Wilson Combat to Host Ernest Langdon in TX

Wilson Combat to host Ernest Langdon for Beretta 92 class in Texas. Image from Wilson Combat.

On the heels of the announcement of the collaboration between Wilson Combat and Beretta guru Ernest Langdon, Wilson Combat has just announced they will be hosting Ernest for a “How to Run a Beretta Handgun” Course at the Wilson Ranch in Cuthand, Texas. Die hard Beretta aficionados will immediately recognize Ernest as the industry’s most knowledgeable instructor on running and modifying the Beretta handgun. A prior member for the Beretta shooting team, Ernest’s competition career has earned him countless national IDPA and USPSA titles with a double action pistol. He also has extensive military experience as an end user and instructor.

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Shooting Without…Yourself.

So, what the hell does that mean? We often go to the range, start shooting a drill or even bullseye practice, and begin to make judgements.  “Damn, my shots keeping going to the left.”  “I’m shooting too slow”.  “Why can’t my group look like his group?” or even, “I suck!”  This is your ego or more commonly known as the conscious mind.  It tells us what’s going on.  It’s that running monologue in your head.  This reminds of me of the scene in the iconic Tom Cruise movie, “The Last Samurai.”  In it, our hero has learned the art of the sword and is in a competition with one of the instructors.  As it goes on, he has a hard time connecting and summarily gets his butt kicked. Continue reading

The Quest For The Sub 3.0 Second 1-5 Drill

I recently was presented with a challenge that the “stud time” for the VTAC 1-5 Drill had to be under 3.0 seconds.  For the life of me I didn’t remember whether my best time was 2.83, 3.28, 3.82, or hopefully not 8.32 (but those 3 digits were clearly in there somehow…I’m sure of it….).  I always enjoy a new challenge, so I packed up my range gear and hit the range. Continue reading

Review: Mike Pannone M16, AR15, and HK 416 Handbooks

I’ve been following Mike Pannone through his writings and videos on the Internet for quite some time now. I enjoy his no-nonsense, performance based approach to training. His drills are challenging and rooted in reality. I particularly like his 15 in 10 Drill, which pushes the limits of speed while keeping a tight accuracy standard. This past SHOT Show, I ran into Mike in one of the hallways and had a nice chat with him. While this was the first time we had met in person, I felt like we were chatting like two old shooting buddies. His real world experience is significant (look it up), but Mike also has a solid grasp of the industry, and therefore understands the pros and cons of each weapon system. Hilton recently attended Mike’s Covert Carry Class and keeps telling me how I have missed out by not yet taking the opportunity to get on the range with Mike. Continue reading

CQB Considerations and the 16″ Carbine

In my travels, I see that many LE agencies and individual LEO’s are moving toward Short Barreled Rifles (SBR’s) for patrol and SWAT.  Most typically, the rationale is for easier movement in and around cars, as well as CQB movement inside buildings.  While there is no arguing that a shorter barrel is easier to move around, I would offer that it is not a mandatory requirement for success. Continue reading

Competition and the Tactical World..the end (Part IV)

Competition vs. the Tactical World:  Stage Planning and Wrap Up

So as we head into the final stretch of our exploration on why competition is good (no great) for the tactical world, we have one more area to cover.  I’d like to talk about stage planning and visualization.

There are several ways of stage planning so for most of this article I want to focus on USPSA style of stage planning.  “Well, what is stage planning?”  Good question.  In USPSA, at a match, the rules allow competitors up to five minutes to look over a stage, walk through it and air gun (not air guitar) as they walk through.  Let’s break down those parts. Continue reading

The 1+1 Reload Drill, Modified

15 yard 1+1 Drill, USPSA head box, from concealment.

One of my favorite drills is the 1+1 Reload Drill, which hits several core skills at once – draw to first shot, slide lock reload, and recovery to a followup shot.  I had previously detailed the par times for the “standard” version which is shot at 7 yards on a USPSA or IDPA target. The drill is a staple of my training regimen, and my performance on it gives me a metric for comparison of a given day’s session or how a new holster or gun is working for me. Continue reading


I previously noted in an MSW post the return of The Police Marksman.  You can read/download the latest issue, eBook style here.  In addition to the long running “Officer Down” column (the John Schoen incident), the current issue has articles on the XDM 5.25, shooting competition, use of extended magazines, and learning the mechanical offset of lasers.  Every issue contains good stuff for LEOs; the subscription price cannot be beat, so there is no $$$ excuse for not reading.



At the end of part one, I suggested a solo intervenor’s mission is driven by two goals: (1) Interrupting, containing, and deactivating the active killer, and; (2) communicating and identifying oneself as the “good guy” so victims, witnesses, and responding LEOs do not mistake an intervenor (you) for the active killer.  I didn’t suggest which of the two was more important.   That depends on the intervenor’s own analysis of the SHOULD and MUST.  I also purposely failed to mention something obvious: Time spent on the second goal delays implementation of the first, thereby diminishing the chance of an earlier, more lives saved intervention. Continue reading

Experience: Get Some

In this day and age of the internet, we have the world of information at our fingertips, and it is possible to learn about anything without even getting out from behind our keyboard.  Unfortunately, many consider this to be a substitute for experience and actually doing something rather than reading about it or watching it on Youtube. Continue reading


This post started out in draft (many months ago) as a review of the Panteao Productions video by Paul Howe, “Civilian Response To Active Shooters.”  (Click on the image to read some of Paul Howe’s background).

        I was a bit uncomfortable some might think I had strayed from my lane as I have no military combat experience, and neither my training nor my life or death experiences resemble Paul Howe’s.  Thus, I changed this post to pose and (hopefully) answer the title question. I think a better term to describe the dynamic incidents addressed is “active killer,” so I use that term instead of the universally used term “active shooter.”

I know Paul Howe only by reputation, his videos, and the material he and others have posted on the internet about his classes and training facility, CSAT.  If I had a training “bucket list,”  a week or two at CSAT would be on it.  Real operators I know respect him, his abilities, and doctrine.  Paul’s video provides basic insight into civilian mindset, gear, and tactics appropriate to intervene in an active killer incident.  Obviously, a safer intervention tactic would be simply to have Paul Howe with you and let him do the heavy lifting.  You would stay out of the fight, help with the evacuation of innocents, and provide direction to sworn first responders (most importantly, describing the armed and qualified civilian responder who already entered and was in response mode).  Unless you are Mrs. Paul Howe, that’s fantasy. Continue reading

Competition Vs. The Tactical World part Tres…

Shooter ready?  Stand by…”beep!”  And they’re off…Bam, bam, run, bam, bam.  Crash..burn..oh crap.

What happened?  4 misses, 2 no shoots..but a smoking time.  So what?  Yeah, you were fast, but what did you hit?  But I was fast…Heard that scenario many times at matches.  But what about this one?

“Today in NYC, three bystanders were shot by police as they attempted to take down a murder suspect in front of the Empire State Building (true story).”  I don’t want to get into specifics on the brave LEOs facing an armed killer, since 20/20 hindsight is always easier than being there.   However, a lot can be learned from these kinds of events.

WARNING:  The following is based on my opinion and like your opinion, we all got one.  I ask you to check your ____ and continue to read.  YMMV… Continue reading

Are You REALLY Doing It Right?

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

MAY/MUST Questions Answered Correctly. . . Shoot First, Live

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