Monday, November 26, 2012

How to buy a gun...if you're single.

Mad Ogre has a video up over at his place where he gives advice on how to buy a gun without risking the ire of your wife.  It's very interesting to me, as a single guy, the level of cloak and dagger bullshit you married guys go through.

Here's how you buy a gun if you're a single guy:

1.  Go to gun buying place.

2. Buy gun.

3. Take gun home.

Done.  That's it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Robert's Picks

Books:

Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (very good)

Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia (very good)

Uprising USA by George Hill (very good)

Movies:

Faster (good)

Atlas Shrugged Part I (very good)

Skyfall (good)

Contraband 

Raising Arizona 

Zulu (excellent)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On The Range #79: Way of the Gun Intro to Performance Pistol

Over the last year or so I've been seeing and hearing about a new gun school in Alabama.  I've been very interested in getting more firearms training but costs/availability of instructors in my general area has been a big problem.  After doing a little looking the new place seemed to fit the bill and I decided to get my feet wet.  This past Saturday I attended a pistol course at Mossbranch Shooting Range in Anniston, AL offered by Frank Proctor, owner and lead instructor for Way of the Gun.

Before I get into the actual course I want to talk a little about Frank Proctor and his philosophy for Way of the Gun.  Frank is a US Army veteran with almost 20 years of service, over a decade of which was in SOF.  He's trained numerous DOD personnel in a variety of combat disciplines and served his country in the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2007 he jumped into competitive shooting and now holds the rank of Grand Master in limited division (USPSA) and Master/SSP in IDPA.

Frank's training is performance oriented.  "Whether in competition or combat, the guy who scores the most points fastest wins."  His training focuses on shooting fast and accurate.

My personal opinion of Frank is that he is a competent and efficient trainer, and a tremendously experienced and capable shooter.  He's approachable and easy to communicate with, has a great sense of humor, and lacks the off putting ego that seems to be a hallmark of a lot of trainers out there.

So, to the course.

The course was to begin at 8:30AM and end at 4:30PM.  Required equipment was pistol, belt holster, two magazine holders, three magazines, ear and eye pro, 1000 rounds of ammunition, snacks, water, etc.

As we arrived Frank introduced himself and handed us all a swag bag.  I can't fault the man for knowing the necessity of marketing and branding when it comes to a successful firearms training business.  People want flash and dash and Frank will give it to them with a shrug and a laugh.

 I'm a sucker for this stuff, but Frank has much more to offer!

We started the day promptly at around 8:30 with a safety brief and short synopsis of what we could expect for the day.  The safety brief was short and sweet as you were expected to have safe gun handling skills before signing up for the course:  Don't break the four rules.  If you AD/ND you're done.*

We started out slow with demonstrations of grip and stance and detailed explanations of what you were trying to accomplish and why.  Frank put a lot of things in terms of math and explained the nuts and bolts.  I really liked this because I'm a detail person.  Don't just tell me to do it, tell me why I'm doing it.  It helps it sink in.

We moved into some dry fire practice and Frank moved up and down the line giving individual instruction and correction where necessary.  Afterwards we moved on to live fire.

Most of our live fire shooting was done in strings of three to five shots at 8.5x11 targets on USPSA cardboard targets.  The goal was to shoot as fast and accurately as possible.  We'd start out by firing a baseline and then pushing it, and then dialing back when things went off the rails.

We progress from there to adding index cards in order to work on shooting multiple targets of various size with the paper sheet size target at center mass and an index card at head and pelvic area.  We would shoot three as fast as possible at the center mass target and then transition to the index cards and have to slow down a bit.  I'm happy to say I was pretty good at this!

Next came steel.  I love/hate steel.  It gives instant feedback but occasionally shoots back.  Let me say there is nothing like shooting fast and accurate on steel.  We did this shooting from 7, 10, and 15 yards to learn how fast we could accurately engage the targets at varying distance.

It was around this point we took a lunch break.  When we came back we started working reloads, malfunction clearance, and movement.  Frank taught us a reload drill that I really like and will be incorporating into my at home practice:  You load the gun, do a tactical reload with an empty mag so you have a round chambered on an empty.  From ready, fire, speed reload and fire, come back to ready, go to a kneeling ready position to retrieve the empty mag, stand and perform a tac reload with the empty mag.  Rinse, repeat.  I may even add in a little shooting from kneeling.

Movement is the area I had the most trouble with.  Moving straight forward is easy and I can fire fast and accurately this way.  And while we didn't cover it IDPA has taught me I can do this retreating as well.  Moving side to side was a bit of struggle.  Frank teaches a method of keeping your upper body oriented in targets' direction.  It makes perfect sense and works well from what I've seen but it's going to take some practice for me to be able to do it smooth.

Towards the end of the day Frank began setting up various scenarios for us to shoot with steel targets.  This was a lot of fun and got progressively more difficult as we went.  There was even some team shooting and head to head competition.  There were a a number of shooters both faster and more accurate than me so I could have done better but I still enjoyed it.

In the end I fired over 800 rounds that day.  This is the most I've ever fired in a single day before and I learned some things about my Glock.  First, it can take it.  The gun hadn't been cleaned before the course so this was well over 1000 rounds with no cleaning or lubrication.  I shot with my TLR-1 attached and aside from a lot of carbon buildup it survived in good working order.  My DSG Alpha holster and mag pouch also came through with no issues and my TheBeltMan leather gun belt carried them all day comfortably.  I had no failures with the Glock that weren't self-induced (riding the slide stop, of course).

I feel like I came out of this course with a new understanding of what it takes to be a fast and accurate shooter and how I can go about getting faster without losing accuracy.  The course pushed me to my limits and by the end of the day I was ready to throw in the towel but I really feel like I came out of it for the better.  I would definitely recommend Frank Proctor and Way of the Gun to others interested in furthering their shooting skills and I'm planning on taking more of Frank's courses in the future.

All that said their were two things Frank taught that gave me pause.  I'm willing to keep an open mind so I'm going to try them out for a while and see how they work for me.  One of these was using the slide stop to release the slide instead of racking the slide.  His reasoning is that it's faster and more efficient.  I tend to agree and used that method most of the day with no issues as did everyone else.  What gives me pause about it is that we all, including Frank, were shooting Glocks and Glock is very adamant that it is a SLIDE STOP and not a SLIDE RELEASE nor is it designed to be used as one (yet they make it so grippy).

The other was Frank's method for racking the slide.  He teaches using the web of the hand between thumb and forefinger to grasp the slide forward of the ejection port to run the slide.  I've tried it and can do it, but it gets tricky when your hands start to get sweaty.  I'm also a bit nervous about getting my hand that far forward.  I can see that going wrong if you ever get in too much of a hurry.

*A note here that I think goes to Frank's character.  He said he would give any person who has an AD/ND a prorated refund of their course fee.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A couple of pictures.

Tonight's dinner.  

Preparations for tomorrow's trip to gun school.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Holster: Concealment Solutions Black Mamba

Since putting the TLR-1 on my Glock 17 I've been wearing it in my DSG Alpha holster which is an OWB model.  I prefer to carry IWB and so I've been looking for something that would hold my pistol with the light mounted.  The pickings are rather slim.

I was considering a CompTac CTac holster.  Follow the link and look at that thing.  Doesn't look like it would be very comfortable to me.

"Guns are supposed to be comforting, not comfortable," they say.

"Screw that," I say.  My Galco Royal Guard is comfortable, my DSG Alpha is comfortable, and my Don Hume leather OWB is comfortable.

There is no reason you can't carry a full size pistol or revolver comfortably.  It's all a matter of finding the right holster and then dressing around it.

Anyway, I was more interested in something like the CompTac Minotaur but they don't offer a model that will accommodate a weapon mounted light.  Maybe they do as a custom model but I decided to shop around.

Enter Concealment Solutions.  Looking around the website I saw that the Black Mamba is offered for guns with weapon mounted lights or lasers.  Well, that just so happens to be exactly what I was looking for.

The damned thing looked huge and I wasn't sure how comfortable it would be but I figured I'd take my chances.  I opted for the combat edition (combat cut) because I've never been bothered by the grip of my gun when carrying with the Royal Guard and I prefer being able to get an easy, solid grip.

It arrived Tuesday and I wore it a bit that evening.  I was impressed with the metal clips.  They are very secure and hold the holster in place during rapid draws.  The holster works great in conjunction with my leather gun belt and while it is indeed a large holster it is extremely comfortable.



Let me say that again:  It is extremely comfortable.

More wear is going to be necessary before I make the final call but this may well be the most comfortable holster I've every worn.  Wearing it (which I did today) is like not wearing a holster at all. The leather against your body feels, for lack of a better word, great.  

It also conceals wonderfully which surprised me just a bit.  It's definitely a pleasant surprise, though.

 




I'm glad I did some shopping around and found this holster.  Since I prefer carrying IWB this will likely become my primary holster.  I'm sure I'll remove the light from time to time and go with the Royal Guard in some situations (like when wearing a suit) but this thing is going to get a lot of wear.

My experience buying from Concealment Solutions was very positive.  I ordered the holster on Nov. 6 and had it in my hands by Nov. 13.  I likely would have had it sooner if not for the holiday weekend.  If you're in the market for a new holster I recommend taking a look at what Concealment Solutions has to offer.

Friday, November 9, 2012

On The Range #78: Dot Torture

I was in need of some trigger time today so I decided to shoot Dot Torture.  It had been a while so I wasn't too sure of how well I'd perform.  I took my time and worked off my shot timer, shooting at 3 yards.

Things went well!  50/50!

I really do enjoy this drill.  It makes you work on everything and if you don't have time for a lot of fancy stuff you could do worse than shooting this regularly to work on your marksmanship and gun handling.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ignorance.

Yesterday one of my customers was having a phone conversation that I overheard.  I'm in one of those professions where I get ignored so I don't consider it eavesdropping when people carry on conversations right in front of me.

Anyway she was going on and on about how glad she was Mitt Romney lost the election because, I shit you not, "Girl!  He the Antichrist!  He a Mormon, they Antichrist!"

Makes you really want to reconsider universal suffrage, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So...

We see that, how unexpectedly, the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama also lost to Obama.  We also see that gay marriage and pot won, and that stupid comments about rape (fueled by antiabortion sentiment) will cost you Senate seats.

So we can expect the GOP to lay of the 'bortion, gays, and the weed, right?

Right?

*crickets*




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

At least one good thing happened today.

1000 rounds of 9mm!

I recently made my largest single purchase of ammo from SGammo.com (I've used them a few times and always been very happy with the results so check them out).  I'm taking a course offered by Way of the Gun on the 17th and it calls for 1,000 rounds of ammo.  It's a one day class so we'll see how that goes.  

I'm very excited to take this training.  The course is Intro to Performance Pistol and the instructor Frank Proctor gives all indications of knowing what he is about, he's local, and affordable.  I'm hoping things go well because this has the potential to be a great way for me to refine and increase my skill level.  Expect to hear a lot more after the 17th.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

No.

Kevin has Bill Whittle's latest video up at The Smallest Minority.  I attempted to comment but Disqus seems to dislike me.

In essence Mr. Whittle says vote for Romney because he might undo some of the damage Obama has done. I say the Republican Party will do with Obamacare what Obama did with the Republican's PATRIOT Act.  They'll leverage it to their own ends.  So no.  No more.

I will take my chances on the local and state level but on the national level I will vote for third parties or against incumbents every time.

My comment at Kevin's would have been this:

"Maybe America needs to take a nose dive into totalitarianism to wake it up.  The Republican Party is irreparably broken.  That is the reality conservatives need to learn to deal with."

The advance of technology virtually gaurantees that quality of life will continue to get better.  I think that's probably one of our biggest problems as a society.  As long as we have enough food to eat, enough tv watch, enough new gadgets to play with, hell even enough guns to shoot at paper targets and to protect ourselves from small time criminals (as opposed to the big ones, like governments) people aren't going to be willing to do much of anything to risk that comfort.  

The only way to get rid of Romney in 2016 if he turns out to be the turd we all know him to be will be to vote Democrat.  I'd rather do what little I can to get a third party in there.  Maybe it is a fart in the wind, but so is a vote for either major party at this point in history.  Both will throw the occasional bone to whichever part of their base makes the most noise, but they'll both work to increase government interference in and control over your life.

If Romney wins this election it will be without my vote, and mark my words, win or not Mitt Romney will be the new, lowered bar for what it means to be a Conservative in America.  

I will take my chances trying to force a third option in 2016.  It probably won't work because the Republicans and Democrats both have lifetimes invested in keeping things just as they are, but it's better than pretending that this time he means it when he says he won't hit me ever again.