Nov 282019
 

Trigger Finger an important part of the shooting equationTrigger Finger an important part of the shooting equation

In general the term “trigger control” is used to describe the act of moving the trigger and firing the gun without disturbing your aim. All of the fundamentals are rolled into firing the shot, but the two biggest fundamentals are aiming and trigger control, in that order. How you move the trigger can work for or against you. The best method of controlling a trigger, for all levels of shooters, is to move the trigger straight to the rear, firing the gun without disturbing your aim. Try using the tip of a pen. Hold it in your finger and practice like it is your trigger. Not fast like my old mentor Patrick Watts used to tell me to take out the slack and press.

It starts with the placement of the trigger finger on the trigger. The middle of the pad on your fingertip—the most sensitive part of your finger—is the preferred position for finger placement ( for the striker-fired handguns (Glock, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Ruger, Sig). For Revolvers, it takes more finger usually all the way to the first crease in your finger called the power crease.  But maintaining perfect aim as the shot is fired is much more important than putting the trigger finger in a “preferred position” on the trigger. Your best contact point might not be the same as the shooter’s beside you. How do you find it? Try this dry-firing exercise.

Drill of the Week: The Wall Drill

The Wall Drill was developed by George Harris and is one of the most effective ways to perfect your shooting fundamentals.

Like any dry-fire drill, it is critically important that you follow proper precautions. First, you must always obey the Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety even during dry-fire practice. Also, all weapons must be completely unloaded and double-checked before the start of this drill.

Once you have cleared your weapon and verified both visually and physically that it is empty (twice), remove all ammunition from your training area and find a wall that can serve as a proper backstop in case of an accident. The wall should be blank, with no visual distractions and most importantly nothing to “aim” at during the drill.

Some people like to use dummy rounds to protect the internal parts of your handgun from excessive and unnecessary wear. Check your owner’s manual for dry firing information on your gun.

Holding your unloaded pistol in a normal shooting grip and stance, press the muzzle to the wall until it just barely makes contact, then back off about an inch. Because you are using a blank wall as your backstop, you effectively have no target. There is nothing for you to focus on except your front sight.

From this position, practice your trigger manipulation. The goal is to press the trigger straight back with consistent pressure until the “shot” breaks without disturbing your sight alignment throughout the process. Remember, that is the key to accuracy — a proper trigger press that doesn’t mess up your sight picture.

If your front sight moves around or “hops” as the trigger breaks, slow down and pay more attention to your grip and finger movement. Are you putting pressure on the grip with your other fingers as you press the trigger? Are you pressing the trigger too fast or too hard, causing it to move at the last moment? Just work on keeping everything still except your trigger finger, and move your finger in a slow, smooth, relaxed trigger press.

Practicing this and other drills will make you a better shooter and as you practice you will see the improvement. As always I am available for help and private shooting sessions.

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Oct 272019
 

concealed carryConcealed Carry can be a lot like other sports you are involved in. Many require practice, good equipment and usually require some form of safety. Sometimes people make mistakes in equipment purchases and have a hard time getting the right fit for them and their lifestyle. Concealed Carry is not a hobby. You are carrying a deadly weapon capable of taking someone’s life. Mistakes can be deadly. So good equipment, practice, and great safety habits are a must.

Let’s look and see how Johnny handles the equipment dilemma. Johnny starts out with a full-size handgun. He shoots it good enough to hit the target, but man that .45 ammo is sure expensive and after wearing the gun for a while he decides its not for him. Having that big heavy handgun on his waist and trying to conceal it is just too much of a hassle, so over time he tends not to wear it as much and he eventually chooses to only wear it when he thinks he might need it or leave it at home. Johnny decides he will only wear a Concealed Carry handgun when he goes to certain parts of town or when he is going somewhere where there is more risk. So on many occasions, he leaves his handgun in his car under the front seat where he can retrieve it fast if he needs it.

Then Johnny gets this great idea. He likes having the Concealed Carry handgun for protection but maybe a pocket gun would fit his situation better. So he goes to the local gun shop and trades the full-size gun for a pocket gun. He runs to the range and shoots it a few times and it kind of hurts his hand when he shoots it but he “mans up” and shoots it anyway. It seems to be harder to hit the target unlike the old gun but heck it’s easy to concealed carry and I’m most likely never going to need it anyway right? I will probably just have to point it at somebody to stop an attack.  He sticks the little shooter in his pocket without a holster and he carries it most of the time. When he practices, which is rare he shoots a few shots at close range cause it hurts his hand and at 21 feet he can hit the target some of the time. Maybe he could get a laser for it and that will help him shoot the gun better.

Johnny thinks he is a safe gun handler, heck he attended the concealed carry class at the hotel and he even bought one of the CDs they had for sale. He got his permit with no problem, and he has a hunter safety card. He has everything he needs to be safe right?

Let’s look at the facts.

Concealed Carry Is Not A Hobby

First, when choosing a handgun for concealed carry the gun has to fit your hand. You will not shoot a gun well if your full hand does not fit on the grip. All fingers including the pinky should be on the grip.  Many of the top guns on the market are what the industry calls compact weapons. Generally speaking, there are three size weapons in the concealed carry arena. Full size, Compact, and Sub-compact. Gun stores confuse these so forget what they are called and look at how they fit. Many of what we call the compact guns are the perfect size for concealed carry situations. Guns in this category would be like the Glock 43x or the Walther PPS M2.  Many of the guns in this category are what we call single-stack handguns. You can check them out at many good gun stores and you can see why these guns are popular.  Many of these guns also fire the popular 9mm Luger round and this happens to be the least expensive round to shoot and is the most readily available round in the world. The FBI the Military and many police forces are now using this round. The ballistics are great and the cost is less and it is readily available. That makes it great to shoot and to practice with.

Speaking of practice let talk about practicing with your handgun. You should practice at least once a month and your practice should be structured so you are measuring how you are doing. There are some great drills for practice that I can pass along to anyone who would like to get started. Timing yourself eventually is a must and learning to shoot more accurately and faster is always the goal. But first, you must hit the target with accuracy speed comes later. Proper draw from the holster and putting shots on target is a practiced skill. Without practice, that skill will diminish over time. Johnny doesn’t practice much because the gun does not fit his hand and it is not enjoyable to shoot. Guns with short barrels also have more recoil and are harder to control. Shooting these guns will sometimes make people flinch. Johhny needs a proper pocket holster and if this is his chosen method of carry he has to practice with it. Adding a laser to a gun you can’t shoot won’t solve the problem. You have to be able to control your gun and put shots on target before a laser is even a thought.

Along with practice comes education. Johnny got a start on his education but he really has not learned the things he really needs to know to Carry a Concealed Handgun safely and proficiently. He still needs to seek out a competent instructor and get some real education. Every Instructor has his own style and his own experiences to draw from. Find one that you can get some training from and soak up their knowledge like a sponge. Remember almost anyone can get an Instructor Certification in one discipline. That does not mean they have the experience or the skill to get you where you are going. Only 1% of all instructors are even certified to teach draw from the holster. One of the more important skills and possibly one of the most dangerous. Carrying a concealed handgun is not a hobby or a part-time job. Its a commitment to being able to protect yourself and your family when you need it. Johnny decides he will wear his handgun only when he goes to a certain part of town or when he is likely to need it. This is an education issue. Johnny needs to learn these issues from a competent instructor.

Safety is paramount. Johnny has a few safety problems that we can discuss. Carrying a handgun under the seat of your car is a great way to get yourself in a situation that’s big trouble. Not having the gun with you when you need it is an education problem. Leaving a handgun in your car under the seat not locked in a secure container is a bad idea. It is possible in some places for you to be charged with a crime for allowing that gun to get into the hands of a prohibited possessor or a child. Also putting the little shooter in your pocket without a proper holster is a definite safety problem. A proper holster is a necessary piece of safety equipment for carrying or transporting any handgun.

Concealed Carry Is Not A Hobby. It’s a serious endeavor. Get the equipment, training, and education you need to do it right.

Some additional information that may be helpful:

Concealed Carry Holster for Daily Carry

Facts From Instructors at Concealed Carry Expo

Concealed Carry Training Gift Certificate

Vehicle Firearm Tactics for Concealed Carry

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Oct 122019
 
Learning To Shoot-Shooting Qualifications

Student Revolver Qualification in October

Learn To Shoot-Shooting Qualifications

Student Qualification in October

 

As many of you know by now Colorado does not require you to shoot to get a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP). Learning To Shoot and putting a shooting qualification in your portfolio of things achieved should be high on your list. Learning to shoot and shooting with some proper form and technique should be one of the skills that shooters want to acquire. What your dad taught you or what you learned in the military can only take you so far. When you learn to shoot with proper form and technique it gives you a starting place so you can get better. Everyone strives to be a better shot but if you don’t practice with a baseline set of skills you don’t have any way to judge your progress.

Many states around us require a person to qualify in a simple shooting test to be sure they can operate their gun and actually hit what they are shooting at. One of the simple qualifications is the LAPD retired police officers qualification used by some trainers around the country. This is the qualification they make retired police officers shoot so that they can carry their concealed weapon into retirement. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is a respected agency and being that this test is a respectable qualification. There are many other qualifications I have on my list and some of those are simple as well.

The Nevada Concealed Firearm Permit qualification being one of them. Many people wonder why the Colorado permit to carry is not honored by states such as Nevada. I have been told the real reason is that Colorado has no shooting qualification for its permits. Many states that have qualifications greater than Colorado to carry a concealed handgun do not think that someone with no training should be allowed to walk around with a handgun in public with no verifiable training. The keyword here being verifiable. Some states have gone to an enhanced permit process where someone with more training and qualifications can carry in a state like Nevada where someone with a basic permit from an enhanced state would not be able to. It sounds like a good idea to me. Students have a good time shooting the qualifications and it gives them some confidence that they are handling their firearm efficiently and effectively.

When you Learn To Shoot better it makes it much more fun!

Other articles of interest on this topic:

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Oct 062019
 

Open Carry in Colorado is legal. Some areas of the state have chosen to make city ordinances against it and we just have to deal with that. Here are the arguments I hear them all the time in class about the open carry issue.

1. Its the only way I have to carry a handgun until I get a permit.

Well, I think this statement takes all the marbles. You are doing far more harm than good. When was the last time you were attacked at Walmart or King Soopers or even Safeway? These are certainly my most dangerous activities of the day. Seriously the likelihood of you being attacked at your local shopping venue is slim and none. When you carry a handgun openly in these places you are inviting crime. Many non-gun people are sacred by your gnarly looking gun with punisher grips. What if someone is so freaked out they call the police and say a man with a gun is in the store. Its happened! The other great thing that can take place is one of these nervous nellies can shoot you claiming you were a threat. That has happened. Both by civilians and the police. What about the criminal who is going gun shopping in Safeway? You know looking for some idiot who has a gun that looks like he is an easy target. That has also happened. Get the picture! The danger and damage you do to the gun owner’s plight is far worse than any danger you have in the store.

2. I have a Second Amendment right to have a gun.open carry in colorado

Yes, you do, and I believe it more than most of you do. The constitution does not give you a specific right to carry an open handgun in the store. In this country, we have a lot of rights that sometimes are not appropriate for certain situations. You have the right to burn the American Flag. I don’t agree with it and I cringe every time I see it happen. It almost cost me my freedom one time at a local event. I was glad it did not happen. You have a right to free speech. Are there places that you probably should not say certain things? Why is it you lower your voice to say that protected speech when you are in the donut shop. Is it not legal for you to speak those words. Yes, they are (legal) allowed but is it a good idea? You lower your voice because to say it out loud is not appropriate. Don’t you just hate that!  This is what we are trying to get across to you is that it may be legal but it is probably not a good idea!

Carry your gun open to the shooting range. Carry your gun while hiking or walking your dog. Carry your open gun while you are enjoying any outdoor activity. Hell show off your new barbeque gun to your friends in the backyard. But please have a little common sense not to do it in public places. The powers that be are just waiting for you to screw up so they can pounce. Don’t be the poster boy or girl for their next piece of legislation.

Stay safe and train like you’ll need those skills tomorrow. Cause you probably will…

Other articles of Interest:

Restricted Concealed Carry-Pueblo Colorado

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Sep 172019
 

Snub Nose Revolver Only Class

I have decided since there is a resurgence in revolver popularity I would put a 4-hour course together for anyone wishing to get up to speed with carrying and shooting snub nose revolvers for self-defense. The class is going to be lecture and live fire with live fire encompassing a major portion at the range. You will shoot the Retired LA PD Officer Qualification at the end of class. This class will have a minimum number of attendees. Gun, Holster and 100 rounds of factory ammunition will be required.

The small-framed, short-barreled revolver is regaining favor as a viable defensive firearm that is ideal for certain situations. Such situations might include lounging around the house, doing yard work, performing a quick errand in an area where crime is not common. Another situation that arises is dressing in hot weather, or for situations where concealing a larger handgun and magazine pouches might prove challenging. Like Weddings and Funerals. Remember the rule of 3’s according to the FBI-most self-defense shootings happen within 3 yards are over in 3 seconds with less than 3 rounds being fired.

To make a Snub Nose Revolver work it requires an investment in education, training, and practice. With this class, you will receive a training outline and know how to practice to make you a great snub nose revolver handler.

Let me know if you are interested. I will be picking a Saturday late in October. Pricing will be similar to my other offerings.

Snub Nose Revolver

 

 

 

 

 

Other Article of Interest

Loading and Unloading Revolvers
Gun Training Revolvers Pros and Cons

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Sep 152019
 

Concealed Carry HolsterDon’t be attracted to these soft holsters for daily carry, it is not safe. If the concealed carry holster collapses you can not put your firearm safely in the holster without pointing the firearm at your support hand or other parts of your body. To do it safely You Must remove the holster from your carry position, insert your gun in the concealed carry holster and then replace the holster with gun in the position you are carrying it in. Criteria for a great concealed carry holster is you can get a full grip on the gun, the trigger guard is fully protected, the gun will not fall out of the holster when turned upside down, and the concealed carry holster maintains its shape for reholstering safely. Remember if you have to use your support hand to holster your gun it’s probably not safe. Many of the stiff leather holsters and certainly the Kydex holsters are much safer for a daily concealed carry holster option. Have I ever used one? Sure I have and I have found them to be unsafe in many circumstances especially if you drop your guard and you are not a true gun safety conscience individual. One place I think they are great is in the car. You know between the seat and the center console. If you have one of the non-slip models you can put that gun right there where it is readily available for action. You have to remember that you can not leave that gun between the seat and the console when you leave your car. You need to have a proper lockbox in your vehicle to secure that firearm. My favorite is the Gun Vault. This little safe is great protection for leaving your gun in the car. I use my GUN Vault  Gun Vaultsometimes daily, going to the Post Office or other Non Permissive places with my firearm. Just check the local paper almost daily and you will see guns being taken from unoccupied cars. Another thing that is important is to have the make, model, and the serial number of your gun written down somewhere so that you can report it properly to the authorities when it is missing.

Much of this information comes from experience and good gun training. Be sure that you receive good advice and training from a qualified instructor. All NRA pistol instructors are not certified to teach draw from the holster and many do not know the ins and outs of safe holstering and unholstering of a gun. Many ranges have strict holstering rules and those rules are there for a reason. Many accidents happen from the improper holstering and unholstering of a weapon. Get the training you deserve. Contact me and I will get you up to speed on holsters, carry positions and proper draw techniques.

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