Fortis Switch Handguard

So, yeah I’ve taken a look at Fortis in the past. I always thought their stuff was kind of “novelty gear”. So when I had a customer request a Fortis handguard be put on his Broadsword I was a little skeptical. Customer’s always right…except when their wrong…right?

So this handguard comes in. It was about the same cost as the Apex and more than I expected it to be. I take a look at this thing before ordering it and we’re talking about a keymod handguard with an integral top rail. To be honest that’s all most Broadsword customer’s want, anyway. So I was still okay with it so far.

The thing that got me about the Fortis Switch was the locking system. This thing comes with it’s own barrel nut designed to go with only this handguard. Okay, no biggie because they all do the proprietary thing. The pucker factor came from the fact that this thing basically has a quick release lever holding the handguard to the barrel nut. (pauses till the old horror movie shrieks subside) Okay, skip to the completed installation. I tweak and pull on this quick release handguard and the thing doesn’t move. No….I said did NOT move. This stupid thing was on there rock solid. I look down at the monstrosity I have just created and voice my approval with my best evil laugh.

Though I admit that I haven’t taken this handguard through and extensive rifle course or anything. I did, however, pound it with a rubber mallet and was  pleasantly surprised to find out that this thing is on there rock solid. I’m impressed. Impressing me isn’t an easy thing to do. So I have to tip my had to Fortis for a quality piece of engineering and offer the Gundoc Seal of Approval.

gundoc_soa

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Breaking Industry News

Beretta USA has made the announcement that they are moving all manufacturing out of Maryland. This has been a while in coming and my contacts inside Beretta have kept me in the loop during their decision process.

Apparently this does not include any of the office staff which means they will retain a Maryland presence despite the change in firearm laws there.

A couple of observations:
1. Bet Maryland is lamenting the loss of tax revenue now. The sheer volume of money a company like Beretta brings into a community is staggering.
2. Come on Beretta…why leave the office folks behind? That’s kind of a cheap shot.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gear

Rossi 92

I recently had a Rossi 92 in the shop for a Slipstream treatment and action job. On first inspection it looks good. I was shocked to find that the stocks were actually finished properly. Pores filled and beautifully smooth. Then I got on the inside of the rifle….

This thing is NOT a Win92 on the inside. Sure they kept to some of the same principles. The lever is still held in a similar fashion. The bolt has been re-engineered and I’m not a fan. Trigger was still simple. I like simple. Simple firearm mechanisms mean there is less to go wrong.

The action was pretty rough to start out with. Now, some of the issues I’ll go into were on the original 92 as well so don’t take them as horrible factors.

1. Sharp edges. Everything was machined and then left with the razor blade corners. That goes for parts as well as the frame. It took longer than I thought to go through and round out ever edge on every part.

2. I like to see a company polish out the tool marks on surfaces that can’t be normally seen. That wasn’t the case here. With modern manufacturing practices the only excuse for this is a cost cutter. For me I see them taking less pride in their product.

3. If it ain’t broke…DON’T FIX IT. Some of the falling away from the original blueprints wasn’t needed. I’m sure it’s been long enough that you don’t have patent restrictions. Get rid of that ridiculous firing pin safety. The mechanism is so small that I would fear that it wouldn’t work in the first place. There was nothing wrong with the 92’s design. Don’t try to fix it if you don’t have to.

Anyway, final opinion….I hope the customer enjoys his rifle. I’ll make sure I personally stay away from Rossi though.

3 Comments

Filed under Reviews

“…they will see the streets are guarded by UNITED STATES MARINES.”

“If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes, they will see the streets are guarded by United States Marines.” The last line of the Marine Corps Hymn may mean nothing to an outsider. However, if you have stepped foot on those yellow footprints…it’s meaning is endless.

I usually don’t disagree with my buddy the Mad Ogre but I have to part company on one point. I have heard him on more than one occasion mention that the Marines should be absorbed into the Army Rangers. That’s all a Marine is…right? Just another Ranger level soldier? George isn’t alone. We’ve had presidents want to disband the Corps. So he’s in good company.

Let’s take a closer look at what a Marine is. A Marine is so much more than another warrior in uniform. You’ll notice that a Marine doesn’t wear a flag on his uniform. He doesn’t need to. You see, only a Marine is allowed to be on the Presidential Detail. Only a Marine is allowed to guard Camp David. Go to any US Embassy and you will find Marines guarding it. A Marine doesn’t need to have a flag on his uniform to represent America. A Marines is HIS OWN symbol of America. You go anywhere in the world and civilians meet a Marine in uniform with a certain reverence. The same reverence that you would expect at a flag ceremony. A Marine is a walking, talking American banner for all to see. So you strip away the Corps you strip away part of what makes America great.

A Marine is more than the man. A Marine is a symbol of why America has lasted long enough to fight and win two world wars. He symbolizes the greatness of the country he fights for. It’s one of the first lessons in boot camp. You are more than yourself. People see you they see your entire family, your unit, your Corps, your country. From the time you step on those yellow foot prints you are more than you ever were before.

So, do we just throw away a symbol that has been looked on with awe since 1775? Do we toss out the reverence given the Devil Dogs name earned in WWI? How about the national symbol of Marines and Sailors raising the flag on Mt Suribochi? Do we just absorb that and call them Rangers or do we show a little goll damned respect? Sure the Army has their own heroes. Their own men that will forever be remembered. Not one of them will ever be a United States Marine. Even the name alone exudes power and respect. Every country has an army. A few even have their own Marines but there is only one UNITED STATES MARINE CORP.

7 Comments

Filed under Because Gundoc Says so

Kydex Holsters

So I have some general observations on Kydex holsters and then I’ll get into some pictures and stuff you can actually buy at a discount.

I really like Kydex as a material. It’s tough, it is easily molded, and can be made into a comfortable holster. I love the fact that you can get it in more colors and patterns all the time, too. Heck, if you want…Cerakote it so it has a unique look that speaks to you. It’s great stuff.

I’ve had a few by Concealment Solutions and let me start out by saying that Jason (owner of CS) does a fantastic job on Kydex holsters. Everyone I’ve had has been leather backed and pretty comfortable. They have concealed well and I recommend Concealment Solutions highly. There is one thing that I would do differently on a hybred holster. I prefer belt loops. Oh, wait….Crossbreed does that…but let’s face it, they don’t let anyone else do it. I would much rather thread my belt through a metal belt loop than to have the spring clips. Yes, I know that the clips are there to make it easier to remove without taking my belt off. I still don’t like clips (although maybe we’ve found those “assault clips” we’ve all been hearing about). Even still…I want belt loops. I think they’re more secure and I don’t intend to take the holster off until I’m damn well ready to do so anyway. So the ease of the spring clips are a non issue for me.

I understand the concept and ease of manufacture of some total Kydex holsters. I really think we can do something with the look of them other than mimicking a shovel. I know they are made to protect the muzzle (which I prefer in a holster) as well as wrap around the hip. I get that. I really do and appreciate the amount of thought it takes to develop that design and would absolutely have one for my winter OWB carry. They are still butt ugly…just say’n.

So, for anyone out there with the creativity to tackle this problem, please take the inginuity that designed this holster and make it look better because this thing needs some help.

Okay…Kydex…I love a company willing to lube up the wheels in their head and come up with something new and exciting. I’ve talked about these before but I really want to get the word about these. I know my readers use web gear. You have a battle belt or a plate carrier that needs to be populated with only gear that you can rely on in a pinch. So knowing that I want to bring you info about what I’ve found that is blowing my mind. That is the MOLLE-LINK holster. I can’t say enough about these. Molding is exquisite. It fits my Glock perfectly and keeps it more secure than I was expecting. I like a holster that I have to make a conscience decision to unholster my sidearm. I hate a holster that my gun slops around in or I try to move quickly and the pistol bounces in the holster. I hate that with a passion. I don’t have to worry about that with the MOLLE-LINK.

This holster doesn’t require some bulky piece of hardware to cling to the webbing that the holster will then attach to. This is such a simple process that it’s brilliant. Seriously, why didn’t I think of this? This holster connects directly to the webbing so well that I have zero worry about my pistol moving around or ending up damaged when “moving and grooving”.

Now don’t think that you backup has been forgotten about. These actually come in a smaller package perfect for backup sized pistols. Same great tech, came rock solid fit, same awesome quality.

Anyway, I want to get to posting pictures of this holster. I can type my fingers off but once you look at it you will see for yourself and that means more than anything I can type. As a parting shot, get your MOLLE-LINK though Crusader Weaponry and receive an exclusive 10% off code. Buy yours through Crusader and save, it’s a beautiful thing.

 

 photo mollelink12_zps02e1bed5.jpg

 photo mollelink13_zps23fac183.jpg

 photo mollelink10_zps41326b9e.jpg

 photo mollelink08_zpse2424701.jpg

 photo mollelink03_zpsa3b46404.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Because Gundoc Says so, Gear

Marketing in the Firearms Industry

Marketing in the firearm industry is a tricky subject for many reasons. This is mainly due to our audience. We are trying to reach largely made up of men with an increasing female interest. How do we reach both markets with one add? It may not be possible. Let’s take a look at the two markets.

Women are showing more and more interest in a male dominated industry. Don’t believe that us guys have had control over the market? Take a look at any shotgun that will fit women. They are all labeled “youth”. Okay, that is primarily because our smaller framed counterparts are more prone to fit weapons made to fit an early teen boy that needs a shorter buttstock.

Even I’ve been known to let the pink flow. This one was raffled off for breast cancer research.

Some of the attempts have been to put pink camo stocks on a youth model. Is this good marketing or just fueling a stereotype? Does it scream “girl gun” because we put pink on the same youth model? It’s hard to say. We in no way want to offend women trying to get into shooting. We love the fact that they are wanting to join us on the firing line. So how do we approach women with a firearm that will fit them and do so without patronizing? I really don’t have an answer for you yet. I’m working on it though. So, ladies, stand by for more for you from Crusader.

Guys, for a long time it took very little actual marketing to get us to buy guns. You went to your dad’s closet, saw what brand he shoots (and what rifle we grew up hunting with) and ordered one out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog. As long as you made a decent rifle people kept coming back.

Then there is always the group that you throw a calendar full of scantily clad women holding rifles that made even the size of their bulging breasts look small and we were ready to buy. I’m not quite sure how that method works. Are they trying to say that if we buy their rifle we look like “brick house” chick in a bikini or that we will be able to get women that look like the picture if we buy that rifle? Either way who doesn’t like a busty women, right?

We’ve come a long way when it comes to firearm marketing but it’s still a tough process. When it comes to marketing to men…it’s probably more difficult that marketing to women. Why? Because we have very short attention spans and that’s not a bad thing. What may get us throw our credit cards and first born children at the gun shop clerk one day (while yelling “TAKE MY MONEY”) may not have the same reaction even later that day. Sure we do our homework but let’s face it, we are a very visually stimulated animal. So how do you come up with a marketing champagne that will keep men’s attention every day? I still haven’t figured that one out, guys, so if you know how to do this….please let me know.

Women I think is the easiest market to take advantage of and the one that has seen the least amount of effort given to it. Sure there is a portion of the market that if you throw pink on it somewhere then you are their hero. Then there are the ones that see that as playing to a negative stereotype. Take my twelve year old daughter, for instance. I have offered to do some pink camo for her and been informed that it would completely insult her because that camo won’t do her any good out hunting. We have a segment of the female market that takes their firearms as seriously as we do guys. Not taking advantage of that has us loosing sales.

I think catering to the female market is fairly easy. Consider who we’re marketing to. Many of them are smaller framed and, though tough chicks, don’t usually prefer a long gun that gives her, her daily workout just to hold up long enough to run a stage at her local 3gun match. So, give her a lighter weight barrel, a light handguard, an adjustable stock, and the ability to run the optics that she desires and you have something that she will like. Only thing left is to name it. When you do, give it a name that makes her feel like she is every bit the warrior that you want men to feel like when buying a rifle. The same thing goes for any other firearm type you are trying to sell to the ladies.

Any way you look at it marketing is not for the faint at heart. One method may work for some while offending others. You try to dress up a gun to make one group happy and it’s a slap in the fact to others. All we can do is keep trying.

Leave a comment

Filed under Firearms, Pistols, Rifles, Shotgun

Adding More Content

I’m looking to add more content to Gundoc’s Doctrine. I’d like to start adding product reviews. There are a lot of sites doing that very thing out there. Mostly from a military/law enforcement/good-ol-boy perspective. The one thing I can bring that others can’t is the gunsmith perspective.

How well engineered is your trigger upgrade? How installer friendly is your scope mount? Can your optic pass the gunsmith smell test.

Yeah, others can do all of these things. They can mount your red dot on their rifle and go shoot the crap out of it. Some can even put it through a thorough long distance test to see just how accurate you can be with your optic. How many can do the same thing from a “how well is it made” perspective? How many can take a look at your new rifle trigger and compare it to the engineering of other brands to see where you have innovated?

That’s what I offer at Gundoc’s Doctrine. So if your company would like to have one, or multiple, products reviewed here’s what I offer you…an honest article. If your product sucks, I will be absolutely upfront about it. If your product is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen you may just get multiple write-ups because I just can’t shut up about it.

If you’d like your product reviewed please contact me at gundoc@crusaderweaponry.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Firearms