Recommended Reading

I was recently going through my bookshelf throwing away some old catalogs and magazines and came across a few gems that I particularly enjoyed reading, not only because they were entertaining, but had a good amount of educational value as well. None of these books are exactly hot off the press, but if you’ve missed any of these, do yourself a favor and grab them from Amazon. Continue reading

One Weird Trick To Shoot Better

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am here today to share with you a trick that the “BIG SCHOOLS” don’t want you to know.  If you don’t want to shoot better like a NAVY SEAL in just two hours, please leave this blog now.  This is for those who are serious, for those who want instant improvement in their practice.  This one “Weird Trick” discovered by a stay at home mom wanting to learn to defend herself from the upcoming zombie apocalypse.  Please, stay until the end of this blog if you are serious.

This one “weird” trick is called PRACTICE.  There are no slick fixes.  There are no pills, no potions that will take a D class shooter, and make them a Master class.

It seems the “ONE WEIRD TRICK” “HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT WHILE EATING PIZZA THREE MEALS A DAY” or “FIND OUT THE REAL REASON OBAMA WANTS YOUR GUNS” meme has started to lurk into the firearms community. The sideshow barker lures you in with an instant cure for diabetes from an ad showing a Jelly Doughnut. Or warns you that “For those not serious about defending your family with the tricks of real world special forces operators need to leave this video now” all the while showing a bearded, multicam clad meat eater with his face blacked out.

I get that the firearms community has been hawking stuff for years with the claim of making us better and faster.  Variations of the sights that I call the “Alien versus Predator” sights that claim that it makes you faster on target.  Yet, every special ops unit and top tier competitor I know is using standard sights.  Some with a fiber optic front, some with a standard front blade.  If these huge, colorful sights that come together making an homage to the pharaohs were so good, you’d think they’d be on every gun in USPSA,, and CAG would order 500 sets of them.   Apparently, these folks haven’t discovered how fast these sights make you.

There is no magic fix other than practice. The more you dry fire, the more you practice, the better you will become. Say it with me, the faster you will become. Recently, I had a buddy of mine who is just getting back into shooting USPSA after a lay off come to me with a question.  At his last match, he won his division by a hair. He said that he sucked, but everyone just sucked a little more than he did that day. He was concerned that some of the younger guys were faster than him. He was sure that he was too slow, and wanted help putting a plan together to get faster. I asked him when the last time he devoted 15 minutes to dry firing and he replied “Oh, I have not practiced in months”.  There your problem, you’ve got mud in your tires.

We as a nation seemed to be fixated on quick fixes. Time and practice makes us better.

The one “WEIRD TIP” is the same that it has been for decades. Practice. Train with a plan.  Dry Fire. You’ll like the results.

RENDERING AID TO POLICE : YEA OR NAY?

    

       

Recent stories where the non-sworn (usually referred to as a “citizen” or “civilian”) successfully assisted a police officer caused me to write this post.  One “all’s well that ends well” scenario involved a man who took shots when he witnessed an in-progress armed robbery and believed a responding officer was in danger of being ambushed. The officer took cover and the robber was captured later.  (See here and here). Another, a more common scenario, involved bystanders who helped subdue a subject who might have overpowered the officer.  (See here).  Similar stories and videos on topic pop up on TV news reports and officer interest websites from time to time. (See examples, here and here).  As an MSW reader, you likely already know that being a “hero” aiding police is, like policing itself, dangerous business.  Thus it is no surprise; not every “hero” comes through unscathed.  (See here).  Also not surprising; simply having a cup of java in public with an officer is not risk-free.  (See here).  Finally, would it not just plain suck to aid an officer .  .  . and then someone else gets the credit? (See here). Continue reading

THE POLICE MARKSMAN —- CURRENT ISSUE : LEO, GET SOME!

What’s not to like, free and on line.

  a legacy of advancing tactical excellence in law enforcement training. Our mission is to arm law enforcement with the tools and knowledge to survive and win real-world encounters. We maintain a laser focus on delivering cutting edge articles on tactics, firearms and officer safety to law enforcement of all ranks nationwide. We achieve this through our roster of leading topic experts and our long-standing reputation of integrity and commitment to law enforcement.”

Current Issue

Officer Down” column (last article link below in list) — a must read comprehensive analysis of an OIS, with a buffet of food for thought.   This one has particularly important lessons for traffic stops and other encounters where repeated challenges are issued to a non-compliant. In one case where a non-compliant subject was holding a weapon, a federal appeals court said: “We accept for the present purposes that, once past Sergeant Carr, Montoute never turned to face him again, and Montoute never actually pointed the sawed-off shotgun at anyone. But there was nothing to prevent him from doing either, or both, in a split second.   At least where orders to drop the weapon have gone unheeded, an officer is not required to wait until an armed and dangerous felon has drawn a bead on the officer or others before using deadly force.” The case, Mountoute v. Carr, is here.

Kyle Dinkheller, EOW 1/12/1998:  The dashboard video is here.  Watch it and then read the column.  As Rod Serling would say, submitted for your approval:  Repetition makes good practice, but in the real world, use it at your own risk.

PM_JanFeb2014_Cover.indd

Disclosure:  PM once (IIRC, in a prior century) sent me a box of 45 Auto +P Federal® Premium 230 HST, for free.  I have most of the box left.

Stay safe,  whether in or out of uniform.

Revisiting the Glock Factory Extended Slide Stop

When I first started running the Gen 4 Glocks, I was fairly insistent that due to the shorter fore/aft size of the new frame, I no longer needed to use an extended slide stop with the guns. All of my Gen 3 Glocks sport some type of extended slide stop, but now with the slightly smaller Gen 4 frame I had found that my thumb was better able to reach the standard length slide stop. That all worked great until one day where I trained in the pouring rain…. Continue reading

THREATENING DEADLY FORCE : MUSINGS ON “BRANDISHING” AND “WARNING” SHOTS

I “learned” the following while browsing the internet:

  • In order to scare off a home intruder and alert neighbors to summon the police, one should go out to a balcony and fire a double-barreled shotgun into the air.  WRONG: Likely tactical error abandoning a safer ensconced defensive position, misuse of limited ammunition supply, endangers others, and probably an unlawful discharge. Continue reading

Mini Review: Vertx Phantom Ops Airflow pants

I was lucky to receive the other day a pair of the new Vertx Phantom Ops Airflow pants.  If you don’t know who Vertx is, well then you’ve been asleep behind the wheel of the tactical fashion industry.  Vertx (from their website) “is the tactical brand of Fechheimer, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc and makers of Flying Cross military and law enforcement uniforms.”  I also heard the name Arc’Teryx mentioned at SHOT one year as having input into the design (haven’t got confirmation yet..). Continue reading

AAR: Mike Pannone Patrol Vehicle/Rapid Trauma Management

If you work around vehicles and carry a gun for a living, you should have a plan for how to function around your vehicle with that gun. If you carry a gun for a living, holes may possibly appear where you don’t want them, and you should have a plan for how to address those. Mike Pannone (CTT Solutions) offers a single class – Patrol Vehicle/Rapid Trauma Management –  which addresses these contingencies, and you should plan to get to it if you fit the above description. Continue reading

Glock Pistols and the Grip Pressure Conundrum

For the early part of my on again/off again relationship with the Glock pistol, I had fits that I could shoot those little bitty, caliber and half sized groups at seven yards with repeatable boredom.  The problem I experienced, along with many others it seems, is that the group was consistently to the left of point of aim.  I am a right handed shooter.

I started becoming a serious student of the Glock seven or eight years ago due to work.  I fought it, aimed to the right for qualifications, and drifted sights as a solution.  The most frustrating thing is that when ball and dummy drills are introduced, no movement would be observed in the front sight.  It drove me crazy.

Then about six or so years ago, I was helping out with a cadet class at the state police academy when I observed the same thing with a group of cadets.  Right handed shooters were grouping left, and left handed shooters were grouping to the right with no visual clues during ball and dummy drills.

I went home and began to isolate parts of the shooting sequence to see if I could not figure it out.  Eventually, holding the gun with only pressure on the front strap and back, I began to hit point of aim/point of impact.  Eventually, I found out that I could death grip the gun as hard as I wanted as long as I only placed grip pressure squarely on axis of the front strap to the back strap with no side loading.

Some people have called the problem “Glock milking”, or simply milking the grip on a Glock with the strong hand.  I don’t believe the terminology is quite right as milking will manifest itself in some sight movement during ball and dummy drills.  This is not the case with introducing side load into the strong hand of the pistol.

Some folks have successfully countered the issue with stronger pressure on the support hand of the pistol.  It does seem to be hit and miss, however.

All I try to do is this.  With the strong hand, I place a moderate amount of grip on the pistol to support it out in front of me.   The support hand fills in the gaps and provides 360 degree pressure on the gun.  I put just enough pressure front to back that a magazine of shooting will leave a checkering imprint on the meat of my my palm under the thumb.  I also found that in placing pressure front strap to back strap it gives me extra lock out on the strong side wrist, stabilizing the gun shot to shot for faster sight return.

 

Some Thoughts on Appendix Carry

There are more excellent holster products for Appendix Carry than ever before, like this JM Custom Kydex rig.

Over the past half decade, it seems that every instructor on the Internet is promoting appendix carry as their favorite CCW method, and there are good reasons. Appendix carry is extremely fast from which to deploy, and if you appropriately dress around it, it conceals quite well. Our friend Caleb Giddings wrote an excellent article covering some of the pros and cons of appendix carry, and I agree with his assessment that it is measurably faster than standard IWB carry. It also comes with some increased risks, especially during reholstering. As with anything, these risks can be mitigated with proper training. Continue reading

Practice with Back Up Guns

I think that most all police officers, and some armed citizens to a point, are carrying back up guns as a norm.  Back in the day, most carried Walther PPK’s and Smith and Wesson J-frames as a back up gun.  When the Glock 26/27 debuted, the world was set on its ear.  The compatibility alone made sense for the agencies that issued the G17/22 to add the “baby” Glocks as back ups. Continue reading

Stuff Breaks

 

First generation S&W M&P .40 with approx. 7000 rounds through it. Who packs a spare locking block?

As I start gearing up for a class with Mike Pannone next week, preparation of gear is at the top of the list.  I am often asked what spare parts I take for my guns when I attend a class.  My answer is always to bring a spare gun.  No matter how well you stock your spare parts bin, you will inevitably break something you did not pack.   Continue reading

SOME PERSPECTIVE ON SHOT COUNT & PLACEMENT, RELOADS, REENGAGEMENT

A tactically appropriate, legally acceptable deadly force response doesn’t necessarily “look right.”  Imagine a courtroom (an LEO is being sued under Federal law for “excessive force,” or a non-sworn alleging self-defense is being prosecuted for murder or manslaughter), where you hear some or all of this: “Members of the jury.  You heard from several eyewitnesses in this case.  They uniformly told you they observed the defendant shoot the victim X times  .  . look around as if to see if anyone was watching, and then duck behind a wall .  .  . stash the partially empty pistol magazine .  .  . put a fresh one into the pistol  .   .   .  and reengage the wounded and flailing victim with Y additional shot(s) to the (body part) .”   A bit concerned that even with the extensive explanation of experts, the above would seem excessive (shot count), unreasonable (reloading, reengaging), and/or sinister (scanning, taking cover) to a judge or jury?  Even when the shooting is unquestionably “good”?  I am. Continue reading