PSA: November 4th 2017

First, no one knows what “antifa” is planning on November 4th. Forget all the fearmongering “they’re planning civil war” hype clickbait headlines I keep seeing all over social media.

While I tend to laugh at the antifa dirtbags and their antics as much as the next guy, I am very concerned about this November 4th fiasco in light of the intel I’ve gathered about the groups involved and the statements they’re making. Couple that with the escalation in incidents of unprovoked physical violence and well, I’m concerned.

Here’s what we do know:

  • The leftist organization Refuse Fascism is calling for mass protests/civil disturbance starting on November 4th 2017.
  • Antifa has stated that they are working hand in hand with Resist Fascism for the November 4th date.
  • Refuse Fascism states in their November 4th posts that Antifa are welcome.
  • The Revolutionary Communist Party USA has a very rambling (and slightly insane) statement about November 4th on their news site.

You can read the whole thing here, but this is the bit that concerns me:

What people don’t know, and need to know, is that THEY ARE THE WAY OUT OF THE NIGHTMARE, if they join together and act outside all the normal avenues that they expect society and government to provide for redress of their concerns—outside the ways that they would normally think of to act themselves for remedy. Waiting for investigations, waiting for the Democrats to act, thinking that Trump will implode, hoping for 2018 Congressional elections, even protesting each abuse—as righteous and part of people raising their heads as such protest is, these are all acting within the normal frameworks that people have grown accustomed to thinking and acting within for change in policy and direction. 

– post about November 4th 2017

We also know some other things:

  • Steven Crowder sent someone undercover in an antifa cell and he recorded video of them handing out weapons to “stab nazis” and discussing ambushes involving firearms. 
  • Their definition of “Nazi” seems to look a whole lot like anyone who isn’t far left.
  • Antifa likes to get violent at events.
  • Refuse Fascism likes to block freeways.
  • George Soros just dumped $18 billion into what is now the largest activism group in the world.

Now, the antifa cell that Crowder penetrated was arrested by local PD, so that particular group isn’t currently a threat, however couple the revcom statement above with what we saw in Crowder’s video, and Soros’ $18 BILLION, and this is now a credible threat.

All three groups I’ve talked about have stated that this November 4th fiasco is just the beginning, they’re talking in terms of starting on November 4th and continuing for days, weeks, or months.

So we have one group discussing on film using small unit tactics to ambush people they disagree with and lure them into staged ambushes using rifles and shotguns, and the other two talking about mass protest/disruption until the lawfully elected President and everyone associated with his administration are removed, possibly months.

Add to this all now a deputy US Marshall going on video stating that they have credible intel that antifa plans to target first responders and you’ve got quite the recipe for chaos.

Could this lead to Civil War? Well, yeah. At least potentially. Will it? Doubtful.

But, I think the time has come for us law abiding gun owners to start evaluating this riff raff as a credible threat. They’re targeting you.

Be smart. Don’t go get involved in protests (even high speed low drag operator types can easily find an ice pick in their kidney in the chaos we’ve seen in the last few protests). Pay attention to the news, and don’t get stuck in traffic jams caused by this nonsense. Make sure your friends and family know what is going on here and what is potentially at stake. If you live in a major metro area (especially one being targeted for the November 4th fiasco), make contingency plans and plan an evacuation route. Make sure you have gas in the car and a go bag or two prepared.

I’m not saying it’s go time, but be alert and be prepared.

Don’t play their game, and don’t let their bluster control your life, but be aware of the herd mentality and how fast things can go from “hey that’s not really cool” to “oh look half of LA is on fire.” Learn the lessons of the 1992 LA riots. 

Now think about what we’ve seen over the last couple of years in Furgeson, and Charleston, and Berkeley, and many other places. Protracted civil disturbance can have a very real and very severe impact on your day to day life, and as tensions rise it becomes more likely that an inciting incident will occur which ignites a riot.

These are the locations and times I’ve found that have been gathered from posters advertising the November 4th fiasco:

  • Seattle, WA – 12pm, 4th & Janes St. (Seattle City Hall Plaza)
  • Portland, OR – 2pm, Salmon & Fountain
  • San Francisco, CA – 3pm, Union Square
  • Los Angeles, CA – 1pm, Pershing Square
  • Philadelphia, PA – 2pm, Thomas Paine Plaza (1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.)
  • Honolulu, HI – 9:30am, Ala Moana Park (EWA Side)
  • Cleveland, OH – 1pm, Public Square
  • Chicago, IL – 1pm, 219 Dearborn (Federal Plaza)
  • Boston, MA – 4pm, 1 Franklin St. (Shoppers Plaza)
  • Austin, TX – 1pm, 422 Guadalupe St. (Republic Square Park)
  • Atlanta, GA – 4pm, Euclid & Moreland Ave. NE (Little 5 Points/Findlay Plaza)

I hope I’m totally wrong, and this all turns out to be nothing to worry about. 


Guns Criminals Actually Use: 12AUG17 Edition

From the Local PD’s Facebook page: 


On Friday, August 4, 2017, just after 5 pm, Southwest District Patrol Officers Vince Bantayan and Nicolas Romero were working together in the area of Ventura Avenue and H Street, when they noticed a blue Mercedes Benz with an expired registration. As the officers initiated a traffic stop by activating their emergency lights, the solo occupant continued driving and made no attempt to pull over. For safety reasons, the officers continued to follow the vehicle with their lights and siren off as it continued toward the Chinatown area. Eventually, the car abruptly stopped in front of Dick’s Men’s Wear & Shoes at 1526 Kern Street. The driver quickly exited, ran, and attempted to enter the business. 

Although the business was closed, an employee was present and renovating inside. The driver, who was holding a cell phone to his ear, forcefully grabbed the front door that was locked and demanded for the employee to open it. The driver also kept his back to the officers, which caused them great concern for their safety. It was during this time the driver turned and faced the officers, exposing a nine millimeter semi-automatic handgun in his waistband. To prevent the situation from escalating, the officers maintained their distance and requested the driver to surrender peacefully. Eventually, sufficient officers arrived at the location to assist in placing the driver into custody without the use of any force.

The driver was identified as 33-year-old Fresno resident Nicholas Delt, who has an extensive criminal history. He was arrested and booked for possession of a loaded firearm and ammunition by a prior convicted felon. 

Yet another convicted felon in possession. I’m seeing a trend here…

Let’s sum up:

  • Felon in possession (felony)
  • Possession of a “high capacity” magazine in California (wobbler, likely a felony due to “extensive” criminal history)

Any bets that Prop 47, Prop57, or AB109 is responsible for this dude being on the street?

Guns Criminals Actually Use: 11AUG17 Edition

From the local PD’s Facebook page:


On August 6th, 2017 at 11:34 P.M., Southeast District Officers Ger Vang and John Alonzo were conducting proactive patrol in the area of 6Th Street and Nevada Avenue. While in the area officers avoided a collision from 39 year old Fresno resident Juan Manuel Cortez-Rico who failed to stop at the stop sign while traveling West on Nevada and North on 6th Street.  

Upon stopping Cortez-Rico for such violation he was found to be driving without a driver’s license and positively identified by his photographed Mexican Matricula Consular I.D. During the search incident to arrest of Cortez-Rico officers felt the frame of a metal type flashlight on one end and the handle of a handgun on the other end. Cortez-Rico had a self-made silencer made from a flashlight affixed to his fully loaded Raven Arms 25 semi auto handgun stuffed in his waistband. The handgun serial numbers were scratched off along with Cortez-Rico being in possession of street level amount of narcotics.          

Cortez-Rico was arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail on several different weapons/ narcotics charges without any further incident. Please see the attached photograph of the recovered firearm and suspect Cortez-Rico. 

Possible sicario? Maybe.

Let’s sum up:

  • Possession of a silencer is a felony in California.
  • Definite NFA violation.
  • Possession of a “high capacity” magazine? (I wasn’t aware that the Raven .25 held 13 rounds).
  • Possession of Schedule 1 narcotics.
  • Possession of a firearm by a foreign alien.
  • Altering or removing the identifying marks of a firearm (that’s a Federal crime, but also a felony to possess a firearm with altered serial number in California).

Apparently California needs to pass a law prohibiting being a menace to south central while driving Fast and Furiously.

I wonder if Jango Fett here is related to Kevin Leon?

Guns Criminals actually use: 10AUG17 Edition

From the local PD’s facebook page:

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, Detectives from the Fresno Police Department’s Career Criminal Auto Theft Team (CCATT) responded to a residence in the area of Thorne and Church regarding possible chop shop investigation. While at the location, they encountered Jerome White, 43, of Fresno. White was found to be a prior convicted felon and on CDC parole for robbery. During a subsequent search of the property, White was found to be in possession of a modified .22 caliber rifle. No evidence of chop shop activity was located.

White was booked into the Fresno County Jail for felony firearm possession charges and parole violation.

“Modified.” Specifically that is a Short Barrelled Rifle, possession of which is a felony in California, has been for decades. So lets see:

  • Felon in possession
  • SBR (felony)
  • Potential NFA manufacturing violation

But if we just had one more gun law…

I wonder if he bought this one from Leland Yee?

Firearm Lubrication 101

Unfortunately they don’t work very well

I’ve known or suspected most of this for a long time, unfortunately it is not common knowledge. It’s a long read, but well worth it: Firearm Lubrication 101

If your looking for good general purpose gun lubricants, check out Lubri-kit.

NPE 101: The Non-permissive Environment (NPE)

There exists a certain group of people in this world that insist on believing that (and forcing you and I to live as if) criminals and bad actors follow laws or rules.

These people insist that (despite a very long and sad list of events proving the contrary) if we just pass one more law, or post one more sign the bad people will not do bad things here. They believe that if they say a person cannot have a weapon in a certain place, that the place somehow magically becomes “safe,” and that no one will bring weapons into those places.

The technical term for these places is Non-Permissive Environment (NPE), a place where through policy or law, ordinary people are prohibited from possessing weapons.

The technical term for these people is Fucking Morons.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, we have to live with the consequences of these idiots ideals. In the immortal words of Dan Ackroyd: fuck that noise.

There are essentially two levels of NPE; places where it is illegal to carry a weapon (Type 1), and places where it is against policy for you to be armed, but not illegal (Type 2).

Type 1 NPEs are places like Gun Free School Zones, Post Offices, most Federal Buildings, airports, and Courthouses. The consequences for being caught with a weapon in these places vary from arrest, detention, fines, and jail or prison time depending on the laws you’ve broken and how serious the NPE is.

This is a sign indicating a Type 1 NPE

Type 2 NPEs are places like businesses with no weapons signs posted, event venues, and many places of employment. The consequences for being caught with a weapon in these places also vary, from being asked to leave, being escorted out by security, or losing your job.

This kind of sign MAY indicate a Type 2 NPE, depending on state law and where it is placed.

Before I go any further I need to make clear that I am not advocating, advising, or recommending that you violate any laws against the carry or possession of weapons. This is merely an academic musing of the stupidity of disarming the law abiding in the supposed attempt to somehow control the criminal.

I grew up in California, and largely because of this I have been surrounded by an ever increasing number of NPEs (though the rest of the country has not been immune to the increase in this idiocy either). At this point, most of the state is one giant NPE. The number of places that the average citizen can carry weapons has dwindled at an alarming rate.

I grew up in California’s Central Valley, which is (even today ) a much more right leaning area than most people think of when they think of California. I graduated high school in the early nineties, which if you recall was a time that was a peak of violence throughout the country, and because of this was the perfect breeding ground for the idiocy that led to Gun Free School Zones, and Zero Tolerance Policies. Sadly our society doesn’t seem to have learned from the many, many examples of how these policies do not work, and like the politically suicidal left of this country (where this idiocy started), it seems to have come to the unerring conclusion that doubling down on something that isn’t working is somehow going to work. Without fail these people are genuinely shocked when yet another miscreant walks into a gun free zone and opens fire on a crowd of defenseless, disarmed innocents.

Because I am a thinking and rational person, I can look around at the long string of incidents where a sign did nothing to stop a bad guy from carrying a weapon into NPEs and rationally conclude that these places not only aren’t any safer, they are actually more dangerous than when your average person could carry a weapon there. The reasons for this are many; lack of herd immunity, or criminals selecting places that are full of disarmed victims, take your pick. Factually, every mass shooting since 1950 with a single exception has occurred in an NPE. 

All of that being the case, I have carried a fairly broad and varied selection of weapons into a fairly broad and varied set of NPEs. I have carried a pocket knife of some kind nearly every day since I was nine years old (which was a hell of an accomplishment in school at the time I was in school). I’ve carried both guns and knives into event venues with security screening (concerts, county fairs, so on). I personally am not going to be an unarmed victim, and I know from experience that not only is a sign not going to stop someone from being armed, but that it is laughably easy to pass most security screenings with most weapons. Even beyond that, it is trivially easy to obtain or make weapons once inside most “secure” NPEs.

I’ve thought a lot about sharing my thoughts and experiences with NPEs for a long time now, and I can no longer sit silently as the idiots disarm the law abiding without sharing the knowledge I have about how to carry weapons in NPEs and how easy it is to do so. The criminals already have the information, the good guys are the ones being disadvantaged here.

This is the first in a series about NPEs, and I hope that the information that you will find in this series of articles will get you thinking about the realities of being in an NPE and what those realities mean for your safety, and the safety of others.

Rifle or “Assault Weapon”?

As we near the 2016 Election day, I am sad to report that the stupid is surfacing in force on the interwebs.

I’ve had enough run ins with people defending the criminal Clinton’s “I respect the Second Amendment, but…” garbage, which inevitably leads to them trying to convince… someone (I’m not sure who because I’ve forgotten more about firearms and firearms law than they will ever know) that “Assault Weapons are bad mmmkay?”

Look, there is no easy or simple way to say this other than: you’re a buffoon if you believe that an “Assault Weapon” is a thing other than a code word for “guns that look scary, but are no different than other guns that don’t.”

Harsh? Maybe, but anti civil rights gun grabbers seem to have a hard time with the truth.

Look, let me give you an example of why you look like a complete and utter moron when you parrot the “Assault Weapons are too dangerous…” type of drivel that the gun grabbers have been feeding you for 30 years.

This is a basic AR15:


Super scary assault weapon baby killing murder machine, complete with “shoulder thing that goes up”

Caliber: 5.56 Nato/.223 Remington
Action: Gas operated magazine fed semi-automatic
Cyclic Rate: 800 rounds per minute 
Effective Rate of Fire (RoF): 12-15 rounds per minute 
Semi-automatic Rate of Fire (RoF): 45 rounds per minute
Factory Magazine Capacity: 10-32 round magazine (depending on model configuration)


Now this is a Ruger Mini-14:


Wood stock, hunting rifle (this one is actually a Ranch Rifle model)

Caliber: 5.56 Nato/.223 Remington
Action: Gas operated magazine fed semi-automatic
Cyclic Rate: 750 rounds per minute
Effective Rate of Fire (RoF): 12-15 rounds per minute
Semi-automatic Rate of Fire (RoF): 45 rounds per minute
Factory Magazine Capacity: 5-30 round magazine (depending on model configuration)

Now let’s talk about that for a moment.

Cyclic Rate is a technical measurement, showing a theoretical maximum rate of fire. The Cyclic Rate for both of these rifles is kind of a lie, because neither of those rifles are fully automatic, and the Cyclic Rate is measured in fully automatic fire with an “unlimited magazine” (these are special testing devices that use a machine to continually feed ammunition into the rifle, and they’re about the size of a large desk). The Cyclic Rate for both of these rifles was measured on their fully automatic variants (the AR15 used the M16A2 info and the Mini-14 used the AC-556 info). As applied to these rifles the Cyclic Rate is simply the measurement of how fast the action can cycle in one minute under ideal test conditions on average.

The Effective Rate of Fire is the rate that these rifles can sustain firing without mechanical malfunction or meltdown over an extended period of time (I believe the testing criteria is one hour of sustained fire).

Semi-automatic Rate of Fire is measured by wildly pulling the trigger as fast as possible, without any kind of aiming, while changing factory capacity magazines as needed. This is nowhere near real world effective rates of fire when requiring aiming.

Factory Magazine Capacity is the quantity of cartridges that can be held in the magazines that ship from the factory. Both are available from the factory with 30 round magazines, both are available from the factory with 10 round magazines.

Effective Rate of Fire is the key performance metric when evaluating the capabilities of a weapon for use in fighting.

Functionally these are the same weapon. Functionally they are identical other than the mechanical design of the action.

The Ar15 is often called a “weapon of war” by the gun grabbers, but this is simply not true. The Ar15 is not issued to any of our 2,000,000+ military personnel.

Still feel like “Assault Weapons” are evil and rifles are ok?

These are also Ruger Mini-14 rifles:

These are functionally the same rifle.

These are functionally the same rifle, cosmetic changes make three of those “assault weapons” in California.

This is also a Ruger Mini-14:

tacticool-miniSame exact rifle as above with cosmetic changes only.

You’re basically saying that I am not allowed to paint my car, or put aftermarket accessories on it that you don’t like.

And this is also an AR15:

California compliant "featureless" AR15

California compliant “featureless” AR15, 100% legal despite California having an enforced “Assault Weapons” ban for more than 25 years.

When you advocate banning “assault weapons” you are saying one of two things:

  1. I don’t like scary black guns, so ban those despite them being mechanically identical to ones I’m ok with. Or..
  2. I don’t know anything about guns other than we need to ban them all, but I’m too much of a coward to just come out and say it, and also I think gun owners are too stupid to realize what my actual goal is.

I assure you, us gun owners are not stupid, and we will not entertain your silly antics. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.



Wear Orange for gun control?

Wear Orange for gun control. So like this?


Sadly, California is just that stupid.

Grab your helmets, it’s getting retarded here.


Gear Review: FourSevens Maelstrom MMR-X flashlight

I was highly excited to be contacted by FourSevens about reviewing a light powered by an 18650 LiPo cell. I’ve as anyone who has read my previous flashlight reviews knows, I currently carry a modified version of the QT2A-X daily, and have been running it on a 14500 LiPo cell. This light has served me well and is still found in my pocket every day.

I was really intrigued by the possibilities of having a USB chargeable 18650 light. When the MMR-X arrived, I was quite delighted to find that FourSevens was including a number of accessories that allows the user to configure the light in several different ways, depending on the users preferences.

This light is the first FourSevens light to be powered by an 18650 cell.

Specifications for the MMR-X from the FourSevens website:

DIMENSIONS Length: 5.47 inches / Diameter: 1.24 inches / Weight: 3.26 oz
SPOT BEAM Angle: 7 degrees;Diameter at 3 meters: 360mm
FLOOD BEAM Angle: 60 degrees; Diameter at 3 meters: 3.45 meters
BRIGHTNESS LEVELS Moonlight: 1 lumen, 35 days
Low: 25 lumens, 40 hrs
High:150 lumens, 8 hrs
Max:Burst at 800 lumens, 1 minute
then 400 lumens, 2 hrs
SPECIAL MODES Strobe: 800 lumens at 10hz, 4 hr
SOS: 800 lumens, 4.5 hrs
Beacon High: 800 lumens, 12 hrs
Beacon Low: 150 lumens, 80 hrs
REFLECTOR Smooth highly tuned optical reflector
BODY MATERIAL Type-III hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum
BEZEL MATERIAL Stainless steel strike-bezel
Flat black aluminum bezel also included
LENS MATERIAL Optical-grade glass lens, sapphire coating, antireflective coating
INCLUDED ACCESSORIES Holster, 18650 battery (2600mah), USB power adaptor (USA plug), USB cable, lanyard, spare orings, spare rubber boots, flat black bezel, parts for flat tailcap


I continue to be impressed with FourSeven’s commitment to providing good customer service. In addition to the standard spare oring (the wording has actually been changed to plural in the collateral (reflecting that they include more than one with every light I’ve ever bought from them), this light came with spare rubber boots, a flat bezel, and parts to convert the tailcap to a flat cap.

This light is a large departure from the Quark line in many ways, while being relatively small in form factor. Couple this with the fact that the user can reconfigure the light in several ways, and this is quite a versatile light.

Because of its size, I would personally not carry this as an EDC light, though I have a friend who carries a SureFire light that is about the same size (though nowhere near as bright). It has however found a home on my Maxpedition Versipack, and would be super handy in a situation where I needed a lot of light.

For an idea of the size difference between the MMR-X (on the left) and the light I carry daily (on the right), here they are side by side:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

You can see that the MMR-X is substantially larger, but is actually about the original length of the unmodified QT2A light. The head of the light is also substantially larger than the Quark series. Here is another side by side with the MMR-X on the left, and my modified QT2A-X light on the right:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is actually a good thing, as the XM-L series emitters that the MMR-X lights use needs a bit larger reflector than the XP-G emitters. This gives the MMR-X a good amount of throw, but make no mistake; the MMR-X is more of a “floody” light, it just also has some pretty good throw. On its highest output, I find that at about 200m the light reaches a point that it does not illuminate the target in a useful manner. At intermediate distances of about 100m though, the MMR-X illuminates the target very well.

One of the key selling points of this light is the incredible 800 lumen maximum output. Yeah, about that.

Let me say up front that I do not have the equipment necessary to test lumens. I believe that the light does put out 800 lumens (and not at the emitter like some manufacturers measure it either). It puts out 800 lumens. For one minute. Then it ramps down to 400 lumens over the next 30 seconds. I don’t know how I feel about that. On the one hand, and let’s be perfectly honest here, if I need 800 lumens, I’m really only going to need it for about 30 seconds, if that. My use case for 800 lumens is as follows:

Oh look, a bad guy! What do I do? I know!

  1. Blind him with 800 lumens to the face! Is he still a threat? Yes?
  2. Burst of three to five, center mass.
  3. Still a threat? No. Don’t need 800 lumens anymore.

Now that’s pretty straight forward. But. On the other hand, what if maybe there is more than one bad guy? What if it’s not clear that I need to shoot them at all, and the light is doing a pretty good job of preventing them from becoming more of a threat/ controlling them? For how long? Is 400 lumens enough?

Don’t get me wrong. If you have ever looked into a 200+ lumen flashlight (guilty), you know that it is not a pleasant experience, and that you are not going to be doing it for very long, and you are definitely not going to be doing anything other than trying really fucking hard not to be looking into the light anymore.

So end result for me is that I really don’t need anything more than a 200 lumen flashlight. Is more better? You betcha. Does it help with illumination at distance? Logic would dictate that it does, so just be aware that you only get that 800 lumens in 1 minute bursts. If that is a limitation that you can accept, great, no problem. Besides, you really shouldn’t be conducting search and rescue ops with a pocket sized flashlight all by your lonesome in any event.

Just be aware that in Strobe, SOS, or Beacon (High) mode, you get the full 800 lumens all the time.

Now, this light offers five distinct operating modes. What does that mean? It means that you can choose how the light functions (and what modes you have available to you), at least you have five different choices.


  1. Max output
  2. Max – Low (this is the default as it comes out of the package)
  3. Max – Strobe
  4. Low – High – Max – Strobe
  5. Moonlight – Low – High – Max – SOS – Strobe – Beacon (high) – Beacon (low)

I feel that (of the five modes offered), the default was a solid choice, and what I keep my light in. I do however take issue with how you have to change the operating mode.

To change the operating mode, the light must be plugged into the USB charger (which is included), and must be using the included “special” 18650 battery. This means that for all intents and purposes, you are stuck with whatever mode you select when you set this up. You can change it, yes. But you’d better be in a place where you have the charger with you. Is that a deal breaker? Not really for me, but I broke this down to several of my friends, and they didn’t like it. Of the five guys I talked to about it, they said they would not purchase this light for that alone. Are they serious? I’ll find out if any of them mysteriously acquire one.

I’ve mentioned before that I like the Quark Tactical interface. I like it in large part because I can select from any of the two operating modes of the light. Personally, I find Max – Moonlight the most useful. If I need a middling amount of light, I have other flashlights, but after over a year of carrying a light daily that was set at MAX – Moonlight, I have yet to need anything in between.

With the MMR-X, once you have the “special” 18650 battery, and the light plugged into the USB charger, you then close the switch on the tailcap, and the light will pulse a number of flashes (between 1 and 5) to indicate the currently selected mode. double clicking the tailcap will advance the operating mode to the next mode. So let’s say that you click the cap once, and it pulses once, pauses for about a second, and then pulses again. That means that the light is in mode 1 (Max). If you then doubleclicked the tailcap, it would advance to mode 2 (Max -Low, the default). Double click it again, and it would advance to mode 3 (Max – Strobe). To select the mode, you either unplug the USB cable, or you turn the light off).

I feel like FourSevens missed a huge opportunity here. If you’re going to require that I have the thing plugged into a USB cable to change the modes, why not just require that I plug it into a computer, and then allow me to configure the operating mode directly using the computer? Like I don’t know, maybe MAX – Moonlight? Or Moonlight – SOS, or… well whatever I want?

This frustrates me, because this is so close to an awesome feature, and then we get all of the pain, and none of the gain. Dammit. Oh well, there is always the next version, or model.

I know you noticed the “special” 18650 battery bit. Ok here is the deal. FourSevens decided to include some sort of modified 18650 cell in this light.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I don’t know what exactly makes it special, but it is a pretty decent capacity cell, and notice how long it is, definitely longer than other protected 18650 LiPo cells that I have seen (I just happen to have a bunch of the things laying around).

And for $15, it’s not terribly expensive as far as protected 18650 LiPo cells go ($15 isn’t bad). I’m kind of a battery geek (simply because of how much I’ve had ot learn about them to use them safely), and I’m kinda intrigued about this cell. I have a feeling that it is not only protected, but it has some sort of charging circuitry in it as well.

The users manual (which is not very well laid out) does claim that you can run other 18650 cells in the MMR-X, but I’m skeptical simply because the manual states that to do you, you need to remove some plastic piece from the tail cap and insert it into the light before using other 18650 cells in the light. There is no plastic piece that can be unscrewed from the tail cap that I can find.

Then again, this was an advance model for review, so something may have changed and simply not been changed in the manual. In any event, the light did work with all of the other 18650 cells that I tried it with. I tried the light with a variety of 18650 cells, including protected ICR cells, unprotected IMR cells (I don’t know if this is kosher with 47’s, or what kind of safety circuitry is in the light, so you should probably clear that with support before doing it, but it does work), and a couple of unprotected hybrids.

Unfortunately, FourSevens states in the manual that using anything other than the “special” 18650 disables the USB charging capabilities of the light (as well as disabling your ability to change configurations). Due to the nature of LiPo batteries, I didn’t feel the need to burn down my house, or destroy one of my 18650 cells and the light to test that. Again, another missed opportunity.

For me the take away on the whole battery thing is that you are kinda stuck using their “special” 18650 cells if you want to be able to change the modes of the light and use the USB charger. That’s not a terribly big problem because they are warrantied for 12 months, and relatively inexpensive, but something about the loss of functionality unless you use their battery just chaps my ass. It smacks of vendor lock-in, and I hate that.

Not a deal breaker, but not ideal either.

Once of the other major selling points of the MMR-X is that it is user configurable, physically. From the factory, the light ships with a “tactical” style configuration. Momentary on exposed tail switch, and crenelated strike bezel. I’m of mixed feelings when it comes to strike bezels.

Take a look at this bad boy:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Yeah, that’s gonna leave a mark. Unfortunately, it is also going to leave a mark in a DA’s mind if you ever had to use it, and to a jury you might as well tape a saw blade to the front of your light. I’m just saying that I don’t particularly feel the need to find out what kind of criminal mayhem charge using that thing might bring. Luckily for me, FourSevens was nice enough to include a basic flat bezel in the box, and I switched that out most riki-tik.

They also include parts to change out the tailcap to make it a flat tailcap, which gives the light the ability to tail stand, which is useful if you want to use it to light a room (or for a rave in an abandoned warehouse if you use the strobe mode).

One thing that I do want to touch on is craftsmanship.

Whatever shortcomings this light may have, fit and finish isn’t one of them. Everything fits well, tolerances are tight, knurling lines are crisp (the knurling could be a bit more grippy for my tastes, but that’s a trade off). The USB charging port was an area of concern here. Shouldn’t have been. The connection is tight, the enclosure is well sealed, and the threads on the protective covering are corase, and squared off, so the probability that they will be damaged or degrade over time is very low.

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The red light that you see above indicates that the light is charging, and will turn green once the charging is complete. I do not know if there is cut off circuitry in the light, so you should never leave this light on the charger once charging is complete. LiPo batteries tend to fail in spectacular ways when they over charge, and there is no venting on this light.

Essentially the danger is that when LiPo batteries fail, they tend to do so in a fairly… spectacular manner. It would essentially turn the light into either a grenade or a rocket, depending on what is stronger, the threads on the end cap, or the aluminum body. I’m not saying that failure is likely, but LiPo cells are industrial cells and are not like the alkaline batteries that most consumers are used to dealing with. If you are going to run lights with them, you should do a little bit of research about battery safety and just don’t take any unnecessary risks with them.

Over all, the light is well made, and it does exactly what FourSevens says it does.


Maelstrom MMR-X Regen
POWER SOURCE: ICR 18650 cell (x1)
10 year manufacturer’s warranty on everything that comes in the package (except batteries, the 18650 has a 12 month warranty)
A good performing flashlight, I just can’t help but see missed opportunities when I look at this light.

Guns Criminals Actually Use: Fresno, CA 27MAY2013

Today we have four guns that were seized by FPD.

This first one breaks my heart:

Webley & Scott Revolver in .38S&W

The information from the post:


On Monday May 27, 2013, just before 6:20 p.m., Motor Officer Josh Pantages was patrolling in the area of Clinton and Vassar Avenues, when he noticed a vehicle having five occupants, traveling westbound on Clinton. The vehicle was in violation of expired registration, and some of the occupants were not wearing their seatbelts. Officer Pantages initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle for the purpose of issuing a citation for the expired registration and not wearing seatbelts. Officer Pantages contacted the driver and discovered he was operating a motor vehicle while having a suspended driver’s license. After identifying the other passengers, Officer Pantages discovered one of the passengers to be providing false identification to him. Through investigation Officer Pantages discovered the passenger’s name to be Christopher Powers, 25 year old resident of Fresno. Powers was taken into custody for a Felony Weapons warrant for his arrest. Upon conducting a vehicle inventory Officer Pantages located a loaded concealed firearm under the right front passenger seat. Officer Pantages arrested the right front passenger, Lane Whittenberg, 25 year old resident of Fresno for the concealed firearm. Posted by Officer Mark Gacayan Fresno Police Department Traffic Bureau 621-5050

This is an antique. These revolvers are collectors items, and this poor specimen will now likely be destroyed.

Crimes: Carrying concealed in a vehicle without CCW.

Do we need more gun laws to cover this: No.

Up next we have these beauties:


M1 Carbine in .30 Carbine, SKS in 7.62x39mm

SKS in 7.62x39mm

SKS in 7.62x39mm

Information from the post:

Newsline for 5/27/13
Three Assault Rifles and 14 pounds of Marijuana Seized

Good evening, this is Sgt. Jerardo Chamalbide, a Supervisor with the Street Violence Section Tactical Team. This will be a newsline update for Monday, May 27, 2013, regarding the arrest of a drug dealer with West Fresno ties for possession of marijuana for sales and for possessing three assault rifles.

On Sunday, May 26, 2013, at approximately 11:36 pm, Southwest Patrol Officers were dispatched to 1550 E. Church #251 regarding a shooting victim. Upon arrival, officers contacted Eugene Rauls who stated he lived at the location. Rauls is a 26 year old Fresno resident but is originally from Miami Florida.

Officer Nick El-Helou contacted Ruals at the apartment and obtained his statement. Rauls said he was shot at by two males near his front door of his apartment. Rauls had a minor graze would to the left side of his stomach. While officers were searching the area, they located an assault rifle near the front door to Rauls apartment. While officers were talking with family members, they noticed ammunition to the assault rifle inside the Rauls apartment.

Street Violence Detective David Porcella responded to the scene and conducted an investigation. Porcella realized that the Rauls was not being totally truthful with officers. Porcella authored a search warrant for the apartment and it was signed by a judge. They located 14 pounds of marijuana and two additional assault rifles. Rauls was arrested for possession of marijuana for sales and illegal gun possession. The two unknown suspects that shot Rauls are still being investigated.

Attached to this email is a photograph of Rauls. If you have any information on this case please call Fresno Police at 498-STOP where you may remain anonymous. Please visit our Facebook page for the same posting. Should you have any questions please feel free to call me 621-2416.

First, none of those are “Assault Rifles”. I gigged FPD for that pretty hard (I always take the time to correct incorrect firearm information when they post it, you’d think that after a year or so of it they would at least run it by someone who knows something about guns before posting).

We have here (what used to be) an M1 Carbine that has had the stock cut off (making it an SBR and an “Assault Weapon” as defined by California law, and two SKS rifles with detachable magazines.

The SKS rifles are an interesting issue in California. In 1997 California AG Dan Lundgren reversed a position that he had held since 1991 and declared that SKS rifles that could accept detachable magazines were “Assault Weapons” as defined by California Law at that time, and no registrations would be accepted. A Californian was arrested in 1996 over an SKS (which is what led to this reversal), and his case wound up at the State Supreme Court which ruled that surprise, the SKS with a detachable magazine is an “Assault Weapon” as defined by California law.

The long and short of it is that SKS rifles with detachable magazines in California are a no no. After January 1, 2000 they are considered unregistered “Assault Weapons” as defined by California law, and their possession is a Felony (we had a “buy back” for a little while in 1999 where the state would pay you up to $230 for an SKS Sporter or an SKS with a detachable magazine, which was mighty wide of them considering that they were turning thousands of Californians into felons with the stroke of a pen).

Crimes: Possession and sale of Marijuana (not really gun related), possession of an unregistered “Assault Weapon” as defined by California law (x3), possession of an SBR (x2), mutilation of an M1 Carbine (if that’s not a crime it damn well should be).

Do we need more gun laws to cover this: No.