10 December 2009

Getting closer

I found an awesome poster to tell if someone is carrying a hidden firearm, things to keep in mind when I carry my own. Those guys over there at FTF are knowledgeable fellows.

It's only about 2 weeks before I take my class. I've been dragging my feet a bit in getting those measurements for my shoulder holster, not sure why. I think I'll finish that up today.

Went shooting with JR and had a good time. I got to fire his .357 and was surprised it wasn't as powerful as I thought it would be. Thus the power of television. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it, I was just expecting more of a kick. Surprisingly, I hit the target all six times. But as one of the guys who were watching us shoot said, "Boy, that sure is a banger." LOUD.

I'm a bit annoyed at some of the guys who seem to make a spectacle of themselves over and over about the OC debate. Of course it's a constitutional right, and the police need to be more aware of the laws they are to uphold, but at the same time, putting yourself in a situation where you are continually harassed by the police just so you can post your experience on youtube seems a bit self-deprecating, as well as putting OC vs CC in a negative light. I'll probably NOT open carry; why advertise? It is a proven fact that criminals choose to pick on those who seem to be unable to defend themselves. Much like the idea behind self-confidence, you carry yourself a different way when you have training than you do if you are just Joe Common who lacks that trait.

This debate will continue, I'm sure.

01 December 2009

My Shoulder Rig...

My shoulder rig fabrication is underway! I've contacted a guy who said he would make me the shoulder rig (harness, basically) for $20.00 and another gentleman who said he would make me the holster for $35. So, for $55.00, I'll have a custom made concealed carry rig that will rival anything you can buy commercially! I have to get the measurements (not easy to do with a metal tape measure, must get a tailors tape measure) and work out the holster arrangements, (custom made may mean sending my weapon to the guy, unless he happens to have a Ruger P95 just laying around... I've gotten just a preliminary email from him, so I'll be posting more when I know more.)

I must say, this is quite exciting. Even though I had to reschedule my CPL class to the 19th of December due to work, I'm happy! I am so ready for this.

I'm going out shooting with JR tomorrow at FSC, hope he doesn't get sidetracked again. I'm not sure what he is bringing to the range, but I know he has a .45. I'll post pics.

26 November 2009

A Fair Stretch

I realize it's been a while since my last post, and since I have no excuse, I'll post something.

Honestly, I haven't done much shooting lately. The drive to ER is killing me, I really need to find something closer. I have to say that Family Shooter's Corral is a great place to go, the owner Russ is a friendly fellow who is always willing to talk about weapons, ammunition, you name it. In fact, I am taking my CPL class out there on Dec. 6th.

I went shooting yesterday, and did pretty well. At least, I hit the target every time. At 10 yards, my groupings have all been "center mass", that is, if you hold the target up to your chest, nearly all the shots are in the torso. I found that the weather affects shooting accuracy as well. It makes sense, really, if you think about it. If you're cold, your hand may shake a bit, if hot, it may be a bit slippery in your grasp. These are all thing to keep in mind if I ever need to use my weapon in self defense.

I've found a few new websites that deal specifically with the issues I am concerned about; namely, open carry and the laws pertaining to it, and CC and similar laws. They can be found here. The open carry forum has a lot of good information on it, detailing the effectiveness of crime deterrent from the BG's (as Bad Guys are referred to). I downloaded the opencarry brochure and am going to keep a copy of it in my glovebox. While I don't plan to carry into places like Wal-Mart or Denny's like some people have done, it's nice to know that I could if I so desired, without fear of reprisal from LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers).

This site is maintained by a fellow named Big Gay Al. He is the local head of the pinkpistols chapter, a group I am considering joining. Information on starting your own pinkpistols chapter can be found here.
Here are a couple of photos of my latest shoot:

My groupings seem to wander a bit, but at least there are no errant shots. It's a work in progress.

29 October 2009

Ammo and the Range

Went to the range yesterday. I was supposed to meet a friend of mine from work there, but for some reason he never showed up. I arrived about 4:00pm, and luckily there were very few people there. The air was a little cold, but a nice day overall.

First thing I noticed was a fellow with several handguns firing indiscriminately at several targets, jumping from one range corridor to the next. Personally, I don't care, but stay out of my lane, buddy. I ended up doing all of my reloads right in the lane. I hung several clean targets up and commenced firing.

It amazes me how quickly you can go through rounds. I took roughly 150 rounds with me, and was done shooting in just under a 1/2 hour. I did experience a few misfires, which shocked me a bit (the gun didn't go boom like it should have and ejected a live shell.) These were Wolf 9mm ammo from Russia, steel jacketed, and, finding out after the fact, known for their inaccuracy and many misfires. Of course that explains why the rounds were so cheap. Let that be a lesson to me. Yes, they were just for target shooting, but nonetheless, a bit unsettling when the gun doesn't do what you want it or expect it to do. There was actually a dimple in the primer cap from where the firing pin hit it. Russ (owner of the range) said I could recycle the round through the barrel, but he wouldn't recommend it. This brand of ammo is dirty.

1)Projectile (the actual piercing round)
2)Casing (holds it all together)
3)Gunpowder or propellant
4)The rim, part used for loading
5)Primer or powder ignitor

Picture compliments of wikipedia

The next time I buy ammo, I'm going to be sure to use a better brand. I've heard Independence is excellent, and Federal firearms. A bit more pricey, but worth it in less rounds wasted.

As far as my accuracy goes, I am getting better, having adjusted my grip and stance a bit. I use a somewhat modified Weaver stance. I was told, based on my grouping, that I'm tightening my support hand a little too much which is throwing off my aim just before the trigger is pulled. Preparation, perhaps? I'll make some adjustments the next time I go.

24 October 2009

BULLETin Board Forums

I love to read, love to learn things, and even love to shoot, now that I've started actually understanding how a firearm works. I set out to find a decent bulletin board that met my needs in terms of safety, knowledge and know-how. I've found it in FirearmsTalk.

As I researched, I found there are a LOT of forums advocating their own personal interpretations of the 2nd amendment. What their agenda's might be, I don't know, and it didn't take long for me to abandon forums who believed shoot to kill was a god given right. As I've said before, I don't want to shoot anyone, but hope that in my heart I'll be able to pull the trigger if I ever need to in defense of home or family.

There are bad people in the world, no doubt about it, but there are also lots of good people too. A lot of these good people, with guns, attend this particular forum. They have no qualms about calling out liars and fakes, people impersonating military personnel, law enforcement officers and the like. (As reprehensible as it sounds, they're out there) They believe in safety, in responsible gun ownership and taking responsibility for your actions.

On a side note, I've joined the NRA, associate member. I haven't received my decal, number or card yet, but once I do, it's going in my wallet right next to my nursing license and eventually my CPL.

23 October 2009

Cleaning the weapon

I looked forward to cleaning my weapon for the first time. There's something about tearing an instrument of self-defense apart, making it gleam like new (albeit it an oily residue on certain surfaces) and putting it all back together. After firing 50+ rounds at the range, my hands covered in spent powder and smelling of smoky potassium nitrate, charcoal and just a whiff of sulfur, I knew it was time. What kind of responsible gun owner would I be going to the range with a dirty weapon? Sakes!

Once again, I turned to the interweb to instruct me in the proper cleaning of my handgun. I had purchased a handgun cleaning kit (for $32.00) that didn't have any solvent or gun oil, nor instructions, so I had to spend a bit more getting that stuff. It did have a lot of neat attachments, most of which I still have no idea what they do. I grabbed several cleaning rags, spread everything out on the table on a clean towel and got to work.

Granted, 50 rounds is not a lot. In fact, I've heard of people putting several hundred rounds through their handgun before cleaning it. Todd Jarrett fired 1000 rounds in 10 minutes Why? as a personal record. Considering the guy's accuracy, the strength and stamina required to pull off such a feat, I'm the last one to question why any gun owner does what he does with his weapon, but I can't imagine what the bore of his handgun looked like. But for me, my handgun had visible powder residue on the slide, and friends, that just won't do.

For the most part, cleaning the handgun is a simple process. Take it apart, and clean the individual parts. Use the scrub brush (some people use a toothbrush) and solvent to clean the barrel then scrub and rub. My particular handgun is half high-tech polymer plastic, half metal. Don't ignore the polymer half. I found crud in the slide, more than I thought there would be. I was also very stingy with the oil, and avoided putting it in the barrel. Apparently doing so can cause problems such as jams and poor accuracy due to a buildup on powder and oil making a sludgy mess.

The hardest part was cleaning the spring. I did my best to remove the spring, but it just wouldn't come off. So, I used solvent, scrubbed, then a clean cloth with oil and wiped it down around the springs, then just a plain cloth, rubbing until it came away clean.

Putting it back together with a cha-chink as the slide engaged signalled it's readiness and willingness to be fired once again. Soon, my little friend... soon.

As an added bonus, yesterday I found a great deal on 9mm ammo. 12.99/box of 50, so I bought 100 rounds. Also, I learned, while at the range, that my mag actually holds 15 rounds plus 1 in the chamber. I wonder if that's going to cause problems for me down the line because the paperwork I received from Classic Arms said it was a 6 round mag (what?!) and that's what I turned in to the LPD. I should have paid more attention to it, but I only recently discovered this error while reviewing my paperwork.

More soon, bullet-heads.

22 October 2009

Home on the Range

I finally had the opportunity to take my weapon to the range today. Old Sargeant Major Sealander would be proud, I think, wiping a tear from his eye with a calloused finger. I did a lot of research about stances, handgrips, background on the weapon I was using and basic handgun safety. Well prepared is well armed. (ha ha) Anyhow, I went to a little shooting range called The Family Shooter's Corral in Eaton Rapids, MI. I was surprised at the ease in which the trigger could be pulled, not that I was caught off guard. In fact, one of the guys there said, "It ain't gonna bite ya!" Well, this dog does bite, and I'll handle it accordingly, thanks.

I practiced firing a few shots at a few metal plates quite a distance away (at least 20 yards away) and hit a fair number of them, though in truth, shooting anyone from that distance wouldn't be considered self-defense, at least I don't think it would. Anyhow, after about 25 shots I decided to try it on a few paper targets at 10 yards. I waited for the next cease fire, grabbed a couple targets and applied them to the pallet board used as backing. The cool thing about this range is they provide ear plugs and paper targets for free, with what I considered a decent fee for range time ($7.00 a half hour). Plus the owner is a friendly fellow with a handgun holstered on his waist. :)

In target 1, I fired off 9 rounds (heh... thought there were 10 in the mag) and hit the target, which for me, was surprising enough. While 10 yards truthfully is not a great distance, someone out to get you will probably do so in less than 10 yards. In target 2, my groupings were a lot more focused. I held the target, bullet holes and all up to my chest, and chuckled, whispering "center mass".

Not bad for my first time out. Plus, I learned a few things. First, there were a few guys down the row from me that had really loud (my ears are still ringing) rifles. I had originally purchased these "military grade" earplugs from a PX near me, and they were crap. If this is what the military uses, then I fear for our soldiers hearing. I ended up using foam inserts that made me practically deaf. Second, I had considered purchasing a laser site that mounts to the end of the barrel, but after witnessing another handgunner and the unsteadiness of the human hand, plus the accuracy with my handgun sans site, I'll just stick to the basics.

Cool day, rain and all.