Upcoming Training: Warrior Club At Training Grounds.

Published January 28, 2019 by
Filed under Firearms Industry, Mindset, Self Defense, Tactical, Training

This will be a bit different for me. In the past, I’ve written about how quasi-military training is NOT what we armed citizens really need to learn, primarily because we don’t have to do the same things that the military does. The job of the military is to use overwhelming firepower to beat an enemy into submission in order to take over their territory. That, thankfully, is not my job as an armed civilian. My job as an armed citizen is to avoid contact with the criminal element as much as I can, but if I can’t, I need to use enough force to break contact wit the bad guy (up to and including lethal force) until law enforcement arrives to bring closure to the situation. Two wildly different goals such as that demand wildly different training styles. Yes, the fundamentals of sight alignment, trigger press and so on may be the same, but the reasons WHY we are learning those things are completely different.

However, the horrific suicide statistics in the United States, especially suicides that use a gun, have touched me deeply. I lost a good friend to suicide, and I think it’s high time that we as gun owners step up to the plate and do something about this tragedy in our midst before something is done to us and our rights are yet again diminished.

Men returning home from the horrors of World War Two found solace and comfort in the safe spaces of the Rotary Club and the Elks Lodge and dozens of other service organizations, but men returning home from our years-long involvement in Afghanistan and elsewhere have no such refuges to cling to. This is why I’m interested in what Training Grounds is doing with their Warrior Club.

There is a Warrior buried within all of us. Find yours as you and your team go through intense, fun and unique training exercises, designed to push you and build camaraderie among friends. Fun, fast paced and designed to teach multiple skills in a short amount of time. You will leave amazed at the new skill you’ve learned or the old skills you’ve improved on.

Social media and all the other wonders of our internet-based society are keeping locked up in our homes, away from the contact of real people. While I have gained some very close friends via social media, the fact is, they live all over the globe, and they aren’t available to be if I want to chat over a cup of coffee. We need more opportunities where men can come together and bond in-person, face-to-face and realize that they don’t have to tackle the problems of the modern world by themselves. This movement has to start somewhere, so why not have it start on the friendly confines of the firing range?

Stay tuned.

Context Is King

Published January 6, 2019 by
Filed under Mindset, Self Defense, Training

Armed Parent / Guardian

Throughout the hundreds and hundreds of hours of firearms training classes I’ve had, there’s been exactly ONE class that has attempted to apply the skills of marksmanship and speed to my everyday life: The Armed Parent/Guardian class from Citizens Defense Research.

I find that a little ridiculous. Yes, marksmanship is a skill and yes, you can learn it in a class, but there are reasons WHY people come to a class, and one of the biggest reasons out there right now is personal protection. Yes, people get hooked on training and turn into “hobbyists” (and Lord knows I’m one of them) but most gun owners need a reason to train that goes beyond the training itself.

Our lives do not exist in a vacuum. However, the square ranges we train on encourage us to think that what’s learned on the square range stays on the square range. In our pursuit of perfection, we forget that most people don’t share our passion for the .2 second split and the sub-second draw: They just want to keep their loved ones safe in an uncertain, unsafe world.

For instance, I enjoy the skill and the art of cooking, but my dinner menu is based on the constraints of time, budget and my family’s tastes in food. I’m not a chef in a restaurant, cooking what I want and serving it up to masses who have come to sample my creations. Instead, my skill and preferences in cooking are moderated by the people around me. My cooking doesn’t exist in the kitchen, my cooking only becomes important when I serve it up on the dinner table to my family.

So here’s my question to the firearms training community: If your absolute closest friend or relative, the person who brings you the most joy in your life, came to you and said they wanted to learn how to defend their life with a firearm, what would you teach them? More importantly, how would you make sure they started carrying their gun everywhere they could? Would you feel like you failed if you found out that, despite all your teaching, they still kept their gun in it’s box under their bed? What would you change to make sure they were safe, and not just “felt safe because they owned a gun”?

And why aren’t you doing that now?

Welcome, NRA, To The TeamGunBlogger Lifestyle

Published May 12, 2014 by
Filed under CCW, Mindset, NRA, Self Defense, Training, Women

We started TeamGunBlogger because we weren’t seeing the gun industry talk to today’s gun owners. There are thousands (if not millions) of gun owners who didn’t buy a gun to go hunting, they bought a gun for personal protection and/or competition.

While not in the gun-manufacturing business themselves, the NRA is finally catching on to this fact, and has rolled out NRA Freestyle TV.

While they’ve got their own page and video player, but to me, it’s their YouTube channel that matters to me, because that’s where people from outside the gun culture will find their videos and have the opportunity to what gun ownership is really like.

Like this one.

The message (aside from the fact that Jack Reacher’s fight coordinators screwed up) is that no, you can’t use the movies or the media as your guide to what owning and safely using a gun is all about. It’s subtle, but it allows people like you and me to counter the narrative that guns kill people.

Funny, I own a bunch of them, and all I’ve killed with my guns is some tasty quail and a few coyotes. It’s almost as if my guns respond to my will, and not the other way around or something.

We already know that’s true. It’s time for the rest of America to know it too.

The New Shooter Bag

Published April 29, 2014 by
Filed under Equipment, Training, Women

One of the things I’ve added to my supply of shooting gear is a new shooter bag: It’s pretty common to see safety gear on the prize table of shooting matches, and I’ve been fortunate to win enough to stock a small bag with the stuff I need (besides a gun and ammo) to introduce someone to the world of the shooting sports.

The bag I use is pretty boring: It’s not some über-tactical gear bag that looks like it just got off the plane from Khandahar, it’s a plain ol’ cloth shopping bag (albeit with a 5.11 logo on it) that wouldn’t look out of place at Wal-Mart. Why that bag? If you’ve got a friend who’s nervous about guns but wants to learn, you don’t want to show up looking like you’re a member of Seal Team Six.

Inside the bag is enough stuff for at least three people (and myself) to have fun on the range:

  • Eye Protection: I like these Peltors because they fit over eyeglasses, and I try to have a smaller pair of some kind for kids and smaller-sized shooters as well.
  • Ear Protection: I have a spare set of inexpensive electronic noise-reducing earmuffs that I keep in the bag because they allow people to hear range commands but still protect your ears, and I back that up with a couple of pairs of regular earmuffs and a whole bunch of in-ear foam plugs as well.
  • Targets: Paper plates are great for new shooters because they’re non-threatening and familiar (and the fact they’re about the same size as a center-mass is a good thing, too). Reactive targets like steel plates are good becuase they give instant feedback, however, they’re hard to fit into a shopping bag… 😀
  • Miscellaneous Gear: A staple gun, extra staples, sunscreen… add and subtract from this as you see fit. I’ve also tossed in a spare NSSF First Shots book to give them something to read during downtime and some tissues and bottled water to help with thirsty days on an outdoor range.

And one more thing: Make sure you tell your friends to dress for the range before you go shooting. T-shirts and running shoes are great, but avoid scoop-neck shirts and sandals. Trust me, you do NOT want a hot piece brass fresh out of your gun falling in between your toes.

Don’t ask me how I know this. 😀

Improving your score on the IDPA Classifier

Published April 15, 2014 by
Filed under IDPA, Practice, Training

We’ve talked about what the IDPA Classifier is, now let’s talk about how to shoot it well. 

Classifier Score Sheet

This is my scoresheet from the last Classifier I shot. I really wanted to make Sharpshooter in Stock Service Pistol (SSP) Division with this classifier, but I fell short. Fortunately for me, I know why I didn’t make it and what I need to do to improve. For the past few years, I’ve had a practice regimen that is more about developing my skills overall, so this is the first time I’ve had to practice with a specific goal in mind. 

 Guess where I need to improve…

If you guessed “Stage Three”, you’re right! Stage Three is all about making longer-range shots from 20 and 15 yards, and it’s the only part of the Classifier where you’re shooting around cover. So not only are you making longer shots, you’re making them from positions that are more awkward than the other parts of the course of fire. 

It’s like they’re planning on messing with your head or something…

 Breaking it down, with one exception, (a missed headshot on my third shot on Stage One), the first two stages are, in my opinion, an accurate reflection of my current shooting skill, so there’s not a lot of room for improvement there. However, I know I can shoot Stage Three better than I did, because I have. 

So what did I do wrong? 

For starters, I concentrated on the wrong thing. I’ve been shooting a fair amount of USPSA as of late, and the rules for changing the magazines in your gun in that sport are different than they are in IDPA. In USPSA, it’s perfectly ok to let a partially-full magazine hit the ground, in IDPA, that’s  cause for a 10 point procedural penalty. As I was preparing myself for the stage, I was worrying about my reload, not concentrating on slowing down and making sure I got my shots. 

Whoops. 

Secondly, I rushed my shots. While I took more time for each shot than I did in the other two Stages, the fact is, it wasn’t enough: I could have slowed down even more and made doubly sure that my sight alignment and trigger press were there for each shot, but instead, I rushed things a bit and paid the price for my haste. 

Whoops. Let’s break down my breakdown on Stage Three even more.

My Classifier Score
Stage Time Points Down Score Total Time Time Remaining*
One 33.18 8 37.18 33.18 102.82
Two 33.09 11 38.59 66.27 64.23
Three 49.03 61 79.53 115.3 15.2
Totals 115.3   155.3    

* Time remaining is the time I have (before penalties) to complete the Classifier in order to have a score that will push me into Sharpshooter.

61 points down on that stage includes five missed shots, and at 10 penalty points per shot, that translates into 25 seconds taken off my score. Had I made those shots, that would have put me at 130 seconds for the course of fire and into Sharpshooter. 

Hence my problem. I have to balance the speed of my shots with the accuracy of those shots so I come to a balance where I can do better on that last stage. I shot it in 49.03 seconds, and I don’t think there’s much room for improvement right now with my movement speed between the barricades or getting my gun out of my holster quickly, so any improving my score has to come from improving my shot accuracy.

What this means is that 49 seconds is my par time for practices this stage, and the 15.2 seconds of remaining time translates into 30 max penalty points I can possibly have on Stage Three in order for me to make Sharpshooter. This really should not be a problem, as that’s three times the points down I had on Stage Two. 

Fortunately, I know how fast I shot each string of fire on Stage Three, so that gives me a par time that I can use in my practice sessions, and the 15 seconds time remaining tells me how accurate I need to shoot to make Sharpshooter.

Breaking it down, here’s what my practice drills will need to in order to make everything work. 

Stage Three Drill Time Max. Points Down Allowed
String One 19 10
String Two 22 10
String Three 9 10
Total Time 65  

Intimidating, but I know I can turn and shoot three targets clean at 10 yards in under 11 seconds with a reload, so shooting it at 20 yards in under 19 seconds should not be a problem. As with just about everything in practical shooting, I can do what’s required to be successful, all I need to do is do it on demand while the timer is running. 

And that’s the hard part.

Keeping Your Gun Safe in the Home

Published March 24, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, Equipment, Practice, Self Defense, Training

A few months ago, I mentioned that I carry in my home just like I carry outside of my home. Yes, I have a quick-access gun safe and I use it at night to store my CCW gun, but day in, day out, I keep my carry gun on me except when I’m wrestling with my sons or some other activity. 

Why? Because it’s faster to engage a threat with a gun on my hip or in my pocket is faster than any off-body storage method, that’s why. 

Another gun lock test.

Published March 18, 2014 by
Filed under Equipment, Self Defense, Training

This one, to be honest, has me searching for other means to secure that shotgun, which is the gun I have in my house for when everything else has gone wrong. 

Not a big fan of how this one turned out, partly because Jaci is not familiar with a Mossie 500, and partly because I wasn’t happy with how that lock operates. GunVault doesn’t make this lock anymore, and I think I know why.. 

The Top Ten Clues You Picked The Wrong CCW Instructor.

Published March 4, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Training

From the home office in Paulden, Arizona…

The Top Ten Signs You Picked The Wrong CCW Instructor

  1. He starts off his safety speech with “Accidentally discharging a firearm is something you need to get used to.”
  2. He has a Mayors Against Illegal Guns challenge coin.
  3. He spends more time complimenting your choice of camo gear than he does correcting your shooting stance.
  4. He says “Ok, here’s something I learned from Call of Duty.”
  5. His handouts  on aiming refer to “site picture”.
  6. He’s wearing a drop leg holster. On his arm.
  7. He’s proud of the fact he’s teaching the same stuff they taught in the 50’s. The 1850’s.
  8. His talk on the legalities of carrying a firearm is just “Shoot first, ask questions later.”
  9. He says he can’t pick up yours or anyone else’s guns because his felony conviction is still on appeal.
  10. He starts off the range session with “Here, hold my beer while I try this.”

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