Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Took the Shockwave to the Range

I finally got around to to hitting the range with that Mossberg M590 Shockwave I won in the drawing at the Chesapeake Cup in February. In all honesty, I've been avoiding it to some degree. I wasn't really sure how to shoot the thing, and have spent a lot of time viewing videos online and dry firing in front of a mirror. Now a bit more confident, I took it down to Winding Brook for some live fire.

Confirming the range allowed the gun to be shot, I was reminded that only "aimed fire" was permitted, no shooting from the hip. I had assumed that already, and in fact what I had planned. I had brought along a mix of 00 buckshot and slugs, the only shotgun ammo the range permits.

With the target at five yards, I loaded a round of the 00 Buckshot. I noticed that a second RO had appeared behind me, presumably to confirm my safety and obedience. I was pleased to see the shot pattern pretty well centered on the target, with the wad hole off to the right. A second shot found better placement. I then moved to the slugs. For each shot, I loaded a single round in the gun. I didn't want to have to unload if I decided I had had enough. The next few shots started drifting high and left; I think I was starting to think too much about the gun's relation to my face — even though I was having no issues — and pushing the grip out.



After a few more practice rounds, I bagged the shotgun and switched to the handgun, shooting the SIG P320. I shot another 150 rounds with the pistol, at 7 - 15 yards, and was pretty much at my limit of endurance. However, I still had a some loose shotgun slugs left in my bag, so I opted to destroy my pistol target with a few more shots from the Shockwave.

It was a short session. Literally. When I got back to my car I realized I had only spent about 30 minutes total in the range. No wonder I was tired! The Mossberg Shockwave was not overly difficult to shoot. I'd even call it fun to a point. I need a lot more practice before I would consider myself prepared to rely on it for home self defense. I am also reminded that it's been a long time since I did any shotgun work, so maybe it's time...

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Morning Music

Not much in the way of blog-worthy events of late. So we'll just enjoy some Monday blues...



At least we're counting down to a three day weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2018

I Predict Spilled Whiskey

I'm a fan of specialized glassware, I admit it. However, this helix spinning whiskey glass seems like an accident waiting to happen.


I envision myself sitting in my favorite chair, whiskey glass on the side table. Out of the corner of my eye I spy the glass moving, reaching quickly to catch it, I knock it to the floor...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

At The Range

My son and I headed down to the range after work to get in a little more "father & son" shooting time before he heads back to school next week. I opted to take along my Compact SIG P320 this time. I had not shot the gun since the Chesapeake Cup match in February. My plan was to work on slow fire, and trigger and sight control.


I moved the target carrier around between 7, 10, and 12 yards, and made use of the various sized aiming points. I was generally happy with the shooting, up until my first round of strong hand only shooting. Those first 10 shots were surprisingly inconsistent. Shaking my head I went back to shooting with both hands for a bit. Taking a break I stepped into my son's lane and shot his P226 Legion for a bit as well. Very nice gun; makes me want to get out my (plain) P226 next time.

The sloppy SHO shooting stayed on my mind. Instead of finishing with something I was sure to do well on, I opted to shoot my last 20 rounds strong hand only. Since that would be my memory of the day's outing I paid extra attention. The concentration paid off with improved hits and I ended on a high note.

The time passed quickly and we soon headed for home. Unfortunately the drive home did not pass as quickly. Without warning, traffic was at a standstill on the Interstate. We didn't move for a long time, and eventually the road was closed and we finally made it to an exit to take another route home.

Side note observation: If you have been sitting in non-moving traffic for 20 minutes, and you still manage to run into the car in front of you, you might be an idiot. Please stay home.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Always Thinking Stage Strategy

We were out for a hike on Sunday and came across these timbers that the Park Service had put down to help with rainwater diversion. The first thing to pop in my head... fault lines.


I had a similar experience with a mound of dirt recently. I wonder, could this be a sign of addiction?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Traveling in Maryland

I end up driving into Maryland more often than I'd like. I still have family "behind the curtain." There are also, surprisingly, really well-run pistol matches at clubs in the state. I came across this warning posted online...
The possibility of getting unintentionally swept up by Maryland State Police for a gun violation is a LOT worse than your last alert portrayed.

Maryland does not honor concealed carry permits from other states. The Maryland State Police vehicles have their on-board computer connected to the automatic license plate readers in their patrol cars. These computers are set to flag the patrolman of out-of-state vehicles with owners that have concealed carry permits. With state sharing all this information in electronic data bases, the "hits" are found almost instantaneously.

The patrolman can elect to stop the vehicle and challenge the driver to produce his concealed weapon, for which he has a legal permit IN ANOTHER STATE. If the driver is found to have a concealed firearm (handgun), he has violated Maryland State firearms law. The person will be arrested and there is a three year minimum sentence.

Having a concealed carry permit in another state may be probable cause for the patrolman to do a search of the out-of-state vehicle. I've seen this done along the Route 50 stretch between Annapolis and Ocean City, some poor sap with the contents of his vehicle splayed on the ground while the officer searched for an "illegal" hand gun, for which the individual had a legal permit to carry in another state.

The bottom line: IF YOU ARE LEGALLY CARRYING CONCEALED FROM ANOTHER STATE, DO NOT EVEN DRIVE THROUGH MARYLAND. AND IF YOU HAVE A PERMIT FROM ANOTHER STATE, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT CARRYING, EXPECT TO BE STOPPED. According to one Maryland attorney specializing in criminal law, roughly 19 out of 20 of his unlawful gun transportation clients are not from the State of Maryland (https://criminallawyermaryland.net/maryland-gun-lawyer/transporting/ )

I cannot speak to the veracity of the claim, however, former Virginia Governor McAullife vetoed a bill that would have stopped the sharing of VA CHP information with oppressive states like Maryland. I can say from personal experience, the above warning is fair and should be heeded. I have been subjected to a pat down on the shoulder of the highway by law enforcement when returning from a pistol match. The hassle in that case came not from a State Trooper, but from the MD Transit Authority, a group that is well-known for their proclivity for harassing travelers. Although the firearms were being legally transported, "for the safety of the public" my companion and I were detained and patted down (after the scared cop called for backup) during a traffic stop; a stop that we soon found out was made for no legitimate reason.

When I travel to and from matches in Maryland, my firearm and ammo are in separate, and locked, containers. The containers are placed in the trunk or cargo area. I drive with an acute awareness of the speed limit. A copy of U.S.C. Title 18, §926A is within reach. I make doubly sure I have no loose rounds left in my range bag or pockets for the drive home. The purposeful harassment has only happened once, but I prepare and accept that it's always a distinct possibility.

When I travel to visit family, I simply succumb to the loss of my rights and leave my firearm at home.  I then rely solely on wits, observation, and other legal defensive tools.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Gun Craft Beer

A recent Virginia Shooting Sports Association blog post about craft beer caught my eye. "Gun Craft Beer at NRA Annual Meeting" was a headline that was unexpected. I've had few beers sporting gun names, but a firearms-themed craft brewery, well, that got my attention. Interestingly, Gun Craft Beer is located Illinois, a state that is hardly friendly to the 2nd Amendment. 


Self described "gun enthusiasts, patriots and craft beer nuts," Gun Craft Beer offers four beers currently; 2nd Amendment Red IPAM4 Amber AleTactical American Pale Ale, and FAL Belgian Style Black Ale. Unfortunately the link to order the beer online is not working at this time. Hopefully I'll be able to do an in-depth report in the near future.

Friday, May 11, 2018

A Fun Range Trip

This week's range visit was a fun family outing. Our son is home for a couple weeks, so he joined Colleen and I, along with our friend "Checkered Flag." The range was slow so we all had adjacent lanes. I also rented the new SIG Sauer P365 to try out. I've been keenly interested in the gun, but have never seen one "live," so was excited when I found out that Winding Brook had it available for rent.

I started my time with the P365. I set the target at 5 yards, and saw a very nice group of 10 hits form. My three companions followed with a magazine load each, leaving me 10 more rounds to play with.



My initial impressions of the SIG P365 were very favorable. The gun is a little snappy, but it feels very solid in the hand. The shape to the grip allows a good purchase, even with the pinky finger hanging below. The range didn't have a 12 round magazine to try. It's a small gun but it feels bigger than I thought it would. The P365 is surprisingly easy to shoot.

Getting my full size SIG P320 out, I went through a box of ammo shooting the various sized shapes on the target at 7 and 10 yards. After 50 rounds I started to load more magazines but then decided I really wanted to shoot the P365 a bit more. I splurged on another box of ammo from the range.

This time I set the target out at 7 yards and my son and I took turns shooting at the target's various sized squares, circles, and diamonds. I was impressed with the accuracy for a small gun. I fired off 10 rounds as fast as I could and still shot well. The P365 sights comes back on target very quickly. Even shooting strong hand only proved doable.

P 365. Rapid fire. 7 yards.

Putting the P365 away, my range session was finished with some slow 15 yard shooting with the full size gun.

After shooting the new SIG P365, I was not dissuaded from my desire to get one of my own. As I said after the trip, "This gun feels like I need to buy it."

We finished our outing with a tasty meal and fun conversation at a local "burger joint." I hadn't been shooting with my son since he was home for the Christmas break so it was fun to do. I didn't get the chance to shoot his SIG Legion this time out, so we'll just have to plan another range trip soon.