There is a Story afoot . . .



A story has attacked me . . . not sure where it's from, but I have been posting chapters as they come out of my fingers. Yes, I am still posting on firearms training and my new topic of basic prepping - all links are to the right of the blog, newest posts first on the lists. Feel free to ignore the story posts - they usually start with a chapter number. But, feel free to read the story as well and comment on it - I like how it's turning out so far! Links to the various chapters are at the right under . . .

The Story

Bill

Monday, December 31, 2012

Training - Reduced Prices for Teachers

 

Folks,

It is not my intent to enter into a prolonged discussion about the tragedy that occurred at the Sandy Hook elementary school at the end of 2012. It was an act of evil in its most pure form.

I am, however, firm in my belief that “Gun Free Zones” are nothing more than Free Fire Zones for those intent on killing the innocents of our world. The response time for local law enforcement was 20 minutes – very quick by almost any standard. Yet infinitely slow as the killer walked among children unopposed. When presented with an armed response from the police – this evil took his own life, a blessing for all.

What would have happened if he had been presented with armed resistance from the first moments? If a number of school staff members had received training and were carrying concealed firearms? I believe that the outcome would have been much different.

To that end, throughout 2013, e.IA.f.t. will be offering the NRA Basic Pistol course at our cost to teachers and administrators. The course material costs $10 and a range fee of $20 is charged for the pistol range we use. A teacher’s total course cost will be $30.

This course meets all requirements for the Iowa Concealed Carry permit. It will provide those unfamiliar with handguns a solid introduction of their safe handling and proper use. It is NOT the be-all, end-all of defensive handgun training, but it is a very good start.

A teacher or administrator must be actively teaching or working in a day-care, elementary, middle or high-school setting and you must present a current school ID from your employer to receive this course pricing.

I am NOT advocating that all teachers carry a concealed weapon. I AM advocating that those that wish to, that have made a personal commitment to stand between evil and the children they teach and have made the commitment to train in the use of a handgun, be allowed to do so.

If you have any interest in one of our NRA Basic Pistol Courses, or if you would like to set up a group training, please contact me at my email address - wkeller@eiaft.com.

Sincerely,

Bill

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Home Defense – Engagements

 

Engagement:

1: an arrangement to meet or be present at a specified time and place

2: a job or period of employment especially as a performer

3: the act of engaging, the state of being engaged

4: emotional involvement or

5: Betrothal

6: the state of being in gear

7: a hostile encounter between military forces

The word “engagement” seems to find its way into many discussions regarding the confrontation of a threat and the exchange of gunfire. It sounds so much more professional than “holy crap this dude bashed in my door and started blastin’ and I started blastin’ and the lead was flyin’ and . . . and . . .”. Well, you get the idea. Yet, many times it sounds “soft” to me and rather disengaged. A firefight, in a confined space, is anything but “soft” or disengaged. It is a fight for your very survival, your very existence – it is so much more intense that an “engagement”. So let’s talk a bit about what happens when your defensive perimeter fails and you are facing an armed threat intent on taking your property and one that has no problem taking your life in the bargain as well.

We have chatted about Exterior and Interior perimeters. Now, let’s talk about “engaging” a threat in those two combat areas.

Exterior Engagements:

Once you begin a firefight there are a couple of basics to keep in mind. THOSE ARE REAL BULLETS THAT ARE FLYING. Everyone sent your way is with the express intent of putting you in a Ziploc. Keep your frickin’ head in the game!

Cover is your friend: Unless you are just caught flat footed, get your butt behind real cover - thick trees, an engine block, a concrete wall, a ditch. Your kid’s slide, the flower box, the hedge – while keeping you out of sight of your threat – will allow the bullets they are throwing your way easy access to YOUR center mass. Find Cover – and use it!

You own every round: Every bullet that leaves your muzzle has YOUR name on it. If it passes by the threat and enters your neighbor’s home and kills their newborn – you have a real problem.

Be clear on your purpose: Your purpose is to “stop the threat” – when they have packed it in and are running from your property – DO NOT “finish the job” by putting a round in their back. Your job is done and shooting a fleeing intruder will not end well with you.

Your Vulnerability Increases: When you are engaging a threat outside your home, you are much more vulnerable to attack from multiple directions. You are much better off to protect a defensive position within your home where you can control the line of attack much more closely than you can in the middle of your back yard.

When do I engage outside my home? Just a general statement – these are MY THOUGHTS. They represent my approach to a threat within my exterior perimeter. They are not God’s word set in stone. I would engage a threat outside my home if I am attacked as I step outside or if someone in my family is attacked outside my home. I would NOT attack an intruder outside my home as they approached my home. I would turn on lights, call the police, move to our safe spot in the house and NOT engage them unless or until they had actually penetrated my home and entered my Interior Perimeter.

Interior Engagements:

The threat is determined enough that they have weighted the risks and decided to actually enter your home to take what they want and perhaps harm you as well. Still, there is some commonality between an Exterior and an Interior engagement.

Cover is still your friend: One more time – THOSE ARE REAL FRICKIN’ BULLETS THAT ARE FLYING. THEY CAN KILL YOU!! Keep your head in the game. Know where cover is in your home and understand that the sofa, recliner, fridge, stove, plasterboard wall are simply impediments to the bullet flying your way – they will do little to actually stop it from killing you. However, a brick wall, large bedroom dresser, solid steel door, water bed, filled freezer will go a lot farther in stopping a bullet from ripping a hole through your chest.

You still own every round: Regardless of Exterior or Interior engagement – YOU STILL OWN EVERY BULLET. Given your family situation (kids still home, friends staying over, just you, just you and a spouse/partner/girlfriend/boyfriend) you MUST KNOW WHERE EVERYONE IS before you send a round downrange!

Pick a spot and build your defenses: Ideally, you will have some warning – sound of breaking glass or a door being kicked in. If it is at all possible, move to your “spot” with the rest of the residents of the house, call the police and prepare to defend the entry point into the room. There is little value in “saving” your TV by leaving your “spot” to protect your stuff. Stuff can be replace – you? Not so much. I would leave to get a family member – but that’s about it.

Get the Cops on the phone: Do this EARLY. Leave the line OPEN. Describe in detail the actions you are taking, where you are in the house, that you are armed and what you are armed with. If you hear an intruder announce in a LOUD VOICE that you are armed, that you have phoned the police and that you will shoot them if they step through the door! DO NOT LET THE POLICE TELL YOU HOW TO DEFEND YOUR LIFE!!!! If you feel that you are in mortal danger – shoot! Do not wait to bet permission. You are on-site, the 911 operator is not.

Rule 4: Don’t kill a son or daughter coming home late.

Commit to Live: Your mindset is more important than the weapon in your hand. When faced with an attacker you have two choices – live or die. CHOOSE TO LIVE – CHOOSE TO FIGHT!!! With every weapon at your disposal – your handgun/carbine/shotgun. A kitchen knife. A ball bat. A hockey stick. A lamp. I don’t give a damn what the weapon is – just that you use it with all your strength to stop your attacker. You could have a SAW and yet know you were doomed – and chance would be good that you’d die. YOU must choose to fight. YOU must choose to live – no one can do that for you and no trainer can “train it into you”.

Whether inside our outside, an “engagement” with a determined threat is an existential event. You will either live through it or you will die. There is every chance someone is going to have a very bad night.

I’ve said this plenty, but I will repeat it yet again . . .

You have all the time in the world NOW to train, prepare, plan . . . .

. . . . do it! Make damn sure is isn’t YOU that have the bad night . . . .

Friday, December 28, 2012

Commentary – Drawing “A Line In The Sand”

 

The “gunnie” blogs are alight today regarding Senator Diane Feinstein’s pledge to introduce a new gun control bill on January 3rd – the first day of the new Congress. You can see the details she has chosen to release here. At first glance, the Senator appears to be intent on eliminating any weapon in the AR/AK format as well as virtually all semi-automatic pistols that have removable magazines. This is a stunning over-reach of Congressional power. I find it even especially vile because it trades on the death and tragedy in Sand Hook and the lives and blood of innocent children and their teachers.

Bottom line, I suspect the chance of passage through both the Senate and the House is slim to none. And . . . . yet . . . . we have all seen acts by this current Congress, this current President that have (and continue to) rock our nation’s very foundation.

This cannot continue without limit.

With this latest assault on our Constitution – the direct attack on the Second Amendment and the right of each and every American to defend themselves, their family and their friends . . . . I wonder. Have we reached that “Line In The Sand” moment where Americans need to plant their feet and simply say – “No!”

Drawing “A Line In The Sand” – the phrase is bantered about frequently. But, just what does it truly mean? What are its origins and if a line is to be drawn – what are the limits/parameters of this line? My research turned up a number of possible origins – here is my favorite:

One possible origin dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. It seems that one of the Macedonian kings, a bit short of cash, decided to invade Egypt, then a Roman protectorate. His army was met at the border by a lone Roman senator named Popillius Laenas, who ordered the king to withdraw. The king began to stall for time, so Popillius Laenas drew a circle in the sand around the king and demanded that the king agree to withdraw his army before he stepped out of the circle. The king, apparently impressed by the senator's nerve (or, more likely, by the Roman Empire in general), withdrew. Incidentally, not only is this account verified by contemporary historians, but it also may be the only known instance of a line drawn in the sand actually stopping someone.

In the context of the current state of affairs in our government – especially regarding the renewed attacks on the 2nd Amendment and the looming tragedy that is our national debt (currently in excess of $16 TRILLION) I believe it is time for individual Americans to draw their personal “Lines in the Sand” and decide on their actions accordingly.

Regarding Senator Feinstein’s legislation that will be introduced on January 3rd, 2013 there is a simple answer: “No!” I will not sell my weapons back, I will continue to purchase high capacity magazines for both my rifles and handguns, I will continue to carry concealed each and every day regardless of the rants and anti-constitutional legislation passed by our current host of legislators. Nor will I hide my weapons or my point of view. If I am to be criminalized – let’s make it a public affair and allow the rest of the country witness the birth of the next level of our slow march to a police state.

There is one other act that plays into this pending drama (I say pending because there is a snowball’s chance in hell of passing her legislation) is an oath that I took 5 times in my life:

“I, William Keller, having been appointed a Captain (yep, went from and E5 to O3 in 30 minutes) in the United States Air Force, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

I have never met an Officer that did not view their Oath as a life-long oath of service to their country. For me, it is an inflexible part of my being – both the defense of our country from enemies that seek to do us harm and to the Constitution – the foundation, the bedrock of our republic.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Seems a stunningly clear “Line in the Sand”. I pray the collective sense of our nation will hold our legislators to account. If not, the only option available is civil disobedience. As another Captain put it so clearly – “I am to misbehave”.

The second “Line in the Sand” is presented by our $16 Trillion in national debt. It is unsustainable and we are faced with a government that sees higher taxes and the punishment of the capitalist as the solution to all national ills. I have watched for decades – looking for a glimmer of hope that someone would provide a solution. A foolish waste of time. Spending is the cancer that is destroying the future for our children and grandchildren. And, while the government struggles for solution, the capitalist is providing it . . . . . we are simply withholding our capital – starving the cancer that threatens to destroy our nation.

It’s simple really – companies are simply not hiring, not expanding, not replacing equipment, not increasing salaries . . . . . and, as a result, government income has begun to dip when viewed in either constant dollars or as a percentage of GDP. With the on-going policies of the Obama Administration, at the end of his second 4-year term, our national debt may well exceed $22TRILLION. This will drive more dollars away from the government accelerating the debt and reducing options. The end game?? Painful choices, actions chosen by fear rather than reason and a citizenry that will have to fend for themselves until this is sorted out and those currently in power are replaced by people who can remember that they are in service to US, not we to them.

Two lines . . . . each crucial in their own way.

I urge you to consider your choices, plan accordingly and look to your family’s wellbeing . . .

. . . . there’s a storm comin’.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Just the Basics - Home Defense – Weapons

 

The bottom line with weapons is that ANYTHING can be used as a weapon – it just depends on the circumstances. I want to discuss the three basic defensive weapons most people choose – then offer some thoughts about “at hand” weapons when you are caught without a firearm.

The three basic defensive weapons most people turn to are a pistol, carbine or shotgun . Each has advantages and disadvantages, each have multiple configurations and each will “do the job”. Let’s talk about them for a bit.

Defensive Handgun: A defensive handgun is probably the weapon you are most familiar with. For me the weapon at my bedside is the weapon on my hip each and every day – a Glock 17. The advantage to having your carry weapon as your primary defensive weapon at home is that this is the weapon you have chosen as your “go-to” gun to protect yourself, your family or friends when you are “out and about”. Presumably, this weapon gets a great workout on the range on a frequent basis. It is well maintained, always loaded and its use and function have become integrated into your body.

If some of these statements don’t “ring true” for you – if you do not shoot your carry weapon frequently, if you can’t quickly clear malfunctions, if you don’t strip it down and clean it frequently – I would urge you to change your habits or your weapon. Do whatever it takes to learn the use of this defensive tool.

The traditional argument between revolvers and semi-automatic pistols also enters the fray here as well. I tend towards a semi-automatic pistol because the volume of ammunition in the weapon and the ease of reloads is attractive to me. That does not mean that a person familiar with revolvers – and with a number of loaded speed-loaders – can’t be just as effective as I when defending their home against an armed intruder. Use the weapon you are most familiar with and – I would add – the one you carry daily.

Handgun Ammunition: Rule number four: “Always know what is in front of – and behind – your target.”  This is especially true in a home defense situation. There are innumerable stories of fathers killing sons who snuck in the house unexpectedly. Either the son didn’t identify themselves and make their presence known or the father shot before truly identifying his target. A tragedy with life-long consequences.

Just as important is to be CERTAIN of your fields of fire, the location of all family members and the capability of the ammunition in your handgun. Once all family members are accounted for and your field of fire is clear then – and only then – should you engage a mortal threat.

There is a broad range of ammunition available for personal defense. In general the bullet the casing holds can be lumped into two primary categories – solid lead and “hollow-point”.

Solid lead bullets: These are simply “balls” of lead that, when entering a body, will expend energy as they pass through the body creating damage and a wound channel. There is typically little deformation of the bullet and the wound channel is limited to the diameter of the bullet plus a bit of expansion due to the kinetic energy of the bullet. They have great penetration capability and can easily total penetrate a person plus a couple of walls or house siding. For defensive purposes in general – and especially within a home – this is not the best choice of defensive bullet.

Hollow-Point Bullets: These are also lead bullets but with a cone-shaped hole in the end of the bullet. With many they are also scored to insure uniform expansion and many times the outside is coated with a bonded layer of copper.  Many new rounds are filled with a pliable rubber material to fill the cavity in the end of the bullet to make sure the bullet does not expand while penetrating a couple layers of clothing.

There are a couple of advantages to a hollow-point bullet; they are designed to expand quickly to approximately twice the diameter of the bullet. This increases the size of the wound channel doing more damage to the threat. And, it allows more energy to bleed off the bullet quicker helping to insure that the bullet remains inside the threat rather than exiting only to pass through a wall or another person. Hollow points are typically the round of choice for a defensive handgun.

Do your research, talk to knowledgeable professionals in your area and then choose a defensive round that will meet your needs best.

Flashlight / Weapon Light: A flashlight of some type is a must in a home defense situation. The power may be our, your power may be cut, the breakers may be thrown . . . and you’re in the dark. In this case you have two primary choices – a hand-held flashlight or a weapon mounted light. Again, pros and cons for each choice.

A hand-held flashlight offers you the maximum flexibility. You can momentarily flick it on to look into a room or down a hall. It can be flashed on a ceiling to provide illumination of an entire room. It can even act as a secondary weapon. This is my personal choice in my home, a separate hand-held flashlight.

A weapon mounted light insures the threat you are attempting to identify can be illuminated while you have two hands on your gun. I like that. But, what ever you want to “light up” will be muzzled by your handgun – and that could be a “friendly”. I don’t like that.

Make your choice, give them a try, do a couple of “dry runs”. Remember, attempting to stop an intruder in a dark house can be a real bear . . . . .

Defensive Carbine: These have really gained in popularity over the years. The new adjustable stock, 16” barrel carbines provide a powerful, large capacity weapon with plenty of stopping power for any type of threat in a very compact form factor.

There are a number of things that I believe are real considerations for their use inside your home.

It takes more space to maneuver around with a carbine than a pistol. It is very easy to expose your barrel to the inside of a room well before you are in a position to engage a threat inside the room. They are “two handed” weapons meaning that weapon lights are typical the choice – easily leading to muzzling “friendlies’. And, when opening doors, you will have to take one hand off your weapon – not a good idea going into a room with a potential bad guy

The ammunition tends to be FMJ rounds which will have significant penetrating power and the ability to span the threat as well as interior walls quite easily.

Again, if you are intent on using your carbine as your home defense weapon, train with it. “Clear” your home, get used to its weapons light, wear a sling to aid in retention. And, work through any difficulties you find before you actually have to defend your turf.

Defensive Shotgun: “Why, I’ll just let’em have it with a load of double-ought buckshot!! That’ll fix’em!!!” Yep, probably true, and it may well penetrate an interior wall or two as well. The allure of shotguns is the mental image of a massive load of pellets bringing down the most aggressive intruder. While that may be true, you have all the same considerations with a shotgun that you did with a carbine – they are physically large (in fact they would typically be much longer than a carbine), they require two hands, they would probably require a weapon-mounted light. Movement within your home would be made much more difficult simply because of its size.

Defensive Shotgun Ammunition: This would typically fall into three categories – slugs, buckshot and birdshot. A shotgun slug consists of a sizable chunk of lead with substantial muzzle velocity as it leaves the barrel. Again, you are left with a penetration problem – the slug would easily completely penetrate the threat and keep right on going. You may well run into the same issue with buckshot – especially with shot that missed the threat. Bird shot offers the benefit of substantial stopping power and “shock factor” while limiting the possibility of penetration of other rooms by pellets that missed your threat.

Your “battle buddy”: With the exception of the single home/apartment dweller, you will not be the only person in the home. There may well be a partner, spouse or child that is depending on you for their defense. Or, they may be able to provide backup to you in your defense. We’ll talk about the specifics of this more when we get to the “Engagements” post, but there is one thing I want to address here – weapons training for other people in your home is a must. This past year, children as young as 12 have found it necessary to defend their lives with firearms. I find this a sad commentary on the state of civilization in the US – and commend the parents that loved their child enough to insure they could protect themselves. If you have firearms in your home for personal defense – make sure everyone old enough to handle the firearm is fully trained in firearm safety and trained in your weapon’s use.

A final topic – weapons at hand: If a bad guy comes bursting through your front door, you may have little or no time to make it to your defensive position within your home. If you have chosen to NOT wear your weapon at home (yet another reminder – WEAR YOUR DAMN GUN), you will have to make do with what is at hand. If you have developed a habit of carrying secondary EDC weapons in your pockets (knife, defensive pen or flashlight), now would be a good time to “load and make ready” – draw your knife and flashlight and use them to fight for your life – because HELP IS NOT COMING! Look around, what else can you use? A lamp, fireplace tool, ball bat, knife from the kitchen . . . . there are weapons at hand to use, you simply never think of them that way. Next evening you are stretched out in your recliner, look around the room – what would you use if a bad guy burst through the door . . . . . right . . . . . NOW!!!!

Your home is your sanctuary – that place on the planet where you deserve to be safe. And yet, evil exists and cares little about what is right or wrong.

You have all the time in the world – now – to prepare . . . .

Got your gun on ya?????

Thursday, December 20, 2012

For Old NFO . . . . . Da Tree . . . .

 

I’ll join the gang . . . . . Here’s our efforts being topped by Ms. A and Ms. E with the help of “The Boy”.  A fine time was had by all!!

DSC_0226

Merry Christmas everyone – may we all be blessed with the Peace of God’s love and find hope in His vision for mankind!!

Into the eye of the storm . . . .

 

Heavy sigh . . . . “Duke:????  Really???? What kinda name is that for a kick-butt winter storm??????  Frickin’ “Duke”??

UPDATE:  The daughter unit informs me the storm is named “DRACO” not Duke.  Ah . . . . that’s so frickin’ much better . . . . . . .

Last month on my way to a new customer in PA I drove into the teeth of “Sandy”.  Holy crap!!  50-60mph winds, driving rain – interesting.

So, they had their the one-month follow-up visit this week. I headed home mid morning – made it to western Ohio.  At home??  Over a foot of snow, trees that were first covered in ice that seem to be loosing limbs and taking out power, 50+ mph wind, closed roads . . . . yep, interesting.

So, early tomorrow I’ll take a shot at making it past Chicago and on to home. 

So, when you take a trip like this, what should you take?  For me I took a fully loaded “boogie bag” (small 2-man tent and an extra sleeping bag for my shelter with the rest of the list less com gear) and my every day “car survival kit”.  They’ll stay in the Jeep through the rest of the winter.  Be careful out there, keep your head in the game, pack your boogie bag and throw it in the car. 

Then, get your job done, it’s just “winter” giving you a bit of a “love tap”!

Training - AR-15 .223 Carbine / Colt .22 Tactical Trainer

 

Nothing can take the place of range time. While I actively promote dry-fire LaserLyte range time as many times a week as you can fit it – it still does not replace a couple hour range session where you can move/draw/engage a threat with multiple rounds. Still, time constraints and ammunition costs can certainly conspire to make this a difficult goal to attain. Depending on your range/carry weapon, if you are shooter intent on honing your skill – handgun ammunition can cost between. $.24 to $.50 per round. It adds up quick.

I have long spoke of my fondness for a Ruger .22/45. Their touch and feel mirror a 1911, weight is similar and I find that it works well to simulate my Glock 17 as well. Ammunition costs?? It’s more on to order of $.08 per round. That is much easier on the wallet with little or no degradation in training quality.

Step up to an AR platform – and you face many of the same issues when it comes to the cost of ammunition. The ammunition for my Panther Arms Oracle .223 runs around $.37 per round (at least today - 12/19/2012). While many skills need to be practiced with your primary defensive weapon – many can be worked on with a good quality simulation. My choice has been the Colt .22 Tactical trainer for the past few years.

Orcale and Colt 22

Let’s talk about weapon specific skills first, and then work up to a few more general drills.

Stance: I use a modified weaver as my base-platform for all three common defensive weapons – pistol, carbine and shotgun. (I’ve described this a number of time – just look back through my posts) As you become more proficient with your carbine, you can begin to add in the use of your handgun as a secondary weapon – incorporating both into your shooting drills.

Malfunction Drills: Whether pistol or carbine, there are the same possibilities for ammunition malfunctions – Misfire, Hang Fire, Squib Load. Clearing for these are also the same – Slap, Rack, Shoot for the Misfire and Hang Fire. And, the bullet from the Squib Load will need to be driven back into the breech with a sturdy rod.

Mechanical Failures also follow those in a semi-automatic pistol – Failure to Feed, Failure to Eject, Double Feed and Brass Over Bolt.

The most common cause of a failure to fire is that you are simply “out”. A quick tilt of your weapon so you can see if your bolt is locked back can tell you if you are trying to shoot with an empty magazine. Eject your empty magazine, insert a fresh one and press the bolt release – then re-engage your threat. Failure to Feed is most frequently caused by an improperly seated magazine. Slap,Rack,Shoot will clear this.

A second possibility is a damaged magazine – eject the faulty magazine, lock the bolt back, replace your defect magazine and press your bolt release to bring your carbine back into battery.

A Double Feed is the same in your carbine as in your semi-automatic pistol. A casing fails to eject and another round attempts to feed into a full chamber. Lock your bolt back and drop your magazine. Use our finger to clear your breech of the round trying to feed. Press the bolt release, perform a Rack, Rack, Rack and check if clear. If not, use your fingers or an AR tool to remove the faulty casing/round. Insert a new magazine, press the bolt release and re-engage your threat.

A Failure to Eject clears as with your semi-automatic pistol – Slap, Rack, Shoot should bring you back into battery.

And, finally, a “new one” – Brass Over Bolt. Either an unfired round or a poorly ejected casing becomes jammed between the bolt and the charging handle. Drop your magazine, lock the bolt back and slam the charging handle forward. This will typically dislodge the Brass Over Bolt malfunction and drop it out of your magazine well. Insert a new magazine, press the bolt release and re-engage your threat.

Obviously, these malfunctions MUST be worked on with your primary defensive weapon. Clearing actions should simply “happen”. As with your semi-automatic pistols – take the time to inject failures into your drills – either through the use of dummy rounds, or by disengaging your magazine or inserting an empty casing in your chamber.

Once you are past these issues, and have become proficient with your carbine, you can begin to work on various drills with either your defensive carbine or your trainer carbine (in my case, the Colt .22 Tactical).

Primary Weapon Configuration: A couple things need to be clear in your mind at this point. What distance are you looking to prepare for as you engage a threat. I expect most to be within 50m with a possibility of needing to reach out to 100m and perhaps out to 200m on a rare occasion. To prepare my Oracle for this range of fire, I mounted front and rear flip-up sights and an EOTech 517 as my holographic sight. I sighted the weapon in at 100 yards which gives me a target area of 2.5 inches at a range of 0 – 200m. More than accurate enough to be combat effective over that range.

The iron sights provide both a “peep” sight for long-range engagements as a larger diameter aperture for close-range rapid engagements. Add to this the EOTech provides rapid acquisition of a threat and aligns with the red dot settled nicely at the top of the front post when sighted through the “peep” sight. With this prep-work complete, you are now ready to work a number of engagement drills from the 50m to 50ft range.

Training Weapon Configuration: I set up the Colt .22 Tactical rifle in the same fashion. It comes with front post and a rear sight as part of a carry handle mounted on a flat-top rail. I removed this, replaced it with a flip-up rear sight and a Truglo Red Dot sight. This provides me an economical configuration that is roughly equivalent to the Oracle configuration I have set up. In the end, I have a .22 Tactical carbine that can be used to run the same set of drills from 50m to 50ft without the expense of .223 ammunition.

Carbine Drills:

Targets: I have a fondness for two different silhouette targets for the range. One is an FBI Q target, the other a SWAT training target. You can find a link to both here. They provide a number of target areas - small sized triangles, squares and circles. And, larger body-mass targets allowing you to estimate whether you are achieving combat effective hits.

Center Mass Engagements: When you engage a threat, your purpose is to find the “off switch”. These are typically found near the heart, lungs or spinal column. Drills are simple. From the low ready – use a timer – come up on the tone and complete 2-4 round engagements. You will see three primary target areas – a center mass square, and abdominal square and a triangular head shot. Work these with your engagements.

Marksmanship Drills: The circles, squares and triangles around the outside of the silhouette are useful for marksmanship drills. Again, at the tone, engage these smaller targets randomly with single to multiple rounds. ACCURACY COUNTS.

Cognition Drills: Perform these with a shooting buddy. From the low ready, have them call out a target area, the order and the number of rounds. Then, on the command “UP”, or “SHOOT” or “FIGHT” – engage the threat.

At this point, the differences between your defensive weapon and your trainer begin to fade. Stance, threat acquisition, Center Mass Engagements, Marksmanship Drills, Cognition Drills are virtually identical for either weapon. However, your range costs drop dramatically with a .22 Tactical trainer. Lower costs typically equate to more range time. More range time makes you a more lethal shooter and a more accurate one.

As with a defensive handgun and an equivalent trainer – I highly recommend you find a .22 training weapon similar to your primary defensive carbine. Equip it in a similar fashion as your defensive carbine and then hit the range.

If you have found it necessary to use your defensive carbine to protect yourself, your family or your friends – the wheels have come off your wagon in a serious way! Your purpose is to hit your threat fast, hard and accurately . . . .

Nothing insures your success . . . .

But range time does a great deal to make you quick . . . .

Rather than dead.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Commentary – We Stand Before Evil

 

20 minutes . . . . .

Please, think about that . . . .

20 minutes . . . .

Time enough for an espresso and conversation with a good friend . . . .

Time enough for a “long” morning snuggle with your child or grandchild or spouse . . . .

Time enough to walk down the aisle, greet the love of your life and become life-long mates . . . .

Time enough for evil to walk into a quiet community elementary school and slaughter 27  -  teachers and their charges . . . .

20 minutes . . . .

Or . . . .

The time it takes for an armed response to a shooter in that same quiet community . . . .

It seems the jackals (ok, ok – I’m kinda pissy about the anti-crowd right now) are out it full force. They are determined to take away my fully automatic weapon (really?????), limit the size of my “clips”, ban pistols with removable magazines (can you say Glock, M&P, 1911 . . . .???) . . . . . the 24/7 mutters, grumbles and snarls about my exercising my 2nd Amendment rights is filled with ignorance, fallacies and emotional appeal fully framed in the slaughter of innocence and the frantic despair of the parents, family and community.

And . . . . when all is said and done . . . . their words change NOTHING . . . . not a single fricking thing . . . .

I have no idea why you are reading this blog, why you train, if you carry . . . . but I have my suspicions.

The reason is simple really . . . . We Stand Before Evil.

The elephant in the room in this tragic situation is that there is no amount of rules, regulations or new laws that can protect our children from evil. Or the customers in the local theater, big box store or even their house of worship. And still, while politicians posture, we know what our personal decision has been. We . . . . YOU . . . . ME . . . . we are the last line of defense between evil and our children, our family and our friends. We fill that 20 minute gap – armed, trained, prepared, determined. We take the place of a Principal – unarmed by the chattering classes – and engage a mortal threat. We stand in the stead of an unarmed counselor to protect those around us. We protect a young first grade teacher rather than have her pleas for mercy met by a burst of gunfire.

We . . . . YOU . . . . I choose to stand before evil.

20 minutes . . . .

Time is important . . . . especially when it comes to defending your life or the lives of family and friends. 20 minutes for help to arrive . . . . . you can do better. How could you use 20 minutes – every day – to make sure you are the best warrior you can be, to make sure when you stand before evil – you are the one that walks away. Some suggestions:

Exercise: If you can’t move, run, focus, get your fat butt between you and the intended victim – you will fail. 20 minutes, 3x a week will do wonders for you.

Dry fire draws: I’ve been hammering on the use of a LaserLyte round and dry-fire draws in the morning. Honestly, 3 days a week seems to be my average – 20 minutes, 25 draws and first round engagements. You will be amazed how much things “smooth out”.

Read: There are a number of great authors and trainers that have good, valuable knowledge to pass on to you. Crack a book – learn something new every day.

Clean your weapon: Nothing is more unsettling that drawing your carry weapon, pressing the trigger and . . . . CLICK! Shoot it, clean it, use it – as though your life depends on it . . . . because it does.

MOVE!!!: Get out of your “lane”. I know this is hard – I know the restrictions on so many ranges. But folks, you must find a range where you can draw from concealment, move your damn feet and engage a threat. You. Must. Do. This. For at least 20 minutes of some of your range trips.

Use a different weapon: Comfort with your own weapon – and intimate knowledge of it – is simply a must. But during your next range trip with your shooting buddy, ask him to swap with you for a couple of magazines. Become comfortable with a wide variety of weapons that may find their way into your hand. If you can’t make it go BANG . . . . you go home in a Ziploc.

Share your stories: For many of you, your reason for carrying a weapon is deeply personal. Share it. Don’t allow the media’s stereotypical description of a person who carries become the norm and a definition of you.

Defend your decision: You carry with a purpose. Defend your right to protect yourself, your family and your friends. Write an article for a local paper. Share your thoughts with your Facebook friends. Write your elected officials. Let them know how important your 2nd Amendment right is to you.

Hug your children . . . . your wife/husband/partner . . . . time is short, even if things go well.

Pray: Find a method of prayer that works for you – there are many. Take time to develop your relationship with God. I’d like to say I have this part of my life well in hand . . . . and yet it always feels like a work in progress. Many days my prayer is simply “Please?” or just a simple “Thank You.”

None of these suggestions will tax a 20 minute time limit . . . . incorporate them into your life.

20 minutes . . . . such a very short time . . . .

To prepare to stand before evil . . . .

One final reminder . . . .

Wear your damn gun!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Commentary – Renewing Our Spirit – 30 Days Of Reflection

 

January 15th – February 15th 2012

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It seems my mind will not let Sandyhook go today. We learned names today, ages, that there were boys and girls and women who were called to be teachers of our children. We learned that heroes don’t always where plates, helmets and carry M4s – sometimes they are young, beautiful and willingly sacrifice themselves for those they teach and love. How do we, as a nation, respond to this?

Those looking to make our individual security yet another “entitlement” have not even let the families collect their dead, grieve and commend their bodies to the soil. They have taken to their soap boxes, declared that the solution is the elimination of “assault weapons”, “automatic weapons”, “large capacity magazines”, “heavy caliber weapons” . . . . the list of “dangerous weapons” and “quick solutions” are endless.

And still I cannot let Sandyhook go today . . . .

So I have a proposal. I suppose, being an “old fart”, these learned politicians will smirk, smile and “tut-tut” my offering . . . . and still I cannot let Sandyhook go today . . . . so I offer my simple start . . . .

I wish to “Renew Our Spirit” – and by spirit I mean our national soul. That part of us that knows right from wrong, that sees divine providence in our creation as a nation, that remembers what the flag stands for and what it has cost us through the generations.

I suggest we do this through “30 Days of Reflection”. While our children spend 13 years in the primary school system and 4-8 more in search of advanced degrees – I want our nation to set aside 15 minutes per day, for 30 days to reflect on two specific items and to do it in a specific way.

I want our school aged children to begin their school day with the Lord’s Prayer. When asked by His disciples how they should talk to God, Jesus offered a simple prayer – saying we should begin with the words “Our Father” . . . . Think of the power our children would gain coming to know God as their Father. Yes, yes, yes . . . . I know – First Amendment – and yet – I am not suggesting that we generate a law “respecting the establishment of a religion”. I am suggesting that we remind (teach) our children that our founders recognized a higher power and that they believed they were answerable to that power. It teaches faith, forgiveness, the dangers of being tempted, that evil exists. It also teaches the existence of a divine being who is viewed by the majority of American people to be our creator and their Father.

This would be followed by “The Pledge of Allegiance To The Flag”. It will offer our children a time to remember the flag’s purpose and what it represents. From the number of states in the Union to the blood spent to establish and preserve it. It would remind our students that a Union at war with itself, a culture at war with itself, a country torn apart by the politics of party, of race and of class is a country in decline and destined for the dustbin of history.

30 days – out of their first 13+ years of education to renew their spirit and that of our nation.

Why January 15th?? It will allow families to bury their dead and mourn their lose. It will allow the celebration of Christmas and New Years and wait until our kids return to class – refocused for the remainder of the year. It will allow us as parents, grandparents and citizens to prepare to share our thoughts and hearts with our children regarding our current path as a nation and what it will take to change direction. And, it will allow 30 days of focused attention at some of the core reasons for our decent into this particular hell.

As you read this modest proposal – notice the objections that come to mind . . . . that is a hint as to how badly we have lost our way as a people and a nation.

We must correct our course . . . .

We must gather ourselves and our children together . . . .

We must “Renew Our Spirit” as a nation . . . .

Or we will be forever lost in the violence of Sandyhook . . . .

Your thoughts????

Commentary - Sandyhook, the Siren’s Song

 

I’m not sure evil can be, or is meant to be, “understood”. The media, the officers in charge of investigating this tragedy and the politicians stand on podiums filled with their positions and their importance . . . . . and say what?????

The media breathlessly speak of the violence, the tragedy, the heart wrenching quality of the photos of parents and friends reeling from the deaths of children and friends . . . .

The investigators – some desperately trying to maintain their composure – talk of crime scenes, dead children, “safety measures” that had recently been put in place . . .

And politicians seemly lick their chops at yet another opportunity to fulfill a long-held desire to finally make all Americans submit to the “safety of the state” rather than allowing them the freedom to protect themselves . . . .

Yet none even acknowledge the root cause of this tragedy . . . . evil.

Our country has been on a decade’s long march to eliminate “good” from our society. When I was in elementary school those many decades ago we began each day by rising next to our desk, folding our hands and bowing our heads and reciting the Lord’s Prayer (in our public school), a constant reminder that our nation was a gift from God and a humble request that He maintain a watch over our country. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag – our solemn oath to our flag, our nation and our country’s purpose in history.

We were watched and protected by teachers with what my mom lovingly described as a “firm hand” which I experienced at times on the seat of my pants.

An acknowledgement of God, an expectation of good behavior, a belief in a country’s founding principles and destiny . . . . an immersion in “good”.

Things have changed. God no longer finds a place in public schools . . . . or public property . . . . or public squares . . . . or in red suits with kettles in front of stores . . . . or in greeting cards . . . . or in the meaning of words like “Holiday” rather than “Christmas” . . . .

Our entertainment is filled with crass remarks, foul language, gratuitous violence and raw sexual pleasure . . . . Old fashioned qualities of a husband’s strength (of course, we no longer “need” husbands), a wife’s love, a full day’s work, a Sunday spent at worship . . . . these are left to the Hallmark Channel while surrounded by death and destruction.

Our political arena is filled with talk of voting out of “revenge”. We see vendors and news reporters beaten by union thugs because of voter’s decisions. He hear speeches expressing raw anger because a business owner is successful and demands that their success be taken from them and distributed to the “less fortunate”.

And we wonder . . . . how could such evil as displayed at Sandyhook even exist???

Really??? Really???

Nature abhors a vacuum. When faith in a higher power is eliminated, when faith in a country’s birth and destiny destroyed, when an expectation of success is removed, when the concept of “family” is shattered, when self-reliance is replaced by dependence it is replaced by something else.

It is replaced by the vanity of self-importance, the folly of an accidental founding, the “knowledge” that everyone will “pass”, the belief that families have no need for strong fathers or loving mothers and that the government will take care of us all.

When the space filled with “good” is hollowed out and emptied . . . .

There are other beliefs ready and waiting to fill a gullible public’s mind and heart . . . .

Evil takes many forms . . . . Sandyhook is but one of them . . . .

And make no mistake – what happened is pure evil.

While politicians look to “gun control” and the police look to “backgrounds” and the news media line side-by-side to report it all . . . .

Our solution remains in the “good” that we have abandoned, the acceptance of a God’s love that we are rejecting and the strength of a nation that was surely created to promote the individual over the government . . . .

We need to reject the “Siren’s Song” of an easy solution and accept the challenge of a return to “the good” that we are letting slip away day by day.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Speechless . . . . .

 

There are no words for this manifestation of pure evil . . . .

I pray the Lord wraps the families in His loving arms and holds them through the days ahead . . . . . . .

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Range Trip - 12/13/2012

 

Damn, it’s getting dark quick.  Sun down today was around 4:30PM  REALLY?????  Ah well, 8 days and we are charging into Spring/Summer once again!!  (how’s that for optimism??)

Couple reasons for the range trip today – Zeroing the EOTech 517 on the Panther Arms Oracle and Zeroing in some additions to my Colt .22LR Tactical Carbine.

I picked up my Colt last year and have had great fun with it.  However, I wanted to migrate it from iron sights only to something more closely resembling the Oracle.  Here is what my efforts look like!

I installed a flip-up rear sight and the Truglo Red-Dot I reviewed earlier.  You’ll also notice I’ve installed a single-point sling as well.  As with the EOTech 517 on the Oracle, when you flip up the rear sight, you can see through the Red-Dot so that if the batteries fail, you have easy access to your backup sights.  I’m working on a post regarding the use of .22 Tactical Weapons as a trainer in place of an AR, so I’ll leave the comparisons go until then.

The .22’s iron sights “came in” nicely and both red-dots dropped right in as well.  So, as winter continues to come our way, I should get some good range time in with these two rifles. 

Of course, I had to take some time to do some drills with my .22/45 – probably my favorite range gun.  All draws were from concealment and worked at 10 yards and 50 ft.  Nothing particularly special to report there.  Then I moved back to 75ft and worked on the lower body box of the SWAT target.  Hit rate was 85%.  Then I moved on to the small square numbered boxes, about 25% the size of the lower box.  Hit rate dropped to 60%.  Heavy Sigh.  Obviously have some work to do.

A fine way to spend an hour or so on a beautiful 50-degree day in Iowa!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Reminder – Of Course It Will Happen Again . . . .

 

The day after the Aurora theater shooting I shared some thoughts about such an event happening again . . . . .  now, the Clackamas Mall Shooting in Portland.  A great many similarities there with the small blessing the shooter killed himself.

I will simply link to my thoughts – for they are the same for this shooting and will remain so for the next . . . .

This is what evil does . . . . and it will surely raise it’s head again down the road.  For today, our prayers are with the families of the victims, their loss is irreplaceable . . .

For the rest of us – wear your damn gun, train, prepare . . . .

because it will happen again . . . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just the Basics – Home Defense – Perimeters

 

Perimeter: a line or strip bounding or protecting an area

Exterior: being on an outside surface, situated on the outside

Interior: lying, occurring, or functioning within the limiting boundaries

Let define the general parameters of this post. This post is NOT about defending a perimeter around your home during:

  • The Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Not during a major TSHTF time period (The S#&T Hits The Fan)
  • Not during TEOTWAWKI time period (The End Of The World As We Know It)
  • Not during a WTROL time period (Without The Rule Of Law)
  • And, it’s not a primer for your local militia unit on small unit defense.

What this post IS about is getting you thinking about where you live, how accessible your home/condo/apartment is and presenting some thoughts and ideas on making the task of breaking into your home to rob you or harm you harder or higher risk.

In the event a threat penetrates your home – what is your defensive plan? What does your defensive perimeter look like and what can you do to harden your defenses and make the intruder’s risks higher. Let’s begin as with the exterior of your residence and then tackle your defensive positions should your home be breached.

Exterior Perimeter

An average home – with a front and back yard, driveway situated along a street or rural road is a good starting point. Let’s take what we have learned already in defensive shooting and apply it to your exterior perimeter.

An attacker can cover approximately 21 feet in 2 seconds. That means that at a good jog, an intruder can cover ground to you home in about the same amount of time. Don’t make this easy. Have as open as possible space around your home – I would stretch this to 30 feet if possible. Look at the shrubbery you have around your home. Will it provide good concealment for an attacker? If so, could you replace it with something lower, less dense yet just as attractive? How about exterior lighting? It is a fairly simply matter to mount motion-sensitive lighting on the corners of your home. As an attacker passes through the individual regions – lights come on. How about shrubbery around you driveway where you enter and exit your vehicle? Keep these areas clean and clear. In the event you live in rural areas or on a lot with a long driveway – install a remote alarm that will notify you when someone has passed down your driveway. Consider some surveillance equipment for your primary entry points. There are any number of good camera systems – many wireless – that install easily, are fairly inexpensive and can add an extra set of eyes as well as monitor your home when you’re away.

Prepare your lot to help “funnel” would be attackers into areas where they are visible. Thorny foliage along your property line, the use of privacy fencing, garden spaces, hedges - again with an assortment of roses or “prickly” bushes - can do a lot to encourage prospective threats to take the “easy way” into your home.

Pay attention to your neighborhood. Meet your neighbors, learn their cars, watch their homes (and ask that they watch yours), meet your local law enforcement officers – you are all on the same team of keeping your property safe – join the “team”.

Obviously for apartments, townhouses, condos – much of this in irrelevant. Still, the premise is the same – where possible, funnel your threat. Create as open a space around your residence and driveway as possible. Install motion detectors where possible and get to know your neighbors. Be proactive – NOT a victim.

One thing your yard is NOT – a “free fire” zone. You’re home at night, a motion detector turns on a light, a motion sensor on your driveway sounds an alarm – perhaps you actually see a prowler. Don’t grab your long-gun, head to an upstairs window “high hide” and proceed to shoot the intruder. Things will not go well for you after the gun smoke clears the room.

It would be a good time to have the family go to the safe room, grab your gun, flashlight and cell phone and place a call to the local police to let them know you have an intruder, tell them where you are, that you are armed and that you will remain in that spot until they arrive. Keep your phone on (perhaps on speaker) and keep a dialogue going with your 911 dispatcher. We’ll talk about your Interior Perimeter in a moment.

The idea of an Exterior Perimeter is to make you an “unattractive target”. Have your home be the one an attacker looks at and passes up because there are easier victims available.

Interior Perimeter

Your first step should be to harden the very exterior of your Interior Perimeter. Make sure each exterior door has two locks – the one on your door knob and a dead bolt. Install a viewing port (or use a surveillance camera) to see who is at the door. Have your door entry points well lighted – motion detector/manual switch would be preferred. Replace as substantial portion of your door jam with a steel insert to strengthen the lock/door-jamb interface. Have locks on your window or patio doors. If you have a sliding door, a simple cut-down broom handle can provide good security against the door being slid open.

Consider an alarm system. It could be as simple as one that sets off a shrill tone if the front door is opened to as sophisticated as a multi-sensor system to cover both the interior and exterior areas of your home. Consider wireless remote light switches as well like this one from Stanley. With the simple press of a button you could turn on multiple lights from your car or safe room. Again, your intent is to scare the intruder into leaving, not usher them into a kill zone.

Obviously, these precautions would be ineffective against a determined criminal who would simply crash through your windows. Wear your damn gun!!!

Interior Perimeters tend to be driven by the family dynamic. I am at an age where, most evenings, my wife and I are home alone. Kids are grown – with overnight visits from time to time from them and their children. So, for us, we are typically in close proximity to each other and could easily move to our “safe room” together. Additionally, I carry at home as well. My weapon is on my hip until I go to bed, then it is next to my bed.

For families with children, the process of gathering kids and getting to the safe room becomes more complicated. At times it may make more sense to have a different parent go to each child’s bedroom. Other times, it may make sense to gather the children to one spot. This is the perfect time for a reminder – “you have all the time in the world to plan NOW – make a plan”.

If you have prepared a safe room, some precautions on the door – treat it as an exterior door. I would suggest a solid-core door at the least – a steel door is better. Have a dead bolt accessible from the inside only and a lock on the door knob as well. Again, replace a portion of the door jamb with a steel plate to strengthen the lock/door jamb interface. Have a flashlight/cell phone and gun in the room at all times you are in the room. A backup defensive weapon is a good idea so more than one person would be available for defense. As Jeff Cooper would say – “one gun is no gun – two guns is one”. Meaning, plan for a weapons failure in advance, a backup is a must.

This should be your defensive position. And, it will work well provided you have time to get there. Home owners with a home on a lot, where they have paid attention to my thoughts above and have advance warning that trouble is coming would do well to just go to the safe room, lock the door, “lock and load” and call the police to wait for their arrival.

A homeowner with children – again with some advance warning – could gather the kids, and take appropriate action in your safe room.

However, violent entry – doors and windows kicked in – your primary option is this event is instant engagement. Should I say this one more time?? Carry your damn gun!!! Your legal standing here depends on your state and in some cases your city. In Iowa we DO NOT have a castle doctrine in place. Even in the event of home entry – we are obligated to retreat if possible. And, if that IS possible – go to your safe room, call the police and simply defend yourself as needed. Remember – as a gun owner and a person who carries a concealed weapon – YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO KNOW THE LAWS OF YOUR STATE/COUNTY/COMMUNITY!!! Learn them. That said – if you ARE in mortal danger (it is clear to you that if you do nothing you or your family will die) you have a moral right to defend your life. FIGHT!

Finally, for me – in my home (I am NOT RECOMMENDING THIS ADVICE TO YOU), if an intruder enters my home and insists on entering my safe room – I will engage them until he/she is down and unable to hurt me or my family. And, as I hear them on the other side of the door – I will, in a very loud voice – make this perfectly clear. This does two things – it could save THEIR life, and it will be recorded by the 911 operator so there will be absolutely no doubt that I gave “fair warning” to our attacker.

Protect your perimeters. Make entry difficult. Carry your damn gun!! Have a plan that everyone knows and periodically practices. Make your residence an “unattractive” target.

You have all the time in the world – now – to make a plan and prepare . . .

. . . . time to get started.

Next Up -  Weapons

Range Log

 

Date

Weapon

COF

Position

Distance

ATTFH

Hit %

4/15/13 SF-1911  .45 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 2.47 100
4/15/13 SF-1911  .45 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 2.17 100
4/15/13 SF-1911  .45 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 2.15 100
4/15/13 SF-1911  .45 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 2.13 80
4/15/13 SF-1911  .45 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 2.35 100
             
3/11/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.48 100
3/11/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.45 100
3/11/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.58 100
3/11/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.66 100
3/11/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.47 100
             
2/5/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.61 100
2/5/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.69 100
2/5/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.63 80
2/5/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.57 100
2/5/13 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.65 80
             
12/31/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.54 80
12/31/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.20 100
12/31/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.41 80
12/31/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.38 100
12/31/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.35 100
             
12/15/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.63 100
12/15/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.64 80
12/15/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.60 80
12/15/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.65 100
12/15/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.71 100
             
12/12/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.62 100
12/12/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.52 100
12/12/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.41 100
12/12/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.58 100
12/12/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE, Aimed 50’ 2.88 100
           
12/11/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.79 80
12/11/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.82 100
12/11/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.84 100
12/11/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.82 100
12/11/12 G17 5R, LL 2H-FE 21’ 1.76 100

NOTES:

3/11/13  Well, a Monday – starting out slow.  Still cold, still wet, still crappy . . . . “to the LaserLyte Range”.

One of my best rounds actually.  3 of the 5 sets were sub-1.5 seconds, I’ll take it.  The last round was 1.47 seconds AND all hits within the center ring on an IDPA target at “21feet”.  There were no blown draws, all re-holsters were nice and solid and every hit – all 25 – were “on paper”.  I’ll take it.  Not as fun as the range, the sound of gunfire and the smell of gun powder . . . . but I didn’t freeze my ass off either.  I’ll count it as a “win”.

2/5/13  Something about the road to hell being paved with good intentions . . . .  Been awhile since my last “range trip”.  I have my Tactical Pistol class coming up this Saturday so work on my draw and first round engagement is simply a must.  So, I will make sure I do my 25 draws each and every day the rest of the week.  I worked on close in today – 21ft, 2second par time.  Actually all the draws went very well with a single exception – weapon became hopelessly entangled in my shirt.  No doubt it would have been a very bad day had it been “real life”.  Problem?  With a single hand draw – YOU MUST PULL YOUR GARMENT UP WELL AWAY FROM THE GRIP, then drive down and draw.  If you garment isn’t clear, things will not end well.  Otherwise, good round of practice.

12/31/12  Last “trip” of the year.  Held to 50’ range.  At this distance, “aiming” becomes much more important.  Those rounds with 80% all came from pressing before having a solid sight picture.  Head in the game, head in the game!!  I also moved to charting my shots on a small pictogram next to my timing table in my notebook.  While I like the feedback from the LaserLyte target, this seems to work better for long term tracking.

12/15/12  LaserLyte Drills, “Stand and deliver”, Reduced IDPA targets, 50’ The Aimed fire.  Rounds 2&3 I had a wardrobe malfunction – G17 got embedded in my shirt during the draw and I ran out the 3-second part time so I discounted the shot.  EACH draw MUST be done with firmly and with purpose.  A gun wrapped up in your shirt ends up with you in a Ziploc.

12/12/12  LaserLyte Drills, “Stand and deliver”, Reduced IDPA targets, 50’  The Aimed fire added a tad under a second to the first round hit time.  A good trade off because of the increased accuracy needed to engage a threat 50’ away.  If you have time – use it.

12/11/12  LaserLyte drills, “stand and deliver”, Reduced IDPA targets, 21’ equivalent


One of the ways you can track performance is through the use of a “Range Log” that may by augmented through the use of photos from your smartphone.  I’ve provided a number of examples of that – both with dry fire and range work with an assortment of handguns and my AR-15.    I want to add a “Range Log” to this blog – for two reasons.

First, it’s a good way to remain accountable to myself and to you.  Lots of bloggers out there preaching the gospel yet that’s all they are doing – preaching.  If you are looking for a path to being a warrior – a person developing their defensive weapons skills – you need more than a preacher, you need someone to walk the path with.  I’d like to be one of the folks along on your journey.  So, I want you to see what I’m doing.  How I’m practicing and what effect that’s having on my first-round hit speed, accuracy and whether I’m meeting my goals or not.

Second – public accountability is a great “incentive” to keep working.  Both for me and you.  Be open with our fellow range buddies about what you are doing, how it’s going and your successes and failures.  We are all in this together.  Help each other, learn from each other and grow together as shooters.

I will probably continue to post periodic “Range Trips”, but daily/weekly/best I can do practice will be appended to my “Range Log” which appears at the top of this post.  This post will then simply be updated to accommodate updates.

The header and definitions will go like this:

Date

Weapon

COF

Position

Distance

ATTFH

Hit %

Date:  Date of the range trip

Weapon:  Weapon used for the drill/drills

COF:  Course of fire 

  • R = Rounds
  • LL=LaserLyte
  • M=Mags

Position:

  • 2H-FE   2-Hands, Full Extension, Focal Point Shooting
  • 1H-FE   1-Hand, Full extension, Focal Point Shooting
  • 3/4 HIP   3/4 Hip, Focal Point Shooting
  • 1/2 HIP   1/2 Hip, Focal Point Shooting
  • CLOSE HIP   Close Hip, Focal Point Shooting
  • AIMED    Aimed Fire

Distance:   Effective distance to Target

ATTFH:  Average Time to First Hit

Hit %:  Hit Percentage

Goals:

  • 80% Hit Rate
  • ATTFH sub-two second

I suspect I will add columns to the log as I think of them.  If I do, this legend will be updated.

Finally, I’d encourage you to pick up your range documentation.  The person that is easiest to fool about your “improvement” is yourself – a log will help you stay honest with yourself, improve your skill set and help you become a better shooter.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It’s our Birthday Today!!

 

A year ago our blog journey began.  I believe we have found our purpose – providing solid information for the new and inexperienced shooter!  It’s been a lot of fun.  And, where I once wondered what on earth I’d write about – I have been blessed with a broad range of topics with many more waiting in the wings!

Thanks so much for those that pass through – you are what makes this worth while.  You provide purpose and direction and I appreciate each and every visit and comment.

So here’s me and my last Birthday cake – seems fitting for the blog Birthday as well!

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Ramblings – Push to Failure, Let It Go, Duck!!!

 

I’ve got a couple of odds and ends to chat about this morning that simply do not deserve a “full post”, yet for a new shooter – I think they may be of value.

Push To Failure

I did a post a number of months ago about training to the point of failure. You can read it here. While that post dealt with Systems Failure and Physical Failure, you can also hone the point to a specific area of interest. For today – draw and first hit.

I started my Monday with a little LaserLyte training. 50 draws – all from concealment. I did them in 5-round groups.

Goals: 80% hit rate and sub-two second par time. The first four rounds looked like this:

1: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.79, Hit rate 80%

2: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.85, Hit rate 100%

3: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.77, Hit rate 100%

4: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.80, Hit rate 80%

Notice a pattern?? I am “comfortable” with this draw stroke – all average times within a couple hundredths of each other. Next one I try to “push it” a bit.

5: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.63, Hit rate 100%

What does “push it” mean? Much more focal point shooting approach. Focused entirely on the threat, driving hard but I engaged as soon as I was “aligned” with the threat. It picked me up nearly 2-tenths of a second. Could be important some day. So, let’s drive harder!

6: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.60, Hit rate 80%

Second time through nearly the same, but the hit rate dropped to my limit.

Drawing more on Focal Point shooting, full extension. This is single hand, the arm is extended fully extended and I am focused on the threat.

7: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.80, Hit rate 100%

Traded a bit of time – back to my 2-handed times. No gain here either way.

Switching to 3/4-Hip Focal Point Shooting – one hand, arm is 3/4-extended, focused on the threat – and again pushing for speed.

8: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.74, Hit rate 60%

This actually cost me accuracy with little improvement is speed.

Finally, for the last two rounds I went back to 2-hand, full extension, Focal Point shooting and driving the draw hard and driving to the threat.

9: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.62, Hit rate 100%

10: Ave. for 5 draws – 1.58, Hit rate 100%

What’s the point? A couple. First hits win. Period. This is a balance of speed and accuracy. You gain nothing if you miss and you lose if you are slow. The best way to improve – Push to Failure. This LaserLyte dry-fire training is a solid way to do that. (No – I’m NOT a rep, don’t get a “noogie” from them, I just think it’s good training.)

25 – 50 draws, Every Day! You’ll be a better warrior.

Let It Go

Friends and business acquaintances are concerned, to say the very least, what course our country will take over the next 4 years. If they are any indication – selling on Wall Street will be an absolute monster through the end of the year. All taking capital gains and either holding cash or investing in metals, land, cheap real estate – it’s going to be a brutal end-of-year.

I was invited to an evening meeting with a local business owner that is just sharing his concerns and has a fondness for silver. My friend asked me to join the meeting to help comfort his wife. He has real interest in divesting some – and she’s OK with it as well – but wants things to stay “within reason”. I think I was acting as the “control rod” in their family “nuclear reactor”. Not a good position to be in with friends, but I love these two with all my heart so off I went. Ms. B had to work, so couldn’t come.

Won’t go over his thoughts, reason and such but IMHO they were sound and his thoughts of 10-15% of investments should be in metals – he likes silver – wasn’t particularly off the mark. My friend’s wife, once hearing the reasoning, also realized that it was probably prudent to make some kind of move for some amount of their portfolio – both for financial reasons and family sensibilities. She made her decision – and “let it go”.

Ms. B arrived home from work and was curious about what I heard/thought about the fellow and the meeting. So, I shared the whole enchilada. And . . . . I saw tears begin to flow. “I just wish this would all go away . . .” she said after a long, hard hospital shift and listening to a different slant on fears we both have had for a couple of years. And . . . . I “let it go”. It’s a topic we have talked to death, we’ve taken action that is simply moving slowly but will pick up with time, and we’ve agreed to “get small” as quickly as possible. There’s no reason to dwell and rehash and grumble . . . . If you find you and your wife/husband/friends is this situation. Once you are clear – just DO IT and then “let it go”.

DUCK!!!

Same fellow we met is also a gun collector with a capital “C”. Once he found out I was a trainer and carried he whips up his pant leg, draws his LC9 and shows off its laser. “You got one of these??” I tamped down my heart rate, checked to make sure everyone was clear of the muzzle and said I did and I carried every day. He grounded his weapon and said “Wait I minute, I gotta show you guys this!” In a few moments he returns with a tac-rifle case, unzips it and hauls out a Rock River arms AR-15, EOTech holographic sight, forward grip with built integrated laser and flashlight and flip up sights. Magazine is in . . . . bolt is forward. Again – tamping down the heart rate as my friend picks up the weapon, tries to figure out how to turn on the EOTech and switch on the flashlight – as his wife returns form the little girls room and is promptly muzzled.

My “military voice” appeared out of nowhere . . . . honest, I swear!!

DROP THE MAGAZINE!!!

LOCK THE BOLT BACK!!

I must admit to an interesting look from the three other folks in the room – as my orders were promptly obeyed. (Honestly, the tone of my voice left little room for anything else – heavy sigh.)

Gratefully, the mag was empty and the chamber a well.

Please. When carrying concealed – don’t show your “piece”. IMNSHO, people shouldn’t know if you are carrying. If they can tell, change your gear/position/weapon so they can’t. And one of the ways you can make sure you weapon doesn’t go bang unexpectedly is to leave the damn thing in your holster unless your life, the life of your family or your friends is under threat. As for explaining the whole AR-15 deal – honestly if I need to . . . . sell your guns . . . . please . . . .