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Food Thread: Festive Hunks Of Flesh And Cookies From Our Youth! | Main | Sunday Overnight Open Thread (12/27/20)
December 27, 2020

Gun Thread: Sunday After Christmas Edition! [Weasel]

snoopy after christmas sized.jpg

Howdy Doody, y'all! How was your Christmas? Did you eat and drink too much? Did you get lots of presents? Did you spend time with family, or did you have a quieter, more introspective day? However you roll, I hope it was the best day possible, for you. Here at WeaselCasa we had a nice, quiet and relaxing day. WeaselCat v2, WeaselDog, and Fun Size Joe made out like bandits with lots of delicious treats and fuzzy toys from Santa. A great day! So what did you get for Christmas?

Not much going on here shooting wise. Year-end stuff at work has been keeping me chained to my desk and away from the farm, a problem I hope to rectify this week. Until that happens and I can film some shooting, we'll just have to make do with the plain ol' Gun Thread.

Let's get to that below, shall we?

For the last couple of weeks we've been talking about shooting gear. Today, let's start a conversation on buying guns. No, this isn't the buying guide I am supposed to be doing (#twoweeks, honest!) but rather an introduction on what to look for when buying used guns.

It should come as no surprise that I have a soft spot in my heart for vintage guns. The problem with buying a 1947 S&W K22 for example, is they ain't making them anymore, so the used market is your only option. Before I started canoeing, I purchased a lot of guns online. The trick is to find a few reputable dealers who trade in the sort of firearms you like, and to stick with them. Get to the point where you can call them and discuss the item before you start clicking the "buy" button. Often times, as a regular customer, I have been steered away from something I liked online because an honest seller disclosed a condition or other issue not obvious in the pictures or description. Those people really earn my business, and in all of the transactions I have made, really only think one turned out to be something of a minor disappointment so my experience overall has been great.

Anyhow, used guns get their name from the fact that, well, they're no longer new guns. This means they might have been misused or otherwise mistreated and if they have a problem, it may not be obvious from a casual inspection. Whether you are sitting home in your underwear buying online or standing in front of a display case in a gun shop, there are a few things to be aware of. If you cannot physically examine a firearm, you should make every effort to speak with someone knowledgeable at the shop who can. Get them to describe any cosmetic or mechanical issues. If for some reason that's not possible, you should always insist on an inspection period of a few days during which you can return the gun to the owner with no questions asked.

So let's start with revolvers, since I love them and they're my favorite and I am the one writing the Gun Thread. I found the following nifty video online on the items to check.

There are lots of other videos like this so browse around. It's not rocket surgery. If you are the least bit mechanically inclined, you can make these checks. Frankly, you can make these checks if you aren't mechanically inclined at all. If you are buying on line, make it a point to question the seller on the items you would check if you were able to inspect the gun in person, then hold them to their word if the gun isn't in the expected condition. Find a dealer you like and don't hesitate to buy a used gun online.


First up, Senior Gun Thread Product Tester hogmartin delivers a great report on a product we've discussed here often, home laser practice systems. In fact, the system he evaluated is one I'm sure we have mentioned here by name, the iDryfire Laser Target System. Take it away, hogmartin!

A few weeks ago, one of the American Rifleman emails included an ad for the iDryfire laser training aid, 50% off. Since we'd discussed laser training aids, and I hadn't got one yet, I figured I'd give it a try. It came to $70 for the iDryfire camera, software license, and a laser cartridge of my choice (I picked .45ACP and ordered a second 9mm one from another source).

The camera is... unimpressive. I'd meant to look into the specs on it, but I'd be surprised if the resolution is better than 1024x768. The only branding on it is the words WEB CAMERA printed around the lens, and the image is incredibly noisy. Focus is manual (twist the ring).

H 122720 1 sized.jpg
That is not what a good camera looks like.

The software's another letdown. Just before the package arrived, I received an email advising that I could only install the software on one computer although it has both a Mac and Windows version.

I emailed iDryFire (or iTarget, or iSniper, because their business seems to identify itself by any or all of those names):
Does this mean only for one device at a time (concurrently), or only on one device ever? Is there any way to uninstall the software from one computer and then install it on a different one? Finally, if using the code to install once means the code is invalidated, what happens if I need to wipe and restore the computer and then reinstall the software?

Their reply: The one license for 1 computer. Extra license - $50.

Take a break and hydrate, bro, you're gonna wear yourself out with all that customer service.

So, I installed it on a Windows 8 virtual machine. If that's not convenient for you, and you want to use it on another computer say, a laptop in the garage and a desktop in the house; extra license - $50.

H 122720 2 sized.jpg
I don't know where the fourth shot came from. I only fired three by this point. Also - note the ads in the software that I paid for

Getting it running was easy enough, but it's very sensitive to false hits. The tape that holds the target up, and the edge of the picture frame next to it, kept giving 'hit' alerts, shot sounds and hit markers, even when I wasn't firing. I played around with combinations of natural and artificial lighting and never found a solution that worked reliably. It is my personal conclusion that the laser cartridge and the software, assuming you can get the software working reliably in a controlled environment might be worth the $70. It's certainly not worth $120 (plus shipping). I'm not even including the WEB CAMERA in the overall value because I have gotten better webcams from cereal boxes. Could we do better with a laser cartridge ($30-$50) and a free phone app? I bet we could.

H 122720 3 sized.jpg
Higher quality camera means better hit discrimination

I searched the iOS app store for "laser training" and LaserHIT was the first one that came up. It has a free mode and two paid modes, so I've only tried the free one so far, and it's so far beyond iDryfire that it's unfair. It may actually be unfair, since the camera on any phone manufactured in the last 10 years is better than WEB CAMERA. It's also much better at discriminating false hits. The two paid modes, "high score" and "quick hit" are $10 each, but even if you get them both, and a froofy high-end laser cartridge ($50), you're now at the price of a half-off iDryfire and better off for it. There are very likely better options for both computer-based and phone-based training, but that's my experience with the two I tried.

iDryFire: $70 on sale from $120. Includes lousy camera, expensive software, and laser cartridge. Works, might be an option for a low-end older computer if you don't have a smartphone that will support LaserHIT

LaserHit: BYOLaser. Free mode works very well.

Excellent report, hogmartin! Sounds like they should organize the various companies under the iSuck parent organization. Seriously, this is a great review and points out some significant weaknesses with the product and the company. Anyone else have any experience with iDryfire? Are there any other laser systems you like, such as the laserHIT system hogmartin mentions?


Next up, our pal oldgeezer shares some Christmas cheer with colleagues:

This last weekend, our small western company had its Christmas party. I thought that a session at our gun range would be a great activity; especially for our younger employees from a gun unfriendly state in the east. To make it even more interesting, I brought out guns most of them have only seen in old movies.

After the safety lecture, I started out with my 1915 German Luger in 9mm. Most knew what it was and each person had a chance to shoot it. Then came a WII bring back Beretta Model 34 from 1939 in .380. After showing the roman numeral dating system, everyone got to shoot it. The last pistol we did was a 1948 Hi-Standard Military HD in .22. We burned up quite a bit of ammo in that one. Couldn't do a 1911 because of ammo shortage.

We then moved on to long guns. Because I had no ammo, I could only show them a 1903 30-40 Krag and my Remington 1903. Any disappointment at not being able to shoot those was rapidly dispelled when I pulled out the M1 Garand from 1945. Their eyes lit up when I pulled out a box of enblocs with ammo. The smiles on the faces were legendary. Then, to top it off and being the Christmas season, out came the Styer AUG (yes, Diehard is a Christmas movie).

I am sure these young kids will long remember this year's party. The M1 was the favorite with the Luger a close second. It was great fun to watch them and relate some gun history to them. I didn't even get to shoot because we ran out of daylight. Maybe this is what more of us old timers should be doing with our stuff instead of just letting it sit in the gun safe?

Great job, oldgeezer, and I couldn't agree more. I just love stories like this! I've said it before and I will say it again; never, ever miss an opportunity to take someone shooting! With as much anti-gun bullshit floating around as there is, we need to take every opportunity possible to show people what safe and responsible gun ownership and shooting is all about. It's up to us to spread the gospel, so consider yourselves missionaries!


Next, our pal Blake shares a range report after a recent trip with the lovely and fabulous Mrs. Blake.

Saturday, the lovely Mrs. Blake & I made the two hour drive to the coastal town of Morro Bay. The fabulous Mrs. Blake was interested in walking the beach, watching the waves while keeping an eye out for interesting and intact sea shells. Meanwhile, I headed inland a few miles to the local rifle range, which so happens to have a long distance portion that stretches out to about 1400 yards, so I could put a few rounds downrange with my K31.

blake 2 122720 k31andammo scaled.jpg

I am unable to shoot my K31 at the local range, due to ammunition restrictions. The only ammo I have for my K31 is, horror, GP11, which is nickel plated and draws a magnet. Never mind it's a solid lead core, with a nickel jacket. It draws a magnet, and, it's much easier for ranges to say, "draws a magnet, do not use," over, say, "it draws a magnet, however, you get an exception, and you get an exception," etc. (FYI: GP11 is pretty much match grade ammunition the Swiss made for use in the K31 battle rifle. One would wonder why such incredible ammunition is used in a battle rifle, until one shoots a K31. Then one no longer wonders)

Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I arrived at the range, set up, and, happily started ringing torso sized steel plates at 200 yards. As I was setting up, the RSO wandered over and offered to spot for me, as it was a slow day. He also likes the old battle rifles, which might have had something to do with his offer.

blake 1 122720 scaled.jpg

I said, "cool" give me a hand as me move further down range? He said he would, grabbed his binoculars and I started tuning up by shooting at the steel target 400 yards out. We got that dialed in and slowly worked our way to hitting steel at 800 yards. I tried 900, but, with the original iron sights, I just couldn't pull off a hit.

Before anyone oohs and aahs, the size steel at those distances is a 3'x 4'. Still, though, I was happy with the performance of the rifle, and ammo.

After that, I pulled out the Garand and plinked at the torso sized targets at 200 yards. I moved to a smaller target and was having a bit of trouble, until I realized I was jerking the trigger rather than letting the trigger surprise me when it broke. (it's always something) After I got rid of that, torso and half size torso targets were giving a satisfying "whump" after getting hit.

Also,there were a couple of young men shooting just over from me, and, as soon as they spotted the Garand, they asked after it. I asked them if they wanted to shoot it, they both said "yes" and they both had a great time running a couple of clips through the rifle.

By the way, as I was working with the RSO, we were joking that we could have made a sandwich between pulling the trigger and waiting for the sound of the round hitting the target at 800 yards.

Overall, a very satisfying day at the range!

Side note: Last time I try to shoot those kinds of distances without a spotter!

Nice job, Blake! Anything much past 600 yds with iron sights is an accomplishment, and you were able to introduce a couple of guys to the M1, too. I look forward to spotting for you some day!


Don't know about you guys but I think this guy's lawn looks sort of ratty.


Anyone use Key Bank? The comments at the end attributed to the bank's "spokesperson" sounds a little like horse doody to me.



I'm really very seriously not kidding around anymore. Buy Ammo
AmmoSeek - online ammo search tool
GunBot - online ammo search tool
SG Ammo
Palmetto State Armory
Georgia Arms
Target Sports USA

***Mail Bag***

Our pal Neon Madman follows up on the diagnostic shooting target from a couple of weeks ago with this simplified version:

NMM 122720 Shooting Correction Chart scaled.jpg


Please note the new and improved gmail account morongunthread at gmail dot com. An informal Gun Thread archive can be found HERE. If you have a question you would like to ask Gun Thread Staff offline, just send us a note and we'll do our best to answer. If you care to share the story of your favorite firearm, send a picture with your nic and tell us what you sadly lost in the tragic canoe accident. If you would like to remain completely anonymous, just say so. Lurkers are always welcome!

That's it for this week - have you been to the range?

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