Knowledge to make your life better. If you have some free time, check out some of these links this weekend.
A critically important distinction to make.
Good advice here:
“Do what is necessary to achieve the desired hits on target because the objective of shooting is hitting what you are aiming at, whether you have one eye open or two.”
While I think that shooting with both eyes open is the best solution, some people simply can’t do it. I’d rather see you hit with one eye open than miss while trying to keep both eyes open.
“There’s a reason that people sell firearms, and that reason may be important when considering whether to buy a used firearm or go new.
When I buy used (as long as it’s not MilSurp or police trade-in…) I want to try to figure out why the gun was sold.
Unless you know the seller personally, there’s really no way to tell. With some guns, it’s pretty easy to tell if they have major flaws, but with others (short of tearing them completely down) it’s much harder.”
I try to post at least one shooting drill in every edition of the Weekend Knowledge Dump. Most of those drills are for pistols. This week, I thought I’d include some rifle work as well. Read Claude’s take on the US Army’s 25 meter rifle qualification course. Targets are available on Amazon.
Daniel Coyle discusses a study about how a single phrase improved teaching outcomes 40-320%. If you are a coach, trainer, or educator you must understand these concepts. Coyle’s book The Talent Code is also highly recommended
Best practice safety considerations for dry fire.
This is both astounding and a tremendously stupid way of getting yourself shot. You are not helping when you do stuff like this. If you want to properly help a police officer, check out my advice here and here.
The TSA has caught exactly one terrorist in its existence. On the downside, people avoiding air travel due to TSA hassles have increased the numbers of automotive deaths by 242 per MONTH.
If you want to make yourself even more angry, read TSA’s Secret Watchlist for Travelers Who Don’t Kowtow.
Tamara Keel provides some suggestions to help you save your hands during your next practice session with a heavy-recoiling pocket pistol.
Speaking of pocket pistols, Claude has some insight after looking at last year’s firearms sales trends.
“Aficionados might be experiencing a ‘revolver resurgence,’ but the general public just isn’t interested.”
Michael Bane also discusses the issue of the “revolver renaissance” in his recent podcast Reconsidering the .380.
Ohio’s state police and fire pension fund cannot afford to keep the promises it made to public service employees. The health care benefits they provided for so long are now costing too much money.
In order to stop the financial bleeding, they decided not to provide the health care insurance they offered in the past. Instead, they now require that the retiree purchases his own insurance on the open market. For the next few years they will provide the retirees a stipend in order to offset some of the increased costs of the retiree’s open market insurance plan.
But like many large organizations, they completely botched the transition. They hired a company to manage the stipends. That company has provided horrible customer service and the only plans that are eligible to receive the stipend are extremely restrictive (as the linked article describes).
The co-workers I’ve spoken to about the issue are really worried. They plan to work many years past their eligible retirement date in order to keep their cheaper employer-provided health insurance plan. They are staying longer to build up more money in their DROP pension account in order to pay for future health care costs.
At what point do your realize that you are doubling down on a bad decision? You know that the pension fund is in trouble. Why would the logical conclusion be to work more hours to put more money into this broken system?
It’s clear that the pension system isn’t serving the best interests of its retirees. It’s likely to get dramatically worse in the future. When they get desperate enough, they’ll end up reducing your monthly pension checks or confiscating some of your DROP dollars to pay the bills. They took the health care benefits away this year. The only thing they can do in the future to further reduce costs is to start reducing retirees’ pension checks.
My cop and firefighter friends need to pay attention. This is just the first step of a very long decline. Don’t throw good money after bad. Don’t stay longer at a job you hate just to be able to pay for your health insurance.
Stop working overtime for extra cash. Stop planning for a pension that may not be around when you retire. Use your spare time to develop your skills in a field that isn’t tied to your badge. Start your own business. Learn to make money on your own rather than relying on the pension board’s rapidly disappearing financial opiates.
There is a way to solve this problem at the individual level, but most officers are too lazy to do the work required to create a solution. If you develop your skills and knowledge to a high level, you won’t have to worry about the upcoming pension cuts. You’ll be able to make enough money that you won’t need your pension or its health insurance.
I’m personally planning on making enough money teaching and writing that I won’t have to be a financial slave to the failing pension system. You can do that too. It just takes 10 years of obsessive skill development. Do the work and you too will have “fuck you” money.
Invest in yourself, not in an untrustworthy pension system that is unsustainable in the long term.
While I agree that there are dangers inherent in shooting from the ground with feet flat on the ground and knees raised, I still teach that shooting position. In many ground encounters, my students have been injured or are exhausted. It may be too difficult to hold a gun up with one hand while laying on your side. It may be too difficult to lift your head off the ground to find the sights.
In the event of injury or exhaustion, I advocate shooting from a position similar to the picture above, but with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. It’s easier to elevate the hips to align the sights than it is to lift one’s head when injured or exhausted..
A comparison between many of the commercially available pistol metal finishes. The author re-finished each gun and took a before and after photo following 1000 draws from a tightly fit kydex holster.
I find that most of my students can shoot well enough to defend themselves. Where I often see students fail is in the verbal component of any training scenario. Read Richard Nance’s tips about better verbalization in a threatening situation.
Some good news from the crime statistics research. Serial killings now occur at less than half of the rate that was observed in the early 1980s.
A look at an Eminem movie clip provides some novel insight about communications, psychology, and how to influence people. These same ideas can be used to keep you safe on the street. Think about how you might mold these concepts to fit within the context of self protection.
“This is one reason why soldiers and tightrope walkers and fighters train as much as they do. It’s not just to learn techniques, but to habituate themselves to the conditions of high-stress, high-fear situations so that their primal instincts to panic are overridden by new motor routines. If the brain and the body are exposed enough times to a specific fear without harm, Drew says, the prefrontal cortex can learn to override the amygdala and its primordial panic when real danger finally comes.
So my desire for a new life was being realized, one synapse at a time. And all it took was snuffing out all my instincts toward self-preservation through repeated acts of self-destruction. All was right in the world.”
If you shoot a lot or go to any high volume shooting schools, owning a magazine loader will make your life infinitely better. I haven’t loaded a Glock magazine by hand at all since I bought my magazine speedloader about five years ago. I can’t believe I held out so long without tryining one.
Like the authors of this article, I prefer the Maglula Uplula. The article/video provides information on other magazine loaders as well.
Here’s a pro tip. Buy a brightly colored Uplula. Black gets hard to see in low light in your range bag. It is also the most common colr produced. To make yours stand out and reduce the chance that it is stolen at the range, I’d suggest buying the pink version.
The author brings up some very good points about dealing with police questioning after a defensive shooting. I’ve written about the topic before. I don’t believe it’s in your best interest to “lawyer up” and refuse to answer any questions from the police. While silence is better than giving up bad information, a proper balance of knowing what to say and what not to say will be your best chance of avoiding time in jail.
Ten minutes a day will change your life.
Interesting statistical analysis of police shootings in the USA. Although there is a lot of media interest when the police shoot unarmed minorities, the statistics show a different side of the story.
“45 percent of these victims were white males, while 23 percent were black males. 96 percent of the victims were armed, half of these with guns, and 25 percent were in “mental distress” at the time of their shooting. Only five percent were women.”
What I’m reading…
I think some of you will really find this one interesting. It is an introduction to the concepts of 4th generation warfare in the form of a novel written about future America. America undergoes a political, cultural, and economic collapse. The novel is one man’s account of the efforts to rebuild the country using “retroculture.”
One caution. The characters in the book are attempting to re-create the culture of the Victorian period through 1950’s America. The characters use language, racial/ethnic slurs, and very harsh generalizations that were common during this era. The language wouldn’t be considered acceptable speech in modern culture.
The use of these slurs is so common that it cannot be happenstance. I think the author is trying to give us a not so subtle warning that while some aspects of our past history are more desirable than our current situation, wholesale adoption of the ways of the past also means accepting the less desirable aspects of our history as well.
I’m going to give this one a good rating, not because of exceptional writing style or great character development (those are both slightly lacking) but because the book made me think of some possibilities I had never considered. I am apolitical and am far from the extreme right-wing who might truly embrace all of the author’s concepts of “the ideal,” but I found that characters in the book (on all sides of the political and cultural spectrum) presented ideas that caused me to think deeply about some important issues.
Tips for using a shotgun to breach doors and windows.
“Any time you see someone purporting expertise, it’s critical to begin asking yourself about their relevance (why does their material matter to you? Is the information current?), context (does their experience have any similarities to the situations you’re likely to face?) and finally, their ability to convey the material.”
Part Two is excellent as well.
The Well Armed Woman training groups are doing some excellent work. Take a look at the group members’ preferred defensive pistols. The top five are perfectly adequate choices for carry guns. The average population could learn from these women’s quality choices.
This article shares some details that I did not know about the Pulse nightclub shooting.
The killer’s rifle jammed so badly that he actually spent time on Google trying to figure out a way to clear his malfunction. He was unsuccessful. The gun was still jammed when the police recovered it.
Lots of active killers have weapons malfunctions. Victims need to be alert and be able to recognize when a killer’s gun is jammed. Use that time to counterattack or escape.
Thirteen officers fired a total of 172 shots at the killer. Only seven of those rounds hit. That’s abysmally poor shooting. Astonishingly, none of the fatalities were caused by missed police shots.
Finally, this may be the first domestic law enforcement shooting I’ve seen where the cops used an anchor shot to ensure the suspect was dead. It was ruled justifiable in the subsequent investigation.
An update on the legal issues with regards to Ohio residents and the “non-shotgun” shotguns like the Mossberg Shockwave. The good news is that a fix is in the works.
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