Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gun safety: The four rules of gun safety

Nobody likes rules, but some truly are there for our own protection.  The four rules of gun safety fall under this category as far as I'm concerned and must be followed at all times.  

Rule #1:  Treat every firearm as though it is always loaded.  

Unloaded guns have killed more people than you could image.  We have all read the news stories of the person who gambled that the gun was unloaded when it wasn't, don't be that guy.

Rule #2:  Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy. 

Keep your muzzle in a safe direction, ALWAYS.  This includes when your wiping it down at the bench, showing your friend, etc.  Do not point the gun at another person, intentionally or otherwise, be aware of your muzzle and who/ what you're pointing it at.  Nobody likes to be swept, and it only adds potential for disaster.

Rule #3:  Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

This one is simple enough, index your trigger finger on the slide, frame, or trigger guard of your firearm when you are not on target.  Off the target, off the trigger.  On the target, on the trigger.  Almost all negligent discharges happen because the trigger was pulled prior to the sights being on target, if there even was a target present.  

Rule #4:  Always know your target and what's beyond it.

If you are going to shoot, don't forget that your bullet can and will continue beyond where your target is located.  If you cannot be 100% sure of your target and what is beyond it, you cannot safely take the shot.  This comes into play much more in the hunting world than the target shooting world, but it is none the less important.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekly Training Tip: Glass half full?

This weeks training tip is designed to help you keep your gun still while shooting on the move.

Required equipment:
  • Tall skinny drinking glass
  • Tap water
  • Water resistant training surface
     Today's training tip is all about fluidity.  In order to shoot well on the move you need to be able to hold the gun level while you're moving about.  A great way to practice this is to find a tall skinny drinking glass and fill it nearly completely full with ordinary tap water.  A double shot glass works fairly well.  How full your glass is will depend on your current ability to shoot on the move.  The more you fill the glass up the greater the risk of spilling the water is and the more "stress" you can create.  The stress created will not match that of the buzzer going off at a match, but it can't hurt.

     After you have located a suitable glass and an adequate amount of water it is time to start the training.  One key part to shooting on the move is bending your knees more than you would in a standard freestyle shooting stance.  The more you bend your knees, the better your lower body will be able to absorb the vertical movement cause by walking/ running.  Grab your glass in a grip that replicates that which you would use with your pistol, squat, and start a slow gentle movement.  Maintain a sharp focus on the top plane of the water level as you move about with a soft focus on all the hard objects in the room.  You want to replicate the same focus that you would achieve on the front sight of your pistol.  As you get a feel for how much knee bend works best for you, start to move faster as well as practice turning.  Practice sidestepping and negotiating obstacle, such as the toys your kids left out from the night before. ;)  Most importantly, have fun and stay safe.
Keep shooting,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Extended Review: Gun Vault 2000s (2.5 years service)

First thoughts:

The metal could be a little thicker, I believe it is 16ga.  I feel as though 12ga would be more secure.  I suppose if someone is going to break into this safe, they are going to take it with them anyways.

The included mounting screws are a little small, they're about a 3/16 x 2" Phillips lag screw.  The safe has various mounting holes pre-drilled from the factory, including two key holed ones for easier attachment as well as a template for drilling.

The exterior finish of the safe is fairly nice, plain black crinkle paint. The hinge is well concealed as well as the door being recessed into the jamb to prevent prying.

Weekly Training Tip: Bill Drills

Drawing and shooting FAST.

Required equipment:
  • (1) IPSC or IDPA target & stand at 7 yards
  • Pistol with a 6 round capacity
  • Holster, eyes and ears
  • Shot timer
      Basics of the Bill drill are to draw and fire 6 shots in the "A" or "-0" of the target as fast as possible.  You should be focusing on getting the gun on target quickly and following the front sight.  Try and watch the front sight lift and settle back into position.  If you can't see the sight you can't expect to get the gun on target as quickly as possible.  

     Before starting the drill, take a deep breath, hold it for a couple seconds and slowly release.  Then actively visualize exactly what you're going to do.  Everything from your fingers wrapping around the grip on your draw to watching the sight settle down after the sixth round is fired.

Post your best times in the comments section.  

Keep shooting,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

EDC GEAR: Benchmade 943, First Impression

     My Benchmade 943, Osborne design folder, came in the mail today.  Thought I would throw up some photo's and my initial impressions of the knife as well.  Hope you enjoy, as I'm sure to enjoy carrying this one.

     S30V stainless steel blade (58-60HRC)
     AXIS locking mechanism (ambidextrous)
     Black anodized 6061-T6 aluminum handle
     Ambidextrous thumb stud
     Stainless steel liners
     Reversible pocket clip
Initial impressions:
     The first thing I took note of when unboxing the knife was the packaging.  The knife comes in a somewhat standard looking knife box, until you open it.  Inside you find foam padding and a cloth bag containing your new blade.   

     Initially the handle of the knife does feel a bit dry to the touch.  I have heard others explain it as powdery, but I wouldn't call it that, it feels similar to a very smooth sandstone.  The surface texture offers a semblance of grip, but I would not consider it grippy.  The knurling at either side of the top of the handle and protruding pocket clip on the back provide plenty of grip providing a confident grasp of the knife.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

CR Speed Versa Mag Pouch Single Stack Mod.

This is how I modified my Versa mag pouches to be more single stack friendly because as they come out of the bag they are virtually unusable. 

Required materials:
  • Plastic spacers
  • Flat head screws and lock nuts (about 10-24 x 1/2")
Recommended Tools:
  • Belt sander, bench grinder, etc.
  • Bandsaw, hacksaw, etc.
  • Drill press, or hand drill
  • Drill bits 
  • End mill or wood cutting drill bit
  • Offset screwdriver or shortened bit
  • Vice
  • Center punch
  • Allen wrench
  • Diagonal cutters
First thing to do is disassemble your mag pouches.  Then use one of your existing spacers to mark your spacer material and cut your new spacers to size. 

After you have cut your new spacers to an appropriate size, mine fit a little tighter than the originals, you can center mark and punch them.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weekly training tip: Shoot with your eyes closed?

Beating the flinch.

If you ever find yourself developing a flinch or helping a new shooter overcome a bad flinch one thing you can try is shooting with your eyes closed.

At first this may seem a little silly but I ensure you it's not.  Shooting a few rounds into the berm with your eyes closed can be quite a revealing and "eye opening" experience.  When you shoot with your eyes open your vision can become overwhelmed with all that is happening at once.  Add to that the slide recoiling in the direction of your face and the loud report of the round and you have yourself a perfectly normal natural reaction to the situation.  To flinch.  

To help overcome this you can grip the pistol as usual and squeeze off a round with your eyes closed.  In addition to this you can also "double plug" your ears.  (Meaning to use ear muffs and plugs at the same time.)  Toning down the report can help a lot, particularly with centerfire pistols.  Now that you have closed your eyes and double plugged you are ready to reteach yourself that the firearm is not there to hurt you.  When you feel the gun recoiling in your hands your subconscious mind relearns that the gun is not there to hurt you and there is no reason to flinch.  

It's very similar to someone throwing a fastball at you, if you don't have the confidence to catch the ball you're going to flinch.  If you have the confidence that you can catch the ball you will simply throw the glove up and receive the ball.  Confidence comes from the subconscious, you must relax and be ready to learn.  Once you have trained your subconscious that it needs not flinch after the trigger press you can continue to watch your groups shrink.

Keep Shooting,