Thursday, February 28, 2019

Long Term Review of Kailash Blades "Scourge" and Sirupate kukris

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here.

Today's the day I finally am able to share with you my experiences with the Kailash Blades "Scourge" and Sirupate kukris.

I didn't want to rush into a review like I have in the past, so I took a bit of time to get to know the blades. Here are my findings during my use of both blades.

Starting off with the "Scourge".

Now, keep in mind that my "Scourge" is an older variant and is no longer made due to various quality upgrades over the past five or so years. If you were to order a "Scourge" today, it would be a bit different than my model. The biggest difference would be the sheath and I believe the grind of the blade is different, but I know the sheath is changed. Gone is the traditional wood and leather sheath, that has now been swapped for a more Western style stacked leather or Kydex sheath.

I've used the "Scourge" off and on for the past few years and it has been tough throughout it all. Sure, the blade picked up a few nicks and the edge has a slight roll in spots, but nothing that couldn't be filed out during sharpening. It's picked up some scars and a couple small rust stains, but again, it's nothing that couldn't be scrubbed off or anything that'll compromise the strength of the steel.

If I had one complaint for the "Scourge" it'd be that the handle near the guard developed a small crack during use. This is due to a small flaw in the wood used and nothing that the bladesmiths at Kailash did. On their end, the flaw probably didn't present itself until well after it shipped. I was able to prevent the crack from going any deeper with a small repair, so I don't think it'll be a worry anymore. if it cracks any more, I can just saw off the piece on either side and expose the steel of the guard and have a semi-custom guard. It's not a big deal.

Overall, I still recommend the "Scourge" and matter of fact, I plan to purchase a newer one along with the 'Anniversary' model because I like the style so much.

Now, onto the Sirupate.

I haven't used the Sirupate as much as the "Scourge", but it has seen its fair share. Mostly on thinner branches and the damn ivy growing all over my backyard.

Where the "Scourge" is like an axe or a hatchet, the Sirupate is more like a machete (or a short sword, if you like) and it clears brush like nothing else. The Nepalese have been using various styles of kukri for hundreds of years and I'm betting that a Sirupate style kukri is probably one of their preferences. It's light, fast and doesn't wear you out like swinging a heavier kukri might. Matter of fact, when clearing weeds and other annoyances out of my yard, I preferred the Sirupate because it was lighter despite having a longer blade. When I first used it, I was afraid the thinner blade would bog down in some of the stuff I was clearing. Nope. It chopped through those branches like they weren't even there.

The blade did lose its edge slightly, but like the "Scourge", it wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed with a good sharpening.

With all that said, I'd recommend getting a "Scourge" or a Sirupate or anything Kailash produces. They might be a bit more expensive than other places, but you're getting an almost custom knife for the money. If you were to have a custom knife maker forge you a blade like the "Scourge", for example, I'd bet that you'd be looking at price tag of almost 400 bucks, depending on the maker. For about 150 bucks or maybe even less, you're getting a blade that's built like a tank and will likely outlast you and your kids or even grandkids with proper care and maintenance.

So, in the end, the Kailash Blades "Scourge" and Sirupate kukris have definitely earned the '12-Gauge Chimp' seal of approval. And they are two blades I will never let go from my collection. Other blades have come and gone from my collection over the years, but these two are going to be with me for the rest of my life.

Thanks for reading this and visiting the site and as always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Guns and Gear Review #26: Del-Ton DT-15 AR

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp again.

Excuse the long absence, but I decided to take a break from posting for a bit because I just didn't really have much to review or even say for the past few months. I'm not going to make any promises of regular posts because that'd be wrong of me since I have been kind of neglectful to the site. But I will try to at least make one post every month or so, even if it's just a "Hi, I'm still alive." type of entry.

As you may have guessed from the title of this entry, I have a new rifle. I have a new one and had to sell another one to fund the purchase. I sold my Hungarian AMD-63 AK to fund the purchase of the Del-Ton DT-15 AR. I didn't get out to the range with the AMD-63 as often as I would've liked and a local dealer expressed interest in the rifle when I showed him pics of it. I accepted his offer and a couple days later, I brought the AMD-63 to him and got my money. The same day, I stopped at a local hardware store and picked up the Del-Ton AR.

This is my first foray into the world of AR-15s and I think I got a decent rifle. I've been doing some research on AR's for the past several years and with prices coming down, I figured the time was right to pick one up. I decided on the Del-Ton because it was low priced, well reviewed and in stock. I've got a fighting rifle (my M+M M10 AK I reviewed years ago), but the AR will serve as a secondary fighting rifle once I get it set up the way I want it and get some trigger time with it.

The Del-Ton DT-15 I picked up came with the usual accessories (M4 style furniture, including an uncomfortable A1/A2 style grip, gun lock that got ditched because I already have like 100 of them from various sources, owner's manual and warranty card). The literature that came with the rifle was really, really vague as to what model rifle I have since Del-Ton makes a few different versions from the DTI Sport to the 'Extreme Duty' series. Mine is probably an Echo 316 rifle because of the mil-spec parts, but since I have no way of confirming that short of calling Del-Ton, I can't say for certain. I will send them an email and ask what series rifle mine is and update y'all when I get an answer. All else fails, I contact them on Facebook and see what they can tell me there. I contacted Winchester like that when I had an issue with some ammo, so I figure I can ask Del-Ton about my rifle the same way.

I can, however, confirm that my AR has a 1/9 twist rate barrel (1/7 is the best according to what I've read, but 1/9 will work for me for the time being), A2 "bird cage" muzzle device, and a mil-spec trigger. The barrel also has the little M203 mounting cut on it, should I ever decide to attach one of those to it or one of those Spike's Tactical Havoc flare launchers. The M203 is probably never going to happen since they cost a boatload of money and they are very hard to get on the civilian side of things. They're not impossible to get, they're just really, really rare. And super expensive. Not to mention some of the ammo is also heavily regulated. From what I remember, the practice chalk rounds are ok for civilians to use with no ATF approval or paperwork, but the other stuff is heavily regulated and requires a bunch of paperwork. So it's not worth the time and money for me. Others might think so and to them I say "Have at it."

Back on track here, I haven't really had the chance to hit the range with my new AR, but that's mostly because I only have one magazine for it and no ammo at the moment. I'll also be upgrading the stock set from factory to Magpul MOE stuff since I prefer the Magpul stuff. The factory stuff works, but the buttstock just wobbles way too much for my liking and the A2 style grip just feels weird in my hands. I got a bit spoiled by the Magpul AK grips I had on both of my AKs, so I figured it was only right to pop one of the various AR grips they make onto my AR. I picked up a Magpul K2 AR grip along with a CTR stock and M-Lok fore end. I had a little issue with the screw on the K2 grip not catching, but that was my fault and not Magpul's. The grip is now on my rifle nice and tight and feels loads better than the A2 that was on it. I might toss the A2 grip and the stock furniture set up for sale on a local gun sales board or I may keep it for another project. Not too entirely sure at this point.

Overall, I'd recommend the Del-Ton made ARs to anyone looking for a decent entry-level rifle. With the AR being so popular, there's a ton of sources out there for help and parts, so you can build your own rifle if you choose or you can just customize a factory rifle to your preferences like I did. Once I get a bit of trigger time behind it, I can give y'all a much better idea of the rifle and tell y'all what I like or don't like about it.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kailash Blades Scourge Kukri: The Overview Redux

 (Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here. This review was originally posted a few years back, but things have changed with the maker since then. Andrew Lucas, the guy who designed the Scourge, has started a new company called Kailash Blades and he recently contacted me. He liked the original review and asked if I might switch things around to reflect his new company. See, KHHI was only able to produce the Scourge thanks to an agreement between Mr. Lucas and their CEO. That agreement has since expired and now Kailash Blades is the sole producer of the Scourge. Per an agreement with Mr. Lucas, I have edited my original post on the Scourge and will be deleting the original url. Any search results for Scourge kukri on my site will now redirect to this posting. Thanks for understanding, folks.)

Hey folks, it's your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here with a brand new entry on something I've been waiting to get for a very long time.

Yes folks, it has finally happened. I finally got my hands on a real kukri. I am so happy I finally got one of these awesome knives. Now, this is technically not going to be a review since I instituted my new reviewing process, so it's more of an overview.

First, there's the matter of the background of the Scourge. The Scourge is the design from Australian blade designer Andrew Lucas. I first learned of the Scourge when Mr. Lucas posted a thread on a forum I frequent asking for opinions on his designs. There were several different designs and the one that ultimately became the Scourge is the result of multiple design changes to one of the entries. Despite a few setbacks during production, the Scourge became available to the public. Now, since this blade is relatively new to the market, there just aren't that many reviews online. Matter of fact, there's maybe a single YouTube video review. Other than that one video, no one has done a review of this kukri that I'm aware of.

Now, on to the overview of the Kailash Blades Scourge kukri.

The first thing I noticed about the Scourge is the fact the knife is huge. I mean, this thing is a beast rendered in carbon steel. Upon opening the box and holding the knife for the first time, I was immediately struck speechless by how pretty the blade was and how immense the entire knife is. Seriously, me being speechless is a rare thing since I'm a really talkative person in real life. Just ask my friends and family about that one. Until I received the Scourge in the mail, the largest knife I owned was the Aranyik E-Nep I reviewed a couple years ago. The Scourge is almost twice the size of the E-Nep and weighs a bit more, but that's due to the size of it.

 Thanks to a conversation with Mr. Andrew Lucas, I was able to find out the blade of the Scourge is made of 5160 spring steel and is about 12 inches in length with a very noticeable downward curve. There's an interesting little bit of trivia in that the blade material is actually leaf springs from old trucks. It's recycled into kukris by Kailash Blades and it's a way for the leaf springs to be turned back into something useful instead of just rusting away in a junkyard. The blade is also about a quarter inch thick at the spine and tapers down a bit towards the handle area to make it an almost perfect fit for most folks. This also helps cut down on weight since the Scourge, like most kukris, weighs about a pound and a half total.  The handle scales are made from rosewood (an early version was to use water buffalo horn) with finger grooves cut into them. The handle fits my hand almost as if the bladesmiths of Kailash Blades designed it with me personally in mind. They didn't, but it sure feels that way upon holding the knife in my almost gorilla like hands. Wielding the Scourge really makes me want to take a whack at things like coconuts, small tree limbs and maybe even a few zombies.

The wood is beautiful as is and with a little coating of varnish or sealant and I think the grain of the wood will really shine through. Thanks to a little info I was given by Mr. Lucas, I found out that they don't varnish the handles, they just oil them like they do with the blades. I'm not sure what kind of oil is used, but it's either an organic vegetable oil or some kind of rice oil being used. With that said, it's completely up to the customer whether or not they want to use any kind of wood sealer or varnish on the handles. One thing to be aware of is that it is possible to use too much varnish on the handles. Too much varnish and you run the risk of making it too slick and making it too slick in turn makes the risk of the knife slipping out of your hands even higher. Personally, I'd leave the handles alone and maybe put a very thin coat of sealant on the wood so it won't rot.

The Scourge's sheath is probably one of the nicest sheaths I've seen out there. It's made in the same way the sheaths the other kukris Kailash Blades makes have. It's made of two pieces of wood and wrapped in water buffalo leather and it fits the Scourge pretty well. I'd love to have seen some kind of retention strap, but that's just me. Maybe in later versions, Kailash Blades will put a retention strap on the sheaths. It's not a big deal if they choose not to since the end user can simply add a strap later on. I probably will since I plan on taking the Scourge with me on an upcoming camping trip.

Overall, I like the Scourge from Kailash Blades. I'll be making a YouTube video showcasing the blade's chopping ability in the coming months and I'll be doing a long-term durability review in a year. Keep in mind that this is just a simple overview of the Kailash Scourge and not a review. The reviews are coming up within the year and I hope you all will be reading them then.

Big thanks goes to Andrew Lucas for designing the Scourge and to Kailash Blades for making such an awesome blade.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Guns and Gear Review #25: Kailash Blades 16 inch Sirupate Kukri

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp back from a long break.

Many of you might remember the Scourge kukri I did an overview on a couple years back. Well, today I have another kukri to review. It's not a Scourge, but a Sirupate kukri.

What's a 'Sirupate', you might ask ? Well, it's sort of a cross between a kukri and a machete. A kukr-chete or a mach-ukri, if you will. For me, it's an excuse to hack old watermelons and foliage around my house without looking like a doofus.

Anyway, I did a little searching and found Kailash Blades. Andrew Lucas, the brains behind the Scourge kukri, is the man behind this new company. So, I browsed the site, saw several kukris I wanted, but I decided I wanted a Sirupate because I've never owned a traditional style kukri. After clicking my preferences, hitting the 'place order' tab and making sure my payment info was correct, I was well on my way to having a real traditional kukri in my hands.

Now, shipping from Nepal takes awhile, so I had to wait about a month or so for it to get here. Which it did this past Monday. I eagerly opened the heavily taped box like a kid on Christmas and inside was my kukri.

I ordered the 16 inch blade Sirupate because it was the more sensible choice. They have blade lengths up to 24 inches or so, but those are more for ceremonial purposes and display due to the size and weight. 16 inches is the sweet spot for the Sirupate for me. It's long enough to make short work of bushes and the like, but still able to be wielded for long periods of time without tiring me out. Even so, the blade is long and if I needed to (or wanted to), I could probably use it as a short sword. It's just perfectly balanced for both utilitarian purposes and defensive purposes as well.

The blade measures about 16 inches and the handle is about 5 3/4 inches, with an overall length of 22 inches. The blade is highly polished and has almost a mirror-like sheen to it. There's a bit of traditional style engraving on the back of the blade towards the spine as well. The width of the blade at the spine is a little over 3/8ths of an inch. Still pretty beefy, but not as much as the Scourge with it's almost a half inch thick spine. Like the Scourge, the handle of the Sirupate is made from Rosewood with a nice polish to it. It's a little slick for me, but a quick wrapping with some grip wrap and it'll be good to go for me. That's really my only issue with it, a slick handle, but it's merely a personal preference and in no way a fault of the guys at Kailash Blades. The blade also came with a traditional water buffalo leather and wood scabbard that holds the blade in tightly, but not too tightly. It's got just enough grip to keep the blade from bouncing out, but it lets me draw the blade smoothly.

It's kind of unfair to call this a review when I really haven't tested the blade enough to warrant it, so it's more of an overview. I'm planning to do some cutting with the Sirupate from Kailash Blades here in the near future and will update this entry with my findings.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and plan to make more purchases from Kailash Blades as time goes on. They're a great company to deal with and Andrew Lucas kept me updated on my order during the entire time it was going from a simple piece of steel in the form of truck leaf springs all the way to a finished blade on its way from Nepal to the US. Not many companies will do that these days, especially not the head of the company either.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

ETA: I was recently contacted by Mr. Lucas and he informed me he's actually not the owner of Kailash Blades. The company is Nepalese owned and operated, with him as sort of a public relations/ quality control/publicity/media relations/designer type person. Sort of a jack of all trades deal, I guess. Either way, I'm glad to see him and the guys from Kailash Blades making kurkis and other blades again and I hope Kailash Blades is around for a long time to come and wish them well in all their endeavors.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Guns and Gear Review #24: Ruger P89 9mm pistol

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here.

I know it's been quite some time between my last entry to the site, but that's because I really haven't had the time or energy to write a review. I've got plenty to review now, but I just got sort of burnt out with reviewing and writing entries, so I decided to take a break for a bit. I'm still in the midst of that break from writing, but I decided I at least owed it to y'all to update the site at least one more time before disappearing into the shadows again.

Today's review is of my latest firearms acquisition, a Ruger P89 in 9mm Luger (or NATO or Parabellum or 9x19 or whatever name you want to call it).

The Ruger P series started out with the P85 in the 1980's. After a few years and one recall to fix a safety issue, the P85 eventually was replaced by the P89. My particular gun was built sometime in 2004 or so, so it's not an 80's gun as I originally thought. Ruger actually continued making the P series until about 2009 or 2010 when the SR series took over. Now Ruger has released the "American" series of pistols onto the market and the SR series will probably be less focused on by the company. I wonder how long the SR series of pistols will be made before Ruger decides to drop them like the P series.

I traded my RIA GI Tactical 1911 to a friend for this gun and I think I got a pretty good deal. The reason behind the trade is my friend was looking for a 1911 to practice gunsmithing on and I wanted to try a 9mm. So we met up at our usual trading spot, swapped guns and I became the second owner of a shiny stainless steel Ruger P89. It's officially a KP89 because it has a stainless steel slide on top of the aluminum alloy frame. Ruger likes to differentiate between their standard blued models and the stainless ones with a K in front of whatever model it is. For example, a blued GP100 is just a GP100, but a stainless one is a KP100. Same gun, different model designation in the Ruger books. It makes no difference, really. For some reason, the stainless guns are worth more on the used market as well, but not by much.

Anyway, I got my P89 and went to work buying ammo for it along with some extra magazines. I even put a set of Hogue grips on it to make it a little more comfortable in my hands (I've mentioned before that I have rather large hands and most gun grips feel a little small to me). I love the ambi safety/decocker and the ambi mag release. I wish my Glocks had that, but I've gotten used to switching my shooting grip slightly to release the mags with the factory release. The sights are little banged up, but given that this gun is an older model, it's to be expected. They're not quite as easy to pick up, but a little brightly colored nail polish or one of those paint pens you find at many hobby stores works to brighten the sights up.

The P89 is kind of a heavy pistol, but it was designed as a duty gun and not something you'd carry concealed on a daily basis. Although, if you have a good holster and strong belt set up, you should have no problems. Heck, there's guys who carry heavy 1911 pistols all day and they seem to have no issues. For me, the P89 will be a range toy since I've got my Glock 21 for carry purposes. As soon as I can get a better holster for my Glock 41 (the long slide version of the Glock 21) that'll hold the G41 and Streamlight TLR-1s I have mounted on it, I might carry that one as well.

Overall, I'm happy with the trade I made. If I get the urge to buy another 1911, I might buy another Rock Island Armory or maybe one from another maker.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Guns and Gear Review #23: Classic Firearms Hungarian AMD-63 AK-47 style Rifle

Hello folks, it's 12-Gauge Chimp again. Today I'm reviewing my latest gun purchase.

Last month I purchased a Hungarian AMD-63 AK-47 style rifle from Classic Firearms and it's my second AK style rifle (the first being the M+M M10 I purchased a couple years back).

First I wanted to pick up a DDI (Destructive Devices Industries) AK, but my local FFL couldn't get one at a decent enough price for me. Their rifles are top of the line, but I'm not spending that much money on an AK right now. I think my FFL guy quoted me a price of around 1100 bucks for the base model with the Magpul AKM MOE furniture and 1150 for the upgraded Zhukov-S model. Either way, that's a lot of money for an AK. A couple hundred more and I could get an Arsenal AK, which are like the cream of the crop for AK rifles. Either way, I wasn't able to spend that much on a gun. So, disappointed, I turned back to my quest of finding a new AK and stumbled across Classic Firearm's website. A few minutes of perusing the site, I found my new AK. A phone call and a couple days later, I had my shiny new AK in my hands.

The Hungarian AMD-63, according to a lot of the reviews I've read, is one of the best buys in the AK world. These guns are built from parts kits, but unlike most, still use the original FEG made receiver and that is something that you really want. Some AMD-63 and 65 rifles use American made receivers that can be hit or miss in quality. Rifles that use the original Hungarian FEG receivers are much higher quality. How much of this is true and how much is just gun shop BS, I have no idea. They also use a slightly short gas tube and gas piston compared to standard AK style rifles. So if you get one of these guns, replacing the gas tube with an aftermarket one like the Troy rail or an Ultimak isn't going to work without some modifications to either one.

Either way, I got my rifle and I like it. I haven't had the opportunity to get to the range and test it out yet, but I will soon and give y'all a range report on it when I do.

While the rifle itself is in great condition and with little to no canting of the sights (this is still an issue with some WASR-10s, which is sad), I did run into a few minor fitting issues with parts I purchased for it.

1: When replacing the Phoenix Technologies butt stock off, I noticed one of the screws was broken. After removing the stock, I found out why it was broken. Apparently, whoever put the stock onto the rifle at the factory, torqued the hell out of the screw and caused the head of it to snap off. This wasn't noticed by anyone until I took possession of the rifle and field-stripped it for cleaning. Also, when they put the stock on my rifle, the screw went it at an odd angle and came through one side of the part that goes inside the receiver. It worked, but it just looked so sloppy, like the QC (quality control) person was on break when it went through their station.

2: After pulling the factory stock off, I attempted to install an Vltor AK stock adapter on my rifle and found out that the rear stock tang was just a hair shorter than required. This was remedied by me taking a rubber mallet and smacking the Vltor adapter a couple times to get everything to line up enough to work. I got it to fit and won't be taking it off any time soon since that sucker is on there tight now. Which is a good thing, by the way. Nothing sucks more when shooting a gun than a stock that wobbles after every shot.

3: The original Hungarian hand guard (that a friend referred to as a 'donkey dong' type of hand guard) was nice, but it was made of metal and as most of y'all know, AKs get hot after a couple mags. That and the 'donkey dong' grip made it awkward to do mag changes. So I ordered myself a Magpul AKM hand guard and installed that in place of the original one. Well, I ran into an issue with this as well. Apparently, the Hungarians use a slightly smaller hand guard retainer and I didn't know this until I got my rifle. A couple minutes with a set of files later, my hand guard was fitted to my rifle. I even sent an email to Magpul about it, but it seems they're either too busy to respond or it went into the trash upon receiving. The latter seems to be a more likely occurrence since they're pretty busy with other things and probably can't take time out to respond to each person who emails them. I did have to use my rubber mallet to get everything back into place, but it was all good in the end.When I ordered my rifle, I was told by one of the folks at Classic Firearms that some fitting of parts was going to be possible, so this isn't too big of a deal for me.

4: This wasn't necessarily a requirement for me, but it helps me feel better at ease about my rifle. I bought one of those Tapco trigger retaining plates for my rifle so I could get rid of the paperclip holding the trigger group in my rifle. The shepard's hook (the proper name for the paperclip) is basically a heavy piece of wire that hooks over the trigger group and keeps everything in place. Many people, myself included, opt to replace it with something a bit more substantial and less cheap looking. Seriously, we're in a day and age where aftermarket AK parts are plentiful and many companies still choose to put what looks like something you buy in bulk at an office supply store in their rifles. It's probably a cost saving measure, but it still doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, I once again had to fit the Tapco retaining plate to my particular gun since the hole on the plate didn't quite line up with the hole on my rifle. About ten minutes of filing later and I was able to get it installed. It wobbles a bit, but if it keeps my trigger group from flying out of my rifle or otherwise coming undone, I'm fine with a little wobble.

All in all, I knew before I purchased this rifle that I'd probably have to hand fit some stuff to it so that's on me and not Classic Firearms or the folks who built my rifle.

Still, the rifle is great, looks nice and is a pretty good value in today's market. I highly recommend Classic Firearms and will probably be doing a lot more business with them in the future.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Guns and Gear Review #22: Ruger GP100

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here.

Today I'm reviewing the Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum revolver

I got this gun in February of 2015 and have had some trigger time behind it. Enough to give y'all my honest opinion of it.

The GP100 has been around for thirty years now (production began back in 1985), so the gun's been around about as long as I have. Which I find pretty neat. Mine, however, has only been around since 2014 (or so the sticker on the box says). Either way, I like the gun. It's got some hefty recoil, but not enough to make shooting it a pain. I mean, we're not talking about .500 S&W Magnum here, folks. Anyway, I had ordered a stainless steel model, but ended up with a plain blued model instead. Mostly because the shop I ordered it from was having a hard time finding a stainless steel model for me. This was right around the time SHOT Show 2015 ended and Ruger was trying as hard as they could to fill orders. So, I took the blued model, filled out the paperwork, talked to my friends at the shop while waiting for the background check to finish and left about ten minutes later with my shiny new gun.

My particular gun sports a 6 inch barrel with the aforementioned blued finish, which is kind of mottled in some spots, but it's fine. So long as the gun works, I could care less about the cosmetic flaws. I mean, I won't purposely let the finish get beat all to hell, but I'm not going to give it the white glove treatment like some folks might. It's a gun, not a priceless work of art. Unless Bill Ruger himself touched this gun (which is highly doubtful since he's been gone for a long time. And well before my gun was built.), it's getting used and the finish won't stay pretty forever. It had a Hogue monogrip on it, but I swapped it out with another rubber grip awhile after the first range trip.

I got the chance to take my GP100 out to the range soon after purchasing it and I have to say if you've never fired a .357 magnum before, it is an eye opener. The first shot (which was a 158 grain Hornady XTP hollow point, by the way) took me by surprise and I was shocked. Well, I was for a brief few seconds and then I emptied the cylinder into my target and reloaded. After I shot the speedloaders of .357 mag ammo I had, I moved onto .38 Special (also made by Hornady). The .38 Special ammo was a lot easier to shoot than the full power .357 magnum stuff, which is not surprising since it was made to be. I have plans to buy some of those "Ruger Only" Buffalo Bore .357 mag loads and see if they recoil as badly as some have told me. I suspect they probably will and will probably gather dust in my ammo cans after one cylinder full.

I swapped some parts out for ones that I felt worked better for me after awhile. The factory Hogue monogrip was tossed aside in favor of a Pachmayr Diamond Pro grip (which feels so much better than the Hogue grip) and the hard to see factory front sight was switched with a Hi-Viz fiber optic set up. I did have a red ramp sight on it prior to the Hi-Viz sight, but I forget the brand name of that one. It may have been from Ruger, come to think of it.

Both the Hi-Viz sight and Pachmayr Diamond Pro grip were Christmas gifts, so I'm not entirely sure how much they cost. A quick check to some online retailers has the Hi-Viz sight at around 26 dollars US and the Pachmayr Diamond Pro grip at around 22 dollars US. So they're not too expensive and worthwhile upgrades to the factory grip and sight if you like to switch out parts on your guns like I do.

After the upgrades, I need to get out to the range to see if my work was worth it or if I'll be going back to the factory parts. I'll be sure and let y'all know what happens.

I personally like the Ruger GP100 and may add another to my collection. I wish they made a .22LR version like they do with the SP101, but maybe someone at Ruger will read this and decide to make my dream gun a reality. Fat chance of that since I'm sure no one at any of the gun manufacturers read my stuff. Ah well, I can dream, can't I ? 

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.