Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Riot Security

Dealing with a riot and looters is such a different thing compared to combat or common crime. Rioters and looters are not rational. They cannot be reasoned with. They have a “mob” mentality. Society is a fragile thing and sometimes it doesn’t take much to set it off. It can be anything from a jury decision, to a natural disaster, to a political demonstration. Any community can be affected by this, a small town or a large city. As things get more troubled in the last days, we will see more and more of this. Here are some ways to deal with it if you ever find yourself having to deal with a riot.

Don’t go out at night. My Father used to say, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Darkness brings out the craziness in people. For some reason they think they can get away with more at 3 in the morning than at noon. Violence thrives in the darkness. Don’t go out unless you have an emergency during the chaos of a demonstration or riot.

Blend in. If you absolutely must go out or through a protest, try to look like they do. Grad a sign if you can. The thing you should never do is let anyone know you are not on their side. In the middle of a demonstration is no time to voice an opposing opinion! You don’t want 60 angry protesters seeing you as the enemy.

Stay in Control. Control your emotions. When you see the idiocy of looting going on that is not the time to try and teach honesty. Looters are usually those who are not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But they probably understand violence and how to stop anyone from taking “their” property. Just keep moving.

Always have your EDC. If you carry a weapon you should always carry it. You never know when problems will strike or a demonstration will turn ugly. EDC means just that, every day carry. If I were to have to go out when a riot or demonstration was in progress, I would probably not only carry my primary carry gun, but I’d also have a secondary on my ankle or in my pocket. I also carry a tactical pen and a knife.

Travel Route. If you must go out during a disturbance like a riot or demonstration don’t try to go through the mess. Go out of your way if you must. If you find yourself in the middle of a mob don’t try to fight against the direction they are headed. Go with the flow. Inch your way to the side to go around them, or to slowly get through. Blending in is important.

Stay away from the hub. There is always a leader and a “center” of a mob. The leader will be louder than anyone else. Most of the attention will be on him/her. What the leader does or says, usually the pack will follow. Being close to the leader is being in a dangerous place. Keep your distance from them.

Be Prepared to Fight. If you have followed the previous suggestions then you should not have to fight. But a mob is very unpredictable. Things can change real fast out there. It is a volatile situation. You could find yourself in a fight in a moment so you should be ready.

The rule of law is pretty fragile. With care and some training you can find ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Get trained. Find a good defensive pistol course or a combat type course. Learn what you can from others with experience.

Personal protection is a journey not a destination. Learn all you can and be smart and you can avoid a situation like Ferguson, MO, LA and Rodney King, or even Katrina.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, September 29, 2014

Preparedness, Security, and Moroni

I’ve been plowing through the Book of Mormon because of a challenge from our Bishopric to read the entire book from September to Thanksgiving. I know how I learn and it’s not reading like that. But I took the challenge and it’s been interesting. I have learned a few things about some of my heroes. Many warriors in the Book of Mormon are great warriors. Courageous, loyal, and most of all righteous. I want to strive to be that way. I want to be like unto Moroni. Like him I do not delight in the shedding of blood. Alma 48:14-17 says:
“And this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
“Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”
So should we strive to be the sheepdog warrior Moroni was? I would say yes. We can learn much from his warriorship as we go from day to day. I’ve had many a conversation with other members who know of my fascination with guns and security. They feel the Lord will take care of them. I always end their sentence for them by saying “…after all you can do.” They always smile at this because it’s hard to argue with scripture. I do believe we should have faith. I want my faith to be as the people of Ammon when they buried their weapons. I’m working on that. But until I feel I can lay down my life rather than shed blood, I will prepare for “war”. Moroni’s war was only defending themselves against aggressors. That is what I advocate.
We first meet Moroni in the crisis of the Lamanite attack under Zerahemnah. In a pattern Mormon notices throughout Nephite history, the warfare was instigated not by the Lamanites themselves but by dissenting Nephites. (Who fight the Church today best but those who leave, then can't leave the Church alone!)Zarahemnah appointed as his chief captains other former Nephites who were of “a more wicked and murderous disposition than the Lamanites” (Alma 43:6); and then, with traditional resentments and hatreds inflamed, he led his Lamanite armies in an attack against the Nephites in 74 B.C. Moroni, only twenty-five years old, was appointed leader over the Nephites (Alma 43:16–17) and immediately proved his ability by equipping his men with armor, an unexpected innovation, and then by outmanuevering Zerahemnah, whose army was more than double the size of his own (Alma 43:51). His superior tactics included posting spies, but he also sent to Alma, desiring that the prophet “inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves.” (Alma 43:23.) It was a perfect combination. Alma told Moroni where to march, and his spies told him when.
Then again we see Moroni watching his government decline the people’s liberty. Moroni “rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” (I am not advocating fighting our government, but sometimes I feel like Moroni did about his liberties.)Alma 46:12
He then had this flag hoisted on every tower. That is "every" tower… So it was a constant reminder.
Again I make an appeal to whatever Fathers, Brothers, and Leaders I can reach. Be like unto Moroni. Know how to defend yourself, your family, and the Church. Have a preparedness plan and implement it. Have a security plan and implement it. Don’t sit back and expect someone else to protect your family. Rely on the Lord after all you can do.
I know it seems that I may glory in bloodshed, but I do not. I do feel it’s the responsibility of the priesthood to care for their families and the Church. As the signs of the times show themselves in so many ways (natural disasters: floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, famine: crop failures because of weather, food shortages, soaring food prices, water shortages everywhere) the Brethren of the Church must have some of this knowledge, mindset, skill, and equipment. If we do not, how can we defend the righteous?

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, September 26, 2014

Family Practice Drills

I’ve had OPSEC (Operations Security) on my mind a lot lately as we have been changing some things at work. On a federal installation they tend to talk about security a lot. We’ve been reviewing some of our procedures and “tweeking” them a little.
A family is no different than an organization. Security should be something that is discussed on occasion. We think nothing of a fire drill, fire extinguishers, or fire sprinklers. We use these things to be aware of what fire has the potential to do. Would you ever consider a bug out drill? What if a wild fire, hurricane, or tornado was headed toward your home? Would you just run wildly into the night? It stands to reason to test your preparation and do an evacuation drill. What about one evening without electricity? We’ve experienced that a few times in our house. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to simulate these problems and learn from them before they happen?
I knew someone who claimed to be prepared for just about anything. I suggested that they drill to find out how prepared they actually were. They told a friend to randomly call them on a weekend with a scenario that they would play out through the weekend. This they did. After they experienced a simple power outage for the weekend I asked him how it went. He said “Wow! I didn’t know how unprepared we were! Imagine having many flashlights and batteries but no way to recharge them. We also had no candles! So if the solar cells fail or we run out of fuel for the generator we had little back up for light.”
In the gun world we run drills all the time. Why not do this with your family? It takes a little organization and cooperation.
My Stake has a family campout every year. I use this as a time to practice (I also use it as refresher training and to pass off Boy Scout or YW requirements.) That’s the best way to do this as a family. If you need to practice bugging out, make it fun and go camping together. Use only a small portion of your camping time to practice skills or your family will not want to camp because it’s just crazy Dad and his prep stuff again! The younger your children are, the less training time you should use. Start small and work up to a healthy training or refresher time.
I think it’s a little crazy that we have fire extinguishers, fire and smoke alarms, sprinklers, and fire drills, but practicing evacuation? That’s nuts! Well, it’s not nuts. Why is a fire drill perfectly normal but a preparedness drill is not? I would say more people suffer from not being prepared (i.e. loss of job, natural disaster, etc.) than fire. The average in the U.S. of deaths by fire is 12 per million. That’s why we have all that fire prevention stuff in place, because too many people were dying! Most people don’t think it will happen to them.

Fire Drill. Training should include: how to call 911, how to check the batteries in the smoke detectors, how to use a fire extinguisher, how to warn everyone in the house about a fire, how to escape from the house if it is on fire, where to meet after escaping from the house, common sense rules about when to try to extinguish a fire and when to just leave.
Evaluation: what worked, what didn’t, what needs practice.
First Aid Drill. Training should include: how to call 911, where the first aid kit is located, what is in the first aid kit and how to use each item, how to perform CPR, how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, basic first aid skills.
Evaluation: what worked, what didn’t, what needs improvement.
Lockdown Drill. Training should include: who is responsible for closing and locking each door and window, who is secondarily responsible for this action if the primary person isn't present, how to set the security alarm/system, how to turn on the surveillance system, how to perform these tasks as quickly as possible and in what situations these actions would be necessary, location of the safe room and what procedure to follow once in the safe room.
Evaluation: What worked, what didn’t, what needs work.
Emergency Evacuation Drill. Training should include: what to include in each person’s disaster kit, which vehicle will be used for evacuation, how to quickly access each person’s disaster kit and put it in the vehicle, what other items should be taken when evacuating and how to get them quickly, what to do with pets, how to secure the home before leaving, and how quickly everyone can complete the above tasks, get in the vehicle and leave the home.
Evaluation: What worked, what didn’t, what needs to be worked on.
Natural Disaster Drill. Training should include: what specific steps to take during a tornado/flood etc. what steps to take during the actual event (ie: holing up in the basement during a tornado, and what steps to take after the event (turning off the power/water/natural gas).
Evaluation: what worked well, what didn’t, what needs work
Communications Drill. Training should include: Who to contact during an emergency (parents, neighbor, relative in another town, relative in another state) and their phone numbers/email addresses, what is an emergency and what information to provide.
Evaluation: (what worked, what didn’t, what things need to be worked on).
Meeting Place Drill. Training should include: where to meet in your neighborhood if you cannot return home, where to meet in your town/city, where to meet in the next town, where to meet across the country should your entire state be devastated. Include exact locations, how long to wait, and how to leave a message if you are unable to wait any longer at the location.
Evaluation: what worked, what didn’t, what needs work.

These are just suggestions. I would change and tailor these to my family’s needs.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Concealed Carry: Ideas For The Newbie

Ok, now you’ve done it! You took the plunge and decided to take personal and family security seriously. You found a good, competent instructor and got training with a gun. You went the extra mile and took not only a class that took care of your states training requirements, you took another concealed carry class that focuses on how and the details of concealed carry. You’ve talked to a police officer friend and got his advice and ideas on how to carry. You just got your permit in the mail. You’ve sought a weapon that is right for you and have shot it many times. Now, today is the day. The first time you will conceal carry. You are a little nervous. Being nervous is completely normal. Most people are self-conscious at first. I can remember when I first started carrying I passed about 3 uniformed law enforcement at the function I was attending. I thought every one of them “made” me. I don’t think any of them even paid me any attention. But before you make that first step out the door armed know exactly what your state’s laws are regarding where you can and cannot carry, how you carry, and if you will need a license or permit to carry. All 50 states have concealed carry permits available with different laws governing that carry. Before you step out, make sure you know Federal law does not allow you to carry a gun into federal buildings such as post offices, courthouses, polling stations, law enforcement offices, and jails or prisons. This is a universal law and federal law restricts you from carrying your gun into these places. It is illegal in most states to carry a gun into a place that sells only alcohol or more alcohol than food.
Also before you walk out there armed, make sure you are carrying comfortably. If you are not comfortable you stand a chance of just leaving the gun at home next time. Make sure your clothes conceal adequately. In some states you can’t even have your gun show a little, or “print”. Make sure your clothes cover it properly and completely. A wardrobe malfunction can get you into trouble.
You may think that everyone is staring at you and that everyone knows you are carrying a gun. This is normal to feel this way, but don’t worry. No one knows! They are all too involved with doing their own thing to worry about what you are doing. Be sure to check in a mirror. From a couple of feet away, it’s probably barely perceptible. So unless you’re trying to carry a six-inch revolver in a spandex tank-top, a slight protrusion from the base of the grip that looks huge to your eyes when looking down at it will most likely blend in from the perspective of the people around you. With belt holsters being the most common method for concealed carry, printing is most likely to occur around the body’s midsection. Fortunately, in our society it’s generally impolite to stare at other people’s “crotch region” and most people have a sub-conscious aversion to letting their eyes drift toward staring at a stranger’s belt line. Even if your gun is blatantly printing, few people in public will ever notice. The only people who automatically assume that any object concealed under clothing is a gun are other concealed carry permit holders, and they’re certainly not going to give you a hard time. Maybe some law enforcement will notice too, but unless you’re acting like a complete moron, 99.9% of LEOs out there aren’t going to hassle you for a little printing. It’s unlikely, though possible, that a “bad guy” might notice the lump under your shirt, but chances are he’s looking for an easy target and not interested in getting into a wrestling match with you over what may or may not turn out to be a gun.
If you’re overly concerned about printing, then you might be prone to constantly checking and adjusting your carry gun. More often than not, this will only serve to draw unwanted attention to your heater, not keep it hidden. It may take a thoughtful effort but don’t keep touching that weapon. If you behave as if nothing is there, then most other people will too.
As always, a good holster and solid gun belt are key to maximizing the comfort and concealability of your carry gun. The setup should keep the grip of the gun close to your body to avoid excessive printing, and to keep the gun from moving around. Of course, you’ll probably have to “dress around the gun” to some degree, which may require going up one pant size, and avoiding excessively tight clothing. But with decent gear and some common sense, carrying shouldn’t be much of a concern for the average legally armed citizen.
Many people who have carried for some time have said that they prefer a smaller gun in a pocket holster to the compact guns in other holsters. I’ve come to the conclusion that the in-the-waistband holster is the most popular. You must find out for yourself. It may take some time and experimenting with different holsters. The best holster is the one you forget you have on.
Most people don’t see a gun when they see that slight dent or bulge in your shirt. There is so much out there, a knife pouch, a cell phone, a key chain, all of these things could make the same imprint.
These are some of the concerns you should have if you conceal carry. Beside the responsibility that goes with carrying a lethal weapon, the above ideas will help in the beginning of your journey to concealed carry.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Family Security Plan Part 6: Portable Security

When putting together a family security plan, remember security when you are away from home.
When traveling or bugging out, you must practice good security. During rule of law, locking car doors, and motel room doors is a standard. We were staying at a Motel 6 in New Mexico when in the middle of the night I heard the knob rattle. It stopped and I thought maybe someone had the wrong room. A few minutes later the door opened but was stopped by the security door lock. I grabbed a weapon and jumped out of bed. I looked through the peep-hole and then carefully open the door. I looked down the long hallway and saw no one. We were in an end room so I went around the corner then around another corner to the desk. I told the clerk what happened and that if it happened again I would consider it a threat to my family and would deal with it as I deemed fit. The clerk looked at me, then at my Smith and Wesson and said “OK!” Nothing happened the rest of the night.
There are simple alarms you can bring with you that wedge under a hotel door. These are a good idea. When traveling having a gun is a good security measure, just make sure that it’s legal in the state you are in or traveling through. Each state has its own laws, so learn them and live them. Don’t fall into that “I didn’t know!” trap and end up in jail. Also, consider a few things with guns, when I rushed out the door and out of sight of my family were they left defenseless? What if I didn’t come back? My wife also has a weapon and is trained. Always remember when you leave your vehicle or home, that there should be someone there who can, and is able to, still protect your loved ones. I never take our home defense gun when I have to leave my family in the house. I take my carry weapon and a flashlight.
Don’t leave anything in, or on top of your vehicle when staying at a hotel. I also try to park where I can keep an eye on my vehicle. Do not leave anything of great value in your motel room if you are leaving for an extended period of time. This can be a hassle, but its well worth the hassle.
For extreme security, or security in extreme times, (i.e. without rule of law) things are different. Keeping watch is always important. If someone is changing a tire on your vehicle, another person is on over watch duty. If bugging out on foot, establish areas of responsibility. This would be similar to a patrol protocol. Point person has directly ahead and to the right and left (180 degrees). Drag, or the last person in the element or group has the same 180 to the rear. He or she may even hang back to ensure no one is following. The others in the group would have left and right watch. Also remember to maintain an interval. If you are all bunched up it’s easier to ambush or throw an explosive into. These are basic things to remember. Preferably everyone in your group should be armed. I understand that sometimes the element I’m talking about is your family. Every adult should be armed in some way. As far as teenagers, it’s up to you if you arm them or not. Also, even if it’s a group of adults, if you’ve never traveled like this before, or practiced this type of security it would be difficult to just jump into it. If all were carrying rifles it could be dangerous. Practice this type of movement and teach and maintain safety. This requires absolute trigger discipline (safety rule #3) and muzzle control (safety rule #2). As a reminder the safety rules are:
Firearm Safety Rules
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover (point at) anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
I know this isn’t the most glamorous thing or very fun, but next time you hike with your family “play” the patrol game. Use a walking stick as your rifle and check yourself. I’ve done it before and my kids didn’t even know we were practicing. I know this is also extreme, I don’t know if you will ever need to actually implement this type of travel, but it’s good to have a little practice and experience with it.
When stopping and spending the night in hostile country there is obviously a guard need on over watch. Besides this, trip wire can be deployed. Like I mentioned in the extreme security post, trip wires come in a variety of styles. Some sound alarms, some trigger light sticks, others are more defensive. It’s a good idea to create and maintain a perimeter. Trade off over watch at intervals that will give everyone sleep.
If you are on the trail by yourself, be especially alert. Don’t go into places where you can be easily ambushed. When sleeping use concealment. The good thing with being alone is that you travel faster. The bad thing is you only have one set of eyes and ears and one weapon.
Security requires attention and situational awareness. Being suspicious until you learn otherwise. Not trusting. Changing your route or routine quickly if trouble is perceived. Some call that paranoia. It’s not paranoia if it saves your life. If things ever do go South, good people need to change. Actually I think good people can sometimes need change now. If you trust everyone and never think anyone would intentionally harm you or your family, then you need to change a little bit. The fact is, not everyone is trustworthy or have good intentions. I think most people are good, the problem is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is why the sheepdog must be vigilant. The wolf is always out there among the sheep.
Remember your, and your family’s security is nothing to take lightly. Vigilance is the watch word.
When putting together a family security plan, make sure you include all aspects of security. What we didn’t cover in this series is security on the internet. Communications security is important always not just in extreme instances.
These have been just suggestions and items I have found that work and things we have practiced for many years. You may add too or take away from any of this when you create your own plan. The important thing is to actually create a plan. Write it down and practice it. You will also find that you will change your plan as kids get older and circumstances change. Be flexible and do what needs to be done. The head of the home should take the lead in this and teach a security mindset.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, September 22, 2014

Choosing a Knife

When picking a “survival” knife you must first know one thing, if you are in survival mode, any particular knife will do. Even if you have to make one on the spot. But I digress, the purpose of preparedness is to be, well…. Prepared. So in choosing a knife for your preparedness needs don’t always think survival. What if you are in your home when the bad event, or events, go down. I for one would like to be home. That is where I am the best prepared.
Choosing a knife is like choosing a gun, it depends. It depends on what you are going to do with the knife. If you want all around versatility, my choice might be different than yours. I like gurkha knives or kukri depending on what pronunciation and language you prefer. The gurkha is a Nepalese knife with an inwardly curved edge. It looks like a short machete. It was used as both a weapon and a tool in Nepal and countries in South Asia. It is standard issue to the Napalese Army. These soldiers are called Gurkhas so English speakers called the knives gurkhas.
Fixed Blade
A fixed blade knife is more durable and reliable than a folding knife. While I love a good folder for Every Day Carry (EDC), a fixed blade has the upper hand when it comes to meeting the demands a preparedness situation might present. A joint of any kind is a weakness. Minimize the risk of damaging or losing your resource by choosing a knife that is better suited for pounding, chopping, thrusting, prying, and heavy cutting.
Full Tang
Not only should your preparedness knife be a fixed blade, but it should also be FULL TANG. “Full tang” indicates that the blade and handle are constructed from one continuous piece of metal. Scales or grips are typically attached to the handle portion for a more comfortable grip. A full tang knife is much more robust than partial tang styles such as the half tang, push tang, or rat-tail tang. The profile of a full tang blade is much more substantial than a rat-tail. Over time, partial tang knife blades can loosen and develop “play” in the handle–especially under demanding tasks such as batoning, prying, and chopping. If a partial tang blade comes loose from the handle it can be very difficult (and dangerous) to use effectively. In contrast, a full tang knife blade is still very functional even if the handles or grips come off. It can be wrapped with cordage for added comfort and grip. There is absolutely no advantage in choosing a partial tang blade over a full tang knife. It’s difficult to break a solid piece of continuous metal. An easy way to spot a full tang knife is to look for the metal tang sandwiched between the knife’s handle.
When it comes to your all around survival knife, bigger is not always better. If your blade is too big, you sacrifice the ability to effectively use it for detailed tasks such as dressing small game or carving precision snare sets. On the flip-side, a small blade does not perform well with more rugged tasks such as batoning and chopping. Batoning is when you strike the back of your knife blade with a heavy object to drive the knife through thick or stubborn wood. This allows the blade to be used for splitting wood and cutting through large limbs and trees. I’ve used many knives and I’ve found the ideal size to be around 9-11 inches in length.
Sharp Pointed Tip
This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many “survival knives” with angled, rounded, hooked, or straight cut flat tips. Despite any contrary argument, there are many compelling reasons why your preparedness knife should have a sharp pointed tip. The first is self-defense–against man or beast. Anything other than a sharp spear point tip compromises your ability to effectively thrust or stab your knife as a weapon–especially through thick fur/hide or layered clothing.
Similarly, a spear point knife can be used as a hunting weapon–either by itself or lashed to a pole to create a longer reach spear.
Single Edged Blade
Your preparedness knife should not have a double-edged dagger style blade. A double-edged blade is just not necessary for the vast majority of (if not all) preparedness uses. Actually, it can be a disadvantage.
Not only do I recommend a single-edged blade, but I prefer for the back side (spine) of my knife to have a flat 90 degree grind. A flat ground spine is ideal for striking a fire-starting rod. Rounded or beveled spines make this almost impossible.
I use my knife to baton through large pieces of wood. Whether splitting firewood or constructing make-shift shelters, a sharpened back edge would make this almost impossible. If you needed to use the back edge of a knife as a thumb rest for added leverage and control during carving and double edged blade would stop you from doing this.
Solid Pommel
The “pommel” is the bottom of the knife’s handle–also referred to as the butt. I‘ve used the pommel for light duty pounding and hammering. It’s perfect for driving in shelter stakes. I believe in getting the most use from your knife. A well-designed and substantial pommel only adds to your list of capabilities.
Use the above 6 criteria as a benchmark for choosing a potential preparedness knife. Only you can decide the features on which you are and are not willing to compromise. Beyond this, pretty much everything else comes down to personal taste.
There are many preparedness or survival knives on the market that include these 6 survival features, yet look nothing like each other. There are countless styling options that come down to personal preference and have little bearing on survival functionality. Some of these features include:
• Blade Steel (Carbon or Stainless – varying options with varying results)
• Handle Material (Rubber, Micarta, Bone, Antler, etc…)
• Color or Finish
• Lanyard Holes
• Decorative Milling
• Serrated or Non-serrated Blade
• Sheath Design and Style
• Knife Designer/Manufacturer/Brand
• Blade Style
• With or Without Finger Guards
• Blood Groove
A knife is not a magic wand nor does it have inherent magical saving powers. The true value is in the skill of the one who wields it. Skill only comes from practice and repetition. You don’t buy a preparedness knife to decorate your man cave–it is a tool that’s meant to be used. Since the beginning of mankind, the cutting blade helped to shape how our ancestors hunted, fought, built, and survived. From cavemen with sharp rocks to a soldier in modern warfare, there will never be a relationship quite like that between a man and his blade. Choose wisely.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ammo Storage: Keep You Powder Dry!

Storing ammunition has been accomplished for centuries. Preparing for war anciently has been a lesson in “ammo” storage. Modern day ammunition has its own set of challenges for long term or short term storage.
Almost every person with a gun has ammunition storage of some kind. Whether it’s a couple of boxes or several cases storage is similar.
I’ve always had a “stash” of ammo. I have done this for many, many years way before the word “prepper” existed. I always felt I needed some ammunition put up for a rainy day. Now, it’s become an obsession with some. I was grateful to have what I have when the availability dropped and the prices soared. In having that storage I didn’t go crazy like some did. My only fear was that I would go through my stored ammo and have to start again. Fortunately I was able to keep up with my shooting regime and didn’t have to dip into the stash.
In a previous post I talked about the amount of ammunition I felt you should store. Having a ridiculous amount stored may save time and money, but I don’t think I need 10,000 rounds for my arsenal. (see blog Ammunition Storage: If you have to ask, buy more! 9/17/2014)
Here are some tips to help in the storage process.
Avoid Extreme Heat: Modern, factory-loaded rounds are designed to function reliably in conditions ranging from the arctic to the tropics. Therefore as long as you prevent exposure to extreme heat, high humidity and temperature fluctuations, your ammunition can be expected to last 10 years. In fact, as long as you store your ammo in normal room temperatures and low humidity your ammo can last for decades.
I was once at an Air Force where a bunker was being destroyed. I had the opportunity to enter the bunker that had not been entered in some time. We found a box of .308 rounds that were dated 1942. We took them out to the range and shot them through an M60. They shot flawlessly. They were stored in crates, in an underground bunker where it was a constant temperature. They were fine.
The breakdown in ammunition starts at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the time you won’t see these temperatures. But in the trunk of a car you may. The case and bullets will be OK but the chemical properties of the gunpowder and the priming mixture can be affected by extreme (Over 100 degrees) temperatures. If you continue to expose your ammo to this it could make the ammo go “click” rather than “bang”.
Theoretically, extreme cold could eventually impact ammunition, but it isn’t worth your concern. High heat kills otherwise good ammo, and that’s the primary thing to avoid in regards to temperature. Rapid fluctuations could, however, also prove detrimental over time. So if you’re among the many Americans storing shells in garages, you should reconsider. During the Civil War they had a saying “Keep your powder dry”. Fluctuating temperature and high humidity can introduce moisture into your powder. If you have a basement that smells musty, it’s probably not a good place to store ammo.
If the case starts to become corroded it can change it’s shape. This could weaken the case and make it unsafe to shoot. Don’t use ammunition that has signs of corrosion.
Store your ammo off the floor in a sealed container. I like metal or plastic ammo cans that have a seal. Keeping a dehumidifier near your ammunition is a good idea.
Federal has a good answer to the storage problem. They sell a .22 Long Rifle Fresh Fire Pack. It has 325 rounds packed in a nitrogen-sealed can that locks out moisture. Then there is many Russian-made surplus “spam cans.” The steel cans are sealed against air and water. I store most of my ammunition in surplus ammo cans. They are metal and have a rubber seal in the lid. You can improve the seal by applying a very light coat of WD-40. The WD in WD-40 stands for water displacement. If you decide on surplus ammo cans make sure the cans you buy have good seals.
When you look at advances in chemical technology you see some of the greatest advances in ammunition and gunpowder. It has improved even from 10 years years ago. Our Grandparents did not have that type of progress.
If you can store your ammunition in a cool, dry place you should be able to store your ammunition for your Grandchildren and beyond.
Keep your powder dry!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Family Security Plan Part 5: Extreme Security

Extreme measures security is something I plan every time I plan. The reason being, I want a plan in place before something extreme happens. I don’t know what will happen or when, I just want to be better prepared to face it. Extreme events would be a total power failure, a collapse of the worlds or the county’s economic system, a world or large pandemic, or catastrophic weather events simultaneously, or war in this country. Do I believe these will happen? Not maybe to the level I’ve described. But it is always possible. So we should plan for it.
Some of these things I included in Parts 1 through 4. I may repeat a little so bear with me.
Home security. I would secure my home any way I could in extreme conditions. Plywood can be available to cover your windows. Or you can build shutters that will actually cover and secure your windows. I talked about creating difficulty in gaining access to your home through gates, fences, and vehicle obstacles. These would all play a part in extreme security. But before they can play a part, some of them need to be installed or available. This is where your preparation comes in. I also talked about safe rooms and isolation rooms. They need to be planned for. Having “T” posts and a roll of barbed wire would be good. Most people don’t want their home to be a fortress, but many things can be put in place and hidden. Do as much of this that you can afford.
Defending your home in certain instances may be necessary. Make sure your home is true cover. A wooden wall and drywall will not stop a bullet. Brick or stone will do the job. Steel will only stop a bullet if it is a certain thickness or a certain kind of steel. Know this before you use sheets of steel in building or for general protection. If you must defend your home you must have the tools. Plenty of ammunition. What is plenty? Only you can answer that. There are 3 things you can never have too much of: Beauty, Money, or Ammo! But generally speaking, I would say 2 to 3 thousand rounds per rifle, and 1 to 2 thousand rounds per hand gun. What do I have? Well, that’s an OPSEC question I won’t answer here. But I would probably say if you added 1 thousand to each of those amounts, it would not hurt. I am not advocating hoarding, just slowly put together the amount you decide on.
Personal security. To the extreme would be something near a combat load out. A Tactical vest full of magazines. A battle rifle with a red dot sight. A plate carrier with ballistic plates. At least 6 magazines in addition to the one in your rifle. At least 5 in addition to what’s in your pistol. Knee pads. Helmet. Goggles and gloves. If you need this stuff you are in a world of hurt. I don’t want to be in this get-up again, but I have it if the occasion ever arises. Even if I’m not in combat mode in an extremely bad neighborhood I might take a backup gun.
Weapons. I would never advocate doing anything illegal. There are things I learned in the military that would be illegal away from a combat zone and here under rule of law. You should learn some of these things for defense only and only during an extreme event. IED’s (Improvised explosive devices) big or small are illegal. But if I did not have the training I received from the military I would find out how to build these devices and have the materials on hand IF they are legal to possess. Be careful because law enforcement does not like “bomb making material” and with good reason. Also, there are booby-traps out there that may be illegal either to build, possess, or use. Molotov cocktails are also illegal. Remember safety in all that you do. Don’t do stupid things with dangerous things. In 1994, the US Congress passed a law making it illegal to distribute or pass out information about building bombs. However, the law only applies when the information is passed out to help someone commit a federal crime. So, for example, if you post bomb-making instructions on your website along with encouragements for readers to use the bombs, you've likely broken the law. Bombs and explosive devices can be made from things in your home, like household cleaners, drain cleaner, bleach, and soap. They can also be made with things you can find in any neighborhood, like gas, propane, liquid petroleum (the gas for your grill), and fertilizer, just to name a few.
The Viet Cong were very poor yet they came up with some deadly traps. Punji sticks are a good example of ingenuity. They are a piece of bamboo stuck in the ground with the other end cut to a point. These were usually in a cluster and camouflaged. You too can use minimal technology and funds to fortify your home. There are many publications out there that can teach you some of this. Be very careful looking for this information and don’t distribute this information. Know what is legal and what is not. This information can be dangerous if it does not emphasize safety and how dangerous playing with these things are. Like I said, I learned legally from a military Instructor how to do some of this. This is extremely dangerous and should not be taken lightly. When I was a kid I would make my own gun powder and fireworks. Thankfully, I still have my fingers and eyesight.
Trip wires. You can make or buy many trip devices. These will let you know if your perimeter, or any other area, has been approached or probed by the enemy. They can be lines that make noise or make light. These can be found on the internet and are a good idea. Something as simple as food cans clanging together can make you aware of the enemy.
I’ll say it again. Know the law. Do not do illegal things. Do not break the law. Anything I write in this post, or on this website is for informational purposes only.
Use your imagination to make your home, family, and person more safe and fortified. Remember, everything that is discussed in this or other extreme posts are just that. Extreme.
Semp Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ammunition Storage: If you have to ask, buy more!

Ammo storage is something that is controversial. Every person has a different idea of how much ammunition you need. Rudyard Kipling said:
“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.”
So storing ammunition is something I think we all feel we should do, we just don’t agree on how much.
There are a variety of reasons to store ammunition. Rising ammunition costs, having a reserve for our own personal financial challenges, a future ammunition shortage, a future ammunition ban, the end of the world, a new revolutionary war, Mars attacks, war from a foreign country, hunting, competitive shooting, or just shooting. I’m sure there are even more reasons I haven’t mentioned.
We’ve determined that many people feel they need to store ammo for a variety of reasons.
Typical combat load out is 6 30 round magazines and one in the gun. 210 rounds.
(See blog How comfortable is your ammo load-out? (How much ammo do you carry?) 3/21/2014)
If you plan on defending your home or retreat from a squad then maybe you think you need 10,000 rounds. I would disagree and here’s why.
Mike from Shooters Log (http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/survival-ammunition-ammo-shtf/) published on January 5, 2012
“Two hundred and ten rounds of ammunition is actually quite a lot. The chances of you blowing through that much ammunition all at once with a semi-automatic firearm are pretty slim no matter the circumstances. Only high volume of fire events like “break contact” drills or defending against a “human wave” assault (the zombie guys just got all excited) are going to see that much ammunition expended. Your chances of surviving a scenario like those even with plenty of ammo aren’t very good, either. But lets say you kept seven more spare mags in a duffel bag behind the seat of your truck, and you managed to resupply while the Chinese paratroopers regrouped for a second assault on your apartment building. We are getting silly here, but for purposes of argument we’ll say you survived a massive, video-game style firefight in which your trusty carbine expended double the amount of ammunition you can actually carry. That’s a sum total of 420 rounds. Now, if you somehow survived not one but two of these epic firefights, you would have used 840 rounds of ammo. If your SHTF stash had originally consisted of a single 1,000 round case, you’d still have more than enough ammo left over to fill five 30-round magazines.”
My advice would be to have a realistic goal when it comes to ammunition storage. 1,000 to 2,000 per gun. You can make that less if it is a hand gun. I have several guns in one caliber. That would mean 4,000 rounds in one caliber. This is something you can do in time.
That takes us to which guns should you have? There are many schools of thought on this. I will speak only of the preparedness aspect of this.
I believe everyone should have a shot gun. 12 or 20 guage. Hunting, defense.
Some sort of battle rifle. AR, Mini 14/30, AK. Defense.
Long range rifle. Mosin Nagant or Garant. A good 30-06 or 308. Hunting, sniping.
Pistol. 9mm or higher caliber. Defense.
Small game rifle. .22, Ruger 10-22 or equivalent. Hunting.
If you feel you may have to defend something, each person should have a primary battle rifle and a side arm. For semi autos I’d have at least 6-7 magazines for rifles, and 4-5 magazines for pistols.
Like I said, this is a very opinionated and controversial subject. I can’t say that what I think will work for you just as you can’t expect me to agree with you. Can you ever have too much ammunition? Probably not. But if you have 10,000 rounds per gun you’ve spent funds and are using space that could be used for other things. You must decide but make an educated guess. Research this and think about why you are storing ammo in the first place. Once you find your need don’t go overboard. Figure out that amount and maintain it. Keep an inventory and ranger on!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Monday, September 15, 2014

Family Security Plan Part 4: Personal Security

Personal security is something I’ve talked about a lot. For this series I will revisit it once again. It’s a very personal thing that you must decide what is right for you and your family. I take my own and my family’s personal security very seriously. I have taught my children about self defense with and without weapons. I’ve taught them situational awareness. They know one of my rules is never leave home without a knife or gun. Those are the things I have done. You must find your own way.
I don’t have little children anymore but there was a time when I had a lot. My biggest fear was trying to defend myself AND them. That is why I exposed them to “security” at a young age. When my oldest was about 8, he and my wife and 3 other younger kids were in the store in a small town. My second and third oldest was having a problem getting out of a bathroom so my wife was assisting them. I was at work. The oldest was watching my daughter who was about 2. Apparently a woman had taken my daughter and was leading her away by the hand. My oldest was not sure what to do so he followed them and was talking to the woman who was taking my daughter. He was trying to get his sister. I guess we had never covered that scenario and he wasn’t sure how aggressive he could get. Well he finally was able to grad his sister away from the lady and get back to my wife. My wife was a little frantic. She wasn’t gone but a minute and she had two kids missing. A moment later they found each other and when told what happened, my wife talked to a manager and they locked down the store and called the police. Apparently the lady had gone straight out after she let go of my daughter. The police took a report but nothing ever came of it. But my wife and I learned a valuable lesson. You can’t turn your back for a moment. And you need to train your kids that they have permission to fight and make a lot of noise in a situation like that. You don’t need to scare them and make them paranoid, but prepared.
Talk about stranger danger. Use programs out there that are designed to keep kids safe. Then keep an eye on them all the time.
As they get older, it’s your choice to expose them to weapons and self defense. It doesn’t have to be hard core of either. They could learn to shoot with the Boy Scouts or 4H. They could take a karate or taekwondo class. These activities are good for them in many ways. In the 50’s our public schools had shooting ranges in them. Can you imagine that now? They can learn the basics. All kids should learn about gun safety. Even if they don’t shoot. They should not be afraid of a gun, but have a healthy respect and knowledge of them.
Teens can learn anything. We have worked with our kids as teenagers with lethal and non-lethal weapons. They have learned a variety of weapons from shotguns to pepper spray. They have also learned advanced hand-to-hand combat. Only one of my sons went on with it further. But all have learned the basics of this type of self defense.
If you start your children young, it will not be any big deal to them. My kids as adults naturally do some or all of these things. Some lean toward weapons, others try to stay current on self-defense. When we get together this Christmas we’re going to all take a hand-to-hand combat class taught by my home teacher who has taught it for years. We’ll also do some other classes on preparedness together. I’m not sure how my daughters new fiancĂ© will feel about this, but hey, that’s what we do.
Your own personal security is something you and your spouse can do together. Take classes together. If you are inclined get your concealed carry license together. Practice together. My wife is my partner in everything. We back each other up. We take care of one another. We’ve enjoyed spending time together getting better trained. Some say that a husband should not train his wife in firearms, I do not agree with that. We’ve taken outside training, but I have trained her in the basics. You can be an arrogant know-it-all, impatient and prideful, or you can humble yourself, know you don’t know everything, and teach your family what you do know. Your choice.
Once your family has training, practice together too. Make it a family activity. Make it fun and competitive. Have a family “hot shot” award complete with bragging rights.
In the area of weapons I would suggest some redundancy. Here are some you may be interested in:
Gun – Usually a hand gun, but training in long guns and shot guns is very desirable. Mostly lethal.
Knife- Learn from someone who really knows this weapon. Can be lethal.
Stun Gun-This is an up close and personal weapon but it has it’s place. Usually not lethal.
Pepper spray-Learn to use this correctly. There is a right way and a wrong way. Usually not lethal.
Defense wand-This can be lethal if used in the wrong way. Get trained. Can be lethal.
Tactical pen-There are only a few ways to be effective with this. Usually not lethal.
Fighting-Learn this from someone you trust and who really knows. Can be lethal.
Situational awareness usually needs to be taught. Most Americans don’t live in a place where they need to always have their head up. Some may learn it in a “green zone” or in a really bad neighborhood. But most of us have other things on our minds. Being aware of your surroundings is not hard to learn, and can eventually be a usual mindset. It just takes practice and a little discipline.
Operational security (OPSEC) is something most Americans are pretty bad at. From throwing away trash that has personal information on it, to telling the world on Facebook that you are on vacation. OPSEC is what you do, and how you do it. Under rule of law, Americans can just about have no OPSEC and live a good life. But with crime as it is, I would not chance it. Here are some OPSEC reminders:
Trash-Be careful what you throw away. Personal information should be destroyed (shredder, burned). If you don’t really want someone on the street to know you just bought a gun or a big screen TV, dispose of the boxes somewhere else.
Social media and e-mail-These mediums of communication, including phones (cell and hard line), can be intercepted really easy. Don’t say, type, or post something that can be compromising. Be very liberal in what you think is compromising. Check your personal foot print on the internet often and make changes where needed.
Be aware of who is watching you. Most people are in their own world, so someone who pays more attention to you or your family members is probably up to no good. Choose different routes and various times to and from work/school/daily life. Don’t be predictable.
Secrets-Don’t open your mouth to the fact that you just bought, did something concerning your preparation or self sufficiency. Keep these things private. You will know with whom and when to share them. Sometimes with no one, and never.
When you consider a family security plan don’t forget all of the above. You may think of things I did not mention. That is good, it means you’re really thinking this through. The police cannot protect you. They do what they can, but as always, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Take your personal security serious and do something today.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, September 12, 2014

Family Security Plan Part 3: Family Code

Communication during a crisis is extremely important. During a disaster you are most concerned about your loved ones, people, more than things. Survival becomes job 1. We do not have little children anymore. We have married and younger kids. We no longer need a code word so that our kids will know that they can go with someone. If you have small children, devise a word where only your family knows that it is your security word. When someone other than you is sent to pick your child up, the child will only go with them if they know the security word. This a safe way to care for your children.
For our family we have code words to let each other know if there is trouble at home or all is well. We have code words to leave on our front door if we have to bug out telling who, where, and when we left.
I work on a federal installation. We often have exercises and sometimes “real world” crisis that happen. I want to be able to tell my wife what is happening without compromising any security measures. So we have a code that only the two of us know so I can communicate quickly to her what is going on. Even it’s a real world event, I want her to be able to know and act accordingly to protect my family.
We have also devised a code for all communication. It is called a book cipher. It goes like this:
A book cipher is a cipher in which the key is some aspect of a book or other text. Books are common and widely available. Coders use books because the details of the key are hidden from anyone even if they had a copy of the key. This is an example of security by obscurity. It’s essential that both coders not only have the same book, but the same edition.
Traditionally book ciphers work by replacing words in the text of a message with the location of words from the book key being used.
Use common books and make sure they are the same edition. Bibles and other scripture would work. We use a dictionary. You can find duplicate books at dollar stores.
Most of these codes we use occasionally for fun and practice. I use the code for what is happening at work all the time with my wife.
When you develop a family code make it as simple as possible. But remember, the less elaborate the code, the easier it is to break it. The use of keys like the book cipher will ensure a level of difficulty that would require more than just intelligence to crack. The problem with key codes is that if the key is obtained by your enemy, they will have your code.
Be creative when you choose code words or develop a key. Guard your key. Also don’t lose it because you never use it. Put it with your preparedness gear.
Communication security is important if you want to keep operations (what you do) private. A family code is like many other parts of preparation, something you may never need, but it’s good to have it in place.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Concealed Carry: Fear and Combat

When a responsible person first begins to conceal carry, he is usually haunted by two recurring questions, or self-doubts:
1. If I’m really attacked, and my life is at stake, will I be able to handle it?
2. What if I screw up and kill an innocent person?
This is a normal reaction, and to a degree it is healthy. We do, however, need to address these issues and resolve them, before a conflict, so that they will not raise their ugly heads when we should be concentrating on winning the fight. Remember, if an unavoidable fight is thrust upon us, we MUST WIN! The alternative can be death, or crippling injury.
The first issue to face is that of FEAR. Fear is a normal reaction to physical violence for most people. Most of us live in “civilized” surroundings, we may not have ever actually engaged in a true fight before our moment of truth in a criminal attack. This fear of the unknown is, for many, worse than the fear of being hurt or killed.
First, let me say this. Unless you are an exceptional person, a nutcase, or a liar, and you have actually been involved in armed conflict, you have tasted fear. I’m not ashamed to say I have been scared several times, and I fully expect to be scared again before my life is over. What you must learn to do is control your fear, and do what you must to win.
Fear can be controlled and overcome, even in life threatening circumstances. This is obviously true, and it is proven every day by hundreds of ordinary people all over the country. Here are some steps you can take to make this process easier:
1. Admit to yourself you are afraid, then move on. Concentrate your mental energies on the task at hand, not on your fear of death, injury, or loss of ego.
2. Avoid dwelling on the chance of failure. Concentrate on finding a way to win.
3. Take control of yourself. Breath in through your nose, out through your mouth.
4. Focus on getting the job done.
5. Have a Plan B. Always, always, always, expect Plan A to fail. Expect your gun to malfunction. Expect the suspect to stay up after being hit solidly. Expect to be injured. If any of these things occur, have a pre-planned option to continue (Plan B).
6. Turn anger into a motivator. Who does this clown think he is?!? What makes him think he has the right to (rob/rape/kill/ pick one) me?!?
7. Accept an element of fate in every situation. You can get hurt by accident after doing everything right. Control everything you CAN control (selection of equipment, getting adequate training and practice, being alert, thinking tactically) so there are fewer things you CAN NOT control.
Courage under fire is not a matter of being without fear. It is a matter of being able to control fear and accomplish your mission, which is to stay alive. Only fools are fearless.
The other nagging self-doubt concerns over-reacting and shooting someone under unjustifiable circumstances. If you are reading this, that will not happen. Citizens who are responsible enough to obtain carry permits, seek expensive training, make time for practice sessions, etc. are simply too honest, caring, and self disciplined to shoot people without just cause. In my own state, there have been several fatal shootings by permit holders in the past few years. Every single one was judged to be justifiable and lawful by the Attorney General’s office. Not one of these permit holders was charged with any crime nor were they sued for anything. Why? Because every single case was clear-cut, obvious, and morally, legally, and ethically justified. Private citizens have a great reluctance to shoot, even when it is necessary. In fact, for many the problem they will face is the exact opposite of being “trigger happy”. Believe it or not, every day, people who are armed and know how to use their weapons, and who have an opportunity to use their weapons to save their lives, fail to do so and die as a result. This happens to both private citizens and police officers alike.
You ask, “Why on earth would someone who is armed stand there and literally watch a thug kill him?” There are a number of reasons, and they stem from the socialization process that the normal person goes through from birth (but that the criminal does not). These reasons most often include:
1. Moral repugnance to taking a life: You have been taught all of your life that human life is sacred, that to kill is wrong, and that only bad people hurt others.
2. Failure to be mentally prepared: An astonishing number of people who go armed have never given any thought whatsoever to the fact that they may have to shoot someone. To many, the gun is a talisman, and wearing it is thought to ward off evil spirits. In fact, it is a tool, one used for introducing ballistic apertures into the subcutaneous environment of sociopaths who cannot be stopped by other means.
3. Failure to understand the dynamics of armed confrontations: Many people armed with firearms are killed by thugs armed with edged weapons because they fail to take the “lesser” weapon seriously; they don’t understand that deadly force is deadly force, whether applied by gun or knife; and they don’t realize how quickly someone at ten feet can appear at one foot.
4. Inhibition by community pressure and fear of lawsuits: These are trivial matters compared to being killed, raped, or permanently crippled. Get your priorities straight! Unless you are alive, these don’t matter, anyway.
5. Uncertainty about when deadly force is justified: This is a training issue. Be certain that you understand the laws of your state as they apply to self-defense and the use of deadly force. Once you have internalized this information, it is simple and easy to see when the circumstances fit the law. There is nothing subtle about someone actually trying to kill you! It will be obvious to you, to any witnesses, and to the police.
The best way to be fully mentally prepared to actually press that trigger if you have to, is to develop a well thought out and plainly stated set of rules of engagement, long before you are faced with a crisis. This is referred to as a “pre-made decision”, thought out, verbalized, and firmly planted in your mind in advance.

I suggest the rules of engagement set out by fellow trainer Gabriel Suarez, a decorated veteran of several police gunfights and a world-class firearms instructor. Gabe uses the acronym IDOL, which stands for “Immediate Defense of Life”. Make a commitment that you will only fire as a desperate measure to terminate a threat to your own life, or the life of an innocent third party. If you pose an imminent and otherwise unavoidable threat to my life, or that of an associate (wife, partner, etc.) I will act swiftly and decisively to put you down and out. I will reach for my gun for no other reason, period.
Many people think about this incorrectly. They ask themselves, “If he does ----, can I shoot him?” That is a recipe for disaster! Your question should ALWAYS be, “ Do I have to shoot him?” Ask yourself, “If I don’t shoot this man, right here, right now, will I be killed or crippled?” If the answer is Yes, shoot him! If the answer is No, try something else.
As with most things, this is a matter of training. Proper training ingrains the proper responses. Repetition is the mother of all skill. With skill comes confidence. With confidence comes the ability to think under pressure and make sound tactical decisions.
To be of value to you, training must meet the test of the Three R’s. Training must be RELEVANT
Relevant training refers to exercises and skill drills pertinent to the task of self-defense. Bullseye shooting training, for instance, is not particularly relevant.
Realistic training is conducted on humanoid targets, from the holster, with a carry type gun and full powered ammunition, in varied lighting conditions, and under time pressure.
Recent training assures retention of motor skills, which degrade quickly. The skills involved in rapidly firing a full-power weapon with precision are perishable, and are lost completely without frequent practice. I suggest two or three sessions of dry practice at home each week, with at least one range session per month to maintain competency. Practice builds skill, skill builds confidence. Having a well developed skill set, and the confidence that well developed skill engenders, can help you keep your head and stay in control during highly stressful conflicts. “An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he can’t get it wrong.”
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Family Security Plan Part 2: Property Security

Every family should have a security plan. This is the responsibility of the father, but every family member will be involved. It is best said by Connor Boyack in his article The Right and Responsibility of Self-Defense on his website www.connorboyack.com.
“Husbands and fathers have three primary roles in their stewardship: provide, preside, and protect. It seems from my personal observation that they are generally prioritized and proactively worked on in this order. Almost all men recognize the duty to work and provide for their family; most men do a good job at being the patriarch and being the leader of the family; and some take the issue of protection and defense seriously enough to fulfill this duty. In today’s world of outsourcing and delegation, though, it seems that most prefer to appoint the duty of defense to the police department rather than worry about it themselves. Political leftist fearmongering, Hollywood hype, and a general misunderstanding of the history and practical use of weaponry has resulted in a massively successful campaign to create an atmosphere in which very few people know how or are ready to defend themselves.”
Property Security (everything outside of the house)
Everyone has something outside of their home. Even if you live in an apartment you have a car, a motorcycle, or a bicycle. These things should be kept secure and we should be secure when using them.
In the last post we touched on some of the things outside a home. There are several things that should be addressed.
If you store ladders outside your home or outside a building that can be locked, make sure they are locked with a chain or bicycle lock. Especially if you have a two story house. Even if you don’t you don’t want easy access to your back yard or attic.
Lock your gates.
Your back yard is not fort Knox even with locked gates. Lock up grills, bicycles, or even a picnic table depending on where you live.
Put a lock on your attic access if it is outside under a carport or patio.
If you have something in your front yard like a bird bath, consider finding a way to secure that so it doesn’t walk away.
Lawn equipment should be either locked in a shed or chained.
Consider more than just a pad lock on sheds and out buildings. We have several sheds, a chicken coup, and a garden shed.
Lock your vehicles.
If you have outside water or fuel storage, consider how to secure that also.
Make sure your dog cannot get out of your house or fence. One of the best security items you can have is a dog. So take care of you man’s best friend.
Lock your telephone, cable, and electrical breaker boxes if possible.
Consider a alarm in your drive way to let you know when someone approaches your home.
We have a long drive way and acreage to try to secure. The property has a fence around it but fences need to be kept in repair.
Cameras are a good idea. Many of them are reasonably priced. You must decide if you want to hide cameras or put them in plain sight as a deterrent. There are fake cameras if you can’t afford the real deal.
Signage of alarms and cameras can also be a deterrent.

Extreme Security
We have a lockable gate but I’d like to put in another fence with a second gate. In between I want to dig a “moat” or a hole deep enough that a vehicle could not drive through it. It will have a grate over it that can be removed in an emergency.
Where we live it’s not unusual to see deer hunting stands. This is a good observation post. You could maybe use your kid’s tree house.
A generator for emergency power is a good idea. Make sure you have a qualified electrician hook this up to your house. If it’s not done properly, it can pose a hazard to power workers. The generator must be ventilated because of exhaust. Consider the noise from a generator (you can build a “hush house” for it), and the light that can be seen for miles in a totally blacked out situation. Blackout curtains may be something you need or just go to bed when the sun goes down. Also consider a solar generator and other solar products for recharging batteries.
We also have a small yard but the rest we let grow wild. In this brush “tangle foot” can be put in. Wire strung between trees or stakes hidden in the brush. To keep vehicles from running through a fence and getting closer to the house I would put T posts cut to smaller lengths, enough to put holes in tires. Or large rocks that even a 4 wheel drive would have a hard time driving over.
Barbed wire can be used strategically all over to keep people out or to slow them down.
If you live in an area that will grow cactus or other thorny plants, put them near your fence to make someone think twice before climbing your fence.
During rule of law it’s important to follow the law. Place “No Trespassing”, “Private Drive”, “Keep Out”, “Beware of Dog”, and other signs to discourage those from entering. I understand that a real criminal won’t really care about a sign, but a would-be criminal might think twice.
There are many instructions on the internet for trip wires and booby traps. Consider this and learn how to build some of these that would suit your situation. Ensure of the legality of some of these traps but don’t discount it because it is illegal. Learn how to do the trap, but then take it down and just keep the materials. You will need the skill in a without-rule-of-law situation. Explosives are illegal to make but I think it would be good to know how. This is one extreme I’ve thought about but have never pursued. Some of you may have some training in this, I do not beyond a Molotov cocktail.
A cache of essentials and a weapon is not a bad idea. Be creative with how and where you do this. Remember that you don’t want kids to find your hidden gun. Make sure it is safe when you bury or hide it. Take care to take a bearing where you hide this cache. Terrain and what you thought was a land mark can change.
Consider building a fighting position in a strategic location. This would only apply if you live on property and not the suburbs or in a city. If you had the room you might consider putting “junk” in strategic places. Make sure the junk is actually cover and not penetrable by rifle rounds.
As always, this may not be a complete list. Some of this won’t apply to you. Look at your situation and have a family counsel to discuss your individual plan.
Most of what I’ve suggested here can be done and camouflaged or made to look “normal”. You don’t want your home to look like a fortress, like you’ve got something in there worth fighting for. In reality you do, your family. Keep this in mind when you think about your security plan. To what lengths would you go to to protect your family? Does a dead bolt do it? I can tell you I like the idea of building a house in a missile silo. I like the protection it affords. But reality is that most of us can’t live in a castle or a missile silo. Most of us would not want to. So we can find other ways to protect our family and property.
As I’ve said numerous times, training trumps gear. Getting training for you and your family is very, very important. They need survival skills. Lots of these can be taught at Family Home Evening and at Family camping. Take advantage of the Young Women’s program and the Scouting program. They can teach a lot to our kids. This can be fun and rewarding for your family. As always, don’t forget personal security training for you and your family. Weapons training should be part of that. (You knew I’d bring it around to guns again didn’t you?!)
Next post we will go into a Family Code and communications security for your family.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

9-11 And Your Family

This day brings back a lot of memories. I have a lot of kids. Some of them don’t remember a world before 9-11. Our country changed that day. I changed that day. As members of the LDS Church we believe that times will become difficult in these last days. They have become that. Pres. Benson said that it would be like unto before the Book of Mormon appearance of Christ. As you read that in 3 Nephi, it’s hard to imagine problems like the ancient people experienced. But it will come. It’s also hard to not be “doom and gloom” because of that knowledge. Pres. Monson says we have a bright future and I believe him. The scriptures say “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear”. Prepared how? In every way, for every “needful thing”. That puts us into a situation where we should be preparedness minded. Being preparedness minded includes being security minded. In a post 9-11 world it’s even more important to be vigilant in your personal and family security. Do your home work on this. Find out where your weak points are and make the necessary changes. Train yourself and your family. Make a family preparedness plan and carry it out. As part of that plan have a security plan. Once you have done all you can, remain vigilant and continue training and practice on occasion.
Remember those innocents who paid the price of freedom. Then remember those who gave all to keep and maintain freedom. The first responders going up the stairs when everyone else was going down. The brave military members who went and did what they were ordered to in defense of our freedom. Remember all those who gave all for us.
Hug your family and count your blessings. Then close and engage!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Family Security Plan Part 1: Home security

Every family should have a security plan. This is the responsibility of the father, but every family member will be involved. It is best said by Connor Boyack in his article The Right and Responsibility of Self-Defense on his website www.connorboyack.com.
“Husbands and fathers have three primary roles in their stewardship: provide, preside, and protect. It seems from my personal observation that they are generally prioritized and proactively worked on in this order. Almost all men recognize the duty to work and provide for their family; most men do a good job at being the patriarch and being the leader of the family; and some take the issue of protection and defense seriously enough to fulfill this duty. In today’s world of outsourcing and delegation, though, it seems that most prefer to appoint the duty of defense to the police department rather than worry about it themselves. Political leftist fearmongering, Hollywood hype, and a general misunderstanding of the history and practical use of weaponry has resulted in a massively successful campaign to create an atmosphere in which very few people know how or are ready to defend themselves.”
Home Security
Home security consists of several things. One is communication security (COMSEC). This has to do with social networking and communication in general (See blog Personal and Family Security 5/15/2014). Do not broadcast personal information. This can include pictures that are posted. Make sure the backgrounds are clear of any information. Don’t give out personal information like where you work, where your kids go to school, etc. When you answer a phone you really do not know who you are talking to unless you know the person. You trash is also a place where information can be given out. Credit information, bank information, and other sensitive information should be shredded or burned.
Physical security is also a concern. Doors and windows should be kept locked or have limited opening space. Fortify these places with products that will enhance their security. Door deadbolts and door knobs can be fortified. Check out a Lowes or Home Depot or other home store. They have many products to help secure your doors and windows.
Pulling your mail and newspapers and using timers on lights will help secure your house when you are away.
To keep someone from pulling the pins on your door hinges and pulling off your door, put a finishing nail in the spine of the door so it sticks out about an half inch. Next drill a hole in your door frame so that the nail will go into the frame when the door is closed. Even with the hinges pins off, the door cannot be pulled out of the frame.
Sliding doors and windows can be prevented from sliding with the appropriate sized piece of wood in the channel.
Lighting inside and out makes a big difference.
Thorny scrubs under windows prevents a burglar from getting to your windows. Cutting back trees and shrubs so that someone cannot hide behind them is a good idea.
If you have an alarm always arm it, even when you’re home.
Keep your doors locked even when you’re home.
Install and use peep holes in doors.
Have important phone numbers near each phone or always in the same place.
Have safety items such as smoke and CO alarms, emergency lighting, window ladders for upstairs, and fire extinguishers.
Depending on your situation, have weapons close at hand but secure. There are many hiding places and safes on the market.
Have your family practice fire and other drills so they are familiar with what to do in an actual emergency. Talk to your younger kids about how to call 911 and what to say.
Have a contact list of someone close, and further away for your family to contact in case of disaster and you have to leave home. We have someone in town, someone in another town, and someone out of state to contact.
Have code words so that if you send someone else after your kids, your kids will know it is safe to go with them. We have also developed our own family code if we needed to communicate and didn’t want anyone intercepting the messages to understand them.
Have escape routes out of your area. We have 4. Each is coded so that only our family will know which one was taken.
Have a meeting place outside your home and away from home to meet in case of emergency or fire.
Prepare bug out bags (72 hour kits) for each member of your family.
Have a storage of food, water, clothing, and where possible fuel for emergencies or other time of need.
Have first aid and medical supplies stored for emergencies.
If I’m going to be away a while (more than a night), I lock up my external hard drives in a gun safe.
There is also a way of hiding a thumb drive in your wall as a phone jack. Here is the instructions:
Take self defense courses and practice what you learn as a family.
Have an alternate way to heat or cook in your home. Practice to know how to use these items.
Have an alternate electricity source that can run the basics in your home.
Plan A Safe Room
Pick a room that can be secured away from other rooms. It should have a phone in it and if you choose, a weapon. You can fortify this door also. An exterior door or a window would be good too for fast egress. If this is a interior room it may also be the retreat during a storm or tornado. If you use it for a storm shelter too have water, flashlight, radio, snack food, and first aid kit in the room.
Designate an isolation room in your house. This is a room, preferably close to a bathroom, that you can isolate someone who is seriously ill in case of pandemic. Have supplies in this room also. It should have a window for ventilation and a way of sealing it off with heavy plastic. You should have personal protection equipment so that the isolated can be cared for.
A hidden room or space that can fit a few people would be good too. Family members can hide in case of home invasion or other need.
These are just some suggestions for home security. You may have others. Some of these suggestions are for extreme situations. You may use all of them or just some that suit you. If you live in an apartment or town house some of these things won’t apply. These ideas should get you started. Come up with a plan and then present it to your family. See if they have other ideas or suggestions. Then put the plan on paper and review it often.
Next we’ll cover out of the house, property security.
Semp Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Family Security (Post 100!)

On a personal note, this is my 100th post. I’ve appreciated your interest and your participation in this little project. This blog gives me an outlet for a few things I enjoy, writing and guns. Thank you for our first 8 months! Burn

I read a lot about preparedness. Almost as much as I read about guns! Preparedness has been something that I’ve grown up with. I had food storage under my bed as a kid. We had a garden every year. I was exposed to weapons at an early age. There were other things that made me who I am today. Some say I’m paranoid. There’s a well known saying in security, “It's not paranoia if it keeps you alive!” So having been exposed to preparation ( I was a prepper before prepping was cool!) and having a background in weapons I naturally think that security should be part of your preparedness plan. In fact, I feel so strongly about this I would venture to say that if you neglected to include security in your plan that you may as well not plan at all. After seeing what others teach and what is out there on the internet, I would say there are very few addressing security. I myself taught a series of classes in my ward on 72 hour kits. My last class was going to be on security. I was asked to not give this fireside after I told what would be included. I was told it would upset too many people. I protested and said if I didn’t include this class then the rest was really for nothing. It was insisted so I moved to other subjects.

If you’ve read much of what I’ve written on here you would know that I prioritize security pretty high. If you neglect security, you may lose everything else you have prepared. I don’t advocate killing anyone who asks for help, just to be careful about how you deal with those you do not know. There are many predators out there. Some who were not a predator during rule of law, become something they would not otherwise become. Especially those who have a family and are not prepared at all. These are things no one wants to think about, leave alone be faced with. If you go to any lengths to protect your family during rule of law, then you should be able to go to any length to protect them during a real crisis.

I think it’s high time we stop being politically correct and discuss the realities of security during a crisis. I’m not talking about killing someone who is hungry and wants your food, but I am talking about protecting my family if someone gets out of hand with their need.
You should at least talk about this with your spouse and possibly your kids. I want my kids to be kind, and service minded. I want them to help their fellowman. But I also want them to be safe and to not be taken advantage of. They have been exposed to weapons and self defense training. What we all need to learn is how to determine to turn someone away or if they are not what they seem. During without rule of law, every man I will suspect. Some women I will suspect. Children I will regard with caution. Have you ever heard of “probing the target?” This is where an enemy will test the security, strength, and resolve of their target. In doing this, they mean to find out what measures and procedures are used to check someone trying to get into a stronghold. This means that you must hold back. If someone comes to your gate or door, you show very little in determining the business that person has being near your perimeter. If the attacker is trained in tactics, this probe might get stronger each time it is employed. Do not show your hand in this though you may be tempted. The Viet Kong used to rattle the wire and make a lot of noise. Also, you must be wary of an attempt to attack from another direction when attention is turned to the front.
Why would you prepare so much in the area of preparedness and then skip defense? It makes no sense.
Part of your family preparedness security plan should include an extreme situation plan. I don’t know if we’ll ever need fighting positions on our property but I want them to be there if needed.
I’ve said it before and I am sure I’ll say it again, every family should have a security plan. (FAMSEC) If you do not, prayerfully consider it.
You might include:

Home security
A “safe room”
Property security (everything but the home)
Family code
Personal defense
Extreme measure security
Portable security (bug out)

I will go through what I think each of these should be at a minimum in another post.

The safety and security of your family should be a top priority. I would say to follow my training acronym ASWiFFS. Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Fire, Security in ensuring your family is prepared. The first five a fairly easy to be working on but do not neglect the sixth. It is more important than gold and silver. Remember, this isn’t about whether you will or won’t share your stores with others—although sharing should always be YOUR choice, not mandated by the threat of violence from another, this is about you protecting your life, your virtue, and your safety in the midst of chaos that will inevitably ensue after a economic collapse, major disaster, or an attack on our citizenry. This is the extreme security I mention above.
I guess I’ve danced around it long enough. I’m not trying to be PC really, I just don’t always think being blunt is the best course of action. In this case, I take exception and I hope I don’t step on anyone’s toes. I will try not to rant.
I believe there are lots of sheep in the church. Don’t take that in a bad way. Sheep are good, productive citizens. As a sheepdog, I love the sheep and would never do them harm. The problem with the sheep is they live in denial. It only takes a peek at crime statistics to know that we live in dangerous times. To stay safe, we must be security minded. To keep our family safe, we must be security minded. I’m not talking about extremes, even though some think what I advocate ARE extremes! I do not think being careful and prepared are extremes.
We just went on a trip out of town. I have what I call a “vacation security checklist”. It’s just a list that I’ve made and changed throughout the years to remind myself to do certain things before we leave. Locking up ladders, putting timers on lights, these sort of things. When we travel I carry a gun, but for redundancy’s sake, I carry a tac pen, a knife, and a stun gun. The pen and knife I always carry. They are part of my every day carry. Usually my gun is also with me. I took the stun gun just for choices. I don’t always want a lethal solution. Some would say this is extreme. I’ve only used a weapon once to defend myself. I did not have to press the trigger thankfully. I’ve never used the other weapons and hope to never have to use any weapon ever again. But rather than be a sheep, I would believe that bad things happen to good people, and prepare for the worst. I am not saying you have to be me. On the contrary, I want you to look at your unique situation and individual personalities in your family and come up with a plan. Most people, LDS members or not, have no plan.
In the next series of posts I will outline ideas for you and your family to pull from to develop your own individual family security plan.
Stay tuned

Semper Paratus

Happy Birthday Master Jerry Miculek

Happy Birthday Jerry Miculek! (September 7th) You don’t know who he is? Well Jerry Miculek is a speed shooter and competitor/instructor. He is best known for being the fastest revolver shooter in the world, emptying a five shot revolver in 0.57 seconds in a group the size of a playing card. He holds 5 records in exhibition revolver shooting. He has won many shooting competitions including seven time winner of the USPSA 3 gun National Championship, 20 time International Revolver Champion, and the only person to win the American Handgunner World Shoot-off championship with a revolver. All in all he has been a Champion in 11 championships for a total of over 50 titles.
Considered one of the greatest shooters to ever live, Jerry is best known for his world records in shooting, fame on his YouTube channel (miculekdotcom), television appearances, and his wins in numerous national and world titles in competitive shooting.
Born in Freeport, Texas, Jerry was a Texan for three days before moving with his family to south Louisiana where he lived for the next thirty-seven years. Remnants of his Cajun accent can still be heard even though he has lived in northern Louisiana since 1990.
Although the third born of five boys, Jerry was born on his father’s birthday. Thus he is his daddy’s namesake, Jerry Charles Miculek, Jr.
Jerry worked as a millwright at Freeport Chemical for fifteen years before becoming a professional shooter in 1989. (A millwright is a craftsman or tradesman who constructs and maintains machinery.)
Growing up, Jerry showed little interest in “traditional” sports. Shooting and hunting were his passions from an early age. His willing cohort in these activities was younger brother Donnie.
At age thirty-seven, Jerry met future wife, Kay Clark Miculek. The daughter of world famous gunsmith, Jim Clark, Sr., and a competitive shooter since age six, Jerry had found his soul mate.
At age thirty-nine, Jerry received a crash course in childbirth, when the mid-wife scheduled for a planned home birth arrived five minutes too late. Lena Rosalie Miculek weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
Jerry is a complete handyman………. gunsmith, mechanic, certified welder, pipe fitter, machinist and trigger jockey. Revolvers to rifles, lawn mowers to bulldozers, toilets to turbines, he can fix it all.
Jerry estimates that in his lifetime he has shot 1.5 million rounds of ammunition, which equals approximately 20 tons of lead.
I like to learn from the Master’s, and Jerry is a Master.
Happy Birthday Jerry!
Semper Paratus

Monday, September 8, 2014

Being Gear Reliant

We were gone over the weekend. We took a long weekend to visit some dear, old friends. It was relaxing but I still had an opportunity to surf the web a little. I watched a conversation on a gun forum that got me to thinking. Someone new to shooting asked some basic questions and got what I call, a gear answer. Then started a string of new gear answers. By the time the thread ended, the poor new shooter was not sure whether to buy some gear or take a course. We all know that training always trumps gear.
I’ve seen the same post a million times. Don’t get me wrong, I love gear. Especially good gear. And there is a lot out there. The problem is, there is a reliance on this gear that I believe is not very healthy. Again, don’t think that I am old and anti-technology. I have no problems with technology, I just believe there should be a backup in place.
Many years ago I did my profession on paper. I could still do it on paper but we have converted to computer based work. The only problem I find with this if the computers or electricity is out, we can’t work. The younger guys I work with don’t even know how to do our work on paper. I like doing my work on computer. It’s better in so many ways, until the electricity goes out.
That’s sometimes what I see in the preparedness/shooting world. A reliance on technology until the battery runs down. Learn alternative ways of doing what you do. If you shoot exclusively with a red dot that’s great. But know how, and have on your weapon, iron sights.
Learn long lost skills. They are invaluable. Be self reliant and not gear reliant.
Skills are hard to come by. You must seek out good training then take the training. Then practice what you’ve learned. This is not fancy and exciting like gear can be. Good gear is important. But without skill gear can be useless.
The best accessory is knowledge and experience. To gain experience knowledge must be obtained and used and practiced.
The next time you see a fancy gadget that is supposed to help you shoot better, think about updating your knowledge. Maybe that new gadget will mean more with some knowledge behind it.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nine Eleven: Situational Awareness

As we approach Patriot Day, 9-11, I remember what I was doing on that fateful day. I was at work on an Air Force base. That’s where I worked in 2001. That was also the only time in the United States that I have been in Force Protection (FP) Delta. FP Delta is the highest alert we can be in in the United States. Attack is imminent. And so it was. I’ve never seen a base get their aircraft out of the sky so fast. It was a interesting day.
We got caught with our pants down that day. I vowed to never let my situational awareness down like our wonderful country did that day. Everything changed on that day.
How is your situational awareness? Are there times and places you are oblivious to everything around you? Is there a time when you are defenseless? It’s times like this that I reevaluate my own family and life. Ever since I took a course from then Orange Gunsite founder Jeff Cooper I have tried to stay in Yellow.
White: Unaware and unprepared
Yellow: Relaxed alert
Orange: Specific alert
Red: Fight
This color code helps you to think in a fight.
How often have you been at a stop light and watched the cars around you. Someone is fighting with kids. Several have their nose in a phone (at least they aren’t moving). The same goes for other places we deem “safe”. Ever hear of a “green” zone in a combat zone? The green zone is supposed to be a secure area. Unfortunately no one ever told the enemy. The green zone is definitely more secure than the red zone. But if you lose your situational awareness in the green zone you could go home in a body bag.
Stay in Yellow. Don’t get a false sense of security because of the wonderful freedom and the rule of law that we enjoy in this country.
Situational awareness is not a skill, it’s a mindset. Being aware of your surroundings. Anyone can be aware.
I know I go over this a lot. My family is probably tired of me. But I fear that not enough of us out there are sheepdogs. I’d like to convert some sheep to sheepdogs if I could.
This Patriot Day stay away from large crowds. Ball games, concerts, malls. Stay at home with your family and remember that difficult day.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Training: Dry Fire

I “grew up” in the military. I say grew up because I was in the military shortly after my mission and being married about a year. I now work on a federal installation and am still subject to the infinite wisdom of the military industrial complex. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the military. It was in the military that they let me shoot automatic weapons and be around guns all the time. In all that time I have worked with many checklists. There is a checklist for everything! I still use checklists in my personal life. They often make life easier.
In shooting circles there is something called dry fire. I’ve mentioned it here and there. This is training that is done usually away from the range. Because of that, it can be done more often. In gun training we talk a lot about “muscle memory”. Muscle memory is simply consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition. When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort. Muscle memory is the reason for dry firing your weapon each day.
I have been an instructor long enough to hear a lot of excuses for not practicing. “Who has time?” is one I’ve heard (and actually said), more than once. Think of it as you would exercise. Some of us do not like to exercise but as we get older, it becomes more important. Training with your gun is just as important as exercise. I like the way exercise makes me feel when I am done. Revitalized. Energetic. That happens to be how I feel after shooting… most of the time. I love going to the range. I am there more than the range master! I often sing “Home on the range” to my wife. I love to shoot! Now that my kids are older, and I have a little more money around, I can shoot more often. Do I love dry firing? NO! But like exercise, it must be done. I also like the way it makes me shoot. If you need to correct a shooting problem, dry fire is the answer. Dry firing is slow and methodical. It’s less stress than the bang (how I love the bang!) and allows you to see what you are doing right and wrong. It is also cheaper than the range. You don’t need to pick up your brass from those snap caps. So here I submit a dry fire checklist.
Remember the 4 gun safety rules:
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover (point at) anything you’re not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Always be sure of your target and beyond it.

Step 1: Remove all ammunition from your gun.
Remove the magazine from your gun. Next, rack the slide to remove the cartridge from the chamber. Rack it again about 3 times. Look in the magazine well and chamber to verify that your gun is truly empty. Stick your pinky finger in there to ensure no round.
Step 2: Move the ammunition away from your practice area.
Take ALL ammunition out of the room. I do mean all! I take all my ammunition out of the room and any magazines except the one I am going to use. Then do Step 1 again. Getting distracted can have disastrous results.
Step 3: Choose a safe target and backstop.
We’re obeying Rule 1 and treating our gun as if it’s loaded, so we need to aim at a safe target and backstop during dry fire practice. You would be surprised what a round can penetrate. Make sure of this. A negligent discharge needs to be contained.
Step 4: Look at the front sight.
Focus on the front sight. Take your time make sure it is clear. The target and front sight will be slightly out of focus. If you are older and have bifocals, make sure lifting your head to focus does not make you lean back.
Step 5: Press the trigger slowly.
Press the trigger as smoothly as you can. Pay particular attention to the gun as you press. Don’t let it move. Press don’t pull. Normally if you pull the trigger the front sight will drop taking it off the target, shooting into the ground or low.
Try pointing at something, focusing on the end of your finger. Hold it for 30 seconds. You will probably see a wobble. Usually there is a little and that is pretty normal.
As you practice this it will come as a natural thing. Ensure you press with the same place on your finger. I like the tip pad of the finger, some like the joint. I’ve always felt the joint gives less control. But many are successful with it.
Step 6: Follow through.
As the gun dry fires, keep watching the sights until the action is complete. After the gun “clicks”, you’ll want to see the exact same sight picture as before the shot. That’s where your shot would have hit had you been firing a live cartridge. Follow through means you keep your finger on the trigger and let the trigger reset.
Step 7: Reset if necessary depending on your gun type.
Step 8: Make a point of being done.
I put the gun down and sit down for a second. Then I go into the other room to reload and put the gun away immediately. Some have dry firing accidents when they reload their gun, get distracted, resume dry firing only to experience a loud bang.

That is all I do. 5 sets of 10. After you do this for a week, make sure they are perfect shots every time or they do not count for you 10. Do this all slowly at first to get it just right. Do your shot the exactly the same. You will speed up automatically. If you follow this, you will be shooting better in 1 month.
Also remember not every gun manufacturer thinks dry fire is good for their weapon. Look in your manual to see if dry fire won’t hurt your gun. Most guns are fine to dry fire.
Semper Paratus
Check 6