1 May 09

M&P Problems in CA, from a friend with the LASO:

“The few S&W M&P Pistols we currently have in the field have all been abruptly pulled from service.

Since first approved for Department use at the end of last year, of fifty pistols, we had one that would not eject at all, and one with a barrel that broke into two pieces, just ahead of the chamber. Additionally, we have experienced many extraction difficulties.

A contingent of S&W armorers, gunsmiths, and engineers are on their way out here to evaluate and correct these problems. In the interim, M&P Pistols are being replaced with Beretta 92Fs from an existing Department float.”

Comment: My faith in the M&P Pistol has not been shaken. We have seen many copies in Courses, and all have run fine. Problems like the foregoing are not uncommon when manufacturers fill big orders. Remember Glock’s difficulty with the NYPD several years ago, which proved ultimately to be “much ado about nothing.”

The M&P is still relatively new, and its “shake-down cruise” is still in progress. But, the System is sound, and I’m confident S&W will make appropriate adjustments and drive on!



1 May 09

Posters on French grocery bags (along with my comments), from a friend there:

“Yes, we can!” (Can what?)

“Acting together. It really works!” (Only the unproductive have the time)

“Intentions are what really matter!” (A convenient excuse for chronic failure)

“Trying is what counts!” (Counts for what?)

“Bicycling together, we can make a better future!” (Better than what?)

“We will share your wealth!” (I’m sure you would love to!)

“No money? We’ll print more!” (It’s been tried!)

“We are French. We pee anywhere!” (Why doesn’t that surprise me?)

Comment: False notions quickly die of their own accord, when expressed clearly. But, muddled language, clever-sounding sayings that mean nothing, and a continuous lack of hard questioning allows fraudulence to masquerade as wisdom.

Of course, such adolescent drivel appeals only to naive liberals, but our education system manufacturers them!

Oh, that it were all confined to France!



2 May 09

Industry Update, from a big retailer in WA:

“Military semi-auto rifles, in any caliber, are still hard to locate. I have no ARs in my store currently.

Ammunition supply situation has actually managed to get worse! We have scanty inventory on hand, and our vendors all tell me there are going to be big delays in getting more. What we can get in is expensive!

Ball ammunition in 9mm, 40S&W, 45CAP, 380Auto, and 38Spl, as well as 223 and 7.62X39 are in high demand. We have to limit how much individual customers can buy, lest we be cleaned out in a single day!”

Comment: Some of those new AR purchasers realize they need training! I am doing a record number of Urban Rifle Courses this year, and students are all dead-serious! However, I’ve had to cut down the amount of ammunition consumed, because of increased costs and decreased availability.

Americans have scant confidence in the personal integrity, personal morality, nor statesmanship acumen of our current gaggle of politicians.

Lack of confidence manifests itself in many ways!



3 May 09

When children are used as hostages/shields:

Statistics from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicate that, when children are snatched by strangers, most are murdered within four hours. Within twenty-four hours, nearly all are dead! Thus, chances of police rescuing kidnaped children alive, once they are separated from their parents, are low.

The upshot of this grim reality is that we all need to train, with both our pistols and rifles, to shoot hostage-takers through the brain-stem, at relatively close range, as they are attempting to kidnap children or use them as shields in order to facilitate escape. This is a task for armed parents, teachers, and professional bodyguards, as police, no matter how responsive, will likely not be in a position to stop the abduction.

I’ve decided to include this drill in nearly all our Courses, both Pistol and Urban Rifle, due to the foregoing sobering statistic. None of us can afford to allow a VCA to forcefully leave our presence with one of our children under his control. We need to be willing to take great risks in order to prevent that from happening.

When aggressively engaging hostage-takers with gunfire, we no longer use the term “head-shot.” We’ve substituted “brain-stem shot,” because it does not suffice to merely hit any part of the suspect’s cranium. The medical condition we need to instantly create in the suspect is “flaccid paralysis.” A high-speed missile, passing through his brain-stem, will reliably accomplish this. Few other targets will!

Flaccid paralysis describes a condition where the suspect instantly de-animates. There is no convulsion, voluntary nor otherwise. The suspect replicates a puppet whose strings have all been cut at the same instant.

The definitive brain-stem shot is the most reliable way of successfully rescuing hostages and kidnap victims. In most cases, it is the only way!

It needs to be a integral part of every Operator’s repertoire.



3 May 09

More Industry News, from Friends in TX:

“Here at Cabelas, we get shipments of military rifles, mostly Bushmaster and S&W M&P M4s, as well as SIG 556s, once per month. They are all sold-out within the next two days! Then, we have no inventory until the next shipment. In fact, the day AR shipments arrive, there is always a long line at the gun counter. Even Ruger Mini-14s, which most regard as a weak alternative, sell out within a week of arrival.

As you know, we are a high-overhead store, so prices here are at least full retail. Nonetheless, ARs are out the door as fast as we can get them unloaded from the truck and into the store!

Wal Mart and some other box-store employees here have been accused of hoarding ammunition in the back of the store as soon as it arrives, particularly 223, and then holding it for their buddies, who come in and buy it all, subsequently selling it on the Internet at scalper’s prices.

The scam is widespread, but largely unreported!”

Comment: I see no letup in this rabid demand any time soon! Out of fear of being legislated out of business by Congress, most arms and ammunition manufacturers have, so far, declined to borrow money to increase floor-space, buy machinery and inventory, and bring on new hires.

Few are making long-term commitments, owing to the never-ending stream of question-marks emanating from the current White House. In the interim, apprehension with regard to the flow of national and world history is causing layer after progressive layer of non-gunowners, even the heretofore anti-gun, to reconsider!



4 May 09

More on brain-stem shots, from a trainer:

“Here in Atlanta we regularly run real-time, Air-Soft scenarios involving hostages. The practitioner is always afforded several generous windows through which to make a brain-stem shot. I play the role of the VCA. Here is what happens:

When I’m armed with a knife, practitioners always get close. Most use verbal commands, like ‘Drop the weapon!’ then shoot me in the body. In most cases, my completely-exposed head is less than two feet from the practitioner’s pistol, and many still insist on talking, instead of shooting!

When I’m armed with a pistol, most practitioners move to the other side of the room, negotiate ad-nauseam, and then also shoot me in the body!

I’ve played the VCA several hundred times, with practitioners (many of them police officers) of various skill levels. I’ve been successfully shot in my (helmeted) head only five times! The vast majority never even attempt a brain-stem shot, even though I always give them more than ample opportunity to successfully accomplish it.”

Comment: Conversely, my students will make the brain-stem shot, because they’ve been trained to do it!

However, I am persuaded that many inadequately-trained practitioners in scenario-based training simply act-out what they’ve seen in movies! In virtually all Hollywood hostage dramas, when the villain, holding the hero’s sexy girlfriend at gunpoint, commands the hero to “Drop your gun!” the hero always meekly complies (so additional melodrama can be squeezed from the scene).

I’m also persuaded that many practitioners have never honestly confronted the extreme level of ruthlessness that is necessary to successfully resolve these desperate circumstances.

Enthusiastically, even fiercely, defending the lives of family members is the most basic of human rights. It is not “taking justice into your own hands,” as naive VBCs mistakenly see it. But, there are many VBCs who foolishly believe that “negotiation” is the one-and-only moral response to violent aggression. When it fails, they predictably lapse into denial, and are proud of it, because the gun-hating media has elevated arrogant self-deception to an art form!



5 May 09

Selection of a Lawyer:

My friend and colleague Mas Ayoob had sage advice for us at his lecture during the Polite Society Event in Tulsa, OK last week. The following is a phenomenon that I have noticed too, but Mas, who does of lot more expert legal consulting than I do, masterfully focused in on the issue.

Representing criminal defendants is a narrow law speciality. Most lawyers don’t know much about it. Of course, all criminal defendants are entitled to competent representation, so our System is not tempted to railroad defendants, for the sake of expediency, politics, nor a host of other illegitimate reasons. Sometimes it happens anyway!

The problem is that the vast majority of criminal defendants are, in fact, guilty as charged! Most are also indigent, sleazy, unstable, and have a criminal record already. In fact, the only classes of criminal defendants who have money and who are willing to spend it defending themselves and their reputations are those accused of (1) drunk driving, (2) molesting children, and (3) dealing in illegal drugs. The vast majority of other criminal defendants don’t have two nickels to rub together!

In every town, out of hundreds of practicing lawyers, there is only a handful whose practice includes representing criminal defendants. They spend a lot of time with defendants accused of the foregoing crimes. They know, and their clients concede, that their clients are almost always guilty. As such, they are accustomed, far too accustomed, to “making deals” in order to get their guilty client the best outcome they think they can. That, of course, is their job!

However, when you, a good and decent person, are compelled by circumstance to righteously and lawfully defend yourself with gunfire, you are not guilty of any crime! And, a real problem may develop when you hire a lawyer to represent you who is habituated to representing guilty clients! Many have never represented a client who is not guilty, and who is, in addition, a decent and upright person, wrongly accused by a mendacious prosecutor pursuing a personal, anti-gun agenda.

Lawyers like this may arbitrarily lump you in with the rest of their clients and thus jump at the first “deal” offered by the prosecutor, rather than carry your case forward.

Juries rock! And, it may be necessary, at trial, to get your side of the story before a bunch of ordinary people who can imagine what they would have done under the same circumstances in which you found yourself.

Only the USA still has juries, and you are entitled to demand one! They have been eliminated in most other parts of the world, owing to power-hungry despots who want complete personal control of the “justice” system. Our still far-from-perfect System is a lumbering bureaucracy which, like all bureaucracies, exists mostly to serve itself. And, you won’t have to look very hard to find examples of injustice. In fact, one can persuasively argue that our System is terrible, except for all the other systems!

Mas’ point is that, in gun-cases, well-know and flamboyant defense attorneys may not be your best choice, simply because they may not be prepared to believe you are not a criminal, like the rest of their clients. You need to find a lawyer who, at least occasionally, represents guiltless people, wrongly accused, who knows something about guns and people who own them, who is not afraid to go to trial, and who knows credible experts who can assist him.

Your best source is the ACLDN (Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network). You need to be a member! Call them at 360 978 5200



5 May 09

Too good not to share! This is from a university professor:

“Given the increasing frequency of armed robberies on campus, it’s only a matter of time before we start having murders in dorms, parking decks, et al.

Naturally, the only response of which the University Administration is apparently capable is to advise us peons to be even more sheep-like: traveling in herds, huddling in pens at night, peacefully submitting to slaughter.

God forbid students, staff, and faculty ever boldly take personal responsibility for defending themselves.

That might give them the idea they could actually think for themselves too!

And that, my friends, would bring about an end to the ‘modern university.’”

Comment: Can’t “end” fast enough!



6 May 09

More on “campus security,” from an academic friend in TX:

“The State of Texas will soon pass a law permitting concealed-carry on college campuses. It can’t come too soon! Of course, many Operators have been unwilling to wait. Currently, hapless students who even touch a gun while on campus are expelled instantly by our gun-hating, freedom-hating college administrations.

After more than a decade, and with hundreds of thousands of ordinary Texans actively carrying concealed pistols during their daily lives, statistics tell it all. Texas CHL-holders, as a class, are the most law-abiding, non-violent of all groups. Violent crime plummeted after our CHL law passed, and has gone down even further ever since- everywhere but on college campuses!

Dire ‘gunfights-in-the-streets’ predictions of gun-haters, of course, never materialized. These same sluttish hypocrites (many of whom have gone on to work at colleges), now confronted with the truth, are now curiously suffering from pestilent amnesia. A lot of that going around these days!

Predictably, the State’s college campuses continue to offer a tempting network of violent criminal opportunities. In 2007, there were twelve, violent rapes reported on the University of Texas/Austin Campus alone. These were not ‘date-rapes’ (which are enumerated separately). These are violent attacks on women, by people they do not know, which invariably resulted in permanent physical disablement/disfigurement, as well as emotional scarring. Some women did not live through the attack!

These violent, criminal assaults should make at least the local news, but they rarely do, because our seedy campus administration covers them up, the same way they cover up everything else that makes them look bad. These are the same shameless prevaricators who babble endlessly about “academic honesty.’

In fact, I strongly suspect your local college campus is also far from the ‘bastion-of-safety’ the charlatans-in-charge would have you believe!”

Comment: It never ceases to amaze me the way contemptible poseurs, masquerading as “college administrators,” care infinitely more about keeping their pathetic jobs than they ever have about the safety of students and faculty who foolishly trust them, and even more foolishly- depend on them!



7 May 09

Twelve-gauge slugs work only too well! This from an LEO student in TX:

“Last weekend, a local miscreant became upset with his favorite drug retailer, and, as a way of expressing his unhappiness, shot-up the dealer’s mobile home, using a twelve-gauge shotgun. The shotgun’s magazine tube was charged with four, Foster slugs. All four struck the trailer.

One slug was fired lengthwise, through the trailer. It entered the exterior wall, penetrating four interior walls, and exited out the other end. It was not recovered, and is still going, as far as we know!

We arrested the idiot, without further incident, shortly thereafter. No one in the trailer was hurt.”

Comment: Penetration capability of twelve-gauge slugs never fails to astonish me! They go right through what 223 and most pistol rounds never will.



12 May 09

From a friend with the LAPD:

“Saturday, LASO and LAPD combined to conduct a ‘Gun Buy-Back’ program. The reward was a $100.00 grocery certificate, $200.00 for an ‘assault weapon,’ although the term is never defined.

The highly-publicized event netted only 140 guns in my Division. Only a single S&W revolver and one ageing Winchester 30-30 lever-action rifle were even operable. The rest were ancient, rusted, non-functional junk. Little more than scrap metal!

Ninety-percent of the citizenry who ‘participated’ were old, white couples, even though my division is ninety-five percent Hispanic! Not a single gang-member, ex-con, nor doper was seen turning in anything.

Our mayor, and a host of other leftist political hacks, paid the usual weary lip-service, but an LA Times editorial said it all:

‘Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa… said that it took more guns off the streets of LA than there were shooting victims in the city last year. That’s a highly misleading statement, implying a connection between gun homicides and specific weapons handed-in to police…

Studies of municipal gun buy-back programs have never turned up a shred of evidence that they reduce firearm violence…

Guns that tend to be surrendered are seldom ones used by criminals. They are usually old, broken weapons turned in by older people who would rather have a $100.00 gift-certificate to buy groceries than a rusted revolver…

Good PR… is simpler than good policy.’”

Comment: These days, “political hack” is a redundancy! American politics does not attract honorable people, as we see.



15 May 09

Equipment that fits makes all the difference. This, from a friend in P&P in CA:

“Yesterday, I trained a group of probation officers in the Art of Concealed Carry.

A young women (a lefty, with small hands) was doing her best, struggling with a SIG P226. She couldn’t effectively conceal it, and decocking was clumsy and took too long.

I had with me a SIG P239 DAK/9mm, with a kydex holster. I set her up, and then had her do presentations and dry-fire.

We started up again, and she rocked! In no time, she was making better hits than most of the guys!

The pistol fit her hand and was legitimately concealable. The holster accommodated her build, and the necessity for manually decocking was gone!

Some struggle is therapeutic, but there is no reason to endlessly contend with equipment that obviously doesn’t fit the student.

This student was convinced and is buying her own copy of the 239 DAK next week!”

Comment: Personal life-saving equipment needs to fit! With all the quality pistols available, there is usually no reason to put up with obvious mis-matches.



18 May 09

Pistol grip size/shape, revisited. These sage comments from ATSA Staff:

“Over the years of the NTI (National Tactical Invitational), we have done many instances of short-distance, surprise shooting that required sudden presentations of holstered pistols.

When engaged in live-fire exercises, and confronting inanimate targets at close range, virtually all Practitioners are observed to use some variation of a two-handed grip and stance.

However, in conditions where the target is another human (Force-on Force), Practitioners often draw and fire strong-hand only.

So, we decided to do a relative-accuracy study of both styles. A G19 Glock and an S&W, M&P Compact (9mm) were used for this Test. Installed on the M&P was the smallest of the three backstraps available.

The Test was comprised of multiple draw-and-immediately-fire drills, five strong-hand only and five using a two-hand grip. Distance was six meters.

With the G19, shots fired by most shooters, while shooting one-handed, were biased to the support-hand side of the target. When shooting two-handed, shots were significantly better centered on the body midline.

With the S&W, shots were centered on the body midline, no matter which technique was used.

My conclusion is that wide-body pistol grips, while currently all the rage, can represent significant accuracy compromises when there is a need to employ the pistol using only one hand.
Pistol grips that resemble a flattened oval appear to us to be consistent with superior accuracy, again when only one hand is on the grip as the pistol is employed.”

Comment: Even I am amazed at the number of shots that are fired via strong-hand only during the NTI. Statistics from police shooting appear to support that observation, even though we’re all trained extensively to draw and fire using a two-handed technique. I’m not at all sure I understand why!

I’ve always found flat-gripped pistols (like the 1911) to be more inherently accurate than round-grip ones, at least for serious shooting. We are apparently irreversibly into double-column pistols, but pointability obviously continues to be directly linked to the degree to which the grip resembles a flattened oval, at least when the pistol is fired one-handed.



18 May 09

Incident in SA, from a friend there:

“Thursday of last week I attended a conference in Durban. When my partner and I parked our car, I noted an indigent person ambling around the parking lot. The scam is that these thugs appoint themselves as your ‘car-guard’ and naturally expect money upon your return. This sort of cozenage is common here and altogether unavoidable.

Upon our return, as expected, I noticed this same individual, now carrying a ‘knopkierrie’ (loosely translated ‘knobbed cane’). This is a traditional, wooden walking stick, with a large knob on one end. A knopkierrie, in the hands of a person versed in the Art of stick-fighting, is a lethal weapon, and then some! However, even the inexperienced will easily do serious damage with one.

Unfortunately this individual immediately noticed us. He approached me, making aggressive sweeps with the stick, simultaneously holding out his other hand for money.

I had no pistol, but I was armed with my Cold Steel Vaquero Grande (formally yours). I, too, assumed a serious stance as I deployed the blade. At the same time, I succinctly explained what I was going to do with the knife when he came closer.

My unhesitating response to his intimidation had the desired effect!

The man quickly backed off as a brisk pace, stumbling as he retreated, pretending to laugh and make light of the situation as he went. My colleague and I got into our car and drove off without delay.

This incident happened within a stone’s throw of a manned, police sub-station.”

Comment: That same Cold-Steel VG caused another aggressive miscreant to quickly back off, that time from me, two years ago in Pretoria! Blades are mortifying, particularly when the user appears to know what he is about.

Even within sight of “help,” you’re invariably on your own! Be always prepared, or resign yourself to being a career victim, and to a short and unhappy life!



19 May 09

1911 magazines that work!

My long-time friend and colleague, Dave Lauck, of D&L Sports in Gillette, WY is now producing and shipping “Extreme Duty” 1911 Pistol Magazines.

Many companies make 1911 magazines, and most are satisfactory, but Dave’s are above and beyond! A heavy body, non-bind follower, and foolproof plastic base-plate conspire to make these magazines ascend to the top of the List.

I’m using them now. Recommended!

Get hold of Dave at 307 686 4008 or dlsports@vcn.com



20 May 09

News from MA, of all places, from a friend there:

“Our local shooting club and outdoor range here in suburban Boston has been around for many decades. We are small and, until recently, have barely been able to persuade enough new members to join us to replace the ones who retire/die!

How things have changed this year! In a typical bi-monthly meeting, we used to be tickled to death to have even one new application. Since the election, we’re been a averaging eight, new applications per meeting!

In other words, in two bi-monthly meetings this year, we’ve had more applicants than we normally get in several years. And no, we haven’t been advertising!”

Comment: Even East-Coast Liberals can read the handwriting on the wall. I wonder if they are occasionally tormented by their conspicuous hypocrisy!



20 May 09

Stupidity as virtue! This from a student and Chief of Police:

“Enlightened police chiefs and sheriffs need to strive to avoid inducing misdirected priorities among officers they command. It is a matter of life and death!

We recently had an FTO, and a rookie, respond to a violent, domestic disturbance. They set-up down the block, awaiting a second beat-car. A suspect, visibly armed with both a shotgun and a handgun, suddenly exits the house in question, looks straight at our patrol car and starts walking directly toward it, and our two officers.

Both officers immediately exit and draw down on the suspect. They repeatedly, endlessly, ad-nauseam ordered him to “drop the weapons.” He does not, and continues to advance on them. When he is finally within a few feet of our officers, the FTO sprays him, and he is subsequently subdued. Neither officer, nor the suspect, are harmed.

Some in our department wanted the FTO awarded a medal for bravery! Conversely, I advocated that he be disciplined, sent to mandatory training, and removed from the FTO program. I was adamant that my officers not be afraid, nor hesitant, to shoot when the situation warrants, as it, by any analysis, did in this situation.

Ultimately, my City Manager assumed his customary cowardly position and took no action. The whole issue was dropped! By doing so, he failed to send the proper message that this Administration wants officers to act decisively, with deadly force, in appropriate circumstances, and that they will be backed up.

Much easier and less messy to just stand idly by and have officers murdered, because they hesitate too long. After all, the City can always hire more, eh?”

Comment: Yes Chief, you were entirely correct! Officers who would rather take suicidal risks than shoot when clearly indicated, need to find other work! Instead, we give them medals, in-effect rewarding/legitimizing stupidity, simply because the whole thing miraculously ended without injury, this time. “Wrong message” hardly does it justice!

We don’t carry guns in-vain! Commanding suspects who are visibly armed to “drop their guns” more than twice is tantamount to suicide! Officers should never have cause to think that they are required to expose themselves to such suicidal risks.

When they do, we have failed them, and the public!



22 May 09

Serious Ammunition:

When pistol cartridges are fed from the magazine into the chamber, they are struck in the rear by the slide and then pushed forward out of the magazine until the bullet strikes the sloping surface of the feed-ramp. The cartridge is subsequently cammed upward and ultimately all the way forward into the chamber.

A problem sometimes arises when, as a result of impact with the feed ramp, the bullet is pushed backward into the cartridge case. At the very least, this exposes bare case edge which causes an abrupt halt in the feeding process. An even more serious condition arises when the cartridge, with its now set-back bullet, actually completes the feeding process anyway and is subsequently fired. This generates pressure spikes which strain, bulge, and sometimes rupture chambers, ruining the pistol and, in rare cases, injuring the shooter.

Bullet set-back is particularly likely when pistols are loaded and unloaded often, with the same individual cartridge repeatedly being the top round in the magazine, and thus fed multiple times.

With revolver cartridges, a similar problem arises. Bullets on cartridges that are in the cylinder and waiting to be fired sometimes jump forward as a result of recoil from previous cartridges. When they jump forward far enough, they can actually protrude from the front of the cylinder, preventing the cylinder from turning, thus jamming the revolver.

Both of these disorders, where migrating bullets cause potentially fatal difficulties for the Operator, are well known to both gun and ammunition manufacturers.

To address this migrating-bullet issue, ammunition manufacturers used to customarily roll a cannalure into the outside of pistol cartridges, just at the base of the seated bullet. That little shelf effectively prevents bullet set-back. Similarly, they substantially crimped the bullet in place on revolver cartridges, in order to likewise prevent forward bullet-migration.

Unhappily, some ammunition manufacturers, even major ones, have discontinued both practices, either in an effort to reduce costs, or because they have forgotten that lives depend upon the performance of their product!

Cor-Bon is one manufacturer who has not forgotten! All handgun ammunition manufactured by Cor-Bon features bullets that are, per the foregoing, mechanically prevented from migrating. They never compromise! This is one reason I routinely have Cor-Bon in my carry-pistols and revolvers.

There are many fine companies who manufacture, and re-manufacture, pistol ammunition intended for any number of purposes, not all of which are particularly critical. However, when used for serious purposes, pistol and revolver ammunition must perform.

Lives are depending on it!



24 May 09

Comments on EOTech:

We just completed an Urban Rifle Course here in PA. Four of our students had rifles equipped with EOTech sights. All ran fine, except…

The sun came and went, trading places with thick cloud-cover, and we were in a valley where deep, stark shadows ruled.

EOTech users were constantly adjusting reticle brightness accordingly. Several times, when mounting the rifle, students complained that the batteries must have died, as there was no visible reticle to be seen in the screen. Most instantly defaulted to co-witnessed iron sights and drove on.

However, upon examining the EOTech in question, it was discovered that they were running just fine, but brightness was adjusted so low that, when the sun suddenly came out, the reticle could not be seen!

We had the same issue with Aimpoints, but much less so, as the red dot was almost always visible, even when dim.

Accordingly, I advise students with EOTechs to adjust brightness at least every ten minutes, to insure against the foregoing and also to insure that the unit has not timed out! However, even that precaution may not suffice when ambient light changes suddenly.

Interesting lesson!



26 May 09

Sage comments on rifle optics, from a friend in Country:

“When you engage one bad guy outside a structure, in bright sunlight, then immediately pursue a second into a dark structure, you are well advised to keep his head up and body moving, not spend time ‘adjusting’ anything.

Two rifle shots into the eight-ring the instant the opportunity presents itself beats waiting for a ten-ring shot that may never come.

Never forget, the bad-guy has a vote! Try not to be distracted with knobs and switches the moment he decides to cast it!”

Comment: General Albert S Johnson, to his officers at the beginning of the Battle of Shiloh,

“The Battle has begun, gentlemen. It is too late to change our dispositions!”

The bus departs when the bus departs. You’re either on it, or you’re not!



29 May 09

NTI, 2009, Harrisburg, PA:

This year’s NTI is winding down. I shot Main Events yesterday. Team, scenario-based Events are on Saturday morning.

Lots of good presentations by familiar sages, including Tom Givens’ wonderful review of actual shooting involving his students. Not to be missed!

This year, I fired the first three stages with my S&W 386NG, a scandium, seven-shot revolver, tuned for me by Master Revolversmith ( and good friend) Denny Reichert. Backup was my Taurus Judge, carried in Blackhawk’s wonderful shoulder-holster.

S&W Revolver was loaded w/Cor-Bon DPX 38Spl. I carried a single HKS speed-loader. Judge was loaded with Federal 410 000 Bk (four pellets). Guns and ammunition all ran fine.

Live-fire stages this year were:

Country Kitchen:

You enter a Country Kitchen in response to a call from your wife to meet her there.

I encountered several lethal threats upon entering and gunned them all down, but ran out of ammunition quickly. While behind cover and reloading my revolver, another threat emerged from a side-room and advanced on me. With no time to complete my reload, I abandoned my 386 and drew the Judge. A single discharge of 000 Bk instantly terminated the threat!

I then complete the reload I had started and, with no time to reholster the Judge, took it into my left hand, with my S&W still in my right! As I started moving once more, I encountered yet another threat at close range as I rounded a corner. I’m not sure exactly why, but I extended both revolvers and shot them simultaneously. The target crumpled precipitously!

A moment later, I confronted a man armed with a large knife at a range of ten feet. However, he was wearing a logo apron, and I concluded that he might just be a cook and thus represent no threat to me. A verbal interchange quickly confirmed that, and I commanded him to run out the back door and get out of my life, which he was more than happy to do!

In the restaurant, there were many non-targets, some seated and some standing. All had to be quickly scanned and evaluated as I was moving from cover to cover.

The lesson here was that one must keep moving, keep his head up, and, even when disposing of threats, always be looking for the next threat.

I love that smooth-shooting 386NG, but a seven-shooter runs out of ammunition pretty fast! Once again, I was reminded of the inherent advantages of sixteen-shooters!

Skills Demonstration:

In this Drill, each Practitioner is required to engage multiple targets from point-blank to six meters. All segments start from the draw

In one segment, when repeated hits to the torso are not forthcoming with good results, one must shift the point of impact to the head.

Again, I shot all segments with the S&W revolver. On one occasion, after running out of ammunition, I was compelled to default to my back-up pistol.

Office Party:

Here, you are invited to an office party, but you have no weapons on you. The rooms are full of party-goers, and suddenly there are loud, threatening voices and a single gunshot. There are two rooms. One is brightly lit and one is dim. You enter through the dim room. The exit is in the lighted room.

I saw one party-goer with a baseball bat. I shoved him aside and took the bat. No one else appeared to represent a threat, but there was a dead body with a pistol in his mouth. Likely suicide.

It was simply a matter of moving through minglers and getting to the exit. Upon exiting, I encountered a police officer who commanded me to drop the bat, which I did!

On the floor, there was a discharged Taser (non-police version). I decided it would be of no use to me, forgetting that I could still use it as a contact weapon in an effort to move people out of the way.

Gold Course:

You arrive at the Gold Course for a lunch-meeting with your wife. She is in a wheel chair. As I approach her car, I saw an RPG rocketing toward it! I moved as fast as I could away from the car and then ran toward the clubhouse in an effort to find my wife.

Upon arriving, she is seen in her wheelchair, flanked by two Kalashnikov-wielding terrorists. Around the corner of the building, and at a range of eight meters, I gunned down both terrorists. This time, I was using my SIG P250 (9mm) and Cor-Bon DPX 115gr ammunition.

I then see three more likewise-armed terrorists at a range of fifty meters and carefully engage each. It is a long shot, but my SIG had no difficulty.

Fifty meters is a long shot for most pistols and a skill that we ll need to practice now and then!


In this challenge, you enter the casino alone and try to, once again, rescue your wife from thugs and terrorists. In this drill you are in a multi-room building, set-up on a 360 degree range, so you can move and shoot in any direction.

Several times, I had to opportunity to shoot a armed thug in the back, as I saw him before he saw me. I did not hesitate!

One terrorist, bearing explosives, I was compelled to shoot in the brain-stem.

A number of my shots were one-handed, as I had to find, and then carry, my injured wife.

At one point, while moving backward, I tripped over a body and fell. No way to do this gracefully! I got up and continued.

This Drill always gets me in a high state of vigilance and aggressive movement. A door flung open to reveal a man with a pistol in his hand. Catching sight of his gun out of the corner of my eye, I spun and shot him instantly. Only then did I see that he was a uniformed security guard.

Such mistakes are easy. Too easy!

Train Station:

Finally, I am compelled to rescue another family member, this time at a train station. This is a rigorous and exhausting cover-and-movement drill, again 360 degrees!

At one moment, I was confronted by three lethal threats at once. As fast as I could, I moved and fired until I took out all three.

At another moment, I leaned against a wall, only to discover it was actually a door! It fell open, dumping me unceremoniously into the adjacent room. I rolled, recovered, and drove on. Again, in a fight, there is no time to feel sorry for yourself!

Be careful what you lean on!

Scenario-based Exercises:

In ATSA Village, we are exposed to four, confrontational incidents. Each Practitioner is equipped with a revolver and Simmunitons cartridges.

In most confrontations, aggressive verbiage and movement will suffice to get you successfully disengaged. In one case of the four, I was compelled to shoot my way out. I got shot once in the process. No matter how skillful you are, once shooting starts, there is a good chance you will be hit!

Tom Given’s advice rings true:

Be armed! Sometimes, lethal force is the only viable option. Have at least one high-powered pistol (loaded with high-performance ammunition) and at least one reload with you all the time. Deliberately not having that option available is equivalent to painting yourself into a corner.

Be alert! The sooner you get into the loop, the better choices you are going to make.

Hit! Hit first and hit fast. There is no substitute to personal competence and practiced weapons skills. Indecisive ditherers have no chance.

More later!



30 May 09

NTI, 2009

The NTI is over for another year!

This morning, we all participated in two scenario-based exercises where we were teamed-up with another Practitioner. Several husband/wife and father/son teams went through. I was teamed-up with long-time friend and gun-writer, Marty Topper.

In the first drill, you’re picking up your friend at a train station. The one who is there to pick up is armed. The one who just stepped off the train is not. I was the former. Marty, the latter.

Marty witnesses a murder just as he steps off the train. It happens right in front of him! A local thug, using a pistol, shoots a woman on the train platform. Unarmed, Marty is confronted by the suspect, but the suspect makes the mistake of waiving his pistol in Marty’s face. Marty quickly disarms him.

I hear the shot, but can’t see anything from where I am, so I draw my pistol and proceed in the direction of Marty’s voice. Upon making contact with Marty, the two of us hold the suspect at gunpoint, as Marty calls 911.

The suspect has his hands up and is not overtly threatening, but will not respond to our questions about other weapons and accomplices. Both Marty and I are paying too much attention to him and not to our surroundings!

Suddenly, a second suspect appears around a corner and shoots us both. Neither of us saw him in time!

Lesson here is: Don’t relax too soon! I thought Marty and I had the situation well in hand and thus failed to remain alert. Just about the time you think the crisis is over is the exact time you need to be most aware and quick-witted!

In the second exercise, the two of us go into a casino to apply for a job. Both of us are armed, but go into separate interview rooms. As I’m being interviewed by the casino’s human-resources manager, a disgruntled former employee bursts in and shoots him right in front of me, then runs away.

I draw my pistol as I grab the now-wounded human-resources manager with my other hand and drag him past the wall and to relative safety. I then pie the corner and see a number of people running about and screaming. A casino security guard, pistol in hand, appears, but himself is immediately shot by someone and goes down. I can’t determine where the shooter is.

Marty calls to me and we link-up and proceed toward the exit. Marty leads the way, and I cover the rear. Unfortunately, I did a poor job of rear-security! The shooter appears in a corridor and shoots me in the back, just as I exit the door!

Lesson: Once again, Don’t relax too soon!

In addition, partners have to work as a team! My job was to watch the rear as we moved toward the exit. Instead, I spread myself too thin and thus failed to see the threat until it was too late.

As always, this year’s NTI was a wonderful learning experience for all of us, and we profusely thank Skip, Jim, Hersh, and the entire NTI Team for their tireless efforts in putting all this together.

It is important to me to run myself through drills like those at the NTI, drills I didn’t set up and know nothing about in advance. It provides me with opportunities to honestly test and refine my personal tactics, experiment with tape-loops and tactical nuances, and actually fight with a variety of commonly-carried pistols.

The NTI is no place for the smug, narcissistic, nor ego-maniacal. However, all serious trainers, practitioners, and Students of the Art need to attend!

Google “American Tactical Shooting Association”



31 May 09

Another illusion of “safety” shattered. This from a friend and student on the East Coast:

“My neighbor’s home was invaded early this morning (Sunday) by three, armed intruders. His Escalade was subsequently stolen, then wrecked in a crash during a police chase. Police used the car’s OnStar to track the robbers. Two suspects were arrested. A third is still at large.

This incident took place in an upscale, gated community in the ‘high-rent’ part of town. I spoke with my neighbor this afternoon, and he is still severely shaken-up.

He was downstairs watching television. His wife had gotten up and had been out with the dogs, so the house’s alarm system was turned off. The dogs suddenly started yapping, but he assumed they were barking at a deer.

Then, three guys in masks come duck-walking into the room! One produced a pistol and held it to my neighbor’s head. His wife walked in to the room at that point, and they were both held at gunpoint.

My neighbor has had no serious defensive training and does not carry a gun, although he says he owns one.

My neighbor told the intruders that his Escalade was in the garage with the keys in it. The robbers then took several television sets, loaded them into the Escalade, and left abruptly, only to confront police less than an hour later.

My neighbors lived through this incident, through no fault of their own! They both could have been easily been murdered. They know full-well how lucky they are, and they’ve definitely had their illusion of security permanently dissolved!

During our conversation this afternoon, they earnestly asked me about guns and training. This time, it was not just a casual conversation, as it has always been in the past.

You’ll have both as students shortly!”

Lesson: There are no ”safe” places!

“Safety” by virtue of “gated communities,” alarm systems, even fast police response-times is all a collective illusion! When you are not continually equipped and prepared for an instant, precise, and lethal counterattack, any “safety” you’re imagining is a convenient fantasy.

Like cheap insurance, it all works just fine- until you have a claim!

Enjoy it while you can.