Friday, September 25, 2015

Lyman Essential Gun Mat Review


Sometimes there is such a simple product that comes out, you have to stop and think, why didn’t I come up with that?  Lyman Products makes one of those simple, yet VERY effective products: The Essential Gun Mat.

When I clean my guns, I use a towel.  That towel is stained, dirty, falling apart, and smells like Hoppes No. 9.  Though, that last part isn’t exactly bad.  Anyway, this product changes that.  Basically it is a nicely sized, rubber mat that has cutouts for your gun, and it’s made in the USA!

It has ten different storage areas to keep parts of your gun from rolling away.  Each pocket is also indented to keep any cleaning product you may use from getting all over the place if you happen to spill it, or if you just typically use a lot of cleaner.  Here are some measurements, though I will say that it fits a full sized Smith and Wesson M&P9 with ease.

Full Mat – 15.875 inches x 9.9375 inches
Main Pocket – 8.6875 inches x 8 inches

The rubber that it is made out of claims to be non-slip, but it still can move around the workbench, though firearms (since they have more texture) will stay more firmly in place on top.  One thing I will point out about the material is be careful how/where you store it.  It will retain some memory of how it was stored last.  You can see in the video at the end of the review that it was a little warped after I transferred it from the first filming location to the second.

Being that it is just a rubber piece, if you want to clean it, just hit it with a hose or run it under your sink.  When you are done, store it flat to prevent warping, and you’re good to go for the next time!

This is a really simple yet well thought out and very effective tool to add to your gun cleaning arsenal.  You may end up finding even more uses for it around the house since it can end up being very convenient.

Want one?  Head on over the Lyman Products to get your Essential Gun Mat, and tell them The Random Firearm sent you!

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Smith and Wesson Warranty Review

smith and wesson M&P9 9mm warranty review random firearm dylan benson

For those of you who have read this blog before, you know that I am a fan of the SCCY CPX-2, but you know that I am a huge fan of SCCY’s no questions asked warranty.  I love warranties in general.  For me, that will be the deciding factor for me when comparing two similar products from different companies: who has the better warranty.

To my knowledge, Smith and Wesson has a lifetime warranty for the original owner of a firearm.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Smith and Wesson.  A good old fashioned brand that makes quality firearm.  When I discovered the M&P 9, I figured it was easy to decide that that would be my first striker fired pistol (yes I know… no Glock).  I was very happy with my purchase.  It’s a great shooter, had the options I wanted (or lack of: no external safety or magazine disconnect safety), and it’s well made.  However, even the most well made products have faults sometimes.

I don’t fire all of my guns all the time, but when I do, I clean them right away, coat them in some RIG gun grease, and put them away.  One day I took out my M&P 9 after it had had this treatment, I took a microfiber towel and I wiped all the grease off.  To my surprise, I found rust on the rear sight and other various parts of the slide.

smith and wesson M&P9 9mm warranty review rust random firearm dylan benson

smith and wesson M&P9 9mm warranty review rust random firearm dylan benson

When I first got this firearm, I filled out the warranty registration form online.  I know there are some of you out there who will be like, “I’m not registering anything I have!  I don’t want them knowing what I have!  Second Amendment!  Freedom, freedom, freedom…!”  Well, it’s your lose, because it saved my ass.

I first went online after noticing the rust and filled out their warranty claim.  They sent an automated response back asking some more questions.  After filling all that out, I called Smith and Wesson and asked to speak to their warranty department just to make sure this would be covered.  I had an almost zero wait time before I spoke with someone.  The gentleman at S&W informed me that this issue would be most likely covered under warranty.  The “most likely” kind of made me nervous, but I decided I would send it in anyway.

Smith sent me a shipping label, and I boxed it up and sent it to them.  After a few weeks, I gave them a call to check on the progress.  S&W informed me that they were backlogged, and that my firearm was in their system, but it had not even been looked at yet.  I asked if I would get I back before a certain date, and I was assured it would be.

About a week later, I received my firearm back.  They had replaced the slide and a few other components.  The whole process took about three weeks.  It was at no cost to me.  I was shocked that the M&P rusted to begin with (and so was the guy at the warranty/service department), but it did, and Smith took care of it.  I’ve always like Smith, but after dealing with them this way, even though their product rusted, I’m even more quick to purchase from them again.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

First Time Concealed Carry Concerns

If you are reading this, you either have just gotten your concealed carry permit (or got your first handgun and plan to carry for those states with constitutional carry), or you are planning on getting yours, and you’re nervous about carrying.  It happens.  When I first got mine, you feel as if everyone is watching you, and you get worried.  Allow me to give you some tips to calm those nerves!

Carry and get it over with
One of your main concerns may be that you think people know you’re carrying.  Well, if you are carrying concealed, and carrying concealed properly, then no one will ever know.  You may feel as if eyes are on you, but not many people are observant enough.  Just make sure that your firearm does not print or become exposed.

Side note: “printing” is when the outline of a firearm can be seen through clothing.  In some states (like Florida for example) it is completely legal for a firearm to print.  In other states, it is highly illegal.  It is best to check with your state laws for information on that.

One of the best ways to shake all fears is to carry in a crowded area.  For example, the next time you go shopping, carry.  If you are armed in Walmart or something like that, you will notice that no one pays any attention to you.  That’s both good and bad.  Good because you can feel less concerned, bad because if you are someone up to no good, they will probably go unnoticed as well.  After doing that a couple times, you’ll start to get used to it.

Carry Consistently
If you carry three different guns at different times in multiple different ways, or if you only carry a couple times per month, you won’t be ready.  Carry consistently.  Find a firearm that you know, like, are comfortable with, and can conceal and stick with it.  Carry it the same way all the time.  This will get you used it.

Practice makes perfect.  Along with carrying consistently, when you are home, practice drawing your UNLOADED firearm.  Know how to get to it.  Know where it is at all times, what articles of clothing to get out of the way, and so on.  If you carry, but can’t draw fast enough, it may be too late in a very unfortunate situation.

You need more then that though.  You need to know your firearm.  Go to the range and fire off some rounds.  Know the recoil.  Know where it shoots.  Know what to expect.

Use a Good Holster and Good Ammunition
If you have a cheap “universal” holster that cannot safely secure your firearm, or takes too long to draw out of, you probably will never feel 100% safe and calm.  Spend a little extra to find a good holster, and your problems will be solved.  I recommend Tread Softy Concealment holsters.  They are high quality, at a price that even I can afford.

Just as important as the right holster is the right ammunition.  As I mentioned earlier, you need to go to the range and practice shooting.  Doing so is a great chance to try out different types of ammunition.  So long as it’s legal in your state, I would suggest a good hollow point round.  Since it can get expensive to try out many different brands, look up some hollow point reviews and get one or two brands that you feel confident about.  Try them in your firearm to make sure they cycle well (don’t cause jams or other malfunctions) and so you know how the recoil will be.

Know the Laws
I am not saying to become an attorney or police officer, but to shake off nerves, do some research about carry laws in your state.  Remember that laws vary from state to state.  Know your state, and know what you can and cannot do.

I DO NOT recommend going to forums for this information.  There is always someone who will say so confidently that he or she knows something is correct, then that person is either wrong, or is correct, but you are asking about one state, and the information provided is for another.

That is a reason why I normally don’t go into laws here since they can be so different, and if I do, I list the state I am referring to.  Your best bet is to either go to your state’s website for information, or call your state or local police department and if they cannot help you, they will be able to tell you where to go to get the correct information. 

ALWAYS know they laws.  Any law you break while having a firearm on you (even legally) could ruin the rest of your life.  Please, please, please always do your research.  Know where you can carry, and where you can’t.  To this day, even though Florida (my state’s) law is very straight forward about where you can carry, I will still call the police or the place in question about carrying if I am unsure.

Be Confident and Smart
The last thing is to be confident and smart.  That doesn’t mean be an ass or think you are a cop.  You are simply a responsibly armed citizen.  Know you are armed, but don’t let others know you are armed.  If you do what was mentioned previously, then you should very quickly get rid of your nerves.  Carry on, be safe, and be smart.
  • Carry and get it over with
  • Carry consistently
  • Use a good holster and ammunition
  • Know your state’s laws
  • Be confident and smart
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