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Loading Your Own Ammo

By Frank Semeraro AKA “Big Gun” 

Ammo is very scarce and expensive right now and I have had a lot of people ask me about reloading their own ammo.   Before taking the plunge into the world of reloading there are a few things to keep in mind.   Reloading is a very expensive hobby and when ammo is scarce, so are the reloading components.  Reloading isn’t about saving money, it’s about having ammo when you need it and loading the cartridges to suit your needs.

 

To start off you will need the following minimum equipment that is a one time purchase:

 

  • Reloading Press – The prices of a reloading press run between 150.00 and $1,000 dollars. I would recommend a single stage press for beginners. I personally use and recommend the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme.    This is an excellent press and will last longer than you do.   You can pick up one of these for around $200.00

  

  • Reloading Dies – You will need a set of reloading dies for each caliber you plan on reloading. I recommend the Lee Precision Carbide Dies.   These dies fit almost every reloading press and when using carbide dies you don’t need to lube the cases.   These dies will also last a lifetime.

The Die set will run you about $85.00 per caliber set and gives you all the dies to de-prime the cases, size the cases, seat the bullet and crimp the cases.

  • Powder Measure – You will need an accurate powder measure to accurately throw a charge of gun powder into the case. I recommend the RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure and you will also want to purchase a stand for it so you can mount it to your reloading bench and a funnel.  This will cost you around $200.00   
  • Powder Scale – You will need an accurate powder scale to weigh your loads. It is critical that your charges fall into the acceptable range.  I weigh every 10 loaded cartridges to make sure the amount of powder on the cases are safe to shoot.  I recommend the Frankford Arsenal Digital Scale Model DS-750.   This scale is very accurate and easy to use and can be found for about $35.00
  • Calipers – You will need a good set of calipers to make sure the Minimum and Maximum overall case lengths are in spec. I use the Hornady Digital Caliper which cost around $40.00

 

 

  • Priming Tool – You will find it much easier to prime your cases with a hand tool instead of using the press. I recommend the Lyman E-ZEE Prime.   This is very easy to use and make priming the cases go very quickly.   This will cost you around $100.00

 

  • Reloading Bench – You can use a table or workbench for reloading. I made my own reloading bench from 2×4’s and a plywood top for under $100.00

 

So far you can see that this is not a cheap hobby and this is just the bare-bone minimum setup.    Fortunately, this is only a one time purchase.    The next part are the consumables which will be an on-going expense.

 

Consumables – These are the components you will need to start reloading your cartridges.

 

  • Cases – You will need Brass or Nickle Cases for each caliber you will reload for.

 

  • Bullets – You will need to decide the weight and type of bullets for each caliber. Lead, Lead Coated, Copper Plated, Hollow Point, etc.  The average cost of bullets are about $100.00 for 500 rounds.

 

  • Primers – You will need primers for your cases depending on if they are Large or Small Rifle or Large or Small pistol. Your cases will determine if you will need large or small primers.   For safety reasons only use Rifle primers for Rifle Cases and Pistol Primers for Pistol Cases.

 

  • Gun Powder – You will need multiple powders depending on the types of cartridges. There is no “One Size Fits All”

 

I would also recommend a reloading manual that contains the load data for each caliber cartridge based on the weight of the bullet.   This is very critical since you can cause damage to your firearm or yourself if you don’t follow the reloading data specs.  This is the manual I use.

 

Reloading is actually a very simple process as long as you follow the instructions.    It is an expensive hobby but you will always have ammo when you need it.  I usually have 50,000 rounds of ammo in my safe at any given time.

 

This is also a very time consuming process, so don’t think you will go to the garage and crank out a few thousand rounds on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

 

I hope you now have enough information to make the decision to Reload or Not to Reload.

 

If you have any questions you can always email me at biggun@fsemeraro.com

Also visit my youtube channel, I have reviewed many of the products mentioned.

Pro Gun Youtube Channel

 

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Improve Your Shooting Skills with a SIRT Pistol

By Frank Semeraro, AKA BIG GUN

As you know, shooting is a perishable skill and if you don’t train enough those skills will start to diminish.
One way to improve your shooting skills is by using a SIRT Pistol. SIRT stands for Sight Indicator Resettable Trigger. A SIRT pistol is a dry fire pistol that shoots a laser beam out of the barrel and indicates where you would have hit on your target.
When using laser cartridges that you drop into the chamber of your gun, you will need to rack the slide before every shot. With the SIRT pistol after you pull the trigger, it resets allowing you to shoot multiple shots without racking the slide.

The SIRT pistol is completely safe since it does not have a moving slide and will not accept ammunition. You can practice any time or anywhere and you can use anything as a target. This is a SIRT model 110 which is the exact size of the Glock 17 and the weighted magazine make the weight pretty close. It comes with one removable weighted magazine which allows you to practice magazine swaps.
By using the SIRT pistol you can practice your grip, breath and trigger control, sight alignment, and sight picture. You can also practice drawing from a holster and shooting on the move. This is a must-have for new shooters to learn firearm safety as well as experienced shooters to keep their skills sharp.
The retail price of the SIRT is around $240.00. You may think it seems expensive but if you use it twice for an hour each time it will pay for itself in what you would have spent on ammunition.
This is a well-made product and is made in the USA and in my opinion, is the best thing you can do to practice firearm safety and improve your shooting skills.
It is available at nextleveltraining.com

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Ruger LCP .380

By Frank Semeraro, AKA BIG GUN

There may be times that you just can’t carry a large firearm on your person due to the weather or your activities for the day but you still want a reliable compact firearm that you can use to defend yourself.

After evaluating a few pocket pistols I have determined that the Ruger LCP is the best pocket pistol you can buy for the money.   You can get this for well under $300.00.

Ruger firearms are very well constructed and this is no exception.    It is very small with a barrel length of only 2.75″ and is very lightweight at about 9.5 ounces.   It comes with one 6 round magazine.   It has a very crisp trigger pull and the slide is pretty easy to rack.

A .380 is not the best round for a defense situation but is a good backup gun or if it’s your only gun it’s better than being unarmed.   It is ideal for women to carry in a purse or fanny pack and fits nicely in a pocket inside a holster.   Remora makes a nice IWB holster to fit this gun.

If you are running or jogging this is a perfect gun to carry since a large gun would just not be ideal for that situation.  It fits nicely in shirt, pants, or jacket pockets and is very easy to hide.

It is also perfect for women who may be wearing an evening gown and carrying a compact purse.  It gives you an option you may not have with a large gun.

If you are considering a pocket pistol you may want to consider the Ruger LCP .380

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Smith & Wesson Shield EZ

By Frank Semeraro, AKA BIG GUN

Some people carry a revolver because they don’t have the strength to rack the slide on a semi-automatic. I have been trying to get my wife to carry a semi-automatic for years but she can’t rack the slide on any of my firearms.  I started researching and found the Smith & Wesson Shield EZ.

This is a great firearm that is available in .380 or .9mm and holds 8 rounds +1. The slide on this gun is by far the easiest to rack.   You can rack this slide with two fingers.  It is a very well-constructed firearm and is very comfortable. It also comes with a spare magazine.    With a retail price of $450.00, this is a great gun for the money.

The Smith & Wesson Shield EZ has a crisp, light trigger, is lightweight, and has thumb safety. I purchased this gun for my wife and she loves it.

Remora also makes a very nice holster for this gun. If you are looking for a lightweight firearm with the easiest slide to the rack, this is the one for you.

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Dry Fire Training

By Frank Semeraro, AKA BIG GUN

 

If you aren’t familiar with Dry Fire Training, I would like to explain what it is and why you should be doing it.

Simply put, dry fire training is the practice of shooting a firearm without live ammunition.   With the cost of ammunition or lack of availability, you may not have the opportunity to practice shooting at the range as often as you would like.   Shooting is a perishable skill that will start to erode if you don’t practice frequently.   If you only practice shooting your firearm at the range with live ammunition, you may start to develop bad habits.    Most gun ranges will not allow you to shoot your firearm while drawing from a holster and will certainly not allow you to practice shooting while moving around.

 

Dry fire training allows you to practice and improve your skills with shooting live ammunition.   Since you will not be using live ammunition, it is safe, quiet, and can be practiced anytime, anywhere.    There are two methods of Dry Fire Training.    The First method is the use of Snap Caps and the second method is the use of a Laser Cartridge.

 

Snap Caps – Also known as dummy rounds, are bullets that do not contain a primer or gun powder and have a rubber cushion where the primer would be that protects your firing pin.   There are many different brands out there and the cost is about $15.00 for a pack of 5.    I use A-Zoom snap caps which are made of aluminum.    Just stay away from the ones made of plastic, which will crack over time.     They are available in almost any caliber for semi-automatic pistols as well as revolvers.

You simply load the snap caps into your magazine or cylinder and practice firing.  This is a great way to safely practice firing your firearm without the need to go to the range or waste valuable ammunition.

 

 

Laser Cartridges – Are devices that insert into the chamber and emit a red dot every time you pull the trigger allowing you to see where you would have shot if you were using live ammunition.     The cost of Laser Cartridges are between $40.00 and $60.00

There are many different brands on the market and I use the Pink Rhino Laser Cartridge.

You can tape a target on the wall and practice shooting.    The red laser will hit your target every time you pull the trigger.  This is an excellent way to train and keep your skills sharp.

To see Dry Fire Training in action watch our video by clicking on this link.

If you aren’t Dry Fire Training, you should start.   Pick up your Firearm, Snap Caps, Laser Cartridge, and your Remora Holster, and start training today. 

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Open vs Concealed Carry

Written by Frank Semeraro

Welcome fellow gun owners.   I would like to cover the Pros and Cons of Open Cary Vs Concealed Carry.

When making a decision to carry a firearm the first thing you must decide is weather you will Open Carry or Conceal Carry.     This is a decision you need to make for yourself, what works for one person may not work for another.   You need to do what makes you comfortable.    The first thing you need to do is make sure you understand the firearms laws of your state.    If your state does not allow open carry, that decision will be made for you.     For comparison purposes, let’s assume your state allows you to open carry.

When carrying a firearm you must also know which states have reciprocity with your state and know the gun laws of the states you will be carrying in.    The size of the firearm you are carrying can also determine if you should open or conceal carry.   You may also need to purchase multiple holsters depending on the firearm you carry.   For example, I carry a full size 1911 with a 5 inch barrel which is a very difficult firearm to conceal and carrying that gun inside the waistband with a kydex holster is like walking around with a 2×4 in your pants all day.     For inside the waistband I recommend either leather or a Remora inside the waistband holster for comfort.

OPEN CARRY – Sometimes, how you carry is determined by where you are carrying.    If you are carrying in the woods while hunting or hiking you may need easy access to your firearm to defend yourself against dangerous animals.    Keep in mind that even though you may have the right to open carry, there may still be places that do not allow carrying a firearm.    Also keep in mind that when you open carry, in some places it may raise a few eyebrows and make people uncomfortable.    There is also the possibility that the bad guys see you carrying and it makes you a threat.    I personally like easy access to my firearm and open carry most of the time.    If I am in a crowded area I may just pull my shirt over the firearm to conceal it but technically, it is still considered open carry.

PROS

  • The major benefit of open carry is easy access to your firearm in case of an emergency.
  • Attacks may be less likely to occur since would-be criminals know you’re armed and can also serve as a potential deterrent for people to commit crimes around you.
  • It may be much more comfortable to carry your firearm.

CONS –

  • Draws attention
  • May make people uncomfortable or be intimidating to others
  • May make you a target or considered a threat and makes it easier for someone to take your firearm.

CONCEALED CARRY – Compared to open carry, concealed carry can sometimes be a real hassle and may also determine what you will need to wear in order to totally conceal your firearm.    In the cooler weather it may be very easy to conceal your firearm allowing you to carry a larger firearm but in the warmer weather it will be harder to conceal especially if you are carrying a large firearm.   If you are carrying inside the waistband the grips on your firearm may also make you uncomfortable.    Rubber grips may stick to your clothing or your skin when you sweat and G10 grips may scrape your skin.     I recommend wood grips for concealed carry. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that some states require you to obtain a permit to conceal carry.  This is a good thing since it requires the gun owner to at least complete some form of firearm safety.   As mentioned earlier, the size of your firearm and the holster you use is much more important for comfort and to keep your firearm concealed.

PROS

  • It makes it harder for someone to take your forearm away.
  • Does not make you a target or make people uncomfortable
  • Provides you with the ability to defend yourself if necessary and be discrete if it is not needed.

CONS –

  • May make it more difficult to determine what type of clothing to wear.
  • Can be uncomfortable depending on your firearm or holster.
  • Depending on how you are carrying it may either print and display your firearm or be difficult to access it quickly.

How should You Carry

How and where you carry is totally up to you.  You need to do what make you most comfortable.    If you carry every day like I do, you may carry a different firearm and wear a different holster depending on where you will be carrying or what activities you will be doing that day.    I personally prefer to open carry using an outside the waistband holster.    I try to wear an over-sized shirt so that I can just pull the shirt over the firearm if I feel the need to cover it up.

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Top 5 Mag Holders In 2020 On a Budget

Having an extra magazine comes handy in plenty of situations. Whether you need those mags for a specific purpose or just want to keep some handy just in case, you’ll need a mag holder for them. Unfortunately, some mag holders can run a pretty penny. Luckily, that doesn’t mean that these budget options won’t work perfectly for you. 

1. Remora Mag Holder Carry All

The Remora Mag Holder Carry All is a mag holder that fits inside your waistband and carries anything you might need to have on you. You’ll be able to comfortably wear the Remora Mag Holder Carry All on your hip, front, or back.

Each of the compartments included in the holder can carry your basic needs such as a single stack .22 or a double stack .45 mag. You can even store small tools like speed strips, a knife, or a small flashlight.

The holster comes in multiple colors as well. It sells in black, white, punch, and punch pink. You can also upgrade the lining of the holster to a black denier or plush black. An optional sweat shield is also on the table which will help with the longevity of the mag holder as well as add to your comfort when you’re wearing it.

2. Remora Kydex Magazine Holder

The Remora Kydex Magazine Holder is a simple, handmade mag holder that’s meant to be worn inside the waistband. The compact case is made with military hardware and spec clips. It features a genuine leather backing and the Remora non-slip material on the side of the holder that presses against your body.

There is a genuine advantage to adjustable and detachable parts in mag holders because they give you a level of adaptability. This mag holder has adjustable hardware which allows you to make sure it’s comfortable for you to wear, specifically.

This holder is available for a long list of different gun models. This versatility gives you an option with this holster no matter what your needs are. You can also choose the color and draw side of the holder.

3. Combo Remora 2-In-1 Holster and Mag Holder

The Combo Remora 2-In-1 Holster and Mag Holder is made as a draw side specific that fits inside your waistband. It also has a swivel clip that you can adjust to match your personal cant so that it fits comfortably and naturally on your side.

As a no clip option, you can wear it inside your waistband or carry it in your pocket. Without the clip, the holsters are ambidextrous, which is very attractive if you’re left-handed and struggle to find a holster that can accommodate!

This holster and mag holder combo is also hand manufactured., so you know you’re getting high quality with every order.

4. Remora Single Mag Holder

Sometimes you don’t need anything too fancy or large to get the job done. If you don’t have a lot to carry and you don’t want to worry about a lot of extra bulk, the Remora Single Mag Holder might be the best fit for you.

The main thing to notice about this mag holder is that it has a single compartment. However, this single compartment isn’t heavily restricted to what it will hold. You can use it to carry a double stack .45 magazine or a .22 single stack magazine. Alternatively, you can use the holster to carry a small flashlight, knife, or speed strip.

The holder is made to be worn inside the waistband or in your pocket. It has a non-slip design that won’t shift around. The outside of the holder is the standard Remora black with a standard black denier interior.

5. Remora Dual Mag Holder

If you need a versatile mag holder, the Remora Dual Mag Holder fits the bill. It’s made to hold a single stack .22 or to double-stack .45 mag. You can also use it to hold a speed strip, a knife, or even a small flashlight.

This is another option from Remora that’s manufactured by hand. So, you know you’re going to get personalized quality with every order. You can also choose a color to make sure your mag holder fits your personality and style.

Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a mag that works well for you. Any of these options will hold your mags and serve you well without forcing you to shell out all the cash in your bank account.

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NOW AVAILABLE: RED DOT OPTIC HOLSTERS

 Remora, the most comfortable holsters now available with amazing red dot optic concealability. Red dot holsters are compatible with small laser modifications, partial sweat shields. Plush lining upgrade are also available..

The red dot holster encloses the optic to protect the carrier from gouge and irritation. The red dot holster also protects the optic from sweat and body oils.

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Remora’s low profile red dot holster leaves the top of the optic uncovered.  The holster  is designed to cover the sides of the optic 

Remora offers custom holsters to meet any concealment needs our customers may have. 239-316-7770

 

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The ULTIMATE Retention Test

Just how well do our no clip, non-slip holsters stay in place?

Drew, with Top City Gear wanted to know just that. That’s why he put our original IWB holster to the ULTIMATE retention test with his Ruger SR9c.

You’re probably are wondering two things:

  1. “How the heck did he land that?”
  2. “How did that holster stay in place?”

Well, we can’t answer the first one, but we can certainly answer the second.

It’s simple. Remora’s exclusive manufacturing process is truly unmatched. The outer skin of the holster is an incredible rubberized non-slip fabric that holds like no other. The inner padding combined with a minimum amount of compression holds the firearm in place until drawn. The inside liner ensures that your firearm can be easily drawn, and your holster will not be drawn out with the firearm. The non-slip binding helps hold the holster in place while the entire outer skin of the holster helps it “stick.”

Added bonus: Remora holsters are waterproof, fire retardant, washable, lightweight, and durable.

It’s easy to see why Remora holsters are often imitated, but NEVER duplicated.