Sunday, August 21, 2016

Book Review: How to Shoot Like a Navy Seal

There are some big differences between formal target shooting and tactical shooting for self-defense.  In a real life self-defense situation, your body is charged with adrenaline.  You might have someone shooting at you.  Your life and the lives of innocent bystanders are at risk.  Speed matters.  Accuracy matters.  It's a real challenge.  However, since I received my formal firearms training in college, my training was focused on marksmanship for small bore rifle shooting at the rifle range.  As I read more about shooting, I've always wondered how to adapt lessons that applied to slow deliberate shooting at a range to practical shooting for self-defense situations.  Fortunately, the e-book How to Shoot Like a Navy Seal by Chris Sajnog bridges this training gap perfectly.

A US Navy SEAL in Afghanistan

While Chris Sajnog excelled in for many years as a Navy SEAL and SEAL firearms instructor, he does a good job of tailoring his book to normal everyday shooters.  I had feared that a book by a SEAL might require me to run hundreds of miles, half-drown myself, experience hypothermia, and total exhaustion before expending unlimited amounts of ammunition at the range.

Navy SEAL Trainees covered in mud


Instead, Chris dispenses with the bravado and writes cogently about the fundamentals of shooting and how those fundamentals are adapted to combat shooting.  He covers basics like safety, stance, grip, sight picture, trigger control, breathing, and follow through.  For each topic, he thoughtfully covers the basics in a way that is practical for the civilian or law enforcement shooter faced with a tactical situation.  He shows how the basic technique changes for combat shooting. Chris covers the basics of pistol and carbine shooting using ubiquitous Glock-style handguns and AR-style carbines.



How to Shoot Like a Navy Seal is a quick read and is filled with very sensible training advice and tips on combat marksmanship fundamentals.  However, once you register with links provided in the book, you also get a series of free online videos that demonstrate the concepts discussed.  I found these invaluable.  They let you see exactly what Chris writes about in the book.  He shows you how to practice at home.  If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can get the book for very low cost or even borrow it.


Overall, I highly recommend Chris Sajnog's book, How to Shoot Like a Navy Seal, and recommend you download it today!  For more training from Chris Sajnog, check out the training company he founded:  Center Mass Group.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Interesting Mosin-Nagant Variants - The Finnish Tikka M39

If you've been into Mosin-Nagant rifles and want to expand your collection without changing calibers, you might check out the Tikka M39 from Finland.   Regarded by many as the most accurate bolt-action rifle of World War II, the M39 fires the same 7.62mmx54r cartridge as the Mosin-Nagant.


Here is a link for you to read much more detail about the Finn M39 on Mosin-Nagant.net.  That's all well and good.  But, if you actually want to own a Finnish M39, you might be more interested in clicking to sign up for a drawing to win one from Classic Arms. 


As the proud owner of a Swedish Mauser, I think the M39 would be an excellent addition to my own collection.  Good luck!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What Firearm is Behind Your Blade of Grass?

Being Prepared to Resist Terrorism


The great Imperial Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was reputed to have cautioned against a World War 2 invasion of the United States saying that the Japanese would encounter a rifle behind every blade of grass.  Researchers now say that this quote is probably mis-attributed to the Admiral.  It's currently believed that a Navy man by the name of Robert Menard informally asked some Japanese Navy leaders following a joint exercise in 1960 about why the Japanese didn't invade the U.S. after Pearl Harbor and was told that they expected to find a rifle behind every blade of grass. 

Imperial Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
While the quote wasn't Yamamoto's, it probably was an astute observation.  Fortunately, the Japanese never invaded the American mainland.  However, other deadly foreign ideologies have.  Our political leaders opened our doors wide open and even rolled out the red carpet for them.  We have a growing population of people who hate American values.  Now the enemy is among us just as if they were paratroopers for a foreign power.

Consequently, we all may have to be prepared to defend ourselves in an instant.  The enemy may find fault with you for the bacon you eat, the bathing suit you wear, your sexual orientation, your affiliation with the military, short sleeve shirts, or a woman's lack of a headscarf.  For all we know, the enemy might even be mad about a youtube video.  At least, that is what some political leaders have told us in the past.

While high profile terror attacks make the news, there have been plenty of smaller incidents that happen with scant notice.  These incidents often involve an enemy attacking a small number of people with a knife, a hatchet, or a firearm.  The media and politicians are all too happy to sweep many of these incidents under the rug and label them workplace violence, mental illness, or isolated incidents.  While these incidents may be isolated, they are terrorism and they are intended to bend America to the enemy's cultural and social will.  It's incumbent upon us as Americans to be prepared to resist such attacks.

The Smith & Wesson SD9VE
The question becomes:  What firearm is behind your blade of grass?  For our family, the Smith & Wesson SD9VE is our first line of defense.  It's a simple 9mm pistol that is easy to deploy, easy to shoot, easy to clean, easy to assemble, and compact enough to carry.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Arsenal of Fun: a Guide to .22-caliber Firearms for Target Shooting Fun

A Suggested Battery of Firearms for Recreational Target Shooting 

When you read today's gun magazines, you'll see endless numbers of firearms for personal defense. While they have their place, shooting is a recreational sport and pastime. If you don't have firearms just for fun, you are missing out.

Today, many shooters are focused on personal defense. They focus on military-style firearms and tactics against muggers, home invaders, zombies, and other threats. In a dangerous society, personal and home security is a serious issue. But, if fear and paranoia guide your shooting activities, you may be traveling a path that transforms you into a mall ninja. You can relax and unwind at the range. Shooting is and can simply be a fun recreational pastime and sport. Here are four types of .22-caliber firearms just for fun.

1. Single-Shot .22
- Shooting for fun begins with a single shot .22-caliber rifle. For beginning shooters who are focused on the fundamentals of shooting, the lack of a magazine full of ammunition, makes each shot count. Even experienced shooters can enjoy a return to old-fashioned marksmanship with a single-shot rifle where sight picture, breathing control, trigger control, and follow through produce results. Single shot .22 rifles are most commonly bolt-action rifiles, but break-action and falling block models are also available. Since shooters vary in size and shape, it's important to get a single shot .22 that's fits your body. However, gun makers like Keystone Sporting Arms, Marlin, and Henry Repeating Arms make wonderful single-shot .22 rifles.


2. Pump-Action .22 Carbine - Once upon a time, carnivals and fairs had shooting galleries where customers would shoot at targets with pump-action rifles firing .22 caliber short rounds. Today you can still find pump action .22 caliber rifles like the Henry Pump-Action Octagon rifle and the discontinued Taurus Model 62 Pump-Action .22 Carbine at gun shops. A pump-action rifle is fun to shoot and more involving to shooters than modern semi-automatic rifles.

3. Lever-Action .22 Carbine - The legends and lore of the Old West are closely connected to America's heritage of firearms ownership. Due to its appearance in hundreds of western movies, the Winchester 1892 rifle is an iconic old west firearm. Henry Repeating Arms makes a wonderful .22 Lever Action rifle that is faithful to the classic Winchester in many respects. Marlin's Model 39A is a classic lever action .22 rifle in its own right.



4. Single-Action .22 Revolver - The lever action rifle is only half of the Old West equation. A single-action revolver completes the cowboy action ensemble. Ruger makes highly respected cowboy-action revolvers. A shooter can't go wrong with the classic Ruger Bearcat or adjustable sighted Ruger Single-Six Convertible. Both revolvers provide the classic six-gun feel in a package that is economical to shoot. The convertible Ruger Single-Six allows shooters to switch between .22 long rifle and more powerful .22 Magnum calibers.

Ruger Single-Six .22 Revolver - By Stephen Z (Ruger Single Six) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


So, take a deep breath, don't worry about the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), and relax about the zombies, you can go shooting just for fun!

Sources:
Personal Experience
Taurus USA website
Henry Repeating Rifles website

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Should I buy a .25 Caliber Pistol?

Should I buy a .25 Caliber Pistol?


It's a question many people ask from time to time.  Invariably responses come back from various experts and naysayers about the efficacy of the caliber and the expense of the ammunition.  However, I'm going to comeback with my answer. Then, you can read the small print.  Are you ready?  Here it is:

YES!  YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY BUY A .25 CALIBER PISTOL!

A .25 ACP Caliber Nalava Pistol (Source:  http://www.adamsguns.com/)

But, not necessarily for the reasons you think.

Expert Opinions on the .25 ACP


First, lets's acknowledge the experts.  The .25 ACP round is not a very powerful handgun round.  In fact, it pales in comparison with the more popular .380 ACP, .38 Special, and 9mm rounds that are currently most popular in modern concealed carry.  The .25 ACP round is also a little more expensive than more common cartridges.  If you are expecting a gun fight, the .25ACP is simply not the best available choice. However, not every firearm is about self-defense and not every round of ammunition is about killing people.  Sometimes, there are other perfectly good reasons to buy a handgun.


Seven Reasons You Should Buy a .25ACP Pistol


1. James Bond carried a .25 Caliber Beretta. If you are fan of Ian Fleming's original James Bond novels, then you know that he initially carried a .25 ACP Beretta. According to "The Handguns of Ian Fleming" post on Absolutely James Bond blog, Bond carried a modified Beretta 418.

Beretta 418 - By Bob Adams (http://www.adamsguns.com) (Adamsguns.com) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
This literary reference gives the .25ACP pistol a bit of James Bond cachet and a bit of a sexy edge. Ian Fleming himself carried a similar Browning .25 ACP pistol as a Naval Intelligence agent during World War II. Again, it's more cool points for any pistol of this size and caliber.


2. .25 Caliber pistols are cute. Just as some people are obsessed with collecting the largest caliber handguns and rifles, other people have fun collecting the smallest firearms. The small size and low amount of recoil of a .25ACP round might attract women and elderly people into the shooting sports and concealed carry community. Many men wish that they could get their wives to come shooting. A .25ACP handgun might do the trick. Lots of people are put off by the "threatening looks" of various tacti-cool firearms. A collection of truly tiny firearms is interesting and may draw people in. In a free country, if a .25 ACP handgun floats your boat, go for it!


FIE Titan .25 Caliber Pistol


3. .25 Caliber pistols pose a challenge for shooters. A tiny handgun poses a unique challenge at the range. A vest-pocket .25 caliber handgun typically has tiny sights, a small grip, and very short barrel. All of these characteristics make it difficult to shoot a tiny handgun easily. Thus, it's a new skill and a new challenge to master at the shooting range. Challenge is fun. However, when handling these firearms use caution. With a gun this small, you must take extra care to ensure that your fingers don't ever cover the muzzle.

A Beretta Bobcat (Model 21) - By BRoys (By Uploader) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

4. .25 Caliber pistols are part of history. The .25 ACP round was designed in 1905 for small semi-automatic pistols. Some noteworthy firearms have been produced for the caliber. The Baby Browning and Colt Model 1908 are among the most famous.

Colt 1908 Vest Pocket - By Judson Guns (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 5. .25 Caliber pistols are affordable collectibles. Since the .25 ACP round has been supplanted for self-defense by more potent .380 ACP handguns, you can often find .25 Caliber handguns at low prices. For many, this represents an affordable entry and space-saving way to get into gun collecting.


 
6. .25 Caliber pistols are still viable for self-defense. While there are better rounds on the market for defensive use, big rounds in small guns makes for lots of uncomfortable recoil. For self-defense, the .25 ACP is still a viable alternative for people who are recoil sensitive due to arthritis and other infirmities. No sane person wants to get shot. The lethality of the .25ACP should not be under-estimated.



7. .25 Caliber pistols are deeply concealable. Pistols chambered for .25 ACP still hold a size advantage over pistols chambered for larger rounds. If you really are an international spy or an undercover cop, the .25 ACP handgun offers a viable handgun in the smallest possible size.





 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Guns and Gun Accessories on Amazon Prime Day

Today (July 12th) is Amazon Prime Day.  It's the day when Amazon is supposed to have all kinds of great deals if you are a member of Amazon Prime.  What does Amazon Prime Day mean to you as a gun owner and shooting sports enthusiast?  Well, if you don't have a membership to Amazon Prime, it doesn't mean much of anything.  Fortunately, there is a multi-step process so that you can maximize your enjoyment of Amazon Prime Day.

Step 1:  Get Amazon Prime.  You can start a 30-day Free Trial right here with no problems.  That gets your foot in the door to see if you'd like to get great advantages like free shipping, free books, and low Amazon Prime Day prices.



Step 2:  Buy Cool Stuff Related to Guns.  But, wait, why are you telling us all this?  You can't buy actual firearms on Amazon.  You are right, but you can buy all kinds of air guns, knives, and firearms accessories.  You can get most of the dude stuff you ever wanted.  You can even outfit yourself to become an Iguana hunter.  To get free shipping, look for the items that have a PRIME logo with a check beside the price.

Iguana - Photo By Benjamin Smith from United States (Common or Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Yup, you can become an Iguana hunter by simply ordering the Gamo Silent Cat Air Rifle and free shipping.  If I had a yard of any size or rural property or an Iguana problem, I would be all over the Silent Cat deal.  It's a great air rifle for small game hunting.  It's worth a look on Amazon just to read the stories and reviews.  One Florida man has been using the Gamo Whisper Silent Cat to rid his wife's vegetable garden of voracious Iguanas.  Notice the Prime and check in the advertisement below.  That means free shipping for Amazon Prime members.



Step 3:  Shop Amazon Prime Day Deals & Filter Down to Sports and Outdoors.  Of course, air rifles aren't the only gun-related items on Amazon.  You can also get holsters, cleaning kits, gun cases, and even gun safes.  To see all the "Prime Day Deals" simply hit the banner that says Shop Amazon Prime Day Deals.  Once you are there, you can filter down to see the Sports & Outdoors deals.  While we are all accustomed to our familiar suppliers like BassPro Shop and Cabela's, it's good to have more options at our finger tips.  Plus, when you have the Amazon Prime membership going, you have access to plenty of free e-books and a huge library of streaming music.  It opens the door to a whole new world.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Guns for People with Weak Wrists

A Guide to Handguns for Arthritics, Carpal Tunnel Sufferers, and Others with Weak Wrists 

X-Ray Image of Arthritic Hands


Arthritus, carpal tunnel and other wrist weakening conditions can deprive many Americans of their ability to shoot. This guide provides some options that they might try in order to keep shooting handguns for fun or self-defense.

.357 Magnum & .460 Revolvers - By Ainat00 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Many Americans suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions that affect the strength of their wrists and fingers. This can inhibit their ability to shoot a handgun for recreation and self defense.   According to a recent Fox News report, doctors are even seeing arthritis symptoms surfacing in younger patients now due to texting and video gaming. Fortunately, there are guns, techniques and accessories that can help arthritic shooters continue to enjoy shooting sports.


Arthritic shooters can reduce their discomfort by choosing an appropriate firearm. Many common large caliber handguns are known for powerful recoil that can be painful for even healthy shooters. If you suffer from Arthritis pain, carpal tunnel, or very weak wrists, there are steps you can take to keep shooting.

First, you may have to switch from powerful handgun calibers like the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, and .45 ACP to calibers like .22, .22 Magnum, .25 ACP, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, .38 Special, and possibly .327 Magnum. While most of these smaller calibers have significantly less stopping power for self-defense, all can be quite deadly and no one enjoys being on the receiving end of any bullet.



Second, Arthritis sufferers may also want to look at lighter loads for larger calibers. There are a number of shooting sports that focus on accuracy and speed rather than stopping power. For example, in cowboy action shooting, many participants shoot reduced power .38 Special or .45 Colt loads. For fun shooting, reduced power loads work just fine. If reduced power is all a shooter can handle, it again beats no power for self-defense.

This Old British Service Revolver shoots the anemic old .38 S&W (not special) round


A third approach might be rather counter-intuitive. An arthritic shooter might try a heavier pistol. Since heavier pistols tend to dampen recoil a bit, moving to a heavier pistol with a smaller bore may be a good idea. For example, a super lightweight concealed carry weapon in 9mm may have uncomfortable recoil while a heavier full-sized pistol in the less powerful .380 caliber may be more comfortable. The Smith & Wesson Model 17 is a great example of a full-sized revolver in the light recoiling .22 caliber. Arthritic shooters may also want to use technologies like magnaporting to reduce recoil. Ported pistols direct some gas from the shot upward through vents at the end of the barrel. The ports work like a retro-rocket to reduce the tendency for the muzzle to flip upward due to recoil. The old full-sized Iver Johnson Safety Automatic and Colt Police Positive revolvers shown below fire the .32 S&W Long cartridge which is less powerful and has less recoil than more modern loads.

Above:Iver Johnson Safety Automatic Below: Colt Police Positive -both chambered for .32 Smith and Wesson Long/ Colt New PoliceBy Everett Walker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A fourth approach to keep shooting is to experiment with revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. It is a serious question whether to shoot a revolver or semi-automatic pistol. A revolver is simpler and generally easier to load. It does not have safety switches to fumble with in the night. With a double-action revolver, the shooter simply pulls the trigger to fire. Old-fashioned single action revolvers require the hammer to be cocked before the trigger is pulled. For Arthritis sufferers that might be asking too much. In addition, light loads might not cycle the action of a semi-automatic. But, anyone can insert a loaded magazine into a semi-automatic pistol. The real question is whether the shooter has the strength to rack the slide. The effort involved in pulling the slide back on a semi-automatic pistol can vary widely from pistol to pistol.

Beretta Model 21 tip up barrel - Photo by BRoys (By Uploader) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, there are a couple of innovative gun designs arthritis sufferers might consider. Beretta offers a couple of semi-automatic pistols with pop-up barrels. The Beretta Model 21 and Beretta 950 Jetfire feature pop-up barrels. You insert the magazine as usual, but instead of racking the slide, the shooter inserts one round into the chamber of a pop-up barrel and then clicks it closed. For arthritis sufferers, this operation may be easier than racking a slide. Another option might be The Palm Pistol from Constitution Arms. It is being designed as an unconventional, single shot, ergomically easy, 9mm pistol for the elderly. Users of this odd looking pistol will use their thumbs to fire. The manufacturer is now accepting pre-production orders and the pistol will retail for $300.

Of course anyone suffering from a medical condition should consult with medical professionals and take a prudent approach to their pursuit of the shooting sports. However, the key for arthritic, carpal tunnel, or other weak-wristed shooters: keep methodically experimenting starting with the lowest firepower combinations until you find the combination that works best for you.