Monday, October 26, 2020

Range Trip – 10-24-2020 – Maintaining Proficiency

Practice with purpose . . . I say this to my students over and over.  Do not go to the range just to make holes in the paper.  A range trip should focus on a specific skill set, provide practice for an issue the shooter may be having or . . . it may be just to maintain proficiency.  So, let’s chat about that specifically – maintaining proficiency.  Proficiency in what exactly???

 In a number of areas that Gunsite would call the Combat Triad – mindset, gun handling and marksmanship.

 Mindset – your mindset encompasses the entirety of your defensive skill set.  Do you take the idea of personal responsibility for your safety, the safety of your family or someone in your charge seriously??  Do you carry every day everywhere you can legally?  Do you maintain a “Condition Yellow” – are you observant of your surroundings?  Do you understand that there are genuinely folks out there that would do you harm given a chance?  Yeah, yeah – I understand . . . we’re in Iowa for Pete’s sake, relax . . . That is, of course, your choice . . . but Murphy’s a bitch . . . just sayin’.  As far as how a range trip helps maintain your Mindset – the fact that you take the maintenance of your skillsets serious enough that you do consistent range trips goes a long way towards maintaining a Mindset of being aware and understanding that you’re responsible for your personal defense.

 Gun Handling – Can you “run your gun”??  This includes loading, clearing, managing malfunctions and clearing them quickly, use of a light and sling, mounting it to your shoulder, remembering holdovers at multiple distances, us of accessories like backup sights, your optic of choice, checking your weapon zero, cleaning, quickly and smoothly drawing your pistol  . . . honestly it’s not a long list . . . but it is an important list.

 Marksmanship . . . can you hit what you need to in a timely manner?  There is a true balance between speed and precision.  For my range work I’ve settled on rapid single round engagements – a must to refresh the mechanics of mounting your weapon or drawing your pistol.  I spend some time on what Gunsite calls “hammers” – two rapid fire rounds to the high center mass area.  And finally some time on “failure drills” . . . a “hammer’ followed by a single round to the head box.

 As for time for me, start to finish is typically an hour to an hour and a half.  I try to keep a modest round count – 3ea 20 round magazines for my AR and 3ea 15 round magazines for my Glock 17 – and that is my every day carry weapon.  Total round count for the trip is 105 rounds.  Is this enough to learn a new skill set?? No.  Is it enough to maintain a skill level?  Yes, provided you mix in some dry fire as well outside of the range.  I accomplish this work with a SIRT pistol in a Glock format.

 Of course, I try to maintain proficiency with other weapons as well.  So, monthly, I try to shoot courses of fire that consumes . . .

 50 Rounds of .22 cal for my Ruger 22 precision rifle – I use Eley Club

40 Rounds PMC XTAC .223 for my Ruger Predator

40 Rounds PMC XTAC .308 for my Ruger Precision

100 Rounds 9mm for my Glock 17 – usually in two separate 50 round trips

60 Rounds of .223 for my “Duty” AR that I use for personal defense.

 Here’s an image of a 3-month loadout for range work.

 Bottom line it’s not a high round count annually – but it is enough – in my opinion – to maintain a skill set.

 Now, if I want to improve my skill set, or learn a new one this will typically involve taking a course of some type typically from 1 to 3 days and typically in the neighborhood of 250 to 1200 rounds of ammunition.  That is where you learn and cement in a new skill set.  The work listed above is where you work to maintain your skill level.  The trick here – other than actually finding enough ammunition to pull this off – is the individual discipline to actually do the work.  And, with the typical pace of life, that can also be a challenge.  Find the time.  Do the work.  Maintaining this skill set is simply too important.

 The next part of this is evaluation of the work you’re doing.  There are tons of ways to “score” our targets.  I score it pretty simply – if the round is “in” or touching, it’s a hit . . . if it isn’t you “drop one”.  I used a bit of a different target this time – a standard IDPA target with two 3” “stickies” I stuck near the shoulders. 

I engaged the left “stickie” from 25 yards with my AR, single round engagements.  Hanging my head in shame . . . I shot a 10%.  Holdover is a real thing, just sayin’ . . .  And I engaged the right sticky with my Glock 17 and shot a 50% - when using a combination of a Trijicon High Vis front sight and “The Claw” rear sight (which has a BIG rear notch) it should be obvious which rounds I took the time to get a good sight alignment on . . . and which I did not.  This is another purpose of maintenance trips – to remind you that the details matter.  If you last took a carbine class a year ago . . . do you remember all the little details you learned???  Range trips are necessary . . . just sayin’ . . .

 The remaining 85 rounds were split between the headbox and the High Center Mass box . . . 20 rounds for the head – I dropped 5.  65 rounds for the HCM box – I also dropped five.  I dropped a total of 10 rounds out of 85 for a score of 88%.  I accept 80% as a minimum score on the range . . . so I’ll take it. 

There was one other element I added on this day that I’ll present as a separate post . . . but I’ve added a “battle belt”.  It’s about a 6” tall, padded belt with molle loops and a belt running through it’s center to secure it over my regular belt.  It allows me to position two mag carriers for my G17 mags, 3 mag carriers for my PMAGS, allows me to secure a blowout kit in the center of my back and I added a SERPA holster with Molle attachments at around 4 o’clock.  Honestly, I just can’t get into tac vests . . . just not my thing.  I “grew up” with the LBE rigs of the late 60 and I found this similar but more flexible.  My reason for adding this is that my range work going forward will include both my AR and my pistol and this seemed the best way to go about it.  I’ve taken high volume pistol and carbine coursework before and tried clip on mag carriers as well as using my pant’s pockets . . . and it just seemed like it was time to move on.  Honestly, not sure how this experiment will end, but I’ll stick with it for 2021 and then reassess at the end of the year.

 So, I took a lot of words to say . . . go to the damn range, do it consistently, be diligent, take your ability to run your gun and hit what  you need to hit seriously . . . because . . . honestly . . . when you call 911 . . . the person that will need to respond to the immediate threat is . . . YOU!  The cops will just bat “clean-up” and put down crime scene tape and chalk lines . . .

You, and you alone are your first responder.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

AAR - Home Defense Shotgun - Beta Course

 Course development is not, and should not be, a trivial task. 

 “Yep, I sat down this weekend and wrote a whole new training course about shotguns!!!”

 No! That’s not how real life works . . . (I new phrase of mine that seems to have bubbled out of late, but it’s accurate in many cases, including this one).  I’ve discussed this before when NAPSI was developing  our initial sets of course work and I detailed that process over three posts.  I’ve included those links at the end of the article for those that might be interested.  However, a short review is in order of how NAPSI goes about it and how it applies to our new Foundations of Home Defense Shotgun course that I beta tested this past weekend.

 The basic concepts of the course were actually put together as fellow trainer Chris and I drove out to Cleveland, Ohio to conduct a Beta course on our Foundations of Defensive pistol nearly 6 years ago.  Much has happened in the interim, much has been learned, much has been incorporated in our 4 current sets of coursework revolving around the handgun . . . it was time to move forward with coursework for a whole new platform

 There were two obvious directions – AR/Carbine platform . . . or Shotgun.  The “glitz” is obviously down the AR/Carbine path . . . however the more valuable path in our opinion was the shotgun path.  Why??  The percentage of families that have shotguns tucked away somewhere versus those that have and AR/Carbine are significantly higher.  Heck, in the Midwest and most states with a significant rural area darn near every rural home has one tucked away somewhere.  It was obvious which path to chose – that of the Foundations of Home Defense Shotgun.

 Actually, the course has been under discussion for nearly two years.  Decisions were made about which common elements could be rolled in, which unique ones needed to be added, what drills would make sense, what types of rounds would be used in the course and a dozen more sets of details and items were discussed.  Over the summer that boiled down to a set of coursework that could be reviewed and discussed by NAPSI’s core instructors and allowed some elements to be wrung out on the range.  This led to the last and final draft and the release of the “Foundations of Home Defense Shotgun”- Beta release ready for field testing.

 Field testing can be challenging simply because of the amount of time required by the “students” – a number of students with a range of shotgun experience that are willing to invest a full day – the coursework will run about 9 hours with a full class – and the additional time required to have them write up their After Action Report (AAR) to give us feedback and suggestions.  Fortunately for me I met most of these folks at the shooting course offered by Jim Erwin that I reviewed just awhile back.  I also picked up a few others as well.  When all was said and done I had two LEOs – one of which is a trainer – both for officers as well as civilians – a shooter friend at Jim’s course, the local gun shop owner and his employee and a new-to-me fellow that had never attended a formal set of firearms coursework.  That’s a pretty darn good mix of experience to help us wring out our FHDS course work.

 For me, it’s standard to create a power point of said coursework.  I hate to keep poking my nose into and out of a course outline book.  That took an additional couple of days before I was ready so this past Saturday, October 10th was class day.  I also like to bring a full lineup of firearms, a full range bag and my two first aid kits – the Boo-Boo Kit and the Blow Out Kit.  Firearms included a break action, a bolt action, a semi-automatic, and two pump actions that I have equipped as defensive shotguns.  I fired up the coffee – opened the box of donuts (there were cops on premises ya know) and we got underway right at 8AM.

 Beta coursework is taught as though each and every shooter – for the FHDS course – is a new or inexperienced shooter.  Even if they were experienced bird hunters, the defensive use of a shotgun bears little resemblance to knocking down a pheasant or duck.  So . . . you start with the paperwork.  I begin each course with sign-in sheets, hold harmless agreements, media releases and collecting the money.  Of course, in this case the course work was paid for by their willingness to act as beta testers.

 Introductions were made, a review of the facility was given, and a medical brief was also given.  I always identify four people – the one with the most medical training and experience (most of the time myself, but not in this case).  Their job will be to respond to the medical emergency.  Second is someone with a good cell signal – their job is to call 911 and let them know that aid is needed.  Third is the person to go to the end of the driveway to make sure the ambulance knows where to go and fourth, a note taker to list everything as it happens.  I also take inventory of any known medical conditions or prescriptions that may cause problems throughout the day.

 This out of the way a short bio helps introduce me to the folks and lets them have some idea of my qualifications and experience.  Finally a short descriptions of the lessons to come that cover the different types of shotguns, fundamental gun safety, specific ways to outfit a home defense shotgun, we cover shotgun ammunition, key elements to home defense and the use of a shotgun to accomplish them, range safety and specific range protocols, live fire training, use of cover and concealment, a final exercise to evaluate the application of newly learned skills, a written exam, my final thoughts and a course debrief and After Action Review. 

 I have a fondness for a Range Shooting Sheet – a spreadsheet that details each drill as far as dry/live, round count, distance to target, and specific times that might need to be met.  This Range Sheet was five single sided pages and covered 16 unique shooting drills, both dry and live fire.  The range work ended up being two flights of three and took around 2-1/2 hours. 

 Just flat out – it’s a very busy day.  Taught as a Beta course, where I have never put my words to the course outline . . . it becomes even more challenging.  All that said, I made the call to my wife at 5:12 PM that it was a wrap and I was headed home.  The fact that I was giving the course to experienced shooters easily shaved an hour off the course.  The fact that I have now actually let the course “words” flow out of my mouth at least once should go a long way to make sure I stick within the 9-hour window.

 Bottom line, after 6 years of using this process to develop coursework, this Beta class simply reinforced that THERE . ARE . NO . SHORTCUTS.  PERIOD.

 As for what’s next for this coursework, we’ll wait to see what the individual student after action reports look like, make any final tweaks . . . but honestly . . . it went well enough that I consider this coursework to be “Live” and will probably schedule one or two classes before our year runs out.  Good job to all the “students” your participation and feedback truly do make a difference in turning out the very best in coursework for future shooters.

 And, if you’re an instructor that’s developing coursework of your own, I will continue to strongly recommend the use of Beta testing throughout the course development – from little chunks as you are putting it together – up to a couple before you finally pronounce it “Live” and ready to be taught.

 If anyone every has a questions about this process you’re more than welcome to give me a call for a chat, more than happy to help.

 Past posts on course development and it’s process.

First Review - Cleveland Trip

Second Review with Iowa Trainer Friends

Third Review - Sucking it Up and Reading the AARs

Monday, September 14, 2020

Review - Jim Erwin - Defensive Shooting Tune-up 9-12-2020

I had the opportunity to take about 4-5 hours of instruction presented by Jim Erwin this past weekend.  Before too much time slips away, I want to share my thoughts on Jim, his skill as an instructor and the coursework as it was presented.

 Short answer . . . Get Some!!!!

 Shooting Performance Institute

But wait . . . there’s more.  Isn’t there always.

 A friend of mine owns a local gun store, Tactical Creations.  One of the firearms they are dealers for is STACATO, a Texas base pistol manufacturer that was born in the ‘racing” community but has since transitioned to the professional and civilian market as a carry gun option.  Jim is their regional representative.  Jim was coming for Open House the store was hosting and was to highlight STI products during that open house.  After that there was an opportunity to take a 4-5  hour set of coursework offered by Jim.  I was offered a table during the open house to present my coursework and also a slot in the course – I quickly said yes to both.

 Frankly, I had my doubts about Jim.  He is truly a been there – done that kinda guy.  75th Rangers, Delta, Executive Security overseas.  I have had some experiences with “elite” operators and sometimes they have a real problem dealing with us lowly civilians.  Would we spend all our time listening to war stories and being shown all these tacti-cool drills . . . or would there be something of value offered for the everyday carry kinda guy.

 First impressions didn’t do anything to lower my fears . . . he’s a good-sized critter and while pushing 50 he’s obviously in good shape.  Of course, he’s a “firearms instructor” so he’s sporting a “Lion Cut”, shaved head, full sleeve of tats on one arm and a half on the other.  Yep . . . it’s going to be a long day . . . and then he spoke . . . and the day changed.

 Yeah, I know, I’m a judgmental asshole . . . so sue me.  Not like each and every one of us hasn’t been judged or judged someone else.  It’s just part of life and especially the shooting community.  The trick is this . . . can you live up to what you are claiming you can do . . . and if you’re an instructor, can you really share the information you want to the students paying good money for your coursework. 

 As I said, the moment Jim said “Hi, I’m Jim” you could feel that there was a real person there and not just an image of an “operator”.  I listened throughout the morning as he spoke with people interested in STI products – how he listened to what they wanted, described his products, probed their shooting ability and problems they were having, while he offered suggestions as well as handling anything else they threw at him.  There was no BS . . . simply straight talk – one shooter to another.  It was refreshing.

About 1:30 PM I headed out to the range to set things up for him.  We were scheduled for around 200 rounds downrange and about 4 hours of work – it became 5 hours with just raw darkness stopping the range time.  In fact, the last shooter shooting his last set of drills was aided by Jim illuminating the target line with a flashlight. 

The session began with a safety brief, medical brief and Jim giving an abbreviated bio on his history and experience.  And that was followed by his general philosophy.  If I had to boil it down I would say is was . . . “do the basics, do them very well . . . and speed will follow”.  So, what did the basics consist of?  Let me break them down in the way that I took them – I’m sure Jim will offer correction if necessary.

 1:  Stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press follow through are the foundation of everything.

 2:  Malfunction clearing, magazine changes must be smooth and quick.

We spent hours working through number one.  The range was about 5 yards.  Our target was my favoring the LE Targets SEB target.  Our very first drill . . . all 30 rounds of it . . . were single round engagements – 5 rounds at a time – on each of the 6 shapes on the targets.  For each draw he was relentless on tweaking us from our stance, through our grip (I’ll spend a few extra words on this), driving to the target and transitioning our sight to the front sight, a smooth trigger press, follow-through in prep for a follow-up shot, and the a return to holster.  As I said . . . he was relentless – little words here, moving hands there, questioning, explaining, listening . . . for 30 rounds, one round at a time.

 During his startup of the class he said he’d recently taken coursework from Todd Jerett and that Todd had made an adjustment to his grip that had a tremendous affect on his accuracy . . . making sure the front-strap of his grip came down in the center of the Proximal bone of each finger on your dominant hand.  This is the bone immediately after the knuckle (moving towards the finger tip) on your hand.  They should all make contact with the face of the front-strap.  Ok, what the heck . . . I’m here to learn, why not try it.  Holy Crap!!!  My tendency to hit low-left with my G17 carry gun simply disappeared . . . instantly.  Holy crap!!!  Sure, sure . . . let’s see if it holds.  Well, let me tell you, it was rock solid.  If I had a good sight picture – I was golden with my trigger press.  In fact, honestly, I was really “on” dripping zero shots through the first magazine . . . 15 rounds . . . down zero.  “Bill . . . you’re not missing . . . shoot faster!!!”  So I did . . . just as soon as I saw the green dot of my Trijicon front post in the center of the target I pressed the trigger . . . and took about .3 off my shot time.  For the second magazine I dropped 3 I think . . . but I could “feel” them as I pressed and knew I had pressed early.  It was really something.

 Looking up and down I saw everyone move from “meh” on the first target to reasonably solid by the 6th.  Real, genuine, demonstrable improvement in a very short time.  One of the skills Jim truly posses is the ability to break down a fairly complex task . . . drawing and engaging a threat . . . to clear steps with an ability to watch and tweak each shooter regardless of their skill level.  He could find words to convey his thoughts.  You’d think that that’s an easy job . . . but if you’ve every taught someone something, you appreciate just how difficult that can be.  And with 6 individuals, 6 different skill levels, 6 different personalities . . . you can begin to appreciate Jim’s skill at teaching defensive shooting.

 Next up was what I called accelerated pairs.  Two rounds, high center mass . . . just as fast as you can run the gun.  This allowed him to work on recoil mitigation and again showed just how powerful the simple adjustment is my grip was.  I was still shaking my head at that.

 Next was a magazine full of mag changes.  Start with a single round in the gun and an empty magazine inserted.  On the “UP” draw and engage and do an emergency reload when your gun runs dry and holster.  Then, pick up the dropped magazine, execute a tactical reload, holster and stow the magazine.  Repeat on command until you run dry.  It was a very simple drill that let the shooter practice both an emergency reload and a tactical reload.  Again, Jim tweaked and changed and nudged everyone throughout this drill to improve their performance.

 This was followed by movement.  Turning to the left.  Turning to the right.  Turning to the rear.  Moving parallel to the line, engaging a specific target while squaring up to the threat and sidestepping either left or right depending on the direction of movement.  And finally, moving the firearm from one hand to the other, while moving and then engaging single handed while movement continued.

 Let’s just say it was a busy 5-ish hours.  Really good work was done by all.

 So in reflection, there are old sayings that are old because they’ve survived the test of time.  “Don’t judge a Book by its cover”.  While appearing to be a “tacti-cool” shooter, Jim is the real deal as an instructor.  Clear. Articulate.  Focused.  Solid material that is presented in an exceptionally clear and concise way.  And . . . he’s not afraid to laugh, crack a joke and be just one of the guys on the line.

 Jim, it was a great experience to take some coursework from you.  I genuinely appreciate your time and your feedback – I came away a better shooter – thanks.


Monday, September 7, 2020

First Aid Kit and Blowout Kit Updates

I've recently updated my Blowout Kit.  I took some time to make a video reviewing both kits as well as training.  For your consideration . . .

Here's a link to the video . . .

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Just the Basics – Cloth Covid Masks

With the “Karens” out in full force “mask shaming” everyone in sight . . . I just have to ask . . .




I suspect the answer is . . . “NO!!  But PUT ON A DAMN MASK OR YOUR GOING TO KILL GRANDMA AND GRANDPA!!!”


Heavy sigh . . . yet, that’s where we are.


I’m not a mask guy.  I will wear them in places I absolutely need to go – church, dentist office, Menards (since we’re having an addition to our home built), a Safeway in Rapids City SD . . . but otherwise, no – I’m not wearing one.  They simply do not offer enough protection to be worth while and, worse, the offer the ILLUSION of protection, so folks get sloppy about basic common sense actions they can take to significantly decrease their chance of getting CoVid-19 or any other virus for that matter.


Of course, the “Karens” jump on my thoughts about the crappy level of protection a simple cloth masks offer – and a deeper dive into that particular topic is the purpose of this post.   Have you looked at your cloth mask?  I mean really, really looked at it.  With the tools you have in your pocket – a flashlight and a phone – you can do a pretty deep dive into your mask’s basic construction.  If nothing else this basic knowledge may help you build a better mask should you truly feel a need to cover your face.  So, let’s take a deeper dive into cloth masks.


This is my mask.  I purchased three of them from a local woman who used a pattern put out by a regional hospital.  It covers well from the bottom of my chin to the bridge of my nose.  And yes, my glasses fog a bit when I breath.  All it all – great coverage and certainly a feeling that I am well protected from all those nasty viruses floating about in the air.  But . . . how much of that coverage of my nose and mouth are real . . . and how much of it is simply a feeling? 

First, let’s start out with what we are trying to stop.  Depending on the source you look at, the size of the CoVid-19 virus varies from around .1 um to .3um.  A “um” is 1/10,000 of a meter and is called a “micron”.  To give some size comparison the typical human hair is around 50 um in diameter.  That means that in the width of a human hair you could fit around 200 - 500 individual viruses.  We’re talking about something profoundly small.


Much is made of N95 masks.  These are masks specifically designed to block 95% of all particles .3 um or larger.  Note, this mask will only block CoVid-19 particles that are leaning towards the large size of their range.  Those leaning towards the small side may well simply pass through even a N95 mask. 


Here is one such example of a N95 mask – a 3M half-face respirator with particulate filters with N95 inserts on each cartridge filter.


So that’s what we’re trying to block . . . something very, very, very tiny  – unimaginably tiny.


What type of protection does cloth offer?  As with most things, it gets complicated.  What type of cloth, what type of yarn, what is the thread count ( the total of threads vertically – the “warp” – and horizontally – the “weft”), is the yarn coated, are multiple threads twisted together to increase the thread count, is it a simple weave or something more complicated.  All of these factors and a few more will play into how effective the mask has the ability to be.


Let’s keep it simple, my mask is a simple weave cotton fabric.  It does contain two colors of dye and has a thread count of approximately 150.  How do I arrive at this figure?  Simple, by observation.  I took the mask and a small flashlight.  Since the pattern on my mask is dark blue polka dots over a lighter blue fabric I focused on a single blue dot.  A measurement of that dot showed that its diameter is .25 inches.  Shining light through the mask and using my cell phone camera on the close-up setting allowed me to take a photo of a single dot at very high resolution.  I then brought that into photoshop, trimmed out the dot yet again to allow simple viewing of the dot.    The result is the image below . . . and now we have something we can work with.


If you pick a center horizontal row and count the warp threads and then the hole (generated by the weft thread) you will get a thread count for the .25” circle of approximately 38 threads.  Multiply that by 4 and you get a thread count of 152.  Using a bit of rounding, I would estimate that the actual thread count for this cloth is then 150 as I stated above.


So now let’s make some observations regarding the cloth under magnification.  The first thing that jumps out at me are . . . HOLES!!!  Lot’s and lots of holes.  How big are they??  Could a virus pass through them??  How can I figure that out???  An estimate is fairly easy . . . you know there are approximately 150 threads per inch.  So is .25 inches that means there are about 38 threads per inch.  Given the hole is approximately the width of a thread . . . the hole is .25 inches/38 . . . or .00658 inches in diameter.  What the heck is that in um???  Google to the rescue . . .

The answer is 167.132 Microns - about three times the diameter of a human hair.


OK, one step deeper.  Let’s go with the really big size of the Covid-19 virus and assume that all viruses we meet as we walk through the world are .3 um in size.  How many can fit through a hole on my little dark blue dot on my mask . . . just one hole . . . on one dot.


The size of the hole would be 27,889 square um.  If we stretch the estimate just a bit and assume each CoVid-19 virus is square . . . then our estimate becomes a bit easier.  Simply divide the size of the hole by the size of the virus . . . 27,889 sq um / .3 sq um . . . and presto . . . 92,963 large CoVid-19 viruses could fit through a SINGLE SOLITARY HOLE . . . on a SINGLE SOLITARY DARK BLUE DOT . . . on my mask.


Let’s assume my estimates are off by a factor of 100 . . . you know, the Dr. Fauchi model . . . that would knock the virus count for a SINGLE SOLITARY HOLE . . . down to just under 1,000 viruses per hole.


So let’s go with that . . .


Look at the mask . . . look at the number of .25” dark blue dots (don’t forget the rest of the mask, but for fun, just look at the dark blue dot).  How many holes in a single dot . . . just a sec, I’ll count them . . . be right back . . . ok, I’m back . . .  200 . . . 200 holes in my .25” dot.  So carrying my Dr. Fauchi – off by a factor of 100 – estimate to it’s final conclusion . . . my .25” dark blue dot will pass 200,000 viruses that are .3um in size. 


Now, take this to the next level and estimate how many viruses can pass through this ENTIRE mask – in either direction.


This . . . this right here is why I say they are ineffective.  Could a small portion of viruses be blocked?  Sure.  Hell, you could wrap your face is window screen material and block a few as well.  But is a cloth mask an effective tool to SAVE YOUR LIFE, AND THOSE OF YOUR LOVED ONES????


No . . . not in a million years.


I did say there are more effective ways to protect yourself.  There are.  Here they are:



If you’re sick . . . STAY HOME!!!

If you’re sick . . . KEEP VISITORS OUT!!!

If you’re sick . . . with the defined symptoms of CoVid-19

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


If you go out, shopping, traveling . . . WASH YOUR FRICKIN’ HANDS – FREQUENTLY!!!  It has been posited that one of the most common methods of transfer of the virus in via fecal matter.  Think about that . . . did you hit the head while out??  Did you wash your hands THROUGHLY???

This . . . this right here will offer real mitigation to a broad range of viruses floating around out there in addition to CoVid-19.  Remember flu season is right around the corner.  Children are NOT DYING of CoVid-19 . . . but they die by the bucket load of the common flu.


OK, ok, ok . . . but you ARE A TRUE BELIEVER . . . your mask is your friend.  No worries, go for it.  And I mean that genuinely.  If your level of fear is high and a mask makes you feel better – I’m fine with that.  Of course, there are caveats that go along with wearing a mask.


First and foremost – don’t kid yourself.  The protection offered by a cloth mask is MINIMAL!!  Please, don’t treat it like a magic talisman and believe you are FULLY PROTECTED . . . you’re not.  Stop lying to yourself.

Your mask needs to cover your face from the bottom of your chin to the bridge of your nose.

STOP TOUCHING YOUR MASK!!!  Touch it only by the straps/strings/loops that attach it to your face.

DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MASK!!!  Get one that fits, put it in place, leave the damn thing alone.

If you do touch and adjust your mask – assume your hands are now contaminated . . . WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY.

Don’t stick your mask in your pocket, purse, glove box, console . . . or anywhere else unless it is contained in something – say a Ziploc bag.

Have a different mask for every day – and wash your mask weekly in your laundry.


And, if you look at these precautions and say something like . . . “Damn, that’s a lot of work, I’m just going to stick it in my pocket or purse – ta hell with that guy!!


Exactly . . .


As I have said over and over and over . . . a mask is a “Boppy” . . . a pacifier . . . something you stick in a baby’s mouth to make them feel better . . .


So, if you want to feel better and wearing a cloth mask makes you feel better . . . fine.


As for me, walking about during my normal day . . . no . . . I won’t . . .




Saturday, August 1, 2020

My "Daily Read"

I've had a number of friends ask me for a list of websites I read through on a daily basis.  So I thought I'd list them in a post and put a short commentary on each . . . 

The Gateway Pundit . . . This is probably the most "vocal" website  I visit.  That said, they seem to do a good job of ferreting out interesting stories and they always post the link to the original story.

Instapundit . . . Glenn is a professor in the University of Tennessee law school.  It is an aggregate site with reasoned comment on stories (and other permitted posters) find interesting.

Power Line Blog . . . Run by three attorneys they all offer solid conservative commentary on news stories of the day.

Latest Articles . . . Links to current stories as they happen typically by conservative members of the blog.

Real Clear Politics . . . the absolute best aggregate news websites on a host of topic headings.  I begin with politics but there are a number of additional offerings in the heading to the website.

Newsmax . . . A solid source of news articles from a conservative POV

The Federalists . . . They post articles covering a broad range of topics.

Citizen Free Press . . . a replacement for the Drudge Report

Townhall . . . a source of the conservative POV

National Review . . . a source of the conservative POV

The Bongino Report . . . a source of the conservative POV

American Thinker . . . a source of the conservative POV

So this represents the start of my mornings when I go out and look to see what's happening in the world.  Obviously all lean conservative but they do not hesitate to link original liberal content as well.

Updated 11/6/2020

Let me know what you think.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Range Trip - 7-17-2020 The range always teaches something

I spent the first three days of this week helping with a “Rifle Operator Course” for our local PD.  24 hours, 800+ rounds – it’s very comprehensive and provides a solid evaluation of an officer that is about to begin carrying an AR as part of their squad duty gear.  Of course, while you are helping teach . . . there’s no opportunity to send rounds downrange yourself.  And while I am confident in my skillset, it never hurts to follow up that confidence with a few rounds myself just for “holes on target proof” as well as a bit of polish.  So that was my task for this morning – evaluation and polish.

I set aside 100 rounds of .223 and 50 rounds of 9mm to work on both rifle skills and a transition to my carry gun.  As I’ve said many times, set the “ground rules” first, then shoot your COF.  For a hit to count it needed to be within or touch the line-defined specific shapes – high center mass box, pelvic girdle box, ocular cavity and then the 6 numbered cognition drill boxes around the outside of the silhouette. 

The course of fire for the morning was . . .
    10 single rounds high center mass box                                                   10 rounds
    10 single rounds ocular cavity                                                                 10 rounds
    10 “hammers” (think a fast accelerated pair)                                           10 rounds
    1 single round in each outer shape 1 thru 6                                             6 rounds
     5 failure drills – 2 rounds HCM, 1 round in the ocular cavity                   15 rounds
    15 single round engagements HCM simulating rifle failure                      15 rounds
    45 9mm rounds shot as a failure drill with 5 rounds to the ocular cavity
         5 rounds to “2” circle and 5 rounds split between the 3 and 4 box      45 rounds
     7 “hammers” to the pelvic girdle                                                              14 Rounds
     1  “Bill Drill” from 10 yards                                                                        5 rounds

The final round count for this portion is 80 rounds of .223 and 50 rounds of 9mm all shot from the 10-yard line.   For the transition drill I fired a single round to the high center mass with my AR and then transitioned to my sidearm – a Glock 17 – and shot a failure drill.  This was done 15 times for a total of 45 rounds of 9mm.  This left me with 5 rounds of 9mm in my pocket which I loaded as shot as the “Bill Drill” listed above.

The remaining 20 rounds were shot from a supported prone position from 50 yards and shot on the separate target in the upper left corner of the primary target.  Each square is 4-inches in size with 1-inch square in their center.

As the title of this post says, the range will always teach you something.  Today that lesson was . . . aren’t you glad you had backup irons??  My “duty rifle” has an older Eotech 517 mounted to it.  It had come up just fine for the coursework earlier in the week but today, even with the backup set of batteries I had in the range bag, it was “no joy”, it was not going to come up.  What an opportunity to work with my back up irons just to make sure that skillset is alive in well!!!  Yeah!!!

So that’s what I did.  I shot the above course of fire with irons.  The first 80 rounds of .223 and 45 rounds of 9mm from my carry Glock 17 produced a score of 86%.  Not the 90% I was looking for but well above  80% which is my minimum acceptable score.  And as opposed to the scoring on LEO range work, the rounds needed to touch or be within the boundaries of the scoring areas on the target and not just within the silhouette of the target for it to count for me.  Honestly, I look at this overall result  as doing fine on this run.  I can always improve but each range trip brings its own little issues.

However, looking at the final 20 rounds on the target in the upper left, I kinda lost my crap on that one.  My shooting position was 50 yards in a supported prone position – my range bag provided my support.  As you can see, the “precision” was fine with the groups being under 3 inches in size and they are separate and distinct groups.  Where I lost it was in the accuracy with my group centers being well left or above of the desired targets.  Heavy sigh.  So, when I replace my Eotech 517 this coming week, I’ll tweak the 50 yard zero on my irons a bit to bring that back in. 

All in all, a good range trip, some good work on transition from my AR to my Glock 17 and an obvious workout of my iron sights. 

A fine time was had by all!!  So – get out to the range.  Have you worked on transitions from your rifle to your handgun??  Have you wrung out your irons lately??  Have you attempted more precise shots at longer distances but especially within the 50-yard range that would be typical for home defense?  If not, schedule some time and some ammo to brush off the rust and work on the polish.  Remember, you simply do not get to choose “the day”!!!  It chooses you!!