Self Defense Topics
Some Thoughts on Firearms Training
And a Brief History
I first got involved with firearms, firearms training, concealed carry and self-defense a little over fifteen years ago. At the time, I lived in Colorado, (and I still do). Back then however, Colorado was considered a "may-issue" state.
That means that state law was silent on the issuance of permits to allow ordinary citizens to carry concealed weapons. It was up to the individual sheriff of each county to 1) decide if they wanted to allow residents to legally carry concealed weapons, and 2) if so, what the requirements to qualify would be.
At that time, most county sheriffs in Colorado simply chose not to issue CCW permits to common citizens (subjects).
Like many other states, Colorado has since become a "shall-issue" state, which means that every County Sheriff MUST issue a CCW to qualified residents of that county, and the state has dictated what those qualifications (and maximum costs) are. This is a good thing, because no individual sheriff can deny a qualified citizen the legal right to carry a concealed weapon.
Too Close to Home: The Tragic Tale of an Unintentional Shooting
This is the true story of one of my handgun students who was involved in an unintentional shooting. He accidentally shot his brother in the leg with a rifle.
I heard about this incident several months after it had occurred, and sent an email to the shooter, let's call him JC. He had graduated from of one of my handgun training classes a few years before this event took place.
He replied to my email with the details of the incident, and offered his gracious permission for me to publish his story.
As he describes, there were several factors which culminated in this tragedy. Remove any one of them, and this unintentional shooting would not have happened.
Here is his story, as he described it in an email he sent to me.
The Right Self-Defense Training & Gear
Might Just Save Your Life
When Seconds Count
And Help Is Minutes Away
The Right Gear & Training
Might Just Save Your Life.
This Will Never Happen to You
You'll Probably Never Find Yourself Face To Face with an Armed Attacker Who Is Intent on Doing You Harm
But If It Ever Does
That Is Not the Time to Be Thinking:
"I Can't Believe This Is Happening And I Don't Know What To Do"
Now Is the Time
For You, Your Family and Your Loved Ones to Get the Tools and the Self-Defense Training That You Can Use to Survive a Deadly Encounter
Be Prepared ~ Have A Plan ~ Your Life Could Depend On It
Refuse to Be a Victim!Continue reading
Function and Safety Checks for a 1911 Pistol
Be Sure Your Firearm Is Functioning Properly and Safely.
Perform these Function and Safety Checks for a 1911 Pistol after every cleaning, or partial disassembly of the gun. You can also use them when evaluating a pistol for purchase. These are excellent tests to check the condition of a used 1911 prior to purchasing it.
Generally, if a firearm that I'm considering buying fails any of these tests, I would pass on that particular gun. That's not a hard-and-fast rule, but unless the gun was of such value that it was worth the time, effort and expense of an immediate trip to a qualified gunsmith, I would look at other guns.
Before performing these or any other tests, please ensure that your gun is UNLOADED, and that the gun is ALWAYS pointed in a safe direction.
And, by the way, you do NOT keep ammo near by when you clean or disassemble your guns, right? RIGHT? Right.
A quick look at the classic Five-Count Drawstroke,
and why I have come to prefer a Four-Count Drawstroke.
I'm not saying that the four-count drawstroke is necessarily better than the five-count. However, I will say that personally, I have come to prefer it.
As shown in the video, the four-count drawstroke allows you to acquire a firing position almost immediately after your firearm clears the holster. Simply pivot your weapon so the muzzle is facing forward, and you're in a one-handing firing position. This is similar to the "Speed-Rock" one-hand shooting technique.
The four-count drawstroke also raises the "smack" position (where your firing hand meets your support hand) to your mid- to upper chest area. In my opinion, this is a significant improvement because your two-handed grip is now close to eye level, which allows you to attain your sight picture almost immediately.
I'm sure that some folks will still prefer the classic five-count drawstroke. However, I would urge any serious shooter to at least give the four-count drawstroke some thought. Experiment with it for a while, and then see which one works best for you.
Five Modes of Carrying a 1911 Pistol
The Five Conditions of Readiness
Let's define the five readiness conditions that a 1911-style pistol can potentially be in. These can also be termed the five modes of carrying a 1911 pistol.
The late Col. Jeff Cooper, father of the Modern Technique of the Pistol, described the five modes of carrying a 1911 pistol using the terms "Condition 0," "Condition 1," "Condition 2," "Condition 3," and "Condition 4". These conditions are listed in the order of readiness the pistol is in.
In Condition 0, the pistol is ready to fire; in Condition 1, it is one step away from firing; in Condition 2, it is two steps away from firing, and so on down to Condition 4, which is a 'transportation' mode, about as far away from ready to fire as possible, short of disassembly.
These conditions apply primarily to the 1911-style semi-automatic pistol, which was Cooper's favored combat pistol. I have added my explanations and descriptions to his definitions of the Conditions.
Here's the long story of the broken extractor on our (at the time) newly purchased Taurus PT1911 Pistol:
Whooda thunk a new pistol would have a broken extractor?
Several years ago, my wife & I were in the market for a house gun.
We happened upon this Taurus PT-1911, and we were intrigued. We decided to check it out a bit further, and ultimately purchased the gun.
Most of the details are covered in the accompanying video, but for those of you who prefer the written word, here's the story:
An Overview of Handgun Calibers, Ballistics, and Stopping Power
Trying to put an end to the endless confusion
The subject of Handgun Calibers, Ballistics, and Stopping Power has been a topic of discussion – and often, heated arguments – among firearms enthusiasts for as long as there have been firearms and enthusiasts themselves.
The moment we begin the discussion of caliber and caliber choices, you can hear the age-old rumblings of the ongoing debate between 9mm vs 45, vs 10mm vs 357, etc etc ad nauseum.
We are not going to delve into that discussion; not now anyway. Hopefully, not ever.
In preparation for the day when we do, it's important to first understand the terminology, and second, to have a rudimentary grasp of the physics behind it all: ballistics.
People have devoted entire careers to understanding ballistics. Whole industries are built around the development and production of guns and ammunition that perform to maximum effectiveness for particular situations, and often utilize new handgun calibers. The science behind all this is astoundingly complex, utterly fascinating, and often quite incomprehensible to those of us who are not MIT graduates.
Pistol Caliber Ballistics Data
Pistol Caliber Is Not All It's Cracked Up to Be.
As you can see in the chart below, there's not a tremendous difference among the major pistol calibers listed. None of the pistol calibers approach the capacity of a rifle. Period.
Note the bottom entry: a .22 caliber rifle. This bullet is one half the weight of any of the pistol calibers, yet it produces three and four and five times the amount of energy. The reason: its velocity is triple that of any of the pistols. The reason for the increased velocity: lightweight bullet in a long barrel.
It's clear that the weight of the bullet matters, but velocity has more influence than weight on the energy produced. Weight and velocity work together in the formula of 'stopping power,' and they have an influence on each other.
Lighter bullets travel faster, while heavier bullets need more powder to reach adequate speed, which makes the gun produce more felt recoil (kick) when fired, which makes follow up shots more difficult. So you can see that the ongoing debates of perfect caliber will go on forever. Ultimately, your choice of caliber will come down to a matter of personal preference.
Criminals Prefer Defenseless Victims ... Don't Be One!
Some Sobering Statistics
Each year, 400 out of every 100,000 people are the defenseless victims of a violent crime. That's a 4 in 1000 probability. Every year.
Statistically, your chances of being involved in a violent encounter are about 1 in 250. If you know 250 people (and most of us do), one of you is likely to be the victim of a violent crime this year. Victims of stalkers are even more prevalent: 1 in 100.
Each year, legally armed citizens use defensive weapons to prevent between 800,000 and 2.5 million violent crimes from happening.
You won't often see these stories that feature NON- Defenseless Victims (who actually fought back) on the evening news: there's not enough tragedy or drama to bother with reporting. They are "non-stories" to the mainstream media. (Hmmm, even the media seems to prefer defenseless victims!)
But to the survivors of the attack, these are the real-life stories of their survival!
Some Good News
The good new is, violent crime is on the decline, and has been going down for 15 years or more.
That is not not because cops have gotten better ... or that criminals have gotten religion. It's because more and more people have made the decision to be responsible for their own personal protection.
In the last few years, handgun sales have skyrocketed. Nearly every State in the Union now has a form of legalized concealed carry, and more CCW permits have been issued than ever before. Sales of stun-guns and pepper-spray are at an all-time high.
Criminals despise this. They abhor an armed citizenry. They detest people who are alert and aware of their surroundings. They don't like being noticed, and they can't stand the possibility that one of their intended victims might just fight back. And win.
Cameleon Concealed Carry Bags
Cameleon is a market leader and trendsetter when it comes to concealed carry bags for men and women. We recognize that consumers are often forced to choose between style and function when purchasing concealed carry bags.
Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality products that offer the best value for the price. Thus, our products are designed to provide these consumers with a wide variety of styles that offer the perfect mixture of fashion and feasibility.
Contemporary consumers want a bag that can retain its color and shape with a minimum of maintenance, and therefore, we have chosen to use vegan leather in developing all of our items.
Our vegan leather is a form of faux leather of the highest standard. This supreme material ensures that all Cameleon Bags are lightweight, tough, water- and wear-resistant, and of course, comfortable and stylish.
With state of the art facilities and factories based in India that have been operational since the 1990’s, Cameleon has established a global benchmark that combines beautiful design and functionality in our concealed carry bags and purses.
Each of our concealed carry bags has its own set of specific advantages, and they complement each other superbly. We have concealed carry solutions for every occasion: fashion bags and utility bags, backpacks and more. Many of our customers purchase several bags: each one a different style for a different application.
High quality and affordability are paramount to our business, and making a fashion statement is a hallmark of all Cameleon Bags. So please take a moment and have a look at our outstanding product lines.
An Introduction to Knife Blade Steel
There is a plethora of information about knives and knife blade steel available on the web and elsewhere, written by experts far more knowledgeable than I. My intent here is to provide some basic, perhaps rudimentary, information on what qualities you, as a prospective purchaser, ought to look for in a knife.
It goes without saying, although I'll say it anyway, that the prices of knives are as diverse as the number of knife models and styles available. Do not let price alone be a deciding factor ... there are as many great values available for a quality knife as there are overpriced knives of undesirable quality.
There are many factors that influence a knife's overall quality, and many of those factors are inter-related with other elements of the knife. A well crafted knife, made of good materials, properly utilized and maintained, can last a lifetime, without costing a fortune.
So as a prospective buyer, you must ask yourself what are you going to use the knife for? No knife will do everything; some knives are extremely specialized, while others are great choices for all-around duties. So your first task is to ask what purpose(s) will the knife be used for? Then, when looking at a knife, ask: for what purpose is this knife best suited?
Our task here is to clarify the elements of a knife, and to describe the different options of those elements, and why certain characteristics – especially the knife blade steel – lend themselves better to specific applications.
We will need to isolate the components of a knife, and describe the varieties of options for each of them. We'll begin with the Knife Blade Steel itself. Future articles will speak to other important considerations such as Knife Geometry, Blade Shapes and Styles, Blade Edge Styles, Folders and Non-Folders, etc.