Blackhawk! SERPA is a Safety Hazard.

For those unable to watch the above video, it depicts the normal results of operating the SERPA: the users trigger finger ends up in the gun’s trigger guard.

This is not a holster, any more then a Honda Accord without a front hood on chopped factory shocks and boosted with an un-tuned 125 shot Nitrous on the stock engine internals is a racecar. It is a timebomb waiting for a place to happen and a person to happen to.

The guy in the above video isn’t a rank amateur, either. If the host of Guns and Ammo TV ends up violating one of the 4 Rules on camera using this product (as it is unworthy of the name “holster”) ,safe to say most of us will too.

Now lets assume you, dear reader, have more experience then most law enforcement agencies and instructors who’ve rightfully banned the use of this abortive product. Assuming you have superior skill under fire and stress, why would you use a retention device with a demonstrated history of not only encouraging negligent discharges, but also fails when exposed to soil and debris in a way which traps the pistol?

A message to fellow range safety officers and LE range staff-I implore you to do the best you can to advocate these holsters are banned from your facility. Blackhawk is a company, so their directive is the bottom line and not customer safety (else they’d discontinue or heavily redesign this abortive thing).Its up to us to get the word out and up the chains of our site and agency managers to have this hazard removed. If people can’t use these things in any class or range near them and ask why, word of mouth will spread and this will either be discontinued or redesigned into a less hazardous form.

An Essay on Open Carry.

It was a Tuesday night. Usually Tuesdays in this midwest college town were sleepy affairs, especially at the office I worked at after school.

This one was going to be a memorable one, and for the wrong reasons. At the time I worked in wireless sales; so I wore business attire and sold overpriced electronics. I don’t know what it was about my store which provoked a man into walking into it with an openly carried Rock Island Armory 1911 Tactical, but he nevertheless did so.

Immediately the mood in the store changed. My customer, a husband watching me program his wife’s new iPhone, started keeping a wary eye on the guy. The Rock Island bearer was an overweight, excessively bearded man whose wife wore a look of practiced resignation as she carried their kid through the store. Given that I was 50% of the available staff and my coworker was himself occupied, this meant the newcomers had to wait for service.

The entire time ,I’m keeping a closer eye on his weapon then I am the work i’m doing. And I don’t care. I only take my attention away breifly once I see its carried hammer down, which mean he’d have to fumble-fuck with the gun if harm was intended.

This fact was lost on my customers, who were so upset that they followed up with the corporate office on the matter. While I didn’t personally answer for the fact that the business was disrupted by the Open Carrier’s presence, his actions nevertheless were not interpreted by anyone there as a “RKBA act of activism”.

This is the basic fact so many in the “My RIGHTS” camp fail to notice. Firearms are tools of violence, a fact every layperson understands. When they see a man walk into a social area unaccustomed to public display of guns -read, everywhere not a gun range or gun shop- they immediately set the occupants on edge. Any possible activism or evangelism is obscured by the latent fact that someone with a deadly weapon and unknown intent is in the area.

As an aware shooter, seeing a harmless guy walk into my store with an openly carried -if tactically ineffective-gun was still cause for alarm. He may have been a happy go lucky family guy. Or he could decide to pull his weapon and blow away half the customers. Nowadays when ISIL is routinely shooting up civilian areas, its hard to know the difference between Harmless Open Carrier and Imminent Threat To Human Life. The average person is not going to spend time trying to sort the two out and will default to the latter.

It is that fact which makes any sort of armed open-carry “protest” a farce on its face. What the actual motivation is of the people who walk through state capitols with gas masks and slung AKMs is beyond my time and patience to determine here. What I can state confidently is that its NOT helping.

Open carry has a place, to be sure.

Let it not be said that the entire practice is some evil sin equivalent to firearms incest. As you can see at the top of this post, I have my trusty Beretta locked into a Safariland retention leg holster. This is not done because i’m trying to be the firearms equivalent of a Mormon evangelist-the range I work at mandates yellow safety vests be worn when on duty. Said vests SEVERELY compromise a concealed carry draw, and an open carry holster in the traditional belt position only acts as a shelf for the polyester safety vest.Attempting to draw from a regular belt holster openly worn results in a handful of safety vest being grabbed along with the pistol.
The drop leg places the gun low enough to clear the yellow safety vest and thus permit an unimpeded draw.

That’s it. I’ll never wear it in a public space outside of the range I RSO at, and as soon as I leave the building its coming off. Not just because of tactical matters, or the law ( open carry in public is legal here) or because I’m somehow afraid to show the weapon and evangelize the RKBA. I take it off because rights cannot be exercised without responsibility, and we have a duty as law abiding gun owners to not only exercise the RKBA-but to do so in a socially responsible manner.

That is how we accomplish RKBA activism. Not with gas masks and AKMs in the Subway line, but responsible exercise of our rights.

-GardoneVT.

Putting In Work.

I didn’t want to dryfire this morning.

Nope. The next episode of “Longmire” beckoned like a siren, loading mags with snap caps and strapping on a holster seemed to be a major and unnecessary pain in the rear, and besides all that it was Valentines Day. So the girlfriend naturally had my day planned like a head of state. No motorcade, unfortunately.

Yet , dry fire I did. It was a choice I wish I could box up and take to the range I work at, so that all who see me shoot aren’t impressed at my live fire performance, but are instead impressed by the work it took to get here. It would also vindicate the verbal dispute I had with my signifigant other on the issue.

Alas this is not to be, because we are a visual society optimized for “get results quick”. In reality, good or bad results aren’t quick. People don’t get fat overnight-so why would we expect a pill to turn people thin overnight? True financial wealth isn’t built overnight either, and neither is debt. So why would we expect a get rich quick scheme to work?

When I go to the gun range I see much discussion about the size, caliber, holster, and nature of what guys and gals own and shoot. Very little is said about putting in work to attend classes, dry fire with a plan, and to practice using measured methods.
Which to an extent saddens me, because that’s how we get better at anything in life. Without putting in work, we will not improve. Whether its money, food,the Olympics or firearms.

Chronicles of Derp , The Sequel.

I visited a local, brand new gun range expecting a speedy range check in and excellent counter service like last time.

Instead I learned the hard way that the frequent stock firm ad disclaimer of “Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Equivalents” has merit outside of finance.

“Whatcha shootin today” drawled the counter guy.

‘Oh, just a Beretta 92’. was my casual response.

“Aww man, I HATE those things. I know i’ve been told they’re stupid reasons (DANGER WILL ROBINSON!) , but I just gotta show ya.”

He then proceeds to retrieve the M9A1 rental gun in the case.

“They end up doing THIS!”

He inserts an empty mag into the slide locked rental pistol as fast as he can. The slide remains open.

“Well, it didn’t do it this time” he re-inserts the magazine into the gun a second time. It refuses to drop. Perhaps the pistol was itself sick of the show, as on the third try he gets the M9A1 to auto-forward.

“See? THEYLL DO THAT. And I don’t think its safe when a gun does that. The pistol could SLAM FIRE. I’ve seen it happen. ”

That’s right. A gun store employee believes a Beretta 92FS can slam fire if the slide is dropped on a loaded chamber.

“Now, see , this pistol I just bought recently is MUCH safer.”

I feel like im in a traffic jam on the freeway, and i’ve turned a corner to discover the congestion goes all the way to the horizon. The hope drains from my soul as he hands me the following pistol.

Common Sense Not Included.

Its a beat up FMK 9mm, complete with Bill of Rights inscriptions. I safety check the pistol , at which point I discover the gun will not lock open on an empty magazine.

“Oh, that’s just because someone dropped the magazine on the ground once. Its actually a quality handgun you know. $300 , and its MADE IN AMERICA!”

So was the M9A1 he just called unsafe ten minutes prior, but even the President once said we had 51 states. No one’s perfect , eh?

“That’s one reason why I like it. The money stays in AMERICA, with only American workers. Did you know they’re based in California?”

‘Interesting. Is that still considered part of the United States?’ I answered.

“Yeah, they’re a little left of common sense out there. But yeah, every gun they sell is made right here and the money stays here. Its not like Glock where the money goes to Germany (???) or Italy (he gestures to the cased M9A1).”

It was at this point I bid a hasty walk to the range door.
I wonder if Amazon sells a Derp detecting Geiger Counter device? If not,its a great business opprotunity.
Perhaps a clicking yellow box marked “Radioactive Bullshit ” being pointed at someone might motivate them to think before they speak.

Baseline, Part 1.

Session 1 Screenshot

Time to get serious folks. No more eyelballin’, Kentucky Windage, “Gun Feels Good In My Hand” busted heuristics here. At this here blog, we use numbers and data to make decisions.

Much like the rest of the world does every day, actually. It may seem like i’m mocking the rest of my shooting peers saying this, but think about it. How long would someone working at Apple, Microsoft, or US Steel have a job if they went to their boss and said the reason behind their workplace decisions was “it felt good at the time?”

Or “I heard a guy at Firm X uses this system, so I decided we should too”

Or “The local government uses this technique, so I thought it’d be good here too.”

They’d be on Monster.com before the boss’ blood pressure meds kicked in. So it goes here. Note that the gravity of those business & organizational choices only affects the profits or functional ability of those institutions-much less the personal safety , health, and very life of an individual and their family. If deciding which machine to use next year at the factory isn’t left to personal opinion , why should our firearms choices be so cavalierly evaluated when literal lives are at stake?

By no means is data analysis and collection a silver bullet; incorrect conclusions and flawed data gathering can still snarl the works. But the choices I make vis-a-vis my firearms will not be based on the shaky folk tales one finds at the local range counter.

As such , i’ll be completeing a statistical evaluation of my personal shooting status using 31 executions of the Pistol-Training.com FAST drill. The first series of 10 runs are pictured above with computed data. Its just the first set, so the only thing to do now is to go shoot and see what the data says.

 

Logistics

 

See the 4006 above?

Cool gun, no? .40 Caliber, metal frame, DA/SA. Old school badass in a way evocative of a 1960s Yenko Camaro.  Unfortunately I will neither be carrying or practicing with this pistol frequently for the forseeable future.

Why?

Logistics.

I called S&W this morning and spoke to a good natured fella named Jared. I asked him some questions about the 3rd Generation S&W parts situation. In summary: small parts may or may not be in stock, but frames and slides are no longer available.

While the notion of a catastrophic failure bad enough to damage the frame of my stout 4006 seems to be in the realm of “omgLOLnoway” , stranger things have happened. Having witnessed and experienced personally squib loads (bullet doesn’t leave the gun due to insufficient charge, which is aggrivating to fix) and an overpressure round ( blew out magazine and destroyed grips on my Kimber Custom II) , and seen other things happen on the range I work at , suffice it to say that Things Can Happen on the firing line.

If a Glock, Beretta, Sig, etc has a problem like that a spare parts replacement can be relatively easily done. Even if a frame or a slide is necessary for a repair, those firms still produce those guns which means replacement of the existing gun is possible.

In the case of discontinued and hard to find guns like my 4006 , should a problem happen that cant be fixed by the factory I’m hosed.Not just because the handgun itself cant be repaired ; I’d also be deprived of the skill investment behind that pistol. If I hypothetically carried my 4006 and it broke in a fashion S&W couldn’t fix, I’d probably recieve a credit to an M&P40. Not a bad thing from a money perspective, but i’d now have to re-train from scratch on a totally different handgun system.

My humble words of advice to any newbies reading this: by all means buy guns that are cool, fun, and niche. But carry something that’s still being made by the factory today .

Wilson Combat Battlesight Review.

 

Most bloggers open their websites with a visually stunning video or picture set of an amazingly cool, drool-worthy piece of gun pron.

That said, I love breaking stereotypes. Especially  internet–based ones.

So i’ll post my first review of a gun accessory; specifically the Wilson Combat battlesight.

To understand why they’re awesome, some background on their application vis-a-vis the Beretta 92 is needed. For most of that handgun’s service history, the sight options have been both limited and expensive. No one important noticed this however, because the military rarely trains its folks on pistols and Hollywood movies make it clear every round fired will hit provided the Beretta 92 user is flying through the air sideways while shooting.

And then, on the 8th Day, Bill Wilson of 1911 notoriety noticed the Beretta 92.

The sights ship in Wilson Combat’s trademark blue packaging. The plastic includes 1 rear sight, a set screw, and an allen wrench for the set screw. Bonus points for Wilson Combat here-they didn’t skip the allen wrench or force the separate purchase of a screw+wrench as an “installation package”. Everything one needs to put the sights onto the pistol is included. If only other end-user products were so thoughtfully packaged.

The stock sight picture is useable, but basic. The square post up front combined with the fixed square rear notch and smaller rear sight area makes for a busy sight picture. While the three dots and smaller viewing window are acceptable for square range slow fire, things get messy when its time to hit the gas. Being able to acquire the sights quickly is a fundamental cornerstone of high performance shooting,and the stock sights inhibit that with their square and obsolete layout.

Rearview Stock Sights

Old and busted sight picture.

Rearview Wilson Sights

New Hotness Sight Picture.

WIlson Sights Firing Pin Block

So the sights look good, shoot exactly where the maker says they will, and are easier to acquire on the draw. There are two drawbacks ; using the factory .270 height rear sights, occasionally you’ll see the little black firing pin block rise up at the end of the trigger press. During live fire stuff is happening way to fast to notice, but in a quiet room during dry fire it may be noticeable during some focused trigger presses. I personally don’t mind it; but you must decide how such a thing would impact your training process.

The sights have a healthy ledge in the front, so one-handed ubercool tactical manipulations in the Glock vein are now child’s play. The battlesight lends a modern look to the 92FS that I find purposefully attractive ; the gun no longer looks like a 1970s refugee at first glance as it does with the stock stub rear sight.

The second drawback to these sights are you no longer have an excuse to do this:

 

Available Here.

Price:$49.99 + shipping & handling.