Larry Correia Book Signing Followup

Just a quick follow-up to the book signing last weekend. If you weren’t there and were aware of it, you lost out. Larry Correia turns out to be the kind of guy who’s not only good at spinning a good yarn in a book, but real life as well. A number of other blogger types showed up, including the guys from The People’s Press Collective, a Colorado-centric news blog, and the snarkily charming FarmGirl of Tractor Tracks.

After the book signing, a bunch of us went over to the nearby Rock Bottom restaurant for dinner. A seriously good time was had by all.

Hey, Have You Guys Seen This Poll from USA Today?

This Is A Public Service Announcement From The Way of the Multigun

For some reason, among the online gun culture, an informal online poll that USA Today posted in 2007 has gone viral. And much like a viral infection of the unmentionable social sort, it keeps. popping. up. I don’t know how many times I’ve closed threads at THR where well-meaning but misguided people continue to post links to it in an attempt to skew the results to show “them” that “…the Second Amendment give(s) individuals the right to bear arms” but it has gotten tiresome.

So, for the love of God, pretty girls, cute puppies, and annoyed forum moderators, if you get a link in your email asking you to vote in a USA Today poll about the second amendment, please don’t just pass it on like a credulous moron.

Something I forgot, linking to this poll has been scientifically proven to cause ED.

Never figured I could type while wearing a straight jacket...

Of Float Tubes and Rifles

High Power and 3Gun bear almost no resemblance to one another. Those sports have about as much in common as Tai Chi and American Kempo.

That said, there are some commonalities between the equipment of competitors in either game. Even though a 3Gun rifle and High Power rifle look nothing alike, there is a similarity. Almost universally, competitors in either discipline shoot rifles that have a float tube installed on them.

There’s a reason for this, of course. If a rifle doesn’t have a float tube on it, any pressure exerted on the barrel will cause it to bend slightly, but still enough to change the point of impact of the rounds. This pressure can come from anything, such as being slung up tightly, or leaning against a barricade, or shooting from an improvised position that causes pressure to be put on the fore end/barrel.

The thing that sucks about this is that it can cause you to miss.

The solution is to install a float tube. What the tube does, is remove any contact between the hand guards and the barrel. This frees you up to exert as much pressure on the gun as you want, helping you to get a steady hold, while at the same time making sure none is exerted on the barrel itself.

If you’ve bought a plain-jane factory-AR rifle, a good argument could be made that the first thing to do to improve accuracy is the installation of a decent trigger. The second would be the installation of a float tube.

Arrrgh…

The evil extractor pin on my #1 Smith and Wesson M&P9 finally screwed me over good.  While replacing the extractor, I managed to break the pin off, half in and half out of the slide.  An overnight soak in Kroil did nothing to loosen the broken pin, so it looks like I’m going to have to drill it out.

Fortunately, I have M&P9 #2 to keep me going in the meantime.  It’s almost identical – sights, trigger, grip, recoil springs, everything but the stippling pattern on the frame.

Thus the lesson – any weapon system you’re going to run hard, you need to have an identical backup copy.  Don’t let a broken part take you out of the game.

Monster Hunter International: Author Book Signing In Denver Tonight!

Larry Correia, the author of Monster Hunter International is doing a couple of book signings in Denver today. I’ll be heading up to the Lone Tree signing for the meet and greet. Should be good times, and it looks like at least a couple of gun bloggers and forum people are going to be there as well.

If you haven’t heard of Larry, or his book, I strongly recommend you pick it up. Larry’s been a shooter for years, has competed in 3Gun, as well as having been a counter jockey at a store selling all manner of things that go “BANG” and brings that background to his novel in a big way. If you’re a fan of firearms, B-grade monster movies, or hilarious re-interpretations of longstanding sci-fi, horror, and fantasy tropes, then this book is one you need to pick up.

Kicking Around Ideas Re: Rifle Stock Length

At 6’3″, I’m not exactly what the designers of most rifle stocks have in mind. For pretty much the whole time I’ve been shooting, I’ve simply put up with the stock length of whichever gun I’m shooting.

However, last week, a friend of mine, who’s also above-average in the height department, handed me one of these and told me to give it a try. I’ve installed it on the lower that is rapidly becoming my back-up 3Gun lower, and will most likely be the primary lower where my .22 Tactical Solutions upper will live.

I’ve yet to shoot the gun in this configuration, but have noticed a couple of things when shouldering the rifle and acquiring a target. First off, when getting into an offhand, sitting, or prone position, the rifle feels much more solidly pressed into my shoulder than with a regular stock. It also feels like it’s easier to control where the gun is aimed as well. Secondly, my face-to-stock match up is going to need some adjusting, especially for use with a scope.

I’m going to give this a try with some live fire and a shot timer to see if it improves my time to target, splits, or accuracy. If it isn’t detrimental, my main 3Gun rifle will likely end up sporting one of these as well.

A Meditation on Shooting Practice…

By way of Caleb at Gun Nuts Media, I am made aware of this article by Tiger McKee, of Gunsite and Shootrite Academy fame.

I have a great deal of respect for Tiger McKee’s abilities as a trainer, and I’m sure it’s the height of hubris to comment on someone who gets paid to train shooters, but here we go…

A single 50-round practice session is a very, very short practice.  50 reps, even if you stretch them out with dry practice, is not many if you are trying to train a new technique or speed up an old one.  So if you are limited to 50 rounds at a practice session, I think your best bet is to focus on a single skill, rather than try to practice everything at once.

Tiger’s 50-round practice session incorporates the drawstroke, reloading, movement, target transitions, and several other skills.  All important skills, but I think it’s too many to cram into a single range session.  You can’t focus on three or four major skillsets and expect to improve them.

Instead, I would pick a single skillset and build the practice session around it.  For instance, if I wanted to practice my drawstroke and presentation, I might shoot 15 1-shot presentations from high ready, another 15 1-shot presentations from the holster, then maybe some 2-shot draws while moving offline to get out of my comfort zone some.

If 50 rounds is all you have, you need to wring every bit of practice out of every round you fire.  I think that focusing on a single skill per practice is the best way to do that.  As always, give it a try, use what works, discard what does not.

Appendix Carry

I’ve been playing around with appendix carry of a pistol lately. For those who don’t know, appendix carry is carrying the pistol, usually inside the waistband, just to the strong side of the belt buckle.

So far, I’ve found quite a few things to like about appendix carry (AIWB.)

  • The drawstroke is actually a bit faster than with traditional strong-side carry. I average about a 1.5-second draw to the first shot, from concealment, at 7 yards. From AIWB, I’ve hit a couple of draws under 1.3 seconds.
  • AIWB is somewhat more accessible from a seated position, especially while driving. It’s also much easier to draw weak-hand.
  • It opens up a whole world of options for cover garments.  With traditional strong-side carry, you either have to wear an open-front shirt, vest, or jacket, or accept a cripplingly slow draw.  With AIWB carry, you can conceal a pretty large pistol under pretty much anything, as long as it’s untucked.  AIWB carry works very well with my usual cargos-and-golf-shirt casual dress.

Of course, nothing is perfect.

  • If you fuck up and light a round off while reholstering, you stand a very good chance of castrating yourself.  And that’s the best case scenario – worst case, you get to experience a severed femoral artery and the joys of rapid exsanguination…
  • Okay, you did read the last part, about blowing your jimmy off while reholstering?
  • If you have to draw strong-hand only, it’s gonna be a little slower clearing your cover garment.
  • Reloading from under a closed-front cover garment is also going to be a little slower.
  • Seriously, go back and re-read the part about castrating yourself.

I’m going to continue carrying appendix-IWB for a while, just to wring the technique out.  I think that it has a ton of potential for concealed carry.  But as much as I hate to say this, AIWB is an experts-only carry method.  If you want to try it out, carry empty around the house for a week or so, and do a few thousand unloaded draws and reholsters.  DO NOT GET IN A HURRY WHILE REHOLSTERING!

For those who care, I’m carrying a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm full-size in a Custom Carry Concepts Looper (thanks again, Todd!)