Flash Site Pictures.

Flash Site Pictures.

I wrote a piece on the “bailout bag” for Shooting Illustrated.

This piece on learning from your failures is meant as a bookend to John’s excellent piece on the “works for me” mentality.

We are our own first responders, so why do we think that means carrying just a gun? Isn’t there more than one kind of first responder?

What are gun owners doing to counter the anti-fun evangelism of the left? Whatever we’re doing, it’s not working. More on this later this week.

The importance of a smooth trigger press has been brought home to me as of late. Claude explains why.

Here’s a hint: Saying “Calm down, you %#$!%&” doesn’t actually calm anyone down.

My secret sauce for teaching situational awareness is “Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to.” These help as well.

Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve posted links on these updates that were originally found via the Friday link roundup over at Greg Ellifritz’s site. If you’re into firearms and personal defense and you’re not reading his blog on a regular basis, you’re wrong.

Woo Who?

Woo Who?

Karl Rehn put on a humdinger of a presentation on historical handgun techniques at TacCon last year, highlighting not only the techniques, but how culture itself affects how guns are perceived in society.

From the dime store novels of the wild west to detective fiction to TV shows, movies and video games, how society perceives violence and how we talk about it. Karl did a great job laying out how we’ve changed our discussion about how good guys and bad guys behave with a gun in hands, and in my opinion, the most influential moments in recent years on how society perceives the use of guns happened in 1986, with the debut of Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice” on NBC and the release of John Woo’s “A Better Tomorrow” in Hong Kong.

Michael Mann insists on accuracy in the bang-bang in his productions. He sent James Caan out to Gunsite for his role in Mann’s first movie, “Thief,” and USPSA GM Jim Zubiena had roles in both “Manhunter” as an FBI weapons tech and “Miami Vice” as an assassin.

That attention to detail paid off, and Michael Mann has gone on to become one of Hollywood’s top directors.

John Woo had a career in Hong Kong before he filmed “A Better Tomorrow,” but both he and Chow Yun Fat, the star of the movie, were considered to be on the downside of their careers at the time. Woo took the camera techniques and fluid motion associated with Hong Kong “Chop Socky” movies, applied them to gunplay,and voila, a whole new cinematic language was born, one that was quickly picked up by American filmmakers (with varying levels of success) in movies like “Last Man Standing,” “Equilibrium” and The Matrix Trilogy.

Both of those streams have now converged in the John Wick movies, where you have the rigorous training to get the details right combined with the slick action shots of gun fu.

What will the future bring? What’ll be the next big thing in how guns are used in movies? Dunno. If I have to guess (and I do), I’d say that the thousands and thousands of highly trained young men who have fought overseas are going to have some sort of influence in how guns are seen in society, and that, along with the ever-increasing numbers of citizens who choose to carry concealed, will eventually bubble to the surface in some way down the road.

And I’ll bring popcorn when it does. I do loves me a good shoot-em-up.

How Accurate Is The CMMG .22LR AR-15 Adapter

How Accurate Is The CMMG .22LR AR-15 Adapter

With the right ammo, pretty good. Not sniper rifle good, but off-the-shelf Ruger 10/22 good.

A little background: I got a CMMG .22LR adapter from Brownells a few years ago, and since then, it’s pretty much lived inside my CavArms build as a general purpose range plinker.

One thing that’s on my gunbucket list is an Appleseed Project, but as I don’t own a 10/22, I would need to either shoot it with my Mossberg Plinkster (bad idea… I hate that gun), my Savage .22 bolt gun (which, in theory, would work), shoot it in .223 (possible, but pricey) or shoot it with the CMMG adapter in that AR-15.

But first, I needed to see just what that adapter could really do. I know from my previous post that sub-2MOA groups were possible with that adapter and a 20″ barrel, but what would it do with the 16″ barrel in my plastic AR?

As it turns out, with the right ammo, just over 2MOA. All of these were shot at 25 yards, using the CMMG adapter with a Vortex 1x Red Dot sight.

Top Left: CCI Green Tip 40 Grain Match

Top Right: CCI Mini Mag 40 Grain SHP

Bottom Right: Federal Premium 40 Grain Hunter Match

To be honest, I’m kinda surprised at how poorly the Federal ammo did, but seeing how those are 1/2 inch squares at 25 feet, the CCI Green Tag was just over 2 MOA. Not bad.

With those results in mind, I think it’s time to get in some more match ammo and let’s see what this gun can really do.

The Minimalist.

The Minimalist.

I’ve recently become fascinated with the “van life” movement, where mostly young couples forgo most of the trappings of modern life and choose to life in large cargo vans instead of an apartment or small house.

Which got me thinking… we gun nuts like doing a “five guns” idea, where we limit ourselves to just a certain number of firearms, but what you buy if you were limited by space, say, a small storage space that’s just 1 ft by 1 ft by 3 1/2 ft?

My choices:

  • 16″ Barrel AR-15 with a 1-4x optic – Aside from taking larger game, there’s really nothing you can’t do with this gun
  • Mossberg 590 Tri-Rail – With ghost ring sights and the ability to take chokes, this gun can pretty much do it all
  • Glock 19 – Because I can shoot IDPA with it, or carry it, or train with it, and there’s no accessory you can’t get for it
  • .22LR Adapter for the AR-15 – Plinking, training, etc
  • .22LR Adapter for the Glock 19 – See above
  • Two .50 cal ammo cans full of ammo

I’ve not measured it out, but that should come pretty darn close to fitting into a 3.5 cubic foot space, and yet those guns will allow me to hunt for hogs and coyotes, shoot most of the clay sports (just not shoot them well). That shotgun will allow me to hunt for deer or blast away at waterfowl with the appropriate magazine plug inserted, and I also have a .22 rifle and .22 pistol for plinking and practice. The only thing I’d add to that list is a pocket 9mm, something even smaller than my Shield which can fit into the front pocket of a pair of khakis and in 9mm so I don’t have to stock another ammo type.

Your ideas?

Enough Is Enough.

Enough is Enough.

Something hit me while I perusing all the Black Friday sales last week… Gun-wise, I really don’t need anything more than what I own right now. I mean, yes, I would like a .22 suppressor and a .223 upper for my pistol and a shotgun to go shoot the clay sports with, but those aren’t necessary, I’d just like to have them. I have my eight guns (and a few more) and I’m good to go. Anything after this is just buying more toys.

Although I should probably get each of my sons a Ruger 10/22 so they can have a gun to start their collection with.

That, I think we can safely say, counts as a necessity.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.

It’s my #1 favorite holiday, because it’s all about being thankful for what we have been given, which is, if we’re honest, quite a lot. And I also have family in town, so I’m going dark until Monday.

If you’re looking to do some good on Black Friday, consider giving to either Water.org or Kiva.org, and save a life (or two) this holiday season.

See you in a bit.

“Get Weapons Of War Off Our Streets!”

“Get Weapons Of War Off Our Streets!”

M1903 Springfield Rifles

Let me state this right up front: I own a weapon of war. Two of them, actually. They are not the AR-15 “assault rifles” I own which are called “weapons of war” by people who are passionately ignorant, but rather, they both are M1903 Springfield rifles that I inherited from my father-in-law when he passed away. Both of them are military surplus, purchased when they were no longer useful to the military, and unlike my AR-15’s both them them have been handled by a soldier on active duty at some point. One of those bolt-action Springfield rifles is in bad shape, however, it was built in 1904 and I like the idea of passing on something of that age on to my sons after I’m gone. The other? The other has a different story.

Some background. My father-in-law worked for the Forest Service in the Tonto Basin, Arizona area from when he got home from the Pacific Theater until he retired thirty years later. His work there was split between the peaceful work of fixing and repairing hiking trails from horseback and the brutal, dangerous work of fighting forest fires leading “hot shot” crews all over the Mogollon Rim. He loved the Tonto Basin, because that’s where he was raised.

His family first settled that area of the state, but they never were rich. His family were the ones who worked the land for the people who got rich off the land, so as such, his guns were working guns, and these are two of them.

The M1903 in the foreground is decrepit and unusable. The stock is in tatters, the front sight is silver-soldered on and it’s in the 40xxx serial number range, which means the receiver was probably not heat-treated correctly and is unsafe to shoot.

The M1903A3 rifle in back is another story. I don’t know when it was sporterized, but whoever did it didn’t bed the action correctly, something I found out when I took it to my gunsmith to have the scope added to it. The gun (with the scope) will now do 1.5” groups at 100 yards, and it will probably be passed down to one of my sons when my time here is over.

I like that.

This rifle in particular means something special to me, because it was this rifle that was in my father-in-law’s hands when he stayed up all night long one evening in his home just outside of Payson, watching as the Dirty Dozen motorcycle gang rode up and down the road outside his house, threatening violence on him, his wife and my future wife.

I don’t have many guns that I attach my emotions to, but these are two of them.

Get Out Of The Choir Loft.

Get Out Of The Choir Loft.

This article on why progressives are setting themselves up to lose in 2020 could be written about gun owners as well.

… in politics, intensity is not strategy. You have to be able to convert. The Resistance didn’t convert. It didn’t convert when Chuck Schumer chose to make Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court the decisive political test of the year. It didn’t convert when it turned his initial confirmation hearing into a circus. It didn’t convert when media liberals repeatedly violated ordinary journalistic standards by reporting the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh that followed Christine Blasey Ford’s.

Above all, it didn’t convert the unconverted.

Let me explain this as clearly and as easily as I can: No one cares about YOUR rights, they care about THEIR rights. The key to winning a political battle is to make YOUR issue THEIR issue, and quite frankly, gun owners suck at that sort of thing. If we want to spend less time fighting gun control and spend more time on the range, we need win the gun control battles before they happen. We need to make control so toxic, no politician in their right mind would come out in favor of it.

The first step to making gun control unpopular is to make gun ownership popular once again. Make the fight about the shared desire to stay safe, and the sheer outright FUN of shooting a gun, don’t make it about your right to carry an AR-15 while fishing. Gun rights are going to have to become an inclusive, populist movement if we are going to win.

Take someone to the range. Start an informal gun club in your neighborhood. Go plinking with a cow-orker. Get out of the choir loft, and onto the street.