Daily Where

Daily where

When I was at Front Sight earlier this year, I was the only one in my class practicing and shooting with an untucked shirt as my cover garment. Everyone was using an unbuttoned shirt or a jacket to cover up their gun. At IDPA, I’m usually the only one without a “Shoot Me First” vest. 

I can understand people not wanting to show off their underwear as they yank their shirt out of the way (Calvin Klein boxer briefs, if you MUST know), and many of the students at Front Sight were from colder climes (ie not Arizona) so a shirt or jacket in summer makes sense, and yeah, if you want to win at IDPA, you need a shoot me first vest… 

But. 

Watching the people of Arizona these past few days, we just don’t wear jackets or unbuttoned shirts in the summer. We just don’t. Heck, I’ve seen more people open-carrying than I have with open shirts. 

Which confirms my decision to train and compete with an untucked shirt. Sure, I may show a little skin during the draw and yes, it’s a tiny bit slower than a vest, but it also fits the definition of “concealed carry” in Arizona, which is why I do it in the first place.

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First Impression – Crossbreed Microclip

First Impression – Crossbreed Microclip

Ever since I put a Crimson Trace laser on my P3AT, I’ve had to carry it my pocket and nowhere else, which is not a bad thing as the gun is unique suited to pocket carry. 

But. 

I like to carry the little sucker when I’m wearing blue jeans and i don’t want to carry a bigger gun and I’ve yet to have a smooth draw from the front pocket with jeans. And no, I don’t wear emo pants. 

There just aren’t a lot of tuckable IWB options out there for a P3AT with laser. P3AT, yes, with laser, no.

Fortunately, Crossbreed offers their holsters with a option for the P3AT and a laser. 

Minituck and P3AT

RIght off the bat, I remembered why I like carrying the KelTec on my waist. After the first 30 seconds with the Microclip on my belt, I forgot I had a gun with me.

It’s that light. 

The Microclip is smaller than it’s Supertuck big brother. Here’s the two side by side. 

And here it is with the Galco Ultimate Second Amendment that I used with the P3AT before I got the laser.

The holster is as well-made as the larger Supertuck and is very comfortable to carry, but that comfort comes with a tradeoff: The leather backing seems to interfere with my draw more than the old Galco holster did, but I won’t know until I take it to the range and test it out. 

Also, my first attempt at carrying it tucked in resulted in the holster pivoting around that one J-hook and the gun in the holster slid under my beltline and out of easy reach. A quick trip to the restroom solved that problem and it hasn’t happened since, but it was a little disconcerting at the time. 

All in all, I like the Microclip. I may need to do some razor-blade surgery on it to improve my speed, but I’ll leave that question for another day once I run it thru a Mozambique or two. But if you’ve got a P3AT with a laser on it, the Microclip is definitely a viable option for belt-carry. 

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Dear Holster Manufacturers,

Dear holster manufacturers,

Your websites suck. 

All of them. 

When I come to your site, I don’t really care that you make a SuperStar Deluxe IWB with Komodo Dragon skin or your kydex OWB holster is in service with Tier One operators in Derkaderkastan. 

All of that means SQUAT to me if I can’t find a holster that fits my gun.

And listing out your hosters only by holster type/carry position insures that I need to spend 30+ minutes on your site going thru ALL your pages looking for one that fits my gun. I have a life, and spending 1/48th of my day on what may be a fruitless search for the holster I want just isn’t a part of it.

Some of you get it and have built your sites so they allow me to search for holsters by gun type, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. 

Stop buidling your websites around how you build your holsters, and start building them around your customer’s guns. 

Something That's BUGging Me.

Something that's BUGging me.

We’ve had a bunch of good, small 9mm’s arrive on gun store shelves as of late. The Ruger LC9, the Sig P239, the S+W Shield and the Beretta Nano are all first-rate and teeny-tiny defensive pistols that are VERY popular right now. 

And if you want to compete with any of those guns, your choice is IDPA BUG (BackUp Gun) matches … 

… and that’s about it. 

I’m not a big fan of BUG gun matches because they’re one-size-fits all. To quote from the IDPA Rulebook,

All CoF for the Back-Up Gun Division must be limited to five (5) rounds maximum per string (no reloads on the clock) to allow autos and revolver shooters to compete equally.

Which kinda sucks if you own a small 9mm that holds more than 5 rounds, as 5 round stages are BORING.

So BUG matches are 5 rounds only, which leaves pocket 9mm owners without a match to shoot. Even a comparatively short 14 round IDPA stage is a looooooong time to be shooting with one these little guns (even if  you can talk your way into shooting in whatever division you manage to hornswaggle yourself into) and even if you do, you’ll most likely run out of ammo before you run out of targets if you shoot an IDPA stage with these guns. 

But. 

How do we “train like we fight, fight like we train” if there’s a dearth of competitions out there in which to train? Maybe something like a Steel Challenge or Bianchi cup for BUG guns, where each match consists of the four same stages all the time, and those stages would be designed to reflect a variety of “Real world” scenarios. 

Something like this… 

BUG stage 1

Limited Vickers count. The idea here is to practice retreating to cover and the need to do a “failure to stop drill” when needed. I specifically avoided the “Put two on T1, three on T2” type of briefing because we just don’t know when we’ll have to do a failure to stop, and leaving it up to the shooter to decide is more reflective of that fact. 

BUG stage 2

An “Oops, what the heck is going on here!” stage, designed to help with opening doors while armed, movement and use of cover. 

BUG Stage 3

A simple mugging defense scenario, based on the classic scene from Collateral (minus the final coup de grace, of course…). 

BUG Stage 4

Again, a “Oh, crap, what’s going on!” stage. I hate stages that are supposed to represent “surprise” real-world scenarios but then have you start out facing your target, knowing where everything is in relationship with where you are. 

And yeah, there’s no distances written on any of these stages, as these are just me spitballin’ what a standardized defensive match format might look like, but figure 10 yards as a maximum distance for any target. 

So that’s just one idea I had to get all those pocket 9mm’s out of their boxes and on to the range. IDPA was created before sales of pocket guns went through the ceiling, so their idea of a “defensive” gun hasn’t caught up (yet) with what we’re carrying, so there’s an opportunity out there for “IDPA V2” to accomodate gun owners and their brand new pocket pistols.

 

Something That’s BUGging Me.

Something that’s BUGging me.

We’ve had a bunch of good, small 9mm’s arrive on gun store shelves as of late. The Ruger LC9, the Sig P239, the S+W Shield and the Beretta Nano are all first-rate and teeny-tiny defensive pistols that are VERY popular right now. 

And if you want to compete with any of those guns, your choice is IDPA BUG (BackUp Gun) matches … 

… and that’s about it. 

I’m not a big fan of BUG gun matches because they’re one-size-fits all. To quote from the IDPA Rulebook,

All CoF for the Back-Up Gun Division must be limited to five (5) rounds maximum per string (no reloads on the clock) to allow autos and revolver shooters to compete equally.

Which kinda sucks if you own a small 9mm that holds more than 5 rounds, as 5 round stages are BORING.

So BUG matches are 5 rounds only, which leaves pocket 9mm owners without a match to shoot. Even a comparatively short 14 round IDPA stage is a looooooong time to be shooting with one these little guns (even if  you can talk your way into shooting in whatever division you manage to hornswaggle yourself into) and even if you do, you’ll most likely run out of ammo before you run out of targets if you shoot an IDPA stage with these guns. 

But. 

How do we “train like we fight, fight like we train” if there’s a dearth of competitions out there in which to train? Maybe something like a Steel Challenge or Bianchi cup for BUG guns, where each match consists of the four same stages all the time, and those stages would be designed to reflect a variety of “Real world” scenarios. 

Something like this… 

BUG stage 1

Limited Vickers count. The idea here is to practice retreating to cover and the need to do a “failure to stop drill” when needed. I specifically avoided the “Put two on T1, three on T2” type of briefing because we just don’t know when we’ll have to do a failure to stop, and leaving it up to the shooter to decide is more reflective of that fact. 

BUG stage 2

An “Oops, what the heck is going on here!” stage, designed to help with opening doors while armed, movement and use of cover. 

BUG Stage 3

A simple mugging defense scenario, based on the classic scene from Collateral (minus the final coup de grace, of course…). 

BUG Stage 4

Again, a “Oh, crap, what’s going on!” stage. I hate stages that are supposed to represent “surprise” real-world scenarios but then have you start out facing your target, knowing where everything is in relationship with where you are. 

And yeah, there’s no distances written on any of these stages, as these are just me spitballin’ what a standardized defensive match format might look like, but figure 10 yards as a maximum distance for any target. 

So that’s just one idea I had to get all those pocket 9mm’s out of their boxes and on to the range. IDPA was created before sales of pocket guns went through the ceiling, so their idea of a “defensive” gun hasn’t caught up (yet) with what we’re carrying, so there’s an opportunity out there for “IDPA V2” to accomodate gun owners and their brand new pocket pistols.

 

Toronto Needs It. So Does Ottawa. And Montreal. And Moncton.

Toronto needs it. So does Ottawa. And Montreal. And Moncton.

Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, (heck, any place between Sudbury and Kamloops)? Not so much. They already have one.

What is it? 

A gun culture

Firearms safety — safe storage, proper handling of ammunition, never putting your finger near the trigger until you’re prepared to fire — is not just part of the training course every citizen must take to obtain a firearms licence, necessary to buy a gun or ammunition. It is also a fundamental part of Canada’s shrinking gun culture, which understood that firearms were a useful tool for entertaining and enriching hobbies. With tragic (and rare) exceptions, the sportsman is not the threat. The thug who obtains their gun illegally and keeps it explicitly because they don’t respect the law, is the person we have to worry about.

Canada had a gun culture once. Toronto, too. Those days are long gone and won’t be coming back. But that’s still no excuse for (“downtown white”) politicians to direct their fire — pun semi-intended — at lawful citizens. Every such effort simply wastes time and energy, better spent making sure that Toronto’s youth have better options for their future than dealing drugs with a gun on their hip. 

“The days of a Canadian gun culture won’t be be coming back?” Says who!?

The only other thing I’d add is that it isn’t just “sportsmen”: Legal gun owners commit less crimes than cops. If Toronto (and the rest of Canada) was serious about stopping violent crime, they’d take the steps necessary to make violent crime a high-risk occupation

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Consistency

Consistency

Caleb and Balloon Goes Up talk about the holsters in their lives. 

Me, I guess I’ve been lucky in that I don’t have the proverbial box full of holsters in my garage, but then again, I don’t own that many carry guns either. 

My entire box of holsters consists of two Uncle Mikes nylon holsters (one for my S+W K22, one for the Sccy that I use as a car gun), a Fobus Paddle holster for my CZ75 (crap), a BladeTech for USPSA competition with the CZ75 (MUCH better), a Galco pocket holster for the Sccy (good, but I rarely use it), a Bianchi Model 100 for the Sccy (very nice), a Crossbreed for my P07 (VERY nice), a BladeTech for the P07 (just as good as the one for my CZ75), a no-name nylon pocket holster for my P3AT and a Galco IWB for the P3AT that I don’t use anymore because it doesn’t work with the laser

That’s what, ten holsters, seven of which are in regular service in one form or another. 

So I’m batting .667 on holsters. I can dig it. 

Number 9. Number 9. Number 9.

Number 9. Number 9. Number 9.

The first gun I bought for daily carry was a Sccy CPX-1, a knockoff of the Kel-Tec P-11. 

Yeah, I know. The way I see it, though, I was WAY ahead of the pocket 9mm craze. I also bought a P3AT long before the LCP came out. What can I say, I’m a early adopter…

Why did I buy a subcompact 9mm? 

1. Weight. 16 or so rounds of 9mm in a compact pistol weighs more than 11 rounds in a tiny little subcompact. It does’t seem like a whole lot, but after 8+ hours, it begins to add up. 

2. Size. I can sorta pocket carry the Sccy in cargo pants, and it’s very easy to carry in an IWB when I’m wearing jeans. My P-07, while smaller than my full-size CZ75, still needs a SuperTuck in order to be comfortable for daily carry.

3. Oomph. As I said, I have a P3AT, but it is, after all, .380 ACP. Given the choice, I want more rounds of a more powerful cartridge with me. 

As Caleb notes, the subcompact 9mm is to the Wonder Nine what the snub-nosed .38 was to the venerable service revolver. It’s the same manual of arms, and more importantly, it gives you 80% of your big gun at a big savings in weight and size and not that much of a difference in speed or accuracy.

Subcompact nines are the scout rifle of handguns: They’re the CCW gun to have if you can have only one. 

Semper Paratus

Semper Paratus

Put yourself in George Zimmerman’s shoes for a second. You’ve had to use your gun in a situation that you perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be a threat to your life. 

As far as I can tell, Mr. Zimmerman has no firearms training outside what is mandated by the Florida CCW law (if I’m wrong, link it in the comments). More training might have told him that following a suspicious person is a very bad idea if you’re not a cop. More training would have warned hm that it wasn’t his job to detain Treyvon Martin, it was his job to keep his family safe. More training, and Treyvon Martin might  still be alive and George Zimmerman would have his life back. 

I am not advocating compulsory training. I am saying, though, that we practice and practice and practice hitting the bullseye. Maybe a little practice dodging legal bullets would come in handy as well. 

Self-defense insurance costs less than $100 a year. NRA Personal Protection classes cost a bit more, but cover the legal issues of force in some detail. And if that’s not enough, there are firearms schools all over this country that train people how and when to defend their lives. 

Heck, there’s even a website devoted to just to firearms training in Arizona

Get. Trained. The life you save may be someone else’s. 

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