Stippling M&P full-size – How to prepare, practice and go for it!

I have previously stippled the detachable backstrap of the M&P9 with a soldering iron. It added some grippiness to the gun, but one a big portion of the M&P9 that is part of my “grip” is still very smooth (e.g., the portion that meets the meaty part of the palm). So I finally went for the full frame with a wood burner (fine tip).

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Completed full frame.

Before I decided to stippled the whole frame, I went with GT-5000 grip tapes. It added a bit of grip, but it was prone to shifting a bit and still not as grippy as I would like to be. So I figure I’ll go for stippling the whole gun.

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First month of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) – How it is exactly what I needed.

It has been exactly a month since I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) as a way to counter my fear of being on the ground. I’ve been doing Kungfu for more than 5 years and started doing Krav Maga for a year or so. Each of these things give me something different, and BJJ has so far plays a good role in filling in my lack of knowledge & skill in ground-fighting.
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Installing the APEX Forward Set Sear (FSS) Trigger Kit with no prior gunsmithing experience

Disclaimer: This is my experience in the installation of the trigger kit. It worked well for me, but there is always a risk in modifying your own gun. Bring it to a gunsmith if you just want a nice trigger. If you enjoy understanding more about you gun, develop skills to diagnose and work on it, this is actually a good progress to go through yourself.

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So if you are wondering if it is possible to install the Apex Forward Set Sear (FSS) Trigger Kit without any prior gunsmithing experience, I’m going to say yes.  If you can be careful, understand instruction, decent with tools (e.g., using a punch, vice), then it should go relatively smooth. Prior to installing the trigger kit, I have zero experience in gunsmithing. The most I’ve done with my gun was simple cleaning and some stippling of the back strap. I have never even detail stripped my gun before thinking about installing the FSS trigger kit into my full size M&P9.

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My goal to not fear being on the ground – Exploring Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

It is not always possible to avoid “not knowing”. But when you could stack the deck in your favor, why would you not do it? I take that approach in terms of concealed carrying. The likelihood of me needing it is low, but do I want to have it when the need ever arises? Hell yes.

The likelihood of me getting into a ground fight is quite low since I avoid getting into any fights. However, if it happens, would I want to have been training to be comfortable on the ground? Would I want to have a toolbox ready to solve the situation? Hell yes.

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Beginner Handgun Class?

In the Haley Strategic D5 Handgun class, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were optional but recommended. The list of PPE were as follow: “Gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, helmet, body armor optional but recommended“. So since it was optional, I wasn’t entirely sure what I should bring from that list, if any at all.

It is a common mistake among novices of any kind to over invest into too many gears they don’t really need at their level. We read a blog about the top 10 essentials for activity X, or a review of best-whatever for activity Y. This is why I appreciate posts that target beginners and let them know what they could take a pass on until things get more serious.

Being a researcher, it is my inclination to read every blog and watch every videos about what I’m currently interested in. And suffice to say, I –almost– fell into the trap of buying a lot of things I don’t need. I stopped myself. There is no way I need body armor or helmet for a basic handgun course…scratched those two. (I understand active military/LE might chose to train in all their gear. That makes sense to me. But for a civilian, especially a beginner, simple is probably best.)

The question was, do I need gloves and knee/elbow pads?

I ended up getting a pair of SKD PIG gloves (black) and using a pair of old boxing gloves as my makeshift knee pads.

Gloves
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PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Alpha Touch Gloves (black, size S)

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Type four error | “Error of the fourth type”

In statistics, we often talk about Type I or Type II error. Where Type I is a “false positive”, when we reject the null hypothesis when it is true, and Type II is a “false negative” when we accept the null hypothesis when it is false. These are statistical errors. Then there are the less talked about Type III (or even Type IV) error, which is human error that could happen to non-statistical problems.

In 1957, Kimball published “Errors of the third kind in statistical consulting“, stating that the error of giving the right answer to the wrong problem is a Type III error. He illustrated that this scenario could often happen in a consultant-client relationship. Similarly, in Decision Analysis (Raiffa, 1968) also describes a Type III error as correctly solving the wrong problem.

So a Type III error, in general, is the error in identifying the correct problem. Or, giving the wrong conclusion because the question was wrong to begin with.

Then, in ‘ Dirty Rotten Strategies,  Mitroff & Silvers proposed the Type IV error, which is when someone deliberately chooses to solve the wrong question in order to mislead people. So it is a Type III error + malicious intent.

In science, there are methods designed to avoid Type I/II errors. But in life, it is up to us on whether we commit error of the third and fourth type. We should be careful in what questions/quests we choose to solve. It is similar to the concept of knowing which battle to pick, because 1) not all of them is worth it, and 2) not all battles will lead you to the overall victory.  It is also crucial to reflect on our intent when making strategical moves. The line between being strategic and malicious are sometimes very fine.

How to enjoy what I ‘should’ do

Everyday, we engage in behaviors that I ‘should’ do, but not necessarily ‘want’ to do, such as eating fruits, exercising, or reading scientific articles on some methodological debates. These “should-do” things feel like chores. Like how cleaning up the  table is “fun” for little kids but a “chore” for adults, because, well…adults “have-to” do it e.v.e.r.y.t.i.m.e. Recently, one of my obsessions, martial arts, began to feel like a chore to me. I found myself finding excuses to skip work out sessions. I dragged making the drive up to the studio.

The past weekend, I was in a cognitive neuroscience conference. And a side comment of a speaker suggested everyone to try changing their perspective about working out. See it as “going to play!“. Like how little kids view going to the playground.

I tried that the past two days when I was doing martial arts. I went with the anticipation of having FUN. Hitting some pads, running some awesome forms, and spar some! And it was refreshing! I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to do more. I looked forward to Wednesday when I can do this again.

An unexpected gain from a scientific conference 🙂

For the next few weeks, I’ll try this mental exercise before I engage in any activities. See if it works for other ‘should-dos‘, too.

[Review] IWB Holsters, the HSP INCOG vs. PHLster ACCESS

If you search “appendix IWB holster” on the internet, you will surely encounter the G-Code HSP INCOG and the PHLster ACCESS/Skeleton. I decided to get both, and decide which one I might like better. I picked the ACCESS over the Skeleton because I prefer a shirt guard for my holsters.

* Keep in mind that the comfort of carry is quite subjective, and different body-types would find different holsters more comfortable or not.
* Also, PHLster focuses on making holsters for Glocks and M&Ps. If you have a handgun from another manufacturer, AND live in the Philly area, you could possibly go to their workshop and have a custom holster make for your handgun.
* For a comparison between the INCOG and the INCOG Eclipse (mod version), read this post.

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Left: HSP INCOG (half guard, 1 belt-clip only); Right: PHLster ACCESS + ITW Snap hook for keys.

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First time stippling – M&P backstrap

I wanted to make my full-size M&P 9 more “grippy”. Previously, I’ve used grip tape to achieve a more grippy effect. They work fine on flatter surfaces, but the more contour part of the gun is difficult to to make the tape stay in place. A bit of googling led me to the idea of stippling the polymer frame of the gun.

In short, stippling is using hot iron to melt patterns onto the polymer frame of the gun to give it a rougher surface, which increases friction, thus creating a more grippy feel. Stippling the whole frame of the gun is time consuming and irreversible. Since I had no experience in stippling, I was hesitant on making irreversible changes to my gun. The good thing is, the M&P 9 has a removable backstrap, which also happens to be the part of frame that I wanted the most improvement on in terms of adding more grip -over grip tape-.

A cheap investment of $6 gets me an extra backstrap that I can stipple without the fear of irreversible mistakes (I can always get another backstrap and do it again!)

Scale pattern on the backstrap done using soldering iron tip

Scale pattern on the backstrap done using soldering iron tip

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Everyday Carry (EDC) – How I got into it and what do I carry?

It used to be just “what I carry with me everyday”. Wallet, keys, phone. That was pretty much it.

About a year ago, I unintentionally discovered the Everyday Carry (EDC) scene. It was when I had to replace my 7 years old bifold. I was thinking of a minimalistic front-pocket wallet. I hopped onto Google and  searched “minimalistic leather wallet”, and after a few clicks from one review to another, I landed on EDC land and its friends (e.g., Carryology).

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