Double The Action, Double The Fun!

Wait, that headline sounded like an advertisement for a Nevada bordello…

One of the things I learned in my Leatham class was what actually makes up a good practical shooting / combat trigger press. It’s not “riding the reset” or what have you, it’s having the sights on-target when the bullet exits the barrel. A good trigger press affects that because it is the last major (relatively speaking) motion that is made to the gun before the bullet exits. If, say, scratching the roof of the your mouth made more of a difference in accuracy than a trigger press, we’d be talking about our lingual dexterity rather than trigger weights and shapes.

But it’s not, so we don’t.

There are four parts to pulling the trigger and making the gun go BANG!: The press, the break, the overtravel and the reset. Of those four, only one (the press) affects accuracy, so that’s the one that matters. In general, a shorter, lighter trigger is better for accuracy than one that needs more ooomph to pull and takes longer to get there. However, a good shooter can shoot ANYTHING and get his or her hits.

Take a look at Rob shooting a 1911, and watch as his finger comes OFF the trigger at 0:16 or so. We’re told that’s not a good idea. We’re told to ride the reset. And yet somehow, Rob makes it work, and wins championships with what he’s doing.

Rob shoots a striker-fired gun quite well. He shoots revolvers well. He shoots 1911s well. He shoots everything well, because he is in charge of the trigger and doesn’t get bogged down in minutiae. If controlling a double action/single action gun is causing you to think you’re not accurate, you’re right, you won’t be. Unlike Chris, I don’t carry DA/SA guns because of safety reasons, I carry ’em ’cause I like ’em, and I’ve never seen the DA/SA trigger as that much of a problem.

And it isn’t.


The Public Gets What The Public Wants.

But I don’t get what this society wants*.

Let’s pause for a moment to consider this item: The Grip Shot, which allows you to mount a handgun on the accessory rail of your rifle.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Why in the name of Colonel John Dean Cooper do I need this gadget? It is a solution to a non-existent problem. It is the very personification of an Alton Brown Unitasker, a tool that does only one thing, and usually not very well. To borrow from Alton, the ONLY reason I can ever see buying one of these is to give it as a gift to a gun owner I don’t like all that much.

What’s next? Tactical Cue Cats?

Skills > Equipment. Always.

*Yep, another music reference, this time from The Jam.

Essential Skills

A really great run down of what a well-prepared, well-protected civilian would need in training, mindset and equipment, over at Revolver Science. I like this list because rather than concentrating on “The Seventeen Ways YOU Can Stop Terrorism With Your AR-15 (And #12 Will Blow His Mind!)!!!”, it lays out, pretty clearly, what our threats are and what can be done to stop them. I really like that “defensive driving” is on the list. Want to avoid a road rage incident? Try not to be a jerk on behind the wheel, and never escalate the situation when someone cuts you off.

Gee, maybe those same principles of heightened awareness, conspicuous politeness and de-escalation might also work when he have a firearm on our waist and well as when we’re behind wheel.

Now that my family’s moved, “Getting into shape in order to help me live longer and with less creaking joints” needs to be on my version of this list.

A Shelter In The Time Of Storm.

You would think that if there was a particular type of crime that was up 1000% percent since 2005, it’d get some airplay on the news programs, right?

Well, in the case of attacks inside and out of the sanctuary, that’s not the case.

Lately we’ve seen a large increase in church security teams coming for firearms and tactics training. (I use the word “church” for any house of worship.) This is a good thing. According to one study violence at religious centers has increased over one thousand percent between the years 2005 to 2010.

Let’s face it: A church should (SHOULD!) be a place where people who are wounded emotionally and spiritually find solace and support to overcome their inner demons. This means that people who engage in questionable, if not outfight illegal and stupid things show up on our doorstep, and that means dealing with people who they associate with. I’ve seen it for myself: I was waiting in the narthex before service one Sunday when a rousing knock-down fight started between a woman and her divorced spouse. Both of them attended the church prior to their divorce, and neither was willing to find a new spiritual home now that they were no longer a couple. Fortunately, cooler (and stronger) heads prevailed, and the fight was quickly broken up and taken to a quieter place for the authorities to handle, but that was my wake-up call that bad things can happen inside a house of God.

Now that we have to deal with the threat of Islamic terrorism on our shores, what are the odds of ISIS doing over here what they’ve committed to doing in Iraq, namely, ridding the world of any and all competing faiths? How soon until we see a terrorist attack on a sanctuary or a synagogue?

It’s coming, and if you church isn’t willing to have a plan for man-made or natural disasters, make one for yourself.

A (Short) Day At The Range

I finally found the time to escape the insanity of my recent life and went to the “Shoot and Scoot” event at hosted by Step by Step training at Louland range for a couple of hours last weekend. I had a fewf things I knew I needed to test, like the new Trijicon HD sights on my M&P Shield and the reliability of my new carry ammo, Federal HST 124gr, in both my carry guns. In addition to this, I wanted to get in some one-hand only practice and try out a gadget that will be featured in an upcoming article for Shooting Illustrated.

The Results:

  • The Trijicon sights worked great. The front blade isn’t the skinniest one out there, so I wouldn’t want to use these sights in competition, but they did allow me to shoot a plate rack clean, so I’ll take it.
  • Both the Shield and the P07 ate a box of the HST’s with no hiccups, so that ammo will replace my beloved Hornady XTP’s for a while. I don’t like to keep my carry ammo sitting around inside my guns for more than a few years, and the HST’s were easy to shoot and felt much the same as practice ammo does, something that I like in carry ammo.
  • I was quite pleased with my one-handed shooting. While it took a while longer to shoot the stage than it did two-handed, but my hits were there and I was comfortable shooting both strong and weak-handed.
  • Nope, not going to tell you what the gadget was. You’ll have to wait for the article to find out.

I addition to this, Jeff worked on some new (to me) ideas about which is faster/better: Engaging a bad guy on the way to cover, or engaging him with more-precise hits while planted in one place, much the same stuff that Greg Ellifritz talks about over here. I’m still processing the data, but it was enlightening, and it felt GREAT to finally put rounds downrange once more.

Dry run

Between the move to a new house and the fact that Mrs. ExKevin is in the last throes of finishing her Master’s degree, free time to do gun stuff beyond writing about gun stuff has been in short supply this last month.

But I managed to get in 15 minutes worth tonight, and it felt GOOD.

Of Course It’s A Training Issue…

… because unless you’re Rob Leatham and you popped out of your Mom’s womb with a 1911 in one hand and a Dillon 650 in the other*, everything about learning how to shoot a gun involves training of some sort**.

Is learning to use a DA/SA trigger harder than learning to use a striker trigger? Yes. Is it roadblock the size of Mt. Logan standing in the path of learning to shoot well? No. It is just as big an issue (or excuse) as the person pulling the trigger makes it to be. You can get good on a DA/SA trigger with under 100 rounds of practice ammo if you don’t let it play with your head. The minute you say, “Oh, I can’t shoot that gun because it has an eight pound first pull”, you’re exactly right, you can’t. I’ve never considered it to be a big deal, and guess what, it’s not.

For the record, I prefer DA/SA guns***, but I recommend striker-fired guns to first timers because they’re quicker to learn than a DA/SA gun. Note that word, however… QUICKER. Not better, quicker. I’ve watched great shooters who usually shot tuned striker guns (and good 1911’s) struggle to shoot accurately with the 8 pound trigger on the original LC9 because they got used to just one kind of a trigger. They were good at one type of pistol, and the minute something new was put into their hands, their ability to hit the target dropped dramatically and they had to re-learn what they had learned.

Think that’s a training issue? I sure do.

There are some training issues you can and should avoid completely, such as choosing an unsafe holster. However, there is also no such thing as a free lunch. Yes, the initial learning curve with a striker gun is flatter, but eventually the need to run different kinds of guns appears, and just like car parts, you can pay for it now, or pay for it later, but that training issue isn’t going away.


* Ouch, that musta hurt…
** Not true, I know Rob trains and trains and trains. He can also run just about any gun phenomenally well, regardless of what trigger is on it. 
*** My carry guns are a DAO Kel-Tec P3AT, a striker-fired M&P Shield and a DA/SA CZ P07. I am nothing if not a bundle of contradictions.

Monkey Dance


There’s an interesting discussion about moving and shooting going on over at Pistol Forum. Should you scamper sideways and shoot while running almost flat out a la Gabe Suarez, sidestep a few feet a la Givens, or stay in place and make sure all your hits count?

Honestly, I don’t know.

I do know this: Hand a bunch of young kids some water pistols. Tell them that if they get wet, they have to sit out the game for five minutes, then watch what happens. I guarantee you they will be running around willy-nilly for the rest of the game, not worrying too much about putting fluid on-target but rather making not getting soaked their #1 priority.

What this means for innocent bystanders and no-shoots when those water streams turn to lead pellets is another matter, but the point is that our initial, inbred impulse is not to stand like a statue when attacked, but to get out of dodge quickly.

We understand, at a root-DNA level, that movement is life. We know that if we’re not moving, we’re Leopard Chow. We lack the lion’s powerful jaws and the claws of the wolf, but what we have, though, thanks to our two legs and high center of gravity, is the ability to move laterally faster than any other mammal on Earth. We’re still learning how to combine that quick left-right movement with something more formidable than an antelope femur, but we’ll get there.