Hearing Protection

From Longtime Brit Reader Quentin:

How often should you practice shooting without ear protection?  Every photograph and video of people practising I’ve seen has people with ear and eye protection.  But when necessity strikes, you’re not going to have protection.  And if you’re in an enclosed space, can not the sounds and flashes be disorienting?  So, how do you prepare for that?

It’s an interesting question, and I must confess that I don’t have the real-world experience to answer it properly:  people have only ever shot at me out in the open (earning return fire, so to speak) and while my ears did ring a bit afterwards, it didn’t last long.

Indoors?  ‘Nother conversation altogether, I suspect.

My thought is that in a dire self-defense situation, the typical nervous response (tunnel vision, slowed-down time etc.) will tend to muffle or even ignore the sound of gunshots*.  Certainly, while hearing damage may well occur in such situations, the perception may not be that disorienting — but I will gladly be corrected by anyone who has been exposed to gunfire in a confined space, e.g. soldiers or policeman, either current or veterans.  I do once remember talking to a WWII vet who’d been involved in house-to-house fighting in Italy, and apparently it was a common sight to see men sitting around afterwards, completely deafened, and some men with blood running from their ears.

All that said, however, the immediate answer to “How often should you practice shooting without ear protection?”  is, unequivocally, never.  Not even out of doors.  The damage to one’s hearing is far more critical than practice for a situation which, quite frankly, is statistically rare.  Suffering some hearing damage from wasting a goblin in your home is, I would suggest, not important.  Deafening yourself unnecessarily is silly.  (I have serious tinnitus from decades of unmuffled .22 shooting in the outdoors.  Large-caliber indoors shooting practice?  I wince at the very thought.)

So, my Readers, what say you?

*The noise of gunfire in an indoor shooting range is different, of course, in that this situation is a non-stress one and using hearing protection is not negotiable

Beyond Redemption

When we moved from Chicago to north Texas back in 2002, I have to admit to some mixed feelings.  On the one hand, there was conservatism, no gun-prohibition laws, non-intrusive state government, no union bullshit, no Communist representation in the U.S. House;  and on the other hand: all the above.

But there was this, the dawn view from our apartment in Lakeview:

…and the view to the south (it was a 10th floor corner apartment):

…and let’s not forget the Chicago River (view of my office window, back when I worked downtown):


But time has passed, and now we have shit like this:

Deerfield Sen. Julie Morrison introduced Senate Bill 107 on Wednesday. It would prohibit a range of rifles, pistols and shotguns and require every such weapon in the state to be registered with the Illinois State Police. Owners would pay a $25 fee for that registration. A person found in possession of one of the prohibited weapons without registration could face a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a $25,000 fine.

In other words, you have to register your “illegal” rifle in order to be grandfathered into “forgiveness” of your “crime” — and in return the state of Illinois would promise, cross its heart, never to come and confiscate said rifle in the future.

Uhhhh, sure.

Now I am glad I left (and tossed my Illinois Firearm Owner ID — the hated FOID card — into the Mississippi River on my way down to Texas) — and not for the first time, either.

I could live with the freezing winters, I could even live with the Commie Bitch In The House (Jan Schakowsky).  But as for the rest?  Fuck that.

New Feature: Open Thread

Here’s something new for Saturdays (traditionally a slow day at this address):  an open thread, but not that unstructured nonsense such as found at Insty’s place.

No;  what I’d like to see is Readers weighing in with their opinions of the Gun Of The Day.  The comments can be your experiences, stories (preferably reasonably true), tragic tales, inside information of any kind, and so on.  I’ll add my thoughts as the mood takes me.

I know it’s difficult for us gun nuts to stay on topic, but please try to do so.

Anyway, without further ado, here we go.  Today, the topic is  the German Pistole 08 (P08), otherwise known as the “Luger“:

Have at it in Comments.

Gratuitous Gun Pic — HK P7 (9mm Para)

In my post about 9mm pistols last week, Readers chimed in about the Heckler & Koch P7 thus:

William O. B’Livion: “No love for the H&K P7?”

And Mike M: “I have a love/hate relationship with the P7. The squeeze-cock action is great in theory, but it aggravates carpal tunnel issues tremendously. No idea why. And it heats up FAST.”

Not everyone knows about the P7, of course, even among my self-identified gun nut Readers, so here it is:

As Reader Mike M. reveals, the P7 is cocked not just by working the slide (which you can do as well) or pulling back a hammer (no exposed hammer, duh), but by squeezing the grip.  In addition to his mention of carpal tunnel syndrome, let me say too that the squeezing action — which is severe, as it should be — had the effect of affecting my aiming of the gun;  so hard did I have to squeeze the wretched thing that after a while my hand got the shakes from muscle strain.  (Bear in mind that this happened after several dozen squeezes — I seldom shoot fewer than 50 rounds when testing a handgun.  YMMV.)

My biggest gripe was that the shorty barrel made accurate shooting impossible at any yardage greater than halitosis distance.  I know, I know… the P7 is purely a short-range self-defense pistol, not a long-distance target shooter;  but I found its strange action to be just that, or else the answer to a question never asked.

Anyway, I later had the opportunity to buy one at a very low price ($150 if I recall correctly), but passed.  There are far better guns for the job than this curiosity.

Shaking Hands

Not the quivering that happens before hopping into bed with a first-time lover, or when about to shoot in competition against  (say) Jerry Miculek;  I’m talking here about shaking hands last Friday afternoon with two old friends:

…the Ruger Single-Six having been exchanged for my Ruger MkIV 22/45 (thankee, Reader Jerry!).  As such, this specific gun wasn’t an old friend, but I’ve owned a Single-Six before, so it was a familiar experience.  All shots were taken at 10 yards, and here’s what the target looked like, in overview:

First:  the Browning High Power.  As my delivery of practice 115gr ammo hadn’t arrived yet (some nonsense about needing an 18-wheeler), I had to go with ten rounds from an old box of Fiocchi I happened to have lying around in Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer — oh sure, like none of you  have any “orphan ammo” in your lockers, right?  The self-defense load tested was thirteen rounds of SIG V-Power 147gr.  I wasn’t trying for any serious accuracy with the 115gr. stuff;  it was just getting re-familiarized with the High Power’s trigger.  Here’s the result:

Shooting the 115gr was a breeze, and the three outliers were the first three shots taken, holding on the “8” in the target — trigger familiarization, folks.  Then I got a little more serious, and dropped the last seven bullets into the single hole, as shown.  A tad high, but next time I’ll hold at the bottom of the 8.

Then I changed to the SIG ammo, and I have to admit that the heavier 147gr. bullets took a little getting used to (the hold was on the X):

The 13-shot grouping wasn’t as tight as that of the lighter 115gr, but certainly in terms of self defense clustering, I wasn’t too displeased with the outcome.  (Only one  flier?  I must be getting better, or else the High Power is a better gun than I remember.)  It looks like the hold, as for the 115gr FMJ ammo, is at the bottom of the target circle.

I love my High Power 9mm, and once its carry holster arrives from Don Hume and the spare mags from [can’t remember] , it’s onto my waist it’ll be going, on probation of course. You may all reach for the smelling-salts now.

Next came the Single-Six (aiming at 2 1/2″ yellow targets), and I shot one cylinder each of .22 LR and .22 WinMag without too much regard for the grouping, just to get used to the single-action trigger.  Then I got a little more serious, and took my time with the next two cylinders, first with the CCI Mini-Mag .22 LR 40gr. solids:

…and then with the CCI Maxi-Mag .22 WMR, also 40gr. solids:

Hmmm…  thought I’d do better with the .22 Mags, as I was getting really used to the trigger by then.  So what does that mean, Readers? [3…2…1…]


Can’t wait.  It’s a good thing I stocked up with .22 WMR during the Dubya Administration:  .22 Mag is more expensive than 9mm.

And yes:  a slow, deliberate, one-shot-at-a-time session with the single-action Ruger was just fantastic.

Not Really

Some guy over at National Interest (never heard of them) opines on the 5 best pistols (and I assume all generations thereafter) ever to shoot the 9mm Europellet.  His list is as follows (and I don’t know if the order is important):

  • Glock 19
  • SIG P226
  • H&K VP9
  • S&W M&P
  • Springfield XD

…and by the omissions is his ignorance revealed.  Here’s my  top 5 list, in order of preference:

  • SIG P210 — The forerunner of the P226.  While the 226 is good, the 210 is astonishing.  Ask any precision 9mm shooter which is the most accurate pistol of them all, and the only reason he won’t say the P210 is if he’s an employee of, or spokesman for one of the other gun companies. 
  • Browning P35 High Power — John Moses Browning and Dieudonné Saive designs.  Remember that the Brit Paras and SAS have used them until only recently, basically because they wore them out after decades and FN/Browning announced they wouldn’t support them anymore.
  • CZ 75 — Granted, it’s a derivation of the Walther P38 (see below), and we could argue for days about their relative merits.  But the “75” refined the P38’s design and improved the German gun’s already-good reliability.  Proof of the gun’s esteem is that the 75 is the most-copied design of any pistol ever made.
  • HS2000 — The Croatian forerunner of the Springfield XD;  both are outstanding pistols, and like the P38/CZ 75 argument, I’d settle for either without any qualms whatsoever, if  I wanted a striker-fired DA pistol.  
  • (tie) Beretta 92F — I’ve always liked this pistol, and the only reason I was against the U.S. Dotmil’s adoption of the thing was because of its chambering, and that only because of the FMJ bullet restriction.  With a proper hollowpoint, I’d happily carry one anywhere.
  • (tie) Glock 19 — Enough water has passed under the bridge for me to (grudgingly) acknowledge this foul thing’s worth.  Rugged, reliable, accurate and almost universally popular (except on these pages), it probably has to be considered one of the best Europellet-poppers.  And by including another plastic striker-fired pistol on the list, I can exclude the H&K VP9 because I don’t like the Heckler & Koch company.
  • Honorable mention:  the Walther P38 (as above).  I don’t know anyone who’s fired one of these not to want one for himself afterwards. 

Feel free to argue with me in Comments.