Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Movie Purse

This may surprise you, but I am not a purse kind of girl. If I can't carry something in a pocket, I don't carry it.

I do break my no-purse practice when going to the movies. How else am I going to smuggle all of my Dollar Store candy in during the summer? In the winter, it's easy, throw on the barn coat and load up the pockets, but in the summer ... well, it's just easier to carry a movie purse.

The movie theater we most often frequent (Cinemark) has implemented a bag limit of 12"x12"x6" and all bags are subject to search "for safety reasons". Now, if I was worried about someone smuggling in a gun, I sure the hell would have made the bag size smaller. I can fit my Para, Jay's full-sized M&P, and my G42, plus magazines for each in my size-compliant movie purse. This is another of those "feel good" rules. Whatevs, I carry on my body, not in a purse, so they can search it and take my $6.00 worth of Dollar Store candy out of my purse.

I bought a cheapo WalMart canvas purse at the beginning of the summer to use as my movie purse and it was adequate. I could fit two boxes of candy for each of us and a bottle of water if I forced it.

While on duty one night at our local venue, we were walking through getting the lay of the land and I saw this "concealed carry" purse ...

Yes, those are rhinestones and silver studs.
I didn't buy the purse that night (my shift was just starting), but I couldn't get it out of my head, so I dragged my husband back a few days later and bought it. I knew from the get-go that I wouldn't be using it for concealed carry, but I had to have it for my movie purse.

And what an excellent movie purse it is. Not only do I have room for a ton of candy, but I have room for a lot of other important things. Things like a flashlight, knife, tourniquet, gloves, etc.

Flashlight, sharpie, knife, tampons (traditional use only), gloves, CAT
The tourniquet and gloves slip down into the middle zippered pocket, which leaves ample room for other necessities.

Lots of room left for the important stuff - candy!
If my bag is searched, certainly the flashlight and knife will raise some eyebrows, but with the TQ tucked away, no one should give it any thought. However, if they unzip the middle pocket and see the TQ - and they know what the TQ is - they'll probably be suspicious that I'm carrying. I'm going to guess that the high school kids they have working at the movie theaters aren't going to know what it is, or aren't going to give a damn - they're just going through the motions.

There is a zippered area on the back of the purse that's supposed to be where you conceal your gun. Um, it's not very discreet and it's not lockable.

Nice try, but poor execution
This zippered pocket just screams "Look! Gun is in here!". There is no way to lock the zipper, so the bag must stay with the person At All Times to avoid little hands getting into it. Now, I'm not saying that if you have a proper concealed carry purse, with a discreet and lockable pocket, that the pocket should be locked all the time, because that's not feasible. However, if there are little hands around - ever - that purse needs to be under adult control At All Times and little hands must be kept away, or it needs to be locked. No one wants to be on the news for a child getting a hold of a gun and shooting themselves, a sibling, or a parent. (For the record, in case you hadn't figured it out, I'm not a fan of purse carry.)

Since this purse was sold as a concealed carry purse, and even though I have no intentions of carrying in my purse, I thought I'd slip my gun in and see how well it would do.

Wasn't sure there was room in the pocket for an actual holster, so went with trigger guard cover instead.

Slipped right in.

No printing, so that's good.

The inside of the concealment pocket is a basic lining material, so it's slippery. I wasn't sure that a holster would fit in there, so I used my trigger guard instead. If I was going to use this purse for carrying, I would either secure a soft holster (like a Remora or Sticky holster) in the pocket with velcro, or I would sew the paracord from the trigger guard in place.

There's no room in the zippered pocket to add an extra magazine without fouling up the arrangement. I suppose you could slip an extra mag into that small outer pocket, but that will print like hell, and if you put a mag inside the main part of the purse, it's not accessible.

This is a really well-made purse, but it is not a great choice for concealed gun carry. Concealed candy carry, though ...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Range Night and Other Odds and Ends

I just realized I never got around to posting part 3 of the Caliber series of posts. Oops. I'll get around to it eventually. Maybe. No one's been sending me hate mail asking where it is. So, maybe not.

I had an opportunity to get out to the range this evening with my best friend. It was my first chance to go pistol shooting since we attempted to simulate a small war in Hill County on Mother's Day. Much fun was had by all; but, sweet barbecue sauce, it was monkey melting HOT that day. We took turns shooting and sitting in the shade of carefully positioned canopies while drinking plenty of water, and it was still hot enough to marinate in your own juices. I didn't take many pictures that day was just too dang hot to be bothered.

I did get to play with several toys that were brought by others including:

Ruger SR9 - my brother in law's Christmas gift from my sister. It's a polymer 9 made by Ruger. You could do a lot worse. Trigger is nothing to right home about, but I went bang every time.

Savage Mark II bolt action .22LR rifle with a suppressor - my cousin's friend Alex brought this little number out to play. It came nestled into a Boyd's At-One Adjustable Stock and propped up by a bipod. This thing was a frikkin' giggle factory. You've not heard quiet until you shoot subsonic .22LR ammo out of a suppressed bolt action rifle. Savage makes a really good trigger. However, their little stamped steel magazines, while functional, could be used to shave in a pinch.  I guess I'm just spoiled by Ruger 10/22 mags.

Sig P226 and P229 - Best friend brought both. I still don't shoot DA/SA triggers worth a flip, but I didn't embarrass myself quite as badly this time. Both of these guns are very nice with SRT triggers, upgraded suppressor height sights, etc. Maybe one day I will invest the time, energy and money into learning DA/SA triggers to make it worth it to add one to the collection. In the meantime...there's always 1911s to play with.

No name,  homegrown, AR-15 chambered in 9MM. My cousin's friend is a budding machinist in addition to being a gun nut. He made the lower receiver himself. Not hogged out an 80% lower on a jig made it. He took a block of aluminum, a mill, some measurements and went to town. This one uses stick mags, but he has another one he made which takes Glock mags. He's single and still lives at home with mom. So, he can get away with making his own toys.

AR-15 with a CMMG .22LR upper and a Franklin Binary trigger system - This is another giggle factory. It's as close to full auto as you are going to get this side of a tax stamp, and very controllable. I was able to put 25 rounds of standard velocity CCI onto a 3x5 note cards at 25 yards as fast as I could pull the trigger using a red dot optic. Like I said...giggle factory.

Tried out a 16 inch .300 Blackout AR upper on my Aero Precision lower. I might just have to get one as a short to medium range hunting option. Roughly the same power as a 7.62x39 or a .30-30. Not much more recoil that a 5.56/.223 AR.

There was my best friend's Sig P320 X-Carry with the Romeo1 red dot on it. He's had a lot of  stuff done to it including a flat faced trigger and a Norsso slide. I would need to spend a lot more time with it to give a fair opinion, but the trigger is really nice for a polymer striker fired gun. I need more time on a red dot equipped pistol to be anywhere near comfortable with them. It fed the rounds down range with reasonable accuracy. Further, affiant sayeth not.

There was a lot more stuff out there, but I didn't get to play with all of it.

Tonight was pistol night though.

We started off with DOT TORTURE. Again.

43 out of 50 at 5 yards with a Ruger Mk3 22/45
The hardest part of Dot Torture is learning to take your time. Once you learn how to control your gun and clean to drill, you can add a time element in...if you're a masochist. I probably should have run a magazine through the gun before starting the drill just to knock the rust off. But, sometimes you just have to see if you can perform the dancing bear routine cold.

Same distance - Sig P320 Carry 9mm
I'm not even sure how to score this target. If I'm being generous, that's a 42 out of 50. If I'm being honest, that's a sub 40 circus of mediocrity.

Learned something new tonight. Well, not really new per se. I already sort of knew it. I had just never thought about it in the context of a pistol before. When you shoot a bullet, it flies in a parabolic arc. That means that it leaves the barrel and "climbs" a little bit above the line of sight until evil, old gravity sucks it back to earth at which time it drops back below the line of sight and keeps going until it hits pay dirt. What this means for the pistol shooter is that your point of impact will "rise" as range increases for a constant point of aim to a certain point (the top of the parabolic arc). Rifle shooters already know this stuff and have serious, poo slinging arguments over what the best distance is to zero their weapons or maximum point blank range and other silliness that pistol shooters typically ignore.

My friend suggested I give this a whirl with the Sig P320 and the Ruger SR1911. The way you do this is put a 1" paster on the bottom of a piece of paper or 3x5 note card. Heck, any target will do. The key is to use the same point of aim. Fire one shot at 3 yards. Move the target back to 5 yards. Fire one more shot. Keep doing this at 7, 10, 15, 20 yards, etc. out to whatever range you can realistically center your sights on the same 1" paster point of aim reference. You should see your point of impact "ladder" vertically at each distance. With the P320, I shot a 3 round cloverleaf at 3, 5 and 7, but the 10 yard shot was definitely above the others. With the SR1911, the effect was more noticeable with each round stringing vertically with distinct separation between each shot. The shot at 3 yards was at least 2 to 3 inches lower (maybe 4) than the shot at 10 yards.

It's something everyone should do with any gun/ammo combination you intend to rely on for self defense. Not every self defense situation occurs at the same distance at which you practice, and you need to know where your gun will shoot for a given point of aim at a given distance. As a general rule of thumb, lower your point of aim as distance to target increases. Know yourself. Know your gear. Because you never know when you will have to hit the light switch on an intruder's the dark...with your pulse doing twice the speed of light.

Last but not least, we did draws from concealment shooting two rounds on an A zone target at 5 yards. This was to put to bed a bit of smack talking that took place some months ago when my friend mentioned he'd picked up a shot timer and was working on his draws. He had started out in the 4 second range for 2 shots on target from concealment. I allowed as how he was a ham handed, gormless ape with no thumbs and two left feet. He questioned my parentage and allowed as how I could put up or shut up. I challenged him to same gear/same distance, and he suggested loser buys a box of ammo. So, I put on his Deadpool Kydex holster along with the previously mentioned 9mm Sig P320 Carry and gave it my best draw from concealment.

According to the timer, I threw down a 2.23 second time landing both hits in the A zone at 5 yards. Frankly, I'd never timed myself specifically on draw to double tap before...ever...much less using this gun and holster. So, the result was news to me. If I were to practice more with that gun and holster set up, I'm pretty sure I can bring that down in the sub 2 second range. Probably. Maybe. I'll just keep telling myself that.

Now, though, it was my best friend's turn. His time....drumroll please....2.40 seconds. Huge improvement over where he started in the 4 second range.

After all was said and done, we agreed that we were both in the same ballpark and the contest was a draw. It was all smoke and noise, and we had a great time.

Oh, one last thing, I ran 10 rounds through my friends Sig P365. This is Sig's new sub compact carry pistol which manages to stuff 10 rounds of 9mm in a package roughly the same size as a Glock 43 or a S&W Shield. The things shot amazingly well for a gun that size. I put all 10 in a head shot grouping of about 2 to 3 inches from 5 yards. I'll just say I wouldn't turn one down if it were given to me.