Urge your friends to get training before some tragic event induces them to get
training. Explain to them that the training prevents the tragic incident. Because
training changes their personality, their body language, and their choices in life.
***** ***** ***** Software ***** ***** *****
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
----- Mindset -----
It’s about prevention, not response.
-- Michael Mann
“I’d just run away”- Are you fit enough to escape? by Greg Ellifritz
"Just don’t delude yourself by thinking you’ll get there by running faster than your attacker."
[As Greg says, this is not an endurance race, it's a high speed sprint.
Can you out sprint a 16 to 25 year old male?]
Email from Mike Seeklander
Simple: The word “try” is a failure word. It allows you to have a failure plan
versus accomplishment plan.
Imagine the difference to this hard corps competitor if he had said I’ll “try”
to practice this week versus I “will” practice.
Why do we use the word “try” and do this to ourselves? Because is easier that way.
Saying “try” and failing has become a noble thing in our society, as it implies that
you put forth effort.
But, imagine the difference of “try” versus “do” if you applied it to a situation
where you were standing next to a one thousand foot drop off into a chasm filled with
molten lava. “I’ll try not to fall off this edge.” vs. “I’m not falling off this edge.”
Which one would you pick? I know which one means more to me!
Ok, so is this all semantics? Did I just decide to play on words in a cute
little blog post? I think not. I think a “will do” attitude driven by verbal
statements might have made a big difference in what I might have accomplished over
Here's my example: Recently I read about a great leader (big company CEO) that
decided he would make his bed first thing upon rising no matter what to help his
wife out and set the day in a positive tone. The leader went to great lengths to
make this happen. For whatever reason I decided to do the same. Not for a wife
or anyone else, but because I wanted to start my day out with a solid action that
might help set the tone. In the past I had typically made my bed when I had time,
but I did not do it concisely each morning upon rising. I didn’t realize the
implication at the time, but when I decided to make a change I told myself:
“I will make my bed each day upon rising.” I did not say, “I’ll try to make my
bed each day upon rising.” And guess what . . . I have not missed it one time.
I believe that the act of saying “I’ll do” sets into action some phycological
processes that increase your chance of actually accomplishing what you set your
mind on. The “do” mentality sets a different tone in the brain and it begins to
focus on accomplishing exactly what you stated, simply because failure is not an
option at that point . . . because you decided to do.
So what if you are wrong and miss the mark? It’s okay! Being wrong is okay.
The world will not stop spinning.
That was my fear, and I believe the reason why it was easy for me to say “try.”
It meant that if I did not meet the goal I would be fine because I had not lied
when I said “try.” But it made it easier to miss the goal. Missing goals I had
set was bothersome, but was survivable. Why? Because all I really said was that
I would “try” to do XX. I gave myself an out!
Saying what you are going to do on the other hand is really scary, and when
you miss the mark it can be painful. It hurts us where we are the most vulnerable,
our ego. I truthfully believe that I missed more than one goal due to the
mentality of “trying.” Time to change!
If you have read this far, then I want you to change with me.
Here are our steps:
Select goals wisely- because once they are set it will be impossible not to
do the work to meet them if . . .
We state our intentions by using “do” type action words. We will forever
say what we WILL do, and set actions in place to accomplish that target.
We will believe with our heart and everything we possess that we will meet
that goal, no matter how large or small.
Lastly, in the rare case we miss our mark (very rare if we state our intentions
with conviction), most likely from circumstances that really are out of our control,
Re-prioritize/refocus/reset the goal
And drive on with the same mentality of “do” versus “try” with one hundred
times more intensity than before!
Imagine some applications:
I will win my first club match in the next six months.
I am going to win my state multi-gun match this year.
I will train my defensive handgun skills twice a week, no matter what.
I’m going to handle my defensive handgun and dry fire a minimum of three times
weekly for 15 minutes over the winter months.
I will change my diet and I will exercise five days per week no matter where
I am or what I am doing.
Effective immediately I will not drink sugar filled unhealthy beverages, ever.
I will completely empty my inbox and action those emails every single day before I
I will meditate, re-center and focus every day for 10 minutes.
I will read something educational every day, six days a week for 30 minutes.
I will save and invest 10% of my income every single month.
I will tell my loved ones that I love them, and truly appreciate them every
single morning and night before I go to sleep.
Ok, so what are some of my “do” items?
I will complete the rough manuscript and have print ready, my newest book
“The Art of Instruction – Your Complete Guide to Instructional Excellence”
by Oct 31, 2014.
I will finalize the newest training program and rough manuscript in my
second big project “Your Defensive Rifle Training Program” by December 31, 2014.
I will post one high quality shooting or motivational blog post every other
week or twice a month at a minimum.
This coming week, I am going to win my division at the I.D.P.A. Nationals.
There you have it, some major commitments from me. What are yours?
Until Then - Train Hard!
-- Mike Seeklander
Benefits of Tactical Training for Civilians by Zachary Tomlinson
"You need to be incredibly focused, practice under stress,
run through several scenarios dozens of times."
"If you are still reading, you are likely a leader – someone who
is ready and willing to take on the weight of responsibility."
"No one wants to be the leader when crisis strikes,
but someone has to step up before someone gets hurt."
Thinking ahead during the current Insurgency by the Tactical Professor (Claude Werner)
"The most important tool you have during a crisis is the one between your ears.
As with almost all tools, it’s better if you sharpen it before you need to use it."
With a Gun To Your Head: The Larry Goldstein Incident by Massad Ayoob
Bide your time. There is no point in getting yourself killed.
Yes, sometimes it is justified to shoot at fleeting bad guys, even for civilians.
Army Ranger explains how to win a gunfight (With KAGWERKS)
He recovered so quickly and completely from the surgery,
because he was in excellent physical and mental shape before
As Colin Powell said, "I'm not looking for a fair fight.
This is not a boxing match. I will destroy the enemies of my
country as quickly and efficiently as possible." (Context,
prior to the first invasion of Iraq.)
I've been to a lot of "meetings" where there was a good
chance that the guys across the table would shoot me.
People who say they're going to commit suicide are asking for
help. They are not telling you that they will commit suicide.
People who commit suicide usually don't say anything to anyone.
Similarly for people who threaten to kill you. (But, you can
use their words to articulate why you shot them.)
Shooting in your air conditioned carpeted range is not
the same as running a mile up the hill in rough terrain and then shooting.
Learn by failing. Fail often. Fall forward.
As John Farnam says during training, we are here to fail
magnificently, so that in combat we will win.
An NRA Dad's 3 Promises To His Newborn Son by Jeff Johnston
"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses."
-- Tom Givens
----- Safety -----
Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety
RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
Why Shooters Should ALWAYS Wear Eye & Ear Protection by W.H. "Chip" Gross
7 Gun Safety Rules You Must Follow In the Field by NRA Staff
Actually only 6 rules are listed. Proofreading not so good.
"The fast and/or emphatic reholster is an awesome way to shoot yourself."
-- Chuck Haggard
These Are the Gun Safety Tips You Need to Know by Asad
Why would this article appear on a tech web site? Because unlike the
executives of the Silicon Valley companies, the engineers are generally conservative,
pro-gun, pro-life, pro-capitalism, etc. How do I know? Because I worked as
a software engineer for various companies in Silicon Valley from 1995 to 1999.
The Importance Of Retaining Control Of Your Firearm by Joshua Gillem
Teach your kids about guns!
Leave the area.
Tell an adult.
ADDRESSING HOME SECURITY CONCERNS FOR ELDERLY RELATIVES PT.1 by Steve Moses
Don't go to stupid places.
Don't do stupid things.
Don't hang out with stupid people.
Be in bed by 10 PM. Your own bed.
Don't look like a freak.
Don't fail the attitude test.
-- John Farnam
----- Training -----
“You are no more armed because you are wearing a pistol
than you are a musician because you own a guitar.”
from Principles of Personal Defense by
Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC, (1920 – 2006 A.D.)
Most of my students come to me after some tragedy or close call has forced them to seek training.
I outreach, as I did to you, because I know that if they had the training before the incident,
they would have been able to avoid the incident. The training changes your personality and your
body language. So, when the predator looks at you, he thinks to himself, she looks like a hard target.
And he moves on to find an easier target. You win!
Behavior and Threat Detection: Methods in Prevention - Michael Mann Security Services
May I recommend this online class for you and yours?
Law of Self Defense ADVANCED Live Online Course
Saturday, October 3, 2020 9AM-4PM Mountain
I took this course when Andrew was still traveling and gave the course at
the Nashville Armory. I assure you, it is worth the money. No travel.
No hotel. Maybe a little time off from work? You really need to read the book,
"Law of Self Defense" before the class to prepare for the class and get the most out of it.
Tactical Training Scenario- Daytime Rape at a NYC Subway Station by Greg Ellifritz
You need training because:
You don't know what you don't know.
Much of what you know is false.
It's good to the have the answers before the criminal tests you.
-- Claude Werner (paraphrased)
Your Rules of Engagement: Considerations for Self Defense - Michael Mann Security Services
William Aprill Tribute Page
Concealed Carry Made Simple by Richard Mann
Honing Your Situational Awareness To A Razor’s Edge by Tom Givens
"Many people don’t realize their situational awareness skills are
more important than their marksmanship skills. Well, you can’t shoot
something you don’t know is there or don’t know it needs to be shot."
"Get your head up, open your eyes, and look around."
"Where do most carjackings occur? At intersections, as you wait for the light to change."
". . . look in the rearview mirror. It’s not there so you can shave on the way to work or
put on makeup; it’s there specifically to see what kind of car is behind you."
"Shame on you if you get a speeding ticket. You should have seen the cop
long before he could get a radar reading on you." [I remember my father telling me this. -- Jon Low]
Yes, you can prevent crime by being aware, as Tom's story demonstrates.
Incompetence will get you killed. So, get expert training (which includes
the laws governing self defense).
Hesitance will get you killed. So, be decisive. Which you will be, if you get
expert training and practice regularly.
The police may find your attacker. The courts may convict your attacker.
Your family may win the civil suit against your attacker. (But, it's
highly unlikely he will have any assets to seize. Your agents won't be
able to seize his drugs and stolen property.)
But, that's not going to bring you back to life. It's not going to
support your crippled body or your family.
You have to win the physical fight. Then you have to win the legal
fight in criminal court. Then you have to win the legal fight in civil
court. So, you better have life insurance, medical insurance, and self defense
insurance. Neglecting this is irresponsible.
Lots of useful stuff.
Less Is More by Marcus Wynne
This is really a different training paradigm. And I know many instructors
would be uncomfortable with it. But, it's important to keep an open mind.
Shooting at the Speed of Decision Making by Bob Jewell
". . . it takes about 0.25 – 0.35 seconds for humans to react impulsively.
The key word is impulsively. Psychologists use the terms System 1 and System 2
to identify the two key parts of the brain involved in decision making.
System 1 operates quickly and impulsively, while System 2 operates deliberately
and analytically. System 1 isn’t capable of handling complex things; that’s
the responsibility of System 2. But here’s the problem: System 2 requires an
invitation to get involved in a decision, and that invitation doesn’t come from
System 1 because System 1 always has an answer even if it’s incorrect.
I would suggest that if a gun is in your hand you don’t want System 1
running the decision making process unless you’re an individual who has had
a lot of experience in managing active threats and have thus built up a
reliable database for System 1 to work from. Incorrect answers in a life
or death situation don’t sound like a good idea. When System 2 gets involved,
so does time. The 0.25 – 0.35 seconds will increase to up to 0.50 seconds."
The two questions your defensive shooting instructor should be willing and able to answer.
by Grant Cunningham
"What are your biases or preconceptions?"
"What have you changed your mind about in the last year?"
More questions you should ask your defensive shooting instructor – and why. by Grant Cunningham
"What instructor development course have you taken in the last year
that did NOT involve pulling a trigger?"
I would think that reading a book would be a reasonable substitute for
taking a course in this context. For example:
"Teaching Women To Shoot A Law Enforcement Instructor's Guide"
Second Edition, by Vicki Farnam & Diane Nicholl.
Applying Neuroscience Research to Tactical Training System Design and Training Delivery"
by Dustin P. Salomon.
"Women Learning to Shoot: A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers"
by Diane Nicholl and Vicki Farnam.
If you want more suggestions, send me an email. But, I warn you, most of them
will be from the field of smallbore and air rifle target shooting, so you will
have to transfer the knowledge.
What’s the difference between tasks and skills in defensive shooting training? Does it matter?
by Grant Cunningham
"Practicing your skills out of context, out of the conditions under which you can
reasonably expect to need them, isn’t practicing realistically. Start with the task
you want to achieve, and practice the skills you need in — as close as you can — the same
types of circumstances in which you’re likely to use them.
Start your path to more realistic training now, by looking at your practice regimen
and the skills you’re working on. Look at each skill, and ask yourself:
a) how likely is it that I’ll need this skill;
b) what task does this skill support; and
c) am I practicing in a way that’s congruent with how I expect to actually use it?"
5 Key Factors For Choosing Your Gun Instructor by Brad Fitzpatrick
"Training is NOT an event, but a process.
Training is the preparation FOR practice".
-- Claude Werner
----- 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
All kinds of good stuff on this web site,
The close quarters marksmanship drills are essential. As the Professor says,
". . . we’re more likely to need to do a close range precision shot on a predator
than a 25 head shot on a terrorist."
"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
[This is a post by Tom Givens. Sorry, no pictures, as it was on a private Facebook page.]
Shooters who have been around a while understand this, so this is aimed at newer students.
Many of us have difficulty getting to an outdoor range to practice. In my case, the outdoor
range is a 45 minute drive both ways, so I don’t have time to go there much. On the other hand,
there is an indoor range ten minutes away in town. Unfortunately, 10 yards is the maximum
distance on that range, so my practice routines are somewhat limited.
We really should do some practice for mid-range shots, in the 15 to 25 yard area.
Those are not common, but they do occur. The same skills help you make a closer shot on a
smaller target, such as only a small part of an adversary sticking out from behind cover.
If you are limited to a shorter distance range, the answer is to practice on tiny targets.
In my case, since I can only go to 10 yards on the indoor range, I shoot 1” squares and 2”
circles. In the photo, this is a five shot, one half inch group fired at 5 yards on a 1”
square. Twenty-five yards would be five times that distance, so this is the equivalent of
a 2.5” group at 25 yards, which is what I am capable of with one of my Glocks. The other pic
is a 2” dot engaged at 10 yards. Again, this would be the equivalent of a very good group at
25 yards. If you are similarly limited for space, give this approach a try.
-- Tom Givens
5 Sure-Fire Training Drills For Your Concealed-Carry Pistol by Kevin Creighton
Challenge Your Shooting Skills With New Drills by Sheriff Jim Wilson
5 Simple Steps to Bust Your Shooting Slump by Dave Campbell
"Be careful what you practice.
Because you will do in combat whatever you
have practiced, no matter how ridiculous."
-- "Shooting in Self-Defense" by Sara Ahrens
----- Techniques -----
"Use only that which works,
and take it from any place you can find it."
-- Bruce Lee
When to Speed Up Your Shooting Process by Sheriff Jim Wilson
"Being able to shoot — I mean really shoot well — is the foundation upon
which the combat mind set can be built."
Five Deadly Fallacies of Hand to Hand by Justin White of Mad Science Defense
My aiming protocol --
1. When wearing bifocals - Align fuzzy sights as best I can.
Tilt head back to get sharp image of front sight. Tilt head forward to get a
clear image of what's going on down range.
2. When wearing contact lenses - Stretch out to hold the pistol as far away
from my eyes as possible. I use the shape of the slide to aim the pistol.
3. Without glasses - Pull pistol in close to get a fuzzy, but visible front sight.
4. With degraded vision - I use the shape of the pistol to aim.
Of course, another solution would be to use a red dot sight. Make sure
to turn up the brightness, so you can easily find the dot in a chaotic
environment. And you have to practice, because if you're looking for that
bright red dot, but your sight has a dim green dot, your OODA loop may be disturbed.
It is not enough to learn a technique that works with particular equipment
in a particular context, you must learn techniques that work with any equipment
you might pick up in combat. For example, you must shift your weight toward
the back of the surfboard to turn, because the skegs are in the rear. You must
shift your weight forward on a snowboard to turn, because the front edges need
to cut into the snow or ice. On a skateboard, where both front and back wheels
pivot, you need to keep your weight centered to maintain traction on both sets
of trucks and wheels. Wrong technique for the given equipment and you crash.
Concealed Carry Corner: Being Well Rounded With Your Firearm by Matt E.
Starts at 2:09 / 9:56
"Having even a tiny amount of background knowledge can make the difference
between staying calm or panicking under pressure."
Check out the armpit technique. You might not be wearing a belt. Always
good to know several techniques, in case you can't use one.
Former SEAL Bill Rapier on How to Fight a Carjacker by James Reeves
Notice, open hand techniques. If you have to make a fist (never recommended)
use a hammer fist, not a punch. Elbows! Within the confines of your car, you
are not going to have room to extend your arms or legs, so practice elbow strikes.
They didn't show any, but if you have the flexibility, you can do knee strikes in
Do you see why in close quarter combat, appendix carry is a bad idea?
It puts your pistol right in front of the bad guy; where his hands are. The reason
all the pros in my social circles carry at 3 o'clock (or 9 o'clock for left handers)
is that we've done the experiments, considered the trade offs, and decided. Learn
from the experience of others. Appendix carry may be cool and all the rage, but it
is suboptimal on many levels. You can't twist your body to get your pistol away
from the enemy.
Do you see why you must have a weapon accessible to your support side hand?
Especially in close quarter combat, you will move one of your sides away from the
enemy to access your weapon from your side that is away from the enemy. If it's
a knife, you must be able to access the knife and open the knife with your support
side hand only. [Do it right now. Were you able to do it? If not, practice.
It's not that hard to do. You just need to practice. If you were not able to
access your knife, you need to stop and think.]
As with any combat, you must drive in! You must aggress!
"But, isn't my goal to escape?"
Yes, but escape in a carjacking situation is not reasonable / practical until
after you incapacitate the enemy.
"NEW STUDY: Muzzle position can have major impact on your shooting decisions" by Charles Remsberg
Primary source by Dr. Taylor, email: email@example.com
“Engineering Resilience” Into Split-Second Shoot/No Shoot Decisions:
The Effect of Muzzle-Position by Paul L. Taylor
I do not agree with the study's conclusion. But, one must keep an open mind.
And I might be wrong. I often am.
"It's not daily increase but daily decrease - hack away at the inessentials!"
-- Bruce Lee
----- Tactics -----
How do you win a gunfight?
Don't be there.
-- John Farnam
"Contact Distance Shooting . . . Rescuing a Friend or Family Member" by Greg Ellifritz
Ralph Mroz teaches to grab and lock up with the good guy, so you are moving with him,
and then shoot the bad guy.
Armed Self-Defense: Should You Retreat? by Sheriff Jim Wilson
Neurophysiology and The Real Fight by Marcus Wynne
Strike first. Strike before the enemy thinks about striking you.
Self defense law does not require you to take a hit (of any kind).
Self defense is to prevent getting hurt.
"Well, you can't prove he would have attacked you. You couldn't have
known that he would have raped and murdered you."
That's true. And you don't have to have known anything in an epistemological sense.
You only have to have a reasonable belief that he would have caused death or
serious bodily injury.
You win gunfights by not getting shot.
-- John Holschen
----- Education -----
"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
-- John Farnam
Alpha Koncepts Podcast - Episode 10 with Massad Ayoob.
If you haven't taken Ayoob's MAG-40 or MAG-20 course,
he covers some of his material in this podcast.
Rangemaster OCTOBER 2020 NEWSLETTER
"As I have mentioned before, I never go the range and “just shoot”.
I always shoot timed/scored drills so I can accomplish several goals.
1. Check to see exactly where I am, this day, on my own personal skill curve;
2. Measure specific skill sets and compare to a personal baseline;
3. Look for any skill subset that needs remediation; and
4. Compare gun/ammo/accessory combinations to others in a measured, meaningful way."
Please read the article, "Knowing What You Need to Know" by Gabe White.
Having studied epistemology in the Philosophy Department at Columbia University
several decades ago, I have a justified true belief.
Gabe uses the term "cone of vision", note that this is an ellipsoidal cone,
not a circular cone (for most people, everyone is different).
Gabe is not being facetious. I have had students whose front or rear sight has
fallen off while shooting. The rear sight was in a loose dovetail that required
a set screw that had come loose. (Glue your screw in place! That's what Loctite
is for. You don't have to use the type that takes a torch to loosen.) The front
sight was an after market that had not been installed correctly. (Invest the money!
Have a gunsmith do the job correctly.)
"You will never get smarter or broaden your horizons
if you're unwilling to learn from others and read."
-- Becca Martin
***** ***** ***** Hardware (which includes you) ***** ***** *****
"I would like to see every
woman know how to handle
guns as naturally as they
know how to handle babies."
-- Annie Oakley
----- Gear -----
“Mission drives the gear train.”
-- Pat Rogers
Now here's an interesting innovation, using your thumb as your trigger finger,
instead of your index finger.
"Limited Edition Blackwater Iron Horse Thumb-Operated Lower" by Eric B.
7 Shoulder Holster Options To Carry Up Top Like A Pro (2020) by Elwood Shelton
Just don't muzzle your support side arm. Can you get your pistol out of
such a holster without muzzling your support side arm and those around you?
If not, don't use a shoulder holster.
I have seen many advertisements for extended slide locks and extended magazine
releases. This is a bad idea. If you can reach these controls without changing
your grip, you can touch them while shooting. Which means you could eject your
magazine or lock your slide during combat. Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong,
will go wrong, at the worst possible time. So, you must make your weapon system so
that nothing can go wrong.
"Women’s Carry, One Size Does Not Fit All" by Jonathan Humphrey
The holster has to fit your body; that is most important.
The holster has to fit your pistol; that's important too.
The holster has to be comfortable, otherwise you will not wear it. And the
whole point of the exercise is to always wear your pistol; because you cannot predict
when you will need it.
When assisting a woman with finding a proper holster, you have to consider fashions
that she wears. To neglect fashion is to be insensitive and dogmatic. Don't be dogmatic.
Being dogmatic will kill the teacher-student relationship faster than anything else.
If you don't know anything about fitting a holster to a woman with child bearing
hips, refer her to someone who knows. Don't waste her time with your ignorance.
Safariland has a whole line of holsters specifically for women with hips.
Some women don't have hips. Everyone is different.
My New Favorite Electronic Hearing Protection by Greg Ellifritz
Walther’s Q4 SF by David Freeman
". . . large undercut trigger guard . . ."
That's really important. I had to take a round wood file to the underside of the
trigger guard on my Springfield Armory XD, cause it was hurting the second joint
(counting from the finger tip) of my middle finger. But, that's plastic. This
Walter is all steel. [If you're not shooting a thousand rounds in two days in a
high intensity class, you'll never notice such problems. But, do you really want
to be that person?]
No matter what the reviewer says, this pistol is not ambidextrous.
Heavy is good in the sense that there is less felt-recoil, because felt-recoil
is equal to jerk (3rd derivative of displacement with respect to time) times the
mass of the pistol. So, the felt-recoil is inversely proportional to mass.
[The felt-recoil can also be considered the change in momentum (but not exactly
because the bullet and gas are moving forward, so you have a thrust equation) and
you can say the momentum of the pistol, after the shot is fired, is mass times
velocity. So, the higher pistol mass means lower pistol velocity. But, this
isn't really appropriate because humans don't feel velocity. They feel jerk.
Jerk is a term commonly used in the auto industry. Because that is what auto
If you're in the market for a serious rifle,
Contact information at the end of the article.
If you show your state armed guard license, many gun stores will give you
the police officer discount for Glock and S&W M&P pistols. And maybe others.
Glock Alternatives by Matt E.
Industry Secrets To Buying Ammo (What Nobody Tells You) by Joshua Gillem
In Tennessee, there many manufacturers of both new and re-manufactured ammo.
Alpine in Mt. Juliet, TN (though I've only seen their stuff sold in the gun stores)
Tennessee Cartridge Co. in Oakland, TN
Commercial Air Travel by John Farnam
Recommendations on cases for your guns for air travel.
Streamlight Protac HL-X 1000 Lumens, $66.99
Big Daddy Unlimited is a very interesting web site. It's a membership store like COSTCO.
99 cents for first 30 days and then 9.99 per month thereafter.
They stock the cheap Russian ammo I like, Tul and Wolf. Don't judge me. It goes bang
and it's cheap. And it throws a 230 grain copper jacketed round nose bullet at 850 feet
per second. What more is there in life?
“Your car is not a holster.”
– Pat Rogers
----- Technical -----
"Real fights are short."
-- Bruce Lee
It is truly said (first by Jeff Cooper),
"Magnifying optics don’t let you shoot better. They let you see better!"
10 Cleaning Tips and Tricks For Firearms by SSUSA Staff
On the Citizens Safety Academy Alumni Facebook.com page, there was a thread about
which weapon was best for home defense. Jeff Boren made the insightful comment that
one should use whichever weapon system one has trained with the most, whichever
weapon system the user is most proficient with. The training and competence certainly
trump the technical pros and cons of the inanimate weapon system.
The Chapstick Trick
I read a ridiculous article on the American Rifleman web site that advocated
adjustable sights on a general purpose pistol. Why? What would you be adjusting for?
Adjustable sights are a bad idea because:
1. They are fragile. If you accidentally bump them, they will move, they may break.
If you intentionally use them to rack your slide, which you will do, they will move,
they may break.
2. In order to serve their purpose, they must have fine threads. Which are vulnerable
to fine dust and sand. Not the kind on Hawaiian beaches, the kind in Arabian Peninsula
deserts or Arizona deserts. (Ya, there are dust storms in Arizona between Phoenix and Yuma.)
3. They are adjustable. Which will allow the neophyte to chase the last round or
to adjust for problems that are not sight related. [I'm shooting right handed. My
bullets are scattering (not grouping) low left. I will correct the problem by
adjusting my sights. WRONG!]
Fixed sights are adjustable. You may have to buy or borrow the tool to adjust
them, but so what? Just do it. If you have to replace the front sight to adjust
point of impact, that's fine. If you have to file down the front sight to adjust
point of impact, that's fine. Just do it. But, you probably don't have to. If
you're missing, it's probably you, not the gun.
Don’t Do it Wrong! How to Properly Wear Body Armor by Ivan Loomis
"The top of your plate should cover your Super Sternal Notch
(that little notch at the top of your sternum)."
Ammunition Science: Bullet Construction by NRA Staff
The 10 Types of Bullets (& 5 Bases) by NRA Staff
Alien Gear Concealed Carry Blog
Alien Gear has some videos you might find useful.
I have always found their products to be reliable.
Common Sense Duty Ammunition Rotation
When I worked at McDonalds, we were taught to rotate the stock.
Why Triggers Have Different Sizes & Shapes by Tamara Keel
"The shorter the fight, the less hurt you get."
-- John Holschen
***** ***** ***** Instruction ***** ***** *****
Colonel Robert Lindsey to his fellow trainers:
"We are not God's gift to our students.
Our students are God's gift to us."
----- Instructors -----
Remember, the students who require the extra effort are the ones who need us the most!
-- John Farnam
Skill Set: Common Issues by Tiger McKee, director of Shootrite Firearms Academy
"Here are the most common issues I see when teaching.
(issues are common with groups, as opposed to problems, which occur with individuals.)."
I am teaching an elderly lady who has arthritis in both shoulders and her right hip.
So, she has limited mobility, as she uses a walker to get around.
She has little grip strength. I go to her house twice a week to teach her, as she does
not drive (to the relief of her relatives). Her relatives expressed their concern to me
about her acquiring a pistol. I assured them that I would not give her live ammo until
I felt she was competent. (I gave 250 rounds to her nephew-in-law to hold for her.)
And if I did not feel she could handle the pistol safely I would tell her. But, she is
an adult and mentally competent.
She told me she had researched, prayed, and considered; and had decided to buy a revolver.
I explained to her why that was a bad idea:
She does not have the trigger finger strength to press a double action trigger,
and certainly not repeatedly. I explained to her that cocking the hammer to get
a single action trigger would create an extremely light weight trigger press and
an extremely short trigger press with no slack. Which would be very difficult to
control in a high stress situation. Self defense revolvers are designed to be
fired double action only.
Revolvers are difficult to reload, especially under stress. Especially one handed.
Revolvers take too long to reload, especially under stress. Especially one handed.
Revolvers need to be reloaded too often.
She told me that she does not expect to be attacked by more than 6 persons.
I explained to her that her imagination of probably scenarios was completely wrong.
That if she expected to stop one person with one bullet, she was not in reality.
She told me of all the YouTube.com videos she had watched. I explained to her that
the vast majority of YouTube.com videos are non-sense and completely false.
I explained to her that trained police officers have a 13% to 20% probability of
hitting their intended target (depending on their training which depends on their
department). Why would she think that she could do any better? As she has no
history of disciplined practice of anything. So, she probably is not going to hit
the intended target. But, if she does hit the intended target, will it be in a
vital area? Maybe, maybe not. Even if she blows out his heart, he's still got
about 4 seconds of life in him before the blood pressure drops to the point where
his brain won't function. He could easily kill or maim her in 4 seconds (depending
on the weapons available).
She told me that she would never dry fire her pistol because that was bad for
the pistol and might break it. I explained to her that that was false and that
dry practice was essential for gaining and maintaining competence.
She told me that she was left handed and left eye dominant. This turned out
to be false on many levels. She writes and uses tools with her right hand, but
was convinced that she would shoot better with her left hand (probably because
she thought that she was left eye dominant).
For close viewing such as reading, she removes her glasses, and is strongly
right eye dominant. At distances beyond reading, she uses her glasses, in which
case she is strongly left eye dominant. She has not had her eyes check in a while
and I suspect her eyeglass prescription needs updating. I have recommended she
see an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) or as least an optometrist.
If you are teaching classes of 30 students, it's unlikely you are going
to detect such things. That's why my classes are never more than 5 students,
and often only one student.
She told me that in the past when she shot right handed the bullets would
impact way off to to the left. I explained to her that that was because she
was shooting with both eyes open, which is wrong, and that she was lining up
the front sight with the target using the image from her left eye (because it was
clear and sharp, as opposed to the blurred image from her right eye).
We did the exercise where you stick your thumb out at arms length and line
it up with a distant target. Then focus on the thumb and close one eye at a
time to see how far the target moves. And then focus on the target, and close
one eye at a time to see how far the thumb moves.
If you hold your right thumb out at arms length and use your right eye
to line it up with the distant target, and then close your right eye and view
the set up with your left eye, you will see the thumb (your front sight) way
off to the right of the target. So, what do you do? You move your thumb
(front sight) to the left to get it over the target. That's why the bullets
are impacting off to the left.
If you were maintaining correct sight alignment with your left eye,
there would not be a problem. But, that does not happen when shooting with
both eyes open, because the left half of your field of vision from both eyes
is processed by your right brain, and the right half of your field of vision
from both eyes is processed by your left brain. So, you never notice the
lack of sight alignment. Because the image from the right eye is being
processed by both hemispheres of your brain. So, both hemispheres are
satisfied that sight alignment is good. (When I refer to left and right
brain, I am talking about the physical lobe of your brain. I am speaking
in the realm of psychology, the science, which has nothing to do with the
wacko nonsense practiced by liberal psychiatrists.)
So, instructors who teach aiming with both eyes open are WRONG! If you
do this, you are asking for trouble. Eventually, in a high stress situation,
you will be using the wrong image to line up your sights. You'll be missing
your intended target, hitting innocent bystanders off to the side (off to the
left if you're using your right eye to aim, off to the right if you're using
your left eye to aim) in the background, and you won't be able to figure out
what's going on. Because Murphy's Law is a physical law, like gravity.
You can't break it. It doesn't matter whether or not you believe it.
Yes, as a matter of fact, this is a matter of life and death. (And an
excellent way to sort out incompetent instructors.)
Be careful what you teach.
Because your students will do in combat
whatever you have trained them to do,
no matter how ridiculous.
-- "Shooting in Self-Defense" by Sara Ahrens
----- Pedagogy -----
Teach positive. Teach what to do. Don't talk about what not to do.
-- John Farnam
With regards to the above quote --
Absolutely correct. As a curriculum developer and presenter in years past
(Navy & civilian) this was called "the Rule Of Primacy". Same result, formal title,
at least five decades of use by good training developers. Probably longer,
that's my personal experience.
Only on rare occasions is it prudent to show what to NOT do. And then,
only after at least several iterations of what to do - and then most times
if you feel it is absolutely needed, it is better to describe the error rather
than to show it.
My exception to all this and the Rule of Primacy, is teaching strong side draw.
I show a clip of a guy shooting himself in the calf while using a Serpa holster
and having his trigger finger pressing in . . . . well you know. That's as an
attention getter to the importance of a correct draw. I think that does rivet
the student's attention on what they do with their trigger finger.
In every other instance I can think of, the rule applies.
-- Tom Clark
Teach your students to ask their question now. They need the answer now
to use the information on what they are working on now.
If they wait till the end of the class or end of the day,
they will forget their question. And you've lost the opportunity for everyone
to learn from their question.
Gifts, Military Neuroscience, Undercover Operations, and Mirror Neurons by Marcus Wynne
An instructor should not expect any learning to take
place the first time new information is presented.
-- "Building Shooters" by Dustin Solomon
***** ***** ***** Legal, Political, and Philosophical ***** ***** *****
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
It is wholly inadequate for the governance of any other.
-- John Adams, October 11, 1798
In the last issue of this newsletter, I neglected to include citations under the
false assumption that everyone has these documents in their family library, professional
library, or personal library.
Lots of different translations. Unfortunately, they don't all say the same thing.
The Declaration of Independence,
The Constitution of the United States,
The Bill of Rights, (Amendments 1 to 10)
The Constitution: Amendments 11-27
Andrew Branca does a free online legal analysis of recent self defense incidents
every Thursday at 3pm Central time. Live on the Law of Self Defense Facebook channel.
Andrew Pollack's speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention
THOSE WHO FORGET HISTORY . . . by Gabe Suarez
Communism, even in its lightest form, is the greatest evil the world has ever
faced. Worse than the Nazis, worse than terrorism.
If you choose communism, you will lose everything you have and your family has.
Not right away but you will eventually. Dissenters will be arrested, charged, and
destroyed. Your wealth will be gone. Your freedom will be gone and you will have no
choice but to do as you are told . . . to submit. It will be patriotic thing to
do . . . since "we will all be in this together", etc. And the most vociferous among
you will disappear never to be heard from again.
[In the United States, the Democrats call it "socialism", but it is communism. -- Jon Low]
Kyle Rittenhouse Thanks Supporters From Jail,
Says ‘Stay Strong, I Hope To See You Guys Soon’
by Gabriel Keane
If Kyle is convicted, self defense is illegal (at least in Kenosha, Wisconsin).
The U.S. Bill of Wrongs: Part Deux by Alan Korwin
For the Presidency:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of
President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve,
protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Can you swear that and also promise to violate the Second Amendment?
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because
rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
-- George Orwell
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
-- Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America
Illinois is one of the most anti-gun states in large part due to Cook County
(Chicago). But, look at this,
"Illinois Leads Nation in total NICS Checks Heading into September" by Luke C.
A lot of these first time gun buyers are learning first hand how difficult
it is to buy a gun in Illinois. You think that's going to have an affect on how
they vote come November?
No More Right to Self-Defense! by John Farnam
“This is not a dictatorship!
We are never going to use force, because we belong to the people.
Moreover, the day that the people do not want us, we shall leave.
As soon as possible I will take rifles off the streets.
There are no more enemies!
There is no longer anything to fight against!”
-- Fidel Castro in 1959 (just prior to disarming and murdering
his political opponents, and subsequently enslaving the rest of Cuba)
Why is there no ammunition in the gun stores?
First-Time Gun Buyers Grow to Nearly 5 Million in 2020 by Jim Grant
Why Are Women Buying Guns? by Robyn Sandoval
Contrasting Trump and Biden on Gun-Free Zones
Please sign up for Dr. John Lott's newsletter.
Knowledge is power. You might have occasion to convince someone with a well
reasoned argument, if you have the facts.
Crime Prevention Research Center
Tap, Point, Tap
First My Country
by John Connor
"I wish for a country which reflects the best values of its army."
About that four-letter word by John Connor
We train, practice, and put ourselves in harms way because we love others.
Criminals have no love of you or your loved ones. The criminal is that female mosquito
on your arm infected with the West Nile virus, and needs to be treated as such.
"Initial Aggressor: Losing the Right to Argue Self Defense"
an Interview with Attorney Jim Fleming
"People say, “Well, I will be able to explain it to the jury.” No, you are not!"
"You do not get to talk to the jury! That is never going to happen.
The perception that is going to work is totally off base."
All mass murders occur in gun-free-zones. Predominantly because, while the bad guys may be
crazy, they are not stupid. So, they don't attack in gun-friendly-zones in the first place.
And because a good guy with a gun will stop the bad guy before the occurrence of mass casualties.
So, the incident never gets into the statistics of mass murders.
So, the way to prevent the attack at a given facility is to make it common knowledge that the
facility is not a gun-free-zone. You need not broadcast this information. Better to let the
information leak out naturally. The enemy (both criminal and terrorist) will believe the
intel if they develop it themselves. Broadcast information is generally discounted as
propaganda. [On the other hand, the United Methodists announcing on their web site that all
of their churches are gun-free-zones invites attack.] Yes, the enemy will do reconnaissance.
Generally, on the internet months in advance and in person one to two weeks in advance
[the parking lot greeting will pick this up if the security team is trained to look for this].
14th Psychological Operations Battalion U.S. Army, Mountain View, California, United States.
(Moffett Airfield) [A lady I worked with, drilled with this unit and invited me to some of
their lectures / briefings. I was working Marine Corps signals intelligence at the time ~1996.]
Gun laws in Nashville, TN
A discussion of “reasonable” or “excessive” use of force.
Where Did Our Freedoms Go!?
(Part 2) With a Governor’s Signature, You Blink And They’re Gone
"In 38 states, executive orders are enforceable the day they are executed and
are not subject to any form of review by the state legislature. Then, there are
6 states (Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, and Kentucky) that require an
executive order to go through a legislative review process. The remaining 6 states
(Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah, and Vermont) have legislative
review requirements for specific types of executive orders — usually concerning
agency creation. State executive orders are often issued without specified end
dates and may persist for many years or even decades after their issuing governor
has left office."
“Is there no virtue among us?
If there is not, we are without hope!
No form of government, existing nor theoretical, will keep us from harm.
To think that any government, in any form,
will insure liberty and happiness for an dishonorable population
represents the height of self-deception.”
-- James Madison, 1788
***** ***** ***** Survival, Medical, Security, and such ***** ***** *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Dr. Sherman House
Cars and Riots! by John Farnam
A Loose Tourniquet Will Kill You Faster by Brian McLaughlin
Too loose, stops the venous blood flow, but not the arterial blood flow;
forcing blood to pool in the extremity.
Too tight, damages tissue increasing the probability of an amputation
Tourniquets and Pressure Dressing 101 Video by Rex Mamaril
"Before you do any hero stuff, get some training."
I like this video because it shows that things don't always work out
nicely. Sometimes you have to figure things out in bad situations. If the
victim is awake, get the victim to help. He can apply pressure. He can
roll over. Get him involved. Explain to him that it's his life on the line.
Excerpt of a letter that I had to write --
Combat trauma care is very specialized. Unless the doctor or nurse has previously worked as a
paramedic, emergency medical technician, Navy Corpsman, or the like, it is highly unlikely they
are familiar with this specialty. Even if the doctor or nurse is working regularly in an emergency
room, they will not have practiced this craft. I worked in the emergency room at TriStar Southern
Hills Medical Center and at TriStar Summit Medical Center, and I can assure you, they never use
tourniquets, pack wounds, apply pressure dressings, or apply chest seals. So, the doctor's and
nurse's training and practice is inappropriate for what will be required in a combat situation.
Sorry, but that's just the truth.
That's why Navy Corpsmen are assigned to Marine units, not Navy doctors or nurses.
Most doctors and nurses don't understand this, and only realize it when confronted with their first
combat trauma situation. The years of training and sacrifice they undergo to achieve their
degrees and status makes it very difficult for them to avoid the arrogance of their station.
This training is not for the people on the Medical Team in particular. It is for the general
person who may be the first responder because they are there. They will use it if their child or
grandchild gets injured on the playground. They will use it if they happen upon a car wreck.
The Good Samaritan laws in Tennessee are very strong to protect the care giver from being sued.
The plaintiff has to prove gross negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. As long as the
care giver is making a good faith effort within his training, this is extremely difficult to do.
We may be talking about two different medical kits, but the one I saw was a booboo kit for
minor cuts and scrapes, not a combat trauma kit (in my humble, non-expert opinion).
I haven't noticed anyone wearing an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit), though I know some of
the modern ones can be concealed inside one's belt. Assuming the adequacy of the medical kit,
the amount of time it takes to find the medical kit and get to the victim may be the 4 minutes
it takes to bleed to death, or the 3 minutes for permanent brain damage after the victim has
stopped breathing, that's why we always carry on our bodies. But, if one hasn't had recent
training, one doesn't know these things or doesn't consider it important enough to always
carry on their body (just as the Guardians always carry their pistols on their body).
Beyond the IFAK: Home Medical Gear by Justin
Excerpts (in quotes):
"Also please note that equipment is almost worthless without training.
More importantly, the equipment mentioned here can be dangerous if used
incorrectly. I will repeat this over and over again in this article, but
you need to seek medical training."
In my humble and non-expert opinion, needle decompression is beyond the capabilities
of most trained professional (unless they practice it regularly, which does not happen
except in combat zones). Getting an IV (Intravenous therapy) in correctly is beyond the
capability of most doctors, because they never do it. Getting an IV in correctly is
easily done by nurses in the emergency room, because they do it regularly. Nobody does
needle decompression regularly. (Sometimes even the nurses can't get the IV in because
the drug abuser's veins have all collapsed and there is too much scar tissue.)
"CPR is not taught in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC)"
Yes, CPR is a critically important skill. Can you sing "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees?
(It's taught to get the rate of compressions correct. Yes, other songs can be used, but
this one is so apropos.)
". . . if you acknowledge that police can’t always be available,
you should also acknowledge that EMS (Emergency Medical Services) personnel may
not always be available, either."
So, you get the training and maybe never use it. That's okay. Or, you neglect
to get the training and watch in ignorance as your loved one dies in front of you,
not knowing what to do.
The emergency medical personnel won't go in until the area is safe. That means
they wait for the police to clear the area. Do you think that can be done in less
than the 4 minutes that it takes to bleed to death? Or, the 3 minutes to irreversible
brain damage after a person stops breathing?
Yes, I keep a variety of sizes of NPAs in my kits. One size does not fit all.
Yes, having an adult and a pediatric CPR mask would be nice. But, I have found
that if the adult mask is too big for the child, you can put the mask over the child's
nose and mouth.
The author recommends petroleum gauze as a substitute for a chest seal. I think
a plastic bag (Zip Lock bag) or plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) over the gauze would help.
Ya, you got to hold it in place, cause it won't stick.
"I highly recommend you seek training on these tools rather than simply relying
on the idea that when the time comes, you’ll figure it out."
Figuring it out is a high order intellectual activity. Do you think you can
do that in a high stress situation? If you think so, you are in a state of self
deception. You have to get trained, so that you know how to do it, and practice so
you can do it automatically, before you need to do it. If you mess it up, you might
not have the resources to try a second or third time; and you definitely won't have
"cravats (triangular bandages)" in the Boy Scouts everyone wore one around his
neck. So, we always had lots of them for first aid training.
Because you can't predict the emergency (Just as you can't predict when the
bad guy will attack.), you have to carry the IFAK on your body. You won't have
time to get it. You may not be able to leave the area to get it. Just as your
pistol, the IFAK has to be carried on your body.
Willingness is a state of mind.
Preparedness (or lack thereof) is a fact.
***** ***** ***** Basics ***** ***** *****
“Often, it’s what you don’t know that kills you!”
5 Ways to Help a New Male Gun Owner by Ann Y. Smith
Be part of a good gun culture.
6 Knots That Are Silly Not to Know by Ashley Thess
And if you need more knots,
Holsters 101: What You Need to Know to Get Started
"Train, Practice, Compete
are the key elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.
***** ***** ***** Miscellany ***** ***** *****
"Good habits and skill beat luck every time."
-- Sheriff Jim Wilson
Big hat tip to Mark at Practical Eschatology at
for a lot of the above material.
Big hat tip to Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training at
If you haven't met Greg, he's a gorilla. He is the epitome of a meek gorilla.
This is correct word usage of the word "meek", expertly competent in the of
use force, but restrained. As in, the meek shall inherit the Earth.
Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning
(September 10, 2020, 8:33 AM CDT) at 82 years of age surrounded by family
and friends. Rest In Peace
William Zinsser, American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, author of
"On Writing Well". Rest In Peace
A former student of mine, a young lady, is presently in medical school doing a surgery
rotation. She told me of assisting in a procedure to remove cancerous tissue from a female
patient's face. The patient was under local anesthesia. The patient was a police officer.
The patient was becoming anxious. The medical student, knowing that the patient had
firearms training, talked the patient through the visualization of the shot process for a
pistol. The medical student told me that that calmed the patient. (as in respiration rate,
blood pressure, pulse rate, etc.) The patient hugged the medical student afterwards and
told the medical student that that visualization really helped.
Learned skills can be transferred to other settings.
“In the long-run, there is no such thing as ‘luck’.
However, the short-run is longer than many individual lifetimes!”
Jonathan D. Low