Knowledge to make your life better. If you have some free time, check out some of these links this weekend.
An intelligent analysis of shotgun port loading methods. I’m still an “over the top” guy, but I encourage my students to try both ways. But even more important is to realize that shotgun class and shotgun training is not the same as a gunfight. In formal classes and especially in 3\three gun competitions, winners are made by the speed of their reloads. In real life gunfights, I’ve never seen a single instance of a port load during an armed citizen gunfight.
Shotgun reloads in home defense scenarios are almost no-existent. Don’t spend too much mental bandwidth trying to shave a quarter second off of a task you will likely never have to do in the real world.
Speaking of shotguns, patterning your defensive loads is essential. Read Shotgun Basics: Patterning Your Shotgun.
Dave Spaulding drops truth bombs here. You should be reading everything this man writes.
Some perspective for those who haven’t researched the history of school violence.
Michael Bane discusses how the “doctrine of the reasonable person” may no longer be the legal standard we have to overcome before exercising our rights to self defense in today’s increasingly tribalized world. This is important information to consider.
A look at the question: “Why are men violent?” I like Sebastian Junger’s writing. This analysis of masculinity is on point and worth your time to read. Most of you will also really enjoy his book Tribes: On Homecoming and Belonging.
Thoughts on sub-caliber defensive options. If you are considering the .25acp, you should probably be carrying a load like this one for the best performance.
What I’m reading…
Dr. Starrett is a true genius in the fields of organized movement, health span, and mobility. I’m eager to try some of his prescriptions so that I can stay healthy and active through an advanced age. If you are unfamiliar with the author’s work, this Art of Manliness podcast with him will inform you about his depth of knowledge and the contents of the book.
I often get questions about edged weapons that can pass through a metal detector. Since the two Chinese companies that once imported inexpensive ceramic knives in to the USA are no longer doing so, this might be a viable option if your life contains metal detectors.
“I’m not going to suggest to you that the revolver is a chess master’s gun. But to me the revolver is a thinking man’s street tool. Its greatest gift is in fact its minimum ammo count. The revolver doesn’t let a shooter count on thirty or forty rounds to solve his street issues. He’s going to be forced to use the craftsman’s skill, the lawyer’s guile, and the tactician’s forethought. A minimum round count requires him, forces him to see more and plan farther ahead. Should he know how to manipulate the revolver adroitly? Absolutely, but the revolver user’s goal is to win the hand early, not draw more cards. Avoid, Evade, Escape become more important than Present, Align, and Compress.”
There is a lot of lost revolver wisdom in this article.
Claude compares the effects that barrel length and frame size have when shooting a set of standard drills with eight different snub-nosed revolvers.
I agree with Mas here.
“I remind them as I’ll remind you here that the weeks or months of recovery with that hand in a cast or that arm in a sling is a pretty bad time to start thinking about protecting yourself and your family with the one hand you have left. Talk to southpaw friends if you’re not a lefty yourself, and ask them how long it takes them to get the left-handed holster they want, or an ambidextrous safety installed on their 1911. Having a gun and holster that work “for your wrong side” is important beforehand, and most important is experience running the gun with that non-dominant hand.”
You’ll also want to read Massad’s article Why Cartridge Capacity is Important.
A rifle shooting drill for your next range training session. If you are looking for a practice session with your handgun, try the 10-8 Drill.
“Common wear and tear from everyday use is more likely to degrade the overall quality of a firearm magazine than the spring failing on its own from being loaded to full capacity and stored for long periods of time.
Since it’s not economical for a shooter to monitor their spring’s quality with force gauges, the only true way of knowing if your magazines are functioning reliably is from actual use during training.
So, unless you’re part of the group of individuals that actually shoots thousands of rounds down range on a weekly basis for training or completion reasons, the whole issue of worrying about the lifespan of your magazine springs is somewhat trivial.”
Although I’ve been to a few sniper schools and served as the primary sniper for my police agency for almost a decade, I never really geeked out on the science of long range ballistics. That’s probably why I don’t do it anymore and don’t teach precision rifle classes. For those of you who really like the long range geekery, this article goes into great detail on the subject of ballistic coefficients.
For more ballistic nerdery, take a look at How to Work Out Your DOPE.
Lots of people know about old Colt revolvers. Fewer know about their Remington counterparts.
Why .410 birdshot is a really bad choice for self protection.
A history of the Designated Marksman Rifle and some build options for creating your own.
A very interesting gunfight here. In addition to the lessons John discusses, pay attention how both parties refrained from shooting through the side windows of the car. Remember that a shot fired through most car’s side windows will penetrate, even if fired by a handgun. People often don’t shoot what they can’t see.
Last week marked the 53rd anniversary of the CHP “Newhall Incident.” This gunfight spawned the “officer survival” movement back in the early 1970s and completely changed the culture of police training. If you are a cop or a firearms instructor who doesn’t know about the Newhall Shooting, you owe it to yourself to read Karl’s summary here. Then read Mike’s book.
This gunfight also spawned a mythology about dead officers with pockets full of empty brass. Read Gunfight Myth: A Pocket Full of Brass to understand the truth.
The Sheriff discusses how to deal with a criminal’s hidden hands.
The downsides of having a gun that perfectly fits your hand.
Riley Bowman uses John Hearne’s excellent automaticity research to discuss gear’s role in your performance.
Some of the above links (from Amazon.com) are affiliate links. If you purchase these items, I get a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.