Flash Site Pictures.

Flash Site Pictures.

I reviewed the Walther PPQ SC for Shooting Illustrated. It’s honestly hard to review guns these days, because it’s hard to find something wrong with guns these days. We are in a golden age of guns, which is great if you’re a consumer, but sucks if you’re looking to write a spicy review.

Oh, and I also channeled my inner Claude Werner and wrote an article on practicing at an indoor range.

I’ve carried concealed in an Inside-The-Waistband holster since Day One, so carrying in an Outside-The-Waistband holster took some getting used to, but I can see why people like it.

Speaking of Claude Werner, he’s got a great look at what’s really important for armed citizens.

Walmart is getting into the premium outdoor gear market. If they’re smart, they’ll learn from the mistakes that Dick’s have made and sell the sort of guns (AR-15s) they won’t sell in their big box stores.

How good is good enough? B Class USPSA, ish. Which is almost where I am, and that’s pretty cool.

You know what? 995 yards is a very, very long ways away.

Can You Keep A Secret?

Can You Keep A Secret?

Here’s the deal: About two months ago, my wallet flew out of my pocket while on a roller coaster at SeaWorld. The good news is, it’s probably at the bottom of a lake somewhere, so at worst, there is a ‘gator out there that is stealing my identity, but the bad news is, my entire life was in that wallet. My driver’s license, my Social Security Card, my Green Card and my concealed carry permit.

Now, to be fair, I.C.E. and the Florida DMV have actually been fairly amazing: I got my driver’s license back in a matter of minutes, and green card (while expensive to replace) was sent to me in a just a few weeks.

My concealed carry permit, on the other hand, took two months to replace.

Why? Is it REALLY that more involved a process to replace a state permit to carry a gun than it is a federal permit that says I can live here permanently? And why did it take me 15 minutes to replace one state permit (my driver’s license) but 86,400 minutes to replace another?

Get on the ball, Tallahassee. This sort of thing is embarrassing.

In the meantime, not having my permit meant I couldn’t carry a weapon. The pistol obviously falls under this restriction, and Florida’s carry laws are so vague, I wasn’t sure about my centerline knife either (heck, even my auto-opener was on the bubble).

Not no more. While it feels good to walk around with all my accoutrements in-place once more, the fact of the matter is a) I live in a really quiet, well-upholstered section of God’s Waiting Room, so my chances of a stupid thing happening to me are quiet small to begin and b) I’m to the point that I can spot the potential for a stupid thing to happen LONG before it actually occurs.

But still, it’s nice to have all my options with me once more.

Narrative Matters.

Narrative Matters.

First off, pretty much every single firearms trainer out there needs to watch this short video on how to give a presentation.

It’s given by Garr Reynolds, who makes his living helping the world’s biggest companies do better presentations, and it got me thinking…

I’ve mentioned this before, but when I took my CCW class many years ago, my teacher told me that only one in three of us would take the steps needed to make concealed carry a regular part of our life.

Firearms trainers are pretty good at teaching technique, where we suck, however, is helping people live a new lifestyle. This is because we approach concealed carry as a thing to be learned, not a life to be led.

Duh.

Make your course about how their lives will change for the better. Mix in some fear because it is a scary world, after all, but give them a reason to WANT to carry their guns, rather than a fear that they need to carry them or they’ll die.

Don’t just survive, but thrive.

Minimalist Training.

Minimalist Training.

My current job is a casual dress environment, so for the first time since I started carrying on a regular basis, I’m NOT pocket-carrying a .380 four days out of seven, I’m carrying something more substantial pretty much all the time.

Do I feel more safe now that I have more firepower with me? No, not really. I know what each of the guns I carry on a regular basis is and is not capable of, and I adjust my worldview accordingly. We preach that it’s not the tools, it’s the training and mindset, then we tell people that if they don’t carry at least a Glock 19, they’re not taking things seriously.

But.

I think some of that reaction is actually “If you show up to my training class with anything less than a Glock 19, you’re not taking things seriously,” and there’s an element of truth to that. Taking classes with a tiny 9mm or less sucks: I accept the fact that I am not going to win the coin or find myself $5 richer. All humility aside, though, I shoot my Shield well enough to take it to a good class, and as a result, I get training that is 100% relative to what I carry.

However, for the average schmoe, unless it’s one of Claude’s or Chuck’s classes on pocket guns or something similar, showing up to train with a snubbie is an invitation to a lot of frustration.

So what needs to change? The standards for what a “responsible” gun owner should carry, or the training that teaches them to be responsible?

The White Stripes.

The White Stripes.

There are reasons why martial arts dojos hand out stripes to the white belts: They help build confidence and encourage people to come back for more training beyond the basics.

Which got me thinking. What are the post-CCW stripes out there? What incentives do you give your students to do more besides a printed-out Microsoft Word Template that says you completed the bare minimum of training needed to carry a gun around in your state?

Standards matter. You and I may know what a clean Dot Torture says about your ability to shoot, but to a person on the street, it doesn’t seem that hard, and more importantly, it’s not a badge of recognition that is immediately identifiable as a significant accomplishment. The various state-level concealed carry tests scattered throughout Claude’s book are a great start, and it’s got me wondering if there are more tests out there that are recognizable outside the gun community more than a clean 5×5 is, but are less demanding than an FBI qual. Think if it as the qual you shoot before shooting the FBI qual.

The various military and police qualifiers come to mind. The Marine Corps test ain’t that hard, but it’s one of the very few that has something that even approaches testing the skills that armed citizens learn in their classes.

So what tests are out there that a guy on the street can immediately identify as being legit, but are able to be shot fairly well by a new shooter?

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

I did the writeup on the new Springfield Armory XD-S MOD2 for Shooting Illustrated. I honestly don’t get all the hate for the XD platform, but then again, I only shot 300 rounds through it. However, I think it’s great choice for people who will never go to Gunsite or Rogers.

I overheard someone talking about their experience at the same knife defense class I went to, and the response they got was “You carry a gun: Why do you need to learn how to use a knife?” Well, this is why you need to learn how to defend yourself from 1 inch on out to 100 yards and beyond.

Google bans firearms sales apps. Kinda surprised they allowed them in the first place.

Everyone who’s new to concealed carry thinks that everyone around them can see that they’re carrying a gun. And everyone is wrong about that.

This isn’t going to end well.

As I’m going to a class on long-range shooting next week, I’ve been reading a lot about ramping up your long-range game, including this article on how to determine wind direction and this one on at-home precision rifle drills.

 

Speed. Rocks.

Speed. Rocks.

The Sharp Dressed Shooter is a great resource for those of us who want to protect ourselves whilst wearing something other than jeans and a t-shirt. He’s got a great video on Instagram showing the right way to draw from a tuckable holster. and by my count, it takes him about 2.5 seconds from the decision to draw to when the gun is up on target. This is quite fast for such a holster, and it’s obviously a product of hard work, practice, and a dedication to his craft.

But.

The movement required to lift and clear your cover garment, get a good firing grip on the gun and then get it into play all scream out “HEY EVERYONE, I’M DRAWING MY GUN NOW!!!!!,” which is just fine for times when drawing a gun is really, really needed.

But.

We know from listening to John Corriea’s narrated videos that a smooth, stealthy draw is needed almost as often as smooth fast draw is needed. Hence the problem with relying solely on a tuckable holster for (really) discrete carry: They’re a very good way to carry more than a pocket gun, but they are not a good way to get your gun out discretely if you need to.

Which is why I pocket-carry a .380 if I need to be a little more subtle than normal. My pre-draw routine with a pocket rocket is me casually putting my hand into my pants pocket, which looks exactly like me… casually putting my hand into my pocket. This is different than a tuckable holster or an ankle holster or any of the other options for really discreet carry: The pre-draw routine for all of those looks like someone trying to get a gun out from hiding, which is exactly what they are.

If you carry something bigger in a tucked-in tuckable holster, that’s great, you’re ahead of almost everyone else out there. Just consider adding something to your mix that allows you to get your gear into play without looking like you’re getting your gear into play.

(Insight)^2.

(Insight)^2.

Take a few moments to read David Yamane’s review of “Citizen Protectors,” Jennifer Carlson’s book on the sociology of guns in America.

Two big takeaways:

“Guns solve problems for the people who bear them.”

This. A gazillion times this. I, along with millions of other responsible gun owners in America, take the time and effort to maximize the benefits of owning a gun, while minimizing the drawbacks. I want my guns to SOLVE problems, not cause them.

Secondly is this quote:

“The National Rifle Association is a quasi-regulatory agency governing concealed carry in the United States.

The VAST majority of concealed carry instructors in the U.S. get certified to teach concealed carry in their state because they are certified by the NRA as a qualified instructor. As such, NRA Training is pretty much the standard (how rigorous of a standard is a topic for another post.

 

What We Are Not.

What We Are Not.

I’m not sure if Concealed Nation is trolling us or not here, but this is pretty much everything you don’t want to do if you’re an armed citizen. All that’s missing is a Concealed Carry badge.

The funny thing is, though, that aside from some bad decisions about ammo, handcuffs, holsters and a useless micro cassette recorder, I carry variations of what he carries. Instead of a SIG 229, I carry a Shield. I carry a multitool, and a knife, and a flashlight, and pepper spray.

It’s not WHAT you carry, it’s why you carry it. This gentleman obviously proud of his law enforcement training and sees his role as an armed citizen to be a cop, sans badge.

This is not my role. My role is much more personal. I’m concerned about my health and the health of those dear to me. I’m not carrying a gun to right society’s wrongs, I carry a gun so I can emerged unscathed should bad things happen to me.

Why, it’s almost as if the mission drives the equipment, or something…

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 801 – 1000

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 801 – 1000

Halfway there! I shot the weekly practical pistol match at Louland last week with the Colt 1911, giving it a chance to show its stuff in its natural environment, a practical pistol match. The match there is lightweight and easy to shoot, with the stages being all-steel and shot from designated shooting boxes.

It’s not really friendly to 1911’s, though, and there was one stage where there was ten, (count ’em) ten shots to be had from one shooting box.

Standing reloads suck.

The good news is, aside from my reloads, I’m really starting to get a handle on how this gun shoots. I had a great Stage One, where my split times were pretty much identical to my CZ times, although my reloads continue to be a dumpster fire.

That used up about 120 rounds, and I shot the remaining 50 or so rounds qualifying for the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor training, and the rest after that was over.

But that’s another story.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
200 Rounds Remington UMC 230gr FMJ .45ACP

Results:

No issues.

Thanks again to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.