Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gun Powder Therapy - Pretty Much a Perfect Way to Spend a Sunday

July/August was a disaster for me; I traveled for work and then went to Julie Goodnight's place for a week to film her TV show, Horse Master with Julie Goodnight, made an appearance at RomCon and then raced up to the High Country Rendezvous.  The constant running around, even though it was only for about ten days, really cut into my range time, so it felt *fabulous* to be out on the range today.

Boss Man fixed my Para (it was the three-fingered spring - yay me for guessing that!) and I wanted to put a couple hundred rounds through it to make sure all of the ghosties are gone and that it'll be okay to take to the September match.  I'm all about challenging myself, so I decided I'm going to shoot the September match completely weak-handed.  I'm confident in my ability to shoot weak-handed, but I've never presented from a holster left-handed or changed magazines with my right hand.  I picked up a cheap Kydex paddle holster the other day and spent some time today working on presentation.  Holy cow, it was U-G-L-Y!

(Yes, Mez was nearby, just barely behind the firing line, but I was doing dry-fire practice with empty magazines.)

Throughout the day it got more smooth, but I've got just two weeks to get as comfortable as possible before I do it at the match.  That means even more dry fire practice at the silhouette on my bedroom wall.

Mez brought out his new toy, which for the life of me I can't remember the manufacturer, a .308 carbine (essentially a FN FAL, but Austrian-made).  That is a sweet shooting gun.  We had an 8" steel plate about 60 yards out and I hit it with every round I shot right-handed from an off-hand (standing) position.  My accuracy wasn't as great with my left hand; I only hit the plate about 50% of the time (but I did manage to shoot holes clean through the legs, which are much smaller than the plate, that ought to count for something, right?).

Of course, standing around plinking at paper's not a ton of fun, so we decided to add an extra degree of difficulty and set up our own carbine course.

Yep, pretty much a perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

RomCon 2011

I was thrilled to be invited to be a "special guest" by Tara Janzen and Cindy Gerard during their 3-hour "Special Ops" presentation at this year's RomCon.  RomCon is a romance readers convention; there are no writing workshops or agents to pitch to, just romance authors and their readers.

L to R: Cindy Gerard, Tara Janzen, Cullen, me

Cullen, our master gunsmith from Colorado Gun Works, did a presentation on the "toys" he and Tara brought, which included Kid's rifle and Skeeter's shotgun.

Kid's rifle: Remington 700P chambered in .308 with a Schmidt und Bender PMIIK scope.
Picture by Terry Odell

Skeeter's Shotgun: Remington 870 with too many toys/customizations to mention. (Though I could if you asked.)
Picture by Terry Odell

During the course of Cullen's presentation, he asked the crowd to guess how many weapons he had on him.  The guesses ranged from three to thirty-some.  They kept count as he pulled guns off of his ankle, out of a shoulder holster, out of a pocket and knives out of his tie, pockets and god-only-knows where else.  All guesses were wrong.  The right answer, and the one I hope everyone remembers is: ONE.  He had one weapon with him, his brain; the rest were merely tools.

If you never remember anything else from this blog, please remember that your brain *is* your weapon.  Use it.

During the course of the presentation, we were asked to demonstrate a Wingate maneuver, which both Tara's and Cindy's heroes have used in their books.  Unfortunately, since I was busy being "killed", I don't have any pictures of the demonstration, though I do still sport the bruises from the rubber knife.

Spending three hours with Tara's and Cindy's fans was a good time - it was wonderful to see so many women take an interest in the weaponry and feel like they had a safe place to ask questions without being ridiculed.

For a participant's take on RomCon, click over to Terry's Place and see what she had to think about it.  Terry's an author whose blog I've followed for a couple of years; I had the opportunity to hang out with her at Writers' Police Academy last year and was thrilled to see her at RomCon.