Monday, January 19, 2015

American Sniper Movie Review

Wednesday night I was honored to be given tickets to the movie premier of American Sniper here in San Antonio.  I went with three friends from Sparks Firearms.  Steve Sparks donated money to the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and got us reserved seats!

Spoiler alert/bottom line, the movie is worth seeing.  Go see it.  I was really wondering about how this was going to be.  It was nothing like I expected.   

I had previous thoughts about what it would look like but, and all three were nothing to do with what actually was.  I heard Fox News saying people are complaining that it was “Republican Propaganda” but there were no politics involved.  The only thing close could have been when Chris and his wife watch the news reports of 9/11 happening and the planes crashing into the buildings.  No politicians were ever shown or mentioned by name in the movie.  Nor were any foreign policies named or talked about.  If anything, there is a time in the movie where things go wrong, people die and his team gets side-lined by politics.  That was during the time the Republicans had the majority everywhere.

I also thought the movie was either going to betray him as a bigger than life hero that never made mistakes, killed all the bad guys and saved all the good guys, or a broken man that was crying to his family all the time.  Nope, it told of his triumphs and failures.  And when you see the movie, you’ll see that even the best in the world has horrible failures.  In the game of war, failure means people die, lots of people.

I was also worried that it was going to show a girly version of him that only talked about his feelings with his wife.  That’s not the real world.  You don’t become that good at the game of killing and not have it affect your family and home.  But it also affects the man that gets that good and those affects go home from the battlefield.  Separating them is a farce. Men that do that well in battle aren’t the touchy feely kind generally.

The movie premier started out with an ad for Kryptek Camo and so I thought the movie would be like anything else, but it was a military ad and kind of fun to see.  The guy with the logo tattooed on his arm was a little much.

Then this message came on and got us in the mood for the movie.

It was a good way to start the movie…

The opening scene is Kyle behind a rifle doing over watch for a patrol of Marines and a tank going through a city in Iraq.  He watches a couple of things and then sees a mother and her son come out far in front of the patrol.  He watches her hand the son a stick grenade and then shows the son running at the patrol with it and raises it over his head… Then flashes back to his childhood and his life growing up.  It goes fast, but shows how and why he joined the Navy and then how he met his wife.  Not the most flattering of meetings for her, but fun to watch and probably pretty close to how a lot of military guys met their wives. 

It shows them together watching the news reports of 9/11 and then jumps to his first deployment.  Most of the movie is about his four deployments in Iraq and how he was trying to adjust coming back.  If you’ve been there, you’ll relate to many things he did and a lot of the things they show in the movie. 

The movie shows how Iraq really was.  It shows how evil people can really be and how the really motivated in the military were trying to stop evil.  You can also see the many times it goes wrong for him and his teams and how bad the aftermath is of those events.  When people you have around you die, it sucks.  Even people you just met and they invited you into their lives.  I personally know how bad that feels.

The movie also shows the other half.  His wife was ready to leave him multiple times because he just couldn’t make the adjustment back to the real world.  He almost kills his dog because it was playing with the kid too rough.  But if you watch the movie you kind of understand his reaction when you know the whole story.  To people in the civilian world, we wouldn’t think there was any problem with the kid and dog playing. 

In his fourth tour he gets injured and has to come home.  It takes him a while but the interview they show between him and a psychologist is worth seeing the entire movie for.  How one idea he was given by that psychologist changed his life, gave him purpose, gave him his family back, and created everything that continues today.

If you want to understand what our military is going through in the current “War on Terror,” go see the movie and know that his deployments were not that bad.  He succeeded in his missions and most things went well for him and his team.  For others, the missions went further south and they saw and did things that no one should have to endure. 

Stay Safe,


Originally posted at

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Firearms Cleaning

What do you use to clean your gun? and what schedule do you clean your gun on?  I don't have the end all be all answer for both, but I have learned a couple things.

First, My Glock will start to choke around 1100 to 1200 rounds if I carry it and don't clean it at all.  So I make sure I clean my gun before that point.  Not that I really care on the range if the gun malfunctions (it just gives me practice), but in the real world if I was trying to defend myself or someone else it could me that someone dies.  So cleaning my gun is simple compared to the consequences.

I know one instructor that cleans his gun every week.  I'm just not that dedicated, but it would be nice. Now I've started cleaning my guns once a month after each class I teach.  That's generally when I shoot a lot anyways and works out nicely for me.  You should find something that works and even if you never fire your carry gun, consider cleaning it on a normal schedule.  Once a month might be good depending on your climate or twice a year might work.  I would default to sooner rather then later.  Cleaning your gun is an easy task that could save your life.  So "do what I say, not what I do" and clean your gun regularly.

As for what to use.  Don't get complicated.  I just did a review of Frog Lube CLP and wasn't that impressed.  I am going back to Breakfree CLP.  It just does everything well.  Nothing outstanding, just well.  I like the CLPs because they do everything.  Lots of guys want something that is specialty for everything.  They keep three or four bottles of crap and they do everything a little better then the CLP, but not much.  For me it's not worth the hassle.  Just get a bottle of CLP and be done with it.

Stay Safe,


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pocket Guns

Do you carry a small gun? I do, a lot.  When I started carrying a firearm for self defense I carried the biggest one I could, a full-sized hi-capacity 1911.  It was big and heavy and what I carried as an armored car guard.  So when I got my Concealed Carry License it only seemed logical to carry the same gun.  It just got heavy and hard to hide.

As the years passed I started carrying smaller and smaller guns.  Now I carry a Glock and/or a small Ruger revovler.  A lot of times I'll leave the full-sized Glock and just carry the little revovler.  Why, because it fits in a pocket or I can carry it in the appendix position with a simple holster.  It hides as long as I'm wearing a T-shirt and I don't have to worry about it.  It weighs almost nothing and I don't have to think about it.

I just recently got the change to fire some great little .380 ACP pocket pistols.  The Desert Eagle Micro Eagle was my choice over the Ruger LCP and Taurus TCP.  I would buy the Micro Eagle because it's different and had useable sights and fit in my hand.  A more practical choice would be the TCP because it was the best all around.  It was big enough to git in my hand, small enough to hide, sights where kind of there, and recoil was easy.  The Ruger was the easiest to hide, but that was about the only thing I like about it.  Click the link above to see the entire review.

I've also shot a couple 9mm pocket guns.  I reviewed the Beretta Nano and the S&W Shield.  The shield was just too small for me and the controls weren't very usable.  The Nano fit my hand and was big enough to fight with.  It also had only a magazine release for controls so the frame and slide where completely slick.  Which was nice when I was trying to draw it from a pocket or deep concealment.  Check out the full review above.

Right now I carry a Ruger LCR .38 Special.  It's about the same size as a J-frame, holds 5 rounds of +P ammo and shoots very well.  Nice trigger, useable sights, accurate, light weight and doesn't recoil heave are the points I like about it.  Especially that last point.  Most J-frame light weight revolvers are almost un-shootable for me because of the recoil.  I don't like heave recoil.

Pick the gun that is right for you.  They are all good.

Stay Safe,


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Truck

Last week I got a new truck for work.  It's great! Loving it already.  I had a Ford F250 that was a beast, now I have a Chevy 2500HD.  The Chevy pulls better and is faster.  It handles a little better off road, but I'm not sure about on the road right now.  Can't wait to wear out this first set of crappy tires and get some All Terrains on there.  Then I'll see what the Chevy can really do.

The Ford was a beast and I loved it.  I put over 75,000 on the one I just got rid of and 100,000 miles on the one before that.  Both were great trucks until they had to be repaired.  A Ford Diesel engine has to be one of the most expensive things to maintain ever.  My company got rid of my last truck because the fuel system went out on the truck and quotes to have it fixed where running $8,000 and up.  A diesel motor shouldn't need that much work at 156,000 miles.  It should have got twice that before it needed that much work.  I would call this an isolated truck, but we have 2 other F250 in the company and they haven't lasted.  The newer one has about 175,000 and the turbo is going out.  That should be a 400,000 mile project.

The new Ford Diesel seems to get about half the life you'd expect out of a diesel engine.  Right now I'd have to say go for a Chevy or Dodge.  I'll let you know how this one lasts as it gets older.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Normal Drive

I've made this drive about a dozen times in the last month.  It's kind of fun.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gun Shows

Lately I've been working for Sparks Firearms at a couple different gun shows.  I love gun shows and the people I meet and the stuff that is there.  I'm always trying to find something new and exciting.  I generally find some pretty cool stuff.

Working at the gun shows I've started noticing things I don't like.  People seem to not know the laws or just try to get around them.  Like we as dealers aren't going to run back ground checks on them.  Or they just think they can get lost in the system by having multiple gun dealers do background checks on them during the same day.  I wish the FBI or someone would start prosecuting the people doing it! It says right on the form that it's a Federal crime to knowingly lie on the form, and it's a felony for people that can't possess guns to try and buy them.  So when anyone starts talking about going around the law (like a 17-year old that wanted to buy a handgun) I ask them to leave or stop touching the guns at our booth.

There is also some theft that goes on at gun shows.  Kind of sucks to have things walk off.  I love gun shows but they seem to bring out the worst part of the gun culture.  It brings out those that want to get illegal guns and those that would steal.  I wish local areas would start prosecuting these people since the Federal government seems to refuse.  Just frustrating as a gun seller.  I certainly don't want to sell a gun to someone that will use it in a crime and I know the owner of the shop feels the same way.  He and I would simply refuse to sell a gun to someone that we knew was going to use it illegally.

The other major downside of selling guns at a gun show is the amount of people I'm trying to talk to.  I love talking to people and want to help them get the right gun for them.  It takes time to pick the gun if they don't know what they want.  And it always seems that there are three people trying to ask me a different question about guns at the same time.  Then somehow they end up looking at the same gun.  I had this happen over an AR a couple weeks ago.  Thankfully we had two of the same gun to sell them.

If you haven't been, go to a gun show and check it out.  It's a lot of fun and just a sight to behold.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gun Control Looses!

The gun control debate rages in the Senate and then died.  The majority leader Senator Reid had no choice be to table the bill for now because of the public outcry in this area.  The president said yesterday that a loud minority intimidated the Senate into not passing these bills.  The President stands dumb struck as he believes that 90% of Americans want this.  First when has 90% of Americans wanted anything? That number is just absurd.  I don't think the President is lying, he actually believes what he is says and I'd hate to be around him off camera today as his rage is vented at others.  The President just doesn't want to know the truth.  The simple truth is that most people don't want more gun control.  They want he government to stay out of it.

I've explained the issue to a couple people that would have been in favor of  these rules until I explained it to them in depth.  Once that happened, one said "no way!"  Most people just can't believe how much the government is not telling them.  Another person was mad that the media and government would lead them so far astray of the truth.  The President doesn't want to know the truth and doesn't want Americans to know the truth.

Yesterday he talked about expanding the background check system and then said in the next breath that most Americans wrongly believe there is already a background check law.  He was completely lying! There is a background check law in American since 1968! He is so far out there that he doesn't understand what is going on in America.  People are overwhelmingly getting involved in politics and saying no more.  Now the bills are dying on the Senate floor.  I thought these ugly, anti-rights bills, would pass the Senate and then be cut down in the House.  The President thought he'd play politics in the House and get his agenda passes, but now that it has failed I think some of his true colors will shine through and we'll see what he really wants for the American people.

This entire thing is sickening.  The 2nd Amendment says "the right of the people shall not be infringed."  The language is stronger then anywhere else in the Constitution but we are going to argue what the Constitution means when it says "the people."  Sounds like President Clinton arguing what the word "is" means.  These are a bunch of lawyers that if you paid them enough they would argue whether the sun comes up in the morning.

President said "shame on Washington" yesterday.  For the first time in over a decade, I'm proud of our government listening to the people.  I say, shame on you Mister President for not knowing more.

Stay Safe,