This Is How We Win.

This Is How We Win.

Three weeks into the new job, and I’m going shooting this weekend at a Shoot N Scoot event with a co-worker who’s gun-curious.

This same weekend, there’ll be a bunch of gun owners stamping their feet and clapping their hands and doing the firearms equivalent of “We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going away!” on the steps of the state capitol in Tallahassee.

But do events like that actually change the world?

No, not really. All things like that do is make the people who went to the rally feel like they DID something, but anyone who’s not in earshot of that rally doesn’t really care about YOUR right to keep and bear arms, they care about feeling safe in an unsafe world. Who will help calm that fear, a person screaming at the top of their lungs about “MY RIGHTS!!!,” or calm, cool, collected progressive who wants to make sure that those gun nuts don’t do scary things anymore?

You want to change the world? Change it one person at a time. Rather than make a spectacle of yourself, take someone to the range.

The rights you save may be your own.

Would You Like An AR With Your AR?

Would You Like An AR With Your AR?

An interesting article on how augmented reality (AR) and “digital immersion” is changing the world of theme parks.

Which tripped a few switches in my skull.

  1. Movies based on video games pretty much suck, because there is really no way to replicate the non-linear environment of a video game.
  2. Entertainment companies are sitting on a metric buttload of intellectual property related to video games, and all they can do with it is make more video games.
  3. The closer an experience is to the real thing, the more fun it is. This is why driving fast on the Nurburgring is more fun than driving fast on Main Street.

So why not take augmented reality, mix in a few pistols, and build a gun-based theme park based on, say, Resident Evil? You’d use augmented reality built into your eye protection to turn that paper target into a zombie, and then scores and times would be tracked and compared. It would be, in essence, an escape room where you’d need to fight your way out.

As anyone at Battlefield Vegas or Lock and Load Miami will tell you, gun tourism is a real thing. Why not combine gun tourism with theme park tourism and take it to the next level?

Upgrades

Upgrades

I have a few new products in for review for Shooting Illustrated, and so far they are three-for-three in the winning department.

The new Primary Arms 1x PRISM scope with ACSS reticle is simply terrific for people like me who have astigmatism. I had been running an admittedly cheap Bushnell red dot on that gun, but the clarity of the prism optic make for a much, much better shooting experience than either a conventional red dot or holographic optic.

I’m also reviewing the Timney Targa AR-15 trigger. Yes, it’s a 2 stage trigger, but it’s a really, really good one. I’d feel completing comfortable running this at a three gun match (and I’m doing that this week, as a matter of fact).

I’ve also got in a Sharpshot EZ dry fire trainer, and I really, really like it. It’s a bit more than other dryfire training devices, but unlike everything else, you don’t need to hike back and forth to your phone between strings. Plus it has a lot of great features like a shot timer and drills and can be used with a bunch of standard targets, putting it at the head of the class of dryfire training aids.

And speaking of upgrades, a little birdie told me that the new owners of the training complex formerly known as Altair have some big plans for that site, backed up with a decent amount of capital to make those plans happen.

Good. It’s a nice facility and it deserves to be used to its fullest potential.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

There used to be a time when Wired would be happy about a product that empowers people to fight against tyranny. This is no longer the case.

Related: “Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.”
That, my friends, is a huge, huge win, and a knife through the heart of any so-called “assault weapons ban.”

The reality that you are, and always have been your own first responder is starting to seep into the general populace. Good.

Speaking of must-have items, Chuck Haggard has a great article on how and when to spice up somebody’s life with a blast of OC spray.

I’d like to see the .380 added into this test, but if there’s not that much difference between what 9mm does to a target over .45, why carry a lower-capacity .45 instead of a 9mm?

What happens when civility REALLY breaks down and the Communists Democratic Socialists and the fascists National Socialists go at for real? You get years of lead. Read and ask yourself whether this will happen in the United States sometime soon.

I hope it doesn’t.

Yes, You DO Need To Worry About That Little Guy.

Yes, You DO Need To Worry About That Little Guy.

NRA Instructor QualAs I mentioned earlier, I shot the NRA Instructor Qual with the Colt Competition 1911 that I’m running through a 2000 Round Challenge.

I had (*had*) been doing dry fire up to the day of the test with one of my tricked-out CZ75’s, in anticipation that shooting the qual with a gamer gun that has a wonderful single action trigger would give me a little edge, but seeing how I had a bunch of ammo left over after the Louland match, I went with the 1911 instead to shoot up the extra ammo. I did ok, right up to the point where I had five shots outside of the eight-inch circle at 15 yards, over the maximum of four that the test requires. To make matters worse, that one shot I pulled low and left not only DQ’d me because it was the fifth shot outside the circle, it was outside the six-inch max group size required by the test.

Whoops.

Look, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the 1911 platform itself: It’s a gun that wins bullseye matches year after year after year, and it wins them because it’s stupid accurate. However, my experience with the 1911 is pretty much limited to the 1000 rounds I have through my test gun, while on the other hand, I passed the 1000 round mark with a CZ75 long before we had smartphones.

Lesson learned.

I’ll shoot the qual again, (probably next week) because I want to get my certs re-upped and start teaching CCW (more on that later) so I’ll shoot it with something I already know how to use accurately, not something I’m learning to shoot.

Sorry, I Got Nothing.

Sorry, I Got Nothing.

I’m liking the new job, but the tempo of operations is a lot quicker than what I’ve been used to for at least five years, so my energy when I get home is not where it was. And last weekend, we went to SeaWorld, so there went one of my usual writing days, right out the window.

Plus, as I write this, I have seven articles in the queue for the NRA, 2 of which have deadlines in the next week or so.

Yikes.

Go read Greg’s Weekend Knowledge Dump. It’s usually really good.

Farce On Farce

Farce On Farce

One of the interesting takeaways from my knife defense class was some of the comments in a Facebook group where Jeff Street posted a link to the article.  Another instructor in the group didn’t believe that the class taught anything worthwhile because it didn’t teach us how to then press the attack with a knife, it taught us how to get away from the knife and therefore was of little use.

The thing is though, I really, really don’t want to get into knife fight when I fight: I prefer not to get into a fight at all.  If I have to get into a knife fight, I want it to quickly evolve into a gun fight, because I’m much better that I am with knives.  A pistol fight also gives me the wonderful option of running away screaming in terror, which is the most effective defense against the knife there is.

The trainer who was complaining that our class was “unrealistic“ was a big proponent of force on force training to prove that his theories were correct, and the videos he posted to bolster his arguments showed that yes, they did indeed work.

As long as you play by the rules he set up prior to the start of the fight, and that’s a mighty big if.

I’m not really interested in force on force training which proves that your system works: I’m more interested in scenarios that show where it breaks and where we need to improve.  Force on force training works because we have to improvise on the fly when we’re in the fight. Force on force in training helps us improvise quicker, better, and more often, not repeat the patterns of training we already know, that’s what drills are for.

There are many trainers out there who denigrate the use of practical shooting as a way to improve your pistol skills. They say that the minute you define the rules of the match, it no longer becomes effective combat training.  Personally, I think you can thousand years of human civilization argues against this back. From the ancient Greeks on Mount Olympus to the Roman gladiator games to knights of olde jousting to samurai attacking each other with wooden swords, mankind has always used sport as a way to improve our combat ability.

Are there more rules in a sporting event than there are in real life? Of course there are! Those rules, however, are there so sport becomes a learning event, not a literal life-and-death struggle. We learn the rules, we master them, and then we learned to break them when necessary.

Upcoming Training: Long Range Rifle Immersion Level One

Upcoming Training: Long Range Rifle Immersion Level One

I’ve had my Savage 116 for years now, but I’ve never taken the time to really learn how to use it. It’s an MOA or better gun, but I’m not an MOA or better shooter.

Time for that to change, which is why I’m enrolled in Florida Firearms Training’s Long Range Rifle Immersion class in August.

The class is designed to give students a grounding in the long range game that can be built upon to push things out to 500 yards and beyond. If it’s anywhere near as fun and informative as the hog hunting class I had with them, it’s sure to be a blast.

 

After Action Report: Introduction To Basic Knife Defense

After Action Report: Introduction to Basic Knife Defense

I signed up for an “Intro to Knife Defense” class with Step by Step Gun Training, taught by Paul Rosales and his two assistant instructors, all of which have an extensive background in Escrima, Muy Thai and a bunch of other martial arts I know nothing about.

I walked into the classroom with my usual open mind about what I was going to be taught, but I will confess that in the background, I kinda had a “Yeah, how good could this REALLY be?” attitude.

Boy, was I wrong. Although the class was only three hours long, I learned A LOT about staying un-stabbed in a knife fight, and what I learned fit perfectly with both ECQC and what I’ve learned about concealed carry.

Which shouldn’t surprise me, because Paul created this class as a way to bring the worlds of civilian civilian concealed carry and the world of knife-fighting together. The point of the class wasn’t to turn us into world-class cutlery wielders, the point of the class was to give us a basic knowledge of how knife attacks happen and what we can do to get out of a bad situation as quickly as we can.

And it did just that. The class was tremendously informative and left me wanting more. As I’ve written before, martial artists tend to see ever problem in terms of a punch or kick solution and gun people tend to see BANG as the solution to every situation. This class integrated the two, and it works nicely as the bridge between the ground work and grappling of ECQC and the quick draw and retention work of concealed carry.

 

A few notes from class:

  • Civilians tend to keep both a knife and their gun on their right side, which is not the optimal location for a self-defense blade. I wonder if that’s because we see it as a utilitarian tool more than we do as  a weapon. 
  • There are the knives you use to open up a package, and the knives you use to open up a person. Don’t confuse the two.
  • Never bring a gun to a knife fight. The reverse is also true.
  • Quick movement to the knife side in a fight opens up more space than movement back or to the left, which is also consistent with firearms teaching about getting off the X. Go figure.
  • Rapidly deploying a folding knife in a fight is theoretical at best. Go with a centerline fixed blade.
  • More than that, set up your blade so you can draw and strike in one smooth motion. I carry a centerline blade (an SOG Mini Instinct) but the handle on it faces left. Not no more. I turned it around this weekend so I can grab it with either the left or the right hand and slash upwards on the draw, giving me a chance to either gain space or go on the attack.

All in all, it was a highly informative three hours that gave me a good basis for both keeping safe outside of the home and integrating the other means of self-protection that I carry on a daily basis. Really looking forward to what Paul and his team have in store for further training.