Monday, April 6, 2020

Overwatch: Random Drill For April

Random Drill For April 2020

Weak Hand Shooting

Both police and high-speed military operators have reported in a Close quarters combat (CQB) scenario where they were fighting for their lives that they resorted to what they do fastest and best, which was strong side shooting. It's human nature when the enemy is upon you. But shooting with the weak hand is something we also need to consider and teach, as injury may necessitate weak hand/side shooting.
This drill focuses on weapon manipulations and technique. It can be practiced with limited ammunition. Most weak side shooting drills are static—they're limited to the standing position from a designated distance.
Have your students shoot from the weak side in various shooting positions, including standing, kneeling, or prone. Try various non-traditional positions. Use a four-step barricade to facilitate unorthodox positions.
Instruct officers to use their weak hand to change and load magazines. Work on clearing weapon malfunctions by using dummy rounds. Have officers practice transitioning from rifle to handgun.
Once the shooters have done these tasks from static positions, instruct them to do them while on the move. Don't burn a lot of ammo.

Lt. Robert Parker served with the Omaha (Neb.) PD for 30 years and commanded the Emergency Response Unit. He is responsible for training thousands of law enforcement instructors in NTOA's Patrol Response to Active Shooters courses.
From SWAT Magazine, March 8, 2012

See “Overwatch: Random Drill” page for more drills

Friday, March 27, 2020

Freedom Versus Safety: From Don Verde

How do we balance freedom and safety?
I know we teach our children lessons in safety every day, but, are we engaged in teaching our children the value of freedom? Or, are we conforming them to live in fear for their lives?
Today, I wanted to remind us how important freedom is, and that life without freedom is prison.
As restrictions are about to end, there are some in the media that suggested we should continue them indefinitely, giving health organizations the power to dictate when to end them. The President argued we have to resume living or we’ll lose our way of life, which in great part guarantees us freedom.
I have very few things I am willing to trade for freedom, within reason and time restrictions.
We gave away freedom to privacy after 911 for fear of another attack and the government has not respected the timeline, extending it over and over again. I don’t trust indefinitely.
So, how do we balance the 2?

Feel free to comment. No insults please, keep it civil.

PS. In Lord of the Rings there is an exchange between Aragorn and Eowyn where she says “I don’t fear death!”, Aragorn asks, “what do you fear?” She responds “a cage”... (I like her)

Don Verde

Burn's comment:

You asked for comments so I will make mine here.

Benjamin Franklin said this:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

I agree with you Don. Like you I have served, and fought, and watched friends die, in defense of this freedom. We do need to resume our lives as safe as we can. We need to return to the freedoms we enjoyed and not give any of it away for safety or security. Freedom must be fearlessly maintained and upheld. Socialism and communism says they ensure citizens safety and security. They actually do neither, but they think they do. Freedom was one of the things we fought for in our pre-earth life. Personal agency, the freedom to choose, is one of the choicest things we were given when we came to this earth. So be careful when a person, a government, or an ideology, tells you they can ensure your safety and security. You are to act for yourself, not be acted upon. Only you can ensure your safety and security. Hopefully your government will allow you to do this.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Training Plan

I just went through a 3 week training course for my job. It covered many things I did know, but some things I had never dealt with. All in all it was a good experience. But it was still interesting and also at times boring. Training is not always exciting and fun. Most of the time it is work. Training with a gun is no different. It’s not always shooting at the range, although that is the ultimate ingredient. Dry firing is an easy, cheap, part of training. Many people start the New Year trying to set up exercise or eating plans. I would suggest you look at your gun training and commit to taking some more formal training and stepping up your training/practicing plans. At this time a year I usually evaluate my program and step it up. Adding drills, dry fire or range time, changing the frequency of your plans, all of these things should be considered. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to a class, maybe you should consider taking another for a refresher. I recommend anything from Gunsite Academy but there are many reputable, good schools around the country.
Here are some things to get you started.
Find ways to develop a mindset that will help you to practice ADD (avoidance, deterrence, de-escalation). Also learn and practice good situational awareness.
Learn grip, stance, and draw. These are basics but should always be looked after. Stance is not such a big deal since you may have to shoot from any number of positions.
Drawing is probably the most important part of presentation. It’s not so much of a quick draw, although sometimes it can be, but getting to your weapon. If you can flawlessly draw from concealment then half the battle is won. Practice clearing your clothes and any other hang-ups. If you can consistently draw your gun, then you can try drawing from cover or concealment. That might entail sitting, kneeling, laying, or clearing a seatbelt while sitting in a vehicle.
Reload and Immediate Action Drills
Learn to reload and clear malfunctions quickly and smoothly. I will sometimes randomly load magazines with snap caps to simulate a malfunction. If you don’t really see it coming you will be able to realistically react.
Distance can be your friend if you’re being attacked. But if you must fight, close and engage. Do most of your training from 7 to 12 yards but don’t completely neglect training from 15 to 20 yards.
Different Barricades
In combat, or in any armed confrontation for that matter, you may find yourself unable to stand flat-¬footed and shoot rounds like you have practiced at the range. Getting shot at will wake you up if you are lucky enough to survive the first volley.

The smart person seeks cover or concealment as fast as they can, but the fight isn’t over. You must get back into the fight, quickly. This is where a nine-hole barricade comes in as a training tool. This is the 4 x 4 board you’ve seen with several different shaped holes cut out of it at different levels. You can buy one or make one.


There are many drills out there to improve many different aspects of shooting. Accuracy is not everything. Especially under fire. Sometimes you fire just to keep the enemies heads down, and that’s called cover fire. Shoot, move, communicate. In self-defense you will not need this. But getting to the trigger fast is equally as important as accuracy. Drills can help you. So can dry fire. I will admit that dry fire is boring. But so is cardio in my workout. But we do what we have to do. Dry fire is easy, cheap, and can be an important part of your training. Drills are designed to challenge you or to help you to repeat some actions over and over. They can help build muscle memory weather they are on the range or dry fired.


In basketball how you move on the court without the ball is as important as how you move with the ball. Defense is similar in that movement can be a great advantage. Be sure you are moving cover to cover and not just concealment. Concealment is very useful but if the enemy knows you’re behind concealment then they will shoot right through the concealment hitting you. If you keep the enemy changing then you change their OODA (observe, orient, decide, act) and that advantage may be all you need. Granted, most gun fights don’t last very long. So there may not be a lot of time to move off the “X”.

Putting together a good training plan is an important part of self-defense. I would suggest coming up with three or four routines to mix up in your training. This way it will be fresher and more varied. I get less bored working on things I don’t like and less stagnant.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Who Said It? March

February 2020 Quote

"Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised."
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston was a successful Hollywood star who did over 100 movies in his career. He was also an activist who, when asked why he changed from the Democratic Party, said:
"I didn't change. The Democratic Party changed."
In a 1997 speech called "Fighting the Culture War in America", Heston rhetorically deplored a culture war he said was being conducted by a generation of media people, educators, entertainers, and politicians against:
“... the God fearing, law-abiding, Caucasian, middle-class Protestant – or even worse, evangelical Christian, Midwestern or Southern – or even worse, rural, apparently straight – or even worse, admitted heterosexuals, gun owning – or even worse, NRA-card-carrying, average working stiff – or even worse, male working stiff – because, not only don't you count, you are a down-right obstacle to social progress. Your voice deserves a lower decibel level, your opinion is less enlightened, your media access is insignificant; and frankly, mister, you need to wake up, wise up, and learn a little something from your new America; and until you do, would you mind shutting up?”
He went on to say:
“The Constitution was handed down to guide us by a bunch of wise old dead white guys who invented our country! Now some flinch when I say that. Why! It's true-they were white guys! So were most of the guys that died in Lincoln’s name opposing slavery in the 1860s. So why should I be ashamed of white guys? Why is "Hispanic Pride" or "Black Pride" a good thing, while "White Pride” conjures shaven heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated by many as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I'll tell you why: Cultural warfare!”
In 1987, he first registered as a Republican. He campaigned for Republicans and Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
Heston was the president (a largely ceremonial position) and spokesman of the NRA from 1998 until he resigned in 2003. At the 2000 NRA convention, he raised a rifle over his head and declared that a potential Al Gore administration would take away his Second Amendment rights "from my cold, dead hands”. In announcing his resignation in 2003, he again raised a rifle over his head, repeating the five famous words of his 2000 speech. Heston became an honorary life member

March 2020 Quote
"Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician."

Monday, March 16, 2020

Hiding or Caching Your Guns

I have a friend from my military days. He is retired Special Operations, and retired Diplomatic Security (yes, he’s double dipping his retirement!). He has worked for the government in security and combat roles for over 35 years! Needless to say, he doesn’t trust the government. I’ve teased him about being paranoid and he’s said “I’ve carried out so much covert stuff for the government I know what they are capable of!” So maybe his paranoia is justified. According to fed data nearly 200,000 firearms are reported lost or stolen every year. This is problem for the gun owner. Keeping your firearms secure from theft and unauthorized use is a challenge. You want your guns close at hand if needed, but you want them to be secure and safe. There are many happy mediums in small, quick access safes. These will work but what if you need security from confiscation? I, like our founding Fathers, feel there are inalienable rights given us by God, not government. Defending myself and my family and country has been something I’ve done most of my adult life. So what would happen if things went crazy and my government turned on us as citizens? One thing about preparing is that you don’t really know what the future holds. I’ve been a firm believer in first aid kits and learning medical skills. I’ve guessed at what skills I would need and what I would need from a first aid kit. In real world situations I’ve come to know better what to learn and what to have. Sometimes that has been far from what I prepared for. Most times it’s been close. I’ve observed, sometimes first hand, what would happen in a total societal and governmental break down. Crazy things happen! So how do we prepare? The old saying is “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.” And so we must assume that gun confiscation may come. We must prepare for it.
The first part of this is operations and communication security. Is it clear to everyone around you that you are pro-gun and possibly the owner of more than 3 guns? If you are a typical gun enthusiast, either for defense, sport, or hunting, then you probably have at least 5 to 8 guns. My estimate is more. By the standard of government and non-gun enthusiasts you have an arsenal. If someone owns 8 guns of 4 different calibers then you would most likely have a lot of ammunition too. I also have a storage of ammo because I shoot a lot. So I rotate my ammo. If people saw how much ammo I store they would think I’m starting a war! It’s not at all what it looks like. To shoot as much as I do and to always have a set amount, I have to keep a lot of ammo. I’m not preparing for Armageddon, I’m just keeping up my skills. So let’s say you shoot 300 to 400 rounds of 9mm per month. I would need 4800 rounds to shoot for a year. And what if my goal was to keep 2000 rounds for that gun (or 2 guns) then at any given time I may have 6000 or 7000 rounds stored at a time. Most non-shooters would consider that excessive. Also, if I shoot 4800 rounds a year it would be economical to buy 5000 rounds in bulk at one time. So keep this information from others. It’s not secret, but don’t post your gun collection on Facebook. Keep these things private.

Even if you take measures to secure your home against intruders, home invasion is still a possibility. You must make sure your guns are well hidden or secured.

Hiding guns during martial law is NOT the same as during real world times!
There is a lot of debate about what would happen during martial law. Some believe that the authorities would come with X-ray equipment and gun-sniffing dogs to find your guns. Others believe that confiscating guns wouldn’t be a possibility because there would be too much chaos to organize the authorities into a thorough cordon and search operation.
Anyone who tells you they know exactly what will happen during a grid down situation is full of baloney!
We don’t know what will happen, which is why we always prepare ourselves for the WORST CASE SCENARIO. While simultaneously praying that it won’t actually happen. Prepping for the worst means hiding your guns as best as you can.

The first thing about hiding guns during martial law is knowing where not to hide them. Remember, we are prepping for the worst. Which means armed soldiers with gun-sniffing dogs and ground-penetrating radar coming into your home.
Hiding your guns in the normal places, like a hidden compartment under your kitchen cabinets, isn’t going to work in these worst-case scenarios. Ideally you don’t hide your guns inside your home. If you must hide your guns inside, count on the fact that authorities during martial law probably won’t have a lot of time to do a thorough search (again, we don’t know what will happen. We can just weigh the likely possibilities).
Places like inside a hollow hot water tank or a watertight bag under the gravel in a fish tank could work. Ammo could go in a hollow curtain rod. Crazy places like that.
An off-site hiding place might also work. I’m not talking about your Uncle Jim’s house, because the authorities will go there to confiscate firearms too. By off-site, I mean a storage shed somewhere. Of course, the authorities could also search all storage sheds. It just might take longer for them to get to those so you may have time to grab your stored guns and GO before they are confiscated.

Most experts agree that the best place to hide your guns during martial law is underground. Yes, authorities do have ground-penetrating radar that would allow them to find buried guns. However, it is unlikely that there will be time to search every square inch of your property so underground is likely the best way to go.

Backwoods Home magazine has a great article on how to hide your guns underground. (

There are some advanced strategies there for hiding guns underground. Like digging a trench from your home to a shed or barn. The trench has a heavy metal cable or conduit in it. The firearm is at the end of the trench. If authorities detect metal and start digging, they find the cable first and don’t bother to dig anymore.
Burying a gun is very problematic:

You need to find an unobservable place that no one will bother
The place also needs to be accessible so you can get your guns when it goes grid down
You need to protect your gun against the elements
Rather than rehashing all of this info, I really recommend reading the Backwoods Home
article. The author does a great job of explaining options for storage containers, locations,
and other logistics of hiding guns underground.

In addition to hiding your guns underground or indoors, here are some other strategies which can help keep your guns safe when the grid goes down:
1. Have a Decoy Gun
Have a gun badly-hidden somewhere in your home. When the authorities come and find it, make a big deal about turning it over.
“How am I going to protect myself without a gun?”
“You are going to take my ONLY gun!!!!”
If the authorities come with a list of all of your guns, this probably isn’t going to work. But if
the grid is down and they don’t have access to the registers (such as after a major EMP
event), then this could work.
2. Build a Gun
It is actually easier to build a gun than you might think. You can find instructions online.
There are also a lot of people who have made guns with 3D printers.
3. Report Your Gun as Stolen
If the authorities have a list of the guns you own, you could get thrown in jail for not turning
them all over including those ones you’ve got hidden underground.
One way to get your guns off the register is to report them as stolen. This is illegal and I’m
not condoning it in normal situations. However, if you see the situation getting really bad,
you could report your gun as stolen and your name could get taken off the list.

I am not encouraging or promoting illegal activity. These strategies are only mentioned in
context of Grid down situations where your survival is on the line.
4. Know When to Resist
I’ve heard a lot of preppers say that, “If it is time to bury your guns, then it is time to use them.” They argue that, if the authorities come to take your gun, it is your patriotic duty to start shooting That it is worth risking your life to stop even one of the soldiers.
I personally don’t agree with this logic. Getting yourself killed isn’t going to do society any
good. It is just going to leave society with one less person to stand up against martial law.
And you most certainly will get killed if you start shooting at soldiers with superior
technology who are lined up outside of your door or cordoned neighborhood.
Throughout history, the groups who have succeeding in resisting and overthrowing martial
law have done so by organizing and planning and NOT randomly shooting at the first
authority figure to show up.
Resistance involved organized cache and distribution systems, and planned attacks.
Remember, prepping means taking steps to prepare for the WORST POSSIBLE SITUATION.
We don’t know what will happen in a grid down situation, so can only do our best (and what
is within our means) to prepare.
Prepping for the worst means that you should assume they will find your guns and you will
be left without a firearm for protection.
To prep for this situation, be ready to bug out, to build your own DIY weapons, or to group
with others for survival. You always need a Plan B (and C, D, E)!
This is the extreme event. I’m not sure it will ever happen but it may happen in part.
Being prepared is what we strive to be. Even in these “zombie-” scenarios.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, March 13, 2020

Preparation Inventory

I have been involved in preparedness my entire life. I don’t mean just a long time, I mean literally my whole life. I grew up with a food storage room. I don’t mean just a pantry, but a room devoted to food storage. I didn’t know anyone lived differently until I was old enough to play at a friend’s house. I remember one of the only non-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in my neighborhood (I think there were about 4 families that were not members). Tony was from one of those families and we were friends. We built a lot of forts together and I rode faster than I have ever ridden in any vehicle in his brother’s hot rods they built. So when I went to Tony’s house for the first time I wondered where the food storage was? And the glass grapes (this is a reference to an old Relief Society craft that seems to be universal from the 60’s I think) Anyway, I am used to yellow Walton Feed wheat bags being stored under every bed in the house. So the Prepper craze and even Y2K was not a big deal for me. Neither is this Corona virus problem. So one of the biggest pet peeves that I have is not knowing what, or where something is. I want to be sure we have what we need, not just a guess. So I inventory (and date) everything! From my food to my ammo. I like to know where it is and how much I have. I also want to know how old it is. So we work hard to keep inventory of all that we have.
Take an inventory! Actually, make multiple inventories. Make one for food, for water, for lights, for off-grid cooking gear, for bug-out bags, for seeds, and every other prep you have. It’s important to know what you have so you know what you need and what you don’t need. This will save you money and sanity.
Homes with a lot of preparation tend to get messy and dusty. Take time to clean and organize what you have. This helps you with taking an inventory and knowing the location of things.
You need living space, however you can also get creative and store things in unusual areas. Many people have made furniture that has storage space inside. You can store things under beds and in attics. Always be aware of the temperature; food especially will not last long in extreme temperatures (or extreme temperature swings).
If you want to store preparation items you might have to make some hard decisions. You may have to part with something that won’t do you any good in an emergency situation. It’s probably not doing you any good now, anyway. If you haven’t used it in 6 months then consider getting rid of it or donating it.
Get A System–There are a lot of organization systems out there. I like labeling things and storing things in transparent container so that I can see what’s inside the box. Consider storing like items together. Whatever system you decide to use, whether it’s color coding or inventory sheets, make sure you stick to it and continue to work it.
Create a map to the location of your different preparation items. This will come in handy when you really need things and are too distracted to remember or too busy to rummage.
Create your own kits for specific things. Create your own first aid kit, or your own car kit, or your own power outage kit. You can gather all the supplies you need or have needed in the past and make them into a kit. This will allow you to grab what you need quickly.
Rotate–This is especially true with food. You should have a rotation system and stick to it. However, it’s a good idea with all consumables. Paper products get old after a few years, medical supplies expire, vitamins expire, batteries lose their charge. You get the idea. Rotation is a good idea for all preparation items.
Eat what you store. This is a big one that I know a lot of people are guilty of. Don’t store what you don’t eat, or what you don’t like. If you don’t like it or don’t eat it then it probably won’t be part of your rotation, so you run the risk of it going bad or expiring. Plus, it’s taking up valuable real estate in your home. Often you hear someone say “I’d eat it if I was hungry enough!” This not always the truth. Often if someone really does not like something, they will go without any food at all.
It’s great when things go on sale and it’s certainly a good idea to stock up when they do, except if you really don’t need the item. So keep a list of things that you need so you don’t buy things that you don’t need.
An organization system is only as good as it being used. If you don’t put things back in their place then your system of organization will not be usable and you’ll wind up with a big mess.
Figure out what works for you but it’s so much easier to have a system in place when you start than to try and implement inventory control on a large number of items. If you started your preparedness a while ago then take small bites to get it organized. Eventually it will all be organized and documented making it easier to rotate and find what you need.
During this Corona virus thing we decided to inventory our pandemic kits and review our procedures if we need to isolate someone. We hadn’t done it in a while. Put yourself on a schedule to review what you have for preparedness items. Note if you need training on how to use the item or what may be missing or need replacing.
An inventory of what you have can show you holes in your preparedness plans. It makes it easier to review what you have and can help you with rotation and restocking what has been used. A running total is gold.
Semper Paratus
Check 6