That was easy

Went to the local Staples last night to pick up some Cat 5 (What, doesn’t EVERYONE shop for networking cables in the late evening?) and noticed a shiny new “No Firearms Allowed” decal on the front door.

Well, that’s it for me and Staples. Fry’s Electronics doesn’t allow firearms, either, so it’s time to get nice and friendly with the people at Office Depot.

And all the other stuff, too

I didn’t get into practical shooting to become Todd Jarrett in my middle age: I got into practical pistol because I wanted some practice dealing with those “Oh S***!” moments with a pistol. I want to train my brain to quickly assess the situation and deal with it appropriately so my family and I can live through the worst day of our lives. 

The problem is, I’ve just been doing practical pistol, and little else. Thanks to Generations Firearm Training I’m now an NRA Certified Pistol and Personal Protection instructor, but that’s still firearm-based defensive instruction and I want to develop a range of responses to the varying threats that are out there. 

I can count the fights I’ve had on one hand and still have enough fingers left over to hold a salad fork, but I still realize that there are people out there who mean to do me harm. A comment at The Truth About Guns got me a-thinkin’.

Unless someone is specifically targeting me or my family or unless it’s a home invasion, chances are, any attack that may happen will be up close and personal, within bad-breath distance, for a number of reasons. 

  1. The belligerent a-hole, drunk or not. Arguments don’t happen across parking lots, they happen close up. I’m pretty good at walking away from fights and arguments, but one never knows… 
  2. The mugger. A mugger has to be right next to me to get my wallet or keys away from me.
  3. A sexual predator attacks my family. And that’s all I want to think about that… 

What do all those attacks have in common? They all happen right up close, closer than 95% of the targets on a typical USPSA stage. While it’s very rewarding to clear a 10-yard plate rack, that has little application for civilians in the real world. 

And I need to change that. I need to learn how to shoot defensively, not competitively, What’s my plan? 

  1. Get in shape. While the best USPSA shooters are top-notch athletes, you don’t need to be a triathlete to do well. I’m not in the worst shape of my life right now, but I can improve, and I will. 
  2. Learn some unarmed combat. This one is easy: My sons want to learn karate, and so do I, so we’re all signed up at a local Wado-Ryu school. They’ll learn the katas they need to improve their fitness and self-discipline, and I’ll shape up my sorry butt even more. 
  3. Do some force-on-force training. Tactical Studies Group will be doing airsoft training in the near future, and I want to get a rig that matches my daily carry gun as closely as possible. Sadly, no one makes an airsoft CZ P07, but a SiG P229 seems to be a close match for size, shape and operation, and I’ll go with that. 

So what does this mean to you, the reader? Not a lot. Look for more posts on training and defense in the future, and that’s about it. 

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Get out of Dodge

Gabe Suarez sure has a chest-thumping, meat-eating manly-man way of taking on an aggressive mob

“If you have a pistol, please make sure it is a modern high capacity weapon with a couple of spare magazines in your belt. The Suarez International company gun, a Glock 17 with three magazines, yields a sum total of 52 rounds. Figure three rounds per man, and you can reduce an angry mob of panga swinging killers into a fleeing group of bloodied bad guys. Draw it and yell, “Get The F*** Back!” If they do, run away. If they do not, shoot the first man in the face. The rest will take care of itself.” 

Umn, err, “The rest will take care of itself” isn’t exactly a plan, is it? 

I carry a spare magazine for my CCW gun, but not because I expect the zombie hoards to pop up in my local Circle K or because I expect a hockey riot to break out in my local mall. Rather, I carry a spare mag because 90% of all problems with a semi-auto come down to feeding rounds into the chamber, and having another mag to go to in case something burps gives me a little more confidence in what I carry. 

And as for what to do when a mob shows up, I prefer to learn from people who went through the worst of the 1992 L.A. riots

Don’t mess with my wife

Mission accomplished

That's gonna leave a mark.

That’s her results with my CZ75 and P07 from 15-25 feet. And it gets better with the S&W K-22 revolver her Dad gave to us when he passed away. 

pop pop pop

I’ll leave any more training she might need to the experts

A few observations from this outing… 

  1. I wasn’t the only one. In the lane next to us was a young man teaching his girlfriend to shoot and there was another couple a few lanes over as well (and my wife out-shot ‘em both :D ). 
  2. An hour or two of dry-fire practice beforehand REALLY paid off on the range. 
  3. .22 revolvers ROCK as a gun for first-time shooters. My wife learned a smooth, sustained trigger pull by starting out with the K-22 and the recoil and noise was non-existent. 

What’s the secret for teaching your spouse to shoot? Patience, encouragement, reasonable expectations and a willingness to do something they like (but you don’t) in return.

I’ve been wanting to get her out to the range for months now, and I think I was able to do this outing because I started showing interest in her activities, so she started showing interest in mine. I wasn’t expecting my wife to turn into Debbie Keehart overnight, but I did want her to know how to safely operate the gun(s) we have for home defence, and in return, I’m going to the new Harry Potter movie with her next month. If and when we go shooting again, I’d like her to try out some rental guns: She had issues hitting the mag release button and slide lock lever on both my CZ’s, some maybe there’s something out there more suited to her hands. The big takeaway from today was her safety habits were/are first-rate, and that makes a trainer ‘s job so much easier.

Time out of mind

Caleb talks about the mental game of practical shooting. 

The question then becomes, how do you train yourself to stay focused? The thing is though that what works for me to “stay in the game” may not work for someone else. Everyone is set up differently mentally, and you need to find out what works for you to keep your head in the game.

I confess that this is my next hurdle to cross. I’ve reached the point where I can deliver the shot, now I need to do it on command, every time. 

The problem is, staying “in the zone” for a 2-4 hour match can be quite a challenge. I want to talk to my friends, relax and have a good time while shooting and not turn into a hyper-competitive jerk, but I still want to shoot well. 

One trick I’ve found to stay in the zone (and don’t use often enough) is pre-visualization: I “see” my sights on the target during the walkthrough, and I keep in that virtual sight picture in my mind as a I reset and tape targets. When I walk up to a target to tape it up, I imagine my front sights on the A Zone. When I walk up to a popper, I imagine what it would look like falling down after being shot from my end of the gun. I “see” these results in my mind, over and over again as I reset the stage for the shooters in front of me in the hopes I can re-create the results for real when it’s my turn to shoot. 

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I do know I tend to do better when I practice this routine diligently. 

And yes, the title is yet another musical reference.

Pray for me

I’m going to do something tomorrow that many men have tried to do and most have failed miserably to accomplish. 

No, not buy a pink .38. All that takes is money and a lack of good taste.

I’m going to rent a lane at Caswell’s and try to teach my wife how to shoot better, specifically make sure she knows how to use our home defence gun(s). 

Don’t be surprised if I’m asking everyone for a good divorce lawyer on Wednesday. 

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