A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pawn Shop Circuit: Ammo Considerations

I've only shot the modern rendition of the Smith and Wesson M&P a couple of times, and I was impressed. To me, it seemed to be a decently designed, reliable and accurate pistol. It felt good in my hand, and the controls were instinctive. Reading about the torture test of the M&P on pistoltraining.com attested to the plastic M&P's durability. It seemed to be a good gun if a person wanted a plastic fantastic.

So when I walked into Neil's pawn shop today and saw two black polymer M&Ps among the Glocks, I was surprised and a bit interested. (There was only a S&W Model 66 and a Taurus 1911 to draw my attention elsewhere.) I quickly noted that one M&P was priced at $519 while the other was $349. The less expensive pistol did not seem to have that much wear than the other, but then I noticed..... The $519 gun was chambered in 9mm. The less expensive pistol was in 40S&W. Popularity of caliber does play a role at the used gun counter, something for any new gun purchaser and future gun trader to consider.

At Kenny's pawn shop, I noted yet another used M&P. This one, like Neil's, was priced at $350. It was chambered in .357 Sig. Curious, I drove to the big box sporting goods store nearby, to get a retail price on a new Smith & Wesson M&P. The same pistol, in 9mm as Neil had sold new for $549 plus tax. I'm pretty certain Neil was giving himself some bargaining room with favored customers. While at the big box store, I noted the new .22LR Ar style rifle being put out by S&W was also on hand, priced at a nice $449. Hmmmmmmmmm.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Please don't get me wrong, I totally love this as it is an awesome picture, and I have total respect for your photographic vision. I only wish my photographic vision were half as good. However there is one thing, which is that I see in color. Do you not? I hear dogs see in black and white are you a dog? When I look at this I see a totally unrealistic representation of reality as I see it. Why don't people understand that human beings see in color and black and white far from being artistic is just a depature from reality as bad as anything you could do in PhotoShop? That's my only comment otherwise I love this. I just really wish it had been in color as it would have been double awesome. dmofong999 please see my photostream
More totally awesome photo critique here...........

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Ugly Gun Sunday

Friday, November 27, 2009

First, I would like to thank my readers who have emailed me well wishes while I was at a rather abrupt hiatus in my blog. I also want to apologize to the folks who continued to check in each day or two to see if there was anything new posted on my blog. I genuinely appreciate your readership.

I would say that I was spirited away by extraterrestrials, or traveled to distant and dangerous lands with a super secret squid platoon, or perhaps, that I had been in the witness protection program. The truth is much more pedestrian. I woke up one morning with a double dose of writer's block and a side order of other responsibilities. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we begin to feel like a repetitive, dissonant chord in a run away symphony of disagreeable music. When that happens, we can lose focus and turn to things that we feel are more productive.

As many of my readers know, I have rediscovered a long lost love for photography. It's not easy reacquiring old skills. I have been reading, studying, capturing light and sculpting with light. I am beginning to get a few images I am happy with.

There have been some readers who have exhorted me to get back to guns and shooting as a topic. It's true that this blog has been generally seen as a gun blog. Guns, shooting, and defensive survival skills are a part of my life. However, I feel that what I needed and wanted to say a few years ago has been said ad nauseum. There are a lot of great gun blogs on the internet. Folks that are better equipped than myself, both with a keyboard and a trigger, write blogs.

I've reached that place in defensive training and gun ownership that makes me comfortable, and barring some unpredictable event that produces a paradigm shift in my way of thinking, I am not likely to change. To me, it's basic. Train hard. Shoot a caliber sufficient to incapacitate while maintaining the accuracy necessary to stop a threat as quickly and efficiently as possible. Train hard. Train to shoot on the move, to recognize emerging threats so you have the response time needed, and take every advantage you can to preserve your life and the lives of those you love. I have found what I believe to be my solution to the problem of self defense. My solution might not be the best choice for everyone, but I believe it is the best for me. I've written about it, and until there is a change, I think I've said it as best I can.

I've never been one to discuss politics much, nor religion. I am not going to become an evangelical drone in opposition to the current political administration, no matter how distasteful I may find it to be. I have my beliefs, and they will not change. I figure the thing to do at the present time is as much damage control and containment as possible and vote the sons of bitches out of office in the next go-around. My blog is not likely to become a political blog.

I have rediscovered this love of photography though, and I have been teaching my daughter how to use her own digital SLR. At the end of the summer, I surprised her with her own Nikon DSLR, and she has been learning to see as a photographer. We have also planted the seeds of our own photography business, with her working as my assistant as I photograph actors and writers in the area. I continue to work as a nurse, but I am starting to consider an actual side-line business of photography. I have thought about studio space, the financial aspects of it all, and I may be drafting up a business plan soon. These are the things that have taken away the time I once devoted to writing.

Learning new things takes time and dedication. While my blog has been a journal of sorts, I recognize that the bulk of my readers do not come here for my thoughts on capturing light and composing form. So, while I am still regaining my footing in that area, I have kept my thoughts to myself for a while. For those truly interested, I apologize. I do want to say that I am OK, in good health, and that I have not been devoured by jackals or pancaked by a beer truck while riding my bicycle.

To catch up with the burning question I left hanging in my last post of more than five sentences........... The gun range at the Police Academy........ There was a demonstration of the Heckler & Koch MP5, and a SWAT officer's personal AR. I was amused at all the gadgetry on the AR. Perhaps in SWAT, lights and infared cameras have a practical application on an automatic carbine, but I almost started to think SWAT was an acronym for Special Weapons and Toys. During the SWAT demo in a previous class, I was not impressed with the tactics demonstrated. Of course, it might not take much in the way of tactics to take down the standard delusional Bubba that is well armed but off his medications. That's their job, and I figure they do it well enough. Who am I to criticize how they do it as long as they do not infringe on the rights of the law abiding?

The range class was four hours on a Saturday morning, and I got to fire a total of thirty rounds. Budget cuts, I guess....... Although I had 500 rounds of 45ACP and a range bag full of 1911's in my trunk, we were not allowed to bring our own weapons into the class. I had the choice of a .38 special S&W revolver with a four inch barrel, or a 9mm Glock. I chose the revolver, shot it double action. I smoked the rest of the class and performed as well as the best instructor did with his Glock. One of the instructors tried to match me with the revolver and failed. The instruction was competent, although an unfounded gender bias was verbalized several times. At 15 and 25 yards, I kept all my groups tight and I hit multiple targets as they were called out to me. Thirty rounds was used up quickly though.

After the class was over, I helped put away the target frames, and I noticed a couple of falling plate racks in the storage shed. I mentioned to the instructors that I had ample ammunition in a 45 caliber and several nice pistols to share if the instructors wanted to roll out the plates and continue to shoot a bit. Although the rest of the class had left, the instructors declined my offer. I won't speculate why.

But at any rate, I will be back to writing, but the subject matter will likely stray from guns rather frequently. This may have been viewed as a gun blog by many, but in truth, it is just a blog of my thoughts. It's getting late, and I am on call with a full schedule of cases in the AM. Thank you for your readership.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Please remember and thank our veterans today.

Thank you,

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday

After last Sunday's blue Beretta that several folks said they might buy, I went through the dusty ugly gun files to see if there was one I might buy. Yep, there was. The Semmerling. I would buy it. Its still ugly.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Super Soakers and Overlords

"Officer Safety Bulletin for the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office (training Bulletin # TB-09-003. Dated Feb 23rd, 2009.)

On Feb 22nd, 2009 a patrol Deputy came across the above child’s super soaker. However what was found inside the power soaker was a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. Both the shotgun and the water soaker were fully functional."
Last night, one of my friends in law enforcement, a good and honorable man, showed me a bulletin concerning a Mossberg 500 shotgun that was "concealed" within a Super Soaker water gun. We talked about the firearm a bit, and I listened as Micheal told me the pistol grip on the shotgun obviously made it illegal as it "altered" the weapon.

Surprised, I asked if altered weapons were illegal. The response I received was predictable and sad as he answered in the affirmative. I pointed out that the pistol grip depicted on the shotgun was a standard Mossberg less than lethal pistol grip, that a Hasbro Super Soaker grip would not even bolt up to the receiver. Michael refused to believe this and continued to argue that the pistol grip must be a Super Soaker grip and therefore the gun was illegal, even if it met the 26 inch OAL and 18 inch barrel standard.

I saw that Michael would not be swayed from his belief. Perhaps he was correct. So I asked...... If my daughter wanted a pink AR15, and I swapped out the stock, foregrip, and a few other choice items for hot pink accessories, would I then be a felon under the same "no altered guns" statute?

"No," Michael replied, "It's all about intent. It's the intent that matters......." Throughout our conversation Michael kept repeating "I can see where you are going with this."

What a sad state of affairs, when we, as a nation, in the interest of public safety, are willing to let the agents of our government arrest and prosecute people not for what they do, but for what we believe they intend to do. What a pathetic people we are that we would abdicate our rights as Americans to chose to act as we desire, within the reasonable framework of a civilized society. We have chosen to let others think for us, to tell us how to act, what to do, and indeed how to think. The sad thing is, these "overlords" believe they have a divine right to take on this responsibility.

Michael, you thought you knew where I was going with this. No you did not. You had no idea.

Several weeks ago, I wrote that I would attend a civilian police academy. I would take a look at things from the other side of the badge. I have done that, and I am pretty close to the end of the curriculum. I had planned to blog during that time, but my regular readers no doubt noticed that my writing dropped off drastically. There is a reason for that.

The more a man thinks and learns, the less he should open his own pie hole. He should take the time to digest and integrate the new information into his own life experience and perceptions. I have done this, and as I near the completion of the course, I find it increasingly difficult. Last night, Michael mused "You've been through how many weeks of the academy and you haven't learned any more than that?"

No, Michael, I have learned a lot. I just might not have learned what you expected me to.

This morning, I go to the range to shoot under the direction of police firearms instructors. I understand that there may be classmates who have never held a gun before present. I am aware too, that each instructor knows me personally, knows my track record and experience level with a pistol. It will be interesting to see whether they take the opportunity to act as my overlord, or whether they approach me as a citizen who desires to see both sides of the coin. The learning experience continues.........

Friday, November 06, 2009

For Today:

"He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious."
~ Sun Tzu


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

That's a Costume!

Think little Bobby's homemade Halloween costume was an involved undertaking? Check out Big Daddy!

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Nikkor 500mm ƒ8 Reflex

Yes, I finally found a subject that it captured beautifully. Thank you.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Cullman Liquidation

Hell, I'd buy a trailer from these guys........ Or not.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ugly Gun Sunday