So a few months ago my Aker B21 belt started felling a bit flimsy (which, after several years of daily use both carrying and not may be expected). I suspect that the thousands of times I've taken the belt off and put it on finally broke the polymer band inside. I saw an ad for a gun belt maker and gave their website a look. You can get to it here.
So generally I prefer my carry guns pretty much stock, and since I carry a Glock 19, that's been pretty easy to justify. However, if the Glock has a flaw (gasp) for me, it's that the magazine is tough to get a hold of to tug and check if it is seated, if there is a feed issue, and if the magazine is particularly dirty and doesn't come free with just the magazine release. A while back, I came across an article on an upgrade to address the issue, so I ordered a pack (of five) of Vickers Tactical base plates. My initial impression is favorable. I immediately find that gripping the base plate is actually possible because of the scalloped edge design. The floor plate is oversized compared to the factory plate, which means it should be easier to manipulate one handed.
In the image below you can see the size differential. I'll be interested in seeing how I like the added size in my concealed carry rig...if it will add to printing or not. I'll wear it out and about tomorrow and update this post with my impressions...
*Update: So I've been carrying with the Vickers baseplates for several weeks now, and I really like the grip I'm able to get on the magazine to be sure it's seated properly. They were relatively easy to install. I like the marking 'dots' on the bottom so you can number your magazines. I use a metallic Sharpie to do so.
About the only issue I think concealed carriers will notice is that, obviously, the base is significantly wider than the stock baseplate, and creates a bulky look if you're carrying a spare mag (and you are, right?) in your pocket. If you're using a dedicated mag carrier (I have one from Crossbreed Holsters, and another that fits in my pocket like a clip knife) then the base will push away from the carrier somewhat. It's not a big enough issue that I'll stop using them, just something I noticed.
At this point, I'd have to say that any new magazines I get will be upgraded with the baseplates because I really like the grip it gives me on the magazine itself.
Update 2: The Vickers baseplates are pretty wide, so I've switched magazine #1 back to the stock baseplate so that when I'm carrying it, it doesn't create a bigger bump under my shirt. The backup mag that I carry still has the Vickers plate on it because it's a bit easier to grab out of my pocket.
Image courtesy of www.redstatetactical.com
I had the pleasure of taking the Continuing Legal Education class with Mas Ayoob and Jim Flemming here in Lincoln, NE at the beginning of May. Of all the things I took away from class, this quote from Mas was the one I keep going back to:
For those of us who decided to carry a gun, "We don't do it because of the odds, we do it because of the cost." The unacceptable cost to our families if something were to go wrong and we weren't able to defend ourselves.
I came across this article on Facebook today. It has some nice accommodation ideas for shooters with physical needs that make it difficult to load magazines, rack slides, and pull triggers. Worth a look:http://www.guns.com/2013/12/26/disabled-shooter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=disabled-shooter&utm_reader=feedly
For the second weekend in a row, I was in the Omaha area for a small, private class. This type of class really is my niche. During "the panic" earlier this year I had three classes that were maxed out at 25 people. It was stressful, crowded, and overall tiring. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching. It's just that throwing 25 strangers into a room and then on a range where none of us know each other is stressful. So, I like teaching small groups of family and friends.
Next week I'll be heading out to south central Nebraska to teach a class made up of a group of friends from church! The organizer tells me this church has potluck dinners down to an art form... so needless to say I'm looking forward to next weekend!
If you don't want to take a large public class, give me a call. I've traveled to the Omaha area for a group of four... today was a group of eight, and last weekend was a group of seven. You don't have to put together a huge group! If you have a place to host the class a
Recently, a man walked into an elementary school in Georgia. He walked in with an unloaded AK, announced his intentions to kill people, loaded the gun, then had a shootout with police before being talked into surrendering by one of the secretaries. She is a hero. And she's lucky she isn't dead.
Here is a GREAT commentary on the event. (Click here)
This is the power paragraph: "Finally – and this is a big one – we should consider the big picture. Rather than listening to rather immature voices crowing over the alleged victory of an unarmed woman over an active shooter, we should ask ourselves this: why, eight months after Newtown, was a mentally ill man able to walk unopposed into an elementary school with an AK? Why have we as a nation chosen to follow the same paths and policies that enabled the Newtown massacre?"
I'm openly in favor of teachers carrying while on duty at school. Not all teachers. Those with the permits and desire. So far, nobody in our great government has come up with a way to protect our children. And here we are eight months later watching news reports of a mentally deranged man walking into an elementary school with a weapon. So much for the "gun free school" signs and the laws that 'prevent' this from happening.
So I've recently gotten into the world of reloading. My buddy, Bryan, and I split the cost of a Lee progressive several months ago. He is exclusively a 9mm guy, and I have mostly 9mm pistols, so we did some studying and started reloading for ourselves. I came across a Springfield XD Tactical in .45 ACP, and I have several rifles, so I decided to get my own press so I wouldn't have to sneak into his house late at night to reload... and potentially get shot as a home invader. Which leads me to my point. I purchased a Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive with the EZ-ject system.
Setup, for a first-timer, was aided by both an illustrated instruction manual and by Hornady's DVD tutorial which came with the press. I had to build a bench, as I was severely lacking space. It took me the better part of an evening and the next morning to get everything built and mounted. Cleaning/installing dies and getting them dialed in was another evening.
In addition to the press, appropriate shell plates, and dies for .45 ACP, I purchased a "powder cop" to help with avoiding a double charge / no charge. Lots of people don't see the use for it, but I figured an extra layer of protection can't hurt.
It's very important to clean and dry-lube the entire set up. Powder sticks to the factory packing grease like crazy.
I'll be adding to this review as I add experience (and rounds) to my resume. As of now, I really like the press overall. I wish it had some sort of passive case feed system (like the Lee progressive). The powder drop seems to be very accurate. The powder cop is a nice visual check for powder level. The priming system is quite a bit different than the Lee tray, but I have had very few primer feed issues compared to what Bryan had when he was getting the Lee dialed in. At a little over $400, it was certainly an investment, but it is nice to be a
So I finished up my paperwork on the CHP classes this week. My wife helped set up an office area for me (she is awesome!) and I moved a lot of my training materials in from random places around the house. One training aid for myself I haven't looked at for a couple of months is a set of DVD's that I got when I joined the ACLDN. I've watched a couple of them (Handling the Immediate Aftermath of a Self-Defense Shooting w/ Massad Ayoob, Use of Deadly Force in Self Defense, w/ Marty Hayes) so tonight I sat down to watch Recognizing and Responding to Pre-Attack Indicators.
If you've been in my class since the first of the year, I've told you about my experience at the mall this past December where a stranger was approaching me with his hands hidden in his pockets. After watching the DVD tonight, I'm certain I avoided what could have been a serious attack. His body posture, his direct line of approach, his hidden hands, the stare that I was getting... all very serious indicators that he was deciding whether or not I was going to be a victim. Luckily, I recognized that something was wrong and assertively acknowledged his presence, slightly turning my body to his approach, and verbally acknowledged him. It was enough, thankfully, for him to decide that I wasn't worth the possible cost of attacking.
If you're on the fence about whether or not to join the ACLDN, I really do recommend it. These DVDs (while not the most entertaining) are very informative. If you joined today, you'd get 7 DVDs. Couple that with the $5,000/$10,000 money for your defense and $85 a year doesn't seem too bad.
A buddy and I made our way down to Big Shots this past week for the first night of their IDPA style league. They are working on becoming a sanctioned club, so right now they aren't officially IDPA.
After a thorough safety briefing and orientation to the league, we were two of twenty-six shooters to stay around and go through the single course of fire. It was run very well, and I have no complaints with the staff or volunteers. We had a good time, and were out of there in pretty decent time too.
I chose to go to the Tuesday night league because it's less of a competition (oh sure, they keep time and then rank everyone) and more of a chance to use some realistic shooting skills. On the first night it was kept pretty simple. We loaded and holstered before beginning the stage (under supervision, of course). On the timer, shooters had to draw, engage two targets with two rounds each, upon slide lock, we moved about four shooting bays to the left, reloaded once in the next station, and repeated... engaging two targets. Again, after slide lock, we moved to the left to the final station.
My only complaint was 'that guy' who, after the safety briefing walked out into the lobby.. drew his pistol out of the holster, put the magazine in, and reholstered it. Did I mention we were in the lobby?! He also muzzled one of the RSOs and a volunteer who was pasting targets during movement between station one and two. Now, if you happen to read this, and are 'that guy,' I'm not making fun... I'm just saying keep your darn gun in the holster until you are told to take it out. I hope it was a one-time rookie mistake. The RSOs pointed out his error on the range, so hopefully that is the end of that.
I'm looking forward to continuing to shoot in the Tuesday night league. Hope to see you there sometime!
So I finally made it down to Lincoln's newest indoor range, Big Shots. It's located just off West O and Sun Valley Blvd.
My first impression on entering the building was that this place is big! They have a spacious showroom with plenty for any gun or bow enthusiast to look at. The staff was friendly and got me signed in quickly. Since it was my first visit, I had to give them some info and watch a range safety video. It took me about 15 minutes to get to the line.
The shooting line is where this place is going to set itself apart. The room is large, with 9 shooting lanes. It is well lit, and very well ventilated. The lanes themselves are clean and easy to use once you've had your orientation. The controls for running targets back and forth are all digital, with distances measured in 1/2 yard increments. You can run targets back to 25 yards.
I had taken the day off to run some errands that just can't seem to get themselves done after school, so I was the only one on the line. A staff member checked in on me frequently, and complimented me on my shooting (I'll bet you say that to all the shooters...). He even helped me sweep up and collect brass to take with me.
Word is they will be starting up some leagues and IDPA shooting after the first of January.
If you haven't made it down yet, I recommend Big Shots. I'm still a fan of The Lincoln Ikes Club, but for those really cold days I'll be heading back down to see the folks at Big Shots.
I'm also a pretty big fan of Randy at Thunder Alley. Sure it isn't all modern like Big Shots, but you walk in there and feel like they are glad you came and has had more time to establish itself as a community of shooters. They host a lot of great events too. You can't go wrong with either place.
Thunder Alley website is HERE
Big Shots website is HERE
As a husband and father, I'm interested in anything that helps educate me in the area of self-defense, and I'm always watching for products that help me be prepared.