Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 601-700

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 601-700

I started this test with the intent to prove that a budget (sub-$1000) 1911 in .45ACP could stand up to a 2000 Round Challenge, and so far, so good. Something I didn’t know before I started, though, is that Greg Ellifritz has a list of the best 1911’s out there, and Colt is on the list.

This gives me hope.

One of the things that’s probably helping the reliability of my test gun is that I’m using nothing but Wilson Combat magazines in the test 1911. It’s fairly well-known that magazines are the Achille’s heel of the 1911, and I made the decision early on to use top-quality mags, and so far, so good.

I went shooting with Jeff Street last week and put 100 rounds of Remington UMC .45 ACP through the Colt Competition. Nothing happened except a big, ragged hole appeared in the target. This is getting boring. Boring is good.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
100 Rounds Remington UMC .45ACP FMJ


No issues.

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

Optimizing A Walther PPS For Concealed Carry

Optimizing A Walther PPS For Concealed Carry

The Walther PPS is a popular defensive pistol because it’s thin, compact and easy to shoot. The new M2 model is an updated, improved version, but the original PPS is still a terrific little 9mm gun for concealed carry.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t get better, and here’s some suggestions for getting the most out of your PPS.

  1. Spare Magazines. The PPS ships with two seven round magazines, one with flush-fitting baseplate and one with an extended baseplate to give you a better grip on the gun. This is good, but if you’re going to do any training at all with your PPS, you’ll soon find out that you need more magazines. Also, because they wind up getting dropped on the ground and smashed into things, a pistol magazine is, in truth, a semi-disposable item. Get more than what ships with your gun. You’ll need them.
  2. Sights. Three dot sights are common on defensive pistols, and the PPS has a decent set of them. Three dot sights have a downside, though. It’s not unusual for your eyes to dart between the front sight and rear sight, and the sights on the PPS aren’t night sights. That’s easily changed, though, and several manufacturers make sights for the PPS. I myself am a huge fan of Trijicon’s HD sights because they have an easy-to-post dot on the front sight but still have a night sight capability that shows up when it gets dark.
  3. Holster. There are essentially two options for holsters for concealed carry: Inside the waistband (IWB) and outside the waistband (OWB). Me, I’m a fan of IWB holsters because in general, they’re easier to conceal than OWB holsters but is just as fast to draw from. For first-time gun owners, though, I recommend an OWB holster because they don’t require you to wear pants that are an inch (or more) wider than what you you wore before you carried a gun. Galco makes a terrific leather OWB holster for the PPS that I can heartily recommend for everyday carry.
  4. Ammo. Modern bonded jacketed hollow point ammunition is what turned 9mm into round known for punching holes in people to one that millions of people rely on to protect their lives. Lucky Gunner did a very exhaustive comparison of the modern defensive rounds for 9mm pistols like the PPS, and the 150 grain Federal Micro HST round did very, very well in that test.
Abby Normal

Abby Normal

Because I hate wasting good stuff at an away game.

Dear Tactical Abby,

I’ve been told by people on the internet that I must have a “no compromise” attitude when it comes to my personal security, but I worry that I have made a very bad decision. I really think that I’ve compromised my personal security and the safety of my family by not carrying around an M4, a plate carrier and a half dozen 30 round mags, as experience has clearly shown that this is the optimal choice for self-defense. Instead, I’ve foolishly, even recklessly compromised my security, and I’ve decided to carry JUST a pistol. What ever shall I do? How shall I rectify this dangerous oversight on my part? Because of what I’ve done, Abby, I’ve put myself and my entire family at risk!

Defenseless in SW Florida.

Dear Defenseless in SW Florida. 

Have you ever considered learning what you can and can’t do with a pistol, no matter if it’s a full-size service gun, compact 9mm or a .380 pocket rocket and then putting that knowledge to use defending yourself and your family? Metal and plastic don’t adapt to changing environments, people do, though, and they do so all the time. That’s what training does for you; it also you to adapt faster than the other guy and come out on top.

A pistol, any pistol is a compromise, and any pistol is also a suboptimal personal defense weapon. This is the reason why the military carries rifles around to shoot people in face rather than pistols. People like you and me, however, don’t carry around rifles because we don’t want to look like those open carry maroons who walk into Starbucks with their rifles at low ready. Instead, we choose a suboptimal platform (a pistol) for our comfort and the comfort of those around us. Get a pistol. Learn to use it well and then most importantly, carry something with you wherever it is possible to do so. Even the wimpiest of .22’s on your person when you need it is a more effective defensive tool than a tricked out Glock that’s nowhere to be found.


Tactical Abby

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

I’ve been saying this for a while now: If your Special Operations training can’t be translated into civilian terms, it’s not useful for the armed citizens.

6 Tips For Imporving Your Accuracy With a Rimfire Rifle.

”All I’m saying is that the debate about firearms often simmers down into ad hominem attacks that presuppose gun owners and criminals are a part of the same social group.”

It’s not about the guns.

Prep for the beginning of a crisis, and then work towards the end. Hurricane season is starting up again here, so yeah, prepping is on my mind once more.

Hunting organizations are beginning to (finally) figure out that they need to get more adults into hunting.

Is .380ACP the new 9mm?

Flame Wars

Flame Wars

I’m an Elon Musk fanboy. I’ll admit it proudly (and not just because he’s half-Canadian). The man has a level of joie de vie and a entrepreneurial spirit that we just don’t see that much these days. Not only is he making boatloads of cash, he’s having FUN while he’s getting rich.

Oh, and he put a sports car into orbit around Mars as well. Because he could.

As a lark, he promised to sell flamethrowers if people bought 500,000 hats which promote The Boring Company, the tunneling company he created to dig tunnels for his hyper-speed magnetic levitation transit system.

What can I say? The dude’s playing the game on many, many levels. Anyways, back to the flamethrowers. He sold out of the hats, and so, true to his word, he develeped and sold a flamethrower, which promptly sold out as well.

The usual Neo-Puritan suspects in California, New York and other places outside of America didn’t like the idea of private citizens owning a flamethrower, so they promptly tried to ban such devices in case people might decide to play with fire, or something.

But that didn’t work, so now Elon Musk’s “Not A Flamethrower” is shipping out to people all across the lower 48.

This is how you win a culture war. You win it by having fun. Let’s go have fun, and let’s take more people to range with us so they can fun as well.

Current Casual Everyday Carry.

Current Casual Everyday Carry.

Or as I should say, everyday everyday carry, as I’m not working in a office right now.

I update and change what I carry as experience and training demands. For instance, I’ve recently increased my tactical trauma knowledge, and so carrying an actual tourniquet on me is more of a priority. Also, using the PHLSter skeleton holster for my Shield in a training class and in a few matches has shown me that it’s just not right for me, so I’ve changed up my holster game as well.

Top Row
Bandana, wallet, keys, lighter, 9mm Shield with MagFix baseplate and MagGuts +1 follower.

Middle Row
Pocket Trauma Kit, Carabiner/Key ring, Boker AK-74 knife (top), Sabre Mk6 pepper spray (bottom), Blade-Tech Nano holster, iPhone 7 Plus w/ Hornady RFID tag (more about that chip at a later date).

Bottom Row
SOFT-T-W tourniquet in a Blue Force Gear Ten Speed Rifle Pouch, spare 8 round pistol magazine, Coast HP-1 light (top), SOG Mini Instinct knife, Leatherman PS multi-tool.

And yes, all of this either fits on my gun belt (I’m using a Wilderness Tactical Instructor’s Belt these days) or inside the pockets of my jeans, and all of it conceals with an un-tucked t-shirt (although the gun does print a bit, I must confess). In particular, I really like the Ten Speed pouch for carrying a tourniquet, as it’s about the same size as my pistol reload and a breeze to conceal under my shirt, and the MagGuts follower allows me to have 9+1 in my Shield, which is a nice comforting thought.

A Comparison Of Affordable Concealed Carry Insurance Plans

A Comparison of Affordable Concealed Carry Insurance Plans

I’ve done some other round-ups of self-defense legal plans on the blog, but things have changed in this industry to the point where an update is probably needed.

First off, it looks like the Self Defense Association is no more. Their website has nothing but a parked domain and their social media hasn’t been updated in over a year.

Secondly, the USCCA isn’t advertising their Silver introductory-level plan anymore, but it is available if you ask for it.

Thirdly, Texas Law Shield has increased their nation-wide coverage to the point where they’re available in 19 states, and have re-branded themselves as “U.S. Law Shield”.

Finally, the NRA has toned down their marketing of Carry Guard insurance quite a bit. It’s still out there, three levels down on the Carry Guard website, but the current push for Carry Guard seems to be more about the training they offer than it is about their CCW legal insurance plans.

CCW InsuranceAlso, I came across a nice little breakdown of what to look for in a concealed carry legal plan, written by an actual attorney**. His list of things to look for in self-defense insurance are:

  1. Attorneys’ Fees Coverage
  2. Bail Bond Coverage
  3. Access To An Attorney
  4. Freedom To Choose An Attorney
  5. Civil Judgement Coverage

Which is, all in all, a good list. The only thing that non-attorney me might add to that list is the importance of “First Dollar” coverage that kicks in from Day One, versus coverage where you have to pay and then you get re-imbursed by your plan.

Do you have easy access to a half-million dollars or more in loans to cover your upfront costs? I don’t.

If you carry a firearm, I heartily suggest you spend a few dollars and sign up for a self-defense legal coverage plan of some sort. It just makes too much sense. I’ve had a number of friends get in serious legal trouble due to their defensive use of a firearm, and you don’t want to go in front of a judge with a public defender whose legal knowledge is probably limited to defending actual crooks in a court of law. Instead, you want someone who knows how to the defend the truly innocent, and that is going to cost money. Lots and lots of money.

You carry a gun because you planned ahead for a lethal force encounter. Get a legal plan to prepare for a battle inside the courtroom.

CCW Insurance Plans

 NRA Carry Guard
Second Call
Full Coverage
Armed Citizens
Legal Defense
US Law
CCW Safe
Bail$100,000$5,000 / $50,000$5,000 / $50,000$25,000 + Merits$2,500 / $25,000$1,000,000*
Your Own AttorneyYYYYNY
Criminal Defense$100,000$100,000$50,000$25,000 + MeritsCovered$1,000,000*
Civil Defense$500,000$500,000$50,000Based On MeritsCovered$1,000,000*
Civil Damages$500,000$500,000$50,000Based On MeritsNot Covered$1,000,000*
Any WeaponYYNYYN
Expert WitnessesYYYYYY
“First Dollar” CoverageNYNYYY
Online SignupOnline SignupOnline SignupOnline SignupOnline SignupOnline Signup


* Coverage for CCW Safe includes bail, criminal and civil trial attorneys’ fees and civil damages.
** Do I really need to say that I am not an attorney and that this is not legal advice I’m giving out here? If so, I am. Figure it out for yourselves, and go talk to a lawyer about this stuff, because it’s a good idea. I, personally, have ACLDN and am a USCCA Affiliate.

You Never Were Safe To Begin With.

You Never Were Safe To Begin With.

I can sort of understand the concept of safety as a feeling. While it’s true that safety is a reality that has nothing to do with how you feel, the fact is, it’s up to us to become aware of that reality.  Either you are safe, or you are not, your emotions have nothing to do with it. Granted, there are degrees of safety. My famly is pretty secure from a home invasion or a hurricane, but if a meteor hits the Gulf of Mexico, we’ll be turned into instant flotsam and/or jetsam.

Strangely, that possibility does not keep me up at night. Go figure.

Tom Gresham posted this on Twitter awhile ago, and while the sentiment is good, the execution is often weak.

“Every possible self defense scenario” is a little… vague. I probably won’t have to defend against shuriken-throwing ninjas any time soon, but dealing with a road rage incident that spirals out of control too quickly to escalate it?


Staying safe is not just self defense, though. I’ve seen many, many car accidents and a fair amount of car fires, that’s why I carry a go-bag with me in my car and a fire extinguisher in my trunk. I’ve lost track of how many situations I’ve been in where a bright, powerful light was more handy than the sidearm on my hip. I lock my door right after me as I enter my house. I have a tourniquet on me when I leave my house. When I get out of my car in a parking lot, I look around before walking to my destination. My cell phone is rarely below 50% charge, and there’s usually at least a half a tank of gas in my car at all times. These are simple things that each have their own plan and are not gun-centric. What they do, though, is get everyone thinking about what to when things go bad, and that’s the pathway that leads to an armed, responsible citizenry.

Optimizing Your Murse-anary Game

Optimizing Your Murse-anary Game

Speaking of gear bags, my family made a trip up to Orlando a few weekends ago to do our usual round of theme park visits. We did something a little different this time, though, and went to the Florida Mall to visit the M&M’s store, because my wife loves those candies*. I like ’em too, but not as much as she does, so I sat outside the store on the bench for 15 or so minutes today, waiting for my wife to complete her pillaging of the store. I took that break as an opportunity to do some people watching and see how many guys passed wearing backpacks, sling bags or man purses.

Now granted, this is a tourist area so men will probably be carrying around a lot more stuff with them than if they were at home, but in that 15 minutes, I counted 12 guys of all shapes sizes and colors carrying some form of pack or bag. Bags ranged from school backpacks (8 guys) to a full-on purse (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) to three guys wearing sling bags, one of which was your typical tactical gear bag.

It’s interesting to note that the guy with the tactical bag looked hipster-ish rather than Hayley-ish, with glasses and hoodie and the whole hipster uniform.

I have no compunction against carrying around an extra bag to hold all my extra stuff, probably because I carried around either a laptop bag or a camera bag** for over twenty years. Whether or not a gear bag/camera bag/tactical man-purse is appropriate to carry around with you depends on the context of where you are. For instance, I have never seen a murse in a grocery store, but I see them all the time in tourist-y areas. I don’t see them in movie theaters, but I do see them in coffee shops. Also, keep in mind that the increasing use of iPads, Kindles and other small tablets means that more and more guys are carrying those gadgets around with them to use them outside of the house, so you’ll see man-purses in places you normally wouldn’t like in church or in restaurants.

Your first option should always be to carry your essential gear on your person, but if that’s not an option, or you feel like you need a little more gear than normal, a man-purse might not be a bad option.

Just leave the leather purse with the chrome clasp to your wife, okay? 🙂



* I don’t know why she has to obsess about those and not obsess about guns like normal people do.
** Domke or GTFO. Seriously, if you shoulder-carry your camera gear, they are the best, bar none.