Current Semi-Formal Carry

As I’m carrying around the LCP][ now instead of a P3AT, I thought a brief update was in order. Clockwise from upper left.

Looking over everything, I could really use a tourniquet of some kind and more options for less-lethal. However, there is just X amount of room in a pair of dress pants, and since the strong-side front pocket is completely dedicated to gun and holster, the weak side pocket has to carry everything else, and it can get a little crowded in there.

And no, carrying in an ankle holster is right out. Can’t stand the way they feel, and I tend to cross my legs when I’m sitting, increasing the odds of something on my ankle getting spotted.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 485 – 635

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

LCPII FTEMy life’s been pretty hectic these past few weeks, but now that I’m back home (for awhile, at least), I had the time to head out to the range and put more rounds through the LCPII.

Really starting to like this little gun.

The range session did not start well: I had a Failure To Eject on round #4 of the first magazine, but the other 149 rounds ran fine. I concentrated on running the gun in some drills more oriented to self-defense, as I’ve decided to start carrying the LCPII four days out of seven, and this little gun did not disappoint.

One thing I’m finding out about this gun is that it’s surprisingly easy to shoot one-handed. A gun this small doesn’t have a lot of real eastate for your weak hand to hand onto and it’s so light, it’s easy to hold for long period of times in one hand. As a result, going from two-handed to strong hand only is not that big of a jump, and shooting it one-handed doesn’t affect accuracy all that much. Speed, yes (the lil’ sucker does jump around a bit), but accuracy, no.

CLP Defensive Drills

That’s 150 rounds of PMC Bronze FMJ shot as fast as I could settle the sights near the target and as fast as I could pull the trigger. I didn’t have a timer running, but based on other range days with this gun, I’m guessing my splits were around 0.3 to 0.5 seconds. Is that fast enough to become a BUG Gun Master? Oh no. Is it fast accurate enough to make it through a lethal force encounter?

Probably.

All 150 rounds were shot from hree to seven yards distance. This is NOT a long-range gun, 7 yards (maybe even 10, on a good day) is about the furthest distance I’d feel comfortable shooting this gun. Most of the 150 rounds were shot with both hands on the gun, though some were shot strong hand / weak hand only (about 50 rounds or so). Some were shot with diagonal or backwards movement, some not. The point of this wasn’t to put a one-hole group on paper, it was to see how the gun and myself work under stressful conditions, and I’m satisfied with the results so far.

But I’m always trying to get better.

One FTE on round #4, (round number 489 since it was cleaned, and the 3rd FTE so far).

Rounds Fired : 150
150 Rounds PMC Bronze

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 635.
One possible failure to eject on round 116, two failures to eject, rounds 400 and 489.

Begin with Agreement and work from there.

The “conversation about guns” is turning in our direction. Keep it going. People, even liberals, are starting to understand that they are their own first responder. Emphasize safety, both yours and everyone else’s. No one thinks you shouldn’t protect your kids. No one thinks that learning first aid is a bad idea. No one thinks that flashlights aren’t handy. Nobody freaks out over a Swiss Army knife, except over-enthusiastic enforcers of “zero tolerance” policies. Start with the points you agree on, then work from there. Make it personal. Talk about your family, and how your love for them drives what you’re doing. Bring it down from the 10,000 foot level of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!” and the finer points of Constitutional Law to stories about why you want to stay safe. If they have a point that you agree on, like keeping guns out of the hands of violent felons or away from toddlers, agree with them, because it makes you and your positions more reasonable. Gun owners have been portrayed as wanting to shove guns into the hands of four year olds.

Prove them wrong.

Cajun Gun Works Does Nice Stuff.

Yes, they do take a while to do it, but they turn out really good stuff when they’re done.

I ran into an issue with my P-07 earlier this year: The firing pin in the darn thing wouldn’t pop primers, and I didn’t have a pistol so much as a lightweight polymer club. I had been wanting to change out the sights in it for a while, because the Meprolight night sights on it kinda sucked (the front sight is monstrous and fills up most of the rear notch, making precision shooting with it pretty much impossible. I wanted something that mimicked the same sight picture I got when I shot Bob Vogel’s gun last year, and Cajun Gun Works’ EZ/D sight set looked pretty much the same, so I decided to kill two birds with one FedEx box and send off my P07 to them for repair and new sights.

I’ll have to wait until the weekend to test how well the gun works now, but the new sights are terrific. Clear and precise, with is nice, deep sight rear notch that makes it easy to find the fiber-optic front sight.

CZ P07 Competition sights

Finding a good set of sights for this gun has been a challenge, as it is for any gun with a less-than-Glock market share, but if you’re looking for competition sights for your P-07, take a look at Cajun Gun Works EZ/D sights.

Security Theater.

Those of you who know me on social media know that I spent the weekend at two theme parks in the central Florida area. Both parks are “weapons-free zones” that have metal detectors and bag searches before you walk through the park gates, so surely you couldn’t get a gun or a knife through such air-tight security, right?

And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Gaza to sell you.

I waltzed through the security checkpoints both days with my cell phone, a Coast flashlight (neither of which raised any eyebrows) and my lightweight emergency tourniquet, which looks like the nylon coin purse it really is. I had my Boker knife in my wallet, and on the second day, I carried around the ABDO safe with me, and that passed right through the bag search at the park because it looks like a big ol’ cell phone case it’s meant to look like. I know that I can fit an LCP ][ and a spare mag into that case, which means that even in a non-permissive environment, I can carry a gun along with a cell phone, spare mag, flashlight and a knife, the four things I recommend for concealed carry EVERY day, and also had a tourniquet on me in case that was needed.

Keep in mind that I in no way recommend you do similar, because that might be construed as telling you how to subvert Florida’s gun laws, and that would be a BAD thing, so don’t do this.

Even though you can if you want to.

Definable, Verifiable, Logical, Repeatable.

MAG Qualifier

One of things I liked about my MAG40 class was that the Qualifier at the end of the class is based on police qualifiers from around the country, and the that your results on the test are documented by the instructor at the end of the class.

This may not seem like much, but if, God forbid, you do need to use a gun in defense of a life and are taken to court afterwards, wouldn’t it be nice to have some hard, verifiable data about how effective a marksman you are versus an instructor who shuns standardized testing testifying that you’re a pretty decent shooter.
Or something. Which is good, until opposing counsel produces THEIR expert witness who shreds the testimony of said instructor like it’s pulled pork at a Carolina barbecue.

Documented test results are not subject cross-examination. They stand on their own accord, and a mighty ally to have on your side during a courtroom cage match, and the CSI Effect can have a strong effect on juries.

This was one of the reasons why I shot the test with my carry gun and holster, not a competition gun. Could I have scored better with one of the CZ-75’s I shoot in USPSA Production? Sure. Do I carry that gun? Nope. Shooting this test with my carry gear helps me establish what my baseline is for street work. My baseline for pistol bay work is established by my USPSA and IDPA Classifier scores (which, to be truthful, need some help).

Gun Culture From The Inside Out.

As I’ve said before, I believe a big part of the growth in ‘Gun Culture 2.0″ has been driven by fear, either the fear of a President that will severely restrict the individual right to keep and bear arms, or the fear of antifa, $VAR Lives Matter or another one of the organized, terrorist-leaning forces out there.

To paraphrase Clint Smith, do I carry a gun because I’m afraid? Of course not! I’ve got a gun, and I know how and when to use it, so why should I be afraid?

While my lack of fear is based on good equipment and good training, the fact is, most people who buy a gun buy it and then bask in the false sense of security that having a household protection idol gun inside their home provides them. While you and I know that the sense of security that an unloaded gun under a bed (or similar) provides is a false sense of security, it’s important to remember that it appears very, very real to the people who have guns under their beds. You don’t know you’re actually on Mount Stupid until you find yourself falling off a cliff.

Fear is to be a poor motivator for post-CCW training from here on out. Can people be motivated by other emotions besides fear to get post-CCW training? Dunno. Can we? I hope so.

After Action Report: MAG40 At Safety Solutions Academy

“Front sight, crush grip and a smooth roll on the trigger is the last cheat sheet before the ultimate final exam.”
– Massad Ayoob

I was trying to define why I wanted to take this class, but I can’t do a better job than how my friend Tam described it, “A MAG40 class from Massad Ayoob,” she said, “is one of the stations of the cross for people seriously interested in developing their ability with the defensive pistol.” Massad has been writing about and teaching the defensive pistol for decades now, and he is THE person when it comes to dealing with the legal after-effects of using a pistol to defend your life. Let’s face it, we lost Rauch, we lost Cooper, we lost Cirillo and the number of trainers like Massad Ayoob, who have been there from the very start, is growing smaller with each passing year.
The class was hosted by Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy. The range portion was taught at The Southington Hunt Club by David Maglio, a veteran law enforcement officer and senior instructor with the Massad Ayoob Group, and the classroom legal stuff was taught at a nearby hotel meeting room by Mas himself.

MAG20 Range Practice

The Range: MAG20 Live Fire

The first day started off with training safety, stances, grip… the usual stuff. I came into this class not expecting to learn something new during the range portion, but I was pleasantly surprised when I learned how to significantly improve my strong-hand only/weak-hand only shooting, something that’s eluded for me YEARS. The MAG20 qualifier is based on elements from various police qualification courses and to be honest, it’s not that hard. I was more handicapped by my out-of-date prescription lenses than I was by the course of fire. Nevertheless, I managed to shoot 96% on it with my tiny little S&W Shield, a feat that I am somewhat proud of.

The Classroom: MAG20 Armed Citizens Rules Of Engagement.

Let’s face it: 99% of what we know about how to defend ourselves in the courtroom after a defensive gun use comes from what Massad Ayoob has been teaching all these years, and I had heard much of it before. However, just because you’ve listened to a lot of rock and roll, it doesn’t mean you understand how good Chuck Berry really was, and Massad Ayoob is the Chuck Berry of defending the use of lethal force in self-defense inside the courtroom. The advice he gave out in class was simple, sound and is rooted in years and years of defending the legal use of self-defense in our nation’s courts. One thing that I learned in the MAG20 classroom made so much sense, I thought I’d share it here.
We’ve heard, over and over again, not to use hand-loaded ammunition in our self-defense guns, but what I never knew before this class was WHY.
The answer is quite simple: If (God forbid) we need to defend a life with our gun, our gun and the ammunition it contains will become evidence, and the court may need to replicate the circumstances surrounding our defensive gun use, up to and including shooting similar guns using similar ammunition to replicate the circumstances before, during and after we pulled the trigger.
With factory ammo, this is not a problem, as example rounds are kept of each case lot of ammo at the factory, but how do we replicate a hand load without the defendant (us) pulling the handle on the press? Could that be an issue in a defensive gun use that might invalidate evidence that would otherwise free us for the court’s grasp?

You bet it is.

I was also pleased that Massad’s comment about the influx of military trainers into the United States mirrors my own thoughts. As he put it, “A whole lot of the wartime rules of engagement do not apply to armed civilians and law enforcement inside the United States.” Not that there’s anything wrong with learning from someone who’s been in the military, but if, say, you take a course in Medieval Spanish literature, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t help you order up some food in a backstreet cantina in Hermosillo.
You may think that a class like this is something for the hard core student of the gun, but you’d be wrong. In our class of nine, there was one guy, Javier, who had never taken a firearms training class of any kind before in his life. His progression as a shooter over the two days on the range was a joy to watch, and he was hailed at the end of the class as the most-improved person in the class because, well, he was.
If Javier can do it, so can you, and that’s just one of the reasons why I’d recommend taking a MAG40.

Trust Icons.

Or, I have not come to bury using a military background to teach concealed carry to civilians, but to praise it.

Let’s face it: Being able to trumpet your history of shooting people in the face to people who are worried about being shot in the face helps us believe that you’ll help us not get shot in the face.

That’s a big, big advantage in marketing, because we make purchasing decisions with our emotions, then we justify that decision with our intellect. Being able to cozy up to the emotions instilled by service in the military or law enforcement affects us at a visceral level that is not easily matched.

Now, should we immediately believe that someone who has shot people in the face is a good civilian firearms instructor? Of course not! It doesn’t matter if said face-shooter is really, really good with a pistol, because unless they’re really, really good at translating what they’ve learned about shooting the pistol and can re-interpret that knowledge into something that’s applicable to our lives as civilian, it’s not that useful for someone who doesn’t wear a uniform and body armor for a living.

Bottom line is, look at the trust icons that someone with military is using as a bonafides for firearm training, then verify that what they’re teaching is usable in your daily life.

Recoil In Horror? No, Recoil In Delight!

It’s fun working with super-smart people, and the super-smart people I’m working with on the Interactive Pistol Training System have figured out a way to add recoil into the system, a way that DOESN’T involve CO2 cartridges or any other chemical means.

What is it? Can’t say. Super secret sauce stuff. But it will work, and it will simulate recoil.

If you’ve been on the fence about backing the Indiegogo project, now is the time to jump off and join in.