Sunday, April 30, 2017

Remember Cap Guns?


Maybe if they still sold toy guns, there wouldn't be a market for skinny jeans.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

"Science"

We hear a lot about "scientific fact" from progressives lately. This tweet from Dan Bongino aptly sums up what is really being promoted



Humor often provides an insight to truth...

Friday, April 28, 2017

CCW Badges

I ran across this product on a Facebook posting recently. I thought it was a leftover April Fool's Day joke, but it appears to be a real thing.



I've never understood the fascination some people have with unconcealing their concealed carry status. There's a guy I often see at a local range who proudly wears this badge. I try not to laugh out loud.

The "reviews" of the CCW banner are quite entertaining too.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Don't Try This At Home

I really want a home range, but I will hold out for a different solution.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

For The Love of Beer

Some people really like their Budweiser.
When fire broke out inside a home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, police say Michael Casteel rushed inside his apartment, in defiance of first responders' orders, to save what he held most dear - two cans of Bud Ice Premium.

The bumbling beer lover's valiant act landed Casteel in jail Sunday afternoon on two counts of obstruction.
 
A spokesperson for the Sioux Falls Police Department slammed Casteel's suds-saving heroics as an instance or 'poor judgement.'

"Poor judgement."  That's an understatement.  Now, if it had been Westvleteren 12....

See "He was saving his best Bud!" for the full story.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

No Rain at the Indoor Range

After missing all of last week, I was anxious to get in some trigger time this week. I had hoped this would happen at the outdoor range, but a prediction of several days of rain make that unlikely. Staring out of my office window at the heavy rain Monday made it hard to get motivated to even drive to the indoor range.

But, I did get motivated. I had a specific practice plan in mind for this session and started out shooting 50 round Julie Glob drill with the P320, this time at 10 yards. Shooting from low ready, I focused on quick target sighting and fast follow up shots when required. I jerked one of the head shots pretty seriously, and was a bit high on one body shot but was otherwise pleased.

After that I switched to the S&W Shield for some general practice. After several magazines with the smaller weapon, I went back to the SIG. The rest of my time was spent doing slower fire at 10 and 15 yards. I am feeling ever more comfortable with the new gun. For me, it points significantly differently than the P226, which I’ve put some 75,000 rounds through over the past 7 years. The good news is I’m starting to get used to the P320 and getting tighter groups, and pulling fewer shots.

That makes 1,025 rounds through the new P320. I gave myself a goal of 1,000 rounds before I tried out the gun in competition, or considered carrying it. Given upcoming fun family plans (and a less fun work calendar) over the next month or so, there is little opportunity for any pistol matches, so the round count will continue to grow through practice time.

I still hold out hope for a trip to the outdoor range later this week. If it doesn’t happen, perhaps I’ll plan another indoor trip. While my schedule allows, I'll take every opportunity I can to shoot. One never knows when the next "dry spell" will hit. After all, shooting IS a perishable skill, and for some of us it perishes more quickly.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Patience Needed at the Bar

One way I judge bar service is by how long my beer glass stays empty before the bartender notices. The truth be told, if the glass is already empty when the server notices, they are behind the curve. We were traveling last weekend and stopped into the hotel bar for a drink after dinner. It didn't take long to realize my second beer was going to be long in coming.


More than 14 minutes passed before the bartender looked up and acknowledged me, despite us being seated right in front of the taps. (I didn't start the timer for a few minutes after emptying my glass.) On the other hand, we saw one patron's beer get poured as soon as he ordered it, it then sat on the bar for 15 minutes before being delivered.

We took a chance on ordering a late snack as well, and the food service followed the same pattern. In the end our food was comped by the manager. On the bright side we did enjoy fun conversation with other patrons as we commiserated over our woes at attracting the attention of the staff.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Marketing Genius

This would cause snowflake meltdown if it aired in the U.S.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

No Shooting Last Week

I know that I have been quite fortunate to be able to visit the range frequently. It's a conscience effort on my part to go shooting at least once a week. Those visits, in addition to the organized matches, are my version of sanity in a busy life. Yet, all that frequent shooting, makes NOT going all the more noticeable.

I've had my range gear with me at work all week. But this was also the week that saw the implementation of a large project I'd been leading for months. Staff was trained, equipment was in place, and we were on time! A range trip celebration would have been the icing on the cake.

Yet it was not to be. Even with the project rolling out successfully, other duties kept calling. No time to rest on laurels as there's always other work to do. Each time I thought a break was in sight, the phone would ring, or someone would come by the office with a new task or request for assistance. On a couple evenings after work I even thought about heading over to the outdoor range, but never made that trip either.


As one of my favorite diversions, the range time was sorely missed. So now I'm previewing next week's calendar...

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Problem With "Steal the Glass" Promotions

A popular event at many pubs is the deceptively named "Steal the Glass" night. There's usually a few beers offered from a featured brewery, and the patron gets to "steal" a special glass, featuring the brewery's logo. Often that glass is a simple shaker pint, other times the glass can be unique or interesting in some way. 

The fallacy of the promotion is that with few exceptions, the drinker isn’t "stealing" anything, they are actually paying extra for the beer, in order to keep the "free" glass. I have dozens of glasses I’ve acquired at Steal the Glass events, but often times I simply don’t want the glass, and I certainly don’t want to pay extra for a glass I don’t need. And therein lies the rub.

We went out for dinner at a local pub the other night. I had seen a post on Facebook that the restaurant was "featuring" SweetWater Brewery, and pouring their 420 Pale Ale and SweetWater's 20th Anniversary Imperial Hash IPA. However, when we arrived we learned the beers were part of a "Steal the Glass" promotion. In addition, there were actually no SweetWater Brewery specific glasses being offered. Instead we would pick from leftover glasses from previous events — it was a "garage sale."

Wanting to try the Imperial Hash IPA, but not wanting to buy a random piece of glassware not even related to the featured brewery, I inquired if I could get the beer at the regular price and not pay the premium to "steal the glass. As I knew it would be, the answer was in the negative. I knew that because I had asked in the past, with the same answer. I didn't need or want the glass, so I ordered a different beer enjoy. Fortunately, I did have a very tasty Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA served from a cask.

We end up at this establishment on Wednesdays often, so we happen to hit their "Steal the Glass" nights with some regularity. And indeed, there are often interesting beers being offered. On occasion I even opt to pay to "steal," and take home an interesting glass. However, on more than one occasion we have been refused the featured beer for not wanting to pay extra for a glass. A pub should have glasses in which to serve beer without requiring the patron to buy one.

I wonder, could I bring back some purchased glasses and get refills at a discount?

Too much 'extra' glassware already

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spam: ISIS holes

From a recent comment posted from Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, intended for the two year old "The ISIS Shooting Drill" post:
That being said, the stuff you're drilling holes in can change vastly. It could be timber, brick, glass, steel, or possibly tile. Distinct bits are typically required for every various surface. [Link redacted]

The search term "drill" was all it took for "Mueeid Soomro" to find us. I suspect the irony of "drilling holes" given the subject matter was lost on the intrepid entrepreneur.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Father & Son Range Visit

Our son was able to come home for the Easter weekend. Even though he was here less than 48 hours, we were thrilled that he made the long drive so that we could celebrate as a family. We were sitting around Saturday afternoon talking, mostly about guns, and the discussion turned to a possible range trip. Colleen was planning an early dinner before the Easter Vigil. My part in the preparations involved steaks on the grill, and that was supposed to happen in about 15 minutes. We had several hours still before we needed to head over for Mass. I called an audible to delay dinner and we headed over to the range so he could shoot the new P320.

We set up a couple targets and my college student started putting shots in the center of the target right off the bat. (Sometimes he's annoying that way.) I kept loading and feeding him magazines, and encouraged him to work back to greater distances. He stayed consistent with good hits as he moved.



We had also brought along the smaller SIG P239 and he shot that for a bit too. He's been shooting that gun for years, and always enjoyed it. It is indeed a fun gun to shoot and I too bring it out regularly. Quite quickly he ran through the 200 rounds I had packed, though I did take the trigger for about 20 shots.

It was a short but especially fun outing. I didn't do much shooting myself, but the talk time with my son was most enjoyable. We were back home about an hour later, and I quickly fired up the grill. The dish of scalloped potatoes was still warm from the oven when the steak was served. There was even time for a cup of coffee before we headed out for the Easter celebration.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"He is not here"

With those words, we learn that the promises of Our Lord were fulfilled. The empty tomb reminds us that death and sin have been conquered. Whenever I think about the Resurrection, I am struck by the sense of awe the women must felt at the tomb. I often too wonder what those who persecuted Him must have thought on Easter morning.

As we go through life we face many trials and tribulations. But we must always remember that "the worse thing that could ever happen" has already happened. The biggest battle man could ever face has already been fought, and won, for us. Jesus conquered death so that we could have eternal life. We rejoice in that knowledge at Easter.

Today we celebrate the fulfillment of Our Lord's promise of eternal life. On this most glorious of days, our worries and fears are laid to rest. We are reminded that the war between good and evil has already been fought, and that good has forever triumphed. For three days, Satan thought he had won. Three days vs. eternity. Easter gives us the strength to persevere against the lies of the evil one, to resist temptations, and to fight the persecution Christians around the world face on a daily basis.

Here's wishing you a blessed and joy-filled Easter. May the joy of the Resurrection remain in your life all year long.

Mass offered on the Tomb of Jesus,
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem.
Photo by Colleen

Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
-- Matthew 28: 5-6

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Friday Morning On The Range

I took the day off from work Friday, and took advantage of the cool morning air and the bright sun to do a bit of shooting. As I was loading the car I noted there was an intermittent, but strong, breeze blowing through, so I packed a metal target stand as well. As it happened, the breeze was quite strong at the range. I employed a large rock to keep my extra targets from blowing away from the bench. Hanging cardboard from the rope at the berm would have been futile.


The new holster from Comp-Tac had arrived during the week so I was finally able to get in some live fire drawing practice with the new gun. During my dry fire this week I had noticed that my grip on the draw was somewhat different than my previous set up, so I experimented with adjustments to my hand position. As the session went on, I could see corresponding improvement.

The range time started with draw practice at 7 yards to work on that grip and getting on target. I also did some one-handed shooting, something I will continue to repeat each range visit. A bit of shooting on the move finished up the opening salvos.

Feeling good, it was time to move back to 15 yards. This is my favorite practice distance of late. It's beyond where I can see the target clearly, so it provides a decent challenge. I shot at least 50 rounds focusing on hitting the head section of the IDPA target. With attention to grip and trigger pull I was putting most of them pretty well-centered. (If only I could that combine that accuracy with match speed...) The rest of the time was spent firing multiple shots into the body and head areas in combination strings of fire. The shooter on the next bay was also shooting rapid strings, so I took advantage of lack of "overseers" and followed suit.

This was the first "real" shooting I've gotten to do with the SIG P320. That makes 750 rounds through the gun. I admit it, I simply enjoy shooting, and doing it with a new gun is a special treat. On top of all that, it was a most pleasant morning to be outside on the range. Despite being "off" from the day job, my phone alerted me to a message from our CIO. I returned his call, leaving a voice message in return. Of course gun fire started up from the neighboring bay while I was leaving my message. It may be an interesting conversation when we talk next week.

And that's a wrap

Friday, April 14, 2017

Limbo


The ancient greyness shifted suddenly and thinned like mist upon the moors before a wind.

An old, old prophet lifted a shining face and said:

“He will be coming soon. The Son of God is dead; He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls. They wondered if they dreamed

save one old man who seemed not even to have heard.

And Moses, standing, hushed them all to ask if any had a welcome song prepared.

If not, would David take the task?

And if they cared could not the three young children sing the Benedicite,

the canticle of praise they made when God kept them from perishing in the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them, stilling Moses’ words.

No one could speak, remembering the first fresh flowers, the little singing birds.

Still others thought of fields new ploughed or apple trees all blossom-boughed.

Or some, the way a dried bed fills with water laughing down green hills.

The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam on bright blue seas.

The one old man who had not stirred remembered home.

And there He was, splendid as the morning sun and fair as only God is fair.

And they, confused with joy, knelt to adore

Seeing that He wore five crimson stars He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung. None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song,

A silent man alone of all that throng found tongue — not any other.

Close to His heart when the embrace was done, old Joseph said,

“How is Your Mother, How is Your Mother, Son?”
-- Sister Mary Ada

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Back to the Range

I escaped for another lunch-time outing at the indoor range on Tuesday. Approaching the range I noticed a number of Sheriff's department vehicles at the end of the street. Hmm, that might not be good. Fortunately they seemed to be concentrated around the business next door. The range itself was devoid of patrons, just the way I like it. Only one other shooter came in while we were there.

On this trip I was accompanied by a coworker who was having trouble shooting his new M&P Shield. What I saw was the classic "low and left." I offered some free advice and then set out to work on my own shooting.



I took along some B-34 silhouette targets, also known as the "ISIS Shooting Drill." Rolling the target out to 15 yards, the order of the day was slow aimed fire. I found I was pulling my shots directly to the left a bit, only slightly but certainly noticeable at that distance. (And I do find anything "left" to be especially offensive.) If I had been shooting at an IPDA or USPSA target, all would be well, but the small scoring rings on this target makes the shift stand out. At the same time, if I really slowed, I could keep them all in the 4" head area. 

As usual, it was a pleasant diversion from work. Another 150 rounds was put through the new SIG P320, and I'm still quite pleased with how the weapon shoots.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Saturday Afternoon at the Range

In the past week, three attempts at hitting the range were called off at the last minute by work or weather. Once we were literally in the car before being rerouted by downed trees. Other than a quick chronograph session, I've not been able to hit the outdoor range at all this year, except when shooting a match. Any practice with the gun has been limited to indoor ranges.

It worked out on Saturday afternoon that I finished ignored some chores, and headed out to see if I could get on a range and shoot. Surprisingly, despite the beautiful weather, the park was empty except for a lone shooter each of the rifle and larger pistol bays. No nosey range officers in sight either.

I've been telling myself it's time to work on areas that might provide as much fun, but where I see need to make improvements. That includes specifically strong hand and weak hand only shooting. Starting out at 7 yards I shot a few magazines weak hand only, followed by few more strong hand only. I didn't do too bad but I will practice this at 10 yards in the future to challenge myself further.

After taking a few shots at 25 yards, the rest of the afternoon was spent at the 15 yard line. Transitioning back and forth between the two targets allowed me to really start getting used to the new P320. The empty range gave me the opportunity to fire multi-shot groups on each target as well.

Including head shots in the transition drills added variety and an extra challenge. It often seems that when aiming for the head of the target especially, I tend to shoot low. The results were less than disappointing, even while quickly switching between targets.



The unplanned trip was most enjoyable. I rarely even attempt to shoot at this range on the weekends, but I'm glad I took a shot (so to speak) on Saturday. I'm pleased with the new gun and will hopefully be able to shoot it frequently in the coming weeks as I want to use it in some upcoming matches. Now I'm anxiously awaiting delivery of the mag pouches and holster I've ordered.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Ice Cream For Breakfast

We already know about the health benefits of beer. Now it seems we can add ice cream to our list of healthy food choices. A new study concludes that eating ice cream after waking up can make you smarter.
Most parents would consider it a crime to give a child ice cream for breakfast. But they might rethink allowing their kids to have a scoop of the cold, sweet treat first thing in the morning, if they knew it could make them smarter. Although an early morning sugar rush may be parents and teachers worst fears, a new study recently found eating ice cream first thing in the morning can actually be beneficial for the brain. The study, published by Kyorin University professor Yoshihiko Koga, said eating ice cream right after waking up can result in improved instances of alertness and mental performance.

I love science!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

This Is Why I Don't Go To Gun Shows

I haven't set foot in a gun show since 2009. This is one reason. How many gun safety violations can you see here?



The accompanying story reports that former Tulsa County reserve deputy, Brian Pounds shot Rick Treadwell in the finger. That Treadwell was only shot in the finger is nothing short of miraculous. The video shows Pounds racking the slide to check, supposedly to check for an empty chamber, without first removing the magazine from the gun. That action subsequently loaded a round into the chamber. He then points the gun at another person. And pulls the trigger.

It's only four rules. It shouldn't be that hard to keep straight.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

That's Not How Iron Sights Work

This is a promotional poster for the movie American Assassin.



I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that. I may go just to see what happens when he pulls the trigger.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

When Support is Offshore

I've been dealing with a major software company which has apparently moved their support services offshore. I received the following email response...
Hi David,

Apologies for the incontinence caused, allow me a couple of hours & let me revert with answer.

Thanks
Shray

And it was downhill from there...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Gun Range Trip

Recently I picked up a new gun I've had my eye on for some time, a full size SIG Sauer P320. I'm an unabashed SIG Sauer fan, but I like the striker fired action of my Smith & Wesson Shield. When the new striker-fired P320 series came out, I was interested, because, well, it's a SIG. I finally bit the bullet, so to speak.

Tired of simply fondling the gun, I made it to the range this week to actually shoot it. There really isn't much to say, except I like it. 😊



The first thing I did was to shoot groups at some black pasters I stuck to my target, to see where the gun points. Shooting at 7, 10 and 15 yards I found there was little difference from my P226. Next I did some strong hand and weak hand only shooting. My skills in those areas of late leave much to be desired, but I did find the grip of this gun fit my hand very well and it's easily controllable. I easily kept my one-handed shots in the -0 zone at 10 yards.

Finally, I ran the target all the way out to 25 yards. I tend to shoot low at that distance; not having a clear view of the target likely factors into that. At least this time, with some hard focus on the sights, I didn't do any worse that usual. The group was slightly tighter at that distance and well centered on the target. I'm a firm believer in the adage, "It's the indian not the arrow," but I do like the stock trigger on the P230, and that may contribute to the improvement noted.

That all said, the real test comes with time — with more shooting, at a faster pace especially. I expect many more trips to the range in the coming days and weeks.

There is a downside to adding a new gun to the mix. Now I'm ordering extra magazines, and mag carriers, and holsters...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Virginia Indoor Regional IDPA Match

Last Saturday I travelled with a couple friends down to the Norfolk County Rifle Range in Chesapeake, VA, to shoot the Virginia Indoor Regional IDPA match. This match consists of 10 stages, five of which are shot in the dark. I met my companions at about the halfway point in the drive, and rode along the second half. That made the three hour trip much more interesting.

Five courses of fire were set up, making full use of the club's indoor range. The stages are shot first in the dark, then again in the light, giving 10 stages for the match. Slight changes were made in four of the courses between the dark and light portions of the match. Simple on paper, the stages were deceptive in their difficulty — target placement led to some really tight shots — which led to a few missed shots! 



The event was exceptionally well run. Conducting a match in the dark adds complexity, especially with the efforts to keep shooters safe. After a quick walkthrough of the first five dark stages, our group was divided in half. The first half took assigned seats and awaited their turn, while the rest waited at the back of the bay. I had expected low light shooting, but when they say "in the dark," they really mean "in the dark." The staff went to great lengths to block any light from entering the range. After the shooters were seated in their places, the lights were turned out. When it was our turn to shoot, we were instructed to place a hand on the SO's shoulder and with a small red light he guided us to our stage. After the "load and make ready" command, the SO's red flashlight was turned off and we prepared for the beep. After shooting, we were led back, still in the dark, to our seats and the next shooter shot his stage. After the group had shot, the lights came back on and we retrieved our dropped mags and the stages were scored and reset by the SO's. The process was completed for the next group and we rotated stages until everyone had shot all five dark stages. 

The process ran smoothly and at no time did I ever feel unsafe. As I sat in the dark waiting to shoot my first stage, I did get a little anxious. It was the first time I had ever shot in the dark and didn't really know what to expect. My mind was running through my stage, "Were there two or three targets there?" Was the non-threat to the left or right?" Once I had the first stage completed, I was able to relax a bit. After everyone had shot all the stages in the dark, the crew made the needed changes to the setup, and the whole process repeated for the light stages. At least now we could see the other shooters as they shot.

Occasionally I momentarily lost my way, and had to quickly scan with the light to make sure I had shot all the targets. At times, my flashlight shifted and I needed to adjust my hold to see the target. At one point, my flashlight was aimed below the port through which were were shooting and all I saw was a wall of white smoke in front of me. When I got to the point where we had to shoot strong hand only, I was briefly baffled, "Wait, what do I do with the flashlight?" My hand went to my chest where it normally would go, before I shifted to the side of my neck. 

We shot the entire match in about three hours. The whole process was extremely well-organized and the SO's kept us moving. Our squad dwindled as we lost a few shooters to DQ's, which made the turn around time between shooting even quicker. At times I did feel a little rushed to load mags and get prepped for my next run, but that was probably more me than reality. The staff did an amazing job keeping things flowing, and their experience at running this event was obvious.

I was quite happy with how I shot. I'm not winning any prizes, but I shot better than I had expected, finishing 9th of 21 in my division and 28th of 61 overall. Shooting with the flashlight in hand adds an unusual variable and challenge to making your shots accurately and quickly. I was also concerned about changing mags while holding the flashlight, but in retrospect I don't recall thinking about it during the match.

It was a fun match and I'm looking forward to doing more shooting in the dark in the future. Sadly, that probably won't be until next year's Virginia Indoor Regional.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Boys and Guns

"Boys who own legal firearms, however, have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even slightly less delinquent than nonowners of guns."

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJ-143454, "Urban Delinquency and Substance Abuse," August 1995.

It's shouldn't be all that surprising that active participation in shooting sports teaches responsibility. At the very least, it ensures there's no money left over for drugs or other vices.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: Tired

What a week it's been. I need a nap to prepare for the weekend.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Man Shoots Self in Buttocks While Reaching for Wallet

I didn't even need to read the story to know what happened.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. A Connecticut man said he was reaching for his wallet to pay his restaurant bill when he shot himself in the buttocks Friday night.

Police said Michael Southmayd, 56, of Bridgeport, may face charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm in connection with the incident, which unfolded around 8:30 p.m. at Tazza, 116 Post Road. Southmayd was there dining with his family, police said when he said he reached for his wallet and somehow pulled his firearm from the holster and shot himself. They bullet was lodged in the floor, and the casing stuck in the gun.

Stop playing with it. Yes, stupidity should hurt.

Full report here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

McAuliffe Shows His Allegiance to Criminals

Last week Virginia Governor McAuliffe vetoed a bill designed to protect victims of domestic abuse. The democrat politician was more concerned over the danger to the abuser than the victim. This week he continues his attacks on law-abiding Virginia citizens with his amendment to a bill to keep the state from sharing concealed handgun permit holder information with states that don't honor Virginia permits. The governor is using the recent arrest of gun runners in New York as an excuse to curb the rights of Virginians by proposing to bring back the one handgun a month law. Only in the mind of a leftist would it seem logical to pass laws affecting law-abiding citizens in response to criminals breaking existing laws. Limiting the firearm purchases of law-abiding people only serves to benefit the criminal element.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League has issued an alert regarding the Governor's shady maneuver.

*** SPREAD THIS FAR AND WIDE - WE NEED PHONE CALLS AND EMAIL SENT IMMEDIATELY ***

We have GOT to protect CHP holders when they travel to states like Maryland!

Governor McAuliffe wants to gut SB 1023, Senator Stuart's bill to keep Virginia from sharing concealed handgun permit holder information with states that don't honor our permits, by replacing it with a One Handgun a Month bill!

What does "One Handgun a Month" have to do with not sharing CHP holder information with hostile states?  Nothing, of course.  As far as gun traces out of Virginia, nothing changed when we got rid of One Handgun a Month and nothing would change if we reinstated it.  It is nothing but political theater.

Unfortunately, McAuliffe seems to be far more interested in appeasing the anti-gun politicians in his home state of New York than he does protecting law-abiding Virginians.

To pass SB 1023 we need both the House and Senate to reject the Governor's changes and then to pass the enrolled version of the bill with a veto-proof 2/3 majority in each body.

WE **CAN** DO THS!  SB 1023 ORIGINALLY PASSED WITH  A VETO-PROOF MAJORITY, BUT WE MUST HANG ON TO THAT MAJORITY OR THE BILL WILL DIE.

URGENT ACTION ITEMS

We need to flood the Senate and House with phone calls and emails, urging them to reject McAuliffe's changes to SB 1023 and to pass the enrolled version of the bill.

THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE DEMOCRAT LEGISLATORS, IT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO THIS! It does NOT matter if they usually vote wrong: this bill is different - it is more about privacy than guns.

1.  Send a pre-written email to BOTH your Senator and your Delegate - this takes less than 20 seconds, figures out who your legislators are, and sends to both at one time!  Click here:

http://tinyurl.com/mpf4whs

2.  Call your Delegate and Senator at their DISTRICT office, too.  Calls can really help. Their district phone numbers can be found by clicking here:

* Delegates: http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php

* Senators: http://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/index.php

* If you are not sure who your legislators are, click here to find out: http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

NEWS ARTICLE ON SB 1023 AND MCAULIFFE

Here is an article on McAuliffe's changes to SB 1023:

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/gov-mcauliffe-s-proposal-to-restore-virginia-s-one-gun/article_63be6252-b782-5718-8046-e680c8519d38.html

As someone who was recently harassed and frisked on the side of the road by Maryland State Thugs, solely for legally transporting firearms in Maryland, this privacy bill strikes close to home. I encourage all Virginian's, gun owner or not, to take action to help fight the Governor's move. Other state governments have no right to the private information of Virginia citizens, especially when they use it solely to hassle law-abiding travelers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Afternoon Range Time

I escaped for a visit to the indoor range on my lunch break today. As I walked up to the door at the range, the proprietor was outside enjoying a smoke, he nodded and simply said, “Lane 14.” I headed inside and started shooting without a delay.

Doing my room scan, I saw one couple a few lanes over that seemed to be doing more talking than shooting. Interestingly a couple other folks came in after I started, but I heard very little shooting from them either.

Like the last couple visits, I started out shooting while gripping a flashlight. I’ve been trying out a few different grip methods during the past couple of range visits, and I think I have a preference now. I've held the flashlight while shooting in a lighted range, and I've done dry fire with the flashlight in a dark basement. It will will be interesting to put them together in an upcoming "in the dark" match.



Some SHO and WHO shooting was next on the agenda. A few magazines later I know I still need to give some attention to developing that skill. The afternoon practice session closed out with some 20 yard slow fire.

I’ve increased my “standard” indoor session round count from 100 to 150. Now that it’s a bit warmer outside, the range is more comfortable inside, so it’s easier to stay longer. I'm still constrained by time, but the afternoon in the office is always more pleasant after this short diversion.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cavalier IDPA Match

The monthly IDPA match at Cavalier Rifle and Pistol Club was held this past Sunday. This month's match kept  the "winter hours" and didn't start until 10:00 so I even got to sleep in a bit on Sunday morning.

The first stage of the match had us sitting on a cooler under a low canopy. The unloaded gun and all mags were in a smaller, deep cooler between our feet. There were five targets arranged in a triangle to be shot near to far. All except the furthest had hard cover covering half the target. Getting the gun, and the reloads, out of the cooler gave an interesting diversion to the stage. 



Next up was a stage with two strings of fire. The first string was shot while seated, with the loaded gun and mags on the table. All of the three targets behind two non-threats had to get two body shots, before returning for a head shot on each. For the second string, we moved behind some stacked barrels to engage two targets from cover. We then moved to engage an open target the move, ending at a final  target behind a wall. 

The third stage was quite interesting and the fault line placement meant some hard leans around cover to hit the targets. Starting behind a wall of barrels, there were three targets visible from the right side, and single target visible around the left. After shooting those, we retreated up range, where a steel - paper - steel combo was mirrored on both sides of the bay.



The final bay had two stages that were shot back to back. Stage 4 presented a number of options around magazine staging and reloading. The course of fire started with all magazines on the table. The unloaded gun started in an open box, with the slide locked back. At the start the gun had to be loaded from the table, and we had the option of picking up and stowing a mag, or picking it up as we later passed by the table. After loading and engaging targets on either side, I opted to do a tactical reload, pocketing the partial mag from the gun and grabbing my reload off the table as I passed by on the way to the next shooting position. Four more targets were engaged from two locations to finish the course.

The next stage started where we finished the previous stage. At the start we moved to engage a low target over a wall. There were targets to be engaged from four more positions to finish the stage. This is where the Match Director made interesting use of fault lines. Between the walls used and the fault lines, four distinct positions and directions of fire were contained in a small space, with movement between each. It required a bit of thought or planning, but made for an interesting stage. I wish I had taken a picture of the end of the course as I found it to be an interesting use of the new fault lines.



As usual, the match was a lot of fun, with interesting and challenging courses of fire. Match Director Chris has a knack for coming up with unique twists. I always walk away thinking, "That was different." The matches run smoothly and quickly. Our squad this month was smaller than usual, so we did end up frequently waiting for the group ahead of us to finish, though not for long. On top of the fun shooting, the weather was delightful; it's been many months since I wasn't using a fleece jacket for a cover garment.

I was mostly pleased with my shooting, finishing 14th of 35 overall, and 5th of 15 in the SSP division. For an old guy with bad knees and deteriorating eyesight, I can accept that. I did end up with one miss and one hit on a non-threat this time, which affected my score significantly. But the enjoyment of spending time shooting with fun people made up for those minor disappointments. Now I'm looking already forward to next time.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Thursday Evening Fire Pit

With the longer days, and still cool evenings, Thursday presented an opportunity to enjoy some time around the fire pit. We enjoyed an early dinner and then decided to head outside. The fire was going strong as the sun set gave way to a starry night sky.


The flames were quite mesmerizing, even if I was distracted enough to make note of some yard work awaiting. Even though the next day was still to be a workday, the relaxing evening set a perfect tone for the weekend to come.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Birthday Sights & Sounds

Plans for a full vacation day on my birthday yesterday fell through, but that doesn’t mean I couldn't enjoy the day.

I had blocked off a chunk of my calendar in an attempt to avoid anyone scheduling for me something. I used some of that freedom to visit the indoor range for an hour. I had the place to myself for most of the time, which is always an added bonus. I started out shooting a few magazines through the M&P Shield. A friend had kindly adjusted the poorly installed sights and I was anxious to try it out. Success! I might actually shoot some BUG matches later this year — though I’m now without an excuse for any poor shooting.



I next switched to the SIG P226 for more trials at shooting while holding a flashlight. I changed my method from what I used before and was quite pleased. Now I’m holding the light under the trigger between my two middle fingers. It feels much more stable, though the grip on the gun is a little odd. I will still need to practice reloads in dry fire.

For general practice I decided to do the 50 round Julie Golob drill at 15 yards. I was quite pleased with that drill, shot at a relaxed pace. Finally, I moved the target all the way out and did some slow shooting at 25 yards. No low hits this time. It was very difficult to see my beige IDPA center repair target against the beige cardboard hanger. At least I could somewhat make out the black aiming point in the center.

When I got back to the car after shooting, I noticed a text message from Colleen. She had been shopping again. I truly enjoy these messages from her.



When my work day ended, we went out for an enjoyable meal. Naturally, the meal included some tasty beers. We enjoyed a couple hours sitting at one of our favorite bars and just talking. Frankly, I feel that life's been moving at a fast pace recently, so it was especially satisfying just to relax with Colleen for a while.

All good things must come to an end, but the birthday treats hadn't ended yet. There was a specially labeled delivery left at the house as well.



One can't fight getting older, but we can certainly celebrate marking another year on the calendar.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rivanna Indoor IDPA

This month's IDPA match at Rivanna Rifle and Gun Club was held on the indoor ranges due to poor ground conditions left by the past week's snow and rain. I was actually hoping that would be the case as I haven't shot an indoor match in quite some time and wanted to get some more experience.

The first stage I shot (stage 2 of the match) had us facing a non-threat target which we knocked over to start the course. The target stand actually fell back more slowly than expected and I had my gun out and ready to shoot before it was out of the way. We put 6 hits on the first target while backing up to a barrel stack. From that position there were three more targets to be engaged with three shots each.

I was dismayed when the stage was scored to see I was 4 points down. My hits on the last targets were in good groups, but low. This stage would be my best finish of the morning.

The next stage had us facing open targets at 15 yards, all requiring three hits each. We engaged the first three while stationary, then retreated up range, around a barrel, and back down range to hit the last three targets. Again, all my hits were on target, but low.

Up next was a seated stage with six targets behind a couple of non-threats, again at 15 yards. Precision shot placement was required to avoid hitting the penalty targets. I was quite pleased to finish the stage clean. However, again with low hits, racking up the points down. By now I was getting some well-deserved ribbing from my squad mates.



The final stage was shot one-handed. The first string of three targets was shot weak hand only, the second strong hand only. As a friend pointed out, now my weak hand shots were actually high.

I spent a lot of time thinking back on the match, and the shooting that led me to finish 24th of 60 shooters. There's a lot to analyze and consider. Was it from being tired? Was it the low light levels? Was it the way I've practiced lately? I could make a case for any, or all, of these excuses. If anything, it reminded me of back when I first switched from USPSA to IDPA and had to adapt to the -0 area being higher on the target. I just don't see the target clearly at distance and perhaps wasn't aiming high enough on that blurry beige blob in the distance.

However, in the end, it's me. I had an off day and didn't shoot as well as I believe I can. It's finally getting to the time of the year when I can hopefully get to the outdoor range, and I have some definite things to work on in practice. The match was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed myself. I always say it's a successful match when I learn something or find specific things to practice in the future. By that account, this was a highly successful match.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Troubling News From Peacemaker

Last week I received an email from Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia with some disturbing news. A neighbor of the range, in Virginia, has filed a nuisance complaint against the range. As a result a judge has ordered Peacemaker to turn over the private information of anyone who has ever shot there. Here is an excerpt from the notice sent out.
Despite numerous motions and requests to reconsider, and numerous mediation efforts with the plaintiff, the court has ordered PNTC to produce the below documents and other private records under a “Protective Order.” Under this order, the plaintiffs and their counsel are legally permitted to access the following information: 
- All member files
- All waivers from any person who has accessed PNTC, to include all law enforcement,
federal agency personnel, military personnel and foreign military personnel names
- All shooting competition files and lists
- All training information and lists
- All customer waivers
- Identities of all persons who have used PNTC ranges
- All ATF & NFA records (to include Forms 4473 and ATF bound book information)

I've only shot at Peacemaker National Training Center once, and that was for the West Virginia State IDPA match held there last June. I recall I provided my full name and contact information to Peacemaker, and they may have information on the firearm I used as well. What makes this especially troublesome is that there is no reason that the complainants need the personal information of Peacemaker customers, other than for future harassment. I'll be watching this case as it unfolds.

You can read the entire announcement from Peacemaker here. Also, there are discussions on the West Virginia Citizens Defense League and Peacemaker Facebook pages.

March 20, 6:29 AM EDT

Spring has sprung. There's still some cold weather ahead, but it's not too optimistic to say we've turned the corner. Not a minute to soon for my tastes.

Soon, there will be more late afternoons on the range, time for good beer on the porch in the evenings... And sun!

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day

"May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go, and guide you in whatever you do – and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always."
-- Traditional Irish Blessing

Ah, Saint Patrick's Day. Such a confusing day. For the Irish, the day honors a beloved Saint. For many others, it's a day dedicated simply to green beer and other debauchery. St. Patrick is our parish's patron Saint, so we're granted a reprieve from our Lenten penances. As such, we'll be enjoying a quiet evening at home with some "traditional" Irish-American food and drink. There will be no green beer.

Our family has long had a devotion to St. Patrick. Our admiration was made all the more tangible when we were blessed to take a pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle in 2012. During that visit I was reminded just how much the Irish love Patrick. To honor this day, and St. Patrick's memory, I'll share a few depictions of St. Patrick seen during that trip.

The Black Abbey, Kilkenny

Tapestry, Knock Shrine

Ballintubber Abby

Croagh Patrick, County Mayo

St. Patrick Cathedral, Dublin

And finally, since St. Patrick is also our parish patron, one of our church window.

Bishop Patrick

All photos taken by Colleen.

Five O'Clock (AM) Friday: St. Patrick's Day

For those starting early.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger...

Finger!


I think that's going to leave a mark.

This is an old video that's been making the social media rounds recently. The thing I find most unsettling is that the students stood around laughing. I would have made tracks for the exit after the gun spun by my face.

Videos like this bring back frightening memories. A few years ago I was standing next to a retired federal LEO, trainer and author when he wanted to show me a SIG he had in his truck. He racked the slide, then dropped the mag, and pulled the trigger. The round went into the bed of his pickup. Fortunately I had moved to his side as he removed the gun from it's case. You just never know...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

St. Patrick's Festival To Honor Jeff Fitzpatrick

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade and festival at Adventure Brewing South (formerly Blue & Gray Brewing) has been renamed to honor the late Jeff Fitzpatrick. The Free Lance-Star reports...
Adventure Brewing Co. is raising a pint to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in memory of the late Jeff Fitzpatrick, the area’s first local brewer.

Adventure bought Blue & Gray Brewing Co. in Spotsylvania County and are continuing his tradition of holding a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Adventure’s owners have renamed the event in his honor.

“We’re excited to host the parade this year,” said Stan Johnson, one of Adventure’s owners, in a news release. “The parade is a tradition for the families of Fredericksburg, so we’re glad to have the opportunity to continue that, and to honor Jeff’s legacy in the craft beer scene.”
This is a fitting tribute to this pioneer who brought craft beer to the Fredericksburg area. This quote from Jeff, a faithful Irish Catholic, fits his humor perfectly, and I can imagine the smile and laughter on his face when he said it. "We said ‘Kids eat free,’ and I ought to have known better than to invite a bunch of Irish Catholics to have their kids eat free."


See "Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade renamed in memory of Fredericksburg area's first brewer" for the full story.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Flying Dog Experimental Pepper IPA

The Flying Dog Brewery Heat Series of spicy, pepper enhanced beers returns this year with four enticingly flavored brews. I've enjoyed several of the previous "Heat Series" beers and was excited to taste what the brewers had come up with this time. This year's additions are available in a "Hot Box" variety pack, and includes Shishito Rice Ale, Cherry Bomb Gose, Chocolate Habanero Stout, and Experimental Pepper IPA.



As expected I went right for the one that sounded to be the most extreme, the Experimental Pepper IPA. The beer pours a bright orange color with a bright white head. The aroma is fruity with a mild hot pepper accent. The initial sip provides a quick and brief hint of the underlying IPA, with mild citrus and fruit. The peppery heat comes quickly. It's not a brutal hit, it just seems build and roll across the palate in a wave. There's a full hot pepper flavor, but not one of discomfort.

The pepper heat lingers a bit, though doesn't build significantly over time. As I sipped my beer with some cheese, crackers, and pickled herring (don't judge) I was still able to enjoy the flavors of the food. It wasn't until a subsequent sip of beer that I would realize the previous heat had faded.

Flying Dog says the pepper used is a new variety that tops the Carolina Reaper when it comes to heat.  The brewers managed to harvest that heat and serve up the hot pepper tastiness in an manageable manner. I very much enjoyed the Experimental Pepper IPA. I'll work the three others from the box into my beer sipping schedule soon.

These beers are unsolicited samples from the brewery. All drinking and commenting is done of my own free will.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Daylight Savings Time

I rather like the positioning of the daylight versus the clock. The jolt of the change, not so much.


There will be more evening range trips, more walks, and more time on the porch with a good beer in hand.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dreaming of Diversity

When I read stuff like I find it really hard to have hope for the future.
Southern Illinois University Hosts Library ‘Nap-Ins’ To Have ‘Dreams Of Diversity’

Southern Illinois University’s Morris Library is now hosting “nap-ins” to help students dream of diversity.

Marissa Amposta, a “student coordinator” at the university is holding four two-hour naps in the library this month to “internally generate student dreams of diversity,” the Daily Egyptian reports.

However, I've spent the past week enjoying the company of our son who's home on spring break, and am reminded that not all college students have been raised to be snowflakes.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” 
― Frederick Douglass

Monday, March 6, 2017

Terror Alert: It's an Ammo Horde

"Nearby homes evacuated after 75 rounds of ammunition found underneath house" is the alarming headline.
The San Antonio Police Department's Bomb Squad was called to a Southwest Side neighborhood Saturday after dozens of rounds of ammunition were found underneath a home.
The ammunition was discovered on the 7900 block of Dempsey Drive, near Old Pearsall Road and Southwest Military Drive, around 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
Neighboring homes were evacuated for three hours so the "bomb squad" could do their job.

Really? In Texas? I've probably lost more than that in the washing machine.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Two Spammers in One

Apparently, this spammer suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Hi there,

I reached out last week but haven’t heard back. My name is Yvonne and I am part of REDACTED, and I was getting in touch to discuss collaborating with musingsoverapint.com.

See my initial email below.

Thanks,
Yvonne

On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:09 AM, Yvonne wrote:
Hi there

Just wanted to say I'm a big fan of musingsoverapint.com and I really enjoy your content!

My name is Julia, and I work for a website called REDACTED.

I wanted to reach out because I believe REDACTED would be a great addition to musingsoverapint.com and your growing audience! We'd love to contribute some content to your blog: either in the form of adding content in an existing article, if it fits, or a brand new piece of content that your audience will hopefully find valuable.

Please let me know if you would consider working with me. I'm willing to contribute a small donation for your trouble!

Best regards,
Julia

Thank you Julia, or Yvonne, for your content contribution.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Virginia Gun Legislation Update

A lot of good gun legislation was passed in Virginia this year. Here's a summary provided by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the pro-rights group which had been instrumental in protecting the rights of gun owning Virginians.
19 gun-rights bills will hit the Governor's desk this year!  4 signed into law already, 2 vetoed (but could be overridden on April 5), and 13 have not been acted on by the Governor yet (he has until March 27).

Number of gun-control bills hitting the Governor's desk: 0

1. Bills signed into law (effective July 1)
2. Vetoed bills that could be overridden on April 5
3. Bills awaiting the Governor's signature or veto by March 27

*************************************************************
1. Bills signed into law (effective July 1)
*************************************************************

* HB 1466, Delegate Fowler, allows Circuit Court Clerks to send email reminders when a CHP is going to expire in at least 90 days

* HB 1849, Delegate Gilbert, allows Circuit Court Clerks to create laminated or plastic CHPs if they choose to do so

* HB 2325, Delegate Fariss, CHP applicants must be provide photo identification, but no long will need to have the application notarized

* HB 2369, Delegate Pogge, CHP holders will no longer be required to provide proof of address when changing the address on their CHP

*************************************************************
2. Vetoed bills that could be overridden on April 5
*************************************************************

* HB 1582, Delegate Campbell, allows an active-duty or honorably-discharged member of the military to get a concealed handgun permit if they are at least 18 years old.  It also fixes reciprocity with Georgia

* HB 1432, Delegate Lee Ware, legalizes switchblade knives (the Senate version of this bill is still working through the General Assembly)

*************************************************************
3. Bills awaiting the Governor's signature or veto by March 27
*************************************************************

* SB 1023, Senator Stuart, prohibits the Virginia State Police from providing Virginia concealed handgun permittee information to law enforcement in states that do not recognize Virginia concealed handgun permits

* HB 2077, Delegate Wilt, prohibits the Governor from disarming citizens in emergency shelters.  This bill is on McAuliffe's desk but has not yet been formally vetoed.  McAuliffe has told the Roanoke Times that he is going to veto it.

* SB 1299, Senator Vogel, makes a protective order a temporary concealed handgun permit

* SB 1300, Senator Vogel, makes firearms safety training free to victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, etc.

* HB 1852, Delegate Gilbert, similar to SB 1299, Senator Vogel, which makes a protective order a temporary concealed handgun permit

* HB 1853, Delegate Gilbert, similar to SB 1300, Senator Vogel, makes firearms safety training free to victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, etc.

* HB 2429, Delegate O'Quinn, provides a mechanism to restore gun-rights for a person who had their gun rights removed for a mental health commitment, but now lives out of state

* SB 1315, Senator Carrico, allows foster parents to carry a firearm on their person, otherwise it is to be locked in a closet or cabinet, with the key out of reach of the children

* SB 1347, Senator Reeves, makes switchblades legal

* SB 1362, Senator Black, allows active duty members of the Virginia National Guard, Armed Forces of the United States, and Armed Forces Reserves of the United States to carry concealed without a permit and wherever they go in Virginia, including schools, courthouses, etc.

* SB 1533, Senator Obenshain, allows non-violent felons to possess, transport, and carry either an antique firearm or a back powder firearm for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes

* HB 1392, Delegate Lingamfelter, authorizes a school security officer to carry a firearm on school property. Such an officer is a retired police officer and the local school board has given him authority to carry a firearm.

* SB 865, Senator Stuart, allows family members to transfer various knives to minor family members for the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity

Many of those bills will likely be vetoed by our carpetbagger governor, who's generally more interested in protecting criminals and illegal immigrants than he is in defending the rights of law-abiding citizens. The governor's actions on the bills on his desk will provide a clear picture of his feelings regarding the Constitution and the right to self defense.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: Pub Rules

Good advice....
  1. Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake.
  2. If someone offers to buy you a drink, do not upgrade.
  3. Persons drinking a pint of Guinness before it has fully settled will be immediately barred.
  4. Anyone on stage or behind the bar is 50% better looking.
  5. Telling lies is unacceptable, you may however grossly exaggerate.
  6. If there is ever any confusion, the fuller beer is yours.
  7. If you hesitate more than three seconds after getting the barman's attention, you do not deserve a drink.
  8. If you buy a woman a drink and she refuses, she does not like you.
  9. If you buy a woman a drink and she accepts, she still may not like you.
  10. Girls hang out, apply make-up and have long talks in the bathroom. Men do not.

Now, go forth and be good citizens of your local pub. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cavalier IDPA Match

Last Sunday I shot the monthly Cavalier IDPA match. Despite the 70° plus temperatures the day before, the thermometer on match day barely made it out of the mid-40's. However the sun was shining and the bay berms blocked the wind, so all in all it was a most pleasant morning for shooting.

Four fun stages of shooting awaited us. The first stage consisted of two short strings of fire. The first had three targets, each requiring two body and one head shot each. The second string presented four targets, three shot in the open, the last around a wall. The tricky things about these short, close courses is they need to be shot fast, but it's easy to go too fast and rack up points down.



Stage two was interesting, with two quite distinct options for completing the course of fire. One could take a few long, tight shots, and reduce the of movement or run a zig-zag course around a bunch of barrels to get to closer shooting positions. I didn't see anyone opt for the long shots, although I did hear that someone on another squad did just that.

After navigating the barrels, there were a couple targets visible through some tires. At the next shooting position, a couple targets were visible around the right side of a wall. The final point of cover had three targets shot from the left of a wall.



Stage 3 was another bay holding two courses of fire, each a full stage in it's own right. This is the stage on which I started the match. The first string had five targets, each requiring three hits each. We started with two open targets, engaged while standing still or backing up. Next a close, ground level target from cover, before moving to the final two targets also from cover. It was when I got to these last two targets, that I suddenly had the thought that I had engaged the first three targets with only two shots each. That wondering doubt stayed with me through the next string.

The next string started where we had finished the previous string, and began with a short run to shoot a lone steel popper in the distance. After the steel we moved around the barrier walls finding six more targets at three shooting positions. Finally at the end of this run, I was relieved to confirm that I did indeed shoot all the required shots on the previous string.

The final stage of the match had a couple of interesting "obstacles" to work around; just the sort of fun shooting we can always expect at Cavalier. The stage started with three pieces of falling steel. Then we retreated to an opening blocked by two stacked barrels. We were required to knock off the top barrel, which exposed a single target partially blocked by a non-threat. Retreating further, we found the same situation on the opposite side. A short retreat further up range, we faced a low opening, under which we ducked, moving up to a narrow long port where the final two targets were engaged.



As is usual, the Cavalier match provided fun and fast stages. The entire match was shot in just over two hours. I was generally well-pleased with how I shot, finishing 8th out of 38 overall and 5th of 13 in the division. I was just 2 target points down for the entire match, but I also had one frustrating hit on a non-threat. It goes to show just how much accuracy matters; that one penalty hit, theoretically cost 3 places in the overall standing. 



There's a bit of a match dry spell for a few weeks, and even range time for practice will be limited. It's a good time for some dry fire I suppose.

Monday, February 27, 2017

St. Gabriel Possenti: Patron Saint of Handgunners

Today, February 27, is the Feast Day of St. Gabriel Possenti.

Legend holds that Gabriel Possenti was a Catholic seminarian in Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy. In 1860 he is said to have used his skills with the pistol to drive off a band of marauding soldiers who were terrorizing the town. Possenti faced the troublemakers after grabbing revolvers from two soldiers. As they laughed at the young student, he took aim and accurately shot a lizard that was running across the road. Impressed, the soldiers left the town, escorted by the seminarian, who had become the hero of the town.

Like many Saints, there's an unclear line between the facts of the Saint's life and the "tradition" associated with him. However, this story about Gabriel Possenti has led to him being promoted as the Patron Saint of Handgunners. The St. Gabriel Possenti Society was created for the purpose of promoting the Saint's cause. The society also promotes the study of the historical, philosophical and theological bases for the doctrine of self-defense.


A few years ago, our parish was presented with a relic of St. Gabriel Possenti, under the title St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. It was an exciting moment when I saw the blurb announcing the displayed relic in our weekly bulletin. Since then, I've enjoyed sharing the story of Gabriel Possenti with many parishioners. I dare say most of our Catholic friends who also enjoy shooting are now familiar with the Saint and his story.

In another interesting "coincidence," my Virginia Concealed Handgun permit was originally issued on February 27, the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of Handgunners!

St. Gabriel Possenti ora pro nobis!

Today would be a great day to hit the range, as we've done on this Feast Day several times. Unfortunately it may not work out this year. Maybe I'll order some ammo or clean a gun instead.