Monday, July 28, 2014

Random Musings - Open vs. Concealed Carry

I figured I'd share a couple random thoughts on open carry vs. concealed carry after a few "sightings" out in the world lately.

First, I am an advocate for the right to carry a firearm wherever and however it is safe, appropriate, and lawful for a good person to do so. Now, with that out of the way...

I've been reflecting on the guy we parked next to in Rocky Mountain National Park a couple weeks ago who was openly carrying a full-size Glock and loading his family into their SUV.

I made mention of it to my wife, just saying "Huh, look, that guy's open carrying." in an indoor voice. With our windows down I'm guessing his kid either heard me or he just noticed me looking at him and his pistol. Once he saw that I saw, he went what I'd call "hard yellow" and didn't take his eyes off me or turn his back. His demeanor changed to "I know you know I have a gun on." I wasn't staring or making anything of it, but we had now had an interaction at the gun level and I wasn't going to tip my hat nor my hand.

While I so desperately wanted to say "Dude, same team, relax." I just went on about my day. On one hand, the only difference between him and me was a thin cotton camp shirt - I was carrying, too, but he didn't know that - but on the other his reaction is something I've been thinking long and hard on lately.

I would HATE to live my everyday life the way he looked at me. Suspicious, wary, and hackled-up for a verbal confrontation. Being in the National Park and in among a TON of visitors from all over the country as well as the world, I'm not going to "normalize" anyone to guns. These folks are on vacation, and they don't want my politics thrown in their face at 10,000 feet on a lovely Saturday afternoon. Too much damn stress on everyone, not even thinking of the potential contacts with Federal employees which will certainly smudge a relaxing day.

My solution, keep it concealed and look like anyone else in the Park, because that is EXACTLY what I am... just another guy out for a day in the mountains with my family. No better, no worse, just prepared to defend me and mine from two or four-legged trouble.

Our best bet, to borrow from our hip-hop brethren, "don't start none, won't be none."

- Posted from somewhere on this big blue marble.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Small Victories


Finally!! I got the phone call I'd been both waiting for and dreading, "hey... we got a 42 in with your name on it." Dreading it only because if have to plunk down more cash for another gun I just HAD to have.

On paper, it isn't anything you'd expect me to go all gaga about. Low capacity, .380 ACP, and Glock. However, the caliber, capacity, and company are the three reasons I couldn't wait to add one to the collection of personal defense pistols.

My summertime pocket gun for the past couple years has been a Ruger LCR, which has been nothing but a perfect companion. I have been in a few places, though, where I'd wished for a slightly smaller handgun or deferred to my Shield.

What I wanted on those days was a true pocket pistol that wasn't a cheap double-action blaster with a crap trigger and nonexistent sights. Until last January, very few pistols could fill that gap (and yes, I have shot just about all of them).

The 42 - beside being the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything - came out of the gate a literal checklist of everything I was looking for:
• Pocket-sized - check (barely)
• Real sights - check
• Duty-pistol construction - check
• Real trigger - BIG check
• Capacity of 6 rounds or better - check
• Affordable - definitely

Filling out the Form 4473 really was a bit of a no-brainer.

Now, knowing these new wee baby Glocks like to run wet through break-in, I tossed a few drops of oil in the slide rails, grabbed a box of Federal ball ammo, and went out on deck.

I haven't owned a Glock in years, don't spend much time with .380, and don't shoot wee blasters very often. To add insult to inexperience, raising a baby means I haven't had time to hit the range but maybe once every month and half or so. This would be an ideal test...

...and everything went exactly as I had both hoped and expected.

The Glock 42 is small - really small - for a "real" pistol. It's also big for a "pocket" pistol. It's weird. It's exactly what I had wished my 26 would have been. It's Glock-solid, surprisingly ergonomic, and comfy in-hand.

And - this is what you were looking for - the 42 shot like a Glock. A smooth, light, reliable, low-recoiling Glock. Now, I only fed it 50 rounds of Federal 95gr FMJ but I experienced zero issues in those 50 rounds.

I shot freestyle, strong-hand, and support hand strings. I wasn't shooting for groups, but every round I fired between 10 and 25 feet went predictably into the target where I wanted.

Running Glock's clicky trigger felt like hopping back on a bike I'd ridden a LOT in years past. Exactly as expected, and light years better than the craptacular long-DA-pull bang switches on the competition.

The sights will get replaced when 10-8 or Dawson come up with a set. Replacing Glock sights... it's just something you do. But, for now, they work.

And that's exactly the point. The 42 isn't a range toy or a safe queen. It's a Glock, it just works, and it's small enough to close the gap in my carry gun collection between "can't" and "carrying."

I can't wait to get a few hundred more rounds of FMJ through it and evaluate carry ammunition for it. After that it will be going with me everywhere my full-cap carry pistols don't.

It's cool to say "yup, it's a Glock" and mean it as praise again.

- Posted from somewhere on this big blue marble.