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Monday, October 8, 2018

2018 Season Starts at Long Ridge Deer Camp

First camp at LRDC is some weeks away. There are still chores to be done to make it a cheery one...more firewood, some strap tightening, seat placement and such. But we are looking forward to taking a few. This IS the year for wildlife. Almost every species except Fisher are very abundant. Deer and bear everywhere on the property.

This nice buck below will undoubtedly be out of the county by the time we hunt...
A sleek fat doe is fair game ONLY if she has no babes with her.
This skinny little fox is an anomaly with the crazy squirrel population.
Bears. Big ones. Little ones. Mamas and Papas.

A handsome cat for sure! East Ridge.
Fat fawns.

And another handsome buck.
I hope this guy below makes it through until next year.
Twins and healthy!

I am not sure if this is the same skinny guy up above, but sleek looking enough.
East plot...
...and being hassled by a buck.
Lumpity Lump, the coyote...
Turkeys aplenty.
Walking the trails...
as is this bruin.

Handsome Boy on the run...

I know by now, that you all have your bows, guns, or cameras prepared and ready. Good luck to all! We'll keep you posted!

Comments and suggestions welcome.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pistol Review..XD 45 Mod 2 vs. S&W M&P45 2.0.

OK, now for some fun. You see a few posts back my review of the S&W 45 2.0 vs. the Remington RP45. No contest. And, if you go back several posts more and read my review of the XD9 Mod 2 vs, the Sig 320 and Glock 19x  you will see that though the Smith came out on top I LOVED the XD. It is a battle piece for sure. So when I published the review of the 45s (the Remington and the Smith) it was not long before I got word from one of those pesky Sheriff's deputies that an XD 45 mod 2 was on the way to battle it out with my Smith. Uh oh...Remember the Croatian blood I discovered I had?  THIS will be fun. And in it came, pictured below.


Springfield XD Mod.2 Black .45ACP 4-inch 13rd


  • Chambering:. 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 4 inches
  • OA Length: 7.3 inches
  • Weight: 30 ounces
  • Grips: Integral polymer
  • Sights: Fiber optic front
  • Action: Striker fired
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: 13+1
  • MSRP: $593

Smith & Wesson M&P 45 Mod 2.0



SKU: 11523
Model: M&P®45 M2.0™
Caliber: 45 AUTO
Capacity: 10+1
Barrel Length: 4.6" / 11.7 cm
Overall Length: 7.9"
Front Sight: Steel - White Dot
Rear Sight: Steel - White Two Dot
Action: Striker Fire
Grip: Polymer
Weight: 27.0 oz / 765.4g
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel - Armornite® Finish
Slide Material: Stainless Steel - Armornite® Finish
Frame Material: Polymer
Purpose: Home Protection, Personal Protection
About 500.00 with the extra 2 14 round magazines.

Now, let begin with some of the finer points here. The XD comes with three magazines as any battle pistol should. The Smiths sticks you with two. Advantage XD. Also the mag capacity of the XD is 13 rather than 10, but the the grip on the XD is longer making printing under clothing much more pronounced. Stand-off. Factory sights go to XD, with a red pipe front, whereas the Smith had the Glock like white dots. Point to the XD, though if I were to keep either of these pistols, Tru-Glo TFO sights would go on either. Far superior to both. But as factory guns, point to XD.
Dimensions of these guns are remarkably the same. The Smith has a longer barrel, but that does not hinder concealment like a longer grip, and does give better velocity. Point to Smith. The Smith has the grip inserts, and the XD does not. The XD is about a 1/4 inch longer in the grip, front to back. Feels much bulkier than the Smith. As you hold these pistols the XD feels much thicker and smoother ( I am talking grip texture) in the hand. It seems that Smith has nailed this as far as ergonomics go. The Smith has a hinged trigger, effortless at about 6 lbs. The XD has a
 press-able trigger safety at 6.25 lbs., and no problem to depress as the Remington is. Both are completely acceptable in dry fire mode.
So, as before, with the Smith 9c 2.0 vs the XD9 mod 2, the Smith feels better in the hand, but the XD holds more rounds. Let's see how they shoot.

OK, we are at the range. We have over 350 hundred rounds per pistol to shoot. Here is the array.
Black Hills 230 grain JHP
Remington 185 FMJ
Fiocci 230 grain FMJ
Fiocci 200 grain JHP
Winchester 230 grain FMJ Service Grade
Winchester 230 grain Ranger T-Series
Silver Bear 230 grain FMJ
MagTech 230 grain FMJ.

 Above are the first rounds I shot with these two pistols...Just wanted to see what POI they each had, and to get the triggers down, S&W on top, XD on bottom. These were shot at 12 yards. Both guns about right on. Both accurate. Below, is the next accuracy test with the Dot torture test. Remember, this had strong and weak hand shooting, multiple target, multiple hit, drawing and firing, and reloading drills built into it. If you only have a box of 50 rounds, use it on this exercise. I usually shoot it at 5 yards, but these being 45's I shot it at 3 yards, the standard. The results are unremarkable excepting I did not complete the last exercise with the S&W (thanks Woody), but actual performance is about equal. The only advantage here, is to the Smith. Note the lower left hand dot. That is the 5 round weak hand shooting exercise. The Smith cleaned it, and the XD was pretty off. I guarantee the ONLY reason for this is the grip stippling on the M&P. As usual, it simply cannot move in your hand while shooting. The XD was slippery in comparison.( as a side note, at the end of 350 rounds or so with each pistol, my hand was a bit sore from the Smith)

The target below is at 12 yards and I did a few rapid fire chest head drills with each pistol. Excellent results with both. The 1 & 3 dots on the left are cadence fire with the XD. S&W on the 3& 4 side. These pistols are shooters. 

I moved these next two targets 2 yards closer and did 2x2 drills with each, as fast as I could fire.
 The XD is the tighter winner here. The lite pipe front sight is faster to acquire than the boring white dot on the Smith.
 As you see, I have misses here with the Smith. I don't like that. Tru-Glow TFO's go on either pistol I decide I like best. I am loving them both at this point..The XD timed average for this was 2.99 seconds and the Smith a mite quicker at 2.55 seconds.
 The next target below is cadence fire at 25 yards with both pistols. This is with the excellent Black Hills 230 grain JHP round. Both pistols do well, but I prefer the Smith group. Again, I cannot fault the XD in any way relative to it's accuracy, but it tends to move in your hand a lot more. Incidentally I could tell no difference in the recoil impulses from these pistols. 
 As I always say, any pistol I shoot must pass muster with duty ammunition, and below you can see that both pistols at rapid fire, 10 yards are spot on with this. I feel safe. There was virtually no difference. The round is the excellent Winchester 230 grain JHP Ranger T-Series.

I Should have taken a picture of the 5x5 drill targets I did, don't know why I did not. But because these guns are both shooters, I shot them at 6 yards rather than 5. I time with a Pro-Timer and the average for ten completions for the XD was 2.95 seconds. The Smith averaged 2.38

At this point, I was unable to shoot more paper because of a lack of population control at this spot. I do know this. I can live with either pistol, so it is off to the steel. I do note at this point the right side of my trigger finger is VERY sore from dragging on the inside of the XD trigger guard as I pull the trigger. That would probably have happened  on the Smith if I used the large grip insert to match the big grip on the XD, but the Smith has the interchangeable back straps to better fit your hand. Point to Smith.
So far, and as I expected, both pistols have functioned perfectly. The only glitch was a single light primer strike on the Service Grade rounds by the XD. I re-fed this round and it fired fine the second hit. It did not re-occur, and it does not concern me in the least. This is a brand new pistol. If it had happened two or three times, I would have been done writing this review an hour ago.

On the metal range now. Shooting plates at about 12 yards. Mixed ammo. I find that with both these pistols one must place the sight on the very bottom of each plate to hit. These 45's recoil more than the 9mm and so before the bullet has left the bore, the muzzle is rising. Like a shotgun slug, remember we aimed those shotguns at the groin to take them in the chest? Nice to know. These ARE light pistols. In any case, once I figured out how to orient these pistols I shot the six plates 10 times with each pistol. Even with some misses both did very well with the XD 45 averaging 2.77 seconds, and the Smith averaging 2.52 seconds. I call this a draw.

On to the 25 yard man size steel plate. Both pistols under rapid fire were boringly regular in hammering this target. And the 45 ACP makes a clear twang when it hits. The next steel plate is a 12 incher, and it was no problem connecting with it under cadence fire with either pistol. The last target is a 3 incher at 25 yards, and I fired a ton of rounds with both pistols on this one. With both I had to really concentrate, and most of the time walk my rounds onto it by watching where the misses went. I expected nothing less. With a 10mm target 1911, you can hit every time. But remember, these are combat pieces.


There are shortfalls with each pistol of course. The Smith only comes with  two magazines, and as I have said repeatedly, any battle ready pistol should come out of the box with three. The XD does.

The XD does not have grip inserts, which made the gun grip a bit long for me. Because of this, my tripper finger was quite sore after several hundred rounds from dragging on the trigger guard. The grip on the XD is also quite smooth like the Remington, and if your hand is damp, the pistol WILL move inside your grip. The Smith stippling is the best of any pistol I have ever shot, and the grip inserts made it very comfortable to shoot and a bit more practically accurate. In a bench vice I'll bet the accuracy from the XD is as good as any.

Sights. The front sight on the XD is superior to the white dot on the Smith. On the bright days I shot, both were quick to acquire. Under dimmer conditions, point to XD. In even dimmer conditions, both would be rather useless. Put on the TRu-Glow TFO's for either.

Capacity. Point to XD. This does come with a longer grip and grip width cost though. I had as you know purchased two 14 round mags for the Smith, but would not carry one in the gun if I was CCing.

Equal on the reliability fix. I always limp wrist, and do any manner of things to see if I can make a pistol fail. Did not accomplish that with these two. They are John Deere reliable. I shot a lot of different makes, loads and bullets through both pistols. All were accurate, and in a practical sense all hit to the same point of aim. Practice with whatever you want, and then carry the best stuff.
Both these pistols are superior to the 1911 platform for serious social assignment. Trust them.


I will keep the Smith, and if anyone asked me for a recommendation I would recommend the Smith over the XD. Not because it is a better pistol. They are both stellar .
But I find the Smith faster on target, more comfortable to shoot, and the hinged trigger is much more comfortable than the pressed type trigger safeties. That said, both triggers were very good with the takeup on the XD a bit smoother than the Smith.  So to me, with subjective experience here, prefer the Smith and I will begin to shoot it a lot. With that said, if I could dump my Glock for the XD as a duty piece I would do it in a New York second. Both to me are ergonomically superior to the popular Glock rocks. Carry it in good health Lieutenant!


Comments and hate mail welcomed!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Long Ridge Prepares For Opening Day!

   We are just days from opening archery season, and as usual it takes most of us by surprise. It is just this week I recall my archery pro telling me to have my Bear restrung in 2018. So off we raced and it'll be in next week. But then I have to re-sight it all in, and get comfortable out to 35 yards. It won't take long, I assure you that. All tags are printed off and in my wallet! So, the pictures here are
from the latter part of this summer. Game of all sorts is ample. I was worried about the bear population last fall because almost 70 were taken from our SW corner of the state. These summer pictures however assure me that the population is holding it's own. We have big ones, and little ones. Moms with babes. Cranky boars with flat nasty muzzles. Everywhere. They took a lot of fawns...the does above and below look sleek and healthy. There is plenty of forage.

 I am later than usual but getting the food plots done. I hesitate to plow some under because they are being used regularly, so I try to rotate.
 here on the e
East Plot we have tons of deer and a high recruitment of fawns.
 Here goes a little bear. Did not get any Mom or siblings of this cub on this card...
 Far Ridge, and now I know why my camera was tipped over...
 This may buck below has become a handsome boy. Later on that!
 There is nothing pretty about Mother Nature. Here is a large coyote with a fawn in his mouth.

 Here is a yearling bear. The long snout, and German Shepard ears give it away. But it appears healthy...may even be eating something...
 Below is a ragged looking twosome. I would hazard to say I have some 6-8 different bears on cams this summer. Maybe a dozen.

 The fawns that survive all seem well nourished and vigorous.

 A lean looking fox below, but with the exploded squirrel population, I doubt this one is hungry...
 Still another little guy in black.
 And curiosity always reigns...
So, fellow camera folks and hunters. Gear up. It is here, and we are excited for coming hunting camps. Get those bows limbered up and dialed in. Butter up the muzzle loaders and by that time, it will, unbelievably, be cold once again. I can hardly wait! 
Comments and questions welcomed!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Long Ridge Camp's Shortest Two gun Review...

 This review is one of the shortest, and most disappointing I have done. I had great hopes for it, as I have dropped (as you know) my new romance for the decidedly outmoded 1911  platform. I still am interested in the 45 ACP however, and wanted to find a high capacity striker fired 45. I am a staunch fan of the S&W M&P line of pistols, believing that the M&P 9 and 9c2.0 are the finest battle pistols ever developed. But...I did not have the M&P 45, so decided to get one even though it is marginally a high capacity pistol (11 rounds). Then Remington released the RP45 in January...15 in the magazine, + one. Who could beat THAT in 45 with a striker fired piece? No one. So, I bought one of each. The Remington you see below, and just below that, the S&W 45 2.0

RP45 Specs
Order Number96464 – RP4596257 –
Trigger Pull5.5 – 7 lbs.5.5 – 7 lbs.
Grip MaterialPolymerPolymer
Mass Weight26.4 ounces26.4 ounces

Cap.                     15 + 1

Grip circumference 5 5/8       Price paid : 279.00

 The Smith only hold 10+1 but does offer 14 round magazines so I purchased two of these before shooting either.

14 rounders below



SKU: 11523
Model: M&P®45 M2.0™
Caliber: 45 AUTO
Capacity: 10+1
Barrel Length: 4.6" / 11.7 cm
Overall Length: 7.9"
Front Sight: Steel - White Dot
Rear Sight: Steel - White Two Dot
Action: Striker Fire
Grip: Polymer
Weight: 27.0 oz / 765.4g
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel - Armornite® Finish
Slide Material: Stainless Steel - Armornite® Finish
Frame Material: Polymer
Purpose: Home Protection, Personal Protection, L.E.
Price paid: $450. 

 As is my habit, when both came in, I cleaned and wet lubed both with the best. Slip 2000. (No, I do not get any money from them, don't want or need any, and have never communicated with them. They simply make the best lube out there). Now, before I get into the targets below, let me tell you a story. After measuring grip circumference 5 5/8ths on both with the small back strap installed, and finding virtually all handgun measurements and specs ( width, length, weight, etc) the same, and trigger pull a matching 6.25 oz...I could find no advantage to either except the Remington's higher capacity. I spent a week dry firing both to gain familiarity with the feel of the guns, and trigger. I am intimately familiar with the Smith's so that was a no brainer, but I must say, the Remington felt GOOD and I was excited. So, off to the range. The first exercise I do with a new pistol, is  shoot it at a 2 inch dot at 7 yards to see where it prints. Then I do a 50 round Dot Torture Test. I started with the Remington, and it seemed exceedingly accurate! Then I started the weak hand (I know, I KNOW, it should be stated 'off hand' so we won't think we have a weak hand ha ha) and as I searched for the trigger with my weak hand index, the gun fired. I had not even found the trigger. This obviously startled me. I tried it again, slowly, and as my finger came against the side of the trigger, the gun fired. I had NOT depressed the trigger safety. Unload, dismount, examine. I discover that if you attempt to pull the Remington's trigger from the right side, without depressing the
 trigger safety the gun will not fire. But I find that if you pull the trigger back without depressing the trigger safety from the left side, the gun fires every time. I had also noted that when slow firing, the Remington dumped brass exactly as it should, 5-8 feet to the right. But when rapid firing, the shell casings caught in the crook of my right arm, or hammered me right in the forehead. That to me, spells 'barrel dwell time' big time. Pack it all up, go home, call the techs at Remington. They are very helpful, ask that I enclose a detailed letter for the smiths, and send me a Fed EX free mailer, for at my home pick-up. Service like Smith and Wesson!. I do this. Ten days later I get the gun back, and excitedly open the package. I read a terse letter from the smith stating that the trigger safety works as it should, test fired and all OK. Try the trigger from the left side, and find that the problem has not been corrected. NOTHING was fixed. Get on the phone. Talk to tech. Get another label. Enclose same detailed letter with a big READ IT sheet on top. 12 days later get the gun back. Note from smith states defective trigger safety assembly replaced, test fired and all is well. I check the pistol 20 ways to Sunday, and it is fixed Yayyyy! 
So, off to the range.

Decided to see where each poi for these pistols is at 10 yards. Both are accurate. Remington feels really good, except the safety on the trigger has a very strong spring, and is uncomfortable to depress.
On to the Dot Torture at 3 yards. Remington beats S&W by two points. These are both extremely manageable pistols for 45 acp.

Below, ten yard rapid fire 2 and one drills. The Smith is faster on target, and easier on the hands because of the 2.0 stippling. The Remington is slippery because it was in the high nineties and my hands are sweaty. But still, the Remington shows great accuracy as does the Smith. Incidentally I did the 5x5 drill, timed at 6 yards, and these guns both easily shot it under 5 seconds, about 3 seconds from a draw for each. I pasted over the targets forgetting to photograph them, but essentially the 5x5 was a draw. If the Remington had the grip texture of the S&W I think it could have beat it on this.

The last two targets below are cadence fire from 25 yards. The Remington target at the top has less rounds, you'll hear about that in a minute. My trigger finger actually aches on the 1st pad because of the sharp and stiff trigger safety. The trigger pull itself is decent as is the reset.

Smith is right on. Easy.

These 25 yard targets ended the shoot off. Here is why. I had been using ball ammo until these targets. Wolf, Magtec, Fiocci and some CCI.  The Remington had three light strikes on the Wolf ammo. Each of these I tried a second time without success. I then put them through the S&W and they fired. Then for the 25 yard cadence I decided to try some Fiocchi 200 grain hollow points. They fed and functioned fine in the S&W but in the RP45 it suddenly locked up and would not fire. I could NOT retract the slide no matter what I did. I pulled the trigger multiple times. I pounded this gun, but to no avail. So with a live round in the chamber I had to box it up. Test over. Already back to the factory twice, and now a complete failure with under 200 rounds. I played around with the S&W for another 150 rounds with zero problems or malfunctions. Utterly controllable and nearly as easy to shoot as my M&PC 2.0 (as an aside I have finally surpassed 10,000 rounds through my 1.0 M&P9 with zero malfunctions. Zero. The M&P45 2.0 is a keeper. Anyone wants the Remington for 200.00 have at it. A plinker and accurate shooter, but I would never trust it in a violent situation. I did get it home, and with a brass hammer did get the slide open and pull out the HP round. Brass appears scratched so I'll be cleaning this up, but NOT carrying it or keeping it. 
Buy the M&P45 2.0 . Moderately priced, great 6 pound trigger, a grip that does NOT move in your hand, and reliable as a John Deere. Steel plates, here we come. And last, more rounds and much easier to control than my S&W 1911 Sc that I reviewed in the past. Comments and insults are welcome!

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