Watch Live Video of New Year’s Celebrations in Times Square, Disney World, and Around the Globe

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbor Bridge during the midnight display on New Year’s Eve on January 1, 2019 in Sydney, Australia, as the city is one of the first to ring in the new year.
Photo: Getty Images

It’s almost 2019. And if you’d rather stay home tonight, we’ve got some great live video streams that will put you in the middle of the New Year’s action.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money tonight for something you’ll regret by sunrise. You can stay home and watch livestreams of the festivities from all over the globe, including places like Times Square in New York, and Walt Disney World in Florida.

CNN in Times Square (no cable required)

CNN is livestreaming its New Year’s coverage tonight from 8pm to 1:05am ET (5pm to 10:05pm PT), and you don’t even need a subscription login:

There’s also a Facebook stream of the ball dropping from the official feed for Times Square.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World has a livestream of tonight’s festivities on YouTube that starts at 11:45pm ET, 8:45pm PT.

All Around the Globe

The Washington Post has a great YouTube livestream of different celebrations from around the world that are happening at this exact moment. They’ve already celebrated the New Year in places like Australia, North Korea, and Hong Kong, but there are plenty more to go as midnight glides across the globe.

And much like the Washington Post, NBC News has a similar stream on YouTube that’s tracking the different celebrations happening around the world right now.

Happy New Year! Thanks for sticking with us in 2018, and best of luck in the new year. And if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps today (the holidays have a way of doing that), remember that things can get better. 2019 is going to be your year. Hang in there.

via Gizmodo
Watch Live Video of New Year’s Celebrations in Times Square, Disney World, and Around the Globe

Cheapest AR-15 Complete Rifles & Builds

There are few firearms I love more than an AR-15…especially an affordable one that runs great.

As a former gunsmith/rifle builder, I’ve put together probably two hundred of them, and about a dozen missing or dropped pins and springs later…I still love building them.  

Best AR-15 Buttstocks
So many pins…

Of course, as much as I enjoy building them I love buying them too.  I’ve bought and sold maybe a dozen rifles in just the past few years, and most of them were sold so I could buy a different AR.

I love the customization and freedom the AR-15 platform provides, and I love having one rifle that I can reconfigure to suit almost any need I may have.

I really do love these guns.

But my wallet freaking hates them.  See, in my heart, I hear “MORE GUNS!”, but my head says “Maybe pay rent instead”.

See, like most of you, my eyes are a bit bigger than my bank account balance when it comes to the guns I want to buy or build, so I have to be very selective when it comes to acquiring new pieces for the safe.

That’s where this guide comes in.  I’m going to share every tip, trick, secret, and stray scrap of advice I have about building or buying an AR-15 on the cheap.  The goal here is to get more people out shooting and to get more guns in the hands of the law-abiding American public.

Like Clint Eastwood almost certainly never said, “More guns is more better”.

Today, we’re gonna talk about how to get your hands on a cheap (but not cheaply made) AR-15.  There are two paths to this, building or buying, and we’ll cover both in detail so you can decide which route is the best for you.

The Cheap Philosophy

First, we have to talk about what exactly I mean when I say “cheap”.

See, some things are cheaply made, like Suzuki cars and Hi-Point handguns. Don’t hate me, Japanese people, Toyota’s are great. If you’re a Hi-Point fan though, I don’t really have anything to say to you except to ask… Who hurt you?

Remember, never pay more than 1 Hi-Point for a Hi-Point

In other words, cheaply made is bad. Cheaply made is un-American. Cheaply-made can be downright dangerous in the firearms world. Most importantly, cheaply-made isn’t cheap.

Ever hear the phrase “buy once, cry once”?

It’s pretty self-explanatory, and it is incredibly relevant to all things firearms. If you’re buying cheaply-made guns, optics, or other accessories, you’re really only setting yourself up to spend more money in the long run once your “bargain” breaks.

So, when I say “cheap” please understand that I’m talking in relative terms.  Buy crap and you’ll regret it, and if a deal looks too good to be true, it almost always is, especially in the firearms world.

What does “Cheap AR-15” Mean Then?


I have an AR that, if I was really brave enough to actually price all the parts out, would probably clock in around $3,000.

Wilson Combat Recon Tactical is only  $2,600 (doesn’t include optic)

I understand the appeal of a gun like that, but that’s just not practical for most people. We’re getting into “down payment on a car” territory at that point, and for the average American, that’s just not a feasible amount of money to tie up in one gun.

Fortunately, you can get a cheap (not cheaply-made) AR-15 for much, much, much less than that.

How much less?

How about $2,500-ish less?

PSA 5.56 & .223 Wylde
(top) PSA Freedom MOE Rifle – $500 (doesn’t include EOTech or Light)

That’s right, I’m talking $400-$550 AR-15s here, baby. And there are two different ways you can go about getting one of your very own.

The Easy Way Out: Buying a Complete AR-15

When in doubt, get your credit card out!  

There are actually a number of manufacturers that make guns in this price range, and even more that have sale prices that will drop into this range.

Are these all good AR-15s? I wish I could say yes, but unfortunately, no. And I’d be extra suspicious of anyone offering a decent AR-15 for under $400 because they likely also have a bridge in Brooklyn and some magic beans they’ll sell you.

The truth is, it takes some serious effort and know-how to spot the diamonds in the rough, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a good deal.

Black Friday Sale Crowd
Calm down, no sale is worth this madness…

Remember what we talked about earlier though!  Those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are often going to cost you more in the long run when your gun breaks down and could end up costing you everything.  That’s why we follow a few simple rules.

  1. Do Your Research
  2. Focus on Established Manufacturers
  3. Ask Yourself “Why is this so cheap?”
  4. Sleep on it

Let’s go over these one-by-one.

Do Your Research

This seems obvious, but it’s worth stating. Look very, very carefully at the gun in question. What exactly are you getting? Is it really a complete gun, or are you going to have to spend $150 on a bolt carrier group and charging handle?

Hangover Math Gif
$300 “stripped” rifle + $100 BUIS + $20 CH + $80 BCG + $150 handguard = $650…

What about the manufacturer? Do they have a history of producing reliable products? Do they have good customer service? What’s their warranty look like? I’m a lot more willing to give my hard earned money to a company that’s willing to stand by their product after its been in my hands for a while.

Focus on Established Manufacturers

That brings me to my next point, which is to focus on established, reputable manufacturers. Is the gun from a company that’s been around for years, or did it just spring up last month?

I used to work for a small rifle builder, so I’ll be the last one to cast aspersions against those folks, but if money is tight, I’m much more likely to spend my dollars with somebody like PSA, Radical, or Spikes, someone that has been in the game for a while, rather than spend money with Uncle Tucker’s Discount AR-15 Maker and Live Bait Emporium.

Live Bait Shop
Pro Tip: Never buy a rifle that smells like it came from a bait shop

This also just comes down to economics. Larger manufacturers can make a rifle for cheap simply because they make money in volume. Artisan cookies are great, but Great Value Chunky is cheap.

Ask Yourself: Why is it So Cheap?

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. If an AR-15 is cheap, there’s a reason for it.  I work with a whole lot of retailers and not one of them drops their prices through the floor out of the goodness of their heart.

And that’s fair, these folks have to make a living too, I just don’t want it to be at my expense.

So, with that in mind, it’s important to ask yourself just why the price tag on that AR starts with a 4 instead of a 5 or a 6.

Sometimes, it’s so a retailer or manufacturer can clear out old stock. This is especially relevant for companies like Aero that are constantly innovating and improving, or for companies like DPMS that seem to have a new model out every time the wind changes direction.

Often it’s because, like right now, demand is down.  When it looked like we were going to get a President in office that wasn’t big on AR-15s to say the least, lots of folks churned out ARs in preparation for panic buying before the inauguration.

Given the way things went, no one really panicked, and no one really bought, so a number of manufacturers ended up with extra inventory that they didn’t shift, and in some cases still haven’t shifted, so that can be a reason for low prices.

Pile of m16
Live stream of some firearm manufacturing warehouse, probably

Of course, the simple fact of the matter is that low prices can also mean low quality. Check the manufacturer out and see how their other products stack up, and if possible hold the particular rifle in hand and look for machining defects and flaws in the finish.

A lot of times a little thing like a machining burr on a handguard, or a thin spot in the finish will tell you a lot about the overall care and attention that goes into making a gun.

Sleep On It

Finally, I recommend that you sleep on it unless it’s truly time-sensitive, in which case you should spend even more time on your research.

Over bed gun display
You sleep like this, right?

A lot of times, we gun owners have a tendency to go “OOOOOH I WANT THE SHINY THING” and whip out the debit cards like gunslingers in the Old West whipping out a six-shooter, and like those fabled outlaws, we sometimes tend to shoot first and ask questions later.

I think it’s better to really take the time to consider your decision before whipping out the wallet if at all possible.

Best Cheap AR-15s to Buy

Alright, lecture over, let’s get to the fun part.

This is the part where we talk about the cheap ARs that are actually worth your money.  These are the guns that I’ve either tested, owned, or had recommendations about from people I trust to know what they’re talking about.

If you’re looking to buy instead of build, here’s where I recommend starting.

1. Palmetto State Armory

PSA is my all time, top, number one recommendation for my fellow cheap peoples who are looking for…well, most anything firearms related, really.

PSA 5.56 & .223 Wylde
PSA 5.56 & .223 Wylde

I’m not 100% sure how they do it (though I think witchcraft is involved) but they always seem to have the lowest sale prices in the industry on everything firearms related.

What’s more, they actually have their own in-house brand of AR’s, AK’s and other rifles, and they’re all available well under what most comparable competitors are selling similar products for.

PSAK-47, California Compliant
PSAK-47, but that’s a different article

Make no mistake, the lower end of PSA’s inventory is very no frills, and you won’t get a lot of extra features, but by God, the guns shoot and you only have to shell out five or six bills for them.  It’s hard to argue with that.

Best Complete AR-15 on a Budget
Palmetto State Armory (PSA) Complete AR-15s

Palmetto State Armory (PSA) Complete AR-15s

Prices accurate at time of writing

You’ll want to read some of our reviews of their stuff, we’ve covered almost everything they make but for now – start with our review of 3 of their PSA AR-15s.

We also cover a great buying-hack…you pay less in taxes if you don’t purchase a “complete rifle.”

Or…be sure to check out our video of two of their most popular ones…the basic Freedom model and another free-float handguard model:

What’s your take on PSA?

Readers’ Ratings

5/5 (1)

Your Rating?


DPMS is one of the oldest names in the AR game, to the point where one of the major classes of AR-10 is usually called “DPMS” style.

We’re here to talk about the AR-15 thought, and DPMS whips up a pretty good AR-15 too.

DPMS Complete AR-15

DPMS Complete AR-15

Prices accurate at time of writing

DPMS’s low-end rifles are still better than a lot of higher-end rifles, and while it’s true that you get what you pay for, sometimes you can get quality for relatively cheap, which is definitely the case here.

3. Radical Firearms

Radical is a company that I’ve talked about before and they continue to impress me. Despite some growing pains early on in the company’s life, Radical Firearms is now churning out rifles that are great entry-level guns.

While they do have some higher-end stuff, their focus, at least for the moment, is on well-engineered rifles that are very carefully manufactured to cut costs (but not corners) wherever possible, and they pass those savings along to the consumer.

Radical Firearms AR-15

Radical Firearms AR-15

Prices accurate at time of writing

I’m still a machinist at heart, so seeing people take the time to not only figure out how to make a quality product but to also take the time to make sure they’re constantly working as efficiently as possible, makes me happy.

4. ATI

You almost can’t talk about budget-minded firearms without talking about ATI, and now that ATI has gotten into the AR-15 game, they get to be included on this list too.

They make my favorite affordable, yet functional 1911 that’s about as close to the original’s our grandparents fought the Nazi’s with as you can get without paying through the nose for an original, or paying slightly less for a replica.

ATI Omni Hybrid

ATI Omni Hybrid

Prices accurate at time of writing

Their rifles are, frankly, surprisingly good, especially for the price.  I’ve shot three of them now, and while I haven’t tested one sufficiently to write a full review, I’ve definitely got enough time behind the guns to recommend them.

How to Build a Cheap AR-15

Now, if you just want to buy an AR-15, you can skip down to the end of this article without missing anything, but I encourage you to stick with me because there are some things in here you might need to know.

AR-15 Upper Receiver Parts
AR-15 Upper Receiver Parts

Plus, as I always say, it’s waaaaaaaay easier to build an AR-15 than you think, especially if you’re just capping off a built lower with a pre-built upper.

A Few Of Our Personal AR-15 Uppers
A few of our favorite things…

We’ve already talked at length about how to build an AR, so I won’t go over that here, but I will give you a little homework. Give this guide a look and see if you want to build or buy.

And these will help for the actual building part of everything:

Now, let’s talk about parts.

Parts You Can Skimp On

Like anything else, sometimes you pay more for a name than the materials and manufacturing, and with AR-15’s there are a few parts that you can go the cheap route with and be just fine.

Lower: I like cool looking lowers as much as the next guy, but a lower is a lower, and there’s not a huge amount of difference between the $30 ones, and the $300 ones aside from aesthetics and strength, but you shouldn’t be doing anything to your lower that could break it anyway.  

PSA Stripped Lower

PSA Stripped Lower

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out our Best AR-15 Lowers for more info.

Handguard: This one is a toughie, but in general you can get by with a basic A2 handguard at the minimum and it won’t make much difference to the function of the gun, but it will make shooting it less fun, and it cuts down on the grips, lights, and coffee makers you can hang off the side.

Magpul MOE Handguards

Magpul MOE Handguards

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out our Best AR-15 Handguards if you want to ball it up a little more.

Stock: A cheapo stock will be just fine. You can swap a new one in with about five minutes effort, and there are roughly ten million options out there. A2 and M4 style stocks are almost literally a dime a dozen, and if they’re good enough for our armed forces, they’re good enough for us.

Magpul MOE Stock

Magpul MOE Stock

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you want a complete breakdown and review of a bunch of stocks though, read the Best AR-15 Stocks.

Pistol Grip: Same as the stock, a standard A2 grip is so cheap you can almost find people giving them away, and you can swap to a better one in about thirty seconds if you practice.

Magpul AR-15 MOE Grip

Magpul AR-15 MOE Grip

Prices accurate at time of writing

Lower Parts Kit: Most of them are the same anywhere you look, and other than the trigger you are never gonna notice a difference. Some LPKs come with a grip and trigger, so that can save you money and steps.

Best Complete LPK
DPMS AR-15 Lower Parts Kit

DPMS AR-15 Lower Parts Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

Parts Not To Skimp On

Trigger: The trigger is your primary interface point with your rifle, so it makes sense to start there if you’re looking to get something a little nicer with better performance. Try to aim for a lower parts kit with no trigger so you can pick your trigger yourself.

This is an important part though, so make sure to do your research before buying the trigger that is right for you. A great starting point is our Best AR-15 Triggers article. It even has cool videos!

Tested AR-15 Triggers
Tested AR-15 Triggers

Best bang for your buck though, I highly recommend the Rise Armament AR-15 Super Sport Trigger since it is super easy to install, cheap, and a great trigger.

Rise Armament AR-15 Super Sport Trigger

Rise Armament AR-15 Super Sport Trigger

Prices accurate at time of writing

Barrel: After the trigger, the barrel is going to be your biggest accuracy bottleneck, so if you’re going to upgrade, this is your second stop. Faxon is often at the top of our list for barrels with their Gunner profile being the top of the top.

Goldilocks Barrel
Faxon 16" Gunner, 5.56 NATO, Mid-Length

Faxon 16" Gunner, 5.56 NATO, Mid-Length

Prices accurate at time of writing

Again, this is one of the critical parts – so take some time and read through our Best AR-15 Barrels & Manufacturers before choosing the barrel that is right for you.

Where to Look For Deals

The Best Places to buy Guns Online are all good starting points. Beyond that (shameless plug incoming) be sure to check out our Daily Deals page on the website and our Facebook page for the best sales and deals we find and post every day.

Parting Shots

Alright, that does it for this one. Hopefully, you have a better idea of how to get your hands on an AR on the cheap, whether you’re looking to build or buy. Remember, cheap doesn’t always mean cheaply made, and sometimes a bargain isn’t really a bargain.

Tested Long Range Scopes
Don’t forget your optics! Best AR-15 Optics will help get you started off right!

Buying one of these rifles, or building one following these guidelines should get you a lasting bargain, and one that you’ll really get your money out of.

What do you think of these cheap ARs? I know you want one, so are you building or buying? Let me know in the comments below!  Want to learn everything AR…check out our Definitive AR-15 Guide.

The post Cheapest AR-15 Complete Rifles & Builds appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

via Pew Pew Tactical
Cheapest AR-15 Complete Rifles & Builds

The Best Process Porn Videos of 2018

Another year, another accompanying swarm of soothing process videos provided by the Internet to help us swallow the insanity that was 2018—and at Core77, one of our greatest pastimes is stockpiling the most satisfying of these videos we can find. This year, despite a very unfortunate Instagram hacking on our @core77 account that deleted all of our past videos (sad, we know), we set out to once again deliver on our promise to find the best of #processporn to share with our friends on Instagram. It’s that time of year again to pick the best and the brightest of what we discovered. So take a moment to yourself and enjoy some of this design magic:

This ceramic stamper was a huge hit on our account this year for obvious reasons (original source unknown, but found via World of Engineering)

This string trick lands a little more in the realm of life hack than design #processporn, but hoo-boy, did our Instagram friends find it satisfying (via Reddit). 

I could just watch this lathe make ball after ball until that thing can lathe no more.

Watching this gabion basket weaving video is pretty much a hypnosis tool for designers (video by ssmesh9 on YouTube).

Watching thermoforming will never get old to us—and this video of thermoformed luggage is by no means an exception!

This video by @measuredworkshop is maker eye candy—not only do you get a video demonstrating how to do a flush curve in plywood, but it’s also expertly documented. 

Ever wondered what it takes to make one of those holiday cookie cutters? Well, I have good news for you: now you no longer have to and it’s mesmerizing (via @otbp_cookiecutters). 

While many of you agreed that this process is a little too tedious for tile-making, many simultaneously found it very hard to argue that watching it isn’t satisfying AF.

The sound and visuals of this ceramic scraping process by @abe_haruya make this video ASMR perfection.

If you are not already following pastry chef Amaury Gichon on Instagram, do yourself a favor and follow now—this video of him making a chocolate gramophone (Yes, a GRAMOPHONE) is an excellent demonstration of his unfathomable construction skills. 

The process of fiberglass molding is pretty dated, and yes, not very sustainable or safe…but there’s something about watching a fibrous sheet turn into a finished chair that is oh-so-fascinating.

And finally, some culinary #processporn that’s an excellent life hack for anyone who’s a fanatic for noodles. 

If you haven’t already, go ahead and follow our Instagram and wait for the never-ending supply of satisfying #processporn to come your way.

via Core77
The Best Process Porn Videos of 2018

A High-Speed Camera Mounted to a Lawnmower Blade Gives You a Front-Row Seat to Gadget Carnage

There’s no shortage of slow-motion footage out there on the internet, but there is a shortage of original ideas. Slo-mo explosions just don’t hold our attention like they used to, but by attaching his high-speed camera to a spinning lawnmower blade, YouTube’s tesla500 gives us a fantastic front-row seat as old electronics get shredded and destroyed.

The biggest challenges of mounting a Chronos 1.4 high-speed camera to this inverted lawnmower’s blade, which can hit speeds of up to 1,800 RPM, was keeping everything perfectly balanced so that the rig didn’t dangerously wobble, and finding a lens that didn’t distort and lose focus at G-forces higher than 200Gs. In the end, a 2.8-millimeter prime lens worked perfectly, capturing some of the most satisfying high-speed destruction footage we’ve seen in years.

[YouTube via Hackaday]

via Gizmodo
A High-Speed Camera Mounted to a Lawnmower Blade Gives You a Front-Row Seat to Gadget Carnage

Get Free Classic Audiobooks From Apple

Illustration: W.W. Denslow

iOS/MacOS: Apple is giving away six high-quality audiobooks of classic stories read by celebrities, free with no strings attached, playable on desktop and mobile. You can download and listen to Pride and Prejudice, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, The Time Machine, Frankenstein, and a small Disney collection of Winnie the Pooh stories. Most of these audiobooks are excellent, one is iffy, and one is garbage.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (11:43)

The narration of Pride and Prejudice enjoys some ironic distance from the characters, and actor Kate Beckinsale delivers it with a subtle archness. Her natural accent, the kind that makes Americans think all English people are intelligent and classy, is a perfect fit for a novel of manners.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (4:20)

Kimmy Schmidt actor Tituss Burgess sounds like he’s reading to children gathered at the foot of his rocking chair. He puts life and energy into the words, and he “does the voices” just a bit, but not enough to get distracting over the 25 chapters.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (8:00)

This book is a real challenge for a narrator, as the characters’ accents and voices are a running motif, and even a sign of little Mary Lennox’s character development. Avengers and Doctor Who actor Karen Gillan does the voices beautifully—at least as far as an American can tell. She narrates in her natural Scottish lilt, which, like the story, has a whiff of folktale fantasy.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (3:29)

Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer is another well-matched narrator. His mid-Atlantic accent tips over into full English to match the first-person narration of the Time Traveller, a Victorian English scientist. He projects and enunciates like Frasier Crane monologuing on the air, as if the whole book is the Time Traveler’s TED talk. This is a weird, lonely story, one that goes by quickly, and probably the most pleasant to hear while falling asleep.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (8:11)

On his podcast Lore, Aaron Mahnke uses a halting delivery, as if he’s thrown five commas into every sentence. This clearly works for enough people to make Lore a success. On Frankenstein, it’s too much. Mahnke’s pauses and his flat delivery make him sound as if he hadn’t practiced before reading. Like most 19th Century gothic horrors, the original Frankenstein is drier than its later adaptations, and a dry narrator can make it a slog.


Open Culture’s catalog of free audiobooks points to several other free recordings of this public-domain novel, including a 3-hour abridged reading by Christopher Lee on Spotify.

Winnie the Pooh by Disney Book Group (0:32)

Not even worth zero dollars. This is not A.A. Milne’s original collection of ten stories about Pooh. It’s only three uncredited stories, which seem to be pastiches of Milne’s originals, written in the same style but with a new plot. The narrator is fully competent, but her anonymity adds to the feeling that this was fished out of Disney’s junk drawer.


The company’s habit of raiding the classics, then copyrighting and trademarking its version, feels especially cynical in this sloppy edition. The three chapters are placed out of order, and they seem to lead to an ending that isn’t included. As a promotion of Apple’s audiobooks, this is a failure. Readers are better off dropping ten bucks on a version of Milne’s real, un-Disneyfied book narrated by Stephen Fry.

It’s great to see Apple handing out top-shelf books with top-shelf narration, even if they threw in a piece of Disney trash. Of course, instead of paying for more, you might just want more free readings. Open Culture has links to 900 free audiobooks, mostly classics.

via Lifehacker
Get Free Classic Audiobooks From Apple

Vader: Shards of the Past (Ep. 1)

Vader: Shards of the Past (Ep. 1)


Set after Star Wars Episode 3, Vader is Star Wars Theory’s fan-made series about the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. In the first episode, Vader is sent on a mission to defeat a powerful Jedi while he’s still grieving from Padme’s death.

via The Awesomer
Vader: Shards of the Past (Ep. 1)

How to Clean & Lubricate Your Glock in 10 Minutes

Don’t Panic!

Cleaning your Glock is super easy and simple!

Everything from the tools you need to how often you should be doing it, we’ll take you step-by-step through the whole process.

Various Polymer 80 Glocks
Various Polymer 80 Glocks

And also how to detail strip it for when it gets really dirty.

We have a great video below based off official Glock instructions, but also tons of pictures below if you want to go at your own pace:

Table of Contents


How Often Should I Clean?

A Glock is the AK-47 of pistols…it will keep on chugging no matter what you throw at it.  But for us, we still field strip and at least wipe down after each range session.  After about 1,000 rounds, we will do a detailed strip.

Of course, you should also clean your gun anytime you see a major shift in accuracy or if something happens, like dropping it in the mud or spending a day in the rain or dust.

Glock Field Stripping & Cleaning

Field stripping just means disassembling a gun into its major components for routine cleaning and maintenance.  It’s super easy on the Glock since it breaks down into four main parts in a matter of seconds.

We recommend the following tools for cleaning our Glocks and other guns, conveniently all of these tools, cleaners, and lube is found in the M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit.

If you want some more great gun cleaning options, take a look at our 4 Best Gun Cleaning Kits!

All Gun Cleaning Kits
All Tested Gun Cleaning Kits

Now that you have your tools, find a decent place to work – a counter, table, or workbench all work great.

Ensure any and all ammunition is removed from the area before you start cleaning your firearm!

I like to lay down a towel or neoprene mat to soak up any spilled solvents and to catch the carbon, copper, and gunk that is cleaned from the weapon.

Field Strip

Before we strip, make sure your Glock is clear of any ammo – remove the magazine, rack the slide several times, then visually and tactilely (use your finger) to make absolutely sure the chamber is clear and your Glock is unloaded.

Clear Glock
Feel the chamber to make sure it is clear.

Point your Glock in a safe direction and pull the trigger to dry fire it, once you hear the click – you’re ready to field strip.

Pull back slightly on the slide while at the same time pulling down on the tabs that are on either side of the frame right above and forward of the trigger

Glock Tabs
See the tab? Both of John’s index fingers are pointing to it. Easy!

Once you pull down on the tabs, allow the slide to move forward and slip off of the frame. From here it is very simple to break down your Glock into it’s four main parts: Barrel, Frame, Slide, and Recoil Spring & Guide Rod.

Glock 17 Field Strip
Glock 17 Field Striped: (top) Slide, (middle-left) Barrel, (middle-right) Guide Rod & Recoil Spring, (bottom) Frame.

Cleaning the Barrel

The barrel of your Glock is where the VAST majority of the dirt, carbon, and grim will hide – so that is what you want to clean first.

Start with using a dry brush to push most of the crud out of your barrel. Make sure to always push the brush forward from the chamber to the muzzle.

Run your brush back and forth at least 5 to 8 times or until you stop getting chunks of stuff.

Dry Brush Glock
Dry Brush pushing from chamber to muzzle

Next, take a gun cleaning patch and spray (or dribble, depending on what you’re using) some of your gun cleaner onto the patch – in our case, using the M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner.

Repeat by running the patch through your barrel from chamber to muzzle 7 to 10 times.

Cleaner Brush Glock
Gun cleaning patch

Take a clean patch and spray some cleaner on it, use that patch to just wipe down the outside of the barrel and to clean the feed ramps of the chamber – the feed ramps are the important part!

Wipe off the feed ramp Glock
See the ramp at the bottom of the barrel? That part is important! Clean it!

Once the barrel is all shiny, inside and out, take a microfiber towel and wipe down the outside of the barrel to remove any excess cleaner, follow that by running some dry cleaning patches through the barrel until they start coming out clean the other end – this might take a couple of dry patches to accomplish.

Clean Patch Glock
Clean patch! Ready to move on…

Look down the barrel and visually check to make sure all the fowling has been removed, if you see a couple of stubborn dark spots – don’t sweat it and don’t go crazy trying to remove them. But for the most part, the barrel should be shiny and uniform.

Once clean, put your barrel aside and clean the slide!

Cleaning the Slide, Recoil Spring, and Guide Rod

Take a brush and wrap the bristles with a gun cleaning patch, using that scrub/wipe down the inside of the slide focusing on the rear – this is where the important parts of the slide are and are where fowling will likely build up.

Brush wrapped
Wrap your brush, helps make your brushes last longer!

You’ll want to make sure you get the inside of the rails as well, this might require using a Q-Tip to really get in there. While not always required, taking the time to do the details now will ensure your Glock never malfunctions due to poor maintenance.

Clean the rails
Clean the rails, clean ’em good!

Take the slide and point the muzzle end down toward the floor, using the brush clean the breech face – be sure to not tilt the slide around too much while doing this, the goal is to keep the fowling away from the rear of the slide and to knock it away from the breech face.

Muzzle down
Muzzle down, clean the breech face.

Brushing down the recoil spring and guide rod is easy, just take the brush and…brush it. Once done, wipe it down using a towel or rag.

Brush the recoil spring and guide rod
Brush the recoil spring and guide rod.

Cleaning the Frame and Magazine

The hard parts are over now! Cleaning the frame might look like a lot of nooks and crannies, but really it just needs a good scrub and wipe down. Take a brush and scrub the top of the frame, focus on the slide rails in the front and the trigger bar in the back.

Clean the rails with cleaner
Clean the rails with cleaner if needed.

If fowling is really built up on your slide rails, you may need to take a patch and cleaner to it. Don’t be scared to give it a really good scrub down. Don’t forget to use a towel or rag to wipe off the cleaner after!

Magazines are often forgotten when it comes to cleaning and truth be told, they very rarely need it. And most of the time that they do need it, it’s because they were dropped in mud or dirt and a hose can normally take care of that type of cleaning.

But at least once in a while, it’s a good idea to disassemble your mags and give them the cleaning they deserve.

Remove the base plate of your magazine using the Glock Disassembly Tool or a punch.

Glock mag take down
Glock mag takedown using a punch

Be careful and make sure that while removing the plate you keep your thumb over the exposed spring to prevent it from flying across the room once the plate is removed.

Keep thumb over the spring
Keep your thumb over the spring

Once disassembled – simply take your brush and scrub down the inside and outside of the magazine, brush and wipe down the spring, and scrub the follower. If you’re feeling really detailed – go ahead and wipe down the baseplate and insert.

To reassemble you’ll want to first make sure that you replace the follower on the correct end of the spring (the small end!).

Spring back in
Follower goes on the SMALL END of the magazine spring!

Then just push the spring back in, insert the retaining insert, and close it up by sliding the baseplate back into place.

Glock baseplate
Slide the Glock baseplate back into place

Lubricating your Glock

Repeat after me: Less is more.

Some people like to gun their firearms “wet” and while some guns truly need that, a Glock is not one of them. In fact, excess lubricate can hinder reliability as it holds on to more filth and grime.

So, less is more. A light coating of lube is all you need on any of the parts.

Start with the barrel – apply some lubricant to a cleaning patch and run it through your barrel using the same chamber to muzzle method 4 or 5 times – you might pick up some last bits of fowling doing this, feel free to ignore it.

Oiled cleaning patch
Oiled cleaning patch down the barrel 4 or 5 times

Follow that with a dry patch to remove the extra lube.

Next comes the outside of the barrel, just apply some lube to the barrel itself and use a patch to wipe it across the entire outside surface.

Oil the barrel
Oil the barrel – see, less is more!

And you guessed it, use your towel to wipe down the barrel to remove excess lube!

Now you’ll want to do some targeted lubeing where it is needed the most, the space between lugs on the bottom of the barrel…

Oil the underside
Oil the underside between the lugs

And on the top of the barrel where the barrel interfaces with the slide…

Oil the top
Oil the top of the barrel

Then, once again, wipe up the excess with your towel.

Now the slide!

Dab of lube on the top rear of the slide where it interfaces with the barrel…

Oil back top of slide
Oil top rear part of the slide

And on the front of the slide where the barrel will poke through – you’ll likely see some wear marks, that tells you where you need to lube.

Oil where the barrel goes
Oil where the barrel goes through the front of the slide itself

Wipe up the excess lube before moving on to the inside of the slide.

Just a touch of lube on the slide rails, 1 drop per side. You’ll want to use your finger or a patch to wipe it down and spread the lube around evenly.

Drop of oil on slide rails
Drop of oil on slide rails

Annnd again, remove excess with towel.

Now for the frame!

You may have hear this before – lube the slide rails!

Oil the rails of the frame
Oil the rails of the frame

Also, add a bit of lube to the raised metal part in the rear of the frame that interfaces with the trigger bar.

oil raised part of trigger bar
Oil the raised part of the trigger bar

Wipe off excess one last time and you’re done! To assemble, insert your barrel, guide rod & recoil spring back into the slide and slide the slide back onto the frame.

Assemble your Glock once all the parts are clean and lubed!
Assemble your Glock once all the parts are clean and lubed!

FINALLY, point your gun in a safe direction and dry fire your weapon, rack the slide and dry fire again. Confirm that your weapon is functioning, your trigger is resetting as expected, and that nothing is gritty or out of place.

That’s it! You’re done. Congratulations on a clean and well-maintained firearm.

Glock Detailed Strip

A simple Glock Disassembly Tool makes everything easier for the detailed strip.

Glock 17 Full Detailed Strip
Glock 17 Full Detailed Strip

This great video below goes into how to fully strip down the Glock.  Pay special attention to the removal and assembly of the pins, since there is a correct order.  We clean everything with our M-Pro 7 and oil the moving parts.

Parting Shots

Cleaning your firearms is an important part of shooting, it keeps them running, it preserves them, and it’s relaxing to do. While the Glock is legendary for reliability and ease of maintenance, it’s still a good idea to clean it regularly.

Now that you’re more familiar with the inside of your Glock, maybe it’s time to make some upgrades to it! Take a look at our Best Glock Upgrades & Add-ons guide.

How often do you clean your Glock? Let us know in the comments!

via Pew Pew Tactical
How to Clean & Lubricate Your Glock in 10 Minutes

Four ways to bridge the widening valley of death for startups

Many founders believe in the myth that the first steps of starting a business are the hardest: Attracting the first investment, the first hires, proving the technology, launching the first product and landing the first customer. Although those critical first steps are difficult, they are certainly not the most difficult on the arduous path of building an iconic company. As early and late-stage funding becomes more abundant, founders and their early VC backers need to get smarter about how to position their companies for a looming valley of death in-between. As we’ll learn below, it’s only going to get much, much harder before it gets easier.

Money will have the look, and heft, of dumbbells as the economic cycle turns. Expect an abundance of small, seed checks at one end, an abundance of massive checks for clear, breakout companies at the other, and a dearth of capital for expanding companies with early proof points and market traction. Read more on how to best prepare for this inevitable future. (Image courtesy Flickr/CircaSassy)

There will be an abundance of capital at the two ends of the startup spectrum. At one end, hundreds of seed and micro VCs, each armed with dozens of $250,000-$1 million checks to write every year, are on the prowl for visionary founders with pedigrees and resumes. At the other end, behemoths like SoftBank, sovereigns, as well “early-stage” firms raising larger funds are seeking breakout companies ready for checks that are in the mid-tens to hundreds of millions. There will be a dearth of capital to grow companies from a kernel of a business, to becoming the clear market-defining leader. In fact, we’re already seeing deal volume decreasing significantly as dollars increase, likely evidence of larger checks going into fewer companies.

Even as the overall number of deals decrease below 2012 levels, the overall dollars invested into startups continue to soar. The 200+ “seed-stage” funds formed since 2012 will continue to chase nascent companies. Meanwhile, the increasing number of mega-funds will seek breakout companies into which to make $100 million+ investments. Companies with early traction seeking ~$20 million to grow will be abundant and have difficulty accessing capital.

Founders should no longer assume that their all-star seed and Series A syndicates will guarantee a successful follow-on financing. Progress on recruiting and product development, though necessary, are no longer sufficient for B-rounds and beyond. Founders should be mindful that investors that specialize in leading $20-50 million rounds will have a plethora of well-funded, well-mentored, well-staffed startups with slick presentations, big visions and some early market traction from which to choose.

Today, there is far more capital chasing fewer quality companies. Fewer breakout companies and fear of missing out is making it easy to raise growth rounds with revenue growth, which may not be scalable or even reflective of an attractive business. This is creating false realities and prompting founders to raise big rounds at high prices — which is fine when there is an over-abundance of capital, but can cripple them when capital later becomes scarce. For example, not long ago, cleantech companies, armed with very preliminary sales, raised massive financings from VCs eager to back winners toward scaling into what they characterized as infinite demand. The reality is that the capital required to meet target economics was far greater and demand far smaller. As the private markets turned, access to cash became difficult and most faltered or were acquired for pennies on the dollar.

There is a likely future where capital grows scarce, and investors take a harder look at the underpinnings of revenue, growth and (dis)economies of scale.

What should startup leadership teams emphasize in an inevitable future where the $30 million rounds will be orders of magnitude harder than their $5 million rounds?

A business model representative of the big vision

Leadership teams put lots of emphasis on revenue. Unfortunately, revenue that’s not representative of the big vision is probably worse than no revenue at all. Companies are initially seeded with the expectation that the founding team can build and sell something. What needs to be proven is the hypothesis that the company can a) build a special product that b) is inexpensive to convince customers to pay for, and c) that those customers represent a massive market. It should be proven that it is unattractive for customers to switch to the inevitable copycats. It should be clear that over time, customers will pay more for additional features, and the cost of acquiring new customers will go down. Simply selling a product to customers that don’t represent that model is worse than not selling anything at all.

Recruiting talent that’s done it

Early founding teams are cognitively diverse individuals that can convince early investors that they can overcome the incredible odds of building a company that until now, shouldn’t have existed. They build a unique product, leveraging unique tools satisfying an unmet need. The early teams need to demonstrate the big vision, and that they can recruit the people that can make that vision a reality. Unfortunately, more founders struggle when it comes to recruiting people that have real experience reducing a technology to practice, executing on a product that customers want and charting the path to expand their market with improving unit economics. There are always exceptions of people that do the above for the first time at startups; however, most of today’s iconic startups knew what kind of talent they needed to execute and succeeded in bringing them on board. Who’s on your team?

Present metrics that matter

The attractive SaaS valuation multiples behoove all founders to apply its metrics to their businesses even if they aren’t really SaaS businesses. Sophisticated later-stage investors see right past that and dismiss numbers associated with metrics that are not representative. Semiconductors are about winning dedicated sockets in growing markets. Design tools are about winning and upselling seats in an industry that’s going to be hooked on those tools. Develop a clear understanding of how your business will be measured. Don’t inundate your investor with numbers; present a concise hypothesis for your unfair advantage in a growing market with your current traction being evidence to back it.

Find efficiencies by working in massive markets

“Pouring fuel on the fire” is a misleading metaphor that leads some into believing that capital can grow any business. That’s just as true as watering a plant with a fire hose or putting TNT in your Corolla’s gas tank: most business models and markets simply are not native to the much-sought-after venture growth profile. In fact, most later-stage startups that fail after raising large amounts of capital fail for this reason. Most markets are conducive to businesses with DIS-economies of scale, implying dwindling margins with scale, which is why many businesses are small, serving local, fragmented markets that technology alone cannot consolidate. How do your unit economics improve over time? What are the efficiencies generated by economies of scale? Is there a real network effect that drives these economies?

Image courtesy Getty Images

I expect today’s resourceful founders to seek partners, whether it’s employees, advisors or investors, to help them answer these questions. Together, these cognitively diverse teams will work together to accelerate past any metaphoric valley and build the iconic companies taking humanity to its fantastic future.  

via TechCrunch
Four ways to bridge the widening valley of death for startups