Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snub As A BUG In A Rug

I don't like revolvers. They don't balance right in my hands, they don't point naturally for me, and when I shot them I didn't enjoy the experience. The only ones I've had the opportunity to try had rudimentary sights at best and truly horrendous triggers compared to a good single-action semiauto.

So why did I just plop a hundred bucks down on one of these?

As a firm believer in "two is one, one is none," I've been thinking about a BUG for a long time. A nice, small no-excuses gun that can be concealed when a Commander 1911 is just too big. I'd considered a Springfield EMP on the theory that it's a good idea to stay with guns that have a similar manual of arms. I had a chance to fondle one but not shoot it, and I'm reluctant to spend over a thousand dollars without test-driving one first. I've heard nothing but good things about the EMP, but it just seems like going that small with a quasi-1911-pattern semiauto is maybe pushing the limits of the technology a bit too close.

Then there's the idea of a pocket gun, one that can be fired from within the pocket if absolutely necessary, or can make a contact shot in extremis without fear of being forced out of battery. A last-ditch "oh sh!t" gun.

My thoughts kept going back to the small size and light weight of the alloy J-frame. I like to try rental guns in the model I'm considering, if available. Rentals are dirty and heavily used, and if they work favorably in that condition a new one meticulously maintained will surely be even better.

Sure enough, my favorite range had a Smith & Wesson 442 for rent. With no small amount of trepidation I took the little gun and a box of standard pressure .38 Special out to my assigned lane, along with a couple of IPSC targets.

I dry-fired it several times to get a feel for the trigger. Okay, I dry-fired it several times to convince myself that I could operate the trigger without having to apply a mechanical advantage. The first shot was unpleasant but manageable. I proceeded to plod my way through the whole 50-round box. By the time I was done, my hands were very unhappy with me. An injury about ten or so years ago left me with reduced strength and range of motion in my dominant hand index finger, and it was never more obvious.

Nonetheless, for a first attempt at a snubby, my shots were all well inside the IPSC "A" zone. I wouldn't go so far as to call them groups. I think working to develop expertise with this gun will make me a better shooter overall, though. Shooting the rental gun, I'd get my sight picture and alignment but would pull the shot off my orange sticky dot when operating the heavy trigger. If I can learn to shoot this thing well, I'll be able to shoot anything.

Now I leave it to you wheelgun aficionados out there to recommend aftermarket grips, holsters, and helpful hints.

Hey, every geek needs a pocket protector, right?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Remind Me Again Why I Have Dogs II

When I went to do dog chores yesterday morning, I smelled blood. Never a good sign.

Since Greyhounds are fast and active with tissue-paper skin, surface injuries are common enough. Whether from running into a branch, snagging themselves on the fence, or each others' teeth when they get carried away while playing, the results are the same. So I check them over and find nothing.

Maybe somebody ate something nasty and had a bloody blowout in a corner somewhere. So I check the floor thoroughly, with a flashlight in the dim corners, and find nothing.

Okay, so who caught something outside and killed it? But there are no signs of a struggle, no blood, no hair, no leftover body parts, indoors or out, and no fleas on any of them. Wild game that can fit through the fence and get into the turnout always comes with fleas.

By this time, I really need to get to work, so I figure I'll run the same drill when I get home, only more so.

But last night, despite crawling around indoors and out with my LED headlamp and reinspecting every square millimeter of every dog, I find absolutely NOTHING. Of course, by then the blood smell was gone.

Yes, I know what blood smells like. Between working in a morgue and a slaughterhouse at various times in my nefarious past, I so know what blood smells like.

Another one of life's little mysteries? I'm getting pretty tired of 'em.

Good News!

In February, I paid for a close-quarters gunfighting class that I ended up missing because I had to work. Now it looks like I'll be allowed to apply the fee I previously paid to their next class in the middle of April.

That's less than a month from now! Better get started scrounging for enough ammo . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Via Daniel White, the Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner, we learn of a violent attack on a couple in Loudoun, VA, that left the husband dead and the wife in critical condition. They suffered severe blunt force trauma, and as many as three assailants may have been involved. Police feel the crime was a random act.

What makes it even worse was the slain man had a permit to carry a concealed weapon but was not armed at the time of the attack.

UPDATE: Via a post on The Firing Line forum from someone who lives two blocks from the crime scene, we now know the man was also a former Green Beret. Tragic.

They were found less than a mile from their home, wearing jogging clothes, apparently out for a morning stroll along a pleasant parkway in a "peaceful, upper-middle class neighborhood." A perfectly safe place, right? No need to carry that heavy, uncomfortable concealed weapon.

Nobody can know in advance when or where a criminal will single them out. If we could know in advance, we'd all just stay home that day, or go somewhere else. The best fight is the one you avoid.

But we can't know when we'll draw the short straw.

So it makes sense to carry our defensive tools all the time. The only time I don't have my gun on me or within arm's reach is when I'm at work, thanks to laws and employment policies prohibiting effective self-defense in government-owned facilities. I do not patronize businesses that deny my most fundamental human right.

Does carrying a gun all the time mean I'm paranoid? No, it means I'm prepared. I pay my insurance premiums, wear my seat belt, and carry my gun. No difference.

And it's probably a good place here to remind folks why I don't carry a gun.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If Only They Had A Gun

Courtesy of Learn About Guns, we have a new addition to the blogroll: If Only They Had A Gun.

This blog focuses on incidents in Illinois, one of only two states where concealed carry by peasants citizens is completely forbidden, and where gun and ammunition ownership is severely restricted and controlled. While open carry in unincorporated rural areas of Illinois is theoretically possible, state law prohibits open carry in a vehicle. So there are plenty of examples of how making people defenseless doesn't make them safe.

Contrary to the pipe dreams of the gun-ban crowd who seem to think eliminating guns will eliminate violence.

Brand Recognition

I wonder how much Kimber paid for their product placement on last night's CSI: Miami?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Creative Improvisation

I carry at home, including in the house. Since my usual at-home wear is sweats or t-shirts with loose-fitting athletic shorts (aka "chore grubs") I always used to wear my SmartCarry. But wearing loose-fitting clothing made me uncomfortable with the SmartCarry's ability to retain my gun during strenuous activity, or if I fell asleep watching TV.

Then I happened across an inexpensive ambidextrous nylon pancake holster.

It had an adjustable thumb break, and the wheels started turning. I bought the holster and took out the stitching holding the gun in position and setting its cant. I put my Commander-size 1911 in the holster backwards and adjusted the thumb break tension. With the gun in Condition 1-and-Only, the angle of the backwards retention strap not only blocks the hammer but puts upward pressure against the bottom of the thumb safety, ensuring it cannot disengage.

So far so good, but now how to wear it? Sweatpants and athletic shorts don't have belt loops, and I prefer IWB anyway. I dug out a Wilderness Instructor Belt I've had for years but usually wear only for gun school and put the holster on it from the back.

Et voila! Worn appendix-carry under clothing at the natural waist, the gun cants neutral-to-slightly-muzzle-forward. The pressure of the belt holding the holster against my body makes the stiff, reinforced nylon material mold itself to the gun, keeping the gun from moving around inside the holster. I torture-tested it for several days with an unloaded gun and the retention never failed, nor did the safety disengage. Drawing speed is comparable to the SmartCarry, or any other deep concealment method. I can slide the rig around in case it digs in while bending or reaching.

It probably looks like it would be uncomfortable, but it isn't at all. I've worn it shoveling snow, working on the car, pooper-scooping, doing dishes, carrying a struggling 70-pound Greyhound down the steps who didn't wanna go to the vet, and lying on the couch, all without any problems. We'll have to wait and see how it fares in hot weather.

Yes, it does print, but the only time I'm ever "outside the wire" in chore grubs is to go to the mailbox or put out the garbage. It doesn't have room for a spare mag, but if I need more than nine rounds of Hornady TAP at home, I'm reaching for my shotgun, not a handgun reload.

All in all, not bad for less than $20.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Which Action Hero Are You?

Which action hero would you be?

You Scored as Lara Croft

A thrill-seeking, slightly unscrupulous, tough-as-nails archaeologist, Lara Croft travels the world in search of ancient relics perhaps better left hidden. She packs two Colt .45's and has no fear of jumping off buildings, exploring creepy tombs, or taking on evil megalomaniacs bent on world domination.

Now stop laughing! They got the gender and caliber right.

Good Thing They Can't Have Guns In Japan

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership Violence, gun ownership causes suicide.

So how come Japan's suicide rate, already one of the highest in the world, is up 15% over last year at this time?

The suicide rate was 17.7 per 100,000 population in the US in 2005, the most recent year the World Health Organization has stats for both countries. In Japan, the suicide rate was 24.2 per 100,000 population.

Gee, do you suppose people who really want to kill themselves will just find another way to get the job done if they don't have guns??

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Buy A Gun Day 2009

It's time to start planning for this year's Buy A Gun Day on April 15.

Although I have no idea how I can top ordering a custom 1911 from Wilson Combat like I did last year.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's A HORSE, Stupid!

A big, strong, hair-trigger prey animal. Not a statue, not a stuffed toy, not an animated Disney character.

A two-year-old girl was kicked in the face by a horse at the Nebraska Horse Expo in Lincoln on Saturday.

Lincoln police are trying to find the horse's owner.

Okay, that might be useful information for completing the accident report, but just how else could it possibly be relevant?

Oh wait, the parents want to sue the horse owner.

In the comments following the article, someone posting as "Showmom" reports:
"The fact IS that there were workers at the doors trying to get people to go through another door that would allow them to get to the other barn withOUT going through the area where the exhibition horses were gathering. People were not being forced to go through that area... in fact there were some spectators who actually got physical with the door-people for telling them they COULDN'T go that way."
Based on over 45 years' experience with horses, primarily Thoroughbreds as racehorses, hunters, jumpers, and eventers, I have to place the responsibility for this accident squarely on the child's caretakers. I don't allow children around my horses, period. My horses aren't schoolies, they're not bombproof, they're not pushbutton, they're not deadheads. I don't care if the children are flippin' Maclay winners, I don't need the potential liability. People who are generous enough to volunteer their horses for a Horse Expo don't need it either. I've been to a few previous Nebraska Horse Expo events, and the staff members have always been very conscious of safety for the spectators, who are expected to be ignorant of proper behavior around horses.

I have an EvilPony™ who, unfortunately for me, is small and cute. That does NOT mean he's safe for children. I have repeatedly had to explain to idiots that, NO, I will NOT let them borrow/lease/buy Milton for their one-/two-/six-year-old or whatever offspring. The barn owner where he is boarded has a policy backed up by signed contracts that NOBODY is to mess with another boarder's horses, and neither the barn nor the horse owner is liable if somebody does and gets hurt. He also has policies regarding small children, and parents have to sign a contract stipulating exactly who is responsible if they are stupid enough to bring little kids around big horses and one gets hurt.

The parents are.

But accepting responsibility for one's behavior is not often seen these days. It's not the parents' fault the child got kicked. It's the horse's fault, the horse owner's fault, the event organizer's fault.

Everyone's fault except the people who brought the kid to the event, took her in close proximity to horses, didn't pick her up to get her away from steel-shod hooves, and didn't put themselves between big, nervous animals and their precious daughter.

Kind of like people who blame the guns and the law-abiding gun owners instead of the criminals for violent crime.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner

Ed Stone is our newest member of the Examiner family, the Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner.

Ed is President of GeorgiaCarry, the most active voice for restoring the right to bear arms in Georgia. He is a practicing construction law attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, a former police officer and a military veteran.

Welcome to the blogroll, Ed.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Day Job's been too crazy to get anything posted.

Near as I can tell, my working hours are "all of them." The joys of being on salary and without spouse or kids. They just assume you have no life, and can cover all the crap duty.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wisconsin Gun Rights Examiner

From Wisconsin, one of the only two states left that completely forbid concealed carry, we have Gene German as our newest Gun Rights Examiner.

Gene is an AACFI Senior Firearms Instructor, the AACFI Wisconsin State Director and the founder of Wisconsin Patriots. He is actively working to restore your right to keep and bear arms in Wisconsin today.

Welcome to the blogroll, Gene.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If Only

From Scrappleface:

"Omaha Mall Shooter Stopped by Armed Shoppers"
"As Mr. Hawkins moved into the ideal sniper position on the upper deck, an unnamed middle-aged man emerging from the nearby Von Maur department store noticed his odd behavior and glimpsed the muzzle of the rifle peeking out from the sweater. Almost instinctively the man moved toward Mr. Hawkins, reaching to his belt to draw out a Springfield EMP, a small, 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

As the would-be famous mass killer raised the rifle to his shoulder, the unnamed shopper commanded him to stop. Mr. Hawkins turned the muzzle of the AK-47 toward the commanding voice, a single shot rang out and Mr. Hawkins staggered, dropped his weapon and fell against the railing."
Scrappleface is a news satire site. Too bad.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where Mexican Drug Cartels REALLY Get Guns

Via John Lott, we have an article in Gun News Daily that spells out exactly where the guns and other weapons come from that are used by violent drug cartels.

Here's a hint, it isn't American gun stores or American gun shows. As the article states:
"Mexico has a gun problem, just like they have a drug problem and both the U.S. and Mexican governments are trying to place the blame on U.S. gun owners. U.S. gun owners aren't the problem. Mexico is the problem. The government is corrupt from the lowest level law enforcement officer shaking down American tourists for traffic violations, to officials and politicians highly placed within the Mexican government, including elements within the military. Everyone knows it. Everyone in Mexico knows it. Every law enforcement official in the U.S. knows it, and everyone in our government knows it. And anyone who has worked for any length of time within border cities and lived in the local community knows it. This is taking a Mexican problem, blaming the U.S. by turning it into a crisis in order further an agenda, and Eric Holder and President Obama knows it and they are taking advantage of it."
Of course they are. As Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff, said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

There are some guns being smuggled into Mexico from the U.S., but they're typically bought by wealthier Mexican citizens for personal and home defense. With the mess they have down there, I can understand why.