I haven’t had much opportunity to shoot in low light conditions lately, however I just recently had the chance at a local IDPA club.  They shoot at an indoor range, and will frequently run the stages with the lights off except for ambient light to simulate a low light shooting incident.

Knowing that, I hauled my ParaUSA LTC with Crimson Trace Laser Grips out to the range to run it in exactly the sort of environment that the laser was designed for.  The laser isn’t great for total darkness, as it doesn’t provide a lot of illumination, but in low light it quite literally shines.  What was most interesting to me was how much light on the target the laser did provide though – splash from the dot lit up the entire -0 of an IDPA target, allowing me to see the area around the dot and in one case identify hard cover and re-adjust my aim to get a hit where I needed it.

Of course, me being a fan of lasers for defensive firearms and training purposes shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  While the laser isn’t a substitute for the sights on the gun, there are times where you simply won’t be able to use your sights, whether due to lighting conditions, body mechanics, or whatever – in those situations a Crimson Trace laser becomes an invaluable tool as it allows you to still precisely designate your target and get fast hits.  Crimson Trace, in addition to being a good company that makes the best laser products on the market has also been phenomenal at engaging with direct media.  I enthusiastically recommend their gear to anyone serious about putting a laser on a defensive firearm.  Sure, you could get a guide rod laser, or one of those absurd “rear-sight lasers”, but all of those lack the intuitive activation and grip integration of the Crimson Trace Laser.

If you don’t believe me, try one out!  Find a range that will let you shoot in low light situations, maybe turn the lights off in your booth or shoot outdoors right around dusk.  Use of the laser in a low light combat situation greatly improves your ability to get rapid hits on target, which is exactly what you’ll need to win the fight.

Continue reading “Illuminating”

Feed your children well

It’s apparently 1911 day today.  Ladies and gents, don’t buy crappy magazines for competition or personal defense guns.  I could write another 700 or 800 words just on that, but bottom line the majority of malfunctions in modern semi-automatic pistols are caused by the magazine.  Get good magazines.

You can also buy crappy magazines, because everyone should practice malfunction clearance drills, but if you shoot a “public domain” platform like an AR15 or 1911, buy good quality magazines for serious work.  I can’t tell you how many malfs I’ve seen at matches in 1911 that are 100% the fault of the gun-show special mags and were eliminated when the shooter switched to Chip McCormick/Metalform/Wilson Combat magazines.

Oh, and to answer your question – I use Chip McCormick mags exclusively in my 1911s chambered for .45 ACP.

357 sig penetration

That showed up as a pretty popular search term today.  I’ll give you a hint: not significantly different than a 124 grain +P 9mm, a 165 grain .40 S&W, or a 230 grain .45 ACP.  And definitely not enough of an improvement to justify the additional cost on magazines and ammo because you want to be like the Secret Service.

Shoot more, shoot better

I’m a firm believer that competition shooting will help you improve your skills in the event you ever need to use a firearm to protect your life.  As a general rule, this consensus is shared by experts in the shooting community such as Jim Cirillo and Mas Ayoob among others.  However, with all the different divisions out there, it can be confusing for one shooter if they’re trying to maximize their competition time with one gun.  If you’re looking for a gun that you can carry and compete with in multiple divisions, there is nothing better than the venerable 1911.  Sorry Glock guys, there are more competition divisions set up for 1911s!

If you have a stock 1911 in .45 ACP then you can shoot the most divisions of any gun and be competitive.  Let’s look at IDPA – there are two places where a .45 ACP 1911 can run and be competitive, the first and obvious is in Custom Defensive Pistol, home of the 1911.  However, you can also run it in Enhanced Service Pistol, grab some 10 round mags and load it light, and you’re good to go.

There are also two divisions in USPSA where your gun is competitive; obviously Single Stack division which was built for the 1911 is one.  However, before USPSA had Single Stack, there were a lot of 1911s using 10 round magazines running in Limited-10.  Rob Leatham once won the L10 Nationals running a lightly modified Springfield Long Slide Trophy Match, which really is a nice gun.

I should note in the interest of fairness that a Smith & Wesson M&P-45 will allow you to compete in 5 different divisions – ESP, CDP, and SSP in IDPA; Production and Limited-10 in USPSA.  But the 1911 just has a little bit more panache to it, as much as I love the M&P pistols.

This pattern – buying one gun for multiple divisions works because it allows you to pick a gun and stick with it.  Instead of having a gun for Single Stack, and a gun for L10, and a gun for CDP, etc etc you have one gun.  And hopefully a duplicate in case it goes down, but 1 gun – many games is the way to go.

Revolvers for new shooters

Everyone is talking about snub nosed revolvers for new shooters.  Here at Gun Nuts, we have beaten this topic to death.  I even have an article coming up in US Concealed Carry Magazine on this various topic that looks at issues such as grip strength, trigger pull, and shootability.  However, instead of rehashing over 3000 words and quite a few articles, I will simply re-print this quote from Tiger McKee.

Most people think revolvers are easy to shoot and operate, and for some reason they think this is especially true for women shooters. This is simply not the case, regardless of the shooter’s gender. The trigger on most revolvers is longer and heavier than the majority of semi-autos. – Tiger McKee

Tiger is right.  If there is one thing I learned from firing over 10,000 rounds through a revolver last year, it’s that these things are hard to shoot well.

Steel Challenge results

The final results are in for the 2010 World Speed Shooting Championships.  Here are the Top 5 finishers for Overall, Steel Master, and then by the myriad of divisions.

Match Overall (also Open Division)

  1. KC Eusebio
  2. Dave Sevigny
  3. Jerry Miculek
  4. Tatsuya Sakai
  5. Max Michel

Steel Master – aggregate of Limited, Rimfire, and Open

  1. Dave Sevigny
  2. Jerry Miculek
  3. BJ Norris
  4. Todd Jarrett
  5. Ryan Leonard

Jessie Abbate also captured the Ladies Steel Master title for the 2nd time in a row!

On to the division winners!

Limited Division

  1. Dave Sevigny
  2. JJ Racaza
  3. Tatsuya Sakai

Production Division

  1. BJ Norris
  2. Rob Leatham
  3. Mike Seeklander

Optical Revolver

  1. Jerry Miculek
  2. Everyone else

Iron Sight Revolver

  1. Seiichi Ishikawa
  2. Dave Olhasso
  3. John Bagakis

Stock Service Pistol

  1. Petros Milionas
  2. Dave Olhasso
  3. Brad Engmann

Enhanced Service Pistol

  1. Petros Milionas
  2. Taran Butler
  3. Michael Tanita

Custom Defensive Pistol

  1. David Hamilton
  2. JT Tedder
  3. Tony Phan

Ladies Results

  • Ladies’ Open: Jessie Abbate
  • Ladies’ Limited: Julie Golob
  • Ladies’ Production: Julie Golob
  • Ladies’ Iron Revo: Molly Smith

No female shooters competed in the IDPA categories.

It looks like it was another great year at the World Speed Shooting Championships.  As has been the case since the show aired, Top Shot alums have fared well, with JJ, Mike, and Brad all taking Top 3 honors in their respective divisions!  Way to go!

A PhD in feral hog eradication

Between this awesome thread at the High Road and the many conversations I’ve had with Farmer Frank I honestly feel like I have at least a Master’s Degree in killing feral hogs.  These are not “Charlotte’s Web” piggies, feral hogs are violent, destructive, and smart.  You think deer cause a lot of property damage?  If you live in an area where these things haven’t migrated to yet, be thankful…and shoot on sight if you do see one.*

*Assuming of your course that doesn’t violate any laws.

Get involved locally

This is primarily for my readers in Washington State – as you know, we’ve got an election coming up this November and if you’re as tired of Patty Murray as I am, now is your chance to get involved locally and do something about it.  It’s pretty easy, head over to NRA Washington’s Facebook page, and click “Like” to get signed up to receive updates on events in your area in Washington State such as gun shows, doorbell campaigns, yard sign distribution, and other ways to actually get involved at the local level to support pro-gun candidates.  Click here to sign up!