Dec 242017

gun safety proper position for safe gunWhen I look back over the year 2017 and see all the people I have touched with my gun safety and concealed carry training, I see one thing in common that everyone could do better and that’s general gun handling procedures. Many of you have good intentions and think you will do it someday. My dad had a saying he used, the road to hell is paved with good intentions  “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs“. This is a proverb. Promises and plans must be put into action, or else they are useless. The fact is that this is serious business and you need to spend some time getting it right.


  1. Checking a gun to see if it is loaded or unloaded properly. (#1 Rule ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED)
    Proper Procedure
    a. Point the gun in Safe direction (#2 Rule KEEP THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION)
    b. Magazine out First
    Finger off the trigger and trigger guard (#3 Rule KEEP FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER AND TRIGGER GUARD UNTIL ITS TIME TO SHOOT)
    c. Lock the slide back (pointing the gun in a safe direction)
    d. Do a visual and physical inspection of the chamber and magazine well (Pointing In A Safe Direction)
    All these procedures are done while POINTING IN A SAFE DIRECTION. What is a safe direction?(#4 Rule KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHATS BEYOND) A safe direction is any direction your willing to launch a bullet. For me and my students, I teach it’s pointing in a safe direction you have chosen straight ahead and parallel to the floor or ground, usually at a target. Not Left or Right or Up and Down. These are not safe directions for gun safety and in most cases become bad gun handling habits.

2. Passing a gun properly from one person to another
Proper Procedure
a. Point the gun in a safe direction
b. Remove the magazine. All while keeping your finger off the trigger and trigger guard
c. Lock the slide back (pointing the gun in a safe direction)
Do a visual and physical inspection of the chamber and magazine well (while pointing in a safe direction)
d. Grab the gun in slide lock position with your support hand over the open slide and pass it keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Gun Safety is a learned skill pass it to your friends and family.

3. Manual of Arms
Many times throughout the year I have asked a person to pick up their gun (the one they should know) and show me that it is safe and unloaded. On some models of guns when the safety is on or engaged it locks the slide. Many times people try to move the slide without knowing that the safety locks the slide and this means they are not familiar with their gun. It is very important that you know your gun better than anyone else because this is the gun you will fumble with when you have to defend yourself or your family.

There seems to be a common theme here for gun owners and a new years resolution. The four gun safety rules are your bible. Know them, understand them, and do not violate them this is the gospel. Practice Practice Practice.(POINT THE GUN IN A SAFE DIRECTION) Most people truly do not spend any time really practicing. If done properly practice can be just a few minutes a couple times a week. People just do not take the time to practice and get familiar with their gun. They think it will magically happen by going to the range once in a while. There are no shortcuts. Make a pledge to become a good gun handler in 2018. Gun Safety is important, if you run into problems or need some council I am always here to help.

Sep 172017

Why Get A Concealed Handgun Permit For Pueblo County

Carrying a concealed handgun is a great responsibility, and there are plenty of reasons why someone would not want to carry one. Here are some of the great reasons one would want to get a concealed handgun permit for Pueblo County.

#1 Guns are a Colorado Tradition

Colorado FlagGenerations of Colorado families have grown up with firearms. I shot guns with my dad when I was young and it served several purposes you gained responsibility and respect for the firearms and the outdoors. We shot our firearms for both sport and hunting. Colorado is well known for its great outdoor activities. The Colorado State Constitution is broader than the US Constitution when it comes to guns and gun ownership.
#2 It’s Your Right as a Citizen of the United States

2nd AmmendmentYou know the 2nd amendment! The amendment they always want to argue about. The meaning of the 2nd amendment is as plain as can be. Our right to own and shoot guns should not be infringed. It’s a right just like all the others so take part in your constitutional right and own a handgun for sport or protection or maybe both. Just remember to get a good firearms safety class and I’m not talking about hunters safety class. I’m talking about a firearms safety class taught by an NRA Certified Instructor.


#3 The World is a Bad Place

u.s.virtual training centerThe world is becoming a bad place. I don’t believe we will be able to stop that. But you can somewhat control what goes on around you and your family. Get a handgun permit for Pueblo county and learn to use and handle your gun responsibly. That handgun permit is good in all of the counties in Colorado and its good in 33 states if you decide to travel with your gun.
#4 To Protect Your Family

I think everyone that is capable of handling a gun should consider it. If for no other reason at least for family protection. We have all read about home invasions and terrible crimes that happen in peoples homes. Learn to use your firearm in those situations and be familiar with the laws of the State of Colorado about when you can use a handgun or firearm for self-defense. I can help you to understand these laws and regulations with one of my classes. Discussions in class include use of deadly force and the Make My Day Law which covers you in your home in Colorado.

#5 To Protect Yourself

Protection of self is a right we all have. It’s a natural right. Self-defense (self-defense in many varieties of English) is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many jurisdictions, but the interpretation varies widely. You must learn when you are allowed to protect yourself in Colorado. It is easy to learn in a structured class that covers this and firearms safety.

#6 Concealed handguns are proven to deter crime

States like Colorado that implemented “shall-issue” concealed carry laws reduced murders by 8.5 percent, rapes by 5 percent, aggravated assaults by 7 percent, and robbery by 3 percent, according to an analysis of FBI crime data by economist and political commentator John R. Lott Jr., Ph.D. Conversely, states with more restrictive concealed-carry laws have gun-related murder rates that are 10 percent higher, according to a 2013 study in Applied Economic Letters.

#7 You’ll learn a lot about gun safety and self-defense

Firearm Safety TrainingYou’ll have to go through some training and/or classes in order to apply for your permit. I teach this class several times per week and any questions or hesitations you ever had about guns or gun safety will be answered. You’ll also learn the ins and outs of self-defense. You’ll also learn all about the gun laws of your state. Those around you will also be able to rest assured knowing you have passed the requirements to prove you know how to handle a firearm responsibly.
Classes are available thru out the week. I normally do not hold classes on Thursdays or Fridays. Contact me for availability by phone (719.821.3958), or sign up with your information on my class sign-up form and in the comments tell me what you would like to do.

Why Train With Rick

Aug 242017

mouse gun for concealed carryOne of my students recently came to the range wanting to learn to shoot her mouse gun for concealed carry. A mouse gun is most often considered a category of small revolvers, or semi-automatic handgun sometimes called a pocket pistol. I’m not going to call out any particular brand every manufacturer has one they say that is intended for concealed carry (CCW) self-defense. Remember these guns need to be holstered even in a pocket or purse. Typically such small pistols are of .380 ACP (9mm Short) caliber or less, with .32 ACP, .25 ACP, .22 Long Rifle and .22 Short calibers also being common.



One of the things she figured out quickly was that the recoil was hard to manage. Anytime you shoot a short barreled gun recoil is going to be significant and velocity suffers. It’s harder to get a good solid grip on small guns even with smaller hands.


Then came the bad sights. Most of these small guns have terrible sights and many are not changeable. The sight radius is short on these guns. When referring to iron sights, the sight radius is the distance between the rear sight and the front sight. The longer the sight radius is, the more accurate the shooter is able to be (as the front sight post will appear to be smaller, covering less of the target. A trick I have learned on these mouse guns for concealed carry is to paint the front sight with bright color fingernail polish.

Ease of Operation and Safety

Then the ease of operation and safety come into play.  Some have a manual safety some do not. The ones that have a safety many times are not easy to operate. It very easy to point the muzzle somewhere it’s not supposed to be, and many shooters have put their hand in front of the muzzle trying to operate their mouse gun efficiently. Many of these guns in my experience are not easy to lock open properly and some do not even have the ability to be locked open  (slide stop) for inspection and safe handling. Then there is the finger on the trigger problem. It’s easy to get your finger where it doesn’t belong on these little guns.  It has been said that these guns are for seasoned gun handlers, not beginners or those just learning.


Then finally the ballistics. Most of these guns shoot a small caliber round that is less likely to stop an attacker when necessary. As you can read in one of my recent postings on Facebook, tests show that these calibers underperform. Remember velocity is lower because of the short barrel and when the bullet has no velocity it does not expand as it should. So the bottom line is that you have to be an expert shot with your mouse gun to really be able to defend yourself properly.

Ease of Concealment

While it is true that the mouse gun for concealed carry is easy to conceal many of the compact guns are just as easy to conceal and they have much better features to ensure that you can take care of the task you are carrying the gun for in the first place.

Articles of Interest:

Jan 172017

Gun Safety is InfectiousGun Safety is Infectious

It was a normal Wednesday.  I had a call the night before by a female who had the day off and wanted to get some firearm training, possibly leading to a concealed carry permit. We started class in my normal fashion doing some paperwork and talking about places of employment and my house rules. We then came to the point where I check the guns.  You know, no live ammunition in the classroom. I have always had people show me that the gun they have with them in class is safe and unloaded and that they have no ammo in their possession.  This gives me a chance to see them handle the gun and gives me a clue as to what knowledge or bad habits they might have.  I took her and the newly acquired compact semi-auto handgun in the box to the designated safe location for such activity and when she took it out, it had a trigger lock on it. We talked about the lock and the fact that she had kids at home while she was removing the lock.  I reminded her of the safe direction as she got the gun out, dropped the magazine, racked the slide and a big shiny 9mm (JHP) hollowpoint flew out of the ejection port and my jaw dropped.  Yes, I have seen this before, but to be honest I really did not expect it this time.  The look on my face had to be priceless.  She said, “I didn’t know that was in there”.  So we talked about how it happened.  Apparently someone other than her checked the gun to see if it was loaded.  She stated she never keeps one in the chamber in storage, just a full magazine and that is how she stores the firearm. So by not dropping the magazine first, whoever it was loaded a round and then the trigger lock was installed. When she saw my instructions for class she knew not to bring any ammo in the classroom, so she took the magazine out of the locked gun and proceeded to come to class with the spare empty magazine.

Gun Safety is Infectious-Infect everyone you know

Remember to teach people to visually and physically inspect the place the round fires from in all guns.  This is a primary skill that everyone needs to learn.  Guns without slide locks are tougher to be safe with, they just take more care. Also, always check a gun yourself.  Do not rely on others as they may not know how to do it properly either (gun stores, gunshows).  In addition, it amazes me the number of people who do not know step number one in unloading or clearing a handgun is to remove the ammunition supply.  I was very lucky this was a double action handgun with a lengthy trigger pull and she was not touching the trigger as she cleared her gun as so many students do in my primary classes.  I have actually been witness to people clearing the handgun in their automobile before coming into the building for class, and I cringe every time I think about the ND (negligent discharge) not AD (accidental discharge) that could happen in my parking lot. Gun safety is the most important aspect of gun training.  It is the foundation of everything we teach. Everyone at one time or another shows another person how to operate a firearm.  It could be a spouse or a child, it might be a friend or a stranger.  Knowledge is infectious and when it comes to gun safety infect everyone you know.

Jun 262016

Firearm Cleaning

Safely Unload Your Handgun
1. Make sure to remove all ammunition from the area, ideally to another room, while cleaning your handgun.
2. Handle your firearm safely. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, treat the firearm as if it is loaded. Keep your fingers off the trigger.
3. Eject the magazine.
4. Empty the chamber. Pull the slide back. Visually and physically inspect for any remaining cartridges. Remember to feel with your finger, not just look.

glock field stripField Strip the Handgun

1. Dismantle the firearm safely. Most modern handguns make this a relatively simple process. The actual process may vary greatly depending on the model of handgun. Check your owners manual.





hoppecleaningClean the Handgun
1. Assemble your equipment. (solvent,patches,cleaning rods,toothbrush,oils and lubricants and rags, and qtips)
2. Wipe down all components using clean soft rag. Precision is not required during this step.
a) Wipe quickly, removing as much of the debris, old oil, grease, unburned gunpowder and carbon buildup created from the use of the handgun as you can.
b) Include the inside of the magazine well, the injector, guide rails, and the area around the chamber.
c) You will find certain areas turn the rag black, clean as well as you can.
3. Appling solvent.
a) Most handgun manufacturers design components, even the polymer, to be safe when using solvent. Check for manufacturer warnings.
b) Apply a modest amount of solvent to all parts twice.
c) Make sure to apply solvent to any area with dirt, carbon buildup, or unburned powder.
d) Let the solvent sit for a couple of minutes and soak.
e) Scrub the areas on the handgun with solvent with a toothbrush. This works in the solvent and loosens the build up on the gun.
f) You can use the dental pick to remove any pieces of carbon and gunpowder build-up remaining in the tight parts of the handgun.
g) Use a bore brush to break up any buildup free from the barrel. Run the brush the full range of the barrel at least five times. Be sure not to reverse directions with a brush in the barrel instead push it all the way through, letting the bristles change direction outside the barrel. Then bring the brush back in the opposite direction.
h) Swab the barrel with a patch soaked with solvent. Repeat until the patch remains relatively clean.
i) Wipe the gun with a clean lint free cloth. Continue to wipe until you remove all of the solvent.
j) Wipe down the whole gun inside and out with a lint free lightly solvent soaked cloth. Look for any areas that turn the cloth dark. Clean these areas again.
The next step in the process is properly lubrication the handgun. Lubrication is essential to keep your handgun from malfunctioning. The main goals are the prevention of wear and corrosion.
1. Oil all metal components requiring lubrication. Often the gun’s manual specifies areas to oil. Look for areas of wear; this will indicates the need for oil.
a) You can you can use a small paintbrush with a couple of drops of oil on the bristles to apply a minimum amount of oil.
b) Use a clean patch with a couple drops of oil, to swab the barrel inside with oil.
c) Apply oil just thick enough to leave a distinctive fingerprint when a part is touched.
d) Be sure to oil the areas around all rotating parts, such as the base of the hammer or trigger assembly.
e) Try to keep oil away from the openings into the firing pin housing. Oil is a collector of dirt and powder buildup, which can cause your firing pin not to fire.
2. Lightly grease all sliding parts. Well-known gunsmiths are recommending the use of grease, especially on the frame rails of automatic handgun. Grease is better on sliding parts since these parts tend to shed oil quickly.
a) Using a cotton swab, grease the guide rails on the frame.
b) You can use the same cotton swab to apply grease to the grooves on the slide.

Reassemble the Handgun
1. Reassemble the handgun.
2. Make sure all parts are functioning properly.
a) A quick test for proper functioning is to rack the slide; make sure the slide returns complete into the battery (all the way forward). If the slide does not return properly the recoils spring may not be set properly.
b) Making sure the handgun is unloaded (see the safety section). Pull the trigger. You should hear a click. Rack the gun again.
c) If the gun is not functioning properly, field strip the handgun again and reassemble until it functions properly.
3. Wipe down the entire handgun and remove any excess oil.
4. Immediately before you intend to start shooting, swab the barrel with a dry cloth to remove any residue.



Nov 172013

NRA Pistol Course Descriptions

On this page

NRA Pistol Course Descriptions

Ever wonder what the NRA teaches in its NRA Pistol Course? This page is
a summary of the most popular NRA pistol courses taught. There is no
substitute to good training in the fundamentals of any skill.

This page was not funded or endorsed by the NRA, but rather is an
effort by a NRA-certified instructor to educate the public about NRA Pistol Course.

 NRA Gun Safety Rules

Safety is the primary goal-Remember when handling or storing any firearm
conscientious attention to these rules will prevent most, if not all, gun accidents.
Be aware that ignorance and carelessness lead to accidents in all walks of life, including
the handling of firearms.
Always  keep the gun pointed in a safe direction-
If the gun should discharge, it should not harm any person or
destroy any valuable property. Careful attention to muzzle direction
is key to safely handling a firearm.When carrying a firearm from place to place,
the best way to control the muzzle is to keep it in your view.Be aware of what
objects can stop a bullet, and what ones cannot.In NRA courses, and on shooting
ranges, the instructor or range officer will explain and point out the safe
directions available.
Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot-
Under normal conditions guns do not discharge unless the trigger is
pulled.When holding or manipulating a gun, hold the grip firmly and place
the trigger finger along the frame or receiver, not inside the trigger
Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use-
Guns cannot be discharged unless they are loaded with live
ammunition. There are many uses of guns which permit them to be
loaded, but such firearms must always be under your control.
Guns not in use, but not stored, should have the action locked open
so that anyone may inspect the chamber and magazine for live
ammunition.When handing a gun to another person, lock open the action (if
possible) and check the chamber and magazine by sight and feel to
ensure than no live ammunition is present. The person receiving the
gun should also check.


Home Firearm Safety


NRA Pistol Course Home Firearm SafetyThe NRA Home Firearm Safety Course is the basic NRA pistol course I recommend
to anyone unfamiliar with guns or who needs a to learn gun terminology.

In this four hour course students will get the NRA’s Home
Firearm Safety
handbook, pamphlets on safety and terminlogy
and lessons on the rules of safe gun handling, identifying and
unloading various firearms, ammunition, cleaning, and
storage. Students will also get hands-on experience with the most
common types of handguns, rifles and shotguns.

NRA Pistol Course Goal

“To teach the basic knowledge and skills and to
explain the attitude necessary for the safe handling and storage of
guns in the home.”
Home Firearm Safety Course Lesson Plans

NRA Pistol Course Lessons

  1. Rules for Safe Gun Handling
  2. Identifying and Unloading Different Firearms
  3. Practical Exercises in Safe Gun Handling
  4. Types of Ammunition; Cleaning and Storage of Firearms

NRA Pistol Course Prerequisites

The are no prerequisites for taking this course and the material
can be understood by mature people of all ages.

NRA Pistol Course Completion

Students will receive feedback on the practical exercises and a
course completion certificate.



Basic Pistol

NRA Pistol Course Description

NRA Pistol Course Basic PistolA pistol, or handgun, is a firearm designed to be fired while being
held in one hand. While such firearms are small and compact, they can
be the hardest to learn.

The Basic NRA pistol course can be as short as ten hours. In it
students will get the NRA’s TheBasics of Pistol Shooting
handbook and intensive lessons in safety, gun handling, the various types of pistols, the fundamentals
of pistol marksmanship, various pistol firing positions, several
practical exercises on the firing range, cleaning, storage, and a
summary of pistol sports and activities.

NRA Pistol Course Goal

“To teach the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude
for owning and using a pistol safely.”

Basic Pistol Shooting Course Lesson Plans

NRA Pistol Course Lessons

  1. Pistol Knowledge and Safe Gun Handling
  2. Ammunition Knowledge and Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting
  3. Firing the First Shots (includes cleaning and storage)
  4. Two-handed and One-handed Standing Shooting Positions
  5. Pistol Sports and Activities

NRA Pistol Course Prerequisites

The are no prerequisites for taking this course, and the material
is accessible to appropriately supervised mature children.

NRA Pistol Course Completion

Students will receive feedback on the live-fire exercise and a
course certificate upon successful completion of the lessons. Students
will receive a “Basic Practical” rocker upon successful
demonstration of firing a qualifying “group”. There is a
short written test on the lesson material at the end of the



FIRST Steps Pistol

NRA Pistol Course Description

NRA Pistol Course First Steps PistolFIRST stands for “Firearm Instruction, Responsibility, and
Safety Training”, a program the NRA developed to meet the need
for a firearms orientation program for new gun purchasers. This FIRST
Steps program is a basic NRA pistol course abbreviated to the most fundamental
shooting skills, and the specifics of a particular model of

This NRA pistol course, because of its narrow focus, can be completed as
quickly as three hours. Students will get the NRA’s The
Basics of Pistol Shooting
handbook and quick practical
lessons on the safe use, cleaning, and storage of their pistol. The
practical exercise covers a single pistol shooting position. As the
number of participants or pistol types present increases, the course
will take proportionally longer.

NRA Pistol Course Goal

“To provide beginning shooters with an introduction
to the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to own and use a
specific pistol model safely.”
FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation Lesson Plans

NRA Pistol Course Lessons

  1. Introduction to Pistol Safety, Parts, and Operation
  2. Introduction to Ammunition and the Fundamentals of Pistol
  3. Introduction to Pistol Shooting from the Benchrest Position
  4. Introduction to Pistol Cleaning, Storage, and Training

NRA Pistol Course Prerequisites

The are no prerequisites for taking this course, and the material
is accessible to appropriately supervised mature children.

NRA Pistol Course Completion

Students will receive feedback on the live-fire exercise and a
course certificate upon successful completion of the lessons. Students
will receive a “Basic Practical” rocker upon successful
demonstration of firing a qualifying “group”.

On this page

NRA Pistol Course can be a great activity for the whole family. Shooting sports are
fun and and can be a way to instill pride and responsibility in young adults. NRA Pistol Course
can be the start to new family fun.