If one wants to be an owner of firearms for self defense, whether just at home or also carrying while out and about, there is a moral responsibility charged to you from within the firearms community to get training and continue to practice. It is not enough to know where the safety is; understanding how your chosen tool mechanically functions, and things you can do to make you a better owner are critical. For example: carrying a spare magazine. It is there to serve as a source of ammunition should your first magazine fail or you find yourself the target of multiple assailants. On sights: if you can’t see them clearly, speak to a certified firearms instructor or do some google research. XS Big Dot would be a foot set in that instance, but for most of us, 2 or 3 dot sights will be fine.
Day or night sights? I prefer night sights but know this: if you can’t clearly identify your target, don’t shoot.

On firearm mods: again, consult with some instructors and do some google research to see what others are doing. Be cautioned: you should run at least a few hundred rounds through before you decide to change anything. The problem, like a stiff or heavy trigger, may work itself out during the break in process.

Mods I recommend:

1. Sights-if you don’t like the factory sights, find another set

2. Grips-if the gun slips out of your hand or is uncomfortable, find a set of grips that work or apply grip tape (most polymer pistols don’t have removable grips)

3. Action enhancement package-a smoothing of the “action”.  Includes trigger, trigger bar, hammer, and sear (hammer and sear if hammer fired)

4. Extra magazines and extra magazine springs-Magazine bodies and followers generally don’t wear out that often, but the springs sure as heck do.  Have extra springs for your magazines, they are much cheaper than you buying another magazine.

5. Extra parts for your firearm-extra springs, guiderod, bushing (1911 style pistols), action parts

My personal favorite is the Beretta 92FS.  After spending a butt load of time and thousands of rounds on one in the Corps (technically an M9, barely different) I decided to buy one.  A quick list of the things around it, from the top right running clockwise are: add-on SGS-type Compensator, Surefire rail adapter, Surefire X200 Flashlight, and a spare 9mm magazine.  I’ve got about 15 magazines somewhere in my house, only 4 are loaded with 9mm ammo right now.  The rail adapter clamps on to the trigger guard and the light clamps on to that, so you have a flashlight on your pistol.  Useful at night INSIDE your house.  Don’t go outside your house after someone, and don’t use this like a “flashlight” inside your house or you might find yourself pointing a pistol at a loved one just to make sure they’re a loved one.


So in summary: be a responsible owner by getting training, keep practicing, modify your firearm for your needs.  If you need mental health help, go get some.

6 Years ago, in the greater Fallujah area

Sometimes I wonder where this kid is, what he’s up to, and if anything I did ever made a difference to him.  We were visiting houses that day and I usually interacted with kids and younger family members while my platoon commander or section leader questioned the eldest male present.

I miss deploying and being a Grunt.  I would miss my wife and kids more, but I miss being an Infantryman and doing Infantry stuff nonetheless.