If you’ve been checking in on TTAG over the last few days, you know that I spent last weekend at the Bushnell Brawl. It was my first precision rifle match, and I had an absolute blast doing it, though I think the time and financial commitments to be successful will keep me from doing it seriously. My first exposure to the community at large was Thursday night at the shooter prep meeting. I stood in this huge barn surrounded by 119 white men, 1 African American guy, 1 guy who was a quasi Pacific Islander, and a sum total of 8 women, 3 competing and 5 there to support their partners. Looking around the room . . .
The 2015 Bushnell Brawl has come to an end, and with it, my anxiety about my first “big” shooting match. The Brawl, for those who aren’t familiar, is a multi-stage rifle and pistol match held over two days in Kingsville, Texas. Kingsville is home to Rifles Only, a premier training facility catering to civilian, military, and LEO shooters. There’s a lot more I’d like to say about Rifles Only, but I think that’s best for a separate article once I’ve had the opportunity to spend some more time out there. Suffice it to say, it’s a top notch facility run by an excellent group of individuals. And they put on on hell of a competition. Stage 1 started bright and early shortly after 8:00 AM. But first…checking zero. And my first problem of the day . . .
The second and final day of the Bushnell Brawl is over and I’m in a truck headed northbound on I-35 back to a hot shower and a soft bed. Today was a much more sedate pace than yesterday’s frantic 8:00a – 5:00p grinder. We started bright and early at 8:00 with a briefing to let us know that we were going to be wrapping up shooting by 2:00 PM . . .
Thanks to members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia who have followed along on our Facebook page today as I update our photo stream sporadically. At the end of Day 1, my group of guys has managed to shoot ten of the advertised twenty one stages available to us. Save for maybe some strong side prone shooting at 100 yards, every single one of them has been a bear . . .
Our group just returned from the shooter’s briefing out at Rifles Only, followed by a grocery store trip, followed by a stop for feeding. We’re now back in the hotel room, readying our gear and going through the course of fire documents to start building dope cards. And oh boy what a course of fire . . .
As I’d alluded to in my discussions of laying down arms and enjoying some live country music, Mrs. Kee and I are on vacation. We rented a nice car (I see why RF drives a Mercedes), took some time off from Austin, and headed over to The Natural State to watch some country shows and eat some good food. Back when I still rode motorcycles, a trip to Hot Springs was my first “big” trip. I was 15 and riding a very well used (and loved) Kawasaki Ninja 250. I learned a lot about decreasing radius turns and conservation of momentum riding that bike up and down Highway 7 between Hot Springs and Southern Missouri . . .
It’s no big secret among my friends, gun-related or not, that I’m easy to sell on an adventure. Some of my best memories have come from saying yes when I know the response should have been no. Nick has taken advantage multiple times, notably by challenging me to run my Garand in a local carbine match. So I should have seen it coming when my instant message client at work popped up with a note from my coworker Jacob . . .
In an earlier review, I declared the DARA Holsters & Gear Custom IWB one of the finest Kydex appendix carry holsters I’d ever tested. Sure, it wasn’t leather, but it was a really nice rig. So imagine my excitement when DARA sent me an OWB holster to try out as well. Figuring that if they’d done such a good job on their IWB, their OWB must be super awesome too. Real life resultL Meh, not so much . . .
Springfield was nice enough to loan me a XD(M) 4.5 in 9mm for a long term test and evaluation. Up until just a few months ago, I’d rotated through the 4.5’s younger brother, a GLOCK 19, and a FNS depending on the day of the week, and the changing winds. But I wanted something bigger and with more capacity. Why? No reason, really, other than to say that I was carrying a gun with 19+1 of 147 gr. goodness. And because I shoot it much better than anything else. Also, when I remember to do it, I bring along a spare mag loaded to the top with another 19 rounds making my total loadout 39 rounds. But why stop there? . . .
I used to work with a guy who would occasionally reference the one that got away. A woman so good, so pure, and so joyous that he spent the rest of his life a confirmed bachelor (in the Victorian sense). In a startling coincidence, I have also had one get away. Not a woman, of course, but a holster. She was a Don Hume, and a real beauty at that. Fitted perfectly for my Glock 19, it was the most comfortable I’ve tried, allowing me to carry a nearly full-sized pistol in the appendix position. I don’t know what made it so good, but I regret every day that I let it go. And all the Kydex girls in the world will never compare to that homely looking Don Hume . . .
The lovely Mrs. Kee and I have taken to the open road for Valentine’s weekend to follow one of our favorite bands, The Turnpike Troubadours, through Arkansas. I consider this fine state to be one of the most beautiful places in these United States. And underrated. Mrs. Kee had never been and we’ve been trying for a year to attend a Troubadours show, so things worked out pretty perfectly. We watched them play at The Rev Room in Little Rock on Friday night, and I gotta tell you, what a show . . .
There are two categories of gun owners. Those who have had a magazine-related failure with their gun, and those who haven’t shot enough yet. Given a sufficient timeline and enough rounds, your magazine will fail you. And your pal Murphy will inevitably assure you that a failure will occur at the worst possible time. As such, carrying an extra mag for your EDC pistol is a very wise choice. As is practicing reloads under stress. The problem is that an extra magazine is sort of a pain in the rear end to carry. But very few companies offer a magazine carrier that is anything other than a sad afterthought. Except for the guy(s) at 2A Holster . . .