Friday, October 09, 2015

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #136...

Saw this at the range today. I need me an AR lower with some cool laser engraving...

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Protocol Droid

My initial reaction?

Or I can wait until Apple releases the iRobot.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

"...she said, nervously."

"Politicize All The Things!"

"All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war." -Billy Beck

The important thing here is not that there was a crime committed, but that we find out whose team the criminal was on!

Excerpts from the morning...

"NATO on Tuesday rejected Moscow's explanation that its warplanes had violated alliance member Turkey's air space by mistake and said Russia was sending more ground troops to Syria and building up its naval presence.

With Russia extending its air strikes to include the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he was losing patience with Russian violations of his country's air space.

"An attack on Turkey means an attack on NATO," Erdogan warned at a Brussels news conference."
Rolled over in bed and grabbed the iPad to check email and the news before starting my day. The above story resulted in a lot more one-fingered typing on a virtual keyboard than I usually do, and so I'll just copypasta the highlights over here now that I'm on a real computer...
  • This has the potential to spin right the f*** out of control before anybody involved realizes what they're doing.
To the suggestion that Russia would just continue to punk NATO with no response:
  • Yeah, see, sooner or later some individual fighter pilot or other trigger puller isn't going to understand that he's supposed to be punked.
To the suggestion that NATO should buzz off:
  • Clearly. A mutual self-defense organization to counter a militarized Soviet Union is a relic of the past, since toothless and cuddly Russia is a friend of Europe now and has no territorial ambitions beyond their own borders.

  • So, you don't necessarily mean NATO needs to go away, just that we need to get ourselves out of it? That I could maybe get behind. We've been subsidizing the welfare states of Europe for far too long by effectively acting as their Ministry of Defense.
To the allegation that NATO has been expanding too aggressively:
  • You mean, not recognizing the legitimate territorial claims of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact?
  • If I were the Baltic states, I'd join any organization that offered to help me keep Moscow from its regular incursions. I'd like it if it kept the Germans out, too, but frankly Berlin is just not much of a threat these days.

  • [I]f you'd had the Russians camping out in your master bedroom for forty years (or much longer in some cases) and they left, would you not lobby to join an organization that promised to help you if they came back?

  • (I will add, however, that if NATO did go away, this is France's best chance to hand Germany a one-on-one curb stomping since the Congress of Vienna.)
On our naive fascination with Popular Uprisings:
  • I understand the initial American infatuation with the Arab Spring. Delight at people toppling tyrants is baked deeply into our cultural DNA. But certainly by a couple of years ago, we should have seen what a dog's breakfast it was making of the region. Continuing to support anti-Assad forces is farcical and a willfully obtuse denial of realpolitik.
On the value of American promises to our allies:
  • We have here a stunning reminder of why it never pays to trust Uncle Sam's word too much. Our Uncle has a bad case of Bipolar disorder and promises lots of shit that, four years later, he decides he has no intention of delivering.

  • Taiwan could teach other countries a graduate level course in the topic; it's been putting up with our national schizophrenia for a half century now.
This whole mess is why I was pulling for Admiral Josh Painter in the '08 elections, instead of President Hope'n'Change.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Fundamentals Accuracy and Speed Test

Five years ago, I took my first class with Todd Green of It was probably the single most significant step in my ability to shoot a pistol of all the classes I've taken. Since that first AFHF I've often wished, for instance, that I could have then done a repeat of the Todd Jarrett class at Blackwater, because back in '08 I simply wasn't a good enough shooter to absorb half of what Jarrett had to offer.

My second class with Todd Green was actually two one-day classes, Speed Kills and Get SOM; the former about shooting fast on small, difficult targets and the latter all about Shooting On the Move. I was barely able to keep up with the pace of the classes and, again, found myself  wishing in later years that I could re-take the classes, knowing what I know now.

One of the biggest influences in Todd's shooting career was Ernest Langdon, and since I couldn't go back in time and re-take a class from Ernest's padawan, I jumped at the chance to take one from Ernest himself.

My hopes were not misplaced. Bright and early on day one, I had my first revelation of the class as he pointed out the single biggest handicap to my ability to shoot fast: The obsession with pinning the trigger and slowly riding the reset at ranges and paces where it's not only not necessary, but actually a detriment to shooting accurately.

To paraphrase Langdon: Before we start offering little pointers on grip and stance and suchlike, let's make sure you're pulling the trigger right. You can be perfect with your grip and sight alignment, but if your trigger pull is a soup sandwich, you're not gonna hit a barn from the inside with the door closed. Conversely, you can have a wretched grip and pretty coarse sight alignment, but as long as you're pulling the trigger right... well, that A-zone/-0 circle is really a pretty big target.

Ernest Langdon about to reload from slidelock. John Johnston of is running the timer.
Anyhow, regarding the post title...

The FAST is a test (not a drill) that measures a discrete set of pistol-handling skills arranged in a certain order:
  1. The draw from concealment to a fairly precise target. (A 3"x5" box at 7 yards)
  2. Split time on that small target.
  3. A slidelock reload.
  4. A string of four shots on a fairly wide-open target. (An 8" circle at 7 yards.)
My previous best time in a class setting had been 10.00 seconds clean. That was with the 1911 at that first class back in 2010. I'd been carrying 1911s at that point for most of a decade. I switched to the M&P 9 shortly before the 2011 class and made a dog's breakfast of it; raw time wasn't good and dropped shot penalties bumped my time to a shade over 12 seconds. In 2012, I got my raw time slightly below 10, which would have earned me an "Intermediate" rating, but dropped shots again bumped it over the ten second mark.

With Todd having passed the official FAST record book to Ernest, I had a chance to clean the blemish off my record. I'd shot quite a few last summer clean in the high 8s, but I was afraid that the pressure of shooting it in front of the class might bump me back over the ten second mark.

I needn't have worried. I did drop a head shot (out of the 3"x5"; it was still in the head box) on the draw, but my raw time was a personal best of 7.62 seconds, thanks to the trigger control advice on my splits from Ernest. This meant that even with the two-second dropped shot penalty my score was an "Intermediate" of 9.62 seconds.

I used to think I'd be happy just erasing the sting of not making "Intermediate". I was comfortable being painfully slow. Now I'm within just over a half second of an "Advanced" time and my goals have changed.

Ernest explaining the difference between cover and concealment.
I really, really, really need to work on my draw and reloads. Got some good tips from Ernest there, too; I'll be working his reload drills this week. If you have the chance to go to one of his classes, do so. I haven't learned so much about shooting a pistol in just two days for many years.


It was an action-packed weekend on short sleep and I'm consequently off to a slow start this morning. Talk amongst yourselves for a moment.

Sunday, October 04, 2015


The thermometer in the Zed Drei read 49°F leaving the range yesterday. The official high at the airport was fifty degrees, which was a record low daily high for that date, according to the weather dude this morning.

Wore my Asolo boots, what with most of the day being spent on the wrong side of the fifty degree line, standing in wet grass. As snuggly and comfortable as they are, it felt like I had boards strapped to my feet after a summer spent in Merrell barefoot shoes .

Another hundred...

Friday after work, I took another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's .45ACP ammo out on the range. Mindful of the fact that I'd be expected to step up the pace this weekend, I shot at least a couple magazines faster than the range speed limit, and I think the result is apparent.

This brings the total rounds fired to 1,400 since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with three failures to go into battery (rounds #356, #1,085, #1,247), a failure to feed on round #513, a failure to feed a round of Hornady Critical Duty +P on round #927, and a failure to eject a round of Hornady Critical Duty +P on round #930. 600 rounds to go.