1 Apr 06

Comment on unarmed federal agents:

“Please inform Mr Farnam that it is federal policy that agents keep pistols concealed while in public. Also, it is possible these SS guys were trainees.”

My response: My friend whom I quoted originally is a seasoned police officer, and he is pretty sure all the agents he saw were unarmed. None even had a concealed weapon, unless it escaped my friend’s sharp eye.

It is my firm position that, in this day and age, putting unarmed men and women in public, in readily-identifiable police uniforms, is criminal. “Unarmed police” and “unarmed federal agents” are both ridiculous contradictions of terms. As such, they are little more than sacrificial lambs!



3 Apr 06

A friend in the DEA reports:

“We are currently experiencing an 80% attrition rate on our entry physical-fitness test for new applicants. It boggles my mind to think that the average American 25-30-year-old who aspires to be a police officer in today’s dangerous world can’t even pass a basic (and really easy) physical assessment test!”

Comment: We may have to employ all those physically-fit, illegal aliens in order to fill the ranks of federal law-enforcement service!



4 Apr 06

We completed an Urban Rifle/Shotgun Program last weekend in IL. Here are excellent comments from one of my observant instructors:

“With regard to the ubiquitous AR-15, when you insert a magazine, SMACK it in, and then GIVE IT A TUG to make sure it’s seated. I lost count of students who, upon mounting their rifles, were astonished to see that their magazine had just fallen to the ground, instantly providing them with a single-shot rifle! Sure, we chuckle when it happens in training, but you’ll see who’s laughing during your next fight.

AR-15s have to be kept CLEAN. Fail to clean your rifle at the end of the day, and you’re virtually guaranteed malfunctions during day two. We had three (of twelve) go down on day two, due solely to poor maintenance.

Pull your AR-15’s bolt apart regularly and check the extractor spring to be sure it is not broken. While you’re there, check the extractor claw itself to be sure it is also in-tact. These are fragile parts, and they break more often than most other parts on the AR-15 system. Also, check to see that the gas key is not loose.

Get a D-Ring on your extractor spring, if you don’t already have one there. Cheap insurance!

Another AR-15 had the buffer-keeper spring (and pin) pop out, seizing the rifle completely. A workbench, gunsmith, stock-wrench, and twenty minutes were all required to get it running once more. The lesson there is: ALWAYS carry a pistol any time you’re carrying a longarm. Be prepared to go on fighting when you primary weapon goes south.

How soon we forget, when shooting around and over cover, that there is a 2-1/2″ sight-to-bore-line span. Muzzle masking is a big issue, and even experienced shooters often carelessly forget about it when shooting from behind cover. The slightest contact made by your bullet with the cover/concealment you’re using will send your bullet way off target. When optics are mounted on top of the carrying handle, the problem is exacerbated.

Charge ‘30-round’ AR-15 magazines with 28 rounds. Charge ‘20-round’ magazines with eighteen. There needs to be a full, one-half inch of free depression on the top round. When there is not, remove the top round and do the test again. Overcharged magazines lead to a vexatious condition called ‘bolt-override,’ which seizes up the entire rifle. It’s a high price to pay for ‘one extra round!’

Shut your AR-15’s dust cover before slinging! Seal the receiver at every opportunity. The AR-15 needs all the protection against airborne grit it can get!

Take an extra moment when loading your AR-15 to smack the forward assist with the heel of your strong-side hand. It’s on there. Use it!

For all rifles:

Those ‘tactical slings’ sure are comfy and sexy, but have you tried switching to the support-side shoulder while entangled in one? Have you attempted to climb out of it and then switch hands with any species of efficiency? You will have to, and fast, in order to shoot around the left sides of things. In our course, a full, twenty percent of shooting was from the support-side shoulder.

Slick, nylon slings are not recommended. I watched eight students struggle all weekend with slippery slings continually sliding off of their shoulders. Cotton slings are better, because they cling.”

Comment: There is nothing like an intense course to truly test gear, technique, and personal attitude. Gear that works “just fine” during occasional, casual, purely recreational plinking often goes south in short order during rough, heavy use. That is why you need to bring your gear and yourself to a genuine, carnassial course and wring it, and yourself, out. It will quickly become obvious to you what works and what doesn’t!



5 Apr 06

Carry comments from a Federal Agent and friend:

“Not all us Feds have hammered our pistols into computer keyboards, at least not yet. Out of eight in our office, three of us carry regularly.

The other five only carry when they ‘know’ that they are going to be encountering danger. My comment that it is indeed fortunate that they are able to plan future gunfights with such stunning accuracy is mostly wasted sarcasm.

The notion that you will not carry your weapon and simply be a ‘good witness’ is a cynical abdication of a moral and legal pact you have entered into with our civilization.

Unfortunately, grasseaters sometimes become cops, and they don’t change. What they do get is promoted, but that is a story for a different time!”

Comment: I don’t know how bad it is going to have to get to wake some people up!



6 Apr 06

Tactical lessons, from a friend in WA:

“Our extensive Force-On-Force drills have revealed:

Students naturally locked onto the single threat that initially grabbed their attention. When so doing, they stopped monitoring the environment. As a result, several were stabbed in the back by attackers they never saw, and several others inadvertently shot bystanders of which they were unaware.

Conversely, there is a time to stand and fight! Trying to shoot, move, talk, and scan simultaneously will result in none of those things being done well. Effective fighting requires intensified concentration on a single act. When focus is divided, coordinated effort is compromised.

To reconcile the foregoing, we must practice concentrating for short periods, then drawing back and taking everything in. Alternately concentrating and diffusing is a secret to victory!

A strong, alert, imposing, upright, independent bearing is another secret to victory! The best way to win a fight is via personal reputation. Attackers invariably seek out the weak, preoccupied, self-consumed, disorganized. Never wait. Never hesitate. Always call their bluff!”

The “feet in cement” syndrome proved a pernicious assassin! There is no point in drawing a pistol while standing still! Why would anyone want to do that? Combining abrupt, lateral movement with simultaneous pistol presentation confronts attackers with a confusing, challenging, and toxic target. Same applies when mounting rifles and shotguns.

Pistol draws (presentations) were sloppy, with lots of support hands carelessly panned by muzzles. Amateur Hour! But, easily fixed.

Verbal commands were too long, too convoluted, too watery. As a result, they were muddled, incomprehensible, garbled, only rarely understood. Short “tape-loops” need to be selected and then practiced with the same intensity as shooting skills. A strong, clear, understandable voice is a always strong ally. Never mumble!

Available cover was often left unused. When one doesn’t regularly practice locating, seeking, and using cover, there is little chance he will make any use of it in a real gunfight.

More than one student was forcibly disarmed by close-in attackers when they carelessly allowed their brandished pistols to get too far away from their bodies, particularly when pistols were held with only one hand. Inserting your pistol into ‘where angels fear to tread’ will quickly result in a successful disarm. When threats are close, (1) keep your pistol close to your body, and keep both hands on it, and (2) always carry a concealed, back-up pistol and practice transitioning to it without hesitation.

We put to rest, at least to my satisfaction, the familiar ‘When I draw, I will always shoot’ nonsense. The decision to shoot needs to be distinct, and separate, from the presentation. When the two are inexorably linked, unintentional shootings are inevitable in any dynamic environment. We saw it!

Students fired until the threat either ran away or collapsed. That’s good! However, those carrying revolvers and single-column, autoloading pistols, take note. Have a plan for when they run out before the fight is over, because there is little doubt that they will!”

Comment: Spot-on, my friend!



10 Apr 06

Pistol Bullet Performance:

The last time we did a bullet performance test was during a course in PA early last year. At that time, friend and colleague, Mike Shovel from Cor-Bon brought out huge blocks of ballistic gelatin, and we shot them with a variety of commercially-available, high-performance pistol ammunition. We required each bullet to first penetrate four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. At that time, we discovered that denim retarded and frustrated the expansion of a number of conventional, hollow-point bullets. In bare gelatin, most expanded just fine, but the denim barrier presented a problem for all but a few.

Last weekend, again in PA, Mike joined us once more for an Advanced Defensive Pistol Course, The gelatin tests continued:

Many commented last time that they wondered what effect a heavy, leather jacket would have on pistol-bullet performance and penetration. So, this time we required each bullet to penetrate a leather jacket AND four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. Each student subjected his own, carry ammunition to the test. Here is what we found:

The combination of leather and denim frustrated most conventional, hollowpoints. Most traversed the gelatin with badly-compromised expansion. Some did not expand at all. Even Cor-Bon’s vaunted PowerBall (45ACP, out of my Detonics) did not do well in this test. I was surprised, as few rounds will out-expand PowerBall, but the layers of clothing, combined with the Detonics’ short barrel, conspired to thwart performance.

The one round that expanded consistently and completely, despite the leather and denim barrier, in all calibers, was Cor-Bon’s DPX! DPX, in 40S&W, 45ACP, 357SIG, 38Super, and 45AutoRim, were all unimpressed by the leather and denim. Even 380Auto DPX, out of my little Kel-Tec, was immune. It expanded symmetrically and completely, penetrating nine inches of gelatin, after penetrating the clothing.

I am more persuaded than ever that DPX provides superior performance in the widest spectrum of circumstances, consistently outperforming any other bullet of which I am aware.



11 Apr 06

Safe Direction

Safe Direction’s Ballistic Containment System was put to the real test several weeks ago! A local police officer placed his Safe Direction pad on a glass table and then pointed his pistol at it as he attempted to unload. Not sure of all the details, but he had an ND. The single bullet struck the Safe Direction right in the center.

Good news: As designed, the Safe Direction pad safely contained the errant bullet. It went no further than the pad. Unfortunately, the impact broke the glass table!

Of course, had the Safe Direction not been there, the glass table would still have been broken. In addition, the bullet would probably have continued on, penetrating the floor and proceeding into the room below. So, the product performed as advertised.

The lesson here is this: When (as I strongly recommend) using your Safe Direction pad in the normal course of handling your pistol for the administrative purposes of loading, unloading, and performing a chamber check, the best spot to place it is on (1) a bed or (2) a padded chair. Thus positioned, an ND will not only be contained, but there will probably be no ancillary property damage at all!

I’ve made it a personal habit!



11 Apr 06

Illegal Immigration:

With the ignominious defeat of “compromise” immigration legislation last week, congress goes back to the beginning. Those in the know don’t expect any change in our disgraceful, open-border, or ‘guest-voter,” policy for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, naive losers, organized by shadowy, Communist fronts, publicly demonstrate for instant citizenship to be automatically conferred upon everyone who shows up at our borders! Citizenship is thus being cheapened as the definition of “citizen” itself becomes muddled. The very term, “American Citizen,” which used to be a proud and meaningful claim, is rapidly becoming meaningless, a cruel joke, as virtually anyone will eventually be able to claim that title.

Of course, sleazy, Marxist politicians love the thought of a permanent underclass that can be deceived and manipulated without difficulty and whose votes can be easily purchased with public funds. They also have no compunction about using intimidation and threats in order to force them into “spontaneous” demonstrations.

In the interim, they heap upon the shoulders of private-sector employers (hated “Capitalists”) endless layers of punitive, burdensome, confusing regulations and cause armies of erstwhile-unemployed bureaucrats to descend upon them with monotonous regularity, searching relentlessly for the amerceable undotted “i” and uncrossed “t.” It should thus come as no surprise that, as government makes employing people legally more and more unpleasant and exasperating, it simultaneously makes employing illegal people ever more attractive!

Alien VCAs effortlessly enter the United States, commit egregious crimes, then recross back into Mexico where they have no fear of prosecution. In fact, the vast majority of current, active felony warrants in southern California are for former illegal aliens who have subsequently returned to Mexico after committing crimes in the United States. For them, murdering Americans carries scant risk.

The Mexican government is now openly speculating about reannexing AZ, NM, TX, and most of CA, UT, and CO, all the territories it lost over a hundred years ago in the Mexican War. Our official response: silence! How easily they forget the brave men who died so valiantly establishing those very borders, which are now looked upon, from both sides, with such casual condescension! In Washington DC, the term, “border,” has apparently lost all meaning.

Without any new law being passed, illegal aliens could be sought out, arrested, and deported right now. Without any new law, a fence (just like the one built by the Israelis, and for the same reason) could be built along our southern border. But, when existing laws remain deliberately unenforced, why would anyone believe new laws, even when passed, would be enforced either?

The point here is that neither state nor the federal government has displayed the slightest interest in enforcing existing laws or protecting the lives and property of American citizens. They have no apparent interest in even protecting the concept of citizenship itself! We Americans need to make preparations to protect ourselves. No one in Washington DC, not even our President, is currently stepping up to the plate, nor are any likely to.



12 Apr 06

Comments on illegal immigration:

From a friend in SA:

“Interesting how the USA is only too happy to welcome unlimited hoards of poor, uneducated, illegal immigrants who have no job skills and no prospects, all with no questions asked and no possibility of deportation after (illegal) entry is made.

Yet, highly educated, highly skilled, highly motivated, highly productive professionals from other parts of the world, who really believe in the American dream, are universally denied entry, even for a temporary visa, much less permanent residence. No one who might vote for a Republican is anyone your country wants. I’ve tried!

Entering America remains just a far-off theory for good people here and in many other parts of the world. Respecting your immigration laws is obviously the exclusive province of fools!”

From a friend in the Philippines:

“What we have here is what you can expect as you country is progressively overrun with illegal immigrants. Here, any person, from anywhere, who sets up a structure on someone else’s land cannot be made to leave without a ‘demolition order’ from the city mayor. Now, this would seem to be a simple case of trespassing.

But no! Mayors (similar to your sleazy Marxists), in an attempt to perpetuate their hold on power, allow these people to stay, portraying themselves as champions of the poor and oppressed (while living in luxury themselves). Naturally, it takes but a few weeks before the area’s crime rate shoots up. Petty theft is the start. Then, break-ins, armed robberies, muggings, car-jackings, and home invasions, not to mention gambling dens and drugs. As squatters learn they are being protected, in exchange for votes, they become ever more brazen. They don’t assimilate. They take over!

In the end, votes coming from illegals outnumbers those of people who actually own property and pay taxes. They are shamelessly disenfranchised by the tyranny of an illegitimate minority and their seedy supporters in government.

Of course, squatters’ shacks are quickly bulldozed when a large mall, development, or road is proposed. Politicians forget all about ‘squatters’ rights’ when it is they who covet a particular piece of real estate.”

Here is what TR said about immigration in 1919:

“We should insist that the immigrant who comes in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us. This is predicated upon the man’s becoming an American and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American but something else also, isn’t an American at all.

We have room for but one flag here, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.”

We need a TR today. Unfortunately, we don’t have anything close!



13 Apr 06

Cor-Bon DPX on auto glass:

“John, we’re fresh form attending a two-day AVOPS (Armed Vehicle Operations) course in IN. During the final afternoon we were able to conduct testing on the windshield of a 1991 Lincoln sedan. We had been advised that, when shooting from inside a vehicle out, or outside a vehicle in, the windshield will cause the bullet to deviate up to six inches from the point of aim. This general rule held true with every high-performance pistol round we tried.

All but one, that is. Cor-Bon DPX stayed directly on target even after penetrating laminated, angled, windshield glass. There was NO deflection at all. There was also no disintegration of the bullet, as it passed through from either direction. Point of aim was point of impact, both ways!

Two calibers were tested: DPX 45ACP from a Glock 30, and the DPX 40S&W from a Beretta 96.

We have yet to find a downside to DPX!”

Comment: DPX is a stellar performer in a wide spectrum of circumstances. Hard to beat!



14 Apr 06

Knife Penetration:

Last weekend, as we cheerfully shot various handgun bullets into Mike Shovel’s gelatin blocks, some of us decided to also experiment with knife-blade penetration and cutting ability, especially when heavy clothing and leather jackets are involved. I’m still far from persuaded that gelatin is particularly useful for any purpose, nor am I convinced that penetration results from shooting such a unrealistically homogenous medium mirrors reality to any specific degree. Conversely, I’m not sure we currently have anything better that is readily available, is as easy to use, and is as transparent so as to generate effective, visual results. We can probably describe ballistic gelatin as: “the best of the worst.”

I “stabbed” the gelatin with two of my Cold Steel blades, a Ti-Lite and a Vaquero Grande. In bare gelatin (the “Nudist-Colony Test”) both, of course, penetrated easily, requiring only a few pounds of insertive pressure in order to slide in to the hilt. When the same test was done where the blade had to first penetrate the leather jacket and then four layers of denim before reaching the gelatin, results were largely the same! Both knives effortlessly penetrated to the hilt. Even leather and heavy clothing provided scant shielding.

However, when we did the same test with differently-shaped blades, results changed radically. One student had a folder with a “bulb” point. The knife was reasonably sharp, but, when he stabbed the clothed gelatin, even with a great deal of strength, the blade refused to penetrate leather. He enthusiastically attempted several times, all with the same result. “Tanto” blades faired slightly better, but still not nearly as well as the stabbing point found on the Ti-Lite.

When we slashed the gelatin, we learned that “reasonably sharp” produces poor results! Leather effectively shielded the gelatin from even enthusiastic slashes from several utility blades, including the bulb-pointed one. Once again, however, both the Ti-Lite and the Vaquero sliced through leather and denim handily, delivering deep cuts to the gelatin beneath. The serrated Vaquero was particularly effective, slashing through both leather and fabric with ease.

My conclusions: Heavy leather is an underrated form of armor, frustrating both pistol bullet performance and knife attacks alike! Not long ago, it actually was used as armor. Even today, some folks routinely wear leather gauntlets around their wrists. I often see my good friend, Mas Ayoob, in a substantial, leather jacket. I now know why!

To be effective fighting tools, knives need to be (1) strong, (2) appropriately shaped, and (3) razor sharp!

Weak, flimsy knives (of which there are too many) lack the strength and structural integrity to get one through a fight. In order to “cut strongly,” one needs a strong knife, not an anaemic toy that will break the first time it is put to heavy use!

I have become persuaded that the shape of a knife blade is important. Blades designed for skinning and utility cutting are poor for fighting. In order to stab deeply, the knife tip must be able to penetrate, and the blade behind it must be appropriately shaped so that you’ll be able to cut ruinously as the knife is withdrawn. Otherwise, as we discovered, the entire knife is little more than an impact weapon!

Dull knives are basically impact weapons too! I’ve always marveled at the extreme degree of sharpness with which every Cold Steel knife comes from the factory. Now, I see why! In a fight, you’re going to desperately need every bit of that sharpness in order to cut through clothing and penetrate deeply into flesh. Don’t carry a dull knife and naively think you’ll be able to use it as an effective weapon!

Finally, I’m going to follow Mas’ lead and get a leather jacket!



14 Apr 06

Feedback on Blackhawk’s Gladius flashlight, from a friend and student:

“Can A Flashlight be worth $200.00? I just returned from Amsterdam, and I have pertinent thoughts on this subject.

Like you, I carry my Gladius when traveling by air. TSA has no problem with it, nor does their equivalent in foreign countries. It stays with me on the aircraft. I experienced two episodes in which my Gladius came in handy:

The first was at JFK in NYC. As I was proceeding to my gate, all power in the terminal went down! Of course, emergency lighting came right on, but it was marginal. I found myself walking in what amounted to a darkened cavern, among hundreds of confused grasseaters. I retrieved my Gladius, turned it on, and continued forward, trying to find my gate. I quickly discovered, in a dark airport, possession of a flashlight is seen by many as a symbol of authority! People started coming up to me and asking what was going on. I disengaged with, ‘I’m just trying to find my gate, Bud.’

I was looking for Gate Five. A couple indicated they were looking for Gate Six, so we set off together. Before long, I looked like the Pied Piper! In this environment, having the ability the dial down the intensity of the light turned out to be an extremely valuable feature. I was able to ‘reduce the volume’ and subsequently divest myself of some unwanted attention. Truly a versatile tool!

While in Amsterdam, I stayed in a hotel two blocks from their famous Red-Light District, and I had to walk through part of it every day in order to get to the train station. I was approached numerous times by young men with their hands in their pockets. It quickly became obvious that they were selling drugs. When they closed to within four meters, I learned to hold up a hand and shake my head. It almost always worked. They would disengage and abruptly veer off, looking for more promising pickings.

However, one afternoon things took a sinister turn. I was approached by a disheveled man in his forties. I performed my now-customary disengagement routine, but it didn’t work. He kept coming toward me, saying (in English) that he was trying to find the train station. I replied that I couldn’t help and tried to flank him. He again stepped in my path, this time saying that he needed money and that he was really a ‘good guy,’ to my mind, confirming the opposite!

I already had my Gladius in my hand. I set it to ‘strobe,’ and aimed it directly at his face. The results were instant and startling! He immediately became disoriented and started teetering in place. He then covered his face and rapidly turned away, immediately walking right into a wall, knocking himself backward. He fell to the ground, flailing, altogether befogged. I quickly walked around him and continued on my way. I never saw him again.

So, to return to the question, can a flashlight be worth $200.00? It surely was that day!”

Comment: Like my friend, I carry a Gladius also. The strobe feature makes it an effective, non-lethal weapon, a weapon you can take with you on commercial aircraft!

Blackhawk has confirmed that some early Gladius flashlights were produced with defective endcaps. Current production is fine. If you suspect you have a defective unit, get hold of them, and they will fix it promptly. Blackhawk’s customer service is excellent.



15 Apr 06

This is a message from Sir Arthur Wellesley, Earl (Duke) of Wellington, to the British Foreign Office in London, written in Spain, August of 1812:

“Gentlemen: Whilst marching from Portugal to positions which command the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests, which have been sent by HM ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch rider to this headquarters.

We have exhaustively enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents, and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty’s Government holds me accountable. Each and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I bear your indulgence.

Unfortunately, the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion’s petty cash, and there has been hideous confusion as to the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one of my cavalry regiments during a sandstorm in Western Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of the circumstances, since we are at war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.

This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty’s government, so as I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that, by force of circumstance, it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one to the best of my ability, but I cannot do both.

1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of accountants and copy-boys in London. Or perchance,

2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

Your obedient servant,


Comment: When dealing with politics, politicians, and bureaucrats, all military commanders experience the same problem. Since politics is the art of the possible, it appeals only to second-rate minds. First-rate minds are only interested in the impossible. This is why we have brilliant commanders and entrepreneurs, but only mediocre politicians.

Where there is trust, no proof is necessary. Where there is none, no proof is possible.



18 Apr 06

Of the three great Indian leaders of the Eighteenth Century, Little Turtle, Pontiac, and Tecumseh, it is Tecumseh who is most respected and remembered most fondly, by both sides. Even today, many towns are named after him, and his ability to influence and inspire, both friend and critic alike, is rivaled by only a few.

I was struck by his eloquently simple advice for living:

“Live your life so fear of death never enters your heart.

Trouble no one about his religion

Seek to make your life long and of good service

Always salute when passing a stranger in a lonely place.

Show respect to all, but grovel before none.

When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear, so that when their time comes, they weep and whine, because they are unacquainted with the True Way and have no hope. Sing your death song only once, then step across the Great Divide, never looking back, like a hero going home.”

He has it down!



23 Apr 06

G19 Extractor

During a training program last weekend, a student using a G19 started experiencing numerous failures to extract. Suspecting a broken extractor, I locked the slide to the rear and looked at the extractor from above. It looked normal.

I then field-stripped the pistol, removed the spring assembly and barrel from the slide, turned the slide upside down, and then looked at the extractor from the under side. Sure enough, the tip of the extractor claw was broken off. It looked like a chipped tooth. Difficult to discern from the top, but obvious when viewed from underneath. Upon replacing the extractor, the pistol was returned to useful service and resumed functioning normally.

With Glocks, few parts break regularly, but the tip of the extractor claw does break now and then. One must habitually field strip the pistol and examine the breech from the under side. Merely locking open the slide and looking at it from the top will divulge little.



24 Apr 06

Detonics 9-11-01

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to wring out my copy of the new Detonics 9-11-01 Pistol. It is a full-sized, all-stainless steel, 1911 pistol, in 45ACP, of course. It feels good to be carrying a Government Model again!

This is a serious, heavy-duty pistol, designed for daily carrying and heavy use. It is easily a 30,000 round gun. Loaded with Cor-Bon DPX, it makes a formidable package. It functioned flawlessly, as expected.

Detonics pistols have none of the various Swartz interlocks, nor are they fitted with the Colt trigger interlock. They are pretty much the way Browning designed them, except that they have no barrel bushing. Not much to go wrong.

This is a serious, hard, robust heavy hitter. Recommended!



25 Apr 06

Smart Carry

For the past few days, I’ve been carrying my backup pistol in the “Smart Carry” T-Shirt. Not suitable for a big pistol, but perfect for a small pistol, this t-shirt fits comfortably and supports the weight of the gun well. I wear it over my regular t-shirt.

Several manufacturers make something similar, but I particularly like this model. The gun is held close, but the weight is well distributed. Recommended!

CCW Shirt

559 683 7326



25 Apr 06

Comments on chipped extractors on Glocks, from instructors:

“Chipped Glock extractors can be largely prevented by:

(1) Regularly cleaning powder fouling from the extractor and bolt face. The extractor needs to be clean and dry.

(2) Replacing weak magazine springs

(3) Replacing a weak extractor plunger spring.

(4) Not using steel-case ammunition.

(5) Not allowing the slide to free-fall on a chambered round”

“I had the same problem with my G19! I chose not to switch over to my back-up gun or replacement pistol and continued training with my broken G19. I found that I quickly mastered the art of reducing malfunctions! It turned into the best training I ever received.

Too many people get upset when their gear breaks. Instead, one should use it as an opportunity to learn how to work through a problem. In a real fight, gear might break. As a result, one can mistakenly lapse into an impotent mindset, eg: ‘I can’t go on now, because my gun isn’t working

Instead, training should engender a ‘Find a way to win, regardless of circumstances’ mindset. Once one stops feeling sorry for himself, he can focus on the task at hand, whether gear wants to cooperate or not. Thus, intentionally training with gear that doesn’t function properly actually bolsters one’s attitude. As you might say, ‘Recommended!’”



25 Apr 06

Knoxx Stock:

A company called Knoxx is making a recoil-absorbing, replacement stock for Remington and Mossburg shotguns, as well as other weapons. I had two of my 12ga pumps fitting with them, after seeing the product at the SHOT Show. It provides a useful pistol grip, and it permits fast follow-up shots, as the barrel comes back on target quickly. Here are comments from an institutional user:

“Shot the 870 with the Knoxx stock last weekend. Functioned flawlessly! While not ‘removing’ recoil, it does move most of it into the pistol grip, so that my shoulder is not punished nearly as much as with a fixed stock. The shotgun also recovers and reacquires the target much more quickly than with standard stock.

I like the pistol grip. It makes transitioning from your AR, to shotgun, to pistol nearly effortless. Trigger finger naturally stays in register. No ‘funny feeling’ when going to the shotgun from the AR or pistol.

I like it! It doesn’t perform miracles, but it makes it possible to comfortably fire a good deal more rounds during training than is the case with a straight stock. Anything that makes shotgun training more palatable than it currently is should interest all serious trainers!”

Comment: This is a product that merits a close look!

Knoxx Industries
PO Bx 2848
500 Linne Rd, Ste A
Paso Robles, CA 93446
877 465 6699
805 227 4099
805 238 2069 (Fax)



26 Apr 06


The International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) is currently holding its annual conference in Arlington Heights, IL. Vicki and I attended the vendors’ area this morning. This, the newest of the three big LE trainers associations, is putting on a big and well attended and organized event. Ed Nowicki, the central personality (and long-time friend), is, once again, showing us all what a suburb organizer and diplomat he is!

Of all the vendors there, several new products caught my eye:

The “Shocknife” The shocknife is a training blade that electronically duplicates the sensation of being cut! It is absolutely amazing. When Jeff Quail, the inventor, dragged the blade across my arm, I had to look to convince myself I had not just been sliced open. The sensation made my blood run cold! This will prove a valuable training tool when instructing students in knife fighting and knife defense. Excellent product. I’m going to get a copy!

Jeremy Ross has invented a product called “FirstLight.” Instead of attaching a flashlight to the gun. FirstLight attaches to the shooter’s support hand. Attached to the back of the support hand, it doesn’t get in the way, but when the pistol, or longarm, is grasped normally, the light is exactly on the boreline! The shooter can reload, reduce stoppages, and move normally, and the flashlight and gun can be joined together and employed immediately. Just as quickly, they can be separated, and the flashlight can be used independently, so the shooter is not automatically pointing a gun at everything he illuminates. I’m going to get a copy of this too. Quite an idea!

Several video simulators were on display, but Dave Young’s CAPS System is still my favorite, because it is designed to be used exclusively on a live range. Students use their own guns, their own ammunition, their own accouterments. I’ve used Dave’s system at the S&W Academy indoor range, and it was consistently the most popular part of my programs there.

FATS, another video simulator, has cleverly eliminated the gas-tube tether that has been heretofore necessary in order to get high-pressure gas to the gun/simulator, so that the slide can be made to reciprocate normally when the trigger is pressed and normal discharge is simulated. Tethers can be a nuisance, and they sometimes retard normal, tactical movement. With the new generation of FATS simulator pistols and rifles, the gas supply is actually in the magazine, much as it is with Airsoft guns. Now, shooters are free to move any way they want, and weapons can be “loaded” and “reloaded” normally. This represents a significant advancement in simulator training, and FATS deserves a lot of credit.

My friend, Tom Marx at Blackhawk, is now marketing the “Harkins Triton” knife. It is a pocket knife, with a four-inch blade, a blade that both appears and disappears at the flick of a switch! I’m not sure how it works, but the blade shoots out of the handle, locking in place. It shoots back in just as fast! As a one-hand blade, this will be hard to beat for speed of deployment. I’m definitely getting a copy!

Jeff Quail
866 353 5055

Jeremy Ross
217 356 6600

Dave Young
514 696 8591

Gary Thomas
800 813 9046, Ext 3293

Tom Marx
800 694 5263



27 Apr 06

Six days ago, a 33-year-old meth-addict in OR attempted to commit suicide by firing a carpenter’s nail gun into his head, multiple times! Most of the fired nails entered the side of the skull near the eye socket, from both sides (he was apparently ambidextrous)!

Later in the day, Goofy showed up at a local ER, fully conscious and ambulatory, but complaining of a “headache!” X-Rays of his skull revealed twelve, embedded two-inch nails, which were subsequently removed, one by one, with what amounts to a pair of pliers. Goofy not only survived, but his prognosis was characterized by “no lasting effects.”

The lesson here is:

Unless the brain stem is substantially destroyed, a missile that strikes the cranium, even penetrating the skull, even penetrating the brain itself, is unlikely to produce substantial short-term debilitation, much less, anything that could be described as an “instantaneous shutdown.”

Accordingly, adhering to the sage advice of my good friend and ER surgeon, Don Gunn, we don’t teach “head shots.” Instead, we teach “brain-stem shots.” Easily accomplished with rifles, but a tall order for pistols, owing to most pistol bullets’ limited ability to fully penetrate bony, facial sinuses and nasal turbinates. Another reason I routinely carry DPX!

When viewed from the front, the brain stem is directly behind the middle of the nose. Of course, it can’t be seen directly. It and its location must be visualized by the shooter. In our courses, we now do several drills that are designed to aid this three-dimensional imaging process.