Reloads from Dad

reloads - hollowpoints

Look what I got today. Every once in awhile Dad will send me some reloads. No, he didn’t mail or ship them. We have this mutual arrangement. I give him spent brass (of many types). He gives me some reloaded rounds. Today’s batch are .40 S&W hollow points. Thanks Dad.

Toys and Play: Training for Life?

cap gun

I enjoy watching my daughter play. Some of the things she plays with are Barbies, Legos, Polly Pockets, stuffed animals, board games and various electronic gadgets.

After observing her, it has occurred to me on several occasions that play is training for the future. A little girl might play with dolls to learn about caring for younger children, or a toy chainsaw to learn how to cut down an evergreen. A little boy might play with blocks to learn how to build, or a toy car to understand how to drive. Think about even a kitten or puppy with a ball. They are learning how to catch prey.

As adults, we still play. Our toys are just bigger (and usually more expensive). We will pay big money to escape our normal life and just play for a little while.

When I was a boy, I played with toys like Star Wars, G I Joes, Blocks, Hot Wheels, and airplanes. I also loved playing with guns. Cap guns, dart guns (foam), and just plain inanimate plastic guns.

If a manufactured toy gun was not available, my brother and I would make a gun out of anything that resembled the shape. A mini war could break out at any time, at any place.

I see now that the toy guns that I had when I was a boy helped start to train me for being a responsible gun owner now. All the “war” games we had back then prepared me with a different mindset than someone who never touched a toy gun. Firearms are not terrible, fearful objects, but tools that are to be respected and used wisely. In the sporting context, they are meant to even be…..well, fun.

Even the military calls some of their training “war games”. They spend millions (if not billions) to play at battle. It may feel like fun to them, but it is actually training.

With all this in mind, I’m glad my parents encouraged me to “train” with toy guns. Some would now categorize their parenting in this area as criminal. I’m glad I wasn’t completely walled off from all that had to do with anything remotely violent. I’m glad they bought me a cap gun.

This Would Have Been a Bullet Hole: Why Talk Doesn’t Work

airsoft injury

Ok, so this one goes back to my first CCW class. We were working through airsoft scenario training, which I highly recommend. Each scenario was different. The good guy was told to go into another room while the rest of the class set up the situation in the “live fire” area.

One of the most important rules for the scenarios is that the bad guy couldn’t shoot the good guy until they see (said good guy) pull their gun. Hope that makes sense.

I was the concealed carry person, and didn’t know who the bad guy or guys were. I didn’t know what I was walking into until the instructor gave a brief description and then told us to “go”.

This particular situation was outside around 2 picnic tables. I was told to sit down at one table, and 3 others were sitting at the other table. There were also about 5 people milling around, talking in front of me about 20 feet away. The instructor told me that I was at a college campus, studying, and…. “Scenario on.” Ok, here we go.

While I was “studying” at the picnic table, quite alertly I might add, two of the people that were standing got into a fight. People were yelling, but no immediate threat of serious injury or death, so I played it cool, and just continued to sit there.

Then one of the guys at the other picnic table pulled a gun, and started yelling, and pointed his gun at the two who were fighting. BINGO.

Instead of immediately pulling my concealed weapon (and triggering a shootout), I stood up and quickly positioned myself 6 feet directly behind the shooter then pulled my gun and aimed it at his back. I had him, at point blank range.

But here is where I made a DEADLY mistake. I must have seen too many cop shows, or something. I yelled, “Put the gun down!” It may seem like I did the civilized thing, but what happened after that shows that it was just stupid.

What I didn’t know was the instructor told the bad guy not to let me take his gun. When I told him to “put the gun down”, he simply froze, gun in his raised hands. After I repeated the command four or five times, he sat down at the table and laid the gun down right beside him. inches from his raised hand. Now what do I do? Everyone in the class was watching, and my coolness factor was evaporating by the second.

I told him to move away from the gun (several times), and he did not budge. Shooting a man in the back with no weapon in his hand didn’t seem completely justified, so I decided I would have to move to take the gun. DOUBLY DEADLY mistake.

I moved from my perfectly advantageous spot behind the bad guy to his right (shooter side) toward the gun. Lunged in to swat the gun away, and……. No brainer here. He quickly reached for the gun. I fired, he fired, we were both dead. Plus, at 3 feet away, airsoft BB’s cut skin (see the above picture). That would have been a bullet hole.

I learned a lot from that scenario. With the man pointing a gun at other people, It would have been legally justifiable for me to fire right into the kill zone painted on his back. I had the advantage of surprise. There was no need to speak a word.

Instead, I tried to be the big hero. Attempting to disarm the suspect got me killed. That opponent (who already had his weapon out) changed the outcome in a split second by simply picking up his gun and blasting away. Never again. There is a reason why we carry concealed. Don’t break cover until you are legally justified, and ready to pull the trigger to kill.

Bushnell TRS-25 Micro Dot: Best Cheap Reflex Sight

trs-25

After getting my AR-15, I had been looking for an optic to mount on the top. I wanted a reflex sight that didn’t break the bank. I like Eotechs, but the funds weren’t exactly there.

To say I did some research before buying is an understatement. We are talking days here.

What kept coming up were the favorable reviews and word of mouth about the Bushnell TRS-25. It was said to be reliable, durable, had a long battery life, and was inexpensive, below $100.

I paid attention to the  reviews on Amazon (over 1500) that rated it at 4.4 out of 5. I also appreciate the review Luke at Triangle Tactical wrote for the sight. That is actually what finally sold me.

Once I made the purchase, everything I found in my research  turned out to be right on. The TRS-25 isn’t the best red dot on the market, but I would argue that it might be the best one out there for under $100.

The name says it all. The inside of the tube is 25 mm in diameter. This may be a little small if only using the dominant eye, but I actually bought it to use with both eyes open. Keeping the weak eye open while acquiring the target really opens up your field of view. Don’t worry, the dominant eye still takes over.

There is no magnification. Once you start looking for that, the price shoots up a good bit.

It uses a CR2032 battery (size of a quarter), and has not shown any signs of dimming in the 6 months I’ve had it. Supposedly it can keep going for a year left on at about half power. We’ll see about that.

There are 11 power settings that are controlled by twisting the larger dial on the upper side of the tube. This obviously changes the brightness settings. “0” is off.

I personally think 11 choices are a bit much, and would probably have gone with half that many, but it is nice on the upper power settings to be able to keep going and be right back at the off position.

As far as the brightness, 10 is about right for me outside on a sunny day. 3 works great inside, and one is perfect at night.

If you want to cowitness with your iron sights, you’ll need a medium riser. This means that if the scope goes out, you can flip your backup sights up and look right through the tube, ready to go. In fact the little red dot lines up perfectly through the middle of my peep sight, and sits right on the top of the front post.

I went with a cheap $10 medium riser from UTG. Despite the bad rap this riser has gotten in some reviews, I’ve had no trouble with it whatsoever. To the credit of both the riser and scope, I have accidentally beaten it against walls, and the dot stays zeroed.

Speaking of zeroing, it was quite easy. The elevation and windage caps unscrew and allow you to use a screwdriver or coin to adjust. the clicks were identifiable, but not too tight for me. In fact the red dot wasn’t too far out of zero right out of the box.

The front lens is a reflective orange color, and there is a slight green tinge looking through from the back, but that hasn’t bothered me at all.

About the only thing that I have to complain about is the Bikini lens covers. I either have to pull them down around the base, or put them in a pocket. I don’t like either option. I mostly go the pocket route.

For the price, I would highly recommend this little red dot. It’s no Eotech, or Aimpoint, but neither is it $500, or more. If you are looking for a cheap, but reliable alternative, buy the Bushnell TRS-25.

Single Stack 9mm Glock, Model 43, Finally

glock 43

Last year, the Glock 42 was unveiled with much fanfare. I made the case why the pistol in .380 auto was ok for concealed carry purposes. But that a single stack 9mm similar in size to the 42 would be even better. I whined and complained about how Glock needs to listen to the people and get ‘er done. I mean, every glock lovin’ CCW holder I know says the same thing,”If Glock ever came out with a single stack 9mm, I’d buy it.” Well, they finally listened. Enter the Glock 43.

The 43 has almost the same dimensions as it’s smaller (but older) brother. It’s only an inch wide, which is one of my biggest requirements for carrying concealed. The 43 has the same simple, yet dependable features as all the other Glocks. Same trigger, sights, disassembly, magazine release, etc……

Also, because of the fine tuning of the spring, the pistol has been rumored to have a little bit softer perceived recoil than the average 9mm its size.

Glock says that the 43 is its biggest release to date. Considering the history of this gun-making giant, that’s a huge statement. Maybe they’re right.

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