Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Real World Safety Rules

This is what I use for safety rules at work. Why? Because the typical "NRA" style 4 firearms safety rules are square range safety that do not translate well if at all into the real 360' world. I took ideas for these from various sources and finalized the tweak for what I needed to teach/see. Feel free to use/tweak them for yourself. 

Real World Firearms Safety Rules
Revised March 9th, 2015

1.     Treat your weapon as if it were loaded, unless you have specifically made it otherwise, verified its condition, and had someone else verify its condition. Don’t treat it likes it’s radioactive. Treat it like it’s a firearm and you will be safe. Since this is a hot range, this should be a real easy rule to remember.

2.     Do not intentionally or deliberately point your muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy, without an adequate reason for doing so. This is a practical training class, in a training environment. For the square range make a conscious decision to NOT point your weapon at other people. In the real world, you do occasionally have to point your firearm at other people. Only point it at someone you can justify your gun pointed at if it were to go off.

3.     Know what is between you and your target, and to either side of your target. We’re not going to be operating on the square range in the real world. You will have good guys and innocents down-range of you in addition to the suspect. Pay attention to your surroundings. Consider the reality that you might miss. The reality that someone may step in the way of your shot, and the reality that your round may punch all the way through someone and keep going. Most of all, consider the reality that you might miss.

4.     Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. If you fail in all three of the preceding rules, there is a fourth one for good measure. If you point your weapon at someone while it’s loaded, but don’t pull the trigger, the worse thing that will happen is you will get beat up. Unless you are actively engaging a target, with a solid sight picture, there is no reason, whatsoever, for your finger to be on the trigger. It will not make you any faster, to run around with your finger already on the trigger.

5.     Use your mechanical safety. It’s there for a reason. It works really, really well. If you’re running and you trip or if you sling your rifle for whatever reason, it’s entirely within the realm of the probable for a stub/finger/piece of gear/etc. to end up inside your trigger well. That will cause a bang if your safety is not engaged.

There is a zero tolerance policy for safety. If you violate safety rules, you are gone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Comfort Zones and The Necessity to Leave Them

Comfort Zones and The Necessity to Leave Them

Recently on the new forum primaryandsecondary.com a thread was posted challenging users of two different size carry guns to try the following shooting tests and compare results:
Without shooting for 5 days:
·      Cold shoot untimed 10 rounds at 25 yards with a 8” circle. Record score
·      From holster at 5 yards: 7 rounds timed at a 6” circle. Record score.
·      Shoot the same test again after no less than 5 days of not shooting the second or alternate carry gun.

I shot the test with my issued unmodified Glock 22 with Trijicon night sights and American Eagle 185gr ammo.
·      25 yards: 7/10 rounds
·      5 yards: 6/7 rounds in 3.92 seconds from an open carried Phantom holster
6 days later I shot it with my personally owned/modified Glock 19. The gun has a slight grip reduction and a Grip Force Adapter as well as a set of Ameriglo “Operator” sights on it. I haven’t shot it in 1 year before this. I don’t recall when I last shot it at 25 yards, nor do I recall where the sight hold was for 25 yards. In the test I shot it with a box of Speer Lawman 115gr 9mm ammo.
·      25 yards: 4/10 rounds.
·      5 yards: 7/7 rounds in 3.36 seconds from the same open carried Phantom holster.

This test/challenge taught me a few things. One of them was that I need to spend a little more ammo shooting at 25 yards to dial in the accuracy side of my shooting. I feel way more comfortable shooting 15 yards and in, hence I spend more time shooting 15 yards and in. The next thing was to spend the time to know my sights and hold’s at 25 yards for example. When I fired my Glock 19, after the first 6 rounds I lowered my gun and looked at the target and noticed none of them were in the circle. I saw they were hitting high and held the sights on the bottom of the target. Next thing I knew, 4 in the circle. This could be a result of the sight height, or it could just be that batch of ammunition. I haven’t noticed this issue during my 15 yard and in shooting, since it was so close that really wasn’t noticeable.

Is 25 yard shooting a realistic distance? Yes it is. As described on my bio/intro, I’m a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO). One of the duties of a LEO is to do traffic stops. Measuring the average distance from the drivers door a patrol vehicle on a traffic stop to the drivers door on a stopped vehicle will get you in the 20-30 yard range depending on vehicle length and distance between your vehicle and the stopped vehicle. Watch dash cam videos to see how many shootings take place starting at that distance and closing – suspect closing on officer or officer as approaching suspect. If I can accurately engage a target at 25 yards, as well as accurately and quickly engage a target at 5 yards, I can adjust my speed necessity for the appropriate distance and target size. One must practice both though to get that level of skill.

            In summary, get out of your comfort zone. If you are happy with a 10 second F.A.S.T. drill, get the 8-second goal. If you can do 10 pushups, do 20. If you can run a mile, run 2 miles. Instead of a day at the range shooting with the FBI “Q” target as the accuracy standard, use the NRA 25 yard pistol bull “black” zone. Instead of eating a slice of pie with dinner, eat the whole pie. ;)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Book Review: Combat Strength Training

E-Book Review

Combat Strength Training by Pat McNamara

This was released on 5/30/15, in a electronic format. It’s a short quick read. The information is mostly ideology/theory, based on McNamara’s personal experience from his 22 year US Army career.

In the book CST, McNamara breaks down his approach to strength training of the “combat chassis” and recognizes that most MIL/LE guys who carry 60 pounds of “lightweight” gear have had injuries in their career. McNamara looks at what parts of fitness are important to him. McNamara gives some examples of a real world application of a movement he trains – Back Squat = carrying a loved one or heavy pack.

The book does not include a suggested routine so to say, but explains what ways McNamara trains on a weekly basis and what movements he does on those goal focused days. A specific breakdown of what he does is not there. That is up to the reader to decide on their needs.

The book doesn’t include a nutrition guide, as McNamara points out he is not a nutritionist, but he has found that eating a certain way has helped and he learned to pay attention to his body. That diet mysteriously looks like the common “Paleo” or “Caveman” style diet of fresh meat, veggies and fruit.

Overall a short easy read, but best read by someone who has a background in trying Crossfit or Gym Jones style of training. Is it a must read? Not for everyone, but you will get something out of it, especially if you are a MIL/LEO or concerned/prepared citizen who wants to be strong for the fight.

For the book refer to combatstrengthtraining.com