Getting The Precision Rifle Bug, And Getting It Bad.

Getting The Precision Rifle Bug, And Getting It Bad.

Shooting an accurate, left-handed .22 bolt gun these past few weeks has given me a mighty big desire to start up a .22 Precision Rifle match in my zip code.

The problem is location: The bays at Louland max out at 45 yards or so, and the dance card at Hansen is full pretty much all the time. The Deep Lake range at Altair would be perfect for this, but that’s been shut down since Hurricane Irma.

Okochobee Shooting Sports or Manatee would work great, but those are both a two hour drive for me, which turns the match into a two-day affair. This means I either invest a significant amount of time and gas driving out to the range twice each weekend, or I do an overnight stay in a hotel near the range.

Sigh.

Sucks living out in the boonies.

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition

Went on a family trip up to Orlando for my birthday over the weekend, so here’s some content I queued up for you all. Some of it written by me, so not.

An evidence-based approach to knife defence. I’m not the most-qualified guy to comment on this, but I found it interesting.

First Look: Savage B22 FLH. Really liked this little rifle. It’s a keeper.

A quick flow chart to help you stop bleeding.

Some really good advice on pocket pistols. When in doubt, go with a Failure To Stop Drill.

Five Skill Drills For The Indoor Range, because not everybody has access to a pistol bay.

Comparing an A Class vs C Class run on the same stage. I’m sucky and I know it.

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 451-600

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 451-600

I went to another one of Step By Step Gun Training’s Shoot N Scoot’s events last weekend to do two things: Shoot a bunch of qualifiers to gauge my progress and get them on record, and put more rounds through the Colt 1911. We’ll talk about that first thing at a later date, so let’s move on to the Colt.

One of the nice things about the Shoot N Scoots is that each weekend, the first two bays are set up identically to what was used the previous Thursday in the pistol matches they run there, so I get to compare my performance from one day to next. The matches are Louland are alway lightweight, run and gun affairs that are good skill builders and not too challenging and primarily use steel targets. Here’s the setup for Stage 2.

Shoot N Scoot

And here’s one of my runs with the Colt.

My time on that run was a skooch under 18 seconds, with three reloads. My time on that stage last Thursday using a Beretta APX and a 21 round mag (so no reloads)? 21.28 seconds. Yes, I missed a shot with the 1911 that the RO let slide in this run, but on my first run, I shot it 18.9 secs. So there.

So why the over two second difference between a softer-shooting 9mm with no reloads and the thump of .45ACP and three reloads?

Two reasons:

  1. Familiarity. I’m at over 500 rounds with that 1911, and I’m starting to learn how to run it. I’ve just under 200 rounds with the Beretta. I know where things are set up on the Colt, but the Beretta is the first full-sized striker gun I’ve shot over a long period of time.
    No, really.
  2. Sights. The Colt’s fiber optic sights, while large, are nothing compared to the Beretta’s sights. There is literally no gap between the front sight and rear sight on the Beretta, making precise aiming a bit of a challenge. In addition to that, the Beretta uses three dot sights, a setup that just does not work well for me… Gimme fiber optics or Trijicon HD’s any day over three dots.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
100 Rounds Sellier And Bellot .45ACP FMJ
50 Rounds Remington UMC .45ACP FMJ

Results:

No issues.

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

The Story Problem

The Story Problem

Jim Wilson had a nice little post about the importance of stories in the gun world. The problem is, it’s hard to tell good stories about Gun Culture 2.0. The stories that come out of Gun Culture 2.0 tend to revolve around preventative incidents, such as the times where a life was saved because of a defensive gun use.

Those are good stories and they definitely need to be told, but the defensive/competition world has no equivalent (yet) to the good ol’ hunting story, where it’s you and your friends and family going out into nature and something Hemingway-esque* ensues, and the story winds up being told thru a sepia filter and read aloud in Sam Elliot’s voice.

Those are good stories of happy times, and they reinforce what I’ve been saying for awhile now, that the very best day possible in Gun Culture 1.0 is a day spent outdoors that culminates in harvesting one of God’s creatures.

The very best day possible in Gun Culture 2.0? Nothing happens. You live your life as you normally would, because Gun Culture 2.0 is mostly about avoiding injury and death and there is just not a lot of good stories to be told about going to WalMart and nothing happening. Yes, there is still the competition element to the new gun culture that has a slightly different “best day,” but we’ll pick that up at a later date.

 

* Just not in a “Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” sort of way.

Flash Site Pictures, Monday Edition

Flash Site Pictures, Monday Edition

This is how we win. If we don’t do it more often, we’ll lose.

Dear city folk: We know more about guns than you do. Signed, country folk.
P!ss off, country folk. Signed, me.

Oh hai Trump Slump.

Caution: Using This Product Against Armed Citizens Might Result In Injury Or Death.

Ruger says “Bless your heart” to a bunch of nuns. Good for them.

I decided to go DA/SA before it was cool, but here’s Ernest Landgon to help explain why it’s useful. And cool.

Why off-body carry is usually a bad idea.

Fully Koala-fied

Fully Koala-fied

We are constantly being judged by standards. We’ve had the idea that we need to achieve passing grades or better drilled into us since at least our first day of school, and that idea continues through our adult lives. My bonus at work is based in part on how much new business I bring in, and that number is a set amount known to me and my boss. Standardized drills and qualifications are important in firearms training because if you (God forbid) have to defend a life and go to court, pistol qualifications are admissible as evidence and are not subject to cross examination (how do you cross-examine a piece of paper?).

Also, even before it gets to court, if you can bamboozle the D.A. with a list of certifications and qualifications that prove that you know how to shoot (and shoot as well as an FBI Pistol Instructor), your chances of going to court get smaller and smaller.

Shoot a qual, and shoot it either on video or with a witness. Create a foundation for your ability to defend your life with your pistol, and see how you improve on that foundation.

After The Hunt.

After The Hunt.

The article on hog hunting for American Hunter is written and sent to my editor. Here’s some stuff that didn’t make it into the mix.

  • A hog hunting school like I attended is a really great way to get into hunting. If you’re like me, (and I know I am), the biggest problem with trying something new is that I don’t know what I don’t know. As such, having one day set aside to sight in our rifles and learn a little bit about feral pigs, how they live and how you hunt them made the hunt itself a lot easier.
  • Watching the skinning/quartering process is essential to the experience. I spent my summers on a farm that raised chickens for market, so I know just what it takes to make the food we eat. It’s my sincere belief that Americans have no idea of the amount of effort needed to raise the food we eat, which is why we have a problem with obesity: All it takes for us to eat is money. A hunt will set you straight on such things right quickly, as you’ll so find out it takes WORK to stalk, shoot, quarter and then butcher a hog.
  • Jeff Cooper believed that hunting was essential to understanding self-defense, and he’s right. There is just something about knowing that you need to take a shot to end another creature’s life and you need to take that shot NOW that can’t be found on a stage at a match or in a bay while training. There isn’t that sense of urgency at a match, or even shooting a qual at a class. If I blow a stage, there’s always the next one. If I blow a qualifier while training, it’s only my ego on the line, not my family’s supper.
    Hunting, though? With hunting, you begin to realize that the stakes are truly mortal.
  • I was initially leery about hunting on a private preserve with a guide because I thought it’d be one step up from bear baiting. However, hunting with a guide was a lot more active than  I thought. It wasn’t a “Ok, pig there, shoot now” sort of thing: In reality, I spotted my critter first and led the stalk and helped in the chase afterwards. Yes, I’d get a lot more of the “outdoors” part of thing if I tramped around a wildlife preserve for a day or more chasing hogs, and that’s fine, I like the walking in the woods, and I’ll try that soon as well.
  • I was also a little dismissive at first about the gear that one of my fellow hunters brought to the hunt. He was using a budget .30-30 with a UTG scope on it rotated 90° so that elevation is now windage, a setup that doesn’t exactly scream “Competency!” to me. You know what, though? Dude used that effed up budget gun to make a 50 yard headshot on his pig, dropping it with one round right behind the ear.
    Serves me right for judging a book by its cover.

The haul? I ended up with two racks of ribs, two five pound hams, five pounds of backstrap and pork chops, six pounds of italian sausage and a pound of ground pork.

Pork products

On the whole, as I said in the article, (which should be published next month) I’ll do it again, and soon. It was too much fun not to go again.

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 351-450

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 351-450

In addition to calling an end to the Ruger LCP2 test, I also put one hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner’s .45ACP ammo through the 1911 during that same trip to Shoot Center, working on one-handed shooting and reloads. Not much to report here: Everything worked, nothing blew up, the gun just ran.

Bor-ing. So far, this entry-level 1911 is doing what you want a gun to do: Shoot, shoot accurately and shoot all the time.

My reloads are noticeably slower than with my double-stack guns, which I attribute to a combination of the smaller mag opening in the grip of the 1911 and the forgiving triangular prism shape of the top of a double stack mag. I’m going to work with a timer a bit to see which is faster for me on my reloads: Hitting the slide stop release with my thumb, or going over the top and reaching the slide. I suspect that as it stands now, they’ll be pretty much the same, but hitting the slide stop faster will be better for my times in the long run, although running the slide is the more useful of the two as it applies to just about every gun out there.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:

100 Rounds Sellier And Bellot .45ACP

Results:

No issues.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1751-1850.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1751-1850.

I took the gun up to Shoot Center to do some indoor range work with the Crimson Trace green laser I have on the gun. I can see the dot during the day, but it’s indoors where it really shines.

Yes, I meant to write that.

The MagTech and Fiocchi ammo I had been using in this test caused this gun no end of troubles, so I loaded up my mags with Federal Premium .380 from Lucky Gunner, and I headed off to the range, where something interesting happened: I couldn’t hit crap with the laser, but did ok with the minimal iron sights on that little gun. Here’s the same target, shot at 10 yards with irons vs. laser.

While neither target is a shining example of marksmanship, something happened when I saw that green dot show up on the target, and BLAMMO, I jerked the trigger. However, when I lined up the sights, I took my time and pressed the trigger and managed to deliver acceptable results for a .380 pistol that’s slightly bigger than an index card. I’m *used* to the lousy sights on this gun, what I’m not used to is the green dot. More work on this is needed, but at a later date because I’m calling an end to the test.

Yep, that’s right, the 2000 round test of the LCP2 is ending 250 rounds short of the goal. On the 87th shot of my session, the pistol threw a Failure To Eject malfunction at me, and I’ve had enough. The gun was reasonably reliable through the first 500 rounds, but boy howdy did things go downhill from there.

Ammunition-wise, this was the tale of the tape. From what I’ve seen, if you get a change to shoot MagTech in an LCP2, don’t.

RoundQuan. ShotFTEFTF
Hornady Critical Defense 90 Grain JHP24
Tula Ammo 91 Grain FMJ12
Speer Gold Dot 90 Grain JHP6
Winchester White Box 95 Grain FMJ5062
Hornady Custom XTP 90 Grain JHP2
PMC Bronze 90 Grain FMJ85021
Magtech 95 Grain FMJ1004
Fiocchi 95 Grain FMJ1002
Federal American Eagle 95 Grain FMJ1001
Blazer Brass FMJ95 Grain 50

The LCP2 is a pocket pistol, not a service pistol. It’s not built to the same standards as, say, an S&W M+P or a Glock, and it turns out there’s a reason why they’re called “service” pistols… they’re meant to stay in service and not barf up ammo after 500 rounds.

Now, does this mean that the LCP2 is a bad choice for a defensive gun? No, not at all. Pocket guns just are not designed to take the same abuse as a service pistol and are rarely have even 500 rounds put through them over the course of their lifetime (although I was kinda hoping this one would go further into the test than it did).

Bottom line is if you have an LCP2 is that unless you’re as dumb as I was and took things to the extreme, you little gun will serve you well. Put 100 or so rounds through it a year to maintain competency, and save the torture tests for the guns that can take the abuse.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge Results

Rounds Fired
100 Rounds Federal Premium FMJ 

Total Rounds Fired: 1750
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993, 1277, 1323, 1359, 1737
Failure to feed: Round 873, 1526, 1534, 1556, 1583