Episode-1487- Ian McCollum on Military Surplus Rifles and More — 31 Comments

  1. For development of fundamental marksmanship skills, I cannot reccomend Project Appleseed marksmanship clinics highly enough. Go to for more info. (No, I don’t get paid to promote it, Appleseed is 100% volunteer run)

    • In a nut shell, not all Cuban cigars are good.

      Some very good cigars are as good as any good Cuban, specifically stuff from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua can really hold their own. Personally I feel Autro Fuente makes some of the very best in teh world, specifically the Hemingway stuff.

      Where the Cubans shine is that the best Cubans are the best in the world, it has been seen in expert blind testing over and over and over.

      The reality though is unless you really are an aficionado a good cigar is a good cigar. I smoked some really awesome Cubans in Mexico and at the pleasure of some very good friends. They were damn fine. I also smoked some shitty ones. Just being from Cuba doesn’t guarantee anything.

      Don’t get ready to puff up too soon though, it literally takes an act of Congress to lift the embargo.

  2. Jack, about more normal relations with Cuban, I hate that what I believe to be the worst President in US history will get credit for normalizing relations with Cuba. This should have taken place 50 years ago.

    For those that are too young to remember the Cuban missile crisis I was in high school at that time. Cuba has never been a real threat since the Russian missiles were removed.

    Those that have their panties in a wad and are getting the vapors over this. I soldiered in Vietnam in the mid 60’s. We fought a war against North Vietnam and now have trade relations with Vietnam.

    • And we should remember WHY Russian missles were sent to Cuba.

      WE invaded Cuba a year earlier, Bay of Pigs.
      WE embargoed Cuba leaving Russia as their lone survival option
      WE pointed OUR missiles at Russia from both Italy and Turkey and they knew it.

      In other words the US caused the Cuban missile crisis.

    • @Gary –
      In the utopian future in my mind.. the history will read ‘relations with Cuba were normalized during the presidency of Barrack Obama.’ – not – ‘Barrack Obama normalized relations with Cuba.’

      This may not seem like a huge difference, but it is. There are very few ‘leaders’ these days, but there are a huge number of people willing to ‘take credit’.

      A rational person, or a rational people.. can see the difference. Who ‘won WWII’? FDR or the men who fought?

      IMO a man can only be praised or condemned, for this own actions. The actions of his followers, or of the nation he is ‘leading’ are not to be credited to him.

      So Lincoln may have ‘ably led the Union during the Civil War’.. but the soldiery, and the people supporting them ‘won the war’.

      (I realize this is not the BEST example.. for a libertarian and/or southern audience =)

      The other thing I would say.. is if Hitler wants to arise from his grave, and repeal the income tax.. more power to ’em! I don’t really care WHO does a good thing, and I certainly don’t want to wait until ‘someone good’ can get the credit. 😉

      all really IMHO

  3. Great show! I own a VZ 58, you left out its a milled receiver and weighs a full pound lighter than a stamped AK. I put foam pipe insulation wrapped with vet tape to give a great cheek weld on my folder. Came with 5 mags for $399. Another great surplus is the SKS, especially the older Chinese type 56s. Cheap, tough, and left in stock form reliable. Great chrome lined shooters.

  4. Great show! I enjoyed the first one with Ian on the Collector’s FFL and really enjoyed this one.

    I am curious about the comment Ian made about the XD’s grip safety. He listed it as a negative. I’ve never had a problem with mine and see it as a benefit. I don’t want to start an argument, I am genuinely curious as to why he feels it’s a bad thing to have included in the platform design.

    • I don’t like it largely because you can’t operate the slide without the grip safety depressed. It’s not like I run around always worried about one-handed manipulation drill, but when I have other pistol options without the grip safety I don’t see a good reason to pick the XD.

      • I agree with Ian on that! Most of my 1911s have a grip safety but none require it to be depressed to activate the slide, I just don’t see any good coming from such a restriction.

        Makes me think of the stupid cross bolt safeties on lever guns added about 20 years back.

      • Ian,

        Thanks for the reply. I see your point (and Jack’s). I didn’t know about that issue when I bought my XD (I’d actually forgotten about it since I haven’t done one handed stuff in a while). Even if I had I most likely still would have bought it, only because between that, a Glock, and a Ruger the XD fit my hand best and I was most comfortable with it.

        Again, thanks for the great show!

        • The only person I know that would tell you made the wrong decision is James Yeager. LOL

  5. RE: Cuba

    My intuition says this is primarily about isolating Russia further and preventing it from being too cozy with Cuba. No big change of heart on behalf of our glorious leaders (like any of us would really believe that), rather they simply see how Cuba can be potentially useful as a friend. The firing up of some more left-right political BS ‘debate’ and distractions is just a helpful bonus.

    Of course, I’m sure most of us here have no doubt that our ‘leadership’ will throw Cuba under the bus as soon as there is no more benefit for us to being friendly….

    • I recently reread Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’.. and one thing you can say for Machiavelli.. he was definitely pragmatic.

      That unscrupulous short sighted people will do whatever is expedient, should not be surprising. What is surprising, is that ‘the people’ expect anything else from them.

      Ignorance is a frail base for virtue.

      To plagiarize Durant – in politics we assume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.. would you choose your heart surgeon based on his attractiveness, or the quality of his suit?

      And of course Plato warns: ‘Ruin, comes when the trader, whose heart is lifted up by wealth, becomes ruler.’

      ie. when a monied group of oligarchs can buy, and therefore run, a state.

  6. I almost skipped this episode, which would have been a huge mistake..

    Its always great to listen to someone who is not only passionate but also deeply knowledgeable about their subject. Loved it!

    Thanks Ian!

  7. Great show…….. I searched for a vz 58 but didn’t find that many for sale. the nicer vz’s were over $1000. Anyone know where I can buy one (without a folding stock) in the price range that Ian mentioned between $400 to $500.

  8. BIG plus one for MGM Targets. I don’t work there, but I benefit from their support of the local shooting sports. They’re also the main sponsors of the Junior Shooters Camp. Mike Gibson is a standup guy and most, if not all of his family, are involved with some form of shooting-related charity. They build high quality targets and they donate to the local clubs to test them. Try their Texas Star target some time… it’s the target you’ll love to hate! 😛