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.

another DUH moment

have finally given in and joined the local indoor range.  Don’t need to worry about the weather or the time of day or who else might be there.  Its a bit further to drive than our unofficial outdoor site, but don’t have to carry targets and other stuff, and can then go on to other errands like groceries.  Its also a guaranteed break in my week – I’m doing this one day a week, period.

So as I’m seeing my abilities improve, am also having the big DUH moments about upgrading my guns; improving my sights, changing out my grips.  This came about when the simple sights on the GP100 broke – again – and the same cheap blade sights are what are available UNLESS they are completely upgraded to either fiber optic or tritium night sights.  and???  So trying out the fiber optic ones, as I’ve enjoyed them in the past – and the are half the price of the others.

Then there is my old Colt Cobra.  The thing is amazing accurate, but the grips are horrid and it is not fun to shoot!  Again, DUH!!! change out the grips.  Its not an original collector gun having been refinished, so why not use it and enjoy it?   Looked it up, it was made in 1976.  found three different Pachmayar grips offered and went with the one that was considered TOO big.  Am not looking to conceal, but to comfortably use.


just plain old DUH!!



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.

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.


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?


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.


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

reading and stuff

am one of those people the modern meme is about. You know the one : my parents watch the debates so they know how much food to put away in the basement”.   Yeah, that’s me.  SO there is lots of stuff going on as winter approaches, the farmer’s market is filled with fresh squash (far more than what I can grow), and other good things.    I’m working with the dehydrator, going to learn how to ferment veggies and have the dummies guide to Ham Radio at the ready for winter reading.  Also knitting long sleeve sweaters and discovering the comfort of FINALLY being able to carry on body regularly instead of killing my shoulders with always purse carrying.

So on to this blog’s book review: Lights Out by Ted Koppel.

If you know someone whom you would like to hit over the head with a 2×4 to wake them up to how close to the abyss we are, this is the book for them to read.  Hey, its Ted Koppel. We all know Ted Koppel, award winning journalist, night time visitor to most homes in America, respected reporter.  Well, it seems Ted has become a prepper!  Guess it was lurking for him anyway – it seems he got to spend his early childhood in London during the Blitz – and then, like a lot of people, he read One Second After by Wm Forstchen.  I’ve not read that one, and many of you haven’t either, but for some reason a lot of people who normally wouldn’t read such books have. Its life for a man in a small east coast town after a country wide EMP attack.  And it seems to have put the burr under the saddle for a lot of folks, including Ted Koppel.

Lights Out isn’t about an EMP, though he does explore that possibility, this is about how insecure our electrical grid system is, particularly to cyber attack.

Now what makes this book different than all others is, ONE its by Ted Koppel and TWO Ted gets to interview all kinds of AUTHORITIES on the subject: NSA, DHS, DOD, FEMA, and other government agency types, past and present.  He interviews the CEO’s of the electrical companies and gets the real scoop on how the current electrical distribution system runs.  He’s interviewing people who are working real world Cyber Security. There is much discussion on how the authorities would handle such a situation, where and how they could evacuate folks, how they would get them supplies, and how long it would take to put it all back together.  Oh yeah, the answers are, when someone was willing to give them, was NOT.

He gets into the Mormen’s whole system of storing and distribution of supplies and the WHY of what they do.  He talks to a guy who worries about the security of Cody Wyoming and what makes them different than folks in NYC.  He talks to Ray Kelly, Rudy Giulliani and what worked in NYC after 9/11.  he talks about real cyber attacks that have taken place and how they were able to be pulled off.  He talks about the world wide political picture that shapes our current thought processes.  he talks about how long it would take to implement ANY system that would make what we have more secure.

This is not fiction, nor is it some hysterical ‘wing nut’. This is Ted Koppel, of the neat hair style, the calm speech, the informed journalist and investigative reporter.

So if you have some folks who need a bit of a wake up call so they are not pounding on your door one day expecting to share in what you have put away, give them this book as their holiday gift.

BTW, after reading this book, cyber attack on our grid has moved much further down my list of possible things that could happen, while a north Korean launched EMP has moved UP, especially as a west coaster!  I now see failure of our grid as a possibility from any number of different scenerios, none having to do with cyber attack, but all having to do with human fraility, the age and complexity of the system, and the lack of awareness most people bring to their jobs.   I see the possibility of local failures and having the system shut those areas of the country out of the loop to protect the big grid and it still taking months to years to repair that local damage and getting it back up and running.

Cyber attacks I see happening more to our economic system.  Think economic unrest would do more damage to the system as a whole than bringing down the grid.  It would create the kind of unrest among the people that can bring down a government and leave a leadership gap because there could still be communications and large scale planning.  taking down the grid would lead to unrest, but without communications, groups could not plan anything to act in concert.

at least that’s how I felt after reading this book and looking at all the “evidence” Ted presents.  Your take might vary, and at $17 for the hardcover (a little less for the Kindle) doubt that you would put this on your necessary reading list.  But, again, if you have someone who needs a wake up call as to how delicate our balance really is, it could be money well spent.

On another note, this book came to my awareness when I got an e-mail from some politician in Oregon who was basically their DHS guy and it freaked him out enough (along with One Second After) to send out a blanket e-mail with details about what minimum supplies they should have for at least 3 months cause if any of this should happen, there wouldn’t be any help coming from them!