Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Picked Up My Holster

First good news is, with 8 hours to go on My Auction, I have two gentleman in a small bidding war -- as long as I'm able to unload it for more than I listed it (which I'll be able to now), I'll be happy. It really is a stellar deal -- the Sigma 9mm, a Blackhawk SERPA, Fobus Holster and I'm even throwing in a kydex dual mag holder... all for a buy out of $325.

I hated the fact that I had basically JUST bought the SERPA -- it really is a great holster, so much so, that I went out during lunch and picked up another for the XD.
If you've never heard of the SERPA holster from Blackhawk, it's a carbon fiber holster with a paddle attachment -- the holster covers the trigger and features level two retention via the release platform that you activate with your standard draw grip.
I highly reccomend them, and the paddle attachment makes them more versatile in their use.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Finally -- Shot My XD

So, I bought my first weapon, a Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm on July 30th. It arrived about a week later and I was further unable to shoot it for another two weeks -- an agreement with my wife that I take my safety course first. So, I've technically been shooting about 2 months or so now; I've posted my targets here before and while some were nice, they were several sporatic shots. I attributed this to the 12lbs trigger pull of the weapon, which prompted me to pick up a Springfield Armory XD 9mm after having fired my friends.

Today, I was able to hit the range for the first time -- I picked up 300 rounds of ammo (figured it'd be a nice break-in) and hit the range. I went with the intent of doing the NRA Handgun Qualification course of fire -- a self-paced method that the NRA came up with that entails a series of progressively difficult courses of fire. The first was to aquire five rounds in ten eight inch targets (or within an inch of the border of a 9" paper plate) at 15 feet in benchrest position. While I didn't keep all of my plates (went through a lot of targets with 300 rounds), I'll post the first eight.

These were my very first shots with my XD -- I got excited and lost count, but still a nice grouping of six shots there.

Probably the best five shots of my life on plate number two -- I'm thrilled with that grouping.

Here's where my magazine ran out. Still not too shabby.

Still not too shabby.

Looks like with these last two, I'm starting to pull at the trigger a bit.

Maybe trying to go too fast? I get... cocky? when I'm doing well.

I recoup a bit here, but...

The second trigger pull gets away from me, but I recover.

All in all, I love my new weapon -- I'm realizing that I enjoy paper plates as targets more than anything else... Aim small, miss small, ya know? I did most of my other work in my standard stance and did just as well as benchrest; a HUGE departure from my Sigma. The RO even asked if I was looking into IPSC... when I told him I'd only been shooting a month or so, he grunted and shook his head.

After a while, I pushed the target back to 30 feet and did so-so. I did some one handed work and actually did better with that than I did two hands. Granted at this point I was feeling the fatigue and I was getting a little sore on my trigger finger, but I made sure to collect my brass as, at the rate I'm going (maybe 1000+ rounds now in a month), it'd definitely be cheaper for me to reload my own ammo.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

XD Pictures

So, I 'crayoned' the slide of my new XD -- letting the white wax fill in the engraving in the slide... Just wanted to post a few pictures:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Training and My Springfield XD...

So, I finished up the last half of my personal defense training required for my carry concealed license -- I called up the local paper to have them print the legal notice, and I'm now in the process of collecting the five affidavits attesting to my good moral character. All that's left is to submit the application and get fingerprinted for my background check... and wait. A long. Long. Time.


All in all, the defense course was OK -- we did some holster work. Now, I'm rather speedy on the draw and my technique was pretty nice, but my accuracy was pretty crappy today. When I draw I have a five-step method:

  1. Strong hand moves to weapon and weak hand balls into a fist and placed over your heart. This tenses a few muscle groups and helps keep you rigid while you draw -- it also puts a bit more mass between your heart and anything that might be shot at it.

  2. Draw straight up to clear the holster.

  3. Point the barrel forward.

  4. Bring the weapon to the ready position -- both hands on the weapon at about heart level, pointing straight.

  5. Push out while acquiring a sight picture.

We did some strong hand firing and weak hand firing and, for a bit of fun, we did a draw and shoot down the five bowling pins, which was a really fun exercise. Took me a minimum of seven rounds and a maximum of eleven at 30 feet. All in all, I was disapointed with my performance.

I'm starting to place the blame on my firearm -- yes, I know I hold it, I aim it and I squeeze the trigger; however, that trigger is a 12 pound trigger and, when you're attemping to shoot for speed, trying to put together all of those things you've learned separately: breath control, grip, sight alignment and trigger control, it really kills your aim.

Which is why I'm happy to say that I've put my gun up for auction on -- I'm including with it a Fobus HK-1 friction holster and a Blackhawk SERPA Level 2 retention holster. So, if you're interested in a Sigma 9mm (sw9ve), Black on Black, two 16rnd clips, tactical light and holsters... the bidding starts at $260. :)

"My god -- what will you do for a weapon?!" you might ask... Fear not, last week I won an auction for a brand-spankin' new Springfield Armory XD 9mm Service Pistol -- 4" barrel, 16+1, two magazines and the gear kit (holster, dual mag pouch and loader). This is the weapon I mentioned in a previous post... about a 5-6 pound pull and, when I'd shot my friends, my first four shots were in the dead center of a bullseye at 15 feet. I'm hoping my service model behaves similarly!

I got an email today from my FFL -- he's going to call me on his way to his shop today to do the transfer.

The only thing that's left is to get myself a SERPA for my XD and sort out this licensing crap. Anyone else ever applied for a Delaware CCDW?

Update: Just picked it up -- here it is....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'ma Nerd

I'm an Uber-Dorky Nerd God. says I'm an Uber-Dorky Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Holy XD, Batman!

So, I hit the range with my friend Dave -- me with my Sigma and him with his two Springfield XD's (Sub-Compact and Service model), along with a .22 rifle with a sweet scope. So, I unload a magazine in his snubby and the service when we first get there just to get a feel for the gun and did fairly well with it, as you can see here.

We shoot in our respective lanes for a while and I'm doing fairly decent with my Sigma... average for a day out; a few shots out of the black but, for the most part, all in execpt when I'm doing more speedy-like shooting (shoot, get sight picture, shoot, etc).

So, Dave gives me a go at his rifle. I believe this was at 50 yards -- all the way at the end of the range, I know that much. The scope, while getting a perfect picture, was very hard to keep steady at this distance. Being my first time using a rifle, I probably should've done a benchrest or leaning/kneeling position.

This is a homemade AQT (Army Qualification Target) made by Dave -- you can find them and several other of his custom targets on his website. A good one is the correction target that tells you, based on the position, whether you're slapping at the trigger, shifting your grip, etc.

So, halfway through the shoot, Dave offers up his XD's again -- I say "Sure," and walk over to load up a magazine for his service model. I load up ten rounds and insert the magazine into the weapon. I bring to bear on the target and squeeze off four relatively quick shots (maybe across 4-6 seconds total)..... .... ...

All four, dead center.

At that point I place the weapon down and take two steps back. I turn to look at Dave and, standing next to him was a guy who was in the next lane who had a .22 plinker with a scope (obviously a target shooter). The guy nodded enthusiastically, "Nice shooting."

Dave was about as flabbergasted as I was. I picked the gun back up and squeezed off the last six rounds, all hitting within the 10 ring or bullseye. I asked Dave if I could keep the gun. When he laughed in my face, I offered to trade him my Sigma. I made sure to dust off his shirt after he was able to stand back up from laughing on the ground.
Needless to say, I'm pricing XD's.

Before we leave, he offers up the service XD once more -- since my cleanest target, at the time, already had 10 rounds from my Sigma in it, I used that. As you can see here, my Sigma was fairly accurate, with a few in the white an orage.

The XD is in a nice tight 2-3" group. His trigger pull was about 5lbs or so and mine was still around the 10lbs range... all said and done I fired 225 rounds today and my finger is killing me.

I need to either get the trigger adjusted by a gunsmith or seriously start saving for a different firearm.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


"Daddy, when I grow up, will you sing at my wedding?"

"Of course I will, sweety."

AWWWWW... This is what my four-year old asked me on the way home from the beach today. Outside of being her normal rambunctious self, she asked this question. The wife just looked at me and mouthed the, "Awwwwww!"

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Sidearm

No, this isn't my "baby"... My babies are actually one and four years old and I love them to death -- the oldest just started her second year of preschool yesterday... *sniff*

I decided to get the digital camera out and take a few snapshots today while I had a bit of extra time on my hands. This is a Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm semi-automatic pistol (SW9VE) -- allied forces model. It's distinctive from the other Sigmas because of the black slide... they normally have stainless steal, but I love the black on black.

It holds 16 in the magazine and one in the chamber -- field strips down into the grip, barrel, slide and recoil spring and it feels very nice in the hands. The only downside being the 12lbs (ish) trigger pull when I first bought it. I've put about 400-500 rounds through it now without a single malfunction and, I'm pleased to report, that the trigger pull has eased up a bit and it's more of a managable 10lbs or so now. I'm sure that'll work down a bit more to something that'll make it a bit easier to handle.

So, as I've mentioned, I've been working towards my CCDW license and I wanted a decent holster to carry -- I figure I'll either be carrying on the hip or on a shoulder rig, so I picked up a Blackhawk Serpa CQC (Close Quarter Concealment) holster. It offers Level II retention by an interal locking mechanism. If you look closely here, you'll see a release platform on the holster. With your natural draw grip, your indexed index finger will press that release allowing you to draw the weapon. Outside of that, it is locked firmly in the holster -- believe me, I've tugged and wrenched trying to get it out to ease my mind.

Now granted, I'm in pretty decent shape -- that shape being somewhat of an oval so, as you can see, the weapon is pretty tight up against my side, so I've actually ordered spacers from Blackhawk that'll push it out a bit and allow for a more comfortable draw.

I've been wearing it around the house today to get a feel for it, pratice draws and, all in all, break it in and it's a bit comfortable -- more so than I though. I'm glad that I made this purchase as the simple friction-based retention of my Fobus HK-1 was too unsafe for me for carrying.

Speaking of, I technically open carried for the first time today -- I left my house to walk across the cul de sac to pick up my mail and a new neighbor was on her porch which her child. Granted, I was about 50 feet away, but no reaction. As much as I'd love to do this more actively, I'd much rather wait till I get my CCDW as I need to temper my want to be somewhat of an activist about it with the fact that I'm a provider and I have a family to think about supporting.

In any case, I'll leave one more picture here before I get on with some errands I need to run -- I'd love to see any pictures or hear any stories you have about your favorite firearm.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

There's a Fire! There's a Fire!

"It's illegal for you to walk into a crowded theatre and shout, 'Fire!', ya know?"

How many times have you heard this argument used to illustrate how the government justifies certain restrictions on the rights of its people? Well, guess what... it's perfectly legal to walk into a crowded theatre and shout, 'Fire!'.

"What? Are you crazy? What are you talking about!" you might be asking yourself.

Here's the catch... If there's no fire, your speech is inciting panic, that's not legal. However, if there is a fire and you save hundreds of lives, not only is it legal, but you'd probably be touted as a hero.

So, I came across this article written by a guy who was open carrying his pistol lawfully and was detained and grilled, having his rights violated for an hour. He was subject to numerous officers giving their opinion that he really shouldn't carry which, to me, amounts to official oppression or abuse of office where a state official is using their position to influence its citizens.

How does this relate to my topic? Here's how I equate the two.

Me lawfully carrying an unconcealed firearm : Walking into a crowded theatre
Shouting 'Fire' when there is none : Negligently discharging my firearm
Shouting 'Fire' when there is a fire : Using my weapon in lawful self-defense

Am I off base here? This guys actions are lawful, regardless of whether someone is alarmed... Hell, I'm sure an african american would be alarmed if they found themselves caught in the middle of a Klan rally in a public venue, but our goverment affords them that freedom and that same consideration should be afforded to the 2nd Amendment.

As much as I appreciate the work that Law Enforcement does, I think that their training lends itself to make them always assume they're in the power of position. Where, rather than protecting and serving, they're trying to constantly maintain control, which doesn't work well with fostering good relations with the community.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ommelanden Range

Oh! So, I went out to the range a short while ago with a friend -- I decided to hit up Ommelanden, which is a great outdoor facility that is CHEAP. I spent $5 to shoot for an hour, using pretty much any ammunition that I wanted as opposed to someplace like Targetmaster, just over the state line on 202... They charge $15 for the lane and generally rifle through your ammunition because they don't like you using Walmart's 100 pack Winchester Whitebox because they can't get it as cheaply.

Knowledgable guys up there, but man -- talking about driving away business.

In any case, I think I now have about 400-450 rounds through my S&W Sigma... Not a single malfunction yet, I'm pleased to report. On the whole, I'm also getting better with the weapon as well -- maybe the trigger is starting to work itself out a bit, or my trigger finger is acclimating to the 12lbs trigger pull.

Here's my last target -- this is 30 rounds at 15 feet, which is about the normal distance at which I fire.

I have a nice little grouping there just to the left of the bullseye and those three shots that're in the orange were me slapping at the trigger. It's quite frustrating sometimes because I *know* when I take the shot if it's going to be a bad shot, but not so much when it's going to be a good shot.

Ah well, after I get some more practice in, I'll start pushing the target back to 20 feet. I'm still looking to follow the NRA self-paced progression course so, at the very least, I'll be able to have goals and motivation to keep my skills up.

Nice Labor Day Weekend

So, this semester, I'm teaching two classes: Introduction to Programming (C Language) and Object Oriented Programming (VB.NET)... I have no idea what spurred me to take on another class in any shape or form, but I pulled a few strings last Thursday and got myself readmitted to the college (as I'm also an Alumni) and registered in the Criminal Justice associates degree program we have here.

Bear in mind, that I haven't read much outside of a technical manual or Harry Potter book over the past few years, but I decided to start my program taking a course from the last semester, Constitutional Law, which I spent most of the weekend reading. I know I'm going a bit backasswards here, but considering the research I've been conducting on the lawful carrying of a firearm, it seems to fit well... It's actually been enjoyable to actually read something with a bit of depth to it, though -- granted, a lot of it is case law, but, as part of our first assignment, we had to read several historical documents: The Mayflower Compact, The Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers (#10 and #41)... Though written in english, the vocabulary and subtleties of language in these documents are close to mind-boggling to me. Especially with the Federalist papers, I needed to read these several times to get the inherent meaning.

Outside of that, the weekend was nice -- Saturday the family went out and enjoyed the nice weather. Sunday, the wife took the kids out to the Zoo while I went up to a place called 'Sligo' for Irish session... there's always great music up there. Yesterday, I took my 4-year old out to the mall for breakfast and some daughter/daddy time. Granted, she was as trying as a 4-year old could be the rest of the day, but I even got a chance over the weekend to open up some of the other Daily Quests on World of Warcraft...

I got an IM from my mother this morning that one of my Uncle's passed this morning in his sleep... Cancer has been a tempestous killer on my mother's side and I'm quite glad that I don't smoke. She'll be coming down from Minnesota for the funeral this week, but told me she plans to stay a bit longer so she can visit her kids and grandkids -- it's always nice when she's able to come. The part of the state she's from requires her to take a puddle jumper to a 'real airport' so it's rather costly.

It'll be nice to have her, maybe we can take her to the beach this weekend or, at the very least, chill out and play some Warcraft... yes, she plays. Her and my step-father actually hit L60 before I did. Yes, we're a family of geeks. :)