3 Feb 04

On serious pistols, from a friend in the Philippines:

As you know, I am one of few foreigners here allowed to carry concealed firearms legally. Like so many, I love the 1911, but give me a Glock when I have to fight in the mud, the blood, the beer, and maybe even salt water.

Case in point: I proudly took my new, Para-Ordnance P12 to a remote island several days ago. We were there to investigate local drug traffickers. As you know, it is hot and damp here, even on good days. Our small boat got swamped, drenching me and my pistol for several hours. Once ashore, I immediately stripped down my P12, cleaned, and relubricated it, but in so doing I inadvertently alerted a local politician that I was armed, compromising our mission.
Had I been carrying my G19, I would have made the excuse of going for a leak, surreptitiously swished the pistol around in the local rain barrel, and then (if I got the chance) relubricated it after dark. No one would have been the wiser.

Carrying hardy pistols that are designed to keep working despite severe, corrosive environments and continuous neglect has real advantages!”

Comment: I, too, like 1911s, but I carry SIGs and Glocks, because they are uncompromisingly designed for serious purposes and faithfully work, even when the going gets exciting. A Roguard or NP3 finish from my friend Robbie Barrkman will render any pistol corrosion proof, but, to their credit, Glocks pretty much come that way, as my friend points out.



4 Feb 04

Followup on Corrosion:

“That pretty much reflects conditions here in the Philippines. Hard Chrome works when it is properly applied, but competent platers are hard to find over here, and the best of the lot are swamped, as you might imagine.

For blue-steel guns, we often use the ‘diesel-fuel treatment’ as an expedient. It’s tacky, and it smells, and dirt sticks to it, but it is effective in keeping guns working in a hot, damp environment. A chopstick, steel wool, and a GI T-shirt completes your ‘field-expedient cleaning kit.’

Most places you need guns, you’ll find diesel fuel! It’s a good thing to know”

Comment: Yes, it is!



4 Feb 04

9mm comments from a friend in the industry:

“The 9mm +P 124 gr Gold Dot has earned high marks with the NYPD. Much the same for the 115gr Cor-Bon. The new PowerBall will probably prove itself superior to either.

However, I am still amazed at the following the 9mm 147 gr has. That finally seems to be diminishing as ‘real’ data gets out. I think, if these truly effective 9mm loads had been around fifteen years ago, the 40S&W would have been stillborn”

Comment: I don’t agree. The 40S&W and the 357SIG have carved out a legitimate market nitch for themselves. However, the 9X19 is not going to die any time soon. It is still the best defensive caliber choice for many people. Cor-Bon PowerBall is the way to go!



5 Feb 04

Blades and Pistols, from a friend who instructs defensive tactics:

“It has been pointed out that grapplers (wrestlers) make an art out of closing distance, clinching and wrestling. It’s a smart game plan, because eliminating distance greatly diminishes an opponent’s ability to effectively retrieve and employ guns. Punches and kicks are also diminished in potency when bodies are in contact.

The nemeses for grapplers is a blade. Even when bodies are in contact, an opponent can efficiently retrieve and use a blade on a grappler, even a good one. Conversely, pistols are less likely to be retrieved and used effectively in the clinch.

The point is this: most mugging suspects are basically wrestlers. They grab arms, heads, hair, and torsos and then wrestle their victims to the ground. Not surprisingly, they customarily select victims over whom they have a significant size and strength advantage and whom they are able to approach closely without being noticed.

Against such an attack a potential victim may be able to use a blade more effectively than a pistol, at least initially. An attacker is less likely to notice a blade in the victim’s hand than he would a gun. Even after the attacker has been made (painfully) aware of the fact that his victim has a blade, disarming him or her is nearly impossible. Levering a pistol out of someone’s hand is much easier. A gun is only dangerous in one direction!

When parties separate, a pistol comes into its own, and a blade diminishes in usefullness. We need to think of a blade as something we can use quickly to get the attacker off of us and out of physical contact. When we have thus separated from him and gained distance, we can then use our pistol to prevent him from closing the distance once more.

The best use for a blade is when you have one (concealed), and your attacker doesn’t know it until it is employed. When it is employed, he will probably be more than happy to separate, after which you can default to your pistol.”

Comment: Something we all need to think about and practice!



5 Feb 04

On duty pistols from a friend with a big PD on the East Coast:

“The good news is that our Administration is finally ‘on board,’ with the need for a pistol to replace our existing S&W Sigmas. After experiencing more problems than anyone should ever accept from a duty weapon, we’re ready for something new. The other instructors and I are advocating a switch to the G22 due to its demonstrated reliability, as well as the fact that transition training would be simplified since it functions exactly like the Sigma (except that the Glock usually works). The SIG DAK is also a possibility.

S&W sent their representatives to our PD today. They’re good people, and they’re trying to make things right, but they’re admitting that the Sigma’s problems aren’t going to be fixed and that it is not an acceptable duty gun. Of course, they want us to go with the S&W P99.

They’re willing to swap out P99s, one-for-one, for our old Sigmas. That is generous, and we appreciate the offer. In fact, triggers on the P99s they brought us were excellent, but the ambidextrous magazine release is awkward, and there is no way we’re going with manual decocking, especially the P99’s decocking “button” which is altogether unusable for our officers with small hands.

Glocks or SIGs. I’ll let you know”

Comment: S&W makes fine revolvers, but they don’t currently have an autoloading pistol that they can sell to police. Neither the Sigma nor the P99 have garnered any kind of following. S&W is a grand, old American company. How we all wish them success! But, when you’re competing with Glock and SIG, you better have something pretty special!



6 Feb 04

Sage and disturbing comments from a friend about the modern state of training. Much of this applies to those of us who claim to be “Gunmen” and teachers of legitimate fighting art.

“Alone, karate has the moral component of a hatchet. Good karate has the moral component of a sharp hatchet. If fools were ever to achieve the wise, moral, or improved condition they imagine to exist, they might have so much peace of mind that they could not hit hard. Of course, fools cannot hit hard in any case.

A few basic blows, practiced relentlessly, provide a better arsenal for combat than many techniques, each practiced less frequently. More techniques can be learned and practiced on a decreasing scale of utility and, probably, on an increasing scale of fun. That is, pleasure in practice; not joy celebrating victory in combat. The entertainment and exercise value of the full spectrum of any martial art is obvious, but variety does not win fights

In any fight, you must hit the first enemy first. Almost always, he is the closest one. If you drop the man immediately, that changes everything. If you do not, that also changes everything.

A fortunate karateka fights seldom if ever, but he is always a dangerous man. I intend to be one until I die.

I have no knowledge of modern karate- kickboxing, karate aerobics or whatever- and no interest in the future of the art. Denizens of modern karate ‘studios’ apparently dance in front of mirrors while wearing shiny pants. The only competent place I have ever seen with music, mirrors, and shiny pants was a whorehouse in Nevada. ‘Instructors’ who debase an ancient tradition and teach incompetent techniques deserve the shame of this comparison.

Good karateka I have known were intelligent, original, capable, unpredictable, aggressive, brave, and dangerous. Most had a dark side. Daily practice for decades at hurting other people does not make liberals. Popularization and overparticipation degrades karate just as their parent, overpopulation, degrades, cheapens, and probably dooms our species. In the end, we’re all dead anyway. Meanwhile, it is good to be willing to fight and able to win.”

Comment: It is good indeed! Victory is the only reality in the universe.



8 Feb 04

Observations of new CCW students from an instructor in the Midwest:

“We’ve had our state CCW law since last year, and now, every time there is a local ax murder, throngs descend upon us the very next day for state-mandated training. I’m sure it is that way nationwide.

It is indeed lamentable to see so many students, new to the art, bringing cheap, tinny guns. It is a sure sign of hesitant, minimal commitment. Three chintzy pistols I see far more than I would like are the Hi-Point (an absolute piece of junk) the Tokarev and Makarov, both from Eastern Europe. The last two are marginally functional, but rude, crude, full of sharp edges and corners, underpowered, and awkward. These same people, of course, also bring cheap ammunition, most of it foreign crap. Lots of stoppages. Wolf is the worst of the lot, and I’ve finally banned it from the range.

On the other side of the ledger, enlightened students take our advice and bring Glocks, SIGs, and H&Ks, good holsters and accessories, and take the time to locate normal-capacity magazines, wisely shunning “Clinton clips” that now come with these pistols. They also bring, shoot, and carry good, domestic, high-performance ammunition. However, they then naively think one magazine is enough and fail to carry a spare. I explain to them that a spare magazine is like a spare tire. You hope you never need it, but when you do, you really do!

Other autoloaders we see a lot of are Springfield XDs and Rugers. These choices are usually driven by price, but both of these guns work well. Ruger autoloaders are user-hostile, but positively functional. XDs work fine too, but they come from the factory ‘pre-sharpened!’ SA needs to round off the sharp edges and corners in order to make this otherwise good pistol comfortable to carry.

The state-mandated course of fire is, of course, a joke, but we get through it.”

Comment: Motivated students are a great joy. Undermotivated, indecisive students are the greatest challenge. Both need to be trained, the later category most of all. We instructors need to concentrate on inspiring our students, not impressing them.



8 Feb 04

In 1636 an exasperated General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony unanimously passed the following ordinance:

“Whereas many complaints have been made to this Court… of the greatest neglect of all sorts of people of using the lawful and necessary means for their safety, especially in this time of so great danger from Indians, it is therefore ordered that no person shall travel above one mile from his dwelling without arms; upon pain of twelvepence for every default”

It is interesting that unarmed people were scornfully referred to as “neglectful.” Protecting oneself was not just a personal responsibility, it was a duty to the community, a community that needed the input of every able-bodied person. In fact, even years after the danger from hostile Indians was eliminated, there was no suggestion that this ordinance be repealed.

We can only wonder what it would be like to live in a world where personal responsibility was a matter of law. Americans living in that same place today are required to depend completely upon uncaring and inept bureaucrats for personal protection, and nearly every other necessity of life. When helpless citizens are piteously murdered, neighbors and bureaucrats alike just yawn and go about their business as if nothing had happened. Citizens now are of so little value, they are considered expendable.

Our ancestors would think we had lost our senses!



10 Feb 04

From a CHP Officer in CA:

“I recently arrested a man who was peering into the middle school gym windows of our small town. He was watching the girls’ PE class. This man turned out to be a member of a local ‘family.’ Of six, adult siblings, all six either on parol or in prison. Child molestation has been an issue in this family for several generations. ‘Goofy’ apparently didn’t want to be left out!

I asked him why he was at the middle school, and he replied that he ‘saw some little girls in shorts and wanted to watch them.’ This family is not very bright either!

This guy was wearing a leather, biker’s vest with a heavy leather jacket over it. Besides syringes found in an inside pocket, the jacket was ‘lined’ with sewing needles. Luckily, I spotted the needles before they found my hands. Per his prison tattoos, I determined that he is in the Aryan Brotherhood and probably learned the sewing needle trick during an AB get together.
I’ve seen fish hooks in clothing, but sewing needles is a first for me.”

Lesson: The Mafia gets all the headlines, because they are relatively imaginative. However, there are many other “crime families,” like this one, all of whom are extremely dangerous. They’re just not smart. For these people, there is no possibility of “rehabilitation.” They represent cancer cells in the body of our civilization. The rest of us need to beware and be prepared!



16 Feb 04

2004 SHOT Show

Vicki and I just returned from the 2004 Shot Show in Las Vegas, NV. It was the first one I’d attended in fifteen years. It is much bigger (seventeen acres!) And more sophisticated than I remember. It takes four days to see it all.

Guns, accessories, law enforcement equipment, and assorted sporting equipment are now all segregated (more of less), so it is easier than before to find the things one is interested in seeing. Even so, there was a manufacturer proudly displaying his 50BMG pistol (I couldn’t believe it either!), and rows and rows assorted duck calls and tree stands.

I will follow with a through review. However, here are some highlights:

>Detonics is back in business making small 1911s! My old friend Jerry Ahern has taken over, and I’m sure the company will prosper under his able leadership.

>My old friend Brian Felter with Remington showed me the new 7615P slide-action rifle that takes M-16 magazines. Works like an 870.

>My old friend and ammunition innovator, Pete Pi, at Cor-Bon is now producing PowerBall ammunition in:

9X23, and
30 M1 Carbine

He won’t be able to make the stuff fast enough!

>Kahr (Auto-Ordnance) is now making a wonderful M1 Carbine!

>The Mossberg “Jungle Gun” has now been superseded by the M935 autoloader. It brings a round out of the magazine tube and into the chamber with a single stroke of the bolt handle, and one can now top off the magazine tube after a round is chambered. They’ve addressed all the issues.

>Brian Esch of Tactical Advantage makes a line of concealment holsters of carbon fiber, instead of kydex. They are thin, stiff and withstand many more flexations than will kydex. Interesting stuff!

>Faux Pas of the event goes to H&K. They produced several thousands copies of a glossy brochure on their line of P2000 pistols (successor to the USP). The cover shot shows, in full color, a P2000 with a magazine next to it. The top two rounds in the magazine are in backwards! Watch these experts.

More to come!



17 Feb 04

Lesson on the Road:

While driving in Arizona a friend was recently involved in an accident on a remote stretch of I10. A car pulled in front of him, and the two vehicles collided. Both vehicles contained only the driver, and neither were injured seriously, although both vehicles were totaled and non-operable.

Cell reception was marginal, but Arizona DPS officers did arrive a half hour later. By that time, both drivers were standing by the guardrail. One officer asked, ‘Are you okay?’ My friend’s confused response was, ‘I think so.’ On the basis of his response, DPS did not summon an ambulance.

As officers investigated the accident and cleared the wreckage, my friend, clad only in jeans and a T-shirt, began to get cold. The other driver ultimately departed in a taxi. Suddenly, DPS officers received a call about a pursuit in progress some distance away, and they all abruptly left the scene. My friend was precipitously abandoned, shivering, by the side of the road with only his wrecked vehicle, as it was getting dark.

The nearest shelter was a small stop-and-rob a mile away. He called a friend on his cell phone, and was ultimately rescued an hour later, chilled and dazed. He could easily have died from exposure.


I can’t say it too often: You’re on your own! Never depend upon a “system” or upon anyone else to care about your welfare more than you do.

When traveling by car, always have:

1) Guns, w/cleaning gear
2) Ammunition
3) Blades
4) Flashlight with fresh batteries
5) OC spray
6) Warm clothing
7) Rain coat
8) Bottled water
9) Food (MREs)
10) Cell phone with fully charged battery and charger/adaptor
11) First aid kit (battle dressings, nonprescription pain pills, disinfectant wet wipes, tweezers)
12) Cash
13) Credit cards
14) Telephone credit card
15) Cigarette lighter
16) Road flares
17) Cap/hat
18) Binoculars
19) Tow strap
20) Rope
21) Compass
22) Fire extinguisher
23) Road atlas
24) Leatherman tool
25) Spare tire, jack, lug wrench
26) Duct tape
27) Shovel/Entrenching Tool
28) Jumper cables
29) Utility scissors
30) Sleeping bag and Space Blanket
31) Plastic tarp
32) Hiking boots
33) Mirror
34) Gloves
35) Can of Fix-a-Flat
36) Soft body armor
37) Toilet paper
38) WD-40
40) Whistle
41) Para cord
42) Gasoline siphon hose
43) Funnel
44) Lightsticks
45) Deodorant
46) Body powder
47) Tooth brush

A good “car kit” includes several MREs, several bottles of water, warm clothing and rain gear, as well as your usual “walking gear.” When traveling by car, I recommend having a shotgun or military rifle as well as your pistol(s), all, of course, out of sight.

Think of suddenly finding yourself alone someplace far from any kind of help. Imagine that this place is cold, rainy, dark, and occupied by dangerous people and animals. Imagine, in addition, that you’re hurt and bleeding. Imagine further that you’re going to be on your own for at least several hours or even days with no shelter, no light, and no electricity. If you’re prepared, you’ll be fine.

A ‘Power Pack’ jump-starter device. It will start a car by itself, and contains a flashlight, 12v power access (cigarette lighter sockets), and an air compressor that will easily reinflate tires. It is the size of a small tackle box, and is available at Wal Mart. You’ll never have to ask some stranger for a jump start.

Other comments:

“I always carry a small backpack, a pair of thick socks, and a set of sturdy, hiking boots.”

“I carry a handheld HAM radio. During emergencies, wire and cell phones may be out, or preempted by authorities, as ours were here after an earthquake several years ago. It was several days before we could communicate normally. Those, like us, who had HAM communications suffered no limitation. You can acquire the license with a week of evening self-study. The exam cost $6.00, after which you are licensed for ten years.”

“I was not a big GPS person, until I had to use one daily overseas. Now, I wouldn’t be without it!”

“I recommend AAA Plus Service. AAA Plus has the extended towing mileage and many other benefits for those of us who travel by car. If you need an extended tow someday, it will save you hundreds of dollars.”

“You can deal with lots of problems (eg: repair of hot exhaust system elements, handling sharp objects, etc) with gloves on that would be impossible without. Once, while on an executive protection detail, I ran outside late one night in the winter time in response to an intrusion alarm. I had a metal Kel-Lite in one hand and an 870 in the other, with no gloves on. Within a minute, my fingers would not work. I learned my lesson: If you want to keep functioning, you need gloves.”

Any time officers ask you if you’re hurt, answer with, “I don’t know.” Never say, “I’m okay.”

My friend learned (painfully) and important lesson about the importance of personal preparedness. When it’s least expected, you’re elected!



20 Feb 04

2004 SHOT Show:

It now takes four, full days to see the entire SHOT Show. It is huge! Here are my comments on the industry, the show, and trends:

>I rail against rails! The trend these days is to cover the surface of guns with rails. Rails on the top, bottom, and the sides. Rails on top of rails! This is, of course, so people can attach all manner of gadgets to an otherwise perfectly good gun. I saw rifles so loaded up with rail-mounted accessories, any resemblance to a functioning gun was purely coincidental. Without all that attached junk, naked rails are sharp and awkward. Oh, for a plane-vanilla rifle with a conventional, slim, smooth, comfortable forend. The only “accessories” I need are good, iron sights!

>We complain bitterly about media Marxists and leftist politicians assailing our right to own, use, and carry guns, but I swear, sometimes we’re our own worst enemy! Much promotional literature depicts models and even well-known shooters handling guns incorrectly. Cases in point:

>>Lapua was handing out a brochure showing a scantily clad blond bimbo holding an AR-15 by her crotch, obviously not pointing it at anything in particular, with her finger firmly wrapped around the trigger.

>>At their booth, Springfield Armory had a huge poster of none other than Rob Latham holding an XD at belt level, too low to have any kind of sight picture, with his finger also wrapped around the trigger. To add insult to injury, he was not wearing glasses. The bimbo I can understand, but Rob should know better!

>>H&K’s glossy brochure on the P2000 plainly shows a magazine, right on the front cover, with rounds loaded in backwards! I wonder if anyone ever talks to anyone else over there.

On the range, we insist that everyone handle guns correctly and wear appropriate safety equipment, including glasses. Apparently, that doesn’t carry over to the marketing end of the industry. We can’t really complain about Hollywood actors handling guns carelessly and stupidly, when we do the exact same thing in our promotional literature, can we?

>I was happy to see CEOs at their companys’ booths, greeting show goes personally, answering questions, and listening to complaints and criticisms. It’s easy for CEOs to skip shows and let underlings take all the heat. The ones who are there personally are heroes. They include:

Rich Dyke, Bushmaster
Ernie Emerson, Emerson Knives
Jerry Ahern, Detonics
John Klein, Sage
Peter Pi, Cor-Bon
Lynn Thompson, Cold Steel
Frank Harris and Justin Moon, Kahr
Chris Orlando, Mossberg
Dave Skinner, STI
Bob Weir, Ace
Tim Wegner, Blade Tech
Mike Lowe, Tactical Design Labs (Professional Holster)
Lorie Walker, Wad Wizard Dick Davis, Second Chance

I’m sure I neglected to mention someone, and I apologize, but these guys deserved special honor.

Other news:

Bank Miller, formally of SIG, now with the Action Target Academy. Tim Connell takes Bank’s job at the SIG Academy. Bank is a tuff act to follow, but Tom is a wonderful instructor and will do well.

Charter Arms is back in business. Their small revolvers remind me of their old ones!
Rohrbraugh Arms, of NY makes the smallest 9mm pistol in the world, about the same size as Kel-Tec 380. Expensive, but quite a package.

At the Beretta booth, handguns were an obvious afterthought. They seem to be interested only in shotguns.

At SIG’s entire display, they had only one DAK. The new Kellerman (DAK) trigger is the most significant development in SIG’s recent history, and they have only one to show to potential customers!

Beam Hit now doing basic video simulation, including cowboy action. Lower cost than FATS, etc.

Detonics is back, run by Jerry Ahern. They will do well!

“Safe Direction,” by Betterbilt is a Kevlar-lined gun rug that makes a safe direction in which to point your pistol during loading, unloading, and chamber checks instantly available, no matter where you are. Ingenious product!

Colt, after declaring the “old” Series 70 system obsolete years ago, is now making the “Gunsite Model” 1911 on the Series 70 pattern. Hypocrisy is the sincerest form of repentance!

Springfield Armory is now making the XD in 45GAP. They must think that caliber is going somewhere. The gun itself is a clunk.

The current G37 is a G21 slide on a G22 frame, but the slide may be getting smaller, I’m told.

Remington’s 7615P is a slide-action 223 rifle (870) that takes M-16 magazines. They’ll sell a lot of these.

Sage International’s EBR (Enhanced Battle Rifle) is an M-14 w/extendable stock. Rails everywhere. John Klein tells me that is the way his military customers want them. The M-14 is coming back!

The Professional Holster, made by Tactical Design Labs, represents a real advance in duty holsters. Level III retention with only one release button. No thumb straps. Retention is reestablished immediately upon reholstering without having to snap anything. Retention is not compromised when an attached flashlight is removed from the pistol. Gould & Goodrich and Bianchi have something similar, but the Professional is superior to both. This is revolutionary!

Action Target’s “Line of Fire” in twenty-foot sections contains everything one would want in targets, bobbers to movers. Slick set up. Blackwater’s system is, as near as I could tell, identical. As noted above, Action Target now sponsors a training academy. Their commitment to training is commendable.

Cor-Bon now makes DPX for deep penetration, but I like PowerBall. PowerBall is now available in 9X23, 38Spl, and 30 Carbine. Cor-Bon also makes 32NAA and 25NAA. Cor-Bon is the best ammunition company out there. Their stuff performs, and quality control is the best in the business.

STI makes the LS40, the thinnest and smallest 40S&W available. Nice to carry around.
Para-Ordinance is hawking their LDA. The trigger is smooth, but it is too light for a serious pistol in my opinion.

Kahr Arms is now making an M1 Carbine, as well as their excellent line of small 9mm and 40S&W pistols

S&W had more guns on display than anyone. The M327 is an 8-shot 357mg revolver at 21oz. The 351PD is an extremely light 22mg revolver, but, with a barrel that short, 22LR velocity will be identical. The 325PD 45ACP is big, but light too. S&W’s 1911SC is a scandium frame Commander 1911 with a steel slide. Now, if they just had something to compete with Glock!

Mossberg’s 935 autoloading (gas) shotgun is a refinement of their old “Jungle Gun.” It now works like an 11-87. Nice gun. I’ll have one shortly. Their 590A1 is a grand serious pump gun. Wish they made both in a short, light 20ga for my female students.

Bushmaster now makes their version of the Carbon 15. One model, “The Lady,” immediately garnered Vicki’s attention, because it was so short and light. We’ll have a copy shortly.

Kel-Tec’s line of small autoloading pistols garnered lots of attention. I have one of their 380s, and I must say, it works just fine. Irv Stone at Bar-Sto is making me a 32NAA barrel for me. Makes a nice backup. Their folding SU-16 223 rifle is also interesting.

H&K’s P2000 with the LEM trigger was on display, and a nice carry gun it is. However, they’re still offering manually decocking models (Heaven knows why!), one of which “features” a decocking button on the rear of the slide. None of us could decock the gun without compromising the grip. I thought S&W’s P99 decocking button was in the dumbest place imaginable. I was wrong!

H&K’s version of the AR-15 uses a gas piston, similar to the old Rhino system. Their rifle magazines are nice! Their futuristic XM-8 rifle is also a gas piston gun.

H&K’s Academy is now headed by none other than Rich Gee, formally of Gunsite.

Taurus is making the PT745 in 45ACP, the PT640 in 40S&W, and the PT111 in 9mm. All are basically a Glock with the addition of a two-position, manual safety. They fit the hand nicely. Triggers are smooth. Now, if we could just keep them running!

My friends at Rock River Arms indicated an “N” stamped into the top of the barrel of their AR-15s indicates a NATO Chamber. Most all heavy, stainless barrels have SAAMI chambers.
Olympic Arms is making AR-15s in all kinds of calibers, including pistol calibers.

DPMS had a nice display of AR-15s. The “Dissipater” model is popular, but reliable functioning is difficult with the gas tap that close to the muzzle.

DSA had their FAL on hand. What a grand rifle it is! DSA is now also making AR-15. I’ll have one soon.

Tim Wegner of BladeTec indicated he is making lots of Taser holsters these days. Like Uncle Mikes, his kydex holsters are now injection molded.

Brian Esch of Tactical Advantage is making what look like kydex holsters, but they’re make of carbon fiber instead. It is thinner and stiffer than kydex, and it can withstand many more flexations without cracking. It may superseded kydex!



21 Feb 04

I apologize:

When talking about CEOs who had the courage to show up personally at the SHOT Show, I neglected to mention my good friends Alex Robinson of Robinson Arms and Dave Selvaggio and John Milano of DSA.

Alex, Dave, and John were out front in their booths personally greeting customers and answering questions. I apologize for not mentioning them in my last, as they too are heroes of the industry.



23 Feb 04

Gun Law News from SA:

“In the near future, it is will become impossible for South Africans to legally own and use autoloading rifles and shotguns. I’m now suggesting to my customers to look at purchasing Marlin lever guns. They are available here in 30-30 and 45-70 and can be licensed for ‘hunting purposes.’ Both are available in stainless steel. Combined with a good handgun, I believe the combination will be formidable.”

Comment: Most pluralistic democracies today are populated by frightened grasseaters. Politicians and bureaucrats will predictably grab for power every chance they get, knowing truly free people are in the minority. Resourceful free people will, however, always find ways of working around restrictions.



23 Feb 04

On “too many choices” from a friend and instructor:

“During a Defensive Handgun Course last weekend, we had a local corrections officer join us as a student. This guy brought a Kahr, a Beretta 92F, a Glock, and a 1911, and he used them all, carrying them simultaneously most of the time!

He was surely well armed and an adequate shot, but, under pressure, he simply could not keep the different operating systems of these different pistols straight! He repeatedly put the Beretta’s decocking lever down and then tried to fire it (obviously mistaking it for his 1911). When switching from Glock to Kahr and visa-versa, his accuracy went in the toilet.

I finally pulled him off the line. I then personally shot all four of his pistols to show him that the sights on all four were just fine, dispelling the ‘there’s something wrong with the sights’ theory. We then had a chat. His problem is that he is a ‘collector’ and wants to own and shoot everything. Triggers, sights, levers, and buttons on these fine guns were all so different that he was unable to shoot any of them well. I asked him to imagine trying to do this while he was cut, scraped, bleeding, and with a heavy dose of adrenaline surging through his body. I then concluded that there may be someone in the world who can keep all this straight, but that that person is nowhere near here. Finally, I asked him to pick one gun and lock the rest in his trunk of his car. He chose the 1911 and did just fine the rest of the day.”

Lesson (reinforced):

If you want to be a collector, fine, but don’t try to use your entire collection at the same time, for the same thing. We see it over and over, especially with Beretta 92F/1911 combinations. In the crucible of circumstance, do you really want your brain trying to remember what you (currently) have in your holster?



23 Feb 04

On securing prisoners, from a friend who is a veteran parole officer:

“One of our local PDs ‘made contact’ with one of my ‘clients’ last night. My offender had become loud and disorderly in a bar (where he was not supposed to be in the first place). When officers approached, he became physically combative. They arrested and subdued him and took him to the local lockup.

At the station, the offender kept threatening to ‘kick your asses.’ He told them that he would be out of the handcuffs in thirty seconds. They ignored him. They shouldn’t have! Sure enough, thirty seconds later he was standing in the holding cell with the open cuffs in his hand.

I don’t know about you, but, if that had happened to me, a light would have popped on in my head. However, instead of strip searching this punk, they recuffed him, adding leg shackles this time. As officers walked away for the cell, the offender again said he would be out of the cuffs to ‘kick their asses’ in thirty seconds. Sure enough, soon afterwards the offender was again dangling the cuffs (and shackles) in front of them.

The light finally did come on, and they (finally) searched him thoroughly. They found a handcuff key in his front pocket. Good thing he didn’t have a blade there too!”

Lesson: Searches, even in jails, are often cursory and haphazard. Just as we have to take the time to double-lock cuffs, we have to take the time to search thoroughly. We’re always under pressure to get it done quickly, but you can see the risk!



24 Feb 04

Another “Search Story” from a friend with the LAPD:

“Last week, one of my units went in pursuit of a vehicle that had been reported stolen twenty minutes earlier. The suspect/driver drove the vehicle up a side street and into a dead end. He stopped and then fled on foot, along with a passenger

Additional units arrived quickly. The passenger was caught immediately. The driver was captured after a short, K-9 search. When confronted, he became combative. Our dog failed to see the humor in it and bit him. The suspect’s combativeness abruptly changed to plaintiff cries for us not to let the dog bite him again.

I had a unit bring the driver to my command post to await paramedics to treat his (minor) dog bite. When the unit pulled up, I shined my Streamlight onto the suspect, who was in the back seat of the caged, beat car. He had been handcuffed behind his back, but he was skinny and was able to ‘sit out’ of the cuffs. His hands were now in front. In them was a gold chain. I yelled at my guys to yank him out and see what he had.

The little bastard had a gold chain all right. At the end of the chain was a handcuff key! I can only imagine the problems we could have had if this suspect could have gotten himself uncuffed in the back seat of our beat car.”

Lesson: When searching, check around the suspect’s neck and see what’s at the end of that chain or cord.



25 Feb 04

Internal gun locks, from a friend and instructor:

“I’m currently consulting in a case in which an individual, with no suicidal tendencies, put a pistol to his own head, placed his own thumb on the trigger, and then dared his friend to pull the trigger by placing his (the friend’s) index finger over his (the decedent’s) thumb. A fatal shot to the head resulted.

The decedent regularly ‘played’ with guns in this and similar ways. I believe the deceased did not intend to kill himself, but thought he had the pistol’s ‘key lock’ engaged, and was just trying to see whether his (stupid) friend would take the dare.

We’ll never know for sure, of course, but the difficulty of knowing whether the key lock is engaged or disengaged is an issue with this particular pistol.”

Comment: This is the “dark side” of key-operated, internal gun locks that come on many pistols these days. “What could be the harm?” said media pundits, about internal gun locks. Gun manufacturers foolishly and blindly rushed them into production. From the foregoing, we see the “harm.” When guns are “safe” in the mind of the handler, an accident is inevitable. “Safe” guns are routinely handled carelessly, or even recklessly as in the foregoing example. In my opinion, “dangerous” guns are the safest of all, because, knowing they are dangerous, most people handle them correctly.

Naive politicians and gun manufacturers foolishly convinced themselves that “postponing” gun accidents is equivalent to “preventing” them. Any device that countenances careless gun handling and storage will invariably spawn gun accidents and is thus no friend of mine. Correct gun handling and storage is the only sure way to prevent accidents. Safety gimmicks, like internal locks, are little more than self-deception, in crystalline form.



26 Feb 04

Lasermax Internal Pistol Laser:

On 30 Jan 04, one of our quips described an internal laser device, installed on a G19, that came apart inside the pistol during firing and immediately took the pistol out of action. The information was sent to me by a good friend who runs a big, indoor range.

The brand of the device was not mentioned in the Quip, because it was not included in the information I received, and I didn’t consider it important. At this point, there is no way of knowing.

Several days ago, I was contacted by the folks at Lasermax. They expressed concern that they and their customers were worried about the information, even though none of us know what brand of device actually caused the problem. To their credit, they are trying to find out what they can.
I was told by them that they know of no such failures of their products in the field. I have never used a Lasermax device personally, nor have I had students show up with them, so I have no factual basis for an opinion.

I invite anyone who has personal experience with Lasermax, or any other brand of laser device, to get hold of me, and I’ll pass your comments on to them.



26 Sept 04


Vicki has had a sixteen-inch barreled DPMS Dissipater, with their famous short stock, for nearly two years now. The “Dissipater” model features a long forend, with little exposed barrel. It has worked for the most part, but ejection has always been weak, and it short cycles now and then. The short cycling problem grows worse as the rifle gets dirty. The rifle is wonderful otherwise, and Vicki really likes its size and handiness, so I didn’t want to give up on it.

I contacted the folks at DPMS. They acknowledged that certain brands of ammunition are less satisfactory than others, but I don’t want a rifle that is ammunition sensitive.

At the SHOT Show, I noticed that Bushmaster’s and Olympic Arms’ version of the same thing both employ mid-barrel gas taps. Only DPMS’ gas tap is at the end, within two inches of the muzzle, and they have, of course, enlarged the gas tap hole.

I finally asked master riflesmith and good friend, Colby Adler, to look at it. After analyzing the problem, Colby expertly moved the gas tap back to mid-barrel. Ejection and cycling are now robust, and the rifle runs fine with all brands of ammunition, even when dirty. Vicki loves it, once more. Colby, as always, solved the problem in spades!



29 Feb 04

Dog Attack:

“A colleague suffered a serious dog attack last week. Marv was a member of a bond enforcement team (bounty hunters) attempting to arrest a local bail jumper. He and two metro police officers went to the back of the house where the bail jumper was living to cut off escape routes, while the rest of the team went to the front door. As he moved around the house to the rear, the suspect opened the back door and released a large pit bull. The dog immediately charged across the back porch and, without hesitation, leapt directly at Marv’s throat!

The dog struck Marv’s raised left arm, fell to the ground, bounced back up, and, once more, lunged at Marv’s throat. Marv punched the dog in the head, knocking it back to the ground. Marv punched him down several more times, as he moved backward. Finally, the dog settled for a less advantageous line of attack and firmly attached his jaws to Marv’s right shin. Marv finally drew his SIG220 (230gr Speer Gold Dot), and shot the dog in the neck and shoulders four times in rapid succession. The dog let go, backed off, and then came at Marv again! Marv, using his sights, immediately fired two more shots, this time into the head of the charging animal. The dog, struck in the head and face by both rounds, staggered and fell, DRT.

All six of Marv’s rounds found their mark. Five bullets stopped, fully expanded, in the dog. One, fully expanded, went through and through. The one that went through and through, exited (mostly spent) and then struck Marv’s right leg just above the in the ankle. Marv’s wound was not serious but did require surgery.

Metro officers who witnessed the event were amazed at the speed of Marv’s reaction. The first four rounds were fired so fast, witnesses all thought there were only two!”

Lesson: Most dog attacks end only when there is a fatality, yours or the dog’s! It is no time for half measures. When tangled up with a dog, it is not hard to imagine getting a body part on line with a potential bullet exit point. No matter what happens, you have to keep fighting. As my friend and fellow instructor, Keith Jones, is fond of saying, “Pistol fights resemble fist fights much more than they do tactical, nuclear attacks!” When shooting a pistol in an emergency we must:

1) Divide our enemy’s focus
2) Disrupt his plan
3) Disable his body
4) Destroy his will to fight

In the case of a pit bull, point four is accomplished only with the death of the animal. This isn’t Disneyland!