About Erick Gelhaus

Erick has been a Deputy Sheriff with a large northern California Sheriff’s office since 1990. Currently assigned to patrol, he is also a Senior Firearms Instructor and armorer. His prior assignments include gang violence suppression and narcotics investigations. Erick served in Iraq as an Infantry squad leader. He also teaches at Gunsite and has worked for Aimpoint.

Reloaded Ammunition Concerns

It should not be a surprise to anyone that it is difficult to get consistent supplies of ammunition these days. Unfortunately, that means that the quality of what is being fed into our guns might be a bit (lot) lower than it has been for a while.

It has been several years since I’ve worked on a pistol that suffered a ka-boom. Last month, a personally owned Gen 3 Glock 22 came across my bench at work after one of those events. The owner had been firing frangible rounds from a commercial reloader. I ended up having to replace the internals in the slide. Continue reading

SureFire’s Sonic Ear Defenders EP-3 hearing protection

SF’s EP3 sonic ear defenders. You can leave the channel open to hear what is going on around you or you can plug the channel for the best hearing protection. The case and retention cord are included.

I have been spending time this year using the Surefire’s hearing protection. Thus far, I’m pretty happy with them.

The EP-3 is the two-flange model with an opening that can be used either open or closed. The design is such that it assists in blocking noise over 85db. SF says they have a 24db reduction rating with the plug in place. The canal will accept earpiece tubes that work with most the portable radios in use with public safety and government. They also have a retention cord for hanging around your neck. Continue reading

Modern? No. Service Weapon? Yes (Browning A-5 Shotgun)

Modern? No. Service Weapon? It was.

During Rhodesia’s bush war against communist terrorists, their government contracted with Browning for several hundred shotguns. Specifically, a variant of their A-5 model a semi-auto 12 gauge. These shotguns had a full-length magazine tube fully enclosed inside a wood forearm. Its magazine capacity is eight rounds plus one in the chamber. Additionally, there is a magazine cut-off lever in the receiver. Continue reading

Low Light Training – Part 2

Square range low light training on a two dimensional target – a starting point. (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Stafford)

This is PART TWO of a two part series on low light training.  Click HERE for Part One.

Normally, during low-light training, we are on the firing line with several co-workers. Every one turns on their lights, illuminating a two dimensional target at the same distance. This turns your low-light shoot into darn near daylight. Then they shoot. They do not really get to experience the capabilities and limitations of their issued and/or chosen gear.

Continue reading

Pat McNamara’s Grid of Fire Drill

Last December I took a combined carbine / pistol class from Pat McNamara – author of TAPS and Sentinel. During the class, we worked on an earlier version of his Grid of Fire drill. We did it with a handgun. The course works on bursts of movement – five yards at a time – in different directions, target acquisition and all of the fundamentals.

This past week, Pat posted a video showing and explaining the drill on his YouTube channel. It is a drill worth doing.

Pat’s company – TMACS Inc – and his bio can be found here: http://tmacsinc.com/

Low Light Training – One Part of the Equation

Co-workers on an indoor, square range working flashlight techniques on two dimensional targets.

Killing all of the lights on an indoor range and working various combinations of handgun / flashlight techniques is helpful in building a foundation for working in low light. It is the first step in low light training.  There should be a progression from static training in handling the light, then the light with a pistol, carbine or shotgun together on up through reduced light force on force evolutions.  One of the events should include a comparison of what you can see and what your equipment allows you to see compared to what your co-workers experienced. Continue reading

Another View on the Mini Red Dot Sight from Trijicon (RMR02)

I have been running a Trijicon RMR-02 Mini Red Dot Sight on my duty pistol for some time now. Earlier this year in March, after intentionally dropping the pistol while training with my back-up gun I noticed a significant zero shift. I re-zeroed the sight and did not have any more issues. Unfortunately, in early October, I experienced a repeated problem with the sight losing zero. So the sight went back to Trijicon for warranty repair.

Continue reading

ITTS Vehicle Assaults Day 2

Little that goes into one side of a car will exit the other side. You need to test what you use against a real car.

Day 2 started by de-briefing the vehicle assault / hostage rescue done by LAPD SWAT several years ago. Learning points including rehearsals, intelligent bad guys, observation skills, communication and un-expected actions by hostages.

We shot a four-door American made sedan with our duty rounds. The best performing handgun rounds were Black Hill’s 185 grain Barnes all-copper bullet and Federal’s bonded 230 grain jacketed hollow-point – both making it through the car to the exterior wall of the far door. While there are better options for vehicles, the .45ACP and full-power 12ga slugs performed decently. Continue reading

Vehicle Assaults Training with ITTS – PART ONE

Knowing how to successfully take down bad guys in cars is an important skill – especially for working street cops and some in the military. Defending against bad guys who want to get into your car is an equally important skill set for everyone – but that is a different class.

Last spring, Tim Lau and I, along with several other law enforcement officers, spent two full days with International Tactical Training Seminars, aka – ITTS, and its lead instructor – Scott Reitz, working on our ability to take down a car occupied by one or more Bad Guys.

There are a number of Vehicle Assault courses out there for those who can take them. The ITTS class is built around a manageable multiple officer cell using handguns. And it takes its tactics and techniques from those proven viable by specialized teams in the greater Los Angeles area. The tactics and techniques taught can be used with shoulder fired weapons. Continue reading