Saturday, 05 March 2016 17:47

W VA overrides Gov veto of permitless carry!

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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. 

Source: http://concealednation.org/2016/03/breaking-wv-house-and-senate-immediately-vote-to-override-governor-veto-permitless-concealed-carry-coming-in-may/

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: 
http://instructors.fortreg.com/index.php/item/502-virginia-removes-25-states-from-ccw-reciprocity-including-wa-and-fl-note-ut-is-still-valid?highlight=WyJ2aXJnaW5pYSIsInZpcmdpbmlhJ3MiLCJyZWNpcHJvY2l0eSJd

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:
http://instructors.fortreg.com/index.php/item/528-va-gov-republicans-reach-compromise-on-firearm-reciprocity?highlight=WyJ2aXJnaW5pYSIsInZpcmdpbmlhJ3MiLCJyZWNpcHJvY2l0eSJd

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:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-virginia-guns-idUSKCN0VZ2VU

 

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.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 06:37

Bloomberg group attacks VA Governor for daring to...compromise?

Written by Reg Mathusz

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/bloomberg-gun-control-group-launches-new-ad-against-mcauliffe/2016/02/09/5ef0e3e6-cf16-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html

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.”

Thursday, 28 January 2016 13:03

VA Gov & Republicans reach compromise on firearm reciprocity

Written by Reg Mathusz

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.

 

Article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/mcauliffe-to-restore-handgun-reciprocity-in-deal-with-republicans/2016/01/28/6f8c0240-c5d8-11e5-9693-933a4d31bcc8_story.html?postshare=6951454005619197&tid=ss_tw

 

Original article that VA was removing 25 states from their reciprocity list:

http://fortreg.com/firearms/?p=4781

 

Friday, 22 January 2016 14:51

SHOT Show 2016: Rugged Suppressors

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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)

rugged

Friday, 22 January 2016 14:38

SHOT Show 2016: AAC

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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.

aac-1 aac-2

Friday, 22 January 2016 14:26

SHOT Show 2016: SilencerCo

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One of my favorite booths to visit was SilencerCo. They had plenty of product on display that you could handle and the staff was attentive and friendly. I was hoping that they were going to have a modular pistol suppressor (a full size that you can take a baffle out and make a short length) coming out but they have no plans currently. Both Rugged and AAC have one now.

However, they had one of the coolest pistols at SHOT that I got a chance to handle: The Maxim.
Initially, I wasn't too interested due to how bulky it looks in pictures and that it was based on the S&W (tm) M&P (tm) pistol. I am pleased to report that the final specs are in and the pistol will take Glock 17 mags AND Glock sights!

Handling the pistol was a completely surprise. It is not heavy or front-heavy what so ever! It is very manageable and promises to be a great shooter. While they may not be building a modular suppressor they are building some out of the box stuff. Remember when the wild looking (not round) Osprey came out?

(click on a pic to enlarge)

silencerco-1 silencerco-2 silencerco-3

Monday, 28 September 2015 14:25

Taurus PT-22 Poly vs Beretta 21a Bobcat

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My Dad recently confronted a burglar and wanted some very small and lightweight. He preferred a semi-auto, but it needed to be able to fit into a robe pocket. Since he is older I worried about his ability to be able to rack a semi-auto slide under stress or late at night. The first pistol I thought of was the Beretta 21a Bobcat because of the tilt barrel making loading/unloading simple. But, I couldn't find one (he can't have mine). He actually wanted a 25ACP. I personally prefer the 22LR but I thought the straight wall cartridge might feed better, especially if the pistol isn't kept clean and well lubricated--something I find that the Bobcat requires. The Bobcat does not like to be run dry.

What I did find him is a Taurus PT-22 Poly. He is already a Taurus fan and a has a Taurus 85. Additionally he likes "features" like the internal lock and safety (on a DAO?) I have to remember it is not for me.

Here are some pics with my notes comparing it to my Bobcat.

  • I was genuinely surprised at the PT-22 grip. It is much larger than the Bobcat. The magazine also has an extended base plate that is wide and long
  • The PT-22 is a DAO pistol
  • The PT-22 has a magazine disconnect safety that also locks the slide
  • Both pistols have a locking safety. The Bobcat can be locked cocked and locked or with hammer-down DA
  • Disassembly is the same but note that the magazine must be in the PT-22 to move the slide
  • The PT-22 is supposed to be .8 ounces lighter than the Bobcat - they feel the same.

 

Click on pic to enlarge

 

The PT-22 in the box.
image1

 

Comparison pic PT-22 (L) vs Bobcat (R)
image2

 

Bobcat on top - pretty close in size overall
image3

 

You can see how much wider the base plate is on the PT-22.
image4

 

PT-22 baseplate lets you get an extra finger on the grip
image5

 

PT-22's feed ramp (right) is much more extended
The tilt barrel is cool - makes it easy to load/unload and requires no hand strength to function the slide
image6

 

Bobcat vs PT-22 magazine. Size difference is immediately apparent
image7

 

PT-22 front sight is taller
image8

 

PT-22 rear sight groove is also larger. Note that the PT-22 has a bobbed hammer
image9

 

Note the triggers are cut differently especially the bottom hook on the PT-22 (top). The material and thickness seem the same.
How do they compare? It is probably not fair since my Bobcat is 10-20 years old and very well broken in - it is smooth as butter in SA or DA.
The Taurus is of course safety heavy. It snaps clean though (remember to use an empty case or risk breaking the firing pin!)
image10

 

For some reason the pistol comes with a bag as does the internal lock.
I am not a fan but my Dad likes them.
image11

 

I included this from the manual because they have some very strong feelings on +P and +P+ ammo.
To be fair the manual also does talk about using the safety if you "must" carry it loaded whereas a lot of other manufacturers just say not to.
image12

 

 

Thursday, 24 September 2015 07:30

Portable Lockboxes: Gun Vault NV300 vs Hornady TriPoint

Written by Reg Mathusz

I am sure that we all have encountered that place where we cannot legally bring a firearm. I am sometimes forced to leave it in my vehicle or hotel room, etc.  As a result I have been using a Gun Vault NV300 for about a year primarily leaving it in my vehicle, sometimes dragging it into a hotel room or even at home (when leaving a loaded firearm on the night stand may not be a good idea).

I have been happy with it, but decided to purchase a second lock box for the home so I can leave it there to use whenever I need it. I also had the idea that a 3-digit combination in the car was not a good idea since I can be gone from the car for hours - If you have the time, there are only 1000 possible combinations to go through. The box itself is also very small and light, so I thought maybe a bigger/heavier one might be better and hoped for a beefier lock mechanism.

I purchased the Hornady TriPoint for these reasons. They were both in the $30 range and use a similar setup: locking box padded with foam and both have a cable lock attachment (a hole drilled through the side) that you can loop it onto something stable to keep it secure. Basically it works like a bicycle cable lock.

The Hornady is definitely larger and heavier. This actually was a detriment in my case. It was noticeably harder to hide as the Gun Vault was able to slip under my front seat and be easily covered with the floor mat. The Hornady was very noticeable. I am going to try getting an additional floor mat and make it look like a part of the car (just another unexplained hump?). The big advantage to the Hornady for me are the three locking points vs the single latch of the Gun Vault (see pics below). Another plus to me is that it uses a barrel lock key. I think the pics will explain better than I can write.

Click on any pic for full-size

Here you can see the physical size difference and 3-digit combo vs barrel lock:

image1

 

Here they are both opened up:

image2

Another pic for size comparison:

Here is the Hornady 3-point latch system (aka "TriPoint" ):

image3

 

Single latch of the Gun Vault NV300:

image4

 

Hornady's 3-points locking points in the frame:

image6

 

Closeup of one of the Hornady's locking points:

image5

 

Here is a closeup of the Gun Vaults locking point. Not sure why there are 2 notches since it only has a single latch:

image7

 

Here are both the units open. Notice that they hinge open on opposite sides (Gun Vault top, Hornady bottom):

image10

 

Closeup of the Hornady cable. Notice that the side that actually goes in the lock box has a spacer:

image11

 

Close up of the Gun Vault. The diameter of the 2 cables is about the same although the Gun Vault might be a little thicker. Notice that the loop-through loop is noticeably has a larger opening. This makes it much easier to attach it to things:

 

image13

 

For fun here is a pic of the underside of my Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) seat where I looped the cable through a bar:

image14

Here is an alternate Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) mounting point. Underneath the passenger seat. I then stretched the cable forward and placed the box under the driver's seat. Makes it easy to access from the rear passenger seat.

image15

 

At home or hotels I attach it to anything that I can. I usually attach it to the bed frame. They can take the box but they will have to take the bed frame with them. I am going to see if I can hide the Hornady, I feel safer with it since it (appears) to be more pry resistant. If I can't however, I will just switch it out for the Gun Vault and keep the Hornady at home.

However, either of these boxes is a worthy investment at about $30. As always, safety first!

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