What Would Billy Graham Shoot?

What Would Billy Graham Shoot?

As threatened yesterday, I have a few thoughts on this rather provocative article from Bitter Sebastian over at Snowflakes In Hell PA Gun Blog.

I spent some time overseas as a missionary, and even though Christians are given a direct commandment to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”, very few of us get off our @sses and do something about it.

Is it tough being a grassroots organizer for the NRA? Yep. It’s tough being a missionary, too. Very few people who serve in the field see ANY fruits from their labor, but yet we still go.

Why? Because while there’s a very slim chance we’ll see any success if we go to the mission field, there is a 100% chance we will have no success if we DON’T go.

There’s a step that’s missing there: Getting the grassroots to write their local congresscritter is good, but taking someone shooting is better, because that is how we win. To the best of my knowledge, the NRA has never put out any materials on how to get your friends and neighbors out the range, and that has to change. We need more than just advocates for political action, we need advocates for everything about the shooting sports, from hunting to plinking to whatever. Getting more people into shooting will, by its very nature, get more people into political advocacy for guns.

Where do “Come to Jesus” moments happen? In church. Where do anti-guns find out how much fun it is to shoot? On the range. The NRA (and the NSSF too) need to do a better job encouraging their members to go shooting with a friend, because once people go shooting and find out that guns are fun, we win.

Simple as that.

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition.

Flash Site Pictures – Monday Edition.

Links. It’s what you do instead of content.

10 Reasons Why You Want To Shoot Practical Pistol.

.22 Rifles Are A Lot Deadlier Than You Think.

Get Back To The Grass Roots (more on this tomorrow).

Top Firearms Experts (and me) Talk About What Americans Don’t Know About Gun Control

I kinda like this idea… it says right on the 4473 that improperly filling it out is bad juju, so why not let the cops know someone’s trying to skirt the law?

Get Back Into The Fight

Get Back Into The Fight

It’s no coincidence that Americans attitudes of guns changed for the better while Top Shot, Duck Dynasty and other gun-related shows were on the air. Those programs showed gun ownership as safe, fun and above all, normal.

Gun owners know how to fight and occasionally win political battles. Where we suck and are losing is fighting cultural battles, and no, putting on yet another country music show is NOT going to move the needle in our favor. We need to find allies to our cause, not create an echo chamber. The NRA is useful for keeping the faithful inline and celebrating gun culture, but because of the negative press it’s getting right now, it is a toxic brand outside of the world of gun owners.

There’s a few easy wins we can pick up here: The tagline of this blog is “Guns are the new Harley Davidson,” so reaching out to motorcycle riders and tying the freedom of the open road to the empowerment of safe gun ownership is an obvious win. Another quick win that seems obvious to me is using the trust icon of the military to promote competitive shooting to video game players, which would be a win-win for the military’s recruiting efforts and practical shooting.


Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1400 – 1500

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1400 – 1500

Or. I got 99 problems and I Mozambique’d every one of them.

As the LCP2 is chambered in .380, a round that is marginal for self-defensive purposes, shot placement and penetration are what is going to get the job done, not “stopping power”*, I spent this range session doing Failure To Stop drills with my LCP2 from three yards out to ten yards, and also did a few of the walkback drills I learned in ECQC, where the gun is extended out enough to get good hits on-target, but not so far out that your opponent can get ahold of it. Seven yards is about the maximum for me for headshots with this gun, but I can do center-mass all day long at 10 to 15 yards.

This is why we play the game… so we can find the limits of ourselves and our equipment.

Gun-wise, everything went the way it should… I placed all my hits either in the center-chest and ocular cavity, and the LCP2 chewed up and spit out 50 rounds of Winchester White Box and 50 rounds of Blazer Brass from Lucky Gunner with no trouble whatsoever, which makes a nice change from the last range session…. maybe something about that Magtech ammo just doesn’t sit well with this gun.

So, three-quarters of the way done, here’s where we stand:

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge Results

Rounds Fired
50 Rounds Blazer Brass .380 FMJ
50 Rounds Winchester .380 ACP

Total Rounds Fired: 1500
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993, 1277, 1323, 1359
Failure to feed: Round 873

* Using “stopping power” to describe what pistol does is relatively equivalent to using “celibacy” to describe the antics of Kim Kardashian…

Why Not Go Full Call Of Duty?

Why Not Go Full Call Of Duty?

Just spitballin’ here, but after watching how much fun Dropzone Gunner was, what would happen if the practical shooting sports fully embraced video games, rather than keeping them at arm’s length? Would a match that specifically highlighted the guns of say, GoldenEye, Rainbow Six or Call of Duty attract the gamer crowd and encourage crossover into practical shooting, especially if the stages designed to be as close to the actual game levels as possible? What if the match were held at the Boulder Gun Club in Vegas the weekend before CES., and Battlefield Vegas was cajoled/paid to provide some props and stage guns?

Could that bring a lot more attention to the practical shooting from media sources who wouldn’t normally DREAM about covering USPSA, IDPA or 3 Gun?

Something to think about.

A Shot Vs. The Shot

A Shot vs. The Shot

So I’m signed up for a two-dayhog hunting school with Florida Firearms Training. I’m shopping for waterproof/snakeproof boots (not that I’m overly worried about snakes, but those boots are taller, and I *am* worried about tramping through foot-deep mud) and a big Yeti-esque cooler in another tab as I type this, and then I’m going to look around for rain gear and the best lightweight waterproof tactical pants to wear on my hunt.

Me, the very embodiment of Gun Culture 2.0, getting into hunting, the very essence of Gun Culture 1.0. Next up is a plague of locusts and a plague of frogs.

I’m actually rather excited about this, as it’s pretty much what I’ve been looking for in a hunting on-ramp: It’s local, it’s just two days long and it should (SHOULD) teach me how to hunt hogs versus taking us out with a guide to go blast Porky’s feral cousin without learning WHY we are doing what we’re doing.

Gun-wise, I’m probably going to go with my .300BLK pistol. My suppressor should be in my hands by then, and I’m looking forward to putting that gun and can into action together. I may go with the Holosun 1x red dot, or maybe swap that out for my 1.5-4x Leupold that’s not in use right now.

All this has got me thinking.

I shot about 600 or so rounds at John and Melody’s class last year. I shot 300 or so rounds at ECQC earlier this month. When I go to a USPSA or an IDPA match, I put 100 to 150 rounds downrange.

Now here’s the kicker: Out of all those shots, which one was the MOST important shot I fired? Which one of them made the difference between the quick and the dead? The first one, the one that was shot with no warmup and no prep and no practice. That’s what I can do, on-demand.

Which is just what happens on a hunt, because the shot you’re about to take is always THE most important shot of moment, if not the whole trip.

Think that has a self-defence application?

I do.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1261 – 1399

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1261 – 1399

Another day, another 140-ish rounds of Lucky Gunner’s .380 ammo through the little LCP2. This time out, it was just a slog to put as many rounds through the pistol as fast as I could, as today was a father-son range day with my youngest son, and my priority was helping him shoot, not running a test on this gun.

The LCP2 had one of it’s worst outings ever: 3 Failure to Ejects in under 140 rounds of shooting. While not a good thing, this is not too surprising to see as we approach the conclusion of this test. Two of the FTE’s were with Magtech ammo, and the other was with Fiocchi. The 39 rounds of Winchester White Box I put through it worked just fine.

A boy and his plinkster

Helping my youngest son with his shooting was the highlight of the day, by far. He’s a decent shot with my Marlin Plinkster, and he’s starting to love my red-dotted Smith&Wesson M22A. He owns a Remington 514, but I think he needs something more robust now that he’s older.

M22A and a young boy

Another highlight happened when we were loading mags: Bambi showed up to munch a bit on the sweet, sweet clover that was all over the ground of the backyard range we were shooting in, and offered up some suggestions about stance and trigger pull as we were shooting.

Everyone’s a critic.

Bambi and guns

And chill out: That Plinkster was empty, and there is a chamber flag in it. We were safe to load mags at that table.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge Results

Rounds Fired
50 Rounds Fiocchi 95 gr .380 ACP
50 Rounds MagTech .380 ACP
39 Rounds Winchester .380 ACP

Total Rounds Fired: 1399
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993, 1277, 1323, 1359
Failure to feed: Round 873

Brand Ambassadors For A Country No One Has Ever Heard About.

Brand Ambassadors For A Country No One Has Ever Heard About.

I’m a bit of a gearhead. I drive a hot hatch, and I exceed the posted speed limit on a regular basis.

Perhaps a little TOO regular, if I’m honest.

I digress…

I watch The Grand Tour and Top Gear, and I love seeing all the exotic cars that show up here in this particularly plushly-upholstered section of God’s waiting room.

However, even I couldn’t tell you who the current Indy Car Champion is, and if, say, Lewis Hamilton showed up at a local Mercedes dealer to hawk some wares, I probably wouldn’t go see him.

Now admittedly, I am kinda celebrity-shy: I’m not really impressed by people who are famous, so that does color my judgement somewhat.

With that in mind, I have to ask myself, what is the purpose of a sponsored shooter? To advance the brand of the companies who sponsor them, that’s what, no matter how big or small the brand is.

This is why I’m very interested in what Shoot Center has done. They’re a local range who’s sponsored a shooter who shoots USPSA very well, and I think there’s a real opportunity for them and other local ranges to use a really good shooter to increase the prestige of the range. It doesn’t have to be much: In return, for, say, a case of 9mm every other month or so or maybe access to employee pricing on reloading supplies, have your sponsored shooter do a Facebook video on what makes a good defensive handgun. Or how to shoot better. Or how the safety rules on an indoor range. Heck, just do a video of the shooter punching out the X ring of a target at 25 yards: There’s a TV program dedicated to “Impossible Shots“, why not have your sponsored shooter strut his stuff on your range and show off how much of an authority he/she is on shooting?

A sponsored shooter brings some gravitas and authenticity to what’s being said, and store/range who has one and shows them off therefore appears more clued-in than its competitors, making it appear to be a better place to go shoot than the other ranges in town.

This is why people want to go shoot on a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus or Greg Norman: They want the ego boost that comes from doing something associated with someone who is famous for doing what they enjoy doing.

If you got it, flaunt it.

Don’t Try To Understand ‘Em…

Don’t Try To Understand ‘Em…

… just rope ’em, tie ’em and brand ’em
Soon we’ll be living high and wide.

My heart’s calculatin’
My true love will be waitin’
Be waitin’ at the end of my ride

Move ’em on, head ’em up
Head ’em up, move ’em on
Move ’em on, head ’em up

A quick roundup of some articles I wrote that aren’t SHOT-related.

That Dropzone article is my first article for Shooting Sports USA, and they’ll be more articles over there by me in the near future. One thing that happened at SHOT this year is that I really diversified the number of places I’m writing for: Look for stuff on Beretta’s blog, the USCCA and even (gasp) American Hunter sometime this year.

Speaking of roundups (and bad segues), I’m outta here later today, off to take ECQC with Craig Douglas this weekend. This is a class I’m really looking forward to (even though I’ll probably get my @ss kicked in new and exciting ways) because it’s an area of self-defense that a) I know little about and b) have noticed for awhile now that there are a lot of people teaching a gun solution to violence and a lot of people teaching a martial art solution to violence but there are very few people integrating the empty handed skills of martial arts into the gun world.

Well, Craig is one of those people, so I am really looking forward to this class, no matter what it does to my poor, decrepit body.

The Missionary And The Socialite

The Missionary and the Socialite

One of the nicer things about climbing higher and higher up the gun writer caste system is that the signal to noise ratio gets A LOT better. The people I talk with on social media are really, really clued-in, and the amount of bad advice they hand out is pretty much derp-free.

But there is a price to be paid for being one of the Illuminati, and that price is that you really, really don’t want to suffer fools gladly, and it becomes very, very easy to look down on people less clueful than you.

Which is why Michael Bane’s podcast from a few weeks ago hit me pretty hard. Yes, it’s fun, (a LOT of fun) hanging out with smart people, but that needs to tempered with the realization that other people need to brought up, not put down.

An anecdote…

At the first Arizona Bloggershoot at the Casa Grande Public range a few years ago with Kevin Baker from The Smallest Minority, the benches to the south of us were occupied with a bunch of locals who were havin’ a grand ol’ time shootin’ things up with a half-dozen Mosins, a few HiPoints, a Mossberg Maverick and a Taurus PT145.

They were being safe, they weren’t muzzling us, and they were introducing a young boy to shooting. Who am I to tell them not to have such a good time just because their guns were cheap?

If we want new gun owners to shoot their guns more frequently, we need to create a gun culture that encourages such things. Speaking as someone who has paid money for a post-secondary education on how to evangelize, telling people they are not worthy of your church isn’t going to fill the pews…