Friday, June 30, 2017

Range Time

I've been hoping to get to the outdoor range after work this week to take advantage of the unseasonably pleasant weather. Unfortunately, the range has been closed for over a week due to a broken access gate. So on Thursday, I jumped on I-95 and headed back to the indoor range. The traffic was bad, and even at a complete stop at times. The problem? The right shoulder was closed at one spot. Drive people. Drive.

I stuck it out since I had a mission for this visit. I had acquired additional magazines for the P320 Compact and wanted to test them before using them in a match, or in every day carry. I also needed to run a bunch of self defense rounds through the new gun. I wasn't worried about their performance, nonetheless I always verify all gear before it's added to my belt. In addition, I had a new pair of shooting glasses that seemed fit me well offered much more clarity than my usual ones. Nerdy as it may be, I was excited about that too.

The range wasn't very crowed at all, but I was assigned a lane between two other shooters. I don't know what the guy to my left was shooting, but I could see the flash in my lane with every shot he took. The guy on the other side removed his gun case from a Gander Mountain bag, and I assume he was there trying out a new purchase. At the far end was a group of three who spent more time laughing than I was entirely comfortable with. 

Given the makeup of the crowd, and the longer drive time, I did my shooting more quickly than usual. I put 150 rounds down range, and ran through all the new mags several times. Shooting quickly with the compact gun, I was able to make up the time lost in the commute and got back to my desk in reasonable time. Not the most relaxed range time I've had, but it was still worth the effort.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Are The Church's New Cardinals Armed?

On June 26, Pope Francis created five new Cardinals in the Church. The Vatican sent out a press release with the news.
At 16.00 today, in the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father Francis held an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of five new cardinals, for the imposition of the berretta, the consignment of the ring and the assignment of the title or diaconate.

The celebration began with the greeting, oration and reading of a passage from the Gospel according to Mark (10: 32-45). The Pope then pronounced his homily.

The Holy Father then read the formula for the creation of cardinals and solemnly pronounced the names of the new cardinals, announcing the presbyteral or diaconal order. The rite continued with the profession of faith of the new cardinals before the people of God and the oath of fidelity and obedience to Pope Francis and his successors.

The new cardinals, following their order of creation, kneeled before the Holy Father, who imposed upon them the cardinals’ zucchetto and the berretta, consigned the ring and assigned to each one a church of Rome as a sign of participation in the Pope’s pastoral care for the city.

After the consignment of the Bull of the creation of cardinals and the assignment of the title or diaconate, the Holy Father Francis exchanged an embrace of peace with each new cardinal.
This momentous event would have been even more remarkable if the Pope really was assigning the Italian handguns to each Cardinal. Unfortunately, what the writer meant to say was "biretta."

Reminds me of this, unrelated picture...

Image found at Church Militant.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

He Would Not Be Deterred From The Pub

Getting hit by the proverbial bus wasn't enough to keep Simon Smith from his destination.

Smith gets thrown 20 feet, dusts himself off and continues his quest.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cavalier IDPA Match

Last Sunday I shot the monthly IDPA match Cavalier Rifle and Pistol Club. Although the weekend weather forecast was not looking so great earlier in the week, the weekend turned out to be very pleasant, and I was looking forward shooting in the moderate temperature and sunny skies.

The Virginia State IDPA match also took place this weekend, and many of the regulars at Cavalier were absent. We had just three small squads of shooters, which made for a quick match. Three stages, with five total strings of fire were set up. The stages were simple in design, but as usual, a lot of fun to shoot.

For the first string of stage 1, we were positioned between a couple of posts facing six targets, with two non-threats. After engaging those close targets we had to turn about 90° to the right and engage a lone target placed out about 15 feet. The positioning of a couple of the near targets meant that head shots were the way to go. Cavalier has the new IDPA targets with the 4 inch -0 circle on the head, and the new scoring area is used in scoring. At least we will all have some experience when the tighter shot requirements become mandatory later this year.

For the second string of the stage, we reloaded off the clock and moved to the next position. This found us shooting from behind a wide barricade. An array of two targets with a non-threat in the middle made up the course of fire. From one side of the barricade we shot one of the targets with two body shots and one head shot. Then moving to the opposite side, we engaged the remaining target in the same manner. I was a satisfying -2 for the two-string stage

Stage 2 also consisted of two separate strings of fire. For the first, our loaded gun was placed in a box. The box and all reloads went on a barrel. After retrieving the gun, we shot four targets, in tactical priority, with three hits each. Target placement essentially mandated three head shots on the furthest target. The second string started from the same position, with the gun and reloads on the belt. There were two paper and two steel poppers. Priority required slowing down to shoot a steel target between hitting paper. These were two more fun strings and I ended -3 points down.

The final stage was very interesting and offered the opportunity to do all shooing from a kneeling position. The loaded gun, downloaded to six rounds, and all magazines were left on our "fallen comrade," on who we were performing CPR. There were nine targets spread out before us. The targets were shot in tactical priority which meant some wide swings, past other targets, between shots. I lost my place momentarily but did hit all the targets, in the right order. One of the far targets was scored -4, something I called while shooting. I couldn't see the holes, but my brain registered that the sights were off, although it didn't register a call to make up the shots. I ended up -8 for the stage. 

Excepting the down points tally on the last stage, which may have cost me several places in the standings, I was generally pleased with how I shot. I finished 12th of 34 Overall and 7th of 15 in SSP. 

Thanks to the small turnout and quick stages we were done shooting, literally, in an hour. The rapidity of the match in no way decreased the enjoyment. The stages were interesting, and fun to shoot. I do regret not bringing along a second gun, as I would have had time to shoot a second time. Instead, I made it home with plenty of time to spare for chores. The first of which, in no surprise to regular readers, was to cut the grass.

The rest of the day's pictures are here.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Visit to Old Trade Farm Brewery

As we sat on the porch Saturday morning, sipping our coffee, and discussing what to do for the day's adventure, Colleen and I were in agreement; we did not want to deal with traffic or spend a lot of time on the road. I remembered reading an article in the local paper recently about a new brewery that opened just a few weeks ago, near Culpeper. Old Trade Brewery is a farm brewery located in Brandy Station, Virginia. Decision made.

After a quick lunch at Grill 309 in Culpeper, we headed over to the brewery. (If you haven't been to Grill 309, I highly recommend it.) The brewery and tasting room is located in a farm building. We were immediately impressed by the welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, with both indoor and outdoor seating. There is wood stove inside, as well as multiple fire pits outdoors, for cool weather visits. A kids activity area and an outdoor playground complete the family-friendly setting. As an added treat, there's even a free popcorn machine!

We took seats at the bar, and ordered a flight of the four beers on tap that day; Windy Pale Ale, Sarah Berliner Weisse, Tri-Corner Nut Brown Ale, and Thayer's Porter. The Pale Ale had a pleasing bitterness, with a hint of citrus. The Berliner Wiesse was refreshingly tart and fruity. The Brown Ale was quite enjoyable as well, with a crisp nutty flavor. These first three beers were listed as having a mild, ABV around 5%, perfect for an afternoon of relaxing and sipping. The "big" beer of the bunch was the Porter, which checked in at 8.7%. The boldly flavored beer would be quite enjoyable by the fire pit on a cool evening.

As we sipped our flight, brewer and co-owner with his wife, Garrett stopped by to chat. It was interesting to hear his plans for the future of Old Trade, including more beers, a cidery and events. We're definitely looking forward watching the young brewery grow, and being regular visitors.

We found all the beers to well-done and quite tasty. That made our next decisions all the more challenging. Eventually I decided on a glass of the Pale Ale, while Colleen chose the Nut Brown Ale. We took our beers outside to enjoy the view of the corn fields and the mountains to the west.

As we sipped, a few friends showed up and joined us. That led to much interesting conversation about our favorite topics — beer and local breweries. Soon my glass was empty, so I opted to enjoy the Berliner Weisse as we continued our relaxing afternoon.

When we returned home later in the day, I realized that I had been enjoying the beer, the scenery, and the conversation so much that I had neglected to take any pictures of the setting, indoors or out. I will correct that oversight on another visit. I am confident that visit will occur in the very near future.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Another Sheriff Speaks Out

Like Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Sheriff Grady Judd sees the value of an armed, law-abiding populace. And like Sheriff Ivey, he is known for speaking out. The Polk County, Florida law enforcement official sums it up succinctly, "The armed assailant doesn’t plan on you fighting back. He plans on having a gun, doing all the shooting, and you’re just a sitting duck. Well, the ducks need to shoot back."

These guys see the outcomes from "bad guys with guns" every day. They understand well the benefit of a law-abiding and armed population.

See "Sheriff Judd: "If you're not afraid of a gun, get one" for more on the Sheriff's statements.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

It's An Ammo Horde

More details have emerged regarding the leftist terrorist who targeted Republican law makers in Alexandria on June 14.
The gunman who opened fire on a congressional baseball team in Virginia kept a local storage locker with more than 200 rounds of ammunition that he visited daily, including less than an hour before he shot more than 60 times at the GOP team during a morning practice last week.
Two hundred rounds! That number is pointed out like it's some extreme number that should shock us. 200 rounds. I often shoot that much during my lunch break. The idea that he visited his ammunition stock daily is interesting. I wonder if he was sitting there mumbling, "My precious."

See "Gunman at Virginia ballfield kept local storage locker with ammunition"

Friday, June 23, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: Let's Be Careful Out There

It's the weekend! Enjoy, but remember that threats don't take weekends off.

Campaign For National Reciprocity

This alert from VCDL contain important information regarding the push for national reciprocity. ("National reciprocity" is the catch phrase for "respecting the Constitution.")
On occasion VCDL will get involved at the federal level. Now is one of those times.

We need to pull out all of the stops and push Congress for national reciprocity!

The horrific assassination attempt of Congressmen at a ballpark in Alexandria is a strong catalyst that will hopefully get Congress off their collective behinds and make national reciprocity a reality.  BUT, we need to move now and we need to move decisively.


Because, for example, a bill was just introduced that would ONLY ALLOW MEMBERS OF CONGRESS with CHPs the ability to carry in DC and not the rest of us!

I refer to that as the "Oh, HELL no!" bill.  We need to make sure Congress understands that such a bill is a NON-STARTER and WE WILL, as part of the national reciprocity campaign.


There are THREE excellent bills that we need to fight for:

OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY: H.R. 38.  H.R. 38, called "The Concealed Carry Act of 2017," was introduced by Congressman Richard Hudson of North Carolina.  It makes CHPs good in all states, clarifies that the federal Gun Free School Zone law does not apply to CHP holders, and allows CHP holders to carry on all federally owned lands that are open to the public.  CHP holders will have to obey the "no carry" limitations of the host state, but as I read the law, CHP holders might be exempted from any ammunition or magazine limitations imposed by the host state.

This bill is currently sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is headed up by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte!  The people living in Congressman Goodlatte's district are going to be critical to our success.  The bill has 99 cosponsors as I write this.

The following Virginia members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors, and we will thank them as part of the campaign:  Dave Bratt, Scott Taylor, Barbara Comstock, Tom Garrett, and Rob Wittman.

The following Virginia members of the House should be signed on, but have NOT done so yet. VCDL members in their districts will be contacting them in due course:  Bob Goodlatte and Morgan Griffith.

The usual suspects from Virginia have not signed on, but they, most of all, need to hear from constituents:  Bobby Scott, Don McEachin, Don Beyer, and Gerry Connally.

SECOND PRIORITY is H.R. 1537, called the "Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2017," was introduced by our own Congressman Tom Garrett.  This bill makes DC "shall issue" for resident and non-resident CHPs, has training requirements similar to Virginia's requirements, has a 21-day turnaround, and a $75 cap on cost.  The bill also allows DC residents to buy guns in Virginia or Maryland and removes DC's ammunition and magazine restrictions.

The bill is currently in the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.

The only other Virginia Congressman signed on is Rob Wittman.  Hopefully we can bring many more on board.

THIRD PRIORITY is H.R. 2909, called the "D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act," was introduced by Congressman Thomas Massie of Tennessee.  This makes makes DC honor CHPs from all other states.

The bill is currently in the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.

This is a new bill and no one from Virginia has signed on as a co-sponsor yet.

The need for legislation "allowing" the exercise of rights that are already protected by the Constitution shows the absurdity of our nation's laws regarding self defense. I don't believe for a moment that we should need to rely on elected officials "granting" us rights that we already have, and which are not the government's to give (or take.) However, this is where we find ourselves so we must fight on all fronts. VCDL will be organizing a campaign to encourage citizens to contact their legislators in support of these bills. I'll post more info as it becomes available.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Range Time With Son and SIGs

After foiled by crowds last Sunday, my son and I spent some time on the range one evening this week. The range supplies, excepting guns and ammo, had been left in the car, so it was easy to head out without delay after work. We took along the Full Size and Compact SIG P320's and a bunch of ammo. The next 90 minutes was spent swapping back and forth between the two guns and doing some fun plinking.

In an exercise that was, at least to me interesting, we also tried out the 9mm ammo in three different bullet weights; 115, 124, and 135 grain. I shoot all three with regularity, but I've never taken the time to shoot them back to back for comparison.

We keep the ubiquitous 115 grain 9mm ammo around for general plinking. When I find a bargain, I stock up. The 124 grain bullet weight has long been my "go to" for match use. The felt recoil is less snappy in my opinion. Recently, I've been also buying the 135 grain 9mm, mainly due to pricing deals. I knew the "snap" was greatly reduced, but when shooting in direct comparison with the others, the difference is substantial. It's certainly a good choice if one is going to be shooting a lot of rounds in a short time.

It was a very enjoyable outing for both of us. Besides the shooting, we got to talk, a lot. About guns, school, friends, life. And unlike other members, we did it while shooting and reloading magazines. Eventually hunger won out and we opted to head home for dinner — even though we still had ammo in the can. We'll save that for next time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gun Saint Group Lauds Jesuit Scholars on Islam

The Gabriel Possenti Society has issued a statement in support of some Jesuit scholars who have been brave enough to speak the truth regarding the nature of islam. These individuals buck the trend of political correctness in order to warn of the dangers to Christians posed by these barbaric teachings.
"The St. Gabriel Possenti Society on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi commends individual Jesuit scholars throughout the world for telling it like it is about the intrinsic murderous nature of Islam," Society chairman John M. Snyder said here today.

"These courageous, individual priests of the Society of Jesus are NOT saying that all Muslims are murderers," Snyder stipulated.  "They are noting that the foundational documents of Islam, such as the Koran, approve of and even recommend the murder of non-Muslims in the promulgation of Islam.

"These Jesuits are rendering a tremendous service to civilized humanity.  Many religious, media, entertainment and political personalities have been advancing the idea that jihadist violence, including brutal throat-slashing decapitations, somehow is an aberration of Islam.  It's not.  It's part and parcel of Mohammedanism."
As faithful Catholics, we've often witnessed a corruption of the faith touted by modern Jesuits. Political correctness, under the guise of "social justice" is a common theme among the order and many Catholics are subsequently misled. It's refreshing that some members of the order still learn and teach the truth. As Snyder notes, "We appreciate deeply the courage of Jesuits who are standing up for the truth in this matter, despite the politically correct but pathetic and impotent stances of some Jesuit superiors and even the Pope."

See "Possenti Society Lauds Jesuit Exposure of Islamist Murder Truth" for the complete statement.

More information on this blog about Saint Gabriel Possenti

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Indoor Range Visit

My weekly indoor range time has been subject to interference of late so I was happy to get away on Monday for a brief session. For most of the visit, I had the range to myself, which is an added bonus.

I broke my own rule and didn't have any specific practice routine in mind. I started out shooting at a moderate pace, using the B-34 silhouette target. Focusing on the head area which forced me to slow down and concentrate on a straight trigger pull. 

For the second box of ammo, I ran the regular JG50 drill on an IDPA target, with the target at 7 yards rather than the usual 10, but also picked up the pace a bit. My shots were a little sloppy on the body/head transitions, hitting just low on a few head shots. 

Finally, I opted to finish on a slower pace, running the target out to 20 yards. I was very pleased with that portion of the practice. While the groups weren't tight, they were all in the -0 zone. 

Despite the slow(er) shooting near the end, the allocated 150 rounds were expended in short order. I was at the lane for even less time than usual. Even in its briefness, it was a beneficial session for improving both technique and mental health.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Use The Range To Shoot, Not Talk

My son and I headed to the range to shoot on Sunday. As we drove past the first pistol bay, we noted a group of folks at the firing line. They were just sitting there, talking. We continued on to the next pistol bay. It too was occupied by another group. This group was also sitting in chairs and chatting. So we continued on to the rifle range, only to find it occupied as well, by a bunch of folks sitting at the bench, talking.

At all bays, targets were hung and guns were on the benches, but the shooters were just chatting. Not shooting. Not checking targets. Not reloading magazines. As we reversed our drive out of the park, the activity at all three ranges had not changed. At we pulled through the gate to exit, we heard it — single shot from one of the pistol ranges.

We knew there was the possibility that families might be spending time at the range with dad on Father's Day. It would be less frustrating if they actually wanted to shoot while they were there.

Look, a pavilion where people could sit and talk

Instead we spent the afternoon chatting on the deck at home. We'll hit the range — to shoot — later this week.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day

Here's wishing all the Dads out there a very Happy Father's Day.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rivanna Indoor IDPA Match

After missing the last couple matches, I finally made it back to Rivanna for the monthly IDPA match this morning. Due overnight rains, and the threat of more on the way, five quick stages were set up on the two indoor bays.

All shooters shot the same stage to start the match. A single target was set up in both bays for "stage 0." Starting with 3 rounds in the magazine, the target was engaged while the shooter backed up, with a total of six rounds. The target had the -0 zone cut out to save on pasting time. The universal starting stage gives everyone the same "warm up" at the start of the match. I do like the idea of every shooter starting out with the same course of fire. It's certainly better than starting out, by luck of the draw, on a difficult standards stage, as I did last week.

That initial stage done, we began the usual rotation through the remaining four stages. The next stage for our squad, was for me the most challenging in the match. (I am glad I didn't start here!) Starting seated, at the buzzer we moved to low cover behind a barrel. There were five threat targets, partially blocked by a couple of non-threats. Each target required two shots to the body and one to the head, in that order.

Moving to the next bay, stage 3 required three hits each on two targets while backing up. The shooter then moved behind cover to engage two more targets with three hits each.

For the next stage we downloaded all magazines to just six rounds. Three targets placed at ever increasing distance were shot from three shooting boxes. Each target got six hits, which meant a slide lock reload after each target before moving to the next position.

For our last stage we found five open targets, each requiring three hits each. The targets were engaged left to right. The first two, and optionally the center one, were shot from the first shooting position, and we moved to a second position to finish the remaining targets.

The quick stages, and smaller than usual crowd, meant the match ran fast, and was over in about three hours. The stage designs overcame quite well the limitations imposed by an indoor range. The shooting was fun and offered interesting challenges, despite their outward simplicity. Overall I was generally pleased with my shooting, despite a few careless shots that earned me 19 total points down. Still, I finished 13th of 41 overall and 5th of 19 in SSP.

Arriving home, I watched an extremely brief rain shower pass by before heading out to mow the grass. Cutting grass seems to be my standard post-match activity of late. Of course, that was quickly followed by a tasty beer on the back porch.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Call for Reciprocity in DC

After the leftist terror attack in Alexandria earlier this week, it's little surprise that calls for recognition of the 2nd Amendment would soon follow from Congress. Some, like Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk took an elitist approach and called for those rights only for themselves. Fortunately, others recognize the reality of violence and are pushing for more freedom for all.

Rep. Thomas Massie has introduced the DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. The act would grant reciprocity for citizens who have valid concealed carry permits from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia. Even though the latest shooting took place in Virginia, where other states' permits are recognized, persons traveling in and out of DC are stripped of their right of self defense.
Washington, D.C - Today, Congressman Thomas Massie, Chairman of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, introduced H.R 2909, the D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. This legislation would allow individuals with a valid concealed carry permit issued from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia.

“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Congressman Massie explained. “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense.  I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”

“If not for the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police at the ball field yesterday, things could have been much worse. What’s always evident in these situations is this: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

“To ensure public safety, we need to repeal laws that keep good guys from carrying guns, since not everyone has a personal police detail,” stated Congressman Massie. “The right to keep and bear arms is the common person's first line of defense in these situations, and it should never be denied.”

Congress has the authority to legislate in this area pursuant to Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever over such District as may become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”

Even an optimist would give the bill a slim chance of becoming law, but at least it's a start.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Timely Message From Sheriff Ivey

Sheriff Wayne Ivey of Brevard County, Florida has another alert for the public. Whether the threat is islamic or leftist, this is a message everyone should hear, and heed.

A previous PSA from the good sheriff was posted here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Good Guy With A Gun

The only reason—the only reason—why any of us walked out of this thing: By the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. Because we were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit. Every single one of us.
--Michigan Representative Mike Bishop

That's all that needs to be said about that.

I suspect we'll see more like this. Carry your gun.

Father's Day Marketing

Happy Father's Day. Let discuss your death.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Smiles of First Time Shooters

Last week I received an email from a friend who was taking a father and son to the range for their first experience at shooting. They were also bringing along a foreign exchange student who had been staying with them. My friend asked if I would come along as another set of eyes and to assist. Of course, I happily agreed.

We met at the outdoor range after work on Friday. I knew the father and son already, and met the very pleasant Spanish exchange student. They had been given a talk on gun safety prior to coming out, but I did a quick review, for my own peace of mind. My friend was supplying the guns and ammo this trip. We took the three shooters to the line and allowed them to shoot, only one at a time at first. After starting them with .22 and 9mm pistols, we saw they were confident and safe. A .45 ACP gun was added to the mix, and all the newcomers rejected shooting the .22 any more. After about an hour of shooting, and tweaking stances and grips, we moved over to the rifle range.

A .22 rifle, an AK-47 and a .308 hunting rifle were on the list for this part of the introduction. Targets were set at 50 yards for the .22 and AK, and 100 yards for the .308. Now the smiles really started! We allowed all three to shoot at the same time as they rotated through the firearms. I think the AK-47 won the popularity contest. I even took a turn at shooting it, as well as the hunting rifle.

It was a joy to see the smiles on the faces of all the new shooters. The exchange student made sure he got copious photos and videos of his experiences. It's a good bet that it's not something he'll be able to easily repeat soon.

After we finished shooting, stopping only because the range does not allow shooting after 7:00pm, the dad had a lot of questions about firearms and self defense laws. We spent a lot of time talking about those subjects. Or, more precisely, I spent a lot of time talking. They found at just how passionate I am on the subject. I am happy I was able to share some of what I've learned over the years, as well as dispel some misconceptions.

I fully expect that I'll be doing another session with the father, as he's becoming very aware of the needs, and his rights, to protect his loved ones. I'm glad I could help a small bit in that awakening.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fairfax IDPA Match

On Saturday I shot the monthly IDPA match at Fairfax Rod & Gun club. The club had five stages set up this month, with five large squads rotating through each. The event is growing in popularity and there's actually a waiting list for the monthly matches.

Our squad started on the standards stage. When I saw the set up, I thought "I got this." Two close targets weak hand only, two mid-range targets strong hand only, finishing with two head-only targets shot freestyle. Each target required a minimum of three hits. I've been practicing my one-handed shooting, and even working on head shots out to 15 yards. As I shot the final two targets I wasn't seeing the holes appearing in the targets. But the targets were shaded and I typically can't see the holes, even at the 10 yard distance anyway. I called the shots good and felt confident. But then came the scoring. One of the targets had a really nice group of three holes — right in the neck area. 15 points down right there, 20 down for the stage. Sometimes I wish that IDPA had "mulligans."

That wasn't a good start to my day, and I admittedly struggled mentally for a brief time. I was the second shooter on the stage so I had plenty of time to "get over it" while the rest of the squad shot. We had four more stages to shoot and I was there to have fun. Interestingly, for the rest of the day I was rotated to shooting first on every stage. 

The next stage was shot from a seated position. The gun with the mag inserted, but no round in the chamber, was placed in a box on the table. Six targets were set out in pairs to be shot near to far. This was a chance to push the speed a bit, especially on transitions, while still maintaining accuracy. Having to rack the slide before taking the first shot provided a bit of mental complexity, and I saw many shooters pull the trigger on an empty chamber at their first shot.

The scenario for the next stage included a mocked up "car" from behind which we engaged seven targets placed from one to fifteen yards. We started holding a hammer and a yard sale sign in our hands, dropping them at the start. The first target was set right in front of the starting position, but was deceptive in its simplicity. If you shot straight at the target from the start position, the shot would pass through to a non-threat target placed at the back of the bay. The rest of the targets were hidden on either side of barrels, requiring some movement along the "car" to shoot them all.

As we headed for the last two two stages, the match director told us to "go shoot some clowns." And that's what we did. For the first of these, nine targets were decorated with clown noses and wigs. We engaged the targets behind cover from two shooting positions. The last course of fire was shot from a kneeling position. Four shots were required on a close clown target that had the center -0 cut out to save on target replacement. Then, leaning to either side we engaged two falling steel poppers. Even though it was an extremely quick stage, I walked away with a smile from the fast shooting. I did end up with the 3rd fastest time on that stage, 4.97 seconds. That was a great stage on which to finish the match.

Despite some disappointing shooting on my part, it was still a fun match. My overall finish was 13th of 60 overall and just 8th of 9 shooters in SSP SS; the poor shooting on the first stage having a significant negative impact on my score! However, all the stages were interesting, and I saw the benefit of some of my practice sessions, and certainly noted some things that I will focus on in upcoming range trips. Besides, any day shooting...

We finished shooting around 2:00 and I began my nearly 2 hour drive home — twice the time it took to drive TO the match. Despite this match being actually the closest of the local matches, the perils of traffic make it less convenient. The summer time congestion has yet to really build, but it will be a consideration for my match plans in the coming months.

More photos from the match here.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shooting While Skydiving?

What ever happened to "know what's beyond your target?"

I'm sure all those rounds went into the orange ball. Nope, not impressed.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bowman Distillery

Fredericksburg's A. Smith Bowman Distillery has been awarded the title of World's Best Bourbon by Whisky Magazine for the second year in a row. Here's a nice video introduction to the distillery.

I used to work in the same industrial park as the distillery. We brought a T3 circuit into our offices and the connection was in the basement of the bottling plant and I visited frequently. It smelled really nice on bottling days! One of these days I'll make it over for an official tour and tasting.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: A Near Perfect Store

Add beer and we're good.

Hope you find good shopping this weekend.

Range Time, Finally

This time the drive to the range went as hoped. No accidents and little traffic. I made it up to the indoor range to finally shoot the new P320 Compact. Since my last couple of range attempts didn’t work out, I added an extra 50 rounds to my bag for this trip. In addition to the Compact, I brought along the Full Size 320 as well.

Most of the other shooters were leaving as I arrived. A young couple was shooting at the far end of the range. I heard a lot of joyful giggles coming from her after she shot, but they appeared to be safe and attentive to what they were doing. My guess is a new shooting enthusiast was being born.

I started off with a quick 50 rounds through the new gun. For this initial run, I simply shot to see how the gun felt. It seems to me the Compact doesn’t shoot significantly different than the Full Size P320. Despite being slightly smaller and lighter, there’s little difference to be noticed. I’m very pleased with that; I can shoot either one without seeming like I’m jumping between different guns.

Next I did my usual 50 round Julie Golob drill at 10 yards. (I shoot this drill so often I think I’ll shorten its name to JG50.) I was pleased there, just a few low head shots — a failing which often plagues me when shooting this drill indoors. For the next 50 rounds I moved the target out to 15, then 20 yards and worked on trigger control. Again, no issues with keeping all the holes in the IDPA -0 zone.

My session wrapped up with another JG50 shooting the full size P320. This round I only had a couple high -1 shots from the WHO string.

It was good session and a pleasurable break from the work day. To add to the enjoyment, I spied a Bald Eagle circling the highway as I got back onto the dreaded interstate for the trip back to the office.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Because We Could Use A Smile Today

Until there's relevant content, enjoy this clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Traffic Interferes With Range Time

It happened again! I had but limited free time to get in a range trip earlier this week. I left work at lunch and headed north on the interstate. Shortly before the exit that would take me to the range, I saw the sign; "Left Lane Closed Ahead." The milepost given coincided with my intended exit. As I made my way through the backed up traffic I soon realized that the entire exit ramp was closed due to an accident!

I had to continue for another 5 miles to the next exit, and then backtrack. The extra distance and delays caused by the lane closures forced me to abandon my plans to shoot. Yet, I was still away from the office for just as long as I would have been had I been successful in my quest.

I was reminded why I generally avoid the interstate. Eyes on the road people, eyes on the road.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Islam Is Not A New Problem

I was at a gathering of friends recently when the discussion turned to the recent, daily, islamic terror attacks. One of the participants commented "I don't understand why muslims have gotten so violent in the past six months or year."

The friend making that observation is actually a well-educated person, but obviously had bought in to the propaganda put forth by "peaceful muslims" and their apologists. This was a perfect example of the ignorance of fundamental (not radical) islamic doctrine exhibited by so many westerners. In actuality, there's nothing new about islamic barbarism, and civilized men have recognized it for years.

One of the most learned philsophers in history, St Thomas Aquinas, writing his Summa Contra Gentiles as early as 1259, recognized the truth about Mohammed, his teaching, and his followers.
"He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. 
He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the Contrary, Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms - which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning. Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower's by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimony of the Old and the New Testaments by making them into a fabrication of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place faith in his words believe foolishly."

Until the world recognizes the truth about islamic teaching, civilized man will not be safe from its evil influence. It's true that not all muslims will commit acts of jihad. They have though, if even through ignorance, professed their faith in an ideology that condones, and commands, the killing of non-muslims in the name of "faith." Such teaching is anathema to civilized society.

Recognizing the truth is not "phobia" but survival.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Need For ID

I started out for an evening walk and realized I had not put my wallet in my pocket. I did have my concealed handgun, which meant I was required to have both a picture ID and my concealed handgun permit. It occurred to me that all I had to do was tuck my shirt behind the gun, and I would be open carrying, thus no was CHP needed.

I chuckled at the absurdity, and further realized that according to Virginia law, it was actually legal for me to enter a pub and enjoy a beer while open carrying. However, with no ID I wouldn't be able to prove I was of legal age to buy alcohol.

It seems the only thing one can do these days with no ID is vote.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

No More

No more Facebook flags. No more candles. No more excuses.

Meanwhile, the British PM wants to regulate the internet.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

It Followed Me Home

It's no secret that I'm a SIG Sauer fan. I often tell folks that "SIG tax" keeps me from buying too many guns. After all, quality costs. When the P320 was introduced in 2014, it just did not pique my interest. At first.

I picked up the Full Size P320 a few weeks ago. Now I have to change my reasoning for buying a SIG. Given the modularity of the P320 series, it's just not sensible to own only one. The local gun store is having a liquidation sale and the discount reached a level where it made another purchase irresistible, so I've add a Compact P320 to the rotation.

Two gun sizes, same trigger pull, nearly identical ergonomics. Now if I could only to find time to shoot it!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Progressive Science Fraud

It's political agenda, not science.

"The earth knows how to save itself." Wow, it's almost like it was intelligently designed. Their denial of that might just explain why the left works so hard to sell their bunk.

Thursday, June 1, 2017