I was browsing 80/20’s website today and came across a free sample offer.
The sample kit includes 2 small sections of aluminum profiles, an end fastener, an anchor fastener, and a hex wrench.
I love working with 80/20. I liked working with it when I bolted projects together using angle brackets and other external hardware, but I’m liking it a lot more now that I’m familiar with their custom cutting and machining services.
This is what one of my earlier cabinet designs looked like.
Here’s another iteration, after I moved to anchor fasteners and started prototyping a solution that would wrap around the corner of a room.
80/20 is pricey stuff to work with, but its versatility can make up for that. I’ve seen it used for simple tool enclosures, to elaborate CNC setups.
There might be a limited quantity of sample sets available.
What I’m wondering is whether you can actually build anything with the parts they send you. Two small aluminum profiles and two fasteners of different types? Depending on the length they provide, if you have access to a miter saw with non-ferrous aluminum-cutting blade, a drill bit, and tap, you might be able to make… I really don’t know. Something? Still, it’s a chance to check out how it works, and for free.
Last month, Google introduced its Titan Key — a physical security key used for two-factor authentication — and now it’s widely available in the US. For $50, you’ll get a USB security key and a Bluetooth security key as well as a USB-C to USB-A adapter and a USB-C to USB-A connecting cable.
Google began requiring its 85,000 employees to use Titan Keys last year and once it did, the company said it didn’t have a single instance where an account was taken over through a phishing attack. While two-factor authentication is recommended for strong security protections, not all methods are equal. Physical security keys like Titan or Yubikey are considered safer than methods requiring SMS messages, for example, since those could be intercepted by hackers.
Titan Security Keys are available to US customers now through the Google Store. The company says they’ll be available in additional regions soon.
It you have not had the chance to use a magazine loader/unloader, it is probably . The new MagLULA that was just announced is an upgraded version of the tried and tested original that fits atop an AR magazine to allow rounds to be easily loaded or unloaded. Like flicking a switch, the arm of the new MagLULA pushes around (or follower) down to allow for space for a new round to be dropped into place. A simple but an ingenious invention that has helped shooters load up more easily for almost two decades.
Purists will argue that the new MagLULA (or original) is unnecessary, relying on their thumbs to do all the work. For those who own fully automatic ARs, attend high round count carbine classes, or who are physically impaired, the MagLULA is a welcome addition to a range kit.
Details are listed below.
After 17 years of production we’ve created a more compact, lighter, smoothly-operated loader & unloader. Further, the new loader fits and releases from both magazines held by a magazine-coupler. Part number and price remain unchanged.
Thirteen years of dedicated law enforcement and security duty turn Ohioan, Dave Krueger, into an entrepreneur with a passion for helping people.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The old saying “once a cop, always a cop” conjures up images of buzz haircuts, clipped speech, thumbs tucked in behind belts and a predilection to that circular confection known world-wide as a donut.
But beyond that iconic image rests the real truth. Brothers and sisters in blue often retire or leave the force only to find ways to continue to connect and give back to law enforcement.
Allthe “would-have, should-have, could-haves” combined with years of street presence creates a different cop, one that never leaves the force in spirit. One such cop is Dave Krueger. Throughout his thirteen-year career in law enforcement and as a Marine Patrol Officer, Dave saw it all, the best and worst of humanity.
As a Search and Rescue officer, Dave worked side-by-side with the local Coast Guard Station and when historic flooding hit the Ohio River in 1997, Dave was appalled at the lack of preparation residents had who lived in the flood zone. Panicked people, old and young, and pets were forced on their roofs where rescue operations could retrieve them. Relieved to be rescued, none of them were prepared for the often long wait until a rescue boat or helicopter could move them to safety. Dave had his first ah-ha moment then.
As a part-time police officer, while serving on a domestic violence call, Dave suffered a career-ending injury. Years from retirement, Dave took from his previous experience as a Search and Rescue and police officer and created his first entrepreneurial effort. With the memory of people stuck on rooftops for days on end, Dave created a portable “Survival Kit” designed to sustain four people for three days. With assistance from colleagues like a former SEAL officer and a retired Rescue Swimmer with the Coast Guard, the Survival Kit contained the essentials such as food, water, shelter, signal equipment and first aid items. The kit provided easily identifiable outside pockets for quick access during an emergency. Dave’s first company, World Prep Inc. was launched from his basement only to quickly require larger warehousing space.
9/11 was another pivotal moment for Dave’s fledgling company. While watching the disaster unfold on television, he saw a video of a survivor emerging from the stricken building still clutching her purse. Dave thought if she had enough mind to grab her purse, would people in these dire conditions grab something to help them “stack the odds in their favor?” Within two weeks of 9/11, Dave’s company offered the Evacuation Kit on their website. The kit was an instant hit and one of the world’s largest law firms ordered several thousand units for their offices across the globe. Terrorism was the new buzzword.
Ever vigilant, when the Iraq invasion occurred, Dave saw a call for hygiene materials from a local Sheriff’s office for deployed service personnel. Dave and his company put together a camouflaged hygiene kit that would include all the necessary items but be small enough to fit in the side pockets of their BDU’s. His company partnered with the USO to supply troops as they were deploying and also with the Wounded Warrior Project for privately labeled kits. For fifteen years, Dave and his company, World Prep, aimed to help citizens, law enforcement, and military be better prepared for any disaster, great or small. After developing over 45 products for nine different markets, Dave sold his company.
His newest ah-ha moment came while watching his evening news in which police were pursuing a fleeing subject in a car. The police immobilized the vehicle but the suspect refused to leave the vehicle. The scenario that followed is still always one of the most dangerous situations for officers to find themselves in, where one wrong move can get them killed. In order to break the side door glass, the officer had to expose himself to potential gunfire. Dave saw a resolution and it came in the form of the X-Ball, a unique extraction ball that can be attached to a fiberglass extension pole or thrown into glass, thus keeping officers out of potential danger.
The X-Ball can be used by law enforcement, military, fire, and rescue personnel. The extraction device can be attached to a tactical vest or used on its fiberglass pole. Weighing less than 1 lb. it allows firefighters the ability to keep a distance from flames during an extraction, as well as allowing other public safety personnel to maintain a defensive position from a distance. It is designed to penetrate most glass except for laminated glass, as in a windshield yet is highly effective on side door automobile glass.
Dave is currently working on another relevant product, this time aimed specifically at the women’s market by providing women with the tools to deter an aggressor. Never one to rest on his laurels, his latest company Uniqative, which is a blend of that which is unique and innovative, hence “Uniqative” will continue to produce products geared toward helping people and professionals make the best out of life’s sometimes most dire situations.
So you have a Ruger 10/22 and you really want an advantage at a short range match and you buy a 25 or more power scope with a 50mm or bigger objective! You mount it on your 10/22 only to find it will not adjust the reticle down far enough! I have seen this in person and I can show you a great solution made by EGW or Evolution Gun Works out of Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
EGW makes a bunch of parts in their manufacturing facility in PA but the one that impressed me was the 10/22 MOA Tactical Scope mount. The 20moa model worked great and fixed the problem with adjustment to spare!
I good friend of mine who was a professional league “Bench Rest Shooter” for over 20 years talked me into shooting a local 22LR Benchrest match each month in the area of our homes. I have a few 10/22’s setup for bench shooting but just normal 3X9 power scopes. I do have one Leupold 12 power scope, straight 12 and he said that will work BUT you need the most power you can get and still be able to adjust the parallax under 50 yards.
So I go and get a 8X36 with a 56mm objective, it works great other than with that big of objective and power, I ran out of adjustment for the reticle to drop. Doing a search I found EGW, I ended up getting 3 of these scope mounts in 20moa two in black and one in a silver color. The EGW mounting system was an instant and high quality solution!
EGW’s quality of these is top notch, the finish is perfect! They include the mounting screws and the bit needed for installation. The customer service is above the board with super fast replies and shipping was two days. The fit is perfect and once installed looks like it was built on the receiver. They take just a couple minutes to install and remember to use the blue loctite on the provided screws. Torque the screws to 20 inch pounds for perfect installation per EGW’s recommendation.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best defenses you have at your disposal to avoid being hacked. Unfortunately, too many people never enable 2FA, leaving themselves open to attack. However, Epic Games is trying to change all that with a simple bribe.
The next step is enabling two-factor authentication. This adds an obstacle to would-be hackers, as 2FA employs a second element for verifying you are who you say you are. The most common element being an SMS message or email with a code attached.
Enable 2FA and Earn a Free Emote
This is the method Epic Games uses with Fortnite. The problem is persuading people to actually enable two-factor authentication on their accounts. Epic’s rather clever solution is to offer a reward to everyone who enables 2FA on their Fortnite account.
Your account security is our top priority!
Protect your account by enabling 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication). As a reward for protecting your account, you’ll unlock the Boogiedown Emote in Fortnite Battle Royale.
Enabling two-factor authentication in Fortnite will unlock the new Boogiedown emote. Emotes being dances you can have your character perform on the battlefield. Emotes are a moneymaker for Epic, so giving one away for free is something of a big deal.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication Today!
While a new emote isn’t a life-changing reward, it’s surely better than nothing. Especially given how easy it is to enable two-factor authentication. Let’s hope this inspires more companies and services to offer rewards to users who enable 2FA.
The Aqua GUI in Apple’s operating systems has undergone a remarkable evolution since March of 2000, when it found its way into OS X 10.0, and you might be surprised at just how different everything looks now. Thanks to the newly launched Aqua Screenshot Library, you can revisit every version of OS X (and macOS) through the years and view the gradual evolution of Apple’s operating system—all from your browser.
The massive gallery is the latest work by 512 Pixels, an online library that attempts to keep tabs on all things Apple (including the Mac’s many wallpapers). The Aqua Screenshot Library, as creator Stephen Hackett notes, provides a comprehensive look at the history of Apple’s operating systems, which covers its jump to from bulkier CRTs to compact, LED-backlit displays; Apple’s various font changes over the years; and Apple’s move from disc-based operating systems to (free) digital downloads.
Let’s take a look at some of these major Mac milestones.
Mac OS X 10.0 (“Cheetah”)
March 24, 2001, marked the first official release of the Mac OS X operating system, following a public beta the year before. Hackett notes that its 128MB memory requirement was “more than most Mac users had in their systems at the time.” This lead to many complaints about the OS’s slow performance and high resource demand. The Cheetah interface retained the pin-striped menu and window design from the beta, but it began the feline-based naming trend which would last up to version 10.8, “Mountain Lion.”
Mac OS X Leopard (10.5)
The final months of 2007 brought some big changes to OS X. The release of Leopard saw Aqua take on a much more streamlined look, with all windows now defaulting to a single, simple grey design, as well as the debut of a redesigned Finder tool. Prior to this, different apps—and different versions of OS X—had varied UI designs (for better or worse). With Leopard’s release, OS X started to look more uniform. Most importantly, it was the first version to include those rad, space-based backgrounds.
OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
Mountain Lion was the first version of OS X to arrive after Steve Jobs’ death, and it focused on aligning Mac computers with the late CEO’s other major contribution to the tech industry: the iPhone. The 2011 OS X update, Mac OS X Lion (10.7), kicked off Apple’s merging of iOS aesthetics into OS X, and the company doubled down with Mountain Lion. Tools and applications were renamed after iOS features, and Apple added some small visual and input changes to bridge the two operating systems even closer together—in style, at least.
OS X Mavericks (10.9)
Mavericks was a major business pivot for Apple, as it was the first version of the OS the company released for free, offered to users as an upgrade via the App Store in October 2013. Apple hasn’t gone back to paid operating systems since—thankfully. Mavericks was also the first version of OS X to use non-feline nomenclature. It also ditched the galactic background theme for California landscapes, which we can all agree was a major blunder. Right?
macOS Sierra (10.12)
Version 10.12 of Apple’s operating system for the Mac is most is notable for its big rebranding. Apple dropped the “OS X” name entirely in this release, instead calling its operating system “macOS” to align it the company’s operating systems on other platforms: iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. macOS Sierra also included a subtle, but noteworthy change of the operating system’s font from Myriad to Apple’s proprietary “San Francisco” typeface.
Browsing the Aqua Screenshot Library is a fun way to see just how far macOS has come, especially to see how Apple’s design priorities change between the major releases. However, the Aqua Screenshot gallery is just one of 512 Pixels’ many projects to check out. Be sure to poke around the other Apple-themed collections Hackett has assembled over the years, too, including the excellent 512 Pixels YouTube channel.
Shooting paper targets is a good way to practice your precision shooting..but for high-speed, run-and-gun dynamic shooting…nothing quite compares to a good steel target.
Personally, I love shooting steel more than anything else (well, maybe not as much as Tannerite, but that’s kind of expensive) and I have invested in quite a few steel targets for my home range.
All of my steel targets are made out of AR500 steel, which allows them to take a beating and keep on keeping on. There really is nothing quite like them, and they provide a really nice shooting experience.
Provided you treat them right, they can last for hundreds of thousands of rounds and are great for self-defense training, competition training, and just plain fun.
Let’s talk about how these amazing targets work, what kind of targets you can get, and how to choose the best one for your purpose.
Table of Contents
What the Heck is AR500 Steel?
In short, it’s really hard.
AR500 is the same steel that’s used in body armor like the stuff Eric tested a while back. The 500 part of the name denotes a certified Brinell hardness of 500.
Brinell testing is done by impact testing with a ball bearing to see if the steel chips or cracks, or Brinells which is a fancy way of saying “dents”.
In this case, we want the steel to dent because if it cracks, chips, flakes, or deforms in an inconsistent way, it can send ricochets and even whole bullets careening all over the place, including back towards the shooter instead of away.
In the industry, we call this a “no Bueno scenario”. For those of you that don’t speak French, that means bad.
As a rule, it’s best not to get shot, especially not with your own gun.
AR500 steel and other, similarly through-hardened steels prevent this by being strong enough to resist severe deformation under impact, and AR500 targets are surfaced in such a way as to make sure no pieces of copper or lead get sent back towards the firing line.
AR500 is also relatively easy to machine, so you get a wide variety of target options. This is also important because you don’t get a lot of heat introduced to the metal during the manufacturing process, which can ruin the temper (and thus the hardness) of the steel.
Using Steel Targets
Actually setting up and using steel targets seems fairly simple, but there are some things you need to do to protect yourself and your targets.
First, use properly hardened AR500 steel, from a reputable manufacturer. Unless it says AR500 or AR550 which is the harder version often used in rifle targets, stay away. Soft or mild steels will chip and deform, or just have a nice little hole put in them.
This is also why shooting at scrap metal like barrels, propane tanks, and old cars can be very dangerous, so do so at your own risk.
A proper AR500 or AR550 steel target, when hung at the proper angle and the correct distance for your caliber, and used with the correct bullet type, is perfectly safe.
Stay away from steel-core rounds like M855 5.56, and avoid solid copper rounds. These rounds can seriously deform, or even penetrate steel targets. Stick to lead, copper-jacketed rounds, or even better, frangible munitions.
Frangible ammo is made of a pressed metal powder that explodes on impact with a hard target. They’re still very lethal, and sometimes recommended for home defense if over-penetration is a concern, but you can safely fire from point-blank range at a steel target and be just fine.
With all other bullet types, you should be at least ten yards away to be totally safe, and longer for rifle rounds. Your target should come with information regarding safe use with various calibers.
Speaking of, it’s important that you have a thick enough steel for the caliber you’re using, and the range you’re shooting at. You’ll want to calculate the energy of your round (velocity x bullet mass) and compare that to the manufacturers recommended minimum thickness and distance for your specific target.
Here are some general industry rules for AR500
0-700ft-lbs = ¼” AR500
700-2100ft-lbs = ⅜” AR500
2100-4000ft-lbs = ½” AR500
4000-10000ft-lbs = ⅝” AR500
Most of the time, AR550 is recommended for dynamic rifle targets, or any bullet that carries more than 2100ft-lbs of energy as a ½” or ⅝’ piece of AR500 is going to be extremely heavy and unwieldy.
If you’re looking for something to bang magnum rifle rounds off of, AR550, which can be thinner and therefore lighter than AR500, is probably a better idea, but if you’re just hanging the target and leaving it up, AR500 is fine.
And as far as hanging your targets, make sure you’re following the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for the appropriate angle and distance. I can’t stress enough how much you do not want to screw this up and have bullets flying back at you from the firing line.
To aid in this, many manufacturers have special target stands that will ensure your target hangs safely and securely.
Finally, to care for your steel target in the long term, you’ll need to repaint it after every use so the exposed metal doesn’t rust. A simply rattle can of spray paint in your favorite color will do just fine, which is why I keep a can of white Rustoleum in my range bag.
Types of Steel Targets
There are two main categories of steel targets, static and dynamic.
Static targets are things like silhouettes, gongs, things like that. They’re still more dynamic than paper because they give you nice audible feedback on a hit, but other than that they just chill there. Waiting to get shot. They’re awesome like that.
What’s even better though, at least in my opinion, are the dynamic targets. These are the things like falling Steel Challenge-style silhouettes that you can knock over, dueling trees where you can practice your speed shooting against yourself, or a buddy, and my least favorite target ever, this damn thing:
What we have here is basically a vertical seesaw or teeter-totter.
The goal is to shoot one end (I start with the bottom and I’m sure someone in the comments can tell me why that’s wrong) and then as the target swings back, shoot the other end swinging it back, and continue alternating until the target flips all the way around, like we all tried to do on the swingset as kids.
It’s a terribly frustrating, but incredibly rewarding target to shoot. And of course, the masochistic range officers out there just love putting them in 3Gun stages to make you burn a full minute and three pistol mags before giving up.
If you’re interested in learning how to get good at the spinner, take a look at this InRangeTV video! (some explicit language…it is a very frustrating target)
My personal favorites are the plate racks designed for pistol shooting. They give you all the fun of burning through a series of ceramic plates, without all the mess and expense. Just flip the targets back up, and either run them again or let someone else try and beat your time.
You can get six, eight, ten, and twelve-inch plates so you can accommodate any difficulty level or distance, and some models (the more expensive ones) will even automatically reset from a distance so you can shoot all day and never leave the firing line.
If you’re a little more practically minded, or just want to get better IDPA scores, you can pick up a whole slew of IDPA targets. This is essentially kill-zone targets that are perfect for defensive training, and are a pretty standard sight at most ranges.
The steel construction gives you less precision than when checking your hits on paper (I recommend repainting frequently to keep track of where your shots are landing if you’re getting one of these) but one steel target in this shape is going to be cheaper than three or four range trips worth of official IDPA paper targets, and will last half a million rounds if you take care of it.
You can use these targets with another of my personal favorites, the hostage swinger. This target presents a small target that swings back and forth to the left and right of the “head” of a no-shoot target. You can even get ones that attach to the back of an IDPA steel.
These swingers (no not those kind) work similarly to the spinner I mentioned earlier, but these simulate a dangerous hostage situation where you have to decide when to take the shot to get the bad guy represented by the swinging target, without hitting the hostage represented by the swinger.
Finally, you can get just about any kind of falling silhouettes, from pigs, goats, chickens and other farm animals, to game animal shapes like deer, turkeys, and bears, to zombies, unicorns, and vampires.
You can even get these types of targets custom cut so you can have pretty much anything you want, provided you have the money.
Best AR500 Steel Shooting Targets
There are sooooo many of these manufacturers out there, and it might seem like one would be as good as another.
I want you to imagine I’m speaking to you with the voice of a middle-aged NY businessman recently elected President when I say that you are, WRONG.
Cheap steel targets can be churned out by anyone with a sufficient laser cutter and some time to kill. Great steel targets, properly heat-treated and capable of lasting for hundreds of thousands if not millions of rounds, are harder to come by.
These are of course not the only steel target manufacturers worth buying from, and if I had space I’d list 5-10 more, but for some to get you started on your search, and to use as a comparison in price and quality, these are the five I recommend.
Of course, they also have plate carriers and the armored plates to go in them, making them a good place for military, law enforcement, and (overly) prepared citizens to shop if they’re worried about getting shot at.
Speaking of AR500 armor and carriers – they are currently rolling out a new line of armor carriers, check them out!
Shoot Steel calls themselves the industry leaders in steel targets, and it’s hard to refute that claim. They make some of the best targets around and offer some of the most varied options of any manufacturer on this list.
They’ve got various thicknesses, various packages, various shapes, stands, hangers, stencils for customizing your target, paint for refinishing your target, cardboard inserts for your targets…you name it, if it has to do with AR500 steel targets, you can get it from them.
They even have targets rated for .50 BMG, which frankly is amazing.
One of many veteran-owned companies in this niche, Shooting Targets 7 is one of the best for defensively-minded shooters. They produce a variety of shoot and no-shoot targets, bullseye targets you can back with paper or cardboard for more precise feedback, IDPA-style silhouettes, and simple swinging gongs and knock over targets.
They also have a variety of simple and lightweight stands that can be quickly and easily set up almost anywhere, making them a good choice if you want to build a dynamic home range that’s easy to change around, or if you frequently travel to remote locations to shoot and want to be able to bring your own targets with you.
Xsteel is one of the best value for the money target makers in the business. Founded by a group of shooters who looked at the high prices and poor machining of many steel targets that were available and said: “Well, we can do better than that”.
And for many years, they’ve done just that. Xsteel is a family-owned affair and both Bud and Will Sanson are hunters and target shooters with a desire to provide their peers with affordable steel targets that are still very well machined and durable.
Action Target is one of the bigger manufacturers of targets, bullet stops, and other higher-end range necessities. If you’ve ever been to a nice indoor range, chances are you’ve used at least some of their products, whether it was a target retriever or their vent systems.
For the home user, they make a huge variety of high-quality portable targets, from lightweight rimfire targets to plate racks and dueling trees.
They also make my personal favorite steel target, or at least my most used, which is an IDPA steel silhouette with a reactive A-zone that gives you the precision of a paper target, with the convenience and satisfaction of steel targets.
Steel targets are a fantastic way to up your training game and have more fun at the range. While they do represent a pretty sizeable up-front investment, they can last for decades and hundreds of thousands of rounds.
Armed with this knowledge, you should have no problem picking steel targets of your very own. Personally, I think steel targets are one of the best training tools out there, and they make for a hugely fun shooting experience for everyone.
On late Thursday, T-Mobile revealed that hackers stole some of the personal data of 2 million people in a new data breach. From a report: In a brief intrusion, hackers stole "some" customer data including names, email addresses, account numbers, and other billing information. The good news is that they did not get credit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords, according to the company. In its announcement, T-Mobile said that its cybersecurity team detected an "unauthorized capture of some information" on Monday, Aug. 20. A company spokesperson told me that the breach affected "about" or "slightly less than" 3% of its 77 million customers.
Back in February we noted how Facebook had launched a new security tool the company promised would "help keep you and your data safe when you browse and share information on the web." The product was effectively just reconstituted version of the Onavo VPN the company acquired back in 2013. We also noted how some reports were quick to point out that instead of making Facebook users’ data more private and secure, Facebook used the VPN to track users around the internet — specifically what users were doing when they visited other platforms and services.
"Interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with Facebook’s use of Onavo data show in detail how the social-media giant employs it to measure what people do on their phones beyond Facebook’s own suite of apps. That information shapes Facebook’s product and acquisition strategy—furthering its already formidable competitive edge, the people said."
At the time, Facebook spokespeople attempted to claim that this was no big deal because "websites and apps have used market-research services for years," and that the data collected by its nosy VPN helped the company improve its products.
But that response ignored the obvious problem: that Facebook has been pitching a product it claimed "protected" people’s privacy but did the exact opposite. During a massive, global privacy scandal. With regulators and media outlets around the world contemplating vast new privacy guidelines that could massively impact Facebook’s entire data-hoovering business model.
That anybody at Facebook thought this was a good idea is pretty remarkable.
"Earlier this month, Apple officials informed Facebook that the app violated new rules outlined in June designed to limit data collection by app developers, the person familiar with the situation said. Apple informed Facebook that Onavo also violated a part of its developer agreement that prevents apps from using data in ways that go beyond what is directly relevant to the app or to provide advertising, the person added."
Admittedly, Apple’s app store approval process is certainly its own type of terrible. But the report notes that Apple demanded that Facebook "voluntarily" remove the app, and Facebook complied. As such, iOS users can no longer download the app, and users that have already installed it will no longer receive updates for it. It is, however, still available over at the Google Play store, if giving Facebook even greater insight into your online activity is a prospect that excites you.
In short, who you get your VPN from is incredibly important, and if the person pitching you said VPN has a rich history of privacy abuses (be it Facebook or a giant, incumbent ISP like Verizon), you should probably know better than to trust the integrity of their promises, whatever form they take.