Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1400 – 1500

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1400 – 1500

Or. I got 99 problems and I Mozambique’d every one of them.

As the LCP2 is chambered in .380, a round that is marginal for self-defensive purposes, shot placement and penetration are what is going to get the job done, not “stopping power”*, I spent this range session doing Failure To Stop drills with my LCP2 from three yards out to ten yards, and also did a few of the walkback drills I learned in ECQC, where the gun is extended out enough to get good hits on-target, but not so far out that your opponent can get ahold of it. Seven yards is about the maximum for me for headshots with this gun, but I can do center-mass all day long at 10 to 15 yards.

This is why we play the game… so we can find the limits of ourselves and our equipment.

Gun-wise, everything went the way it should… I placed all my hits either in the center-chest and ocular cavity, and the LCP2 chewed up and spit out 50 rounds of Winchester White Box and 50 rounds of Blazer Brass from Lucky Gunner with no trouble whatsoever, which makes a nice change from the last range session…. maybe something about that Magtech ammo just doesn’t sit well with this gun.

So, three-quarters of the way done, here’s where we stand:

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge Results

Rounds Fired
50 Rounds Blazer Brass .380 FMJ
50 Rounds Winchester .380 ACP

Total Rounds Fired: 1500
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993, 1277, 1323, 1359
Failure to feed: Round 873


* Using “stopping power” to describe what pistol does is relatively equivalent to using “celibacy” to describe the antics of Kim Kardashian…

What To Look For In A Good Pocket Holster.

What To Look For In A Good Pocket Holster.

I wrote a brief overview of some of the more-common pocket holsters out there for Shooting Illustrated last year, and I was kinda surprised by what I was sent by the holster makers out there. Some of them were very good, and some of them, quite frankly, sucked.

I didn’t add it to the article, but I did a quick test of all ten holsters to see how effective they were at three things:

  1. Retaining the gun in the holster.
  2. Allowing me to grab the gun on the draw
  3. Releasing the pistol from the holster when drawing the gun

I set up a two-part test to test the holsters I wrote about.

  1. I put my unloaded pocket pistol (in this case, my Ruger LCP2) in the holster, and turned it upside down, applying as little pressure to the holster as possible. This tested the grippiness of the holster itself, and if the gun dropped out of the holster, it failed.
  2. I placed the unloaded gun in the holster, put in the pocket of my cargo shorts, set up a target three yards away and set my shot timer for three seconds. I know from a previous test that this was more than enough time to draw the gun and get a shot off, so that determined the test criteria.
    I ran this test five times for each holster, and if the holster prevented me from drawing the gun in that amount of time, or worst still, came out of my pocket with the holster still attached to the gun on any one of the five draws, it failed.

Out of the ten holsters I wrote about, only six passed this test. They were:

The ones that failed this test and the reasons they failed were:

  • The Crossbreed Pocket Holster (Couldn’t grab gun).
  • Uncle Mike’s Inside The Pocket Holster (Didn’t retain gun).
  • Blackhawk Tecgrip (Didn’t retain the gun AND came out with gun on the draw).
  • Bianchi Pocket Piece (Came out with gun on the draw)

I’m almost willing to give the Bianchi holster a pass, because as a leather holster, it can mold itself into a shape that’s a little amiable to releasing the gun when needed. However, the Kramer Leather* holster released the gun when needed from the very start, so let’s leave the Bianchi on the “fail” list for now.

To demonstrate what makes a good pocket holster, let’s look at two of the holsters that didn’t make the cut.

The Crossbreed Pocket Holster is kydex/leather hybrid, just like almost everything that Crossbreed makes, and while that big leather backer completely disguises the shape of your gun in your pocket, it also makes it almost impossible to get a good grip on your pistol during the draw. Considering that the whole point of carrying a gun is knowing that you’ll have to use it at some (unfortunate) moment in your life and you’ll also need to use it rightthisverysecond, having a holster that by design doesn’t allow you draw quickly is not a good idea.

That Blackhawk! pocket holster… where to begin. First off, it’s way too deep: The muzzle of my LCP2 doesn’t come close to the bottom of the holster, and there’s no molding on it whatsoever, so there is no retention whatsoever. In addition to this, the only thing that’s keeping your gun in your pants pocket is the grippiness of the material on the outside of the holster, and if that doesn’t do it’s job, your holster is coming out of your pocket with the gun wrapped inside of it.

This has a negative effect on your draw speed.

What happens with this holster is that because it’s not fitted to your gun, your gun flops around in your pocket, and if you need to draw your gun it’s either someplace other than inside the holster, leading to longer draw times as you play a very, very dangerous game of pocket pool fishing around for your heater, or it comes out of your pocket along with the gun, leaving you pointing something at looks like a small coin purse at your assailant.

In short, a good pocket holster keeps your gun securely inside your pocket, allows you to get a good grip on your gun before the draw, and stays inside your pocket when you draw your gun. Anything less is unacceptable.


* HOLY COW do the Kramer and Bianchi holsters look good. It’s almost a shame to hide them away in a pocket.

Stop Apologizing For Carrying A Pocket Pistol.

Stop Apologizing For Carrying A Pocket Pistol.

I’m doing a little research on what’s out there as far as “how to” guides on carrying smaller guns, and all of them start off a variation of “Yes, I carry a pocket gun, but what I really like to carry is a Glock 19/1911/some other bigger gun.”

This is roughly equivalent to starting of a book on cooking hamburgers with “yes, I eat hamburgers, but what I really like to eat is reverse-seared dry-aged ribeye steaks.”

What does one have to do with the other? Yes, I like a good steak, but I like a good hamburger, too. If I want a burger, I buy a burger. If I want steak, I eat steak. I don’t apologize for eating a hamburger on a road trip, and I don’t apologize for liking to splurge on a good hunk o’ cow from time to time. Burgers have their time and place, so do steaks. You’d get p!ssed off if someone served you a Big Mac at a steak joint, and good luck trying to eat a porterhouse in your car.

Carry your pocket guns. Shoot them well. Learn what they can and can’t do. And don’t make apologies for what you carry.

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

In response to the horror in Parkland, Florida is looking to allow public school teachers to carry a defensive firearm inside the classroom.

Good.

What’s not so good are the training requirements. I understand that a lot of this is political cover so that a bill of some form can be passed in the legislature, and that the trust icon of law enforcement training is a powerful talisman of faith, but 132 hours of training, just so you can carry a gun inside school grounds like you can outside of school grounds?

From SB 7026: Public Safety.

(5) TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION.—All training must be conducted by Criminal Justice Standards Training Commission (CJSTC)-certified instructors.
(a) Required instruction must include 132 total hours of comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency training in the following topics:
1. Firearms: 80-hour block of instruction. The firearms instruction must be based on the CJSTC Law Enforcement Academy training model and must be enhanced to include 10 percent to 20 percent more rounds fired by each program participant beyond the minimum average of approximately 1,000 training rounds associated with academy training. Program participants mustachieve an 85 percent pass rate on the firearms training.
2. Firearms precision pistol: 16-hour block of instruction.
3. Firearms discretionary shooting: 4-hour block of instruction using state-of-the-art simulator exercises.
4. Active shooter or assailant: 8-hour block of instruction.
5. Defensive tactics: 4-hour block of instruction.
6. Legal or high liability: 20-hour block of instruction.
(b) Program participants may complete an optional, 16-hour precision pistol course as additional training.
(c) Ongoing and annual proficiency retraining must be conducted by the sheriff, as specified in the agreement.

Also, they’re bypassing the civilian training market and making it a money-maker for the Sheriff’s department. Not the most optimal of outcomes, but if it gets rid of the silliness of “gun free zones”, I’m ok with this. Florida led the wave of “Shall Issue” CCW permits back in the early 90’s, and if this creates a demand for a dispersed response to all kinds of dispersed threats, not just active shooters, this is a good thing indeed.

Flash Site Pictures – Thursday Edition

Flash Site Pictures – Thursday Edition

A quick roundup of interesting stuff on the web, some of it written by me, some not.

Just how effective are tourniquets in a mass shooter situation?

Pistol, rifle or shotgun for home defense?

“Confidence is contagious.”

Getting serious about having fun at the range means you’ll have more fun at the range. Duh.

Massad Ayoob on using short-barreled pistols for personal defense at longer distances. Speaking as someone who has passed both Mas’s shooting test and the FBI Pistol Qualification Test (at the Instructor level, no less…) with the 3.1 inch barrel on an S&W Shield, shorter guns can be VERY effective at longer ranges…

Whose Lifestyle Is It Anyways?

Whose Lifestyle Is It Anyways?

Claude’s comments on Ballistic Radio this month hit me really hard. The firearms training industry is in a Catch-22 right now: People flock to trainers who flaunt their high-level military creds because such people have trust icons galore, and at the same time, having a firearms background that is pretty much all M4, all the time is bloody useless for we armed citizens.

This is one of the areas where a background in executive protection can come in handy. While how they protect people may vary from how we armed citizens protect our loved ones, the people who stand around with radio headsets know how to remain discreet while heavily armed, and they have a long history of problem-solving with command tone, soft hands and if necessary, a pistol.

Which sounds pretty much identical to what we normies need to know. We need to think more like Frank Horrigan, and less like Gunny Highway.

Flash Site Pictures, Friday Edition

Flash Site Pictures, Friday Edition

A round up of stuff on the web, some written by me, some not.

Pointy Stabby

Pointy Stabby

I honestly don’t know how people live their everyday lives without having a flashlight and a blade within arm’s reach at all times. How they open up packaging or navigate a darkened parking lot or perform any one of a hundred daily tasks where a portable source of light and a sharp pointy object might come in handy. Yes, there is the current insanity of “weapons free zones” to deal with, but my experience has shown that if you can make a reasonable case that your pointy object is a tool you need to perform your daily tasks, (this is one of my favorites for such purposes), you can have a blade near you at all times.

After poking around and trying out a bunch of knives, I have three which I carry on a regular basis:

Top: A Columbia River Knive and Tool Pazoda 2. I love this little knife for low-profile carry because only the clip shows when I carry it. This is REALLY important in such cases because the last thing you want is someone to fixate on a knife if you’ve also carrying something more… robust on you. Another reason why I like it is because it takes up hardly any room in my pocket, and that matters a lot when you’re trying to squeeze the armed lifestyle into business casual.

Middle: A Boker AK74. I’m blessed to live in a state that allows we plebeians to carry auto-opening knives, so this is what I carry. I also have a Kershaw with the Emerson quick opener on it for the times when I journey outside of the state, but I really like the assured opening of a spring-loaded blade versus relying on a draw to open my knife. Another thing I like this one in particular is once again, only the clip shows when I carry it in my pocket. It’s not as big of a deal with this knife as it is with the Pazoda, because this knife is part of my more-casual everyday carry and my cover garment usually covers my pockets as well as my gun, but it’s still possible to see the clip peek out as I move about through life, and the less noticeable my knife is, the better I like it.

Bottom: An SOG Mini-Instinct. As mentioned before, one of my big takeaways from ECQC was the utility of a fixed blade worn someplace on the centerline for when things get up close and personal, so that’s why this blade rides on my belt just to the left of the belt buckle. This one is for emergency use only: The Boker is the one that I use if there’s cheesecake to be had, and I save this knife for that other reason…

Other than that, I use this little Boker for those times when I really, really don’t want someone to know I have a knife, and that’s about it. They’re maybe not the most expensive knives out there, but they are certainly up to the tasks I need them to perform.

The Generalist

The Generalist

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein


There are three things driving my interest in firearms training. The first, and most important by far, is that it’s useful knowledge for someone like me who carries a gun on a regular basis. If I ever have to defend a life, it’s probably a good thing that I know how to do as effectively as possible.

Secondly, I want to learn from the root sources, or as close to them as I can. This is a habit ingrained in me from years of Bible school. Want the best translation of the Bible? Go to the Greek, (Aramaic if we’re talking OT) and go back as far as you can. That’s why I took a Massad Ayoob class, why I went to ECQC, and it’s driving which courses I’m attending at TacCon: I want to go back and learn from the people who started things off as much as possible.

Thirdly, I don’t want to specialize (hence the Heinlein quote). I want to be able to do just about any shooting activity with some measure of skill. A long-range rifle class is in the cards for me this year, and next year, I think I’ll pick up an over/under scatter gun and get some schooling in the shotgun sports. Yes, I know, one gun won’t cover all of them out there. My plan is to concentrate on Sporting Clays, and go from there. I know nothing about the shotgun sports, and it’s high time I fill that gap.

Words Are Weapons

Words Are Weapons

sharpen the knives
makes you wonder how the other half dies

One of the big takeaways from ECQC for me was the utility of verbal agility. There were several evos when the defender was literally stopped in his tracks by what the attacker said, and one memorable time when a verbal confrontation wound up in a textbook Mountain Goat drill, both of them literally butting heads, jockeying for position.

This is not what I would call an optimum resolution of the situation.

So now I’m looking for classes or courses for we armed citizens in how to defuse a hostile situation with what we say, rather than what we carry on our belt. I’ve got the gun solution pretty well covered, and I’m working on the fist solution, now it’s time to work on the lips solution.