Are we treating the standing targets as “non-shoots” or as true innocent bystanders and applying all the basic safety rules?
At our last training day, Wayne Dobbs and I ran into a little problem. After a solid day of shooting a variety of tough drills and courses, we decided to add a little “competition” to the end of the day. We recently began running a pretty good little drill of 2 hits on a 10” plate at speed and then transition to an 8” plate for a single hit. We decided to now run this on a rack with a 10” plate and two separate 8” plates. To make things a little more interesting, we added two “innocent bystanders” between the targets. We also added a couple of rules. You could not violate the four basic safety rules. This meant that on the transition from the various plates across the innocent by-standers, you could not have a finger on the trigger, and the muzzle could not cover the non-shoot targets. After a couple of runs, we just put the timer away. It was insanely hard to not cross those non-shoots and to get that finger onto register. It took a lot of work to try to do this “right” and not necessarily “fast”. We also started moving to offer up better shots to minimize the risk to the non-shoots. Continue reading
There is a saying (often attributed to Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch): “Some people just need to be shot.” Taking a life is the last thing anybody wants to do, whether in public service as an LEO, or as an unsworn in defense of self or innocent others. But wise and healthy aversion to the awful, distasteful, life-changing (but sometimes necessary) deed does not render that statement silly or merely theoretical, legally or tactically. Continue reading
Our friends at Panteao Productions have started an independent film project, and are launching a crowd funding campaign to seek funding to complete the film. Tim and I have known Fernando from Panteao for a long time now, and he is always the man with great vision. If you have enjoyed the instructional videos from Panteao, check out the Indiegogo page and help support the project.
Alexander’s Bridge – An Independent Feature Film
Alexander’s Bridge is a science fiction/action film about an elite team of US Army Delta Force Operators accidentally sent back 150 years to the middle of the Civil War. Finding themselves where a battle is about to take place and where thousands of Federal and Confederate soldiers will be killed or wounded, they must decide what to do. Can they make a difference? Who will they try to help? Will they get back home?
Indiegogo Campaign Page: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/alexander-s-bridge
Panteao Productions: http://panteaoproductions.com
A couple of years ago, I really wanted to get my holster away from my body a bit more, particularly when wearing a heavy winter coat. I found that a lot of times, my front sight would snag on the coat pocket on the way up.
So, I did my research and chose to go with the Safariland Quick Locking System versus a simple stand off. At the time, I didn’t realize how beneficial that would be.
I do not have a take home car due to not living in the county that I work, so I have a 10 minute commute to work each day. When I purchased my new Toyota 4Runner, I noticed that the holster was wearing on the leather. So, I started taking the holster and pistol off when in my own vehicle. Thus it has saved on the wear and tear on the leather. Extra added bonus, to say the least.
Some of my coworkers have been hesitant about the connection systems, but I have had zero problems from it. One of the neat features is that you can have multiple attach points and use the same holster in many functions, IE a belt attachment, a drop leg attachment, etc.
I have found this piece of gear to be very durable. The locking mechanism is as strong two years later, as it was the first day I attached it to this holster. I’ve encountered zero problems with it, and have nothing but praise for the system in the context I use it.
Check it out at www.safariland.com.
It has been noted more than once that lately there seem to have been many MSW articles recommending against the use of the 1911 as a service pistol. This is not really a new trend, and even since the days of the 10-8 Forums we have always cautioned folks that the 1911 is not for the casual user.
Starting with IPSC back in the 80′s, I traveled a long road of being a devoted user of the 1911 in both competition and duty applications, a builder of custom 1911s, and a designer of 1911 components. The last 15 years or so had seen the 1911 absolutely dominate my existence, and everything I did seemed to revolve around the gun. With all this devotion to the 1911, it is even more telling then why I went away from it.
At the NRA Show, Pat Hogue, of Hogue Inc., dropped by the Apex Tactical/OpSpec Training Booth to chat. Pat noticed Scott Folk’s Smith and Wesson 342 sitting in the cabinet sporting the Hogue pink rubber grips. Pat went over to his booth and returned with his new Hogue S&W Centennial and Polymer Bodyguard Rubber TAMER™ Grips. Pat installed the grips and showed the latest features. It was pretty ingenious.
Finding and deciding on the grips for a Smith and Wesson J Frame isn’t always easy. Hogue has always been a good choice, and at times has been OEM for Smith and Wesson. The new TAMER grips improved on Hogue’s long winning design in a few areas. The first, and most noticeable was the molded plastic “butt cap” that was added to bottom portion of the grips. The first thing that this allows for is a smooth, snag free draw that is not being hampered by the rubber grabbing on a cover garment.
The next thing was the ability to take a round from the gun when you unload (an inert round in this case as we were inside the show), and remove the grips without other tools. Pretty slick.
The rest of the attributes the new grips bring to the table carry over from the classic Hogue design. While a little large for ankle concealment, this style Hogue makes shooting hotter +P loadings a lot more fun. Some of the small bikini grips are just no fun after the first 15 rounds or so.
Lastly, when buying from Hogue, you’re buying from a family company that stands behind their product. There is peace of mind in that alone.
More information can be found at www.getgrip.com.
One of the most common questions we see in the 10-8 Performance office is the compatibility of one brand of sight with another. It is great that the market is filled with so many excellent options that shooters can pick from, but not all the brands are able to play together. So how do you go about mixing and matching different brands of sights? Continue reading
Mini red dot optics on pistols continue to grow in popularity, and clearly seem like they are here to stay, much as they already have on our rifles. I have been testing the Trijicon RMR for some time, and you can search back to look at the various articles here. I was also one of the first shooters in my USPSA region to use an optic on my handgun back in the early 90′s, so I am not at all new to the concept.
I pay attention to discussions about these slide mounted optics, and ask as many users about their experiences as possible. The one constant trend which continues to persist is that shooters will readily indicate that they are slower on the first shot out of the holster, yet go on to laud the merits of it at distance, on the move, etc. I get all the advantages, but WHY is everyone ignoring the elephant in the room??? Since when in a defensive encounter, CQB scenario, and countless other applications, is the first shot NOT an issue??? Continue reading
Last time we left off on the crusade to make competition safe for the tactical world, we were making the case that stress introduced into shooting causes interesting results. Being able to work through the stress of the timer will always improve your shooting ability.
I just got back from competing in a major international shooting competition where I saw and experienced different levels of stress. The funny thing about stress (aside from actual physical stress) is that it’s only in the mind. That’s right. Stress is in the mind. Stress has nothing to do with shooting. Does it? What constitutes shooting? Lining up the sights and pulling the trigger. No where in that equation does the word “stress” make an appearance. “I hope I won’t miss”, “I suck at steel”, “I hate qualification” etc. All mental problems that have nothing to do with shooting. Being able to turn off the mental stress (conscious mind) and replace it with subconscious skill comes only with repeated practice. However, you can practice and practice by yourself for eternity, but you need a way to test it. That comes from shooting competitions. Continue reading
Earlier today (at the time I wrote this), 1911 guru Bill Wilson posted an excellent article on his blog on the secrets to making a short format 1911 pistol work reliably. Bill explains, “the basic functional difference between a full size (as John Browning designed it) 1911 pistol and a compact version with a 4.25″ or shorter barrel is slide mass and speed.” The point of the article was that these guns can indeed be made to run reliably if you know what you’re doing. The key lies in controlling spring weights, slide speed (hammer spring and firing pin stop geometry), a carefully tuned extractor, and careful ammunition selection. Follow the right formula, keep up on your preventative maintenance, and you can have a reliable compact 1911 (assuming it was set up correctly to begin with.)
The question is not meant to have a definitive answer. The answer will depend on your own use and experience. I wish only to offer some thoughts on the matter. The arguments on the thumbs down side usually lean towards users not wanting to have any obstacles to overcome when they need to fire in whatever high stress scenario they can imagine. The arguments on the thumbs up side tend to lean towards the user desiring some additional layer of protection from an unauthorized user being able to fire, and either thwarting their attempt completely or merely giving the owner time to react to the attempt. Being that this article is being presented on Modern Service Weapons, my thoughts are geared towards those who use pistols as just that, service weapons. Continue reading
Robar/10-8/MSW Glock with TLR-1
With the recent attention and series of articles on modified polymer pistols, I thought revisiting my Robar/10-8/MSW/Glock was in order. As the recent series of evaluations have highlighted, extensive modifications to polymer pistols are usually a want to do, rather than a have to do, decision. Having said that, as I stated in my previous evaluations modifying your pistol to best suit you and to ensure it’s 100% reliability falls squarely into the have to do category. Continue reading
Folks tend to get very emotionally involved and ego invested in their choice of firearm, and it gets very difficult to reason with them objectively. I have certainly been there myself, and my own road to discovery was long and rocky.
Let’s play a little game and remove the emotional attachment of a particular weapon system, and just outline a few things for consideration. What if someone told you any of these items about their awesome XYZ5000 blaster? Continue reading
I used to cut out magazine articles and advertisements from in flight magazines with a large pocket knife in full view of other passengers and the airliner’s crew. That was decades ago. Pocket knives are no longer considered a gentleman’s tool; they are weapons subject to detailed criminal laws.
Ask someone who regularly carries a handgun about their home state’s law on open or concealed carry, about the law of a neighboring state, or the law in states where they travel regularly. They likely know the law fairly well. Now, ask them about the folding knife hiding behind their exposed pocket clip. It is likely they either do not know their state’s law on knifes, or if they know something, it is incorrect or incomplete. LEOs believe (mostly incorrectly) that some Federal or state law exempts them from limitations applicable to ordinary citizens.
Knife laws vary state to state, and can be more complicated than one might suspect. Federal law on domestic or imported automatic-opening (commonly referred to as “switchblade”) knives? Less likely to be known correctly. How about fixed knives carried on the belt in a sheath? Carrying a knife on an Indian reservation? On Federal land other than the District of Columbia? Blades concealed in belt buckle or otherwise disguised? Carry based on a concealed weapon/firearm permit/license? In a reciprocity state? When in interstate travel? Continue reading
The firearms training industry is absolutely brimming with personalities of all types, and as a student it can be very difficult to filter through the noise and find quality instruction and guidance which pertains to one’s specific needs.
So many people in the industry seem desperate to spread themselves into areas where they have no business venturing. The flip side to that is that we have plenty of folks in the industry with great resumes in their respective lanes, and if you seek what they have to offer, then absolutely go to them. Continue reading