People look at me like I’m crazy when I say to them know your Manual of Arms. This saying comes from a prescribed drill in handling a weapon with the military. What it means to us is that you should be very familiar with your firearm. Know every feature of the gun you are carrying for personal protection. One of the things I like to do on 1911’s or semi-autos that lock the slide when the safety is engaged (not all pistols lock the slide when the safety is engaged) is to load them with dummy rounds and put the safety on. Then I ask the student to pick up the gun unload it and make it safe. A person that knows the firearm and is proficient at manual of arms knows that before he or she can rack the slide they have to disengage the safety. I have had people pull and pull on the slide not knowing why they can’t move it. It’s funny but it really isn’t. How much time do you think that person wasted pulling on that slide and having it go nowhere. Do you think it might be important if you were trying to defend yourself, and you were scared out of your mind, not to waste that precious time. How long does it take a person with a machete to travel 21 feet? I think Dennis Tueller told us it was 1.5 seconds.
I Just spent the last 4 days with Massad Ayoob in Greeley Colorado. One of my friends Hershell Phillips from Centerfire Training asked me if I would be an RSO (Range Safety Officer) for the event and of course I said yes. We had about 23 shooters in 20 hours of range time at Great Guns in 2 days.
Massad Ayoob is a firearms and self-defense instructor. He has taught police techniques and civilian self-defense to both law enforcement officers and private citizens in numerous venues since 1974. He was the director of the Lethal Force Institute (LFI) in Concord, New Hampshire from 1981 to 2009, and now directs the Massad Ayoob Group (MAG). Massad has appeared as an expert witness in many trials. He has served as a part-time police officer in New Hampshire since 1972 and holds the rank of Captain in the Grantham, New Hampshire police department. He currently is the author of approximately 20 books on the subject and writes for several of the top gun magazines in the country. For almost 30 years, there was only one training center where the private citizens could get the same level of training as police academies or law schools – or higher – in what the criminal justice system calls “Judicious use of Deadly Force”
The Class MAG-20 Armed Citizen’s Judicial use of Lethal Force is a two day twenty hour immersion course in the use of the defensive handgun under extreme stress. Each student shot approximately 500 rounds learned proper draw from concealment, two-handed stances, shooting from cover, one-handed stances with either hand, speed reloading, and more are taught with an overall emphasis on fast, accurate shot placement. The course ended with a police-style qualification course.
It was everything Hershell promised and more, at the end of the second day I got to qualify with the class and I shot the course. 60 rounds-timed in 5 stages, different stances, distances, and hand holds out to 45 feet. I shot a 90% with no warm up or practice. Stop by my class room and see the IPSC Target signed by Massad himself.
The next two days was the Mag-20 immersion course in rules of engagement for armed law-abiding private citizens, emphasizing legal issues, tactical issues, and aftermath management. Topics included interacting with suspects, witnesses, responding police officers, threat recognition and mind-set, management of social and psychological aftermath after having had to use lethal force in defense of self or others and preparing beforehand for legal repercussions and minimizing exposure to them. Situations in the home, at the place of business, or “on the street” were all covered,
After the exam Sunday night and the final goodbyes to new friends and graduates of the Mag-40 class. I shook Mas’s hand and headed for home. This was bar-none the best training I have ever been involved in. Massad comes to Colorado at least once a year. I will try to keep everyone informed of his next visit. You will not want to miss it.