It’s that time of year when I look back and review which goals I accomplished and which goals I didn’t as an input to what I want to do next year. Even though 2021 in many ways was a lot like 2020 and I didn’t have a lot of plans or high expectations for it, the year had some “wins” and I feel like I accomplished more than I expected – at least in terms of my shooting interests and blogging.
Given the ammo crisis that began in 2020, I started off the year thinking I would be doing a lot less shooting and a lot more dry practice. To an extent this was the case as my dry fire to live fire ratio shifted in favor of dry fire, but not by as much as I thought it would shift as some ammo became more available and slightly more affordable.
That said, I had expected that my defensive training would be primarily focused on first aid skills. It started out that way with a Stop The Bleed course being the first training course I attended. However, it was the only first aid course I attended. I think it was the combination of the ammunition market improvements and learning that some firearms instructors adjusted the curriculum of some courses with a reduced round count that allowed me to attend several defensive pistol courses that I had not envisioned. These courses include:
- KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills 1
- KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills 2
- KR Training Personal Tactics Skills
- KR Training Advanced Training 2: Force on Force Scenarios
- KR Training Low Light Shooting 1
- KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills 3
So, yeah. The year didn’t go as planned, but I still consider that a win.
My plans for hunting in 2021 were simple. Take every opportunity possible to fill the freezer, and that is exactly what I did.
This started with a whitetail deer harvested in January, during the last weekend of the special late season in Texas. It was also during the same weekend that my hunting buddies and I learned what happens when a hog meets a 44 along with some other lessons.
Since then, my hunting buddy and I joined a hunting club and have gone hunting several times. However, I’ve found myself in a dry spell and haven’t harvested any game since January. While I get it’s hunting and not grocery shopping, I have to admit it’s been very frustrating and I’ve had to consciously remind myself that it’s all about the journey. Nevertheless, the hunting trips have been very enjoyable and have made some good memories.
Given the increase in hunting trips, I took on a project to repurpose the Daniel Defense DD5 V1 for nighttime hog hunting. This project started out with some very disappointing reliability issues which Daniel Defense rectified by completely replacing the DD5 V1 with a DD5 V3 and ended with less then ideal results from it’s initial field use. Nevertheless, I’ve learned a bunch from the project so far and the project will continue into next year.
I didn’t have a plan to acquire any additional firearms this year, but in my planning I did mention that unplanned acquisitions were possible. Additionally, some tools in the toolbox received some unplanned upgrades. While I haven’t had a chance to finish reviews for some of the more recent acquisitions, I managed to publish several reviews this year between the acquisitions from earlier this year and before.
Here is a recap of those reviews:
- Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm Riflescope
- Vortex Optics AR-BDC3 Reticle
- Vortex Optics EBR-9 (MRAD) Reticle
- Vortex Optics AR-BDC2 Reticle
- Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen III 1-10×24 FFP Riflescope
- Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Reflex Sight
- Aimpoint Micro T-2 Red Dot Reflex Sight
- KSG Armory Halcyon
- Sig Sauer P229 Legion 1500 Rounds Later
- Heckler & Koch VP9 with Trijicon RMR 2000 Rounds Later
- Vortex Optics Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
- ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x Smart Day / Night Riflescope
- Aero Precision 6mm ARC Upper Receiver (and M4E1 Lower)
- We The People Custom Kydex Holsters
Competition took a backseat this year as planned and expected. This was in part to the ammunition market conditions and in part due to the unplanned training and increased hunting activity.
I did manage to attend a small handful of local matches this year. My most memorable match this year occurred in July where the majority of the squad was composed of coworkers, neighbors, and a group of mutual connections from Twitter that I got to meet in person for the first time. Additionally, I also shot a match that set a new personal record.
So while it was a slow year for competition, the experiences were magnificent.
The blog has seen stellar growth this year. Traffic has grown by over 150% compared to last year. Additionally, subscriptions are quickly approaching the 5000 count. I can’t thank y’all enough for that. The continued growth keeps me motivated to keep writing.
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Thank you all once again for your readership. I’m looking forward to what next year brings.