Showing posts with label brigid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brigid. Show all posts

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

"These are the things one must consider if buying a gun strictly for the purpose of CCW - weight, bulkiness, recoil, grip, hand fit and always the caliber. Small and light you WILL have less stopping power, but it is easier to conceal."

As we talked about awhile back I think carrying a gun is more important than carrying a specific size/ type/ caliber of gun.
 Better small and light than a choice of ""alNO concealed protection because of what you are wearing or the temperature. A .380 in the pocket is better than a .45 in your nightstand when you are facing someone with a knife as you get into your car in an isolated parking lot.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DBAL I2 Initial Impressions and Night Vision Stuff

Night vision is not cheap. This PVS-14 and DBAL I2 in this picture cost as much as a nice enduro motorcycle or a decent used car. If you can afford it they are an excellent combination. If there is no way you can make that work I would not feel bad about it. You could rock trijicon night sights and surefire lights or consider cheaper Gen 1 night vision. They probably offer 20-25% of the capability (with IR illuminators) at roughly the similar fraction of cost. I can not in good conscience endorse Gen 1 night vision but it probably beats no night vision.

Shown aside the NOD is my DBAL I2 IR/ visible red laser. It showed up a week or so back. The laser also comes with a green vis option for about $200 more. I have heard green lasers can be seen much better/ further by a smart gal named Brigid. Honestly have no use for a vis laser on a fighting rifle so I saw no need to pay more money. For no particular reason put it on a shelf then left it there. Got to fiddling with it a bit today. Will do a brief version of the usual format.

Good: Seems like a quality piece of kit. It is a quality unit with a nice sturdy looking attachment method (though I would zip tie it in place to be safe). A few youtube videos showed that it returns to zero fairly well. I like that it comes in tan. Once the rail is on my rifle will be painted but taking a rattle can to a $800 laser isn't something I like the idea of. So tan is good enough for me.

As to effectiveness of the civilian legal class 1 lasers I can not yet say. A quick net search says dudes are smoking pigs past 200m with DBALs so I think it'll be good enough for me. 

The Bad: It runs on a CR-123 which isn't perfect but most lasers I have seen run on them. That battery is one we stock anyway so it's not a huge deal. Do need to pick up another dozen of them though.

Also getting the battery cap screwed on (to install the battery) was a hassle. Maybe mine is odd or it will break in a bit, however it took me 5 minutes to screw the darn cap on after putting the battery in.

The Ugly: I was under (in hindsight I'm not exactly sure why but I digress) the impression that the vis and IR lasers were slaved. Slaved lasers adjust together so zeroing the vis laser would zero the IR. This is not the case, the lasers definitely adjust separately. This makes for a big hassle in that I have to get out and zero the laser at night. Civilian ranges where you can shoot at night are few and far between. To zero an IR laser I'm going to need a fairly known distance and a very stable rest. A bit more complicated than just confirming a zero with a couple rounds shot at a rock way out in the desert. Granted this will be a one time hassle but it will be a hassle for sure.

In the next few days I will order a rail for the AR. If I wasn't mounting a laser I wouldn't bother with the rail. Well now I am so I need to. Personally I bought the laser first as rail's aren't going anywhere. A troy rail will soon be put on my rifle which will be shortly followed by painting and finally Project Upgrade AR will be finished. [Though I would like to get a BCM lower, for no particular reason, just so everything matches.]

When zeroing lasers there are a couple important things to remember. First the adjustments are opposite iron sights or a scope. Instead of moving the point of impact (the hole the bullet makes AKA POI ) to the point of aim (where your sights point AKA POA) you are moving the laser to meet the impact of the bullet. So adjustments are opposite. Example instead of adjusting right 10 clicks to make the bullet impact (POI) on the bullseye (POA) you are adjusting the laser left 10 clicks to make it meet the strike of the bullet.

There are two fundamental options when zeroing a laser. You can have it zeroed for a given distance or parallel. The plus side of a laser zeroed for a given distance is that it is dead on (perfect POA/POI) for that distance. The downside is that it is off to varying degrees at every other distance. Imagine two chop sticks, one is laid over the other at a gentle angle. The further you get away from the converging point the further the chop sticks get from each other. This options would make sense if for whatever reason you know you will shoot at a given distance. The other option is parallel. Think train tracks. If a laser is an inch above and 3/4's inch to the left of the muzzle it will stay there. So at 10 meters it will be an inch up and 3/4's inch left, same at 50 or 100 meters. This is the method used by our Army, at least in my experience. [Of course bullets do not fly strait. However at the ranges it would matter (past 300m for 5.56) you are probably not going to hit a whole lot at night anyway so I would argue that it doesn't matter.] I would rather have the laser consistently an inch up and 3/4 inch right all the time than perfect at one point and off an unknown distance for the rest.

Anyway that's my initial impression of the DBAL I2.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reader Question: Gear and Tools for Women

Awhile back I asked readers an open question about blog content. That lead to a question I have kind of sat on. Wasn't sure exactly how to answer it and then it slipped out of my mind for awhile. Anyway here we are.

The question was "I notice you like to discuss and review equipment. I would like to see an article on equipment addressing my needs. I am a woman and would like to see opinions of high quality, practical tools addressing a woman's normal physical traits--less upper body strength, smaller hand size, less powerful hand grip, etc."

This was difficult for me to respond to. On one hand it is absolutely true that women are physically different than men. They tend to be smaller and have less physical strength (particularly upper body) and endurance. Not saying all women are small or weaker than men but on average most are. On the other hand this can lead us down the "women need X because they are small/ weak/ whatever" rabbit hole. I will address relatively gender neutral issues first then gender specific ones afterwords.

In terms of physical size and strength for an individual it is about just that, height/weight/composition and strength as measured against a broad group of yardsticks (squat, deadlift, bench press, press, pullups, pushups, etc). The situation for a gal who is 5'7" #135lbs with a strength of X and a guy who has comparable stats are not magically different. It does not matter that she has boobs and and he doesn't. Everybody, even big strong people can have tasks they need to do that they cannot physically complete without friends or tools. It is just for some people that their breaking point is past most normal occuring tasks so it isn't really much of an issue.

[It doesn't quite fit anywhere in the rest of the post but I would be doing a disservice by failing to mention that getting stronger is a good answer to the problem of not being able to complete various tasks. If you can't pick things up then start squating and deadlifting. If grip strength is an issue do some flexed arm hangs, pullups or farmers walks. However I would recommend just starting a basic weight training program like 531 as part of your overall fitness plan. Too many people think they are somehow special and need a customized program they are invariably not capable of setting up. I hate to say it but you don't have a "weak spot" if you are just weak.]

My general observation is that strength lets you 'cheat' or 'cut corners' while those with less strength need to have the right tools for the job. If you can't open a jar or turn something with your hands then use a strap wrench, an oil filter wrench or the right set of pliers depending on the task at hand. For turning tough bolts some WD-40 is a good start. If that doesn't do it a wrench with a longer handle will create more torque or you can slip a metal bar over it for additional leverage. Before doing this I would make sure the thing is actually supposed to move the way you want it to. Though bolts do rust or get stuck brute force usually isn't the right answer in mechanical stuff.

For lifting things an old school lever and fulcrum is a solid option. For lifting and moving stuff I would look hard at getting a hand truck to do in the house/ garage stuff and some sort of garden cart for outdoor stuff or to aid in the dreaded on foot bug out. Also when it comes to lifting things the saying "many friends make for light work" is absolutely true. I am used to friends and neighbors helping eachother with a variety of tasks. Typically for small quick ones there is no compensation aside from a beer and a thanks. Dad and I helped the neighbor take the hard top off his jeep every spring and put it on every winter for years. We also helped friends drag a huge christmas tree into the house and put it up. A neighbor man helps my Grandmother move things now and then. If you have a bigger job like a couple yards of gravel to get spread or a pallet of brick pavers that need to become a path that is what unemployed young men and teenaged neighbor boys are for.

As to gear and guns I think there is a lot of profiling in terms of gender. One certainly doesn't need to get a certain gun just because of their plumbing. Depending on your training and hand size/ strength a variety of models might suit your needs. Thankfully adjustable backstraps and the Glock SF (short frame, they basically trimmed up the backstrap) made a lot of compact and full sized service type pistols a viable option to those with smaller hands. Broadly speaking frame mounted controls work better than slide mounted ones as they work with smaller hands. It is worth rehashing that if weapons will be 'pool guns' ie the guns with multiple users you have got to size them to the smallest user. A big guy can shoot the Glock 19SF and M4agery his small wife is able to use however she probably couldn't shoot a big double stack .45 and FN-FAL very comfortably.

As to gear  women will often do better with commercial backpacking/ camping stuff then the military surplus that survivalists love. While military stuff is getting more adjustable (MOLLE packs for example) it is designed for average sized men. A jacket that is a bit big can be overcome but if your boots don't fit things are not going to go well. Backpack/ rucksack's that really fit are probably also a worthwhile consideration. While it isn't cheap REI and other big outdoor companies have a lot of good stuff designed to fit women that is seriously worth considering. Boots and packs that fit are pretty darn important while a jacket or sleeping bag can be a bit big.

I can't really speak to concealed carry issues for women. Brigid and Tam have almost surely written some great stuff on it. Limalife's youtube channel is also worth checking out. Really the fundamentals of buying gun(s) that fits your body and lifestyle, getting the equipment to use them like a good belt and holster, slings and whatnot then seeking out some training are the same for guys and gal's. Really if you don't know what you are doing it is probably best to seek out the training (most places worth training at have a few rental/ loaner guns available if you talk with them in advance) then get the stuff.

Anyway I am sorry to the lady who left the comment for the excessive delay. Also I hope somebody gets a thing or two out of this.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Countries I Have Been In: Brigid is to Blame

visited 17 states (7.55%)

Brigid definitely has me beat though but I am doing OK in the grand scheme of things. Still a lot of traveling to do. We are probably going to take another trip while over here and will go to Mexico when we are down that way soon enough. However broadly speaking once we are back in the states travel will stop for awhile. One toddler is hard to travel with and adding a baby would be a bridge too far. For awhile we will go camping, to the beach and home to visit.

I will bet $50 that inside of 7 years I will go to Africa for work.  The aftermath of Arab spring has yet to sort itself out and there is a wicked mess brewing in Syria. Odds are there are some more paid travel opportunities to dirty places with terrible weather where people try to kill me coming in the future.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

quote of the day

'There's not much that can't be fixed by white paint, a piece of pie, a bullet or an apology."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lazy Thursday

Had some stuff in my head but didn't write it. I save interesting or cool pics when I see them and they are starting to clutter up my desk top. These come from various places I am online including various other blogs. Think the Appilacian Trail one comes from Hermits place but other than that I don't recall.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


My wife had an insteresting conversation with a co worker (she volunteers now) today. Somehow they were on the topic of bad relationships and got to talking about her daughters situation. Her daughters husband starter kicking the shit out of her for awhile and eventually she decided to leave him. The mom was talking about this protective order and that protective order and such and my wife asked if she had a gun. She looked at my wife like that was a completely foreign concept. The mom has been in Germany for about a decade and the daughter has the whole victim thing going on.

I will not get too far into womens self defense because that is best left to gals like Bridgid and Kellene but I will note that pretty much any woman will not last a half a minute in a fist fight with pretty much any man. Also I will note that it is pretty darn hard to shoot someone repeatedly until they die of accute lead poisoning if you do not have a gun. Because you have a gun doesn't mean you have to shoot someone however it is pretty fucking hard to shoot someone if you do not actually have a gun.

The lady who was talking with my wife decided it might not be a bad idea to loan her daughter enough cash to get a gun. I very much hope she does that and makes it a gift.

My wife sort of felt crazy for a second telling her this but then when the woman thought about it she realized it made a lot of sense. She said she sort of felt like me when I get all crazy and tell someone to hide a bunch of silver in their basement.

On that subject my rambling about silver has had some interesting moments. Once at a gathering with friends we got onto a conversation about investing. Of course we had all been drinking and one guy was an econ major. Him and another friend were talking and I periodically chimmed in by yelling (I am loud) "Buy silver and ammo".

Interestingly enough my wife had no interest at all in guns for a long time. She was a witness in a criminal matter and thought the guy might come after her then thought being able to protect herself would be a good thing. Then significant other TOR got a phone call and loaded up a revolver and brought it over to her place with an extra hundred rounds of ammo and that weekend we went to the hills to teach her (and her roomie) to shoot wheel guns.

Sometimes a perception of need is a great motivator. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My.

My mid western blogging gal pal Brigid had a good post about bears. I started to comment but when it gets past a paragraph or so it becomes a post. Especially these days when my time is limited and there are lots of field days to crank stuff out for. Here are some of my thoughts on bears. Probably not much that is outside of the already discussed and agreed upon range of thought but cut me some slack as I've got 3 days to crank out a couple weeks worth of posts. Anyway here it goes:

Dealing with (non jumbo Alaska sized) black bears is a pretty strait forward proposition that can probably be handled with weapons already on hand; as opposed to the freakishly scary beast that is the Grizzly. I am intentionally not addressing the mighty polar bear because it is basically impossible to accidentally stumble into their domain.

Don't have more then a .357mag when it comes to pistols. Had a Ruger .45 colt that would be great for bear but I swapped it for a (much superior for my needs) 6" Taurus .357 mag. If I was going to live in bear country a .44 would find its way to my possession almost immediately. It would probably be a heavy double action Ruger.

As for long guns I think it is important to keep in mind that what you would want for defensive purposed against bears is somewhat different then for hunting bears. IMH (and somewhat ignorant)O hunting bears should be done from a tree stand not traipsing all through the brush looking for a bear. Going through brush for bear IMHO is kind of like a woman being involved with Drew Petersen; there isn't a guarantee something bad will happen but if it does you shouldn't be suprised. For hunting bears I would be inclined to go with a heavy rifle.

For defense against bears I think the big thing to keep in mind is that you aren't going to be taking a leasurely shot from a tree stand at a hundred yards. It is going to be fast and at close ranges. A bear a hundred yards away isn't a direct threat to anyone (unless it is a bear with a gun) though you better fricking keep an eye on it. The thing here is that most of us like to save cash whenever possible and for those just visiting bear country you don't want to go out and spend $500 on a rifle just for that upcoming fishing trip. A pump 12 gauge would be a good way to go. IMHO the biggest benefit of this strategy is that everyone should have a short barreled pump 12 gauge in the house anyway. Buy some slugs if you already don't have some, keep that sucker handy and your good to go.

As for rifles. I think a semi auto rifle is a good option if you already own one. A 30.06 like my sweet assed Garand would be a good option. Eight powerful shots as fast as you can pull the trigger would give as much of a chance as just about anything else. For the sake of discussion if I was not comfortable with the shotgun stragegy I personally was going to buy a rifle specifically for bear defense it would be a 45/70 marlin guide gun. They are light and easy to handle with rapid reloading. I am not huge into ballistics and such but I think the 45/70 hits about like a 350 pound pro linebacker high on PCP. These are also pretty affordable for new guns. For those who light there big cigars with $20 bills a BAR in .338WinMag could be a very good choice.

I don't believe bear spray is a good choice unless you are forbidden from having a firearm. I would be a lot more comforted by a big .44mag which isn't that much heavier. A family friend who lives in Alaska says fishermen (the most frequent victims of bear attacks) tend to have a big bore (.44mag or some sort of fancy new round) revolver on them and a shotgun leaning against a tree nearby.

Guess that is all I've got to say about that.
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