About Me

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I have been contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

I was an instructor for many years, Recently retired.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!

my books

my books
Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a safe and prosperous 2013!  Be careful if you are going out and stay strong in the face of the harassment from the anti-gun groups.

Talk (write) to you all next year!!

Safe Shooting and Thank you for your Support!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas,
or whatever Holiday you observe,
and a Safe and Happy New Year.

Be safe, be well, and thank you for a wonderful year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

And now the Fallout Begins

With so many young innocent lives lost, and the photos of the fallen, with their cherubic faces smiling into the camera, flashed across our TV screens, emotions are running high.  I’ve heard everything from a national gun ban to banning semi-automatic pistols, restrictions on ammunition sales and magazine capacity…the list goes on.  The only thing we all seem to agree on is this was a senseless act of a disturbed individual. 
My heart goes out to the families, the survivors and the emergency responders.  Their lives are changed forever.  We should mourn the loss of the many, all whose lives were cut short by this senseless violence.  But we need to remember, this person, this killer, chose a gun as his tool, but it could have been anything.  Banning firearms doesn’t stop gun violence, just look at two cities with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, our Nation’s Capital, Washington DC, and Chicago, Ill. 
Perhaps we should look at the desensitization to violence brought on by a culture that reveres violent films and video games.  Perhaps we should consider allowing law-abiding, trained, citizens to carry concealed firearms everywhere so that they have the right, and the ability, to defend themselves, and others, at any time.  One defensively trained and lawfully armed teacher could have made a significant difference in the outcome of the tragedy in Ct. 
Let us, as a country, look at our mental health care and ask why seriously disturbed individuals wander free.  Let us not blame the tool but blame the person responsible for this heinous act.  This is a time to come together, grieve and look for solutions, not to push an anti-gun agenda.  History has shown, banning guns doesn’t work, it merely makes us defenseless.
Don’t get caught up in the debate and lose sight of what really happened.  A mentally unstable individual, with an apparent history of violent behavior, committed an atrocity, and 20 children didn’t get to return to their parents arms.  Six adults didn’t get to go home to their families.  That is the real crime, not the tool that was used to commit the act. 
Be safe. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy in Newtown, Ct - A Year Later

There has been a lot of coverage of the anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown Ct.  In the days following my original post I wrote that I believed that people on both sides of gun control would use this tragedy to justify their positions.  But as we watch the still grieving faces, it is important to remember, these were innocent children and adults trying to protect them. 

This incident highlighted many things. 
  • The power of a community to come together and support each other in tragedy.
  • The courage and humanity of First Responders.
  • The impulsive nature of some people to take advantage of a tragedy.
  • The need for quality mental health care and personal responsibility in storage of firearms.
  • That we, the people, should think first of the victims and their families, not jump to conclusions and start pointing fingers.

Below is what I wrote on 12/14/12. 

Over the coming days I’m sure we will see much about the latest school shooting, and both sides of gun control will have their say.  Today, however, please think of the innocent children who may never feel safe again, the innocent victims who tragically lost their lives, and the families left behind.  My thoughts and prayers are with them, wishing I could shelter the victims from such senseless violence or somehow find words to comfort the families as their shock and disbelief turns to grief.
Thoughts and prayers to those who were lost, those who are injured and those who are picking up the pieces.
May God welcome the lost with open arms, guide the emergency responders and give them strength, and bring comfort to those still here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

FireClean – Hype or Fact?

I’ve been reading and hearing people praising FireClean like it was the best thing to come to gun cleaning since bore cleaner was invented.  I’ve never cleaned my guns with anything but Hoppes, and I was a believer that cleaner and lube were TWO separate products.  I’ve always been a little picky about keeping my guns clean, to the point where I get teased sometimes, but I always say that no one ever had a malfunction because of a gun that was too clean.

Well, I decided to try it.  The first thing I noticed was that it was a little thicker that my usual cleaner.   Then I noticed the scent, or lack of scent.  I had let my gun go a little longer than usual, maybe 500 rounds, so it was dirty.  I know, you can laugh, but this is my carry gun and I clean it every time I shoot it.  So, I started cleaning and noticed that it was cleaning faster than I was used to.  I was surprised by how well it worked, my gun was cleaner than the day I brought it home! 

Next was the real test, my .22 rifle.  You probably know that .22 is pretty dirty, and I have put a couple hundred rounds through the rifle.  I ran a wet patch through, ran the brush through 5 or 6 times, and ran a half dozen dry patches and they were clean! 

Glocks run fairly dry, my Ruger a little more lube, but gently wiping them down, everything was done and ready to go. 

I cleaned 4 pistols and 2 rifles in about an hour. 

Ok, call me a convert.  I really like this stuff.  What a great product!

You can find them on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/fireclean?fref=ts, check them out.  You will be as amazed as I was.

Before FireClean, notice the gunk on the recoil spring?

After cleaning, what a difference.  See the frame below, it almost looks like it has never been shot, and I’ve put several thousand rounds through this gun!

Old Dogs, New Tricks

I met a friend of mine to the range yesterday, he has been shooting for twice as long as I have, taken numerous tactical courses, etc.  He was looking for a little update, not really expecting to learn anything.  We started out with a review of the safety rules, and then on to carry laws in our state.  His eyes got a little wider with each question. 

Then we went out onto the range...we started out with warm ups at 8 feet.  Then up went the silhouette and we started the real fun.  He has never done unsighted fire, and was surprised that he was shooting low.  We talked about anticipation, and fixed that, and he was in the area he intended to be.  We focused on Combat Accurate, or as I think of Defensively accurate, spreading the shots our over high center chest.  Then we incorporated scanning, fire a couple shots, come back into high ready and scan 360 degrees, my hand was behind him holding up fingers to tell him how many shots to take on the next fire.  That forces him to really see what was behind him.  In talking after, he admitted that was new, his first scan was a quick glance left and right, not really taking in any information, but he recognized the value of really processing information.  We shot for nearly an hour, I took a turn to demonstrate what I could do at 20 feet unsighted, slowing once to take a head shot, then back to emptying the magazine and showing him a quick reload. 

It was fun, and for him a little humbling.  The sport of shooting is ever evolving and if you aren't training, you aren't learning the new techniques and tricks.  If you are a plinker, that is fine.  However, if, like my friend, you have made the decision to start to carry, that is something else. 

He was feeling a little humbled, not my intent, but left with a lot of information to process and things to practice.  I mostly work with new shooters and it was a treat to work with an experienced shooter, and watch the minor tweaks cause very noticeable improvements. 

So, not to call me friend an old dog, but no matter how long you have been shooting, it is a good idea to freshen your skills from time to time and take a class or work with an instructor.  Find out what is new, take away what works for you.

Safe Shooting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Guest Blog on the Need to Protect Your Hearing

Following is a guest post by John O. This addresses a topic that is near and dear to my heart, hearing protection and hearing loss. I have a significant hearing loss in one ear, and it is related to nerve damage, which means hearing aids, or amplification, do not help. I'm very diligent about my ear protection, either electronic muffs or custom molded plugs, depending upon the situation. While John relates the dangers to your hearing while hunting, any time you are shooting, you need to protect yourself. 

Thank you John for reaching out to me to share this information with my readers.

Tips for Preventing Hearing Loss in Hunters
Hearing loss can be caused by excessive exposure to loud noises. Hunting is a threat to hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss comprises a large portion of the 36 million who are suffering from hearing loss. As people age, the threat can worsen since 30 percent of adults between the age of 65 and 74 have difficulty hearing.
Hearing protection is necessary for people who engage in this popular sport. My father suffers severely from hearing loss and is part of the 30% of adults between the age of 65-74 that have trouble hearing.  Although not the only cause, hunting did play a very large role in the decreasing levels of his hearing.  He now wears hearing aids in order to help increase hearing levels so he can here well.

Ways to Protect Hearing While Hunting

Since most shotguns produce sounds between 160 decibels (dB) and 144 dB, most hunters need protection. Any noise over 80 dB may provide permanent hearing damage. Normal hearing speech is between 60 dB and 65 dB. This gives you an idea about how much noise people can handle.
To protect the ears, avoid enclosed environments when shooting. Earplugs, earmuffs and electronic earmuffs are the most common.
How to Protect Hearing at the Shooting Range

When at the shooting range, you should wear earmuffs, a combination of earmuffs and earplugs or electronic earmuffs. Electronic earmuffs have noise cancelling technology. This allows hunters to hear sounds under 80 dB.
Every sportsman should wear earmuffs to protect their ears. Many sportsmen have lost their hearing due to shooting.  These earmuffs have protected people for numerous years. Any person who is aware of hearing loss should consider purchasing ear protection. The earmuffs are friendly to all budget types. Everyone should consider purchasing a pair if hunting is the sport of choice.
Why You Should Protect Your Hearing

Since hearing is one of your most important senses, you must protect it. Hearing impairment can affect your balance and cause you to fall. Compromised safety is not what most people desire. Everyone must create awareness and let their friends and family know how important it is to preserve hearing.

Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss.  My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss.  I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can.  Check out my new blog at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Video Glasses Review

I got a pair of POV HD Digital Video Glasses from Amazon.com.  I couldn't wait to take them to the range.  Attached is a short clip shot with the glasses.  I'm impressed.  They are very easy to use, Micro USB charge of internal battery and uses a micro-card.  There are clear and tinted lenses, very easy to swap out.  Only downside is the temples are a little bulky, so they work better with ear plugs than they do with ear muffs. 

Overall, I like them...

Watch for more video in the future!  This was fun!

25,000 Strong and Growing!!

Just missed doing it in a year, but so close!  Thank you so much, I hope that you all enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing.

I have left a message for the winner of the gift certificate to Gun Goddess, and as soon as I hear from her I will set that up.


Racking the Slide

I've worked with a couple students recently who had a lot of trouble racking the slide.  Racking the slide is less about strength than leverage.  You can do it, it just takes practice.

First, make sure you are in your workspace, close to the body, upper mid chest.  Think of where you would hold a jar with a tight lid to open it, that is where you are strongest.  Hold the gun in your strong hand, come up and over the top of the slide with your weak had, grasp the rear of the slide firmly and pull back while pushing forward with your strong hand.  When it is a far back as it will go...let it fly!  Yep, let go.  The slide is designed to do that.

You can do it, it just takes practice.  It can be harder on the smaller guns, the "pocket pistols", mostly because there is less to get a hold of, but with practice, and patience, you can do it.