Friday, October 30, 2015

1911 Compensated Roto Barrel Review

1911’s are like the ARs of the handgun world in terms of modification.  It’s the good ol’ American handgun that everyone makes a part for, every part can be replaced, and almost every firearm manufacturer makes their own version based off the famous and iconic design.  Like many others, I was looking to do a little something, something to my 1911.  I decided to look at threaded barrels.

Most threaded barrels I came across were $200 or more.  Then you would have to pay even more for whatever else you wanted to add to the barrel.  When looking around, I stumbled upon SACRO, Inc.’s website and found some budget options.  In the options was a compensated one piece 1911 Roto barrel for under $100.  The reviews looked great, but my research online told me what you would expect to hear: “you get what you pay for,” “these are crap,” and so on, and so on.  I decided to see for myself.

The barrel showed up very quickly.  Right out of the packaging, I noticed the only cons that this barrel has: machine marks and an okay finish, and no barrel link or barrel link pin.  The lack of link and pin was mentioned on the website, but it was something I overlooked.  That’s an extra cost, and an extra trip to the gunsmith if you can’t do it yourself, so not too terribly bad.  The finish is whatever to me.  I’m putting it in a Taurus PT1911 that I used to carry, it will only be a casual range toy, and it’s under $100.  To me, it doesn’t really matter, so long as it does not start rusting.  I suppose one other con may be that you get what you get: the compensator on it is not removable or replaceable, but you are buying this for this, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

My research pointed at the fact that these Roto barrels are not technically one piece.  They are multiple parts soldered together.  In theory, that would hinder long term and high round count reliability.  So far, I have not had any issues, so I can’t really say I’ve had any personal experience with it.

Installation (after you get the barrel link and barrel link pin in place) can be an absolute bitch the first couple of times, especially with a full length guide rod.  The whole one piece thing gets to be a pain in the ass.  After you figure it out and do it a few times, it’s easier to install.  Once in, the fit is solid.  No modifications were needed.

The weight it adds is really insignificant in my opinion.  I don’t shoot competition or anything.  A 1911 is inherently heavy.  This adds some weight, but nothing too bad.

When I got to the range, I performed two tests with each barrel (stock and compensated barrel).  The first test was a muzzle rise test to see how many degrees of flip I got from each one.  The second was an accuracy test at twenty feet.

Keep in mind that I don’t shoot 1911s all the time.  This was my first handgun purchase years ago, but the cost of .45 ACP doesn’t allow me to shoot it much.  So, I’m not a pro.  When I shoot my 1911, I shoot low left.  Not sure why, and I am sure there is some science behind it (like thumbing, squeezing too hard, etc…).  When I shoot other 1911s, I generally don’t as much.  So it could be a bit of me, or the firearm.  With that out of the way, moving on…

Below are some pictures of the targets.  The first one was with the stock barrel.  I was aiming for the bullseye.  It was an OK grouping, and everything went consistently low left.  The second was with the compensated barrel, and I was aiming for the top nine (not the bullseye) so I could have a different point of aim.  These were my absolute first shots using the barrel, and aside from one flying off to the left eight, the grouping was much tighter, and shot just to the left instead of low left.

The muzzle rise test was actually pretty surprising.  I felt something in the hand, and obviously there was a difference on paper, but I wasn’t sure if there was a change.  After reviewing the range footage, I saw there was a big difference.  The first picture, with the standard barrel, had a muzzle rise of about 27 degrees.  With the compensated barrel in picture two, I was getting about 23 degrees.  It seems like a small difference, but it obviously makes a difference, and I’m sure with an expert, both numbers would be smaller.

All in all, I am pleased with the barrel from SARCO, Inc.  After you get your barrel link and barrel link pin installed, it should drop perfectly into your 1911 (at least your PT 1911).  Here are some pros and cons.

Compensated Roto Barrel Pros and Cons:
  • Low price
  • Reduces muzzle flip
  • Tightens grouping
  • Easy to install after practice

  • Finish and machine marks
  • Lack of barrel link and barrel link pin
  • One piece (you get what you get)

If you want a little better performance out of your 1911 that you can actually feel and notice, and don’t want to break the bank, look into one of these barrels from SARCO.  They work, they are (relatively speaking) inexpensive, and they don’t require modification (from what I experienced).

Want more reviews like this?  Let me know in the comments below!  Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Democratic Candidates on Firearms

Since most of you seemed to enjoy my post about Donald Trump on firearms, I figured I would take a look at the other party, but lump all the candidates into one post.  With firearms being such a widely talked about topic, it is an extremely important topic that anyone running for office needs to consider, whether that be to get rid of them or control them, or to protect the Second Amendment.

The Democratic Party in the United States is generally known for being against firearms.  One of the biggest displays of this was the infamous Clinton Assault Weapons Ban in 1994.  If you haven’t noticed, that name is back again for the same party.  Let’s take a look at each candidate that was present in the last CNN/Facebook Democratic Debate.

Lincoln Chafee – 74th Governor or Rhode Island
Rhode Island is no doubt a state that is located near some the worst areas in US in terms of being able to own a firearm.  Chafee has spoken strongly yet carefully about common sense gun legislation and adherence to the Second Amendment.  He states that, “the freedoms granted to America in our Constitution should never be abridged.”

During the first debate on CNN, he stated that he wants to work with the gun lobbyists to find a common ground and that he does not want to “take away” guns, but find something mutually agreeable.  This doesn’t sound extremely left winged, which could be considered a plus to most readers.  In the past, he did vote NO on both prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers, and banning lawsuits against gun manufactures for gun violence.  Take that as you will.

Martin O’Malley – 61st Governor of Maryland
It’s no secret that Baltimore has recently been through some troubled times.  That was one of the things that O’Malley had both going against him and for him in the first debate.  We can start out by saying this: when asked at the debate who his biggest enemy was, he replied back with saying, “the National Rifle Association”.

NBC Washington stated that “Maryland’s guns laws are now the strictest in the nation.”  The bill bans 45 types of firearms, limits magazine capacity to ten rounds, and anyone buying a handgun will have to submit fingerprints to have to obtain a license for one.  People with concealed carry permits may be used to the fingerprint thing, but this is just to buy one, not carry one.  He also has been advocating “smart gun” technology which would prevent unauthorized users from using firearms.

With all that being said, and looking at Baltimore, it is safe to say that he is probably one of the poorest choices for protecting the Second Amendment.

Jim Webb – US Senator from Virginia
While watching the debate, I was shocked by Webb’s overall pro-firearm view.  During the debate he stated, “There are people at high levels in this government who have bodyguards 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The average American does not have that, and deserves the right to be able to protect their family.”  For this stance of his, and some other stances, he is not really liked as a Democratic candidate, and based off the other candidates’ views, one could see why.

Webb voted YES to allow firearms to be in checked in baggage on Amtrak trains.  He voted YES on prohibiting foreign and UN aid that restricts US gun ownership.  He co-sponsored the Veterans’ Heritage Firearms Act which, in short, allows veterans to register unlicensed firearms acquired for abroad.  He co-sponsored banning a gun registration and trigger lock law in Washington DC.

There are more instances of Webb acting like this.  He is probably the most right wing minded Democratic candidate out of the lineup that we have currently.

Bernie Sanders – US Senator from Vermont
Sanders is much talked about these days.  Since he is a likely candidate to be competing for President, it’s important to take a look at his view on Firearms.  During the debate, he did mostly speak against the Second Amendment, but not as heavily as some of the others.  In fact, he actually took some heat from his past “pro” gun ideas.

During the debate, he was asked about holding gun manufactures legally responsible for mass shootings.  He responded as follows:

“…do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible?  I don't.  On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course we should take action.”

Sanders wants to “deal with the straw-man purchasing issue”.  (That is someone who purchases a firearm from an FFL legally for someone else to own.)  He supports a ban on certain semiautomatic weapons, banning the “gun show loophole”, and instant background checks.  He voted YES on the assault weapons ban in 1994, and on a magazine limit to ten rounds.  He voted NO on decreasing a gun waiting period from three days to one.

However, he has done some “strange” things for a Democrat.  He voted against the Brady Bill, voted YES on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains, voted YES on prohibiting foreign and UN aid that restricts US gun ownership, voted YES on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers, and voted YES on prohibiting suing gun makers and sellers for gun misuse.

While he is no Jim Webb, he has some moments that are a little more pro-gun than some of the others like O’Malley and…

Hillary Clinton – 67th US Secretary of State
Now for the moment of truth.  Yes, I saved her for last.  We all know what this last name has done for the Second Amendment in the past, so let’s see what it may mean now.  In short, she is not too happy with anything that goes bang.  Before we continue, it can clearly be seen the Clinton changes her mind A LOT.  That was even brought up right away in the debate.  Let’s keep that in mind.

While she changed her mind in 2008, in 2000 she was for a national gun registry.  She has stated that she wants to bring back the 1994 assault weapon ban, as well as give local police access to federal gun tracking information.  She has supported the licensing and registration of all handgun sales.

She voted NO on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence, and NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers.  She is also for “smart gun” technology.

She is very much against illegal guns and illegal gun dealers.  That isn’t a bad thing at all, but what can be considered “illegal” could be questionable.  A stolen firearm trying to be sold?  That should be considered illegal.  An AK-47 you purchased from an FFL being sold to your best friend or family member?  That should not.

Clinton advocates big time for keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.  I am sure ANY responsible firearm owner can agree with that.  She advocates firearm safety, especially when involving children.  Again, nothing too bad about any of that, but how it will be gone being done about is the question.

All in all, we have some similar views amongst the candidates, and some very different ones.  From most pro-Second Amendment, to most anti, I would have to rate them as follows.

1 – Jim Webb (most pro)
2 – Lincoln Chafee
3 – Bernie Sanders
4 – Hillary Clinton
5 – Martin O’Malley (most anti)

It may be surprising to see that Hillary is not the worst.  Granted, Hillary could be the worst, but O’Malley’s factual record proves that for now, he is the worst.  There is also a big jump in views when it comes to Webb.  All in all, none of these candidates (save for maybe Webb) have my support in terms of the Second Amendment.  Let’s see how this all continues.

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Most information came from On The Issues, an excellent source for quick info an where someone stands, with resources and references.  Cover picture background courtesy of CNN.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Open Carry in Florida

As of right now, October 7, 2015, Florida does not allow open carry of firearms.  Florida probably has some of the best laws and regulations regarding concealed carry, and has done so for quite some time.

However, on October 6 of 2015, the first round of Florida House Bill 163 was passed with an 8 to 4 vote, and it in will allow those with concealed carry permits to open carry in the state.

“Weapons and Firearms; Provides for construction of statutes that implicate right to bear arms or engage in self-defense; specifies that law enforcement officer may arrest person for unlicensed carrying of concealed weapon only upon probable cause that such violation is being committed; provides that person licensed to carry concealed weapon may also openly carry such firearm or weapon; provides liability for person or entity who infringes on specified rights; provides exception; provides that certain persons & entities have no immunity; revises legislative findings concerning possession & carrying of weapons & firearms; revises provisions concerning construction of provisions.”

This bill, which was originally filed on September 14 of 2015, doesn’t mean you can go out carrying your AK-47 for all to see.  This is not yet going into play until 2016.  Florida Statute 790.053 still says that it is illegal to open carry, so don’t run out doing so.

Nothing else has really been released, but we could assume that where you can open carry will be the same laws regarding where you can carry concealed.  For Florida, that would pretty much be anywhere besides schools and school zones, government buildings, places of nuisance, the portion of a place that sells alcohol, and so on.  For a complete list of concealed carry dos and don’ts for the state of Florida, check out Florida Statute 790.06.

What are your views on open carry?  For me, I’m not going to be doing it.  I prefer and will continue to carry concealed.  In my opinion, open carry makes you a target for bad people and idiots.  It may also scare people since firearm negativity is so prevalent in the news these days.  I’d rather be able to help stop a panic caused by a bad guy with my concealed firearm than start one with my open carry firearm.  Also, some people are just pretending to be something they are not by open carrying.

Does anyone who openly carries fit that description?  Absolutely not.  If you choose to open carry to support the Second Amendment, go for it.  It’s just not my cup of tea.  However, that’s just my opinion, and given the opportunity, I WOULD vote to allow open carry to give people the choice.  That is what makes this country great: freedom to vote and make the country we want, and of course, firearms!

Be safe, and be smart!

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Cover background image courtesy of Huffington Post.

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