My other hobby.

Took the General Class ham radio exam on Saturday down in Rock Hill, SC. at the YCARS ham radio club. Completely packed house. Must have been 30-40 people taking tests. They actually had to have some people wait for tests to become available. I wasn’t real confident as I was only pulling low to mid 80’s on my practice tests. I’d pass 5 tests and then get “that” test where I’d fail it by one or two questions. Never passed a practice test with less than 5-6 questions wrong. Anyway, day started off wrong. I was filling out the form and got over-zealous. I marked that I passed the General Class exam by accident on the bottom half. Thought I was marking what test I was taking. Told the proctors I’d re-do the paperwork, but they just said to take the test and if there were problems, I could re-do the paperwork afterwords. Anyway, got started and 10 questions into the exam, I knew I had “that” exam. By question 25, I was telling myself that I couldn’t miss anymore or it was a “FAIL”. Three more questions that I swear I can’t ever remember seeing through my studying or practice tests and I was sunk. Turned the test in and had to wait about 40 minutes for it to be graded. When they called my name, I almost grabbed a new form to fill it out because I was so sure I failed it. Got up to the person who called my name and he said “Congratulation, you passed. Do you want to take the Extra class exam?” I think I had a blank look on my face for a few seconds before I just said “No thanks, I didn’t think I passed this one.” Finally got up the nerve to ask how many I missed. He pulled out my sheet and said “Two”. Got out to my car, thanked God for his help and made my way home.

Now it’s time to start studying for Extra class. Next exam is in February. Not sure that’s enough time, but who knows.

Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!


IDPA Match at Central Carolinas Shooting Club 12/8/12

Had a good time at the monthly CCSC IDPA match on Saturday. Didn’t do terribly. I had one miss on the first stage (I was the first shooter) on a single turn drop turner. My friend told me that I had the first shot off in plenty of time, but I kinda froze on my second shot. I guess I just didn’t trust it and it cost me the miss. For the rest of the match, no procedurals, no safety violations, no hits on a non-threat and my accuracy was not too bad. I don’t think I did as well as I did at Mecklenburg Wildlife two weeks ago, but I think I shot way out of my normal capabilities there. I guess we’ll see when the scores come in. (Edit:Scores in, I came in 4th out of SSP Marksman class out of 7 shooters and tied for 13th most accurate out of 44 shooters).

I did have another first this match. My first prone stage. I’ve never had to shoot from the prone position and was a bit worried about getting into position and above all, safety, but it seems like it went ok. My shots were a bit lower than normal. Not sure if that is a function of being prone, or just the novelty of it. Guess I’ll figure it out as I do it more often.

Really enjoyed shooting with some good folks who I haven’t shot with since the summer, so that was nice. It’s always good to catch up with folks to see how they’ve been doing and I learned about Glock Shooting Sports Foundation shoots. I don’t have a Glock (I used to have a G19), but in the future, it may be something I look into.

Well, that’s it for me, remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

IDPA match at Mecklenburg Wildlife Defensive Shooters

I know, it’s been a long time since my last post. Actually, this isn’t my first match since my last post. I did shoot at Central Carolinas Shooting Club back on the second Saturday in November as well. It went as well as could be expected for not shooting a match since May. No safety violations, no hits on a non-threat, no procedural penalties, no failures to neutralize, and only 1 miss on a target that was 3/4 covered by hard cover. Still, I placed last for my classification in Stock Service Pistol. At CCSC, the thing I was most worried about was making sure I slowed down, doing things right, and not making a mistake.

Today, I picked up the speed a little bit, but still tried to stay somewhat accurate. Again, no safety violations, no hits on a non-threat, no procedural penalties, no failures to neutralize, but 3 misses on targets behind cover. One of them, I almost talked myself into taking another shot at it (it was the last target in the stage), but I talked myself out of it. I should have taken the shot. Could have saved myself close to 2 seconds.

Anyway, it was a really good match with pretty challenging stages. Of the 6 stages, 5 had moving targets or had you shooting targets while on the move. One stage had a steel pepper popper stop plate about 25 yards out. Thought I was going to blow that stage, but hit the steel on the first shot. That surprised me a lot. I usually freeze on those long range shots like that.

So, the scores came in and I was 199.66 seconds and down 42 points. This put me in seconds for Marksman Stock Service Pistol. Don’t think I’ve ever come in that high before. I was 13th in overall accuracy out of 82 shooters and 6th out of SSP shooters.

I’ll definitely take that for my second match back. Hopefully I can continue to improve and get better, but truthfully, I really just like being out and shooting with good friends and having a good time.

Well, that’s it for me. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

Did a little shooting today

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted.Not much going on. I’ve done some practice shooting in the past couple of weeks, but have been focused on a side project.

I have been studying to get my technician class ham radio license. I have a background in electronics through the Navy and took a year at ECPI for computer electronics after I got out of the Navy. I seriously considered getting my license back in the 90’s, but got sidetracked with other things and never could get the morse code part figured out. Well, they’ve dropped morse code as a requirement a couple years ago. So, I figured it was time to get it knocked out.

A couple weeks of studying to get back on track with the electronics portion which was pretty much easy review and then getting the other parts understood, I took the test on October 6th down in Rock Hill at their Hamfest. I was a little nervous when I turned the test in. Didn’t get nearly as many electronics questions as I had been getting using the various online practice tests on the web. Still, can’t complain. I missed 3 out of 35. You need a minimum of 26 to pass. I received my call-sign on Thursday. I am KK4LZN. I am starting to study for the General class license now. The administrators asked me if I wanted to test for it after passing the Technician license. Glad I didn’t try it. When I got home, I took a practice test and only got 17 right. So, after a week of roughly a half-hour a night of studying, I’m up to a whopping 22-23 correct on the practice tests. Lots of formulas to remember. Looks like I’ll try this exam on December 16th back down in Rock Hill.

Now it’s time to start figuring out what kind of rig to get setup with. I figure at least a handheld for some mobile applications and there are a multitude of those available from Yaesu, Kenwood, Alinco, and Icom etc. Then there are the station class type radios to setup at home, so there will be a lot of research going on. It’s mind-boggling the possibilities. Probably as many or more possibilities of transceivers/amplifiers/antenna combinations as there are guns/holsters/ammo combinations.

Which brings me back to the point. I did do a little shooting today. It has been a while, but I did put 100 rounds down range today through my Pro and my 9c. I started out with the Pro at 7 yards. I put 15 rounds into the -0 zone in a decent pattern (although still left). Pushed the target out to 10 yards and put 35 rounds at the head zone. Of those 35, 32 were hits, 2 were low and left into the -1 zone, and 1 was a a miss left that I called. I snatched the trigger. I have a bad habit of doing that still.

Pulled the target back up to 7 yards and switched out to my 9c everyday carry firearm. Put 10 rounds into the -0 zone fully supported and 5 more strong hand only. Felt pretty good about that, but I know my weak hand is well, WEAK! I finished up putting the last 35 rounds down range weak hand. Of those 35 rounds, 27 managed to make it into the -0 zone, while 8 stayed in the -1 zone. Maybe it really is time for me to get one of those hand trainers. I am trying hard to just squeeze the trigger with my index finger while not trying to squeeze the rest of my fingers. That is a lot damn harder than it sounds, especially when using your weak hand.

Anyway, that’s it for me. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

Not much to post about lately.

Been working with my new Smith and Wesson M&P Pro 9mm. I had been looking for one of these for a while and finally found one. Picked it up and have about 400 rounds through it so far. Shoots much better than I do. Lately I’ve not beenĀ  using the IDPA paper target but a different target that has 6 circle, triangle, and square targets. I’ve been transitioning from target to target between each shot and working on transitions. First time I did it was pretty bad. I was pulling a lot of shots low and left. I guess I was still getting used to the reset point of the trigger. Yesterday was much better. I still had several pulled low and left, but not nearly as bad as two weeks ago, so maybe it’s getting better. I’m going to continue this for another couple hundred rounds then go back to my IDPA target. Other than that, not much to report. I’m still not going out to shoot in the sun as it still gives me migraines. Wish I could figure it out, but it looks like it’s going to take a bit longer.
Well, that is it for me. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!

New video segments I’ve been watching

As I was browsing through the interwebz, I found a new “shooting show”. Well, it’s an internet show called Trigger Time TV. It’s hosted by the owner of Cross Breed Holsters (Highly recommend the Supertuck), Mark Craighead. He also has a bunch of other talent including Rob Pincus, Jim Gilliland, Brannon LeBouef, Jabo Long, and Jason Redding.

The goal of the show is to:

  • Showcase a variety of shooting personalities
  • Entertain audiences with dynamic techniques
  • Provide real world safety & training practices
  • Educate a gun loving population on proper handling
  • Introduce new shooters to a plethora of equipment
  • Offer advanced tips for high level marksmen

The show is basically broken down into four segments. Each segment so far has dealt with the following:

Segment A has been about carry options and home defense.

Segment B has been about preparatory planning and survival.

Segment C has been about holster selection and options.

Segment D has been about shooting and marksmanship.

I’ve watched all three episodes and have enjoyed them very much and do recommend them. You can find them at or over at their youtube channel at

That’s it for me. Remember, shoot safe, shoot straight!