A Simple Rule to EDC

It’s fine… you don’t need to put your gun on. You’re just going down the block to grab a gallon of milk and a pack of diapers for the baby. You’ll be gone 15, maybe 20 minutes tops. Get in, grab your stuff, and get home.

There’s a million and one excuses that any of us could think of to not carry our EDC equipment, but really, there aren’t any that make sense anymore. It’s 2017 – nearing 2018, and the times have changed. At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, we have to look at the facts and recent trends in violence: a quick trip to the grocery store can devolve into trying to survive a complex, terror-inspired killing spree. It would seem reasonable then that a person would at least give some consideration to keeping at least some resources on hand to deal with both daily tasks and surviving mayhem.

But how to we balance our actual needs for every day carry versus our daily restraints? That is to say: how do we know if we are carrying enough or too little, and how much will our local society tolerate? 

Is a small flashlight and J-frame Smith & Wesson enough when we’re out on a run, or can we get away with a small knife? Can I carry a rifle openly here or will it be acceptable to have a long gun nearby, or will I look like the next UT tower shooter? On any given day, we have to balance our “mission requirements” with a sensible and reasonable amount of gear to carry.

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The S&W J-Frame is a classic carry gun, but is it enough for 2017? That’s up for you to decide. (photo: VZ grips)

If I were to give you one bit of advice when trying to decide on what to carry, how much, and when, it would be this simple statement: carry what you’re comfortable getting into a deadly altercation with. 

That simple principle applies to both defensive tools (most obviously firearms) and anything else you may need in the aftermath of said event, such as medical equipment, a cell phone, or even cash/documents.

For me, personally, I’d rarely be caught with less than at least a flashlight, small fixed blade knife, my phone and wallet, and the ability to create improvised medical supplies or equipment (often called “ditch medicine”). But more often than not, I’m carrying at least a compact handgun, Glock 19 or larger, a spare magazine, a small fixed blade, a handheld flashlight, and some sort of tourniquet.

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This Colt Series 70 Level II and its “associates” are an example of a frequent EDC rig that I carry. Despite the size, I can usually conceal is under a tee-shirt and shorts (with the right holster!).

It’s not that I fear anything specifically, but rather if I carry a gun with the idea in mind that I may have to ever use it to defend myself or others, then I figure I should at least carry an appropriate amount of gun and associated equipment with me to win the fight – not just survive it. Smaller, slimmer guns like the Shield or Glock 42/43 are great guns in many regards, but I very rarely carry them. I don’t shoot them as well as larger guns, and I personally have more confidence in my own abilities when using larger handguns. The capacity isn’t the limiting factor for me, but rather the controllability of smaller guns.

However, that’s not to say that one can’t carry a smaller gun or shouldn’t. Body type/concealability and training are two of the biggest factors when assembling an EDC rig. If you can’t carry a bigger gun, then carry whatever you can.

Similarly, my favorite piece of EDC medical kid is the CAT Gen 7 if I can actually carry it, but it’s a bit large and bulky, and frankly it just doesn’t fold down flat enough to hid under a tee shirt. So I’ll usually carry a SOFTT-W because it can pack flatter, or even a RATS tourniquet. I get that they’re not TCCC board approved, but I live in a mostly urban area, and EMS will probably be available reasonably quickly – if I can at least slow the bleeding enough to give them a chance.

Carrying life-saving equipment every day is a serious task. It demands a degree of commitment and a sort of “professionalism” if one is going to be truly well equipped for the modern threat environment. Carrying anything and being ready for everything will always be a matter of measured compromise, but if you feel comfortable with what you have with you, you’re probably on the right path.

 

Killing a King – How Sig ALMOST Took Down Glock

Welcome back, crazies. Hunting season in the midwest has nearly drawn to a close, so we’re back at it and going to hit it hard! Thanks for sticking around, and a big shout out to those of you who’ve been keeping up on Instagram and Facebook. We’ve been gone for awhile so let’s just jump right back in. Today we’re going to take a look at the Sig P320’s successes and failures, and how it nearly put it Sig at the head of the modern pistol market.

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The Sig Sauer P320 is a remarkably good pistol. It’s well machined, has that familiar “Sig” feel in the hand, and has excellent performance. The P320 pretty much typifies everything that you’d probably want in a modern, polymer, striker-fired pistol: great trigger, usable sights, simplified takedown, and actual modularity. Not the BS, “change a backstrap” modularity, but true, Transformers like modularity. The P320 is perhaps the best example of a shape-shifting pistol that can actual go from a subcompact backup gun, to a full fledged duty gun with the switch of a frame… and slide assembly that costs nearly as much as a new gun.

That all being said, what really defined the P320 was it’s modularity. Unlike nearly any other commercially viable handgun to date, the P320 could actually do something that everyone wanted for some reason: switch back and forth between various frame sizes. The modularity of the design was ultimately, in my opinion, what lead the P320 to winning the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract (heavy on the MODULAR), and its performance and design ultimately contributed to its adoption by agencies like Dallas PD, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and reportedly DHS ICE.

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But why are these contracts and agency adoptions so important? Because Sig knows the rules that Gaston Glock knew so many years ago: the American market buys what it’s military and police carry. In the book, “Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun”, Paul M. Barrett outlines how Glock’s shrewd marketing nearly formed a duty weapon monopoly in the holster’s of America’s police departments. But the bottom line was this: despite all of the hookers and blow Gaston could offer to America’s police admins at tactical conferences, price was king. Glock knew that departments are run on budgets, and the cheaper the gun, the more likely they are to be purchased en masse. Sig made their weapons extremely available. The individual officer pricing (IOP) available from numerous dealers was extremely competitive and most guns came already equipped with SIGLITE night sights and at least three magazines. As trivial as that might seem, it was a step above Glock’s Blue Label pricing, and the night sights really put the nail in the deal. Sig seemed to be cruising to success with more P320s entering duty holsters around the country, seemingly with each passing day. And if Sig could get their guns in the holsters of American police officers, they would stand a damn good chance at dominating the public market as well. For whatever reason, Americans like to buy and carry guns that the police and military carry – they’re tested, proven, and often marketed as “duty grade”, or “mil-spec”, and who doesn’t want the best? Sig knew that if they could own the duty market first, their guns would practically drop right into the holsters of the shooting public. See what I did there?

All was well and good until the famous “Drop Gate” of 2017. The P320 was found to have a repeatable safety issue: it would discharge if dropped on the rear of it’s slide an the correct angle. Although Sig stood by their product and claimed that it passed every industry standard test (which it did) it was, and still is, unacceptable for a defensive weapon to discharge without a pull of the trigger. Although Sig quickly issued a recall… I mean, “Voluntary Upgrade” program, the damage was done. News of police departments suspending use of the P320 and officers suing Sig Sauer really, really killed Sig’s buzz. For the most part, Sig has seemingly resolved the issue, but not without likely causing themselves a major issue. Although the military P320, the M17, didn’t suffer from the same flaw due to a design difference, the market has seemed to loose a fair amount of confidence in the P320. Regardless if the gun is now safe with it’s new disconnector and trigger, it doesn’t matter any more. The legacy of the failed drop tests might always haunt the P320.

So, will the P320 replace the Glock as “America’s Gun”? Honestly, it probably could have. Sig was undercutting prices of most competitors and won the MHS bid, which was huge. The gun had performance in the bag over the competition and was actually modular. But the severe shake in consumer confidence will probably keep the Glock soldiering on in duty holsters for the foreseeable future. Maybe Sig has the fabled “Glock-killer”, or maybe someone else does. Only time will tell.

Until Victory.

-TZ

 

This Week in Guns: April 24th, 2017 – BATFE Brace Reversal, Colt Cobra, New Springfield, and Kommiefornia?

What in the hell is happening this week? It seems like the floodgates have suddenly opened and manufacturers are finally hitting their stride. New guns are getting announced, SHOT SHOW 2017 guns are finally shipping, and the gun community is spinning from new legal announcements that may have wide sweeping effects on the gun community as a whole.


First up, it’s the news that’s shaken up the gun world the most in the past few days. If you’ve missed it, you’ve either been under a rock or have zero social network. In a clarification letter to SB Tactical, the BATFE has seemingly reversed its previous decision about shouldering a pistol “brace”. Although I won’t cover the whole history of it here, needless to say it’s a 180 degree turn from their previous stance on the matter that shouldering and firing a pistol with a brace would constitute a reconstruction of a pistol into an SBR, and therefore violate the NFA. The letter would suggest that there isn’t a “proper” way to fire a handgun, and therefore the manner of firing does not in-and-of itself constitute the “making” of an SBR. So good news to all you AR pistol guys out there! Time for an AR pistol truck gun for me…

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More info on the SB Tactical letter can be found here, in a post from the NRA-ILA. Obviously… this is a minor victory in a bigger war, and we need to capitalize on our forward progress. This decision shows how ridiculous the NFA really is, and support needs to be garnered to repeal the NFA. Join the NRA today. It’s the best shot we’ve got.


Next this week, Colt has officially confirmed that their 2017 Cobra is shipping to distributers and dealers now! Although I have yet to see any listed as “in stock” online, I’m definitely going to throw a pre-order in with my local dealer ASAP. Colt’s Facebook page even featured a picture of a bunch of Cobra frames being worked on in the factory, and it seems like they were just trying to build up inventory before shipping. I hope the Cobra sells well for Colt, as it appears to be in high demand and a great carry option for any revolver guy.

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As far as new guns goes, the Cobra is probably at the very top of my list. But that doesn’t mean I’m not at least intrigued by Springfield Armory’s announcement this week of a new handgun product. According to their hype video, it’s their “best kept secret”, so one could assume it’s not the XDM 10mm that they’ve been promising. You can check out the whole sneak preview here, but this is probably the most important image:

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My guess? A single stack 9. It’s not recoiling like anything other, and I don’t think SA is off the deep end enough to put out a single stack .380. It seems pretty thin, which tips me off to “single-stack” and appears to have a tip up loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide, a-la XDM. Revolutionary? Probably not, but it could be pretty cool for Springfield guys and gals.


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And wrapping things up, an NRA affiliate in California has filed a lawsuit against the state citing that CA’s “Assault Weapons Control Act” is unconstitutional (it is). How this will play out in such a far left swinging state is hard to say, but I hope they give ’em hell. A victory in California would set a wide spread precedent for the rest of the country, and a victory for one of us is a victory for all of us.

Until Victory.

TZ

Gun Shop Garbage

If you spend enough time in your local gun shop or range, you’ll probably hear and see what can only be described as some pretty whacky shit. You know what I’m talking about… the misinformed, talking about the incorrect, and doing the weirdest things. These days, I just let it go – but that doesn’t mean I don’t take note of some of best! Here’s a highlight reel from some of my most recent trips:

The Filipino 1911 Officer’s Model – 

This is by far the least egregious offense, and really is just a lesson in “you get what you pay for”. An older gentleman at my LGS brought his officer’s sized 1911 to get a once over by the gunsmith because it’s unreliable. Chief complaint: it won’t feed hollow points. My reaction: no surprise there. It’s a $400.00 Filipino 1911 that was hacked together that had a huge gap between the barrel ramp and frame feed ramp. This wouldn’t have bothered me at all, until he stated that it had run as well as “any Wilson or custom 1911 would”, and that “fancy” 1911s aren’t worth the money… there it is.

Avon as Lube (not the dirty kind)

This one also comes from my local shop, Fox Valley Firearms, and I will say this wasn’t witnessed by me. Thankfully. Apparently a customer brought their gun in due to mechanical issues. Upon further examination, an unusually “sweet” odor was detected coming from the action. Long story short, the guy was using his wife’s Avon body oil as a firearms lubricant. Uhh…

Micro Trijicon ACOG on Glock 19 

Don’t know how I could explain it any better than that. It was a micro ACOG on a Glock 19, supported by a plastic mount that clamped to the rail and extended over the top of the slide. I’m pretty sure it was one of those cheap NC Star mounts or something. Not that it didn’t work… maybe? But… very unconventional.

.357 = 7.62x39mm

No it doesn’t. This one… this guy nearly made me have a stroke. Not only was he attempting to “help” a new gun buyer, but he made claims about the background check being tied to concealed carry permits (they’re not… at all), one shot stopping power, “knock down power”. not needing to carry a reload, and most heinously, he compared his .357 magnum from a 2″ barrel to the performance of 7.62×39 from an AK. He told this woman that 7.62×39 fires a 123gr bullet at “around 1,700 fps” and said his Ruger SP101 fired a 125 gr bullet at “1,400 fps, so their basically the same thing”.

“My normal carry gun is a Smith 500”

No shit, this one is real. I have to admit I thought the guy was BS, but apparently he wasn’t lying – and for good reason. He’s an Alaskan bush pilot, so he shlepps around a S&W 500 VXR for bears. Pretty cool.


I’ve got loads more of weird gun shop/range happenings. I’m not telling you about these to be a dick, although that’s a little bit how this reads. I’m sharing this purely for entertainment and shenanigans. I’m sure you all have come across some pretty wacky happenings at your local shops and ranges too. Drop a comment and let me know some of the weirdest!

Until Victory.

-Z

Beating a Dead Horse

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Breaking News :

Since around Feb. 24th, 2017, rumors having been flying around the internet about “bad days” at Colt Manufacturing. Beginning around then, members of 1911Forum.com started posting cryptic messages about substantial layoffs at Colt. Some of the posters apparently had inside knowledge about what is/was going on there due to knowing people who actually work at the plant and confirmed that Colt is going through some very rough times. On Feb. 28th, Brent Turchi, the director of Colt Custom Shop, confirmed that he had been laid off by Colt’s Manufacturing.

However, to those familiar with basic economics and Colt’s “unique” business history this shouldn’t really be surprising. Following Colt Defense’s most recent 2015 bankruptcy, Colt in its entirety, to include the civilian Colt Manufacturing, has seemed to be floundering.

In late 2015/early 2016, Colt changed their distribution model, ordering their dealers to stock at least $100,000.00 of inventory or lose their status as a Colt dealer. In response…. Colt lost a lot of dealers. Fast forward a few months from there and Colt had inventory pouring out of their asses and had an untold amount of product stuck in distribution outlets. In fact, Colt Manufacturing was rumored to have sold guns at a loss just to generate some of their capitol back. I myself benefitted from this, and snatched up a Colt M45 Marine for a screaming deal.

It’s important to note that Colt Manufacturing (civilian) and Colt Defense are separate entities, along with Colt Canada and other subsidiaries. However, neither of the Colt names having been doing very well, and frankly their problems aren’t new. Ever since the mid 1950’s Colt has been setting itself up for failure. Rumors have even been circulating that Colt Canada and some of their other advanced facilities/projects like Colt SWORD are all going under or struggling.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on where you stand) Colt is a name that’s “too big to die”. Every time Colt fails, a new group of investors snatches it up and drains the company dry for any profit they can make. Even if that means licensing out the Colt name to other companies to make a substandard product (looking at you, “Colt” Expanse), or even selling of their own tooling and machinery. It’s really a shame that such a storied American company be treated so poorly and repeatedly run through the ringer for the sake of a few extra dollars.

But that’s capitalism, folks. I wish the best to the employees at Colt, and hope that their senior management can get their heads out of their asses. But I’m not holding my breath. The gun bubble is finally coming to a collapse, and I suspect that Colt won’t be it’s last victim. Olympic Arms was the first causality, and there will be more down the road. It’s really just  a matter of how severe. Today’s modern firearms manufacturer needs to be responsive to customers, innovative, and above all: have a fantastic marketing department (I’m only half joking). Hopefully these failures will serve as a wake-up call to the industry that they can no longer keep serving up luke warm ideas that lack innovation or invention. To survive, the gun industry will have to get off it’s laurels, roll up its sleeves, and go back to actual work.

Until Victory. 

 

 

 

Lt. Gen. Hal Moore (Feb. 13, 1922 – Feb. 10, 2017)

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Today at BSO Tactical, we stop and remember a great American, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore. Born on Feb. 13, 1922, in Bardstown, KY, Lt. Gen. Moore was a 1945 graduate from West Point.

Most famous for his command of 1st Battalion, 7th Cav., then Lt. Col. Moore led his battalion from the front during the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965. Known for his motto of “there is always one more thing you can do to increase your odds of success”, Lt. Col. Moore defeated the NVA while outnumbered approximately 5 to 1 and trapped in a valley with no escape routes. After the famous encounter, Lt. Gen. Moore would go on to continue his faithful service to the United States Army, eventually retiring August 1st, 1977 after 32 years of service.

Lt. Gen. Moore became a household name after the release of the movie “We Were Soldiers” and was portrayed by Mel Gibson.

He passed on Feb. 10th, 2017, just days before his 95th birthday, following complications from a stroke he had suffered several days prior, according to family.

Rest easy, Sir. Thank you for your exceptional service and demonstration of patriotism and fidelity to the United States.