Carbind

Carbind

Tam has less-than-flattering words for the Hi-point Carbine, Capitalist Pig loves his.

Me, I keep wondering why there aren’t more pistol-caliber short guns out there on the market.

There’s the Hi-Point which suffers from being a Hi-Point, there’s the Kel-Tec Sub2000 which suffers from being a Kel-Tec and also cannot be found for purchase within the lower 48. There’s also the Taurus CT G2 which has yet to hit our shores, the Beretta CX4 Storm (which costs about the same as a dedicated 9mm AR), and all manner of lever action guns in all manner of calibers.

The Ruger LCP and LC9 proved that there was a market for upgraded and “name-brand” versions of guns inspired by Kel-Tec guns, and with the utter unavailiability of the Sub-2000 and the lack of competion in the carbine marketspace, maybe it’s time for Ruger to take a another look at the Ruger Police Carbine and update it for the 21st century with some rails and a folding stock.

And then steal their tagline from me again, of course.

I promise not to complain this time.

Much.

SHOT Show GunBlogger Meetup

SHOT Show GunBlogger Meetup

The votes are in, and when our accounting firm tallied up the votes (they’re the same ones Enron used, so you KNOW you can trust them…), one thing became clear: 

The bloggers wanted to get together on Tuesday night, and the industry people wanted to meet on Thursday night. It’s like there was a big dinner for the industry people on Tuesday night or something…

So, why not do both? 

Bloggers:

Let’s meet at the Grand Lux Café in the Venetian on Tuesday at 7pm.

We won’t have Larry The Cable Guy, but we will have a Best “Git ‘er done” impersonation contest, the winner DOESN’T have to lick Jay G’s head.

The Café Lux has good food and because it’s not a “name” restaurant, decent prices. Since a lot of us haven’t met before, this is what I look like. Scary, isn’t it? If you need to get ahold of me, email is best, (kevin at exurbanleague.com) or follow me on twitter.

Then we’ll figure out what to do on Thursday night from there. 

Looking forward to meeting all of you, some again, some for the first time! 

Update: Larry Weeks from Brownells will be there, and Paul from Safety Solutions Academy as well.

 

SHOT Show

SHOT Show

Atter taking a long, hard look at my schedule, frequent flyer miles and budget, it looks like I’ll be able to make it to SHOT show and train for four days at Front Sight next month.

Looking forward to both.

SHOT, from everything I’ve heard, is gun nut Disneyland, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming down the pipe this year. I won’t make the Media Range Day, but I might just be at a special 3 Gun Nation event that week… 

Aside from NRA classes, i’ve not had any formal firearms training, and while Front Sight ain’t Gunsite (what is?), I’m excited to go and learn something new. 

The Good, The Bad, And The TTAG

The Good, the Bad, and the TTAG

I’ve tried to stay neutral on the Truth About Guns v. Gunblog battle because I try to stay neutral on internet spats in general. 

Yes, TTAG stole content. Yes, some of the people there pick fights when they don’t have to. But let’s face it, who amongst us isn’t also guilty of similar actions? To quote Mark Knoeffler

When you point your finger ’cause your plans fell through
You got three more fingers pointin’ back at you

But. 

I left this comment over at TTAG as a response to an incendiary article about who should and should not have the right to defend themselves. 

“Short version of this article: “I’m ok, you’re seriously messed up”.

Slightly longer version of this article: “Look, I’ve had 20 people look at me cross-eyed, so I know I can handle a gun in an emergency. The rest of you can’t, and I know this because I am better at this than you are. Just ask me, I’ll tell you. And even though I give a great example of someone like you who handled things correctly, he’s the exception to the rest of you brain-dead schmucks. And he’s the exception because I say so. The rest of you guys can’t handle things as well as he did. So there.

Look, I understand that this site needs a certain amount of, ah, stimulating conversation, but some editorial oversight is necessary, lest TTAG become TMZ with guns.”

The problem is, that’s not how the article appears on the site: The critique (offered up in good faith) was edited out

Bad form.

Editing out critical comments is a no-no. That’s Blogging 101. Heck, that’s covered in Remedial Blogging 090. Blogs are only effective when they listen to and respond to user comments. Blogs that don’t do this are echo chambers, not centers of honest discussion.

One of three things will happen in the next few days…

  • I’ll get a profuse apology from the site owner, claiming that it’s not their policy to do such things and it happened without their knowledge and gosh darn it all we’re sorry. 
  • There’ll be a flame post show up that steals my banner graphic. 
  • This post will be ignored. 

I’m ok with any of that. I do this for me, for the love of shooting, not to pay people and stir up hornet’s nests.

Update: Already got an email saying it was to halt any “digression” in the comments.
Sorry, but blog posts are for blog owners, the comments belong to we the readers. 
For the record, blast away at me in the comments. I’ll only edit out harsh language, as I want to keep this PG-13. 

They rely on pageviews, links, and search results to drive traffic. As such, I’m not visiting there, not commenting there, they’re gone from my blogroll, this is the the last time I’ll talk about about them and the link in this post is the last link TTAG will get from me.

I encourage others to do the same. After all, the best way to neutralize an SEO whore is to ignore him altogether. 

 

Poor Showing

Poor showing

Hi, my name’s ExurbanKevin, and I don’t like going to gun shows.

No, really.

I bought my CZ75 at a gun show, and I went to another a few years back to drum up some side jobs, but other than that, I don’t particularly enjoy gun shows.

Why?

Guns are tools, and I can’t really see going to a show to look at tools. And no, I don’t like “Home and Garden” shows either. Also, I don’t like looking at things I won’t ever, ever, own. And although I’m as gergarious as the next ENFP, I don’t like the crush of crowds. And with the wide variety of online gun and gun accessory stores, there’s no real reason (for me) to go to a gun show. I’m not a collector and I’m not in the market for anything right now, so I don’t have an o’erwhleming need to go to gun show, both now and in the future.

Counting The Cost

Counting the cost

So what does it actually cost to shoot on a regular (monthly) basis? I visited some of the indoor and outdoor ranges near me to find out. 

My assumption is that you’ll go to the range and fire 50 rounds of ammo from a 9mm pistol at three different man-sized targets.

Ranges: Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club (outdoors), Ted’s Shooting Range (indoors), Caswell’s Shooting Range (indoors), Phoenix Rod and Gun Club (outdoors), Scottsdale Gun Club (indoors) and Shooters World (indoors). Ben Avery does not offer memberships and was left off this list, even though they’re one of the best ranges in the country.
Lane Rental: One person for one hour
Ammo: 50 rounds on 9mm FMJ. For ranges without ammo sales (PRGC, Rio), I used the price of a box of 9mm at my local WalMart.
Gun Rental: A 9mm pistol for one hour. For ranges without gun rentals, I used the cost of a typical quality 9mm pistol ($540) spread out over 12 months. 
Membership: One year’s individual membership. Range memberships at Ted’s is for 14 months not a year, so I reduced the amount for comparison purposes. 

Just Visiting Lane Rental Ammo Gun Rental Monthly Cost Yearly Cost
Rio Salado $5.00 $13.00 $45.00* $18.00 $756.00  
Caswells $15.00 $21.00 $7.00 $43.00 $516.00  
Ted’s Shooting Range $14.00 $18.00 $9.00 $41.00 $492.00  
Shooters World $15.00 $15.00 $10.00 $40.00 $480.00  
Scottsdale Gun Club $15.00 $14.00 $14.00 $43.00 $516.00  
Phoenix Rod and Gun Club $14.00 $13.00 $45.00* $27.00 $864.00  

           
With Membership Lane Rental Ammo Gun Rental Membership Monthly Cost Yearly Cost
Rio Salado $0.00 $13.00 $45.00 $95.00 $65.92 $791.00
Caswells $0.00 $18.90 $0.00 $350.00 $48.07 $576.80
Ted’s Shooting Range $0.00 $18.00 $4.50 $260.00 $44.17 $530.00
Shooters World $0.00 $14.25 $5.00 $250.00 $40.08 $481.00
Scottsdale Gun Club $0.00 $13.00 $0.00 $380.00 $44.67 $536.00
Phoenix Rod and Gun Club $0.00 $13.00 $45.00 $165.00 $71.75 $861.00

So for just a couple hundred dollars more per year or so, memberships at Rio Salado or Phoenix Rod and Gun look like a real bargain, right? After all, that’s including your own gun into that price, and you can shoot rifles there out to 100 yards (and beyond), not just pistols

Not so fast. 

First off, they’re outdoor ranges. Not bad now that temperatures in the Phoenix area are leveling off, but that sucks when it’s 115 degrees outside

Secondly, both ranges have minimum distances you can set up targets, about 8 yards or so. Not a big issue for some, but if you’re trying to train a new shooter, it can get discouraging for them to shoot and shoot and shoot and not see decent groups on the target. 

So which should you chose? 

That depends on your needs. I have both: I’ve been a member at Rio for over 5 years. I like their public range, and I like the people. But I won a year’s membership to Caswell’s last year, and I’ve come to appreciate the comfort of indoor shooting and the convenience of reserving a lane in advance.

It comes down to what kind of a shooter you are. A public outdoor range membership is great for people who know what they want in a firearm and don’t need (or want) to try out new guns. However, indoor rental ranges are the perfect to get into the shooting sports. For less than $50 a month, you can try out many different firearms and find the one(s) that suit you best and lets you grow into firearms ownership at your pace. 

Either way, there are no bad choices: The worst day at the range is still better than the best day in the office.

 

The Game Is Changing

The game is changing

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is beginning to acknowledge “Gun Culture 2.0”. ‘Bout time.

“The question was a simple one “are shooters coming into today’s shooting sports different from past groups?”

After several conversations, it seems the image of today’s modern shooter bears about as much resemblance to yesterday’s shooter as the modern sporting rifle resembles bolt and lever action rifles. They fire bullets, but in different ways – and driven by different goals. 

Today’s new shooters are products of an entirely different baseline of experiences.

They have seen gang violence and terrorist acts.

Soldiers and “first responders” of today are revered, not reviled. Consequently, today’s shooters are more interested in personal defense than hunting, and favor the kind of weaponry they see used by soldiers and law enforcement.

Those preferences make them excellent candidates for competition shooting, especially practical shooting. After all, they see firearms as being necessary for the ultimate practical purpose- personal defense.

And the younger shooters of today area a product of the video game. 

To today’s generation, war isn’t something that happes “over there”: For the past ten years we’ve had to live with the reality that war can be (and has been) waged on our shores. As a result, guns (especially pistols, full auto weapons and Evil Black Rifles) aren’t scary tools of fascist military oppressor class, they’re what you use to frag your buddies in SOCOM IV, or they’re what your friend from high school used in the sandbox when he joined up after 9/11. 

Looks like the shooting sports industry is taking note. More power-ups to them.

Update: How to keep Gun Culture 1.0 around. As I’ve said before, going from Gun Culture 2.0 back to Gun Culture 1.0 can be a frustrating task. Glad to see the NSSF wants to keep both cultures alive.

Product Review : Strikefire Red Dot Scope

Product Review : Strikefire Red Dot Scope

1x power red-dot scopes have been the red-headed stepchild of the 3 gun world for a while now. They’re not as powerful as an ACOG, but they give a distinct advantage over iron sights. Many matches (including the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun) have resolved this quandry in favour of lumping them in with iron sights as “Tactical Limited”, which kinda sucks for iron sight shooters like myself. 

Rather than carry on with iron sights (and suck), I decided to take the plunge and start shooting with a red dot (and still suck), and Brownell’s was kind enough to supply a Strikefire Vortex Red/Green 1x scope to help me out. 

Strikefire Red Dot Scope

The scope came with an extra-high Picatinny mount that co-witnesses my flip-up sights (more on that later), cleaning cloth, battery, wrench for the mount and a 2x magnifier, a very nice addition that helped with the sighting-in process. 

The stuff

If that looks like a low Picatinny mount in the photo, that’s ’cause it is, but the people at Vortex swapped it out for the extra-high mount at no cost. Nice work, guys!

Installation was quick and easy, and sighting it in took less than a half-mag. Now it was time to test it in a match, so off it was to the monthly rifle/shotgun match at Rio Salado.

Stage 3

This is why I love this scope. Making that 30-yard shot with iron sights would be difficult (at best) with iron sights, but it was MUCH easier with the red-dot, and for once I wasn’t in last place on a rifle stage.

But then disaster struck. The next stage was the long-distance rifle stage, and for once it wasn’t horrid: Four 100 yard MGM’s, a 100 yard MGM Flag target and two 200 yard LaRue’s

“Ah-ha!”, I thought to myself, “This should be EASY! I know I can hit those with my new sight because I’ve done it on the main range while sighting in!” 

But somehow, my new sight was switched into “Night Vision” mode, making the dot invisible in daylight. At the time, I thought the battery had died, so I shot the stage with my iron sights, with predictable (and horrid) results. 

Dot sight on rifle

Bottom line, I like the scope. It needs a more secure mounting method (the nut on the Picatinny mount was loose when I got home) and the on/off switch could be better, but it’s a great starting point for people like me who want a red dot but don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for something they may not like. 

FCC Disclaimer: Brownell’s gave me the scope. I said that already, so buzz off.