Thursday, February 19, 2015


Zeke:  “Well, what ever happened to Two-Gun Tony?”
Bart: “He came down with lead poisoning in Sarsaparilla Springs last summer.  He’s buried in Boot Hill.”

Victim of lead poisoning - - .44 Russian

It’s common dialogue from B-grade westerns and sounds like Two –Gun Tony ran into someone faster than he was.

But if you’re a shooter lead poisoning has a more insidious meaning.  Both primers and bullets contain lead and we can ingest lead during shooting, cleaning and reloading if we are not careful.

Lead has long been known as a poison.
370BC  Hippocrates writes about health issues with lead workers.
1713  Massachusetts colony requires all stills be made from tin, not lead. (Something modern moonshiners need to remember!)
1745  Ben Franklin publishes account of lead poisoning from lead pipes used in rum still.

That’s enough history.

Symptoms of lead poisoning include:
            High blood pressure
            Joint and muscle pain
            Decline in mental function
            Memory Loss

The good news: lead poisoning, if caught in time is easy to treat.  

The best treatment is prevention. 
  • Avoid ranges with poor ventilation. 
  • Wash your hands before eating or smoking.
  • You hipsters, that means beard and mustache too.
  • Don’t eat or drink on the firing line.
  • Avoid lead dust from cleaning the range or even refurbishing the physical plant.
  • If you cast bullets, make sure you have good ventilation and stay upwind of all the vapor.
  • Same with reloading.

Even if you shoot all copper and use green, lead free components, you could be just swapping antimony for lead poisoning.  All heavy metals are poisonous to some degree.

Get a lead serum level test from your doctor.  It’s just another tube of blood when you get your cholesterol checked.

Me?  I shoot chiefly outdoors and my blood lead level is in the middle of the do-nothing range.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Basics 1

Let’s go back to basics.

There are two and only two methods of carrying a gun.  Want to take a guess to what they might be?

Concealed and un-concealed?  Nope, good try.

The two basic methods are on you and off of you.  Here are some examples:

On you
Off of you
Strong side holster
Purse/shoulder bag
Ankle holster
Shoulder holster
Computer bag
Fanny Pack
Glove compartment

fanny pack holster
The fanny pack.  This one has a lot going for it. It's not tactical black, fits a Kahr 9mm and has room for a reload and smallish flashlight.
It appears the major difference is ease of draw.  Not so, the major difference is the ease at which you can be separated from the gun.  Being separated from the gun is equivalent to loss of control. 

Bad things occur when you lose control of your firearm.  Here’s a few examples:

Here a 3-year old playing in his mother’s purse finds a 9mm semi-auto and shoots both Mom and Dad.  Fortunately, everyone survives.

purse holster
Many women carry a gun in the purse.  it's not the best, but given todays fashions it might be the only realistic option.  In any case, its much better than simply dropping the gun in the purse's main compartment.  

The son unzips the special pocket in the carry purse and accidentally shoots and kills mom while shopping.

The police chief, dressing for work, reports he moves the gun, which was in the bed where his wife was sleeping and the gun discharged.  She survives.

Of course there are problems with on the body holsters:

holster under cover shirt
One of the two most common strong side carries.  this one is in-the-pants, the other is out-of the -pants.  One question, how do I draw the gun and flashlight?

The officer was apparently attempting to draw the gun and place it somewhere else and pulled the trigger.

Somehow the gun was dropped out of a holster (not identified), discharged and injured a cashier.

I’m sure you can find more examples on your own. 

This is a small mini-purse for the business person.  It has room for a couple months worth of calendar,  paper, pens and a small semi-auto inback of the paper sheets.

But in all these cases, the gun owner did something stupid to cause the gun to discharge.  In the off-body cases, someone not authorized to access the gun gets the gun and causes the problem.

Carrying the gun with the trigger guard covered by a holster on yourself is the best and safest option.  Make sure the holster fits the gun and that you wear them properly.