Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gear Review: The Drill Doctor 750x

Putting gear to the test is something I love to do, whether it be hunting gear or household products. There is something fun about taking a new product or new-to-me product and putting it through the paces. Usually, I take my own gear, push it to the limit, and then see how long it. I do the same thing with my tools around the house. I have used my drill bits for the past few years to the point where they wouldn't even eat through a soft 2x4. I needed to sharpen my bits or buy new ones. That's where the Drill Doctor 750x drill bit sharpener from Darex comes in!

The top of the line 750X sharpens drill bits from 3/32” to 3/4”. Point angles can be set anywhere from 115 to 140 degrees. Adjustable material take-off allows you to adjust the amount of material removed during sharpening - extending the life of your bits. The 750X is built to stand up to professional use.

A bit of back story on how I found out about the Drill Doctor. A few weekends ago, I was waiting for my daughter to finish her dance class while wearing my Work Sharp Tools t-shirt when another dance-dad leaned over and asked me about Work Sharp products. I shared about their awesome knife sharpening systems and that I have reviewed their products in the past and really like their performance. He asked me if they made a drill bit sharpener and I explained that I did not know, but that I would find out. A quick email was sent off to them and they responded back just as quickly that they, in fact, do make a drill bit sharpener, the Drill Doctor. They informed me that Darex is the parent company that owns both Work Sharp and The Drill Doctor. What a nice surprise!

The Drill Doctor will sharpen Carbide, Cobalt, High-Speed Steel, Black Oxide, TiN-Coated, twist and Masonry bits. Yes, all of those, so I needed to figure out where to start. Old bits were scattered throughout my tool box, along with newer bits in my bit case, but I had no idea what bits they were. I had worn many of them down to dull metal as they had been used a great deal over the years. Some were used to drill holes through the stucco on my house. (I know, get a concrete bit dummy!) The stucco pretty much destroyed them. I lost hope of ever finding something to bring new life to them. The Drill Doctor made that happen.

The Drill Doctor is easy to use and doesn't require an engineering degree to use. It comes with an easy to follow DVD with instructions. There are also paper instructions in the box. If you misplace your paper copy you can always download a copy here. I won't pour over the instructions other than to say they are very simple and helpful. Take the time to go over them. I went through the paper copy first, but found the DVD to be a better starting point. I would highly recommend watching the short video before diving into the paper instructions. It just makes things move a bit faster when sharpening your bits.

The unit looks daunting, but really isn't. Follow the instructions and you'll be sharpening bits in no time. Here are the basics of the instructions:
  1. Determine the type and angle of the drill bit.
  2. Align the bit in the Chuck.
  3. Sharpen the bit.
  4. Split the point (if you choose).

I want to add a small note about what I thought the Drill Doctor was and what it actually is. I thought the Drill Doctor was going to be a sharpener that would sharpen the entire bit (sides and all), but I was mistaken. The Drill Doctor only sharpens the tip of the bit. I was hoping to have a sharpener that would also sharpen the sides of the bit. My dad used to have one when I was younger that was manual, but it sharpened all the way up. That being said, the Drill Doctor does exactly what it says it will do! It sharpens the bit head to allow a better bite into wood, metal, and probably other material.

If you don't do it properly, it will not bite into the wood properly and it'll feel like it's not completely sharp. That's because it isn't! I found out a couple times that I did not sharpen the bit properly and had a hard time with it biting into wood. I also found out that I have cheap bits and needed to sharpen mine after a few uses. Better bits will make for a cleaner, more productive job. Plus, I am positive they will sharpen better!

The Drill Doctor 750x is built for professional use, or in my case, cheap bits that need to be sharpened all the time. The 750x retails for $139.95 and that's because it is built for the professional. Over time, this will save you money! You won't have to have someone else sharpen your bits, or purchase new ones. It also comes with a 3 year warranty. Don't fall for the cheap sharpeners you can find at local, chain hardware stores. The 750x allows you to get the correct angle, lock in the bit, and sharpen with ease. Get a quality machine for the job you do. There are many other Drill Doctor machines that cater to different use and abuse. Choose the one that is best for you! I can honestly say that this machine is far superior to anything I have owned, but is also more machine than I need. For the contractor or handyman, this is perfect. I am currently getting bits from my friends to test this out further and am having fun doing it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Law-Abiding, California Firearm Owners are at Risk!

Law-abiding, California firearm owners should pay close attention to this. There is a petition link at the end of this. I highly recommend you sign it if you plan on doing any firearm shooting or hunting in this state. These have been pushed through by including them on other bills. This is really happening and we need to keep fighting this. Spread the word!!
From the Firearm Policy Coalition Press Release:

Yesterday, Gunpocalypse hit the California State Capitol.

The Senate Appropriations committee heard and passed TEN anti-gun bills with no regard for any of the rules that are in place to allow for a more thorough review and not cost the state millions of dollars. 

That means these 10 GUN CONTROL BILLS will be heading directly to the Senate Floor for a vote as early as Thursday, May 19th.

The bills are:

  • AB 156: Bans common ammunition purchases, creates a DOJ database of ammunition owners.
  • AB 857: Requires serialization of ALL unserialized firearms, both retroactively and moving forward.
  • AB 1135: Bans common and constitutionally protected firearms that have magazine locking devices, such as "bullet buttons".
  • AB 1511: Criminalizes loaning of firearms between personally known, law-abiding adults.
  • SB 880: Bans common and constitutionally protected firearms that have magazine locking devices, such as "bullet buttons".
  • SB 894: Victimizes victims by criminalizing the failure to report lost and stolen firearms within a short time frame.
  • SB 1006: University of California taxpayer funding for gun control research.
  • SB 1407: Requires serialization of ALL unserialized firearms, both retroactively and moving forward.
  • SB 1446: Retroactively bans possession of lawfully acquired, standard capacity magazines that can hold over 10 rounds.
  • SB 1235: Bans common ammunition purchases, creates a DOJ database of ammunition owners.

Sign the Petition here!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Range Day and Sighting in New Rifles!

Therapy is expensive and boring. If you live in California, ammunition is also very expensive (especially for hunting), but shooting firearms can be great therapy! When hunting in Cali, you can't use lead ammo, only alternatives, like copper. Copper is pricey! Just imagine how expensive it can be when you head to the shooting range. A couple weeks ago, some coworkers and I ventured to the desert to target shoot and have some fun. This was my opportunity to sight in my Remington 700 SPS 300 Win Mag with my newly mounted MINOX ZX5i 5-25x56 rifle scope. Plus, I had the chance to shoot some other firearms that had interested me. It was going to be a fun day!

Aim small, miss small. I know you've heard people say it. I've stated it in regards to my archery practice and love it for firearms, too. That was my train of thought as I set up my 300 Win Mag, and yes, with the scope I chose to mount, my plan was to reach out and hit the target from a longer range. My goal is to be able to shoot out to 400 yards, but truly limit my hunting range to 200-300 yards max. I hope to draw a sheep tag in the next few years and this weapon would be a great tool!

I crafted my own DIY Shoot-and-See targets in order to see my hits easily. They are super simple to make and work really well. There are some great tutorials all over YouTube and easy to follow. You'll want to take a look at making some, especially if you have ever shot at a black target at 100+ yards. The bullet holes are nearly impossible to see clearly.

I helped set up random targets and then focused on setting up my three targets. I set one at 100 yards, 200 yards, and 300 yards. After bore sighting the rifle, I got to work at 100 yards. As per California hunting regulations, I was sighting in with certified lead-free ammo (verify that the ammo you are using is actually on their lists, as some is not). While I know I can sight in with lead ammo, I figured I may as well use the ammunition I would be hunting with. I am shooting the Federal Premium Ammunition Vital-Shok Trophy Copper at 165 grains. Flat shooting, powerful, and as factory ammo goes, really consistent. My first shot was very high and left, but that was ok in my book. I just had to remain patient as I needed to allow the barrel to cool between shots. I opted to shoot two shots, then let the barrel cool for 15-20 minutes. I took another shot; high and left again. One thing I should have done was to run a brush down the barrel after every few shots, but I did not. Once cooled, I adjusted my sight and fired. The bullet hit two inches high, center. Another shot confirmed it.

In between cool-downs, I shot my Remington .270 (which is dead-on at 200 yards), some AR-15s, and a Super Redhawk .44 Mag (my potential sidearm for the backcountry). The targets didn't stand a chance and I had a blast. I owe a big thank you to Bill, Duane, and Mike for bringing me out, letting me shoot their weapons and use their ammo. Plus, we just had an all around great time.

Here is a short video of me shooting the 3oo WM and sighting in the sight. I was limited to my rest on this trip and you can see from the video that the tripod was kicked back a few times. I will be using a sturdier table on my next trip. I was limited on space this time as I rode up with the men. I appreciate being able to utilize this set-up, too. No matter what, it was awesome to shoot my new hunting weapon.

It was great fun and I cannot wait to get out there again very soon. I have a new plan of attack with dialing in the groups on my WM and to see the targets at long range. I even hope to utilize a Bullseye Camera System, if I can get my hands on one. Are any of you setting up any long range weapons for hunting? What do you like to do for your set-ups? I would love to hear some exciting ideas! Shoot straight and be safe out there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

SHARE Wild Pig Hunts Offered in Southern California

Image provided by CDFW.

This was posted today on the CA DFW blog and I just had to share it (with permission). This is a great opportunity to hunt some wild hogs in California! Read on and apply!

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting applications for upcoming wild pig hunts. The hunts will be held on Tejon Ranch and Baeke Ranch in Southern California. The hunts are offered through CDFW’s Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program.

Tejon Ranch, in Kern County is offering semi-guided wild pig hunts on June 27-29 and October 24-26. Located 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Bakersfield, hunters will have access to approximately 100,000 acres of the ranch for these hunts. Five SHARE Access Permits (good for two hunters each) will be randomly drawn for each hunt period. Tejon Ranch’s semi-guided pig hunt is a two-and-a-half day group hunt that includes two nights lodging, meals and a guide who will direct hunters and provide tips on how to have a successful hunt. Hunters are limited to one pig tag each during this hunt.

For the first time, Baeke Ranch in Santa Barbara County will offer two wild pig hunts on June 24-26 and July 15-17. Overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley just northwest of Solvang, Baeke Ranch is located in Ballard Canyon Ranches, locally known as “Hog Valley.” The property is approximately 20 acres surrounded by open space and is a maze of game trails consisting of chaparral scrub and coyote brush with oak and pine cover. One SHARE Access Permit (good for two hunters) will be randomly drawn for each period.

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply online through CDFW’s website. A $10.25 [It looks like $11.37 from what I can see on the website] non-refundable application fee (plus any applicable license agent handling fees) will be charged for each hunt choice. Applicants may apply for multiple hunt periods but only once per period. To apply for these hunts, please see

SHARE offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Participating landowners receive liability protection and may receive compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of SHARE is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other recreational access on private lands in California. For more information about these hunts or SHARE, please see

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 564-4170

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Upping the Ante with a 300 Win Mag

Hunters have been planning what they would like to hunt this year for months. I have had deer and bear on the brain for months, but I have also been on a different mission. I have also had hunting sheep on the brain. I decided last year that I wanted to expand my range a bit for hunting. What do I mean exactly? I needed wanted to customize a rifle for long range shooting. Pennies were saved, reviews read, manufacturers contacted, and I came to the conclusion that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. I have been shooting Remington all my life and I saw no reason to switch. My decision was easy on which rifle to purchase - the Remington 700 SPS 300 Win Mag. This was the rifle for me and the rifle that was going to be able to reach out and drop an animal in one shot.

After I purchased my rifle from Bass Pro Shops, the first thing I did was investigate my stock options. No, not my retirement funds, but rifle stocks. I love Remington rifles, but the synthetic stock is hollow and feels cheap. I narrowed down to three stocks, but one stood out to me more than the others. I made the decision and purchased the Blackhawk Axiom Ultra-Lite rifle stock. When it arrived, I spent some time reading the provided information and directions for mounting the 300 WM barrel. As I began installing the barrel, I noticed the anchor bolts were not lining up. I tried over and over and finally contacted Blackhawk. The customer service team at Blackhawk was awesome and patient. I relayed my problem and my thoughts. They informed me that for some reason, the stock that was provided was for a short-action rifle, even though I had ordered the long-action stock. The Blackhawk team had a new one boxed and shipped out to me right away. No questions asked, just great service. I am still impressed at how well they handled everything. Once I verified the correct fit, I shipped the short-action back. After that, the biggest issue I had was that the barrel didn't seat into the stock as easy as it should have. The barrel bracket was hitting and not allowing for the barrel to drop in. With a few minutes of coercion from my Dremel tool and some filing, the barrel dropped in nicely! I anchored the bolts and loved the feel of everything and it looked very cool.

Black is my color for dress pants, but not for rifle stocks, especially ones I want for hunting. This was one more thing I had been researching for weeks. I knew I wanted to have Utah Hydrographics dip the stock for me and I knew exactly what pattern I wanted. As a member of the Badlands Operative Pro Staff, I asked my fearless leader if he would give the OK to have my stock dipped in the new Badlands Approach camo pattern. With his approval, I made the arrangements with Utah Hydrographics and worked out all of the details. Those guys have great customer service, too! They got back to me really quickly and answered every question I had. I shipped the stock and began following up on my other research.

While waiting for my stock to be dipped and returned, I had two more components I needed to make decisions on. With a 300 WM, I needed a scope that was not only high quality, but that would allow me to reach out and touch something from a great distance. With my involvement on the MINOX Adventure Team I was shared some info on the ZX5 rifle scopes before they were released. Emails to our team leaders were sent with questions, limitations, and availability. For me, the ZX5i 5-25x56 SF was my number one choice. Read the specifications and you'll understand why. It would be a few weeks before I would receive my scope choice, but with having to wait for my stock to be dipped I knew I had time. In that time, I would need to purchase some new scope rings and mounts.

Warne Scope Mounts was not a name I was familiar with at the time, but one day while going through my Instagram feed, I saw an article posted from regarding lapping your rings and if it was needed. I was intrigued and read the article from start to finish. It was informative and exactly what I needed to hear. After a few messages back and forth, I knew my decision had been made for me. I ordered the bases for the Remington and the 30mm rings to accommodate my MINOX scope. These rings would be a vertically split instead of the typical horizontal split. The vertical split has many advantages over the horizontal, in my humble opinion.

My scope and rings arrived at nearly the same time, but still no stock due to Utah Hydrographics being backlogged and also having issues with my stock. You see, my stock was shipped in four pieces and each one had to be dipped in an odd way for proper coverage. The guys were completely honest with me and said it would be a couple more weeks. Being in no hurry, I waited patiently, but I'd be lying if I said I was eager to see the finished product! True to their word, my stock was completed under two weeks. When the UPS man dropped a box on my doorstep, I nearly jumped from my chair knowing exactly what was being delivered. true to their word, the stock was completed and it looked like it had been a pain to do, but they did it! I put it all back together and began my rifle assembly.

The reassembly took some time as I like to be precise. After checking the action to be sure the rifle wasn't loaded, I began. The bases, scope rings, and scope mount went on with ease. Everything fit perfectly! After leveling my scope, I noticed something that I hadn't caught prior to me having my stock dipped. The bolt action worked great, but the bolt wouldn't come all the way back due to hitting the inch wide lip of the stock. I was pretty miffed at myself at first, but that quickly dissipated. To remedy the situation, my trusty Dremel tool was charged up and I slowly removed enough of the lip to allow the bolt to fully extend out. Success!

Now, with the rifle fully assembled and ready to shoot, I now have plans to head out to sight it in with some friends from work. I need to use full copper ammunition, due to California regulation, but I am ready to move forward. This is going to be a great year for hunting and the Remington 700 SPS 300 WM is going to help me fill my freezer!