Showing posts with label shooting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shooting. Show all posts

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Headshots with Walking Dead Weapons: Featuring Jerry Miculek

Pretty cool little video. That being said I have two reservations. First you will note that while the shooter was moving the targets were stationary. When BOTH THE SHOOTER AND THE TARGET are moving the difficulty level is significantly compounded.

Second saying 'Well Jerry Miculek can make that shot" is kind of like saying "Well Alton Brown could salvage this meal" or "Kate Upton can pull off that outfit". The kind of things these top tier professionals do are not able to be consistently replicated by normal practicing enthusiasts, let alone laymen.

That being said we can certainly just enjoy the cool video.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Today and Random Thoughts Theiron

I like:
-Waking up fairly early feeling refreshed on the weekend
-Iced coffee
-The Savage Accutrigger
-Shooters. The Rangemaster and a buddy were playing clay pigeons on the berm at 100m with a pair of very nice .22 rifles.  Rangemaster's .22  had a can and a green lens flashlight mounted above the scope. Dude totally killissomething or another at night. As he worked at different types of ammo he asked to look at the box of .22lr I was shooting out of to look at the velocity or something. I said of course he was welcome to take a look. He then asked if he could have a few rounds to see how it shot in his gun.

[The last time I was at this range a 15ish year old teenager (from overhearing a conversation with his mom who dropped him off there) was shooting some sort of a Marlin .22 like the bullets were made of gold. Given availability these days and that he was too young to have likely stocked up in the old days to him those little suckers were very precious. Either they cost a bunch of money or he spent a ton of time and effort looking for them.

It made me sad for the kid. When I was that age .22lr cost nothing. Centerfire ammo cost money so on quarterly family range trips we usually went out with just a box or two of .38 special but there was always a brick of .22 present we could shoot it with reckless abandon till we got bored and wanted to go home. I was not shooting .22 that day so I didn't bring any but really wished I'd had some .22 ammo some with me. I would give him a handful and told him to have some fun. It'd cost me $3-5 in ammo to make that kids day.

Thankfully by a combination of prudence to have a decent stock beforehand and a few finds after firearmagedon I can afford to be a bit charitable. Anyway today I tossed an extra inflation adjusted 300ish round brick into my range bag before going out. Had I seen that kid or a Dad an Son short on ammo I would have given them some ammo.]

I said sure and told him to take a handful, genuinely meaning it. He took 5 rounds.

Later on we got to talking. As we discussed my effort to zero the .308 I confessed forgetting to look up the drop table for my round before going to the range. He came back in a minute with a smart phone and a convenient app to look it up for me. He also gave me some excellent pointers, albeit with occasional tangents and rants, about marksmenship. Anyway he was an interesting fellow. Anybody who comes to the range with a silenced SIG 1911 and a tricked out Savage .22 with a silencer and a light above the scope is worth having a few conversations with.

While that particular shooting situation was frustrating I had a nice talk with a good guy. Suppose there are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

-Jim Rawles's new book Liberators

-The news that DC's exclusively 'only one' carry policy was over struck. Unsure of what it means exactly yet but it seems good for team freedom and could have big implications.
-My gun belt and holster. This setup is working which makes me happy. More on this another day.
-Cold beer after a hot range trip
-That my family is coming home soon
-The part of my garden that is doing well. Should have some peppers and tomatoes around the end of summer.
-That tomorrow I will be near a Whattaburger around lunch time. Going to get the BBQ chicken sandwich. They are so good.
-That Pandora seems to have really figured out my old Country and Southern Rock station.

I dislike:
-That my years of training and shooting based around hitting a man sized target, albeit in different positions,  at various ranges, under various conditions and sometimes stress is not translating particularly well to making nice small groups in a precision sort of way.
-The moment when I realized either A) That an old scope I stored, pretty carefully though it surely got a few bumps, which in no small part made a current project affordable is not taking adjustments and/ or holding a zero or B) In the words of Tam I was 'holding it wrong".

Why I shoot much more accurately with an AR slinging respectable but nothing special   62 grain PMC M855 than a bolt action .308 caliber rifle that is theoretically capable of much more accuracy slinging Remington  Premier Match 168 grain Sierra Match Kings I am not sure. I am well under 2 MOA with the AR at 100 and today was over 3MOA with the bolt gun. Part of it is certainly that I shoot the AR platform a fair bit and am far more comfortable with it. The other part I am not certain about and it is leaving me more than a little frustrated. Really hate leaving the range without all my goals complete and frustrated.

Am going to take it out again in a couple weeks at my next opportunity. Pretty sure today that it was a combination of a long hot day at the range and over thinking the whole thing.

-The part of my garden that is not doing well
-Folding laundry mountain

So that has been my day. Thoughts?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Jerry Miculek Shooting Gangster Style and Sex Toy Fighting Children

I do have to ding them a bit on style. While Eric of Iraq Vet 8888 did have the presence of mind to grab his crotch neither of them threw the bullets or taunted the people they were shooting at. An excellent lesson on these modern urban skills can be found in a previous video,

Thanks to Commander Zero for finding this gem. If you have guns in the home and small children I believe it is essential to secure firearms unless they are directly under your personal control.We keep a Sentry Safe home defender in the bedroom and most of the remaining guns in a big safe. Another option is small locking cases that will hold a pistol. These can be had for $30ish and can easily be stashed in a nightstand, dresser or cabinet.

Anyway hope you all have a great Saturday!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Range Report and Strike Hard Gear AK Chest Rig Initial Impressions

Went to the range today. I had the privilege of coaching a person who had never fired a handgun before. He did well which is always good for positive reinforcement. I think he plans to shoot more often then eventually purchase a handgun of his own.

I shot OK considering it's been awhile. Revolvers are always fun to shoot. It also helps on ammo that they only hold 5-6 rounds and do not reload as quickly. So a 50 round box lasts a lot longer than with a 17 round Glock 9mm.

Rifle shooting went well. Honestly the setup where I was didn't have sufficient range to test that much but I was able to do CQB type stuff plus a few longer shots out to 150 meters or so.

I was able to find ammo locally to shoot though it took going to a few stores. That was good as I only flew with a small amount of ammo and my Lucky Gunner purchase is still en route.

My Strike Hard Gear AK-47 Chest Rig showed up in time to come along on the trip. I went with the padded H harness and am very happy with it. They charge $8 or something for the padded H whic is very reasonable and totally worth it. I especially like that the harness attaches to the rig with buckles so you've got a variety of options. Adjustment was simple. It is also pretty comfortable as well as low profile. The 4 mag pouches with small admin pouches on the sides and a read map pouch is a nice configuration for most civilian needs. They make an add on shingle to take it to 8 mags if you want. The front has MOLLE so you could stick on all manner of pouches to suit your needs. Mags are secured by tabs (designed for AK mags) held by elastic cords. It is a nice simple system. Access to mags in a hurry was great, I was able to do a few shoot 5, reload, shoot 5 drills and it worked well.

Overall for $75 plus 8 for the H harness I think this setup is an excellent buy.

We had fun shooting up all the ammo we could afford to shoot. Got home then I oiled up the guns because it was pretty wet. Tonight after the kids go to bed I will bring them out to do a real cleaning.

Shooting is fun. How was your last range trip?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Are Things Getting Better?

 One day this week I went out to get some 9mm ammo to shoot. Didn't find any at the first place but another customer mentioned there was some for $15 a box at another shop. While briefly chatting with the worker he mentioned they have PMAG's and Glock 17 mags in stock. I asked how much on the PMAGs just out of curiosity. He said "12.99 and you can buy two" to which I said "at that price why not." The standard Glock magazines were $28 and they had Glock factory happy sticks for $40. Didn't buy any Glock Mags because I do not NEED the normal ones and wasn't ready to buy the happy sticks.
At the next place they did have 9mm ammunition for the excellent price of $15.25 a box. So I will be able to go shooting next weekend which is good. Granted I have 9mm stashed but at this point aside from essential shooting (zeroing a scope, etc) am only putting downrange what I can replace.Went to the third local place just to round things out. They had CCI Mini Mag's at a reasonable price so I snagged the last box.

At any of those places I could have purchased an AR-15, some .223/5.56, plenty of various AR magazines, a Glock or M&P. So at least as of this week things seem a little bit better in my neck of the woods. Gun availability is almost normal though prices are a touch high still. Mags are slim but getting better and are regularly restocked. Ammo is still problematic, specifically .22lr, though either I had a lucky day or the ammo situation is improving if just from dismal to bad.

So how are things in your area? For guns? Mags? Ammo?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Project 870 V2 Police Magnum!!!

For awhile I have been on the fence about this project. Part of me knew that it might just make sense to get a purpose build defensive shotgun. Once I figured in the cost of a tube extension and such economically it would be about even. So I've been sort of watching for the right gun. Around here the trend in shotguns is to bolt on a bunch of stupid cheap accessories then believe your shotgun is now worth $700. Anyway I said something might happen on this project today and it did.

Enter Project 870 V2 Remington Police Magnum
Dog had to get in on the action. As you can see this gun has Ghost Ring sights and an M4 style adjustable stock. The sights are from Iron Sights Gun Works.
The stock and forend are Blackhawk SPEC Ops. The stock is adjustable in the M4 style I hate (except on M4's) but that's what it came with. I'm either going to swap the furniture for standard furniture (or the Hogue equivalent) or buy standard furniture and put this stuff away as a backup set.

The finish on this gun is not great. It was probably a police cruiser gun at some point. The guy wasn't entirely honest about that but it gave me a point to negotiate some cash off the price so that was OK. I was on the fence about going all Hoss USMC and painting it anyway so the finish doesn't really matter, just makes that decision easier. However again along the police cruiser gun theme it doesn't seem to have been fired much and the inner workings are very nice, dusty but nice.

Was able to get it out to the range for a little bit today.  The gun is noticeably heavier than a standard 870. These things are built like beasts, which is why I wanted one. It holds 6+1 which is nice. It shoots well though I might need to adjust the sights a little bit. The pistol grip gave a good angle to support the gun but put my hand in the wrong place for the controls. Overall the stock was OK I guess but it's just not for me. Got to handle an 870 with the Magpul furniture and that was really nice. It looks weird but the angles give you a lot of control and the cheek to stock is just right. Darn expensive though so it will be awhile, if ever, before I get one.

The needs for a tube extension and sights are covered as the gun already has them. Aside from replacing the furniture it needs a sling, a light and a way to hold ammo. A sling is easy, spare ammo is easy (velcro and cards), a light is simple but expensive (and I have some decision making to do there).

So that is where Project 870 stands today. The gun that was Project 870 (V1) will be sold to pay for this purchase. I borrowed money from another gun fund to make this happen so the proceeds of the planned sale will replace that cash.

 Now I'm going to see how this dirty girl cleans up.

Friday, May 17, 2013

DHS Eleventy Gazillion Rounds of Ammo

I had an interesting conversation today that merited sharing here. Met a guy socially and we got to talking. Somehow the whole 'DHS is buying every bullet in the world' thing came up. (A gal mentioned it was why she couldn't find 9mm [which DHS isn't buying anyway but she is a nice lady so I didn't want to sharp shoot] ammo) He started shaking his head. I should mention this guy works for customs. Pretty common down here around the border. You are far more likely to run into one  here than if you were in Kansas or something.

Dude shared 2 interesting things that I thought were worth mentioning. First he shoots 4,000 rounds a year of pistol ammo (currently .40). Second and more importantly it is all hollow point's. Dude's been working that job for twenty years and has been shooting all HP the whole time. Between being very blunt on other topics and having no reason whatsoever to lie I'm pretty sure he was above board.

Anyway that's something to think about when you read stuff on the internet.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How Are Your Ammo Cans Organized?

This week I had the occasion to pick up a couple more ammo cans. Got to thinking about how I organize them, the reasoning behind that organization and overall how it's working.

Most of our ammo cans are standard 50cal cans or the comparably sized M249 SAW cans. These are a good size while still being light enough to move around. We have a few of the smaller 30cal cans these are great for commercial boxes of rifle ammo like 30-30 or 30'06. If I recall they neatly fit some bricks of .22 ammo also. We have a few big 120mm cans. Don't like them as they get stupidly heavy plus of course the stuff you need will be at the bottom.

Previously our ammo cans were just filled as stuff came in so it was a big mess. Recently I went through inventorying and reorganizing our ammo cans.  Between different sized objects, especially sealed cases and part cases of ammo, quantities of different stuff and available can sizes there is an inevitable game of Tetras. As many cases as can be homogenous are. Cans are marked on the outside with the caliber, round count and when applicable bullet type. This is how approximately 80% of our cans are set up.

Two ammo cans are set up as "Go Cans". They are set up to feed our Survival Guns and are identical except for different (backup) accessories inside. The only change I've made since writing that article is swapping the '06 out for 30-30 since there is no longer an '06 on inventory. Also nothing says 'Merica like a 30-30.

Anyway last week we picked up 2 more ammo cans.  Both had an intentional purpose.

One is for range ammo. My biggest fail of this current gun/ mag/ ammo hysteria is that I did not plan for continued practice, zeroing guns, etc all. I had what I considered (of course more is nice but we have to balance a lot of things) OK amount of ammo but there wasn't a budget for training, etc. That meant if I needed 100 rounds to test fire and zero a rifle it came out of the amount of ammo I considered sufficient for an emergency. That is obviously a problem. On the other hand if I was smart like Tam who keeps disaster/ operational ammo and range/ practice ammo separate I could practice through an ammo shortage without worrying that it's coming out of operational ammo. 

Range ammo typically doesn't stay around long enough for storage in cans to be strictly necessary but a can is a good way to keep things organized or grab it all in a hurry. This way there aren't random boxes of ammo here, there and everywhere which lets me look in one place to know what is in the range stash. On top of it is a piece of tape that says Range Meat. I made an intentional decision not to bother keeping written inventories on range ammo as it is going to fluctuate. When things get better I would like to keep 500 rounds of .223, 500 of 9mm, a couple hundred .38, 2k in .22, a hundred rounds of 12 gauge and a couple boxes of 30-30 to be able to shoot whatever, whenever, without dipping into our core ammo stash. [Once buying in bulk is practical again I'll rotate the ammo. EX buy 500 rounds of 9mm ball, pull 500 rounds out of the stash and replace it with the new stuff, shoot the old stuff, repeat. It's just not worth it to dig out a 50 round box of 9mm here and 40 rounds of .223 there.] At that point the .22 will get a small can and the rest will likely split a large can.

The other can is what I call an 'Orphan Can'. It is the transitional place where I keep various ammo that has been purchased until there is enough of something to put into it's own can. This is largely a function of our current environment with high prices plus spotty availability. Honestly I'm just buying enough to replace what I'm shooting these days or building stocks of what we are especially short on [Example, I have a .22 that only seems to feed a certain type of ammo so I buy it whenever it's available. That gun is handy but picky so I will buy that particular ammo (CCI Mini Mag or Velocitor) till I've got 2k or so stashed.] Unless you are really short it is IMO not a good time to stock up. Prices are getting back to normal so if you have a bit stashed for a rainy SHTF day I would wait a little while to probably save a lot of money. In any case the orphan can takes the random boxes of ammo I buy until there is enough of something to put in it's own can or the thing gets full at which point I'll figure it out.

So basically I have a bunch of relatively homogenous (1 type of ammo) cans, 2 go cans, a range can and an orphan can. I plan to keep this setup more or less. The only change I can see making is if/ when new caches are established. They would obviously have ammo cans associated with them which would be set up for their purpose but probably look a lot like our go cans.

How are your ammo cans organized?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Range Report: Glock Test Fire, Burris MTAC, Tula .223 and Commie Guns

The Glock 19 with steel guide rod and 3.5lb trigger connector was great. The lighter trigger connector really makes for a great shooting package. I do not think it's unsafe or anything, just a cleaner more crisp trigger. Wouldn't want to get some 1 pound gamer trigger or whatever but this setup is just fine IMO. I would guesstimate the increase in accuracy based on this modification is 30%. The PMC 115gr FMJ's I was shooting were great. The only sad point in this area is I only had 1x 50 round box to shoot. Along these lines I noticed Lucky Gunner has Glock 19 mags for $31 which is a good deal these days.

Brought the .22 Browning Buckmark along for the ride. I have no legitimate reason it has not been coming along more frequently. Anyway I brought it along today. The gun has been sitting well lubricated for probably 4 years, I just took it out, loaded a mag, started shooting. It was great, the odd dud but that is .22lr for ya. Being able to shoot a pistol until I get bored without consideration of the cost was big fun. I know .22 ammo is hard to come by these days though it is out there. I've stashed about 1,500 rounds of .22 during this whole mess without paying silly prices so it is out there.

The pistol shooting went better today than last time, pretty good for my current skill set/ level of practice. I credit the 3.5# connector and a half dozen mags of .22 to warm up.

I was updating some inventories yesterday. Glancing through them I found out we have a bit more than 2x the .22 ammo I thought put back. For whatever reason the number in my head was really wrong. Glad it was wrong short not long. Now I feel better about having the 3 inflation adjusted 333rd bricks of .22 ammo I got recently be range meat.

Speaking of range meat I shot that Tula 223. It functioned fine, no misfires or jams. At the risk of speaking without even semi scientific evidence I will give some impressions. It seemed to be slightly less accurate than Lake City or PMC. Sufficient for putting lead into targets but not what I would want to have loaded for the stereotypical movie shoot the guy behind the hostage scenario. If the price difference between Tula or Wolf steel cased .223 vs brass cased stuff was sufficient I would not hesitate to purchase it again.

As usual the MTAC was great. Have found it works better during the day with the illum turned off. The large heavy circle that surrounds the reticle lets you get onto target really fast, sort of like an Eotech. The only downside is I shot half the .223 I brought along at 200-400m without realizing I had the scope set at 1 power. Obviously I do better at distance with 4x magnification.

Since I was with some people the opportunity to shoot their guns came up. Played with an SKS a bit. We briefly touched on them in the Basic Guns series. The SKS is a classic import case of studs and duds. Some are awesome and others completely suck. The sucky ones could probably be fixed by a competent gunsmith familiar with the platform but it destroys the economic benefit of the SKS. Sort of like putting $ 5k into a car that once it is running will be worth $5,500 it probably isn't a great plan. The one I shot was great and had a pretty nice finish to boot. At the right price they are a decent rifle to have as an all around gun or a backup/ giveaway gun. This makes even more sense if you already have an AK and a bunch of ammo put back. Sort of like I said before my evaluation of the SKS as a rifle for $200ish is very different than for $500+.

Also got to shoot a Mosin Nagant carbine, think the guy said it was a Chinese Type 53. That gun was a hoot! Solid potential for accuracy despite very mediocre sights and reasonable scoping options are available if one wants to go that way. Best of all it's in a centerfire .30cal rifle cartridge that normal folks can afford to go shoot a hundred rounds on a semi regular basis. Aside from being a useful backup/ trade type gun it's a range toy at a reasonable range toy price. I really want one; maybe for my birthday.

Well that is what happened this morning at the range.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Syria, Anonymity in a Connected World and Life

Meant to write a good gear review today except all of a sudden it is 9 o'clock in the evening. I'm tired physically and emotionally. Been talking to lots of folks about lots of things. Maybe something will pan out but who knows. Talking to lots of folks for every deal that actually pans out is part of life I guess.

Been thinking about Syria. If there is a positive side for us getting involved I can't really see it. The talk about arming the rebels has increased. Honestly I am ambivalent about the whole thing. Don't know anybody who lives near there so whatever happens is fine.

The concept of anonymity has been on my mind lately. Stuff ranging from the easy Wally World throw away phone to getting a storage space, utilities or maybe even a short term place to stay without anybody being the wiser. I think it's important to be realistic. Things have changed a lot since the widespread use of computers and even more since 9/11. You can go ahead and toss all those 90's era Paladin Press Get Yer Fake ID in 4 Easy Steps books into the recycling bin. Beating a simple database search or official inquiry is probably a lot more realistic than evading the full force of a first world government, particularly if that government is the US.

Other than that not a whole lot is going on. About to end another work week which is nice. Looking forward to maybe tossing a few rounds downrange. The ammo situation seems to be getting better so I've been able to replace at least enough to shoot a box now here or there. Catching up on some sleep will be nice also.

Anyway that's what is going on here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fix Your Weaknesses- I am Getting Trained

If I haven't mentioned it Wifey took the kids home to go to a wedding and visit. Since most of the cost is getting her there it made sense for her to stay for awhile. So that means I am a geo bachelor for a few weeks. All of the household responsibilities of a normal bachelor but no dating (well you're not supposed to anyway and I certainly am not).

In any case I am taking advantage of this time to try and do some things. One of those things is taking a pistol class. I pulled the trigger today and will be heading up to Tuscon to Warrior School in a couple weeks for their Defensive Pistol class. The place was recommended to me by a smart guy I trust. Would like to track down enough 9mm fmj at a sane price to avoid dipping into the stash for range ammo. That doesn't really matter though.

Getting better with a pistol is something I've been wanting to do for awhile. Honestly I'm about as far as I'll easily get by myself. Putting money into a class makes a lot more sense to me than slinging it downrange hoping to get better. Thankfully the money is not a primary concern but if I had to sell a gun to fund this it would still be a smart move.

Pistols are my primary concern first because I'm the least competent and able to train myself to be better with them and secondly because that's what one is by far most likely to get into a fight with. It's going to be a fight with my CCW gun in a parking lot, not the AR in our house or some field.

I am not telling you to do what I am doing. We all have different weak points and what is right for me is probably not right for you. The point I am trying to make is to systematically look at your strengths and weaknesses both of personal skills, systems and food storage then work to make them better.

Address your weak points while you the opportunity is still available.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Glock Modifications


I saw this video awhile back. Steve Fisher saying the goal of modifying a gun is to improve functionality without messing with durability or reliability I think is a good starting point.

While I do think the Glock is probably the best standard bone stock fighting pistol out there it could be a bit better. I like swapping the normal guide rod/ spring out with a spring that has the same tension (or whatever they call it) but a stainless steel body. The primary reason for this is that a little bit of weight up front helps decrease muzzle rise. Some might also argue they are more durable.

Something new I did today is to swap out the standard trigger connector with a #3.5 trigger connector. Between the reference manual and youtube it wasn't too hard to figure out. Took the gun to try at the range today and it was pretty awesome. It's just a bit lighter and smoother but makes a whole lot of difference. The combination of the steel guide rod and 3.5lbs connector is awesome. It is seriously like a whole different better shooting gun. I shot the same gun about a month back and groups were probably less than half the size this time.

Night sights are pretty much required and are an easy upgrade on most modern service type pistols if the gun does not come with them.

I think the combo of ss guide rod/ spring, 3.5lb connector and night sights is an upgrade all of my Glocks will get. Might just stash a spare set or three (at that mythical time when I have $500 for gun stuff and nothing else to buy) just in case. That way I could set up a Glock acquired however down the road the way I like it. Stole that idea from Matthew Bracken's newest book Castigo Cay.

A pistol mounted light like a Streamlight TLR-1 is a solid option. I have a love hate relationship with them. I love the capability but hate the added bulk. For a dedicated home defense or open carry/ tactical gun a light is an easy decision. For a gun that is going to regularly pull concealed carry duty it is a harder call. I like the idea but the Glock 19 with a light kept getting left at home in favor of the J frame. A more concealment oriented slimmer holster would help but that's still carry under a sweatshirt or something, not AIWB which is my preference for concealed carry. I do not think anybody makes an AIWB rig for a gun with a light and if they did I'm not sure it would be tolerable to carry. Definitely better to carry a Glock without a light than to think I carry a Glock with a light but actually pack the snubby 9/10 times. I think running a concealed carry Glock and a home/ tactical one is probably MY way forward.

That's what I have done to Glocks. Things I can see doing

A modern red dot like a Trijicon RMR or the new Leupold offering seems like a really cool way to go. I'm going to wait for some more R and D to happen and prices to slip down a little bit over a few years before seriously considering taking the plunge. Obviously higher suppressor sights would need to go with this setup.

A threaded barrel to go with a suppressor would be cool at some point.

Stippling has potential to help with grip, etc. I would want to see and handle a gun done by a shop before giving them my gun. Too many yahoos with a dremel and a soldering iron think they are gunsmiths these days to trust just anybody offering the service.

Beyond that I cannot think of anything currently available that I want to put on a fighting handgun.

What have you done to Glocks (or I guess other pistols)?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Range Fail and Gun Shop Trip

So funny story. Before packing up all of your stuff, getting bullets and driving for a half hour to get to the range you should check their schedule as they may be closed on Thursday. Anyway the gun shop was interesting. The two semi automatic rifles in stock were an M1 Carbine and an AK pistol, I think in 5.45. The only military pattern semi auto mags they had were some (#)*Q(* #*$) polymer AK mags only an idiot would buy. As to ammo they were out of .308 and had less than 200 rounds of .223 in the place. One can of 175 rounds of federal 12 gauge was the only 12 gauge ammo in the place. They were doing OK on pistol ammo but awful short on mags. Out of Glock 17, down to 2-3 Glock 19 mags.

This is a big shop shop that normally has about 4 AK's, 10 AR's, 2 complete lowers, 4 stripped lowers and 5-6 various other military pattern weapons.

I was there pretty early and the guy behind the counter was BSing with 2 guys. They were both hoping for things to come in via the daily FedEX drop. Picked up my targets and ammo then wished them luck in finding what they were looking for.

Today we were at China Mart picking up some things and for kicks went to the gun section. All the evil black guns were gone but a variety of other guns were selling like pitchers of beer at last call. The ammo shelves were looking bare but not totally empty.

It was interesting that people seemed to be in two groups. The first group seem to pretty much have their ducks in order and are trying to grab the last item or two. The others were totally behind the power curve. Some of these folks wanted to catch up and grab an AR as well as some mags (good luck!) or more curiously get 2-3 boxes of ammo for their house gun. Maybe some of the 2-3 box people were going for the usual weekend plinking but there were too many to explain that phenomena. I guess more ammo is better but "OMG everything might be banned I need 100 rounds of FMJ ammo for my pistol" seems odd to me. Was thinking about picking up a couple of boxes of this or that. Not that I needed them exactly but a couple boxes more never hurts. After seeing these folks I decided not to. Somebody with a mag of ammo needs those boxes more than I do.

After kiddo went to bed I looked at the inventory sheets. All in all we are doing OK. Spending a few grand a year for several years can do that. Sure I would really like an AR pistol and a Glock 17 but things could be worse. Right now I am really counting my blessings that Project AR Upgrade finished up when it did. Would like some more .223 ammo and will work on that as availability and finances allow.

Anyway I hope you are all pretty squared away. Hopefully this is a false alarm but who can tell.

What are the gun (as well as mag and ammo) buying conditions in your area?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Range Report- 25 September

Got some range time today which was pretty awesome. I have forgotten what a great stress reliever shooting is. The revolvers were fun as always. Decided to hold onto the one that I was looking at selling. It is a sweet shooter and would not bring a ton of money on resale. Forgot to bring the Browning Buckmark which was a bit of a bummer.

I have been working on being more intentional than I have in the past when it comes to shooting. Either starting from the low ready or holster and shooting controlled pairs at multiple targets. Reloads were often used. If I wasn't sold before the modern isosceles is definitely the ticket. The Glock 19 shot like a champ. There is a reason lots of really smart folks use them.

Practicing with the gear I carry with has been interesting. Like the gun, belt and leather. However my spare mag storage needs to be addressed. I have been tossing a spare mag in my off hand cargo pocket which sucks a lot for the reload. Might as well stop to get a drink of water, use the bathroom and wash my hands during a speed reload. The back pocket is better (at least it won't get turned around) but not by much. Granted carrying a 15 shot pistol a reload is unlikely but I like having one around. I've been meaning to get a spare mag pouch and start using it for CC but this really beats that point in.

All in all I was pretty happy with things especially considering pistol range time has been pretty light for a pretty long time. A pair of good ear muffs would make things a bit more pleasant and a shot timer would help me get serious about training.

The old 30-30 needed some love. It is one of those models that came with the infernal cross bolt safety. Hating said safety I promptly removed it. That left the rifle functioning how it should but with noticeable and unpleasant holes in the sides of the receiver.  Did not want the safety back but didn't want the holes either. the whole thing bothered me so it got stashed away in the safe. Recently I used some google fu to see if other people have had this same problem.

Stumbled into this article by a fellow who had the same problem. For less than a buck at the hardware store I got 2 1/4 in nylon hole inserts and gave it a shot. The gun looks like it should, well at least to a quick glance which is good enough for me. I had considered selling the gun and getting an older one (a 16" 30-30 trapper would be great but it is pretty low on the list) without the safety which is an infernal nod to our overly legalistic society but this solved the problem.

Look it is probably a bad idea to do any at home gunsmithing, let alone messing with safety features. As such I cannot recommend it to anybody and in fact suggest not doing it. As an adult with a decent understanding of firearm safety and the safe handling of this weapon I made a choice that may not be right for others.

Any day shooting is a good day. Most things went really well and there is some stuff to work on.  Planning to do some research and start incorporating dry fire practice into the mix. Hopefully there will be a lot more shooting happening (shooting for monthly as a goal) so this will be a more frequent feature.

Get out there and train!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Safely Back in the PNW

I am drinking a cup of coffee and catching up with the In Laws at their place. Finally after a couple long travel days we are back in the PNW. Expect a lot of product reviews and stuff about shooting or other talk about generally awesome things. Also it will be a lot easier to communicate with folks since we are back in the same timezone.

Full post tonight on something or another. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shooting Fun

Got some M4 time today. I haven't shot in forever and did better than usual. Did change a few small things and I was pretty relaxed. Who knows. Anyway I was saw the need to improve my prone unsupported position. Spent some time there and made some progress over the beginning.

I definitely can't wait to get back to the states where individual training is a viable option. I see lots of dry fire training in my future as well as monthly or bi monthly firearms training. If you have a plan it isn't essential to burn up a ton of ammo. Also .22's come into play for repetition and remedial training.

The freedom stealers think the most recent mass murder is a great excuse to try taking our rights. Never let a good opportunity go to waste. They have been talking about this special magazine that holds a hundred rounds (beta mag or generic equivalent I assume) and how it GASP can shoot 60 rounds a minute. With a bit of practice anybody could do that or better with evil high capacity STANDARD 30 round magazines.

Interestingly guns have been selling like well, guns after a mass shooting. It looks like people are getting carry pistols and some folks who fear a ban are buying semi automatic military pattern rifles. Carry permit applications are up also.  I saw this on the news and it goes with what has been happening in my circle. A couple Wifey knows who used to be rabidly anti gun went and applied for permits then to the gun store. I sure hope they get some sort of training.

Anyway I got trigger time which means it was a good day.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Windage and elevation, Mrs. Langdon. Windage and elevation…" — John Wayne

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SHTF-Oriented Fitness and Martial Arts for a Middle-Aged Couch Potato

I saw this thread 1, 2 over at Survival Blog and have to talk about it.....

Things like this always kind of bother me. It is like folks are framing a question to get an answer they want. "What is the best gun if I do not want to spend a lot of money but want something super reliable and also really cool?" or "What is the best bolt action rifle that costs less than $120 has dirt cheap ammo and was manufactured between about 1898 and 1945 in a country that borders Poland and China?" Maybe even worse folks ask for seriously sub optimal and almost ridiculous advice like "So I won't exercise at all and will continue being a huge slob, also I am not willing to spend any money or time on preparedness, have no extra space in my home and am unwilling to change my current lifestyle in any way but how do I become completely prepared for the Zombie apocalypse in 30 days?"

For folks getting back into fitness the key is to start with something that is reasonably easy (in fancy words training OPTIMALLY not MAXIMALLY) and to slowly but CONSISTENTLY  and methodically progress in difficulty and length of effort based on some reasonably logical plan. Heck, those are the keys to fitness anyway but older folks with some extra pounds and maybe some injuries can't get away with what healthy 22 year olds can.
Tighten up on your diet is so important I just can't talk about it enough. Like a lot of things as you get older the slack goes away. At 20 or 25 most folks can eat just about anything and stay at a healthy weight but that goes away over time. I am not saying that you have to shift to a perfectly healthy diet tomorrrow but just about everybody can do better. Have a bit of discipline to not eat complete junk like fast food, chips and sweets all the time and pay some attention to your portions. A significant amount of the "bad knees/ hips/ backs" of 35-55 year olds would magically be cured by getting to a reasonable body weight.
Assuming a program makes some sense ie: is progressive or scalable, allows enough time to recover, has strength, muscular endurance and running/ rucking type components and generally passes the common sense test it should be just fine. Doing something is probably more important than following the perfect program.
As to specific points that came up in this series with my comments:

"To start with, use only a few primitive techniques (punches, kicks, blocks, movements) and combinations of them. A simple well-practiced technique is far better than several of those which you won’t be able to do in the critical situation. A simple and reliable technique is far more valuable than a complex one."

I agree with this but it kind of misses a simple and valuable point. The basics are what make you a good athlete or fighter. It is honestly a disservice to call them the basics in that it demeans them and implies that there are some more useful and advanced techniques out there. The difference between a total novice and a great fighter or shooter is that a great fighter or shooter can properly apply the basics very quickly at the right time with a high level of consistency while a novice fails at some or maybe even all of those.

For example anyone could learn in an afternoon the exact same skills that Chris Costa of Magpul fame or genuine Tier 1 Bad Mama Jamma Larry Vickers use to draw and fire a handgun. Does this mean that they would be able to put a round downrange from concealed carry in the same sort of time, let alone have the same accuracy? Does it mean that Mr. Couch Commando could defend himself as efficiently as either of those gentlemen could if he was attacked leaving the Bank after cashing a check? I seriously doubt it.
If you can’t do at least 50 push-ups in a single set, your punch will never be any good."

This is just stupid and is really what bothered me enought to write this whole thing in the first place. First of all let us look at where striking "power" comes from, namely proper technique and then sheer strength.

I have been hit by a lot of people in my life. Some of them were professional fighters. A professional welterweight outpunched a few 220+ pound big strong men because he really knew exactly what he was doing. Bringing us back to the first point for a second this is a great example of mastering the basics. Secondly if we factor it out technique by getting fighters of similar skill levels then sheer raw strength (and size but those two usually rhyme) is what matters in terms of striking power. A punch is a quick aggressive movement of near full force. If you are going to exercise to hit hard you lift big heavy things to get stronger, period. Local muscular endurance, which is what max rep pushups measure has absolutely nothing to do with this other than that it may be losely related to strength.A guy who is strong (we would have to define that but I don't feel like tossing out some random arbitrary numbers) can hit hard, a guy who is REALLY STRONG can hit REALLY HARD.  Jim Wendler or Matt Kroc could hypothetically have the fighting technique of an average elementary school kid and still hit REALLY HARD because they are just that strong.
Lastly to utterly refute this concept I bring up Butterbean. I rather doubt he could do 50 good pushups but he sure hits hard.

In a reply to this post a fellow recommends training in some Japanese swordfighting thing called Kendo to get into shape. This sounds like a great plan if you want to learn traditional Japanese swordfighting but is a poor allocation of precious time and money if you want to get into shape or learn an effective modern martial art to defend yourself with. It honestly seems sort of like apprenticing yourself to a buggy whip manufacturer.
Well, those are my thoughts on that.

Friday, September 30, 2011

SERPA Holsters

I mentioned SERPA holsters in a post about equipment soldier’s use and got a couple comments about them. They more or less matched up with some relatively recent reporting of people having negligent discharges when using the holsters. So here are my thoughts.

When I first saw them I thought it was a gimmicky idea and would be a flash in the pan. Man I got that one wrong, I totally missed the pulse of a community I am a part of. Before anyone asks personally I do not like SERPA holsters. Maybe it is for the best that I do not buy individual stocks.  The reason I do not like SERPA holsters is that they have a method of retention that uses the index finger. I am used to thumb break and open top friction type retention holsters. I have a lot of muscle memory in thumb breaks and just pulling the darn thing out is pretty much as easy as it gets. My personal experience is that in times of stress and fatigue we revert back to muscle memory. I can’t get over visions of myself trying to pull the darn thing out and pressing random stuff with my thumb only for it to stay fast in the holster.  They work fine I guess but I see no reason to stray from what I am used to.  That sums up my strictly personal opinion on the matter.
As to the SERPA and negligent discharges I find little to no reason to buy into it. Sure you have to extend your finger to draw the weapon but personally I draw that way anyway as it puts my hand where I want it. I index my finger along the frame above the trigger until I want to shoot something. If you don’t stick your bugger picker into the trigger guard and go flopping it around wildly the darn gun probably will not go off. That is strictly a software issue (in your darn head) not a hardware issue, at least in the way you might think.
It reminds me of when a couple of big PD’s (back east, NY I think) switched to Glock’s some time back and had a few embarrassing high profile negligent discharges. Those Glock’s were not faulty in any way. They fired when some cop stuck his finger into the trigger guard and pulled the trigger, intentionally or not. The reason is that the new hardware (the Glock’s) exposed a weakness that had always existed in those shooters. Those cops grew up on double action revolvers (and had maybe spent a short period using DA/SA auto’s but let’s not get sidetracked from our current side track). Not that you should but one could walk around with their finger on the trigger of one of those old DA duty guns all day long, about no way you could fire it off by accident. Now a Glock is another matter as they have a substantially lighter trigger pull than a DA revolver.  I sort of see the same thing with SERPA holsters in that a new piece of technology is exposing weaknesses in shooters fundamental weapons handling.

Without doing a ton of research I suspect two things are involved in this supposed chain of ND’s. First after people hit the release button instead of immediately indexing their finger they unintentionally keep it bent and are applying pressure onto the holster as they draw. When the weapon clears the holster this pressure brings their bent finger into the trigger guard with disastrous results.  The second (which I suspect is the root cause) is folks who are trying to proverbially run when they should be walking or jogging. I would bet that if the same shooters (prior to these ND’s) were asked to draw their pistol and then fire 3 rounds at a target in no particular hurry they would be fine. However if they are out of breath, trying to run while shooting at 3 targets simultaneously and be cool like Quick Draw Delta Dan or Speed Shooting SWAT Jimbo you can get disastrous results. As for why they are SERPA holsters part of it is probably that they are immensely popular with the “I’m going to go to super cool guy class” types.  Also the training issues we talked about before. At least that is what I suspect.

As to classes banning SERPA’s I bring you the 8 pound NY trigger AKA avoidance instead of training. NY decided that too many cops were having ND’s so they got a substantially heavier trigger made. Banning SERPA’s is avoidance of hardware that may be less forgiving of a particular weakness than other hardware.
I have never seen, though have heard of from 1 reputable source (fanboy’s in forum’s do not count) about a SERPA holster locking mechanism jamming. I have never seen an ND which was related to a SERPA holster.

In closing if you own and like the SERPA holster then by all means keep using it, just don’t stick your trigger finger into the trigger guard unless you mean to. No hardware will solve that problem.
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