1200 rounds

Just 1200 rounds? 100 rounds a month year? Less than four mags of ammo for their M4’s/M-16’s? That’s it

According to the Army standards and training manual, PAM 350-38 (2009 version), a Regular Army light infantryman should fire about 1,200 rounds a year, assuming he participates in everything: basic marksmanship, day-night qualification, unit live-fire exercises, shooting in NBC gear, thermal and infrared (IR) sights, etc. His Guard and Reserve colleague should expend 660 rounds. But interviews show that almost nobody comes remotely close to that figure. Furthermore, for “plain vanilla” soldiers with access to shooting simulators, and who do not use thermal or IR sights, the specified annual expenditure is 490 rounds for active and 294 for Guard and Reserve.

I try to go to Caswell’s once a week to put a hundred or so rounds of .22LR and other stuff downrange to work on my trigger press and sight transitions.. I also shoot one or two competions each month and put about 100 rounds (or more) downrange each time. Heck, at the Superstition Mountain Three Gun match next year, I’ll put 300 rounds of .223 downrange, as much as your average National Guardsman does in an entire year! 

And to think some people still believe that according to the laws of our land, only the miltary and law enforcement should have guns. 

The mind reels.

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Defence By The Numbers Part II

Ok, so we know what type of violent enocunters are most likely to happen around us. What about the “Black Swan” moments, or expecting the unexpected? 

Aye, there’s the rub. 

Three examples.

One: Many years ago (too many, if I’m honest…) a group of friends from my church’s college group were camping out on the Mogollon Rim, about to fall asleep, when another campsite erupted wild drunken hoots, hollers and gunfire, with what I assumed at the time were shotgun blasts into the air. 

There were twelve of us, seven college-age men and 5 girls (in a seperate tent. This was a church outing, after all…), and the best defensive weapon we had was a hatchet. If those drunks decided they wanted to “party” with the girls, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do about it. 

Two: My wife grew up on an acreage in the forests of northeastern Arizona, surround by her Dad’s extended family. One night, the black sheep of said family decided to invite Arizona’s most notorious motorcycle gang up to his property for the night. Her Dad spent the entire evening on their front porch with his shotgun in his lap, watching over his family as gang members loudly partied less than a 200 yards away from his house. The gang left in the morning and didn’t come back, but it made for a tense, sleepless night for her family. 

Three: Right after my wife and I were married, a cousin of hers took what I considered to be an unhealthy amount of interest in her whereabouts and well-being. Said cousin was 6’5″, 220lbs with a prior conviction for manslaughter for killing an undercover cop during a drug bust. He has since done the world a favour and killed himself, but it did make for a few tense months in our lives as I wasn’t sure how to handle someone like that if he came to our home with evil on his mind. 

What do all three of those examples have in common? 

1. There was a threat of imminent lethal force. 
2. The nature of the threat is outside the daily routine. 
3. Non-lethal force would not be an effective deterrent. 

We don’t carry because we expect trouble, we carry because trouble happens when we least expect it. If a shootout can start up outside of a quiet suburban shopping mall, it can start anywhere. 

Defence By The Numbers, Part 1

We shoot. We train. We compete. We carry our sidearms with us every day so we can defend ourselves on that horrible day when we need them.

But what do we really need them for? What exactly are your risks?

With the help of crimereports.com, I’m able to see the type and severity of crime in my quiet surbanan Phoenix neighborhood, and the answers surprised me. This is what the police responded to within a one-mile radius of my home over the past six months.

Type of Crime Number of Crimes since April 2011
Assault w/ Deadly 2
Breaking and Entering 7
Disorderly Conduct (Fighting) 11
Other Assault 11

Right off the bat, the number of violent, non-lethal crimes jumped out at me. I am much more likely to get my @$$ kicked than I am stabbed or shot (although one of the Assault With A Deadly Weapon Incidents happened on my street. Yikes!).

Also, no sexual assaults or rapes, although there is one registered Level 3 sex offender within a mile of my house.

Oh joy.

A number of those assault charges are multiple charges for the same offence on the same day, i.e. Disorderly Conduct and Assault With Reckless Injury charges.

I’m also more likely to have my house broken into than I am facing a deadly weapon, which suggests than an alarm system, big dog, porch lights and anything else I can do to “harden” my home and make it less attractive to burglars is a good thing.

Now, does this mean I should forgo firearms training and run to the dojo?

No, of course not.

For one thing, there is no real substitute for a defensive sidearm. Martial arts and pepper spray can help, but the only sure way to end an attack with lethal force is to respond in-kind. The chances of defending myself against an active shooter are infinitesimally small, but the same skills that I use to keep myself safe day in and day out also apply equally as well against a homicidal madman.

Also, those are the stats for my neighborhood, but that is not my world. I regularly travel throughout to the Phoenix area, sometimes to nice places, sometimes not.

What these numbers tell me, though, is that I need to integrate my training. I need to be able to stop any threat, any time, from 1 inch away to 100 feet away, with whatever tools are appropriate and handy. Training and training for a 20 yard pistol headshot does me little good if someone throws a punch at my head.

Part II Tomorrow: What about random acts of violence?

Quick Bleg

Is there a source out there that lists the average distance between attacker and defender in violent crimes vs. the average distance for officer-involved shootings? 


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Light Makes Right

Even though I own an excellent 9mm service pistol and a first-class subcompact .380 pocket pistol, the gun I find myself carrying the most these days is my Sccy 9mm



Well, for one thing, it’s light. Really light. It’s also a lot easier to carry in a leather IWB holster than my CZ P07 is in a Crossbreed. 

Not that either the Crossbreed or the P07 aren’t excellent, excellent products, it’s just the sometimes, enough gun is enough. I’m not a bad shot with the Sccy and I’ve got 10+1 of 124 Speer Gold Dots plus another mag in my pocket, and that should be enough. If it’s not, well, that’s when charm, good looks and a decent 100 yard dash time come in handy.