What If The Next Rung On The Ladder Isn’t There?

I’ve been on a tear recently about how few people who get a concealed carry permit and then do anything with it, like, oh, I don’t know… CARRY A GUN.

I honestly can’t understand that. It’s like getting a driver’s license and then immediately selling your car and riding the bus for the rest of your life.

It occurred to me this morning, though, that maybe people don’t get post-CCW training is because the post-CCW training offered by their permit instructor SUCKS. Most instructors, I believe, look at the minimum requirements needed to teach concealed carry, get them, and then stop because hey, I’m qualified now. They don’t teach advanced classes because they can’t teach advanced classes. At best, they’ll get an additional NRA cert, like Personal Protection Outside The House, and away they go.

No additional trust images, no evidence of outside learning, no evidence of ongoing education, just hey, NRA Qualified Instructor!

We don’t allow our kids to be taught by a teacher who stopped learning the day they graduated with their degree, so why should we settle for a CCW instructor whose last training class was during the Bush Administration?

The Bush Sr. administration.

This attitude of instructor complacency needs to change. If instructors want better students and more revenue opportunities, they need to be better instructors.

No Excuses.

I’m constantly amazed by how many people buy a gun, get a CCW permit, and then do absolutely nothing. In my first training class, my instructor said that only one in three of his students would take the steps necessary to carry their guns on a day in, day out basis, and if anything, I think he over-estimated that number.

In an attempt to stem the tide and get people used to carrying, I’ve tried to lay out what a new gun owner should do before, during and after their concealed carry permitting class so they have a chance to put what they’ve learned into practice.

It’s over on Ricochet.com. Enjoy.

Common (Gun) Core.

Me, last month:

What disturbs me, though, is how many trainers don’t include measurable standards as part of their training process. How do they know if their students are qualified for their more advanced classes if they can’t judge their progress? Is having the check clear for a Tactical Shooting 101 class all the requirements for entrance into the Tactical Shooting 202 class? If so, what is the purpose of that first class: To improve the student’s skills, or to provide more opportunities for the student to spend more time (and money) with the trainer?

Tam, today:

If the trainer is not grading your performance, is not measuring your skills against your peers and your own performance baseline at the start of the class, it’s generally for one of two reasons:

– They’re probably not as clueful as they think they are.
– They don’t want to hurt the feelings of customers because that cuts down on repeat business and good word of mouth.

I’ve had trainers, well-known trainers who you’d say, “Oh, him, I’ve heard of him!” tell me they don’t do tests in their classes because of that second reason. That’s a business decision they’ve made, and given the size of these guy’s operations, it works depressingly well for them.

It’d be interesting to do a Venn Diagram of firearms instructors who don’t do standardized testing in their classes vs. firearms instructors who are also for rigourized standardized tests in our public school system….

“Our children aren’t learning in school because there’s no testing! There’s too much emphasis on ‘feel good’ learning and not enough of the Three R’s… What, do standardized tests in my gun classes? Are you mad? I don’t want to teach to a test!”

Where Is Your Taurus Judge God Now?!

2288549I carry a couple of shot shells in a spare magazine, because not all predators walk on two legs (or any legs, for that matter…). One of the issues with CCI shotshells has been, though, that in 9mm and other calibers, they pack a lot of light, tiny little BB’s into the bullet rather than something more substantial.

Not no more.

CCI has added to its one-of-a-kind offering with exciting new CCI Big 4 loads to extend the range and capabilities of these downsized shotshells, thanks to a payload of No. 4 lead shot. The resulting energy and patterns enable Big 4 loads to take down larger pests at longer distances, making them even more useful.

That’ll leave a mark.

Good Times, Good Cause.

I made a long, long drive up to Bradenton last week to meet up with Chris Baden, Lee Williams and a bunch of other shakers and movers in the S. Central Florida gun world, and I had a great time. It was nice to dabble my toe back into the local Florida gun waters, and I got to meet the people behind some cool places like the Manatee Gun Club, Amendment II Armory, T1 Ammo and DW Ballistics.

I’ve shot at Manatee before, and while it’s not Ben Avery (what is?), it’s one of the better outdoor ranges I’ve been to. They’ve been through a rough patch as of late, but they’ve got a great opportunity to become one of nation’s premier shooting ranges, and I look forward to shooting there in the future.

What If Guns AREN’T The New Harley Davidson?

What if they’re a different vehicle altogether, namely, the “sport utility vehicle”? People buy SUV’s because they make them “feel safe”. SUV’s are bigger and the driver sits higher in them, giving the impression that you’re safer because “you can see more of the road” and you’re safer because, well Force = Mass x Acceleration, and it’s best to have as much of that “F” on your side as you can if you’re hitting something.

Also, there’s a certain sense of prepper mindset when you own an SUV. Yes, you probably won’t need to ford a raging river on the way to pick up your kids from soccer practice, but it’s nice to think that you CAN do such things if the need arises. In addition to this, SUVs are darn handy to have if you do any sort of outdoor activity away from the city. When my family goes camping, we leave my Ford Focus at home and take my wive’s Nissan Pathfinder (an older model still based on the Frontier chassis, not the station-wagon-on-steroids that is today).

An SUV, a true SUV, is built on a truck chassis. It’s not meant to be a day-in, day-out workhorse, but it will perform those functions in a pinch. It also serves the purpose of making the owner feel safe and giving them a little more added security when things get dicey.

Sounds like concealed carry to me…

Why Plan B Should Be Your Plan A.

I’ll be honest: Even though I’ve carried a Smith&Wesson Shield off and on for years now, when Paul Carlson showed me his first prototypes for The Plan B just over a year ago, I was… whelmed. Yeah, the sliding sleeve on the eight round magazines was annoying and a bit chintzy, but how much of a difference would a new baseplate actually make to how a gun operated?

IMG_6243

Then Paul sent me a couple of Plan B baseplates to test, and I get it. When I slid them on my eight round mags and then picked up them up, they completely changed how they mags felt. They feel totally different with these new baseplates on them, more like a fighting tool than a flimsy afterthought. The magazines feel more husky now, with a pleasing heft and solidity to them. You know the difference between picking up, say, a 1911 made by, say, S&W and then a 1911 made by Ed Brown? It’s kinda like that. As an added bonus, my mags are now flared out a bit more at the bottom, which helps them mold into the bottom of my hand a bit better and give me a better grip on the gun. I received two baseplates from Paul: One Plan B baseplate slipped onto the mag with no issues, the other needed a masking tape shim to get a snug fit. Paul says that’s to be expected because not all the mags are built to same tolerances, and it was no trouble getting it to fit. Other than that one glitch, though, there has been zero issues with the 200 or so rounds I’d put through my mags with these new baseplates.

I get it now. Not only is the Plan B useful, I consider them to be a “must have” if you own a Shield, because these baseplates help transform your gun from a hideout pistol into a serious defensive tool.


FCC/IRS/NSA/DOD/DOJ Disclaimer: Paul gave me the baseplates I used in this review because he’s a nice guy. All of you in all those agencies could learn a thing from him about being nice.

Context Matters

I hate Deagles, but I know they’re a hoot to shoot.

I don’t own a Glock, but I know they’re a good gun to start with.

I know Glocks are good guns to start with, but I wouldn’t recommend one to someone whose hands have been weakened by arthritis or age.

Context matters. There is no “size fits all” solution for sodas, and there’s no perfect carry gun for everyone, everywhere. There are reasons why cultists sophisticated computer users like myself prefer Macs over Windows, and there are reasons why people use Linux over Macs and reasons why people choose something other than a Glock 19 for their first gun. Some of them might be bad reasons (dumb advice from gun store clerks or supposedly knowledgable friends), some might be good reasons, such as it was for me, when I found I was demonstrably more accurate with a CZ75 starting out than I was with a Glock 17.

Chesterson’s fence applies to a lot of things, and the gun community would be a better place if we heeded its lesson more often.