Thursday, May 29, 2014

Notta lotta

Just a heads up that next week I won't be posting.

This week was pretty uneventful.  I almost wrote a post about the nut job in Santa Barbara, but sometimes I just can't muster up the effort to beat the dead horse.  The guy was so blatantly nuts that if anyone seriously thinks the problem is "Guns!", then they need to get their own sanity checked.

I have pretty much decided to go with a full size M&P 9 mm as my home defense piece.  Now that there is a little one to account for in another room I will want to have a free hand in the event of the unthinkable.  I'm going to go whole hog and have a Trijicon RMR RM06 installed along with a threaded barrel in anticipation of can in the future.

Memorial Day was pretty uneventful which is how I like it.  My thoughts turned to my grandfather who served in the Army Air Corps in WWII as well as all vets who had passed on.  Some people see it as just another three day weekend, but I try to remember the reason for it.

Well, that's it this week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Range Report 5-16-2014

I hadn't made it out to the pistol range since the new one was born until this past Friday.  I was scared to see how much I had regressed.  Fortunately, I had not slid too far.

3 yard line.  X ring and head slow fire for fundamentals.  Remaining 3 groups "first shot" drill.
Well, not too shabby on the x ring and just a little worse on the head group.  Feeling good about the tight groups I decided to work on that first shot acquisition.  I tried to go as fast as possible while getting a "flash" sight picture.  Obviously, the groups opened up a little bit, but I wasn't going for supreme accuracy either.

7 yard line.  "First shot" drill with body and head group.
Pushed a new target out to the 7 yard line.  Performed the "First shot" drill with combat effective hits.  I'd like my groups to be a bit more tight at 7 yards.  I caught myself looking at the target  instead of the front sight a few times instead of just keeping my focus on the front sight even during the follow through.  Through out the remainder of the practice session I kept mentally repeating to myself, "Front site, front site, front site."

15 yard line.  "First shot" drill.  First group on the X.  Second group on the top "7".
First shot drill again, but at a greater distance of 15 yards.  The body group included every shot from the 9 ring towards the center.  The lone shot outside of this was the one clearly in the 8 ring to the top left.  The rest of the shots were focused on the top "7".  Clearly, I left two off the silhouette.  Unacceptable.  Pat Rogers recently had wrote an article for SWAT magazine in the past year addressing the need to practice at longer than 10 yard distances.  I agree with him and this is proof that I need to do more of it.  I highly recommend SWAT magazine as well as anything written by Pat Rogers.  He is a no non-sense type of guy and I like the little bit of humor he does inject into his writing.

25 yard line.  Slow fire for accuracy.
Well, I definitely have it in me to keep it center mass at 25 yards if I am not rushing.  I was actually pretty pleased with myself with only one shot being outside the 9 ring.  However, slow fire for accuracy is a far cry from a "First shot" type drill.

3 yard line.  Slow fire for accuracy with Kahr PM9.
I had dragged along my Kahr PM9 for this trip to start practicing with it again.  I was down to my last 20 rounds so it was time to switch over.  I decided to just slow fire this one for now since I had not fired it in a while.  Not too bad.  I will need to practice more with it if I choose to carry it when my clothing options for certain get togethers and events are limited.

My take away's from this practice session are two fold.  First, I need to just focus on the front site throughout the entire firing process.  Second, I need to practice at greater distances.  I know I can put rounds on target at 7 yards, but the wheels start to come off at 15 yards.  I would not feel comfortable engaging at that distance and that limits me as a person who wants to be proficient to at least 25 yards (and beyond if I get really good!).

As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to leave tips or drills that you find helpful.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Go Ruck, SBR's and Krav Maga

The past few weeks I have had a lot of irons in the fire when it comes to self defense and overall fitness plans.  The first thing that has been on my to do list is to get the paperwork started for a short barrel rifle (SBR) build for a hog hunter.  The build will incorporate a 300 Blackout upper with a AAC 762-SDN-6 silencer.  Silenced 300 BLK subsonic rounds are pretty dang quiet.  From my research supersonic rounds are effective on game out to 250 yards for certain and are still fairly quiet with the silencer which is a big plus for hunters who don't want to have to worry about hearing protection.

I also signed up for a GoRuck event in September.  My wife and I are going to be doing the Light version of it since the next rung up is an overnighter.  I'm pretty sure we would not be able to swing that with the little girl.  If I survive the Light event, then I'll start considering doing the Challenge overnight event later on.

And I plan on starting taking some Krav Maga classes.  The wife took them last year prior to the pregnancy.  She really enjoyed them and thinks it will be right up my alley.  I think she is probably right.

Well, that's it for this week.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Burris MTAC 1.5 x 6 and P.E.P.R. Mount Range Visit, First Impressions

The meteorologists predicted that the gloomy weather of the past few days was going to clear out Friday (May 2nd, 2014).  Friday morning dawned and the weather panned out.  I took advantage of the opportunity to go out to the rifle range to get the Burris MTAC 1.5 x 6x in a P.E.P.R. Quick Detach 30 mm mount sighted in.  I grabbed my rifle, targets and ammo and was out the door.

I arrived and immediately setup on the 25 yard line.  The night before, in anticipation of the good weather, I leveled out the mounted scope using Weaver's Modular Level System. That allowed me to get right down to shooting as soon as I got my target setup.  I am a huge fan of Shoot-N-C targets by Birchwood Casey.  It saves time and frustration when trying to see where your shots are landing.

Elevation Turret

I unscrewed the turret caps in anticipation of making my corrections.  Both turrets had clear markings indicating that each click was 1/2 MOA and which direction to turn the knobs to move your shot.  I appreciated this since I would have thought it was a 1/4 MOA per click due to conflicting information on Burris' website as of this blog post (note the highlighted row on table listed on the linked webpage).  My experience does seem to indicate that the clicks are indeed 1/2 MOA.  I may email Burris to ensure that the clicks are indeed 1/2 MOA just so that I am clear (and my readers are too!).

25 yards: First two shots 1/4 inch left of the red dot... and then craziness.

My first shots were low and to the left.  I made my adjustments and was just a 1/4 inch to the left of the bull with my next two shots.  I loaded up three more rounds and had at it again.  This time the majority of my shots stringed to the left.  I was perplexed.  I knew I was holding steady and breaking my shots fairly clean.  I checked the scope and mount.  The Burris P.E.P.R. mount had come loose from the receiver.  This was an oversight on my part.  The mount clamp tension can be loosened and tightened.  I had overlooked this when setting up.  I was able to tighten the tension to the point that the mount was now rock solid while still being able to lock down the quick detach levers without damaging the rail.

I got back on the gun and stacked three shots on the orange center dot. I checked that the mount was solid.  It was, and it stayed that way for the rest of the day.  I promptly moved over to the 100 yard line.

100 yards: Two shots on the right = Room for improvement

Ammo used for zeroing

I got set back up and fired off three rounds.  The group was about seven inches high and centered.  I dialed in the correction and was rewarded with a much more centered shot at my point of aim.  After a few slight corrections I settled in for my final grouping to confirm I was zeroed.

The center dot on the reticle (also the 100 yard aiming point) is 2.4 MOA at 100 yds at maximum magnification.  In other words, at max magnification (6x) the center dot on the reticle covers 2.4 inches of the target when said target is at 100 yards.  I was able to achieve a six shot group roughly 4" with two of those shots not being broken smoothly (flinched slightly).  The four "good" shots of the total six were in a group roughly 2.25 inches with Federal XM193F 5.56 mm M193 55 gr FMJ.  I really was pleased that I was able to keep two-thirds of the shots within the 2.4 inches of the center dot / aiming point.  If I had been doing my part, then I bet all six would have been within at least 3 inches.  Being satisfied with that group I decided to call it a day.

My initial reaction: I really do like the Burris MTAC.  The glass is very clear and the reticle is simple and easy to use.  For now, I do not really have a nitpick.  I will have a better idea of how well the drops work once I can get out to further ranges with the setup.  As a side note, the Ballistic CQ reticle can be illuminated.  For this outing I did not turn this on.  It was simply a beautiful day out and was not needed.  In case anyone wonders, on the highest illumination setting on a bright sunny day there is some washing out of the illumination.  This just results in the reticle looking like it is not illuminated or just partially illuminated.  I have found that it does not bother me since the reticle can still be used.

I'll be more sold on the Burris P.E.P.R. mount once I have more time with it and proves itself solid.  I really think the mount will stay locked tight, but that first looseness did put doubts in my mind (even though I should have known to tighten it prior).  I guess I'm just spoiled by my LaRue mounts.  I took a chance on the Burris and I hope not to be disappointed in the long run.  Time will tell.

My next goal is to get on a range with greater than 100 yard lanes so I can confirm that the bullet drops on the reticle are fairly accurate.  Obviously, if you take a look at the reticle, then you will realize the reticle is not meant for precision.  If I am hitting center mass on man, deer, coyote, etc sized targets at extended ranges, then I'll consider it good to go.  I'd also like to get an idea of what measurements of game and pest animals looks like at the extended ranges through the lens so that I can begin to range using the reticle.  For example, back to brisket on a deer is average 18-19 inches.  The subtensions listed plus knowledge of common dimensions of the target can help a person figure out the distance to said target based on some simple math.

All told, it was a good day to be on the range and get the optic squared away.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Camping Here I Come

This weekend in the KC Metro is going to be gorgeous according to predictions.  Perfect timing for camping in a buddy's back yard with his son.  They are going through their dry run for Cub Scout camping this summer and I was invited to join.  Granted, we will be a stone's throw from a house in suburbia, but it still is fun to camp out.  And it is especially fun to introduce a new one on how to setup a tent, start a fire, etc.
I think I will use this as a chance to practice my fire making skills.  I plan on just using tinder and my magnesium starter.  I've used it once before, but I'd like to do it again.  Eventually, I would like to be confident in a variety of ways to start a blaze.

I am planning on getting that MTAC sighted in tomorrow (Friday).  Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of ranges past 100 in the area in order to test the drops on the reticle itself.  I'll also need to work on ranging with the Ballistic CQ reticle.   I may have to resort to setting up a target on my Dad's land and eventually just range at unknown distances and then laser it to see how close I was in my estimate.

Well, that's all I've really got this week.  Posts should be more interesting once I get a bit more motivated and activity starts to pick up again.  Till then.