Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just Days Away...

From a new Smith & Wesson, and it's probably not what anybody thinks.

S&W M&P22

It's up on the S&W site, msrp $419.

It's go to know a price.  Hopefully I'll be picking one up this summer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Is the 9mm THE Round?

That's the question over at The Truth About Guns.  The super-compact 9mm is quickly eclipsing the tiny .380 for the small CCW piece, and I tend to agree with the idea.  If you can make something controllable and reliable at a similar size in a "real" caliber, fantastic.

So, is the 9mm the round?  And I'm not talking just for tiny CCW guns, I'm talking for the "go-to" carry round.

My daily carry piece is a full size Smith & Wesson M&P9.  One of the reasons I went with the M&P is that the two largest law enforcement agencies in the county where I live (both the city police dept, and the county Sheriff's Office) carry M&Ps.  However, they both carry .40S&W models, and I still stuck with the 9.

Why?  The .40 has proven to be a great fight stopper, one of the City boys put two into a goblin's center mass a couple years back and he was done before they even got to the hospital.  (This was after he'd be tazed a couple times, yanked the leads out, and been OC sprayed.  Also had a known violent background, especially against LEOs.)  So why did I go with 9mm Parabellum?

There a couple reasons.  The first, availability.  9x19mm is the single most common handgun cartridge in the world by some accounts.  Just about anybody that carries pistol ammo carries 9mm.  To go along with this, 9mm is also noticeably cheaper than .40S&W, .40's pushing close to .45acp in price.  I figure if I'm going to pay .45 prices, I may as well shoot .45.  But I like to practice, so paying 2/3 the price for standard ball is going to win me over any day.  9x19mm is still the cheapest centerfire ammo I know of.  It's pretty well agreed that shot placement trumps bullet type every time.  More practice equals better shooting, and more consistent shot placement.  Price is important.

The constant criticism of the 9mm comes from stories on the frontlines.  Soldiers apparently regularly shoot tiny middle-easterners (really, they're little guys) with a full mag, only to watch them shrug them off like mosquitoes and keep coming.  While I don't doubt this may have happened with a highly motivated and drugged up insurgent, I don't think the fault lies solely in the diameter of the bullet.

The US military has long limited themselves to FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) loads of 115 grains 124gr loaded to +P speeds.  This load tends to go really fast, and the fully jacketed ball does not expand.  Even if it slightly deforms it will be prone to over-penetration, and a bullet that goes through your target and continues downrange is just wasted energy.

I regularly shoot 115 gr. FMJ at the range.  It's cheap and plentiful, and doesn't beat the shooter up.  But when I leave the range, I switch back to 124 gr. JHP (Jacketed Hollow Points.)  You can get 9mm loaded all the way up to 147 grain, but I like the 124 grain for the balance between mass and velocity.  The 124s tend to travel faster, which can aid in more consistent expansion, which is the entire concept of hollow points.  In my M&P, I can carry 17+1 of them (I always just carry 17 though due to WI's stupid laws.)  If I can't take care of it with 34 rounds of that, I done screwed up.  The data I can find for the rounds I have show a regular penetration of about 12" and expansion to over half an inch.  I feel pretty confident in that.

So do I think 9x19 is the be-all-end-all of handgun cartridges?  Maybe, but something better could always come along, and it may not fit your exact needs.  Most importantly though, I trust it.  I don't feel under armed when I'm carrying my gun (well, I'm much more comfortable with a rifle, but that's another matter.)  It may not work for you, but it works just fine for me.

Raven Concealment, Take 2

So I've had enough time to get the feel for the new Raven Phantom I got for the M&P9, a and a couple range trips to give it a good shake down.  The giddy, childlike "new toy" excitement has worn off, but it has been replaced with plenty of contentment.

Originally I thought the extra controls and lumpy bits on the side of the M&P were what gave this holster a much more secure feeling, however upon further inspection, I found Raven has added a small dimple to the light area of the holster.

This little dimple creates a small catch right behind the light's bezel, and makes this holster feel about 3,000 times more secure than the old one for the SigPro.  I guess I wasn't the only one who wished for more retention on the light models.

Also, there had been reports of older Raven products cracking, and to help Raven switched to a thicker Kydex for their holsters.

I have a feeling this additional stiffness is also a bit responsible for the more secure feeling.  I hear that they can still make them with the thinner Kydex if you're worried about concealment issues with the thicker material, however I don't think the difference is enough to matter.

As I mentioned in the past, the old style "paddle clips" were not the most comfortable option, and I also had one break on me.  The old style clips are a thing of the past now, and Raven has switched to an OWB Soft Loop snap system.

I much prefer these to the old "paddle clips" and to any other actual paddles I've used in the past.  The gun sticks out much less, and while concealment isn't a worry for me yet, it's nice to not have it sticking out and catching on things.  They may take a couple seconds longer to put on or take off the belt, but they feel quite secure and keep the whole thing from flopping around nicely with the right belt.  In this case, a 5.11 re-enforced model that came free with some pants. It's a little big (I wear it on the smallest hole...) but looks good and is holding up well, and the price was right.

The loops themselves are made of a tough rubberized material and Military-grade snaps, and is adjustable for belt width.  I expect these to hold up for quite a while.

Raven has also changed the material of their standard belt loops from formed Kydex to an injection molded plastic.

Less prone to breakage, and also universal.  The old ones had distinct left and right loops.  The little Raven logos are a nice touch.  (Also, the new mag pouch is the same thickness Kydex as the old.  While it makes a great range pouch, it's not what I've been running for daily carry however.  I have a much more comfortable option I'll mention in a couple days.)

As some of you may know, I live in Wisconsin, so concealment has never been high on the list of things I look for with a holster.  The biggest reason I went with RCS was that they make a holster that holds my gun with my light attached.  I've done enough low light/no light training to greatly appreciate a white light on my gun if I have that option (and yes, I think one day of it was enough to appreciate it.  However more is needed to affectively use it.)

I know that plenty of the people looking at these are worried about concealing, so I tossed on a good cover garment and snapped a few pictures.  In this case, a button up cotton shirt with a textured weave.  ($15 at Khol's and the girlfriend says it looks good too!)

Not bad for a full size gun with an attached light.  Granted, if I lift my hands above my head the bottom of the holster is exposed, but I could adjust the soft loops to make the holster ride higher.

So, are there any downsides to RCS's stuff?  Well, I ordered this one the first week of November 2010, and it finally was in my hands mid-March 2011.  It also wasn't cheap, holster, mag pouch, and soft loops plus shipping came out to around $130.  Compare that to Comp-Tac, who I ordered a new holster for a gun I should be getting next week on Tuesday, and the package was dropped off at the post office yesterday(and it's red!)  Too bad they don't make light holsters...

Bottom line - if you're looking for a quality Kydex holster, with great modularity and carry options, especially if you carry with a light, and are willing to wait a few months; Raven Concealment Systems is worth taking a look at.

Factory 10/22 Hi-Caps?

Well I'll be! 

Photo from Ruger

It's about time.  Could this be a sign that the market has spoken loud enough to penetrate Ruger's ears that have been deeply buried... somewhere... in regards to allowing mere civilians to have higher capacity magazine?

Ruger already has them up on their online store at $29.95, comparable to other extended 10/22 mags on the market.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Need More CAS!

Apparently there's rumblings of bringing in more Close Air Support in the guise of "Counter-Insurgency Aircraft."

It seems that despite how sexy the newest, fanciest fighter jets are, they're not what we need to fight wars these days.  I guess we've just gone too overboard with air superiority... poor fighter jockeys awesomed themselves right out of a job...

It looks as though the prime candidates are the T-6 Texan II and the Super Tucano.  From my uneducated ground pounder view it sounds like they want an A10 that can remain on station longer (those jets guzzle fuel a lot faster than a prop engine.)  This does make sense, but from what the locals told me back during my time in A-stan, the tried and true Warthog has an immense psychological effect as well as packing a ton of whoop-ass. "(Spiny blade motion)No good. Woosh (sweeping hand motion) Good! (Two thumbs up,)" as the nice Afghan told me as we watched a pair take off from BAF back in '05.

Personally, if we're going props and bombs, I like the first one Tam mentions.  Nothing quite compares to a pair of radial engines going all out on a low pass, and 8 .50s in the nose sounds pretty good for strafing runs.

FR Shemagh

I do love my cheap cotton one, but I can definitely see the usefulness of a Flame Resistant one.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

May Try This Sometime...

Although I'd be wary to try it in a semi, and maybe even a pump.  I guess it's just another excuse to look out for a nice double?

(It's also briefly mentioned in The Art of the Tactical Shotgun...)

Monday, April 25, 2011

NRA Grassroots Workshops

The NRA is holding some workshops/meetings to discuss the pending CCW legislation in WI-
For Concealed Carry To Become a Reality, NRA Needs Your Help!

Attend FREE Workshop and Help secure the Right-to-Carry Concealed. It’s time for Wisconsin to join free America!

Dear Wisconsin NRA Member:

During last November’s elections, NRA members and gun owners throughout the Badger State sent a clear message to elected officials that a strong Right-to-Carry law must be a legislative priority. Residents of Wisconsin sent their legislators to Madison to secure their freedom.

To ensure we are prepared to meet the challenges posed by anti-gun forces and answer questions our members have about this legislation, NRA-ILA Grassroots will be hosting a series of workshops throughout the state. Please plan on attending to learn more about the bills, as well as what you need to do as gun-owners to assist in our efforts.

At this meeting, NRA-ILA Staff will discuss the bills, as well as what each of you need to do to ensure victory. NRA State and Local Lobbyist Darren La Sorte will be on hand along with NRA-ILA Grassroots Staff to lead the workshop.

This meeting is absolutely free and beverages and light snacks will be provided. The workshop will run about 60-90 minutes. Please make plans to attend one of our events and encourage your fellow NRA members and Second Amendment supporters to attend as well.

Here are the details for the upcoming workshops:

Eau Claire
Tuesday, May 10th
Gander Mountain
6440 Sculy Drive
Eau Claire,WI 54701
(715) 834-4594

Milwaukee (Richfield)
Wednesday, May 11th
One Cabela Way
Richfield, WI 53076

Wausau (Rothschild)
Thursday, May 12th
Gander Mountain
1560 County Road XX
Rothschild,WI 54474
(715) 355-5500

To register for this free event, please visit the link under the location closest to you above, or call the NRA-ILA Grassroots Division at (800) 392-VOTE (8683).

We look forward to seeing you!

Yours in freedom,
NRA Institute for Legislative Action
I've registered for the Wausau(Rothschild) one, since it's closest, and pending a change in the work schedule, should be able to make it.

I'm going to assume that with Gander Mountain being an Open Carry Friendly business, that that should be ok as well.

Random Photo

Just turned out really good, and it's awesome to see my oldest nephew getting that excited about bicycles (which is awesome, since I'm fixing one up for him.)

'Nother Good Quote

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Android Shot Timers

Tonight I discovered there's a beta version of the IPSC Shot Timer in the Android store.  There's been an iPhone shot timer for a while, but the Android version had been dragging it's feet on coming out.

Right now I'll try out the free app and put off the $150 or so actual shot timer for a bit.  I can get a lot of ammo for $150...

Good Quote...

From a random thread on ARFCOM-
I know a lot of you are wondering how a person like myself would purchase a handgun. I went to Virginia Tech during the shooting, and after the whole ordeal and sleeping with a chair against my door for two months out of fear, it dawned on me that I could be helpless and naive or I could face the reality of what the world is really like and take matters into my own hands. (emphasis mine)
Regardless of the other stuff involved in the post, that sentence alone is worth remembering.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shot Timers

Recommend me some good ones.  The CED7000 is looking pretty good to me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I don't see the problem...

Watching TV with the girl last night...

"Quick, what kind of gun was that?"
"A Sig P226."
"It was only on the screen for half a second!"
"...It's a common gun......."

Girls and Guns

I take some time off and miss the recent "everybody's blogging about" thing...

Apparently some asshat (I love that word...) thinks women shouldn't be shooting.

Uncle already summed things up pretty well (go take a look if you haven't already.)  The primary thing is that factual evidence shows women are the fastest growing segment in the firearms industry, quite the opposite of the NRA's efforts failing as Heyl seems to think.

Overall though, it's a shame they don't have comments enabled on the original story, that would have made for some good reading.  I'll have to tell Marty to read it, although I've got a feeling some strong editing would be required if I was to post her response...

I also need to get together a group of new shooters.  MandaFern (the girlfriend) has never shot anything more than a BB squirt gun and is really excited to try something more, and the more the merrier.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I just finished a 12 hour overnight, and now it's technically my "weekend," so forgive me if things are a little slow around here today...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


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Walking Dead

Target's got season one on DVD on sale for $10 this week.  I picked it up yesterday.

GemTax Day

In, er, celebration of income taxes, Gemtech is paying the $200 privilege tax on their Trek-T 5.56 can for you if you order before the end of the month.


Finally crawling into bed (night shifts suck...) and the weather people say I should be waking up to 5-8 inches of "heavy, packing snow" throughout this afternoon and my next shift.

Hopefully one of these days I'll wake up and find myself in a place that remembers what spring is...
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Salute Products

Anybody have any experience with their stuff?  I like the idea of a springy steel target, especially since my usual range has close to zero maintenance (the target stands usually last about a month, or until the first hard rain...) Plus a nice "DING!" and some movement can make for a more enjoyable range session in my opinion, especially with newer shooters.

I'm eying up the Small Spring Base combined with an IPSC MiniMe...

If anybody's run their stuff before, feel free to chime in!

Monday, April 18, 2011

McChrystal Cleared

I didn't notice this in anything about this in the domestic press, but BBC News has it up pretty high on their feed...

That's good to hear, I always thought he seemed like a pretty decent guy, for an officer.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Few Range Shots

Judge Testing

Not the Supreme Court type, but of the "how the hell do these things sell?" Taurus type.

Old_Painless, of The Box O' Truth fame, did a revisit of his first Taurus Judge test to see if the "magnum" version loaded with "handgun" specific .410 rounds would work any better.

The biggest thing?-
Even at 7 yards, the pattern of the Judge is too wide, and will cause some of the load to miss a bad guy. Not only are you responsible for every pellet you send down range, but if they miss him, they do not Stop him.

Not that surprised; rifled barrels, let alone super-stubby ones, never work well for shotguns.

I'll stick with the 17 rounds of 124gr JHP in the ol' M&P for now.  At least I know where they're going when I squeeze the trigger.

Oh Yeah, Prosser Won...

In case you've been stuck under a rock or just not up to speed on Wisconsin Politics, Justice David Prosser won by a bit after some misplaced ballots were found durring canvassing.

This is rather important to the impending CCW battle, as I have a feeling the minority will be challenging anything the majority passes for a while, and Justice Prosser has a 2A friendly track record.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

B.A.G. Day and Whatnot...

My purchase is being slowed a bit by waiting for funds to come in, and me to make a final decision and tell my dealer to order it (it's a current production piece that's not on backorder anywhere, just need to give him the green light.)

I do see that Jay G ordered himself up one of the runners-up in my mental race for his buy.  I'll be looking forward to hearing what he has to say about it, as I may still get one down the road if we ever get CCW for those days when I'm doing something where I can't carry a gun.  I've fondled them a bit over the counter at some shops and do like how they feel.  He's also got a nice round-up of some other's purchases.

I did pick up a cheapo crap coffee cup after waiting 5 hours for my coffee to cool down from magma to a mear scalding last night (when I seriously needed it...) So if you're in the market, the Nissan Thermos Backpacker is capable of keeping coffee drinkably warm for nearly 8 hours.  The new one was on sale at the local big box for under $4 and isn't worth mentioning.  It's getting its field test tonight.

Double Yuck.

It's snowing.

Friday, April 15, 2011


It wasn't bad... until it started sleeting.

But we powered through it.

Fun was had despite the weather, and more photos will come in the next few days.


I Ain't No Softy!

Currently a steady 25mph, gusting up to 35-40.

Just waiting for Marty to get done with work.

Two of my Favorite Things

Legos and Zombies.

h/t Breda

A Relevant Cause

G4 is putting together an effort to send "decent coffee" to the front lines after seeing the video that was making the rounds last week.
Everyone knows that soldiers are overseas to protect our country and our country runs on coffee (at least, according to Dunkin Donuts). Therefore, our soldiers need coffee to keep our homes safe and running!
But we can't have them suffer with bad coffee rations--and boiling up a cup of Joe in the middle of Afghanistan isn't an easy task, as you can see in the YouTube video below of Canadian soldiers demonstrating how they brew coffee in combat conditions. This makes your local Starbucks seem like the most luxurious place in the world, right?
That's why Attack of the Show is excited to launch Operation Instant Jolt where viewers like you can send in instant coffee, which we'll forward to the troops in Afghanistan. Your instant coffee donation can be sent here:
Operation Instant Jolt c/o G4TV
5850 W. 3rd St. #155 
Los Angeles, CA 90036

 We'll be accepting your instant coffee until May 1st, 2011 so get those packages in ASAP!
From my experience, even at the big places like BAF it can be difficult to find some actual quality coffee, and even worse so out in the field (no surprise there though.)

My suggestion for "instant" coffee does have to go out to the Starbucks VIA, it's easily the most convenient and trooper friendly in it's little single serving packets, and although I've been hard on Starbucks in the past, it's is easily the best tasting "instant" I've tried.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I'm sure they're happy...

But they're floating a good six inches above my single-track...

The snow melt was aided by a pretty good thunderstorm over the weekend.  It's come down, but that's two floods since I've ridden on that trail, and I don't know how much longer I can take.


Working on some photography stuff...

Speaking of Range Mishaps...

Stuff like this make me afraid to get into reloading.  Seems like a pretty easy mistake to make if you're even a little absent minded.


They happen.  Listen to your gut out there.  If that last shot seemed off, stop and check.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Agree

From Oleg.

Reverse Engineering

They've been around for a while, but today Caleb mentioned a metal frame for your Glock.  Glock is probably the most responsible for bringing plastics into the serious handgun game, freaking out the libbies all the way (ZOMG IT GOES THROUGH METAL DETECTORS!!!11)

I was going to say the only thing that they need is a steel frame for your Glock that mimics the 1911 grip angle, but then I noticed-
One of these backstraps duplicates the factory Glock grip angle. The other is flatter, resulting in the pistol pointing more naturally for the vast majority of users and mimicking the grip angle and feel of a 1911.
I have to agree with one of Caleb's points though, if you must have a metal framed pistol, just stick with a Sig or something.

At least it's for a good cause...

Shooters can now blast clay pigeons for a cause. Federal® Ammunition’s special edition Top Gun® Target loads support finding a cure for breast cancer. These distinctive pink hulls are an effective hunting and shooting practice option or a solid load for shooting competitions. A portion of the sales of this product will go directly to the search for a cure. The new 12-gauge 2-3/4-inch #8 shotshells deliver consistent performance for all types of clay target shooting.
I might have to keep an eye out for some, just for the hell of it.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Illinois is getting closer to CCW than we are...


I'm full of them.

If you're from the area, you know this weekend is pretty important, so I may or may not sleep (I have to work too... grr.)  I'll try to see if I can hash up some content between questions though.

But, how often do you get to play in The World's Largest Trivia Contest? (OK, once a year, but that's not the point...)

Thursday, April 7, 2011


48 hours on the schedule this week, 40 of which are overnights.  Sorry for the scarcity of my presence on the intertubes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I voted around 4pm, close to my usual time.  My number was somewhere in the mid-400s, which is about twice as high as it usually is at the same time of day when I go.  You'd think there's been some big events going on lately with some high profile elections...

It's Officially Spring

The coffee shop has iced coffee again. Not that I drink it, but it's a good yardstick.
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Speaking of Wisconsin

This could be very important to your survival if you happen to be visiting.


The big one for Wisconsin today is Supreme Court Justice, along with a mix of mayors.

Really the only thing I've got to say is that Justice David Prosser has a strong pro-2nd history, and going off of recent politics, everything the Republicans pass in the near future is going to be challenged in court, and that includes any CCW legislation that happens to come up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ruger LC9...

Anybody have any experience with them yet? And more importantly, know how hard it is to deactivate the stupid magazine safety?

Exercises in Frustration

The range trip today was one.

Contrary to popular opinion, my example of the Ruger 10/22 is far from a reliable gun.  Going through a single magazine without it stovepiping at least once is rare and cause for celebration.  It's a shame, as the gun is comfortable, handy, and fun to shoot (when it works.)  It only gets worse as the gun gets dirty, the last mag jammed on every-other round, the stovepiped case preventing the bolt from fully catching the fresh round, leading to a double feed when trying to clear it.  Great times.

On top of that was a constant 20-30mph wind.  I wasn't shooting far, or for any type of accuracy, just smacking some spinners around, but you couldn't leave anything lightweight on the bench.  About five minutes after laying down my empty rifle case went tumbling past me, and when I got up to grab it, the whole mat went over, dumping the rifle and box of ammo all over the ground.  Great times. I hate wind.  (Note to self: six little wire tent stakes need to make their way into the range bag...)

Hopefully I'll get back out in a couple days with a different gun and better weather.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Looking like it... Only upper 30s though.
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Out of Town

For the weekend, expect light to no blogging until Monday.