Gimme The Roots, The Radicals

Gimme The Roots, The Radicals

Colt CompetitionGimme the roots, you know I’m a radical.

I’ve wanted a 1911 for a long time, and so I reached out to Colt for one of their Colt Competition 1911’s in .45ACP. I’m writing a story for the NRA about trying to get back to the roots of IPSC/USPSA, so that means shooting a 1911, because that’s where it all began. It was also important to me to get a *Colt* 1911, because while “Colt 45” might be associated with Billy Dee Williams, the name Colt has also been associated with the 1911 since, well, 1911.

In conjunction with this, I’m also going to try a 2000 Round Challenge with this pistol. The late Todd Green showed us that yes, a 1911 can be REALLY reliable, but the gun he used in his test was a higher-end 1911 in 9mm. I want to see how reliable a plain-Jane, entry-level 1911 is actually is, so it’s 2000 rounds or bust for this gun.

Let’s see what happens.

Welcome To The Party, Pal.

Welcome To The Party, Pal.

Me, in 2011:

“If Gun Culture 1.0 is to survive, it needs fresh blood, and that means bringing in urban professionals like myself and the thousands of other people who look at firearms as a defensive tool first and a sporting tool second.” 

Outdoor Life, in 2018:

Baby boomers make up our nation’s largest cohort of hunters, and they’ve already begun to age out of the sport. Within 15 years, most will stop buying licenses entirely. And when they do, our ranks could plunge by 30 percent—along with critical funding for wildlife management, advocacy for hunting, and a tradition that’s probably pretty important to you. In other words, the clock is ticking. And unless we act now, we might not recover from the fallout. 

Fortunately, the outdoor industry is starting to catch on.

“Hipsters want to hunt. But they don’t want to hunt the way a rural farm boy from Illinois wants to hunt,” Dunfee says. “They don’t want to dress the same way, they don’t like focusing on antlers, they don’t like taking pictures of their animals. But they want local, sustainable, ecologically conscious meat. And within our efforts, there are few places to realize those values.” 

Speaking as an aging punk rocker (I was into shunning the mainstream before shunning the mainstream was cool) who’s going on his first hunt in just over a month, more of this, please. Much, much more. Localvore foodies are one of our passive allies, and we’ll need them (and people like them) if we’re going to survive and thrive as a hunting culture and a gun culture.

TacCon 2018 AAR

TacCon 2018 AAR

I’m still trying to sort out all that happened… did I *really* get four hours of DA/SA instruction from Ernest Langdon? Did I *really* get the skinny on tactical trauma care from Lone Star Medics? Did I *actually* get to listen to Karl Rehn hold forth on the history of handgun training? Did Lee Weems lay out some drills on staying sharp and reacting to threats while we’re less-than-attentitive? Did I, in fact, get to meet a bunch of cool people from all over the country and train with them and break bread with them?

I must have, because that’s what these pictures say I did.

A few thoughts…

Ernie Langdon‘s Double Action course was *amazing*. Not only did he correct some basic flaws in my grip and stance, he taught me more about how to pull the trigger correctly since I took a class with Rob Leatham.

One of the nice things about Chuck‘s class was that he had us shoot the Georgia Backup Weapons Atlanta PD Secondary Weapons Qualifier, giving me yet another chance to establish my credibility in the courtroom. The stuff he taught adapted the techniques that we know work with a bigger gun and plopped them down onto the pocket rockets, with great success. Really want to take more pocket-gun classes now.

Karl Rehn spoke for two hours on how handgun training has evolved in the past 100 years, and it was interesting to see how much influence Jelly Bryce had on things (and probably not for the better). In Jelly’s defense, the sights on the guns of the 20’s and 30’s were at best marginal (and at worst, non-existent) so yeah, point shooting did make some sense.

Caleb Causey‘s medical class was a hoot. He can make the gruesome topic of dealing with blowed-up people and loose body parts a lot of fun, and it made us really WANT to listen to what he had to say.

I shot a 199 out of a possible 200 on the course of fire for the shooting match, and right now, I will take that walking away. Gabe White won the match, and Chris from Lucky Gunner has some slo-mo video of the winning relay that is just INCREDIBLE to watch. Gabe’s draw and presentation were absolutely flawless, and I hope Chris publishes it someplace where it can be linked to because it shows an absolutely textbook draw from AIWB. Update: Chris’s video is here. Skip to 1:10 if you want to see how to draw from AIWB.

TacCon left me with a LOT to work on, especially grip and trigger techniques from Ernie’s class, and based on what I learned in Caleb’s class. I’m also going thru and updating my trauma kits and replacing the SWAT-T tourniquets that are in there now with SOFT-T tourniquets.

All in all, it was the most intensive training experience I’ve had in my life, and yes, I want to go back.

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.

Duh.

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