Failure, by Choice!

21 Oct 16

“In a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom!”

Terry Pratchett

This from a student and colleague, who works with a state agency:

“Assisted at our state police academy for the past few days.

It was like entering a time machine!

Techniques are all thirty years out-of-date. Never any mention of actually fighting with a gun. Mostly what we did was prepare young officers to pass the very standard, and antiquated, ‘qualification course,’ which is also thirty years out-of-date.

In four days, students got only twelve house of productive training. The rest of the time was squandered!

‘Cold’ range:

Constant unnecessary unloading of guns and other unnecessary gun-handling, wasting time and dividing attention. Only unloaded guns allowed in holsters. Guns were locked-up when breaking for lunch. Heaven forbid we would eat while armed!


Students were sternly admonished never to do anything on their own initiative, but always to wait for command. Do nothing unless/until instructed to do so. Mind you, these are fully-sworn, uniformed officers, currently on patrol in marked patrol units, not folks that were hired yesterday.

Every drill had a predetermined number of rounds to be fired, in the prescribed amount of time, at the standard qualification target. Again, the subject of actually fighting with a gun was never mentioned.

No provision for remedial training, nor any other deviation from ‘the plan.’

There were many times when a group would finish an exercise a half-hour ahead of schedule. I suggested the extra time be used productively repeating the drill, or even dry-practice. I was told that is never allowed. Everyone must receive the exact-same instruction as everyone else. No deviation, ever!

In private, officers indicated they had no respect, professional nor personal, for their ‘instructors’ (who don’t even carry guns while on the range) and regarded them all as incompetent clowns who can’t cut it in the street.

I had to agree with them!”

Comment: This particular agency is more retarded that most, but the foregoing is exquisitely illustrative of the difference between private and public enterprise.

These “trainers” obviously don’t trust officers with guns, although those same officers carry guns every day while working. The moment they set foot on the range, officers are told, in so many words, they are not trusted, and that they are not there for any other purpose except to receive a check in the box next their name where it is listed on a roster, and also to provide gainful “employment” for a gaggle of ossified, otherwise unemployable, retired-in-place loafers!

When you contemptuously treat adults like children, they seldom disappoint!

When you treat adults with sneering disrespect, you will predictably receive it back, in spades!

What is described above is a quaint, self-serving institution, unchanged in thirty years, cranking-out a hopelessly out-of-date curriculum. Nothing that remotely resembles “training” takes place there!

These officers desperately need effective training on how to fight with guns. Instead, they are alternatively scared to death, then bored to death!

As we see, encrusted bureaucracies need to be shaken-up now and then, lest they forget who is working for whom!


“Tinkering” with Lives!

20 Oct 16

NY State:

Throughout NYS, a new requirement under the infamous NYSAFE Act (passed by Democrats in the middle of the night), is that all current state pistol permit holders must now laboriously re-register all handguns, this time directly with the State Police.

Keep in mind that every one of these handguns is ALREADY registered, through County Pistol Permit Offices!

This new registration requirement is being instituted to make sudden, unilateral confiscation of handguns easy for paranoid state officials.

It will come in handy when a legal permit-holder criticizes a Democrat politician, and is subsequently determined to be “mentally ill,” by a “health-care professional” who has never even met him. All of course, with no due process and no ability to appeal!

Yet another example of “reasonable regulation” advocated by HRC and her ilk. How they love to “tinker” with peoples’ lives!

The foregoing is a common Marxist method for beating-down dissent and terrorizing dissenters. Their requiem forms grow longer and longer, requiring ever more irrelevant details. Beleaguered citizens are required to repeatedly “register” and “re-register, filling-out endless forms, over and over, and the slightest failure to dot and “i” or cross a “t” is, of course, a felony, and a convenient pretext for complete disenfranchisement.

Soon, there will be no privately-owned guns, which has always been their plan. All guns will be in the hands of Marxist criminals, and their agents.

“The only thing worse than a liar, is a liar who’s also a hypocrite!”

Tennessee Williams


More on Rifles

19 Oct 16

Follow-up on Rifle and Gear, from a Friend and Colleague:

“Fifteen years ago, when we had ten AR’s in a Class, at least half would be dead-lined by the middle of the first day!

No longer the case!

Modern ARs, from any quality manufacturer (STS, BCM, LaRue, Doublestar, DSA, S&W, Anderson, Warrior Arms, Daniel Defense, SIG, LWRC, POF, RRA, LMT, Robar, M4 Precision, et al), are going to run fine. Over the past few decades, modern machining and manufacturing, D-rings, and advances in lubricants, materials, and coatings have adequately addressed most major Stoner-system issues.

But in America, we are too hardware-oriented, and not nearly enough software-oriented! No one wants to go to the gym and work-out. Taking pills represents the limit of most people’s willingness to personally improve.

Likewise, few want to go through the rigors of bona-fide training. Instead, they load-up their guns, and themselves, with glamorous gimmicks, ever seeking (in vain) a mechanical substitute for personal competence.

‘Military cosplay’ is what we call it. ‘Cosplay’ translates to ‘costume play’ It’s what the comic-book crowd does at their conventions. They dress-up like their favorite super-hero or Star Wars character.

For our part, we try our best to convince our students that the ‘pretend world’ has no place in our discipline, and ‘pretenders,’ with their ‘kiddy-guns,’ ‘kiddy-ammunition,’ and ‘kiddy-costumes’ are only kidding themselves, dangerously!

Much of this is not ‘obvious,’ but it will be painfully revealed during hard training!


When going prone, it’s bad enough to have a single layer of magazines on your ‘chest-rig,’ but now we have double-rows, with a third row of pistol magazines in front of that! You end-up looking like a fishing bobber bouncing on top of the water!

Strap-ends, of assorted descriptions, need to all be taped or otherwise secured. Students often inadvertently re-holster pistols, while errant chest-rig strap-tails are dangling into holsters.

Pistol and rifle magazines should not be carried in the same place. We’ve seen more than one student desperately attempt to cram a Glock magazine into an AR magazine well!

Some weapon-lights have a curiously ergonomic thumb-activated pressure-switch. Actually works pretty well, until the shooter switches shoulders! Then, when using the other hand, the shooter unhappily discovers the pressure-switch is now inaccessible!

EOTechs and Aimpoints run fine. As much as we all complain about expensive red-dots and holographics, it seems that we get what we pay for. Cheap knock-offs have proven far less satisfactory.

Cheap sling-swivels and sling attachment-points: We seen them wear through, to the point that the locking-mechanism spring, which keeps tension on the ball bearings, actually pops through the bottom. The instant result is that the student’s sling falls off, and his rifle then falls to the deck, with the muzzle invariably augering into the mud!

Don’t equip your rifle with such cheap garbage! Few, on their own, ever run their rifles hard enough to wear-out cheap junk. As noted above, only hard training will cause most critical flaws to reveal themselves.

Get your rifle running when you can, but when your pistol is in your hand, and working, keep fighting. You can make 40m shots with you pistol, assuming you’ve practiced!

All military rifles have sights and triggers, and nothing we can buy will precisely align those sights, and carefully press our triggers for us. Once again, what will save us is a competent repertoire of well-practiced skills, combined with personal self-control, not some glittering gimmick you’ve attached to a rail!

Our students are with us, because they have a bad feeling about the direction our nation, and our civilization, is headed. Food storage, medical training, communications, ammunition stores re all topics we hear discussed during breaks.

There’s usually one or two in every class. Now, it’s everyone!

Interesting times!”

Comment: Interesting indeed!


Rifle Errors!

18 Oct 16

“It’s not occasional ‘great shots’ that save you. It’s persistent ‘little mistakes’ that kill you!”

H Green

Rifle-Handling Errors:

At our Urban Rifle (Carbine) Courses, most students bring ARs, as you might imagine, but we see dozens of other types/brands, some of which I was heretofore only marginally aware, so many are the companies, worldwide, making small arms today.

But my colleagues and I, Dave Spaulding, Tom Givens, Mas Ayoob, James Yeager, Frank Sharpe, Manny Kapelsohn, Jeff Chudwin, Clint Smith, Freddie Blish, et al continue to see repeated handling errors, which during a genuine encounter for which we train, will be fatal!

Some students pick it up right away. Others fumble repeatedly. Most “get it” eventually!

1) Magazines falling out of the rifle at “inconvenient” moments.

We instruct students to grab the 30-round magazine (which most use) with the support-side hand as they would a pop-can and smartly insert it into the magazine well. Then, strike the bottom of the newly-inserted magazine. Then, grab it and tug downward, trying to pull it back out.

When the magazine stays in place, it’s good to go.

Conversely, when it comes right back out again, it was never locked in place correctly! Left that way, it will probably fall out on its own. But even when it remains in place, it will still not feed rounds, and the shooter may thus be able to fire the round that was already in the chamber, but when the bolt subsequently cycles, he will unhappily discover that he has succeeded in re-chambering only thin air!

The most common cause of this annoying phenomenon is one too many rounds in the magazine.

Many “30-round” AR magazines are, in fact, “28-round” magazines!

I recommend to students that they put no more than twenty-eight rounds in most “30-round” magazines. In any event, when fully-charged (no matter the magazine’s ostensible, listed capacity), there needs to be at least two-centimeters of free depression on the top round. When you can’t push the top round down at least two centimeters, remove one round, and do it again!

2) Attempting to fire the rifle when the manual safety lever is in the “on” position.

We see this over and over. That manual safety lever works just great!

The “Western” style manual safety (selector) lever found on left side of the AR’s lower receiver is now universal among most currently-manufactured military rifles and carbines. The Kalashnikov is, of course, the chief exception, but there are others.

Protocol for personal management of the safety lever is far from being in “universal agreement!” Some of us, I for one, advocate the lever being in the “off” position whenever the rifle is mounted. Others want the manual safety lever to remain “on” until the trigger is actually in the process of being intentionally pressed.

However, there is no disagreement that the manual safety needs to be deliberately placed in the “off” position at some time prior to the rifle being intentionally fired!

The problem is that some shooters forget the manual safety is “on.” Then, when they want to fire and thus press the trigger, nothing happens. They then grind their teeth, utter a few foul words, aggressively slap the manual safety lever to the “off” position, and attempt to fire once more, having squandered at least a couple of precious seconds. Of course, that shot usually misses!

The solution is simple:

However you decide to personally manage your rifle’s manual safety lever, make certain it is “off” at the instant you need to fire in order to safe your life!

3) Middle, ring, and little fingers of the strong-side hand being allowed to creep too high and into the area of the trigger-guard, ultimately causing a UD.

For most of us, our strong-side index finger is our “trigger-finger.” When handling guns, most students quickly learn to keep their trigger fingers in a strong, “register” position any time they don’t want their weapons to fire immediately.

They, and sometimes we, forget to emphasize that the other three fingers need to know their places too!

More than once, I’ve witnessed middle fingers find their way to triggers, even when trigger-fingers are in their proper places.

Finger-position errors thus need to be corrected immediately, no matter which fingers are involved!

We’re doing many Urban Rifle/Patrol Rifle Courses today. Manufacturers are making these wonderful weapons as fast as they can, and selling them even faster! We trainers need to get to these new owners, in and out of uniform, and help them understand what they’re holding and how to keep and use these modern weapons correctly and effectively.

It can’t happen fast enough!


Ready, or Not?

12 Oct 16

This account of the recent, famous, and failed jewelry-story robbery in TX, from a friend close to the source:

“Four armed VCAs decided to rob a local jewelry store in a neighboring jurisdiction, in daylight.

Two owners, who were in the store at the time, spotted the robbery suspects as they exited their car just outside the front door, guns (pistols) in hand.

Vigilance paid off!

One owner quickly grabbed an AR and took-up a strong position. His partner grabbed an AK.

Suspects entered the store and started smashing glass display cases with hammers. One pointed a gun at a customer and muttered some incomprehensible command.

Without further delay, both owners started shooting the suspects.

Three fled immediately, but one stayed in place and shot at the owners.

That suspect was shot multiple times with the AR, and went down straightaway, but he continued shooting at both owners, even from the floor!

Owners continued to shoot at that suspect while he was down.

That suspect was DRT. The three others were unhurt but have subsequently been arrested (without incident).

All innocents present, including the two owners, were unharmed.

Some take-aways, as I see it:

1) There is no substitute for personal alertness! Vigilance buys time, and time is the most critical commodity in a lethal fight.

2) There is no substitute for decisiveness! These guys didn’t dither. They recognized the threat for what it was, and acted without delay.

3) There is no substitute for preparation! Owners were appropriately armed and trained. They had good equipment, readily accessible.

4) There is no substitute for competent gun-handling and marksmanship. Even in close proximity, hits count. Misses squander valuable time and endanger innocents!

5) In a lethal fight, the first five seconds are more important than the next five hours! Speed, surprise, and forceful action quickly overwhelmed these four robbery suspects. It was a precise counterattack that was never expected, and the suspects were not prepared for it!

6) ‘Down’ is not necessarily ‘out!’ Don’t relax too soon! Always expect even a wounded/grounded assailant to continue fighting.”

Comment: My friend sums it up well!

With our national anti-cop attitude, at the highest levels of the BHO Administration, these kinds of violent crimes are predictably increasing, rapidly.

When the unthinkable happens, you’ll be on your own. And, it doesn’t matter whom you are, as even Kim Kardashian unhappily discovered!

Ready, or not?


VP9 Comments

11 Oct 16

H&K VP9 “flake” magazine-release alternate technique, from a friend and student:

“I love H&K’s VP9’s magazine release system!

The problem I’ve always had with Glocks (and some others) is that my strong-side thumb is too short to adequately depress the magazine release button on the left side of the frame, without significantly rotating my master-grip counter-clockwise (pulling the barrel toward me).

Otherwise, I can touch the button, but can’t depress it.

The VP9’s magazine-release lever allows me to adequately operate it with my strong-hand middle finger. I keep my trigger-finger indexed along the slide while depressing the magazine-release lever.

I believe anyone using their trigger-finger to operate the VP9’s magazine-release lever will find that it is much easier, and more positive, to use their middle finger instead.

For those of us with short thumbs, the VP9’s magazine-release lever solves our problem of compromising our grip during the loading/reloading process.”


We’ll doubtless be seeing many more VP9s in Classes, and I may even start carrying a copy!

The above-described reloading technique may become the “standard,” but I’m still concerned with getting fingers that close to the trigger.

More to come on this!


Endless Riots!

10 Oct 16

Rioting, without end!

Being “anti-police” is now “politically correct!”

BHO, HRC and their BLM “movement” have created the nationwide anti-LE environment that recently caused a Chicago PD officer to decline to defend herself from a crazed, murderous attacker, with nearly fatal results. She was beaten to within an inch of her life. Her assailant was unharmed!

LE officers, and lawfully-armed citizens, dread being “second-guessed” by ageing flower-children, who believe any use of defensive force against their precious rioters is criminal, and thus any user of force needs to be punished. This anti-use-of-force-against-violent-criminals dogma is deliberately promoted by self-righteous liberals and cop-hating mobs whom leftist politicians jubilantly incite to riot.

Police “response-times” are way up. Seasoned police officers are leaving the profession by legions. Pro-active policing is now a thing of the past. Criminal violence is also way up, and getting worse by the day.

As long as leftists remain in power, they will purposely use mobsters and rioters as “street power” to intimidate, punish, and terrorize political opponents. The tactic is a Marxist staple! Chairman Mao used his infamous “Red Guard” in the 1960s for the exact same purpose.

It’s only just begun!

“‘Rules’ come and go, and are constantly tinkered with to sooth pseudo-intellectual liberals who order war, but never participate”

An Old Soldier


Magazine-Release “Lever”

7 Oct 16

“Flake” Magazine-Release Lever:

We’ve see a number of H&K’s Glock-like VP9 Pistols in Defensive Pistol Classes recently. All have run well, and the pistol’s ergonomics are pleasing. It represents a very acceptable carry-gun.

However, one “feature” of the VP9 can be an issue, and that it the pistol’s ambidextrous magazine-release “lever.”

Most modern defensive pistols have a magazine-release “button” on the left side of the frame, just to the rear of the trigger-guard. This represents the “Western” style, and it has been adopted by Glock, SIG, FN, Walther, Kahr, Ruger, et al.

H&K’s VP9 pistol is the exception.

The VP9 retains the “European” style of magazine release, which is a “flake,” or lever incorporated into the rear of the trigger guard, on both sides (ambidextrous).

For one, I prefer the button over the lever, but mostly because that is what I am accustomed to. The learning-curve in getting used to the lever-release is surely well within the intellect of all of us.

But, there is a technique for using the lever that I consider overly dangerous, and thus not recommended.

Many right-handers equipped with this pistol, release the magazine with their right index-finger (trigger-finger). This puts the trigger-finger too close to the trigger, and it is thus too easy to inadvertently press the trigger with sufficient pressure to discharge the gun, while you’re trying to release the magazine! In fact, this incorrect procedure is so dangerous, I, for one, don’t permit it on my range.

The magazine needs to be released using the right thumb, not the right index-finger, much as is the case with a Western-style button-release.

Of course, not everyone agrees!

But, in my opinion, we have enough UDs with pistols as it is, without fairly inviting one!

“Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time.”

Malcolm Forbes



6 Oct 16

Who Really “Needs” Guns?

With many of my friends and colleagues down in South FL currently dealing with Hurricane Matthew, some have reminded me:

What the media is not reporting is the numerous criminal gangs who are staying behind with the intent of looting abandoned homes in the wake of the current mass evacuation.

When you have no choice but to confront these gang members, there will be no police to summon, nor any other sort of societal “protection.” You’ll be dangerously isolated and on your own, and when they murder you, your body will likely never be found!

You’ll need a good, military rifle and the knowledge and skill to use it effectively in order to efficaciously protect yourself from these opportunistic, merciless, unrestrained predators.

Naive, “wine & cheese” liberals, who have never had this frightening personal experience may have difficulty imagining what it is like, but it will all become real enough to many on the East Coast, starting now! The foolishly unprepared will not do well!

When cynically asked by sleazy, leftist politicians, “Why do you ‘need’ military rifles?” those currently in the middle of this disaster will have the answer, in spades (at least those who live through it)!

Happily, my friends and students are heavily armed, highly skilled, and extremely dangerous!

They’ll do just fine!

“So let the wild circle of argument rage
On what wins, as war comes and goes.
Many new theories briefly hold center stage
But the man with the rifle… knows!”



“Rental” Guns?

3 Oct 16

“For fear I have my gun to mend
I am determined not to lend
But you may do as I have done
Pay down your cash and get a gun”

Inscription from “The Litany Rifle” Maker Unknown, 1790

It is common for perspective students of our Art to inquire during the Course registration process as to whether or not guns are available from us for “rental”

I assure them that we don’t “rent” guns!

Students often retort that they “don’t know what to buy.”

I provide them with an extensive list and assure them that “… all of these are satisfactory.” I then remind them that they’ll also need a suitable holster, and other accouterments. Students need to “hit the ground” ready to go!

When they then reply that all that represents a significant expenditure, I readily agree and then assure them that I would not presume to advise them on financial matters.

There are plenty of cheap guns, cheap holsters, and cheap instructors. I advise them to make decisions that reflect their best interests.

We train serious students exclusively. Non-serious students usually don’t come to us, and need not apply in any event!

“Going armed” requires sincere commitment. Not all are ready. Some never will be. Others are only interested in games, novelty, and fashion. Still others shouldn’t own guns! Ultimately, none of foregoing “fit-in” with our assiduous curriculum.

Long ago, I stopped trying to be “all things to all people.” Our purpose is precise.

Accordingly, we don’t “rent” guns!