I was listening to some older episodes of Handgun Radio, and got to episode 121, where they were talking about the “Ring of Fire” guns and other “Saturday Night Specials. It got me thinking.
I know there was a time when .32acp, .25acp, and other calibers that are now considered woefully under powered rounds for self-defense were popular. Especially in pocket guns that were primarily bought for that purpose.
I’m curious if the trend to thinking that they were under-powered, and therefor mostly useless (except for the .22, which fell into the “cheap target shooting round” duty) relates to the passage of the GCA of ’68 and the introduction of the import point system largely aimed at killing those small pocket pistols. I will readily admit that I have done zero research to back up this hypotheses, but I could easily see gun owners creating the mindset of “well, those stupid little mouse guns are useless, anyways,” when the majority of the supply in the US was cut off. Could be similar to the fairly common statements of “machine guns are only useful for burning through a lot of ammo fast and not hitting anything” that is around today.
Not saying that I’ll be trading in my 9mm carry guns in for ones in .25acp anytime soon. There’s no doubt that 9mm, .45acp, or whatever your common carry gun round of choice is (yes, even the .380) does more damage to the bad guy than the little .25acp. Just one of those random thoughts.
Presented without comment–the current CNN front page:
For the past couple years, I’ve taught a self defense class at a summer camp at a local university. It’s one of those academic camps that could be considered “summer school for smart kids.”
As I was getting ready for class last week, one of the other instructors (I believe he was teaching iPhone photography) was sitting in a chair outside his classroom waiting for the door to be unlocked. He casually asked me “so, does that stuff work as well as a gun at a distance?” (as he makes “chop socky” moves with his hands) I returned admitting that I have yet to figure out how to throw a rock at 1200fps. We ended up talking about the prices of ammo, and lamenting that the days of truly cheap .22 are behind us. I was kind of hoping that that would be the end of it.
Sadly, this week, he continued to make comments about it. At one point, he basically straight up stated that he didn’t need to know anything, because he had a gun. I asked him how confident he was in deploying the gun if the bad guy was already a foot or two away, or if the bad guy had already grabbed him. He didn’t really have a good answer for that. I also pointed out that we were currently on a college campus in TN, where carrying a gun is a felony. Again, no good answer.
I’ve run into this attitude before, and it always annoys the heck out of me. Just as there are anti-gunners that treat guns as a magical talisman of death, there are gun owners out there that treat their carry piece as a magical talisman of protection. Sorry, but it’s just a tool. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a rather good tool, but it should be one among many in your tool bag.
If you carry a gun for protection, I would recommend adding some form of open hand defense to your training. There are martial arts that don’t require you to be in excellent shape. In fact, the ones that are probably the most immediately practical for self defense typically don’t involve a lot of running/jumping/etc. And if you don’t, that’s your option, but don’t scoff at those of us that do. Honestly, it’s up there with those that scoff at you for being paranoid and wanting to carry a gun.
That reminds me… it’s been too long since I’ve been to a gun class.
A few days back, I met up with some friends at the range. Fun was had by all. His girlfriend was taking the second half of her carry class (the range session), and we decided to hang around until she finished and get some dinner.
We decided to hit an Italian place in the Vandy area. Naienko (my wife) decided to join us, but was at home and had to catch up with us. Of course, she was at home, and it would take her a little longer to get there. We went ahead and grabbed a table, and let the guy at the host station know that we were waiting on a 4th person.
When Naienko showed up, she asked the host if he knew where we were. She started to try to describe us, and the host asked her “did one of them have a gun?” (one of us was open carrying) She started to say “oh, they probably all do,” but managed a “yes” instead.
For those that don’t know the area, the neighborhood around Vanderbilt University is one of, if not the, most liberal areas of a pretty liberal town.
There were no shrieks of terror.
At least one of us was positively identified as carrying.
We ate our dinner in peace.
During a serious discussion with my wife about guns (she’s not anti, but she’s not one of us), she made the comment that she thought it was funny that the Black Lives Matter folks tend to also be the ones currently screaming for us to ban guns. After all, they don’t trust the police, because they’re racist, but the only folks that should have guns are the cops.
I swear I did not prompt her on this point in any way.
Was right after reading this. Sebastian is absolutely right when he says “American gun owners are sick to death of having this shit pinned on us, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
Good job, media.
*I show off one of my latest knife purchase*
“Damn, Oddball. How many knives do you need?”
“How many magazine do you need?”
“… good answer.”
While my mind is currently focused on heading to Louisville for NRAAM, I figured I’d throw up this quick post.
A little while ago, a buddy of mine asked me what my top 3 gun wish list was at current date. I couldn’t really answer him at the time, but it’s been peculating in the back of my head. So… here’s my attempt to answer that.
- a “modern” centerfire bolt-action. Oddly enough, I don’t have a bolt action rifle that’s not in .22 that was built in my lifetime. While I enjoy my Mosin Nagant m39 and my Ishy Enfield is great for a milsurp bolt gun, I do want to eventually do things like the Boomer Shoot. That pretty much requires a modern bolt gun with a good scope on it. The Remington 700 used to be the default for this, but I’ve been steering clear of them due to their current QC issues. Maybe a Savage Axis II? Or even that new Ruger Precision Rifle? Then there’s the question of caliber. .308 would be good, due to it being something I already keep in stock, but I’m not averse to arguments for other calibers. Especially since, from what I’ve read, .308 is kind of on the bottom end of recommended calibers for the kinds of distances you see at the Boomer Shoot.
- a snub nose revolver. Like the #1 pick, this is to fill a hole in my collection. Thinking a S&W in either .38 or .357 just to keep control commonality with my Model13.
- 12ga coach gun. There’s just something about a double barreled 12ga that hits my giggle button. And grabbing a shorter barreled one just hits it that much more. Of course, if I ever thought I could justify the cost, Chiappa’s Triple Threat would be awesome. If 2 barrels is good, 3 is better… right?
So… what do you think? Honestly, #3 was difficult to choose. I still need to get into black powder at some point, and a replica navy revolver kit would be damn nifty. As would one of those “build your own Kentucky rifle” kits. I think I’ve got the pocket gun bug out of my system… for a while… all those NAA Guardians make me giggle… There are other guns that I would happily take if handed to me (a Barrett .50cal, for example), but I tried to limit this to ones I could actually see buying. Anyways, this is just the top 3. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t more. 🙂
So, what’s on your list?
Last weekend, I packed up my gear and headed to Oak Ridge for the first East Tennessee Bloggershoot hosted by Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks. For those that have never been, it’s a beautify part of the country, and I highly recommend visiting. Especially if you can manage to get a tour of the national labs that were involved in the Manhattan Project and are currently home to the second most powerful supercomputer in the world.
I started the weekend arriving at Dragon Leatherworks store, where I picked up a new purchase for me (a Sig p290rs, watch for a review in the near future). It’s a nice shop with a pretty good selection of firearms and some absolutely beautiful holsters. Of course, if they don’t have it in stock, Dennis is happy to order it for you. The Jack was already there, and we chatted while Dennis manned the shop for the last couple hours of the business day.
After that, we headed to Dennis’ place for burgers and met up with John Richardson and his wife. Erin Palette was supposed to join us for dinner, but due to some serious traffic issues, didn’t roll in until close to midnight. Oleg, being the crazy man that he is, decided to get up at the crack of dawn, and make the drive in Saturday morning. He also had a young shooter and his family in tow.
Saturday morning came, and we loaded up and headed to the range. Unfortunately, it rained during a good portion of the day. That said, one of the pistol ranges and the rifle range had cover over the shooting line, so we just shot from under those. The rifle range had steel targets set a various distances out to, I think, 175yards. For a guy that is normally relegated to punching paper, it was great fun to hear the ring of steel and see the target swing on every hit.
I mentioned rain, right?
Unfortunately, due to the rain, this was pretty much the only good picture I got of the shooty goodness. We had a pretty good representation of old battle rifles, Erin brought her “Sleep of Reason” Mosin Nagant, which is now sporting an Archangel stock and new muzzle brake, and Oleg brought some interesting stuff including a triple barrelled shotgun. Oh, and Oleg brought a scoped Howa .308 (I can’t remember the model) that made hitting the steal torso at 175yards almost boring… almost.
One thing I always find interesting at these things is what people gravitate to. You have the oddities, like The Jack’s Boberg, that folks are interested in because they’re just weird, or Erin’s pimped out Mosin that shows that you can take one of those old war relics and turn it into a pretty accurate rifle. John brought out an IBM make M1 Carbine in good condition that sparked a couple history conversations. Everyone seemed to enjoy hitting the 75yard steel torso with my Marlin .357mag.
After all was said and done at the range, it was back to the ranch to clean up and get ready for dinner. For most of us, that meant at least a change of clothes due to the mud, and I think we managed to not track mud all over the house. The Jack was gracious enough to work the grill for us. If you ever have the chance to sample his cooking, do it.
This was the appetizer steak
Did I mention that there was tasty, tasty meat?
I was also told that my apple and peach pie went over well. As a side note, apple pie (the drink) does go well with apple pie (the food).
We also took a tour of the workshop where Dennis actually makes all the holsters. He gave us a brief run down on how he makes them, and some things that he’s got in the works for the future. Beyond that, it was the usual chatting and card games that happen when you get a bunch of us together.
Sunday was breakfast, and back on the road back home.
I have to thank Dennis and his wife (who did a lot of the prep work to make this happen) for a great weekend. They’ve already stated that they want to do it again next year, and I hope to be there and see more folks there.
By the way, if you haven’t already checked out their website, Dragon Leatherworks makes some great holsters. I have one that I love, and I need to order a couple more. Great thing about them is that you can drop $300 on a BBQ holster for your BBQ gun, but the basic holsters start around $65. There’s a number of assembly line holsters that will cost you more than that. Instead, you can get a handmade holster that’s well made, built in the USA, and made by a small business. What’s not to like?
After my post about the instructor I will not trust proved to be popular, I figured I’d document a student that we should all attempt to imitate.
If you don’t know, I’ve been studying Tae Kwon Do (among other arts) for a number of years, and I’m now one of the instructors at my studio. A couple weeks back, we had a high school student decide to join our school.
After his first class, he was kicking and punching a heavy bag, and while his form was… lacking… he definitely looked had he had done this before. I asked him if he had a pre-existing background, and he told me that he had “self-studied” for about 3 years. This is where things usually take a turn for the worse. I’ve run into a *lot* of teenage/early 20’s guys that have “picked things up on their own” (or worse, went to an MMA gym where the instructors don’t know what they’re doing), and are convinced that they know everything.
This kid was the complete opposite. I gave him some pointers on actually twisting his hips and “punching with his feet” for his jab-reverse-hook combos, and he instantly recognized that his strikes were significantly more powerful. Equally, he was eager to take my advise on improving his kicks, and found similar results.
Sadly for me, he decided to take the Hapkido class instead of TKD. I’ve talked to our Hapkido instructor a few times about him, and he’s reported that the kid has been a great student in his class.
We need to remember to be like this new student whenever we’re training. Even if you normally do things a different way, try the instructor’s way, you might find out that they know what they’re talking about. If nothing else, when you’re training at home/on the range by yourself, you don’t really get the same kind of feedback that someone watching you can give you. Chances are, you’re doing things that you shouldn’t without realizing it.