Pink Is The New Flat Dark Earth

jaci shooting a pink arMy Team co-blogger Jaci J. has some words of wisdom for her fellow female firearms enthusiasts: If you like your pink guns, you should keep your pink guns. 

Personally, I think a AR with the Black Watch tartan on it would be REALLY cool, but that’s just my inner Scotsman talkin’…

Go check out her story at Shooting

Can You Buy A Bad Gun?

bad-gunOn the Gun Show podcast this week, there was an interesting statement made about today’s guns to the effect that you can’t go into a gun store these days and buy a bad gun.

This got me thinking, can you?

I’m not talking about Lorcins or Jennings or HiPoints, I’m talking about Taurus, Glock, Kimbers or even Para-Ordance.

The fact is, as I’ve said before, we are in a golden age of handguns. The days when you bought a gun and then immediately sent it to a gunsmith to make it reliable are gone, even for the low-end brands.

Why gun store websites stink.


The reasons why I go to the neighborhood gun shop and not the big-box “outdoors” stores are twofold: I like and trust the people behind the counter at the neighborhood shop, and the prices at the small shops are competitive with the big guys. Therefore, for me, there’s no reason to wait in line to have someone who was working in fly rods last week try to sell me a gun.

Unfortunately, that charm and counter-side manner is pretty much AWOL on most local gun shop websites. 

Most (if not all) small gun stores either build a poorly-designed site filled with animated gifs of eagles wearing tricorner hats clutching the Constitution (or something equally hokey and amateurish) or they go with a templated site like Gallery of Guns, Outdoor Business Network or National Firearms Dealer Network and lose their charm altogether. 

One way, the gun shop looks like they’re clueless newbies and/or clueless hicks. The other way, they look like every single other gun store out there and have no way to show people why they’re different. 

No matter which direction a shop chooses, all that time and effort into building up a good reputation for in-person customer service and product knowledge goes right out the window when people look up their stores online. There is simply no reason to buy online from most gun shop stores because their sites are either all “personality” with no professionalism or a slick professional template with all the warmth and charm of a proctologist’s examination table. 

Part of the problem is because owning a gun store is kinda like owning a shoe store, but with a LOT more paperwork. If you lose track of a pair of shoes, you lose some profits. If you lose track of a gun, you’re probably out of business. 

So what would a good gun store website look like? 

We’ll talk about that tomorrow. 

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.

Why I don’t watch (most) hunting shows.

Here’s 90% of most of the hunting shows on TV in one paragraph: 

“Hi, here’s the sponsor’s product. Watch me as I go to someplace you’ll never go and shoot something you’ll never shoot with the sponsor’s product. Oh, and I’m not going to let you learn anything from what I did other than the sponsor is cool and I’m cool and you’re not. See you next week.”

It always amazes me that every single hunting show on TV assumes that a) I know how to stalk b) I know how to skin and prep a kill c) all my friends know how to do this as well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There are more organizations devoted to getting women introduced to the shooting sports than there are getting men who’ve never hunted into hunting. What would be perfect for urban professionals like me is something like this, but with testosterone, not estrogen.

That lack of backfilling men into hunting is going to hurt hunting in the long-term. Hunting organizations LOVE to talk about the “father to son tradition of generations of hunters”, but I can’t pass on the tradition of hunting to my sons if I don’t hunt myself.

Ok, hunting organizations, your move. 

More about double action triggers

Last weekend after we taped another gunsafe versus nightstand test, my Teamgunblogger co-bloggers and I wasted some ammo practiced with a variety of guns by shooting at a couple of plate racks. 

Honestly, if I had one and only one target to shoot at for the rest of my life, it would be a plate rack, because it offers a chance to work on speed, precision and transitions with every shot. We shot at the racks with a bunch of different guns, including a stock LC9, my quasi-tricked out Shield and Robert’s über-schweet XD-M.

LC9 and XD-M

Something happened that I found very interesting: Jaci and Robert are both excellent shots and beat me like a rented mule in shooting competitions as of late, but when it came to clearing a plate rack with the less-than-optimal trigger on the LC9, I beat them, (and handily too, I might add…). Why? I think it was due to the fact that I was used to the long double-action trigger pull because I shot CZ’s and they weren’t. Shooting a DA/SA gun on a regular basis has made me a better shot with guns that I don’t normally shoot. 

Now there is nothing wrong with tweaking your striker-fired gun down to less than a four pound pull, and heaven knows the trigger on a 1911 is one of the Eight Wonders Of The Gun World, but spending a lot of time shooting guns set up for optimal performance put my co-bloggers at a disadvantage when it came time to shoot a sub-optimal gun. They’ll still beat me in the next competition we shoot (like they always do…), but it’s nice to know that I have a few tricks up my sleeve for when I really need them. 

Five Guns I Will Own

Rmr 30 Carbine

Kinda like this, but without the goatee.

  1. A good left-handed bolt gun that will reach out to 1000 yards. 
    Need this. Badly. 
  2. A 1911 in .45 ACP.
    Because America. 
  3. A pistol-caliber carbine.
    They’ve been a thing with me for years. Time to get one.
  4. A Kel-Tec RMR-30. 
    I’ve loved this gun ever since I picked it up at SHOT 2 years ago.
  5. A good over-under shotgun.
    I don’t have anything for clays or and of the shotgun sports. Time to change that. 

Ok, what’s on your future purchase list?