Feb 172019
 

Handling your concealed carry firearm on a daily basis without adhering to good practices can lead to unsafe habits and even accidents. One of the things I see in my classes frequently is that people do not handle their firearms safely and efficiently when they are administratively handling the handgun.

When handling your concealed carry firearm check the firearm to see that it is unloaded before handling. We all know that when we handle a firearm one of the key safety issues is checking the gun to see if it’s loaded or unloaded. Once you have determined the status you can proceed with your administrative handling. First, what direction are you pointing the firearm? Rule #2 (never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy). Is it a direction that will not harm anyone or damage property? Are you keeping your hand and fingers away from the muzzle? Poor handling practices include putting hands or fingers in front of the muzzle, or pointing the gun at yourself in your car while inspecting your firearm when the gun is out of a holster. Remember rule #1 all guns are always loaded! Do not get in the habit of handling your concealed carry firearm carelessly. I know with some of the small guns that are carried today our big hands can get in front of that muzzle. This is one of the drawbacks and hazards of carrying small guns.  When carrying small shooters you have to be more careful than the rest of us when you are handling your concealed carry firearm.

handling your concealed carry firearm

When you go to the range and you do not want to shoot your expensive carry ammo, you unload it from your gun and then when you are done with your range session you load it back into your concealed carry firearm. Did you know that every time you chamber a round it degrades that piece of ammo a tiny bit.  I like to rotate my carry ammo and mark the headstamp area with a marking pen (see picture) to see how many times I have ejected and rechambered that piece of ammo. After 4 times for each round, I shoot it up and buy another box of carry ammo, and start the process over. A degraded piece of ammo might not work in a self-defense situation and that would not be good.

Handling your concealed carry firearm is all about having good habits. Practice good sound habits when you are handling your concealed carry firearm.

 

Other Articles of Interest:

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Oct 242018
 

Relevant Practice for Concealed CarryWe are all looking for ways to make our practice and training routines more relevant for the reasons we train. We train and practice so that we can be prepared for any event where we would have to protect ourselves or our families. Unfortunately, our shooting facilities (square ranges) do not always allow the kind of training we need because some of the activities we need to practice might be unsafe to the range facility or to other people in range. So we are forced to somewhat become bullseye target shooters because that is what is easy and safe to do in these facilities. Many times I post a training drill that simulates some training aspect we all need and fail to get and the industry knows this problem exists so we all try to be creative in designing some drills that give us some of this training we need without violating standard safety rules for square ranges.

So What is Relevant Practice for Concealed Carry?

First, you have to understand what relevant practice for concealed carry training is. Most of us will never have to pull our firearm in self-defense. This is a good thing. I know you have all heard that self-defense shootings are rare. But we do know that when people do get involved in self-defense shootings they happen very fast, at short distances and are over with very few shots fired. This is why the industry quotes the 3-3-3 stats from the FBI. Most self-defense shootings happen within 3 yards (9ft) are over in 3 seconds and usually involve 3 or fewer shots being fired. So what that means to us is that we have to practice at shorter distances and become faster at our techniques of presentation and draw from the holster, and learn concepts of retention shooting, point shooting, and contact shooting and the dangers involved because there is no time to extend our arms, get a sight picture, and press the trigger. This full extension of our arms and perfect sight picture is what we practice at the square range and it becomes a habit. Don’t get me wrong you need this skill too, but you shouldn’t spend all your time practicing it. What do you think happens when someone is closing on you from 5 ft. away with a knife and you try the four-point draw and extend your arms to get a shot at your assailant. You are probably not going to be successful. Do you remember the lessons of the Tueller Drill?

So How Do You Get Relevant Practice for Concealed Carry?
•Training from a Firearms Training Professional

Some of these training exercises can be dangerous if performed improperly. You need to seek some professional training so that you can be guided into using good safe techniques and in addition get an understanding of what can go wrong and how to prevent it. Many of the hazards of this type of training can not be eliminated but can be diminished by using proper established techniques for this type of shooting. Proper draw from the holster and shooting techniques can be an important part of safe and relevant training so that you will be able to practice these techniques so that you can become prepared for the most likely events that happen in real life. The other issue that most people don’t think about is that you have to start practicing with proper targets. Proper targets for self-defense are humanoid type targets so you can start to put shots in the places that count so that this becomes a trained habit.

•Routines to practice in your dryfire sessions

Many of these training routines can be practiced and perfected by proper and safe dry-fire sessions on your own at home or in a place you designate as being safe for you to practice. Laser trainers and laser target systems are excellent training devices for this type of training. A good firearms instructor can show you these devices and instruct you in the proper way to train with them.

New Class (CQD) Close Quarters Drills, Skills, and Techniques

I am rolling out a new Close Quarters Drills, Skills, and Techniques Class that is great practice for the events that will most likely happen to you in your everyday life. The FBI says that most events like this happen fast and in close proximity. CQD Class can take between 2.5 to 4 hours depending on your skill level and includes holster techniques, close quarter drills and laser firearm training that I have prepared for you to practice. These are the drills you should be practicing. Standing in the booth at the square range shooting bullseye targets does not prepare you for these events. Contact me about this class and I can tailor it to your needs. This class is available on an individual basis.

Contact Me about the new class.

Other Articles of Interest:

Eighty Twenty Handgun Training Principal
Colorado Concealed Carry Renewal Training
Shoot Your Pistol Better In 30 Days
5 Tips for Concealed Carry

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Feb 182017
 

I had always assumed carrying Mexican was a racist term as many do, but that’s not true at all. The origins are from the Mexican vaqueros and it defined how you had to carry a gun in Mexico. (The Root of Appendix Carry)

Appendix Carry-Mexican Style

If you go way back in the southwest to the roots of this term, you will find that there is no racism, in the term “Mexican Carry.” The history of the gun tells us that back in the 19th Century, the Mexican vaquero was much like the American cowboy. They were both an independent and self-reliant bunch who often made it a point to carry a handgun everywhere they went. The day came in Mexico when the average citizen was stripped of his former right to go armed when he wished.

The Average Citizen Could Not Be Armed

This did not sit well with the freedom-loving Caballeros. They grudgingly took off their gun belts and holsters, because possession of these would be seen as evidence that they had violated the draconian new laws that disarmed them. However, they defiantly kept their handguns, simply stuffing them into the waistband behind their ordinary belt. If the Federales came into view, the citizen

would simply slip his revolver into some discreet place where he could retrieve it later.

Appendix Carry-Mexican Style

As we all know or should know to carry Mexican is a bad idea! You know stuffing your heater in your pants without a holster! For a gun to be safe it should always be in a holster where the trigger and trigger guard is protected. It’s bad (dangerous) enough when you appendix carry and do it properly with a holster. If you were to ever have an (AD) accidental Discharge or an (ND) Negligent Discharge in this carry position it might very well be your last. Male anatomy and femoral arteries are in that direction and neither is a good thing. That being said this position has become popular for a number of reasons.

Appendix Carry is Popular

It keeps the handgun at the front of the body where the hands spend most of their time. Appendix carry advantages are many: a fast, intuitive, and uncomplicated draw from nearly anybody position; the ability to conceal a fairly large handgun without “printing;” excellent retention of the handgun and, for some, comfort.

Remember there is a right and wrong way to do everything. I like to say a safe way and a dangerous way. If you are gonna practice appendix carry you should be sure of the rules at the establishment you are shooting at. Pueblo Municipal Shooters does not allow it except under the instruction of a certified instructor who has privileges at the range. Just an FYI you can only draw from a strong side belt holster at PMS according to the rules and you must be in the booth at all times. I can help you with appendix carry.  I have additional information on the subject and you can learn to do it safely.

Some things of Interest:

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Jan 292018
 

The next step in the process is to build some defensive shooting skills for Concealed Carry. Once you have your basic gun handling and safety rules behind you its time to start to learn some skills that will help protect you and your family.

concealed carry training pueblo coloradoPresentation And Draw From The Holster-

Presentation to a ready position from the holster and basic draw from the holster skills are primary Concealed Carry skills for anyone that will be carrying a firearm in public. Drawing from the holster is an area of much danger and that’s why some ranges do not allow it. Be sure that you have proper instruction from a qualified instructor, and practice your skills to a competent level.  You also need to check the rules of the range where you will practice these skills. You need to be able to draw your gun to a ready position and fire shots on target.

Gun Stoppages –

Any interruption in the cycle of a gun functioning is a gun stoppage. By this definition, an empty gun is a stoppage, no round in the chamber is a stoppage, a primer that fails to ignite and results in a stoppage, a failure of the slide to go into battery is a stoppage. All of these issues are addressed with a single set of skills. Any ‘failure to go bang’ results in the gun being drawn back to a physical reference point, the magazine base is struck to ensure that it is properly seated and the offhand continues and ends up grasping the slide, at the cocking serrations, and fully running the slide to the rear and releasing it at that point. If it is determined that the gun is at slide lock, a reload is conducted. Next, a proper two-handed grip is established and the weapon is driven straight toward the threat, shooting if needed. These are primary Concealed Carry skills. You need to know how to put your gun back in working order for any type of gun stoppage including recognizing when your firearm needs to be reloaded.  My favorite gun stoppage training video of all time is Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch.  This video gives you all you need to know about pistol stoppages

The Performance Objective

The performance objective for the Concealed Carry student is to be able to shoot a simple state level qualification course to a 100 percent standard starting from a ready position. Shooting a qualification course provides a mild degree of stress for the student and that is used as a stress inoculation. The State of Arizona Qualification Course from Arizona’s Firearms-Safety Program is one that I like to use. Colorado has no shooting requirement for a concealed carry permit. Using a state accepted course has value because, in the event of legal complications, jurors may not grasp the value of the XYZ training company qualification course, but a state recognized qualification may be more understandable.

Legal Issues-

Instruction on legal issues and how they are applied in the context of self-defense is most important in the concealed carry arena. Most of my students get a good background on basic Colorado use of force laws covering both inside and outside the home. I think the information that Andrew Branca teaches is far and above any other on the study of self-defense law. Andrews book is available on the Law of Self Defense website or on Amazon. He also has one-day classes around the country that you can attend.

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Jun 122016
 

Coopers Color Codes of AwarenessOn my way to shoot with a student this afternoon  I noticed several people walking in the park. These people were glued to their cell phones and had no idea what was going on around them. I see it in the grocery store parking lot when I go to the store. What is it about be aware of your surroundings that people do not understand. The color code of awareness serves as a way to pay attention to possible threats. As developed originally By Col. Jeff Cooper they are as follows:

White: Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker.

Yellow: Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself”. You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

Orange: Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.

Red: Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. “If ‘X’ happens I will have to do ‘Y’.

The tragedy that happened in Orlando could not have been stopped by any of these codes, but it might have saved a life or two. We are living in a dangerous world and you need to remember that typical “soft targets” are civilian sites where people congregate in large numbers; examples include national monuments,parades, hospitals, schools, sporting arenas, hotels, cultural centers, movie theaters, cafés and restaurants, places of worship, nightclubs, shopping centers, and transportation sites (such as railway stations, buses, rail systems, and ferries).

I am not suggesting that you should be afraid or change the things you like to do. I am suggesting that you can be more aware of your surroundings and be prepared to act appropriately. That could mean defending yourself or your family, or it could mean avoiding or removing yourself from the threat or situation altogether.  John Farnam  a nationally known firearm instructor coined the phrase don’t have stupid friends, don’t go stupid places, and don’t do stupid things.

Training is available for those that wish to defend themselves and their families contact me to arrange a program that works for you.

 

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Jan 312019
 

Many of us are carrying a concealed handgun for self-protection these days, but are we prepared for an encounter that does not rise to the use of deadly force.  A less than lethal force option is recommended by all so that you have more options than just using deadly force. The old saying “when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail” applies here. Statistics put out by law enforcement agencies state that you are 10 times more likely to encounter an event that does not qualify for the use of deadly force than one that does. Collapsible Batons and Stun Guns are illegal in Pueblo, see Pueblo City Ord Sec. 11-1-601. Pepper spray is not mentioned in the ordinance and most experts consider it to be the best of the less than lethal options anyway. Colorado does not have any state-specific laws that restrict purchasing, carrying or using pepper spray as a self-defense tool.

https://library.municode.com/co/pueblo/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TITXIPORE_CH1GEOFCO

One of the things that people forget about Pepper Spray is that in self-defense situations where you might wonder if you should pull your gun, pepper spray gives you some extra time to make good decisions. Making good decisions in self-defense situations is one of our big discussions in class. Having a less than lethal option at your disposal will give you the chance to make better decisions or just time to get away.

My choice and what I recommend to all my students is WildFire Pepper Spray, this is the most powerful spray tested by a laboratory so we know the results are correct. This spray is 1.4% Major Capsaicinoids.  Major Capsaicinoids (MC) are the chemical components of peppers that make them hot. Measuring by MC is a laboratory conducted and very accurate test for gauging hotness. Oleoresin Capsicum is the oil extracted that contains within it the Major Capsaicinoids.  I am a dealer for this pepper spray and it comes in a convenient easy to carry inexpensive size.

These sprays make great gifts for loved ones who can not carry a gun at work or those that have to walk to their cars maybe even in the dark. Runners and bicyclists love these sprays.

Carrying a Concealed Handgun is a privilege that many of us participate in. Carrying a less than lethal option is a very good idea for all of us. Just think about the places that we can not carry our firearm. This gives us some options to defend ourselves in many of these places that we can not carry a concealed handgun. These sprays are available from me at very low prices…

 

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