Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's For the Children

The back story, a year ago a Democratic legislature enacted a ban on concealed and open carry of firearms in the New Hampshire Statehouse and state buildings.  That ban also had been in effect from 1996 to 2006.  The ban was lifted in early 2011.

The National Education Association-NH Chapter is now rethinking its annual field trip to the Statehouse, where legislators read the works of Doctor Seuss (government in action?) to visiting school children.

Thankfully, it seems a number of N.H. school districts do not share the NEA's concerns and will continue with field trips to the state capital.

My question is this:  does the NEA intend to forego field trips to the rest of the state of New Hampshire based on that it won't be a gun free zone?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


If you like knots check out this website.  Knots  They even have an iPhone app.  Seems they really do have an app for that.

Flashlight Geekery

I like flashlights.  They serve a really important purpose, namely seeing in the dark.

I've been looking for a good, small flashlight for every day carry that won't break the bank.  As big of a fan of Surefire as I am, they are not inexpensive.  For a flashlight that I am probably going to lose, I didn't want to shell out for a E1B.

Enter the Streamlight PT1L.  This is compact, single CR123A, dual output LED light that only costs $48.  The tail cap switch can be used as a momentary by pressing lightly or as a maintained by pressing through until it clicks.  The first press of the switch will unleash 110 lumens.  Two quick presses activates the strobe setting, which I suspect could cause your adversary to have a seizure only rivaled by those Japanese anime cartoons of a couple of years ago.  Three quick presses gives the low output of 12 lumens, good for navigation or maximizing battery life.  Each setting can be fixed by pressing through to the click.  With a little practice selecting the mode you wish is pretty easy.

My only complaint thus far is that the pocket clip is not reversible.  It is fixed bezel down.  This is fine if you use the Rogers/Surefire technique, but less than ideal if you use the Harries.

So far, I haven't lost or broken it.  That's a pretty good start.  If you are in the market for a small, easily carried flashlight, it might be worth a look.


2011 Dillon Calender

I'm all for the larger format pictures of attractive women with guns, but they did sort of miss the calender part.

Dillon Calender

On the other hand, if your buying a calender of attractive women with guns, maybe the calender is the lesser part of the equation.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thoughts on Pocket Carry

We all do it.  Well at least those of us who choose to take the responsibility for or own safety into our own hands.  Sometimes for whatever reason, we don't feel like strapping on that full size handgun or we just can't conceal the gun we would like to be carrying.  Whether it is a trip to the corner store for a bottle of milk or a non-permissive office environment, we turn to the pocket gun.

Like most gun toting people I'd rather have a little gun than no gun at all.  But how well does the pocket gun meet the needs of the day should we actually need it?  How well does the carry means support getting that gun into action?  How often do we train with that little J-frame or pocket auto?

I'll agree that one of the benefits of the pocket gun is that you can already have your hand on it and no one is the wiser, but what happens when you don't see that trouble from a mile away?

There are a number of issues that I think we should address.  First, pocket carry is slow.  I don't train with my J-frame as much as I should, but in timed drills from the five yard line, I think I averaged around 3.7 seconds from a start with my hands at my sides.   This is a long damn time.  It was a lot longer when the holster came out with the gun, which brings us to number two.

Pocket holster selection is an important part of pocket carry.  The holster in the picture above is a Mitch Rosen El Raton.  Mitch Rosen makes as nice a holster as anyone, but this holds the gun too tightly.  If you miss that barb on the top of the holster it is coming out with the gun.  I've currently switched to a Desantis Nemesis which has a almost sticky exterior that holds well to the pocket lining.  It also has a much looser grip on the gun than a form fitted or boned leather holster might.

Give your unloaded pocket gun a quick draw test.  If the gun comes out still in the holster, it might be time to look for a new holster.  This seems as good a place as any to mention that its probably a bad idea to carry a gun without a holster regardless of whether its in a pocket or at waist level or in a purse.

This past fall, I shot a BUG (back-up gun) match at Pioneer Sportsmen.  None of the stages required drawing your small revolver or pocket auto, but it did go to show you that little guns can be shot well under the stress riser of the clock.  It just takes a lot of practice.  I saw a number of people who would normally smoke me at a regular IDPA match fall flat when they couldn't use that full sized handgun.  At least every other trip to the range I try to get some quality practice with my J-frame.

I won't wade into the abyss that is what is a suitable caliber for self defense.  They are enough arguments spread far and wide across the internet for me to add anything worthwhile.  I will say that you should choose something that has some history of stopping the fight.

I don't necessarily wish to dissuade anyone from pocket carry.  My hope is that you will recognize it for what it is, a compromise.  Now, get out there and practice with that gun you carry whatever it may be.


Reloading Bench

I poured over countless threads on numerous boards looking for ideas when I was designing my reloading bench.  Every gun board must have a "Show us your reloading bench" thread.  There are a couple of good ones like the 1911forum's Let's see your reloading bench,  Brian Enos' Show us your "working" place, and M4carbine's Show us your reloading bench.

If you frequent those boards, you may have already seen mine.  For those who don't, here is mine.  Those with neatness issues or objections to clutter, you may wish to avert your eyes.

It all started with a fairly rough drawing on the back of a Powder Valley receipt.  From reading, most people complained of not having enough space.  Like buying a gun safe, the best advise is to build way bigger than you think you'll ever need because you will indeed fill it up.

My design needed to accommodate three presses.  A Dillon 550, a Hornady single stage, and a MEC 650 shotshell press along with all  the other tools and equipment to produce enough ammo to satisfy my needs.

I failed at both having enough space and producing enough ammo to satisfy my needs.  It seems that it is a lot easier to send it down range than it is to stay on top of reloading it.  Funny about that.

Being somewhat pressed for space, I decided that I wanted my single stage and the shot shell press removable.  You are looking at T-track routed into the bench top.  With these I can slide a press into or out of the T-track as I require.

So far they are holding up well.  I had some initial concerns that they would pull out when the presses leverage was applied.

This post is rolling quite as well as I had hoped.  So we'll just get on to some gratuitous pictures of clutter.

Hit the comments section if you have any questions.  Add yes, I do know where everything is.  Mostly.

Welcome to Thoughts of a N.H. Shooter

I figured that the internet needed yet another gun blog, so here we are.  I intend to write about my experiences as a shooter, competitor, and reloader.  Other topics will probably make their way into these writings as I figure out what the hell I'm doing.

I'll also take this occasion to thank a couple of the people that, while they don't know me from Adam, inspired me to sit down and write about the things that matter to me.

First, The Lawdog Files, his ability to tell a story is second to none.  Personal favorites include The Pink Gorilla Suit and really any of his stories about his childhood in Africa, particularly those involving badgers.  This was the first blog that I ever followed closely and spent days reading all of the archived posts.

Second would have to be View From The Porch, Tam's wit and aggressive use of snark combined with the fact that a lot of our interests seem to be similar make her blog one of the first I check when I sit down at the computer.

Lastly,, Todd's site is full of useful tips to make one's self a better shooter.  His documenting his journey to be a better shooter and instructor is a worthwhile read.  Definitely check out the drills page.

With some good fortune I won't stub my blogging toe on any serious breech of blogging etiquette.  I hope that someone will let me know if I do, so I'll be able to rectify the situation.

I'll hope that you'll look forward to more action packed posts from Thoughts of a N.H. Shooter.