working out at the range

Having recently gotten off my duff and joined (and am using) our local range, am having the opportunity to really shoot my hand guns, as well as my rifles.

And in doing so, am winnowing out some of my earlier choices.

Take for example my beloved side ported, compact 45 Springfield purchased some 20 years ago.  At the time, LOVED that gun.  Its still a great gun, but arthritis has made it not so user friendly anymore, so sold that about 5 years ago.

A couple of years ago had purchased a wonderful Ruger 1911 TALO edition.  LOVED it,  but again, arthritis made racking that slide tough.  The larger size gun and heavier weight made it easier to use than the Springfield because the weight countered the recoil.  But not being able to rack the slide with any consistency, especially when it hung up on the slide lock and I couldn’t reach round with my thumb to release it.  So sold the gun.

Just put new grips on my 40 year old Colt Cobra.  Makes it easier to hold on to, but that recoil on that small gun is tough to overcome, especially when shooting single handed.  The same is true for the original Ruger LCR I bought some 10 years ago.  So one is probably going to go.

And that leads to another thought; shoot the largest gun you can handle.  Some of you have small hands.  Some of you are buying for concealibility.  Well, you can camouflage a pretty big gun if necessary.  BUT the real reason I say this, is the larger and heavier the gun, the easier it will be to control recoil and get back on target.

This is not the old bigger is better argument, I don’t care if you’re shooting a .380!  I’ve seen those and they are barely bigger than my hand.  like the .38’s, they are tough to hold onto and control!  Ruger is making one almost the size of a compact 9mm and was really tempted!  But if I’m going to go that big, will just go for the compact 9mm!

Now THAT is the bigger is better argument!! 😉

But even those with smaller hands can go comfortably into the compact 9mm size without trouble, instead of playing it safe with one of those teeny .38’s that’s hardly bigger than a sneeze.

Because honestly, it will definitely have to be TEOTWAWKI before we will find ourselves in a running gun battle with multiple targets from 100 yards.  Any self defense situation we might encounter will be very up close and personal.  and pretty much anything is effective at close range if you are in a fight for your life.

So get what you will be physically comfortable with and practice, practice, practice.  Join a range where you can rent different guns and let your mental level come to the same level as your physical ability.  Try and then buy.

Wish I’d taken my own advice, I’d have saved thousands.  cause you don’t sell them used for anything near what you paid for them new.

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for the women

Saturday will once again be joining the Ladies that Shoot.

If you want to learn how to shoot, what to get to get together with women who like to shoot, check out The Well Armed Woman web page and look to see if they have a chapter near you.   Have been shopping with TWAW for several years, and a couple of years ago, Carrie set up this chapter arrangement and it has become HUGE!  Live in a small city myself so have to travel about an hour either north or south to get to a chapter (and the chapter north meets on weekday evenings – way past my bedtime!).

Meetings are usually held at a shooting range, with reasonable priced range time afterwards.  Chapter leaders are NRA instructors, all women.  Depending on the chapter they have “roadtrips”, contests, etc.

A great opportunity to learn about guns, and how to use them properly.

women shooting

This is a blatant plug for the Well Armed Woman shooting chapters.  Carrie started this business several years ago to bring information, gear and empowerment to women shooters and it has EXPLODED.  One of the first of the women focused shooting businesses out there,  she has started shooting chapters, which have caught on in pretty much every state.  These are local groups organized and run by local women – all NRA shooting instructors.  Women teaching women.

There are none in my immediate town, at least an hour’s drive to get to the nearest whether I go north or south.  The one to my north meets on weekdays, so went south yesterday.  about 30 members, 13 showed up, 5 hit the range afterwards.  Yes, they are all set up for range time after.  Yes, you pay for the range time, but usually discounted for members of the chapter.  Good time for instruction and to learn discipline (which I sorely lack after too many years shooting on informal outdoor ranges without professional instruction).

Admit, it was a little disconcerting to feel my ejected cartridges bouncing off my head!  They were hitting the side walls and bouncing back on me.  The first one was a surprise, then it became common place as they were not hitting my face.   Shredded my target!!  Good times!!

So while some women lunch, and some meet to knit and quilt, I’ll be heading to the range with the girls!

Strongly suggest checking them out!  ALSO, many ranges are recognizing women are taking to shooting big time and are starting to cater to them with special classes and similar groups.  Also a wider range of shooting products; particularly carry purses.  While I have a great Roma purse, I’m a woman and like to be able to switch styles now and again so looked at the HUGE selection the store had.  Since my guns are all BIG (full size – no compacts) that limits the purses I can use.  Found a beauty but when I looked at the price ($387!) figured I would rather buy another gun!!  Was looking at a nice Ruger .380 semi auto.  A little bigger than most I’ve seen and very tempting for under $400!!  A nice back up gun option.

you cannot petition the lord with prayer

So said Jim Morrison, and exactly what does that have to do with this blog?

Recently I posted a blog expressing my concerns, my fears, and asking questions and was immediately blasted about spreading fake news and what was I doing about it.  Like a lot of people who are extremely unhappy with how things are going right now, this person was not specific about their POV, but still wanted to know what solutions I was bringing to the table. So what the hell, I’ll address some of the specific things that I’ve heard people protesting about. and I’ll talk about some of the things I’m unhappy about.

And that leads me to the title of this blog.  As someone who has been politically active for 50 years – yes, even before I had the right to vote – one of the things I’ve learned is “THEY” are not going to do anything about anything.  It MUST come from We The People.  and as an example, I’m going back to the dawn of time, the era before there were seat belts in cars.  If you aren’t that old, I’m going to suggest you check out some classic American cars, especially from the 50’s.  You will find cars that have more square footage than modern Tiny Homes!  and they did not have seat belts.  When a car would only do 25 or 35 miles an hour top speed, it wasn’t such a big deal. But by the 50’s it was BIG, HEAVY cars and HORSEPOWER.  people could drive at 100mph!  and when something that weighed 3 tons was traveling at those speeds and came to a sudden stop there was a lot of momentum for the contents of those vehicles and they usually ended up traveling forward, straight through the windshield!

And the cry was “They should do something about that”!  Well, seat belts were an option, an expensive one at that, costing about $150-$200 a pair, installed in the front seats.  But did people take that option?  No. it was too expensive.  Then when they went through the windshield of their car and were crippled or died, again, “They should do something about that” was heard.  So THEY did and made in mandatory to install seat belts.  and the prices of cars went up $500.  Yes, people would rather spend $500 at the dealer than spend $200 on their own.  and the word was made law.

But people still did not use their seat belts so ignition locks and automatic shoulder harnesses and beepers and flashing lights were invented.

And people used their seat belts but drove with their dogs and their kids on their laps. Or let them play in those spacious back seats until they had to come to a sudden stop and dogs and kids would continue on through the windshield and the people said “They should do something about that”.  So the law was passed about restraining your kids and not driving with anyone or anything on your lap.

Because people had stopped thinking and taking responsibility for themselves and were waiting for “THEM” to do something about it.  and that was then, and its gotten worse.

So back to modern times and people are unhappy.  Which is not unusual. No matter who is President, no matter who is in congress, there are people who are unhappy about it.  So what to do.

Well, if you are just unhappy with Donald Trump, the answer is Suck it up, buttercup!  Do you think everyone liked Ike (I Like Ike was one of his campaign slogans)? Think JFK won EVERY vote? that  people were as unhappy about the W winning the election  as they were about DT winning?  That’s how it goes. A lot of people were greatly disappointed in Obama, while others think he was the best president ever.  Both are right, because it is THEIR opinion and we are NOT marching in lockstep in this country. There are winners and their are losers and in part that is what keeps America on an even goal. We swing left, we swing right, not going too far in either direction, and averaging in the middle.  You work on the specific issues that are important to you – healthcare, poverty, the environment, etc – and you work to make sure there is a change at the next election.  THAT is the American way.

Some people say they want clean air, clean water, and good clean organic food.  At which I’ve got to say “where the hell have you been”?  The W put through the law that created Ethanol gasoline.  Causing BIG AG to start planting corn everywhere they could.  Corn is a heavy feeder and instead of rotating crops and letting the ground recover between plantings, it was chemical fertilizer to the rescue – which ran off into lakes, streams and rivers causing algae blooms and killing fish and leaving heavy chemical residues to leach into the ground and aquifers.  The last 8 years saw a VERY heavy shift to GMO’s.  that started 20 years ago (which would be the Clinton administration – and Hilary was a big proponent of GMO’s), but the big push has been in the last 8 years with more and more farmers being coerced into buying GMO seeds and using Round Up like it was irrigation water!  and DAMN the consequences.  Now Round Up doesn’t work anymore so there is a new batch of GMO seeds coming on the market along with a new round of herbicides.  and why doesn’t round up work anymore? because nature can do GMO’s too.  PLUS, once those genes are out there, they are there FOREVER and do cross into other species.

Yes, the GOP is dreadful on environmental issues – From their attitudes when Carter was trying for grass roots conservation and them saying “Its our right to use our resources in any way we see fit and if there is nothing left for our grandchildren, that will be their challenge to overcome” to Reagan’s interior Secretary James Watt and his condemnation of “environmental Extremists”.   BUT Fracking got a big push during the Obama administration and while we were all celebrating the demise of the Keystone Pipeline, he was okaying others left right and center, including the Dakota Access Pipeline which most of us wouldn’t never have heard of if it wasn’t for the Sioux tribes standing up against it.

Alternate energy sources are not the solution either.  BIG carbon footprint to build those windmills and solar panels.  The solution is to CUT our energy usage, not just find ways to keep being gluttons and what ever cost – because the cost is HUGE!

So yeah, the environment is at a tipping point.  Things like the heavy metals from the Animas water spill last year will NEVER be cleaned out of the river and WILL be detrimental to the people who use that river water, especially the Navajo that rely on it for irrigation of their crops.  Like GMO’s, we’ve reached a point where we have really limited our choices.

Then you have the over regulation of the organic food industry – now that’s something that can be worked on – that has made it impossible for organic growers to keep up with demand. and that has lead to things like Whole Foods marketing Organics when they are being imported from countries where there is NO regulation or certification for organic.

The only choice here is speak with your wallet.  Stop buying from groceries. Go to your farmer’s market, support your local growers, your artisan bread and cheese makers. Learn to make your own, grow your own if you can.  YOU are responsible for your well being.  Stop buying plastics; plastic bottles  – want Soda? get a Soda Stream and make your own. Get a water filter instead of buying cases of plastic bottled water which is often no better than your own tap water anyway!  Maybe that Berky water filter is expensive, but how much are spending every week on plastic?  Stop replacing your smart phone every time the latest model comes out.  Keep your car for 10 or 20 years.  The overall carbon footprint from keeping an old car is much lower than replacing it with a new one every few years to keep up with technology.  Keep your computer until it dies.  Use rechargeable batteries. Stop using plastic bags.  They are illegal in San Francisco, but why wait for someone else to TELL YOU that they are bad and FORCE you to change.

Be the Change You Want to See!!

Health care.  This is a biggie.  Before the Affordable Care act went into effect, a lot of doctors were establishing their own health care systems.  and this is a great idea. They were creating co-ops that their patients bought into guaranteeing them doctor visits and doctor time.  There are health savings accounts available that allow you to deposit money into them with a tax savings and that tax savings holds as long as that money is being used for health care, including glasses and dentists.  There are no minimum deposits, although there are yearly maximums.  and unlike your health care plan, the money accumulates, so if you don’t use it for years and years, you will have a healthy chunk in there should you need it. and it has no previous condition clause.  Top that all off with a catastrophic plan – usually minimum premiums with BIG deductibles – and you’re fairly well covered.  But all this needs to each individual taking personal responsibility for taking care of themselves and their families.

It does not mean we don’t keep the Medicaid program for those who need it, it just means the rest of us don’t lean on the government, but take care of our own.

Refugees – back in the day (post VietNam) we brought in a lot of refugees under private sponsorship.  What has happened to that?  Churches, quilting groups, bridge clubs, anyone who wanted to, would do the work of sponsorship. They provided jobs, places to live, made sure the refugees had clothing, health care, education opportunities, counseling if needed.  They didn’t wait for THEM to do something, they took responsibility and action.

The best poverty programs were always private and local.  People who could address what was needed in their communities because one size does NOT fit all.  Again, it means take responsibility, being active, being involved. Not expecting THEM to do something about it.

and lets be honest, is it appropriate to make someone else pay for YOUR conscience? you don’t want to pay for theirs, so why should they pay for yours?

Now one of the issues I hear a lot is “rights”.  What exactly does that mean?  We all have certain inalienable rights, guaranteed by law.  That does not mean people can be regulated out of being prejudiced.  It means they should not act on their hatred.  Unfortunately, ALL LAWS, are only enforceable AFTER the fact.  You can arrest someone for an act of hate, you can’t stop them from hating.  You can’t stop someone from drinking, only arrest them after they have driven DUI and done harm. You can’t stop someone from robbing the corner grocery store, only arrest them after the fact.  THEY cannot do something about it.  If you feel your rights have been compromised, call the ACLU. That is their job, to guarantee you are getting your constitutional rights.  Civil Forfeiture, the ACLU should be right on  it.  Unfortunately, they’ve been letting that one slide.  Matter of fact, they have been letting a lot of those civil liberty abuses slide.  But they are willing to be right there when its some event that will get them a lot of publicity.

If you don’t want civil liberty abuses, you want your rights, then work to guarantee EVERYONE their rights, even the ones you don’t agree with.  You can’t take someone’s rights away because you don’t agree with them, then expect them to support the ones you want!  That means you don’t like Donald Trump, you still have to let the ones who do have their way.  It isn’t just about YOU, its about EVERYONE!

Abortion is a common theme.  Well, abortion is legal under Roe vs Wade and that’s been challenged on a regular basis for the last 50 years. Its gone before conservative courts and its gone before liberal courts.  Every case is different and as long as people have the right to challenge a court decision, it will continue to come up.  Do you want to take away that right? then what other rights are you going to give up to make that happen.  Yes, you can’t take away other people’s rights because you don’t agree with their stance.  We’re back to Suck It Up, Buttercup.

Of course, I feel that people who are against abortion should be putting THEIR money where their mouth is. They should be providing support to that mother, making sure that baby is taken care of, goes into a good home.  Not making others pay for their conscience.

This is all hard.  Its much easier to say, Someone should do something about it.  But it always comes down to, you get results when you put in the effort.  If its your job, you get the paycheck, the raise, the promotion, for what you put into it.  If its your family, you get the good kids, the good lifestyle, for what you put into it.  If its your community, you get the good neighborhood for what you put into it.

If you are going to sit back and say “someone should do something about it”, you are just adrift in the stream and you will get stuck on the bank, or bang your head on the rocks, you’ll get tumbled by the rapids. So grab an oar and be the someone who is doing something about it, what ever IT may be.

 

now the election is over

Please don’t get too comfortable with a Republican in office as to attacks on the constitution, especially the second amendment

We have seen a weakening of our rights on many levels over the years, with some of the most grievous being under Bush after 9/11/01.  So please, don’t get fooled by the ruckus raised about guns while the other rights are being hacked away.

AND

Watch for action at the local levels. Even with the GOP sitting in 33 out of 50 state legislatures, there will still be moves, like Bloomberg’s Universal Background Check bill which is slowly making its way across the country.  Have heard that Nevada passed that this most recent election (11/8/17).  It is presented in a way that seems innocent – we want to keep guns out of the hands of the undesirables, so even private sales should have background checks.  And who can argue with that thought?

BUT

what it really says is “no transfer” of guns without background checks, which means I can’t let my uncle George take my .357 down to the range for some target shooting when he visits from NY!  I can’t give my lever action 22 Henry to my 25 year old nephew to help introduce him to the sport.   I can’t even sell it to him without a background check.  You can’t give your son or daughter their first gun for duck hunting, plinking, or target shooting.

And there will be other ways they will try to get regulations through. Rules about where or when you can be armed even with your CCW.  Gun Free Zones will be your church, your mall, your movie theatre, the concert you wanted to attend with your favorite golden oldies band.  And while those might seem to be places where you can agree to being gun free, if they don’t provide secure storage for your weapon while you are there you will either have to lock it in your car or leave it at home.

Watch for attempts to weaken stand your ground laws like changing them to Run Hide Fight.  Your last option is to defend yourself, not your first?

So be aware and be careful out there.

further comments

on belly bands.

As an overweight woman who carries a full size gun, usually a 4″ barrel .357 revolver, am a fan of the belly band.  Of course, I usually push it so it is more of a hip band than around the belly.  They are really nice as they easily sit under those elastic waist skirts and pants, even yoga pants and leggings!  they can also be positioned to hold the gun in what ever position is best for the user accommodating all our various rolls and excesses.

BUT

do not like the Velcro adjustable bands.  There’s a long list of reasons why and though I suggest getting a cheap one to practice with and trial, you will soon figure out why I don’t like them for regular wear.

That is what led to the CanCan concealment holster with its hook and eye closure.

Have now found the Hidden Heat Wrap from Miss Concealed Carry on ETSY.  It is deeper than the CanCan so the end of the gun isn’t sitting out into your leg.  The pocket of the holster has an inner band to give a secure grip to the barrel, the elastic is an open material so it has more breathe-ability, PLUS it has a zipper PLUS the hook and eye, so once its fitted, you don’t have to play with those hooks and eyes anymore.

Yes, pushing it down onto my hip, the bottom sits low but it doesn’t cut into my thighs when I sit like some of the others and not having the gun barrel jamming into my leg or the bare metal rubbing on my skin is a whole level up in comfort!nov-holster

carrying for women

STILL looking for that comfortable way to carry.  As I’ve worked my way up from a Ruger .38LCR to my Ruger 1911 and/or GP141, its become more difficult.

Have found a nice carry purse that works for me.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F2DJ32K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It has a nice size open pocket for holding many things, which I augmented with a fancy large make up bag to hold all those small things like nail file, chapstick, eye drops, pen, tape measure, etc.  The holster area accommodates either my 4″ revolver or my 5″ 1911. Using the usual Velcro held holster, which is relatively small, it takes either of the above without any printing, and comes with locking zippers. The bag comes brown with black, or black with brown.

but ultimately, want to be able to on body carry.  Summer in AZ with 100+ temps!!  Want to wear skirts or loose light weight pants rather than jeans.  None of the first two allow waistband carry of a full size heavy gun, and jeans with a tight belt are just not comfortable.  So that leads to a belly band, or a CanCan hip belt.

Then, with any on body carry, the grip is against the skin, so that was another dilemma which has been solved with the discovery of camisoles with underwires.  Some of these are touted to be like SPANX, but are cheap and have very little trimming effect BUT that snugness (NOT tightness) helps these camisoles act as bras without the binding of bands and wider shoulder bands.  There are also lacy concoctions with underwires that support and are pretty too. they all can replace bras, and are long on the torso keeping the grip off bare skin.

The Belly bands sit a little high on me, but with my stomach size, its either going to sit high (maybe an under arm cross draw may work better than on the hip), OR it has to set really low on the hips so it doesn’t just roll back up to where it is now.  Also, being heavy, the closest fit is wearing it between 4 and 5 o’clock on the body.  And I’m loathe to wear it like that in the car and have the metal pressing into the leather seats on his new car! which means the cross draw might work better again.  I’m not ready to invest in the CanCan yet.  Am using cheaper belly bands in a variety of configurations until I’ve got the method and manner down.

So right now, its the band in and around the house and back to the purse when out and about shopping and running errands.