Changing the EDC: LC9S to Shield

Posted on Posted in Product Reviews

I have been carrying a Ruger LC9S for a year now. I have had no issues with the LC9S at all, the decision to change every day carry (aka EDC) is a personal preference. At the beginning of this journey, I intellectually chose firearms based on specifications, reviews, and test shooting. Shooting any smaller frame pistol will have more recoil, especially in polymer frame firearms. I know the trigger pull on the LC9 was long, the LC9s is an improvement. I wonder if the LC9s will get the same revamp the LCP II just did with the Ruger American styling.

I prefer the Shield  the Ruger due to the fact I have a full solid grip on the Shield, the stock trigger is a bit shorter and if I install the Apex Duty trigger, it’ll be even lighter. The more solid grip is a reassuring factor for me in a choice for every day carry. This is the go-to if in dire straits, and I want everything to go as I would need it to if my firearm were to see sunlight. The other choice I made is to go without a manual safety. My LC9s has an external safety whereas the Shield does not. You can purchase one with an external safety. Yes, I could have chosen to not use the safety on the LC9s but I would rather there not be one at all than to have one engaged when I think it’s not. Losing those seconds could be the difference of being able to tell the story afterwards.

Thank you Smith & Wesson for not having a pin that needs to be removed for take down. I appreciate that.  Often I have worried about the pin in the LC9s becoming lost while cleaning or if I had to do a fieldstrip outdoors. I have dropped the take down pin while cleaning and wondered about that nightmare a time or two.

Both are solid firearms and deserve to be anyone’s every day carry. I think a part of this is also that I shoot a M&P Pro Series 9L and the grip works with my hands the best so far of all the firearms I have shot. Holding the Shield feels a bit reminiscent of holding the larger M&P. I will revisit this as I carry the Shield and give updates.

Talking about every day carry: I have recently had issues with the Can Can concealment holster, sweat. Since I have to get new holsters for the Shield, I am looking for a full sweat shield, inside waist band holster that I can carry appendix if I wish (or AIWB), comfortable and solid. I also prefer tan color or light colored- much easier to conceal lighter shades than dark ones with women’s clothing.

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Her Budget Hunting Rifle Search

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Product Reviews, She Hunts, Stories

My husband hasn’t been hunting in a few years and had a chance to go with his father since they both had the same week off from work together. I want to hunt, I love to hike and camp so being out in the woods is preferable to me. We are conscientious about buying so we have to do our research. At this point, I do not have enough knowledge to pick a hunting rifle at the $500 plus price point. If I had to choose today, I would choose a Tikka rifle but with more experience, who knows?

The biggest decision I had was what caliber to shoot- which meant borrowing or renting rifles. I borrowed a 30-06, 25-06, and 270 Win to shoot to determine. When you borrow, you cannot choose the weight of the rifle so it is a consideration if you are looking at synthetic vs. wood stocks, the difference between a 12 lb rifle and 7 lb can change your felt recoil.

Opinions are not helpful, everyone has their preferred caliber and sometimes preferred rifle manufacturer. Some said the .243 was more than enough to hunt with, while others warned it wasn’t enough stopping power. I did my research and yes, some shoot the .243 with excellent results but for the most humane hunting, I would prefer a larger caliber. The last thing I want is to prolong the suffering of an animal.

The 30-06 kicks. I stood my ground with it but it was a shoulder punch and not something I would ever consider shooting from a tree stand. When I shot the 25-06, it was okay but I preferred the .270 caliber rifle. Then the research began!

rifleammobuyingguide_chart

Hubs and I agreed that a first hunting rifle should be under $400, preferably with a scope already mounted for the best value. A quick internet search yielded a few models to consider. American Hunter had a great article about budget hunting rifles for under $500 that was written in February 2016 (timely). With this short list, there was a starting point of model research.

riflesunder500

The first rifle to research was the Ruger American rifle, we have both heard good things about this rifle it seemed to be a safe place to start. The price point was a little higher than I had hoped for but I found the Ruger American Rifle with a Vortex scope! (SCORE!) Then it was to read the reviews. Nutnfancy on YouTube is very thorough on his reviews, even when he voices his personal preferences, he tells you flat out. He goes over all the features and what he likes about them or doesn’t without prejudice.

 

I personally do not like the Savage AXIS rifle, I held it at a gun store and it is not a good fit for me. The bolt was not smooth, the trigger was long. I did not take the time to research the Savage or the Marlin rifles on American Hunter’s list. After seeing Nutnfancy’s video and a few others on YouTube, we set out to find the best deal we could on the Ruger American. The Ruger American seemed to be the best deal for the best value, a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 mm scope with BDC is priced (on sale even) at $149-$199, which with a price point of the Ruger American at $447 (-$149=$298 rifle). Proof below.

americanriflevortexWe had a gun show in town so we figured where else to go on Black Friday weekend than to the gun show! Yes there was Ruger American rifles there in .270 but none with the scope. Of course, that’s how it goes sometimes especially if you are looking to buy online vs in-store. Table after table we looked for a .270 even if it wasn’t a Ruger American, just to get the best bang for our buck. We stopped at one table and when asked what we were looking for the personal opinion came out that the .270 has more recoil than the .308. Ho! Lookie here, there’s a .308 on the table for sale. Wink. Then Hubs started second-guessing the .270 selection, as he wants a .308 himself so he could shoot military surplus rounds (7.62×51). Then his wheels got to turning and we did a quick assessment of whether to look for a .308 or .270. Honestly, I could handle the 30-06 and as long as my rifle has LESS recoil than that, I’ll do fine with it. I believe the more you shoot a firearm, the more familiar and easier it gets. On to the next table that sent our little world spinning for about the next 2 hours…

ruger-american-predator-product

There sitting on a table was a Ruger Predator in ugly green but with a thicker, threaded barrel and chambered in .308 at $399. It handled just like the Ruger American, was a tad bit heavier and was able to have a muzzle break added to it. Ugly green, really ugly and the only color it comes in. But it had NO SCOPE. Was it worth the extra cost? We found the Vortex Crossfire II scope on sale at one of our local vendor’s table for $149 (sweet!) so if we went ahead with the Predator ($399 plus tax)=$432 then the Vortex scope ($149 out the door)=$581. Um, OUT OF BUDGET! Again, Hubs, is it worth it? He decided no, thankfully. Bye-bye ugly green.

We left the gun show, no purchases but with a lot more confusion! Let’s go to Gander Mountain to look, we did- no Ruger American with a scope. The Ruger American was available in .308 at $349.99 without a scope (with tax) =$379.73 and then purchase Vortex scope ($149)=$528.73 URGH. Realization: If you find a deal online, you will NOT find it in a store and it is impossible to get a store to match that price. I wouldn’t even ask a local gun shop to match that price, they have to make money to stay in business and they need our support. We then went to Field & Stream (yes we are spoiled and we know it).

Upon waiting for one of the two people on staff at the counter, we saw a Remington rebate info sheet. This is what steered us to Remington over Ruger. The Ruger American was there for $349.98 without a scope, chamber in .308 ready to purchase. Same predicament as at Gander Mountain, too much money. The Remington 783 was there with a scope at $349.99 within budget. We couldn’t get over the Vortex scope yet so we left. I knew this was the better deal and the budget firearm we set out looking for. I did want the Ruger American more but our focus of this expedition was to get the best budget rifle we could.

We learned a couple of things: 1) Online deals cannot be found in stores unless you are looking at big box stores offerings. 2) There will always be PROS and CONS to your decision. 3) You don’t have to ‘upgrade’ unless you find a reason to upgrade through your experience.

Ultimately, we found a Mossy Oak camo Remington 783, .308 WIN with 22″ barrel with 9×40 scope for $343 delivered. This is the same deal below at little higher cost, apparently we got the only one available or others were shopping at the same time we were. I will post more about this after it arrives.

mossyoak308

 

 

Before You Drive With Your Firearm

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Product Reviews, Training Notes

You want to have a firearm in your vehicle but you are afraid of how to secure it, especially with children in the vehicle with you. Each state has its own laws regarding carrying in your vehicle, consider your state laws as you look for viable options for your needs. There are many places within your vehicle to store a firearm, yet there are pros and cons to each.

A glove compartment can be a tricky place to store your firearm. Yes, it may have a lock- one that can be broken into with a bit of force. Plus, the glove box will be the first place a thief will look. You could measure your glove box and put a lock box inside of your locked glove box but this provides little security. A thief could still take the lock box and force it open elsewhere. There is no way to anchor a lock box to the glove compartment. Here are a few options for a lock box for your vehicle. The SnapSafe and Gun Vault models are amongst the well-known and most used.


            


Most of the lock boxes above have a security cable so you can lash them to the vehicle such as an anchor point on the floor or a secure bar under your seat. You can see these are not super expensive options and would secure your firearm from others being able to access it. How about if you want to be able to access your firearm?

I feel your console this is the most secure, accessible location for storing a firearm in your vehicle. These options are more expensive and most of them are tailored to your vehicle. The first option is an universal console vault that has a tray with cup holders to disguise it. Look at Console Vault’s options for your vehicle. Tuffy also has options for vehicle’s consoles.


         


Backseat in a truck? Only if you’re going to get a locked option… Tuffy has options for your vehicle. This option would not be easily accessible and most thieves wouldn’t waste their time lifting the backseat of a truck. With the across the seat option, you can also securely transport your long guns, no matter who your passengers are.

A trunk is also an option not easily accessible, hopefully you have anchor points within your space so you can tether your lock box to the vehicle. If you have a vehicle you feel comfortable modifying, you could anchor a larger vault to your trunk.



Lastly, no matter your storage options in your vehicle, leaving a firearm in your vehicle overnight or longer is not the safest option. You want to secure your firearms and leaving them in a vehicle unattended is not securing them. A vehicle is temporary storage, for when you have to go into the post office, liquor store, or your child’s school.

Exploring your options for securing your firearm is just what responsible gun owners do. If you need further convincing that securing your firearm in your vehicle is the best choice for you and your potential occupants, read this: https://www.thetrace.org/2016/03/kids-cars-unsecured-guns-deadly-mix/

Safety first,

Jessica

 

 

 

Review: Gun Tote’N Mama’s Chrome Zip Purse

Posted on Posted in Product Reviews

I am a bit picky about what I use as a purse; I am an active person that cares about security so I want quick access pockets for my cell phone and keys. Add to that my desire to conceal carry and have quality materials that won’t wear out too quickly, I can seem like a demanding purse shopper.

I have seen concealed carry purses with western themes, ones that look like a thrift store buy almost non-descript except the pleather they are made of.  By tastes alone, I have expensive taste but a thrifty bank account- I have to find good looking and quality for a good price.

Chrome Zip, Cross Body

After months of debating and trying out different purses at gun shows and outdoor retailers, I decided I really liked the leather of the Gun Tote’N Mamas collection. The purses didn’t feel like pleather, they were stylized as normal purses and they have extra security features that other purses do not.

At first I was turned off by the lack of a locking zipper but after owning a purse, I realize the locking zipper wouldn’t help you in a situation where you need your firearm. If you are using a concealed carry purse and feel you need a locking zipper to keep your firearm away from others- you need to consider on the body carry instead. At no times should your firearm be out of your control or your reach.

After much debate, I chose the Chrome zip cross-body model. At first I didn’t like the teeth of the chrome zip pockets and I was concerned about the top access to my firearm but now I appreciate both features!

It is made of real leather and feels luxurious. The strap is a security strap with wires running through the middle unnoticeably to prevent a cut and run mugging attempt. I love wearing this bag cross body, my hands are freed and I can adjust the strap for the length.  You can get a short strap additionally to switch out the longer one with but I have found I haven’t really needed the short strap.

I especially appreciate the top access for in the vehicle carry, my firearm is secured next to me without an additional holster in my vehicle and I can access it quickly if I need to.  The concealment compartment includes a holster that is secured by Velcro and secures your firearm in place at whichever angle you desire.

The purse has 2 outside pockets, one shallow and one deeper with magnetic zipper fob closures. I keep my daily must haves there, such as my keys. Inside is two side pockets and one side zipper pocket with one main compartment.

I receive compliments all the time about my purse; no one knows it is a concealed carry purse except those that know to look for the side zippers. I use my purse for work and every day. I would love to see this style in more colors or prints even.

To find your next Gun Tote’N Mamas purse, visit: www.guntotenmamas.com

Chris’ Review: Laserlyte Trainer Target

Posted on Posted in Newsfeed, Product Reviews, Training Notes

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via Review: Laserlyte Trainer Target – Chris Sajnog

My thoughts: I have had serious reservations about this system, especially since my first instructor told me not to use a laser program for dry firing. He was concerned about being focused on the target too much. I kept popping my head up to see where I shot while firing which affected my accuracy.

I have been considering this or a system like it for training but I still believe it should not be the end all for training. I appreciated Chris Sajnog’s review as I have mad respect for him and have thoroughly enjoyed his book.