That can’t happen there!

Guns are banned at Arizona Mills mall! There’s a big sign outside every door that says that! How can someone get into the mall with a gun when there’s a big sign outside that says they can’t? 


Police say a man is in custody after he ran into Arizona Mills Mall with a handgun Monday.
Just before 9 p.m., Tempe police spokeswoman Molly Enright said the man drove his vehicle into a wall at the shopping center at Priest Drive and Baseline Road. That male driver then got out of the car and ran into the mall with a handgun, Enright said. 

Clearly, we need a big sign that says “no driving in the mall“. 

Graphic courtesy of Robb.

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What’s in YOUR range bag?

Robb’s looking for a range bag for practical pistol, so I thought I’d post about what I carry with me to a match.

I take a different approach to range bags than a lot of people. Rather than opt for a sofa-sized carryall with a strap, I built my bag based on my years as a professional photog. I rarely packed up the entire studio when I went on location, instead, I just carried the stuff I needed. For most editorial assignments, I carried two bodies, a strobe, two or three lenses and associated accessories (meter, batteries, filters, etc) in a small Domke Bag.

Why? Because I knew that’s all I needed to do the job. If I needed more, (portrait setup, Hassie, room lights, etc.) I kept those in the truck until when and if I needed them. I don’t like acting like a pack mule because that distracts from the job at hand. If I’m sweating from carrying a huge bag around, that’ll affect how I shoot, be it guns or cameras.

So what do you need (not want) to shoot a club match? It’s pretty basic, when you think about it.

– Gun (duh)
– Magazines
– Ammo
– Belt, holster and mag carriers

That’s it. Anything else is “want” not “need. Yes, the needs for a major match are different, but I don’t shoot major matches aside from the Rio Salado Desert Classic, so again, that isn’t my need.

So what’s in my bag?


Clockwise from top left
A cheap MidwayUSA bag that they don’t sell anymore. It’s got a decent-sized interior pocket with two side pockets and six mag pouches.
Competitive Edge Dynamics Dump Pouch: For spent brass.
Howard Leight Earmuffs: Love these. Clear sound, effective noise suppression and less than half the cost of other electronic earmuffs.
Gun lube and sunscreen: Because I live in a desert.
Mags: 9 total.
Fobus Paddle Mag Pouch: In case of extra-long stages.
Belt Clip for Earmuffs: I rarely use this, but I can’t really substitute something else for it if I need it.
Club ID Card on Lanyard: Handy to have, but not always needed at my club.
USPSA Rulebook: I’ve never had to whip this thing out on a stage and I hope I never have to.
USPSA Overlays: No, you did not get a perfect double on this target, and here’s proof.
Clipboard and Pen: For taking notes on an especially tough stage and how I shot it.
Earplugs: Just in case I forget my earmuffs and/or need extra noise protection.
Speedloader: Because thumbs are a terrible thing to waste.
Cleaning rod: I don’t know if you know, but it gets a bit dusty here in the Desert Southwest.
Ammo: Typically, I take twice the recommended round count with me to a match, because you never know.
Gun: CZ75 in a Bor-Stor sleeve.

That’s about it, aside from the iPhone and the CRKT Pazoda I have with me all the time. No backup gun, no menagarie of spare parts. If I need more than than, I’ll get it from my car or wait until the match is over.

I feel your pain, Paul

Badge of shame

Teh suck. It’s everywhere.  

With a little luck and a lot of practice, I should (SHOULD) be leaving Suckville this weekend. I’ve been dry-firing at night, shooting .22’s each week to work on my trigger, shot a .22 practice match on Sunday and will shoot a full-on training session this week, 110+ heat be damned. 

Plus I’m working on a new mental approach for each stage, borrowing from a quote from Jerry Miculek (“The front sight is my throttle”) and Caleb’s “Down Zero“: If my sights aren’t verified on the A Zone, I ain’t shootin’. 

But if that doesn’t work, I’ll just go with “See the bullet, be the bullet.

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Tam and Unc mention that the human skull does a decent job of protecting the brain, and I’ve regrettably had experience with this as well. 

In the summer of 1981, some friends and I were late for a concert, so we decided to take a shortcut and drive through a hospital parking lot when one of my friends called out, “Hey, there’s a guy in the bushes there, and he looks hurt!”

We stopped the car and piled out to find a guy in his early 2http://www.exurbanleague.com0’s with a pulverized face and a .22 rifle in his hand. We found out later he had decided to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head, but failed and was staggering to the hospital to get help for himself. He had shot himself by placing the barrel of a Ruger 1http://www.exurbanleague.com0/22 on the right side of his nose pointing up and pulled the trigger. All we knew at the time that he had more blood on him than I’d seen in my life (actually, more blood than I’ve seen, ever) and he needed help. 

One of my friends ran track, so she took off towards the hospital’s emergency room and the rest of us got him to set his gun down and sit down on the lawn until help arrived. The bullet blew his nose clean off and was lodged in his left eye. He took a .22LR to the face and managed to walk to the hospital for help. After what seemed like an hour, (but was probably a minute or two), doctors and orderlies from the hospital arrived, placed him in a gurney and rushed him into the hospital. 

I never learned his name. 

It’s been 3http://www.exurbanleague.com0 years since that happened, and I can still remember what his face looked like. I like to think that failed suicide attempt was the impetus he needed to change his life around, but I don’t know. When I think about it, i pray for him and those around him, but I just don’t think about things like that often enough. 

Stay safe. And nothing is worth ending your life over. Ever. 

Update: As I was writing this, I had the nagging feeling I had written about this before, and I had. Sorry about the duplication.

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Customer Service Done Right

I have a GunVault MicroVault in my upstairs bedroom to hold my CCW pistols when I’m not carrying, but last week, the durn thing wouldn’t open from the keypad, I had to use the backup lock to pop it open. 

Called Cannon Safes about it, and what shows up on my doorstep a week later, free of charge? 

MicroVault Deluxe

Well-done, guys, well-done.


Side show

Interesting tweet from Colby Donaldson last night

Hey Gang – Thanks for sticking with me. I’m in the middle of filming Season 4 of #topshot as well as a Top Shot spin-off show simultaneously. 

A spin-off show? Nothing’s popped up on Pilgrim Film’s website about a new shooting-based reality show, so it probably won’t be a “Road Rules” version of Top Shot. Although it would be cool to have, say, six shooters picked to live on an RV and travel across the coutnry, trying their hand at different competitions in different locales… 

I digress. But Pilgrim Films, if you’re reading this, call me, let’s do lunch. 

If I had to guess (and I do), I’d say the new show combines the “experts” from the various seasons of Top Shot and some of the challenges into a non-sucky version of “Impossible Shots” as a one-off or maybe a short mini-series. History’ Channel has done something similar in the past, so why not capitalize on the popularity of Top Shot and do it again, this time with more ratings?

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Judge-ment Day

Don Oliver of The Box O’Truth puts the latest round of .410 ammo for the Taurus Judge and S&W Governor through the wringer, with some interesting results

Personally, I have no grudge against the Judge: If you want one, buy it. 

However, if you want stopping power and reliability, your money would probably be better-spent on a smiliary-sizedl .357 magnum revolver.

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Comment of the Day

“Wow because of Top Shot I actually recognize some of these names now!” 

“Matthew S.” over at Caleb’s 

That right there is worth all the drama llama on Top Shot:. Because of Top Shot (and 3 Gun Nation), competitve shooters and competitve shooting are becoming more mainstream, making gun ownership and marksmenship the norm once more.

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Numbers Game

“Among the factors determining murder rates, levels of gun ownership is among the most overstated and least reliable… ‘There is no empirical support for the claim that gun ownership is related to violence rates’.” 

Sounds like a typical NRA quote, right? 


Not is the source of this quote a Canadian academic, it’s a Canadian academic being quoted in Maclean’s, the mainstream media newsmagazine of choice for the Canadian political elite. 

More juicy quotes: 

“In fact, neither assumption is on the mark. A look at Canada, in the context of international crime statistics and the factors behind them, yields some myth-busting results. More guns, for instance, don’t always equate to higher murder rates. Nor are the streets necessarily safer with more police on the street and more bad guys in jail.”

“We (Canadians) have fewer police per capita than about 80 per cent of the world, yet a murder rate lower than Scotland.”

“Canadians have more firepower—31 guns for every 100 civilians—than South Africa (13 per 100) Jamaica (8 per 100) or Columbia (six per 100), where murder rates surpass Canada by as much as 20-times or more. Americans are among the best-armed civilians on earth with some 89 firearms per 100 people. Their availability makes them the weapon of choice in 68 per cent of American homicides, and yet even in the U.S. murder rates have been falling.” 

The next time somebody tells you we should have more “common sense” gun laws like other countries have, point them to this article and watch their heads explode.