Many of my students come to me after some tragic incident.
The training will change your personality, your body language,
your awareness; so you will be able to avoid the tragic incident,
or prevail, so it's not so tragic. That's why you have to send
your daughters to training. In the real world of crime and sex
trafficking, young girls are high value targets. Some of the
parents of my junior rifle team don't want to hear this sort of
thing, so they deny it and bury their heads in the sand. That
too is tragic.
With training, you won't be victimized in the first place,
because you won't be there. Or, if you are there, the predator
will take one look at you and decide that it's in his best
interest to hunt elsewhere. You can't fake this sort of thing.
It's not a poker game where you can bluff. The confidence only
comes with expert training and dedicated practice.
***** ***** ***** Software ***** ***** *****
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
----- Mindset -----
It’s about prevention, not response.
-- Michael Mann
"How To Build A Hyper-Enabled Operator: Belief Systems" by Marcus Wynne
"How to Establish the Habit of Concealed Carry" by Jacob Paulsen
Carrying concealed is a state of preparedness.
The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared".
The Coast Guard motto is "Semper Paratus", "Always Prepared".
“There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected:
The expected, for which you’ve refused to prepare.”
-- Mary Renault
"If you prepare for the emergency, the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Dr. Sherman House
"Bullets From Banana Land" by John Connor
"Bullet #6: Weird things happen in gunfights. Expect an Albanian satellite
to fall on your head, or a gopher the size of a grizzly to erupt from the ground
at your feet. It will happen during a gunfight. Believe your eyes, shrug off
bizarre twists, and stay focused on the threat."
"An absolute of their lives was that they would fight well and never yield — never."
[I attended a school while in the Marine Corps in which they told us,
if you don't want to get raped, sodomize, tortured, mutilated, and killed;
don't surrender. We were taught to never surrender, and if in command, to never
order our subordinates to surrender. -- Jon Low]
". . . the Hard Hombres’ combat cool had less to do with how much actual fighting
experience they had, and more with how much time they had been tumbling “fighting”
around between their ears."
"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses."
-- Tom Givens
"A House Fire, a Garden Hose, and a set of Handcuffs" by Greg Ellifritz
You can only do the best you can with the information you have at the time.
Which is not the information others have. Which is not the information that
others will have later. So, don't get bent out of shape when others criticize you.
Just remember, they don't know what they are talking about. Because they didn't
know what you knew at the time.
THE COMMAND PRESENCE: PROJECTING CONFIDENCE AND COMPETENCE by SHAWN VINCENT
If you are incompetent, everyone is going to know it immediately. It's not something
you can hide or bluff.
“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.)
----- Safety -----
Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety
RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.
[This is not a stronger form of “Treat all firearms as though they are loaded.”
Rather, this is the Colonel's command to keep all guns loaded. Because this is
a much safer condition to have your gun in. As John Farnam says, the primary
cause of negligent discharges is unnecessary gun handling; as unloading,
loading, chamber checking, magazine checking, etc. Treat your pistol as you
would your genitalia: don't play with it, don't touch it, don't adjust it,
don't show it to anyone, don't let anyone touch it, don't feel to see if
it's still there. -- Jon Low]
RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.
[Especially parts of your body. Can you present from your inside the waistband
appendix holster to the target from a sitting position without muzzling your
femoral artery? Can you do it with your legs crossed, as women are apt to sit?
-- Jon Low]
RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET.
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET.
[Never shoot at sounds or movement or things based on the shadows they cast.
-- Jon Low]
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
"100 Tips for a Better Life" by Ideopunk
There are two red flags to avoid almost all dangerous people:
1. The perpetually aggrieved
2. The angry.
Some people create drama out of habit. You can avoid these people.
Bad things happen dramatically (a pandemic). Good things happen gradually
(malaria deaths dropping annually) and don’t feel like ‘news’. Endeavour to
keep track of the good things to avoid an inaccurate and dismal view of the world.
----- Training -----
"The real value of training and practice isn't gaining technical competence,
it's achieving confidence in your abilities."
-- Claude Werner
FUNDAMENTALS OF DEFENSIVE SHOOTING FOR WOMEN (2-DAYS)
Taught by Vicki Farnam
October 16-17, 2021 A.D.
Royal Range USA, 7741 Highway 70 South, Nashville, TN, 37221; (615) 646-9333
Designed specifically for women who want to obtain the necessary knowledge
and skills to successfully handle nearly any personal protection situation.
Our female students are often most comfortable in a class limited to women
students, and taught by a woman.
This specialized Defensive Handgun Course is designed specifically for
women who want to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to safely keep,
carry, and handle guns, and effectively manage any personal protection situation.
Our goal is to provide competent information, instruction, and drills that allow
students to perform to the best of their ability.
Students will need to bring a suitable defensive pistol or revolver,
holster, and 150 rounds of handgun ammunition. Most revolvers and autoloading
pistols of reputable manufacture are acceptable. All our work will be from
Subjects covered include:
Safe gun handling, storage, carrying
Specifics of concealed carry
Clothing and lifestyle adaptations
Safely drawing the pistol from a holster, purse, or fanny-pack
Routinely carrying defensive handguns concealed
Performing under stress
Practical defensive marksmanship
Interfacing with the criminal/justice system
Maintaining mental health in the wake of a lethal-force incident
Classroom subjects include the latest information on the
physio/psychological aspects of lethal encounters, weapon/caliber
selection criterion and force continuum.
"Your Tactical Training Scenario . . . robbed with an airsoft gun" by Greg Ellifritz
1) Being able to recognize if a gun is real or fake gives you very important
information in a self defense situation.
2) I mentioned that criminals alter airsoft guns to look real. They also do the reverse.
3) Never assume that a criminal is carrying only one weapon.
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)
"5 Firearms instructor red flags" by Caleb Giddings
"If your instructor commits one of the 5 Firearms Instructor Red Flags,
I would be concerned, especially if it’s the medical one.
If they break 2 of them, I wouldn’t take another class from that person
and wouldn’t recommend them to a friend.
Three or more? There’s a 50% chance I’d leave the class period.
Life’s too short to waste on bad training."
"Tactical Moment" by John Holschen
"IN EXTREMIS COMMUNICATION, PART 1" by Larry Lindenman
"IN EXTREMIS COMMUNICATION PART 2"
"IN EXTREMIS COMMUNICATION, PART 3"
Larry taught this class at the Tactical Conference a few years ago.
I'm really glad I took it.
Hey, letting the bad guy get away or giving the bad guy instructions
to get away is OKAY! We are not police. We have no duty to apprehend.
Holding a suspect is extremely dangerous.
"But, the bad guy might hurt others if we let him go."
Ya, and he might kill us if we hold him any longer. Or, his buddies
might kill us if we continue to hold him. Or, . . .
"Concealed Carry: Issues and Perspectives" by John Murphy
"Goal Setting for 2021" by the Tactical Professor
[When I was in the industry, I met many software engineers who had one year of
experience repeated 20 times, which is very different from 20 years of experience.
-- Jon Low]
You can't always see the importance of math when you learn it;
you can only see its value in hindsight. You have to trust your math teachers.
Work hard, and it will make all the difference in your life.
-- Steve Jobs (paraphrased)
[Similarly for self defense, trust your instructors,
it will make all the difference in your life. -- Jon Low]
"LIFE SKILLS | Increase Your Performance By Failing" by Steve Tarani
Implementing Armed Church Security Teams by Michael Mann
"It's about prevention, not response."
"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
From his January 2, 2021 newsletter, "On the Road to the Range!" by John Murphy
"The propensity for people under great stress to clutch the items in their support hand
is illustrated here again. We shoot better with both hands, but dropping items is
counter-intuitive and must be practiced, and even then it is questionable if that performance
can be trained to a level of certainty. This is certainly an argument for training more with
our “strong hand” only."
"The victim in this case elected to leave the cover of his vehicle and move toward
this primary assailant. I don’t know if it was because he was task focused and a high
responder or perceived the threat of being flanked by the other criminals. Unfortunately
we’ll never know because he was killed, possibly by one of the shots fired by the fleeing
primary threat, or from one of the criminals that was off camera. As of this writing, a
third person has been charged in this crime."
[We were taught to charge the enemy, attack and kill the enemy. It's hard to break
that habit of training. -- Jon Low]
"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
"Are you training too much at one time?" by Mike Ox
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual
carelessness of aim with the first shot.” -- Theodore Roosevelt,
(26th President of the United States) The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
"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
"Concealed Carry: Point Shooting Vs Aimed Fire" by Massad Ayoob
"Ineffective and potentially dangerous, point shooting should be avoided
at all costs and aimed fire employed in any lethal-force scenario."
"The bottom line is this;
a lifetime of studying real-world gunfight dynamics has taught this author
that true point shooting simply doesn’t work . . ."
"Dennis Martin, the martial arts and small arms expert who for some time
was Great Britain’s coordinator for the International Association of Law
Enforcement Firearms Instructors, has little use for point shooting. He told me,
“When the SAS [Special Air Service] had as their primary mission the eradication
of enemy soldiers in combat, they taught point shooting with a high volume of
gunfire. But as soon as their mission was changed to include hostage rescue,
they switched from point shooting to Col. Cooper’s concept of the
‘flash sight picture.’ Now they had to shoot through narrow channels between
innocent people, and it would have been irresponsible to do that without aiming
their weapons.” "
"Law school students are taught that the exemplar of recklessness is a
“blind man with a gun.” A person who is firing a gun when they can’t see
whether or not it’s on target is, in effect, a blind man with a gun. It could
be eloquently argued in court that, ipso facto, firing without being able to
see where the gun is aimed creates recklessness. In turn, recklessness is the
key ingredient in the crime of Manslaughter and in a civil court lawsuit based
on Wrongful Death or Wrongful Injury. Enough said?"
[If your instructor is teaching "point shooting", i.e. shooting without a
hard focus on the front sight, I would seriously consider leaving the class.
If your instructor says, "You won't have time to aim, or you won't be able to
aim in real combat, so you should practice shooting without aiming.", he is WRONG.
The only exception would be close combat, when the bad guy is close enough
to grab your pistol. In such a case, you would be shooting from a close contact
retention position with your elbow and pistol pulled back away from the bad guy.
Your pistol should be tight against your rib cage with the top tilted away from
your body, so your slide doesn't get caught on your clothing. -- Jon Low]
"Handgun Sitting Positions" by Justin Dyal
"Do Dogs Deter Criminals?" by Greg Ellifritz
[If your dog is not professionally trained to attack on command, you cannot
expect it to reliably attack on command. (Have you ever given your dog a
command to attack anything? Then how can you expect it to know what to do?)
Have you put your dog through Schutzhund training? Even such training does not
make the dog 100% reliable.
If you are going to use your pet as a weapon, a lethal weapon, you better
think long and hard about it. Do you want to keep such a weapon around your
children? Trained attack dogs don't always stop on command. Trained attack
dogs attack perceived threats. A child stealing the dog's food may be perceived
as a threat. Do you have the appropriate insurance for such mishaps? Do you
have sufficient insurance for such mishaps? Are you willing to kill your
loving pet if the training creates a dog that growls at you or other friendlies?
Many breeders will immediately put down any puppy that growls at humans.
Of course, they are not breeding fighting dogs. Of course, dog fighting is
illegal in the United States. -- Jon Low]
Tom Givens advocates a thumbs high grip on your pistol. I concur.
Breaking the instinctive 5 finger death grip is essential to prevent milking
the pistol grip as if milking the teat of a cow. This is why we are taught
to hold handgrenades with the spoon in our palm, not against our fingers.
But, a high thumbs grip might interfere with case ejection on a semi-auto
pistol when shooting left handed. In such a case, pointing the thumbs forward
will solve the problem. You have to experiment to see what works for you.
It is important to recognize the potential problem and fix it in training.
Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, at the worst possible
time. So, you must eliminate anything that can go wrong from your system.
"Self-Defense Behind the Wheel of Your Car" by W.H. "Chip" Gross
[Why do people ski into trees? Because they are looking at the tree.
Why do people shoot high at human targets? Because they are looking at
the human's face, as people at apt to do. Yes, you will go where you are
looking and you will shoot where you are looking. So, look at the path
you want to take and look at the place where you want the bullet to go.
-- Jon Low]
"Personal Defense Considerations When Carrying a Firearm in a Vehicle" by Sheriff Jim Wilson
There are only 3 places for your pistol:
in the holster,
in your hand at the ready,
in your hand on target.
If your pistol is somewhere else, you are WRONG!
"How to Train for Faster Shooting" by Ed Head
". . . when it comes to you there are only three things you need to do.
First, look at the sights (Aligning the front and rear sights while focusing
on the front sight or looking at the red dot or reticle to align it with the point
of aim, where we want the bullet to strike), control the trigger (controlling the
trigger in such a way that the shot will break without moving the sights off the
point of aim.), and follow through (staying on the sights as the shot fires rather
than lifting the head off the sights and looking for the hit.)."
[The author does not mention it, but the surprise trigger break is the only
reliable way to achieve the stated trigger control condition. Reliable as in
on demand everytime. -- Jon Low]
I do not recommend revolvers, but if you must, here are some tips for reloading.
"The Art Of A Lightning-Fast Revolver Reload" By Patrick Sweeney
You have to establish your high tight correct grip on your pistol before you
remove it from your holster. Otherwise, you will lose control of it.
You have to maintain your correct grip on your pistol until your pistol is
fully seated in your holster. Otherwise, you will lose control of it.
Combat is not like the pristine conditions on your practice range. Many
persons will be trying to take your pistol from you by force. And if they succeed,
they will shoot you with your pistol. So, you have to pay attention to the threat.
"Pastor shot with his own pistol, killed inside Texas church" by Cleveland.com
Keep your head up. Good posture as they taught you in recruit training (or
finishing school). This puts much less stress on your neck and back. This requires
much less muscle tension. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. As my fencing
coaches told me, relaxed muscles are fast muscles, tense muscles are slow muscles.
Speed is essential in a gun fight. You can't go fast if your muscles are tense.
So, those shooters in the "turtle" posture (head forward and down, shoulder hunched
up) are WRONG. And the instructors who teach this posture are WRONG.
"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
"What Does “Brandishing” a Gun Mean?" by Sheriff Jim Wilson
"Knowledge of the law and professional training are the best armor that we can put on."
Please note the Sheriff's mental triggers.
You win gunfights by not getting shot.
-- John Holschen
----- Education -----
"Cogito, ergo armatum sum." (I think, therefore armed am I.)
-- John Farnam
"I Can Twist My Eye Around Its Pupil (And So Can You)" by Steve Mould
"How to move one eye on its own (and the science of eye movement)" by Steve Mould
Yes, as a matter of fact, this does pertain to shooting. Because we
aim with our eyes. This is why it is essential to move your eyes first when
engaging a different target, and then move your sights to your new line of sight.
This is why a hard focus on your front sight is critical. This is why closing
your non-aiming eye for the fraction of a second before you release the shot is
necessary. And many other things that are taught in the gun schools, usually
without explanation. Most instructors don't understand these things. So, they
can't explain why you should do these things. Which is okay for most people,
as they wouldn't understand the explanation anyway.
Please note Steve Mould's discussion of failure. It is very similar
to John Farnam's philosophy of failure. We have to get comfortable failing
in order to learn.
"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
"Defensive Shooting Myths and Misconceptions: “I shoot that gun really well.” "
by Grant Cunningham
"How To Choose a Defensive Firearm Holster" by Sheriff Jim Wilson
Must make it physically impossible to activate the trigger. Otherwise, something
will get into the trigger guard and fire the pistol. Your holster is your safety.
Most modern pistols don't have manually activated safeties.
Must keep the pistol close to your body. This really requires the belt outside of
the holster, so that the pressure from the belt presses the holster against your body.
So, the holster doesn't flop around when you move. So, you really should have an inside
the waistband holster.
Must cover the muzzle. Otherwise, when something bumps the muzzle, the pistol will be
pushed out of the holster.
The mouth of the holster must stay open to allow a one handed holstering operation.
Using your support side hand to open your holster is a precursor to shooting your support
side hand. Pointing your muzzle in toward your hip to get your muzzle into your holster
is a precursor to shooting yourself in the hip. Leather holsters should have a reinforced
mouth. Otherwise, when they get old and soft, they will bend in and press the trigger
when you attempt to holster your pistol. Yes, there are many documented cases of this.
Must hold the pistol securely by friction only. You must be able to turn the holster
upside down and shake without the pistol falling out. Otherwise, the pistol will fall out
when you are running or wrestling with the bad guy. If your pistol falls out when you
run the obstacle course, you need to tighten your holster.
Must NOT have any retention devices. Otherwise, you won't be able to present your
pistol in a high stress situation, because you won't remember to do it, because you have
not practiced enough. (Have you actually done 2000 correct repetitions of your
presentation from awkward positions?) If you have practiced enough to remember to defeat
the retention devices, defeating the retention devices will take time, because it takes
action (if you are unconsciously competent), which takes thought (if you are consciously
competent). That time may be the difference between winning and losing.
[Where I work, they are constantly issuing and recalling our pistols and holsters.
So, every time I get issued a holster, it has a different retention system. This is
criminal stupidity.] (Greg Ellifritz has written about the badness of Blackhawk SERPA
holsters. I don't have to mention it here because we don't use any retention devices.)
No manual safeties on the pistol, no retention devices on the holster, same reasons;
it takes practice to remember to defeat them and they slow you down.
The attachments to your belt should be wide apart. Otherwise, the weight of your
pistol (actually it's the weight of the ammo in your pistol) will cause your belt to
sag, betraying the presence of your pistol. (We always carry concealed for the tactical
advantage of surprise. Which is worth seconds.)
Attachment to your belt must be secure. Otherwise, your pistol won't be where you
expect it to be when you need it.
Must be supported by a stiff study belt. Otherwise, your pistol won't be where you
expect it to be when you need it.
I always wear pants with belt loops and suspenders that attach to my belt. That
way, my pants hold my belt down and my suspenders hold by belt up. So, my pistol is
always where I expect it to be when I need it. May I suggest Perry suspenders?
Ruf-N-Tuf Perry Suspenders
Experimentation is fine, a good thing. But, you can save a lot of time by learning
from the experience of experts. Look at the professionals, ask the professionals, they
will tell you that carrying your pistol in a holster on your belt at the 3 o'clock
position, for right handers (9 o'clock for left handers) is the way to go.
When going from the holster to the target, the muzzle must never cover any part of your
body, nor any innocent bystander. You just can't get that with any other holster position.
Smart persons learn from their experience. Wise persons learn from the experience
of others. Books concentrate the experience of many years of many people into a few
hours of reading. (Movies don't. Because there are many things that cannot be conveyed
in a motion pictures. A picture may be worth a thousand words. But, those words do not
convey high concepts the way the written word does. It took me decades at three
universities to understand this. I assure you it is true.)
My company just issued me a new pistol (.40 caliber Glock) and holster (Blackhawk
requiring my thumb to press a lever toward the pistol; and my index finger, trigger
finger, to press a lever toward the pistol as the SERPA). It's either use the company
equipment or quit my job (which I'm not ready to do yet). So, I'm practicing.
"Where Should You Carry Your Reload?" by Chris Christian
This seems to be a useful accessory for AR-15 mil-spec platforms,
"The Brass Goat" by Magwell Mounts
Review at The Firearms Blog,
Numb painfully cold hands don't work very well. Thin tight calf skin or kid skin
or synthetic gloves? Thicker leather or synthetic gloves? Electric gloves? Packets
of hand warmers? (They are basically thermite with a slow reaction rate.) Exterior
pockets? Muff (noun, a thick, tubular case for the hands, covered with fur or
I know some instructors teach to remove gloves before accessing your weapon. I
don't think you will have time to remove your gloves. And if you do remove your gloves,
how long can you last before your hands become numb and useless? Most gunfights last
2 seconds, but some last hours.
"Primary Arms Unveils Alexo Athletica CCW Exercise Clothing" by NRA WOMEN STAFF
For concealed carry at your next yoga practice. My yogini welcomes concealed carry in
her classes. Doesn't yours? Not all yogis are flaming vegans.
"The Three Necessities For Self-Defense Ammo" by Joshua Gillem
While I generally think that it's a good idea to learn from the experiences of others,
you have to take these reviews with a huge grain of salt, because the authors get the
pistols free of charge from the manufacturers and want to continue to get pistols in the
future. It is effectively impossible for editors to allow any negative review to be
published in their magazine.
"Best Pistol Reviews To Find A Superb Semi-Auto (2020)" by Gun Digest Editors
Sterling – 9mm – 115 Grain – FMJ – 1,500 Rounds for $1,064.10
Hey this ain't bad considering the times we live in.
Button your shirt sleeve cuffs tight enough so that your sleeves will not interfere
with your grip when you grab your pistol in high stress situation. If you have long
loose sleeves, make sure something is holding them back so they do not interfere with
your grip. Actually, it's worse than that. Your long loose sleeves could get caught
in your action and jam your pistol. It doesn't matter than you cannot imagine such a
thing happening, Murphy can. And it has happened to me. So, I know from personal
experience that it can happen. Learn from my mistakes.
“Your car is not a holster.”
– Pat Rogers
----- Technical -----
"Real fights are short."
-- Bruce Lee
Please read Tom Given's newsletter at
especially the article on "Selecting Carry/Duty Ammunition".
Tim Chandler's article on “Why does my Glock shoot [low] left?” is a bit
nuanced, and I agree that correct grip is important. That's why I have had to
modify the grips of the pistols of many of my students. I, however, have found
that the primary cause of a right handed shooter hitting low left (or a left
hander hitting low right) is that the shooter is anticipating the recoil and
pushing against the anticipated recoil, causing the point of impact to be low
left. A surprise trigger break solves this problem, because the bullet is
out of the muzzle before any autonomic nervous system response, such as pushing
against the recoil (or freezing, jerking, flinching, closing one's eyes, etc.).
"Full-Auto!" by John Farnam
When I went through Marine Corps Recruit Training in the summer of 1981,
the Drill Instructors had us fire our M-16s on full automatic from several
different positions (as on roof tops and such). It was basically to teach us
that automatic fire was completely uncontrollable, and we should therefore
never use it. Marines would start with their sights on the target and after
3 or 4 rounds they would be shooting up into the sky. And this was with the
very weak 5.56mm cartridge. The 7.62mm cartridge wasn't controllable after
the first round on full auto.
The only submachinegun that is reasonable would be the Uzi, because
the rate of fire is low enough to allow the operator (the trained practiced
operator) to modulate the trigger. I took the Uzi class at Front Sight.
You should too, it's great fun. We learned to fire 1, 2, 3, and 4 round
bursts. You can't do this sort of thing with the MP-5. But, that's what
we used as Marine Corps Military Police.
"Optics Basics: First Focal Plane Vs. Second Focal Plane (& Why You Should Care)"
by NRA WOMEN STAFF
So, does your red dot sight put your red dot on the first or second focal plane?
Does your red dot change size when you change magnification? If so, first focal plane;
if not, second focal plane.
My mother told me that I did not have to practice proper table manners,
but I had to know them. So, I could read other people. And practice them when the
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) had a command of the English language, but
in his writings, he often used improper English.
When my daughter was in Naval ROTC at Carnegie Mellon, I gave her a book
on Naval etiquette. Because if you don't know to sign the book, you won't,
because nobody is going to tell you to. Because most of them don't know that
Knowing a thing well allows one to play outside the boundaries. Which is
entirely different from wandering beyond the pale in ignorance. That's why
you need to read and understand this, even if you never do it. You need to
be able to confidently pull the newbie aside and tell her that the person
helping her does not know what he is talking about, before she gets hurt. Yes,
as a matter of fact, an ill fitted stock will bruise shoulder and cheek bone.
"Build Your Skills: Shotgun Fitting" by Phil Bourjaily
Pistols are even harder to fit. If you don't know what you're doing,
ASK FOR HELP! Don't screw up your student. If they get wrist pain or hand
pain or cuts, it's your fault for not deburring and fitting the pistol correctly.
A student should be able to shoot a thousand rounds in two days, without any pain.
"IWI Masada vs Glock 17 Gen 5" by MarksmanTV
In-depth review of Masada by comparison to the Glock.
Modifications that I had to make on a Glock G22, 40 caliber (for a right hander) --
If you don't recognize and immediately fix problems, your student will
suffer through the class. You have to tell your students to let you know if
something doesn't feel right, if something hurts, if something does not work.
Otherwise, they will not complain; and you will never know. And the problem
will never get fixed. This is especially true with juniors.
Using a round cross section wood file, a steel wire brush, an emery board,
and my finger nails I removed material from the grip on the left hand side of
the tang of the grip that was impacting the student's sesamoid bones on recoil.
The bones at the joint of the thumb, near where the web (between the thumb and
index finger) connects to the thumb.
Using a box cutter (you can't beat the replaceable disposable blades), I
cut out the black plastic part of the rear sight, leaving the much wider white
plastic part to look through. The standard rear sight from the factory was
too narrow for the student's arm length and eyes. She could not see light on
either side of the front sight. Now she can.
The student showed up with charged (loaded) magazines. But the top cartridges
were not the same. So, we voided (unloaded) the three magazines and discovered
an assortment of ammunition, various manufacturers, various bullet types, etc.
The result would have been different points of impact and different recoils.
(For those cartridges that were able to chamber. Many were so corroded that they
would not easily chamber.) The male significant-other had told her that the
cartridges were all copper jacketed hollow points and in good condition. (They
were not.) So, I gave her factory new ammo, all with the same lot number.
(There was no 40 caliber ammo at any of the Nashville gun stores. I had to go to
Chapel Hill, an hour drive south, to get the ammo.)
In the Marine Corps, we were taught "Attention to detail".
Front Sight forbids Pyramid Triggers due to numerous reports of dangerous
malfunctions, including, but not limited to:
Unexpected full-auto fire
Firing in the holster
Firing on trigger reset
Trigger Safety malfunctioning
"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
"Raising The Bar: Visible Medical For All Instructors" by Active Self Protection
Qui docet, discit. (Who teaches, learns.)
-- motto of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers
"More Advice For First-Time Gun Buyers and Owners" by Mike Wood
As Mike Wood says, it's really hard when the student shows up to class with the
wrong gear, especially a pistol that does not fit his hand or a pistol with controls
that he cannot physically manipulate. That's why it is so important for you as an
instructor to communicate with your students before the class to ensure that they
have the correct equipment for them, not for the class, for them. The pistol must
fit their hand. When the bore is in line with the bones of their forearm, the tip of
their middle finger must be able to wrap around the grip and point back toward them.
Their trigger finger must be able to press the trigger straight to the rear. So,
the last bone of their trigger finger must be perpendicular to the bore when they
take the slack out of the trigger. If this is not so, change the grip, move the
trigger. Yes, this takes time and a gunsmith. That's why you have to get together
with the student with their pistol before the class.
Oh, you're not that type of instructor? Well, maybe you should be.
"Every time I teach a class,
I discover I don't know something."
-- Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch
"The Modern Firearms Instructor: Can We Do Better?" by Warren Wilson
"Instructors should be consistently seeking further training for themselves, as well.
The topics of gun safety, shooting fundamentals, tactics and the principles of adult
learning are vast and there is no way to even begin to grasp all of it in a two day class."
"A well-trained instructor who understands the importance of being a good student
will likely influence his students to follow the path to further education even if it
leads to other instructors. Don’t ever be anyone’s last firearms instructor."
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 -----
"The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other.
Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives."
-- Robert John Meehan
"Teaching Tip - Gimme Three Steps" by Greg Ellifritz
Check out the psychology definition of subitize. The various dictionary definitions
are not be appropriate.
Teach positive. Teach what to do. Don't talk about what not to do.
-- John Farnam
“The one important thing I have learned over the years
is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and
taking one’s self seriously.
The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.”
-- Prima Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn
"The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has happened."
A young lady flew in from Florida for some training. Her father had sent her
because she had made some bad decisions and had had some close calls. She was
happy to learn to shoot a pistol, because there were several people she wanted to
kill. So, we stopped, and I explained to her that self-defense is to prevent the
attack or to stop the attack. Self-defense is not revenge or retribution. I
explained that anger is a defense mechanism and that with spiritual maturity one
is never angry, because there is no reason to be angry. If the person needs to
be stopped, you stop him. But, you are never angry. Anger clouds judgement,
and you must always have good judgement. Your counter-attack must be emotionless,
as swatting a mosquito on your arm that will otherwise infect you and your loved
ones with West Nile virus. I explained to her that she must accept responsibility
for the bad decisions that she made that led up to the bad situation. And that
hopefully with training, she will avoid bad situations in the future by either
not being there in the first place, or not being selected for victimization by the
predator because of her behavior, body language, mannerisms, attire, etc., which
will all indicate a highly trained and aware person who cannot be taken by
surprise and will not be easily overpowered. When the predator looks at you, he
should be thinking, "I might lose a fight with her." Then he won't attack you
in the first place and you have won. Because every fight avoided is a fight won.
"You don't know what happened to me. You have no idea what you're talking
Actually, your father explained to me in detail what happened to you.
So, let's figure out what mistakes you made that lead to your bad situation.
First of all, you traveled to Manhattan, New York, NY.
"I can travel anywhere I please. It's a free country."
Yes, that is true. It is also true that actions have consequences. You
went there without an armed escort and without a chaperone. You intentionally
became intoxicated. As per New York state law, the perpetrators were released
without bail, and will never be seen again. You won't be able to find them.
The New York government will not expend resources to find them. And we will
not use our resources to find them for you.
You should forgive your enemies in absentia. Actually, you should forgive
your enemies in all cases.
"You don't know what they did to me."
I read the police report. If you don't forgive them, you will be conducting
vendettas for the rest of your life. There will always be those who hurt you.
Jesus commands us to forgive. Forgiveness is not for your enemies, it is to free
you of the mental chains that force you into a state of obsessive hatred.
"Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord" Romans 12:19 and other places. It's not
your job to avenge, that's God's job. Your job is to forgive.
Grab my wrist and hang on tight. I shake and jerk her all over the place.
Now, let go and stand back. I shake my arm and swing it all over the place.
The point is, no one can't jerk you around, unless you hang on tight to them.
We can take it a step further. Turn around and look away. She does and I jerk
my arm all over the place. She looks over her shoulder a few times to see what
I'm doing. Not only can I not jerk you around, you don't even care what I'm
doing. You can achieve this by closing your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
"I can't do that. I have thousands of dollars of games attached to my
Facebook account. . . ."
You are making excuses. Yes, I know you are addicted to your media feeds.
And so you hang on tight to your enemies, and so they jerk you around.
She became visibly angered, slapped my face, and left. That is to say, she
got into her car and her chauffeur drove her away. I thought she had left for
good and mentioned it to her father. To my surprise, she knocked on my door
the next day and said, "Let's get on with the training."
I have always thought it sad that most of the young ladies who come to me for
training, do so because of some tragic incident. That's why I outreach as much
as I can. I believe the training prevents the tragic incident. Of course,
it is impossible to prove such a negative.
I saw this written on a board in a class that I did not attend. I just saw it.
10% of what we hear.
20% of what we see.
30% of what we read.
40% of what we hear and see.
50% of what we discuss.
60% of what we experience.
70% of what we teach to others.
80% of what we teach to others, if the students actively listen and ask questions.
90% of what we teach to others, if we write a book about it with diagrams and pictures.
I noticed that there was no entry for 100%. And then I remembered what they taught
us in business school, "You have to over communicate, because there will always be that
10% that don't get the message." So, even if you teach it perfectly, there will always
be that 10%. It could be their vision is bad, their hearing is bad, they lack the
cultural background to understand what you are saying, or a million other things.
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
" “Justice,” or “Just Us?” " by John Farnam
"Armed Self-Defense: Should You Retreat?" by Sheriff Jim Wilson
"But let me give you something to think about: It is nearly always good tactics
for the armed citizen to disengage from a deadly confrontation when it is possible
to do so. It is not my place to talk to you about the law; I am talking solely
"For the armed citizen, the defensive firearm should serve as an exit ticket.
You should be determined to get away from the trouble as quickly as possible.
Your firearm is there in case someone tries to block that exit with deadly intent.
For some, this may not sound very macho — and most of those will be people who
have never been in an actual gunfight."
[I was having a dinner with a girl in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. There was a big
aggressive guy at the next table who was asking my girl to dance with him. She
said no. But, he wasn't going to let it go. So, we left. I was afraid she would
think me a coward. (I was much younger then.) But, she seemed happy that I did
not get into fight over her. Don't let the fear of someone thinking that you are
a coward force you to do stupid things. Especially in foreign countries.
Especially with big aggressive guys you can't read or communicate with. -- Jon Low]
Shot Business at ShotBusiness.com reports that in 2020 there were 7 million first
time gun buyers, citing a NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) survey.
[Shot Business, January 2021] Of those, 58% were Black Americans and 40% were women.
"These first-time buyers represent a group of people who, until now, were agnostic
regarding firearms ownership," says Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and
General Counsel. "That's rapidly changing, and these Americans are taking hold of their
right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves."
[A target rich environment for instructors willing to teach entry level classes.
Teaching beginner classes is much more difficult than teaching advanced classes.
If you haven't taken an instructor development class, you probably don't know how
to teach a beginner class.
As the late William Zinsser said, assume your audience is ignorant, not stupid,
ignorant. Such is the class for beginners. They have no bad habits. But, are
ignorant of the terminology and basics. Quite a challenge for the trained instructor.
The untrained instructor will usually make a mess of it.
The student who shows up for the advanced class has all kinds of bad habits
and preconceived notions that must be corrected. Training is all about breaking
bad habits and forming good ones. A very different task for the trained instructor.
-- Jon Low]
"Top 5 Best Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits" by Joshua Gillem
"5 Things You Must Know About Concealed Carry Insurance" by Gun Digest Editors
If you want all the gruesome details of self defense insurance, see the 28 November 2020 issue
of DefensivePistolcraft.com blog.
Cited in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
States with “stand your ground” laws:
By statute --
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire,
North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota,
Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Established by case law in court rulings --
California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Source: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a nonprofit group
In his Thursday, January 14th of 2021 podcast, Andrew Branca did an in-depth
analysis of a self-defense insurance program that stops funding you if you are convicted,
and then attempts to force you to repay them for your legal expenses. Buying such a
policy is criminal stupidity. Especially, when other programs will continue to fund
you through your appeals of a conviction and will never attempt to get any reimbursement
On the cover of the latest issue of Recoil magazine is a picture of a Negro with
a tee-shirt that reads, "All Gun Control Is Racist". This is true because of who gun
control laws effect. In exactly the same way that "All Abortion Is Racist", because
Planned Parenthood places all of their baby murdering clinics in inner city Black
neighborhoods. Not convinced? Read Margaret Sanger's writings. The abortion program
is all about reducing the African-American population. Oh, the list goes on. All
programs (progroms) advocated by the Democrat party are racist. From slavery to the
internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II. You
didn't know these were Democrat programs? Maybe, you need to read a history book.
DON’T FEED THE GUN PROHIBITIONISTS!
If you spend money with these organizations, shame on you. We vote with our dollars.
“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
"The Definitive IFAK Article" by J. Allen
"What If You Don’t Have a Tourniquet or Trauma Kit? Part 1: Bleeding" by Brian McLaughlin
"What If You Don’t Have a Tourniquet or Trauma Kit? Bleeding: Part 2"
"What If You Don’t Have a Tourniquet or Trauma Kit? Pt 3: Sucking Chest Wounds"
"Raising The Bar: Visible Medical For All Instructors" by Active Self Protection
When it comes to survival, “just barely” beats the heck outta “not quite good enough.”
-- John Connor
***** ***** ***** Basics ***** ***** *****
"Train, Practice, Compete
are the key elements in the development of humans."
-- John M. Buol, Jr.
"The Hidden Dangers Of Shooting Your Firearm" by Matthew Maruster
Picking Up Brass:
Cleaning Your Guns:
". . . wear medical gloves while cleaning your guns to keep the lead particles
and cleaning solvents off your skin."
"More Advice For First-Time Gun Buyers and Owners" by Mike Wood
***** ***** ***** Miscellany / History ***** ***** *****
"Good habits and skill beat luck every time."
-- Sheriff Jim Wilson
All kinds of neat stuff at:
Practical Eschatology by Docent
The Tactical Professor by Claude Werner
Active Response Training by Greg Ellifritz
Quips by John Farnam
Rangemaster newsletter by Tom Givens
CIVILIAN DEFENDER by Sherman House
Handgun Combatives by Dave Spaulding
A few years ago, a pastor at a church that I used to attend gave a sermon on
"Why Aren't You Dead Yet?". The answer being that God still has stuff for you to
do. Significant stuff. Maybe not great, Earth shattering, saving the world from
destruction; but significant. So, what have I done that God should be keeping me
alive? Because He has. I have survived a truck bomb in Riyadh, being shot at
in many places around the world, being stabbed (I never felt it.), and the doctors
at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, SC pulled shrapnel out of the backs of my
arms (so, I guess I must have survived a handgrenade). The only thing I could
think of is that I teach self-defense / pistolcraft to little old ladies with
arthritis living by themselves in rural settings far from law enforcement. (They
can't afford the air fare, rental car, hotel, and tuition to attend a prestigious
gun school.) You should try it. It will warm your soul. As Jesus said, store
up your treasure in heaven, not on Earth.
My doctor told me that the average age of Covid-19 attributed deaths in the
United States is 77 years. The life expectancy of persons residing in the
United States is 77 years.
Within the demographic that the Covid-19 virus actually kills, 400,000 persons
in that demographic die every year in the United States. In the first 6 months
(half of a year) of the pandemic in the United States, 200,000 (half of 400,000)
persons in that demographic died. Just about all were attributed to Covid-19,
because the hospitals get approximately $39,000 in federal and state funding
for every Covid-19 patient they treat.
I know my doctor, so I trust him. Who are you trusting?
If you're trusting some highly credentialed person of authority broadcasting
on the mass media, maybe you ought to stop, and think about it.
Guns & Ammo Directory
“In the long-run, there is no such thing as ‘luck’.
However, the short-run is longer than many individual lifetimes!”
Jonathan D. Low