The Enthusiast’s Gun

The Enthusiast’s Gun

“When man becomes preeminent, he is expected to have certain entoosiasms…”

My article on going back to Single Stack is up at Shooting Sports USA, and it really only scratches the surface on my feelings for the 1911.

Is it the most efficient self-defensive gun on the market today? No. Is it an ineffective self-defense firearm? Oh heck no. Is the 1911 a gun that I’d recommend as a starter gun? Also no.

But.

There is just something about the certainty of the click of the safety going off and the crispness of the trigger break and the firm but smooth recoil of the .45ACP in a heavy metal chassis that tells you “Yep, you shot a gun.” The 1911 almost demands that you wax poetic about it, that you understand how it shaped American gun culture and what it has meant to the gun owners that have came before you.

It’s an enthusiast’s gun, but then again, I’m an enthusiastic kinda guy, so it’s a gun that works well for me.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

Three Concealed Carry Myths Debunked. The Sheriff speaks the truth here. Read it.

What, a guns of the 80’s retrospective WITHOUT the classic Witness Protection shorty 870? For shame! 🙂

Tam does a good job elucidating what you want and don’t want in a carry holster (two guesses which holster shown in that article wasn’t one that she had in mind when she wrote it…). 🙂

Some nice little drills for the indoor range. If you can’t adapt your teaching to work on a “bowling alley” indoor range, you are setting your beginning to intermediate students up to fail.

Lessons from a daytime home invasion. A few years ago, we lived in a neighborhood in Chandler, Arizona that was, um, in transition, and the townhouse next to us had it’s door kicked in and ransacked, while ours wasn’t. Why? We had an external security door on both entrances, and they didn’t.

I really liked the iDryfire and Sharpshot EZ dry fire training apps. You can easily set up a dry fire dojo inside your bedroom or garage for under $100. Just do it.

This is actually a pretty good list of books about America’s gun culture. I see some that I’ve read, and some I need to read.

College students learning about guns. More of this, please.

All The Laws That Are Fit To (3-D) Print

All The Laws That Are Fit To (3-D) Print

Coming around to this bit of news again, let me explain why this is a big deal.

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

Heller vs. D.C., the Supreme Court case the secured the right to keep and bear arms for the foreseeable future, wasn’t won because a team of lawyers marched up the steps of the courthouse waving Gadsden flag and yelling “MUH RIGHTS!!!!!.” Rather, it was won because a team of smart lawyers used legal precedents to make it clear to the court (well, MOST of the court) that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right of the citizen, not a collective right of the state.

Now that the DOJ has ruled that AR-15’s and 1911’s are not inherently “military” weapons, there is precedent to go after “assault weapons” bans that are based on getting “weapons of war” off our streets.

This ruling, along with the nomination of the guy who (rightly) stated that AR-15’s are in common use and should not be banned, foretells of great things to come for the gun rights movement.

Let freedom ring!

Would You Like An AR With Your AR?

Would You Like An AR With Your AR?

An interesting article on how augmented reality (AR) and “digital immersion” is changing the world of theme parks.

Which tripped a few switches in my skull.

  1. Movies based on video games pretty much suck, because there is really no way to replicate the non-linear environment of a video game.
  2. Entertainment companies are sitting on a metric buttload of intellectual property related to video games, and all they can do with it is make more video games.
  3. The closer an experience is to the real thing, the more fun it is. This is why driving fast on the Nurburgring is more fun than driving fast on Main Street.

So why not take augmented reality, mix in a few pistols, and build a gun-based theme park based on, say, Resident Evil? You’d use augmented reality built into your eye protection to turn that paper target into a zombie, and then scores and times would be tracked and compared. It would be, in essence, an escape room where you’d need to fight your way out.

As anyone at Battlefield Vegas or Lock and Load Miami will tell you, gun tourism is a real thing. Why not combine gun tourism with theme park tourism and take it to the next level?

Witness Me, 3D Printed And Chrome

Witness Me, 3D Printed and Chrome

Thinking more about this, how long will it be until a major player, a la Ruger, et al, or someone releases plans for their new pistol as a downloaded 3D printer file rather than an actual pistol?
I’m thinking something along the lines of Brownells 80% Glock lowers or a unique pistol design that’s based on an existing modular trigger group. The great thing about the AR is, once you have the lower, the world is your oyster. That’s not happened yet with pistols, but it will.

It doesn’t have to be a major player, either. Because of the wacky patent laws around Soviet-era gadgetry, the CZ75 design is just SITTING there for everyone to use. Someone coud easily create a new pistol that took an existing barrel for a CZ or CZ clone and built their design around the CZ, then releasing that design as a digital download.

Building on the CZ75 design is how we got the EAA Witness. If it worked once, why not do it again?

Hobbyist’s Lobby

Hobbyist’s Lobby

Grant Cunningham (and others), talk about the “gun training hobby,” and I gotta admit they have a point. Going to gun school for more than just a few hours a year is not a thing that most gun owners do. Only a select few consider something like Rangemaster to be a “must-see” event, and they’re the ones who set the pace for “serious” firearms training in the U.S.

When does the circuit get flipped between someone who’s a casual gun owner and a gun training “hobbyist”? Well, for me, it was when I realized I don’t “go shooting” anymore: When I go to the range it’s to work on a drill or try out a gun or practice a skill. The last time I went to the range to shoot for shooting’s sake was when I did a quick test of the Kel-Tec PMR30, a ridiculously fun gun to shoot. Other than that, I see marksmanship as a skill to master, not as a pastime or recreational endeavor.

Is that a problem? No. But it becomes a problem when it gets in the way of me doing stuff with the people who like going shooting solely for fun. Those of us at the deep end of the pool need to remember how much fun it is splashing around in the shallows can be, or else we’ll never get people to try to extend their skills.

Upgrades

Upgrades

I have a few new products in for review for Shooting Illustrated, and so far they are three-for-three in the winning department.

The new Primary Arms 1x PRISM scope with ACSS reticle is simply terrific for people like me who have astigmatism. I had been running an admittedly cheap Bushnell red dot on that gun, but the clarity of the prism optic make for a much, much better shooting experience than either a conventional red dot or holographic optic.

I’m also reviewing the Timney Targa AR-15 trigger. Yes, it’s a 2 stage trigger, but it’s a really, really good one. I’d feel completing comfortable running this at a three gun match (and I’m doing that this week, as a matter of fact).

I’ve also got in a Sharpshot EZ dry fire trainer, and I really, really like it. It’s a bit more than other dryfire training devices, but unlike everything else, you don’t need to hike back and forth to your phone between strings. Plus it has a lot of great features like a shot timer and drills and can be used with a bunch of standard targets, putting it at the head of the class of dryfire training aids.

And speaking of upgrades, a little birdie told me that the new owners of the training complex formerly known as Altair have some big plans for that site, backed up with a decent amount of capital to make those plans happen.

Good. It’s a nice facility and it deserves to be used to its fullest potential.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

There used to be a time when Wired would be happy about a product that empowers people to fight against tyranny. This is no longer the case.

Related: “Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.”
That, my friends, is a huge, huge win, and a knife through the heart of any so-called “assault weapons ban.”

The reality that you are, and always have been your own first responder is starting to seep into the general populace. Good.

Speaking of must-have items, Chuck Haggard has a great article on how and when to spice up somebody’s life with a blast of OC spray.

I’d like to see the .380 added into this test, but if there’s not that much difference between what 9mm does to a target over .45, why carry a lower-capacity .45 instead of a 9mm?

What happens when civility REALLY breaks down and the Communists Democratic Socialists and the fascists National Socialists go at for real? You get years of lead. Read and ask yourself whether this will happen in the United States sometime soon.

I hope it doesn’t.

Clawing Back From The (Media) Abyss

Clawing Back From The (Media) Abyss

Well this looks interesting.

“In a challenge of American craftsmanship, this high-octane competition pits master craftsmen and apprentice duos from rival shops against each other in a head-to-head battle for supremacy.”

I said awhile ago that a gunsmith version of “Forged In Fire” was a no-brainer. Looks like History Channel figured that out as well, and they even brought in Doug Turnbull as one of the judges.

Cool.

Oh, and History is also doing another special on snipers, which is cool, but if they can do that, why not do something on it’s competitive equivalent, the Precision Rifle Series?

Yes, You DO Need To Worry About That Little Guy.

Yes, You DO Need To Worry About That Little Guy.

NRA Instructor QualAs I mentioned earlier, I shot the NRA Instructor Qual with the Colt Competition 1911 that I’m running through a 2000 Round Challenge.

I had (*had*) been doing dry fire up to the day of the test with one of my tricked-out CZ75’s, in anticipation that shooting the qual with a gamer gun that has a wonderful single action trigger would give me a little edge, but seeing how I had a bunch of ammo left over after the Louland match, I went with the 1911 instead to shoot up the extra ammo. I did ok, right up to the point where I had five shots outside of the eight-inch circle at 15 yards, over the maximum of four that the test requires. To make matters worse, that one shot I pulled low and left not only DQ’d me because it was the fifth shot outside the circle, it was outside the six-inch max group size required by the test.

Whoops.

Look, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the 1911 platform itself: It’s a gun that wins bullseye matches year after year after year, and it wins them because it’s stupid accurate. However, my experience with the 1911 is pretty much limited to the 1000 rounds I have through my test gun, while on the other hand, I passed the 1000 round mark with a CZ75 long before we had smartphones.

Lesson learned.

I’ll shoot the qual again, (probably next week) because I want to get my certs re-upped and start teaching CCW (more on that later) so I’ll shoot it with something I already know how to use accurately, not something I’m learning to shoot.