Archive for June, 2010

Proper Handgun Grip

Posted in Gun Safety with tags , , on June 29, 2010 by The Armed Texan

The Problem

I’ve seen too many instances lately in my classes of people not employing a proper grip technique.  While there isn’t just one way to grip a semi-automatic handgun properly, there certainly is one way not to grip a semi-automatic handgun. “So what’s the big deal if I don’t grip it properly,” you might ask.  Well the answer is, that if you grip it the wrong way you can end up with a severely cut (or even broken) thumb.  This can turn an otherwise pleasurable range session into a less than fun experience.

The Improper Grip

First, lets define strong hand, and weak hand.  The strong hand is the hand you will have your primary grip with.  The weak hand is your other hand.  For me, I’m right-handed, so I grip my handgun first with my right hand, and for a two-handed grip, support with my left hand.  Thus, my strong hand is my right, and my weak hand is my left.  So now that we have that clarified, let’s discuss the actual grip.  What often happens is that the shooter will grip the handgun with his strong hand, and then overlap his weak hand on the rear of the pistol with the weak hand thumb crossing over the strong hand on the top / rear of the grip as in the image below:

Improper Handgun Grip Image

The problem with this grip is that when the round is discharged in the chamber the slide will cycle back.  If your thumb is crossed like this, then the slide will have a strong chance to impact your weak hand causing a deep cut, or in worse cases a broken thumb.  In addition to the risk of injury, this grip is not as steady, and therefore leads to poorer accuracy than some of the more preferred, and definitely safer, grips.

The Proper Grip

There are multiple grips which one could safely employ, and you have to choose one that works well for you.  My personal favorite is the grip where the weak hand is placed with overlapping fingers on the front strap of the grip and strong hand, and where the weak hand thumb rides parallel to and slightly under the strong hand thumb.  This grip is superior in several ways to the improper grip mentioned above.  First, it allows you to be more steady in your shooting as it tends to reduce the effect of your weapon being pulled to the left or right as you squeeze the trigger.  Secondly, it allows you recover more quickly from recoil and to re-acquire your sight picture more effectively.  Third, it uses the weak hand as a support only, and not as a primary grip on the weapon.  An example of this grip technique can be seen in the image below:

Proper Handgun Grip Image

As you can see the rear of the handgun is completely clear of your weak hand to give the slide plenty of clearance to cycle without risk of injury.  The only caveat to this grip is to ensure that you don’t ride your thumb up too high and hit any serrations that exist on the slide near the front that might contact the thumb when it cycles.  This just takes a bit of practice and adjustment based on the hand size and the weapon in question.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that we want to stay safe on the range so that we can enjoy our session, and a quick way to turn around an exciting trip to the range is to start out with an injury that could easily have been avoided.  I recommend practicing this grip technique every chance you get.  No matter where you practice, please employ proper gun safety. My recommendation is to practice with a model gun (blue gun or similar), or an unloaded airsoft gun.  If you absolutely must use a real gun at home, then please make sure it is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction at all times.  If you practice this gun grip technique, I think you’ll find that it improves your accuracy at the range once you get it down to muscle memory.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

SCOTUS Votes 5-4 in Favor of Gun Rights!!!

Posted in Politics on June 28, 2010 by The Armed Texan

Well, SCOTUS voted 5-4 that the gun ban in Chicago was unconstitutional.  This is a big win for the pro-2A group.  Anything that reels in big government powers is excellent news.  This is particularly true when those powers infringe on explicit constitutionally granted rights of the people.  I would definitely have preferred a bigger margin of victory, and I fully expect Chicago, like DC, to continue to restrict gun rights in spite of the SCOTUS ruling.  It’s just a fight we’ll have to continue to make.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

McDonald v Chicago

Posted in Politics on June 28, 2010 by The Armed Texan

Today is the last day of this session for SCOTUS.  They are supposed to rule today on McDonald v Chicago.  This case is critical in the fight for our 2nd amendment rights.  It would overturn the long-standing, unconstitutional Chicago gun ban, and would open up gun rights across the United States!  For a complete run-down of news stories leading up to the ruling you can go here:

NRA-ILA: McDonald V Chicago

Richard Daley is an idiot for thinking that taking away Americans’ rights to own guns will reduce crime.  Chicago is one of the more crime ridden areas in this country, and this ban has been in place since 1982.  It has clearly not worked.  In DC v Heller, they ruled the ban in DC unconstitutional; however, this only applied to federal gun laws and districts.  McDonald v Chicago will apply to state and local government abilities to limit our second amendment rights unconstitutionally.  This will be a landmark decision either way, but speculation is that the Chicago ban will be lifted under this decision!  We can only hope!

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

Rossi Ranch Hand

Posted in Long Guns on June 27, 2010 by The Armed Texan

General Thoughts

Well, I have to say that I haven’t been this excited about a gun in some time.  This gun has moved to the absolute top of my wish list.  It’s not a concealed carry gun, but I would definitely like to have it.  It is the Rossi Ranch Hand.

Rossi Ranch Hand

Rossi Ranch Hand

I am not terribly excited about the manufacturer being Rossi; however, they have merged with Taurus, and that gives me some comfort in the quality level.  I would definitely be willing to test it out and see what my thoughts are on it.

The Details

This is a lever-action weapon that is chambered in 3 different pistol calibers:

  • .38 Special / .357 Magnum
  • .44 Magnum
  • .45 Colt

The gun has a barrel length of 12″, and complies with all federal laws.  It is expected to retail at about $537.  That seems on the high side to me for what it is, but I’ll wait to see what it actually sells for.  In the mean time, I’ll keep my eye out for a good deal on one, and perhaps some reviews on how well it handles.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

CHL Class – 7/24/2010

Posted in CHL Classes with tags , , , on June 25, 2010 by The Armed Texan

For more information or to register please visit our site:

CHL Classes Arlington, TX

Details:

We have an upcoming CHL Class in Arlington, TX on 7/24/2010.  This class will be for New and Renewal students.  Please register on our website if you would like to attend.  If you have already received a packet from the state, then  please bring it, otherwise we will provide one for you.

Cost:

New – $100

Renewal – $75

Time: 8am – 7pm with a 1 hour break for lunch.

We will provide breakfast and and an afternoon snack at no additional cost to you.

For more information or to register please visit our site:

CHL Classes Arlington, TX

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

SmartCarry Review

Posted in Concealment on June 25, 2010 by The Armed Texan

Design:

I have been meaning to write this review for quite some time.  I purchased this item several years ago as my second attempt at concealed carry.  The holster itself is fairly simple in design.  It is a cloth holster with elastic nylon webbing straps that wrap around your waist and velcro together.  The main pouch (for lack of a better word) contains two separate compartments.  One is designed for the weapon, and the other is designed for a spare magazine.  They do have a higher end model that contains a 3rd compartment for holding money, keys, etc.  The holster is available in a wide array of gun and waist sizes.  As far as concealed carry products go, it is relatively inexpensive.

SmartCarry Holster

Comfort

The holster is very comfortable to wear, and effectively conceals anything I’ve tried to use.  Mine is a small one that accommodates my Ruger SP-101 perfectly.  I’ve also used it effectively with my Springfield Armory XD 9mm sub-compact and my Wilson Combat ADP.  Comfort is based on the tightness with which it is applied.  If you make it too loose, then it will not stay put as well.  This isn’t too big of a problem if you’re wearing jeans; however, if you’re wearing loose shorts or nylon workout pants (or similar), this will make it uncomfortable as it shifts around.  For me, the less a weapon moves the more comfortable it is.  Getting the tightness level correct just takes some practice.  I have gotten it down now to where it is very comfortable for me, and I can get it on in just a matter of seconds.

Quality

The holster is made only of cloth which I knew before ordering one.  That said, the only problem I’ve had is with the velcro at the corner of one of the straps coming unstitched.  A few seconds under my wife’s sewing machine fixed that problem up.  It’s been fine ever since.  When it gets dirty I can easily throw it in the wash and it comes out looking brand new.  I’ve had no issues with Rust on my guns as a result of perspiration.  The holster is supposed to incorporate some type of moisture barrier to prevent that, and it must be effective since that hasn’t been an issue.  The holster causes absolutely no wear on the gun whatsoever.  Clearly this type of holster will never last as long as a custom leather or kydex holster; however, it’s a fraction of the price of one of those others.  That said, mine is now 3 years old and looks brand new!

Effectiveness

The real beauty of this holster is the deep concealment it provides.  There simply is no comparison from any other product.  It literally disappears when I put it on.  I’m not one that worries about “printing” or a “bulge” on my hip since most people are completely oblivious to anyone other than themselves, but there are times when I would prefer a slightly deeper concealment either because of a wardrobe requirement or the location where I’ll be going.  If I’m wearing dress slacks, I usually have my SmartCarry on underneath them because my dress belts simply aren’t rigid enough to support a weapon comfortably, and the SmartCarry requires no belt at all.  It is also perfect for working out.  The only downside to it is that the draw is markedly slower than drawing from an IWB (In-Waist-Band) holster on your hip, and if you’re seated the draw can be even slower.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that I wouldn’t consider my holster collection complete without one of these beauties, but I wouldn’t want this for my every day carry solution either.  For times when deep concealment is needed, or when your clothes don’t really support a more traditional concealment holster, this can be an invaluable asset.  The truth is that there simply is not a single solution to concealed carry.  An effective concealed carry regimen will consist of multiple holsters, weapons, and clothes to help facilitate all situations you may encounter.  I hope this helps you decide if the SmartCarry is right for you.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

Ruger SP-101

Posted in Concealed Carry Weapons on June 24, 2010 by The Armed Texan

First Thoughts:

I didn’t really have an adequate revolver for concealed carry, and I decided that I wanted one.  I looked long and hard at several revolvers before finally settling on the Ruger SP-101 hammerless 2″ revolver chambered in .357 magnum.

This wasn’t the most expensive revolver on the market, nor was it the lightest, but I considered that a good thing.  I really wanted one that had enough weight to it that it wouldn’t be too tiring to actually shoot .357 magnum rounds out of, but yet not so heavy that concealing it was still an option.  I feel that this weapon fit the bill perfectly!  I have fired exactly 350 rounds through this little gem with absolutely no failures of any kind that were related to the gun.  I say this because I had a few rounds that prevented it from rotating the cylinder, but these were due to crappy manufacturing of the one box of cheap CCI aluminum .357 magnum rounds I had.  The lip on the cartridge for 3 or 4 rounds in that box of 50 was considerably larger than the others, and so thick that the cylinder would not effectively rotate.  I discarded those rounds and everything else worked exactly as expected.

I fired a wide selection of rounds through this from cheap CCI blazer aluminum FMJ to high-end self defense ammo JHPs.  Most of the rounds were .357 magnum, but I did fire a few .38 special rounds which it handled perfectly.

Pros:

  • Cost: $479.99 – Not nearly as expensive as some of the lighter framed concealable revolvers
  • Weight: 25 oz – Reasonable for concealment with proper holster and belt
  • Finish: Sating Stainless – Nice for concealment since sweat can be an issue with non-stainless weapons
  • Action: Spurless Hammer DAO – I like this b/c it was for concealment; however, it is available with a SA / DA spur hammer
  • Accuracy: For such a small weapon, it shot very accurately at up to 15 yards, even with heavy loaded .357 magnum rounds

Cons:

  • Grip: The grip is horrible, and it tended to pinch my hand between the softer rubber outer shell and the synthetic insert.  I will probably upgrade to a Hogue Monogrip.  They do make a Crimson Trace grip for this too, but I feel as if that is kind of a waste of money for my needs.
  • Capacity: 5 rounds – I would prefer a 6-shooter, but for the size thats not terribly practical.  I woudln’t feel undergunned with this weapon; however, I would carry and extra speedloader of ammunition for it.

Conclusion:

I would highly recommned this weapon to anyone interested in a reasonably priced .357 magnum revolver for concealment.  It’s built like a tank, and will definitely get the job done.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

D.M. Bullard Dual Carry Holster Review

Posted in Concealment on June 24, 2010 by The Armed Texan

I am the proud owner of two of Mr. Bullard’s Dual Carry holsters.  I have one for my XD 9″ subcompact, and I have one for my Glock 30.  The Glock 30 holster is a slightly newer design that has the added mouth reinforcement for easy, one-handed re-holstering.  Other than that, the two holsters are identical.  I must say that the craftsmanship on these holsters is outstanding.  I haven’t had a single negative thing to say about them.  Both of these weapons are fairly thick, and they are slightly more difficult to conceal than other firearms.  Despite that, the Dual Carry holster makes them virtually disappear.  I do not have to wear crazy Hawaiian shirts, photography vests, etc.  They disappear with even a regular plain t-shirt.  The holster is also super comfortable.

When I first ordered my holster, Mr. Bullard only had the black metal clips (shown below).  I didn’t care for these as much, but he now offers an optional belt loop option (shown above).  I highly recommend this option, as it makes the holster more comfortable, and ensures that you don’t accidentally pull it out on a draw.  I have since ordered two sets of those belt loops so I can put them with both holsters.  The problem I had with the metal clip was that it folded out at the bottom and sliced a hole through one of my shirts.  Not a big deal, but I find the loops just an all around better choice.

DM Bullard Dual Carry Holster with Clips

DM Bullard Dual Carry Holster with Clips

Pros:

  • Super Comfortable – I can’t say enough about this, it goes on when I get up, and comes off before bed.  I literally cannot even tell it’s there.
  • Very Concealable – Even a wide framed gun like an XD or Glock easily disappears.
  • Very High Quality – I wear this holster every day for over a year now with no noticeable wear on the holster.
  • Excellent Retention – The gun is tight enough that I had to break it in a bit, but I have no problems drawing when I need to.
  • Reinforced Mouth – I can easily re-holster with one hand with either version, but the strap pictured in the top photos on the mouth does help to prevent collapsing.
  • IWB/OWB – This holster can be worn OWB; however, I have never tried this.
  • Tuckable – My mounting the belt loops or clips correctly, this holster can be tuckable.  I don’t normally do this; however, I have, on occasion tried it to great effect.
  • Form – Perfectly conforms to my weapon, just as a custom holster should
  • Cost – approximately $70.00 – Most custom holsters go for significantly more, and the quality of this one is top notch.
  • Wait Time – I ordered one about 6 months ago for my Glock, and at the time the wait was only about 3 weeks.  Many holster manufacturers are experiencing over an 18 month wait.

Cons:

  • The only negative thing I could come up with is that the screws on the belt loops tried to work loose a few times, but I put a small drop of clear nail polish on the threads and this fixed it right up.  I can still unscrew the screw if I need to but it no longer works loose.

Conclusion:

I cannot stress enough how pleased I am with these holsters.  I will definitely be buying one for my Ruger SP-101 that I recently purchased.  I would have no reservations whatsoever recommending Mr. Bullard’s holsters to anyone looking for a custom concealment holster.  I have not tried anything other than the Dual Carry; however, I plan to in the near future.  I also plan to order one of his belts to go with my rig.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

Migrating to a new blog

Posted in General on June 24, 2010 by The Armed Texan

Hello all, I’ve been in the process of changing my website to a new format completely, and part of that entails a new blog engine.  I’ve decided to go with Word Press for my blog.  I will be moving my old entries over soon.  I also hope to blog more frequently now that I’ve got everything moved over.  Bear with me, please during the transition!

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!