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.