Some thoughts on how a culture of marksmanship can lead to a better, safer police force for everyone over at Ricochet.com.
When black Friday comes, I’m gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it ’til I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me, the Archbishop’s gonna sanctify me
And if he don’t come across I’m gonna let it roll
I’ve got some thoughts on some Christmas presents for the gun nut in your life that don’t require to you to list out your loved one’s favorite calibers and ammo loads over at Ricochet.com.
I am not morally opposed to so-called “smart guns”: Technology marches on, and let’s face it, electronics WILL become a part of a gun some time in the future, more so than the red dot sights we have today. We have anti-lock brakes and traction control and active shifters in our cars and our cars are faster and safer than ever before, so it makes sense that integrating electronics into our guns will help keep us safer as well.
But that day is not today, nor tomorrow. Not when the best smart gun out there is a jam-o-matic. Let the military and the police test “smart guns” for thirty years, then (and only then) pass it on down, unaltered, (that means NO “kill switches”) to civilians. Please don’t ask me to take chances with the lives of my loved ones if other first responders won’t take that same chance on an unproven technology. It took thirty years for AR-15’s to go from military issue to America’s #1 rifle, so let’s allow the military to work out the bugs in smart guns and then we’ll see if they work for civilians as well.
Thinking more about last week’s article for Bearing Arms, everything about hunting is about getting past the gatekeepers. You need your safety class, then your tags, then you need to find someplace to hunt or someone to show you where to hunt. There are checkpoints along the way to make sure you’re the “right type of person” to hunt, and even then, you may not get a chance to hunt if you don’t have the right connections.
In other words, “May Issue” concealed carry.
Practical shooting, though, is different. If you have something even close to the right gear for the match and have a basic understanding of gun safety, you shoot. You may have to go through a safety briefing and have a more experienced shooter guide you through the match, but if you show up, you shoot.
Which path leads to growth? Well, that one’s not hard to figure out.
The Mosin-Nagant rifle. The ballistic equivalent of kudzu.
My first article for BearingArms.com is up, on how it’s much easier to get into practical shooting than it is hunting. If hunting wants to grow, it needs to be as easy to join as it is for me to walk onto a stage as a newbie and shoot a match.
It’s rather rare to have more than two shooters with the same Classification/Division on any given squad, making man-to-man comparisons pretty much impossible.
Maybe that’s another reason why practical shooting sucks to watch in person. Yes, there are Super Squads stuffed to the gills with people at the top of the game, but even within the Super Squad, you’ll have Production shooters and Open Shooters and Limited Shooters and even a few freaks shooting wheel guns, so when that squad runs through a stage, at best you’ll have three runs that can be directly compared to each other, and those runs will probably be interspersed between the other ten or so people on the squad, killing the tension and suspense.
Watching, say, Max vs. Chris Tilley vs. KC compete in Open is exciting. Watching Max shoot Open, then Jerry shoot Revolver and Rob shoot Single Stack and Chris Tilley shoot Open and Nils shoot Limited and Phil shoot Limited and THEN AND ONLY THEN watch KC shoot in Open is whole lot less so.
So it looks to be a G19-sized version of the P07, with replaceable backstraps and the Omega Trigger.
Now shrink it by 2/3rds again, CZ, top out the mags at 8 rounds (or 8+1), and you’d have the only gun in the G43/Shield/LC9 category with a DA/SA action. All it would take to sell them is one pull of the trigger compared to the nightmare that is the stock Shield/LC9 trigger.
Ambidextrous Mag Release
Advantages: Small size, powerful output, common battery type
Disadvantages: Confusing controls
Rating: Four out of five stars.
Ambidextrous Bolt Release
Advantages: I never knew how much I needed one until I got one
Disadvantages: Ummn, none.
Rating: Five out of five stars
I was part of the staff of a 3 Gun match before I ever shot a match. Thanks to my home range being the home of the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun, I got to see what 3 Gun was like when all I owned was my CZ, a .22 revolver, a 20ga 870 and a sporterized M1903. Also, I’m cross-eye dominant, so I shoot pistols right-handed but shoot long guns left-handed. I bought a Mossberg 930 SPX (not the JM Pro version, which wasn’t available at the time) because the receiver-mounted safety on that gun is easy to use with the left handd, but the rifle, however, was another matter. AR-15’s are the rifle of choice in 3 Gun, and it took some time for me to figure out what works best for how I shoot.
First off was an ambidextrous safety selector, something that I consider a “must have” for anyone who shoots an AR-15 left-handed, as it allows me to easily toggle the safety without altering my grip on the rifle. Next was an ambidextrous charging handle to allow me to work the action with my left hand and not change my grip on the gun, and an oversized mag well for faster and easier reloads.
This system worked well for me for a few years, but I recently added a Troy Industries ambidextrous mag release and bolt release, and they’ve proven to be very useful as well. The magazine release is a no-brainer: Having to bring up my right (support) hand to hit the mag release button in order to drop an empty magazine was costing me a few precious seconds and the ambi mag catch eliminates that extra time. At first, I didn’t see a big need for the ambidextrous bolt release because I can easily hit the bolt catch with my left-hand index finger during a reload. Where the Troy release really shines, however, is after the stage is over and I need to unload and show clear. Locking the bolt open left-handed to show the Range Officer that my gun is empty is a breeze now with the new release, and I’m now considering adding to my other AR’s as well.
I’m very happy with both the upgrades and will be adding them to all my AR’s in the near future. If you shoot left-handed, these are definitely “must have” items for your AR’s.