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.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

Are Race Holsters really worth the $$$$?

The Liberator pistol and Sten SMG were designed to be functional firearms that can be built in a garage, and this is further proof of that fact.

I did the writeup on the Ruger PC Carbine for Shooting Illustrated. Spoiler alert: I liked it. But then again, I’ve been a fan of pistol-caliber carbines for quite awhile.

Five easy upgrades for your AR-15. If you bought an AR but don’t know what to do with it, this is where I’d start.

Both the NRA and the Huffington Post agree: Justice Kennedy’s retirement is bad news for gun control.

Not sure I agree with the Sheriff here about carrying a reload. I carry one for my Shield, but with 9+1 in it now, I’m not certain I need one.

My CZ75s are proof that I was into TA/DA guns before they were cool (/gunhipster).

Welcome To The Pinhead Ballroom.

Welcome To The Pinhead Ballroom.

As someone who gets no end of grief for his concealed carry choices (“A .380 in your pocket, with no reload? You’ll be killed on the streets tomorrow!”), I get what Tom is saying here.

We can be a puritanical lot… “Thou dost forsake the carrying of a G34 with a U-Boat close to thine appendix in favor of the Ba’al and his liking of the .38 snubbie? For shame! Thou art accursed among men! Begone, heretic, and dwell forever in the outer darkness with the other unbelievers and their unnatural desire for the subcompact 9mm!”

15 years ago it was .40S&W or GTFO and .223 was good for small dogs and nothing else, now we’re moved on to other things. The music may change, but the song remains the same.

It kinda reminds me of the first part of Monty Python’s “Spanish Inquisition” sketch… “Our chief weapon is fear.. fear and surprise. Our TWO chief weapons are fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency. Our THREE chief weapons are…”

And so on.

We scream  “Carry your guns, people!” and then it soon progresses to “Carry your guns, people! And a light! And spray! And two knives! And a TQ and chest seal! And a reload! And a backup gun! And a weapon-mounted light! Those are ALL essential!”  To borrow from The Incredibles, when everything is essential, then nothing is. Let’s start with getting people to understand that they are ALWAY their own first responder: The top of the funnel is the important part, because without it, arguing about expert knowledge will never happen.

If everyone who posts on the internet explaining why a G34 with an RMR is the überwaffen spent 1/10th of that time trying to figure out ways to get their friends who have a CCW to carry their guns on a consistent basis, we’d have reciprocity and SHARE and everything we dream of.

Instead, we argue whether the angels should be doing the Lindy or the Foxtrot on top of their pin…

Following The Same Path

Following The Same Path

Outdoor Life notices the same thing that I noticed seven years ago: It’s a cast iron b!tch to get into hunting as an adult.

“We’re preaching to the choir. We’re giving the kids of folks who already hunt this opportunity, rather than reaching new audiences.”

Well duh.

And here’s the scary thing to think about: What is Gun Culture 2.0 doing to avoid the same mistakes that Gun Culture 1.0 made? Yes, there is Colion Noir and TWAW and Scholastic Steel, but who besides Gabby Franco is reaching out to the Latino population? “Roof Korean” is a meme inside gun culture, but who is bringing ACTUAL KOREANS to the range?

Republican strategist Luke Thompson said something interesting on Jonah Goldberg’s “The Remnant podcast” a few week ago: For years, the Republicans were an ideologically-based party, united around fighting Communism and (allegedly) wanting a smaller role for government in our lives, while the Democrats were a majority, coalition-based party, with everyone from white Catholic longshoremen to rural Methodist blacks in their ranks.  In the post-Obama era, this is no longer true: The Democrats are turning into a ideological party based around the most leftist ideas possible, and thanks to the working middle class joining their ranks in droves in 2016 and now owning (or about to own) all three branches of government, the Republicans are a majority party with a broader base.

Question: For decades, ever since the Revolt In Cincinnati, the political power of gun owners has been ideological-based, based on the fact that we were at the time a minority.

This is no longer the case, which makes me wonder, what would a majority-based NRA coalition look like, and do we actually want such a thing?

Lessons From Maryland

Lessons From Maryland

The horrific massacre at the Capital Gazette newspaper is not following the established narrative for such events. First off, because the shooter was Hispanic and used a shotgun and Maryland has ridiculously tight gun laws, it’s going to be hard for progressives to blame “assault weapons” and the NRA for this one. Also, CNN, in a shocking display of sanity, is not publicizing the shooter’s name.

Good. These maroons do this for the publicity, and the less of that they get, the less chance that someone else will do similar.

The cops had a sixty second response time, which is blazingly fast, but five people still died. My response time to active shooter? About 1.7 seconds, from concealment (-ish) and my response time to a traumatic injury? A minute, tops. The shooter had multiple restraining orders against him, but I’ve yet to figure out how a piece of paper is a more effective defense against a maniac than 124gr hollow points. The fact that he was this crazy and still bought a shotgun is an issue we need to look at, but only if we gun owners get something in return. The days of us giving up a thing that is dear to us in return for nothing at all are over.

Finally, a Reuters editor tried to claim that the shooter was wearing a “Make America Great” shirt and was pro-Trump, and rather than other papers picking up that narrative and running with it like they did with the shooting of Gabby Giffords, that editor apologized and might be facing disciplinary measures at work.

Might a little sanity be creeping into our media? I certainly hope so. It’d be nice to have the adults back in charge once more.