Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tips for competitions: Things I should not see

Two weeks ago was the monthly pistol match at the local range.  Good times as always.  It is a mix of experienced competitors and new comers.  All are welcome.  But there are several items of note during the match that concerned me.  I point these out not to shame anyone, but to highlight areas of safety concern so we may all be better and safer. 

Know how to operate you firearm:

It is a must to know how to operate your firearm correctly and safely.  Every new firearm comes with an instruction manual.  READ IT!  If you bought it used, go to YouTube University and learn about your new firearm. 

On the first occasion a gentleman came to the line with a 1911.  A great gun with a manual safety.  He loaded and chambered a round, then paused and said “I forgot it had a safety.”  This phrase should not be uttered.  Ever!

The second shooter came to the line with a SIG pistol, loaded and proceeded to holster his pistol without dropping the hammer with the de-cocker lever. SIG pistols do not have a manual safety.  It is a double action pistol with a de-cocker lever.  It is not designed to be carried with the hammer cocked.  That is the point of a double action pistol.  I should not hear excuses of why it is OK to start with a cocked pistol and no manual safety. 

Read your instruction manuals.  Know how to operate your firearm.  For your safety and for everyone else. 

Tuck in your shirt:

I know it is hot and uncomfortable and you want to be comfortable so you un-tuck your shirt to be confortable.  Often times your un-tucked shirt covers your holster.  This is a problem when re-holstering, you holster your shirt with your pistol.  Possibly causing your pistol to fall out of your holster.  Best to avoid dropping a loaded pistol.

Buy a proper belt and holster:

I understand shooting is not a cheap sport.  There is a lot of new equipment you need to buy.  But it is important to have a good belt and holster.  The belt must be sturdy enough to support the weight of your firearm.  The holster needs to securely hold your firearm in place. 
What I noticed at the match some shooters simply wrap the belt around their waist loosely with their $20 gun sock flapping in the breeze.  The problem with this setup is when you draw your pistol you tend to draw the holster and belt with it.  It slows you down and potentially leads to you crossing the muzzle of your pistol across your own body.  This is unsafe.  Your belt and holster must be secure. 
If using a single belt, feed it through the belt loops on your pants.  Don’t wrap it around your waist, it must go through the belt loops.  Then cinch the belt tight so the holster does not flop around.  This prevents things from moving and flopping around too much.  It also helps with re-holstering.  You are not trying to place your pistol into a moving holster. 

If you are using a separate gun belt to hold your holster instead of your pants belt, you want to use Belt Keepers to prevent your gun belt from flopping around.  Belt Keepers are simple straps that wrap around your gun belt and pants belt to hold everything in place securely.   They may be made of leather or other synthetic materials.  They are fastened with snaps or Velcro. 
Heck, buy some Velcro straps from the local hardware store and wrap secure your belt with them.  They will work in a pinch. 

One final comment on holsters.  Avoid the $20 gun socks if you can.  In general they suck.  They are loose, floppy and generally do not hold your pistol securely.  I understand you may not be able to afford better.  But do try to afford better. 
The same can be said about the cheap holster and magazine carrier many manufacturers ship with their pistols.  These work if you have nothing else, but should be thrown away as soon as you buy something better.  Do you really want to trust a $3 holster that came with the pistol?  These are mostly marketing tricks to give the illusion you are getting something more than you are.
You may spend $50 - $100 for a good holster.  It is worth it, better and safer. 
Kydex is a great choice.  So is old fashioned leather.  Nylon is generally undesireable as it is loose and floppy.  Make sure the holster is designed for your specific model. 


These are a few of the safety concerns I saw during the local match. 
The shooting sports are fun and challenging and you meet lots of interesting and friendly people. 
But do be safe.  Know your equipment and buy the right equipment so your shooting experience is safer and more enjoyable. 

By: Mez


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Son of a Son of a Submachinegun.

I once watched a review of the S&W MP15-22, by Colion Noir, as being a fun gun to shoot and own.   I must admit I have one and have always thought it one of the most fun rifles I own.   Every time I take that rifle out I get a big ole smile on my face and want to shout, “WWWWEEEEEEEEEEEE”.   I recommend this firearm at every turn, totally a fun gun to own and shoot.   In this same vein of gun ownership I write about the Sig Sauer MPX-P.   This is a totally fun, versatile pistol that has many of the same advantages as the M&P15-22.   It’s relatively inexpensive to shoot, points quickly, light, easy to operate with the same controls as the AR-15, and allows for the addition of accessories to make it very uniquely yours.

The MPX-P is classified as a pistol, utilizing the Sig arm brace at the end of a side folding tube.  With the side folder closed, the overall length of the 9mm pistol comes in at a respectable 17 inches (8.5” barrel), and fully extended gives it a length of 27 inches, making it a compact pistol with many applications.   The gun draws on its short history as a new entry into the submachine gun world, as competition to the venerable HK MP5 series of submachine guns.   The Attraction of the MPX in this field is most noticeably the manual of arms.   This gun’s controls look like an AR15/M4, and operate as an AR15/M4.  Adding to this familiarity, the gun comes from the factory ambidextrous in safety, magazine release, and  bolt release!   The charging handle, safety, left side bolt release, and trigger are AR15.   The charging handle is shortened to accommodate the shortened cartridge length, but the operation and shape are the same you know and love.  The safety is very plump and can easily be found with thumb, finger, or knuckle depending on how you train.   Lastly the trigger is reportedly an AR15 trigger, but a careful read of the manual indicates it really isn’t.  The trigger is “basically” a standard single stage AR 15 trigger with a crisp break, and proper reset.  The hand guard is equipped with Key Mod style front end and comes with a very simple fore arm stop to prevent the shooter from over reaching the muzzle.   The top receiver comes with  picatiny rail from muzzle to pistol brace, for your favorite red dot style site and other accessories.  The gun comes equipped with flip up sights front and rear.   Rounding out the list of factory features is a single point sling mount in the rear part of the receiver, the sling is included, and a left hand thread flash hider.  The gun comes with a single 30 round magazine made by Lancer for Sig.

 I see this firearm as being very versatile and fairly easy to feed and maintain.    I purchased the gun to run incognito in my laptop bag with the folding brace, the gun easily stores in a standard back pack used to cart around laptops, with room for your laptop.   My pack carries two 30 round magazines for the MPX-P, and 2 for the handgun I carry, as well as a suppressor (and laptop).   However, this gun could also handily serve as a home defense firearm for shooters concerned with over penetration from either 5.56, or buck shot.   My MPX took the place of an AR pistol that was tasked with the same job, but had to be stored in 2 pieces for the length of the backpack.   At close quarters the gun is very easy to utilize when wanting to put multiple shots on target quickly.  In my vehicle carry scenario, the MPX was much faster to put into service than the AR taking into account the time spent assembling the AR.   A secondary benefit is the space needed by the magazines and the weight savings of similar loads.

The gun is easy to control and put rounds where you want them.   I adorned mine with a Burris Fast Fire II red dot site and was able to sight in the gun with a group that was coverable by a nickle at 7 yards, 21 feet, typical distance used in self-defense training and shooting.  My zero consisted of 6 shots.  I shot 100 rounds total (suppressed and unsuppressed) and experience no failures to fire, feed or other malfunction.  My particular pistol is a 9mm, but the gun is also offered in S&W .40 and .357 Sig.    The gun is easy to control when firing rapidly, and accurate when targeting deliberately.
From an innovation standpoint, not much on this gun is totally new to the AR shooter, it’s all been around, and AR’s have been offered in 9mm for many years, which all makes this gun seem familiar to the AR enthusiast.   The gun does utilize a short stroke piston for activating the bolt, and the sub gun fires from a closed bolt.   The piston system keeps the bolt carrier group relatively clean after extended use.   What was new, to me, is the bolt carrier.   The recoil springs are mounted to the top of the bolt carrier group, with the fore end of it otherwise looks similar to the AR/M4 bold carrier.   The bolt installs into the upper in a very intuitive way.   The gun fits well together, no contortions, force, or extra pieces were experienced from take down to cleaning, to re-assembly.

Take down is also very AR like.   Remove the two pins and it comes apart as an AR15 does, however upon opening up the front hinge point, the handguard is easily removed over the front of the gun, and reveals the 2 screws that attach the barrel to the upper receiver.    My understanding is that a replacement barrel can be purchased and the caliber changed at this point.  

In case you can’t tell by now, I’ll shamelessly plug I’m a fan of this gun.  The gun is simple to use, small to store, allows me to use most of my AR accessories, and utilizes the same ammunition as my carry gun.  I get dual use from my 9mm suppressor, which allowed me to skip suppressing my AR….err for now anyway.

While I do like this gun, I am going to circle back around to the magazines.   One magazine included with a gun of this expense is a bit of a rip off.  Additional mags are advertised on their web site for about $70 a piece or 3 pak for $169, but if you register on their web site, and receive their emails, they do offer frequent discounts of 15-20% off, and stores north of the border carry them at less than retail price.   Sig does seemingly jab you on the cost of their magazines.  Magpul are you listening?

If you like Sig Sauer handguns, you’re going to love this one!  The gun has many features you’ll love and putting rounds down range will make you smile and sing out,”WWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEE”!!  Your face will break into smiles and this gun will make you want to play tunes on steel targets.  This gun is, dare I say it, sexy as all get out!

If you’re not a fan of Sig Sauer, you’ll probably note that 9mm AR’s are certainly available with many of the perks and capabilities they do offer, at maybe a similar or less price point.   If you are willing to Franken-gun a Glock 17 or 19 with a bunch of strap on kits and call it equivalent, please do not leave any comments, just walk away, and maybe sign up for a remedial art class at your local community college.

and check out Lina Miculek with the full auto version.

See you at the range!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Printing, but not the way you think.

I've been carrying in my CanCan holster, but I'm really short waisted, so I have to carry at 12:00 otherwise the gun jabs into my thigh.

Anyway, I've had three children vaginally and I'm on the backside of my forties, so sneezing is always an adventure.

You know ... sneeze and pee, sneeze and pee.

Really the only way to keep from peeing is to squeeze my legs really tight and lean forward a touch when I sneeze. It's a maneuver I've pretty much perfected.

So last night, I get home and I'm walking into the house when I feel a sneeze come on, so I assume the position: legs clamped tight, bent a bit at the waist.

And then I sneezed.

Holy mother of God, it wasn't a little sneeze like I was prepared for, it was a sneeze from my f*cking toes. My abdomen tightened up and I doubled over with the sneeze. In doing so, the muzzle of my Glock *slammed* into my pelvic bone.

Like, SLAMMED into my pelvic bone.

I now have a muzzle-shaped bruise just above my hooha.

#arentyougladyoureadthispost #shortgirlproblems #kegelsdontactuallywork #onlyIwouldhurtmyselfsneezing

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

CanCan Concealment Hip Hugger

I've been wearing a Flashbang Bra holster for several months now and loved it. Of course, there was a breaking-in period where we had to get to know each other, but for the most part I've been exceptionally happy with my Flashbang.

Back in April/May, I had a lot of dental work done, which resulted in some weight loss. Because of this, my bras no longer fit, so what did I do?

Instead of buying new bras to continue to carry my Flashbang, I decided to give the Hip Hugger a try. I'd tried it (briefly) once before, when I was trying to decide how I was going to carry at work, but it didn't work for me at the time. With the loss of a few pounds, I thought I'd try it again.

It's been a week now that I've been wearing my Hip Hugger instead of the Flashbang and it's going well. I'm fairly short-waisted, so the first day was spend trying to find the "sweet spot" to carry my gun comfortably. I have to carry my gun at 12 o'clock to be comfortable, otherwise when I sit down the barrel of the gun jabs into my thigh. The advantage that the Hip Hugger has over the Flashbang is that I can carry an extra magazine fairly easily. The advantage that the Flashbang has over the Hip Hugger is that it's a kydex holster, which I feels secures my gun a bit better.

I've been using "fitted" holsters for so long that it is weird to just slip my gun into a cloth pocket, no matter how well made. I would love to have a kydex insert fitted to the G42 that I could attach inside the Hip Hugger's pocket, then I think I'd have the best of both worlds.

I like the freedom of having different carry options for my gun and I think I've finally hit upon the right combination of holsters. I have a kydex OWB for when I can venture forth in jeans and a belt; the Flashbang as an option for work; and the Hip Hugger as an alternative option for work.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Review: Winchester USA Forged 9mm Ammunition

Recently The Gundivas received a sample of Winchester's new line of ammunition, USA Forged from ( to try out.
The primary difference between USA forged and other Winchester ammunition is the case.
USA Forged uses a steel case versus a brass case.  The reason for a steel case is to lower cost.  Steel is cheaper than brass.  The bullet is the same copper jacketed lead core Winchester has used for years.  All the components are 100% made in America.  The advertised muzzle velocity is 1190 FPS.  It is typically packaged in 150 round boxes. (Three trays of 50 rounds)

I had a chance to run through 250 rounds of this ammunition.  I fired 150 through a Glock model 19 during the monthly pistol competition.  And another 100 through 3 other handguns (Browning Hi-Power, Glock model 43 and a German Luger) at the target range just to see how it performed in other guns.

Throughout the day the ammunition performed and functioned with zero malfunctions.  Accuracy was the same as any other brand I have used.  I did not specifically shoot for groups.  My evaluation is based on my accuracy during the competition and ability to hit a 10 inch steel plate at 35 yards.  I personally see no difference in this ammunition versus anything other brand of ammunition.
I do call BS on the advertised velocity of 1190 FPS.  Again I did not measure it, but this ammunition was too anemic to knock down the larger steel plates, which is typical of most factory 9mm ammunition.  (I need to start reloading again so I can get the performance I want)

Overall I say this ammunition is good to go.  I experienced no problems with it.
I do add these caveats;
1. Indoor ranges may not allow you to use this at all.  Many indoor ranges have blanket bans on any ammunition that is magnetic in any way.  This is to keep out steel jacketed and steel core ammunition that will damage the backstops thus increasing maintenance costs.  (Note:  Only the case is steel in the USA Forged ammunition.  The bullet is pure copper jacketed lead)
2. I have read some articles where people have experienced low accuracy and function problems (mostly failure to eject) with this ammunition.  All I can say is buy a box and try it.  If it works, it works.  If not, switch back to what works.  I did most of my testing through Glock handguns.  Glocks are known to eat just about anything without problems.

Hope Winchester USA Forged provides you another, less expensive ammunition choice for your target shooting and training.

Good Hunting.

By: Mez

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

GunDiva In The Making

The grin is why we win. My daughter with her brand new Daisy Red Ryder. Pink is her favorite color in case you were wondering. I would have repainted it any color or all colors in the rainbow if that was what she preferred. Lessons in The Rules and basic markswomanship have already started with more to follow.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Concealed Carry Essentials Class

In keeping with my promise to do more training this year, I took a Concealed Carry class. I first got my CCW in college, but then let it lapse (at the time I couldn't afford the renewal fee) after about eight years. It took me a couple of years to get around to getting it again, but I finally did and have been carrying ever since.

Despite the fact that I carry on a daily basis, I thought I could learn something from a class that focused on CC. I was right.

The class was small, which lent itself nicely to good discussions. Instead of a lecture/range class, it turned into an idea exchange, full of discussion. We followed the course outline to guide our discussions and I feel as though students and instructors were treated respectfully. The beauty of classroom discussion is that it allows people to examine things from different points of view. Our instructors acted more as moderators and allowed us to teach ourselves through discussion. Of course, they introduced new concepts and taught us new skills, but the most striking part of the class in my mind was the free-flowing discussion.

It was most excellent.

In addition to the outline and discussion, we did a few classroom drills. One was the Tueller drill. An instructor lined up 21 feet from us and attacked with a training knife, while we attempted to draw and "fire". It was a good experience and an effective way to show not only how quickly you can get cut, but also a quick test to see who could move off the X. We all would have been cut, but the majority of us were able to "shoot" our attacker while moving away.

One of our discussions was on clearing malfunctions, which lead us to practicing clearing double feeds. I've done it before, but by the end of the day got a lot more practice than I wanted.

Once on the range we shot a variety of drills including the Dot Torture. I do love that drill. Can't shoot it clean yet, but I do love it. We shot at distances ranging from 1 yard to 25 yards. Initially, I was worried about shooting out to 25 yards because I was shooting my G42 and I only had about 300 rounds through it. I shouldn't have worried; the distance wasn't too much of a problem.

We ran a drill that was similar to many of the match stages I see every month: shoot the hostage taker in the head; step to the side, two to the body of the next bad guy; another step to the side and two to the body of the last bad guy. All three targets were at ranges varying from 3 - 7 yards. I've seriously shot similar scenarios dozens of times. I had this. The Shooting God must have thought I was feeling a bit too cocky, because She had some tricks up her sleeve for me and my Baby Glock. Primarily double feeds. Not one, not two, but three. I'd clear one, slap the magazine back in and end up with another one. I might or might not have said bad words.

I had trouble with double feeds while we were shooting from the line, but thought I was limp-wristing or doing something dumb, so I really focused on my grip, but continued to have problems. One of the instructors ran a magazine through with no problem, so I knew it wasn't my gun or my ammo. It was me. I am fairly certain that I wasn't seating the magazine well enough when I changed mags. Sure enough, I started really slapping my mags in and my double feeds cleared up.

That is, until we did the POST qualification test. It was smooth sailing for most of the test, but when we got to the part where we had to clear a manufactured double feed I had problems again. I got the fake double feed cleared, slapped the mag back in and - WHAMMO! - another double feed, this time for real. I got it cleared, got back on target and the buzzer went off. I was half a second too late to get my round off, so I failed the POST test. I most definitely said bad words at that point. Luckily, it's not required for my job, it was just another skills test for us - our final exam on the range, essentially.

That last double feed cemented my thought that I was the cause. If I had taken the extra quarter of a second to really seat the magazine, I would have finished with time left, but I got in a rush and it bit me in the ass.

During our class debrief, the instructors asked how we felt about using the POST qualification. All but one student loved it. Despite failing the test, I loved it. It was a challenge and gave me something to strive for - a feeling shared by most of my classmates. The one dissenter thought that it might cause some students to be discouraged, which I can see, but I think it's all in how the instructor sells the drill. I'm all about challenges and learning from failures, but I understand not everyone is wired that way.

All in all, it was yet another excellent class put on by Double Tap and I look forward to the next one.