Training Desert.

Training Desert.

Kathy Jackson uses a swimming lesson metaphor for firearms training, and it’s a good one because both firearms training and swimming lessons help you stay safer when you’re out at the range or in the water, and let’s face it, they’re both really good ideas as well.

But what if we told our new swimmers that the only places they could practice their freshly-taught skills wasn’t in the community swimming pool or school pool, but only in the bathtub in their own home or in large open bodies of water?

Sounds silly, right? There is no way that swimming would be popular if the only place to do it would be in lakes or oceans, and somehow paddling in a tub just isn’t the same as doing laps in a pool.

But that’s what happens in 99% of  firearms training classes. The students go the range, get their training on a pistol bay or outdoor range, and then are maybe given some brief instructions about dry fire and that’s it. No advice on how to hone your skills in an indoor, “bowling alley” range, which are far more common and accessible than pistol bays. Most indoor ranges don’t allow movement and drawing from a holster so it’s hard to make a direct correlation between defensive pistol skills and what you can practice on a range, but some practice is better that nothing. Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor, has an e-book of drills that will increase defensive pistol skills but yet can still can be practiced on the indoor range, and to the best of my knowledge, he’s the first one to realize that not everyone hangs out on a pistol bay every weekend.

And that’s a shame.

Getting people to practice, and practice in the context of a fun day at the range (whether that range is indoor or outdoor) should be goal of every trainer, because happy and engaged customers are repeat customers.


A Glittering Cavalcade Of Gun Rights Celebrities.

A Glittering Cavalcade Of Gun Rights Celebrities.

And me.

I’ll be getting up at Zero-Dark-Thirty tomorrow in order to drive up to Tampa for the Second Amendment Foundation’s Gun Rights Policy Conference. Scheduled to appear are people like Florida Governor Rick Scott, gun lawyer extraordinaire Alan Gura, Linda Walker from the NRAand John Lott, who literally wrote the book on this sort of thing.

The conference will be live-streamed on Saturday and Sunday, look for a post with the stream up on tomorrow.

I’ll be the one not wearing pants.

I Hope You Know That This Will Go Down On Your Permanent Record.

I Hope You Know That This Will Go Down On Your Permanent Record.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Epistle of St. James, Chapter 3, Verses 3-8, New International Version


Thinking more about this post from last week, I am constantly, incessantly and continually amazed at how many of my fellow gun owners live in a fantasy world where what they say in person and online will never, ever, affect what will happen to them if they have to use lethal force to defend their lives.

We wouldn’t hand half the ammunition in our gun over to our opponent before we started a gun fight, so why, then do we hand out ammunition to the prosecution, our opponent in a legal fight, with online statements like “I won’t get in trouble for brandishing, I’ll just shoot them instead” or “They should thank me for shooting that felon, not arrest me”?

And let’s not even START with “Keep honking, I’m reloading!” bumper stickers.

Product Review: Sunjack 14w Charger +1400maH Battery

Product Review: Sunjack 14w Charger +1400maH battery

Sunjack 8w + 1400mah battery charger

I was recent sent a Sunjack 14w solar charger with an 8000maH battery for review*. I was looking forward to getting this kit and doing this review because I believe that the modern smartphone is an essential part of starting safe, and a smartphone (and some way to charge it) is an essential part of your “bug out” gear, and I’m pleased to report the charger and battery did not disappoint.

The Sunjack 14w Charger +1400maH battery is a great option for creating power to keep your smartphone up and running without connecting it to the power grid. About the same size as an iPad and weighing about as much as a large paperback book, it differs from cheaper solar chargers in that it charges a battery which then charges your phone.

Charger and battery outdoors

When the SunJack charger first arrived, the battery was half-charged, so I drained completely by recharging my iPhone with it and then plugged it into the charger and left it outdoors for 8 hours. I should note that I live in Florida and it’s the middle of hurricane season, but despite the partly cloudy skies, eight hours was enough to fully charge the battery. The fully-charged battery took two hours to recharge my iPhone 6+ from 10% charge to fully charged. The battery can also be charged up via a wall socket and a (not included) wall charger, and I found it that to be a faster way of recharging it than sticking it out in the sun (albeit one that only works if you have a working wall socket nearby).

chargingIf you’re like me (and I know I am), you rely on a smartphone for so much more than making phone calls. I’ve loaded up mine with useful things like an emergency radio scanner, a ballistics app and an e-book reader, so my phone is pretty much always by my side. I found the SunJack 8w+1400maH battery/charger to work just as expected, and it’s now a “must have” accessory for me if I leave the urban wilderness for something even more untamed. If there’s one thing I’d change about it, I’d ask them to toss in an iPhone Lightning-compatible cable with it along with the micro-USB cable it comes with, because, well, because iPhone, that’s why.

You can pick up the SunJack battery and charger at Amazon or on their website:

* Dear FTC, NSA, FDA and TVA: I’m putting in this sentence here because you want me to, but seriously, I say that this was sent to me “for review” right in the first paragraph. Do I have to rub your nose in it, like a puppy that needs to be potty-trained?

Thanks For Playing, We Have Some Lovely Parting Gifts For You.

Thanks For Playing, We Have Some Lovely Parting Gifts For You.

I’ve taken a few classes from a few firearms instructors who flew in, taught a two-day class, then flew out of town. This is pretty much the standard for the itenerant teacher these days, and it’s a good way to get a good grounding in the instructor’s style and make it your own.

Or is it?

There is a LOT of information stuffed into a two-day class, and I’ve found, at least for myself, that if I take away two or three items that I can apply to my shooting style, the class, for me, was a success. This implies, however, that I can apply those items to how I shoot, because let’s face it, there is not many opportunities for people go out and practice tactical shooting. Access to outdoor pistol bays and backyard ranges is limited for most people, and so learning how to draw, move and shoot from a tactical firearms instructor means little if the students in the class have limited opportunities to practice what they’ve been taught?

So what’s the solution? Well the obvious one is to build more outdoor ranges, but that’s getting harder and harder to do. Another solution might be for the instructor to come prepared with lessons and practice drills that can maintain the student’s skills, but ones that can be shot in an indoor range that doesn’t allow for movement or drawing from a holster. Claude Werner’s got a bunch of them in his book, maybe you can steal a few and turn them over to your students.

Getting the students to practice lessons that can augment what they’ve learned in class has two advantages for the instructor: It improves the quality of the students that they’re teaching, and it builds brand loyalty: Customers who practice a teacher’s methods tend to want to take more classes from that instructor.

Do you want to teach a class one time, or create students for life?

The choice is yours.