Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Birthday Oliver Winchester!

Winchester invented the Henry Rifle.
Oliver Fischer Winchester was born to an impoverished family in Boston MA on November 30, 1810. His father died a year after Oliver was born and his mother struggled to provide for her family. Winchester started working at the young age of seven, doing farm work to help his small family. In his early 20s, after apprenticing, he became a master carpenter.
In 1848, Winchester moved to New Haven, CT and opened the first shirt factory in the United States. The factory made Winchester a very rich man, enabling him to invest in other companies. In 1855, Winchester, along with several other stockholders, purchased the failing Volcanic Repeating Arms division of
. The division was developing the unsuccessful “rocket ball ammunition” and corresponding lever-action repeating Volcano Rifle. When Winchester took over, he retained the rights to the rifle and the ammunition.
Oliver Winchester believed the repeating rifle would be more successful than Smith & Wesson’s revolvers, but knew the Volcano would need improvement. Winchester hired gunsmith Benjamin Tyler Henry to work on improving the repeating rifle and develop a new cartridge—the .44 caliber. Production on the rifle started two years later. By 1865, the company became Henry Repeating Arms. It was not until a year later the name
Winchester Repeating Arms Company would be its final brand.
The Henry repeating rifle is one of the most important firearm developments in history as it was the first successful magazine-fed, breech-loading gun. Winchester strongly believed in his company’s repeating lever-action rifle and attempted to sell it to the United States military. He said about the rifle, “Probably it will modify the art of war; possibly it may revolutionize the whole science of war.” However, the Henry rifle did not pass the military’s stringent tests, and the U.S. passed on accepting it. Despite this, Civil War soldiers saw the value in the rifle that could shoot 28 rounds per minute, and many purchased the rifle with their own money. Confederate soldiers called the Henry “that damned Yankee rifle that they load on Sunday and shoot all week.”
After the war, Winchester hired Nelson King to make improvements and modifications again to the repeating rifle. This developed into the Winchester Model 1866—one of the most famous firearms in history. King was able to move the loading gate on the Henry to the side its receiver, enclosing the magazine and adding a wood forearm. It was the first rifle to bear the Winchester Repeating Arms name. Though the U.S. military did not adopt the rifle, introduction of the Model 1866 came at the right time when settlers were moving west. This is how the Winchester Model 1866 got the reputation as the “gun that won the west.”

Oliver F. Winchester built his empire from virtually nothing. His eye for innovation, research, new manufacturing processes and marketing ideas, made his company, family, and business incredibly successful. From one wise man’s vision and opportunity from a failing firearms company, Winchester built one of the greatest and best-known firearms companies in the world. With over one million guns produced, Winchester Repeating Arms has been building quality firearms and ammunition for over 150 years.
We remember Oliver Winchester and his contribution to the gun industry and a never ending legacy.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

We Gotta Get Outa This Place: City Evac

I’m really into all kinds of music and this particular song comes to mind when I think of living in a city. This song was a hit for Eric Burdon and The Animals in 1965 and was a big Viet Nam war favorite.

In this dirty old part of the city
Where the sun refused to shine
People tell me there ain't no use in tryin'

Now my girl you're so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
You'll be dead before your time is due, I know

Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin'
Watched his hair been turnin' grey
He's been workin' and slavin' his life away
Oh yes I know it

(Yeah!) He's been workin' so hard
(Yeah!) I've been workin' too, baby
(Yeah!) Every night and day
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
'cause girl, there's a better life for me and you


This is my plea to you, get out of the city. You gotta get outa that place, if it’s the last thing you ever do.

Out of the city? That is a strange request. Yes it is. Let me explain why. I grew up in a city. I lived in the suburbs, but it was a city.
I’ve said many times that I am a prepper. To be honest, I was preparing before “preppers” even existed! I think we were called “nuts” or “extremists” back then. Anyway, in my experience I would not want to be near a city in any kind of preparedness scenario you can think of. Being in a city only makes whatever preparedness scenario worse. There are maybe a few exceptions to this. More people can mean more like-minded people to ban together. You may have better access to training and resources. But all these things are pre-preparedness scenario. During a prep-scenario all those people can make things pretty bad.
Cities are harder to evacuate. There is more crime and more criminals. If you do not have an evacuation plan from a city, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. Even with a plan, cities give you different challenges than a smaller town.
I’m not meaning to make this an anti-city rant, I just want you who are there to understand your challenges.
In reading an article written by a sociology professor who studies natural disasters and human reactions to them I learned something.
“Something happened in New Orleans the week of Aug. 29, 2005, that Dennis Mileti had never seen before in his more than three decades of studying natural disasters and human reactions to them: People were left behind during a mass evacuation.”

He had considered it a waste of time to plan for mass transportation to help evacuate a city. His understanding of human nature led him to count on the idea that neighbors would not leave neighbors behind. That’s what happened in evacuations prior to Katrina.

The breakdown in society has made people uncaring and selfish. There are a lot of good people out there but many are only looking out for themselves. You should not depend on the kindness of others to get you out of a city.

Sometimes you receive an evacuation suggestion (voluntary) or order.
There’s one major problem, however: human nature. Social scientists know that every evacuation involves a period of hesitancy when people mill about. For example, say the fire alarm goes off at work. Chances are people will gather to discuss what they should do, sometimes shouting over the din of evacuation alarms. Large groups tend to mill longer than small groups.

Studies of the World Trade Center evacuation showed that people in large work groups took longer to evacuate than people in smaller work groups.

Knowing when to leave is very important. That is where information and the Spirit is something that you should have in making this decision. Remember, if you are wrong and evacuate, coming back to a job, school, and anything else in your life is not that difficult after only a few days. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Be wise in your choice to leave, but the longer you wait, the more difficult it can become. As far as natural disasters are concerned scientists are debating whether global warming is to blame for the seemingly more intense and frequent storms, or if this is part of a more predictable cycle of heightened hurricane activity. Science will not find the answers because science is man’s limited knowledge. As you learn more about the signs of the second coming, you will know why nature seems to be more violent. I guess there probably is a scientific reason, but knowing that reason won’t stop the weather.

I’ve included a very basic evacuation plan for you to start your own.

Preparing an Emergency Evacuation Plan
An emergency evacuation plan has two parts: evacuation from your house, and evacuation from your neighborhood. An evacuation plan for your home is useful not only for disasters, but also for fires or other incidents in your home.
Important points to remember when creating an evacuation plan for your home are:
 You should have at least two (2) escape routes from each room.
 You should mark the locations of any escape ladders, or other special equipment.
 You should mark the locations of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, first aid kits, disaster 72 hour kit.
 You should mark the locations of the shutoffs for gas, water, and electricity.
 For people with medical conditions or disabilities, mark their location as well as the location of any special equipment they will immediately need.
Emergency Evacuation Inventory
If you have to evacuate your house, you may have as little as 10 minutes. Under these circumstances, trying to think of what to save is very difficult. Take some time now to think about what items you would try to take with you. Write down a list of the high priority items you would take if you only had 10 minutes to evacuate your house. Remember, you may have to carry everything.
Evacuation Steps
If you have time during an evacuation, you may want to take steps to secure your house. Give some thought to what things you need to do to secure your house. Write down your plans and keep the paper in a safe and accessible location.
Household Emergency Evacuation Plan
 Draw your building’s floorplan, then draw your evacuation routes and a meeting place.
 Make one drawing for each story of the building. Keep in a safe place and review often with your family.
 Have maps ready for the following:
 Closest evacuation centers.
 Main and Alternative routes for leaving the city in North, South, East and West directions.
 Meetup spots outside the affected areas. For example: I live approximately 50 miles east of a nuclear power plant. Should there be an accident or an attack and the wind is blowing in an Easterly direction, our plan is to head north and meet up in a town approximately 60 miles north of my home.
Choosing An Out-of-Area Contact:
During an emergency local phone service may be limited, so you should arrange with someone outside your area to be your family contact.
Your contact person should have voice mail or an answering machine.
Ensure that every family member knows that they should listen to the radio or TV for telephone use instructions, then phone your out-of-area contact person to say how and where they are and what their plans are.
Keep calls short, and if possible, arrange to call the contact person back at a specified time for another check-in.
Choosing A Place to Meet:
At the time of an emergency, your family may not be together. It is important to choose family meeting places.
Remember that bridges may be out and roads may be blocked by debris, so choose your meeting places carefully with access in mind.
Pick places that are easy to identify, that can be reached on foot if necessary, and that are in an accessible, open area.
Take into account where each of you will likely be at different times and on different days.
The emergency evacuation plan for your neighborhood can be handy in a large disaster. By plotting out potential routes on a city map before the disaster, you will save yourself from having to figure something out while in a hurry.
Things to think about when crafting your neighborhood evacuation plan include:
You should plan two (2) routes for each direction. (North, South, East, West.)
You should avoid routes with obvious hazards, or routes which are likely to be impassible in a disaster. (You probably will want to drive the routes before deciding.) And avoid common routes that may be congested during an emergency.
Establish plans with other family members for meeting up outside of the evacuated area. Make sure each member knows the location of the established meeting points.
You should have a phone list of 3 contacts, outside of your area. Each family member should carry a personal copy of this list. In an emergency, communications may be down in your area. Family members can contact the persons out of the emergency area to pass along messages and to check on the welfare of other family members.
Be sure that each family member has a copy of the evacuation plan, maps and telephone numbers.
You should also allow for an evacuation scenario, while at work.
Keep your emergency evacuation plans in a safe location with your 72 hour kit.
In the military we practiced bugging out and relocating all the time. On the federal installation I work on we still practice that.
I can tell you from experience that bugging out is a stressful time. Make it easier by planning and preparing every needful thing.
I realize that most of us can’t just move because we want to. Living in a city is sometimes necessary or even preferable. That’s OK but know of the challenges living in a city brings when it comes to unrest and disasters. Plan accordingly.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Monday, November 28, 2016

Family Security Plans

It’s family night, a Monday night tradition that you and your family have carried out for as long as you can remember. It’s a night for spending quality time together and having fun, playing board games and hide-and-seek in the dark. But this Monday evening, just as you’re making your way around the Monopoly board, you hear a loud crash from the other room, footsteps, and then mumbled voices. Realizing criminals have just broken into your home, adrenaline rushes through your body. As you look around at your spouse and kids, their eyes wide with fear, your mind fills with questions on what to do and how to get them to safety.

We all know our families are the most precious asset in our lives. When faced with danger, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to protect them. However, sometimes life can throw you an unexpected curve ball that you have no idea how to deal with until all is said and done. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. When it comes to dangerous situations such as a home invasion, carjacking, robbery, or attempted abduction, having a family security plan in place can help save the lives of your family members, as well as your own.

Planning Ahead

Your home is the one place you have some control over when it comes to security and protection. However, when a family member leaves the home, they leave that security and protection behind. This is why having a family security plan for a variety of dangerous situations is crucial—it can be the one and only thing they have to save their lives.

When devising a family security plan, it’s always important to spend time thinking about the potentioal threats each of your family members encounters on a routine basis. Doing so will help you to devise a plan around each situation that will help keep them safe should they ever find themselves in the midst of those situations.

One of the best ways to create your family security plan is to have a family council so you can discuss and explore a variety of "what if" scenarios based on the real-life danger that criminals bring upon innocent people each and every day. For example:

What if someone invades your home when you and your family are inside? What should each member of the family do?
What if your spouse arrived home after picking the kids up from daycare and found the house ransacked? What action should they take?
What if your teenager goes shopping at the mall with some friends? What security precautions can he or she practice to ensure their safety?
If your child walks home from school, what if someone were to pull up in a vehicle and demand your child to get in? What should your child do?

Most people do not have a family security plan in place. Even worse, some families have never even taken the time to discuss potential "what if" scenarios with their loved ones. This is because most people don’t like to think about such scary situations. Instead, they convince themselves that horrible crimes such as home invasion, rape and murder happen to other people, not them. But nothing could be further from the truth. I can tell you firsthand that criminals don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, poor, wealthy, male, or female, the risk of becoming a victim of a horrible crime is the same to you and your loved ones as it is to everyone else.

This is why having a thorough family security plan in place is so vitally important. Without one, you and your family will be left completely unprepared in the event such a horrible crime should occur. As a result, everyone will be left to their natural "fight or flight" instincts, which could be the wrong response.

No one wants to think the idea of being in such a situation themselves, let alone their spouse or child. But taking time out of your busy life to think about these tragic scenarios and devising a family security plan around them can literally safe your life and the lives of your family.

Implementing a family security plan can drastically improve your chances of surviving the ordeal. To increase the likelihood of survival, be sure to take the following into consideration when devising your plan:

Include emergency phone numbers in your plan.
Ensure the plan accounts for each crime scenario that every member of your family could potentially face.
Put your plan in writing and thoroughly review and discuss it with your entire family to ensure they understand the plan.
Rehearse the various plans put in place by enacting mock crimes with each family member. Continue to practice your responses.
When it comes to home crimes, include an escape plan and/or route for each member of your family. Also be sure to provide a copy of your plan to trusted friends or neighbors, making sure to review the plan with them so that they know the vital role they play if such a crime were to occur.

As a final note, although you may have little control over the safety and security of public environments, this is not the case when it comes to your home. Just as having a family security plan in place is important, so is ensuring that your home is equipped with multiple layers of security. By having these layers of security measures in place, you can deter and even prevent criminals from entering your home in the first place.

An alarm system is a good idea but can give a false sense of security. We live at least 15 minutes from the nearest town so unless a Sherriff happens to be near, we’re looking at someone to clean up and take a report by relying on law enforcement. I love the police! But when seconds count, they are minutes away.

Fortify your home as best you can. Learn self-defense. Get trained. Hand to hand combat is fine, but a gun can reach out and touch someone. Figure out what is best for you and your family. Formulate a plan, practice it and learn it. Keep looking for new ways to protect you and your loved ones.

Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Untraceable, Anonymous Communication

Is there such thing as cell phone that is secure? Untraceable?
I tried to determine this and this is what I found.
Any phone that is on and in use is traceable. It can be triangulated and its location found. I think everyone knows that. Being secure, as in “We have this conversation, we don’t know who they are or where they’ve gone.” This is obtainable even though some will say otherwise.
Prepaid cell phones have no connection to the user except by the information asked by a store clerk. If you pay cash, wear a disguise, give fake information that Walmart doesn’t really care about, leave alone put in a database, then, you probably can get a phone without exposing who you are or any other private information.
Most prepaid cell service providers are what’s known as mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. (Traditional carriers like Verizon also offer prepaid plans of their own.) That essentially means they buy space in bulk on existing wireless networks and resell it to consumers at a low price. If your burner operates on Verizon’s network, Verizon is probably turning that data over to the NSA. But, that data may not be connected to a person.
I thought to myself, “How easy is it for a criminal to gain access to a untraceable cell phone?
What if they paid in cash? Would there really be no record of who made the purchase?”
All these thoughts started running through my head and causing tons of ”what if” scenarios to play out.
With all the bad things that happen on a daily basis in our country, I was confident that prepaid cell phones weren’t something that could be used for the wrong reasons.
Surely there would be some kind of identification check, right? That depends on the phone, the store where you are buying the phone, and what kind of phone it is. But generally the answer to the above question is “No!”
I bought a phone at a Radio Shack in a small town. I bought it with cash, and did not purchase any minutes with it. I bought those somewhere else. I also noticed that that particular Radio Shack had no obvious security cameras. I found this a little odd for and electronics store but the clerk told me they were transitioning to a new system. So I robbed him. I’m just kidding or course. But it was strange that he would even have told me that. Small towns…
The problem with all this is buying a phone for an emergency. Like an eminent disaster.
With the particular prepaid phone I purchased, I had to buy my minutes separate from the phone, and those minutes were only good for 30 days once activated.
The phone also had to be activated from another phone (land-line or cell phone) or their Web site, before it was able to accept the minutes and allow calls to be placed.
Calling the activation number put me in touch with an operator working in a call center in India.
After I read the IMEI number from the phone I’d purchased and let the operator know my name and address, a phone number and area code was created based on the address I provided.
Essentially that was it, no other personal information was required, and I now had a working phone and 30 days to use my minutes.
If the phone account is not refilled within 30 days after the service end date, the phone number will be lost and a new one will be generated when the phone is reactivated.
I realized that to use my new prepaid phone for emergency purposes, I’d need to purchase an optional minute plan where the minutes never expired.
Having a card ready to load in an emergency wouldn’t be a good option, because I’d have to wait through the process of activating the minutes and potentially having my phone number changed.
How hard is it for the government to trace your call? Easier than you think.
In 2006 the DEA arrested a man named Melvin Skinner, who was caught transporting 1,100 pounds of marijuana across the Southwest. The government was able to catch up with Skinner by tracking the signals being emitted by his two prepaid cellphones and subsequently triangulating his location. They had previously traced the burners back to Skinner. Skinner appealed his conviction on the grounds that the tracking of his cellphone signal constituted a breach of privacy. In 2012, however, a federal appeals court ruled that people using prepaid cellphones had no “reasonable expectation” of privacy, and that the government was free to track away. So if you’re going to use a burner and don’t want it to get connected back to you, you probably shouldn’t use it at your house, or your place of business, or any other location with which you have an identifiable connection.
When you use a burner, you have to remember to leave your real cellphone at home. In 2009 a medical student named Philip Markoff was arrested and charged with murdering a woman in a Boston hotel. Markoff had allegedly used a prepaid disposable cellphone to contact the victim beforehand; he had allegedly used similar tactics in another incident where he robbed a different woman at a different hotel. Both times, Markoff had had his real cellphone in his pocket, and, even though the phone was off, it was still communicating with cell towers. Police were able to determine Markoff’s identity in part by gathering information based on the signals emitted from his real cellphone. So keep that in mind.
In conclusion, burners can give you a measure of anonymity, but they’re by no means untraceable. If you’re looking for total assurance that your phone calls won’t be tapped, I recommend developing a “Book” cipher code, that would tell the person you want to communicate with to meet you on a predetermined Telegram channel which is so heavily encrypted that ISIS used it. Or you could try using two tin cans and a length of string.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Speed And Acuracy

The FBI says that it takes an average of 3 hits with defensive handgun ammo to stop an attacker, regardless of whether you’re shooting 9, .40, .357, or .45. But averages are deceiving. The majority of shooting encounters are stopped after 1 round is fired…regardless of whether that round hits or misses. (Thank goodness) What that means is that determined attackers regularly soak up 3, 6, or more solid hits before they stop being a threat. Like the Somali refugee who went on a stabbing spree at the St. Cloud mall last month. He was repeatedly shot and got up from the ground 3 times and eventually kept crawling towards his next intended victim like a zombie on crack…even though he’d been shot at least 6 times already. In a situation like that, you want to be able to repeatedly shoot and assess as quickly and accurately as possible so that you can stop the threat ASAP. Most people try to do this by simply moving faster. By forcing speed on random technique. They force a faster drawstroke...even if the drawstroke isn't consistent. And they slap the trigger faster...even if the sights aren't aligned. The result is BIG, fast, random groups in practice and a lot of misses when you add a little stress. Go to any range in the country and you'll see this play out on target after target. But there’s a better way. If you simply take a few hours over the next 3 weeks and slow down and focus on the fundamentals, the majority of shooters can cut their time between shots by 50% or more while shooting tighter groups at the same time. The secret to shooting fast without compromising accuracy is being able to execute consistent form, with no wasted movement…shot after shot after shot. And the best way to do that is with “slow training.” Let’s take a drawstroke as an example. If you start adding speed to your drawstroke too quickly, you’re going to end up with every drawstroke being different than every other drawstroke. That means your performance will be random. It might be fast, but it won’t be precise. And stress only makes it worse. When you slow down your drawstroke, it allows your brain to pay attention to every part of the drawstroke and remove wasted movement. Slowing down makes it possible for each drawstroke to be identical to the one before. And, when all of your practice reps are the same, you QUICKLY build muscle memory (neural pathways). Once you’ve got these neural pathways built, then speed will come naturally without compromising precision. How long does this process take? Like any habit, within 21 days. But you should see a difference within 10 days. How can it possibly work so quickly? Slow training is the answer. When you go slow enough that you can execute perfect, consistent, efficient form and stop practicing the second you can no longer do so, it slashes the time that it takes to master a skill. “If you polled a hundred experienced firearms instructors, the great majority would tell you that starting with speed and then trying to tighten up the hits will be like pushing a rope. History shows that the person who starts with accuracy and then accelerates the pace will reach the grail of fast accuracy the soonest. Accuracy is the foundation, and speed is easier to build on top of accuracy. Once the fundamentals necessary for accuracy are established, all that remains is to gradually accelerate until those accurate hits are coming sooner and, consecutively, faster.” Massad Ayoob The answer is always practice slow so you can hit fast. Mas also gave us this drill: “One drill I like to do with advanced students is what I call the “edge of the envelope.” How do you find out how fast you can do something right? Well, you keep doing it faster and faster until you do something wrong, and then you slow down. Obviously, you have to do this in the safety of a training environment. It works like this: Pick a given distance and a given target. Shoot a tight group in the maximum scoring zone, and then keep shooting faster and faster until your shots start straying out into the next lower scoring area. Then, slow down just enough to keep them in the spot you’ve pre-determined you want them to go.” Massad Ayoob Master fundamentals. Then master speed. Semper Paratus Check 6 Burn

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Burn Bags, Trash, And Shredding: OPSEC

What can you reveal with your trash?
I have a friend who is a retired police detective from a large metropolitan city. He told me that he can tell a lot about someone from their trash. If he had someone under surveillance he would often go through their trash. You can tell where a person eats out, what stores they frequent, insurance and work information, even if they have a dog. Return address and logos from the companies you do business with can be just as dangerous as the bills themselves. All this from one bag of trash.

Is there really a way to securely dispose of sensitive documents?

Today we’ll be looking at some of the most common forms of disposal for sensitive documents and offering some suggestions that either may have not occurred to you, or will hopefully be a refresher on how to properly dispose of these documents.

Before we address the most common methods of disposing of sensitive documents, let’s first define what sensitive documents are and why we should be concerned with properly disposing of them.

Most people would define their sensitive documents as anything containing account numbers, social security numbers, private correspondence, bank statements, bills, medical info, legal info, passwords, etc. We’d like you to think further and consider including anything with your signature, pre-approved credit card offers and even the envelopes that come with all these documents mentioned.
Why do you need to securely dispose of sensitive documents at all? The answer is two words, identity theft. Those responsible for inflicting such damage to hard working individuals like yourselves, can obtain your information through a number of sources, but today we’ll be helping you take away one of their biggest assets. Your trash.

Believe it or not, dumpster diving isn’t a crime if the trash is in a public place. This includes curbs, apartment dumpsters and anywhere it’s in public view. Where it becomes a crime is when your trash is concealed, like on the side of your house in your trash cans.

One last thing to mention is boxes and packaging from expensive items. Don’t invite trouble into your home by leaving these casually on your curb. At the very least break these down to make them indistinguishable to would-be thieves driving by. Why publish what you bought last weekend by leaving the boxes out on the curb? Want everyone to know you just bought a gun or gun related gear? What about those old ammo company flyers or catalogs? They all scream information. This is something you should pay particular attention to around Christmas particularly.

Putting it into simple terms, you only have one way in which your non-digital sensitive documents reach you and leave you. The mailbox and the trash can.

As we’ve already addressed the trash, let’s look at your incoming sensitive mail really quick. While stealing mail is a federal crime, identity theft is too. Unfortunately just the simple notion of it being a felony isn’t enough to deter a thief to begin with. One of the best purchases you can make to protect yourself from this kind of theft is a locking mailbox insert.

Identity theft is a huge topic, but suffice to say that if you can eliminate the variable of protecting your incoming and outgoing sensitive documents you’ll be leaps ahead of most of the many people that are victimized every day.

By far the most common method of disposing of your sensitive documents is shredding. There are many different kinds of shredders available on the market. Since we’re mostly addressing home shredding, we’ll be discussing the most common commercially available shredders and what their capabilities are.

There are security levels for shredding:

Security Level 1 (for shredding general internal documents): Strip-Cut – 3/8” or Cross-Cut – between 3/8” x 1-1/2” and 3/8” x 3-1/8”
Security Level 2 (for shredding sensitive internal documents): Strip-Cut – 1/8” or 1/4″
Security Level 3 (for shredding confidential documents): Strip-Cut – 1/16″ or Cross-Cut – 1/4” x 1/8”
Security Level 4 (for shredding secret documents): Cross-Cut – 1/16 x 5/8″
Security Level 5 (for shredding of top secret documents – DOD approved): Cross-Cut – 1/32” x 1/2”
Security Level 6 (for shredding of top secret documents – NSA/CSS approved): Cross-Cut 1mm x 5mm (approx. 1/26″ x 1/5″)

Most office supply stores don’t list shredders by their respective security levels, but most list the dimensions of the cut in the product details. It’s suffice to say that Strip-Cut is definitely not the way to go, and can lead to your sensitive documents being reconstructed.

Typically there are three classification levels for shredders that you’ll see commercially available, Strip-Cut, Cross-Cut and Micro-Cut. Strip-Cut and Cross-Cut are fairly on the money in terms of the security levels above, and Micro-Cut is around a level 3-4. Just note the cut size of any shredder you’re buying and compare it to the above security levels for what is best for you. We’d recommend nothing less than Security Level 4 (with the capability of shredding CDs) to ensure that would-be identity thieves are going to have a difficult time reconstructing your documents.

Some government shredders in the Security Level 5-6 range are called disintegrators, which is a term used to describe very large machines capable of generating a top secret level particulate from just about anything. This includes hard drives, cell phones, microfilm etc.

The reconstruction of sensitive documentation has been around as long as shredders have. According to NY Times article: reconstruction was first brought to light during the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. The Iranians elicited the help of local carpet weavers to reconstruct sensitive documents, which were sold on the streets of Tehran as a testament to US imperialism.

Just know that with some time and even the help of computer programs like Unshredder, there isn’t much reassurance that your documents will stay shredded.

While shredding can be an effective way to deconstruct your sensitive documents, even that must be put on the curb for anyone to pick up. To totally and securely dispose of these documents you’ll need a Burn Bag. The Government uses Burn Bags for the collection of classified materials that are to be destroyed.

A Burn Bag isn’t some magical bag that bursts into flames on command to erase your documents, it’s simply a bag which is easily identifiable that you can continually deposit your to-be-destroyed information into throughout the day. Then once the day, or however long you’re waiting, the bag gets incinerated. If you’re waiting multiple days in between incinerating Burn Bags, you’ll need to consider where you’re going to store it.

One of the best ways we’ve found to incinerate Burn Bags is to get one of those outdoor fire pits with the screened lids. It will keep your ashes from flying around everywhere while you’re cooking your documents. Of course when you’re done you’ll need to properly scatter the ashes. We use a burn barrel since we are in the country.

Burn Bags can even be used in conjunction with a shredder, as many documents stacked in a pile will not fully burn. The absence of oxygen on the interior pages of a book or large stack of documents acts as insulation and will not allow a complete burn. You’ll wind up with plenty of unburned material and have to repeat the process all over again.

The Burn Bags that the Government uses feature red and white diagonal stripes that makes them easily identifiable and harder to confuse with other trash.

You may have remembered seeing Burn Bags in the movie “Spy Game”, which is the first movie we’ve seen to actually use a Burn Bag. In the movie, Robert Redford’s character uses the bag to store sensitive documents, not for burning, but to deceive fellow CIA personnel by hiding them in plain sight.

What if you need a document disposed of, but don’t have a shredder? Do your best to rip up the papers, put them in a plastic bag and fill it with just a little bit of water. Slosh, roll, squeeze and or crumble the paper into a big, sloppy mess. When you're finished, you should be left with a waterlogged ball of incomprehensible pulp!
It's probably not the best solution if it's something you need to do every day, but for the odd item that needs to be securely destroyed, it's a pretty clever alternative.

Keeping your information safe is an ongoing battle. Make sure you win this battle by being vigilant and smart.

Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Reholstering Safely

Negligent discharges happen often enough that you should be concerned when you handle your gun near your body. One of the most dangerous times is when you go to reholster your gun. This simple act is rarely talked about and often overlooked. Re-inserting the gun into a holster is a high risk activity for many, but it doesn’t have to be. Avoid pain and disability, or worse, by doing it the right way, every time. Here are some pointers about equipment and behaviors to keep you free of unwanted holes, not to mention looking competent on the range.

In this article and in many shooting classes, the term “firing grip” means the “V” of your thumb and forefinger is as high as reasonably possible on the backstrap, the three non-trigger fingers are wrapped firmly around the grip, and your trigger finger is straight and planted against the frame.

1) Maintain a firing grip throughout the holstering process

Keep a firing grip until the gun is secured. Keep fingers where they belong.

Never loosen your grip as you reholster. This is essential discipline for not only safety, but developing an automatic habit that will serve you in self-defense or competition when there’s other important stuff to think about.

2) Be sure the holster is clear of obstructions involving the holster itself

Be sure to clear outerwear material out of the way. Jacket zipper pulls are especially dangerous.

Some holsters have retention straps that tend to dangle over the opening. Some have trigger finger-operated retention devices that can, however rarely during rough use, collect snow or small sticks that protrude into the holster. There is nothing inherently wrong with either type, so long as you ensure that the opening and interior are clear before inserting your gun. Never use your muzzle to clear an obstruction, and never cross your support hand in front of the muzzle to clear the holster!

These types of holsters are good for practicing under low-stress conditions and for carrying or storing the gun in something that covers the trigger guard.

3) Be sure the holster is clear of potential wardrobe malfunctions

It’s best to tuck your shirt in tightly when wearing a holster outside the waistband. If not, or if you’re wearing a shirt that’s baggy, you risk pushing a fold of clothing or—heaven help you—a button into the holster. That can result in an unintentional discharge that chews up your leg.

Clearing baggy shirts from the holster area is best done by placing your support hand flat against your abdomen just in front of the holster, pressing against yourself as you draw that hand toward your mid line. This will clear the holster opening while preventing the muzzling of your own hand.

Pull loose shirt material toward your mid line with your support hand flat against your abdomen.

Outerwear, like an open jacket, is also of concern. Be especially careful if you’re wearing a jacket that has zipper pulls or a drawstring at your midline. These can get inside the trigger guard as you reholster, possibly offering no feeling of having to push harder to insert the gun before a round breaks and ruins your leg. If you must keep such a jacket on during practice, tighten the drawstring above holster level on your waist, and use the shirt-smoothing technique above.

If you feel resistance when holstering, STOP. Don’t insert the gun any further until you’ve inspected the cause.

3) Don’t use the muzzle to work the gun into a collapsible holster

Never reholster into a sheath that goes flat without first removing it. The muzzle is NOT a fishing tool…

My everyday carry holster is a Sticky brand. It works great for me, but one of its limitations is reholstering. Like several other soft-sided brands, its opening collapses flat when the gun is drawn. Flat as a pancake, in fact, when it’s in my waistband. The muzzle is not a fishing pole! Holsters that collapse upon drawing must be deliberately placed back on the gun—not vice versa. That means I have to remove the holster from my waistband and, using my support hand, lower it onto the muzzle from above. This way the muzzle never covers my non-gun hand or other body parts. It’s very little trouble since this is only necessary when I’m doing a chamber check or after firing.

4) Stand up first, reholster second

Avoid reholstering when not standing. It’s a great idea to practice firing from different positions once you’re safe and comfortable shooting from a standing position. It’s a big risk to reholster when prone, kneeling, sitting, and so on. Keep your muzzle in a safe direction with the gun in a firing grip in one or both hands as you rise. If you want to be pro-active in your training, visually scan your environment as you come up to a standing position. But if you are not really familiar with shooting from positions other than standing, concentrate on getting up and controlling your gun. Then go to the holster. Once you have went to get up many times while controlling your muzzle, you can start scanning. Be sure of what you’re doing.

5) Take you time

Gunsite Academy has many sayings. One important one is “draw quickly, fire slowly, reholster reluctantly.” This was often followed by “there are no awards for speed reholstering.”

This simple investment of a couple extra seconds will protect your life and health.

Safety is often overlooked in many areas. Especially when you are experienced. The most experienced shooters are sometimes the most dangerous because of their familiarity with guns. It’s easy to get complacent and over-estimate your knowledge or skill. Taking a lot for granted with dangerous things can get you killed or at least injured. Stay vigilant.

Remember also the importance of inspecting and maintaining your holster. Wear and tear can cause a multitude of problems. Make sure what you carry is safe.

Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Monday, November 21, 2016

Feeling Home On The Shooting Range

Everyone can use a shooting range. Whether you hunt, plink, compete, or defend yourself, you will need to practice. I belong to a shooting range that is outdoors. I love it but feel I need the convenience of a home range. I’m in the planning stages.
Whether you shoot for fun, sport, or defense practice is required.
As retired NBA basketball star Allen Iverson so eloquently said, “We’re talking about practice, man, we’re not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we’re talking about practice."
Correct. We are talking about practice. We are talking about how important time at the range is to a shooters overall chances of success. It’s not just about making sure your gun shoots accurately; it’s about you. Practice builds skills that improve your accuracy. Skills that make you a better, more confident shooter.
It seems bow hunters practice more frequently than gun hunters. This isn’t an all-encompassing fact, of course, but generally speaking, I believe it to be true if for no other reason than shooting a bow is more convenient (and less expensive) than shooting a gun.
Just about anyone with a quarter-acre in a tight subdivision can set up an archery target behind their house, pace off 20 yards and fling arrows. Firing off a 12 gauge in the neighborhood is probably not such a great idea.
Shooting firearms requires a proper location. Such locations include public or private gun ranges, rural property, or if you’re lucky enough, the backyard. Whatever your situation may be, make the most of it.
Let’s assume you do not have the good fortune of being able walk out the back door to a personal shooting range. Most people can’t. So where do you shoot? Thankfully, a number of organizations are working hard to ensure you have plenty of options.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, exists to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. A large part of their mission is making sure there are plenty of places to shoot. On the NSSF web site (www.nssf.org), you’ll find endless resources for shooters. To prove just how serious it is about helping you find a place to shoot, the NSSF has designed a separate web site devoted to helping you find a range. The web site is simply called “Where to Shoot,” and can be found at www.wheretoshoot.org. The National Rifle Association has a similar web site located at www.nra.org/nralocal.aspx.
Shooting ranges are nice for a number of reasons. They usually have quality shooting benches and target stands set at established distances. There’s also the camaraderie. Chances are there will be other shooters at the range. Where else can you approach a complete stranger while wearing a Glock .40 on your hip and feel perfectly comfortable striking up a conversation while he’s busy reloading a 30-round magazine for his AR-15? Ahh, the comfort of kindred spirits.
If you have enough land and live where shooting is acceptable, you can build your own range. Having a gun range at home is convenient. After supper, you can grab your rifle or shotgun and head out to the range to practice a few shots. You don’t even have to use your centerfire rifle. Even regular practice with a .22 helps. The more you shoot, the better your hand/eye coordination becomes. Your trigger press improves and the overall process of shooting becomes more natural.
Putting together a decent shooting range doesn’t take much time or money. You really only need four things: a shooting bench, a shooting rest, a target stand and targets, all of which could be homemade or purchased from a sporting goods retailer.
If you choose to go with a homemade range, you can use or build a picnic table for a bench, fill a couple of sand bags for a rest, build a target stand out of 2x4s and use cardboard or paper plates for targets. If you’d like a bit more serious shooting range, companies like Caldwell Shooting Supplies and Shooter’s Ridge manufacturer everything you need. You can buy a weather-resistant shooting table, a quality shooting rest, a target stand and plenty of targets for well under $500. Get a couple buddies to pitch in the cash together. It won’t take long to see the value of your investment.
Make sure it is legal to have a range where you want to put it.
No matter what, safety must always be your first priority when shooting. Wherever you decide to set up your range, be sure you are in a safe location. Be positive of what lies beyond your target. Either set your target stand in front of a proper backstop, or take the time to build one. Mound up dirt or a wood pile. And of course, always wear hearing and eye protection.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Targets And Their Varieties

Almost anybody who has shot a handgun or a rifle has shot at paper targets of some type. They’re often the only targets allowed at indoor ranges, and they’re common outdoors too because of their low cost and the ability to take home your target to show off.
Paper targets are forever, or at least until they hit the trash can.

But if you’re lucky enough to have access to a range that allows them, reactive targets are a whole other level of fun. Unlike paper targets that require you to get up close to see where your shots landed, reactive targets will give you immediate feedback. The most common, and my favorite, are targets made out of steel plates.
You can get lots of variety in a practice or plinking session with just a few differently sized and shaped pieces of steel.

When freshly painted, hits on steel are easier to spot than regular paper targets, and even unpainted or far away, the audible “ting!” is unmistakable even if it’s not knock-over steel (steel that falls down in some way after it is hit). Steel is also both more forgiving than paper – anywhere on the target counts – and less – you either hit the bullseye or you miss (hopefully into your safe backstop). All of those are reasons why steel is popular not just for practice and learning, but in competitive shooting too. Many of the action shooting sports use steel for all or part of their target arrays.

If you have the opportunity to shoot steel for whatever reason, there are a few things you should keep in mind because shooting steel targets without the right safety measures could turn your day bad very quickly. The very hardness that makes steel a durable, interesting target is what can also lead to problems when bullets impact.


I’ve been bruised as a result of a pistol round ricocheting off steel about ten yards away. Now imagine if you were kneeling.

The first thing to keep in mind is that not all steel targets are created equal. You should make sure that the target is made from the proper strength material, like AR-500 steel, and that it is rated for the type of ammunition you are planning to use with it. Otherwise, the entire target may become curved or the surface may pit, which can cause bullets hitting it to ricochet into unplanned and unsafe directions, including neighboring ranges or properties.

Bullets can bounce back unpredictably even with appropriate steel in good condition, so it’s important to minimize ricochet potential as much as possible. Setting targets so that the flat surface is slightly angled towards the ground, and making sure you shoot from a safe distance also helps. I like to be at least 8-10 yards away for pistol, and at least 100 yards for most rifles, generally speaking. It’s also important that the mounting hardware for your steel target is also safe to shoot at, whether that means it’s something that can’t be damaged by a bullet impact or won’t result in an unsafe ricochet. While some will claim that eye protection is optional, not only is it mandatory when steel targets are on the range, they should also be a full wrap-around style. There are many styles from different manufacturers in all price ranges that can also protect your eyes from both front and side ballistic impacts. The sunglasses you bought at the grocery store probably aren’t adequate; splurge and get some real eye protection, or even go cheap with safety glasses from the hardware store.

Safety is king and if you feel something is not safe don’t do it. Also, don’t put up with others around you doing unsafe things. I’ve had fellow shooters being unsafe around me even after I told them they were being unsafe. I finally just left the range. It’s not worth an injury or worse just because someone doesn’t think it’s a “big deal.”
Self-healing targets are the latest technology. You can fire well over 1,000 rounds at one target and it will remain intact with zero to minimal damage. So you are probably asking yourself, “How do self-healing targets really work?” The magic behind the self-healing target is all about the material. Although most manufacturers aren’t open about the proprietary material they use to create self-healing targets, it is known that they are made out of a durable yet flexible polymeric material.
The flexibility of the material allows for a bullet to enter then immediately contract as the bullet passes through the target. The bullet passes straight through the target and the friction and heat created by the shot allows for the material to close and reseal itself. This lets it keep its shape and durability.
Depending on the types of ammo and calibers that are being used as well as other factors such as the distance and size of the target, one self-healing target can be shot up to 10,000 times.
You may be asking how it is to track the accuracy of your shot with a self-healing target since the bullet goes all the way through the target then reseals. If you want to see the accuracy and exact location of your shot, you are able to do so because the shot leaves behind a burn that marks the precise location of the shot.
Safety is another issue that gets brought up regarding self-healing targets. Some believe that the bullet will ricochet off of the target because the material has an elastic consistency but this is not true. In fact, self-healing targets are a safer alternative to steel targets as they do not splatter lead like steel targets do.
3d Targets are also an alternative. They are usually made of self-healing material also.
Manufacturers say the “dummies” will last 4,000 to 5,000 rounds, and the “self-healing” rubber compound “allows the projectiles to pass through with minimal deformation and degradation to the Dummy.” The #1 thing you aren’t supposed to do if you want this target to last as long as possible is to shoot it with hollow points or wadcutter (flat nose) bullets, as they act like cookie cutters and will remove a plug of rubber on their way through, ruining that whole self-healing thing. So remember that with all self-healing targets. Some dummies are even made to “bleed”.
Exploding targets are also a fun choice. There is Tannerite, Sonic Boom and many others out there. Some require mixing and all require being over 21 to purchase. Don’t buy these exploding targets for teen-agers or kids. You can shoot with them but I would not let them play with this unsupervised. Adults do enough dumb things, we don’t need kids getting hurt doing what stupid adults may do with this stuff on line.
As with all things dangerous, be very careful of the targets you use. Remember distance is your friend when target practicing and always keep the 4 gun handling safety rules.
As a reminder:
All guns are always loaded.
Never point your muzzle at anything you do not wish to destroy.
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
Know your target and beyond
Shooting is something that can be done for a variety of reasons. Recreation, defense, competition, and hunting. Whichever you decide is for you, there is a target to suit your needs.

Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Friday, November 18, 2016

25 "Rules" Of A Gunfight: Revisited In Detail (Part 2)

I thought that I’d give a more detailed definition of each “rule” In a previous article, “25 ‘Rules’ Of A Gunfight” posted 9/28/2016.
Continued…


17. Always tactical reload and threat scan 360 degrees.
A tactical reload is the action of reloading a weapon that has only fired a few rounds out of its magazine, and retaining the original magazine. Scanning is keeping your head on a swivel.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill.
In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
Knowing when to pull your weapon is important and knowing when to press the trigger is even more important. Restraint is something a concealed carrier must always have. Emotional control and good sense helps a lot.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
Finishing does not always mean shooting. Finishing can mean retreat. Avoidance is always preferable to a gunfight. Getting shot less, or not at all, is the goal.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
This does not say kill indiscriminately, but have a plan.

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
Treating others well is important. Friends can be costly. I’m not saying have no friends, just choose them wisely.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
This one is obvious.

24. Do not attend a gun fight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than “4”.
So that means 9mm is good… I’m not a big proponent of this philosophy. Rule 1 applies. A gun, any gun, is better than no gun. I have killed animals with a .22. The caliber size is not that important. Shot placement IS important. Even with well-placed shots, some people continue on to be a threat. Placement is more important than caliber.

25. You can’t miss fast enough to win.
Another call to practice. Training on a regular basis is the only thing that may save you. Luck may play into it, but relying on luck is hardly a strategy.

Rules of a gunfight is a misnomer. There are really no rules in a gunfight. These are just things to remember and to try an implement. Every situation is different and unique. Knowing what is and is not cover is important. There is not so much cover out there as you might expect. Not only that, attackers can go around cover just like you can. If they are determined, they will do everything they can to get at you. Shooting and moving becomes very important to you.
Train like your life depends on it, because it truly does.

Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Shooting In Cold Temperatures

I grew up in the desert of Arizona. When the temperature dips into the 40’s its considered cold. I’ve lived in the Southwest my entire life so I’m not real acclimated to cold temperatures. I also don’t like cold which doesn’t help. I did hunt in the White Mountains and on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona so I’m not completely a waste in cold. I served my mission in Eastern Canada and experienced some of the coldest weather of my life, but that was only two years.
What does cold have to do with shooting? Well it affects your dexterity and cold stress may be present in many different forms, affecting the whole-body heat balance as well as the local heat balance of extremities. Cooling of the whole body or in this case, parts of the body, results in discomfort, impaired sensory and neuro-muscular function and, ultimately, cold injury.
The most obvious and direct effect of cold stress for this subject is the immediate cooling of the skin. The type and magnitude of reaction are determined primarily by the type and severity of cooling. Local cold exposure may cause stress level increases thereby, preparedness for action. When our bodies prepare for action and respond to the cold stimulus, our fight or flight nervous system function kicks in, and the adrenalin begins to dump. This function will work to fight the cold stimulus by giving the muscles stimulation to shiver AND cause the blood vessels in the extremities to begin to squeeze, which results in a reduction of blood flow to muscles and skin. This reduces fine motor skills and makes the “feel” for the trigger much less. That is not a welcome effect when trying to hit the target; great when trying to out run a bear or survive a blizzard, but we are not in those situations.
How do we fix this? The simple answer is to keep our hands warm or wear gloves. Prevention of cooling by means of donning cold-protective clothing, footwear, gloves and headgear interferes with the mobility and dexterity of the shooter. There is a “cost of protection” in the sense that movements and motions can become restricted and more exhausting.
Hand function is very susceptible to cold exposure. Due to their small mass and large surface area, hands and fingers lose heat while maintaining high tissue temperatures (86 to 95ºF).
Accordingly, such high temperatures can be maintained only with a high level of internal heat production, allowing for sustained high blood flow to the extremities. The most expedient way to tell if your hands are beginning to suffer from the cold exposure, and may result in decreased performance is to check for the “White Knuckle Grip.” If your hands look like you are holding the steering wheel of a truck on ice, headed down the hill, you will know the tissues are suffering from a lack of blood bringing oxygen to the tissues, and hand grip, finger press and support hand functions will be affected.
Hand and finger function is directly affected by the temperature of the skin. Fine, delicate and fast finger movements deteriorate when tissue temperature drops by only a few degrees. With more profound temperature drops in the tissues, gross hand functions will also be impaired, eventually, your hands will turn to “clubs” and the fine skill and gross skills will not be possible. You may get to a point where you cannot truly feel the gun in your hands.
Significant impairment in hand function is found at hand skin temperatures around 59ºF, and severe impairments occur at skin temperatures about 42 to 46ºF due to the blocking of the function of sensory and thermal skin receptors. The temperature of your fingertips may be more than ten degrees lower than on the back of your hand under certain exposure conditions.
Cooling reduces the force output of muscles and has an even greater effect on dynamic contractions. This will have an effect of overall gun handling, and very dramatic effects on trigger press, and proper grip functions.

There is a simple way to test the effects of cold on your hands and performance, and train yourself to adapt to this environmental issue and improve your performance as much as possible. This simple and free or nearly free acclimatization method will make you less susceptible to cold hand issues. By exposure to cold water from the sink then maybe move to ice water in a bowl, etc., and dry fire drills, make sure to include shooting (dry fire) and gun manipulations, failure drills, etc.
These drills need to be practiced for all shooters, not just for the hand gunners, but hunters with long guns as well. Just to state the obvious – check then recheck that the gun is unloaded, and no ammo is in the room. Get ahold of a simple and inexpensive surface thermometer from the drug store, the type that just reads the skin temperature, then put your hands in the cold water, use the thermometer and take the skin temperature, run your dry fire drills. You can check your performance differences between warm and cold hands dry fire, use a stopwatch to test speed or function. Eventually, you will see if your acclimatization efforts are giving any value to your shooting and watch for improvement as you train to beat the cold.
If you’re careful, and a simple warm up can be performed, your shooting should not suffer dramatically. If you find that you do a lot of cold weather shooting, and exact precision is needed. Try these simple steps to train your body to acclimate to that style of shooting. This combined with simple warm-ups, and you will be less affected and maybe even be the only guy in the group that can shoot as well cold as everyone else does in the warm.
This article is for all but obviously not so applicable to us here down south. But cold may affect us southerners even more because we’re not used to cold temps.
Stay warm my friends.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Thursday, November 17, 2016

25 "Rules" Of A Gunfight: Revisited In Detail (Part 1)

I thought that I’d give a more detailed definition of each “rule” In a previous article, “25 ‘Rules’ Of A Gunfight” posted 9/28/2016.
1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
This a humorous way of telling you that networking with friends, family, and others of like shooting mind is a good idea. I’m not suggesting starting a militia, but several friends you can shoot with, share experiences and info with, and enjoy shooting with together.
2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap – life is expensive.
When shooting in self-defense you must shoot until the threat is no longer a threat. That can be a few things. The threat could be down and not moving. They could have retreated. They could have stopped because getting shot is not fun. But make no mistake, you may have to shoot several times to stop the threat. But if one shot floors the threat, stop shooting. It could be considered something more than defense if you empty your magazine. Stop the threat and nothing more.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
Practice. If you make the decision to carry get training and practice. You need to hit your target if you must shoot. It’s not as easy as it looks. You want to stop a threat and you can only do that if you are reasonably good with your gun. Don’t think that in your moment of truth you will become Jerry Miculek and hit every shot. Without practice you may hit something (or someone) else.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
Lots of people put a lot into a shooting “stance”. I don’t. I mean you need to be in a good position to manage recoil and be able to bring the sights up to you line of sight, but self-defense rarely affords you the luxury of stance.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.)
The Army teaches the mantra “Shoot, Move, Communicate.” Moving is an important part of self-defense. Most people don’t train with a lot of movement.

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.
If you watch a team of law enforcement or military that are going into a building you will notice that all will have a rifle and a sidearm. Given the choice, a rifle is always the best option. Rifles are more accurate, and generally have more power.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
Ask someone who has been there. No one remembers the load of their rounds nor does anyone care. Survival is number one. If someone tells you the mission is above survival, I would tell them that I am more committed to my family and caring for them and their welfare than any mission. Being professional is one thing, going home is another thing.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.
Preferably all simultaneously.

9. Accuracy is relative.
Most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. “All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket.”

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
As in all combat, use your resources wisely. Give it your all and don’t give up.

11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
All is fair in love and war. This can be attributed to John Lyly's 'Euphues' (1578). The quote was "The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war." John Lyly was a Renaissance English poet and playwright. Do not play by rules when it comes to self-defense. I’m not saying break moral and written law, but do whatever you need to survive.

12. Have a plan.
Practice thinking of plans quickly. “If he does this, then I’ll do this…” Being able to plan quickly and adapt quickly may keep you alive.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work.
The old saying “2 is 1 and 1 is none” applies here.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
The natural thing to do in wild situation is duck! That natural instinct should be used as much as possible. Learn the difference between cover and concealment.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
Flank is not a common term unless you were in the Army. It means the side. In the military the side of a formation. Hitting someone from their flank keeps them off balance. Often someone can be “blindsided”, this is being hit on the side. Keeping your head on a swivel can prevent being hit in the flank.

16. Don’t drop your guard.
Being vigilant about your security is what we all should be. Being in condition Yellow is another way of saying it.
Continued…

Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Movement And Training

I was talking to a friend of mine and we got into a disagreement. I told him that I thought federal firearm training was bogus because standing in a weaver (or whatever…) stance and shooting at steel or paper was unrealistic. He said it taught good muscle memory and of course breathing, aiming, trigger press, etc. As we discussed training and shooting we finally came to the conclusion that we are both right. Self-defense is all those things that standing in front of a target and shooting is to a shooter, but care should be taken to learn other things.
Next time you go to the range test yourself on the time it takes for the following:
Draw
Raise
Time to run 15 feet
According to a study conducted by various police departments, the average human reaction time for 17 police officers to mentally justify firing their pistols during a simple decision-making scenario was 0.211 seconds. The same officers in a complex scenario took 0.895 seconds. In one study 46 police officers who knew they were going to fire their pistols, and it was simply a matter of doing so when they received the signal. This test resulted in an average action time of 0.365 seconds with the officers’ finger already on the trigger. More recent work by Dr. Bill Lewinski a law enforcement professor at Minnesota State University tested 101 officers. The average Reaction/Action time of 1.5 seconds is sufficient time for an attacker to close a reactionary gap of 22.96 feet.
• Time to Draw (a pistol) from a Holster 1.19 seconds
• Time to Raise (a pistol) and Fire 0.59 seconds
• Time to Run 15 feet 1.28 seconds
Getting shot is not all it’s cracked up to be. Although the assailant was hit in his chest, “center of mass”, he was still able to move around, shoot, and drive a few miles away before dying. According to a medical doctor specializing in gun-shot wounds, you have an 85 percent chance of surviving! Just ask Kenny Vaughan from North Carolina, who was shot about 20 times with a rifle that was only 5 feet away and lived! I always preach that it’s not going to take a magical one or two shots to center mass to put an attacker down. It may take three, four, or five. Shoot “repeatedly” until the target is down, using the same reference point of aim. That says a lot for those who think you can “get it done” with 10 rounds. They don’t speak from reality. Also consider this when thinking about what gun to carry, and how much ammo to carry.
Of course, shooting a moving target is fairly difficult, especially if your range does not allow you to do so. For those who know a little about moving targets, such as snipers, we know to aim in front of the target (Lead), when it comes to combative pistol engagements within 25 yards, the rule need not apply. Whenever I used to teach combat pistol classes, I tried to incorporate a moving human size silhouette, moving lateral at a fast pace walk. Nine times out of ten, the student aims in front of the target and forcibly rushes their shots resulting in a miss. The key to hitting a moving target, within a combat pistol range, is to simply aim at what you want to hit, focus on the front sight, and press.
Adrenaline is something we cannot avoid in a high threat situation, especially in a gun fight for your life. When your body experiences an adrenaline overload, you may experience a few of these symptoms, tunnel vision, audio exclusion, shortness of breath, etc. There is a simple solution to overcoming the symptoms of adrenaline overload and get you back on top of your game…deep breaths. Your body needs the extra oxygen to deal with the extra stress. Yes… Just breathe!
Here are some points to consider:
1) Cover. Is moving to cover a reflexive act for you? Can you quickly identify cover and move to it without a thought? Have you ever shot from behind cover? Do you know how to maximally utilize your cover without over exposing yourself?
2) Charging attackers. Have you ever shot at a moving target? How about training with simunitions or airsoft? Do you have a plan for dealing with an attacker running directly towards you?
3) Close quarters shooting. Most gunfights take place at a distance of less than eight feet. That’s almost touching distance. Have you practiced shooting from a retention position?
4) Alternate position shooting. Sometimes you may be on the ground, partially disabled by gunshot wounds. Have you ever fired your gun from the seated position or from a position on the ground?
5) Malfunctions. Do you know how to clear a malfunction reflexively? Have you trained to transition to alternate weapons in the event you can’t clear it? In the military it’s called immediate action drill. You should know how to clear as instinctively as you know how to shoot.
6) Weapon retention. You lose cool points in the gunfight if your gun is kicked out of your hand by your attacker. Do you know any techniques for keeping your gun in your hand if someone tries to grab or kick it?
7) Tactical medicine. Do you know how to treat an arterial bleed from a gunshot wound? You can use a wall to help provide direct pressure to your own wound until medical help can arrive. In the worst case scenario, you can bleed to death in less than two minutes. You have to be able to stop that kind of bleeding and your standard first aid class isn’t enough.
Most of us won’t be in a kind of combat situation where the shooter is out to kill everything in sight. Law enforcement and combat are like this, but the average robbery is not. We need to train better and with more real scenarios in mind. Look at your training program. See if you can include some movement in your workout.
Semper Paratus
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Veteran's Thoughts

Happy Veteran's Day!
33 years ago I took the oath of office where I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.  My Father took the same oath about 1942 and his Father before him.  I am proud of my families service to this country.  By virtue of that service I am now a veteran.  So what does November 11th mean to me? For one it reminds me of my Father and Grandfather and their service in the first and second world wars.  They served honorably and did their part to ensure the freedoms of this country, as well as other country's freedoms.  My service was not under such harsh conditions.  But I like to think I served honorably to ensure our freedoms stay intact.
A military base is a unique place.  Very few places have patriotic traditions like a military base.  At specific times of the morning and evening you will hear our national anthem played as the flag is posted and retired for the day.  Load speakers blast out the anthem and every one outside stops, turns toward the location of the flag and stands at attention, or reverently, until the anthem ends.  Those driving stop their cars and sit quietly.  It is a time, twice a day, when a reminder of what was fought for and died for, and what is still being defended, is there for all to recognize.  
As members of the Mormon faith, we partake of the sacrament each week.  We remember our covenants with God.  Like the flag and national anthem we use the emblems of the sacrament to keep our eyes on our goal to return to God.
This is why abusing my countries symbols does not set well with me.
I'm grateful for veterans and the sacrifices they and their families make and made.  Please thank those special people in your life and treat this day as a day of remembrance. It is more than just a "day off."

Selecting A Flashlight

The flashlights of my childhood had the single screw in incandescent bulb and were usually powered by a couple of D-cell batteries. If your flashlight was really fancy you had a replacement bulb in the bottom cap under the spring. They weren’t bright at all in comparison to the models today, but in the dark we thought they were awesome. Then sometime around the early 80’s the Maglite started appearing. This was a revolution in flashlight design and capabilities and everyone wanted their own. The Maglite was very bright and cast a long beam, but it was so heavy though (you needed 4 D-cells) that it could also be used as a weapon or to hold up your car, that they weren’t really practical for more than sitting in that kitchen cabinet or being stored behind the seat in the truck.
I have carried a flashlight for over 20 years. When I first started to carry one it was the mini-mag. It was an incandescent, 2 AA battery powered, aluminum bodied wonder. It used to come with a Cordura pouch holster that I never used. It has a spare bulb in the battery compartment cap which is convenient. It was 14 lumens and one usually lasted me at least 5 years. I found many uses for it and now won’t be without a flashlight. Then came the new millennium. Names like Fenix, Surefire, and Streamlight came out with bright, rugged, and tactical flashlights. These lights have features such as one-handed operation, belt clips, bezel edges, and others. They are small and light, yet rugged.
The technology has come a long way since my little mini-mag. LED bulbs and higher lumens have made tactical flashlights a much more common item to obtain.
I carry a Coleman brand CT-24 model flashlight.
I love my Coleman! I’ll say that from the beginning. I have had Surefires and Streamlights and although I like these brands, I love my Coleman. I was searching for an EDC light that was slim to fit in my pouch, and had at least 200 lumen power. I also preferred a 2 AA battery power. I found it in the Coleman CT-24.
It has three settings, High 240 lumens, Low 25 lumens, and strobe at 240 lumens. It is powered by 2 AA batteries, has a single push button, onehanded switch, and bezel edges. It’s body is made of aluminum and weighs 4.6 ounces. The problem is that Coleman stopped making this light and didn’t really replace it with a comparable model.
Before buying a EDC flashlight, you need to determine some things. How will you carry it? How will you use it? Will you use it for more than one thing?
As I said above, my criteria is:
Small and slim but prefer it long enough to fit in my whole hand.
At least 2 AA (AAA is just too small for me)
Tactical bezel (some type of sharpness)
One handed operation on/off switch
Aluminum body, no plastics (would consider a composite)
At least 200 lumens
At least two settings for bright and less bright is nice.
A belt clip would be good but I’d like one that I could remove if needed
Why do I talk about carrying a flashlight?
There are many reasons including the obvious, for light.
Self-defense. I’ve never learned any specific self-defense moves, but using a Kubaton would be similar.
To identify threats or targets. Is that noise in the back yard a burglar or a cat? And before you shoot, make sure of good target identification, you may shoot your neighbor.
When you lose the remote. Really, you will be amazed at the number of times you will reach for your flashlight that you never thought of. Even my family now instinctively says “Dad, let me see your flashlight” when they need to find something. That and looking down throats to make sure someone does not have a raging case of strep throat. Flashlight tag… millions of potential uses.
I will never be without a flashlight in my EDC again. I love it!

Semper Paratus
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November Drill Of The Month

Point and Shoot Drill

The purpose of this drill is the development of point shooting skills. Point shooting is best described as the shooter bringing their pistol up to eye level, with both eyes open point their pistol at the desired target and shoot. Point shooting is generally used from 0 to 7 yards, while for some shooters it is possible to hit targets out to 10 yards or more using this method of shooting.
This training drill is set up to be done without a time limit. The drill requires a minimum of 18 rounds. If a shooter wants to use a stop watch or shot timer to gauge their own speeds this could be done, but is not required. The target I suggest using is a full size silhouette.
Safety Considerations with Movement:
The lateral movement in this drill is described as taking a step laterally to the side. This would be as if you were stepping to the side to allow a person to go past you. While firing portions of this drill where lateral movement is called for, the shooter shall remain facing the berm. If you are moving with your pistol drawn, it is required you keep it pointed down range.
When getting ready to practice this drill, it is recommended you first practice the movement phase with a dummy gun or training pistol. This dry practice should be done until you are comfortable with the movement phase. When you are ready, you could move onto using your pistol and live ammo. I cannot emphasize enough if you are having troubles during dry practice, you should not move onto live fire, but seek out a certified instructor for assistance.
Points to remember when practicing:
• Start out slow, speed will come with time and practice.
• Concentrate of forming a good grip on your pistol each time.
• Practice your draw stroke the same way each time.
• Bring your pistol to eye level with both eyes open when firing.
• Practice lateral movements prior to live fire exercises with a training pistol or dummy gun.
• During the lateral movements, the shooter shall remain facing the berm with unholstered pistols pointing down range.

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page

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Vote! Vote! Vote!

If you're reading this and you haven't voted please stop right now, and vote. It's very important that we all participate in a process we too often take for granted. Not everyone in this world has the right to vote for their leaders. We are very blessed in the U.S. to be able to be a part of government! So please, VOTE!

Vote early and vote often! (Just kidding)

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PS
Make America Quiet Again!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Guns And Statistics

Don’t be alarmed but I am going to use statistics from a study. I have ranted and raved against using studies because I think data can be manipulated. I looked at several studies before I wrote this article. I’m not sure it made any difference. In looking at how they do these studies I am amazed that anyone listens to any of them. They are truly ridiculous. Some of them use telephones. How many people do you know who actually have a hardline telephone anymore? That alone should throw out the study. That means that those with cell phones were probably not called. Sometimes they call their studies national. If you are dialing a Mississippi area code what’s to say that person no longer lives in that state but has moved to California and is still on their former plan because they like it and don’t want to change their phone number? I have a son who lives in Utah but still has his home state phone number.
I guess that maybe I need to take another statistics class for me to understand that those details don’t really matter. I also think that when you start asking questions about guns in people’s homes you either get no answer, or a less than true answer. In these days of the NSA listening to EVERYTHING and the trust of the government is at an all-time low. That is if you can trust the PEW Research Center. They used studies for their data…
http://www.people-press.org/2015/11/23/1-trust-in-government-1958-2015/
They said:
“During the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, 47% of Republicans, on average, said they could trust the federal government just about always or most of the time. During Obama’s presidency, average trust among Republicans has fallen to 13% – by far the lowest level of average trust among either party during any administration dating back to the 1960s.”
Average trust among Democrats, by contrast, has remained more stable throughout the George W. Bush and Obama years. During the Obama administration, trust among Democrats has averaged 29%, compared with 28% during the Bush administration.”
How can you really trust this stuff? If we don’t trust the people that run government, then how can we trust what the government does?
http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/pages/welcome.aspx
National Institute of Justice part of DOJ
Nonfatal firearm violence 93-11
Year Firearm incidents Firearm victims Firearm crime rate Firearm crimes as a percent of all violent incidents
1993 1,222,701 1,529,742 7.3 8
1994 1,287,190 1,568,176 7.4 8
1995 1,028,933 1,193,241 5.5 7
1996 939,453 1,100,809 5.1 7
1997 882,885 1,024,088 4.7 7
1998 673,304 835,423 3.8 6
1999 523,613 640,919 2.9 5
2000 483,695 610,219 2.7 6
2001 506,954 563,109 2.5 7
2002 450,776 539,973 2.3 7
2003 385,037 467,345 2.0 6
2004 405,774 456,512 1.9 7
2005 446,365 503,534 2.1 7
2006 552,035 614,406 2.5 7
2007 448,414 554,780 2.2 7
2008 331,618 371,289 1.5 5
2009 383,390 410,108 1.6 7
2010 378,801 415,003 1.6 8
2011 414,562 467,321 1.8 8
http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/pages/aquired.aspx
Can you really believe any of these sources?
Excellent article. I felt it was honest and gave facts rather than emotional hype.
Fact Check.org
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/
Gun Rhetoric vs Gun Facts By Robert Farley Dec 20,2012
Normally I have a great disdain for “Fact Check”. I feel like it’s such a misnomer because I often see liberal rhetoric masquerading as facts. But that’s just my opinion.
I will say this, I’m very tired of politicians, “news” people, and pollsters using incorrect wording when it comes to guns. Immediately I discount what they are saying because they use wrong terminology. This tells me that not only do they not know what they are talking about, they didn’t have the decency and professionalism to get educated. Don’t talk to me about guns unless you have a little education about them because I have made it a lifetime endeavor. If you are really serious about being against something, and want to make a point and not sound like an idiot, then get some education. Please know the difference between a clip and a magazine. If you don’t know the difference, got get some education and then come back to me for a discussion. I know, it makes me a gun snob. Stop using words like “high capacity”. What the heck is that? That sounds like rhetoric some anti-gun idiot invented to sound credible. If my car holds 50 gallons of gas is that “high capacity?” I saw a survey questions that asked: “Do you happen to have in your home any guns or revolvers?” What kind of a questions is that? That’s like asking “Do you own any pants or jeans?” Aren’t jeans pants? Aren’t revolvers guns? When things are written or spoken in an ignorant way, it insults all of us. Don’t be dim!

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Tactics For The Field

I haven’t been into paintball for some time. But we used to implement some loose versions of some of the military tactics I’d like to talk about. They are handy to know even though you will probably never use them.

There are four cardinal rules of Individual Battle Tactics (IBT):

* Cover all immediate danger areas.
* Eliminate all threats.
* Protect each other.
* No one makes mistakes, everyone keys off each other and fills in any gaps created by his buddy and goes with it.

These tactical truths should be indelible and can be and should be applied to all small unit tactics. Again it must be emphasized there are no mistakes when it comes to structure clearing, only failure to key on these movements and cover or fill in any gaps created by those maneuvers that are left unsecured and could cause dangerous situations to develop. Fighters must adapt to, improvise and overcome these developing situations immediately as soon as they are recognized.
When you hit the ground in the prone position, roll over once or twice. This can confuse the enemy. If you were spotted, then your exact position will be different from the moment you were spotted.

When behind cover, like a brick wall, don't pop up from the same position. After every time you poke your head up, move to the left or right and do it again.

Firing under obstacles is a great way to catch opponents off guard, but your mobility will be severely reduced. Combining this with the rolling technique as stated earlier may help you out a bit.

If you approach a right hand corner, switch your weapon into the left hand, and if you approach a left hand corner, switch to your right.

As you are moving (advancing) use this technique.

I'm up, he sees me, I'm down.
This phrase is a training aid used by the United States military during Basic Combat training instruction of individual tactical movement.
The ideal exposure time for a soldier advancing position on the battlefield is 3-5 seconds. The theory being that it takes an enemy at least four seconds to aim a weapon at a moving target, and six to aim accurately. By repeating "I'm up, he sees me, I'm down." while moving towards a known enemy position, the individual soldier keeps within the limits of the 'safe' exposure time frame.
As the soldier prepares to move from behind cover, he first selects his next position within a desirable distance from himself.
At "I'm up," the soldier executes a combat roll to the left or right, gets to his feet and begins to rush forward.
At "he sees me," the soldier prepares to assume his next covered position.
At "I'm down." the soldier drops in place, situates himself behind adequate cover and begins to return fire.
When evaluating an area you must traverse make these considerations:
Terrain and weather
Terrain - OCOKA.
Observation and Fields of Fire
Cover and Concealment
Obstacles
Key Terrain
Avenues of Approach

Weather - visibility, mobility, survivability.
Enemy situation and most probable courses of action.

(1) Composition.
(2) Disposition.
(3) Recent activities.
(4) Capabilities.
(5) Weaknesses.
(6) Most probable course of action (enemy use of METT-T).

Friendly Situation.

1. METT-T
Mission
Enemy
Terrain
Troops
Time
By evaluating these things you can formulate a plan for moving and engaging if need be.
To be honest with you, I have only used some of these and rarely several at a time. Even training is chaotic and a little unorganized. Thinking quickly and on your feet is a skill that can save your life and the lives of those with you.
Just a bunch of fun techniques.
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Carry Condition: An Appeal For Condition One

There are many different ideas out there when you talk about carrying a gun with a round in the chamber. It is my experience that a lack of experience tends to lean toward C3. But you must be comfortable with the safety of your weapon and your ability to draw and put into battery your gun.

Auto-pistols can be carried in various conditions of readiness. First defined by the legendary Lt Col John Dean "Jeff" Cooper these conditions are commonly accepted to be:

Condition 0 –– A round is in the chamber, hammer cocked, and the safety is off.

Condition 1 –– known as "cocked and locked", means a round is in the chamber, the hammer cocked, and the manual thumb safety on the side of the frame is applied.

Condition 2 –– A round is in the chamber and the hammer is down.

Condition 3 –– The chamber is empty and hammer down with a charged magazine in the gun.

Condition 4 –– The chamber is empty, hammer down and no magazine is in the gun.

These conditions were designed with a 1911 style pistol in mind. The Glock with no external safety (but with its "safe action" safety measures) technically can’t have the thumb safety applied so it’s condition when loaded and chambered is a matter of debate among gun guys but it’s commonly accepted that a Glock is in "Condition 1" when loaded with a round in the chamber.

With these definitions in mind, a common debate among shooters is the argument over which is safer for defensive carry, condition 1 or condition 3?

C3 carry is commonly referred to as the Israeli Method. Some people believe that it is safer and no less effective to carry the pistol with a magazine inserted, safety off, and no round in the chamber. When needed, the shooter draws, racks the slide on the draw stroke and fires.

I hate to be “that guy”. I got this far in this article and stopped for about a 3 weeks. I thought about it and actually tried C3 in my trips to the range. I know that I have not trained this way (ever!) but I fail to see the safety in this. Here’s where I become “that guy”. The thought that I cannot handle a loaded (C1) gun boggles my mind. The thought that an instructor would actually teach this is a mind blower. I’ve never met one that taught that way, but I am assured they are out there. With all due respect from a fellow instructor, “Are you OUT of your FLIPPIN’ mind!?” What would prompt this? I am told safety. I have met some crazy, anal, over bearing, full of themselves instructors who think that safety means leaving the gun in the case…. at home… in the safe!
Please don’t misunderstand me. I do advocate safety! Ask my family, they can roll their eyes better than most at my constant reminders. I also believe that experienced people can handle a fully loaded weapon. Do you have to be careful? Yes. Do have to be hyper vigilant? Yes.
C3 carry is just not reality to me. I would have a hard time understanding it in a combat zone.
But be sure your gun can carry C1. Does it have an external or internal safety? Does it have “drop safe” features? If you are to carry C1, you should know this about your gun.

Detractors of C3 carry state that carrying with an empty chamber is a symptom of insufficient training and confidence. Adding an extra step to make the weapon function is slower and needlessly adding complexity to a high stress situation. Secondly it requires two hands, or a riskier one-handed "rack" that again adds needless complexity that C1 carry does not.

Imagine removing your handgun from the holster, pointing, aiming and pulling the trigger. It can seem like it happens in slow motion when you’re in a stressful situation. Your mind is trying to comprehend everything going on, your heart is pumping and you’re trying to do anything you can to stay alive. What if, due to the stressful circumstances, you point and pull the trigger and hear… CLICK... or feel nothing but a limp trigger? Would your stomach drop a little? I know I would freak out. Not every situation allows time to remove your weapon, rack the slide, grasp the gun with both hands again, point, aim and shoot. Would the thought of this be solved by always having a round chambered? The answer is "yes."

Milliseconds count. If you still are not comfortable with one in the pipe training to be faster with your draw will be very important. Carrying C1 isn’t for everybody though. Deciding to carry with a round in the chamber can have benefits as mentioned above, but depending on the style handgun you’re carrying, you might want to consider all of the risks. Part of the decision to make with some weapons is, to carry the weapon with the hammer cocked and ready to fire or not. Does carrying with your hammer back make it more likely to accidentally go off? Is it safer to carry a hammerless semi-automatic pistol if you’d like a round in the chamber? Let's talk a bit about both styles. Make sure to reference the laws for your state about the term “loaded” refers to. Take a look at the gun laws by state. The term can vary from state to state thanks to legal-speak. No matter what you read in forums and blogs and see on the news, following the wording of the law of the state you are in is a must.

There is no wrong way as long as it’s within the confines of the law and you are comfortable with it. There’s a fine line between what’s legal and illegal though. Know the laws for the state you are in and do not cross the boundaries. You are more likely to have a run in with the police at a traffic stop or accident than you are a situation where you would draw your weapon to save your life. Even though there are some seemingly useless laws out there regarding guns, having a legal way to defend yourself is better than having nothing at all.

Carrying in Condition 3 is not restricted to the Israelis, nor did they really invent it. I remember having to carry in Condition 3 in the military (both with a 1911 and the M9). The “Israeli” label was popularized as a method of carry and developed an entire method of presentation around empty-chamber carry. The philosophy is that C3 provides a method of carry that allows for a largely untrained population with a diverse variety of firearms.

An argument against C3 carry based on pure speed is relative. I’ve seen trained C3ers pretty fast and I’d say plenty fast enough for combat application.

I know my personal experience is that I’m just not practiced in C3……but should I be? I can’t see the wisdom of investing practice time into C3 deployment when I’m trained to carry C1.

In regards to the two hand necessity though I have to side with the doubters.
I’ve read articles about the reality of knife attacks, and just how fast and brutal they tend to be. It doesn’t matter what school of martial arts you attend, if somebody attacks you with a knife you are going to bleed…unless you are exceptionally lucky. Blood is slippery, and wounds hurt and distract. Anyone who has ever simulated racking a slide with slippery hands, or racking it with one hand, will tell you that this is not a situation you want to find yourself in when people are actively trying to kill you. One-handed slide racking is an emergency malfunction clearing technique, yet people who carry empty chamber may have to use this as their only method to get their gun into the fight. Your other hand may not necessarily be injured, but it may very well be occupied with trying to keep your assailant away from you, and you will be forced to rack the slide with one hand regardless. People who carry with loaded chambers do not have this concern. In a real fight you will have milliseconds to respond to a deadly threat. There will be no time to rack a slide. There may not even have time to properly aim. When things go south, they do so faster and more violently than you can possibly imagine. What people are taught in martial arts studios around the country to fend off a violent attack doesn’t even come close to simulating reality.
There are exceptionally good reasons why internationally acclaimed instructors like Massad Ayoob, Larry Vickers, and the late, great Pat Rogers, and more, do not teach empty-chamber carry: they have all walked the mile in hostile territory, seen and experienced things that by far most people have not, and have figured out what works and what does not work. The fact that they unanimously and independently conclude that empty-chamber carry does not work should tell you something.
But you must decide for yourself.

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