Hobbyist’s Lobby

Hobbyist’s Lobby

Grant Cunningham (and others), talk about the “gun training hobby,” and I gotta admit they have a point. Going to gun school for more than just a few hours a year is not a thing that most gun owners do. Only a select few consider something like Rangemaster to be a “must-see” event, and they’re the ones who set the pace for “serious” firearms training in the U.S.

When does the circuit get flipped between someone who’s a casual gun owner and a gun training “hobbyist”? Well, for me, it was when I realized I don’t “go shooting” anymore: When I go to the range it’s to work on a drill or try out a gun or practice a skill. The last time I went to the range to shoot for shooting’s sake was when I did a quick test of the Kel-Tec PMR30, a ridiculously fun gun to shoot. Other than that, I see marksmanship as a skill to master, not as a pastime or recreational endeavor.

Is that a problem? No. But it becomes a problem when it gets in the way of me doing stuff with the people who like going shooting solely for fun. Those of us at the deep end of the pool need to remember how much fun it is splashing around in the shallows can be, or else we’ll never get people to try to extend their skills.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

There used to be a time when Wired would be happy about a product that empowers people to fight against tyranny. This is no longer the case.

Related: “Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.”
That, my friends, is a huge, huge win, and a knife through the heart of any so-called “assault weapons ban.”

The reality that you are, and always have been your own first responder is starting to seep into the general populace. Good.

Speaking of must-have items, Chuck Haggard has a great article on how and when to spice up somebody’s life with a blast of OC spray.

I’d like to see the .380 added into this test, but if there’s not that much difference between what 9mm does to a target over .45, why carry a lower-capacity .45 instead of a 9mm?

What happens when civility REALLY breaks down and the Communists Democratic Socialists and the fascists National Socialists go at for real? You get years of lead. Read and ask yourself whether this will happen in the United States sometime soon.

I hope it doesn’t.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

Are Race Holsters really worth the $$$$?

The Liberator pistol and Sten SMG were designed to be functional firearms that can be built in a garage, and this is further proof of that fact.

I did the writeup on the Ruger PC Carbine for Shooting Illustrated. Spoiler alert: I liked it. But then again, I’ve been a fan of pistol-caliber carbines for quite awhile.

Five easy upgrades for your AR-15. If you bought an AR but don’t know what to do with it, this is where I’d start.

Both the NRA and the Huffington Post agree: Justice Kennedy’s retirement is bad news for gun control.

Not sure I agree with the Sheriff here about carrying a reload. I carry one for my Shield, but with 9+1 in it now, I’m not certain I need one.

My CZ75s are proof that I was into TA/DA guns before they were cool (/gunhipster).

Welcome To The Pinhead Ballroom.

Welcome To The Pinhead Ballroom.

As someone who gets no end of grief for his concealed carry choices (“A .380 in your pocket, with no reload? You’ll be killed on the streets tomorrow!”), I get what Tom is saying here.

We can be a puritanical lot… “Thou dost forsake the carrying of a G34 with a U-Boat close to thine appendix in favor of the Ba’al and his liking of the .38 snubbie? For shame! Thou art accursed among men! Begone, heretic, and dwell forever in the outer darkness with the other unbelievers and their unnatural desire for the subcompact 9mm!”

15 years ago it was .40S&W or GTFO and .223 was good for small dogs and nothing else, now we’re moved on to other things. The music may change, but the song remains the same.

It kinda reminds me of the first part of Monty Python’s “Spanish Inquisition” sketch… “Our chief weapon is fear.. fear and surprise. Our TWO chief weapons are fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency. Our THREE chief weapons are…”

And so on.

We scream  “Carry your guns, people!” and then it soon progresses to “Carry your guns, people! And a light! And spray! And two knives! And a TQ and chest seal! And a reload! And a backup gun! And a weapon-mounted light! Those are ALL essential!”  To borrow from The Incredibles, when everything is essential, then nothing is. Let’s start with getting people to understand that they are ALWAY their own first responder: The top of the funnel is the important part, because without it, arguing about expert knowledge will never happen.

If everyone who posts on the internet explaining why a G34 with an RMR is the überwaffen spent 1/10th of that time trying to figure out ways to get their friends who have a CCW to carry their guns on a consistent basis, we’d have reciprocity and SHARE and everything we dream of.

Instead, we argue whether the angels should be doing the Lindy or the Foxtrot on top of their pin…

Following The Same Path

Following The Same Path

Outdoor Life notices the same thing that I noticed seven years ago: It’s a cast iron b!tch to get into hunting as an adult.

“We’re preaching to the choir. We’re giving the kids of folks who already hunt this opportunity, rather than reaching new audiences.”

Well duh.

And here’s the scary thing to think about: What is Gun Culture 2.0 doing to avoid the same mistakes that Gun Culture 1.0 made? Yes, there is Colion Noir and TWAW and Scholastic Steel, but who besides Gabby Franco is reaching out to the Latino population? “Roof Korean” is a meme inside gun culture, but who is bringing ACTUAL KOREANS to the range?

Republican strategist Luke Thompson said something interesting on Jonah Goldberg’s “The Remnant podcast” a few week ago: For years, the Republicans were an ideologically-based party, united around fighting Communism and (allegedly) wanting a smaller role for government in our lives, while the Democrats were a majority, coalition-based party, with everyone from white Catholic longshoremen to rural Methodist blacks in their ranks.  In the post-Obama era, this is no longer true: The Democrats are turning into a ideological party based around the most leftist ideas possible, and thanks to the working middle class joining their ranks in droves in 2016 and now owning (or about to own) all three branches of government, the Republicans are a majority party with a broader base.

Question: For decades, ever since the Revolt In Cincinnati, the political power of gun owners has been ideological-based, based on the fact that we were at the time a minority.

This is no longer the case, which makes me wonder, what would a majority-based NRA coalition look like, and do we actually want such a thing?

Lessons From Maryland

Lessons From Maryland

The horrific massacre at the Capital Gazette newspaper is not following the established narrative for such events. First off, because the shooter was Hispanic and used a shotgun and Maryland has ridiculously tight gun laws, it’s going to be hard for progressives to blame “assault weapons” and the NRA for this one. Also, CNN, in a shocking display of sanity, is not publicizing the shooter’s name.

Good. These maroons do this for the publicity, and the less of that they get, the less chance that someone else will do similar.

The cops had a sixty second response time, which is blazingly fast, but five people still died. My response time to active shooter? About 1.7 seconds, from concealment (-ish) and my response time to a traumatic injury? A minute, tops. The shooter had multiple restraining orders against him, but I’ve yet to figure out how a piece of paper is a more effective defense against a maniac than 124gr hollow points. The fact that he was this crazy and still bought a shotgun is an issue we need to look at, but only if we gun owners get something in return. The days of us giving up a thing that is dear to us in return for nothing at all are over.

Finally, a Reuters editor tried to claim that the shooter was wearing a “Make America Great” shirt and was pro-Trump, and rather than other papers picking up that narrative and running with it like they did with the shooting of Gabby Giffords, that editor apologized and might be facing disciplinary measures at work.

Might a little sanity be creeping into our media? I certainly hope so. It’d be nice to have the adults back in charge once more.

Sorry, I Got Nothing.

Sorry, I Got Nothing.

I’m liking the new job, but the tempo of operations is a lot quicker than what I’ve been used to for at least five years, so my energy when I get home is not where it was. And last weekend, we went to SeaWorld, so there went one of my usual writing days, right out the window.

Plus, as I write this, I have seven articles in the queue for the NRA, 2 of which have deadlines in the next week or so.

Yikes.

Go read Greg’s Weekend Knowledge Dump. It’s usually really good.

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.

Farce On Farce

Farce On Farce

One of the interesting takeaways from my knife defense class was some of the comments in a Facebook group where Jeff Street posted a link to the article.  Another instructor in the group didn’t believe that the class taught anything worthwhile because it didn’t teach us how to then press the attack with a knife, it taught us how to get away from the knife and therefore was of little use.

The thing is though, I really, really don’t want to get into knife fight when I fight: I prefer not to get into a fight at all.  If I have to get into a knife fight, I want it to quickly evolve into a gun fight, because I’m much better that I am with knives.  A pistol fight also gives me the wonderful option of running away screaming in terror, which is the most effective defense against the knife there is.

The trainer who was complaining that our class was “unrealistic“ was a big proponent of force on force training to prove that his theories were correct, and the videos he posted to bolster his arguments showed that yes, they did indeed work.

As long as you play by the rules he set up prior to the start of the fight, and that’s a mighty big if.

I’m not really interested in force on force training which proves that your system works: I’m more interested in scenarios that show where it breaks and where we need to improve.  Force on force training works because we have to improvise on the fly when we’re in the fight. Force on force in training helps us improvise quicker, better, and more often, not repeat the patterns of training we already know, that’s what drills are for.

There are many trainers out there who denigrate the use of practical shooting as a way to improve your pistol skills. They say that the minute you define the rules of the match, it no longer becomes effective combat training.  Personally, I think you can thousand years of human civilization argues against this back. From the ancient Greeks on Mount Olympus to the Roman gladiator games to knights of olde jousting to samurai attacking each other with wooden swords, mankind has always used sport as a way to improve our combat ability.

Are there more rules in a sporting event than there are in real life? Of course there are! Those rules, however, are there so sport becomes a learning event, not a literal life-and-death struggle. We learn the rules, we master them, and then we learned to break them when necessary.

After Action Report: Introduction To Basic Knife Defense

After Action Report: Introduction to Basic Knife Defense

I signed up for an “Intro to Knife Defense” class with Step by Step Gun Training, taught by Paul Rosales and his two assistant instructors, all of which have an extensive background in Escrima, Muy Thai and a bunch of other martial arts I know nothing about.

I walked into the classroom with my usual open mind about what I was going to be taught, but I will confess that in the background, I kinda had a “Yeah, how good could this REALLY be?” attitude.

Boy, was I wrong. Although the class was only three hours long, I learned A LOT about staying un-stabbed in a knife fight, and what I learned fit perfectly with both ECQC and what I’ve learned about concealed carry.

Which shouldn’t surprise me, because Paul created this class as a way to bring the worlds of civilian civilian concealed carry and the world of knife-fighting together. The point of the class wasn’t to turn us into world-class cutlery wielders, the point of the class was to give us a basic knowledge of how knife attacks happen and what we can do to get out of a bad situation as quickly as we can.

And it did just that. The class was tremendously informative and left me wanting more. As I’ve written before, martial artists tend to see ever problem in terms of a punch or kick solution and gun people tend to see BANG as the solution to every situation. This class integrated the two, and it works nicely as the bridge between the ground work and grappling of ECQC and the quick draw and retention work of concealed carry.

 

A few notes from class:

  • Civilians tend to keep both a knife and their gun on their right side, which is not the optimal location for a self-defense blade. I wonder if that’s because we see it as a utilitarian tool more than we do as  a weapon. 
  • There are the knives you use to open up a package, and the knives you use to open up a person. Don’t confuse the two.
  • Never bring a gun to a knife fight. The reverse is also true.
  • Quick movement to the knife side in a fight opens up more space than movement back or to the left, which is also consistent with firearms teaching about getting off the X. Go figure.
  • Rapidly deploying a folding knife in a fight is theoretical at best. Go with a centerline fixed blade.
  • More than that, set up your blade so you can draw and strike in one smooth motion. I carry a centerline blade (an SOG Mini Instinct) but the handle on it faces left. Not no more. I turned it around this weekend so I can grab it with either the left or the right hand and slash upwards on the draw, giving me a chance to either gain space or go on the attack.

All in all, it was a highly informative three hours that gave me a good basis for both keeping safe outside of the home and integrating the other means of self-protection that I carry on a daily basis. Really looking forward to what Paul and his team have in store for further training.