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
The Glock 19 is a do everything pistol, while the Glock 26 is easier to carry.
I recently received an email from a reader asking me to do an article on the Glock 19 vs 26 for concealed carry. I am a fan of Glock 9mms almost in any configuration, but if I could have only one, it would be the 19. It is truly the do-everything pistol. On the timer, I can’t statistically show a difference in performance inside of 20 yards (as compared to a 17.) I can manage around 275-280 on the FBI Bulleye Course with a 19 which is within single digits of what I can do with a tuned 1911 on the same drill. The 19 is big enough to be pressed into the role of a full sized service pistol, yet small enough to fit underneath a T-shirt in a Raven Eidolon Holster. Given my philosophy of selecting the biggest gun with most capacity that I can practically carry for the circumstances, the Glock 19 fits the bill 99 percent of the time. So what about the 26?
The J-frame Smith & Wesson revolver is a must-have carry gun in my book. I’ve been carrying a model 642 as a backup both on and off duty for almost fifteen years now. There are a lot of nifty little auto pistols on the market today, but none of them come out of the front pocket quite as readily an internal hammer J-frame. Of course, there are drawbacks to everything. If you want a quality, 15-ounce pocket gun, sacrifices must be made. As is necessary for reliable ignition, the DAO trigger pull on these little revolvers is heavy and that makes them somewhat more difficult to shoot. For the sake of concealability, the stocks are tiny and even the rubber ones are hard on larger hands like mine when firing +P loads. Another negative of small .38 Special revolvers is occasionally sticky extraction of spent brass. This is especially true when using the hotter defensive rounds. These guns have been popular for so many decades, I think it’s safe to say that defensive handgunners have readily accepted these seemingly necessary compromises. Maybe we don’t have to compromise as much anymore. Continue reading
“You need a maximum strength prescription of ‘slow…down’. Speed comes later,” he said in that western Kentucky accent that almost forces a sense of calm. It was obvious this would be a different kind of class. Operation Specific Training offers a process-oriented curriculum as opposed to a goal-oriented curriculum. I would come to know what that meant over the next two days.
I had Internet-known Jerry Jones, the President of Operation Specific Training, for several years at that point. (Editor’s Note: We are proud to have Jerry here as a regular contributor here at Modern Service Weapons.) We had corresponded regularly on a forum and via email, but had never met in person. I’d always found him to be exceptionally knowledgeable and truly interested in the education of others. He’s notorious for going to great lengths to answer questions and provide assistance to perfect strangers online. During an email exchange, I told Jerry I was having trouble with some fundamentals after surgery. I don’t know if Jerry felt sorry for me or was just tired of reading my polysyllabic swearing, but he invited me to his Practical Fundamentals class in Paducah, KY. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to regain some skill and maybe a little swagger. Continue reading
“I think I’ll do okay,” he told me with a slowly-developing wry smile under a horseshoe mustache (not to be confused with a Fu Manchu) and an immaculate platinum four-inch brim Serratelli western hat. I always wondered how he kept that thing so clean patrolling our infamous red dirt roads. In retrospect, I had probably come across a little incredulous as to Garfield County Deputy Cory Rink’s choice of new duty pistol while we were discussing the dynamics of modern law enforcement shootings, split times, reloading speed and accuracy. Rink is a unique fellow. He’s intelligent, excellent with the public, well-versed in statute and case law, a custody/control (hand-to-hand) expert and has thrown more than a few hay bales in his life. So, of course, he chose a unique duty gun; a S&W M&P R8. But, still… a revolver? In the 21st century? He seemed confident that he’d do just fine on the range. We’d see soon enough. Continue reading
[Photo Credit: Alan Diaz, Pulitzer winner, for the AP (2000)]
Merriam-Webster (online): “at gunpoint – under a threat of death by being shot.”
Executive Summary: Why are guns pointed at people? On occasion, to shoot them. More often, to compel compliance with the gun pointer’s command (to cease unlawful or threatening activity and/or to initiate directed activity). Gunpoint command/compliance as a “technique” or “tactic” is frequently unsuitable, as a failure to comply (mere flight included) ought not be responded to with the use of deadly force. [Because the MAY and SHOULD (elements of my deadly force paradigm — see related links below) are not satisfied]. For LEOs sued for “excessive force,” the propriety of gun-pointing will increasingly be a jury question. For the non-sworn, gun-pointing is strongly disfavored even when lawful, as it requires significant training, skill, and discipline..
Recent incidents of gun-pointing revived one of my long-held (about 15 years) firearm related observations: Guns are pointed at people way more than they need to or should be pointed — by LEOs and the non-sworn. (For a related MSW post, click: “CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NON-SWORN : HOLDING SOMEONE AT GUNPOINT.” I touched on the subject for LEOs as well, click: “THREATENING DEADLY FORCE : MUSINGS ON “BRANDISHING” AND “WARNING” SHOTS.” For my thoughts on gun fighting and shooting people (who need to be shot), click: “A SHORT ESSAY : WINNING IS EVERYTHING . . . AND THE ONLY THING,” and “MAY/MUST QUESTIONS ANSWERED CORRECTLY. . .SHOOT FIRST, LIVE”). Continue reading
A pair of Glock 19s, in Gen3 (top) and Gen4 (bottom). Though there are some differences, both are perfectly serviceable.
With the advent of the Generation 4 Glock, I sold off most of my Generation 3 stuff. I like the Gen4 better from several standpoints. The dual recoil system, the addition of the texture on the grips, and the larger mag release. I like everything about it. I’ve lost count at the amount of 9mm and .40 caliber ammunition that I have sent down range since the Gen4 came out. I convinced myself that the Gen4 shot softer, and that everything about it was better.
But is it? Continue reading
For those who prefer to (or must) buy “Made in the USA,” here are some “soft” goods makers I favor (often after recommendations from full-time military or LEO users), along with my actual purchase examples. These vendors make quality products with good fabrics and stitching; many are unique designs. Something (maybe everything) from each of their lines will likely interest you and satisfy your mission requirements and personal finickiness. Customer service is also top notch for all. Continue reading
The Hornady XTP bullet seen here performs fairly well in ballistic testing, though the newest designs such as the Ranger SXT from Winchester is among the best performing defensive handgun ammunition around.
Last week, I wrote about the nine-millimeter’s return to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, who had shunned the performance of that round nearly two decades ago. While perusing some of the comments and emails I received in response, I found a link to an excellent article in POLICE Magazine titled 9mm vs. 40 Caliber. While I don’t enjoy the typical pistol caliber debate, as you can find these ad nauseum on any Internet gun forum, the article goes in depth into wounding mechanisms and the mechanism of “stopping power”. Also of note is that the article was authored by a trauma surgeon. Here are my takeaways from the piece.