Everything you wanted to know about suppressors but were afraid to ask

Hi guys.  Long time no post.  I recently received a request from our friends at Ammo To Go to publicize a blog post they recently put up.

I had actually already seen the post and enjoyed it immensely, but when they specifically requested that I spread the word…well…here I am, spreading the word.

They basically cover everything you ever wanted to know about suppressors (aka silencers), from how they work, where they come from and why they are sometimes called suppressors and sometimes silencers; then they test several different calibers and types of ammunition with and without suppression to see how much difference it makes.

It’s a great article and well worth your time if you’re interested in the subject at all:

Silencer Guide with Decibel Level Testing

I’ve actually been interested in silencers for a long time. After being a shooter all my life and 21 years working up close and personal with jet aircraft, I’ve got a pretty severe case of Tinnitus. I’ve lost about 30% of my hearing and I have a constant ringing in my head. Sometimes the ringing changes pitches just to keep it fresh, but it never goes away. You get used to it after 20 years or so, so there’s that.

Anyway, I have a serious concern that if I ever do have to use a firearm in self-defense…especially in the close confines of my home…that firing multiple shots without hearing protection in those conditions could render me completely deaf, or nearly so.

I’ve been interested in getting a suppressor for a home defense gun for a long time. I’ve never done it because the price gives me pause, as well as the whole “pay the non-refundable tax, beg for permission, wait up to a year, and hope for the best” thing.

I’ve really been rooting for a legislative fix to get this common sense safety equipment taken off the NFA list so I could buy one like a free, law abiding citizen should be able to…pay your money and take it home.

The recent shooting in Virginia Beach dashed that hope (in spite of the fact that the incident should have proven beyond a doubt that suppressors don’t make gunshots silent or more deadly). My only hope is that more people become educated about what suppressors are and what they are really capable of (rather than what they see in hollywood movies).

And so…to that end…please click the link, read the article and share it with all of your friends.

Ammo Can Giveaway

I’ve been remiss in that I was asked to post this a while ago and I’m just now getting around to it.  Better late than never I guess.

I was contacted by BulkMunitions.com about putting something up about their ammo can giveaway.  I’ve no problem supporting small business so here goes:

Ammo Can Storage Giveaway from Bulk Munitions.com:  Click the image to go to https://bulkmunitions.com/ammo-can-giveaway/


Speaking of Ammo companies…

On the other side of the aisle from the principled stand being taken by Hornady, You have Vista Outdoor.

Vista Outdoor Inc. has been pressured for months by retailers that sell its other goods like Bell bicycle helmets and CamelBak water carriers, to stop manufacturing firearms.

The Utah company said Tuesday that it will be seeking buyers for its firearms manufacturing business, and will focus on products for outdoor enthusiasts. It will continue to sell ammunition, its biggest core businesses.

Really? You seriously think after throwing us under the bus that we’re going to continue buying your ammo?

If you own stock in Vista Outdoor, I’d recommend you sell. Immediately. Oops…too late.

Vista (VSTO)’s stock price fell 15% after the company released a separate statement online, where Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz said Vista “plans to explore strategic options” for Savage and Stevens firearms, as well as some non-gun brands, like Bell helmets.

Like Hornady XTP for self-defense ammo, CCI blazer has been my go to range ammo for quite some time…I especially like their .22lr offering. That’s OK…I imagine the other ammo manufacturers (like, say, Hornady) will appreciate a bit more business. I’m also partial to Alliant powders for reloading and CCI primers. I’ll use up what I have on hand, but there are plenty of alternatives out there. Probably the biggest sacrifice will be giving up Hoppe’s No 9. That’s been my go-to bore cleaner my whole life. Ah well…who knows, maybe there’s something out there I’ll find I like better that I’ve been missing out on all this time.

In case you are interested in a quick reference of brands I’m going to avoid, here are the brands that Vista owns:

Bushnell Optics
Weaver Optics
Simmons Optics
Millett Optics
Tasco Optics
Night Optics
Redfield scope mounts/bases
Primos Hunting supplies
Final Approach (FA) hunting supplies
Gold Tip Bows
Bee Stinger Bows
Blackhawk holsters and accessories
RCBS Reloading
Champion Targets and accessories
Butler Creek magazines and accessories
Uncle Mike’s holsters and accessories
Gunmate Holsters and accessories
Eagle Tactical accessories
Blazer Ammunition
Estate Cartridge Ammunition
Federal Premium Ammunition (includes American Eagle and Fusion)
CCI Ammunition and components
Speer Ammunition and components
Independence Ammunition
Force On Force Training Ammunition
Alliant Powder
Savage Arms (includes Fox) (for now)
Stevens Arms (for now)
Hoppe’s gun cleaning/lubricant
Gunslick gun cleaning/lubricant
Outers gun cleaning/lubricant
M-Pro7 gun cleaning/lubricant
Jimmy Styks Surfboards
Camp Chef outdoor cooking accessories
Camelbak hydration systems
Blackburn cycling accessories
Bolle Eyewear
Serengeti Eyewear
Cebe Eyewear and Helmets
Bolle Safety Goggles and Eyewear
Giro cycling/skiing helmets/goggles
Bell Helmets
Copilot bike child carriers
Raskullz child bike helmets and accessories
Krash child bike helmets and accessories

That’s the list. It’s quite extensive and giving up some of those products is going to hurt, but there’s plenty of competition out there and I have no doubt I’ll be able to find suitable alternatives.

By the way, this list came directly from the Vista Outdoor website.

I may come back and put them in alphabetical order, right now they’re grouped by product type which may make it more difficult to sift through. If there’s an edit to this post later on, that’s probably what changed.

Hornady gets it.

In response to the New York Comproller’s not so veiled “nice bank you’ve got there, it’d be a shame if anything happened to it” strong arm tactics to convince banks to discontinue servicing the gun industry, Hornady has opted to cease any ammunition sales to the New York government.

While it may not make a difference to New York, Hornady will not knowingly allow our ammunition to be sold to the Government of the State of NY or any NY agencies. Their actions are a blatant and disgusting abuse of office and we won’t be associated with a government that acts like that.

Hornady’s XTP Jacketed Hollowpoints have long been my go to round for self defense and I even buy the bullets for when I roll my own. They have several offerings that get very good reviews and I’m very happy with the performance of the XTP.

Since I’m a long time customer, I can’t exactly switch my business to them, they already have it, but what I can do is: 1) Recommend them to others, which I will…adamantly…hence this post and 2) Stock up. Looks like it’s time to invest in precious metals like lead and copper. You can never have too many bullets on hand, and as an added bonus, when properly stored, they never go bad.

Now if that evil NRA that controls the entire gun industry in the US (trust me, I know it’s true, I read it in the New York Times) could get all ammo, gun and accessory manufacturers to follow suit, we could put these petty attempted power grabs by even more petty politicians behind us.

Dear Delta

I have been a faithful patron of Delta for many years, am a Silver Medallion member, and have always felt welcomed and appreciated; however after recent events I no longer feel that way.

Following the tragedy in Florida, a vocal minority pointed fingers at the NRA, blaming an organization of over 5 million people for the act of one unbalanced individual. The fact is that the NRA has consistently advocated for current laws to be enforced vigorously in order to prevent tragedies like what occurred in Florida from happening. The NRA’s urgings have obviously fallen on deaf ears as the enforcement failures at multiple levels of government increasingly come to light.

In spite of that this vocal minority has managed to convince Delta to rescind an offer for discounted fares to the annual meeting.

Delta knew the NRA’s positions and politics before extending the offer of discounts, the NRA has never kept it’s positions secret. Nothing has changed in the NRA’s positions or policies since the tragedy, yet Delta found it advisable to rescind the offer of discounted fares.

The only conclusion I can draw is that Delta agrees with the vocal minority and places the blame for this tragedy on NRA members, of which I am one.

Therefore, short a convincing explanation, sincere apology and reversal of this decision, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to patronize a business that views me in such a negative light.

This action is not without sacrifice on my part. In my line of work, I tend to travel quite a bit. Perhaps not as much as some, but much more than the average person. I have several long trips in the offing, including at least one trip to Germany and three trips to Honolulu this year (during one of which I plan to take my wife). It is a shame that I will have to fly on an airline that provides (in my view) inferior service and will have to eschew the loyalty miles I’ve built up to this point, but my conscience will not allow me to patronize a business that would impugn me and my associates in such a way.

I just bought the tickets for my first trip to Hawaii for the year. Cost over $1000. Guess which airline didn’t get that money?

And I used to like Jim Carrey

I guess I should look at the bright side. A dollar not spent on a movie theater is a dollar I can spend on guns and ammo.

Here’s the video he talks about. Even couldn’t resist getting in the old standby of those who lack facts or evidence to support their position: the dick joke.

Quick tip to Jim Carrey: In the words of Jennifer: “shut your pie hole and dance, monkey!”

Dear Autozone

Well, I used to be a faithful Autozone customer. No longer.

Why? Because you fired an employee for the egregious crime of saving your store from a robbery and possibly saving himself and the others in the store from death or serious bodily injury:

Autozone Employee Fired after taking action against fake beard bandit

I don’t recall ever seeing armed security…or even unarmed security…at the stores that I have frequented many times over the years.

So, basically, your policy is to trust the safety and very lives of your employees and customers to the good will and impulses of a violent criminal who has already, by the act of committing armed robbery, demonstrated a disregard for the mores of a civil society.

Now that I know that if a dangerous criminal enters a store while I’m there, your store employees are prohibited, by company policy, from using the most effective tool available to defend me and my family against violent attackers, I no longer feel safe in your stores.

Your negligent disregard for the safety and well being of your employees and customers is disgusting and frightening.

I’ll also be advising my children, friends, co-workers and the hundreds of people who read my blog to avoid your unsafe stores as well.

Fortunately, there are both Advance and NAPA stores right up the street from yours. I’m sure I’ll have no problem finding the parts I need from your competitors.

If you ever reverse this negligent and dangerous corporate policy, please feel free to let me know and I’ll take that decision into consideration in my future purchasing decisions.

Comment posted here.

I’ll let you know if they favor me with a response.

NOTE: Their comment system doesn’t allow urls…you get a javascript error. To submit a url you have to remove the “http://” from the beginning…then it will work.

Gondolier Italian food and Pizza

The second review I wanted to post was of a restaurant we ate at in Harrogate TN, just south of Cumberland Gap.

It’s a franchise chain called Gondolier that apparently has locations throughout TN, GA, and FL. I can’t speak to the other locations of the chain, but the one in Harrogate was exceptional.

I ordered the only steak they had on the menu and it was listed as a special. It was billed as a Filet Mignon but was not the typical round, bacon wrapped cut, but a large, 9 oz portion. I have to admit that I was a little leery of ordering a steak from a place that bills itself as Italian food and pizza but that’s what I was in the mood for so I took the chance. Boy was I glad I did.

The steak was as close to perfection as I’ve had in a LONG time, including the pricier restaurants I’ve patronized in my travels. It was seasoned perfectly, cooked perfectly and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Absolutely a stunning piece of meat.

I also got a baked potato that was excellent. Typically a baked potato from a restaurant has been sitting in a warmer for hours, the skin is dried out and inedible and the “meat” of the potato is cooked into mushy submission. This potato was also as close to perfect as it comes. Freshly baked, still moist even to the skin, and adequately cooked but still firm.

Everyone else was pleased with their meals as well, but the steak meal (which I don’t see on their corporate menu, by the way) was amazing.

I must also point out that I am a very good cook myself and am often disappointed in restaurant fare because I could have done a better job of the meal at home myself and less expensively. Not in this case. I think that steak was better than anything I’ve ever cooked myself and even the potato I couldn’t have done better at home.

To top it off, The Wife ordered a “slice” of Coconut cake for dessert. It was huge. I can’t imagine the size of the cake that this slice was taken from but it must have been monstrous. The piece of cake made it all around the table (6 of us…5 that will actually eat coconut) and there was still some left that the group just couldn’t finish off.

As far as the other important things about restaurants, It’s not a “fancy” restaurant but the location we were at was fairly new and/or very well kept. The prices were very reasonable…I believe I paid about $18 for my Filet Mignon dinner. The place was very clean, we were seated immediately, the service was prompt, professional and personable and the atmosphere was perfect for a family restaurant…not too dark, but the lighting wasn’t harsh, and quiet enough that we could easily carry on a conversation at our table.

Overall, just an outstanding family dining experience. Highly recommended if you’re ever in the Cumberland Gap area.