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Sunday, July 12, 2015

NO CONCEALED CARRY ALLOWED at Waukegan's GTR Sporting Club Grand Opening

Who would have guessed?  Why didn't GTR Sporting Club post the event's prohibition of concealed carry on their website or on their Facebook page?

I suppose it is ever possible that an unforeseen issue developed with local government after the event got underway.  Concealed carry was not a problem when I stopped in at the shooting range's Grand Opening for a short time on Friday morning; I breezed by security without incident.  I skipped the festivities on Saturday so I have no idea what they did about concealed carry for that day. When I stopped in sometime around 11:00am on Sunday, a security guard met me at the "gate" and asked if I was carrying; I answered "yes" and, as a courtesy, presented him with my FOID and Illinois Concealed Carry License.  He then explained that, due the fact that they were serving beer for the event, I would have to lock my handgun in my car.  When I explained that I did not drink (i.e., I had no intention of being in the "beer garden" area), he said that did not matter.  Not wishing to escalate a situation, I complied, entered, and sat inside by the "gate" to see what happened to other entrants.  There were only a very few attendees on Sunday between 11:00am and shortly after noon when I was there; I saw two men and one women indignantly blow off the security guard's questions and strut on through.  Other folks simply said they were not carrying; nobody's word was challenged.

IMHO, if it was at all possible to do so, GTR Sporting Club should have announced this prohibition of concealed carry well beforehand.  Knowing what I do now, in the future I will not be attending any of their special events.

When it opens for business, I feel fairly safe in assuming that GTR Sporting Club's newly completed barroom (lounge) will be a prohibited area and that all members and guests will be asked to disarm and lock their handguns in their cars before entering.  I would also assume (and I could be wrong on this) that this would not affect concealed carry for members and guests who just want to use the shooting range.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

GTR Sporting Club (an indoor shooting range with more than just a touch of class) Grand Opening July 10, July 11, and July 12, Waukegan, Illinois

Original blog entry for July 10, 2015 begins below:

I currently am a member and have gone shooting at GTR Sporting Club over twenty times since their "soft opening" somewhere around late October of 2014.  After all of that gunslinging I am still just an average shot (on my very best day), but I sure do have a lot of fun here. 

Will I renew my membership?  I dunno.  I am not into the high-end perks GTR offers; I just want a decent, affordable, place to shoot that is close to where I live. 

On the first day of the Grand Opening I managed to beat the crowd and arrived shortly after the opening bell while the crews were still cooking the food and chilling the beer; that worked out perfect for me since I am still on a diet. 

Below are some random photos sans hordes of humanity.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Range Review S&W 640-1 with Federal .357 magnum 110-grain Semi-Jacketed Hollow Points

In the comment section of my previous post, Jon T asked which load I prefer for the 640-1 (magnums or +P .38 special), and about the often-mentioned pain in my arthritic shooting hand.

Please CLICK HERE for my first blog entry regarding this S&W 640-1 magnum revolver.

Please CLICK HERE for my blog entry about a similar magnum revolver, the Ruger SP101.

My current load preference for this revolver is the old commodity grade (almost every major brand sold them at one time or another) 110-grain .357 magnum semi-jacketed hollow points.  IMHO, they are decent enough for personal defense use and the load is light enough (when used with steel revolvers) to allow me to endure range sessions of between thirty and fifty rounds before the pain (and swelling) in my hand becomes too distracting for me to continue.  It is my belief (I could be wrong) that this load has a bit more stopping power than the +P .38 Special loads.  NOTE: Many allege that prolonged use of this load on any given revolver causes flame-cutting of the top strap and / or forcing cone erosion; I cannot offer any insight on that, one way or the other.

Below are some targets and comments from a 11/29/2014 range session.

As a baseline for my range sessions, I use the Illinois Concealed Carry qualification criteria of using NRA B27 target(s) and firing thirty rounds total; ten rounds each at distances of five, seven, and ten yards (fifteen, twenty-one, and thirty feet); of the thirty rounds fired, twenty-one of the thirty rounds fired must be on paper AND inside the scoring area.

The first target, set at fifteen feet (five yards), went okay.  Eight rounds went into the "good zone" and I plunked two rounds low.   All in all, the first two cylinders (ten rounds) of .357 Magnum 110-Grain Semi-Jacketed Hollow Points did not turn out to be too bad of a start.

On the second target, set at twenty-one feet (seven yards), instead shooting two-strings of five-rounds each as intended, my mental focus sailed full speed off the rails during a "senior moment" and I fired thee cylinders (fifteen rounds total).  Anyhoo, six-rounds were in or on the line of the "good zone" and I splattered the other nine-rounds into the lower numbers.

The final target, set at thirty feet (ten yards) had only four-rounds in the "good zone" and I sprayed six-rounds high on the target into less impressive numbers.

Obviously, I have plenty of room for improvement using this revolver with this load.  The best that I can say about this range session is that all thirty-five rounds fired were "in the numbers" and no rounds were "off paper."  IMHO, the cumulative pain from recoil (and anticipating the pain) is a major distraction for me.  Centennial J-Frame revolvers have a nice, long, rolling trigger pull and the effects of cumulative pain mess with my mental focus and trigger technique.  It only takes a hint of a flinch or a bit of a wigwag for me to alter a J-Frame's point of aim.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ken Null Cross Draw XDR Holster for my S&W 640-1 J-Frame .357 Magnum

I have found that there are times in my life when the only concealed carry holster that will do is an OWB cross draw.  Until now, the only ones I managed to find were second rate or far worse.

Ken Null does beautiful, top quality work.  Old-school artisans like Ken are scarce.

This holster does not use one-size-fits-all puny sissy squishy oversized belt loops, it comes with a full belt tunnel (properly sized to my belt width) to maintain the proper holster cant.

This holster is horsehide tough.  That stitching is beyond awesome.  

I love it when my money is well spent.  I've done business with Ken before and I'll likely be doing more business with Ken again soon.  Please CLICK HERE to visit Ken Null's website.