Monday, February 10, 2020

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What are missions? What is missions? which ever is right, how do you define what it is? Dr. Philip Hunt joins me in this weeks episode of Christian Outdoors Podcast as we struggle with this question.
Many people define missions as helping the poor, economically displaced or those who may not have heard the gospel. Others define it as carrying the gospel to people different or less fortunate than us.
But Philip and I believe it is much more than this. After a discussion that began in a duck blind several months ago. Philip and I continue this conversation to define what missions are in the modern church.
We both live in or near Greenville, SC the largest metropolitan area in the state of South Carolina. Roughly 800,000-1,000,000 people live in our immediate area. We have a wide array of ethnicity, economic diversity and educational makeup. Which leads to the question, why do churches target only the economically depressed? Why don't we target other groups who need Jesus also?
Demographics show us that while 62% of people in Greenville county consider themselves Christian, only about 40% of the people attend any type of Christian worship regularly. (Meaning at least twice a month) So the question remains, what are the churches doing to reach these people?
During our discussion I ask the question; "don't rich people need Jesus too?" and we discussed the efforts, or lack of efforts being done for the people who are in the upper tier of the economic platform. Are any churches reaching out to them? And if not, why aren't they?
In our area, we are living in what is considered the middle class to upper middle class areas of our county. There are named subdivisions everywhere. Many of these subdivisions homes are in excess of $300,000 which for our area are considered high. And yet the efforts of churches is to go to the government housing, or the projects and do missions there.
Gated Community residences need Jesus too.
Granted, the people living in government housing need Jesus and the love of the church. No one is arguing that point. But why are we ignoring the upper-middle class and upper class in the process?
Jesus tells us to "go into all the world and proclaim the gospel." The word ALL here is important. It means everyone. Including the wealthy and the educated. Perhaps churches should refocus and look around themselves and see who in their neighborhood is not attending and take the missions to them. Perhaps we should refocus our efforts to closer to home and to those whom we work with, play golf with, hunt with and exercise with. Perhaps missions is indeed "all".
Go therefore into ALL the world and proclaim the good news. And in that process, don't drive by the gated community or the ritzy neighborhood, but go there also.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Shot Show Update

The Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade show got underway yesterday with a bang! Also known as SHOT Show, it is the largest shooting and hunting show in the world and each January manufacturers, media and buyers converge on Las Vegas for a week of shooting, gawking and some drooling at the new offerings for the year.
Suffice it to say, it is quite the spectacle. Tens of thousands of people are rolling through the aisles looking, handling and inquiring about the newest firearms and accessories to hit the market. (All firearms have their firing pins removed prior to the show and each are inspected carefully)
If you are anyone on the industry you are here. If you want to be anyone in the industry you are here. All of the top brands, and most of the up and coming brands are represented. Every type of firearm, ammunition, holsters, slings, shooting rests, targets, clothing, boots, socks, backpacks, optics and anything else you can think of is here. It can be quite overwhelming for the first time visitor, and for someone like me who have been coming for years, it is still overwhelming.
The convention center is three full floors of gear. Today, I covered about 9/16 of one floor. That translates to slightly 9 miles of walking, and only seeing a small fraction of the gear available.
Some of the items I saw that I like so far include; Taurus handguns. Once again Taurus has made huge strides in engineering and received the Guns and Ammo handgun of the year award for their TX22.
In addition to the TX22. The Gen2 Concealed carry in 9MM is a great gun. Available in a variety of colors and configurations, its price point of under $400 makes it a great buy.
Lastly in the Taurus lineup, the much anticipated (at least by me) release of the Raging Hunter in .454 Casull is finally available. Perhaps one of the finest hunting revolvers ever produced, it is a joy to hunt with.
In addition to Taurus, Browning is once again leading the pack with fine guns for the discriminating sportsman. The X-Bolt is available in a variety of configurations and calibers. The new Hunter Long Range in 6.5 Creedmoor with an adjustable comb is a great gun. Complete with a threaded barrel protected by a muzzle brake, it will put a lot of smiles on peoples faces.
One piece I personally liked is the Limited X-Bolt in Maple stock. This is a true work of art and a beautiful rifle.
Outside of guns, I discovered Lowa boots. Long a staple in Europe and in segmented areas of the US. Lowa is a high quality boot that is coming into the hunting market with a bang. Their Renegade GTX is a great all around boot for hiking, trekking and everyday getting around. For the more serious hunter, look at their Hunter GTX with 200 gr insulation, it is just right for active hunting in even the toughest terrain.
One other item on day one was SSP Eyewear. This company has really thought of most of the issues shooters and hunters face. Their eyewear is unique and awesome. As someone who wears bi-focal prescription lenses, I need the magnification to see my sights. SSP has developed some protective lenses that have the magnification on the top of the lens. No more tilting your head to see the sights clearly. With interchangeable lenses, in yellow, clear and smoke, I can mix and match each lens to meet my need.
Day one is in the books. Who know what tomorrow may bring. But I know it will bring sore legs, for sure. Look for another post later this week.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Rock Island Armory 1911 in .22 Magnum - A Review

Admittedly, when I  first saw that the gun Rock Island Armory sent for me to test was a 1911 in .22 magnum I  was disappointed.

What would someone want with a 1911 in .22 magnum I  thought to myself.  But being true to the process. I went to the range, pulled the RIA A1 in .22 Magnum from the case and was blown away with its feel, accuracy and the quality with which it was made.

The weight of  2.5 lbs. it is a good fit for a rimfire. Being in the 1911 frame, it should be heavy and should be robust as it is. The top eject was not something I  preferred, but I  quickly dismissed it once I  began shooting and seeing the groups I  was able to obtain in short order.

Shooting with the top eject did take a minute to get used to. I  am not accustomed to seeing the cases eject from the top, so target acquisition took some getting used to, but was quickly obtained.

Not only was the RIA 1911 in .22 magnum accurate, it was plain fun to shoot. Like all .22 magnum pistols, they are loud and the energy generated from the rimfire is impressive.

For decades I have been a big fan of the .22 Remington Magnum cartridge. The energy this little bullet generates is so much more than the .22 LR that it makes it a fine all around rifle for small and medium game. Many feral hogs have met their demise to the .22 Magnum, as has a few alligators and other critters.

This version from Rock Island Armory is one of the finest .22 magnum pistols I  personally have tested. Solid frame, adjustable trigger (from 4-6 lbs.), balanced and a magazine that holds 15 rounds makes this an excellent pistol for small game hunting and for concealed carry. The rubberized grips prevent slipping with wet hands, and the parkerized finish is a breeze to keep clean.

In conclusion, I  found the RIA A! XT 22MRF pistol to be one of the more enjoyable pistols I have tested in a while. Easy to load, fun to shoot and the fiber optic sights are a blessing for aging eyes. This is definitely one 1911 you need in your collection.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Rock Island Armory A1 1911 - A Review

Honestly, I  have never been a fan of the 1911 framed semi-auto pistol. I am sure I  will get a lot of flack for that comment, but that is ok. There are a lot of fans who carry nothing else and that is great. But for me, I have always preferred a smaller framed pistol, especially for concealed carry.

But recently I  was fortunate enough to get a chance to test the Rock Island Armory A1 1911 in 9mm. And I  have to admit, I  may just be a convert!

First impression of the RIA 1911 in 9mm was impressive. It fits my hand beautifully and is balanced extremely well. Weighing 2.56 lbs. empty this 1911 is exactly the right weight for this full size framed pistol.

A single stacked magazine holds 9 rounds which is ample for the range or self defense. As a pistol owner of many styles and frames, I  have always been a fan of the Rock Island Armory quality. Made in the Philippines, these pistols are some of the finest you will find in this price point.

At the range, the A1 1911 handled excellent. Target acquisition was fast, recoil easily manageable with the weighted frame and target re-acquisition was a breeze. I  found it to be accurate right out of the box. Able to hit 8" steel targets at 20 yards with ease.

After a few hundred rounds through the RIA 1911, I  found nothing that it would not handle. Extreme rapid fire, slow fire, and using the Armscor 9mm ammunition, it cycled flawlessly and handled everything I  threw at it.

The parkerized finish is one that personally is preferred over a shiny finish. Disassembly was not as easy as some other brands, but was certainly not anything that was difficult either.

The Rock Island Armory A1 1911 in 9mm is in my estimation the perfect 1911 available. While I  know there are many who prefer the 1911 in either a .40 or .45 caliber. I  find the 9mm to be about right for what most people use and carry for.

In a defense situation, few human beings can withstand the impact of a 9mm. And with the rapid fire capabilities of the RIA 1911 in 9mm, they certainly cannot handle multiple shots.

When owning several handguns, pistols or revolvers, keeping ammunition straight is a big safety factor. By keeping your options limited, it lessens the chance for a mixup. For that reason alone, I  prefer to keep my carry guns in the same calibers, and not expanding beyond those two. The same is true for my hunting handguns. By limiting the caliber options to a few, I  lessen the chance for a mistake.

Without hesitation, if you are looking for a good solid 1911 for your personal carry gun, or just want one for target shooting. The Rock Island Armory A1 1911 in 9mm is one you should strongly consider.