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Shooting With Judge Parker’s Marshal’s

 

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

A few weeks ago Judge Parker’s Marshal’s at the Old Fort Gun Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas, issued an open invitation for anyone who wanted to try Cowboy Action Shooting to come out to their Tuesday night practices. Their invitation included the use of their guns and ammunition. I jumped at the chance to go shoot with them.

The first person I ran into was Bill Striplin. Bill then introduced me to Bob. Bob turned out to be Bob "Naildriver" Gleason whom I had met several years ago when I was first got interested in Cowboy Action Shooting. Naildriver competes in national cowboy shooting and is very good at it.

Naildriver took me off to the side and went through the range and shooting safety rules with me then dug out the guns and holster rigs that I used. He outfitted me with 2 Ruger Vaquero Bisley revolvers and a Marlin lever action. All 3 guns are  chambered in .357 Magnum, but we shot light .38 Special loads which made shooting easier. Last was a 12 gauge Stoger hammerless coach gun.

After I was armed, we go to the loading table to load the guns and get in line to shoot. The only time you have loaded guns is between the loading table and the shooting stage. All loaded guns stay pointed down range and there is a safety man at the loading table to keep an eye on the man loading and double check that the pistols’s hammers are on empty chambers.

I shot 3 stages that evening that each consisted of 5 shots from each pistol, 10 shots from the rifle and 4 shots from the shotgun. We won't talk about how I shot the first stage but on the second and third stages I missed 1 shot with the pistols and 1 with the rifle. Missed shots are a 5 second penalty so it is better to slow down and not miss. My time wasn’t great, but I didn’t really expect it to be.



On a scale from 1 to 10, I sucked, but nobody laughed at me or told me not to come back. Being on the crutches really didn't affect my ability to shoot the stages although I did have to take a few steps with out them on the first 2 stages. My score for the evening was high (the lower, the better) compared to most of the other guys, but that wasn't why I was there. I went to have some fun, meet some new people and give Cowboy Action Shooting another try.

I had a lot of fun and enjoyed meeting Judge Parker’s Marshal’s. All the gentlemen there were very friendly and supportive of my efforts with lots of peer pressure to join and shoot regularly. If you like Cowboy guns like I do and like to shoot fast, you might consider giving Cowboy Action Shooting a try. Click on the link to learn more about the Single Action Shooting Society.

Special thanks to Naildriver for the use of his guns and providing the ammunition and thanks to the Old Fort Gun Club for allowing greenhorns to come out to the Marshal’s practice. Before you go, here are some more pictures of that night's match.

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You can follow and talk to Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks.


This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Firearms Accessories: Today's Choices

 

By Keith Hollar – Guest Contributor

As I was thinking about the state of the accessory market I realized how good we have it at the moment.  There is almost an overwhelming amount of options out there for almost any firearm you have.  You can get different stocks, sights, barrels, triggers, scopes, electronic sights, compensators, flash hiders, magazines, flashlights, lasers, or mounting rails for almost any weapon out there.  Don’t like the finish on your firearm?  There are companies out there today that can create almost any design you can dream up on your firearms.  There are also finishes that you can buy and do yourself.

Usually I don’t make too many changes to my firearms after I purchase them.  Most of my rifles have scopes on them and all but one or two of my handguns have at least aftermarket stocks on them.  On handguns I feel that a nice pair of stocks is an easy way to dress up and personalize a firearm.  One of the latest handguns I’ve done this to is my Beretta Stampede.



It is a standard model so it came with the black plastic checkered stocks.  I never really cared for them, however it took me a while to figure out and find the ones I wanted.  I settled on ivory colored polymer ones because I really liked the way it dressed up this revolver with its case hardened frame.  I also felt it added a classic look to it.  I purchased another pair from a small company that I found on the internet.  When I received them they were not like the picture, but because of the cost I tried to see if they’d work.  I don’t know which revolver they were made for but it sure wasn’t the Stampede.  The shape was all wrong and they were way too big.  Luckily I was able to find a pair of the Beretta branded ones on the accessories website and ordered them.  These, no surprise, fit it just right.  They also make it feel a lot better in the hand.  Even though they are smooth they don’t slip around in my hand during shooting.  Now that is with some light .45 Colt loads and I wasn’t sweating so I’ll have to see how they perform long term.

What are your thoughts on this subject?  What do you like to do to your firearms to individualize them?

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

The Truth

 


By Carrie Lightfoot - Guest contributor

A recent post on The Well Armed Woman Facebook page on “Why we carry a firearm” created quite a stir and evoked an awesome amount of passion. One word kept smacking me in the face. That word was TRUTH. What frustrates the law abiding, good American citizen is the avoidance and mistreatment of what is the truth in the typical anti-gun conversation.  

Not all of the words below are mine, but I will write them in the first person as my reasons for carrying a firearm are the truth for me personally. Therefore no one can argue with me as what is true for me, is mine alone. However, I do not own these truths, they are not new and I know that for millions of firearm owners these truths are what lies at the heart of their choice to arm themselves. 





“Truth is tough.  It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch, nay, you may kick it all about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.”  
~Oliver Wendell Holmes







Who can argue with the truth? If we align ourselves and can clearly communicate what is true then it perhaps becomes more difficult for those that simply want to argue. To effectively explain our choices, we must arm ourselves with articulate words of truth and then, simply stand on them.  
I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot people, I carry a gun because I refuse to be a victim. 

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government, I carry a gun because I realize the limitations of government to protect me. I carry for emergency self defense when there are no better options left.

I don’t carry a gun because I am paranoid, I carry a gun because, sadly, there are very real threats all around me.

I don’t carry a gun because I am an evil person, I carry a gun because I’ve lived long enough to see the evil in this world and to accept that I am prey to those who are evil.

I don’t carry a gun to compensate for anything, I carry a gun to equalize the battlefield. My physical size and strength can’t even come close to that of an attacker.

I don’t carry a gun because I am angry, I carry a gun so I don’t ever have to hate myself for not being prepared and protecting myself or those I love.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it, I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people, I carry because I am trained to do so, safely.
I carry my gun, because it is my right to do so... responsibly. 


“If one tells the truth, one is sure sooner or later to be found out” Oscar Wilde

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.
 

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

3 Problems With Carrying A Gun While On Crutches

 
By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor 

If you didn’t read my first post, I wrote about the disadvantages of physical disabilities when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon. I also talked about how I have been on crutches for a couple of years. I did not receive my conceal carry permit until recently, but the issues that go with the crutches while carrying have been in the back of my head for a long time.

Being on the crutches presents three major problems when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon.

First of all, being on crutches partially lowers your situational awareness. We all know the best way to stay out of trouble is to be aware of what is happening around you and avoid potential problem situations. Using crutches takes away from a person’s situational awareness to varying degrees depending on where you are. You have to keep your attention on not catching a crutch on a curb or crack or on not putting a crutch down on a slick surface or in a hole.

Hanging out at the SASS practice.
The plus side to this problem is that you also have to watch out for other people because they are not paying attention to you which is why this only lowers your situational awareness slightly.

Second, the crutches are simply in the way. You need at least one free hand to draw your pistol and in some suggested tactics, you need two. You have to drop or otherwise get the crutches out of your way before you can draw a pistol. I guess you could always throw a crutch or cane at your attacker before drawing. Or not. Up to you.

I need to figure out how to get the crutches out of my way while simultaneously making sure that they do not interfere with drawing my pistol. This is going to take some trial and error and a lot of practice which is what a lot of you suggested that I do in your comments about my last post on Beretta's Facebook page.

Third is the issue of balance and mobility. Once you have the crutches out of your way, you have basically locked yourself into an immobile situation where your main tools of balance and mobility are laying on the ground. I can stand on my bad leg and even take a few steps without crutches so I can still shoot from a balanced position. But there are people who can’t do that. What do they do? Best option I can come up with right now is to Stop, Drop and Shoot.

Maybe I should apply for a trademark for that and start teaching it? I’m going to try it the next time I practice and see how it goes.

The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) website www.usconcealedcarry.com has some good articles on concealed carry and shooting with a physical disability here and here.

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Be sure to follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can follow me on Twitter @thejasonparks.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Ode to the Range Bag

 
by: Phil McNaughton, Guest Contributor
More thoughts and theories, this time regarding that most abused, underrated piece of gear: the range bag.
When I started shooting, I went to the range with a Beretta and a box of ammo.  Now I have a range bag that is bigger than my first car, and my ammo won’t even fit in it.
Before you leave for the range, make sure the magazines in your range bag fit the guns in your range bag.  Ditto for holsters.
Carry extra eye and ear protection in your bag.  Somebody will show up without them.
Multigun Match Math: 1 range bag + 2 arms + 3 guns + 4 types of ammo + 5 stages = GET A CART.
Yoda: “When using range bag for rifle rest, mindful of muzzle blast, you will be.”
Use black duct tape for patching your range bag.  It’s more tacticool than the gray stuff.
Spare gun:  if your race blaster goes down in the middle of a match, and you drove 4.5 hours to get there, are you going to just leave?  Of course not, that’s why you carry that huge bag!  Break out the backup and get back in the game.
Got fiber optic sights on your favorite blaster?  Got extra fiber optic rod in the bag?
A shooter should have a caddy, like a golfer.  I’ve tried offering the job to those girls in the lingerie catalog, but they don’t return my calls. L
Electronic optic?  Check.  Electronic hearing protection?  Check.  Batteries for both? 
At one time or another, there has been a holster, magazine, or part in your bag for a gun you don’t own.
I carry two towels in my range bag: one for my guns and one for me.  When I leave the range, my face is covered in gun oil and my guns are covered in sweat.
First Aid: small bandages, sunscreen, bug spray, and Skittles are necessities for every range bag.  
Whenever a “discussion” ensues about the rules of a specific shooting sport, someone pulls a rulebook out of their bag.  I’m that guy.
Ink pens are scarcer than humility at a match.  Carry a few, loan them out.  You will never see them again.
Squib rod: $10.  Small screwdrivers: $5.  Multi-tool: $30.  That funky doohickey that adjusts my front sight: free with purchase.  Having the right tool in your bag for quick repairs and adjustments at the range: PRICELESS.
Stapler & staples:  ever drive to range and realize you have nothing to put your targets up with?
Gloves:  if you’re an asset to our sport, you help with match setup and teardown.   So just remember, splinters in the trigger finger can ruin your day.
Guys, if you are carrying a range bag that is smaller than say, a child’s backpack, it is perfectly acceptable for your shooting pals to call it a “man purse.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Shotgun Shells: The Ins and Outs of Selection (Part 2)

 
By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

In the last segment we talked briefly about a few different factory loads and hand loading.  We saw a few examples of how different characteristics work in different loads and how those characteristics determine how the load performs when it comes to ballistics. Now let’s tie all this together and find what works best in our guns….






...after the jump.

The very first thing I do when I load a new recipe is load up about 3-5 shells with the recipe and take them out to pattern them.  I take a large piece of paper or cardboard and draw a 30” diameter circle in the middle of it.  I want the highest percentage of pellets I can possibly get in that circle at the range I will be using the shell at.  Now draw a horizontal and vertical line in the circle dividing it into 4 sections and label them 1, 2, 3, and 4 in no certain order.  This will help us understand how well the shot is evenly distributed.  Where the 2 lines cross will be your Point Of Aim (POA).  I then take the setup out to the field, walk off the distance I will be shooting at in real world situations, take aim, and shoot.

It is now time to check your results.  Start counting the holes in each quadrant of the circle and write the number down on a piece of paper for each quadrant.  I will also write down the number of holes OUTSIDE of the circle.  The first thing we are looking for is how well the pattern is spread out within the circle.  If I have 54 pellets in quadrant 1, 60 in 2, 58 in 3 and 40 in 4 then I know my pattern is fairly lopped sided.

The next thing I will do is add up the 4 quadrants and divide that by the known number of pellets in the shell and multiply by 100 to get my percentage.  Shot in a shell is measured by weight and the number of pellets should be fairly consistent as long as the weight and shot size remain the same.  I personally will not settle for anything less than 80% in the circle.

Lastly I look for any “holes” in the pattern.  If I have 90% of the pellets in the circle, but there is an area of 5-10” in diameter that has nothing or 1-2 pellets then that isn’t such a great pattern.

I always run 2 or 3 patterns with the same loads on new sheets of paper for each shot to get a good representation of how that load will perform in the field.  You always need to back up your data with results that are fairly close to each other.

What we are ultimately trying to achieve is the maximum number of pellets in the circle spaced out uniformly throughout the circle.  As I said before in the last segment, this pattern is your key to success!

Now that you have a better understanding of how to figure out what shell works best for you next time we will talk about how we can change the outcome and what effects how the pellets act.

Brad Wilson is an avid outdoorsman targeting waterfowl and saltwater fish and is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog.  He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Crutching Around With A CCW

 

By Jason Parks – Guest Contributor

I have some questions that I want you to think about for a minute:

How does someone with a permanent physical disability carry a concealed weapon?

How much more time does it take for them to draw and fire compared to someone without a physical disability?

How can they avoid a confrontation if they cannot quickly extricate themselves from a dangerous location?

What affect does having a physical disability have on your situational awareness?

Do laws take into account a person’s physical disability if they are forced to use their weapon?

Now I want you to consider this scenario:

A man is home in bed with his wife. The sound of breaking glass wakes him up. He lies there for a moment listening. Did he dream it or was it real? His wife is still asleep beside him. Then he hears it – the sound of the deadbolt unlocking and the slight squeak of a door hinge that he has been meaning to oil.

He realizes that someone has just broken into his home.

He wakes his wife up and tells her what’s happening. She grabs the phone and calls 911. He gets out of bed and into his wheelchair. He is paralyzed from the waist down from a car wreck. He gets his pistol and flashlight from the drawer of his night stand.

His wife has been shooting a few times, but is not that familiar with guns. He is armed and ready, but his two children’s rooms are between him and the intruder. To get to their rooms he has to wheel himself out of his bedroom and down the hall to their rooms. He can’t simultaneously hold the pistol and the flash light and wheel himself into the hallway.

What does he do?

Most people don’t think about the challenges that people with physical disabilities face when it comes to CCW and personal safety. I think about it because a little over two years ago, I broke my left femur while walking. Believe me, I wish I had a great story to go with it but it was simply that I stepped wrong and broke it. The bone was brittle, and it shattered because of the radiation treatment I received when I had cancer. For a good story, remind me to tell you about the chainsaw incident.

Anyway, I have been on crutches for two years, two months and counting. I recently acquired my concealed carry permit so all these questions have been on my mind along with figuring out how to best carry a concealed pistol while on crutches. The standard stuff just doesn’t work. I Googled “concealed carry”+”disability” a few weeks back and got a lot of links that I have not looked at yet. I wanted to be able to take you on this little jaunt into figuring all this out with me.

So what do you think? Is it harder for someone with a physical disability to protect themselves and their families?

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

You can follow Jason on Twitter @thejasonparks.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Our Future Hunters and Fishers

 


By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor



Five years ago my wife and I were blessed with our first child and at that point and time we both realized what it really meant to be a parent.  I can't even begin to name the millions of things on my bucket list that I now wanted to include him on.  From waterfowl hunting in Canada to sail fishing in Costa Rica, my adventures would not be complete without him included.

One thing that I have learned over the years as a parent is that these kids that we are raising are the future of our outdoor passions.  It really all came into perspective for me when my oldest son asked me every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day, for a week straight: "Daddy, when are we going fishing?"  At that point I realized that our children are what we mold them to be.  I realized quickly that both of my boys are as eaten up with hunting and fishing as I am (for which I have to give credit to my own dad).

The future of our passions and the future of our rights depend on what our children are taught, yet sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves that we tend to forget that.  I have learned over the years that I may not even pick my gun up the whole time on a hunt because I am more involved with teaching my sons about bird ID, flyways, or how wind plays into exactly where the birds will most likely decoy.

I am a firm believer in the saying "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life."


Have you taken a kid hunting or fishing lately?


Brad Wilson is an avid outdoorsman targeting waterfowl and saltwater fish and is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog.  He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube.


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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Impressions From A Gun Show Virgin

 

by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor

Here are some simple impressions and a few questions from a gun show virgin:






There are not too many women at gun shows.... Yet!

I didn’t get strange looks for walking around with a gun on my hip.

I did get curious looks for being a woman cruising the aisles.

It is oddly comfortable and comforting being surrounded by guns, ammo and gun loving people!

I have no difficulty believing the recent Gallop Poll that said 47% of homes in the US have a firearm. They were all at the show!
You can wear ANYTHING you want to a gun show and I mean anything.  
Fully grown adult males actually will pin handwritten signs on scraps of paper on themselves! 
What are all those little parts filling the tiny bins on so many tables?
Gun lovers are really nice and patient people.
The people watching doesn’t get any better.
There are many “interesting characters” at gun shows.  
Bring a cart with wheels - everything is VERY heavy.
Buy your ammunition on your way out!
Going to a gun show is like going to the humane society. There are so many guns that need good homes. You MUST leave with one.
You see the wildest T-shirts for sale and on the visitors.
I didn’t expect to see machetes and Gothic swords - but they were fascinating.
The collector firearms are amazing.
The military historic paraphernalia is sobering.
I want one of those huge rounds in my home. I don’t know what they are - but they are really big, very heavy and very cool!
I like the sound of stun guns.
Nothing beats a hot dog, a Coke and a stadium full of firearms.

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

First Lady of Duck Hunting

 
by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

Painted nails, pretty earrings, gorgeous lips and an itchy trigger finger. She is a knock out in a dress and a sharp shooter from the blind. Her Beretta Xtreme is her instrument and killin' greenheads is her passion. Yes, she is absolutely amazing!

For so many years it was never a thought. I mean: the one where you could see a female, day in and day out, in the duck blind. With all the nasty weather and mud, the thought of ever seeing a woman showing me up was a long shot. Then I met Natasha and my whole world changed. Seriously, when you think of a lady duck hunting you think of a backwoods, tobacco spitting woman whom you may or may not mistake for Clay Aiken. But I have to be the first to tell you: I was floored.

The first time she went duck hunting with me I thought it was a nice way to "give back" and something real good to look at, other than the other three mildly disgusting gentlemen that work with me. She shot a wood duck and a few others and looked as though she belonged out there, but I wanted to put her to the test so, the next week in our duck boat, we three guys let her come again...big mistake! She out-shot all of us and she is an incredible professional of the sport. What? I did not know if I should ask her to marry me or throw her out of the boat. I did both.

Watching this beautiful lady shoot greenheads out of the sky, give commands for the dog to retrieve them then load her Beretta without even asking, did nothing short of making me want to have kids all over again! The other two guys are ugly enough to burn a wet mule, so I knew I had a chance. She has changed our company and she has changed this industry.

Natasha is living proof that women have a place in the gun and hunting world. Not only are they coming but they have already arrived. Have I mentioned she shoots a Beretta? I have died and gone to duck hunting Heaven.

Adam Brassfield is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Facebook.
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Make sure you follow Beretta on FacebookTwitter or YouTube

 

This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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