Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hot damn, found some cheap 9mm ammo!

Like a lot of gun enthusiasts, I stop in at Walmart when I get a chance because they have pretty good prices on ammo when you can find it.

My local Walmart (located in a "less than savory" part of town) usually has 40 S&W Winchester White Box, but hardly ever any 9mm, it being more popular with the "yo, stick a cap in it" crowd. Yesterday I stopped in and it was typical: several boxes of 40 S&W and other calibers (38spl, lots of rifle calibers), but no 9mm on the shelves.

Then I noticed that tucked in back of the lowest shelf behind some shotgun shells were a couple of plain cardboard boxes (20 box cases) which I can see part the description: 9mm Federal.

Luckily there was a salesguy nearby, and I asked him for a price check. He said he was stunned to see 9mm in stock and didn't even know it was there himself. He gets 4-5 calls *each morning* asking whats in stock.

Then he checked the price, and it came up at $9.47 a box!

I grabbed the 6 he would sell me and asked about more: "6 boxes per day is the limit I can sell you."

I also noticed that he didn't put the remaining 14 boxes back in the display case, but took it in the back room when he'd rung me up. Uh huh. I guess he was buying it himself or selling to a friend.

I deposited the ammo in the car and went back inside, and the same guy was around. I hung out until he was busy and checked the display case -- sure enough, there was another case! Another salesguy happened to show up (I'm almost as stunned to find salespeople willing to help in Walmart as I was to find cheap ammo!) and I got him to sell me another 6 boxes.

This morning I stopped in and got another 6 boxes from the first guy, and he again took the partial case (only 8 boxes left in this one) in the back. He noticed my glance and said "Oh, I need to inventory it."

Uh huh.

So 900 rounds of good 9mm FMJ for $185 - not bad for having to brave Walmart. :)

I may have to leave early today from work!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mini Review: Zombie Targets

A good friend gave me a set of Zombie Shooting Targets for Christmas that I've been using for the last couple of times I've gone shooting.

They are fun and great gift (one of the best shooting gifts I've received, really funny!), but for any "serious" shooting, they have some issues. The biggest is because they are a lot of black and gray printing on white paper, it can be difficult to see where you're hitting when hung at the range.

At 30ft:

It can be pretty hard to see what you've hit, especially on this specific version ("Zombie Chuck"). When close up its no problem, however. Here is the same target at 3ft:

And lastly the target at the counter, or "too late" range for a zombie. :)

So, to wrap it up, they are fun targets and worth buying some as a present or joke. If you're hosing down the target with a GSG-5 or something like that, or are just having a day blowing off steam or getting used to a new boomstick, there are totally worth it.

But if you're seriously trying to work on grouping, trigger control, and/or shot placement, they aren't that great.

I'll happily use the rest of the them for fun, then go back to my green torso silhouettes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Review: Cannon Safe EX20 (sold exclusively by CostCo)

Recently, CostCo had a $779 gun safe onsale for $200 off, with free curbside delivery. Fire rating is 30 minutes, UL and Residential Security Container listed (a must have), Type 1 electronic lock (made by S&G), weighs 420 pounds, and is 60"H x 28" W x 21" D. It also includes a power passthrough, so you have power inside the safe for a humidifier, lighting, or whatever.

It was identified as a Cannon EX20 14-gun safe, a model that appears to be exclusive to CostCo, as Cannon Safe's website had no such model. On inspection and based on the sticker on the door,  I'm guessing this is an older model Patriot safe, with corners cut for CostCo. On the door there is a sticker that lists it as a "Series P1".

Delivery arrangement was easy. CostCo emails you to let you know the order was sent to fulfillment, and Cannon them emails you to arrange delivery. It took a couple of weeks.

Cannon makes it crystal clear this is *curbside* delivery only, but the driver didn't even blink when I asked him to put it under my carport in the backyard (I have an RV gate and its concrete the entire way).

The exterior is flat black, with a glossy knockdown splatter over it, like the common texture on drywall, and was made in Mexico according to the sticker on the back.

The power passthrough (cable included, but its just a regular computer power cable) is in the back.

The interior is *very* basic, I'd even say its the absolute minimum possible. The interior walls are drywall (which provides the 30 minute fire protection) covered by very thin fabric, and the shelves and dividers are 3/8" pressboard.

I took the shelves out so I could add some rope lighting along the inside edge and it was obvious that construction was the most basic available.

The safe has 4 holes in the bottom for drilling into the floor, but one of the holes in mine is offset between the hole drilled in the drywall bottom and the actual hole in the safe that it'd be a pain to tighten a bolt into it. It was a pain to unbolt the safe from the pallet. Typical of the low-end "quality" of the safe.

The safe holds a decent amount of guns, and I'm pleased at the price I paid.

Overall impressions are you get what you pay for. If you're looking for a safe that is reasonably priced (close to cheap, IMHO) and does an acceptable job as a theft deterent, this isn't a bad choice.

As a side note on lighting...I bought a 12' LED rope lighting strand at Christmas for $8, and hot glued it into the safe around the inside edge every 8-10", which left plenty of slack to plug it into the internal outlet. It works FANTASTICALLY and really lights up the safe. Totally worth the minor glue gun burns!

Update: After several months, the hot glue holding the LED lights in lost its grip and I found the lights lying in bottom. I re-glued using GOOP glue (available at any hardware store) and its working like a champ...I also found that the largest of my plastic woodworking clamps (like these: Just Clamps) work great for securing the drying glue.

Next up is to figure out some automated on/off switch...