Rob62's Blog

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Glock G17_398_Blue Label price.jpg

Picture courtesy of me.

So how do you get a basic brand new Glock pistol for $398.20 (February 2015).

Under Glocks Homeland Defender Program (Glock Blue Label Program) it is relatively easy.

Let’s first discuss what the Homeland Defender Program is. It is Glock’s way of saying thank you to those who protect and serve communities across the U.S.A. And has been around since about 2009. This program allows qualified individuals to purchase a basic sub compact, compact, or full size Glock pistol at discounted prices. As I write this (February 2015) the price is $398.20 plus tax. (Some places charge $399 even) Which is the same as the discount given an individual law enforcement officer if they were to make a purchase. This is an incredible price and is less than commercial wholesale. While this price is only for the majority of basic Glocks, the G20, 21, 34, 35, etc. are also greatly discounted and can be purchased under this program.

Covered in this program are personnel from all branches of the US military, retired members of the military, FFDO’s (Federal Flight Deck Officers – you know those airplane pilots or co-pilots who can carry handguns on board aircraft), EMT’s, Firemen – First Responders, Security Personnel, and of course all forms of sworn law enforcement, both at the federal and local level.

Directly from Glocks web site. Those who qualify include:

•Sworn Law Enforcement officers, including Federal, State, County, & City (Includes retired L.E. officers with “retired” credentials)

•EMT’s, Fire Fighters, Volunteer Fire Fighters, and Paramedics

•Military personnel including Reservists and National Guard with I.D. (Includes retired Military with “retired” credentials)

•Corrections Officers, including Parole and Probation Officers

•State Licensed Security Companies (Loomis, RAM, etc.) also includes State Licensed Armed Security Officers

•Court Judges, District Attorneys and Deputy District Attorneys

•LE Academy Cadets with enrollment documentation from the Academy

Glock tried to make this program as inclusive as they could. There is a requirement to produce valid identification showing you are in one of these groups at time of purchase. The Glocks that fall under this program are called “Blue Label” guns because the factory box has an appropriately enough blue colored label on it. And are the same Glocks that LE gets. However no night sights are included at that price. The dealer where you get your Glock from should be able to install a set for the low additional price of about $57 (also below commercial wholesale). If purchasing a compact or full size Glock, THREE magazines are included. If purchasing a sub-compact model, TWO magazines are included.

(General commercial “White Label” Glocks only come with two magazines).

One should not get this discount program confused with Glock’s “Homeland Defender” pistol. The Homeland Defender pistol is a 3rd generation Glock with a Homeland Defender logo laser etched or engraved on the side of the slide. So there is a Homeland Defender DISCOUNT program, and a Homeland Defender Glock HANDGUN, two totally different things.

Many Glock dealers are not even aware of this program. And I have had several tell me that there is no way to get a new Glock for that price. The catch, if there is a catch, is that ONLY Glock LAW ENFORCEMENT dealers can sell Blue Label Glocks at these prices. “Regular” Glock dealers cannot. So you need to find a Glock LAW ENFORCEMENT DEALER in your locale to get one of these guns. Keep in mind there is a difference between being a Glock Dealer, and a Glock Law Enforcement Dealer.

Now I would like to issue a huge warning. There are always a few people who try to scam the system. If someone were to think about purchasing a gun under this program by using a fake ID, well my recommendation is to forget that idea as fast as it came into your head. Using a false or fake ID to get a discount when not authorized can be punishable under law. And if you are dumb enough to try and use a fake law enforcement ID that makes the matter even worse. The potential liability is not worth the $100 or so savings.

Some of you reading this who may not be discount eligible are going, “Gee, I wish I could get a new Glock that cheap”. Well, all is not lost. If you join GSSF (Glock Sports Shooting Foundation) at an annual cost of about $35 you will receive one certificate to purchase a Glock at this reduced price.

So doing the math, $398.20 + $35 = $433.20 still under or very near wholesale.

Happy Glockin’


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There is no single way to answer that question.

One might as well ask, “I want to get a truck for my wife, which one should I get”?

See the problem with that.....

Some things to consider when making this decision:

  • What is the shooting experience level of your wife or significant other ?
  • How comfortable are they shooting semi automatic handguns?
  • What caliber of handgun have they shot?
  • Is there any cartridge / caliber of handgun they fired which they thought was “too much”?
  • Is there a gun range near you where you can rent various Glocks?
  • Are they willing to take a basic handgun safety course if not already completed?
  • What is the purpose of getting the Glock - self defense / CCW, target practice, home defense, etc.?
  • What is the shooters hand size?

The very best thing to do when contemplating this or any other handgun purchase is to go out and shoot as many different guns as possible, Glocks in this case. Luckily most gun ranges that rent guns will have several Glocks to try out.

With all that said - get a G19! Its the one Glock that universally most shooters will be able to shoot well and make do with no matter what the exact intended purpose.


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AR15s_SBR_and std CAR.jpg

Top Gun Pictured:

Bushmaster XM-15E2S (AR15 CAR version), 5.56mm/.223 Rem, SN: L49####, flat top upper receiver, Aimpoint Comp ML2 optic, MILSPEC collapsible 6 position stock, quad rail hand guard, Yankee Hill Machine folding BUIS rear sight, Surefire 951 light, MAGPUL vertical fore grip, single point sling adapter, MILSPEC 30-rd magazines.

Bottom rifle (SBR) Short Barrel Rifle. Legal in certain states of the USA as long as the builder or owner has the appropriate BATFE Form 1 or 4, which pays the $200 tax stamp to own one of these items.

Aero Precision AP15, (Short Barrel AR15 CAR Rifle), 5.56mm/.223 Rem, SN: US5####, flat top upper receiver, Aimpoint Comp ML2 optic, Yankee Hill Machine folding BUIS rear sight, MILSPEC collapsible 6 position stock. DPMS lower receiver trigger pack, Barrel shortened to 10.5” as part of BATFE SBRing process. I’ve got to work on getting a light mounted on this gun.

Both rifles have “M4″ feeding cuts and chrome lined barrels.

I like both guns equally well but am very partial to the SBR. Maybe because it took me so long to put together and get it running smoothly. Both guns will cycle any factory ammo with ease. But no matter what, Russian steel case ammo is dirty to shoot. The only solution is to clean the guns more. Or only shoot the much more expensive copper case ammo.



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Over the past thirty years or so I have pretty much owned every big name factory “Precision” rifle at one time or another. And what have I learned ? That most companies make a really good product. Savage makes an outstanding long range rifle - they actually make a few. Ruger likes to think they make a decent long range gun, but for whatever reason they never worked for me. And one look at various long range competitions will show a distinct lack of representation by Ruger. (And I really like Ruger products in general, I own a few.....)

So to answer my own subject line question. There is not any single ONE best long range .308 rifle, there are many in today’s market. Something for almost anyone’s budget.

I contend that a rifle as good as a full blown custom gun, is an off the shelf Remington model 700P. Mount an upper grade Leupold or Night Force scope on it and you will be set to compete with anyone, anywhere. However do not skimp on a quality scope base or bases and rings.

If you require something better than the 700P, you would most likely have to go custom or semi-custom.

Want to get into budget long range shooting? Then look at the heavy barrel Remington 700 SPS’s with a Hogue Overmolded stock along with a mid price range Nikon or Burris scope. The same scope would also work very well on Savage’s model 10FP’s or similar Savage product.

Another decent option that looks a little different is Remington’s 700 VTR (Varmint Tactical Rifle). I still can’t figure the market Remington was going after with this model. I guess they thought both Varmint and Tactical shooters would equally purchase it.

Personally, I think 3-9x power scopes are not enough magnification when trying to work in the 600-1,000 yard range. I like variable power scopes that go at least to 14x, and 18x would not be unreasonable. But that’s in part because my eyes are getting old and not what they used to be.

What will, or should drive your your rifle and scope selection is, #1 your budget, and #2 what you are trying to accomplish.

For example, if you plan on doing ultimate long range Varminting, you will need the best scope available with the most magnification to even see those tiny targets.



Picture courtesy of me. Remington 700 VTR, Hogue stock, Leupold 4-14x scope, in steel two piece Redfield bases and rings.

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Remington Barrel (Date) Codes

There two ways that someone can determine the “Made On” date of their Remington firearm. This is by either contacting the good folks at Remington’s Customer Service section (link at bottom) with the serial number. Or by using the factory date codes on the barrel of the firearm. These codes are fairly simple and straightforward to read. They are located on the left side of the barrel, just ahead of the receiver. There will be a combination of two or three letters representing the month and year of manufacture.

The first character of the sequence will always be one of these letters:

B, L, A, C, K, P, O, W, D, E, R, X.

These twelve letters correspond to the twelve months in a year, and are the month code.


B = January

L = February

A = March

C = April

K = May

P = June

O = July

W = August

D = September

E = October

R = November

X = December

The next letter or letters will correspond to the year manufactured. NOTE – Some of these year letters repeat, as can be seen below. So a little sleuthing may have to be done to determine the exact year the firearm was manufactured. This sleuthing is accomplished in part by first determining the years that your specific firearm was manufactured. After that one brings into play what is known of the history, such as the year first acquired.

If these additional pieces of information still do not clear up the year of manufacture, contacting Remington Customer Service with the firearms serial number will be required. As an added bonus to Remington being able to provide the year of manufacture, they should also be able to provide the grade the firearm left the factory as.


M - 1921

N - 1922

P - 1923

R - 1924

S - 1925

T - 1926

U - 1927

W - 1928

X - 1929

Y - 1930

Z - 1931

A - 1932

B - 1933

C - 1934

D - 1935

E - 1936

F - 1937

G - 1938

H - 1939

J - 1940

K - 1941

L - 1942

MM - 1943

NN - 1944

PP - 1945

RR - 1946

SS - 1947

TT - 1948

UU - 1949

WW - 1950

XX - 1951

YY - 1952

ZZ - 1953

A - 1954

B - 1955

C - 1956

D - 1957

E - 1958

F - 1959

G - 1960

H - 1961

J - 1962

K - 1963

L - 1964

M - 1965

N - 1966

P - 1967

R - 1968

S - 1969

T - 1970

U - 1971

W - 1972

X - 1973

Y - 1974

Z - 1975

I - 1976

O - 1977

Q - 1978

V - 1979

A - 1980

B - 1981

C - 1982

D - 1983

E - 1984

F - 1985

G - 1986

H - 1987

I - 1988

J - 1989

K - 1990

L - 1991

M - 1992

N - 1993

O - 1994

P - 1995

Q - 1996

R - 1997

S - 1998

T - 1999 (*)

U - 2000 (*)

V - 2001 (*)

W - 2002

X - 2003

Y - 2004

Z - 2005

A - 2006

B - 2007

C - 2008

D - 2009

E - 2010

F - 2011

G - 2012

H - 2013

I - 2014

(*) In August of 1999, Remington stopped stamping the barrels with the date codes. They however continued to mark the date code on the end flap of the shipping box. Remington resumed stamping the date codes on barrels in October 2001.

EXAMPLES of various date codes:

PA = June 1923, 1954, 1980, or 2006, “A” was used for all four years so some further detective work would have to be done in this instance.

ES = October 1925, 1969, or 1998, so once again some further detective work would have to be done.

RTT = November 1948, as TT was only used for one year (’48).

BQ = January 1978 or 1996.

An issues that people need to be aware of is that many Remington firearms such as the 870 series of shotguns can have their barrels easily changed or replaced. So, if the barrel is not original to the specific firearm in question the date code may be meaningless. Also if there is a custom or aftermarket barrel installed it will not have these factory codes.

Confounding the issue a bit may also be the fact that Remington stamps their final inspector stamps and assembly (product) codes in the immediate area of the date codes. So it may be difficult at times to determine exactly what is what.

To contact Remington:



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