Eleventh Hour Of The Eleven Day Of The Eleventh Month.

Eleventh Hour Of The Eleven Day Of The Eleventh Month.

The Day Canada Became A Nation

This poem is not an anti-war poem.

This is a poem to the living, telling us to take up the fight and win it, or else the forfeit the sacrifices that others have made for us (emphasis mine).

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

Urban Grey Man

Urban Grey Man

I see this all the time, especially at our local Wal-Mart. Sum dood wearing a gun-related hat and Mossy Oak t-shirt with a silk screen on it that loudly proclaims his love to all around him for the 2nd amendment. If he’s carrying, he’s carrying so well that he’s not printing, and he walks up to the sporting goods counter and talks about his shooting exploits to everyone there.

… and then buys one 50 round box of .40 or .45 (Never 9mm. Never, ever 9mm.).

Meanwhile, lil’ ol’ me in my polo shirt and khakis smiles quietly, noticing that a good portion of the gun-related books for sale at the gun counter were authored by friends of mine…

Show Us Your SHOT.

Show Us Your SHOT.

SHOT Show Registration

After a two year hiatus, I’m headed back out to SHOT in January. This time, however, three things will be different.

  1. No new media meet up. There just won’t be time for me because…
  2. I’m doing something cool with the NRA re: SHOT. More on that later. And also…
  3. For the first time ever, I bought a ticket to the State Of The Industry event on Tuesday night.
All The Feels.

All The Feels.

There’s a difference between myself and many of my friends, and most other gun owners out there. My friends and I have taken the time to figure out what we are doing wrong when it comes to marksmanship, and we have invested time and money into solving those problems.

That is a HUGE difference compared to most gun owners. You ask anyone on the range if “they can shoot” and nine times out of ten, the response you’ll receive, is “Sure I can shoot”.

The lack of consistent grouping on their target will tell another story, and if you ask that same person a) what they’re best and b) what they need improving on, 9 times out of ten you’ll get a blank stare, because in their mind, they can shoot, so there is no need for improvement.

That element of “I suck at doing (something), therefore, I am not going to integrate (something) into my teaching, and downplay it’s importance,” is what comes natural to most people. It’s people like me and the other members of the 1% who say “I suck at (something) and I need to train (something) so I don’t suck at it, and let others benefit from my experience.”

The problem is that having the courage to say a) I suck and b ) I need to change that is a rare commodity. We ALL have a tendency towards confirmation bias. We forget that buying decisions (and our measure of the relative value of an item) come first from our emotions. If we *feel* like we’ve got our money’s worth, we like that experience. I’m not like most people: I look for training classes that challenge me and show where I suck because I really want to BE proficient, not FEEL like I’m proficient.

The trick is giving people the feeling of proficiency and then adding in actual proficiency, without destroying their self-worth by telling them how much they suck. Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL in favor of standardized measurements when it comes to firearms training and instructors who forgo the idea of using benchmarks to improve performance are foregoing pretty much all of modern educational theory.

The goal is to create lifelong students of marksmanship, not one-and-done gun owners who either think they know everything after two days of classes, or who are so demoralized by their performance in a class they never set foot in a pistol bay again.

A good percentage of the instructors I know look at firearms training as an intellectual exercise… “In this class, you will LEARN (knowledge) how to draw from a holster and blahblahblah.”

How many of them add in an element of emotion? Can you do that without treading on tactical derpitude territory and claim your students will learn to shoot like a Navy SEAL?

If someone bought a gun in order to FEEL safe, what about your class and how you talk about it enhances that feeling? What detracts from it? Are you even asking those questions of yourself and how you teach?

The Rod And Thy Staff, They Comfort Me. And The 9mm On My Hip Helps As Well.

The Rod And Thy Staff, They Comfort Me. And The 9mm On My Hip Helps As Well.

My friend John waits 72 hours to comment on a mass shooting, and that’s a good idea.

I’m not that patient. I can only wait 24 hours.

Here’s what we know about the massacre in a Baptist church in Sutherland, Texas.

I do not suffer from the illusion that those who do not respect the law of God (and man) will somehow respect God’s sanctuary and not commit a horror inside the church. I’ve carried my CCW gun into church ever since I got my permit and my pistol, and if you can carry, you should, too.

Greg Ellifritz has some thoughts on staying safe inside the sanctuary, so does Ed Head. Read them both, and this weekend, when you go to church, praise the Lord.

And pass the ammunition.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1039 – 1140

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1039 – 1140

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

I took the LCP][ with me to this week’s Shoot N Scoot range day at Louland Gun Range, to put another 100 rounds of Lucky Gunner’s .380ACP ammo through it. Jeff and Robyn attract a lot of new shooters to this class because it’s a low-key introduction into the world of competition that gets people used to walking around with the weight of a gun on their hip.

Plus it’s a lot of fun.

The stages are really lightweight, usually comprised of 4-5 shooting boxes and 4-6 rounds per presentation, with no memory stages and pretty much 100% steel targets. It makes for a good intro the sport, which is why I shot it with my LCP][.

The biggest issue I found was reloading, as six round mags on the LCP][ meant that I was constantly feeding in fresh mags, and I also ran into some issues with the low-power .380 rounds not having the oomph needed to drop the poppers. This wasn’t an issue, though, as this is a training event and is not for score.

All in all, another successful outing with this little Ruger. My confidence with it as a carry gun grows each time I shoot it, and I’m continually impressed with how easy it is to shoot.

Rounds Fired: 100 Rounds Winchester White Box .380 ACP

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 1139
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993
Failure to feed: Round 873

Range Stuff, Life Stuff, Other Stuff.

Range Stuff, Life Stuff, Other Stuff.

Gabe Suarez has a great article on the realities of shotgun reloading in defensive situations. If you need to reload a shotgun in the midst of a defensive encounter, that means the 5+1 or whatever rounds you had in it were not up to the task at hand, and if 6 or more #00 buck or slugs ain’t solving your problems, buddy, you have problems indeed.

Which got me thinking about skills that are essential on the range in a training class, and skills that are essential outside the training bay.

Loading a shotgun quickly is one of those training bay skills, and it’s even more essential in 3 Gun. There is gadget after gadget out there designed to help you reload your scattergun in mere seconds during a match, but those gadgets are of limited utility outside of a 3 Gun stage.

Speaking of reloading, Karl Rehn has a terrific breakdown of what is actually faster; reloading a pistol with the muzzle pointed up vs. level vs. pointed down, which is great for proving which method is faster and safest in a training bay or at a shooting match.

However, given that John Correia has watched and analyzed over 10,000 gunfights on video and not one armed citizen has ever needed to reload his gun during the fight, is a fast pistol reload necessary for the training bay, or for outside the range?

Final, semi-heritical note: Reloads are an essential part of a number of pistol drills, including the beloved El Presidente and the F.A.S.T.

If we know that reloading the pistol is a skill that we probably won’t need to use under pressure, even if we get into 10,000 gunfights, should it really be a part of those drills?

I don’t know, but I’m interested in finding out.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.

I like the article I wrote for Ricochet on choosing a firearms trainer, but the picture used to accompany the article is not the most… clueful of shots.

The nuances of what makes a good concealed carry rig can be hard to determine, and what’s worse, that was actually one of the better images that my editor had to choose from on Shutterstock.com, as I will now demonstrate.