Monday, August 25, 2014

New holster for my M&P Shield

Visited a relatively new sporting goods store a couple of days ago.  They had a large selection of kydex holsters by a maker unknown to me.  They looked nice so I decided to pick one up for my Shield to give it a go.

The holster is from Cutting Edge Personal Defense's Custom Concealment Gear line and called the "Ronin."  I have not yet had an opportunity to wear it or get it to the range. My plan is to try it out on the range Thursday and do a pretty extensive review in the coming weeks.

Initial impressions are that it is much like many other kydex holsters.  There's only so much you can do with the medium.  Price ($65) is a little higher than some, and lower than others.  Construction seems solid, not too bulky, and I like the hardware they used.  I've got one holster that was made using some cheap hardware that I really did not like.

Retention is good, but not so good it will retard a draw.  You can hold the holster upside down and give it a decent shake and the gun stays in place.  You can shake it hard enough to make the gun pop out, but I think it will stand up to an active lifestyle.

I'm thinking of seeing if I can get my hands on one for my G17 and use it during my Defensive Pistol course at Shootrite next month.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Going to gun school.

September 5th and 6th I'll be in Langston, AL (just outside of Scottsboro) taking the Defensive Handgun course at Shootrite Firearms Academy, LLC.  I've wanted to get up there for years and it has finally worked out.  

I am really looking forward to this, and I hope to do a fairly extensive write up afterwards.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On The Range #95: Rangemaster Handgun Core Skills Test and More Shield Fun

I found this in a thread on, and I thought I'd give it a shot.

Rangemaster Handgun Core Skills Test, Comstock Count
Use electronic timer and record the time for each stage.
3 yds Sidestep, draw, and fire 4 rds. _________

5 yds Sidestep, draw and fire 5 rds total , 3 to the chest,
2 to the head. _________

5 yds Start gun in dominant hand only, fire 4 rds. _________

5 yds Start gun in non-dominant hand, fire 5 rds. _________

7 yds Draw and fire 6 rds. _________

7 yds Start at Ready, 3 rds only in gun. Fire 3 rds, reload, and 
fire 3 more rds. _________

10 yds Draw and fire 3 rds. _________

15 yds Draw and fire 4 rds. _________

25 yds Draw and fire 3 rds. _________

40 rds total. Total time __________ Target points _________
IALEFI-QP scored 5,3,0/RM-2 scored 5,3/VSRT scored 5,4,3
Score targets. Divide points by total time, for Index. Multiply Index X 20 for Final Score. Par Score = 100.
80-100 = Very good. 100-124= Advanced 125+= Master

Score_________ divided by ___________X 20= _____________

I used a standard FBI "Q" target with the 8" circle and 3x5" box from a F.A.S.T. target. I scored the circle and box 5 points and the rest of the bottle 3.  I did everything from concealment and started the reload stage gun in holster.

I don't remember my exact final score as I do not have my range notebook right in front of me since I am typing this from my local cigar shop.  However, I know I was well under the par (EDIT my final score was 76.49).  Which sucks.  I had hoped to do better.  Still, it's a good skills test, I think, and I plan on using it to test myself from time to time. Maybe every quarter or so.

I also did a little shooting with my M&P Shield.  I shot exercises 3 and 4 (single shots from the holster x5 in under 3 seconds and doubles from the holster x5 in under 3.5 seconds, standard being each five times in a row) from Richard Mann's Handgun Training For Personal Protection.  I aced both.  These are more for beginner shooters and so of course I was easily able to meet the standard.  Still, I think they're a great way to test out a new carry gun and get a feel for it.

The Core Skills Test I shot with my G17.  Look at the differences in group sizes just based on the movement and distances involved.  All of the Shield shooting was done at 5 yards.  One of my weaknesses has always been shooting at distances greater than 10 yards.  Frankly, I think if you excel at 10 yard and under shooting you excel where you need to for typical defensive handgun use, but that doesn't mean I don't want or need to push myself to improve at distance shooting.  I plan on working on that as I go forward.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Robert's Picks


Deserter by Mike Shepherd

The Rods and the Axe by Tom Kratman (good)

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (excellent)

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (excellent)

The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien (excellent)

The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien (excellent)


300:  Rise of an Empire (very good)

Battleship (good)

Kiss Me Deadly 

Lone Survivor (very good)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

On The Range #94: M&P Shield Practice and Function Testing

A couple of weeks ago I was doing a little shooting with my M&P Shield and experienced a stove pipe. I figured I had limp wristed it but i wanted to do a little function testing before carrying it again.

I've been reading Richard Mann's Handgun Training For Personal Protection and since I was planning on working through the drills it lays out anyway I figured this was the perfect opportunity.

First up were single shots at 5 yards from low reading.  The goal is ten shots in each circle. I jerked the trigger a couple of times on the third circle but I tightened up on circle four.

The second drill was controlled pairs/double taps at 5 yards from low ready.  Again the goal was ten shots in each circle, and again I jerked the trigger on circle three. I think it was a combination of fatigue and impatience on my part. Tightened up again on four.

All together I fired 80 rouns with no malfunctions. Sixteen rounds of this was 135 gr Hornady Critical Defense standard pressure JHP and the rest Freedom Munitions 147gr FMJ.

Afterwards I made my way to Academy Sports to pick up more personal defense ammo. Could not find any standard pressure Hornady so I bought 50 rounds of Federal 124 gr Hydra-Shok JHP.  I will function test with half and use the other half for carry assuming the Shield likes it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Robert's Picks


Raiders of Gor by John Norman (good)

Mutineer by Mike Shepherd

According to Doyle by Doyle Brunson (very good)

Kiss Me, Deadly by Mickey Spillane (good)

Naamah's Curse by Jacqueline Carey

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson (excellent)

Like A Mighty Army by David Weber (good)


RED 2 (very good)

The Wolverine (excellent)

Ender's Game (good)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Robert's Picks


Assassin of Gor by John Norman (good)

Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais (good)

The First Rule by Robert Crais (good)

Black Site by Dalton Fury (good)

Swords of Exodus by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari (very good)

The Sentry by Robert Crais (good)

Come and Take Them  by Tom Kratman (good)


The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug (very good)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Robert's Picks


Naamah's Kiss by Jaqueline Carey

Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell (excellent)

Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon (good)

Cauldron of Ghosts by David Weber and Eric Flint (very good)

The Watchman by Robert Crais (very good)


47 Ronin (excellent)

Jack the Giant Slayer (good)

Friday, June 6, 2014

70 years ago: June 6, 1944

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944 ! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground.
Our Home Fronts have given us an superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your devotion to duty and skill in battle.
We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good Luck! And let us all beseech blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Embarrassing confession.

Embarrassing confession:  Until I saw the press release that S&W was introducing an M&P Shield without a slide mounted safety I did not realize mine had one.  I saw it, but because it makes utterly no sense (IMO) for it to have one I completely overlooked it.

Played with it a bit and it is low profile enough that I am not particularly worried about inadvertently activating it and I will continue to carry it safety OFF. Also, the trigger pull feels like it is the same or maybe even a smidge heavier than my Glock 17 trigger so that is not a worry.

Textbook example of why you should carefully examine new firearms purchases and thoroughly read the owner's manual (I skimmed mainly to see what type of ammo to feed it).

Friday, May 16, 2014

On The Range #93: S&W M&P Shield 9mm

Picked up an M&P Shield 9mm today after wanting one for quite a while. The price was right and I had the money to spend so it followed me home. Initial impressions are very positive. I have a locally made IWB holster I picked up for it and it completely disappears on my body. The holster is not exactly what I want as the draw is a bit tricky from it so I have another on the way.

As soon as I got it home I hit the back yard range for a little Dot Torture.  Back blast from the muzzle was a lot more than I am used to from shooting my G17 so much but easily overcome. Recoil is noticably greater than a full size pistol as well, which is to be expected, but easily manageable.

This is a very accurate little gun. I shot it as well as my G17 at 3 yards for the Dot Torture drill. I was able to make some nice little groups with the 50 rounds of Winchester white box I was firing. I had one flyer which kept me from a perfect 50/50 score.

The gun fits well in my hands. It is most comfortable with the 8 round magazine with the grip extension but I was not troubled by the flush fit 7 rounder.  The 7 rounder has the potential to be an issue if you are not careful to be sure it is fully seated. I made this mistake once.

All in all I like it a lot. I am looking forward to more range time with it. I want to see how it performs at greater distances and I also need to do some ammo testing. My Winchester Ranger +p+ ammo that I carry in the Glock is a no go so I need to find some standard pressure stuff it will eat up.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Robert's Picks


Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (excellent)

The Big Kill by Mickey Spillane (good)

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (excellent)

Nomads of Gor by John Norman (good)

When Diplomacy Fails... by Michael Z Williamson (very good)

To Sail a Darkling Sea by John Ringo (very good)

The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (good)


The Great Gatsby (good)

Pacific Rim (good)

Rock of Ages (good)

2 Guns

Man of Steel (very good)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Robert's Picks


Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan (excellent)

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan (excellent)

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan (excellent)

The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (excellent)


Cinderella Man (very good)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pistol rounds don't suck, you do.

You hear it all the time when the never ending caliber wars flame up, "All pistol rounds suck so it doesn't really matter which one you pick."

I've said it often enough myself. It's a way of telling the "9mm sucks! Git you a .45!" and ".40 is the only round that's true manstopper!" fucktards to shut the fuck up without saying shut the fuck. In general any center fire handgun cartridge using a modern hollow point bullet will perform about the same as any other. In other words, they're all pretty good...assuming you put your shots where they count.

The 'suck' comes from comparing pistol round performance to rifle round performance.  To me this is apples and oranges, but for the sake of argument lets compare the two.

The "one shot stop" mentality has largely been beaten out of the professional firearms community. While one shot stops with handguns do happen (George Zimmerman stopped Trayvon Martin's violent attack with a single 9mm JHP), no firearms instructor will tell you to shoot once and then wait. They'll tell to shoot until the threat stops. They'll give examples of instances of an attacker not being stopped until after soaking up round after round after round.

And you know what? They'll tell you to do the same with a rifle. Ask any hunter and he'll be able to tell about tracking a deer for miles after hitting it with a .270 or .30-06. Ask some combat vets if they're willing to talk about their experiences and you'll hear stories of enemy soldiers and combatants taking rifle hits and still being in the fight.

There are a lot of reasons for this. The most common is poor shot placement. If you don't put rounds in just the right place you're just putting holes in meat. Even when shots are placed well that doesn't gaurantee the thing or person shot will be DRT. A fatal shot may take minutes to actually kill, minutes in which they may still be able to hurt you in the case of a violent encounter.

Other factors could include drugs or just sheer will to live. There's not much you can do about those aside from doing what you can to stop the attacker as quickly as possible. That means destroying the cardiovascular system and/or the central nervous system. Again, we're back to shot placement.

And that is why I say, "Pistol rounds don't suck, you do." Either because of poor shooting or unrealistic expectations about what punching holes in the human body will do.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Admiral(ret.) Jeremiah Denton has set sail for the Undiscovered Country.

Fair winds and following seas, Sir.

He spent 8 years as a POW during the Vietnam War. During a forced interview he repeatedly blinked out the word 'torture' in Morse Code while reading the script he was given.

In 1980 he became the first Republican Senator from Alabama since Reconstruction.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

On The Range #92: Dry Fire

Ah, dry fire. Ask any firearms instructor or professional shooter what you can do to make yourself a better shooter and you can gaurantee he or she will suggest dry fire. And they are correct.

The problem with dry fire is that like running for fitness it sucks. It's not fun and it's boring. It's pure work and most people hate pure work. But if you want to excell you have to do it.

I'm trying to get out and do more shooting, and on those days I can't I am trying to do some dry fire. Today was one of those days where getting outside on the range was going to be a huge pain so I decided dry fire it is.

Here's the routine I worked using my CED7000 shot timer:

Draw and Fire
At the start signal, draw and fire one dry shot on the target. Reset.
20 repititions freestyle
20 repititions strong hand only

Fire weak hand only
Start with gun in weak hand at 45 degree angle. At start signal, come up and fire one dry shot on the target. Reset.
20 repititions

Shooting from ready position
Start with gun in ready position. At start signal press out and fire one dry shot on target. Reset.
20 repititions

Multiple targets
Start with gun in holster. At start signal, engage one target to the left, then one to the right. For the second shot I did a firm press on the dead trigger while maintaining sight alignment. On the transition I worked on moving my eyes to the target and then bringing the sights to my eyes to avoid overswinging the target.
20 repititions

I want to try and get in the habit of doing this at keast once a week. That will give me something like 60 good draws and 100 good trigger presses.

Prominent antigun California state Senator Leland Tee arrested by FBI for gun trafficking.


Schadenfruede, I haz it!

Mike Mashall of spews unmitigated bull manure.

I won't call Mike Marshall a lying sack of donkey dung, but I will fisk his recent editorial regarding legislation that would allow law abiding Alabama citizens to carry a handgun in their vehicle without permit.  

First, a couple of points.  Alabama is an open carry state; however, a handgun is considered to be 'concealed' if carried in a vehicle under the current law.  Carry permits are issued by the Sheriff in each county.  The state sets a minimum cost for each permit, but the sheriff may tack on a higher price tag in order to cover administrative cost related to the permitting system.  Many sheriff's have used this as a way to boost revenue and are against changing the current law because it might dry up the gravy train.  

So here is the editorial regarding the bill and my fisking of this idiocy.  Original will be in italics, I'll be in bold.

Kill that gun bill before it kills some of us by Mike Marshall

Last week the state Senate passed pro-gun legislation that would imperil law enforcement officers and contains a bewildering amendment no one has been able to interpret.
The heart of the bill would make it legal for car drivers and passengers to keep loaded firearms within easy reach, even those who are mentally unstable or have long criminal records.

Law enforcement officers would face no greater danger than they do today.  A criminal is going to carry a gun no matter what the law says if he wants to.  I agree about the amendment, but we'll get to that later.  If you are a criminal it is illegal for you to possess a gun.  This law doesn't change that, sorry Mike.  Ditto if you've been adjudicated mentally defective.  

Right now, state law requires that firearms inside a vehicle be kept unloaded and secured in a compartment unless the gun owner has been issued a concealed-carry permit.
The bill to change that was co-sponsored by all of South Alabama's Republican state senators: Bill Hightower of Mobile, Trip Pittman of Montrose and Rusty Glover of Semmes.
Our senators supported the bill despite staunch opposition from Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich, Mobile Police Chief Jim Barber, Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack and both of the candidates who are opposing Mack in the Republican primary for the sheriff's office.

Thanks for the list of people who want to keep bilking the public of their hard earned cash in these trying economic times and for those who oppose law abiding citizens having guns.

Our law enforcement experts don't want routine traffic stops to become a greater risk than they already are.

They won't be.  Criminals are already carrying guns and the current law does not one thing to stop them.

But that did not stop the Senate from sending the bill to the House last week by a vote of 20-7. That's how afraid Alabama politicians are of the gun lobby.

Good, the Senate is responding to the will of the people and not falling for the misrepresentations and outright lies of the antigun crowd.

And those 20 senators dared not vote against the bill even after Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, added a mysterious amendment requiring that revenue streams (presumably including concealed-carry permit revenues) created by existing law be uninterrupted by the new bill. When asked what impact that amendment would have, Williams referred a reporter to Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, the bill's gun-happy author. Beason said this week he does not know what impact the change would have: "You'll have to ask him (Williams)."
Lawyers who have looked at the amendment just scratch their heads.

The change in law is a good one, and voting against it would have pissed off the people who put them in office.  As to the amendment it doesn't make any sense to me either and is probably one of those that will have to be addressed later.  Frankly, it seems like a sop to those who want to keep sucking on the tit of the public's wallet.

Here's what we do know about the bill:
  • That it will provide drivers prone to road rage ready access to a loaded handgun.
  • That it will enable mentally incapacitated people to legally keep loaded guns in their cars. (Right now, they have to go through the concealed pistol permit screening process.)              
  • That it will prevent police from stopping juveniles openly possessing loaded firearms in a car.
  • That it will be a gangbanger's dream come true.  A convicted felon will be able to have a gun close by as long as another person without a criminal record purports to be the owner. As Sheriff Mack put it: "Five convicted felons are sitting in a car with someone who still has a clean record. Guess who will claim ownership of any firearms in that car?"

  • Red herring.  Violent people will be violent.  Those who would use a gun to kill someone aren't going to stop just because the law says they can't.  
  • If they'd be stopped from getting a permit to carry because of their mental health, they can't legally be in possession of a gun so it's a moot point.
  • I must assume that juvenile in this context refers to a subset of adults 18 or older.  You must be 18 in order to own a handgun (you can't buy one until 21, but at 18 you can own and carry a handgun openly or concealed with a permit if you are not prohibited from firearms by law).  In other words the law would prevent law enforcement from harassing adults for carrying a gun.
  • Really?  That's the kind of twisted logic I expect to see from the antigun crowd.  Under current law this same bong smoke induced scenario is also possible.  The only difference is that the non-felon would have to have a permit....and since he's a legal gun owner he can have one for a few bucks.  So how does this proposed law change the situation?   It doesn't.'s Mobile editorial board is a defender of the right to bear arms but this latest gun bill takes that right to a dangerous extreme. Let's not strip some Alabamians of their right to life and liberty in favor of giving mental patients and gangbangers access to loaded firearms when they're on the road.

"I'm a gun owner, but..."  Sorry, Mike.  We've heard that one before.  Gangbangers and the mentally ill who have guns have them in violation of the law.  This change  in law will only matter to those who can legally have guns.  The nightmare scenarios you are dreaming up are already in existence.  Criminals and nut cases are out there right now with guns.  All this law will do is allow a law abiding citizen to have a loaded gun in his car to protect himself from those criminals and nut cases you pretend to be so worried about without having to go beg the Sheriff of his county for permission to do so...after paying a small fee, of course, and waiting around for weeks.  A right delayed is a right denied.    

We urge our House members to make sure this halfcocked bill never sees the light of day in the short time left this legislative session.

This bill is well thought out (aside from that one pesky amendment, but what do yo expect from politicians?).  It addresses an issue that only affects legal gun owners and does so in a manner that removes an undue burden placed upon them by the current law.   

Current law does not one thing to stop felons and mental patients from carrying guns in their cars.  It does not one thing to keep me, a legal gun owner, safe from these criminals and mental patients.  Changing the law, though, might just give a legal gun owner a better chance at overcoming a criminal or mental patient on the attack.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Robert's Picks


The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan (excellent)

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (excellent)

A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (excellent)

Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (excellent)

Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon (good)

Priest-Kings of Gor by John Norman (good)

When Diplomacy Fails... by Michael Z. Williamson (good)


Men In Black III (very good)

The Last Stand (good)

Fire With Fire (good)


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Five guns someone will never own.


I can agree with two. The Double tap and Rhino are gimmicky and I can see no more use for either than I can for a gold plated Deagle.

The quoted statement on shotguns is just plain stupid, right up there with, "A shotgun, 'cause you don't need to aim it!"

JD Kinman's comment on Facebook about Colt being solidly in the NE makes them more commie than any AK he has ever handled.

Mandatory Glock and/or 1911 hate. I'd actually be curious to more details about his objection to GLOCKs considering his experience.

And yes, lists like this are silly and that what his point in making it but the whys behind his prejudices are what make me think.

I personally don't see myself ever buying another bolt action rifle. Semiautos can do anything they can that I would need them to do. Doubtful I would buy a lever gun except I just had the money burning a hole in my pocket or if I got into cowboy action.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Some neat shooting inspired gifts from Lucky Shot

.308 Bullet Necklace

The necklace is a nice little gift for the shooting lady in your life, or yourself if you are the necklace wearing type.  I was most impressed with the .50 Cal bottle opener. It works great and is a nice conversation piece when hanging out and having a few beers with friends.  The construction is solid and it looks like it will hold up well. I've dropped the thing more than once without putting a dent or scratch in it. Watch your toes!

I also have a .308 bottle opener keychain for popping caps on the go!

If you're looking for some nifty gifts for a shooter these would make a nice treat. Check out Lucky Shot.

All of the above items were provided for review by Don at Lucky Shot. Tell them I sent you.

Robert's Picks


Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris (very good)

One Lonely Night by Mickey Spillane (good)

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie (very good)

The Eye Of The World by Robert Jordan (excellent)

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (excellent)

Adapt and Overcome by Peter Grant (good)

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (excellent)

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan (excellent)

Busy busy.

I barely have time to do the things I have to do, let alone those I want to do.  About the only thing I have time for lately is reading.  Tonight I'm going to shoot an IDPA match, the first in almost a year. I need to get to the range regularly again so that I can brush up my own skills and get ready to teach some NRA Basic Pistol courses this year.

And maybe, just maybe, I will have some interesting things to blog about.  This space has been pretty dead. I may start doing some short cigar reviews for those of you interested in that sort of thing.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Robert's Picks


The Last Lion, Volume III: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender Of The Realm by William Manchester and Paul Reid (excellent)

Glock:  The Rise Of America's Gun by Paul M. Barrett (good)

Pale Horse Coming by Stephen Hunter (very good)

Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker (good)


Riddick (good)

Bullet To The Head

The Gunfighter (good)