Lessons From Maryland

Lessons From Maryland

The horrific massacre at the Capital Gazette newspaper is not following the established narrative for such events. First off, because the shooter was Hispanic and used a shotgun and Maryland has ridiculously tight gun laws, it’s going to be hard for progressives to blame “assault weapons” and the NRA for this one. Also, CNN, in a shocking display of sanity, is not publicizing the shooter’s name.

Good. These maroons do this for the publicity, and the less of that they get, the less chance that someone else will do similar.

The cops had a sixty second response time, which is blazingly fast, but five people still died. My response time to active shooter? About 1.7 seconds, from concealment (-ish) and my response time to a traumatic injury? A minute, tops. The shooter had multiple restraining orders against him, but I’ve yet to figure out how a piece of paper is a more effective defense against a maniac than 124gr hollow points. The fact that he was this crazy and still bought a shotgun is an issue we need to look at, but only if we gun owners get something in return. The days of us giving up a thing that is dear to us in return for nothing at all are over.

Finally, a Reuters editor tried to claim that the shooter was wearing a “Make America Great” shirt and was pro-Trump, and rather than other papers picking up that narrative and running with it like they did with the shooting of Gabby Giffords, that editor apologized and might be facing disciplinary measures at work.

Might a little sanity be creeping into our media? I certainly hope so. It’d be nice to have the adults back in charge once more.

Sorry, I Got Nothing.

Sorry, I Got Nothing.

I’m liking the new job, but the tempo of operations is a lot quicker than what I’ve been used to for at least five years, so my energy when I get home is not where it was. And last weekend, we went to SeaWorld, so there went one of my usual writing days, right out the window.

Plus, as I write this, I have seven articles in the queue for the NRA, 2 of which have deadlines in the next week or so.

Yikes.

Go read Greg’s Weekend Knowledge Dump. It’s usually really good.

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 801 – 1000

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 801 – 1000

Halfway there! I shot the weekly practical pistol match at Louland last week with the Colt 1911, giving it a chance to show its stuff in its natural environment, a practical pistol match. The match there is lightweight and easy to shoot, with the stages being all-steel and shot from designated shooting boxes.

It’s not really friendly to 1911’s, though, and there was one stage where there was ten, (count ’em) ten shots to be had from one shooting box.

Standing reloads suck.

The good news is, aside from my reloads, I’m really starting to get a handle on how this gun shoots. I had a great Stage One, where my split times were pretty much identical to my CZ times, although my reloads continue to be a dumpster fire.

That used up about 120 rounds, and I shot the remaining 50 or so rounds qualifying for the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor training, and the rest after that was over.

But that’s another story.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
200 Rounds Remington UMC 230gr FMJ .45ACP

Results:

No issues.

Thanks again to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.

Farce On Farce

Farce On Farce

One of the interesting takeaways from my knife defense class was some of the comments in a Facebook group where Jeff Street posted a link to the article.  Another instructor in the group didn’t believe that the class taught anything worthwhile because it didn’t teach us how to then press the attack with a knife, it taught us how to get away from the knife and therefore was of little use.

The thing is though, I really, really don’t want to get into knife fight when I fight: I prefer not to get into a fight at all.  If I have to get into a knife fight, I want it to quickly evolve into a gun fight, because I’m much better that I am with knives.  A pistol fight also gives me the wonderful option of running away screaming in terror, which is the most effective defense against the knife there is.

The trainer who was complaining that our class was “unrealistic“ was a big proponent of force on force training to prove that his theories were correct, and the videos he posted to bolster his arguments showed that yes, they did indeed work.

As long as you play by the rules he set up prior to the start of the fight, and that’s a mighty big if.

I’m not really interested in force on force training which proves that your system works: I’m more interested in scenarios that show where it breaks and where we need to improve.  Force on force training works because we have to improvise on the fly when we’re in the fight. Force on force in training helps us improvise quicker, better, and more often, not repeat the patterns of training we already know, that’s what drills are for.

There are many trainers out there who denigrate the use of practical shooting as a way to improve your pistol skills. They say that the minute you define the rules of the match, it no longer becomes effective combat training.  Personally, I think you can thousand years of human civilization argues against this back. From the ancient Greeks on Mount Olympus to the Roman gladiator games to knights of olde jousting to samurai attacking each other with wooden swords, mankind has always used sport as a way to improve our combat ability.

Are there more rules in a sporting event than there are in real life? Of course there are! Those rules, however, are there so sport becomes a learning event, not a literal life-and-death struggle. We learn the rules, we master them, and then we learned to break them when necessary.

An Apple As A Teacher

An Apple As A Teacher

Apple is the absolute dominant player in retail right now. The presence of an Apple Store can make or break a shopping mall, so when Apple’s VP of Retail talks about retail, gun store owners better listen.

You have your instincts and you use a lot of smart outside guys, and the smart outside guys they don’t say retail is dying. They say digital is gonna grow at three times the rate of physical, but in the next five years… 75 percent of people will shop online, shop to learn [about what they want to buy], but 75 percent of business will still be done in physical stores.
Because of this, (Apple VP) Ahrendts explained that “retail isn’t going away” or “dying,” but it will have to “evolve” as time passes. Apple has already made moves to change up Apple retail locations with next-generation layouts that emphasize communal gathering and encourage interactivity during Today at Apple sessions. This plays into another of Ahrendts’ talking points in the interview, when she said, “I think [retail] has to serve a bigger purpose than just selling.”

Building a community around your store should be easy for any store that includes a gun range, because those stores have a place to buy guns and use the guns they just bought. Think bowling alleys circa 1967: You bought your shoes and balls in the pro shop, and used them right there on a weekend evening, along with all your friends.

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 701-800

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 701-800

I made a trip last week up to the local public range (the official name for it is the “Cecil M. Webb Shooting Range,” but I like to call it the “Dunning-Krueger Exhibition and Fairgrounds”) to sight in a new rifle scope (more on that next week) and to put some more rounds through the Colt Competition 1911.

I decided to up the workout I was putting on this gun and shot 100 rounds of Federal Aluminum-cased 230gr .45ACP FMJ through it, and because the range bans “rapid fire” (and with good reason, I might add…) I worked on one-handed shooting and accurate shot placement.

All 100 rounds of ammo fed into and out of the pistol with no issues, except that my arms wound up covered in bits and flakes of charred paint or something similar. How much of this is inside the gun and how it will affect performance is anybody’s guess.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
100 Rounds Federal Aluminium 230gr FMJ .45ACP

Results:

No issues.

Thanks again to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.

Flash Site Pictures, Monday Edition.

Flash Site Pictures, Monday Edition.

I’ve been busy.

Really satisfied with how my hog hunting with an AR-15 article for American Hunter turned out, and I’m also really satisfied how the hunt itself turned out. We had the backstrap from my hog for dinner last week with some mixed vegetables and rice pilaf, and it was some of the best pork I’ve had in my life.

My take on handheld lights vs. weapon mounted lights (Spoiler alert: Is it too much to ask for both?).

The ancient Greeks invented the Olympics as a way to practice beating each other up without beating each other to a pulp. Other cultures have also figured out that sport is useful way to practice combat, so why is there any doubt as to whether competing in practical shooting is a good thing or not for the person who carries a self-defense firearm?

A round up of 10mm handguns out there right now. I find it somewhat interesting that 10mm is back with a vengeance, and the cartridge designed to replace it, the .40S&W, is quickly fading from view.

And now some stuff not written by me.

It’s always the guns and never the mess we’ve created (in a Chicago paper, no less…).

Even Canadian-style gun control isn’t enough for some Canadians. Yes, there is a slippery slope, and yes, it is to be avoided at all costs.

A nice little 40 round practice drill for precision rifle. The tetonic plates are shifting here, and I might MIGHT!) get a chance to shoot some .22 precision in the near future. Looking forward to it.

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 601-700

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 601-700

I started this test with the intent to prove that a budget (sub-$1000) 1911 in .45ACP could stand up to a 2000 Round Challenge, and so far, so good. Something I didn’t know before I started, though, is that Greg Ellifritz has a list of the best 1911’s out there, and Colt is on the list.

This gives me hope.

One of the things that’s probably helping the reliability of my test gun is that I’m using nothing but Wilson Combat magazines in the test 1911. It’s fairly well-known that magazines are the Achille’s heel of the 1911, and I made the decision early on to use top-quality mags, and so far, so good.

I went shooting with Jeff Street last week and put 100 rounds of Remington UMC .45 ACP through the Colt Competition. Nothing happened except a big, ragged hole appeared in the target. This is getting boring. Boring is good.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
100 Rounds Remington UMC .45ACP FMJ

Results:

No issues.

Thanks to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.

Abby Normal

Abby Normal

Because I hate wasting good stuff at an away game.

Dear Tactical Abby,

I’ve been told by people on the internet that I must have a “no compromise” attitude when it comes to my personal security, but I worry that I have made a very bad decision. I really think that I’ve compromised my personal security and the safety of my family by not carrying around an M4, a plate carrier and a half dozen 30 round mags, as experience has clearly shown that this is the optimal choice for self-defense. Instead, I’ve foolishly, even recklessly compromised my security, and I’ve decided to carry JUST a pistol. What ever shall I do? How shall I rectify this dangerous oversight on my part? Because of what I’ve done, Abby, I’ve put myself and my entire family at risk!

Signed,
Defenseless in SW Florida.

Dear Defenseless in SW Florida. 

Have you ever considered learning what you can and can’t do with a pistol, no matter if it’s a full-size service gun, compact 9mm or a .380 pocket rocket and then putting that knowledge to use defending yourself and your family? Metal and plastic don’t adapt to changing environments, people do, though, and they do so all the time. That’s what training does for you; it also you to adapt faster than the other guy and come out on top.

A pistol, any pistol is a compromise, and any pistol is also a suboptimal personal defense weapon. This is the reason why the military carries rifles around to shoot people in face rather than pistols. People like you and me, however, don’t carry around rifles because we don’t want to look like those open carry maroons who walk into Starbucks with their rifles at low ready. Instead, we choose a suboptimal platform (a pistol) for our comfort and the comfort of those around us. Get a pistol. Learn to use it well and then most importantly, carry something with you wherever it is possible to do so. Even the wimpiest of .22’s on your person when you need it is a more effective defensive tool than a tricked out Glock that’s nowhere to be found.

Signed, 

Tactical Abby

Flame Wars

Flame Wars

I’m an Elon Musk fanboy. I’ll admit it proudly (and not just because he’s half-Canadian). The man has a level of joie de vie and a entrepreneurial spirit that we just don’t see that much these days. Not only is he making boatloads of cash, he’s having FUN while he’s getting rich.

Oh, and he put a sports car into orbit around Mars as well. Because he could.

As a lark, he promised to sell flamethrowers if people bought 500,000 hats which promote The Boring Company, the tunneling company he created to dig tunnels for his hyper-speed magnetic levitation transit system.

What can I say? The dude’s playing the game on many, many levels. Anyways, back to the flamethrowers. He sold out of the hats, and so, true to his word, he develeped and sold a flamethrower, which promptly sold out as well.

The usual Neo-Puritan suspects in California, New York and other places outside of America didn’t like the idea of private citizens owning a flamethrower, so they promptly tried to ban such devices in case people might decide to play with fire, or something.

But that didn’t work, so now Elon Musk’s “Not A Flamethrower” is shipping out to people all across the lower 48.

This is how you win a culture war. You win it by having fun. Let’s go have fun, and let’s take more people to range with us so they can fun as well.