Monthly Archives: February 2012

Back in 2009, I Had An Idea For A Light Mount

edit – light mount, not optic mount. end of day. brain fried. many apologies.

Like the title says, in late 2009, I had an idea for a light mount. I sketched it out on a piece of construction paper with a crayon, and my rocket scientist friend Mike W (an actual rocket scientist, with patents to his name for rocket nozzles and stuff) turned those sketches into CAD drawings. Here is what it looked like.

The idea was to throw the light forward while allowing adjustment for various hand positions and sizes. It would also not require a quad rail, only a top rail handguard like a Vltor CASV, Troy TRX or Samson Evo.

I shopped it around to a few companies, but nobody seemed terribly interested.

The Seven Best Ways to "Accidentally" Shoot Someone

Are you an idiot? Do you own a firearm? Here is a quick guide to the seven best ways to “accidentally” shoot someone, including yourself. Alternately, you could use this as a guide to avoiding the act of shooting someone due to your own negligence, incompetence, and general stupidity. If you’re looking for more of my take on gun safety, check out the article “Let’s Talk About Firearms Safety” that Aaron at Weapon Blog graciously allowed to grace his website.

Busting a Cap in the Crapper

This one just happened recently, but it’s a fairly common occurrence. Since a lot of people attach guns to their pants, and since most people take their pants off prior to bowel movements, there is an interaction between human and machine when people with guns sit down in public restrooms. Some people pull their firearm out of the holster, some leave it in the holster, some take the holster and pistol off their belt – the best thing to do is to just leave it alone.

In the recent example, a man carrying an “old western style .357 revolver” sat down in a Walmart bathroom stall when his holster supposedly fell off of his belt and the revolver discharged as it hit the floor. This is possible, especially if he was carrying a pre-transfer-bar single action with rounds in all six chambers – a stupid move in and of itself – or if he was actually messing with the revolver while he did his thing in the bathroom.

On the same day, the same thing (supposedly) happened in North Carolina, but with a .38 revolver, and in a Cracker Barrel, not a Wal-Mart.

Any time you are manipulating a firearm, you increase the chances that you will discharge that firearm. If you have a good holster attached to a good belt and leave your carry weapon in that holster unless it is absolutely necessary to remove it, the chances that a bullet will come out of the muzzle and hit someone or something that you (presumably) don’t want it to are practically zero.

Fighting The Holster

This is a really popular one. Either when drawing from or reholstering to a holster, people like to shoot themselves in the leg, butt, or foot (assuming a waist-mounted holster). The most notable recent “Fighting the Holster” event was when this fat guy – ironically referred to by Business Insider as a “gun expert” – shot himself in the thigh while drawing his pistol.

Negligent discharges while drawing from the holster most often occur when the trigger finger snaps onto the trigger before the pistol is pointed away from the body. This can happen either due to user confusion as to how to defeat retention devices on the holster, or because of nervousness and haste to get a finger on the trigger before the pistol has been rotated up towards the target.

When reholstering, a finger can be shoved inside the trigger guard as it is pushed against the edge of a holster – if the finger is positioned improperly – or retention straps, most often seen on leather holsters, are allowed to enter the trigger guard as the user pushes the pistol into place. However, this can happen if any foreign object is allowed to enter the holster.

It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t fight your holster, whether you’re drawing or reholstering. If something feels wrong, stop and take a look. That’s a lot easier than dealing with the aftermath of shooting yourself.

Taking a Shot in the Dark

Home and self defense are major factors in firearm sales, but simply having a gun isn’t the only step that should be taken towards being in control of your own safety. Identifying your target is, simply, critical. This normally involves using lights – either handheld or attached to the walls of your house, depending on the situation.

The tragic example of the Florida man who shot his fiance the day before their wedding should be reason enough to identify your target before you pull, press, or squeeze a trigger.

Showing Off Your Pistol Or Its Cool New Accessory By Pointing It At Someone

Something that occurs with amazing frequency is when someone is examining or showing off a firearm, then proceeds to shoot someone with it. Sometimes it involves kids, which just plain sucks, but other times it involves adults, which is just plain stupid (although both instances can be traced back to negligence on the part of an adult). When it happens without someone being shot, we rarely hear about it – but here’s one example.

One of the most egregious violations of this basic safety rule was when an Arizona state legislator was showing off her pink Ruger LCP to a reporter, then proceeded to point it at the reporter’s chest in order to show him the laser attached to the LCP. This, she said, was okay, because her “hand was not on the trigger.” Not surprisingly, she also said that she had had no formal firearms training.

The solution to this is simple – don’t point guns at people unless you want them to die.

Cleaning Your Gun the Wrong Way

Another perennial favorite of the mentally challenged is when they somehow fire their weapon while cleaning it. I rarely clean my firearms, but on those occasions, the very first thing I do is properly clear the firearm. This normally involves removing all ammunition from the firearm, and all ammunition from potential sources within the firearm.

A highly publicized example of this took place last year, when a man who was reportedly cleaning his muzzleloader after a deer hunt fired it into the air, and the bullet struck a 15 year old girl who was riding in a buggy. Over a mile away.

While we normally consider “up” to be a safe direction when carrying firearms, it’s important to remain cognizant of where a bullet could end up if the weapon discharged at any particular point in time. Pointing the weapon towards the ground has its own set of dangers that you should also be aware of. The correct choice is often dependent on the situation.

When cleaning firearms indoors, it seems popular to shoot oneself, either in the hand, as the Wisconsin DOJ training director most recently did, or in the head, which is usually fatal. I must advise that determining if a firearm is clean by peering down the muzzle of a fully functional firearm is not an intelligent course of action.

As stated previously, whenever you manipulate a firearm, the chances that something bad will happen increase. If you take precautions, you are able to ensure that bad things will not happen – or, at the very least, that damage from whatever happens will be minimized. But if you fail to remain aware of the risks involved, you will injure or kill someone.

Trying to Imitate Stellan Skarsgård in Ronin, But With a Gun Instead of a Coffee Cup

This one isn’t talked about all that often, but I think it happens more than it is reported, or perhaps the reporting is not quite accurate. It is possible that the earlier Cracker Barrel discharge might have involved this, and possibly the Walmart one as well.

When a firearm starts to fall, do not attempt to grab it. The chances that it will fire from the impact alone – if it is a firearm that is serviceable and has been manufactured within, say, the last fifty years or so – are extremely small. The chances that you will, as your fingers clench around the weapon, pull the trigger – well, those aren’t good odds.

If you are unsure of your carry firearm’s ability to resist impact from a reasonable distance without discharge, contact the manufacturer. I would not advise carry of a firearm that will fire when dropped from only a few feet above the ground. The vast majority of new production firearms will not do so.

Not Knowing How to Load or Unload Your Pistol

Properly loading a firearm does not generally involve pulling the trigger, but this was apparently news to the Georgia man who shot himself with his new gun outside a gun show recently. Of course, details are scarce, but we can put two and two together here.

If you don’t know how to safely load or unload your pistol, go to a gun store and ask for help. If you are earnest in this request, you should not be looked down upon. As an aside, if the person who is teaching you about guns violates any of the firearm safety rules, seek instruction elsewhere.

Now You Know

There you go – the seven best ways to accidentally shoot someone, as determined by me (with the help of a bunch of careless people). Thanks for reading, and hopefully you got the real point of this article.

Praetor Defense 1911 Holster Update

I’ve been using the Praetor Defense non-rail 1911 holster for a few weeks since I bought it from Weapon Outfitters. While I’m going to continue to use and test it, here are my initial thoughts.

I was excited to try out the 1911 version, because I love the Praetor Defense Glock 19 holster more than I love ice cream. The elements are all there – the compact layout, the quality hardware, the tough belt loops, and the flowing lines that result from the way Blade-Tech molds holsters.

This holster, like its Glock-oriented brother, places the pistol higher on the waist than some competing holsters. While I was happy with this placement for the Glock 19, I’m not in love with the positioning of the 1911 version. It seems to print quite a bit more than my Raven Concealment kydex 1911 holster – although the Raven is currently configured as IWB. And I’ve still not gotten used to the higher placement in terms of how the beavertail/grip safety, hammer, and thumb safety rub against my side.

Also, while I’m just fine with the lack of a sweat guard on the Glock 19 holster, its disappearance on the 1911 version means that the safety can be disengaged by the carrier’s body in the normal course of a day’s movement. This has only happened a few times, but it’s still a little annoying.

That said, I’d still buy this holster. In comparison with the Raven, I like the lack of cant, in that I can easily draw the pistol with my left hand from behind my back if I need to. It’s available immediately (here and here), is built like a tank, looks great, and offers excellent passive retention of the pistol.

I’d like input from those who have used this holster – do you agree or disagree with my comments?

"What (Blank) Should I Buy?"

 

If I set out to buy one of the following, this is what I would look for as of February 2012. Some things have great alternatives that aren’t listed and some things have great alternatives that are listed. Some things I’ve gotten for free and some things I haven’t. Some things might be more or less than you need. But if you ask me a general question about what (blank) to buy, this is probably what I’d recommend.

…a 5.56mm rifle – Colt SP6920.

…a .308/7.62×51 rifle – FNH USA SCAR-17S.

…a bolt action rifle – T/C Dimension (flexible use) or Tikka T3 Lite (hunting).

…a shotgun – Tie. Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. Doesn’t matter.

…a 22LR rifle – CZ 452 Scout (kids) or Marlin Papoose (all around).

…a handgun – Glock 19.

…a handgun for concealed carry – Kahr CW9.

…a holster – Praetor Defense or Raven Concealment.

…a non-magnified optic – Aimpoint PRO.

…a fixed power optic for a semi auto rifle – Trijicon TA33/TA11 ACOG.

…a fixed power optic for a bolt action rifle – Bushnell Elite 3200 10X.

…a variable power optic – Anything German.

…an AR-15 upgrade – Vltor A5.

…an AR-15 rail – Centurion C4.

…an AR-15 magazine – Lancer.

…a knife – Benchmade Griptilian.

…a watch – Casio Pathfinder. Or a Citizen Eco-Drive, if you need a watch for six months or less.

…a flashlight – Elzetta ZFL-M60.

…a flashlight for carry – Surefire E1B.

…rifle ammo for killing things – Federal Fusion. Barnes TSX/MRX/etc.

…handgun ammo for killing things – Federal HST. Winchester Ranger T/Ranger Bonded. Speer Gold Dot. Remington Golden Saber Bonded.

…shotgun ammo for killing things – Federal FliteControl buckshot or Federal slugs. Hornady Critical Defense buckshot. DDupleks Monolit slugs.

…practice ammo – any new factory ammo.

…a handgun .22LR conversion – anything made in the US or Europe that fits your pistol.

…a rifle .22LR conversion – anything made in the US.

Sig Sauer M400 vs. Sig Sauer 516 High Speed Video Comparison

In this video, it is fairly easy to see that both the Sig M400 and Sig 516 are cycling at approximately 830rpm and display a small amount of bolt bounce in stock configuration:

Please see my previous SHOT high speed video post for more information. Unlike the video in that link, the rifles in today’s post are being shot by the same person. Here’s some of what I had to say in that previous article:

The rate at which the bolt carrier assembly recoils rearward can have an effect on reliable extraction and ejection, even if extractor and ejector dimensions and springs are absolutely correct. The period of time during which the bolt is behind the stack of rounds in the magazine, neither traveling rearward or forward, has an effect on reliability in that the magazine may not have enough time to push the next round into place before the bolt comes forward again, resulting in a “bolt over base” malfunction that is most commonly seen on suppressed rifles, as they have much greater rates of fire. Also, high forward bolt carrier velocity can result in extreme bolt bounce, as noted previously, while low forward bolt carrier velocity could mean that there isn’t enough force to overcome strong magazine springs, dirt or debris in the action, etc.