Monthly Archives: December 2014

People I Hate in the Gun Community

Warning: This is a rant, there may be harsh language.

If you’re a citizen and you’ve ever open carried a firearm for defensive purposes I hate you. That may seem harsh but you people only serve to make people more scared of guns. What are you really gaining from scaring people? You make the anti-gunners look right, you’re not protesting a goddamn thing. Your decision to throw on your AR-15 while picking up a double quarter pounder with extra cheese hurts the rights a lot of people have fought and died to protect. Instead of squeezing into your size 44 BDUs and trying to show how fucking tacticool you are take a second and be honest with yourself about who your actions are truly benefitting.

Gun restrictions aren’t a bad thing. Background checks help keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.
Full auto weaponry isn’t any more useful than semi auto except being way more fun to shoot. Do some criminals end up with guns? Of course. Should a violent criminal be able to walk into a store and buy a full auto assault rifle? No fucking way. Police Officers have a hard job as it is imagine if they had to worrying about some convicted felon spraying down their neighborhood with an Uzi. Obviously if criminals want full auto guns they’ll get them but we shouldn’t be fighting to make it easier. Some gun restrictions are asinine obviously. Magazine restrictions, barrel length restrictions, and some others I’m too pissed off to think about are a joke. If you’re mad because you have a felony or two and can’t buy that fancy new FAL you’ve been wanting, tough shit felon, you shouldn’t have done the crime.

Gun writers lie to you. It’s that simple. Companies send them guns to review with the understanding the review will be favorable. Take 2014 for example. Remington released the R51, gun writers that were hand picked by Remington went nuts over the gun. Great! Game Changer! A sure fire success! Were all phrases used to describe the gun. In reality? The same company that makes the 700 and the 870, two top of their class weapons, also made what was possibly the worst handgun of the last 5 years, and people were tricked by gun writers into buying it. I shouldn’t even refer to these people as “writers” it does an injustice to people who truly have a gift for words. Derringers also made a bit of a comeback this year, and that’s fine. If people want to defend themselves with 150 year old technology they should just buy a Bowie knife. If I was going to rob someone and they pulled out one of these hard to hold inaccurate little mouse guns I’d laugh, slap them, and take their lunch money. Now a Bowie knife is a different story, they’d leave with MY lunch money and MY girlfriend.

Don’t listen to or read the work of these idiots. Go to a gun shop, talk to people, shoot the gun you’re thinking of buying. Don’t buy with a copy of Guns & Ammo blindfolding you.

What Makes Up A Good EDC Knife

I’d imagine more people carry knives than carry guns but there are thousands of articles about what gun to carry. Here at TactPunk we’ve decided to give you some things to look for in a good EDC knife.

Now I’ve carried hundreds of different knives and most of them had a problem or two so I know what to look for in a good knife. I won’t be participating in the fixed or folding debate because they both have upsides and downsides. Some of my opinions will differ from the “experts”, they usually do, but I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m just a guy who likes knives.

The number one thing to look for is affordability. I don’t make tons of money so I can’t afford a beautiful knife made by someone like Gil Hibben. You can find a really good EDC knife without breaking the bank. Recently Kershaw released the Emerson designed CQC series of knives, these are cheaper than Emerson built knives and have all the same features soldiers, cops, and federal agents have trusted for years. Selling for about $60 they’re a great value, I own a few.

Durability is an important factor as well. The knife you buy at a flea market for $5 simply won’t hold up as well as a knife manufactured by a reputable company. The type of steel a knife is made from has a lot to do with its durability. No steel is perfect, some sharpen up like razors but dull quickly, some never seem to get really sharp but are great at holding that edge. You’ll need to decide for yourself which steel is for you.

Your personal EDC knife choice will depend on what you plan on using the knife for as well. Will it be a defensive weapon? If so a knife that you can open or draw fast and consistently is ideal. Will you be cutting tree limbs or boxes open all day? In this case a knife made from a high grade of steel will be useful. Do you want a knife that can ride on a belt or in a pocket all day then filet a fish or gut a deer? A lighter knife with a razor edge might be the way to go then. There isn’t a knife produced that is absolutely perfect in all circumstances but there are tons that will be perfect for you when you’re honest with yourself about how you’ll use it.

At the beginning of WWII the USMC was looking into fighting knives and adopted a version of the classic Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife. The Marines quickly realized that while the Fairbairn-Sykes was indeed a great fighting knife it couldn’t hold up to other uses Marines had for knives. It wasn’t good at clearing brush, opening cans, or crushing skulls. The Marines began to look into alternative knife designs. Enter the KA-BAR. While the KA-BAR wasn’t as good as of a fighting knife there wasn’t brush it couldn’t clear or a can that could resist its sturdy blade. I have my grandfathers KA-BAR from WWII and when I showed it to someone recently they treated it like a museum piece. Big mistake! If the SHTF tomorrow it’d be one knife I’d have no qualms about carrying. Even 70 years later I trust that it will do any job I ask it, whether that’s crushing a skull or opening a MRE.

Whatever knife you choose to carry is the most important knife in your arsenal. That reproduction samurai sword that’s above your fireplace won’t do shit at 2am in a dark alley. Honestly, it probably won’t do shit at anytime other than look cool. Don’t waste your money on junk blades.

Shooting Accurately Made Simple aka The Rule of 3

The main goal most shooters have is to shoot accurately. Companies related to the gun culture know and take advantage of this. There are hundreds of articles, videos, and blog posts written about shooting accurately every month.

I’m going to write the only one you’ll need to read to become a better pistol shooter.

Shooting accurately is all about 3s. It’s really quite easy once you accomplish the basics.

The first set of 3s deals with your lower body stance. Both feet should be flat on the ground, your knees should be slightly bent, and your hips should be able to move easily to switch between targets. That’s it. 3 things.

The next set deals with your upper body. No matter your stance 3 things will help your shooting accuracy tremendously. First your strong arm, that’s the arm of your trigger finger, should be SLIGHTLY bent at the elbow. Next your upper body should be leaning towards your target to mitigate recoil. Last your eyes should be focusing on your front sight and nothing else. For most people that last one is the hardest to accomplish.

Trigger control is the most important part of shooting accurately. Everything else involved can be atrocious but great trigger control can make up for it. Trigger control comes down to 3 things, big surprise. First you need a smooth trigger pull, that herky jerky stuff will have you shooting all over the place. Second is acquiring the front sight after the shot has been fired. Last is the trigger reset, you shouldn’t let your finger come off the trigger. If your finger comes off you’re more likely to jerk shots and it’ll hurt your shooting speed as well.

Drawing your gun can be broken down into 3 movements as well. First is the gun clearing the holster and being presented in the low ready position. Second is going from low ready to aiming at your target. Third is putting your finger on and pulling the trigger.

There’s a reason so many great shooters come from a karate/boxing background. The ability to control the entire body and accomplish the same movement over and over again is a skill that must be learned. A regular person can’t throw a sidekick like Bruce Lee or a right cross like Michael Moorer by accident. Just like a regular person can’t draw and fire like Mas Ayoob or Rob Pincus. These skills have to be practiced religiously. Great body control doesn’t depend on height or the amount you can bench press, but being in good shape will help you.

Get out there and practice these tips and let me know how it goes.

On a personal note, I just want to thank everyone for reading and sending emails. I’ve received a surprising amount considering this blog is still quite young. I hope every had a great holiday as well.

Let’s kick some ass in 2015.

The Gun That Really Won The West

Whenever a conversation about the Old West starts it inevitably turns to the topic of guns. Many iconic firearms came from the period and huge advances in technology resulted in guns that are still useful today.

Winchester Lever Actions are one of the two, the other being the Colt Single Action Army, most associated guns springing from this this time. While they are both great guns others need to be recognized for their contributions. This post isn’t about those guns, it’s about the other, less popular guns, that made staggering contributions to our settling of a vast lawless land.

The Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver often referred to as the “top break” because of how its reloaded was truly a revolutionary firearm. There are thousands of theories about why the Army adopted the Colt SAA over the S&W but the Army did buy a number of Model 3s as well. Chambered in all the popular calibers of the day the Model 3 has one huge advantage over the SAA, it’s much faster and easier to reload. To reload you simply “break” open the top of the gun as seen below.

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The cartridges eject, hopefully, and you load in six more. The gun had some disadvantages as well, mainly the durability of the frame but I’m in a good mood so I won’t go too in depth.

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The Springfield Model 1873 or the “Trapdoor” as it was called was the official Army rifle during most of the late 1800’s. Adopted over Winchester 73 because it was thought that the faster troops could shoot the faster they’d waste ammo the Trapdoor started its service at a marked disadvantage. A single shot rifle or carbine that reloads using a hinged breechblock system or a trapdoor, hence the name, the gun did have its advantages. It’s a pretty accurate gun, the trigger was much better than the Winchester, and with an experienced Trooper handling it he could come close to the rate of fire of a Winchester. Now the gun did have a tendency to jam, but that was an ammunition problem. Overall the gun did its duty, we did settle the West after all.

The Gun That Really Won The West

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Oh yes, girls and boys, there it is. The Gatling Gun. First used during the Civil War with devastating effect against the Nepoleonic tactics of the day the Gatling Gun was truly a game changing gun. Capable of a rate of fire not seen before the Gatling Gun gave Army leaders those secrets to winning any battle. Mobility and Force Multiplication. It had better accuracy and was much easier to maneuver through the lawless lands of the West than any cannon of the day. It could be operated by a minimum of two Troopers, although a four man crew is ideal. It’s the gun that could’ve saved Custer at Little Big Horn although I agree with his decision not to take them along. The Gatling Gun is truly the gun that tamed the Wild West. It’s so good Gatling Guns are still widely used today and an argument can be made that there wasn’t a better heavy machine gun produced until World War II.

Some tips on what to carry

Before we dive into a topic every wannabe gun writer and their grandmother has written about lets set the record straight. What works for me might not work for you. These are just tips.

I’ll start off with an admittedly bold statement gun writers are paid not to make.

The most important part of your concealed carry gear isn’t the gun.

Now the gun is important, no doubt, but your holster and belt are more important. If you can’t carry your gun securely and comfortably you’re way less likely to carry it. Marcus Wynne, former Federal Air Marshall, author, and high level instructor, is a huge advocate of quality holsters and he knows tons more than I ever will. In every one of his books he talks about the importance of a good holster.

Marcus’ website: http://www.marcuswynne.com
Marcus’ blog: http://www.marcuswynne.wordpress.com

A poor holster can cause minor problems like premature wear on guns and major problems like the gun falling out. There are tons of great holsters out there made of multiple materials. Gone are the days of the only good holsters being made from leather. I still prefer leather because it’s proven but don’t discount other materials.

The belt you choose is just as important as the gun. If you can’t hold your holster and pants securely you’re just as dangerous as the situation you might need the gun in. Again, leather is the most popular and by far the most attractive. Belt width and common sense also comes into play, if you have a 1.5inch wide holster and a 2inch wide belt that’s just not going to work. Many people, including myself, have made this mistake and had to return the holster in shame.

Now, finally, let’s talk guns. The gun you choose to carry is completely up to you. You should do your research both online and in person, shoot the gun you’re thinking about carrying early and often, and avoid one gun. That gun is any 1911 chambered in .45acp with a barrel shorter than 4inches. 1911’s are fantastic guns for just about any job but ones with a barrel shorter than 4inches are notoriously unreliable. So unless you like stovepipes and failure-to-feeds stay away, far away. Any other type of gun that you can conceal comfortably and is reliable will be fine. .380 pocket pistols up to 44 magnum, doesn’t matter, if you will carry it that’s what matters. I would avoid any caliber smaller than .380 however, they just don’t pack enough punch. I’ve carried almost every popular kind and brand of handgun available except for a .44 magnum but if I were to find myself in bear country in late fall/early winter I’d carry one of those too!

My current carry gear is a Glock 19 just behind my right hip, a glock 26 on my left ankle. My carry preferences change constantly. Weather, where I’ll be, whim, and what I’ll be doing all effect what I’ll be carrying. But I’ll guarantee one thing, I will be armed.

Now I’m right handed and carry my G26 on my left ankle which is contrary to what most people suggest. My main reason for doing this is that if my right arm becomes unusable I can easily access the gun with my left. If I were only carrying the 26 it would be carried on my left ankle.

Your first AR

So you’ve just purchased your first AR, congratulations. For this post I’ll assume your new rifle is chambered in either .223 or 5.56mm. Depending on your interests, monetary situation, and creativity there are tons of attachments to go with your new gun. I’ll try to help you decide how much or how little to customize your gun.

Home Defense

An AR is a great choice for home defense. The adaptability and light weight of the weapons platform lends itself to home defense brilliantly. You’ll need to choose your accessories to fit a low light close quarters combat scenario. A LLCQC scenario is among the most dangerous anyone can be in even with a properly outfitted weapon. You’ll definitely want some type of sight. I’d recommend a red dot or holographic one, even iron sights wouldn’t be a bad choice. ACOGs are great sights but they aren’t well suited for LLCQC situations because of their increased magnification. Choosing a barrel is important as well, if you’re choosing a gun specifically for any scenario it’d be advantageous to buy the proper barrel with your AR. In a LLCQC scenario the shorter the barrel the better. Most of the shooting in that situation will occur at less than 10 yards so a longer barrel will only hamper your maneuverability. Weapons lights are another attachment I would recommend looking into. The ability to incapacitate your opponent without firing a shot is a huge advantage some lights offer. Lights also allow you to see in situations where your opponent may not be able to, another huge advantage. Defending your home or clearing a structure is never easy but if you give yourself every advantage your chances of success will increase exponentially.

Target Shooting

Everyone loves to hit bullseyes and show off at the range. ARs are pretty good accuracy weapons because of their method of recoiling. Without getting into specifics or scientifics too much, the AR recoils straight into your shoulder instead of rising up like an M-14. This helps with semi automatic accuracy and fast follow up shots. When building or buying an AR for accuracy an ACOG or more powerful scope is optimal. The better you can see your target the easier the target us to hit, pretty simple. Other than a bipod attachments won’t help your AR’s accuracy much, most of a rifles accuracy comes from its internals instead of its externals. New trigger assemblies and heavier barrels are the easiest and most popular ways to make your AR into a real tack driver. You’ll also want a fixed length stock instead of an adjustable one. The less moving parts the better.

All Around

To build a great all around rifle you’ll need to combine segments of both of the previous two sections and decide what you like best. My personal all around AR-15 has an ACOG sight, 16″ barrel and a collapsible butt stock. That’s personal preference of course so yours might be different. I would caution you however to try to keep your rifle as light as possible. Attachments are fun but they tend to get heavy fast.

Now you can ignore all this advice and buy a custom AR but they aren’t cheap. You’ll also learn much more about your gun by tweaking it to your specifications. You’ll get one much closer to perfect doing it yourself than any custom shop will doing it for you. The Internet is full of videos and articles on ARs so don’t be afraid to use that resource.

Let me know in the comments how you’ve customized your AR. I might just “borrow” some ideas.

Things that really bother me…

This post was actually requested by multiple people I know personally and a few readers. Yes, surprisingly I do have a few regular readers that I don’t know. So the basic idea is to share things I’m tired of hearing/reading about guns in general.

SHEEPDOGS

This is a term that to the best of my knowledge isn’t very old. I remember hearing it first around 2010 or so and now it’s disgustingly common. Real life sheepdogs are canines used to protect sheep. That’s it. Pretty simple right? Not so fast. This term has grown to falsely describe anyone who protects anything. Member of the neighborhood watch? Sheepdog! Police officer anywhere? Sheepdog! Security officer who carries a flashlight and patrols a salt warehouse? Sheepdog! Now I’m sure about 1 out of every 1,000 people who call themselves a sheepdog actually is a sheepdog. I don’t know what constitutes a sheepdog and I’m pretty sure no one does.

OPERATORS

By my understanding if you hit the gym once a week and the range twice a month you’re an operator. If you own a pair of BDU pants you’re an operator. If you’ve seen Lethal Weapon 3+ times you’re an operator. Of course, none of those things are true. Unless you are a member of a Tier One unit you aren’t an operator, don’t bring shame upon those men and maybe women by comparing yourself to them.

PRESS CHECKS

Knowing if your gun is loaded or not is obviously important. Carrying an unloaded gun is both useless and dangerous. Useless in the fact that if you need to draw the firearm in a stressful situation I guarantee you, unless you’ve trained extensively, that the first sound you hear is a click. It’s dangerous because after your gun goes click either the bad guys gun will go bang, maybe adding a new hole or two to your body. Best case scenario after your gun doesn’t fire is the bad guy proceeds to beat/knife the hell out of you until you get a round in the chamber. When you’re completely familiar with your firearm you’ll be able to tell if a round is in the chamber or not. If you’re still determined to press check do it right before you put your gun on. The simple act of press checking your gun causes you to do two things you shouldn’t ever do in a potentially harmful situation. First, you’re taking one of your hands off your gun to manipulate the slide or cylinder. Second you’re taking your eyes off the target to look at the round. Now I understand the desire to carry without a round in the chamber. I carried a 1911 like that for awhile, but I also trained with that gun way more than was worth it in the long run. If you do carry without a round chambered check out videos of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and how they draw.

HOME DEFENSE

I’ve seen hundreds of commercials of a gun stalking through his house in the middle of the night armed only with his trusty gun and a pair of fuzzy slippers. Gun companies, flashlight companies, and ammunition companies all produce these commercials. What they don’t show you is this gun getting shot or beaten to death. Consider the Castle Doctrine. It’s called the CASTLE Doctrine for a reason. Your home is your castle. How many defenders of a castle would go out stalking around looking for invaders? Not many I’d assume. Designate a hard point in your house and defend it. Gather your whole family in that room and stay there. It’s much easier to defend than it is to attack. Try this if you don’t believe me. Get a few people together. Doesn’t matter who. Kids, spouse, friends, mailman. Give them airsoft guns and tell them to hide. Grab your airsoft gun and proceed to clear your home. You won’t last long before they shoot you. After have them try to gain entry to a room you’re protecting and see how much longer you survive. Regardless of your preferred tactics your first action should be to call the cops.

GUN STORES

I don’t work in a gun store. I was recently hired by a growing national chain but I didn’t take the job for a few reasons. Whether your LGS (Local Gun Store) is a huge store with thousands of guns or a small shop with 9 rifles, 15 shotguns, and 4 pistols (I counted) most of the same rules apply. Don’t point a gun at anyone. That also applies to daily life. Don’t dry fire guns without asking. Don’t take apart guns without asking. Don’t slingshot pistols, ever! Slingshotting is hitting the slide release and letting it snap close, you have two hands, use them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If they’re mean to you don’t go back, pretty simple. Always check the chamber on a gun you’re handed, I’ve been handed loaded guns twice. Have a rough idea of what you’re looking for if you’re looking to buy. Don’t be scared to go and just browse but tell them you’re just browsing.

Those are just a few things that really bother me when it comes to guns, there are many more but it’s late and I’m tired of typing. Thanks for reading.