Sunday, September 7, 2014

Summer Downsizing

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9 mm
South Georgia summers can be brutal, and carrying a heavy firearm in this heat and humidity doesn't help. Before this summer even got warmed up, I decided I wanted a smaller, lighter carry gun for summer carry and for anytime around the house. I have always tried to remain a one caliber household, so I initially concentrated my search on .45ACP pistols. 

I have never been a fan of Glock. Sorry Glock fans, they just don't feel right in my hand, and I can't shoot them as well as others. So, I steered away from them. The only other pistols readily available on the shelves in my area are Ruger, Springfield Armory, and Smith & Wesson. I got a few recommendations for Kahr pistols which I'd like to explore in the future, but I’m a touchy feely consumer. I have to lay my hands on some things before buying blindly. So, of those makers, the choices in .45ACP were slim.

I had to rule out compact 1911's. They're still too heavy for what I wanted, and I've read too many complaints about reliability problems with short barrel 1911's. The only way to get lighter was to go with a polymer pistol and the latest craze of a compact single stack. Of those, I was really apprehensive about that small of a pistol in .45, because of the recoil. I didn't want a pistol that I was going to shy away from practicing with because it kicked like a mule. To get away from that, I'd have to increase the weight, which is just what I didn't want to do.
Ruger LC9
My only choice then was to downsize in caliber. Having only shot full size .40 S&W pistols, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to get anything smaller in that caliber. What I wanted was something that would be easy to conceal in my summer wardrobe, comfortable enough to wear all the time around the house, still have good terminal ballistics, and not be painful to shoot/practice. So I started looking for a small, single stack 9 mm pistol.
Springfield Armory XDS 9 mm
Knowing the general idea of what I needed, I went back out to fondle inventory at all my local gun stores. The Ruger LC9 was actually too thin for my liking. For me, the manipulation of the slide and controls were difficult at best, and my pinky half dangled. Next was the Springfield Armory XDS 9 mm 3.3. It felt much better in my hand than the LC9 with no dangling pinky. The grips felt a bit aggressive, but they weren't horrible. The XDS also seemed a bit wide for a single stack 9, but it was still thinner than my EDC. To say the trigger on the XDS was heavy would be an understatement. I liked the fiber optic front sight on the XDS better than any of the other pistols I looked at. Last to hold was the M&P 9 Shield. It fit well in my hand, with no dangling pinky on the shorter 7 round magazine, and the trigger wasn’t as heavy as the XDS. I wasn’t fond of the external thumb safety, but it seemed easy enough to swipe off with your thumb. The grip is aggressive enough for a firm purchase, but wouldn’t be abrasive against your skin.

About this time is when I hear of the XDS 9 4.0 coming out of Shot Show. So now I’m really conflicted. Is it worth the heavier trigger for the extra inch of barrel and less felt recoil and better accuracy? Hmmm. I sure wish they would come out with an XDS 45 4.0. What’s this? SA has no plans of releasing one? Bummer. I’m back to shopping for 9 mm. I've pretty much decided now that I’ll go with the Shield, but do I want to drop that chunk of change when my EDC is getting me by outside the house?

Well, I probably shouldn't have gone into the local gun store that late June day, but I did, and I managed to find the Shield on sale. So I pulled the trigger, so to speak. I actually saved enough to provide food and shelter (ammo and holster) for my new pet. My range report is coming up next.
Oh, and it wasn't until after the purchase that I found out there is an XDS 45 4.0. Oh well.

Be safe.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gun Porn - Springfield Armory XDS 45 4.0

I must have been sleeping under a rock here lately. My new Guns magazine came in the mail today. Normally, I don't get much time to peruse the gun rags until the weekend, but tonight I had to wait on the rain to stop before taking the dog out to play, so I thought I'd glance at it. I'm flipping through the pages and getting close to the back. 

Nothing is really catching my eye so I start flipping the pages a little faster, and then all of a sudden, there it is. It's a Springfield Armory XDS 4.0. I know it by sight. Now a little background... Since seeing the XDS 9 4.0 come out at the SHOT Show this year, I've been drooling over them and wishing SA would release one in .45, but everything I've read has been saying it's going to be some time before they do. So I've quit looking and hoping. That is, until now.

There on page 79 is my elusive unicorn. Springfield Armory has released the XDS 4.0 Single Stack .45ACP. Where have I been? I belong to a SA XD/XDM/XDS group on Facebook and nobody there has said squat about this gun coming out. 

I've held the 3.3" model and it is nice. The 4" model is the same frame, just a longer slide and barrel. I imagine this helps with recoil and accuracy.

No, I haven't purchased one yet, so all you get are stock pictures, but if somebody would like to send me one to review, I'd be happy to oblige. With that, I leave you to more stock pictures to drool over.

Be safe.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Spread the Word, America's in Trouble

Freedom Stamps
I know it's a long shot since in this day and age snail mail is dying faster than disco, but if you still mail bills or <gasp> letters, here is a neat way to voice your opinion about our country or government. It may not take off and become popular, or even be understood by recipients (No, Dr. Turnyourhead Ankoff, I don't love you.) but this is my sneaky way of telling my recipient, at least, that America's in trouble.

Flip those Forever flag stamps upside down to show your concern.

For hundreds of years, inverted national flags were a sign of distress. It wasn't a great idea since many flags looked the same inverted or not, but people today still think it's an accepted distress signal. 

What I'm proposing is for those of you that have this style of Forever stamp, to affix it to all your snail mail correspondence upside down to let people know America's in trouble. You can still get them at the Post Office, or buy them here if you want to do this, but don't have any flag stamps. There are four different flag stamps; Freedom, Liberty, Justice, and Equality. Seems kind of appropriate to flip them upside down now, doesn't it.

Then be sure to tell your friends about this or forward them a link to this blog.

Be safe.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Campus Carry Statement by Georgia Attorney General

Georgia's Attorney General Sam Olens today ruled stated that Georgians will not be allowed to carry weapons on school campuses when HB60 and HB826 take effect on July 1st of this year. His reasoning is that since HB60 was signed last, it maintains a School Safety Zone and people cannot carry on school property. This statement was taken from a list of Frequently Asked Questions about HB60 and HB826, posted by the Georgia AG's office. Here is the very brief story. And here is the FAQ.

Stay tuned. I think we haven't seen the last of this yet.

Be safe.

Edited for clarification

Sunday, May 25, 2014

States Ranked for Gun Friendliness - 2014 Edition

Last year, I wrote a post when Guns & Ammo magazine posted their rankings for the friendliest gun states (including Washington, D.C.) Well, they did it again this year, and being an Excel geek, I thought I'd look at how everyone compared to last year's rankings. 

Just like last year, states were ranked on five categories:
  • Right to Carry
  • Modern Sporting Rifles
  • NFA
  • Castle Doctrine
  • Miscellaneous
First of all, I'm very pleased to see my state (Georgia) move up this year to #3. Every Georgia gun owner should thank GeorgiaCarry.Org for their hard work getting HB60 through the General Assembly and signed by Governor Deal.

There was only one change in the 7 worst ranked states, and that was California and Hawaii swapping places for 46 and 47.

The largest improvement was Oklahoma. They went from 30 to 6, followed by South Dakota jumping from 27 to 13, and finally Georgia moving up to #3 from 13th on the list in 2013.

New Hampshire and Vermont tied for the biggest slip in rank. Both went down 15 places on the list, 10 to 25 and 2 to 17 respectively. Other double digit losers were Pennsylvania and Louisiana. 

A total of 21 states lost ground on the ranking list, while 16 made improvements and 14 remained the same as they were in last years rankings.

The best state was Arizona (again), and the worst was Washington, D.C. (again).

The Brady bunch has a similar list, but their format changes from one year to the next. I would comment more on it, but to try to read their propaganda makes my head hurt.

If anyone is interested in a copy of my spreadsheet, shoot me an email at or leave me a comment with your email address, and I'll send you a copy in .xls format.

Be safe.

I'm Still Alive and Kicking

It's been too long since I've posted, but have no fear, I'm still around. Family matters have kept me busy beyond belief the last couple of months. It's still kind of hectic, but it's either getting better or I'm adapting to it finally.

Watch for more posts coming soon.

Be safe.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Constitutionality of NY SAFE Act Upheld in Court

Anti-SAFE ACT activists protest outside Moreau Town Court on Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Moreau, NY. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)

This past Thursday, a NY State Supreme Court judge dismissed the case challenging the NY SAFE Act of 2013 that was hastily passed in the middle of the night. 

Judge Thomas McNamara dismissed the case because the governor and legislators did nothing unconstitutional when they passed the bill without a three day waiting period. In addition, the judge said the plaintiffs did not prove the law infringed on their state constitutional rights.

The plaintiff, Robert Schulz of the group “We the People of New York,” plans to appeal.

Don't give up, New York. 

Be safe.

Lexington and Concord - 239 years later

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military battles of the American Revolution, fought on this day in 1775. It was a battle to stop British government from taking what belonged to the colonists. 

Now, 239 years later, we're fighting to keep the government from taking what belongs to us. Everyday, we fight to retain our Constitutionally guaranteed God-given right to bear arm to protect ourselves from the evil that walks the Earth with intent to do us harm, and to protect our liberty from a government that wants to control its citizens like puppets.

No, we haven't fired any shots yet, but this past week was probably the closest we've ever come to armed citizens standing up to armed government agents, in Bunkerville, Nevada. Armed supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy stood face to face against armed Bureau of Land Management agents. (Why the BLM has what appears to be a SWAT team is for another post, but think about it, and then complain to your Congressmen and Senators.) Citizens standing up to a greedy government.

In 239 years, what's changed? The infringing government is now our own, and not a foreign one. Unfortunately, that government is of our own making. We've allowed it to get this bad. Parties and politicians have completely cast the Constitution aside for a well paying career of imposing their own beliefs upon their constituents, rather than supporting the Constitution of the United States of America. 

With elections coming up, it's time to correct this political cancer we have. Every one of us needs to be quizzing the candidates. And I mean ALL of the candidates. Forget about what their party affiliation is. Find out what they stand for, what they believe in. Find out if they intend to live up to their oath of office, and support and defend the Constitution of this once great nation. Be a part of the solution. 

Be safe.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Georgia HB60 Update - April 18, 2014

Great news everybody! Looks like Governor Nathan Deal will be signing HB60 into law on April 23, 2014. Here is an announcement from Georgia Carry's Executive Director, Jerry Henry.

From Jerry Henry and GCO.

It is no longer necessary to call Governor Deal concerning HB60. Below is an invitation GCO received from Speaker David Ralston for all members of GCO to attend the signing of HB60. The invitation below is self-explanatory.

On behalf of the bill sponsors and myself, I would like to invite you and your membership to Ellijay next Wednesday, April 23rd, at the ETC Pavilion on the Coosawattee River where Governor Deal will sign House Bill 60, the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014. The bill signing ceremony begins at noon. After that, a BBQ lunch will be served open to those who can join us.

The address for the ETC Pavilion can be found below. Thanks and I look forward to seeing you and everyone in Ellijay next week.

Speaker Ralston

What: Bill Signing Ceremony for HB 60, The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014

When: Wednesday, April 23, 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Who: Speaker Ralston
Governor Nathan Deal
Members of the General Assembly

Where: ETC Pavilion on the Coosawattee River
255 Legion Road
Ellijay, Georgia 30540

Click here for a link to the Google Map

Thanks for all your efforts to get HB60 signed. After the bill is signed on Wednesday, we will have to wait until July 1, 2014 for the bill to take effect. Founding Board Member and Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner Ed Stone is planning a series of articles explaining what HB60 does for the people of GA in layman's terms so we can be prepared when the bill becomes law. We will also have a session at the 6th Annual GCO Convention on August 16.

Hope to see many of you at the ceremony!

The law will go into effect on July 1, 2014. Tell all your friends.

Be safe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 25th Update on Georgia HB 60 - The Safe Carry Protection Act

This is the latest word from Georgia Carry about Georgia HB 60, the Safe Carry Protection Act:

We need to continue to contact Governor Deal and ask him to sign HB60 into law.  We expect Governor Deal to sign the bill as he has always stated that he will sign any pro 2A bill that reaches his desk.  This bill fits that definition to a "T".  That is also a promise he has on his reelection website. However, he continues to get a lot of messages from the Bloomberg gun prohibitionists groups urging him to veto.  We must continue to make our position known. 
Contact Information for Governor Nathan Deal
The Office of the Governor
State of Georgia
203 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Address for mail:
206 Washington Street
Suite 203, State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: 404-656-1776
Fax: 404-657-7332

In order to email the Governor, you must go here and fill out the form:
We need our members to contact your elected officials who voted for the bill and let them know you appreciate their vote on HB60.  It is always nice for them to know you appreciate their efforts.  This is exactly why several GCO members waited outside the House Chamber to shake hands and thank the representatives who voted to make HB60 a reality.  Your email, phone call, letter will be greatly appreciated by them. 

You can find out how your Representative voted by going here.  Your Senator's vote will be found here.   If either of your elected officials voted no, please do not harass them because of their vote.  That is something that should be taken into account during the primary and general elections.

Please continue to conduct yourselves in a professional manner when contacting the governor or any other elected official.  Hopefully we can notify you shortly to quit calling as he has signed the bill and we will notify you as 
soon as we learn of his action.

Keep the pressure on the Governor to not back down from his promise. In the meantime, if you're not a member of GeorgiaCarry.Org, you need to go join. This is some of the great work that they do for everyone in Georgia. You can go here to sign up online, it only costs $16 per year.

Be safe.

Friday, March 21, 2014

HB 60 Passes the Georgia General Assembly!!

Well, we did it! And by "we" I mean legislators, lobbyists, and concerned citizens. HB 60 passed the Georgia General Assembly with a vote of 112-58.

Now it's off to Governor Deal's desk to sign. Everyone is pretty confident that he will sign it or face possible political suicide by contradicting his "pro-gun" stance. There is still a remote chance he will veto the bill, but I think the chances are pretty slim.

I would expect him to be more likely to ignore the bill rather than to outright veto it. This way he appears neutral and the bill sits for 40 days and it is passed into law automatically. But that's just my politically uneducated opinion.

The fight isn't over. There is still work to do in Georgia. Now that the session is over, get out there and get to know your legislators. Get to know the ones running for office now. And I mean get to know them personally. Call them. Visit them. Introduce yourself. Remember, they work for you, so let them know what your concerns are.

Be safe.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Undecided About Gun Control? Watch This!

If you're like me, you like cruising YouTube because you start with one video and then you're on a journey. That's what happened tonight. I got an email from a blog I follow and it had the "Video of the Year". It was a short one minute video of a young lady explaining why everyone should have a gun.

I admit, it was a good video, but then I saw this one at the end so I decided to try it. This second video turned out to be an excellent one for anyone that might be undecided about gun control. If there is a conservative bone in their body and a brain in their head, this video should shake them to their core.

It's a little lengthy, but I promise you, it's worth the time.

Be safe.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

HB60 (Previously HB875) Update

Got a late email last night from GeorgiaCarry.Org. Here is what it says and what we need to do.

Late last night, HB60 was agreed to and again amended, this time by the Senate.  HB60 is now back in the House.  The vote was 37-18.  There were two amendments added to HB60 in the Senate.  Those amendments are:
1) To add suppressors used in hunting language

2) To make churches opt in.  The language in this amendment is a little different than in the bills proposed in the past, in that churches would be illegal without permission of the church (much like bars are currently) but the language also decriminalizes church carry with a $100 fine if caught in a church that did not opt in.

HB60 now goes to the House and the House will have 3 options:
1) The House may agree or disagree. If the House agrees, the bill will be sent to the Governor for his action.

2) The House disagrees, a conference committee will be appointed (3 Senators appointed by the Lt. Governor and 3 Representatives appointed by House Speaker) and they will decide the final language of the bill.

3) Ignore and let die.

If the bill goes to conference committee, the committee will either reach agreement or not.  If they do not reach an agreement, the bill will die.

If the conference committee reaches an agreement, they will sign a Conference Committee Report (CCR).  The CCR will then be voted on in each chamber.   If the CCR does not pass either chamber, it will die.  If the CCR passes both chambers, it will be sent to the Governor for his action.

The Governor has the following options when the bill reaches his desk:
1) Sign the bill and it becomes law

2) Veto the bill.  If the Governor vetoes the bill, each chamber will have the opportunity to override his veto. Failure to override by a 2/3 majority means the bill fails.

3) Do nothing for 40 days and the bill will become law without the Governor's signature.
It is GeorgiaCarry.Org's feeling that the bill will go to conference and some things will have to be worked out there.  We only have one legislative day left in the 2013/2014 General Assembly Session so there is not much time left.

GeorgiaCarry.Org is not enamored with the church opt in language and will work to get that language amended in the conference committee along with some other clerical cleanup in the bill.

We will keep you informed of the progress.  In the meantime, you need to keep in contact with the Governor, your Senators and Representatives and keep them informed that you want them to pass HB60 if the conference committee report is favorable to our wishes.
We are getting very close to having a good gun bill but we still have work to do.  You, our members have really stepped up in the last weeks and made your presence and wished known to your elected officials.  The GCO Board of Directors, Officers and Executive Director thank you for all you have done thus far.  Your professional demeanor has shown through again when dealing with our elected officials.

Contact Information for Governor Nathan Deal
The Office of the Governor
State of Georgia
203 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Address for mail:
206 Washington Street
Suite 203, State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: 404-656-1776
Fax: 404-657-7332
In order to email the Governor, you must go here and fill out the form:

How to find your elected officials in GA
There are several ways to determine who your state elected officials are.  Here are a couple of ways to help you when writing your elected officials.  
If you are a registered voter, click here to find your elected officials in GA.

This is the Georgia Secretary of State "my voter" page.  With it, you can type in your specific information to pull voter info, including their Georgia Senate and House member. 
You may also go here and put in your information and it will bring up your elected officials contact as well.  This page requires your 9-digit zip code, which is available at here.  Once you have found your 9-digit zip code, click here to find your Georgia State Representative and Senator.

When you open the page, there is a space that says "Find Your Elected Officials".  Type in your 9-digit zip code and press enter.  The next page will give you the offices you want.  For Representatives and Senators, click on State Legislature.  A picture of your Representative and of your Senator will be shown on the next page.  Clicking on the name beside the picture will bring up a page for them and their information will be on the right hand side of the page.

Be safe.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

HB 875 Update - Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee Hearing Scheduled

Just got this in an email from GeorgiaCarry.Org:

"The Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 1:00 PM in Room 307 CLOB (Coverdell Legislative Office Building). The address is of the CLOB is 18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA, 30334.

The hearing on the House Committee full of gun prohibitionists and many will speak against your rights on Tuesday.  We need all the members we can get to come to this hearing and wear your Gun Saves Lives Buttons, whether you plan to speak or not.  We need to have a show of force as we are now in a battle to get this bill passed in the Senate and get it signed into law. 

Unlike the gun prohibitionists, we should respect what others say, not applaud nor make snarky remarks or laugh at what others say.  That protocol was certainly not followed today.

We are asking all available members to do your best to be at tomorrow's hearing.  We will have Guns Saves Lives buttons available for you to make your presence known.  It is expected the gun prohibitionists will be there and we need to let the committee and legislators know that we are supporting this bill.
The CLOB is located south and across the street from the Capitol Building."

In addition, everyone is being asked to contact the Governor, Lt. Governor, and members of the committee to let them know we support this bill as passed by the House. Even if you aren't a member of Georgia Carry, we need your help to let these legislators know how we feel. In my opinion, it would be nice if they saw that even people not associated with a pro-2A group supports this bill.

"We also need EVERY Member and their friends to contact the Governor now and don't stop until the bill is signed into law.  

Everyone should remember what he did behind the scenes last year to HB512 and we don't want that to happen again.  Simply tell the governor that you are a "member of GeorgiaCarry.Org and you want this bill passed as it passed the House.  There is no reason for the State of Georgia to continue to deny your God given Constitutionally enumerated rights to self protection." 

As we have stated in the past and continue to state, please show your elected officials respect when contacting them in any manner. Threats of never voting for them get you nowhere very quickly and hurt, rather than help our cause.

Contact Information for Governor Deal


          The Office of the Governor
State of Georgia
203 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Address for mail:

          206 Washington Street
Suite 203, State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

Phone: 404-656-1776
Fax: 404-657-7332

In order to email the Governor, you must go here and fill out the form:

We also need every member of GeorgiaCarry.Org to continue to contact Lt. Governor Casey Cagle today and tell him "It is time the Senate passed a good gun bill that allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves wherever they might be.  Please pass HB875 as it was passed by the House."

Contact Information for the Lt. Governor

Office of the Lieutenant Governor
240 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5030
Fax: (404) 656-6739

In order to email the Lt. Governor, you must go here and fill out the form:

HB875 is assigned to the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.  Please contact the members of the committee today with the same message, asking them to support HB875 as it passed the House.  The members of the committee are listed below:
Stone, Jesse  Chairman
320-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 463-1314
Fax: (404) 463-1388
Email -

Ligon, Jr., William T.  Vice Chairman
324-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-0045
Fax: (404) 651-9703
Email -

Thompson, Curt   Secretary
121-I State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 463-1318
Fax: (404) 651-7078
Email -

McKoon, Joshua   Ex-Officio
319-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 463-3931
Fax: (404) 657-3217

Bethel, Charlie 109 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 651-7738
Fax: (404) 656-6484

Crosby, John 302-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 463-5258
Fax: (404) 657-0459

Fort, Vincent 121-J State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5091
Fax: (404) 651-7078

Hill, Hunter 323-A Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 463-2518

Ramsey, Sr., Ronald B. 303-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 463-2598
Fax: (404) 463-1386

Also, all members should be contacting their Senator and voicing support of HB875 as it passed the House.  It is imperative that we let the Senators know that we want to see HB875 passed as it passed the House.  Be short and to the point in all communications with your senator."

As Georgians, we need to get busy! Tell all your friends and family.

Be safe.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bibb County Sheriff's Deputy: "It's a 45 GAP ACP"

.45 G.A.P. vs .45 ACP

A what?!? 

This is what I heard in a Macon Arby's last night. Two LEO's having supper. One in a Bibb County Sheriff's Office polo, the other a jacket and tie. Both are armed, and carrying openly.

The older gentleman in front of me asked the BCSO officer what model of Glock they were carrying. And that's what he said. "It's a 45 GAP, ACP." I remarked that I didn't think 45 GAP really caught on with anyone. "Well, it's relatively new. It's only been out about 2 or 3 years."

With that, I just butted out. But I then heard him explain how 45 GAP won't over-penetrate a sheetrock wall. I bit my tongue. They walked out of the restaurant. The gentleman in front of me waiting for his food mumbled something about bigger is always better. I tried to tell him it's all about shot placement, but I wasn't swaying his opinion.

Don't believe everything you hear in a gun store or a Macon Arby's.

Be safe.

Georgia General Assembly - HB 875 The Safe Carry Protection Act - UPDATE

HB 875 is still in the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. GCO is asking everyone to contact Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and tell him "It is time the Senate passed a good gun bill that allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves wherever they might be.  Please pass HB875 as is."

Even if you aren't a member of Georgia Carry, you should contact him and every member of the committee and tell them the same thing.

Be safe.

Savannah Preparing for HB875 Passage?

So reading thru USA Today's State-by-State section today, I see the Savannah City Hall is adding metal detectors at the front door.

Are they preparing for the passage of HB 875 that would allow licensed firearm owner access to government buildings not guarded with metal detectors?

Be safe.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gun Policy and Law Enforcement Survey

I found this article recently swirling around on social media. It's about a survey taken by over 15,000 law enforcement officers back in March of 2013. The survey questions span the topics of gun control, gun rights, and gun violence.

I was pleasantly surprised by the questions. Unlike a main stream media survey, these questions seemed to be pretty specific. The offered answers I think were a mixed bag. Something is always missing when the answer of "Other" or "Unsure" gets a large percentage of hits in comparison to other answers for the same questions.

Of those taking the survey, the majority were sergeants or below. So that tells us that at least half of those answering these questions know what it's like on the streets. It would be nice to know what states these officers are in as I think it has some bearing on the outcome.

For the most part, the answers represented a common sense, pro-2A viewpoint. It's quite obvious in the results of many of these questions, law enforcement officers do NOT believe you can legislate the people into a safer environment.

The question that startled me was Number 9 - "Should citizens be required to complete a safety training class before being allowed to buy a gun?" Forty-three percent said "No", 42% said "Yes", and 14% said "Yes, but only for certain weapons". So 56% of the officers taking this survey apparently don't take the second amendment literally. But scroll down to Number 19 - "Do you support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable?" Ninety-one percent answered "Yes, without questions and without further restrictions." So what happened to the thought that we require training?

I think they saved the best question for last. Number 28 - "What do you believe is the biggest cause of gun violence in the United States?" Thirty-eight percent said "Decline in parenting and family values." THANK YOU! I'd like to know what the specifics that the "Other" answer produced.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with the results of the survey. But with over 765,000 sworn state and local officers in the United States, I would like to see what a larger sample size would do, if anything, to change the results.

You can look at the survey with the results here and form your own opinions.

Be safe.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HB 875 Passes House Vote

HB 875, the Safe Carry Protection Act, has passed the House vote, 119 - 56. Now it's on to the Senate, where it will be read and passed on to a committee.

Get ready to contact your state Senators.

Be safe.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Lunacy is Still Out There

It's been a little over a year since what I like to call The Panic of '13 hit. Guns and ammunition were flying off the shelves as fast as stores could stock them. Over the last year we've seen crazy prices on everything from $99 standard capacity magazines to insanely priced ammunition. I guess this is how supply and demand works essentially.

Everywhere I've been in the last several months, display cases and racks are full of guns again. Ammunition is slowly rebounding as well. My experience with ammunition has been that it's rebounding faster on the Internet than it is in the brick and mortar stores. I've been in a Bass Pro Shops store in Hampton, VA recently and their displays are full of guns, but the ammunition they put out on the shelves is slim pickings. Some rifle calibers seemed to be abundant, but they were the oddballs.

Shopping on the Internet, I've been able to readily buy remanufactured .45ACP for the last 4-5 months at slightly higher than pre-Panic prices. Rifle ammunition has been a little bit harder to come by at respectable prices, but it can be had if you have patience and shop around a bit.

The unicorn of the ammunition world is still .22LR. People are obviously still buying any and everything they can find at obviously stupid prices. Why do I say obviously? Look at what people are selling it for. They are finding suckers every minute.

I've networked with a few people to keep our eyes peeled for .22LR ammunition. One of these people is my older sister. She called me this morning from a flea market in north Florida because she found a guy selling some .22LR. I asked her how much he wanted and for how many. $15 for a box of 100. As we're talking a friend of hers came up and she asked if he had any. He did, and told her, "for you, $7 for a box of 50." (Gee, what a good friend.) So I told her I'd pass unless she found some for less than 10 cents a piece. Pre-Panic prices that I remember were running around 5 cents a round.

I'll continue to plink with .38 and .45 at those prices. I know what you're thinking. Those aren't cheap to shoot. No, they aren't, but there are ways to reduce those costs. Buying remanufactured is one way, and the other way is to reload your own. Until people quit hoarding .22's and feeding the Panic machine, that's what I plan to do.

Be safe.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

VZ Grips - 1911 Slim Grip Install

The project gun with it's smooth, thick, slippery grips.

Back in 2010, I bought a Rock Island Armory 1911. It was intended to be a project gun, a learning gun. The first thing I needed to do was break it in. That break-in period made it clear to me what I needed to change about this gun. The first thing that had to go were those thick, slippery wooden grip panels. My other 1911 has VZ Gatorback grips, which are nice and grippy, but they also grate on my spare tire while carrying in the summer. So I knew Gatorbacks were out of the question on this gun. One day last year, a friend and I were at the range and he had two 1911's with different types of VZ Grips, Recons and Frags. I loved both of them, but I knew the Recons would grate on me like the Gatorbacks.

Frag style VZ Grips in Grey G10
Buying and installing these has been a learning experience. Luckily, the VZ website takes a good bit of the guess work out of the buying part of the experience. If you're replacing standard grips with thin, you're going to need to thin grip bushings and screws. VZ recommends the o-ring set with these, but to be honest, I couldn't get the screws to tighten down with the o-rings installed. The screws tightened down just fine without them. I've seen reviews on YouTube that said the same thing, so take that into consideration if you place an order. 

Grip Bushings

VZ has lots of different grip screw styles to choose from.

Installation was a breeze with only one hiccup. One of the old bushings stripped at the screwdriver slot while trying to remove it, so I was off to Home Depot for a set of easy-out screw extractors. For this install, you'll need a rag, a flathead screwdriver with a 3/16" head, a Torx T-15 driver, and some BLUE Loctite (red is NOT an acceptable substitute.)

Required tools (Assuming your bushings don't strip when removing them)
Once you've verified the pistol is unloaded, and then verified it again, you're ready to remove the old grip panels. Start by removing the four grip screws.

Here's a tip that will save the finish on your 1911. Don't try to pry the old grips off the frame if they are stuck. Put your finger up into the magwell and push on the back of the grip panel. With a little effort, they'll pop off and go flying across the coffee table.

Once the old panels are off, remove the bushings, being careful not to strip the heads of them. If you do manage to strip one, use a #2 easy out screw extractor. Don't be tempted by the #1, as it's not quite big enough to get a good grip on the inside of the bushing and it will just make you that much madder. If you don't feel confident doing this, take your project to your favorite gunsmith.

Bushing Removal
Once the old bushings are out, clean off any remaining thread locking compound. I just used the screwdriver head to lightly scrape it away from both sides of the screw holes in the frame. 

You're almost ready to install the new bushings. Do yourself a favor and trial fit them dry and then try each grip panel. This does two things. One, it will make you aware of any fitting issues you might have with the bushings and panels, and it will give you a bit of practice handling those little boogers bushings before you add Loctite. Just resign yourself to getting the Loctite on your fingers. One drop on those bushings is a LOT, and it will get on you. NOTE: Do not get Loctite on the coffee table, lest you enjoy cold shoulder and hot tongue, and you wish to spend a week in the dog house. 

Bushings Installed

Add a single drop of blue Loctite to the threaded portion of the bushing and carefully screw it into the frame. Make sure the bushing shoulder is flush against the pistol frame. DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN! It just has to be snug. It's not a lug nut on your car. Once it's installed, wipe away any excess Loctite from both sides of the frame. We don't want any speed bumps inside the magwell.

Install your grip panels and screws. You can apply a drop of blue Loctite to these screws as well. Some folks don't like thread locker on their grip screws. You don't have to use it, but if you notice the screws coming loose, you might want to give in and use it.

Grip screw installation with a Torx T-15 driver
And so, you are done. Here is my finished product.

I think it looks and feels a lot better. Now I have to figure out what my next project will be for The Rock. Any suggestions?

Be safe.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Divided We Fall

Let me start by saying that I support and appreciate the hard work of some of the pro-gun groups working at the state and national level. I am also not very savvy when it comes to politics on any level. What I'm going to say will probably irritate some people, but I am entitled to my opinion. 

The other day I was listening to the news while driving home. I don't remember the exact story, but all I could think about was all the in-fighting among the Republican Party. I remember thinking, that if the party doesn't put aside their differences and come together, this nation is going to be lead down the socialist path for another 4 years. (I also remember thinking that if the Libertarians don't seize this opportunity, they won't stand a chance in 2016.) 

Back to the pro-gun groups. What I am seeing with these groups reminds me unfortunately of the Republican party in general. There is entirely too much distrust and finger pointing between some of these groups. If we don't come together, we will surely fail. We don't have to agree on every little piece of a bill, but I don't think we should be publicly bickering with one another. All that is going to do, in my mind, is make us look like we don't know what we're talking about in the eyes of the antis. It also won't help win over the fence-sitters, because from a distance, again, it looks like we don't know what we are talking about, and makes them wonder who they can believe.

Have you heard any bickering between the anti-gun groups? No, but I bet you have heard about how anti-gun groups are banding together, like Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Mothers Demand Action did in December of last year. These groups aren't going away. They will sit back and watch us tear ourselves apart just waiting for the perfect time and place to strike, like the Democrats did in 2008. 

I'm probably being delusional here, but there should be a way for the groups to come together and agree on their approach to bills, especially if there are controversial parts to those bills. HB875, the Safe Carry Protection Act, is a bill currently in the Georgia General Assembly that would bring about a lot of good changes to Georgian's 2nd Amendment rights. The bickering point between at least two groups seems to be the commitment reporting portion of the bill. Well, needless to say, the two sides managed to totally bumfuddle me with their opinions of this section of the bill. I didn't know who to trust. One group made the section sound like it was the start of my rights eroding away. The other group made it sound like it was no big deal, as it was already a law, and this bill just added a time limit to the existing regulation. 

Well, I'm a busy man, working long hours. I don't have a lot of extra time to investigate who's right and who's wrong, especially since these bills can go through their process so quickly. I'm not going to start calling my state legislators about a bill if I don't have accurate information. That means the anti's have gotten the jump on me and everybody else that is still scratching their head.

Everybody reading this should be demanding these groups unite in their battle, or surely we will lose. This is my plea. 

Be safe.