If you don’t want to get shot don’t try to stab people

Trying to stab people who carry guns is generally a bad idea:


All the odd red dots are the result of getting shot while trying to stab a bunch of people with a knife.

For the past three days I have been taking a class, Street & Vehicle Tactics with a bunch of other guys. One of the things we did was work at the Tueller Drill from both sides while being watched and coached. Today we finished up the training using Airsoft guns and (extremely soft) plastic knifes to make it as realistic as possible.

Everyone were pretty good shooters and with some training and coaching we could survive a bad guy with a knife suddenly charging at us from far less than 21 feet. At 21 feet it was trivial to draw from concealment and put a half dozen rounds into someone’s chest before they reached you. We also learned that at less than arms length away your neck could easily be sliced open before you had time to flinch.

Also interesting thing was that no one I talked to remembered seeing or using their sights. At those ranges you just pointed and shot. And you would get good hits too. The only misses I saw were when the shooter stepped off to one side and shot as the bad guy was moving past.

Just how difficult is it to draw and shoot when someone is charging at you? How much time do you really have? What can you do beside just stand there and shoot? It was really good information to know.

But what I found most interesting was that by doing so many repetitions that it almost got routine. I started to get relaxed rather than getting stressed. Then, “Now I remember! I can move faster when I am relaxed.” Deliberately relaxing my muscles and having an almost detached state of mind I could put more rounds into my target or let him start from a much closer position and still get shots on target before he could get to me.

Boomershoot 101

This last weekend I put on a trial class I called Boomershoot 101: Target Production, High Intensity, and Intro to Long Range.

The students made the reactive targets from basic chemicals (photos by Brian, Chris, and Kim):




They learned safe gun handling and how to shoot an AR-15:



They distributed targets:


They had their own High Intensity event:




They learned the basics of long range shooting (and several claimed they could never hit anything that far away):




They all connected with 7” targets (and some with 4” targets) at 373 yards. And we have the smiles to prove it:


We all learned a lot. I will modify the class with what I learned for the next set of students. And before long I will subject this set of students to Boomershoot 102: Long Range Math.

Rounds in the last month

I reloaded 797 rounds of .40 S&W this month. It was all 180 grain Montana Gold JHP to be used for practice at indoor ranges. This was not nearly as much as I had hoped for. Things have been very busy on a variety of fronts and I just didn’t have the time to reload as much as I wanted. I did most of my practice with a .22 pistol instead of the .40.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 4,813 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1,591 rounds.
40 S&W: 83,504 rounds.
45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 114,312 rounds

Friends don’t let friends use Serpa holsters

If you have a Serpa holster please throw it away. Tell others to throw theirs away. Don’t go shooting with people who use Serpa holsters.

If I know you well enough I’ll tell you the story as to how I came to this very firm conclusion via an email request. Otherwise ask me at match or other shooting event. I won’t be blogging about it.

I was not injured.

Update: Apparently some people aren’t familiar with Serpa holsters:


The gun is locked into the holster until you depress the unlocking lever with your index finger. You must keep it depressed until the gun is withdrawn maybe an eighth of an inch. What ends up happening is that the index finger keeps on pressing as the gun is completely removed from the holster. There have been many cases of there being an accidental discharge during the draw because the index finger ends up on the trigger and putting sufficient pressure on it to fire the gun before the gun is pointed away from the shooter.

In the report I have in hand what is believed to have happened was the shooter was moving the gun in and out of the holster practicing the release of the lock. When his finger entered the trigger guard on the partial draw and he then pushed the gun back into the holster catastrophe happened. The shooter survived and probably will make an, essentially, full recovery.

Another ASI match

Last Saturday Ry and I went to an ASI match at the Renton Fish and Game Club. This was my third and Ry’s first match of this type. We were not happy with a few safety issues that happened with our RSO officers. There was no one in real danger but some rules were broken and contrary to every other match I have been to they blew me off (in a friendly manner) when I gently pointed out one of them.

The match itself was good. The stages were interesting enough yet simple such that beginners wouldn’t have a problem with them. I came in 10th out of 65. If I hadn’t just barely nicked a no shoot target I would have came in 6th. And it annoys me they assigned the penalty as a procedural on a different stage (no difference in my final score). And they also misspelled my name. But that’s minor stuff.

I wouldn’t bothered with making a video but I had invited my team at work to watch and/or participate at the match and Caity told me that she and Kelsey were going to some sort of women’s conference. I joked that the match would be more fun. She joked back that she would take pictures and we could compare on Monday. So… I had to make a video:

Shooter POV Action Shooting International Match from Joe Huffman on Vimeo.

Caity took one boring picture. I won.

I found another one

A little over three years ago I reported that I found a Winchester primer without a anvil. I found another one today. The primer on the left is normal. The one on the right is missing the anvil:


I searched through my log files for all the rounds I have reloaded with WSP (Winchester Small Pistol) primers. I have reloaded 62,719 of them and found two missing anvils. While rare it does seem like a more frequent event that I would have expected.

Rounds in the last month

In May I didn’t start reloading until the 15th. Boomershoot recovery contributed to the late start. As did another trip to Idaho to replace some Wi-Fi equipment at the Boomershoot shooting line, Boomershoot inventory, and cleaning up things at Mecca.

My supply of practice .40 S&W ammo got to emergency levels with as little as 200 rounds at one point. I reloaded 1499 rounds in May and even with using the .22 for much of my practice I still consider my practice .40 S&W ammo to be at critical levels. I’m hoping to catch up soon.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 4,813 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1,591 rounds.
40 S&W: 82,507 rounds.
45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 113,315 rounds.

That will probably never happen again

I participated in the USPSA match at Marysville today. It was raining as I left home and was still raining as I arrived nearly an hour later. I had checked the weather forecast the night before and it said it would stop raining by 9:00 AM. I had not brought a rain coat. But I hadn’t checked the forecast before I left either. I checked again. The rain was to stop by 9:15. At 9:15 it was still raining..The forecast now said the rain was to stop by 9:45.

The rain tapered to a slight mist by 10:00 and I avoided spending a miserable match in wet clothes. And to my surprise only 36 people showed up for the match. It has been a long time since there were fewer than 100 people have been at the matches I have attended there. I suspect it was the rain that kept most of the people away or perhaps there was a major match someplace that drew them away.

I had practiced some last week but I was very slow compared to what I had been a couple months ago. I just couldn’t consistently get good hits when I would try to shoot fast. I stayed slow for the match. I would rather do poorly because I shot slowly than do poorly because I had tons of misses. A miss is an unforced error.

I still had three misses for the match. One was just barely a miss outside of an A-Zone covered by hard cover on both sides via a highly angled shot taken from a narrow port. Okay, that error is almost forgivable. The other two of those were overlooked steel targets that were some sort of mental block that affected about 25% of our squad.

I think I was the first one to do it and the range officer smirked at my error. The targets were wide open, directly in front of me, as I finished shooting. Later on, I was his R.O. and he did the same exact same thing!

The picture above and the two below are the same stage. It is a run and gun stage. You run down the path, shooting targets on both sides, make a right turn, continue shooting on both sides and then shoot bunch of targets at the very end of the path. For an old guy I can start, run, and stop pretty good. And if I can get close to the targets I can shoot A’s at about 3/4 of my top speed. This was my type of stage. This gave me the Limited Division stage win.


There were 20 targets, 40 rounds minimum, in this stage.

The stage above was the most difficult. On the extreme left there is a vertical sliding panel you open by pulling a rope down with two targets behind it. On the extreme right is a spring loaded door with two targets behind it. In between are a complex setting of steel and paper targets scattered among many obstacles. You must shoot all the targets without going forward of the yellow fault line. As you move from side to side just a foot or two a multitude of targets appear and disappear. It is extremely easy to overlook a target or think you haven’t shot a target and waste time shooting a target more times than needed. I saw one target that had been shot six times by someone when only two shots were required. I saw many, many shooters think they were done and had left one or more targets untouched. Looking at the stage results I see some shooters had four, six, eight, and even 14 misses on this stage. It took me almost 53 seconds to complete this stage but I did it without misses and with good hits (27 As, one B, and five Cs). This put me ahead of some people (in other divisions) who shot it in less than half my time. This also gave me a Limited Division stage win.

This is the stage where the mental block occurred. In the distance there are three steel targets that when fallen reveal a smaller steel target behind them. The act of falling takes time. So I, and many others, shot the big targets first, and continued on to a bunch of other targets behind the barricade to the distant left. We then came back to shoot the moving target just to the right of the steel targets. This mover was activated by one of the steel targets. We shot the moving target and declared ourselves finished without shooting all the small steel targets. I think the mental block was because of the moving target distracting us plus we had already mentally cleared the area when we dropped the big steel targets. I had a decent time but the misses dropped me to fifth out of nine Limited Division shooters.

This was a hallway we entered through the door and then shot targets through windows on either side of the hallway and through two windows at the end of the hallway. See the picture below for a look down the hall.

I thought I did pretty good on the stage until I heard my time. It took me almost 22 seconds for the 32 shots. The Limited Division stage winner did it in under 19 seconds with better hits than me.

This stage is where I had my other miss. Behind the green obstacles in the center is a target similar to the one just visible to the right of the obstacles. I shot it from the diagonal slot in the barricade on the right. I didn’t quite (probably about 1/16th of an inch short) break the black area of the target to claim an A-zone hit. The Texas star on the distant right can be challenging. I saw one shooter (with an Open Class gun!) take close to ten shots to drop the last plate as it swung back and forth through a 180+ degree arc. I managed to knock down all 15 pieces of steel in this stage with one shot each. This saved me one reload and although it seemed slow to me, 40.93 seconds for 37 shots, I completed the stage 3.6 seconds ahead of the next fastest shooter in my division. Even with the miss this gave me the stage win in Limited Division!

This was the classier stage, The Roscoe Rattle. There are two strings to this stage. The first string is to turn, draw, and put six rounds into the center target. The next string is to turn, draw, put six rounds into the left most target, reload, and put six rounds into the right most target. Speed is very important on this stage. There is no problem solving with opportunities to do reloads while you are moving between shooting positions. There is no running. There are no complex shots where I can take advantage of my height to lean around barricades or shoot over obstacles. You just have to shoot fast and not hit the no shoot targets. I sped up my shooting from the previous stages but not nearly enough to make up for the dropped A-zone hits. I had 8 As, 9 Cs, and one D hit in a total of 12.87 seconds. According to the USPSA this is a low C class result (45.9136%, where C class is 40% to 59.9%). But it was good enough for a distant second place Limited Division finish for the stage.

I didn’t didn’t have any clues about how I was doing at the match except for my squad. I knew I was doing okay in my squad but I also knew there were two other squads which had Limited Division shooters. I knew my shooting was below what I knew I could do if I had been practicing more. I left the match feeling sort of blah. Not bad. I hadn’t screwed up too badly. And I knew did fairly good on a couple of the stages. But I had no idea I had won three of the stages. I have never, ever, won even one stage at a Marysville match. I attribute the wins to the poor match turn out.

It turns out, that in addition to winning three stages, I won my division by a good margin! I have not even fantasized about winning my division at this club and this will probably never happen again.

Holding my own in Action Shooting International

I shot in another ASI match yesterday at Renton Fish and Game Club. I did about the same as I did last time. I came in 5th out of 69 shooters. I had six seconds of penalties in a five stage match.

I prefer USPSA matches because of the added complexity and problem solving required. But I still have fun with ASI.

Rounds in the last month

After reloading 300 rounds of .223 I started reloading .40 S&W to practice for Steel Challenge and USPSA matches. I reloaded 750 rounds before Boomershoot consumed all my spare time.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 4,813 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1,591 rounds.
40 S&W: 81,080 rounds.
45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 111,816 rounds.

Boomershoot 2018 smile

Here is one of the Boomershoot 2018 Personal Fireballs and the resultant smile:


Also of interest is this is an immigrant from Venezuela and told me in email:

I hope some day to I can contribute to this great country,  my city and community  and  defending the second amendment, as much as you do.

Boomershoot 2018 report

Boomershoot 2018 was a big success!

There were a few minor glitches like the guy that got his trailer and pickup stuck and I had to get a tractor to pull him out. Somehow the number of stakes at the tree line was miscounted and we had a few too many stakes for the number of Sunday targets (879). I changed the way we put the explosives in the boxes which resulted in more explosives per box. No big deal but I forgot to update my spreadsheet with the new weight of the explosives per box. This meant we used up all of the secret ingredient and Barb had to run into town to buy some more. We used up all but about two pounds of the Potassium Chlorate and all but 150 pounds of the Ammonium Nitrate when I thought I would have enough left over for my summer recreational use. I expect there were a few sunburns. I got a small burn on my thumb from lighting a road flare with my lighter. The U-Haul trailer door broke on Saturday and we had to strap things in to make sure they didn’t slide out. The box of flares for the Sunday fireball was misplaced and we scrounged up flares from other other sources. The Wi-Fi was extremely flakey and essentially unusable.

All glitches cause some stress but we found workarounds for most things and there was no significant ill consequences.

But the targets had a very high detonation rate and several people told me they had more boom than normal. This wasn’t just because of the slight increase in the amount of explosives. I think it was the new chemical supplier and/or the new packing method. One longtime boomershooter told me, “Those were the best boomers I have ever shot.” That was my impression too.

The two personal fireballs and the Sunday event fireball all worked on the first try. This was the view from the shooting line 10 minutes into the Sunday event:


Pro For Sho ear protection

I recently received an email from Michelle of Pro For Sho asking if I would be interested in reviewing their ear protection.

I expressed my interest because of the mention of rifle shooting and their website was up front about their product being useful for shooting.

I frequently put in plugs rather than try to work around the bulky external muffs required to get good protection. And besides, they are claiming 34db NRR when my go-to muffs for pistol shooting when I am alone (Pro Ears) are at best 30db (title says 30db, but the text of the description says 26db) NRR.

I received them today and tried them on. As I expected, they cannot compare to Pro Ears in the softness of the material around the ears (they are amazing!). But they are better than a lot of muffs I have used and I expect they will be comfortable with the one or two hour sessions I have when using passive muffs.

I put on some loud music with plenty of high frequency content and compare the two sets of muffs. I couldn’t determine which were better.

But, my real test was, “Will they allow me to shoot a rifle?”

Here is a picture of my Pro Ears muffs next to the Pro For Sho muffs:


This is a huge difference in clearance between your head and the rifle stock. I got out my rifle in Bellevue (I have another rifle in Idaho I should try it with as well) with the least clearance. As expected the Pro Ears were being pushed up by the stock. The Pro For Sho muffs just barely touched. It’s a win!

Additional information from Michelle:

I just want to mention, since we keep getting a lot of similar feedback from our customers, I think it’s necessary to point out that due to the High NRR Ratio, if you find the earmuffs a bit snug when you first start using them, it’s totally normal. It will loosen up over time. Please FIRST double check to make sure you fully adjust the length of the earmuffs by sliding the cup up and down to find a better fit.

Just in case the earmuffs are still tight, we always suggest to stretch them to make it more comfortable. If the earmuffs are still tight after you fully adjust it, take the earmuffs out and clamp it over the box and let it sit overnight. It worked great with most of our customers who tried it.

MORE INFO ABOUT OUT PRODUCT (just want to save your from checking other resources online 😉

We have two types/sizes of Pro For Sho Shooting Hearing Protection Earmuffs:

1. Pro For Sho 34dB Shooting Ear Protection – Special Designed Ear Muffs Lighter Weight & Maximum Hearing Protection

This comes in one size only, which is Standard Size.

This is a more compact sized earmuffs, which is available in 10 different colors.

2.  Pro For Sho All Terrain Safety Ear Protection

This comes in Large Size and has an NRR of 32dB.

This was also designed with larger ear cups.

This one is specifically built for larger head size, available only in black color.

I would like to point out that the Small size actually is the Standard size which is designed for a universal fit, and the Large size should be Extra Large size. Since Amazon only offers a very limited option of the Size Variation, we had to use Small and Large instead of Standard and Extra Large. We already tried coordinating with Amazon to address this issue.

Shooting in the rain

Today I participated in a Steel Challenge match at Renton Fish & Game Club. It was a very rainy day and participation was down from normal.

They put up awnings and with rain gear from head to toe I stayed dry. My fingers got a little cold when I was running the scoring tablet or the timer and couldn’t wear my gloves. But I was comfortable enough.

The bays had huge puddles of water in them (or “Almost pond status.”, as Barb described bay 4):

Bay 1.

Bay 2.

Bay 3.

Bay 4.

Bay 5.

Bay 6.

I had a few problems with some of my magazines. Some of the magazines for the Ruger Mark III 22/45 and one of the STI DVC magazines were slow to push the rounds up after the one on top was removed. Two weeks ago I had that problem with the Ruger magazines at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club. I cleaned all the rimfire magazines with an ultrasonic cleaner and lubricated them with a Teflon Non-Stick Dry Film Lubricant. I figured they were all good to go. But they weren’t. And the one STI magazine had the same problem. After the first stage I put all the slow magazines aside and didn’t have any more problems. Those magazine are going to get some special attention from me to make sure they don’t cause problems again.

As I was shooting the match everything felt really slow. I realized the targets were smaller than what we usually have at Holmes Harbor and the spread of the targets was sometimes much larger, but it seemed like I had to really slow down to get consistent hits.

I thought I did okay. I only had one direct competitor in my squad with the centerfire pistol iron sights category. And no competitors with my rim iron sighted gun. Most were shooting open division guns and rifles. So it was a little tough to tell.

Taking into account my equipment problems and things seeming to take longer than they should I was quite surprised to find I won both of my divisions:

Rimfire Pistol Iron
Final Name USPSA Class Division Time Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Focus Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6
1 Huffman, Joe U RPI 117.53 22.48 17.79 19.69 16.73 18.74 22.10
2 Sasaki, Jack U RPI 127.37 27.22 19.36 20.34 15.90 20.43 24.12
3 Schneider, Milton U RPI 148.33 26.65 22.26 22.40 27.17 22.76 27.09
4 Schneider, Jo U RPI 210.86 42.19 26.95 25.16 36.52 42.06 37.98


Centerfire Pistol Iron
Final Name USPSA Class Division Time Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Focus Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6
1 Huffman, Joe U CPI 145.91 27.07 27.92 21.73 21.00 20.23 27.96
2 McClaine, Seth U CPI 200.98 45.33 28.86 30.23 28.66 34.01 33.89
3 Helsen, Mark U CPI 209.69 36.04 25.00 31.52 36.88 41.91 38.34
4 Bell, Richard U CPI 361.17 53.43 82.47 58.15 38.96 75.79 52.37
5 Meboe, Oscar U CPI 366.10 65.64 40.13 48.39 65.04 74.83 72.07
6 Sharpe, HUnter U CPI 87.70

I have never won a match, of any type, at Renton before. It guess it was worth it to shoot in the rain when a lot of the competition was smart enough to stay at home and keep warm and dry.

With six stages and four strings of five shots each this means I averaged 0.979 seconds per shot with rimfire and 1.216 seconds per shot with centerfire. Compare this to the typical times at a Holmes Harbor match of 0.637 seconds per shot and 0.770 seconds per shot. Yes, I actually was shooting a lot slower. And by comparing the pictures of the stages you can see why.

Rounds in the last month

I still did a lot of prepping of .223 brass this month but I also did a fair amount of reloading. I reloaded 1195 rounds of .223. I’m going to do a little more .223 then I have to switch back to .40 S&W as I am running out of practice ammo.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 4,513 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1,591 rounds.
40 S&W: 80,258 rounds.
45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 110,766 rounds.

In somewhat related news a co-worker told everyone at the team meeting today that if there were a zombie apocalypse he was going to find me. As he is about 6’ 6” tall, smart, and regularly practices martial arts I could see there being some potential for their being a mutually beneficial relationship in such an event.