Friday, November 11, 2011

Ammo Review: Tula and Winchester 7.62x39mm

Hey folks, your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here with a new review.

No, it's not a gun or knife review. It's an ammunition review.

Why am I reviewing ammo, you might ask. Well, it's because I want to save someone else from buying crappy ammo.

The two major differences between Tula and Winchester 7.62x39mm ammo is that the Tula ammo is steel cased and Berdan primed, whereas the Winchester ammo is brass cased and Boxer primed.

First, the Tula ammo.
This stuff is basically Wolf ammo in a different box and with a different headstamp. I've fired this stuff through my SKS and it works pretty well. It isn't quite as clean firing as US made ammo or even some Russian ammo like Golden Tiger or Silver Bear, but if you're like me, cleaning your gun after a trip to the range isn't a big deal. Now, it's non-corrosive, which pretty much all commercially made Russian ammo is. The only ammo that's corrosive is the surplus military ammo.

Accuracy wasn't tested due to the fact I was primarily doing a reliability and function test, but I have heard of folks getting decent groupings with Tula ammo. I've only seen the FMJ version of Tula ammo, but if it's like pretty much every other 7.62x39 brand on the market, we'll see hollowpoints and softpoints soon.

Now, on to the Winchester ammo.

This ammo was purchased in 2007 and was sitting in my ammo can since then. I finally got out to the range to test the Tula ammo and figured I'd bring a US made ammo for comparison purposes. Well, this stuff works, but is expensive. Whereas a box of Tula will only set you back about 5 bucks US for a box, Winchester will set you back around 20 bucks US a box. Not exactly cheap. After running the Tula ammo through my SKS and cleaning it, I went ahead and loaded ten rounds of the Winchester ammo and fired it. Now, most US made ammo uses softer primers than the Russian made stuff, so I carefully closed the bolt on my SKS so as to avoid a slamfire. After loading the US ammo, I took aim and fired. The Winchester ammo was cleaner burning than the Tula, but not by much.

Again, accuracy wasn't tested, but the last time I fired my SKS I was able to keep 8 out of 10 rounds on target with the last two rounds being just slightly off target.

You really can't go wrong with either ammo. If you want cheap ammo that won't break the bank when you go to the range, buy the Tula ammo. It's cheap enough that you can get a good sized stock of ammo for less than 300 bucks. As of right now, 1,000 rounds of Tula will set you back about 150 bucks depending on where you buy it. The Winchester ammo is expensive, but with the price you get quality ammo and reloadable brass cases, which is good if you reload your own ammo. I don't, which is why I buy the cheap steel cased stuff.

That'll do it for this review. I hope you found it useful and entertaining.

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

Friday, September 9, 2011

Random Thoughts # 15: Gun mods and me.

Hey folks, your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here with a new edition of Random Thoughts.

I was just doing a bit of online gun browsing and after watching a few videos of various types of guns, I've decided to dive into the wonderful world of gun mods. The only two guns that I own that I really want to modify to suit my personal tastes are my Mossberg 500 bullpup 12 gauge shotgun and my Mossberg 702 Plinkster .22LR rifle.

Now, I'm not going to go and swap out the stocks or lighten the trigger springs or sears or anything like that. I don't have the knowledge or the tools to even attempt something like a trigger job or sear work. I can swap the stocks with no problems. Well, at least I could if someone would make an aftermarket stock for the 702 like they do for pretty much every other semi-auto .22 rifle on the market.

Getting away from that minor gripe, I plan to swap the factory sights on the 702 with something better than the factory sights. Now the factory sights are good, but the fact the front sight blade is made of plastic has me concerned about the durability of it in the long run. Granted it's covered by a metal hood that serves as protection, but I want something made of either steel or aircraft grade aluminum. I'd love to see a sight blade made of titanium, but that would probably cost me more than what I paid for the rifle itself. So the sights will get replaced with something a bit stronger.

As for the Mossberg 500 bullpup, I plan to either attach a length of mil-spec picatinny rail to the foregrip and put some kind of pistol grip on it or continue looking for the factory grip assembly. As for the sights, I'm considering removing the carry handle/sight assembly and heatshield and replacing those parts with a heatshield with a picatinny rail on it and putting some folding iron sights on it. Now all I need to do is find a company that makes something like that and purchase it. If all else fails, I can just buy a regular heatshield and weld or silver solder a rail onto it.

So, let's go over the plan.

Planned mods to the Mossberg 702 Plinkster are:
1. New sights.
2. a different stock, if one can be found.( Not likely, but I can dream, right ?)

Planned mods for the Mossberg 500 bullpup shotgun are:
1. swap the sights out for something that doesn't suck.
2. locate factory foregrip or modify existing slide assembly with picatinny rail and aftermarket foregrip. ( I suppose I could just leave the slide assembly alone and call it good because it works fine in its current shape.)
3. swap out the factory heatshield with one that has a picatinny rail attached and put folding or fixed iron sights on it.

So, as you can see, I have a good deal of work ahead of me. Now, once I have the work completed, I'll let you all know how it went.

By the way, I'm contemplating doing a couple of YouTube video reviews based on the gun and knife reviews I've done in the past. It's still in the planning stages at this point and I may end up not doing so, but I'll let you all know what I decide soon.

That'll do it for this edition of Random Thoughts.

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

Monday, August 15, 2011

Range Report # 4: Mossberg 702 Plinkster .22LR rifle

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here with a brand new edition of Range Report.

Awhile back, you may remember I mentioned buying a Mossberg 702 Plinkster .22 rifle. Well, fast forward a year and I finally got to test fire the rifle. I headed out to the range with a friend of mine and brought the .22 along with a box of ammo. I wasn't planning on spending my whole day at the range, which made sense considering I got there around 7:30 0r so and the sun was going down fairly quick.

The ammo used was Winchester Super Speed .22LR. After arriving, we set up some targets and I loaded my guns. I brought along my SKS and my Mossberg 500 as extras in case we ran out of .22 ammo.

After setting up a few targets, my friend and I proceeded to take turns shooting the 702. I first did a slow fire round, carefully aiming the gun and firing. The next magazine I fired in rapid fire mode. I wasn't going for accuracy here, choosing to see how the gun functioned in rapid fire. It worked well and soon my friend and I had gone through half the box of .22LR I brought along. We moved on to my SKS and my Mossberg 500 bullpup 12 gauge, firing a couple mags worth of ammo through each gun. The ammo used for my SKS was Winchester 7.62x39mm brass cased bulk ammo and the shotgun shells were Federal 2 3/4" game loads. The SKS and Mossberg 12 gauge shot the aforementioned ammo without any problems. I did have a minor FTE (failure to eject) on my shotgun, but that was my fault as I held the gun at an angle, causing the shell to stick. After that, it ran fine.

The Mossberg 702 shot well and the only complaints I have are about the sights and the magazines being a bit hard to remove after firing the gun. That was easily fixed after I figured out a way to remove them. The sights, on the other hand, were a bit harder to figure out. I'll probably be replacing the sights in the future, but for now, the factory sights will have to work. I may even put a scope on the rifle and see if that helps.

Well, that'll do it for this edition of Range Report.

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

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day and Random Thoughts #14

Happy Independence Day, folks.

Most folks call it the Fourth of July, others call it Independence Day. I call it both, depending on who I talk to and which name I remember at the time.

July 4, 1776, America came into existence. Before that, we were just a British colony called something that's probably been lost to history, just like the names of so many of the folks who fought and died during that time. For the longest time, I have been fascinated with things from that era of American History. Mostly how folks lived and the firearms. I'd love to own something from that time period, be it a simple coin or a Brown Bess Musket or even a book. Sadly those things are extremely hard to find and when they do come on the market, they are outrageously expensive and usually bought by folks with more money than I'll ever see.

So, have a Happy and safe Independence Day, everybody.

Rather than splitting this into two seperate posts, I've decided to make this a two for one deal.

I recently took a trip to Lubbock Texas, home of the shop where I bought my treasured Mossberg 500 bullpup shotgun. Well, this was a family trip so I couldn't really stop by and chat with the guys at the shop, though I did stop by and purchase a few things. What did I buy, you ask. Well, I bought some paracord (which is a pain in the neck to untangle, by the way.) and two Mosin-Nagant ammo pouches with oil bottles. One bottle was just covered in cosmoline. For those of you who don't know what cosmoline is, it's a really nasty substance that's basically military grade petroleum jelly. It's a pain to clean off of guns, but it protects it like nothing else on the planet. It's also one of the nastiest things I have ever had to clean off of anything I own. Anyway, I bought the items and went about my merry way. I remembered that there was a surplus shop I knew of from an discussion forum I frequent (Unfortunately, the site is down for server issues, but it'll be back up in a few days.). I walked in and talked to the owner, who was also a member of the same forum. Small world, huh ?

I talked with him for a bit, introduced myself and told him my screen name for the forum. I bought a MOLLE pouch from him to add to my survival kit and it was priced very nicely. I will definitely be making a return trip to that shop the next time I'm in Lubbock. I also stopped off at a comic book shop and bought some books there. I last bought a comic book almost 15 years ago and I mentioned that to the owner. He smiled and told me, "Welcome Back".

Well, that'll do it for this edition of Random Thoughts.

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 2011: Where the hell is 12-Gauge Chimp ?!

Hello folks, it's your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp.

Now, y'all are probably wondering where in the hell I've been these last couple months. Well, probably not, but I can dream, right ? To answer your hypothetical questions, I haven't had anything to really talk about in the last couple months. I haven't bought any new guns or knives since the CRKT Hammond Cruiser and really haven't had much to talk about.

I hope to update the site more in the coming months and I did finally get out to the range yesterday, albeit very briefly.

My friend's father recently purchased a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm compact pistol. I got a chance to fire it last night and even though I only fired a single round through it, my impression of it was pretty good. Now I want a fullsized model and will be looking for a deal on one soon. I'm still looking to buy a 9mm pistol since I was given a 100 round box of bullets by my brother. There's no use owning ammo for a gun I don't own, so I'm either looking to buy a Smith and Wesson 5906 or a M&P 9mm. Whichever gun I end up with, rest assured that I will post a range report and review on it.

Well, that'll do it for this update and I thank you for visiting my site.

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

Adventures at the Gun Show Part 2

Hey folks, your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp here with a new post. Yesterday, I went to a gun show with a friend of mine and I figured since I haven't updated the site in awhile, I'd tell you all about it.

Well, we had originally planned on leaving my house at 12 AM, but due to some minor setbacks, we left at almost 2:30 PM. We made it to the gun show with about an hour to look around. There wasn't a whole lot of dealers there, but we did encounter some really nice guns. We walked around for about a half hour and I remembered I had a list of things I wanted to look for, such as parts for my Mossberg bullpup shotgun. Well, I didn't find any parts for it and I didn't find anything on my list. I did find a nice messenger bag that will fit my mini survival kit perfectly.

You all are probably wondering about the guns at the gun show. Well, there were some really nice ones and some that weren't so nice. My friend was looking for an AR-15 rifle, but there was only a single dealer selling them and they had high price tags. I was more interested in the older firearms and had I had more money and very nice Remington Rand 1911 would've came home with me. The gun had been customized at some point, but it was very well done. The guys selling it were very nice and answered all my questions about it. My friend found a few rifles and handguns he wanted as well, like a Colt .38 Special revolver one dealer was selling. I was more interested in the Browning .380 pistol made in 1959 the same dealer had. We encountered some nice dealers and some that weren't as nice, but that's beside the point. Every gun show has them, it's up to you to figure out which ones will get your business and money.

All in all we had a good time at the gun show. My friend and I both wished we had more money to buy the guns we liked. There's another gun show coming up in July of this year and we may go to that one as well. Hopefully, we'll be able to buy a gun at that one. Stay tuned for that.

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

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Follow up to Range Report # 3.

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here with a follow up to Range Report #3.

As you may remember, I mentioned going to the range awhile back. What I forgot to mention was that I took a friend with me. This was the first time that my friend had shot either of my guns so I made sure to go over some basic safety rules with him. He was a quick learner and I only had to remind him once about the rules.

Now as to what guns we fired, I chose to bring my Mosin Nagant M91/30 and my Mossberg bullpup 12 gauge. I had bought some shotgun slugs a few weeks earlier and I wanted to see how my shotgun would handle them. I also brought along a box of Silver Bear 7.62x54R rounds to see how my Mosin liked them.
We arrived at the range and proceeded to set up a few targets. I went over the basic safety rules and how to operate the guns with my friend and loaded a magazine of 12 gauge shells for him. I am pretty much used to the recoil of my guns, but my friend had not shot a rifle or shotgun up to that point, so it was surprising to him when he pulled the trigger for the first time. After a few mags of 12 gauge shells, we switched to the Mosin. Again, I went over the basic safety rules and how to operate it. I loaded the Mosin's magazine and handed it to my friend. The look on his face after pulling the trigger on the first round was priceless. I had him load the guns a couple times on his own so he'd get used to how they worked. He later mentioned to me that the Mosin seemed to have more recoil than the 12 gauge.

At first, neither of us could hit a thing, but once we got into the swing of things, we were able to keep a majority of rounds on target with the occasional miss. I attempted to get some video on my cell phone, but the wind ruined all the footage I was able to get. Now I have a digital video camera and I'm considering redoing this range trip once the weather warms up a bit. Once that's done, I'll let you all know.

Well, that'll do it for now, but keep checking the site for more updates.

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

Friday, January 21, 2011

Update for January 2011: Not much happening...

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here with an update. Yeah, I know it's been awhile since my last update (December 22, 2010: CRKT Hammond Cruiser review), but there just hasn't been a lot happening for me. I've tried to think of something that would be of interest to you all, but all my ideas just fall flat.

So with that said, here's the 2011 update for the site.
1.) Sometime this year, I hope to purchase a 9mm pistol and an AK-47 of some type. I've got a few options on the table and now it just comes down to getting the funds to buy one.

2.) Gun and knife reviews are going to be put on hold a little while, at least until I purchase a new gun or knife. I'll still be doing reviews, just not as often as I first did when the site first started.

Well, that'll do it for this update. As you can see, there's not much happening in the world of 12-Gauge Chimp. Thanks for visiting my site and I hope you all will continue to do so in the future.

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