Friday, March 24, 2017

A quarter done...

Wednesday morning saw me at Indy Arms Company with the Wilson and four boxes of the Winchester 124gr NATO ammunition. I wanted to work on speed on smaller/farther targets. I think, judging from what was happening in longer strings of fire, I have some serious grip issues to work on.

After a hundred rounds at the lower 8" circle at the fifteen yard line and fifty at the 3x5 from seven, I brought it back in to three yards and just worked on trying get good trigger presses on the 2" circles. That dropped shot is annoying.

There were no malfunctions of any kind to report.

This makes 500 rounds fired since the pistol was last cleaned or lubed, with one FTE not charged to the gun at round #29. 1,500 rounds to go.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


So, I'm rolling through Arkansas between Little Rock and Memphis on I-40 eastbound. The cruise control on the Zed Drei is set at 80, a speed that has me passing probably nine vehicles in ten, leaving that tenth vehicle to get pulled over for driving too fast.

I'm passing a couple clumps of vehicles in the right lane and I see another ahead that's far enough that I could probably duck into the right lane for a little bit, but a check of the rear-view mirror shows nobody closing on me. So I stay in the left lane as I slowly overtake the pair; a little Korean hatchback bobbing in the wake of an eighteen wheeler.

As I slowly close the gap, the hatchback decides he's seen enough of this particular truck's ass, and signals left. I'm far enough back, and my rate of overtaking is low enough, that I just turn off the cruise control and pop the high beams twice, indicating that it's cool for him to cut over in front of me.

Suddenly his turn signal cuts off and he lunges back into the right-hand lane. Had he not seen me initially?

I pop the high beams three or four more times, as if to say "No, seriously, it's cool. Come over..." when I glance across the median and see the reason for his abortive pass: Three Arkansas staties have someone pulled over and a fourth is rolling up on the scene. And here I have been frantically flashing my high beams like a prat for something completely unrelated to the presence of the po-po, who all now no doubt think I'm That Driver.

Not gonna lie, I pulled my wallet out and set it on the console, and I was nearly to the outskirts of West Memphis before I stopped expecting a pissed-off ASP Charger to come barrelling up my tailpipe, lights ablaze.

"You're totally not going to believe this, officer, but..."

Still not killed in the streets.

Tuesday morning I was back at it with the Wilson at Indy Arms Co. Because I dropped a couple shots at the 15 yard line at the match, it was time to do more shooting at fifteen yards.

I promptly dropped a couple shots at the fifteen yard line, here, too. Incidentally, the shooting at the 3x5 at five yards and the eight-inch circle at fifteen were both at approximately the same speed. The target says I could have been going a little faster at five, but was going about as fast as I could at fifteen...

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 300 rounds fired since the pistol was last cleaned or lubed, with one FTE not charged to the gun at round #29. 1,700 rounds to go.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The most Australian thing ever...

This dude makes Jackass look like the Teletubbies.

Also: Australian taxpayers saved this man's arm. If that's not an argument against socialized medicine, I don't know what is.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Arrived safely...

That's a piece of a drive.

Last time I drove through Little Rock (on my way to Texas) I detoured via Louisville/Nashville/Memphis, which adds a good hour to the drive. Now, six years later, Illinois will let me CCW through their long as I don't get out of the vehicle with my gat.

So I topped up the tank in Terra Haute on the way down and Charleston, MO on the way back, and set the cruise control at only two or three over while in the Land of Lincoln, so as to avoid any imperial entanglements.

Homeward Bound...

Heading back to Indy after an action-packed weekend.

Oh, and this is a thing that happened.Don't know how I placed overall yet, but apparently way better than I thought I would.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Weekend stuff...

 Parking on the DARC campus Friday morning...

 This is not the typical outdoor range...

One of many training blocks available: "Pocket Poppers" class for techniques specific to snubbies & pocket .380s, deployed from a pocket or ankle holster, from Chuck Haggard at Agile/Training & Consulting.

Friday, March 17, 2017

That was weird...

Rolling down the interstate at eighty, the half-dead audio system in the Zed Drei was fighting with the wind noise in the top to be heard.

I had no idea what the local stations were, and hit something via "scan". I didn't have it turned up loud, so hearing any real detail in the music was out of the question. I could basically make out the rhythm track and the occasional guitar chord. Vocals? The DJ between songs? Drowned out by wind noise and static.

At first, I thought it was a "classic rock" channel. I was pretty sure that was a Def Leppard song, and that was Whitesnake, and that was maybe the Eagles? But that seemed kinda like Toto, circa IV...and that sure seemed like Katy Perry...

Then I got deeper into broadcast range for the station, the signal got stronger and the static went away and I turned the volume up a little...I'd been listening to a "country" station. Huh.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Going faster...

Back to the range with the Wilson yesterday morning. I fired a magazine at the top left 2" circle at five yards, then ran the target out to seven yards and shot the remainder of the first box at the 3x5 card. Since there was nobody else on the pistol lanes, I decided to use the remaining box to go ahead and flout the speed limit a little.

Now, bear in mind that I am slow as molasses and a .30 split on an 8" circle at 21 feet is blazing fast for me. And that one was a hit, as were a couple .31's...

So, about five of those are legit misses on the 8" circle, which shows that I was indeed pushing my speed. And that pushing my speed is still pretty darn slow.

But, hey, I'm not going to get faster unless I try to get faster. I don't mind those misses on the 8" circle at all. (But those two dropped shots on the 3x5? Those chap my ass.)

There were no malfunctions of any kind to report.

This makes 200 rounds fired since the pistol was last cleaned or lubed, with one FTE not charged to the gun at round #29. 1,800 rounds to go.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "You know, the TV news is more interesting when your brain fills in the half-heard syllables from a couple rooms away. I'm pretty certain Matt Lauer didn't just say 'Frank Lloyd Wright, twelve gauge assassin. Ai yi yi yi yi! Mexico.'"

Next Test

So, I hadn't actually done a 2,000 round test on the Wilson Combat Tactical Carry Professional. The gun came as a review gun for a magazine article, and while I document the shooting of those for the purposes of the article, I don't make the sort of day-by-day updates on the blog that accompany a 2k round test. I put 1,700 rounds through it before sending it off to the magazine for glamor shots for the article, where it was obviously cleaned.

It came back, I sent Wilson a check, and have since put another 25 rounds through it in the service of some chrono and accuracy testing for an ammo company. I gave the gun an extra good glorping of Lucas Oil on the rails, barrel hood, and muzzle end, and let's go 'head and put a couple cases of ammo through it for the amusement of the internet, hey?

Dat Winchester QC, doe. Soot along case is from the round not having enough pressure to properly obturate.
MALFUNCTION! Only not the gun. Round #29 went *pop* instead of *BANG!*. The slide didn't fully cycle, and had to manually eject the spent case. With the slide locked to the rear, I shone my flashlight into the muzzle end, worried that the bullet might still be in the barrel. Fortunately I could see light through the ejection port; the projectile had had enough steam to exit the bore.

Several people had mentioned experiencing a downturn in QC with Winchester ammo. This is the fourth 500-round case of Winchester Q4318 ("NATO 124gr +P FMJ") and I hadn't had any problems up to this point...

Sigh. Both Remington and Winchester have seen their ammo QC go in the toilet recently. Hornady and Federal/Speer/CCI still remain my go-to choices. Sig's new ammo line appears righteous thus far, as well.

The gun is just stupid easy to shoot. The rounds in the 8" circle were fired at about a .55-.66 second split pace, and it seemed pretty languid. I imagine this would be a great gun on which to learn to shoot fast. An all-steel 9mm 1911 is like shooting on Easy Mode.

This makes 100 rounds fired with one FTE not charged to the gun at round #29. 1,900 rounds to go.



Thank heavens that spring is just around the corner. I didn't clear space for the Happy Lamp on my desk this year and, in retrospect, the SADs just kicked my ass.

The Friday before our impromptu Louisville excursion, I was still dealing with a swollen lymph node and slightly achy joints and decided to skip the morning walk because it was frigid out and I didn't want to wind up relapsing and ruining the weekend's fun.

When I got back to Indiana, I spent my mornings in bed stewing in lethargy and self-loathing, and then the DST time change facilitated staying up past midnight and sleeping late. The sudden return of winter has kept my shooting confined to the indoor range and scotched at least two planned outdoor range trips.

I'm definitely ready for some sunshine and vigorous movement.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #161...

The other day at the range, Mike was shooting this fine specimen of 1911-ness from pistolsmith Chuck Warner. I put a couple magazines through it and was pretty impressed...

Does Not Work That Way

I know it's kind of meta to be making fun of the sort of derpy gun advice you find on the internet via blogs and YouTube videos by posting a YouTube video on a blog, but Yeti is spot on, here.

(It's Yeti, so if your office is not the sort of place where gratuitous F-bombs are cool, you may want to turn the volume way down.)

I've carried ported guns in the past and I can't tell you how many people told me all kinds of "zomg you'll set yourself on fire!" or "zomg the flash from the ports will blind you!" stuff. When you asked them how they knew this, hand-waving ensued. It was just something "everybody knew".

Feeling Lucky, Punk

If you order from Lucky Gunner before 3:00PM, your order ships that same day. And if I select FedEx ground, it lands on my porch before the range opens the next morning. That's the next best thing to instant gratification.

As a matter of fact, I think I just heard the *thud* of happiness now...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Things I hate about my job...

"So, which do you like better? The Glock or the M&P? Which one should I buy?"
Okay, first, I don't know that I would say I really like either of them. The Glock is a lot easier to mess around in the guts of, if that's the sort of thing that appeals to you. As far as shooting goes, they're pretty much of a muchness. All these plastic cop guns are, really.

If one really sings to you, buy it, but you're kidding yourself if you think there are vast differences in performance waiting to be unlocked in one versus another.

The Sig P320? I think Bruce and his team have come up with a potential game winner in their X-Five, but that's not necessarily due to the mechanics of the gun as much as an otaku-like obsession with grip geometry, sight tracking, magwell size and shape, trigger shape and quality...

This is the sort of stuff that matters when you add up hundredths and tenths over the course of a ten stage match and probably doesn't matter dick across a convenience store counter or across fifteen feet of rainy midnight parking lot.

I think a plain duty P320 will work just fine in the latter situation, just like a Glock 17, or an M&P 9, or a VP9, or...well, really if you have a gun, any gun, that works, you're probably going to chalk one up in the "W" column.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday & Saturday...

Friday was range time with the subjects of two forthcoming Shooting Illustrated reviews, the Sig Sauer P320 X-Carry and the Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0.

Saturday, Shootin' Buddy and I went to see Logan at the neighborhood theater. More on that tomorrow.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Video Killed Brevity


Dark Star Gear holster used in ECQC

"Hey, Tamara! What do you think about XYZ GearCo?"

"I've never heard of them."

"Well, they make kydex holsters and the owner's a veteran and has some Instagram vids where he does a sick draw. They set up at the local gun shows and..."

"Have you ever noticed that if you go to, say, or, you'll find that the same holster makers get mentioned over and over? Raven, Keepers Concealment, Custom Carry Concepts, Dark Star Gear, JMCK, PHLster, maybe one or two others?"


"There's a reason. Most of the guys who make those holsters either go to a ton of classes and roll around in ECQC and such, or carry guns concealed for work, or they get a ton of input from people who do."

"But they're twice as expensive as an XYZ GearCo, and there's a four week wait on the model I'm looking for at most of them!"

"But if you don't like it, you'll be able to get your money right back out of it in any gear forum from somebody who doesn't want to wait four weeks. With the XYZ GearCo, you'll wind up throwing it in for free when you eventually trade in the gat on whatever new hotness caught your eye."
I've had this conversation, or one like it, a thousand and one times. Usually they wind up getting one from Greasy Joe's Dixie Bar & Grill & Part-Time Holster Shack at the local gun show, but at least I tried.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

That was new...

The National Weather Service issued a high winds warning for central Indiana this afternoon. 40mph winds with gusts even higher.

I went to the range with a friend to work on designing a course of fire to use for gun testing in the future and we gave the whole thing up as a bad idea. Given the winds blowing from the west, even trying to carry the target stands downrange could have wound you up in Ohio unless you had your pockets full of lead shot.

On the way home, I had my hat blown off my head by the wind. That wasn't the first time that's ever happened, of course. Then the wind blew my sunglasses off my face. That was a first for me.

International Women's Day...

Some breathless knob on NPR yesterday was saying that I'm not supposed to be spending any dough today or, if I did, to only spend it with woman- or minority-owned businesses.

I guess all you Asian and Black and Latino dudes are honorary chicks for the day? That's what they seemed to be implying, at any rate.

I suck at identity politics, apparently.

Because you know someone will...

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #160...

A Smith & Wesson Model 745. Basically, a late '80s attempt at a gamerfag version of the Model 645 duty pistol. Look for a Sunday Smith this weekend.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Current project...

It's not going to get daily coverage here while I grind through some round count (you'll have to get Shooting Illustrated for that) but I can say that influence of Bruce Gray is noticeable in the Sig Sauer P320 X-Carry.

You can see the different grip profiles between the regular P320's and the X-series pretty well here. And bear in mind that the "regular" P320 frame there is already re-contoured by Boresight Solutions...

You can also see the difference here between the Grayguns straight trigger in the P320 on the left and the new Sig factory straight trigger in the X-Carry on the left.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Automotif CXXXII...

Yes, that is a Ford Festiva (a Mazda 121 built in Korea by Kia and sold in the US as a Ford) with "Historic" vehicle plates. The body-colored bumpers, grill styling, alloy wheels, and hatch spoiler would indicate a '92 or '93 GL with the Sport package.

The owner has added an "EcoBoost" badge under the Festiva badge on the hatch. What significance it might have is beyond me. Of course, this is a car from an earlier day, and is largely a thin sheet metal box of air* compared to more modern autos; it wouldn't take a lot of power to make it scoot.

*Claimed curb weight of about 1,800 lbs.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

That was fun!

Spent the night down in Louisville. Had more fun and adventures today. Pics in a bit.


Saturday, March 04, 2017

Fun Show Weekend!

It's the big National Gun Day show in L'ville. I think we'll duck down to take a look.
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.
This is mostly just a looking show for me, although if something's really worth the purchase I can have it transferred to an Indiana FFL. I really should get a C&R license.


PawPaw answers the question: "Why do women own guns?"
"The easiest answer is that even asking the question is sexist.  Women own guns for a aridity of reasons, but most importantly, because they are citizens.  Women own guns as collectors, for recreation, competition, target shooting, hunting,.. you name it.  Women own guns for the same reasons that men own guns."


The Weekend Knowledge Dump from Gorillafritz has lots of good stuff this week, and I'm not just saying that because there's two links to me.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Colt collecting is not for plebs...

Just because you can do something...

...doesn't mean you should.

One of my biggest beefs with the Radetec on the M&P is that it used up the space that could have been used for the CTC Lasergrip, which is seamlessly integrated on the M&P and practically a no-brainer, and replaced it with a useless geegaw that makes as much sense as a kickstand on a tank.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Tab Clearing...

The Gun of Theseus

So, the P250 .380 "Grandma Gun" project logged a total of 2,308 rounds of all different types of .380 over the course of all the shooting I did with it.

I then swapped the FCU into a 9mm P250 Compact conversion kit, in which guise the gun has fired 300 rounds so far. So how many rounds does the P250 have on it?

Similarly, I won the P320 Compact off the Wall Of Guns at the Friends of the NRA dinner. It saw 30 rounds in bone stock configuration before I swapped the frame out for the Boresight Solutions one, another 386 on the original FCU before I swapped a friend for the Grayguns FCU, and another 255 on the new FCU (but still the same slide and barrel.) So how many rounds does the P320 have on it?

Because I hate wasting keystrokes at an away game...

So, after most of a month shooting nothing but the micro Glock 43, I took a fun day at the range Tuesday shooting normal-size Glocks again...

The Robar Glock 17 and my former G19 carry gun allow me to get my Glocking in without having to unholster the G19 on my hip. Both have 3.5# connector/NY1 spring carry-type trigger setups in them, despite the fancy-looking aftermarket triggers.

After all the time with the little Glock, going back to the big guns made things feel easy again. The 3x5 at seven yards was a clout shot again, and I was again able to go fast on the 8" circle without feeling like I was hanging on to a popsicle stick for dear life.

And then Wednesday, it was back to work with the Sig project...

P320 with Grayguns FCU, Boresight Solutions frame, and Dark Star Gear holster. And a stock P250.
Trying to do any kind of speed on a 3x5 at seven yards with a DAO trigger...even a smooth, light, seven pound DAO trigger...humbled the hell out of me after a month of striker-fire-only shooting...

When I commented that you'd see an initial performance deficit moving from either the SFA to the DAO or vice versa, a friend asked on Facebook:
"Is it because you build habit through repetition for a certain breaking point and changing that breaking point throws you off? Or, will a skilled individual always be able to shoot faster while staying accurate with a striker fire vs a DAO similarity to the way a skilled shooter will always able to score faster follow up shots with a 9mm vs a .40?"
And the response is where I blew a lot of the morning's keystrokes:
"That's kinda two separate questions:

1) You're going to notice a performance deficit going back and forth between triggers, no matter whether going from a shorter, lighter one to a longer, heavier one or vice versa. This is why I get so
hair-pullingly frustrated when people talk about "carry rotations". If I didn't have to shoot a bunch of different guns for work, I'd be putting 90% of all my trigger time into my carry gun, and that's the only one I'd be really serious about building performance with.

2) A skilled shooter is always going to turn in faster blind splits with a shorter, lighter trigger. If really smokin' Bill Drills are your metric for what makes a good carry gun, then there's your answer. However there are some really good discussions in the archives at
where smart folks like Wayne Dobbs and Darryl Bolke talk about why maybe raw, blind splits aren't that important in a gun that's used as a people-management tool. Can I turn in faster splits with my Glock 19 than my P250? Sure. I can probably turn in even faster splits with the Wilson 9 or my pimped-out Grayguns 320. But I can absolutely drive that 250 as fast or faster than I can process the visual information of what's going on on the far side of my front sight."

Wednesday, March 01, 2017


I just wasn't feeling it today, I guess.

Ready for longer days and more sunshine.