Thursday, November 29, 2007

Almost There...

I suppose I should probably post what all else has been involved in the process and to show how insane it is to get a permit in Delaware:

July 31: Bought my first firearm ever -- S&W Sigma 9mm. (-$280)

Aug 19: Started my training course as required by the state. (-$225)

Aug 30: Bought my Springfield XD (-$399)

Sep 2: Finished my training course.

Sep 5: Arranged to have my intent to obtain a permit published in the Legal Notices in the News Journal. (-$74)

Sep 17: Make an appointment for fingerprinting/background check on Oct 9.

Sept 18: Sold my Sigma 9mm. Yay. (+$350)

Sep 28: Obtained all 5 character references.

Oct 1: Filled out my questionaire and had it notorized.

Oct 9: Got fingerprinted for my background check. (-$69)

Nov 1: Background check sent to Prothonotary. (Found out on 11/19 via call)

Nov 19: Called Prothonotary. Application at AG's office being processed.

Nov 29: Almost there -- letter from Delaware DoJ giving their non-commital, non-challenging, non-refusal recommendation to the Prothonotary. Time elapsed so far: 3 months, 10 days. (Image Above)

On another note, Delaware's license is a 'Carry Concealed Deadly Weapons' permit. Delaware defines as a deadly weapon: a knife, billy, blackjack, a bomb, chain, metal knuckles, ice pick or any other dangerous instrument as defined in another section. That's kind of a broad definition as one could interpret that they could carry a concealed bomb -- what in gods name were lawmakers thinking?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Extended Mag Release? Check!

Got in my extended release from Springer Precision and went about installing it -- I took a 1/16th punch and punched out the mag release pin about 1/2" and pushed inside of the magazine well on the button catch, slipping out the old black one and put in my new stainless one, punching back in the pin.

It feels a bit weird, when I depress it, I can feel it rotate, but it definitely gets the job done. Before, I'd have to physically change my grip on the handle, drop the mag, insert the new one then readjust my grip which, I think was accounting for some of my inconsistencies -- looking to take this out to the range to test this weekend.

Supreme Court to Rule on Second Amendment

Hold on ladies and gentlemen... it's going to be an interesting ride.

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court said on Tuesday it would decide whether handguns can be banned in the nation's capital, a case that could produce its first ruling in nearly 70 years on the right of Americans to bear arms."

This ruling is, essentially, going to be the best thing for gun owners or the worst thing for gun owners -- it will set precedence that will change the course of gun ownership in America for years to come.

This will definitely make an issue for those who decide to open carry and perhaps even put a big twist on 'May Issue' states and other states like the People's Republics of New Jersey, New York, Kalifornia and Texas.

This is our worst nightmare and our best dream realized -- which one it will be, time and the SCOTUS will only tell.

Another USPSA/IPSC Competition

So, this past weekend was a blast -- I went out to the last shooting match of the season for the closest club to me that does USPSA/IPSC. This was my second time, but I was able to coax someone out from my local range to give it a try and he shot his .45 Glock in Limited and had an absolutely blast -- I think I've got him hooked.

Although it was bloody COLD, it was still an enjoyable day out -- next time, I HAVE to remember to bring some kind of lounge chair; my poor knees and feet were aching. In any case, I'd used some untested reloads I had made on a friends press and wound up having several malfunctions that day, but I did have a few good rounds. Below is the second of the five courses of fire and is probably my favorite round yet.

I'm particularly impressed with how I smoked my second reload -- I didn't notice it until I realized how fast I'd fired after I dropped the mag.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Law Stuff

So, the Supreme Court hasn't given a solid yes or no on whether or not they're going to take on the Heller Gun Case -- this is usually because the justices need more time to decide or someone is writing a dissent on the issue. The next time they'll make an announcement is later this month... Of course, the NRA doesn't want the case taken as a bad ruling from the SCOTUS would have a severe impact on the Second Amendment, but other gun advocate organizations are confident that it'll be read as most of us have come to know it.

In any case, this coming weekend is the last test I have for my Constitutional Law class until my final in December. I've really enjoyed the class and have learn an immeasurable amount about my constitutional rights and case law pertaining to the application of legal action against and for infractions of the law. I think next year I'll wind up taking Criminal Law.

So, working for a college, I get a free class per semester, which is nice because, with my day job and teaching night courses... along with my music and pistol practice and family, my schedule has been insanely full the past several months. I currently hold a degree in Computer Information Systems and have put that to good work with web and database development.

Since I've become interested in both shooting and the Second Amendment and the potential applications my rights and the law have upon me in, say, a situation where I might be open carrying, I'd taken up an interest in law. Happily, we have a great Criminal Justice program, so I would up readmitting myself as a Criminal Justice major for our two-year program and will be taking classes one semester at a time. So, if I persist to the end, I'll wind up with my Associates in CJ in, oh, about 6 years! Hah!

Luckily, all of my general education requirements are already out of the way so all I really have to do is take the fun 'core' classes. Looking at the list of classes I needed to take before fall started, I decided, with no formal training or knowledge in law (Does watching mass amounts of Law & Order count?), I jumped and took that Constitutional Law course (second year, second semester course) as my first class... I can tell why they put it there.

All in all, I've smoked all of my assignments and case briefs and, though my test scores we quite dismal to begin with, each one has been higher than the previous, which is a trend that I like.

I'm only hoping I can pull out an A for the semester.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stupid, but interesting blog thing:


Bit By The Reloading Bug

To start with, I want to begin with the sad news of the loss of my extended magazine release on the mail. I got the letter on Saturday with the big red, "We're sorry, your letter was damaged during delivery." sticker on it and the lower right hand corner chewed to bits -- probably in their auto-sorter. I emailed Scott from Springer Precision and he said he'd get me another out today; this time, I hope he uses a small box for shipping. Hoping it gets here before Saturday's competition!

So! I went over a guys house on Saturday evening -- I'd met him at the range a few weeks earlier... he's a regular over a Ommelanden here in Delaware and very much into reloading. Once we got to chatting, he told me he'd drop me a line once he switched his dies over to 9mm. He had the Hornaday Lock-N-Load progressive turret uncovered (and about 3 other presses setup with dust covers). A quarter of his basement area was filled to the brim with powder, casings, bullets and equipment for reloading -- it was like a dream.

So, he sat me down, showed me the basics and let me have at while we talked guns and ammo. Over the course of 45-minutes, I probably rattled off 150 rounds or so total. The spring loaded ejector for the cartridges that were finished was rather strong and I found that, with my first completed round, I needed to manually remove the round otherwise it would shoot across the room... In addition to that, placing the empty case in the first position and inserting the bullet into the last station cut down on my time, I'm sure.

While I like the Hornady press, I think I'll still be going with the Dillon Square Deal B pictured here. Since I'll pretty much only be loading 9mm, this progressive press comes right out of the box.

I've budgeted about $800 for the press, a work table and the initial batch of power, primers and bullets as well as a tumbler. I probably have close to 2000 casings saved up, so I'm not too concerned there.

With any luck, I should be able to start getting set up by about Christmas time, depending on when I'll be getting some paid for some outside contract work...

I think, for me, the biggest appeal about getting into reloading is being able to make custom loads for competition shooting. In the Production class, Minor Scoring for USPSA/IPSC, I need to have a minimum power factor of 125,000 -- to get that number you take the bullet weight multiplied by the speed in feet per second. So, if you're using a 125gr bullet, it needs to travel at least 1000 feet per second. If it's a 115gr bullet, that would be.... about 1087 feet per second. So, with the lower power rounds, I'm hoping for less recoil. We shall see!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Got My Sights Done

So, in getting into this USPSA/IPSC shooting, I've decided to pimp out my firearm as best I can for the production class which, basically for me, means the sights and gun internals.

Since I don't have an over-abundance of cash, I started by sending my Springfield XD 9mm off to Springer Precision to have a set of Dawson Precision Fiber-Optic sights installed. The rear is .100" in green (fixed) and the front is .125" in red.

I also have an order into him for a stainless steel extended magazine release which I'll wind up installing myself when it gets here.

The next competition is on the 17th of November, and I'm hoping I'll do a bit better than last time -- I've been able to get out to the range a couple of times since then and I'll probably be able to hit it this weekend as well. I've decided my biggest problem is grip consistency and keeping an even trigger pull, so I've been slowing down my practice... Firing five rounds at a time and taking my time to make sure my technique is spot on.

I need to also start moving the targets back -- I've been working at 7 yards and I need to start working at 10 yards to get my accuracy down; I think as I start moving things back and working on consistency, those two goals will compliment each other.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November...

If you've ever seen the movie 'V' with Hugo Weaving voicing the masked patriot and Natalie Portman as the bald 'willing' hostage, you've heard this utterance before. However, it's actually related to 'Guy Fawkes Night' which is an annual celebration of this very day. It celebrates the Gunpower Plot on this day in 1605 in which a number of Roman Catholics attempted to blow up the Palace of Westminster, which is more commonly known as the Houses of Parlament in London. The movie also brought back into mind the following quote:

"The people should not be afraid if its government. The goverment should be afraid of its people."

And its with that quote that supporters of the constitutionalist candidate Ron Paul have taken up the day in an attempt to raise 5 million dollars for Dr. Paul. A man who believes that our government today is fraught with too much legislation, who believes that the Second Amendment is absolute, that we need a harder stance on illegal immigration, that we need to tend to our own affairs and leave others to theirs and the man who wants to dissolve the IRS...

As of the time of writing, just over 1 million dollars has been raised... 1.8 million in less than 24 hours is the record for any campaign in US Election history. While I'm more of a neocon myself, Ron Pauls views on getting back to living according to the Constitution has truely piqued my interest in supporting him, so I figure, as long as I can, I'll see what I can do to get him in a position to be considered for the presidency.

Maybe you could donate a bit?

Here are a couple of graphs from the donation tracker website...