Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So I finally got around to attending a 2 day Appleseed clinic. In my two word review: Awesome Sauce.

For those not aware of Appleseed, here is your introduction:

We attended the Castlerock, WA shoot on May 15, 16th. It was about a 2.5 hour drive south, so I picked up my son early from school afternoon and headed out to beat traffic and to spend some quality Cabelas time en-route. It was sunny, warm and we were playing hooky from school and work. More awesome.

We stayed at a local state park and got there early enough to setup the van and watch a movie on the ipad before bed.

Day one we showed up early. The range was kind of a mess - the grass was unmowed and there was lots of crap strewn around - just some guys property that needed a bit of cleanup. But never mind that - it was $70 for the both of us, so we settled in.

The first thing we did was the safety briefing. It was thorough and I found that throughout the event they were spectacular about safety. I was very impressed with the focus on safety and the 6 steps to making a rifle safe were stringently followed.

Then we shot a few "make sure your sighted in" targets, followed by some "lets get a baseline" targets. Then they began introducing stuff in stages.

The instruction was very well done - more than I was expecting. They were thorough, they were specific and they gave great demonstrations. I'd heard that some had found this lacking, and it certainly wasn't here. Instruction is done by volunteers, and its probably dependent on the Shoot Boss to follow the curriculum as outlined by the Appleseed fellas.

We learned all the shooting positions, the sling use and the various things to making the shot. Sight alignment, sight picture, breathing, trigger control, follow thru etc. Very well done.

I brought two Marlin 22s. One was a Model 60 with a tube magazine and scope, and the other was a newly purchased Marlin 795 with detachable magazines and iron sights.

The tube was never a huge issue, but did require a bit of alteration of certain things to get it to work in a system obviously setup for detachable magazines.

The scoped gun was much easier to shoot - both of us traded off guns and I always did much better with a scope. We kept one unscoped for comparison and a challenge.

At the end of the day we did two AQT (Army Qualification Test) and I shot both well enough to get my rifleman patch before the first day was ended. I wasn't expecting that, but it was nice. I shot a 229, but screwed up one session and ended up losing from 5-10 points by putting 6 holes in one instead of five. So I could obviously do much better.

My son was struggling a bit more. He's 13 and the weight of the rifle was more of an issue for him. When he used the scoped rifle he did much better, and by the end of the second day he'd also shot Rifleman. I was pretty proud of him and saw him really working - the nice thing is that I saw him start to apply the steps to a good shot and it really helped him. And he was cognizant of this, which is also good.

It was sunny and hot both days (thank goodness) and we came home a bit burnt, worn out and very happy. Oh, and a few burns from hot shells.

I did take a few shots with my Kel-Tec Su-16 and did great, but I'm glad I saved the $$ and brought a 22 for the dirty work.

Overall, I was super impressed.

They worked in the historical stuff during our lunch break the first day - I love that stuff, and having grown up in Canada, it was nice to go over some stuff I might not be as familiar with. But I can tell you about the Hudson Bay Company, so nah nah.

No anti-government stuff. No anti-UN stuff. Just a bunch of well behaved gunnies having fun and learning to be better shots.

My boy got frustrated a few times during the two days, but we worked thru it.

Funny, but it ended up that the two guys on our end of the line all ended up being Mormons too, so we had a fun time making Mormon Militia jokes and making insider cracks. One of the guys brought his two younger daughters, and while it was a bunch of extra work for him (and something I specifically avoided in not bringing my second boy) they had fun too.

I'll probably do it again next year with my second son for sure.

The one issue was raining hot brass. Here is one that I laid on during prone shooting (and this is 3 days after the fact):


PS. I saw mostly Ruger and Marlin 22s. A Mosin and a some M1A 308 rounded out the rifles on the firing line.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day one with a Kel-Tec SU-16

So picked up my new Kel-Tec SU-16 Tuesday.

A few things:

1. I bought it on gunbroker. Transaction went fine. What I didn't realize is that WA now requires you to pay sales tax on a weapon you buy elsewhere and ship to an FFL. Ouch. Bastards. That just added 50 bucks to the cost. This is a new law that just went into effect recently. Pisses me off because it unfairly treats gun owners in a way that ordering a book or a shirt online does not do.

2. The paperwork part at West Coast Armory took less than 20 minutes from enter to leave. Less. Last time I was at Cabelas to buy my .308 rilfe, it took damn near an hour to walk thru their crazy system. I hate buying guns at Cabelas.

I took the rifle to the range and got into the LEO bay for some solitary shooting goodness.

But before I get to that, lets talk about the gun.

Its a Kel-tec and exactly what you'd expect. A bit rough, lots of plastic, and some very clever design.

I got the A model because I wanted the stock storage of magazines. I hate the sights on the A model, but I'm going to put a Red Dot on it anyhow, so no big deal. I would have gone with the B model (better sights) but it has a shorter, lighter barrel and I wanted the more heavy duty of the two.

The trigger is fine. I'm not much of a connoisseur of triggers, so unless I strain my back pulling it or it shreds my finger, I'm fine. I'm sure people thing it sucks worse than some of the nice AR-15 triggers out there, but meh.

The Kel-Tec magazines SUCK. I didn't even use them. They are hard to insert, they are hard to extract. The follower tilts all funny and refuses to actually hold ammo. I kid you not, I can't get ammo to stay in the magazines. At all.

Good thing I bought a bunch of Pmags and just used them - flawless.

I shot 100 rounds of brass, some offhand, some from a bench using the integrated bipod. The bipod actually works ok, considering. I love the option to have it, and as much as I'd love a rail system, the bipod is cool. Kel-Tec does stuff like this - nobody else is as innovative and quirky and I love it.

The folding aspect of the gun is easy to do and is very cool - makes it easy to store/transport.

I mounted a red dot on it and got it zeroed at 25 yards in less than 10 shots. Sweet.

No FTF or anything the first day. I came home and cleaned it up.

Tomorrow I plan on taking it to the outdoor range and shooting some crappy Tula ammo I bought to see how it handles it.

Here is a pict of my third target.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I shot an IDPA match today. It was a big positive and a negative.

First the positive: I did quite well. It was an informal match. The range I go to is just starting these up, so I paid my $12 and in I went. I kinda got there a bit late (~5 min or so at most) so I either missed the safety briefing or they didn't do it. I suspect the former. Ugh. Missed my freeway entrance as I was thinking of how to quickly get all my gear together.

I shot it with an IWB Galco holster and my Glock 17 (I only have 2 mags for my 26).

Anyhow, we did three stages, one sitting, one facing an ATM and one sitting in our house. Each involved 2 or 3 bad guys and a couple of innocent bystanders. Ranges were 10-30 feet.

The first one was sitting down at a table, standing and shooting three bad guys in a row. Center of mass on each, then one to the head of the last one. Went fine. Did pretty good after fumbling with my weapon on draw.

The second one was standing at an ATM, drawing and firing from 2 concealed positions. I didn't conceal so well. You learn.

The final one was sitting at a chair in your house, drawing on a guy kicking your door down and then two in your front yard thru a window. I did great on this one as well.

This is where I get to hang my head in shame.

You see, I was using a Galco IWB holster - its a floppy leather holster with a rigid top, but I was kinda flumoxed by it on this last stage (why the last, I don't know) and so I had a safety violation breaking the 180 rule while reholstering. This was post mag eject, post chamber inspection, and no finger on the trigger, but regardless, a violation.

What a dumbarse thing to do. I was called on it, and rightfully so. I don't get embarassed easily, but I sure did then. What a moron. Its kinda ruined my evening, to be honest.

Ugh. First time ever.

I can't even imagine how I'd feel with an ND.

Anyhow, I'll be going again next week (looks like they do it weekly - wow) and hopefully can keep my stupid gear under control at all times.

Hang head in shame again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ROFL Brady Rating

Read this today on the Brady Site:

“Since Washington does not require Brady criminal background checks on all firearm sales including those at gun shows, gun traffickers don’t need to leave the state to funnel illegal guns to felons and gang members,” said Heidi Yewman, spokesperson for the Washington Million Mom March.

Yeah right Heidi. I bought a gun this past week, and damn if it wasn't to funnel it to felons and gang members! Wahoo.

What a moron. Washington scores close to the bottom, but not close enough for this "common sense" guy.

In another vein, went to the range today and shot my P3AT, A Sig 380 rental and my Glock 26 in the LEO bay. Did repeated drills drawing from concealment and damn, if I didn't put most rounds right where they needed to be. Dead zombies.

As I mentioned, I bought a new gun last week. I've been looking for a Kel-Tec SU-16 for awhile now and I finally gave up and ordered it online thru gun broker. Cost me about $500 for the A model. Nice.

Should be here next week (too long), but acceptable because I bought it for an Appleseed clinic I'm going to with my boy in May. I'm so excited, as I'm mainly a pistol shooter and I really need to get better with my rifle. So now I have a .223 with a bunch of Magpul Pmags coming my way. W00t to that.

I bought the rifle because I figured I'd have to have a second rifle for my son anyhow, so instead of buying another .22 rifle (my Henry US Survival Rifle just wouldn't work for Appleseed) I splurged and bought the .223 I've been thinking of.

I'll pop an optic on it, maybe side mount a mini red dot and smile alot. I'm very excited.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Took the P3AT to the range today.

It fired fine (as it always has) but it still stuttered a bit chambering that first round. It was really doing it before, often to the point of not chambering the round at all, but now you can just feel a slight hiccup as the slide slams closed.

Huh. I guess its an improvement. Will I trust it? Not sure yet.

The repair order said that the slide/barrel was replaced. By looking I can't tell what was replaced or not (should have subtly tagged both I suppose).

PS. I rented a Glock 21 and XD in .45. Shot both. Liked the trigger on the XD a bit better.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kel-Tec Back


So in January I get fed up with the problems feeding rounds into my little Kel-Tec P3AT, and I finally get around to sending it in (and by get around I mean buy another carry gun).

Off it went. And I waited till April 1st to get it.

That is quite a while to have it in for warrantee work. I'm used to camera gear and computers that are in and out inside of a week generally. And a lot more complex.

Anywho, its back and it seems to feed fine. I'll take it to the range and try it out next week. Funny enough, in this time of ammo shortages, I have a bunch of .380 ammo sitting around and only this one gun to feed it thru (and it isn't a range gun, thats for sure). I do miss its size compared to the Glock 26 I've been carrying, but I'm not sure I'm going to regularly carry it again. I just got used to that nice big Glock and its promise of 9mm punch.

It will probably be the deep concealment gun, when I can't get away with the 26. I guess we'll see.

After shooting and loving the Sub-2000 this week, I'm really looking forward to adding a Su-16c to the mix sometime this year...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break Range Trip

So this week is Spring Break here in Seattle. And so my kids are all home, running amok and doing what kids do.

My son and I have been going to the gym to work out every day and having a ball. He's a healthy kid who likes to run and play soccer, so he spends a lot of time keeping himself fit and eating well. Kinda funny because he has no sweet tooth like me, and it serves him well.

Anyhow, so at the gym today he asks if we could go to the range. Its been while since we went together, so we piled in the car for a few hours around lunch and headed to West Coast Armory's range in Factoria.

This range is awesome, and this fact was compounded by the fact that the LEO bay was empty and they set us up. We dragged in the barriers, setup the bowling pins off we went.

As I've been doing, I like to rent something new for experience on each trip, so we rented the AR-15 again and a Springfield GI 1911 .45 auto. Both were interesting. The former was mostly to give my son an intro to the AR handling and the latter was for me to finally shoot a 1911 platform gun. The Springfield GI is a basic mil-spec .45 and it ran like a dream. I really was expecting more kick, but it wasn't much different than I'm used to with my Glock 26 (for obvious reasons). My son was iffy shooting it the first time, but after the first round, he had no issues. I did have to go over proper grip on the 1911 as a) I think I've gotten lazy teaching him proper grip and b) you need it a bit more with the .45 auto. It did take a few shots for me to get a feel where that .45 was shooting - you really do get a feel for your guns.

For the next hour and a half we shot bowling pins, Zombie targets and I worked on my movement forward and back with my Kel-Tec Sub-2000 rifle (discussed a few posts ago). I'm a damn fine shot on the move, if I do say so myself. One session saw me close on the 8 pins and take them all out with 10 rounds. Bam Bam Bam. Big smiles.

My son liked the AR, but liked the red dot on the Kel-tec more. The AR they have has the basic iron sights found on most low end black rifles of this sort. Nothing spectacular, but certainly serviceable. Of course a red dot would be nice.

One thing I didn't think of was that they let you turn the lights on/off. I had my light mount on there but didn't have the flashlight that goes in it.

Next time I'll remember and do some night zombie shooting.

teh awesomes.

PS. I turn 40 tomorrow. Ugh. Not that I really care. I am in almost the best shape of my life, have zero health problems and so whose complaining...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Carrying a gun?

Interesting. A graphic on how to identify someone carrying a gun. From the early 90's and could be a bit outdated given the updates in carry modes circa 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Range Report!

W00t. Range day!

After all this blabbing about stuff other than shooting, I finally got around to visiting the range this week.

I took my Glock 17 with Advantage Arms kit and my Kel-Tec Sub 2000.

The latter has a new addition in the form of a new Kel-Tec quad rail on the front. I sweetened the deal and mounted both a flashlight and vertical forgrip. Forgive me for the tacticoolness, but I wanted some experience with such setups. The quad rail gives me loads of real estate to fiddle with, but I'm mainly interested in the aforementioned additions and a red dot for the top.

Now the interesting thing about the Sub-2000 is its a folding gun, which is awesome for concealing it in a backpack, storage etc. But it folds onto the top, so putting on a top-mounted red dot requires some thought. I purchased a quick release mounting plate and my goal was to see if it would retain its zero with repeated installation/removals.

So off I went to the range.

The mounting plate worked well enough and puts the red dot slightly above the iron sights (who am I kidding, this is a Kel-Tec and they're plastic ;-0). It took me only a few minutes to get the gun shooting where I wanted it. I put 3 magazines thru it and called it good. I installed and removed the Red Dot a few times, as well as putting it a bit forward on one magazine to see if that would affect it.

Happily, it was pretty dead on at 25 yards. Here is my final target before packing it up:

Thats good enough for me - 10 rounds all in the 10 ring. I'd say it's pretty much zeroed.

I shot 50 or so rounds with the 22 kit as well, but was kinda distracted because I'd noticed something new in the rental room that was begging for a look-see. West Coast Armory is finally starting to flesh out their rental gun selection, which is good because I want to expand my experience without the cost. And better, as a Gold member, I get free rentals. Sweet.

First up was an AR-15 pattern rifle (to be honest, I had too many stars in my eyes to even know who made it) and a few boxes of .223.

First off, I was suprised at how easy AR magazines are to load - so much easier than my Glock magazines (and yes, I have several of the 33 rounders). The basic controls on the AR were familiar, so I pretty much dove right in.

This was my first time shooting a .223 rifle and I was pleasantly suprised at a) how light the recoil was and b) how small those cartridges really are.

Franly, the recoil of the .223 was about the same as the Sub-2000 in 9mm. Yup. The hole is bigger with the latter, but that .223 is really rocking at more than double the speed (the Sub-2000 does roughly 1500 fps with 9mm rounds, give or take).

Wow. Awesome. It was a definite hoot - I really need to add a .223 gun to the safe!

Oh tax return, tax return, wherefore art thou tax return?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A good article on the discussion I've been having with myself for the past few days.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More on Healthcare...

Ran across a great piece in Say Uncle today on the healthcare stuff.

Well, I agree with the first part:

"One of the issues with the health insurance bill is the hysterics of the opposition to it. It’s not tyranny. It’s not comparable to Nazis. Sure, I don’t like it. But I’m not going to call everyone a bunch of commie symps and throw bricks through windows (real helpful, Mike). I’m going to voice my opposition and vote the bums out. Except that I can’t really do that because my bums opposed the bill. But you get the point. Ratcheted rhetoric is not how you win."

Amen to that. This isn't tyranny. This isn't some communist plot to enslave us all to Lenin's ghost. You may not like it, but some of the voices sound like the war protesters screaming that Bush should be hanged for war crimes. Fanaticism sometimes comes full circle.

As to the part about creating a dependent class, I'm not sure I agree completely. I can certainly agree that some people will willingly become dependents (out of laziness, character flaw etc), and that some people in power plan on abusing those people for their own gain. The question I have though, is are they the majority or a minority? I'll tolerate a few bozos if the majority benefits. That is as good a public policy as you're going to get in an imperfect world.

Government exists to serve the people. There are things we can't do by ourselves and we get together and provide government the power for these select things. Furthermore, as I see it, government also exists to protect our natural rights and arbitrate when one party infringes them for another. Its obviously a contentious issue on when/where government steps in to arbitrate, but I think healthcare is one of those things that we can do better together than we can do apart.

And what of the bill before us? Its a mixed bag, but it does do some things right. Our entrenched mechanism, and this is coming form someone who has 100% of his healthcare provided for by his company, isn't right for many Americans. A healthcare insurance system that is based on your employment, especially in such a transient age, is an anachronism.

Now I understand that there are some who believe our government is completely broken. They claim it can't can't manage anything, nor do anything right, but that is such a poor generalization that its hardly worth repeating. Government does some things right, even as corrupt and broken as ours currently is. And society as a whole often benefits from the positives.

Note that the same people that often argue the government can't do anything right are the first to give the nuke keys to the department of defense...

I personally think we live in a society that has been completely corrupted. Our leaders don't really serve us - they serve their ends and we get the table scraps. The D&C (a book of revelations from Joseph Smith) opines on man's tendency to abuse power thusly:

Ain't that the truth.

But there are well meaning, upstanding people in government too. And they do good things on occasion and I celebrate them for it.

Did you notice the dichotomy there? I'm an optimist by nature, but a pessimist by experience. Its hard to reconcile the two, believe me, but in the end I've resolved that the best I can do is take care of my stewardship (my wife, my kids, my job, my community) and hope for the best. I exercise my rights as a citizen as best I can and continue on.

Oh look, I've wasted another good shooty moment blabing about politics.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare, Bile and Superior Airs


I sure loved reading gun blogs. Back when they were full of shooty goodness.

And then they went all ballistic over healthcare. Blah blah blah.

I mentioned last post about noticing the "superior air" that liberals sometimes are accused of having. I even got a quote recently from someone who said that was one thing that turned him to being conservative. I've seen it, and I don't like it.

However, in all honesty, this isn't a Left v. Right thing. Its just the inevitable part of ingroup/outgroup politics. Its all about demonizing and debasing your opposition. Be it guns vs. gunless, soap vs. pachouli or the mother of all debates: PS3 vs. Xbox . We love being better/smarter/stronger than other people, and we love even more to demonstrate it. Or at least parade why we think so.

"Boy are you dumb to like the PS3."
"Look at those knuckle-draggers with their guns."
"Those Tea-Baggers are sore losers"

Etc. Ad Naseum.

This type of behavior is annoying regardless of where it comes from, especially when it gets fatalistic, drama queeny or just down right uncivil.

Case in point: this week's passage of the Healthcare bill. The left is all smug because they got something done. The right is apoplectic that it means Carl Marx is going to be chairing our death panels.

Feh! The amount of bile I see in the gun blogosphere over this is just like the liberal blogs after Bush was installed in office.

I for one am really looking forward to maybe someday having the same care I had in Canada (and I have great healthcare plan for work). I lived about half my life under both and can unequivocally say that I like Canada's system better. Do we get that with this bill? No. Not even close, but in my opinion, there are some good things in there.

But just because I think that does not mean I'm smarter, stronger or better than you. I have my opinions, experiences, and education behind my statement, but so do you and I'm trying really hard to respect you for that.

Hey, lets just go shooting, shall we?

PS. I'm totally going to go buy a Kel-Tec Su-16B rifle. I've got a serious case of the needs. Maybe I'll sell my SUB-2000 with cool rail to buy it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Gun! A Gun!

A gun! You're 43 times more likely to shoot your own family member than a criminal.

This is what I hear from some anti-gun friends of mine. They are utterly convinced that guns are so dangerous that they should all be outlawed.

They're convinced and no amount of data to the contrary will change it. Recently, I've just refused to discuss it and avoid the smarmy air of egoism that comes with it. I've always heard of the liberal superiority complex, and for the first time in my life, I see what they're talking about. She's right, I'm wrong, with a measure of "boy you're stupid" mixed in.


Anyhow today I came across an interesting article that I'm *not* sharing with them. I mean really, why bother with facts when your mind is made up?

Read it here:

PS. This is one thing that so infuriated them about George Bush - he was stubborn even in his wrongness. LOL. Irony, it isn't just for getting the wrinkles out.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Being mormon, I don't drink coffee.

But I'm sitting in a local Starbucks drinking a Vanilla Creme and eating an overpriced cranberry scone. Why? Because I can. And because I'm supporting them for not caving to The Brady Thugs.

And yes, I have my gun on me. CC'ing of course. I'm not so much for Open Carry.

Last week I was in Southern Utah for some camping/shooting. I drove up from Vegas where I was at a conference and spent 3 days east of St. George camping and shooting on BLM lands. I brought my 9mm Glocks and the 22 conversion kit for my Glock 17. Put over 1000 rounds thru the latter and finally stopped when I had a bizzare issue.

It seems that the 22 shells sometimes don't always go into battery and the Advantage Arms kit sill lets the firing pin (they are still called firing pins on rimfires, no?) impact the cartridge.

Result? A funny boom and a nice hot spray of something or other on my face. Good thing for safety glasses.

The shell blew out just above the rim, a nice bit hole. The bullet did exit the gun, but it was pretty disconcerting, so I stopped shooting the kit until I chat with them. No damage to the gun that I can see.

I have a picture of the shell, so I'll post it.

Other than that, I had a ball. Just me, out in the desert shooting. I built a target stand and shot paper plates all day. Did movement drills, drawing drills, shooting with on-gun lights and flashlights in the hand. I shot and shot and shot.

Turns out, I'm pretty good at drawing and shooting. At 7-15 yards I can it a paper plate 99% of the time. Good enough for me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bellevue's West Coast Armory Range

Recently there has been some anti-gunners protesting a new gun range in Bellevue.

So, as suggested by the good blogger at Insights, I emailed the people listed and told them that:

  1. This is my range and I support it.
  2. I use it to train to safely and effectively carry the gun I'm licensed (by the King County Sheriff BTW) to carry (such a name dropper I know).
  3. They are a lawful and legitimate business that should be supported, especially in a time like this.
A few days later I got a reply from the Land Use Directors. She forwarded me a word document with a management brief prepared for the City Council.

Here is the text of the reply:



February 24, 2010


Mayor Davidson and Members of the City Council


Carol Helland, Land Use Director 452-2724

Development Services Department


West Coast Armory

The Council has received several dozen e-mails regarding the newly established shooting range called West Coast Armory. Some of the e-mails have been from residents of the Woodridge neighborhood who expressed concern about the recent opening of the shooting range in the Richards Valley light industrial district. Other e-mails are from gun enthusiasts who expressed their appreciation for the new recreational opportunity that is now available to them in Bellevue. This memorandum describes the shooting range use, its location, the operational limitations placed on the use, and the permit process that allowed the range to be established.

Project Description: West Coast Armory (WCA) is an indoor shooting range with associated firearms training and incidental retail. This use is characterized as a “recreation activity” for the purpose of applying the Land Use Code, and falls in the same use category as bowling alleys and gymnasiums. This use was first characterized by Bellevue land use staff in the early-1990s when Wade’s Gun Shop and Shooting Range was established in the Bel-Red light industrial district. Retail sales are prohibited at the WCA location, because miscellaneous retail trade is not an allowed use in the light industrial district. Incidental retail (such ammunition, eye and ear protection for use at the range) is appropriate.

Location: 13216 SE 32nd Street. The shooting range is located on the access road to the Factoria Transfer Station. Please refer to the attached location and zoning maps. Uses located in the vicinity include a PSE service facility, warehousing, bulky building material sales, and other recreation activity uses (including gymnastics, dance, and martial arts instruction). There are limited infrastructure improvements in the area of WCA (no sidewalks or curbs); and like most light industrial districts in the City, the pedestrian environment is inhospitable. The streets in this area of Richards Valley are not part of an integrated transportation grid. As a result, access to this area is generally limited to individuals destined for one of the businesses located there.

There was a shooting range that used to be located on SE 30th Street. Weapons Safety Inc. was located at 13215 SE 30th Street (a short distance to the north of WCA), and operated at that location from 1994 to 2003. The West Coast Armory range seems to have replaced that use in Richards Valley after the prior range was abandoned. The WCA use likely came to the attention of residents living in the vicinity of Richards Valley

in late January when the owner employed a “sign handler” to stand on Richards Road and advertise the newly opened use. E-mails from Woodridge residents opposing the use began to arrive in the Council Office shortly thereafter. Support for WCA appears to have emerged more recently in response to leaflets being placed on cars in the Factoria area urging people to oppose the shooting range use and to contact the Bellevue City Council to voice their opposition.

Required Review: Recreation uses such as this shooting range are permitted outright in the light industrial land use district, and there are no applicable design guidelines in these districts. As a result, land use approvals including notice (such as an administrative conditional use permit or design review) are not required. The establishment of this use required a tenant improvement permit and a business license, which were both applied for and received prior to the business opening.

Operation: Like other recreation activity uses located in a light industrial land use district, WCA is restricted to incidental sales only. Miscellaneous retail sales are not permitted, and this restriction was included as a condition of the required tenant improvement permit. Other recreation activity uses provide illustrative examples of how incidental sales are conducted. For example, the gymnasium located in the Richards Valley light industrial area sells a limited supply of leotards to its students and members. But the leotards are available to the individuals who are otherwise already on the premises for a class or competition. The limited sale activity conducted at the gymnasium does not constitute a miscellaneous retail sales use, and is appropriately incidental to the recreation activity use.

With regard to the regulation of firearm purchase and sales specifically, the State of Washington, by enactment of RCW 9.41.290, has preempted the entire field of firearm regulations. Under RCW 9.41.290, cities may only enact ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law. State law authorizes cities to enact ordinances restricting the areas in their respective jurisdictions in which firearms may be sold, but cities may not treat a business selling firearms more restrictively than other retail businesses located within the same zone.

In response to the communications received by the Council Office, I conducted a site visit on February 2, 2010. The purpose of my visit was to confirm that the operation was being conducted consistent with the conditions placed on the tenant improvement permit. The owner is in the process of making changes to the lobby area of the premises in order to comply with the conditions of permit approval and ensure that retail firearms sales do not occur at the Bellevue WCA location, and that operations include only sales that are appropriately incidental to the shooting range recreation activity use as required by the permit. These corrections are being made through the temporary certificate of occupancy process and are required to be completed by no later than March 18, 2010.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Now that is funny...

Some NSFW language, but this post just about make me spit out my diet coke.

Disguised Weapons Wanted

Sunday, February 7, 2010


For the past year I've been in learn mode.

I do this every time I get into something new. When I started shooting seriously, I began looking around at places from which to absorb things. This is my modus operandi and I love it.

I joined the NRA just to get the American Rifleman (I'd grown up on it at my Grandpa's place).

I subscribed to a bunch of gun blogs. Say Uncle, Gun Nuts, Breda, Smallest Minority, etc.

I subscribed to a bunch of iTunes podcasts - The Gun Dudes, ProArms, and the Handgun podcast. The gun dudes are fromUtah, so I get where they are coming from and they're a hilarious bunch.

After over a year of reading/listening I've learned a whole lot, even though I tend to tune out the right-of-center politics for non-gun related stuff.

Its been an interesting year of learning, growth and challenging my own assumptions. I guess whomever said that only the smart people realize how little they know was onto something.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Taking a New Shooter to the Range

Recently I took my wife and friend of hers (plus her husband) to the range for a friday night date. The range is new and was very slick - the reinforced barriers between each bay were reassuring.

So here are a few tips from my experience:

#1 If you were a jerk teaching them to use Email, a stick shift or their phone, just stop now. Hire a pro. Seriously, you'll do more damage than good. Patience and understanding is a must in this game, so if you don't have it, just move along.

#2 Work on the 4 rules of safety. Be serious - no joking around. Make sure they know them well. I did this *before* we went to the range, in my kitchen as I taught my wife how to load, unload and take down the gun. With snapcaps. NO ammo in the room.

#3 Start with something small. I like the 22, as do most people for a first time shooter. Teach them to load one round in the mag/cylinder. You don't want them sweeping you with extra rounds after shooting it. Repeat for awhile. Go over the proper grip, trigger control and sight picture.

#4 This isn't about accuracy. Not even close. Set up a target at a nice 3-5 yards at most to start with. Just shooting is the important part at first, not hitting the bullseye.

#5 Praise.

#6 After they get the feel for it, you can add rounds to the magazine and let them do multiple shots. Stay close by to supervise and remind them of the finger/trigger rule every chance you get. They may even thank you.

You may even want to end here. We didn't. They wanted to try something bigger so I changed back to the 9mm upper and we shot a box of that. They were amazed at the increase in recoil and that it was eminently controllable. They even got some Zombie targets for the last magazine or so - lots of fun.

After about an hour at the range, we were done. Time to wash up and go out for dinner where went over what we'd learned and I answered any questions. It was a very good night. We all had a ball.

Big success.

Friday, February 5, 2010

So where you been?

I know, I know. Busy doing other stuff. So lets get caught up on where I am as of today.

My last post was in September of last year. Wow. Time flies.

Since then I've done a few things and purchased a few new guns and sold another.

1. Glock 26. Wanted it for two reasons: first to replace my daily carry gun while it went to Kel-Tec for some fixing. I figured while I was at it I might as well get a bigger gun for winter carry. I did a lot of thinking/researching/spreadsheets on the different 9mm options out there.

What I really wanted was a Kel-Tec PF9 but those are impossible to find round these parts. I narrowed it down to the Glock 26, a Walther PPS and a Kahr MP9. In the end I went for the Glock because it would work with my nice stockpile of Glock magazines, which is pretty cool. I'll probably get a PF9 when they become available again because they're so cheap. I love my Glocks for simplicity, reliability and flexibility, and the 26 has not disappointed me. The only issue is thats a pretty thick gun.

2. Marlin XSL in .308. I need a gun that can reach out and touch things from a distance. But I don't like rifle shooting that much, so this was a nice compromise over my annoyingly high-shooting Mosin Nagant. Got it on sale at Cabelas and it shoots like a dream. I popped a illuminated Tru-Glo scope on it with some nice rings and I can shoot a quarter size hole at 100 yards easy enough.

Like I said, I don't like rifle shooting as much as pistols, but its good to have.

I bought a quad rail front end for my Kel-Tedc Sub2000, and it works pretty well, although I noticed on my last range trip it was loose and needs tightening (and probably some loc-tite). I was trying to sight in a red dot that I put on a quick-release platform (the gun folds, so the red dot has to come off) and ended my quest right there.

One thing that bugs me is that I found the Kel-Tec is one dirty gun - after shooting a few rounds of S&B 9mm FMJ - I noticed that the rounds in the magazine were filthy. As in covered with black residue. Not sure if that is normal, but it was disconcerting.

Another big advance for me was that I got my wife to the range. But there is a backstory there too.

I've been going to the local (and cheap) outdoor range close by, but its a bit of a drag in that you can't draw from the holster and the range is pretty basic. I like it, but wanted something more. I dislike the guys at Wade's guns in Bellevue, so I was happy to see that West Coast Armory was opening a new range close by. Its a dream.

Its brand new, has a pro shop and several different bays. I bought a lifetime membership (ouch) and get special access to the LEO bay that will let people move and shoot without the bays in the other two ranges. Its going to be cool. They'll also do IDPA in there I hear. In the regular bays, each is protected by bulletproof dividers, so chances of getting hit by and ND is much lower. That and I'm in the upper membership bay, so that limits who goes in there some.

So I went to check out the range, got a tour and signed up. Once I got over the pain of the initial payment, its going to cost the same as the outdoor range with alot more plusses. Awesome.

Anyhow, back to my story. I have mentioned to my wife I wanted her to learn the basic mechanics of the handguns. I took out the Bersa Thunder 380 and Glock 17 and safely showed her the various parts and how it works (no ammo in sight, snap caps for training). She liked the Glock alot more and felt she'd be confused with all the levers on the Bersa.

Then we recruited a friend and her husband to go on a date night to the range and had a ball. We started slowly, using the 22 upper kit for the Glock and walked slowly thru each.

I did alot of research before hand on how to teach people to shoot, and followed it to a T. But more on that later.

Overall it was a great experience and we'll be doing it periodically with contests to see who can shoot the best.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What I'm carrying on a daily basis

Hey folks. Been Mr. Slacker with the blog already. I do a few other blogs and I'm very good with those. This one? Not so much.

I saw an interesting post on several other gun blogs about what people carry daily, so I decided to add my own.

My wife pretty much thinks I'm nuts for carrying all this, and I can see why. So here is my pictorial assemblage for my on-person carry stuff:

Lets go clockwise from the firearm...

1. Glock 26. I bit thick, but it works and I can use my other Glock 9mm magazines (including my 33 rounders if needed). My Kel-Tec P3AT is in for service and I wont see it for a month or more. It was not doing a good job of feeding the first round.

I carry this glock with the pants clip IWB at 5 o'clock. I carry it without a round in the chamber for obvious reasons. I have one of those trigger sheath things on order, but have no experience with it.

1 Extra 10 rounder magazine. Both full of 124 grain +p Remington Golden Saber hollow-points.

2. Wallet - self explanitory

3. Paracord bracelet - carry 6-7 feet of paracord with you at all times. Useful for alot of stuff and can be undone is seconds.

4. Lockpick kit (red) for picking when I lock myself out or lose the key.

5. SOG Flash II knife - compact, sharp and was pretty inexpensive.

6. Ferro Rod Flints - these things rock. I forget which model this is.

7. Leatherman Juice XE6 in purple - the girly color makes it easy to find when I drop it on the ground.

8. iPhone in case - for running Surefire's shot timer, of course

9. Uzi Tactical Pen - ha ha I know. Its new and goofy. But its a great kubaton and writes stuff too.

10. Flashlight - iTP A3 EOS Upgraded - 90 lumens on 1 AAA battery - in a very small package. I don't like the controls for this, but have yet to find another mini flashlight that is so bright. With lanyard in orange for finding it. Bought at as well

The leatherman, flashlight, flint and lockpick kit go in a belt holder. The knife in my left pocket (opposite the firearm) and the extra magazine goes either in my pants pocket or a belt holder.

Ah, and I forgot to put my keys in there. They are the standard keysets on a locking carabiner with an REI aluminum whistle and Photon squeeze flashlight.

I've also added a set of latex examination gloves to the mix.

My vehicles all have an extended Bug Out Bag with much more...