Dec 21

2011 Open Gun Build

It’s that time again.  Today I started with Craig on my 2011 open build.  As usual I started out with a design in my head and then several cuts into it the creative juices took over.  I really like the way the slide turned out, so without further ado here is the start of my new gun…

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Dec 15

WARNING: Please check your candy for *rogue* M&M’s!

Hi!  It’s Mrs. TriggerMeister… and you thought I was all a figment of his imagination!  Ha!

I want to tell you a story about how I was trying to get him a very cool, personalized Christmas gift that he could share with others…

It just so happens I was cruising through my emails when one from Groupon shows up.  This particular offering had a coupon for MyMMs.com – you know… that place that makes M&M’s, only now they can personalize them for you?  BUY, BUY, BUY!  I had a stroke of brilliance when I figured I could make him his very own TriggerMeister branded M&M’s!!!!  Perfect!

I was so excited to pick out the colors (a very pretty gray and two shades of blue), and choose just the right things to have printed on his candy.  I needed to find a picture of his race gun in final form.  What better way to do that than to just get it and take a picture of it myself?  I have to tell you – try getting close to his guns without telling him why.  This is no easy feat!  I had to have back-up, which took the form of my giggling 10-year-old.  (Word to the wise: never take her on a covert mission – her giggles will give you away every time!)  Finally prepared, I sent a picture of his race gun (carefully and meticulously traced out to a white background), a picture of a .45 cal hollow point (post firing), and the word “TriggerMeister”.

Rob STI Final cutout XD45

I submitted my order on November 24th and voila!  My one pound of severely overpriced M&M’s were under construction!  Or so I thought…

It seems that M&M’s detected an issue with one of my images – and sent me this URGENT email on November 25th:

We wanted to thank you for your recent order (0011846360) of personalized MY M&M’S® and we are very excited to assist you in creating the perfect experience.We want to confirm that we have received your order; however the following image and/or text included with your order cannot be used:
 
Image Reference # Issue with Image
W32538158 Image and/or text cannot be printed on M&M’s items
 
Some additional reasons why an image or text may not be printable are:

  • Too dark/Shadows on the face.
  • Too bright.
  • Too blurry.
  • There are too many faces (a maximum of two per image).
  • The image and/or text didn’t upload into our system correctly.
  • The image is too small/low resolution.
  • The image and/or text is Trademarked/Copyrighted.

To ensure that we meet your delivery date expectations, please click here to use our image upload tool, in order to replace this image at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Your friends at MYM&M’S®

While I was disappointed that they didn’t like the picture of the race gun, I had done quite a bit of work to the picture on MSPaint, so I was concerned that maybe I messed it up too much.  I selected and immediately sent another photo – a gorgeous shot of TriggerMeister’s 8 point buck with his AR-15 laying across its shoulder.  I thought that, surely, the issue was resolved.

Rob deer and AR

That very same day, they replied with the exact same URGENT email as above.  Well, I presumed that the issue was no longer about the picture quality, but rather the picture content that was the problem.  However, having no further information on the exact nature of the issue, I went in search of another picture that would appropriately reflect the nature of the TriggerMeister.  After poring through hundreds of pictures, I chose one of him in shooting stance at the range.  I was very curious to see what would come of my most recent submission.

Rob shooting pose small

I heard nothing.

Satisfied they were finally done messing around and printing my order, I shoved it to the back of my mind and carried on with life.

But no candy ever came.

An email did… on December 7th  – a mere 12 days after submitting my last picture.

Dear Valued Customer,

We wanted to thank you for your interest in personalized Faces MY M&M’S® Chocolate Candies and we are very excited to assist you in creating the perfect experience.

We want to confirm that we have received your order, however; the image you submitted is unable to be printed on M&M’s® candy. It is our policy not to print guns on our My M&M’s® Brand candies as it may be viewed as offensive and may not represent the fun and whimsical nature of our brand.  We hope that you will respect our decision to ensure that our products will continue to be a colorful, light-hearted addition to family celebrations which is one of the goals of My M&Ms Brand.

The best type of image to send is a straight-on, close-up, high-resolution shot of the entire face, head, and hair in front of a contrasting background.  The image should be clear and the face should be the focus and most prevalent part of the image you provide.  The maximum number of faces we can print on a single M&M® is 3, if positioned cheek-to-cheek.  We suggest sending photos taken on a digital camera, if at all possible, as they most often yield a much larger and clearer image.

We will gladly modify your order with a new image(s).  Please reply to this email with your new image(s) attached as one of the following file types: .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, or .bmp.  In the body of the email please include your order number and the contact number at which we can reach you if further information is required.  If we do not hear from you within 2 business days we will need to remove your order from our systems, effectively canceling it, at no cost to you.

Please note the processing and shipment of personalized orders varies based upon our print shop’s order volume. Your order has been held for review or modifications that may delay your orders shipment.  If this means that you may not receive your order in time for your event and you will not need it after that date please contact customer care at 1.888.696.6788 or reply to this e-mail (customerservice@mymms.com) to discuss what options may be open to you.  We are available from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST Monday through Friday.

Please have your order number and billing address available.

Sincerely, 

 Your friends at MY M&M’S® Chocolate Candies\ Katie

On Sunday, December 8th, after 24 hours and not quite yet deciding on how I’m going to proceed, I get ANOTHER email:

Dear “Mrs. TriggerMeister”,We are emailing again to ensure we can deliver your order on your expected date. This communication is in reference to your recent order (0011846360) of personalized MY M&M’S® Chocolates.Our team has attempted to contact you. If we do not hear from you within the next business day we will assume you are no longer interested in receiving your order. We will then cancel your order and since the order was not shipped, no charges will be applied to your account.
 
Image Reference # Issue with Image
W32538158 Image and/or text cannot be printed on M&M’s items
 
Some additional reasons why an image may not be printable are:

  • Too dark/Shadows on the face.
  • Too bright.
  • Too blurry.
  • There are too many faces (a maximum of two per image).
  • The image or text didn’t upload into our system correctly.
  • The image is too small/low resolution.
  • The image is Trademarked/Copyrighted.

Please call our team at your earliest convienience at 1.888.696.6788 in order to correct your images or text to ensure we meet your estimated delivery date.

We are available from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Easter Standard Time – Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,

Your friends at MYM&M’S®

Being completely offended that they hated guns and had missed every expected delivery date thus far, I tried to plead my case.  After all, anyone who knows the TriggerMeister knows that his passion is guns.  It IS what makes him happy.  So, I responded with this:

I can appreciate your stance.  I suppose if you didn’t understand the spirit of the American shooting sportsman, you might be apprehensive to print guns on candy.  I supposed you likely don’t print baseball bats, footballs, or tennis rackets, either?  

There isn’t just a gun in the last picture I sent to you.  You see a man in a pose on a practice range preparing for a competition.  I assume what you see in his hand may appear to be just a gun to you, but it is a practice tool to hone his craft.  This IS his passion.  This IS what brings him ultimate joy in his life – as his wife, I can assure you he is happiest when pursuing this hobby.  Had you been more clear on the first two attempts as to WHY the pictures were being rejected, it might have sped this whole process along.  The last communication I sent to you was on NOVEMBER 25th, 2013 when I submitted the THIRD picture for processing.  Now, THIRTEEN days later, I am told it still isn’t good enough.  This isn’t for public distribution – this is for his pleasure.  

I am extremely dismayed at your process for handling this issue. Excessive delays and 24 hours to respond to the issue or my order is cancelled… I was told to call during business hours… MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY… I had 24 hours, and you sent me an email on Saturday and Sunday.  It would make it utterly impossible to respond within your timeframe.  

I am now out the cost of the Groupon that I had purchased to make this a reality, and I’m left without a product.  This was supposed to be his Christmas present.  Either use the pose picture I sent, or figure out how to refund my Groupon cost.  Beyond that, I am stuck.

 Awaiting your reply.   

I don’t think they liked that response.  They came back with this, most of which you’ve already read… but tailored ever so slightly to address my specific concerns:

Dear Valued Customer,

We wanted to thank you for your interest in personalized Faces MY M&M’S® Chocolate Candies and we are very excited to assist you in creating the perfect experience.

We want to confirm that we have received your order, however; the image you submitted is unable to be printed on M&M’s® candy. It is our policy not to print guns or any likeness of guns on our My M&M’s® Brand candies as it may be viewed as offensive and may not represent the fun and whimsical nature of our brand.  Please understand, a rouge M&M could get into a child’s order, and this is not acceptable.  We hope that you will respect our decision to ensure that our products will continue to be a colorful, light-hearted addition to family celebrations which is one of the goals of My M&Ms Brand.

The best type of image to send is a straight-on, close-up, high-resolution shot of the entire face, head, and hair in front of a contrasting background.  The image should be clear and the face should be the focus and most prevalent part of the image you provide.  The maximum number of faces we can print on a single M&M® is 3, if positioned cheek-to-cheek.  We suggest sending photos taken on a digital camera, if at all possible, as they most often yield a much larger and clearer image.

We will gladly modify your order with a new image(s).  Please reply to this email with your new image(s) attached as one of the following file types: .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, or .bmp.  In the body of the email please include your order number and the contact number at which we can reach you if further information is required.  If we do not hear from you within 2 business days we will need to remove your order from our systems, effectively canceling it, at no cost to you.

Please note the processing and shipment of personalized orders varies based upon our print shop’s order volume. Your order has been held for review or modifications that may delay your orders shipment.  If this means that you may not receive your order in time for your event and you will not need it after that date please contact customer care at 1.888.696.6788 or reply to this e-mail (customerservice@mymms.com) to discuss what options may be open to you.  We are available from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST Monday through Friday.

Also, to better assist you, if you wish a refund for your gift certificate, you will need to contact Groupon.

Please have your order number and billing address available.

Sincerely, 

Your friends at MY M&M’S® Chocolate Candies\ Lance

Despite their claims to the contrary, I’m really starting to think these people really aren’t my friends! Desperate, I make one final gesture toward resolution.  No guns.  I give.  But I did find an old picture of a target that TriggerMeister had shot.  I cut out around the circle target, and send that in with the following instructions:

target

This is my last and final attempt.  Use this picture or cancel the order.  I expect full details on processing and delivery times.  

Are any of us surprised by how this ends?

My dear friends at Mars/M&M’s sent me one final kiss-off:

Dear Valued Customer,

 Thank you for your email.  We appreciate your interest in MY M&M’S® Chocolate Candies and will be happy to assist you with your inquiry.

 We would like to confirm that we have received and processed your request to cancel your order.  We are sorry to hear that you are cancelling your order and hope we will have an opportunity to make your next event more special with personalized MY M&M’s® Chocolate Candies.

 Since your order has not shipped, you will not see any charge to your account.  Please use your order number as your cancellation confirmation. Please feel free to reply to this email (customerservice@mymms.com) or contact customer care at 1.888.696.6788 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 EST Monday through Friday if you have any questions or concerns. 

 Please have your order number and billing address available.

Sincerely, 

Your friends at MY M&M’S® Chocolate Candies\ Alexsaya

Though I complied with their request and did not send them a picture of a gun, they still remained unwilling to print my candy.  They didn’t want to interfere in the whimsical nature of their candy and want to bring joy to the masses.  I’m not sure how ONE pound of chocolate candies was going to change the world’s perception of that.  However, I know they have to draw a line.  I understand their right to print or not print whatever they choose on their candies – it is their company.  I just need to exercise my right to not support companies that don’t believe in the freedoms of Americans.  I’m really going to miss those M&M’s….

Happy Shooting,

Mrs. TriggerMeister

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment
Nov 26

Sarco 1911 Parts Kit with Barrel review

I was looking into building a 2011 on the cheap and in my hunt for parts I found this Sarco kit that often gets negative reviews. In fact for all the bad reviews I found, I only found one positive one on Youtube. Surprisingly, these kits are hardly ever in stock and so when I checked their website and it said “available” I whipped out my credit card to try this kit out myself.

Here is a picture of some of the parts:

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The negative:

  • All they parts have seams, either from stamping them out or from casting.
  • The finish is good but does not look very durable (some type of paint)

The positive:

  • THE KIT IS ONLY $135!
  • You get everything you need except a frame and slide
  • All the parts can be cleaned up and blued
  • Spoiler alert!  If you know how to fit a barrel and give it the right lock up it has a PHENOMENAL accuracy! I KID YOU NOT!

To test the kit without buying a new frame and slide, I used my Colt Gold Cup frame, and a 1911 A1 slide.  The reason I could not use the Gold Cup slide was because the hood of the Sarco barrel was wider, but luckily I was able to get the A1 slide from Craig and it fit the Gold Cup lower.

Enough of all the boring stuff.  I have to say, I was impressed by this $135 kit.  I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the barrel and slide combo that I used.  The barrel needed minor fitting and had good lockup. I didn’t have my pistol rest with me and I shot a target at 7 yrds, 7 times.  Besides pulling 2 shots the rest of them were all touching.  I didn’t have the extractor tuned properly and did have a couple jams. YES, I prefer titanium internals and a low mass hammer, but the Sarco kit is usable and can be tuned, it’s just a function of time and know-how.  Anyway, enough of the chitchat here is my video review:

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Nov 25

S&W 625 Moon Clip Loader / De-Mooner

Here is how to make a inexpensive Smith and Wesson 625 Mooner / Demooner.  As noted in the video, this is a update, so it shows an enhancement to the one I made previously.
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 Items needed:

  • 1/2″ ID brass tube
  • Small screw and nut
  • Soldering iron or torch
  • Solder
  • Pipe cutter, dremel, file (something to cut the pipe with).

Benefits:

  • Tube holds all the brass in the tube when de-mooning and one can quickly dump them into a bag.
  • Holds the round in place for quick loading of the moon clips
  • Provides extra leverage and is faster than the other low cost tools.

Posted in Reloading Tips & Suggestions | Leave a comment
Nov 16

My new hunting rifle: AR15 in 7.62×39 (Part 3)

First off, the AR15 is the best hunting rifle I’ve used for the area I hunt in — a swamp with dense vegetation and islands of trees.  Navigating through the swamp is difficult and lugging a heavy Remington 7400 or a Browning BAR around becomes a chore — even when slung over the shoulder.  The length of the traditional hunting rifle becomes a drawback in this environment.  I can’t even count the times I’ve been accidentally flagged by the muzzle of a fellow hunter when climbing through brush.  The short AR is much less likely to get caught on overhanging branches.

Let me illustrate the weight benefit. I went on a 3 hour still-hunt (only moving very slowly from area to area) and the AR was always in hand vs. slung over the shoulder.  The benefit is that there is very little movement required to aim the rifle and therefore there is less movement that could be detected.  I could never do this with one of my other non-AR rifles.

Also, mag changes are very simple and very quick.  If you already jumped to the conclusion that I’m just taking pot shots at deer, this is not what I was referring to. I like all my shots well placed and I like to have my rifle at the ready, fully loaded, should it be needed.  In USPSA we do this all the time, reload before you run out, so why not do it in a hunting environment?  The mags I am using are plugged to 4 rounds and I carry one in the chamber, so every round counts.

Below is the first deer I shot with my AR.  After taking a difficult shot between several trees, I lost sight of the buck.  As it turns out, the single bullet dropped the buck on the spot and he fell into a depression in the ground out of my sight.  After a couple of minutes, and not detecting movement, I did a tactical reload before approaching the deer. I wanted to ensure that I had a fully loaded rifle should I need it.  This is something I would have never attempted with one of my other rifles as the mag changes are much more involved.  In the end, the first bullet was enough to drop the deer on the spot.

On to the ammunition,  I was using PRVI PARTIZAN ammunition:

Article
Caliber
Bullet
Type
Bullet
Weight[gr]
Bullet
Weight[g]
Vellocity
[m/s]
Energy
[J]
Barrel
Lenght[mm]
A-030
7.62 x 39
SP RN
123
8
750
2250
610

This ammunition seems to be very well made.  I’ve not experienced any reliablity issues with it.  However, in the AR, the M4 cuts will cut the soft tipped lead bullet.  While hunting, there are many times when you may need to load and unload your rifle without firing it, so I would recommend dropping the first round in the chamber to avoid distortion of the bullet by the M4 cuts.

Last but not least, some pics of my harvest!

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Posted in Modern Hunting Firearms | Leave a comment