Those who shoot together…

The fellowship of the gun is a powerful bonding experience. Sure, when you run the machine in the zone, there is you, your target, and the gun connecting you. Everything else dulls and fades out as though time is slowing down all around the little tunnel that the shot is going to follow. But, to have your best friend and lover there to cheer your greatest shots and offer a “you’ll do better next time” for the botched ones – there is little else that compares except of course, being on the other end of that interchange.

Read the whole post here.

Further thought: I once had a beautiful vendor representative ask if I’d go to the gun range with her. The first response that came to mind (which I did restrain) was that I’d be better off sleeping with her as it might be less of a betrayal to my wife. LOL! Needless to say, I did not go shooting with her.

An Accidental Discharge and the Aftermath

My brother was a little shaken up when I spoke with him the other day. He told me his story and I asked if he would write it up so I could guest post it on my blog. Well, here’s what he has to say…

Let me introduce myself. Call me Microcosm Overlord. I am the non blogging brother of the Evyl Robot. Very similar in many ways we share a fondness for self sufficiency self protection and firearms. This is my story about my accidental discharge, what a 12 gauge with 00 buckshot can do, why everybody came out unscathed, why the home has relatively little damage and why a 12 gauge with 00 buckshot is the preferred gun for home defense.

I have a Remington 870 Wingmaster as my home defense gun and as my social breakdown, attack of the zombies worst case scenario gun. I have Cut the barrel down to 20 inches, put the 3 round magazine extension on it, had it refinished in flat black Dura-Coat, made myself a nifty little sling out of some webbing I had lying around, put a Hi-viz fiber optic front sight on it and generally love on it like any good gunny should.

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I had been manipulating it earlier in the day and had put it away next to the bed where it generally stays. Later I was demonstrating a feature/function of operation to my wife and that’s when instead of “chuck chuck” *click* happened, it went “chuck-chuck” BOOM. I had neglected to clear the magazine.

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Let me digress. I have what used to be a completely fresh target hung on a door at the end of my hallway that leads to the garage. This target is for dry fire practice. It is in it’s specific location for two reasons. First the hall is a good 15 yards at it’s longest and secondly, I know that there is nothing of any real consequence behind that door.

My wife shrieked and realized what happened before I did. I didn’t even feel the recoil having no expectation of it. The gun had been pointed to the target on the door that is instinctual to me now. If I draw a bead in the house, the front sight lands on the target. After we had inspected the damage and found that nothing major was broken and that both of us were OK, save our eardrums and nerves, I had a good embrace with my wife and asked her forgiveness. For at least five minutes afterward all I could say is “I just did that…”

This is a slightly embarrassing confession for me. This was a beginner mistake and I know better. But I hope that it can also be a learning experience for those who may read it.

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So today I took measurements and photos and here’s all the data: the shot traveled 21 feet from the end of the barrel,

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through a 1 3/8” uninsulated wooden door (note that the wadding made it through the first layer of the door),

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through 9 ½ feet of empty space in my garage where two of the nine pellets came to rest in a stereo head unit and one came to rest inside a rearview mirror that I was saving for spare parts.

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You can see a fourth one made a dent in the sheetrock but was stopped. The remaining five pellets passed through a piece of ¼” cedar particle board,

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through the 7 & ¾” of drywall, insulation and siding, where one lodged.

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The remaining four pellets traveled another 20 feet

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before finding their rest on the exterior wall of one of the outbuildings.

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Total distance: 51’ 3.5”. Total thickness of penetration of the last four pellets: about 2” of wood all in total.

Comments:

As to safety and The Four Rules, I can only fault my brother on number one: He did not treat the gun as if it was loaded, and it was indeed loaded. He obviously kept it pointed in a safe direction. He pulled the trigger when he intended to drop the hammer. He knew his target and what was beyond it. Like many other things in life, it’s all too easy to get sloppy and have a negligent discharge. But, this will only make him that much more diligent to make certain to be aware and increasingly more safe with his gun handling. It was because of his already thoughtful and conscious gun handling that this was a minor incident and not a tragic accident. If everyone was so conscious about safety, the incidents of accidental shootings would diminish to virtually nothing. He also took full responsibility for his actions and owned the situation. He even tracked down the wadding and all nine pellets. When I talked to him about it, he said that he was so rattled that all the guns were in the safe that night. He was pretty shaken up to say the least. Thank God everyone was safe! Although, he may have had to peel his cats off the ceiling…

The penetrating power of 00 buckshot out of a 12-gauge shotgun is staggering. Note how little spread the shot pattern had in the 21 feet between the muzzle and the garage door. I get tired of hearing people say, “You don’t even have to aim a shotgun.” Well, yes you do actually. But in house distances, I suspect that any form of lead coming out of a 12-gauge will be lethal with a well-placed shot. I know that I’m tempting the debate of birdshot versus buckshot versus slugs with that comment, but I just don’t see how any loading could be less than effective in the ranges available inside a typical home.

My brother is fortunate that he had this learning experience with no more excitement to show for it than rattled nerves, and a couple damaged possessions. By the time he took the pictures, he had filled the holes in the siding with spand-o-foam. The loss of an old stereo receiver, spare car mirror, and a little wood and sheetrock are far preferable to someone getting hurt. I encouraged him to share this story so that other people could learn from it. Always be very careful whenever you handle a firearm. Remember and practice The Four Rules. Also make it your business to know what your gun is capable of. Guns can be a lot of fun, and I’d encourage anyone who is able to go out and enjoy recreational shooting, but only ever with the highest degree of safety.

***To see the repost complete with pictures, click here.***

Short Films to Occupy Your Time

Honda has a series of short films posted here that seem to be about exploration. I just watched the intro video, and I’m impressed. It kind of reminds me of BMW’s The Hire series, but these look to be more of a documentary format rather than fictional stories. I haven’t watched all of the Honda videos, but at this point I intend to. Of course, there was brand recognition and a little product placement in the intro video, but it was certainly not telling me that I should buy a new Accord. Most of the product mentions had to do with new technology development (as in stuff we won’t see on the road for another decade). Anyway, I fount it interesting and thought you might as well. With that, I’ll close with “The Star” from The Hire from BMW, starring Madonna and Clive Owen, directed by Guy Ritchie (and my personal favorite in the series). This, incidentally is an exaggerated example of why people should wear their seat belt particularly when they ride with me.

Gun Forum Flame War Starters

Here are some tips for stirring the pot and dragging the trolls out from under bridges…

Statements:

Smith & Wesson revolvers are better than Ruger revolvers.

Taurus revolvers are just as good as S&W revolvers.

AR15s are better than AK47s.

1911s are better than Glocks.

A big bullet moving slow is better than a little bullet moving fast.

A Remington 870 is a better defensive shotgun than a Mossburg.

A Taurus The Judge loaded with .410 birdshot is the ultimate in home-defense.

I can shoot MOA groups with my Raven.

Carrying extra magazines or speedloaders is just being paranoid.

Carrying a BUG is just being paranoid.

Leather is better than Kydex.

DA revolvers are better than auto-loading pistols.

(Or the reverse of many of these assertions.)

Topics:

The S&W internal lock.

Taurus The Judge.

Hi-Point Firearms.

AR15 add-ons.

Glock Model 7.

Rimfire for defense.

Tactical shotgun add-ons.

Harry Reid.

The NRA.

Questions:

Which optic should I use on my gun?

Which caliber is the proven one-shot stopper?

Which caliber is best for hunting?

What is the best gun to get for my wife/girlfriend/mother?

What is the best gun to purchase as my first gun?

What is the best gun to carry where it is illegal to carry?

After Hours – Day Two of Unemployment…

Make that SELF-employment!  I’m feeling pretty good, actually.  Apparently, I need to put together a real workspace.  My back has been hurting, and I’m getting sick of seeing work laying around.  Getting laid off sucks, but being in the first wave is a blessing in disguise.  It seems noble, but going down with the ship could not be a good thing.  I know that now I could get lulled in by the “I don’t want to work” bug, but if I make myself make a habit of doing what needs to be done, it will work out.  Last night, I did work on a holster for a little while, even though I said I wouldn’t.  Explanation:  I’ve seen way too many of the self-employed work at all hours.  I decided that I would work within hours and not otherwise.  Last night, I had to trim and wet-mold a holster so I could dye it today.  It wasn’t dry until this evening, so I was going to dye it and face another holster this evening.  Then, we got a storm.  I can’t dye when it’s raining, and the adhesive won’t set right when it’s raining.  So, I blew it off.  This is the first time I’ve felt relaxed since Thursday, and it feels WONDERFUL!!!  Two days in, two orders well underway.  I even finished a holster for Jenni.  (I have a friend that makes jewelry.  His wife gets diamonds as random presents.  Jenni got the short end of the stick, apparently.)  If that is any sign, it is going to work.  I still need holster orders, people!  Get off your duffs and buy!  😉

Avatar? Airbender?

I am vaguely aware that my son often watches this show on Cartoon Network or maybe Nick (I believe) called Avatar. I’m not one of those disconnected parents that sees the T. V. as the babysitter, and have watched this show with him on multiple occasions. It seems like an innocent enough fantasy story with nothing that I find terribly objectionable in it, but I find it so mind-numbingly boring that I couldn’t tell you who the characters are or anything that they’ve ever done. What I’m watching for is to make sure that some stranger isn’t filling my kid’s head with crap that he doesn’t need. I heard somewhere that they were making a live-action, silver-screen, feature-length version of this show, and I know that he’s going to want to see it. Then, I started hearing these rumors about Avatar hitting the theaters this weekend. “Great,” I thought, “Let’s take kiddo to a matinee on Saturday and check out this little flick. So, I looked into it a little.

So, what’s with the blue people? I don’t remember much about the show, but I don’t remember blue people. the chick looks pretty hot, if you can get over the weird eyes. Actually, that’s kind of… Wait a minute! Marines? I don’t remember Marines being in the cartoon, much less the central characters. Where’s the munchkin with the arrow tat on his gourd? I’m not sure this is the same movie that I’m thinking of at all!

My lovely wife then explained to me that I was confused. It’s James Cameron’s political propaganda picture Avatar that’s coming out on 12/18/09, which has absolutely noting to do with the cartoon that I don’t really remember. She explained that the movie that I was thinking of is The Last Airbender coming out this Summer.

Airbender? Really? I thought the show was called “Avatar.” I had pizza last night and have been bending air all morning. Does that count? Still, that looks a whole lot more like I think it should. Apparently, I’m not the only one that thinks this is a little confusing.

This is just too weird. When they come out with the live action version of Ghost in the Shell, will they name it “Innocence” due to a copyright technicality? Will there be some random pile of special effects and heavily-weighted agenda message coming out half a year earlier that steals the title by legal technicalities? What about Cowboy Bebop? Is there nothing sacred in Hollyweird anymore?

Huh. I guess I just answered my own question.

On that note, let’s watch a Cowboy Bebop teaser!

I REALLY hope they don’t F this one up.

Open Carry Weirdness

Just like clockwork, I fill up the gas tank on our car every five days. I have pushed it to six from time to time, but it seems that when I do that, I’m sweating over the tank light until I make it to the gas station. On the down side, the engine has an 11:1 compression ratio, and doesn’t run worth a crap on anything short of premuim. On the up-side, the tank only holds twelve gallons, and the car sips on that at an average of 26.5-mpg. Yesterday was the day in question when it was time to fill up.

The station that I prefer to go to is near Jenni‘s office, but it’s kind of a rough corner. It’s not that I ever fully let my guard down – I’m just not the kind of person that ever takes it for granted that I’m ‘safe’, but I have my more relaxed moments and my more guarded moments. When I’m at this gas station in particular, I’m usually on high-alert, carefully observing everything happening around me.

While I was filling the tank, I noted the other cars and drivers in the parking lot and at the pumps. It’s funny that the people I notice don’t necessarily seem to notice me there. I watched a silver Pontiac Vibe pull into the parking lot and up to the ‘FREE AIR’ compressor thingy. I watched as a mid-thirties, brunette girl stepped from the car, wearing a pair of khaki-colored pants and an unprinted, white T-shirt. This struck me as odd, since it was close to freezing, if not below. When she turned to close her door, I saw a full-sized, polymer semi-automatic in a belt holster on her right side.

It appeared to be a S&W M&P or something similar. The magazine floor plate looked like the M&P’s anyway, but I was trying my very hardest not to stare. I glanced around the parking lot, and it was very clear that nobody else had noticed. I looked back in her direction, and she had turned so that I could only see her left side, and the gun was out of sight. For a fraction of a second, I wondered if I had imagined it – until she turned with the air hose in her hand and I caught a full view of the profile of her sidearm again. Once she was done airing up her tires, she pulled around to a gas pump and proceeded to fill up her tank. I left the gas station while she was doing this.

When I picked up Jenni from her office, I told her about the whole experience. She said that it didn’t really surprise her, as she’s seen many people in that little part of town open carrying. She noted that they are usually young women alone, or people on motorcycles. Personally, I can fully understand why anyone on a bike, or without some kind of group support would want to be armed in this neighborhood. Honestly, that’s a big reason that I got my CCW permit – most places that I hang around are extremely safe, but I do pass through other areas that raise my red flags.

Having said all that, public open carry is explicitly illegal in the State of Oklahoma. I know people do it, because I’ve seen people do it on multiple occasions. Working retail, I had a salty, old, regular customer who kept a nickled revolver on his hip at all times, and in plain sight. And then, I’ve had many experiences like the one yesterday, where I’ve witnessed an ununiformed individual openly packing heat. (Maybe that’s why she was down to her T-shirt in freezing temperatures! :-D) In any case, I have to wonder how people get away with it. You don’t just wander around, obviously breaking the law as a lifestyle and still not get caught. I could understand how someone might do it out of ignorance, but that would only last until the inevitable confrontation with law enforcement. Perhaps they know some kind of obscure, legal loophole that has so far evaded me? There has been a pretty hard push to legalize open carry in the state, perhaps these people are deliberately breaking the law as a protest to that end? In any case, it does boggle the mind.

Prayer Request IV (Urgent)

I previously posted about a prayer request. An event occurred today that has me really freaked out. I plead for your prayers. This could totally suck. Right now, I’m trying to tell myself that I’m freaking out for nothing, and everything is going to be just fine. I want to believe that is true, and I think it is true. But, if this goes south, I very literally may not live through it. I don’t think it will go south. I’ve been through this particular struggle before. It was the single most harrowing experience I’ve ever had, and I’m set up for it better this time. Of course, any traumatic experience rearing its ugly head again will cause that irrational fear. This will not be my last blog entry, but I’m scared. I don’t like being scared. I like to know that everything is going well.

Things have been going well for a while now. A couple months ago, I actually wondered when we’d reach the next bump in the road. Well, we have now. I’m still not ready, in my heart. But, I will do everything that I can. I need all your prayers right now. What I was hoping against is what I’m staring at right now. It feels as though my head is in the cobra’s mouth.

My boss was a bank manager. One time, there was a robbery. The robber assaulted the bank with a .22 caliber hand gun. He said that when that thing was pointed at him it was “THIS BIG!!!” He used his hands in a 2-inch circle to show the muzzle from his perspective. I’m hoping that’s what this cobra is. Always the optimist, I’m not going to let go of the idea that it may not be nearly as bad as I perceive it.

Anyway, for the fourth time, I ask for your prayers, this time more than ever before.

Dry for Material

Bbbbbblllllllaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

This really sucks! I’ve got some upcoming material, but nothing that I can really write about right now. On top of that, I’ve been a little preoccupied lately. That certainly hasn’t done well for my blogging motivation! Needles to say, Jen has been working through some issues (at a startling rate, I might add), and I’ve been facing my own demons since they tend to be intertwined with hers. Perhaps one day I’ll feel brave enough for full disclosure on such things. That might be good…

Anyway, I’m looking forward to writing up my post on this wacky, new holster that I’m making for my sister-in-law! I finished the structural forming and did some structural testing last night. The good news is that it works! It holds the gun very stable and the draw and reholster are quite quick and easy. The scheme is pink and purple, so she’ll love wearing it, and it shows off a lot of gun! The bad news is that the belt-loops are TIGHT!!!! My brother will probably have to help her get dressed when she wears the thing, at least until the leather softens up enough that it isn’t a fight to put on a belt. Also, it’s no CCW holster. It doesn’t retain well enough to keep it away from a BG, but I don’t know how much value there is in that anyway. It very decisively does not pull the gun in, so the butt prints in anything short of a very heavy coat. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post pics of the finished product soon.

Jen recently suggested that I write up a review on S&W’s 586 L-Comp, as I carry two of the suckers every day. Of course, I blinked at her and asked her why I hadn’t thought of that. I am looking forward to writing said post, but I’m going to need some fresh pics to do that. It’s been rainy and nasty, and I haven’t had a chance to clean and oil them, and any other excuse that I can think of to cover my laziness… I’ll get on that before too terribly long. I’d like to get some good range pics for that post. If all goes well, I should be able to get some this weekend.

Anyway, I know it’s been a little dry. Anybody care to loan me another gun to review on here? 😉

p. s. – Oh, I almost forgot! I’m still looking for a sewing machine. Juki makes one that I need to spend some more demo time on, but I think it will do what I want it to. I’ll let you know how that comes out. If/when I do buy a machine, I’m going to have to get rid of some crap and do some rearranging. (I hate housework!)