Knowledge to make your life better. If you have some free time, check out some of these links this weekend.
The Mountain Guerrilla weighs in on what he thinks is the optimal balance between speed and accuracy. You should also read his followup article on Calling Your Shots.
Drawing from a rotating hood holster is a big problem for many cops who don’t practice. I see the “holster dance” regularly. Gomez shows a good system here for dealing with the retention device and getting your gun into action.
A guide for cleaning and dressing wounds in the field. When you don’t have the luxury of a hospital nearby, preventing infection is extremely important.
One of the more chaotic shootings I’ve ever researched. Off duty cop (still in uniform) acts when he sees a shooting while driving home from work. The shooting he sees is actually the victim of a robbery who was shooting at his attackers.
He prones out the victim and moves in to handcuff. The victim can’t see the cop’s uniform (he’s facedown) and when the cop grabs him, instead sees tattoos on the cop’s arms. Victim thinks this is one of the attackers pretending to be a cop and fires on the officer. Officer fires back once and his gun jams.
He then beats the victim with the malfunctioning pistol before the victim takes it away from him. Other citizens intervene (including by hitting the victim with a car while he was straddling the downed officer), try to shoot the “victim” with the cop’s empty gun.
What a mess! Think about the mistakes that were made here by all involved and figure out how you would handle it better.
You’ll often hear that the United States has the highest rate of gun violence in the “developed world.” It turns out, how you define “developed” changes the equation.
Some things to think about when storing ammunition. Like many of you, I store my ammunition in waterproof military ammo cans sorted by caliber. If you do this, make sure you have a can or two loaded with a couple boxes of ammo for each of your carry guns inside. A can of “mixed” calibers is very handy. That way, if you have to leave in a hurry, you can grab a single can and know that you will have some spare ammo for each gun you are carrying. Much faster than trying to grab a can of each caliber in a hurry.
For another perspective, read Stockpiling Ammo for SHTF. You may also like Everything You’ve Heard About Stockpiling Ammo Is Wrong. H/T Practical Eschatology.
This is a medical podcast where a doctor talked about the challenges of dealing with a multiple casualty incident high up in the mountains. In this incident, seven different climbers were struck by lightning in a very short period of time. The most interesting part of the discussion for me was the fact that the most severe burns in the strike victims were underneath metal objects worn on the body. A lightning strike generates tremendous heat. Metallic objects absorb the heat and remain incredibly hot for minutes afterward. If those objects are in contact with your skin, third degree burns can occur.
For general lightning safety, the doctor recommended removing all watches, jewelry, and metallic belt buckles if caught in an electrical storm. That made me think about those of us who carry pistols and knives on our person. Those items are heat sinks too. If you are ever in an electrical storm without shelter, it’s best to take off any metallic weapons as well.
Ed Head, Gunsite rangemaster and Border Patrol Officer, talks about some of the things you shouldn’t do when carrying a concealed weapon.
For those of you who really geek out on the AR-15 system. You AR junkies will probably also like Why PMAGs Are Better Than Aluminum USGI Mags.
A neat trick to remember if you ever lock yourself out of your car.
Firearms instructors are constantly decrying the use of tiny .380 auto pistols for defensive purposes. The guns are tiny and have serious limitations, but they are bought by the millions because the are easy to carry. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Read about the raging post-civil war success of the Smith and Wesson Model One, a tiny revolver that fired .22 short rounds. People chose this gun for the same reason they choose a Ruger LCP today: it’s easy to conceal.
You may also be interested in the author’s followup article on the Model 11/2.
While most of my book choices are in the fields of performance enhancement, psychology, and tactical topics. I enjoy a break every once in a while. I’ve long liked Bukowski’s uncensored prose and poetry. This is a very entertaining biography of his life.
A long article full of information about surveillance and surveillance detection.
It’s relatively rare to see a knife-on-knife fight. Here is one of the few that I’ve seen on video. Historically, in my knife classes, I haven’t spent much time teaching knife against knife tactics because the chances of being involved in an incident like that are exceedingly small. I may have to rethink that position. ISIS is advocating mass knife attacks. Usually those attacks are made in “gun free” zones. Lots of folks carry knives when they can’t carry guns. I’d rather go after a knife armed ISIS terrorist with my Spyderco than with only my bare hands. We might be seeing more knife against knife fights in the future as terrorist attacks increase.
When Massad Ayoob speaks, I listen.
“Train to “use your words” in a social context. There are lots of places that offer classes in conflict resolution — and it’s a great skill to have. Just don’t confuse it with hurting people.“
One man’s experience in dealing with the police during the societal collapse that occurred in the Balkan wars. From the article (English is not the author’s first language):
“Remember this: When SHTF, there are a guys with guns, and there are guys without guns. Everything else are just labels. Names like police, army, authority, government…
You can not think in the terms that we think today, it is dangerous.”
Every shooter flinches. The difference between the novice and the master is the frequency of the flinch. In this article, the world’s best female shooter discusses how to reduce the shooting flinch and shoot better.
A summary of all of the science we understand about heart disease. Some of this will likely be shocking to you. Conventional wisdom on this topic is leading many people astray.
An thorough analysis of all of the concealed carry options designed for female shooters.
A historic look at the guns our nation’s police have carried from 1794 to the present.
Want to buy an AK, but unsure what option you should choose? Here is a useful guide to all the options currently available. If you really like the AK platform, please watch Travis Haley’s video about best practices for reloading the AK-47 as fast as possible. H/T to Practical Eschatology for posting the link.
I think reloading is an over represented skill in training armed citizens for defensive pistolcraft. It’s exceedingly rare to see someone other than a cop reload in a gunfight. With that said, it’s still a useful skill to acquire. Read the article for some tips.
Morgan Atwood talks about some of the problems he’s seen with Emerson knives. I remember teaching knife classes 15 years ago when the Emerson Commander was all the rage. I saw an abnormally high rate of lock failures in my classes with Emerson’s folders. I got rid of my Commander and vowed not to carry any of their folding blades. With that said, I carry one of their fixed blade La Griffe knives every day on my police duty belt. I’ve never had an issue with that one.
“I think he came up with this knife because he likes to hang out in really sketchy places.”
Urban Carry Holster Review
About once a month I get an email asking what I think of the “urban carry” holster. This short review gives you everything you need to know.
My Ohio police and firefighter readers should definitely read this article.
“Each is safe for a decade – but after that, things get dicey. There is only a 50 percent chance that OPERS – the largest – will have enough to pay retirees by 2037. OP&F is in even worse shape, with less than a 25 percent chance. STRS and SERS fall somewhere in between.”
Are you counting on your pension to provide you with money until you die? Maybe you shouldn’t. A 25% chance of remaining funded after 2037 isn’t good enough to bet your life on.
Let me tell you a little story. In 2012, I realized our pension fund was not doing very well. I took action to ensure that I would have enough money for retirement even if the pension fund dried up. I built a business. I stopped working all overtime and special duty details. I used the time I once spent working overtime or security jobs to write, research, learn how to build websites and market on the internet, and to teach classes. I lost a lot of overtime and special detail money as I took the time to build my training business. In five years, I now have a company where I make more from my writing and teaching than I do as a cop.
I’m not worried about what happens with the pension fund. No matter what happens with it, I’ll be financially secure. It’s a good feeling.
All you cops and firemen out there need to stop working so much overtime to pad a pension that may not be there for you when you retire. Use that time instead to build a business or to build your personal skill set so that you have useful talents to offer an employer if the pension fund collapses. You will lose some income initially, but if you work hard enough, the security you gain from investing in yourself is more than worth the effort.
I’ve written many times about the inadequacy of police training. Very few cops get the type of training they need to win violent confrontations. Most departments perform “check the box” style training that only looks good when the police chief briefs city council during annual budget meetings. Most police instructors are not competent tacticians themselves. Most don’t have the experience to adequately impart life saving information. These instructors screw up a lot. Screw ups in a force-on-force training session can get people killed. That’s what happened in this case. The “blanks” loaded in the instructor’s gun were live rounds and a woman was killed.
Weapons Man has some advice for trainers in the linked article:
“If you’re not paranoid about a training gun that looks and feels like your service firearm, if you’re not constantly checking and double-checking, and if you’re not still observing the three most fundamental rules even when you know the training aid can’t possibly hurt anybody, well, then the difference between your situation and the much less enviable one in which Lee Coel finds himself is not dependent on anything but happenstance, chance, fortune… luck.
Complacency and disrespect for training aids are always freighted with the possibility of a bad shoot like this. Be alert for those hazardous attitudes.”
As I’ve mentioned before, the public is becoming less tolerant of police screw ups like this. In this case, even the police chief is being criminally charged for his negligent supervision. I think that’s a good move. One would hope other police chiefs will take notice and start training officers properly. Unfortunately, I don’t think many will make the necessary changes. More people will be killed and more cops will be jailed until they take the effort on their own to get the training their department won’t provide them.
* 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. I spend a lot of time writing articles on this site. All my information is given free of charge. To ensure a positive viewing experience, I don’t have any paid advertising When you use my affiliate links, you support the writing you enjoy without subscription fees, annoying ads, or donation requests. Thank you for helping support my work.