Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beretta M9A1 in Action

Okay, you've seen me write about my Beretta M9A1 and it's total awesomeness ad nauseam. Now, it's time to put words to action. In this video, I'm taking my Beretta to task on 3" clay pigeons out at different ranges, varying from 10 yards out to about 20 yards with good accuracy. In the second sequence, I go through some emergency magazine changes. Seems I still need a bit more practice because I'm fairly quick, but I can do better. Either way, I was having a good time with my newest pistol and that's all that counts! Oh, and look closely to how I close the slide on the weapon. There is a slide release lever, but I didn't use it, instead opting for the method I've been training with all year on my Ruger SR9, which is to grab the top of the slide and pull it back to release it. I didn't even realize I was doing it, which only reinforces my whole mantra about training training training! It has now become muscle memory for me, and translates itself to every gun I own - not just the SR9.



-James

Lindsay Shooting Some Fun Guns

The title says it all. Lindsay has as much fun as I do with guns. It's nice to have spousal support for your interests!



-James

Get My Rifle!

I seemed to have had an off day with my Ruger SR9. Couldn't hit any of the little clay pigeons to save my life. I got fed up with it and decided that if I can't hit those little 3" pigeons with my pistol, I'd just get my rifle and take them to task with it.



-James

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Don't Lose Your Mags!

This is sort of a departure from my usual posts about guns and stuff, but something that I feel needs to be addressed when talking about weapons with detachable magazines.  A detachable magazine is as integral to a firearm as anything else.  Without it, you cannot shoot multiple rounds of ammo very rapidly.  Without the ability to fire a semi-automatic weapon, well, semi-automatically, you might as well shoot a single shot weapon.  That's essentially what a weapon without a magazine is - a single shot.

The real beauty with detachable magazines is that an empty magazine can be quickly removed and replaced with a fresh one, thus giving the shooter more firepower.  The shooter can keep the gun in the fight as long as he or she has full magazines and a steady supply of ammunition.  The problem with detachable magazines is also the fact that they can be removed... and dropped... and stepped on... and run over by a car... and lost.  Without being able to feed your weapon with replacement magazines, your high capacity weapon is pretty much useless... well, unless you want a single shot firearm.

I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with an actual military man and he told me that unless I know I have the ability to get resupplied with new magazines in the field (like if I was part of a military campaign), I'd better not lose my spent magazines.  His reasoning was sound.  High capacity weapons like the AR-15 and the Beretta M9 don't really function all that well without magazines.  For the type of use these weapons are mostly likely to be employed to do, magazines are a necessity, and a commodity. 

I've spent a number of years collecting various magazines for my guns.  They aren't cheap.  In fact, they can be quite expensive.  I recently purchased five 20rd magazines for my pistol to the tune of $30 a piece.  In training, it's no big deal to drop a magazine or lose one.  You just go out and buy another one to replace it.  But let's say that the local situation has degraded considerably.  Let's say that a big hurricane spanked the Pacific Northwest, flooding a giant area, and all lines of communication and supplies have been cut.  Does that sound familiar?  Oh yeah, duh!  Hurricane Katrina did that!  In situations like that, you have what some circles call "Without Rule of Law" or "WROL" for short.  In these situations, you probably won't be able to go to your favorite gun shop and just buy a replacement for a lost or broken magazine.  Nope.  If you lose it, it's gone forever.

Now, one thing you can do is buy a lot of magazines.  Yep, that's a good idea.  I have 25 magazines for my Beretta 92 and M9.  They are from all different makers, but they all accomplish the same task: feed the gun.  However, there comes a point where even your big collection of magazines could be whittled away into nothing... that is if you've survived enough firefights to get that far; I'll hope for the best and say you have.  Well, suddenly you find yourself with less magazines than you have fingers on one hand.  Oops.  You don't have a resupply coming to replenish your diminished collection.  Nope, the situation is now dire and you have to figure out how to adapt yourself to deal with the foolishness of losing all those precious magazines that you have lost.  And let me tell you, as a man who has tried to adapt new technique in the field (in my training of course), adaptation sucks!  In a really bad situation adaptation (or more appropriately improvisation) could get you killed.

I'm always harping on training.  I have different levels of training that I incorporate with my firearms.  Some are things I can do at home for free and others are things I have to go to the range or the field to hone my skills with.  Dry firing, fast magazine changes, and overall weapon familiarity and gun handling are things I do at home because they don't require any shooting - just repetition.  Enter the dump pouch.

Dump pouches are exactly what they sound like: a pouch to dump things into.  You can toss spent magazines, equipment, dead batteries, (dare I say?) evidence, or even ammo into them if you want.  These pouches usually attach to your belt or some thigh rig and give you a place to stash the stuff you wish to reuse later.  This way, your magazines are much less likely to get lost and damaged.  They will "live to fight another day," so to speak. 

But what does it have to do with training.  Well, up until now, there have been two types of reloads I've been training to do: emergency reload and tactical reload.  An emergency reload is where your gun runs dry and you have to change the magazine in a hurry.  A tactical reload is something do you in the lull of a fight, where you know you still have some rounds in the magazine but need to top off your gun so you don't find yourself doing an emergency reload mid-fight.  I can only imagine that changing a mag mid-fight is a bit nerve racking.  The problem is that since I never incorporated a dump pouch into my training, I've just dropped mags on the ground with the hope that I'd be able to pick them up later.  Ha ha!  Not so much.  With a dump pouch, I will have to change my method a bit so I can account for the extra step of dumping the spent magazine (at least if I have time to do so) into the pouch so it can be reused later.  The only thing that will help me is constant repetition and adaptation of technique in a controlled environment until it becomes almost a reflex action.  Empty gun, dump mag, insert fresh.  Sounds easy, right?  Not really.  It can be quite challenging at full speed, but can be done with enough training.

-James

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fallkniven A1


It's time to talk about sharp pointy things.  Wait, James, you never write about knives!  I know, right?  Betcha didn't think I even own a knife, yeah?

Well, truth be told, I do have an appreciation for finely crafted knives, but honestly, I beat the piss out of my knives so much that I could never justify spending a lot of money on a high quality knife... until today.

What I've posted up above is the Fallkniven model A1 survival knife.  This dude is a high value knife that I will have no problem shelling out some good money for.  Okay, so what's so special about it?  Well, knife choice and what you consider high value are up to you, but for me, having a full tang knife with a laminated VG10 steel blade, coming in at over 6" long and a quarter inch thick is worthwhile.  That's right.  This blade is thicker than a truck frame!  Overall weight is just about 12 ounces.  Yeah, it's a heavy knife, but it's also extremely useful, given it's dimensions. 

For lightweight backpacking, carrying a huge knife, with say a 10" blade can get tiring and cumbersome.  The Fallkniven's 6"+ blade is perfect for most all of my survival needs.  It's small enough to be used as a good camp knife, all purpose knife, etc, and it's thick blade makes it great for batoning firewood.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  If I want to chop wood, I could just bring an axe, right?  Sure, I'm with you on that.  But remember that when it comes to a knife like the Fallkniven (and I'm stealing this from Nutnfancy when I say this), I am looking for mobility versus firepower.  An axe is great at camp, or when I don't need to go light and fast, but for backpacking out in the woods, I prefer the mobility of a good solid knife that can be used to cut firewood as a field expedient need.

Now back to the blade.  The steel is laminated with a VG10 core, which is really really hard, so the knife is extremely durable.  The overall corrosion of the stainless steel blade should not be overlooked either.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are known for our fair share of rain, so stainless steel is hard to beat.  Additionally, the Fallkniven A1 can be ordered with a CeraCoat, which will reduce the reflectiveness of the knife and help in corrosion resistance.  The knife handle is Kraton, which is a good handle.  I like it.

Price for this bad boy is a little on the high side: about $150 for the bright stainless and about $175 for the CeraCoated knife.  I don't know which I like more.  I like the black because it looks plain cool, but I think the bright stainless would wear better and look nicer after use.  I can just see that CeraCoat wearing off after tearing through a bunch of logs in the field.

For more information about Fallkniven knives, check out their website at: http://www.fallkniven.com/

-James

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kel Tec KSG Update

The Kel Tec KSG Shotgun is here! The first video is a dramatic slide show, which is pretty cool. The second video is a pre-production model being shot by our very own Lakewood police officers. I'm starting to get very excited about this gun.





-James

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Updated Beretta M9A1


This gratuitous picture of my Beretta M9A1 is just for your viewing pleasure.  I snapped this photo after inserting the new 20rd Mec Gar magazine (one of five) that I ordered last week.  As you can see, the floor plate compliments the lines of the gun nicely.  Magazine technology has certainly come a long way in the last 5 years.  I bought a 20rd magazine years ago that sticks out of the bottom of this gun about 2 inches.  I'm really digging this "flush" look.  Yes, the +2 extension sticks out of the gun a little bit, but nothing about it suggests that this would be a 20rd magazine to the untrained eye.  When packing this thing, and two extra magazines, I have 60 rounds of ammunition.  I think I have found a way to spend a lot of money on ammo really fast!

-James

More Ruger LC-9

Courtesy of GunsAmerica, I have a picture of the Ruger LC-9 which shows its actual size in the hand.


Now, I don't know how large the man's hand is, but it seems that it will probably fit me just right.  This gun is a great "Sunday go to meeting" type gun, or a businessman's gun.  It's something that will compliment any suit or any casual dress.  I can't wait to get my hot hands on one.

-James

Monday, January 17, 2011

Taurus Model 82... Wait! TAURUS?!


People who know me are well aware that I'm not the biggest fan of Taurus firearms, but this little gun caught my attention.  This is the Taurus Model 82, chambered in .38 Special +P.  My dad originally brought this gun to my attention and of course, I went to see what all his fuss was about.  Now, usually when someone tells me about some great gun, I normally roll my eyes and anticipate the same feeling I would get as if someone recommended a movie to me that absolutely sucked.  But no, not this time.  This time, I believe we have a nice shooter available in the Taurus Model 82.  Oh yeah, well what's so nice about it?

Just look at it!  This gun is beautiful.  The blued finish is awesome.  And although I'm not a total fan of the Taurus, I have to say that the grips on these guns are outstanding.  This gun has a 4" barrel, simple fixed iron sights and price point that is just right (MSRP: $424).  When you add the fact that this gun weighs 36.5 ounces unloaded, you have what I would call a stout little 38.

The weight of this gun, coupled with the already low recoil .38 Special load, makes it IDEAL for smaller shooters, IE: petite wives (like mine).  The full wrap grip, which wraps up and under the back of the trigger guard, should make for a comfortable gun as well.  And if the trigger on this is any like my dad's 605, then you have a winner.

Being a +P rated gun is also a nice thing.  While it won't deliver the punch (or the sting) of the .357 magnum, it will still deliver one helluva punch.  One can easily practice with low recoiling 110gr 38 Special, and then load up some +P rounds for self defense.  Should you find yourself in a self defense situation, you won't notice the recoil difference, but for practice, a low power 38 is a good choice.

Being a revolver, it will be reliable.  With hell-and-back capability, a revolver is hard to beat.  Even in a world of high tech polymer framed automatics, the ole standby solid steel revolver will always be king.

Overall, I really am starting to like this gun.  In fact, a departure from the ole standby of purchasing nothing but Berettas and Rugers may someday be on the horizon. 

-James

Stress Inoculation

The video you are about to watch is a combat simulation designed to train our military men and women for actual war.  Though the injuries on the video are not real, they are very graphic.  This has to be the best training that brilliant minds have ever conceived and it is saving American lives.



-James

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Kimber Solo Carry 9mm


It looks like Kimber has joined the sub-compact 9mm war.  Their offering is a striker-fired, single action semi-auto with an aluminum frame and ambidextrous safeties.  This is a very handsome looking firearm and appears to be well designed.  It is similar in size to the Ruger LC-9 and the LCP.  Kimber MSRP is $725, which hopefully would translate into about $600 in the real world because even though this looks like a fine pistol, it is still an overpriced Kimber.

-James

Sage Advice from a Gun Owner

It is quite possible that the tragedy in Arizona might not have been so devastating if more people had guns.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

AZ - Finally, A Lawmaker That Gets It

Lawmaker Brings Gun To Work at State Senate

Finally, there are some lawmakers out there that get it!

"Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, said she has had a gun for years. And when a new law kicked in last year allowing anyone to have a concealed weapon, she began carrying a .380 Ruger in her purse."

And look, she's not some trigger happy whack job that some in the anti-gun crowd would have you believe.

"I'm comfortable carrying,'' Klein continued. "And I had no intention of creating any concern.''

And to those of you who believe the government should protect you...

"I believe that my responsibility is to protect myself,'' she told Capitol Media Services.

What have I been screaming all along? Oh yeah, exactly what Sen. Klein stated in this article.

And one last thing. I know this is going to piss a lot of regulation-happy people off, but it is the truth.

"Anyone can come into the Senate office building,'' she said. "And frankly if you're somebody that has an intent to harm someone you're not going to stop by the guard and say, 'Here's my weapon.' ''

Can it be? More sound reasoning from an elected official? Let's be clear here. Regulate guns and ammo, and magazines, and trigger locks, and where you can and cannot take them all you want. Criminals won't obey the laws you put forth. That's why they are... uh, CRIMINALS!!! The only people whom these laws serve to punish are the law-abiding citizens who have done everything right.

Thank you Senator Klein! At least on this issue, you have got your head on straight!

-James

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Glimmer of Hope

I'm hoping that this early commentary on the issues of gun control and the proposed banning of high capacity magazines means that we won't have to go on the offensive to defend our rights... again!

Why gun control is dead in America

Additionally, Michael Bane gives his thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BAN THESE!!!


These are "normal" capacity magazines, sold with many Beretta 92 handguns.  Most of these, with the exception of the 20rd mag in the gun and the two shiny black 17rd mags in the middle are 15 round magazines and would likely fall under the proposed high capacity magazine legislation.  19 of these fit flush into the gun, and I have 5 more 20rd magazines on the way as of earlier this afternoon.  I'm not going to allow any legislation, proposed or passed, to bar me from exercising my 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms, and the magazines that feed them! 

And if you think this is a lot of potential firepower, you should see my stash of 30 round magazines for my AR-15 "assault rifle."

Government Seeks To Ban High Capacity Magazines

In the wake of the Arizona tragedy this last Saturday, where a deranged man opened fire, shooting 31 rounds of ammunition before having to reload, the government, headed by Rep Carolyn McCarthy (an enemy to the gun crowd) and Frank Lautenburg (another DC scumbag), are moving quickly to pen legislation that will ban high capacity magazines for guns.

The story can be read here. 

While I feel empathy for those who were killed and hurt, and the families of these people, and hope that justice is served to Jared Lee Loughner, I believe that the government is acting foolishly and too quickly in the wake of the hysteria.  How many crimes are committed with gun that have high capacity magazines?  In fact, most shootings in the United States, including shootings by police officers, less than 10 rounds are fired from the gun.  In most criminal shootings, less than 10 rounds are fired.  Banning a high capacity magazine does not affect this.  Additionally, how many law-abiding citizens own guns with so-called high capacity magazines?  I don't have the exact figure, but the number is a lot.

I would contend that if there were some good sheep dogs in the crowd, Mr. Loughner would not have been able to get nearly as many shots off as he did, shooting at an unarmed group of people.  In fact, if the coward thought that there was even a remote chance that someone might be carrying a concealed firearm, he probably wouldn't have opened fire at all.

What really grinds my gears on this is that the government, in its efforts to subvert American liberties, is moving fast to impose legislation to ban high capacity magazines while the bodies of the deceased are still warm.  A little hysteria and a lot of emotion can do a lot to get the people to back legislation that has been proven to be unsuccessful in the past and will continue the march to erode the rights of law-abiding citizens in the future.

"In the wake of these kind of incidents, the trick is to move quickly," said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, one of the gun control groups working with McCarthy's office.

Of course, this sort of quick moving is not lost on our federal government.



Of course, the government will move fast to declare guns with high capacity magazines somehow more lethal than those without.  I will admit, the high capacity magazine does have an advantage over a lower capacity mag, but with training, one could let off many more rounds with quick magazine changes and better planning.  But let's not cloud the issue here.  This is one crime.  It's the first national incident I've heard of in a long-ass time that involved a gun with a "high capacity magazine."  The last incident was the famous North Hollywood Shootout of 1994, which prompted the ill-conceived Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, which did absolutely nothing to curb gun crime in America.  In fact, gun crime rose while criminal prosecutions dropped 44%, and this was when assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and imported guns were banned completely.  After the ban sunsetted back in 2004, life went on.  Gun crime actually dropped and even though high capacity magazines were allowed to flood the market, gun crime with said magazines remained very low.  In fact, 2/3 of all murders were, and still are, committed without a gun at all.

It is my hope that the Republican run house will see this piece of legislation for what it is and kick it to the curb.  There is no reason to punish hard working, law-abiding citizens by making these magazines illegal for everyone.  Perhaps people should have been a little more vigilant in their daily lives to see that the man was a deranged individual.  Punish the criminal.  Don't punish everyone else. 
And if you think that this legislation will mean only to ban the type that this man used (a 30rd magazine), don't let yourself be fooled.  Legislation like this will limit guns to a capacity of only 10 rounds.  Again, this won't curb everyday crime one bit.  But what it will do is have a ripple effect throughout the firearms community.  Suddenly automatic handguns (like many of mine) won't be sold with normal capacity magazines, like 15 and 17 round mags.  This will kill sales of said guns across the board, as well as affect companies that manufacture accessories and magazines for other guns, like AR15 rifles and carbines.  Don't think this will be limited to pistols either.  If you give a mouse a cookie, he's gonna want a glass of milk.  Once you allow the government to punish your rights by banning these magazines, they will only seek to do more.  Suddenly, it won't be enough that they banned high capacity magazines.  Now, they must ban repeated guns altogether.  That won't likely happen, but my point is that once you give the government an inch, they will take it for as much as they can.  Again, punish the criminal, but don't condemn the method.

-James

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gunblast.com - Ruger's New LC9 Compact 9mm Pocket Pistol

Jeff Quinn shoots the new Ruger LC9 for the first time.



-James

Kel-Tec KSG, Oh Buddy!


Take a look at this mean SOB!  This is the Kel-Tec KSG 12gauge shotgun.  I don't really know a whole lot about it, except that it is a pump action, dual tube fed shotgun.  Capacity is 14+1 (12ga 2 3/4").  That's seven per tube and 1 in the pipe.  From what I've read, there is a selector that allows you to feed from both sides or select one tube over the other.  Under the pump fore end is a picatinny rail setup so you can mount a vertical forward grip (for those of you who prefer it).  Additionally, this gun is made to the absolute legal minimum length of 26.1 inches overall with an 18.5" cylinder choke barrel.  MSRP is rumored to be in the $800 range.  In wonder if the folding sights come with the gun?

-James

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ruger Introduces...


Ruger must be listening to its customer base because earlier today, they introduced the Ruger LC9.  This gun has been making the rounds on the blogosphere, so I figured I better add it to mine.  The LC9 is a high speed, low drag compact pistol based on the highly successful Ruger LCP, but with some of the convenience and safety features offered on the larger SR9c. 

From Ruger's Webpage:

The LC9 is a double-action-only, hammer-fired, locked-breech pistol with a smooth trigger pull. Control and confident handling of the Ruger LC9 are accomplished through reduced recoil and aggressive frame checkering for a positive grip in all conditions. The Ruger LC9 features smooth "melted" edges for ease of holstering, carrying and drawing.

The LC9 looks like the SR9c and the LCP had an affair and this was their love child.  And what a child it is!  This gun has all the stuff the LCP has, and more.  The LC9 features a mechanical frame mounted safety (which may or may not excite you).  It has a loaded chamber indicator, similar to that found on the SR9c, and the slide locks back after the last shot is fired.  These considerations will appeal to many consumers who are looking for a simple, economical, and easy to handle pistol. 

The LC9, being a 7+1 shot pistol, is bigger.  Just how much bigger?  This much.

comparison between LC9 and LCP

It stands a bit taller than the Ruger LCP, and it is a bit longer, but The extra material doesn't really cost you as much in the way of concealed carry as you may think.  Look at the distance from both gun's grips to their respective trigger guards.  There isn't much of a difference there.  This tells me that the LC9 might be as easy to conceal as the LCP, considering those critical dimensions are very close. 

What you lose in overall compactness, you gain in great abundance with the sighting system.  The LC9 has an actual 3-dot sighting system, reminiscent of the Ruger SR9c.  It is windage adjustable in the rear, fixed in the front.  Many LCP owners are often dissatisfied with the sights (or lack thereof) on their pocket pistols.  While I personally have never been a fan of them, the fact that the sights are garbage never bothers me because the LCP is not a target pistol.  However, on a bigger gun, it is necessary to offer a decent set of sights so that accurate fire may be attained.  The LC9 sights are basically low profile SR9c sights and this one advantage over the LCP makes the price tag (MSRP $443) worth every penny.

As far as compact goes, this gun definitely pushes the envelope of that definition.  The overall dimensions are not much smaller than the Ruger SR9c.  Coming in at 17.1 ounces, unloaded, it is only 6.3 ounces lighter than the SR9c.  However, don't let that dismay you.  That's almost half a lb less than the SR9c, and when it comes to all day carry, less is still less.  The LC9 comes in at an overall height of 4.5 inches, which is .1 inch shorter than the SR9c.  I'd like to see a comparison between the overall grip height and distances to the trigger guards on both guns.  Overall height isn't so much a concern as grip length from the frame.  This may be where the LC9 will really shine.  Overall length on the LC9 is 6 inches, which is still very short.  Compared to the short SR9c's overall length of 6.85 inches, the LC9 is .85 inches shorter, but the barrel is only .38 inches shorter than the SR9c's 3.5", coming in at 3.12 inches long.  Again, not a bad trade.  This is also likely due to the fact that the SR9c is a striker fired gun, and the LC9 is a double action, hammer fired gun.  The LC9 is also a lot thinner than the SR9c, coming it an .90 inches wide vs. the SR9c's width of 1.27 inches. 

For the record, the LC9 is only .08 inches wider than the LCP, and that is huge.  Well, it's not huge in the sense that is it really big; it's huge in the sense that it is an 8 shot 9mm and it is less than an inch wide!  Okay, yeah, other brands have done it.  Single stacked 9mm autos are nothing new, but I'm a Ruger fan.  I've handled the Kahrs, the Kel Tecs, the Sigs, the Walthers, and such.  They've never done anything for me.  But when a new gun comes out that has Ruger's logo stamped on it, I take notice.  Not only does Ruger make a fantastic weapon, at a price point that I really appreciate on my blue collar wages, but they stand behind their products like no other company I've ever seen.  Ruger is really proud of their product, and the fact that they have the best customer service I've ever witnessed from a firearms company makes me proud to own a Ruger.  Okay, enough fanboy talk.

So, is the LC9 worth a look?  Yep!  Is it worth selling your SR9c or LCP over?  Hells no!  Now, is it worth adding to the existing collection?  You bet!  The combination of these three guns gives one the ability to adapt to any carry situation and attire.  Be it summer, fall, spring, winter or whatever, you will always have the option to carry whichever suits your needs.  I've said it before.  Having multiple guns for carry is always a good thing.  Being able to adapt to the weather and situation is paramount when carrying a concealed weapon.  Just be sure to train with your weapon(s) of choice.

Will I buy the LC9?  We'll see.

-James