Around 2013 I started shooting Rimfire Rifle Optics division in Steel Challenge matches. Paul let me shoot his ARX-160, which is a fascinating “.22 trainer” version of the Italian 5.56 assault rifle. While an interesting gun with some nice features (Very light, uses standard Umarex mags like the M&P 15-22, and can mount any Weaver/Picatinny optic) it has a rough, heavy trigger. In 2017 I decided to try and build a Ruger 10/22 specifically for use in Steel Challenge. The result is a pretty impressive rifle for a reasonable price.
With several sports allowing 140mm magazines in their 9mm-friendly divisions, and USPSA’s recent rule change removing round limits for Carry Optics, many competitors are in search of a magazine extension to convert factory magazines to the largest size allowable. Several manufacturers have products available ranging from $24.00 to over $40.00 but not all are created equal. Continue reading →
Posted inM&P, Pistol, USPSA|Comments Off on M&P Extended Basepads for 2017
I enjoy watching first-person video of my competition shooting. Well, mostly I enjoy it. Sometimes the “D’Oh!” factor is a bit painful but on the whole it is fun to relive the experience. Also it’s a valuable training tool as I can see how I was engaging the targets, where I was looking, and what the gun and my hands were doing. While it is true that a lot can be learned from 3d person video (stance and footwork issues mostly) having a hat cam doesn’t require enlisting help and it’s actually more fun to watch. Continue reading →
Posted inGeneral|Comments Off on Mobius Action Cam: The Little Camera that Could
My buddy Josh recently mentioned that he and Deede are using retention holsters during 3-gun matches. Naturally the comparison was made to my beloved Serpa CQC. As a result I felt compelled to try the holster in question (Safariland ALS 6378) for myself. With all the furor over the Serpa lock I wanted to see if the ALS presented a good alternative. It is noteworthy that I have never had a problem with the Serpa and still use it frequently for both concealed carry and IDPA competition. Continue reading →
Posted inGeneral|Comments Off on Safariland ALS: solid value retention holster
After years of lugging around a full-sized range bag at matches I started looking for a lighter, more compact alternative. The resulting purchase was a CED/DAA Range Pack and it’s performance has exceeded my expectations.
When I practice I take a range bag and an ammo box. This allows me to have items like a paster gun, stapler, extra staples, multiple types of ammo, and various other items that I don’t take to matches. Continue reading →
I shot my first IDPA BUG Nationals in November of 2014 and it was a great experience. The only problems were with low-light stages. I’ve shot a fair amount of these at local IDPA matches and using a flashlight has always worked fine but in this case the light levels were such that I could see the targets OK but the gun was essentially invisible in my hands. I resolved to find a better solution. Continue reading →
During the severe ammo and reloading component shortage during 2013 and 2014, many folks have been forced to find alternatives to their normal suppliers. As a high-volume reloader this shortage hit me particularly hard. At first I was feeling pretty good because I had several thousand rounds “in the bank” and knew I could shoot the entire 2013 summer with the ammo I had on-hand. Little did I know that this would drag on for over a year. My beloved Montana Gold Bullets became almost impossible to find in stock and I was forced to consider other alternatives. Continue reading →
An often-neglected consideration for practical shooting is the choice of footwear. Two key events have shaped my decisions in this area. First, in my early days of USPSA we had a practice during mud season that involved the need to retreat from one shooting box to another. I was wearing hiking boots that had moderate tread but were somewhat worn. The result was that on planting my pivot foot it went right out from under me. I fell ungraciously, rolled and wound up pointing the gun all over the sky, undoubtedly past the 180 plane. My solution ultimately was to wear football cleats. Continue reading →
In the spring of 2013 I decided to shoot USPSA Single Stack division for a change. I had two factory Springfield Armory magazines for my TRP but those only held 7 rounds. I also had a bunch of Chip McCormack 10-round magazines that I had used for Limited/10 a few years ago but for Single Stack I needed some 8-round magazines. I looked around at Wilson Combat and CMC, both of which have very good reputations, but I noticed quite a few people were mentioning Mec-Gar as a good alternative to the big-name mags. Continue reading →