Not much to say here other than, freakin’ awesome!
Jason, Gary, Gregg Garrett and I had the pleasure of shooting in the 3rd annual Texas Association of First Responders 3 gun match today. TAFR is a 501c3, non profit. Founded in 2007, TAFR was created to benefit law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical personnel injured in the line of duty. It was an honor to donate to them today, I hope you will consider it, too. You can learn more about this noble cause at www.Tafr.org.
We could not have hand picked a better day to be outside shooting. The skies were lightly overcast and the HCSO range was all a shooter could ask for. Spacious, clean, and plenty of available berm space. This is a first class facility staffed by first rate people. I was honored to pop my 3 gun cherry at this place. I’ve never really considered 3 gun before because, In spite of spending half of my life at a shooting range, I have never been eager to really get to know how to really use a shotgun. Hell, I shot trap 6 months ago. That’s the extent of my shotgun shooting over the last 5 years. And I know, it’s my own damn fault. I should’ve used these last couple of weeks to get some work in, but I’m hard headed and I didn’t. I just kept plugging away with my pistol, telling myself “I’ll train on the 870 tomorrow”, and just never did it. And I had bad dreams all night last night. Repeatedly trying to quickly reload a shotgun and failing miserably. It would be a sign of things to come…
As I waited to shoot the first course of fire, my heart was pumping pretty good. Like I said, this is my first 3 gun match. I’m shooting with my friends and a whole bunch of people I don’t know, all watching. And predictably, shotgun is in the mix. Great. Even worse, as I shouldered my rifle and stared through my Trijicon SRS, my butt instantly puckered as I couldn’t get the dot to pop up in my glass. The same red dot that was perfectly functional just 8 hours before during my function check routine. I’m guessing the solar panel atop the optic will do you no good on a cloudy day. But luckily, I travel with spare batteries and was able to get my optic in the game. I stepped up to the course and plotted my strategy. I tried to plan my course of fire. I scanned the targets and looked for my best route through the scenario. I had a plan, and I knew what I had to do. But then the buzzer went off…
THE FIRST STAGE:
As I settled in the front seat of what used to be a small SUV, I scanned the field and the targets. I was confident in my ability to jump from the seat and knock out 6 quick pistol shots. I was good with picking up my rifle and firing off another 8 from the rear window. From there, it’s off to the races to the other side of the berm for 12 more rifle rounds from a kneeling position, through a barrier window. Next, safety the rifle and drop it muzzle first into a 55 gallon drum. Lastly, pick up the shotgun and whack some steel. No reloading on this stage if you hit ’em all. Whew. I gripped the steering wheel and heard the obligatory “Shooter ready?” As I nodded, my nerves settled and I relaxed. The buzzer sounded, and I whipped out of the door, spun, got my master grip, and attempted to draw my gun. Two or three good tugs later, I realized I was NOT wearing my trusty Comp-Tac Flatline holster. I WAS wearing a Safariland ALS, a level two retention holster. I drew my gun and all I got was a wedgie. The ALS has a hook on the paddle that grips on the bottom of the users belt. No matter how hard you tug on that sucker, it isn’t coming off your hip. I told myself to slow it down and refocus, and I did. I took my time and I hit all my shots. I moved to rifle and hit all of those, too. I fumbled with the shotgun for a bit before getting it into service. I hit 5 of 6, had to shuck one more shell in the chamber, fumbled it, racked it, and polished off the last target. It felt like a clean run and I figured on a decent score, even though I knew I took my time. Well, I didn’t realize how much time I took. So slow I might have been passed by an old lady on a rascal cart. I only beat two others in the group. A young teenager shooting with his dad’s team, and Gary:) I knew I had to kick it up a couple of gears.
I’d love to go into detail about matches 2-4, but all I need to say is, for me, “going faster” means my brain gets way dumber. I made 3 critical errors that added somewhere between 30 seconds and 3 days on my total time. It was brutally stupid. I completely skipped past one target and left it free of bullet holes, earning not one, but two procedural violations. Also, not engaging my safety on the rifle before dropping it in the barrel. No telling how much time that one cost our team and myself. Thanks to a fine showing by Jason and Gregg, and a big time rally after a rough start by Gary, we were able to eek out “not last place”. 5th out of 7. I learned more today than I have in a long time on the range. Both about myself and my equipment. I’ve got a lot of work to do, and damnit, I’m going to redeem myself. That’s right, in spite of some really crappy shooting, I’m coming back. I had a BLAST. Running around like your hair is on fire and ripping away with 3 different guns is an incredible adventure. And great training, too. I also was able to learn from watching others with a higher skill set than my own. 3 gun competition is rapidly growing in popularity. Gear up, put your holster on and support shooting sports. Like me, you’ll be surprised just how much fun it is!
In closing, Gary and I both learned to “use what ya brung” and know your equipment. But his is a whole other story. I should’ve been working the draw out of my ALS (being a LE match, they allegedly required duty gear, but there was a lot of suspect “duty gear” being used) this past week instead of my Flatline. Training with it would’ve certainly improved my tug-the-hell-outta-the-gun-before-you-remember-it’s-in-retention draw. Thanks again to the good folks at TAFR and at the HCSO for hosting this shoot. And thanks to Dodge City Cookers for grilling up a ton of fine, Texas BBQ for all involved. Train, practice, and most of all, HAVE FUN. Shoot straight!
Last Thursday afternoon, a very good friend of mine was startled to learn his house had been broken into and ransacked. The criminals kicked their way into the home via the back door, and destroyed the sanctuary of a wonderful family. The burglars broke their way into the family safe, and pilfered more firearms than I can count with all my fingers. Not only that, they also stole jewelry and hard earned savings. We suspect the burglary was carried out by the same criminals who broke into his truck while he ate at Texas Land and Cattle on 1960 & 249 a few weeks ago. His range bag and briefcase containing personal info were stolen in seconds. This theft could have very well been the catalyst that launched the burglary and extreme personal violation.
Fast forward to Saturday night at the range. As the night was winding down, two young, black men came cruising in the door wanting to use the range. As they shot, a customer and fellow friend of the burglary victim, recognized two of the very distinct guns being used as two stolen from the collection of our friend. These were custom guns, with most of the parts purchased and installed just 10 days before at the very range these assholes decided to practice their skills. Our customer called the Constables, who raced over, disarmed, and apprehended the duo with the stolen guns. The pair were handcuffed and their gun bag was searched. Sure enough, two of the pistols being used were verified as the stolen guns. Both by visual ID by the victim, and matching serial numbers out of the sales records. One of the other pistols, a pink, spray painted Glock was listed as stolen as well. As the Constables prepared to call the DA with their case, they found these two had previously had a number of run ins with law enforcement. http://www.khou.com/story/news/2014/07/15/11466712/ And
Strangely enough, the case was dropped after the witnesses mysteriously disappeared. In spite of that, I must admit they were always polite and paid their fines when they destroyed equipment with errant gunfire. I appreciate the courtesy. But, they also fit the description of gangbanging thieves wanted by the ATF. They (ATF agents) paid me a visit two weeks ago to warn us of these guys and to call them if this group of thugs were spotted. Unfortunately, the Agent searching for these fellas happened to be on vacation yesterday. It’s unfortunate, because the assistant DA on duty Saturday night out of DA Devon Anderson’s office, I’m not quite sure of her name, but I believe it was Arriega, refused to charge these upstanding young men with possession of stolen firearms. Never mind their stories didn’t match. Never mind the guns one claimed “daddy had forever”, were assembled ten days ago. Never mind the receipt for the serialized optic was actually sitting on top of my desk at that very moment. Never mind these guys have been processed numerous times and witnesses have come up missing. Never mind they are wanted by the ATF. Never mind they are known gang members. Never mind Police KNOW at least one of these guys has shot people in the past! The ADA refused to charge them with possession of stolen firearms and told the Constables to let them go. Turn them loose. On your streets. She had the opportunity to take bad people off the street as they were CAUGHT RED HANDED with STOLEN FIREARMS! The DA’s office isn’t willing to put in the effort to prove they KNEW the guns were stolen. Never mind they were stolen just 48 hours previous. Instead of doing her freaking job, and proving these hoodlums as guilty, she chose to victimize the burglary victim and his family all over again! And assured they will never be able to spend another night in their house. By not doing what the taxpayers pay her to do. By not putting criminals in jail where they belong. Talking to a few of the officers, I found this kind of bull is common from the DA’s office. Apparently, the ADA will only take cases that are absolute lay down convictions, so as to make their record more appealing when they’re applying for jobs in the private sector. Why wouldn’t an oil company want to hire someone who won every case they worked? This clown is putting officers, victims and citizens in danger every night by releasing thugs like these two in the street instead of taking a seemingly slam dunk case. She should be ashamed for her lack of action on this, an ACTUAL GUN CRIME CAUGHT ON CAMERA. It was only pure luck, the watchful eye, and quick thinking of law enforcement that noticed armor penetrating ammo sitting in the bottom of the rifle bag that got these guys locked up in the end. After much persuasion, reading and rereading of the penal code, did the ADA accept charges for possession of AP ammo. I am sickened and disgusted by the actions of the ADA from the office of Devon Anderson Saturday night. These criminals should have been hauled away, right away. They wake in the morning and prepare to ruin lives. They have no moral compass and will kill if presented with the opportunity. They belong in jail. Not out on the streets amongst you and your family. But apparently, that’s right where the ADA wants them…
Dear brothers and sisters of the spiral tube, it is with regret that I must tell you that our joyride on the KSEV Radio Train has come to an end. KSEV made a business decision to fill our time slot with Michael Savage reruns. We have had a great time in the studio and are very appreciative of the opportunity KSEV afforded us. There is a silver lining, as we will shortly have a new YouTube channel up and lots of reviews and the typical banter will continue from Shiloh Shooting Range. Stay tuned to our FB page and gunsovertexasradio.com, which we will update shortly with more info. Shoot Straight!