1 Oct 10
This sage advice to women, from a female LEO and instructor, with many years of practical experience:
“Purses/handbags are issues unto themselves!
I am a woman, and I do not carry a purse. I did as a young girl, but even shoulder-bags were a hassle. I always carry a wallet. My keys and cell phone are carried the way most men carry them, on my person. My gun, in the ‘appendix position,’ is also carried on my person.
When in school, I carried a backpack like everyone else, but essential items stayed where they always have been, on my person.
I worked in our courthouse at one time, and had to search handbags prior to their entering the courtroom. I was astonished at the list of items most women routinely carry in purses! Purses have become a ‘black hole’ for things rarely needed, but that women think might come in handy some day.
As our department’s training officer, I daily observe female officers who deposit purses in lockers while on duty. I always ask them how ‘critical’ purses can possibly be when they are thus inaccessible through the entire duration of a twelve-hour shift.
Most answer that it is a ‘clothing issue.’ Off-duty they want to appear ‘stylish’ and thus wear skin-tight pants and tops, with just enough room to accommodate a fanny two sizes smaller, an arrangement which obviously does not lend itself to the concealed carrying of essential items!
It is a case of priorities. You’re ‘one of us,’ or you’re not. Concealment is an attitude! For one, I will not wear clothing with no room for wallet, pistol, keys, blade, and cell phone.
In the interest of personal safety, it is time for women, at least LEOs, to free themselves from the purse-carrying habit!”
Comment: There are few subjects upon which I would rather comment less than women’s fashion!
It is, of course, impossible to completely, even adequately, accommodate all priorities when presenting oneself in public. We live in many parallel universes, and I fully realize that not everyone is as boring, nor as “plain-vanilla,” as I am!
With that said, when the Test comes, we’ll likely be on our own, with no opportunity to “get ready.” Under those circumstances, “stylishness” will appear insignificant, dare I say, even facetious!
1 Oct 10
Watch where your muzzle is pointed!
Earlier this week, I presented several Patrol Rifle Classes at a regional police training conference in OR. I had over fifty students between two Classes!
Most brought ARs, but there were a few XCRs, AUGs, and FALs.
A student, using a brand-name AR, as he was performing a reload, on the line and facing downrange, experienced a genuine AD! It was not an ND, as several around him assured me that his finger was nowhere near the trigger.
The single bullet struck the deck harmlessly less than a meter in front of him, and there were thus no injuries, nor did his rifle appear to be damaged. In fact, it appeared to have fired normally!
He was inserting a magazine. Manual safety was “off.” As he struck the base of the magazine, as I recommend, the AD occurred. The brand of the rifle involved is unimportant, as I am persuaded the identical thing could have happened with any AR, probably any other military rifle.
We subsequently took apart the trigger mechanism and discovered the culprit! A blown primer, squashed into a oval, had wedged itself into just the right spot necessary to cause the incident. In most cases, blown primers that migrate into the trigger mechanism cause the rifle not to fire at all, and, in a way, that is what happened here.
My student attempted to fire, and the rifle had remained silent. He elected to reload in an effort to get his rifle running. The primer in question had retarded the hammer enough to prevent it from falling, but, when he struck the new magazine, the blow was just enough to jar the hammer loose, and it then fell forward, causing the weapon to discharge normally!
With the primer in question removed, the rifle, once again perfectly serviceable, was returned to duty.
I suspect many of us have blown primers roaming around in the trigger mechanisms of our rifles at this very moment, and probably don’t even know it. And, we probably never will, as most come to rest in a harmless place and never have an impact on the rifle’s performance.
However, all trigger mechanisms need to be periodically detail-disassembled by an armorer and inspected for such foreign objects and other problems.
The second issue is muzzle-consciousness. Once lessons were learned and promulgated, this incident was quickly forgotten. My student is a competent Operator, and he keeps his muzzle under control. A bungler, under the same circumstances, could have caused a serious injury.
The point is this: There are no “safe” guns, ever!
Most such “ADs” are actually “NDs,” caused by a duffer who has his finger on the trigger at an inappropriate time. However, some ADs really are ADs, caused for reasons we are not prepared to explain in the short term. Some are never explained!
Either way, bullets don’t care!
Watch were your muzzle is pointed!
4 Oct 10
From a friend in Puerto Rico:
“Several weeks ago a couple of young men witnessed an armed-robbery taking place at a Burger King across the street from where there were standing.
Exercising what they considered their civic duty, they called police and reported the crime.
When the first beat-car arrived minutes later, the men informed police with regard to what they had seen and even volunteered to assist officers in apprehending the criminals.
More beat-cars arrived. One of the newly-arriving officers drew his pistol on one of the witnesses, apparently mistaking him for a suspect. More beat-cars arrived! An officer, as he exited his vehicle with gun drawn, tripped and had an ND!
The errant round hit no one, but other cops, taking the ND as a signal, also started firing, although none could subsequently describe any armed suspect they saw.
At least eleven rounds were fired, all by police! The witness, erroneously being held at gunpoint, was mistakenly shot, and died. The single, fatal round was most likely an ND.
No actual armed-robbery suspects were arrested, nor identified, nor shot at, nor even seen, as far as anyone can recall.
In fact, no arrests were ever made!
The incident is currently ‘under investigation.’”
Lesson: Like most, I believe it is the civic duty of all good and decent people to report crime to authorities, particularly violent crimes in-progress.
However, remaining in dangerous places, and attempting to “assist” police is almost always a bad idea, as we see!
Confusion and apprehension abound any time police respond to the location of a reported violent crime in-progress. Hanging around such places, out of curiosity or even in an honest intent to help police, carries with it extreme risk.
The wise, even when witnesses, get out of the area quickly! Any time you see police (or anyone else for that matter) with guns in hand, do not voluntarily approach them!
4 Oct 10
Serious rifles, particularly in 223 caliber, need good flash suppressors.
In low-light, bare muzzles invariably produce significant launch-signature, in addition to blinding the shooter. Nothing not to not like!
Many good suppressors are available, but I particularly like the line produced by FSG of Duvall, WA, called the “Halon.” Their Web Page is at www.fsgmachining.com
During a recent Urban Rifle Course in WA, my friends at FSG were on hand to demonstrate the Halon. I now have a copy mounted on my Steyr/AUG. In darkness, it reduced muzzle flash to a virtually imperceptible flicker.
Halons are also available for ARs and XCRs, and I will shortly have copies on mine.
FSG is generously offering a ten-percent discount to DTI students.
For the price of several good magazines, Operators can now have cutting-edge flash suppression on nearly any military rifle.
5 Oct 10
Bravo Arms of Hartland, WI
A US-made Stoner-system AR that I have not mentioned so far, but should have, is Bravo Arms, headed-up by my good friend and colleague, Paul Buffoni.
Bravo also sells many parts and accessories, but their BCM/Mid-16/Mod-2, a copy of which I have and use, is at the top of the list of Stoner/ARs, and joins Doublestar, Sabre-Tech, DSA, NGA, LMT, Daniel Defense, Noveske and others on the AR Recommended List.
Paul is committed to manufacturing superior, service ARs, all with legitimate NATO chambers, designed and built strictly for serious Operators, rather than non-serious, recreational shooters. He doesn’t make kiddy-guns. He is my kind of guy!
My copy is, of course, equipped with an Aimpoint H1 on a LaRue mount (co-witnessed w/BUIS), BFG Vickers sling, and Insight Weaponlight. It has been used extensively in our Urban Rifle Courses, by me and a number of my students and instructors, and has never failed, nor would I expect it to.
Who are looking for a legitimate, mil-spec, service-grade AR, designed and built for hard use in real war, are well-advised to go to Bravo’s Web page at bravocompanyusa.com.
And, when you get the opportunity, talk with Paul directly. His knowledge-base is extensive, and he has forgotten more about the Stoner System than I’m ever likely to know!
5 Oct 10
Report of performance of the 6.8SPC, from a friend in WY:
“Last weekend, I killed two deer with my Remington LTR bolt-gun (currently out of production), chambered for 6.8SPC. Ammunition was handloaded 110gr Sierra ProHunter (softpoint). Velocity is 2,600 f/s.
First animal was a fat forkhorn. Range was 200m, and he was bedded and looking at me. I shot him through the lower part of his neck. He dropped his head and was DRT. Never got up! Bullet went through and through.
Second deer was a big three-point, 200 lbs. Range was 170m. He was also bedded. My shot was through his ribs and out through the off-side shoulder. He started to get up, then dropped where he had been standing and rolled a few meters down an incline, also DRT.
Both deer were killed at least as efficiently as any I’ve seen with bigger calibers. Neither so much as took a step after being hit.
The more I use this cartridge, the better I like it!”
Comment: My friend’s positive experience parallels mine, hunting deer, goats, and pigs with my 6.8SPC RA/XCR. Ammunition I’ve always used is Cor-Bon/DPX
I’ve concluded that the 223, with any species of ammunition, is too light for any of these hunting tasks.
The 6.8SPC has the range and penetration necessary to make it an effective caliber for serious tasks. It represents a significant, indeed critical, improvement over the 223/5.56mm.
8 Oct 10
Signs of the times. This short comment from a friend who is security director for an upscale, hotel franchise:
“As little as ten years ago, our primary focus here at the Security Division was ‘slip & fall’ accidents.
Today, it is blast-walls, X-ray machines, metal detectors, and evacuation drills!”
And, it’s only just beginning! The critical skill is to have the personal courage and forthrightness to confront facts squarely, and then make sensible decisions.
Most won’t, particularly those in government. Ever-evading personal responsibility, they’ll predictably stick their collective heads in the sand, and then insist the rest of us do the same! When disaster subsequently overwhelms them, and us, we’ll be treated to glib excuses like:
“… and we underestimated the extent of the problem”
“… and this is primarily the fault of the previous administration”
“… and we need more time”
… ad nauseam!
8 Oct 10
With most ARs in 223 caliber, I recommend the “40/240″ standard when setting up sights.
With the rifle perfectly vertical, the initial intersection is set (“zeroed”) at 40m. Maximum ordinate of 8cm (3″) will occur at 125m. Second intersection will then occur at 240m. At 260m, the bullet will descend 8cm below the line of sight.
So, with no sight adjustment mid-fight, your sights will put bullets within 8cm of the point-of-aim between point-blank and 260m.
The Military prefers a “25/300″ standard in an effort to get additional range, while sacrificing mid-range accuracy. However, for domestic, defensive shooting, I believe the 40/240 standard makes the most sense. We call it MPBR (Maximum Point-Blank Range)
However, we must all understand that the foregoing is relevant only with the rifle is held vertically, and the bullet ascends until it crosses the line of sight (initial intersection) and then subsequently falls back toward it as it follows a predictable arc as it is propagated downrange.
What would happen if the rifle were fired while being held upside down?
The initial intersection will still occur at 40m, but the bullet will subsequently fall away from then line of sight (instead of back toward it), effectively collapsing MBPR from 260m to less than 150m.
The likelihood of firing one’s rifle upside down may seem remote, but it is likely we will be forced to fire with the rifle as much at thirty degrees out of vertical, particularly when we are compelled to use an awkward article of cover.
The effect will be that MPBR will be seriously compromised. Within 150m, we’re probably okay, but at extended ranges, we’ll be way off.
With most 223 rifles, this is of no great concern, as terminal effectiveness diminishes exponentially beyond 150m anyway. However, when compelled to make shots at ranges beyond 150m, with any caliber, the rifle must be held straight vertical. Any significant angulation will rapidly collapse maximum range!
We see this phenomenon regularly when running Urban Rifle exercises where “challenging” articles of cover are the only ones available.
12 Oct 10
In the current election season, a Democratic congressional candidate is running a television ad where he is shown holding a hunting rifle (bolt gun), and even shooting it. He talks about defending the Second Amendment and openly opposing most of the BHO agenda.
As I watched the ad, it occurred to me that, had this been a Republican candidate, actually holding (much less shooting) a gun during a political ad, ABC, CBS, CNN, and particularly NBC, would be in a demonic feeding frenzy! As it was, the story was an obscure sideshow, even on Fox News.
Apparently Democrats can overtly like guns, at least long enough to get elected. Conversely, when Republicans like guns, it is a mortal sin,
Any time I see a Democrat with a gun, it reminds me of Colonel Sanders with a chicken!
12 Oct 10
Next Generation Arms and their ceramic-coated AR:
I’ve had the opportunity to extensively use my copy of NGA’s Stoner/AR, called the MP/168. It has proven an extremely reliable, functional rifle. Trigger is wonderful, as is its handling, but most impressive is the proprietary ceramic coating with which every part of the rifle has been treated.
I’ve carried and used this rifle in the rain, never lubricating it at all, never even drying it off! I’ve hastily wiped off some of the bigger chunks of mud, carbon, grass, and sand, but have otherwise performed no maintenance, nor cleaning, and, as noted, I have applied no lubrication anywhere on the rifle.
The result has been flawless functioning and not a hint of rust.
It has casually digested all brands of 223/5.56 ammunition and has functioned normally with all brands/types of magazines we’ve used in it. And, all this despite hard use and complete, continuous neglect on my part.
The MP/168 is relatively expensive, but the folks at NGA really have something here.
See them at nextgenerationarms.com
Customer service is wonderful!
15 Oct 10
When wearing a pistol on my waistband, I prefer Comp-Tac’s “C-Tac,” inside-the-waistband, option, as none of the pistol is exposed below the belt-line. For those of us with fat fannies, this method works well. For skinny people, it works less well, and many slim folks thus opt for an external holster, although it is more challenging to conceal than is an IWB.
I wear my badge on my belt, just in front of the holster. That way, when my concealment garment, usually a CCC vest, inadvertently exposes the pistol, those who see it will always see the badge first. This strategy may prevent someone from pointing a gun at me.
On the other side of my torso, I keep my Firstlight Tomahawk just in front of my spare magazine, for the same reason. When a casual observer notices the lens of my flashlight, they usually dismiss it as harmless, and look no further.
Like most of us, I routinely practice “casual concealment,” not “rigorous,” nor “total’ concealment. After carrying concealed since the early-1970s, when I first became an LEO, the foregoing system has served me well. Few observers have ever noticed, and the few who may have were apparently persuaded that I didn’t represent a threat.
It is truly said, “‘concealment’ is an attitude!”
Of course, my frightfully boring lifestyle may have something to do with it also!
19 Oct 10
Urban Rifle in TX
Last weekend, we conducted an Urban Rifle Program in south TX, where we still are. In this part of the Country, a significant percentage of the population is more than a little concerned with our continuing open-border situation and the unacknowledged invasion of the United States by foreign criminals, an invasion that is actually promoted and encouraged by some of our government officials, elected and unelected.
We had a typical assortment of military rifles, including one RA/XCR in 7.62×39, one PTR-32 (7.62×39), one 22LR AR, and one SIG 22LR, and, of course, a number of conventional ARs
Our students included two patrol officers from the local PD. One used a company-gun (iron sights). The other (a veteran from the Iraq Campaign) used his personal AR, equipped with an Aimpoint. The one with the company-gun struggled. She did much better when we switched her to another rifle, this one with an Aimpoint
Both 22LR rifles started choking badly on the second day. Some students cannot afford the high cost of even 223 ammunition, so I accept 22LR rifles, but reluctantly, due to these reliability
issues which are typical, regardless of what brand of ammunition is used.
Most of my students used optics, Aimpoints and EOTechs.
As always, we engaged targets from point-blank to 100m, steel and cardboard. 22LR rounds drop so much at 100m, their use in training at that range is marginal.
We set up all rifles to be dead-on at 40m. Some required significant adjustment, but afterward proved deadly effective!
The most difficult subjects are always teaching students how to correctly run a trigger, how to use sights and trigger together, integrate movement, positions, and effective use of cover, and then accurately pre-calculate the hit-probability of each shot, making adjustments/judgements as necessary.
My general advice for our kind of shooting is, when hit-probability is eighty percent or above, the best plan is to go ahead and take the shot immediately, instead of waiting for a better opportunity.
In the end, it’s your call!
When you have a pair of jacks, bet ‘em!
21 Oct 10
From a friend and Trainer in OK:
Yesterday, I was asked to assist in M4 training for several privateers on their way to Iraq.
One them opened his rifle case and withdrew a device that bore some semblance to a rifle, but with a host of “accessories” glued, screwed, pasted, and pinned to it.
In fact, the only “accessory” conspicuously missing was a sling!
In addition, the blushing owner sheepishly admitted that his “custom” trigger and firing-pin often failed to fire hard primers, common with military ammunition.
We tried to zero this monstrosity at 40m. His first three rounds were eighteen inches low, with his optic (a cheap, Aimpoint knock-off). With the discharge of his fourth round, the optic, along with its mount, fell off the rifle!
As I tried to locate something resembling an M4, in some sort of serviceable condition, I heard the rifle’s owner muttering, “This rifle is going with me, just as it is!”
The guy is delusional, and dangerously so! He has a “rifle” with all manner of look-alike accessories, just waiting to fail!
His words and demeanor assured me that he is unwilling to own a functional piece, and that any further attempts on my part at enlightenment would be an exercise in futility.”
Comment: “Pride goeth before a fall”
When you are determined to commit suicide, due to your own vanity, this pitiless world will gladly oblige you!
For one, I just can’t shed a tear. I reserve my sympathy for the truly deserving!
21 Oct 10
AUG Update, from a colleague who works on them:
“There are currently six choices:
1) Steyr AUG A1 – Excellent. Austrian Made. Have not been imported for years, but there are still a few around for sale. Expensive.
2) Steyr AUG A2 – Flat-top version of the A1. Rare, extremely expensive.
3) Steyr USR – ‘Politically correct’ version of the AUG, designed to be importable as a ‘sporting
weapon.’ No flash suppressor, silly, thumb-hole stock. Same Austrian quality.
4) Steyr AUG A3 – This is the Sabre/Steyr Collaboration. US-made receiver and compliance parts. Everything else is Austrian. Excellent, available, and relatively affordable!
5) Microtech Small Arms Research – Many problems. Not recommended.
6) TPD/AXR – A small, Oregon start-up that made guns using Steyr parts and a forged receiver.
They were unable to compete successfully and closed their doors after making only a few rifles.
Now out of business.
Best solution for a fighting rifle is the Steyr/Saber A3 with a Aimpoint T1/H1, and with the standard, AUG stock. You’ll still need proprietary (and expensive) AUG magazines.”
Comment: Like the 1911 Pistol, the AUG has garnered a relatively small, but loyal, following. And, it is a wonderful rifle for serious purposes, with few critics.
However, it is expensive and, at least for now, out of the mainstream.
25 Oct 10
An Instructor and colleague in OK makes this important point about zeroing serious rifles:
“Many of our rifle students do not have access to private property, nor ranges that afford them the opportunity to sight-in rifles at whatever distance they might choose. On the contrary, most of us are limited to public shooting facilities, indeed mostly to pistol ranges, where targets can be set only at pre-established distances.
Nearly every such outdoor public range has targets pre-set at fifty yards, which comes out to forty-six meters. When thus set as the initial intersection, the second intersection for most ARs (223) will then occur at 210 meters.
Bullets will subsequently drop seven centimeters below the line of sight at 250m. So, MPBR (Maximum Point-Blank Range) then becomes 250m.
In addition, most AKs (7.62×39) sighted-in at the same forty-six meter zero will establish a second intersection at 170m. MPBR then becomes 190m
So, using this ‘46/210 Standard,’ instead of the 40/240 Standard that you advocate, allows our students to confirm zero easily, and often, on nearly any pistol range, without having to move targets around. The Standard is easily assimilated by the majority of rifles, ARs, AKs, et al, and allows the student to repeat the process on nearly any range that may be available to them, after they leave our Class.”
Comment: This is a good point!
I advise students to physically confirm rifle zero at every opportunity. I’d much rather have a recently-zeroed rifle than one that has not had zero confirmed in months, particularly when the rifle in question is transported often.
Rifles chambered for 223 are capable of being zeroed at any distance, and one can make a reasonable argument for a number of different strategies, from 25/300, to 100/100.
There is scant difference between a 40/240 zero and a 46/210 one, and, when all you have access to is a 46m range, go for it!
27 Oct 10
“Marksmanship,” from a friend in NYC:
“Recently, one of our NYPD patrol officers shot the pistol out of the hand of an armed-robbery suspect.
It is unclear if she intentionally targeted the suspect’s pistol, or fired at the suspect’s torso and hit his pistol by accident.
In any event, she is now a “hero.” We’ll probably never know the real story.
To our Mayor and other, assorted, political gasbags, she is little more than a temporary, and highly-expendable, source of ‘positive publicity.’ But, as an added bonus, the life of one of their voters (the suspect) has been preserved, until next time!
Here are two lessons emanating from this incident:
>Before making it a practice of going armed, thoroughly think through the subject of forcefully ending the life of another human being. Get it firmly settled in your mind beforehand, lest you hesitate (at your peril) when confronted with deadly danger.
>When you don’t have to shoot, don’t. But, when you do have to shoot, fire without hesitation, and fire with sufficient volume and accuracy to end the fight quickly, and permanently. This means you must inflict multiple, fatal wounds, as fast as you can.
Anything less marks you for death!
Get over it, or go back to eating grass. This is NYC, not Disneyland!”
Comment: “Willingness” is a state of mind. “Readiness” is a statement of fact!
It can’t be said too often!
28 Oct 10
We did another Airsoft, Scenario-Based Program last weekend, this time in SC. Most of our students are accustomed to carrying guns.
>Animation changes everything!
Shooting at static targets on a square-range usually represents good training, but it does little to prepare Operators for confronting multiple, animated targets, mixed in with non-targets, also in motion.
Maintaining visual contact with potential threats is critical. Students who stopped and then looked down at their pistols, then looked back up just a second later, found themselves lost! VCAs predictably took advantage of such dithering and closed in for the kill.
>Miscalculations with regard to the real level of risk are all too common!
Students routinely exposed themselves to what can only be described as suicidal risk in an effort to communicate with suspects or access a vantage-point. They are subsequently astounded as the speed at which a VCA was able to change moods, close in on them, and deliver a lethal blow via a blade, bludgeon, or pistol.
We too often forget that many, perhaps most, VCAs are themselves suicidal and thus have no illusions about living through the episode, nor do they care!
Guessing at suspect “intent” is a form Russian Roulette!
On the weekend of 20-21 Nov 10, we doing another Airsoft, Scenario-Based Program, this time in Addison, IL (near Chicago). If you would like to join us there, contact Steve Camp at SCamp76014@aol.com