With God, all things are possible.
***** Mindset *****
"Amateurs think equipment.
Students think techniques.
Experts think tactics."
-- John Holschen, InSights Training
You will only be able to buy equipment correctly if
you have had competent training. Because then you are
making informed intelligent decisions.
Through training and practice, techniques are learned
to an unconscious reflexive level. If you don't have to
think about the techniques, you will have the bandwidth to
think about tactics.
Good-guy tactics are entirely different from bad-guy
tactics. Because we care. We avoid endangering innocent
bystanders, much less injuring them. Good tactics is a
learned skill. There is nothing natural or instinctive
about combat tactics. Expert training is the only way
to learn good tactics.
[There really isn't any substitute for experience.
Teaching from 'first hand experience' is entirely
different from teaching from 'academic study'.
Sorry, but that's just truth. So, if you are going to
teach civilians concealed carry for self defense, you
should be carrying concealed every day. Otherwise, you
won't be able to answer simple questions.
"But, Staff, the simple questions are just common sense."
When my wife and I were applying for her U.S.
permanent residency, the immigration agent separated us and
asked simple questions that any couple living together
could easily answer, but were effectively impossible for
two people who did not live together to answer (with matching answers).
At Israeli airports, the security agents will strike
up casual conversations with passengers in the waiting
area. The questions will be friendly and simple. But, each
question will be based on the responses of the previous
questions. They go deep, not broad. If you haven't been
there, done that, you won't know the answer.
"What should I do when I have to use a public restroom?"
"What should I do when some one wants to hug me?"
An instructor should have a cogent answer that actually
worked in personal experience. Why?]
"Amateurs talk tactics.
Professionals talk logistics."
Napoleon is talking about regimental commanders,
senior field grade officers, colonels. But, it applies
to you. All the good tactics are for nought if you
Health (which requires food, water, exercise,
and sleep [and proper dental and medical care]);
Tools (flashlight [at least 500 lumens], first
aid kit [a real one with tourniquet, etc.] pistol,
ammunition, holster, extra loaded magazines, etc.); and
Training. You have to know if it's appropriate
to apply the tourniquet. (If I apply a tourniquet
the limb will have to be amputated, WRONG!)
If so, you have to know where to apply the tourniquet.
(2 to 3 inches above the wound, WRONG! That is not
modern best practice.) You have to know how to apply
the tourniquet. You have to be able to do it fast.
[That's real self defense.]
Talk to anyone who has served in infantry. They
are always willing to carry extra ammo and water.
THE DANGERS OF INTERVENTION
". . . personal defense is a lifestyle, not a hobby."
-- Sheriff Jim Wilson
Shooting in Self Defense: What to Do When the Police Arrive
Don’t fail the attitude test!
Costa Rica Store Owner Gets Shot, Stays in Fight, Kills Attacker
Had this Costa Rica store owner simply laid there in pain,
he probably would have died. He, however, refused to go silently
into the night. Instead, he protected his store, his customers,
and his life, and stopped a bad guy from ever doing something
***** Safety *****
John Farnam says the primary cause of negligent discharges
is unnecessary gun handling. So, . . .
When you go to the bathroom, keep your pistol in its
holster. Keep your holster on your gun belt.
When you take your clothes off to take a bath or go to
bed, keep your pistol in its holster. If you need to lock it
up, put the holster and pistol in the safe and lock it. Don't
take the pistol out of the holster.
“The fast and/or emphatic reholster
is an awesome way to shoot yourself.”
-- Chuck Haggard
***** Training *****
"Training is NOT an event, but a process.
Training is the preparation FOR practice".
-- Claude Werner
In Shape for Shooting: How Fit Do You Have To Be?
Yes, as a matter of fact, this is critically important.
Tactical Application of a Bianchi Plate Rack
by Dave Spaulding
“Use only that which works,
and take it from any place you can find it.”
-- Bruce Lee
1998 NTI (National Tactical Invitational)
Why do I need to train?
"To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment
when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and
offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique
to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if
that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for
that which could have been their finest hour."
-- Winston Churchill
Distance Shooting: Myth of the Average Engagement (December 2013)
by the late Patrick Rogers
[The laws for us, state licensed armed guards in Tennessee,
are much better these days. Still pretty bad in other states.
-- Jon Low]
Studying Self-Defense: Do Your Homework
9. Concealed Carry: Lethal Force Tactics
The rest of the episodes,
I have taken classes from John Murphy. I highly recommend
you take classes from him.
"You train for the people who love you."
-- Tatiana Whitlock
Making space . . . before you need it!
[This link does not seem to work anymore. The context is gas station
One more tip from [Greg Ellifritz]. Now that many pumps have video
screens that play advertisements while distributing gas, you should not
be staring at the screen clueless about your surroundings. Those video
screens are going to contribute to more robberies than anyone can even
imagine. Ignore them.
Extreme Close Quarters
Six questions you need to answer with training.
In combat you will perform at 70% of your worst day on the range.
-- Paul Ford
Skill Set: Another Look at Speed
Time is an important consideration, but not in the way most people think.
Regardless of what you’re doing, there’s a limit on how fast you can perform.
Go too fast and things fall apart, mistakes occur – which consume more time.
Overall efficiency drops.
. . .
It’s not about the speed you perform;
it is about how quick you make the decision to act.
***** Practice *****
Practice is the small deposits you make over time,
so that in an emergency, you can make that big withdrawal.
-- Chesley Burnett Sullenberger, III
Four Key Systematic Drills for Handgun Skill Development
My filling in the details of the article:
5 shots precisely with correct sight alignment, sight movie,
and trigger control. Strive for a tight group (bullet holes all touching).
5 shots carefully to the high thoracic cavity (triangle defined
by the nipples and notch at the top of the sternum). Strive for
a hand span sized group. If the group is smaller than a hand span,
speed up. If the group is larger than a hand span, slow down.
5 shots carefully to the cranio-ocular cavity. Slow down
until you can get all five within the eyes and nose. Then speed
up until you can't.
3 shots to the high thoracic cavity, 2 shots to the cranio-ocular
cavity. Slow down until you can get all 5 shots into the correct
areas. Then speed up until you can't.
A man's got to know his limits. -- Dirty Harry
Doesn't matter what those limits are. If you know what they are,
you can compensate accordingly by adjusting your distance, speed,
tactics (movement, cover, etc.), and techniques (standing, kneeling,
"How Should You Practice After Training?"
The saying “Only perfect practice makes perfect” applies
not only to the physical skills involved but also to the
structure of what and how you practice.
. . .
The steps involved in developing your practice plan might look like:
Prepare a practice plan: Drills and Scenarios
Document your results and plan your next session
Practicing in the Resource-Constrained Environment
There are several ways to maximize the resources we do have:
Effective range use
Lasers and laser training devices
6 Defensive Handgun Drills to Master
***** Techniques *****
"I would like to see every
woman know how to handle
guns as naturally as they
know how to handle babies."
-- Annie Oakley
Three Pistol Breaking Points
by Hock Hochheim of Force Necessary
He did a class at Royal Range in Nashville, TN recently.
* Hand sizes are different. Gun sizes are different.
* Understand the stress grab and drawing from awkward positions.
* Find your best finger position for a squeeze, gun-by-gun.
* You cannot/should not always shoot with two-hands.
* You cannot/should not always shoot with one hand.
* You cannot always shoot with an acquisition of sights.
* There is probably a good chance you are doing too much
shooting with two-hands in comparison to close quarter
* Through experiments, know the best distances for single
and double-hand, pistol grips.
* Train with simulated ammo in likely situations.
"Real fights are short."
-- Bruce Lee
Rangemanster April 2019 newsletter
Slow is smooth. Smooth is efficient. Efficient is fast.
How to Master the Double Action Trigger
It may cost you not to pay attention
As Dave Spaulding likes to remind us,
“It’s not new. It’s just new to you.”
***** Tactics *****
-- Carl von Clausewitz
Who Dares Wins.
-- motto of the Special Air Service
***** Gear *****
Avoidance, Deterrence, and De-escalation
-- John Farnam
If you're going to carry pepper spray, take a class and learn
how to do it properly.
You have to practice with inert units, otherwise you won't
know the trajectory of your stream, fog, or spray; and you won't
know how the wind can blow it back in your face.
You have to experience it in your eyes, otherwise you won't
know how it affects you. You have to see how it affects the
other students in your class, otherwise you just won't understand.
In my military police training, I learned that pepper spray
debilitates me. I observed that it had no effect on about 10%
of the Marines in my class. I saw that about half of the Marines
could fight through the effects and accomplish the mission
in spite of the pepper spray. [So, as a civilian, I made the
decision not to carry pepper spray, because it has
100% effect on me (when the wind blows it back in my face)
and stops only 50% of my assailants. This may not be a
reasonable decision for you.]
If you decide to carry pepper spray and refuse to take a
class from an expert, you should at least know to spray across
the assailant's eyes from left to right. If he is wearing glasses,
spray across his forehead from left to right. Of course, you're
not going to know at what distance you can do this, because you
never took the class.
If you're going to carry pepper spray, get some of the real
stuff, not the cheap junk. The cheap junk don't work, because
the Scoville Heat Units are too low. That's a measure of the
concentration of the oleoresin capsicum.
One of the Marines in my MP unit (Provost Marshal's
Office, Marine Corps Air Station New River) sprayed a door knob
as a joke. The Provost Marshal, Captain Cook (Major Cook the
last time I heard of him), took his pepper spray, revoked his
certification to use pepper spray, and other disciplinary action.
If you are the type of person who would think that using pepper
spray as a joke would be funny, please don't carry pepper spray.
Tactica Concealed Carry Corset Holster
Exactly what I need to hold my pot belly in.
How Often Should You Clean Your Carry Gun?
Don't be a goof. Clean your pistol weekly, whether she
needs cleaning or not. That means field stripping, spraying with
cleaner, scrubbing all surfaces, bronze bore brush with bore solvent,
Q-tip and pipe cleaners for areas your brush can't reach,
lubricating with oil, blow off excess with compressed air and
And then at least once a year, a detailed cleaning. This
requires disassembly. If you don't know how to do this,
take it to a competent gunsmith.
It is during cleaning that you will discover all the things
that need to be replaced before they break. Finding out during
combat, because they break, would be bad.
A clean pistol will function correctly, as opposed to intermittent
malfunctions. A clean pistol is capable of tight groups because
the rifling is not covered with fouling.
If you can't get the commercially available shooting glasses
to fit you, try the "Asia Fit" glasses from Oakley Standard Issue at
or on the regular Oakley web site at
or ESS at
search for "asian fit"
As Bruce Lee says, “Use only that which works,
and take it from any place you can find it.”
If you have small or thin feet, check out the women's section
of the shoe store. If you're uncomfortable doing this, you need to
fix your attitude. If you have large or wide feet, check out
the men's section for shoes. No shame. Just do it.
Similarly for pistols. Similarly for everything.
Remember, average is not normal. You are normal for you.
You are not average.
Why Carry a Spare Magazine?
Carry More Comfortably
***** Instructors *****
Colonel Robert Lindsey to his fellow trainers:
"We are not God’s gift to our students.
Our students are God’s gift to us."
Teaching Tips: Vocal Range Commands
"There is no such thing as a bad regiment.
Just bad colonels." -- Napoleon
Stop and think about why this is true. Any population
(such as a regiment) has a normal distribution (technical term
from statistics) with regards to any characteristic. So as a
unit will function as any other regiment.
But, the leaders are individuals with character traits
and personalities. When I was with Marine Forces Pacific, G2,
we had every Iranian regiment plotted on a wall map with its
effectiveness. Yes, personnel and equipment were factors.
But, the dominant factor was the quality of the regiment's
commander. We maintained detailed dossiers on these men,
because the leadership is what really mattered.
"Hey, Staff, how does this relate to us?"
There is no such thing as a bad class. Just bad instructors.
"Every time I teach a class,
I discover I don't know something."
-- Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch
***** Pedagogy *****
Qui docet, discit. (Who teaches, learns.)
-- motto of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers
How Does Failure in Training Enable Learning?
"Train, Practice, Compete are the key elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.
***** Education *****
"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
-- John Farnam
Beyond the One Percent (part 1)
Beyond the One Percent (part 2)
Deep psychological truth in this article.
Beyond the One Percent (part 3)
Beyond the One Percent (part 4)
On one of the Facebook forums I’m on, my standard response to
“what kind of new gun should I buy?” is “spend that money on training,
range time and practice ammo with the gun you already have, or at
least spare mags, better sights, and good quality carry gear for the
gun you carry most often.” That response is never well received.
There’s a sizable chunk of the armed citizen community that will spend
$500, $1000 or more on a new gun that will not spend a dollar on
training, and the new gun they wanted will spend 364 days a year in
the safe alongside all the other New Guns that were briefly
Beyond the One Percent (part 5)
Beyond the One Percent (part 6)
Train to a real standard.
Dry fire weekly.
Live fire monthly.
One class per year.
Beyond the One Percent (part 7)
Beyond the One Percent (part 8)
The official blog of KR Training, Karl Rehn Music and Karl Rehn.
Self-Defense Gun Owner Insurance Programs Compared
Watch the video that pops up before the text
of the article.
Only one of the programs listed is a reimbursement
program. What "reimbursement" means is the policy will
reimburse up to the specified monetary amounts if you
are acquitted. Now stop and think about that. What
about a conviction? mistrial? dismissal with prejudice?
dismissal without prejudice? plea bargain? or any number
of other possibilities? No money.
The NRA states that they set up the policy that
way because they can't be paying for illegal activity.
They obviously don't understand the concept of "innocent
until proven guilty". Without the money "upfront",
you're screwed. No competent attorney will take your
case without payment in full upfront. (Because after
the case, the client has no incentive to pay the attorney.)
As attorney Andrew Branca alludes to in the video
introduction, there are some subtle and nasty details
that you have to be aware of, because they will bite
I speak from first hand experience. In the
years before these insurance programs existed, I fronted
$50,000 in legal fees to get the charges tossed,
$800 to get the arrest record expunged, and
then had to hire a different attorney ($6000) to force
the Cherry Hill (New Jersey) Police to return my guns.
If my attorneys had not been able to convince the
prosecutor to drop the charges, I would have had to
front $250,000 before the trial started, plus whatever
expenses the defense team incurred during the trial.
The only reason I didn't have to post bail was
that my OIC (Officer-in-Charge) drove from Pennsylvania
down to the police station in the middle of the night
with an attorney friend of his to convince the police
to release me.
What if I didn't have the money to pay these
expenses? What if didn't have a loyal responsible
Why? Because my son wrote an essay in high school
about how he wanted to be a Marine Corps sniper. His
English teacher panicked and called the police. The
police raided our apartment without a warrant (because
it was an emergency). [My son did not threaten anyone
or anything in the essay.] The police make mistakes.
We pay for their mistakes, not the tax payer.
Legal Boundaries By State,
The Travel Guide For American Gun Owners
Thanks to Joe at Concealed Carry Inc. The material
at the end of this document is well worth reading.
“Destiny doesn’t make appointments,
nor does she waste her time with the naive and unready!”
-- John Farnam
This is the text of the Firearms Safety Course for the
state of Wisconsin.
There is a gut wrenching story, starting on page 18, of
Michael Lesnick (former federal police officer) and how his
negligence and his wife's negligence contributed to the death
of their son, Joshua.
“Familiarity breeds contempt and complacency.
Cops are handling guns all the time. Sometimes you
get lax wearing body armor, and I just want to
remind everybody of the safety procedures.”
In June 2008, Lesnick was sentenced to one year of probation
after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge for keeping a
loaded firearm near a child, as a party to the crime. A judge
also ordered him to pay a $500 fine and have counseling.
Lesnick’s wife, Jessica, 35, pleaded guilty to the same
crime and was sentenced to 18 months probation in August 2008.
Don't be "that guy". Secure your weapons any time they
are not strapped to your body.
We all have friends who are less trained and less educated
than we are. So, it is our duty to evangelize.
"Indiana Man Shoots Self in Genitals Due to Holster-Less Carry"
***** News, Legal, Philosophical, and Political stuff *****
How do you win a gunfight?
Don’t be there.
-– John Farnam
Colorado Sheriff Says He’ll Go to Jail Before Enforcing Gun Confiscation Law
Pittsburgh passes gun safety legislation
The full text of ordinance is given in the article.
§ 1101.04 USE OF WEAPONS BY DISCHARGE
2. Air guns
3. Bows defined in § 1101.01(D)(1) through § 1101.01(D)(4)
1. A crossbow;
2. A recurve bow;
3. A compound bow; and
4. A longbow.
Ya, I know the legalese is hard to read. Politicians do that intentionally.
The point is, it's not just gun control. They have regulated bows and
arrows, and air guns. Knives were already regulated. (Unlike Tennessee
where there is no such thing as an illegal knife.) So, we can correctly
conclude that it is not gun control, it is people control.
Remember, the purpose of such laws is to criminalize the behavior of
political opponents, so that they can be arrested, prosecuted, disenfranchised, and
imprisoned. That's why the Founding Fathers insisted on the 2nd Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution before they would vote for it. There will always be
enemies of the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment allows us to identify them,
and holds them at bay, and will continue to do so, as long as you support the
You spent much of your career fighting the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
the Chinese Communists, the National Socialists (Nazi), Korean Communists,
Vietnamese Communists, etc. You don't want the U.S. to end up like Venezuela.
You are intelligent enough to see the connection.
On the bright side -
Federal Court Rules California Magazine Ban Unconstitutional
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Judge Benitez's opinion,
Latest News of Self-Defense With Firearms Contradicts Gun Control Rhetoric
Attorney Question of the Month
1. What are a citizen’s options when the police knock on the door
with a warrant and want to confiscate the citizen’s guns?
2. Assuming the guns are securely locked in a gun safe,
do you advise the citizen to comply and open the safe?
3. What consequences do you anticipate would result
from refusing to open a safe?
IDPA Africa Champ Van der Bank shares his secrets to success
. . . Chapter 114 of the laws of Kenya require that every licensed
firearm owner be proficient . . .
Now stop and think about that. In the United States of America,
we have a Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms, but no legal
requirement to be proficient. How many of your fellow country men
are proficient? I'm not talking about the 1%, like the guys and gals
you see at the Tactical Conference, or the people you see at the range
when you go to practice. I'm talking about the guys who have grown
up with guns but never practice, have never taken a real class and
don't need to because shooting is natural / instinctive.
With rights come responsibilities. But, this symbiosis is
not obvious. It must be taught. It must be learned.
***** Survival *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Sherman House
10 Tips to Prepare Your Family for a Possible House Fire
Preparation for female and pediatric emergencies,
You should know how to insert a nose tube (nasopharyngeal, not a
nasogastric intubation). You should have lubricant for inserting it.
You should have at least three of these tubes of different diameters.
You have to take a class on this. It's not common sense obvious. If
your tube isn't the right length, you have to know how to measure from
nostril to ear lobe to trim it to the correct length. You have to know
which nostril to put it in; a human's right nostril is generally larger
than his left nostril (no, as a matter of fact, humans are not
bilaterally symmetric). You have to know how to put the victim into a
recovery position. Otherwise, the victim will suffocate.
How to Survive (and Prevent) a Carjacking
Don't go to stupid places.
Don't do stupid things.
Don't hang out with stupid people.
-- John Farnam
***** Basics *****
"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses."
-- Tom Givens
Prof. Edward Melkonian asked me to solve a problem
(an ODE, Ordinary Differential Equation, as I remember).
As I was working on it, he asked me if I were trying to
solve this particular problem or if I were applying a general
method that would solve all problems of this type.
I told him that I had only learned one method (having only
completed one course in ODE's), so I didn't know how to
answer his question.
He explained to me that the general method would not
work on this type of equation (which modeled a physical
process that we were interested in). We would have to try
something more sophisticated.
An infantry officer told me that they learn the
frontal assault, flanking maneuvers, enfilade, etc.
But, as the enemy also knows them, it would be foolish
to use such. You have to know how to do them, so if
the opportunity presents itself you can do it. But,
in real combat against a well trained enemy, you have
to be more sophisticated.
Sometimes the tactics that they teach you in school
(military, police, and civilian) won't work in your particular
situation. So, you have to adapt, improvise, and overcome.
Search for instructors who will teach you how to. Remember,
there are no rules; there are only inhibitions. That's why
Clausewitz said, the more audacious will win.
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
***** Miscellany *****
"The shorter the fight, the less hurt you get."
-- John Holschen
A nice place to train,
Boondocks Firearms Training Academy
11771 Hwy 18, Raymond, MS, United States
Electronically Remote-Controlled Weapon System
When it’s least expected, you’re selected.
-- John Farnam
Jonathan D. Low
God can do more than we can hope or imagine.