Saturday, September 19, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Engaging in a gunfight is something that you must weigh against your training, experience, skill, mental agility, and personal moral code. I cannot advise you on how to proceed. There are just too many variables. Yes, this is ducking the question a bit, but a wise man knows when he is out of his league, and advising on this is definitely not something to do over the interwebs. In lieu of my advice, I will point out a list of reading materials, and some places you can go for training from an instructor--not just a gun nut from the intertubes.
SWAT Magazine: Great for gearheads who have to know about the latest and greatest tacticool toys. It also generally gives sound tactical advice and is written by dudes who have been there and done that.
Anything by Col. Jeff Cooper: Cooper lived a wild life, from the Marine Corps to intervening in conflicts in Africa on his own time, as well as being a truly great big game hunter. He also championed the 1911A1 pistol and pretty much wrote the book on self-defense. He was a great man and his books are very informative. He has some strong opinions, and occasionally he and I differ, but I'd never say he was wrong.
Lethal Force Institute
Of course there are many more, but these are probably the most popular/famous.
Learn, train, then practice.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Dry wall will not stop much of anything. Most common handgun calibers can penetrate six to ten thicknesses. Shotguns and light rifles can penetrate much more. Drywall and wall boards are not cover, but they can conceal your escape. Stay low, and keep out of the threat's line of sight. Move fast, and if you get shot, don't stop and whine about it. If you can still move, then move. Modern medicine can put you back together from pretty serious damage. Flesh wounds to your extremities are nothing to worry about immediately. Keep going and feel the pain later. You can only get medical help if you're out of the shooter's range.
Cars are not cover either. The engine compartment will provide some cover, as will the wheel rims, but if the shooter has a rifle, they may not be enough. Car bodies are easily sliced up by even light pistol cartridges. If you get stuck behind a car, put the engine compartment between you and the threat, and protect the rest of your body by staying in close alignment to a wheel rim if you can. Stay low and crawl on your belly to other positions, going under other cars if you can instead of around or over them.
Tables, chairs, and other furnishings are not cover either. All of them will be easily shredded by anything that goes "boom". These things can conceal you, but if you draw fire while behind them, you will be hit, and the bullet won't even slow down much. You have to be smart about using concealment. There are too many variables for me to give any good universal advice. Just keep your cool and pick a fast, protected route the hell out of there.
If you must run from one point to another, do so in short bursts. The Army preaches 3 to 5 seconds, with your sprint ending at a new covered or concealed position. If you get a chance to run longer, i.e. the threat starts moving in the other direction or stops paying attention to you, then run, run, and run some more--keeping near covered or concealed positions. Have an idea of what you're going to dive behind if the threat turns his attention back to you. Being fat is not an advantage here. You don't have to look like Arnold, but being able to sprint a few hundred yards without pooping your pants will be very helpful.
Another idea of note is that once the shooting starts, all rules go out the window. If you need to kick down a door or smash a window to get out, then do that. Don't break glass with your body. Use a chair, a baseball bat, a large potted plant, even a very large book might do. Common fire extinguishers are great for breaking glass. If you must break glass with your hands or feet, wrap the appendage doing the breaking in heavy cloth or leather. You're still probably going to get cut. Oh, and kick doors near the door knob, as most locking mechanisms are found there. Being fat will help you break the door down, as more weight is usually better. Kick like you mean it. Steel doors or doors with reinforced jambs will probably not break, so you're better off finding somewhere else to try. At this point your goal is to survive, not to be polite. Break what you have to if it gets you out alive.
I hope none of you ever need this advice. Stay tuned, as I may do a short write up on engaging an active shooter, but there are a HUGE number of variables there and it may take my tiny caveman brain some time to pare it down to something useful and intelligent sounding.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Both images shamelessly stolen from the interwebs. The authors behind both were clearly brilliant. Cheers.
Pick the one you like, and practice, practice, practice. If you can't hit the 10 ring, it doesn't matter how big your projectiles are!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
RULE I: TREAT ALL GUNS AS THOUGH THEY ARE ALWAYS LOADED
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET, AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT
The idiots in the video above showed very well just how important these rules are. I would add "Don't do drugs or consume alcohol around firearms". Surely my audience is sharp enough to not need that rule written down, but the wastes of skin in the video may.
Oh, and a side story about flares I picked up in the military. I heard from a guy who was deployed to Bosnia (third hand Army stories, take it for what it's worth) that they had trouble with a sniper showing up in the same spot night after night, and taking two or three shots at the base. The U.S. forces were not authorized to fire live ammunition, however, they were authorized to fire flares as a warning. So, the next day, said sniper shows up right on time, in the same spot as always. One cowboy decides he is going to actually aim his 40mm flare AT the sniper. The whole platoon lets loose with 40mm flares, pop flares, and pen flares. Said cowboy makes a direct hit on the bad guy, and the flare WELDS ITSELF TO HIS RIBCAGE!!!! Human flesh BURNS when exposed to extreme heat!!! The flare nearly killed the sniper, and managed to burn most of the skin and muscle off his upper chest. So the story goes.
Guns (and by extension, flare guns) are NOT toys! Follow the five rules above, or someone could get more than a scorched face! Acting a fool like this is exactly the sort of thing that gives the appearance of legitimacy to the anti-gun lobby. Every time you pick up a firearm, you are acting as an ambassador of the shooting community. What kind of ambassador will you be?
Oh, and stupid should hurt.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I got the P64 back from my FFL today. It came slathered in something I wouldn't call grease, but is too heavy to call "oil". Sort of snot-like, but no matter. A few minutes with my trusty cleaning kit, and it was good to go. J&G calls these "very good plus" condition, and I solidly concur. There is only a hint of holster wear around the muzzle. I think it is going to be one heck of a concealed carry piece. This pistol was designed by the Polish state weapons factory, Radom. It was "inspired" by the Walther PPK and PP, obviously with more than a little help from some tracing paper.
Here it is next to my pathetic cell phone. I don't need any apps. I need to send and receive calls, and occasionally text. Back on the subject of guns, you can't tell from this angle, but it isn't much thicker than my cell phone. Can't beat that for $197 delivered!
Here you see a crappy picture of my wallet next to the P64. They're about the same thickness. This thing is really easy to hide! I tried it out in an inside-the-waistband holster (hereafter IWB) and it is absolutely invisible, even under just a t-shirt.
Here's the pic of that "Euro style" mag release. Push it toward the backstrap to release the magazine. Those lamb-burning communists in Poland didn't bother to use the PPK's button style mag release. Of course, this one is simpler, and when you're using slave labor to make guns, simpler is better.
Now, two things the Walther DOESN'T have: tiny, squinty sights (the PPK's are better, but not much) and a loaded chamber indicator. You see the shiny dot? That's it. It sticks out about 1/10th of an inch when there's a round in the chamber. You can feel it as well as see it. Not a bad addition, and sort of makes up for the lack of a proper mag release.
Over all, this is a very well made gun. There are a couple of wear marks and tool marks on the inside of the slide and frame. However, the finish is deep and even. The grips are pretty decent for being communistical plastic. I've never shot a PPK, but I have fondled one many times. The P64 has almost sharp corners on the frontstrap. We will have to see how that feels under recoil.
Oh, and the trigger! The DA pull is every bit as bad as I've read on the interwebs. Some claim to have measured it between 25lbs-27lbs! That's absurd and darn near useless. The SA pull is awesome. It feels like my tuned up 1911! I couldn't believe my finger! I would guesstimate the SA pull at 2lbs or so with a long take up and a crisp break. Nicely done, communist slaves!
It may be a while before I get this to the range (the new springs aren't here yet). I will post a range report in a couple of weeks though. Stay tuned.