Category Archives: Training

Your Gun is Useless

That cool 2000 dollar rifle you bought.  Useless.  That pistol you bought that was all the rage on the internet… Useless.  What you bought is a very expensive Safe Ornament.

No matter how good that gun is… It’s as useless as tits on a warthog. Unless you have spare magazines for it.  Ammunition for it.  A ready kit to carry loaded magazines.   And unless you have trained with it.

There’s a reason that the Army and the Marines drill their people on Disassembly and Reassembly.   Do you know how to strip that new weapon down, and reassemble it?   Can you do that in the dark?  Do you even know your weapon?

I know a couple guys that have bought very nice, high quality arms… and they’ve done nothing with other than to remove it from the box and put it in the safe…. and they brag about having it.   Dude, you don’t have anything.   You don’t even own a Cartridge for it… you have nothing.

Take that gun out… Get to know it.   Train with it.

ADDENDUM:  I’m not talking about Collector guns, Collectors, or guns bought as investments.  So Investors and Collectors – don’t get your panties in a twist, this wasn’t about you.

Clips

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Some “Gun Guys” get a burr up their asses when someone who knows little about guns, says “Clip” instead of “Magazine”.   Some gun guys turn into pedantic asshats about this and regardless of the situation just can’t help but to go into full lecture mode to make sure that they beat the “proper terminology” into their heads.   And it wouldn’t be so bad if you just said something like “If it has a spring, it’s a magazine,” and move on… But interjecting your “Knowledge Bomb” with the whole looking down your nose, half sneer, and eye rolls only makes you look like a complete jackwagon.

Instead of rolling easy, you guys have to puff out your chest like a Male Sage Grouse trying to impress a Mate.   Then once you’ve beaten your point into the ground like your driving railroad spikes, you then act smug as if you’ve fixed some part of the world that was broken and now can be healed thanks to your blessed wisdom dispensation.

Some times I’ve observed the results of this…  and it’s not good. You’ve taken a new and curious shooter that wants to learn… and turned them off completely.   I’ve seen this happen at Ranges.  I’ve seen this happen at Gun Counters.   I’ve seen Customers do this to other Customers… and I’ve even seen Gun Counter Guys do this to someone who was a Customer, but suddenly are no longer one.  And then they don’t want to go back.  Because people don’t like being talked down to.  This does us no good and seriously – Who the hell really cares?    This isn’t important.

Clips vs Magazines – It doesn’t matter.   Both are devices that hold ammunition… That’s close enough.  It’s not “Shoulder Thing that Goes Up” level of ignorance… So let’s let this shit slide and then offer some educational training in a more subtle way, okay?

Shooter 3.0

Say hello to Shooter 3.0.

Gun Woman

Let me back up to explain what I’m talking about.  Shooter 1.0 is the generation of people who grew up with guns as just part of their every day lives.  They grew up learning the traditions of shooting, and of hunting, and of gun safety and it was never a mystery to them.
Shooter 2.0 is the non-traditional group of new shooters who had no background of firearms, but took up an interest from movies, tv, and video games and wanted to try them out in real life.  Shooter 2.0 comes from a diverse demographic background, but are usually younger, enthusiastic, technology savvy, and are willing to learn everything they can about firearms.  They don’t look like Shooter 1.0’s typically… because Shooter 2.0 may have Tats, Piercings… and do not look like or dress like they came from that Conservative Upbringing that 1.0’s came from.

Shooter 3.0 is a bit different.  They are primarily people who are waking up to the realization that the Second Amendment applies to them.   They are primarily women, and primarily Women of Color.  Black, Asian, Indian, and Latino Women are the bulk of Shooter 3.0, with Black Women being the largest segment of this group.   Shooter 3.0 often comes to the table with no background in Firearms Knowledge from any source or media… But they know that they have the RIGHT to learn.  And that’s a BEAUTIFUL thing!

For the last couple of years I’ve been the guy manning the booths at public events and being that ambassador to the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade.   We see a lot of people walking by.   Having a Booth for a Gun Range at these public events has been an education.

Shooter 1.0 guys tend to ignore us almost completely.   They are “Too Cool For School”.  They will walk past, keeping their heads forward, but eyeballing us as hard as they can rotate their eyeballs in their skulls.   Once in awhile, they will ask us for some information “For their friend”.

Shooter 2.0 guys will ask us about what guns we carry in stock, and will ask about tactical training opportunities… and they will often bring their boy friends or girlfriends who are not yet comfortable.  Their Safe Word is “Breakfree”.   We get a few of the 2.0 people a day at whatever location we are all.

Shooter 3.0’s are the ones who walk straight up to our booth, they smile, they ask good questions about all the learning opportunities, and it’s the Shooter 3.0’s that are signing up for the classes.  Because.  They.  Can.   They are proud to embrace the rights that they have been told is for Other People.   Guns are a Man’s Thing.  Or Guns are for Rednecks.   And they now know that a RIGHT in America is for All Americans.    And here’s the great thing about the Shooter 3.0 Crowd… 3.0’s actually Listen.  They drink in the FREEDOM like a dehydrated guy crawling in from the desert drinks in water.   The 2nd Amendment is for them too.  Self Defense is a Human Right.   And we WELCOME them into the Freedom Lifestyle.

Shooter 3.0 Students are the ones filling our Concealed Carry Classes.

The black women as a group are also the ones having the most fun with all of this.  We’re seeing them coming into the range with their friends more and more often… when only a few years ago we’d almost never see any.   They are having a blast!  The Freedom Lifestyle welcomes everyone.   When you are at the range – there is no Hate, there is no Racism… You find that at Liberal Arts Colleges.

Unfortunately there is some Sexism.  You find that in some of the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Marketing and in some of the SHOT Industry Vendors…   Looking at you EAA, specifically, and a lot of others generally…   Can we NOT actively try to alienate the whole new customer base that is keeping the industry rolling?   Just asking.

A Fisking

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The Havok Journal posted a whine about the gun industry that required some gentle fisking.   I’ve not heard of it before… but it bounced around my Social Medias a bit and caught my attention.

Since around 2008, the firearm industry has taken a dramatic turn.  It hasn’t exploded like some predicted after the presidential elections.

Actually, yes.  It did.  Retail Firearm Sales went through the roof.  So much so that dealers and distributors were emptied of product for years.   To this day, supply of some products has still not caught back up to demand.  Such as .22 Long Rifle ammunition.

Continue reading A Fisking

Strikers and Soft Holsters – A Negligent Combination

We see articles like THIS (Warning: Link shows a gnarly wound on a bloke’s arse) from time to time.  Where a fellow was wearing his gun in his holster and there was an Accidental Discharge.  I’m not calling in Negligent, because the people were generally not doing anything wrong…. Accidents CAN happen, though they are Rare.  99% of the time it is Negligence, but not here.  More on this in a moment…

This sort of an accident almost always involve two things:
1.  A striker fired pistol.
2.  A generic fit soft holster.  Most of the time made of Neoprene or Nylon, but also sometimes of some form of softer leather.

This is a bad combination, a Striker in a Soft Holster.  If this is your carry combo – I would recommend you change it because I believe that it’s dangerous.  Flat out dangerous.   Also dangerous are the use of Minimalist Holsters… any holster that covers only the trigger guard, or strives to be as small and light as possible.    Some of these holsters can break during use, some can let objects get into the trigger guard…. and none of them protect the gun in any way, shape, or form.
There was one guy getting into a car wearing his Striker in a softer type leather holster where the holster its self rolled into the guard so when he sat down, it discharged.  Another guy just leaned against a counter and it went off.  So yes – these guns can “Just Go Off” when you are packing a Striker in a Soft Holster and you are not paying attention.
Really I’m coming to the opinion that if you do pack a Striker fired gun in a Soft Holster – or a Minimalist Type Holster – You are being Negligent.   There is no valid reason in my mind to do so.  You are either too cheap to buy a decent holster, too ignorant to look for something better, or you are packing something different enough that there are no other holster options out there.  Which makes me think maybe you shouldn’t be packing it yet.

GET GOOD GEAR.  A Holster is a crucial part of your Weapon System and if you don’t have a good holster – then yeah – Your ass is Negligent.

Conflicted

I’ve been struggling with this subject for some time.   Not just the subject, but even if I should post this.   Publishing my thoughts on this – feels dangerous.  But the First Amendment is backed up by the Second.  So here it is:

Here’s the thing.   Sometime ago I observed a TSA Agent going about her business of providing Security Theater at the Airport.  She was Muslim, and wearing her traditional Muslim head-covering.   My knee-jerk reaction was that of anger.  It was her people are the reason why we have the TSA now.  Why we have to take off our shoes at the Airport.
But what got me even more angry – was that I got angry about that.  Damn it!  I’m not racist.  I never have been.  I’m not against anyone of a different faith than mine!  I’ve been wired against Hate all my life!
You see, I swore an Oath that I took and still take very seriously.  To protect the constitution.  To protect those that believe and say things that I might disagree with, but I’ll fight to the death to protect their right to say it.   That includes Muslims who wish to worship Allah and hold to the beliefs and practices of Islam.
Here’s another thing.  I’m a Mormon.  One of our Articles  of Faith says:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

We know what it feels like to be looked down upon for being different.  Mormons were driven out of their homes, several times.  Our church built homes only to be forced to leave them.  We built a whole city, only to be forced to leave it… A new temple that took so much sacrifice to build.  (Nauvoo) We only got to use it for a little while.  The Hayes Administration tried to block Mormon Immigrants.  A Governor declared a genocide on us.   If you study Mormon history, you find you are studying persecution and abuse for a very long time.  One of my own family was murdered for simply being Mormon.

So when we hear people speak like how Donald Trump is speaking, a part of us feels sick inside to see this happening again, even to another people.   It’s wrong, and all of my upbringing is against it.

And yet, there is a part of me that agrees with Trump’s assertion that we should hold off until we “figure out what’s going on” as he said.  Is holding off until we have a viable vetting process such a bad idea?  President Jimmie Carter did just that.  Yet when Trumps says that, he’s a badguy?  I don’t get that.

Continue reading Conflicted

It comes down to two things.

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With Handgun Accuracy, if you are not getting the shot groups you want, it really comes down to two things.  We can condense all the basic fundamentals down to two things we need to concentrate on.  The two things that cause the most problems to good shooting:

  1.  You are not focused on the Front Sight Post.  You are letting your mind become distracted with everything around you.  The Rear Sight.  The Target.  What others are doing.  You are not holding a razor sharp focus on that front sight post.
  2.   Your trigger pull is less than optimal.  You are not pulling it straight back.  You’re jerking it.  You’re trigger pull is yanking the front sight off the target.

We don’t like being told we are doing something wrong.  We hate that and we will argue against it.  Pride.  Our pride gets in our own way here.  Stubbornness… refusal to change the way you are doing something even if it’s not working, we’ll just keep trying what we’ve been doing until we run out of ammo.

Only YOU know what your sight picture looked like the instant your shot broke.  Only YOU know what that trigger pull felt like.  Only YOU know what you did wrong.  YOU have to be honest with yourself.  If you want to get better, you have to start with your own internal honesty here.  Put down the pride, and admit to yourself you are not doing everything you need to be doing to achieve consistent accuracy.

Front Sight Focus – Trigger Pull.

Those 2 things.   You get those two things right – everything else falls into place and you’ll have tighter shot groups.

This also applies to rifle shooting as well.

The Morality of Offense

I had some good conversations with Rob Morse of The Polite Society.  Rob was asking some good questions about he attacks in Chattanooga on the Recruiting Stations and this led to a good discussion that maybe – just maybe – we’re not training to the right Mindset in our Defensive courses.

Normally, any of the Traditional Martial Arts, and the Martial Arts with High Kinetic Energy all train with the notion that the best fight is the one you don’t get into.  Meaning that if you can avoid a fight, then do so by all means necessary.  But maybe that’s not the case anymore.

The classic crime we defend from is basically strong arm robbery, burglary,  maybe a home invasion, mugging, or car-jacking.  As bad as they are, they are no where near the level of the Mass-Shooting and Terror Attacks we’re seeing more and more of.  See, the good old fashioned crime, the Thug/Bad Guy/Scumbag/Threat; he’s after your Property.  Money.  Credit Cards.  Car.  Hubcaps… Stuff.  He wants your stuff.   In those cases, the Traditional methodology is correct.  Stuff can be replaced.  So drop your cash and run if running is an option.  Or toss your wallet and hit the gas.  If your in the back of the store and Thugs come in the front to hold up the place – escape out the back.  If you can, help others escape out the back while you cover their exit – and then you leave.  That’s the right thing to do.

But that’s no always the case anymore.  Now the Threat/Terrorist/Bad Guy isn’t after your Property.  They are after your life and lives of everyone else around you.  This is where it’s different.  Things have changed and dropping your stuff and bolting may or may not be the right answer anymore.  Let’s say you are armed and some maniac comes in with an AK-47 and starts shooting up the place.   You hear the shots, some people scream and chaos ensues.  You help some folks out the back exit and they run to safety.   Now, you are armed.  You have a decision to make.  Do you engage the threat or do you run away as well?

The Army taught us a simple phrase that has a lot of questions that go with it.  “The METT Dictates”.  METT means “Mission”, “Enemy”, “Terrain”, and “Time”.   So there are a lot of variables to consider in your exact situation, location and what the bad guy is doing.    Let’s say your in a familiar office setting.  Like the above situation you have helped people to safety.  You are armed with a pistol such as say, a S&W Bodyguard .380… which is a popular Concealed Carry Pistol, and one that is quite good.  The threat doesn’t know you are there and you know the building.  Should you take action or should you retreat?   I don’t know.  But your ability to engage and stop or delay that threat is really not all that great.  Maybe you should exfiltrate and go about your merry.

Now let’s say you are armed with a SIG 229 in .357 SIG in that same situation.  You have more capacity with a more accurate and more potent firearm.  You have a greater chance of stopping that threat.  Ending that rampage, or at least reducing that threat’s ability to rampage as effectively or freely.  This situation swings in your favor so you have that choice to make.  Do you stay and fight or do you withdraw?   What’s the right choice here?

Let’s look at the results of these shootings.  Almost all of the time, the threat is ended with confronted with with an armed resistance.  The shooter dies, surrenders, or turns his own gun on himself.  Either way – the threat is neutralized.    Or in some cases when the shooter runs out of people to kill, he then kills himself.

If he doesn’t end himself, and he’s not been stopped… we’ve seen them move on to another location to do more harm.  This is what happened with the Marine Recruiting Stations.  The Terrorist shoots up one place and having met no resistance, moves on to another location where he kills people.

At that scene a weapon was found that didn’t belong to the Shooter or the responding LEO’s.  It is guessed that someone in there used that firearm in self defense and the defense of others.  We don’t know all the details.  But we can imagine that the Warrior Spirits of those Marines compelled them to engage.  The shooter was killed.  Like I said – we don’t know what went down.  But what would have happened if this guy didn’t face any resistance there?  Would he have moved on to another military recruiting office?  Maybe a school or a mall?  We don’t know.  But giving what we’ve learned about this terrorist, it’s likely that he would not have stopped until someone else stopped him.

The Navy Yard in VA.  Fort Hood in Texas.  And other high profile terrorist acts… Trolley Square in SLC.  These  terroristic attacks ended when a good guy with a gun stopped that threat.

Given that situation, ask yourself; should you be ready to take an offensive defense and move to engage or should you flee?  Are you morally justified in moving to engage?   Here’s my take.  I think if you are in a position with the means and ability and a chance of stopping that terrorist then not only should you engage… but I feel that you have the moral obligation to do so.

Now, I’m not talking about your average Joe Snuffy CCW Permit Holder.  I’m talking about men and women who have take more advanced training and or have some good solid experience in shooting under stress.  Former Military or Law Enforcement.  That guys that shoot competitions.  The guys that might actually have a chance of ending that terrorist.  I’m talking about Sheepdogs.  You guys.  (Probably most everyone that reads my blog)  YOU have the moral obligation to fight.   Because if you don’t… who knows what else that terrorist is going to do.  But with all due respect to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Terrorists will not drop their weapons and walk away.   That doesn’t happen.  Ever.  Just the opposite in fact.  They are emboldened and energized and will do more harm than before.

This is a mind-set issue here.  We’re talking about moral responsibility and obligation to not just save yourself and family, but your neighbors as well.     Call the cops, yes.  But unless they are already there – you need to step up.   If a pan of grease on your stove ignites – sure you can call the Fire Department.   But it would be more effective and beneficial for everyone for you to put a lid on that pan and put that fire our yourself.

The Lead Trojan Horse.  

Lead contamination is dangerous situation that we shooters all worry about – or should be worried about!  I work at an indoor range.   We go to great pains to make sure that exposure to lead is as minimal as possible.  Every day we clean each range bay, and we use state of the art HVAC and air filtration systems to keep the air clean.  Not just to make the range comfortable, but to keep everyone safe as they enjoy their experience.
Lead particles can get everywhere.  In your hair, your clothes, all over your guns, and all over your hands.  We always encourage our patrons, guests, and friends to wash their hands after shooting.  But there is one area that gets neglected, that we don’t think about.
Our Range Bags.
Think about it.  It’s right there on the firing line with us.  We go into the bag all the time for ammo and magazines… and it’s catching some of everything we throw down range.  Powder and Powder Residue, Brass at times… and lead particles.
As dirty as your hands can get, you grab that range bag.  Then, you go and wash your hands, and then you grab your range bag again to take it to the car.  At home, you wash your clothing, shower, and then you grab your range bag.  Your hands could be getting contaminated with lead even before you shoot for the day.
Let me ask you this; when was the last time you cleaned your range bag?  You don’t have to answer that.  I’ll be honest.  I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned my range bag!  How much lead have I been bringing into my home?
Make cleaning your range bag a part of your shooting schedule.