Saturday, February 15, 2014

Less than Lethal

Many years ago as a young man in the military I was placed on a mobility team. As a result of that I was given the assignment of being the weapons instructor for that team. I went through an instructor course and often trained with the Security Police guys. I happened to live across the street from the NCOIC of CATM. (Non commissioned officer in charge of combat arms training and maintenance) who was an inactive member. He was a nice guy and we shared a love for weapons. So I had the opportunity to do a lot of things I wouldn’t have been able to do not knowing these guys personally. In the process of training, I trained with pepper spray. If you train with pepper spray you have to experience what it’s like to be sprayed. We were supposed to be sprayed, and then with a training weapon (rubber handgun) we were supposed to continue to stop the assailant by pointing the weapon in the right direction and giving verbal commands. It was very difficult and I lasted long enough to have 2nd place bragging rights. I believe it was only 48 seconds. The winner didn’t last a minute! The point is, pepper spray works! I know personally! Now, I’m not saying you should experiment and test pepper spray on yourselves, you can take my, and others, word for it.
You may read that wasp spray is as effective as pepper spray. In some cases this may be true. The only problem is you’re dealing with non-lethal self defense. This means your assailant will still be around to sue you for using a poison that clearly says on it’s label that wasp spray will not be used for anything it was not intended for. It is actually federal law. The skum-ball that would commit violent crime without batting an eye could, and probably would, sue you. Just because you’re a career criminal and in jail for assault does not mean you can’t sue in civil court. Buy and use pepper spray. It’s legal and it works better than wasp spray in many cases. But in a pinch, if you can’t get to anything BUT wasp spray, save your life and use it! Better yet, prepare and have pepper spray, training, and even better, a gun available to protect you and your family and friends. Get licensed, get trained, and carry always. Also, live by the Spirit. The Holy Ghost can keep you out of many situations where a weapon, lethal or not, would be necessary. Many have been saved by listening to the still, small voice. But I also believe we will be blessed after all we can do. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. This means good people need to be ready. Here is a short list of alternatives to pepper spray.
Firearm – Should be considered lethal
Knife – Should be considered lethal
Stun gun – Mostly non-lethal
Baton – Mostly non-lethal
Martial arts/Self-defense training – Mostly non-lethal
My recommendation is a combination of at least 2 of the above. Options are best. Remember to check laws and be safe. Learn what is legal where you live and get appropriate licenses where applicable.
There are 3 kinds of pepper sprays:
CS (Orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile),
CN (alphachloroacetaphenone)
OC (Oleoresin Capsicum).
CS and CN are considered irritants and will cause stinging and tearing (tear gas type spray).They can take from five to thirty seconds to be effective and may have little to no effect on someone who is chemically altered or in a psychotic state.
OC on the other hand is an inflammatory agent. When sprayed with it, your eyes immediately slam shut. People most often become temporarily blind due to the capillaries in the eyes dilating. From breathing in the agent, there is also coughing and possibly some choking.
My recommendation is OC. This is what I’ve been sprayed with and what I try to have on hand. It’s also used by law enforcement and military.
Blowback is when some of the pepper spray blows back at you. It is more of a danger outdoors and of course is more likely to happen if you spray it into the wind.
There are four types of sprayers. They are:
Think water gun. This gets a lot of spray on the target quickly and as a result empties faster. There is a mild risk of blowback. That risk increases proportional to the range it is sprayed.
Forced Cone
The spray pattern is circular and sprays a fine mist of droplets. There is a larger risk of blowback than with stream or foam.
A fogger sprays a wider pattern and finer mist than the forced cone. Foggers are the most effective to use against a crowd, as they put out a large amount of spray. Aim is also less critical. A fogger could be used nicely to defend a home as well. The risk of blowback is higher than with spray or foam.
Foam shoots out like silly string and accumulates on the target. Attempts to wipe it off often just rub it in, making it more effective. Foam is the least subject to blowback.
How to Carry Pepper Spray
It’s not effective if you can’t get to it quickly, There are cans made for key chains. Carry your keys in your hand or in your jacket pocket with your hand on it. If you need it in an emergency, you will not have time to fish it out of your pocket or purse and put it to use.
Generally speaking here are the distances we’re talking about:
Spray gun-25 feet or more
Large canister-(9 ounces to 1 pound)-20 feet
Small canister-(1 to 12 ounces)-12 to 18 feet
Mini or key chain – (less than 1 oz)-8 to 10 feet
Testing your spray
1. Go outside. Do not attempt to test your pepper spray indoors.
2. Find the direction of the wind. Stand upwind so that wind blows away from you, not toward you. If you stand downwind, pepper spray may get blown toward you.
3. Press the firing button for half a second. The pepper spray should come out evenly.
4. Test pepper spray every 90 days.

Always be safe. Always be worthy of and follow the Spirit. Always think about what you are doing and have situational awareness (know where you are and what’s going on around you).


Semper Paratus

The 200th Hour-Mistakes and Training

I was surfing the web and went to one of my favorite forums. There was a sad story and graphic pictures of someone who shot themselves. They had forgotten the rules and ended up shooting their own hand with a “checked” weapon. “How could someone be so stupid?” you are probably asking yourself. A friend of mine was a Border Patrolman. He is now a Customs agent. At the time of this incident he had been through the academy ( 6 months of training including weapons), and had been an agent for about 2 years. Agents must qualify with their service weapon every 3 months. So he was no stranger to his weapon. While cleaning his weapon, he had an accidental discharge that went through an outside wall and into the ground in his backyard. He was lucky. No one was hurt and there was little damage. He did, however, struggle with whether he should even report his mistake, which he did report. This was not a “rookie” mistake. This was an experienced gun handler who broke one or more of the 4 gun rules. Those are:

The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.
You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.
This we call the Golden Rule because it's violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.
You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.
Many people, even experienced gun handlers, think that after rule 1 is accomplished, there are no more rules. This is of course BALONEY! In the above 2 incidents the other 3 rules were ignored and as a result, an accidental discharge. If you have a gun. If you ever think you will ever own or use a gun, these 4 rules should be tattooed on your brain. Do not violate these rules in any form. Remind others also. I do this constantly with my family. Not because I don't trust them, On the contrary, I absolutely do not want them hurt or for them to experience the heartbreak of an accident that they could have prevented.
On the above story from a forum I read all of the comments. Most were right on the mark. This person pointed a weapon at his own hand and pulled the trigger. He broke the 1st rule, but he also broke 2 and 3 and probably even 4! The only time I point the barrel at myself or another person is when the gun is apart and the barrel is off the slide. Otherwise, all rules apply. I even hate the idea of carrying a weapon that has one in the chamber. Which, by the way, is stupid NOT to do if you carry for self defense. If there is an external hammer it doesn't necessarily have to be pulled back with an auto that is double action.
Good habits save lives. A strong lifetime habit of handling a weapon respectfully EVEN when unloaded can prevent injury and death when your brain isn't paying as much attention as it should.

First, unload the firearm, then lock the action open and double-check that it's unloaded, using your eyes and then your fingertip to be sure. (That takes care of Rule One.) Be conscious of your muzzle direction at all times. Don't get sloppy or careless with the muzzle even though you think the gun is now unloaded. (Rule Two.) Close the action and deliberately point the muzzle at a consciously-chosen safe aimpoint. One reason people point guns in foolish directions is because they haven't consciously chosen a good direction, so choose a specific spot to aim the muzzle before you put your finger on the trigger. (Rule Three.) When you choose that spot, be certain it can really stop a bullet of the caliber your gun can fire. For instance, for a handgun you might choose to aim at a cement wall in the basement, or at the top of a thick stack of books, or at a purpose-made product such as a Safe Directions pad, or at the corner of the floor in a one-story building. (Rule Four.)

Remember the 200th hour. This is about the time that someone spends training when they make their first mistake. In flying this can happen with pilots. I tend to agree. By the 200th hour your experience just starts to exceed your knowledge and you can become careless. That's when mistakes are made. Be aware of this and act accordingly. I believe the second “danger hour” is after 2 years. Know your limits and NEVER break the rules!

Semper Paratus


Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Ruger 10-22 Review

During the gun “scare” of 2013 I tried to find a particular .22 rifle. It was nowhere to be found. During that time it was difficult to find many different guns. Now days it’s a little easier to find guns and ammo.

The Ruger 10-22 is one of the most versatile rifles I’ve ever shot. I’ve seen it in every configuration you can think of. Ruger actually sells 6 variations of this gun. The Target, the Sporter, the Tactical, the Compact, the Carbine, and the newest the Takedown. Since 1964 the Ruger 10-22 rimfire .22 caliber rifle has been serving the American public. Millions of people learned to shoot with this rifle and thousands have owned them.
“Although the concept of Ruger’s first .22 rifle began in the 1950s, the final design took its inspiration from the success of the Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine, which was introduced in 1960. An obvious hint can be found in this line from Ruger’s 1964 catalog describing the 10/22 as a rimfire rifle “…built to high-power rifle standards…” In fact, anyone comparing the two rifles will notice a not-so-coincidental similarity in design, including their carbine-style barrel bands, basic pistol-grip stock configurations and semi-curved buttplates.
The 10/22 was the result of a collaboration between Bill Ruger, Harry Sefried and Doug McClenahan. Like everything the meticulous Ruger conceived, the 10/22 was over engineered, yet, due to its well thought-out mechanics, was eminently affordable. It carried an initial price tag of just $54.50. As Ruger wrote to Jack O’Connor a few months before the 10/22 was introduced, “…from a technological point of view, the new 10/22 is one of the best things we have done.”
On March 24, 1964, Ruger sent proofs from its upcoming catalog, announcing the new .22 rifle, to gun writers. At that time, however, only three preproduction prototypes existed. But later that spring, at the 1964 NRA Annual Meeting, attendees got to see and handle the rifle in Ruger’s booth, even though it wasn’t officially announced in gun magazines until June of that year.

“The New Ruger 10/22 .22 Caliber R.F. Self-Loader,” that first advertising headline proclaimed, was “the ultimate in logical design.” And indeed it was.
The trigger-housing group could be easily dropped out of the rifle for cleaning, and disassembly was simple enough to require only a screwdriver and a punch. Its barrel screwed in, making subsequent replacements and upgrades simple. The receiver was investment cast of aircraft-grade aluminum, as were the trigger guard and buttplate. Metal parts were either blued or anodized blue-black, and the stock was walnut. Its 18.5-inch barrel was topped with a simple, but effective, fold-down leaf rear sight and a gold-bead front post. Lock time was fast, and combined with twin anchoring points for the six-groove barrel with its 1:16-inch twist rifling, accuracy was exceptional. But perhaps most revolutionary—an apropos word in this case—was the 10/22’s 10-shot rotary magazine, a concept that took its inspiration from Ruger’s admiration of the rotary magazine in the Savage 99.

Needless to say, the 10/22 proved extremely popular, especially for shooters who already owned a Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine because it served as the perfect companion piece. However, with its easy-to-carry weight of only 5.25 pounds, the rifle also found immediate favor as an economical plinker and a fast-handling small-game rifle. A more sleekly styled Sporter—sans barrel band and with a rubber recoil pad—was introduced in 1966, with a hand-checkered variant coming out a year later. There was also a version with a Monte Carlo comb, plus a full-stocked Mannlicher-style model, which did not have the staying power of other stock configurations.
In 1980, with the cost of walnut escalating, Ruger switched to birch stocks. Still later, the stocks were changed to maple. Laminated stocks were introduced in 1986, and a stainless steel barrel was offered in 1992. Recently, the trigger housing was changed from aluminum to polymer.
Today, the 10/22 exists in five basic configurations. The Carbine is still made in the style of the original 1960s version, although with an improved, extended magazine release (one of the few distractions—along with a sluggish trigger pull—of the earlier 10/22s), which has become standard on all models. In addition to hardwood stocks, there are options like synthetic stocks, and a stainless steel barrel and receiver. A continuation of the original 10/22, the Sporter model features a checkered American walnut stock along with sling swivels.

The Compact model has an uncheckered hardwood stock, a fiber-optic front sight and a 16-inch barrel. Capitalizing on the 10/22’s penchant for accuracy, the Target model sports a crisply tuned trigger and a 20-inch bull barrel without sights, but it’s drilled and tapped for a scope. Its laminate stock also contains sling swivels. Finally, the Tactical model is available with a 16-inch, crowned bull barrel or a standard-contour barrel ending in a removable flash suppressor.
Although devoid of iron sights, the 10/22 Tactical comes with a scope base and is offered with either a black synthetic or Hogue Overmolded stock. The latter version is shipped with an adjustable bipod.

It is the Tactical model that has extended the 10/22’s popularity far beyond the target ranges and hunting fields. A number of these rifles have been equipped with suppressors and supplied to various law enforcement organizations as well as the military for use in covert operations. In its camo guise, it is a favorite for commandos and has been issued to such elite units as the Navy SEALs.”
( From Shooting Illustrated Thanks to Rick Hacker)

There are other versions and so many aftermarket stocks, sights, and magazines that it’s impossible to mention them all.
The 10-22’s accuracy is legendary. It’s not inconceivable to get 1 inch groups out-of-the-box with the right ammunition. It can get better! Match barrels and triggers are available to increase that accuracy.
This is not really about the 10-22. This is about a magazine accessory by the company Alangator. It’s called the TriMag triple magazine coupler. I have many 20 and 25 round magazines for my 10-22 but this little beauty turns into a 30 round mag. It holds 3 10 round rotary magazines together in a central clamp. This allows the shooter to change magazines quickly and tripling the 10-22’s firepower. Another advantage is that the profile of this configuration. It does not hang down low like a 20 round magazine. If you live in a state that limits your magazine capacity, this would also be a viable answer. Be mindful of your 10-22’s stock. Make sure this item will work with the stock you have on your gun. Sometimes just one 10 round magazine sticks during magazine ejection. This product also takes care of that problem. In a pinch you can use this tri mag as a rifle rest if needed.
I love this product and think it would be handy to have 2 or 3 for your 10-22. What? You don’t have a 10-22? First get one, then buy several of these couplers for another answer to having ammo accessible.

Check ‘em out and get back to us with your experience.

Semper Paratus


Storing Ammo

Do you store Ammo? If so, why?

I have stored ammunition for 25 years at least. Every person who shoots usually stores some ammunition. If you shoot on any type of regular basis you would need to store some ammo. It wouldn’t make any sense to go to the store every time you shoot unless you only shot every 4 or 5 months. But these days sometimes the ammo you want is not in the store. Plus, ammo can be expensive, so buying in bulk just makes economic sense. If you and a family member takes a gun class, you could be looking at anywhere from 500 to 1000 rounds in just one weekend. Couple that with a regular schedule of practice shooting (anywhere from 50 to 200 rounds) then having 5 thousand rounds stored may only get you through about 2 to 3 months worth of ammunition. I shoot at least 100 rounds of ammunition per session at the range, sometimes more. During the Summer months I do this weekly. That’s 400 to 500 rounds per month. 5000 rounds doesn’t sound like a lot of rounds to store anymore does it? That is just me shooting. If my wife and kids join me, you could conceivably double that amount per month. That doesn’t include hunting, sighting in rifles, and breaking in a new gun. Would I be called an extremist to have 10,000 rounds stored? If someone were to ask me why I store ammo I would say “Because I shoot.” Of course if you don’t shoot, you may not understand how much ammunition you would actually go through.
There was a survey taken at this website that concludes that most people on average store between 1000 and 5000 rounds. I think I would agree that this amount is probably the average.

There are various reasons for storing ammunition. As LDS members we are encouraged to store “enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead.” Does this include guns and ammunition? According to a regional Conference talk given by Elder Dallin Oaks the members in that region should work on their food storage not "arms and ammunition." Now I may be wrong, but I suggest Elder Oaks was trying to make a point to his audience. I don’t think he was referring to the Church as a whole. There is a reason talks like that are not recorded and distributed. When I go to a Stake Conference in California and hear from a general authority, I am not receiving counsel to members in Spain or North Carolina. Some may not agree with me and I respect that. Our leaders are called of God. But they are men with their own opinions. They will not go against Church policy or doctrine, but I know Elder Oaks has legal opinions just as Elder Nelson has medical opinions. I do agree that if you don’t have food and water stored then your focus should probably be there rather than ammo.
I have been shooting my entire life. I’ve hunted, competed, and instructed and my hobby is guns. I enjoy them, but I try not to let them dominate my life. Just as anyone with an interest that could take over their lives I’ve had to rein in my involvement at times. We all should have balance in our lives. Just as we should balance how we use our time, it can be a financial burden to store ammo. A little at a time is the best way. I do like the economy of bulk buying. That way, instead of buying 100 rounds at a time, I try to buy 1000 rounds at a time less often. In the long run it’s more economical. But we should practice moderation in all things. Practice moderation but we should be realistic. If you want ammo for protection, hunting, and just survival reasons, pick a number of rounds to be comfortable with. But unless you practice some, protection and hunting won’t happen, so allow some ammunition for training also. Unless you want to compete or something more intense, you can probably practice with 50 to 100 rounds every few weeks. (For you operators and competitors out there, I know this isn’t much). With that amount you can maintain a moderate skill. I would also recommend training. Take more than just one class, but something on going. Just as we need to continue medical and other training, using weapons and self defence is something that should be learned over and over again. When you hear in the media about someone being arrested and having “thousands” of rounds “hoarded”, you’ll have a better idea if the facts are exaggerated or not.

I know of no restrictions or laws of the amount of ammunition you can keep and store. There may be local restrictions so check and be aware of your local ordinances and laws. In storing ammo you need to keep in mind ammos enemies. Moisture and heat are NOT your friends when you store ammo. You may have seen in the movies or TV where ammunition “went off” in a structure fire. This is not true. What does happen is the ammo will explode individually. It will not be like random rounds are shooting all over the place. The danger is real for small, low velocity shrapnel going every which way. This is what the experts found.

NRA technical expert Julian Hatcher and his team conducted numerous tests. Page 145 of "The NRA Fact Book" states:
“When small arms ammunition is burned, cartridge cases may burst open and bits of brass may fly about, but not with any great velocity, and usually not with force enough to be dangerous to life. The bullets generally have even less velocity than the brass cartridge cases, and it is necessary for the powder to be rather strongly confined to develop any velocity in a bullet. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufactures’ Institute (SAMMI) reported a demonstration made by taking a large quantity of metallic cartridges and shotgun shells and burning them in a fire of oil soaked wood. The cartridges and shells exploded from time to time, but there was no general explosion of throwing off of bullets or shot to any distance. … The test showed that small arms ammunition when subjected to fire will not explode simultaneously but piece by piece, and then the material of which the cartridge and shells are composed will usually not fly more than a few feet.”
Subsequently, NRA staff conducted similar tests and surrounded the fire with cardboard. They found that neither the cases nor the bullets that flew any distance had enough energy to penetrate the cardboard.

So this means the danger is not what fiction depicts. This is one of the reason there are more restrictions and warnings about where you store your gasoline than anything about ammunition.
After all this I will repeat my original question. Do you store ammo? And why?
Love to hear from you.

Semper Paratus