Monday, June 26, 2006

Concealed-Carry Class

First off, I'm under criminal idictment for a work related thing that hasn't quite been shaken off yet. This prevents me from actually filing my application at this time. The class was already scheduled when I received my criminal summons, so I figured: "Think positive." The class certification is good for 90 days after you attend.

The class itself was basically 8-5 on Saturday and 9-4:30 on Sunday, so it was a full weekend.

I always stay aware of what people can teach me and culled some good information from the class, albeit not 15 hours worth of good information.

The class was run by an old guy. There's a network of these retired guys that basically fuel the shooting sports in this state. They're the ones who teach classes, who tirelessly lobby congress, and provide FFL services, oftentimes at a loss, just to insure that the heritage doesn't die with them. The old guy running the class did a fine job. And he gave me plenty of cigarette breaks.

What I found shocking were the other people attending the class. Such a concentrated ignorance of firearms was daunting to find in a CCW class. On the first day, a woman asked why you couldn't fire a rimfire cartridge through a centerfire one. One gentlemen claimed he was going to shoot a .45 Magnum while qualifying (such an obscure cartridge does exist, but it turned out he was talking about ACP. He was also the guy that didn't bring the slide back and let go, he rode the slide with his hand) And, of course, you had your smart ass competition asshole who knows everything and is willing to provide his wisdom to you even if you never asked.

I kept my mouth shut (except when nobody knew what a "breech" was.) I was attentive, gained what knowledge I could, and qualified.

Which brings me to qualification. In New Mexico, you have to qualify with the largest caliber you are going to carry. You also have to qualify separately in every class of gun you want to carry, which New Mexico politicians legistated as semi-auto, revolver, and derringer.

I wanted to qualify in both semi-auto and revolver. To this end, I brought the Old Man's Colt Gold Cup and his 4410 Taurus, which is a 5-shot .45 Long Colt revolver that can also shoot .410 shot. I also brought my H&K USP .45 as back up, just in case the Gold Cup got jittery with the Hornady JHPs I accidentally bought.

Qualification consists of a 12" by 24" target at 3 and 7 yards. 10 shots are taken at 7 yards and 15 are taken at 3 yards. You are allowed 7 misses.

Now, semi-auto wise, it seemed relatively easy to load your magazines with the appropriate amount of cartridges for each stage. I for one loaded an 8-round magazine full and another one with 2 for the first stage. I put these in my right back pocket. Then I loaded a full mazazine and one with 7 rounds for the the second stage and placed those in my left back pocket. Thus, qualifying should have taken about a minute and a half. I was wrong.

Qualifying was done in pairs, each shooter with his own target. At seven yards, I shot, changed magazines, and shot again in under 10 seconds. I looked up and the guy next to me was muzzle sweeping me with a Ruger P89 he didn't know how to work. You know, it didn't fire, he brought it down and turned it sideways to stare at it dumbly until the instructor put one in the chamber for him. From that point on, I followed range commands and, when done shooting, brought the pistol down to a guard position and stared at the dirt. I'm sure I was muzzle swept more than that, but I didn't want to know about.

The more interesting one was when I qualified with the revolver. Now this was easy. The Taurus holds 5 rounds. So it's two cylinders at 7 yards and three cylinders at 3 yards. I didn't have speadloaders, I just loaded up my tit pocket with 15 rounds and used the box off the bench at 7 yards. This is where I worried I would slow somebody else down. Not to fear.

On this jaunt, the other participant was a woman with a 1911 clone. Her husband had qualified before her and I noticed that they only had 2 magazines, so the poor bastard was trying to load up his magazines in the middle of qualifying. Me, being the nice motherfucker I am, loaned her a couple of magazines so she could forego that embarassment.

She couldn't shoot, she didn't know how to operate the gun and I think she had a malfunction. I don't know because after the first qualifying, I wasn't about to look at her or what the fuck she was doing. Eyes in the dirt. What amazed me is that I managed to get 15 shots out of a 5-shot cylinder quicker than she could with a 1911. I was loading each shell by hand and still had to wait on the bitch.

This was qualifying as regulated by the state and everyone passed. The instructor added another shooting exercise onto our range time. He thought it would be beneficial to be moving and shoot at a paper plate at 7 yards. Only the obnoxious competition guy and me got more than a round on paper. I used the H&K and got 8 out of 12.

So now I don't have to just worry about cops that don't know what the fuck they're doing, I realize there's a portion of the community that can't spend the time, money, and effort to familiarize themselves with firearms they own. Nevermind marksmanship, understanding stress situations or even realizing what a bullet does to a human body. Truly, I'm aghast.

It occurred to me when I was wiping down the slide of the Old Man's Gold Cup last night, after I cleaned it: How the fuck do these people clean guns they don't even know how to shoot?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Girlfriend, Ahkmehd, and my new gloves

First, let me say that I am saddened, sickened, and really fucking pissed off (A.T.C.F.M) that those two servicemen were killed by those rat-bastard motherfuckers. Hopefully, the full wrath of the military will be visited upon those assholes, post-haste.

As to the weird picture below, my brother bought me some shooting gloves for Christmas. They were pistol shooting gloves and are nice for firing some of the Old Man's larger caliber revolvers. However, I found they were inadequate for the AR-15.

Last time out, it was in excess of 97 degrees. The carbine has a metal handguard, due to the Picantinny rails. The thing sat in the sun for 5 minutes without a shot being fired through it. By the time I picked it up it was hotter than shit.

After that, I figured I'd pick up an alternate pair of gloves. Like the big cheese-dick I am, I scored some Blackhawk "Hellstorm" gloves. Needless to say, these needed some considerable break in before they ever make to the range. Over the course of the weekend, I watched a couple of movies, read, and tried scrambling eggs with these fuckers on. None of that turned out well.

One nice feature, is that the trigger finger on both hands are cerrated. They are full gloves, but if you want your trigger finger free, you can cut off that glove along the cerrated grooves and you don't have to worry about cauterizing the seam.

As a result, you end up with a finger sized piece of leather. My girlfriend converted this into a little man named Ahkmehd. Whenever I wake up with shit taped to my head or a frozen pizza burns under someone's watch, Ahkmehd is to blame.

Range trip is Thursday and the whole weekend is CCW class. Reports should follow on both.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Late Range Report and Early Observation

A week ago we actually made it out to the range in the morning. Me and the Old Man were shooting with an active EOD guy, so his schedule was a little fucked up (apologies to Carnaby's mom.) We made it out about 10:30 and more than anything I wanted to try the new Turner Saddlery sling out. I hooked it up to a .223 bolt Remington 700 (black with a black bull barrel) and laid down on a black mat in 100 degree weather.

Needless to say I was pretty close to nauseaous about twenty minutes later. I may be a lot of things, but physically fit is not one of them.

I spent about 45 minutes rehydrating meanwhile our guest and the Old Man shot the hell out of shit with .30 carbines, M1A's, and whatnot.

What truly amazed me was the fact that this kid-soldier-whatever could consistenly send a 5.56/.223 800 yards. Given, at those ranges there's not much left of the bullet, from what I can tell. Nonetheless, it was a damned impressive sight to see.

And for all you 5.56 detractors, this kid thinks that round is God's gift.

Next range trip is going to be strictly .45. No 9mm allowed. We've got a couple of fixed sight pistols where the back site needs drifting and will hopefully be addressing that.

In addition, with the CCW qualification coming up, I need to test some factory ammo to make sure it's consistent. We have always fired reloads through 1911s. If during qualification your gun is consistently fucking up (A.T.C.F.M.), you'll get flunked. As such, I want to make sure that my range junk works in the gun. I've tested carry ammo like Speer Gold Dots to make sure it cycled consistenly, but I'm not shooting the expensive shit to hit a target at 3 YARDS.

Jesus, the qualifying makes the paperwork look like some kind of Wall of China. I can hit shit at 3-7 yards but how many documents can I have notarized without going nuts?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


This is a two part post.

Part I

I finally decided to take the plunge and get my CCW license. A lot of the deterrent is the fucking (Apology to Carnaby Fudge's mother) hoops one has to jump through to get it.

It's going down on June 24th and 25th. The first day is just classroom and watching videos. The Old Man is curious as how much of this has to do with law and liability. I think it will be basic gun safety repeated over and over again, but I've been wrong a lot.

I'm using the Old Man's Gold Cup Colt 1911 to qualify, as I don't want to spend two days in a classroom and have a gun fuck up on me. We generally shoot .45 reloads, but because of liability and insurance, you have to use commercial ammo. I don't think this gun has ever been in the same room as commercial ammo. We will be testing the ammo next week.

Part II

The concealed-carry license has been available in New Mexico for almost 4 years. I've never done it because I questioned myself as to whether I was responsible enough. The Old Man and I have discussed this quite extensively, as he's the one who thought I wasn't ready to own a gun back when I bought a Glock.

He came up with an interesting scenario this evening, though. It sort of contradicts a discussion Porta had last month and has nothing to do with CCW.

You're driving up to an IHOP to meet somebody who is going to be a little late. Upon parking, you hear gunshots from within the restaurant. You have a carbine (down here we would call it a truck gun) or just a pistol in your vehicle. You walk up and discern through the window that somebody is executing people.

Now comes the questions. I agree with Porta that unless myself, my family, or my friends are at risk, the best thing you can do is get the fuck out of there (Apologies to Carnaby's Mom). If people you don't know or care about are at risk, why should you risk getting shot by a nut or over-zealous police that roll up on some wacko looking dude holding a gun (that means YOU)?

This is situational and I can't actually say what I would do in a given situation, but, cerebrally, I expect I would find a pay phone and call it in, even if it cost 10 more lives or whatever. I've never been there and done it, but I don't fashion myself a cowboy.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Blogroll Changes

Unlike a lot of people, I like to keep the blogroll updated with people I read every day. That menu is my morning gun reading, so I want to keep it concise and up to date.

I am holding out hope for Head. He says he's quitting "conditionally", but I find myself delving into his archives quite a bit. Could not bring myself to drop him.

You will notice that Posse Incitatus is gone. His deletion has nothing to do with the quality of his blog. I run a gun blog and he increasingly got political while ignoring the gun angle. I will still read him, but as a political endeavour.

Posse was replaced by an old-time friend: Kyle at Cerebral Misfire. He started his blog at almost the exact same time I did and cranked like I never did. Kirk and Cowboy were also in this era. Kyle took almost a year off and is starting to print some damned fine commentary again.

The next drop was Len at One-In-Row. This one pains me more. Len was a great resource on reloading and shotgunning while also being an advocate of converting youth to the shooting sports. Len kind of crapped out in the last 4 months. His posts are, at best, intermittent, and again, take a political rather than technical approach. I will still check his shit out, every couple of weeks, but it is not a daily read.

Len is being replaced with, what I feel to be, one of the best under-the-radar gun-bloggers out there. I remember hitting a link to CarnabyFudge about a year ago and saying to myself, "this fucker has a great blog." Then I forgot all about it. As he is hosting Mr. Completely's new E-Postal Match, I read his blog again and realized what I've been missing.

These changes occur every once in awhile and no one should take offense. I blogroll shit I read at least once a week.

Otherwise, participate in the E-postal match or no one will bother, which is when we should all worry.

The Benjamin

Sighting in my father's Benjamin took a little time.

Unlike my two airrifles, both of which are spring-piston, the Benjamin is a pneumatic airrifle. Pneumatic rifles are a lot easier to shoot because there is absolutely no recoil whatsoever. Spring-pistons tend to snap and cause jarring. Because a pellet is moving so slow, the recoil can actually affect your point of impact. Follow-through is absolutely necessary. I've run into hard-core air guys (mostly British) that find a spring-piston airrifle to be more challenging than a .30 caliber bolt.

Regardless, the Benjamin is old school. It has a bolt, single-shot action, and pumps with the forward handguard.

My problem sighting it stemmed from the fact that I had previously fucked up the sights. It's an old, solid design, but with that comes old, weird sights that I didn't understand at the time. On top of that, I've been shooting like shit for several weeks, so my groups were less than indicative of the rifle.

Below is what I shot after 3 other groups. The point of aim was the bottom of the red diamond, so I figure it's about alright.

I should also mention that the Old Man uses this rifle to kill Scrub Jays in his suburban backyard. The rifle maxes at 800 fps and I was probably firing at 400. These are good speeds to be using a .177 pellet in an urban environment.

Listen to the link for Scrub Jays and see if you would like to be woken up by that at 5:00 in the morning.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 02, 2006

Air Range

One of the things I love about living alone in a large commercial space is the opportunity to fire air-rifles. I have to say that this is probably the shooting niche I mostly employ.

The photo shows my indoor range, which is approximately 15 yards. This may not seem like a lot, but with the sucky lighting it can be right challenging. I use a Xerox box filled with phone books that is supported by a chair as a trap. To date, No pellet has made it through, even at 1,000 fps muzzle velocity. In addition, I use a large particle board as a back-stop to the trap.

With this configuration, I can bench, prone, or sit. Occasionally, I get my fat ass up and shoot off-hand, but that is the exception not the rule. Please note, I never drink when firing at the range.

I freely admit that I break one of the bedrock rules of shooting when I am airgunning at home: I drink.

My range rules (it being my range) include the clause that either no one else is there and the door is dead-bolted, or 1 (ONE) person is behind me. Thus, I don't feel I'm betraying the cause by having a couple of Tecates and shooting at 2 o'clock in the morning.

This is where I will be shooting Mr. Completely's Postal match for the month, for which you can find targets and instructions at Carnaby Fudge, as he is the host.
Posted by Picasa

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?