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Monthly Archives: June 2009

I think one of the secrets to keeping a database of how much ammo you have on hand is to not have eighty-billion brands lying around. I have a case each of Wolf and Barnaul 7.62×39, but excluding that probably 2/3 of my ammo is WWB. However, due on one hand to having to get whatever I can find (which is why I have at least four brands of .380 right now) and on the other to an ill-advised period of experimentation with .22lr ammo, my spreadsheet is LONG.

Really, I’m happy with WWB for any centerfire handgun practice ammo. It’s cheap, (relatively) plentiful, and easy to ID on the shelf. Speer Lawman looks impressive, but is hard to find and only comes in 50-rd boxes. Prvi Partizan makes me feel happy*. Other than that, I don’t really care about other brands.

As for rimfire, I avoid Remington and Winchester at all costs. Federal for bulk and CCI for specialty (Stinger, CB Long, Mini-Mag, Shotshell) are fine by me.

Sigh. Maybe I’ll just gather up my miscellaneous ammo and use it for when I take new shooters, reserving my favorite brands for a stash.


As part of my job, I got to take a field trip to our local state police academy last week. After a tour of the facilities and information about the program recruits go through and a session learning about the canine training unit (very impressive!), they let us use their shooting simulator.

The system is called MILO and essentially you’re watching an interactive movie while holding a gun that transmits data back to the computer (and does not transmit bullets to the screen; I inspected the chamber first). After a few warm-up demonstrations involving hitting targets, I got to try a few missions.

First was a traffic stop on two surly white guys in fatigues out in the middle of the woods. The driver had a warrant out and so I took him to the back of the car, all the while covering him with my pistol. The back right of his jacket was hiked up and he had a vertical line in the bottom right…I instinctively said out loud that he had a gun back there. However, I never got to find out: while I was looking closely, his passenger got out, called me [a bad name] and shot me before I realized what was going on.

On the second, I was the point man checking out a report of a man with a bat terrorizing the building. When I rounded the last corner, I saw him standing with his back to me, leaning over a woman with his bat raised. Again, I took too long to realize what was going on and he’d smashed her head in before I started firing. Fortunately for my self-esteem, though, my co-workers did similarly on their own missions, with only one of them shooting the bad guy before he killed a victim.

In both cases, the computer recorded my shots as either missing or just grazing the guy. This was a pretty big wake-up call. I’ve read up on what to do, spent time thinking about what to do, and practice shooting on a regular basis. However, in a real-time simulation, I’m not quick off the mark and I’m inaccurate with a laser gun. These are things that can be fixed, but not overnight.

Maybe it’d be worthwhile to get a Wii, especially if they have some similar kind of trainer. The sergeant in charge told us that their record on the target shooting had been set just a few days earlier by a seventeen-year-old recruit, beating the previous best score by about 25%. When asked, he talked about playing Wii and having a system for taking out targets in the fastest order. Obviously there’s no recoil with the Wii and not much pressure, but it may still help to do a better job of assessing threats.