Now THAT’S What I Call Bling!

Now that’s what I call Christmas Bling

I’ve had the occasion recently to try out a new line of ammo.  I have to say. I think I’m in love with www.ammoforsale.com So, here’s what I tested and how it panned out.

Magtech 9mm Luger (115gr) – These came with the standard 9mm round-nose, full-metal-jacketed bullet seated in good, reloadable brass, and appearing to use an anvil primer. I ran these through a standard Beretta 92FS (tests 1 and 2) and a standard Gen 3 Glock 17 (tests 3 and 4) with my standard battery of four-target tests, which consisted of (test 1) ten rounds of slow-fire for accuracy, (test 2) ten rounds of two-shot double-taps, (test 3) fifteen rounds of three-shot triple-taps, and, finally, (test 4) fifteen shots of slow-fire for accuracy. All rounds functioned flawlessly with no stoppages, no misfires, and no feeding problems. Though it is hard to find a round that won’t pass through these two firearms, the same can not be said for the basic accuracy of several 9mm rounds that I’ve tested. These rounds passed my accuracy test with no problems, which shows a consistency in the bullet weight, the measured powder load, and the overall cartridge length (bullet seating). Of course, your accuracy mileage may vary since the shooter is usually the weak link in the firing process. Overall, this is a cartridge I would have no problem recommending to fellow shooting enthusiasts.

Seller & Bellot .40cal (180gr) – These came with the standard .40cal snub-nose, full-metal-jacketed bullet seated in good, reloadable brass, and using a sealed boxer primer. I ran these through a standard Beretta 96FS Brigadier (tests 1 and 2) and a standard Gen 3 Glock 22 (tests 3 and 4) with my standard battery of four-target tests, which consisted of (test 1) ten rounds of slow-fire for accuracy, (test 2) ten rounds of two-shot double-taps, (test 3) fifteen rounds of three-shot triple-taps, and, finally, (test 4) fifteen shots of slow-fire for accuracy. All rounds functioned flawlessly with no stoppages, no misfires, and no feeding problems. It is hard to find a round that won’t pass through these two firearms, and these rounds were no different. The same can not be said for the basic accuracy of several .40cal rounds that I’ve tested. These rounds passed my accuracy test with no problems, which shows a consistency in the bullet weight, the measured powder load, and the overall cartridge length (bullet seating). Of course, your accuracy mileage may vary since the shooter is usually the weak link in the firing process. Overall, this is a cartridge I would have no problem recommending to fellow shooting enthusiasts.

.50cal ammo can – Sure, it’s just meant to storage ammo or other supplies, but you have to admit that most .50cal ammo cans that you see look like they’ve been on the muzzle-end of a day at the range or dragged through every available mud-hole and sandpit east of the Mississippi before getting to you. Not so with this one; repainted to look near-new; clean inside and out; this can is one that you could set on the front table as a decoration – with the right doily on top, of course. Seriously though, this can is in good shape and great working condition. If all of their cans come looking like this, I know where to find my new supplier.

I believe you’ll find a broad range of offerings, and respectable pricing. Enjoy—no really, ENJOY!

Kellene Bishop

Founder Women of Caliber/ The Preparedness Pro

Selecting Your First Gun is Like Selecting a Purse

By Kellene Bishop

Selecting your first firearm is like selecting a purse—no one can really do it well for you.  As much as my husband loves me, there’s no way that he can know enough about my preferences to appropriately select a purse on my behalf.  Are the straps long enough?  Does it have enough pockets in the right places?  Does it have enough compartments?  So I beg you NOT to allow anyone else select your first gun for you.  It’s far too personal of a decision. 

If you’re purchasing your first firearm for self-defense, ideally it should be a handgun.  (I then advise you to move to a shotgun and then a rifle, but I’ll cover that in a future article.)  Here are the primary concerns you want to consider when selecting a handgun.

  1. Grip
  2. Ease of loading
  3. Ease of use (such as mechanics, ability to clear stoppages, etc)
  4. Reliability (and safety)
  5. Cost of ammo
  6. Ease of assembly/disassembly

Rather than getting caught up in all of the brand names and what kind of caliber to select, first and foremost focus on the grip of the firearm.  Try holding SEVERAL of them.  Keep in mind if the grip is metallic, even in part, it will likely impede your shooting ability in a crisis situation as sweat will hinder your grip.  I focus on a solid non-slip grip when I select my guns, or my ability to have the gun modified accordingly.

Also, when considering the grip, be sure that it is sufficient so that you can comfortably bring your other hand up to the gun for stability.  There are some guns I’ve tried holding where using the other hand only seems to confine and cramp my ability to use fire the gun appropriately.  While women are always conscious of fashion at some point, I implore you not to focus on whether or not it’s pink, black, or steel.  Focus on the holding of it THEN focus on how it simply it loads and how easily it is for you to master cocking it.  For these 3 reasons, most women go with a revolver for their first handgun or a Glock.  Out of the most common options, I would opt for a Glock simply because it holds more ammo and is very forgiving of a limp wristed shot that most women possess when they shoot—myself included.  It will shoot when it’s dirty, wet, muddy, etc.  In other words, it’s highly reliable, and that’s what any woman needs in a time of critical self-defense.

For a myriad of reasons, you really don’t want your first gun to be too light.  While you don’t want to exhaust your muscles with the weight of a gun while shooting it (like I do when shooting the AR-15 from my shoulder), I strongly advise you against purchasing a mamby-pamby gun that simply fits into the palm of your hand as your first self-defense gun.  Such firearms have their place, but not as your primary self-defense weapon.  A solid weight gun will actually help you to shoot more accurately, and it is typically made better as well.

While there is much discussion by “gun snobs” that a .9mm isn’t worthy of self-defense use, don’t pay any heed to it.  Rather than focusing on the power of the gun, focus instead on your ability to carry it easily, retrieve it, and aim and shoot it accurately.  What you DON’T want to have happen is that you buy your new gun, go shoot it, and it’s so dang powerful that you’re afraid of it and won’t continue to practice with it.  So don’t let some “guy” convince you that you need to start with a more powerful caliber.  9mm’s have done just fine in warding off intruders and assailants for years, and have even been used by law enforcement officers all over that nation for a very long time.  Sure, there are those rare circumstances in which a drugged up criminal is unphased by a .9mm hit, but I assure you he wasn’t hit dead center in the head or the heart when such was the case.  It’s not the power in your gun, it’s the skill behind it that counts.

Another reason why I prefer to train other women on a Glock is because of the lack of a visible safety. For some women this can rattle their nerves but consider this.  While the Glock actually has 3 inherent safety features, that gun is ready when you need it most, in the climax of emotion.  What I don’t want to happen is to have a woman NEED to use her firearm, unveil the element of surprise as she draws her firearm and shows she’s willing to use it on an assailant, only to be hindered because she realizes that the safety was still on.  That may be all the hesitation the criminal needs to remove the firearm from your possession and use it on you.  I never, ever want to give away my element of surprise in my self-defense actions.  If I’m pulling my firearm from my holster or its hiding place, I’m doing so for one reason and one reason only and that is to STOP an assault.

Also consider that .9 mm ammo is less expensive.  If you purchase a gun with a higher caliber shooting power, you may also be less apt to practice with it due to the cost of ammo. 

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what brand or caliber you choose so long as you’re the last one standing, alive and well.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Apparently Rape is a Spectator Sport in New York

new-york-city-subway1

Horrific news is coming in today from several sources.  A woman who was repeatedly raped in the presence of MTA employees at a train station in Queens, NY was told by a judge today that those who stood and watched her rape take place had no obligation to help the woman, other than inform their command center that police presence was needed at their location.  (Note: they are only obligated to call the command center, not 9-1-1) 

us-constitution1My thoughts on this issue are frankly all over the place.  I will always fight vehemently that our Constitutional freedoms are upheld.  Unfortunately, that means that I must tolerate the immoral way that others use their freedom.  However, we certainly need to be reminded that the U.S. Constitution was created for a moral and God-fearing people.  Clearly, as in the case of those who watched this heinous act take place in Queens, many have become numb to any thoughts of moral conscience.  While these onlookers will not have to answer to this particular judge, they will certainly have to answer to God and explain to Him why they simply allowed this to happen.  

See full story details at http://www.nypost.com/seven/04012009/news/regionalnews/subway_rapist_victims_shock_162317.htm and http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30105703/?GT1=43001  

But let’s move on.  I think it’s only a matter of fairness that I address the other obvious aspect of this crime.  Whenever an “accidental” (a.k.a. stupid disregard for gun safety) or criminal act with a handgun is committed in this nation, we are bombarded by the media and other anti-gunners telling us how awful guns are.  So isn’t it fair that when a person is attacked by a psychotic rapist and completely ignored by the citizens around her that we also hear the drum beat again and again about the need for us to take responsibility for protecting ourselves?  Clearly this judge didn’t feel that anyone was required to protect this woman.  And clearly the police didn’t have sufficient cause to protect her as they showed up at least 10 minutes after the call was made–the attacker was able to rape the woman twice during this time!   

So I ask you.  When are women going to learn that we simply cannot and should not count on anyone else to protect us?  We MUST take responsibility for this matter ourselves.  And we must make a wise decision as to the most effective way to defend ourselves.  With so much training available, much of it even for free, there’s no reason why a woman needs to endure this type of atrocity.  Fighting back is not a privilege.  It’s a RIGHT.  

asp2I know, I may shock some of you with this statement, but I am 100% convinced that the best way for this woman to have defended herself would be with a handgun.  I don’t know how much the guy weighed, how tall he was, but frankly it doesn’t really matter.  When it comes to a clear need for self-defense, I say don’t mess around asking the guy to stop raping you.  Don’t mess around asking for others to defend you.  Defend yourself.  Two double taps to the chest, and it’s done, and it’s justified.  The horrors that this woman is going to have to live with over and over again, feeling not only betrayed by mankind, but by her own instincts, would not be an issue for her any longer if she had simply and matter-of-factly been able to stop this act by defending herself.  Yes, she would have to deal with the fact that she defended herself and as such took a life.  But psychologically that’s a lot easier to deal with than the unspeakable horrors she suffered while others simply watched.   

Her second best defense would have been an Asp, a telescoping metal baton that will indeed crush or break bones that it contacts with a forceful strike.  The third most effective would have been by leveraging her physical strengths—real physical strategies that help in a street fight such as this.  None of this “crouching tiger” baloney.  When he had her in a bear hug, if she had known how, she could have crushed his nose with her head, or she could have flipped him over into the tracks, the very same way that he threatened her, or she could have crushed his wind pipe with her hand, shoe, or cell phone. 

Here’s the rub though.  This woman is in New York, thus she has to show “cause” as to why she should legally possess a firearm.  An Asp would have been illegal in her state as well.  Adding insult to injury, if this had occurred in New York City, even IF she had a handgun WITH a license to carry, she would have been illegally in possession of it, as New York City does not recognize licenses from the State of New York.  How’s that for ridiculous?   

2nd-ammendment2The sanctimonious positions of many who mistakenly believe the 2nd Amendment is only for members of militia are clearly wrong in light of this set of circumstances.  Our Founding Fathers fully understood that others could not be compelled to defend us, except in a time of war, and still have our nation be built on freedom. However, they certainly would not have left us defenseless in the face of evil as this woman was either.  Thus every American in this nation was given the right—not privilege—to defend themselves with a gun.  This woman lost her civil lawsuit against the MTA.  Perhaps she should be suing the State of New York for making it difficult for her to defend herself with the most effective means possible!

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

Do You Have Enough Ammo to Last You 4 Years?

3/18/09 Update: While we’re ecstatic to hear that the NRA-ILA and a couple of good politicians have rectified this wrong, there’s still merit to this particular blog below in showing just how vulnerable we are to the minds and wills of a select few. 

I would suspect that there are very few readers who do.  And that’s a huge problem with the latest twist in the government soap opera.

ammunition-firearmAs you may know, Obama previously proposed as a Senator that ammunition would receive a 500% tax hike.  He did so as a crafty way to essentially take away our guns.  Obviously, without ammunition, gun owners had better get good at throwing our firearms at an assailant or using them as batons without ammo.  You and I both know that with his penchant for taxing the American people worse than any president ever (even through the liability of his spending packages), he’s not likely to get past a deaf and moot Congress this proposal for a 500% tax hike on ammo.  So what does he do?  Nothing.  He doesn’t have to do anything because his Secretary of State is interpreting a Department of Defense directive to favor this new administration’s distaste for guns.  And it’s done without Congress having any say in it.  As of June 11, 2008, the Department of Defense is to no longer allow the military to sell fired casings to ammunition remanufacturers until they have been “mutilated”, aka shredded into scrap brass.

Let’s break this down a little bit.

AmmoIn order for you to shoot, you have to have ammo.  Duh, right?  Bear with me here.  When you practice shooting, you will typically use remanufactured ammunition because it’s less expensive.  For example, 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammo (115 grain) which is remanufactured costs $207, while new ammo, 9mm (115 grain) costs $269 at a bargain price.  So the savings can be substantial.  The key to the pricing advantage of remanufactured ammunition is that the remanufacturers are able to buy their once-fired casings primarily from the military.  As you can imagine, the military uses a LOT of ammo and due to their rules they can only use new ammo.  This makes them an ideal source from which to purchase used casings.  However, now that the DOD has determined that they are only permitted to sell their ammo casings AFTER they have been shredded, this means a whole lot to your wallet.

1)     Yes, the “remanufactured” ammo will be more expensive (as if the past year of price increases haven’t been bad enough.)  The reason being is now there is an extra step in the process in order for the remanufacturers to have foundries turn the shredded brass (and other metals) into the casings they need. The reason why I put the “remanufactured” in quotation marks is that it’s doubtful to me that the new product should be called “remanufactured” as opposed to new since this additional process entails what new-ammo manufacturers have to do to produce their ammo.

2)     Your tax dollars now pay for the shredding of the casings which the military will now perform on all of their casings prior to selling it. 

Law enforcement

3)     The remanufactured ammo represents approximately 65-75% of the ammunition market among civilians AND law enforcement.  Law enforcement regularly uses remanufactured ammo for their target practices.  Thus, now law enforcement is paying a higher price either for the remanufactured ammo, or a higher price to buy new ammo.  Guess whose tax dollars pay for that?

4)     Due to the interpretation of this DOD directive, there are a great deal of ammunition remanufacturers who will have to lay off a sizeable portion of their employees.  Hello, unemployment.  Hello, extra foreclosures.  Hello, extra bankruptcies. 

5)    china-flat1 This all presumes that since the casings are being shredded they will still be sold to the remanufacturers.  This is doubtful as China is the largest buyer of such metals from us in its shredded condition.  Don’t think for a second that they won’t get first crack at buying this shredded brass.  After all, we owe them for buying up so much of our debt, right?   This means that we may have put out of business ALL of the remanufacturers in the U.S. with this one strategic directive.  If the remanufacturers go out of business, then we have the small number of new-ammo manufacturers to provide all the rest of us with ammo.  And the military gets first shot in front of any buyer to obtain their ammo. 

Now think about this economically.  You have what used to represent about a third of the ammo sales in the U.S. and now they are the primary source to handle nearly all of the ammo manufacturing.  That’s called a serious supply-and-demand problem.  If you talk to anyone who buys ammo, you will undoubtedly hear stories of empty shelves, and hard-to-find ammo.  Are you starting to see why ammo is so hard to obtain now and why prices have increased substantially?  Expect an even greater supply-and-demand imbalance as the dominos continue to fall, folks.

gold1So why do I ask if you have enough ammo for 4 years?  Because if you don’t, that situation is not likely to change unless this administration reigns-in how the directive is being interpreted, or an administration change occurs four years from now.  It won’t matter how much money you have.  You simply won’t be able to buy enough with the military standing in line in front of you.  NOW some of you may know why I predicted that there would come a time when a bucket of ammo would be worth more than a bucket of gold…on so many levels. (see www.preparednesspro.wordpress.com)

Clearly the economists who thought this one through are on the same team as those who are running Wall Street and are devoid of much in the form of patriotism or intellect. 

See the link below the draft of this directive. 

www.dla.mil/j-6/dlmso/Archives/JSACG/meetings/11Jun08/ADC_220_Small%20ArmsDefinition_DRAFT_JSACG_11June2008.doc

 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

My First Time…Shooting

People assume that as a self-defense and firearms instructor that I’m some kind of super bad “you know what” and have always been “fine” with guns, etc. Well, they would be dead wrong.

When I married my husband I was a city slicker from Columbus, OH. I had never been around guns. I was raised that they were super bad, super dangerous, etc.

As my brand new husband (a Utah mountain boy) and I were moving items into our new home just a week after our wedding, I found myself bringing in a couple of heavy black cases. The cases were small and I couldn’t fathom what in the world could be inside them that would be so heavy. Finally, curiosity got the better of me and I asked my husband what the heck they had in them. He sheepishly looked at me and said “Oh. I guessed we should have talked about that before we got married.” As it turned out, the cases had handguns in them and my husband was very adept at handling them and shooting them.

This began the long 12 + months of him trying to convince me, the city girl, that it would be perfectly OK for me to “allow” him to get his concealed carry permit. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of him carrying a gun around all the time though. To his great credit my husband was patient in educating me and waiting for me to be ok with him taking a more proactive stance in his 2nd Amendment rights. So finally I relented and “let” him get his concealed carry permit, with the understanding that I wasn’t yet ready for him to actually “carry.” And so his patience continued. Finally, I decided that he was perfectly capable and competent and this was important to him so I put aside my inhibitions and relented as a “birthday present.” But boy howdy did it make him happy!

Then, as a course of natural progression, he patiently attempted to get me to try and shoot a gun. So we finally went to a range. He taught me forEVER about safety, handling, etc. All the while I’m thinking “let’s just get this over with and let me shoot and get out of here, already!” He had me shoot a little Beretta Tomcat .32. (This is a little bigger kick than a .22 but less than a 9 mm.) Terrified, but trying to be brave, I shot it six times and then began crying, shaking inside, and informed my husband we were done with the shooting exercise.

After this I couldn’t watch action/adventure movies (my favorite genre up to this point) for several weeks. When I saw someone on screen shooting a gun, it suddenly felt much more real to me, no longer pretend. I no longer had the desire to cheer for the good guy and yell “Get ‘em!” Instead, I recalled what I felt were the heavy bass reverberations that I experienced shooting the first time and listening to my husband’s shooting. After shooting a firearm I felt just how real, instant, and deadly a gun was. And that kind of power in my hand initially scared the crud out of me and I certainly didn’t want to relive it in a movie.

Several weeks later my husband chose to make use of my competitive spirit and convinc ed me that I should try again and not let this fear get the better of me. So I did. This time he had me shoot a Glock 9 mm. I lasted an entire 20 minutes of shooting this, hitting the target occasionally, and then informed him that I had met my quota for the day. At least this time I didn’t cry.

So what transpired between the crying, the stress, and such and my now being a firearms and self-defense instructor to women?

First: Purpose.  I realized that as our world becomes more volatile, the more likely we will need to defend ourselves in such a manner someday, whether it be protecting our homestead, a family member, virtue, or other scenarios I won’t get into here.  And it’s naive of me to think that my “Rambo” of a husband will be there to save the day when I’m in trouble.  There is a great likelihood that when something does “go south” my husband will be the one out patrolling in the neighborhood, or coming to the aid of others.  I realized that I didn’t want to be a liability for him and wanted to be able to stand on my own when it may be necessary. 

Second: Vision. Then I realized that there were a lot of other women that are in the same shoes as me—their husband may be confident in defending himself physically or with a firearm, but their wives are not. I’m sure it would give a greater peace of mind to those who love their wives to know that their wives can be a protecting asset to the family too. Yet, I also know just how hard it was for me to overcome my stigmas about guns, protection, emergency preparedness, and self-defense. Frankly, in spite of my husband being an excellent and patient teacher with me, there are some things that a man would never think of when instructing a woman, things that I think would have made it easier for me to come around and be more confident in my ability to defend myself without hurting innocent bystanders. I think learning from a man is difficult for a woman…especially when it’s a husband or a boyfriend. There’s already an enormous amount of pressure in this new experience without stressing that you’re disappointing or not measuring up to someone you love as well.

Additionally I realized that there were also a lot of non-married women that aren’t sufficiently protected simply because of a lack of knowledge. When I was Marine-trained to learn physical self-defense (by a couple of men), I realized that there were better ways to communicate and thus properly train a woman in order for her to be effective and proactive, rather than reactive to fear or potential “what if” scenarios. I felt that it would be better to prevent those scenarios from ever happening than trying to educate someone traumatized after the fact.

Assault crimes have continued to rise in our nation.  Criminals are becoming more brazen in their efforts to win the “Oscar” for the biggest, boldest, most gruesome assault.  I realize that simply maintaining the status quo for women and their ability to truly defend themselves really was no longer an option.  And yet they didn’t have a lot of viable answers.

Third: Confidence. It’s one things to have a Concealed Firearm Permit.  It’s another to have the mindset that you will be able to use the firearm if necessary, and that you can do so without harming others.  I was very fortunate in that I was able to get some unique training that enabled me to hit exactly what I was aiming at, without the “fog of war” intruding, and in a quick-draw fashion.  This SKILL made me very competent and confident.  This made a HUGE difference in my acceptance of this new responsibility. I was ready to take it on.  This confidence made a significant impact on my view of circumstances around me.  I no longer seemed to worry as much about things which were out of my control, because I felt in control of the most vital matters, protecting myself and others. 

Fourth: Clarity. Martial arts and boxing training are great for physical activity, confidence, and discipline. But for the majority of ALL students, they are ineffective, and even dangerous (because of the false sense of competence they may invoke) in the heat of a real assault. I’m sorry to offend anyone when I say this, but reality can’t be subject to a popularity contest. The reality is it’s unrealistic to think that someone can get this kind of instruction and effectively defend themselves against a psychotic perpetrator in the heat of the moment. Unless you’re Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan, it’s not likely you’ve instinctively mastered the skills necessary to make these disciplines life-saving. There are too many “moves” to master. There’s too much thinking necessary. Additionally, it appeared that only “beautiful, skinny, and fit women” were capable of using these techniques in an attempt to protect themselves. Considering that I was over 200 pounds, only 5’ 2 ½” and overall out of shape, I didn’t like that idea very much. I didn’t care for the social insinuation that chubby women were ideal marks for perpetrators. That’s when I had an “Aha Moment.” My personal discovery was that the competent use of a firearm far surpasses the effectiveness of a “crouching tiger” or a “right cross” and it is no respecter of what you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the last decade! While the knocking someone unconscious may be a more compassionate approach to defending yourself, I had to come to a point where I no longer fostered compassion towards someone who would take me away from my family, cripple me, harm my children, or others that I loved or who were helpless to defend themselves. And whether one is scrawny, hefty, young or ancient, the competent use of a firearm coupled with some street smarts is a great equalizer between good and evil.

After commiserating with so many women over the years who were just like me in their fear and other inhibitions of defending themselves, I SO wanted to share my relatively newfound knowledge with as many women as I could. I wanted them to have the opportunity to learn from a very REAL woman who completely understood and overcame their same fears. To not just learn enough so that they can legally carry a firearm, but to learn enough so that they can skillfully use one when necessary, and can defend themselves when necessary. I also saw value in training women real street smarts with the proper use of other methods of self-defense in the event a firearm isn’t readily available, malfunctions, or could endanger others.

To this end I’ve spent years becoming the most certified female NRA instructor in the Western States as well as a certified Utah CFP Instructor (Concealed Firearm Permit). In addition I’ve endeavored to learn and master as much as my military, DEA, and other helpful experts have to teach me so that I can expertly pass on real life skills to women all over. I’ve also worked closely with my husband to create an exclusive technique that enables a shooter to consistently hit exactly what they are aiming at, with only a couple hours of instruction! So if you’re inclined in the least, begin your journey with me at http://www.womenofcaliber.com/

And that, is the rest of the story.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.