Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Spring Morning at the Range

I had not visited my local outdoor range since November. The rules at the club are increasingly restrictive, and often unwritten. I've found I'm more comfortable shooting elsewhere — despite the close proximity to my home.

However, I had Friday off and with only a short time window for "play," I decided to take a chance on hitting the range in the morning. I was somewhat surprised to have the ranges to myself, despite it being a warm 70° outside. Perhaps others are taking the same dim view of the ever-changing ruleset.

My plan was to set up two targets and practice my transitions; we're permitted the use of two targets if only one shot is made on each target. (Alternatively, two shots on one target is permitted.) I was only able to run that drill for a few strings before strong a breeze come up, the start of a cold front approaching. The hanging targets starting blowing back and forth. Fortunately I had also packed a target stand, alas just one, so was able to continue my session on a single target, which only blew over a few times.

As I have been doing of late, I ran through several magazines while holding my flashlight, in preparation for an upcoming match. However, most of the time was spent shooting from the 15 and 25 yard lines. Since we're forced to shoot slow, I might as well make the best of it.

At one point while shooting my "pairs," I called a shot bad, and out of habit fired that now verboten third shot. I found myself looking over my shoulder a lot after that, as the range officer has a habit of sneaking up behind you before beginning his admonishments.

Despite waiting to be chastised, the warm spring morning made for a pleasant outing. As an added treat, I found a loaded magazine left in my bag from a previous range trip, so I got in a bonus round of shooting! It was certainly a pleasure to shoot in a t-shirt after so many months of cold weather.

Friday, March 30, 2018


A thought at 3:00 on Good Friday.
The ancient greyness shifted suddenly and thinned like mist upon the moors before a wind.

An old, old prophet lifted a shining face and said:

“He will be coming soon. The Son of God is dead; He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls. They wondered if they dreamed

save one old man who seemed not even to have heard.

And Moses, standing, hushed them all to ask if any had a welcome song prepared.

If not, would David take the task?

And if they cared could not the three young children sing the Benedicite,

the canticle of praise they made when God kept them from perishing in the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them, stilling Moses’ words.

No one could speak, remembering the first fresh flowers, the little singing birds.

Still others thought of fields new ploughed or apple trees all blossom-boughed.

Or some, the way a dried bed fills with water laughing down green hills.

The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam on bright blue seas.

The one old man who had not stirred remembered home.

And there He was, splendid as the morning sun and fair as only God is fair.

And they, confused with joy, knelt to adore

Seeing that He wore five crimson stars He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung. None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song,

A silent man alone of all that throng found tongue — not any other.

Close to His heart when the embrace was done, old Joseph said,

“How is Your Mother, How is Your Mother, Son?”
-- Sister Mary Ada

The Truth About Gun Control

The folks at Ammunition Depot put together a nice infographic in so-called "gun control." It's not of size I can post clearly here. Click on the graphic to view the original.

From their post...
All of us want a peaceful America—a safe America—not just for us but for our children and our children’s children. But how can we realize this dream if we can’t agree on how to protect ourselves—if we can’t agree on what our gun laws should be?

The argument for stricter gun policies continues to rage back and forth yet strays further away from an end. To make matters worse, a lot of media companies sensationalize stories, fabricate news, and shift the spotlight from a criminal’s sin to the criminal’s gun in order to increase their viewership ratings.

Incomplete and incorrect news leads to ill-informed individuals, whose voices will just distort the debate. We don’t want that, and you shouldn’t either.

That’s why we’ve created this infographic, to educate Americans on the truth about gun control. There are plenty of misconceptions out there and we want to cut straight through the lies with cold hard facts. After all, would you rather rely on fake news or federal statistics?

 See the full graphic here.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Si vis pacem, para bellum

The Scottish edition.

In any language, the admonition would be well heeded, "If you want peace, prepare for war."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Monday Range Time

After that fun match on Sunday, I was still anxious for more shooting. To my delight, on Monday I was able to get down to Winding Brook for a little trigger time.

My plan for this practice session was to work on shooting while holding a flashlight. I have been dry firing and rehearsing getting the flashlight in position under the gun at the draw. After 50 rounds of live fire, I feel more comfortable in shooting and controlling the pistol despite the addition of the flashlight in my hand.

After the flashlight work, I decided to work on something I don't practice enough — distance shooting. I don't do it often, mainly because of the time it takes to repeatedly recall the target to check the hits. I put the target at 20 yards, and tried to shoot at the pace that I might use in a match. Granted I was standing still, with no match pressure, but I was pleased with the 2, 3, or 4 shot strings. This was no dot torture drill, but I was pleased to keep them center of mass.

With one box of ammo left in my self-imposed allotment, I hung a fresh target at 10 yards and set the timer for a 2 second exposure. Shooting 2, or even 3 shots at each exposure from low ready, I quickly burned through the remaining rounds.

Interestingly, the other bays were mostly filled with folks shooting long guns this day. There was an AR to my left, and a shotgun to my right. I quickly was able to ignore the flash and thump from the nearby scatter gun, although I admit to an initial jump when the shooter first started firing.

All in all, not a bad way to start the week. I've got a vacation day planned later this week, so maybe more shooting will work its way into the schedule.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NRA - We Will Never Waver

In this video, NRA's Wayne LaPierre reiterates the organization's firm stance on freedom and the ideals enumerated in the Constitution. The NRA will not support any restrictions on law abiding Americans and rejects any further expansion of proven failed policies. LaPierre quite correctly points out that the deaths in Parkland could had been prevented were it not for the cowardliness and incompetence of law enforcement and politicians. After the killer himself, it is they who have the blood of 17 children on their hands. 

If you're not a member, join the NRA now. Let's keep the spike in interest growing and defy the virtue signaling of the left. Our enemies know they cannot win in the legislature, so they try to shame gun owners and turn us into pariahs. Our numbers will counteract that.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cavalier IDPA Match

Finally, a match when it wasn't raining! For the first time this year, it was not raining on match day. Sure, it was only in the mid-30's when we started shooting but at least there was no mud or bagged targets to deal with. The early morning drive had me looking into the sun a lot, but that was a good omen. The morning was cool and breezy; I kept my gloves on and jacket zipped when not shooting.

The opening stage had 6 targets to be shot from behind a fenced wall. Target priority required some movement back and forth to engage all the the targets. I was two points down, for my highest stage finish of the match.

On stage 2 we started facing up range at an "ATM machine" which, for most shooters, required a turn and draw to the weak side to engage to open targets. Progressing down range there were more paper targets and two steel poppers to be found. I may have pushed just little too hard on this run, for three points down.

Approaching the next stage we saw a dizzying array of fault lines and walls around three targets and a swinging non-threat. "Pay attention" was the warning at the start of the stage briefing. The stage consisted of two strings. For the first string, we pulled a stick on a rope that activated the non-threat that swung behind two close targets. We pulled the rope, shifted to the left to shoot the first target, then a shift to the right to hit an open target, then a final shift to another close target. The challenge was the fast swinging non-threat moving behind the first and third targets. Quite a few shooters shot too late or too soon and earned the HNT penalty.

In an interesting twist, we started the second string with the gun in whatever condition it was after the final shot of that first string. Your reloads for the final four targets depended on how many shots were used previously.

I was pleased to hear I was just two points down at the end, but then it was realized that the time for my first string had not been recorded, so I would shoot the entire stage over. I really didn't mind, as it meant more opportunity to shoot. My only concern was making sure I once again missed that swinging NT target. I was successful on my second run, beating the swinger despite taking a chance at a third shot on one of the targets.

The final stage featured a long hallway with lots of side hallways to run in to to find targets. We started seated, with the loaded gun and all magazines on a table. After picking up the gun and engaging two close targets, we grabbed our magazines and moved to make a couple of long shots on two steel poppers. Picking up magazines and putting them into the belt pouches quickly is something I have not practiced much (yet.) Carefully reversing up range to engage a long open target, we then moved down the "hallway" diverting off to side halls to find other targets, finishing at the end of the hallway on two hard targets requiring significant leans around cover. It was at this final shooting position that I hit a non-threat target, adding a penalty to my -3 run.

After shooting accurately but slowly at recent matches, I was consciously trying to shoot a little faster this time. I ended up with more points down (nine) than I really liked, not to mention the one HNT penalty. Still when I left the match, I felt pretty good about my shooting. Despite the penalty and points down, I ended up 14th of 41 overall, but still managed 1st of nine in my division and classification (SSP SS.)

The match provided a great mix of fast shooting and accurate shooting. Even the "hoser" stages required careful planning and shooting, lest you ended up missing a target or tagging a "good guy." It was a fun morning of shooting with good people. Contrary the insinuations of leftist media of late, and despite the presence of numerous guns, there was no spontaneous outbreak of "gun violence."

And as I said at the start, no rain!

A few more pics from the match posted here.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

My "March For Our Lives" Day

A bunch of useful idiots for the socialist movement in the U.S. were "marching" today to push for the restriction of Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. Ironically, their own "leaders" were whining about having their own rights restricted. I decided to contribute to the cause.

1) I went for a long, brisk walk for my health.
2) I carried a gun for my safety.

So let's see...

Heath + Safety = Life

I think I nailed it.

Stones vs. Guns

Which is more lethal, a can of soup or a rock? That's the question schools systems must be asking themselves.

A few years ago, we heard about a public school where "each science classroom is equipped with cans of soup to be thrown at the intruder in the instance that the intruder enters the classroom." Now, a school in Pennsylvania has armed their students with stones that "are the right size for hands" to be used in case of attack.
Blue Mountain School District Superintendent David Helsel made headlines recently after testifying to lawmakers at the state capitol that his students could be armed with rocks in case of an active shooter lockdown.

“Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket of river stone,” Helsel told lawmakers. “If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full students armed with rocks and they will be stoned.”
Of course, some idiots are probably now afraid white teachers will start stoning the black kids in their classrooms.

What sort of parent would choose kids armed with rocks over an adult with a gun to defend their child from a mass killer?

See "Pennsylvania school wants to arm students with rocks to protect them against active shooters" for all the absurd details.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018

It's Not "Gun" Control They Want

This list about the Maryland school shooting has been making the rounds of social media, and it gets right to the heart of the matter.
  • What didn’t stop the Maryland school shooting
    • Maryland’s assault weapon ban
    • Maryland’s 10-round magazine limit
    • Maryland’s universal background check requirement
    • Maryland’s law requiring an extensive application process to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun
    • Maryland’s law prohibiting purchase of more than one firearm a month
    • Maryland’s law requiring handgun registration
    • Maryland’s law requiring licensing of handgun owners
    • Maryland’s extremely limited approval of conceal carry permits
    • Maryland’s refusal to honor any concealed carry permit from another state
    • Federal law prohibiting handgun possession for people under 21
    • Laws against carrying without a permit
    • Gun free school zones
    • Laws against discharging a firearm in public
    • Laws against attempted murder
  • What did stop the Maryland school shooting
    • An armed person at the scene who engaged the shooter in less than a minute

The "do something" laws and restrictions around gun ownership that the left has been crying for are already in place. Honest and intelligent people know these laws do nothing to stop evil people from committing acts of violence. Regulations and processes that could actually serve to keep people safe are routinely ignored by those charged with enforcing them. Our leftist antagonists have but one goal with their calls for "gun control." They are not interested in the safety of children, children are mere pawns to them, a means to an end. Their motive is a compliant, defenseless and submissive citizenry.

The despicable people pushing for "gun control" are in my opinion, no different than the tyrants throughout history who cruelly clamped down on the freedom and lives of others. Whether willful participants or useful idiots, they should be met with utter disdain and contempt. They've already proven how they feel about us.

The violence in Maryland will soon fade from the headlines. Unlike the Parkland, Florida mass killing, the outcome in this case doesn't fit the agenda. The leftist narrative must be maintained, facts be damned.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Six Decades Done

I've managed to survive sixty years of life now. I remember when I was much younger, 60 seemed so old. (And so very far away.) But in the present, it's not so bad. :-)

When I was reflecting on those years recently, it occurred to me that I've lived in seven decades. Now that seems like a long time, so I won't look at it that way. I don't actually feel all that old, on most days anyway.

I'm not sure how I'll celebrate the day. I didn't plan a day off from work, but I did block out most of my calendar, so hopefully the meetings will be kept to a minimum. And the winter precipitation gives me an excuse to work from home.

In many years past, I hit the range on my birthday, but the spring snow we're having will likely prevent that. Fortunately I scratched that itch earlier in the week. I am confident there will be a good beer or two consumed later, perhaps a fine whiskey instead in addition.

And don't think I won't be taking advantage of all those discounts and special offers that businesses offer to us "seniors."

So Happy Birthday to me, and all that. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Monday Range Time

The prognosticators are predicting we'll face a late winter, or early spring depending on the timing, snow this week. It's frustrating when a range trip must be cancelled due to inclement weather. Since I have long been anticipating taking some time off work on Wednesday to spend some extended time at the range, I opted to hedge my bet and visit the range after work on Monday instead.

I didn't quite get the variety of drills I had previously anticipated, but it was a fun session nonetheless. I spent some time shooting quick body to head transitions. I noticed the faster I try to go, the lower the heat shot gets. I'll note that for more work in the future. A significant amount of time was spent shooting while holding a flashlight, as well as some strong hand only shots. As usual, I made use of the fun timed turning target too. I finished my "workout" with some slow distance shooting. Loading and shooting 200 rounds in about 30 minutes time, led to a noticeable drop in accuracy near the end. That seems to be about my limit in a sustained practice without a rest.

When leaving, I noticed this view of the flag flying high above the gun range. I couldn't help but wonder just how triggering that scene might be for passing snowflakes and other leftists. The thought gave me a smile.

My rescheduled range outing was shortened from what was originally planned. However, it so happens that March 19 is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, Patron Saint and guardian of families. The range visit seemed especially apropos for that day.

Now if it doesn't actually snow on Wednesday, maybe I'll enjoy a twofer this week.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Stout Themed Holiday

We were visiting with family in Montana for a few days last week, but like any good Irish family, we didn't let St. Patrick's Day go without celebration. For lunch on Saturday, we stopped into Flathead Lake Brewing in Bigfork, MT for a quick lunch. Colleen and I both opted for their 369’ Stout. The mildly bitter American Stout, with caramel and roasted notes, was made even smoother by the nitro serving. I did go a little "off reservation" and enjoyed the stout with a Greek-themed gyro filled with tasty lamb, feta and tsatziki.

Finishing lunch, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon (meaning I fell asleep on the couch) before heading out for the Vigil Mass that evening. Afterwards, my father in-law asked, "Who's up for a wee dram of Jameson?" I certainly wouldn't pass by a chance to raise a glass with the 90 year old Irishman. He produced a bottle of Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition. This whiskey is aged in beer barrels that previously a aged stout brewed by the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork, Ireland. The whiskey had a smooth finish with butterscotch and milk chocolate notes. It was a mild but quite enjoyable libation.

After our drinks, we enjoyed a delicious Irish-American meal of corned beef, mashed potatoes, and cabbage that had been prepared by Colleen. That was a fitting end to a day honoring Ireland's favorite Saint.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day


It's that time of the year when a Saint revered by many, especially in the Irish-Catholic community, has his good name and works twisted into an excuse to drink to excess and abuse the color green. As a Catholic of Irish decent, and a lover of naturally-colored beer, it pains me to see what this day has become.

It strikes me as odd that this day, meant to honor a great man and Saint, has evolved the way it has. Whether you accept the traditions associated with his life or not, there can be no denying the good he did. (As much as some of these stories cannot be proven, they cannot be disproven either.) Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery in Ireland, he grew to love the Irish people. Late in his life, he was around 60 at the time, Saint Patrick returned to the Emerald Isle to teach and convert the people he had grown to love so much. Certainly that is worthy of our respect.

Odd is it may seem, we actually have to remind people, and pubs, that St. Patrick was a man, not a woman. His name is Patrick, which comes from the Irish, Pádraig. Shorten his name to Paddy if you must. However, we do not celebrate "St. Patty's Day." Patty is a shortened version of Patricia, a girl's name. Feast-related debauchery is one thing, but transgendering our Saint is unacceptable.
So, celebrate the memory of St. Patrick. Enjoy a drink or two and some good food. There's nothing wrong with bringing a little revelry into the world. I like a good party as much as the next guy. (And I certainly appreciate a good Irish drinking joke.) Drink your green beer if you must. Dress up in silly clothes. Dye your water fountain green. But please, remember the reason for this feast. Take a moment to honor the man and all the good he did. In our house we'll raise a toast, and a prayer, to St. Patrick in honor of his deeds, and in reparation for the abuse of his good name and faith.

All the children of Ireland cry out to thee:
Come, O Holy Patrick, and save us!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

President Kennedy on the Defense of Freedom

President Kennedy's Commemorative Message on Roosevelt Day, January 29, 1961.
"Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. The cause of liberty, the cause of America, cannot succeed with any lesser effort. "
A Democrat no less. In the era before snowflakes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What To Practice

It's always a blend of multiple goals when I go to the range, two in particular. On one hand, I simply enjoy shooting. I find it a relaxing activity, one of the few things I do that totally and completely removes thoughts of anything else; no distractions, no bills, no deadlines, just the shooting. On the other hand, I crave self-improvement. I want to shoot to the best of my ability. When I go to matches, I compete against myself, and am my own worse critic. I don't expect to bring home any trophies, but I sure want to leave the match feeling good and knowing I did the best I could.

Where the decision comes in, is deciding what to do in the limited time I have at the range. There are a few things I try to do frequently, if not every time. For example, it's my goal to spend a short bit of time shooting one-handed at every range trip (and every dry fire practice too.) Looking through my practice log, I realize I have neglected those SHO and WHO exercises the last two range visits. It's not that I forgot, I just ran out of time and ammo. For example, I got into shooting some longer distances during the last outing and spent more time than usual on that.

In a few weeks, I'll be participating in a match that has stages shot in the dark, while holding a flashlight. With few exceptions, I haven't done that since shooting the same match a year ago. So a refresher with the flashlight is high on my list of things to do soon.

I mentioned the pure enjoyment aspect of shooting at the start. In addition to the guns I use frequently to compete, there are other firearms I own that I also want to shoot, just for fun. There's always a decision to be made, do I pack another pistol or rifle to shoot? Or do I concentrate on competition-specific skills? Decisions, decisions.

Neither time nor ammunition comes in infinite supply. The local outdoor range has gotten so restrictive that it's hardly worth the 12 minute drive to get to it. The indoor range where most of my practice is done is an hour away from my home, and that means there are no quick runs to try something new. Trips are generally scheduled, rather than spontaneous.

So, thinking out loud... For the next range trip, starting 50 rounds with flashlight in hand, 50 rounds of SHO/WHO shooting, 50 rounds on the timed turning target, 50 rounds with some other pistol "for fun." But I always want to end with the competition gun, so another 50 rounds...

We're going to need more ammo!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Rules For Sons

I've observed it for the last decade, young men who do not stand when being introduced to another man, or even to a woman. I came across this list on Facebook recently. Although I've seen it before, I don't know where it originated. Unfortunately the cowardly snowflake generation never learned these finer points of how to be a man.
1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs.
3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king.
4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
5. Request the late check-out.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
9. Play with passion or not at all.
10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.
11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
14. You marry the girl, you marry her family.
15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
17. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
18. Never turn down a breath mint.
19. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him.
22. Eat lunch with the new kid.
23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
25. Manners maketh the man.
26. Give credit. Take the blame.
27. Stand up to bullies. Protect those bullied.
28. Write down your dreams.
29. Always protect your siblings (and teammates).
30. Be confident and humble at the same time.
31. Call and visit your parents often. They miss you.
Tell your sons. Always remember, as a parent your goal is raising adults, not children.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Saturday, Part 2: The Brewery

After I returned from very fun morning at the range, we headed over to Strangeway's Brewing to relax with some good beer and food. Colleen had noted an announcement on Facebook earlier in the week about some new releases on Saturday which sounded too good to pass up.

One of the new beers, and the one that grabbed her attention was Basic Honey B Bourbon/Port Barrel Imperial Honey Ale. The beer is brewed with Virginia honey and Copper Fox Distillery’s applewood smoked malt, and aged in A. Smith Bowman barrels that had been used to age bourbon and port. It was a truly Virginia-bred beer. The ale brought forth caramel, dark fruit, with a smoky bourbon punch. Colleen's short review, "Oh, I like this."

As tempting as this one sounded, another release Aardvarks for Math! Coffee IPA, grabbed my interest. The beer is flavored with local Dier House Coffee Roasters Burundi Blend coffee. This "juicy roast" with notes of raspberry and cherry compliments the citrus hops very nicely. I've been intrigued by the use of coffee in hoppy beers like Pale Ales and IPA's, instead of the typical dark Stouts. Unlike the very strong coffee flavors found in Cocka Doodle Brew Coffee Ale from Parkway Brewing, this one still had the bitter citrus flavor of an IPA. The coffee influence came out in the finish with hints of dark chocolate and bitter tea. I very much enjoyed it.

Of course, we were there for food too. The Zesty Adventurer food truck was on hand supplying tasty Mediterranean influenced dishes. We started off with a Hummus platter with carrots, celery and warm pita bread. For our main course, Colleen decided on the Chicken Gyro Sandwich, while my palate had a craving for Mediterranean Quesadilla. 

The food was very flavorful and freshly made. Not only was the food delicious, it was a great value for the money. Convenient ordering was handled inside and the food was delivered right to our seats at the bar — no need to venture outside and then carry the food back in. We'll definitely watch for more local visits from The Zesty Adventurer.

A couple more beers were needed to linger over and enjoy with our meal. Picking beer at Strangeway's is always a challenge, with nearly 50 taps too choose from. I eventually decided on La’ Agora Oak Fermented Farmhouse Ale. Colleen opted for Mango Magma Mango Milkshake IPA. Interestingly, those style selections are totally reversed from our usual preferences; we're good influences one another it seems. Tasty selections on both accounts.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Saturday, Part 1: The Range

Forgoing my second cup of coffee Saturday morning, I made a spur of the moment decision to head out to the Winding Brook Indoor Range. Arriving just as the doors where unlocked, there was no waiting to shoot.

The range trip was not expected, so in a rare exception, I hadn't planned out specific things to practice. I started out with the target at 10, then 12 yards, just shooting "controlled pairs." Or sometimes triples or quadruples.

Next I moved the target to 10 yards and set up the timed turner to have the target facing me for three seconds at a time. At one point while doing these drills I went to slide lock and I immediately hit the mag release button. As the empty magazine dropped, I realized I had to grab a reload off the bench instead of my belt. At the same time I thought, "I hope that doesn't fall forward into the shooting bay." While I don't usually just drop mags at the indoor range, I do feel good that my remedial action was so automatic.

Finally, I rolled a fresh target out to 15 yards and shot another 50 rounds. As perforated center grew in the paper downrange it became evident, even to my eyes, that I was getting good hits. The accurate shooting also saved me from having to recall the target carrier to check myself. That was not disappointing at all.

What was disappointing was that I quickly ran through the ammo I had brought along. I lamented that I had grabbed only 150 rounds when I packed. That number is an ingrained default from so many quick lunch time runs to another indoor range. Rest assured I won't make that miscalculation again.

Despite the drive time being much longer than the shooting time, I was back home before noon. Colleen and I had afternoon plans to visit a local brewery to try out some new beer releases, so after a quick cup of coffee it was time to head out for more weekend fun.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Five O'Clock Friday: Hey Bartender

Here's a little mood music to kick off the weekend.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gun Raffle Schadenfreude

After my inglorious introduction to the Mossberg M590 Shockwave during the Chesapeake Cup last month, I commented that it didn't interest me as a defensive weapon. I prefer a shotgun I can aim. Admittedly I knew little about the gun or how to shoot it reliably, having only a few seconds to dry fire it before the stage.

Shortly after I posted my experiences at the match I received an email from the match director regarding the post-match gun drawing. In an ironic twist of fate, it turns out I was the lucky winner of a new Mossberg Shockwave.

My prize arrived this week. Since being alerted about my luck, I've watched many videos and online reviews. I have a better idea on how the gun is to be shot, and aimed. I am actually looking forward to the chance to take it to the range, once I figure where I can shoot it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Harry's Alehouse is the Best Beer Bar in VA

Harry's Alehouse was recently voted the 2018 Best Craft Beer Bar in Virginia by readers. This is quite an honor considering the establishment only recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

We've been enjoying Harry's Alehouse since they opened. The beer selection is always interesting. Most of the 24 draft lines are dedicated to good craft beer, many of them from Virginia breweries. Often they feature beers that are unique to Harry's and not offered elsewhere locally. Complimenting the great beer selection is an excellent "from scratch" food menu.

Congratulations to Harry's Alehouse on this recognition. We look forward to seeing what the next year holds in store.

And in case you're wondering, our beloved and missed, "Colonel" is featured among the K-9 photos on the walls inside.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

"Gun Free Zone" Hypocrisy

The irony runs deep.

The anti-gun "elite" hypocritically require men with guns to defend them, while the children are left to rely on men guns who refuse to help them.

H/T to The Miller for posting the meme.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Consolation Range Trip

Despite missing out on this weekend's IDPA match, I was able to get in some quality trigger time this weekend. On Sunday, Colleen and I headed down to the Winding Brook Range. My range bag was already packed, I sort of felt obligated to take it out. :-)

I started out shooting at a moderate pace at 7 yards, and worked my way out to 10 and 15 yards with the first box of ammo. I also worked with the timed exposure target to practice getting the gun on target quickly. That was all done from low ready, but one of these days I'll take the time to get holster qualified at the range.

Since I'll be shooting the annual Virginia Indoor Regional IDPA match in April I figured I'd better brush up on holding the flashlight while shooting. I expended a few mags doing that, but I definitely need more practice over the next couple months.

Feeling pretty good about the shooting so far, the practice session was concluded with 50 rounds of slow fire at 15 yards. I was relieved when I reeled the target in and saw only six shots outside the -0 zone.

Colleen and I opted to not wait for adjoining lanes to open, so this time we didn't shoot "together." We did enjoy a pleasant, sunny drive home on the secondary road, avoiding the madness (and backups) of the interstate. After the power failures and cancelled plans of the past few days, this was a most pleasant way to finish the weekend.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Must Watch: Delegate Nick Freitas

Listen to this blast of truth from Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas regarding the lies and deceptions of the left.

Freitas's words triggered the snowflakes across the aisle and they ran from the room with hurt feelings. They demanded a recess, apparently to recover in their crying rooms.

Delegate Freitas is challenging our current leftist representative for the Virginia Senate seat.

Winds of Change (in plans)

I'd been looking forward to shooting the Sanner's Lake IDA match this past Saturday. This is always a fun match, and for a first time in a while it wasn't supposed to be raining during the match! However, Mother Nature did have an extreme wind event in store for us. Through the evening and into the wee morning hours Friday, I listened to the wind howl, and waited for the inevitable power failure. Sure enough, around 4:30 AM the power went out. Later in the morning, I cranked up the generator.

Still optimistic Friday evening, I packed my range gear for the match. Surely power would be restored soon. Throughout the night I waited. And waited. By the time I would have needed to leave for the match, we still had no power. And I had a generator in need of fuel. So my shooting plans were scrapped in favor of runs to the gas station. This was the gear I would haul around on Saturday.

At least the beer would stay cold.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Gun Grabber Logic

I got pulled into a discussion recently on the "gun problem" and the usual "something must be done." Someone posited the problem was keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. The liberal in the crowd responded, "Who's going to determine that another person is a danger to society? You could possibly violate someone's rights by declaring they are dangerous."

I was hopeful for a moment. Then she added, "We just need to take guns away from everyone."

Face. Palm.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Jefferson On Freedom

"Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem."

Roughly translated as "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery," the phrase was used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison, on January 30, 1787. I find it quite applicable today considering the current anti-gun, anti-freedom movement being fostered on our nation by the weak and ignorant, only some of which are actually children.

I'm sure the phrase is doubly triggering for today's snowflake generation, since they also find this Founding Father to be offensive to their sensitive natures.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February Cavalier IDPA

As I dressed for Sunday morning's IDPA match at Cavalier, I checked the weather app on my phone. The forecast was for cloudy skies, with temps in the upper 60's. Great, finally decent weather at a match. After a rainy match last month, followed by a wet and muddy Chesapeake Cup, and a match moved indoors, I was ready for some shooting on dry ground. Arriving at the range, it was quickly apparent that the prognosticators had once again gotten it wrong. Very wrong. The rain started about the time we began shooting and the temperature never made it out of the mid-50's. More than a few folks had not dressed for conditions, but at least I did have my rain jacket on hand.

The first stage we shot while seated under cover, but the targets were all protected by the dreaded plastic bags. Starting with the loaded gun and all reloads on the table, we engaged the six targets in priority order. I shot just one point down on the stage, that one penalty being on one of the closest targets.

To our delight the precipitation let up as the squads moved to their next stages, and the targets were uncovered. Our second stage began, for most, with a long run to the first point of cover. The shooter also had a choice to engage one target over a wall to begin the stage. From the first point of cover, a small shift exposed a lone more distant target, followed by another sprint back across the bay. From there, two points of cover with another small position shift between exposed the final four targets. It was a fun stage that tested settling quickly into a stable position after a quick run to position.

Our third stage started out with the shooter holding a tool bag in the strong side hand, which was dropped at the start signal. Three target arrays were to be shot from three shooting positions. There were some precariously place non-threats among the targets. Cover and target positioning added further to the challenge as shots required a pretty tight lean to the right side.

The last two stages we shot were combined on one bay and shooters alternated shooting. After shooting the first, you'd reload your magazines while the previous shooter shot the second, after which you'd shoot. We were up against the rain returning so the SO's kept us straight and moving quickly along.

The first stage of the pair started with the gun downloaded to six rounds. After emptying the gun on the first, up close target, we moved to two more positions in the course where we engaged a couple more target pairs. Adding to the challenge, there was a non-threat behind one of the targets. One had to be careful of the shot angle and placement, since shoot-through hits on the non-threat are also penalized.

For the final stage, our unloaded gun was set in an open gun safe, with our magazines on the table. Retrieving the gun, we loaded it and engaged two reduced area targets right in front us. Then grabbing a magazine, we advanced to either side of some barrels to find some close but hidden targets on either side. The targets were shot around the non-threats and between the barrels.

This stage could be shot fast, but still had to be shot carefully. While I didn't notice anyone getting hits on the non-threats, I saw a few shots go through the barrels as well as -1 hits on all the targets. Some shooters opted to empty their first magazine by firing five shots at each of the first two target, and even that didn't always guarantee a -0 score. I think the stage was deceptive in it's simplicity. I opted for aimed head shots on the opening two targets, and also finished the stage with zero points down.

We finished shooting and broke down the match before the next batch of rain came in force, though it did sprinkle a bit. The match provided five quite fun stages. They were challenging, with interesting  non-threat placement throughout. 

My shooting throughout the match, while accurate felt a little "rough" to me. It didn't seem, to my mind, that I was moving quickly or getting in smooth transitions. That said, I was still happy with my scores. While just 10th of 43 overall, I place well within my division and classification finishing 1st of 9 in SSP SS. But it's really all about the fun, and I certainly had that. Due to work and family obligations I hadn't been able to practice at all the week before. No dry fire, no live fire, and I didn't even handle the gun to clean it. I was certainly ready for some time spent shooting.

I'm looking forward to actually shooting under sunny skies some day soon.