Usually I’m More Function Over Form…

I don’t really like rifles that will just live on a wall and look pretty.  It’s a tool.  Period dot.

I did however see a rifle I want on my wall oh so badly.

EagleHenry

Seriously.  I think I might be getting myself one for Christmas if I have the cash.

h004es_eagle_left h004es_eagle_right

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

A Lesson About Safe Storage Devices

So I have seen this before but I figure it’s a nice refresher.

Note the results, still think those little boxes you see will keep your property safe?  Especially those quick access boxes some end up buying when they’re stuck in one of those states lacking in freedom and pushing tyranny.  Still think the arguments are really about your safety or preventing theft?

If you think curious kids can’t figure out how to pick a lock, you obviously never saw me as a child.  I figured out how to pick locks at first just with paper clips.  Making my own tension fork and rake to pop simple locks.  Eventually I got my hands on a real set.  Yeah, beyond a real safe and educating your children, you’re not going to do much other than increase curiosity.

So consider this a public service announcement and a warning.  If you’re using any of these items, be damn sure of their capabilities and weaknesses.  In so doing, be sure to use them in a manner consistent with their abilities.  I happen to fully agree with the presenters final conclusions.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Friday Pick Me Up

I like me some dark black humor and that was a good jab at the current situation.

A friend who’s still a student told me last night he brought his 22 lr from home to plink with.  I chuckled and said, “You have 22 for it right.”  He didn’t realize the crunch had tightened the noose around even 22 ammo.

I don’t know how long this crunch is going to hold out, but I can tell you I am watching bulletin boards for the moment when guys start trying to sell ammo to make a mortgage payment.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Quote of the Day–Caleb Giddings(12/11/2012)

Mr Coates has a luxury that we don’t; the luxury of anger. He can afford to get mad at people in traffic, to confront people in the grocery check-out line, and those little moments of anger that we all have on any given day. I can’t afford them. It’s not because there’s a monster in me waiting to shoot people. It’s because I’m worried about the monster inside everyone else, and I would like to go the rest of my life without ever drawing a gun in anger again. At the end of the day I don’t carry a gun because I’m hoping to shoot people any more than I wear my seat belt because I’m hoping to get in a car crash. I carry a gun in case someone decides that the contents of my wallet are more valuable to them than my life is; and I wear my seatbelt in case someone decides that the text message from their friend is more important than looking at the road while doing 90 on the freeway.

Caleb Giddings – The luxury of anger

December 11th, 2012


[It’s amazing how many people don’t seem to be able to comprehend the above.  I remember one time while carrying someone trying to provoke something and just ignoring it.  Insults were thrown and I merely chugged on.  If verbal abuse is what that guy needed to feel better about himself, well I ultimately feel sorry for him and those around him.  I however ultimately didn’t care because honestly throughout my life I’ve learned to not give a crap about what some stranger thinks of me.  He may think I’m a coward and he can think all he wants.

But here’s a random thought?  Who’s the real problem?  The man who ignores verbal insults and attempts to deescalate the situation, or the guy who commits assault along with other petty crimes?  I carry a gun for the same reason as Caleb.  While some in this world may consider it their goal in life to provoke physical altercations and go looking for trouble, there is a great many of us who walk through our lives with only one request and one goal, “Leave me the hell alone.” Many of us will go through great lengths to just be left alone, including trying to deescalate, go the other direction, etc.

I don’t know how to describe it, but carrying a firearm causes a great sense of responsibility to well from within.  So much so I don’t care about petty issues.  I know my monster and I know how to control him.  When I strap on the firearm, the chains become tighter.  Not because I’m afraid of him getting out, but because at that point the times when he can act become considerably more limited and reserved.  Ultimately many issues that I might have otherwise been angry or upset about just result in me not caring because in the grand scheme it doesn’t matter. –B]

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Acceptance and an Ugly Truth

Let me lead off on a quote from A Girl:

The reasons are many and complicated and are not the same for everyone, but to some extent I think for most it is simply because it is what we want to believe. Many of us are conditioned and many of us are naive, but there is more to it. I believe we accept these ineffective ways to keep us safe because they are what we want to be true. We want to believe that the world is basically a rosy place where bad things don’t happen to good people and when they do they are so rare, we need not worry about it. AND we want what is easy.

If you haven’t read her post, “I Believe, I Believe. It Is Silly, But I Believe,” it’s worth the time.  I point to her post because it, mainly that quote, is honestly what inspired the following train of thoughts through my head.


People naturally tend to rationalize away things they do not like, things they do not want to hear, or things that would otherwise bring them discomfort.  While every last one of those points are valid and extremely important it misses probably the most critical one of all. 

What could she have missed?  She has that bad exists in the world, some are naïve, and that ultimately we want those simple things to be true.  So what critical item do I think was left out?

A very ugly truth that not everyone can handle or accept.  That truth is this:

In the defense of my family or myself I may have to strike another human being.  Not only may I have to strike that person, but I may be forced to take their life in defense of my family or myself in order to stop the attack.

Many people cannot handle this.  We are brought up in a society where doing such a thing is viewed with great disdain and shunned, and rightfully so when life is taken for the wrong reasons.  Many people group all killing into that single group.  For them there is no acceptable reason to kill another human being.  Not even to kill them to prevent them from killing you.

Not only as a society is this shunned, but many people lock up at even contemplating the fact they may be force to take the life of another human being.  It is not entirely their fault either.  We are wired genetically to not want to kill each other.

There can be no doubt that this resistance to killing one’s fellow man is there and that it exists as a result of a powerful combination of instinctive, rational, environmental, hereditary, cultural, and social factors.  It is there, it is strong, and it gives us cause to believe that there may just be hope for mankind after all.1

No person really likes the idea that they may end up having to kill another, honestly most will do what they can to prevent it.  Many of us who do finally accept this ugly truth have spent hours agonizing over and finally understanding that the circumstances that lead to that situation are ultimately out of our control.  While yes we can do things to mitigate our chances of an encounter, ultimately the decision to start the conflict does not ride with us.  We know, understand, and accept this.  Not everyone is so willing to accept the reality of this fact.

Many will constantly rationalize that somehow they can avoid any conflict that might befall them.  They will falsely rationalize to themselves that if the aggressor gets what they want it will go no further.  They ignore and disregard the idea that some people don’t want anything other than to see someone in pain and die.  They do not understand how the other side ultimately views this situation.  They cannot comprehend the following so eloquently put by Malcolm Reynolds.

“I didn’t kill him, he killed himself. I just carried the bullet for a while.”

Yes, I make the decision to defend myself, and yes I make the decision on the level of force necessary to apply.  The most critical decision though in that whole chain though was the person who decided to victimize my family or me.  If he had not have chosen to attack, invade, or otherwise do something against my family or myself, I would have never needed to make either of those two decisions.  The second decision ultimately is also based on the aggressors decisions as well.  Ultimately though the first decision must be made in advance and the gravity and reality of the potential consequences of the second decision accepted.  Many people cannot do that, they cannot accept that, they cannot comprehend why contemplation would even be necessary.  Many of us look at the story of A Girl, or the excerpt in her post from “Armed and Female” and a roll of realization and acceptance flow through us.

Many who read this have already accepted the harsh realities A Girl points out in her quote, but we’ve also accepted the consequences of that truth.  It is those consequences I believe most people have a serious problem with whether they’re willing to admit it or not.  Without accepting those consequences there is not much left in the toolbox for survival.  The natural response then is to rationalize and attempt to hide the problem.

I have touched before on why I carry a gun, and some have argued and told me that people carry a gun out of fear and being afraid.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m afraid of criminals.  I don’t carry a gun because I think someone is out to get me.  I carry a gun because if and when the devil arrives at my door I have one mission and one mission alone: Assure that my wife and myself arrive home in one piece, no worse for wear.  The condition I leave the devil in is entirely up to him.  He may end up hospitalized, he may end up just scratched and bruised, he may even end up dead.  My decisions though center around my mission and I will do what I feel is necessary to guarantee that outcome.  If you don’t like it, don’t try and attack my family or me, it is honestly that simple.  However I have realized and accepted this ugly truth an the potential consequences that go with it.

1-Grossman, Dave. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Boston: Little, Brown, 1995. 39. Print.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Handling of Firearms During a Cease Fire…

via Ry I came across this thread at ARFcom

I’m at a cease fire at the range and we have a few guys changing their targets.
One guy finished shooting and decided to case his rie and take it to his car, handling it while people are down range.
The rules of the club are if the range is cold no one touches the guns
There is no range officer as this is members only hours. I didn’t say anything to him but am wishing I had politey reminded him of the rules.
What would you have done?

The comments in that thread make me weep.  You do not handle firearms during a cease fire.  Period, end of discussion.  Now how would I react?  I have been in that exact situation.  Sadly the video of said situation the audio is washed out by the wind.  But here is a break down of what happened.

At the high intensity event 2010 the first wave shot their targets and the range was called safe.  All rifles were unloaded and shown clear.  They were instructed to ground their weapons and let them cool, or case them if they felt their rifles were cool enough to do so.  At this point we had everyone step back from their weapons, or walk off with their case.  Staff then proceeded to go down range to set up for the second wave of shooters.  I stayed behind to talk to Oleg and act as a RSO.  While talking to Oleg I see someone pick up an uncased firearm and sweep the staff down range as well as the other shooting line before bringing it vertical.  As he started to pick up the weapon I promptly started yelling to put the weapon down.  I was very vocal but evidently he couldn’t hear me.  He continued and when I finally got on top of him he realized I was yelling at him.  He continued to say he hadn’t done anything wrong or against the rules, and then attempted to claim we had given conflicting commands.  Except just prior to him shooting he had to recite the following:

    • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
    • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
    • Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
    • Always keep the gun in its case unless the muzzle is pointed downrange and within two feet of the shooting line.

So he walked off the shooting line with an uncased rifle.  He was handling the weapon during a ceasefire, and in so doing had muzzled a bunch of the staff.  I handed the issue over to one of the “jacketed” ROs to deal with because he seemed to think I wasn’t someone he should be listening to.

The bottom line is that the rule of not handling firearms during a cease fire is to ensure that no one is muzzled and that there is a zero possibility of human caused discharge while people are down range.  If you’re so impatient that you need to be careless about safety, get the hell off my range and don’t come back.  In the incident above, I have not seen even the friends of this individual return.  Evidently it did cause a bit of a black eye.  You know what would have been worse, just ignoring it. 

Safety is a culture and if you don’t cultivate it and make sure people are thinking about it, especially in an event like Boomershoot, the next thing we know the event is no longer happening because someone was careless.

Seriously folks, is this that difficult to understand?  For any of those of you who recently started reading my blog, these types of things make me VERY angry.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Gloves While Shooting and Cleaning

Linoge asks a question:

Do you use gloves when shooting guns? If so, what kind?

And, more specifically, do you use gloves when cleaning your guns? If so, what kind?

For me the answers flow like this.  While shooting I normally do not wear any gloves.  Worrying about soot and lead residue is the last thing on my mind while shooting.  My rule is no drinks and food unless I wash/wipe my hands.  What I do use religiously is D-Lead wipes.  I have a package in my range bag as well as a second in the tool box of my truck.

They’re honestly worth their weight in gold.  The few times I do wear gloves it is unbelievably cold out here, read that as single digits or teens at most.  Then I am wearing military style flight gloves.

While cleaning, yes, yes, and yes.  Here’s the trick through, buy two different types, seriously.  Vinyl, Latex/Nitrile all react differently to the different solvents and other things used to clean firearms.  If all you’re using is standard Hoppe’s No. 9 as a solvent you can get away with just using Latex/Nitrile.

In my experience though Barnes CR-10 chews up Latex and Nitrile but the Vinyl handles it well.  Butch’s Bore Shine eats up the Vinyl making it brittle.  Further if you use things like brake cleaner to strip the oils and grease it will go through the vinyl.  I recommend using a wire to hold the object and avoid your hand in general in that case.  The active ingredient in Brake Kleen for example will absorb through the skin and take anything with it it’s stripped off.  Gloves will help prevent or slow it but that little bugger of an ingredient as it likes to go through your skin.

Wearing gloves while cleaning is important.  While growing up I mainly just cleaned with No. 9 and didn’t really bother with the gloves.  Again you can probably get away with it but I look back on it now and it was stupid.  Your skin is porous and absorbs whatever is on it.  Honestly I don’t want it absorbing any of that crap.

Butch’s Bore Shine I think is the biggest lesson in, “Wear Gloves!”  There is a warning label telling you not to use it bare handed, use of it bare handed can allow the chemicals to be absorbed and they have been known to cause liver failure.

Gloves are cheap, your body is not, when cleaning your guns at least wear latex or nitrile and expect to change them often as they break and die from the solvents.

As for cleaning my rifles I use a mix of No. 9, CR-10, and Butch’s.  CR-10 and Butch’s both get used on the barrel.  The CR-10 is much better at getting out heavy copper fouling, the Butch’s does a fantastic job at getting any lead and powder out and leaving the barrel in a pristine state. Butch’s takes out the copper too, it just takes forever if you have a lot of it.

The No. 9 I use on my pistols and actions to clean out the gunk and other crap that has collected up.  Oil and lube it all back up and put it back together.

So yes, wear gloves when cleaning, don’t worry so much about shooting.  Just make sure to wipe down and wash your hands after and you’ll be fine.

What say you other readers?

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Today’s Reminder and Lesson

When you end up in a rush is usually when you do something wrong.  Last Thursday night, before leaving on my current trip, I spent a bunch of time cleaning a gift for the in-laws.  I cleaned it from top to bottom after test firing it.  After I was done I did a full functional test to make sure everything still was working correctly.  Packed it up and all was well.

While I was busy doing all of that I decided that I should clean my XD.  It hadn’t been cleaned since April and it was looking pretty crusty.  While cleaning it was about 85 degrees in my shop, I was sweating like mad and mid cleaning my latex gloves bit the bucket.  I couldn’t get a new set on so I just gave up and decided to soak my hands in chemicals.  I hate doing that because many of them will absorb through the skin but the biggest dangers were already done.

I quickly finished scrubbing and cleaning the weapon. Put it back together and in a rush to go pack other stuff for the trip I missed a step.  I put all the parts back in.  I didn’t break anything either.  What I didn’t do though was dry fire it before reloading.  Normally I test every part individually before loading the weapon and holstering it.  Verify all the safeties, make sure all feels well and nothing is out-of-place.  Since I decided I didn’t need to test all the safeties I didn’t bother with functional testing.  Well there was one test I really still should have performed but didn’t.

I pulled out the gun and unloaded it today for the mother-in-law to take a look at.  She squeezed the trigger but nothing happened.  She hands it to me and I say, “there’s the slack and it should break about here.”  Nope trigger is total mush.  I promptly start trying to remove the slide.  There is one problem though, you have to drop the striker to remove the slide and barrel assembly.  I start playing with the slide and notice that the striker will fall if I slightly pull the slide back out of battery.

I promptly look inside and see something that is wrong.  There is  a small piece that normally springs up and down but it is fixed in place and isn’t moving.  I pull apart the striker mechanism and find exactly what happened.  The spring fell over and was not providing positive movement to the piece to allow the safety to disengage correctly.  Fix the spring reassemble and promptly dry fire.  Works just like it should now.

So here’s the lesson.  Always functional test the most important aspect of the firearm after being reassembled.  My new rule is if it comes apart even in the most basic way, in the XD for example I remove the slide, it gets dry fired immediately when it has been reassembled. I had a gun that was useless the past couple of days, not freaking cool, but it was my own damn fault.  Learn from my mistake.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.