Range Day.

Range Day.

I spent Saturday morning over at LouLand, running through the stages as Step By Step Gun Training’s “Shoot N Scoot” event. My goals were fourfold:

  1. (Finally) pass the NRA Instructor Qualifier.
  2. Shoot my carry gun (the S&W Shield) on a few stages
  3. Verify the zero on the new .22 pistol
  4. Get re-acquainted with my CZ75’s, as I hadn’t shot them in competition for at least a year

And I’m happy to say I completed all four. I passed the NRA qual shooting my 1911, winding up with 17 shots on-target. I could have done better, but my trigger focus just isn’t there yet.

The new Smith and Wesson Victory is just so much fun, and the red dot allows you to concentrate on trigger press above everything else.

Shooting the CZ75 again made me remember how much I love those guns. I managed a 10.63 second run on this stage shooting the CZ 75 in my USPSA Production rig, and it felt goooood in my hands.

Shoot N Scoot stage

Just for shiggles and to see what difference a “race” gun setup makes, even in Production, I shot that stage again using the Shield with my carry setup (plus a couple of extra mags).

That’s not me in the pic… I don’t even own a battle belt, and I’m not QUITE that fat. Shooting the Shield from concealment, I managed a 19.63 run, just under twice the time needed for the tricked-out Production gun.

So now it’s on to the classroom portion of the NRA Instructor Course, and then I’ll hang out my shingle here in SW Florida, teaching CCW.

Time to put all that thinkin’ about gun training into practice.

Stay tuned.

Words Are Weapons. What’s In Your Arsenal?

Words Are Weapons. What’s In Your Arsenal?

David’s not wrong here, the phrase “Common sense gun laws” is demeaning to gun owners, and doesn’t advance the agenda of so-called “gun violence” advocates.

Whether or not it’s intentionally demeaning is an argument for another day.

However, we on the pro-rights side of things also need to look at the words we’re using. No one, and I mean no-body cares about YOUR rights. They just don’t. Deal with it.

What other people care about is THEIR rights, and that’s where we’re failing. Open-carry “fishing” exhibitions and maroons carrying SKS’s into Starbucks don’t advance the cause of gun rights because such events are done for the benefit of the participant’s egos and no one else.

No one cares if you can’t open carry their gun. They care about their lives and the lives of their loved ones, and they want to stay safe in an unsafe world.

So stop talking about MY rights. Instead, talk about how concealed carry saves lives. Talk about how an AR-15 is great for home defense2 and also a good hunting rifle. Talk about why you need to lock your doors and why concealed carry rights for women and minorities is so important.

It’s not you, it’s them. Change your words, and change your world.

 

  1. Yes, I know, “gun violence” is also a dumb name. This is just another example of where we are failing in the war of words over the 2nd Amendment.
  2. As are shotguns and pistols of course, but if people are ok with AR-15s, they’ll have no beef with those two firearms.

And yes, that is a still from an SRV video in the header. Miss him every day.

Flash Site Pictures.

Flash Site Pictures.

I wrote a piece on the “bailout bag” for Shooting Illustrated.

This piece on learning from your failures is meant as a bookend to John’s excellent piece on the “works for me” mentality.

We are our own first responders, so why do we think that means carrying just a gun? Isn’t there more than one kind of first responder?

What are gun owners doing to counter the anti-fun evangelism of the left? Whatever we’re doing, it’s not working. More on this later this week.

The importance of a smooth trigger press has been brought home to me as of late. Claude explains why.

Here’s a hint: Saying “Calm down, you %#$!%&” doesn’t actually calm anyone down.

My secret sauce for teaching situational awareness is “Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to.” These help as well.

Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve posted links on these updates that were originally found via the Friday link roundup over at Greg Ellifritz’s site. If you’re into firearms and personal defense and you’re not reading his blog on a regular basis, you’re wrong.

Thank You, Smith And Wesson.

Thank You, Smith And Wesson.

My youngest son and I had a blast last month shooting my red-dotted Smith&Wesson M22A, because it’s a seriously fun gun to shoot. Like laugh-out-loud-after-a-mag-dump fun.

But after just three mags through the gun, it jammed up tight on us, and we had to set it aside (major bummer), and to make matters worse, I spotted a crack along the frame right by the trigger guard, and it was pretty obvious the gun itself was broken in two.

Uh-oh.

I sent it back to Smith&Wesson, and not only did they swap it out for a brand-new .22LR Victory, they upgraded me to the threaded barrel version so I (eventually) drop a can on it as well (I’m thinking that this little sucker might go well with the gun).

Thanks, Smith&Wesson, for not only replacing my old and busted M22A with the latest .22LR hotness, but upgrading me as well!

Ready To Qual

Ready To Qual

The NRA Pistol Qualifier has been kicking my butt as of late. What SHOULD be a rather easy test of marksmanship (20 shots into an eight inch circle at fifteen yards, sixteen within the circle, six inch maximum group size) has turned into a nightmare for me. It’s not that I can’t shoot (I did a darn good job at the last Louland match I attended, placing in the top third on all the stages) it’s just that all my training for the last ten years or so has bee based around learning to balance speed and accuracy, and this test is 100% accuracy, no speed. I’ve shot it three times now, and each time, I failed to pass, sometimes spectacularly.

This does not make me happy.

Practice, however, makes perfect, so with some help from Aaron over at Shoot Center, Jeff from StepByStep and lots and lots of dry fire practice, I managed to do this during my last practice session.

“But Kevin,” I hear you say, “looking at those photos, you’re setting yourself up for more failure!”

And you’d be right, if those were 8 inch circles. But they’re not, they’re six inch circles. I figure that the true test here isn’t getting sixteen shots out of twenty shots into an eight inch circle, it’s getting sixteen out of twenty shots into a six inch group. Which I’ve done. With two different guns.

I’ll take it.

Oh, and as an aside, I shot a 5×5 drill with my LCP2 just to keep up my skill with that little gun, and it turned out pretty well. Not bad for a pistol about the same size as a chocolate chip cookie.

Woo Who?

Woo Who?

Karl Rehn put on a humdinger of a presentation on historical handgun techniques at TacCon last year, highlighting not only the techniques, but how culture itself affects how guns are perceived in society.

From the dime store novels of the wild west to detective fiction to TV shows, movies and video games, how society perceives violence and how we talk about it. Karl did a great job laying out how we’ve changed our discussion about how good guys and bad guys behave with a gun in hands, and in my opinion, the most influential moments in recent years on how society perceives the use of guns happened in 1986, with the debut of Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice” on NBC and the release of John Woo’s “A Better Tomorrow” in Hong Kong.

Michael Mann insists on accuracy in the bang-bang in his productions. He sent James Caan out to Gunsite for his role in Mann’s first movie, “Thief,” and USPSA GM Jim Zubiena had roles in both “Manhunter” as an FBI weapons tech and “Miami Vice” as an assassin.

That attention to detail paid off, and Michael Mann has gone on to become one of Hollywood’s top directors.

John Woo had a career in Hong Kong before he filmed “A Better Tomorrow,” but both he and Chow Yun Fat, the star of the movie, were considered to be on the downside of their careers at the time. Woo took the camera techniques and fluid motion associated with Hong Kong “Chop Socky” movies, applied them to gunplay,and voila, a whole new cinematic language was born, one that was quickly picked up by American filmmakers (with varying levels of success) in movies like “Last Man Standing,” “Equilibrium” and The Matrix Trilogy.

Both of those streams have now converged in the John Wick movies, where you have the rigorous training to get the details right combined with the slick action shots of gun fu.

What will the future bring? What’ll be the next big thing in how guns are used in movies? Dunno. If I have to guess (and I do), I’d say that the thousands and thousands of highly trained young men who have fought overseas are going to have some sort of influence in how guns are seen in society, and that, along with the ever-increasing numbers of citizens who choose to carry concealed, will eventually bubble to the surface in some way down the road.

And I’ll bring popcorn when it does. I do loves me a good shoot-em-up.

How Accurate Is The CMMG .22LR AR-15 Adapter

How Accurate Is The CMMG .22LR AR-15 Adapter

With the right ammo, pretty good. Not sniper rifle good, but off-the-shelf Ruger 10/22 good.

A little background: I got a CMMG .22LR adapter from Brownells a few years ago, and since then, it’s pretty much lived inside my CavArms build as a general purpose range plinker.

One thing that’s on my gunbucket list is an Appleseed Project, but as I don’t own a 10/22, I would need to either shoot it with my Mossberg Plinkster (bad idea… I hate that gun), my Savage .22 bolt gun (which, in theory, would work), shoot it in .223 (possible, but pricey) or shoot it with the CMMG adapter in that AR-15.

But first, I needed to see just what that adapter could really do. I know from my previous post that sub-2MOA groups were possible with that adapter and a 20″ barrel, but what would it do with the 16″ barrel in my plastic AR?

As it turns out, with the right ammo, just over 2MOA. All of these were shot at 25 yards, using the CMMG adapter with a Vortex 1x Red Dot sight.

Top Left: CCI Green Tip 40 Grain Match

Top Right: CCI Mini Mag 40 Grain SHP

Bottom Right: Federal Premium 40 Grain Hunter Match

To be honest, I’m kinda surprised at how poorly the Federal ammo did, but seeing how those are 1/2 inch squares at 25 feet, the CCI Green Tag was just over 2 MOA. Not bad.

With those results in mind, I think it’s time to get in some more match ammo and let’s see what this gun can really do.

The Minimalist.

The Minimalist.

I’ve recently become fascinated with the “van life” movement, where mostly young couples forgo most of the trappings of modern life and choose to life in large cargo vans instead of an apartment or small house.

Which got me thinking… we gun nuts like doing a “five guns” idea, where we limit ourselves to just a certain number of firearms, but what you buy if you were limited by space, say, a small storage space that’s just 1 ft by 1 ft by 3 1/2 ft?

My choices:

  • 16″ Barrel AR-15 with a 1-4x optic – Aside from taking larger game, there’s really nothing you can’t do with this gun
  • Mossberg 590 Tri-Rail – With ghost ring sights and the ability to take chokes, this gun can pretty much do it all
  • Glock 19 – Because I can shoot IDPA with it, or carry it, or train with it, and there’s no accessory you can’t get for it
  • .22LR Adapter for the AR-15 – Plinking, training, etc
  • .22LR Adapter for the Glock 19 – See above
  • Two .50 cal ammo cans full of ammo

I’ve not measured it out, but that should come pretty darn close to fitting into a 3.5 cubic foot space, and yet those guns will allow me to hunt for hogs and coyotes, shoot most of the clay sports (just not shoot them well). That shotgun will allow me to hunt for deer or blast away at waterfowl with the appropriate magazine plug inserted, and I also have a .22 rifle and .22 pistol for plinking and practice. The only thing I’d add to that list is a pocket 9mm, something even smaller than my Shield which can fit into the front pocket of a pair of khakis and in 9mm so I don’t have to stock another ammo type.

Your ideas?

Oh Right… Content.

Oh Right… Content.

Sorry, but life has gotten a bit weird, and that’s cut into my writing time.

Also, I have the foggiest notion of a glimmer of an idea about writing about why people who get their concealed carry permit don’t actually carry their guns, but that’s taking a while to gel to the point where I can post about it.

Come back Monday.