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You Found What Works for You: Go Buy More Copies

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

You always hear as a new gun-toter that almost everybody ends up with a box full of holsters that didn’t work right for them.

What nobody ever tells you is that you may eventually find one that works so well that you can ditch almost everything else.

For three years now I’ve been carrying some Glock or another in a Comp-Tac MTAC holster. It’s held up just fine and conceals a baby Glock under a T-shirt, or my duty weapon under an untucked camp shirt. It’s so comfortable that I usually wear it right up until I get undressed for bed. For the first two years of ownership I wasn’t an Only One, so the holster was my constant companion.

About a year ago, I gritted my teeth and bought a second copy. I’d had beloved holsters fail on me before, and it always seems to happen right before a long trip where you really want your heater to be comfortable and well-concealed. It came in and was promptly put on the shelf for a rainy day.

Today I received duplicates of my magazine carrier and chemical weapon carrier. Over the years I’ve also ordered several sets of mounting hardware and mounting clips.

Nothing made by man lasts forever. If you know that something will eventually fail, and that you’ll replace it with an identical copy when it happens, why not go ahead and have your spare lined up now? This is the beginning of preparedness.

Packing while Packing

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Continuing my search for interesting InfoSec demonstrations and lectures, I came across this gem.

Basically, this guy is saying that if you want to keep the goons at the airport from going through/stealing your tech gear, pack a gun in the case with it.

I’ve had good success doing this when flying. Checking a gun means you get to use a REAL non-TSA lock, and they can only open it for searches while you are present.

Deviant Ollam – Packing & The Friendly Skies from Deviant Ollam on Vimeo.

Lessons Learned from a Local Shooting

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

I received an email today from Rangemaster telling the story of a recent shooting involving one of their students:

After Action Report, Student Incident #48 Lilburn, GA, suburb of
Atlanta
Friday, 27 Feb 2009
B—– was at home, working, shortly after 5:00pm. Heard his doorbell
ring,ignored it. Heard someone knock on front door, ignored it and
continued working. Heard pounding on front door, armed himself and
went to investigate.
As he approached foyer, front door was kicked in and two adult male
subjects entered the home. B—– fired 7 rds from a Glock 38 at
BG#1, all 7 rds hit, subject down and DRT. As this was happening,
BG#2 turned and fled.
Police were called, they and DA office responded. B—– found to be
justified, no action taken. Police unable to find BG#2, however, BG’s
left a car on the scene. Police believe this was 5th-6th burglary of
the day for these two. Guns, TV’s, etc from several burglaries were
found in the BG’s car.
B—- checked in 3 days later. He is fine. Credits training with
getting him through this unhurt, successful in stopping the BG’s, and
mentally OK afterward.
Saturday, February 28, 2009

First off, great job by the homeowner. Scoring 7/7 hits under stress is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

Two things I’d like to point out.

The world is not revolver-friendly.

(Credit to Unix-Jedi for the pithy motto.)

Seven shots fired with seven hits. It is reasonable to assume that, since the homeowner has been cleared of any wrongdoing, he did not shoot the bad guy once, then fire six rounds into his crumpled body. If the homeowner had been armed with a five or six-shot revolver, he presumably would have gone “click, click” for the last two shots which may or may not have been needed to stop the first guy. Assuming the first guy stopped afer five or six rounds, the homeowner would still be out of shooty goodness to bestow on the second bad guy. As it was, the Glock 38′s capacity of 8 + 1 left the homeowner with all of two rounds after part one of the fight. I’m not going to say that you’re unarmed if you carry a revolver or a single-stack pistol, but you need to be acutely aware of your limited ammunition. The email says the homeowner armed himself… I wonder if he thought to stick a magazine in his pocket?

Handguns Suck for Self-Defense.

The only reason we keep handguns around is because they are portable and concealable. Note that the Glock 38 is a .45 GAP handgun, and yet it took seven rounds to stop the bad guy. I’ve been subjected to rants from Rangemaster instructors at classes that the 9mm cartrige is the bare minimum adequate handgun round for self defense. What they should have been saying is that handguns in general are barely adequate for self-defense compared to, say, a shotgun or rifle. I have no problem with the homeowner in this case, but I’d like to call Rangemaster out on their silly distaste for any caliber not begining with 4. Had this shooting taken place with seven rounds of 9mm or even, gasp, .380, we undoubtedly would have heard a sermon about the puny Europellet. The lack of commentary about the number of rounds from a mighty .45 should give you pause when listening to caliber preaching.

Concealable Folding Submachine Gun

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Found via Snowflakes in Hell and the Firearm Blog:

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Chambered in 9mm and taking the inexpensive and plentiful 32-round Uzi magazines. Price from Full Auto Classics: $12,500. Those familiar with the sale of NFA items will understand that this is actually rather inexpensive for a transferable fully-automatic weapon.

I would really like to see newly-manufactured semi-automatic SBRs (Short-Barreled Rifles) of this sort of design. The process for acquiring an SBR in semi-auto is much less maddening, and there are myriad civilian and police applications for a short pistol-caliber carbine that you can store in a messenger bag.

Kel-Tec SU-16E

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Oleg Volk has a wallpaper posted that alerts me to the latest Kel-Tec rifle, the SU-16E. The newest iteration of the SU-16 line of rifles has replaced the fixed stock with a “tactical” 6-position stock and has added a pistol grip, as well as handguards with a rail on the bottom:

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I see what they’re trying to do. They see the massive demand and shortage of supply for AR/AK type rifles, and are hoping to market the SU-16 as a low-cost alternative that takes AR-15 magazines and ammunition. They might well be able to pull that off.

I’ve been eyeing the SU-16B as an inexpensive and very portable (it folds in half) trunk gun, but one of the disadvantages of it is the lack of a place to mount a light:

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Thing is, I don’t need or want the pistol grip or collapsable stock (the fixed stocks allow for storage of a 20-round magazine on the gun, which is handy since the magazine well is inaccessible when the firearm is folded). If they would put the handguards on a rifle with a traditional stock and no pistol grip, they’d have a winner in my book.

Nice Cans!

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

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Sorry.

I’ve never been very good about organizing my gun stuff. When I was fresh out of college and just getting into shooting, and owned only a humble Glock and Mossberg, this wasn’t a problem. All of my holsters, ammo, and accessories would fit in a shoebox in my apartment.

As the years have passed and I’ve moved into a townhome, then a house, my pile of “gun stuff” has grown to take over the floor of a double-width closet in my home. As I’ve been stockpiling ammunition, the gun stuff situation has gone from unruly to completely unmanageable.

Last Saturday I went down to the local surplus place. When I asked the kid at the counter if they had any ammo cans, he produced what he said was his only one. I opened it up and found a half-inch of used motor oil in the bottom. At least it won’t be rusted on the bottom. I paid him a discounted price of $3. He told me that there was another place about 40 minutes north where he gets most of his stuff, and they might have some.

Off I went into the rain, and eventually found the place. The kid at the shop in my town said this place was a mess, and he wasn’t kidding. The building had a space between the door and the counter about the size of a desk where one might stand and do business with the owner. To the left and right of the counter were pathways into wings of the building the size of double-wide trailers that were filled to overflowing with old army clothing, bags, and tents. I asked the owner if he had any of those old army deployment duffel bags, and he said “yeah, they’re around here somewhere, you’ll have to dig.” I dug for about ten minutes in various piles, and found only two that were missing their eyelets and torn in places. Pass. How do you make a living when all your inventory is in one big pile, and nobody can ever find anything?

All his ammo cans were out front. In a big pile. In the rain. Had he moved them 18 inches toward the building, they would have been under the overhang and bone dry. I went through the pile and bought his nicest 15 for $5 each.

I got them home, put on some tunes, and went to work drying them off and cleaning the dust from the inside. A little orange duct tape and a sharpie marker makes the cans very easy to identify.

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It’s not an efficent use of the shelving, but it’ll do until I can get to Home Depot and get lumber for sturdy permanent shelving in the room.

Damn Prags!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Freaking pragmatists, always throwing those threepers under a bus, and selling us gun owners out for… Oh, wait.

Sometimes I wonder if any of the folks who nothing but stock up on ammunition and talk about killing feds while abstaining from any involvement in current politics have any idea just how many of their freedoms are still intact thanks to “pragmatists” like the NRA. From Uncle, tongue in cheek:

Not me. I’m stocking up on dried goods, gold, and ammo! And writing fiction.

It’s funny because it’s true.

Look, the list is: Soap Box, Ballot Box, Jury Box, Cartidge Box. Yes, threepers have all those tools at their disposal, but refusing to use the first two or three just so they can get the fourth more quickly and start shooting people makes them sociopaths.

Thanks, NRA. You’re not perfect, but I’m glad you’re on my side.

Getting Back Into the Fight After a TASER Hit

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The Firearm Blog found a great video experiment from Tactical Response: Apply TASER for five seconds, then see how long it takes for the TASERee to draw and empty a magazine into a target.

All three subjects are able to immediately draw and fire.

The video is here. I would embed it, but James Yeager is a poopyhead and disabled that option.

Tom Givens (slightly less of a poopyhead) once said that dying is damn-near voluntary. I would propose that incapacitation of any kind is similar, in that if you truly desire to keep fighting and believe that you can do it, you’ll be able to get over whatever has been done to you and keep going.

Early Birds

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I need ammo cans, because my stockpiles of ammo are getting unweildy in loose 50-round boxes. I called the local army surplus place, but there was no answer. The owner passed away last year and the shop had been re-opened by his granddaughter, so I feared that perhaps she had been in over her head and closed the business. I drove out there to confirm, but found that they were merely closed on Mondays.

So I attempted to run my other errand, shipping something to family in Albania via the USPS, only to find that the post office was similarly closed, but for President’s Day.

So in an attempt to not write off the entire afternoon, I went to Walmart to get one of them Gerber EAB knives. I found it at the Sporting Goods counter for $9.95, and checked to see if the ammo shortages were still going strong:

Whitebread: So, are you folks still completely out of 9mm?

Nice Lady: No, actually, we got in some Blazer Brass this morning. I haven’t even put it out!

Whitebread: I didn’t even know you guys sold Blazer. There’s not a tag for it on the shelf!

Nice Lady: Haven’t needed to. *lifts box of Blazer boxes onto the counter* Someone usually comes along and buys them all up as fast as we can get them.

Whitebread: How many boxes do you have, and how much are they?

Nice Lady: Let’s see, we have (counting) fifteen boxes of 50, at 7.97 a box.

Whitebread: Hmm. Can I be a meanie, and buy you out?

Nice Lady: Sure. The guy who normally buys it all is gonna be pissed, though.

Whitebread: Early birds, and all.

Considering I had happily been paying $22/100 before the election, $16/100 is a steal. I bought 500 rounds at about $24/100 last week, but I couldn’t pass up more at this price. It’s not like it’s getting any cheaper or easier to find. This puts me at about 1700 rounds of 9mm range ammo, plus 600 +P hollowpoints, so I think I’m set on handgun ammo barring any more deals.

*Carry* your gun.

Monday, February 16th, 2009

As in, on your person.

Robbers steal $300,000 of dog jewelry at Parker Starbucks

Suddenly, the trio of masked men appeared, one brandishing a gun, Penington said.

The bandits took three “tubs” of jewelry and a briefcase containing the salesman’s handgun, she said. A description of the type of jewelry was not immediately available.

Mistake #1: Selling jewelry for dogs for a living. Seriously. $300,000? That better be the suggested retail value.

Mistake #2: Carrying your weapon off-body. A gun in your briefcase, backpack, or heck, even on your ankle, is an eternity away when the danger is half a stride away. Find a place somewhere on your torso to store your weapon for ready use.

Week-Late Range Report: Guns n Geese

Monday, February 16th, 2009

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Last Monday, with it being my day off, Mrs. Whitebread being on temporary layoff, and temperatures hovering around 68, we figured we’d be insane not to get a range trip in. I was itching to shoot my new AR-15, ordered at 10PM on election night. I had gotten a basic function check at the indoor range in town, but with ranges limited to 25 yards, I wasn’t going to get the extended-range experience that I wanted: shooting the rifle out to 100 yards. Besides, my wife had not yet gotten to shoot it, and with the minor recoil of the .223, I had the feeling she was going to like it.

Following instructions from pdb, I set up my folding table and chairs at 55 yards and erected a benchrest shooting platform.

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Oh, my! The sights are significantly off at 55 yards:

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The yellow spots are the sunlight shining through the holes left in the cardboard backer by the generous person before us who left their target stand up. I don’t understand why they do that… a complete target with wooden sticks and cardboard IDPA target backer runs me about $4 total. Usually someone has left theirs up before me, but if not, I always disassemble mine and take them with me.

Here I am, with sunglasses, working on an AR’s front sight. It was a very Sarah Connor moment:

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I know that you’re supposed to be able to turn the front sight post with the bullet tip you use to depres the detent, but mine was really stiff and would not turn easily. I used the pliars from my multi-tool and got the job done, but marred the front post in the process. Oh well. I didn’t buy the thing to look pretty.

It took almost a full magazine, shooting in groups of five, but I finally got my rounds in a 3″ diameter circle around the X ring. I know that this sucks for shooting a rifle that can hit man-size targets at 300 yards with irons, but I’m a newbie with lots to learn, and it still fills the purpose I had for the rifle, which is minute-of-badguy indoors or inside 100 yards outside. The rails hanging off the handguards are from Command Arms and are for holding the M3 LED light, which lives on the rifle at home, but was taken off for easier benchrest shooting.

Let pictures commence!

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Check out the gas in front of the muzzle and the brass (OK, steel) leaving the ejection port.

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Check out the brass in midair and the half-closed bolt! Easily my favorite picture from the day:

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We moved a little closer and did some shooting at 7 yards to simulate fighting with the rifle inside the house. MrsWhitebread and I swapped equipment and she gave it a try.

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It was a beautiful day, so we decided to grab Sonic and eat lunch at the park. I try not to think about how many rules we were breaking with the firearms on our persons and in the trunk.

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We bought a cheap loaf of bread and fed the ducks.

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This goose would eat the crust and leave the rest. Weird.

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Check out the blue eyes on this goose!

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It was a great day.

Looking Under Shirttails

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Recently, pocket-sized Spartan superwoman Breda decided to refuse introductions to shooting based on an individual’s preexisting ideological views. She caught some flack for it (covered by Tam), and much if it was undeserved and came from people who didn’t have rational discussion on their agenda when they visited her blog anyway.

My thoughts? With all due respect for Breda, I can’t give up on folks that easily, or paint with that broad a brush.

Frankly, I think it’s mostly a non-issue. Most folks who are anti-rights really have little or no interest in a range trip, and won’t ask. But what if they do? Do we turn them down?

I’ve taken lots of folks to the range for the first time. A couple of folks in particular had their minds changed about the nature of firearms, which made them start questioning their other assumptions about liberty and the nature of government. One of these folks went on to vote for Obama. When I questioned him about his reasons, I could not find a single issue on which he agreed with the Obama campaign platform. His reasoning came down to “Well, maybe a different sort of leadership is what we need. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I think that America needs a change in the way things are run.”

My friend was being an idiot. He was swindled, fooled, temporarily turned crazy and irrational. He told me that he’s starting to wonder if that was the right choice.

America is full of people who got caught up in the vague hand-waving promise of Hope and Change, but had no real idea what the substance of their own beliefs were, much less those of the candidates. They understandably were swayed by the feel-good “Yes We Can” message that promised rainbow-farting unicorns that pee free healthcare and magically Fix Things For Us. Now they’re seeing that he *didn’t* walk across the water on his way to inauguration, things haven’t been and don’t look like they’re going to be “fixed”, and they’re having second thoughts. Of course, most of them won’t admit it, because human beings hate admitting that they were stupid.

These people are not beyond saving. As a matter of fact, we need them. News flash, kids: We lost on individual rights in the last election, big time. Even the candidate we were hoping would take the white house was himself no great friend of individual liberty and smaller government. What should that tell you? That you should give up on changing minds because it’s obviously a waste of time? That we should only preach to the choir, and board of the doors of the church, refusing to let anyone else in? May it never be! There is no possible outcome to that course of action but the tyranny which we profess to oppose.

If someone who happens to be an acquiantance of yours asks you about firearms and asks you to go shooting with them, and you deny them your help because they at one time bought the lie of Socialism, then what have you done? You’ve driven them straight into the arms of the left wing, who will take their vote and happily continue feeding them rubbish. Congratulations on your idealism and chutzpah, but in your zeal to punish those who have been stupid in the past, you’ve ensured that they will remain stupid for all time.

You can’t be assured that every liberal you take to the range will become a friend of liberty. But if they’ve ASKED you to show and explain to them what shooting is all about, then you’ve seen a glimmer of inquisitiveness that you can pry open into full-blown open-mindedness. If you tell them to pound sand because they voted against liberty in the past, then the lie that the left tells about us will be made into the truth, at least in your case.

Can I use a religious metaphor? Am I allowed to do that?

A guy named Spurgeon once told a story in a sermon:

“You are only to preach to God’s dear people, if you go into that pulpit,” said a deacon once to a minister. Said the minister, “Have you marked them all on the back, that I may know them?” What is the good of this large chapel if I am only to preach to God’s dear people? They are few enough.

Now, the larger point of the sermon was that the desire to reach out to non-believers shouldn’t eliminate the practice of teaching those who are already on board. However, the point remains: If you think that we should only reach out to people who will be accepting of an individual-rights mindset, then how precisely are we to tell who can be converted and who cannot? I’d think we’re ahead of the curve in the situation in question, because the person has already expressed an interest in one facet of individualism.

Unless you think that the $30, $50, or $75 for a range trip is too high a price to pay for an attempt to bring someone into the joy of self-reliant thought. If you do, then that’s fine, but you’ve created more work for the rest of us, who are not content to go shoot our toys at the range and gripe about politicians on the internet.

Who have YOU told about liberty today?

Ammo Shortages, Preparedness, and Long-gun Discretion

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Today was my day off, so I did a little cleaning of the utility/preps room, and found that I was down to under 500 rounds of 9mm range ammo. A trip to Walmart was in order!

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But they didn’t have any. Not just that they didn’t have any 9mm range ammunition, they didn’t have any 9mm *period*. The four 50-round boxes of .40 represented their entire stock of that caliber. I was told that since election day, any 9mm, .40, .45, .223, 7.62×39, buckshot, and slugs were in short supply. He said they’d get a shipment, then folks would show up the next morning and buy out their stock.

Worried that this indeed represented a serious nationwide shortage (I’d not shopped for ammo since before the election), I headed to a local place and found what I needed. 500 rounds of 9mm at $11.99 per box of 50, plus 200 rounds of Federal XM193 .223 for $9.49/20. Expensive, but I feel better about my ammo situation. I may plan to start buying a box of XM193 and a box of 9mm range ammo every week, sort of as a subscription to build up my stocks. I still have 600+ rounds left of nice defensive 9mm +P that I got for a song a year ago.

I also went to Sams and picked up tarps, duct tape, work gloves, cat litter, propane canisters (for emergency heaters), about two years’ worth of powdered laundry detergent, and lots more durable goods and staples to help minimize the effect of the inflation that I expect shortly. The nice thing about being practical in your preparedness is that you end up using the stuff you buy “just in case” whether an emergency strikes or not, so you’re just buying what you’re going to use, but you’re getting it cheaper because you bought it in bulk. What’s not to love?

My journalist wife commented that she heard on the police scanner about the police searching for a man seen with an assault-style rifle hidden under his coat near a local school. Turns out he was meeting someone in the lot to sell the rifle and was trying, but failing, to discretely transport it. Protip: A soft nylon gig bag for a guitar, like this one, is great for discretely transporting a long gun. I have one for my AR-15, and it works so well that I don’t even have a traditional case for the rifle yet.

Does anyone honestly think that it would take more than 48 hours following a school shooting with an “assault rifle” for the executive orders and legislation to start flying? Imagine that what you have and/or can buy in the next short time is all you get for four, eight, or twenty years. Prepare accordingly, and if the worst doesn’t come around, it’s not like the stuff goes bad. Nobody has ever wished they had less ammunition stored up, unless their house is on fire, I guess.