Part II: Competition vs. The Tactical World

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

Competition vs. the Tactical World

“Don’t go swimming after you just ate a meal”, “You’ll get sick if you go outside with wet hair” and of course, “shooting competition will get you killed!” (from the Tactical Bible..)

Axioms to live by..or maybe we need to use critical thinking to get past what easily could be described as sacred mumbo jumbo.  Why?  In this four part series I’m going to present an argument on why competition is good for the tactical soul. Continue reading


If you shoot nonreactive (fixed) steel targets regularly where frangible ammunition is not required (it rarely is) or the steel has been shot a great deal (it usually has), you likely have been hit by ricocheting bullet or jacket fragments. My experience suggests one is usually hit from the shots of others, and to a much lesser extent from reactive steel.  (Ricochets also occur in indoor ranges when shooting paper targets, due to walls, floors, and metal objects downrange, or backstop integrity issues). Ricochets can be large, sharp, and travel at sufficient velocity to pierce skin and draw blood, sometimes even through a layer of clothing.  A bullet or jacket fragment can become embedded in an open wound at skin level or deeper, and can cause most types of wounds; laceration, incision, avulsion, or puncture. A puncture wound (also referred to as penetrating trauma) is the type most likely to do damage beneath the skin and require professional medical attention even though superficial bleeding is stopped.  I have seen each of those type wounds, and one likely arterial and two venous bleeds caused by fragment ricochets. Continue reading

First Look- GrayGuns P-Series Internal Extractor

For many years, the internal extractors in later model SIG P-Series pistols have been somewhat problematic.  The problems have been largely hit and miss, but were evident in some of the X5 pistols, as well as the P220 and others fielding the internal design.  SIG eventually switched out to the short external extractor, and currently to a long external extractor.

My mentor, Bruce Gray at GrayGuns, INC has been working on the problem for several years and has finally come up with a “fix” for the reliability issues with the internal extractor guns.  As can be observed in the video, the new extractor cleans up ejection and extraction, making it consistent and reliable.  The process involves fitting the new extractor to the individual pistol and tuning it for reliability.  The turn around time is about 10 days, and the cost for the modification is $200.

More information can be found at

Made In The USA: Thorlo Socks

Socks are an often overlooked but important piece of kit.  The importance of high quality and application specific socks cannot be overstated, whether you are military, LE, hiker, hunter, urban walker, runner/jogger, competition shooter, or stand protective post or at a workbench for extended periods.  I have been trying different socks for some 30 years. Continue reading


My GAP built Surgeon actioned 6 Creedmore with Vortex Razor 5-20 scope

The amazing thing about the firearms industry currently is the vast array of options a person has to modify his/her weapon to their tastes or preferences. This variety is not limited to the adult Lego® of the firearms world, the AR15. There is now also a great market of accessories and options for precision bolt action rifles that’s growing rapidly. The biggest mistake I see many new shooters make with their first bolt action rifle purchase is making the assumption that all rifle stocks or chassis will fit everyone. This is sadly not the case. Each individual shooter’s length of pull, cheek structure, hand size, forearm length, and a number of other factors play into each shooter’s fit to a stock. There is always someone more than willing to tell any new shooter that the stock or chassis that they have is the only way to go. More often than not I watch online as shooters go from a stock to a chassis and back, continuously buying and selling stocks until they finally settle on one that is comfortable for them and fits their shooting style. Continue reading

Precision Rifle Series: Building Real World Skills Through Competition

Who doesn’t love the smell of gunpowder in the morning?

Are you a law enforcement officer, military service member, hunter, or just a casual shooter who is interested in increasing their ability to hit targets at distances greater then 200 meters? Now, what if I told you, you could do this with a great group of people in a fun, safe environment, on some of the best ranges in the country, and have the chance to take home a prize?  Interested now?

Well, let me introduce you to the world of tactical precision rifle matches. Unlike F-class or other precision rifle disciplines in tactical precision rifle matches, you will engage targets at varying distances from positions outside of only prone or off a bench, while wearing your needed gear, most times while under both a clock and physical stress. Modeled after many law enforcement and military sniper competitions, it gives civilians the opportunity to safely test their skills against one another in varying scenarios across the country. It is fairly inexpensive to take part in and welcomes young and old, male and female, sponsored and amateur shooters shoot side by side in this quickly growing sport. Continue reading

Evolution in Training – The Importance of Staying Current

When people see the topic of evolution, it usually brings forth some heated arguments.  This article is about how we fail to evolve as firearms and tactics instructors.  This failure of evolution has brought forth a lot of heated arguments as well.

I don’t see this failure as much in the larger, more mainstream firearms and tactics schools as I do in the smaller ones.  Certainly it exists in larger schools.  I see it more often in training at the local level, and mainly in institutional organizations and police training. These schools often have instructors that have been around a while, and generally they haven’t been to a school to upgrade their skills and knowledge since Carter was in office.  And the curriculum shows it. Continue reading

Review: GA Precision’s GAP-10 Semi-Auto Precision Rifle

I was first introduced to GA Precision through the precision rifle community 9 years ago. GA Precision was founded in 1999 by George Gardner to support local high power and long range shooters. This N. Kansas City, Missouri company has since grown into one of the premier custom shops for tactical, Mil-Spec, F-class and hunting type rifles. GA Precision also serves numerous law enforcement agencies such as FBI SWAT,  FBI HRT Team Quantico,  ATF SRT , Illinois State Police HRT Team, Kansas City, KS P.D., Escondido P.D., CA  –   and many others. The gunsmiths working under the GA Precision roof, exhibit their experience in the extraordinary consistent quality of the rifles they produce.  My military background carries into civilian shooting competitions with my demand for both precision and unfailing reliability when choosing a rifle. Continue reading


At some point (over 30 for some, 40 for many, and by 50 for most) the eyesight prescription (Rx) which corrects for the best distance vision no longer also provides a sharp handgun front sight.  For many, “progressive” eyeglasses or “multi-focal” contact lenses do not work well for shooting, and thus they are not the answer.  Here’s a suggestion for a relatively easy fix which can work for duty, competition, and everyday activities.  It’s called monovision; one eye is corrected to see close up (normally for reading), and the other to see distance.  If it is going to work for you, within one week or so you will no longer realize you are using a somewhat exotic Rx.  However,  you may experience a slight decrease in the depth perception you would have using regular binocular vision. Continue reading

Pic of the Day- The Tactically Practical

The Glock 34/35 series of pistols are ideal for just about any role an end user may require.  They work well out of the box, with only a few minor changes needed to make them a little better.  Shown is one of my G34’s with one of the early Apex FRE prototypes, and a most excellent set of 10-8 tritium sights.  A man (or lady) can about rule the world with that setup.  It is no wonder why this series of pistols have became favorites of police officers and competitors alike.

Glock Sport Shooting Foundation Matches: A Great Way to Jump Start Your Training

As I have mentioned before in previous articles, I believe competition is an excellent way to push my training to the next level. While it certainly has limitations as to how “realistic” it can be, I can’t think of a better way to add to your training the anxiety of shooting under time pressure and being accountable for your accuracy. (As an aside, our friends at Gun Nuts Media have an excellent article on competition vs tactical training recently posted to their site.) Continue reading


A 2nd Generation Glock 19 with the original Novak replacement rear sights that were meant to be used with the stock front. Thankfully, we have come a long way.

A week ago, I asked my good friend and dyed-in-the-wool 1911 guy, Dean Caputo, if he would be interested in shooting a Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) match with me over the weekend. I try to make it a habit of inviting my buddies to shooting events as it is another excuse to turn it into a social endeavor as well as a training opportunity. Much to my surprise, Dean said, “Yes!” I was even more shocked to discover the guy who owns countless 1911s and turns his nose up to the plastic guns actually owns a Glock 19 or two. So I gave him the details of the match and planned to meet on Saturday.

Continue reading

Carbine Training: The 18 Drill

The 18 drill is one of my old standby’s.  18 yards, 18 rounds, 18 seconds, 18 inch aiming area.  Sound pretty simple?

This is a carbine drill that is shot from three positions- standing, kneeling and prone.

To set up for the drill, the shooter loads three magazines with six rounds each.  One is inserted into the gun and the gun is charged.  The other two are placed somewhere on the body for two emergency reloads.  The shooter starts in the standing position,  facing the target, safety on, gun in low ready.  On the tone, the shooter fires six rounds standing, performs an emergency reload, and goes to the kneeling position.  From the kneeling position, the shooter then fires six rounds.  The shooter performs an emergency reload, and then goes prone.  The shooter then fires his/her remaining six rounds.  Time stops on the last round fired.

We score it as all or none on the target.  The run has to be “clean” with all 18 rounds inside the aiming area.  Usually we shoot this on the B21 target with all hits to be inside the “coke” bottle (a little more generous than a true 18 inch circle) or anything in the “Down One” or “C” zone on a IPSC or IDPA target.  The “Down One” or “C” zone is larger than 18 inches, but with a little ingenuity, you can make the scoring work with just about any target, by adjusting the target area to fit.