STILL not the Wild West

It’s been over a year since permit-less concealed carry was signed into law, nine months since the law took effect, and there hasn’t been any gunfights at the O.K. Corral since 1881. 

Will that affect the Brady Campaign and Illegal Mayors Against Guns?

Probably not. 

More …

Planning for Plan B

Pocket Protector

Michael Bane talked about training to your weakness this week on his podcast, and I realized I’ve been neglecting to train with my usual daily carry gun, a Kel-Tec P3AT. 

Oh sure, I’ll go the range with it to try a quick El Prez or the like, but I don’t train with if (or any of pistols, for that matter) in any other situation than standing up. 

But I can’t guarantee I’ll be standing upright if I need to defend my life: I may be sitting, I may be kneeling, I may be face down in the dirt, but I need to know how to get my pistol into action as quickly as possible from all of those positions, and that’s something I’ve never trained. 

For safety’s sake, though, it’s best if I do this in two distinct parts. One is practicing my draw and presentation with an unloaded gun at home. Ideally I should use a blue gun for this, but they don’t make a P3AT blue gun just yet, so instead I’ll use a homemade chamber flag and multiple, multiple chamber checks to make sure the gun’s empty and stays empty throughout my practice. I’ve not had a negligent discharge (yet) and I fully intend never to have one. 

The second part is practicing shooting from sitting, kneeling and prone positions with my P3AT and other carry guns on the range, a fairly easy task to accomplish.

All this practice and training probably won’t make me into a robot mutant cyborg, but it will make me more fast and accurate on the worst day of my life. 

And that’s a good thing.

Flight of fancy

USPSA v. FBI QITI wanted to see how my daily carry rig stood up to a standardized pistol drill, and I chose the Air Marshal standards course, as it seemed to be (and was) a good test of my skills and equipment.

The rig I used was my CZ P07 in a Crossbreed SuperTuck, concealed with an oversized t-shirt. My spare mag was stored in my weak-side front pocket. I don’t have any FBI QIT targets, so I used a USPSA Metric target. I scored A, B and C hits as 5 pts, D hits as 2, and misses as zero.

The drill, and my results

All strings are shot from a distance of seven yards.
Qualification: Time: Cannot exceed total time for each drill. Example: Drill #1 – 1st time 1.70 seconds, 2nd time 1.55 seconds; Total = 3.25 seconds = Go. Must achieve a “GO” on each drill. Accuracy: Target is FBI “QIT” (bottle). Total rounds fired is 30. Point value inside bottle = 5. Point value touching line or outside bottle = 2. Maximum possible score = 150. Mininum qualifying score = 135. All stages must equal “GO” to qualify.

Individual Drill Starting Position Time Allowed Actual Time Score Pass/Fail
One Round (Twice)
3.3 Seconds Total
Concealed from Holster 1.65 seconds 1.92 5 F
1.65 seconds 1.82 5 F
Double Tap (twice)
2.70 Seconds Total
Low Ready 1.35 seconds .98 10 P
1.35 seconds 1.07 10 P
Rhythm; fire 6 rounds at one target; no more than 0.6 second between each shot.
3 Seconds Total
Low Ready 3.0 seconds 2.62 30 P
One Shot, speed reload, one shot (twice).
6.5 Seconds Total
Low Ready 3.25 seconds 2.89 10 P
3.25 seconds 5.35 10 F
One Round each at two targets three yards apart (twice).
3.3 Seconds Total
Low Ready 1.65 seconds 1.35 10 P
1.65 seconds .89 7 P
180° pivot. One round each at three targets (twice). Turn left, then right.
7.0 Seconds Total
Concealed from Holster 3.5 seconds 2.84 15 P
3.5 seconds 2.75 10 P (?)
One Round, slide locks back; drop to one knee; reload; fire one round. (twice).
8.0 Seconds Total
Low Ready 4.0 seconds 5.1 10 F
4.0 seconds 4.7 10 F
Result: (1 miss on one of the pivot drill strings)       142 Fail

A few thoughts…

FAIL.

I love my Crossbreed Supertuck, but it sucks to draw from. I need to start thinking about a pancake or yaqui slide holster for the P07 and use the Crossbreed only as a tuckable IWB holster, or else modify the Supertuck so I can get a quicker draw.

And no, switching to a “shoot me first” vest isn’t something I’m considering, mainly because I never wore them in the past, even when I was a full-time photographer, and in the heat of a 115+ Phoenix summer, adding on additional layers of clothing doesn’t seem that wise. Besides, I’m more of The Dude than I am Walter Sobchak .

I need a better way to store spare mags than my front pocket. I blew one string because I wasted a couple of seconds playing pocket pool with my reload, and failed two others for much the same reason.

All in all, though, I like the drill as it tests both my skill set and the tools I use. When I didn’t hav to draw or reload, I easily beat the required par times. A few tweaks to my holster and accessories, and I should pass the next time I run this drill.

Maybe I was wrong after all

I wanted to go up to the range and run through my practice drills, but the near-freezing temperatures in Phoenix last week talked me out of it. Instead, ExurbanSteve and I went to Caswell’s and shot on their indoor range, and ended up I working on my strong hand and weak hand only shooting. 

I also wanted to see if there was a noticeable difference in accuracy and controllability between my compact (-ish) 9mm CZ P07, my subcompact Sccy 9mm and my .380 Kel-Tec P3AT. The range rules at Caswell’s don’t allow me to draw from a holster, so instead I ran through three Mozambique drills each from low ready with each gun. 

And son of a gun, but the little 9mm Sccy was significantly harder to control and less accurate than the even-littler (but less powerful) P3AT, even though the sights on the P3AT are, at best, limited (actually, “pitiful” would be the word I’d use). 

I won’t know until I get out on the range, shoot from a holster and time my runs, but my first impression is that if you’re looking for a compact, easily concealable CCW gun, skip the subcompact 9mm and get a pocket .380. 

The Blessings of the Itty Bitty 9

Sccy CPX-1

Shelley at Gun Nuts Media ain’t a big fan of the new ultracompact single-stack 9mm’s coming on to the marketplace

I can dig it. They do seem like a solution in search of a problem. They’re pushing the boundaries of what could be considered a “pocket pistol”, but don’t offer the control and accuracy of a compact or subcompact 9mm. 

But. 

I consider the ultra-compact 9mm to be the “scout rifle” of CCW. No, they are not as concealable as a pocket .380, and no, they are not as powerful as a .45 and no, they are not as accurate as a compact 9mm like a Glock 26 or a Springfield XD-M. 

However, a small single-stack 9mm is 85% of all those guns. Just like a scout rifle is the rifle to have if you can have only one, a single-stack 9mm allows you to carry your gun in the front pocket if you want. It allows you to carry IWB if needed, it gives you 7 rounds or more of 9mm stopping power, which provides more confidence in what you carry.

Small 9mm’s don’t do one thing really well, but an ultracompact 9mm does a whole lot of things fairly well, and they work really well as the CCW gun to have if you can only have one. 

The gun to have if you can only have one

I’ll admit it, when I first started reading about Jeff Cooper and his ideas about self defense, I didn’t “get” the idea behind a scout rifle. It seemed to be quaint and antiquated in a world of AR’s and AK’s, and besides, semi-autos had more firepower and precision rifles were more accurate, so why get a rifle that was a compromise.

I get it now, though.

It’s not that a scout rifle is the optimal self-defense rifle or the last word in 800 yard tack drivers, rather, a scout rifle gives you 85% of both of those rifles in a package that’s small and light so that you’ll have it with you when you need it and is reliable enough to go *bang* when you need it as well.

Do I *need* a rifle like that? No.

Do I want one? Oh yeah.

Update: Hey, if you’re coming to this page from various parts of the Internet (and beyond), feel free to stick around and visit the home page for more and/or follow me on Twitter.

The gun you have

I still dabble in photography, even though it’s been almost ten years since it was my full-time job, and photographers are still equipment-obsessed, a trait they share with firearms enthusiasts. Camera companies spend millions of dollars on ads that show the wonderful, striking photos you can take with your SuperTouchDeluxe XV3 (now with MondoPixel technology!), and photographers fall for it, thinking that all they need is the latest technology to turn into the next Yousef Karsh.

But the fact is, great photos can be taken with any camera, and chances are, you can defend your life with just about any firearm. It’s not the tools you use, it how you use the tools you have. Tam’s post on The Firing line nails it wonderfully.

Two reasons people are anti-training (perhaps not coincidentally, this is also why people are anti- competing in organized shooting sports):

1) “It costs too much.” Somebody has fifteen guns, a motorcycle, a PS3 with plenty of games hooked to his flat-panel TeeWee (not to mention the PS2 and PlayStation in the attic), and who knows how many other toys, and a $200-$400 handgun training course “costs too much”. Hey, Skippy, how ’bout selling that Taurus Raging Judge you were bragging about buying last week and using the proceeds to get yourself taught how to use one of the fourteen other guns you already had? (And maybe sell one of those and take an MSF class for your motorcyclin’ while you’re at it.) The problem is, people can’t point at new mental furniture and say to their friends “Look what I just bought!”

2) People can’t shoot, but think they can. At the range, nobody is really watching them shoot and, face it, everybody else at the range is awful, too. But if they go to a class or enter a match, it will get proved officially: “Joe/Jane Averageshooter: First Loser”. It takes humility to learn and lose. Humble people don’t boast on their adequacy. So most people go and buy another gun instead, because when they open the box on that gun, it won’t look up at them and say “You stink!”; it’ll say “You just bought the official pistol of SWATSEAL Team 37 1/2! Congratulations!”

If you want to take better pictures, learn about light and get some training, because chances are the camera you have is up to the task. If want to defend your life, learn to use the gun(s) you have, because they’re the ones you’ll need if your life is on the line.

Product Report: Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe

I am an Acolyte (Second Class) in The Cult Of Mac, and one of the liturgies in our faith is The Ritual of the Unboxing, where we carefully document not only our latest purchases from Apple, but how the items were shipped to us in the first place

Yes, it’s a disease, and no, there is no cure. 

So when my Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe arrived in the mail yesterday, it’s only natural (for me, at least) to document how it got here and how it works. 

Disclaimer: I am not a high-speed, low drag operator. I scored a “1” on the mall ninja test only because my AR has a bunch of rails on it. I’m not former law enforcement or special ops, I’m just a guy who wants to protect his family as best as he can.

I had decided on CZ P07 to replace my Sccy CPX-1 as my daily (non-work) carry pistol. Finding a good day-in, day-out holster for the P07 has been a bit of a challenge. I purchased a BladeTech OWB Kydex holster for the P07 for IDPA, and I wanted my carry holster to mimic the retention and reholstering capabilities of the BladeTech but was comfortable enough to wear all the time. Because my holster options for the P07 are limited, I decided to go with a Crossbreed SuperTuck for Springfield XD-M, and it holds the P07 pretty well (more on that later).

Packaging

For starters, the holder came by regular snail mail, a surprise for someone who’s used to everything being shipped by UPS or Fedex. 

Contents

The pack contained my holster, the extra J-Hooks that I ordered in case I wanted more concealment than the normal hooks, a brief letter saying that I should hang on to this if I needed to use their lifetime warranty, a quick guide to reshaping kydex for added retention if needed, and a membership form for the NRA. One thing it didn’t come with is some instructions on how to best use it with your clothing, something that a newbie to the hybrid tuckable holster world like myself could have used. 

Fit

The P07 fits the holster quite well. Really well, in fact, considering that it was made for another gun entirely. If the retention on the BladeTech is a 10, the retention on SuperTuck is an 8. Initially, I thought it was a little loose in the holster, but once I had the holster on my belt and the gun the holster, the pressure of the holster against my body made it secure enough to go ahead and use it for now, and if I need to snug up the gun in the holster, I can always follow their instructions on how to reshape the kydex for a tighter fit. 

Concealment

The holster is incredibly comfortable to wear. My previous experience with an IWB holster has been limited to a Bianchi 100 for my Sccy CPX-1 and Galco 2nd Amendment for my P3AT. In the Crossbreed, my P07 is as easy to carry as the Sccy, even though the P07 is a bigger and heavier pistol. I chose strong backlighting for this shot because it works great (along with strong sidelight) for showing how a gun prints,. You can see in that shot while the Crossbreed does show up as a little asymmetrical, it’s nothing overtly noticeable.

IWB

It also seems easy to draw from, but I’ll know more on that later this week after I run it thru an El Presidenté or two at my next practice session. 

All in all, I’m wildly satisfied with the quality, fit and value of the holster, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a comfortable, easy-to-wear and practical holster for their CCW gun.