Fill Yer Hands

you son of a

Lessons Learned from Everyday Carry

03_Concealed_Carry_CC_Inner_PhotoTom McHale posted a nice article a couple of weeks ago, about 10 Things You Learn By Carrying a Gun Every Day.

This got me to thinking about the lessons I’ve learned, and I would like to share a few.

I’ve been carrying a gun almost everywhere for about the last 14 years or so, ever since we moved to Georgia. Before that I carried from time to time, mostly for travel, but not to work, and not during most social events. My reasons why I didn’t carry are probably the good subject of another post, for another day.

But now, carrying almost all the time, I’ve come to learn some things. I agree with Tom McHale’s first four points, and I have experimented with a few belts and holsters, to find the ones that work best for me.

Having said that, here are some observations and Lessons Learned:

Condition Yellow takes concentration, but that’s not a bad thing. Once you get used to it, it gets a little easier.

But it still takes concentration. A lapse in that – slipping into Condition White – may be the last thing I experience in this life.

It takes thought and concentration in other areas, too. Like planning ahead for bathroom breaks. You have to have a plan.

More people carry than you think. I routinely look for telltales when others are carrying, as much out of curiosity as to know who would be on my side if the balloon went up.

It’s no big deal to my wife and kids. Once they got used to me carrying, and asking for the seat facing the door, etc., it became almost second nature.

Sometimes my wardrobe is dictated by my choice to carry. But that isn’t as big a deal as I thought it would be. Of course, gone are sweat pants in public. At my age, that’s not such a bad idea, though. As it turns out, I have become a Hawaiian shirt aficionado in warmer months, and a fleece vest guy in the cooler months.

At least in Georgia, Gun Free Zones are pretty much worthless to me. I can discuss this in another post, but I generally ignore the signs, since, for the most part, they have no legal force in Georgia. But exceptions are exceptions (like the Post Office), and those I do honor. For the rest of you (and this means you, Taco Mac) I don’t pay any attention. Trust me, if I’m there when something goes down, you won’t care that I’m violating your sign.

Despite what movies and some online Gun Heroes want you to think, if the balloon goes up, I am there to protect me and my family. Unless there is a compelling reason, that means I’m not chasing any bad guys or saving anyone but us. Sorry.

More to come, I am sure . . .

An Open Letter to My Son, the College Student

Dear Son:

Congratulations on your success, here in your freshman year at Georgia State University. I really can’t tell you how proud your Mom and I are of you, and how much you have accomplished!

I know you know this, because it was emphasized more than once at the Orientation that we attended with you, but, despite all the evidence that it does nothing for your safety, Georgia State University, like all schools in our state, are Gun Free Zones. That means that the only people who are allowed to carry guns on campus are law enforcement officers and criminals.

So I am writing you today to remind you that, in the event that someone ever comes in your classroom carrying a gun, you must make a quick assessment:

  • Are they in uniform? If so, does it appear they are looking for someone, or are they there to do harm? (Remember, the shooter at Fort Hood was in uniform, so it’s not a perfect assumption that they are benign.)

If they are not in uniform, or they appear to be there in any capacity other than as a law enforcement officer looking for someone armed, then you and everyone else in the room should immediately grab desks, chairs, backpacks, lamps, and everything you can, and beat the living shit out of this person, until they stop moving.

Don’t wait for them to start taking a religious survey. Don’t wait for them to start shooting. Don’t be fooled by their demeanor. Don’t wait for anything.


Then, once they stop moving, kick their gun out of their way, and get out of the classroom. Don’t leave campus, and be prepared to speak to the police.

Above all, remember that a Gun Free Zone doesn’t have to be a Gun Free Victim Zone. Act, and you can make a difference.

Stay alert. And act.


With all my love,


Living in the Past

Grip Safety

No offense to Sheriff Jim Wilson, but I have to ask: what if the Ford Mustang still had a crank in the front? Wouldn’t that be a great feature? After all, it would sure help to start the car, if the battery died.

Yes, that’s still the argument we hear from 1911 enthusiasts about the grip safety. In the latest entry, Sheriff Jim admits this feature was added so that we could use the gun at full gallop on a horse.

Someday, someone will design a good .45 without a grip safety. Maybe it even holds more than 7 rounds.



A Reward for Laziness

Non corrosive

This post originally had another title: “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.” Alas, I realized I was trying to blame this all on someone else. While that is my forte, let me instead take full responsibility, and tell today’s tale.

For some time now I have been thinking about turning Sergei, my SKS, into a truck gun, so I decided this past weekend to get it out and re-install the folding stock, after going back to the original stock over a year ago.

As it turns out, about the time that I put the old stock back on, I took Sergei out to shoot, and, in a lazy mood, put him back in the safe after shooting, without cleaning. After all, it should be fine, because I only shot about a hundred rounds, and the ammo I shoot claimed to be non-corrosive.

That’s where the original title came from  . . . liar, liar, Russian pants on fire.

When I took it apart on Sunday, I could tell right away that things weren’t right. There was rust and fowling on the bolt (not normal) and the gas tube, which normally pops right off, took some real wrenching to get loose.

So, I took it all apart, and did probably the best cleaning on it since a couple of unnamed high schoolers cleaned all the cosmoline, when I bought it back in 1993 from a gun store in Alabama. I even put a bore brush on my power drill and did some reaming of the chamber

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