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.