Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fobus Paddle Holsters

A while back I got an email from DoubleTapper asking me if I'd like to do some reviews of Fobus holsters, and if so, which holsters would I like to review.  I suggested something for a GLOCK 17, or perhaps a concealed carry holster for a Ruger SR9C. A week or so later I got a package from Israel with two holsters, one for each gun. The holsters they sent aren't exactly concealed carry models. They sent the basic plain vanilla paddle holsters. I had requested left handed versions, and that's what they sent.
Must not be a lot of Lefties at Fobus?

There are a lot of ways to make holsters. Of the plastic paddle holster variety, there are two fairly common methods. One method involves heating a sheet of plastic such as Kydex until it's pliable, then wrapping and forming it around a pattern that's the shape of the gun you want to holster to fit. When it's wrapped all the way around the pattern, you let it cool, and it retains it's shape. A few screws or rivets are put in along the side, a paddle or belt loop arrangement is attached, and after a bit of trimming to remove the excess plastic, your holster is ready to go. The tooling cost is fairly low, and making models to fit different guns primarily requires just a different pattern.

A much more expensive method is injection molding. With injection molding a large die must be machined from metal, with an inside cavity exactly the shape of the holster you want to produce. The cost of these dies can be very expensive. With injection molding, a lot more fine detail can be incorporated into the design. Once the die is made, liquid plastic under high pressure is injected into the die. A high capacity injection molding machine is also a very expensive piece of equipment. Even though it is a much more expensive process to buy the injection molding machine and make the die, you can produce much more complicated and very accurate parts, and do it fairly quickly. For injection molding to make sense, you must produce a lot of parts to make it pay, or in this case, a lot of holsters. Fobus does just that, build a lot of holsters!

Fobus uses injection molding to manufacture their holsters, and the accuracy and detail when compared to a Kydex holster is easily seen when you look at them side by side. Even though they are using a much more expensive process to get set up, with high production volumes, Fobus is able to keep their prices very reasonable.

I went to their website and had a look around. Sure, they make a ton of different models. However, they also make a lot of different lines and versions for the same guns. Want a plain Jane inexpensive but durable holster? They've got it. Want something a little more deluxe with some adjustments? Yep, they've got that too. They also have a lifetime "No Questions Asked" warranty.

Here's what Fobus says about their basic holsters:
Developed in Israel for the world's military and special security services, the combat-proven Fobus Standard Holster series is a revolutionary step forward in holster design and technology. State of the art design, injection molding and space age high-density plastics are combined to create a holster which cannot be duplicated in leather or any other material. Fobus holsters are high riding, and low profile with unbelievable retention, comfort and lightweight construction. Holsters weigh a mere 2 ounces, and are maintenance free.
Sure, there are a lot of different holsters out there, and even a lot of different paddle holsters, but I would sure put Fobus up near the top of the list if I was looking for a well made and well backed plastic holster. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

HHRGC Steel Match Soon!

If you've never put on an event, you can't imagine just how many little (and big) details there are that can really gum things up if you forget to take care of of them. I've been busy making shooter's boxes, buying nails and paint, building target stands (and learning to ARC weld in the process), and more.

I have now re-insured my 1969 full size Ford van and got it running and drivable after it sitting unused  for about three years. I cleaned it out, and it will be our steel, target stand, and match supplies storage unit on wheels. This way we don't have to double-handle the targets and stands when setting up and breaking down a match.

Some time over the next few days I'll be borrowing a backhoe and doing a little dirt work at the range getting things ready for our first match. I'm not the greatest backhoe operator, but I usually manage to get the job done, it just takes me a little longer as I try to go easy on the equipment.

It's now only a week and a half to our very first steel match at my home club, Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun, here on the South end of Whidbey Island. Word has been spreading like wildfire about our "Two matches in two days" format, and we will be welcoming shooting friends from all over Washington State.

For those folks coming for both days, we will be having a Mexican Buffet, like music, and dancing on Saturday night at the club.

When we finally get our full compliment of action pistol bays installed, we will have one of the nicest and best outfitted clubs on the West Coast. We have a very good shotgun range, a pistol range, a metallic Silhouette range, a rifle range,two clubhouses, and our own bar and restaurant on site. We are looking at putting on a big match or so next Summer, and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before several other action pistol disciplines get established at this new facility.

It's been a three year effort so far to get this new action pistol center established, and there's still a long ways to go, but we're making progress, and in a year or so, it should be pretty amazing!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

South Whidbey Action Pistol Website is Up!

As I've mentioned before, I've been pretty busy lately, and blogging has definitely suffered. In addition to all of the other stuff, I've also started a new blog/website dedicated to news, announcements, reports, and other info related to action pistol shooting.

Although the focus is action pistol shooting in Western Washington and local clubs, there will also be information on state, National, and International matches too. We will be providing (at no charge) full authoring privileges to key folks in a number of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho clubs, and they can post info about their own club's action pistol activities.

Here's the description in the header:

South Whidbey Action Pistol 
Welcome to the South Whidbey Action Pistol website. Your place for news, dates, reports, and results on all types of action pistol competition, including Steel Challenge, Club Level Steel, IDPA, USPSA, Falling Plates, Hanging Plates, Cowboy Action Shooting, 3 Gun, and more. We will be primarily focused on shooting sports and activities in the Western part of Washington State, but we will also be covering major matches across the continent, and around the world.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Holmes Harbor Steel Shooting Poster

As I've mentioned, one of the reasons for light blogging recently has been that I've been really busy with other projects. One of those projects is to get a number of new pistol bays created at my local gun club, Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun. My first presentation to the board of directors was about three years ago. Finally, things are starting to happen, as there were other big projects ahead of the Action Pistol Ranges. We now have two pistol bays finished, and a third should be ready in another week or ten days. A fourth bay, sort of a temporary bay for now, should also be ready in a week or so.  We have now put on three demonstration matches to introduce steel shooting competition to the club. Last Saturday we had eighteen entries, which is pretty good considering we didn't do much to announce it.

Here's the announcement poster for the matches coming up in a couple of weeks, and then two matches a month through the Winter:

Rain or Shine - Steel Fun Match 

Saturday, October 27th & Sunday October 28th
 (and every 4th Saturday & Sunday Through the Winter)
We will shoot a full match each day!

“Just for the fun of it” Steel Challenge style steel shooting Saturday, October 27th., and Sunday October 28th.  at the new Action Pistol Bays behind the rifle range at Holmes harbor Rod & Gun Club.

Setup at 8:00, Sign up at 9:00, Shooter’s Meeting at 9:45, shooting starts right after the shooter’s meeting. $5.00 entry fee per gun, three gun limit per shooter.
Actually, this is a picture from a Steel challenge match in Ephrata. We don't have any pictures from a Holmes Harbor Steel match yet!

Have you wanted to give Steel Challenge style steel shooting a try? Are you an experienced steel shooter already, but would like to get in a bit of fun steel shooting on a regular basis without having to travel to do it? Come on out and join us for the fun!

Most all handguns, including rimfire and revolvers, are suitable for steel shooting. .22LR Rifles are also welcome. We will be including a ”Low Ready” centerfire pistol class for those shooters without holsters. No .17 caliber or ultra-high velocity .22 is permitted but CCI Mini-Mags are OK.

If you have never shot a steel match before, there will be people there to give you a hand, so come on out for a lot of fun!

We will have as many stages set up as we can with our limited but growing facilities. When the full action pistol ranges are all in place, we will be able to handle lots of shooters with plenty of stages being shot all at the same time by multiple squads. A full set of action pistol bays would be a total of eight bays, although many of them would be smaller than the first two already installed. Before the additional bays are put in, though, we have to demonstrate that the new action pistol bays will get regularly used, and not sit empty all year.

If you have a shot timer, please bring it along. If we have several squads we will not have enough timers.

We need more of the blue or white plastic 50 gallon drums for use as shooter’s box tables, and outdoor tables like picnic tables. If you have any of these that you would be willing to donate to the club then either give Mike a call at 321-6258, or bring them out to the action pistol bays. 

See you at the match!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Blogging With The Dragon

I have always had a difficult time blogging being as I am a very slow typist. To compensate for this, I am now experimenting with the Dragon naturally speaking software to see if I can actually dictate text to then cut and paste or drop into the blog. So far it is sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but so far it seems like maybe it has some possibilities.

I can see that this is going to take me some time to figure out exactly how to to make it do all the things that I need it to do. Everything can be done by speaking to run the keyboard rather than actually hitting the key but the keyboard can be used too. 

If you tend to ramble on and speak in somewhat disjointed manner (who, me?) Dragon Naturally Speaking is very good at reproducing that rather accurately, not necessarily a good thing. So far, the accuracy of the speech recognition seems to be fairly good. I have also tried using Dragon Naturally Speaking to enter numbers into a spreadsheet using Excel. So far, that seems to work fairly well also.

I will keep you posted as this experiment progresses, and hopefully I will be able to get more blogging done in less time, and keep everybody up to date on all of the things going on. As for things going on, right now there's a ton of them.

Stay tuned, I will keep you posted.

(Previous text was dictated with Dragon, but it took a bit of editing to clean it up.Not bad for a first attempt.)

Update:Dragon does not seem to be able to dictate directly into Blogger. I have to dictate the text into something like Word Pad, then cut and paste it into Blogger. There may be a way to do Blogger directly, but I haven't figured that out yet.

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