*Insert Content Here*

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Sorry, but a family trip to Key West put a damper on content creation over the weekend. Here’s a photo of a Civil War cannon from Fort Zachary Taylor in lieu of new stuff. Also, the kids are home from school yesterday and today and I’m working on a big article for Ricochet.com on the NRA’s role in Gun Culture 2.0, so content may be light this week.
This is my big boomstick

Match Report: LouLand 3 Gun, October 5, 2015

Match Report: LouLand 3 Gun, October 5, 2015

Continuing a theme from last week, I shot the 3 Gun match at LouLand with my trunk gun, a Kel-Tec SU16C, my home defense shotgun, a Mossberg 500, and the CZ P07 I’m carrying around these days.

The results were two-fold: I placed dead-last on every stage because I was drawing from concealment and wasn’t using gamer gear like the other competitors, and I learned a lot about how my defensive gear works under stressful conditions. Some thoughts…

  • Pistol
    Really nothing new to learn here, except that on one stage, the late-evening light entered the left lens of my glasses (my dominant eye) juuuuust right, washing out the view of my sights. It may not be a bad idea for me to learn to shoot with my non-dominant eye.
  • Shotgun
    The 500 ran like a 500 normally does, smooth and quickly. I didn’t carry the gamer reloading rig, but rather did all my reloads off the sidesaddle on the gun, one shell at a time. There was fourteen shots on the stage, all on poppers and falling plates, and my 500 holds 7+1 and has a 6 round sidesaddle on it, so if I did everything correctly, I wouldn’t have to reload from my pockets. And I did, so I didn’t. Whew.
  • Rifle
    Here’s where things got interesting. I have a SigTac 3x scope and a Sig Stoplite laser/light on the rifle, and I was pleased how well that worked on the long shots. However, I found myself looking through the scope at the close targets versus looking for the laser on the target. I’ve also found the light to be of limited use at night, so maybe it’s time for something new.

This is why I compete: To put my skills and gear to the test when the stakes are low, so I know they’ll work when the stakes are high. Here’s video of (some) of the rifle run.

Tactical Vs. Practical

Tactical Vs. Practical

I thought I’d break down the Louland match from a few weeks ago where I shot my subcompact Shield versus my normal gamer gear to see how much equipment actually affects performance. I’m comparing my scores to another “C” class shooter at the match who was running a Glock 19 with full mags to give some idea of what difference carry gear and drawing from concealment makes in a match.

Stage One
This stage traditionally has a lot of falling steel, mini-poppers and plate racks, meaning accuracy is at a premium. It was also the first stage I shot in the match with a gun I hadn’t practiced with for months, which led to some expected results.

Competitor One
Points: 110 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 32.48
Points: 80 – Points Down: 60 – Time: 79.69

Yeah, screwed the pooch big time on this one, leaving 6 targets un-shot. Moving on…

Stage Two
A more traditional steel stage, with some run and gun elements. The targets were bigger (A-C steel and poppers) and I’d settled down a bit and gotten used to the gun after the first stage. Here’s a photo and a stage diagram.

Stage Description: Shoot the lettered targets from their corresponding area.

Competitor One
Points: 120 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 16,42
Points: 120 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 54.10

Still slow, but getting better. As a way to judge the skill level of the other competitor and myself, I re-shot this stage the next day with my gamer rig, and did it in 20.69 seconds.

Stage 3
You’ve seen this one in the video, so let’s get to it.

Competitor One
Points: 95 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 19.44
Points: 98 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 28.54

Took me a while longer to shoot, but my comfort with the small gun was definitely improving. Also, I was very pleased with my accuracy on this stage, dropping only four Charlies and a Delta on all that paper.

Stage 4
The stage from the last part of the video, the one with the pond. Very fast, with few targets.

Competitor One
Points: 56 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 11.25
Points: 58 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 18.36

Having to reload and work from concealment really hit me on this stage.

Stage 5
All steel, with hostage-target and a bunch of tiny little rabbit auto poppers.

Competitor One
Points: 95 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 19.66
Points: 95 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 28.35

Again, having to reload twice as often and draw both my gun and magazines from reload affecting things there quite a bit.

All in all, I’m glad I shot the match with my carry gear because some of the targets (like the hostage shot) were quite tricky, and knowing that I can make the shot with my carry gear, on-demand and under stress, is a big confidence booster.

Match Report – Louland Pistol Match, 9-24-15

Match Report – Louland Pistol Match, 9-24-15

Once a year, I like to shoot my carry gear in competition to see how it performs in a stressful situations, so I brought my Smith&Wesson Shield in 9mm, Crossbreed Minituck and a pair of mag pouches to the Louland pistol match last week.

Shooting a match with a gun that holds 8+1 means you get a LOT of opportunity to practice your reloads, and despite this (and the super-short sight radius of the Shield), I did ok.

Here’s a video of another shooter running a stage with a Glock 19 versus my Shield. There is something to be said for having 15 rounds in a mag, as we shall now see, with special bonus footage of what happens when you set up a match, then have a Florida monsoon roll in the morning of the match.

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.


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:


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.