Thursday, January 24, 2013

Did You Know?

...That Julie Golob has generously donated a signed copy of her book, SHOOT, for our give-away?

However, the only way to win is to enter the give-away.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Media Day

I've heard about how wonderful Media Day is for years.  I couldn't believe it when first, my credentials were approved to attend SHOT Show as media and then, when I got my confirmation for Media Day.  I was floating on air for a week.

Media Day was cold.  And windy.  Which made the cold worse.  I made the mistake of taking my "girl" coat to Vegas instead of my Carhartt.  I knew I wouldn't be able to shoot in a fitted coat, so I layered up with a long-sleeved t-shirt, another t-shirt, and a zip-up hoodie.  I was freezing.

We got to the range an hour late, because I'd decided earlier that day to take the shuttle instead of driving.  After waiting for the shuttle for almost an hour, we found out that it would still be another thirty to forty minutes before it would arrive, so we went back to the original plan of driving to the range.  I won't make the same mistake next year - we'll drive to the range so we can use all of our allotted range time.

Never having been to Media Day, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Because of this, we didn't really have a plan.  Again, next year, we'll go armed with a plan of what we want to shoot.

At the Daniel Defense booth, I got to shoot my very first automatic rifle.  What a rush that was!  As I was getting ready to shoot, I could hear some guy in the background say that I'd better get a good hold of the rifle, as it was going to be too much for me to handle.  Ha!  Yes, it walked up the berm on me, but once I got the hang of the trigger, it was no big thing to keep it under control.

Daniel Defense ISR in .300 Blackout
SOG had a throwing range set up, so I wandered over there and got a quick lesson on how to throw knives.  I'm not very good at it, but I'm not too disappointed considering that I couldn't feel my fingers.

My last three throws actually hit the target.
At KRISS, I got a quick tutorial on their Vector.  The Russian gentleman was willing to give me the tutorial, but when it came time to change the magazines, he told me, "I change magazine".  I giggled inwardly and allowed him to change the magazine for the little lady.  The Vector was not nearly as much fun as the Daniel Defense in full auto.  In fact, the stock was uncomfortable and slapped my cheek a bit, despite having a good cheek weld.  However, I am proud to say that I wasn't pushed around by it like a guy who shot after me.  He was literally pushed back three steps when he went to full auto.  The range officer wasn't pleased.

KRISS Vector .45 ACP
The gun that was my "must shoot" was the new GLOCK 30S.  I've always loved GLOCKs, but switched over to a 1911 a few years ago because the GLOCK didn't fit my hand.  I was excited to shoot the 30S.  It still doesn't fit my hand as well as the 1911, but it does fit much better and is going on my "guns to buy" list, right toward the top.

You can see that it doesn't quite fit my hand, but it was more manageable than my 23 was.
I also shot an FNH 1911, but wasn't excited about it.  The deep stippling on the grip was uncomfortable, and I didn't enjoy the trigger.

I didn't get to shoot nearly as many guns as I would have liked.  The loss of an hour at the beginning of our range time, coupled with the fact that a lot of booths were packing up early because of the cold meant that we were limited in our choices.  I got excited, because I saw JJ Racaza at the Caracas booth shooting with someone and headed over there to try out their guns, but before I could get there, they started packing up.


Fun? Yes, but could have been better.

Disappointing? Yes, but could have been worse.

The three of us had decided to catch one of the shuttles out to the range and abandon our original plan to drive ourselves - our first mistake. We stood around waiting for a shuttle that was running ridiculously late. In fact, we didn’t wait for it and decided to drive ourselves out to the range. The map we had wasn’t very detailed so we missed our turn for the range, costing us more lost time. All in all, we arrived to the range an hour late. Now we only had two and a half hours, or so we thought, to see and shoot everything we wanted to. Shouldn’t be an issue, right? I leave that alone for now; let me move on.

Can I tell you that I feel I’ve been lied to somehow about the desert climate. Perhaps a misconception on my part about what to expect from desert weather, or maybe I can blame my 6th grade geography teacher, but I thought the desert was supposed to be warm (if not hot) by four in the afternoon, even in January. It wasn’t. It was mid 30s, which isn’t so bad, but you add some 25mph wind to that and the conditions become downright miserable. Not wearing the proper outerwear was our second mistake (for GunDiva and myself anyway, Mez was better prepared). But, we weren’t going to let that dampen our spirits and we hit the range running. Daniel Defense was the first stop and my first experience shooting a fully automatic and suppressed rifle. The ISR in 300 Blackout. Definitely something I will remember for years to come. I sent 10 rounds down range and was off to a good start.

However, I slowed down just as fast. I retreated to only shooting photographs of Mez and GunDiva. I did, however, fire Glock’s new 30 S and a .45 offering from FNH and wasn’t particularly impressed with either. Honestly, I could barely feel my thumbs and index fingers. That damn wind just chilled me to the bone. I’ll never take the desert southwest’s weather for granted again. Next year I’ll be prepared.

Remember my assumption that we would have a full two and half hours of range time left to squeeze as many triggers as possible. We were wrong…and this was probably the most disappointing thing about “Media Day”. Vendors were packing up early due to the wind and many were gone before we arrived. I feel a little cheated by losing an hour on the front end, due to the shuttle fiasco, and almost an hour on the backend due to the cold windy weather. I know that had the weather been perfect or even less than desirable my entire experience would have been different. And, that is what I hope for when I go back next year.  

Don't forget about our give-away, be sure to click on over and enter.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

We're Doing A Give-Away!

One of the best things about SHOT Show is all of the swag that gets handed out.  As usual, we came home with bags of good stuff.  Not ones to be selfish, we've decided to share.

We'll be giving away seven goodie bags stuffed with all sorts of stuff from the show.  One of the bags will contain a signed copy of Julie Golob's book, SHOOT.  Julie was gracious enough to give me an extra book just for this purpose.

Winners will be randomly chosen through Rafflecopter, and you'll be able to earn multiple entries.  This is the first time we've used Rafflecopter, so cross your fingers that it goes smoothly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sorry, GunDivas and GunDudes and their families are not eligible.  Don't worry, though, you've got goodie bags of your own on the way.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Molon Labe

Many of you have heard  and read in many arguments that the 2nd Amendment is not without restrictions, and thus the Government has the right to ban modern semi automatic rifles.  You should remind your friends and family that the 2nd amendment has been restricted in the past and we are not arguing for the protection for our rights to own crew served M2's, or tanks, or even have greater access to select fire rifles.   We are arguing for the right to keep a semi automatic guns that have modern capacities greater than 10 rounds.   30 rounds is not "High Capacity", it's the "Normal Capacity" for most modern rifles. In handguns, "Normal Capacity" is anywhere between 8 and 18.   It's only "normal" that breakthrough technology often makes newer versions of greater use than older versions.  The 30 round Magazine has been around since the 1960's, hardly modern.  The lineage of the modern AR or AK dates back to the 1960's, again hardly modern, especially if we compare firearms to the modern micro processor of then and now, or even the 1960s era family car.

When we look at China and North Korea (and others) and say they are suppressing human rights of their citizens, do we (meaning Gov't) mean they are denying their citizens the right to Free speech?  The right to bear arms, the right to a speedy trial and to be free of unreasonable search and seizures?  Yes, that's exactly what we mean.   We consider the first 10 Amendments to be provided to all men by their creator and the bill of rights merely confirm what is given to us by God.  Yet here we are debating the restrictions of 60 year old technology on we the people, and some states reserve the right to invade your home without a warrant (IN), Seize your property (phones) without a warrant, or without cause, trolling for crime (CA).  NY now is going to ban Magazine capacities greater than 7, but it makes you wonder if the Police in NY will have to abide by this law - will police be mandated to carry 1911's with only 7 round mags, or will the State continue to carry 17 round Glocks?  Is the State now above the law - will their special tactics squads be mandated to put 7 round magazines in their entry rifles and remove one military “feature”?  Yes, the state is going to be above the law that they enforce for you, but not for the law they enforce for the ruling class. 

Tyranny is knocking on the door in NY, it might even have its foot in the door.   Some of you will disagree, but I find it interesting that we are arguing the meaning of the Constitution and 2A  and the restrictions there of 230 + years later. 

Are you fighting the fight, or just a reading participant?

Shoot straight,
Double Tap

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Swore...

...I was going to blog every day while at SHOT Show.

I lied.

Even though I've been here before, I always over-estimate how much I can get done and under-estimate how exhausted I am when the show closes each day.

When we get back home, we'll post all about the show.  In the meantime, here are some highlights:

Media Day
  • Met Lynne from National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day (that was actually in the morning at registration)
  • Got to shoot my first gun with a "giggle switch" as Mrs Mom calls it.  A Daniel Defense ISR in .300 blackout.  Only shot a few rounds in full auto, but it was giggle worthy.
  • Shot a KRISS sub-machine gun in .45 ACP on full auto.  Cool, but not as cool as the DD.
SHOT Show, Day 1
  • Met Dustin Ellermann
  • Met Julie Goloski Golob
  • Got lots of good stuff for give-aways when we return
We made some connections for future blog interviews - an Olympic shooter and the World Fast Draw Champion.

Mez is currently at the State of the Industry Dinner and will be writing up a post on that.  This year, more than any other year is going to be very important, I think.  I'm really interested to see what he's got to say when he gets back.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just Do It

In other places at other times, I have written about my profound distaste for NRA's mouth piece, Wayne LaPierre. I personally think his tenure at the helm of the NRA should have ended over a decade ago, and I think he has done at least as much harm as good for the image of responsible gun owners.Who here has forgotten his "jack booted thugs" comment, and how can we not all facepalm ourselves at the recent "Kindergarden Killers" video game reference?

My biggest gripe with the NRA though is the constant fear mongering pleas for more money. When I had a valid membership years ago, it seemed that a week didn't go by without receiving yet another LaPierre penned diatribe about how THEY ARE COMING FOR YOUR GUNS!!!!! 11!!! ZOMG, SEND US ALL YOUR MONEY SO WE CAN FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS.

Based on the number of envelopes I've received since I let my membership lapse out of disgust many years ago, nothing has really changed.

I told you that to tell you this.

Despite my misgivings about the continued wisdom of letting Wayne anywhere near a microphone or TV camera to speak on my behalf as a responsible gun owner, I have held my nose and renewed (okay, so a delay of over 10 years is probably more like a second time new membership) my NRA membership.

If Senator Hypocrite really wants to go for the brass ring of gun control, I'm not going to stand by idly and see my rights taken away without doing something. The NRA may have its flaws, but it's the loudest dog in the kennel and will fight when necessary.

So, if you are like me and you've been sitting around lamenting Wayne "Tin Foil Beanie" LaPierre's so called leadership, it's time to let it go and close ranks with your fellow gun owners. If you've never been a member, now's the time to become a member. What ever your reasons for sitting back, just go do it. It's $25 well spent for a one year membership.

And, hey, maybe if enough of us complain loud enough, the NRA board will finally get the back bone they need to bring a fresh perspective into the mouth piece role.

First Match

I took My Favorite Student (I'm still looking for her shooter nick name) to her first action pistol match.  As you may recall, she had approached me a couple of months ago about shooting pistols in competition and I couldn't have been happier.  I asked some very knowledgeable shooters for training advice, and most of what I got ran along the same lines of, "keep it fun".  This advice turned out to be sage so I thought I'd share our journey to this point.

 My youngest (11 year old) daughter is a competitor, running cross country, 5K's, playing soccer, and competing for grades, and having fun is very high on her score card.   I coached her soccer team and I learned that kids like structure so like soccer practice, we set a time to go to the range for an hour a week, once a week.  She shot only bulls eye style targets and the focus of the range time was working the marksmanship fundamentals.  Sight alignment, trigger press was the order of the day.   I emphasized aiming as a two step process...1. sight alignment, 2. sight picture.   I placed the targets at different distances, but nothing too far out.   I know to keep her interested and excited she needed to feel successful, so we started close only about 10 feet away and moved the targets back to 25 feet as she mastered the closer targets, and we'll continue to push them out further as her skills develop.  In action pistol shooting it's pretty common to shoot targets from mere feet away up to 20 yards.   She would shoot about 100 rounds during the range time and if she appeared to be getting fatigued holding the gun I'd have her set it down for a few seconds.  She loaded her own magazines and became adept at managing her gun's safety. We were never be in a hurry and never got so wrapped up in the process that it took away from the fun.

We set about teaching her to shoot handguns around Thanksgiving, rifles were something she's been shooting for about 2 years, and she had no problems transitioning to handguns.  We kept it simple, we went with a 22, low recoil, low noise and very accurate.   The original gun was a Ruger MK II, but we found it had two things working against it.  The most obvious to me was the weight of the gun and secondly was the European magazine release latch.  These two attributes were enough to abandon this gun in favor of a MK III light weight 22/45.   This gun gives her the same controls as center fire guns, and weighs in at 22 ounces, so the weight was something she can handle.   The Ruger MK III line has a reputation as being well built and durable, but having said that, find a brand of ammunition that is accurate, reliable and feeds well - then stick to it.   Much of the bulk ammo has issues with misfires and feeding, while this might augment training drills -  dealing with outages, it is an advanced skill set and not a basic skill.

We visited the range only 4 times before deciding on a match.  After deciding on the match we worked on some dry fire practice and she learned how to draw from holster.   We put a green magnet on a fling cabinet at the other end of the basement and she would draw, obtain a sight picture on that green magnet and then holster her gun.  I tried to stress efficiency of motion and she repeated this process for 10 minutes and was done.   She performed this practice for two days before the match, but this is part of her weekly practice.

A couple of notes for clarification, we're not shooting NRA Action Pistol, I'm using action pistol as a generic term.  The match we shot is run by a local club ( ) and is not affiliated with IDPA, USPSA or IPSC.  I want her to learn the movement and basics and not worry about the rules at this point.   The organizations I mention above are fine groups, but for new shooters they often remove a lot of the fun from the match with the rule book.

The first video above shows stage 3 of the match.   On this stage, the shooter shoots each target 3 times, what you can't see is that the third target is all head shots while avoiding the "hostage".

The video just above is the first stage of the match and the shooter is to place one shot into the body of each target (6 targets), repeat the process for a second round of body shots, and last round is head shots, for a total of 18 rounds, no make up shots could be made.  The point of this stage is moving your muzzle and working transitions between targets.

On the right, me shooting the same stage.

I hope she finds the same love of this sport as I have.  Some items we are going continue to work on, she'll take responsibility for his/her own gear, I left her spare magazines at home and thus can be seen frantically reloading her mag in the middle of the course of fire.  She'll learn how to critically analyze her gear failure and learn to remedy those failures.  She'll sit in on a Basic class, and we'll go through the Tactical Skills shooting drills privately, each shooter cleans his/her own gun and gear and most importantly, we'll continue having fun.

Her Equipment list;
Ruger MK III Light
5.11 belt -
Black Dog holster -
Mag carrier on order -

*Shooter nick name suggestions can be left in the comment section.

Hope to see you at the range soon,
Double Tap

Saturday, January 5, 2013

We're Going to SHOT Show!

I've been to SHOT Show in the past, with the gun shop, but this is the first time I'll be going as a "Media Professional" (squee!).  Yes, I still giggle when I say that, and I've had my credentials for months now.

When Mrs Mom and I started this little blog in April of 2010 (seems like it's been longer!), we originally called ourselves Girls with Guns.  Seemed like a good idea at the time, until we realized that Girls with Guns was actually a T&A site and we didn't want to have anything to do with that.

We changed our name to The GunDivas and added a third contributor, Tara Janzen.  Us three amigas went along happily for a while and then I made the decision to add the GunDudes.  The reason was that I had a handful of males that I could always go to for information, but I didn't want it to come off as though *I* was the source of information.
And I've said all of that, just to say this: We're going to SHOT Show!
Well, some of us are.  Jay, Mez, and I are going.  I'd love for all of us to be able to attend, and maybe that's in the cards for next year, as there are contributors who live far away and who haven't even met in real life yet.
So, in eight days, we'll pack up Ripley and head on out to Vegas.  The one thing I had never been able to experience when I went with the gun shop was Media Day - to say that I'm excited would be an understatement.  I've heard about how amazing Media Day is and can't wait to see for myself.
Mez will be attending the State of the Industry dinner and I am eager to hear what he has to say.  I feel like this is an important year for SHOT Show - for all gun enthusiasts - and want to hear what the industry has to say.
Other than attending Media Day and Mez going to the dinner, we don't really have strict plans for our time at the show.  We'll cover as much ground and learn as much as we can so that we can share with you.
And, of course, when we return, there will be give-aways, just like we've done in the past.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Firearms 101 - The Rules

I posted this over on my personal blog, Preachers and Horse Thieves, a while back before GunDiva invited to the party here. Since we are starting a new year with an imminent battle over gun rights and responsible gun ownership, I figured now was a good time to repost this here.

I originally prepared this for a friend who is interested in learning to shoot. Enjoy.

The Four Rules

1. All guns are loaded.
2. Never point the muzzle of a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot.
4. Know your target and what’s beyond it.

Memorize these four rules. They are the basis of all firearms safety. It is highly unlikely to the point of being statistically impossible to be hurt by or hurt someone else with a firearm when obeying the four rules. Further, there is no such thing as an “accidental discharge” when properly handling a modern firearm in accordance with the rules. More importantly, no matter how many safety features that are designed into a firearm, the most important safety feature a firearm can have is the trained mind of the person holding it.

Further explanation of the Rules:

  1. The longer version of Rule 1 is “Treat All Guns AS IF They Are Loaded.” Every time you pick up or are handed a firearm, you personally should check its chamber or cylinder to verify whether or not it is loaded before doing anything else with the firearm. If someone else is handing the firearm to you, it is not a matter of trust/distrust to verify that the firearm is unloaded. It is a signal to responsible shooters that you are not a fool who will waive a gun around indiscriminately, that you respect firearms as tools that must be handled mindfully in the same way that you would operate power tools and respect your life and the lives of others. Responsible gun owners/shooters EXPECT you to verify the condition (i.e. loaded versus unloaded) of the firearm. 
  2. Rule 2 is fairly straight forward. Bullets come out of the muzzle end of the barrel. They come out fast and have a lot of kinetic energy that they are just waiting to dump into something, anything in their way. So, don’t point the barrel at anything you don’t want a bullet to hit or go through. Such as your wife and child, your car’s engine, the neighbor’s house, etc. If you would like some examples of what bullets will do, go to: for plenty of examples with photos. 
  3. Rule 3 is also pretty straightforward. If your finger is on the trigger, Mr. Firearm is no one’s friend whether it’s loaded or not. If your finger is not on the trigger, the chances of a loaded firearm discharging are significantly reduced. Most modern firearms have been designed and tested such that you can literally hammer nails or tent stakes or small children with them and still not discharge; however, smart people follow the rules religiously and don’t tempt Murphy’s Law. 
  4. Rule 4 typically gives people the most fits. Once a bullet is fired, it does not stop until its kinetic energy is completely dissipated. Where and how that energy gets dissipated depends on several variables including bullet design, muzzle velocity, trajectory, target density, gravity, etc. For instance, a 230 grain .45 caliber bullet fired at 1000 feet per second (which is a typical bullet weight and speed for a 1911 style handgun) parallel to the ground at a shoulder height of 5 feet will travel approximately 156 feet before impacting the ground due to gravity assuming it hits nothing else in its path. If the bullet hits a rock at impact, it could ricochet in unpredictable directions with unknown consequences. That same bullet fired straight up at 90 degrees to the ground will climb to over 15,000 feet before coming back down. Big difference. For this reason, most firearms ranges have some sort of ballistically proven back stop material to safely dissipate the energy of a bullet and secondary measures to prevent you from inadvertently shooting someone in the next town. A huge pile of dirt works very well which is why it’s used almost exclusively at outdoor ranges. Concrete and/or ½ inch to inch thick steel works well with some caveats. Sheet metal doesn’t work too well which is why cars do not provide very effective cover in shootouts despite what Hollywood has portrayed.

Last thoughts on safety:

  1. Obey the rules and no one gets hurt.
  2. Disobeying the rules might get you shot and not necessarily by someone else.
  3. Do not fear the firearm. It is only a tool used to hit a target in the same way a saw is used to cut wood. They are neither good nor evil. They just are.
  4. If you are not sure, ask questions. There are no stupid questions.