Real Advice On Spotting Fake Experts.

screenshot_799

Attention firearms training students: Here is a quick, handy guide on how to spot if someone is full of knowledge, or full of themselves.

  1. Real experts focus on their field, not themselves.
  2. Real experts have no trouble saying:  “I don’t know.”
  3. Real experts demonstrate intellectual honesty.
  4. Real experts show intellectual curiosity.
  5. Real experts know when and how to share.
  6. Real experts know when and how to improvise.
  7. Real experts cannot help but teach.

The whole article is worth your while, no matter how much you’re interested in firearms training.

After Action Report: Shoot N Scoot At Night, Step by Step Gun Training

I had a chance to train with Jeff and Robyn Street of Step By Step Gun Training over the weekend at the night version of their “Shoot N Scoot” training event, and I learned a lot about how my carry gear works in low-light and no-light conditions.

  1. Dry-fire is good, but there is no substitute for shooting ammo.
    I’ve developed a nasty habit of riding the recoil which is sending my shots high, and dry-fire will NOT help with that. Time to shoot more matches and put in some old-fashioned range time to cure that.
  2. There is no substitute for a laser when it comes to long-range shooting at night.
    Pinging away at a piece of steel that is 1/2 the size of a USPSA target that is 30 yards distant, in the dark, without using your sights will make you trust your laser.
  3. There is no substitute for candlepower.
    The Streamlight TLR-6 on my Shield is good. The laser dot is easy to pick up at night, and the flashlight gives you enough illumination to discern targets out to 15 yards or so. A Viridian C5L green laser is better. MUCH better. That sucker is almost like a searchlight, it’s so bright. You want hits with a laser at night? Go green, it’s worth the money.
  4. Battery life matters.
    I left the red dot glowing on the Vortex Sparc that’s on top of my trunk gun, and it was dead when I tried to use it in this event, and like a moron, I did not have a spare with me.
    Whoops.
    That’s been rectified. Lesson learned.

This is now the fourth time I’ve trained at night, and I continue to learn things about what gear and techniques actually work when the lights go out. If you’ve not trained at night, I highly recommend you do so. We are sight hunters, and we spend half our lives in the dark. It’d be a good thing to learn how to save our lives when there is little to no light around to help us see.

It’s Like The NRA Reads This Blog, Or Something.

Me, a few weeks ago:

What’s needed is a politically-neutral exposition of all things Gun Culture 2.0 that has a participation element as well. No rants about “THEY’RE TRYING TO TAKE AWAY YOU GUNS!“. No Republican voter registration drives. Just guns, ways to enjoy your guns and ways to be around people who like guns.

The NRA, now:

Experience a full array of educational seminars and workshops featuring the best personal protection and concealed carry practices taught and demonstrated by leading experts and training instructors from across the country.  Ranging from one hour informational seminars to multi-hour, in-depth instruction and hands on training, there will be a wide variety of topics and options for all skill and knowledge levels.

Needs more shootey, but other than that, yeah, this looks pretty good. It’d be REALLY cool if the NRA could team up with a local range to run, say, a shortened version of The Mover and The Practical Bianchi Cup stages somewhere close to the event to help boost interest in one of practical shooting’s oldest events.

Thanks to GunCulture2.0 for the heads-up.

The Swedish Tactical Bikini Team.

Quick, what do lousy, cheap beer and bikini models have in common?

Well, nothing, really.

I don’t know how to tell you this, but beer commercials have been lying to you for the last few decades: You are not going to be surrounded by comely young lasses if you chose to drink Bud Light, and it really doesn’t matter if you think it’s less filling OR it tastes great, because drinking Miller Lite has little to do with your ability to hang out with iconic sports figures.

Oh, and there’s no such thing as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus either. Sorry about that.

What does this have to do with guns? Well, beer commercials are a prime example of lifestyle marketing: They rarely, if ever, talk about how the beer tastes or what it’s made from, the talk about the life you’d be leading if you drank their swill. They can’t talk about the wonderful caramel tones in Kilt Lifter or the bananas and cloves in Saison Dupont because the typical beer drinker has never learned how to talk about such things or they can’t taste the difference or they really don’t care about the taste and are looking to get a quick buzz at the end of a long day.

Which brings us to gun bunnies.

Everything I just said about the marketing of beer applies here. We are entering a period of time where guns, and especially guns designed for concealed carry and the “tactical” market, are becoming part of our lifestyle, and that is a very good thing because that means the gun buying bubble will not drastically implode. However, it means that the marketing techniques that work for other lifestyle items like cars and food and music are going to start to be effective when it comes to marketing guns, and hot chicks, ah, displaying their wares is definitely an effective lifestyle marketing strategy. Good, bad, indifferent… it works with us males (and a surprising amount of females, too).

If guns are going to become the new Harley-Davidson, the gun equivalent of “Easyrider” is sure to follow. I’m not into motorcycles, and I prefer magazines like Car&Driver that talk about the cars themselves and how much fun they are to drive. However we’d be morons not to acknowledge that sex sells. Is that a good thing? No, probably not. Is it a real thing? Yes, yes it is.

New Year’s Shootey Goals

Umm, I don’t have any. I’m doing ten minutes of dry-fire every morning, and I’m going for a brisk 3 mile walk every evening. Between those two activities, (and a little bit of upper body and flexibility work as well), I’m going to accomplish two long-term goals of mine, namely, get in shape and improve my pistol shooting.

The writing gigs have really started to take off, and I’ve got a few things going on the side as well. I’m shooting fewer and fewer matches, and I’m ok with that. My goal with competition has always been to use it as a way to get better at defensive shooting and not turn into gaming for gaming’s sake.

Although it is fun, and I need to do it more.

So this year, my goal is to be, not do or buy.

Ready. Fire. Aim.

Santa was a few days late with this present to Nevada gun owners, but I’m sure they don’t mind. Sebastian points out that Michael Bloomberg’s brand new make gun ownership illegal “universal background check” law can’t be enforced in Nevada, because Bloomberg’s lawyers seem to be unaware of how Nevada’s gun laws actually work.

NRS 202.254, as amended by Background Check Act, makes it a crime to engage in private sales or transfers of firearms (with certain exceptions) unless a federally licensed dealer conducts a federal background check on the potential buyer or transferee. Because the Act specifically directs the deal to run checks through the FBI’s NICS system, the Nevada Department of Public Safety has no authority to perform the background checks required by the Act.

Nevada, like Pennsylvania and Florida, uses a state-run background check system and not NICS, so the FBI/ATF had no jurisdiction and authority to run background checks in Nevada. It’s roughly equivalent to writing a law which mandates that the police department in Bangor, Maine, write the speeding tickets for Glendale, Arizona. Yes, the Bangor Police Department writes a lot of tickets, but no, their actions have little, if any effect on the traffic laws of Arizona.

Congratulations, Bloomberg. That’s $20 million you could have spent on something that would have actually lowered crime and improved the lives of the people of Nevada, but you chose to do this instead.

 

 

2016 In Review

Or, the year that everything changed, and nothing changed. I did really, really poorly on my shootey goals, but I did really, really well with other things.

I shot the fewest matches I’ve ever shot in one year, but I’m quite satisfied with almost every part of my pistol skill except my draw, and I’m working on that part every day.

Speaking of which, I’m on a regular dry-fire routine of ten to fifteen minutes of practice draws and trigger presses before I leave for work each day, and I’m doing at least a half-hour’s fast walking every night to get myself in some sort of shape other than “pear”.

While I haven’t been shooting much, my writing opportunities have really taken off. I’ve written a LOT for Shooting Illustrated and Ricochet, and I’ve added in the occasional article on Lucky Gunner as well.

Training-wise, the two-day class with Bob Vogel was well worth the money. If you’re looking for a class that will teach you pistol marksmanship, pure and simple, you’d be well served to take one of his classes.

SHOT Show was not in the cards this year, but NRA was, and it was wonderful to meet people like Andrew Branca, David Yamane and Tam for the first time and find out that they’re almost as nice in-person as they are online.

While I’m not working in the gun biz full time, my current job is one of the best I’ve ever had in my life, so I’m actually much, much happier than if I was slinging steel for a living. It was also nice to see some of my posts gain some traction inside the business, and I’m also working with a new startup developing a rather cool gadget for firearms training, but I can’t talk much about it right now.

Thank you, everyone, for coming by. I sincerely appreciate it, and have a happy and blessed New Year’s.