Monday, June 18, 2018

Starting a Firearms Battery Over

We can use a good cliché gun porn post. Thankfully no tragedies have happened but it makes for an interesting train of thought. Say the guns I currently have were ALL lost in a boating accident/ fire/ etc. Anyway for the discussion I would find myself starting over with the knowledge I have today and in todays market.

Core guns:
-Glock 26
-Glock 19 (Both with the same sights and modifications, if any.)
-AKM x 2 (If you said AR I wouldn't argue. Honestly get whichever of the two you prefer.)
-Remington 870 12 gauge with long and short barrels. Light attached to short barrel.
-Savage .308, probably the Hog Hunter model, with a mid size variable power scope.

Nice to have:
-Marlin model 60 .22
-Some sort of tiny pistol.

If I wanted to make caches down the road I would use these same models of guns.

Basically the big differences would be that I would keep things really simple. Also there wouldn't be a log of churning stuff. I would minimize the use of magazines in non tactical weapons (When does a speed reload for a .22 squirrel gun/ plinker ever matter?).

I would take advantage of high value weapons. I would use the money I saved not building uber expensive AR's and put it into a good scope for the Savage as well as lots of mags, spare parts and ammo. Also by keeping things simple and affordable it would let me rather quickly check the 'guns' box and put energy as well as money into other areas.

If you were doing it all over again what would you get and why?

How does this differ from what you have now and why?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Accuracy Standards- Rifles

Thinking in groups of people can kind of move in cycles. This is true in meat space social networks as well as internet ones. Internet ones are different because we tend to be reading things instead of having conversations. So while Bob, Jim and Jill might have a conversation here Harry, Sally and Frank can hear the same thing the next day. Anyway.....

The American Partisan folks and I seem to be thinking a lot alike lately. American Partisan wrote a good post on practical carbine accuracy. Their points about practical field shooting being different from a nice day on the range with a rest being different are totally valid but that isn't where I am going.

I am reminded of the old construction saying that there is fast, good and cheap but you only get to pick two. (So you can have fast and good but it won't be cheap, or cheap and good but it won't be fast, etc) In this context we would have accurate, reliable and affordable. Admittedly that is an over simplification. With rifles we also have the variable of weight but then we are getting pretty far down into the weeds with concept of use and such.

The important question at hand is how much accuracy do we need. I suppose we would have to categorize rifles into a couple concepts of use. Categories need to be defined.

Fighting rifle. A magazine fed semi automatic rifle used for personal combat. Ranges will vary but in a non military context 3-50 meters are most common with occasional shots closer to 100m.

(Seriously cases where a civilian or cop is shooting past100m or so are at best rare. Off hand I can not think of any though admittedly I haven't proactively looked. If you know of any please shoot me breakdowns of the stories.)

Precision rifle. Scoped rifle used for shooting at longer distances or situations where a high degree of accuracy is needed. Call it a sniper rifle or a hunting rifle, whatever.

Accuracy Standards:

Fighting rifle- 4 MOA

Precision rifle- 2 MOA

Discussion:

Fighting rifle- 4 MOA. Why 4 MOA? That is a solid head shot at 100 meters. At 300 meters its a 12 inch circle which is a very good chest shot. At 600 meters it is a 24 inch circle which probably puts the round in someone's torso.

4 MOA is also, if I recall, the contract standard for the Colt M4 rifles we carry at work. Someone probably did the same kind of thinking I did in the previous paragraph.

I would argue that a 4 MOA rifle will do anything you can reasonably expect out of a fighting rifle.

Pretty much any serviceable rifle will shoot this. If an AR can't shoot 4 MOA something is wrong with it. (though typically AR issues manifest themselves more in reliability than accuracy). Most AK's can shoot under 4 MOA. Every AK I have personally fired can meet or exceed this.

Precision rifle: What just 2 MOA? That is a shot on a partially concealed head at 100 meters or a full head at 200. That keeps you in good torso shots (12" is a pretty vital circle when centered on the sternum) out to 600. Honestly unless you are a legitimate military sniper or some sort of championship high power guy an honest 2 MOA rifle will out shoot you.

Reliability- For fighting weapons reliability is obviously important. Nothing is absolute and mechanical devices sometimes fail. However if your gun is failing regularly then you need to address the issue.

In firearms (at least in the modern era, I can't speak to before that) there is traditionally an inverse relationship between reliability and accuracy. To make a gun more reliable you increase clearances between parts to allow for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up/ etc. Bigger clearances mean movement between parts which ultimately means less predictability in where the bullet goes AKA wider shot group. Think about say an AKM. On the other hand especially with precision machining capabilities now available it is easy to make for really tight clearances which means less movement and more accuracy. However the gun is less reliable because those tight spaces between parts offer little room for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up.

1911's are a good case for this. A mil spec 1911, even a new one, has some play between parts, that in part makes them reasonably reliable. I probably make fun of 1911's sometimes but a Colt or Springfield will work fine if you have reasonable expectations. Even those shot out WWII guns will typically run. However accuracy is nothing to write home about. On the other hand a target model 1911will be a lot more accurate. The modern ability to make parts accurate to a tiny fraction of an inch allows this. However the same super tight build that makes the gun accurate means it is a lot less reliable. This brings us back to the good fast and cheap. You can have accurate, reliable and affordable but you only get to pick 2. A $700 1911 can be accurate or reliable. Now a $3,000 super fancy boutique production Ed Brown/ Nighthawk/ Wilson Combat will be accurate and reliable but cheap is out the window.

It is easy to exceed both of these numbers. Finding standard production AR's that shoot 2 MOA is easy. These days really accurate bolt action rifles are out there also. There is a pretty good chance that the Hunters Special Rem/ Sav/ Moss package with a scope on sale at Wally World is a 1 MOA rifle. There are a lot of reliable options at a variety of different price points.

The point I am striving for here is that the odds are high whatever guns you have are accurate enough so quit worrying about that. Put the time/ energy/ money into worrying if the meatsack behind the gun can do its part.

Thoughts?





 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Spray and Pray, Revolvers and the mighty M1 Garand

Blogger Robert Kirk said...
I try to have on-hand weapons without magazines like SKS or M1 and revolvers instead of semi-autos. The volume of fire is lessened, but the trained quality should be better (vs "spray & pray"). Using weapons without magazines cuts down on "overhead" cost for mags, meaning you can spend more for ammo. It also means no mag issues like the ARs incompatibility or mag use damage. You might eventually, possibly, have a weapon that is only good for a doorstop in TEOTWAWKI. Not good.

Rucksack Rob said...
RK.
You do have a valid point...almost. I like revolvers a lot! They are dependable, spit out any ammo fed to them and are great for both novice and expert.
My disagreement with your statement is the M1 (Garand I'm assuming). The Garand was and still is one of the best rifles ever designed but let me ask you, how many enbloc clips do you have? When that rifle was standard issue, the military had unlimited clips pre-loaded as issued to the "Joe's" who carried it. Now again I ask you... how many do you have stashed away to reload w/ 8 rds. of 30-06 after said firefight? Did you stop to pick up the clips that were thrown 3-6 ft. away in the tall grass in the dark?
Yes 20-30rd magazines may be a slight logistical problem for some preppers / soldiers but it's much easier to stock up now on brand new mags (vs. surplus clips) which, during the heat of any type of battle would be easier to pick up off the ground at your feet or to perform a tactical reload and stuff the mag in a pouch or down your shirt than a clip that was thrown out to 'tim-buk-tu'
After 24 years in the Army, all in combat arms, I do have some working knowledge of combat rifles, both foreign and domestic and as stated earlier, the Garand is a fine rifle but because of the clips, is one that is slightly outdated for that one reason only. I do own one and love to shoot it but it would not be my first choice for a MBR in a SHTF scenario unless of course, it was the only one I had with me at the time...lol
I forget who said "Be cautious of the man with one gun, for he probably knows how to use it." and for all I know, that could fit you to a 'T'.

Ryan here. This sort of statement about mag fed weapons and 'spray and pray' has been thrown out enough over time that I feel like addressing it. I also plan to touch on the M1 Garand and revolvers.

"I try to have on-hand weapons without magazines like SKS or M1 and revolvers instead of semi-autos. The volume of fire is lessened, but the trained quality should be better (vs "spray & pray")."

This kind of thinking conflates skill, tactics and technology. In simple language people mix stuff together and come to an overall flawed conclusion. Lets look at them in order then bring it all together.

Skill- The ability to accurately engage a target comes from your ability to apply the fundamentals of marksmenship. Presuming a weapon is mechanically accurate, which most of them are, a person who can shoot will be able to hit with whatever gun. If we look at it most civilian defensive shooting problems they are not particularly difficult.

Tactics- Moving, shooting, use of cover, etc all. One could say "spray and pray" is a tactic though I would say it I say it is a bad tactic. At best it is a fundamental misunderstanding of small unit tactics (fire and maneuver, etc) but at worst it is utter stupidity.

Equipment drives tactics in the big picture though for an individual with a rifle or handgun not much has changed really in awhile.

Technology- The AR and AK are 50's technology and semi automatic pistols have been standard across the vast majority of the worlds militaries since WWII. Cops in the US used revolvers for longer than that till say the early 90's.

Where the conflation occurs in this thinking is that people think by limiting their technology they will somehow magically get better results. At best this thinking is ignorant. People who think this almost universally lack training or experience.

Put it like this, Would an older less capable racecar improve the performance of the driver in a race? Obviously not. The idea is laughable. The answer to improving discipline, taking good shots and getting hits is about training. A shitty shot who is scared can empty a wheel gun or SKS into thin air just the same as they could a tricked out race gun or high end AR-15.

So aside from being fundamentally flawed limiting capacity and reload time via technology are problematic. The issue is that even if somehow a 6 shot revolver made you into a steely eyed killer, which it doesn't, you would still be a steely eyed killer with a 6 shooter. If you get into a situation where that's not enough you have a problem.

There is also a layer of economic resentment or jealousy in any of these discussions. The economic classism in American society does not vanish in gun/ preparedness culture. Some folks feel compelled to say their choice, made mostly for economic reasons, is better to feel good about it. Instead of saying "I know its not ideal but its what I can afford" guys have to somehow try to justify it being a better choice.

So in closing using a different gun to try to fix (lack of) training issues is not a useful idea.

Now to revolvers and the good ole M1 Garand.

Revolvers:

1-  Reliability/ durability. We have a tendency to look back at revolvers with rose colored glasses.

As someone much more experienced than I (who was also a LEO in the wheel gun era) said "Revolvers handle neglect better while semi automatics handle abuse better." If a gun is going to sit indefinitely in a drawer somewhere a revolver is more likely to work a couple years down the road. On the other hand if it might get carried through a mud puddle or dropped in sand a modern universal service pistol is far more likely to function.

They had issues with getting dirty, timing and failing. A local agency used to stop partway through their 60 round qualification to use a brush to wipe out under the star extractors because otherwise the guns (S&W model 66's) wouldn't extract properly.

Also revolvers are considerably more fragile than one might think. People think about the big heavy metal frame with a fixed barrel but forget about the little parts like the cylinder stop that are pretty fragile and when broken stop the gun cold.

A lot of revolver owners these days have selective memory in part because they tend (there are exceptions but they are rare) not to shoot much. Any halfway decent gun will be pretty reliable if you shoot 200 rounds a year through it.

2- Revolvers excel at the ends of the size spectrum. The difference between a little 5 shot J frame and a 6-7 shot single stack .308/9mm are minimal. For larger magnum type guns revolvers are stronger and much more affordable. In the middle with compact/ duty sized guns revolvers really lose out. A S&W k frame, probably the epitome of a duty revolver holds 6 shots. A Glock 17 is about the same size, lighter and holds 2.5x the ammo. Multiply that by a couple reloads and a double stack auto is a whole different ballgame than a wheel gun.

3- From a preparedness angle (vs general defensive use) revolvers have a couple of unique pros and cons. Pro- Ability to handle a variety of ammunition. Since a round doesn't have to cycle the action revolvers are more tolerant of weaker loads than an automatic. Con- Fitting parts. Modern universal service pistols have drop in parts. That means any chuckle head with basic tools can swap out parts. Good luck trying that with a wheel gun. The saying that fixing a Glock involves a tool box and fixing a revolver involves a gunsmith has more than a little validity.

M1 Garand:
I honestly can't believe we are discussing this. The Garand was the peak of fighting rifles from its adoption in 1936 when everyone was shooting bolt guns we had a semi auto. Then in about '43 the STV-40 and STG-44 came to be. Certainly by the late 40's to mid 1950's when reliable mag fed rifles such as the AK-47 and FN-FAL were fielded the Garand was obsolete.

They feed from an 8 round en bloc clip and are pretty picky about ammunition. Modern 30'06 ammo (the one exception being specially loaded ammo from Prvi Partisan) is too powerful and will potentially bend op rods. To cap that all off the Garand's in existence are usually 70 some odd years old. Even if they were properly stored and cared for metal fatigues over time.  Also to make matters worse these guns aren't cheap anymore. A moot point if you own a couple already but at the price these days you could get a new quality AR or AK.

If you are a salty old WWII or Korea vet who is intimately familiar with a Garand that has one and a bunch of spam cans of ammo in the basement then stick with it. For anyone else having a Garand as a fighting weapon is silly.

If you want to own a Garand as a history piece for your collection then rock on. By all means do it, they are a neat piece of history. In the unlikely event you are in some crazy siege thing and have more shooters than guns by all means toss someone the Garand. However planning to use a gun that has serious limitations in a primary defensive role is foolish.

As a final thought despite spending however many words and an hour or so of my time guns really don't matter that much. If you look at realistic defensive shootings guns don't matter that much. It matters that a person has a loaded gun, can get that gun into play and shoot it accurately in a timely manner. Somewhere after that it matters what kind of gun the person has.

Put it like this. People tend to be way too focused on the gun itself and in that focus miss the real point that it is about themselves and their capability. A person with the right skills and frame of mind can win a fight with a shitty old .38 wheel gun. A guy who lacks the right skills and frame of mind could be carrying a $3,000 high end pistol and it doesn't matter. To get it out of the gun discussion I could show up to the course with $20 Goodwill golf clubs and if I swapped clubs then played with Tiger Woods he would still kick my ass.

Edited to include:

I did not touch on the cost of magazines as a benefit to go with something not mag fed.

We have to look at the cost of magazines vs the utility a mag fed gun brings. For fighting weapons it is silly to go with something that isn't mag fed. Honestly for the guns I am talking about magazines aren't all that expensive. Say AR/ AK mags are $12-14 and Glock 9mm mags $14-15, at least those prices are fairly close. So lets split the difference and say a full load out of mags for your AR/ AK costs $260 and your Glock is $145. To have the capability of a modern firearm those prices are worthwhile.

Where I would say going old school makes sense is with non fighting weapons. So hunting rifles and .22's. Tube fed Marlin model 60's and .22 revolvers will serve their roles and you don't need to spend money on mags. Well those are my thoughts on that.
 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Combat Loads, Mags n Ammo Stashes

For a pretty long time I used the following as my standards:
Ammo
Fighting rifle- 3k
Fighting pistol- 1 k

Mags
Rifle- 20
Pistol- 10

A recent post at American Partisan got me to thinking about this topic.

In terms of magazines the numbers I gave above are kinda high by many peoples standards.

Basically they are 3x combat loads albeit rounded to even numbers. I figure one to be using, one to replace them and one for charity/ barter. So 3 combat loads of 3 magazines is 9 which I will round to 10 because its easy. 3 combat loads of 7 magazines is 21 which I round to 20. I round these type of things to get to an easy to remember number and maybe because I am a bit OCD.

Magazines are the weak link in the firearm chain in a couple ways. First that they wear out fairly often and honestly most failures in semi automatic weapons come from magazine issues followed shortly by lack of lubrication (particularly in the AR platform which needs to be lubricated heavier than most guns). Second magazines can and have been targeted successfully by anti gun types. I grew up as a gun owner during a magazine ban that made standard magazines very expensive. I remember  a buddy had ONE standard capacity factory Glock mag which he paid like $150 for (in 2002 dollars). Thankfully that ban passed. Once President Obama was elected I was concerned about gun bans and swore to myself I would do my best to avoid getting caught short. So I went long on magazines.

I figure 10 pistol mags is a good number. For rifle mags I stock, or try to stock, 20 per rifle.

If a person who is a bit less cautious about these things or shorter on resources said they were going to go with 2 combat loads instead of 3, so 6 pistol mags and 14 rifle mags, I wouldn't really have any issue with that.

Other guns: I would probably cut these numbers in half for non core weapons. The plinker .22, your hunting rifle, the baby .380 CCW gun, etc. 5 or so mags is probably plenty for these guns. Though I have gone considerably longer for my 10/22

In terms of ammo I have done some thinking over recent years. One issue about my previous planning I failed to consider was training ammo. Ammo to keep skills up, test fire guns, zero new optics, etc all. So I got to rethinking my ammo numbers. Here is what I am thinking now.

Emergency Ammo- Lives in a box with a glass door that says "Open in case of Emergency".

10 combat loads per gun albeit rounded to even numbers to make things easy. So that means 500 rounds of pistol ammo and 2,000 rounds of rifle ammo. PER GUN.

If a person said they were going to cut those numbers in half they would be fine in all but the darkest situations.

Other guns: I don't necessarily have a strong opinion here. I like lot of .22 ammo on hand. A couple hundred rounds of good defensive ammo is a decent situation for a shotgun but 500 is better. Several boxes of ammo for a hunting rifle (that you don't immediately rely on for defense IE you have an AR/AK and a hunting rifle) is decent but a 1-2 dozen boxes would be better.

Training ammo:
My goal is to have a years training ammo on hand. So if there was a shortage now I could train normally and replace it in 3/4/6/8 months when things go back to normal. Sandy Hook and that gun/ ammo crisis showed us it might take awhile for things to get back to normal.

In the last year I have probably shot 2,000 rounds of 9mm and 1,000 rounds of 5.56.

So what would this look like. Lets go through a hypothetical setup for one guy:
Pistols- 2
Emergency ammo-1,000 rounds (JHP)
Training ammo- 1,000 rounds (plinker FMJ)
Mags-20

Rifles- 2
Emergency ammo- 4,000 rounds
Training ammo- 1,000 rounds
Mags- 40

Various thoughts:
As I think about this my personal stockage goals have gone down a little bit per gun but I separated training ammo into a dedicated separate stash. So the total amount of ammo I would want to keep on hand really hasn't changed much.

For a person like me who stocks magazines fairly deep we need to consider not only the cost of a gun but the cost of magazines. The price difference between a Glock 19 and say a HK VP9 or Sig 320 might be negligible but their mags could easily be 2-3x as expensive. Ditto say an oddball rifle like a Galil or Valumet vs an AR/ AK.

Mag pouches, slings/ holsters, cleaning kits, etc are also important. Spare parts are also important. All of this would be a good post for another day as I am working through this topic.

Ammo that is not loaded into mags currently should be stored in airtight ammo cans. I'm a big fan of surplus military ammo cans.

I would really recommend people get a gun fully squared away before they get another one. Also if you happen to exceed or even double the ammo counts that would be just fine. Consider using caches for excess.

So that's what I am feeling on that topic today. You might disagree with me but I think you could use similar intentional thinking to get to numbers that suit your needs.

Thoughts?
 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Free Form Friday- Travel, Get One Gun Right and Ammo

Travel- I think travel is a good thing. It broadens the mind and gives perspective. Americans travel very little compared to other affluent countries. In part because we travel more within our country because it is awesome and huge but also because we seem to be a xenophobic bunch and just stay here. I think that is probably not a good thing for our country.

If you pay some attention to the news, apply common sense about where you go and take basic stuff with you I do not think we need to forgo travel in order to be prepared. If you don't want to travel or travel anymore, that is fine. What I am saying is that if you want to travel assuming you don't have really stupid ideas like backpacking in Syria/ Afghanistan then you can go on the trips you want without excessive worry.

I have a post on travel related preparations in mind.

It is important to get things at least relatively squared away for one gun before running out and getting another. The reason is that once you get the new one the focus will shift away from the other one; which will make it even less likely that you get it sorted out in a timely manner. It is important and I suck at doing it. Not saying you need to have every accessory in the world a hundred mags and 10,000 rounds of ammo but getting the gun operational with basic necessary accessories sights if applicable, sling, holster and some sort of initial amount of mags n ammo is prudent. I am trying to get better.

This was brought to light recently in a conversation with a buddy. He isn't a full on survivalist but has some of those tendencies. In the same conversation (we were talking shooting) he mentioned needing to finish a 1/4 built AR and also that he had like 100 rds of 5.56 for the AR he has and a couple mags worth of ammo for his Glock. I tried to get him to focus on putting back at least a bit more ammo before attacking the project.

That brings us to ammo levels. The folks at American Partisan did a post on that. It was good.

Begin tangent
If you looked at preparedness and the not exactly militia but "III" crowd the circles are definitely concentric. I am solidly on the preparedness side. I am ambivalent about the "III" thing for a few reasons not worth going into. There are some decent folks there but its not my scene. In any case when the folks in the Ven diagram overlap between preparedness and "III" want to talk preparedness stuff I am more than happy to participate.
End tangent

That got me to thinking about combat loads as well as amounts of mags and ammo I consider adequate. It made me go back and rethink the numbers I have been using. I will write about this soon. You may or may not care what Ryan thinks is adequate but showing the process of my thinking may bring value.

 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

3 Gun

Shot my first 3 gun match. It was really fun. Its not particularly 'tactical' but its fun. Also the general theme of putting lead on targets faster/ more accurately is of obvious utility. It is good for pure gun handling. Also I found the rifle stuff to be a solid balance of close and intermediate ranges (we shot from roughly 10-200 meters) that is probably super realistic for actual practical defensive rifle stuff.

I was happy with pistol (actually really happy since I've been slacking on dry fire and range work) and rifle. Shotgun was better than I thought it would be but still by far the weakest link. Pump guns really aren't the way to go for 3 gun. I could also stand to buy some dummy shells and practice reloading.

I am looking at getting a gamer shotgun. Probably a Stoeger M3K. It seems to be a really good option and at $600 ish I can afford one as a gamer gun with a secondary benefit of being a useful defensive weapon. Incidentally I would mention seeing real problems with a Mossberg semi auto (which a cursory google search says is fairly common) and a couple of Stoegers running like champs.

I really wish the AK style mag fed shotguns worked reliably in general and specifically with the kind of target loads I plan to shoot mostly. A Kalashnikov K 12 would be great but I have this phobia of unreliable guns.

My gear set up was pretty good as a concept. I want to solidify things. Related to that I plan to offer some stuff for sale to fund a Ronan Tactical belt and a couple of taco pouches. That should give me a good combo of practicality and usefulness for my new hobby.

Get out there and shoot.



 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Glock Talk: Of Magazine Extensions, CCW and Glock 'Generations'

A couple of comments to the last Free Form Friday were worth replying to and it seemed to fit more as a post then a comment.

So here we go:

I actually happen to have some experience with the Glock 26. Having buddys who will loan you a gun for awhile to check it out is a pretty cool thing.

-Magazine extensions. I am pretty negative about these. For a concealment angle they make the gun print more. Yes they hold more bullets. Probably a bigger issue in single stack guns than the double stack baby Glocks. At 10+1 they are in a reasonable decent capacity group already. Also if an additional half inch or so of grip will be easily concealed I would probably be carrying my trusty Glock 19.

'It gives you something to rest your pinky on'. If you are going to get into the subcompact range of handguns you have to get used to a pinky finger floating. It isn't needed for accuracy. The benefit for recoil management is negligible in the cartridges (usually .38 special, .380 and 9mm) typically used for these subcompact CCW type guns.

Personally I might have a couple of magazines with an extension on them but would likely keep 3/4 of my G26 mags in their standard configuration. Since I would likely just carry a larger handgun if a larger grip would work in a situation I am inclined to carry a G26 with a flat bottomed mag.

-"Just carry a Glock 19 all the time." Somewhere around half the time I carry a G 19 but that doesn't work for the other half. It doesn't fit with clothing I will be wearing and or non permissive environments where it is socially and/ or legally not acceptable to have a handgun printing all over the place.

In this area I own the Ruger lcp. I probably messed up getting it because its so convenient and not optimal. Buying it lead to using it a lot. If I had it to do over I should have bought something in the beefier end of the subcompact arena first.

Clothing and social/ legal situations as well as a perceived threat dictate which guns will fit. So to some degree it does depend on your own unique situation. I won't strait call everyone who says they EDC a Glock 19 a liar. Some are certainly telling the truth. Some others carry a Glock 19 when they carry but they don't carry that much. Carrying a Glock 100% of the time that you CC an average of 60 days a year isn't the same thing as carrying one every day.

Other folks are strait bullshitting. Several years ago I heard an anecdote that "If anyone says they carry a 1911 every day ask to see it, right now. Almost without exception there will be a bullshit excuse about why their 1911 is in the truck or their nightstand. They are either carrying a little .380/.38 or nothing." In fairness to 1911 guys the same can be said of other full sized pistols.

It is worth noting that concealed carry isn't a binary thing, more of a range of grey. If on one side you have a gun that is covered (lets call that 1) but blatantly obvious and on the other you have one that is truly concealed such that it would escape a watchful eye (lets call that 10). The guy who says "Of course you can carry a full sized/ compact handgun every day, I wear it under a t shirt" is leaning pretty hard towards the 'covered' side of things. Me wearing the same t shirt with a subcompact handgun is leaning more towards the truly concealed side. So in many cases people are talking apples and oranges in terms of concealed carry.

-Of Glock Generations

Sticking to a generation for parts compatibility makes sense especially if you plan to have a few though I'm not super worried about it.

I am currently a Gen 3 guy. Honestly I sat out Gen 4 because it didn't really change anything useful for me. Gen 5 on the other hand has some nice features and the redesigned barrel could be handy. After they get the bugs worked out in them I will likely buy a pair of them. At this point my trusty Gen 3 Glock will get a good cleaning then take the deep sleep in a cache somewhere.

So those are my thoughts on that.




 

Quote of the Day: Rifle Lubrication

Shot my first 3 gun match recently. Our group was mostly Army guys (a mix of active and retired guys) with a couple other dudes. One of the other guys said something about the lubrication of my rifle. It was pretty well lubed. Not dripping but there was a good heavy coat of oil on it.

Co Worker "Well you don't have to do some heavy desert style lube job."

Me "I always lube my rifle this way, and it works...." (The kid who had criticized my lube job was having issues with his AR)

Co Worker- Laughter

Seriously the DI AR platform runs like crazy when it is lubricated. It can be pretty darn dirty and if there is still a good coat of lube it will run just fine. Not all malfunctions with the AR platform come from a lack of lubrication but a lack of lubrication is usually present during said malfunctions. To quote John Mosby "Its like a woman, the wetter the better."

Friday, June 1, 2018

Free Form Friday

On a positive note it is Friday. Its hot and sunny here, definitely feels like summer.

In no particular order:

-Grades came in and I got an A and an A-. So, unless somehow I missed a class or something, the masters program should be complete. That is good. Hopefully it pays off in the long run but at least now I am done.

-A positive side of all the shooting I have been doing in the last year or so is that I have rotated a bunch of older ammo out. Lots of random boxes which had been around for awhile have gotten shot up. Don't worry I am replacing it, if not 1:1 (somehow I ended up with a bunch of #8 shot I have no need to replace, etc) at least generally.

-I do not believe in constantly changing gear. Find something that works and stick with it. Replace stuff when it wears out or if something significantly better comes along.

-Carry the same guns in the same ways. For example I concealed carry AIWB. If I am carrying outside the waistband, which is defacto openly (not to be confused with 'open carry' like the guy who has to show off his Kel Tech, XD or 1911 in a shitty holster and scare soccer moms at the grocery store) in a heavier gear for training or whatever it is on my strong side hip. I shoot Glocks. The guy who carries a Glock appendix today and a 1911 at 3:30 tomorrow then a Beretta 92 in a shoulder holster this weekend is just asking for trouble. He has to remember under stress where the gun is and what gun. He also has to (though he probably doesn't train or practice) train with all these different guns. Furthermore constantly changing guns makes having systems difficult. I have Glock 9mm mags all over the place. They are on my pistol belt, my PC/ chest rig, in the glove box, in my kits, etc. If I traded pistols every other week during the course of normal life I might find myself with the wrong stuff.

-Along these lines I am not a fan of the idea of having a dozen different sets of gear. The guys who have a different set of stuff for IDPA, another for 3 gun, etc, etc. These days I have 3 active systems: a CC set up, a pistol belt and a chest rig. I own different stuff and have multiples of fairly similar stuff but I don't want to be thinking about whether this is the set up that has flaps on the pouches or tab pulls or friction retention or the one where the mags are here or there or whatever.

-Along these lines my current fighting load (civilian context) is an old TT pistol belt with a costa leg rig and a safariland holster. There is a medical kit on there as well. I would like to add a fixed blade knife but haven't figured out exactly which way that will go yet.

I have fiddled with this setup before and generally like it. Its sufficient for any realistic home defense type situation and most training. Admittedly it is ad hoc from stuff I had on hand. I think a dedicated gear belt (which is also thicker and heavier) is the way to go over carrying this type of load on a rigger belt which also holds up my pants. So after an iteration or two I am back to this. If the concept sticks I will start window shopping to potentially upgrade the components down the road.

For the rare moments when this isn't sufficient I have a chest rig, mostly to hold more rifle mags. It can be used alone or mounted to a plate carrier. When mounted to a PC I keep the straps handy in case there is a need for modularity.

The combination of a pistol belt and chest rig/ PC gives a lot of modularity. I think it is the way to go.

-If you can have a duty sized pistol and a smaller one that are different sized versions of each other that is ideal. A Glock 26 and 19 (or M&P/ .40/.45 equivalent) is a great example of this. You get the same trigger, sights and controls all the time. The upwards compatible mags are huge too.

-Along these lines I am looking hard at getting a Glock 26.

-If you all have any questions or ideas for posts you want please let me know. I will try as much as I can to accommodate you. Remember this is your chance to have content you want here.
 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Evaluating and Managing Risk: Part 6 The Conclusion

So far we introduced the topic of Evaluating and Managing Risk and discussed some systematic ways to look at and manage risk by discussing SWOT and Risk Management. Then I did my own SWOT analysis. We looked at how to implement phased action against a risk. Now I want to bring this to a close.

It is my opinion that survivalists fail at risk management for a couple of reasons. First they fail to look holistically at life's risks and instead look only at an arbitrarily narrow set of risks. This is a problem because it leads people to ignore risks that are more likely to affect their life (job loss, violent crime, etc). Second people fail to actually look at the rate at which risk events actually happen. This combined with the arbitrarily narrow scope previously mentioned leads to people focusing on highly improbable, arguably survivalist fantasy, scenarios.

 People avoid looking intentionally at risk management because it means they would need to prepare for realistic risks instead of playing survivalist and buying another rifle or some $400 tacticool pants. Savings accounts and PT aren't catchy like bug out vehicles and new rifles. All I can say in defense of the non 'sexy' stuff is that we have to decide if we are actually preparing to handle life as best we can or whether we are playing fantasy and buying stuff we don't need.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Evaluating and Managing Risk 5: Phased Implimentation of Risk Mitigation

In this series we introduced the topic of Evaluating and Managing Risk and discussed some systematic ways to look at and manage risk by discussing SWOT and Risk Management. Then I did my own SWOT analysis. Then we looked to apply some risk management for the risks that came up in the SWOT analysis.

If I had really planned this out I would discuss the phased implementation of the risk management from the last step. That didn't happen for a few reasons first I wanted to do the SWOT and subsequent risk mitigation on my actual life. Secondly while all of these strategies have value and can/ should be used they don't all necessarily flow evenly between each part.

So we have a risk. We need to prepare to mitigate that risk. For a discrete event the risk mitigation we discussed earlier works quite well. What about risks that are cyclical or conditions based?

Being at 100% preparation for a risk that is not always present (like say wildfires) wouldn't make much sense. There are costs (financial, emotional, logistical, etc) associated with being at a very high state of preparation so relaxing sometimes makes sense. That is what I want to talk about today.

We will use the Jeff Cooper Color Codes because they are something most of you are probably familiar with. The military force protection condition levels would work also. Anyway for this I will stick with the color codes. For those who need a refresher.


So we will have 4 conditions of preparation. Lets say the risk we are trying to mitigate is a wildfire.

White- We could spend most of the year in condition white. Not much wildfire risk about 9 months of the year. In condition white we would have adequate insurance to recover our losses including writers for various expensive items that could be lost. We would have our photos all on digits backed up in multiple places. We would have our bug out bags and such. We have a bug out plan for what we are taking as well as where we are headed.

Yellow- It is fire season and the conditions are right so there is a high risk but there is not a specific threat. We would do the bi annual or whatever look at our bug out bags and stuff. Clothes for kids who grow fast would get swapped out, etc. We would make sure our important papers, laptop, cash, etc is organized in the briefcase. We keep track of the fire risk as well as potential fires in our area.

Orange- There is a fire within X distance (maybe a couple miles, it would depend on local conditions/ terrain). Pictures come off the wall and heirlooms get packed up into totes. The briefcase and go to war guns get brought out of the safe and stacked by the totes with the photos/ heirlooms/ etc in the garage or by the door. Pets are in crates/ cages so they are easy to put in the vehicle if needed. After you pack you double check against the inventory. The TV/ radio are on so you can keep track of the fire.

Red- The fire is within Y distance (say a mile but a specific terrain feature like a road/ creek/ ridge is best) of your residence. It is time to go. You execute a quick pre evacuation checklist (electricity and gas off, etc all) THEN GO.

The hard criteria for going is essential. If the fire crosses Old Crow Creek to the north/ west, the ridgeline of hill 692 to the east or Highway 27 to the south, YOU GO. You don't wait and see what happens. If it crosses the line you go, period.

The same sort of thinking could be used for a hurricane or other type disaster.



 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Evaluating and Managing Risk 4: My Risk Assessments

So far we introduced the topic of Evaluating and Managing Risk and discussed some systematic ways to look at and manage risk by discussing SWOT and Risk Management. Then I did my own SWOT analysis. Now we will look to apply some risk management for the risks that came up in the SWOT analysis.

The risks we will be talking about are my currently not diverse income and our very divided society. It seems to make the most sense to consider the risks which came from the SWOT analysis as events to feed into the risk management process. The other way would be to look at them as the hazards which come from the event but I don't like removing that initial analysis.

First to my non diverse income.

We will apply the steps of risk management:
Identify Hazards: Loss of income/ economic difficulties.

Assess hazards: Probability- Likely, Severity- critical. Putting those two together in our handy matrix and the risk level is high.

Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions- Controls. Obviously there are two sides to anything financial, income and liabilities.

To the income side I need to get a couple of things going. Currently I have one side gig. I could use 2 more. The planned route for the second one is teaching. The other is still in the idea phase.

On the income side I  also going to save some more cash as a buffer.

On the liabilities side I am going to avoid debt. This is mostly just about maintaining. I use a credit card but rarely carry a balance from month to month.

Implement Controls: I will implement these planned controls over time. Like any plans these should have timelines with measurable goals associated to them but I am not going to go that deep in public.

For saving I will use a regular monthly plan paying myself first.

Supervise and Evaluate: Checking back monthly with these plans to see how things are going makes sense. I will adjust things as needed.

Next is  the very divided society in which we currently live.

Identify Hazards: Personal violence. Damage to property. Social/ economic problems.
Assess hazards
 
Personal violence- Occasional x catastrophic = High
Damage to property- Likely x moderate= Medium
Social/ economic problems- Likely x moderate= Medium

So I need to put most of my energy into managing the risk of personal violence then damage to property and social/ economic problems.

Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions
Personal violence
- Avoid cultural clashes. Staying in areas where I have a shared culture. People who look different tend to be victimized much more than those who fit in. Being the one X in a bar/ neighborhood full of Y people is a bad idea. Going to political protests and such falls under these same lines. Yes America is a free country but being the one X in a bar/ community full of Y is asking for problems.
-Avoid controversial stances or displays. Avoid those lifestyle t shirts/ bumper stickers/ etc.
-Have the capacity (and inherent confidence that comes with it) to protect yourself by vigorously applying the combative and shooting skills you regularly practice as well as your PT to execute those skills.
-Leave hot button areas alone.  If your political views differ from the community and you can't move keep your mouth shut.
Damage to property
- Avoid cultural clashes. Staying in areas where I have a shared culture. People who look different tend to be victimized much more than those who fit in. Being the one X in a bar/ neighborhood full of Y people is a bad idea. Going to political protests and such falls under these same lines. Yes America is a free country but being the one X in a bar/ community full of Y is asking for problems.
-Avoid controversial stances or displays. Avoid those lifestyle t shirts/ bumper stickers/ etc.
Social/ economic problems
- Avoid cultural clashes. Staying in areas where I have a shared culture. People who look different tend to be victimized much more than those who fit in. Being the one X in a bar/ neighborhood full of Y people is a bad idea. Going to political protests and such falls under these same lines. Yes America is a free country but being the one X in a bar/ community full of Y is asking for problems.
-Avoid controversial stances or displays. Avoid those lifestyle t shirts/ bumper stickers/ etc.
-Leave hot button areas alone.  If your political views differ from the community and you can't move keep your mouth shut.
Implement Controls- Do the things listed above.
Supervise and Evaluate - See how things are going and adjust as needed.
 
I hope this gives you some insight into how to use risk management to everyday normal risks.
 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Evaluating and Managing Risk Part 3: Ryans SWOT Analysis

So far we introduced the topic of Evaluating and Managing Risk and discussed some systematic ways to look at and manage risk by discussing SWOT and Risk Management.


Below is a SWOT Analysis I did for myself.




I knew all of these things but seeing them together was still interesting. The area that jumped out to use risk management on are my currently not diverse income and our very divided society. I am going to do that and will post it as part 4 of this series in the next few days.


It looks like this will be a 6 part series. I would have waited to get the next part and include it in this but the weekend might get busy. So the risk management piece will be part 4. In part 5 I will apply a deliberate phased process for managing a specific risk. It is not doctrinal or codified but I think it makes a lot of sense and may help people. Part 6 will be the conclusion.



Evaluating and Managing Risk: Quote for perspective

I was watching Bates Motel and this quote jumped out at me.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Loaner/ Cache Pistols

Our buddy Commander Zero has been stashing P series 9mm Ruger pistols like crazy. They are his 'semi disposable' handguns. The kind of thing one could keep in a glove box or loan to a friend in need and if something happens to it oh well. Certainly those handguns are robust and a lot of value for the money.

I have been thinking about this kind of thing. Part of me says the logistics of adding another platform (in addition to the Glock 9mm) isn't worth the hassle. On the other hand a grand would buy 2-2.5 Glock 9mm's and 4-4.5 Rugers.

Our Buddy Zero had previously said something like "everyone I know has plenty of guns but....". He recently gave a real life example where a gun like this is handy. Tamra also spoke on the issue. As always whether I completely agree or not the two have solid reasoning.

Personally I see three primary roles for a handgun like this (in the order I thought of them, not importance):

1- Caches. Pretty much self explanatory.

2- Arming friends and family. The thing about this is inevitably someone says "My friends and family own guns." I would rebut that while my friends and family also tend to own guns a fair share of them are not great about carrying them which I would say is pretty common. Quite a few situations could come up where all of a sudden cousin Timmy really regrets leaving his pistol in the nightstand. Crazy Cousin Ryans Glove Box clunker all of a sudden looks pretty good.

Tams point about someone needing a gun right now is valid. That happened to me in real life once. After something happened I ended up taking 2 girls shooting then loaning them a gun (a double action .22 revolver) for awhile.

Visitors traveling through are another good example. Uncle John doesn't need to bother with checking a carry piece for the flight out if you have a loaner.

3- Situations where you might not want to bring a more expensive gun. Checking a gun at the airport would be an example. Guns at airports disappear or get damaged occasionally. Leave your $3,000 custom 1911 at home and take one that you can easily replace.

In support of number two I would want a gun to be something everyone in my tribe can safely operate. For us the gun that fits the bill is a double action revolver which would also have the benefit of not complicating my logistics. Otherwise I would be looking very hard at the S&W SDVE 9mm. Or maybe just save a bit more and pick up a couple Glock 19's to use as cache/ loaner guns.

I am going to think some more about this.

What do you think?
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