Monday, June 30, 2008

The Best Line of Range Week

This has to be the best line I heard all week at range. During lunch one the the instructors from another department was doing a little in-service training with one of their officers. He was teaching one-hand malfunction drills and in response to the confused look the student gave him regarding how to reload the pistol with one hand he said:

"Wouldn't it be great if someone would invent something you could put your gun in when you didn't want to hold it."

I almost choked on my root beer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Review: Sig Sauer 556 SWAT

Tactical Rifles and Carbines aren't really my cup of tea. It's not that I don't enjoy shooting them, it's just that I don't have much opportunity. So keep in mind that I have a lot less experience to base this review on then the others.

I've been hearing a lot about the Sig 556 online so when I had an opportunity to shoot the gun I was pretty excited. My tactical rifle experience is limited to a little AK-47, a little Colt M4 SBR, and a little H&K MP-5. This was quite different.

First off the gun is heavy compared to the others. You can read all about the technical specs here. This one was designed with SWAT operations involved and for that purpose I think it's to big. They have added an integral light/foregrip that most of the guys hated. I hadn't had as much experience with other types of foregrips so I actually thought it was pretty comfortable.

I think comfortable is the best way to describe the gun. I found that it shot very well, was easy to operate, and was extremely controllable. I could see myself becoming very, very fond of this sucker.

The major problem with the gun, and one that is easily fixed is the sights. The gun was obviously designed to utilize optics and I'll almost bet you that Hans decided in the last second to slap some fixed sights on the gun...just in case. The fixed sights flip up into position and have to be the most useless sights I've seen on a gun. Do yourself a favor and don't even bother with the fixed sights.

So I liked the gun and could find myself falling in love with it over time. It's big and heavy, but I handle that well and with a little set up I know I could have a blast with this thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heller Win

Well the gun grabbers must be writhing in their own filth about now as the SCOTUS has rendered the verdict on Heller v DC. I won't bother to try and cover what so many others have already done, I will link to Dave Hardy's Of Arms & the Law for you to peruse. He does an nice job of commenting first hand on legal gun stuff.

This doesn't go as far as I'd like, but its a win and that's a good thing.

Review: Sig Sauer GSR 1911

Along with the Sig P250 I had the opportunity to shoot the Sig Sauer GSR 1911. In my last post I talked highly of the P250 and Sig Sauer in general. While I am still a big fan of their products I was highly disappointed with this gun.

When Sig made the announcement regarding the GSR 1911 I was very excited. Sig quality in a 1911 package with all of the tactical bells and whistles. I almost went out and bought one sight unseen. Boy am I glad I didn't make that mistake.

Sig got into the 1911 business about the same time as Smith and Wesson. The market was there, the line was available and popular. It just seemed like the perfect fit. Sig currently has a number of 1911 models, but the GSR was the first.

The GSR is a full size 1911 with a 5" barrel and an integral rail system. It is a very pretty gun with all of the tactical accessories required in today's market. So why didn't I like it? First of all the trigger.

This isn't a true custom shop gun, but it's supposed to as close as you can get from the real thing. With that said I would expect a solid trigger, but this one had to be one of the worst I have felt on a 1911 pistol. Just prior to breaking it had a significant catch that ruined the entire trigger pull. Even a novice shooter could feel the sand in this trigger. The other problem was the speed bump.

A speed bump is the protrusion at the base of the beaver tail grip safety and it's designed to give a physical reminder to the shooter of proper grip. I have fired several guns with a speed bump and you usually don't even know they exist. The moment I started doing speed drills and double taps the speed bump started digging into the palm of my hand so forcefully that it left a significant mark for several minutes after shooting. It actually hurt to shoot the gun.
Needless to say I can't recommend the GSR 1911 based on my experience. It may be that the model I fired had some issues that are not found on other examples, but then I'm just being nice. I wont be standing in line for this one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Done Blowed Up

Last week faithful readers will know that I was sequestered a la Dick Cheney in an undisclosed (Las Vegas) location. I missed PVR's anniversary shoot, but managed to make it to the TVR shoot last Saturday that was a much needed diversion from visiting vendors and learning more about the stuff I need to know for work. It is so darned nice not to have a working phone, e-mail or salemen in your face.

The stages were for the most part, lightning fast and Clyde demonstrated that by setting a TVR record of 98 seconds and change for a match. That's a little over 16 seconds per stage! He shot clean and fast and probably wishes he'd done that at EOT.

Myself, I shot well with two misses and Copper and I were pretty much neck and neck the whole day, but I know with the two misses and him being clean, he had me. That was until the last stage of the day when he "Done Blowed Up" and managed to pull out three misses on the biggest targets we'd seen that day. I didn't watch it, but it must have been something to see.

Even shooting well, I didn't make the top ten (11th), you see, there have been some mighty fine shootists that have made a lot of hay at TVR and it certainly makes you work hard for everything you get there. Case in point, I finished second in Gunfighter behind the speed Zwing Hunt and ahead of a usually faster Manatee. I don't usually best Manatee, so I'm happy with that and Zwing is currently in another zip code than I am speed wise, so it would be unrealistic to expect to best him.

TVR's own Dick Cheney (Judge) wasn't able to attend his first shoot as VP as there was a death in the family. It certainly makes you appreciate every chance you get to have the kind of fun we have at the range and I'm hopeful that Judge can make the July shoot to be properly instated as our VP.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Review: Sig Sauer P250

Last week at range I had an opportunity to shoot a number of new weapons. I thought I would take a minute give you all a brief rundown on the good, bad, and ugly. I'm going to start with the Sig Sauer P250.

I am a big fan of Sig Sauer. The Sig Sauer P226 9mm was my first duty gun and I've loved the pistols ever since. When I picked up the compact P250 I wasn't disappointed.

This is a double action only pistol designed to be modular. The serial numbered part can be interchanged with different grips and barrel lengths making for a versatile military or police weapon. One that can be adjusted for different shooters. It is perfect for mass issued sidearms like you have in both organizations. It's Sig's answer to the S&W M&P series.

I'm not a big fan of double action only pistols and when I first pulled the trigger I was not very happy with the length of trigger pull. I was however shocked with just how smooth it was. I felt little or no stacking and the pull was consistent from beginning to end. The gun shot fantastic and at 10 yards I was able to put a full magazine of 16 rounds into a 1.5 inch group.

Follow-up shots weren't as fast as I would like, but that's about right with a DAO pistol. In the end I found the balance and shootability to be outstanding. This is a grade A gun with the only downside being in it's DAO configuration. If you like DAO pistols then I would highly recommend the P250.

For more information you can go here.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I spent this week at the Academy teaching cadets how to shoot. I've done this before, and every year I do it I find new and interesting things. Well, mostly interesting, often frustrating, and sometimes down right discouraging. This year really seemed to try the patience of all of the instructors. I could spend pages and pages going over all of the lapses of concentration, stupidity, safety violations and inattention, but that's not what this post is about.

In the end we managed to qualify 22 out of the 24 students and by Friday their skills had really improved. We all got a lot of thanks from the cadets and it got me thinking about who taught me how to shoot.

I started shooting when I was about 9 or 10. My dad took me out and I started to shoot pistols with him. I went to the police academy and learned more, but none of those people really taught me how to shoot. Sure they showed my the basics, and gave me a few pointers. I went on to read books, watch videos, and even take classes from a variety of instructors, but I never "really" learned how to shoot until I went to Firearms Instructors School. I had the great fortune of being in a lane all by myself on the end of the line with my instructor Jim Baugh.

In 5 days I learned more about shooting then I had in 30 years. He changed my grip, my stance, and they way I looked at the target. In the end I walked away with about 50 years of shooting experience, and to this day most of what I teach the new kids is exactly what Jim taught me. Unfortunately, Jim died in the line of duty of couple of years ago. So I started this post to say thanks Jim for everything you taught me and I hope it makes you smile to realize that I'm taking all that knowledge you passed on to me and sending it down the line.

For the few of you that happen to read this blog take a minute to say thanks of your own to the person who taught you how to shoot, and when you get a chance, pass it on.

Friday, June 13, 2008

National Park Carry

This CNN article is a fair piece on the movement to bring state conceal carry laws into national parks, but the reporter blows most of his credibility in the first two sentences.
I'm at the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Virginia, the biggest gun store in northern Virginia. I'm looking at a holster on the hip of Arsenal's John Summer in which a black .22-caliber Glock pistol sits snugly.
Now I really don't want to bust this guy's balls too much as he's written a piece that isn't anti-gun and that's encouraging. But I sure wish they'd learn to tell the difference between model number and caliber. The law proposed is a good one as it essentially restores our right in Federally run property, so long as the encompassing state allows it.

In other news, I'm in Las Vegas and I'm gonna miss the PVR annual shoot, work sucks.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

CNC Gunsmithing is taking do-it-yourself to a new level. It amazes me what can be done with a CNC machine, modeling program and gumption, I guess this is legal as long as he doesn't sell any of the firearms he makes. It sure makes anything I've done look like a sand castle next to Windsor.