Saturday, June 24, 2017

It's An Ammo Horde

More details have emerged regarding the leftist terrorist who targeted Republican law makers in Alexandria on June 14.
The gunman who opened fire on a congressional baseball team in Virginia kept a local storage locker with more than 200 rounds of ammunition that he visited daily, including less than an hour before he shot more than 60 times at the GOP team during a morning practice last week.
Two hundred rounds! That number is pointed out like it's some extreme number that should shock us. 200 rounds. I often shoot that much during my lunch break. The idea that he visited his ammunition stock daily is interesting. I wonder if he was sitting there mumbling, "My precious."

See "Gunman at Virginia ballfield kept local storage locker with ammunition"

Friday, June 23, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: Let's Be Careful Out There

It's the weekend! Enjoy, but remember that threats don't take weekends off.

Campaign For National Reciprocity

This alert from VCDL contain important information regarding the push for national reciprocity. ("National reciprocity" is the catch phrase for "respecting the Constitution.")
On occasion VCDL will get involved at the federal level. Now is one of those times.

We need to pull out all of the stops and push Congress for national reciprocity!

The horrific assassination attempt of Congressmen at a ballpark in Alexandria is a strong catalyst that will hopefully get Congress off their collective behinds and make national reciprocity a reality.  BUT, we need to move now and we need to move decisively.


Because, for example, a bill was just introduced that would ONLY ALLOW MEMBERS OF CONGRESS with CHPs the ability to carry in DC and not the rest of us!

I refer to that as the "Oh, HELL no!" bill.  We need to make sure Congress understands that such a bill is a NON-STARTER and WE WILL, as part of the national reciprocity campaign.


There are THREE excellent bills that we need to fight for:

OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY: H.R. 38.  H.R. 38, called "The Concealed Carry Act of 2017," was introduced by Congressman Richard Hudson of North Carolina.  It makes CHPs good in all states, clarifies that the federal Gun Free School Zone law does not apply to CHP holders, and allows CHP holders to carry on all federally owned lands that are open to the public.  CHP holders will have to obey the "no carry" limitations of the host state, but as I read the law, CHP holders might be exempted from any ammunition or magazine limitations imposed by the host state.

This bill is currently sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is headed up by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte!  The people living in Congressman Goodlatte's district are going to be critical to our success.  The bill has 99 cosponsors as I write this.

The following Virginia members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors, and we will thank them as part of the campaign:  Dave Bratt, Scott Taylor, Barbara Comstock, Tom Garrett, and Rob Wittman.

The following Virginia members of the House should be signed on, but have NOT done so yet. VCDL members in their districts will be contacting them in due course:  Bob Goodlatte and Morgan Griffith.

The usual suspects from Virginia have not signed on, but they, most of all, need to hear from constituents:  Bobby Scott, Don McEachin, Don Beyer, and Gerry Connally.

SECOND PRIORITY is H.R. 1537, called the "Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2017," was introduced by our own Congressman Tom Garrett.  This bill makes DC "shall issue" for resident and non-resident CHPs, has training requirements similar to Virginia's requirements, has a 21-day turnaround, and a $75 cap on cost.  The bill also allows DC residents to buy guns in Virginia or Maryland and removes DC's ammunition and magazine restrictions.

The bill is currently in the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.

The only other Virginia Congressman signed on is Rob Wittman.  Hopefully we can bring many more on board.

THIRD PRIORITY is H.R. 2909, called the "D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act," was introduced by Congressman Thomas Massie of Tennessee.  This makes makes DC honor CHPs from all other states.

The bill is currently in the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.

This is a new bill and no one from Virginia has signed on as a co-sponsor yet.

The need for legislation "allowing" the exercise of rights that are already protected by the Constitution shows the absurdity of our nation's laws regarding self defense. I don't believe for a moment that we should need to rely on elected officials "granting" us rights that we already have, and which are not the government's to give (or take.) However, this is where we find ourselves so we must fight on all fronts. VCDL will be organizing a campaign to encourage citizens to contact their legislators in support of these bills. I'll post more info as it becomes available.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Range Time With Son and SIGs

After foiled by crowds last Sunday, my son and I spent some time on the range one evening this week. The range supplies, excepting guns and ammo, had been left in the car, so it was easy to head out without delay after work. We took along the Full Size and Compact SIG P320's and a bunch of ammo. The next 90 minutes was spent swapping back and forth between the two guns and doing some fun plinking.

In an exercise that was, at least to me interesting, we also tried out the 9mm ammo in three different bullet weights; 115, 124, and 135 grain. I shoot all three with regularity, but I've never taken the time to shoot them back to back for comparison.

We keep the ubiquitous 115 grain 9mm ammo around for general plinking. When I find a bargain, I stock up. The 124 grain bullet weight has long been my "go to" for match use. The felt recoil is less snappy in my opinion. Recently, I've been also buying the 135 grain 9mm, mainly due to pricing deals. I knew the "snap" was greatly reduced, but when shooting in direct comparison with the others, the difference is substantial. It's certainly a good choice if one is going to be shooting a lot of rounds in a short time.

It was a very enjoyable outing for both of us. Besides the shooting, we got to talk, a lot. About guns, school, friends, life. And unlike other members, we did it while shooting and reloading magazines. Eventually hunger won out and we opted to head home for dinner — even though we still had ammo in the can. We'll save that for next time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gun Saint Group Lauds Jesuit Scholars on Islam

The Gabriel Possenti Society has issued a statement in support of some Jesuit scholars who have been brave enough to speak the truth regarding the nature of islam. These individuals buck the trend of political correctness in order to warn of the dangers to Christians posed by these barbaric teachings.
"The St. Gabriel Possenti Society on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi commends individual Jesuit scholars throughout the world for telling it like it is about the intrinsic murderous nature of Islam," Society chairman John M. Snyder said here today.

"These courageous, individual priests of the Society of Jesus are NOT saying that all Muslims are murderers," Snyder stipulated.  "They are noting that the foundational documents of Islam, such as the Koran, approve of and even recommend the murder of non-Muslims in the promulgation of Islam.

"These Jesuits are rendering a tremendous service to civilized humanity.  Many religious, media, entertainment and political personalities have been advancing the idea that jihadist violence, including brutal throat-slashing decapitations, somehow is an aberration of Islam.  It's not.  It's part and parcel of Mohammedanism."
As faithful Catholics, we've often witnessed a corruption of the faith touted by modern Jesuits. Political correctness, under the guise of "social justice" is a common theme among the order and many Catholics are subsequently misled. It's refreshing that some members of the order still learn and teach the truth. As Snyder notes, "We appreciate deeply the courage of Jesuits who are standing up for the truth in this matter, despite the politically correct but pathetic and impotent stances of some Jesuit superiors and even the Pope."

See "Possenti Society Lauds Jesuit Exposure of Islamist Murder Truth" for the complete statement.

More information on this blog about Saint Gabriel Possenti

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Indoor Range Visit

My weekly indoor range time has been subject to interference of late so I was happy to get away on Monday for a brief session. For most of the visit, I had the range to myself, which is an added bonus.

I broke my own rule and didn't have any specific practice routine in mind. I started out shooting at a moderate pace, using the B-34 silhouette target. Focusing on the head area which forced me to slow down and concentrate on a straight trigger pull. 

For the second box of ammo, I ran the regular JG50 drill on an IDPA target, with the target at 7 yards rather than the usual 10, but also picked up the pace a bit. My shots were a little sloppy on the body/head transitions, hitting just low on a few head shots. 

Finally, I opted to finish on a slower pace, running the target out to 20 yards. I was very pleased with that portion of the practice. While the groups weren't tight, they were all in the -0 zone. 

Despite the slow(er) shooting near the end, the allocated 150 rounds were expended in short order. I was at the lane for even less time than usual. Even in its briefness, it was a beneficial session for improving both technique and mental health.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Use The Range To Shoot, Not Talk

My son and I headed to the range to shoot on Sunday. As we drove past the first pistol bay, we noted a group of folks at the firing line. They were just sitting there, talking. We continued on to the next pistol bay. It too was occupied by another group. This group was also sitting in chairs and chatting. So we continued on to the rifle range, only to find it occupied as well, by a bunch of folks sitting at the bench, talking.

At all bays, targets were hung and guns were on the benches, but the shooters were just chatting. Not shooting. Not checking targets. Not reloading magazines. As we reversed our drive out of the park, the activity at all three ranges had not changed. At we pulled through the gate to exit, we heard it — single shot from one of the pistol ranges.

We knew there was the possibility that families might be spending time at the range with dad on Father's Day. It would be less frustrating if they actually wanted to shoot while they were there.

Look, a pavilion where people could sit and talk

Instead we spent the afternoon chatting on the deck at home. We'll hit the range — to shoot — later this week.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day

Here's wishing all the Dads out there a very Happy Father's Day.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rivanna Indoor IDPA Match

After missing the last couple matches, I finally made it back to Rivanna for the monthly IDPA match this morning. Due overnight rains, and the threat of more on the way, five quick stages were set up on the two indoor bays.

All shooters shot the same stage to start the match. A single target was set up in both bays for "stage 0." Starting with 3 rounds in the magazine, the target was engaged while the shooter backed up, with a total of six rounds. The target had the -0 zone cut out to save on pasting time. The universal starting stage gives everyone the same "warm up" at the start of the match. I do like the idea of every shooter starting out with the same course of fire. It's certainly better than starting out, by luck of the draw, on a difficult standards stage, as I did last week.

That initial stage done, we began the usual rotation through the remaining four stages. The next stage for our squad, was for me the most challenging in the match. (I am glad I didn't start here!) Starting seated, at the buzzer we moved to low cover behind a barrel. There were five threat targets, partially blocked by a couple of non-threats. Each target required two shots to the body and one to the head, in that order.

Moving to the next bay, stage 3 required three hits each on two targets while backing up. The shooter then moved behind cover to engage two more targets with three hits each.

For the next stage we downloaded all magazines to just six rounds. Three targets placed at ever increasing distance were shot from three shooting boxes. Each target got six hits, which meant a slide lock reload after each target before moving to the next position.

For our last stage we found five open targets, each requiring three hits each. The targets were engaged left to right. The first two, and optionally the center one, were shot from the first shooting position, and we moved to a second position to finish the remaining targets.

The quick stages, and smaller than usual crowd, meant the match ran fast, and was over in about three hours. The stage designs overcame quite well the limitations imposed by an indoor range. The shooting was fun and offered interesting challenges, despite their outward simplicity. Overall I was generally pleased with my shooting, despite a few careless shots that earned me 19 total points down. Still, I finished 13th of 41 overall and 5th of 19 in SSP.

Arriving home, I watched an extremely brief rain shower pass by before heading out to mow the grass. Cutting grass seems to be my standard post-match activity of late. Of course, that was quickly followed by a tasty beer on the back porch.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Call for Reciprocity in DC

After the leftist terror attack in Alexandria earlier this week, it's little surprise that calls for recognition of the 2nd Amendment would soon follow from Congress. Some, like Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk took an elitist approach and called for those rights only for themselves. Fortunately, others recognize the reality of violence and are pushing for more freedom for all.

Rep. Thomas Massie has introduced the DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. The act would grant reciprocity for citizens who have valid concealed carry permits from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia. Even though the latest shooting took place in Virginia, where other states' permits are recognized, persons traveling in and out of DC are stripped of their right of self defense.
Washington, D.C - Today, Congressman Thomas Massie, Chairman of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, introduced H.R 2909, the D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. This legislation would allow individuals with a valid concealed carry permit issued from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia.

“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Congressman Massie explained. “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense.  I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”

“If not for the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police at the ball field yesterday, things could have been much worse. What’s always evident in these situations is this: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

“To ensure public safety, we need to repeal laws that keep good guys from carrying guns, since not everyone has a personal police detail,” stated Congressman Massie. “The right to keep and bear arms is the common person's first line of defense in these situations, and it should never be denied.”

Congress has the authority to legislate in this area pursuant to Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever over such District as may become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”

Even an optimist would give the bill a slim chance of becoming law, but at least it's a start.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Timely Message From Sheriff Ivey

Sheriff Wayne Ivey of Brevard County, Florida has another alert for the public. Whether the threat is islamic or leftist, this is a message everyone should hear, and heed.

A previous PSA from the good sheriff was posted here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Good Guy With A Gun

The only reason—the only reason—why any of us walked out of this thing: By the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. Because we were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit. Every single one of us.
--Michigan Representative Mike Bishop

That's all that needs to be said about that.

I suspect we'll see more like this. Carry your gun.

Father's Day Marketing

Happy Father's Day. Let discuss your death.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Smiles of First Time Shooters

Last week I received an email from a friend who was taking a father and son to the range for their first experience at shooting. They were also bringing along a foreign exchange student who had been staying with them. My friend asked if I would come along as another set of eyes and to assist. Of course, I happily agreed.

We met at the outdoor range after work on Friday. I knew the father and son already, and met the very pleasant Spanish exchange student. They had been given a talk on gun safety prior to coming out, but I did a quick review, for my own peace of mind. My friend was supplying the guns and ammo this trip. We took the three shooters to the line and allowed them to shoot, only one at a time at first. After starting them with .22 and 9mm pistols, we saw they were confident and safe. A .45 ACP gun was added to the mix, and all the newcomers rejected shooting the .22 any more. After about an hour of shooting, and tweaking stances and grips, we moved over to the rifle range.

A .22 rifle, an AK-47 and a .308 hunting rifle were on the list for this part of the introduction. Targets were set at 50 yards for the .22 and AK, and 100 yards for the .308. Now the smiles really started! We allowed all three to shoot at the same time as they rotated through the firearms. I think the AK-47 won the popularity contest. I even took a turn at shooting it, as well as the hunting rifle.

It was a joy to see the smiles on the faces of all the new shooters. The exchange student made sure he got copious photos and videos of his experiences. It's a good bet that it's not something he'll be able to easily repeat soon.

After we finished shooting, stopping only because the range does not allow shooting after 7:00pm, the dad had a lot of questions about firearms and self defense laws. We spent a lot of time talking about those subjects. Or, more precisely, I spent a lot of time talking. They found at just how passionate I am on the subject. I am happy I was able to share some of what I've learned over the years, as well as dispel some misconceptions.

I fully expect that I'll be doing another session with the father, as he's becoming very aware of the needs, and his rights, to protect his loved ones. I'm glad I could help a small bit in that awakening.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fairfax IDPA Match

On Saturday I shot the monthly IDPA match at Fairfax Rod & Gun club. The club had five stages set up this month, with five large squads rotating through each. The event is growing in popularity and there's actually a waiting list for the monthly matches.

Our squad started on the standards stage. When I saw the set up, I thought "I got this." Two close targets weak hand only, two mid-range targets strong hand only, finishing with two head-only targets shot freestyle. Each target required a minimum of three hits. I've been practicing my one-handed shooting, and even working on head shots out to 15 yards. As I shot the final two targets I wasn't seeing the holes appearing in the targets. But the targets were shaded and I typically can't see the holes, even at the 10 yard distance anyway. I called the shots good and felt confident. But then came the scoring. One of the targets had a really nice group of three holes — right in the neck area. 15 points down right there, 20 down for the stage. Sometimes I wish that IDPA had "mulligans."

That wasn't a good start to my day, and I admittedly struggled mentally for a brief time. I was the second shooter on the stage so I had plenty of time to "get over it" while the rest of the squad shot. We had four more stages to shoot and I was there to have fun. Interestingly, for the rest of the day I was rotated to shooting first on every stage. 

The next stage was shot from a seated position. The gun with the mag inserted, but no round in the chamber, was placed in a box on the table. Six targets were set out in pairs to be shot near to far. This was a chance to push the speed a bit, especially on transitions, while still maintaining accuracy. Having to rack the slide before taking the first shot provided a bit of mental complexity, and I saw many shooters pull the trigger on an empty chamber at their first shot.

The scenario for the next stage included a mocked up "car" from behind which we engaged seven targets placed from one to fifteen yards. We started holding a hammer and a yard sale sign in our hands, dropping them at the start. The first target was set right in front of the starting position, but was deceptive in its simplicity. If you shot straight at the target from the start position, the shot would pass through to a non-threat target placed at the back of the bay. The rest of the targets were hidden on either side of barrels, requiring some movement along the "car" to shoot them all.

As we headed for the last two two stages, the match director told us to "go shoot some clowns." And that's what we did. For the first of these, nine targets were decorated with clown noses and wigs. We engaged the targets behind cover from two shooting positions. The last course of fire was shot from a kneeling position. Four shots were required on a close clown target that had the center -0 cut out to save on target replacement. Then, leaning to either side we engaged two falling steel poppers. Even though it was an extremely quick stage, I walked away with a smile from the fast shooting. I did end up with the 3rd fastest time on that stage, 4.97 seconds. That was a great stage on which to finish the match.

Despite some disappointing shooting on my part, it was still a fun match. My overall finish was 13th of 60 overall and just 8th of 9 shooters in SSP SS; the poor shooting on the first stage having a significant negative impact on my score! However, all the stages were interesting, and I saw the benefit of some of my practice sessions, and certainly noted some things that I will focus on in upcoming range trips. Besides, any day shooting...

We finished shooting around 2:00 and I began my nearly 2 hour drive home — twice the time it took to drive TO the match. Despite this match being actually the closest of the local matches, the perils of traffic make it less convenient. The summer time congestion has yet to really build, but it will be a consideration for my match plans in the coming months.

More photos from the match here.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shooting While Skydiving?

What ever happened to "know what's beyond your target?"

I'm sure all those rounds went into the orange ball. Nope, not impressed.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bowman Distillery

Fredericksburg's A. Smith Bowman Distillery has been awarded the title of World's Best Bourbon by Whisky Magazine for the second year in a row. Here's a nice video introduction to the distillery.

I used to work in the same industrial park as the distillery. We brought a T3 circuit into our offices and the connection was in the basement of the bottling plant and I visited frequently. It smelled really nice on bottling days! One of these days I'll make it over for an official tour and tasting.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: A Near Perfect Store

Add beer and we're good.

Hope you find good shopping this weekend.

Range Time, Finally

This time the drive to the range went as hoped. No accidents and little traffic. I made it up to the indoor range to finally shoot the new P320 Compact. Since my last couple of range attempts didn’t work out, I added an extra 50 rounds to my bag for this trip. In addition to the Compact, I brought along the Full Size 320 as well.

Most of the other shooters were leaving as I arrived. A young couple was shooting at the far end of the range. I heard a lot of joyful giggles coming from her after she shot, but they appeared to be safe and attentive to what they were doing. My guess is a new shooting enthusiast was being born.

I started off with a quick 50 rounds through the new gun. For this initial run, I simply shot to see how the gun felt. It seems to me the Compact doesn’t shoot significantly different than the Full Size P320. Despite being slightly smaller and lighter, there’s little difference to be noticed. I’m very pleased with that; I can shoot either one without seeming like I’m jumping between different guns.

Next I did my usual 50 round Julie Golob drill at 10 yards. (I shoot this drill so often I think I’ll shorten its name to JG50.) I was pleased there, just a few low head shots — a failing which often plagues me when shooting this drill indoors. For the next 50 rounds I moved the target out to 15, then 20 yards and worked on trigger control. Again, no issues with keeping all the holes in the IDPA -0 zone.

My session wrapped up with another JG50 shooting the full size P320. This round I only had a couple high -1 shots from the WHO string.

It was good session and a pleasurable break from the work day. To add to the enjoyment, I spied a Bald Eagle circling the highway as I got back onto the dreaded interstate for the trip back to the office.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Because We Could Use A Smile Today

Until there's relevant content, enjoy this clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Traffic Interferes With Range Time

It happened again! I had but limited free time to get in a range trip earlier this week. I left work at lunch and headed north on the interstate. Shortly before the exit that would take me to the range, I saw the sign; "Left Lane Closed Ahead." The milepost given coincided with my intended exit. As I made my way through the backed up traffic I soon realized that the entire exit ramp was closed due to an accident!

I had to continue for another 5 miles to the next exit, and then backtrack. The extra distance and delays caused by the lane closures forced me to abandon my plans to shoot. Yet, I was still away from the office for just as long as I would have been had I been successful in my quest.

I was reminded why I generally avoid the interstate. Eyes on the road people, eyes on the road.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Islam Is Not A New Problem

I was at a gathering of friends recently when the discussion turned to the recent, daily, islamic terror attacks. One of the participants commented "I don't understand why muslims have gotten so violent in the past six months or year."

The friend making that observation is actually a well-educated person, but obviously had bought in to the propaganda put forth by "peaceful muslims" and their apologists. This was a perfect example of the ignorance of fundamental (not radical) islamic doctrine exhibited by so many westerners. In actuality, there's nothing new about islamic barbarism, and civilized men have recognized it for years.

One of the most learned philsophers in history, St Thomas Aquinas, writing his Summa Contra Gentiles as early as 1259, recognized the truth about Mohammed, his teaching, and his followers.
"He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. 
He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the Contrary, Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms - which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning. Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower's by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimony of the Old and the New Testaments by making them into a fabrication of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place faith in his words believe foolishly."

Until the world recognizes the truth about islamic teaching, civilized man will not be safe from its evil influence. It's true that not all muslims will commit acts of jihad. They have though, if even through ignorance, professed their faith in an ideology that condones, and commands, the killing of non-muslims in the name of "faith." Such teaching is anathema to civilized society.

Recognizing the truth is not "phobia" but survival.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Need For ID

I started out for an evening walk and realized I had not put my wallet in my pocket. I did have my concealed handgun, which meant I was required to have both a picture ID and my concealed handgun permit. It occurred to me that all I had to do was tuck my shirt behind the gun, and I would be open carrying, thus no was CHP needed.

I chuckled at the absurdity, and further realized that according to Virginia law, it was actually legal for me to enter a pub and enjoy a beer while open carrying. However, with no ID I wouldn't be able to prove I was of legal age to buy alcohol.

It seems the only thing one can do these days with no ID is vote.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

No More

No more Facebook flags. No more candles. No more excuses.

Meanwhile, the British PM wants to regulate the internet.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

It Followed Me Home

It's no secret that I'm a SIG Sauer fan. I often tell folks that "SIG tax" keeps me from buying too many guns. After all, quality costs. When the P320 was introduced in 2014, it just did not pique my interest. At first.

I picked up the Full Size P320 a few weeks ago. Now I have to change my reasoning for buying a SIG. Given the modularity of the P320 series, it's just not sensible to own only one. The local gun store is having a liquidation sale and the discount reached a level where it made another purchase irresistible, so I've add a Compact P320 to the rotation.

Two gun sizes, same trigger pull, nearly identical ergonomics. Now if I could only to find time to shoot it!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Progressive Science Fraud

It's political agenda, not science.

"The earth knows how to save itself." Wow, it's almost like it was intelligently designed. Their denial of that might just explain why the left works so hard to sell their bunk.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cavalier IDPA Match

After a vacation week of too much food and too much a lot of beer, I rose early Sunday morning to shoot the monthly IDPA match at the Cavalier Rifle and Pistol Club. Despite still being somewhat worn out from the past week, I was looking forward to shooting and visiting with friends.

Four stages were set up for the quick match on this Memorial weekend. Our squad started on stage 3, which was a most challenging and interesting stage. As luck would have it, I was the first shooter on this stage, which provided quite the "warm up." Twelve targets were arranged at the berm, with a variety of hard cover, as well as four non-threats, among them. All targets required 2 hits. A shooting area was defined by four barrels. The course of fire started with the unloaded gun and a magazine on the shooter's choice of the back barrels, another magazine on the other back barrel, and the third mag on one of the front barrels. The directions were to shoot any six targets, moving to pick up reloads as needed. After shooting six targets, the shooter stopped where ever his last shot was fired and holstered the gun with any remaining rounds. Then the timer was restarted for a second string for the remaining targets. 

The challenge was to plan where your reloads would occur, and where you would shoot the sixth target and start the second string. Failing to stop after the first six targets, and shooting all 12 targets in a single string would be a Flagrant Penalty, which caught a couple shooters. Some folks had complex plans for the stage, but I opted to keep it simple and shoot the first six targets left to right. I grabbed the reload from the right barrel and moved forward to shoot my sixth target. For the second string I shot the last six right to left, which required minimal movement for the last target.

After shooting I saw I had one miss from hitting hard cover and one hit on a non-threat. I also heard a lot of points down being called. I honestly didn't pay too much attention, just being happy I shot all the targets and followed my plan, such that it was. It wasn't the scores were posted later that evening I saw I was 17 points down on the stage. The number wasn't the highest for the stage, but it would have likely gotten in my head if I had realized it during the match. Despite my lackluster performance I thought it was a most clever stage design.

Next up was a stage with two strings of fire. The first string used the first three targets in the stage which simply required body shots and one head shot on each. There was the added challenge as the match was using the new smaller -0 head zone targets. After finishing that string we prepared to run the rest of the course. This meant shooting targets that required some moderate leans around cover, including a couple long shots on falling steel. I was -2 for the stage, which I think included a -1 on the new head target.

Stage 1 of the match was quick course of fire that had us shooting through narrow openings between barrels. The first target was close and in the open, shot as we stepped into the barrel "fort." Six more targets, near and far, were to be shot only through the gaps in the stacked barrels. The trick on the stage was manipulating the gun into position between openings and finding the limited view of each target. Again, another -2 stage for me.

During the final stage of the match, with about half the squad left to shoot, the rain finally came. The targets were bagged starting with the shooter before me. Just my luck. The stage started with the unloaded gun and all magazines on a table. At the start we retrieved mags and loaded the gun. The course had us weaving through walls to find targets behind cover at several shooting positions. Finally, I finished a stage with -0 points down.

The match ran quickly and without any delays. I thought all of the stages were well designed and fun to shoot. In the end I finished 9th of 33 overall, and 2nd of 9 in SSP. Finishing 21 points down and one HNT was disappointing but in no way diminished my enjoyment of the match. We were done shooting in about 2 1/2 hours and I headed home only slightly wet.

My afternoon plans of cutting the grass and other yard chores were cancelled due to the unexpected rain. But that did mean I could enjoy my post-match beer that much sooner.

A few more pictures from the match are posted on Flickr

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Memorial Day Prayer

On this last Monday in May, Americans stop to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. It is their sacrifices that helped to preserve the freedoms we value and enjoy today. Sadly, there are too many people in our country who take freedom for granted, or even naively despise the blessings of liberty. As we pause to remember our lost heroes, may we also vow to be steadfast in our opposition of those who wish to destroy that which has been so hard won.

"The purpose of all war is ultimately peace."
--Saint Augustine

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vacation Beer Notes

We spent last week down at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The weather wasn't suitable for much time on the beach, but the overcast and very windy days provided no obstacle to eating and drinking. As usual, we enjoyed mostly, but not exclusively, North Carolina beers during the trip.

One of our first stops was to fill a growler at Chip's Wine & Beer Market. We selected Effortless IPA by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company of New York. This "session IPA" was a great accompaniment to the carry-out pizza we enjoyed after a long drive.

One of our favorite stops in the Outer Banks is TRiO Wine Beer & Cheese, so we stopped in on Sunday afternoon for lunch. I opted for a Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale. After finishing my beer and sandwich, I was debating about what to enjoy next. I noticed the bartender pouring something that was obviously on nitro. Looking closer I saw it was Belhaven Scottish Ale. This is a beer I've enjoyed in the past, but I couldn't resist trying the nitro serving. I'm glad I did because it was delicious, and was a reminder to not so easily overlook this ale in the future.

It wasn't until dinner on the second day of the trip that we finally got to the North Carolina beers. At a local seafood restaurant, we chose from a limited craft beer menu, but found Long Leaf IPA from Appalachian Mountain Brewery, and Foothills Carolina Blonde.

We made a much anticipated visit to Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe in Manteo. Formerly Full Moon Cafe & Brewery, it's another of our favorite stops in the area. We enjoyed Nags Head IPA, Charon Stout, and Hatteras Red Ale with our lunch on the outside patio.

Relaxing on the deck one afternoon, we opened a couple bottles of Fille de Ferme from Wicked Weed Brewing. We had picked these up earlier in the week. The moderately tart Saison was quite refreshing.

During another dinner, I combined a seafood and pasta dish with Backcountry Black IPA by Deep River Brewing Company. I rarely opt for non-draft selections when I'm out, but this canned offering was quite enjoyable.

We hadn't been to Outer Banks Brewing Station during our last couple of visits to the Outer Banks, so decided to stop in for lunch this time. The brewery doesn't offer Pale Ales and IPAs very often, so I was pleased to see 'Bout Time IPA while Colleen enjoyed a Hugh Hefeweizen with her meal.

We opted to forgo seafood one evening, choosing instead to have dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. For this meal I strayed from North Carolina selections and ordered a draft Modelo Especial. The beer was served in a frosted mug with a wedge of lime. I typically eschew cold glassware and fruit in my beer, but I drank this one as it was served, and yes, I enjoyed it.

Getting back to a seafood theme, a tasty lunch at the Salt Box Cafe found us enjoying Weeping Willow Wit from Mother Earth Brewing and Buckshot Amber Ale by Natty Greene's Brewing. Natty Greene's is one of those breweries that I don't see too often but which never fails to disappoint. The Amber Ale was an excellent malty accompaniment to my Mediterranean Salad, topped with grilled fish of course.

For our final "seafood feast" of the trip, I started my meal with Weeping Radish Farm Brewery's Maibock. This brought back memories as this was the first beer I had from the brewery years ago, when they were located in Manteo, and remains my favorite from the brewery. Colleen ordered a Limoncello by Deep River Brewing Company. This was a very flavorful American Wild Ale style beer, with a unique, lemony flavor. It truly did have a classic Limoncello-like flavor. The dinner capped off with Mother Earth Brewing Endless River Kölsch.

After returning home Saturday afternoon, we arrived to an empty refrigerator, so opted for one more dinner out, at Harry's Ale House. Since I was back in Virginia, I selected a Virginia brewed beer to go with my meal. Lethe Pale Ale from Commonwealth Brewing Company provided a refreshing floral citrus and bitter balance in a low ABV beer. It was so good, I had a second.

It was a fun week of good food and tasty beer, and lots of each! There are still a couple off days left to enjoy before returning to work after the Memorial Day holiday. I suspect a few more beers await, but those will likely be coming from the fridge downstairs.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blue & Gray Breweriana at the Beach

Blue & Gray Brewery may no longer be in existence, but my collection of glassware and growlers from the brewery still provided valuable service last weekend.

The growler and glass hold held Captain Lawrence Effortless IPA.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Practice Round Count

I was reading some friends' comments online recently about how many rounds they fired in a month. They were quoting numbers like 1,500 or 2,000 each month. I knew I was nowhere near those numbers, but it made me curious to check my own shooting logs.

As of May 16, my last range outing, I had fired approximately 2,875 rounds in practice this year. While not high numbers in comparison, those rounds were generally fired with a purpose in mind. I fired another 935 or so rounds in IDPA matches were I could judge the fruits of that practice.

I stated earlier this year that I wanted to step up my dry fire time as well. Sadly that hasn't happened yet. I've only gotten in about 4 and a quarter hours total so far, in mostly 10 minute sessions.

Self examination can be revealing. I will try to raise the numbers in all three categories this summer.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Remember Fabio?

The Italian immigrant, now an American citizen, has a few things to say about the left's support for criminals.

“The day you give up your weapon in the United States, the United States is going to be history.”
-- Fabio Lanzoni

See "Fabio’s Advice to Americans: ‘Don’t Ever Give Up Your Guns’" for more on his warnings to American citizens.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Alcoholic Donuts

Need I say more?

The boozy snacks are part of a five week series from the Doghnut Project featuring recipes inspired by cocktails from some of the New York City’s best bars.

Pictured is the "Dutch Doughnut," inspired by the "Oh Snap!” cocktail which includes tequila, mezcal, lemon, snap pea and tarragon.

More delights at the link.

Friday, May 19, 2017

It's Practice, But Still Fun

There's no denying that I simply like shooting. I find it a personally satisfying and enjoyable activity. I also like competing in practical pistol matches, and strive to do as well as I can despite bad eyes and worn out knees. My shooting goals are my own, and I'm my own competition and critic. I occasionally simply hit the range just for the fun of it, but most often I go to practice, even when I don't really feel like it.

As I sat at my desk preparing to head out for my weekly visit to the indoor range this week, I wasn't feeling up to the trip. I would have to hit the interstate and run the risk of sitting traffic. I didn't know how many other shooters would be there or how competent they would be. I did know it would be hot inside. And my gun was dirty. It would be easy to just skip it.

But you don't get better, at anything, by not practicing. So off I went. The session consisted of two 50 round Julie Golob drills, at 7 and 10 yards. Looking at my targets after each group was a little frustrating as I always seem to have a flier or two when I run this exercise. When doing my practice drills I often feel I shoot more poorly than when at a match. I also tend to go a little faster than I should, which is actually a good thing in practice I guess. I finished the session with another 50 rounds with a target set at 20 yards.

It was a good practice session. And it turned out to be fun too.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Overheard at the Range

From the Range Master: "If you are shooting two guns at once, stop it."

Fortunately the offender idiot left so I didn't have to. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Adventure Brewing 3rd Anniversary Festival

Adventure Brewing is celebrating their 3 year anniversary this weekend. It looks like a great party is in the making. Here is the press release sent by the brewery...
May 20th is our 3rd Year Anniversary Festival! The celebration will last from noon to 10 pm. We have a ton of great stuff planned for you, including:

-Live music all day
* Karen Jonas
* Blues Rebellion
* Cabin Creek
* The Acoustic Onion

-Rotating taps

-Breweries with their own stations
* Crooked Run Brewing
* Heroic Aleworks
* Brew Republic Bierwerks
* 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Company
* Spencer Devon Brewing

-Food Trucks
*Will's Place Va
* The UFO Truck
* Beverley's Ribinator BBQ
* 716 Slice

-Local Vendors
* Daddy G's Rockin' Salsa
* Embassy Cigar Lounge
* A. Smith Bowman Distillery
* Fred Vegas Brew Tours

-Cider and Wine from Virgina's finest
* Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery
* Bold Rock Cidery

And finally, we will be releasing our our 3 Year Anniversary Triple IPA, Bourbon Barrel Stonewall Stout and Long awaited Temporary Insanty All same day; which you will not want to miss out on!

We'll be updating this information as it comes in, so keep an eye out here and in your email for the latest news.

Purchase your Advanced tickets Today!!

Congratulations to Adventure Brewing on a successful three years!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fairfax IDPA Match

Last Saturday, I made the drive north on I-95 to shoot the IDPA match held at Fairfax Rod & Gun Club. It had been raining for several days prior, and the weather was questionable for Saturday, but after missing my range trip earlier in the week, I was committed to attending the match, even if the weather was inclement. Fortunately the rain held off, although it did remain overcast, damp and cool throughout much of the match.

We began the first stage holding an AR-15 blue gun shoulder in a shooting position. At the start signal, we hung rifle by its sling and drew our gun, which was loaded with six rounds. There were three targets to be engaged around a barricade. Then two targets to be engaged while on the move to the next shooting position. The stage ended with three more targets around a barricade.

The next stage again made use of the prop gun, which was simply slung over our shoulder. We also carried an ammo can in our weak hand. Three targets were engaged on the move strong hand only. After moving to cover we dropped the ammo can and engaged three more targets.

Both of these stages were a lot of fun to shoot, and the added props served to keep us off our stride. 

The next stage required both strong and weak hand shooting, with all shots taken while kneeling. We started with the loaded gun in our weak hand, facing two targets. Six shots were required, weak hand only, on the first target. Transitioning to the strong hand, we then put six shots on the remaining target.

The next course had eight targets to be engaged from three different shooting positions. We began the stage holding a box in both hands, and after dropping the box we shot three targets around the right side of a wall cover. Moving to the other end of a wall, there were three more targets from the left side of cover. Moving to a third point of cover, we finished off the last two targets.

The final two stages were shot on a course of fire that was shot twice, in opposite directions each time. On one side of the course was a barricade from where three targets were engaged, while other side of the stage featured stacked barrels which also hid three targets. All targets required three hits each. 

Our group was the last squad to shoot these two stages, and a result of many other shooters moving through and shooting the ground was now especially muddy and slick. The ground conditions behind the barricade was especially poor which meant extra attention was required for sure footing. In addition, dropping empty magazines meant they would definitely need a serious cleaning afterwards. Interestingly, many shooters opted to retain their mags and drop them in a pocket rather than let them fall to the ground.

The match was very enjoyable, and the stages offered interesting challenges. I tried to pick up my speed a bit, but I did drop a few points on most of the stages. Most of those were from low shots. I really need to get in more live fire practice shooting around barricades; unfortunately given local range restrictions that will only come with shooting more matches. Despite a disappointing 13 points down, I managed to finish 3rd of 27 in SSP, and 3rd of 47 shooters overall.

As expected the drive home on the interstate took more time than the morning drive to the match. I had neglected to bring spare shoes and socks, which made the drive time with cold wet feet seem even longer. Arriving home I was looking forward to warming up. Alas, as I drove into my driveway I was reminded of the consequence of a week of rain — a yard full of extra tall grass in dire need of mowing! That hot shower and hot mug of coffee would wait just a bit longer.

More pictures from the match are posted here.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Range Trip

Well, actually it was a father and son trip, on Mother's Day. Our son had told me a couple weeks ago he wanted to hit the range when he came home, so how could I not oblige? He was only home four days, but fortunately the rain finally stopped and Sunday turned out to be beautiful sunny day. Colleen opted to stay home and spend some time baking, something she enjoys so everybody wins. (And we all enjoyed the fruits of her labor later in the day.)

My son picked out the pistols to pack and he selected the SIG Sauer P226 and P320, the M&P Shield, and the Kimber 1911. A well-balanced selection indeed. Despite the sun shining for the first time in nearly a week, we arrived to find an empty bay to use. As we walked up to the firing line to start shooting the wind kicked up and the cardboard we had hung began blowing back into a horizontal position. On more than one occasion we had an automatic, but random, target exposure system going as we tried to catch the target when it dropped backed down vertically.

We spent almost two hours rotating through the guns. As usual, my son impressed me with his skills. It's also comforting to know he's competent with a variety of weapons. Besides all the gun talk, it was great to spend time just chatting. I was a little distracted making sure we didn't pull the trigger at the same time too frequently, but otherwise it was an extremely enjoyable outing. When he returns next month to spend the rest of his summer break with us, we'll be enjoying more family range outings.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Making Music With Guns

This guy has fun combining his love of firearms and music.

I really need to work on my strong hand and weak hand only shooting.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Traffic 1, Shooting 0

I had blocked off some calendar time on Tuesday for my (almost) weekly trip to the indoor range. A planned conference call ran long, but it seemed I still had time to make the trip. That is until I got to the overpass at the interstate.

Why is the exit ramped backed up? Looking from the bridge to the highway, I saw all traffic was at a dead stop, in all lanes. Sitting in that would surely not allowed me to be back to my desk in a timely manner. With much regret, I made a U-turn and headed back to the office to eat my sandwich over my laptop.

I was reminded of this article on the "Top 10 Health Benefits of Going To a Shooting Range" that I shared a couple years ago. According to the author, on this day I would regrettably not be improving my physical or mental discipline, nor improving focus or exercising my eyesight, among other benefits of shooting.

All thanks to an overloaded interstate highway system.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Drills For The Indoor Range

Whenever I run across interesting shooting drills online I save them in my notes, and I've put together a pretty diverse catalog. Because of limitations typically found at indoor ranges, I've long kept an eye out for drills suitable for indoor practice.

The main restrictions typically faced indoors are prohibitions on drawing from the holster, lack of movement, use of a single target and sometimes shooting speed. Recently the outdoor range we use has banned movement and also severely limited the rate of fire. Individual strings of fire are now limited to two shots. They've even gone to so far as to ban multiple people sharing a bay from shooting simultaneously in what only sounds like rapid fire.

Fortunately, the indoor range has a less restrictive stance on multiple shot strings. There's no shooting on the move or holster work, despite that it seems the advantage still goes to the indoor range for most practice time.

Below are a few of the drills I've found that are useful for a structured practice session indoors.

Julie Golob 50 Shot Drill

This is one of my favorites. It's simple and uses either USPA or IDPA targets. All strings start from low ready and the target distance is up to the shooter. Your magazine should be loaded with 10 rounds. If you have five mags pre-loaded the drill runs very quickly. Shoot as fast as you can to keep all your hits in the scoring zone.

Magazine 1: 2 rounds, center of this target, repeat 5 times
Magazine 2: 5 rounds, center of target, followed by 5 rounds to head
Magazine 3: 2 rounds, quickly into head, repeat 5 times
Magazine 4: 1 to body, 1 to head, repeat 5 times
Magazine 5: 5 rounds SHO into body, followed by 5 rounds WHO into body

Count only -0 or A zone hits.

Tactical Professor - Establishing Your Baseline

This is another 50 round drill for any silhouette target of your choosing; B-27, B-21, Q, IDPA, IPSC, etc. All shots are from low ready, with reloads on bench. You'll need two magazines loaded with five rounds for each string. Each string of fire consists of a 10 shot sequence and is repeated at 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards.

Shot sequence:
1) One shot at center, follow thru for 1 sec, back to low ready
2) Two shots at center, follow thru for 1 sec, back to low ready
3) Three shot at center; will be at slide lock after 2 shots, reload fire 1
4) Four shots at center (slide lock)

Score only hits in the body or main scoring zone of your target. Be sure to drop the empty mag into your hand, not into the lane in front of the shooting bench.

5x5 Drill

This is a simple 5 shot drill, though your indoor range has to allow fairly fast shooting. From low ready, put 5 shots in a 5 inch circle in 5 seconds. I’ll typically use a “splatter” target stuck over whatever target I’ve shot up with previous drills. The 5 seconds is going to be an estimate unless you can use a timer.

Dot Torture

Though not one I’ve specifically flagged in my notes for indoor shooting, this is a great test of your sight alignment and trigger control. The drill as designed calls for drawing from the holster, but shooting from low ready will provide a significant “torture.” Start at 3 yards until you shoot it with a perfect score of 50 hits. I’ve yet to shoot better than 49/50, but I am overdue to try again.

These drills are all part of my regular range routine. Of course, one could also simply hang a target and run it out to your preferred practice distance and just shoot. And I do that sometimes as well. However, I like to include at least one of my favorite standard drills in each range trip.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Maryland State IDPA Match

On Saturday I ventured into Maryland to shoot the 2017 Maryland State IDPA Championship. My alarm clock sounded early Saturday morning in preparation for the two hour drive to the match. Gun in locked container - check. Ammo in a separate locked container - check. Both containers out of reach of the passenger compartment - check. Copy of Title 18, Sec. 926A of the United States code - check. There was a sporadic misting rain during the drive but the weather apps on my phone predicted no rain during match time. The weather throughout the day was cloudy with some breeze, and a few times the rain seemed very threatening, but ultimately held off. It was pretty much perfect shooting weather.

Ten very interesting stages of shooting fun were waiting for us. The bays were still wet, and even muddy in some spots from the rainfall the previous day, which is when the match staff shot. Fortunately those conditions really only affected Saturday's shooters when pasting and resetting targets, not while shooting. 

The opening stage for our squad was called "Riot" and involved shooting from behind an open car door. In a change from the initial stage description preview, there was an added requirement to shoot from a kneeling position, between the door jam and the car. Being of shorter disposition, that required me to keep my back straight to gain the height I needed. Finishing with 0 points down for the stage was a good way to start the match. 

Another interesting stage was called "Relaxing at Home." We started seated on front of an electronic gun safe in which there was a pistol, loaded with just four rounds. At the start we punched in the safe's code and retrieved the gun, then engaged two targets on the move. The trigger on the gun was surprisingly "mushy" so my first shot was a long time coming. I typically don't shoot handguns with manual safeties, so I spent a lot of time before shooting reminding myself to flip the lever. After setting the pickup gun down, we grabbed our own gun and ammo off a table to finish the course. This was another -0 stage for me.

Stage 6 was a fun stage aptly named "Hose Fest." Three low targets were hidden behind barrels at three separate shooting positions. You had to run right up to the barrels and shoot over them, putting six hits into each target. The stage was done running left to right, so attention to the 180 was critical, especially when reloading. The shooter essentially ran the next position and had to turn to face the targets. The stage was interesting for me as it was the first time I had tried shooting the P320 that quickly. I found I can't, yet, pull the trigger as fast as I can with the P226 single action.

The standards stage had four paper targets and four steel poppers. The steel and two of the paper were set at 35 yards! Not having shot the new gun at distance greater than 20 yards, this was a new experience. I ended up 10 points down for the stage, which included one miss on paper. Despite that it wasn't my lowest stage finish. My shots were hitting low, so I'll spend some time overcoming that, though I don't have much of an opportunity to shoot beyond 25 yards in practice. 

The two scenario stages on which I had the most shot points down, just 6 points on each, also had penalty points added to my score. In retrospect it seems that mental errors rather than shooting cost me the most. In "Day at the Office" there was a swinging target activated by the shooter using his hand to knock over a steel popper next to his seat. An interesting turning target that gave three exposures was started by shooting another steel target in the stage. My plan was to shoot the swinger last. When I finished the other targets, I aimed to shoot the swinger —and it wasn't there! I had neglected to activate it at the start. The stage description required the swinger to be activated before shooting any targets, so I had a Procedural Error penalty added to my score. 

The other mental error was on the final stage I shot, "Coming Down the Hallway." The shooter passed ban electric sensor which activated a VERY fast up and over target. It also started a swinger that appeared only three times, with a slight pause between, and at each of it's appearances. To hit the quick up and over target you had to be already shooting at it when it appeared. Getting one hit on the target was cause for celebration. I spent so much time concentrating on my plan for shooting that target, I neglected to pay much attention to the swinger's action. When I got to it, the target was hidden, so I moved to another target in the array. The mover then made it's final appearance, and disappearance, before I could get back to it. This forced me to attempt a very tight shot at a piece of the technically disappearing target, hitting a non-threat. I should have simply waited on the target as that delay would have been less than the 5 second HNT penalty.

All of the stages provided fun and challenging shooting scenarios. Our match fee also included a delicious lunch from Southern Bobby-Q Catering. The meal provided a nice break mid-match for relaxing and socializing. Although the poor planning mentioned above did occur AFTER taking time to fill my belly; maybe I needed a post-lunch nap!

The match flowed very smoothly and we had minimal waiting time between stages. Shooting started promptly at 9:00 AM and we finished around 2:30 PM. The award presentations took place about an hour later.

This was my first time shooting the new SIG Sauer P320 in a match. I was nervous, but at the same time confident in my ability to shoot it. Overall I was extremely pleased with how well it went. I was happy with most of my times, and I even finished three stages -0 down. Finishing 4th of 20 in SSP Sharpshooter earned me a glass trophy; literally a mason jar drinking glass. How appropriate. My overall finish was 27th of 134. 

Virginian's traveling into Maryland are subject to random stops on the highway by state enforcers targeting Virginia drivers. After being patted down on the side of the road when returning from the Chesapeake Cup simply for legally transporting firearms, I was more than a little anxious about this trip. I've attend a few events put on by the Sanner's Lake Sportsman's Club and know it's always a well-organized and fun match, so I didn't let the threat of police harassment sway me from attending this event. I had a great time shooting the MD Championship match and that, perhaps, makes future trips to shoot in Maryland a little more likely.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

LA Sheriff's Department Pistol Team - 1936

Some egregious gun safety violations, but an interesting historical look nonetheless.

Kids, don't try this at home.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

It's Coming, Prepare Well

This video from the so-called "antifa" movement, i.e. communist thugs, has been making the gun blog rounds. Folks are finding it easy to mock them for the obvious safety violations and poor marksmanship. The derision is well deserved.

At the same time, freedom loving Americans should take heed. Even poorly aimed bullets hit something or someone. Most street thugs aren't skilled marksmen, but they still kill people everyday.

There have been numerous violent encounters initiated by these criminals already and it's likely to escalate. Just last week a community in Oregon surrendered and cancelled their annual parade because terrorists threatened violence against participants. Too bad there weren't enough patriots, or willing cops, in the town to provide a defense against the criminals. In Berkeley recently, we saw law enforcement intentionally ignore the violence. The sad truth is the police have no duty to protect you, despite the slogan, and when the rule of law breaks down they will likely be more interested in their own safety, and that of their families, than yours.

The "antifas" are no less a threat to this country than the islamic terrorists we've been fighting for years. Indeed the two groups even share some of the same goals. Stay alert. And carry your damn gun.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Day Range Trip

I heard the communists were planning a day of rioting on May 1, so I decided to add some balance to the universe with a trip to the indoor shooting range. When I arrived at the facility, the parking lot was more full than I've seen it recently. Fortunately most of those folks were finishing up and leaving as I began my session.

Today's practice started out with the 50 round Establishing Your Baseline Drill from Tactical Professor. The quick drill consists of five 10-shot strings, shot from 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards.

Shooting fairly fast, I noticed my shots tending to the left. They were all -0 still but grouping towards the left side of the circle. That led me to spend the next 50 rounds addressing that issue. I switched to shooting at the non-shot head area of the target, as well as a 5" splatter stick-on target. That was all done at 10 yards. Slowing down gave more centered hits, as expected.

Next I set up for the 50 Round Julie Glob Drill that I use often at the indoor range. As with the first drill this day, I tried shooting quickly without waiting for a perfect sight picture. My shots were all -0 hits in the body or head areas, but still drifting to the left a bit. That's user error and something to work on in the future.

This was more than likely the last live-fire practice with the new SIG before I shoot it in an actual match in a few days. I won't say I'm entirely ready, but I am as ready as I'm going to be.

I had an interesting encounter while I was at the range. I turned and another shooter was standing behind me, but at a respectable distance. He asked if I was shooting the new P320. He was a SIG fan shooting a P229. He asked a few questions about the gun and I offered him the chance to shoot it if he wanted to try it out. Which he did of course.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Beer For Pain Relief

More good news you can use. A recent study is claiming that two pints of beer are more effective than Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) for pain relief. Frankly, I'm not sure how much of a revelation it is to find that alcohol reduces pain — I've been known to "relax" my sore muscles with a beer or two.

This sentence in the article did jump out at me...
Now the experts are planning to find out if alcohol either lowers anxiety of pain, which then reduces the perception of discomfort, or if it numbs the sensation of pain by affecting the brain receptors

Science. It's all about the details.

Notes on Dry Fire

I haven't been as dedicated to dry fire practice recently as I would like. Gone are the days when I was getting in 30-60 minutes daily, rather it's closer to 10 - 20 minutes once or twice a week. But even at that rate, there is benefit.

One lesson I remind myself of constantly in dry fire is grip pressure. It's easy to get sloppy with the grip on the firearm when the gun isn't actually firing. I had to break a weaker grip habit a few years ago after many months of poor habits in dry fire practice. If my hands don't show signs of the grip texturing after practice, I know I was sloppy with the grip.

Dry fire practice is a bit different with the striker fired SIG P320 than it was with the double/single action P226. Rather than every trigger pull being a full DA pull, the P320 practice is a lighter "dummy" pull. Despite the dead trigger, it's more realistic.

Practicing reloads is a changed experience as well. The P226 slide would go forward from slide lock when the magazine was slammed into place. In addition to that being less reliable than slingshotting the slide, I got "trained" to not do it. That caused issues when the slide didn't go forward on its own. I never spent significant time just practicing slide lock reloads until switching to the new gun.

To work on the reloads, I fill a magazine or two with inert dummy rounds and place them on the belt. The gun has an empty magazine and the slide locked back. Starting with the gun positioned like I just fired the last round, I drop the magazine, retrieve the "loaded" magazine from the belt and complete the reload — remembering to rack the slide. Then the loaded mag goes back on the belt, an empty mag is inserted into the gun. Racking out the dummy round locks the slide back, and the process is repeated. Again, and again.

Under the 2017 IDPA rules, reloads with retention, as well as reloads on the move come into play more frequently. I combine reloads with retention, or tactical reloads, with movement drills. My concentration when moving is on my feet and only pulling the trigger at the most stable part of the step. In my basement dry fire area, the floor is covered with various rugs. This provides enough surface variation to balance keeping the feet on the ground as much as possible, while lifting them enough to prevent tripping.

During each practice session, it's important to always use a timer for the start beep when practicing drawing the gun. I also work on table starts, with both a "loaded" and unloaded gun. There are multiple targets, and even a barricade set up in the basement, so just about every draw of the gun is combined with "shooting" multiple targets and some movement.

Twenty minutes is about the maximum time for effective dry fire practice, for me at least. That time encompasses dozens of gun draw and magazine changes. Interestingly, looking through my notes, hardly a session goes by that I don't recognize some improved technique or point for awareness. Now I only need to get to it more frequently.