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November 2019

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Good afternoon fellow biker Patriots! I trust you had a great Thanksgiving. If you are like me, you avoided anything to do with shopping today – which just happens to be Black Friday. But if you did happen to go shopping, with all the crazy people trying to get their gifts, you had an above average chance of running into someone who has lost their damn mind and could pose a threat to you. If that were to happen, it would be a good idea to understand force multiplication.

I read an interesting statistic the other day. Over 16 million citizens have a concealed carry permit. Over ½ of these permit holders are women. I was a bit surprised that there were more women permit holders than men. But perhaps I shouldn’t have been. If you look at the overall United States population, there are slightly more women than men. I find it interesting that when I go to my local gun shop these days, there are a lot of women shopping for guns. It wasn’t always this way. When I first started building my gun collection, I very seldom saw the fairer sex in gun stores. There is a reason for this – force multiplication. Women are taking their personal defense seriously and they recognize that an attack will probably come from the opposite sex and that men are typically larger and stronger than they are. There are of course exceptions to this general rule.

Force Multiplication can be obtained with a gun, knife, pepper spray or baton

What is Force Multiplication?

The United States Department of Defense defines force multiplication as, “A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of a successful mission accomplishment.”

These same factors hold true for an individual in a self-defense scenario. I would define it a bit differently than the DoD: “the use of a tool to multiply force and successfully fend off an attack by a more capable, determined assailant.” A simple lever is a force multiplier as it can move a heavy object with less force than required without the lever. In self-defense, the force multiplier could be many different items: pepper spray, a personal defense taser, knife, baton or a pistol.

What many women have come to recognize is that the pistol is the most effective of all these tools. It levels the playing field in most any scenario and gives her a fighting chance against a determined attacker. And of course, force multiplication is just as important for a man who takes the defense of himself, friends and family seriously.

This whole concept is important to me as I have been having a discussion with a close female family member who is in her 20s and considering getting her handgun carry permit. She lives on her own and is often alone when driving to and from work and school. But we are approaching this cautiously and we have agreed that she needs training, a pistol she is comfortable with and will have to practice a lot before she can start carrying. (Not to mention going through HCP training.)

As a certified range safety officer (RSO), I encourage anyone who is concerned with their personal safety to consider a handgun. Seek out recommendations from knowledgeable people before you decide on which gun to purchase. Go to the gun range and rent as many as possible before you make a decision on which gun is best for you. Do not get caught up in the “larger is better caliber” debate. While I can easily handle my .357 SIG chambered pistols, and often carry .45 ACP pistols, they are not for everyone. These heavy calibers produce a large blast when shooting and have a stout recoil. A well placed first shot, and the ability to quickly, and accurately, place follow up shots, is more important than the size and speed of the projectile. If you are more comfortable shooting a .380 semi-auto, or a 9mm, that is what you should be carry. If you are not able to quickly clear a malfunction in a semi-automatic pistol, a 38 special revolver may be your better choice as you can continue to pull the trigger without worrying about a failure-to-eject of failure-to-feed making your pistol inoperable. Lastly, keep in mind the size of the handgun you are considering. Full sized models inherently absorb recoil better than small guns. But if you are of smaller stature, concealing a larger framed gun in a waist holster will be more difficult.

In Closing

Do not be overly concerned about the caliber of your carry pistol. Try plenty of different gun makes, models and calibers. If you are a lady, determine whether you want to carry on your waist, ankle or in a concealment purse. Try different handguns out in these rigs to find the one which works best for you. And most importantly, remember that the most appropriate force multiplier is not always going to be a handgun. The tool you use in any given self-defense situation has to be proportional to the force your attacker is using against you. For this reason, carry less lethal force multiplier defensive tools too. Watch the GreyBeardBiker.com for an upcoming article on proportionality.

μολὼν λαβέ,
The Grey Beard Biker
gbb@thegreybeardbiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

As your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker sits here in his pajamas on Thanksgiving Day, he realizes just how much he has to be thankful for.

Number 1 is God, and his Son, Jesus Christ. We are all so blessed. He blesses us each and every day. The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross has ensured that everyone of us will have everlasting life and that our sins will be forgiven.

Secondly, I am thankful for my family. I am blessed that I have my biological family, but I am even more blessed to have my extended biker family. If you are not a biker, you probably don’t understand how dozens of fellow biker brothers and sisters can be part of your family, but they definitely are. These family members will drop everything they are doing if you are broke down on the side of the road – coming to your aid. They will be there to celebrate the good times with you or will be there to lean on when you are experiencing a terrible setback.

Lastly, I am beyond thankful for being a citizen of the greatest country in the world. Americans are given freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and freedom to choose our religion. There is no other country in the world that has enshrined our rights in their constitution – and so appropriately in our Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to our constitution. God Bless the USA, God Bless our elected legislators and God Bless our president, Donald J. Trump. May God guide all of these elected officials in their endeavors to do our will.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twatter

Greetings fellow bikers! If you are like me, you feel a bit cheated this fall. Autumn is my favorite time of the year to ride. After riding all summer, fall usually provides a welcome relief from the heat with beautiful colors and mild temperatures. But this year, after having perhaps the hottest September and early October in history, we dropped into a deep freeze more like January than November. Fall literally lasted less than a week! But that will not keep your Grey Beard Biker from riding. It will just require full leathers, heated grips and heated seats.

Currently, we are living in a relatively quiet time with regards to threats against our Second Amendment rights – rights which we know are given by God – not the government. Because I used to shoot pistols competitively, I started reloading my own ammunition about ten years ago. This actually helped reduce the cost of shooting (which is very expensive when you shoot 7,500-10,000 rounds per year) and provided more consistent ammunition than store bought ammo. It also insured that when Obama and the Democrats in congress threatened punitive gun laws and restrictions after Sandy Hook, causing ammunition shortages, I had plenty of ammunition to continue shooting regularly.


This is a 3-part series:
Part 1: Reloading Basics – Part 1
Part 2: Reloading Basics – Part 2 – Brass, Primers & Powder
Part 3: Reloading Basics – Part 3 – Loading Ammunition

Reloading Considerations

There are many things to keep in mind when you are considering reloading ammunition. The number one consideration is the cost. With ammo costs down, and plenty on the shelves of your local gun store, big box retailer and sporting goods stores, cost will be a major consideration. If you are going to start hand loading your own ammo, you will have to shoot a lot to get a return on your investment – think in terms of 10s of thousands of rounds. If you are going to reload rifle cartridges and handgun ammo, it will be easier to recover the costs of your equipment as rifle ammunition can be very expensive. Also, if you only shoot 9mm or .380 ACP, the time it will take to get a return on your investment is going to be VERY long.

The type of press you purchase will also be something to consider. If you are only going to reload rifle ammunition, you do not need a progressive reloading press. You can easily get by with a single stage press. With this type of press, you will de-cap the spent primers and install new primers outside the press. This is done with a hand primer tool. You also measure your powder outside the press. While you can reload handgun ammunition with a single stage press, it is VERY time consuming. A major benefit for a single stage press is cost: it is much less expensive to get started with the basic equipment to reload.

Hornady Lock-n-Load progressive reloading press

Grey Beard recommends a progressive press if you are going to reload a lot of ammunition. There are many very good presses on the market today. I use a Hornady Lock-n-Load press which has five separate stations. These stations are:

  1. Brass sizing and de-capping
  2. Brass flaring
  3. Case activated powder drop
  4. Bullet seating
  5. Brass crimping (not always used)

While you do not necessarily use all of these stages for every caliber cartridge, it is nice that you can do so. It literally creates an assembly line. Besides Hornady, other very good progressive presses are manufactured by RCBS, Redding, Lee, Dillon Precision and Lyman.

Another consideration will be how many calibers you reload. For each caliber you plan on reloading, you will need a die set and shell plate. I reload over two dozen calibers of rifle and pistol ammunition, so I have made a significant investment in just the dies and shell plates.

Lastly, you will need to consider where you will set up your reloading equipment. I have mine set up on an eight-foot workbench and I wish I had double the space. The area needs to be clean and well lit. You will also need plenty of storage as your reloading equipment and supplies take up a lot of space. I store brass in plastic containers on my table. I have an eight-drawer rolling tool box for my dies, shell plates, new brass, bullets, primers and other tools I use. My finished ammunition is stored in 50 or 100 count plastic cases in a locked storage cabinet. This is also where I store all of my powder – which numbers at least 30 different types.

RCBS Matchmaster Powder Dispenser

The Investment

Minimum Initial Investment for Progressive Reloading

DescriptionCost
Progressive reloading press$450
Dies (for each caliber)$50
Shell plates (for each caliber)$35
Loading manual (for reloading recipes)$30
Dial caliper (to measure overall cartridge length)$40
Electronic powder scale$40
Brass sonic cleaner$125
Case trimmer (if reloading rifle ammo)$90
Miscellaneous tools$100
Supplies (powder, primers, bullets)$175
Approximate Total Cost$1,135

Summary

Based on your initial investment, reloading may not be something which provides you a return on investment. Having shot at least 45,000 rounds over the past 10 years, I have recovered the cost of my investment many times over. But cost should not be the only thing you consider before reloading. If you enjoy working with your hands, you may get a lot of enjoyment sitting at your press rolling your own ammo. It is something your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker enjoys immensely.

Check out Grey Beard Biker’s YouTube video on reloading:

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ,
The Grey Beard Biker
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter