Category Archives: Firearms

Membership is great, your CHL or CCW is better.

There are many great organizations promoting and protecting our Second Amendment rights. From nation-wide groups such as the National Rifle Association, to state groups such as Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association, Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohio Carry for us in Ohio, to your local rod and gun club. They all do important work and being a member of any or all is a good idea. They all also show a collective support of firearms and our rights. The strength in numbers they offer is solid. The problem is, not everyone can afford, or has a desire to financially support so many organizations. Their having good solid numbers is important, but at the end of the day, well, you’ve joined a club. 

I have the opinion that there is something that each of us can do that shows a more sincere and dedicated commitment to protecting and supporting our rights.  Get your concealed carry permit. I understand every argument people have against this. No, we shouldn’t have to pay for permission to exercise our rights. No, you may not have any desire to carry a gun, or even own a handgun. I understand that some are concerned that it gives a solid link to you owning guns. What is often overlooked is the direct benefit it does to the cause of protecting your and my right to own firearms. 

In most cases, getting your CCW/CHL involves taking some training and submitting to background checks  voluntarily. You also pay for the fee of the license and, eventually, its renewal. Many benefits are gained from this. Individually  you have become a certified “good guy.” In many states, having your chl replaces the need for your NICS instant check at the time of purchase of a firearm because your valid CHL shows you’ve already done this and it’s on good standing. The collective benefits are even more substantial. Every license is recorded, counted, and reported, not by a club or lobby organization, but by the issuing government. There exists, at all times, a finite and exact count of the number of permits and the percentage of the population that has them. It’s not arbitrary, estimated, or arguable. X number of people have a valid permit. You or I can look up that number, as can the media, as can your elected officials. The higher that number, the more attention to it that has to be paid. 

The gist of it is this. Having your CCW/CHL shows a level of commitment to firearms ownership that is stronger than being a member of EVERY 2A supporting organization in the country. We gain the advantage of the very people who may consider firearms ownership a fringe or odd thing having their own data tell them that we are here, we are willing to commit the resources to get a permit, and the likelihood is that we also vote.  Sometimes the best way to beat a system is to use the system to beat itself. 

Please consider getting your CCW/CHL, even if you never plan to carry a firearm a day of your life. You bolster the numbers of people who are pro 2A in a way that cannot be matched by any club or lobby. And that benefit is priceless. 

Another article written for a defunct FB page, originally published September 11, 2015.

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Membership is great, your CHL or CCW is better. by Jerod J. Husvar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Gun owners, it’s time to “come out.”

You know them, I know them, we all know them. The person who likes to shoot but doesn’t talk about it for fear of repercussions from friends, family, the kids’ school, or the media. They act like they are doing something dirty and should hide it when, in fact, it’s perfectly normal, common and acceptable. They’re in fear of discovery because they feel they will be ostracized or shunned. Sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it? 

It’s more common than you think. With the demonization of weapons by those who fear them, and publications such as The NY Times calling gun owners, essentially, barbarians, not to mention well funded political groups blaming tools for human acts, some people feel like hiding the fact that they own guns and shoot. 

Firearms ownership is not uncommon. There are, by conservative estimate, 420 MILLION guns in the United States. Essentially, one per person.  Likely two because records before 1968 were less exact. There’s also, by actual count, 8% of the United States population with concealed weapons permits, as well as a significant number of law enforcement officers and retired Leo’s who carry all the time. Let’s call it 6% of the population, and it is steadily increasing. 

You’re not alone. Not only is firearms ownership common, it is acceptable, legal and enjoyable. What needs to happen is to reduce the stigma that some have placed upon it. And those of us more out in the open? We need you who are not. We’re all around, we’ll help and support you. 

So come out. Speak up. Tell your friends and neighbors you’re a responsible and safe shooter and you are not ashamed of it. You’ll probably gain a range buddy or two. And you will fight the false idea that gun owners are freaks. 

Note: This was original an editorial for a FB page I administered, posted October 4, 2015.  I believe the page is long gone, but I felt the content was worth getting back onto the ‘net.

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Gun owners, it’s time to “come out.” by Jerod J. Husvar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Eating our own. Division among gun owners, the antigun advocate’s best friend.

The fight to protect and maintain the right to keep and bear arms in the United States is ongoing, played as both a long and short game by both sides of the debate. With recent mass shootings, the topic of gun control is in the headlines, chambers of government and on people’s mind. We also have the leadership of the National Rifle Association in a dumpster fire fight, taking away from their power to advocate. What’s worse however, is how many gun owners and potential gun owners have been taken out of the fight by the attitudes and division brought by other gun owners.

One only has to look as far as any gun posting on social media, or the comments on any article, to see this division. It comes from the focus on 1911 vs Glock, AR15 vs AK, or anything related to value-branded firearms such as Taurus, Bersa or God forbid, Hi Point. The animosity, anger, bitterness and rudeness on these posts drives away both seasoned gun owners and new people alike. “It’s all in good fun” doesn’t have much weight when you are the one whose question about the new Hi Point is shouted down, mocked and belittled.

I have been actively involved in protecting Second Amendment rights since the mid 1980’s and have seen division used to the detriment of it for the entire time. Pistol vs rifle guys, hunters vs target shooters, traditional arms vs military style weapons. More recently it has been high dollar weapons vs guns “poors” own. Mockery of the “poverty pony” by those who can afford HK 416’s and the like. All are supposed to be “in good fun.” The problem is, in typical internet human nature, people don’t know when to stop. Or a group gangs up on the Anderson rifle or Taurus guy. All too often, that person gets a bad taste, or worse, walks away entirely.

How many votes can the pro-gun cause afford to lose? How many potential gun owners can we insult away? How many people will end up not owning something that is “good enough” because they were convinced that they should wait until they could spend $100 more and pay for it with their well-being or life because they were convinced that they shouldn’t buy a Hi Point when they were endangered and couldn’t afford anything else?

These are very real scenarios and not only are gun owners eating our own, we’re keeping others from joining us by our words and actions, and potentially endangering lives. We need to change our approach. We need to treat allies respectfully. In the end, we just need to not be jerks.

What do you think? If you find value in this post, please, share it.

Postcards Of My Life #pcoml No. 8, Fundamentals of Marksmanship, late 1970’s.

My grandfathers were both shooters, my dad’s father was an amateur competition trap shooter, trick shooter and marksman from his World War 2 service in the United States Marine Corps, my mother’s dad from growing up hunting in the hills of Smith County, West Virginia. As I spent a lot more time with my Pap Ashcraft, mom’s dad, he took on the task of teaching me to shoot and started a life long love of firearms.

The rifle above is a single shot, Stevens Junior Model 11. It is identical to the one that my pap taught me to shoot on and that I fired literally thousands of rounds through. It served several generations of our family only to go missing after his death. The rifle was older and field worn. It had many repairs over the years but it shot true. Simple, non adjustable iron sights, manual extraction and loading, and you clocked the hammer to fire it. The trigger was crisp and effortless and it just managed to hit exactly where you wanted out to over 100 yards. It was not unusual for me to toss a soup can out into the yard and then shoot it until it rolled down over the hill over 100 yards away. But, most often my target was a paper plate with a dot in middle that pap would set up at 50 or 100 feet away.

I would sit or stand on the back step and put round after round through that rifle. Usually 50 or 100 rounds at a session several times over each visit. Every hardware store and bait shop knew what I wanted when I showed up for miles around. Yes, they would sell live ammo to a 5, 7, 13 or whatever age boy… Kids didn’t do the stupid stuff with guns then they do now. Probably still was technically illegal, no one cared.

To this day if I had that rifle I could likely dispatch a soda can at 100 yards with it on the first shot. My pap taught me the gun, then gun taught me to shoot it the way it needed to be shot to put rounds on target. The tool was the tool, you adjusted to it.

My grandfather instilled in me what later became the 4 rules of firearms safety that are taught today:

  1. All guns are always loaded. (Treat them so!)
  2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target (and you have made the decision to shoot).
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

I seriously need to find another model 11. I own some of the most advanced firearms in the world but my heart longs for that old, beat up, well loved rifle. I hope whoever has it appreciates it.

Jack of Heatrts

You don’t know Jack about CCW. And neither do I.

Jack of HeatrtsI’ve wanted to formulate a post/article on CCW for quite some time now.  Let’s start from some common ground.  You don’t know jack.  And neither do I.  We each may know some strong points, but we’ll never know everything.  Before you can start this, we have to agree on that.  I am not an instructor.  I do not want to be.

I am going to approach this from the perspective of someone who is a lifelong shooter, has worked in positions in which I was required to carry, and have carried, legally, different times in my life.  I will soon have my Ohio CHL and will carry all the time.  I want to convey that I absolutely believe every person has a God-given right to carry a gun and to protect himself or herself with it.  But you weren’t born using a fork and spoon, just like you weren’t born with a gun in your hand.  You have to learn.

In Ohio, we have a training requirement to carry a concealed handgun.  Until March 23rd, 2015 it involved 10 hours of classroom instruction and 2 hours of range instruction.  After March 23rd, 2015, that drops to 6 hours of classroom and 2 hours of range instruction.  These courses are NOT designed to teach you to be a self-defense shooter.  They are designed for you to be exposed to a minimum level of instruction in firearms and the laws about them, as well as for you to demonstrate safe handling of a firearm.  In 8 hours.  I want you to think back to when you took Driver’s Education.  For me that involved a 9-week course at my school after school, 2 hours each day and then an additional 80 hours of behind the wheel instruction, as well as having to pass the Ohio Driver’s License written exam.  And after all that?  I didn’t know jack about real world driving.  And neither did you.  So where am I going with that?  Right, wrong, or indifferent, to qualify to carry a handgun concealed in Ohio, you get 8 hours of instructor-led training, and then you are allowed to carry a device that, when properly used, is harmless, unless it needs to be otherwise, in which case, it is deadly.  Many people seem to baulk at paying, on average, $100 for this education.  Many people seem to feel it is also all that you need to be a good steward of concealed carry.  And baulk at paying $12.50/hr. (after 3/23/15) to get it.  In my mind, to have a professional instructor, that’s a good value.  Will a $45 class be just as good?  I don’t know.  I didn’t take one.  I do know that at the end of my course I knew who Jack was.  But we’d still never met.

So how did you get to where you could feed your face without needing a bib?  You practiced.  A lot.  HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS of times.  Being skilled with a firearm is the same thing.  Very few people are actually instinctive shooters by nature.  I’ve met three in my life and I’m married to one of them.  What does that mean?  Well, they are really freaking good at hitting a target.  I’m pretty good.  But shooting was ANYTHING but instinctive to me.  I learned to shoot the hard way.  I did it, a lot.  This is what most people need to do.  A very sad statistic involves many law enforcement officers.  They, on average, discharge their service weapon for training and qualification a total of 100 rounds a year.  Have you ever been to the range where a police officer was shooting?  How did they do?  I’ve seen some pretty good shots, but they were folks for whom shooting was a hobby and not just a potential job function, and I have seen some who were… Not so good.

If you want to be very good, and a good steward of CCW, you need to have a solid fundamental skill set in shooting in general.  That means pointing your firearm down range and safely firing rounds onto a target the size of the human center of mass and at least having every round on that area from a reasonable distance, 30’ being a good mark, doing it at 50’ is even better.  Think of an 8.5×11 sheet of paper.  That should be your ballpark 101.  Next, be able to do the same thing, rapid fire to the capacity of your weapon. When you can do that consistently, you then need to start doing the same thing from your holster.  Every round needs to hit that paper.  Any round that doesn’t just killed the thing in the world you hold most dear.  Sounds dramatic?  Well, a stray round killing someone else, is.  Once you’re comfortable and competent drawing and firing from your carry holster, doing so should become an integral part of your shooting practice, if you can find a facility that allows it.  If not, try to find one that will.  You should also try to practice at different ranges from point black back to 50’ if you can.  How much should you practice?  As much as it takes for you to be able to consistently put those rounds into that piece of paper from 7’, 14’, 21’ and 30’ is a good BASELINE.  Realistically, if you’re capable, getting involved in a hobby-level shooting sport that involves learning to shoot while moving, from cover and concealment, and at varied ranges is going to serve you well.  You should also be able to do this from your non-dominant hand.

Earlier I mentioned your carry holster.  I have seen dozens, maybe hundreds, of cases of people waiting to find the cheap solution to a holster.  If you are going to carry a gun the holster you use needs to be one of a quality manufacture, that is absolutely comfortable for you to have on your body no less than 18 hours per day.  If it doesn’t fit those criteria it is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  It needs to retain its shape, protect your weapon and be comfortable and durable.  You are probably going to go through several until you find the exact right one, but I will tell you this, you’re probably not going to buy it at Wal-Mart.  You are buying a (bra/jock strap) you should feel comfortable and willing to PUT ON AND WEAR EVERY DAY ALL DAY.  It needs to be as close to your definition of perfect feeling as you can get, NO MATTER THE COST.

Opinions vary all across the board as to carry weapons, calibers and ammunition.  The FBI Ballistic Test Protocol (http://greent.com/40Page/general/fbitest.htm) sets a quantifiable standard for the effectiveness of ammunition.  In my opinion, for a general carry weapon, if the round in question will NOT pass this protocol then it is not suitable for carry.  There are some very specific exceptions, and they are rare and I’m not going into that here.  The FBI Ballistic Test Protocol is the guide I, and most others, use, to make sure their ammo will deliver a wound capable of inflicting damage that should be capable of delivering a mortal wound with ideal placement.  No one should rely on one shot stopping anyone, it, generally doesn’t happen.  You also should proof the ammo to work reliable in your firearm.  That means you’re going to be firing enough rounds of your chosen ammo through your firearm to be certain that it will feed, fire and function under varied conditions.  Slow fire, rapid fire, full magazine, partial magazine (or cylinder.) And this should be done through your carry gun that you have fire enough rounds through to also be comfortable that it will function reliably.  Some schools of thought recommend that you fire no less than 500 rounds though your carry gun before you ever carry it.  That’s something you’re going to have to decide, but it’s NOT a bad idea.  As to what gun you should Nope.  Not going there.  Too much emotional attachment.  If it won’t fire 500 rounds in a row without a failure it is probably not a good choice.  Period.

I want to come back around to what carrying a gun is fundamentally about, and that is shooting.  IN order to be a good shooter you have to shoot.  It all comes back to the old joke of “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice. Practice. Practice.”  The fundamental ability to shoot well will be developed by practicing.  Practicing with your carry weapon, from your carry holster also achieves a training element of building muscle memory.  You will learn your failure points, and you will develop muscle memory that will come from doing the activity over and over and over.  When it comes down to the time when you actually have to draw your weapon and fire the person who has practiced this often will be orders of magnitude faster, and more accurate, than someone who does not.  The person you may have to fire on is someone who intends to kill you, and you can bet your bottom dollar, THEY HAVE PRACTICED.  And they WILL KILL YOU if given the chance.  They do not care about bystanders!  They do not care about missed shots!  They do not care about the baby in your arms!  They are intent on making sure you get dead, so that they do not get dead, and they can escape.

The final element that is essential to being a good firearm carrier is that of training.  There are people who make it their life’s work to become as absolutely versed on carrying firearms, shooting them, drawing them from holsters, shooting under circumstances you’ve never considered.  They are in the business of attempting to convey knowledge they have gained from their own training, from experience, and from practice.  Your CCW class is an introduction to get you to a bare minimum qualification level.  Every bit of training you can get beyond that, that you can afford, and you should afford, is going to get you a small step closer to knowing Jack.  The money you spend will help you to develop good habits, think about scenarios and situations you have not considered, and have a professional instructor work with you to help you overcome short falls that we ALL have.  Even if you can only take one class a year you will be LIGHT YEARS ahead of someone who only ever did the bare minimum.  You know the bare minimum type; we’ve all worked with them, right?  And be a good consumer of instructors.  An educated one.  There are a lot of mall ninjas and paper tigers out there.  And then you’ve got the guys that are really good and know their stuff.  Talk to people who have taken classes from them.  Make sure you’re making an investment and not just being entertained.

At the end of the day you are taking on a responsibility to safely and skillfully be in possession of a deadly weapon with the ability and understanding that you can and will only use it with absolutely the best skills at your disposal under circumstances that warrant it.  Every round you fire, every class you take, every video you watch, and every book you read is a tool in your belt and gets you closer to knowing Jack.  Who knows Jack?  In my mind it would be the person who has lived and breathed under immediate and imminent threat of their life every single day, and possibly has experienced it.  You probably don’t want to be Jack, but you want to develop as close to a skill set as he has as possible.

Again, I’m not a professional, not an instructor, and freely admit I don’t know Jack.  But I hope that reading this helps someone to get closer to it

In defense of the 1911, and all others.

I don’t know how any of those hundreds of thousands of GI’s who carried 1911’s ever made it home alive… All with FMJ, too! It’s not about the tool, it’s about how you use it, maintain it, and train with it. Capacity is a factor, of course, as are many other things, but anyone who wants to try to tell me that 1911’s are unreliable and finicky and hard to work on I will HAPPILY take to a VFW hall of your choice and let the guys and gals there show you how fast someone who has TRAINED WITH THEIR WEAPON SYSTEM can tear down, clean, and reassemble one, and then we’ll go to the range and they can show you how horribly these guns shoot. Sure, it’s a 100 year old design, and there are newer, perhaps better designs, but the 1911 is NOT some mystical anachronism. Strangely, the United States Marine Corps just went BACK to a modified 1911 for their Close Quarter Battle Pistol. You can prefer a newer design, you can find it to be something that works better for you, but this bullshit of people saying it’s an unreliable and incapable firearm is getting on my nerves. Pick what works best for YOU and stop telling other people why they’re wrong. The gun YOU want is the gun YOU should shoot, use, carry, whatever. But don’t dog on someone else because they’ve decided to go a different route. If one design were the be all and end all, everyone would make it, carry it and use it and nothing else would need to be sold. the 1911 has stood the test of time, has been copied, modified, upgraded and made in nearly every caliber you can think of from .22LR to 32acp, 380acp, 9mm, .38 super, .40 S&W, 10mm, .45 ACP and yes, even .357 magnum. If it were such an inferior design, no one would bother.

Personally, if I wanted a 1911 for carry today I’d probably go buy a Colt® M1070CQBP, which is what the USMC is going to be using. I would then learn the few changes it has over the 1911’s I am familiar with, and love it long time. If you want to carry a Glock 17, a Walther PPK, a Smith and Wesson J-frame or a North American Arms .22LR revolver, well, God Bless You. Everyone has their own reasons for picking what they pick. I don’t understand the constant need to proselytize one design over another. There are VERY few bad firearms designs out there anymore, and even fewer poorly made weapons. In the day of the Internet, word gets around too quickly and a bad design or process can kill a company.

As to the Ruger SR1911, before you consider one I would HIGHLY recommend you google search “sr1911 rust.”

Sorry for the soapbox, but people need to understand that there is no one solution for everyone. Use what works for you, and be ready for what you have to. Period.

http://www.colt.com/Colt…/Products/ColtM1070CQBPM45A1.aspx
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The “Magic” of Layaway… How I have nice things.

layawaySo over the years I have accumulated a few items that have very high value.  Many people have assumed I must have a high debt load because of it.  It’s actually the furthest thing from the truth.  Other than my house, car, and about $500 in miscellaneous credit card debt, I own everything I have.

So how does layaway work?  You find a place that offers it.  I’ll use a local gun store as an example because it’s my hobby and most common interest.  Let’s say they have a $700 Ruger SR1911 I want.  I don’t have $700 available cash at hand most of the time.  But if I have 1/3 of it, or about $235, the shop will allow me to place a deposit and then pay on it as I have the funds available over the next 90 days.  This allows me to budget for making the rest of the payments, and to have a great item without having to either go into debt or have all the money right then right there.

Most places offer 90 days, some will go out to six months or even a year, especially for high-dollar items.  Just remember to read the terms of the agreement, that you’re entitled to a refund if you can’t, for some reason, pay it off in time, and that you’re dealing with a reputable shop.

Enjoy your new item, that you own, outright.