Sunday, January 29, 2012

Load and Make Ready

Let's see. Haven't been shooting hardly at all. Mr WK and I have been passing a cold forth and back. These past few days, it's been my turn. It's not a bad one, mainly tired, and only bouts of regular cold ickiness instead of all the time. So we continue to lie low. I'm so tired of the taste of plain orange juice that I may have to resort to a splash of peach schnaps just to get it down.

Haven't been reloading much — see above. Haven't even carried in my new CCW bag
I've been able to wear the gun on my hip where it belongs. I thought I would this morning going to Mass but I was able to use my jacket to cover the bulge on my hip. 'Course I haven't been out much either.

I shot the Women's IDPA match this past Wednesday. Six shooters including two new shooters and six CoFs (Courses of Fire). I am especially excited about the two new shooters. Both knew each other (neither knew the other was going to be there that evening) and know other women shooters who may be interested in IDPA. A few days before the match one of the women began working at the gun shop right next to the range. So she'll be able to tell even more women about the matches. And both women are keen to shoot IDPA more than once a month, which means they'll shoot with the 'guys'. The woman who doesn't work at the gun shop her husband shot his first IDPA match only the week before at the regular bi-monthly match at this range. So if two of the women shoot on a regular basis with the 'guys' and with the women I'm hoping that more of the women will at least occasionally shoot with the 'guys'.

As to the match, a lot of moving hither, thither, yon and beyond. We did the Tueller Drill with two threat targets, three rounds each. I think everyone emptied their mag on it. We also had a low light scenario. The story was that you were emptying the trash at night from your place of business. You walk out the door and are a bit distracted by all the police lights. The range has several LEO light bars mounted on the ceiling. The only other light on the range was a dim light a few yards behind the threat targets so they were difficult to see. As you round cover carrying a trash bag in your strong hand, the buzzer beeps. You drop the trash bag and while retreating to cover you address each of the two bad guys with two rounds each. We also had a couple of stages that included a mandatory reload with retention or tactical reload. And there was the almost obligatory home defense stage. You open the door to several bad guys with a non-threat right in front
— maybe the pizza delivery guy? — that you have to shoot around, in tactical priority; near to far. All good fun and great practice.

blogging to: Pandora seeded with Herb Alpert

reading: A Mended and Broken Heart the Life and Love of Francis of Assisi by Wendy Murray

Parting Shot

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is She or Isn't She?

I've been on the search for something I'd NEVER, EVER thought I'd buy. A conceal-carry purse. Not being in the working world since I began carrying for the overwhelming majority of the time I've been able to wear clothing that would enable me to carry a gun on my hip or in a pocket. However wearing business casual clothing working that three-week part-time job in October and now going to Mass every week and sometimes during the week made me realize a truth for me. [YMMV]

As much as I dislike purse-carry there are times I'm going to have to do it. Oh, an ankle holster's still in the cards but for now this is more practical. I needed a new purse anyway. My old one was .... well ... old and well worn. I wanted one large enough to carry my stuff and my gun along with a spare mag or two. I also didn't want to lug around a huge purse either. I'm short and I wanted to at least get something that was close to the right size for my size.

I found this Concealed Carry Basic Hobo Handbag in red from Gun Tote'n Mamas. It met my basic criteria — it would conceal my gun if I chose to use it that way, it has zippered outside and inside pockets and it's large enough to carry all my stuff plus extra mags. The only thing I didn't like at first but may now be an advantage is that the bag (not the conceal carry part) is divided into two zippered compartments instead of just one. The drawback is that which compartment holds what I need? I've decided to carry my only wallet and any extra mags in one side and the rest of the stuff in the other. That way, if I need an extra mag I can find it without having to dig or feel through the entire contents of the bottom of my purse.

As far as guns, my Sig P238 is way too small for the holster included with the bag — which is fine. The P238 is my last option before no carry at all and in a pocket holster for safety was my purse carry gun. My preferred carry, my XDm 3.8 9mm is almost too tall and wide for the opening. I can get it out but I'm afraid it would get hung up in the opening if I was in a hurry. The Goldilocks gun seems to be my Glock 26. I can hold the purse at almost any angle and get the gun out.

Some of the features I like about this bag: the inside of the gun carrying area has a large area of Velcro and the gun holster itself has a large strip so I can reposition the holster, if necessary and the carry compartment has a zipper at both ends for left or right handed purse carry. It also has a wire running through the carry strap so it would be difficult for someone to cut and grab it.

Before this purchase I would carry my purse on either shoulder. BUT if I have a gun in there it needs to STAY on my left shoulder with the butt of the gun facing forward so I can slip my right hand into the zippered compartment and have the gun in my strong hand ready to go. If it's on my right shoulder it's a no go as I'd have to swith the holster position around and I would be drawing with my weak / support hand. So that's another caveat other than the most important one: I can't leave it anywhere when I'm in a public place even for a couple of seconds.

The good thing is that it looks just like a regular purse. I opted for red like my last two purses. The second reason [and most probably flawed] for red is that if 'guy' does a snatch and run it'll be harder to disguise a red purse. A black, brown / tan / navy bag is not as noticeable carried by anyone.

I've never been a feminine girly-girl. I'm not a bag / shoe switcher with every outfit or change of clothing. I don't even have 'outfits'! I have more holster and carry gun choices than I do purses and shoes. Most of the time when I'm out and about, the gun is on my hip and if I can put it on my body there will be a place for a spare mag. When I go back to work, not only is an ankle or maybe even a thigh holster going to be a reality, if pocket space is limited, I may even sport a concealed neck knife
rule #9.

When I was at Cabela's (where I found it) checking out, the woman running the cash register remarked that she didn't know they sold purses. Always looking to educate, I replied that it was a concealed-carry purse and showed her the zippered compartment with the holster and told her why I was buying it. She said me she didn't like guns. They were scary and loud. I mentioned that it was just like any other tool. By the way she repeated the tool comment I knew she'd heard that argument many times before.

We chatted about 'guns' while she continued ringing up our mostly gun-related purchases; her comments either negative or non-committal and my responses always non-aggressive but gun-positive. At the end, she remarked that if she had a gun she'd most likely shoot herself accidentally (back to the dangerous theme) and I replied that just like a kitchen knife that you know is very sharp (and dangerous), you have to be careful when you use it. So who knows. Maybe someday there'll be a straw that will 'break' in the right direction.

I haven't used this bag for it's intended purpose yet. And as I said most of the time there will be no gun in the bag. The only way anyone will ever know is if they see the gun. If anyone picks it up and it's heavy someone may ask, "What have you got in there? A brick?" My smiling, truthful answer, "No. Lead." After all, "everyone" knows that women don't like and don't carry guns. Guns are icky and scary and loud.

blogging to: an Ultra Lounge mix

reading: No Man Standing by Barbara Seranella (a Munch Mancini mystery)

Parting Shot:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shooter Ready

One of the IDPA clubs I shoot with held a Classifier instead of their regular match Thursday. Two of the women I shoot with in the Women's IDPA shot that Classifier — their first. The past several months I'd been encouraging our regulars to shoot a Classifier the next time one was held at that range. I'd already got them to join IDPA several months after they began shooting IDPA on a regular basis. So two goals down and more to go.

Another idea in my sneaky little mind is to get them integrated into at least occasionally shooting a match with the guys
— at the regular semi-monthly IDPA matches. If I lived closer than 90+ miles from that range I'd be there for every match and that, I think, would get them to shoot with the guys even when I couldn't be there. They wouldn't be just a bunch of guys, mostly whom they don't know; they'd be a bunch of guys they shoot with on a regular basis — no longer mostly strangers but acquaintances, if not friends. I drove out mainly to 'be there' for the two women and to help with the match. As I most likely knew most of the other shooters and the other SO's (Safety Officers—none of them shot the Classifier but were there to help run the match) I did some introductions.

The Women's IDPA Match Director was one of the SO's so another familiar face. Between strings and shooters when a person that didn't have electronic ears could chat and not only be heard but hear the other person, I introduced both women to all the other shooters, particularly the other SO's and shooters I knew shot there on a regular basis. By the end of the evening, I noticed them in conversation with some of the other shooters. And when after each stage they took their score sheet into the 'booth' to be scored, they would spend a little more time with some of the regulars.

Hopefully one or both will venture in and shoot some regular matches with "the guys".

blogging to: Memories 89 1

reading: Relative Danger by June Shaw (a Cealie Gunther mystery)

Parting Shot: