After weeks and weeks of voting, the results are in: The Worst Gun Fans In The World are…
Taurus Judge Fans.
Really tempted to end this by saying, “That’s… that’s Ruger Fans’ music!” and then have Ruger Fan hit Taurus Judge Fan with a folding chair and then claim the title as his own, but the people have spoken.
The Final Tally:
Taurus Judge Fans
.40 S&W Fans
Desert Eagle Fans
A few words about some of the fans left off the list:
10mm Fan was ineligible for the tourney this year because of recruiting violations
.357 Sig Fan was not chosen because of the East Coast bias of the selection committee
As part of an article about making a long-range shot for not a lot of money, I put rounds downrange on the long-distance bay over at TrainingGrounds last month. While I was there, I met the crew behind Campo de Demolición, (Demolition Ranch) a Spanish-language YouTube channel that offers gun tests and range videos in Spanish.
If you’ve been looking for a resource for your Latino friends and neighbors to help them learn about guns, point them in the direction of Campo de Demolición.
I love shooting steel targets: There is just nothing like the “ping” you get when you drop a shot onto a steel target. The weekly match at LouLand that I shoot quite often is pretty much 100% steel targets and is just a hoot to shoot.
So when I was contacted by MK Machining to review some of their products*, I was eager to try out a unique product they offer, a scaled-down AR500 IPSC Metric steel target that’s etched with the scoring zones for IPSC competitions.
The scoring lines on the 1/2 scale target I was sent are cut in with a water jet cutter, and they are clear and well-defined. Scoring them in a match might be a bit of challenge, however: Steel splatter does NOT leave a grease ring, so your overlays are useless with this target**.
In order to see how those scoring lines held up under fire, I set up the target on the firing line at Step By Step Gun Training‘s “Shoot and Scoot” event this month, and I, along with 20 or so other students shot at it to our heart’s content.
I didn’t watch the target like a hawk, so have no idea on the total number of rounds, but I know I myself put 100 round of 115gr 9mm FMJ and 50 rounds of 220gr .45 ACP FMJ into it, and I saw other students in the class plinking away at it as well, so let’s say we put at least 200 rounds into it over the course of a Saturday morning.
And here’s what the target looked like after we were done.
The etched markings held up great: They were straight and none of the lines showed any dents or collapsing from the impact of all those rounds.
I didn’t repaint the steel after the shoot was over, but I did chat with a representative of MK Machining about the viability of applying layer after layer of paint on top of the target after each shooter is done with the course of fire, and he said that was never a problem with their testing. Apparently, it takes a LOT of paint to clog up those etched scoring lines, and if it ever gets to be too much, a few minutes worth of effort with a flathead screwdriver will clean them up nicely.
If you love shooting steel but want to work on getting valid hits beyond “anywhere in the C Zone” or you run a steel match and want to add in an element of IPSC/USPSA scoring into a stage, check out these targets from MK Machining.
* They sent it to me for review… get it, FCC?
** And having shot on squads that were chock-full of rules lawyers, that’s probably not a bad thing…
There are people in the Facebook group for my neighborhood who are complaining that there are alligators living in the ponds behind their houses.
Memo to my neighbors: WE LIVE IN THE FRICKIN’ EVERGLADES, PEOPLE!!!!! Complaining about the gators in SW Florida is like complaining about the coyotes in Wyoming or the jumping cholla in Arizona: They literally come with the territory. Deal with it.
But I understand that my neighbors feel like they have to “do something” about the gator menace, and so that’s why I propose a simple, three-step solution to enact “common sense” gator laws that are absolutely guaranteed to get rid of the alligators from our community.
1. We label alligators as an especially dangerous type of animal, one that has no purpose in life other than to kill innocent human beings and their pets. It’ll be easy: We make a list of features found on a typical alligator (scaly skin, teeth, four legs, tail) and then label every reptile that has those features an “Assault Reptile,” or “AR” for short.
3. We put up signs like the one on the right around every pond, declaring our neighborhood to be a gator-free zone. We know from previous experience that these signs are 100% effective at keeping predators away from schools, banks, churches and government installations, so there is no reason to believe they will not be a deterrent to the deadly assault reptiles that infest our backyards, both here in SW Florida and throughout the south.
By enacting these common-sense gator laws, we can make our neighborhoods safe for our children, and our children’s children as well. I mean, just look at what they’ve done for neighborhoods in Chicago, Baltimore, New York and D.C.!
I brought the Colt to one of Step By Step Gun Training’s “Shoot And Scoot” events to work on my movement and splits on a stage. The Shoot And Scoots are good for this sort of thing, as the stages are very simple and scores are not kept.
I didn’t keep track of my speed from run to run, but rather, concentrated on speeding up my movement and seeing the sights well enough to speed up my follow-up shots.
Overall, I’m pleased with this gun, and I’ll be shooting it often after the test is done. I put 200 rounds of Remington UMC .45ACP ammo through the gun, with no drama at all.
We are done to the Big Dance, where it’s all on the line, where the rubber meets the road, where the sports metaphors come to a merciful end.
In the blue corner, Taurus Judge Fan, with his unnatural affection for a gun that’s supposed to combine the best parts of a pistol and shotgun, yet somehow manages to do neither.
In the green corner, .40 S&W fan, bitterly clinging to an outdated caliber that was supposed to be the perfect compromise between 10mm and 9mm, but now finds itself out of style and out of time.
In the undercard match for third place (or second loser, as some call it), we have Desert Eagle fan, watching and re-watching “The Last Action Hero” on VHS in his mom’s basement, going up against Springfield XD fan… sorry, I don’t know how to write anything mean in Croatian, so I’ll let this one slide for now.
If you told me to prioritize all the gear I have on me day in, day out, from most-important to least important, it would look like this.
Because the modern smartphone can do so many things and because communication is so vital, that’s my #1 thing to carry every day.
A Bright Flashlight
Look, there is just no excuse not to have at least 100 lumens on you at any given moment. There’s just not, not when a Streamlight Microstream or Coast HP1 are so cheap, and Li-Ion batteries can be used to goose up their output even more.
A folding knife is just too useful not to carry. Are they the most effective self-defensive blade out there? Sorta. There’s other options, though, that we’ll get to later.
Need something that’s in-between harsh language and lethal force? Well, here it is! The number of times that a blast of spicy treats is the solution to your problems far, FAR outweighs the number of times that 124gr hollow points solve the problem.
Tourniquet / Trauma kit
I’ve seen exactly one gunshot victim in my life, but I’ve been the 1st person on the scene of at least a half-dozen horrendous car wrecks. Carry a tourniquet, because the life you save may be your own.
Carrying a gun to make you “feel safe” is like carrying a guitar to make you feel like a musician. If you carry, know how to use your gun, and know when you can and can’t use it to defend a life.
Centerline Knife ECQC and this knife defence class both taught me that deploying a folding knife in a close quarters tussle will be theoretical at best. I carry an SOG Mini Instinct on my belt, but I’m looking around for alternatives.
Spare Ammo John Corriea says that after watching 10,000 gunfights, he’s never seen a civilian have to reload. Pretty much the only reason I carry a spare mag is because my Shield holds 9+1; when I carry my PO7, I really don’t need more than the 16+1 rounds it brings to the fight.
I’ll never forget the complete and utter feeling of helplessness I had, years and years ago, when we walked out of the hospital with the eight-pound bundle of cute stuffed into a car seat that was our first child.
“WHAT THE HELL DO WE DO NOW????” was the only thing that was going through our minds as we drove home. Yes, the hospital gave us a two-hour lecture on how to raise a kid and yes, I had already changed a couple of diapers and had been spit up on a few times, but neither of us had any clue about how to raise up another human being.
Fortunately for my wife and I, we had grandparents who knew what do, and guided us along the way to where we are now, with two healthy teenaged boys in the house. It was their previous experience and wisdom that allowed us to make good choices about how to we would perform the full-time job of raising our sons.
Now pause for a second.
Years ago, in my first CCW class, I had about two hours of hands-on training on how to shoot a gun, and even that amount wasn’t required to get a permit in Arizona. I was lucky: Because I shot at one of the best ranges in the country, there were people there that could and would help me undertake the full-time job of carrying a firearm. I was fortunate, but most people aren’t, and as such, the vast majority of people who get a concealed carry permit never carry their guns on a regular basis… They were never taught how to do it every single day.
You don’t raise a child on the days that you think you FEEL you should raise a child… you do it every day, whether you feel like it or not.
And you don’t carry a gun to protect your children on the days that you FEEL you should carry one… you do it every day, whether you feel like it or not.
I’ve been thinking a bit about what makes a “lifestyle of guns” recently, and I realized once again that there’s really nothing you can add on to Gun Culture 2.0 to make it into a lifestyle.
With the hunting that was/is central to Gun Culture 1.0, there was all the stuff associated with going into the outdoors in attempt to blast Bambi or one of his woodland friends into oblivion. Tents, flashlights, camp stoves… you name it, you needed it to go out into the woods. Heck, even I splurged for a pair of snake-resistant boots for my hunting trip.
But for Gun Culture 2.0, there is really else to buy to make it a lifestyle, because it’s all about integrating guns into our current lifestyle rather than building an idyllic vision of the countryside that smacks of Rosseau (with guns).
When I go shoot a match, aside from my guns and ammo, I use pretty much the same gear (car, gas, etc) I use to go grocery shopping. The same is true when I travel for a class: Aside from the guns, I might as well be going on a business trip.
This is really going to hinder any attempts to non-gun sponsorship money into Gun Culture 2.0, because why should Miller Lite spend their ad buck with Daniel Defense when they could spend it with NASCAR?
Now, there are exceptions to this rule. Brownells is teaming up with a UFC fighter, and that makes a lot of sense. More is needed though.