Character Is What You Are In The Dark.

We must work, for the night, she is coming!

Time and time again, I see people in the gun world, people who preach de-escalation as being vital to self-defense, being unwilling or unable to de-escalate personal spats online, leading to butthurt galore and all sorts of unnecessary drama.

If you can’t de-escalate a virtual spat, it brings into question your ability to de-escalate a spat in real life.

At the very least, it gives a prosecutor a little more ammunition to shoot at you in court: “Your Honor, the State would like to enter into evidence the following online exchange to show that the defendant has a temper and was itchin’ to start a fight that evening…”

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 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.

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.

Say When.

It was interesting reading this bit from Greg Elifritz on choosing the right time to get violent, especially considering that he posted it almost two years before John Corriea talked about the same sort of thing over there. Both guys came to pretty much the same the conclusion, but using different methods.

It’s something I think we need to think about more. The cliché you see in an NRA Personal Protection Class (and elsewhere) is the bad gun (always a bad GUY) jumping out from behind a car with a knife and shouts out “GIMMEALLYOURMONEYRIGHTNOWORI’LLKILL!!”

But lets face it, we’re probably more likely to stumble into something already in progress or be caught on the fringe of something that goes down in front of us than to have the mugger-in-the-car-lot scenario happen to us, or we’ll be involved in a “monkey dance” situation with a stranger (or more likely, a family member or friend) that we just can’t de-escalate fast enough.

Then what?

Well, the five things that Andrew Branca talks about all better be in-place, or else you’re in a heap of trouble.

Dear NRA,

You’re talking about your Carry Guard concealed carry insurance rather frequently as of late. You also have had some recent issues with your training department.

Oh, and people aren’t signing up for post-CCW training like they should.

That too.

Here’s the thing: If I’m a safe driver, I get a discount on my car insurance. My homeowner’s insurance is less because I live in a decent neighborhood.I get lower rates for health insurance because I’m a non-smoker with no history of heart disease in my family, and drink alcohol only in moderation.

At this moment in my life, I have over three hundred hours of formal firearms training, and there’s more (a lot more) in my future. I’ve taken a MAG40 and an Andrew Branca class, trained with Leatham and Vogel and I’ve shot dozens and dozens of matches where I need to make snap shoot/no shoot decisions under the (simulated) pressure of a clock and the unyielding gaze of my peers.

With all of this training and a history of safe gun handling under pressure, why don’t I get a discount on my concealed carry insurance?

Based on my lifestyle and training, am I really the same risk to need insurance as some yayoo with a Threeper tat and a “I Don’t Dial 911, I dial 1911” sticker on his car? I don’t think so, but in the eyes of the actuaries behind concealed carry insurance, I am.

Want to make post-CCW training more popular? Introduce monetary incentives into the equation, and watch the signups roll in for BOTH training and self-defense insurance.

Discrete CCW Update

quietly armed

Two things happened recently that have affected my choices of gear in discrete environments. One was listening to legendary mustache lawman Chuck Haggard talk about how he would advise people to carry a spicy treat dispenser rather than a reload, and the second is reading John Correia of Active Self Protection talk about how, out of the 10,000 gunfight’s he’s analyzed on video, a civilian has never had to reload, not even once.

This is why I no longer carry a spare mag for the LCP2. When I’m in business casual, I can carry stuff in my pockets, and that’s about it, so I have to keep my gear down to the absolute minimum.

Current Discrete Carry, Clockwise from Upper Left
Sticky Holster Pocket Holster, strong side pocket
Ruger LCP2 With Crimson Trace Green Laser, in holster
Streamlight 2xAAA Stylus Pro flashlight, clipped to weak side pocket
LCP2 magazine, in gun
6+1 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense .380ACP, in magazine
CRKT Pazoda 2, clipped in weak side pocket next to flashlight
Sabre Red pepper spray, weak side pocket
Leatherman PS multitool, on keychain
Keys, weak side pocket
Wallet, weak side pocket

All of that disappears fairly easily into the pockets of my work khakis. I’m not 100% satisfied with carrying that pepper spray rattling around loose in my pocket, but it will do until I come up with something else. I had been carrying around a Photon Micro-Light II on my keychain, but I realized that I wasn’t using it, and if for some reason I needed a backup flashlight, there’s an app on my phone that will work just fine for that task.

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

This post shows up early and often for searches on “self defense insurance.” It’s a good post, and I’m proud of how it’s helped a bunch of people find the concealed carry insurance that was right for them.

But that post covers just the lower-end of the spectrum, not the “Cadillac” plans, and so I thought a follow-up post might come in handy so people can see for themselves how things shape up at the top end of the scale, and compare USCCA Elite CCW insurance versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus concealed carry legal insurance.

As always, remember that I am not lawyer nor do I give legal advice. Both companies post copies of their policies on their websites, and I urge you to read them over very carefully before you sign up for anything.

NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

Aside from all the benefits listed below, NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus comes with a one-year membership in the NRA. The NRA also recently had a “Carry Guard Expo” featuring training opportunities and a trade show, and instructors can also add NRA Carry Guard training to what they teach.

Coverage costs EITHER $550 a year OR $49 a month, and the NRA is promoting Carry Guard very heavily right now. The NRA’s coverage is “first dollar” coverage: You will have to pay for your lawyers in someway, then, if you are acquitted, the NRA will reimburse you. NRA CarryGuard also covers your spouse if they need to use a firearm to defend a life, and it covers firearms only, not the use of other means of lethal force.

USCCA Self Defense Shield Elite

USCCA membership comes with a subscription to Concealed Carry magazine (my first article for them should show up early next year), and coverage costs EITHER $497 a year or $47 a month. The USCCA puts on a “Concealed Carry Expo” each year, and has so for the past four years. The USCCA also has their own cadre of trainers with their own training program as well.

USCCA self-defense insurance covers your spouse and also covers anyone under the age of 21 in your household if they need to use lethal force to defend a life. They cover most means of lethal force (knives, pointed sticks, fresh fruit) as well as the use of a firearm. The USCCA’s coverage starts immediately, which means there is no out-of-pocket expenses incurred by you up to the limits of your policy if you are acquitted.

 NRA CarryGuard Gold+USCCA Elite
Monthy Fee OR$50$47
Yearly Fee (Not Both)$550$497
Criminal Coverage$250,000$250,000
Civil Coverage$1,500,000$2,000,000
BailYesYes
"First Dollar" CoverageNoYes
Spouse Also CoveredYesYes
Any WeaponNoYes
Wage Compensation While In CourtYesYes
Training ResourcesYesYes
Choose Your Own AttorneyYesYes
SIGN UPSIGN UP

Usual Disclaimer: I am an NRA member, though not a Carry Guard subscriber, and I am an affiliate of the USCCA. 

It’s The Little Things That Make All The Difference

Hi, my name’s Kevin, and I have a turtle draw: I hunch my shoulders up and drop my head down when I draw a pistol, and that’s affecting the speed and accuracy of my first shot. Why? To be honest, I blame the Combat Focus Shooting class I took way back in the day, where you’re taught to hunch up and hunker down as the first part of your draw stroke.

It’s affecting my speed because I’m moving more muscles than I need to in order to get my gun on-target. I don’t need to move my head, I need to move my hands and arms so my gun comes up to the level of my eyes and I have a decent enough sight picture to make the shot.

It’s affecting my accuracy because of my nearsightedness. I wear bifocals now, and part that sees close is the part at the bottom of each lens. When I turtle, because of angle of my head, I’m actually looking through the TOP of each lens, and as a result, my front sight is blurry.

Whoops.

Fortunately, a friend of mine on social media posted this video of Max Michel: Watch how his head moves during the draw.

Hint: It doesn’t.

A brief dry-fire session over the weekend with my new stance had me making consistent sub-1.5 second draws from concealment into the down zero area of an IDPA target that’s 7 yards away, including one that was darn close to one second flat.

I’ll take it.