Merry Christmas Sheepdogs,
***** Mindset *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Dr. Sherman House
Tom Givens says that panic is the result of not
having a pre-programmed response for that situation
that you can automatically default to.
You don't necessarily have to practice your
response for thousands of hours in order to engrain it.
Visualization works well for Olympic athletes. It will
work well for you. The more you practice visualization,
the more detailed it will become and the more effective
it will be.
Simply ask yourself, "What will I do if someone
attempts to rob the cashier?", "What will I do if
that guy walking towards me gets too close?", "What
will I do if I hear glass breaking in the middle of
the night and my daughter screaming from her bedroom?"
Answer your questions in detail. Go through the motions
of actually doing it (without your gun drawn).
Now, if the situation should occur, you will be
thinking, "Okay, I've done this before. I can handle
Should more people bear arms after Schlenker shooting?
"We (law enforcement) call ourselves the first responders,
but in reality, we're the second responders,"
said former Melbourne police Detective Mark Laderwarg
"I'm firmly convinced we can no longer sit back and pray
the fight isn't brought to us,"
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a YouTube video
he posted in June on the "Brevard Sheriff" account.
"If there's an active shooter, until law enforcement arrives,
it's up to you to neutralize or eliminate the threat."
"(The gun) does no good in your car or in your house,"
They [criminals] Don't Think Like You Do
When we "Go to Guns!"
Words have definitions, as in a scholarly dictionary,
as American Heritage (not a popular dictionary, as in Webster's).
[No, the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) is not American
English. It is British English. The two diverged in the
time of Shakespeare when English speakers moved to America.]
Bad guys use violence to get what they want.
Good guys use force to defend themselves from bad guys.
Good guys don't commit violence.
Words don't necessarily have meaning (semantics).
In English, the sentence is really the minimal unit of
meaning. Yes, there are one word sentences.
In English prose, the paragraph is the standard
unit of prose. Yes, there are one sentence paragraphs.
But, it generally takes more than one sentence, so as
to eliminate ambiguity.
***** Training *****
How Do You Train?
Practice smarter: Information is key to improving shooting
Unfortunately, there are several problems with practicing
this way. First, it's a waste of time because little
productive learning takes place.
Beyond the CCW Pistol: Four Factors of Survival
Why? On the subject of Sight Radius.
This article has nothing to do with sight radius.
Dave Spaulding is talking about how essential it is
that the student know why he is using a certain piece
of equipment or why he is using a certain technique.
I am always tickled when a student just tells me the
truth when I ask him (or her) why they do something
questionable. "Yeah, I think these sights (technique,
tactic, etc. . . . place one here) looks really cool. It
makes me feel awesome." Beer will do this as well
and will not place you in as much danger as looking
cool in a gunfight, providing you don’t drink and
drive. Of course, my response will be "how is
(insert whatever here) ability to enhance your
performance working for you? If it is not enhancing
anything then WHY are you doing it?" Once again,
we are back to why.
In the case of cool looking sights,
the view of the sights that is important is from
the rear . . . not from the side where "cool looking"
is determined. So which is it . . . cool looking or
performance enhancing? If you can’t answer this
question, then is cool looking a good enough answer?
Only you can decide but one thing I will offer,
"shooting cool" can be fatal.
Get on Target: Overcoming Anticipation
Untrained shooters anticipate the recoil and
push against it. This is one of many autonomic
nervous system responses to the recoil (push) and
report (bang). The way to defeat your autonomic
nervous system responses is to strive for and
achieve a surprise break. This is subtle. This
is difficult to do by yourself. Ask for help.
Get a coach. Get an instructor. Yeah, you may
have to pay them. It's worth it. You get what
you pay for in this world.
Drill Your Way To Victory
Your Tactical Training Scenario- Juvenile Violent Criminals
It's really important that you answer the questions.
Lack of preparation causes panic.
5 Critical Elements Of A Handgun Training Program
***** Tactics *****
The Truth About Target Identification
Target identification is relative and not absolute.
Once you have enough, waiting for more is a tactical blunder.
Options for Non-Combatants
***** Techniques *****
How to Avoid Shooting High
Opening up the rear sight is essential on combat
pistols, because in low light conditions the light on
either side of the front sight will disappear if the
rear sight notch is too narrow.
***** Gear *****
With the decline in sales of firearms in the U.S.
(in large part due to the easing of fear because of the
Trump presidency) the prices have been coming down.
The price point for a reliable self defense pistol
used to be $500. I just got a Ruger American in .45 ACP
with two magazines for $450 retail. So, things are
good for the consumers these days.
Truly ambidextrous pistols with adjustable
grip size at reasonable prices are the:
Ruger American (~$450), H&K P30 and variants (~$550),
and the Springfield Armory XD variants (~$550).
Your gear is heavy. It may make your pants or
skirt sag. My solution is a study gun belt and
Their regular suspenders
are too weak for our needs.
I recommend the RUF-N-TUF suspenders.
They also have polypropylene suspenders that
don't stretch as all.
If you're a fireman, policeman, or soldier carrying
a heavy load on your belt, this would make sense.
But, they are not comfortable because they are not
These all hook around your belt. But they
also have the type that clip to your belt or clothing.
1911 Emergency Field Repair
Excerpt from a letter that I sent to several students in an upcoming class --
You must be able to easily and quickly field strip your pistol and
re-assemble your pistol in the dark (or with a blind fold on). If you
can't do this with your pistol, your pistol's design is wrong. The pistol
should not have springs shooting out when you field strip it. The pistol
should not have small pieces falling apart when you field strip it.
If you disassemble beyond field stripping then you may have springs and
small parts flying all over the place. So, you should have a
gunsmith do any disassembly beyond field stripping. Or, if you feel
compelled to do it yourself, do it inside a clear plastic bag, so you
don't lose pieces; and video record it, so you get all the pieces back
in the correct place. Yes, badly designed pistols may be re-assembled
incorrectly, causing deadly problems.
Never disassemble more than one pistol at a time. If you get
parts mixed up between the pistols, you are demanding trouble.
And Murphy's Law will oblige.
Difficulty field stripping and assembling your pistol will create a
barrier to cleaning your pistol. So, you won't regularly clean your
pistol as you should. [Instead of watching that ball game on TV,
I'm going to clean my pistols. Ah, I can feel my character improving
and my soul maturing.]
Don't use a revolver for combat. They take too long to reload and
reloading is much more difficult than with a modern semi-auto pistol.
No, revolvers are not more reliable than semi-auto pistols. Anyone
who tells you that is ignorant, to put it politely. If you open up
a revolver, you will see many tiny parts that have to be precisely
timed. It looks like the inside of your grand father's wind up pocket
watch. The more moving parts a mechanism has, the less reliable it is.
The ammunition capacity is too low. The reload capacity is too
There is no technical or tactical advantage to using a revolver.
Anyone who tells you that there is is wrong. Tell me the reasons
that they gave you and I will explain why.
Winning in combat depends on speed, accuracy, and power.
You can control speed and accuracy in real time. Power is what
you bring to the fight. So, you might as well carry the most
powerful cartridge that you can shoot accurately. The NRA
recommends 9mm to .45 ACP. Anything smaller than a 9mm
has too low a probability of stopping the attack. (It is
ineffective.) Anything larger than a .45 ACP will make
accurate shooting difficult because the recoil is too great.
I have standardized my pistols on the .45 ACP cartridge
(so I don't have to stock more than one pistol ammunition) because
terminal ballistics (effect on target) is determined by penetration.
Penetration is determined by momentum. Momentum is
determined by mass. So, you should throw the most massive
bullet that you can. No, as a matter of fact, bullet speed
doesn't matter that much in our context. No, over penetration
is not a realistic concern, it almost never happens. Because pistol
ammunition is ballistically deficient. If we knew we were going
to be in a fight, we would be armed with a rifle or shotgun.
We only carry pistols because they are convenient and
If your pistol has a magazine release in some position that does
not allow easy one handed operation, you don't have a combat
You're not going to have two hands in combat. You'll be
carrying a baby. You'll be injured. Murphy's Law guarantees it.
Just because you are right handed does not mean you are
going to be right handed in combat. So, your pistol must be
The Glocks and S&W M&P's that allow putting the magazine
release on either side are not ambidextrous. The SA XD's and
the Ruger American's are ambidextrous (and many others).
If your pistol does not have a trigger guard, it is not
a modern combat pistol. Get rid of such pistols before you
have a negligent discharge.
In a standard full size (not compact or sub compact)
pistol chambered for .45 ACP, a double stack magazine will
hold about 13 rounds and a single stack magazine will hold
8 rounds. So, why does the Ruger American hold 10 rounds?
In an effort to make the grip slimmer to better fit people
with smaller hands, the magazine is slimmer. It is actually
in between a double stack and a single stack.
So, ordering common full size self defense pistols
in .45 ACP from fattest grip to thinnest grip (in my opinion)
(magazine capacity + 1 in the chamber)
Glock G21, 13+1
Springfield Armory XD, 13+1
Heckler & Kock USP, 12+1
Heckler & Kock HK45, 10+1
Smith & Wesson M&P, 10+1
Ruger American, 10+1
CZ 97 B, 10+1
1911 type single stack pistols, 8+1
(Of course, you can change the stocks, back strap, etc.
to change the size of the grip.)
Avoid holsters that require the use of the trigger finger of the firing hand to
actuate a button to release the pistol, such as the Blackhawk SERPA holster.
Because, the common factor in documented negligent discharges is an unintended
continuation of the movement of the trigger finger toward the trigger due to the
"push button" motion required by the trigger finger to initiate firearm release.
The manufacturer recommends that you not insert the pistol backwards into
the holster, because the pistol can get stuck in the holster. This is the primary
technique taught for support side hand presentation in the federal law enforcement
training schools (FLETC, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center).
The release mechanism may fail to release the pistol due to debris (dirt,
small pebbles, snow) lodging behind the release button.
Citation – email from U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park
Service, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240; dated July 5, 2012; from
Acting Associate Director Louis Rowe; reference W34 (2460).
Many IDPA clubs forbid this holster. The Federal Law Enforcement
Training Center and the U.S. Interior Department forbid this holster.
But, the U.S. Army has hundreds of thousands of these holsters. Well,
that says something about the procurement personnel in the U.S. Army.
***** Instructors *****
Instructors, you are the leaders of your class, not
just the teachers of your class. Take heed,
"How Leaders Build -- And Destroy -- Trust"
A HIGHER EDUCATION
***** Pedagogy *****
***** Education *****
Lessons learned from watching 12,000 gunfights
CRIME LAB: Myths & Misconceptions
***** News, Legal, and Political stuff *****
Concealed Carry in America
Man stealing AR-15 assault rifle from police car caught on surveillance video
What gun control laws would have prevented this?
Where did this criminal get his gun? From the cops.
H. Rept. 115-433 - CONCEALED CARRY RECIPROCITY ACT OF 2017
Dismal Truth: Police Use-of-Force Training
WATCH: Off-Duty Officer Tracks Gunman Through Costco Before Shooting Him Dead
***** Survival Tips *****
***** Basics *****
***** Miscellany *****
Husband and Wife Christmas Shopping:
A couple were in a busy shopping center just before Christmas.
The wife suddenly noticed that her husband was missing and as
they had a lot to do, she called him on the mobile.
The wife said, "Where are you, you know we have lots to do."
He said, "You remember the jewelers we went into about 10 years
ago, and you fell in love with that diamond necklace?
I could not afford it at the time and I said that one day I
would get it for you?"
Little tears started to flow down her cheek and she got all
choked up . . .
"Yes, I do remember that store." she replied.
"Well, I'm in the gun shop next door to that store."
If you would like the lesson plans for my
NRA Defensive Pistol course, send me an email,
and I'll send you the latest version. The lesson
plans constantly change as I take courses,
communicate with other instructors,
and stay abreast of best practices.