Texas Open Carry Predictions

In light of recent headlines (grocery store chains including HEB announcing that they will bar open carry within their establishments), I am making the following predictions. These are mostly for fun.

High Certainty

  • increased interest in full-size pistols over subcompacts, with full-size handguns accounting for increased proportion of overall firearm sales. I imagine that this will be difficult to measure without significant effort, but gun store owners and employees will probably be able to speak to this.
    • open carry will deemphasize the need for concealable firearms, except for compliance with 30.07 signs
    • benefits of large-frame handguns will see them making their way into more holsters
      • better ergonomics
      • larger magazine capacity
  • increased sales of OWB holsters
  • increased number of firearm-related injuries and deaths among civilian population, not accounting for officer-involved shootings
    • not all casualties are equal: we can expect some of these to be situations in which the shooter had the full backing of the law (legitimate self-defense), but also expect some casualties to result from negligence and flaring tempers

Mid-High Certainty

  • decreased number of murders and other violent crime
    • brandished firearms should act as an effective deterrent to crime – most would-be criminals aren’t trying to get shot

Order Placed: Honeywell RPLS740B 7-Day Solar Time Table Programmable Switch

I wanted a switch that could be programmed in reference to sunrise and sunset times.

The Honeywell RPLS740B (~$32, Amazon.com) emerged as the leader after considering similar switches. It stood out to me with its clean, modern design and positive reviews.

I made sure to check the listings at my local Home Depot before placing the order, and noted that they were offering a lesser model. I may include some notes on this particular switch after I’ve had the opportunity to play with it.

Aimpoint Micro H-1 2 MOA Unboxing and First Impressions

Two items of note before we dive in:
1) this is my first time playing with anything from Aimpoint, though you could say that I’m familiar with the legend of the name, and
2) I’m probably spoiled for unboxing, so take this with a grain of salt.

The Aimpoint Micro H-1 (~$600, Amazon.com) has been on the market since 2007. It’s made to be used whenever and wherever needed: a single battery will power the red dot sight for up to five years of continuous operation at position 8 of 12, and over ten months at position 10 of 12.

The box is small and minimalistic, measuring in at x ( x cm). It’s almost boring in semi-matte black, with the playful addition of a clipped corner. A faintly-lit photo of the Micro H-1 in profile adorns three faces of the box.

The Aimpoint Micro H-1 box, viewed head-on
The Aimpoint Micro H-1 box, viewed head-on

I was surprised to find nothing securing the flap from being opened. No tamper-evident sticker: quite unusual in my estimation for a high-value product.

The Aimpoint Micro H-1 box, viewed from an angle
The Aimpoint Micro H-1 box, viewed from an angle

Upon opening the flap, we are greeted by two inserts. One is a leaflet for four free hunting videos (worth $180!) redeemable upon product registration. The other is the manual (PDF available on Aimpoint’s website: http://us.aimpoint.com/fileadmin/user_upload/2015_Web_Content/Product_PDFs/User_Manuals/Sights/Micro_Series/12035-8_Manual_Micro_Series_ENG_FR_DE_ES_SE_RU_LoRes.pdf)

Literature enclosed within the Aimpoint Micro H-1 box
Literature enclosed within the Aimpoint Micro H-1 box

Pulling aside the foam insert reveals the sight (fitted with rubber bikini lens cover), an Aimpoint Micro tool, and the CR2032 battery (not pictured). These are packaged tightly by another foam insert that lines the bottom of the box.

Aimpoint Micro H-1 box with flap open
Opening the flap and removing the top layer of packing material exposes the Aimpoint Micro H-1 red dot sight and tool

I used the Micro tool to remove and reinstall the battery cap. The power intensity adjustment ring is tight and precise, with a knurled ring for easy operation, and internal stops.

An angled shot of the Aimpoint Micro H-1 with bikini cover on
The Aimpoint Micro H-1 comes with a bikini cover to protect the front and rear elements

The Micro H-1’s housing and mount are both made of anodized high-strength aluminum, finished in a semi-matte black. It looks right at home on any modern sporting rifle (assault rifle [call it whatever you want to call it]).

An angled shot of the Aimpoint Micro H-1 with bikini cover on, alternate angle
An alternate view of the Aimpoint Micro H-1 with bikini cover on

I took a photo of the sight when viewed from the front with the dot set to maximum intensity.

Aimpoint Micro H-1 viewed head-on
This is what the target sees

While the Aimpoint Micro H-1 comes with a base for mounting to Weaver-style rails, it is advisable to combine it with a fixed-height riser for mounting to an AR-15. The use of a riser brings up the height of the optical axis for co-witnessing with iron sights. I wasn’t aware of this until I talked about optics with Basil W. Once zeroed in, I’m confident that this sight will enable me to accurately group shots at 100 yards.

An angled shot of the Aimpoint Micro H-1 with bikini cover removed
The Aimpoint Micro H-1 with bikini cover removed
An angled shot of the Aimpoint Micro H-1 with bikini cover removed, alternate view
An alternate view of the Aimpoint Micro H-1 with bikini cover removed

Compared to other products offered by Aimpoint, the Micro H-1 is a step above the the Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO), and lags behind the nightvision-compatible Micro T-1. There is a newer Micro H-2 available, as well as a Micro T-2, both announced earlier this year.

Hello, this is Rachel with Card Services

I received a phone call from +1 (863) 559-5991 on Tuesday afternoon, and answered to see what it was about. An automated voice came through.

Curious to see what their offer was, I dialed one to be connected to a human (apparently one should not do this). I was connected to a man who spoke in accented English.

I asked him what bank he represented, and he rattled off a list of large banks, including Chase and Citi. Clearly he wasn’t with a bank.

I asked him what company he represented. The company’s name was “Card Services,” generic as they come.

The offer was for a lower interest rate on any debt that I was carrying.

He asked me what the largest balance was on my credit cards, and how many cards I kept. I told him that I had a handful of credit cards on hand, and that I didn’t carry a balance on any of them.

He stated that their offer was only good for people with at least a couple thousand dollars in credit card debt. I didn’t meet the profile, and so he ended the call.

Later, I found that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a blog post published regarding calls of this nature:

What’s the deal with “Rachel from Card Services”? (FTC Consumer Information Blog)

They’ll make promises to lower your interest rate permanently — sometimes to a ridiculously low 0% — but charge a fee that can be as high as $5,000. But their promises aren’t true. There are no guarantees for permanently lowered interest rates. And it’s against the law to charge a fee up-front for these services. Most people who pay the fee don’t get a lower rate — in fact, they get into worse debt, and may find unauthorized charges on their cards.

In many cases, these companies charge you for things you could do on your own for free. They might open a new card with a low introductory interest rate, or tell you to take advantage of your credit card company’s existing hardship programs. And they often use shady tactics — like telling you to stop paying your bills, lying to your credit card company so that you qualify for a hardship program, and not telling you that you’ll have to pay additional fees to transfer a balance. If you follow that advice, you’ll be in worse financial trouble than ever.

The FTC has advice for persons who need help settling credit card debt, including help choosing a credit counselor. It’s in the government’s interest, as well as the interest of each consumer, not to fall victim to credit card interest rate reduction scams.