In Vino, Veritas…

Reposted from somewhere deep in the reaches of the internet…

Chris Rhines [10|Nov 08:38 PM]: So I’m sitting here dryfiring my Caracal. Wondering why I seem to only be attracted to guns that won’t hold an IDPA head box at 25 yards.

Chris Rhines [10|Nov 08:39 PM]: I got out a couple of my old Smith and Wesson M&Ps. Also can’t hold a group worth a s***, but I love shooting them.

Chris Rhines [10|Nov 08:39 PM]: My Glocks and my STIs all group really well, so why does shooting them feel like folding laundry?

Chris Rhines [10|Nov 08:39 PM]: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

pauly [10|Nov 08:42 PM]: yer not drinking enough?

(Long) Weekend Wrap-Up

– 3-Gun match at Summit Point Action Shooters on Saturday.  USPSA practice session at the NRA Range on Sunday.  USPSA indoor match at the NRA Range on Monday.  I am about wiped out.  I also badly need to hit the reloading press – I think I have about twenty rounds of 9×19 to my name…

– Speaking of the reloading press, I had two failures to fire during the USPSA match with Glock #2.  Upon inspecting the unfired rounds, I noticed that the primers weren’t quite seated below flush.  Good reminder to inspect your match ammo, especially if you use lighter hammer/striker springs.

– Go over here, and give the retention holster roundup a look.  I’m a big fan of retention holsters for multigun shooting – in fact, I use the Safariland 6378ALS on a 6004-FLEX drop rig.

– This coming Saturday is the regional multigun match at Peacemaker National Training Center.  Go sign up, if you haven’t already.

Why ‘Top Shot’ Is Important

Among the various gun forums, there have been a lot of discussions about Top Shot, with a lot of people yammering on about how they dislike the show because there’s too much drama, or the contestants suck (undoubtedly compared to the complaintant’s marksmanship skills via keyboard), or that it’s a reality show, or game show, or that the contestants are all jerks, or whatever.

I don’t consider Top Shot to be some of the greatest television ever made (right now, that would be Arrested Development, Firefly, or Deadwood), but it is, week after week, an engaging and entertaining skill-based reality show that caters to my interest in competitive shooting, and has some pretty boss slow-motion footage, too.

Myself and others have spent time defending Top Shot not because it’s brilliant story telling, but because it’s the first shooting-oriented tv show that actually has appeal to people other than shooters and gun owners.

So why this essay now?

Here’s why:
The AV Club Review of Top Shot

On the off chance that you aren’t familiar with The AV Club, it’s a spinoff website from The Onion that reviews and discusses pop culture, including film, music, and television shows. Demographically, the site skews heavily towards artsy urbanite twenty-something hipsters.

Still, and all, despite this, in reading the AV Club review of Top Shot, as well as the ensuing comments, there’s a fairly positive overall tone to the whole thing, along the lines of “hey, it’s neat to see a game show based on marksmanship competitions.”

This is the most important thing about Top Shot. It’s packaging and presenting shooting competitions in a way that is palatable to people who’ve never even shot a gun, and they’re coming away from the show with a positive impression of guns, competition, and the people on the show.

Consider it one small sign that this show is helping to break down the preconceived notions that all gun owners are a bunch of psychotic, backwards primitives. Hopefully at least a few viewers will have their political views changed by a show that isn’t political in the least.

Edited to add: Parts of this blog entry were inspired by a similar one written by Caleb Giddings of Gunnuts Media, which can be found on the Cheaper than Dirt website. I thought it was pretty cool to see validation of the points he made in wider media outside of shooting culture circles.

SHOT Show, Day the First

Okay, yeah, it’s the second day for most of you.

Got into Vegas last night, checked into the Wynn (highly recommended,) and crashed. Today was out first day out on the floor, and we saw some interesting stuff. Dig it:

iShot – Now I don’t shoot a whole lot of IDPA, but iShot has an IDPA concealment vest that is all kinds of slick. Not too many pockets, sleeves in the front for concealing a couple of flexicuffs, abrasion-resistant material on the inside that falls right where you’d wear your pistol and holster, and removable flaps on the outside pockets for dumping magazines. As an added bonus, the vest is not so horribly ugly that you couldn’t wear it out to the grocery store.

Tactical Solutions – TacSol is shipping a 50-rd. drum magazine for the AR-22 or Ruger 10/22 (interchangeable feed tower.) It looks pretty solid, and is designed to be very easy to load. I’m trying to get my hands on a demo unit, because this thing might be real handy for a dedicated .22LR trainer.

Pics and more stuff, coming soon. We’re gonna go eat dinner and see Penn and Teller…


Running the Numbers on AIWB Carry.

So, I’ve lately been having some second thoughts about appendix carry.  Like most of my second thoughts, these were occasioned by a really crappy practice session.  Without going into too many details*, I had occasion to wonder whether this whole AIWB thing was really for me.

So, I decided to run some numbers.  This afternoon, I ran three drills using the same gun, once from the CCC Looper AIWB holster, then again from the CCC Quick Cover strong-side IWB holster.  The results were interesting.

The first drill was simple.  2 shots on a 6″ circle at 7 yards, from the holster, freestyle, repeat 10x.  Average first shot time from the strong-side holster was 1.71 seconds, with one miss.  With the AIWB, average first shot ran to 1.63 seconds with 2 misses.  Oddly, I managed to let my cover garment screw up my draw twice from the strong side, which didn’t help the time at all.

The second drill was intended to test reloading speed.  Draw, fire 1 shot, reload from slide lock, then fire 2 more shots.  Same target, same distance.  I ran this drill 5 times with each holster.  From the strong-side holster, I averaged a 2.03sec. reload.  From the AIWB, I was averaging 2.40sec., about half a second slower.  This is consistent with reports from other people who run AIWB with a closed-front cover garment.

The last drill was just to draw and fire two shots, strong hand only.  Again, I used the same 6″ target at 7 yards.  And again, the AIWB holster was a little slower, averaging 2.51 seconds for the first shot, vs. 2.06 seconds from the strong-side IWB.  Again, this tracks pretty well with what other AIWB shooters have reported.

More after the break.

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Tamara on Guns in Comic Books

Over at View from the Porch, Tamara’s got a bit analyzing comic book characters and why they don’t generally carry guns.  She opines thusly:

I think that a large part of it is because guns are perceived as fatal. You can’t shoot people “just a little bit”.

Comic book heroes, by and large, do not kill bad guys; they tie them up and hand them over to the cops, at least metaphorically. If your hero had a gun, all he could do with it would be to shoot guns out the bad guys’ hands, and that makes him pretty much a one-trick pony, even worse than Aquaman…

Chris Straub, who authors the online comic strip Chainsawsuit addressed this issue recently as well:

Yes, this entire blog post was nothing more than a flimsy excuse to post a comic strip that I found amusing.

IDPA Defensive Multigun Rules released

So, IDPA has released a set of provisional multigun rules.  You can peruse them here.

I’m of two minds about this.

I love anything that gets more people into practical shooting, and the IDPA/DMG rules might actually do just that.   IDPA/DMG seem to cover some ground that USPSA and the big outlaw matches have overlooked, specifically, pistol-caliber carbines.  There are plenty of shooters out there with PCCs, and now they have a ruleset that they can be competitive in.  IDPA/DMG will also likely be popular with rangemasters and match directors, as they can set up a challenging match without the hassle and expense of long-range shooting.  Finally, IDPA/DMG will probably be easier for a new shooter to get into with minimal cash outlay.  The non-freestyle course design and low round counts should make this game the marijuana to the Mexican Speedballs of USPSA and outlaw multigun.  😉

That said, I worry about the long-term popularity of the game.  Let’s face it – IDPA is really late to the game with this.  There were IDPA club matches running unsanctioned multigun side shoots ten years ago. A lot of match directors probably have multigun rules that they’ve been using for some time, and those matches are unlikely to change.

So, we’ll see.  I might have to get my pump gun out of long-term storage again…


Fun with Search Results

So, my understanding is that in order to be a proper blogger, you have to watch your stats to see what search terms people are using to find your blog.

Evidently, someone found WotMG yesterday via this search:

“can you make a living off of competitive”

I’m going to assume the search was truncated, and the full term was “can you make a living off of competitive shooting?”

In a word, No.

To expand on that, no, you can’t make a living as a competitive shooter unless you possess both an exceptional level of shooting talent, and have a decent amount of business acumen.

From what I’ve seen, you can pretty well count the number of people who are paid to shoot matches for a living on one hand.

The other shooters who are able to do it for a living shoot as a way of promoting their own business. For instance, from what I’ve seen, Matt Burkett, makes a living conducting training courses, selling instructional DVDs, and gun parts.

A step down from that, and you’ve got shooters who are sponsored well enough to cover the costs of attending a large match; travel, lodging, food, guns, and ammo. While this isn’t “shooting for a living” it is “having a day job and a free hobby.”

After that, you’ve got shooters who are sponsored with just one or two of the above elements. Note that this isn’t a bad place to be. For example, if you’re good enough to have someone cover your ammo costs, that takes a huge bite out of the expense of practicing and attending matches with large round counts.

Likewise, free guns or other shooting accessories are always a good thing.

Of course, if you are sponsored, you’ll have to be a salesman. You’ll be expected to wear a jersey with company logos, as well as make appearances and talk to people about the products/services you represent. You’ll also be expected to perform well at matches, which means winning on a consistent basis. From what I’m told, this can be stressful and take a lot of the fun out of the sport.

On the upside of things, you do not have to be a professional shooter to win matches. 3gun is a sport that is dominated by amateur shooters, and the advantages of being sponsored with gear or ammo don’t create as wide of a gap as some would think.