FIGHT for your life! When a gun isn’t enough.

I recently read another blog that prompted this installment. Honestly this is something that I have preached for years, but few listen. If you don’t get it then read the stats and do the research for yourself, gun fighting is all about fighting and has a lot less to do with the gun than most think. The gun is last stop on the survival train when an incident occurs. So you better know how to fight to keep your gun,and get into a position to use it.

All the studies for the last three decades prove that almost all armed  encounters occur in the 3 to 7 yard range. What does that mean? That means that unless you have super human abilities then you will not be able to react quickly enough to draw and fire your weapon if an aggressor is attacking.  See the “Tueller Drill,” or “21-foot rule,” if you have any doubt about being a super human. What this means in real life is that more than likely you will be on your back, getting punched in the face before your gun clears the holster. That’s if you’re lucky enough that the bad guy wasn’t able to wrestle your gun away from you. It’s not a pretty picture for Joe or Jane Average that feels like they’re covered just having a gun. fight_club

To bring a little real world experience into this, I will share my personal background to bring the point home a much as I can. For those of you that  don’t know, I am a former police officer with a decade of experience on the street level. I’ve been shot  at more times than I like to recall, I’ve been in more fights than I can remember, and have been a part of God only knows how many forcible arrests. You may disagree, but I feel that this “street’ experience is  invaluable because I have dealt with the exact people that will be assaulting myself or my family. Am I the end all be all of street survival? Not by a long shot, but I do know a few things, I have been in more than my fair share of fights, and I’ve been around the block.

Simply having a gun isn’t enough. You must be aware of your surroundings at all times. You must know who is inside your personal sphere and decide if they are a threat to your security. Lastly you must be able to physically defend yourself without a firearm when the need arises. If your fight experience consists of watching TV and movies, then you are at a distinct disadvantage. Neither is a fair representation of reality. I’m a pretty big, strong dude and I have never been able to hit someone so hard that they flew across a room and slid down the wall. I’ve only knocked a few people out for that matter. The reality of the situation is that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face or hit someone with everything they have and watch as they don’t go down, staying in the fight. images n

If you’re like me you don’t have ten hours or more to train on a weekly basis, nor do you have piles of cash laying around for private training, what exactly do you do? Find a solid trainer that trains defensive tactics for those that are armed. Rolling in a BJJ gym or boxing will do nothing to help you keep possession of your gun. Train for the threat and reality. Invest in your training as time and money allow. Notice that I just said INVEST. Quality training is key. Getting together with friends and making it up as you go will more than likely end one of you headed to the ER and really does no good. If you are the fairer sex, then don’t mistake a cardio kickboxing class for training, it isn’t. I mean really do your homework and seek out a real trainer preferably with a military or law enforcement background. cancer-fight-blogs

Nobody enjoys getting hit in the face or really wants to fight. Well if paid enough there are a few that really want to fight, but normal people in their right mind don’t enjoy fighting. Just because you are a ‘normal” person and sane doesn’t mean that the rest of society is. Remember that you won’t be defending yourself against normal people. An individual that is willing to attack you to get what you have is maladjusted and more than likely addicted to some illegal substance. Your foe isn’t a normal well adjusted member of society so ending the fight quickly is paramount. Keeping possession of your weapon and getting space to act may be your only chance at survival.

Do some research, put some thought into this post and go find a trainer! See you at the range


Firearms Training?? Why would I need that?

Guns and training are both tools that everyone needs in their personal toolbox to protect themselves and their loved ones. Let’s face it the world isn’t a pretty place and it’s really not getting any better.  A firearm is worthless without the proper training. It’s truly a game of chance and akin to pin the tail on the donkey when it comes to marksmanship without training. Unfortunately all too many people buy a weapon and feel they are ready to take on the world. What’s worse is that in today’s political climate people are buying guns, getting concealed carry permits, and carrying everyday with minimal or no training. To many that is pretty insane. We require driver’s education and testing to drive a car, you have to pass a state exam to sell insurance, real estate, or a myriad of other things that won’t kill someone.common-sense-firearms-training-1056431-regular

My point is that because it is our second amendment right to own a gun, so we have the ability to buy one and are expected to have the good common sense to get training. For some unknown reason, most men think that because they are “men” they “know” about guns. Let’s set the record straight here, just because you are male doesn’t mean that you know everything that you need to know about guns. I have been around guns and various weapons for the better part of two decades. I’ve shot just about everything except artillery. Guess what, I just requested a fellow instructor to give me more training. He’s been in the business for a long time and I realize that he has forgotten more than I know about guns. Does that make me less of a firearms instructor? HELL NO, it doesn’t. It makes me a more competent instructor because I can learn new and different methods of teaching as well as refine my skills.Firearms-Training

If you are going to spend your hard earned cash on a gun, which are generally a minimum of $500 these days, why not spend a tenth of that on an NRA class as a start for training? If you prefer, one on one instruction is more that worth the money. In four hours time you can become very familiar with your weapon and learn all the basics or even polish up on skills that have gotten a bit rusty. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these skills are diminishing. I was recently humbled so I know from experience.

You’ll find out that the more training you get the more that you’ll want. It’s enjoyable and flat out fun to play with guns! The more you learn the more prepared you are to defend yourself and family, so not only are you having fun, you’re developing a real skill that is life saving. It’s not about how expensive your gun or gear is, it’s about how well you put what you have to work when the crap hits the fan. The cheapest gun out there is still better than a sharp stick or rock as along as it’s reliable. Training isn’t a fashion show or battle of egos (read wallet size). Training is about being a responsible gun owner and developing a skill that deserves as much or more attention than your job or hobby that you’ve put so much time and energy into.firearms training picture 500w

It doesn’t matter what skill level you are, there is still more to learn. There will always be someone out there that has more or different experience that what you have. My entire adult life has been spent carrying guns, but I love learning. Get some trigger time, burn some gun powder and if you can do it with friends and family. It’s a great way to bring everyone close and keep ’em safe. Until next time, I’ll see you at the range .

Making Civilian Gear Tactical

So lets say for the sake of argument that you’ve got some gear that serves you well day to day but you have either decided that it needs a more tactical flair. That’s  what my situation was. I have a great Lowe Alpine backpack that I’ve had since high school. It’s a good pack and is in good shape. The only problem is that it’s bright blue. That’s hardly a “tactical” color. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with a blue backpack but for my purposes as a firearms instructor and tactical blog writer, it was less than desirable.

australis70-2There are lots of pieces of civilian gear that are well suited for military or tactical use. For some reason, people seem to have a need to buy tactical gear with Molle webbing all over it, that they never use.Have you ever carried a military issue ALICE pack over long distances? They can be very uncomfortable to carry unless you spend a bunch of money on upgrades from Tactical Tailor. Civilian packs on the other hand tend to be heavy on comfort, heavy on cargo space and light on weight. They are lacking on so called tactical features but as long as you’ve got somewhere to put your water, you’re good in my book. You will most likely be wearing some manner of load bearing equipment anyway.

photo 2(3)You may be asking me why I don’t just get an already camouflaged pack or why even bother with a blue one in the first place. Well very simply just because I want to. I could spend tons of cash on an Eberlestock pack and have a fantastic piece of gear and be very happy with it, or I could take a pack that I’m already comfortable with and customize it to my needs and the terrain in which I will be, and frankly an Eberlestock pack is nowhere near being in my budget. This practice has been used by special operations forces around the world for a long time with great success. I don’t agree with the notion that there is a “perfect” pattern, although there are a few on the market that are getting close. Usually it’s either too dark or too bright, or too green or too brown or too black.

photo 3(1)The goal of camouflage is to break up the outline and blend into your surroundings. For every problem there is always a solution. My solution? A few cans of plastic bonding spray paint (for painting nylon), some time and some different sizes of netting. All you need to do is to ensure the surface is clean and dry initially. After that you lay down a base coat in a color of your choosing. I chose tan as my base coat color. After the pack was all tan, I took the netting and placed it over the pack. Then lay down the two other colors (OD green and brown) in random fashion. Then more tan to highlight over the OD and brown. The more random the better. Dark to cover areas that would normally be bright and light colors on areas that would normally be dark.  I also dusted the whole pack with the OD green to tone down the tan some. I can’t tell you what colors to put where, North Carolina is going to be vastly different than Arizona, which will be vastly different than Oregon. What is particularly excellent about this method is that it is endlessly customizable. If you’re in the desert one week and the forest another, a couple passes with a different color will get you what you need. A couple things to keep in mind is that the color will flake and chip and wear off in some places and the paint will stiffen the fabric. That’s just the nature of the beast. Keep a couple cans of paint around and you’ll be fine and the fabric will loosen up with use. So how do you make your civilian gear suit your needs?

Why the Revolver isn’t Out of Date

I see it all the time. Someone walks into a gun shop and is looking for advice on handguns. The guy behind the counter starts pulling the Glock out of the case, passing by the Smith & Wesson revolver without even touching it by accident, like it’s diseased.

SW_327_MP_R8_1Revolvers are fantastic firearms. They are reliable and powerful, but there are a few things that some folks just can’t get over. One of the main reasons people tend to overlook a revolver is the capacity. Your standard 3-4″ barreled .38spc/.357mag revolver is a six-shot and with the more compact revolvers you only get 5. There are higher capacity revolvers as well in the 7-8 shot range (which is the same capacity as most 1911’s and pocket semi-autos). Another issue tends to be cost. A brand new Smith & Wesson is very easily more expensive than most of the handguns you’ll see in a case at your local gun shop. I feel that a gun is an investment. Price is irrespective of it’s utility, accuracy and comfort. This applies both up and down the price scale. If you find something that fits you extremely well and you can shoot it well, what does the price have to do with it? Make a budget and save your money. Another issue that tends to trip people up is reloading speed. If you’re taught to correctly reload your revolver with the right equipment and you train with it, your reload speed will improve to near magazine fed firearm levels. Don’t believe me? Jerry Miculek will be happy to prove you wrong.

Smith_&_Wesson_.357_Model_686_Plus_barrel_viewI had the pleasure of carrying a Smith & Wesson revolver as a duty gun for a few years and at no point did I ever feel out gunned. Initially I was somewhat disappointed about my new duty weapon since I was carrying an M9 before that, but I grew to love it very quickly. We were issued good ammunition, and received adequate training on reloading correctly, I was just as fast as guys qualifying with semi-autos. While it was heavier than a semi-auto, the trigger was very smooth and extremely consistent. It was boringly reliable and accurate beyond my abilities. All are supreme qualities to have in a defensive firearm. A quality grip on your revolver allows incredible shooting comfort as well. Revolvers aren’t constrained by a magazine feed angle and size like semi-auto’s are. I have never shot a more comfortable handgun than my Smith & Wesson 686 with a Hogue Mono-grip.

66SS4Revolvers deserve a very close look if you’re in the market for a defensive handgun. There are a few makers that make great firearms. If budget is really an issue, buying a used handgun is always an option. There are some other budget friendly revolvers out there. Taurus makes a very well made revolver and it’s a very faithful copy of the Smith & Wesson at a lower price point. Speed loaders and moon clips aid greatly in a speedy reload, even under stress. There is a whole host of calibers available in revolvers. .40S&W, .44mag, .45LC, .45ACP, 9mm..etc. The only revolver I own these days is a 1895 Nagant Gas Seal which is a pretty cool firearm to itself but horribly impractical as a defensive firearm. It’s been a while since I’ve relied on a revolver as my daily carried defensive firearm but I can tell you this, I wouldn’t hesitate to ever do it again and you shouldn’t either.

Pocket Notebooks

notepad1There are quite a few things that I carry daily. One of which is my handy pocket notebook. You have tons of choices when it comes to a pocket notebook, it doesn’t have to be a trendy Moleskine, Rite In The Rain or Field Notes. What it does have to be is small enough to fit in your pocket and actually be in your pocket when necessary. I started carrying a small pocket notebook while I was in the military and have ever since. This practice was only reinforced by my time as a police officer.

In law enforcement you have to write everything down. If you didn’t write it, it didn’t happen. Every single detail of every single encounter is recorded. This can be a  pretty time consuming practice but it’s vitally necessary when it comes time to write your reports and to help you recall details in court. In the military, it serves to help recall vital mission details like targets, rally points, hard times, as an expedient range card and even a quick and dirty language guide. On the civilian side of life, they can be very useful for recording a license plate number, address, description of a suspect in a crime you witnessed, details of a traffic accident you saw, strange events or collecting your thoughts after a use of force incident. Even if you aren’t trained in report writing, a small notebook can be indispensable in recalling small important details that you may need to go over with your lawyer. Mostly though, a pocket notebook is extremely useful in normal every day uses.

RIR.201-2Since I’m not currently in the employ of any government agencies, the contents of my pocket notebook are vastly different these days. Mostly my notebook contents consist of ideas for posts, phone numbers, class dates, grocery lists and the list goes on. At this point you may be asking why I actually use pen and paper in this “digital age”. I’ve got an iPhone that has an acceptable note taking application but when it comes to notes, a good old fashioned notebook just can’t be beat. Not to mention I just don’t think that typing on your phone presents a very professional image when taking notes. There’s just something about having something tangible to physically write on to help you remember. I use a few different kinds of notebooks depending on weather and space available in what I’m wearing. One of which is just the standard Mead spiral notepad. These notebooks are the main work horses of my notebook collection. They work very well and are very cheap, which are two very great things. I couldn’t even tell you how many of these I have filled to date. The second kind of notebook I generally use is a Rite In The Rain Tactical Bound Book which is 4.5″ x 7.25″. That can be a wee bit on the large side for some folks but it fits in my back pocket opposite my wallet, and is easily slipped in the center console of my Jeep when I’m on the road for any period of time. Rite In The Rain makes a whole host of different sizes of notebooks so chances are good that you’ll be able to find something that suits you well. There is one thing to consider when using Rite In The Rain products and that is you can’t just use a regular old ball point pen because of the water resistant coating on the paper. You need to either use a Fisher Space Pen or a pencil. I’ve opted for the pen option personally.

When I am complete with a notebook, I date it on the front cover, put a rubber band around it and place it in a .50 cal ammo can in the closet. You never know when you will need information from a couple years ago, or want to write your memoirs. I’ve known some people to scan the pages of their notebooks onto their computer. I’m not that detailed with it, if it’s information that is that important chances are good that I’ve already transcribed it into some other kind of document or have written a narrative report and have it saved on an external hard drive and a thumb drive (when it comes to electronics, I always have a backup). If you’re the kind of person that likes a little style, even with the standard cheap Mead notepads, you can get some nice notepad covers to help keep your notes in tact while riding around in your pocket all day long. I’m partial to the thick, stitched, natural leather varieties that get softer and darker with age. But that’s just me. There are multitudes of covers available to suit your tastes.  I hope this gets you thinking about always having something to write on, the advantages are endless.

 

Aegis Armory Shield Holster-first thoughts review

913774_254930447980636_1421284563_oI own another holster from Aegis Armory and was very impressed with the fit and finish so we decided to contact them for a full review. This my friends, is the exact holster that Stephen graciously sent from Aegis Armory for review. Yes, it is purple, and there are two reasons. First, I have seen very drab almost washed out colors in Kydex that just look cheap, and second, I don’t wear two full sized guns daily. So I wanted a holster that could be used by my wife as well. I’m really in love with my old duty weapon, but also have a Smith and Wesson M&P.  My wife wears this as an OWB holster and I wear it as an IWB. The holster is pulling double duty and serving multiple purposes. One of my favorite features of this holster is that you get a lot of bang for your buck as it can be carried both in and outside the waistband.

My first impression when I opened the package is that this holster is definitely high quality. The materials and hardware are better than a lot of the more expensive holsters that I own. If you are anything like me the smell of top quality leather is intoxicating, and it hit me the moment I opened the packaging. This is not a low rung budget holster, it’s as good or better than anything on the market, period.

The color is extremely vibrant and actually matches my wife’s mildly customized M&P perfectly, (can you say brownie points?) which was a great bonus. Another thing that I noticed is that the leather has been finished very well. The color is deep and the edges are beveled. The finished edges of the leather are a big deal in my book. It makes a massive difference in the comfort level when carrying an IWB holster. I own another similar holster that I actually had to sand the edges of the leather and use a black Sharpie to recolor them! Oh, and it cost $20 MORE!IMAG2926

My first impression is that Stephen and his crew really know what the heck they are doing. I’ll be back with a more as I continue to use this holster, so look for an extended review in the near future. Until then check these guys out at http://aegisarmory.us/ or on Youtube and Facebook.

FREE CLASS GIVEAWAY!

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As you know, we have grown Laymen’s Tactical considerably in the last few weeks. To that end we want to get the word out to as many people as possible that we offer low pressure, friendly firearms training. So, we’ve decided to offer a free class to one LUCKY person chosen at random once we reach 500 likes on Facebook. No strings attached! All you have to do is like and share our Facebook page, That’s it.

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How To Survive A Gunfight

Tombstone

Most people would assume that I would have just one word in this post, TRAINING. That would be quite incorrect. Don’t get me wrong, training is an essential part of survival, but training alone will not keep you alive. There are many other components that go into your survival in the real world.

SPEED? There are  competition shooters that have national and world titles under their belt that would quickly fail in a real world encounter. You may say. “How is this possible?” Yes, I understand that these guys can put hits on targets in times that are mind numbingly fast.  Fast doesn’t win a gunfight and those targets aren’t shooting back.

Ok, so speed and skill don’t win a gunfight! Really? Nope, I’m not kidding, they won’t keep you alive.

Well, it must be the ability to stay cool under pressure and make decisions quickly. Right?  Again, no that isn’t it.

Having a survival mindset? No, again this alone will not make you a gunslinger.

The truth is that you need all of the above to stay alive in a real life shooting scenario. The first and most important aspect to survival in my opinion is your mindset. All the training, speed, and skill in the world won’t keep you alive if you aren’t mentally and emotionally ready, willing and able to pull that trigger. The idea that a dead victim is morally superior to someone that has the  courage to fight back is a load of crap! The most important question is, can you pull the trigger when the time comes? If you can’t, sell your gun, there is no reason for you to have it. Biden’s suggestion to fire warning shots will get you arrested in most states, and won’t stop someone intent on doing you or your family harm. Think long and hard, pray, do whatever you must to determine if you can really do this. Taking the life of another human being is an experience that changes you forever. The fallout and after effects can be long lasting and life altering.

Secondly,  you need the ability to be cool enough under extreme stress to make clear and concise decisions. After you pull the trigger there  is  no recall button that brings a bullet back. Is the shooting legal? Was the area behind the aggressor clear of innocent people, or heaven forbid  a child. The fact is that things happen very quickly, and you have to be able to keep pace with your situation. To share a personal experience, I was working in a government subsidized housing complex a few years ago when a shooting occurred. It was my job to keep these people safe, so I did just that, I pursued the shooter. He took several shots at me from a position of concealment  where I couldn’t get a clear shot. One of the bullets was close enough that I felt the air as it passed my head. That’s an odd feeling to say the least. This wasn’t the first time I have been shot at, but honestly I was extremely angry. This person had shot a resident, and attempted to shoot me! The bottom line is that I didn’t have a safe shot and I waited for the local Police K9 unit and support officers to arrive. You have to make the decision of when to shoot and when not to pull the trigger as well.

The third most important aspect in my opinion is training. If you can’t hit the target, then all if for naught. You need endless hours training you body and mind on all aspects of the shooting arts. From your stance to your after shot follow through it needs to be drilled into your muscle memory and into your mind. When the time comes, only training will make your actions second nature. Under extreme stress you can’t think about what your next step is, you must react without thought to what your body is doing. Everything you do affects your marksmanship, so get it right and keep doing it until you can do it without thought. When I was on patrol, as part of my routine I dressed for my shift and practiced while in uniform. Yes, I unloaded my gun in another room, stood in front of a mirror and practiced everything from my stance to my trigger pull. Is it extreme? Not in my opinion. Fifteen days a month I was able to dry fire practice without the use of a range and you’d be amazed how much it changed my ability when I did get to the range. I suggest looking into some of the many training systems on the market these days. It works!

Finally, the last thing one needs to survive a gunfight is speed. What actually keeps you alive in a shooting situation is your ability to put accurate shots on target quicker than your opponent. You may ask “how exactly do I get faster”, and my answer to that question is easy. Go slow! Wait, what, go slow? Yes, go slow!  If you have ever been around really solid shooters then you have heard, “slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” There is a lot of truth in that adage. If you try to go too quickly you forget the basics and cut corners in order to get the shot off faster. For new shooters you form horrible habits that will then haunt you for years. I personally don’t like shooting competitions because of the habits that are formed with so much focus on speed. Being fast is only important after all other aspects of your training are taken care of. Fast will get you killed if you don’t have a solid foundation. It truly doesn’t matter how fast you can miss a target. Steve always preaches speed and violence of action in a shooting situation which is training left over from his military days. His supervisors at his police department would cringe every time he said it.

I’ve given you a lot of food for thought and some homework to do. Only after you address all aspects, mind, body and spirit can you be ready. Yes it’s a bit Karate Kid, but it’s true. With that in mind, put some lead down range and I’ll see you soon!

 

 

Back To Basics

draw-concealed-carryThese are the fundamentals of shooting survival. We like getting back to basics here because without mastering the fudamentals, you can never progress in your skills. Buying a gun doesn’t make you Wyatt Earp anymore than buying a fast car makes you Dale Earnhardt. Unfortunately too many people don’t get this concept. The problem is that people buy guns, and then let them sit in the closet or drawer until that bump in the night comes. What’s worse is that the people that actually practice go to the range and do everything wrong causing them to form terrible habits. I can’t tell you how many times I have just cringed watching some people shoot next to me. Let’s talk about what you really need to do every time you shoot to develop muscle memory and skills that will save your life.

I. Situational Awareness

situationalawarenessKnow what is going on around you. If you are off in “La La Land” then you will never see danger coming. Scan your surroundings, watching the actions of those around you. It doesn’t take much to recognize suspicious behavior. What takes skill is remaining vigilant enough to continually scan your environment. This and this alone may save your life! You have to know when to draw your weapon before it is too late and you are unable to defend yourself. All the training in the world is useless if you never see the threat coming.

II. Stance

ISO-TOP-LYour stance needs to be a stance that you would throw a punch from. This isn’t a speed shooting competition and over exaggerated shooting poses don’t work in the real world. The great debate is between the Isosceles or Weaver stance.

The Isosceles stance is standing with your feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees and leaning slightly forward with your arms extended  straight in  front of you.  You are squarely facing the target in this stance with both arms equally supporting your position.

The Weaver stance has the body bladed partly sideways in relation to the target rather than squared towards it. Again you have a slight bend in the knees and lean slightly forward. The elbow of the weak arm is bent and tucked supporting the strong arm which is slightly straighter .  The shooter pushes out with the gun hand, this produces a push-pull tension which is the chief defining characteristic of the Weaver stance.

III. Draw

handgun-drawWe understand that many ranges don’t allow you to shoot from the draw, this is where dry fire training comes in at home (with an unloaded firearm and without the presence of any ammo). Your draw starts with a firm grasp and proper positioning of the hand on your weapon. Never draw your weapon without having the proper grip established, because if you do everything that follows will be incorrect. If you are drawing from the most common position,the 3 o’clock, then your draw needs to come directly up with your arm close to the body. Your elbow should be extended to the rear so that you can literally punch the weapon forward and into your line of sight.

IV. Shooting Grip

hgcombatg_100206dYour grip on the handgun needs to be as high on the back strap as possible to control recoil, particularly if you have a handgun with a high bore axis. Limp wristing is a common cause of malfunctions because of improper grip. You are in control of the gun, not the other way around.  Sixty percent of your grip strength needs to come from your strong hand while forty percent needs to come from your support hand. There is another school of thought that preaches a “death grip” while training because that’s how you will grip the handgun in a stressful situation. We are fairly inclined to go along with that school of thought as well, if fact this is Steve’s chosen method (having been in a couple gunfights in the military I’m pretty inclined to go with him on this). Your thumbs need to be aligned forward and away from all controls and moving parts with your support hand fingers solidly placed on the lower rear of the trigger guard.

V. Sight Picture / Sight Alignment

Credit: christiangunowner.com

Credit: christiangunowner.com

Always bring the gun to your line of sight and never adjust your head positioning to the placement of the gun. Align the front sight in between the the rear sight posts with equal distance on either side of the front sight. A proper sight picture will have the actual target, and rear sight posts slightly blurry. Concentrate on the front sight. Your front sight dictates where your bullet will impact, while the rear sight dictates the vertical alignment of the front sight. Both your draw and grip effect your ability to gain proper sight alignment. I’ll say it again, concentrate on the front sight!

VI. Trigger pull, or more appropriately Trigger Squeeze

In my opinion trigger pull is the single most important part of the shooting process. Without the proper trigger pull, every shot will be a non life saving action. For such a simple step, many people don’t get it right.  A proper trigger pull starts with proper finger positioning on the trigger. The pad of your finger or just above the first joint needs to be what actuates the trigger.The pull needs to be a smooth movement to the rear without a jerking action. You then release the trigger allowing it to remain in contact with your skin until it properly resets and can be pulled again for follow up shots. This is called trigger reset and it is probably the most important part of the follow up shot, you only let the trigger out until you hear the “click” of it resetting. The key here is smoothness, and not being overly slow nor overly quick in your movement.

VII. Follow Through

You may ask what you really need to do after the shot that really matters. Well in real life a threat usually doesn’t cease to exist simply because you pulled the trigger. In the lisp laden but immortal words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get hit”. The one shot stop is a myth that you never want to stake your life on. Follow up shots will more than likely need to be made and all the above steps may need to be repeated. You never stop shooting until the threat ceases to exist. If you do fire your weapon to protect life, scan the area for further threats and remain aware of your situation.

I hope this helps in your training and gives you some food for thought. Until next time, be safe and put some lead down range!

 

A Primer on Everyday Carry

Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizer (Credit: Maxpedition)

Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizer (Credit: Maxpedition)

Everyday Carry (EDC) is a philosophy and practice that has grown exponentially in popularity lately. There are entire online stores and forums dedicated to it but it’s really very simply the act of carrying useful items and tools with you on a daily basis. Today I just wanted to cover the basics of EDC and get you thinking about what you may want to add or remove from your EDC setup.

I have practiced the EDC philosophy for almost as long as I can remember. It didn’t have that fancy acronym when I started doing it though. Starting out I carried a Victorinox Tinker as a kid and that was about it but, I always seemed prepared for whatever came my way as an 11 year old kid traipsing through the woods with my friends. Since then I have refined my gear and gotten some more experience underneath my belt.

These days I keep my EDC load out fairly light by many standards but that’s the beauty of the philosophy. You carry what is useful to you and your needs. My daily load out looks like this (assuming I’m wearing jeans):

  • Wedding Band (my lovely wife would want me to list this first!)
  • Casio G-Shock DW-9052 (left wrist)
  • Apple iPhone 4S in Magpul Executive Field Case and Zagg Invisible Shield HD front and back. (left hip pocket)
  • CRKT M12-14G (clipped to right hip pocket)
  • Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool in nylon belt sheath (left side of belt @ 9 o’clock)
  • Streamlight Stylus Pro Flashlight (clipped in left pocket)
  • Spec-Ops Brand Recon Wrap (left back pocket)
  • Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Wallet J.R. (right back pocket)
  • Beretta 8040 in Don Hume 721OT  Pancake Holster (right side belt @ 4 o’clock)
  • Don Hume Single Magazine Pouch w/magazine (left side belt @ 10 o’clock)
  • Black Fisher Space, Bullet Pen (clipped to right coin pocket)
  • Cheap spiral bound notepad or Rite In The Rain 4 5/8″x7 1/4″ Bound Notebook (left back pocket)
  • ~10′ of Gorilla Tape wrapped around an old hotel key card. (left hip pocket)
  • Blackhawk! Rigger’s Belt (around my waist of course)
Maxpedition Typhoon Gearslinger (Credit: Maxpedition)

Maxpedition Typhoon Gearslinger (Credit: Maxpedition)

At first glance that list looks like a lot of stuff but I can assure you it’s perfectly manageable. This is generally my bare minimum amount of stuff that I’ll leave the house with. I use a Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizer to carry most of the gear listed above for times where I’m not in jeans and a t-shirt or if I’m out with my son and have a really good excuse to carry my Maxpedition Typhoon Gearslinger as my “tactical diaper bag” which allows me to store all my essential stuff in one place that is easily accessible and frees up my pockets and belt. Carrying that bag also allows me to carry my small, Linux OS running, Acer Netbook everywhere with me. Having an actual computer you can carry everywhere with you is pretty useful when you’re running a website.

If you’re not yet initiated into the EDC community, welcome! I hope this gets you thinking about all the possibilities of what to carry and how to do it. There are folks that eat, sleep and breathe EDC that carry all manner of things that are very cool and very expensive. I have outfitted myself at a pretty reasonable cost, though not all at once. All the gear that I have, I’ve had for quite a while now and is well worn and often used. There has been trial and error in this process of course but that’s part of the fun. Learning what you really need and how to carry it is the best part. As for now stay safe, train and have a good un’.