Friday, December 01, 2006

Cold facts about "stopping power"

Go read Coyote at the Dog Show:

It seems that we Americans have a real predisposition for substituting technology for skill. If 6 shots from a .38 won't do the job, perhaps 18 shots from a high-capacity 9mm will make 'glockamole' out of 'em, eh? Problem is, even a shot from a highpowered rifle that turns everything in the chest cavity into something resembling that red jello and whipped cream stuff your great aunt Agnes brought to Thanksgiving dinner often will not put a target down immediately.

See also:
Training to survive

In Defense of the 38 Special

Friday, October 13, 2006

Arming teachers

Some thoughts on my other blog.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Jeff Cooper

Here’s a remarkably good obituary from the LA Times.

I see some similarities between Cooper and another giant who recently passed-- Peter Drucker.

Both were giants and pioneers in their specialized fields. Each brought a broad, liberal education to a field dominated by technocrats and faddists. Both could be cranky and did not suffer fools for the sake of bonhomie.

To me the most striking think is that both were frequently ignored by their biggest fans.

Our current gun rags hype an endless stream of new calibers, new models, new add-ons. I’m sure most of them will do stories on Jeff Cooper in the coming months. Yet, Cooper was acidly skeptical of the hot new things. He wondered why any hunter needed more than two or three rifles. With a 30-06 plus something for the big stuff the North American was set. Add a really big bore if you hunted Africa and you and your grandson were set for life.

A lot of the gear that gets advertised is designed for long shotsmagnums, big scopes, range finders. Cooper, OTOH, always emphasized that the mark of a hunter was how close he got before pulling the trigger.

Any fool can send a bullet flying at a deer standing 400 yards away. It takes skill to get close to the deer and take a 75 yard shot.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Serious thinking about home defense

Two great posts at To which i replied. The discussion continues at South Park Pundit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

41 Mag: Bad timing?

Clint Smith (Thunder Ranch) offeres some interesting perspectives on the history of the .41 magnum and its failure in the police market.

The .41 Mag: if only we could do it over

See also:

The Wrong Compromise

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


A great edition of the Carnival of Cordite.
Jerry Ahern talks sense

However, one can safely assume that someone who has been shot with a .22 Magnum is not going to be jumping about merrily proclaiming how healthy he feels. I believe it was the late Bill Jordan -- a man with whom I was privileged to interact on several occasions -- who said that a hit with a .22 was better than a miss with a .44 Magnum. I would append that as follows: a hit with a .22 Magnum you have in your pocket is better than no hit at all because your heavier caliber pistol was too big to carry and you are unarmed.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Handgun cartridges in carbines

Some interesting performance data here at Leverguns.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Speaking of Rangers and their guns

When Frank Hamer was hunting down Bonnie and Clyde his long gun was a Remington Model 8 semi-auto in the .35 Remington. He believed the old brushbuster was superior to a Tommygun and the .45 ACP. See why here.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Highly recommended

One Ranger: A Memoir (Bridwell Texas History Series)
One Ranger: A Memoir

I was especially interested in Jackson's discussion of the firearms he carried as he worked the border region of Texas. Since he had no SWAT team on call, his trunk was a rolling gunsafe-- riot gun, AR-18, hundreds of rounds of ammo. But the rifle he carried close at hand in the passenger compartment was a Model 94 in 30-30.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Handguns and long guns

Good post on the subject at Hell in a handbasket.

Monday, May 22, 2006


The Chicago Police Department’s in-service firearm training is no small scandal.
The department used to mandate officer’s firearm qualification quarterly. Today
the officers fire a paltry 30 rounds only once a year


Friday, April 21, 2006

More good sense on self defense

I left a comment over at James's place and want to expand a little. I wrote "If i could add one point it is this: the "style" as you put it should also reflect an honest assessment of what sort of risks one faces. No point developing the skills if they are with a weapon inappropriate to the most likely SHTF scenario."

What i should have added is this: The biggest risk a civilian faces is not that they will be outgunned. It is that they will be ungunned. It is great to have a tuned AR-15 and being able to nail 20 out of 20 steel plates at a hundred yards in 22 seconds. But that will do you no good when you step out of your car in a dark drive-way at 11.00 pm on a night when some junkie has decided he needs your ride and your wallet.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Just found this

Why Everyone Needs a Gun
It relates two examples of armed self defense against two crazed, mentally unbalanced criminals. But this part was the clincher:
In each case, an irrational attacker who came face to face with a gun suddenly developed a fine-tuned sense of reality, culminating in lives being saved.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Training to survive

James Rummel has a post up that should be read by everyone interested in personal defense.

Avoid the Bucket

James’s example is not an isolated case. Most of the changes in police procedure and equipment are fueled by calamity. It takes a Newhall Incident, an FBI-Miami shootout, or a North Hollywood robbery before the powers that be will accept change.

There is a big downside to this. In the aftermath of a tragedy, no one wants to blame the victim. The public after-action reports and resulting policy debates will, therefore, focus more on technology and less on tactics. The training recommendations can focus on the wrong elements because it addresses "safe" subjects and not the factors that really determine life and death.

Ross Seyfried—hunter, guide, gun writer, and former IPSC champion—has a phrase for one facet of the problem:" buying skill." Instead of practicing their long-range shooting, hunters buy "flat shooting" magnums. High capacity magazines can be a similar trap. Seyfried again: "you can’t miss fast enough" to make up for poor accuracy. In a worst case scenario, hi-caps just delay the moment of truth.

James also provides some recommendations that need to be taken heart and put into practice by anyone who is serious about civilian CQC.

My one quibble is ISPC/IDPA/CAS. They can be great training—if they are approached as practice. If you try to win (or even just emulate the winners) they teach dangerous lessons. (I grit my teeth every time I watch a shotgun stage at a CAS match. What sane individual would operate a pump like that if their life was on the line?)

Many years ago I read an article that made a good point about the value of IPSC, personal defense, and mind-set. Three competitors were eating in a restaurant after the match. Two of them were serious IPSC shooters and had finished high in the standings. Thee third was a cop who had finished well back in the pack. The subject of concealed carry came up. One of the shooters was unarmed. His tricked out race gun was locked in the trunk of his car outside. So was the competition gun of the other IPSC demi-god. After showing his stuff with a custom .45, he stowed it away and carried a J-frame .38 Spl. The cop was carrying the same service auto he carried every day—the same pistol he shot the match with.

Even though he had the worst score at the match, the cop was the only one of the three who was really benefiting from the practice and competition.

James offers up a lot of good advice on his site. I really like his emphasis on dry-firing practice and shooting prone or from a chair. Only the lucky get to use the standing Weaver when the SHTF.

Now, since this is a blog, I’ll throw in my two cents.

Where possible, add moving targets. They don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Balloons bobbing in the breeze are a neat wrinkle when paper targets get boring.

Practice dealing with unexpected malfunctions. Even when shooting multiple targets, it is easy to fall into a rut. Bang, bang [shift] bang, bang, [shift] bang, bang. Reload.

Put some snap caps into the mix and it changes the experience. Bang, bang, [shift] bang, click, [shi….,damn, clear] bang, [shift] bang, bang.

Monday, April 03, 2006

This is so wrong

Mark Wahlberg is no Bob the Nailer

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Just an opinion

This may be the most pointlessly ugly gun on the market.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lever gun versus AR

Michael Bane takes the cowboy gun. Smart choice.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

SHOT Show 2006

Dozens of great pictures over at Gun Blast