The Carbine In Context


My AR-15′s and the SU-16C aren’t my “go-to” weapon. It’s not even my secondary weapon, (that’s the Mossberg I have in my safe room), the rifle is my third choice: It’s gun that I would use if I need something more than my CCW gun if I’m outside the house. I’ve taken a really good defensive carbine training class, but I need some defensive shotgun training, as (God forbid), that would be my secondary weapon I’d go to not my AR-15.

Oh, and I need a good class in first aid/trauma. That too. 

BlingBling BangBang

 Robbing a small jewelry store has to be right up there with tugging on Superman’s cape and spitting into the wind. Some people, however, are destined to learn life’s lessons the hard way. 

And sometimes, you get expelled from the school of hard knocks. 

Elgin jewelry store owner shoots burglary suspects

DGCElgin police are investigating a deadly shooting in which a jewelry store owner opened fire on suspected burglars. 

Just before 1:00 a.m., they got a call about shots fired along Highway 290.  They discovered the owner of the Harper’s Jewelry Store, between Ochoa and Main Streets, shot and killed a burglary suspect.

Police say the owner was in a back room when 41-year-old Robert Trevino broke in and tried to break a jewelry case.  That’s when the owner shot him and opened fire on several other people in the parking lot.

Ok, not a big fan of the “opening fire on other people in the parking lot” bit (unless they were shooting as well), but who among us was surprised to learn this? 

Trevino had an extensive criminal record. Police say he was recently implicated in a burglary at the same jewelry store two weeks ago.

I, for one, am shocked, SHOCKED at that news. Thanks to John The Texaner for sending this one in.

Dead Goblin Count: 475 (Linebaugh)

Default Settings.

Once people figure out that you’re a “gun person”, the question will inevitably arise, “Hey, so I was thinking about getting a gun for self-protection: What do you recommend?”

When I got gear questions when I was a photographer, I knew what they were looking for was a quick fix to taking better pictures. The real fix was shooting a lot more film and analyzing their mistakes, but every once in a while I’d talk to someone who knew what they were doing and had reached the limits of what their camera could do. At this point I’d usually recommend a Nikon FM, a 35mm f2 and Tri-X. Because old school. 

So what do I recommend for a pistol? Shockingly, not a CZ. I really love my CZ75 and my P07, but the fact is a double-action trigger is a hard thing to master, and the time and bandwidth needed to reach a level of comfort with such a trigger is better-spent elsewhere for a beginning shooter. Don’t get me wrong, I think double-action triggers are just peachy, it’s just not a place I’d start with a beginning shooter. 

When people ask about a self-defense gun for beginners, unless they talk about a need for concealability or easy shooting, I usually end up recommend the Smith and Wesson M&P series for first-time shooters.


Shocker, I know. 

Ok, why? 

  • I’ve gained a new appreciation for the M&P after owning and shooting my Shield
  • It’s easy to find accessories for
  • It’s an easier transition to other pistols than the Glock
  • It’s striker-fired so there’s only one trigger pull to learn
  • It’s easy to shoot
  • 9mm is (theoretically) common to find

Ok, so was my thinking out of line? What would you recommend?

First Impressions: Kershaw Shuffle Knife

knives_2Advantages: Small size, easy to open 
Disadvantages: Needs some adjustment out of the box 
Rating: 4 Stars Out of 5 

I like to carry a knife in my weak-side pocket so I can get to it with one hand in case my gun hand is otherwise occupied. My criteria for a carry knife is

1. Low-profile clip. I don’t want anything that says “KNIFE!”, as it will truly be an everyday carry knife. 
2. Size. I don’t want a penknife, but I don’t want a big ol’ pigsticker either. 
3. Ease of use. As the point of this knife will be weak-side carry, it should be be easy to get out and easy to open. 
4. Inexpensive. Under $50.

Finding a knife like that is actually quite tough. I had been carry a Boker AK74 auto-opener and it’s worked great, but I wasn’t satisfied with using it every day. It was bigger than I liked, and as you can see from the photo above, it’s getting quite beat up in my pocket. 

Enter the Kershaw Shuffle


The size is sure right, and it’s easy to open with my off hand. It’s comfortable in the hand and holds nicely. The only things I’m noticing about it are that the clip is VERY strong and it’s hard to pull out of my pocket in a hurry. 

Not something you want in a defensive knife. 


The clip is also reversible, something that I *really* like for weak side carry, but the screws that hold it in are tiny little Torx screws that I don’t have a bit for. How I’m going to swap it around, I don’t know. 

Overall, I’m liking the knife, though, and I think the Kershaw Shuffle will be my EDC knife for the foreseeable future.

Two is one, one is none… so what is three?

Thanks to regular contributor Ed for this whopper.

Police: Family shoots, kills burglar breaking into home

DGCOne family member saw an intruder standing at the back door, trying to break into the home. That’s when at least three of the family members reportedly armed themselves.

One of those family members fired a warning shot above the back doors, telling the intruder to leave,

But the Penas tell police that the person continued to try to enter their home. Police say at least two of the family members then opened fire, killing the suspect in the kitchen area. 

I’m not in favor of warning shots, but let’s face it, if one of them goes whizzing past your ear AND YOU KEEP GOING, you shouldn’t be too surprised if, a few seconds later, your insides are introduced to the outside.

Dead Goblin Count: 474 

Technorati blog claim: E2BTEUEEQVR7

How Much Fail Can One Person Have?

Ladies and Gentlemen, behold, the King Kong of Fail

Geronimo Narciso, 37, was drinking with friends inside the compound of Tagumpay Lumber and Construction Supply when he brought out his gun and fired it twice downwards, Senior Inspector Ryan Manongdo, Pangasinan police spokesman, said.

His drinking buddies, Arnel Nacino and Edwin Alcera, asked him to stop firing his homemade gun, Manongdo said.

Narciso heeded their request and was tucking his gun to his waist when it went off, hitting his genitals.
His friends rushed him to Dr. Chan Memorial Hospital in Carmen town but was declared dead on arrival.

Drunk + Homemade gun + Showing said gun off to friends = One very, very painful way to die.

Home Is Where The Lockdown Is


Schools have fire drills.
You have fire drills.
Schools have lockdown drills.

You have… what? 

As part of his first year in Cub Scouts, my first son and I created a home fire drill plan for our house. We sketched out our house and figured out how we were going to get out quickly and safely in case of fire, and then we turned around and created a home invasion response plan focused around our family going to our safe room inside the home rather than leaving the house.

And out of the entire troop, we were the only ones to do do. Our scout troop is smack dab in the middle of a very conservative and gun-friendly area of a conservative and gun-friendly state (which has had more than it’s share of home invasions), and we were the only ones to face the reality that violence was/is a greater possibility than a house fire.

Having a fire drill plan for your home is a great idea, and it’s an accepted part of society that every family should have one. I’ll never know why, then it’s considered “paranoid” to have a plan and the means to deal with physical violence, something that is far more likely to occur.

The most overused word in guns today is…

… “tactical”. 


I’ll admit this conversation has been happening for longer than I’ve been blogging, but as it’s still going on and this Fabebook post has gotten some play on teh internets, I thought I’d chime in. 

One of Webster’s definitions of “tactical” applies very well, I think. 

“of or relating to tactics: as (1) :  of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose (2) :  made or carried out with only a limited or immediate end in view.”

Well, yeah, that sums up armed self-defence quite nicely. If (God forbid) I’m staring down the muzzle of a goblin’s gun, I care little about the socio-economic circumstances that caused he/she to the point where armed robbery was a viable course of action. 

Don’t. Care.

If you’ve decided to threaten my life or my family’s life with violence, the why of how this happened is of no importance to me. I’ll worry about that stuff when it comes time for me to write my monthly check to Streets of Joy, not when faced with violence.

I’m ok with the word “Tactical”, when used to describe the methods need to complete the task at hand (i.e. saving my life). I’m NOT ok with it being used by civilians as the military does, i.e. small unit tactics, i.e. CQB, suppressive fire, calling in airstrikes, all of that. I have no idea how to do that, and more importantly, I don’t WANT to know how to do that sort of thing, because I’m not in the military, and it’s their job to know how to do that stuff, not mine, and the situation is even more complicated by the fact that a copy of the IDPA’s magazine, “The Tactical Journal” is sitting on my kitchen counter as I write this, adding in a third way that “tactical” pops up in the life of an armed citizen.

Hence the problem: The same word (“tactical”) is both appropriate and NOT appropriate to how I protect my family.

So do I use it or not? 

I do, and I don’t worry about it too much. I own two pieces of 5.11 gear (both of them hats) nothing in Multicam and exactly one bag with MOLLE straps. There is furniture in Craig Sawyer’s house that is more “tactical” than I am, but I still frame how I think about defending my loved ones in terms of “tactics”. I’m not a fan of “Operator” training for people not in the military and I definitely not big on confusing military training with competition, but preparing for the possibility of the worst day of my life is a long-term plan for a short-term problem, and that’s tactics. 

So there.

You are not alone.

I really need to to do this

“While *I* had plans, procedures, and safety checks… I hadn’t made her aware of them in enough detail. With her not being a shooter, I had covered a few basics, assured her ability and judgement where safety is concerned, and left it at that.

My mistake, and one rectified as quickly as I arrived home. The noise? Some critter in the night perhaps, but never a threat or bother. She was just being careful. You can be assured… I announced myself before I walked in (g).

What I hadn’t explained well enough to her was this; In my ‘home defense weapon’ plans, every pistol available (without unlocking something complicated) is in the same condition.”

I am guilty of the same thing: My wife can shoot, and shoot well. What she doesn’t know (and solely due to my inaction) is how the home defenses are set up. This is not good, and it will be rectified immediately.