Friday, December 31, 2010

Over the Last Year All My "EDC" Has Changed...

Looking over my last few posts, I've come to realize that almost all my carry gear has been replaced / upgraded.

I've replaced my Colt Mustang with the Sig P238, I've replaced my main carry/competition gun, the Les Baer TRS wit my Nighthawk Bob-Rail, my SOG Spec Elite & CRKT Hissatsu have (or rather are going to be) replaced by a Benchmade Griptilian (this reminds me, forget those Kudos to SOG, my replacement belt clip still hasn't shown up) and the KA-BAR TDI ankle knife. The Streamlight PT1L is a new addition and has all ready proved useful both while at work and abroad.

I have not been in the habit of carrying a light for the last couple of years, not for lack of interest, just lack of a nice compact light that had a high output. I wanted a Surefire E1B, but didn't want to pay that kind of money for a light. The PT1L has "better" features and is a fraction of the cost of the E1B. I can honestly say that the PT1L has left the house with me every day since it's arrival from Brownells.

Kicks Ass AND Takes Names...

My wife is always on the quest for the perfect Christmas gift for me, while I always ask for socks and under garments, she goes out of her way to get me something else. Normally I either stumble upon or figure out what what the gift is.

This year I was taken by surprise some of the gifts from the lovely Mrs JD.

The first item which made my curiosity go into overdrive was what felt to be a flimsy water bottle, completed with liquid filler. What could be in such a package? I'm not  drinker and any bottle with giving as a gift is not cheap plastic. Anything gun related wouldn't fit and you wouldn't dare put it in a container full of water...

Admit it, you're now just as stumped as I was.

So what does fit in a flimsy bottle of water and won't be destroyed by such surroundings?

A Rick Hinderer aluminum extreme duty modular pen

Now in all honesty, I seriously doubt I'll ever use this as an impact weapon, pain & compliance tool, or puncturing device, but it's a nice pen and it writes very well. I do like a nice heavy pen and this one's pretty sturdy. Sure it will be part of my "EDC" gear, but just because it's neat pen.

Turns out that Rick Hinderer was at my wife's TDI class and was demo'ing some of his stuff. I'd been talking of wanting one of these pens for a while and my wife came through with the perfect gift.

More Chrismas Swag

Along with the pen was a strangely familiar box although at the time I didn't know why it was familiar. As it turns out my wife also bought me the TDI ankle knife, I have no desire to carry this on my ankle and will be contacting Invictus Kydex to have a good sheath made up.

While I was Christmas shopping for the Mrs, I also picked up some swag for me.

One thing that I wanted to get my wife was a compact, but bright light. I'm not going to go into the benefits of carrying a light, only that this was a nice find, I got two Streamlight PT1L lights, one for her and one for me. The light's details can be viewed at the Streamlight website. I also picked up the Benchmade Griptilian while shopping for a replacement Kewshaw Chive for my wife.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carry What You Shoot, Shoot What You Carry

Yesterday I did a re-qualification shoot for four gentlemen to renew their Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons (PTCW), one of them was shooting his carry gun which was a laser equipped Ruger LCP. At first I was unsure about permitting the use of the laser for requal, but as the title of this post indicates I am a fan of shooting what you carry, and carrying what you shoot. As the LCP was his carry gun, and he fully intends to use the laser, (For a good read regarding lasers, check out this article) I might as well help him use the tools he will be taking to a gun fight should he ever have the misfortune of needing that pistol.

Of the other three students, two were shooting pistols that they do not use as carry guns. One gentleman was shooting a Sig 226, but often carries a 239. He claimed that he couldn't hit anything with the 239 due to it's short barrel...but he uses it for carry where he may need to hit something with it. The range we shot at has fixed 50' target points, we shot THIS qualification using standard IDPA targets in stands between the 50' target line and the firing line. The guy shooting the Sig commented that he had never shot at a target this close. So here's a guy shooting a gun that he won't carry, instead of his carry gun and has never practiced on a target at "normal" self defense distances. He did well enough with his 226, he dropped a few out of the "Down Zero" zone of the target, but passed the accuracy requirement.

Another gentleman was shooting a metal framed S&W single stack 9mm (I'm rusty on my S&W autos other than a few select models) but commented that he did not carry this one, but liked to shoot it more. He needed some assistance and passed the qual on his second run, but switched to his carry gun between runs.  Both guns were S&W Autos of about the same size and operation, for all I know they were the same model with some subtle differences. I'll be following up with him later on the details of both guns. Why he prefers to shoot one gun vs. the other will be posted later.

Regarding carrying what you shoot:

I own range only guns that will never see carry. My Browning Buckmark is a great range plinker and I shoot bullseye with it and all, but I know the role for that gun and it stays in that role.
My wife and I make it a point to carry the guns we shoot at the range, IDPA, and training classes. While there are times that an alternative gun may be a good idea, such as using a .22 Conversion kit in times of an ammunition shortage etc. But one should make an effort to shoot their carry gun every chance they get and be MORE familiar with their carry gun than their "range" gun. The gentleman with the LCP did not know the manual of arms for his pistol and we had to figure it out together.

Without a doubt there are some out there that never really get familiar with their carry gun, I recall in one class I was attending that the guy next to me did not know enough about his gun to lock the slide to the rear and I had to show him how. Other than the NRA Basic / First Steps Pistol, while attending a training class is not the place to learn the standard functions of your firearm. For anyone reading this, if you have questions about your gun, how it works, or just want instruction on basic firearms handling and safety, contact your local NRA Instructor and get some one on one training.

Maybe I'm being to harsh as as there is an accuracy requirement and shooters want to use what they shoot best, but when the course is carry related, I feel that one should use their carry gear and that the course is passable with such gear. I will freely admit that when I took my Iowa permit course that I shot a .22 Conversion kit but when shooting an NRA B3 bullseye target at 50' for score, it's more of a bullseye match than a defensive pistol class.

 In summary, know your guns and be as familiar with your carry gun as you can be.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Extended Sig P238 Magazine-Get Them Now...

Great thing is that I was able to use my coupon (given to those who had to send in their 238 HDs for repairs) on the three mag order and the price was knocked down to under $30 a mag. Snagged the three with free shipping for $81.00.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Desibens Gun Leather IWB #4

Since I had a lot of time before I could carry my P238 I was able to out some good thought into what I wanted in my holster for this gun.

I wanted an IWB, I wanted something with a snap loop, it either had to have a reinforced opening or just be very stiff, as the P238 is super slim I wasn't too worried about the location of the loop, I wanted a single loop for more room to locate the holster to either AIWB or strong side. Why the reinforced opening? Most of my holsters have them and I like them and prefer to keep some familiarity with all my gear, I don't like a bunch of different stuff. Keeping things similar = keeping it simple for me.

A while back I had an opportunity to check out some of Rhome's work, and while that particular holster didn't suit my fancy in some areas the quality of the work did and the impressions made by that holster stuck with me.

When i saw the IWB #4 on Rhome's site I knew it was going to be my choice of IWBs for this little package provided that he could accommodate the order.

Communications were prompt, he went to work to obtain either a 238 or a mold, the order was completed in the quoted time and he even gave me an option of which holster I wanted (both versions can be seen in Rhome's gallery for added comfort and stability but I opted for the minimal design for easier AIWB carry.

The fit of the holster was a little snug at first, but about 30 minutes of working the gun in and out broke it in nicely, no need for wax paper etc.

The material is firm but not too tough, the reinforced mouth is retaining it's shape nicely and the when the gun is inserted there's an audible "click noise" that one would not expect to hear from a leather holster. As I've said about Milt Sparks, it seems the holster has a force of it's own that just draws the gun other words the fit is just really nice.

As Rhome had a P238 mold I did not have to worry about the sight channel being shallow (if one is using a Mustang etc. holster for a 238 this could be an issue), this sight channel is nice and deep. The stitching is good, and again the fit is phenomenal. What I really like about this holster is that I have the option of a single snap loop, or a double snap loop. I am currently using the double snap loop.

I've been wearing the holster for a little over a week and I really like it, I'm thinking that if I were to primarily carry it strong side that I would have liked the added material but as this particular gun is carried more towards 1 o'clock I'm happy with the minimal version.

Enough with the talk, here's the pics.

If you're looking for a good holster for a small gun such as a P3AT, P32, LCP, or Kahrs I'd take a good look at this one. I don't know how I would like the single mounting point on a heavier gun, may if I feel bold I'll order one for the HK P7 and see how I like it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

As Promised: TDI Defensive Knife After Action Review

As promised in Tactical Defense Institute Review Primer (See link for video) here is my wife's review of the course.

I have wanted to take a knife class for years. Just like I wanted to get quality gun training when I chose to start carrying a firearm for self-defense, it was a natural progression of my training to want quality knife training when I chose to carry a knife.
Through a series of force-on-force (FOF) scenarios and some research and careful thought I had chosen the Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) Law Enforcement knife made by Ka-Bar as the edged companion to my firearm for every-day carry. When I brought it home and showed my husband my newest acquisition he informed me that TDI was actually a training facility in Ohio that did defensive knife classes. I immediately became interested. After all, it made sense to take a class from the people who designed the knife I chose to carry.
It took another two plus years before I would be in a position, financially and logistically, to take a knife class and after hearing many wonderful things about TDI I finally signed up for their two day Defensive Knife class that took place on December fourth and fifth of this year.
The confirmation email I received said to bring any and all knives I wanted to train with but that if I had no knife it was not an issue as TDI would have several knives available for trial and plenty of trainers to work with. Even though I didn’t need to take my TDI trainer I stuck it, my Cold Steel Ti-Lite and my Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement knife in my suitcase and drove to southern Ohio for my class.
A look at the TDI website gives you a run down of the facility with multiple ranges, classrooms, force-on-force houses and everything else a defensive student could ask for.
In anticipation of getting lost (as I usually do) I left my hotel an hour and a half early to make what was reported to me to be only a half-hour long trip. The directions were not hard to follow and even though I arrived to class an hour early there was already instructors there with heaters cranked setting out equipment for the class.
The classroom was clean and neat with comfortable chairs, clean tables, a small kitchenette, two bathrooms, a case to display TDI products for sale, a large television and (blessedly) two heaters to combat the Ohio cold that had swept in for the weekend.
They weren’t kidding when they said they had plenty of knives and trainers. The table at the front of the class was covered with trainer knives and live knives that could be borrowed by students.
As the rest of the students arrived we mingled and got to know each other and it wasn’t a surprised to find that I would be the only woman in the class. I was delighted to find out that John Benner, the designer of the TDI knife, would be an assistant instructor for the class as I was eager to meet him after our wonderful chat on the phone when I had called to sign up for the class. When our head instructor, Greg Ellifritz, arrived with plenty of time to spare we all settled in, some finished paying for their class and it was time to start.
There was a ratio of three instructors for twelve students (I believe), which made for a very safe environment. With any kind of class featuring weapons safety is a main concern and when you have twelve people with knives working them and trying things they’ve never tried before it’s nice to know there’s more than one set of eyes making sure everyone is being responsible and safe. Two instructors walked around the perimeter of the class checking for safety and giving tips when needed as Greg taught. Even when we sparred or did our force-on-force there was someone there to check our pockets and waistbands to ensure we didn’t forget to remove any live weapons (which I had forgotten to do after lunch on the second day and the instructor caught it (thank goodness)). That, along with the continued safety reminders, made me feel very comfortable that no one was going to end up with a knife buried in their belly or their fingers chopped off.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tactical Defense Institute Review Primer

My wife is on her way back from the Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) in Ohio and will be writing up review on their Defensive Knife class. In the meantime we can watch this clip from a force on force (FoF) scenario.

Disclaimer: When you have allowed your brain to be convinced the attack is real (which is the point of these exercises) you will say and do things that will later make you blush. Just saying

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Calling this one good...

After my lest test of the 238 and a friends testing of it today, I'm calling this one good to go.

I have not yet tested it with JHPs, but as my winter load is 100gr FMJ from Black Hills I'll worry about the JHPs later after I replenish my stock and fire off the my current supply of Speer Gold Dot and Golden Saber.

In other news, this week was the first week of "league shooting" at the local club after the last 4 weeks (we shoot once a week) of "qual" / bank scores to give the team makers something to access and make teams with.

My first five scores aren't too bad, and were on track with last years bank scores (Bank scores are the four scores from November that can be used during competition in the event that you miss a match) and today I shot a 521-4X. My slow fire has improved by about 10pts but my second timed and rapid fire were below my personal average. Still haven't hit a 275 yet but came close last week. If my shooting continues like it did the last two weeks I should hit a couple 275s this year.

2-Nov 490 N/A
3-Nov 491 4
9-Nov 491 N/A
10-Nov 496 4
16-Nov 489 N/A
17-Nov 507 3
25-Nov 532 14
22-Nov 531 9
2-Dec 529 7
1-Dec 521 4

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Snagged the Benelli!

Managed to snag the Benelli I came across at a pretty good price.

Here's the seller's pics.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coming Soon to Marshalltown, Iowa. NRA Basic Pistol Course(s) & Iowa Permit to Carry Requalifications

We are finalizing an agreement with the Iowa River Gun Club (IRGC) that will allow us to use their range for the firing portion of the NRA Basic & First Steps Pistol courses. My wife and I will begin hosting classes so a womens' only class will be a possibility.

Class itself will be held at 201 W. State St (The RACOM building) Marshalltown, IA 50158 once arrangements with the range are finalized.

Course cost for the NRA courses will be $30, there will be a $10 range fee for non IRGC members. If you are looking to do a live fire requalification for your Permit to Carry Weapons, we can do that too on a person to person basis. IRGC members will not be charged for requalification shoots. A requal shoot will cost $25, group rates will also be available.

For further information and updates, see

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sig P238 HD Update

I ran the 238 a little today, another 100rds downrange and all is well thus far both with the old mag and the new. No failures what so ever and that was running the gun at speed.

Next up in testing will be more defensive ammunition as all I've ran right now has been Blazer Brass FMJ.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Way back when a friend and I were driving around somewhere in Ca. and he said "You know what we need?" to which I replied "Shotguns". It was a good answer.

Everyone should have a shotgun.

Lately I've been craving a semi-auto 12 gauge. Was thinking about a Mossberg 930 SPX but just came across a nice HK imported Benelli M1, hopefully I'll be able to snag it.

I don't know what it is about the M1, but I've wanted one for a long, long time and this would be nice piece to add to the collection and be especially nice now that IDPA is doing three gun etc.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seeing a lot of traffic re: Iowa Open Carry....

So if you're reading this, sound off on your thoughts about it!

I'm wondering what the rest of the gun carrying (and even the non-gun carrying)persons int the state are thinking regarding this matter.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Quick Look at Condition 1 vs. Condition 3

This was the wife's idea, she apparently gets a lot of questions about this on her You Tube page regarding Condition 1 (Round in chamber) vs. Condition 3 (Magazine inserted, chamber empty). This isn't saying that you're right if you have one in the chamber, or that you're wrong if you don't have a round in the chamber.

Keep in mind that during this we both KNOW what's about to happen, and even knowing that she's about to be attacked, barely got shots off with a round in the chamber and didn't get any shots off with the chamber empty, even with no concealment garment to impeded her movements.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Open Carry in Iowa After SF 2379 Goes into Effect.

I haven't really touched on this matter as I am not that large of an open carry (OC) advocate. I have lived in a couple open carry states where the "Open Carry Movement" has been a big thing, those state's being PA and VA.

Currently open carry is legal in Iowa provided the following:

1: In unincorporated areas you may open carry without a permit while on foot. You may not OC in a vehicle without an Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons.

2: With an Iowa Permit to carry weapons. The Iowa permit is not a concealed carry permit no matter what some ill informed persons try to claim. However issuing authorities can currently restrict permits to being concealed carry permits.

3: Of course while on the range etc. / hunting trapping you can OC.

After the Jan. 1st 2011 the issuing authority will no longer be able to add restrictions. SF 2379 does not change Iowa's status as an OC w/ permit state. What has kept a lot of people from open carrying is that currently issuing authorities can revoke permits almost as easily as denying them outright and many think (and rightfully so) that a "Man with a gun" (MWAG) call from a "concerned" citizen could lead to their permit being revoked by a not so carry friendly  Sheriff. While I have not heard of this happening. It's not too hard to imagine.

It should also be noted that any permits issued prior to 1-1-11 can still be restricted and such restrictions would still be legal and valid until either the permit expires or an unrestricted permit is issued. If you live in a county known for jackassedness regarding permits, if you are not in immediate need of a permit, just wait till 1-1-11.

So where does that leave us post 1-1-11?

Winter Bullseye League: The Pre-Season

The local gun club is starting it's winter bullseye season. We shoot from November till the end of March, 50 ft NRA bullseye. November is the qual month, we shoot every Wednesday at the end of November they form teams. It's not as exciting as IDPA or USPSA but we can do it in the winter here and it is kind of fun.

I shot a 491 / 4X (600 / 40X possible) on Wednesday which is by far not my best score but it's better than my first shoot of last season by 1pt. One of the other shooters is lending me his Ruger MKII to let me see how I like it next week and one of the other guys has a Smith & Wesson model 41 that he might be selling so hopefully I can get my hands on that and try it out as well. Not that the Browning is lacking anywhere, but I've been wanting to see what else might fit me better.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sig 238 Compared to Colt Mustang +II

This was posted before I had a chance to shoot the gun, so ignore the first two sentences. This is the fist 238, I still need to compare it to my standard Mustang, but you get the picture.

I remember when the 238s first came out, I thought I'd be one of the first to get one, I'm glad I didn't. Between the initial recall and some of the issues, not to mention the newer models that meed my wants I'm glad I waited.

What I've wanted all along is a steel framed 238 with a longer frame like that of my Colt Mustang +II, but that will have to wait till Sig makes one, if they make one. Until then I'll have to make due with the 238 as is. Having a couple of the Colt .380 pistols to compare the Sig to, my initial take on the 238 is pretty darn good. The materials used to make the gun are far better than that of my +II. I will do a comparison of the 238 and my Mustang and Government .380 at a later date, I will say that my +II is the roughest of the bunch as it is a later model Mustang. Sig had some time (10+ years) since the end of the manufacturing period of the Mustang and the release of the 238 and they made some vast improvements in my opinion.

The guide rod is steel, not plastic like the Mustang rods (the Government .380 used a plug and guide like a GI 1911, steel Mustang rods are available) and they use a single spring design unlike the dual springs of the Mustang (replacement springs from Wolff are single springs). The factory grip panels on all the Mustangs I've seen were plastic, the 238 comes with wood or G10, the 238 HD currently comes with G10 which is my preferred material these days. Some owners of 238s have experienced quick discoloration of the wood grips, the G10 is going to stay black. The 238 also came with hex head grip screws which seem to be the rage these days. You will note that my Mustang +II also has the hex screws, but I added those as well as the stainless steel guide rod.

The ejector on the 238 seems to be a little different, a detail strip later on will confirm this, but I can tell that something is different as it springs back to the up position instead of staying recessed in the mag area of the frame, this is a nice touch as it makes it harder to lodge the ejector, note I said harder, i[URL=""][U]t can still be lodged and require that pain in the rear procedure to free the ejector, but it seems that the sear spring is the same and the procedure has not changed. [/U][/URL]

The sights, which are probably overkill on poodle shooter are MUCH better than the Mustang, if you shoot BUG matches @ your local IDPA league, you may like the 238. The magazine of the 238 seems to be well made, but then again so were the Colt mags. They are slightly different in the follower design and are stainless steel, I plan on trying out my blued and nickel mustang mags in the 238 and see how they perform.

I was a little skeptical of the redesign of the back strap of the 238 as the Mustang had a gentle slope to it while the 238 looks a little chunky as a result of the removable main spring housing that Sig threw in the mix. The front strap of the 238 has some vertical serrations that are cut a little deeper and wider than most serrations of that style, they should be adequate, but then again I've never had issues with a Mustang getting to slippery with a smooth front strap, there's just not that much oomph.

And They Ask Why I Like Living in Iowa...

Yeah, that's right I can just go in, order, and walk out. If only they had drive thru...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kudos to SOG

So I was killing a little time on Facebook when the guy who does SOG's page sent me a message regarding their upcoming change. Something about how they can't have a personal page, must be a business page etc. etc. Any way I ask the guy if I can get a new pocket clip for my Spec Elite 1 and he's like "Sure they give them away" to which I thought "Yeah right" but as it turns out, they do just give them away.

Just thought that was kind of cool and wanted to share.

...Also, I didn't get to run the Nighthawk over the weekend, only one of us got to go shoot IDPA and I let my wife attend. You can watch some match video below.

Yes, that was a stage where you stake a vampire in it's coffin, my idea.stage design and I didn't even get to shoot it. Sometimes it sucks taking the high road in life.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Don't Shoot the Messenger, Why I Don't Endorse Kimber

Anyone that's asked me about which 1911 to buy would probably say that I have a soft spot in my heart for bashing Kimber...

I'm not going to go into my issues with any of the four Kimbers I've had (three of them being CDP "Custom Shop" guns), I'm not going to talk about rust-prone barrels, I'm not going to talk about crappy magazines, I'm not going to talk about MIM parts (hey my Nighthawk has a MIM Kimber thumb safety) as a matter of fact I'm not going to say anything other than read this:

10-8 Performance: The Kimber Warrior

And yes, my thoughts on Kimber have been negative before I even knew who 10-8 and Hilton Yam were.

In all honesty, if I could stage a successful boycott of Kimber products until either the price went down to match their quality or their quality went up to match their price I would, but as long as people keep buying them the way they are Kimber has no reason to change.

It's your money folks, you can spend it any way you want, but if you ever ask me what I think about Kimber don't be surprised when I get a little sour on them.

The Nighthawk Talon Bob-Rail-Range Update

Managed to get some range time in on Friday evening and a little yesterday, jut shy of 300rds down range I did have one issue where my hand slipped up an engaged the slide stop, but other than that it's buttery smooth and very accurate.

The ambi. safety is a little on the stiff side but I've been working it on/off for the last three days and it's starting to loosen up.

IDPA match on the 24th should be a good indicator on how the gun runs at speed. I did a few stages of multiple targets on the move and stationary transitions and the gun just flat out runs. I'm working on keeping my elbows bent a little and it really does help mitigate recoil.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sig P238 Update


I took out the replacement gun and fired 99 rounds of Blazer Brass 95gr FMJ (round nose variety) and had 1 failure. The extractor did not budge during those 99 shots and for the first time in recorded history I managed to retrieve 99 pieces of brass, a couple were out of round but nothing like what I was experiencing before.

I did testing with the new mag and the original mag, the one failure I had was with the old mag, I had a premature lock open after the third of six shots. Other than that all was well on this trip. More testing to follow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Nighthawk Talon Bob-Rail

No, that's not a typo. My Nighthawk is a bobtailed, railed, 5" 1911.

Start with your basic Talon, add a Recon frame, bobtail it, add chainlink texture, cover it in hard chrome, add an ambi safety (For IDPA and's a Kimber ambi safety, the guys at NHC like them) have the barrel crowned and hard chromed while they are at it along with all the other small parts, have the slide cut for Heinie Straight 8 Ledge sights with the .156" rear notch and have the rear of the slide serrated to match the sights, then sent out for "Diamond Black (Ion Bonde DLC) and you get this:

Nighthawk Custom Talon+

Yeah, that's me.

 Here's some close ups of the gun as I'm pretty sure no one wants to see more pictures of me.

VZ G10 Black Cherry 320s with the NHC logo.

Chain Link Front Strap
Chain Link Mains Spring Housing (MSH) to Match

Serrated Rear of Slide and Heinie Straight 8 Ledge Rear Sight

Crowned Muzzle Flush with Bushing, note the GI Plug

Overall I am very pleased with how this gun came out. The original grips were Cocobolo, I special ordered the VZs last week anticipating it's arrival and I think they look very good on the gun. Just a hint of color without being too bright. Should have some range time this weekend and will post updates.

Oh, the replacement Sig 238 came in today too but for some reason I just don't feel like fondling it tonight.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Rise of Rhome, A Review of the DGL #2 IWB

This is a holster review from February of '09, thought I'd toss it up here as I'm looking at trying to get one of his holsters (the IWB #4) for my Sig 238 provided the replacement runs. 

Along time ago way back when, I first happened to come across (CombatCarry back then) and I dug into the Mega-Holster Maker Links page, bookmarked about half a dozen makers and then started making decisions on gear I wanted and started searching out info on those makers.

Of those that I was looking I really liked what I saw from Desibens Gunleather. The gear looked solid and there were no complaints on wait time, price, etc. This was to be my first custom holster so I was a little hesitant after hearing some horror stories. The holster was for my Kimber CDP Compact, previous to that I was carrying it in my Galco Royal Guard for my 5” 1911. I ordered an IWB and two magazine carriers from Rhome in horse with a cherry finish, I loved the holster, but the horse just wasn’t right for me in that configuration, and eventually I ended up tossing the holster in with the CDP for a trade, I kept the magazine carriers and used them often. Currently those magazine carriers are being used by my Father who is currently using them and my Royal Guard for CCW duty in MI.

I never got around to ordering another rig from Rhome prior to his departure from the States. He’s come back and set up shop again in California and has started making holsters again with some new designs, Rhome contacted me and asked me to review one of his new holsters and I was pleased to accept. I received the holster on 1-16-09 and was pleased with what I saw. The first thing that tickled me was that he included a sheet of wax paper and instructions on break in, I made a point to ask him about this and the sheet of wax paper will be included with all holsters, in case a buyer doesn’t have the wax paper this will save him a trip to the store for a whole roll when just a small piece is need…I just thought that was damn cool. Also included was a care and use sheet which those familiar with Gary B’s website will recognize.

The holster I received is the IWB #2 for a 5” 1911 which is based on the Brommeland Max-Con V. Now before we go any further, I asked Rhome if Gary was aware that he was making a rig based on Gary’s work and his reply was that even he is having trouble getting in touch with Gary, but Rhome does give Gary credit where it’s due as Gary was an inspiration in Rhome’s own work, so lets not go into a “He stole “X” from “Y” debate.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

Ladies and gentlemen please
Would you bring your attention to me?
For a feast for your eyes to see
An explosion of catastrophe

Like nothing you've ever seen before Watch closely as I open this door Your jaws will be on the floor After this you'll be begging for more

The Nighthawk is done and will be in my hands by this weekend...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Colt Mustang, Why all the Hype?

Saw this in the traffic stats, someone searching for that sting of text ended up here.

Allow me to elaborate on why the Mustang, Mustang +II, Gov't .380 and Sig 238 line of pistols is so neat.

Most .380s are either too large for their caliber such as the PPK, Sig 230/232, Bersa .380, Beretta Cheetah. 
Even the new Walther PK .380 is larger than some 9mms. Or don't have some of the features we come to expect with larger guns. With newer options in 9mm such as offerings from Kahr and Keltec carrying a .380 of the same size doesn't make a lot of sense. The Mustang series and spin offs are slimmer than the .380s listed above and smaller. The Mustang +II while having the same capacity of a PPK, Sig 232, and Bersa .380 is more compact overall.

Lets take some time to look at the sub-combat .380s since the compact ones are not really in the same size class, lets face it if you're looking at the Mustang you're looking for guns in the pocket pistol category regarding size.

The most popular small .380s are the Ruger LCP/Kel-Tec P3AT, NAA Guardian, Seecamp , Kahr P380 and the Sig 238. I'm not up to speed on the Desert Eagle .380 so I'm not including it in this piece.

Comparing the Mustang to those (excluding the 238 as it's basically the same gun, I will compare the two to each other later) what you get in the Mustang is a much better trigger, "proper" mag release and functional slide stop, and either an aluminum or steel frame. While other guns do have a metal frame they don't have both the mag release and usable slide stop/release. I will not compare the Pocketlite series of Mustangs to the others as I do not own any, my three Colt .380s are of the steel frame variety and these are the models I am comparing to the other .380s in this posting. When it comes to shooting a steel frame Colt .380 and a P3AT, it's night and day, especially if it's a +II as there's a little more to hang on to. Unaltered the P3AT really wanted to jump out of my hand and the trigger is atrocious, however adding a Hogue JR grip sleeve and a pinky rest do make a very big difference in P3AT control but the Mustang still beats it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Regarding the 1911 vs. "X" etc.

The content below is made up of 1/2 forum posts and 1/2 updated text to make it read better here without the other posts present to piece it all together.

I don't know why exactly, but some people act like the 1911 platform had somehow managed to pour sugar in their gas tank while simultaneously lighting a bag of poo on their front porch and soaping their windows.

We've all seen the "Which 1911" threads, or the "1911 vs. "X"" threads, and my favorite "What's so great about the 1911?" threads. But what I just don't get are the folks that just can't wrap their heads around the fact that some people just like 1911s, we like how they shoot, we like how they carry etc.

Yes they are heavier, yes they have lesser capacity than other guns, yes they have those "funny" things called safeties, yes they are usually carried with an evil, menacing, ominous cocked hammer but for whatever reason it's what I shoot best.

Those things listed above don't bother me. Back in 2003 when I came back from the Gulf, my Dad lent me several pistols to take to the range and try them out to see what I liked as I was to be applying for my Concealed Pistol License (CPL-Michigan ). I had a Glock 22, a Smith 4506, a Colt Light Weight Commander and a J-Frame.

Of them all I shot and liked the LW Commander the best. Shortly after taking my CPL class I moved to PA and applied/received my Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (LTCF). My first pistol was a Para P16-40 which is a Government sized 1911 pattern pistol with a double stack magazine chambered in .40S&W and held 16rds of .40. It didn't last long as a carry pistol, it was just too big of a gun. But for the better part of the last six years I've been carrying some variant of 1911 pattern pistol. Along the way I've carried many other guns as well. Sig, Glock, Springfield XDM, S&W J-Frame etc. I have a wide variety of guns to choose from and of all of them I still like the 1911 best and perform the best with it, the XDM is a close second.

Now with all that being said, some will totally disregard it and claim that I am just being sentimental, compensating for something because I like the .45, or some other rubbish. As for why I like the .45ACP, it's not that I'm enamored by it's girth, it's that I like 1911s and for me (and according to others more in the know than I) 5" 1911s in .45ACP run best. I've had a bunch of 1911s, 3", 4", and 5" and had a couple of them in .40. I've had single stacks, I've had double stacks, I've had Light Double Actions (LDA) and traditional single actions. In other words I know a thing or two about 1911s.

A couple of weeks ago a thread was started titled "Why Carry a 1911 over a Glock or XD. Now without even getting into the grip angle of the Glock or the lower than average opinion of the XD in general (I like mine by the way) what gets under my skin is why is it always the 1911 being questioned?

Why is it always the 1911? How come no one harps on the Sig 220 or 220 SAO? Those are larger heavier, single stack .45s, one of which has a thumb safety. Why is it not the Hi Power which is larger than a G19 with less ammo and has a thumb safety? Why is not the single stack S&W models with the safety/decocker?
Why is it not the HK P7 which is smaller than a 5" 1911, but about the same weight (8oz diff) with only 9 rounds of 9mm? How come it's not the Kahr line with their limited capacity and weight in the steel frame selections?

No News...

On the Nighthawk yet, it's very hard to not call them each day and see what the status is. What would have been cool was if I had requested pics for the blog during the build process but I really don't want to be a pain.

I did call them before my Langdon Tactical class to see if the gun would be ready but it was still awaiting shipping of the slide for the Diamond Black (Ion Bond) finish. They did offer to Permakote the slide and ship me the gun to use for the class but I'd rather just have it when it's complete...otherwise I wouldn't want to send it out to get the slide refinished.

Meanwhile I figured out what I wanted for grips on the NHC. I'm going with some VZ Black Cherry 320s with the NHC logo and mag notch, I also ordered a VZ hat and some Wiley X glasses while I was at it, my hardware store safety glasses just weren't cutting it. While I'm usually not keen on logo gear, I think I own seven pairs of VZs so I think I can feel secure in wearing something with their logo on it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Sig 238HD is Getting Replaced.

As I previously noted, I sent my Sig in for the 3rd time on the 21st of September. Received a phone call this morning from Sig asking where to send a replacement gun.

Hopefully this one will run better than it's predecessor. I've got 200rds of Blazer Brass waiting to test it out. Provided they shipped the gun today via next day carrier I will hopefully get a chance to run it this weekend and post an update.

To recap.

July 24th: I got to the range the other morning and had the place to my self and was able to do some initial testing on my two latest guns, my Glock 21SF and the Sig 238.
I started with the 238 as I was pretty sure what to expect from from a used Glock.

First the good news, it fed all the types of .380 ammunition that I keep on hand, Remington 102gr Golden Saber, Speer 90gr Gold Dot, Hornady Critical Defense, and both Remington UMC and Winchester FMJ all fed well.

Bad news is that I had two failures to extract the spent casing from the chamber. All in all I fired 50rds of Rem. UMC, about 25 rounds of the Winchester, 20rds of Gold Dots, 15 rounds of the Golden Saber, and only about 12 rounds of the Critical Defense. Also of note is that several casings were mangled up pretty good, I meant to take pictures of them, but didn't. I'll follow up with those later. As for the extraction, I think the extractor is just a little stiff, some more testing is definitely in order.
August 6th: Took the 238 back out to the range, fired 50 more rounds of Remington UMC, the brass was no longer getting mangled, I did have a few more failure to lock open on empty issues and one more failure to extract. I'm thinking it's time for that shipping label to Sig.

172 rds fired, 3 failures to extract, and about 6 failures to lock open.

All shots today were using the Sig factory mag.

Also, I am starting to notice the peening of the slide stop engagement area in the slide referenced above. Will upload some pictures tonight.  

Gun shipped to Sig for first time on August 9th, received it back August 17th with a busted front sight. Requested an RMA that day and testing the gun. They had replaced the slide and extractor.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

AAR: Langdon Tactical Technology: Two-Day Advanced Tactical Handgun

8-10-11--Langdon Tactical now has a new website, 

  I really don’t know where to begin with this AAR, the class was fast moving and very little time was spent in the classroom, we learned on the range and I think we all learned a lot. I shot just shy of 1000rds and that didn’t leave a lot of time for note taking during the shooting portion of the class.

There were seven of us in the class and I can say that I was in very good company as I was probably the “worst” shooter present. I don’t know why but I was off my game a little. I couldn’t shoot a group standing still to save my life but when the moving and shooting, and the moving and shooting of moving targets started I was back to a good level of performance.

I think one of the most unique things about this class is that Ernest knows every thing about the origins of what is currently “modern” pistolcraft. Ernest is a former Marine Corps sniper turned instructor and competitor and has worked for Beretta, Smith & Wesson & Sure Fire. The list of schools he’s attended is lengthy. He has spent the last 28 years or so learning his craft. The other students could shoot, and Ernest spanked us all with a M&P in .357 Sig that looked to handle like a 9mm in his hands, his recoil control is unreal. Not only did we get into the whos and whys but he went deeper in to why the whys are the whys if that makes sense.

Which stance is preferred? Where did the Weaver stance really come from (Jack Weaver couldn’t fully extend his left arm which is why he shot like that) we got answers to all that and then some even going into how the muscles of the hands and wrist work to explain why certain grip techniques work better than others.

We covered a little of the color codes in class as a refresher and talked a little on mindset. Something new to me was focus on the “visualization” of tasks/actions and how they can benefit performance. On a side note while flying to and from the class I managed to read “On Combat” by LtCol. Grossman and he touched on some of these same topics. Reading the book actually tied in very well with this class and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who carries a firearm. Ernest also went into how visualization of scenarios and even the way we phrase such scenarios can improve our mindset and psychological performance. Little things such as using “When” instead of “If”, making it a forced realization that things will go wrong instead of making them hypothetical as to remove denial when things do go wrong…

What was of note during the class room portion on “Training the subconscious”

Basically what that means is that our goal is that our techniques must work at the subconscious level in order to work fluidly under stress. We also need to think about “training stance” movements work at the subconscious level, or rather do what we practice really mesh well with reactive moments. A good example of this was when comparing the Weaver & Isosceles and looking at dash cam footage of officer involved shootings. They couldn’t find one case where an officer ended up in a Weaver style stance, however a modified two handed iso. position could be seen in many cases. Apparently the final straw in trying to find a case of anyone using the Weaver was when the found footage of a known Weaver proponent going to a modern iso. in a shooting.

Regarding the Weaver vs. iso, it’s Ernest’s opinion that the Weaver is fine for planned tactical actions, but the isosceles can be applied as a reactionary response and as such using that method more in training may improve performance under stress as the reactionary response is also a practiced response.

Getting further into the training aspect we covered the three levels of performance.

The first level is basic learning, I’m pretty sure we all know what that is. The second level is focused learning. Range drills; practice sessions, focusing on key elements of shooting. The third level is subconscious execution of actions. Of course no one can just leap to the third level, but with lots and lots of focused training/practice you can increase subconscious reactions/muscle memory/”neural pathways” or whatever buzz word suits your fancy. Bottom line is that you can reach a higher performance level with lots of practice. What also enables subconscious performance is “stress training” in the forms of competition, training classes, and FoF, simunition training, time/speed drills… Things that can take you out of your comfort zone and force you to perform under stress.

Also covered in class was reloading and using the slide stop/release or the slingshot method. I’m sure all of us here have discussed this time and time again, but Ernest brought up some valid points in favor of using the slide stop. Mainly that the sling shot generally requires a little more umph and can be short stroked and actually requires more fine motor skill than using the slide stop/release. Think about it, using your off hand thumb and index finger to retract and let go of the slide is doing more movement with two digits while the using the slide release is usually just done with the thumb of the firing hand. As for the argument that hitting the slide stop with your thumb is a fine motor skill, so is pulling the trigger and dropping a mag but we’re obviously able to do that just fine otherwise we wouldn’t need to be reloading and it takes less movment/number of digits than the slingshot method. And for the record I had two hiccups with my 1911 during the class, each one the result of a flubbed reload using the sling shot method which is now a training scar that has to be removed.

On to the range portion.

We shot a variety of drills starting off with slow fire on what must have been 2” circles painted on IDPA targets with some larger 4” circles at the bottom. I had a hard time keeping my shots in the circles and kept skirting the dots.

The first day is kind of a blur, along with shooting like a noob someone didn’t hydrate all that much in the days before class and that Saturday ended up being around 95 and despite pushing water once we started shooting by the end of the day I was suffering mild heat illness with a splitting headache. Most of my time in between strings of fire was spent loading mags and sucking down water. Note to single stack shooters, bring lots and lots of mags to a training class. This class required a minimum of four mags, I was toting nine to the line and doing well with four more loaded up in the bag in case I needed a fresh batch quickly. You don’t want to run short on the line and you don’t want to waste your time (as well as the other students time) having to load mags every 5 minutes. If you’re shooting a single stack, be it a Kahr, Sig, Walther, whatever, have at least double the amount of required magazines and have at least four on your belt.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

They're Ugly and Scream Mall Ninja but...

They still make a pretty darn good belt.

The, and they will actually make smaller ones for the ladies needed a sub-30" belt.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My 238 Must Really Love New Hampshire

As it's going back to visit for a third time...

Received my 238 HD back from Sig yesterday. I don't think they even bothered to read the attached letter describing my issues with the gun as they didn't address the clocking extractor. They did replace the front sight, but this time instead of breaking the sight, they scuffed the frame.

Just received my third shipping label.

If only this gun could accumulate frequent flyer miles, actually scratch that if it could I'd use them to take a trip to NH and put my foot up someones ass.

They need to change their slogan to "To New Hampshire and Back Reliability"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An End to the Caliber Debate?

Officer Down: A Warrior's Sacrifice

Resistance to Gunfire
Mettinger absorbed nine rounds from Borders' .45—six of which hit him in the torso and two more of which literally severed his right foot—without any significant effect on his fighting ability. This would have been remarkable even if Officer Borders had been firing marginally effective rounds, but he was using .45 caliber Gold Dot ammunition, which is considered by many to be the best man-stopper on the market.

Officer Down: The Peter Soulis Incident

The Aftermath
Remarkably, Palmer had taken 22 hits from Soulis' .40-caliber Glock, 17 of which had hit center mass. Despite the fact that the weapon had been loaded with Ranger SXTs considered by many to be one of the best man-stoppers available Palmer lived for more than four minutes after the last shot was fired. His autopsy revealed nothing more than a small amount of alcohol in his bloodstream. Although Soulis could not have known it, Palmer was wanted for murder in a neighboring state.

Harlem man survives being shot 21 times by NYPD

More than 50 bullets were fired, almost all of them by the police. At least 21 of those bullets pierced Alvarez's body.

Luckily for Alvarez — whose criminal record includes at least eight prior arrests — none of the bullets hit his brain, heart or major arteries. His family members say that even though his arms, legs and torso were riddled with ammunition, Alvarez is "doing all right" and talking. It's believed he'll survive. A forensics expert told the New York Daily News' Simone Weichselbaum and Virginia Breen that Alvarez is probably the new holder of a somewhat dubious record.

"I would say more than 20 gunshot wounds is a record," Dr. Vincent DiMaio, a forensic pathologist who specializes in gunshot wounds, told the paper. "Of course, the real issue is where you get shot. One bullet can kill you, but believe it or not, a body can survive a lot of bullet wounds."

NYPD carries 9s right?

That's .45, .40 and 9mm all failing miserably.

Lesson learned: Accuracy speaks louder than bore size.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Getting back into doing classes again...

After a long sabbatical from doing the NRA Basic Pistol Course I'm happy to say that with the upcoming changes in Iowa law that the wife and I are ramping up to start doing classes again as well as teaming up with the director of our IDPA club and doing a more carry related course as well as the basic NRA stuff.

We're still reviewing the course outline for the "carry" class and I need to get a meeting with the local range to see about renting/charging students to use the range for the firing portion of the classes. We have classrooms in two locations, but thus far only one range that is out door and I really don't want to be teaching in three feet of snow when it's 20 below out. Hopefully the indoor club will let me use the range one Saturday a month.

The training website is: , we're still working on our course catalog but as of right now we're going to be offering the NRA Basic Pistol Class, our Basic Carry Class, and eventually something along the lines of an intermediate defensive pistol course and some force on force stuff, but most of that probably won't be till next spring.

Good times, but I must admit I'm tired of reading over Iowa Code and editing course outlines. Thankfully I'll have a nice long weekend shooting in VA next week to help brush up my own skills and learn a thing or two from one of the best.

Monday, September 13, 2010

AAR: Suarez International Force On Force with Steve Collins

This is my wife's review, I did not attend as I am slated for a 2 day course in VA later this month, but next time this comes through town I'm all in.

I promise that I am not masochistic when I say that spending two days getting shot at in the Suarez International Force on Force training was both painful but fun. The instructor of our particular class was Steve Collins who I think should consider adding a bag of Epsom salts to the list of “needed” items for the class. It is at least a needed item after the class to soak your battered, cut, bruised and often bleeding welts and tenderized muscles.

When I told my mother that I was going to a two-day class where people would shoot at me with air-soft guns, attack me, scream at me and try to hit me among other things, here reaction was, “And you PAY for this?” And I must say that it is money well spent.

I won’t pretend I’m not proud that I was the first female to participate in Force on Force directed by Steve Collins. It’s a bit disappointing to find out that more women do not participate in Force on Force. It allows those select few females (like me) to really get a chance to “gunfight” with men (sometimes groups of men) which is more likely to be the case in real life. It was also useful to get the men used to taking shots at a woman. I’ve been told it’s pretty natural for men to avoid shooting women and children. Throughout the class I took the role of a wife, the female distraction, the frightened female, the panicked mother and even the unlikely shooter or assassin. In general, I provided another element to the training that would not have been present if the class were filled only with males. This made me feel pretty good about my gender.

What didn’t make me feel so good was the hand-to-hand combat we did on the first day of class. Being female and naturally weaker than my male counterparts, it was very easy to find myself tossed, feigned-stabbed with dummy knives or chocked out in second. The men I fought were gentler than I would have liked (no matter how crazy that sounds) but it was very clear to me that a full-size man going toe-to-toe with me (especially armed with a knife or club) could potentially do far more damage to me than I could to him without an equalizer of some sorts (i.e. a knife or a gun). Knowing that these things cannot always be available I have determined to get more and better training in hand-to-hand combat that caters specifically to my needs as a smaller and weaker female.

Which brings me to the outstanding and unequaled benefits of participating in Force-on-Force.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Quick Look at the Dillon

Yep, that's a Dillon all right. Sorry about the clutter on the bench, I just replaced the crappy particle board top with a less crappy 3/4" sheet of plywood.

More detailed photos and musings on the machine to follow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Now it's on...

Just submitted the Dillon order for my new XL650 and other goodies....let the fun begin.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8 Days...

And the Sig 238 is back home. Not too shabby a return time if you ask me. Makes you wonder why it takes some makers months to get a gun back to you.

It arrived today, they replaced the slide, "upgraded the extractor" and test fired with Fed. American Eagle 95gr FMJ and claim it runs.

The local range is closed pending repair of a busted lock so it may be a while before I get to test it out and see how it runs. I'm hoping that the gun is good to go.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lusty Leather Goodness...

Well, maybe not that lusty but definitely leathery goodness.

This is for the soon to be completed Nighthawk, which will hopefully be done in time for THIS.

Alessi PSS

Alessi PSS

Mad props to Alessi that beat their own lead time, ordered June 4th, holster arrived July 21st. This is my first Alessi product, I am pleased to see the business remain in the family and as far as I can tell the product is still worthy of the Alessi name.

If only I had another railed 1911 to use with this while I'm waiting for the Nighthawk...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Knife Sheaths in the Works.

I have a lot of cool knives that I don't carry because the factory sheaths were/are crap. Everyone raved about a particular brand of after market Kydex sheaths, I tried them and wasn't very impressed.

If you frequent a couple of the firearm related forums, you may see a gent going by the name "Unloved"

A while back he started posting pictures of some of his home grown Kydex gear and my interest got peaked. I finally sent him some of my favorite knives as well as some of the wife's items and am eagerly awaiting the new sheaths.

I've got sheaths coming for my SOG mini tsunamis, my wife's KABAR TDI (Small), and my CRKT ABC Operator. I was going to send in my large TDI, but the basement monster ate it.

Enough about what I'm getting, if you want to check out the gear, you can do so @ Invictus Kydex.

I should have my gear back some time next week and will be sure to review this topic sometime after getting acquainted with the products.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sig 238 Troubles

A while back I posted about wanting a Sig 238 HD. I picked one up last month and sadly I have to say that I should have waited a little longer. Initial testing was 50/50. While the gun fed Speer Gold Dots, Hornady Critical Defense, Remington Golden Saber and both Winchester and Remington UMC FMJ loads; I did have several failures to extract the spent casing and a couple failures for the slide to lock open on empty. I also found several casings that were mangled.

I took the gun home and cleaned it, went back out to the range about a week later and shot another 50rds of the UMC through the gun and experienced another failure to extract as well as several more failures to lock open on empty.

Also of note is that the recess in the slide where the slide stop engages was starting to peen itself on the slide stop.

 A quick call to Sig and I had the UPS label in my inbox and the Sig is arrived back in NH today for repairs which have a 4 - 6 week estimate.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Don't be a _______ Fanboy!

Be a fan of GUNS in general, don't get sucked into "X" is better than "Y", understand that each make and model may have attributes that suit others while not suiting you. Be able to look past your own nose and see things from the perspective of others. Every now and then try something new, if you're a Glock fanatic, go rent a Sig for a couple of hours. If all you've ever carried is a steel "X" try something from the polymer side of the house.

Understand that every make and model is capable of failure, no design is perfect, and sometimes it IS the gun that's messed up and not the shooter.

Variety IS the spice of life and you never know what you might like till you try it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Quick Bit on 1911 Mags.

OK, seeing as how I can't copy the post from on forum to the other, lets try this....

I'm going to make this more complicated than it has to be, but it's helpful info.

OK so regarding 1911s and magazines we have to point out that originally the full size 1911 held 7 rounds of .45ACP and the Compact or Officers 1911 held 6 rounds of .45ACP. A while back, some genius figured that the skirt of the follower didn't really need to be as long as it was and that you could chop it down to add one more round to the magazine and have 8rds in a full size and 7 rounds in a compact.

For those that don't know what a follower or a skirt is, here's a photo.

Left: Wilson 47D 8round, Center: Tripp Cobra Mag, Right: Older Springfield Armory 7rd magazine.

The follower is that thingumabob that you have to push down in a magazine to put the cartridge in it. The skirt is the part of the follower that goes around the magazine spring and will make contact with the bottom of the mag to prevent over compressing the spring and prevents the follower from tilting.

One issue of cramming 8 rounds in a tube that was designed to hold 7 rounds is that when a fully loaded mag is inserted in a gun while the slide is forward, that mag is fully compressed and the 8th round doesn't have much wiggle room and that results in the mag being harder to seat in the gun. This is the reason I'm switching from the Wilson 47Ds to the ETMs, longer tube allows for easier seating.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Noveske After Upgrades.

As mentioned previously I had plans to turn this

Noveske N4 Light Recce 16"

Into this.

And here's the finished gun.

It's shown with a 20rd PMAG as that will fit in the case while a 30rd won't.

I've yet to get to run it as weather and life keep occurring and I haven't been able to attend a rifle match with it yet. I'm eager to play with the Millet DMS and see how I like the set up. On a side note I purchased a Trijicon Reflex for the Bushmaster and I'm not too thrilled with it, I'm thinking that an EOTech XPS is in order.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Well, it Finally Happened: Open Carrier in WI Robbed of Gun

Robber takes gun from man wearing holster

           June 9, 2010
Milwaukee police are investigating a robbery in which a man took a handgun from another man who was openly carrying the gun in a holster on his hip, a department spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The robbery occurred Friday on a sidewalk in the 7000 block of N. Teutonia Ave., police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said.

Had to happen sometime, it's not like cops haven't been jacked for their sidearms in the past. Not much you can do in WI with no concealed the only way to carry is openly. So I guess the question we all have to ask ourselves is that "Is it better to OC and risk the possibility of being relieved of your gun or to not carry at all?"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Nighthawk for JD

Well I finally coughed up the dough and placed the order for a Nighthawk Custom.

I'm getting a Talon, which is their basic 5" Gov't model but I'm changing a lot.

The first big change is that I'm upgraded the frame to their railed Recon frame and having it bobtailed. Next I'm going to have the barrel cut flush with the bushing and recrowned, I've always loved that look. It just looks kick ass.

The front strap and main spring housing are going to have the chain link texture treatment. While I love checkering this is going to be a competition and carry gun and the checkering can get a little rough on the hands and clothing. The gun will have the standard GI plug and spring guide and the sights are going to be of the Heinie Straight 8 ledge design and have the wider rear sight notch of .156". The Talon usually has the rear of the slide checkered, but as the front strap and MSH are not to be checkered I'm opting for just having the rear of the slide serrated to match the Heinie sights. To finish it all off, the frame and barrel will be hard chromed with the slide wearing what NHC calls Diamond Black, but is better known as Ion Bond. There's one more major change, but I'm keeping that one under my hat as I think it's going to be a nice surprise when the gun is finished.

Due to the Ion Bond, the lead time is 18 weeks instead of the usual 13 weeks so I should have the gun sometime in September.

The Story of My First Gun Purchase.

A thread popped up on DC regarding why did you buy your first gun and it got me thinking of my first firearms purchase which was my fourth firearm as my first three came from my dad.


Well this is kind of a funny story.

My FIRST gun was a present from my father, as well as my 2nd and 3rd.

The fist gun that I bought was my Bushmaster AR.

It was during my post deployment leave in July of 2003 and I had just blown off meeting Lima in WI to hook back up with my ex, we had patched things up and I was going to propose to her...later (before I could pop the question) I found out about her and a little coke problem and broke things off, after I had all ready bought "The Ring."

I took the ring back to the jewelry store and told the clerk that I need to return an item, the clerk took the box and opened it and obviously recognized it as a wedding set and asked me what happened. I told him it was a long story and then he asked me what I was going to do. There was a gun show that day and I told him I was going to go buy a gun and his face turned as white as a sheet. I can only guess that he thought I was either going to gun down my ex or the jewelry store or something to that effect. I quickly explained my upbringing around guns, military service and the fact that I just liked guns and calmed his nerves. Why did I buy it? I just wanted one and thought that an AR variant was a fine "Welcome back" present to myself.

On a side note, the Bushmaster is now Lima's as I have my Noveske and she finds it very fitting that she is now in possession of the rifle that was funded by the return of a wedding ring that should have been hers in the first place... 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bullseye Shooting-The Post Season.

Our winter bulleye league let out a month or two ago, I didn't really keep up with updates but I finished with a 511 average and ended up with a NRA Sharp Shooters badge and nine bars, not bad for a first time bullseye shooter, but I don't know if I'm going to stick with it it. I think my time would be better spent either reloading for IDPA/USPSA or just working from the holster in the basement with the snap caps and improve my mag changes. If I needed another reason not to do it next year, my wife was sworn into the USMC Reserves yesterday and will be shipping to Recruit Training on Oct 12th this year (Go get 'em honey! GET SOME!) and I wouldn't feel right leaving my son in day care longer than needed to go plink with the .22.

I think that with the money I would have spent on a new bullseye gun, better optic, and probably a new spotting scope would be better used on a Dillon given my grievances with my Lee (No, I haven't replaced it yet, but the time is drawing near), the local "major" sporting goods stores, Scheels is now carrying Dillon presses in stock and I'm just running out of reasons to get one.

On a side note, I mailed in my application to the Illinois State IDPA Championship that is to the held in July, a couple of us from the club will be traveling out and will hopefully make a good run at things. In the mean time I think I'm going to get the Baer outfitted with some new Heinie sights and maybe an ambi-safety.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iowa to be Shall Issue as of 1-1-11

Governor Culver Signs Bill Standardizing Weapon Permit Process

DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver today signed into law Senate File 2379, legislation that standardizes the weapon permit process across Iowa.

Iowa has historically been a “may issue” state, meaning that decisions on whether to issue an individual a permit to carry a weapon were made at the local level at the sheriff’s discretion, with inconsistencies among counties. Senate File 2379 makes Iowa a “shall issue” state in which individuals will be granted weapon permits unless they meet certain criteria for denial.

“I am signing this bill because I believe there doesn’t need to be any conflict between the freedom to carry firearms and public safety,” Governor Culver said during a signing ceremony at the State Capitol. “Instead, I believe that law-abiding citizens who are placed in situations in which their life and property are threatened should be able to protect themselves, and their families. When firearms are used properly by people who are trained in their use, public safety can increase in terms of crime prevention.”

The law does not grant automatic approval of application for permits for people who are likely to be a danger to themselves or their communities, but it provides that Iowans start with an assumption that an application will be approved, with reasonable safeguards for public safety. Sheriffs will be required to deny permits based upon applicants’ previous illegal acts, age restrictions (applicants must be over 21), and to applicants who are likely to commit a violent act with the firearm. People denied a permit under these limitations may appeal their case to an administrative law judge. Applicants for a carry permit must be knowledgeable and trained in firearm safety, and continue to show proficiency in control of the firearm.

“This bill strikes an appropriate balance, recognizing the rights of law-abiding Iowans guaranteed by the Second Amendment and the duty of local law enforcement officers,” Governor Culver said. “We all have a role to play in public safety. I believe this is a good bill that has the potential to keep Iowans safer.”

A sigh of relief as we were getting close to a veto due to inaction. Can't wait till 1-1-11 to ditch my nanny permit. Odd that as I'm typing this I am enjoying the fact that MI honors all State's permits (Yes I am thumbing my nose at my Sheriff) and am able to carry. This will be one happy new year indeed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Enhancements Begin!

As previously mentioned, I plan on upgrading my ARs with some odds and ends. The first two items for the Noveske have been purchased. I received my BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle yesterday (as well as some replacement gas rings...I had an oops while cleaning my bolt) and my American Defense Recon-X mount was ordered today.

We're going to have a short rifle side match after our monthly IDPA shoot and it will be interesting to see how I like the Millet DMS.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SOG(s) for me!

Prior to moving to Iowa I was searching for a smaller fixed blade tanto for carry while riding out the may issue mess. I never really found anything that did it for me, I managed to find an old Cold Steel Mini Tanto (no longer in production) but the handle was super slim...for me. The wife loves it.

I've kept looking and found what seems to be just what I was looking for. There aren't that many sub-five (5" being the largest thing you can carry in Iowa without a PTCW) inch tantos of reputable make and while I'd rather have a straight edge, the combo edge of the SOG Mini-Tsunami will have to do.

It even appears to come with a usable sheath. Score one for JD....or make that two. I found two of these for sale on the net, and unless they were posted by the same guy, I'll be a proud owner of twins.

I've been using a couple of good folders for the time being but I'd much rather have a fixed blade option.