Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How Skilled is Your Attacker?

An interesting read here:

The first thing that the researchers learned is that our assumptions about criminals not training are wrong. Nearly 40% of the criminal attackers in this study had received FORMAL firearms training (mostly in the military). More than 80% of the criminal attackers regularly practiced with their firearms, with an average number of 23 Practice Sessions Per Year! They conducted these practice sessions in trash dumps, wooded areas, back yards and “street corners in known drug trafficking areas”. What that means is that the practice sessions were taking place in realistic environments, under conditions similar to those the attackers were likely to face in combat

Friday, October 11, 2013

AAR: Tactical Defense Institute's Extreme Close Quarters (ECQ) 10/5-6/2013

The first sign that you might be in trouble is coming to and finding someone on top of you reeling back to start beating the snot out of you. I know it's cliché' and everyone will tell you that you're being paranoid or that just having a gun is enough etc. but there is a very big risk as a concealed carrier or person who goes about armed on a regular basis. If you're an open carrier, be it as a Law Enforcement Officer or armed civilian, even more so. And that risk is that your gun can be used against you.

If you look at FBI stats on lost gun fights (why they don't put more emphasis on victories is beyond me) you will see that a lot of dead officers ended up that way while in close proximity to their attacker, a lot of times it's with their own pistol. I've covered these numbers in brief before, but here they are again.

To make a long story short, there's a lot that can happen in close distances that can put you behind the eight ball. A flubbed draw, a snagged cover garment, a lapse in situational awareness (contrary to popular belief you can't maintain 100% situational awareness and keep every one out past a 21' radius of your position) and just bad luck can result in an attacker being right up on you before you know it.

A lot of us train in the proper use of firearms. A lot of time is spent on drawing the gun, aiming the gun,  firing the gun, reloading the gun etc. Not a lot of time is spent learning to draw a gun while someone is actively beating you. Not a lot of time is spent learning how to keep the gun away from someone that is actively beating you, and not a lot of time is spent on learning how to keep your gun running while actively defending yourself against someone...you got it...that is actively beating on you.

A lot of us that carry firearms are also "gun centric" we have a gun so we don't learn how to fight, we have a gun so we don't carry a knife, we have a gun so we can shoot our way out of trouble.

But what happens when you can't shoot your way out of trouble? The gun is not always the best answer and in wanting to be well rounded I found ourselves at the Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) in Ohio attending their Extreme Close Quarters Class.  If you've been reading this blog for a time you may have read our other reviews of TDI classes, if not you can find them HERE, as such we are not strangers to TDI and we've always been pleased with the training we've received there.

The Extreme Close Quarters (ECQ) class is typically offered once a year and it fills up fast so if you want to attend you need to sign up fast. Their Handgun III or Equivalent is required.

We believe this unusual, innovative class to be the first of its kind ever offered. No one weapon is the sole answer. You may well have to engage with your hands prior to deploying another weapon. ECQ integrates the use of the hands, knives and handguns in the extreme close quarter’s environment.Learn weapon retention and takeaway, physical interaction with hands and other weapons. Deal with single and multiple assailants. Learn to protect your partner/family member in the ECQ environment. This class is not for the faint at heart and a must for law enforcement professionals and citizens alike.Prerequisites: Level III handgun or equivalent.
This class covered a LOT of material, this could easily be a three day class but they do a pretty good job in the span of two days.

One of the things I like most about TDI is the instructor/student ratio. I want to say we had a class of nineteen and seven instructors. While the other students acted as safety persons, you won't find much of the "coach - pupil" method in place @ TDI. Sure the other students are helpful if they spot you doing something wonky but there's plenty of instructors walking the training area looking to help and instruct. It's also nice to get several different sets of eyes looking over your techniques.

The lead instructors were Greg Ellifritz and David Bowie.

In the class we covered some of the distance stats that I referenced above as well as the following:

:What is required to get your gun out while in a physical altercation.
: What constitutes a good retention position.
: Expected operation of your pistol in close proximity to your target.
: Clearing of cover garments
: Live Fire - "TDI Retention" and transitions from/to retention and extended - Moving Forward
: Stuffing the draw of an aggressor
: Countering a stuffed draw
: Fighting an armed attacker
: Issues with handgun mechanics in close quarters
: Live Fire - "TDI Retention" and transitions from/to retention and extended - Moving Rearward
: Creating Distance
:Transitioning from empty handed defense to armed defense 
: Weapon retention
: Holster selection 
: Knife work
: Ground defense
: Live Fire - Shooting from the ground.
: Force on Force Scenarios - Stand up and starting on the ground.

Now I'm not going to go into too much detail, if you want all the details do what I did and go take the class. But I will go into a little detail about some of what we learned, what I all ready knew that was reinforced, and just some thoughts on the class.

Getting your gun out. In a perfect world we'll always see trouble coming three miles away. The world is not perfect. A good holster and a concealment garment (if applicable) need to work together and you need to practice getting at your gun from a variety of positions, and not just standing. Can you get it with one hand? Can you get it on the ground? Can you get it on your back with someone sitting on you raining down blows?

Retention. There's  a variety of different retention positions. Some are better than others and some of the lesser methods leave the gun too far out or "Floating" keep the gun in for the best protection.

We should all be aware that semi-autos can be forced out of battery and can be fickle things when filled up with gunk. Gunk as in someone skin clogging the ejection port after you fire a close shot. Can you clear malfunctions? Can you clear malfunctions one handed? Can you clear malfunctions one handed while going fisticuffs with your attacker either defending your dome or attacking theirs? Yeah, we covered that and there's some good tactics and things to think about. Is your gun set up to easily facilitate one handed cycling on a belt or other surface?

I all ready talked a little about cover garments, but to reiterate, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO GET YOUR GUN OUT! If you're carrying under a closed front shirt, you need to lift that shirt HIGH.

Stuffing / Countering a Stuffed Draw. We discussed techniques to counter an attacker trying to stuff your draw and how to stuff your attackers draw. We also spent some time using empty hand techniques against armed attackers to negate their weapon. This is one of those things that you'll have to just go the class to learn.

Handguns, even revolvers are easy to tie up in close quarters. Slides can be pushed back, revolver cylinder can be bound up. They taught some nice tricks to keep your gun running including one in which while running a revolver you can use your attacker to rotate the cylinder. That was pretty cool.
Another thing that we saw was that depending on wrist angle, you might not even be able to pull a heavy trigger, like that of a traditional double action semi-automatic.

Creating distance is a two edged sword. You can get distance to get your gun out, but that also gives your attacker distance to do the same or access another weapon. If they've got a hand on your gun, you can't just shove them off as the gun might go with them and leave you reaching for an empty holster. We learned ways to create enough distance to access a firearm and use it.

Empty hand to armed transitions. There may be a time where something starts as a situation that you think you can handle with empty hands and escalates to a situation where you need some help. This kind of ties in with creating distance but it all boils down to creating an opportunity where you can access your gun and draw it without it being blocked.

Weapon retention. It's amazing how ingrained fully extending the pistol is now. I think a lot of us have spent so much time pressing the gun out that it's what we want to do even when it's in our best interest to keep it in a retention position. When I was still on active duty in the Marines the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) was being phased in. A common sound-byte was "An extended limb is a broken limb" in close quarters gun fighting, an extended gun is going to be grabbed, snatched, and otherwise wrenched on. Keep it close to the body.

Holster selection. They covered good holster and bad holsters. Cheap paddles: BAD. Serpas: BAD. Fobus: BAD. 5.11 Thumb-Drive: BAD. "Slide holsters" that don't cover the entire slide of the gun: BAD. To elaborate on the slide holsters, pending on your position and while rolling around it's easy for pressure on the bottom of the gun to force it out of the holster. A holster should cover the muzzle.

The Safariland ALS got high marks.

Knife work. We did a very brief portion on knives, for a review of TDI's Defensive Knife Class you can read it HERE. This class really reinforced using the support side fixed blade in a lot of cases. I picked up a couple more TDI knives. Again, this was really brief and was kind of a primer for the Defensive Knife Class but it was a good primer and gave the students something to think about.

Ground defense. There's only so much time to spend on this in a two day class, it take a lot of time to get "good" at unarmed combat and defense. They taught a couple of basic techniques to help you out in a ground fight. The wife and I have been studying with a Krav Maga instructor for the last year and it's really starting to pay off. Go out and start learning to improve your empty hand skills. They can be your first and last line of defense and unlike a gun will always be with you.

The live fire work was pretty light, the class info on TDI's website says 600 rounds, we probably shot less then 400rds between the two of us, but still bring the required 600 as it may have been abbreviated due to the still lurking ammo shortage. We did some shooting on the ground which was pretty neat. I've done a good amount of that in the past, but it was nice to get a refresher. We also shot from chest ready on paper and steel, that was a nice eye opener for some of the students to see what they were capable of with no sights and just indexing on the target.

We worked live fire drills shooting from retention and working from retention to extended and the other way around. Movement was pretty basic, just forward and rear. This is not a moving and shooting course. I would have liked to see more lateral or oblique movement.

Force on Force. Near the end of day two we did two force on force scenarios. These are optional but encouraged. We started with a stand up scenario with your typical "interview process" and you had to play it out. The students act as a jury of sorts and we debrief after the scenario to determine if the actions were justifiable.

The 2nd scenario started under the premise that you were knocked unconscious and come to with your attacker in the mount.

Both scenarios were pretty interesting and the beauty of it is that no two are the same.

Do keep in mind that this is a training environment and while the instructors are pretty well protected  the students are not. This is not full contact training and was really pretty moderate. It's a two day class and not all students walk in the door with empty hand skills. This just acts as a more fluid experience in working the techniques that are being taught in the class.  It's not meant to be as realistic as possible or a substitute for an actual steady training regimen in empty hand combatives.

Overall I really, really enjoyed the class. It really enforced the need for some empty hand skills, the off-side carry of a fixed blade and really knowing how to run your gun in a variety of environments.

The gear I used for the class was my 2nd Gen Glock 17(slightly modified), a Fricke Seraphim AIWB holster, and a single Blackhawk CQC mag carrier. I kept a couple spare mags in a pocket and more in the range bag ready to go but this was not a heavy round count class so we didn't need a lot of mags on your person. I did the first day not working from concealment and concealed the second day of class.

My gun functioned well, while some students had malfunctions a lot of it was a result of poor retention positions and odd grips while firing.

This was my first time working live fire from AIWB and I'm pleased to say I didn't blow my junk off or otherwise shoot myself. The advantages of AIWB while trying to control a holstered pistol are pretty impressive. Having the gun centered really allows you to keep pressure on it and it's just all around easier to defend and access.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Glock 17 2nd Generation - Retro Remodel

From our friend @ Bowie Tactical:

G-17 with frame textured and cut to G-19 length, milling for RDS (RM07) and BUIS done. More to do but getting closer!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sig 556R Update

I was able to get out over the weekend and get the 556R w/ ACOG sighted in.

Fired about 75 rounds during the outing, the rifle made it through 75 cycles of operation (feeding, chambering, locking, firing, unlocking extracting, ejecting, cocking without issue. Spent casings were flying out of the gun.

I mentioned some dislikes about the gun in the previous posting, the safety lever is definitely too small. A Krebs aftermarket lever will be added later. I am unsure if I will be replacing the grip at this time or not, but a slimmer grip option would be nice.

The lack of iron sights on this rifle is baffling, I don't know what Sig was / is thinking. Sure we all like optics and that is probably the first thing most people add to a rifle/carbine these days, but sending out a $1K+ rifle without usable sights is just stupid.

The trigger is heavier, but pretty smooth. The stock will be getting changed out eventually to give me a better length of pull, it's a little short as is for me.

Accuracy-wise, I'm pretty happy with it and the Wolf Military Classic 124gr FMJ I was shooting. 3 shots touching @ 100yds with a 3X ACOG near the end of my trip and my eyes were getting fatigued. I need to explore a different optic that will allow my cross-dominant self to shoot with both eyes open, by the end of the outing my right eye felt majorly fatigued. Nothing stellar, but it will do the job.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Iowa Basic and Intermediate Pistol Classes Aug 24th & Sep 28th

Cedar Valley Defensive League will be offering the following classes:

Basic Defensive Pistol, Saturday Aug 24
This class is a beginner class and no prior firearms knowledge is necessary. Range portion will include taking your first shots, acquiring adequate trigger control and shooting from the ready position. Upon Completion a certificate will be awarded for use to obtain Iowa Carry Permit.

Intermediate Pistol Training Saturday, September 28
This class is designed to enhance your shooting capabilities. The total day will be at the range. Holster is required. The class will entail 200-300 rounds of ammo. Upon Completion a certificate will be awarded

Instructors: John and Melody Lauer, NRA Instructors

To reserve your place in class and details:
Contact: Joyce Kienast
Cedar Valley Defensive League (CVDL)
Phone 319-404-5792

We had a lot of good feedback from the ladies only class last month, these upcoming classes are co-ed.

Course topics for the "Basic" include

Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting
Principles of Self Defense
Carry Lifestyle
Iowa Code
Equipment (beyond firearms)
A Female Specific handout as well as a 100pg Student Handout and Reference Packet.
Live Fire Training

This is a FULL day class. Not a 2-4 hour thanks for coming here's your certificate type of class.

The Intermediate Class as stated is ALL on the range.

We start with working from the holster and on to reloads, one-handed usage, malfunction clearing, basic movement, multiple targets and shooting from cover.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

1st Look : Sig 556R 7.62X39 w/ ACOG TA33R-13

If you've been following here for  a while you'll know that I was looking heavily at ARs in .308, as much as I want one I just don't have much use for a .308 AR.

A 7.62X39 Carbine on the other hand, that I can use.

There's been a gap in the stable of a 7.62X39 platform in the safe and I just wasn't too keen on some things about the AK, while the 556R has some shortcomings, I think it will suit be better than an AK and I was able to acquire one in much more suitable timeline than a comparable AK, I was looking at a Krebs but there's a 6+ month wait on one.

As luck would have it right when the itch was flaring up One Source Tactical got a small batch of 556R Swat (quad rail) models in.

Sig 556R, Trijicon TA33R-13, KAC Rail Covers and VFG 

556R Folded

The rifle is a little front heavy with the rail and polymer swiss stock and I'm not too crazy about the "Saw" grip but the rifle is pretty clean and appears well made. Sig has done some work on this rifle since they were first released so I'm hoping for an issue free product from Sig...then again the P238 was supposed to have been fixed before I purchased my HD and that ended up getting replaced. Sig is 0-1 so lets see if the "R" can get a little love back in the Sig camp. Take down is a little awkward and the placement of the some of the stuff on the rails is...problematic. The bayonet lug mounting point makes it hard to slide rail covers on from the front, and from the back there's not enough room for a longer cover section. The folding stock covers some of the right rear rail and Sig at least supplied some ladder covers and I covered those unused sections with the ladder section.

Bayonet Mounting Point Prevents Rails From Being Inserted From the Front.

This "Tooth" Keeps the Stock Captive While Folded

The Rail Cover Won't Fit Here w/ Stock in Folded Position, but the Supplied Ladder Cover Works Well. 

The gun has an A2 style bird-cage compensator, but the threading is 5/8 X24 and you can replace as needed. As front heavy as the SWAT is, I doubt you'll need much recoil reduction.

The rifle has several mounting points for a sling:
Rear Sling Mounting Point

Front Sing Mounting Point.
There's also a hole in the stock where a sling can be attached. I'll be posting some slings later, a CrossTac Ambi sling with HK hooks and the IRENE Sling with MASH hook and tie-down.

The rear sling mount pictured above can be changed to the right or left and as pictured on the left side of the rifle is too close to my nose so for now I've moved it to the other side. I'll either add to the butt-pad of the rifle or eventually add an AR stock tube and Magpul CTR so that I can add a riser and extended butt pad, but for now I'll probably just play around with a slip on butt pad.

I'll be stripping the gun this weekend, cleaning out the grease and hopefully will get the ACOG TA33R-13 sighted in.

More to follow...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Violence is Golden

 A very good read:

A lot of people like to think they are “non-violent.” Generally, people claim to “abhor” the use of violence, and violence is viewed negatively by most folks. Many fail to differentiate between just and unjust violence. Some especially vain, self-righteous types like to think they have risen above the nasty, violent cultures of their ancestors. They say that “violence isn’t the answer.” They say that “violence doesn’t solve anything.”
They’re wrong. Every one of them relies on violence, every single day.
Our complex society relies on proxy violence to the extent that many average people in the private sector can wander through life without really having to understand or think deeply about violence, because we are removed from it. We can afford to perceive it as a distant, abstract problem to be solved through high-minded strategy and social programming. When violence comes knocking, we simply make a call, and the police come to “stop” the violence. Few civilians really take the time to think that what we are essentially doing is paying an armed band protection money to come and do orderly violence on our behalf.
In it's entirety:

Violence is Golden


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Re: Champer Empty Carry & Weak / Support Hand Injuries

A couple weeks ago I discussed chamber empty carry (condition 3 or C3 carry) and that a lot of persons that carry in that manner don't take into account how quickly an injury can negate "all the training" they put into drawing the gun "The same way every time"

When discussing this on the forums, a lot of the C3'ers will scoff at the mention of such an injury.

Today I sliced my thumb, barely missing some tendons.

Caution, some mild pics below. Not too nasty but if bloody pics make you squeamish, you may not want to look at them.

Click "Read More" below to continue.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Point Blank Truth: USAF: Safariland, no more SERPA

The Point Blank Truth: USAF: Safariland, no more SERPA:

As a follow up to:



Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blackhawk Pistol Club April IDPA Macth - 4/28/13

Our 2013 season opening matches are fast upon us. USPSA starts this Sunday and our IDPA match will be on Sunday the 28th. We are running all Sunday matches for IDPA this year, this years schedule is below.

If you've forgotten where the range is, we are located on the west side of RT63, south of US20, across from the John Deere Implement.
For IDPA we will be shooting a full eight stages but are keeping the minimum round count down to approximately 70rds due to the ammo shortages.
For a look at the stages, see them HERE, these are just overviews and actual stages may vary.

Times for the April Match (04-28-13) are as follows:
Match times are as follows:
Setup: 07:00/07:30
Sign in: 08:30
New shooter orientation: 09:00
Safety brief - stage walk through: 09:30
Shooting starts: 10:00

As mentioned in a previous mailer there is a new Iowa Shooters Forum and we are looking to use it as our "home" forum.

Also, please make sure that the email addresses:



Are in your safe list, we will be starting to send match updates from those addresses in the coming months.


Also of note is that some time during the year RT63 will be under construction, we will be posting updates as that progresses.
Our match schedule for the year is:

7-28 - IDPA Classifier
10-27 - Halloween Match
11-24 Week Before Thanksgiving.

Be sure to "Like" us on Facebook

Hope to see you at our first matches of the 2013 season!



Saturday, April 6, 2013

First Look: Trijicon HD Night Sights - HK45

I recently ordered the Trijicon HD sights w/ orange front for my HK45 from HKparts.net and had them installed today. Just how "high vis" is the front sight? Here's a picture focused on the rear sight

The front sight looks like a ball of fire landed on it.

I don't think there will be any missing that front.

First impressions on the sights are good. Like all Trijicon products I've had experience with these are well made and installed pretty easily. The sights are taller than I thought. The rear sight has a nice angle to it and is nicely serrated to reduce glare. The lamps are nice and bright (no duh, they're new) will get some shooting in this month with our IDPA season opener.

Monday, March 25, 2013

DiamondBack Police Supply Refuses to Sell Mark Kelly "His" Rifle

From their Facebook page

"Statement of Douglas MacKinlay, Owner/President, Diamondback Police Supply Co., Inc.

“While I support and respect Mark Kelly’s 2nd Amendment rights to purchase, possess, and use firearms in a safe and responsible manner, his recent statements to the media made it clear that his intent in purchasing the Sig Sauer M400 5.56mm rifle from us was for reasons other then for his personal use. In light of this fact, I determined that it was in my company’s best interest to terminate this transaction prior to his returning to my store to complete the Federal From 4473 and NICS background check required of Mr. Kelly before he could take possession this firearm. A full refund was sent to Mr. Kelly, via express mail, on Thursday of last week.
The Sig Sauer rifle will be donated to the Arizona Tactical Officers Association where it will be raffled off to generate funds the association can use to purchase much needed tactical equipment for the organization’s members. The A.T.O. A. represents the SWAT and Special Response officers of the state’s law enforcement community who regularly place their lives on the line to protect the residents of this state.
Additionally, Diamondback Police Supply will make a $1295.00 contribution (the selling price of the M400 rifle) to the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program that teaches children, in pre-K through 3rd grade, four important steps to take if they find a gun. The emphasis of the program is on child safety, something that is important to all of us and at the core of the current debate on gun control,” stated Douglas MacKinlay, Owner/President, Diamondback Police Supply Co., Inc."

H/T to JD (No relation)  for posting this. Awesome is all I have to say.

Mr. Kelly, excuse my language but would you like a nice cup of STHU with your humble pie?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

But the .22 Has Killed.....

More people than ALL other calibers combined!!!!!!

No, it has not.

This is one of my favorite misunderstandings to to hype, regurgitation, and lack of reading comprehension and maybe just a bit of gun shop know-it-alls.

So we've see this claim, I will use the most recently seen version.

"Some years ago, I ran across a DOJ study that concluded .22LR ammo has killed more people in the USA than any other caliber(s)."

That DOJ study can be found HERE in this 1989 study which states:

"Probably more people in this country have been killed by .22 rimfires than all other calibers combined, which, based on body count, would compel the use of .22’s for self-defense. The more important question, which is sadly seldom asked, is what did the individual do when hit?"

"Probably" does not equal "conclusion."

"Probably" as defined by Websters:
: insofar as seems reasonably true, factual, or to be expected : without much doubt probably
happy> probably rain>
But is the statement above reasonably true? 
Now granted this is not 1989 and we have some new studies, most recently Greg Ellifritz's An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power  which has some pretty interesting data on the little .22 in that of the handgun calibers, it had the 2nd highest percentage of hits resulting in a fatality and the 3rd lowest rate of incapacitation. 

.22 is third lowest in incapacitation

.22 is 2nd highest (of the handguns) in terms of fatality.
 Seems kind of paradoxical, doesn't it?

I asked Greg about this and he told me pretty much what I expected to hear:

I think the two may be somewhat related...It's a small bullet, it doesn't incapacitate well. I 'm guessing that many of the people who were hit with it (even seriously) didn't know they were hit. They didn't immediately go to the hospital for treatment. By the time they recognized they had a problem, it was too late and they died.
Many of the people shot were criminals. They don't want to go to the hospital with a gunshot wound. They see a little .22 hole in their skin and they say "that ain't shit" as they slowly bleed to death internally.
One other factor to consider is that the .22 is outside lubricated. It picks up all kinds of crap as it goes down the barrel and through clothing. It carries all that crap into the wound. The death rates from infection are likely higher with it than with other bullets.
 Lets look at some other data we have, the original source of this claim comes from 1989, in 1995 we had this paper, Guns Used in Crime which contains these tidbits of info regarding caliber:

  • Surveys of inmates show that they prefer concealable, large caliber guns. Juvenile offenders appear to be more likely to possess guns than adults.
  • Studies of the guns used in homicides show that large caliber revolvers are the most frequent type of gun used in homicides, but the number of large caliber semiautomatic guns used in murders is increasing.

  • Research by Wright and Rossi in the 1980's found that most criminals prefer guns that are easily concealable, large caliber, and well made. Their studies also found that the handguns used by the felons interviewed were similar to the handguns available to the general public, except that the criminals preferred larger caliber guns.

 In this other document, Homicide Trends in the United States 1980-2008 we have the following point to consider:
Data in this report are from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), unless otherwise noted. The SHR Program of the FBI collects yearly supplementary homicide data regarding homicides committed in the
United States. Statistics in this report detail homicide trends by age, sex, and race, including homicides of children under age 5 and of persons age 65 or older. It examines the relationship between the victim and the
offender, particularly in cases of intimate and family homicide. Th e report also examines multiple victim and offender homicides, circumstances surrounding the death, justifiable homicides, law enforcement offi cers
killed, homicides cleared, and homicide trends by city size and weapon use.
 These data may differ slightly from previously published versions because of updates to the data file, changes to the imputation methods used, and refinements in the analyses. (See Methodology for more information on the imputation methods used in this report.) In addition, analyses presented here include data from 1980 through 2008 only. This modification was made, in part, to reflect revisions in the SHR in 1980

 If you look at the FBI's coding of the SHR data you find the following*:

Column 14.
Weapon Used:

Data Element 13 (Type Weapon/Force Involved)—the weapon code numbers are the same for both NIBRS and Summary.  When NIBRS codes 11-15 include a suffix of
A = automatic, disregard the suffix in the conversion process.

11 - Firearm (type not stated)

12 - Handgun

13 - Rifle

14 - Shotgun

15 - Other firearm

20 - Knife/cutting instrument

30 - Blunt object

40 - Personal weapons

50 - Poison

60 - Explosives

65 - Fire/incendiary device

70 - Drugs/narcotics/sleeping pills
 Aside from some other mumbojumbo therein, you won't see any mention of caliber in that report. As such, I would wager that the statement in the report initially quoted has no supporting data.*It is possibly that before 1980 caliber was listed, but I have not yet been able to confirm if it was or was not.

Greg's study is geographically limited, but it stands to reason that the results would average out.

So what does all this mean? I don't think it comes up with anything too concrete other than that when you look at the ratios of what guns are used in crimes, what guns criminals prefer, the fatality stats shown above I think it's on the level to say that while the .22 can certainly kill, it is not "responsible" for more deaths than "all the other calibers" combined, but hey...I could be wrong.

In a pinch I would much rather carry a .22 than nothing, but thankfully I can manage to carry larger.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blackhawk Pistol Club 2013 USPSA & IDPA Match Dates

April 14
May 19
June 9
Jul 14
August 11
September 8
October 13
November 10
Dec 8

April 28
May 26
June 23
July 28
August 25
September 22
October 27 - Halloween Match
November 24 Week Before Thanksgiving.
Classifier will probably be in June or July. 
For our first two matches, the times will be the same as last year

Match times are as follows:
Setup: 07:00/07:30
Sign in: 08:30
New Shooter Orientation: 09:00
Safety brief - stage walk through: 09:30
Shooting starts: 10:00


Also of note is that some time during the year RT63 will be under construction, we will be posting updates as that progresses.

Due to the current strain on ammo supply, expect lesser round counts at the IDPA matches, but more stages. We plan on running a full 8 stages with a round count under 75rds.

If you've forgotten where the range is, we are located on the west side of RT63, south of US20, across from the John Deere Implement.

Formal match announcements will be made for each shoot. Also, starting in June match emails will be sent from a new address: IDPA@BlackhawkPistol.org, so make sure that address is on your "safe list" prior to June.
See you at the matches!


BHPC on Facebook
IAShooters.org - Blackhawk Pistol Club - IDPA

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A New Iowa Gun Forum Starting Up

One of my co-conspirators from IDPA is starting up an Iowa specific gun forum.


Hope to see ya there.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sig 226 SAO, Finally.


Stock Photo From Sig Sauer's Website        
Been wanting one of these for years. Unlike the X5 Tactical, holsters will be readily available for this model.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chamber Empty Carry and Perfect Storm Scenarios

In the concealed carry world, we talk about different scenarios where one may find themselves drawing a firearm and defending themselves. Everything from home invasions, robberies, active shooter scenarios, multiple attackers, single attackers, female attackers and everything in between.

There are two distinct types of scenarios that are kind of dangerous to the mental physique of a concealed carrier. Those two are the Kobayashi Maru, AKA the un-winnable scenario (taken from Star Trek 2, the Wrath of Khan) and what I call the "Perfect Storm" scenario.

In the perfect storm scenario, every possible thing goes in favor of the defending party.

A "good" scenario needs to be somewhere in the middle, you should think about and plan for things going wrong and totally not the way that we would "want" it to go. Why? Stuff happens. Sure, the desired outcome is being victorious, but if all you think about is the perfect storm, you don't take into account a lot of variables that can effect a victorious outcome.

We would all like to think that on any given day that we may be called to draw and God forbid use our firearm that we will have crystal clear situational awareness, see the threat approaching from 20 yards away with a red neon sign indicating evil intent, have all the time in the world to sweep a concealment garment out of the way, draw the pistol, step into the text book stance of our liking, and aim in at the target ensuring proper sight alignment, sight picture and start tactical breathing all by the time the threat reaches that magic number of 21' so we can dispense a text-book Mozambique and save the day!

That's probably not the way it's going to happen.

The day that you end up needed to draw your pistol and fight for your life will probably be the day that your dog died, your wife left you for your best friend, you just found out that you're getting fired from your job and your favorite team is not going to the Super Bowl this year.

You're going to have things on your mind, you may see the guy approaching but so what, this day can't get any worse, maybe you even think "Man I wish this guy would try something so I could kick his ass!" and while you're day dreaming, playing THAT scenario out with a grin on your face the dude is now inside your space and straight jacks you in the jaw and THEN you're trying to go for your gun etc.

So where am I going with this? Some of the individuals in the "Carry Community" take these things this into account: what if I don't see it coming, what if I'm injured, what if I'm out numbered, what if.... lack of good lighting, clear threat indicators, etc. We think about things from the worst possible angle, not the best. Lets be honest, if we even have to draw our gun, any hopes of an easy way out of this situation has all ready gone up in smoke and we've just won the lottery of shitty luck, and it's probably not going to get any better.

But if there's one group of people that seem to glance over this it's the "Chamber Empty" or Condition 3 Crowd. Condition Three, or C3 is the weapons condition code for loaded magazine in the firearm, but the chamber is empty requiring manual preparation of the firearm (Most often manually cycling the slide) before the gun can be used.

The most common means of getting the firearm ready for action is to use the support hand to manipulate the slide. That's pretty easy, after all that's pretty much what a lot of people do to load the gun in the first place or it's what many do when facilitating a slide lock or emergency reload.

The main-stay of most C3 carriers regarding this is that "it only takes a second (on a static range, at a non moving target, in optimal conditions) to get the slide moving and chamber a cartridge."

I speculate that many have never tried this with gloves on or in the rain with wet hands, or better yet on their back with their support hand keeping an attacker at bay. Never mind the fact that they are relying on an appendage that may not be available when in need to operate that gun. What if the first indication of an attack is a ball bat striking your support side elbow? What if the threat is pretty close, lets give it the ideal Tueller range of 7 yards and your attacker rushes you and now you're trying to get off the X. When you start rapidly moving your hands tend to travel in opposite directions. You can fumble the loading process by short stroking the slide and now have a JAMMED gun.

If the stats are to be believed, an average gunfight is supposed to be 3yards, 3-5 shots, and be over in 3-5 seconds. Do you want one third of that time (assuming all the ideal conditions have been met) spent trying to get your gun ready to shoot back?

If you are responding with lethal force, you are all ready behind the power curve, you are even further handicapped with a firearm in that is not ready to be fired.

I can understand many that are new to carry or maybe even shooting in general to be....concerned with Condition One (C1-- loaded magazine inserted, cartridge in chamber, firearm on safe (if equipped with one)). For the most part that will wear off with time as training is obtained and the shooter's comfort level increases. But there are some that should know better than to cling to C3 carry as as a "safer" method of carry. Their claim is that there is no possible chance of negligent discharge. While that is true, there's also a lesser chance of an INTENTIONAL discharge.

Provided that proper equipment and gun handling is being used, a firearm carried C1 is just as "safe" as a firearm being carried C3.

Just today I read the following from two members of a gun forum:

Um No. I practice racking with left hand as I get on target. Pretty fast after all these years. No write [right] or wrong here. I just do it the same EVERY time.


Most of the time I don't carry with one in the chamber either, as I posted quite a while ago. Some people don't realize exactly how quickly you can chamber a round if they don't practice it much, if at all. Don't have to worry about ND/AD at all (as long as we treat them like they are loaded every time), if a bg (or even a child) somehow gets your gun it will not fire without racking the slide, no bullet setback. There's a lot more benefits too but I don't have time to list them atm. As long as you practice, it makes no difference how you carry, anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't practiced it enough.

Regarding the first statement, if this chambering process is done the same "every time" how will this process be effected when it CAN'T be done the same way as practiced? What about the possibility of fending off an attacker while drawing a firearm? Lets take the human threat aspect out of this, as much as the concealed carry loves "dog topics," I hate them but lets go there for a second.

What if you're being mauled by that viscous poodle from down the street and your support hand or "weak hand" is now an effective chew toy that managed to keep the dog from latching to your throat? How will you chamber a round then?

Now, I don't put a whole lot of weight into this being something that everyone needs to worry about. There are lots of other possibilities and what ifs and it doesn't take a big imagination to create possible scenarios that would hamper one's ability to defend themselves with an unloaded gun.

I did ask the author of the first statement what he would do should he suffer an injury such as a broken arm, sprained wrist, or shoulder injury and he replied with something along the lines of if aliens removed his arm in his sleep that he would carry with a round in the chamber. Do you really think he's taking carry seriously if he can't even factor in real life injuries? All that time spent doing one way of loading that gun with his support hand is one fall off a ladder, one slip on an icy drive, or one sports injury away from being completely irrelevant.

In the event that the support hand is tied up, many will advocate a rear sight that will facilitate one handed racking of the slide. The idea is not relegated solely to the C3 crowd. It's "tactical" to be able to do this and I will admit that most of my guns have this capability. It's mainly done for malfunction clearing should the support hand be injured, etc. Doing this on the draw can be problematic depending on mode of carry and location. It can add excessive movement to a draw stroke. Remember that 1 second time to chamber a round being 1/3 of a gun fight? That one second grows to 1.5, to 2 seconds pretty quick when the process becomes more complicated. Using the rear sight of a pistol to cycle the slide will depend on a lot of variables going right to do it under stress. That rear sight isn't very large and you need an object or surface to use in conjunction with that rear sight.

Regarding the second, italicized statement, I think that the reason that every single professional instructor out there advocates carrying with a round in the chamber is that they have "practiced" enough to see the huge disadvantages and training gaps associated with carrying a firearm C3 for self defense. I would think that if some TRAINING were added to supplement the "practice" and a little more knowledge be learned about how sudden a situation can develop, fight continuum, getting off the "X" and close quarters defense etc. that attitude might change.

I'm very big on solidarity regarding weapons functionality. I don't want to have a draw stroke process that is different or X, Y, and Z. Getting your gun out of the holster and into play should should be A+B=C, not solve for X.