Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I said I was never going to be That Gunwriter...

...and yet here we are.

The watch matches the pistol, if you know what time it is.
"Fool-shootin' guns are srs bzns. I'm never going to be one of those gunwriters that CCWs a different test gun every week. I'll test the test guns, but I'm only carrying my carry gun."

And then last weekend I needed to lend my own Glock 19 carry gun to a friend to use for the shooting portions of ECQC. In order to not be socially naked, I wound up carrying the 92 Elite LTT, because it and the P30 were the only guns I had brought holsters for, and the HK's holster was incompatible with the sole belt I'd brought on the trip.

I hate Illinois Nazis...

Bobbi does, too, apparently.
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Pressure Testing...

"Why is the Shivworks curriculum so heavy on BJJ and wrestling and other grappling stuff but no dim mak five finger death punch pocket sand stuff?"

After all, those are competitive sport martial arts and notably devoid of special killing punches and devastating blows.

A related question is "Why don't I just draw my gun and choot im?"

See, the thing is, if you're much inside about six feet from Sumdood and try and draw your gun, he's not going to just stand there and let you do it. He's gonna stuff your draw with one hand and start whaling on your noggin with the other, and now you have a real problem. To wit, it's no longer your gun, it's y'all's gun.

In a weapons-based environment, limb control and positional advantage mean a lot. You can't just let Sumdood have a limb flailing around, because that limb is likely to wind up with a knife or a gun in it and then you're boned. So you're working toward a position where you can tie the guy up and either exit the clinch safely, or deploy your own weapon without interference.

In the photo above, the guy on the left has used an arm tie to control both her arms long enough to get his sims gun out and start giving her the skittles.

Here, she's made a successful duck-under to take his back while maintaining a wrist tie on his right hand. Out comes the sims Glock...

...and *pop*pop*pop*!

This also illustrates the reason for the "thumb-pectoral index" or "shooting from 2" in an entangled situation. You know where the bullets are going because you have a good tactile index, and the downward angle helps keep you from scoring any own goals if the projectiles over-penetrate.

(Incidentally, the second and third photos are broadly similar to how I messed up my intercostals last year. I was probably smiling as they tore, too, because of the "Holy cow, this really works!" factor.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Don't come any closer!

So, if a dude was going for a gun, would you consider that enough of a threat to warrant shooting him?

What if he's closing in on you, even knowing you have a gun and have told him to not come any closer? Is that also "going for a gun", albeit the one in your holster?

Could you articulate why dude warranted shooting? Would you wait until after he'd rung your bell pretty good with a big overhand right?

Nobody wants to wind up on the bottom of a FUT (f**ked-up tangle) wrestling over their own gun.

These are always interesting. Especially when they go down in such a way that, despite being observed by a dozen of the most pro-self-defense people you can imagine, about half of the observers wind up shaking their heads after an incident.

You'll usually wind up seeing a couple that would have been the next Zimmerman case.
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It was a busy weekend.

Monday was mostly recovery day.
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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Back at it...

Another day on the range.

Sad to be sitting out this year, but I'm getting some great photos.

Stupid collarbone.
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Saturday, October 27, 2018

It begins...

Last night was the start of ECQC. Eleven hour day at the range today...

Friday, October 26, 2018

Relevant...

This was initially posted on FB a year ago by Phil Wong. It's still applicable, and I'm reprinting it here with his permission:

"I'd personally say that the SJW-equivalent in 2A advocacy would be an overweening, all-encompassing inclusiveness of anything and everything involving the ownership and carrying of guns, to include even the most egregious derp;

That any substantive criticism of someone's choice of gun/gear/caliber/ammo(as opposed to intentionally-facetious troll-play like 9mm vs. 45, 1911 vs. Glock, AR vs. AK, etc.) is tantamount to bullying, and a crypto-infringement on their 2A rights;

That anyone who advocates too strongly for training to a level of knowledge/skill/proficiency higher than the lowest-common-denominator, is a tool of the Government-CCW-Instructor Complex who is un-Constitutionally creating backdoor-restrictions on the polite, armed Utopian society envisioned by the Founding Fathers, where real American men all taught their families how to shoot better than the Redcoats and Redskins, so that they could stand their ground in their castles according to doctrine without having to worry about pesky matters like being judged by twelve;

That any purchase of guns/gear/accessories is a necessary and justifiable expense, but training classes and competition shooting are frivolous luxuries that only rich playboy trust-fund shooters without families to care for can afford;

That physical limitations, medical restrictions, age, and the perceived inability to afford high-end training, place a gun owner into a "protected class" whose choices cannot be questioned with respect to guns, gear, carry mode, or tactics;

That "talisman thinking" and as much plinking as one can afford, is just as good "on the streets/in the real world" as spending thousands of dollars on training and/or competition, which can never be like a real fight;

That the shortcomings of certain individual instructors/organizations/programs can be used as a blanket strawman argument to justify avoiding any and all formal training over and above what one has already experienced from the military or an adult mentor;

That any discussion of self-defense or "gunfighting" can be reduced to one or more of their favorite clich├ęs (happy, Tamara?), such as "Situational Awareness!" "Don't Bring A Knife To A Gunfight!" "Judged By 12, Not Carried By 6!" etc.;

That gut feelings, hearsay, secondhand anecdotal evidence and personal preference are equal or superior to scientific testing and informed opinions and evaluation when it comes to anything having to do with guns/gear/ammunition;

That those who have spent significantly more money on high-dollar, high-round-count training and/or competition than on purchases of guns and accessories are a privileged elite, who are oppressing the downtrodden gun-owning proletariat with little or no formal training or experience with their arrogantly-informed opinions, and who need to check their privilege and allow their preferred flavor of derp to be expressed freely and given equal or greater weight of authority, in order that their favorite biases may be more firmly reinforced;

That anyone speaking from a position of privilege as being a better shooter or more highly-trained/-experienced than they, can and should be silenced, shunned and ignored if the "Church Ladies" can find even the slightest momentary deviation from the canonical commandments and Party line of gun safety, tactics or the Constitution/Federalist Papers - because it's so much easier to find and point out minor details and insignificant flaws to denounce great shooters and instructors, than it is to actually train, practice and work hard enough to reach a comparable level of skill and expertise..."
People will argue passionately for their own mediocrity. And god forbid any crab tries to climb out of the bucket. Why, who do they think they are, anyway?


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She works on a starship...

Bobbi has fresh short fiction up on her other blog! Hooray!
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Sad But True

If they designed a pistol that would crumble to dust on the fifty-first shot, the statistical majority of firearms purchasers would never know. (And the people who did discover it would be decried on fan forums as "haters".)
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Weirdness...

Safari on the MacBook Air will not let me stay logged in to Blogger. I mean, it logs me in automatically every time I click the logo in the top left, but I never see the "Create New Post" option in the top right.

It works fine on Safari on the iPad. I hadn't even checked that for a while because when I first got the iPad 2, several iterations of iOS ago, trying to use Blogger in the mobile browser was a mess. Works fine these days, though.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Notes from a conversation elsewhere...

People google “is the blastomatic 9000 a good gun” not to decide if they should buy one, but to confirm that the Blastomatic 9000 they just brought home is a cool gun.

The funniest manifestation of this is when dude has just bought his new Sheepdog Tactical Mk.IV carbine, and he runs home, without having even shot the thing and googles “does the sheepdog tactical mark four suck?”

The third post he runs across is a thread on a gun forum for another state, say westdakotagunownersforum-dot-com and our boy lives in Oklatucky. But here’s this thread on a forum that is running down the gun he *just bought*, calling it garbage and saying that the company that makes is is a bunch of no-customer-service-having scam artists...

Nine times out of ten, Marlon Rando will register an account at that forum so he can jump in and defend the gun he *just bought and hasn’t even fired*.

#triggered

Ambulance Driver has some comments on the Langdon Beretta and Grayguns P30L he got to try out at Blogorado. There is a level three beverage alert attached to the post, so get a drop cloth on that keyboard.


Stubborn...

Even this late in the season, this tomato plant refuses to pack it in for 2018...

Olympus OM-D E-M5 & 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

"I'm helping!" /Ralph Wiggums

I mean, I don't even hate the idea of "Everybody dress nice, leave the goofy slogan t-shirts at home, strap on our pistols and let's go fishing. Be polite if anyone asks questions. Here are fliers to hand out" fishing events to try and reform Florida's messed-up restrictions against open carry. That can be an effective tool for the political process.

But that's not what happens. Instead you get autists LARPing with rifles and their army man gear.

Totally normal and not at all attention-seeking cosplay. *nods*
"i'M nOrmaLiziNg gUns!"
"No, you're making gun owners look abnormal."

I LOL'ed...

From I Rate Your Gun Page's review of Kait's Unsafe Space:
"If there was a video game where you fight attention-seeking gun bunnies then she would be the final boss."
I almost pulled something, I laughed so hard.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Realism

I had a weakness for the pulpy adventure tales of The Survivalist, The Executioner, and others back in the day.

Jerry Ahern, legit gun writer and author of The Survivalist series, sent a letter to the editors at Gold Eagle (a Harlequin imprint!), publishers of The Executioner series and its spinoffs, regarding weapons choices for Mack Bolan and his proteges. It's reprinted here. If you like guns and fondly remember Jerry Ahern's writing and the glory days of Eighties shoot-'em-up pulp series, it's worth a read.

It did give me something of a legit LOL, on reading it, however...
Jerry Ahern: "The AMT AutoMag is a ridiculous weapon for Mack Bolan. It's notoriously unreliable!"  
Also Jerry Ahern: "My boy John Rourke carries a brace of Seattle Detonics because COOL!"
MY GRUDGE IS REAL

Excuse.

Today is absolutely terrible and only looks to get worse. Sorry for the no-show on posting.
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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Straw Instructors

I've read a few internet posts (as well as a couple books) lately that are pimped as "giving you the information most firearms instructors won't!" or, in other cases, claiming to offer you new stuff that boldly contradicts what all those other people in the industry are teaching.

In the former case, the information was pretty conventional legal-oriented stuff that I've heard referred to, to a greater or lesser degree, in pretty much every CCW-oriented class I've attended. In fact, I've even had it brought up tangentially in pure shooting classes. (Yes, there is a difference between a "self-defense" or "tactical" class and a pure mechanical shooting class. Although the latter can be very useful in the former.)

Todd's AFHF class was a shooting mechanics class that tangentially touched on a lot of practical self-defense matters.
In the latter case, the stuff the writer is trying to debunk is stuff that hasn't been mainstream for twenty years or so. It's like a new band coming out and marketing themselves as an alternative to that "grunge music" everyone's listening to. Er, okay.

You know, if you're gonna bitch about "the industry", it might behoove you to hop out of your echo chamber and take a tour around the industry to make sure your protests are related to reality. How can you realistically complain about the drinks selection here if all you ever swill is your own bathwater?
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Amateur Sports...


I love amateur sports. The very root of "amateur", whether in sports or photography or writing or whatever, is "someone who does a thing for the love of it."

This doesn't necessarily signal competence, but it does signal enthusiasm, as well as a certain level of love of the game.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Nineteens

Pictures...

This first image was taken on my first visit to the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, back in 2013.

This is the .jpg I have saved from then. At the time, I didn't have Photoshop or Lightroom. I used a Canon Rebel XTi and an 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens. Clicking the "get info" on the image says it was 1/60th of a second at f/5, with the lens zoomed to 60mm.

The XTi has a 10.1 megapixel APS-C sensor. It was Canon's entry-level DSLR in 2006, while the 18-135mm IS zoom was the kit lens that was bundled with the more upmarket two-digit "prosumer" Canons.

Yesterday I cropped the image and used the "auto" button in Photoshop for exposure and color correction. The result is below...


The image below was taken on this year's visit, five years later. I was using a Micro Four Thirds camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M5. The lens was the fantastic M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro.

Unlike five years ago, I do have editing software now and shoot RAW instead of JPG. The image below is converted from the raw camera output into JPG by Lightroom, with no corrections applied.

That's 1/80th of a second at f/2.8 with the lens zoomed all the way to 40mm.

Again, I cropped it and just poked the "auto" button in Photoshop for exposure and color correction.

The E-M5 has a 16MP Four Thirds size sensor, and was introduced six years after the XTi, in 2012, as a "prosumer" grade camera. The 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens is an extremely well-regarded piece of glass; it retails for $999, generally, although if you want to gamble with non-warrantee gray market imports, it's cheaper. If I'd bought both brand new...well, let's say there's a reason I shop the used racks.

This was with the E-M5 and 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro, too...


Thursday, October 18, 2018

ZZZzzzZzzzz...

TAM: "I'm going to fix myself a Manhattan and stay up late and watch this movie after getting four hours of sleep last night!
NARRATOR VOICE: "She did not, in fact, stay up late."
On the other hand, I'm nice and caught up on sleep now.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cloud Laboratory


From elsewhere...

Because I hate wasting good stuff at an away game...

Someone had referenced being on "team gun rights" vs. "team anti", to which I wrote:
"Most aren't "on" teams. The person with all the New England Patriots swag and the Tom Brady jersey doesn't actually *play* for the Patriots, they're just "his" team and therefore he hates on the rival teams.  
Similarly, most people don't volunteer for their sociopolitical team's organizations, volunteer to be poll watchers, man phone banks, run for local office, or generally do anything other than vote desultorily and write the occasional dues check. They're no more "on" Team [GOP/Dem/NRA/ACLU] than the couch potato in the Pats jersey is a f***ing quarterback."

Versatile Light

When SureFire unveiled the Guardian at the shoot house event last year, I didn't really pay it much attention. The dual lamp setup seemed gimmicky, and it wasn't tacticool at all. The sample light arrived at the house and got set aside and ignored...until I decided to bring it along on my house-sitting trip to New Hampshire earlier this year.

Spending a week or so alone in a big house on a few acres way out in the woods completely changed my opinion of this light. Between the two lamps, each with three brightness settings, there wasn't a lighting chore it couldn't handle.

The larger lamp assembly is the traditional SureFire reflector you've come to know and love. It outputs 900, 250, or 15 lumens, depending on how many times you push the activation button in quick succession. The nine hundred lumen beam easily illuminated even the farthest corners of the property without stepping off the porch; it has a lot of throw.

The smaller lamp assembly uses SureFire's newer MaxVision reflector. This throws a wider, more even beam that lacks the intensely bright center hot spot. Again, it has three illumination levels that you step through by poking the button one, two, or three times. The brightest is a full 1000 lumens, stepping down through 300 to a minimum 15 lumen setting excellent for nighttime navigating to the loo without using full aircraft landing light power.

Between the lenses is the photocell that controls SureFire's "Intellibeam" technology, that dims the light based on reflection, so that if you hit a reflective surface with the full 900 or 1000 lumens, the light will throttle itself back.

The body is a solid-feeling polycarbonate shell, the halves of which are welded together for water resistance. There's a metal inset panel on the the side opposite the buttons that serves as a radiator. Between the buttons is a tiny LED that serves as a "gas gauge" for the rechargeable batteries.

The shape of the light makes it easy to turn on to the desired setting and then set it down to use as a work light.

It charges via a USB-C port, which features a rubber cover for weather resistance. It can also be used as a battery pack to charge small devices, if necessary.

It's right on the outside limit of what I'd want to carry in my jeans pocket, but really not any more difficult than my usual EDCL2-T.

If I could change anything, it would be to put a different shape or texture to the two buttons. It's hard to put your thumb on the wrong one, but a little added insurance wouldn't hurt.

Anyway, my opinion on the thing has changed from "gimmicky" to "actually rather versatile and useful". It's better than my EDCL2-T at pretty much any flashlight chore that doesn't involve simultaneously holding a pistol.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sandhill Cranes

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II & 70-200mm f/2.8L lens

Death of a Salesthing

If you're a Gen X'er, like me, Sears loomed large in your childhood. They sent out this huge catalog that was full of cool stuff. When I was home sick from school, I wasn't allowed to watch TV (being sick wasn't supposed to be fun) and so I'd while away my time in bed with a calculator, a note pad, and catalogs, "spending" a million dollars. Sears got a lot of that imaginary money, because they had everything.

They were such a huge retailer that they had their own house brand lines of a lot of stuff. Craftsman tools, Kenmmore appliances, DieHard car batteries...all that was Sears.

As a teenager and into my early 20's, with a nascent sense of "coolness", Sears became associated in my mind with store-brand knockoffs. There was the Sears Tele-Games console, which was a re-labeled Atari 2600, Sears-branded cameras, and working my first gun counter job in a pawn shop meant I was constantly running across J.C. Higgins or Ted Williams-branded firearms.

By that time, Walmart was already eating Sears' lunch in the retail business.

Ironically, however, the company that started out as strictly a catalog business and didn't move into brick-and-mortar retail until it was well into corporate middle age got put into its death spiral by an online book store from the Pacific Northwest.

This week, what's left of Sears filed for bankruptcy. And so it goes.
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Deck of cards on a Coke can...

That's the approximate dimensions of the Panasonic Lumix GM1 fitted with the excellent 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom lens.


Yet it's capable of grabbing the action from clean across a not-terribly-well-lit gymnasium.


I'll note that the GM1 was having an easier time of getting fast shutter speeds in the available light than the mighty EOS-1Ds Mark II. It may be just a pocket Micro Four Thirds enthusiast's camera compared to a monster full-frame Canon pro body, but a lot of water passed under the sensor bridge between 2004 and 2013.
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Back in the day...

About fifteen years ago, a guy walked into Randy's Guns & Knives and asked if we could convert his Rossi .357 Mag to accept .38 Super.
"Uh, dude, it's semi-rimmed. You could shoot it now if you wanted to. But why?
"Versatility in a grid down situation." 
"I'm trying to picture a post-apocalyptic world where you can't find any .38 or .357, but have an ample supply of .38 Super."
Gratuitous Colt .38 Super pic because the internet likes gun pictures. Also, younger, dumber me used to stick things through trigger guards for pictures. Older, smarter me cringes.

Live and Learn

So, 'way back in 2012, this meme from Robb Allen gave me the giggles...

"Great, I just had my pajamas pressed and now this midget comes charging down my hallway!"
Back in those days I expended a lot of keystrokes saying that .22WMR was almost as good as 5.7mm, at least as far as private citizen self-defense use went.

I've changed mind since then. These days I think that, given the right loads and circumstances, .22WMR can be rather better.

Shooting jello with John Johnston of Ballistic Radio
There's an aphorism regarding defensive handgun ammunition that states "Shot placement is king, penetration is queen, and everything else is just angels dancing on pinheads."

The wounding mechanism of pistol bullets is entirely based on poking holes in things. There's no magical "hydrostatic shock" at these velocities. The bullet has to penetrate deep enough to go through something vital.

The block of clear gel below was shot without any layers of denim or anything. Bare gel is generally easy work for a good bullet. Hollow points will often expand with catalog picture perfection. In fact, that's the problem with the .380, there.

That .380 bullet expanded, and the round just doesn't have enough steam to expand like that and still wind up down there where the adequate service calibers are. It stopped nine or ten inches in.

Here's where I digress to point out that that fourteen to sixteen inches of penetration in gel is not a direct correlation to fourteen to sixteen inches of penetration in bad guy. Bullets that penetrate fourteen to sixteen inches in gel are the ones that are found in the bad guy's clothes on the far side. Bullets that penetrate nine inches in gel are the ones that don't get all the way to the spine.

Anyway, you'll note that the service calibers all went deep and expanded. (The .38 just went deep, but that's a discussion for another time.)

See what else is there next to the .380? That's right, the SOOPER PENETRATOR 5.7x28mm.

See, the pointy spitzer bullet gives the bullet a rapid yaw cycle. Now, if you're a 5.56mm rifle bullet traveling at rifle velocities, that rapid yaw cycle is what causes you to break in half at the cannelure and cause massive internal injuries as two big chunks of bullet and bunches of smaller ones go all over the place.

If you're a little FiveSeveN bullet traveling at pistol velocities, turning through 180 degrees really puts the brakes on penetration. The SS195 is not going to the spinal column today.

You know what bullets aren't radically spitzer-shaped and therefore tend to penetrate pretty okay? .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire. Note the table at the end of that article. And remember that .22WMR is in that ballistic category where trading penetration for expansion is not necessarily a good thing. Solids penetrate real good.4

Oleg's CMR-30 at the Lucky Gunner Blogger Shoot back in the day.
Unless you're facing zombies wearing body armor, I'd generally prefer the .22WMR over the 5.7x28. In fact, I know some pretty clueful individuals who use small-frame .22WMR J-frames and LCRs as "gym shorts guns".

So, hey, I learned new things! I wonder what I believe right now that will have me looking back in 2024 and shaking my head?
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Roller Derby!

Indoors shooting, and in not the best light. I used my trusty old manual-focus Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 lens on my Sony a7 II, via a Fotasy adapter. Shooting wide open with the ISO set to 800, I was able to get useably fast shutter speeds, although depth of field got a little tricky when the action was closer than about mid-track.
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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Automotif CXLIX...

1976 Plymouth Duster. My ex had a '75 with a 318 in it that he'd put mag wheels on, as well as a little ducktail of a spoiler on the decklid. He'd added a true dual exhaust that sounded a lot healthier than the 2-bbl smog motor actually was, and between that and the Direct Connection front license plate, its bark was entirely worse than its bite. Those were my peak redneck girlfriend days.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

JPG

I also used the combo of the EOS-1Ds Mark II & 70-200mm f/2.8L lens to snap a couple candid portraits of my friend JPG, which he was kind enough to let me share.


Although he'd no doubt demur, I think he's a treasure in the shooting world. This is a dude who turned a young cop named Jim Wilson onto the 1911 as an alternative to the service revolver. He was active in the earliest days of IPSC. And he still does pretty okay with a Thompson.
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Because that's how I roll...

Gets full-frame Canon pro body and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens.

Uses it to take pictures of cats.


Can't lose a fight you're not in.

Claude Werner, aka "the Tactical Professor", had an interesting series of posts that analyzed the recent shooting in Texas where a father & son gunned down a neighbor during an aggressive dispute over dumping trash, of all things. He entitled it "Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster" and it spanned three parts: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

The memes appeared almost immediately.
Claude has often expressed the sentiment that what the average CCW carrier could use more than any tactical pistol-shooting class would be a Dale Carnegie course. Being abrasive and confrontational and insisting on MUH RIGHTS! when carrying a deadly weapon is tap-dancing on a landmine.

I park way out in parking lots, where there's nobody contesting me for a space. Besides, I can see all around my car, and it's not like I couldn't use the extra walking distance anyway.

If I'm approaching a door at the same time as someone, they always get to go first.

I'll step off the sidewalk for the mom pushing the stroller or the old man walking his dog...or pretty much anybody. And I'll do it preemptively and with a smile. Goodwill is cheap.

I look at it this way: It's easy for me to be benevolent; after all, I'm the one with the loaded gun.
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Reach Out & Touch

Objectively? It's big, heavy, holds only eight rounds, uses an ammunition feeding setup a lot more awkward than a detachable box magazine, has an external op rod of Rube Goldbergian complexity, fires an unnecessarily large round, and has the mechanical safety lever placed in an unsafe location.

Also objectively? The weight soaks up the recoil of the powerful round, the sights are nearly ideal for long range accuracy with irons, and it was the best general-issue infantry rifle of its day.

Watching Stingray use his to lay down some hate on the long range steel targets made me miss mine something fierce.

Having at one time owned the SVT-40, M1 Garand, and FN-49, my practical side doesn't regret selling the first two and keeping the FN, but my sentimental side sometimes does.
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Shenanigans!

Bobbi points out an upcoming ballot question that will be put to Hoosier voters in November:
"Shall Article 10, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended to require the General Assembly to adopt balanced budgets for state government that do not exceed estimated revenues unless a supermajority of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the members of the Senate vote to suspend the requirement?"
This is shiftily written, since (as Roberta points out) the state constitution currently prohibits the government from going into debt for any reason unless we're, like, being invaded by Ohio or something. The reasons for this are historical and closely tied to the scenic canal that runs through the heart of Broad Ripple Village.

This water-filled ditch caused Indiana to amend its constitution.
Would it surprise you that the GOP currently holds supermajorities in both houses of the General Assembly? I wonder what Mammoth Improvements they want to go into debt for this time?
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sorry...

I was all ready to type something when I looked out the window and noticed the sunrise was simply spectacular, so I grabbed a couple cameras and ran out into the dawn chill.


Now I can't even remember what I was going to type about except that it was something pointless and political.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Civics Fail



That was done for a reason and, contrary to revisionist history, that reason wasn't "but...but... slavery!"
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Illustrative Analogy...

Every time someone points out that it might not be too wise to base your home-defense plans on bayoneting the bad guy in the back from ambush with your bump-stock-equipped Saiga that has Confederate-flag-pattern Punisher skulls cerakoted on the drum mags, it triggers the same thing:  A whole chorus of people baying "A good shoot is a good shoot!" and "Show me the case law!" and "But muh rights!"

A criminal defense attorney of my e-acquaintance offers up this brilliant analogy*:
"Your training and gear should, if possible, be as rational and understandable to the police & court system as possible. Think of it this way – I can put a medium rare porterhouse steak & a bottle of cabernet in front of you. That shit sells itself. I don’t need to explain it. Almost everyone likes it. (Vegans don’t count…and even then, all but the most extreme would understand that you are eating what normal people eat.) 
Sushi – a lot of people like it, some don’t…but everyone knows what it is and doesn’t think it is fucked up, weird and the people who eat that shit are fucked in the head. 
Guinea Pig? You try to get someone to eat it and they will look at you like you are a nut-job. Doesn’t matter if it is higher protein, lower fat & great flavor – it is a fucking pet. OK, some people in other countries eat it…but, er…not here.
Cat or Dog? You are a fucking nutter. Call the ASPCA. 
If your training or your gear cannot be explained to people who don’t know you without in-depth rationalization, convoluted reasoning and the suspension of disbelief… 
You have been feasting on the equivalent of Guinea Pig. 
Now, that may be just fine to keep you fed…but explaining it to your date may not work out well. 
When someone needs to explain what you did to a cop or a prosecutor, make sure they are selling a medium rare porterhouse & a bottle of cabernet, or at least some sushi. 
Don’t make your attorney sell roast Guinea Pig, let alone cat or dog."
*Which will be ignored by the people who've already ignored every other argument, but what the hell, why not throw it out there anyway?

A good summary...

...of the weekend's events can be found here.

This past weekend was the pole star of my year, holiday time well-spent with my family of choice. Only three hundred and sixty five days to go until next year.
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What gun for Bigfoot?

There's been a discussion elsewhere on social media (as opposed to my blog, which is antisocial media) regarding the old shotgun vs. carbine for home defense question.

Both a 5.56mm carbine and a good repeating shotgun are fantastic home defense long guns that will absolutely wreck a bad guy's day at across-the-living-room ranges. Back about 2003 I sold my home defense gauge and went to the carbine and have only recently been flirting with going back to the shotgun. There are posts here from when I was a dozen years younger and a dozen years dumber on the topic and I guess it's one I should revisit.

Anyway I made the statement that if I knew one or two dudes were about to come through my front door, there was no gun I own that I'd rather have in my hands than my 870 stuffed full of buckshot. One commenter asked if I'd still prefer a shotgun in the case of "four dudes, one with an AR?", with a still from this ASP video:



Well, yes, even then.

These are the scenarios that get used to justify all kinds of esoteric gear purchases or training classes (although the former far more often than the latter, sadly.)

Time for some Real Talk:

  • Carbine, shotgun, pistol-caliber-carbine, paw-paw's lever-action deer gun...all of those are perfectly adequate to mess up a bad guy from a bunkered-in safe position in your house, but you ain't answering the door with any of them.

  • The best way to avoid a home invasion by multiple suspects with long guns is to not be in the unlicensed pharmaceutical distribution business. Of course, sometimes people buy a house or rent an apartment whose previous occupant was, and I suppose that rip crews get addresses wrong even more often than SWAT teams, so it's not a foolproof solution.

  • I have a whole bunch of ARs and cool go-fast gear because I think it's neat and I occasionally like to LARP in a carbine class, not because I think I'm gonna suit up in a plate carrier and NODs to defend myself from Joe Crackhead trying to kick in the front door. Its real-world use scenarios are pretty limited, but real handy inside those limits.

  • The best defense against typical crime remains immediate and ferocious resistance, preferably of the armed sort. Resource predators are unlikely to advance through a wall of lead for the chance at getting a wallet and a mediocre TV set.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

It begins...

My range day at B'rado mostly consisted of me busting open the Case Club 8-pistol case and letting the other attendees get their hands on trying out some of the test goodies inside. (Incidentally, I bought this case last year and it's seen two Blogorados and one New Hampshire trip and has put up with everything Delta baggage handlers and sliding around in the back of a pickup on dirt roads can throw at it. Recommend.)

I mostly took pictures of other people shooting*, but MattG was kind enough to use my camera to grab a few shots of me putting rounds downrange. Above is me with the Grayguns P225. Obviously my recoil control is still awful because of pain in my left shoulder.

That's me busting caps with the Langdon Tactical 92 Elite LTT.

The improvement in shootability for both these guns has to be felt to be believed. Both have been 100% reliable thus far, as well.


*Me going to the range on vacation is something of a busman's holiday these days.
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Sunsets...

Eastbound across Colorado, the sun was putting on a spectacular enough performance that I couldn't resist a cliched rear view mirror shot or five.

Slumping barn makes a photogenic foreground.

Both pictures were shot with the Sony a7, the top with the FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3, and the bottom with the FE 24-70mm f/4.
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