SHOT Show Part 1

Rather than doing a day-by-day report on the show, I think I’ll wait till I get back to Texas, collect my thoughts and read off my notes (yes, I do that), then do a summary. Here are my first impressions.

The show is huge — far too large to take in all at once — so yesterday I started off in the hall containing the “small” guys, because in many cases, this is where innovation tends to come from, rather than from Ruger, Remington etc.

To my admittedly out-of-touch eye, it looks like 2,000 guys all making variations on the same 50 product lines. Example: if you can’t find an upper for your AR-15 that tailored exactly to your taste, it probably doesn’t exist by now, and won’t.

I am heartened to see how many small gunmakers there are, all creating versions of ARs, AKs, bolt-action rifles and shotguns. Ditto the specialists like barrel-makers — there are dozens upon dozens of them, some small operations, some very large, all making good, quality products.

The Gun Thing is in good shape, folks. And it’s We The People who are keeping it that way.

And one last thing: if there’s anything anyone wants me to look at in particular, email me (there’s wifi at the show, duh) and I’ll see what I can do. (Can’t promise anything because the show is so large I might not get round to where it is, but I’m here a couple of days yet and I’ll do my best.)

Finally: many, many thanks to Reader Drew Kelley of Goldfield Small Arms for sponsoring me and making all this possible. He is a good man with excellent taste in all things, and I look forward to spending more time with him as the show goes on.

Blast

Last week Doc Russia and I went off to the range for a “Welcome Home” shooting session with our handguns (to celebrate the fact that Over Here we can do such a thing as opposed to in my erstwhile host country of Britishland, where shooting and ownership of handguns is streng verboten).

As always, I took my Springfield 1911, while Doc brought, in addition to his 1911 in 10mm, a SIG-Sauer Model Something in 9mm.

Dear Readers, I got hurt. Badly hurt. Not from a gunshot wound or anything like that; but I regret to say that after 100 rounds, the heavy (230gr) .45 ACP rounds were beating up my arthritic old wrist something fierce. Worst of all, the pain was giving me an uncontrollable flinch. Even a padded shooting glove didn’t help. At that point, I quit and shot the SIG instead. And I discovered that with the Europellet, my wrist didn’t hurt at all.

Shit. Time to rethink what I’m shooting.

Before anyone gets all upset and starts hooting ‘n hollering, let me reassure you that I’m not going to dump the old 1911 warhorse yet, oh no. First, I’m going to try shooting the lighter 185gr boolets, just to see how that works out. I’ve ordered some experimental ammo from our friends at Ammo.com (see my Blog Roll for a link), and if that works then I’ll replace all my .45 ACP 230gr ammo with the lighter stuff. (“Replace” means just giving all the 230-grain stuff to Doc, of course, and ordering a couple-three thousand rounds of 185s.)

From a  self-defense perspective, I don’t think there’s much difference between the two rounds; the 185gr bullet is lighter but it arrives a little quicker than the 230gr, so anyone at the naughty end of the shot is going to be just as dead. But I will need to shoot a lot of practice 185gr rounds to make sure that I get accustomed to the lighter bullet, after over four decades of shooting the 230gr loads almost exclusively.

I don’t need this shit in my life, but needs must. As one of my friends said, “This getting old stuff isn’t for sissies.”

I just hope that the lighter .45 ACP ammo does the trick. The alternative is just too ghastly to contemplate — and I think y’all know what I mean.

Filthy Lucre/Crass Commercialism etc.

As I am unemployable by Global MegaCorp Inc. and all that this entails, I must needs find a way or two to supplement my feeble retirement income.

I’m told I should “monetize” my website (i.e. raising money from my poor efforts at this here back porch). Over the next few weeks I will be phasing in this monetization bit by bit, because this is all new to me and I’m feeling my way round the thing.

Okay, here’s the first step. Over in my Blogroll on the bottom right-hand side of the web page you will see this link:

When next you decide to buy ammo (and we are all interested in buying more ammo… right?), please give these folks some consideration. I’ve bought from them myself before (a couple-three boxes of Hornady XTP 185gr. in .45 ACP, to be exact) and the price was very reasonable. I will be doing more bulk buys from them in the future because that’s where they seem to do okay vs. the other online ammo suppliers.

Here’s what happens: clicking on the link takes you to a page which, for your first purchase, gets you a discount off your order — and from that order and all subsequent ones, Ammo.com will kick some of that order amount back to me (like the Amazon.com kickback scheme). So every time you buy ammo from these fine folks through this website, you’ll be supporting me in my writing / blogging, which means I won’t have to beg Global MegaCorp for a job or sell my body through Grab-A-Grandad.com. (The chances of me earning money from the former activity are just as low as from the latter.)

Summary:  buy your ammo through this website; help keep Kim solvent, keep yer ammo locker stocked, AND make Chuck Schumer cry big gun-grabbing tears of impotent rage. 

That’s a win-win-win right there.

The Old Argument

From Comments in yesterday’s post about the CMP 1911s, Longtime Friend & Reader Vonz saith:

Certainly, I love the 45 ACP quite a bit and have one (not a 1911 though, which are good but I think there are better options, at least for me).
What is with the hate on 9mm though? It is a great round as well (I have one of them too). It has different advantages and disadvantages, but that is why it makes sense to own both or at least to have as options for different people.
Why does, “I like this” have to morph into “everything else sucks”? It is not an attitude that makes any sense to me.

As with computers (Apple vs. Windows), cars (Ford vs. GM), guns (Colt vs. S&W), cameras (Pentax vs. Canon), etc. etc. etc., I think it’s all an ego thing.

The “bullet wars” probably started when some prehistoric hunters were arguing about the optimal size stone to use in their slings, and the stupid argument has persisted to this day because we guys are always searching for the “magic bullet” [sic] in all our endeavors.

As much as I make fun of the 9mm Europellet, it’s really all about the bullet itself: the typical 9mm FMJ projectile is (I believe) only slightly better than marginal as a self-defense option (and I actually have some personal experience to support that thesis); but put some more-recent technology (jacketed hollowpoints etc.) into the 9mm Para casing, and it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.

I would have absolutely no problem carrying a Browning Hi-Power instead of the 1911, for example, as long as the 9mm bullets themselves were of the Hydra-Shok / SXT / Gold Dot / XTP / etc. genus. In fact, given that with the onset of age-related arthritis, my beloved Springfield 1911 is starting to really beat my wrist up, I can actually see a time in the near future when I might make that swap.

So nobody should take me too seriously when I slag off choices that people make. A lot of the time I’m just stirring the pot for fun, but underneath there lies a sound reason for it: if I question someone’s choice or action, they are forced to defend their position which means they have to think about the topic — and their rationale might even make me reevaluate my position, if it’s sounder than mine.

Good luck with that, though. Most of my opinions have been formed over many years of thought, contemplation and study, not to mention personal- or third-party experience. But it’s a stupid man who doesn’t listen to a sound, reasoned argument, and I’m not that stupid.

Just don’t try to convince me that Communism is a preferable system to free-market capitalism; scorn will follow in gargantuan quantities.

About Time

So the Army is going to be selling off its old 1911 pistols through the CMP. About time, too. Thank you, President Trump. Under The Commie Obama, these fine old things would have been scrapped, and the world would have been a poorer place.

Because as I’ve said so many times before:

…and also: