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August 14, 2022

Gun Thread: Mid-August 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!

Well we're motoring through August like a hot fork through cotton, now aren't we? I managed to get to the farm for a couple of days to do battle with the weeds and vegetation which I have managed to avoid cutting all year. Frankly, I was a little scairt to get down there to see what the place looks like. Anyhow, two notable accomplishments over the weekend, I managed to a) get stung on my trigger finger by a wasp (ow!) and, 2) break the sickle bar mower by trying to cut down a tree with it.

The finger swole up like a June bug in Arkansas, or about 1.5x normal, and I'm not quite sure what I did to the sickle bar mower other than to prove it's intended for use on hay and not trees. The finger is mostly back to regulation size now, and I'm sure the sickle bar mower can be fixed with some hammering and creative profanity on the next trip. All in all, it was a great weekend!

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


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Featured Gun
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I've already seen my guns! How about some of your'n?

Guys and Gals - the featured gun each week does not have to be something from the Weasel Collection. Why not send in a couple pictures of your fav-o-rite gun? Lord knows I'm not professional picture taker, but an un-cropped closeup photo of both sides is fine, and I will handle the sizing and cropping and so forth. If you decide to send something in, please include your nic, even if you have submitted something before. If you would like to remain anonymous, no problemo - just say so.

Muy gracias!!

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Shooting Gear
The shooting gear review continues! This week, I'd like to cover shooting mats and here we are starting to get more into the realm of personal preference. I will go over the kind I like, and the reasons I like it but what you use is ultimately up to you. If you plan to do any amount of prone shooting, and I hope that you do, you're going to need something unless you like laying on the bare ground. For those of you with deep and meaningful attachments to your own personal selections, this is meant as a guide for the guys and gals who might not have already formed an opinion.

Q: Weasel, what is a shooting mat?
A: Allow me to answer that by telling you what a shooting mat is not

A shooting mat is not a mattress. Remember our conversations on wobbly shit? Welp, there is no easier way to be inducted into the Wobbly Shit Hall of Fame than to set up your gear on top of 5 inches of foam. I'll be serious for a minute - I often wonder what people are thinking when they unroll a massive and overstuffed shooting mat that seems designed for sleeping rather than providing a stable shooting platform.

A good shooting mat does not need to cover 750 square feet of ground, unless your size demands it. Something slightly wider than your elbows and long enough to protect your torso is about all you need. Don't believe me? Go to a rifle match and see what the top shooters are using, and you will see what I am talking about. They are relatively thin, maybe 3/8ths of an inch thick at most, and fold or roll up easily without a lot of belts and straps and buckles. Folding mats are preferable to rollups, as they're easier to deploy and seem to take up less space. They are easy to take back and forth to the line with a minimum amount of fuss. They are made of a non-slippery Cordura material that is slightly water resistant, and with your gear on top, the rear bag does not move as the filling is compressed. I cannot over-emphasize this point. NO wobbily shit!

You are not going to spend the night on the firing line, and other than a very basic level of comfort to eliminate distractions, what you need is the simple setup I describe offering minimal protection from the ground for about 20 to 30 minutes. That's it.

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Fun Size Joe demonstrates mat usage

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Weasel Dog looks for treats

What do I use? Well, that's an excellent question, and I wish I could tell you, but the mat I have used for years doesn't have a makers-mark of any kind and I no longer have any idea who made it. It meets all of the criteria though; foldable, good size, rugged material and not overly thick. Consider these points when deciding which type of mat is right for you.

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Kompetition Korner
Our pal RI Red made it to the range for an Aspirin Shoot!

Q: Weasel, what is an aspirin shoot?
A: It's where you try and shoot aspirin pills.

Let's peek in and see how RI Red did.

What it looks like at a 50-yard .22 Aspirin Shoot when your socks are too tight and you are distracted by the Range Babes. No. 3 is a graze, so 6 out of 10.

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You'd think from my sighters on the red sticker that I'd shift right a hair, but noooo. I didn't until No. 5. Shoulda, woulda, coulda picked up 1 and 3. Don't ask me about Tums at 100 yards.

Not bad, brother!

***

Well what do you know?! Killing aspirin isn't the only thing our pal RI Red does! Here he takes a swing at beginners IDPA.

Q: Weasel, what is IDPA?
A: It's a competitive style of shooting which incorporates real-world scenarios with the targets and there is a lot of movement and shooting. IDPA stands for International Defensive Pistol Association , the organization that comes up with the match rules and sanctions the events.


Our club is just getting started on qualifying to hold International Defensive Pistol Association matches. Last week a dozen of us spent a full day on Intro to IDPA.

IDPA is big on safety - no guns loaded until in the start position and given the command by the Safety Officer, no finger on the trigger until actually aimed and shooting, complete muzzle control, staying completely within the physical limits of the course. When shooting a course, any violation can add points to your score, or even disqualify you.

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After several hours of instruction on IDPA, safety, classifications of guns and shooters, procedures, etc., we did shooting drills - drawing without a concealment garment, drawing from concealment, drawing and firing one round and holstering, drawing and firing two rounds and holstering, loading a three round magazine, drawing, firing two, dropping the mag and reloading a fresh mag, continuing to shoot, clearing and showing the empty chamber to the SO, pulling the trigger on the empty chamber and holstering.

All throughout this we were watched and told "Trigger!" or "Muzzle!" if we were close to a violation. By the way, breaking the 180-degree line on either side is a DSQ.

We were instructed on proper draw and holstering so that there was no chance of covering yourself or others. Yep, big time safety. I have a bad habit of reaching over with my left hand to help in holstering - increases the possibility of covering that hand.

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We then were demonstrated IDPA stages that had been set up, two outdoors and one indoors. They explained the scenario - "You are standing in a convenience store with a gallon of milk in your hands when an armed robbery commences. Place the milk on the counter, fire two rounds at the three threats on the left, in tactical priority, without hitting the non-hostile being held by them. Move to the right and shoot around the corner of the wall at the close threat, then the steel pin. Hitting the steel pin releases a threat that swings behind a non-threat. Shoot at least twice. Move to the right and shoot the remaining targets, one of whose head only shows behind a non-threat."

Whew! And of course there are two magazine changes required.

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First up goes to the starting point:

"Range is hot!"

"Shooter, do you understand the course of fire?"

-Shooter mumbles an affirmative.-

"Load and make ready."

-Shooter draws, loads magazine, racks slide, holsters.-

"Stand by"

-a brief wait-

-beeep!-

-shooter completely forgets the course of fire, how to shoot, and why he's here-

-shooter recovers sufficiently enough to shoot the course, with various procedural errors accumulating points-

-shooter completes course-

"If shooter is complete, clear weapon. Slide. Show chamber. Trigger. Holster."

"Range is cold!"

SO and shooter go down range and score targets. Center hit is "Down zero", outside that is "Down one", outside that but still on target is "Down three", a miss or a hit on a non-threat is "Down five". Score is added to time for your final score.

"Tapers, down to the targets."

-everyone goes and tapes targets while making "good-natured comments" about the shooter's skills, eyesight, coordination and IQ.

Takeaways:

Very humbling experience. Shows every shooting error. The pressure of the timer, accurate shooting, and mag changes, adds a huge dimension that simulates how you would react in a real situation. In other words, you are not likely to rise to the occasion, but rather revert to your level of training.

One unexpected benefit - I discovered that my new Kydex holster was pushing against my mag release enough that my mag would fall out on the first shot! After disassembling my Glock and deep cleaning it, only to continue to drop mags, I finally put two and two together, and the instructor confirmed it. D'oh!

Other discovery - sloppy mag changes can create blood blisters on your palm.

Everyone who carries concealed should consider this realistic kind of training. I may just train, but I think I'll compete a bit. Weasel would approve.

Why yes, yes Weasel would approve!! Despite what you might think, this is not easy to do! I have said this a lot, but shooting in friendly competitive matches is some of the very best training you can get. The matches are inexpensive and fun and you get to meet a lot of like-minded people in the process. I strongly encourage you all to find a club match which incorporates your preferred style of shooting and go have some fun!

******

Next, our pal Dave in Fla heads back to the range, this time with a bolt rifle!

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This was a lot of fun. This is a 1939 Remington Target Master 510. These were standard military school issue in the 30s and 40s. Many of our troops in WWII and Korea learned to shoot with this rifle.

This one was my dad's, and he won several sharpshooter competitions with it. It sat unused for 50 years until my dad passed, and I inherited the gun.

Target is 16 rounds with it at 20 meters. The iron sights need some adjustment, I needed to aim lower right for the shots that hit the center. But still a super easy rifle to shoot for a single shot bolt action

Very nice, Dave in Fla! Your rifle reminds me a lot of the Savage Model 19 I have, which was also used as a basic marksmanship training rifle, I think. Yours, however, has a great family provenance to go with it. Congratulations and nice shooting!

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Machining Cartridge Brass?
FarmCraft 101 is a YouTube channel I like because the guy works with and repairs with all sorts of neat stuff. I ran across this video where he melts old cartridge brass in a furnace and then machines it and thought you might like it.

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68 Days!
The countdown to the TXMoMe continues! That's right, boys and girls, the TXMoMe is a mere 68 days from today, and by now you should be rushing your MoMe attendance plans to completion. There are lots of big doin's in the works and your hosts Rancher Bob, Cow Horse Queen and Ben Had are ready to welcome YOU to the festivities! Have you signed up? Are you on the exclusive guest list, or are you one of the mentally defective people who always finds a reason to make it next year?

PRO TIP: Word has it there may be some, well let's just call them "special" weapons, available to shoot in Texas. I don't want to go into a bunch of specifics, but if you like shooting at a high cyclic rate, plan on bringing a box of brass case 9mm ball ammo (example) with you to Texas. Please, NO reloads!

Q: Weasel, what the heck is a "high cyclic rate"?
A: Well, it's faster than a low cyclic rate such as that found on semi-automatic weapons.

Q: Weasel, why do I want to do that?
A: Because it is mucho fun-o, and an opportunity that many of you might not have often.

As long as we're on the subject, if you aren't planning to bring a firearm and ammo, but plan on shooting, please pick up a box or two of ammo in the caliber you like and bring it to Texas. Each year we have lots and lots of guns, and even more shooters, and it's nice have the cost and effort needed to source the ammunition spread around a bit. We want to make the shooting available to as many as possible, and cover those who want to shoot but for whatever reason cannot bring ammo, so every little bit helps. Thank you!

Holy Shitballs, people. Have I not implored and cajoled you enough? Do you require additional imploring and cajoling? I challenge you to find a single person who has attended a TXMoMe and not found it to be a life altering experience. Life altering for the good even! So please quit screwing around and making up reasons not to commit and start planning on getting your ass to Texas in October!

You will see this material again, so for heaven's sake, so do yourself a favor and email Ben Had for details!

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Musical Interlude
Weasel is a big fan of Joe Bonamassa. I've seen him live maybe a half dozen times and he always delivers a great show, and this particular band lineup is one of my favorites. Enjoy this scorcher from the Royal Albert Hall.

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Gun Basics 101
Our pal the Equips Herself Gal is back with five tips on carrying a gun every day.

For those of you who have the ammo, the license (if needed) and the skills, please don't leave the gun at home in your sock drawer. You never know when you are going to need to protect yourself, and it'll likely be when you least expect it!

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Cigar of the Week
Our pal and Chief Gun Thread Cigar Correspondent rhomboid brings it with another excellent cigar review. Thanks rhomboid!

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Many mild cigars are considered lacking in flavor, which is a trade-off some except for the mellower experience and (often) lower nicotine content. Here's one where no such trade-off is required - Alec Bradley's Connecticut. I prefer the torpedo vitola (shape/size) in this one, it allows you to easily clip off as much of the cap as you want, which regulates the airflow (called the "draw") to your liking. I don't excel at recognizing or describing specific flavor notes, but this cigar delivers pleasant flavors of sweet wood, and a large amount of mellow creamy smoke. Construction is excellent, meaning a steady even burn. Along with the Joya de Nicaragua Antano Connecticut, which I reviewed here earlier, this is one of my two favorite sticks so far, in about a year of serious sampling and exploration. Highly recommended for anyone looking for mellow, but with flavor."

Excellent review as always, rhomboid! Thank you! I will give these a try.

***

This week Cigar Vixen reviews the Punch Gran Puro.

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Link-O-Rama

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
AmmoMan
Target Sports USA
Bud's Gun Shop

***Mail Bag***

This week's mailbag entry is from our pal WTM

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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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