Monday, July 31, 2023

Decoding the Runes

Ever get baffled by unusual dashboard iconography in an unfamiliar vehicle?


We're getting the payoff for the front that blew through, finally.

Humidity had been high enough to keep the dew point in the high sixties to mid seventies for most of a week straight, long enough so that the outside temp right now (62°F with a dew point of 57) actually feels chilly.

The a/c unit at Roseholme Cottage can certainly use the break.


Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Best Video Ever...

Sorry, but it's not even close.


*clears throat*

Turn your targeting computer back on, Luke.

If there’s a centerfire pistol more naturally suited to a slide-mounted MRDS than the soft-recoiling and flat-shooting FN Five-SeveN, I don’t know what it would be.

While early adopters like Steve Fisher and Kelly McCann were experimenting with slide-mounted red dots as far back as the turn of the millennium, two things were necessary to get us to the widespread acceptance that the MRDS has achieved today.

First was a truly ruggedized sight with useful amounts of battery life. While a sporting sight can have fresh batteries installed before a hunt or a match, changing batteries on a carry or duty pistol (especially if doing so may involve re-zeroing) is an almost prohibitive pain if it needs doing more than once, maybe twice, a year. Also, while a CCW pistol is, by definition, protected from the environment by at least a layer of t-shirt cloth, a duty pistol is hanging out there where it can be whanged off door jambs and furniture and stuff.

Trijicon had been sticking a Docter Optic atop some higher-magnification ACOGs to give .mil dudes a backup sight that that could be used at close quarters, but in 2009 it was replaced with a new in-house optic: The Ruggedized Miniature Reflex.

The RMR had yoinks of battery life, was waterproof down to depths you don't need to worry about unless you commute to work using a Draeger rebreather, and was sturdy enough to withstand an entire loaded M4 landing red-dot-first when dropped from shoulder height.

These traits also made for a pretty darn good slide-mounted optic on a pistol, as it happened.

At the time, though, you still had to purchase the red dot and then send your pistol off to have the slide milled to fit the optic. (Or buy an aftermarket slide that was pre-milled, and caveat emptor, baby.)

The second key factor in red dot acceptance was the availability of pistols that came from the factory already set up to accept a slide mounted red dot, and FN America led the way there with the FNX-45 Tactical in 2012.

Within a few years, the Tactical FNs were followed by MOS Glocks and CORE Smith & Wessons and now you can get blasters already set up for red dots from manufacturers as diverse as Sccy and Kimber.

Also, however, there was a proliferation of sight footprints...but that's a topic for the next post.


Saturday, July 29, 2023


I had one of these in .40 cal for a hot minute back in early '94. I got rid of it shortly after the AWB went into effect and rolled my resulting gains into a P228 and something else I don't remember. I think maybe that's what funded the TZ-75 in .41AE.

I 86'ed it partly because filling a couple mags cost a ridiculous amount of money for a poor gun store clerk, partly because extra magazines were priced like imported sin and made of unobtainium, but mainly because I couldn't figure out what I could do with it that I couldn't do just as well with a Glock 23 and a couple extra sticks.

I wonder how hard it would be to SBR one?


Boom! Crash! Rumble!

As if yesterday morning were a warmup, we had two more lines of heavy thunderstorms roll through in the middle of the night last night.

The lights flickered a couple times, but we never lost power, so you know trees were coming down somewhere in the 'hood.


Friday, July 28, 2023

Never Deal in Absolutes

So, the latest weekend knowledge dump from Greg Ellifritz linked a column about holsters that I wrote for Shooting Illustrated some five years ago. In that column I made an absolute statement with which I no longer agree, or at least not entirely.
Starting with the most important, a concealed-carry holster needs to safely hold a handgun in such a way that it cannot be inadvertently fired when in the holster. An object that won’t do this is not a holster as far as I’m concerned. It might be a very nice, tooled-leather gun-holder thingie you put on your belt, but a holster it ain’t.

“But, Tam,” you say, “A lot of classic revolver holsters back in the day had cutaway trigger guards! For speed!” I think we can safely say we did a lot of things in those days that weren’t very safe in retrospect, like chain-smoke while pregnant or dump raw sewage in rivers. Let’s not do those things anymore.
Talking with Darryl Bolke over the intervening years has definitely softened my stance on that. 

A properly-fitted quality leather holster will be snug enough around the cylinder that it is phenomenally unlikely that the cylinder can be turned while the gun is holstered. After all, what's the first thing you do if you're grappling with a dude holding a revolver? Right. You grab the cylinder to tie the gun up.

This does not change the fact that I have seen quite a few poorly-fitted leather or nylon gun-holding belt pouches with exposed triggers that do not hold the cylinder that snugly and I have, in fact, pulled the trigger to demonstrate that fact for their owners.

While I think that as a general rule of thumb, "cover that trigger guard" is a safe principle if you prefer erring on the side of caution, if you're smart enough to tell the difference between a well-fitted wheelgun holster and a substandard sausage sack, get down with your bad self. If it's fitted well enough that there's visible boning for the cylinder, you're almost certainly good to go.

We live and we learn and we adjust our opinions to reflect the things that we learn.

Smith & Wesson Model 57 in PWL pancake.

Overheard in the Office...

Friday mornings are trash pickup days here at Roseholme Cottage. This morning there was a low rumbling boom...
RX: "Was that thunder or the garbage truck?"

Me: "Oh, the garbage truck, for sure."

*slightly louder booming rumble*

RX: "I think that was thunder."

Me: "I think you're right."
We both go to check the radar on our respective computer screens.

That was definitely not the trash truck.

Retro Kydex

I mentioned that this past weekend I was using a Raven Concealment Systems Phantom holster set up for IWB use with my Glock 37.

The Phantom is made by old-fashioned kydex bending and has long been replaced in the RCS catalog by the more mass-production-friendly injection molded Eidolon and Perun holsters.

They're doing a batch of old-school Phantoms by pre-order only this summer, though, and for a first, you'll be able to get a Phantom for the Colt Python or Smith & Wesson L-frame. I don't think that's been possible since the old days where the RCS guys would set up at the Indy 1500 and bend kydex to order.


Thursday, July 27, 2023

QotD: The Secret To Writing Edition...

Bobbi on writing:
"The most important thing about being a writer is to write. If you don't do that, you aren't one. And you'll have to do a lot of bad writing before you'll be any good at it -- just like any other skill."



Because part of my job involves reviewing various firearms training classes, I tend to wind up going to way more training classes than are necessary. If you take one good class and engage in a moderate practice regimen (more on that in a later post) you'll be way ahead of the curve.

Personally, I try to get to one handgun class a year just to get some outside coaching. I know I benefit from occasionally getting another set of eyes watching what I'm doing and calling out any bad habits that I've allowed to creep in. Some people do great with self-coaching or using video of themselves to diagnose errors, but I don't have that sort of discipline. 

If you're engaged in a good practice regimen or shooting competition regularly, I'd spend that one class/year on something like medical, hands-on, legal, force-on-force, or whatever; something other than yet another generic pistol shooting class. Also, unless your job entails wearing a helmet and vest with rifle plates and you're taking multiple carbine classes and never taking a class running your CCW pistol from concealment, I'm giving you some side-eye.

Unpacking from the weekend, I shelved the notebooks we got from John in with my other class notes, filed the certificate away in my "I Love Me" folder, and went to note the class in my records. I should have realized I hadn’t been to gun school in a while when I couldn’t remember the name of my spreadsheet yesterday morning so I could update it.

This is the sort of thing that only happens when training has itself become a hobby (or a job). A two-day weekend class, unless it's happening in easy commuting distance from your house, is effectively a three or four day commitment. Tuition, ammunition, hotel, gas... it adds up. It's as much of a hobby as having a touring motorcycle or a bass boat. 

Plus normal people like to do normal people things with their vacation time. For the average Working Joe who has to decide how to spend that week of vacation, at Gunsite getting sunburned, or in Orlando getting sunburned with the wife and kids, normal family activities are going to win out.

It's why I find programs like the one at Indy Arms Co. so interesting. They've got classes broken into two- and four-hour chunks that can be done in the evenings or on weekend afternoons without eating up a whole weekend. Another handy training tool are smorgasbords like TacCon, where you can combine 2- and 4-hour classes on more esoteric subjects and also audit firearms instructors with whom you'd like to take full classes in the future.


Reading Assignment

Because I know a guy, my ARC of Scorpio arrived in the mail yesterday. (I'd already preordered the Kindle edition, but it wasn't like I was gonna turn down a free dead tree copy.)

So I guess I owe you guys a book report.


Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Sinead O’Connor was a controversial figure, but she was undoubtedly one of the great musical voices of my young adulthood. You couldn’t avoid those golden pipes on the radio in the Nineties.

I sure didn’t have “Sinead O’Connor dies before Mick Jagger” on my bingo card. She and I were practically the same age.



One souvenir from this past weekend is a double handful of turbo itchy chigger bites under my socks.

I tried to stay on gravel as much as possible, but apparently I strayed into enough grass to get a few of the pests on me. I also found a tick, but killed the little bugger before it could bite me. I used the classroom table as a mortar and my Sabre Red canister as a pestle to make tick paste.

Sabre Red: Works on all sizes of varmints!


The kulturkampf is so dumb.

So apparently the usual Rage Farmers on the Right are getting their paypiggies all worked up and assmad about a movie about a little girl's toy doll.

I haven't seen anything so dumb since Tucker Carlson got all tore up about the green M&M getting sensible shoes that didn't give him a boner anymore.

"Hey! You! Get off of my lawn!"

I guess that makes him a Silent and not a Boomer, since he was born in 1943, but Sir Michael Phillip Jagger is eighty years old today.

Waiting for "Start Me Up" to get used in a Metamucil ad.


Tuesday, July 25, 2023

QotD: Elmo Edition...

X marks a very particular spot...
Hopefully you can see the roots of this whole X pivot thing now. Musk has decided that the way to save Twitter and regain his genius status is to fall back on his unrealised vision from 1999.

Build "the world's financial nexus" as he described it then.

I think it's a TERRIBLE idea. The world's moved on. He's doing the tech equivalent of drunk-DMing his highschool girlfriend to tell her she's still hot.

But you can see the origins now. He thinks this is the genius idea that got away. And that this time nobody can coup him.
There's some excellent talk here about why All-In-One super apps haven't taken off in Western countries in general, and especially the US.

The tl;dr version is that in countries that had heavy internet use before the iPhone launched the smartphone revolution, the whole expectation of how to interface with the web is different. When you add the cultural expectations of privacy, it changes the playing field.


"Because they don't make a 46."

The average level of training and experience in this past weekend's class was higher than that of any open enrollment class I've ever attended. Over a third of the class were current or former cops and probably half the class had been to Gunsite, including one Gunsite Rangemaster*.

As a result, the number of 1911 pattern pistols in .45ACP was higher than in any class I've seen, to include that Awerbuck class back in '09.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were no janky off-brand Government Model clones among the bunch. There were a couple Gunsite pistols and the rest were Wilsons. Three students were shooting Glocks (including me) and there was one Sig Sauer P320 X-Five and a Heckler & Koch HK45. Both of the other Glocks had dots, and I was using Ameriglo TCAPs on my Glock 37, which I was running from concealment out of a Raven Phantom carried strong side IWB. 

Yes, I scattered a bunch of .45GAP brass amongst all that once-fired .45ACP. Some brass hound at Riley Conservation Club probably hates me now.

The class started with some dry practice and as souvenirs we got a couple of the handy little Tap Rack dry fire safety training aids from Rogers. If you've never used those, they're handy little gizmos that keep the magazine follower depressed so you can function the slide to reset the action without it locking back. Yes, the .45ACP size works in Glock .45GAP magazines.

*What do I keep saying about good instructors being eternal students?


You're a weirdo. Me, too, I guess.

Believe it or not, normal people don't get all that spun up about politics.

Gun owners are probably, on average, more politically-oriented than the general populace, but that's because firearms, like electric vehicles, have been so heavily politicized.
Looking at the new TLP/YouGov 2024 presidential tracker, including interviews with 3000 registered voters, we find that half of all American voters say they haven’t done anything political in the last 6 months.

Around three in 10 voters say they have posted about politics on social media—the highest ranked activity of the bunch. Roughly one fifth of voters say they have contacted an elected official and slightly less than one fifth have donated to a candidate or party. Activities that require some physical presence in politics—like volunteering for a party or candidate, attending a rally or protest, or attending a town hall—are undertaken by very small percentages of Americans.
So half of all registered voters surveyed say they didn't do any of that stuff, and less than seventy percent of eligible citizens are even registered to vote. Most people aren't even arsed enough about this stuff to put a sticker on their car or a sign in their yard.

The problem with the modern primary system is that it rewards the weirdos. 


Oh, hell no.

The amount of preparation that went into this one stunt is amazing, but my palms sweat just watching it.


Monday, July 24, 2023


The round count yesterday wasn't high. I've been in classes with trainers like Todd Green and Scott Jedlinski where we burned up ammo at a 500rd/day clip. I don't think I busted two hundred caps yesterday.

The weather wasn't awful, either, for a summertime class in Indiana. Louis Awerbuck would show up in Boone County in August, and I remember it was miserably sticky. By contrast, temps only hit the low eighties yesterday and the humidity was unusually low for July in the Wabash valley.

But there was a lot of thinking, and that can get exhausting.


Sunday, July 23, 2023

Only hits count, but not all hits are the same...

There are plenty of frequently used pistol targets out there that have, problems with real-world applicability.

For instance, there's the classic B27, which is laid out as though it's intended to condition shooters to pop people in the belly button. Then there's the USPSA target, which has a lower A-zone that is, well, "generous" is putting it gently.

The classroom portion of the Tactical Anatomy class from John Hearne goes into detail on the actual target areas that matter in defensive shooting.

Further, the class covers the three dimensional aspects of targeting, and how it can change aim points depending on the angle from which the target is engaged.

Notice that the shot that looked low from the front would have been a bad day for dude when you look at the other side of the target.

The juicy target areas are a lot narrower than most qualification or game targets allow for, but there's also more vertical slop in that narrow window. If you're gonna miss, keep your misses tight along that vertical axis.


Day Two

Yesterday was eight hours in the classroom with John Hearne's "Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why" presentation.

Today will be eight hours on the range with his "Cognitive Pistol" class. I've never trained with John on the range before, so I'm looking forward to this.

John in the finals at TacCon in Nawrlins, back in 2019.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

It's been too long...

Getting my learn on again...

I miss the days when I just knew everything.


Tab Clearing...

Some bookmarks for things about which I need to write longer posts:

Fantasy Kablooie

I got sidetracked a couple times but just finished up The Elfstones of Shannara.

You can tell that Terry Brooks got very excited writing some of those climactic battle scenes. I give it fifty-fifty odds that he made sound effects noises with his mouth during the aerial duel, perhaps pausing his typing to mime stuff out with his hands like a pilot describing a dogfight.

Next off the shelf is Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye. It's been a while since I last re-read any of Miss King's stuff, so it's time to check in again.

Looking forward to swimming in some quotes like this:
“If you want to watch Americans throw democracy and equality to the winds and enshrine them at one and the same time, get tapped for jury duty and listen while one side eliminates Catholics who went to college and the other side eliminates Protestants who went to high school, until there’s nobody left but twelve people incapable of understanding the case. That’s the jury.”


Thursday, July 20, 2023

Overheard on the Phone...

Phone: *ring, ring*

Me: "Hello, you've reached the secret station. What's your code name?"

Phone: "Uh... Hello?"

Me: "What. Is. Your. Code. Name?"

Phone: "Sorry!" *click*

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #246...

FN's full-size autocannon in Best Millimeter, sporting a Holosun 508T to help you aim better and a Surefire X300U to help you see better (and to let you stuff it in a PHLster Floodlight, in case smuggling cannons is your jam).

The full-length review should be available on better newsstands near you in issue number 33 of CONCEALMENT.



Look, I'm not any kind of politics whiz kid, but I'm pretty sure it's not widely considered to be a good idea to write the other guy's ad copy for him.

You have got to be deep in some Very Online ideological bubble to think that all of that sounds bad. The sort of normies who don't spend all their time ranting about politics online are going to listen to that and nod their heads and go "Well, yeah, Marge. Isn't that we elect presidents to do?"

Most voters don't have accounts at political discussion websites where they sign in as "WhoIsJohnGalt" or "SamAdams76" and complain about FDR being almost as bad as Stalin. They just think he's the guy on the dime who won WW2 or something.

This was an hilariously unforced self-own on Marge's part.


Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Bloggery has occurred... the other other blog.

Part of a series of photos of people in my neighborhood.

Opportunity knocks... Terre Haute!

Darryl and Bryan know what time it is, and I'm hoping to get there for this class myself. See you there?

Click to embiggenate for the deets.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

What's in a name?

Here's a good podcast episode I listened to recently...
"Sometimes bad training passes down information that might once have been good, but garbles it. Take “Shooting to Stop the Threat”…please. This episode sees Mike and Jim discuss the nuances of using lethal force to reasonably end the capacity of an assailant to harm you. What exactly is incapacitation? What’s the difference between “shoot to kill” and to “stop”? Is intent magical? Listen to find out.

Incapacitating a threat by means of lethal force requires certain factors to be met in order to be considered reasonable, and it’s not a blank check. In the laws of war, there’s a difference between sailors boarding a small boat from a sinking ship because they’re out of the fight and marines climbing into small landing craft to get into the fight. In civilian self defense, each shot needs to be defensible, and that means reasonably explainable.
A good time to remember Massad Ayoob's use of "CYA" as meaning "Can You Articulate?"


Politics is made of money.

Here's an interesting breakdown of the reported finances of the various presidential campaigns thus far, complete with charts and graphs and such.

The next big report comes at the end of the month and will include the various candidate's PACs.


"What is your major malfunction, numbnuts?"

The title of this post, delivered by R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket, is the sort of thing some people are afraid of encountering in formal firearms training classes. 

You can't exactly whisper on a range.

While I've no doubt that there's the occasional instructor living out their "I coulda joined, but..." fantasies via their part time gun school side gig, the vast majority of trainers of my acquaintance know that's a way to lose customers. You have to talk loudly to be heard on a range, but you can do that and still treat clients with respect.

This doesn't mean that safety reminders might not be delivered abruptly, as Jo Deering relates in this column for NRA Women:
"So, if you experience a criticism during a shooting lesson, ask yourself a couple of things. One, is whatever you’re doing creating a safety concern? Shooting sports are incredibly safe because we work very hard to keep them that way, and there’s no time for mincing words when someone is being unsafe at the range. If you’re doing something unsafe, you should expect to be corrected, and you can even expect that the correction will be swift and maybe not super nice.

Two, is the criticism or correction based on something you are capable of doing correctly but for whatever reason, you just aren’t? If so, you’re probably not being picked on but are being pushed to help you move to the next level. If you’re getting criticized for something out of your control, that’s another story.
This is not to say that there aren't instructors out there who do pick on students, and Ms. Deering discusses how to handle those problems in her column as well. You should go read the whole thing.


Monday, July 17, 2023

That Guy

In a discussion elsewhere with Guy Relford, I noted:
"In every class, there's always at least one student who is there to show the instructor (and the rest of the class) how much they know.

I can't decide if it's funnier when it happens in a hands-on class or a legal class.

It always leaves me thinking "Dude, the rest of us are here to learn from the guy up there in the front of the room. Will you just take your whuppin' and shut up?"

It's one thing to ask questions, it's another entirely to tear off on pointless anecdotes to demonstrate how much you know. In a class environment, your fellow students... and you ...paid money to receive knowledge from the teacher. You should let them give it to you, rather than stealing time from your fellow patrons.
Tom Givens dispensing wisdom.


Bobbi has pics and a cooking description of yesterday's delicious roast, which we ate while watching the finale of the first season of The Lincoln Lawyer

She has really got the process of doing those on the grill down to a science.

I really, really enjoyed The Lincoln Lawyer. Good television, and I hope the second season holds up to the first.


The first rule of Dunning-Kruger Club... you don't know you're in Dunning-Kruger Club.

There's a whole comments section* full of people trying to explain the realities of legal self-defense to Grant Cunningham. You know, the Grant Cunningham who has had the forwards for his books written by Massad Ayoob.

The best thing about the internet is that it's so full of expertise. The worst part of the internet is every man-jack on it thinks that they're one of the experts.

Shootin' Buddy and I playing bingo with our fellow students' questions in Guy Relford's Comprehensive Indiana Gun Law class, back in '14.

*You'd think I'd know better than to read the comments by now, right?


Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #245...

Here's a personal favorite of mine: A 1955-vintage K-22 Combat Masterpiece.

This pre-Model 18 with Spegel stocks basically lived in my range bag for years. I have no idea how many rounds it had before I got it, but it's seen rather a large number since then.

It's safe to say that I've busted more caps in this revolver than any other single wheelgun I've owned. It's entirely possible I've put more rounds through it than all other revolvers I've owned, combined. 

I couldn't tell you the exact round count I've put on it, but it's definitely in excess of 10k. Maybe as much as half again that total. There was one leisurely afternoon in the bays at MCF&G where I shot up a whole 525-round carton in a sitting, having to punch the chambers every hunnert, hunnert-'n'-fitty rounds or so to keep them from getting too sticky. Had to brush the cylinder face & forcing cone, too.

That was when I'd been shooting enough to still have a pretty good callus on my trigger. That narrow, serrated trigger chews me up enough these days that I'm usually pretty much done after a hundred rounds of fast double action.

I need to get that front sight fixed from where some previous owner had filed it down because he thought the gun was shooting low and left. Now, even with the rear sight bottomed out and cranked way to the left, it still shoots high and right of the sights. I've shot it enough that I can automatically dial in Kentucky windage at seven yards, but on an 8" plate at 20 yards you gotta hold off the lower left edge of the plate to get a ding.


Sunday, July 16, 2023

QotD: Best Defense Edition...

From Grant Cunningham:
"Inevitability (“you ARE going to be in a gunfight tomorrow”) carries the implicit assumption that there is absolutely nothing you can do to avoid it. There may be cases where that’s true, but for the most part not being a horses’ ass, avoiding “the stupids”, learning to swallow your pride, and not allowing yourself to be distracted in unsecured spaces will eliminate a surprisingly large percentage of gunfight scenarios."
You can't lose a fight you're not in.


Measuring Accuracy

"I don’t mean to decry other outlets, whether print or digital, but some of them seem to have pretty handwave-y standards for accuracy testing. You’ll see reports ranging from incredibly vague descriptions of a pistol being very accurate using naught but adjectival words and nary a number in sight, to mentions of a group size at a certain distance without much reference to whether this was obtained from a rest or by a shooter standing on their own hind legs or what have you.

Here at Shooting Illustrated, we have a standardized protocol that hopes to be more informative than that. Ideally, each handgun tested will be tested with three different loads—preferably of three different projectile weights and types, if possible—from three different manufacturers. We’ll provide chronograph data, and each of the three loads will be fired for five, five-shot groups and that information will be passed on to you, the reader.
Absent a mechanical rest, the largest variability in a pistol's accuracy is the torque on the trigger nut. When I was working at Coal Creek Armory we had a part timer who was a law school student by day, with a side hobby that included a list of junior and collegiate level bullseye titles as long as your arm. 

He got sent out on the range frequently with customer guns that were supposedly inaccurate, only to bring the target back to the customer and pronounce that there was nothing wrong with the pistol's accuracy...

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Pew! Pew! Pew!

The wee hours of Friday morning in scenic downtown Anderson, Indiana (pop. 54,788) suddenly turned into something out of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Meets the Keystone Kops".

Three dudes are at the gas pumps of the Jackson Mart convenience store at the corner of Jackson & 5th, kitty corner from the Anderson Fire Department HQ, when all of a sudden and for no reason at all, some dude (or dudes) in a passing vehicle took umbrage at them and cut loose with a fusillade of bullets at the trio.

Well, not appreciating being the target of a drive-by shooting, our protagonists at the gas pumps produce pistols of their own and return fire at their passing antagonists.

Meanwhile, stopped at the red light there at 5th & Jackson, is one Deputy Lemon of the Madison County Sheriff's Department. He doesn't see the drive-by shooter, just the dudes at the gas pump blazing away. Deducing that they must be shooting at him, he decides that what this situation needs is yet another person shooting up the environs of the Anderson business district at zero dark thirty, so he exits his cruiser, draws his popper, and gets to poppin'.

Net casualties (that we know of) are one 20-yr. old Mr. Ivy, one of the original trio at the gas pump, who stopped a bullet...although whose bullet he stopped is not yet known at the time of this writing. He was treated and released at a local hospital, and the Indiana State Police are trying to sort out who it was who winged him. As far as I can tell, the drivers-by are still at large.

My personal takeaways from this incident: "Avoid kwik-e-marts in the middle of the night unless absolutely necessary", and "Just because other people are shooting it doesn't mean I have to start blazing away, too".

Friday, July 14, 2023

Hey, look!

"With factory Novak sights, a bobbed hammer spur, factory frontstrap checkering, wraparound Delrin grip panels, ambidextrous safety/ decocker levers, and more, the 3913 was an answer to the pleas of the cognoscenti that the second-gen 469, with its chubby double stack grip, hadn’t addressed. There was a hot minute in the early ’90s when the 3913 was the CCW darling of the cognoscenti."

Automotif CCCXC...

Here's a 1967 Buick Electra 225 hardtop coupe in Arctic White. A bit over eighteen and a half feet long and tipping the scales at close to 4400 pounds, the '67 Deuce-and-a-Quarter was propelled down the road by a 430 cubic inch 4-bbl V-8 rated at 360 SAE Net horsepower.

The big Buicks of the time...LeSabre, Wildcat, and Electra...were all on the same platform and differed in levels of luxury and sportiness. 

Photographed with an Olympus E-5 and PanaLeica 14-150mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH.

Seven reasons you shouldn't buy a PHLster Enigma

Frank, informative, and classy.


Thursday, July 13, 2023

Overheard in the Hallway...

RX: "'Didn't have a grandfather'? If they didn't have a grandfather, how'd they even get here?"

Me: "Yeah! Everybody had two grandfathers... Well, we hope, at least."

Building Castles in the Sky...or on the 20th Floor

Pandemic hiring bloat apparently just called attention to an existing problem at a number of tech giants:
"While the pandemic's boom and bust brought the issue into stark relief, the various types of fake work have been growing within tech companies for years. Many of these issues come down to one fundamental problem: managers trying to get ahead.

At almost all tech companies, current and former employees said, bosses were rewarded for overhiring since it made them look important. Bloated org charts resulted in too many people fighting for work, a poor understanding of what each segment of the company was doing, and a rise in projects spun up merely to help managers get themselves promoted.

"People are often measured not in contribution but in head count." Moran said.
People and project management skills are generally not a core nerd competency.


Meta Reviewing

So, yesterday's photo of the new pistol was a hasty shot with an old Olympus E-300. Between the 2004-vintage 8MP sensor and the fact that I had to shoot at ISO400 in order to keep shutter speeds high enough to hand-hold, the result was kind of fuzzy due to the lack of any kind of image stabilization.

Here's a higher res shot with a newer camera.

Click to Embiggenate

So you might have noticed that "Wow, lots of people were suddenly talking about this pistol yesterday!"

That was, of course, what Springfield Armory's marketing department wanted.

Generally, manufacturers will send out guns to reviewers and holster makers and the like in advance of a predetermined release date. Some companies will go full-on with Non Disclosure Agreements and others will rely on everyone pinkie-swearing under the threat of future ostracism to not let the cat out of the bag until the launch day.

This gives everyone a chance to get a lot of hands-on time with the pistol before the official announcement date, and buys the manufacturer time to make sure they have their website ready, SKUs up to date, manuals printed, et cetera. This also means that websites will have their FIRST LOOK! pieces written and Vloggers will have their YouTube vids produced and in the can and all cued up and ready to publish the minute the embargo period ends. All that stuff hitting the web at once can generate a lot of buzz if done right.

Springfield is pretty savvy about this. Launch a new polymer striker-fired pistol at the traditional times, like SHOT Show or NRAAM, and it might get overlooked in the mob of everybody else's new polymer striker-fired pistols that get launched at SHOT or NRAAM, clever MRDS mounting system or no.

Coordinate your release date for, say, the middle of July, however, and it's going to automatically stand out more because it's the only big gun buzz happening at the moment.

Well-played, Springfield.

Now to finish typing up this review and send it to my editors.


Wednesday, July 12, 2023

All-New Pistol From Springfield Armory

It's not another XD variant, it's not a 1911, and it's not a stretched Hellcat. It's a new line of duty pistols using a modern modular chassis system like the P320, doesn't require a trigger pull for field-stripping, and it can direct-mount the most popular miniature red dot sights without the use of failure-prone adapter plates or gigantic suppressor-height backup irons.

It's called the Echelon, and my full review of it will be in a forthcoming issue of Shooting Illustrated.

The test pistol arrived with the Trijicon RMR RM06, Surefire X300U-A, and a Safariland 6360RDS Level Three retention holster. I'm not any kind of psychic, but if I had to read these tea leaves, I'd say that Geneseo and their Croatian friends are finally going to make a serious play for LE sales, something that never happened with the XD series.


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Buy More! Spend Now!

It's Prime Day, the big sale day at BezosMart, which is generally more hype than anything else. For many things, like appliances or electronics, you're better off waiting for more traditional sales, like Labor Day or  Black Friday.

But if you want the products actually made or marketed by Amazon, this really is the best day. They've got 7" Kindle Fire tablets for forty bucks and the Kindle Oasis is, like, a hundred bucks off.

It's the Kindle Fire that gets me. A high-res touchscreen tablet with sixteen gigabytes of memory, a thing that would have been absolutely nothing more than a prop in a cyberpunk scifi movie twenty years ago, is going for the price of dinner for two at Applebee's. Add drinks and dessert and you can get the 32GB 8" HD version.

I mean, I remember when the the 3.2" 160x144 screen on the Sega Game Gear was pretty frickin' magic. It's color! Backlit! You can play Mortal Kombat on it! Now my wristwatch has better than double that resolution. 


The Swedes Are In...

Apparently feeling he'd gotten about all he could get out of his game of chicken with the rest of NATO over Sweden's admission to the alliance, Erdogan folded.
"Turkey agreed on Monday to clear the way for Sweden to join NATO, a sudden reversal that allows the alliance to project an image of unity and expansion on the eve of a critical summit intended to prepare for what could be a long war to repel Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."
Initial speculation was that this meant the US had decided to supply more F16s to Turkey, but Stoltenberg says that's a separate issue and wasn't part of his discussion with the Turkish prez.



Some writing on the other, other blog from yesterday afternoon...

Winter Sunset in SoBro, photo with an Olympus E-300

Monday, July 10, 2023

Automotif CCCLXXXIX...

A Ferrari California T is certainly an eye-catching piece of hardware to roll down College Avenue.

The California T debuted in 2014, with sheet metal freshened from the previous California. It also replaced its predecessor's normally-aspirated 453 horsepower 4.3L V-8 with a 3.9L V-8 sporting a brace of turbochargers, bumping the power to 553 SAE Net bhp.

Photographed with a Nikon D7100 and 16-80mm f/4E VR.


Third World War

Bobbi has a link at her blog to a 1951 issue of Collier's magazine that's written as though it's a retrospective from 1960 looking back at a hypothetical WWIII that was sparked by a Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia. It's even got World War Three Willy & Joe cartoons by Bill Mauldin.

Joe in New Mexico

The whole thing reminds me of The Third World War: August 1985 by Sir John Hackett, a book whose covers I read clean off in middle school.


Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #244...

A suppressed M249 at CanCon '22 last November.


Sunday, July 09, 2023

A winner is me!

 I finally managed to get a soda order... three 12-packs of Mountain Dew Zero and one of Sprite Zero ...delivered as promised by Amazon Fresh yesterday.

This time I carefully checked "no substitutions" so I don't know if that helped or not.


People in my neighborhood...

Camera nerd deets on the Oly E-510 and Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens are at the other other blog.

Suitable for adventures...

...but you'd need a bullwhip made out of some kind of fancy leather to go with it. Maybe with sparkles.

Here's a Sunday Smith: A factory nickel .44 Special Hand Ejector Second Model, dating to early 1921. The serial number would indicate it was the 472nd one off the line when production resumed after the Great War.

The mother of pearl stocks are gorgeous, but are too old, fragile, and valuable to actually fire the gun with them on it. They're just for lookin', not for shootin'.

Photos were shot with an Olympus E-510 & a Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens.

Saturday, July 08, 2023

Friday, July 07, 2023

Remembered Pain

The 20 lines-per-inch checkering on the Springfield Pro is sure grippy, but it will leave your hands bloody and taped up by the end of a three-day Louis Awerbuck class.

Even 30 lpi checkering can chew you up with enough shooting in a weekend.

Of course, if you're shooting the Austrian Drastic Plastic, there's always Glock knuckle to contend with.


Thursday, July 06, 2023

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #243...

Springfield Armory Professional: Canon EOS 5D Mark II & EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro

Mechanix gloves, Bollé goggles, a black PASGT helmet, Winchester Ranger .45ACP, and a McCann Industries Puffin Magnum... I was going for a turn-of-the-millennium SWAT vibe.

For the first time in nearly a decade I found myself wishing I hadn't sold my Safariland 1911 gun bucket. Oh well...


Tactical Buzzwording and Practical Pistols

A reader of Greg Ellifritz's wrote to him to inquire whether he should use the P365 he actually carries or the larger P320 he uses as a bedside gun in an upcoming class. The instructor had recommended using the P320.

Fundamentals: On a square range.

Of note was how he described the class: "[A] two day Defensive Pistol 1 Course where we will be firing at least 500rds per day."

Like the class instructor, Greg recommended going with the larger pistol.
"In a weekend shooting class that involves firing more than 500 rounds a day, you will get incredibly fatigued. You will get blisters on your hands. You will be sore from the recoil (even from a 9mm). Shooting 500 rounds in a day while actually concentrating on learning new skills is a demanding endeavor both mentally and physically. Recognize that most gun owners will never fire 500 rounds out of a single handgun in the course of an average lifespan."
While instructors will often hang a label like "tactical" or "defensive" off a class like this for marketing purposes, the fact of the matter is that a good quality 500-rd/day class is generally going to be a pure shooting mechanics class because there won't be time for anything else. The closest thing you might get to tactics is if the instructor encourages a sidestep on the draw.

To put this in perspective, compare the round counts for some classic classes. A forty hour MAG-40 class is spread over four to five days, and twenty of those hours will be in live fire, with a round count of approximately five hundred rounds, total. A classic Gunsite 250 is five days of training, some of it in shoot houses and other moving, "tactical" type situations, and the round count for the whole week is about a thousand rounds.

Tactics: In a shoot house.

By comparison, I've taken two-day mechanics-focused classes with trainers like Todd Green, Ernest Langdon, and Scott Jedlinski that burned up that much ammo in a weekend. Part of it is that every drill needs to be repeated as many times as there are shooters in a relay, so that the instructor can give each student direct observation and coaching feedback. 

Some of those gunhandling skills are going to port over to pretty much any pistol you use, and for those that don't, there are instructors who teach classes specifically geared toward smaller pistols and/or working from deep concealment. The round counts and the pace of those classes will also be adjusted accordingly, to allow you to, e.g., tuck your shirt back in over your PHLster Enigma between drills or properly re-holster a pocket-carried J-frame.

Interactive: Force on force against an opposing will.

Relatedly, Dave Spaulding has a good piece in G&A where he breaks down the different types of training. He arranges them in a hierarchy, but you could easily look at them as a three-legged stool. 
"Over time, I’ve come to look at firearms training as a three-tiered pyramid I call the Hierarchy of Combative Firearms Training. The tiers are: 1) Essentials (I prefer this term to “fundamentals”); 2) Combative Aspects; and 3) Interactive Aspects. You must properly train and anchor skills through each level before you attempt the next. For example, would you take a counter-terror driving course before you take basic driver’s training? Of course not. Along these same lines, you should not try to fight with a pistol until you’ve learned how to shoot and manipulate it. Some think they are one in the same but that is not the case. If you throw a punch before you’ve learned how to make a fist, your punch won’t be effective and will likely result in injury and failure."