Bon Voyage.

Bon Voyage.

On a recent Safety Solutions podcast, Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor, said that firearms training is not an event, it’s a journey.

He’s right.

But it’s getting people to go on that journey that’s the hard part, because unless they are absolutely forced to so, people don’t like to go on journeys that are not fun. My family and I will gladly travel up to Orlando for two hours in order to go to a theme park, but we are not willing to travel two hours to go eat broccoli.

And I like broccoli.

Also, first impressions matter. I have friends who are seriously into shooting practical pistol competitions, but their first foray into self-defense training was way too “tacticool” and serious for their comfort zone, and they’ve shied away from that area ever since, even though they are great shots and carry a gun on a regular basis.

Making sure the first steps are fun is the key to lifelong learning. Ever watch a preschool teacher? How much of what he/she is teaching involves actual teaching, and how much of what they do is getting their students excited about learning?

That’s why events like Shoot N Scoots are so important. By emphasizing the fun of practical shooting and how you can be safe with a gun on your hip, students think that training and competitions are just as fun as going to the local range and shooting with your friends.

And, of course, it is. We just forget about it from time to time.

However, if the first steps in the journey are difficult and confusing, the student is going to think that the rest of the journey is as horrid. As a result, they’ll put “get more gun training” in the same bucket as “work out more often” and “eat less sugar”… things that we know we SHOULD do, but just don’t see any reason to do so right now.

Want a lifestyle of concealed carry? Make people EAGER to join your classes. Make them not only see a need for training, but also make them feel good about choosing to train with you.

How Does This Gun Make You Feel?

How Does This Gun Make You Feel?

Getting people to live their lives armed means teaching them about an armed lifestyle. Moreover than than that, the lifestyle that we’re teaching has to Be FUN. Yes, we can (and do) encourage people to eat better and exercise by using dire warnings about heart disease and obesity, but the those appeals come down to the simple fact that you will lead a better life if you do such things. Yes, the journey involves a lot of work, but it’s sold as a destination, and that destination is a healthier, happier, life. In other words, eat your broccoli and work out, so you can go to the beach and not look like a beached whale in bathing suit when you do so.

Look at how other lifestyle products are marketed: When’s the last time you saw a TV ad for a family car which rattled off a list of features? TV ads for family cars are all about how people use them and how your family life will be once you buy that car. Beer marketing is all about having good times with your friends as you drink together.

There are exceptions to the rule: Subaru has been all about safety since Day One, and Michelob Ultra and Miller Lite have made low carbs/low calories a cornerstone of their marketing, but both of those are about feeling safety and having good health as part of your lifestyle.

How are we integrating fun and good times into firearms training? Is that even a priority? I agree 100% with Tom Givens in that every round we shoot in practice should have a purpose behind it, but here’s the thing: Most gun owners don’t see a gun as something they need to practice with, they see shooting a gun as a fun, recreational activity to be enjoyed with family and friends.

More on this tomorrow.

Product Review: MagGuts Ruger LCP +1 Magazine Follower

Product Review: MagGuts Ruger LCP +1 Magazine Follower

I’ve carried around a compact .380 for over ten years now, and I’m pretty comfortable with what they can and can’t do. One of the more obvious things they can’t do is shoot a lot of bullets without reloading. The magazine in my old P3AT held seven rounds and my LCP2 holds just six, and while both have a higher capacity than a five shot .38 snubbie, no one ever complained they had too many bullets in their gun after the firefight was over.

I had good luck with MagGuts products in my Shield: Their +1 follower for that gun installed quickly and easily and is proving to be reliable in that gun, so I thought I’d give their version for the LCP2 a try as well.

The MagGuts +1 Follower for the LCP2 is slightly different than the one for the Shield: Rather than a one-piece spring, the +1 follower for the LCP2 magazine has a two-piece spring, with a flat ribbon spring that nestles into a pocket into the top spring, and then that fits into the bottom of the new, slimmer follower for your magazine.

MagGuts +1 Follower

I installed that top spring the wrong way on my first try and couldn’t fit the as-promised seven rounds into my magazine (whoops), but the people at MagGuts quickly set me straight, and yes, seven rounds can fit into a standard LCP2 magazine.

On the range, shooting a mixture of PMC 90 grain FMJ and Hornady XTP JHPs. The follower worked fine for the first 50 or so rounds, and then things started to get a little… weird. Over the course of 150 rounds, I had three failures to extract, and the gun did not lock back of several occasions.

Now granted, the LCP2 isn’t the most rock-solid reliable gun on the planet, but still, one failure every 50 rounds gives me pause. With that failure rate, this is just not something I’m willing to carry on a full-time basis, especially since Ruger now makes a seven-round magazine for LCP2.

Rob Pincus Is Right.

Rob Pincus Is Right.

“Let’s go talk to ‘they’. Let’s go influence the culture outside of this room, and that starts with influencing the culture inside of this room.”

Gun owners need to learn to switch from being ideologically-based to being inclusive.

Inclusivity doesn’t mean giving up your standards, rather, it means finding as many people as you can who agree with your goals, and bringing them into the fold. It means finding fellow travelers on the road to personal security, and marching alongside side in order to support THEIR cause as well as ours.

Black Guns Matter, Pink Pistols and the plethora of woman’s shooting groups out there are just one of the ways to do that, and they’re working: We are peeling away bits and pieces of the monolithic anti-gun juggernaut, but more is always needed.

I’m tired to fighting battles to keep the our innate right of armed self-protection: I want a world where the idea of taking away the right of self-protection is laughed out of polite society like chemtrails are. I want people who believe in the insane idea that a disarmed populace is somehow a safer populace treated with the same skepticism as UFO conspiracists. I want “gun control” to be so toxic, only the most wacked-out, flaky politicians in Washington are talking about it.

Why? Well, to borrow a phrase from every concealed carry class everywhere, the best (2nd Amendment) battles are the ones we don’t have to fight. Let’s stop fighting battles, and get on with the business of winning the war.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

Some great tips for maximizing your time on an indoor range.

Police lives matter. So does my life.

Top Six Gun Store Pet Peeves. Stocking ammo is a tough call… you have to carry every kind of ammo there is, or carry nothing. But the website thing? Oh yeah.

I apologize for nothing.

Seven essential accessories for your new defensive pistol.

Hey, Gun Culture 1.0… Now that you’ve realized that you need to grow, here’s how you do it.

What’s wrong with 3 Gun, and how to fix it.

Colt 2000 .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge – Rounds 1596 – 1795

Colt 2000 .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge – Rounds 1596 – 1795

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.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
200 Rounds Remington UMC 230 Grain FMJ

Results:

1795 Rounds Fired
One Double Feed, Round #1347 (Remington UMC)
One Failure To Feed, Round #1568 (MagTech Defender)
One Failure To Feed, Round #1574 (MagTech Defender)

… And All That Jazz

… And All That Jazz

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.

Colt 2000 .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge – Rounds 1401 – 1595

Colt 2000 .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge – Rounds 1401 – 1595

So first, the bad news: The Colt Competition 1911 choked on two rounds of MagTech +P 165gr First Defense ammo, with two FTF’s out of the 20 rounds I shot.

Ick.

I also had some issues again with the 1911 not going into battery after a shot, but those went away when I gripped the gun tighter, so I am putting those me, not the gun.

Most of the ammo in this test was shot at the weekly practical pistol match at Louland, where once again I won Single Stack (mostly because I was the only one shooting Single Stack), and the rest was during some practice drills at a friend of mine’s backyard range.

Now, the good news. I shot a clean Dot Torture with the gun, and qualified as Expert (!) in CDP on the IDPA 5×5 Drill with a cumulative score of 25.82.

Colt 1911 CDP Classifier

Yes, there a couple of iffy hits on that Dot Torture target, but if you look at how the IDPA target is held up with wire sign stands, there was a wind blowing the day I shot that drill and it blew the target back on more than a few shots. With a more-solid target stand, there’d be a lot more one-hole groups on that target.

Classifying as Expert in CDP kinda blew me away… I’ve never shot that Classifier before, so to hit that plateau on my first try, with a gun that I’ve been shooting for less than a year, is kinda cool. What’s even more interesting is that I had two shots on Stage 2 when the pistol didn’t go into battery on me (my fault), so I could have shot it even faster…

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
150 Rounds Remington UMC 230 Grain FMJ
20 Rounds Magtech 165 gr +P SCHP First Defense
25 Rounds Remington Golden Saber

Results:

1595 Rounds Fired
One Double Feed, Round #1347
One Failure To Feed, Round #1568
One Failure To Feed, Round #1574

 

Hmmn, This Could Be Interesting.

Hmmn, This Could Be Interesting.

ShootingClasses.com bills itself as “Online Class Management For Instructors.” In the email that they sent me after I signed up, they describe their site as:

Guided by industry expertise and instructor feedback, ShootingClasses.com is an online system that simplifies the administrative side of the teaching process for instructors, helps students find an instructor in their area and even allows range owners to connect with instructors and students.

Interesting idea. I’ve been batting around doing something similar, as there is no “one stop shop” for finding out about new training opportunities in any given area (I found out about the SouthNarc and Vogel classes near me by accident), so someplace that lists all opportunities in a given area would be really useful.

Plus there’s the whole registration thing, where people are using a mishmash of EventBrite and WordPress plugins and all kinds of other stuff to sign up people online. This site might solve a bunch of problems at once.

Project ULTRA

Project ULTRA

In addition to being a gun nut, I’m a bit of a theme park / roller coaster nerd, so when something like this pops up that combines those two worlds, it piques my interest.

What happens when you attempt to create a living world, 100% immersed in the theme of a fictional universe? A world in which both employees and guests are encouraged to live and dress the part 24-hours a day? Before too long the world will find out.

To take that once step beyond, what happens when gun tourism goes full special operator, and you have something like The Jack Ryan Experience combined with a nice hotel that goes full Taran Butler / John Wick?