Monthly Archives: March 2011
Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.
So it’s not that I’m ignoring you, it’s that I’m seeking inner peace.
All silliness aside, it’s actually true, especially in this day and age of information overload. Frankly, now that I ignore Twitter, barely check Facebook, and probably catch up on my RSS feeds maybe once every couple of weeks (which involves a lot of “Mark All As Read”) well… let’s just say I don’t stress as much.
Now if I could just do the same at work… and get away with it.
The Rangemaster April 2011 Newsletter is now available.
As usual, lots of good stuff, with a really big article about defensive shotgun use.
It’s reporting 2850 FPS out of a 16″ barrel. That’s amazing.
See, the Barnes 95 grain TTSX was purpose-built for 6.8 SPC (i.e. it’s not just another .277″ caliber bullet). In fact, Bill Wilson had a fair hand in the testing and development of that round (see here). Until now the bullet has only been available for handloaders, and folks at the 68forums were getting some good stuff out of them. But not everyone handloads so people want factory ammo. Silver State Armory makes and sells one but it only gets 2580 fps. Charles @ TGR told me the reasons why it’s not that hot, but the exact reason escapes me. It’s a shame because it’s THE bullet. But now Bill Wilson has made a load. It’s advertised at 300 fps faster, which is quite significant. What did Bill achieve? Or could it suffer the problems and may end up being finicky? Don’t know. Curious tho!
I’ve got a ballistics app on my iPhone and I ran some numbers. I plugged in numbers from Wilson Combat’s 95gr TTSX load and their 110gr TSX load, and since they don’t make a 85 grain I used SSA’s numbers from their 85 grain tac-load (since SSA’s 110gr tac-load gave similar numbers to Wilson’s, I figure this is as close to apples-to-apples as I can get). When you compare the 85 grain TSX vs. the 95 grain TTSX, the trajectories are very similar: out to 200 yards the paths are almost similar with the 95 grain being only about 1/3″ lower at 200 yards and about 3/4″ lower at 300 yards. But when you compare energy at same distances, the 95gr has more energy (over 100 ft-lbs more at 300 yards). And even tho the 85 grain starts at a higher velocity at the muzzle, by 300 yards they’re doing about the same speed. Now comparing the 95 TTSX to the 110 TSX, the heavier and slower 110 of course drops faster and more significantly. Of course, at longer distances the 110gr still has more energy.
To me, between the 85 TSX and 95 TTSX? I’ll take the 95 TTSX. On paper, the 85 does have a flatter trajectory, but the 95′s isn’t off by much at all. It has more energy, and the TTSX expands better. What’s not to like? Between the 95 TTSX and the 110 TSX well, that’s harder to determine because there’s no question the 110 will pack more punch, but you’ll have to do a little more work to get it there. But then if it gets there, how well will it expand? But still, I think I’d go for the 95 because it’s a TTSX with improved expansion, especially at lower velocities. This isn’t to say the other bullets are totally obsolete and should be taken off the market, far from it, because they still have purpose and roles. But if I can only have my rifle zeroed with one load, to have one load to take into the field for deer or hogs or whatever… that 95 TTSX is going to be the best all around. And now that Wilson Combat is making a load for it well… eventually I’d still like to do my own loads to see if I can do even better, but until I can get to loading myself well, I think I know what ammo I’d like to use.
Updated: found some info about it at the 68forums. One message in particular:
This ammo is based on extensive reloading experience of the WC staff, and has proven to be accurate, effective, and safe in SPECII chambers. It is loaded with Reloader 10x powder, SSA small primer brass, and premium projectiles. I do not have any pressure data that I can share.
Posted from Wilson Combat themselves. R10x powder. Nice! But interesting, since supposedly R7x is the “preferred” powder for this bullet. We’ll see how the thread progresses.
My buddy Charles over at TacticalGunReview.com was telling me he’s supposed to get a Kel-Tec PMR-30 for testing. Hasn’t arrived yet, but since then I’ve read two articles on the gun. One at GunBlast, and the other just came through from The Box O’Truth (Ed Zone #123).
That prompted me to write.
It sounds like this gun is actually pretty positive. That it’s light but workable, good factory trigger. It uses .22 Magnum rounds (30 of them!), and TBOT did some penetration testing.
It got me wondering.
Could this be an effective pistol for self-defense?
I don’t think it would be as optimal as more traditional pistols, like those chambered in 9mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. But when some gun is better than no gun, could this gun be good for people that are recoil sensitive? The hard factor there, that I can’t judge until I can hold one in my hands, is that often if someone is going to be recoil sensitive they may also not be able to handle a long and/or heavy trigger or a large grip. It sounds like the trigger here isn’t heavy, but is it long? And just how big is that grip to be able to hold 30 rounds of .22 Magnum?
I’m not saying I’m advocating anything… at least at this point. But there’s enough about this gun that make me wonder if it could fill a niche beyond plinking and small varmint control.
Kel-Tec…. if you’re reading this, I can give you my FFL’s address.
Is roller derby a professional sporting event?
Before I attended my first Texas Roller Girls roller derby bout, I had to spend a good deal of time trying to figure out if I, as a concealed handgun license holder, could legally carry at the bout.
I spent time re-reading the Texas legal code. Specifically, PC §46.035 (b) (2) says:
(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed, on or about the license holder’s person:
(2) on the premises where a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place, unless the license holder is a participant in the event and a handgun is used in the event;
So… is roller derby a professional sporting event? Does this apply to me?
I asked some people, one of whom even asked a lawyer. I spent a lot of time in Google searching around trying to see if the question had been answered. Maybe the Austin Convention Center had 30.06 signs (it didn’t, from what I could see). Could there be security restrictions in place at the entrance such as metal detectors (no), bag checks (no), frisking (no), or any other such measures (nope, nothing really, but there were some DPS troopers present along with venue “security”). But I had no idea if there would be or not, and if I could and then there was a metal detector would they allow me through (regardless, setting off the detectors gives you a Scarlet A for the rest of the night); would I have to go back to the car and store my gun… but that’s just a recipe for a break-in and my gun ending up becoming an instrument of crime (as well as all the hassle and hell of dealing with repairs and insurance paperwork).
So more searching to try to determine what is a “professional sporting event”. Can’t find anywhere in the Texas law code that defines it, so I guess we turn to what “reasonable people” would define it as. Competition, ticket sales, money involved especially the players and participants being paid. Hrm. Texas Rollergirls are a registered non-profit and lots of things point to the ladies NOT getting paid… but with all the ticket sales, merch, concessions, sponsorships, where is all that money going? maybe they get some sort of stipend or allowance to help pay for some things? I don’t know. How can I know? In fact if anything, I keep seeing conflicting messages if it is a professional sporting event or not. Sporting event sure, but professional? I’m not meaning any disrespect to the ladies involved, merely trying to interpret and understand the law.
And the list goes on and on and on and on. So many things to consider, but in the end, no one seems to be willing to become the court precedent. That’s a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of risk. Furthermore, this is only this one event. Any time and any where I go, I have to think about these things, consider these things, research these things. That adds up to a lot of time, money, and effort spent.
But you know what’s sad?
Bad guys don’t care.
I’m spending all sorts of time and effort to try to ensure I follow the law. Bad guys, by definition, don’t care about the law. They won’t spend any time on this. They don’t care. So what does that do? It means bad guys have the free reign to go anywhere and do anything they want. Good guys don’t.
Does that seem right to you? Does it seem right to burden good people? To put good people at a legally mandated disadvantage? The law is supposed to abridge bad people, to make the burden so great that people wouldn’t want to do bad things. But all I see here is making a large burden for good people trying to do good things. How is that right?
We are not supporters of the state’s 1995 law allowing qualified adults to get licenses to carry concealed handguns. But, as is often the case with hot-button issues, the extremes predicted by both sides during that debate have not materialized.
We have not, as opponents opined, reverted to some kind of Wild West existence with shootouts at high noon and other times of the day. Somehow, we have remained a fairly civilized society.
And we have not, as proponents predicted, seen a raft of incidents in which pistol-packing Texans stepped to the fore to protect themselves and others through their deft use of concealed firepower.
First, I’d say you haven’t been looking that deep as there certainly are reported incidents of both. But you are more likely to hear stories of shootings than of non-shootings? Why? Because crimes are reported, but non-crimes are not. I know of a person that pulled his car over to deal with a phone call. A man came out of the woods, heading towards the car with the wrong look in his eye. Driver noticed and bailed out of the car meeting the man with his drawn gun. The man thought better and left. No crime reported, no story to hear about. This sort of thing happens more often than you think. So it’s difficult to quantify such things because of what we are able to and not able to collect data on.
Nevertheless, we do remain a fairly civilized society. But “fairly” isn’t 100%. Bad things can and do happen, and responsible people who care about themselves and their loved ones take steps to be prepared to minimize the impact of bad things happening.
Despite what some advocates say, Patterson reminds us that “this is really not about the kid carrying a gun to class so he can defend himself against a mass Virginia Tech murder,” he said, referring to the 2007 incident in which 32 people were killed by a gunman at that Blacksburg, Va., state university.
“It’s about the nursing student that goes to class at weird hours at UTMB in Galveston and has to walk back to a parking lot in darkness, or the lady with a protective order against a former lover or spouse,” Patterson said.
We’d like to think that even people in those situations could find ways to feel safe without packing a pistol. Perhaps we are naive.
It’s easy to be tough from behind a keyboard, oh editorial writer.
How about you tell that tiny woman I recently encountered in class… tell her what she should do to not just feel safe, but do something proactive about her safety.
Tell my female friend that’s a teacher at a Texas college and thus has to walk alone to her car, to the classroom. She can’t have a 24/7 bodyguard. She can’t have escorts. And if you are so willing to tell a woman she’s not allowed to take care of herself, are you willing to take a huge step back in women’s rights?
I’d think the AAS would be all for women’s rights… rights to choose… it’s her body, she can do what she wants with it. So, why are you so willing, so steadfast, in denying women their rights?
Yes, I think perhaps you are naive.
I remember watching roller derby on TV as a kid growing up. It was fun, but I don’t think I ever really understood the game, the rules, or what was going on. It was just…. fun.
I know roller derby has been growing in popularity again, especially here in Austin. I was talking with my buddy W about it as he’s gone a few times and really enjoys it. Plus, Daughter got wind of it and thought it looked pretty cool. So, last night W, a friend of his, myself, and Daughter went to check out the Texas Rollergirls.
Oh man, that was fun!
The rules and basics of the game are simple enough, but it still allows for competition, strategy, and a load of excitement. I think that’s what I liked the most was the constant action: the game is designed to move and keep moving.
I was impressed with the endurance and toughness of the ladies. No question it’s a tough and demanding sport, but you could also tell everyone out there was loving what they did. I think that must have been evident to Daughter because she was so excited and loved every minute of it. She even got to get a picture with and talk with Acute Angel after the bout. Angel told Daughter about the Derby Brats, and Daughter is interested in checking it out! I have no problem if she wants to do it, tho Wife is a little unsure. Next session isn’t until Fall, so I guess the meantime it’s buy her some rollerskates and safety gear and see if she falls in love with skating.
Oh yes. I’ll be going back. Take the whole family too.
I haven’t written much about our dog training because well… I just haven’t. But we haven’t stopped. We’re still working with Sasha and the new (well, she’s not new any more) trainer. We’ve done a lot of the basic obedience, working on her territorialness, and teaching her how to be calm on command (“settle”).
What’s really interesting is the recent turn of events. If you remember, we took ownership of Sasha around 8 months of age. She had another owner for 4 months prior. We had a lot of questions about what went on during those 4 months because the time from age 2 months to 6 months can be a very vital stage in a puppy’s development. But we resigned ourselves to never really knowing what happened apart from the few things the breeder told us.
Let’s hear it for the Internet. A few weeks ago I get an email from Sasha’s previous owner! You see, when he returned Sasha to the breeder they said she’d become a show dog. Well, a few weeks ago he happened to be thinking about her and figured he could Google to see if perhaps she was listed in any dog show results. Instead, he found my blog and based upon what I had written knew it was her. He wasn’t sure about reaching out to me, but because he’s always dealt with recuse dogs and wondered about their pasts, he figured now being on the other side of that coin he’d contact me so he could fill informational void.
We’ve been exchanging some emails, with him telling me a lot about her past, including sharing pictures. It’s been very useful and answered a lot of the questions we had. We gave all of this information to our trainer, and it’s creating a new course of action for us in terms of behavior modification work. All good. It’s still going to take months of work, but we’re dedicated to this dog. She’s awesome… it’s just that well… “this one goes to 11″ and we sometimes just need her to turn it back to a 10.
Here’s a puppy picture her previous owner shared with us. Ain’t she cute?