Pick your accessories, and move on

Continuing the discussion on “pick your gear, and move on“.

Accessories don’t have to match your purse, and any color is fine as long as it’s black (even after Labor Day). :-)  I’m talking about other essential gear such as holsters, magazine pouches, belts, maybe flashlights.

This is an area where the discussion widens a bit because some of it comes down to you and your circumstances. For example, while men can wear a holster inside the waistband of their pants at the 3 o’clock position, a lot of women cannot because of waists and hips going out and how that would point the butt/grip of the gun into her side and thus be both uncomfortable and difficult to draw.

A lot of this ends up being a matter of experimentation. Where you’re just going to have to buy a lot of things, try a lot of things, discard a lot of things, until you find what works for you.

But there are some areas where we can offer some advice.

A good holster matters. You need to carry your gun in a holster, that provides protection to the gun, especially in terms of covering the trigger guard so things cannot get in there and work the trigger when it shouldn’t be worked! A good holster also has a mouth that remains open; collapsing holsters create all manner of hazard and difficulties for reholstering, which is something you will have to do so why make it complicated and risky for yourself when you don’t have to?

You will rarely (probably never) find a good holster at stores in town. Hooray for the Internet tho, and you can find good holster makers all over. For example,  Comp-TacBlade TechRaven ConcealmentCustom Carry ConceptsDale Fricke. The list is far from inclusive.

If you can, you should carry some means of reloading your gun, like an extra magazine. You then need a way to carry it. Anything with flaps that cover it? Pass (unless you’re in law enforcement, which has different requirements). Most of the good holster makers also make good magazine pouches.

If you carry on your waist, you need a good belt. Thick, wide, a fair amount of rigidity, to help carry and distrubute the weight of the gun, the magazine(s), and whatever else you carry on your belt. A good belt goes a long ways.

I like to carry a flashlight, because it’s useful. Not a tac-light on the rail on my gun, but just a plain-old flashlight. You could carry it in your pocket, or some of the holster makers also make pouches to allow the light to be carried on your belt.

Admittedly this is one area of gear when there’s a bit more room for discussion, but it really comes down to just finding the necessary gear that fits your needs. But once you find it? Move on.

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2014-09-29 training log

I think I like model 2.

So after feeling stagnation with my bench pressing on Base Building model 1, I thought I’d try switching to model 2 to see if I make any progress. Again, I grant my stagnation may be diet-induced, but it may not (since other things are progressing). So since I can’t really vary the diet right now but I can vary the training well… let’s try it and see what comes from it.

I will say, I liked this better than model 1. Maybe because it’s back to 5 reps. ;-) Maybe it’s the increased intensity. Maybe the increased volume. I don’t know, but I did like it more.

I opted to keep the rest of the session stable to see how it would fare post-model 2. I do think I can up the assistance work a bit.

I think the only thing I didn’t like was the AMRAP set because I just got bored and stopped because it was like “ok, that’s enough…” ;-) But that said, I think this might also give me a needed mental boost because striving to set a rep PR here should be good for the mental side of things — to more easily see progress.

Anyways, I didn’t lift this session truly as I should have, with CAT and all that. I didn’t know what to expect and so I pulled back a bit, took a bit more rest between sets (e.g. 90 seconds instead of 60). But after seeing how it all went, I’ll push back towards normal next week.

Based upon Paul Carter’s Basebuilding

  • Bench Press (model 2)
    • bar x 5
    • bar x 5
    • 115 x 5
    • 130 x 4
    • 155 x 3
    • 170 x 2
    • 190 x 1
    • 200 x 1
    • 190 x 5
    • 190 x 5
    • 190 x 5
    • 170 x 5
    • 170 x 5
    • 170 x 5
    • 135 x 16 (AMRAP)
  • Machine Flies
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
  • Close-grip Bench Press
    • 95 x 10
    • 95 x 10
    • 95 x 10
    • 95 x 10
  • Hammer Curls (by 5’s)
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 9

Sunday Metal – My Favorite Overkill

How many albums does Overkill have now?

I realized the other day that while some albums are stronger than others, every album is Overkill. It felt like AC/DC… you know when you buy an AC/DC album, you know what you’re going to get. No radical shifts in formula here, just balls-to-the-wall neck-wrecking thrash.

“Bring Me the Night” stands out because it just comes at such a break-neck pace. It’s the song that made me go back and rediscover Overkill.

“Necroshine” is so cool. It’s an Overkill song but has this different vibe to it. Another song I could listen to over and over and not get tired of it.

But for me, without question my favorite Overkill song is “I Hate”. A song whose lyrics were an anthem of my youth, and still ride with me today.

I still hate people who make you feel small. Still hate having my back against the wall. Still hate being talked down too.  But I don’t care what you say… FUCK YOU! ;-)

 

Pick your gun, and move on

Continuing the discussion on “pick your gear, and move on“.

Reading this post by DocGKR, he quotes “a very experienced senior SOF NCO” who “wrote the following superb analysis discussing pistol calibers”:

Not getting into the weapons transition issues from frame design to frame design (it’s the reason I love to hate the Glock), the fact of the matter is that the recoil on the G23 crosses the magic line of running the shit out of your pistol. Allow me to explain… Most of the guys mentioned that they can handle the reduced size of the 19 and the recoil increase over the G17 is acceptable. Most of us have also determined that this does NOT cross over to the .40 cartridge. Guys with a firm handle on recoil manipulation can use the G22 and G35 with acceptable results. However when you go down to G26’s and G23’s, the juice is not worth the squeeze. The recoil is now noticeably effecting times and it’s measurable. If you can’t effectively control recoil and are wasting time allowing your pistol to settle between shots then this is all a wash and means nothing to you, but if you can apply the fundamentals effectively you will quickly see that you can’t run a sub compact 9 or a compact .40 worth a shit. So a decision to accept a larger pistol in order to have an acceptable recoil impulse based upon caliber must be made. The smallest 9mm Glock recoil that I will accept is the G19 and I will not go below the G22 when bumping up to .40.

For reference, ordered by caliber, then from largest size frame to smallest.

  • G17 – 9mm, Standard size frame
  • G19 – 9mm, Compact frame
  • G26 – 9mm, Subcompact frame
  • G35 – .40 S&W, Competition frame
  • G22 – .40 S&W, Standard size frame
  • G23 – .40 S&W, Compact frame
  • G27 – .40 S&W, Subcompact frame (not referenced in the above quote, and likely because if the G23 is unacceptable, the G27 is right out).

So what does this all mean?

Equipment matters (but only so much).

You need to be able to run the gun and run it well. While the old-school and Internet commando mantra demands you use only calibers that begin at least with a “4”, the reality is that using such calibers is difficult because, as above NCO stated, you can’t run it worth a shit. More correctly tho, when you have more recoil, it’s harder to run the gun. More recoil happens because of caliber (e.g. .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 Sig, .357 Magnum), but it also happens when there’s less gun (less mass, less area to grip) to help mitigate that recoil. That could be because of simple weight (e.g. an “airweight” revolver vs. an all-steel revolver), or because of size which naturally reduces available mass and grip area (e.g. G17 vs G26, G35 vs. G23).

So you have to ensure you have a gun that runs — for you. This is where things like “gun fit” matter. Here’s a good guide on the topic (and more).

But then amongst all those guns that run, there are other things that contribute to you being able to run the gun well. And I’ll put it pretty simply:

Pick the largest gun that fits you and your circumstances, in the biggest caliber you can acceptably run.

Let me break this down.

Larger guns aid in recoil management, both because they will have more mass, and also with more size comes more surface area to enable a better grip on the gun. They can also offer things like a longer sight radius, lighter recoil springs (makes it easier to rack the slide). Bottom line: you can shoot a larger gun better and more easily than smaller guns. This doesn’t mean to buy a monster gun that you cannot handle, it still has to be what properly fits you and fits your circumstances. But within those that fit, strive for the largest you can because you’ll shoot it better.

You want the largest caliber you can acceptably run. I’ve seen folks that cannot handle 9mm recoil but do OK with .380 Auto. While .380 Auto is marginal in performance, it’s better than nothing and if that’s what you can shoot best, then that’s a settled matter. I’ve also encountered some that can’t shoot more than a .22 LR; while that’s also not ideal, it’s still better than nothing so there you go. And note, while you might be a big strong guy with forearms like Popeye and can run .40 decently well, chances are still good you will run 9mm better due to simple physics.

So yes, for the majority of folks, getting a Glock 17 or Glock 19, or a Smith & Wesson M&P 9 (service model size) is good enough. They are proven reliable platforms, that provide acceptable performance. If those guns do not fit you, you may have to do some more shopping, but the end result is the same:

Pick your gun, and move on.

2014-09-26 training log

Remember that talk about needing sleep? My body is getting there. Been napping the past few days, and this morning I slept in HARD. So I got to the gym late.

A good reminder why I like working out alone. :-)

Nothing bad… it’s just like Gossamer from the Looney Tunes short “Hair-Raising Hare”:

:-)

Everything was what it was. I have been thinking about a deload week, but I may not. Things work-wise are shifting and I actually should be able to get some good sleep. So, I’ll just see how I feel and go from there.

The rotator cuff work will slowly ramp up… but all in all, I think it will be good for me.

Oh, and to the kid that came into the gym before I left that proceeded to put 135# on the bar and half-squat it, then put 185# and third-squatted it… dude, I’m no authority, but I do know that you’ll get more out of life if you do what works and stop feeding your ego by half-assing things.

Based upon Paul Carter’s Basebuilding

  • BB Rows
    • 150 x 8
    • 150 x 8
    • 150 x 8
    • 150 x 8
  • Wide, Neutral-grip Lat Pulldowns
    • 130 x 8
    • 130 x 8
    • 130 x 8
    • 130 x 8
  • Barbell Shrugs
    • 165 x 20
    • 165 x 20
    • 165 x 20
    • 165 x 15
    • 165 x 15
  • Rotator Cuff work — cable based, internal & external rotation, internal & external upright rotation. Couple sets each, very light weight, for 10-20 reps… didn’t really keep too much track
  • Pick your ammo, and move on

    Continuing the discussion on “pick your gear, and move on“.

    I was having a discussion with a fellow KR Training assistant instructor about the differences between different brands of ammo, I came across this posting from DocGKR (a well-respected authority on such matters, real name is Dr. Gary Roberts). There’s more stuff from DocGKR here, and if you just search the Internet for anything DocGKR writes on ammo, you can rest assured you’re getting the best information on ammunition selection.

    See, there’s all sorts of gimmicky ammo that comes out from time to time, claiming to be mostest more betterer than ammos that came before – it’s t3h d3adl3y! It all looks good on the slo-mo video against those evil watermelons. But name me one law enforcement agency willing to bet their lives on it… and oddly there are no takers. Not to say law enforcement agencies are any sort of gold standard, but these are people who put their lives on the line every day and whose job description necessitates the need to sometimes use a gun to stop bad people from doing bad things. Thus, these are people who need proven tools and will not accept anything less; they are a fair reference point for “what works” and is worth entrusting your life to.

    It’s pretty simple: there are well-known, well-established brands of ammo that perform well and do the job as needed to be done. Yes, from time to time this list gets revised because technology! (e.g. Hydra-Shoks are old tech, HST is a superior replacement) But on the whole, there’s established stuff so just pick one from the list, make sure it runs in your gun (e.g. run 200 rounds through your gun and ensure you get 200 successful shots; yes that’s expensive, but isn’t your life worth it?), and then put this issue to bed because there’s really no need for debate, discussion or deep research into the matter.

    Yes, there are some differences. For example, the discussion I was having was regarding the differences between Federal Tactical Bonded and Federal HST (which isn’t bonded). It was a minutia discussion, and there can be some relevance to such a discussion. But on the whole for most private citizens, DocGKR lists:

    Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)
    Federal HST 124 gr +P JHP (P9HST3)

    So according to DocGKR, either are fine. Pick one, move on.

    Incidentally, shortly after I penned this article, Duncan Larsen over at LooseRounds.com reposted an article from the FBI Training Division regarding ammunition selection, mostly as it pertains to caliber. I’ve seen this article in other forms before, but Duncan’s posting of it was timely. For the tl;dr crowd, here’s the conclusion:

    While some law enforcement agencies have transitioned to larger calibers from the 9mm Luger in recent years, they do so at the expense of reduced magazine capacity, more felt recoil, and given adequate projectile selection, no discernible increase in terminal performance.

    Other law enforcement organizations seem to be making the move back to 9mm Luger taking advantage of the new technologies which are being applied to 9mm Luger projectiles. These organizations are providing their armed personnel the best chance of surviving a deadly force encounter since they can expect faster and more accurate shot strings, higher magazine capacities (similar sized weapons) and all of the terminal performance which can be expected from any law enforcement caliber projectile.

    Given the above realities and the fact that numerous ammunition manufacturers now make 9mm Luger service ammunition with outstanding premium line law enforcement projectiles, the move to 9mm Luger can now be viewed as a decided advantage for our armed law enforcement personnel.”

    For those curious, I carry Speer Gold Dot 9mm 124 grain +P in all my 9mm semi-autos. In my snub-nose revolver I carry Speer Gold Dot .38 Special 135 grain +P. Why? They’re proven to perform reliably and be optimal for the platform, so ’nuff said.

    Pick your ammo, and move on.

    2014-09-24 training log

    Today was… good and bad.

    Generally speaking it was good. Everything went as you’d expect. I opted to drop deficit’s in favor of conventional deadlifts. I was going to do that next week anyways as long as I was switching up my bench press to model 2, but I just went ahead and did it today. But on the whole, things went as expected.

    What was bad was feeling beat up. I do think part of it is still lack of rest. Since the Overkill concert last week I just haven’t slept as good as I need to, and it’s taking a toll. Before I consider other things, I do want to deal with that first and see what comes of the rest of it. But regardless, there is one thing that is of growing concern.

    My knee.

    I am feeling more and more beat up on my left leg, be it my knee or the ankle, or now even my hip felt a couple pops today. When I went down for the first rep on the 225 something felt odd enough that I racked the weight because I wasn’t sure I’d be actually able to do the next rep. A bit scary, but I did a couple bodyweight squats, felt ok, and went back to it. But regardless of all that, I am starting to think my knee is not some problem that will heal in time — I think I do have something wrong with it. But I fear it’s only going to be thousands of dollars for an MRI that will tell me there’s nothing else to do but either rehab it or get surgery — and if I’m going to get surgery I might as well wait until the knee blows out. sigh If I gotta go under the knife, incur the expense, the downtime, etc., might as well wait until I truly can’t live without it. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Because of this, the squat work sets focused heavily on form. I didn’t care about bar speed, I just wanted everything to be perfect. I find that yes in fact I am leaning some to my right, favoring my right leg to do more work. So whereas normally I put the blinds down so I don’t see my reflection in the windows, I’m keeping the blinds up so I precisely watch my form as I squat to ensure I’m staying level and evenly distributed. I am also finding my eye and head position matters a lot in terms of helping me keep “distributed” — haven’t nailed down precisely the spot because it kinda changes as I stand up, but I’ll nail it down eventually.

    It made me think of a few changes I might consider making.

    First, I thought about changing deadlifts to sumo-style. I’ve always done conventional and supposedly my body mechanics are better suited for conventional. But, I tried a very poor sumo stance today — didn’t actually pull, just got into such a stance and “air lifted”. It didn’t seem to affect my knee so much. So… not sure I will do it, but I probably will start reading a lot of articles on sumo technique, then if I do start, start with like 135 on the bar and just try to figure out the technique. We’ll see.

    Second, I also thought about changing my lifting to be more bodybuilder style. Lower the intensity, up the volume, and see if that puts a little less wear and tear on me. Some day it does, others say it may not because now you use the joints more often. I’m thinking about it. I think it may also be due to the diet — I’m still lifting pretty intensely, and with the weight-loss diet it just may not be supporting it.

    Anyways, that’s that. Every day is something new.

    Based upon Paul Carter’s Basebuilding

    • Squats (model 1)
      • bar x 5
      • bar x 5
      • 150 x 5
      • 175 x 4
      • 205 x 3
      • 225 x 2
      • 260 x 1
      • 180 x 5
      • 180 x 5
      • 180 x 5
      • 180 x 5
      • 180 x 5
    • Conventional Deadlift (model 1)
      • 315 x 3
      • 315 x 3
      • 315 x 3
      • 315 x 3
      • 315 x 3
    • Leg Press
      • 165 x 20
      • 165 x 20
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