Just the essentials

I’m hopelessly addicted to Tiny House Nation. I’m not necessarily going to downsize to 300 square feet (yet), but I love a good hack, and the houses they build on that show  are chock full of space-saving, problem-solving goodness because of their small size.

Which got me thinking: Eight guns are the minimum for a well-rounded shooter, but what if there’s not enough space for even that? What is the absolute minimum amount of guns that I might need to protect myself and my loved ones and participate in my shooting sports of choice?

  • A full-size 9mm pistol.
    It all begins with this. I’d pair it with an OWB holster so that I can shoot IDPA or USPSA with it as well as carry it concealed under a cover garment during the day. For added fun (and to save money), I’d make sure whatever I bought was capable of switching over to .22 without much fuss and bother.
  • A 16″ AR-15 in .223.
    Add on a free-floating barrel, collapsable stock and a 1-4x scope, and you’ve got something to defend the home, take to the range or shoot 3 gun. If I want to save money, I can just drop in a CMMG adapter and blast away with .22LR ammo, and if I want to go after deer or need more thump, there’s .300BLK available if I don’t mind storing an extra barrel and BCG around somewheres. Speaking of 3 Gun and extra barrels…
  • A 12ga semi-auto shotgun.
    Set up for 3 Gun with an 8+1 magazine tube, I can easily swap the barrel and tube if I want to blast one of God’s creatures out of the heavens.
  • A pocket .380.
    For those days when concealing a full-size gun is just not possible.

All of that easily fits into a Plano Two-Rifle case, and that, along with a half-dozen mags for the rifle and pistols, 1000 rounds of 9mm, 500 rounds of .223 and a bunch of shotgun ammo should easily fit into the space underneath the average couch.

Maybe we don’t need all that gear after all.

Batten the hatches.

There is a very good chance that the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will want to ban something or stop the sale of something else because of this incident:

An active shooter has been reported at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Virginia, according to multiple local media outlets.

Video from the scene appeared to show a WDBU media crew being attacked in the midst of a live report. The station confirmed the shooting involved one of its crews, and two people are dead.

May God comfort the family and friends of the innocent victims of this crazy person, and may justice be swift and sure for their killer.

The body goes where the brain leads

The American Warrior Show is rapidly turning into one of my favorite podcasts. Mike’s stuff tends a little bit more to the tactical side of the equation than where I currently reside, but his interview with Rob Leatham is absolutely a “must listen” to anyone who wants to shoot a pistol fast and accurately, and Mike follows that up with an interview with Joel Jameson on conditioning and exercise for fighting versus other sports.

Money quote:

“If you’re talking about the average person who is just trying to prepare for a combat situation, they don’t need 15 hours a week of fitness training for that. They need a lot more skills training and tactical training as opposed to getting the fitness side of things because a lot of that stuff is the brain becoming accustomed to the environment you’re in. You work out, you do intervals and then you get on the mat and roll for 3 minutes and you feel like you’re out of shape. A lot of that is because your brain is not used to the environment and doesn’t know how to handle the stressful situation.”

There’s a lot of truth there. I used to be WIPED after a four stage match, but know it’s no big deal, but know I find I’m more relaxed and more focused after I shoot a stage.

And yeah, I gotta get to the gym and get in some sort of shape that isn’t round and pear-shaped.

My AR, my choice.

  1. Guns are becoming lifestyle items.
    The same decision inputs that affect the cars we drive and the electronics we own are working their way into the decision-making process we use when we buy a gun.
  2. The AR-15 market is supersaturated.
    Just about everyone who wanted to buy an AR over the course of the last eight years has already done so.
  3. AR-15 demand is shifting.
    It’s now not enough to just have an AR, the question now is, what can I do to make my AR stand out from the rest? Over the last year, I could not give away a Bushmaster or a lower, but LWRC’s and POF’s still sold well, and things like the Ruger Takedown are just another way to produce a product that stands out from the black rifle crowd.

So naturally, if you’re not going to distinguish your rifle by function (or at least the perception of function, which is the same thing in the civilian market) or features, you do it by form, and that’s just what Cobalt Kinetics has done.


Holy cow, that is a sexy-looking gun. Does it shoot better than any other high-end DI gun out there? Probably not, and I’m not seeing the advantage of a dual forward-assist either, but DANG, does that look good. It’s not something I’d take with me on trip to Kandahar, but I would show it off at a 3 Gun match.

Link via Grant Cunnigham.

The premise is wrong, therefore, the conclusions are wrong.

For the record, I like The Gunmart blog. I’ve linked to them in the past, and I’ll continue to link to them in the future.

However, this question completely misses the point of open carry:

“The exit question here is, Is open carry really a deterrent?”

No, of course not. Open carry is no more of a deterrent to crime than having a cop cruise around a neighborhood once a week. Good policing requires the police to be involved in their community, and good gun ownership requires gun owners to be good citizens first, gun owners second.

The point of open carry is that it turns the bearing of arms a normal thing, period full stop. If you want good gun laws, get good people carrying guns out into the public eye. Do you think that fact that Arizona has had the best gun laws in the country for two years running might, just might, have something to do with the fact that open carry has been legal in the state since before it was even a state?

Me too.

Open carry is not a deterrent to crime, because if you’re in a neighborhood where you need to open-carry to stop a criminal, buddy, are you ever in the wrong neighborhood. Rather, open carry is a way to show normal people (not criminals) that guns are not bad, because nice people carry guns. If you act badly with carrying a gun, expect people to think that guns are bad, because the people who have them are arrogant pr!cks and might do something bad with a gun.

The Unorganized Militia Strikes Again.

The more we learn about this latest outbreak of Sudden Jihadi Syndrome in France, the worse it gets for the authorities, and more for having a dispersed response to a dispersed threat.

“Train staff on board the high speed train which was the scene of a suspected Islamic extremist attack yesterday have been accused of barricading themselves in their staffroom and locking the door, leaving passengers to fend for themselves.”

Which, fortunately, they did, thanks to some off-duty U.S. servicemen.

US airman Spencer Stone, who on board the train during the attack, spotted the 26-year-old Moroccan acting suspiciously and heard him trying to load his weapon in the toilet.

He was travelling with Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was on leave and travelling through Europe at the time after returning from a tour in Afghanistan.

With the help of their friend Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, and fellow passenger British IT consultant Chris Norman, they managed to wrestle the attacker to the ground, stopping what could have been a deadly terrorist attack.

A U.S. airman spotted someone acting suspiciously and heard him load up an AK in the bathroom, then clobbered him as him tried to shoot up a train.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is the very definition of how situational awareness should work. Kudos to Airman Spencer and all involved, and may the train staff who ran and hid be ridiculed for the cowards they are.

Between this incident and the incident in Philly, conditioning and weapons retention training have now zoomed to the top of training priorities.

Ninjas vs. Spartans.

No, this isn’t about some game app for your phone, but rather about two popular athletic events.

The Spartan Race is a variant of the “tough mudder” obstacle course / marathon competition that’s become popular as of late. It’s not easy (far from it!) and that difficulty is what makes it so popular, with big-time sponsors, a TV series and races on three continents. How they can call it “The Spartan Race” and not have the contestants lop off the heads of a few Helots along the way, I don’t know.

I digress.

American Ninja Warrior is also a very tough obstacle course, but it’s shorter and is more focused on acrobatics and gymnastics rather than endurance and mud. It also has big-time sponsors and a tv show, and unlike the Spartan Race, I’m absolutely hooked on watching on TV, as are my wife and sons.


  1. It’s better TV.
    All the excitement of the contest happens over the space of 7-8 minutes, not a 2 hour run. If I wanted to watch a mini-series, I’ll re-watch “Band of Brothers” on Netflix.
  2. It’s better to watch in-person.
    I’ve not been to a taping of American Ninja Warrior nor have I ran a tough mudder, but all the action in ANW happens right there in front of you, making for boisterous crowds and a party atmosphere, and what’s good to watch in-person is, by definition, good to watch on TV.*
  3. The obstacles match an urban audience.
    Running around over hill and dale is fun, (and heaven knows I did a bunch of it my younger days), but it’s not really relevant to today’s youth who are more into parkour and rock gyms than they are marathons and farm life.

Here’s the fact of the matter: Practical shooting, as it stands now, is the Spartan Race: The people who watch it and benefit from it tend to be the people who participate in the sport. If it’s going to grow, it needs to become American Ninja Warrior, and draw in fans who don’t have a rock-climbing wall in their basement.

* Think about it: There’s a reason why so many musicians do so well selling recordings of their live performances, even though their fans can listen to the songs as performed in the studio on  the non-live albums. Excitement and fans = $$$. The Grateful Dead figured this out DECADES ago. Why hasn’t practical shooting caught up with what those hippies learned back in the 60’s?