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.


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?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DGU of the Day: Homeowner Saves His Own Life From Ax Wielding Assailant

You never know when someone unexpected might decide to pay you a visit.

Homeowner fatally shoots alleged ax-wielding man in Montgomery County

Not sure what I would do if I saw someone drive up into my yard.  I would probably walk outside as well to see if the person lost control or needed help.  Of course, the homeowner is lucky he was able to get to his gun.  The "armed himself" bit of the story about the homeowner makes me think he had to go retrieve it.  If that is the case, then it just illustrates once again to always carry your gun on you.  Just make it a habit like you do with your wallet and keys.

Monday, August 19, 2013

DGU of the Day: Business Owner Has Enough, Uses Gun To Defend Against a Third Robbery

You can only push a person so far...

Business owner scares away suspects after third attempted robbery

Wow, who would have thought that meeting force with equal force would work?  I mean, really, no resistance killing fields gun free zones always seem to work.  Except when they don't.

P.S. I am back from vacation obviously.  Unfortunately, it was not as restful as I would have hoped.  I am hoping to crank out a few more good posts in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sorry, No Posts This Week

Hey all, sorry, but I will be on vacation and will not be posting anything this week.  I will resume next Monday.  Hope you all have a good week!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

DGU of the Day: Thugs Get Bullets Instead of Benjamins

Looks like the wife was targeted by these two crooks.

Husband shoots 2 bank robbery suspects who kidnapped him, his wife

Fortunately, the husband was able to take them out with a gun he kept in the car after they forced them to drive to the bank.  Lesson to learn:  Don't live in fear, but be prudent and home carry.  This whole soiree may have been cut short if someone in the house had been doing so.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DGU of the Day: Robber Gets More Than His Ears Lowered at Barber Shop

This would-be victim is one tough old dude.

Barber Shop Owner Shoots Robbery Suspect

This owner understands the idea that he is the one that has to deal with the immediate threat.  And he has the right mindset to be effective.  Your mindset plays just as an important role in your self defense as the tools you choose.  You could have a SAW to defend yourself with, but you must have the mindset that will allow you to use in the right situations.

Food Storage: One Method to Calculate How Many Days Worth You Have

Let's face it, when it comes to preparedness, food tends to get treated like the fat kid trying to get picked for dodge ball.  People tend to first pick guns, bug out bags, and gear before giving thought to the more mundane basics.  It is no secret though that you won't make it far without food (or a fat kid) to eat.  I had been paying attention to all my preps equally when I started taking preparedness more seriously.  Most of my basics are now at minimum acceptable levels.  I decided it was time to reassess and evaluate just how much food I had on hand.

I went about this from a purely caloric angle.  Obviously, you want to have a variety of the foods you eat.  You would not want to stock up on cans of butter and canned bacon and call it good if it met your calorie total.  Okay, maybe the bacon.  But my point is that my guiding light to determining how much food I had on hand to see me through a certain amount of days was the total calories I had sitting on my shelf.

So, I had to figure out first how much I was stuffing my face with on a typical day.  There are a lot of formulas for figuring out how much you should be taking in.  You can get a rough estimate, but for a true daily number, you really need to track your calorie intake, exercise and weight over a period of time to see the correlation between them.  Fortunately, I have been tracking my food intake using My Fitness Pal for the past couple years.  Most calculators put my caloric intake to maintain my weight at 2400 calories (if I do not exercise for that day).  I have found by tracking that the number is really 2300 calories. Keep in mind that I said "net" calories.  If you exercise, then you must up your caloric intake.  But for the sake of the example, let us assume I am sedentary.  Therefore, that is the example I will use to go through the calculations.

Now, here's the part that I found to be a bit tedious.  I looked at each item on my pantry shelf and looked at the calories per serving.  I then took and multiplied that by how many servings were in that item. the result is that I now had a caloric total for that item.  For example:

  • Can of Black Beans: 120 calories per serving X 3.5 servings in one can = 420 calories per can

I recorded this into an Excel spreadsheet, noting the item and the calories per that item.  I also noted how many of that particular item I had on hand.  So, again, for example:

  • Can of Black Beans = 420 calories per can X 6 cans = 2520 calories

This gave me the total calories for the total quantity of that particular food item I had on hand.  I then moved onto the next item and repeated the process.  The advantage to having this all recorded into an Excel spreadsheet is that some of the math can be automated using the Excel functions.  For instance, I had Excel add all total calorie per particular items.  This gave me the grand total number of calories I had on the shelf without having to use a calculator and punching in all of those numbers.

All that is left to do now is take that grand total of calories and divide it by your daily net calories:

  • 500000 total calories / 2300 daily net calories = 217.4 days worth of calories

There you have it.  My recommendation is to try and have a variety of food on your shelf so that you have the macronutrients covered (protein, fats and carbs).  Stock up on one-a-day multivitamins in order to cover your vitamin and mineral needs.  But at the end of the day, calories are king and will really be the number one indicator of how much food you have on hand.

Have you determined how many days worth of food you have in your home?  How did you estimate this?  Any ideas that I may not have covered that you would like to share?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Range Report: Combat/Defensive Pistol Drills 8-2-2013

I decided it was time to start running some drills that would focus on combat/defensive skills in addition to pure marksmanship.   On Friday I laid out an actual plan to work on certain drills.

As usual, I started off with focusing on the fundamentals.  My groupings were decent.  I barely threw one off of the silhouette on the second string of ten rounds.

I then worked on my first shot from the low ready.  The idea is to get my first round on target as fast as possible while still maintaining combat accuracy.  My center mass shots were fine.  However, I threw three shots off the silhouette when aiming for the head.  This indicates that I need to slow down when trying to put my shots in an area that size.  Dialing it back and not rushing the shot should resolve that issue.  It is always a balancing act between speed and accuracy.

Now it was time for controlled pairs and incorporating a speed reload.  To setup the drill, I loaded the pistol with two rounds and the reload with four rounds.  Then, from the low ready, I fired a controlled pair.  The pistol's slide locked back.  I executed a speed reload and then fired another controlled pair.  That was the end of the drill.  To set up again, I made sure I had a reload that had four rounds.  I was ready to then do the drill again.  I kept all 20 rounds center mass.  As a side note, I was always taught that controlled pairs are not the same as a double tap or hammer.  Double taps and hammers are much faster where as controlled pairs are simply two shots regardless of the speed with which they are executed.

I then slowed it down by firing ten slow shots at the head to reinforce the marksmanship fundamentals.

Next up, I practiced taking head shots at 15 yards not rushing and focusing on the fundamentals.  I blew it a couple times.  My grip tension was probably off which caused the two shots to the left of the head.  I will have to focus on that in future practice sessions.  I wrapped up the session by shooting ten shots with just my right hand and shooting ten shots with just my left hand.  The recoil is definitely more evident without a support hand and takes some getting used to.  However, I kept all my shots on the silhouette (barely!).

Do you go to the range with a certain goal in mind?  If so, what kinds of aspects of your training do you tend to focus on the most?  What about those aspects of your training that you tend to neglect?  Comment below and tell me what you normally do to stay effective with your combat/defensive pistol skills

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

DGU of the Day: Nothing Good Happens at The Waffle House... Except This

Hmmm, imagine that.  A good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.  If you think that's a trite saying promoted by the NRA, then please explain in the comments below what would have given the guy an even greater chance at success.


This good guy was a trained security guard.  Unfortunately, this would not have been possible in some states that make it next to impossible to get a CCW permit.  For those of you who live in a free state and have a CCW I have two suggestions:

  • Always carry
  • Get some training
You never know when Murphy will come a callin' and you had best be ready.