Monday, December 30, 2013

Hooray Holidays!

Just an update, regularly scheduled programming should be back up and running a week from today.  The Christmas season ate through a lot of my free time and this week the free time is in short supply as well.

If you have any special requests on topics you would like to see covered in the new year, then please feel free to comment below and let me know.  I want keep this blog relevant to those who do come by and spend their time reading.

Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DGU of the Day: Police Fail to Clear Man's House, Leaves Him to Deal with Burglar

This is another great illustration of why YOU are responsible for your own safety:

76-year-old shoots burglary suspect after finding him hiding in closet

Police "cleared" his home and then left to search the area.  Apparently, they didn't do a good enough job and this 76 year old vet had to do the job himself.

If anti-2A folks had their way, then this man could have been easily dead by the time the police came back to tell him they hadn't found the suspect.  Do not ever turn your self defense weapons in, ever.  When you give that up, then you are at the mercy of your "public servants" and their inability (in this case) to keep you safe.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

6 Year Old Boy Suspended for Sexual Harassment

Unbelievable:

Colorado boy, 6, suspended, accused of sexual harassment for kissing girl on cheek

I will grant that the kid should be keeping his lips to himself, but sexual harassment?  The kid is 6!!!

This just raises more issues for the child than the innocent kiss on the hand would.

Just nuts.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Police Shoot Innocent Bystanders, Blame Their Unarmed Suspect

You can't make this shit up:

Unarmed Man Is Charged With Wounding Bystanders Shot by Police Near Times Square

In what bizarro world do we live in where government officials get to pin the inadequacies of police training on the suspect?  Clearly, the police showed poor judgement engaging a suspect who never presented a weapon while virtually surrounded in a 360 degree arc by bystanders.  Just another example of no accountability of law enforcement.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kansas Deer Season Opening Weekend 2013

Hoping to go "Elmer Fudd" on a tasty deer.

Over Thanksgiving we went bird hunting and I noticed that there were a lot of deer tracks on the 160 acres of crop land that my Dad owns.  This year, the farmer had harvested corn which made me think there was a good chance that I might have a chance at some deer.  I decided to give it a shot (pun intended) on opening weekend of the Kansas firearms deer season.  It was the start of my second season that I had made a real attempt to deer hunt.  My previous season had been spent in a ground stand in a wooded area.  I was not sure what to expect since Dad's land is wide open.  I packed my Remington 700 in 30-06 and made the drive down the night before to my parent's place.

On Dad's land, there is some cover by the south edge of the property (tall "prairie" grass, a few trees and the shed).  I thought maybe I could use that for concealment.  I woke up at 5:30 A.M. and my Dad and I arrived at the land about 6:45 A.M.  It was still dark, but the sun would be starting to come up soon.  As the weatherman predicted, it was in the single digits and the wind chill put it at negative single digits.  The plan was to sit on some stools in the tall grass and hope that the deer would come from the general north direction since there was a northerly wind blowing at a good 10-15 mph clip.  I worried that maybe the temps plus the wind might discourage the deer from coming out into the open.  My Dad hopped back into the truck after an hour of sitting outside.  I could not blame him.  It was freezing and with no real wind block.  After another half hour or so I jumped into the truck as well.  We stayed in the truck and kept our eyes peeled to at least see if any deer were out.  We decided to call it quits for the morning around 9 A.M.

I was anxious to get back out for the afternoon.  I knew the chances were slim during the day, but I thought it would not hurt to go back out early and just observe if any deer were crossing the land.  I got back around 1 P.M. and sat in the truck with a good book.  The temperature had climbed to a whopping 12 degrees F and the wind held steady.  At around 4 P.M. I had had enough sitting around.  The land has a slight rise that runs diagonally from the northeast to the southwest.  I decided to try and see if there were any deer in the northern half of the field at this point since I knew the sun would be going down in another hour or so.  I hopped out of the truck and walked to the southeast corner of the property.  I slowly traveled north using the rise in the land to conceal my movement.  I stopped every few steps and knelt down and looked around me slowly to make sure I was not missing any deer on the horizon.

I finally came to a point where I needed to start heading northwest to crest the rise in the land.  I felt that if I was going to get the drop on any deer, then this would probably be my best chance.  Luckily, the north wind was still blowing and this helped carry my scent and sound away.  I was about a hundred paces in when I picked up movement.  I immediately, but slowly, got on my knees and used my binoculars to see what it was.

Bingo!  Two white tail doe.  It was at this point that I went to shit.  I put my binoculars away and brought my rifle up.  I was aiming from the kneeling position and I estimated that I was about 300 yards out.  Now, understand that I knew where on the land I was approximately and I knew the distances of said land to certain land marks.  At the time, I did NOT know how to range the deer with the actual scope (Leupold VX-2 with Duplex reticle).  So, that was a strike against my confidence on if I could make the shot.  Not only that, but I was fairly shaky.  I decided that I would stalk a little closer since the deer did not seem to notice me.

I crouched and walked a few paces and stopped.  I repeated this over and over.  At various times, one would look in my direction.  I would immediately stop and slowly take a knee.  I would then wait until they went back to eating.

I worked to within probably a little over 200 yards.  At this point, my breath was ragged from being excited and I knew I had to figure out a way to calm down or at least steady my aim.  I slowly proned out, but immediately realized that was a no go due to the corn stalk stubs that were in the way.  I then slowly got back into a kneeling position and glassed the first deer again to see how shaky I was.  I was not as shaky, but I felt I could probably get closer.  And then, my luck died.  A truck came down the road bordering the eastern side of the property.  The deer immediately alerted on the truck and trotted north onto the neighboring property and out of sight in the tall grass that dominated it.  The sun was going down and I decided it was the end of the day for me.

I was so mad.  Mad at the truck and mad at myself for being so damn excited that I could not steady my shot.  I still keep replaying it in my mind.  I decided to try and learn from this experience.  Here are some of the positives I took away from it:


  • Played the Wind Correctly - I had looked at the forecast to plan where in the field I wanted to start out and in which direction I should head if I did end up walking the land.
  • Used Land as Concealment - I had not been out on my Dad's land enough to remember the rise in the land.  I think I did a good job of using what little concealment there was.
  • Stalked Slowly - I was able to sneak within 200 yards or so in an open field.  If I had made it even 50 more yards, then I would have taken the shot (provided I was steady enough).
  • Knew My Ballistics - I had zeroed out at 100 yards and knew my bullet drops and wind drift for my hunting round, Federal's Fusion 30-06 150 grain.  However, I had only taken shots at 100 yards.  This did not help my confidence which fed into my nervousness (and the shakes as well I would guess).


And, of course, there were some things I should have been better prepared for:


  • Known How to Range Using My Scope - I actually did have one piece of information that would have helped, but at the time it flew right out of my head.  I already knew that at maximum magnification (9X for my scope) at 100 yards the thinner lines from post end to post end covered up exactly 8 inches of my target.  I found out afterwards that this is referred to as subtension.  What I did not know was that a deer is on average 18 inches from back line to brisket.  This would have allowed me to have a better idea of the distance I was working with.  I would then have had more confidence in taking the longer shot.
  • Calming Myself Down - I am not sure how to address this outside of learning to be certain of my approximate range and point of aim.  I have read that visualizing before you even see a deer helps.  I have also learned that forcing oneself to breathe deeply also helps.  I definitely was breathing raggedly!  I would also speculate that knowing your range and bullet drop is no substitute for practicing at longer range.
  • Practiced From the Kneeling Position - I do not do this enough.  I was used to my previous experience of having something to rest my rifle on.  I had nothing out in the open field and had to use a standard kneeling position (similar to what I practice with when shooting my AR).  Probably time to do more kneeling shots with the Remy.
  • Realized That Prone Was Out of the Equation - This is a minor point.  I should have known that trying to fire from the prone through and past hundreds of corn stalk stubs was out of the question.  It may have saved me some precious time by not trying to go into the prone in the first place.

I plan on going out to the range this upcoming weekend and practicing some shots from the kneeling.  I also am going to go with the goal of establishing exactly at what magnification 18 inches (the average size of a deer from back line to brisket) subtends in my reticle for a given distance.  The hope is that I can then take an 18 inch target, set it up at 100, and figure out at what magnification the 18 inches subtends from thin post end to thin post end (remember, I just have a Duplex style reticle).  I can keep doing this for given known ranges, magnification settings and the constant 18 inches to have a quick way to approximately range deer.  If I decide I want to hunt something else in the future, then I will need to do the same using a known target size equivalent to the game I want to hunt.

Extended Deer Season in Kansas starts January 1st.  I've been invited out to some wooded land to hunt.  Hopefully, I'll be more successful in the woods and with my lessons learned under my belt.  I appreciate any tips you could give me especially regarding how you calm yourself down enough to take a steady shot!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hunter is Harrassed By Police For Walking Home with Hunting Long Guns Exposed

This is just a bit absurd:

Hunter harrassed by police for walking home with his equipment after hunting

I mean, come on, the guy is wearing blaze orange and his rifles are slinged on his back.  Where I'm from, 95% of people would  just think, "Hmmm, must be hunting season".  I get there's always going to be those folks who flip out, but the police should know better.

If you're interested in hearing his account and chatting with the hunter, then go over and check out his blog:

The Hunter Himself In His Own Words

Monday, December 9, 2013

DGU of the Day: Store Clerk Uses Gun To Ward Off Bandit Without Firing a Shot

Just goes to show you why legit Defensive Gun Uses don't always get recorded:

Madison store clerk points gun at robber, suspect runs away

This won't even make it into the already meager stat keeping of DGU's.  Why?  Because no shots were fired.  And, really, that is the best outcome.  Loss of life in any form is tragic and should be avoided unless there is no other option.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DGU of the Day: Family Home Invasion Drills Pay Off for One Family

This family had a plan in place:

Jeff Jardine: Rural Oakdale family knew the drill when it came to defending against intruder

I think it makes perfect sense to have a home invasion/burglary drill.  We are encouraged to have tornado and fire drills even in our own homes.  Home invasion is always a possibility as are fires and tornadoes.  Get your head out of the sand when it comes to personal protection and start talking with your family on what to do and practice what to do in the event of a home invasion.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cheap Food Insurance: My First Time Making Super Pails

I had been wanting to stock up on some basic food staples for a long time.  There are two main reasons that I had given this some thought.  First, it is cheap food insurance.  If we ever fell on hard times, then we would have some way to at least sustain ourselves for a while.  Second, it is cheaper in the long run to buy in bulk.  So, I finally rounded up the materials needed to package and store dry pinto beans and white rice.

Sam's Club (and I'm sure other retailers) sells these by the 50 lb. bag.  The price per pound comes out to be ridiculously cheap when you compare that with 1 lb. or even 10 lb. bag of the same food item.  The combination of rice and beans can sustain a person for a very long time.  The two together form what nutritionists call a "complete protein".  In other words, "meat substitute".  Although, I would argue that there is no substitute for meat!


Bags of dry food ready to be sealed.

I ordered a starter kit of metalized bags, oxygen (O2) absorbers and food grade 6 gallon plastic buckets from Emergency Essentials.

About 33 lbs. of Pinto Beans.


About 40 lbs. of Rice.
The process was pretty straight forward.  I placed the metalized bags in the buckets and then poured the contents into each bucket.  I took care to note how much by weight was in each bucket.

2000 cc oxygen absorbers.

For anything over 35 lbs. one of the 2000 cc absorbers was called for.  If it was border line, then I just threw in two for additional insurance.  Also note that when placing more than one absorber that it is recommended to ensure they are not on top of one another.  The absorbers are basically filled with metal (iron, I believe) that binds oxygen by essentially rusting at a high rate.  Note that these came in a pack of 10.  A person has to use them all at once or figure out a way to seal them up.  I've seen some folks suggest mason jars and others to re-seal them if you have a vacuum sealer.

Demonstration of technique to seal metalized bags using a flat surface and clothes iron.
I tried to work as fast as possible once I opened up the O2 absorbers so that they did not peter out prematurely.  As you can see in the above picture, I folded the edge of the metal bags over a yard stick.  This gave me a fairly flat surface with which to use the clothes iron to seal the bags.  I have a couple of tips.  First, do not use the hottest setting on a clothes iron.  It works, but is not necessary and you risk melting the bag too much.  The second tip is to push as much air out of the bag as possible before finishing off the seal.  This was my one mistake.  I was in a hurry and thought that the O2 absorbers would bind enough oxygen that the bags would shrink down.  I was only able to get one out of five lids on my buckets!  I will be remedying this in the near future by cutting off a corner large enough to toss in another couple absorbers, push the excess air out and then reseal the cut corner.  Hopefully, it will work.

Other than my one mistake, I feel this was a pretty easy endeavor.  If you are looking for a way to store bulk dry foods, then look no further than making "Super Pails".

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quick Hit: A Couple of Preparedness Items From Last Week

Hey all,

I'm going to be half assing it this week in regards to posts.  I'm lacking some motivation and also busy with real world work.

I did get to address some preps this past week.  First, I had my vision corrected!  I always consider maintaining my health as the first and principle prep "item".  You're only good to yourself and your loved ones if you're in peak condition.  I had a severe near sighted left eye, a slightly farsighted right eye, and astigmatism in both.  As of this post, my vision is approaching what is projected to be 20/13 vision.  I had a procedure known as SBK done.  It's basically LASIK except it is performed using all lasers as opposed to a blade for the initial flap creation.  I'll be posting in more detail once my eyes have fully recovered to let you know how it went (probably after the New Year on the heels of a follow up visit).

I also created my first Super Pails of dry food storage.  I'll be doing a post on that in the next few days with a few pictures to illustrate (and warn about the mistake I made).

Well, that's really all for now.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DGU of the Day: Victim Engages In Gun Battle To Save His Life

Two guys were robbed by two thugs, one of which was armed:

Robbery suspect shot by victim, police say

Luckily, "VT" had a way to fight back when the punks opened fire.  Judging from the way the story was told, it sounds like the engagement took place at a distance further than bad breath.  Remember, practice shooting at distance.  I personally have started practicing at 25 yards.  You may have to take the shot at that distance and if you can make those kinds of hits at that range, then your chances of stopping someone closer than that are much higher.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

State Sponsored Circle Jerk

Check out the below story:

In its 50th year, Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to 16

Description of Qualifying Criteria for the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavor."

I can't help but shake my head at some of the recipients.  I suppose going by the over broad criteria that you probably could make a case for awarding this medal to just about anyone for anything.  But really, Bill Clinton?  The same guy who cheated on his wife in the Oval Office with an intern?  Or any of the politicians on the list for that matter?  They did a job they were elected to do.  And got rich in doing so.  I don't find anything especially meritorious in that.    Politicians simply should not be eligible for the award.  It just ends up being a political Academy Award otherwise (i.e. politicians voting for their buddies).

In the non-politicians category, I literally rolled my eyes upon reading Oprah Winfrey received the award.  Her latest comments about how American's disapprove of Obama because he's black propagates the idea that we are all racists in this country when that is simply not true.  Never mind the fact that he's half white and half black.  Should a woman who can't let go of mentioning race almost as often as "Reverend" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton really get a medal to celebrate her success?

Some of these folks deserve the recognition (i.e. Sally Ride).  But it should be awarded to the cream of the crop in a given field or profession.  Not a bunch of skeezy politicians and race baiters.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DGU of the Day: Armed Citizen Saves the Day

Score one for the good guys:

Family Dollar Store Customer Shoots Robber

One commentator on the news article put it best:

"An armed citizen doing what an armed citizen is supposed to do. You can wet your panties now, Piers."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weapons of Choice for Terrorist Attack in China: Automobiles and Bombs

So, you think when guns are outlawed that there won't be anymore mass killings?  I beg to differ.  Exhibit A: China.

Police say Beijing car incident was terrorist attack, detain 5 suspects

Blasts at China regional Communist Party office kill one

These two incidents just happened within the last two weeks as of this blog being published.

Not to put too fine a point on it (but I'll try):  If you still think outlawing "scary" guns prevents evil people from doing evil things, then frankly, you're living in your own private fantasy world.  If we take a protectionist approach to it's logical conclusion, then we would have to ban the following:
Get it, yet?

You can't legislate evil away.

You can only prepare for it.  Sometimes, nothing can be done.

That is reality.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Progressive Brainwashing of Our Children Continues

Honestly, I am not surprised in the slightest by this story.  The progressive agenda has been incrementally and insidiously pushed in classrooms for several generations:

Common Core lessons blasted for sneaking politics into elementary classrooms

Some folks may say, "What's the big deal?"  Consider the statements made.

"He [the president] makes sure the country's laws are fair."

Uh, no, he doesn't.  The President only ensures that current law is executed.  Determining whether or not laws are constitutional (fair) is left to the judicial branch.  And even they have overstepped their authority since the early 1800's.  Read Mark Levin's "Men in Black" to educate yourself.

Government officials' commands must be obeyed at all times.

This is wrong on so many levels.  Laws are to be obeyed, not officials' commands.  Even police officers only derive their authority from laws and statutes.  We have no obligation to obey if they act outside of those boundaries.  We the People give limited authority to the government in good faith and trust.  If that is broken, then We the People have no obligation or duty to follow commands that are clearly unconstitutional.  I am not advocating anarchy, but we must be vigilant for abuses of power and not blindly follow orders.

An individual's wants are less important than the nation's well-being.

This seems pretty altruistic and noble.  However, considering the source, you can bet that it is not meant to be.  In fact, if you think about it in the context of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then it truly flies in the face of everything this country was based on.  Individual liberties, NOT collectivism, is what this country was founded on.  When individuals are free, then the nation as a whole prospers.  This notion that the "nation's well-being" is more important smacks of socialism.  There is a reason that America is the greatest nation on Earth.  And incrementally nibbling away at our individual liberties is not the answer to becoming greater, no matter what so-called Progressive Socialists would have you believe.

Call it out when you see this kind of propaganda in our schools, media, etc.  Only by drawing attention to this sneaky incrementalism can we hope to wake up others.  Otherwise, our children or our children's children will look back and ask the question, "How did it come to this?"

Monday, November 11, 2013

UPDATED: DGU of the Day: Injustice is Served

This is why I believe no business, school, etc has a legal right to demand that you disarm:

Gonzaga students face possible expulsion for using gun to ward off intruder

So, let me get this straight?  A convicted felon knocks on the door, tries to burglarize/rob the two and because they used a "prohibited" gun to ward off the goblin they now face expulsion?  That is a bunch of horse shit.  This idea that anyone has a legal right to discriminate (yes, that is what it is, you won't convince me otherwise) against those who want the means to defend themselves is absurd.  I hope these guys sue the pants off of Gonzaga if the university proceeds to try and expel them.

UPDATE:  Literally within minutes, this post over at TTAG went up.  Several folks over at The Truth About Guns are pointing out that the landlord/campus had no authority to limit the two's right to self defense.  One comment from Chris stated:

"Looking at Washington’s laws, it appears that they had the right to have firearms in the apartment regardless of Gonzaga’s rules against it as landlords can’t violate the right to self defense. It shouldn’t matter where the apartment is, who owns it or how many guns they had. If they had them legally they are in the right here."

Glad to hear it!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One of THOSE Posts: Random Thoughts

It's been a busy work week which has kept me from getting inspired to write a well thought out post.  I'm going to wing it today.

The governors race in Virginia last night was disappointing.  A lot of chatter is putting the blame on Sarvis for entering the race as a Libertarian (which his being a Libertarian is contentious) and for the fact that a former Obama supporter contributed to his race.  I think the fact remains that there are a lot of people who voted D.  I am not sure how anyone in good conscience vote for folks whose ideologies are proving disastrous in the long run.  Social Security is a failure.  Medicare fraud is rampant.  And Obamacare sure is off to a roaring start, isn't it?

In other news, the LAX and NJ Mall incidents have been blown out of proportion.  Both incidents are terrible.  I tend to think of loss of life as a net gain / loss.  It maybe is cold to some people, but let's face it, you're either dead or you're not.  There were probably more murders this week in LA than the combined total of all of the casualties in the LAX shooting.  The NJ mall "shooting" was not even one.  The nut job was literally telling people he was not going to shoot them.  Don't get me wrong, it is disturbing on any level, but to treat this like a mass shooting is disingenuous.

I am going to attempt to do my own super pails full of beans and rice as soon as my buckets, O2 absorbers and metalized bags come in.  I think I'm going to start with rice and beans.  Any other suggestions?

I am also looking forward to deer season in Kansas.  I only have one problem:  I have not figured out where that might be yet.  I did have a couple offers to hunt, but that has not been firmed up.  Oh well.  It did give me a good excuse to sight in my rifle at a hundred yards last weekend.  I'd really like to find some ranges longer than a 100 yards.  I only know of one nearby (if you call an hour drive "nearby").

Well, that's about all I've got for the moment.

Monday, November 4, 2013

DGU of the Day: A Tale of Two Victims

One guy was able to defend himself and another was not so lucky.

Man with concealed weapons permit shoots, kills robber

So, if I'm reading this correctly, there were two attempted robberies.  One ended with the robber assuming room temperature.  The other ended with the victim doing the same.

Kind of puts having a way of defending yourself into perspective, huh?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Does Everything Our Government Produce Consist of Lies?

This is just shameful.  Hard to be confident in your elected leaders when this kind of stuff is happening in addition to all of the other scandals.

McCaskill demands explanation over staged arrival ceremonies for fallen soldiers

We really are in an era of unprecedented secrecy and lies surrounding our government.  Trust is a two way street, but apparently the overlords and bureaucrats in Washington and other levels expect the We the People to do all of the trusting.  Disgusting.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beans, Band Aids, and Bullets

Lately, I have been dialing back on the amassing of items and focusing more on skills and physical training which cost me nothing (or close to nothing).  However, it still is a good idea to maintain and slowly add to what a lot of people refer to as "Beans, Band Aids, and Bullets".  Food and water, first aid/medical and the ability and supplies to protect your self and loved ones is high on the list when securing for the future.  I am not necessarily paranoid, but I am unfortunately pessimistic about the future of our economy.  So, I find that investing in extras in these categories to be prudent.  If the value of our dollar was to drop, or if our jobs were cut, then at least we would have the peace of mind that we still had a supply to fall back on.  Barring that, we would eventually work our way through these supplies at some point in our lives so it is not a waste.

I keep a running list of items in these categories and try to make it a point to stock up on items in each category that we may not have or that are lowest in quantity.  For example, I have identified the following for next month:

  • Protection - 9 mm Speer Gold Dot (100) rounds
    • Note, there's a news story about the last lead ore smelter shutting down due to what amounts to extortion by the EPA.  It might be time to make a bigger than normal purchase to hedge against unavailability/high prices.
  • Food -  Beans, Mylar Bags and Desiccant Packs
    • Giving this a try for the first time.  We are big bean eaters so there's no worry of this going to waste.  Also, they last literally for years if done correctly.
  • Water - Bottled Water (5 cases)
    • Easy pick up at Sam's Club.  We go through this quite a bit, surprisingly.
  • First Aid - Rolled Gauze, Moleskin
    • Don't have either of these items.  Any suggestions where to get a good deal on bulk purchases?
Do you all do something similar?  Do you have a method to your "prepping" madness?  Comment below and let me know.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 28, 2013

DGU of the Day: Can I Get A Witness?

This one made the rounds earlier last week, but I thought I'd still share it.

Indiana pastor pulls gun on man, stops robbery

A lot of folks sometimes ask how, as a Catholic, I can reconcile using a gun to defend my life.  Here is what the Catholics are taught about self defense:

Catechism of the Catholic Church (specifically the section entitled "Legitimate defense")

Note that it sounds similar to the law that is codified in today's society.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DGU of the Day: Prairie Patriot's Hometown Representin'

I'm especially proud of this woman from my home town.

Wichita Woman Shoots Home Intruder

I'm proud that she was able to defend herself.  If it had been me, then I would have popped him without a verbal considering there were children in the house and an attacker can cover ground very quickly.  I simply would not risk it.  Still, this was a "W" for the good guys (or gals, in this case).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DGU of the Day: Tulsa, OK Man Shoots Burglar

This guy did what he had to do.

'No regrets' for Tulsan who shot burglar

Notice that the man put several rounds on the burglar center mass.  And he still survived.  Real life is not like the movies.  One shot usually doesn't finish the job.  Just another point against the argument that citizens should be limited in capacity.  Limiting the law abiding will cost lives.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Range Report 10-19-13: Accuracy Session

For this trip I decided to focus on more drills for accuracy rather than speed/combat style drills.

Slow shots for accuracy at 3 yds

My shots were grouped very well.  You can see that I had a couple fliers on the center mass grouping (first shots).There was a slight bias to the left, but not nearly as bad as towards the end of my last session.  Also, when I thew the couple shots I immediately stopped and unloaded the pistol.  I then performed ten good dry fires to help reinforce proper trigger manipulation.

Ball and Dummy Drills at 3 yds
At the suggestion of some of the good folks at m4carbine.net, I loaded up two dummy rounds along with 8 live rounds for the next drill.  Again, groupings were fairly good, but when I did foul up, the rounds went low and to the left.  And, the telling part of this drill was when I would encounter a dummy round.  I was indeed flinching slightly.  Nothing major, but obviously enough to tell the tale of why my shots sometimes went down and left.  More dry fire at home is definitely in order.  And more accuracy drills at the range.

Slower than normal controlled pairs at 3 yds
Here is the result of speeding up.  As you can see, my groups opened up when trying to speed up my shots.  I did focus more on accuracy than speed for this.  Still, the head grouping was larger than I would like.  The good news is that I did not throw one off the silhouette.  This was my only drill that could loosely be called a "combat" style drill as I was not going for pure accuracy.

Slow accurate fire at 5 yds
I decided to push the target out to 5 yds and again work on accuracy.  What a difference 2 yds makes.  Not only did my groups open up (which is to be expected, I suppose), but the left and low bias was more pronounced.  Still, I kept it all on the silhouette.  I maybe should have quit at this point to not reinforce bad trigger habits.  I decided to reel it back in for one handed shots to change it up.

One handed right (top 7 point of aim), one handed left (bottom 7 point of aim) at 3 yds

This was the same target from the last picture just so that there is no confusion.  My one handed shots were not terrible considering I don't spend a lot of trigger time using just one hand

Slow accurate fire at 3 yds (14 round grouping)
 At this point I had 14 rounds left so I decided to throw up my last clean target and end my day on a good note.  As you can see, the grouping was pretty good, but there were three shots low and to the left out of the 14.

I think it's just a matter of time and practice before I eliminate the flinch.  I was on the money whenever I focused on just pulling the trigger back without flinching.  As the session went on and I started to over think it was when my accuracy would suffer.  The good news is that the groups were all fairly tight and there were none thrown off the silhouette.  All in all, a good session, but with room to improve.

As usual, if anyone has any suggestions on how to completely eliminate flinching, then please do share.  I am really wanting to become a good shot and know that accuracy work is the foundation for anyone who carries for self defense.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

DGU of the Day: Suspect Breaks Into House Second Night In A Row, Pays For It

This guy pushed his luck too far.

Suspect Shot In Alleged Home Invasion Dies

The family member that shot the man did the right thing given the circumstances.  He gave a verbal warning and when the suspect proceeded into the house anyways, then he paid for it.  I never like seeing someone lose their life, but this is a classic example of how guns save lives.  If someone is brazen enough to enter your home as you tell them to leave, then you can bet they aren't there for a social call.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DGU of the Day: Senior Uses Appropriate Use of Force

What a low life.  First, he doesn't control his own dog and then attacks the senior when she uses an appropriate response.

Pendleton skateboarder charged with assault

This lady showed a very good understanding of a level of force.  Pepper spraying a dog is appropriate when it is aggressive and the owner is a douche bag.  The scumbag attacks the lady for stopping his dog from biting her.  She then pulls the gun out.

My only quibble is that she fired a "warning shot".  Not sure if that's how she described it to officers or if that's the paper's way of reporting it.  However, never fire a "warning shot".   If it's serious enough to pull the gun out and pull the trigger, then you better being aiming for center mass.  Legally, you can get slapped with discharging a weapon charge since your intention wasn't to defend, but to "warn".  In other words, don't take Crazy Joe Biden's advice.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gear Review: FLIR PS24 Thermal Monocular



Labor Day weekend was above average for me this year.  I got to spend it running around 800 acres of wooded and farm land on my uncle's ranch around Elk Falls, Kansas.  But the best part came at night.  I had just received my new FLIR PS24 unit.  And the rule of the ranch was to smack as many armadillos as possible.  You could only make the Armadillo Wall of Fame if you killed one and posed with it.  I thought, "No problem!".

We would sit on the porch of the ranch and let it get dark.  I would occasionally scan the field in front of us with the PS24 as I shot the breeze with my family.  And lo and behold, they came.  The first armadillo was 75-100 yards out when I first spied it with the FLIR unit.  I grabbed my AR and walked out to within 7 yards of the critter.  I dropped the FLIR unit (it was on a lanyard on my wrist), brought up my rifle and white lighted the nasty thing.  The shot made it jump at least 3-4 feet high in the air.  And then it took off like a bat out of hell.  Turns out armadillos are tough.  Which is why the Armadillo Wall of Fame in the tractor shed on the ranch is a place of honor.  You basically have to unload on the armadillo before it will just keel over and die.  I learned two lessons.  First, always continue to shoot until the threat armadillo is down.  Second, and more specifically to armadillo, shoot for the head or just behind for a better chance at rolling them.  Unfortunately, I had two more chances that weekend, but never could drop one on the spot.

But, I am sure you want to know about the FLIR unit itself.


You can check out the technical specs on FLIR's website.  I will just give you my impressions.  Let me state that I have no basis for comparison.  So, everything I say is probably going to be fairly subjective.  The first thing I noticed was that the size of the unit was just about right when using one hand to hold it to your eye.  The buttons that control the operation are placed on top of the unit.  It did not take me long to get accustomed to using the buttons.  It does come with a lanyard so that if your grip slips your pricey purchase will not hit the ground.  There is a generous eye cup that allows you to look at the mini screen inside the unit itself.

Buttons are large and easy to distinguish in the dark using sense of touch only.  It also helps that they light up.

And, in fact, it is a screen.  I found myself using the white hot setting the most often to initially pick out critters.  I would then switch to black hot if I had a hard time identifying something.  The contrast between the two sometimes helped give me a better overall picture of what I was looking at.  The unit does come with an Insta-Alert feature that is supposed to light up warm blooded animals (and humans) as red.  There are four sensitivity levels.  I found the least sensitive setting to be somewhat helpful if you were within "close" range.  The other 3 more sensitive levels tended to paint everything red if the earth or trees still held their heat from the daylight hours.  To be fair, the FLIR manual did state it had a max range for the Insta-Alert that fell well short of the overall max range of the white/black hot settings.

Artemis chillin' out.  I was 5 feet from her.  This is on the white hot setting.  Forgive the poor quality.  It was hard aligning the camera lens with the viewer.

I also encountered a few surprises with the unit.  I started walking around checking everything out when I first turned it on in my home.  I happened to be bare foot on the carpet.  When I turned around you could see my foot prints!  That should give you some idea of the sensitivity of different temperatures the unit is capable of distinguishing.  Another surprise was when I attempted to look out a window.  All I saw was my IR reflection!  Of course, this makes sense as the IR spectrum is part of the overall light spectrum.  Those waves were bouncing off the glass just like visible light would.  I know all of this has probably been covered on the Internet somewhere prior, but for me it was new and a neat experience when I first got to know the unit.

My footprints immediately after I stepped away to take this picture.

Some other miscellaneous features that I appreciate are the the captive lens cap cover and the built in LED white light.  The LED white light can only be used when the unit is off.  If you do not use the unit, then it shuts itself off after 5 minutes which helps save on battery life.

Speaking of the battery, my one complaint is that the unit only has an internal lithium ion battery.  It would have been nice to be able to switch out the battery on my own.  However, I have a feeling by the time the battery gives up the ghost that the technology might be dated anyways.  Only time will tell.

The unit is relatively cheap compared to FLIR's other offerings.  However, it is still quite pricey.  As of this date I can only find it for no less than $1980 not counting shipping.  I would buy this over Gen 3 night vision if only given one option for a few reasons.  I will not delve into that now as it is best saved for another post.

Do any of you have experience with thermal imaging?  Or the PS24 in particular?  What are your thoughts on it's strengths and limitations?  Comment below and let me know.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 14, 2013

DGU of the Day: Homes Are Like A Box of Chocolates...

These intruders got the gross marshmallow chocolate one.

Retired deputy fires shots at intruder

Glad they bagged the delinquents.  Not a whole lot of detail other than a good guy with a gun defends his home and self.  Like we see time and time again.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

DGU of Day: 83 Year Old Defends His Castle

Another thief chooses the wrong home.

83-year-old Salem homeowner shoots intruder, Marion County detectives say

If it saves just one life...  If this old gentleman and his wife had not had a weapon, then does anyone really think they would have stood a chance against someone much younger?  Guns save lives.  Period.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

DGU of the Day: Man Fires At Driver Who Tries To Run Him Over

One man went to check on the local church after the alarm was tripped and almost got ran over for his trouble.

Man shoots at suspected robber at South Austin church

The one thing I'd like to point out that may not have been a good idea:  Declaring that you are armed.  You either use your weapon or you don't.  And you make damn sure that if you're going to use it that it is a surprise to your assailant.  Other than that, good job for this guy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DGU of the Day: Another 3 on 1 Encounter

Three people broke into an acquaintance home and threatened his life:

Vacaville Homeowner Confronts Three Burglars With Gun, Shoots One

Not a whole lot of detail on this one, but clearly, if the homeowner did not have a way to even up the odds, then things could have turned out very differently for him.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Asymmetric Solutions Tactical Pistol 1: After Action Report

One of my personal goals is to get professional firearms training at least twice a year.  I frequent several forums and websites and had caught a lot of chatter about Asymmetric Solutions.  I contacted them via email and asked them what courses they recommended based on my previous training.  I got a very nice response stating that I could start with Tactical Pistol 1 and 2 and if I felt the courses were too rudimentary that they would credit me my tuition for different courses in the future.  Further, as I would be traveling from Kansas City, MO, they offered to let me stay in the facility barracks overnight between the two days.  I ended up only signing up for Tactical Pistol 1 due to time constraints, but it was nice to know that in the future I could stay on site assuming the offer still stood at a later date.  For this course, I ran my M&P9c out of a Safariland 6378 ALS holster.  I configured the holster to use the belt loops instead of the paddle attachment.

I traveled down on a Friday night and stayed at the Hampton Inn in Farmington, MO on points (one of the benefits of traveling for work constantly).  The course started on Saturday at 9 am.  Our instructor, John, gave the safety briefing.  Usually you get the 4 rules of firearms safety.  John's take on safety is that there are three safe positions for a pistol:  in the holster, in the low ready (muzzle pointed at the ground) and on target.  I had not heard it explained this way before.  John explained that being on the target was a safe position because by eliminating the threat you were making it safe for everyone else.  That statement certainly rang true to me.

Asymmetric Solutions is a busy place.  The same day of Tactical Pistol 1 there was a class of what I estimated as between 15-20 students taking Asymmetric Solutions' Basics of Tactical Shooting class.  John mentioned that this was the biggest civilian class he had seen come through at one time.  That certainly spoke volumes to me about Asymmetric Solutions' reputation along with what I have been seeing on the Internet.  Another class, Precision Rifle 1, was also taking place.  Throughout the day you could hear the Precision Rifle class ringing the gong.  Just another class I will have to take I suppose!

There were 10 students in the class including me.  John was our constant companion along with a couple of other instructors who filled in at various times.  John's teaching style was laid back and easy to understand.  I was able to focus on the material and drills and felt completely comfortable.  It can sometimes be hard to find folks who are SMEs in their field, but cannot transfer that knowledge in a way that works for the students.  Rest assured, you will understand if John is your instructor.

We started out by working a drill that emphasized muzzle discipline in crowds.  This was meant to reinforce the idea that you will not always be mano a mano with your assailant and that there may be innocents between you and the threat.  It really was something I had not considered practicing.  Needless to say, I will be incorporating this into my personal regimen.

We moved on to scenarios involving vehicles including what to do when threats present from the front of your vehicle and how to move to cover behind your vehicle if necessary.  We did this on our own and as two man teams.  During the two man team drill we learned how to communicate using concise language and appropriate "bounding overwatch" movement to the rear.  The opportunity to shoot through windshields and get an idea of the concussive force made this drill worth doing along with the details of how to get out of the vehicle without muzzle sweeping yourself.  It also got me thinking about how I would react in certain situations and what my set response would be to a threat.

We had a quick lunch break and then moved onto how to move and engage threats that are both in front and behind a person.  Drills were setup so that we would have to incorporate turning to engage a threat and then to run to cover after the threat was down.  There were several variations of this that we worked on.

Reloads and malfunctions were covered fairly briefly as we had already been performing reloads in our previous drills (and there were even some malfunctions).  It was fairly standard fare in this department.  John's take on how to deal with "tactical" reloads differed slightly from what I have seen others recommend, but his logic and research behind it is sound.  I especially liked how he broke down the malfunctions into three categories: stove pipe, closed battery, and open battery malfunctions.  In my mind, this makes it easier to decide on what course of action to take.

John also had us run through drills designed to try and overload our problem solving skills.  The drills progressed from shooting at a sequence of called out targets to fully incorporating running to cover, shooting from cover and shooting on the move.  We also ran drills that emphasized moving down a line laterally and engaging targets with others on the line.  This simulated working together with others as a team and communicating during an active fight.

We finished up in the shoot house performing two man room clearing.  We all partnered up and ran the drill several times "hands only" in order to ensure we had it down cold.  It was pretty much textbook on how to clear a room with two men.  We got to run the drill hot once we were deemed safe.  I sure appreciated the opportunity to do it using live fire.  It definitely made me more muzzle aware being in such close proximity to my partner.  The day came to a close at 5 pm and I loaded up and made the 5 hour trip home wishing I could stay for Tactical Pistol 2, but alas, the boss wanted me home and I had to travel back out for work on Monday.

Bottom line:  I already know that I am going back to Asymmetric Solutions.  The only question is when.

DGU of the Day: Man Defends His Mom and Self From Three Thugs

This man defended himself from 3 different assailants.

Robbery suspect shot and killed by store owner, two suspects at large

Folks, they roll in packs.  Carry a spare mag and watch your six when in "transition" areas.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DGU of the Day: Homeowner Emerges Victorius

This homeowner prevailed in a gunfight for his life.

Munhall Homeowner Shoots, Kills Intruder

Three things jumped out at me.  First, was the fact that there were multiple burglars who were both armed.  Luckily for the homeowner the lookout took off running.  If both had engaged, then can anyone imagine a scenario where the homeowner would need as much ammo capacity as possible?  I know I could.  Hell, I would want it even if one guy was coming at me.

Second, the gunfight spilled into the alley.  This tells me that there was some movement during the fight.  A lot of training at different instructor courses involves movement and firing.  Now you see why.  Always keep moving in a gunfight if possible.  It is much harder for you to be hit.  Sounds obvious, but a lot of folks only train at a range.  It gets ingrained into their mind to square up and take the shot and never move.  My suggestion would be to practice this dry if you cannot find a range that allows movement and live fire.  It would also benefit you to get quality instruction first to make sure you're not making mistakes that could kill you.

Lastly, the dead perp was shot multiple times while the homeowner came out unharmed.  Some of this is luck.  But, it's clear that the homeowner knew how to use his weapon effectively.  Train, train, train!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Range Report 9-26-13: Tune up prior to Asymmetric's Tactical Pistol 1

Hey folks, sorry for the irregularity of my postings.  It's been a bit busy professionally and personally the past couple of weeks.  However, I did find time last Thursday to make it out to the range.  I have a pistol course this up coming weekend at Asymmetric Solutions and I thought that it would be a good idea to try and tune up prior.

Slow and steady, for accuracy at 3 yds
I put a hundred rounds total through my M&P9c.  I shot groups of ten for each drill.  Above, was my customary slow and steady shots for accuracy.  I only threw one.

Fast presentation, single shot at 3 yds
I next worked on presenting the pistol and acquiring the sights as fast as possible from the "meet and greet" position and firing a single shot.  I then returned the pistol to the "meet and greet" position.  My groups opened up, but were still combat acceptable.

Fast presentation, controlled pairs at 3 yds
The next twenty rounds, I repeated the same exercise.  This time, however, instead of a single shot, I performed controlled pairs.  I would like to get a shot timer to eventually see how slow my splits are.

Slow and steady for accuracy at 7 yds
At this point, I decided to extend the range a bit.  I worked on accuracy in this string of fire.  Unfortunately, my groups opened up more than I wold have liked.  Furthermore, I had noticed in the previous drill that my shots were starting to group to the left/ low left.  I decided to research ways to fix this once I got home.  Also, I figured I could ask the folks at Asymmetric to watch me and see if they could pick out what was going on.

On a side note, if you take a look at the top of the target, then you will see a "rip".  That, in fact, was a round that I must have fired into the metal hanger and then ricocheted on through the target.  I was kind of mad at myself because I thought for sure I was on target when I broke the shot.  Oh well, practice, practice.

One handed shooting.  Left hand/group on the left 7, Right hand/group on the right 7 at 3 yds
I brought the target back to 3 yds for one handed shooting.  My shooting was slow and for accuracy.  I was surprised that I was really fairly tight on my groupings.  I did ten with the left and ten with the right.  You can see my groups on the 7's on the target

I will be sure to write up an After Action Report (AAR) about my class at Asymmetric in the next few weeks after I attend.  If anyone has any tips on how to correct my slight bias to the left / low left tendency, then I am always open to the advice.  Outside of the drills I just mentioned, are there any drills that you would like to share that you find useful in sharpening your skills?  Any recommendations on a shot timer?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

To Protect and Serve... Or Not

Police officers are not perfect:

CMPD charges officer with voluntary manslaughter

I do not like disparaging police.  I have friends and neighbors who are police officers.  They are all good folks.  I want to use this story to make a couple of points.  The first is about a false perception that a lot of folks seem to have.  A lot of cops are not trained properly.  They are as varied as you or I.  When the gun control crowd says that "civilians" (a misnomer, as cops are civilians as well) should not have access to certain firearms or "high cap mags" (another misnomer) they often point to the fact that the police should only have these because they are "trained".  There are average joe's that probably shoot more in one year than some police officers will in their entire career!  As Uncle Si would say, "That's a fact, Jack!"

The other point I would like to make is that this was a rare case of police officers being held liable for what they did.  All over the country, police get away with some pretty egregious violations.  The NYPD is the poster child for this.  Here are two examples that spring to my mind:

NYPD: 9 shooting bystander victims hit by police gunfire

Times Square shooting: NYPD officers shoot two innocent bystanders near Times Square

No accountability.  What. So. Ever.  If you or I, in the course of defending ourselves, were to miss our target and hit someone else, then we would be charged with crimes.  Not so with these two cases.  There are several just like it every year.  We need to start holding our officers to higher standards.  Don't take the shot if you can't make it.  If nothing else, then up the training for our officers.  Hitting bystanders is unacceptable.  Period.

Without looking it up, what is your best guess for the amount of training your police force gets on average?  What ideas do you have to address the lack of training?  What should happen to law enforcement officers who hit bystanders?  Serious answers please.  I do not want this to become a bash fest.

Monday, September 23, 2013

DGU of the Day: Pregnant Woman Fends Off Two Burglars

A once reluctant woman realizes the value of having a gun in the home for defense.

Pregnant woman shoots at two men breaking into home

Just a couple of points I'd like to make on this one.

First, people become "true believers" once they are faced with a situation where they need a gun to defend themselves.  The fortunate ones are those who actually had the forethought to obtain one.  You can imagine what happens to those who decided that "guns are evil".

Second, the lady states that she did not want to shoot the men and that she shot the truck to aid in identifying the truck.  Frankly, this was not a smart move.  This is akin to taking Crazy Uncle Joe Biden's advice and firing your shotgun into the air to scare away intruders.  If the situation is serious enough for you to draw your weapon, then it is serious enough that you need to stop your assailant, so you better be aiming accordingly.  Otherwise, you may find yourself being charged with violating the law in some states.  Food for thought: Hypothetically, who's to say they didn't have their own weapon in the truck and come back to take her out?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DGU of the Day: Drunk Decides To Invite Himself In

Looks like this guy was lucky the homeowner did not decide to ventilate him.

Homeowner showed 'amazing restraint,' didn't shoot burglar

I don't like to Monday morning quarterback a DGU.  However, without more information I think the better course of action would have been to get the family to a safe room and wait there with the gun pointed at the door until police arrived.  But hey, it ended well, so what the hell do I know?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quick, Gun Control Before The Bodies Cool Off!

Well, that did not take long.  Dianne Feinstein and others rang the battle cry for gun control the day after the Navy Yard shooting that occurred Monday September 16th, 2013.  Of course, immediately there were media reports of the irrationally "scary" AR-15 being used.  Turns out the shooter took Joe Biden's advice and used a shotgun.  And, it is also being widely reported that the shooter was suffering from mental illness.

Is anyone else really surprised that the media and gun control advocates pounced on the idea that a AR-15 might have been used before letting the facts come out?  What a bunch of "malarkey" as Uncle Joe Biden would put it.  As if the AR-15 is any more dangerous than, case in point, a shotgun and a couple of pistols took off security guards.  

Dianne Feinstein mentioned that Congress has been shirking it's responsibility on gun violence.  Gun control and gun free zones don't work.  Face it.  You know what just might work?  Treating mentally ill people and reporting them into an already established background check system.  How about finally really focusing on mental illness?  Yeah, that couldn't be the solution at all...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Holy Work Batman!

Work has me going overtime this week.  So, unfortunately, unless there's a significant let up, I probably won't have a whole lot to post this week.  I do have some posts in the pipeline, but I want to be able to devote time and attention to them.  Keep an eye out on this spot.  Regular scheduled programming should resume next Monday if not sooner.

Also, pray for the victims of the Navy Yard shooting in DC.  I'll be watching it closely over the next few days and possibly blog on it depending on what information comes out.

Thank you all for your patience!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chinese Knife Rampage... BAN KNIVES BEFORE IT HAPPENS HERE!!!!

Hopefully, you get the sarcasm in the title.  Take a quick read of the following:

China knife attack: Police arrest suspect in bus rampage

If you're a regular on this blog, then you probably know where I'm going with this.  If not, then allow me to explain a basic truth.  Guns, knives, baseball bats, high heels, crowbars, concrete curbs...  All are inanimate objects that have been used in assaults not to mention murders.  People commit these crimes, not the objects themselves.  Banning any type of item, at best, only queues up the next object for a person to attempt to use to commit a crime.  The idea that laws prohibiting items will somehow stop violence has been proven over and over to be an utter failure.

Ban criminals.  Lock them up.  Enforce laws pertaining to the criminal behavior, not the objects used.  Some people cannot accept the concept on punishing criminal behavior as the right path.   One can only conclude that these people attribute evil to inanimate objects when trying to argue a ban on <insert perceived scary item her>.  Is that really rational thinking?

What do you think?  Should we ban potential items on the chance they could be used to hurt or kill another person?  Or do you fall on the side of enforcing and/or strengthening laws against criminal behavior?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget: September 11th, '01 and '12

This year, we unfortunately have two separate dates to remember.  I will keep this short because I cannot do justice to any of these people's memories.  However, please say a prayer for their souls and for the ones they left behind.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DGU of the Day: This Criminal Just Couldn't Catch a Break

So, last week I was on the road for work, and my buddy @Lady_Liberty76 clued me in to what was going on in my area of KC:

Police investigate home invasion, fatal shooting in Northland

This happened very close to my neighborhood.  Just goes to show you that it can happen anywhere.  Home carry.  Always.

Monday, September 9, 2013

DGU of the Day: Clerk Gives Criminal Something to Chew On

This criminal is lucky the clerk showed him mercy:

Caught on camera: Clerk pulls gun on criminal, stops robbery

I applaud the clerk for his quick decision making.  No one lost their life and he was able to save his own in the process.  Hopefully, the police find the dirtball and put him away.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crazy busy!

Hey folks, hope you had a good Labor Day weekend.  I was down at my uncle's ranch running around popping dillos in the dark.  I'll be blogging in detail on that later.  I wanted to just give the heads up that this week's posting may be erratic.  I have a lot of work to do and my evenings will not be as free as they normally are.  It should return to normal by next Monday, but I will try and get a few posts up this week if time allows.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the understanding.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DGU of the Day: Homeowner Saves Taxpayers Money, Escaped Convict No Longer With Us

An Iowa homeowner was able to fend off an escaped convict who broke into his home.

Homeowner shoots escaped prisoner in southwest Iowa

I never like to see a loss of life, but this convict was bad news.  Luckily, he chose poorly on which house to break into.  Now the question is:  How did he escape???

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gun Review: Ruger SR22

NOTE:  I originally wrote this thinking I would submit it to TTAG.  For some reason, I thought that they hadn't done a review of it yet.  Well, I was wrong.  So, it will go here instead.



My wife’s first pick for a carry gun was a pink framed Taurus TCP .380.  The pink TCP did not last long in our personal lineup.  The light as a feather pink TCP was too much for her to handle and she quickly became frustrated when we would go shooting at the range.  I finally convinced her to take a mulligan on her first pistol selection and gently steered her towards the idea of another pistol, preferably in .22LR.  This would accomplish a) a happier wife and b) erasing the shame of owning a pink framed gun in our safe (did I mention it was pink?).

We narrowed it down between the Walther P22 and the Ruger SR22.  I bet you can guess which one we ended up walking out the door with.  As a result, the wife is much happier now on the range and is becoming quite the marksman.  I have been using the Ruger SR22 as my own pistol trainer due to the cost and scarcity of ammo as of this review (Summer 2013).  My initial impressions have been very positive.

The Ruger SR22 is comparable to the Walther P22 and Smith and Wesson’s M&P 22.  Our Ruger came with the standard barrel.  If I had been thinking ahead, then I would have steered my wife towards the threaded barrel version.  I recently shot a suppressed .22LR pistol and I cannot shake the idea of finally taking the plunge and collecting my first stamp.

The Ruger came with a nice pistol rug and two 10 round magazines with optional finger grip extension base plates.  Since this is primarily my wife’s pistol, I have not attached the extension base plates, nor have I swapped out the provided additional larger palm swell.  Anyone who wears a medium size glove or larger may want to consider using these.

The safety features include a magazine disconnect and an ambidextrous manual safety that also de-cocks the exposed hammer when put back on safe.  The magazine release is also ambidextrous in order to accommodate both right and left handed shooting.  This worked out nicely since I shoot primarily with my right hand and my wife shoots with her left.

The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation.  I found that I did not have to adjust the sights at around the 7 yard mark to be close to point of aim/point of impact.  I am able to pick up the front sight quickly aided by the 3 dot configuration.  Note that the rear sight is reversible so that it is just a black bar in contrast with the front site’s white dot.

The Ruger does have a Picatinny rail if you choose to add an accessory.  We have not given much thought to this, but again, its presence opens up options that we would not have had otherwise.  Perhaps down the line we will consider at least a pistol light for training purposes.

The reliability thus far has been flawless.  I have not had one malfunction with 400 rounds of CCI Standard Velocity and Mini Mags.  I have not run the pistol extremely hard (i.e. no mag dumps), but I have clicked off several rounds in succession and it ran without a hitch.  My lady is considering this as her primary weapon until she can hit as well with a higher caliber.  It is nice to know that if the pistol had to be pressed into a more serious role, that the malfunctions would be minimal.

Accuracy is what you would expect in a .22LR pistol.  If I am doing my part, then I am able to sink 10 rounds into the bull at 7 yards.   Further out, the groups widen up as expected.   I am sure that the groupings could be tighter if it were not for operator error.  I can still consistently get hits out to 15 yards on clays for what it is worth.

My one criticism is the trigger.  The trigger is adequate in the way driving a compact car is “adequate”.  It gets you from point A to point B, but you wish you were driving something a bit more responsive.  In double action, the trigger was heavy as you would expect.  The break felt crisp.  In single action, the trigger has a smooth take up and the break is crisp.  However, the reset is a very subtle.  Not good if you want to practice quick follow up shots.  If you are able to sense the reset, then you have to contend with some slight take up before the trigger will break on that next shot.  At first, I thought I might be letting the trigger over travel past the reset.  But dry firing revealed that the slight take up after reset was not my imagination.

I touched on the ergo’s earlier, but I want to state that this pistol as it came fit my hand perfectly.  For your reference, I wear a medium in gloves generally.  Anyone with bigger paws may find the pistol a little too small, but this may be solved by the aforementioned extensions and optional palm swell.  When I practice presenting the gun it feels very natural and I am able to easily pick up the front site.

Trigger gripes aside, I do not regret picking up this pistol.  My wife is able to practice without frustration and I have benefited from incorporating it into working on my marksmanship.  It also is just a lot of fun to shoot.   If you are in the market for a .22LR pistol, then the SR22 just might fit the bill.

Specifications

Caliber - 22 LR
Barrel Length – 3.50 inches
Overall Length – 6.40 inches
Weight – 17.50 ounces
Finish – Black Anodized Slide (model reviewed)
Capacity – 10 +1
Price – $399 MSRP

Ratings (out of five stars)

Ergonomics ****
Firing grip and pointability are excellent.  However, I had to knock one star off for the trigger gripe mentioned.  I just cannot get past the weak feeling reset.

Reliability *****
So far, I have not had one malfunction with this pistol.  As with most 22’s, there will be a malfunction at some point.  Whether that is pistol related or ammo related remains to be seen.

Carry *****
I mentioned that this was my wife’s carry piece.  So far, she has not reported anything negative.  Not taking into account that 22 LR is not the first choice of caliber for a defensive handgun, all other points have proven to be non-issues thus far.

Customization ***
As far as I can tell, there is not quite as much on the aftermarket to customize the SR22.  However, the sights could be replaced and there are always the options for the Picatinny rail.  And it does come with the swappable palm swells and base plates.

Overall Rating ****
The SR22 is a very solid option when looking for a 22 pistol.  I, personally, would not carry it for self defense.  However, if a person is recoil averse, then this may be one of the few 22 pistols that I would recommend until they could “graduate” to a higher caliber.

Monday, August 26, 2013

DGU of the Day: Homeowner Stabbed Multiple Times, Assailant Shot Dead

Pretty text book self defense case.

Robbery suspect killed by homeowner in Hamilton

Note, that only the law abiding gun owner would have been affected if anti-2A supporters had their way.  Evil people will always find a way if they are determined to commit crime.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DGU of the Day: Boyfriend Takes a Dirt Nap After Injuring Girlfriend, Two Others

Pretty clear cut case to me.

Woman shoots, kills man allegedly beating his girlfriend with a metal object

It is always sad when there is a loss of life.  This lady did the right thing though.  She initially tried to break up the beating and when she herself was being beaten with a metal object stopped the threat.  The alternative could have ended with the girlfriend's skull being cracked and dying.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back Packing in Red River, New Mexico

Pushed my nephew in this sweet off road stroller.

I have been going to the Red River, New Mexico area to hike for close to 20 years.  My grandparents took my parents, and my parents took my siblings and I.  We have hiked a lot of trails in that time!  However, I had never camped out over night.  This year, my wife and I were going to hike to Lost Lake, make camp and spend the day at the lake just relaxing.  The following morning we would summit Wheeler Peak, come back to Lost Lake, break camp and then be on our way back by late afternoon.  I wanted to use this opportunity to work on skills that I do not normally get to put into practice, such as making a fire, setting up camp, loading my pack correctly, reading the topo map and compass settings, etc.

Well, unfortunately, that did not happen.  We only had 3 full days total and there was Larry Joe Taylor's Cool Mountain Nights, Hot Chili Days events that we were going to try and attend as well.  We simply bit off more than we could chew.  We only were able to do one all morning hike up the Old Pass Trail to the signage noting the elevation at 9854 ft.  I decided to still back pack with the same load that I would have carried to Lost Lake to get a feel for it.  Prior, I had only hiked Kansas terrain with it.  Not exactly the same as the mountains!

I have to say that I am glad I did this "test run" with the pack in mountainous terrain.  The first thing I noticed was that my pace was definitely slower!  I was not used to carrying the extra equipment for an over night stay.  Not that it was incredibly heavy, but it did make a difference.  I believe my pack weighed about 30 pounds.  I also noticed that my ITB band was starting to act up like it did last time I hiked Wheeler.  I need to start stretching more and foam rolling.  My endurance and strength were good otherwise.

I was validated in my pack choice, the Kelty Redwing 50.  This pack is so comfortable for the amount of weight you can haul.  I had never had a pack with load lifters or a really good waist belt and those two features alone made a world of difference.  With the belt, my hips actually felt like they were helping support the weight.  The load lifters on the top of the shoulder straps helped get the pack off my shoulders a bit and definitely left them less fatigued.  I had read a lot of reviews that praised this pack and I can now see why.

So, I suppose the takeaway from this post for you, Dear Reader, is to give your gear a test spin before embarking on a grander adventure.  You may save yourself some headache or bodyache and you will be able to revise your selection accordingly.

Do you have any anecdotes or lessons learned from gear that did not quite live up to what you expected?  What about skills that you may not have anticipated needing to know on your trip?  Any pointers that you would like to share with other readers or myself?