5th Weekend Shooting Matches

Whenever there is a month with a 5th weekend, a bunch of the shooting ranges around Eastern NC like to have special shooting matches that they don’t host in their normal match rotation. This coming weekend is the 5th weekend, so here’s some of the matches taking place:

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

USPSA Rifle at Sir Walter Gun Club

  • Just like a USPSA pistol match, but shot with rifles. A great match to go run your AR-15 and have a good time.

BUG Match at H2O Fowl Farms

  • “Back Up Gun” pistol match. Bring out the little pocket guns that you actually carry. J-Frames, pocket .380′s, and pocket 9mm’s are the norm. The basic rule is that the barrel needs to be 3.5″ or less for a BUG match.

Sunday August 31st, 2014

3-Gun at Ant Hill Range

BUG Match at The Range

  • Same Back Up Gun stuff as above. I’ll add that Frank at The Range is one of the best stage designers around, you’ll know if you are proficient with your BUG gun after the match.

IDPA Classifier at Triad Tactical Training Center

  • If you’re new to IDPA, or just want to see where you stand among other shooters, this is a good match to get classified as an IDPA shooter.

Where are you shooting this weekend?

What Happens When You Don’t Stop For A Squib?

Yesterday, Brandon at Concealed Nation published an article with the below video showing a shooter with a squib load during an IDPA match:

(Video Link for Email/RSS Readers)

In the video the shooter is able to stop shooting before he shot another round into the squib, which can have disasterous consequences.

On Saturday when we were shooting at the PDHSC/Shoot2Live IDPA match, a friend had a squib in his 1911, and unfortuantely was not able to stop in time before firing another round:
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After sending me the picture, he said that the barrel is split on both sides, to the point that you can see daylight through it.

He’s very lucky that he didn’t get injured, and it’s sounding like once he gets a new barrel fitted he’ll be good to go. Thankfully he came prepared to the match with a second pistol, and was able to finish all the stages without issue.

Sleeves on Extended Pistol Magazines

I generally carry 9 round extended magazine as a backup for my Springfield Armory XDs 9mm. When I carried a S&W Shield, I carried the 8 round magazine as a backup, and when I carried a Glock 19, I kept a 17 round Glock 17 magazine as a backup.

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The obvious thing here is that the extended magazines stick out of the grip of the pistol a bit more than the standard magazines, and in the case of the S&W Shield, and XDs 9mm, the extended magazines ship from the factory with plastic sleeves to fill in the area around the extended part of the magazine. These serve a couple purposes:

  1. Aesthetics
  2. Added Grip Area
  3. Preventing Over Insertion

If I’m in a gunfight, and I have to reload to a second magazine, I don’t really care too much about aesthetics. Adding extra grip is nice, but it’s not really anything I care about.

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For the longest time I popped the sleeves off of my spare magazines so I didn’t have to worry about them sliding down the body of the mag and interfering with a reload.

I’ve changed my mind about this.

Months back, at one of the last Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center Action Pistol matches a friend was shooting his S&W Shield. He started with the 7 round magazine, and under the stress of the timer reloaded to an 8 round magazine (of which he had removed the sleeve for carry) and when he seated the magazine during a slide lock reload, the magazine slid past the magazine catch, and got stuck in the breech of the pistol. It took several minutes to get the magazine unstuck, something that would have put him out of the fight if it were a defensive scenario and not a game.

On my XDs 9mm, if my magazine slips past the mag catch on a slide-lock reload, the only thing that keeps the magazine from going all the way up into the breech is the ejector. I imagine if you were to seat the magazine hard enough you could damage the ejector.
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Han Shot First and That’s Legally Defensible

This past weekend in a fit of lazy afternoon gunblogging, Luke posted an article about Han Solo’s encounter with Greedo the bounty hunter in the Mos Eisley cantina. Now I’m no Andrew Branca (but I’m still a big fan of his) so I was pearl-clutchingly shocked to see a self-defense article on this blog that didn’t mention the five elements of a self-defense claim.

You don’t know the five elements off the top of your head? Sheesh. Take it away, Mr. Branca.

So there you have it: innocence, imminence, avoidance, proportionality, and reasonableness.

If Han’s case were brought to trial, how would he fare? First, a review of the facts.

Han was peaceably minding his own business while open carrying* his blaster, when Greedo, with blaster in hand, accosts him and leads him at gunpoint to a booth. There they discuss the debt Han owes to Greedo’s boss while Greedo continues to keep his blaster pointed at Han. The conversation turns to Jabba taking away Han’s ship, as Han reaches under the table and draws his blaster. As the conversation turned to homicide, Han shot once:

Han: Over my dead body.
Greedo: That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.
[Han Shoots]

With the facts established, let us begin. First, Han was clearly the innocent party, having not been the person to initiate deadly force. He didn’t shoot Greedo after having picked a fight, even a non-lethal one that evolved in to a deadly one.

Second, Greedo’s threat was clearly imminent given that he currently had a lethal weapon pointed at Han. He wasn’t threatening violence at some later time, especially as the conversation escalated and Greedo began to hint that he was going to enjoy killing Han. At that moment, it was clear the bounty hunter would not let the smuggler live, and the threat became direly imminent.

Third, Han’s use of deadly force — to wit, a blaster — was entirely proportional and symmetrical to Greedo’s own threat. He didn’t shoot Greedo after being grabbed by the arm, he had been accosted at blaster-point and forced to stay.

Fourth, the issue of avoidance. On its face, Mos Eisley does not seem like the kind of tightly-controlled, liberal place that tends to maintain a duty to retreat on its citizens, so I find it likely that the cantina falls in a stand your ground jurisdiction, meaning Han had no responsibility to pursue a safe avenue of retreat before using deadly force. Even if he had, however, Greedo deliberately interposed himself between Han and the door so that had he tried to escape, he would have had no safe avenue to do so.

Finally, reasonableness. Would a reasonable person with similar knowledge and skills have come to the same conclusions as Han? A reasonable person would know that Greedo is a bounty hunter who is in the business of capturing and killing people who owe money to his employers and would therefore be a credible threat. A reasonable person would understand the seriousness of having a blaster pointed at your chest since a single shot, as we saw, would be spectacularly fatal. A reasonable person would also be secure in thinking, as the tenor of the conversation grew more deadly, that this was very quickly escalating and deadly force was justified.

In short, despite the cavalier attitude the scene portrayed, Han Solo actually applied good judgement in his use of justified self defense in a deadly encounter. He only did one legally indefensible thing, which modern prosecutors (this was “a long time ago”, remember) would label as consciousness of guilt, and that thing is fleeing the scene after flipping the bartender a coin. Here in the US, we are expected to reach a position of safety and call the police in the aftermath of a shooting, but on that day in Mos Eisley, Han would likely have only gotten a detachment of storm troopers who would be rather uninterested in fairly adjudicating self-defense and probably just harass him or arrest him without charge anyway.


*It must be noted that although Han was open carrying, he was doing so in a retention holster. Smart move. Even when he needed to stealthily access the gun.