Saturday, September 24, 2016

Late Start...

I rode the snooze button express for nearly an hour this morning.

Going out for a Broad Ripple breakfast with Shootin' Buddy and then to the range to bust some caps with the new Ruger. I'm trying to get it into a bunch of different hands.

More later.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Morning Thoughts...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Day at the Office...with a SECRET RUGER!

Went to the range today to do some plinking with a Ruger .22 pistol.

Not a Standard Model/Mark I, not a Mark II, and not a Mark III, but...

...a Ruger Mark IV!

The Mark IV is the biggest redesign since the original Ruger rimfire was made in 1949. The gripframe, formerly welded together from two stampings, is now a single piece, CNC machined from a forging. On the stainless guns it's a stainless steel forging, and on the blued ones, an aluminum one.

The Mark III magazines will still work in the Mark IV, but they will pop out with amazing vigor, thanks to a spring-loaded plunger. Additionally, the loaded chamber indicator is gone away from the Mark IV.

The thumb safety is a more conventional pivoting one, and the right-hand side of the ambi safety (if you aren't one of those people whose right hands are on the wrong side) can be removed with household tools, if so desired.

I started with some warmup shots in the center and then shot each dot at the indicated distance with two mags of junky Remington "Bucket o' Bullets" stuff at about a 1/rd-per-second pace. Gun shoots fine and no malfunctions (other than one dud Remington round. This is my shocked face.)

Here's the biggest deal of them all: Lock the slide to the rear, drop the mag, ensure the pistol is on safe, and then the push of one button on the rear of the frame allows the upper to tip forward like on an AR or break-open shotgun.

Then the upper assembly lifts off the gun, the bolt group is pulled out the back, and you're done. The gun can be disassembled for cleaning and put back together again in less time than it took me to type this paragraph.

They had three versions for us to shoot this past weekend: blued and stainless target models and stainless hunters with wood grips, fiber-optic sights, and fluted barrels.

There were a bunch of them on hand and I didn't personally see any malfunctions, but you expect that with Ruger deuce-deuce pistols.

Thanks a lot, Facebook...

I'd been in a pretty chipper mood, and then...

I think I'll go to the range.


There's nothing like a little head-to-head shooting exercise to liven things up.

Jeff Hoskinson of MGM Targets sets up the targets...

...and explains the course of fire.

Head-to-head, the shooter had to knock down the three falling plates, execute a reload (reload with retention the first go-'round and a speed reload the second run-through) and drop their popper first. The stop poppers, of course, are set so they fall down overlapped, so there's no doubt about whose went down first.

I was up against Gail Pepin my first run, and not only was my reload an abysmally slow soup sandwich, but I did a speed reload instead of a tactical reload. My opponent sped ahead of me by the expedient of not reloading at all, so we both took our procedurals on that stage and moved on to the next one...

 Round Two had some good matchups...

Gail is shooting here against Denny Hansen, my boss at S.W.A.T. Magazine. Michael Bane and Massad Ayoob look on in the background.

The Ruger 9mm Commanders ran well, and shot really flat with that 10# recoil spring. A 9mm 1911 is pretty much shooting in "Easy Mode".

Mas goes up against Rich Nance in a tight race. Between these two and Jim Tarr, most of the rest of us were looking at fighting over fourth place.

There was a bowling pin event with those weird guns with round things in the middle, though, and your humble correspondent managed a second place overall finish in that, and seeing as the winner was the guy who literally wrote the book on bowling pin shooting, I'll take it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Home again, home again...

Yesterday started with a 2½-hour ride from FTW Ranch to the airport in San Antonio at 7:30 AM and finished with a taxi depositing me at Roseholme Cottage at 7:30 PM.

I'm pretty exhausted and suffering the inevitable letdown of a fantastic weekend. It was my first big press event wearing my shiny new Handgun Editor title from Shooting Illustrated, and getting a chance to see Massad Ayoob, Michael Bane, and Denny Hansen again was a lot of fun. Made new friends, shot a bunch of other people's ammo, saw some breathtaking scenery and exotic species of deer. If heaven ain't a lot like this past weekend, I don't wanna go.

I have a bajillion photos...well, six hundred and something, sort through and I'll post some up, but first I have to drive up to Lafayette to pick up the gun I won at the Greater Lafayette Friends of the NRA banquet last week. That's right, after all the little tickets I've bought in all those corny little games at all those banquets, I finally won a gat: A Sig Sauer P320 Carry in 9mm.

I'll write more when I get back.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It could catch on...

I'm thinking about starting a new religion where the payoff for a good life is you die and go to FTW Ranch.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thank you for calling

...your call is very important to us, but right now we're at FTW Ranch in Texas shooting Rugers and getting schooled by Dave Spaulding, so you're just gonna have to hold your water for another couple days until we get back into cell phone range of civilization.

Thank you!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gotta shoot and do some other stuff...

...breakfast was a hasty donut.

A photo posted by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

Will post more after I knock out some chores.