Oh Beautiful For Mystery Gun, With Epic Waves of Engraving

My gunsmith is a serious expert with M1 Garand and M1 Carbine models. When someone gets a nifty or especially rare example they’ll often bring it to him for a little show and tell as well as to have him run up a build-sheet for the gun. His build-sheets tell you which generation of every part, manufacture years, and even some history on the individual rifles.

One day one of his customers came in with a really odd bird. The exact pedigree of the rifle was held back so my GS could do his research. We’ll let you peruse the pictures and make up your mind on what you think it is. At the end, we’ll spill the beans on exactly what kind of rifle it is. The answer might surprise you.

Have you figured out what it is yet? It has had actual experts confuzzled so don’t get down on yourself.
Now you think you’ve got it but you’re still doubting yourself.
Look closely and you’ll see this baby wasn’t a safe queen. Someone took it out and shot it judging by the patina on the pistol grip area.
A minimum amount of fine engraving that sends the message that, when pulled from its scabbard this rifle will elegantly and definitively settle disputes.
It’s the extremes that the gun maker did not go to that really make this example shine. You can take elegance too far and you can take it not far enough. Taking it just far enough so as to not sacrifice utility for beauty without holding back on the beauty is a tough balance to strike.

The Answer is (drum roll)….A U.S. Cal. .30 M1 Carbine.

A very little history: The owner of this fine rifle purchased it in Panama in the early 70’s. The seller was a field officer in the U.S. military and told the current owner that the custom work was done in Japan. It isn’t certain how the rifle got to Japan, but barrel numbers indicate it probably saw use/action in Viet Nam before being relocated to Japan and subsequently customized and engraved.

When you look it over you will see there was a tremendous amount of modifications and some wonderful engraving done on this rifle. Normally my gunsmith, being a specialist in M1’s, gets upset when at finding an M1 Carbine that has been changed from its original configuration but not in this case. Everyone agrees that this is a work of art and the sacrificing of a very nice example to create an absolute work of genuine ballistic art is forgivable.

Tell us below how you feel about someone chopping up an M1 Carbine to build this beauty. If you have a particularly special gun you’d like us to feature, send pics and some details to ballisticxlr@gmail.com. If we feature your rifle we’ll send you a free gift.


Ok. I’m A Monster. I Admit It.

This is a delicious, crunchity, creamy, sweet, chocolate-y packet of amazeballs. You’ll just have to hate me for being right after you try it.

Take one of these:

Then pull it apart.

Then get some Tillamook medium cheddar cheese and commit a crime against humanity.

Be sure you have sufficient ratios of ingredients.

OMG this is so yummy. I originally did it in an attempt to ruin someone on Oreo cookies and/or cheddar cheese. Not only did it backfire in the most interesting way but said individual was more put off by a very tiny glitter bomb.

In the end I was left with a new confection and not much more.

Insert “cool starry bra” jpg’s and pictures of your horrendous feet in the comments below.

Version 10.5 Released!

Thanks to my good friend KVK and user TurboF for pointing out some embarrassing errors so I could fix them. That comes as a patched minor version update. Version 10.5 is a patch release with fixes for MV, Secondary Data and other very minor tweaks. This is not a significant update but you might as well upgrade anyway. It’s free, right! Click the link below to download.


BallisticXLR 10.5 Download


Sale! BallisticXLR Ultra-Light Shooting Bag Fill

It’s here! It’s gear! Get used to it!

This is without a doubt the lightest material which is truly appropriate for shooting bag fill that’s available anywhere in the world. Cut the weight of your shooting support bags from several pounds to just a few ounces. We’re bringing it to you at a substantial savings.

3.5mm spheroid shape
Great Lock-In
Superior Shape Conformance
Slightly Compressible
Dust Free
Mold Resistant
Super Durable
~1lbs per cubic foot.

USA only! No international sales.

1 Liter BallisticXLR Ultra-Lite Bag Fill $10 shipped Buy It Now

4 Liters BallisticXLR Ultra-Lite Bag Fill $35 shipped Buy It Now

Shipping is via United States Postal Service.

Note: 1L is about enough for 1 toe support bag. 4L is approximately enough for 1 medium pillow. 8L is enough for 1 medium pillow + 3-4 toe bags. All boxes are filled with just a little bit extra just in case.

Knife Making For Everyone

You can do it. What you need is a bench vise, some clamps, epoxy, wood, a sanding roll, a drill, boiled linseed oil, sandpaper, steel wool. Not necessarily in that order. I clamp my scales in place then use a sanding roll to shape them to match the tang of the blade. Then it’s down to shaping and polishing. There are some amazing blade makers here in the USA. I like Idaho Forge and Alabama Damascus. For grip material, really look into burls but avoid spalted wood. Burls are stupid strong. Spalts are stupid weak. See below for examples of some of the knives I’ve made. I don’t use rivets on my knives. The epoxy that fits the scales to the tang is stronger than the tang or the wood so you pretty much have to destroy the knife to make the handles come off.

Deer antler & blued Planer Blade, burled Amboyna & Idaho Forge damascus, Burled Mesquite and Alabama Damascus polished damascus.
Alabama Damascus damascus & burled Thuya
Idaho Forge damascus & burled Thuya
Top 2 are burled Thuya and Idaho Forge damascus, middle burled mesquite & polished damascus (see above), burled Thuya & Idaho Forge damascus, Burled Amboyna & Idaho Forge damascus

Modern Spartan Systems Pepsi Challenge Pt. 3 – Copper Solvent Aggressiveness

We’re doing a set of experiments; including confirmation runs, to analyze the effectiveness and harshness of various copper fouling solvents that are available to the sport shooter. The first test looks at aggressiveness and total dissolved copper capacity per unit volume of the solvent. The results were not entirely surprising.

For the first run we selcted WipeOut, Sweet’s 7.62 and Copper/Lead Destroyer from Modern Spartan Systems. We’ve already experimentally confirmed that Copper/Lead Destroyer will remove copper fouling and that it likes a longer time to do it than competitors, meaning it’s less aggressive. But how capable is it (how much copper can it hold)?

We’re soakin. Yessiree. Dissolving. What a sight to see.

After normalizing the weights of 3 Barnes bullets we dropped them into test tubes with measured amounts of each solvent and let them soak. We didn’t knock off any oxide or other coating that the bullets had on them. We just dropped them in to the solvents. After 15 minutes there was effect enough for color changes in WipeOut and Sweet’s 7.62, though the changes were very slight. After 2 hours no real difference. After 2 days the WipeOut and Sweet’s bullets looked like they’d been hit with sandpaper and were showing rolling over of formerly sharp edges. The C/L-D bullet was seemingly unchanged on the surface other than darkening just a little.

WipeOut, Sweet’s 7.62, Copper/Lead Destroyer, bullets after 5 days soaking. The Sweet’s bullet looks like 5 miles of dirt road.

24hr copper dissolution:
Wipe-Out: .2gr per 2tblsp in 24hhrs
Sweet’s: .2gr per 2x tblsp in 24hrs
MSS C/L D: .1gr per 2x tblsp in 24hrs

48hr copper dissolution:
Wipe-Out: .2gr per 2x tblsp in 48hhrs
Sweet’s: .2gr per 2x tblsp in 48hrs
MSS C/L D: .1gr per 2x tblsp in 48hrs

120hr copper dissolution:
Wipe-Out: .3gr per 2x tblsp in 48hhrs
Sweet’s: .4gr per 2x tblsp in 48hrs
MSS C/L D: .1gr per 2x tblsp in 48hrs

So we see that the Sweet’s kept on keeping on after an initial slow down. This is what I’d expect from something that’s really aggressive. Use up most of the reagents quickly and then continue until they’re all gone. I didn’t expect it to have such long legs. That’s what you might call “power and endurance”. WipeOut had the aggressiveness but not the endurance. C/L-D may have had great endurance or not, that didn’t show up. What showed is the carrying capacity it has for copper is pretty low and it’s not nearly as aggressive as the others. It does seem to like that 24hr soak though.

We’re re-running this test with a fresh set of Hornady GMX 180gr bullets in just a few days. We’ll post the results as soon as they’re ready.