Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mossberg 500C 20 gauge Shotgun


Hello everyone, today I would like to talk about a great firearm made by Mossberg, the gun company that is famous for high-quality firearms, particularly their shotguns which are probably the most popular in the United States. A Mossberg Shotgun is a popular choice because of its high-quality and outstanding prices and because they are made in the U.S.A. The Shotgun I would like to discuss today is the Mossberg 500C 20 gauge shotgun, which I purchased earlier this year for $200.00 at a local pawnshop. Why a 20 gauge you might ask? Well the 20 gauge, while not as popular as the 12 gauge, is a great choice because of its mild recoil when compared to a 12 gauge. I want to start introducing my wife to shotgun shooting and a 20 gauge is great for beginners or people who are of smaller stature and want a shotgun that is more potent than a .410 gauge.

This shotgun is great for many purposes, this version is more suited for hunting and maybe some clay shooting, although to be quite honest, I am relatively new to shotgun shooting and most of my previous shotguns have been for home defense. This shotgun can be modified for home defense, in fact I am in the process of looking for a shorter barrel, and appropriate ammunition for that purpose. Right now, much of the Buckshot available for 20 gauge is #3, which is adequate for most defensive situations, however 00 is still the best choice. If you do some shopping around you can find 00 buck for this weapon, and keep in mind, this weapon handles 2 3/4 inch shells and 3 inch shells. As far as slugs are concerned, there are many slugs out there for 20 gauge and all are extremely effective, and have better stopping power than a 44 Magnum. Another option for this gun is to purchase a rifled barrel and/or attach a scope, all you need is a scope mount and a high quality scope. I believe that Hornady has begun making a new type of sabot slug which is far more effective than previous sabot slugs because of an improved trajectory which is based on the shape of the slug. With all of these options, if you are low on money, you can purchase this weapon and use it for hunting, sport shooting, and home defense. I will be doing another blog on the famous 12 gauge shotgun shortly.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ruger P95 9mm Handgun


I hope that everyone has found my previous article on the Ruger GP100 Handgun to be useful, today I will be discussing another great firearm from Ruger, that is the P95 Handgun. The P95is a double-action semi-automatic 9mm pistol. The P95 handgun is a great gun, it is incredibly reliable, affordable, accurate, and has a 15 round magazine capacity. My first experience with the Ruger P95 came shortly after I purchased one for a great price (I believe a little over $200.00 at the time) on AuctionArms.com. When the gun arrived I was excited, although the gun did not look as good as a Beretta, I can tell you, this gun was amazing, it was incredibly reliable and accurate, which are very important attributes to a handgun, and the $200.00 price tag was not bad at all. I remember I had a friend take aim at a bowling pin with this handgun, and he missed the target and said the gun was not accurate, I told him to let me take a shot at the same target from about 25 yards, and the first round hit the bowling pin and knocked it down, and I remember telling my friend sarcastically, "you mean this gun that I am shooting is not accurate"? Anyways, the gun IS in fact quite accurate.

So for a gun that I purchased for a ridiculous price, you might be wondering why is it so cheap? Well first of all, as you can see from the picture, the gun does not look that great to be honest, at least not as good as a Beretta 92 or a Kimber 1911 which in my opinion look amazing. My main complaint about the Ruger P95 is how wide the gun is, one person claimed that it was almost like holding a brick in your hand. Part of the reason for this is so that the gun will have extra room eject shells after firing, so that there is no jamming problem, and I guess it works, since I had never experience a single jam with this firearm. It is also important to note that there are several versions of this pistol, the picture above is the newest version which has an improved grip and a rail underneath the barrel to mount various accessories such as a light or laser. I have also heard that a group with the US Army had been issued P95 pistols instead of Beretta pistols, which seems somewhat unfair, but in actuality, the P95 is every bit as reliable as a Beretta, in fact it may even be more reliable than the Beretta 92. I have met several members of the military tell me that the Beretta is a great gun, but often times they are issued poor magazines. After hearing this, I think I would feel more comfortable carrying a Ruger P95 if my life was on the line, but it is definitely not the most stylish firearm out there. So if you are looking for a great gun, at a great price (probably much more than $200 these days), the Ruger P95 is a great deal. Although Ruger has just made their SR9 9mm pistol (Ruger's most advanced 9mm pistol in my opinion), which I will discuss in a later blog, the Ruger p95 is still a truly remarkable gun.



The width strains against the failing hate.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Ruger GP100 357 Magnum Revolver


I would like to tell everyone about a great handgun for people who are interested in home protection, target shooting, and just collecting, that is a 357 Magnum handgun. A 357 Magnum handgun is a great addition to anyone's collection since it serves so many purposes and it is definitely not lacking in terms of power. Just a quick note on the 357 magnum, nearly every 357 magnum revolver can also fire 38 special caliber as well. There are many different models of 357 Magnum handguns that you can find such as the Colt Python, Colt King Cobra, Smith and Wesson, RugerSP101, Ruger Gp100 and so on. While most of these handguns are revolvers, there are a few of them that are semi-automatic such as the Coonan 357 and the Desert Eagle 357. However, today I would like to discuss the Ruger GP100 357 Magnum, and why it is an excellent choice.

I would like to mention first that I personally owned one of these handguns a few years back and I have so many good things to say about this revolver. Why would one choose a Ruger GP100 over another 357 Magnum? First off, the reliability is awesome, while most revolvers are reliable, I can say that in my opinion the Ruger is a better choice than an Armscor, Rossi, or Taurus. Secondly the Ruger GP100 is a great value, you can purchase one anywhere from $300 and up, which is much cheaper than buying a Smith and Wesson, a Colt, and definitely cheaper than a Desert Eagle in 357. Another great reason to purchase a Ruger GP100 is all of the different versions of the revolver, you can choose from 3 inch barrel, 4 inch barrel, and 6 inch barrel, either stainless or blued steel, and just recently Ruger has been producing these revolvers in 327 caliber which is a new cartridge with speeds similar to the 357 but small enough to provide for 7 shots versus 6 shots of 357.

So why purchase a revolver over a semi-automatic? Well, the reliability is usually the main reason, but with today's semi-automatic pistols, this is usually not the case, with a few exceptions. Accuracy with a revolver is much better than with a semi-automatic, I remember one day at the range I was able to hit 6 rounds in the head of my paper target with a GP100 loaded with 38 Special ammunition from 25 yards, I can say that this is excellent accuracy. I had fired a 1911 45 ACP semi-automatic, and I was not able to produce the same results. Many people who do not like revolvers claim that they are slow to load, this is not true, there are many options to load a revolver quickly, but the best is to purchase an HKS Speedloader for your revolver, with a little practice, you can load your revolver quickly and easily. I would also like to mention that with many of these revolvers it is possible to mount a scope on them, which would be more appropriate for handgun hunting, but it is still an option. So again, anyone who is interested in a great revolver I highly recommend the GP100, it truly is an awesome handgun.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wrestling and Martial Arts


I hope that everyone has enjoyed my previous blog about Boxing, today I would like to talk about another American sport which has always been an alternative to traditional Eastern martial arts, this of course is Wrestling. In nearly every high school across the United States Wrestling is offered as a sport and an activity along with Football, Basketball, and so on. For years wrestling was seen as simply a sport and not necessarily a way of fighting or self defense, not until the Ultimate Fighting Championship began did people begin to notice how effective Wrestling could be for fighting. With fighters such as Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, to present day champions like Brock Lesnar, it is no evident that Wrestling is an essential skill for people serious about MMA and fighting/self-defense skills in general.

So what makes Wrestling so effective? Part of the reason is the conditioning involved, in my opinion there is no other sport that has more grueling conditioning than Wrestling. In High school we would run several miles a day, coupled with running stadiums, lifting weights, push-ups, sit ups, along with Wrestling drills and actually wrestling against other opponents. At present time, I feel that doing a Wrestling work out would be incredibly challenging. Another reason why wrestling is so effective are the techniques, a good Wrestler is a master of leg takedowns, which include the single leg, double leg, high-crotch, and fireman's carry to name just a few. On the ground, Wrestlers are able to turn over and pin people quite easily. When these tactics are taken into a real life situation, you can definitely see how a Wrestler has an advantage, they can take people down at will, and then use strikes that are not allowed in wrestling in order to win a fight. I have always said for years that if I had to fight a Varsity Wrestler or a Black Belt in Karate, I would rather fight the Black Belt in Karate, because a competent Wrestler would be quite scary to defend against. In reading this, please take note that I do not advocate fighting in the streets, my training, and my training tips and recommendations are given for people to defend themselves with in a situation that calls for such action.

In the end, I do not how I survived the training that I had underwent when I wrestled in high school, but I feel that the techniques and training I received was very beneficial to my current martial arts training. Wrestling game me an edge that I needed when I competed in Judo, since most Judo players legs were unprotected from takedowns, and often times Judo players who kept their chin down to avoid a choke hold were then vulnerable to a half nelson and pin. So where do you go to learn wrestling skills? Well currently most MMA schools have an instructor knowledgeable in wrestling, however, high schools remain the best place to receive such training, granted you receive permission from the coaches. A last resort would be to research books on the topic of wrestling, purchase a mat and practice those wrestling drills, for all you martial artists there, trust me the training and knowledge is worth it, regardless of the style you may currently practice.

Resident Evil for Playstation


Recently I discovered an awesome feature on my Playstation 3 system which is backwards compatibility, that allows me to play original PlayStation games on my Playstation 3 system. When I first purchased my PS3 I was told that I could not play PS2 or PS1 games, so I decided to try it anyways, and to my amazement I was able to play my old PS1 games but not my PS2 games. I am very happy about this discovery because I can now play many of my old PS1 games including Resident Evil. Many years back I remember when my dad bought me a Playstation video game system for Christmas with 2 games, Tekken 2, and Tomb Raider 2, and the following day I decided to rent Resident Evil and Contra:Legacy of War. At the time I knew very little about Resident Evil, but that started my interest in all things Resident Evil, and from the time I first played it until today, I have been an avid fan of this great series.

Resident Evil was created by Japanese game designer Shinji Mikami and was released by Capcom in 1996. The game itself was one of the first survival horror games to ever be released, your objective was not really to gun down as many zombies as possible but to do whatever you could to survive. Often times you find yourself incredibly low on ammo with more zombies than you can handle and you have to find a way to survive. It is during times like this that the game is quite suspenseful. You can play as either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine who are supposed to be members of a team called S.T.A.R.S which was sent on a rescue mission only to discover a mansion filled with zombies. As your mission continues you are able to find a variety of weapons, first you start with a knife or a Beretta 92 handgun and later you are able to acquire a Remington 870 Shotgun, a Colt Python 357 Magnum, a grenade launcher, and so on. Part of the thing that amazed me about this game is how realistic the gun effects are for example if you have a Remington 870 Shotgun and you shoot a zombie in the head at close range, well lets just say that the zombie will be splattered. I also think that part of my interest in firearms was due partly in fact to this game, but anyways, for those of you who want to play an awesome game that blends elements of horror films into a video game, you have to play this game. Please keep in mind that Resident Evil is not merely shooting zombies, but surviving, and also there is quite a bit of puzzle solving which can sometimes become tedious, but the overall experience is truly amazing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mosin Nagant Rifles


Hello everyone, I have decided to talk about a great rifle that I had recently made to my collection a few months back, that rifle is the Mosin Nagant model 1891/30. This particular version of the Mosin Nagant was made during World War II, the one I own was made in 1943 and is still functional. The round that this rifle fires is the 7.62 x 54 Russian which is quite powerful and is comparable to other high powered rifles such as the 30-06, 8mm Mauser, and so on. Although this rifle was originally produced in 1891, it was used by many military forces around the world and gained some notoriety in World War II due to the fact that the Soviets used these rifles with great effect, particularly snipers. The North Koreans also used this rifle in the Korean War, the Vietnamese used this rifle in the Vietnam war, and even in the present day war in Iraq this rifle has found its place on the battlefield. A few months back in a firearms magazine, they featured an article in which there was a picture of a Mosin Nagant modified with a silencer made of PVC pipe and fitted with a scope that was captured in Iraq off of the body of a dead sniper.

For gun enthusiasts and target shooters, the Mosin Nagant is a great weapon of choice, it is cheap, reliable, and the ammunition is both plentiful and cheap. If you want to fit a scope on this rifle, you have plenty of options, although I would say that it might be best to purchase a new more modern stock for it. I have been told however, that many of these rifles that are on the market today were not designed to accept a scope and putting a scope on these rifles would not be recommended although some gunsmiths might be willing to do the work. If you want a cheap sniper rifle, your best bet may be to purchase a Mosin Nagant already fitted with an original scope which is about $500, however, with that kind of money it would probably be better to purchase a Dragunov-like rifle such as the PSL (which I have been told has nothing to do with the Dragunov despite similar features). For those who want a super cheap weapon, I got mine for $99, look no further, this is the rifle for you, and with ammo as cheap as 440 rounds for just over $84.00 (Look at JGsales.com), you cant beat it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ninjutsu weaponry: The Hanbo

In my previous blog I was discussing the origins of the art of Ninjutsu, today I would like to explain one of the many weapons that is used in the art of Ninjutsu, the Hanbo. The Hanbo, also known as "half staff" is a staff approximately 36 inches in length (1 yard), it is shorter than a jo staff, and about half the length of the rokushakubo or 6 foot staff. Compared to the art of Eskrima, the Hanbo staff is slightly longer than the sticks used in Eskrima. The Hanbo is an excellent weapon, and if faced with an opponent much more powerful, or one carrying a weapon, or several attackers, the Hanbo or similarly fashioned weapon, it is an excellent choice to defend oneself. I say similarly fashioned because a broom stick, a pipe, or other objects can be used in the same fashion as a Hanbo.

The Hanbo can be used to strike an opponent, but it can also be used to choke, lock, and throw an opponent. This aspect of stick fighting is different than most of the techniques taught in Eskrima. I believe that the striking in Eskrima is more effective than the striking with a Hanbo. Despite this, the locks, chokes, and throws performed with a Hanbo are truly devastating. If one becomes proficient with the Hanbo, they can apply throws effortlessly, apply chokes that can force an opponent to become unconscious, and apply locks that can dislocate and/or fracture joints and bones easily. There are several sources out there where you can learn how to use this devastating weapon, one of the books I recommend is Stick Fighting by Masaaki Hatsumi, who as I mentioned previously is a grandmaster of Ninjutsu. Although this book is old, the information contained is still very useful. If you practice Eskrima, you can learn quite a bit of techniques not found in most Filipino Martial Arts schools. If you have no martial arts experience, you can also benefit from learning how to use the Hanbo. It should be noted that it is highly recommended that you use a rubber hanbo when practicing, and keep in mind that using a weapon such as this should only be used when defending oneself in an altercation.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ninjutsu: The Art of Stealth and Perseverance


Today, I would like to discuss the art of the Ninja, also known as Ninjutsu, the photo above is from the video game, Ninja Gaiden for XBOX360. Getting back to the subject, Ninjutsu is roughly translated from Japanese to English means the art of stealth and perseverance. I truly believe that Ninjutsu is one of the most misunderstood martial arts in existence, this is mostly due to misrepresentation of the Ninja in film. Ninjutsu today is still alive, however it is nowhere as popular today as it was in the 1980's thanks to such films as American Ninja, Bloodsport, the Punisher (The Dolph Lundgren version), the Hunted (the Christopher Lambert version), and even the animated G.I. series had a Ninja. For the most part, these films, despite their action sequences, are mostly fictional. What exactly is a Ninja? A Ninja is a person who practices Ninjutsu, which again is the art of stealth and perseverance. Historically the Ninja were warriors in feudal Japan who practiced unconventional warfare, espionage, and often times fought as mercenaries. In ancient times the Ninja may have been referred to by different names including Shinobi. The Ninja were comprised of many different clans in feudal Japan particularly the Iga and Koga Clans. To make a long story short, the Ninja in the historic sense became extinct in 1868 during the Meiji restoration. Soon many of the classical martial arts of Japan such as Aikijutsu, Jujutsu (Jiu Jitsu), and Ninjutsu would begin to be replaced by more popular arts emphasizing a more competitive nature such as Judo and Karate.

Fortunately, there were many Japanese practitioners who were able to keep the art of Ninjutsu alive, such as Toshitsugu Takamatsu, who passed on his skills and the tradition of Ninjutsu to Maasaki Hatsumi. Maasaki Hatsumi would then create the Bujinkan organization, and his students such as Fumio Manaka would create the Jinenkan, and Shoto Tanemura would then found the Genbukan school of Ninpo. Today some of these systems may be known by other names, such as Budo Taijutsu, Ninpo, and so on, but either way, they have kept the traditions of the Ninja alive.

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with me? Well for many people Ninjutsu is a way of life, a system of self-defense, a fun activity, etc. I personally take Ninjutsu because I have always been fascinated by this martial art and by Ninjas in general. How well will a person trained in Ninjutsu be able to defend him or herself against an MMA fighter? Well that depends on the practitioner, however, the art of Ninjutsu is much more than just fighting, as the word martial art implies, it is still an art. Despite this, most attackers on the streets are not MMA fighters or pro boxers, or Muay Thai fighters, for this reason, Ninjutsu is a good choice for self-defense. One of the strengths of Ninjutsu when compared to other martial arts is its training in weapons, using unconventional fighting tactics, evasion, and being taught to do what is necessary to persevere through an attack. After practicing many martial arts, I can say that Ninjutsu is truly amazing, while the stick fighting technics may not be as deadly as those in Eskrima, the use of the fighting chain, or Manriki Kusari is 2nd to none, in fact there is probably no other system that uses a chain like Ninjutsu. Of course there are many other examples of how Ninjutsu techniques compare to other systems, but I will leave that for another blog. For now, if anyone reading this would like to learn more about Ninjutsu, take a look at some of the Ninjutsu programs out there such as the Distance Learning Programs offered by Richard Van Donk and Stephen K. Hayes, and also visit the Genbukan, Jinenkan, and Bujinkan websites.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Boxing and Karate


I have decided to talk a little bit about boxing and the martial arts, I would like to discuss some of the differences, weaknesses, and/or strengths of boxing. Part of the reason for this is that tomorrow I will be attending a boxing class which I feel will be of great benefit to my martial arts training. In the past, boxing and Karate seem to have been at odds, especially in post-World War 2 America, since one of the alternative to boxing was Karate which had been taught to Americans by the Japanese, and people from Okinawa after World War 2. Karate had taught its practitioner to punch with power, to use kicks, and powerful blocks in order to defeat ones opponent, boxing on the other hand had taught to use quick combination's, often finished with power punches, and the use of footwork, and bobbing and weaving. In post-war America, Karate appeared to be exotic, and many people were in awe at Karate Masters breaking bricks with their hands, using very high kicks, and performing many feats that appeared to be supernatural.

Throughout the years there have been many arguments over which style is better, and today, I can say that much of this depends on the practitioner. However, we can safely say that a trained boxer has much better punching skills than a Karate practitioner, however a trained boxer does not have any expertise when it comes to kicking. Despite this, a Karate practitioner is probably more skilled in protecting their fists when punching, since traditionally Karate practitioners never used gloves. I truly believe that many Karate fighters have good foot work, but when compared to a boxers footwork, I would say that a boxer has better footwork. In terms of cardio and being physically, I truly believe that a boxer again has the advantage, in fact one of my co-workers began a boxing routine about a year ago, and has lost about 100 pounds . In today's society, I would say that if you want to become proficient in striking, learning how to box is not only advantageous, but essential. I met a master in the Filipino Martial Arts who told me that if you want to learn how to fight, you must learn how to box, because boxing builds rhythm and timing, both of which are attributes necessary for the Filipino Martial Arts as well as other Arts. The boxing instructor that I will meet tomorrow is also a black belt in Kenpo Karate, as well as Judo, and has experience in kickboxing as well. So if you want to learn how to punch well, learn foot work, gain rhythm and timing for your martial arts repertoire, or you just want to get into great shape, boxing is the way to go.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link


Last year I had the opportunity to play this awesome classic game that was originally released on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1988. This game is the sequel to the popular NES game, the Legend of Zelda, however due to its drastic change in game play, it was not well accepted among fans of the original. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link plays more like an RPG, where you must build experience points over time. Unlike the original Legend of Zelda, you control link while traveling across an overhead map, once Link touches an enemy or enters a dungeon, you then control link much the same as in side-scrolling games, where Link must jump, and fight enemies. I remember playing this game when I was much younger and I hated it so much, last year however I had purchased the Legend of Zelda Collectors Edition for the GameCube, which has this game title along with 3 other games. I was able to find several walkthroughs, and surprisingly, this game was awesome and I ended up finishing this game in a couple of weeks. I found the game to be truly awesome, although there was no big battle with Ganon at the end of the game, this game introduced Shadow Link as the final boss, who would be seen in later Zelda titles. If anyone enjoys classical NES games, you must play this game, and now with the help of many walkthroughs found on Google, and video walkthroughs found on Youtube, this game is quite an enjoyable experience.