They Just Work.

They Just Work.

Reading the comments to yesterday’s post has been interesting. When I wrote it, I wasn’t thinking of specific hardware solutions, I was thinking about how you relate to the hardware itself.

The original Macintosh was truly “The computer for the rest of us”. It was the first personal computer you could use without having to become a personal computer hobbyist to one extent or another. Yes, people used PC’s to one extent or another before the Mac came out (and I was one of them), but the echoes of previous computer designs made them somewhat less than user-friendly right out of the box.

For example, I made pin money right out of high school setting up autoexec.bat files that allowed the user to launch WordStar or Visicalc or DBIII with one keystroke on startup inside MS-DOS. This was necessary because getting those programs to run (and making your computer DO something) was confusing for anyone who wasn’t willing to put in the time and effort to learn DOS. People were forced to make themselves work the way the computer worked.

That was guns before Glock. Want a 1911? Sure thing. You bought it, and then sent it to your gunsmith so it could run reliably. You needed to know what was under the hood of your pistol or how to run a DA/SA trigger or how to live with the 6 shots in a revolver. There were limitations placed on you by your pistol before you could use it as an effective self-defence tool.

Glock changed that. They just worked.

Glocks Are Macs.

Glocks Are Macs.

This nice little piece over at Ricochet got my thinking about why I am a such an Apple nerd.

They just work. The Mac was the first computer to not get in your way while you operated the computer.

This is the point where all the Windows nerds chime in and say, “No, thats not true! Windows is just as easy to use!” and yes, right now, it is.

But that was NOT true of Windows until version 3.1.1 came out. In the mean time, CMD-V on a Mac had been “Paste” for years and years, while over in IBM world, it was a different command to Paste on WordStar than it was in Word.

Macs didn’t (and don’t) get in your way.

Glocks are Macs. For the most part, you don’t need to worry about the WHAT of operating your gun, you can work on why you need to operating your gun and how it will affect those around you.

Glocks are Macs.

The thing that REALLY made a computer useful in the home wasn’t the operation system or the hardware, though. It was the 56.6k modem and AOL. We’re concentrating so much on the hardware, we forget what changes the world is how everything works together.

Say When.

Say When.

It was interesting reading this bit from Greg Elifritz on choosing the right time to get violent, especially considering that he posted it almost two years before John Corriea talked about the same sort of thing over there. Both guys came to pretty much the same the conclusion, but using different methods.

It’s something I think we need to think about more. The cliché you see in an NRA Personal Protection Class (and elsewhere) is the bad gun (always a bad GUY) jumping out from behind a car with a knife and shouts out “GIMMEALLYOURMONEYRIGHTNOWORI’LLKILL!!”

But lets face it, we’re probably more likely to stumble into something already in progress or be caught on the fringe of something that goes down in front of us than to have the mugger-in-the-car-lot scenario happen to us, or we’ll be involved in a “monkey dance” situation with a stranger (or more likely, a family member or friend) that we just can’t de-escalate fast enough.

Then what?

Well, the five things that Andrew Branca talks about all better be in-place, or else you’re in a heap of trouble.

Dear NRA,

Dear NRA,

You’re talking about your Carry Guard concealed carry insurance rather frequently as of late. You also have had some recent issues with your training department.

Oh, and people aren’t signing up for post-CCW training like they should.

That too.

Here’s the thing: If I’m a safe driver, I get a discount on my car insurance. My homeowner’s insurance is less because I live in a decent neighborhood.I get lower rates for health insurance because I’m a non-smoker with no history of heart disease in my family, and drink alcohol only in moderation.

At this moment in my life, I have over three hundred hours of formal firearms training, and there’s more (a lot more) in my future. I’ve taken a MAG40 and an Andrew Branca class, trained with Leatham and Vogel and I’ve shot dozens and dozens of matches where I need to make snap shoot/no shoot decisions under the (simulated) pressure of a clock and the unyielding gaze of my peers.

With all of this training and a history of safe gun handling under pressure, why don’t I get a discount on my concealed carry insurance?

Based on my lifestyle and training, am I really the same risk to need insurance as some yayoo with a Threeper tat and a “I Don’t Dial 911, I dial 1911” sticker on his car? I don’t think so, but in the eyes of the actuaries behind concealed carry insurance, I am.

Want to make post-CCW training more popular? Introduce monetary incentives into the equation, and watch the signups roll in for BOTH training and self-defense insurance.

Discrete CCW Update

Discrete CCW Update

quietly armed

Two things happened recently that have affected my choices of gear in discrete environments. One was listening to legendary mustache lawman Chuck Haggard talk about how he would advise people to carry a spicy treat dispenser rather than a reload, and the second is reading John Correia of Active Self Protection talk about how, out of the 10,000 gunfight’s he’s analyzed on video, a civilian has never had to reload, not even once.

This is why I no longer carry a spare mag for the LCP2. When I’m in business casual, I can carry stuff in my pockets, and that’s about it, so I have to keep my gear down to the absolute minimum.

Current Discrete Carry, Clockwise from Upper Left
Sticky Holster Pocket Holster, strong side pocket
Ruger LCP2 With Crimson Trace Green Laser, in holster
Streamlight 2xAAA Stylus Pro flashlight, clipped to weak side pocket
LCP2 magazine, in gun
6+1 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense .380ACP, in magazine
CRKT Pazoda 2, clipped in weak side pocket next to flashlight
Sabre Red pepper spray, weak side pocket
Leatherman PS multitool, on keychain
Keys, weak side pocket
Wallet, weak side pocket

All of that disappears fairly easily into the pockets of my work khakis. I’m not 100% satisfied with carrying that pepper spray rattling around loose in my pocket, but it will do until I come up with something else. I had been carrying around a Photon Micro-Light II on my keychain, but I realized that I wasn’t using it, and if for some reason I needed a backup flashlight, there’s an app on my phone that will work just fine for that task.

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

USCCA Elite CCW Insurance Versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

This post shows up early and often for searches on “self defense insurance.” It’s a good post, and I’m proud of how it’s helped a bunch of people find the concealed carry insurance that was right for them.

But that post covers just the lower-end of the spectrum, not the “Cadillac” plans, and so I thought a follow-up post might come in handy so people can see for themselves how things shape up at the top end of the scale, and compare USCCA Elite CCW insurance versus NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus concealed carry legal insurance.

As always, remember that I am not lawyer nor do I give legal advice. Both companies post copies of their policies on their websites, and I urge you to read them over very carefully before you sign up for anything.

NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus

Aside from all the benefits listed below, NRA Carry Guard Gold Plus comes with a one-year membership in the NRA. The NRA also recently had a “Carry Guard Expo” featuring training opportunities and a trade show, and instructors can also add NRA Carry Guard training to what they teach.

Coverage costs EITHER $550 a year OR $49 a month, and the NRA is promoting Carry Guard very heavily right now. The NRA’s coverage is “first dollar” coverage: You will have to pay for your lawyers in someway, then, if you are acquitted, the NRA will reimburse you. NRA CarryGuard also covers your spouse if they need to use a firearm to defend a life, and it covers firearms only, not the use of other means of lethal force.

USCCA Self Defense Shield Elite

USCCA membership comes with a subscription to Concealed Carry magazine (my first article for them should show up early next year), and coverage costs EITHER $497 a year or $47 a month. The USCCA puts on a “Concealed Carry Expo” each year, and has so for the past four years. The USCCA also has their own cadre of trainers with their own training program as well.

USCCA self-defense insurance covers your spouse and also covers anyone under the age of 21 in your household if they need to use lethal force to defend a life. They cover most means of lethal force (knives, pointed sticks, fresh fruit) as well as the use of a firearm. The USCCA’s coverage starts immediately, which means there is no out-of-pocket expenses incurred by you up to the limits of your policy if you are acquitted.

 NRA CarryGuard Gold+USCCA Elite
Monthy Fee OR$50$47
Yearly Fee (Not Both)$550$497
Criminal Coverage$250,000$250,000
Civil Coverage$1,500,000$2,000,000
BailYesYes
"First Dollar" CoverageNoYes
Spouse Also CoveredYesYes
Any WeaponNoYes
Wage Compensation While In CourtYesYes
Training ResourcesYesYes
Choose Your Own AttorneyYesYes
SIGN UPSIGN UP

Usual Disclaimer: I am an NRA member, though not a Carry Guard subscriber, and I am an affiliate of the USCCA. 

… And You Will Be Invincible

… And You Will Be Invincible

During the spring and summer months, it’s common practice for Euro fashion catalog shooters to come out to the U.S. to shoot the fall / winter catalogs. They liked AZ because of 300 days of sun a year, and I’d make a decent amount of $$ off them as their RV Driver / local guide. There was one guy I assisted, Bob somebody, a Welshman (funny as hell… a rarity amongst fashion shooters, in my experience), who was shooting for one of the German catalogs. The results from a week-long shoot out in Arizona was riding on his shoulders, and expenses involved included a dozen Euro models (HOT Euro models…), an art director, me, his assistant, three stylists… and he shot everything on Kodak 100 chrome using (wait for it) a half-dozen Nikon Quicktouch point and shoots. Yep, not an F4, not a Hassie, a consumer-level compact 35mm camera, about as basic and boring a camera as you could get at the time.

No manual settings. No external light sources beyond fill cards and reflectors. His assistant would get an incident meter reading, they’d note it, and then it was off to the races.

He shot that way because he wanted to focus (no pun intended) 100% on what the model was doing and how she was interacting with the camera, and didn’t want to bump something and have a whole session ruined. And it worked for him. He got some great shots from his models, and the chromes looked really good when all was said and done.

He could do this because he knew every single step before, during and after the shot, and knew how to play within the limits of his gear.

I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to figure what all this has to do with your gear, how you use it and what’s the “right” gun for self defense.

It’s The Little Things That Make All The Difference

It’s The Little Things That Make All The Difference

Hi, my name’s Kevin, and I have a turtle draw: I hunch my shoulders up and drop my head down when I draw a pistol, and that’s affecting the speed and accuracy of my first shot. Why? To be honest, I blame the Combat Focus Shooting class I took way back in the day, where you’re taught to hunch up and hunker down as the first part of your draw stroke.

It’s affecting my speed because I’m moving more muscles than I need to in order to get my gun on-target. I don’t need to move my head, I need to move my hands and arms so my gun comes up to the level of my eyes and I have a decent enough sight picture to make the shot.

It’s affecting my accuracy because of my nearsightedness. I wear bifocals now, and part that sees close is the part at the bottom of each lens. When I turtle, because of angle of my head, I’m actually looking through the TOP of each lens, and as a result, my front sight is blurry.

Whoops.

Fortunately, a friend of mine on social media posted this video of Max Michel: Watch how his head moves during the draw.

Hint: It doesn’t.

A brief dry-fire session over the weekend with my new stance had me making consistent sub-1.5 second draws from concealment into the down zero area of an IDPA target that’s 7 yards away, including one that was darn close to one second flat.

I’ll take it.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 938-1038

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 938-1038

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

I’m doing a review of an accessory for the LCP2, and I took it as another opportunity to put some more rounds through this little gun. This time, rather than shoot on an improvised outdoor range, I shot in a new indoor range that’s popped up near my workplace.

The gun, as usual, was ridiculously easy to control for pocket-sized .380, and I was putting round after round after round into the center-chest area of a target 10 yards away and upper head zone of a target 7 yards away. Even those this gun is about the size of a chocolate chip cookie, based on how fast I get rounds on-target from the pocket and how accurate this little sucker is, I don’t feel underarmed when I carry it. Sure, I’d like something with a little more oomph, a few more boolits and a little more ability to reach out and touch someone at 20+ yards, but that is just not an option for me on most days of the week, so I carry a pocket gun and I learn what I can and can’t do with it.

I shot 100 rounds of Winchester White Box from Lucky Gunner on this session, and I ran into two hiccups with the LCP2: On the 37th and 56th shots on this range session, the LCP2 locked up with a Type 2 malfunction, which I was able to clear the usual way and then continued on shooting.

All in all, this was another successful range session with a gun that’s a lot of fun to shoot, and one’s that’s gone over a thousand rounds now with four malfunctions. Not bad for a gun that pushes the boundaries of both form and function.

Rounds Fired: 100 Rounds Winchester White Box .380 ACP

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 1038
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993
Failure to feed: Round 873

UPDATE: This was the gadget I was testing, the new green laser for the LCP2. An instant-on green laser on a gun this size really, really improves its utility as a fighting weapon.