New digital download: Hornady Lock-N-Load AP 5-station Reloading Press Review

Hey all- just wanted to let you know that I’ve posted the first official digital download on Ultimate Reloader! You can read the full story HERE. This will be the first in a series of reloading press reviews, and it provides a LOT of detail for those of you considering which progressive press to buy.

iPad-Hornady-Press-Review 280


For just $2.99, you can find out a ton of valuable information about the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP, including:

  1. What’s in the box
  2. Strengths/Weaknesses
  3. Features overview
    1. Shellplate/Indexing/Ejection
    2. Priming system
    3. Powder measure
    4. Lock-N-Load bushing system
  4. Caliber changeover procedure details
  5. Overview: four ideal pistol die setups
  6. Overview: three ideal rifle die setups
  7. Overview: Loading pistol ammunition
  8. Overview: Loading rifle ammunition
  9. Very detailed specifications (including dimensions that aren’t available online)


Posted in Reloading, Ultimate Reloader | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment Response to the NRA Press Briefing 12/21/2012

Also posted on our parent site:

We are all affected by the horrible events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families that were affected by this tragedy.

Today, the NRA held a press conference where NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre communicated the NRA proposal in response to the recent tragedy in Newtown.

I wanted to take a few moments to communicate how we at feel about what the NRA proposed.

First, I found the implied “connection” between gun violence and media (particularly video games and movies) difficult to understand. It’s hard to understand exactly what Wayne was proposing if anything. We feel that it’s a parent/family responsibility to keep track of what kids are watching, reading, playing, etc. We’re not aware of any evidence that playing violent video games has any effect on crime rates.

Second, I wanted to state some beliefs that we stand by here at

  1. In America, we have the constitutional right to defend ourselves. This right includes lawful gun ownership via the 2nd amendment, and the right to carry where carry is legal. believes in these rights from a philosophical perspective, and is committed to protecting these rights for the current generation and future generations.
  2. Some forms of gun legislation make sense. This would include restricting individuals with criminal histories from owning, possessing or carrying firearms. This also includes restricting younger individuals from buying or possessing firearms. While this kind of legislation may “make sense” We question how effective most of these laws are. If someone has a criminal history, they have already shown disregard for the law. Why would anyone believe that convicted criminals will obey gun restrictions?
  3. Creating “gun-free” zones creates an opportunity for violent crime. Since law abiding citizens are the ones that obey such restrictions, this creates a natural opportunity for those who don’t obey the law or are not mentally stable.
  4. Our country should act to address school safety in ways that are effective, not out of fear or gun-phobia. There are no easy answers, and we must be courageous and respond in ways that are effective. The solutions to gun violence in schools should include empowering effective and timely responses to violent tragedies as they unfold.

To summarize, we are not sure about what the NRA was inferring regarding guns in media, we don’t think that’s the issue. The proposal for a “National School Safety Shield Program” sounds promising. We will look forward to hearing more details as the NRA shares more information.

Posted in Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy 4th of July!

Hey everyone, hope you are having a great and safe 4th of July today! Hope some of you are out shooting today. I’m thinking i’d like to take out my trusty 629 🙂

Happy Independence Day from!


Posted in Northwest Gun Magazine Blog | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Smith and Wesson M&P Shield – Impressions

It’s been amazing to see how much buzz and excitement the recent introduction of the M&P Shield has stirred up amongst people that I know and forums that I participate in. Why all the hubub? Aren’t there a ga-jillion and a half sub-compact and micro pistols on the market already?

Well, every sub-compact and micro pistol has it’s strengths, weaknesses, pros/cons, features, etc. It’s not a one size fit’s all proposition when your audience is extremely picky about what their idea about a good carry piece looks like…

One of the pistols that I own is the Kel-Tec PF-9. I really like the dimensions and the features of the PF-9, but there’s one thing that’s missing: fit and finish. Getting a reliable PF-9 can be a bit of a hit and miss proposition, and there are extensive online tutorials about how to take off the “rough edges” from these firearms (these procedures are called fluff-n-buff typically). I performed some of these basic steps, and my PF-9 has been rock solid. But there’s still a rather “basic” feel and look to the pistol. What if you wanted something that’s about the same dimensions, but with better quality? The latest newcomer into this category is the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield.

I’ve had the opportunity to shoot a couple of these pistols, and all I can say is: “NICE”. I don’t personally care for the manual safety design, but from what I hear there are ways to work around that feature (removal, etc) – I’ll have to look into this further if I get serious about buying one…

The first thing I admired about the pistol was the fit and finish. This is a scaled down iteration of the full M&P line of pistols – and it has the same high quality and attention to detail that you’d see on the other models. The machining and finish on the slide is smooth and consistent with the rest of the pistol. The ergonomics just “feel right” to me as well, with somewhat better purchase when gripping compared to the PF-9.

After shooting the pistol I had another surprise: it’s shoots *really* well. I was able to group much better thanks to the great trigger (compared to the PF-9) and ergonomics. The photos above (9mm model) show the extended magazine as well as the flush-fit magazine. With the extended magazine in place, the grip is actually quite accommodating.

With a street price in the ~$400.00 range, this pistol is quite a good option, and I think will give the other micro and sub-compact pistols in its class a good run for their money! I’d recommend holding one and shooting it if you have the opportunity. If you want to read more about the features and specs for this pistol, see the official Smith and Wesson product page.

Anyone have the chance to try a 40 S&W model yet?


Posted in Concealed Carry, Handguns, Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Keeping the Ruger 10/22 Good Times Rolling

After much anticipation, I headed up to the hills of Sultan Washington back in 1981 with my Dad to shoot a gun for the first time. I was a bit nervous, and very excited. It was a misty morning, and I recall taking the 1966 Ruger 10/22 out of its towell and rubber band “case” with much respect.

The author's 1966 Ruger 10/22 - Image Copyright 2012

I recall setting up an empty cardboard orange juice carton, loading up the magazine with cartridges that were impressive looking to me at the time, and then preparing to take the first shot. I pulled the trigger, and the gun went “pop”. I can still smell the burned propellant and misty forest scent. The excitement from this trip took a lot of time to “wear off”, and this rifle has provided much entertainment and fun since then.

Unfortunately, .22 long rifle firearms can also be very picky and problematic. I can remember many frustrating moments with the aftermarket 25 round magazine that I purchased in the 1980’s. Sure it was fun to fire off a bunch of rounds in succession, but the frequent feed problems took away from the fun.

So what can you do to have more fun than headaches with your .22 long rifle firearm? Here’s a few things:

  1. If your firearm is not functioning well, perform a detail strip, cleaning, and lubrication job. With such a light recoil, .22 long rifle firearms are more sensitive to changes in action friction
  2. Use OEM magazines. After all of the trouble that I’ve had with non-OEM or specialty magazines, I’ve settled on factory Ruger 10 round magazines, they just work!
  3. Experiment with different types of ammunition – some will likely work much better (feed, etc) than others. Try different brands and different bullet weights/profiles

Remington .22 long rifle "Golden" ammunition - a favorite and reliable feeder in my 10/22

So, clean up your gun, get some good ammunition, and let the good times roll! Do you have tips that you’d like to share? Please drop a comment!


Posted in Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Rifles, Shooting Fun | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Shooter Ready: Review of InSights Training’s General Defensive Handgun Class

An IDPA Newbie’s Journal

It’s been three months since my first local IDPA match at Renton Fish & Game Club.  It was a great match, albeit wet, sloppy and cold – your definition of ‘great’ might differ from mine, but if you live in the Northwest, you have to learn to enjoy shooting in less-than-sunny weather if you want to shoot frequently!  I was content with my performance, placing in the middle of the pack among the unclassified SSP shooters (which included two InSights Training Center instructors, I might add, so not exactly a green group).  There is always plenty of room to improve; I have been following a bi-weekly practice schedule, but no single training exercise has been bigger until last month’s General Defensive Handgun class at West Coast Armory.

I was not new to the way of the gun when I purchased my M&P last December.  If you read my first NWGun article you would know that I carried a Beretta M9 during my Army service.  However, the responsibility of being an armed citizen plus a new parent was weighing heavily on me, so I wanted to get some training about the legalities of guns in Washington and the repercussions of using a gun in defense of myself, my family, and my home.

Continue reading

Posted in Competition, Defense, Handguns, Jeremy Grab Your Gun, Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Training | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Print out your own targets! Some of my favorite free online resources

Tired of paying for targets when you go to the range? Does your favorite range not stock the targets you like to shoot? It may be time to find some free targets online, and to print them out for your next range trip! Since I refill ink cartridges myself, I find this to be a super-cheap and convenient way to go for targets. Here are some great online resources for targets.

First are some great PDFs that you can download from the Glock FAQ Target Gallery, you can also click on the image below to download those individual targets…

First, the 30′ Olympic airgun target is one that I like to use both in the garage (air pistol) and at the range (for one-up pistol target shooting, at 30′ range):

Second would be a simple 4-up target that can help get the most out of each page (and also minimize setting targets. Ideally, I like to put two of these out at a time so that I can shoot 8 groups before retrieving the target, again at 30′ range typically:

For rifle shooting at close distance (AR-15 with iron sights, etc) I tend to use the same targets as shown above. But when shooting out at 100-200 yards, I use the great target from

It’s great to have a leather portfolio full of printed targets, target spots, pens/pencils, a digital micrometer, and other frequently used range items. Regardless of whether I’m shooting at an indoor range, and outdoor range, or on a forest service road, I always have plenty of targets in my range bag.

Have other free targets that you use frequently? Please share!


Posted in Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Have you ever thought about being a gunsmith?

If you are like me, when you look at your guns, you see “possibilities”. You might say to yourself “Hmmmm, I’d love to put custom sights on that gun”, or “I bet I could drill and tap scope mounting holes on that rifle”. You might have completed a few projects, and then thought to yourself “I bet I could make money doing this”.

In the first issue of Northwest Gun Magazine, respected gunsmith Grant Cunningham will be discussing this exact topic.

Here, Grant gives a very “down to earth” guide to deciding if starting a gunsmithing business is for you. I can relate to much of what Grant outlines in this article from a professional photographer’s perspective (time, equipment, training, etc). In general, it’s better to know what your getting yourself into before you go too far (don’t ask me how I know that 🙂 ).

If you want to know more about Grant Cunningham (or have a revolver that needs to be worked on) please check out his great website and blog at:


Posted in Northwest Businesses, Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, NWGUN Issue 1, Revolvers | Leave a comment

Reloading press review: Hornady Lock-N-Load AP – In Issue 1

**Update (02/03/2013): Due to some changes in business strategy, articles will be available individually rather than as multi-article issues. I just posted an update announcing that this reloading press review is now available for download! You can read the full story here on

As the team at is busy working on the final details for Northwest Gun Magazine issue #1, I’m getting really excited about the stories that we’ll bring you in this first issue.

If you’ve been contemplating the purchase of a progressive reloading press (for pistol *or* rifle reloading) you’ll want to catch the series of articles that will be featured in the first four issues of Northwest Gun Magazine. In this series, we’ll cover each of the four popular 5-station progressive reloading presses. This list includes the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP (covered in Issue 1), the Dillon XL-650, the RCBS Pro-2000, and the Lee Loadmaster.

Loading 44 Magnum with the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP – Image from Northwest Gun Magazine Issue 1

These articles will be the most complete and exhaustive reviews of these kinds of reloading presses that you’ll find anywhere. Furthermore, since I have extensive “seat time” on all these presses, you’ll benefit from my comparisons of the various features of all these reloading presses. It’s going to be a lot of fun to dig into the details of each of these presses.

Can’t wait for the first issue? You can check out all of the free resources (HD videos, write-ups, tips/tricks) over at today!


Posted in Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, NWGUN Issue 1, Ultimate Reloader | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

10/22 Takedown: first impressions, not all good

When friend Drew Peterson announced that he had picked up one of the new Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifles, I was excited! I’ve heard a lot of excitement about this new rifle from friends and colleagues, and I was really looking forward to giving it a try. I do have a weakness for the Ruger 10/22, as it was the first firearm I fired as a kid, and that added to my interest.

Drew firing his new Ruger 10/22 Takedown - Image copyright 2012

Unfortunately, the inauguration of this new rifle was not without incident. While preparing to fire the first shot, Drew asked “what’s up with this?”. I looked at the bolt, and noticed that the .22LR round in the magazine would not strip off the magazine. After a bunch of coaxing, no luck with the factory Ruger 25 round magazines (we tried two of them). Fortunately, the stock 10 round magazine did work without incident.

Check it out: This 10/22 breaks down! - Image copyright 2012

We did have fun shooting the 10/22 Takedown,  but Drew was not real happy about the functioning issue with the 25 round magazines. He took it to one of the staff members at West Coast Armory (where we were shooting), and they were helpful in diagnosing the issue. After trying their own 10/22 Takedown with the magazines, Drew’s rifle was found to be at fault. It appears that the Magazine interface in the receiver is out of spec (the magazine is allowed to ride too “high” in the receiver). I’m confident that Ruger will take care of Drew on this issue, but it sure is disappointing!

Want to know more about the Ruger 10/22 Takedown? I know  I do. Keep an eye out here on the blog and in the magazine for more information!


Posted in Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Rifles, Shooting Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Taurus PT-1911 – Long Term Review, in Issue 1

Have you wondered about the PT-1911 from Taurus? If you’re in the market for a 1911 pistol, you’ve probably run across one of the variants in your research. With an impressive “standard equipment” list, you may be tempted to buy one.

I purchased the PT-1911 seen here a few years ago (OK, 6 years ago). My friend Dan Sivertsen also picked up a stainless PT-1911 near the same time. In the first issue of Northwest Gun Magazine, I’ve included an article that goes into detail regarding the reliability, customizations, and shooting impressions for both my PT-1911, and Dan’s PT-1911s.

If you’re curious about the PT-1911, you’ll want to check it out!

Here’s a picture of Dan’s PT-1911s:

My PT-1911 has not been perfect, but I’ve enjoyed it. In the article, I outline the various issues that I’ve had with this pistol, and also the ways that I remedied those issues. I’ve also enjoyed customizing this 1911 (custom front and rear sight job, grip).

Look for this article soon HERE!


Posted in 1911, Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, NWGUN Issue 1 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ever wanted to “blacken” a stainless gun?

The completed "629 Dark" revolver - Image copyright 2012 Northwest Gun Magazine

Have you ever wanted to turn a “silver” gun black? A while back I bought a very nice used Smith and Wesson model 629 from my friend Kevin Smith. This was actually my second 629 (my primary hiking carry gun is a 4″ 629). Why the second 629 you ask? Well, I felt it would be nice to have for the range (with red dot), and hey, it was for sale. 🙂

It wasn’t long and I was pondering what it would look like black. This led to a search for the perfect refinishing process for stainless steel guns. After quite a bit of research, I stumbled across a really cool finish called DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) from a company called Ionbond. This finish is only 4 microns thick, and is as hard or harder than natural diamond. Translation: If you don’t gouge the base metal, the finish isn’t going anywhere.

In the first two issues of Northwest Gun Magazine, you can read about the complete process of refinishing this revolver. The name of this series is “629 Dark, taking a stainless revolver to the dark side”. The first installment will cover research and prepping the revolver, including a complete teardown. The second installment will cover refinishing, reassembly, red dot install, and taking the dark 629 to the range.

Want to check it out? You can read the full first article in the Issue 1 preview of Northwest Gun Magazine (free PDF download available here).

This leaves me wondering, what else do I need to turn black? 🙂


Posted in DIY, Gunsmithing, Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, NWGUN Issue 1, Revolvers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for a place to shoot? Try the Where2Shoot phone app!

I just saw this on the facebook page- a new app released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) called “Where2Shoot”. If you’re out and about and are looking for a place to shoot, this app is a great resource!

Map view on Where2Shoot - Image copyright 2012 Northwest Gun Magazine

Here you see the “map view” when you are using the “find ranges” feature in Where2Shoot. Very cool. This app can use location data (if you allow it to) in order to find ranges that are nearby either in list form, or in map form as shown here.

If you want to drill into the details, you can find out about the range, and even tap on the phone number to give them a call:

Details view on Where2Shoot - Image copyright 2012 Northwest Gun Magazine

There’s plenty more cool features that are included in this app, and it’s free! Way to go NSSF!

Currently, the app is only supported on iOS (iPhone and iPad). All you Android and Windows Phone users- you may want to ask NSSF if they can support this app on your phone/tablet platform!

Happy range hunting!


Posted in Northwest Businesses, Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Shooting Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Oregon: Wallowa-Whitman National Forest road closure plan may affect nearly 4,000 miles of access roads

Thanks to a tip from reader Bryan, I just read about a road closure plan for Northeastern Oregon (Wallowa-Whitman National Forest) that affects nearly 4,000 miles of forest service roads.

Wallowa-Whitman National Forest area - Source: Oregonian

This kind of closure is *extremely* impacting for anyone like myself that enjoys outdoor activities involving motor vehicles. My favorite place to camp is on forest service roads, and I also enjoy dirtbiking and other activities (like outdoor shooting) that require motor vehicle access.

If you want to read more about this issue, please check out the Oregonian article here.

I strongly encourage NWGUN readers in Oregon to get involved in any way you can to put a stop to this plan. Let’s work together to keep our land accessible (we do pay taxes to keep these areas maintained and staffed, so we should be able to enjoy them, right?).

Do you have land-use advocacy ideas? Please share.


Posted in Land Use Rights, Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Oregon Gun News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Issue #1 free preview now available!

I’m excited to announce today that the preview of Northwest Gun Magazine is now available in PDF, and it’s free! This preview includes an introduction that gives you an idea of what Northwest Gun Magazine is all about, and also includes a complete DIY gunsmithing article as well. In addition to that, You’ll find a full list of the articles that will be included in the first issue.

Check it out here:

Stay tuned for more information!


Posted in Northwest Gun Magazine Blog, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment