Friday, July 21, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: Marriage Humor

Tom finally decided to tie the knot with his longtime girlfriend. 
One evening, after the honeymoon, he was welding some stuff in the garage just for fun. 
His new wife was standing there at the bench watching him.

After a long period of silence she finally spoke, "Honey, I've just been thinking, now that we are married maybe it's time you quit spending all your time out here in the shop. You probably should just consider selling all your welders along with your gun collection and that stupid vintage Harley."

Tom got a horrified look on his face.

"She said, "Darling, what's wrong?"

He replied, "There for a minute you were starting to sound like my ex-wife."


Tom replied: "I wasn't."

I can laugh because I am blessed that Colleen not only supports, but very much encourages my hobbies.

H/T to Irons in the Fire for the humor.

He Just "Went Bananas"

I've often said if you can't be trusted with a gun, you probably can't be trusted on the street without supervision. Here's an example of why. Jorge Jove of Hialeah, Florida decided he didn't like the AT&T trucks parked on the public street. His reaction was a bit over the top.

Jove was arrested and later let out on bond. If you ask me his reaction indicates more than a little instability. I'm all for "innocent until proven guilty" but perhaps some time should be taken to make sure he won't snap again. What if the victims had been kids he didn't want riding bicycles on the street when he "went bananas"? Stupid people doing stupid things wth guns just pisses me off. The snowflakes and anti-gunners waste no time in lumping all gun owners with this guy.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Negligent Discharges

In the approximately nine years I've been playing gun games, I've seen a few DQ's for safety reasons. (The percentage of DQs to shooters is actually quite minuscule.) These are typically 180° violations, or negligent discharges when reloading or moving. In the interest of full disclosure, my own DQ was for a dropped gun. There's a reason for the strict safety rules in USPSA and IDPA and a reason all gun handling happens under the watchful eye of a safety officer. Thanks to those strict rules, the sports have an excellent safety record. Even experienced competitors make mistakes, and when it happens, it's only right that they are done for the day. It hurts, but if your brain isn't fully engaged, it could hurt even more more.

What brings this to mind? Recently, for the second time in about two years I witnessed a negligent discharge, up close. Neither was during a sanctioned match. The first time was when I arrived at the range as an acquaintance was leaving. He knew I was fan of SIG Sauer guns, and wanted to show me a SIG he had with him. We stood at the back of his pickup truck, he uncased the gun and went through his clearing routine; rack the slide, then drop the mag and pull the trigger. The round went right into the bed of his truck. Fortunately, I was very aware of his muzzle and had positioned myself to his side. This man is a very experienced shooter and retired federal law enforcement. 

The most recent occurrence was at another shooting club. I was standing at my car going through the gear I was going to need for shooting that day. Suddenly I heard what sounded like a gun shot, though the sound was somewhat muted. There was a bit of commotion two vehicles over, where I saw two men looking through the cab of their truck. I later heard bits of a conversation regarding "lowering the hammer on a 1911." 

Both of these events occurred at a gun club, but away from the firing line. Both events occurred at the gun owner's vehicle. Both shooters were showing the gun to someone or (apparently) otherwise distracted by another person. I've often remarked that one of the reasons I dislike "gun free zones" and gun shows is that people are fiddling with guns in their cars. There are times when I need to remove a firearm from my belt while in a vehicle. I strive to be attentive and undistracted when I find myself doing that.

Firearms are tools. In fact, they are relatively simple tools. And those four rules work pretty well. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some Range Time

Despite being able to shoot in matches the past couple weeks, the foibles of life have prevented any actual range trips for practice. Finally after work Tuesday, my son and I took advantage of the moderate (i.e., below 95°) weather to hit the range before dinner. The shaded pistol bay was pleasant enough, even though we could hear thunder far off in the distance.

We did all of our shooting this trip from the 10 yard line. I wanted to focus on tighter shots, so much of my time was spent on head shots. I was mostly pleased with the results. A lot of those shots were taken in controlled pairs at the top of the IDPA target, or in body/head combinations.

I also expended a lot of my ammo on strong hand and weak hand only shooting. I have to say I impressed even myself with the strong hand only portion of that. 80% or more of those shots were in the -0 zone, and the rest barely out. However I was less satisfied with the weak hand shooting. About half of the hits were high right of the -0, and even a few crept into the -3 shoulder zone. I will definitely be putting in more time on that skill.

Since more than two shots in a string, as well as any movement, is now banned at the range, these trigger control focused drills help make the best use of my time, and ammo supply. It's also the area where I think I need the most work. On future trips I hope to extend the one hand shooting out to 15 yards. If I can get good hits at 15 yards, the common 7 and 10 yard shots should come easy. (Wistfully stated.)

It was good time spent with my son. We are fortunate that our work schedules pretty much coincide, so we are able to get to the range together fairy frequently. We'll enjoy that until he heads back to school later this summer.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

VCDL Petition For National Reciprocity

Today's alert from VCDL has an important action item for gun owners and 2nd Amendment supporters nationwide.
I just created a White House petition asking the President to urge Congress to pass H.R. 38 as soon as possible and get the bill on his desk!


The petition requires 100,000 signature BY AUGUST 17TH to be considered by the President. Please sign and forward to any and all gun groups you know - from gun clubs, gun organizations, chat groups, friends, family, coworkers, and fellow church members!

We can do this, but we need all the help we can get from gun owners across the nation.

Here is the link to the petition:

August 17 is not that far off. Please give your support to this petition. Sign today and share.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Christiansburg Action Pistol Match

We were visiting in Blacksburg this weekend, which happened to be the same weekend of Christiansburg Izaak Walton League's monthly Action Pistol Match. Since I would be missing the monthly IDPA match at Rivanna, I decided to check out the Christiansburg match.

The Christiansburg Action Pistol matches use IDPA targets and scoring, and in general, follow IDPA rules. However the matches aren't official IDPA matches, so there are some liberties taken to add some interesting challenges.

The first stage shot by the squad that I was on was a classic IDPA stage. There were two partial targets on either side of some barrels to be shot while stationary. Then while moving forward towards cover, two more partial targets were engaged. The final four targets were engaged from cover. It was a fun stage, though I didn't shoot it as well as I would have liked, or frankly, expected. Well, maybe the morning kinks are worked out.

The second stage was an all steel stage. A variety of steel was set up; a Texas Star, square plates, animal targets, a swinging hostage target, and a very, very small steel IDPA target  — 17 in all. All steel was shot while stationary. It's been a number of years since I shot a Texas Star, so that was fun. Hitting the steel "hostage" would be a hit on a non-threat adding to the challenge of the small red swinger. I didn't hit the non-threat, but used all 31 one of my rounds, and left the tiniest target standing.

Arrow marks the little guy

The stage "Sucker Punch" offered another unique shooting challenge. The scenario was that you've been hit in the eye and knocked to the ground, losing the use of your strong-side eye. We had to use a bit of paper towel behind our glasses to block our vision in the eye, forcing us to aim with the weak side eye. The six open targets were engaged while laying on the ground on our strong side. This certainly was new challenge for me, but I was pleasantly surprised to do pretty well.

Next up was a standards stage with three targets with non-threats in between. The stage consisted of three six shot strings. The first shot freestyle from about 15 yards, followed by strong and weak hand strings shot while backing up, starting at about 7 yards.

A stage labeled "What a Drag" had us again shooting strong hand only, this time while dragging a "body." Three targets were engaged strong hand only, while dragging the body to behind cover. At that position there were three more targets to shoot after dropping the dummy. We then moved to another wall where we hit a stomp plate which activated a drop turner, before hitting the last stationary target. Interestingly, this was my best stage of the match, placing 3rd of 19 in SSP.

Our last challenge, "Who's You Daddy?" had us shooting from a seated position. We faced six targets arranged in stacked pairs. There was a target stand directly in front of us that we knocked over at the start. Once we were seated with that target blocking our view, one of the six targets was randomly marked as a non-threat by hanging a man's tie on the target.

This was a very enjoyable and challenging match in a beautiful mountain setting. The other shooters I met were exceptionally friendly too. I didn't shoot as well as I had hoped, but had a great time nonetheless. My finish was 19th of 55 overall and 4th out of 19 in SSP. I'll be sure to check the club calendar whenever I'm visiting Blacksburg to see if I can make future matches.

A few more pictures from the match are here.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tempted to Play Hookie

Each morning as I leave for work, I pass by my stack of "range stuff" in the garage. It makes me wish I was going to the range, instead of the office.

One of these days, I'm going to be "too sick" to work.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Gun People Are Good People

I often remark that one of my favorite aspects of the shooting sports is the joy of hanging out with like-minded folks. A common trait seen among this crowd is an unabashed love of our country. I witnessed a moving example of this patriotism last weekend at the Fairfax IDPA Match.

Every match at the club kicks off with the playing of our National Anthem. On Saturday as we stood respectfully as a musical rendition of the Star Spangled Banner played, the PA system suddenly gave out. Without missing a beat, seventy-five shooters spontaneously picked up where the music stopped and finished the song a cappella.

It took my breath away.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Parachutes, Fire Extinguishers, Guns

It's almost a cliche regarding safety equipment that if you don't have it when you need it, you likely won't need it again. I recently ran across this quote from Tom Givens that sums it up quite succinctly.
"You don’t choose when you’ll need your gun; someone else does. And they will typically only inform you at the last moment."

Carry your gun.

See the review of training we took from Tom Givens here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fairfax IDPA Match

This weekend's IDPA match at the Fairfax Rod & Gun club had four stages offering some interesting and enjoyable shooting challenges. It was also quite a pleasant day weather wise, especially considering we're in the middle of July.

The first stage our squad shot started with us facing a non-threat target, with two very close targets to our right. We turned to shoot the two close targets from retention, before engaging two more distant targets while backing up. To finish the course of fire there were four more targets shot from cover, two of which were head shot only targets. It was fast but fun stage. A lot of folks had never shot from retention prior to this, so they had a new experience here. I finished -0 on the stage.

The next stage was a standards stage with three strings — shot freestyle, strong hand only, and weak hand only. Shots were limited to one per target each string, and fired on the move at six reduced scoring zone targets. I do try to practice one hand shooting regularly, and feel fairly confident while standing still, but I have no opportunity to do it while moving, unless it's in match. I know I had a couple misses, and a bunch of -1 shots, giving me a big 15 down for the stage.

As we were making our way to our third stage, we could hear ringing steel coming from the bay. Then I caught a glance of a swinging target and knew what was up next. We started this stage behind a barricade holding a "cell phone" in front of our face. Dropping the phone, we engaged a fallen popper to activate a swinging target, which we shot while on the move across the bay towards cover. From cover we shot 4 paper targets and another falling popper. It was another -0 stage for me.

The last stage of the match consisted of just three targets, set between 25 and 35 yards. There was a lone non-threat place about center view down range as well. This was going to be the toughest challenge of the day. I've done very little long range shooting of late, and have been less than satisfied with the results. However, I had fortuitously worked on 20 yards shots during the range trip on Friday, and the success that day did help boost my confidence here.

This stage was on a mostly shaded bay, and there was a cloud cover at the time. Though I never thought I'd say it, I lamented not having the bright sun in the afternoon at a match. To my eyes the targets were quit faint in the distance.

Way. Out. There.
Four hits were required on each target. My shooting plan for the stage included a few extra shots on each increasingly distant target; 5 shots, 6 shots, reload, 7 shots. While shooting, it seemed to me that the front of the pistol was dancing all over the place in relation to the target, though I did feel confident in my sight alignment. With great anticipation I walked down range to hear the scores called out. "Down 0. Down 1. Down 2. Non-threat clean." To say I was pleased with the -3 was an understatement.

In general I was happy with how I shot. I need to work more on strong hand and weak hand shooting, but otherwise it was a good day. Overall I ended up 10th out of 75 shooters, and 3rd of 9 in SSP Sharpshooter. Not bad for a guy "that old."

This match is becoming more popular and the club is working to accommodate an increasing number of shooters, though the large crowd makes for a long day. The four stage match took five hours to complete, but it was a most enjoyable way to spend time. Shooting well always raises the fun level up a notch or two, and this month's match was especially fun I thought.