I have a teenage daughter, and she is a pretty cool girl. Today, I was cleaning my XD 45, and she sat down and asked me to teach her how how to clean a gun too. So, we sat there together, talking, detailing the gun, and agreeing we both like the smell of Hoppe’s No. 9. When we were finished, I taught her how to field strip the gun and she did it a few times as well. We talked about everything from gun safety to colleges to boys. It was a great day. This is the side of guns and firearms instruction that is not discussed very often, how the hobby brings people together. If every single person who loves their guns and believes in the 2nd Amendment teaches one person to use, respect, and care for a gun – the number of gun owners could double. I am thankful for the day I had, for my daughter, for the time we have left before she is off to college, and that she seems to have an affinity towards guns too!
Archive for Education
I did write Groupon a letter, telling them to close my account and reminding them that they could have chosen to be a portal to firearms education rather than a road block. They did reply:
Hi Lil’ Chantilly (well, ok – they used my real name…)
I apologize for the delay in responding! We’re currently experiencing an unusually high volume of requests, but we are working hard to get back to everyone as soon as we can.
Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us.
We understand that this is a sensitive topic, and that some of our customers may not agree with our choice to pause the promotion of firearm-related deals. Groupon has always aimed to offer a diverse range of products and services to meet the various tastes and interests of our subscribers. However, at this time, enough customers and merchants have voiced their opinions that we believe a hiatus is warranted.
Please note that we have never sold guns, and this hiatus only applies to firearm-related deals including shooting ranges, clay pigeon shooting, and concealed weapons training classes. We have not made a final determination regarding this category — we are simply taking a break and may reevaluate in the future.
Per your request, I’ve unsubscribed this email address. You will stop receiving Groupon promotional emails within 48 hours. I can also close your account, but I want to be sure you’re aware that once it is closed, you will no longer be able to access previously purchased vouchers on Groupon.com, and any existing Groupon Bucks will be voided. Please let me know if you would like to proceed.
We genuinely appreciate your opinion and the feedback you’ve given us. I’ll be sure to share your comments with the appropriate people.
Groupon Customer Support
Hello, I am Lil Chantilly, and I own a semiautomatic handgun. Because some members of the media, Bob Costas included, have a difficult time with the definition of semiautomatic, I thought I would present a lesson for them. Most of the people who read my blog already understand the difference between automatic, semiautomatic, and single shot.
I decided to go straight to a source most people recognize as authoritative, the Dictionary. I found the following at Dictionary.com:
Pay particular attention to the line, “requiring a squeeze of the trigger for each shot”. This means that on my semiautomatic Springfield XD45 pistol, I cannot just hold the trigger and then all the rounds will fire in succession. It means that for my semiautomatic pistol, I must pull the trigger, recover back on target, and then pull the trigger again. It takes practice and skill to do that quickly, but no matter what – you must pull the trigger for every single bullet that exits the gun.
What are some examples of semi-automatic weapons? The pistol at the top of this article is a semiautomatic .45 Caliber pistol. It is a Springfield XD45. Speaking of that – the same gun is at the top of this page in my main webpage design. I own a gun that fires one round at a time.
This is a Glock 26, it is semiautomatic, it fires one round with each pull of the trigger:
This is a Smith and Wesson M&P, it is semiautomatic, it fires one round each time the trigger is pulled:
Here is an AR-15, all dolled up for a lady. Even this rifle is semiautomatic, it fires one round each time the trigger is pulled:
At Wikipedia.com, they have a good paragraph that really explains what semiautomatic means:
“A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon’s feed device or magazine. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the weapon’s firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber. Although automatic weapons and selective fire firearms do the same tasks, semi-automatic firearms do not automatically fire an additional round until the trigger is released and re-pressed by the person firing the weapon.“
Many media personalities discuss automatic weapons and semiautomatic firearms interchangeably. To the millions of gun owners in the country, the media sounds ignorant. To those who are afraid or lack understanding because they were not lucky enough to have a good mentor take them to the range, or hunting, or target shooting outdoors so far in life – the media may sound correct, and the stories they spin may sound scary. If I thought that every person with a gun was going to kill someone and that we all likely had automatic weapons, and because someone’s neighbor’s music was too loud, if I thought they planned to solve that argument with a gun – I would be scared as well.
I do own a semiautomatic pistol, I know A LOT of people who do, and they are all good honest Americans who love this country, would never hurt a soul (except to protect their own life or the lives of their family). When you hear the media talking, actually listen to the words they say, really consider the meaning behind those words, and decide for yourself if that person is knowledgable enough about the topic to continue listening. If they are not, turn them off. Eventually, they will have to educate themselves.
Think for yourselves, all of this is too important to be sheep.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to try your hand in an actual gun fight? I have read lots of books By Col. Jeff Cooper and others that try to prepare you for the reality of a gun battle. Still, how would YOU really react – how fast do things change, have you trained enough to perform under high stress? Well, you can get all these questions safely answered at COMBAT CITY USA.
Combat City USA has been all over the news the past couple of days, so many of you have probably already seen this video, or one like it. The reason I had to write about it today is because I was watching Fox and Friends this morning and Gretchen Carlson was appalled that this was allowed to happen. She was extremely upset that people were allowed to practice against real people in such a scenario. Has she never heard of laser tag, paint ball, air-soft, this is just another form. Combat City USA does have air-soft matches as well, but as you will see in the video, they they have matches that allow people to use their actual guns. This is better, because in your home – that is the gun you will have. Practice with the equipment you will be using. Even in the military, there are plenty of times when training is simulated but the best learning occurs when the training is as close to real life as possible.
I applaud Combat City USA and any other range with realistic training like this. They are located in Orlando, FL. Do any of you know of similar opportunities elsewhere in the country? I would love to give those places some press time too! (I have a feeling Combat City USA is going to be fully booked for awhile!)
If you have ever been hesitant about training with a firearm, read Sarah’s article. Find someone you trust, someone knowledgable and patient, and try a day at the range. You just might like it!
To follow the entire series on my custom rifle build, click here. (The most recent will at the top of the page.)
I thought I was almost ready to order my stock, I have many of the details settled, and had the McMillan order form 95% filled out in front of me. I was not sure about the custom lug and I was not sure about the shank length information needed, so I called my best friend and rifle mentor to ask some questions. Regarding the custom lug he said I should just call Big Horn Arms and ask them for some details. I did call Big Horn Arms and I talked to AJ Goddard (he was very nice). I let him know I was about to order my stock, and planned on using a Big Horn Arms short tactical action, and wanted to know if I needed any additional info about a custom lug, etc. AJ let me know that McMillan has one of his actions there at their factory and that they would know what to do. That made perfect sense, so I thanked him for his time and called McMillan.
I ended up talking to a nice lady named Kay, and we walked though the ordering process together. I had all the answers to the questions she was asking until we came to the barrel information. I let her know I was going to use a #8 Kreiger Standard Target barrel contour. This is where the question came up about “shank length”. I had the Kreiger Barrel website open in front of me and I was on the page with all the barrel measurements. I tried to tell her what I thought the answer was (2.75′), but she didn’t think that was correct, so we went through the rest of the order form and I told her I’d call her back about the Shank Length questions. I realized later, what I was telling her was the unfinished shank length, or the cylinder length.
I figured out my actual Length of Pull (LOP). A standard LOP is 13.5″, but I figured out that mine is 12.75″. I will discuss how to find your personal LOP in a different article. So, I did request the stock be modified to compensate for the shorter LOP. I did choose my stock color, it is “Option D” as discussed in my previous article. I chose 40% Woodland Beige, 40% Turquoise, and 20% Black. Kay and I discussed if these colors would work, specifically, if the woodland beige was light enough to provide a contrasting color. She said it was, and thought the colors would be fine.
Some of the other decisions I made and confirmed during this order, I am going to go with a Jewell Trigger, I am getting a rail on the fore-end to mount my bi-bod (which will give me the option to use several brands of bi-pods). I initially told Kay I wanted an Anschultz Rail, but I think I am going to switch that to a Freeland brand rail, after talking to another expert in the field (Dayne, a friend of Don, my rifle mentor). I also had flush cups inserted into the side of the stock for the sling as well.
The reason I ended up talking to Dayne was regarding the Shank Length question. He has a plethora of McMillan stocks, and is the type of guy that would call McMillan and know exactly what he wanted, and would be able to explain to Kay what he wanted. Because I am still learning, (no matter how much I have already learned) I did not know exactly what the “shank” was and so I could not answer Kay’s question. I called Dayne and he explained to me what I needed to know. He said what McMillan needed was the “finished shank length”, so could properly inlet the stock for my barrel. I had already read on the internet and figured out what the shank portion of the barrel was, but Dayne explained that the gunsmith would have to thread the breech end of my barrel for it to be inserted into the action, and the portion of the shank left would be my “finished shank length.”
McMillan will need to account for the remaining shank and subsequent taper of the barrel so the stock and barrel will look like they are a perfect match. Dayne and Don both say in order to know what my actual shank length is, I will need to call the gunsmith, as he will take a lot of things into account, like how my 6XC cartridge will feed from the AI magazine, if I am using 115 DTEC bullets, how long the throat should be, etc. So, I am going to have to call Robert Gradous on Monday again to see what he recommends for this measurement.
Kay, at McMillan, let me know that I would receive a confirmation e-mail in about two weeks, and made it sound like I could make any changes to my order until about that time. If anyone ever wonders why custom stocks are so expensive, there is a lot of thought that goes into them. I am understanding more and more everyday. On McMillan’s website it states that it could be 3-4 months of wait time before I receive my stock. So, in the mean time I am going to keep researching and get the other parts on order one by one. I’ll let you know how all that is going!
As usual, I would love to hear about your experiences, including questions and comments. I think this article made it pretty clear, I still have A LOT to learn!
The first day I stepped foot in US Navy Boot Camp, and in so many situations after that, I have heard the phrase “Situational Awareness”. We are told, “Keep your head on a swivel,” meaning to keep an eye all around you. In the military, this is beat into us constantly – and for good reason. Life is actually inherently dangerous, but in the military this increases exponentially. There are Sailors on the decks of Aircraft Carriers, manning weapon systems, working on electrical circuits, and driving billion dollar warships. We have Marines, Soldiers, and people from every armed service engaged in combat in Afghanistan.
Does situational awareness apply as a civilian? You bet it does! You can sit in your cloud of bliss, blocking out the world, and in complete denial that anything bad will ever happen to you – until it happens to YOU. The better alternative is to always think about what is going on around you, what “could” potentially happen around you, and then how would you react in any given situation.
I have a great friend I met in the military, and have known for nearly 20 years. When we walk into a restaurant, he has to sit with his back to a wall and so he can see the whole room including the entrance. He has always been aware of his surroundings and constantly thinks about his next move “if” something should happen. If he is in the car with me, and I am driving, I used to pull to close to the car in front of me when stopped at a stop light. He would tell me, “Why did you pull that close? Now if something happens, you will have no means of escaping.” When I was in my early 20′s I thought, wow – he is paranoid. Now I realize this is the kind of thinking that will help you survive in a life or death moment.
If you do not live your life day to day with this kind of thinking and planning constantly ticking in your mind, the best thing to do is to start practicing. Play the “what if” game with yourself. If you are in the grocery store, ask yourself, “What if XXX happened, what would I do?” Fill in the blanks with all kinds of scenarios and do this in various locations in your life. It will really make you think and act differently.
Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC (Ret.) adapted the awareness color code for the US Marine to a personal awareness code. The color code applies to one’s state of mind and relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper did not claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was the first to use it as an indication of mental state. You can see it below:
How many of you already live your life with constant scenario planning in the background of your thoughts? How does it cause you to behave in various situations? What suggestions would you give to those who are just starting to become so aware? Do you know people who stay in the “white” state 100% of the time?