Buh Bye.

Buh Bye.

I am outta here, headed off to SHOT.

One of the really neat things about the show this year is that I, along with Annette Evans, will be wandering the hallways of Sands Exhibition Center, looking for cool stuff to talk about for Shooting Illustrated. As all my efforts will be focused on what I’m doing for them, don’t expect any new content here next week.

In essence, I’ll be covering the largest gun show on the planet for the largest group of gun owners on the planet. Pretty cool.

And I *swear* I will not make it “All CZ, all the time”.

Ok, I’ll try to make it happen. But no promises.

And As It Turns Out, I Have Done Just That.

And As It Turns Out, I Have Done Just That.

Me, five years ago:

According to the commenters (some of which are combat medics), I needed to start with a pressure and a tourniquet rather than the QuikClot.

Which exposes a big gaping hole (no pun intended…) in my training: Aside from CPR and some basic first aid, I’ve had no training in dealing with the effects of a negligent discharge.

Today, I’ve had a day-long course in first-aid trauma med, and I carry either an improvised tourniquet or a full-on SOF-T everywhere I go.

Cool.

Lighten Up, Francis.

Lighten Up, Francis.

I have a friend who’s AntiFa, and his response when I suggested that maybe violence wasn’t the answer for his group was “Well, when I’m being threatened with violence, what choice to I have?” *

In other words, he hit me, so I have no choice but to hit him back.

Bull crap. That is a child’s response to violence: “Of course I hit him, he hit me first! I HAD to hit him!” **

“No choice?” We are humans, not animals. We learned to override our baser instincts around the same time one of us figured out that a burning branch wasn’t something to be afraid of, but rather, it was good for warmth and illumination and starting barbecues.

No, we do not always have control over the actions of others, but we always, ALWAYS have control over our reactions. Any cop could probably tell you about the times they’ve had some poor fool sitting on a curb in cuffs, watching a friend bleed out in front of them say something like, “Man, I didn’t want to do it, but he just wouldn’t back down.” At that point, one life is over, and one life is ruined. Who hit whom first is a bit of a moot point. I’m not willing to let this beautiful country with its beautiful freedoms go away just because a bunch of children started arguing over who threw the first punch.

* I’m old enough to remember when Martin Luther King Jr. was reviled by the right and loved by the left. My, how things have changed.
** I haven’t heard that said in our house since my youngest son turned ten, which speaks volumes about the emotional age of Antifa and other groups.

Ruger Continues To Break New Ground.

Ruger Continues To Break New Ground.

A Ruger shooting team? Anchored by Doug Koenig? Will wonders never cease?

Ruger’s never had a professional team, but today’s product mix gives them guns capable of competing in everything from cowboy action and rimfire challenge matches to practical disciplines like IDPA and USPSA, Steel Challenge, Bianchi Cup, even long range precision rifle matches.

What will raise eyebrows even higher across the industry is the identity of their new team captain: Doug Koenig.

After fourteen very successful years as a Smith & Wesson shooter, Koenig will now be shooting Rugers. And not just in the practical disciplines. Koenig tells me he’ll be expanding his schedule to include precision rifle competitions.

And this little bit from Doug is VERY intriguing.

“When I talked with Ruger engineers, they asked me what I thought – instead of telling me what they were going to do. So, I told them what I would like to see in a Ruger competition pistol, and it seemed like they were really listening.”

Let’s face it. Yes, Jessie shoots for Taurus, but does anyone REALLY think that her Open gun has any Taurus parts in it whatsoever? However, a competition-ready 1911 from Ruger, built to Doug Koening’s specifications would give Colt and SIG a run for their money.

Interesting times ahead.

Define “Normal”.

Define “Normal”.

Now that Trump is in office gun makers are thinking “Ok, Obama’s gone, now we’re going back to normal” but the fact is, we’re still in an abnormal market environment.
When was the last time that:

  1. Concealed carry, in one form or another, was the law of the land?
  2. Personal protection and target shooting were the main driver of gun sales?
  3. There is no federal Assault Weapons Ban, nor a credible threat of one being on the horizon?
  4. We have a pro-gun President and a nominally pro-gun (ok, how about ‘not virulently anti-gun’?) Congress?
  5. Legislation that expands our right to self-defense (rather than more gun control) made it through the House of Representatives?

This is a target-rich environment. I hope we do something with it. Market forces have driven the price of guns down to ridiculous levels, clogging up the Retention part of the customer lifecycle. People who own already guns have taken advantage of the ridiculous prices of the past year, which makes Ruger’s new product strategy a very, very good idea.

For the first time in over a hundred years, guns are normal. Let’s keep it that way.

The Personalized Defense Weapon.

The Personalized Defense Weapon.

John from No Lawyers, Only Guns And Money made a terrific point on social media recently about the new Ruger carbine: It’s an updated version of the M-1 Carbine.

He’s right on so many levels. Why was the M-1 invented? Because soldiers needed something longer-ranged and more accurate than a pistol but was easier to carry around than a rifle. Now granted, the new Ruger weighs seven pounds which is more than a lot of AR-15’s these days, but it breaks down into two easy-to-stow halves making it easier to stash away in a backpack and whatnot. Also, filled up with 124gr +P’s, it’ll dish out more hate than most (if not all) 9mm pistols, but be a lot easier to control and make a lot less noise than even the tamest of rifles.

There’s a lot of clued-in firearms trainers out there who recommend a 10/22 with a red dot and 30 round mag as a defensive firearm to people who, because of infirmities, can’t handle recoil or who have difficult time operating a handgun, and the 10/22 is a good option for them. It’s easy to use, it has a lot of firepower, and it’s easy to put the red dot on the target and pull the trigger until the target realizes the error of his/her ways or stops twitching.

Either one is an acceptable outcome.

With the new 9mm carbine, all of that is still true, except now, in exchange for a bit more noise and a bit more recoil, you’re sending 9mm rounds downrange instead of 40gr .22’s.

Win-win-win. Well, except for the bad guy. That’s a lose-lose situation for him.

What Did I Changed My Mind About Last Year?

What Did I Changed My Mind About Last Year?

  1. The efficacy of pistol-mounted flashlights.
    They have a purpose, which is to identify that yes, that is the correct target you’re pointing your gun at. However, they are slow to activate, don’t have a brightness advantage over today’s flashlights and serve one purpose. Get a good handheld light instead, and learn how to use it.
  2. I don’t need all those spare mags.
    I carry one spare mag these days, and if I my carry gun held more than 8+1, I probably wouldn’t carry that either.
  3. Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
    I used to carry two rounds on 9mm shotshells in my second spare mag. Hey, I live literally right next to the Everglades, and carrying some snakeshot seemed like a good idea at the time. I was wrong.
  4. The utility of hybrid holsters.
    Here’s the thing… Any holster that uses the pressure of your body as a retention device is going to fail in situations where your body isn’t pressing up against the holster. Can that happen while you’re laying hands on someone out to do you harm? You betcha.
  5. The utility of tourniquets.
    Over the course of this year, I went from carrying nothing to carrying an improvised tourniquet to carrying a SOF-T in a flatpack (more on that later). I made carrying a tourniquet a priority for me, and I was able to find ways to make it work.
The Year In Guns

The Year In Guns

It’s been a good year this year. I’ve managed to bring in a decent amount of side-job money, and that meant I had the wherewithal to buy myself some toys.

First up is the .300BLK pistol that I wrote up for Shooting Illustrated. I’ve tweaked it a bit with a Vickers sling and whatnot, and I like shooting it quite a lot.

Next is my suppressor for that gun, a SIG Sauer SRD762-QD. With wait times steadily falling on NFATracker.com, I expect to have it in-hand around March, if not a little sooner.

I hope.

I then put the Mossberg 930SPX that I had been using for 3 Gun out to pasture in favor of it’s gamer cousin, the 930 JM Pro. More competition is in the cards for me later this year, and so this gun will have a baptism by fire in the near future.

Smith and Wesson had a fire-sale on the first-edition 9mm Shields, and I picked up without a safety to replace the one I was carrying which had a safety. With the bladed trigger and other bits, there’s really no reason for an external safety on the Shield, and the darn thing is so small, it’s tough to flick off if accidentally switched on. Better not safety than sorry, I believe…

Lastly, I upgraded my 3 Gun AR with a new hand guard from Midwest Industries and an anodized aluminum stock from LeadStar Arms. That bloomin’ (literally) Bushnell red dot is leaving soon, probably swapped out for a Holosun dot.

As I said, a good year. Better than most.

See you in 2018!

The Naked Gun.

The Naked Gun.

Someone on a less-than-clueful Internet forum posted about how he felt “naked” without his CCW pistol on him.

This kind of annoyed me, as I had to wait almost three months for my Florida CCW permit to arrive, and despite that, I didn’t feel “naked” because I had other options available to me.

What other options, you ask? Well, read and find out.