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April 24, 2022

Gun Thread: It's Still April Edition!

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Howdy, Y'all! Welcome to the wondrously fabulous Gun Thread! As always, I want to thank all of our regulars for being here week in and week out, and also offer a bigly Gun Thread welcome to any newcomers who may be joining us tonight. Howdy and thank you for stopping by! I hope you find our wacky conversation on the subject of guns 'n shooting both enjoyable and informative. You are always welcome to lurk in the shadows of shame, but I'd like to invite you to jump into the conversation, say howdy, and tell us what kind of shooting you like to do!

Wassup? Spring has fully sprung here in the mid-Atlantic, and I'm planning a trip to the farmo-o next week as long as the weather cooperates. It won't be long until it's time to fire up the ol' tractor and start flailing away like a spastic nincompoop at the vegetation, one of my most favorite things to do. It'll only get funner as the sticker bushes bloom, the heat and humidity soar, and the bugs come out of hibernation. Man, how I have missed the gnats and ticks this winter! Hopefully I can include some shooting during the trip, and maybe even break out one of the video cameras. Stay tuned.

I have to say it has been a kinda slow week for NoVaMoMe 2022 registrations. In case you weren't aware, this amazing event is scheduled for Saturday, June 11th, and is always a super wacky fun time! Not sure what's going on with sign-ups and I suppose it could be any one of several things; climate change, Putin's interference, cancel culture... the list goes on and on. Truth be told, I'm going to have to report our numbers to bluebell very soon, which is something I'm not particularly looking forward to. Registrations are slightly trailing the same period last year and I run the very real risk of not meeting my budgeted goals. I most definitely do not want to find myself sitting across the table from her explaining a registration shortfall! You people just don't know what it's like! Terrifying is an understatement. So please, please help your ol' pal Weasel avoid an extravagantly unpleasant meeting with bluebell, and register today!!

This is MoMe season with other Moron gatherings on the calendar in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Texas. Holy Shitballs! It's a dang MoMe-palooza! Take a peek at the main page left sidebar, find a MoMe near you, and sign up to attend one. You won't regret it!

With that, let's step inside the Dojo and get to the gun stuff below, shall we?


1971 Colt Trooper Mark III .357 Magnum
Here's a fun little revolver from the WeaselCollection, a Colt Trooper Mk III which left the factory in 1971.

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I really like this revolver!

For those of you familiar with Colt products it will come as no surprise that this one is built like a tank and has the legendary lock up for which Colt revolvers are famous. This particular example is in pristine condition, despite seeing semi-regular use. Although I am mostly a Smith & Wesson guy, there is absolutely nothing not to love about this gun. It shoots like a dream, and the fit and finish is as close to perfect as possible. The bluing is so dark I added a small drop of white model paint to add contrast and make the front ramp sight more visible.

Here's a short Gun Test review article on the model, as well as the following review video.

One item I was thinking about when taking the pictures are the Colt factory grips on the gun. I have seen the medallions in both gold and silver tones, but never really stopped to consider what if any differences there are. Here is a Colt Python Grip Guide in PDF, which discusses Colt grips in detail. Although the article was specifically written with the Python collector in mind, it contains a whopping 18 pages of good information.


Recoil & Flinch
Anticipating recoil, or flinching, is a condition every shooter must deal with, especially when shooting calibers such as the .357 Magnum featured above. Ever since the caveman days, we humans have been conditioned to blink and reflexively jerk in recoil when there is a loud noise and the flash of an explosion just a few feet in front of our faces. Anticipating the shot by pressing the gun forward and down as you pull the trigger in an attempt to offset expected muzzle rise will naturally cause the shot to go low. Depending on how the reaction manifests itself, for example by pushing the entire gun down, the shot may even go high. Don't believe me? Take a look at the diagnostic targets below.

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Diagnostic target for normal people


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Diagnostic target for abnormal people

Spend just a few minutes at the range observing others and you are sure to see someone plagued by some form of this insideous reaction. Ask yourself how often a gun, any gun, has simply flown out of your grip and back over your head as a result of recoil. Never? You mean you have never had a handgun do that? Then you pretty much have all the evidence you need that 'helping' the gun stay on target by pushing down isn't really necessary.

Q: But Weasel, how do you correct what is a seemingly reflexive instinct?
A: Tell yourself not to do that.

I could make something up, or sell you some magic anti-flinch beans, but the answer really is as simple as that. Don't do it. I'm really not trying to be funny, although sometimes I just can't help myself. You simply just have to focus on not flinching or pushing the gun as the trigger breaks. 'Kay? We good?

Want to know if you're flinching or anticipating the shot? Have an amigo load your magazine or revolver with a dummy round without you seeing where it is, and then shoot a string at the target as you normally would. When the hammer falls on the dummy round you may happen to notice the barrel is pointed somewhere other than at the target, like at your foot. If you're really into self-humiliation, take a little video of yourself, and you will see it. It can be a small motion or a comically large one. Either way it spells trouble in hitting what you're aiming at.

I alluded to this last week, but whenever I'm at the range shooting I always try and incorporate an element of training. It may be looking good for the range babes, or working on my grip and sight picture, or controlling flinch by concentrating on a nice smooth trigger pull, and as the trigger is about to break, reminding my brain not to flinch.

I know it's easier said than done. At some point everyone flinches and finds themselves anticipating recoil, myself included, unless I am really concentrating on not doing it. As I am getting setup on the target and aligning the sights, I run through a quick little 3 part checklist in my head; grip, sights, and for the love of Sweet Baby Jesus do not anticipate the shot and send the bullet sailing who knows where.

Generally speaking, you're probably the one most likely to be in charge of what your brain is doing. Try focusing on the trigger pull throughout the process of taking a shot and see if it doesn't help!

How about you all? What weird tricks do you use to manage anticipating the shot or flinching? NOTE: Magic anti-flinch beans are included with your June 11th, 2022 NoVaMoMe registration. See bluebell for details.


Competition as a Training Tool
Last week a discussion on the merits of competition shooting broke out in the comments, and our pal Blake agreed to write about his experience. Here is what he has to say:

My First Competition, USPSA Style (IDPA rules are a bit different)

First, a brief outline of USPSA at least as practiced by the club I belonged to in CA, 5 Dogs Action Shooters. USPSA allows for some extreme modifications of handguns, such as oversize mag-wells, top of slides cut out, etc. I saw this on several Glocks. The cut out lightens the slide, letting the slide move more readily, allowing the shooter to use lighter loads. The course is timed, from first shot to last. In my case, a sundial instead of a digital timer would have been more appropriate. Targets can be engaged in any order, but, if you fail to engage, you cannot turn and shoot back at the target. Rather, you need to retrace your steps and engage the target while pointing the gun down range. There is a 180 degree rule in these matches. Shooting at a target more than a 180 degrees from the centerline of where you're standing, facing downrange, is dangerous and an automatic DQ, or, disqualification.

When I went into the match, I had three goals in mind: Not shooting someone, not shooting myself and shooting accurately. I completely ignored how much time I took moving through each stage. Fortunately, no one died of old age during my runs.

The first stage I shot was the toughest, designed by a person who, I think, was distant cousin to the Marguis de Sade. There was a spinning Texas star, a target that swung out from behind a barrier, and a no shoot target on a spring that flipped down, revealing the shoot target and then flipped back up, covering the shoot target. During the perhaps 1 second the shoot target was revealed, the shooter was supposed to double tap. I got off one shot, center mass, but no more. Among all this, there were clay pigeons to shoot - two of them, fortunately, not moving, steel poppers, etc. I went through about 6 - 8 round magazines during this stage. The rest of the stages were some what anti-climactic.

While I was shooting the stage, I was concentrating so hard on what was in front of me, I had no idea people were walking behind me, watching me shoot. Yes, tunnel vision when shooting is definitely a thing.

During the match, I went through a little over 200 rounds of ammunition. The only failure I had was operator error. I short stroked the trigger, thought I had a misfire and wound up with a stove pipe when I tried to clear the "bad" round.

I recommend shooting USPSA or IDPA. Static paper targets are all well and good, initially, but I strongly encourage getting used to the idea of moving and shooting at various targets. Do not worry about how well the people you shoot with shoot. Get out there and enjoy yourself.

One of the great things about this match was the helpfulness of other shooters. This was a USPSA affiliated shoot, yet, the local club members went out of their way to help me through the various stages of the match. Also, it was somewhat amusing how the mind tended to go a bit blank when the buzzer went off.

A final note, I came in fourth in the match...fourth from the bottom.

Hot Diggety Dog! Nicely done, Blake! Excellent report. Thank you!

Over the years I have tried to avoid turning the Gun Thread in to a competition-centric affair simply because I know its not everybody's thing. That was how my path in the shooting sports progressed, but not everyone wants to make that commitment. I get that. I'm always delighted when it's discussed here, I just didn't want to bore everyone to tears with it. Having said that, I have always been a bigly proponent of competition as a training tool. Extra enormously bigly even!

I have said this a lot and it bears repeating. Shooting in competition is excellent training and it will make you a better shooter faster than just about anything else. When I was learning to shoot I had reached something of a plateau, and would often find myself excusing sloppy or otherwise poor performance on my part because hey, this stuff is hard! Nothing will motivate you and focus your attention like shooting for score. Nothing. Well, maybe if someone was shooting back at you, but you know what I mean.

If you're happy where you are, that's fine. Keep doing what you're doing and have fun! If you're looking to up your game, then check around for competitive opportunities either at your local club or through the NRA's Competitive Shooting Division, the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) or the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). These organizations exist to promote the shooting sports and competition. All you have to do is show up.

I can promise if you take the plunge you will have a great time and will meet a lot of new, friendly and like-minded people. You really don't have anything to lose besides some time at the range and the typically nominal match fee. If you're scairt because you're a newbie, you just have to get past that. Every single person on the range had a first day. Remember that. Tell whoever is running the match that you're new and asked to be paired with someone who can show you the ropes. Finally, don't tell yourself that you need to improve some first and maybe will think about it later. Be a WeaselWarrior, and go! It is fun and challenging and you will not regret it!


Next up, our pal and delightful 'ette lcmal sends us a range report:

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I am admittedly amateur hour here, a middle age lady with a hobby, but enjoying myself with it so whatevs. I shot my Glock 44 and Glock 19 today. My 44 does not have the sights dialed in (first time shooting it) so I have to fix that next time but I did have ok groupings. My instructor brought a fun target today so I did the drills it calls for with both guns.

Adjusted the drills so there was nothing from a holster yet, so that's a future challenge to try. Like I said, I'm pretty amateur at all this but picking up new tidbits and things to try every time I go out. I did learn how to clear a stage 3(?) problem when tap-rack-shoot doesn't work and I had to lock the slide open, drop the magazine, rack the slide a few times, then reload the mag, rack the slide, and shoot. I have lots of muscle memory to build there haha.

Very nice shooting, lcmal! Good job, and thank you for sending this in. I wouldn't exactly call you an amateur - just look at all of the holes in the target!


Remember our discussion some time ago regarding point shooting? Here's our pal Jer with a nice video on the subject.


Remember When...?
Next we have a box of .38 Special from our pal Hrothgar who found it in his inventory. Damn bro, was this handed down through the ages by your ancestors?!

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Gun Basics 101
Here's the She Equips Herself gal with a very interesting video on training at home. Content Warning: SEH gal's then boyfriend is featured, but he does make some excellent points, so I guess we can tolerate him. This is good information, people.


Cigar of the Week

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This week's cigar is one I recently found by happy accident. I saw the Cain Maduro on sale at Holt's Cigar Company, liked the description and decided to give 'em a whirl so I picked up a box of the Robustos. Made at the Olivia factory in Nicaragua, at 5.75 x 50 they're a little out of my usual profile (5 x 54-ish), but not enough to make a difference. Anyway, a box of 24 for $90 seemed like a bueno deal so I ordered them. A few days later, our Letter and Parcel Distribution Engineer dropped them off at the neighbor's house, who eventually brought them to me.

Wow! Very, very nice! I won't repeat all of the descriptive merits since it's linked earlier, but wow! Wowzie! Excellent, and I mean really very excellent construction, draw and el mucho grande flavor. I will definitely be adding these to the rotation, WeaselApproved!


Also, regarding accessories:

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I think it was last week I mentioned lighters which caused me to think about accessories and the cigar cutter I use. For those not familiar, cigars generally are made with a closed end or "cap" that you stick in your mouth and which has to be cut before setting the other end alight and the smoking process begins. If you're Clint Eastwood you just bite the end off, but we mortals generally employ a cutter of some sort. Here is the "V" cutter Weasel uses. The one I bought several years ago is still faithfully chopping away, and I have to give a thumbs up to Colibri customer service who cheerfully sent me a little bag of torx head replacement screws when I managed to lose one. If you don't want to spend $49 on one, then please spend it on ammo.



The social and cultural event of the season, NoVaMoMe 2022 is on the calendar! That's right, you people have a chance to meet many of your online pals on Saturday, June 11th beginning at 1pm until dark, or such time as it gets busted up by the cops. We have an exciting location in the Northern Virginia area which allows extended time for visiting. Admission is $25 which includes food and soft drinks, with a cash bar. This year the menu is BBQ chicken and pork with the usual sides and cookies for dessert. Appetizers begin just after 1pm and dinner is 3pm. Want to be one of the cool kids? Just send an email to novamome at protonmail dot cee oh emm, pass the rigorous screening process to obtain registration details, then sign up to attend! Easy-Peasy!

Each year, I spend a fair amount of time haranguing people to come to a MoMe. Any MoMe! I cannot overemphasize how much fun these things are, and how much we want YOU to come! We plan for the crowd in general but also consider the needs of the introvert lurkers and provide plenty of potted plants for those so inclined to hide behind. All kidding aside, you are completely welcome to slink-in, eat, drink and people-watch, and then slink-out. It is a 100% zero pressure event. If you can handle a backyard picnic, you can definitely handle this.

Win a Dream Date with Weasel!
Back by lukewarm demand, a separate raffle for the Gun Thread gift basket will be held. This fabulous prize includes an entire day of shooting and personalized one-on-one handgun & rifle coaching and instruction at Weasel Acres on a mutually agreeable date with yours truly. The lucky winner will be able to not only bring and shoot their own weapons, but also try out a variety of WeaselWeapons using WeaselAmmo!

We will end the day with dinner at a good Mexican place in nearby Appomattox. Pretty much a dream date with Weasel! The winner will be responsible for their travel to and from Central Virginia, hence the separate drawing.

Don't be a pathetic girly-man loser, register today!



I'm really very seriously not kidding around anymore. Buy Ammo
AmmoSeek - online ammo search tool
GunBot - online ammo search tool
SG Ammo
Palmetto State Armory
Georgia Arms
Target Sports USA
Bud's Gun Shop

***Mail Bag***

This week's mailbag entry is from our pal and delightful 'ette nurse r.

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Please note the new and improved protonmail account gunthread at protonmail dot com. An informal Gun Thread archive can be found HERE. Future expansion plans are in the works for the site Weasel Gun Thread. If you have a question you would like to ask Gun Thread Staff offline, just send us a note and we'll do our best to answer. If you care to share the story of your favorite firearm, send a picture with your nic and tell us what you sadly lost in the tragic canoe accident. If you would like to remain completely anonymous, just say so. Lurkers are always welcome!

That's it for this week - have you been to the range?

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posted by Weasel at 07:00 PM

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