Saturday, November 30, 2019

Friday, November 29, 2019

Heh: "San Francisco ties cold record as Bay Area freezes"

Article here. The high was 48 degrees F. The last time the daily high was that cold was on November 27th, 1896. Global warming indeed.

Diversity Is Our Strength: London Bridge Terror Attack (Updated and bumped)

The Daily Mail reports that a "London Bridge terrorist killed two innocent bystanders before hero police shot him dead after passers-by wrestled him to ground after stabbing rampage left up to 12 hurt."

Update: Police have identified the dead terrorist as Usman Khan, 28. Khan had previously been arrested on December 20, 2010, four days before he and his Al-Qaeda-inspired gang had planned to plant a bomb in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange. Khan was convicted in 2012 and released from prison on parole in December 2018. He was apparently wearing a tracking bracelet and started his rampage while attending a conference on prisoner rehabilitation. At least some of the guys that had tackled Khan and held him for police were former prisoners attending the same prisoner rehabilitation meeting.

Mini-Review - Ozark Trail Multiforce 18-in-1 Multitool

This is a guest post from our contributor writing under the nom de plume "The Realist", who generally writes about EDC or bug-out gear. You can read more of his/her work by clicking on this link.


Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this review were purchased by myself. I did not receive samples, evaluation models, or other compensation from any manufacturer or retailer. I have no formal relationship with any manufacturer or retailer mentioned in this review - I have only been an arms-length customer. All brand names and product names used in this review are the trade names, service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Further, this review reflects my unique circumstances and subjective opinions with regard to performance and other characteristics of the products being reviewed. Your mileage may vary.

      Recently, I was walking through the local Walmart looking to score some ammunition on clearance. Prominently displayed as I approached the sporting goods department was a new Ozark Trail multitool on display. As I walked closer, I realized this multitool looked vaguely like a Leatherman Wave. At $37.74, it costs significantly more than any previous Ozark Trail multitool I have ever seen.

      The Ozark Trail Multiforce multitool has a tool compliment similar to that of the Leatherman Wave, sharing some features with both the first and second generation Waves. Except for the pliers head, all of the Multiforce tools lock in their deployed positions. The Multiforce has four blades - straight edge knife, serrated edge knife, saw, and two sided file - that can be opened without opening up the handles of the closed multitool. The Multiforce comes with a long-nose pliers head incorporating wire cutters and a wire crimper, a can/bottle opener blade incorporating a wire stripper notch, spring-action scissors, and barely visible rulers laser etched into the handles. The Multiforce has one fixed flat screwdriver blade, and one reversible screw driver bit. The Multiforce also comes with a short extension so that other screwdriver bits (not supplied) can be used.

      I compared the Rockwell Hardness of the straight knife blade on the Multiforce to that of the Wave using Tsubosan hardness testing files. The blade on both multitools was hardened to between 55 and 60 HRC.

      The Multiforce and Wave both have a double-sided file with one side being diamond coated and the other side being a traditional double cut file. The Multiforce double cut file is not as sharp as that found on the wave. Further, one edge of the file on both multitools has perpendicular cuts, with the Wave being significantly sharper than the Multiforce.

       However, there are also some significant differences between the Multiforce and the Wave. The jaws of the pliers pivot out of the opposite end of the handle from that of the Wave, pivoting out of the end with the small head pivot screws, whereas the Wave pliers pivot out of the end with the large head pivot screws. The Multiforce comes with an attached pocket clip, whereas a pocket clip is an add-on accessory for the Wave. The Multiforce weights 278 g (9.8 oz), 40 grams (1.4 ounces) more, and is 23.4 mm (0.92 in), 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) thicker, than the second generation Wave.

      The Multiforce sheath is significantly inferior to any of the sheaths supplied with the Wave. The sheath is a slightly upgraded version of that supplied with the five-dollar Ozark Trail mulitools - adding a thin plastic belt clip that I doubt would survive much abuse.

      The Multiforce packaging claims it has a five year limited warranty. But, there is nothing elsewhere on or inside the package to provide any additional information on the warranty.

      To me, it looks like Walmart intends for the Multiforce to be a low-price competitor to the Leatherman Wave. It has a similar tool complement and similar appearance, but differs in various design elements as if they were trying to design around patents held by Leatherman.

      The fit and finish of the Multiforce looks reasonable - certainly better than most multitools I see coming out of China. I have not performed any destructive testing to see how well it would hold up to abuse. I am somewhat disappointed with the file on the Multiforce. And, as hinted at above, I am disappointed with the sheath (find a better sheath or don't carry it on your belt).

      Would I recommend the Ozark Trail Multiforce over a Leatherman Wave now selling for nearly $100? If you were pinching pennies, perhaps. However, when compared to other multitools coming out of China, including models like the Gerber Suspension, I believe it represents a good value.

More Diversity? 3 Injured in Stabbing Attack at the Hague

Three people were stabbed at a department store in the Hague, Netherlands. The suspect fled the scene and Dutch police are conducting a manhunt. The description is vague: a middle-aged man with black, curly hair, a scarf and a gray jogging suit.

Marcus Wynne: "When Training Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Training"

Marcus Wynne, in his article, takes note of a proposed Virginia bill that could be interpreted as outlawing tactical training. And by "could be interpreted," I mean that a prosecutor or court, if they wanted to, could stretch the language to cover much of the tactical or defensive training currently available to the public. This is why we occasionally hear people like Max Velocity, John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla, and others suggest to newbies to get their firearms/tactical training now, while they can, and seek the bare-hands training later.

     Herschel Smith of The Captain's Journal has the full text of the bill, which purports to outlaw paramilitary activity, but here is an example of one of its provisions making a person guilty of a felony if he "[t]eaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, [or] application ... of any firearm ... or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder[.]"

    Ostensibly, this bill is probably to prevent violent groups like Antifa from holding "self defense" classes to better prepare their members to engage in violent protest. For instance, the cited Buzzfeed article relates:
     To protect those battling it out in the streets, many antifa groups train members in street medicine. Those medics monitor the crowds, handing out water and sunscreen and acting as first responders if police bring out tear gas or a confrontation gets heated. The medics typically come from nursing or emergency medicine backgrounds, but many are laypeople trained by other street medics before them.

      But many antifa who spoke to BuzzFeed News said medical training alone won’t protect them during confrontations. During the street fights that broke out in Berkeley between antifa and white supremacists earlier this year, Sean Hines realized that his side wasn’t ready for that kind of confrontation with the right. “To be quite frank, they kicked our ass in a lot of instances … it was kind of an eye-opener that we really needed to start training,” Hines said.

      He created a fight club in Santa Rosa, California, to teach combat training to like-minded antifa. “Antifa had strength in numbers, but when it came to symmetrical combat, we would usually lose,” he said.

     Hines also founded an anarchist and socialist gun club, integrating guns into antifa self-defense to arm working-class people and create a “left-wing militia.” He’s not alone — several antifa groups are taking advantage of lax gun laws in their states and arming their members.

     “The more people that are armed, the more that we have the ability to fight police terrorism or fight fascist terrorism,” said Joseph Jordan, an anarchist who participates in Seattle antifa groups. “When the fuckers see that we are willing to shoot back, they back the fuck off.”
And beyond Antifa we have groups such as the various chapters of the John Brown Gun Club, the Pink Pistols (an LGBTQ group), Liberal Gun Club, and Socialist Rifle Association.

    But if this bill were to become law, would it be enforced against Antifa and similar leftist organizations? Probably not. As the Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this month, "All four Virginia prosecutor candidates backed [by] liberal billionaire George Soros emerged victorious in Tuesday’s elections." Prosecutors have discretion on whether to file or pursue charges against criminals, and so they can be selective in how to enforce a law.

    But back to Wynn's article. First of all, he provides a very good history of the development of tactical training courses for both the three-letter agencies and the general public, so we know where the community has been. The article is well worth reading just to learn the history. Beyond that, Wynn discusses a couple ways that this proposed law posses a threat: first, by setting a precedent that it is okay to ban classes or instruction in using firearms; and, second, by catching up instructors, despite their best efforts to vet class members, into investigations and perhaps even being charged when a student, perhaps years later, goes bad. And he gives a real world example of such an incident.

    In any event, the risks involved could be enough to drive instructors (at least the good ones) from providing training to the public and only offering it to law enforcement and/or military.

New Weekend Knowledge Dump ...

... from Active Response Training. A truly excellent selection of articles and commentary this week including such topics as: tips and suggestions for covert operators; correctly using the bolt handle and bolt release on an AR; "shooting from retention" including when you should avoid trying to go for your gun, movement and timing issues, and so on, this is one to download/print and carefully read; an article from Mass Ayoob on some self-defense/awareness techniques to avoid being attacked in a public restroom, rest area along a highway, and so on; the overarching conclusions reached from testing Xtreme Penetrator,  Inceptor ARX, Civil Defense from Liberty Ammunition, and G2 RIP handgun ammunition (all in 9 mm); an article about a negative outcome of someone that pulled a knife on a homeless person trying to steal shoes (and be sure to read Ellifritz's commentary); and a lot more.

    Also, Ellifritz has found a good selection of Black Friday sales for the self-defense, survival oriented person.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The First Thanksgiving

Originally published in 2014]

File:The First Thanksgiving Jean Louis Gerome Ferris.png
The First Thanksgiving by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris
Before European settlement of the New World, New England was populated by a relatively large number of Indians (more than 100,000) of diverse tribes, most engaged in farming to some extent or another and, contrary to popular belief, well versed in concepts of private property rights--they could identify precisely the plots of land that belonged to each farmer. Giovanni da Verrazzano left on an expedition in 1523 to try and find a norther[n] route to the Pacific Ocean. Sailing north along New England, he reported that the coastline was everywhere densely populated.

Although the Indians successfully kept the Europeans from colonizing New England, they did engage in trading. By 1610, Britain alone had some 200 vessels operating off Newfoundland and New England. And it was not just the Europeans--Indians had learned to sale European style vessels and accounted for a great deal of the coastal trade. However, the Indians would not permit permanent settlements, or even lengthy stays, using force, if necessary, to drive off the Europeans. (It would be a misconception to believe that the Europeans had superior weapons--most were unpracticed in using their firearms, and the range, accuracy and rate of fire of the European firearms was far inferior to the Native American bows).

In 1614, a raid by an English trader (the one described below) enraged the Indians, who vowed to not let any more Europeans land on their shore. In 1616, the Indians captured a group of French sailors that had shipwrecked. All but 5 were killed in a battle. A surviving sailor warned the Indians that God would destroy them. The Indians scoffed, but the sailor was right--the sailors carried a disease (probably viral hepatitis A). The Indians died in the thousands, turning the New England coast into a charnel house. The pestilence lasted 3 years, killing an estimated 90% of the native coastal people.

On March 22, 1621, a delegation of Indians approached the Plymouth settlement. At the head of the party was Massasoit, the secham (a political and military leader) of the Wampanoag confederation; Samoset, the sachem of an allied group; and Tisquantum ("Squanto"), a Wampanoag prisoner/slave brought along as a translator because he spoke fluent English. Massasoit sought a military alliance against another Indian confederation--the Narragansett. Such an alliance would have been unthinkable not so many years earlier, but the Wampanoag had been decimated by disease. The Wampanoag had been particularly hard hit by the disease, and it was all Massasoit could do to hold his people together, and they were threatened by the Narragansett who had survived untouched by the epidemic. In fact, the Pilgrims had settled in an empty village--the very village from which Tisquantum had hailed.

Tisquantum spoke fluent English because he had lived for several years in England. Years earlier, about 1614, Tisquantum had been abducted by European traders that took him to Spain. There, because slavery of the Indians was frowned upon by the Catholic Church which considered them to be fully human, he was set free. He journeyed north through Europe before arriving in England where he hoped to catch a ship back to New England. It took several years, and many misadventures, but Tisquantum finally reached his native lands only to find his entire people dead from disease. After this first meeting, he lived the rest of his life among the Pilgrims.

Tisquantum was vital to the Pilgrim's survival. The English colonists were woefully unprepared for life in the New World, and ignorant of farming. Tisquantum showed the colonists how to plant corn, beans, and squash together, and to use fish as fertilizer. (Ironically, Tisquantum probably picked up the latter technique during his travels in Europe--there is no evidence that Indians used the technique, although it was well known in parts of Europe). By fall, the Pilgrims' situation had improved to such an extent that they held a feast of Thanksgiving. Massasoit, accompanied by two score warriors, attended.

Massasoit stratagem succeeded in the short term--his people were not overrun by the Narragansett. But his alliance with the Pilgrims permitted the first permanent European settlement in New England--the first of many. The Indian population never recovered from the pestilence--the Narragansett were themselves devastated by smallpox in 1633--and eventually the Europeans expanded their settlements until they outnumbered the Indians.

Shooting Illustrated: "What’s The Best Way To Clean Brass?"

The article looks at the three most popular methods of cleaning brass: vibratory tumblers using dry media such as crushed corn cob or walnut shells; the ultrasonic cleaner; and the stainless steel pin/liquid media rotary tumbler. As the article notes, the three methods have their pros and cons.

    Initially, I will note that I haven't used a rotary tumbler using liquid and stainless steel pins. I have, however, been pondering over cleaning products on multiple occasions and had other customers in the store just out and tell me that I should go that route for the cleanest brightest brass. I just never made the jump because I've long used a vibratory tumbler, and now use a sonic cleaner.

   What I started with was a vibratory tumbler using dry media. It does a good job of cleaning off crud, but it doesn't leave the brass very shiny. In fact, it looks more like it has been bead blasted to a dull sheen. If you put shiny brass into the tumbler, it will come out with the same bead blasted look. In any event, the author of the article relates:
We can add an ammonia-based liquid to increase the media’s polishing power before each tumbling session. The ammonia reacts with the copper in the brass, so its polishing effect is actually chemical, not mechanical. We might instead add jeweler’s rouge, an abrasive like the media; in fact, we can buy dry media with the rouge already in it.
I've added brass cleaner to the media and haven't seen any major difference, but perhaps I'm not adding enough. Another issue is that granules of the media can get stuck in the primer pocket or flash hole, and so you need to be careful to get that knocked out of the brass before reloading. Finally, as the author notes, the process produces a lot of dust, which you have to wipe or wash off the brass.  I don't like leaving the dust on the inside of the case, so I started rinsing the brass with water to remove the dust, but then that leaves the problem of having to dry the brass.

    So if you are going to have to get the brass wet, you might as well try the other methods. My father-in-law loaned me his sonic cleaner to try (eventually just giving it to me) and I liked the fact that it was faster than the vibratory tumbler and does a better job of cleaning the interior of the case--particularly the flash hole. I will generally run a batch through two or three cleaning cycles. The downside is that cleans but doesn't really polish, and, at least with the size of the sonic cleaner I am running, I can't clean large quantities at a time.

    If you want the best results from the cleaning process, though, you may need to change your loading sequence because case lube will darken the brass somewhat and requires a second round of wiping off the brass cases. What I do is use a spray-on lube on the uncleaned cases, and run them through the deprimer/sizing die. After that, they go through the cleaning process, which removes any remaining grime (including the lube). After they are dried, I do the remaining case prep such as inspecting the cases for cracks, checking case length, doing any trimming, and reaming or cleaning primer pockets if necessary, etc., and go on with the reloading process.

    As you can guess, I do this in stages. I will take an afternoon or evening and work on depriming/sizing cases and cleaning/drying those cases. These then go into storage until I'm ready to load.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New Hump Day Reading List ...

... from Grant Cunningham. The topics are: the efficacy of using ballistic gelatin to test ammunition; the value of carrying more than a firearm for self-defense and learning unarmed techniques; testing your preps via a "grid-down weekend."

Same As It Ever Was: "All roads DID lead to Rome: DNA evidence confirms the city really was overrun with Greeks and Syrian immigrants as locals of the time complained"

Article at The Daily Mail: The article indicates that during the early years of Rome and after its fall, Rome genetically resembled its Western European neighbors. "But during the imperial period, Romans had more in common with populations from Greece, Syria and Lebanon."

Racist Mob in New York Beats Two Women

The New York Post relates that an actress and a model "on their way out of the West 40th Street club, ... got jumped and beaten to the ground by a group of 10 to 15 people who were yelling 'white motherf—ers,' 'dirty white b—-es' and 'f—k those white b—-es and their money,' ...."

Duck and Cover Isn't Just For Nuclear Weapons: Explosion at Texas Chemical Plant

News reports indicate that a TPC Group petrochemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, suffered an explosion around 1am this morning. Three people are known to have been injured due to the blast. However, the explosion knocked down walls at nearby stores, blew out windows of many residences, and was felt up to 30 miles away. CNN reports:
      "There's extensive damage throughout the City," the Port Neches Police Department said in a statement. "Please stay off the roads anywhere near the refineries. Obey all the barricades that are in place. We are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and informed."
     The fire is burning a chemical called butadiene, police said. The colorless gas is considered a health hazard, according to the US National Library of Medicine. It is made from processing petroleum and is used to make synthetic rubber and plastics.
 A mandatory evacuation order has been issued within a half mile of the plant. There was a second explosion at the plant earlier today.

Daily Mail: "Government workers are 36% 'more likely to vote for a socialist presidential candidate' and 32% support the overthrow of the Second Amendment, new poll finds"

Story here.
     The [Rasmussen] poll also showed that 32 per cent of respondents who said they work for the government said they support repealing the Second Amendment, which guarantees Americans’ right to 'bear arms'.

     That number was also the highest of any 'employment' demographic tested. 

      Government workers also favored legislation to ban private ownership of 'assault-style rifles'.

     A total of 46 per cent of public employees favor such a ban.

Strange Murder in Owyhee County, Idaho

Owyhee County is a county on the very southwest corner of Idaho. With a land area of 7,697 mi², it is the second largest county in Idaho in terms of land area (to put the size in perspective, that is larger than the state of Connecticut and almost as large as New Jersey), but it only has a population of about 12,000. The terrain varies from the flat arid plain south of the Snake River to the majestic Owyhee Mountains along the Idaho-Oregon border. It so resembles terrain found in the Middle-East that the Federal Government took a sizable chunk of the County to use a bombing/practice range for the Air Force.

    According to The Idaho Press,  50-year-old Mark Warner is being held on felony charges related to the death Rod St. Clair, an elderly farmer from the Marsing, Idaho, area. Warner is purportedly a member of a small Owyhee County chapter of an outlaw motorcycle gang known as Vagos. From the article:
      According to court documents, deputies were called out to St. Clair’s home on Island View Drive the evening of Nov. 15 for a report of a man beating on the doors and windows of the home.

      St. Clair went outside with a gun to look for the man, but didn’t find him. Instead, he told deputies when they arrived at the home, he discovered a black backpack sitting next to a tree.

     Inside the bag was a cell phone charger, several sets of keys and clothing, including a green bandanna and a black T-shirt with the Vagos motorcycle gang logo on it.

     St. Clair told deputies he had been in his living room when he heard two pops — sounds deputies later determined were from someone hitting and breaking the windshield and front windows of a car parked outside the house.

     According to court documents, St. Clair was headed out to investigate when he heard a man calling for help. The victim then headed into his bedroom, where he could see a man standing outside with his face pressed up against the glass.

      When St. Clair turned on the lights, the man took off running. The homeowner told deputies he called out “what do you want?” but only heard the man laughing in response.

     Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched the area and the fields around the house, but did not find anyone. The investigators found that a lamp outside and the back bedroom window had also been broken.

      St. Clair’s step-daughter told the deputies that she also had seen the man calling out that he was hurt while standing up against the outside bedroom door.

      While deputies were speaking to the victim and his family, dogs at a house to the south began to bark “in an aggressive, alerting manner” according to the probable cause affidavit.

      The deputies went to check that house, but as they were searching, they heard several gunshots from St. Clair’s home. Back at the victim’s home, the investigators found St. Clair’s lying dead on the ground, and one of his female relatives, Debra Thomson standing with a gun in her hand.

     Thomson told deputies that the unknown man — identified as Warner — had charged at her and St. Clair swinging a long, shiny object. The weapon was later determined to be a flail — a two-pound spiky metal ball on a rope.

      Thomson said both she and St. Clair were armed, and that she shot at the man who was running at them, but he did not stop. Warner hit St. Clair with the flail, according to court documents, continuing to attack him as Thomson fired.

      Thomson said the attacker grabbed onto St. Clair and turned him in her direction “as to use Rod as a shield from being shot.” At the same time, Thomson said, she fired her gun, and believed the bullet struck St. Clair.

      The man then ran away around the corner of the home, she said. St. Clair died at the scene.

     Officials say St. Clair was shot in the back. A medical examiner will make the final determination of whether it was Thomson’s bullet that killed him.

     Deputies from Owyhee and Canyon counties were continuing the search for Warner, when they heard a noise, then heard the suspect say “I’m Mark,” according to court documents. Warner was lying on his stomach in the bushes, on top of a Vagos motorcycle gang vest, and had been shot twice in the abdomen.
 Another man was arrested nearby and charged with felony possession of a firearm. There does not appear to be any connection between Warner and St. Clair.
Warner is currently facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter “due to the action of Mark putting Rod in the line of gunfire and thus killing him,” according to court documents. He is also charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and malicious injury to property.
     There are several takeaways from this story. First, even if you are living in a rural area, you are not immune from being the victim of a crime.

     Second, the dead man, St. Clair, did what he was supposed to--called police and armed himself--but still ended up dead. As John Correia of Active Self Protection likes to remind viewers of his You Tube channel, you need to be spiritually prepared in the event the time comes for the end of your mortal existence.

     Third, it is not clear whether St. Clair shot at Warner, but St. Clair's step-daughter did so, and it did not dissuade Warner from his attack. Moreover, getting shot twice in the abdomen did not dissuade the attack. A firearm is not a talisman that magically wards off danger, and even discharging the firearm and striking the attacker may not stop the attack.

     Fourth, although not precise in its description, the article indicates that Warner was struck twice in the abdomen. This might be poor aim, or it could be good aim at the wrong place. I'm thinking in particular about the old "center of mass" which if literally applied ends up with bullets striking below the vitals. "Center of mass" needs to be reformulated as "center of chest" so hits will actually have a better chance to stop the attacker.

    Fifth, it is hard to make good hits once people start moving around and are close together. In this case, it appears that St. Clair's step-daughter shot St. Clair in the back while St. Clair and Warner were tangled up in their fight. This is a difficult position to be in because as the attacker and victim are in close proximity and possibly move around, it would be easy to strike the victim if you attempted a shot. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Breaking In A New Firearm--Necessary or Not

Shooting Illustrated tries to answer a reader's question about whether it is necessary to shoot a number of rounds through a handgun in order to "break it in." The question was actually about two issues: (i) should you have to "break in" a new handgun or should you expect it to run reliably straight out of the box, and (ii) the manual for the unnamed handgun recommended shooting 500 rounds through the weapon as a break-in period--was this excessive.

    I've noted before that today's shooters are pampered in that they expect a firearm to run straight out of the box, and generally they do. It wasn't always so, and I remember when it was pretty standard to expect a semi-auto firearm to have "bugs" that would need to be worked out with proper cleaning, lubrication, and shooting 100 to 200 rounds through the weapon. Many semi-auto pistols were well known not to function reliably with hollow-point ammunition, or be very picky about their ammo. The common advice as to 1911s, for instance, was to buy one and then immediately turn it over to a gunsmith for him to work it over to make it reliable.

    Should that be the case? I would say with better manufacturing equipment able to turn out more consistent products, firearms should shoot reliably out of the box. Nevertheless, if I'm going to bet my life on a handgun, whether it is a semi-auto or revolver, I'm going to first put a bunch of practice ammo through it and test my preferred defensive ammo for function, reliability, and point of aim.

    As to the issue of whether it needs 500 rounds for a proper break-in, I'm not going to contradict the manufacture, but my thought is that if it is not shooting reliably by the time you reach 200 rounds (presuming it was properly cleaned and lubricated to start with), there is probably something wrong beyond merely getting the parts to properly mesh together. If there is no obvious mechanical problem, I would start with checking to see if it is an ammunition problem. For instance, I have shot handguns that could run ball ammo all day but will choke up on hollow-points. I have a rifle that shoots most anything I give it ... as long as it isn't steel cased. And earlier this year I had the misfortune of getting a box of .22 LR where about every second or third round was a dud. Beyond ammunition issues, check for magazine issues, such as bent feed lips, or other less obvious mechanical issues. I had an AK that started jamming on me and I finally figured out that the screws attaching the stock had loosened. I tightened them down with a bit of loctite and that solved the problem. And I've written before about troubleshooting a buffer issue with an AR.

    But, beyond a mechanical break-in, there are other good reasons for some substantial test firing of a new defensive handgun. Most importantly, it allows you to become familiar with the operation of the firearm. If you are having to load the firearm, shoot it, reload, etc., you are going to learn the basic manual of arms for that firearm. And that is only the beginning as you will get to field-strip and clean the weapon after you get home!

     Additionally, it allows you to test out ammunition in your firearm. As noted above, some firearms just don't like certain ammunition, and you don't want to find out that you picked the wrong type when you need the firearm to defend yourself. Besides reliable feeding of ammunition, you will want to know where the ammunition shoots and whether it shoots to where you were aiming. Another anecdote: back when Black Talon ammunition was first introduced, I was out shooting with a relative that had purchased some in .45 ACP. While the regular ball ammo was on target, the Black Talon ammunition noticeably shot farther to the right as the range increased. It fed fine, but if it had been me, I wouldn't have selected it as a defensive round to use in that particular pistol because of the issue of the difference in point of impact from point of aim.

A Quick Run Around the Web (11/26/2019)

"Two Brazil Videos With Several Lessons"--Active Self Protection (7 min.)
As between a firearm and a car, the car is the deadlier weapon.
     The problem that I am seeing is that good will is waning. More than that, because people aren't getting punched for bad behavior anymore, it's escalating. People in certain Super-tribes are getting more emboldened about their words and behaviors, more self-righteous, more hostile. While those in other Super-tribes are getting pushed towards the point where 'keeping the peace' loses priority in light of the constant stream of insults, abuse and hostility.
          Which again, 'those rat bastards...'IS perfectly acceptable to say INSIDE your Super- tribe, but not in mixed company. You conduct yourself differently when you are dealing with folks from other tribes -- or, and this is something people tend to forget, in neutral territory. That may be acceptable behavior where you’re from, but in this area you don’t know how many of the people you just pissed off are armed.
            Another problem that I am seeing is that punching someone for lipping off has been banned. This low-level consequence used to teach people there were lines you didn't cross unless you were willing to pay the price. Two relevant points. There are all kinds of levels of striking and reason for striking. I tell you this so you can understand the first point, a hit is the level you use for people inside your tribe whom you don’t want to hurt. The second point: Violence between different tribes often involves weapons. That’s because the intent IS to hurt. Stop and consider the implications of what I’m about to say. Lower levels of physical violence can indeed escalate. However, they more commonly serve as a safety valve. A pressure relief that would go before the boiler blows up. That safety valve has been wired shut ... and pressure is growing. Worse, it seems there are some folks out there intent on stoking the boiler. 
        Lowell [the attacker] allegedly started “pushing or punching” the victim before walking away, according to the report. The victim, who had two stab wounds on her left arm and another one in her left abdomen, told police at the hospital that she didn’t know she was stabbed until she saw the blood
               When deputies arrived, they spoke with the victim’s upstairs neighbors: Trooper Landon Terry and Trooper Dustin Gross. Both stated they were in the field-training phase of their training with KSP.
                 According to the report, Terry told the deputies the shot was not intentional. Terry said he and Gross thought the rifle was empty, someone pulled the trigger, and the rifle went off because there was still a round in the chamber.
            The shot nearly struck a child in the apartment below the state troopers.
                   ... Buy waterproof boots, spend more time with dry feet. Dry feet blister less than wet feet. They’re less prone to fungal diseases. They’re warmer. And depending on your inclination, they range somewhere between “a little” and “worlds” more comfortable.
                     Bonus points: Waterproof boots also keep the interior of the boot more dry, not just the feet within. That can extend the lifespan of the interior linings. Deteriorating linings of boots generate blisters faster than a web browser generates ads, so it’s not an inconsequential point. Also dry feet are much less prone to frostbite, which is a Very Big Deal if cold weather travel might be necessary.
                As the officer spoke, Marsh cautiously searched him and removed a leather pistol holster from his hip. Inside was a P08 Luger pistol, 1939-dated with an “S/42” code on the toggle; the holster was also dated 1939. This would become one of Marsh’s most prized souvenirs, and he began to carry it along as his new sidearm. Marsh and his comrades would take turns shooting it during their down time at German helmets they set into the road for target practice. He noted that the recoil of the 9 mm Luger was more controllable than the .45 ACP M1911A1 and penetrated the helmets easier. He also stated that it was very useful for clearing rooms and cellars, where the 9-lb., 3½-ft.-long M1 Garand was not the most practical option. 

                "Demographic Change: Imagined or Inevitable?"--American Renaissance (9 min.)

                • Feminism success: men reluctant to white knight: "A bull elk teaches men about toxic masculinity"--Fabius Maximus. A woman got knocked over by a bull elk and none of the men standing around came to her rescue (although a man in a pickup truck did). The response from feminists was to call the men "cowards". As the author of the article notes, however, "Why should a man confront a bull elk – 800 to 1000 pounds, aggressive during the mating season –  to defend a woman he does not know?" Why indeed? The author observes:
                     Feminists have long worked to eradicate chivalry, and all aspects of patriarchal culture, from our society. The essence of patriarchy – male leadership and protection of women – has become not just illegitimate but repugnant or evil, along with its system of reciprocal obligations. We watch films in which women respond to warnings or offers of help by men with “I can take of myself” – no matter how overwhelming the danger. We see films of women easily beating up men. We see films of women hitting men – including their boyfriends – for trivial reasons (see some examples). These are our new social norms projected on the big screen.

                     Under our new system, why should men risk their lives for unrelated women? What is the basis for this moral obligation to act as unpaid volunteer defenders of strangers? That would be considered mad by most men around the world across history. It is seen as quite mad by many young men today. What these feminists and white knights call cowardice they call good sense – fair play in a world run under the rules of fourth-wave feminism (women’s quest for supremacy).

                      This is the problem with social engineering. Leftists change one part of society, but seldom consider how this change will ripple out and change other social dynamics. Which in turn change other things. The Left has changed many fundamental aspects of US society, and intends to change more in the next few years. Untended consequences will be the next chapter in America’s history.
                     Sweden is reeling from a wave of shootings and bombings with 268 shootings just this year so far. And that's in a country of 10 million people which has crime numbers on par with some American cities.

                      "Sweden may have the answer to America's gun problem," Vox declared in 2016. Or maybe not.

                     These shootings aren't being carried out with handguns, but with AK-47s. The weapon so often used as a boogeyman by gun control advocates, but rarely featured in everyday gun violence, is a staple of Sweden’s gang war scene. Along with hand grenades and other explosives rarely seen in America.

                     A call by the police last year asking gang members to turn in their grenades worked as well as expected.

                     There have been 187 bomb attacks this year. In just 1 week in August, there were three major bombings. Much of the violence is concentrated in Malmo which experienced 58 bombings in 2017.

                    Malmo has a sizable immigrant and Muslim population. And it’s a center of gang violence.
                • Related: "Abandoning Malmö to Its Criminals"--Quillette. From the article: "As Sweden’s national police chief put it last week, there is 'no equivalent' to this bombing campaign in any other Western country." The author also relates that after he suffered a 2017 burglary, he asked the investigating officer "how best to protect my family in the future, he told me the best solution was 'not living in Malmö: Things have escalated to a point where we can’t manage the situation.'"
                      The authors find in their new analysis of the National Household Education Survey (NHES) that, in 2016, about 24 percent of black elementary and high school students had been suspended at least once, while eight percent of white students and only four percent of Asian students had the same experience.
                      The researchers note the NHES shows “black students are far more likely to be living apart from their married birth parents in the home (72%) compared to white students (37%) or Asian students (26%).”
                        The China Law Blog (previously) reports on the kinds of questions that western businesses operating in China are raising; China's serious economic downturn and rising authoritarianism have turned the site's normally businesslike posts into a glimpse of a kind of cyberpunk stranger-than-fiction dystopia (for example).
                         A new post on the site describes the consequences of a sharp downturn in the Chinese economy: a new mood among many Chinese businesspeople that they are at the end of the long Chinese boom and that there's no reason not to burn their bridges with non-Chinese firms, because they're not going to be doing business with them for much longer no matter what.
                    Perhaps the most disturbing message this commercial is sending, as subtle as a sledgehammer through glass, is that parents should be affirming and helping their children hurt themselves. In one scene, a mother is helping to bind her daughter's breasts. This is a practice that can cause internal injuries and tissue damage. Telling parents they should assist their children in inflicting self-harm is the sickest thing I ever saw. Full stop.
                    Ed Driscoll contends that "Coca-Cola is using the left’s current zeitgeist, their obsession with transgenderism, in part to reposition Sprite away from its image as a strictly flyover country beverage, but primarily to illustrate to the leftists on Madison Avenue and in the Coke boardroom how woke the company is." 
                          The ownership’s of “big business” are largely intertwined with the agendas of a globalist system. They are not beholden to nation states. The globalist ideals/agendas fly in the face of a free society. Especially one which enables fighting back against tyranny (2nd & 1st Amendment for example).

                         So some of them actively participate in the destruction of this Republic. A chunk at a time. Break down the family. Destroy morality. Enslave the populous with debt. Remove their abilities to fight back.
                             The world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the New Mexican desert — a result of a highly secretive effort code-named the Manhattan Project, whose nerve center lay nearby in Los Alamos. Just 49 months later, the Soviets detonated a nearly identical device in Central Asia, and Washington’s monopoly on nuclear arms abruptly ended.
                             How Moscow managed to make such quick progress has long fascinated scientists, federal agents and historians. The work of three spies eventually came to light. Now atomic sleuths have found a fourth. Oscar Seborer ...

                          * * *

                                  Mr. Seborer was born in New York City in 1921, the youngest child of Jewish immigrants from Poland, according to the study by Mr. Klehr and Mr. Haynes and a C.I.A. document they cited. He attended City College of New York, studied electrical engineering and worked at Los Alamos from 1944 to 1946.
                                   In July 1945, the study reported, he was “part of a unit monitoring seismological effects” of the first detonation of the atomic device. His Soviet code name was Godsend, and he came to Los Alamos from a family of spies.

                                * * *

                                       From an examination of archival materials from the K.G.B., the Soviet Union’s main intelligence agency, Mr. Klehr and Mr. Haynes learned about a shadowy group of moles in the United States known as the “Relative’s Group.” Three of the faction’s members — code-named Relative, Godfather and Godsend — were brothers. According to the study, the archival documents said that Godsend was at Los Alamos and that he was providing secret information on “Enormous,” the K.G.B.’s code name for the American project.
                                         In 2012, Mr. Klehr obtained newly declassified F.B.I. files on informants who had successfully penetrated the Communist Party of the United States. Suddenly, he started seeing references to the Seborers, and major parts of the atomic puzzle fell into place: Oscar was Godsend, Stuart was Godfather and their older brother Max was Relative.
                                      The article does not even mention Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their associates that were key in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. "Julius Rosenberg was born on May 12, 1918, in New York City to a family of Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire." Ethel Rosenberg (née Greenglass ) "was born on September 25, 1915, to a Jewish family in Manhattan, New York City." Ethel's brother David Greenglass was part of the spy ring, passing on secrets he learned during his work on the Manhattan Project. Another member of the group was Harry Gold (original name Heinrich Golodnitsky) who was born on December 12, 1910, in Bern, Switzerland to Samson and Celia (Ominsky) Golodnitsky, both Jewish immigrants from what is now Ukraine and was then part of the Russian Empire. The family immigrated to the United States when Harry was 4. Also part of the group was a chemist named Morton Sobell, who was born in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents Louis and Rose Sobel, who came in 1906 from the small village of Belozerka, Russian Empire (today in Ukraine). 
                                      • Related: "The Witnesses"--Popular Mechanics. More in-depth story of the 2004 Nimitz exercise that filmed the "tic tac" UFOs.
                                             As Mark Twain said, “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.”

                                           And that illuminates the real problem.

                                           The legitimacy of Big Science is in doubt.  The legitimacy of Government is in doubt.  People are also doubting:
                                      • The educational system.
                                      • The United Nations.
                                      • Mainstream news media.
                                      • Mainstream entertainment media.
                                      • The courts.
                                      • Silicon Valley tech companies.
                                      • Many (but not all) Fortune® 500™ companies.
                                      And it’s not just in the United States – it’s spreading.  Riots have broken out in Chile, which is the most prosperous nation in South America and has the least amount of income inequality on the continent.  Europe is facing Brexit, the Yellow Vest movement, and the national rejections from countries like Denmark, Poland, and Hungary to unfettered migration.
                                            The world is unravelling.  One possible reason is we’ve reached the end of the Fourth Turning (The Economy, The Fourth Turning, Kondratieff, and You.) where this sort of social chaos is to be expected.  Another is that we are seeing increasing polarity in public life.  While the Right has moved farther Right, the Left has gone very far Left. ...
                                            Politically we are flying apart.  Is part of this demographics?  Certainly.  Immigrants (legal or illegal) to the United States vote overwhelmingly Left.  Why?  It doesn’t matter.  They do.  Immigrants and their children are perhaps the single largest driving force of this polarity shift, but there are other factors.
                                      Read the whole thing. 
                                      • Related: "You Are The Resistance, Plus? Lots of Star Wars Bikinis"--Wilder, Wealthy & Wise. John Wilder mulls over why the new Star Wars movies begin with nullifying the victory of the Rebellion at the end of Return of the Jedi,  and why the new stories were so terrible and concludes it is because the movies had to advance certain leftist goals:
                                           ... After reflection of several years and several other movies, it has become clear – the producers of Star Wars® are leftists.  The ideology of Star Wars© becoming Leftist ideology was more important than the story.  It was more important than the money.  Star Wars™ had to be made to fit the narrative of the Left.
                                             The narrative of the Left has always been of a smaller force fighting a larger opposing force.  The story of the Vietcong, the story of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and the story of Antifa© are all the stories of resistance to larger powers.  This is the myth that the Leftist leaders use for propaganda when they want to explain to the peasants why they don’t have any food, why they are poorer this year than last.
                                                The Resistance© is the narrative of the Left, and so Star Wars™ had to portray the good guys as the underdog no matter what.  The Resistance® is how they see themselves – at the mercy of large systems that will destroy them – it’s in the mythos of all of the Left’s literature and entertainment.  Thus, this curious choice:  taking the victors and making them the victim.  The only reason I can see this is because it was written about the Left, for the Left.  Plot?  Entertainment?  Nah.
                                                 The Mrs. and I talked for a while about why this was.  My theory was that the Left’s power was ultimately derived from being a victim – that’s why the language of the Left is the language of victimhood, and the conversations of the Left are about creating division based on that victimhood.
                                                  Hence, the Resistance™.
                                              Every one of these movies is a particularly hard nut to crack. There’s no source material. We don’t have comic books. We don’t have 800-page novels. We don’t have anything other than passionate storytellers who get together and talk about what the next iteration might be. 
                                              Ha, ha, ha! To me this just proves how ignorant Kennedy and the others involved with the films have been. There have been literally hundreds of books and comics published concerning the Star Wars universe, many of them set after the events of The Return of the Jedi.  No, she just didn't want to use the source material. "As of 2004, over 1,100 Star Wars titles had been published, including novels, comics, non-fiction, and magazines." 
                                                    Originally, Lucasfilm tracked the storylines and content of the Expanded Universe in story bibles. In 2000, Leland Chee was hired as Continuity Database Administrator for Lucas Licensing, and implemented a database called the Holocron, a term used within the fictional Star Wars universe for "ancient repositories of knowledge and wisdom". Lucasfilm's Holocron consists of over 55,000 entries for franchise characters, locations, species, and vehicles.


                                              * * *

                                                   Regarding the Holocron database in 2012, Chee said: "What sets Star Wars apart from other franchises is that we develop a singular continuity across all forms of media, whether it be the films, TV series, video games, novels and comics, and the Holocron is a key component to Lucasfilm being able to do this."

                                              Monday, November 25, 2019

                                              A Monday Medley of Videos (11/25/2019)

                                              "Where to Put Your Light on Your Rifle"--Reid Henrichs (6 min.)
                                              The host recommends that before you mount your light, pay attention to where you put your hands, and then mount the light where it is accessible to your hand in its normal position, rather than trying to reposition your hand to accommodate the light.


                                              Not 


                                              China using 5th generation warfare


                                              Hitler rebuffs Soviet attempts to join the Axis.


                                              "The Nazi Gold Train"--Mark Felton Productions (11 min.)
                                              A train loaded with treasure flees the advancing Russians only to end up in American hands. Yet the treasure disappears, seemingly into the hands of American officers.


                                              "Cover-Up of Catastrophe | Which Is More Important?"--Suspicious Observers (4 min.)
                                              Geologist Charles Hapgood, who worked for the OSS and CIA, knew about the catastrophe cycle, but publicly advanced a different version that would be easily debunked.

                                              This Looks Racist: "Researchers map food sustainability across the planet"

                                              The UPI article is here. The map is shown below:


                                              Per the article, "Blue represents higher levels of sustainability, while orange and red represent lower sustainability scores."

                                              The Federalist: "The Most Important News Story Right Now Isn’t Impeachment, It’s The Crisis In Mexico"

                                              Article here. Basic summary: the Cartels in Mexico are no longer just drug cartels, but are fighting and killing in order to get control over other parts of the Mexican economy, including the avocado industry. This growing chaos and conflict mirrors what has happened in the past in Central America and helped driver immigrants toward the United States.
                                              The difference is, when asylum-seekers from Mexico start turning up on our border we won’t be able to deport them to a third country or easily turn them away. If you thought the border crisis was bad last year, wait until hundreds of thousands of families in Michoacán and Tamaulipas decide to flee the cartels and seek asylum in the United States.

                                              This Is Why You Don't Help Lost Children

                                              The Deseret News from Salt Lake City, Utah, reports on a teacher being charged with kidnapping after the teacher tried to help a crying, autistic, non-American girl find her way home after school. The article relates:
                                                    The incident began at the end of the school day. Martz said she was outside her classroom when she saw that the girl very upset and “sobbing uncontrollably.”

                                                    There had been a water main break at the school that day, affecting the school’s water supply. Martz said the girl seemed to be upset that she could not fill up her water bottle before walking home.

                                                    That’s when Martz took the girl by the hand and attempted to help her find her way home. She said she passed the bus stop and the parent pick-up location and both times asked the girl if this is where she was supposed to go, but the girl shook her head.

                                                    They then crossed the crosswalk and continued walking.

                                                   “At each fork in the road I stopped and said, ‘Which way home?’ She would point confidently and said, ‘This way home,” Martz said.

                                                    But after awhile, Martz said “I finally realized this cute girl did not know where she was going.”

                                                    Because Martz said she had only intended to be gone for a few minutes, she left her purse and cellphone in her classroom, and even left her own child in the classroom to wait for her.

                                                   Martz said she went to a house and asked to borrow the resident’s phone to call the school and let them know what was happening. Eventually, another teacher driving through the neighborhoods looking for them picked them up and returned Martz and the girl to the school where her worried parents were waiting.

                                                   Martz said she tried to explain what had happened to the girl’s father, but she believes there was a language barrier.
                                              It's not the first time this has happened. In June 2017, the Washington Post reported that "A man trying to help a lost toddler find her parents was misidentified as a kidnapper on social media over the weekend, according to police in Lakeland, Fla., prompting him to leave town in fear for his safety and the safety of his family." According to the article, "The man was also punched by the child’s father who told local media that he 'thought he was trying to take my daughter' and 'wanted to kill him.'"

                                                    A 2014 poll of Australian fathers found that 23% would not assist a child in need because of the fear of their actions being misinterpreted, and that another 45% for the same reason would only assist a child if that child was in great distress. A study out of Britain in 2014 similarly showed that "[a]lmost two out of three British adults would hesitate to help a lost child because they fear being falsely accused of something sinister, a new study reveals."

                                                   However, an actual experiment showed that the reluctance was much greater: "Walk on by Britain: Two little girls pretend to be lost in a busy shopping centre. So how many people stop to help? One. How many ignore their plight? More than SIX HUNDRED." 616 to be precise. The author continues:
                                                    It is impossible to believe that in a civilised, compassionate society there weren't many passers-by who wanted to help – yet too great was their fear of being thought to be a 'kiddie-fiddler', either by other passers-by or indeed by the little girl herself.

                                                    Pernicious as this fear is, it is growing apace. I have a friend who organises large festivals where, inevitably, children get lost.

                                                    Yet instructions to staff have become super-stern in recent years: if you see such a child, no matter how great their distress, you may not approach – and you certainly may not touch, so the instinctive  cuddle you ache to offer is a no-no.

                                                    Instead, they have to radio the location of the child to a central control, who will dispatch an 'accredited' member of staff to the scene. And if that means the child screams and panics for another 20 minutes? So be it.

                                                    Perhaps there are some among us who feel proud that we take 'such good care' of our children. I think the kindest word for that pride is misguided; in harsher moments, like when looking at these pictures, I wonder if we aren't sacrificing our children for our own excitement.
                                              Contrary to what the aforementioned author may think, the cause of this lack of caring is because we live in a civilized, compassionate society with teeming cities full of strangers, made worse because of ethnic diversity destroying social capital as explained by Harvard researcher, Robert Putnam.
                                                   What’s counterintuitive in Putnam’s results is that in diverse cultural settings, not only do individuals begin to mistrust those who are different, they also begin to mistrust those who are like themselves.

                                                   This means the overall dissolution of trust is deeper and more widespread than one might have predicted. Putnam said his research suggested that “in ethnically diverse neighborhoods residents of all races tended to ‘hunker down.’”

                                              Sunday, November 24, 2019

                                              Hill People Gear Kit Bags--First Impressions

                                              Last month I published a post concerning "Carrying a Handgun While Hunting or Hiking" that discussed various means of carrying a handgun in the back country. My focus for the most practical method led me to chest holsters, of which there are several varieties. I eventually settled on the Kenai Chest Holster from Gunfighters Inc. , and purchased a harness and holster set for an S&W N-frame .44 Magnum.

                                                  Well, I got some comments and emails from readers suggesting Kit Bags from Hill People Gear. In fact, one reader reached out to his connections with the company asking them to provide a kit bag for my testing and evaluation. So, within a short time after I published my "Carrying a Handgun..." article, I received an email from Evan Hill of Hill People Gear asking which bag I would like to try. After some deliberation, I settled on a Recon Kit Bag in Coyote brown. But in my communications with Evan, I mentioned that I intended using it with the N-frame .44 Mag, and he told me that the Recon Kit Bag would be a tad too small and that they recommended the Original Kit Bag because it was a little roomier. Fortunately, he had just retired one of these, and so sent me his old one. About a week later I was looking at spanking new Recon Kit Bag and an obviously used but still in very serviceable condition Original Kit Bag in gray.

                                                   Now I will say that in my prior research I had come upon lots of people recommending the Hill People Gear products, but one of the reasons that I passed over them was because I (erroneously) believed that you had to purchase a separate holster to use with them. This was incorrect. Although there are two thin velcro strips in the gun pocket, this is merely to accommodate what some users want. Similarly, there is a loop in the gun pocket to which you can attach a Fricke Zacchaeus Holster or MIC Holster (these are both minimalist holsters to cover the trigger and trigger guard of Glock handgun, with a cord placed to pull off the holster when the gun is drawn). But you do not need a separate holster. I want to emphasize this because not only was it not clear to me, but it also means that a Hill People Gear bag is from about 50% to 80% the cost of a Kenai system, depending on the specific model.

                                                  Hill People Gear has a video that explains how to use the bag:

                                              "Drawing From a Kit Bag | In Detail"--Hill People Gear (5 min.)

                                              First Thoughts

                                                  When I first opened the box, I was immediately struck with three thoughts concerning the Kit Bags. First, was the versatility because I wasn't limited to just the one firearm for which I had a Kenai holster: as long as they fit in the gun compartment, I could carry different firearms depending on what I thought best for my needs. Second was that it would better protect a firearm from dirt and grit and the elements than the open holster of the Kenai. Third was that the Kit Bags offered concealment for a firearm by itself.

                                              Recon Bag -- Features

                                                   The Recon Kit Bag is a "medium" offering. It has the same width and height of the larger bags, but only has two main pockets: the gun pocket and a front cargo pocket for carrying additional gear. You can find a list of the features of the Recon Bag here, but I am going to mostly rely on photographs. Please note that the background grid uses one-inch squares.

                                              Recon Kit Bag -- front view
                                                   This is the Recon Kit Bag I tested. This is in Coyote Brown. You can see the MOLLE attachments and I will say that that they are very well stitched on. In fact, the stitching is excellent on everything. My thought with wanting MOLLE attachments was that if I wanted I could attach an extra pouch or two to the front, a knife and sheath, and so on, but with those off, I would have a nice compact piece of gear.

                                                  As you can also see, the zipper is heavy duty and zips up very tight to help keep out water. The tabs are large and make it easy to unzip and zip up the pocket.

                                              Recon Kit Bag -- Back View
                                                   The back view shows how the harness hooks up to the bag. It is a four point harness that has a clip on the right hand side to allow you to put the bag on and take it off. You can see the loops on the bottom of the bag which allow it to be attached to other bags or equipment. You can see on the right how far the zippers come down for the gun pocket: it is the same on the left side. It uses the same heavy duty zipper and pulls as the front pocket.

                                              Recon Bag -- Harness
                                                  This is the view of the actual harness. As you can see, it is a mesh that is very breathable. On the left hand side, you can see one of the elastic keeper for the harness straps so you can roll up any extra length you have and keep it from tangling. Below is another photograph showing the details of the zipper on the gun pocket.

                                              Recon Kit Bag -- Detail of the zipper for the gun pocket

                                              Recon Kit Bag -- Gun Pocket
                                                   The photograph above shows the bag with the gun pocket completely unzipped. The manufacturer claims that no additional holster is necessary when the kit is being worn. I believe it. With the kit on the table, and a cocked (but unloaded) Glock on the gun pocket, I tried to depress the trigger through the fabric between the gun pocket and the front pocket. I was able to do so, but it wasn't easy. In any event, if you want to add a holster, there is a strip of velcro down the middle of the back wall of the pocket allowing you to attach a holster. There is also a loop you can see at the bottom to which you can attach a Fricke Zacchaeus Holster or MIC Holster, which are minimalist kydex holsters that just fit over the trigger guard.

                                              Recon Kit Bag -- Front Pocket
                                                   Finally, here is a photograph showing the inside of the front pocket. As you can see, there are a couple pouches on the back wall of the pocket, allowing you to further organize your gear.

                                              The Original Kit Bag -- Features

                                              Original Kit Bag in gray (what the company terms "Manatee"). 
                                                  Most of the features of the Original Kit Bag are the same as the Recon Kit Bag. The main differences are that it does not have the the external MOLLE attachments of the Recon Bag and it has a middle pocket making it overall roomier. Moreover, the internal pocket has a back wall cut for PALS attachments and uses a fabric to which you can stick Velcro.

                                              Original Kit Bag -- Middle Pocket
                                              What Firearms Fit?

                                                   Of course, if you are interested in one of these bags for carrying a handgun, one of your questions will likely be whether your firearm fits. Hill People Gear has a forum which notes various handguns that people have found fit their products, and I recommend looking through that to see if your specific firearm will fit.

                                                   The Hill People Gear bags that I received for testing were obviously large enough for most any everyday carry gun, but what about the larger firearms that you might want in the back country? My first test, then, was to see what firearms would fit each of the bags.

                                                   Since my initial interest was to carry a .44 Magnum S&W "Mountain Gun"--a 4" barrel N-frame--I tried that in each of the Kit Bags. As Evan Hill had warned, the handgun was just a tad too big to fit in the Recon Kit Bag, but the slighter deeper compartment on the Original Kit Bag was just enough to squeeze it in and zip up the sides.

                                              4-inch N-Frame lying on top of Original Kit Bag
                                                  Over the next couple of weeks, I was able to test the fit of other handguns, some mine and some belonging to people I know. Since the bags would fit or nearly fit an N-frame revolver, my goal was not to test medium and small handguns that were substantially smaller in dimensions, but firearms that I thought would work but might be pushing the limits. So, this is what I tested and found that worked:
                                              • 4-inch barrel Single Action Army revolver in .45 Colt: This firearm was just a bit too big to fit into either of the Kit Bags because of the heel of the pistol grip was just a bit too long. I suspect that if it had a Bisley style grip, which is more vertical, it may have fit; but I don't have one available to test and can't say for certain, though.
                                              • Ruger Wrangler .22 LR revolver with a 4-inch barrel: This is essentially a .22 LR sized Single Action Army style handgun. This firearm fit in both bags.
                                              • 4-inch barrel .357 Magnum service revolver: This firearm fit in both bags.
                                              • Glock 34 (5.32-inch barrel): The Glock 34 uses the Model 17 frame, but has a longer slide and barrel. This firearm fit in both bags.
                                              • Full size .45 ACP 1911 handgun (5-inch barrel): This firearm fit both bags.
                                              • S&W Model 10 with a 5-inch barrel: This is an S&W K-frame revolver and fit into both bags, but it was also clear that if the barrel had been any longer, it would not have fit.
                                              • Browning Buckmark with 6-inch barrel: I actually didn't expect this because of the barrel length, but this firearm fit both bags.
                                              • As noted above, the 4-inch N-frame revolver fit (barely) into the Original Kit bag but not the Recon kit bag.
                                              So the basic takeaway is that most defensive handguns, whether revolver or semi-auto, with 4-inch or shorter barrels should fit both bags fine. Revolvers with 6-inch barrels would probably not fit. The real difficulty is with large bore revolvers, where even 4-inch barrel lengths might be too big. My N-frame fit; a large-bore Ruger or Taurus might not.

                                              Drawing From The Holster--A Comparison

                                              Glock 34 sitting on Recon Kit Bag--this firearm fit inside the holster pocket without any problem
                                                   Since this whole affair arose over whether the Kenai chest holster of the Hill Gear Kit Bag was the better holster, I decided to test the two looking at draw times. Drawing started with the weapon in the holster, no covering garments, and hands at my side. I used a shot timer to measure the time between the beep, when I would move to draw, to when the first shot was fired. I used the .44 Magnum N-frame revolver in both tests, drawing from Kenai and the Hill Gear Kit Bag, and did two sets of six. There is a bit of a learning curve with both holsters, and I should have practiced before hand, but I didn't and so these are "cold" numbers.


                                              Kenai Chest Holster
                                              Hill People Gear Original Kit Bag
                                              Shot Number
                                              First Set (sec.)
                                              Second Set (sec.)
                                              First Set (sec.)
                                              Second Set (sec.)
                                              1
                                              2.61
                                              2.15
                                              3.82
                                              3.86
                                              2
                                              2.15
                                              2.07
                                              5.53
                                              3.94
                                              3
                                              2.00
                                              1.82
                                              4.22
                                              3.94
                                              4
                                              1.72
                                              1.95
                                              3.90
                                              3.81
                                              5
                                              2.23
                                              1.76
                                              3.18
                                              3.26
                                              6
                                              2.33
                                              2.03
                                              3.22
                                              3.40
                                              Average
                                              2.17
                                              1.96
                                              3.98
                                              3.70

                                                  So, basically I was consistently getting around 2 seconds to draw and fire the revolver from the Kenai Holster, but nearly 4 seconds from the Hill Gear Kit Bag. A big part of the issue with the Kit Bag was having to pull open the gun pouch far enough that I could access the revolver. That, in turn, was highly dependent on whether I was able to hook my thumb through a gap left between the two zippers on the right-hand corner and pull it open or not. If the opening was too small, it could significantly slow down the process. This is one of the reasons for the large variability in times and for the longer times. If I had been more careful of the opening size, I suspect that my average time would have been smaller.

                                                  But that is still over one-second longer than the Kenai holster. And I think it is the difference between drawing from an open Kydex holster and the concealed nature of the pouch in the Kit Bag.

                                                 But I also noted that the zipper on a few of my shots tended to bind a bit around the bottom of the grip on the revolver. It was simply such a large gun that it was pushing against and slightly deforming the zipper, which I believe also slowed me down. So, to make the test a bit more fair, I decided to do another draw test, except this time using the Hill Gear Recon Kit Bag and my Remington R51. Those results were better, with the following times:


                                              Recon Kit Bag
                                              Shot Number
                                              First Set (sec.)
                                              Second Set (sec.)
                                              1
                                              2.98
                                              4.44
                                              2
                                              3.34
                                              2.43
                                              3
                                              2.62
                                              2.49
                                              4
                                              3.94
                                              2.25
                                              5
                                              2.59
                                              2.69
                                              Average
                                              3.09
                                              2.86

                                              Again, I had a couple fumbles that increased my average time. Ignoring those, my time was closer to 2.5 seconds, which is probably indicative of what I would get once I was use to the holster and firearm combination.

                                              Carrying The Respective Holsters

                                                   For something that is going into the backwoods or brush with you, how well it carries the firearm is important. Balancing of the weight is particularly important, because my back will quickly start hurting if the balance is off.

                                                  When I tested the Kenai holster with the .44 Magnum, I wore it while I did some yard work: in particular, I was spraying a spider barrier with a pump dispenser that required me to repeatedly get up and down from kneeling positions and bend over. The balance was pretty good. The primary problem was concealing the weapon. Even wearing a light jacket, the grip of the handgun protruded quite noticeably. So, the Kenai Holster, at least with that size of handgun, was not a good choice for concealed carry.

                                                  Concealed carry with the Original Kit Bag with the .44 Magnum was no problem. The bag conceals the weapon very well--better than many fanny pack holsters I've tried or seen.

                                                  But what about balance? My test this time was, again, more house/yard maintenance work. This time, I was climbing a ladder to get on the roof of my house and using a leaf blower to blow fallen leaves off the roof (there are a couple sections in particular where them seem to pile up) and to blow them out of the gutters. Once I was again on the ground, I also then raked up the leaves and cleaned up other debris I had blown from the roof and gutters.

                                                  I was very impressed with the Original Kit Bag through all of this. I think that the 4-point harness distributed and carried the weight better than the Kenai rig. This is not to say that the Kenai was bad, but to say that the Kit Bag was exceptionally good. And, as noted, concealment of even that large of a firearm was no problem.

                                              Concluding Thoughts

                                                   Considering the foregoing, I see the Hill People Gear kit bags and the Kenai holster (or other similar chest holsters) as fulfilling related, but slightly different roles.

                                                    The Hill People Gear bags would, in my opinion, be the better option for the person wanting to carry a firearm for self-protection while engaging in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, camping, or as a backup to a hunting rifle; activities where the firearm is secondary to the activity. It conceals and protects the firearm, allows you to keep some survival gear or a first aid kit on your person, and distributes and balances the weight very well. Because it is not molded for a particular firearm, it gives you greater options for carry. Just going on a short hike where feral dogs are your biggest danger, you can slip in something smaller and lighter. Going on a camping trip where you might meet up with larger predators, including the 2-legged kind, slip in a full size handgun.

                                                  For the person actually hunting--that is, intending to shoot the game--with a large caliber, long-barrel handgun, the Kenai holster would probably be the better choice. You can carry a larger, longer-barreled firearm (assuming Kenai makes a suitable holster), and it is a bit quicker to access (as long as you don't have it under a zipped coat). 

                                                   I think you would be happy with either, but for most people, the Hill Gear Kit Bag will probably be a better, overall choice, because of the versatility and concealability.     

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