QUIPS

Super Range!

22 Feb 17

Super Ranges:

The trend in indoor ranges today is the “Super Range” Three I’m familiar with are:

Nuxus Range, Davie, FL
The Range, Austin, TX
Liberty Firearms Institute (LFI), Loveland, CO

There are doubtless more that I haven’t yet visited, and I apologize in advance for not mentioning them by name.

These are upscale, modern indoor range complexes, combined with attractive retail sales areas, that are bright, well-staffed, well laid-out, and designed to attract upscale clients, particularly women.

Ranges themselves are bright and well ventilated, with individual controls at each booth. Booths are spacious. A host of pre-set training programs are available at a touch.

At the LFI Range in Colorado, there is a 100-yard indoor rifle range, with video cameras at distance, so shooters can see their bullet placement without having to retrieve the target itself.

At The Range in Austin, TX, Jeff Gonzales is head of the Training Division and lends considerable credibility to the facility.

All have a heavy emphasis on tactical guns and gear, so they can be seen as a resource for Operators and a local gathering point for serious practitioners of the Art.

The former business model for indoor ranges was similar to the old business model for casinos. Casino restaurants used to be little more than a concession. It was a way to get customers through the door and walking past slot machines. That has all changed! Today, casino restaurants are nice, but expensive. Casino restaurants are expected to be profitable, just like gaming operations.

Likewise, indoor ranges used to be merely a way to get people through the gunshop door and interested in buying guns and accessories. Ranges themselves were often dingy, cramped, dungeon-like, poorly-maintained, poorly supervised, and poorly venerated. Clearly little more than an afterthought. and unattractive to all but the heavily dedicated!

By contrast, these new ranges are bright, attractive, modern, and well-maintained, but shooting on one is expensive. Memberships are expensive. These facilities represent enormous investments by their owners, in addition to substantial overhead, and owners are trying to attract mostly upper, middle-class customers.

Accessories still have the highest mark-up. Mark-up on guns is a good deal less. Mark-up on range use is less than that, but everything still must be profitable, or the front door will not remain open for long!

These super-ranges are leading the way forward for our industry, and we all need to support them. They are attracting new people to our Art and thus protecting the cadre of American citizens who support our Second Amendment.

It a good thing!

/John

India

21 Feb 17

On India, from a friend there:

“Some of the most gentle, kind, generous people I’ve ever met live in India. But even at their best, the country is still barely developed. Appalling poverty everywhere. Trash, and raw sewage are rampant. I don’t recommend going there.

As in China, air quality is very poor! ‘Sacred’ cows wander aimlessly, feeding on ecumenical piles of rubbish.

At security checkpoints, police are looking mostly for Pakistanis. As Westerners, they never display any interest in us.

And, security checkpoints and metal detectors are everywhere! Every hotel has a magnetometer, or a doorman with a wand, at every entrance. However, in most cases I am just waved through, despite the fact that the magnetometer alarms. They care mostly about appearance and nationality, as noted above. When you don’t fit their ‘profile,’ they just wave you through. I carry several blades, and a flashlight, through these checkpoints routinely, and no one cares!

Most ‘security guards’ are unarmed. Of those few who are ‘armed,’ only one in three has a magazine inserted into his Kalashnikov or MP5. No modern optics/red-dots. Iron sights only.

Make friends with taxi-drivers and security guards at your hotel. They will function as a valuable interface between you and local cops, or thugs

Carry a serious tactical flashlight! As in most places they are unregulated, but often come in handy as a non-lethal weapon!

One evening, while returning to my hotel from the local ATM after dark, I heard someone behind me yelling, ‘Hello, my friend!’ I didn’t look back, but increased my pace. When I heard hurried footsteps behind me, I spun around and blasted the guy in the face with 700 lumens from my First Light T-Max, as I shouted, ‘That’s close enough!’

The man was startled, blinded, and instantly disoriented . He stumbled backward and put his hands in the air. It was then that I realized it was my taxi driver! We both had a good laugh, and he apologized for surprising me. No one was hurt, but my light performed as advertised.

Since the Mumbai Attack of 2011, the nation has instituted their version of ‘security theater,’ (more like ‘security comedy’) and it does not inspire much confidence, as noted. No more confidence than it inspires most other places!”

Comment: Once more, much risk attaches to off-shore travel these days, combined with few benefits!

Governments and other institutions (here and there) perfunctorily “go through the motions” of increased security, but you’re still on your own. Never expect anyone to “care about you” more than you care about yourself!

/John

Controlled-Expansion vs Hardball

19 Feb 17

Modern small-arms ammunition for our military?

With regard to my last Quip, a friend asks:

“Does not the ‘Geneva Convention’ restrict our military to hardball pistol ammunition? If so, isn’t 9mm 124 gr. FMJ, whether launched from a Beretta 92F, G19, or Sig320, confined to the same abysmal terminal performance from which our military has suffered since ‘upgrading’ from the 45ACP?”

Here is the answer:

In 2011, the BBC lamented that London Metro Police (the few of them who are actually armed) were to be issued “unsurvivable” hollow-point ammunition, “outlawed in warfare under the Hague Declarations of 1899/1907.” Many Brits, particularly professing “journalists,” obviously know nothing about guns, ammunition, nor fighting, and like leftists everywhere, take arrogant pride in their ignorance!

You won’t find the term “hollow-point” anywhere in the 1899/1907 Hague documents. Hollow-point pistol ammunition was unknown at the time. Soft-point pistol ammunition was produced, but its performance in human tissue was inconsistent (poor by today’s standards). The actual Hague language vaguely describes small-arms bullets which “expand or flatten easily in the human body.” Curiously, during the 1899 debate on the subject, it was in fact, the British themselves who defended the use of such ammunition!

In the Hague document, the subject of controlled-expansion pistol bullets is obviously non-specific and imprecise, and by design. Any bullet can “expand” upon impact, whether it is designed/intended to do so or not. In fact most do, to one degree or another! However, writers knew when they mentioned anything specifically, no one would sign the agreement. They thus wrote in vague terms, so nations could subsequently “translate” the text any way they wanted.

Then, they added:

“The present Declaration is only binding for the Contracting Powers in the case of a war between two or more of them. It shall cease to be binding from the time when, in a war between the Contracting Parties, one of the belligerents is joined by a non-Contracting Power.”

CYA was alive and well, even back then!

In the often-incorrectly referenced “Geneva Conventions” of 1864, 1906, 1929, and 1949, the subject of small-arms ammunition isn’t even mentioned. Those documents concerned themselves mostly with treatment of prisoners and non-combatants.

Up until recently, the USA’s armed forced have voluntarily restricted themselves to hardball pistol ammunition. Until the 1970s, American police did the same!

Yet, with modern, controlled-expansion pistol ammunition, through-and-through penetration is less likely. Deanimation takes place faster, making protracted gunfights less likely, and multiple shots less likely to be necessary. It is much better than hardball, for all concerned!

In the American police community, the fact that controlled-expansion pistol ammunition is thus vastly superior to hardball, became so obvious that today virtually all police routinely carry modern ammunition. Even the Brits have joined-in, as noted above.

Our military community is now, at long last, waking-up to this same set of facts!

We can “translate” the 1899/1907 Hague Documents any way we want. Everyone else has!

Once again, technology has out-paced ancient conventions, will-meaning as they might have been, in this case making them mostly irrelevant. A “cultural lag,” as social scientists like to describe it.

It is time to catch-up, and move on!

/John

USMC Pistols

18 Feb 17

On pistols for the USMC, from a friend in a position to know:

“Most of the USMC has been using the 9mm M9 Pistol (Beretta 92F) for the last several decades, but Force Reconnaissance companies and some other special units, who have sufficient political autonomy to be able to get specific equipment, wanted to stick with the 1911 (and the 45ACP round), and were ultimately able to get their way!

However, new-production pistols were deemed necessary, because 1911 pistols in the existing inventory date from the 1930s. Most have been ‘rebuilt’ so many times, they are little more than scrap metal!

So, Colt won the contract to produce a new 1911 pistol in 45ACP for the USMC. It was an “ID/IQ” arrangement (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity), hardly a ‘contact’ at all! Window was 4k to 12k pistols, delivered on an indefinite schedule. Price per copy was $1,875.00 (including spare parts).

A small number of Kimber 1911s also made their way into the system.

The plot thickens!

When SOCOM subsequently ordered, and starting issuing, stock G19s (much less expensive than Colt’s 1911s) to other special operations communities, the USMC quickly joined in!

It is now generally accepted that, with modern high-performance ammunition, arguments over ‘effectiveness’ of various pistol calibers have become mostly outdated and irrelevant.

Again, it is only certain special USMC units who were issued the Colt 1911 (and now the G19). The rest of the USMC has been using Beretta pistols all along. And, presumptively Berettas will now be replaced with SIG 320s, the pistol recently selected by the Pentagon for global issue.”

Comment: Will the G19 and the Colt 1911 stick around within special units, or be replaced with the SIG320 across the board?

Stay tuned!

/John

Slavery Anyone?

17 Feb 17

“I choose not to be a ‘common’ man. It is my right to be ‘uncommon.’

I seek opportunity, not ‘security.’ I do not wish to be a ‘kept citizen,’ humbled and dulled by having the state ‘look after’ me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build; to fail or succeed: to daily breath the blessed air of freedom. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer challengers of life to ‘guaranteed existence,’ the thrill of fulfillment to the calm of ‘utopia.’

I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to audaciously stand erect, proud and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefits of my creation, and to face the world boldly and say:

‘This I have done’”

Anon

You can’t be free, so long as you have your hand out! You’ll never experience fulfillment when you’ve traded your dignity for a pitiable government dole, when you filch off the productive labor of your fellow citizens, while contributing nothing.

This incentive-killing “parasitic existence” is relentlessly promoted by leftists/Socialists in Europe and Socialists, masquerading as “Democrats,” over here. Their only goal is the maintenance and expansion of a permanent “underclass,” forever dependent and unproductive, that keeps them in power. And, it is sounding death bells for all of Western Civilization, begun by our courageous ancestors in ancient Greece who threw-off the bondage of slavery so many centuries ago.

Now, leftists are inviting us all to become slaves once more. They want to “bring us together” into common bondage!

Just as these Socialists are deathly afraid of audacious, productive, and independent citizens, they are even more afraid of us when we’re armed! How can they presume to “take care” of us when we’re convinced that we don’t need them?

We finally have a president who does not cater to losers and who does not suffer seedy prevaricators, and liberals are having to reluctantly confront the disturbing fact that some of us don’t want to be slaves.

They’re scared to death!

“I prefer dangerous liberty to peaceful slavery.”

Thomas Jefferson

Me too!

/John

Last Day!

15 Feb 17

Gunsite Conference, Last Day:

Today, we all shot Robar PolymAR rifles!

Freddie Blish put us through some rigorous drills, so we ran the rifles , and ourselves, hard. Our rifles held-up just fine! All were equipped with Aimpoint H1s and H2s.

The Robar PolymAR AR is amazingly light. Both upper and lower are polymer, and it is a proprietary formulation, with a melting point of over 700 Degrees! There are other rifles out there with a polymer lower, but few with a polymer upper also.

Freddie likes AR magazines by Magpul (P-Mags), ARC (Tango Down), and Lancer. Those are the ones we used, and all ran with no issues.

We shot from ranges of 3m to 200m. We zeroed at 46m (50yards), both optic and BUIS.

The real benefit of a Writers’ Conference like this one is that I get to be a student, and learn at the feet of giants of our Art, like Jeff Gonzales and Freddie Blish, all at the wonderful Gunsite facility in AZ. I get to fumble, become confused, pitch shots, receive correction, and then do it all over! As always, I picked up many new (at least to me) techniques and methods from my instructors and colleagues that I intend to steal!

Robar is an industry icon, and I can recommend them and their work without reservation. They work on my guns!

Under suburb management of friend and colleague, Buz Mills, Gunsite continues as the epicenter of our Art, and I’m always thrilled to be there!

Superior products and methods are available to all with the wisdom to seek them out.

The sage, at least, do!

/John

Gunsite Conferenct, 2nd Day!

14 Feb 17

Gunsite Writers’ Conference, 2nd Day:

Today, we learned about coatings and metal treatments. Then, we went to the range and shot 1911s all afternoon. It felt good to be carrying a 1911 again, even though, when I left the range, I was carrying my Walther PPQ!

Observations:

All metal treatments, even high-tech ones, have “side-effects.” Nothing is perfect!

For external guns surfaces, polymer is a good choice. Robar’s version is Roguard or Poly-T-Two. Both are very acceptable, and can be an any color.

Also suitable for external surfaces is QPQ, otherwise known as Tennifer or Melonite. Very hard. Also very suitable for rifle bores. However, it is so hard that subsequent machining is nearly impossible!

For internal parts, NP3 is the way to go. NP3 has integral teflon, which gives it natural lubricity. However, it is slick and thus not the best choice for slides. And, it has a silver/grey color. Other colors are not possible.

“Hard chrome” plating is obsolete. There are superior choices for surface treatment today. Hard-chrome barrels are notoriously inaccurate, because of inherent unevenness of the plating.

Nickel plating is also mostly obsolete. It is of interest only by those who want “shiny” guns.

Ceramic coating (Cerakoat) has excellent high-heat tolerance and are thus suitable for some parts of full-auto guns. However, ceramic has no inherent lubricity.

Smoking and coffee-drinking lowers blood PH, making bodily fluids, particularly sweat, acidic and thus corrosive to pistols worn close to the skin. Smokers and coffee-drinkers typically have to deal with rusty guns, even in dry climates! They will particularly benefit from modern, high-tech metal treatments.

7-round 1911 magazines, particularly those by Colt and Chip McCormick, and subsequently treated with NP3, run best. No problems in any of the guns we used. 8-round magazines, treated or not, did not run well!

For one, I was more accurate today shooting 1911s than I was yesterday shooting Glocks, even those with the wonderful Overwatch trigger! I surely like the magazine capacity of G19s, et al, but the longer sight radius of the five-inch 1911 made a significant difference. No doubt!

ARs tomorrow!

/John

Gunsite Conference

13 Feb 17

Writers’ Conference, Gunsite:

Vicki and I are here at Gunsite this week for a Writer’s Conference, hosted by Robar:

Some things I learned:

Fifty percent of Glock owners who send their pistols to Robar for coatings and other work ask that the front of the trigger-guard be rounded off.

Ninety percent of Glock owners want finger grooves on the front of the grip removed!

Who wear gloves routinely ask for an aggressive texture on gripping surfaces of the frame.

Robar makes “Trifit” rubber inserts for the rear of the Glock grip. Popular with many.

Glock triggers by Overwatch Precision are most popular, particularly the “Falx” model. Movement between take-up and break is blended into one smooth stroke. Five to six pounds. On a serious gun, you wouldn’t want it any lighter! See them at overwatchprecision.com

We spent the day with friend and colleague, Jeff Gonzales. Jeff is an intense (but wonderful) instructor, and he ran us all through his Concealment Course. We presented pistols from all kinds of concealment during the day. I learned re-learned a few things. If you get a chance to train with Jeff, don’t pass it up! See them at http://www.tridentconcepts.com/

More tomorrow!

/John

More on China

10 Feb 17

“… and the devil will drag you under, by the sharp lapel on your checkered coat”

From “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from the Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls.” The 1955 movie version starred Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons.

More on China, from a friend who just returned:

“China was once a high-profile, highly sought-after, ‘exotic’ posting. Everyone wanted to go there!

It is now a ‘hardship post,’ where people have to be paid a significant premium, and most still refuse to go, even for short periods.

The largest forced human migration in the history of the world has gone unnoticed by liberal snowflakes in our clueless American media (what a surprise!), as literally hundreds of millions of rural Chinese have been herded into sprawling, hastily-organized ‘urban centers.’ Many of these ‘cities’ now top ten million in population, and didn’t even exist twenty years ago!

In the process, the national water table has collapsed. The air is dirt!

And, communication technology is making it progressively more difficult for the Chinese government to isolate its people, and its poisonous air, from the rest of the world.

Their classic Faustian Bargain:

‘You let us rule, and we will let you get rich’

is unraveling!”

Comment: Other friends and colleagues with connections in China tell me that the government there, grudgingly acknowledging their decades-old mistake, is belatedly making an effort to reverse the intolerable air-pollution situation. I hope they’re right, but scant progress has been made so far, and the water situation is utterly catastrophic, with no solution in sight!

“The sure way to lose happiness is to want it at the expense of everything else.”

Bette Davis

/John

DJT visit to the UK

9 May 17

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, graciously extended to DJT during her recent visit here, a kind invitation to visit the UK. Such an official visit by a US president presumptively includes a invitation to speak before the British Parliament.

However, liberal Speaker of the British Parliament, John Bercow, objects to the US president speaking. He had no problem with BHO speaking in 2011, nor with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santo last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015, nor with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2014.

Like most professing liberals, Bercow is “tolerant” of everything but opinion! Just as conservatives are not allowed to speak on American university campuses (but, Communists are), a non-liberal US president must be banned from taking the stage before the British Parliament, because liberals may not agree with everything he says, may in fact, become upset!

Simultaneously, liberals at the BBC adolescently refuse to use the correct title, “President,” when referring to our President Trump. As with Bercow, they are arrogant, small-minded, and like liberals everywhere, have a gigantic, self-righteous chip on their collective shoulders.

“Lecturers deal with men of straw, as they are men of straw themselves. Why, a free-spoken man, of sound lungs, cannot draw a long breath without causing your rotten institutions to come toppling down by the vacuum he makes.

They think they are liberal and free. It is the ‘freedom’ of a prison-yard!”

HD Thoreau

/John

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