Thanks to Traction Control for the link to this video:
How To Category
TacticalPants.com gave me a pair of tactical pants to try out and review. I have been washing, wearing and torturing the pair I currently have looking for any flaws or problems. So for, I’ve got nothing. But before I tell you all about my recent tactical escapades, and after I’ve told you about all of my ordering tactical pants experiences, I want to tell you about hemming tactical pants.
When you purchase tactical pants, many of the brands you can choose from offer their pants in one unfinished length only. There are advantages to this: tall people can finally buy pants that don’t look like high-waters and short people don’t have to worry about walking the ends of the pant legs off into a ragged mess because they’ll be forced to hem the pants. Disadvantages however are that when your pants arrive, they will not immediately be available to put into commission and there is an added cost to the purchase of the pants beyond the usual tax and shipping because you’ll probably have to hire a seamstress to alter the pants. Here in Reno, Nevada the going rate for hemming of tactical pants seems to be about $10 per pair.
I took my tactical pants to a shop called Fabric Care Specialists that was recommended to me by the local bridal shop Swoon when I asked them about where to take my wedding dress. I figure if it’s good enough of a shop to handle intricate bead work and layers of tulle, it can handle tactical black. And they did; everything worked out smoothly with them. I dropped the pants off on a Saturday and they were ready on the following Thursday for pickup. I didn’t have to make an appointment with a seamstress, nor did I have to be measured. I simply brought in with the tactical pants a pair of regular pants from my closet that fit me perfectly length-wise when wearing the shoes I planned to wear with thetactical pants.
If you go the tactical pants unhemmed route like I did, here are a few things to think about when hemming your pants:
- Wash the pants first as you are going to wash them after you wear them. If you know you’re not the kind of person who usually reads the tags and follows special care instructions, now is the time to shrink the pants if they’re going to shrink at all. Any natural shrinking that happens when the pants are treated according to wear instructions also must be done now. Altering a brand new, unwashed pair of pants can end in disaster when shrinking fabric can turn a once perfect length pant into a pair of capris.
- Decide which pair of shoes you are going to wear most frequently with the pants in question. Combat boots, sneakers, heels, clogs, whatever shoes you’re going to most wear with the pants is the shoes you need to be wearing when the seamstress measures you for alterations to give you a perfect fit.
- If you’re unavailable during the times the seamstress is in the shop, ask if they’ll hem off of a sample pair of pants. My seamstress is available 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. I am not getting up that early because I work full time and go to school at night, getting home after 10 p.m. I need sleep! I’m still at my desk at 5 p.m. making an afternoon appointment as equally unworkable as a morning. Luckily, my seamstress was flexible and was able to make the alterations needed from a sample pair of pants that I made sure fit perfectly with the shoes I intended on wearing with my tactical pants.
- Shop around for a good seamstress. Tactical pants don’t come cheap and they are a bit harder to hem than pants of other materials because they are made from stiff, unique durable fabric. Additionally, if you require the side seams brought in because you have slim thighs and calves, the job becomes even more of a challenge. Be sure you pick someone who can do it right. Ask friends and family members for recommendations and check sites like yelp.com for customer reviews.
Need another way to access all of the Girls <3 Guns information about guns, open carry, concealed carry, Appleseed, etc.? Well, now you can not only read at your computer through various web browsers and on your smart phones, but also you can download PDFs of the content here.
People on dial-up, I know a few of them, can download the PDFs of my blog when “in town” on better connections to read at home in the boonies where the internet is slower. Those of us who have eReaders like the Nook will find this feature helpful as well because PDFs can be loaded onto our devices for our later reading enjoyment. Going on a trip? Bring the latest concealed carry escapade or tactical product review with you!
To download an entry, just click on the download link at the end of the entry above the comment link. A box will pop up on your screen. The box will make a PDF of the content and will display a file in it for you to save. Happy PDF-ing!
Yesterday GB got to chatting with one of his clients who told an interesting story. His father opened one of the first movie theaters in the state that they lived in at the time. The favorite movies to show: old westerns. But many of the theater patrons didn’t understand how movie projectors worked. One day, while helping his dad out at the theater, he was asked the most awesome question: “Who reloads all of those guns they shoot on the screen?”
As for me, I have to reload my guns when I shoot them. No one reloads for me. I even made a movie out of it.
The high-tech way is to buy a magazine loader. Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas!
My blog has been receiving a lot of hits from people Googling for information about which concealed carry gun to buy their girl for Christmas. The correct answer is: DO NOT BUY YOUR GIRL A CONCEALED CARRY GUN FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! Don’t buy her any guns for Christmas. No plinkster .22 handguns, no rifles, no shotguns, nada.
Now, before everyone jumps out of his tree, just hear me out on this. A gun you like, that has the stopping power you want and feels good in your hand probably won’t be the gun she likes, she can easily carry and feels good in her hands.
For example, GB carries a Springfield XD and I can’t even reach the trigger on that gun when its backstrap is properly seated in the web of my hand. Should he haul off and buy me one because it’s such a great gun and it would be a good Christmas present for me, I won’t like it. Shooting it will hurt because I won’t be able to hold it right and in an emergency, I’ll be throwing shots away because I can’t aim while wiggling my hand around the side of the handle of the gun trying to reach the trigger.
Another example is that GB carried a Bersa Thunder .380 before he got the XD. Me? I’m not carrying that thing! It pokes the crap out of me with the little nubby prominence near the hammer and the handle. If he had bought me this gun thinking it is small, easy to hold and hide, with decent stopping power in light of it’s weight, he would’ve bought me a paperweight. A gun I leave at home isn’t a good Christmas present.
One more thing to think about… You might think she needs a carry gun. What if she’s not into concealed carry and instead wants something she can hunt with? Shoot clay? Defend the house with? Plink? Attend an Appleseed shoot with? Before you think about picking up a gun for her, worry about not only if it’s the right gun for her, but also ask yourself: “is it the gun she wants?”
Do I have you talked out of buying your girl a surprise gun for Christmas yet? Good. Instead, buy her a gift certificate to her favorite gun shop and let her pick out her new present. Or, if you don’t need the “surprise” factor in your Christmas experience, sit her down, tell her your plans and invite her shopping with you to pick out her gun.
When she goes to redeem her gift card or if you take her on a non-surprise shopping spree, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- If she doesn’t (yet) shoot, go over with her some gun-store etiquette before you leave the house. Let her know the counter-person should check the gun to make sure it’s empty before handing it to her. Tell her that although it’s just been checked, she should check it too. Teach her how to check it and be prepared to be right at her side, patiently walking her through it at the store if she forgets or is unsure of herself. Train her not to sweep anyone in the shop, especially herself, you and the salesman. Demonstrate that looking down the sights is a good thing, but that it should be done when the gun is trained on an empty wall or the floor and not on any other shoppers.
- If she isn’t too green, but you still shoot more than she does, she might try to rely on your opinion because she knows your expertise is greater than hers. Do not let her do that! Because, again, a gun you like might not be the gun for her. Try phrases like, “I think it’s a good gun, but you’re the one that is going to shoot/carry it around every day. Does it fit you?” And, “What do you think, honey?”
- No matter her experience level, be sure she tries every gun on in her hands and that she can easily manipulate all of its buttons. Be sure she can reach the trigger properly, even on that first double-action shot. Please take her to a gun shop with an on-site range and pay for her to shoot her top three chosen on looks/feel/button pushing to make sure she’s going to like her present for a long time to come.
- Make sure the man behind the counter knows your honey is the boss of this shopping expedition and that he must impress her to get a gun sold to you two today. If he tries to hand you a gun out of the case, don’t take it from him. Tell him, “it’s her gun, not mine.” Force him to hand it to her. He wants to tell you about some awesome features? Bring your girl into it. “Honey, it sounds good to me, but you’re the one that’s going to be using it. What do you think?” The focus should be on her, not on you guys.
Buying your girl a gun for Christmas is one of the sweetest presents you can give her because it gives her confidence, skill, determination, protection, freedom, fun and more. But the gun is only able to give these things to her if it is the gun for her. Shopping without her there might end in you making an expensive, bad gift selection and therefore a bad purchase. To avoid such a disaster, go shopping with her and take your time in the store. Try everything on and put each selection through the paces, including shooting it. Doing this will show her you value her comfort, safety and opinion. It will make her a more confident gun-shopper and will increase the amount of brownie points you reap from Christmas gifts.
Merry Christmas! Happy Shopping!
Choosing a good shooting range bag is like choosing a good purse or a good wallet: it’s difficult. There are plenty of options out there for you, the hard part is making the choice. A question to make the choice a little easier for you is this: how organized am I?
If you’re the kind of person that has a place for everything and has everything in its place, then a range bag with a lot of pockets in all different sizes might work for you. An example of this type of bag is a 5.11 Tactical Range Ready bag, which I found for sale at 511tTactical.com (pictured at left). But, if you’re the kind of person that can find everything easier when it’s all spread out on the floor of your room or piled up on the bar in the kitchen, then maybe a range bag like Uncle Mike’s Deluxe Range Bag, which features a large, open center area with few pockets would work best for you. I found this bag, pictured to the lower right) for sale at MidwayUSA.
The second question you have to ask yourself when shopping for a range bag is: what do I plan to put in it? Most people keep their hearing and eye protection in their bag. But not everyone carries their ammo or their handguns to be fired that day in the same bag as their safety, comfort and personal gear. If you do want to keep your ammo in your range bag, be sure to look for a bag with a sturdy strap that won’t come loose due to the extra weight in the bag as well as a sturdy bottom and reinforced seams throughout. If you plan on taking your handguns with you to the range by placing them inside of your range bag, decide if you need a range bag with built-in pockets for them or if you will be using the plastic cases the guns came with or purchased separately bags to keep them protected from the other items in your bag.
Do not take handguns with you to the range loose in your range bag. You can damage the firearm this way and you can end up with something down the barrel that’s not supposed to be there. If you pull the trigger on an obstructed barrel, you can blow up your gun. The choice of how you’re carrying your handguns to the range: in the range bag or separately, and in built-in pockets or in purchased separately cases is an important safety decision.
You also have to decide how much you want to spend and if you want your bag to match your gun cases and/or your hearing and eye protection. If you want your gear to match, consider purchasing everything at the same time and from a popular, long-lived manufacturer. If you have to buy another component later, you want to make sure the company you’re going with for your uniformed look is still around when you need to buy from them. If your budget forbids you a complete shopping spree now, try to stick with a reputable company and with a line in their product catalog that they’re planning on keeping around. Hopefully you will be able to secure your complete set without experiencing a discontinued line or an out-of-business manufacturer.
Beretta makes a couple of different options for you who find matching gear important. First, is their Beretta Gold Cup Package which includes a range bag and its coordinating accessory: a long gun case. I found this set (pictured at upper left) for sale at NICA Shooting. Another option with Beretta is to buy different types of the same style of bag from them or one of their retailers. For example, I found, at NICA Shooting again, another style of range bag by them and discovered two different long gun cases which matched perfectly: the Beretta HP Small Range Bag, Beretta HP Takedown Shotgun Case and Beretta HP Shotgun Case. Mizmac has some matching rifle and pistol bags for sale in various colors and fabrics (pictured at right). You’d have to purchase a coordinating range bag separately, but it just might be worth it!
Clay shooters have matching bag options too. Cabela’s stocks a Browning Claymaster Shooting Bag, Browning Claymaster Box Shell Carrier and a Browning Claymaster Shell Pouch which are all made in the same fabric and style (not pictured).
These options can be kind of pricey. If affording a range bag is out of the question for you right now, remember that your range bag doesn’t have to be an actual range bag. For example, I am using a gear bag by Cabela’s. It works. Unofficial range bags may wear out sooner, but they’ll get the job done, at least in the short term.
The Rifleman posted over on his blog that Google offers several eBooks about guns for free. The books range from how-tos to military guides and NRA reports. They’re all older books; that’s why they’re free. To check out the list that The Rifleman compiled, go to his blog. I spend a delicious morning downloading all of the books suggested. Do I have an eReader? Nope. I plan to put these all on GB’s new Nook. Bwahahahaha.
On Twitter today, I noticed someone Tweeting about her new article: Hairstyles for the Gun Range. It’s similar to my Shooting Range Hairstyles article that I published as a page and as a blog entry back in October and about which NRA News interviewed me. The article is even signed with my initials: GG! It seems I have an alter-ego out there. Which begs the question, am I the good GG or the bad GG?
UPDATE: She sent me this on Twitter:
What should I guest blog about?
Note: This article was originally posted over at GunUp, but now I’m reposing it here to keep my articles together and organized.
You’ve decided to go to the shooting range for the first time! How cool is that. I am happy for you. Weather you’ve decided to go as part of a class, with someone you already knew or with a mentor from the gun blogger community, I hope your first time will be safe, fun and educational.
Have you decided what you’re going to wear on your first trip to the shooting range? If not, I’m going to try to be of some help for you as you decide. If so, be sure your outfit doesn’t make any of the silly mistakes I’ve mentioned below.
First up: Head
- Hair- Shooting a firearm is a process that gives off gasses which settle on your clothes, hair and skin. Plus, shooting requires your full attention, and that may be hard to give if you hair keeps falling in your face. It is a good idea to wear your hair in a ponytail, braid, bun or twist at the shooting range. Be sure to chose a hairstyle that not only protects your hair from the elements, but also keeps your hair out of your face and can accommodate wearing a hat and hearing protection.
- Hat- Wearing a hat at the shooting range has several advantages. First, it will help prevent any flying hot brass from falling down between your shooting range classes and your eyes. It sounds like a strange occurrence, but it does happen and it is not comfortable. Wearing a hat can prevent this. If you’re at an outdoor range, the hat will protect you from sunburn. It can also keep your hair neat on a windy day. At either indoor or outdoor ranges, a hat can keep some of those gasses we were talking about off of your hair.
- Eye Protection- Eye protection is a MANDATORY accessory when firing a firearm. Rifle, shotgun, pistol, .22 caliber or .45 caliber; it does not matter. Shooting causes hot gasses and hot casings to fly through the air. Our eyes are important to us and we must protect them. Appropriate eye protection for shooting has been rated as a safety eye-wear item. It does not comprise of regular or prescription sun glasses, reading glasses or eye glasses. If you do not have a pair, don’t worry they are not expensive, some ranges loan them out (call ahead) and your instructor or shooting range buddy may have an extra pair you can wear (call ahead).
- Ear Protection- “Ears,” as many shooters refer to them, are also MANDATORY safety items. They come in many styles such as ear plugs, which are squished up and inserted into the ear; over the ear hearing protection which are worn across the head and nestled onto the ears like winter weather ear muffs or a headband; custom made molded ear plugs which fit in and sometimes in and around the ear; and more! The right ears for you are ones you can afford, ones which fit you well and which protect your hearing. Some shooters wear both ear plugs and an over the ear protection simultaneously. This is especially helpful if you are shooting, or are next to someone who is shooting a gun or rifle of a larger caliber.
- Makeup- Thick, creamy foundations can trap gasses and particles which are expressed into the air at a shooting range each time a firearm fires a shot. If your skin is delicate, break-out prone or if you simply would rather skip experiencing the sensation of gasses in your makeup, skip the foundation on the day you attend the range. A mineral foundation, blush and mascara should all be okay for you to wear however.
- Sunscreen- Be sure to apply sunscreen before heading out to an outdoor shooting range. Many ranges have covered shooting benches, but you can still get a little color to you and you will probably not be in the shade when you go out to change or check your targets.
- Jewelery- Personally, I see no problem wearing jewelery to the range, with a few exceptions. One exception is if the piece is a sensitive or exceptionally sentimental one. Opals, for example, are very delicate stones and may be harmed by the activities and gasses found in a shooting range environment. Your grandmother’s wedding ring is precious and while nothing should happen to it, I’d rather you leave it at home where it will be safe. Another exception is if wearing the item of jewelery will make you uncomfortable or compromise your safety. Items such as earrings or eyebrow rings should only be worn if your piercings will not be irritated by the wearing of eye and ear protection and will not compromise the effectiveness of your eye and ear protection.
- Shirt- The top you choose to wear to the range must be a high-necked top. No, higher than that. You want something that is as close to a turtle-neck or mock turtle neck as you are willing to go. Hopefully it will cover your collar bones. It should also not be a button up top. At the shooting range, hot brass flies through the air. It’s apart of the process and the excitement. You may get hit by your own brass and by the brass of the shooter on the right or left of you if you’re not in a private shooting bay. These little pieces of hot brass have excellent cleavage aim. They will find the tiniest gap between chest and shirt and make a dive for it, causing you to do the “hot-brass-stuck-down-my-shirt-and-maybe-even-in-my-bra” dance in front of a range full of old white guys. Your shirt can be a short sleeved shirt if it is hot out. Hot brass hitting the arm isn’t as painful as hot brass down your top. If it is cold out however, or if you’re going to be shooting a right-handed rifle left-handed, try to wear a long sleeved top. Your shirt should be machine washable and not dry-clean only. It should also be a top that doesn’t dirty easily and will come clean easily.
- Some optional “shoulders” items (If you don’t know what they are or why you would need them this first range trip, you probably won’t need them and will be okay without them.): Elbow pads (for shooting in prone or off of a bench with something that will kick). Chest padded jacket, vest or shirt (for shooting something that will kick). Longish short sleeved top, long sleeved top or a shooting jacket (for putting a loop sling on when shooting prone, sitting or offhand with rifles).
- Pants- Pants are an important part of the shooting range outfit. If you show up without them, the police may be called. Your shooting range pants should be comfortable, not easily dirtied, machine washable and easy to get clean. If you will be shooting seated or prone, pants are important to wear because you don’t want to scrape your knees against the ground in these positions. When shooting seated and prone it is also a good idea to wear lose fitting or elastic pants. You want to be able to breathe smoothly and evenly while you are shooting from these positions and you want to be comfortable. If you will not be shooting seated or prone, if your range permits it and you think it’s a good idea, you can probably get away with wearing shorts and capris. If you’re brave, you might be able to pull off a skirt. At the range, you’ll probably want to sit down, so be careful when choosing light colored bottoms to wear. The seats may be dusty or dirty. You want to wear a pant that won’t stain, won’t show a stain or that you don’t care about staining.
- At the range, you will spend a lot of your time standing and you will be shooting or will be near others who are shooting. As such, your range shoes should be comfortable and should be closed-toed to avoid any hot brass touching your feet. As with all of your range clothing, they should be washable if at all possible. They too will be coated with gasses, which include lead and could use a good washing with all of your other range clothes when you arrive back home. If you foresee shooting becoming a staple in your life, you may consider having a dedicated pair of range shoes that is worn only at the range. This way, you can skip the washing step without worrying about tracking lead into the house. If you will be shooting prone at the range, be sure you’re wearing shoes you don’t mind scuffing up the toes on. Shooting seated may also scratch the sides of your shoes.
That’s it! You are completely outfitted in range clothes and safety wear and are ready to go to the shooting range. Be safe and have fun. On this first trip, use big targets, put them close to you and forget about accuracy or competition. This is about getting you safe around firearms and having a good experience. The rest will come in due time.
Once you’ve decided to go to the range, have located a suitable range near you an an optional range buddy to attend with you, the only steps left (aside from actually going) are what to wear and how to do your hair. Some of you will find this step exciting! For the low maintenance readers, it sounds silly to say “what to wear” and “how to do my hair”, when we know we’re going out shooting and not to a fancy dinner. But what you wear and how you do your hair, not only impacts how you feel that day at the range, but it also impacts how well you shoot.
You have what can be used as a deadly weapon or shot accidentally to the injury of yourself or another person in your hand. Being comfortable and safe is an important part of the range trip. If your clothes or hair present a hazard by exposing you to hot brass or obstructing your view, you will not have a good time and you will be a danger to yourself and those around you.
That said, below are some hairstyles that keep your hair from interfering with your eye and ear protection and keep your hair from getting in your way as you shoot and reload your firearm. They’re also cute! Just because you’re going to the range, you don’t have to look frumpy if you don’t want to.
1. The most common range hairstyle is the ponytail:
If you decide to go with the ponytail as your range hairdo, be sure to create the ponytail at the appropriate height on your head that it easily can be threaded through the opening in the back of your baseball cap or low enough to sit below the base of your hat, should you decide to wear one. I recommend wearing hats to the range to protect our hair from the gasses given off in the shooting process. The ponytail is perhaps the quickest and easiest range-friendly hairstyle. Even those of us with short hair can pull off a range ponytail.
Need to grow out your hair an inch or two before attempting a full ponytail? Some short-haired women can pull off wearing spiky little low-down pigtails. I recommend this for shorter hair lengths and not long ones as with long hair the pigtails will have a tendency to sweep over your shoulders and into the blast zone of shooting debris. Longer tails might also get in the way when you’re shooting and reloading and may be too hot on your neck at outdoor ranges. You can also try a half ponytail if your hair is too short to pull off a full ponytail.
Half or full pony- you can get as fancy with your ponytail as you want: braiding it, putting it into a pixie flip or twisting it are all cute options for the range and practical too as they will still keep your hair out of your face while you shoot.
2. A french braid and other types of braids would also work nicely at the range:
First up is an inverted french braid. It keeps long hair neatly tied back and out of your face, allowing you to shoot your best at the range and protecting your gorgeous locks from the harsh environment a shooting range can be.
With time and patience, you can transform your braid into an updo that would tuck nicely under your range hat. Taking your hat off for the ride home would leave you with a stylish head rather than with the dreaded hat hair!
3. If your hair isn’t so thick that a hat wouldn’t fit over a twist, the french twist would be a great range hairstyle.
If you decide the french twist is for you, use clips, combs or pins that will be comfortable against your head and easy to put a hat over.
4. Buns are also great range hair updos:
Make sure when putting your bun into place that it sits at the right spot on the back of your head to easily be fed through the hole in the back of your baseball cap. If you have thick hair, you may have to thread a ponytail through the cap and assemble the bun on the outside of the hat.
Buns can be neatly, tightly formed as if you were going into the office, or they can be messy or loose. The loose bun above will be very comfortable at the range and the messy bun below will keep your hair out of your face while showing some spunk too.
5. Go short! If you’re a wash and wear it girl with a short cut, this range hairdo is for you: shower, dry off, shove a hat on it! Want to get fancy with short hair? It’s possible too.
This pixie cut would adorn the edges of a cap, framing the face– cute!
This style is an example of how you can really go all out with a short cut. The top of the cut will be hidden by the range hat, if you’re wearing one, but the bangs in the front will peek out from the hat brim and the back of the hair will still be plainly visible. There’s something awesome about a spiky-haired woman handling a gun at the shooting range.