There are a couple of often-used axioms when it comes to speeding up our draw stroke and shooting: “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” and “reduce motion to increase speed,” also known as “Conservation of Motion.” Both concepts are valid. It certainly makes sense that the fewer number of movements that you make and the less distance that you cover, the faster your action will be.
Most of us who carry daily make a choice between comfort and ease of shooting with our choice in EDC pistols. I happen to carry a full size M&P 9mm. As an early concealed carry person, I was sure carrying such a gun would be super uncomfortable and noticed by everyone. Over time, I gradually learned how to conceal my sidearm better and more comfortably. It has also become plainly obvious to me that while open carrying, many people don’t see a full-size gun on my hip.
I have been shooting, training, and training others for a very long time. I am not a top competitor at 3 Gun. However, I recognize 3 Gun as a lot of fun for those that love to shoot. A love of shooting must come first. Next, you may have a desire to compete for the sake of it. 3 Gun is a great thing for this. As an instructor, I recognize what it takes to win, and I hope these lines will help you to get started and be competitive. I am looking forward to comments from 3 gun shooters. I hope that they will add to my knowledge as well as yours.
I am a belt and suspenders kind of guy when it comes to certain things. Home defense is one of them. Because of that, I like several options sitting by the bedside for dealing with social work, like evicting home invaders. There is a gear tree that sits 3 feet away from my nightstand that holds my 3-gun belt, my plate carrier and two long guns. One of those guns is an AR-15, and that is what we will focus on today.
Next to food, clothing, and shelter, the need for self-defense is prominent in our genes. You did not make many missteps in ancient times and live to complain. Working as a peace officer, beginning 40 years ago, I did not have a cell phone, pepper gas, or instant backup, and lived through some hairy ordeals. I bear the scars from some, but then, the Scot-Irish are born with a broken nose and scars on their knuckles.
Like many of you, I have wide interests including history, my church, my family, and old cars, trucks, and jeeps. Shooting is just one part of my life, but a very important part. After all, the books and training are bread and butter. As a conservative in the true sense of appreciating and living American values, I believe in a free marketplace of thought, but I can be very persuasive in stating my views. When the opportunity comes to indoctrinate a young shooter into the proper use of a firearm, I am always ready.
On December 17, at about 7 p.m. on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, a 21-year-old open carrier and his friend were hanging out. It was well below freezing. Heavy coats, hats, and gloves were indicated. State Street runs from the University of Wisconsin to the State Capitol. It is about nine blocks long, and usually crowded with pedestrians, many of which are students. There are numerous bars and restaurants, as well as the Student Union and Memorial Library, Library Mall, and the Wisconsin Historical Society near the west end of the street.
The trend in handguns has been toward increased capacity. Many revolver designs have even gained a cartridge or two. However, high capacity doesn’t always mean greater efficiency. A smaller grip than is possible with high capacity handguns may make for more comfortable shooting and less stress in trigger reach. There are jurisdictions that limit magazine capacity. While we do not agree with this law and find the restriction onerous and un-American, the law must be respected until we can change it. I am not going to be a test case, and if your head is screwed on correctly, you will not either.
All skills are an amalgamation of basic skills and things we have learned. The problem is that many folks do not study, and if they do, they study things that are of no utility in personal defense. Most shooters engage in superficial dabbling. They may try the inside the waistband holster and the appendix draw briefly, and sometimes try the crossdraw, but not thoroughly examine any of them. They do not repeat the draw 500 times. Some fire from one stance or the other for a box of cartridges or so, and declare one works best for them. That is dabbling. To master a technique you must immerse yourself in the drills. This means total concentration with body and mind. If you have not trained your body, you will be unable to execute effective techniques.
In episode 6 of the Art of Defense series, Beau Doboszenski of Defensive Mindset Training goes over the skills for carrying a concealed handgun including combat speed, draw, single handed and low light situations, and pre-fight and post-fight skills.
Due to a recent move, I now have to consider cold weather in my preparedness calculations. Prior to the move, I lived in Florida for more than a decade; three months of freezing temperatures initially had me off balance. For me, there are 3 layers of preparedness outside of the home: Vehicle, Every Day Carry, and extended. I will touch on all three; however, for me the distinction between them is important.
I have been shooting, training, and training others a long time. I am not a top competitor at 3 Gun. However, I recognize 3 Gun as a shooting sport that is a lot of fun, especially for those who love to shoot. That must come first.
The shotgun is well suited to gunfights at close range, in fast moving situations of short duration. Pump-action shotguns have been the mainstay of both law enforcement and civilian shooters for many years. Automatic shotguns, such as the Remington 1100, Mossberg 930, and Browning Auto 5 have also been used by the military and police.
A few months ago, Federal Ammunition announced American Eagle Syntech—a new concept for range use. While there are many highly-developed loads for personal defense, seldom has much effort been expended in developing range ammunition. American Eagle Syntech is the first range-specific ammunition designed to reduce fouling and extend barrel life with a high-tech polymer bullet coating.
Every single person in the country—except the perpetrators—agree we need fewer deaths from school / mass shootings. Those of us in the gun community know more guns in the hands of good guys means the bad guy gets neutralized (killed) faster. This would greatly reduce the number of casualties. Unfortunately, outside of a few locations, that kind of action is a non-starter… because of politics. However, even if it wasn’t, there is another angle to attack this problem. You also have the potential to increase the survivability of those injured.
Notice, I am not focused on preventing school / mass shootings. That is not something that will ever happen. Evil people do evil things, and they greatly prefer to do them in low-risk, high-emotion, high-casualty areas. Regardless of where you are on the gun debate, and I am pretty sure I know where you stand if you are reading this, we should all agree that reducing the number of deaths at school or other mass shootings is a great goal. Ask yourself, “How can we reduce the carnage caused by mass shooters if the law prevents carrying a firearm in the most likely areas?”
The law prevents you from carrying a defensive handgun, and in some places even from carrying a knife, but it does not prevent you from carrying a tourniquet. These laws do not stop you from carrying rolls of gauze, compression bandages, or chest seals either. Think about that for a minute. At the most recent school shooting, how many casualties died due to blood loss 10–30 minutes after being shot? More than half of the people killed at Pulse Night Club died 20–45 minutes after being wounded. How many of those people could be alive today if someone had applied a tourniquet to their leg or arm?
Sometimes you have to work with what you have or what exists. Of course, I carry a gun (sometimes two) everywhere I go. That often means, I don’t go certain places because my life is worth it. The Post Office is a prime example. In all 50 states, it is illegal to be armed in a Post Office. However, there are alternatives.
- Buy stamps at the grocery store.
- Use Post Office kiosks as those are not Federal Property and you can most often carry there.
- Use parcel businesses that do Post Office functions.
- My late wife and I had a plan for when we absolutely had to go to the Post Office. One of us went in, the other stayed in the car armed and vigilant.
The same thing applies to gun free zones, when considering the reduction of the death rate. Have emergency medical supplies on you or in your vehicle. My everyday bag is a tactical backpack (Drago Assault Pack) with a medic bag on the left side and a tourniquet holster and Gen 7 Cat tourniquet on the right side. Along with basic band aids, Tylenol, etc., my medic bag has:
- North American Rescue CAT tourniquet
- 2 Hyfin Vent Chest seals
- 3 rolls of wound gauze
- 2 rolls of medical tape
- 1 nose vent – nasopharyngeal airway opener
- 2 packets of quick clot
- Trauma shears
- 6 pair of blue 6 mil nitride gloves
I also have a moderate amount of training on how to use these items, but that isn’t even really the point. Quite often there is someone in the crowd who knows how to use them, but a sucking chest wound is likely fatal without a vented chest seal. Even if a doctor, nurse, or EMT is around, they can’t do much without the proper equipment.
My backpack, with the medic cross on the side bag and the exposed tourniquet holster on the other side will alert any professional to possible useful contents—even if I am already a casualty. If I am still active, I can use them or provide them to a more qualified person. The contents of my EDC medic bag can save between one and three people until proper medical attention can arrive. The med kit also works for more common issues such as car wrecks, industrial accidents, or stabbings.
Let’s make the Mandalay Bay Concert shooting a teachable moment.
Of the 51 people who died:
- 21 were shot in the head or neck – Likely, a med kit would have been of little help for them.
- 21 were shot in the chest – A vented chest seal may have reduced the death rate by +/- 30% (4 to 7 additional survivors).
- 15 were shot in the back – A vented chest seal may have reduced the death rate by +/- 30% (3 to 5 additional survivors).
1 was shot in the leg – A tourniquet would have provided nearly a 100% survival chance.
If my numbers are anywhere near accurate, the 51 deaths drops by 8 to 13 people. No one will suggest that roughly 40 deaths would have been good thing, but I think a 20% reduction would have been a great thing. I also know the families of those saved would be much happier with them still among the living.
The concert had an attendance of approximately 20,000. If one person out of 200 had a kit similar to mine, there would have been 100 such kits. If we assume 90% of those people fled the scene or hunkered down, that still means there are 10 usable kits in the area. These would be immediately available for those who were fighting to save the wounded. As it stood, the Las Vegas PD and other first responders did a great job and did have a fair amount of this equipment on hand. Unfortunately, when seconds counted, they were miles and minutes away.
When you, a loved one, or a fellow country music fan is bleeding out, a delay of seconds can be crucial. A delay of minutes… fatal.
Are you prepared? Can you spare $200 for durable goods to save your, or someone else’s, life if the unthinkable happens?
Not long ago, the conversation turned to shotguns at the gun shop. While even the folks that are not the ones we call “gunny” know the merits of a shotgun for home defense, there are many opinions on the proper load and the best shotgun. The shotgun is primarily a projectile launcher and it is best to use what you are comfortable and familiar with.
Many of know about the use of force or deadly force when it applies to ourselves or immediate loved ones. However, the question of whether that protection applied a neighbor or total stranger was recently posed on The Shooter’s Log. For legal matters it is always best to consult an attorney, so U.S. Law offered the solution.
On July 19, 2018, Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed outside a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida, after a confrontation with a legally armed citizen. The man who shot him was identified as Michael Drejka, who McGlockton shoved to the ground for confronting McGlockton’s girlfriend over a parking space.