Informational Articles

Why Am I Missing So Much? - Anticipation of Recoil

Anticipating RecoilOn January 3rd, 2016- I was teaching a group of new shooters a Handgun Fundamentals & Safety course. During the course, one particular female was anticipating the recoil so much that she was dipping the muzzle just before each shot, resulting in misses low. Even at fairly close distances, she was having trouble because of the recoil. There were a few techniques that we used to overcome this issue, including switching between calibers of the same model handgun (.22 and 9mm). However, in this video, I wanted to show what the symptom looked like so that others might be able to identify this as a potential issue in their shooting. See the video below:

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IFAK / Med Kit Component List

Trauma KitPutting together a blowout kit for your vehicle or gear bag? I have several, and keep one with me in a vehicle or gear pack at all times. If you are carrying a firearm with you on a regular basis, then you need to keep a trauma kit of some sort nearby. Furthermore, you need to do some sort of medical training. For training, I highly recommend finding a course from Dark Angel Medical. After completing their training course, we highly recommend it and we will be taking their course again in the future.

**UPDATE** Due to the number of people that have asked us to make this easier for them, below are some simple options:

If you'd like to piece together your IFAK on your own, below are some of the things that I think you need you'll find useful are as follows:

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What is ATF 41F and What Does It Change?

By now, you have probably heard about some changes that are coming for the purchase of NFA items (silencers, short-barrel rifles, short-barrel shotguns, etc). What are these changes, and why are they important?

Video Explanation

Information from SilencerCo

The below information is from SilencerCo and contains some GREAT explanatory content.

It takes effect July 13, 2016

Though 41F was signed on January 4, 2016, it does not come into effect until July 13, 2016—180 days after being published in the Federal Register. Keep this in mind as you read through the rest of these points and consider creating a trust and submitting transfer forms sooner rather than later.

It is NOT retroactive

Any Form 1 (manufacture) or Form 4 (transfer) applications submitted to the ATF postmarked July 13, 2016 or earlier will be evaluated according to the current rules for making and transferring NFA items—even if your forms aren’t approved until after July 13, 2016. It’s a good idea to start the process now if you are considering acquiring an NFA item.

It clarifies the definition of “responsible person” as it applies to trusts

According to the rule, a responsible person is any member of a trust “who [has] the power and authority to direct the management and policies of the trust or legal entity to receive, possess, ship, transport, deliver, transfer, or otherwise dispose of an NFA item for, or on behalf of, the trust or entity.” This definition effectively includes any individual who might be involved in the acquisition or construction of an NFA item.

Notably, however, the NFA Freedom Alliance speculates that this wording might open the door for a “non-manager” type of trust member who would not be fully subject to the new application requirements detailed below.

It explains what responsible persons must include and do when submitting Form 1 or 4 applications

Rule 41F mandates that any responsible person submitting a Form 1 or 4 application on behalf of a trust must include a 2×2-inch photograph of themselves taken within the year prior to the date of the application, two fingerprint cards, a completed NFA Responsible Person Questionnaire (ATF Form 5320.23), and a copy of their trust. All of these items must be included along with the $200 “tax stamp” check or money order made to the ATF. This effectively requires that trust applicants submit the same information with their forms that individual applicants are currently required to.

In addition, after the effective date of the rule, ALL responsible persons of a trust must submit photos, fingerprints, and Form 5320.23s for any given application. Further, an applicant must send a completed copy of their form to their local chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) and all responsible persons must also submit Form 5320.23s to their CLEOs.

It removes the CLEO sign-off requirement

One of the good things to come out of 41F is the removal of the CLEO sign-off requirement for individual applicants, eliminating the ability of anti-NFA officials to arbitrarily bar Americans from owning items like suppressors and machine guns. Now individual applicants simply need to submit a notification to their local CLEO by way of sending them a copy of all pertinent documents.

While trust applicants were not required to obtain CLEO sign-off before, 41F mandates that they must notify their local CLEO of any manufacture or transfer of an NFA item.

Trusts still have value up to and after July 13, 2016

In the lead-up to July 13, 2016, gun trusts will still be just as advantageous to use as they are now. They still allow trust applicants to circumvent CLEO sign-off.

Following the full implementation of 41F, trusts will still be eminently useful as means for inexpensively transferring NFA items to one’s descendants in the event of trust-holder’s death. In addition, trusts are still the most legally-sound method of responsibly sharing NFA items with others.

Hidden in Plain Sight - Discreetly Carrying Gear

Recently, I've been asked more and more about how to discreetly carry fighting equipment and gear as people try to balance accessibility and concealability. To tackle this request, I decided to take on a new project that would fit my needs of carrying sufficient equipment in my vehicle that I could fight with. My daily carry is a Glock 19 (which has been modified to accept Glock 26 magazines for additional concealability). I also keep an additional Glock 19 in my vehicle. My "truck gun" has for years been a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 which has been heavily modified to add additional features to it. In the bag with the Sub 2K is a mag carrier containing 5 of the 33 round Glock magazines. So in my vehicle at any given time, are:

  • Glock 19 with a G26 magazine in it (10 rounds)
  • Spare G19 magazine on my weak-side hip (15 rounds)
  • Additional Glock 19 (15 rounds)
  • Kel-Tec Sub 2000 with Glock 17 magazine (17 rounds)
  • 6 of the 33 rd Glock mags (198 rounds)
  • Total of 255 rounds in Glock mags

The Kel-Tec has been a fantastic folding rifle, and it's a lot of fun to shoot. With that being said, it is slow to deploy (and I feel like I needed an additional project). So, I have recently put together a new AR pistol chambered in 9mm that accepts Glock magazines. The firearm is from Palmetto State Amory, a company that I've had a lot of good experiences with on multiple projects and builds. Since I'm building this as a potential firearm to keep in my vehicle, I wanted a way to store it and not draw much attention to it. After doing a little research, I found a bag that I thought might fit the bill. It's the Blackhawk Diversion Tennis Racquet Bag. Blackhawk makes an entire line of these bags, with some gym bags and similar discreet bags to not draw attention as to what might be inside them. There are no labels on the outside, no MOLLE panels to draw attention to the idea that it might contain gear, etc.

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What to Say to Police After a Shooting

If you ever have to use your firearm to defend yourself or someone else, you will need to be very familiar with some things that you should and shouldn't say to the responding police officers in the aftermath of a shooting. There is a common 5 part plan that you need to commit to memory:

  1. "This man was attacking me. I was in fear for my life."
  2. "I am willing to file a complaint against this person."
  3. Point out the evidence to the police.
  4. Point out the witnesses to Police.
  5. "I will give my full cooperation, but I will need to speak to my attorney first." (Note: it is not enough to simply invoke your right to remain silent.You must request your attorney!)

At this point, you will want to have another plan in place. Personally, I am insured for legal protection in the aftermath of a judicious use of force by the USCCA. I highly recommend that you consider a similar protection policy. Just as you would rely on your car insurance to cover your medical bills in the aftermath of an accident, you should have some sort of protection to cover your incredibly large legal bills in the aftermath of a shooting. For less than a dollar per day, I am covered for up to $1,000,000 in Civil Suit Defense & Damages, $100,000 in Criminal Defense Protection & Instant Attorney Retention, $10,000 in immediate bail bond funding, $500/day compensation while in court, and more. If you're interested in learning more about this type of proteciton, I highly recommend considering the USCCA Self-Defense Shield.

Watch the Corresponding Video!

 

How a Glock Works - with Cutaway

Glock, and similar "striker-fired" handguns, have taken the market by storm in recent years. During all of the Handgun Fundamentals & Safety courses, we use a series of images and explanations to demonstrate the inner-workings of the Glock handgun. I truly believe that understanding how the handgun works will help a user understand how to safely and efficiently operate the firearm and also to clear malfunctions. Well, there is a video that contains a "cutaway" Glock which provides a unique insight into those inner-workings that I feel I should share with everyone. Enjoy!

One Handed Manipulations

Hard Edge 1There are times where we might find it necessary to manipulate our handgun while utilizing one hand instead of two. While this is not an ideal situation, we should be aware of how to get our gun back in the fight should we use all of our ammunition or experience a malfunction. We might need to perform these tasks when we have one arm that is injured but there is still a threat present, or when we are carrying something we can't put down (such as a baby or small child). In such a scenario, we would need to be able to continue fighting with only one hand and therefore should know how to keep our gun in the fight if we only have one hand with which to manipulate it.

In order to do so, we need to understand the functions of the firearm that require two hands, and come up with a solution for simulating that second hand during the required task. For instance, racking the slide is something that would generally require two hands. Likewise, locking the slide to the rear during malfunction correction is much easier done with two hands. Retrieving a magazine during a reload is generally done with your weak hand while your strong hand holds the handgun (opposite with revolvers). In order to accomplish these tasks using only our strong or weak hand, we will need two things: a stow point to place the firearm, and a ledge to rack the slide. Let's take a look at how we can utilize the resources at hand to achieve our goals.

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Low Light Flashlight Techniques

Weapon Mounted LightsHow often have you prepared to fight with your firearm at night? If you were attacked at night, would you have a way to illuminate and identify your attacker(s) so that you could engage them? If you did have a means of doing so, would you know how to operate your handgun and the light at the same time? As you have probably concluded from our previous rant, we believe that All Handguns Should Come with Lights as a weapon mounted light is by far more manageable than any off-hand lighting technique. With that said, sometimes you will need to be able to implement off-hand lighting techniques no matter how well prepared you were. Whether your weapon mounted light failed or you just weren't carrying one, you should be well-versed in how to utilize a flashlight with your other hand to be able to effectively identify threats and engage them at night.

There are a number of common flashlight techniques that can be utilized in combination with a handgun. The technique(s) that you utilize will depend largely on a number of variables such as:

  • Size of the flashlight / handgun / shooters hands
  • Operation of flashlight (is the button on the side of the light, or is it activated at the tail-cap?)
  • Environmental limitations
  • Direction of travel / navigation around barricades

With that being said, let's take a look at some of the common techniques and try to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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How to Grip a Semi-Automatic Handgun

5 Shooting Thumb Rests Handgun GripSince I began shooting, I have tried to find the right combination of instructions which would help simplify and clarify the most efficient ways to perform each task. It's not enough for me to just know how to perform a task. I also have an insatiable need to know why we perform that task in that manner. As I continued to search for the best way for me to control a semi-automatic handgun utilizing a proper grip, I began to look at how some of the other master shooters explained their preferences. While no two instructors explain their grip the same way, there were quite a few common threads of instruction that I tried to hone in on. Therefore, my grip (and thus my explanation of grip) contains a blend of styles from people such as Ken Park, Claude Werner, DR Middlebrooks, Travis Haley, Bob Vogel, and others. As I explain the way that I prefer to grip a handgun, please keep in mind that many of these concepts were first explained by one (or more) of these sources.

When considering how we should grip a semi-automatic handgun, we must first identify the goals of our grip and understand why we are gripping the pistol the way that we are. What is it that a correct handgun grip should accomplish?

  • Control lateral movement (minimize the amount of travel the gun experiences laterally)
  • Control rotational movement (minimize the amount muzzle rise/flip that we experience during recoil)
  • Minimize and mitigate recoil for faster follow-up shots (efficiently acquiring our front sight after each shot)

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Why Am I Missing So Much? Trigger Control!

Imporance of Trigger ControlIn virtually any of the Handgun Fundamentals & Safety classes that I teach, I will get a student who pays close attention to all of the 7 fundamentals of shooting and begins scoring hits on target. However through the course of their live-fire exercises, they actually start to degrade with their hits. They start racking up misses, and so they try to overcompensate and get some more hits on target. By doing so, they compound their misses exponentially. So what's going wrong?

There are multiple answers as to why you might be missing the target, but I've found one key culprit that is almost always at fault... If not the direct cause, I assue you it is likely among the causes of the problem for missing. That crucial fundamental is trigger control. Usually, students will become slightly less conscious of their trigger control and then will see more and more misses from the same distances where they were previously scoring hits consistently. Why? Because they step up to the line, get their grip and stance perfect, acquire proper sight alignment/sight picture, and then pull the trigger. I hate that term... "Pull the trigger..." Students have that engrained in their mind and they do exactly that- they pull the trigger instead of slowly/consistently pressing it to the rear. The result? They rush through the 4 steps of trigger control and they miss the shot. These shots almost always miss low, and often times they miss to one side or the other. I see this a lot when students are growing slightly tired after a fair amount of shooting, and they begin anticipating the recoil of the firearm.

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How to Grip a Semi-Automatic Handgun

5 Shooting Thumb Rests Handgun GripSince I began shooting, I have tried to find the right combination of instructions which would help simplify and clarify the most efficient ways to perform each task. It's not enough for me to just know how to perform a task. I also have an insatiable need to know why we perform that task in that manner. As I continued to search for the best way for me to control a semi-automatic handgun utilizing a proper grip, I began to look at how some of the other master shooters explained their preferences. While no two instructors explain their grip the same way, there were quite a few common threads of instruction that I tried to hone in on. Therefore, my grip (and thus my explanation of grip) contains a blend of styles from people such as Ken Park, Claude Werner, DR Middlebrooks, Travis Haley, Bob Vogel, and others. As I explain the way that I prefer to grip a handgun, please keep in mind that many of these concepts were first explained by one (or more) of these sources.

When considering how we should grip a semi-automatic handgun, we must first identify the goals of our grip and understand why we are gripping the pistol the way that we are. What is it that a correct handgun grip should accomplish?

  • Control lateral movement (minimize the amount of travel the gun experiences laterally)
  • Control rotational movement (minimize the amount muzzle rise/flip that we experience during recoil)
  • Minimize and mitigate recoil for faster follow-up shots (efficiently acquiring our front sight after each shot)

In order for us to achieve our goals, we must maximize the amount of friction that our hands have with the weapon. This means that we must figure out a way to bio-mechanically control the movement of the firearm as effectively and efficiently as possible. Physics also teaches us that energy is going to always take the path of least resistance. We want that path to be through our bone structure and through large muscle groups in our bodies to be able to absorb that energy displacement with minimal effort. In other words, we want to absorb the recoil in our elbows instead of our wrists, as well as in our biceps/triceps instead of our forearms. Let's take a look at how we can accomplish that...

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4 Rules of Firearm Safety

The following rules apply any time that there is a firearm present.

  1. The gun is ALWAYS loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle point at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Know your target and what is behind it.

Always practice these four rules of firearm safety. With virtually every firearm accident that occurs, one or more of these rules is violated.

 

Sight Alignment vs. Sight Picture

Sight Alignment

Sight Alignment is the process of lining your sights up for both vertical and horizontal equilibrium. Looking at the picture below, we see that the front sight post is lined up perfectly vertical with the rear sight, which indicates that the muzzle is pointed straight ahead. This ensures that the elevation (the "up and down" motion) of our Point of Impact will be correct.

Next, you will note that the distance on both sides of the front sides is equally spaced in correlation to the rear sight. This is how we can ensure that the Point of Impact will not miss to the left or right of where we intend.

In short, the red lines in the image below should be the "mental test" that the shooter takes before each shot. The top of the front sight post should line up in a perfectly straight line with the top of the rear sight post, and the space on the sides of the front post should be equally spaced on the left and right. This will ensure that the Point of Impact from our bullet can be reasonably controlled and predicted when accompanied by proper Sight Picture.

 

Sight Picture

Sight Picture is the joining of the Sight Alignment with the target in the intended area that we are trying to hit. In other words, it's how we join together our "Point of Aim" with our "Point of Impact" with consistent, repeatable results. The picture below demonstrates how the proper sight alignment should be placed over the target, thus giving us a good Shot Picture.

SightPicture Demonstrated

 

Assuming that our firearm is properly zeroed, our hits on target should be directly in the center of the bull's eye.

Once the proper Sight Alignment and Sight Picture are acquired, a smooth and steady trigger pull will allow us to break the shot without a disturbance in our Sight Picture. This will allow us to consistently control the relationship between our Point of Aim and Point of Impact.

Do You Carry a Round in the Chamber? YES!

Content Provided By Concealed Carry Nation

*WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEOS*

The internet brings us many great things, and also brings us closer to the true realities of everyday life. Hearing about a robbery is one thing; seeing one play out is a whole other story. Anything can happen in a split second and if you are not prepared, you may have a really bad day.

Example 1

In this example, we see a quick presentation of just how little reaction time you could have in an undesirable situation. One second can mean the difference between life and death.

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Clearing Corners

Clearing Corners - Pass or Fail

One of the topics that is always being addressed in various ways is the safest way to clear corners. Let's face it- it's inherently dangerous when there is a potential threat on the other side of a blind corner that you can't see. It's even more dangerous if the threat is aware of your presence and you are not aware of the threat's presence. Furthermore, there's a lot more aspects of inherent danger when that threat is armed or potentially armed. So no we're stuck trying to figure out how to navigate a corner while not knowing if a potentially armed threat exists while deciphering if said potential threat is already aware of our presence and is potentially preparing to ambush. Sound easy? It's not. In Call of Duty you get to start over if your character gets impacted. In real life, your family and friends bury you.

In short, the seriousness of this often under-practiced could not be more paramount. So let's look at what goes wrong with some people's approach, and how we can avoid those same pitfalls.

The first potential issue presents itself with the use of cover or concealment. (By the way, understanding the difference between the two is absolutely vital in this situation. Concrete might stop a bullet, but sheetrock doesn't.) Too many people crowd their cover. Some people even lean against their cover. The only reason that you would ever need to be that close to your cover is in the event that there are multiple attackers or if you have been flanked (this includes high-ground) and the incoming fire is from a different angle. However, as Hollywood has taught us to do, many people will stay incredibly close to their cover and will expose too much of their body or require too dramatic of a (slow) movement in order to send shots down range. Furthermore, by crowding the cover as they attempt to clear it, they create too dramatic of an angle to have to clear in a safe and controlled manner. In other words, they create a "best case scenario" of taking too much time or exposing too much of their body, and a more realistic scenario of accomplishing both. In other words, they have drastically reduced their chances of survival. See below for visual representation of why we should NOT crowd our cover.

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