The 4 rules of gun safety

*The 1st Law of Gun Safety - The Gun Is Always Loaded!

*The 2nd Law of Gun Safety - Never Point A Gun At Something You're Not Prepared To Destroy!

*The 3rd Law of Gun Safety - Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

*The 4th Law of Gun Safety - Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Opinion Piece

Ok, so here is an opinion piece. Hope I don't offend anyone, but we all know what opinions are like.

So, the mainstream media seems to love to point out how bad guns are and to an extent, how bad gun owners are. Very rarely, well, almost never do you hear or see a story in the main stream media that shows the positive side of gun ownership. You only really ever see the "6 people killed by man with gun". If you read the comments in these stories, it's almost always negative against guns and gun ownership. If you attempt to even show the "other side" of the story, you're instantly branded a lying, right wing, conservative nutjob, a member of the Aryan nation, and someone who has the mental capacity of a moron. I've even had people wish that I was dead and they wouldn't throw you a line if you were drowning. It's really sad how bad the mainstream media portrays us.

The strange thing is, is that the gun owners I've met have been nice, educated, welcoming, friendly, and helpful. While there is the usual "redneck" banter, you don't really see that at a range or at a match. I've met shooters since I've started who have been doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, mechanics, engineers, IT technicians  etc, so the education issues don't seem to be valid. We see a lot of folks from all races and color of skin and we're accepting of those things because it's the way things are done when you are courteous. Maybe it's the conservative way of life, where we help one another, we watch out for each other, and we're taught to be nice until it's time not to be nice. Maybe it's just a phenomenon of legal gun owners.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but we could really use some more stories about the good things we do, and less of the bad stories about illegal gun ownership and what those folks do. Now if the mainstream media would actually run them.

Anyway, that's it for me. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday at the range

Well, after yesterdays fun at an IDPA match, I wanted to shoot again today, so I headed over to Elite Firearms Academy to throw some more lead down the range. Today, I decided to shoot my Taurus PT-809 9mm.

Had been a while since I last shot this gun, so I couldn't remember the aim point. First fifteen rounds were low, but worked their way up. After that, just about everything was in the 9, 10, and X rings with a nice big hole in the 10/X ring. Had a few over left in the 8 ring, but I guess I'm used to that by now. Seems like I was better on target with this gun once I had it down than with my M&P 9mm. Did get burned by one round today that lodged between my glasses and forehead. People watching must have thought I was doing a rain dance or something. Kept the gun downrange and finger out of the trigger guard, so at least I was dancing safely.

No pictures today. Didn't take my phone with me.

Well, that's it. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First IDPA match today!

Yes! What a blast! Ok, so this is what I have been missing. I did my first IDPA match at Mecklenburg Wildlife Defensive Shooters club in northwestern Charlotte. They have a great club over there. There were 6 courses of fire and all were pretty challenging for this newb shooter. I was only able to get pictures of one COF and it was my last one. I wasn't really thinking about getting pictures and COF information, so I blew it there.

Anyway, first things first. I didn't get disqualified for breaking any safety rules. That was my number one priority at this match. Shooting and having fun came next and I did both. The folks at MWDS were very friendly to new shooters. I think we had about 80 shooters and between 10-15 first time shooters. I don't know what my scores were and truthfully, I wasn't really worried about them. I do know I had one procedural penalty, one failure to neutralize, and one hit on a friendly "no shoot" target out of a total of about 35-40 total targets. Five of the six stages were using standard vickers scoring which meant you could shoot as many shots as you wanted, just takes you longer and one stage was limited vickers which means you can only shoot the number of rounds prescribed for each target. Also had one stage where we needed to shoot while moving, this being the 2nd time I've ever done that. I also had one "doh" moment.

My failure to neutralize came on my first stage. Guess it was a bit of "stage fright" and adrenalin. I think it was six targets and I hit five pretty well, but my last target from about 15 yards I hit in the 3 zone and one just outside the scoring area. If you don't get at least one shot in the 0 or 1 scoring zone, it's a failure to neutralize.

One of my "doh" moments came and my one procedural came on the first shots of another COF. You were supposed to draw and shoot the target in front of you twice while retreating, then advance and shoot two targets that were behind walls. Well, I drew, shot the front target twice, then retreated. "DOH!". I probably could have shot two more times after I had retreated, but wasn't thinking about that at the time.

Another "doh" moment came in another COF. I was at the point of reload and couldn't get my magazine to drop. Push, push, push, no drop. It was then when I realized I was pushing my slide lock instead of my magazine release. "Double-DOH!". Got the magazine out finally, replaced it, and racked the slide to get a round chambered and continued on.

I think I hit the friendly "no shoot" target on my first or second course of fire. I only grazed it. The rest of the no shoots I did fine with and I think there were at least 3 or 4 others that I did not hit.

Last stage for me was the one I got a picture of. The scenario was that while walking through the woods, you come upon a field of pot. One bad guy needed to be shot with two rounds and then you needed to shoot five targets which were on their side. This was like a dog running at you that needed five rounds to take down. Big dog I guess. Each dog target required 1 shot in either the 0 or 1 scoring area or it was a failure to neutralize. After shooting those 5, you moved to cover and shot another target at around 15 yards which signified someone carrying a rifle. You had to shoot him 6 times.

Great time today. I also met Morgan Allen. For those who don't know, in September, Frostproof, Florida will be holding the IDPA World Championships. Morgan is going to be representing the US at this match. It's also cool that he's a member of Mecklenburg Wildlife Defensive Shooters and the Central Carolinas Shooting Club. So, GOOD LUCK MORGAN! He's a real treat to watch shoot. AND, I found a video of him shooting the stages. Here you go.

Anyway, that's it for me. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What to carry when my CCH permit comes in?

As I sit and wait for my permit to come in, I'm starting to wonder what to carry when it does come in. I qualified on my Smith and Wesson, Military and Police 9mm which is an excellent firearm, but it's also my IDPA firearm. If I use that, I can't really make any changes to it other than maybe sights which I want to replace anyway. I also have a Taurus PT-92 which is a great shooter, but is even larger than the M&P9. Last, I have a Taurus PT809 which is smaller than the PT92 and the M&P9. All of them are 9mm firearms and I shoot them all pretty well, but I'm wondering if maybe I should go up to .40 or .45 for concealed carry. In the future, I will get a 1911 model .45. Can't go wrong with John Moses Browning's design which just had it's 100th birthday. If I decide on the 1911 for concealed carry, it's a toss up on going full size, or going commander size which would be a bit easier to conceal.

After I decide on my concealed carry firearm, I'll then have to decide on the type of holster to wear. I only have one holster now and it's a Bladetech outer waist band for my M&P9. It's a belt type holster and not paddle, so it's not the perfect solution for concealed carry because you have to take it off your belt when you want to remove it. I do prefer it for IDPA as it's nice and snug. No drawing the gun and the holster together :)

Decisions, decisions. At least I have time to investigate and evaluate before I have to make the final decision.

That's it for me. Shoot safe, shoot straight!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Turned in my CCH application today....

For those in North Carolina and really probably all the states, you might want to call your sheriff's or local law enforcement offices to find out if you need an appointment to get fingerprinted. In Union County, NC, the sheriff does require an appointment. Also, if you are former military, you'll most likely need your DD-214 form. Just remember to take the long form. The short form DD-214 doesn't show if you were honorably discharged or not. /doh!

The sheriff's office told me that they're running right around 90 days to get the permits back assuming I'm not crazy or a known felon. I guess we'll find out.

That's it for today. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Passed my concealed carry handgun course!

Yippee! Passed my CCH course today. Great class at Elite Training Academy in Monroe, NC. Kelly Eads was our trainer and did a great job going over the North Carolina concealed carry laws and the use of deadly force. The class was fun and informative with a lot of interaction and great questions from the students. We watched several videos from the North Carolina Department of Justice which gave a very good (if dry) explanation of the laws and where you can carry as well as some videos that showed specific situations regarding the use of deadly force. Learned some great information in this class. We finished up with a part of the course on gun safety, handling, maintenance, ammunition types, and types of handguns. This was a lot of review for me and several people from the class as it's based on the NRA basic pistol class which I took back in April.

The class was filled with folks with different levels of experience from someone who had just purchased a handgun and was just learning to several ladies who were applying for their armed security personnel license.

After the standard classroom teaching, we went to the range to shoot 40 rounds total from 3, 5, and 7 yards into a B27 target. This was a little different for me as Elite has a rule that you should shoot no more than 1 round per second, so shooting as fast as I could pull the trigger and as quickly as I could get my sights on target was fun. Kind of reminded me of doing IDPA practices with the folks from Central Carolinas Shooting Club. We shot a bunch of the rounds with either the strong or weak hand, usually in 6 round courses of fire.

All of my rounds found their way into the 8 ring or better with 34 in the 9, 10, and X rings. I was then able to shoot my last 10 rounds after my scoring was done just to finish off the box. All of those rounds were in the 9 ring or better.

All in all, I had a great time with Kelly and the class and would definitely recommend anyone in the Charlotte area in taking the class with Elite.

That's all for this week. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another Saturday at the range.

Well, just like all the past times at the range, stayed at 10 yards at Elite Training Academy here in Monroe, NC. I like Elite as it's close to home and has 12 bays, so there are usually a couple open with no waiting. I put up another B27 target and ran 50 rounds of .22lr at the head of the target which can be seen below.
 As you can see, I'm still a bit left, but getting better and having decent groupings. Next I ran 90 rounds of re-manufactured 9mm rounds through my M&P. My first ten rounds had 7 in the 9, 0 and X rings and 3 in the 8 ring to the left. Yep, still left. I didn't have any issues with my slide not locking back today. I tried not jamming my hand right up to the top of the grip. This seems to have fixed the slide lock issue and appears to have helped me not be quite as left as I have been in the past. You can see my 90 rounds in this photo.
You can see two rounds high up in the 8 ring. These were two "accidental" double tap second shots. I'm not releasing the trigger all the way, trying to find the reset point and would up with those two firing off as the muzzle was still rising. Still left, but working my way to the right. Tried harder to just use the middle of the pad of my trigger finger as well, so hopefully that will get me pointed in the right direction.

Won't have a range report next week as I'll be taking the NC Concealed Carry class on Sunday. I'll post a brief and some pictures of my target once done and let you all know how I did in class. Hopefully by the end of September, I'll have my concealed carry permit.

That's it for today. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday at the range.

Went to the range Saturday with my youngest son. I didn't do a whole lot of shooting today as I wasn't feeling the best. Changed up targets and used a SEB special weapons team target. Don't have a picture of it unfortunately as I left my cell phone at home. It's a target that looks somewhat like an old milk bottle which has 3 internal smaller target zones (2 squares in the body and a small triangle in the head) and 6 small targets outside the bottle shape. I put another 50 rounds of .22 at one of the small target circle #2 at 7 yards and the triangle in the bottle at 7 yards. Didn't really have any issues there at all. Good groups with two hands, but my strong and weak hand still need a little work.

I then proceeded to shoot 30 rounds of the once fired ammo at the center mass box in the bottle at 10 yards. Interesting thing is that shooting at that box, I didn't have the low/left or left issue as much. I did have a couple of throw-away rounds that were low and one was left. Of the 30 rounds, 26 were well inside the box with the rest within 1 inch of the box. The last 20 rounds, I shot at the small triangle in the head at 10 yards. I did 10 rounds strong hand and 10 rounds weak hand. Little bit harder to hit the triangle as it is pretty small. Of the 20 rounds shot at the triangle, I had 7 misses, but only 3 out of the "head" of the target. Still need to do more one handed shooting.

Another thing I'm noticing is my having trouble with the take-up of the trigger after a shot. I'm releasing the trigger and having trouble again finding the spot where the trigger resets. Not sure how to work on that. Still having issues with the strong hand thumb riding the slide release and causing it not to lock back on the last round. Lots of work to do.

For those interested, the big boxes are 6inch boxes, the small boxes are 3.5inch boxes, the circles are about 3.25inches, and the triangles are about 3inches per side.

Well, that's it for me. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight.