Firearms General (226)
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.
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)
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
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!)
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.
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:
Here they are both opened up:
Another pic for size comparison:
Here is the Hornady 3-point latch system (aka "TriPoint" ):
Single latch of the Gun Vault NV300:
Hornady's 3-points locking points in the frame:
Closeup of one of the Hornady's locking points:
Here is a closeup of the Gun Vaults locking point. Not sure why there are 2 notches since it only has a single latch:
Here are both the units open. Notice that they hinge open on opposite sides (Gun Vault top, Hornady bottom):
Closeup of the Hornady cable. Notice that the side that actually goes in the lock box has a spacer:
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:
For fun here is a pic of the underside of my Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) seat where I looped the cable through a bar:
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.
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!
40 ounces – wait - what?
To be honest, when the 40S&W came out in in 1990 I was under-whelmed. I felt that the flexibility of the 10mm was close to ideal and that the 40S&W would never catch on. I actually was a fan of Evan Whildin's of Action Arms Limited (think Uzi) 41 Action Express. Ironically, the 41AE was designed to replicate the 41 Magnum which itself was designed as the “ideal” law enforcement cartridge (according to Bill Jordan et al)
But I was sure wrong about the 40S&W! At the time it seemed to fill in the middle-ground and resolve the great caliber debate: 9mm vs 45ACP, fast vs slow, single-stack vs double-stack mags, light vs heavy. It caught on quickly and like a wild fire among law enforcement and quickly became the dominant round. I can't help but think that the fact that we were under the 1994 high capacity magazine ban limiting capacity helped fuel its popularity – at least in the civilian market.
Despite this, it would take me about a decade of a proven track record to warm up to it. Let's face it – the older I got, the heavier that full size 45 felt.
What was once old is new again!
Enter 2014 and the FBI has re-adopted the 9mm (more on that in a minute) and it seems that the internet is a buzz with stories of how the 40 is either dead or dying. More recently I have even seen a trend of where very well-known firearms experts seem to go out of their way to discredit the 40S&W. Not that I necessarily disagree with their reasons or evaluations (there is a pro and con to everything), but I find the sudden upswing of anti-endorsements odd.
Just yesterday I saw a thread where a prominent competition shooter said that he (still) preferred the 40 to the shock of many on the internet. There was a bit of criticism and I was surprised to see him defending his choice and even qualifying it. Gosh folks—he can shoot whatever he likes. I will never understand why anyone cares what someone else uses.
Speaking of what is old is new - consider the possibility of another assault weapons ban. It is a common mantra of anti-gunners' "common sense" legislation. If we were limited to 10 rounds in new pistols again worse (all firearms) would your opinion change? Think that it couldn't happen? Tell me how it couldn't happen for the decade that it did. It is only because of the NRA that there was a 10 year sunset. If not for that clause we would STILL be under its limit (end political rant).
Internet declares the 40 S&W in its last days
But I digress, why do I think that the stories of the 40's death are exaggerated?
The biggest reason is that it still holds about 60% of the U.S. Law enforcement market.
That is huge – it means that there are more 40 S&W pistols in service than ALL other calibers COMBINED!
Incidentally, the most popular law enforcement pistol is the Glock 22. Glock civilian sales are completely different and the best seller in the U.S. is the model 19.
But the FBI just switched to 9mm so the 40 will die out!
Will it? I was wrong about the switch-over to 40 S&W but this time I am not seeing the massive shift to follow the FBI like we have in the past. Yes, I know that there are some, but not like before.
Seems like the FBI switches standard issue very frequently. From memory I can think of four changes: revolver to 9mm, to 10mm, to 40S&W and now back to the 9mm. I think that most departments would have a hard time justifying the cost of changing calibers so frequently, let alone BACK to one previously used. Today's political environment is also, unfortunately, much more hostile to law enforcement. I feel that there may be a public backlash to “buying the police new guns.” There would definitely be accusations of funding waste.
Abandoned FBI rounds just don't die
I also question the belief that a round will die out because the FBI no longer uses it. Historically this simply is not true. None of the rounds that the FBI used formerly have died out! The 38, 357 Magnum, 9mm, 10mm, 40S&W are definitely still popular. For literally YEARS people have been saying that the 10mm was dead. At worst, it is a boutique round even though there were new pistols from Glock this year (who already has a pretty good line of 10's), one from SIG (who has never made one previously) and an expanded line from RIA. Not too bad if you ask me. The 40S&W is even more established than the 10mm ever was.
Going down the same road as 41AE and 41Mag?
In fact, of all the rounds discussed I think that the only one that I would say is dead is the 41AE. It was never adopted by any agency and only available from a few providers – in a conversion kit, Tanfoglios and the IMI Jericho. I think ammo only came from UZI/Samson. If you think that the 40 S&W has a bit of kick or is hard on guns the 41AE was worse. I sold my Browning HiPower conversion kit long before it disappeared.
The 41 Magnum has fared a little better – It was adopted limitedly and revolvers are still made. Ammo is still available but far from common place. This is truthfully probably what a lot of people think of (hope?) for the future of the 40 S&W. But, the fact that a very powerful REVOLVER round (significantly more powerful than the 10mm) intended for law enforcement but only adopted by a few agencies (2 or 3?) still exists today is pretty remarkable. Besides Rick (Walking Dead) how many agencies even issue any revolver as a duty sidearm? Maybe some Corrections and Reserves? I think the 40 and 41 Mag comparison is not 1-to-1, but it is noteworthy.
Which is better: 9, 40, 45, 50AE? Google!
The 9mm vs 40S&W vs 45ACP vs whatever debates have been hashed to death on the internet. Way too much time and bandwidth is wasted on justifying what the “best” round is. I am not going to engage in each caliber's pros/cons – and every cartridge has BOTH. Google'g will result in a ridiculous amount of material.
Some arguments are just not worth participating/Google first!
I do feel that I have to point out a weird caliber argument that I saw yesterday. Someone called the 40S&W “Short & Weak” when compared to the 9mm. Now, when the 40S&W was introduced there were people who called it “Short & Weak” in comparison to its big brother 10mm but using the phrase in a justification of the 9mm over 40S&W is just wacky - check your cartridge dimensions first! I wish I had kept the link to that particular thread. On second thought, I am glad I didn't.
My conclusion? Somebody buy me a Wilson (in any caliber)
Carry what you want. They all work...mostly (well, they are all still just pistol rounds). As for the experts – they are not wrong and I respect their opinions (heck, I just bought a Glock 43 as a backup/deep conceal!). I am unsure of the seeming animosity towards the 40 S&W and why there feels like an anti-40 campaign. They are people too and are entitled to their opinion and to buy what they like.
But, like most police departments, I am heavily invested in 40 equipment and ammo. So, my main carry will continue to be 40S&W. Not that I don't think that there are plenty of other reasons to stick with the 40 (it works and I like the boom), but economics alone are a big reason that the 40 S&W won't be going away any time soon.
Some reading material if your bored/interested:
History of FBI hand guns - http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/8/22/a-history-of-fbi-handguns/
The Forgotten M&P (41Magnum) - http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=3176
Wikipedia entry for 41AE - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.41_Action_Express
(I wish I had kept some of the AAL promo material on it)
FBI Handgun Wounding Factor Effectiveness - http://gundata.org/images/fbi-handgun-ballistics.pdf
(I know it is a bit dated now, but it is worth reading)
Army opens up possibility of adopting non-9mm - http://kitup.military.com/2014/07/army-40-caliber-fbi-returns-9mm.html
(Not likely, but wouldn't that be funny?)
Some folks had some questions about my last post and the passage of Nevada SB175. Mainly folks wondered about what states would be added especially those that had been removed recently: Florida, Utah and Arizona.
Unfortunately, I have no idea. What makes us hopeful is that a number of those states were removed since they were not as restrictive as Nevada:
Two states will be removed from the list of recognized states. They are Utah and Florida. It was determined that these states no longer met the two step test required by Nevada law. Utah’s permit process does not require live fire training that Nevada law requires and Florida changed its permit renewal time from five years to seven years before renewal. These issues were substantially different from Nevada’s law.
But the "at least as restrictive" requirement has been stricken:
Sec. 4.5. NRS 202.3689 is hereby amended to read as follows: 202.3689 1. On or before July 1 of each year, the Department shall: (a)
[Examine the requirements for the] Determine whether each state requires a person to complete any training, class or program before the issuance of a permit to carry a concealed firearm in [each] that state . [ and determine whether the requirements of each state are substantially similar to or more stringent than the requirements set forth in NRS 202.3653 to 202.369, inclusive.]
How that it is going to be determined and approved by the NV police associations remains to be seen. There is no residency requirement that I saw either, so I am hopeful.
The list may be done July 1, and hopefully be approved quickly if it has not been done already.
I am expecting that it will be published here: http://gsd.nv.gov/FeesForms/Brady/CCW-Permit-Recognition/
Notice that it was last published July 24 so it did take a few weeks to get the final list.
Knocking on wood!
I have been getting some inquiries if I am still alive.
I have some new things coming up shortly. I am ordering the last few parts to complete my BCM build this week, and have a couple new holsters to review:
BladeTech Eclipse for a S&W 1066 and Scorpius Tactical Defender for a Browning HiPower (I know - some different choices). The Ozarks IWB holster (Glock). I have to order it still, but also the internet famous Raven Concealment Systems (RCS) for a more common Glock.
Also, making plans for upcoming ShowSHOW 2015! It just takes $ :)
I must of missed this because I boycotted the booth of a certain American revolver company with an & in the name. I do have pictures of me walking by the booth LOL.
But, I just saw that the 4" model 66* medium frame (think Koff or Kilo)! is returning. That is awesome! The 19 has long been a favorite of mine and I wouldn't mind a stainless. It is a nice brushed matte finish.
I would post a link or a picture, however I don't want to get sued.
* possibly a registered trademark of the company that registered it as a registered trademark.