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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mama Packs A 9mm!

Yes, it is true!
This wife and mom of 5 boys packs a 9mm...
wherever it is legal to do so.

Last week, I picked up my first 9mm handgun. I was lucky to find exactly what I was looking for, and right now, with all of the hullabaloo going on about the assault weapons ban, this is not an easy task. Gun shops all across America have recently had record sales of guns. This means their inventory weapons, is really low. I have noticed that the three shops I frequent, have a severely diminished supply of guns across all platforms. Shotguns, rifles and handguns are not sitting long on the shelves of firearms dealers. Legal, law abiding, people everywhere are snatching up these weapons, even at inflated prices. Ammo? Same situation. I have been keeping an eye out at all the local shops and some of the bigger box type stores, and the story is the same. You can get your hands on .22 ammo fairly easy, but, .380, .38, 9mm, .40, .45, .223, 7x whatever...your lucky to find more than a box sitting on a shelf anywhere.

I picked up my new Kahr cw9 last Tuesday and hit the range on Friday. I had read excellent reviews of the gun, but guns are very personal. Something that one person loves may not be a gun that another loves. Fortunately, for me, after taking my 9mm to the range, I found that I indeed, LOVE THAT GUN.

Very 1st Kahr 9mm target
After my warm up with the .22, I am excited, and a little nervous about shooting the 9mm. What if I totally suck? What if that bigger caliber is really challenging for me? What if my shots are all over the place? Ok girl, bite the bullet, and get to shooting that new, nifty pistol! I load up the 7 bullets into the mag, a difficult feat in itself, that spring is really tight, tap it, rack it, and take aim. That first trigger pull was soooo long. I know I was anticipating that "bang" and recoil, and my target proved as much. No hole. I completely missed the freakin' target on that first shot! What in the Sam Hill? It took me firing off the remainder of those six shots to accustom myself to the long double action trigger pull and the recoil. Those six shots did hit the target and I felt slightly redeemed. Now that I know I can hit the target at 30 feet, I continue to load mag after mag and fire away. The trigger feels more comfortable after each shot, and the recoil seems to nearly disappear. I gain confidence with each and every shot. This gun has a couple features which are new to me, like the fact that when you unload your magazine and the slide locks open, the slide will automatically close and rack a bullet into the chamber when you tap in the next loaded magazine. Me likey. The other new to me feature is the lack of a manual safety. That had me peeing in my pants, just a little bit. After I thought about it for a moment though, I decided it wasn't a big deal, seeing as though I rarely use the safety on my Beretta. All in all I think I got a great BANG for my buck! I could not be happier with my new Kahr 9mm.

After I put about 80 rounds through the cw9, cleaned up my casings and packed up all my stuff, it was time to find a companion for my new friend. I went into the shop, and with some assistance, found a nice leather holster. Now, I know that we can not legally carry here in Illinois, but soon enough I will be legal to conceal carry in a myriad of other gun friendly states thanks to the Utah conceal carry class that I took on Gun Appreciation Day! That is not my only reason for a holster though. As you know, I have five sons in the house. They range in ages from 8 - 16. Safety has to be on my mind at all times. Yes, I could put the gun in a lock box, and pray that if I were to need it I could get to that gun in time. Our house is three full stories, and if something were to go down, and I were up in our room for some reason, what good does that gun do me if it is locked in a box two stories below me? Sure I could take that lock box with me when I go to the bathroom, or go to the second floor to change the laundry, or even up to my room on the third floor when I need to do something up there, but how practical is that? Not very. This is where the holster comes in. When I am at home, on my property, I AM PACKING; I have that baby strapped to me at all times! That is the absolute safest place I can imagine. There is no way any of my kids can get their hands on that gun without my knowledge. Better yet, it is right there at my side, ready to defend my family at any time.

Returning home with blasted targets, a holster, a lot less ammo and a new found love for my 9mm, I had one last exploration to accomplish. DCOA. Disassemble, clean, oil and assemble. This can be a make it or break it when it comes to the love meter of a new gun. Taking apart this weapon was a piece of cake! Getting the slide off my Beretta is a pain in the ass, this gun? Easy! Not one broken nail! Recoil springs and the recoil guide rod were easily removed from under the pressure of the barrel lug, and the barrel slides out easily. Clean. Oil. Assemble. Putting this gun back together was just as satisfying. DCOA complete, I reloaded the magazine, tapped it in place and holstered it at my hip. Even more satisfying.

This is my gun. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
That is the slightly edited (replace gun with rifle) first line of the Rifleman's Creed from the Marine Corp's doctrine. Many of you are familiar with that creed, perhaps from the movie Full Metal Jacket. Many of you also agree with that statement, as I do. My gun is MINE, and NO ONE should handle it without my express permission.
I am quickly becoming very fond of my new weapon. I assume, as time passes I will become even more enamored with its quiet confidence and the safety it brings me. Praying I will NEVER have to draw that weapon, it does give me peace of mind knowing it is there for the protection of me and mine.

Thank you all for reading another 2nd Amendment Sunday article. I would also like to give a very special thanks to the folks at Guns Save Life for graciously sharing my articles on their website. Please give them some 2nd amendment love and visit their website!

Last of all a big, fat, love filled thank you to my husband Tim, for it was his hard earned money that paid for my beautiful, shiny new gun! I could not do what I do without his continued support of his gun ga-ga wife!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fun, Gun Filled Weekend - 1st Stop, The Range!

Armed with our Remington 510 and my Beretta Neos, I hit a local shop that has a small, very well broken in, indoor range. By broken in, I mean, walls with thousands of divets from casings hitting the fragile concrete, old hand crank target pulley system, and a bench rest that has seen better days, but none of that really matters. The 50 feet between my gun and that target is what really matters, and to be honest those 50 feet sometimes look like 50 yards. Practice, practice, practice. Any knowledgable gun person will say that is the most important aspect, except for safety of course. Here I am, just me, my guns, and the bad guy, in the form of a target.
The Beretta Neos w/ Carbine kit (On My Wishlist)
I start out with the "dirtier" ammo. I place the bullets exactly in the same area as I always have, to the bottom right of the bull. The first 30 rounds were in a big 8" cluster. Too big for my liking. I guess, if I am really honest, an 8" cluster, can get the job done, seeing as though, a human torso is much larger than that. It still pisses me off and completely irritates me, that I can not get closer to that bulls eye! My poor marksmanship with this gun is why I am trying to locate a carbine kit for this pistol. Maybe I will be more accurate, and enjoy shooting this gun more. I go through another 40 or 50 rounds, with pretty much the same results. I start to think that it's me, I mean, I know it's me, but maybe my aim is really off or something. I decide to put some rounds through the old, tried and true, bolt action, single shot, Remington. This gun has been proven to be extremely accurate, so I know if I am close to the bull, it isn't a problem with my eyes at least. One by one, I load and fire off some rounds. I clear the gun, leave the bolt open and set it down. I crank back the target and have a look. I find shots in the black of the bull, and some just outside of it. Not great, but not bad, now what? Back to the Neos I go.
I changed my stance from my more comfortable, right leg back, to standing straight on. Feet shoulder with apart, fire, fire, fire, through another ten rounds... nothing. Bullets landed in the exact same area. I tried to focus on relaxing my hands a bit more... same. I would put through 30 or 40 rounds through the Neos and then go back to the Rem for 20 or so rounds. Each time the same outcome, Beretta U22, always to the bottom right and the 510 rifle right on the bull.
I fired 250 rounds or so, through the Beretta and maybe around 40 or 50 through the Remington. All in all it was fun and time well spent. I got some good tips from Dan in the shop, and plan on making a couple of adjustments when I go back to the range next week.
The beginning of my fun, gun filled weekend was off to a great start. Check back on Wednesday to see the gun that has made it's way home with me. You didn't really think that I could spend all that time, in all those gun shops without buying something shiny did you?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Gun Appreciation Day!

I am doing some exciting things this weekend in honor of Gun Appreciation Day! I will spend Saturday taking the Utah Conceal Carry class. Utah's conceal carry permit covers 32 states so its a great CCW class to have under your belt. I also spent Friday at the range, getting in some much needed practice, and even managed to get some gun shopping in! I will let you know about the little present I picked up for my self tomorrow.
Last but not least, to celebrate Gun Appreciation Day, and to add to my collection of 2nd Amendment Sunday articles, I will be sharing photos and descriptions of some great guns from a private collection! Handguns, Rifles, and Shotguns too! Old and new. 

If I get permission I will let you all know who this awesome collection belongs to!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gun Shopping Girl - My 1st Handgun

I told you I'd be back! Celebrating another 2nd Amendment Sunday with my third article about, you guessed it, GUNS! Please be kind and share my articles everywhere you can. We can all help in the 2A fight! To read more 2A articles, CLICK ON THE GUN TO THE LEFT!

Any responsible gun owner will agree that everyone who owns a gun should be responsible, and know how to handle their weapon. This is where training comes in. Before I purchased my first handgun a couple of years ago, I knew that I would seek out professional training. I have five sons at home, and for me this wasn't an option. I had my own expectations of what it meant, for me, to be a responsible gun owner. I needed to know, not only how to operate and fire the weapon accurately, it was also important for me to know how the weapon operated mechanically, and to know how to DCOA (disassemble, clean, oil and assemble) my own guns. I am kind of a nerd that way. I knew the only way for me to be completely comfortable with my weapon of choice, was to have 100% confidence in the handling and firing my weapon.

I have to admit I was a little nervous shopping for that first pistol, partly because I am a girl, and because I didn't really know what I was doing. Where do you even start? So, I just bit the bullet and visited a couple of local gun stores. I looked, I asked questions, I handled them, I dry fired them, and I gathered as much information as I could, including reading a lot of magazines that my Dad, a lifetime NRA member, sent home with us. I did not buy a handgun on that first visit, or the second or even the third. This was serious business for me and I wanted to be confident in my choice.

After "window shopping" and researching for a couple of weeks, I felt comfortable enough knowing the very basics of handguns. I learned about bullet calibers, single action vs. double action, magazines, triggers, grips, etc... It was time for some practical training. I hired someone that did private "Intro To Handgun" classes. I was guaranteed to have a 2 hour private lesson that would introduce me to not only safety and marksmanship, but to a variety of handguns in different calibers.

Image may be subject to copyright
I can not even begin to tell you how helpful that private lesson was. I started out feeling somewhat timid in handling the gun, but the more I listened, learned and applied what was being taught, my confidence grew. That 2 hours turned out to be, closer to a 3 hour private lesson. I learned invaluable information that was needed for me to feel confident in being a handgun owner. After learning some very important, yet basic safety rules, about handling, loading and unloading semi automatic weapons, I was ready to start test firing the 10 or so guns he had brought.

A simple test determined that I was right eye dominant. Okay, good to know. I was taught the proper stance, taught how to hold the gun, how to aim and so on. I was absolutely prepared to fire a handgun for the first time, under supervision. We started with the lower calibers and worked our way up from there. Lots of rounds of the .22 first. I was surprised where my bullets hit, they were not on the bullseye, but they were in a nice little cluster to the bottom right of the bull. My instructor pointed out what I was doing wrong, and I fired off some more, with some improvement. Up the calibers went, and with an increase of each caliber, my accuracy increased as well. My targets with the .45 blew my .22 targets away. I found it interesting that I shot better with higher caliber. The kick back from a .45 is much more powerful than a .22 and I was honestly surprised to see that I shot the "bigger" guns more accurately. Now, the last gun that he brought out was a .45 revolver. I prefer to just forget about what that target looked like when I was done with it. I am not sure why, but my shots were everywhere on that target. it was a very hard gun for me to shoot. With the exception of the revolver, my instructor told me that I indeed had the hang of it, and for a beginner I did really well. He emphasized that practice is key. It not only improves your accuracy but, the more you practice, the more it will be engrained into your muscle memory. He advised me to go to the range and go often.

Left: Rem 510 Right: Beretta U22
I left that class feeling much more confident in my ability to become a responsible gun owner. I was no longer intimidated to use or own handguns. I felt I was prepared to make my first handgun purchase. While, my main purpose of going on this journey to handgun ownership, was for home and family defense, I decided that it was more important for me to hone my marksmanship skills first. To become a good marksman you need to fire a lot of bullets. Firing a lot of bullets can become very expensive when you are shooting a higher caliber weapon. Knowing that firearms, like tattoos can become quite addictive, I decided to start out with a semi automatic .22 and get a larger caliber, more appropriate for defense, at a later date.

Our 1940's Remington 510 - LOVE!
Finally, the time came to pick out my new gun. I tried many, but there was one gun that stood out. It felt extremely comfortable to me, and that gun, three short days later, became my first handgun. This was the gun that I would practice, practice, and practice with. This was the handgun that my five sons would learn to shoot with. I have taken that gun to the range with and without my sons over and over again. Imagine my surprise when I found that hitting that bullseye was not as easy as I thought! True, I admit, it was and continues to be frustrating. I am not sure what it is about that gun but it seems that I really suck at shooting that semi auto .22 pistol. Give me our 1940's Remington 510 rifle and I'm much more pleased with the outcome that shows up on those targets. It is now my personal goal to improve my shooting skills with that gun. I will not give up, I love that gun, even if I hate where my bullets land!

My 1st Handgun, Beretta U22
Coming up on Second Amendment Sundays... My Beretta Neos Handgun, A Love/Hate Relationship

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This Chick Digs Diamonds & The Long Ball!

Adam Hit A Long Ball Homerun That Night!
Withdrawal. It can be painful. I know that there are many of you that are in need of a baseball fix right about now. The BCS championship is over, the playoffs are under way, and the Super Bowl is just around the corner. What does that mean? It means MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL is on the horizon. Thank you Lord, praise God, Allelujah, and can I get an Amen?!

Patrick's Helmet - Well Worn
Our football season starts in August; that is when youth from all over our county, turn out to run, hit, sweat and sometimes puke their guts out at Thunder Youth practices. I love that my boys play football. I loved it so much that I volunteered to be on the "CHAIN GANG" just to have the best seat in the house! Turns out I liked doing the chains, my husband and I made a great team! Thunder Youth football is a GREAT primer to gear up for the big boys of the NFL. It's like foreplay for the main event.

Go PackGo!
One of my favorite things about the NFL season is, hunkering down in the winter time, making "football food" for my boys and cheering on the PACKERS! I love college game day Saturdays, the NFL on Sundays, Monday night football, and yes, even Thursday night football. I love the sound of hard hits, helmets crashing, and the roaring crowd. I love rooting for the Pack and I am not quiet in doing so. I am a screamer. Oh yeah, I scream... loud. On good plays, I'm screaming, and bad plays I'm screaming. It does catch my boys by surprise once in a while though. They are used to their dad screaming expletives, but when mom does it, I hear, "Calm down Mom!" For a few short months out of the year, football has a hold over me until baseball begins. The time I rack up watching football is nothing compared to obsessive hours I compile staring at diamonds.

The Cell 6/23/12

And you all know, girls dig diamonds!

I do love bright, shiny diamonds. But, give me a sand diamond, complete with bags, a mound, and guys wearing tight pants hitting a LONG BALL, and you got me! Throw in a ballpark hotdog and a margarita or beer...Oh yeah!

Tim & I, 5th Row vs. Brewers... Sox Won!
January can be a tough month for me. NFL playoffs are under way, and if the Packers aren't in the playoffs, my football season is basically done. This year, January isn't too bad, the Pack is in the running, so it keeps my mind off MLB. It's about this time I begin watching ESPN and CSN every morning. Much to my husbands dismay, I am quite fond of watching Dan Patrick as well. Hot Stove? I am so there! My obsession is just starting to kick in, but come the middle of February, when mandatory reporting for spring training starts, I am all in, and counting the days til the season opener. Until then I am very content watching the games broadcast from Arizona. This time of the year I drop hints to my husband that a vacation to Camelback Ranch would be really, really sweet, and with 5 kids, oh so easy to plan. Yeah right. I also give him the much easier option of going to opening day at The Cell. I am still waiting on that one as well. He refuses to sit at a ball park before May.

My Stat Stuff
Opening Day. Way more exciting than any holiday I can think of! Weekday game, kids are still at school, probably a 1:05 start time and I am ready! White Sox camp chairs in the living room, hotdogs steaming, beer cooling, peanuts, and my "book". I LOVE keeping WHITE SOX stats! Penciling in the line up, drawing little lines around that small diamond and marking 1B, 2B, 3B or HR nothing makes me happier! I join my kids in the White Sox Kids Club every year, so I can basically hijack some their stickers to trick out my stat book. I am not kidding, I really do steal from my own kids in the name of White Sox Baseball. I am not ashamed, not in the least, cause that book looks freakin cool!

By mid April MLB is under way, and adding to my baseball bliss, BYB is in full swing as well. Belvidere Youth Baseball. I Love this organization, and 2013 marks my family's 10th year! I love going out to those fields to watch my boys play and my husband coach. We have made so many great friends through BYB and it is so amazing seeing the same people year after year. I love seeing the teams improve, kids building confidence and the coaches giving their all! Sitting in the sunshine, on those bleachers, is a vacation in my mind.

Bring it on! Baseball is almost here, so bust out the all beef hotdogs, throw some beer and soda in the cooler, pull up a chair, or get a ticket for the cheap seats, and enjoy America's favorite past time!

Go White Sox!

Kevin, Me, Rhino and AJ
PS... A.J., I will miss you!

You also might enjoy:

My Journey To Adam Dunn And The White Sox

My 6th Son, A Major League Baseball Player

Sunday, January 6, 2013

You Call THAT An Assault Weapon?

Let me start by saying, I am not a gun expert, nor am I an expert on gun laws. I like guns, I like shooting guns, I own guns, and I do believe in the 2nd amendment.

There will be many of you reading this that are much more educated than I am regarding guns and gun laws. My personal goal is to reach those people that are pro 2nd amendment, but maybe are not involved in the cause, or aren't exactly sure what is going on, AND to reach those that are anti-gun, and shamelessly change their mind. Being a regular, small town girl, married, with 5 sons, who happens to be a gun owner, I represent a good percentage of families just like mine. Now is the time for us "regular folks" to make our voice heard.

As some of you may be aware, Illinois anti-gun folks are at it again! After passing, by the Public Health Committee, amendment #1 SB2899 was introduced to the Illinois House of Representatives. This is going to vote today!

Their goal is to ban "assault" weapons and high capacity magazines.

This amendment aims to do two things. 

1. It would make YOU pay for the confiscation and destruction of your own guns.

2. It would ban 50% of rifles and more than 80% of the handguns owned by Illinois citizens.

Please visit www.isra.org to learn how you can help in the fight for our freedom.

The term "assault" weapon means different things to different people. Anti-gun people seem to have focused on the aesthetic features of the weapon, not the functionality of said gun. In their eyes, this is an assault weapon:

That gun, is the same as this gun.

Those two guns operate the same, meaning they have the same action, shoot the same caliber of bullets, and are capable of shooting the exact same number of bullets. The gun on the top is deemed more dangerous by the anti-gun collective. Why? It looks scarier. Lets break it down. The gun on the top has a different butt stock, sometimes people like collapsible stocks so that they are easier to store and transport. This does not change anything about the way the gun shoots. Next, take a look at the grip below the trigger. Some folks prefer to add a pistol grip to make the gun more comfortable or more stable to shoot. Again, this in no way changes the action of the gun. Above the trigger, you will notice a rail. This is for mounting a scope, so you can see the varmint of choice more clearly. The rail, nor a scope will change the manner of which your gun fires. Lastly, you see a big round thing with holes, surrounding the barrel of the gun. This is a barrel shroud. A barrel shroud simply protects you from burning your hand should you touch it. Once again, it in no way alters the functionality of the action of the gun.

The idea of banning a weapon because it looks a certain way is asinine! That is like banning accessories on a car, because they make it look cooler and more modern, even though those accessories do not make the vehicle more dangerous. Stupid senseless laws have not, and will not deter the criminals. Laws are not intended to take away the rights of law abiding citizens, they are put in place to protect us. Do you think the bad guys with the " assault" weapons are going to turn their guns in? No. So now, they have the guns and we don't. When criminals and the government have guns and the citizens of this country do not, there is a problem, a huge problem.

In my Packin' Pistols In Illinois article, I questioned what some of these gun control people are thinking. In regards to the fact that they continue to infringe on our 2nd amendment rights by trying to disarm law abiding citizens, when they know though criminals on the streets will always have guns. This is something we shouldn't even have to defend. It is our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT! Are you really willing to give it up?

How does, giving up our guns, even on an elementary level, protect us? Yet the gun control law makers claim that it is for our protection. Our protection, is the fact, that it is our right to bear arms. That is our security. 

When our own government infringes on our rights, that is exactly the time that the 2nd amendment is most important to uphold.

I wish these people would wake up and stop wasting our time and money trying to pass useless laws that will not stop the violent acts of criminals. Controlling the gun ownership of law abiding citizens does what? It does not make us safer, history has proven that. It will not make the criminals with illegal weapons less likely to commit crimes. What don't they get? I, for one, do not want a government taking away a right that is fundamentally mine, or telling me what kind of guns I can own. I don't know about you, but I don't really trust a government that would sooner sell guns to violent Mexican drug cartels than to their own, loyal, law abiding citizens.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Torturous Teen Boys

If you have teen age boys or have raised teen age boys, I know you feel my pain. If you have boys that are not quite teens yet, well, start praying now. The worries are many, the arguing is constant, the need to nag never ceases. At this point in my life I feel like enemy #1. I have to constantly tell myself that I am doing the right thing and that someday, they will thank me for this.

My five sons are, or will be, at the end of January, (3 birthdays this month) 8,9,12,14 &16. My three youngest, piece of cake, comparatively speaking. I have had experience with these ages before, and I feel like I know what I'm doing. Now the older two? Not so much.

This year, I do not have any boys in middle school. Praise God! The middle school years, and the first year of highschool, have been, by far, the most trying years of my parental existence. I look back upon it as the MOTHER HUBBARD OF ALL TORTURE!

My first two sons were extremely allergic to homework. It was a constant struggle. I tried sooo many different avenues of discipline and it seemed as if nothing worked. I'm gonna be honest. My boys lied. They lied a lot. "Yes, I did my homework" or, "No, I don't have any homework" or, "I forgot" The list of lies goes on and on and on. Then I go online to check their grades and voila! I find BIG, FAT, ZEROS all over the place! Then the yelling commences. Back and forth it goes. Privileges are revoked and grounding commences. I command them to bring home every single book until further notice. I make them do the work they missed, and, no, I don't care if the teacher gives them credit for it or not! On and on it goes. A little time goes by, the grades improve, and then, my fatal mistake, I slack off. I give them a little breathing room. They are, after all 12, 13, 14 years old, and they should be able to take responsibility and do their homework without me breathing down their neck. Yeah, right. A few weeks will slip by, I will check their grades, and here we go again! Wash, rinse, repeat, until summer vacation.

Those were my middle school years in a nut shell. Fullstop.

Now, they are both in highschool, a freshman and a junior. As far as I am concerned, freshman year is a repeat of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Torture once again. Same thing, different year.

Junior year of highschool. We made it. those previous years were tough, but I am happy to say he worked it out. Grades improved, and he even had a couple of AP classes, who knew? But, you all know what happens by their junior year right? Driving. This is a whole new form of torture. I first wrote about my son driving, here, when he got his lerner's permit. More than a year has passed, and he has had his license for 6 months. Freedom. My 1st born has freedom like he has never had before. He got a job, bought his own car, and was free like the wind. Notice I said WAS.

He is definitely more responsible when it comes to school. But, now, I am riding his ass for things like: keeping me informed of his whereabouts, not answering my phone calls, breaking curfew, hearing his car coming down the street when it is still 8 houses away, 14 kids in the car, putting mailboxes in basketball hoops, getting a job so he can pay his court fines for above infractions...

There are two good things about your teen driving.

1. They can run your errands when don't feel like it.

2. They change their behavior real quick when you revoke their driving privileges.

Torture comes in many forms. My brand of torture is disguised as teen age boys. The nagging, fighting, grounding and yelling continues, as does the guilt of a mother, for having to do these things. I am sure I get it wrong, a lot. I try not to yell, but when I repeat the same things over and over, and they still do not obey the rules, they must not have heard me, right? So I say it again, louder.

I do not like yelling, grounding, revoking, punishing etc... Sometimes it actually brings me to tears, the guilt of making them unhappy is overwhelming at times. Those are the times I just have to suck it up, stay strong, and pray that the torture of my teen boys will be worth it!