Firearms General (233)
This will be my first attempt at reviewing pistols, accessories and just basically telling you all what I think about certain products.
First, a little about myself. I'm from the Western Maryland area. You know, the good area of Maryland. The area of Maryland where the rest of Marylanders come to defragment. The mountains of Allegany and Garrett counties. I am a Secondary High School teacher in training, NRA Pistol Instructor and Dad. My upbringing included mass quantities of firearms and hunting of all types so I have an idea what works for me and has worked for many others.
Obviously, I don't know it all and welcome your input on what I find....I've previously held an 01 FFL, sold bows but now focus on training new shooters for their Maryland Handgun Qualification License certification. We'll talk more on that subject later. My first review will be next Friday and will be the Glock 23, Gen 4. If you have something you would like reviewed tell me and I'll do my best to make it happen.
It's not often I am planning for the season ahead but I found myself with the opportunity to buy a S&W (tm) model 640. It was an original series pre-lock original J-Frame 38SPL only.
They are not the rage any more so I got it a fair price at my local LGS.
I am also a fan of Kydex holsters. They are lightweight and thin. I was surprised to find that not a lot was available for an original J-Frame. My old favorite IWB CompTac (I think it was called a ShirtTucker) is no longer made and my favorite ankle holster company Renegade had gone out of business. But, I am pleased to see that Wilderness has picked up the line.
So, for IWB it seems that there are very little variances in the available holster designs. The first one that I tried was a Concealment Express that I found on Amazon for $40 shipped. (http://www.amazon.com/Concealment-Express-IWB-KYDEX-Holster/dp/B00UFEIHAQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460577320&sr=8-1&keywords=concealment+express+642). How could I go wrong? It was a basic holster design with a large clip attachment in the center. Very common, very simple.
Their ad says that it fits a 442/642 - basically Airweight versions of my (older) 640. I emailed them to see if their holster would fit my 640. They replied that it was for a J-Frame. hmm. I clarified and they responded that they had not tried one specifically. Response was very quick. I decided to try one. It fit perfectly.
Well, to be honest I didn't like it. The clip was huge! My belts were simply dwarfed by it. I have an 1.5"-width super-thick Galco leather belt that is too thick for the majority of holsters - especially those with Kydex or synthetic clips. However, on this holster my belt was tiny. Wearing the holster it slid around in between the loops and my revolver's butt pivoted forward and back. I am also not a fan of putting the clip at the thickest part of the holster body and firearm.
The quality of the holster was good. The clip looked like it was one-size fits all holsters. Perhaps that is how they get the price so low. I emailed them about the clip and they never responded.
I think it would be fine for someone looking for an inexpensive holster that they would not be wearing for a long period of time or frequently. For me, I would rather pay additionally to get something that I could wear all-day, all the time. I sent it back. No use in having it sit in a drawer.
So, that was my first try. lol
Here is a pic of the holster's clip:
While $10 may not seem like much, when was the last time that you can think of that a government issued license went DOWN in price?
This is welcome news to those with FL licenses as it is one of the more expensive licenses (in my case my most expensive license) to have.
"The 80-page appropriations bill dealing with Commerce and Tourism for the state was crammed with everything from exempting water-related amusement rides to authorizing tax collector offices and passed the state legislature without a single “nay” vote in either chamber. Relating to concealed carry permits, it reduced the license fee from $70 to $60 on the initial application and from $60 to $50 for renewals."
This is an incredibly well written (dare I say perfect?) response from a sheriff when asked if "guns are the answer."
I quote it here:
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley at the Future of War Conference had some specific and strong opinions about the selection of a new standard sidearm. Some people may not like what he said.
'Shaw said soldiers don't like the M9 and would much prefer some type of .45 caliber handgun.
“If I had to pick, I would lean towards a Glock 17 or 19 or their .45 model," he said.
"They are easy to maintain and you can beat the hell out of them.”
Shaw also says that another replacement for the M9 would be the one that it originally replaced.
“The 1911," he said. "The .45 caliber is a much better weapon now.” '
Revised 4/1/16: Governor Inslee signed SB6165 into law! It goes into effect in 90 days after the session that it was passed. Since this was passed as part of the regular session I believe that will be June 9.
This gives folks who want to do a Form 1 prior to the ATFE 41F changes a window that they can file (have to submit prior to July 14th) .
There was a glitch in the Legislature's fix for allowing SBRs. Unfortunately, the ATF interpreted it to disallow Form 1's from non-licensed individuals.
The wording has been fixed and awaits Governor Inslee's signature.
CORRECTION: Speaker signed the bill 3/9/16 and has been delivered to the Governor.
UPDATE 3/10: Governor has signed 10 bills and vetoed 27 as a result of a budget debate with the State Legislature. This bill does not appear on the signature or vetoed list (http://www.governor.wa.gov/office-governor/official-actions/bill-action). If not vetoed or signed it becomes laws in 20 days (not counting Sundays).
Here we go again, although this actually doesn't change anything immediately since DC has been enforcing its show "just cause" to obtain a handgun permit. Of course, it will be appealed.
It seems even with the Heller ruling residents are still under the mercy of local government officials to carry their firearms. Even as all 50 States in the Union have some form of the anti-gunners still claim that citizen CCW is something out of the ordinary.
Today the West Virginia Senate followed the House and over-rode the Governor's veto of permitless carry. In 90 days W. VA will become the 9th state.
Virginia Governor McAuliffe today signed a gun control compromise bill. If you remember, recently the AG revoked the CCW reciprocity of 25 states. I originally blogged about it here:
The Republicans in the legislature were introducing all kinds of bills to counter act the AG decision, including one to recognize all other states' CCW licenses. However, the Governor and the legislature actually worked together to craft a bill that both sides would like. A compromise! Which of course the Gov. came under fire for. Funny, I thought it was the pro-gun folks who were unreasonable and never compromised? They added a section about people with permanent restraining orders being ineligible to possess firearms and removal of them by law enforcement. Additionally, there will now be a VSP presence at gun shows for voluntary background checks:
As far as the complaint that VA resident ineligible to have a VA CCW getting one out of state - many states have a provision that residents cannot use an out-of-state CPL. I am not sure why they just didn't add that.
Well, this saga draws to a close as a done deal and I will be able to carry once again in my home state:
Are we as instructors effectively shooting ourselves in the foot?
Are we alienating shooters and potential new shooters by forgetting the core values of respect and being polite?
I was recently involved in a conversation with a popular nationally known instructor. He said that it is his "job to chastise people" when they have made the wrong decision. The wrong thing in this case was choosing not to carry a striker-fired pistol without being able to justify it with a "valid" (to him) reason.
The shooter's reason for carrying something "antiquated"?
It was the platform that he had been carrying for decades and it was second nature to him.
The instructor then went on to chide him about how he had the luxury of carrying something that was less than optimal and that not everyone does.
I replied that choosing a firearm platform is a very personal decision and that each person needs to do their own research, shoot a variety, and then make a decision on their own. The instructor said that my comment was dangerous and implied that it could get someone killed (!) He then went on to say that he was going to make an "example" out of our exchange -- Good so was I.
This type of elitism reminds me of my first motorcycle course before I had even touched a bike. On the first day the instructor said that his goal was to get most of us new riders to FAIL. (That's a way to encourage new riders and instill confidence!)
He also said throughout the course that BMW made the only good bikes and was very vocal about putting other brands down. He was so successful as an instructor to fail people that he failed 9 (including me) out of the 10 of us!
I didn't ride another motorcycle for almost a decade when I finally decided to retake the class. I passed it without issue and commute on it daily (well, not today when it is close to freezing outside). My point is that first experience almost caused me never to ride a motorcycle again.
A week or so ago a young lady came to me to talk about her recent shooting class. She was afraid of firearms, but wanted to get over her fear. Unfortunately, it didn't fare much better than my first motorcycle class.
She explained to the instructor that she had never fired a firearm or even been around firearms being fired. She told him how afraid she was to even be on the range.
I don't know if it was an attempt to break her fear, or just a bizarre policy, after the training portion the class went to the range and the instructor without warning or explanation proceeded to load a 40 caliber pistol and fire off grounds rapidly. This did not even sit well with the nearby RSO who rushed over to get him to stop and tell him that it was in poor form. If you scare the RSO, then you are not doing it right.
Needless to say, this scared her to death and she found herself trembling for the rest of the class wanting to leave. The instructor was successful in making her never want to visit a public shooting range again.
She did not give up though and she asked for some 1-1 range time. I was able to take her to a private range and introduce her into different types of pistols and calibers so that she could find what she was comfortable with. We found that she is comfortable with 22 pistols and steel frame 38 special revolvers.
She was so excited about shooting that she even posted a video of herself on her Facebook page!
That in my opinion is the instructors job – teaching safety and making shooting enjoyable. Our goal is to preserve and continue the shooting sports not discourage it. I am glad that it did not take her a decade to retry.
I welcome your thoughts.
Anti-gun groups are quick to say that pro-gun people are unreasonable and unwilling to compromise.
But apparently, they are quick to attack any pro-gun control supporter who might be willing to make a compromise. Hypocritical much?
Their complaints are very weak. Each side got something, and to use the anti-gunners' mantra:
"If it saves just one life!"
They wanted people with protective orders against them to not be able to give/sell their firearms away, but rather be required to give them to law enforcement. Why?
And the universal background checks requirement for gun shows is voluntary with a stationed police officer at gun shows didn't go far enough. But "if it saves just one life"? Right?
It essentially restores status quo of CCW reciprocity that existed before the AG's "re-examination" and to quote the article: "...in exchange for tighter restrictions on gun ownership by domestic abusers and voluntary background checks at gun shows."
Sounds good, right? Apparently not! I guess unless it is completely draconian or has the word "ban" in it, it is no good.
Let's also not forget the fact that there were a couple of bills introduced that would have reversed the CCW reciprocity AG ruling anyway. One attempted to make VA a CCW license-less state which would honor any state's CCW license!
In the end (and being from the Commonwealth myself) I like Gov. McAuliffe's response:
McAuliffe dismissed the criticism during an appearance in Northern Virginia, saying “everybody supports [the gun deal] except one gun-safety group out of New York City.”
Well, this is an interesting twist. I am kind of impressed that a bipartisan agreement was reached in the Commonwealth of Virginia, however, I am alarmed that the Governor's Office (and Attorney General) have the ability to enforce/interpret the law.
Regardless, it looks like states will be added back in. I know that there are also several bills being floated that would make Virginia a permit-less state and one that would require them to honor any other state's CCW license.
Original article that VA was removing 25 states from their reciprocity list:
More suppressors you say?
One of the companies that I wanted to visit was Rugged Suppressor. They come highly recommended from SilencerShop.com, especially now that they are not a supplier of SilencerCo (don't know the story on that deal).
Who are they? Apparently, the founder is the former head of SWR prior to it being bought out by SilencerCo. If I heard correctly as I was walking up, the Octane was his design.
I took a look at the Obsidian. If is a modular pistol suppressor. You simply twist off the bottom part of the suppressor and it removes a baffle and part of the tube leaving you a "short" suppressor. Probably of not a lot of functional need - but very cool.
I talked baffles and longevity with them. Their baffles are made of a proprietary material called "Stellite." They said that it is much more durable than stainless and aluminum. MSRP is $950.
The product looked good and they have the knowledge to make good suppressors, but my only concern would be that they are a very young company having only launched their first product in 2014.
P.S. to the person that asked me to go to the Strike booth, my apologies! If you click on the below pic you will see that it was actually at the top of the list in my notebook to visit. I couldn't find it on the first pass and never got a chance to try again. Sorry.
(click pic to enlarge)
Speaking of suppressors, I also stopped by the AAC booth and chatted with one of their reps. It was nestled in the "Freedom" booth along with several other brands like Remington, Bushmaster, etc.
I chatted with them about using aluminum baffles and they were very adamant that their aluminum baffles lasted longer than stainless, were lighter, and had better sound suppression despite others' printed numbers. You can write it off as just company propaganda but sound tests I have seen do seem to indicate that shooters perceive the sound from a TiRANT to be less than other brands - despite what the print #'s indicate. Regardless, nice products and the person was very knowledgeable as we chatted suppressor cleaning.