The Weakest Link

The Weakest Link

I was catching up on back episodes of the Safety Solutions Academy podcast as I was working around the house this weekend, and Paul was talking about training to build up the weaknesses in your self-defence regimen, when I realized the biggest weakness I had was me, myself. 

I’ve never been muscular, but thanks to cross-country skiing, running and cycling, I was (WAS) in shape in my youth. Now, however, I’m a semi-old, quasi-fat white guy. 

I can (sorta) shoot, I should move up to a yellow belt in a month or two in karate and my situational awareness is pretty good. What’s missing is the conditioning needed to protect myself for any significant amount of time. 

So this morning I did a brief circuit of upper-body exercises and started the Couch To 5k running plan

Because the first step of getting into fighting shape is getting into shape. 

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Bland. James Bland.

Bland. James Bland.

The First Official Still from the new James Bond movie is out, and I’m somewhat disappointed. 

A PPK? What, is it 1952 again?

Bond is back with the PPK again. He’s got enough computing power in his socks to fly to the moon and back, and he’s using an 80 year old gun that nearly got the Queen’s only daughter killed

I was kinda happy when Bond switched to the P99 a few years back, bringing his firepower kicking and screaming into the 20th century, but now the producers have decided to forego the last eight decades of firearms innovation and bring back the PPK. 

Sigh. 

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Tripping The Lights Fantastic

Tripping the lights fantastic

Ever since Guffaw wrote about his flashlights, I’ve been wanting to do a side-by-side comparison of the various and sundry flashlights I have around the house.

So I did. 

I don’t have any Tier-1 tactical lights in the house: I just can’t justify spending $50 or more on a AA-powered LED “tactical” light” when there’s good flashlights to be had for half (or a third) of what I’d pay for a “name” brand.

Flashlights

That’s my well-loved 4-D Cell Maglite up top, and then left to right, a Photon Micro-light II, a Fenix E01, an Insight MX3, a Coleman 3AAA LED, a AA Maglite and a Pelican AA LED light

The testing setup is the same I used for testing the Insight light: I set up my D70 with my 24-70mm lens set at 35mm about 12 feet away from the cinder-block fence in my backyard. The exposure this time was 1 second at f5.6, ISO 400. As a comparison, that’s about 1/1000th the exposure needed for taking photos in daylight. 

First up, the Photon Micro-light II

Photon II

Then, the Fenix E01.

Fenix E01

And the Coleman 3 AAA LED.

Coleman 3AAA LED

And the Pelican AA LED.

Pelican AA

And the Insight light

Insight MX3

And now the Maglites. First, the AA version

Maglite AA

And now the 4 D Cell thumper

4 D Maglite

Conclusions: 

1. That little Photon is pretty astounding. It’s TINY and at under $10, relatively cheap, yet it kicks out an amazing amount of lumens for its size. 
2. Either the Pelican or the Coleman are a good choice for someone who wants the lighting capabilities of a Surefire without the Surefire price tag. I’d also add that both of those lights have AA/AAA lithium batteries in them, giving me the long shelf-life advantages of lithium with the flexibility and low-cost of alkalines if needed. 
3. The day of the Maglite is over. I’ll still carry that big ol’ 4D Cell mamajama in my car because it comes in handy in other (defensive) ways, but it’s not king of the candlepower hill any more. 
4. As a comparison, I took a shot illuminated with my iPhone’s Flashlight app

iPhone App

Yeah that didn’t work…

Rebuttal And Update

Rebuttal and update

To the half-dozen or so people who came to my blog this month via the keywords “Open carry is stupid“: 

No, it’s not. 

Look, just because I don’t open carry myself (in a state that’s had legal open carry since Padre Kino wandered through Sonora) doesn’t mean I think open carry is dumb. 

I support the right of others to do it, I just don’t do it myself. And the post title was a joke, much like most anti-rights activtists. 


Oleg’s post on the RMR-30 had me rabbit-trailing for more info on .22Magnum as a defensive round. The verdict? Not bad

“Winchester 40gr JHP (part #X22MH), impacted at unknown velocity, penetrated to 13.5″ (corrected) and expanded to 0.311″ average diameter. Recovered weight was 29.1gr.”

Yeah, that’s going to leave a mark.

That makes me want that little RMR-30 even more. Team it up with a lightweight low-power optical or red-dot scope, and you’ve got a perfect little bug-out gun that’s super-easy to carry around.

Want.

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I’ve Said It Before And I’ll Say It Again

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again

There are three, and ONLY three times it’s ok to have a picture of yourself while holding a gun.  It’s ok when, and ONLY WHEN…

  • …you are a current member of the military posing with your buddies in some godforsaken corner of the world
  • … you are actively engaging in shooting said firearm.
  • …you are posing with the trophies from either a hunt or shooting competition.

Note that “Taking a picture of yourself with your cousin’s gun so you look all cool and stuff on Facebook” is NOT on that list.

Smickle happened to be spending the night at the apartment when officers came looking for his cousin. Smickle thought it was thunder.

When officers burst in, he was on the couch in boxer shorts, tank top and sunglasses, a pistol in his left hand and a laptop computer in his right, apparently taking pictures of himself looking “cool,” court heard.

A threee year prison term for felony stupidity might be in order here, but not a jail sentence for holding someone else’s gun in their own residence. An idiot’s home is still his castle, after all.

The Brainpower Behind The Firepower

The brainpower behind the firepower

When John Lott, the author of “More Guns, Less Crime” teams up with Gary Mauser, you know the results are going to be good

“To repeat, during these seven years, there were only 62 cases — nine a year — where it was even conceivable that registration made a difference. But apparently, the registry was not important even in those cases. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.” 

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Five Guns O’ Fun

Five Guns O’ Fun

Ok, Robb, since you asked… 

Special bonus entry: An M134 Vulcan Air Defense System. Why? Do you have to ask

5. A Deagle. There’s just something about owning Agent Smith’s gun that I like. And not a gold, engraved one either, just a regular ol’ Desert Eage.

4. Bren Ten. Don Johnson. Jeff Cooper. Josef and František Koucký. Need I say more? 

3. An HK53. I’ve liked these since before I graduated high school. Hating HK is cool now, but I still want one. Speaking of high school…

2. A Ruger AC556. No, not because of the A-Team. I wanted one since Dirk Benedict was Starbuck, not Face. 

1. A Beaumont-Adams revolver. The gun that won the West. The Canadian West, that is. 

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.