Sun's Out, Glocks Out.

Sun's out, Glocks out.

2231111Should be fun.

Louland Gun Range, Southwest Florida’s favorite outdoor shooting range, and Step By Step Gun Training are teaming up for a unique shooting sports event featuring GLOCK USA firearms. The Everglades GLOCK Range Day starts at 9am on Oct. 24, 2015 at Louland Gun Range, 12425 Union Road, Naples, FL and runs until 4pm that day. The event will feature three stages based on GLOCK Shooting Sports Foundation stages and much more. Admission is $5 per person, and the entry fee for each stage is $5.

So to the reader(s) in the 239, come on by, and to those elsewhere in South Florida, come on by as well. Hey, it’s a day on the range for five bucks, what more can you ask for?

FTC Disclaimer: I’m involved in helping set this up, and know everyone involved.

A Year At The Ready.

A year at the ready.

I was in St. Louis the night of the Ferguson riots. Thankfully, nothing happened, and if something did happen, I was more ready than most people to deal with bad things because I had my usual (at the time) daily carry with me: An S&W Shield, a spare mag, a Streamlight Microstream and a Boker knife. In addition to this, I was testing out a lightweight man-purse messenger bag as a way to carry all the little stuff I need to deal with life’s daily ups and downs. I’ve had that same bag with me for the past year, and it accompanies me every time I leave the house. I doesn’t always carry it with when I leave the car, but it is close by if (God forbid) I need it. To be clear, this is not intended to be a 72 hour kit or bug out bag: All this little bag does is allow me to live 24 hours outside of the house in an urban/suburban setting if a disaster or social disruption happens that prevents me from going home. If the power goes out for 24 hours or a flood washes out the bridges on my usual commute, I want to be able to deal with having to not being home for 24 hours, no matter where I am or what I am doing. The contents of the bag are built around sheltering in-place, be it my car, my office or a hotel room, so there’s not a lot of wilderness survival gear in the bag. Another big reason for this bag is to have the things near me that I need in order to deal with the effects of a violent force for or against me. I firmly believe that if you carry a firearm, you should be ready and able to deal with the effects of using that firearm.

front

The bag is not hard to carry around, although I don’t traipse thru the shopping mall with it on my shoulder. In the water bottle pouch is, well, a water bottle, and in the outside MOLLE pockets, I have pens, a flashlight and a larger knife is tucked into the back. I’ve used a trick I learned as a photo assistant and wrapped six or so feet of duct tape around a Sharpie pen so I always have tape on-hand. outside_pockets

The water bottle has come in handy to deal with nasty-tasting municipal water from drinking fountains, and below it in the pouch I’ve stuffed a plastic grocery bag to use as a trash bag, etc. The top pocket has all the gear for my iPhone: I rely on that sucker for more than just making phone calls, so keeping my phone up and running is a big deal for me. I’ve used this extra battery for a year now, and it will recharge my phone enough to use for another 24 hours, which is just what I need it to do. top_pockets

I’ve used every one of these items over the last year (I think I’m on my 12th snack bar or so). Most useful: The little microfiber lens cleaning cloth from RSR Distributing, which gets used to clean my spectacles at least once a day. The front pocket is also loaded up with useful stuff which has also seen a fair about of use over the past year:

front_pocket

Fortunately, I haven’t had to use the rain poncho yet, but everything else here has seen some action over the last twelve months. In particular, the lighter has been used far more often than I would have imagined: There is no substitute for an open flame, and people don’t carry matches or a lighter like they used to in days of old. One thing I am adding to the front pocket is a two-pack of disposable toothbrushes, because the darn things are so handy. As for the last-ditch emergency supplies in the bottom pouch, I’m VERY pleased to say I haven’t needed any of this:

kc_emergency

I’m ditching the compass and knife sharpener for a micro-fiber camp towel: It rains a LOT here in Florida, and dry and safe is better than damp and safe. I’m also tossing in a pair of cheap rubber earplugs, because I always seem to never have ear pro around when I need it. As far as the inside pockets go, I have a fair amount of stuff tucked away inside the pack, but I still have room for a full-size iPad and my ancient Nikon D70 in the inside pouch, so I can toss in the little knickknacks I pick up during the day.

interior

I *love* that Bluetooth keyboard. It’s not as easy to use as a laptop, but I can stick it and my phone into the pockets of a pair of cargo shorts and write anywhere, anytime (in fact, a significant portion of this post was written on that keyboard, paired to my iPhone 6+). The umbrella and Ballistol are new additions that don’t take up much room yet have proven to come in handy these past few months, and I’ve added enough spare cash to get me a cheap hotel room if I absolutely need to stay overnight somewhere. I’m pleased to report that aside from a couple of bandaids and some Advil, I’ve not had to use any of the gear in my first aid pouch. I’m adding a pair of nitrile gloves to the mix, something that I overlooked when I put the kit together.

kc_first_aid-2

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What good is it going to do you if you stop the threat with a perfect Mozambique drill on the bad guy when/if the need arises, only to find out he/she managed to squeeze of a round and now your loved one(s) are bleeding out in front of your eyes? Carry your tourniquets, people. It’s a lighter burden than regret.

contents

That’s a fair amount of kit to haul around in a small bag, but it’s not heavy and carries easily. All in all, I’m pleased with the contents and the container of my murse messenger bag, and I’ll continue to have it near me if (God forbid) I have another Ferguson moment. Update: I wrote this post a week and queued it up for delivery a day and a half ago. Since that time, it looks like I might get a chance to put some of this stuff to the test

Match Report – Louland Gun Range August 6th

Match Report – Louland Gun Range August 6th

I have more free time on my hands these days, so in-between reorganizing my sock drawer and taking laps of the pool, I went and shot the Thursday night match at Louland.

And I didn’t suck.

I’m actually kinda happy with both those stages. Yes, I have a dropped shot on the popper in the first stage and speed-gunned the second stage a bit, resulting a A-2C-D first target and one into the no-shot (%#$!), but I like my movement, I got my hits, and I was fairly consistent on ALL the stages. My draw was decent (for me) on that first stage, and all four hits were close together and upper-center mass on the steel.

Cool.

Why? A few reasons. I actually AM dry-firing on a regular basis now, and rather than just working on draw and trigger press, I’ve built a short course of fire with 13 targets set up in different arrays around my spare bedroom, so now I have practice drawing, moving, doing transitions and dealing with near and far targets.

You know, all that $@!% that Brian Enos talks about in his book. So maybe, just maybe, if I practice and pay attention, I can get good at this practical shooting thing.

Maybe.

No More Blue Sccys.

No more blue Sccys.

For the last eight years, I’ve had a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with my 1st generation Sccy CPX-1. It wasn’t a fun gun to shoot, it broke often and had a safety that engaged with almost every shot. I sent it back to factory three times, and while the customer service I received from Sccy was great (they’d give me an extra mag every time I sent it in), I prefer guns that don’t have to go back to the factory at all, and guns that I actually like to shoot, so I consigned the Sccy to purgatory as a car gun.

I had a chance to talk with our local Sccy rep and recount my woes with his products, and he cleared the way for me to trade my old CPX-1 in on a newer model, no questions asked.

CPX-2 V2

Cool.

I got the new gun back from the factory last week, and you know what? It’s not bad. I’m not sure how reliable/sturdy it is at this point with just 50 rounds through it, but it is quite accurate for a little gun and a LOT easier to shoot than the old model and had no issues with the first box of ammo.

50 down, 1150 to go.

The best thing was, the gun is MUCH more comfortable to shoot than the old model. I used to walk away from a 50 rounds with a painful hand from the poor ergonomics of the old gun, but not now. The trigger on the Sccy is still almost 10 pounds and has a looooong take-up and reset, but at first glance, Sccy has turned the ugly duckling of their 1st generation gun into a nice little swan in the making.

An Apple Store …. With Bullets.

An Apple Store …. with bullets.

I am nothing if not a quote machine.

Inside, the sunlight streams through high windows. The employees are friendly. The 6,000-square-foot showroom is squeaky clean and equipped with video screens. There are no stuffed bears posed in the attack position, jaws agape. Every Monday, starting at 4PM, women don’t pay a dollar for their range time. In the back, you can have lunch at one of the high-top tables or pay to shoot holes in targets on any of the 19 lanes downstairs.

On the Presidential Lane, I shot an AR-15, a .22, a 9mm. Creighton explained each firearm carefully and coached me as I shot. The guns boomed; the smell of gun powder filled my nose.

“It’s like golf, only louder,” Creighton noted.

Read the whole thing.

Match Report: IDPA At SWFLPS.

Match Report: IDPA at SWFLPS.

I like the Hansen range. It is, by far, the class act of the outdoor practical shooting clubs in the Ft. Myers/ Naples area. I need to shoot there more often, especially more 3 Gun. It’s also concealment-optional in the summer months, but I chose to shoot this match with my current carry gear, a CZ P07 in a Crossbreed, concealed by a untucked t-shirt. I let my gamer flag fly in USPSA, in IDPA, I’m more concerned about learning lessons I can apply to the real world.

As to the match, well, the good news is, I know what problems I need to work on. The bad news is, I’ve known what those problems are foe a while now, and I’m still unable to get past them.

The fact of the matter is, I suck at long shots with the P07. My Classifiers go great, right up until Stage Three when the wheels come FLYING off and I get stuff in Marksman yet again.

Evidence of this fact is to be found in Stages Two and Four of this video, where I go Down Six and an FTN on at least one target per stage, but on stage Three, I went Down Three.

The remedy? More dry-fire, and some range time specifically devoted to one-handed and long-range precision work with the P07. There’s a Classifier coming up in August, and it’d be good not to suck.

Whining At The Door, Scratching To Get In.

Whining at the door, scratching to get in.

My Kel-Tec is getting repaired at the shop, so I have to wait to install all the new toys onto it.

I’m waiting on an ambi mag release and bolt catch from Troy so I can upgrade my competition AR to something that is truly ambidextrous (and then write a story about it for one of the biggest gunblogs out there).

My new CZ is still at CZ Custom, getting a new hammer, trigger and sights.

I do like the Taccom shotgun rig, though. I just need the time to go out and shoot a match with it.

I have all this new stuff, but I can’t play with it! So frustrating!

The Vision Thing

The Vision Thing

You can also just get lazy and let habit shoot for you. When you’re shooting from habit, you just don’t pay atten tion to your visual inputs. A good example is Triple Threat: you push the gun onto the first target and you see the sight drive onto that target and from that point on you may not see the sight again. I was burning out on that stage in practice one day seeing how fast I could shoot it, and I shot three or four runs in a row where I missed the second tar get every time. And that was from being lazy and just sling ing a shot to that target. Shooting a stage like that becomes such a habitual routine that you don’t really see anything; you just kind of point the gun in that direction and fire a shot.

And I experienced just that last month. Take a look look at this video. At first glance, it looks like a pretty smooth run, I even handle the glitch in my round count fairly well.

Except that all throughout that run, I didn’t look at my sights or call my shots, and so I ended up with a HORRIBLE score, including three Mikes and a no-shoot.

It’s been a long time since I shot a stage that poorly. I became complacent, and it came back to bite me in the assets. I learned absolutely NOTHING from that stage, except what not to do, and unfortunately, that’s a lesson I need to keep on learning.