Reload, review, respond

costa-tactical-reload-

One of the problems with shooting IPDA is that even though they go to some lengths to prevent “gaming” the system and make things more realistic, you know just how many targets you need to engage and where they are the minute you load your weapon to start the stage. 

At least you should, and if you don’t, well, that’s why they invented “Failure To Engage” penalties. 

As such, you know exactly when (or if) you need to reload, and going to slide lock is actually a desirable thing because it’s faster in IDPA to reload an empty gun than it is to top off a partially loaded gun. 

This has a pretty big potential to create some training scars, because even though the odds of we civilians running into a half-dozen attackers is very, very small, we want our training to be up to the task if we need it. 

A comparison: While I was, (and am) not satisfied with the training I received at Front Sight, the shoot-house scenario they ran was interesting and eye-opening. As the amount and location of bad guys were unknown to me, so was my “stage strategy” and possible reload points. I ended up doing pretty well in the scenario (including a 7 yard shot on the hostage taker that went right thru the bad guy’s right eyeball), and I credit my background in competition for not getting the shakes and allowing me to make the shot when needed. 

So what is the point of a tactical reload? Why do people who don’t wear uniforms and/or badges need to do one? More thoughts on that subject over at the Osage County Guns blog.

Training a trainer

Training at night

I got my NRA Instructor Basic Pistol qual a few years ago, but I never pursued training others because a) the market in the Phoenix, Arizona area was super-saturated with firearms trainers and b) a year after I got my qual, Arizona went to Constitutional Carry and demand for the CCW’s went thru the floor.

However, it turns out that there are very few CCW trainers in my corner of Missouri, so I thinking about hanging out my shingle and start teaching defensive pistol.

But.

I’d like to have some more training in firearms instruction than what just came with my NRA class. I’ve had decent level of training (about 200+ hours as I write this), but only 12 hours of that was how to train others. I’m considering either learning from either Gabe Suarez or Rob Pincus because I like the stuff they’re teaching, but I’m not a fan of building a monoculture when it comes to firearms training, so what other schools are out there that will teach firearms training but don’t involve taking 4 years of advanced-level classes first?

The Whole (Sight) Picture.

I first heard the phrase “gross motor skill” in my first NRA class. The idea was that dropping the slide on a reload by racking it was a gross motor skill and therefore better to do under stress than the “fine motor skill” of hitting the slide release lever. 

The instructor then proceeded to spend HOURS on the importance of a smooth trigger press to insure accurate hits on target. 

So “gross motor skills” are good and should be done whenever possible, except when they can’t. 

Uh-huh. 

Why not ditch the idea that some physical movements are more “tactical” than others, and see the process of putting hits quickly on the target under stress as an integrated whole? 

More thoughts on this over at the Osage County Guns blog.

License to Chill

One thing that the anti-civil rights crowd gets consistently wrong is the idea that carrying a gun means you (and not the gun) are a hair-trigger, looking for an excuse to draw your weapon and lay waste to all those foolish enough to cross your path. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I’d suggest they’re projecting their lack of emotional stability onto everyone around them. Every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME that gun control gets loosened and freedom is regained, the streets are predicted to run red with violence, usually with a reference to the OK Corral and/or the Wild West. 

But every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME, that doesn’t happen. Why? Because people realize that with the increased empowerment of becoming your own first responder, there comes an increased responsibility for your actions. 

Your goal, if you carry a gun, is to become a peacemaker without ego

Full spectrum training

One of the complaints I had about training at FrontSight was their monoculture of experience: Practically everyone I trained with cited their experience at FrontSight as the qualifications to be a firearms trainer

Not a big fan of such things, because practicing and training only one “style” pretty much insures you won’t know how to handle the inherit chaos of a violent lethal threat. 

I’ve got some more reasons why you want to spread out your firearms training over a bunch of different trainers and systems over at the Osage County Guns Blog.

Free Gun

Remember when I said “Free Guns” were one of the things I wanted to do at my new job? 

I wasn’t kidding. 

We’re giving away a Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380.

Yep, free. Now, you don’t HAVE to link back to the contest or join our email list in order to win, but I’d appreciate you doing that because a) it would make me look good to my boss, and b) that means I can do more of this kind of stuff in the future. 

Good luck! 

Something I need to work on in the near future

cast-magoo

… is shooting without my glasses. 

No, no, not protective eyewear, I mean my prescription frames. I’ve worn glasses most of my life, and every time I got in a fight in my childhood years (and my not-childhood-years, if I’m honest…), the glasses came zooming off. 

Might that happen in a gunfight? You betcha.

I’m certain that training will kick in and all that would happen is the land beyond the front sight would be even more blurry than it normally is, but still, knowing that I can deliver the shot without glasses would be a comforting thing.

Revisiting Heinlein

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” – RAH

We all know the first part of that quote by heart, but the last part never seems to get mentioned, and as a result, stuff like this happens

Creating a warm and inviting environment for all of our guests and employees is a top priority for Jack in the Box. The presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences. While we respect the rights of all of our guests, we would prefer that guests not bring their guns inside our restaurants.

Please. Stop. Helping. All that needs to happen for all our side to lose all the gains we’ve made over the past decade is for more things like this to happen and more and more restaurants restrict the right of citizens to protect themselves on their property.

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” – Napoleon Bonaparte 

“Yep.” – Michael Bloomberg

There is a time and a place to OC a rifle, and that time and place is at a 2nd Amendment rally, NOT in a fast food restaurant in Texas. And let’s stop for a minute to consider the whole idea of open-carrying a rifle and think about what a rifle is compared to a pistol. Based on what I learned in my combat focus carbine class, a rifle is primarily an offensive weapon. If you’re using one to defend your life, you’re in a position where you’ve had time to GET to your rifle and are facing a known threat that cannot be dealt with by your pistol. This is why soldiers carry rifles, not pistols and why cops have them in the trunks of their patrol cars. 

Pause for a second and consider that last point. I see cops at at public events like baseball games all the time, and they’re not carrying M4′s or MP5′s, they’re carrying their normal gear. I’ve been to events where the cops were carrying M4′s, and that extra security made me extra nervous. Imagine how nervous it makes people who see other citizens carrying M4′s without the stamp of societal approval (i.e. a badge) on them? If you MUST open carry a rifle, carry a 10/22, stay off of private property and let the cops know first what you’re doing. You’ll make the exact same point and not tick anyone off. 

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative ain’t just a song, you know.

There is a reason why the JW’s and Mormons who knock your door are dressed nicely and are exceedingly polite: Those organizations have learned that they get more converts to their side acting that way than if they show up on a street corner dressed  to offend. Think about it: Have you ever seen a street preacher gain a convert with his antics?  Me neither.

Memo to my fellow OC’ers: Stop acting like street preachers, and start acting like missionaries.