The AR15 is not a new magical weapon platform. Though the industry may want you to think there have been huge improvements and groundbreaking advancements every year at SHOT, that is simply not the case. Aside from fancy materials and making the magazine release or slide stop accessible from 12 new locations, nothing really new is happening.
About anyone can assemble one in their garage is about an hour with some basic tools.
The equation has long been figured out when it comes to the gas system length, gas port size, and buffer weight necessary for a reliable gun with very low felt recoil. While new muzzle brakes seem to come out every few months with a new look, companies are still just burrowing port angles from others or muzzle brake types seen on old Russian AK’s (or more obscure weapons). Continue reading
“Great losses are great lessons.”
― Amit Kalantri
When I introduced the CAN paradigm element (2012, see HERE, and 2015, see HERE), I identified three components: mindset; equipment; skill. In various MSW posts I offered related concepts, including: advance planning; physical conditioning; tactics; competence under pressure; reliable, mission appropriate equipment; training; practice; retreat; disengage; challenge; threatening deadly force; gun-pointing; less lethal. Whether LEO or nonsworn, employing deadly force when wrong; when appropriate, but done negligently, or; failing to employ it when needed (the MUST), can be immediately and/or long-lastingly painful to the mistake maker or other innocents (loved ones, strangers, K9 partner, or citizens you are sworn to “protect and serve”).
CAN failures engender SHOULD misjudgments, and often beget an unwelcome response from the legal system (the MAY). Of timely and particular note: (1) Regardless of a “win” in the hearing room or courtroom, complete “vindication” and a return to the status quo ante are nevertheless rarely attained; (2) For LEOs who make ugly mistakes, the landscape of policing has changed. You are no longer practically immune from criminal prosecution for CAN failures. Prosecutors will charge assault, battery, manslaughter, or culpable negligence when they come upon an LEO who has injured or killed and comes up short on their view of the MAY. Although quite rare, the specter of dual federal/state prosecution has a special impact of its own. (See HERE). Continue reading
In the training industry, we tend to complain about folks who spend too much of their money on guns and gear rather than ammunition and training. That idea is sound and is aimed at those folks who rarely, if ever, attend classes or practice defensive skills. There are a lot of inhibiting factors which keep us from enrolling in quality classes. Tuition is generally about $225 per day and about a grand per week. Continue reading
A bit more than three years ago (November 2013), I wrote (applying the four elements of my deadly force paradigm) on armed response to a home invasion. See “‘CASTLE’ DEFENSE: WHAT CAN–MAY–SHOULD–MUST YOU DO.” [See also other active links in the text below, and related MSW posts referenced below]. For our purposes here, “home invasion” is defined as an unlawful and forceful entry by stranger(s) into the enclosed confines (fenced or walled grounds, or building interior) of an occupied residential dwelling.
In the prior post, I offered for consideration on the SHOULD and MUST: “The legally recognized sanctuary of your “castle” has been invaded. The presence of criminal-minded strangers who have made forceful entry often ends in great bodily harm or death, and such heinous crimes carry long prison sentences. Innocent lives (yours included) are clearly in extreme peril. Escape is often impossible or impractical, as an attempt to do so may put innocent life in increased danger. You have issued a verbal challenge or decided to do so would be tactically unsound, and have a target at gunpoint or are at your favorite ready position. The home invaders are now aware the castle is occupied and their presence is known, but have chosen not to make a hasty exit. If not now, when?” (Italics added here for emphasis). Continue reading
Avid readers of this page know that we are big fans of the SIRT pistol for skills development and maintenance. Thanks to our friends at Next Level Training, SIRT pistols are discounted and you get some extra goodies in time for the holidays. The M&P version of the SIRT is typically not discounted, so this is a solid offer. Check it out by clicking the link above.
Takeaway: Do not leave an unsecured handgun (whether loaded or unloaded) in an unattended vehicle unless the environment is secure or you or a trusted other has eyes on it. If there will be times when you cannot do that, upgrade the vehicle storage space with a security enhancement such as a reinforced trunk, or a permanently installed or cabled hardened lock box. This admonition is a matter of common sense risk mitigation (loss of life and property, and civil liability come to mind) and compliance with the requirements of various federal and state laws.
If you own a popular model truck or SUV, the manufacturer/vendor deserving of your first look for handgun storage is Console Vault®. For under $300 you can have a good-looking and perfectly fitting, permanently installed secure lock box in your factory console, with combination dial or “barrel” key access. (If you are even slightly handy, it is a 15-minute DIY job which produces a factory installed look). Continue reading
Some Years Ago at the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers Conference in Idaho. Vince in the middle.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” -William Arthur Ward
Vince O’Neill is one of the premier law enforcement instructors in the country. He has trained cops in firearms and defensive tactics for over 30 years in every state of the union and 29 countries. O’Neill has been the lead instructor in both of these disciplines for Oklahoma’s Council on Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers. Listing Vince’s training and qualifications would require a separate article in itself. He is qualified as an expert witness on uses of force in state and federal court. He is a former state PPC champion, NRA High Master, NRA 1490 Combat Club member as well as many international instructional certifications in firearms and less lethal applications. His copious training, impressive wealth of real world experience and teaching prowess give him the ability to effectively relate information to students in a way that few others can. Continue reading
I bought my first Smith & Wesson M&P autopistol in 2008 and currently have five of them excluding the M&P40c my wife hijacked some years ago. I carried that original M&P40 on regular duty and SWAT for several years. However, Smith & Wesson just wasn’t satisfied with a good thing. After the standard duty size models became successful, then the compacts were introduced. The Competition Optics Ready Equipment (CORE) models represent another step forward for the M&P line. They allow for the mounting of optics on the standard and longer slide models. Most recently, the long slide versions hit the market. But, it doesn’t stop there. The S&W Performance Center makes both functional and aesthetic enhancements to otherwise stock handguns. So, the natural next step in the evolution of the M&P is the Performance Center line of pistols. Continue reading
I heard on a podcast that sporting a nylon “tactical” belt is a “tell” that there is a concealed handgun not too far away. I am not all on board with the “tell” analysis, but OK fine, we ( 🙂 ) likely should all plead guilty. Doesn’t every serious gun-toter have at least one belt from The Wilderness, and one of those ultra-stiff, high-tech, superhero style belts made with indestructible fabric and a “special” buckle — maybe from AresGear? (Both are awesome — so I am told 🙂 ). For many however, leather has been and remains the belt king. For some, “tactical” may simply be inappropriate. Maybe you’re a federal agent, an LEO who no longer wears a uniform, a concealed carrying non-sworn who has to “dress-up,” or a former “operator” now in corporate security or executive protection. Or maybe you simply want a changed look and a bit more “comfort.” What to do? Go with a leather belt specifically made for handgun carriage. If the don’t go tactical podcast is correct, all the better.
Spencer of “Spencer’s Keepers” carries a Glock 35 AIWB in his patented “Keeper.”
Back in my early days of carrying a gun, I bought some holsters with the structural integrity of a Dandelion. I’ve since learned that acquiring decent gear generally means making a decent investment. Production holsters are readily available, but the good ones are costly. Quality custom gear is even more so, with a few exceptions. If you want to save a couple of bucks and still get the customer service and quality products you deserve, check out the small custom shops. Below are four, “Mom and Pops” that I have used and which I recommend without hesitation. (Look for links throughout the article.)
Beretta/Wilson Combat 92G Brigadier Tactical and Shootist Tactical OWB.
I have long since been intrigued by the Beretta 92 family of pistols. The Elite series was a significant step in the right direction for the 92 but just not enough to sway me from Combat Tupperware and wheelguns. Last year’s release of the Beretta/Wilson Combat collaboration 92G Brigadier Tactical (Brig Tac) pushed me over the edge.
Now I’ve heard many people talk about traditional double action pistols but had very little experience shooting them. The DA/SA transition is made out to be the Boogie Man. It was time to learn how to run one of the most popular pistols of all time. Continue reading
I try not to allow sarcasm into my writings. I will try not to today, but can make no promises. Sometimes, you read things that are just so dumb, the sarcasm writes itself.
Recently, I have read some writings from police administrators, police trainers, and musings in the media in reference to the “21 Foot Rule”. To put everyone in the readership on a level playing field in our readership, this “21 Foot Rule” is what most of us also know as the Tueller Drill. In the early 1980’s, Sgt Dennis Tueller conducted studies involving how quickly a subject armed with a knife could cover a given distance, before an officer could react, draw and fire effectively at the knife wielding attacker.
Now, I have been exposed to this drill for most of my career. The crux of what I carried from it was an attacker can cover that 21 foot pretty quickly, so when dealing with non-compliant suspects, it is wise to have the gun in your hand, and a plan in your head. Continue reading
Norman Police Department Officer Ali Jaffery fires “2 and 1” failure drills with the CORE/RMR combination.
“That’s the future…right there.” My friend, Steve Tracy, may have been right as he pointed down at the M&P CORE pistol mounted with a Trijicon RMR at SHOT Show 2014. There is a relatively small but growing contingent of defensive pistol experts who believe that reflex sight optics will find a home atop law enforcement duty pistols in the near future. After all, optics are almost omnipresent on police carbines. While formerly considered an aid for competition guns, the quality of these devices has risen to the level that many feel they can trust them for defensive use. How does one measure just how much, if any, advantage can be gained by an optic over traditional sights in a defensive set up? I just happened to have an M&P40 that I used on patrol and in SWAT for several years. Smith & Wesson and Trijicon were kind enough to send me a pistol and optic for evaluation. Continue reading
A .38 caliber hole fired by Tom Givens from a revolver held upside down in a demonstration.
“Evil is real,” he said somberly, and he would know. With decades of law enforcement experience in the Memphis area, specialized security work and dedicated research on the topic of armed self-defense, Tom Givens does know. He’s an exceptionally experienced firearms instructor, author, competitor and student. He is a longtime member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, the National Law Enforcement Trainers Association, the International Wound Ballistics Association and the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors. As IDPA member number A00008, Tom was there during the creation of that organization and was among the first members of The Police Marksman Association. Givens has investigated a staggering number of shootings over the last four decades, including dozens involving his own students. With that knowledge and experience, Tom has served as an expert witness on firearms and police training on the state and federal level. Tom has authored four books including his most recent, Fighting Smarter. He and his wife, Lynn own Rangemaster Firearms Training Services. In the firearms training community, Tom is nothing less than a legend. Lynn is quite the shooter and instructor in her own right. Each year, Rangemaster hosts The Tactical Conference. That event culminates in a realistic shooting competition. Lynn placed third in the 2015 match against some heavy hitters. Underneath her kind, unassuming exterior is the blue twisted steel of a gunfighter. I jumped at the opportunity to attend their three day Firearms Instructor Development class. Here are my thoughts.
You always hear quite a bit about how rifles with mid-length gas systems shoot “softer” than the carbine length brethren. I bought one of my favorite rifles more because of the basic layout, and I like the dude that came up with the concept of the rifle, Kyle Lamb. It is a 16 inch Smith and Wesson VTAC 2. It came factory with a mid-length gas tube. I changed out the brake for a Surefire brake, and then I just added ammo. The rifle has always shot like a dream. Dot travel is minimal. I can hammer quick splits into discreet targets at will. Continue reading