1 June 05

Sage comments from a friend who manages a big gun store and indoor range:

“Daily, I see people who have spent thousands of dollars on equipment they have no earthly use for. They’re hard to miss, as they routinely parade around the range with it. Some days, it’s dreadfully expensive competition pistols with which the owners can’t even hit the bullet trap. Other days, it’s an AR with a dumbfounding array of crap pasted to it, prima facia evidence that owner has not the foggiest idea of the real purpose of a rifle. Needless to say, these Walter Mittys are always self-aggrandizing and impossibly annoying.

Over a millennium ago, Mushashi wrote, ‘It is customary for Samurai to wear both swords, even if he knows nothing about them.’ It seems that Mushashi was similarly frustrated, even in his age!”

Comment: I advise many students who indicate they want to buy a $5,000.00 pistol to, instead, buy a $500.00 pistol and $4,500.00 worth of ammunition and professional training. In the end, they’ll have a superior pistol, and they may even know how to use it for some practical purpose!

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle



2 June 05

M1 Carbine advice from a good friend, one of our instructors, and a superb practical riflesmith:

“There are no currently, commercially manufactured M1 Carbines that I recommend. All are unreliable because of machining and metallurgy issues. For sure, stay away from Kahr, Iver-Johnson, and especially Universal. There were eight different vendors who supplied carbines to the US back in WWII. Your only good option is to find a GI surplus gun, and then clean it up and make it work. Five-hundred dollars is the going rate for a ‘shooter’ that probably has mismatched parts.

Don’t waste your time with thirty-round magazines. None work well. Stick with fifteen-rounders. The best have ‘dimpled’ floor plates. Smooth floor plates have a nasty habit of walking out and subsequently causing the entire magazine to spontaneously dissemble.

M1 Carbines are basically house and car guns. They are not battle rifles. Everyone who shoots them seems to like them, but their capabilities are limited. They are light, short, handy, and surely better than a handgun, but range is limited to one-hundred meters, and penetration is poor on car doors and other barriers.”

Comments. Everyone loves M1 Carbines, including me. Cor-Bon’s DPX ammunition, when it becomes available, will be the best choice for serious purposes. Right now, hardball and a soft-point version are all that is available.



3 June 05

Comments on the M1 Carbine from a friend in the Philippines:

“There are a lot of M1 Carbines here, though ammunition is limited to ball, and the supply of military fodder is slowly drying up. They are still popular, particularly with those involved in village protection in remote areas. They are easier to handle for women and teens compared with other guns available, Garands, BAR’s, Thompson. They run like butter regardless of their age and state of maintenance, and they run well even when hot, which was a big consideration for village defense, when forty people often have to hold off several hundred Islamic insurgents.

Ditto on fifteen-round magazines. I’ve never seen serious gunman use thirty-rounders. Carbines owned by serious folks also are equipped with a sling as well as a two-magazine pouch on the stock. This provides the critical ‘grab and go’ capability.

When I was young, our family’s head bodyguard had an M1 Carbine. That old bird survived Korea, went on to Vietnam (where he was under fire while building roads) and managed to come home to watch over me and my siblings during our childhood. He thought highly of the gun despite its limitations. He knew what tool to pick for the job he had to do and drilled constantly in its use.”

Lesson: Good people get the most and best from themselves and their equipment, “limitations” not withstanding!



3 June 05

Guns of NTI 2005

I shot the 2005 NTI (National Tactical Invitational, Harrisburg, PA) yesterday. Best one yet! Lots of ego-desecrating events, as always. Several excellent lectures when we were not shooting. Moments of brilliance, and moments of blundering! There were six, separate, live-fire events on six, different ranges and four Ammunitions/roll-playing episodes in a segregated area called ASTA Village. As my main pistol, I used four different guns, so I could get practical experience with all:

(the new) Detonics, 45ACP
S&W Sc 1911, Commander, 45ACP
G38, 45 GAP
SIG/229/DAK, 357SIG

Backup guns were my S&W Sc 340PD 38Spl snubby and my Kel-Tec 380Auto. Both backups came into play on several exercises, as did my Vaquero Grande! All ran without a hitch.

In addition, I carried Fox OC, my Surefire Aviator flashlight, three Cold Steel blades (Ti-Lite, Vaquero Grande, and Culloden neck knife). Concealing it all was my Concealed Carry Clothiers vest. Holsters were by Gregg Garrett at Comp-Tec, Brian Hoffner at Hoffner’s, and Rusty Sherrick. Fabric belt is by Wilderness.

My G38 and SIG 229 were both carried in Comp-Tec’s C-Tac IWB holster. Thin, comfortable, and fast. The Detonics and the S&W Sc Commander were both carried in Brian Hoffner’s famous “Minimalist” IWB ky-dex holster. Also fast and comfortable. The pistol nearly disappears! My S&W Sc snubby was in Rusty Sherrick’s upside-down shoulder holster. Easy access with either hand, and I hardly know I have it on. Nice way to carry a backup. My Kel-Tec was carried in Comp-Tec’s neck holster. Best was to carry this little gun!

I shot all events with Cor-Bon Powerball and DPX, with the exception of the Kel-Tec, which I had loaded with Cor-Bon 90gr HPs. I ran both Powerball and DPX through the Detonics. Gobbled them right up! I shot the S&W Sc Commander with Powerball. Again, flawless functioning. The G38 enthusiastically ate up all the DPX I could feed it, and the SIG ran just fine on Powerball, which is my standard, carry round. DPX is not yet available in 357SIG caliber, and 45GAP is currently only available in 160gr DPX and 200gr HP. Both run fine in the G38, but DPX is my standard carry round in that caliber.

The Detonics is an appealing carry pistol, to be sure. I commented to a colleague, “Sure is nice to be carrying a 1911 again!” Accuracy is amazing, and it is really fast- out and in. I am delighted that Jerry Ahern is producing this little gun once more. It garnered lots of admirers!

The S&W Sc Commander is the best Commander I own! Extremely light and fast, nicely dehorned, it has all the features I like.

The G38 is a 45 caliber gun that can be carried concealed by anyone who can carry a G19/23/32. The 45GAP round is hard hitting and feeds reliably. For those of us who like 45 caliber pistols, this one is hard to beat.

The SIG/DAK is “old reliable.” Heaver than the rest, but with it I have lots or rounds and the pistol has little muzzle rise, even during rapid fire. A heavy hitter and a great companion, to be sure!

More on events later.



5 June 05

Ammunition report from an LEO friend in SA:

“Our agency’s Glocks (G19s) continue to work well. My carry round remains Cor-Bon Powerball (9mm 100gr). They feed reliably and hit hard. I’m unable to get any more specific than that, but they have made my G19 a formidable personal defense weapon. They stop fights, right now!”

Comment: My friend is a modern-day hero, fighting a continuous, uphill battle against official corruption, ignorance, and inanition. Many of his agents owe their very lives to his determination to equip and train his agency adequately. I am honored to call him my friend and comrade.



6 June 05

NTI 2005

We’ll all now recovering from the 2005 NTI in Harrisburg, PA, nursing the customary cuts, scrapes, and Simmunitions bruises. Bruised knees, elbows, and egos go with the territory at the NTI, and this year provided it all, in spades! Our sincere thanks, once more, to Skip, Jim, Hersh, and the entire NTI staff for a wonderful and enlightening event.

Live-fire events were entitled:

Don & Kenny’s Hard Luck Café
Dueling Banjos Medical Clinic
Skills Demonstration
Harmony House
ASTA Old Folks’ Home
Subway Madness

Simmunitions/role-playing events were:

Underground Parking Garage
Tattoo Parlor
Pawn Shop
Bank Robbery
Gang Rumble
House/team problem
Restaurant/team problem

As always, live-fire targets were three-dimensional mannequins, dressed, reactive (when hit), and mixed in with “non-targets.” There were hostages, hostage takers, moving targets, moving non-targets, building mockups, periodic explosions (complete with falling/flying debris), people screaming, loud music, and smoke. Targets were armed, menacing, and some were obviously wearing body armor. Not all were facing you. Side and quartering shots were sometimes required. They were holding pistols, rifles, knives, claw hammers, RPGs, and, in one exercise, there was an M26 hand grenade rolling around on the floor which apparently belonged to no one!

In the Subway Madness Event, you find yourself in the middle of a terrorist attack at a downtown, urban intersection. Your goal is to rescue an infant in a baby carriage (mother has been shot to death and is lying next to the carriage) and get to a subway egress which has a concrete entryway, providing cover and an escape route. Panicked bystanders are everywhere, holding cameras, handbags, et al. Terrorist suspects have guns, are holding them in a menacing manner, and clearly represent active threats. With others, it is less clear. There are several items of useable cover: cars, mail boxes, etc. Target identification is difficult, as some people are as far away as one hundred meters. An apparently loaded and functional Kalashnikov rifle is lying on the street, next to its slain (previous) owner.

I quickly gunned down several obvious terrorists while moving to the nearest object of cover. With distant figures, I could not confirm if they represented a threat or not, so I did not engage them, nor did I pick up the Kalashnikov (never saw it). Others did pick it up and use it. Still others intentionally left it where it was, considering that it may well mark them as terrorists. Still others (like me) left it where it was, because they never saw it. My persistent problem is that I often fail to see items for which I’m not looking. So, when I’m looking only for threatening people, I don’t see things like unattended Kalashnikovs!

Moving from cover to cover, I finally rescued the baby, but I hade trouble getting him out of the carriage, as he was strapped in. In retrospect, I could have taken the entire carriage, but I never thought of it.

Lessons: You must zig-zag when running directly toward or away from threats. Otherwise, from their perspective, you’re standing still and thus present a useful, and not particularly challenging, target.

Your defensive handgun skill set must include a well-established ability to hit human targets at relatively long ranges, as far as fifty meters. Close threats are most likely, but when you’re routinely armed only with a pistol, you must have the ability to effectively deal with a wide spectrum of threats. Along that line, Express Sights on pistols present a sight picture that is too coarse to be useful past ten meters. Several participants discovered this to their frustrated dismay. Express Sights are wonderful on shotguns, but, in view of the foregoing, I don’t recommend them on pistols.

In any life-threatening emergency, you have to keep looking for, and considering, options. That way, you can tweak your basic plan in an instant. Always have a general blueprint (plan) but retain flexibility. However, once you make a decision, don’t look back! Do one thing. Don’t try to do several things at once, as your focus will become divided, and you’ll start to dither. Whatever you decide to do, understand that neither your plan nor your execution will be perfect. Afterward, someone will always point out where you could have done it better. None of that is important! Worry less about finding the perfect solution and more about good, aggressive action. Don’t become a victim of “The Paralysis of Analysis.” A banal plan, executed in the nick of time, is better, by far, than is the perfect plan executed a moment too late. In a fight, think less; act more!

The Old Folks’ Home Event was staged in the 360 degree range, and each participant was required to go in alone. With all other life-fire events, you have a member of the range staff with you, but with this one, you’re on your own. Once in the problem, you’re free to move and shoot as fast as you wish, and in any direction!

You find yourself at an old folks’ home, visiting relatives who are residents there. As you enter the building trying to find them, there is a loud explosion. Flying debris comes cascading down on you. Simultaneously, gunshots are heard as well as threatening voices, and you then see a hand grenade on the floor in front of you. When you try to retreat back out the door through which you entered, you discover it is now locked. Your task is to live long enough to rescue your (two) relatives and escape, with them, out the back door.

Most threats are not immediately visible, but they lurk everywhere! I had to move quickly, but not too quickly. It is a balance. Stay one place too long, and you’ll find yourself outmaneuvered. Move too quickly, and you’ll blunder into a trap.

As always, I moved aggressively from cover to cover, gunning down threats as fast as I could perceive and identify them. Reloading had to be accomplished quickly, and I dared not look at my pistol in the process, lest a threat sneak up on me. I ran out of ammunition at one point and was compelled to transition to by backup gun. My main gun had to be jettisoned, as there was no time to reholster it

At one point, I was confronted by a terrorist who had explosives strapped to his chest. Range was two meters, and I had sparse cover at the moment. I elected to shoot him in the head, which I did without hesitation. In retrospect, I could have moved to better cover instead of shooting instantly, but I selected the former course of action.

Exhausted and out of breath, I finally rescued and evacuated my relatives!

Lessons: When moving in a dangerous environment, within a building or anywhere threats can be close but unseen, you must practice retention gun-handling techniques: retention draw, retention reload, and retention movement. Your pistol needs to stay close to your body, particularly when you’re holding it with only one hand. For example, when you move while leading with your gun, you may find yourself suddenly blind-sided and forcibly disarmed. Worse, you’ll telegraph your presence to all looking your way. They may not see your entire body, but they’ll see your hands and gun sticking out from behind a corner. Convenient way for you to alert them to your presence, provide them with a useful target, and prepare them to otherwise confront you effectively!

You must learn to continually identify, seek, and use cover to your best advantage. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in the open too much of the time. Always present threats and potential threats with a difficult target.

Movement must be swift, smooth, and planned. The best tactic is to move from cover to cover, pieing corners as necessary, and remaining in the open only for brief periods.

Much of your shooting will be one-handed, unsupported. Carrying injured relatives and holding doors open will tie up at least one of your hands more or less continuously. You must be practiced and proficient at one-handed shooting, with either hand!

Doors and other subtle clues are easy to miss when you’re not looking for them. Threats must be dealt with, of course, but don’t forget your goal. Your goal is not to chase after and kill every bad guy in the area. Your goal is to disengage and escape with minimum damage to yourself and your relatives.

The “Harmony House” is your residence. As you arrive home, it becomes obvious from the disarranged furniture that something is wrong. You know that your adult son is in the house. Your goal is to find your son and, with him, escape with minimum damage.

I drew my pistol and started moving quickly. There were a number of rooms, and I had to call to my son and try to find him. Several armed criminals were confronted and shot to death as fast as they could be identified. Blood (red Koolade) spattered as my bullets found their mark. Some of it ended on me! One armed criminal was wearing body armor and had to be shot in the head. Range was three meters.

When I did locate my son, I saw that he had suffered a neck wound, as blood was pulsing in projectile spurts from his carotid artery. I told him to apply pressure to the wound with his hand and to follow me. There was no time to apply a pressure dressing.

When we reached the back door, more armed criminals greeted us. All had to be gunned down before we could make good our escape.

Lessons: Don’t relax too soon! Just as I reached the back door, out of breath and exhausted, I thought the end was in sight. No such luck! I started to relax just when I should have been most vigilant. Look before you exit!

In the Skills Demonstration, you are required to quickly and effectively engage targets, from the concealed draw, while moving off the line of force, at extremely close range to short range. You also need to demonstrate that you can correctly reload, reduce stoppages, use cover, and scan. Targets are exposed only for a matter of seconds, so you need to be able to move fast.

Lesson: Nearly all participants know how to perform these basic defensive pistol skills, but some still hesitated and fumbled, because they have not practiced enough to be able to perform under the stress of a timed event. Amateurs practice until the get it right. Professional practice until they can’t get it wrong!

At the Dueling Banjos Medical Clinic, you find yourself undressed and unarmed (except for a hospital gown), as you are about to undergo a medical examination. In addition, your right leg is in a brace, so you can’t move very fast. You do have a flashlight. The entire building is dark. When you enter the examination room, you find the doctor has been shot and killed. Gunshots and threatening voices are heard, along with loud country music. Beside the dead doctor is a single-shot, break-open rifle in 357 Maximum caliber. A dozen cartridges are scattered on a table. Your goal is to rescue your wife and adult son, who are also at the clinic, using only the rifle and ammunition that you found.

Grabbing the rifle and scooping up as many cartridges as I could, I got the rifle loaded and cocked as I held my flashlight and cartridges in my left hand, dropping a few as I went along. There were no pockets on the gown. Hobbling down the darkened hall, I checked the first room. There, in a dark corner, was my son, with an armed criminal behind him holding a gun to his head. Trying to use the rifle and flashlight at the same time, while not dropping my handful of cartridges, I shot the criminal in the head, once again splattering blood on myself. I don’t think anyone looked graceful performing this stage! After engaging several other armed criminals, my family and I were able to escape.

Lesson: In a tactical emergency, spend your time finding a way to win, not looking for an excuse to lose. At every NTI there is a “Mystery Gun” stage, where you are compelled to effectively employ an unfamiliar firearm. This iteration was particularly frustrating. The trick is to stay focused. It is easy to become overwhelmed while trying to juggle too many thoughts and circumstances. You have to keep your objective in mind and keep spinning your OODA loop as you identify viable options. Whatever the circumstance, whatever the obstacles, resolve to fight through and fight on.

At Don & Kenny’s Hard Luck Café, once again, you enter looking for a family member. As soon as you walk in, you see armed criminals and several victims laying on the floor, actively bleeding from gunshot wounds. The entrance is blocked, and your only choice is to find the back door. In this exercise, bad guys are pneumatic instead of impact activated, so they take a lot of shooting before they go away. I immediately went to work on them with my G38 as they appeared and disappeared. I went through both magazines and had to transition to my backup. Five shot later, and I had to transition to my second backup. Seven shoots at the last bad guy, and I had no more functional guns on me! Without delay, out came my Cold Steel Vaquero Grande! As the blade snapped into place, the range officer informed me that the exercise was over, as he knew I was ready to go at the last mannequin!

Lesson: If you carry a gun for personal protection, carry at least two. When you carry backup guns, you must regularly practice with them, and the act of transitioning to them. Going from gun to blade is also an important transition that must be practiced.

At the Underground Parking Garage, you are trying to find your car. It’s dark. A woman nearby is also trying to find hers. A man appears and asks you if you and the woman are together. He then produces a pistol and starts shooting at the terrified woman.

When he asked me the question, I said no. When he subsequently threatened the woman, I grabbed her and placed her in front of me as I used my car for cover. A gun battle ensued between the armed criminal and me. He was unable to hit me, because I kept appearing in a different place. Unfortunately, he did the same thing, and I could not get a clear shot at him either. I finally pushed the woman out ahead of me as we left cover and escaped through the entryway. I was not hit, but the woman was, in the leg.

Lesson: When confronted by strangers, don’t answer questions. Instead of answering the criminal’s question, I should have said, “Sorry, I can’t help you.”

Rescuing innocent people is a question that must be settled between you and your own conscience. I was unwilling to stand by and watch this woman murdered, but I really didn’t know anything about the situation, and it may not have been a smart move. For the record, it was my decision.

I should have used my Surefire flashlight in the Harries’ Technique while engaging the criminal from behind cover. He later told me that I blinded him at first, but then I put the light away. I should have continued to blind him.

Use verbal challenges. I kept saying “We’re police officers. Drop you weapon!” Although he didn’t give up, I could tell my commands were confusing him and dividing his focus.

At the Tattoo Parlor, nothing happened! Jumpy participants looked in vain for threats, but none appeared. Some even brandished guns, only to be compelled to sheepishly put them away. Others got into pointless, verbal alterations, when all they had to do was walk away.

Lesson: Don’t pick fights. Be alert, but don’t start imagining threats where there aren’t any. When casual conversations deteriorate, disengage immediately. Non-compliance is the best indicator of trouble. When a perfectly reasonable request is refused or ignored, it’s time to leave.

When you are a party to a police investigation, and police are questioning you, ask for your lawyer to be present before any additional questions are asked. At that point, police are obligated to stop asking you questions. You can indicate that you don’t want to talk with them, but they’ll continue to ask you questions. You can even indicate that you want them to call an ambulance for you. They will, but they’ll continue to ask you questions. Don’t lie. That is a crime. The best tactic is just to ask for your lawyer and not answer questions.

At The Pawn Shop, you’re looking over an assortment of guns as you contemplate a purchase. An armed robber bursts in and confronts the owner at gunpoint, mumbling about how he owes him something. He displays little interest in you.

I assumed the pseudo-submissive position and indicated I wanted to leave, but the robber blocked the exit. I saw no opportunity to draw and shoot, so I waited. The robber eventually got what he came for and left. I exited immediately thereafter, only to be confronted, at gunpoint, by a second armed criminal! Again, there was no opportunity to draw and fire or for a disarm. Eventually, the
Sheriff came along and defused the situation.

Lesson: When in the presence of armed criminals, keep as many options open for as long as you can. Look for opportunities. Sometimes, waiting is the best option, at least in the short term. When your options start drying up, such as when criminals want to search you, or demand that you get on your knees, or try to heard you into a freezer, make your move while you still can!

At The Bank, you are again minding your own business, trying to make a cash transaction. In bursts an armed robber brandishing a pistol. This time, he took a direct interest in me, demanding my wallet. I tossed it to him. He then demanded my watch. When he reached out to take it, I performed a disarm.

Lesson: Sometimes, a forcible disarm is the only viable option, but you have to get close enough to make it work. Disarms are something we teach and drill in our Advanced Classes, as they are a vital part of your repertoire .

When you decide to surrender your wallet, toss it on the ground. He may bend over to retrieve it giving you an opportunity to shoot him. I thought about that afterward.

At the Gang Rumble, you find yourself and three friends in the middle of a shooting war between rival gangs, right in the middle of town! A convenient escape is down a dark alley as two, armed gang members rush toward you.

It became clear to me that these two gang members were intent on going down the alley. It also became clear that they had no interest in me. I therefore decided to step aside and let them proceed, which they did. They could have shot me on the way, but it appeared they were so intent in getting into the fight on the other side of the alley that I was just a minor distraction. I was content to remain so.

On Saturday, we all participated in two, team, roll-playing exercises: The House/Team Problem and the Restaurant/Team Problem.

In both drills, you and a partner find yourselves together in a threatening situation. Only one of you is armed. There is another two-man team in the same exercise, and all four try to make contact, develop synergy, and proceed.

In the House Exercise, you and a friend are sharing a condo with another two people whom you’ve just met. Suddenly, armed home invaders break in and start shooting.

In this exercise, my partner and I never linked up with the other two. My partner was armed but overwhelmed. He tried to throw his pistol to me, but it landed short. Other groups did link up and were able to work together.

In the Restaurant Exercise, you are one in a party of four, but all four can’t be seated together, so you find yourself and one partner in an isolated room by yourselves. Suddenly, there is shooting and yelling. Only one of the two of you is armed. You try to link up with your friends and escape.

I was the one armed this time. The entry was blocked, so we started going room to room, with me in the lead. We encountered an armed citizen. He had his gun out, but we were able to determine that he did not represent a threat. Unfortunately, he was scared, unsophisticated, and of little use, so we took his pistol from him and put him between us as we continued. We then found ourselves in a stand-off with several armed criminals. We could no longer proceed toward the exit. Then, the building caught on fire, so we had to escape! Calls to our partners went unanswered. One of the criminals stuck his pistol and hands out from a corner. I saw the opportunity and shot him in the hands. My partner shot another who made the fatal mistake of sticking his head out in the same place once too often! I then told my partners to make for the door and I charged the other criminal. He panicked and fled around the corner, but I chased him down and shot him to death. I then saw a third criminal guarding the exit. I want after him too. He fled also, and the three of us then made good our escape. As it turns out, our two partners had already escaped ahead of us.

Lessons: When using cover (1) don’t continually expose your head in the same place and (2) don’t lead with your gun. More than one person got his hands and head shot as he stuck them around a corner!

In a group, someone has to take charge and give directions. An emergency is no time for a “consensus.”

Sometimes, rough-hewn aggressiveness is the only viable option. When belligerently charged, most people panic and default into a disorganized retreat. When they do, they are vulnerable. Victory is never risk-free!

For professional gunmen, the NTI is an event not to be missed. We’re all looking forward to next year!



7 June 05

Some sage NTI comments from one of my instructors who attended for the first time this year:

“1. Don’t dither, but, if you must, do it behind cover. The plethora of corridors, doors, and rooms confused me. More than once, I found myself standing in the open, befuddled, trying to decide what to do next. I made a useful target! When you are compelled to pause in order to tweak your plan, seek cover.

2. Tunneling. Not only is the visual version pernicious, I found that my mental processes also suffered from the equivalent. Outside of the parameters of the simple mission upon which my mind was focused, I missed: an empty cup next to loose ammunition, ready to be used as a carryable container, a wheel chair that was clearly visible and perfectly useable to move disabled relatives to safety, and a perfectly fine stroller into which the baby was already strapped. But, no, I had to unstrap him, lift him out, and then carry him in my arms. Duh!

3. Don’t allow yourself be crowded/pressured. During the Tattoo Parlor Scenario, I found myself seated in a chair, getting a tattoo, with the owner waving a knife behind me. Simply saying, ‘Slow down, friend. I want to look around before I make a decision,’ while smiling, would have enabled me to keep to my own rhythm. We can’t allow others to set the agenda, no matter how innocent it appears.

4. Victory can lie in getting close to danger. More than once, in ATSA village, I found myself with guns pointed at me while I had nowhere to move and nowhere to take cover. In these cases, getting closer to the assailant was the only way to create options.

5. Take a deep breath and organize your thoughts before talking to the police. I was compelled to take back my story of a gunfight once the sheriff confronted me with its inaccuracy. When you are a party to a police investigation, and police are questioning you, ask for your lawyer to be present before any additional questions are asked. At that point, police are obligated to stop asking you questions. You can indicate that you don’t want to talk with them, but they’ll continue to ask you questions. You can even indicate that you want them to call an ambulance for you. They will, but they’ll continue to ask you questions. Don’t lie. That is a crime. The best tactic is just to ask for your lawyer and not answer questions.

I’ll be back next year. My ego needs the bruises!”



8 June 05


A company in Mesa, AZ makes replacement stocks for the 1911, called Aluma-Grips. They are so thin, they convert the whole pistol in a “slim-line” version. I replaced the factory stocks my S&W Sc Commander with Aluma-Grips, and the whole pistol is now thinner and more concealable. Suitable particularly for those with small hands. Recommended!



9 June 05

Comments on gun control from a friend in SA:

“It’s been one year since South Africa’s ‘democratic’ government implemented the Firearms Control Act 2000. As in Australia, naive predictions about a sudden decline in violent crime have proved fallacious. As always, someone forgot to tell the criminals!

Our deputy (vice) president has just been pointedly implicated during the corruption trial of one of his aids, who has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison. An army colonel was arrested last week for selling military rifles, ammunition, hand grenades, and other military hardware to local gangsters, by the truckload!

All this, while legal gun owners are obliged to surrender priceless heirlooms and other legally owned guns to the state, for zero compensation.”

Lesson: Back in the USA, dire predictions about an increase in violent crime as the 1994 “Crime Bill” was allowed to expire last year have also proved untrue. Media liberals will never report that either, of course, because most of the false predictions were theirs!

South Africa and Australia were held up as examples of the kind of crime-free “workers’ paradise” that we, too, could realize if we only allowed the ownership of guns to become a government monopoly. With their lies now unraveling, officials in both countries are doing what petty despots always do: trying to convince everyone that their power needs to be expanded.

“Americans have the will to resist, because they have weapons. If you don’t have guns, ‘freedom of speech’ has no power.”

Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese author, in the Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1992



13 June 05

Two items to add to the list of needed supplies to send to Capt Anderson and his Marines in Iraq:

Knee pads. Contact KP Industries at www.kpindustries.com. Get hold Chuck Knox at 760 599 9882. Best ones are KneePro Tactical Ultraflex II in tan.

Oakley Pilot Tactical Gloves. Contact Ed Howell at dhowell@oakley.com. Tell him that CWO3 Phil Ross referred you. You’ll get a discount


Hatch Desert Tan Nomex Flight gloves. www.attackopgear.com

Capt Anderson’s address is still:
Captain Ryan L Anderson, USMC
MWSS 371 Engineer Operations Company
Unit 43041
FPO AP 96426-3041



13 June 05

Aluma-Grips are an AZ company. I mistakenly had then in NH. Address below. I love them!

2851 N 34th Pl
Mesa, AZ 85213
602 294 2390

13 June 05

Rifle Training at Quantico:

We just completed an Urban Rifle/Shotgun Course at the Marine Base at Quantico, VA. In attendance were folks from a number of federal agencies as well as Marines. We use Betterbilt’s ever-popular, steel rifle targets and rotators. Of course, we ran the range hot. Most of our students had never before been on a hot rifle range, but they all got into it quickly.

I am impressed with, and appreciative of, the quality of individuals in the federal system. Politics may rear its ugly head as one moves up the food chain, but there is none at the rubber-meets-the-road level. I am more persuaded then ever that we often succeed in spite of ourselves, precisely because folks at the base level find a way to make it work.

Most of our students came on their own dime, and brought personally-owned guns and equipment. Agents, at least the smart ones, all have their own equipment, in addition to anything that might be issued to them. Their personal stuff never sees the inside of an armory, and it is always with them in a high state of readiness. Rightly, they don’t like to be dependant upon their employer to arm them. They make sure they have what they need, all the time. Good trend!

We had one SA SOCOM. Worked great all weekend. Good rifle! An AR-10 went down after 150 rounds. Heavy and clunky. Not much to recommend it. Everyone else had AR-15s, mostly Bushmasters. Most worked well through the weekend, but much attached gear came loose and/or fell off. My RA-96 worked without a hiccup, as always. The AR-10 had a bulky laser attached. The shooter was unable to use it effectively and couldn’t hit much during the low-light shoot.

We had ACOGs, Aimpoints, and EOTechs. All worked, but ACOG mounts failed, and the scopes came loose. Shooters had to revert to iron sights, which, of course, worked just fine. EOTech and Aimpoint mounts all stayed solid.

Aggressive, eidetic rifle training has become critical, not just for military folks, but for LE folks as well. Keep attached gadgets to a minimum. In rough use, it will all eventually come loose and fall off. Learn to use basic equipment. Once you learn what you can do with a rifle, you’ll not want to ever be far from one!



13 June 05

ND story from one of my instructors who owns a large, retail establishment:

“This afternoon while manning the counter, I answered the phone. A male voice asked if I could ‘talk him through’ cleaning his pistol. I told him to put it away and bring it to the shop where I could assist in person. I never completed my sentence.

I heard a gunshot! Several times I asked if he was okay. He finally answered with, ‘I think I just set it off.’ I replied there appeared to be little doubt of that! I than asked if he was okay. He answered, ‘I think I hit something.’ I repeated, ‘Are you okay?”

After a long pause, he indicated that he had just shot his dog, which I could then hear yelping in the background. By this time, he was crying and slobbering in complete panic, unable to control the crisis he’d just manufactured. I told him to get off the phone and call the police. He hung up, and I don’t know what happened next. I have no idea whom it was.

I’m ashamed to admit that I secretly wish he’d missed the dog and shot himself! I also wish his poor dog didn’t have to suffer so profoundly for having such an cretin for an owner. This is the first ‘phone-ND’ I’ve experienced!”

Lesson: Some people should never be allowed to touch anything dangerous! But, we live in a free society, and even blithering idiots are permitted to drive cars, have children, and own guns. We can only hope they manage to kill themselves before they breed! We pay a price for our personal freedom, as we see in the forgoing, but the alternative is slavery. Were that idiots only harmed themselves!



15 June 05

Rifle accouterments and accessories, from a friend with much experience

“Like you, I was a hold-out for a while, but have subsequently become a convert to a few quality accessories that are up to the rigors of serious fighting and serve a useful purpose:

Mounts for optics: Best are made by LaRue Tactical. They do not loose zero, even after heavy use and repeated removal and reinstallation. laruetactical.com

Iron Sights: Best are made by Troy Industries. troyind.com

Optics: My favorite is the ACOG. Aimpoint (M2, ML3) and EOTech are also good. Yes, they all add significant bulk, are subject to breakage, and are not as rugged as iron sights, but they do provide a critical advantage under many circumstances. Trijicon Reflex is down the list, as we have trouble with them holding zero, and the reticle washes out in bright light. Leopold’s Scout Scope works well if you don’t want batteries but do want some magnification.

Weaponlight: Surefire 952 series are best

Attachment: Use blue Loc-Tite, but still check screws every time your clean your rifle. Make it part of your field cleaning regimen.”

Comment: The best accessories are the lowest profile, the most rugged, and the fewest. Look long and hard before attaching things to your rifle. Screws and pins, even when Lock-tighted in, can still shear off and back out. Constantly checking for looseness and functionality adds many items to your checklist. Whatever you do, stick with quality stuff, as enumerated above.

When you use optics, even the EOTech, don’t “live in your scope.” When you conduct all reconnaissance through your optic, there is much you won’t see! Try to keep both eyes open as much of the time as you can and keep your head moving. Constantly look to the sides and behind you. Be your own backup! Look through your scope only to shoot.

A good sling, weapon light, and serious optics complete the list for most of us. However, if the only accessory you have is a sling, you’re still not undergunned.

Don’t look for excuses to lose. Find a way to win!



17 June 05

More on Movement, from an experienced LEO friend:

“Our discussion of tactical movement reminds me of this quotation from Jurassic Park:

‘Try to imagine yourself in the Cretaceous Period. You get your first look at this ‘six-foot turkey’ as you enter a clearing. It moves like a bird, lightly, bobbing it’s head. You keep still, because you think his visual acuity is based on movement, like that of T-Rex. He’ll surely lose you if you don’t move. But no, not Velociraptor. You stare at him, and he just stares right back. That is when the attack comes, not from the front, but from the side, from the other two (female) raptors you didn’t even know were there! Velociraptor is a pack hunter. Their attack model is always multi-directional and coordinated, and they are out in force today. She slashes at you with a six-inch, retractable claw, like a razor, on her middle toe. She doesn’t bother to bite your carotid as would a lion. No, no. She slashes at you here, or here, maybe across the belly, spilling your intestines. The point is, you’re still alive when they start eating you. So, you know, try to show a little respect!’”

Comment: I’ll grant you that movement always attracts attention, but force directed at it is often too late and either over or under-shot. That is the advantage movement give us. It give us the ability to survive the first blow and the time to deliver a precise, and deadly, counter-blow.



18 June 05

On Fox OC, from one of our instructors:

“We just completed an All-Women’s Defense Class this past Tuesday. We go into disengagement techniques, plus the use of pepper spray. We did a demo and actually sprayed the key-chain (personal size) Fox OC at a paper target. Quantity of agent is limited, and you need to be on target (face) for it to be effective in stopping the fight.

My advice to all to buy three containers at a time. One to test, one to carry, and one to immediately replace the primary if called into use. There is no guarantee that you are safe from harm during the next two weeks, until UPS drops off your new one.

We also worked on getting students to jettison the OC container immediately after use and disengaging or, if that is not an option, quickly transitioning to blade or knees and palm heels. Nothing is so effective that we can plan on relaxing right after applying it!

Comment: Good advice!



18 June 05

The “Long Year,” 44BC:

Julius Caesar, the most famous and surely the most tragic of the Caesars, was brilliant and inspired in battle. Julius was repeatedly victorious in Gaul, Spain, even England, vastly expanding the Empire. Loved and respected by his men, Julius, by contemporary standards, was positively enlightened, displaying concern and respect for citizens and subjects alike, even his enemies! When he displaced his rival (and former friend) Pompey in 49BC, Julius found himself undisputed emperor, able to simultaneously command great armies and loll with the likes of Cleopatra.

With such a widespread empire, for the first time in history, an accurate, precise, and unified, calendar, based on solar (not lunar) cycles became acutely necessary, and all in the Roman government knew it. Farmers needed to sow and reap at predictable times. Widely separated military operations needed to be coordinated more precisely than ever before, and a respected, common calendar would exert a unifying influence upon the entire Empire, second only to a common language.

The old calendar featured twelve months, but was based on lunar cycles and thus totaled only 355 days in the yearly cycle. Accordingly, it waxed more irrelevant with each passing year. It was thus generally disparaged and ignored, and respect for the entire body of law with it.

At the time, Romans had a vast pantheon of gods. There was even a god responsible for mildew! Thus, festivals and holidays, mostly lunar, populated the calendar by the hundreds. The calendar in use at the time was a mixture of lunar and solar customs, many regionalized. People do not like changing basic things in their lives, like the way they keep track of time, but Julius knew fundamental change was necessary.

So, in February of the year 44BC, Julius Caesar courageously imposed the “Long Year” upon the entire known world! With the assistance of an Egyptian astronomer, Sosigenes, Julius inserted a sixty-seven “uncounted days” into the year 44BC. In Rome, the year we know as “44BC” totaled 432 days! Of course, Romans would not have called it “44BC.” It would have been known as locally “691,” the number of years that had elapsed since the founding of the City of Rome.

It worked! Julius’ new calendar worked for many centuries thereafter, until it had to be tweaked again. In fact, we’re still using it today. Julius, however, did not live to personally witness its success. He, as it turns out, did not survive the year. On 15 March of the same “long” year, 44BC, Julius Caesar, at the age of 56, was assassinated on the Senate floor by a group of political rivals and “friends” alike. He folded his toga over his head as the knives struck, so he would not behold the faces of his attackers, whom he suspected (correctly) were his “friends.” His ill-timed death plunged the Empire into yet another disastrous and costly civil war.

The Empire would ultimately survive the Ides of March and go on for several more centuries, but many historians still cite 15 Mar 44BC, “The Long Year,” as the beginning of The Great Decline.

Lesson: When you give the world the very best you have, as a reward, expect to be kicked in the teeth. Innovators and geniuses are seldom appreciated in their own time. Thus, of all virtues, courage is the most important. Of all flaws, vanity is the worst. History works through imperfect “heroes,” like Julius, you, and me!

Some advise from Attila the Hun (whom knew the Romans well):

“Always remember that worthy causes meet with the most resistance, sometimes even the internal withholding of support and loyalty. When victory is always easily gained, you must reconsider the worthiness of your ambitions. It is a simple truth that the greater your accomplishments, the greater opposition, torment, and discouragement your opponents will throw in your path. Expect it! Don’t become a victim of it. Know that your most worthy efforts will be scorned by your contemporaries, for it is they who suffer most when you show yourself to be more noble and virtuous then they are. When your actions and ambitions threaten them not, you are simply striving toward the insignificant.”



20 June 05

News from the 2005 IALEFI (International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors) conference in Reno, NV:

The annual conference started last night with the Vendors’ Show. Some items of note:
Dick Davis has left Second Chance and started up a new soft body armor company, called Central Lake Armor Express. Dick, the inventor of soft body armor and a long-time friend, has been responsible for most important innovations since. His company is located Central Lake, MI. Second Chance, since moved to Alabama, will now drift off into oblivion.

My old friend, Ed Taylor, of ATS, is now making modular shoot-houses using a rubber product from the auto industry called Vulcan. Incombustible, UV resistant, able to absorb bullets by the burst, this is remarkable stuff. I also saw Ed’s new rotating pop-up actuator. It adds a new dimension to pop-up targets, as the trainer can now rotate the target after it has appeared, or even as it is popping up. There are now two targets at every position; ideal for shoot/don’t shoot training.

Three video simulators were on display, Prism, LasersShot, and MILO. The last two I was seeing for the first time. All are good. Branching is now so seamless that I couldn’t tell when it had occurred. Systems are smaller and more modular than before, and prices have come way down. All have add-ons like a “shoot-back” capability and simultaneous filming of the student. All have live-fire versions too. All now accommodate flashlights, OC, Tasers, and batons, as well as gunfire. The big drawback is still one-dimensionality. All action takes place on a screen in front of the shooter, so he need not look around, and moving laterally does not provide him with a different viewing angle on objects, so the tendency is to stand on one place, and, because one can’t change viewing angles, objects in suspects’ hands are difficult to identify. The next generation of video simulators will employ an IMAX format and will require a 360 degree shoot-house. It will be a giant step forward, but the price will be again be out of reach for all but the Feds.

For the first time, I got my hands on the FN F2000 223 rifle. Short and bulky (bull-pup design), it takes M-16 magazines and has a built-in 1.6X optical sight. Not much bigger than their P90 rifle in 5.7X28. It is short, but not slim. Instead of ejecting in the conventional manner, expended cases fall out a port on the right front of the rifle. The chamber is buried so deep in the receiver, they had to put a flip-up hatch on the rear of the receiver for what access there is. I’ll get a chance to shoot it this afternoon.

I also got my hands on Springfield Armory’s new Defender. It’s an extremely short and flat 1911 pistol in 45GAP. They hope to have it on dealer’s shelves by the end of the year. It’s a seven-shooter. I really like the size. Similar to the Detonics, but a little flatter.

Ka-Bar is now marketing a clever Belt knife, called the TDI. Not a folder, but short and compact, it makes an ideal belt knife. Can be carried nearly concealed. Access is quick!

I handled a G39, the sub-compact version of my G38. I’ll get a chance to shoot it today. Too small for my hands, but it does make a compact pistol in 45GAP caliber. Not as flat as the SA Defender, however.

Today is Range Day, an IALEFI tradition. More later!



20 June 05

One of my instructors just sent this to me. I only wish I could analyze these things as well:

“Vicki brought up a quotation during the Instructors’ Course. ‘…Let the teacher be the needle and the student be the thread…’ -Musashi

This phrase may seem basic and even simplistic to some, but aren’t the majority of the great pearls of wisdom we all hear? The simplicity is often what we miss.

Anyway, this one struck me on the same level as it probably did most of you, that the teacher ‘guides’ the student. But after reflecting on it for some time I soon realized how much more depth there was to this concept. When I stepped back from it and thought about all of the things that happen in the creation of say, a quilt, it suddenly dawned on me how brilliant Musashi was in using this analogy.

Start with the anchoring knot at the beginning of the work, without that everything will eventually pull apart. If we are not teaching things that are sound and logical then there is no point in wasting the student’s time. We must have a strong foundation of fact and be ready to back up all we say and demonstrate.

Think about the needle pulling too hard on the thread and causing it to snap. The same can be said for ‘over-teaching’ students or giving them too much information at once. Something we all need to become better at gauging and always refining. Even if they understand the goal, they may just not be able to do it in the allotted time. We have to work at their pace. Better they get something helpful from us that sticks than a day of total confusion.

Then, think about trying to make too many stitches before taking up the slack and how that leaves nothing but a tangled mess. Again, if we move too fast, we loose all of the past effort. Present a few pieces of information and then ask for questions, don’t get ahead of them. They may be quite capable of understanding the lesson, it may just be that we’re not explaining it right.

And lastly, the needle is discarded once the tapestry is finished. We can use that to remember how it’s not about us. It’s about the students. We are simply a means to and end. Once that coat is finished no one cares about the needle that was used, only how it fits.”

Comment: The wearer of the coat may not care about the needle nor the thread, but the thread
holds the coat together. Good needles both pull and also “poke” when beneficial.



21 June 05

Notes from the Range:

Yesterday was IALEFI Range Day, were we all get a chance to live fire all the guns brought by vendors. Some items of note:

Beretta’s PX4 pistol (Pistol in four calibers, 9mm, 40S&W, 357SIG, and 45ACP) looks to me to be the successor to the 92 series. It is shorter, slimmer, and handier than the 92. Locking blocks are gone, as the PX4 uses a rotating barrel. Interchangeable backstraps accommodate a large spectrum of hand sizes. This will be Beretta’s (re)entry into the police, duty market. I’m glad to see the 92, and all its problems, go. The PX4 may get Beretta back into the police business!

21st Century Airsoft makes a series of pistols and rifles that are so exact in appearance, I was fooled several times! Slides cycle normally. Triggers work normally. Magazines go in and out normally, so students are compelled to reload as they normally would. Inexpensive and easy to set up and use, this makes Simmunitions obsolete!

I shot the 45GAP SA Defender. Grip is significantly smaller than that of a standard 1911. Good gun for small hands. SA won’t be able to make these fast enough!

FN F2000 rifle had a good workout. The ejection port on the right forward end of the rifle makes shooting from the left shoulder as easy as from the right shoulder. I’m still concerned about the relative inaccessibility of the chamber, but time will tell. I fired and extended burst left handed, and it worked just fine. It uses a two-stage trigger for full-auto fire, just as does the AUG.

Glock and SIG were both on hand with all their pistols. The G38 (45GAP) and the 229/DAK received the most attention.

Remington had a copy of their 223 pump rifle on hand. All controls are the same as an 870, and it takes M-16 magazines. Slim and easy to shoot. Good patrol rifle, particularly for those used to using an 870.

More to come…



21 June 05

In pursuit of the 1911, from a friend and instructor:

“As you recall, I have been devoting time, effort and serious money to 1911s for the past couple of years. This is essentially play, as I am convinced, by direct experience, of the superiority of Glocks for all serious purposes.

I own three Kimbers that worked, right out of the box (with some breaking in). My experience with four other brands, including expensive ones, has been less than satisfactory. As delivered, none have worked, nor could be made to work, without aftermarket parts, warranty attention (usually repeated), and outside gunsmithing.

Warranty departments and custom shops are all compulsively focused on the ‘usual suspects:’ the shooter holding the pistol wrong, not using the ammunition we like, lack of a sufficient break in. They aggressively refuse to entertain the possibility of a manufacturing defect. When the subject is brought up, they can’t get you off the phone fast enough. At different levels, it required resolute application of my temperament, intellect and determination to (finally) move their attention to the real problems, which were never any of the usual suspects. My experience may not be not universal, but my conclusions are earned. I think the industry has widespread problems involving poorly made parts, poor quality control, and particularly incompetent customer service.

If you want a 1911 that works, buy a Kimber, and, if you want to discuss issues with the system with well-mannered, competent professionals, call the Kimber Custom Shop.”

Comment: I, too have had good luck with Kimber, but I’ve also had good luck with the S&W Sc 1911, and S&W’s customer service is excellent too. I’ll also add to that list the new Detonics. Any company run by Jerry Ahern will have excellent customer service!



23 June 05


I attended part of the SA XD Armorer’s Class yesterday. It is clear that SA is making a sincere effort to get the XD accepted by the police community as an legitimate, duty gun. As I’ve said in the past, XDs we’ve had in classes have all worked fine.

However, real problems made themselves apparent during the class. Glocks, even at the armorer level, are nearly impossible to reassemble wrong. Glock parts are designed to fit together only one way. When they don’t fit together, that is a hint that you are doing it incorrectly. SA engineers need to take note. A number of XD parts can be easily put in place backwards and/or upside down, with no clue that assembly is inappropriate. When assemble is complete, the pistol won’t work. In fact, the is one blind hole, designed to receive a pin. If the pin inadvertently goes in backward, it cannot be removed and must be drilled out!

If SA is serious about making inroads into the police market, they are going to have to make engineering changes in the XD that make the job of the armorer less tedious. The XD is a good gun, but it is not up to Glock standards yet.



24 June 05

Kahr Customer Service:

“John, I sent my Kahr PM9 back to factory, at their expense. This is the one that didn’t work from the day I opened the box. Received phone call from factory tech the next day, offering apologies and free night sights on the replacement PM9. Tech also stated that he personally fired a hundred rounds through the replacement pistol without problems. He indicated the one I sent back to them had an ‘improperly machined slide.’ I received and test-fired the replacement PM9 today. Problem free!”

Comment: The “lemon” never should have left the factory, but customer service from Kahr is excellent, and they deserve credit for that. Thumbs up to Kahr for making things right.



24 June 05

Gun sales in SA:

The latest statistics from South Africa indicate that 1,688 firearms have been sold in retail outlets since inception of the new Firearms Act last year. Of that number, only six, in the entire County, have been licensed under the new act and approved from transfer to the new owner. All others have either been rejected or are still pending in the interminable paperwork jungle. Only .004% of all firearms “sold” have made it to their new owners!

Feeble, indeed comical, excuses given by the government include such drivel as:

“…decided not to uphold the appeal on account of the fact that you did not provide us with any substantial reason why you cannot protect yourself by means other than a firearm.”

“… lack of supporting documentation of legitimate need.”

“… not convinced of need.”

“… not recommended by local profile.”

“… did not convince Board by the motivation given.”

“… failed to disclose previous conviction of ‘inconsiderate driving.’”

The forgoing are basically death warrants for the individuals concerned, as violent criminals will eventually make easy victims of all of them. VCAs, acting with the tacit approval, indeed encouragement, of the government, will eliminate these pesky political opponents of the current regime.

This is what will happen in the USA if “reasonable” restrictions ever see the light of day! What neo-Marxists (including both Democrats and “Republicans”) cannot accomplish via statute, they will sneak in the back door through judicial and bureaucratic tyranny. Those who cannot be herded into concentrations camps (at least for now) will be murdered, one by one.



27 June 05

Operational experience w/optics and mounting systems, from a friend on active duty:

“Last Thursday, while presenting an Enhanced Marksmanship demonstration to a group of British and Australian officers, I laid my M-4, with LaRue-mounted Aimpoint, on my gun bag, which rested on a narrow bench three feet off a concrete pad. Sure enough, my M-4 slid off the bench, landing with a painful crack on the concrete, upside down, right on the Aimpoint.

I picked it up and immediately checked the optic. The dot was still directly over the front sight. To confirm, I quickly ran a magazine through it. The Aimpoint now has a scratch on the top, but zero was unchanged. Good to go!

I cannot say enough about Aimpoints and LaRue mounts!”

Comment: On serious rifles with optics, the ruggedness of the mount is at least as important as the usability of the reticle. The combination described in the foregoing surely passed this test!



28 June 05

This is from Friend and colleague, Dave Manning:

Dave Manning’s “Rules of 3”

While fighting with a gun:

Rule 1. Do not be in one spot for more than 3 seconds or 3 rounds!
Even at only 1 round per second you can be hit 3 times, probably more, by the offender.

Rule 2. Move at least 3 feet off the line of force. If you move to cover/concealment do not expose yourself for more than 3 seconds or 3 rounds. When possible, come out somewhere else!
Do not “dither” for more than 3 seconds behind cover. The offender can walk a distance of 15 yards in 3 seconds and be right on top of you when you next expose yourself.

Rule 3. Look around in the other 3 directions (left, right, rear)

Rule 4. When using a flashlight limit your bursts of light to 3 seconds or less.
Than revert back to rule 1.

Rule 5. Have at least these 3 tools at all times: Pistol (w/extra mag), Knife, Flashlight

Comment: Great stuff! Dave has earned his place as a major player in this business. He has surely influenced me.



28 June 05

Sometimes, in this business, we try to put into words the philosophy we all support, but often don’t articulate adequately. Unfortunately, I am not “clever,” as you can see. However, a good friend at DOD sent this to me. He puts it well:

The Defender’s Creed

I accept and understand that human predators exist. Criminal or terrorist, they take advantage of our civilized society to prey upon the weak. They represent evil and must be confronted and defeated.

I believe that self-defense is a moral imperative, and that illegitimate force and illegal violence must be met with righteous indignation and superior violence.

I will not rely on others for the security of myself, my family and my community.

I proudly proclaim that I run with a like-minded pack. I do not amble through life with the mind-numbed herd.

I will train with my chosen weapons, maintain them and carry them in a condition of readiness at all times.

I will be mentally prepared and physically equipped to effectively respond to an attack or emergency.

I will constantly test myself against realistic standards to discover my strengths and weaknesses. I will turn weakness into strength.

I will seek to learn new skills and techniques, and then teach what I have learned to other members of the pack.

Be it with firearm or blade, empty hand or blunt object, I will hit my enemies hard, fast and true.
I will live a quiet and unobtrusive life, but I will develop and retain the capacity for swift and decisive force.

I recognize that I am the modern equivalent of the traditional Minuteman, and that I may be called to service at any time against heavily armed enemies. I will respond effectively.

I accept that I am a pariah among some of my countrymen, and a quaint anachronism to others. I will not hold their ignorance against them.

I will win, or die trying.

I swear this creed before God, my family and my fellow citizens.

Comment: I would add: “… and I do so without apology.”



29 June 05

ATK’s premier XM-25 system made its first public appearance recently at a military trade show. This project has been in the works for a few years, but, if view of its recent stellar performance, fielding is now imminent.

This is a man-portable, 25mm, air-bursting grenade system. An integral, laser, range-finder determines the range and automatically sets the burst time of the grenade. When launched, the grenade bursts directly above the target or shortly after the warhead enters a door or window. Maximum range is 500m. American Infantrymen will soon have a formidable, new advantage, particularly in urban fighting.

Now, if we can just have, once more (after an unhappy, forty-year dance with varmint rifles), a genuine 500m rifle, that shoots THROUGH things, the individual infantryman will once again assume his rightful place as Weapon-System One.

“Some people have greatness thrust upon them, but few have excellence thrust upon them. They achieve it, not unwittingly, by doing what comes naturally, nor do they stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. No! All true excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose. Nothing worthwhile may be had without effort.”

John W Gardner



30 June 05

From an LEO friend in WI:

Last weekend, a local resident and his date went to a hip-hop, dance club. While there, a fight developed between members of rival gangs. This guy and his date wisely decided to leave. Of course, they would have been even wiser to not go there to begin with.

Private security officers tossed out participants in the fight, so all left the club at the same time. One faction decided (in error) that the guy and his date had an allegiance to the other group. They followed him to his car and threatened him. He popped the trunk, took out his diminutive Phoenix 25auto, held it by his leg, and asked the militants to leave quietly. They apparently decided he was serious, so they ran off.

Our guy then got in the car and called the police. Dispatch garbled the details (who’d a thought?), so it took a while to sort it all out. The guy’s story was eventually corroborated, and, after the customary confusion, we cut him loose. He was not charged.

I did discover that with that particular model of Phoenix pistol requires a magazine to be inserted before the slide can be manipulated, so it cannot be unloaded the usual way, by first removing magazine and then removing the round from the chamber. Nobody could figure out how to get the gun unloaded, because the magazine had been (correctly) removed first. So, they got me, because I’m the ‘Gun Guy.’ I eventually figured it out, but I was stumped at first. Why would anyone design a gun like that?”

Lesson: Going to stupid places carries with it considerable risk. Being around stupid people compounds the risk. This guy and his date did the right thing by leaving at the first sign of trouble, but it was a dumb place to go to begin with. It is amazing he was able to retrieve a gun from the trunk of a car as his attackers just stood there and gawked. Most gang members would have been more aggressive. These punks were obviously amateurs. Next time he may not be so lucky. Under most circumstances, guns in trunks of cars have scant chance of ever being put to use in an emergency.

Comment: The Phoenix pistol in question is not one often seen, and we can see why! What kind of “design engineer” would contrive a pistol whose slide cannot be reciprocated with the magazine removed? The point is that cheap/trash guns like this one are the exclusive province of fools who haven’t thought the issue through, and, in the last analysis, don’t place much value on there own lives.