Changing Things Up A Bit.

Changing Things Up A Bit.

CZ P07

I don’t have a “carry rotation” of defensive pistols. I carry an LCPII if I need to be discrete, and either an S&W Shield or a CZ P07 for other purposes. I made the decision last year to go with the Shield as my primary gun, and it’s worked really well for me. The Shield is skinny and light (two BIG advantages in a concealed carry pistol) and I know that I can get first-shot hits with it out to 50 yards in under 3 seconds because Jeff Street has watched me do it.

But the Shield has one big drawback: It can hold 8 rounds max in the magazine, or 10 rounds if I want to make my gun print a little more. I’m not expecting to get into a gun fight where I’m going to need an extendo clip, but then again, I’m not expecting to get into a gunfight AT ALL.

But.

I’m not a fan of how things are headed as of late, and being on my own for a few days has increased my awareness of how badly things can go wrong if and when they go wrong. Yes, the statistics clearly prove that 8+1 plus another 8 on the belt will get me through any bad things that might be headed my way, however, having double the boollits in the gun and double the boollits on my belt provides a level of comfort that is very, very real, so it’s back to the P07, at least for a while.

I’m also wearing sandals less-frequently, and wearing shoes that I can run in more often (which can be a real hardship here in sunny Florida). I’m also figuring out ways I can carry my cheap and dirty trauma kit with me all the time, not just when I’m wearing a pair of jeans.

Is it silly to do such things? Yes, right up to the point when it’s not.

Lessons From Garland.

Lessons From Garland.

Garland Attack

“When a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with a pistol will be a dead man!”

Ramon Rojo 

“The hell you say.”

Garland Texas Police Officer Greg Stevens 

Stevens immediately drew his Glock 21 pistol and engaged Simpson with four to five rounds as Simpson fired at him and Joiner with the rifle.

As Stevens fired, he slowly advanced on the suspects from 15 yards away, pressing the attack on the pair as he fired “rhythmically,” obtaining a “decent sight picture” for each round. Stevens was conscious of the fact he had to make his hits count, and his deliberation was rewarded with the sight of Simpson falling to the ground and dropping his rifle.

Switching to the next threat, Stevens pivoted to the left and fired at the driver, Nadir Soofi, who also wore soft armor and LBE, and had a backpack and a pistol. As Soofi rounded the back of the car with his rifle raised in the firing position, his left side was exposed to Stevens, who drew careful aim and shot Soofi in the elbow, above the elbow, the side of the chest and the shoulder, as he continued to advance and fire at a controlled pace.

Read the whole thing: It’s an absolutely rivetng after-action report, full of lessons for all of us.

One thing I will note is how “situational awareness” played a part in Officer Stevens’ success. He knew that because of the detail he was on, there was an increased chance of an attack, so he was in a more-alert state than if he was processing paperwork in his patrol car. As such, when a car rolled up with out-of-state plates and blocked an entry to the venue he was watching, he was on high alert, knowing that the potential for trouble was even more greater now. When the balloon eventually did go up, he didn’t hesitate: There was no ramp-up time to combat mode because he had already crossed those bridges way before two guys with AK’s popped out of the car.

There are those who say that situational awareness is of marginal use in a self-defense situation, that when lightning strikes, you should learn how to react quickly, and not worry about what happened beforehand.

I say that lightning only strikes after the thunderclouds have rolled in, and if you’re paying attention, you can see (and hear) those clouds coming in from miles away.

The First Step Is The One That Counts.

The First Step Is The One That Counts.

I noticed something interesting during my too-brief time behind the gun counter: Elderly people would shy away from even mid-sized guns like the Glock 19 and LC9, and immediately assume that smaller guns like the SIG P238 and Ruger LCP would be easier for them to handle. The feeling in their minds was that smaller guns = smaller recoil, which is, of course, not the case.

Not by a long shot.

The other thing I noticed was their reaction to failing to perform the (apparently) simple task of cycling the slide.

Think about it: What’s the first thing that any (competent) gun store clerk does when pulling a gun out of the case? They drop the mag (if there is one) and cycle the action to prove that the gun is unloaded (Rule 1!) and then hand it to the customer. We do it so often, it’s like breathing to us, and we make it look like it’s a super-easy task to perform.

But what if, for reasons of age and/or upper body strength, it’s not a super-easy task to perform? All of a sudden, a basic task that signals the start of using a gun is an impossible thing to perform, which creates doubts in the person’s mind… if I can’t do THAT, what else can I not do?

Yes, this seems silly to those of us who shoot a lot and can cycle a slide in our sleep, but I assure you, it’s really, and it sold a LOT of P238’s, a small gun that is (relatively) easy to shoot and very easy to cycle.

IPhone Guns, IPad Guns.

iPhone Guns, iPad Guns.

Thinking more about yesterday’s post, I upgrade my phone almost every two years like clockwork, because I rely on it to run my life. From photos to movie-watching to games to writing, it’s pretty much my go-to device when I’m not at work. Why? Well, to borrow from Stephen Miller, in today’s world, if you can’t do it on your phone, it doesn’t matter.

But my iPad? My iPad is for media consumption and games, not work. It’s, oh, five years old, at least, and beat to crap.

How many consumers have an iPad of guns, and how many have iPhones? How many people have something that they use only on occasion and never carry with them them, versus something that’s an essential part of their lives?

How do we convince people that their iPad needs to become an iPhone?

The Short, Happy Life Of Tactical Timmy*.

The Short, Happy Life Of Tactical Timmy*.

Maybe one of the things that makes the SpecOps lifestyle so attractive to we in Gun Culture 2.0 is because they tell really, really good stories, and that’s important to us.

We need heroes. We need to aspire to be something that’s more than we are right now, and let’s face it, there are very few really extraordinary armed civilians out there. Most of them are schlubs like me, and that’s totally cool. I’m not all that extraordinary, and quite honestly, neither or most of my friends.

But Green Berets, MARSOC, Navy SEALS? Them’s extraordinary people who tell extraordinary stories.

Gun Culture 1.0 had extraordinary hunters who went to far-off strange places and turned out some great hunting stories from their exploits.

Is it any wonder, then, that we in Gun Culture 2.0 idolize the men of today who go off to far-off strange places and do extraordinary things in order to keep us safe at home?


* Bonus points if you got the literary reference in the title…

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 736 To 836.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 736 to 836.

100 more rounds of Lucky Gunner’s PMC Bronze .380ACP ammo went through the LCP][ last weekend, and nothing happened except loud noises were made and 100 holes appeared in a piece of paper.

100 rounds of lucky gunner ammoJust like the previous occasions when I shot this gun, I’m not wasting my time trying to shoot one-hole groups with this pistol. That’s not the purpose of this gun: This gun is meant to be used to quickly put as many rounds into a target that’s well within the Tueller scheme of things, and it does that job very well.

Most of these rounds were shot as fast as I could get the sights somewhere near center of the target (or as you can see, sometimes, I shot a little bit before that actually happened…) from a distance between three and seven yards, and mostly two-handed, with a few rounds shot strong hand only / weak hand only.

A couple of thoughts:

Once again, I was amazed at how easy the LCP][ is to shoot strong hand only. I chalk this up to the fact that there really isn’t a whole lot of room for your weak hand to grab onto something as you shoot the gun. Perversely, though, shooting it weak hand only was quite the chore: It felt strange, off-balance and was very hard to shoot well.

No, I don’t know why.

Secondly, just to see how accurate the darn thing is, I tried some hostage shots with the gun from about five yards away. I wouldn’t consider this gun to be a “combat” firearm: It’s not meant for a prolonged two-way exchange of leaden projectiles, it’s meant to be used to get you out of harm’s way from an attacker (or two) who are up close and personal. This this not the gun to armed with if you’re expecting an attack from the Leprechaun Liberation Army: This is a gun you use if you want to give an armed robber the surprise of his (or her) life. I don’t want to be in a situation with this gun where I have to make a precise shot on someone who’d holding a hostage, but it’s nice to know I might be able to do it if needed.

Rounds Fired : 100
100 Rounds PMC Bronze

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 836.
One possible failure to eject on round 116, two failures to eject on rounds 400 and 489.

Getting New Shooters To The Range Is Only Half The Battle.

Getting New Shooters To The Range Is Only Half The Battle.

Getting them to shoot is the other half.

Put yourself in the shoes of a new gun owner. You’ve just bought a pistol for self defense. You keep it safely loaded at home, and you want to start carrying it more often, because darn it, the neighborhood with that terrific sandwich shop is getting rougher and rougher, and the nephew of your friend down the street got jumped by a pack of thugs and beat up pretty badly.

You’re scared. You want to feel safe. You know carrying a gun and using it well might help keep you alive on a very, very bad day. Your CCW instructor told you that competition is a good way to help prepare your mind to think clearly and use a gun effectively under stressful situations, so you go out to the local range with your gun, your holster, a few mags and a couple of boxes of ammo.

What do you find when you arrive there?

Match directors, how do you handle someone who shows up with a Ruger LCR in .22Magnum or a Sig P238 at a USPSA match? Do you turn them away, or do you have them shoot for no score? Do you want newcomers to enjoy the sport and learn from the experience, or do you want enforce the rules above everything else?

And why are competitions that are .22LR only considered to be an effective on-ramp for new gun owners? That new gun owner just spent HOURS of deliberation before buying that Glock 19/Sig P320/M&P/P10C* they now own. Then, when they reach out for advice, we tell them that the best way for a beginner to learn how to shoot under stress is to buy a .22 pistol, something that a gun store clerk has just told them (over and over and over again) is not a effective self-defense tool. It’s like teaching people to ride a motorcycle by handing them a bicycle. Is bicycle riding fun? Of course it is! Is it the same as riding a motorcycle? Well, sorta, but not really.

I’m not bagging on the .22 sports, they are a LOT of fun, and I love shooting my red-dotted M22A. However, the .22 sports appeal to people who already have a .22 they can compete with, not to someone who spent hours and hours agonizing over their first handgun purchase.


* Like I’m NOT going to add in a CZ to that list.

Culture Clash

Culture Clash

We’ve won the gun rights battle. We’re rolling things back (slowly… too slowly) but we are winning. The left is getting more and more radicalized (Linda Sarsour and Assata Shakur? REALLY?), and there will be a void open for the NRA or someone else to step into to and expand gun rights even further into ground that once belonged to the enemy.

We’ve won the battle. The war? The war continues, and wars are not won on the basis of winning battles, they’re won on the basis of holding territory and making it your own.

We have regained (cultural) ground from our enemy. What are we doing to hold it and make it our own?

Cultures don’t change because the extremes get pushed out more and more, cultures change because, in the words of the Doobie Brothers, what were once vices are now habits. Gay marriage was once a vice. Now it’s the law of the land. Ditto with doobies (words are my business! 🙂 ) in Colorado and many, many other states..

Armed self defense was once considered a vice. It’s now a habit for millions and millions of people.

Let’s keep that going.