibres, you are adding another set of load data. Now if you are not planing for accuracy, and face it, 3-4 MoA is acceptable for most hunting out to 200m (roughly 18-24cm impact area), then a single generic load that shoots adequately is perfectly fine.

Some however seek the elusive 1/4 MoA or better accuracy, and in some competitions, where brass is segregated by mass, brand, and number of times reloaded, then labeling loads becomes far more important. As you can see the reloading label I use includes all sorts of information that can be used by the most basic to the most advanced reloaders.

For myself, I usually start with reloads #1-5 already filled in, as I seem to acquire a lot of range brass and who knows how many times it was shot. Feel free to use my label, or make one for yourself.

A DIY Reloading Label – Tactical, Practical or Fantastical?

It was about time.

You heard it right. Due to changes in the magazine frequency and the newsletter contents that I contributed to, the articles just were being written far more often than were being published in print media. So this is the first entry in what hopefully will become the basis of a continuous and informative media listing of reviews and product displays of items which are AVAILABLE to the Canadian Market.

Most firearm related sights focus on the firearms themselves. TPF will focus on the extras, the accessories, the complimenting bits and pieces, and will give a personal (hopefully unbiased) opinion. That does not mean we will never look at guns, but they are just a single aspect of the firearms industry.

On behalf of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, thank you for visiting TPF, and I hope that you enjoy the articles and reviews, maybe learn something new or interesting. I would hope that if you are not already, that you become a member of the premier firearms advocacy group in Canada, the CSSA!