I love guns. I really, really love them. I love the look of them, the way they feel and balance in the hands. The way they work and how simple or complicated they are. Their power or their lack of power, letting you enjoy them as soft shooting tools. I love knowing I am holding in my hands a part of history. When it comes from one of Americas oldest gun makers or a rifle that was used in one of the wars by them men we all admire. I love that they will do as they are asked as long as you have the ability and as long as the gun is quality, you have no one to blame but your own lousy ability. And I love that they are works of art, much like the samurai sword. You can buy them made the way you want, or in some cases, you can put them together and build them with your own hands depending on your own skill. You can even make the ammunition for them by yourself, at any quality level you want.
The most valuable memories I have always include guns. Guns used during hunting trips with my Dad and Grandafather, vets of WW2 and the war in Vietnam. Learning hot to work on them with my Dad or friends and the feelings of elation that came with making a shot I had been practicing months for, with my best friends around and watching them do the same. Making a 500 yard rifle shot on a turkey as a friend spots for me and calls out “hit”! Jumping up two deer and knocking one down on a dead run and having my Dad pat me on the shoulder and tell me what a great shot it was. Listening to one of my two best friends tell me the history on vintage SWISS military rifles late into the night and going to gun shows after a late night dinner at a sushi bar. And the tired feeling of accomplishment on the ride home from a carbine course with a friend who is closer then my brother. I would not have these memories and experiences if not for my beloveds.
I can not imagine them not being in my life. I could say they define me and that would probably be not too far from the truth. To me, they are not just some toy, or a collectible, or a hobby as some people seem to think of it. Others think of them as valuable or something to have and play with for a bit and maybe show off, then become bored with them and sell them off for another little distraction or something else to brag about, all the while they never mastered what it takes to use a gun or why it is important to have them.
I have always been baffled by those people. I understand the anti-gun people. I think they are wrong, but I understand why they think the way they do. What I do not understand are those among us who call themselves gun people, or the idiotic term “gun nuts” or shooters. They have one or two, maybe a few more, but they never really use them. They have no skill with them, they have no idea of the history behind them or what it is. Most of the time they can not even take them apart for a simple cleaning and they sure as hell can not zero the sights. They may have one entire box of ammo, but more likely its a box, minus whatever amount the magazine held, after they got it home and shot it a few times. They more likely fired it two or three times then let a friend or a family member blast a round into the dirt or a pop can( which they miss) then all parties nod their heads and agree what a good ‘un it is. A few months later after showing it off to everyone they know, they grow bored with it and sell it for some new gun they will not use, or a TV. What a waste, I think to myself. I wonder what the point is because they sure have no intention of learning the skill and they sure do not ever let it cross their mind they may need it to save a life. I dare say, I have no respect for these types of gun owners. They are a step up from the gun ban people, but not really by much because they really would not care. I could never understand this type of person.
My life with guns is who I am. A lot of the good in my life has grown from my love of firearms. I do have other interests, but guns eclipses them. I don’t like sports( except the shooting sports) I find them boring and watching them doesn’t give me a skill I can use on my own. To me, there is nothing to be admired about any of the ball players. You can not save your kids life with a football. You can not feed your family by killing a deer with a tennis racket no war was ever won because Nazi Panzers became rendered scrap from a hockey stick or a baseball bat. Even my other interests usually can touch base with the fire arms world or builds skill that would easily blend well with shooting.
Most shooters I know, like their guns because that’s what they need for a few activities. They like to hunt, so they need rifle for deer, or a shotgun for a bird or, whatever. Hunting is a large part of this locally. A few more like guns because they like the history of surplus relics or using something for a match and of course the ones who are just dirt blasters. Sadly almost none of the local people I know understand the point of the gun, to defend themselves from whatever threat may come. They have no interest or desire to learn to use a weapon under stress or threat of life. To them , its a waste of time or crazy. One person made the most idiotic statement I ever heard come from some one who is pro gun. He told me “mounting a flashlight on a rifle or pistol is the dumbest most useless thing I ever heard of.” I guess he can see in the dark and can ID his wife in pitch black at 300Am with bleary eyes under extreme stress. Most of us who use common sense however, will stick to the “dumb” method of using a flashlight. But that shows the general attitude.
My attitude of always thinking of the fire arms as a martial/defensive tool has caused me great annoyance over the years when dealing with this kind of head in the sand willful ignorance, but I can always find common ground with most shooters. The reason is that my interest in guns and love of everything about them has given me a very large range of knowledge in them in every way.
I grew up shooting .22LRs like everyone and the odd shotgun and of course my beloved 1911, of which I began my life with at age 9. After moving up to target bolt action rifles for everything from match to meat I started a sort of scholarly interest in guns. I have a huge library for guns and their history and everything else about them. Not only that, but book by about the men who made them, used them and wrote about them. During the mid 90s I spent 3 years learning the more obscure info on guns, ammo, reloading and shooting. I learned of long forgotten subjects like frontal ignition. I learned how the Japanese bolt gun from WW2 was the strongest of all WW II actions and how it rates on the hardness scale. I learned why low number Springfield 1903s are dangerous and what made them dangerous. I learned why some case designs are more accurate then other and who Harry Pope was. I spent a long time reading about snipers and sniping and all the men who perfected the art. I loved every second of it.
I spent years hunting big and small game, shooting for the smallest groups possible during bench rest shooting. I made a 1 mile shot with a 300 Rem Ultra Mag and a 1,000 yard shot using a AR15A2 with nothing more then iron sights, a leather sling and my own hand-loads. I even was able to shoot aspirin taped to cardboard at 300 yards using an unlimited BR rifle with a 36x Unertl scope, chambered in .223×35 and 6mmPPC.
I am almost 37 years old now and I have owned close to 350 guns in my life. I do not regret going through so many guns because I learned a lot from each one. I just did not shoot them and see how they shot. I learned the history of each one and every technical fact about how it worked, how it was made and the ammo it used along with who made it and what it was meant to be used for. I thoroughly worked them over to attain my best with them while learning how to tune them if they needed it.
Because of such a wide range of niche interests in all these guns, I made a lot of life long friends. All of my best friends are a gift from the guns we both love. All of my life long and most trusted friends became so, because of the gun. You can trust gun people. Gun people understand loyalty and being honest and the skill it requires to be good with, and be safe with fire arms. Not all gun owners are this way of course, but most really are. Any friends I have that is not a result of guns, are co workers from some job or another and I was forced to be close to them from working together day after day. But it is not the same.
Growing up, all of my heroes were gun people. Movies in the 80s had mountains of gun fights and heroes who used them to save the day. TV was full of M16s and Mini 14s and uzis and the ever present 1911. My Dad was in the Vietnam war and carried an M16 and a 1911. Both Colt, and learned he could trust his life with them. This was past on to me very early in my life and it has stayed with me. Dad has always been a gun lover and he certainly passed it on to me. Not only the love of guns, but our country’s history of our gun heroes. Dad has always been a lover of history , the same as me. And I heard stories of Audie Murphy and old west gun fighters ( those heroic sociopaths ) and SGT. York.
This is another large part of the gun. The history and the nostalgia of the gun. When I pick up a vintage gun, like a 1885 highwall with a varmint barrel, I think of all of the work that went into making it. Of the pioneers of accuracy who wanted to perfect our favorite tools, like Harvey Donaldson and Col. Whelan. I think of open fields in the autumn with some old shooter picking off ground hogs. Or I hold a M1 garand and think of some tired G.I saving Europe’s ass. It makes me think of the skill it took to build the gun and the skill it took to use it. the history and nostalgia of guns are a lot of fun. But its not the point. A lot of peope today would be a lot better off if they could remember that.
The gun takes skill to use despite what the media says. If you read this site you know its not just point and pull the trigger to make 100 bullets a second come out and kill every one within a 10 mile radius, set houses on fire and kill flowers while the power goes off, the milk spoils and kids cry. It takes practice. But its more then just practice. You have to understand a lot of technical points if you truly want to master the fire arm. Shooting at paper at 25 yards 1,000 times a day for 10 years will not let you make a hit at 1,000 yards. You have to learn to read and adjust for wind, elevation adjustments and so many things I am not going to bother with. Then being able to do this on demand any time under any conditions and with alacrity, takes skill.
A maddeningly large amount of American gun owners think they are born with the skill to use a fire arm. That they can use it under threat of life when they need to because they shot a pop can once or a deer or play video games. This is a sorry state for shooters but it is the truth. So, even with as many shooters as we have now, few really have the skill and mindset to use them. Shooting really is the American martial art. It is not as easy as most think and the ability to use the efficiently gives me pride. Everyone is proud of any skill they have =, but for some reason, shooting is the one skill a lot of shooters will brag about, when they actually have zero to no ability! Few will lie and say they can hit home runs every time or can dunk a basketball or whatever utterly useless talent they also admire. But they lie their ass and say they can hit anything, any distance. To be able to do this is hard and takes a lot of time, practice and ammo. To be able to do this shows to me, a serious shooter. More importantly though is the mindset to understand what it pointless shooting or shooting that will not help you if your life depends on it. I have always made this my number one priority when it comes to guns, because that is why they exist.
Of course it is not all about the skill when it comes to guns. there is something else there I think. To use one, you are deciding to take control of your own life as soon as you pick one up. When you have a fire arm, and the skill to use it, you take the responsibility of defending your own life, in your hands. Realizing that shooting IS a martial at, and taking it as serious as any other, you understand the mental aspect that goes with it. You have to decide if you are going to train yourself to become a helpful part of society if thinks go terribly wrong or just a dirt blaster. Any one can be a dirt shooter, or one of the gun club boys who plants his elbows into the gun club bench and bang away at 25 yards , but it takes dedication and serious purpose to learn to use the gun in ways to save people in a fight.
This takes all the practice and commitment to the skill as any martial art. The basics of firing a weapon are the same for the dirt blaster as any one else. But it is not that simple. To learn the gun in a way that will help you in a life threatening situation is another matter. A different skill, altogether. Enough has been said on this by others , so I am not going to go on and on about it this time. But, in my opinion, that of all the disciplines of shooting that we see in this country, none are as important or should demand the pride and respect as the skill to use the gun to stop a fight and save a life, even if it is your own.
By Mark Hatfield:
Points to clarify a sensitive subject.
What if: The U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representives, the President, and the U.S. Supreme Court had all agreed on something and made it into law but most people don’t know about it? Others ignore it?
What if: The U.S. Supreme Court reconfirmed a position about something 92 times but almost no one knows what they said? Or just ignores it?
What if: The U.S. Supreme Court already decided certain matters but our politicians ignore that? Could that really happen?
What if: Many of the questions surrounding gun ownership had already been legally decided but most people don’t know?
What if: The U.S. government did NOT have the authority to ban or restrict guns, particularly military style guns? Could that even be? What if they did some of that anyway and nobody noticed that they’re not allowed to? Is that even possible?
What if: The President of the United States said something like: “Enough of these arguments abut guns, violence, crime, etc. What if we try to have a real, honest, unbiased study about gun ownership, crime, and such so that questions are answered once and for all. Then everyone can understand and agree and we can finally get somewhere on this topic’.
Let’s look at those questions.
The study really happened. President Carter ordered this done and it was done. But the findings of the researchers were not what some people thought they would be, the results were not what they wanted them to be, so the study was quietly put on the shelf and never mentioned again. I used to have a copy of it, it can still be found.
I recently received one of the new Tango Down T-1 covers in FDE from Howard after he invested in the kickstarter project some months ago and had a few sent to us.
I requested one in FDE and since the black ones were made first, I had to wait a bit longer. After getting it I was very happy with the product. I head the black ones are stiffer plastic but the FDE is a little softer, I like this better since I think this allows it to soak up more of a hit then a harder plastic. And, I have seen hard plastic crack or shatter. I doubt that would happen, but it is one of those peculiar things that sticks in my mind.
I had no trouble slipping it on over the T-1 and there is no need to take the optic off of any mount. I did have to remove the Knights Armament over sized battery cover/brightness dial. But that is not a problem at all.
Flipping the covers back is not problem. They do not move out of the way on any kind of spring but they have the ability made into them to snap together one inside the other. It is a nice positive connection to. No need to worry about if its really together or not. I found that that it can be done with only one hand. It is not the fastest process, but its not horrible either. With a little practice after about three tries, I was able to remove the lens covers and get the secured together in about 5 seconds plus or minus a second or so. They do not however flip up or off to the side like Butler Creek cover do. So, do not go thinking you can leave them covered then just flick them open and out of the way with your thumbs and start shooting with a clear view in half a second. Leave them back and folded tight until you really need them closed. This is the only downside to the cover. It is not really a bad thing, but some will grip because they feel anytime they spend any of their money, the world should make sure everything is perfect for them. I live in the real world so I am very happy with the cover. You can see how when it is snapped together out of the way, it does not effect your field of view outside the optic to any meaningful degree. It doe snot block anything so no worries there.
The picture above shows how they snap together and out of the way. Since Tango Down got involved in the project and sells them, they of course added their logo to it. TD is an excellent company that makes so good stuff. I have been using their battle grip for years and have faith in everything the make being as tough as you would ever need it to be.
As the pictures show. Everything is as covered as it can be and allow you full use of brightness settings and windage and elevation adjustments. I do not know how much one could really ask for. Of course it is going to be asked by those who over worry about such things, the color of the FDE does match up close with all the other popular products in that colour. My camera flash may or may not show it well, but it does seem to be very close to the same shade Magpul and TD down use as well as the Lancer AW mags. Its an absurd thing to have to talk about, but a surprising amount of people ask adn worry over it.
It is maybe not the ultimate answer to protecting and covering the T-1, but it is a great one and the only one we got for now. I am not sure it can get much better anyway. So if you want some protection for your T-1 buy with confidence and don’t set around waiting for something better. This is a great little cover that does its job perfectly. Maybe one day the cover will be upgraded to have a small spring loaded flip cover caps , but until then I will be more then happy with this one. And even then I probably would not feel any real need to swap out to a newer one.
Submitted by Mark Hatfield
Let’s get real. Just the facts. Really.
Let’s stop the deaths of children in public schools. Ban football. Yes, it’s true, football is the number one killer of school children.
Why is it still allowed?
Why is it even legal?
Why doesn’t the possession of a football require a permit?
Should a safety training class be required before one can buy a football?
Should you have to be at least 18 years old to own a football?
When any teacher, coach or any school staff dare to bring a football on the school property why aren’t they sent to prison for life?
Shouldn’t we punish any student who draws, cuts a paper in the shape of, or in any manner depicts a football?
If you really want to prevent students dying in schools, ban football.
What about at home? What kills more people than guns? Bathtubs. Yes, really.
Why isn’t there a waiting period for the purchase of a bathtub?
Should they be registered so we know where they are?
Why shouldn’t there be random unannounced safety inspections of any bathtub at any time?
Why shouldn’t the owner be required to show how children and unauthorized users are prevented from using the deadly device?
Why shouldn’t every bathtub owner be required to post an emergency plan in case there is a bathtub accident?
Shouldn’t the emergency plan have to be government approved?
Why shouldn’t bathtub owners be required to have a one million dollar insurance policy or post a bond?
Shouldn’t the owner be required to post a sign on every door warning that there is a bathtub in the house? I mean, really, would you want your child to go into a house which has a bathtub?
You do really want to prevent the unnecessary deaths, don’t you?
Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.
Let’s talk about dogs.
I don’t just like dogs, I love dogs, at least most dogs. I’ve not always had one but when I’ve had, it was a very important part of my life.
There are different kinds of dogs and by this I don’t mean breeds such as poodles or labradors, rather kinds such as pets or ‘working dogs’. Some owners may have three ‘kinds’ of dogs and there may be some overlap. Let’s call them categories ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’.
The ‘A’ dog is the household pet. The ‘A’ dog if very small may never even go outside though many ‘A’ dogs are large or very large. It sleeps on the floor near the masters bed or perhaps even in the childrens beds. It licks the childrens faces. Kids pull its tail, it ignores them or moves away. Very young children may sleep on top of it. It sees the infants and toddlers as puppies of its own family. The ‘A’ dog will sometimes seem to be ignoring the children but it is always concerned for their safety and responds to anything which it perceives as a threat to them.
The classic ‘B’ dog is the barnyard dog. The ‘B’ dog is purely an outdoor dog. He is never groomed or bathed. He never needs his nails trimmed as they are always worn down. The ‘B’ dog has free run of the property. He may have no, some, or a lot of training. He could be the highly trained sheepdog which can control and guard the flock even without human assistance, he may simply help in bringing the cattle herd to the barn, or he may be just somebody who hangs around. The ‘B’ dog will play with the kids, they may retrieve sticks or balls, they may play tag, chasing or following you, or maybe not, but they will always be a sentinel. They will give the alert if a stranger approaches ‘their’ property and may defend it.
The traditional ‘C’ dog is the hunting dog. The ‘C’ dog is confined to a kennel unless released, under control, for exercise, training, or to work. He is there for a purpose, one purpose, trained for that purpose, and that is it. There’s quite a lot of variety of hunting dogs. Some are trained to locate a specific type of bird and then stand motionless, pointing to where it is. Others will find and bring back a bird which has been killed and fallen from the sky. Some dogs are more like Marines. While not dangerous to their handler, these dogs will find, close with, and fight dangerous animals which are larger than themselves, animals which can kill them. They distract the beast it until the handler can kill it. It is common for these dogs to be injured, sometimes seriously, sometimes killed. Yet even when injured they will get back into the fight, however, if one should bit their handler it’s by mistake while in the confusion of battle.
If a toddler, in their innocence, approaches an ‘A’ dog and removes a bone from its mouth, the dog may gently take it back, or may lick the childs face, or groan and say ‘Why are you bothering me?’. If the same child does the same to a ‘B’ dog, he may get bitten, do the same to a ‘C’ dog and he will get bitten. We have a tendency to say that the ‘A’ dog was good and that the others were bad, but that is not true, they are simply acting true to their nature. The ‘B’ and ‘C’ dogs have not been socialized and taught to accept the child like their own puppy as was the ‘A’ dog. At a very young age the children are taught this about these dogs.
Many dogs instinctively use a system identical as is taught to Law Enforcement officers, this is ‘Ask, Tell, Make’. This is, if the officer needs someone to do something, such as ‘be quiet’ or ‘go over there’, the officer first simply asks them to do it. If the person fails to comply they may be told or ordered to do it, then as a last resort, made to do it. This is a version of a concept known as ‘Escalation of Force’. Dogs sometimes do the same thing. Say a child is annoying the ‘A’ dog, the dog may move away. The child persists then the dog may growl. The parents get mad at the dog and the growling is not allowed but remember, the dog is simply trying to communicate that ‘This really bothers me’. The dog may even get to the point of the ‘open mouth bunt’. This can occur if the child actually hurts the dog especially if it happens by surprise. The dog opens its mouth and rams the kid straight on with its nose. This is a very serious warning. The dog has done no injury and does not intend to but this is often mistaken for an attempt to bite, though many ‘A’ dogs will simply attempt to get further away from the kid and an intelligent parent will intervene and stop the child.
So…Why am I talking about dogs. There are people who were not raised around dogs, have never had a dog, never even been near one. There are people who know little about dog behavior or what they think they know is wrong. They think they know about dogs because they have seen them many times in Disney movies, Scooby Do, psycho movies about demon dogs, or TV shows where the dogs are killers used by drug dealers.
Can you imagine if someone who doesn’t know how to cook and has never cooked, goes to a chef and demands the chef change what they do in order to make the food taste better? We would say that is ridiculous. Should people with no knowledge or mostly wrong knowledge be able to tell other people how to do something? If someone lives in a city apartment and another person lives on a farm, is it OK for the city person to tell the farmer that he can have a house dog but can’t have a farm dog?
With dogs, misleading information is sometimes put out by the news media who are trying to make a story more exciting. Sometimes the information is just plain false. People not familiar with dogs do not recognize when that is being done. Now there are people with strong opinions about dogs, or about which dogs are dangerous based on information which is wrong. Some even tell ‘dog people’ how to control their dogs and which types of dogs should or should not be allowed. Even if they have the best of intentions, this is wrong and very foolish. I hope this message is clear and no one misunderstands, for this message of this article is not about dogs, it is about guns.
If you have been reading looserounds.com for any amount of time, you will know that we are pretty big on the teachings Rob Pincus. If you do not know, he is the ubiquitous face you will see in so many training videos, gun magazines, TV shows, industry events and seminars I am not even going to try to count of list. Not to mention an unreal training schedule among writing books on the subject on how to save your own ass. Rob has been a good friend to looserounds in our short time and you will often see us share his exploits, advice and new products. A few days ago I got in touch with Rob and he did a short Q&A with me to help kick off the PDN banner that was added to the site. He graciously took the time out of his schedule of doing more important things then shooting the bull with us to drop some wisdom and excellent no BS advice. Which is a hallmark of his in my opinion.
1. During the current economy, training DVDs are more and more popular with more people thinking they are a suitable substitute for any other type of training and want to save money and travel time. What would you say to warn the new shooters who want, or think they can rely only on these training DVDs?
RP : As the guy who has produced more DVDs in terms of individual pieces and titles (about 4 Million and 75, respectively), it would be disingenuous for me to say that I don’t think some real learning can be done through video presentations. Of course, there are limits. The things that people can learn incredibly well through vides are conceptual. Things like why training should be done in a certain way, how to approach training drill development or understanding why any particular technique or piece of gear is a good or bad idea can all be learned very very well from a video. But, if we focus on physical skills and shooting ability, video can olny show you what to do, it can’t really help you develop the skills themselves. New shooters, especially, need to be very honest with themselves about the importance of spending time of the range, with their actual gun, shooting and learning to perform the techniques they choose.
2. On the subject of saving money. the .22LR trainer, or conversion is gaining popularity. Some of the looserounds.com staff sees the 22LR trainer as step up from dry fire, to be used as dry fire enhancement, being that you do not get the full experience. If you had to break the use of the rimfire as opposed to centerfire training into percentages, what would consider a good cut off would be so as not to become falsely confident in your skill due to the none recoil of the rimfire? Example. 70% centerfire 30 % rimfire etc?
RP:I tell students that they can use .22 conversions (or dedicated .22 firearms) for up to 50% of the round count for any given course. Any more than that, and I think you start to hurt your skill development process. I also advise them to use most of those rounds in the middle of the course… so that they learn the skill with their actual gun and full power ammo and they also get to leave the course with a realistic evaluation of their ability to apply their developed skills with the same. The middle of the course, when they are primarily practicing the skill sets, is the best time to use the .22.
3. To the new shooter with his brand new CCW permit in hand trying to practice by himself before professional training, what do you see as the most common mistake they make?
4. Out of all the massive amount of people you train every year, how common is it to see students who are wrongly fixated on their gear or place too much emphasis on its importance?
5. Everyone has heard the old chestnut “beware the man with one gun, he likely knows how to use it”, Do you feel it works against true proficiency to train and try to develop skill with a wide variety of commonly found weapons in the USA and abroad?
6. Do you have a training scenario, that when you present it to students, they are shocked it is a skill they would need to use? The reason for this question is so many people seem to have this fixed idea of exactly how a violent encounter will ( if ever ) happen and just can not accept something happening to them any other way in the real world.
7. The training industry has expanded so much in the last decade. For those planning on seeking professional training from the multitude of choices, what advice would you give them to help them select whats right for them?
8. So many people do not want to break their comfort zone and shoot at low light or no light,even though we spend half out lives in the dark. Would you suggest a minimum amount of time devoted t low light / no light training?
9. Lastly, what projects or events do you have lined up for this year? And what are the links to all the places we can keep up with your schedule and new products an events?