New Gun! – and Apologies…

To both my readers – I’m sorry. I haven’t been a very good blogger lately. If you have been following my rants, you both probably know that I haven’t been very good at keeping up with my online presence. You probably also know that I’ve been working – A LOT!!!!! If you haven’t, you can pretty much catch up on the antics here or here. If you haven’t already, GO, READ!

As you can already tell from the preceding, I’ve been worked really hard over the course of the last month’s time. I’ve been on my feet on a shop floor for a good ten hours a day. This is no excuse for my absence in my blogging, but I hope that you will forgive me and understand that there has been some other pressure.

I learned a lot at Appleseed when we went, but it was a real disaster to me in the present state of things. It was a real lifter to Jenni, and you can read about it here. Once again, I learned A LOT. If I skip the part about my failure (or my lack of mastery) can I skip on to the part about bad equipment without guilt? Frankly, I feel like the equipment challenges forced me to learn a whole lot more than the other students of the workshop. This won’t be my last Appleseed, as I WANT THAT PATCH!!!!!!!!

Jenni and I are still in the one-income mindset for some reason. This means that we’ve been living on the cheap (a.k.a. like poor people), and I’ve been working a lot of hours, and dragging the cash home. So, we found ourselves with a household export deficiency.

When Christmas was coming around, we had this grand idea that we were going to have a gunny Christmas. The fat man was going to come down our non-existent chimney with a bag full of shooty goodness, and he was going to leave a precision air rifle for the kiddo, a DAO Beretta PX4 Storm .45 for Jenni, and a Saiga 12 for Your’s Truly. But, that didn’t happen. Life got in the way, and we took care of life instead. We made it right for the kiddo, but we vowed that we’d take care of each other later.

Valentine’s Day came and went. I was unemployed. This weekend, we found ourselves together with a little excess cash. So, we took care of each other. We found a great Nikon camera that Jenni couldn’t go on without, and we made our way to the range to return some loaner gear to my friend, Will.

While we were at the range, I looked over that 12-gauge AK that I’ve been imagining owning. They didn’t have the exact model that I’d like to own, the price was a little higher than I remembered, and I was thinking of all the mods I’d have to do to it before I loved it. So, after much deliberation I didn’t go that route. Instead, I bought a brand new Smith & Wesson M&P45c.

“Why that particular gun?” you might ask. Well, I’ve been a fan of Smith & Wesson since I’ve been even fascinated by guns. They haven’t let me down yet. Jenni has the 9mm equivalent of this gun, and although I was thinking about getting a nine, it made more sense for me to get a different caliber if I was getting the same model – and I don’t believe in .40 or .357 Sig. Bang for the buck, it’s really hard to argue with S&W’s M&P guns. They’re really fantastic firearms for the green they command.

While at the range, I rented a S&W M&P45 full-sized model, just to get the feel for the thing. The rental gun was well-abused, with many thousands of careless rounds put through it. And, its countenance showed it. The sucker was visibly mal-handled as a lifestyle. The polymer frame was warped away from the muzzle, and everything in it that could rattle was. And yet, it returned fuzzy hole after fuzzy hole in the way of groups. The gun felt remarkably solid in the hand and all actions were consistent – safety, slide, trigger, etc.

Smith & Wesson is currently offering a $50 or two-free mags mail-in rebate on this line of guns, so the economics made perfect sense. I went to the young man who had showed me the Saiga and broke the news that I would not be buying that shotgun – but asked him if he would sell me a pistol instead.

Over the weekend, Jenni and I took the little big bore to the range. She performed perfectly over the course of 200-rounds. I resisted the urge to be horribly stingy, and let Jenni shoot her a few times. Although the users weren’t perfect, the equipment itself performed flawlessly. There were fuzzy groups returned when we shot our wellest, and adequate-to-kill-teh-BG for our worstest of shooting.

This evening, when Jenni was out to church choir, I walked down to the range at the corner and picked up some defensive .45. It’s the Bonded PDX – or whatever bullet, as loaded by Winchester. Now, I need to work myself into my holster-making schedule. My real customers come first, but this girl will have a name and be riding in good leather in no time flat!

Jenni has taken some very impressive pictures with her new camera, and the new pistol shoots wonderfully. So, for a VERY late Christmas present, Jenni took some nice shots at my new pistol. I very wisely did not reciprocate. There are pics of the new gun which will come out shortly, but you aren’t missing anything as it looks like a very generic, polymer, striker-fired auto-chucker.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Merry Christmas to both my readers!

Update on Teh Nu Jobz

To both my faithful readers: I give my sincerest apologies for not writing a blog entry for over two weeks. These are the actions of a n00b, and I hope you can forgive me. Now, please allow me to explain myself. Right now, I’m receiving my 100-proof therapy after my fifteenth consecutive day of work at the new place. I’m not much worried about getting Dooced right now, as I don’t think anybody there has any time to find my blog, much less read it. Week one wound up around fifty-two hours of labor. Last week tallied in at a little over sixty. Fortunately, I will not be working this weekend. I’ve made comment and had coworkers say that they thought ‘we’ would be working. I’ve explained that I have scheduled the time off, and will be taking it, as I have already purchased my tickets to the Appleseed shoot that I’ve been wanting to go to for two years now! I’m friggin’ excited and dead tired all at the same time. The weather looks like it will be great (although I don’t put any faith in a forecast beyond 72-hours).

The wife, child, and I will be well-overdue for some challenging rifle action. I hope to learn some tricks that will make my shooting go from adequate to astounding. From what I’ve heard and read from other Appleseed attendees, this is exactly what I should expect. It was about two years ago that there was an event near my home, and that’s where we are going next weekend. I inquired, and there were no assurances that there would be another event at said location in the foreseeable future. So, we ponied up, paid the admission, called in some favors to complete our gear, and we will be storming our stores for the remainder of what it will take to go to this magnificent event. With our awesome .22lr’s in hand, we will drive to the gun range where the three of us will learn to reliably hit a man-sized target at 500-meters with a rifle equipped with iron sights. Yeah. I’m psyched! The range also has an area reserved for some real-life, 600-yard shooting, so I imagine that we’ll also drag our AR’s along for the ride. We’re going to have a really nice, soopah awsom, rifley weekend!

Besides the obvious complaint about the hours, I REALLY like the new job. I thought that I was working with an outstanding group of people at my last job. But, this company is 10x bigger than the last, and I can’t find anybody that I have had any significant head-butting with. Having crammed three weeks worth of work into two, that’s really saying something! As far as the hours are concerned, my one saving grace is that it is temporary. The factory is:
1 – Moving from one computer system to a distinctly different one.
2 – Changing warehouse and manufacturing locations to streamline production.
3 – Going through a meticulous inventory of like a quarter million distinct part numbers (I may be exaggerating a little there).
and:
4 – Implementing a massive overhaul of the part numbering system.
The bottom line is that they need all the help they can get. My position is the obvious help there. Salaried employees put in free overtime, and they perform accordingly. Hourly employees must legally get paid time-and-a-half for their overtime. Consultants (a. k. a. ‘contract labor’), such as I, may be paid straight, hourly pay for any and all time over the Federally allotted, forty per week. Therefore, they will make their hardest attempt to work the snot out of me for the duration for the ninety-day contract. I must say that I don’t mind the extra pay, even if I do mind the extra hours. I am rapidly wearing thin, but I don’t think that it will be a problem to deliver at least their money’s worth through the end of the week. I have even managed to get a little of my holster work in on the side! Granted, I have not completed a huge amount of that work, but it has been progress… As far as more traditional work is concerned, I like them a lot, and they seem to like me as well. The people at the new company express in many ways that they are really impressed and appreciative of my presence there. Apparently, I have not offered disappointment since my interview. I don’t plan on offering any.

On the holster end of things, I’m just about to unveil my first exotic-skinned holster as well as the much-requested, much awaited, pocket/IWB convertible. And, I’ve got a few tricks in store there! I’ve also freshened up my belt-optional IWB holsters and added a matching magazine carrier for the weak side. True to my previous promises, I’m about to show off some beautiful new products! For a teaser, please look at what Caleb has to say about his new Red Racer! I’m trying my hardest to make the best holster you can get, regardless of price – and a .2-second drop in draw speed over kydex for a Bianchi Cup competing IDPA shooter is nothing to scoff at!

Yes, friends. I’m very tired. But, the ride has been a good one. I’m looking forward to some much earned R&R, but for now, I believe I’ve got enough fuel left to get through the demanding part. Once again, I’ll try my hardest to not let it get to two weeks before my next post. Thanks for reading. Regards,

ERM