Friday, August 29, 2014

Robert's Picks


The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva (good)

Hazardous Duty by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV (good)

Islands of Rage and Hope by John Ringo (very good)

Havana by Stephen Hunter

Captive Of Gor by John Norman

Taken by Robert Crais

Hunters of Gor by John Norman (good)

Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon (very good)

Monday, August 25, 2014

New holster for my M&P Shield

Visited a relatively new sporting goods store a couple of days ago.  They had a large selection of kydex holsters by a maker unknown to me.  They looked nice so I decided to pick one up for my Shield to give it a go.

The holster is from Cutting Edge Personal Defense's Custom Concealment Gear line and called the "Ronin."  I have not yet had an opportunity to wear it or get it to the range. My plan is to try it out on the range Thursday and do a pretty extensive review in the coming weeks.

Initial impressions are that it is much like many other kydex holsters.  There's only so much you can do with the medium.  Price ($65) is a little higher than some, and lower than others.  Construction seems solid, not too bulky, and I like the hardware they used.  I've got one holster that was made using some cheap hardware that I really did not like.

Retention is good, but not so good it will retard a draw.  You can hold the holster upside down and give it a decent shake and the gun stays in place.  You can shake it hard enough to make the gun pop out, but I think it will stand up to an active lifestyle.

I'm thinking of seeing if I can get my hands on one for my G17 and use it during my Defensive Pistol course at Shootrite next month.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Going to gun school.

September 5th and 6th I'll be in Langston, AL (just outside of Scottsboro) taking the Defensive Handgun course at Shootrite Firearms Academy, LLC.  I've wanted to get up there for years and it has finally worked out.  

I am really looking forward to this, and I hope to do a fairly extensive write up afterwards.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On The Range #95: Rangemaster Handgun Core Skills Test and More Shield Fun

I found this in a thread on, and I thought I'd give it a shot.

Rangemaster Handgun Core Skills Test, Comstock Count
Use electronic timer and record the time for each stage.
3 yds Sidestep, draw, and fire 4 rds. _________

5 yds Sidestep, draw and fire 5 rds total , 3 to the chest,
2 to the head. _________

5 yds Start gun in dominant hand only, fire 4 rds. _________

5 yds Start gun in non-dominant hand, fire 5 rds. _________

7 yds Draw and fire 6 rds. _________

7 yds Start at Ready, 3 rds only in gun. Fire 3 rds, reload, and 
fire 3 more rds. _________

10 yds Draw and fire 3 rds. _________

15 yds Draw and fire 4 rds. _________

25 yds Draw and fire 3 rds. _________

40 rds total. Total time __________ Target points _________
IALEFI-QP scored 5,3,0/RM-2 scored 5,3/VSRT scored 5,4,3
Score targets. Divide points by total time, for Index. Multiply Index X 20 for Final Score. Par Score = 100.
80-100 = Very good. 100-124= Advanced 125+= Master

Score_________ divided by ___________X 20= _____________

I used a standard FBI "Q" target with the 8" circle and 3x5" box from a F.A.S.T. target. I scored the circle and box 5 points and the rest of the bottle 3.  I did everything from concealment and started the reload stage gun in holster.

I don't remember my exact final score as I do not have my range notebook right in front of me since I am typing this from my local cigar shop.  However, I know I was well under the par (EDIT my final score was 76.49).  Which sucks.  I had hoped to do better.  Still, it's a good skills test, I think, and I plan on using it to test myself from time to time. Maybe every quarter or so.

I also did a little shooting with my M&P Shield.  I shot exercises 3 and 4 (single shots from the holster x5 in under 3 seconds and doubles from the holster x5 in under 3.5 seconds, standard being each five times in a row) from Richard Mann's Handgun Training For Personal Protection.  I aced both.  These are more for beginner shooters and so of course I was easily able to meet the standard.  Still, I think they're a great way to test out a new carry gun and get a feel for it.

The Core Skills Test I shot with my G17.  Look at the differences in group sizes just based on the movement and distances involved.  All of the Shield shooting was done at 5 yards.  One of my weaknesses has always been shooting at distances greater than 10 yards.  Frankly, I think if you excel at 10 yard and under shooting you excel where you need to for typical defensive handgun use, but that doesn't mean I don't want or need to push myself to improve at distance shooting.  I plan on working on that as I go forward.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Robert's Picks


Deserter by Mike Shepherd

The Rods and the Axe by Tom Kratman (good)

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (excellent)

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (excellent)

The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien (excellent)

The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien (excellent)


300:  Rise of an Empire (very good)

Battleship (good)

Kiss Me Deadly 

Lone Survivor (very good)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

On The Range #94: M&P Shield Practice and Function Testing

A couple of weeks ago I was doing a little shooting with my M&P Shield and experienced a stove pipe. I figured I had limp wristed it but i wanted to do a little function testing before carrying it again.

I've been reading Richard Mann's Handgun Training For Personal Protection and since I was planning on working through the drills it lays out anyway I figured this was the perfect opportunity.

First up were single shots at 5 yards from low reading.  The goal is ten shots in each circle. I jerked the trigger a couple of times on the third circle but I tightened up on circle four.

The second drill was controlled pairs/double taps at 5 yards from low ready.  Again the goal was ten shots in each circle, and again I jerked the trigger on circle three. I think it was a combination of fatigue and impatience on my part. Tightened up again on four.

All together I fired 80 rouns with no malfunctions. Sixteen rounds of this was 135 gr Hornady Critical Defense standard pressure JHP and the rest Freedom Munitions 147gr FMJ.

Afterwards I made my way to Academy Sports to pick up more personal defense ammo. Could not find any standard pressure Hornady so I bought 50 rounds of Federal 124 gr Hydra-Shok JHP.  I will function test with half and use the other half for carry assuming the Shield likes it.