Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Robert's Picks


Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey (very good)

Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey (very good)

Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey (very good)

Quantum Mortis:  A Man Apart by Vox Day and Steve Rzasa (good)

I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A Heinlein (good)


Extreme Prejudice (very good)

Olympus Has Fallen (sucked)

Looper (meh)

Ted (good)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

And now for something completely different.

The gun control advocates like to paint gun owners as a bunch of white racists who want to kill Bambi with AR-47s loaded loaded with banana clips full of hundreds of rounds of .50 that are capable of shooting down Air Force One on the fly.

In reality gun owners are a hell of lot more diverse and accepting than you might think.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Robert's Picks


Countdown:  The Liberators by Tom Kratman (good)

The Last Lion, Volume I:  Winston Spencer Churchill:  Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 by William Manchester (excellent)

A Storm of Swords by George R R Martin (very good)

A Feast For Crows by George R R Martin (very good)

The Last Lion, Volume II:  Winston Spencer Churchill:  Alone, 1932-1940 by William Manchester (excellent)

Muscle for the Wing by Daniel Woodrell

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (excellent)


Broken City (good)

Gunga Din (good)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rotating the carry gun.

I've been considering buying another 1911.  I am thinking either a Colt Rail Gun or a S&W E-series.  I've really liked having a light on my Glock 17 and I'd like that option on any new carry gun.

Anyway, I decided that until I can scrape the cash together I'd start carrying my RIA again to get back in the habit of carrying and using a 1911.

My DeSantis IWB is starting to show its age so I've ordered a Galco Summer Comfort to replace it. I've also ordered six new Chip McCormick mags and 150 rounds of Hornady Critical Duty 230 gr. JHP.

I'll probably order a new recoil spring soon. Probably wouldn't hurt to replace the main spring as well.  Oh, and training ammo of course!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New boomstick!

A few weeks ago I finally got around to buying my first new shotgun. I've had a couple before but they were cheap hand me downs.

Anyway, I was in one of the local outdoor stores looking at subcompact 9mm pistols and I stumbled across a Mossberg 930 JM Pro.  The 'JM' stands for Jerry Miculek. He teamed with Mossberg and the result was one hell of a autoloading shotgun.

So far I am really enjoying it!

I picked up some Hornady Critical Duty 12 gauge '00' buck and it really likes the stuff. Recoil is pleasant, which I expect from an autoloader. I can do head shots with the Hornady easily from distances that you could expect to find in your home.  This thing was put together with 3-gun in mind but I'm more intetested in defensive uses.

I'm thinking of putting a red dot on it, maybe my Lucid HD7 when I upgrade my rifle to an Aimpoint.  Another possibility are the rifle sights you find on some of the 590s.

I also need to add a light. Not sure how I am going to handle that yet.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Robert's Picks


Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold (good)

Beginnings:  Worlds of Honor #6 by David Weber (good)

Warbound (audio book) by Larry Correia (excellent)

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (good)

Under A Graveyard Sky by John Ringo (excellent)

Under The Bright Lights by Daniel Woodrell (good)


Wrath of the Titans (good)

The Thing (2011) (good)

In Time (good)

Star Trek:  Into Darkness (very good)

Thursday, September 26, 2013


That word you keep using, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Calling oneself a 'gunfighter' when one has never been in 'a gunfight' is the ultimate act of hubris for one who carries a defensive arm. You are not a gunfighter, you are an armed citizen. Being an armed citizen who trains to defend yourself DOES NOT MAKE YOU A GUNFIGHTER.

Fighting with guns makes you a gunfighter.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fun on Facebook with the anti open carry crowd.

In a thread on Facebook I took a lot of flak for defending open carriers. My points were pretty much the same as those made in my previous post.

One person in particular, someone named Greg Hamilton, jumped right in with the ad hominem. I got fed up with him when he started posting about his fantasies to violently attack open carriers when he sees them and how he wished we still lived in the day where he could 'physically counsel' people.  My final post to him was that I was glad we no longer lived in that day and people with the attitude that they should be able to violently attack someone simply because they don't like them is why I and many others carry guns.

He repeatedly called open carriers assholes. I defended them saying simply peacefully doing something he did not like, but that otherwise harmed him not at all, did not make one an asshole.  I then compared it to wearing a kilt in public to start a dialogue about male cancers, and that just because some twit called me a fag for wearing a 'skirt' and tried to get me thrown out of a business would not make me the asshole.

That's when this other moron jumped in:

The kind of pantshitting I see from those agaist OC because of their fear of someone 'ruining it for the rest of us' reminds me of the 'I'm a gun owner, but' crowd who love their hunting rifles and shotguns but think those conceal carriers and AR owners are just trouble makers looking for a fight.

It's sad and pathetic.

Much Ado About Nothing: The Starbucks Thing

Starbucks policy regarding the carrying of firearms in their stores has not changed. They have requested weapons not be carried in their stores but have maintained that if someone does they will be welcomed and served and not asked to leave unless they create a disturbance (anyone who creates a disturbance will be asked to leave).

Please carefully read this rather than listen to the Chicken Littles.

Starbucks request has exactly the same import as me walking into a Starbucks, placing an order, and saying, "I don't want you to charge me. I'll still pay you and thank you if you do, but charging me is not welcome. Please don't charge me."  

Antigun people claiming this is a victory are idiots. Progun people claiming this is a loss are also idiots. And progun people demanding a boycott are just as fucking stupid as the antigun people who started this mess when they threatened a boycott if Starbucks did not institute a change in policy.

Blaming open carriers for a setback that did not happen is both irrational and counter productive. Even after they put on an over the top flamboyant show during the various appreciation days (a result of antigun group demands for a boycott) Starbucks still didn't change policy.

But of course the "concealed carry only" Nazis, once again adopting the tactics of antigunners don't care about silly little things like facts.

And in regards to respecting business owner's rights, why would I show any respect for bigots? In my nine years of carrying a handgun I have only twice carried one openly in public. Now I feel like doing it more and making a point to stop by a Starbucks. Why? For the same reason I'd want to go holding my partner's hand if I was a gay man and Starbucks had asked that same sex couples not have public displays of affection in their stores because a small group of bigits made a stink about it. Because fuck them, that's why.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I love the internet.

I was called an inane attention seeking whore tonight on Facebook when I pointed out that I didn't think open carry made one an asshole anymore than wearing a kilt to start a dialogue about male specific cancers did.

It boggles my mind how bent out of shape people get when someone does something that is harmlees, but out of the ordinary.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Life has been happening.

So blogging has not.

In recent news, this happened:


If you don't know why I am wearing a kilt, go here.

In other news I finally created a real website for my firearms training business. It's still a work in progress but you can take a look

I hope to offer my first NRA course in October, but we shall see.

What I really need to do is get my butt outside for some recoil therapy.  Dry fire is ok, but I like the real thing.

Maybe I'll find the time to update a little more often, but we will see. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A cheap solution to the President's Syria problem.

He should ask Congress to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal.  Let anyone who can afford to carry it out have the Letters and access to the necessary intelligence in order to handle the issue.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Definition of 'man cave.'

Man Cave: n. A room or space in a woman's house where she allows a beta male to pretend he has a shred of masculinity.

In case you were wondering.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Safety Recall on Smith & Wesson Shield.

If you haven't already heard S&W has issued a safety recall for all M&P Shield pistols manufactured before 8/19/13.  In other words, all of them.

More here.

I was seriously considering buying one too.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Robert's Picks


Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights:  Lessons and Tales from a Modern-Day Gunfighter by Jim Cirillo (very good)

Orphanage by Robert Buettner (good)

Ride the Rising Tide by Peter Grant (good)

Tiger by the Tail by John Ringo and Ryan Sear (very good)


Taken 2 (good)

The Bourne Legacy (very good)

Hemingway and Gellhorn (good)

Dredd (good)

Stand Up Guys (good)

Friday, August 16, 2013

On The Range #91: Defensive Ammo Test (.38 Special)

Last month I posted the results of my test of my 9mm carry ammo. I said there would be more to come.  I performed the test a couple of weeks ago but work and moving haven't allowed me to put this post together until now.

Again, my test medium was a smoked pork shoulder.  The ammunition used was Remington HD .38 Special 125 gr. +P JHP.



Wound channel.

This time I did not hit bone, but I think it would have been just as devasting as the 9mm with maybe a little less penetration.  The .38 bullet completely penetrated and left a whole I easily fit my thumb in.  

Left is the 9mm, and right the .38

As you can see both rounds expanded as designed and penetrated deeply enough to puncture internal organs. Either, in my opinion, are effective for self defense purposes IF the shooter does his job.  Most 9mm pistols are going to hold more rounds than a .38, but considering most defensive use of pistols where shots are fired go less than five rounds this advantage would be marginalized in most situations.

Next up will be the classic .45 ACP. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Plane crash in Birmingham, AL.

Looks like a UPS cargo jet went down in a field just outside Birmingham International Airport. Last I heard two people had been on board and there were no survivors.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Been busy.

I'm in the process of moving and work has been busy.  Both are good things but sucking up my free time.

The .38 Special ammo test is done and I just need to get the post put together. I probably put up some photos of the new place once I get settled. The move was literally right next door but a vast improvement.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Shadow Military: A Military Channel Fiasco

About a week ago I saw a promo on Facebook for a documentary called The Shadow Military.  I've always been intrigued by private military companies and Travis Haley was in it talking about his time with Blackwater so I thought it would be worth DVRing and giving a look see.

What a fucking fiasco.

It probably would have been a great documentary except for 'the inside look at a real PMC' segments. The interviews with former and current contractors, journalists, and pmc executives were great. Most of the footage was also really good. Everything gave what I thought was an exciting and informative look into the world of military contractors.

The inside look stuff, though. Damn. Talk about destroying the documentary's credibility.  They had this moron instructor from some unnamed, supposed pmc standing down range WALKING DOWN THE FIRING LINE BEING SHOOT AT TO SHOW HOW MUCH CONTRACTORS HAVE TO TRUST EACH OTHER.  I get that in a combat engagement you might have to send some lead close to an ally. I can see that being necessary, but to deliberately walk down a line of fire while rounds are impacting the berm scant inches in front of and behind you is insane.  And this guy wasn't even wearing body armor. Holy fucking Christ.

Later they are doing a live fire extraction maneuver and not one person is wearing ear pro and most are not wearing eye pro.  In so called 'training.'  That's just stupid and unnecessary.  This company was a total joke.

To give Haley due credit all segments with him were great. Hell, it showed footage of him in Iraq with Blackwater during an actual firefight where he was acting in the sniper role. He had his eyepro pushed up on his head while looking through the scope but I could see the orange squishies in his ears. IN FUCKING COMBAT.  If you can wear ear pro and eye pro in combat there is no reason those jokers couldn't wear it in training.

So, yeah. The Military Channel took a perfectly good documentary and edited in extraneous footage of a bunch of clowns trying to look like badasses and totally ruined it.

Check it out if you get a chance. It's worth it just for the groan factor.

Monday, July 29, 2013

On The Range #90: NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program

Until a couple of months ago I was unaware of the NRA-Winchester Marksmanship Qualification Program.  I first saw something about it on Facebook Facebook via Claude Warner of Roger's Shooting School fame, looked into it, and then forgot about it. Our training counselor reminded me of it in my NRA pistol instructor course.

It covers just about every type of shooting there is, the most recent addition being Defensive Pistol.  The courses of fire are relatively easy, but do require a certain amount of skill.  It's run on the honor system except for the highest rank, Distinguished Expert, which requires an NRA member witness.

The ranks are Pro Marksman, Marksman, Marksman 1st Class, Sharpshooter, Expert, and Distinguished Expert.  Each rank must be earned consecutively.  There is no shooting for a higher rank until you've earned the previous rank. You can take as long as you wish to earn each rank.  NRA membership is not required to participate.

Today I shot my way to Expert with my Glock 17 in Defensive Pistol I.  

Rushed my last string of fire so I reshot that, hence the flyers.

This will be cakewalk for veteran shooters, but it's still fun to do. There are patches, pins, skill level rockers, and certificates for each rank so this is a great way to hook new shooters and keep them shooting, especially kids.  

I'm going to shoot my way to Expert in Defensive Pistol II, and then get a friend to witness me shoot Distinguished Expert in both. I think the certificates and patches will make nice wall hangers and conversation pieces. I'm also going to try to get as many of my friends involved as possible. It'll get them out to shoot, anyway!

Check this out if you haven't already. It's a great program that the NRA should really push harder.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Doctor's Perspective on bullet wounds.

Here is a long, but interesting video on bullet wounds. I'll warn you that some of the pictures and video is in the doc's presentation are quite graphic.

Monday, July 22, 2013

On The Range #89: Defensive Ammunition Test (9mm)

Recently, I was told, in a nutshell, that my choice of 9mm as a defensive caliber was wrong and that if I knew anything I would switch to .45 ACP.  I replied that the differences among the various common self defense calibers using modern hollow point ammunition were negligible.  I also pointed out that every self defense expert out there will tell you that when it comes to self defense with a handgun that shot placement is everything and that one shot stops are a pipe dream.

Needless to say this was not convincing.

In all honesty, I don't care what handgun caliber you want to defend yourself with. They ALL suck.  However, I did see an opportunity to do a little practical testing of my chosen carry calibers:  9mm, .45ACP, and .38 Special.

I started with my primary defensive ammunition, Winchester Ranger 127gr. 9mm JHP +P+.  I was very impressed with the results.

Bearing in mind that no test short of firing a particular round into a particular attacker under particular circumstances will determine if it is truly adequate I decided on the best test I could easily put together. I decided a approximately 5.5# bone in pork shoulder that I would wrap in an old sweater to simulate an attacker's clothing would be an adequate test medium and I fired one round from my Glock 17 through it from about three yards.

Going hot!

Entry wound.

Exit wound.

The round completely penetrated the meat, making a neat entry hole and a nasty exit wound before lodging in the the sweater material after exiting.  I fired it into the pork shoulder along its longest diagonal, around 8" (also roughly the depth of my chest).  The round struck the large bone inside and kept going.  Using the entry wound as a starting point I cut up and along the length of the bullet path to get a look inside.

Wound channel seen from entry to exit.

Wound channel from above.  Notice the white bone fragments from the shattered bone.  Also, the dark red masses towards the  center are also bone and bone fragments.

As you can see from the pictures the bullet destroyed both meat and bone along its path.  It hit the large bone almost in the center of the meat, shattered it, and kept on going until it exited the meat.  The damage is, to me anyway, impressive.  So, let's take a look at the bullet itself to see if it functioned as designed.  

Look, I made a flower.

Side view.

Rear view.

As you can see the 127 grain JHP petaled open just as designed and held its shape even after passing through bone and tissue.  I have no doubts that this would have a devastating effect on an attacker if proper shot placement were achieved and that effect would only be multiplied with more shots if they were necessary.  Most self defense training emphasizes multiple shots because the 'one shot stop,' though it happens, is rare and can not be counted on where your life is on the line so everything you see here could be expected to multiplied in the body of an attacker without the danger of over-penetration. 

Top left is the bullet right after shooting before being cleaned up.

After seeing how this round performed I have no doubts about it's ability to save my life as long as I do my job and place my shots correctly.  I really had no doubts before. All of the rounds I will be testing have been putting people in the dirt for around a century in their various iterations.  Taking the time to actually fire into flesh and bone and see the results really brings it home though and gives you a real world example you can touch and feel.

I hope you've found this informative, or at least interesting.  I certainly have and I look forward to repeating this exercise with my other defensive ammunition.  

Next up, .38 Special.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Achievement Unlocked: NRA Pistol Instructor

Today I completed my 17 hours of NRA Pistol Instructor training.  The paperwork is in the process of being submitted and I expect to have my electronic credentials in the next couple of weeks.  Paper credential will probably take a couple of months.

This is a huge step for me.  I'll now be able to offer individuals NRA certified instruction on the basics of pistol shooting.  I'm really excited about that as I think it will open up a lot of opportunities for me to train new shooters.  I've still got a lot to do, but I was given a lot of helpful information by the NRA Training Counselor Mark Cubine of Alabama Firearms Training Services.

Mark is the man I received my first formal firearms training from and I was very happy to be able to train with him again.  He went beyond the NRA material and also gave me and the other students some pointers and guidance for teaching firearms as a business and offered himself as a resource in the future.

I'm hoping to take some further training from him in the near future.  I really would like to take the NRA Personal Protection in the Home course and also become certified to teach that as well.  Since I will have the option of becoming a certified NRA Range Safety Officer via correspondence with my pistol instructor certification I plan to pursue that as well.

This was a great experience and I feel like I really learned a lot and was provided with everything I need to get started on the path to becoming an effective instructor.

Carry ammo test teaser.

Many more photos and a detailed explanation of the test to come.  I hope you'll enjoy it.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Qoute of the Day: Massad Ayoob

From Mas Ayoob's most recent blogpost on the Zimmerman verdict:

Within the totality of the circumstances presented in court by the prosecution itself, it would seem that saying “Zimmerman started it” is like saying that a woman was raped “because she asked for it.”

Friday, July 19, 2013

Your daily dose of insanity.

Brought to you by Second City Cop.

On The Range #88

I have not done any serious live fire practice in a few weeks so yesterday I made a point of getting outside and running through some drills.  I started with Dot Torture, scoring 47/50 at the three yard line.

After I finished up with Dot Torture I set up to run some El Presidente drills.

I used the white sheets of paper as my target zone but otherwise stayed true to the drill by shooting from concealment at 10 yards and starting with my back to the targets and hands  in the air.

I shot four El Prez's, three clean. Best time was 12.53 with 4 misses.  Next best time was 14.44.  I had all of my first rounds on target in under 3 seconds, but none faster than 2.58. I would like to get that down to between 2 and 2.5 seconds. I'd also like consistently shoot the drill clean in under 13 seconds.

I really enjoyed myself. The weather was surprisingly nice and I had no major flubs.  I need to do this more often.  I also decided I need a range bag. I shoot less than 50 yards from my back door but after my third trip inside to get something I forgot I was getting peeved.  I need something I can leave ready to grab and go.

Today I did a little practical test with my carry ammo and I had some very positive results. I should be putting up something about that soon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Passed the pre-test!

The NRA Pistol Instructor pre-test was quick and easy.  I made better than 90% on the written, 58.5 on the shooting, and lost a couple of points when I failed to get the SA revolver into half cock. 

I'm really looking forward to the full course next weekend.  I've taken one class with this instructor before and he is as personable and competent as I remember.

I  plan on doing an AAR at some point after next weekend.

Blaming the victim.

It's kind of pissing me off.

Everybody keeps calling George Zimmerman an idiot for getting out of his truck and thus causing what followed. It was a benign decision spurned on by a dispatcher's request for information. So can we stop?

Or do I get to tell rape victims they shouldn't have dressed that way, or walked down that street, or been out that late?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Not guilty!

George Zimmerman has been found not guilty of all charges.

I predict he gets raped in in civil court, but  has at east avoided jail time.

Angela Corey should be fired for abusing her office for political gain.


Today I'll be taking the NRA Pistol Instructor pre-test. I'm a bit nervous about it, but I believe I will pass.

This morning I'm going to do some shooting.  I've been meaning to shoot Dot Torture with the new revolver and I also want to shoot the shooting portion of the pre-test to get a feel for it.

If all goes well you should be seeing a celebratory post this afternoon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Robert's Picks


Above Reproach by J.D. Kinman (good)

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (very good)

The Last Detective by Robert Crais (good)

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold (very good)

The Girl Who Cried Wolf by Robert Ferrigno (good)

Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold (very good)

A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold (very good)


The Two Jakes

Killer Joe (excellent)

World War Z (good)

The Sand Pebbles (very good)

A Good Day To Die Hard (good)

Gangster Squad (good)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Not so happy Independence Day.

Yesterday was never going to be great since the forecast was for 100% chance of rain all day long.  I decided I was going to make the best of it anyway.  I put a cylinder of 125gr. +P .38 Special through my new revolver to function test it (and just for the fun of it), and my evening plans included Captain Morgan Private Stock and a My Uzi Weighs A Ton cigar.  I was even going to blog about the good times so that I could have some kind of positive post for the 4th.

Then I read this, about government thugs kicking in doors so they can 'borrow' a law abiding citizens house without consent.

And then I went over to Tam's and learned that TJIC was surrounded by MA government thugs, who, on the FUCKING 4TH OF JULY had come to seize his lady's guns.  On Independence Day.

I decided at that point that there was nothing to celebrate.  We live in a police state that far surpasses anything King George ever did, and we are only 'free' in comparison to people whose governments are fucking them even more than ours.  "Better off than that poor sucker over there" is better, but it's not independence and it is not freedom.

So fuck it.  I decided I'd enjoy what I have while I got it.  I shot my ATF approved gun, smoked my ATF approved cigar, and drank my ATF approved booze.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I got a new gun, I got a new gun, I got a new gun hey hey hey!

Rossi 2" .38 Special Revolver

I picked this up on a lark new for just under $300.  So far I really like it. Rossi is on the lower end as far as guns go but I owned a .357 Rossi revolver for years and never had any trouble out of it.

I wanted this mostly as a demonstration piece for teaching, but I'm going to get a couple of holsters and carry it a bit too. This particular model can be used with .38 Special  +P ammo so I'll be picking some of that up for carry. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

On The Range #87: Tumultuous Adventures Preparedness Intro to Handgun

Today I taught my first formal class.  I invited a few friends who had little to no experience with firearms and did a very thorough introduction into the world of handguns with a focus on safety and knowledge.   I covered the Four Rules and why they are so important, went over the different types of handguns and actions, demonstrated function, introduced everyone to grip/stance/trigger control, and dry and live fire. 

I had four students, two married couples.  One of the couples are local photographers (3rd&TwentiethStudios) and they brought their cameras to do a little of their own shooting. 

It was a great time.  I learned some things, figured some things out, and just generally enjoyed the whole process.  It was great introducing some new people to the world of firearms in a safe and fun way.  I can't wait to do it again.  

I got some really good feedback and I'm excited to do more classes in the future. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Robert's Picks


Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos (excellent)

Shadow of Freedom by David Weber (very good)

Take the Star Road By Peter Grant (very good)

Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold (good)

Brothers In Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold (good)

Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold (very good)

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold (excellent)


Grosse Pointe Blank

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's going to be a long day....

The interstate in front of me has been a parking lot for almost an hour.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This and that.

Been busy, as I'm sure is obvious by the lack of blogging.

Work is going great for once.  Just got a huge raise a couple of weeks ago and I'm looking forward to paying of the rest of my debts and (I hope) buying a new vehicle sometime between now and my next birthday.

I've officially created Tumultuous Adventures Preparedness, LLC.  I'm looking forward to teaching my first course in a couple of weeks.  I'm doing a free run for a few friends to get my feet wet and then I'll be setting dates for pay courses.

The Alabama legislature recently passed some nice pro gun legislation.  The Governor has signed it and it will go into effect in September.  The legislation strengthens the state's pre-emption law, shifts Alabama from 'May Issue' to 'Shall Issue,' and legislation that states open carry IS NOT, in and of itself, disturbing the peace.  There was some other stuff too, but it's mostly in regards to making sure 'Shall Issue' is shall issue.  The legislation was not perfect, but it's a good step forward.

I've been getting a lot of reading done.  I've been on Bujold kick.  The next Robert's Picks will be a lot more book heavy than the last.

I attended the Magic City Brewfest last weekend.  I was able to try a lot of really good beer, and had the opportunity to get into the VIP section where they were pairing beers with food.  Definitely worth it!  If you find yourself in Birmingham next May, I highly recommend checking it out.

I guess that's it for now.  I hope to have some more interesting posts in the new future, but no promises.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Raising a glass to the rough men who went into the night on our behalf...and never came back.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Robert's McDonald


The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (very good)

Uprising UK by George Hill

The Amazon Legion by Tom Kratman (very good)


The Mutant Chronicles

Iron Man 3 (very good)

Angel of Death

Jack Reacher (good)

Layer Cake (very good)

Lone Rider (good)

The Rounders (good)

I've been watching more movies than reading lately.  That has a lot to do with time constraints (I can DVR the movies and 20 minutes watching tv vs. 20 minutes reading in the evenings...well, you get the idea)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

On The Range #86: The Masters 2013 IDPA Match

Yesterday I shot in my first sanctioned IDPA match, The Masters 2013, at Brock's Gap Training Center in Birmingham, AL.  It was ten stages of both fun and frustration.

All of the SOs, saving one man on one stage, were great.  This one guy stood out as an asshole, but fuck him.  The other SOs were wonderful even if they all had a variety of styles and mannerisms.

The stages were all challenging and fun, my favorite being one that was set up to mirror the scene from The Outlaw Josey Wales in which Clint Eastwood comes out of a general store, hands full, to find himself confronted by a group of Union soldiers.  As they stare each other down, he says, "Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"  You, of course, are Wales.  That was also probably  my best stage overall.

I ended up 16 out of 20 in Stock Service Pistol/Sharpshooter, and 104 of 140 total shooters.  I wasn't dead last, so I'm happy about that.  I shot about middle of the pack with the SSP/Marksman, which is what I'm used to.

I was almost disqualified on a stage for possibly unsafe muzzle work.  One SO saw it, one didn't.  The one who didn't decided I could rerun the stage after the stop call.  Personally, I'm not sure.  The stage required me to back up and then run down the 90 degree line.  My muzzle typically goes where my eyes go and I didn't look past the 90.  A few of my squad mates spoke with me after and said I was close but didn't break it.  Anyway, I was very conscious about it the rest of the day.

Overall, it was a good match.  I had fun, but by the end I was exhausted.  My allergies were driving me insane.  I had a runny nose for most of the match and was eating Claritin at lunch (which helped not at all for once).  Match results didn't come out until late and I was in bed by 8:30 last night so I didn't see them until this morning.

The Glock ran perfectly though out the entire match.  I the match using Winchester Ranger 127gr. 9mm +P+ JHP, my carry ammo.  I bought it for the same price I see PMC 115gr FMJ going for so I figured I might as well use it and have the extra oomph for steel activators.

I'm looking forward to the next club level match later this month, and I may look into shooting a few more sanctioned matches around the southeast.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Tomorrow I'll be shooting my first sanctioned IDPA match.  I'm excited as hell and also a bit nervous.  I'm hoping that since I barely classified as Sharpshooter I'll run with the top Marksmen, but in the end I'll be happy as long I don't place dead last.

And if I do place dead last?  Fuck it, that's a hell of a lot better than people who didn't enter at all.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's ok to be envious.

My evening is going to consist of good pizza, a smoke in the cigar shop, and then Iron Man 3.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Good Friday Night.

I got off work a little early today so I made my way over to my favorite cigar shop, Cigars and More in Trussville, AL.

They were having a Rocky Patel and XiKar event tonight that I was hoping I'd be able to make it to.  There was a decent crowd and the reps from XiKar and Rocky were great guys.  They had some good deals going so I picked up a box of cigars and a v-cut cutter I've had my eye on for a while.

I also got some nice extras with my purchases including seven free cigars, a hat, a cool t-shirt, and a  XiKar travel ashtray.

I sat around and smoked a couple of good cigars and had some good conversation.

If you're in the Birmingham, AL and and looking for a good cigar and great atmosphere to enjoy it in you should definitely check out Cigars and More's locations in Trussville, Hoover, or on 280.  I'm partial to the Trussville location but they're all great places.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Robert's Picks


Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie (excellent)

American Sniper:  The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFlice (good)

Locked On by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney (good)


The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey (excellent)

Zero Dark Thirty (very good)

Code of Silence

Monday, April 22, 2013

Heros or Thugs?

A lot of accolades are being heaped on the Boston PD and FBI for their actions in tracking down and apprehending the suspects in the bombing of the Boston Marathon.  People were dancing in the street and celebrating the law enforcement agencies' actions.  Have we really come to the point where a warrant-less search of a home is worthy of praise?

How many people's rights were egregiously violated?  And the people of Boston celebrated this?  The last suspect was caught AFTER THE LOCK DOWN ENDED when a homeowner noticed something suspicious on his property after the government thugs allowed him to leave his home.  Yes, I said thugs.  If you are a LEO and performing illegal searches of persons and property YOU ARE A THUG.   

Protecting and serving?

Oleg Volk opines that the above photo is why civilians should be able to have claymores and grenades.  Seeing it myself, I can't say I disagree with him.  

Oh, you brought me milk to go with my 4th Amendment violation?

Again, as I've asked in the past, how am I supposed to trust the police when they violate citizens rights at the drop of a hat?  There was a MINOR bombing in Boston, something that other countries see every day and this country sees once in a blue moon and the Bill of Rights gets thrown right out of the fucking window?  This is what generations of soldiers fought and died for?  For my freedom to be forced out of my home at gunpoint so that police could search it without a warrant?

Frankly, I'm starting to believe the only thing the Boston PD and the other LE agencies involved are good for IS delivering milk.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On The Range #85: Brownells AR Mags Suck and Fail

Back in January I placed an order for 10 of Brownells 30 round aluminum AR mags.  They're fairly inexpensive.  I've heard only good things about them in the past so I figured they were worth the investment.

My first range trip with them was very disappointing.  I loaded three mags and only got through one without any failures.  I was using cheap Monarch brand .223 ammo, but I'd never had issue with it before.  The only thing I could think of was that maybe the lacquer on the ammo was hanging up on the sharper feed lips of the aluminum mags and causing the repeated failures to feed.

Today I took the rifle back to the range with two of these aluminum mags, one loaded with M193 and the other loaded with Monarch ammo.  I also took a Pmag loaded with Monarch and a steel E-lander mag loaded with Monarch.

I shot out of a Brownells magazine first.  I could not get through a V-Tac 1-5 drill without a failure, and had repeated failures to feed every round or couple of rounds until the magazine was empty.


Following the Brownells magazine I immediately loaded the Pmag and shot two 1-5 drills without a single failure of any sort.  I dropped that mag and loaded the E-Lander and again fired two 1-5 drills without any failure.  Both magazines functioned flawlessly.  This eliminated the gun as a potential source of the problem.


I loaded my second Brownells magazine, this one with the M193, and again experienced repeated, continuous failures to feed.  I was about halfway through the mag and experiencing a failure to feed after every round fired when I decided to stop.  

I've only to date tested 3 of the ten magazines Brownells shipped me, but that's a 30% failure rate already.  I'll eventually shoot out of all of them (I do intend to keep them if for no other reason than to practice my failure clearing).

The Brownells aluminum AR15/M16 30 round magazines that I received are made of suck and fail, and I will not recommend anyone purchase them unless they are looking for magazines to deliberately induce failures for training purposes.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On The Range #84: Beta Test Trainee

A friend of mine has been working on her firearms skills under my tutelage.  Today was the fourth time she has ever been shooting.  She's been working on dry fire as homework since her last session and it really showed in her shooting today. 

She has grip, stance, and sight alignment down.  We're just working on trigger control and she has really improved there, too.

Poppin' a zombie.

I think next session we'll add a little more distance, maybe multiple targets.  In the near future I want to start on some holster work.  I'm really impressed with her progress and how quickly she has improved from the last time we were on the range a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The post in which I play the part of "That Guy."

First, this is about Boston.  In all seriousness I'm very sad for the people of Boston.  That said, I have some insensitive and cynical things to say about what is clearly a terrorist attack on another of America's major cities.  That stuff will be after the break, and you can stop right here.

Why the 'Pro-Gun' Language in Manchin-Toomey Isn't.

In a nutshell, any government agency not under the direction of the Attorney General can create a gun registry.  FOPA no longer applies if the mere possession of the firearm you are transporting is punishable by more than one year of imprisonment.

More and in better detail at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

BAG Day is tomorrow.

I'm actually getting a return this year, but since I didn't know that until last week I probably won't have it in to participate this year.  On top of that my return is only going to be about half of what I need to buy what I want, a S&W E-series 1911.

 Must have a light rail.  Wish the bobtail version came with a rail.

I'm also considering Glock 30SF.  I just joined GSSF recently and I've got a coupon but the damned thing isn't good until I've been a member for a year.

Small gun, big holes.

Payday is Friday.  Depending on how big my check is, if I get my return back, and if I can find one I might be buying that 1911.  Then again, if I can find one I may just buy another Glock least that way I'll have a few more magazines!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On The Range #83: Renewing an old friendship and disappointments

One thing I've noticed about the ammo situation since December is that 9mm is almost non-existent and when you find it it's about the same price as (or even more expensive than) .45 ACP.  I decided that I'll be hording the 9mm I can find reasonably priced for the time being and I'm going to shift back over to my RIA 1911 for carry and probably some competition as well.

I've fired one magazine through the 1911 since last year so today I took it out and shot Dot Torture at 3 yards.  I changed my grip for shooting the Glock and I found that this worked well on the 1911  too.  I managed to score 46/50 which I think is not bad for a gun I've fired 8 rounds out of in the last year.

I had two issues with the 1911.  I had one Failure To Feed with one magazine.  I was doing a reload and using the slide release rather than racking the slide manually.  I didn't have this problem again but made note of the magazine.  I also had one mag that would not lock the slide back towards the end of my session.  I also made note of this magazine.

I'm planning on buying a few more 1911 magazines as well as a case of .45 ACP.  I really need to rotate my carry ammo out and I'm thinking of going with Remington Golden Saber 230gr. JHPs.

I'd have really loved to say the 1911 performed flawlessly, but it didn't.  The issues I had aren't anything that makes me uncomfortable carrying it for defensive purposes though, and that's after a year of carrying a Glock.

My disappoint today came when I was shooting my AR.  I recently received my order of 10 Brownells aluminum 30 round AR magazines.  Now, I have never had an issue with my AR except for one or two light strikes with cheap Monarch brand ammo.  Today, however, I had close to 10 Failures To Feed with two different magazines.

The rifle is relatively clean and well lubed.  The ammo I've fired literally a thousand times with only one or two hard primers.  The only thing that was different today were the magazines I was using, and I had the issue with two of them.  It was unnerving to see a gun I've never had any real issues with fail over and over again.

My conclusion for now is that the issue is with the magazines.  I'm going to do some shooting with the other seven I have using different ammo and I'll use one or two other magazines just to rule out issues with the gun.

I'm really disappointed because all I've heard about the Brownells mags was good.  Of course, my RIA 1911 won't run with Wilson Combat mags so it may be that my AR just doesn't like these.  Time will tell.

Friday, March 29, 2013

I'm rich!

I got visit from the big brown truck of happiness today:

Brownell's 30-round AR magazines

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My fellow Alabamians, contact your state senators in support of SB 286!

From the NRA:

Earlier this month, NRA-supported Senate Bill 286 passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan 7 to 1 vote. This omnibus firearms bill could be considered on the Senate floor as early as Tuesday, April 2 and your state Senator needs to hear that you support SB 286. Please contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support SB 286, along with any pro-gun amendments proposed by the bill sponsor or cosponsors. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

SB 286, sponsored by state senators Scott Beason (R-17) and Roger Bedford (D-6), seeks to restore and protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Alabama by addressing the following issues:
  • No employer may prohibit the otherwise lawful possession, transportation or storage of firearms or ammunition that is kept out of sight within a locked or attended private vehicle of an invitee who is otherwise permitted to operate or park that vehicle on the property. This would allow employees to carry a firearm during their commute to and from work.
  • Repeals the requirement to obtain a pistol permit in order to carry a pistol in a vehicle. (Note: this would not allow for concealed carrying in a vehicle unless a valid pistol permit is possessed.)
  • Shifts the current “May Issue” concealed carry permit system to a “Shall Issue” permit system and requires that a sheriff must issue the carry permit within thirty days. Should someone be denied a permit, a written denial must be provided and that applicant would have an opportunity to appear before an appeals panel.
  • A permit to carry a concealed pistol shall be good for one to five years (to be decided by the applicant seeking the carry permit).
  • Requires sheriffs to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to conduct a background check on concealed pistol permit applicants.
  • Allows for all other valid state-issued permits to carry a concealed firearm to be recognized in Alabama.
  • Strengthens Alabama’s firearms preemption statute by reserving for the state legislature complete control over regulation and policy relating to firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories in order to ensure that such regulation is applied uniformly throughout the state.

It is critical that you make your voice heard! Please contact your state Senator TODAY and ask him or her to support SB 286.

I'm happy to see that my state Senator is a co-sponsor of this bill.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Robert's Picks


We Few by David Weber and John Ringo (good)

Spellbound by Larry Correia (very good)

No Easy Day:  The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden by Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer

Sister Time by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane (good)


Kill The Irishman (excellent)

Monday, March 18, 2013

A couple of new knives.

I recently picked up a CRKT SPEW and a KA-BAR Last Ditch knife.  I've been interested in both for a while.

Both came in razor sharp with a fine point.  I've rigged up the Last Ditch knife with some paracord so that that I can wear it underneath my belt.  If you weren't looking for it you wouldn't find it.  The SPEW can be worn as a neck knife but I think I'll be carrying it on a belt.  I've never been a fan of neck knives, just not comfortable.

I'm looking forward to carrying these and using them.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Random bits.

Work has been kicking my ass the last couple of weeks.  The good part is that my next couple of paychecks should be on the high side which is good because I need to build my savings back up.

Monday I went gun shopping with a friend.  She's wanted to purchase a pistol for a while and I figure it would be a good to go around and have her handle a few.  One of the stores had a Kahr CM9 which fit her well and she really liked.  She's planning on picking it up as soon.  I'd actually like to get one for myself.  It'd make a great pocket pistol for me.

I did a little shooting today with the Glock using some commercially reloaded ammunition from a company called Zero Ammunition in Cullman, AL.  I only fired 50 rounds but it functioned perfectly.  It's about the only affordable 9mm ammo I've found and it's carried by a locally owned ACE Hardware of all places!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On The Range #82: First Time Shooter

Yesterday I was doing a little plinking with a friend when another friend asked if he could bring his daughter to do a little shooting.  Of course, I said yes.

She had never shot a real gun before so her dad brought his Ruger 10/22 and I broke out my Browning Buckmark.

She's still on the small side so we gave her plenty of help.  I worked on keeping her safe and helping her enjoy herself.

Shooting the Browning Buckmark

Shooting the Ruger 10/22

Shooter 2.0

I think she was a little overwhelmed by the whole situation her first time out and since it was spur of the moment the set up wasn't perfect but I think she still had fun and we'll have to get her out on the range some more!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Mako Group: You got my money, where are my magazines?


I was contacted by a rep from The Mako Group today. He explained that my original message to them was never received.  We had a pleasant conversation, my concerns were laid to bed and I'll be happy to business with them in the future.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

WSJ: Gun owners need to take responsibility

For criminals stealing guns and teenage suicides.

That's what I get from this article posted on Twitter by Rob Pincus.

Pincus says it should make us 'think.' It made me think the writer is an idiot who hates the NRA. According to him the NRA ignores irresponsible behavior by gun owners that allows guns to fall into the wrong hands.

It's very much a hit piece aimed at the NRA. It ignores all of the training the NRA offers and promotes that has helped reduce gun accidents. It ignores the fact the the NRA encourages members to take the actions to safely and securely store their firearms.

The article also seeks to blame gun owners for tge suicide rate among teens completely over looking the fact that there are industrialized first world nations with near total gun bans that have higher rates of suicide than the US.

if a criminal steals a gun it did not 'fall into his hands.'  It does not matter how the legal owner of the gun was storing it (I find it highly amusing that he thinks a kid can't figure out the combination on his handgun safe or that a criminal can't walk with it.)

If I'm at fault for a criminal stealing a gun out of my nightstand that I keep in the big locked box I call home then I guess rape victims shouldn't 'dress that way.'

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tumultuous Adventures Preparedness

I enjoy teaching people to shoot.  I love being there the first time someone pulls a trigger.  Even better is the smile on their face when, with just a little guidance, they hit the bull's eye for the first time.  

Teaching, in one form or another, is something that is dear to my heart.  I was nicknamed 'The Professor" at one of my first jobs because I never stopped lecturing on one subject or another.

So, I've decided that I'm going to offer my services as a firearms trainer.  I'm starting small with just the basics.  As I learn and grow as a shooter I'll offer more.  

I've started another blog that will be dedicated to this new venture.  You can find it here.  I've also started a Facebook page here (a like and share would be appreciated if you're on Facebook).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On The Range #82: Recoil Therapy

I decided that even though my supply of 9mm is limited I needed some range time with my Glock.

I started out today by shooting Dot Torture.  The fact that I've not been shooting nor doing much dry fire was apparent when I scored 37/50.

I followed that by firing 3 Bill Drills and 3 Mozambique Drills, all at 7 yards.  I only shot one of the Bill Drills clean, but I only dropped one shot out of the other two and they were all under 4.5 seconds.

I shot two of the Mozambiques clean and all but one under four seconds.

I shot a FAST Drill with one miss on the 8" circle resulting in a score of 10.38.  Still a novice score, but not bad.

I wish I could do this once a week but I don't think it's in the cards.  I may start working a lot with my Browning Buckmark and doing a lot of dry fire, maybe do Dot Torture every other week.

I can get 9mm, but the price is prohibitive.  I might go for it anyway.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Repeat after me class...We do not fire warning shots!


If you fire your gun then you have used deadly force.  The assumption will not be that you fired a 'warning shot;' the assumption will be that you missed.

If you, or a third party you are defending, are not facing death or grave bodily injury do not fire your fucking gun.

Also, if a LEO reads you your rights, SHUT THE FUCK UP.  That's what we call 'a clue.'

This, ladies and gentleman, is why you need to get professional training and educate yourself on the laws pertaining to self-defense.  It's not your responsibility to me, or to society.  It's a responsibility to yourself so you don't do something out of ignorance and royally fuck yourself.

This guy didn't hurt anyone, so I don't think he should face criminal charges, but anyone paying attention should know that the law isn't about protecting good people and punishing bad people.  It's about creating criminals, and maintaining control.  I say good luck to him.

Let this be a lesson to the rest of us.

South East Blogshoot?

Sounds like a good idea to me!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The worst and the best moments of your life.

The worst moments of your life will be those in which you feel truly alone.  That is, not literally alone, but to be severed from everyone, even someone sharing your bed.

The best will be when you find yourself perfectly in sync with another person.

I'm 28. Relatively young. I've experienced the first once, and the second countless times.

That perfect sync isn't a once in a lifetime thing, but it isn't all that easy to find either. I've got forty to fifty years left if I'm lucky.  I hope to experience it at least once more before this ride is over.

Damn, I'm a maudlin bastard at times.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Close call for Mas Ayoob.

The helicopter he was riding in crashed landed in a Florida swamp.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Update on Amazon Vendor "Acme Approved"

First, Amazon immediately refunded my money and offered to let me purchase the item again with free 1 day shipping.  I did so and from Acme Approved because I'm willing to allow a second chance.

Not long after placing the order I received an email from Acme Approved.  They apologized for the mistake and said they were refunding the price of the replacement item and sending it to me free of charge.

That, my friends, is how you make repeat customer!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Keep your booger hook off the bang switch.

Just heard from a friend that at a fun show in NC an LEO managed to shoot himself and a bystander while fiddling with an attendees handgun.

Will link to a news article if/when I find one.


Story here.

Those injured are not identified in the story. May not be the cop who was shot in the hand.

Also, "it went off?" Barring a very unlikey mechanical failure what happened was some mouth breather depressed the trigger.

Update 2:

The last article I read said that it was a shotgun that discharged when the case was unzipped so it could be shown to a LEO.

Funny how these stories evolve.  I got my original info second hand from someone who was there. Then the linked info, and finally the latest from

Update 3:

Deputy duscharged the shotgun while attempting to unload it. Injured two.

Taurus looking to acquire Freedom Group.

So says The Firearm Blog.

That would be one hell of a feather in their cap. It also might allow them to get some of their other firearms made in the US, thus avoiding the idiotic sporting purposes import requirement.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Not happy with Amazon vendor "ACME APPROVED"

Back on the 12th I ordered this:  Triple Stacker Open Top M4 Mag Pouch.

Today, AFTER the shipment had been delayed, I received this:  Condor Tactical 3-Fold Mag Recovery Pouch

Since this was sold by a vendor I can't just return it for refund or replacement.  I had to contact Amazon Customer Service.  I hope they can do something to resolve this issue ASAP because I'm more that slightly annoyed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Obama's Executive Orders.

They don't actually do anything that I can see, and in a lot of ways mirror the NRA's call to action.

Obama punted to Congress. He's been seen to do something so he passed the buck.

I must say though, being surrounded by children in an adult situation? Fruedian slip on his part?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Robert's Picks


Covert Warriors by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV

The Lotus Eaters by Tom Kratman (very good)

Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold (good)


Savages (good)


Valhalla Rising

Monday, January 14, 2013

Murder in the city.

My the city, as Uncle is so found of saying.

Last week, about ten miles from my home, a man took a handgun and shot his wife.  Then he shot his daughter.  The daughter was able to take the gun away from him and then ran to a neighbor's home for help.

I was sitting at the Post Office when I noticed every police vehicle in town (including a couple of unmarked vehicles I was not aware they had) went rushing past.  I wondered at the time what the hell was going on but didn't get the details until later.

When police arrived they found that the man had stabbed himself, or was stabbing himself, multiple times with a knife in an attempt to suicide.  He resisted, but was arrested.

The next day his wife had died from her injuries, he was in critical condition, and the daughter in stable condition.

This was a horrible crime and the motivation is unclear.  Some have suggested a head injury from a recent accident, but I'm skeptical.  The details of his recent past raise some questions but I don't have enough data to speculate.  He was the pastor of one of the largest churches in the city, though he'd rarely been in attendance due to health reasons.  He was abruptly transferred a few months ago from another church with no explanation given (possibly to put him closer to the hospitals in Birmingham, but who knows?)

Now, the man used a gun.  When that gun was taken out of the equation he used a knife, proving that someone bent on mayhem will use whatever tool is available.

I'm going to try to keep up with the details of the case as he goes on trial for murder and attempted murder.  I'd like to know what, if anything, drove him to this.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Need 30 round AR mags?

Michael Z. Williamson provided a link on FB to a place you can find 30 round steel AR mags in stock.  The shipping estimate is three weeks but that's better than anything else I've seen.  If you're in need follow the link.  I ordered five (in addition to the back order I placed with Brownells for 10 of their aluminum mags and 3 Glock 17 round mags).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On The Range #81: Way of the Gun Intro to Performance Carbine

This past Sunday I attended my first rifle/carbine training course in Anniston, AL.  The course, titled Intro to Performance Carbine, was put on by Frank Proctor of Way of the Gun.

  My favorite kind of classroom.

As a result of the latest run on ammunition there were only five students in attendance.  This gave each of us a lot more one on one time with Frank as he led us through the day's training.

The course was in many respects a facsimile of the Intro to Performance Pistol course I took a few months back, though very much more tailored to the carbine.  All of the fundamentals of shooting were the same, as one might expect.  

Frank's philosophy is that whether shooting for competition or shooting to defend yourself the person who scores the most points fastest wins, therefore the focus of the course was on fast and accurate shooting.  Frank pushed us to operate our carbines as fast as we were able to make accurate hits.  

We worked a number of drills that were new to me.  I plan to incorporate a couple into my practice at home (including the reload drill I learned in the pistol course).  

One of the drills was the VTAC 1-5 Drill:

As I said before the small class size gave each of us a lot of one on one time with Frank.  I found this very helpful as he gave me some tips to improve my shooting with the carbine and pointed out some bad habits I'd picked up.

About to make some steel sing!

Probably the best shooter in the class is in the photo above.  His speed and accuracy were really amazing, especially since the rifle he was using was brand new and only zeroed that day.  He's a competitive pistol shooter and you could really see that skill cross over onto the carbine.  

At $180 I feel like I got my money's worth out of this course.  The instruction and atmosphere was great.  Frank is a really excellent shooter who wants to pass on what he's learned to others.  He has a very positive, approachable attitude and has no problem leaving his ego out of it.  As much as he's there to teach he's also willing to learn from others as well.  

We finished up the day doing some shooting at steel targets set up at 60, 100, and 140 yards (roughly).  I was able to hit the reduced size IPSC tagets at all distances, but struggled with smaller stuff past 100 yards.  Still, it was nice hitting anything even at that range.  

I took the opportunity to test a few pieces of gear I've picked up.  I have a Condor MA1 Tactical MOLLE Drop Leg Platform - OD Green
 set up to hold rifle mags that I used for a while.  I've used it before and while I like the idea I'm just not a fan of having things on my legs.  It's not comfortable and just feels like it's weighing me down.  I also used a BladeTech belt mount single mag holder.  I found this a MUCH better method for quickly retrieving a mag and much more comfortable.

My Lucid HD7 red dot held up fairly well.  Under 50 yards it's great, and it works at distance well.  The battery held up all day with no need to replace it.  I'm pretty impressed with the batter life.  The sight has an auto off after being on for two hours which works like a charm.  The only issue I had with it was one of my own making.  After almost six hundred rounds it had come loose from the rail.  I figure this was result of me not having it tight enough.  That's something I'll be sure to keep a check on.

My AR held up very well.  I had zero malfunctions related to the gun, and one related to a magazine.  The magazine issue was a result of overloading my PMag.  PMags will hold 31 rounds but they will usually not lock into the mag well with the bolt forward.  Other than this, no issues.

I'd recently started using Slipstream Weapon Lubricant
 on my AR.  My gun stayed slick all day even though I was shooting dirty Monarch brand steel case ammo.  I did a thorough cleaning, including bolt dis-assembly  and relubed with the Slipstream.  This stuff will be going on my Glock and 1911 for further testing.

I hope to get some more training from Frank Proctor in the future, and I recommend him to anyone who is looking to get some formal instruction without breaking the bank.  I feel like I learned quite a bit that will help my on the past to becoming a better shooter.