8 Reasons You Need Professional Help

There are words and ideas that pass right through our brains like truthful reporting zips past the network news. In the shooting world, one of those words is “training.” Lots of respectable people talk about the importance of training. In response, we nod our heads and think “Yes! I need to get some professional training! I’ll get right on that!” But the moment passes, we go back to our daily life, and the next thing you know, we’re back to the normal routine – visiting the range once a month and perforating paper targets with great enthusiasm and vigor.

Pro Shooter and Trainer Todd Jarrett has the class moving fast and trying to hit small steel plates. It's an enlightening experience!

Pro Shooter and Trainer Todd Jarrett has the class moving fast and trying to hit small steel plates. It’s an enlightening experience!

You Need Professional Help!

Once you’ve made the decision to carry a firearm for self-protection (you can read more about it here), nothing can improve your ability to protect yourself and your family like professional training. Not equipment. Not ammunition. Not lights and lasers. Not watching Steven Seagal movies. Nothing.

I know for a fact that I need professional help – just ask my regular readers! But you need professional help too. Here are eight reasons why, in the form of easy-to-absorb concealed carry tips:

Concealed carry classes… aren’t.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of eight million Americans have concealed carry permits. Most of those folks had to complete some form of “firearms training.” Unfortunately state-required concealed carry permit training mostly addresses legal issues and carry regulations. Very, very few of those programs cover self-defense strategy and tactics training. If your concealed carry class does not have you out on the range drawing, moving, shooting, working on malfunction drills, and more, consider your concealed carry class as a starting point only. Please, please, please do not assume that your concealed carry class prepared you to carry a gun for self or home defense.

If it ain’t rainin’ you ain’t trainin’.

If you ever need to use your gun in a genuine life and death scenario, I can guarantee the participation criteria will be different than your decision process as to whether to go practice on any given day. Raining? Cold? Tired? “Nah, I’ll hit the range another day,” you think. None of that will matter in real life. If you have to defend yourself or family, you get no choice whether or not to participate based on your feelings or the weather. One of the best training classes I ever did took place in the pouring rain. The instructor didn’t wait it out. In fact, he was thrilled that we would have the opportunity to learn our deficiencies and improve our skills in less than ideal conditions. Wet and slippery hands, mud in our magazines, and soggy cover garments – it all was genuine. And enlightening. And did I mention, wet?

You too can learn how to create a triple malfunction.

A training class will induce just a little bit of stress, and this is a good thing. It won’t recreate the stress of a real-world encounter, but it will get your blood flowing and nerves off kilter. A little training stress can easily cause you to revert to your lowest level of performance. Trust me, I know.

In one of my classes, I managed to create a triple malfunction. The instructor was hollering at me, but it was all in good fun. I was slightly cocky about my accurate shooting and the instructor wanted to create some stress and urgency to throw me off-track. I managed to dump a full magazine on the ground, eject two live cartridges and inadvertently engage the safety before getting off a successful shot. After the class stopped laughing at my expense, we had a great learning moment. Real training, with some pressure, can show you how your “quiet range” skills might suffer in a real world encounter.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

How Do You Become A Better Shooter? Practice, Practice, Practice

The Next Level Training S.I.R.T. Smith & Wesson M&P Training Pistol

The Next Level Training S.I.R.T. Smith & Wesson M&P Training Pistol

As you may know, we’re big fans of the S.I.R.T. Practice Pistol from Next Level Training.

A couple of years ago, Britt Lenz and Mike Hughes (you may remember Mike from History Channel’s Top Shot) came up with a cool invention – a perfectly safe practice pistol. Because the way to become a safer and better shooter is through repetition and mastery of the trigger press.

Now, NEXT Level Training has developed a practice model based on the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol. And it’s spot on in terms of feel and general dimensions. At least it’s dimensionally close enough to work in every holster tried so far.

The pistol features two lasers – red and green. The green laser always indicated the point of impact when the trigger is pressed. The red laser is for training use, based on the operating mode selected.

The new Smith & Wesson M&P has four modes of operation set by a rotating lever on the left side:

  1. The first mode simply fires a green laser dot shot indicator light where the bullet would have impacted.
  2. The second mode detects the slightest touch on the trigger and turns on a red laser dot to show that the trigger has been touched. When the trigger is pressed fully, a green laser indicated point of impact. Hold this thought for a minute…
  3. The third mode  sets off a red laser dot when the trigger is pressed just to the point of breaking the sear. The green laser indicates point of impact.
  4. The fourth mode disables all lasers if you want to practice open sight dry fire with no indicators.

Here’s the key part. The red trigger indicator laser is aimed well below point of impact, so it’s hidden from the shooter’s view by the slide and muzzle. It’s intended for instructor or training partner use.  So if the student is showing poor trigger discipline, the instructor or training partner will see it, but the shooter probably won’t as the red laser dot is out of view.

Neat and SAFE ideas. This should be shipping in the March / April 2014 time frame.

Talking, Talking and More Talking with Max Michel of Team Sig

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one… to attempt to interview another one, who is every bit as nutty as the first one, one looks for Team Sig’s Max Michel.

So we did. We caught up with Max at SHOT Show and dragged him away from the screaming fans and corporate endorsement dealmakers long enough to squeeze in a serious investigative report. Remember folks, you heard it here first…

Champion Shooter Max Michel of Team Sig

Champion Shooter Max Michel of Team Sig

My Gun Culture: So Max, I understand you’re Captain of Team Sig. How is your relationship with all the other Team Sig members?

Max Michel: I treated them pretty fairly. But I had to fire them all, you know?

MGC: So, right now, it’s just you on Team Sig???

Max: Yeah, exactly! I had about 5 other guys and they just started cramping my style and cutting into my budget. And I thought, “I just can’t have that” so I had to release them.

MGC: Well if you’re into world domination, you gotta take out the internal competition. Just ask Dr. Evil or maybe Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Max: That’s the first thing to do!

MGC: You’re also the Manager of Shooting Activities. What’s in the scope of that role for you?

Max: I think what’s interesting about Sig Sauer is that’s it’s a very well-known company. Most everybody knows of Sig – you don’t have to be a gun person. Sig Sauer has always had that military and law enforcement reputation – you know, “to hell and back reliability.” They brought me in about four years ago to help bring them into the competitive market. So, to the traditional Sig values of reliability, I bring about 20 years of practical competitive shooting experience. I help to coordinate our position in competitive and recreational shooting. For example, I look at things like where we want to compete, what we want to sponsor, what do we want to support and emphasize for the year, and that sort of thing. In short, I help bridge the gap between the company and the competitive shooting world.

MGC: Does this liaison role of yours also extend into Sig’s product development strategy?

Max: Most definitely. I’m really excited about that part! The product and marketing teams come to me for input, and I love that. I love those conversations. In fact, I just enjoy talking!

MGC: Well I can already tell this interview is going to take about three days…

Max: I have a flight on Friday, so as long as I make that, we’re good!

MGC: Is there a specific Sig gun that you personally point to and say “I’m especially proud of that one because I had a lot of input”?

Max: Absolutely. That would be the 1911 Max. I’ve been screaming to get a gun for a long time that is built from the ground up as a competitive model. The product team was really receptive to my ideas. In fact, I pushed for a lot of aftermarket parts on that model and the product guys were completely open to that. Now I’m pushing for a new 1911 Max. But I can’t talk about that just yet…

MGC: Tease! The original 1911 Max is available now right? Can you tell us a little about it?

Max: We launched it at SHOT Show 2012 and we took it slow as there are aftermarket parts and we needed to make sure the whole package met Sig’s quality and reliability standards. It’s a target 1911 gun that has been enhanced with competitive parts. Like Hogue G10 chain link grips, a custom mag well that’s an extension of the grip, adjustable rear sight with a fiber optic front sight, front and rear cocking serrations, wide safeties, a flat trigger, the Doug Koenig speed hammer and matching sear, and extended firing pin.

MGC: So with the Koenig custom hammer, do you have any concerns that it’s really a subversive plot by Smith & Wesson to sabotage the Sig 1911 Max? Maybe it’s specially designed to self-destruct like those old Mission Impossible tape recorders…

Max: I’m worried that I’m going to lose my job when someone realizes I put in my competitors part! Just to be clear, the hammer is a Doug Koening part and not a Smith & Wesson part. Maybe this will encourage Sig to make some Max Michel parts!

MGC: So you’ve won everything there is to win about infinity-eleven times. Last I looked it was about 100 championship titles. What gives? You and Lance Armstrong are doing what on the weekends?

Max: No comment… Actually it’s just a passion of mine. I love it. I’ve been doing this since I was 8 years old. It’s not work for me, it’s fun and not a job. When I was 13 I had a goal and purpose to have the type of job that I have today. I wanted to be the next Rob Leatham! But you know, that guy just won’t retire!

MGC: We interviewed Rob several months ago, and he said the only reason he’s staying in the sport is to crush and humiliate you! Let’s talk about your show Hot Shots. You know, the one with you and Charlie Sheen. It’s about Navy Seals or something right?

Max: Yeah right! Me and Charlie Sheen… Hot Shots is a show that illustrates the real life drama of what it’s like to be a pro shooter. People get to see the real deal and all the things behind the scenes. The practice, the work, competition and family life balance. I like how the show is done because the producers just tell me to be Max. There are plenty of times when I’m not happy on camera, but that can be reality. When you’re not winning, you’re not happy. I like the realism.

MGC: Are you planning on getting into the Three Gun circuit? Now Sig has ⅔ of the bases covered with pistols and rifles right?

Max: It’s coming and I’m looking forward to it.

MGC: Everybody and their brother wants to sponsor you and obviously that’s because of your good looks.

Max: And my bald head of course…

MGC: I told you I wasn’t going to ask you about any secret future plans, but I was lying. I’m hearing that you have a sponsorship deal in the works with Snuggies. Care to comment?

Max: I hope so! I’ve got three kids now and I have to prepare for everybody.

MGC: How much time do you spend on the road doing competitions?

Max: I typically spend about nine to ten months on the road, so it’s a pretty heavy schedule. Of course I’m stopping by home, but I never really unpack. It’s a pretty grueling schedule, but I enjoy doing it and hope I can keep doing it for ten or fifteen more years.

MGC: Do you have an idea of how many rounds per year you shoot in practice? What does it take to keep the edge in a sport that can be won or lost by hundredths of seconds?

Max: A lot of people don’t believe it, but there was a time when I was in the Army when I was shooting 5,000 rounds a week for ten months out of the year. These days I just don’t have that much time. I shoot maybe 40,000 to 60,000 rounds a year now. The trick is finding time to practice while you develop other ways to add value to the company that sponsors you. You can’t just focus on winning matches. You have to be a representative of the company and bring value in other ways too.

Max Michel Training AcademyMGC: You do a lot of training. If you had to pick one basic tip for new shooters, where would you steer someone first?

Max: Safety is always first of course. Before any tips, you need instruction on how to safely handle the gun – loading and unloading, storing and general handling. Once that’s covered, I tell people the biggest things to focus on are stance and grip. You’ll be surprised how quickly and accurately you can shoot with proper grip and stance. It’s funny, but I tell people in my classes to expect to be bored the first few hours because I go back to the basics. If you ask other shooters like Rob Leatham, they’re working on those basic fundamentals too. There’s no such thing as advanced shooting, there’s only advanced application of basic fundamentals.

MGC: What are some of the new guns from Sig this year?

Max: We’ve got a lot of new introductions. For example, the P227, which is a double stack .45. It comes in a number of configurations, so you can get options like a threaded barrel. We had quite a challenge designing the 227 so that it’s not too big in your hand, but it worked out really well. You can hardly tell the difference in your hand between a 226 and a 227, but the 227 has 10 rounds of .45 ACP. We also have the P226 SAO which is really nice. I love Sig’s implementation of single action in this gun.

MGC: Before we wrap up, can you tell our readers a little bit about about the Max Michel Training Academy.

Max: It’s aimed at all types of shooters – recreational, competitive, self defense, and law enforcement or military. Basically I teach anyone who wants to get better with a handgun or a rifle. I do maybe a half dozen courses a year at my home range and contract some remote locations throughout the year. For some of the tactical training, I partner with the VATA Training Group and they do an excellent job. The fun thing is that we train anyone – from a raw beginner who has never drawn a gun to military and law enforcement professionals. I love it!

 

We’d like to thank Max and Team Sig for being such great sports, sharing some knowledge and continuing to make fantastic guns! Check out some training opportunities at the Max Michel Training Academy, and you can always keep up with Max and his plans for world domination at MaxMichel.com.

SIRT Training Pistol – Are Eunuch Guns Firing Blanks Or Banking Firing Practice?

Productive (and fun) gun neutering

The SIRT Training Pistol from Next Level Training

The SIRT Training Pistol from Next Level Training

Most people think of neutering in a bad way. My dogs run away for days when they hear that word.Recently we had to retrieve them from a snow cave just outside the town of Alert, located in Nunavut, Canada.

In the case of the SIRT Training Pistol from Next Level Training, there really hasn’t been a neutering of a pistol, technically speaking. More accurately, it’s been designed as a eunuch.

Eunuch [yoo-nuh k]
noun
- a man who has been castrated, primarily for some office or duty such as a guard in a harem or palace official. 

Although painful, and kind of weird, our use of the term Eunuch here doesn’t necessarily imply weakness. Think about all those beefy palace guards in old Cleopatra movies. In this case, it implies strength and singularity of purpose.

You see, the SIRT is a practice-only pistol, made from the ground up as a practice-only pistol. It has a magazine, but you can’t put cartridges in it. It has a slide, but the slide doesn’t move. It has a trigger, but nothing fires – except a laser. Well two lasers actually. It has a magazine release button which drops the inert, but realistically weighted, magazine. It has a rail for tactical gun lights, rail mounted lasers, or even bayonets. If you want to make your eunuch dangerous.

In short, it has most of the components of a real pistol. But it’s designed not to fire. Ever. And that’s exactly what you’re paying for.

This ‘firing challenged” capability makes the SIRT Training Pistol a great training aid.

You can draw. As fast as you like.

You can run around the house yelling things like “Freeze!” and you won’t hurt anyone.

You can aim at things (not people, people!) and pull the trigger. Thousands and thousands of times.And you will have zero risk of shooting the furniture. I shot the dining room table once, and I still hear about it at family gatherings.You won’t experience this type of social embarrassment if you practice with the SIRT.

What is the SIRT Training Pistol?

Our test SIRT fit all of our Glock holsters and magazine carriers

Our test SIRT fit all of our Glock holsters and magazine carriers

SIRT has a name. It’s Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger training pistol. Get it?

The idea behind SIRT is to make quality training easy. A quick look at before and after shooting practice scenarios will give you a good idea of what it does…

Before SIRT

  • Get your gun.
  • Drop the magazine and empty the rounds. Assuming you want to practice magazine changes during your session.
  • Rack the slide to clear the chamber of live rounds. Do it again. And again. Now look inside and make sure the chamber is empty. You really don’t want to shoot the sofa. It’s new and they’re not on sale again until Labor Day.
  • Put your now loose ammunition in another room. I like to set it up on a shelf and use it as an aiming target for dry fire practice. This just gives me an extra assurance that the gun is not loaded as I am looking at its ammunition in the next room. If there are no loose rounds over yonder to aim at, I better check my gun’s status again!
  • Rack the slide to achieve trigger set.
  • Aim at something really, really, really safe. This IS a real gun, and although you’re pretty sure it’s actually unloaded, you have to assume it will go off when you pull the trigger. A word of advice here. That antique clock on the mantle? Yes, it has a target-like round face, but perforating it during practice may cause undue stress for your significant other. And you’ll have great difficulty telling time. Find something that makes a better bullet backstop and is less expensive.
  • Pull the trigger. Assume you hit the imaginary target. You really don’t know however, as (hopefully) no projectile launched and made a vacuous circular indicator of where your muzzle was pointed at the exact picosecond of trigger break.
  • Next, depending on your style of pistol, you can partially rack the slide to reset the trigger. If you use a double action pistol like a Beretta, Sig, or Walther, you can either partially rack the slide or cock the hammer to get a simulated “light trigger pull” shot. Or, if your pistol has a decocker, you can flip the decock lever after you rack the slide to get prepared for another double action trigger pull. Of course, if you have a single action pistol like a 1911, you can just cock the hammer. We’re not addressing revolvers in this scenario as the SIRT is a semi-automatic pistol training device.
  • Repeat at least a few times before you get tired of the hassle.
  • When finished, retrieve your ammo, fill your magazine, chamber a round, safe your gun if applicable, and top off your magazine if you so choose. Store your loaded gun back in a safe place.

After SIRT

  • Pick up your SIRT Training Pistol.
  • Aim at something safe. Eunuch gun or not, we never point at anything we don’t want to destroy right?
  • Pull the trigger. Watch your hit via high-tech laser beam. Yell “whoopee” or maybe something less strange.
  • Repeat until you are either bored or achieve Master Class.

That’s the basic idea. If you have a SIRT, pick it up and practice. If not, be really, really careful. As the SIRT pistol automatically resets its trigger, you can get a lot of quality trigger pulls completed in a very short amount of time.

SIRT Training Pistol features

SIRT Training Pistol lasers

Look Ma! No muzzles! Well, just little ones for the lasers.

The SIRT is modeled after a Glock 17/22. Same basic size, same basic weight, and same basic grip angle. The magazine is even the same size and approximately the same weight as a loaded Glock 17 magazine. Why a Glock? Well, at last count, 4,627% of law enforcement officers across the country use Glocks, so the potential LE training market for SIRT Training pistols is huge on this platform. Will Next Level Training offer other form factors? Perhaps, but I suppose that depends on market demand for specific models. What is announced on the Next Level Training web site is a variation with a similar grip angle to the Smith and Wesson M&P. This is scheduled for ‘soonish’ but that’s all we know right now.

While we’re talking about how the SIRT looks like a Glock, feels like a Glock, and smells like a Glock – well, maybe not smells – we should mention that all Glock holsters we tried fit the SIRT perfectly. We also tried a number of magazine carriers for Glock magazines and those worked perfectly too.

The slide on our tested SIRT is bright red. For most users of stock guns, this clearly differentiates the SIRT as a practice gun. If you’re one to paint and personalize your real guns, simply do the same to your SIRT in a color that you recognize as “safe.” So if your real gun really is red, make your SIRT blue. Or mauve. Or Hawaiian Sunset Lagoon Mango.

The SIRT features a standard front rail, so if you use a rail mounted light or laser on your real gun, you can put one on the SIRT also. Or you can mount a bayonet. And stab the sofa as you won’t be accidentally shooting it.

One of the really big deals about the SIRT Training Pistol is the adjustable auto-resetting trigger. This means you can get as many trigger pulls as you want without doing anything to reset the trigger. It automatically resets just as a real trigger would when firing a real cartridge from a real gun. Want to practice double taps? Triple taps? Emptying the magazine to reload? No problem. As far as adjustment, depending on the model, you can tweak the initial trigger location, overtravel, take up force, and trigger break force. The trigger break can be adjusted from 2.5 to 12 pounds.

SIRT Training Pistols actually include two lasers. A take up laser lets you know when trigger pressure is applied prior to the shot break. This allows you to practice and program your finger to allow the trigger to move forward just far enough to reset. If the take up indicator laser goes off, you have let off too much pressure from the trigger. The shot indicating laser pulses when the trigger sear releases. This indicates the exact moment of the shot. If you see a dot appear right where you were aiming, good job! If you see a line or other indication of movement of that same dot, get back to practicing! With a small lever switch on the top of the slide, you can activate or disable the trigger take up indicator. I preferred using the shot indicator laser only as I found the take up laser distracting, but that is a personal preference. If you want to work on optimizing your trigger reset technique, the take up indicator is a great tool.

The SIRT comes in a durable hard plastic carrying case and includes an instructional DVD.

Model Variations

You can get the SIRT Training Pistol in a number of variations. The Next Level Training website features a product comparison page to help you find the model right for your specific requirements.

The highlights are that the shot indicator laser is available in either red or green. Our evaluation model had a green shot indicator laser and a red trigger take up indicator and this seems the way to go as you won’t confuse which dot indicates trigger take up and which shows shot placement. Other model options include additional trigger adjustments, magazine weight adjustments, and metal or plastic slides. The metal slide model is recommended for any active motion training use. The metal slide version is also very near to actual loaded pistol weight.

10 ways you can use a SIRT Training Pistol

Based on our time evaluating a SIRT Training Pistol, there are many, many productive and safe ways to make good use of a SIRT Training Pistol. Here are a few we found useful.

  1. You can perfect your trigger pull motion. Due to the low overhead of getting ready for practice, you can get hundreds of trigger pulls completed per day with ease.
  2. Give a safety and pistol basics lesson to a new shooter before taking them to the range where it’s noisy and distracting. You can safely show a new shooter a proper grip, have them practice it, and start the process of getting their finger off the trigger until ready to fire! It’s also a great way to illustrate and practice inserting and removing a magazine.
  3. The SIRT is a great tool for transitioning a younger shooter from something simple like a .22 rifle to an auto-pistol.  They’ll safely learn the basic operation and get the hang of a proper trigger pull at a cost per round of, well, nothing!
  4. Stuck on a marathon phone call? Practice a few hundred trigger pulls. Clearly this works better in home offices than corporate high rises.
  5. Teach someone how to properly draw a gun from a holster without risk of firing an unintentional shot.
  6. Practice your own holster draw. Try new holsters and methods without risk. To you or the sofa.
  7. Ever thought about how you would handle the proverbial bump in the middle of the night? With a SIRT and a rail mounted or hand held light, you can safely wander around your house testing out locations, cover, lines of fire, and of course light and or laser techniques. Yes, your family may think you weird, but it’s great preparation. And the dogs will be amused.
  8. Pinch your 11 year old nephew while he shoots. That is if you happen to have an aspiring young shooter in the family who is working on getting rid of a tendency to trigger slap. Editors Note: No actual child abuse occurred with this training method. Certified observers from Health and Human Services were present at all times. As I recall.
  9. Just for fun and profit, you can practice non-standard position shooting. You can even practice point shooting if you’re into that. We won’t get into the debate of relative merits or not, we’ll just observe that you can do it. So go ahead. Draw and shoot from the hip. The SIRT laser will tell you where the SHOT would have gone. And you won’t have run the risk of launching lead into the neighbors yard. Or the sofa.
  10. Bad day? Shoot the sofa over and over and over. Until you feel better. No harm done.

Closing arguments

We were somewhat skeptical about investing time to evaluation the SIRT Training Pistol. The idea of spending a couple hundred dollars on a gun that doesn’t shoot seemed just a little weird. But we persevered. And guess what? The value of this training method became clear in about 5 minutes of use. I’ve been using it every day. It’s safe and convenient. And your shooting skills WILL improve noticeably. And you won’t be explaining to anyone why you need a new sofa.

Next up – The SIRT-AR Bolt

Our Rating

4 Nuns Three Nuns! This is one of those things that really grew on us. Once we started using the SIRT, the value of being able to safely practice thousands of repetitions of draws and trigger pulls became apparent. You can literally program your body to dry fire correctly, get good feedback on aim, and go a long ways towards eliminating any tendency to flinch. Practice with draws was equally valuable. The only minor drawback was the fixed slide. There must be engineering limitations to this, but it would be a real nice to have for the slide to operate in order to practice full magazine change and malfunction drills. I know, we’re being nitpicky and impossible. But it would be nice…

 

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

Our Interview With Massad Ayoob – He’s Not A Dancing With The Stars Contender

Massad Ayoob

Massad Ayoob

Recently I was invited to sit in on Massad Ayoob’s MAG-20 class. Lisa Marie and Tommy Judy run a great training business – B.E.L.T. Training – and were hosting Mr. / Officer / Instructor / Drill Sergeant / Coach / Counselor / Professor Ayoob’s four day MAG-40 class. They had space for me to sit in and observe the intense 2 day classroom portion which is separately offered as MAG-20. And when I say intense, I do mean intense. Ten to eleven hours each day. No breaks. No food. No water. Well, I might be exaggerating on the food, water, and break thing, but we didn’t dawdle and did in fact work right through lunch both days. So it was serious learning.

Here is where I would write many pithy and intellectual observations about the course and my experience with it. Or I could just be honest and tell you that this class scared the living be-jeepers out of me. And it did.

But in a good way.

You see, Mag-20, otherwise known as Armed Citizen Rules of Engagement, starts the process of preparing the student for legal, tactical, and aftermath management issues for the lawful armed citizen. The student is immersed in the frightening real-world scenarios that may result from even lawfully protecting yourself and loved ones. You’ll learn the difference between Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws. And much more. We’ll be doing a separate article talking more about the class experience. For now, let’s just say you need this type of training from a quality instructor. And you need it now. The fear this course generates is healthy and will inspire you to all new levels of preparation. That’s good.

Now back to the business at hand. Having read Massad Ayoob’s work in shooting, concealed carry, and training books, American Handgunner, Combat Handguns, and just about everywhere else, it was about time I was able to meet the man behind the mustache in person. Here’s what he had to say:

My Gun Culture: For those who are not familiar with your work, you’re a career cop, gun writer, self-defense and firearms trainer, legal adviser, expert witness, and competitive action shooter. So what are you going to be when you grow up?

Massad Ayoob: I was always a part-time cop, although fully sworn. That kept it fresh, and prevented burnout. When I grow up, I wanna be about six feet, maybe six feet two…

MGC: Oh I get it. You’re trying to out-wise guy me. I just want you to know that I’m a trained professional when it comes to being a doofus. Is a gig on Dancing with the Stars in your future?

Mas: Hell, son, at my age I’m grateful to WALK. If I ever look like I’m dancing, it’s probably only because I’m struggling to stay standing up.

MGC: Well, Buzz Aldrin did it! Then again, that was somewhat of a disaster… I just completed your MAG-20/Classroom – Armed Citizens’ Rules of Engagement class. It scared the living hell out of me. After a few days I managed to stop whimpering and get out of the fetal position, so I think I’ll be OK with some extra group therapy. For those new to self-defense and concealed carry, which of your dozen or so books would you recommend reading first to prime them for a live training class?

Mas: Damn…I failed you. We don’t usually teach shooting from the fetal position until the next level class… To prep for a MAG-40, I’d suggest reading Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry, Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, In the Gravest Extreme, and Volume I of StressFire.

MGC: Just hypothetically speaking, if you are called as an expert witness, and Perry Mason is cross-examining the be-jeepers out of you, what strategy would you adopt? And no, begging for mercy is not an option. Nor is turning off the TV.

Mas: Same as always: by telling the truth as I see it, and explaining it to the cross-examiner and the jury. Wouldn’t happen, though, since Perry Mason (a FICTIONAL defense lawyer, remember) only defends the innocent, and I wouldn’t be speaking for the prosecution against someone shown by the evidence to be innocent.

MGC: So you caught trying a trick question. It’s my job OK? We ask all our interviewees this important question. As a respected self-defense expert, I think you might have some great insight on this question. Is the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher appropriate for home defense? Obviously a drawback is shrapnel damage to our home, and probably nearby neighbors. On the plus side, I think it has a great intimidation factor. What do you think?

Mas: Might have been awfully useful in Benghazi, but here…prolly not optimum.

MGC: Some of my favorite reads are “The Ayoob Files” in American Handgunner and “Self Defense and the Law” in Combat Handguns. While many are tragic, the real-life stories have powerful lessons. If you had to offer just one piece of advice to responsible citizens, what would that be? Yeah, I know, it’s a completely unfair question, but I am confident you can handle it!

Mas: Think about it to the nth degree beforehand, and be prepared…because when it happens, it will happen too fast to figure it out then.

MGC: Quick one. What was the first gun you ever owned? And do you still have it?

Mas: First very own gun was Eastern Arms 12-gauge single barrel. Still have it. First very own handgun was Ruger Standard Model .22 auto, age 11. Wish I still had it.

MGC: I wish I had your Ruger Standard Model .22 Auto also! You’re a busy man. What are you going to be most focused on in 2013?

Mas: Same as ever, one more year…what the year brings will impact the focus, as always…

We’d like to thank Mas Ayoob for sharing some time with our readers. He’s busy as always and devoting some of his precious time to serve on the Advisory board of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. This organization is a must have resource for all lawfully armed citizens – concealed carry holder or not. In 2013 Mas will also be one of the co-instructors for several of their CLE (continuing legal education credit) courses, geared for attorneys who handle deadly force/firearms cases. You can get more information on the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network here.

We’d highly recommend taking one of Massad Ayoob’s classes. He partners with a number of training firms around the country so you just might find a class offered in your neck of the woods. Get more information at http://massadayoobgroup.com.

Top 8 Reasons National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day Won’t Work Here

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This Saturday, June 9, is National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day.

This first annual event aims to encourage Moms and Dads to get their daughters to the range to learn how to shoot safely. Herein lies the problem in our household.

You see, our daughter is ever-so-slightly tactical. You know, the kind of girly girl that always has a few random rifle cartridges on her nightstand along with an assortment of folding knives. Add a Kimber PepperBlaster II to daily attire and you’ve got the picture.

Here are the top reasons why National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day won’t work so well here…

  1. Folks at the range are already far more impressed at her finesse handling the Hakim battle rifle than mine.
  2. She has already shot a Slidefire-equipped AK-74. I have not. Yes, the AK-74, not AK-47, version.
  3. Her Glock is bigger than mine.
  4. She manages to keep all 30 rounds of .45 ACP from a Kriss Vector SMG in the A-zone – at a full auto rate of 1,500 rpm.
  5. She can take herself to the range. And frequently does…
  6. She’s on better speaking terms with former Top Shot Champs Iain Harrison and Dustin Ellerman than I am.
  7. I’ve never been to the range with R. Lee Ermey
  8. She’s shot a Smith & Wesson .300 Whisper. Suppressed. I have not.

What can we possibly hope to gain by taking her to the range? We need to rework this whole thing to something along the lines of National Take Your Dad To The Range Day.

But seriously, visit the National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day website to learn more. As of this writing, 35 ranges across the country are participating and you can find them here. If there is not one in your area, just take your own crew to your favorite range. And be sure to tell them about this annual event!

Be safe, have fun, and shoot like a girl!

Top 5 Ways To Teach A Successful Concealed Carry Class

Having acquired concealed carry permits from two different states over the past so many years, and forgetting to renew a license in one of them, we’ve been subjected to three different state-mandated concealed carry classes. Actually, ‘sentenced’ is probably a more accurate descriptor than ‘subjected.’

State mandated classes are always high-quality because legislators have arbitrarily selected a number of hours that students must sit attentively in the classroom. Well at least sit. While continuing to breathe of course. Students in states like South Carolina, where certified politicians have determined that eight hours of classroom study is appropriate, get extra training benefits. Because with eight hours to kill, certified instructors get to come up with all sorts of interesting and informative things to talk about.

We’ve taken these classes at three different gun ranges, with three different instructors, over a period of 10 years. Fortunately, one of the classes, not coincidentally the shortest one, was somewhat professional and more educational than a slow motion play-by-play of the Jersey Shore’s last night of the summer at the Karma nightclub.

As for the other two? We would have learned a lot more by smearing the sticky sludge in the bottom of Snookie’s tenth Kamikaze glass all over our heads while hoping to learn by osmosis.

So we thought it prudent to offer some valuable advice to some of the more teaching-challenged concealed carry class instructors out there.

Here are our top five suggestions – all based on honest-to-God experiences in our classes:

1. Be sure to cover your classroom walls with posters of scantily clad women.

After all, nothing attracts more women and families to the shooting sports than lots of photos of half-naked women.

2. Brag about how you can beat anyone in the class in a gunfight.

The respect and admiration that your class has for you almost always increases when you tell them you could beat any of them in a gunfight, because you’ve been there before. You wouldn’t panic as the bullets flew your way and you would carefully aim and take them out. Because you’re a professional instructor. And fearless.

3. Tell about that wild and crazy time when you almost committed murder.

Give a detailed account of that time you came home from work and found your ex-wife in bed with your best friend. And how you got a gun and went to murder them. But be sure to close the story with an explanation of how you came to your senses at the very last minute. You wouldn’t want students in the class to get the wrong impression of right and wrong ways to use a gun in their day to day lives. Your students will learn much from your sense of judgment and restraint.

4. Share amusing anecdotes about your shooting skills.

Try telling the class about that time when you were a bit younger, and a lot drunker, when you had one of your friends shoot an apple off your head with a .22 rifle. Nothing sets a good example for new gun owners like real-life exhibition shooting case studies. How else are your students going to get good ideas of things to try with their new guns?

5. Offer to do toe-prints of the female students.

A great way to build rapport with new lady shooters during the fingerprint process is to give your very best partially toothless smile and offer to do a set of toe-prints for free. Because you have a foot fetish. This always makes the ladies feel right at home. Your referral business is sure to grow as they’ll be more than happy to tell their friends.

This has been a public service announcement to the Fudd Firearms Trainers of America. You don’t know who you are.

Do you want a spanking young man?

Trigger discipline:

This really made me laugh …

 

 

[ Many thanks to Sven (Defense and Freedom) for emailing me the the info. ]

(Via The Firearm Blog.)

How to reload without having parts left over…

If you’re like me, there have been one or two times in your life when you embarked upon a “do it yourself” project and when all was said and done, and the dust settled, there were a few mystery parts left over.

When it comes to reloading ammunition, this is definitely NOT a good thing!

Fortunately, the good folks at Sinclair International have created an outstanding series of videos for the new reloader. Check out their blog – The Reloading Press.

Here’s an example:

Sinclair Reloading Video

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