If Red Dots On Pistols Are So Great Why Doesn’t Everyone Have One?

I have long advocated having a red dot optic mounted on your EDC fighting pistol. I have said that it makes you faster, more accurate, more capable, and that it is the future. So if I am right then why aren’t they in 90% of the holsters out there?

Of course there are as many reasons as there are gun owners. The truth is there are a lot of them out there and the numbers are growing quickly. When I started carrying a Sig 228 with a red dot six years ago I had to basically have it built. Mill the slide, add suppressor sights, and buy the optic. Today five major manufactures offer some form of optic ready pistol right out of the box. That would not be happening if there were not a market for it. There are, of course, the people that will never be interested. They still carry flip phones and if they shoot they want a real gun like a Smith & Wesson 38 police special. To them red dots are sci-fi mall ninja stuff. There are also plenty of people that just can’t see their way to the added expense.

I had a customer talking to me about getting the new Sig P320 RX and his brother asked him “Why do you want the red dot? It just gets hung up when you draw.” Of course when he was telling me this all I heard was “you’ll shoot your eye out kid”. So there are those people with reasons beyond reason that just aren’t on board.

Finally there is that group that are serious shooters. Guys that don’t care if it is not a ‘wheel’ gun and don’t think you are a sissy if you don’t carry a 1911. People that have the money or will come up with it if they really believe that something out there will make them better. So why aren’t all of them sporting this type of firearm?

I think the number one reason is they have not seen it done right. Imagine if your friend told you about this awesome shooting sport called skeet. He got you all excited and worked up. You go out to the field and he explains how the clays work and then hands you a 22 rifle. Sure some freak would love the challenge but most of us would figure out that this skeet thing is not much fun in about 10 minutes. The reason is not that skeet is not fun, the reason is you are doing it wrong. Glock should have had one of the biggest booms in years when they came out with their MOS. They should have had record sales. However I saw customer after customer pick up one of the guns in the store, with an optic added, and after canting the gun all over the place looking for the dot, shake their head and put it down dismissing the idea as a viable self-defense weapon.

I understand that there are no absolutes, and especially when it comes to firearms. However to date there is only one way to “do it right” with a red dot pistol if you want it to be a faster, more accurate, reliable fighting pistol. The pistol must have its iron sights, both front and rear, in their normal position and configuration on the pistol. The red dot must be mounted between them in such a manner as the dot co-witnesses the iron sights. This usually means milling the slide and using suppressor sights. So far no other method allows for the rapid acquisition of the dot to make the pistol a reliable fighting platform. You start acquiring your target picture just like you always have, lining up the iron sights, and the dot just appears before you have to finish that operation, allowing you to fire those fractions of seconds faster.

If you are a serious shooter and you work with the platform I describe, regardless of brand, with a reputable instructor, that has experience with red dots on handguns I think you will agree it is the future. Regardless of the shooters experience or skill I think I can make any shooter faster with a red dot than he is without it in less than an hour of instruction. That is from holster to hole in target.

Feel free to comment or ask questions.

OOHHMMMMMMMMMMM

Everybody take a deep breath. OOHHMMMMMMMMM.

 

My first article of 2017 was not brought on by the shooting at the Ft Lauderdale airport, as much as by a statement a friend made regarding said shooting. Now this friend is a great guy. He is smart, logical, reasonable, and is a strong supporter of our second amendment rights. In this instance I just think his statement gives us all a good point to think things through.

 

What he said, and I am paraphrasing, was “Airport security sucks, and that is why I don’t fly.”

While I am not sure I want to debate either of those statements in general, they were made in relation to the recent shooting, and I would like to address them based on that reference.

 

As is usual after one of these instances a ton of people come out to explain why this happened, whose fault it was, and what we must do to fix it. The short version of this is we need more security and of course we need more gun control. Security, basically means safe places. Gun free zones. Someone watching over the area to keep it safe. The gun control part is just winged based on the circumstances of the incident.

 

Also as usual me and my smart, logical, and reasonable friends come out and explain that Safe zones don’t work against criminals that are willing to break the law to the point of murder, and gun control only insures that no good guys will have a gun when the criminal attacks.

 

I think that because this incident happened at an airport that has security in place and is a touchy subject for us, a lot of reasonable people are speaking when they should be breathing. I get it. It is our nature as humans to always strive for better. To always fix any problem that presents itself. The trouble is everyone is trying to find a logical fix for a problem that has no logical basis. It will always defy absolute solutions. My friend pointed out that the TSA had failed many test and lots of weapons had gotten by them. Honestly that is not relevant. Even if the TSA was 100% perfect and no weapon was ever smuggled past them, any gunman could simply shoot his way right through them. Like any safe space it is only safe against people that already follow the rules. You can put security in the baggage area but that means the attack will occur in the ticketing area. If you attempt to secure the entire airport then it will happen at the huge lines at the entrance. The point is that any and all security can be breached. Banks are robbed. Army bases are attacked. Credit card info is stolen, and computers are hacked. If you build it, they will beat it. So before you start screaming for more, better, bigger security, take a breath and think. Will what I am calling for really stop a crazy or determined person from ever hurting anyone?

 

Next as to the “that’s why I don’t fly” part. If you don’t fly because airport security can be defeated then basically you should stay in your house and never come out. You will not be safe in restaurants because their security is a joke. For god sake don’t go into a store. This includes, food, clothes, stand alone, mall, etc. Our highways and byways, well if you are worried about security you could just sell your car because you will not be wanting to travel on those. Now before my pro-gun friends start yelling that some licensed carrier would draw and shoot the bad guy I am just going to say get real. Yes I am pro-gun and yes I think it is safer when good guys are carrying but in a crowded place almost anyone could pull and dump a magazine before anyone could reasonably react. How successful the bad guy was would just be a matter of luck and training.

 

The point I am making here is there simply may not be a need for any grand actions here. Take a breath and look things over. Sure if there is something that would really stop that crazy determined killer then let’s work it out. However new laws, or restrictions that really only effect the masses whom are not intent on murder should be avoided. I like to travel with my gun. I carry it to classes or hunting. I like being able to go to the airport to pick up friends and family without facing huge lines at the toll plaza and having to go home to disarm before going in. If we can do something to make TSA work better then great, but I am not really sure you can make it 100% and I am sure you can make things 100% more of a hassle. The TSA isn’t really there to stop all weapons. They are there to keep them off planes. With that in mind I think their choke point is in the perfect place. As always feel free to comment or discuss. I am going to ask that you consider remaining calm and carrying on. OOHHMMMMMMM.

Rosa Parks for Guns

NegativeMost of my articles come from things that happen or I see in my own life. This one comes from a statement that I made that cost me a friend. That person had described a black man. The man was a professional with a very important and impressive resume. His work indicated that he was very intelligent, highly educated, and had skills that not many could match. After this description my friend went on to say that this man was a strong supporter of the second amendment, owned a gun, and had his license to carry. He however had told her that he would never carry nor would he ever allow his son to carry because “if anything ever goes down I am a black man with a gun”.

Now the trouble started when I commented “that is the silliest thing I have ever heard… Well not the silliest but…” Yes I understand that when all you have to go by is what you are reading that sounds very cavalier. I mistakenly thought that based on previous history with the people present everyone would see I was attempting to be light but think on this subject and maybe it would start a useful conversation where I could expand on the point. Wow that is for sure not what happened. My friend immediately felt that I had grossly disrespected their friend and that it required them to defend him in the strongest measure. I tried to relay that this was a subject I had been thinking on for some time and actually I would not want to disrespect, but recruit this man. The damage however had been done and there was no explanation that I could find that would undo the impression. I really regret that, but life goes on and I know I have a number of minority readers that I can explain what I was trying to get to here. So here goes.

I am a huge supporter of the second amendment. Not just for me but for everyone. One of the best ways to gain support is to have the right people out there taking advantage of that amendment. This black man is a perfect example. He is the kind of guy that everyone who believes like me needs out there carrying his gun as is his right! This is all about perception. This man is not a thug out there doing thugie things. He is a professional. As I spoke to my friend I tried to explain that he would be dressed as a professional. (That did not help either) Now I don’t mean that he will always be wearing a suit and tie. What I mean is he won’t have his hoodie zipped up with the hood up when it is 80 outside. His pants won’t be hanging down where we can all see his underwear. He will be presentable even when he is dressed casually. What I saw here was exactly the right man. A man with the chance to help gun advocates as well as equal rights advocates, making a mistake that could cost a lot. Here is a man that everyone could look up to, freely giving up his right to his most effective self-defense tool. How great would it be to see a news story where this intelligent, well educated black man had saved himself or his family from an active shooter at the mall? How would you feel to know that he had saved your wife, husband, or child? He is giving up this chance on the idea that it is more likely he will be seen and killed solely due to his skin color.

If you just play the what if game here. Work through the scenarios. Yes if you are dressed like a thug it might be a bad idea to carry a gun. Skin color does not really matter. I absolutely notice and keep an eye on guys with hoodies all buttoned up in warm weather and it does not matter what color their skin is. I absolutely keep an eye on guys all tatted up. I absolutely keep an eye on groups of guys hanging out in off places. An appropriately dressed black man is not going to draw an undue amount of attention, and concealed is concealed so who is going to know? Now if something goes down!!! Well yes the police and I are going to be looking at the guy with the gun! Again skin color is not the important factor here. You have a gun and should act appropriately. Don’t act like or look like a bad guy. Don’t wave the gun around. Don’t shoot indiscriminately. Follow the orders of police. Is there a chance of an accident here? Sure there is. Same for any of us. Police or some other well meaning citizen could misread the situation but if you don’t have your gun and “something goes down” it is 100% sure that you do not have the best chance available to protect you or anyone else.

This man has every right to disagree with me on all of this, just as any of you do, but I want to address one more thing. He says that not only is he giving up his right, he is not going to let his son exercise this right. Now he has not only lost out, but he has taught his son that he is different. He is less than someone else. How do you think he is going to take that? As well meaning as it is. As loving and protective as it is intended. Will his son just smile and understand, or will this young man not like that idea? Will he feel alienated and angry? How angry will he be? Mad enough to act out? Mad enough to want to repay this slight that actually no one has ever done him? In my title I referenced Rosa Parks. She helped the equal rights movement maybe as much as anyone in history. I also have made a huge point about perception all through this article. Now I want you to imagine what if it had not been Rosa Parks? What if it would have been Michael Brown or Travon Martin on that bus that day? Does anyone really think that it would have turned out the same way? Anyone think that mister Brown would have moved equality forward the same amount as Rosa Parks? We all need as many Rosa Parks out there right now as we can get! That is where I wish my original conversation would have went.

Make a Dang Choice

I try to keep my articles gun related but as things are today race, politics, or religion, could be gun related in a matter of heart beats, so here you go. 

I like golf and my wife loves the beach, so when we vacation often we look for a place where both are available. Here’s the thing. When my wife comes to the golf course with me she does not bring her towel and beach umbrella and lay out in a sand trap. Similarly when I accompany her to the beach I don’t drop a basket of balls out and start flying them into the masses of swimmers and sun bathers.

Why not? This is America, a free country, right? My wife has a right to lay out anywhere she wants!!!!

While she can indeed technically argue that, a little common sense says, it just isn’t true. She can love the beach, but still come to the golf course. She doesn’t even have to golf. However she is expected to behave in a manner that allows all the golfers to do what they came there to do. Just like I can love golf and still go to the beach and swim or lay out on my towel and soak in the sun. So I make a choice. I am not a beach golfer and she is not a golf bather.

Now here come the exploding heads. You are not African American nor are you Mexican American. You cannot be. You are either American or you are African. You are either Mexican or you are American. You can be a Mexican living in America, or an African living in America but again you are not African American. If you want to be African then by all means go live in Africa. If you are African and want to be American then assimilate. Adopt our culture, our values, and celebrate our way of life. If you want to be African and live in America then know our laws and customs and politely allow us to follow them. In your home you can follow whatever culture you like, but this is The United States. It was formed based on Christen beliefs. We celebrate Christmas and Easter. You do not have to celebrate with us but just like my wife at the golf course you need to be polite and allow the people that do appreciate the country they live in to follow its customs and beliefs. IF they recite The Pledge OF Allegiance or pray in the morning at school, you do not have to pledge or pray, but stand quietly and let them. Your hair will not catch on fire even if you are a devout Satanist, and no they do not have to make time or space for your religious beliefs. If you have special needs for those things then that is on you. Feel free to home school. Again you are living in the United States of America.

I had a chief while I was on the force. His parents were actually Mexican. He was born and raised in the US. He still felt very close to his Mexican heritage and he wanted his children to know and respect it as well. Inside of his house they lived as they would have in Mexico. They spoke Spanish 100% of the time from the time his kids were born, but he said if they were talking as they left the house, when a kid’s foot hit the step just outside the door he switched to English. Outside of their home they were Americans.

I have a little more trouble understanding the African side of this. I mean I trace my roots back to Finland. I think. Honestly I don’t know any of my relatives that were anything other than American. I don’t know the Finish culture because it really has nothing to do with who I am or who anyone in my family has ever been. I have a number of black friends and to the best of my knowledge none of them know any of their relatives that were ever African. Now maybe those people that want to study a culture that they originated from, no matter how far removed, are better than me and I should be ashamed for my lack of interest, but I do question this. In any case I still say “Make a Choice”. The one choice you can’t make without causing pain to you and all around you is, you cannot be a beach golfer or a golf swimmer. If you choose to go against all those around you then you will always cause and be in trouble.

 

No One Needs An AR 15 (No One NEEDS A Car}

I have a friend on Facebook that regularly post a scripture and then talks about what it means to him, and how he hopes to use it. The other day he posted “Do unto others etc.” and he talked about how he intended to try to practice this by being more open and listening with an open heart and mind too others (Something I don’t think he always does, but I suspect he might say the same about me.) about the important things going on in our world like politics, and religion.

Now this man’s post got me to thinking. I have never changed an anti-gun persons mind in a debate, but I wonder how many anti-gun people are anti-gun just because they don’t really understand something simple, and would really like some information, without a debate, or a bunch of statistics that can always be slanted in the direction the poster wants. This article is an attempt to give some honest, common person info, in hopes that it can help someone that simply does not have the experience or knowledge on one very important question. Why does anyone need an AR?

I have heard several versions of this question and in its worst form it is used as a statement of factual accusation. “No one needs an AR 15 to hunt a deer! They are killing machines designed to murder people.” If you are using that statement simply because it supports your gun control agenda then this article won’t help you, but if you are interested in why some people do think they need an AR read on.

I grew up hunting, and now I am an FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer. My first ever rifle was a Marlin 22.

Marlin

This rifle is for small game like squirrels. It holds 15 rounds that you feed into the bottom tube.

I later moved to a Ruger 10/22.

1022

I changed to this rifle for one reason. It was fed by a detachable magazine that would hold 20 or 30 rounds like a modern AR. Now at the time I had never even heard of an AR, but the magazine had several advantages. When shooting at a range you often pay by the hour. With the tube fed gun I could shoot my 15 rounds in ten seconds give or take. Then I would spend the next three minutes reloading. That means I was paying a lot more for standing around then I was for shooting. With a magazine fed gun I could load a number of magazines up before I went in and then spend my time and money shooting instead of standing around pulling bullets out of a box. In relation to hunting this was also a huge advantage. I could load up and carry three magazines instead of carrying a box of ammunition or a bunch of ammunition poured in my pocket, that I would then have to fumble with, drop, or trail behind me, as it fell out of a hole in my pocket. So the Readers Digest version is it was much more convenient and therefore more fun.
My next rifle was a Ruger Mini 14.

mini14

This rifle was for larger game such as coyotes, and maybe even pig, or deer. It is actually very similar to an AR 15. It shoots the same bullet at the same speed and uses magazines the same size and style. Anything you are shooting at with this gun would not be able to tell the difference between this and an AR 15.
Finally for when I was sitting still hunting larger game, and I wanted a more powerful round I got a Remington 740.

REm740

This gun shoots a much larger and more powerful round. It too is magazine feed but as with the other guns I got it many years ago. These guns represented my hunting guns from the time I was in highschool until I was in my fifties.

Now the real information begins. After I became an FFL I noticed almost every rifle I was selling was an AR. One of my customers bought two. I asked him what he was going to use them for? I honestly did not care if he had them, but like so many I did not understand the reasoning and he was getting two. His answer was “Well this one will be for walking up pigs and this one will be my deer gun.” Ok hunting. So then I asked him the question I had heard so many times from the anti-gun gang. If you are going to use them to hunt, why now get a regular hunting rifle? (Like mine right?) He looked at me as if I had spoken to him in a foreign language. He honestly didn’t understand the question. After some discussion I figured out, unlike me, he did not grow up hunting. His first ever experience with a gun was in the military. An AR 15 was the gun that was familiar to him. Its just what he is use to. The fact is a ton of the people I was selling to were just like him. They are ex-military. They know the gun, and they know how easy it is to set up for any kind of hunting that they want. They were actually thinking I was the crazy person.
After this my curiosity got the better of me. I started studying the platform that is the AR and I learned how great it was. Typically lighter, easier to modify for what you want and what you are doing. I can add grips, lights, optics all in a mater of seconds, and I can do it myself instead of paying a gunsmith to set it up. So I sold my:

Marlin

and bought an:

22

 

 

 

 

 

I sold my:

mini14

 

 

 

And bought:

IMG_0778

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally I sold my:

REm740

 

 

 

 

And I bought:

IMG_0714
My new ARs are all the same calibur as the old rifle they replaced.

I was in a class one time and the instructor was asked about revolvers. His answer was “Look rotory phones were great back in the day. Do you want to use one today?” It is the same with these rifles. Muskets were great back in the day, but all things, including firearms advance. The AR is in fact a great hunting platform. Easy to work with, light, and modernly reliable. You don’t NEED a car. They kill thousands each year, but do you want to ride a horse to work? Sure the things that make the AR a great gun make it great for bad people as well, but that is true for everything.

Sorry this was so long but honestly I left out so much on this subject. I hope this answers this question for some or at least opens some minds. As always I am open to discuss this subject and yes we can go into the gun control debate if you like I just did not want to do that here.

Class Review

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If you look back in the archived articles on my website I know at some point I have written that I think you should not lock yourself into one instructor. That goes for everyone and includes me. As an instructor I have great confidence in what I teach but if I never look at anyone else how do I know that it has not been surpassed or dated?

With that in mind I got the chance to take a class from Todd Rassa. He is a regular guest instructor at The Sig Academy in NH. He teaches a number of their classes as well as a ton of his own stuff. Let me start off by saying that Todd is first and foremost just a nice guy. While he does have some impressive Boston PD credentials he does not come off as that guy with the huge ego we have all seen teaching these type of classes. He laughs at himself, jokes and makes the entire experience very comfortable and a pleasure.

The class I took was Armed Civilian Response to Active Shooter. I was feeling a little sheepish about taking this class but I wanted to take something that would just be fun. Then after the first day of class I got back to the hotel and a friend texted me, telling me to turn on the news, and Paris took care of all those sheepish feelings. Hard to have a better example of timely, and practical for a class or an instructor.

The class was split about 40/60 class/range. The write up said between 300 and 400 rds of ammo and I ended up at 500. This was a nice aspect of taking the class at The Sig Academy as the instructor just pulls cases of ammo to use and you settle up at the end of class so you have no travel worries about ammo. Also they will lend you a gun, holster, and magazines and those are free of charge.

IMG_0671

I took the opportunity to try out the Sig striker fired platform the P320. I chose the compact and interestingly enough Todd and his crew have recently converted to this gun. It was amazingly accurate, easy to shoot, and overall, is making me think about my everyday carry.

Back to the class review. So if you are the academic type there was plenty of classroom PowerPoint with discussion of past and possible future active shooters with some insights that only PD could give you.

If on the other hand you came to shoot, then there were plenty of both drills and scenarios that gave you a chance to learn as well as test your skills in a more real world set up then you can get on your own at any range.

The only possible disparaging thing I can think of is this. The class was full. Sixteen people. That means that with as much material as Todd covered the time drilling was mostly limited to one time through. This is always a problem for instructors. If only two people show up then you run the same drill over and over. If too many show up then you only have time to show them the drill, run through it real quick and move on. I did learn some new things that you can’t practice at most ranges and I would have loved to have had more time to drill them in. Todd demos most of his drills live fire, so he is not just standing back there talking. You get to see how he thinks it should look.

IMG_0678This was not a beginner’s class. You did not have to be an expert but you had to have some skills when you showed up. We covered some room clearing, escape and evasion, extreme close quarter’s battle, and tactical decision making. You need to be comfortable drawing from a concealed holster and shooting on the move while maintaining safety for everyone around you.

If these things interest you I recommend you look up Todd Rassa. He teaches primarily up in NH but now lives in TX and I think you will be seeing more of him down here

Are We Doing it Again? (A rose by any other name)

T-shirts 001 008Now I know that there are some purist that have never faltered, but most of us that are honest can look and admit that we as gun people either did or allowed this. What “this” am I speaking of? Well First we began referring to any auto loading weapon as an automatic, instead of differentiating between auto, and semi-auto. This has come back to bite us, as every gun grabber points out to the uneducated that we do not need, and should not have machine guns!

Next we started calling magazines, clips. We did that for so long that the words truly became interchangeable. In fact it went on so long that a lot of gun people didn’t even know there was a difference. Then suddenly as people tried to prove that they were the supreme authority on all things guns, they started using this misunderstanding against the lesser informed to prove their superior knowledge.

Yes yes I know some of you always knew and used the correct terms but again if you are honest you saw how wide spread these things were. I am absolutely guilty. I almost never stopped someone when they said clip. I knew what they meant and it just wasn’t a big deal. Just like automatic wasn’t a big deal till it was.

So what has gotten me all riled up? I just entered a shooting league. Of course one of the rules is “No optics”. Well my every day carry has had a Doctor III red dot sight on it for two years. I really haven’t shot anything else. In getting ready for this league I pulled the Red dot slide off and put the original slide with iron sights back on. This is when I made an interesting discovery. I cannot see my iron sights! In the last few years my eyes have started getting a little worse so I have had to go to glasses for distance and I look under them to see in closer. Looking through my glasses means that my iron sights are a fuzzy doubled blob on top of my gun. Looking without my glasses brings the sights into focus but leaves my target blurred beyond the point of distinguishing different areas. Now before you throw out the “Your front sight is in focus and your target is blurred” fact at me let me just hold you back. That is a very simplified description of a very complicated bit of visual calisthenics your eyes go through. Your eye bounces from target to rear sights to front sight and as the shooting goes on it continues to bounce and refocus as you need input. Where are you hitting (target focus)? How is your sight alignment (sights)? Refined sight picture (front sight). That visual Jujitsu will continue throughout a string of fire almost imperceptible to you. You are not moving your eye so much as it is constantly focusing. A Red dot sight works differently. You focus on the target and the dot simply imposes over it. All of your focus is down range at your target so my glasses work great.

Realizing that I am going to get hammered in this league because I have no good solution to being able to only see one or the other is what made me realize what we are doing. Forever we have been referring to anything we look through as “an optic”. It’s not!

Webbsters dictionary shows this:

Full Definition of OPTICS

:  a science that deals with the genesis and propagation of light, the changes that it undergoes and produces, and other phenomena closely associated with it.

There are a ton of other definitions about the eye but trying to Readers Digest them all together an optic device is something that bends light. Normally it does this in a fashion to either make things look bigger or closer. This means telescopic or microscopic. So the scope (telescope) on your rifle is indeed an optic. Your night vision device again is an optic. However the red dot sight on your pistol or even the one on your AR is a sight. It does not provide any magnification, nor does it project any light beyond itself. If you consider the windshield on your truck an optic then I can never convince you of this, but that is what a red dot sight is. It is a simple piece of glass used so that you can see through it and like a bug on your windshield they put a dot on it that can be seen easy and moved so that you can zero it to your guns point of impact at different ranges.

So is this little bit of information important? That depends. Do you care if people say clip when they mean magazine? Is it important to distinguish between automatic and semi-automatic? I am not expecting all the competitive shooting organizations to change how they do things this season, but maybe if those of us that do care start using and explaining the correct terminology today, then ten years from now a better informed rules committee somewhere out there wont tie the hands of a guy that doesn’t have twenty year old eyes. Feel free to weigh in on this or anything else at http://amasonadvanced.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmasonAdvanced

Do You Really Need To Reinvent The Wheel?

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So when I take on something new, I spend a good bit of effort, and research on trying not to reinvent the wheel. For instance I cannot tell you the best place for you to put your hands on a steering wheel when you drive. It is not possible to disprove whatever arguments you are going to come up with to justify your placement. However I can tell you where 99.9% of all professional drivers put theirs. In fact where 99.9% of all people when they think the driving is going to be serious use the same spots. So instead of trying to invent something new and work through all the reasons that this new thing is better I (not always, but mostly) tend to go with what is overwhelmingly accepted.

With that in mind I want to talk about where you place your gun when you carry, in the waistband. The crowd I really like and follow for the most part is Suarez International, headed up by Gabe Suarez. The guy is awesome. However that whole crowd has gone with what is referred to as appendix carry. Now again I cannot tell anyone where the best place to carry is. It is all an opinion and anyone can defend their choice with arguments that can’t be broken. I would like to point a few things out though, just in case you’re thinking about where you really want to carry.

While negative things can be pointed out about any placement I want to point out a few about appendix carry. First it is the only placement, let me point this out again, the only placement where a negligent discharge is likely to be fatal or make you wish it had been. Here is a recent story about a man in Milwaukee County. http://www.usacarry.com/man-dies-trying-reholster-appendix-carry/ . Sadly drawing and reholstering is a very common place for a negligent discharge to occur. I hope you train hard and never have one. There are a lot of people that train very hard, and it still happens to them. If I ever have one I pray to god that it does not hurt anyone. Even me. If you don’t train hard then what are your odds? How many things have you done in your life, and never made a single mistake? Next I will tell you as a martial artist, if I have to fight you, in contact range, and you are going to try and draw your gun on me then the place that I want you to have it more than anywhere else is in front of your body. If it is, then I can foul your draw by basically touching your arm anywhere from your bicep down. Your arm is accessible to me, and by pinning it to your body, I can keep you from drawing.

Yes I understand there are positives to this carry. Easier to draw from a sitting position, although I question the comfort of sitting for long periods with your gun there. Easier to draw when you are on your back in a fight, again if you are on your back in a fight then I think it may be pretty easy to foul that draw. In any case if this is your carry method of choice I understand you can defend it, but for me just the two negatives I have pointed out are enough to make me say that the risk is not worth the reward here.

obstaclesSo where is the perfect carry placement in my opinion? Well it didn’t take a ton of research to find that 99% spot. People have been carrying pistols a long time and the overwhelming majority except in the CCL crowd have always and still carry at 3 o’clock. Think about this a second. You want to know where the best place to put your hands on the wheel is. Ask a race driver. You want to know the best place to put your gun. Ask a professional. Where do cops carry? Where do all professional competitors carry? Actually it is those guys. The ones that are trying to shoot the most accurate the fastest that should really tell you something. They are looking for every advantage, and they all carry on their hip.

So with that in mind, carry on. I hope that this little article helps in some way. Even if it does not affect the way you carry maybe in some other place you will catch yourself and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

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Why Does Whataburger Matter?

cropped-Selfdefense.jpgJust after Texas passed its new Open Carry law Whataburger came out with a statement declaring that it would continue to allow conceal carry but it would NOT allow open carry in its establishment. This declaration opened a discussion, in a group I am in, with people that I consider basically like-minded, well intentioned, and rational. As it turned out we totally disagreed with each other on this one.

 

Now let me start by declaring that I can never see an instance where I will open carry in my lifetime. Personally and tactically I just don’t see it. I also believe that if you own a business you did build that business, and that you should have the right to include or deny anyone or anything that you want. I think that if Whataburger wants to put up a sign banning guns, blacks, women, babies, old white guys, or even just Troy Amason then it is their right.

 

So why does what Whataburger did make any difference to me? I already said I support their right to do it, and since I don’t open carry it will not affect me at all…. Until it does. People rarely stop to consider the complications of things and how they will unfold down the road. Let’s examine this a bit.

 

The first red flag is Whataburger made an effort to answer a question that no one was asking. Moms’ weren’t picketing. OCT was not scheduling events. Whataburger chose a side and took a stance benefiting one group over another. They said “we are more concerned with the group that is uncomfortable with guns than the group that is comfortable”. They loudly called everyone out. You can choose to ignore them or you can respond. The trouble is that if you do choose to ignore them then you are, in effect, supporting them. What does that hurt? Well if they do it with no ill effect then Dairy Queen can do it, and In And Out, etc. etc. Again what does that hurt? CEO’s become board members, board members become congressmen, and then their thinking will be “if I did it when I ran Whataburger, and everyone liked it, then they will like it when I make it law”, so around we go again.

 

ProactiveBecause we only focus on the part that directly affects us we keep fighting the same fight over and over. Gaining and losing only inches. Every person, that I saw, saying they were ok with Whataburger, initially did so based on how it affected them personally. “I don’t open carry so I don’t care.” “I own a business and I don’t want Mom’s Demand Action to effect it.” Now when challenged they mostly fell back to “it’s a private business’s rights” but not one person started there. An argument was also made about it not being the “social norm like it is in Kansas”. Well by supporting Whataburger, and then DQ, and then Wendy’s you will make their stance the social norm, and we will fight for this inch again down the road.

 

Allow me to make some extreme examples. Let’s say I am going to lunch with a couple of other guys. As we get to the door a manager asks us if our wives are at home or if any of us are a couple? My wife is at home but in fact the other two guys are married. The manager says that is fine they support gay marriage but just not openly. I am free to go in but my friends will have to remove their rings. You still going in? How about if you are going in with a group and one is black? You going to leave him on the curb? I mean he is being openly black.

Look at one more reason to make a stance. Think about how you feel about abortion. Let’s say you are against it, and the Pro-abortion people are willing to compromise with you. No abortions beyond four weeks. A win for you! So are you good with that, or will you now go right back at them to ban all abortions? Most people will take the win and then go right back to fighting for their ultimate goal. Anti-gun people are the same. They are not going to be happy to leave you be if you give them open carry they will regroup and come back for conceal and then all out ban.

 

Look, I am an old white guy, and some things make me uncomfortable. I don’t like to be around people that eat beets (ugh), but I am not going to shun a good person just because that one issue about them makes me uncomfortable, and I am not going to support a private business that shuns good people, (Even though a no beets policy at Whataburger would make me happy). That is what makes supporting Whataburger’s rights, work. If Whataburger hangs a sign that says “No Blacks” then I would hope that so many people would stop supporting them that they would fail in that market.

 

I am not actually a member of either group in the Whataburger situation. I am not uncomfortable around guns nor do I open carry, so how/why would I side. Well, what I am, is a believer in the constitution, and the 2nd amendment. It clearly states “shall not infringe”. By making this stance, Whataburger does not support the constitution, and the 2nd amendment. They support some version of you being able to carry a gun, so long as they can put their infringements on it. If that is what everyone wants, then there is a means to change the constitution, but until then, you will continue to fight for the same ground over and over until you are willing to fight for the actual definitive law, and everyone’s rights there in. That means supporting someone that is doing something you would not do. It means supporting them even when it is hard. I am not saying you have to riot and burn down Whataburger. I am just saying that supporting a business that is not willing to support the laws will come back and bite you, down the road.

What Is Limiting You?

HowToHoldAre you limited by your natural ability and training, or are you being limited by your equipment? This article is not meant to give you answers, but rather to stimulate your thinking as you move forward.

Recently I have had a couple of incidents that have got me to thinking. I had a student that while she did not come from nothing, she did not have a lot of gun experience. She decided that she needed to get serious so she trained a bit with the gun she had owned for years. After a little work she got a gun that was a bit of an upgrade. This student has been very serious and done really well. Just before our last session she mentioned that she was really wanting an even better gun. Later at the range she was not happy with her performance. Now she has a rather small single stack 9mm and we were doing some new things. Granted her groups were not all in the X ring but they were all viable defensive hits. I was pointing this out to her and trying to be generally encouraging but she was still a little frustrated. In an effort to convince her that with that weapon what she was doing was great I put my personal carry gun in her hands. I carry a German made Sig 228 with a SRT Trigger that has been worked on a little by a very good smith (Robert Burke). The slide has been switched to a 229 Elite that was milled so that I could mount a red dot that cowitnesses with iron suppressor sights. Instantly her groups went to half the size they had been the entire session. She immediately turned and asked me “How much does this gun cost?”

TargetsShe is a perfect example of being limited by her equipment. Now nothing really earth shattering or thought provoking in that part but stay with me for a second. She had already said she was indeed in the market for a new gun. Her question was serious. However when I told her the price you could see her face fall a bit and she said oh no that is too much. She indicated that she wanted something maybe $400 less. Here is what I relayed to her and what I really want everyone thinking about. I had just shown her how the equipment she had was limiting her compared to one option that she actually loved. Why would you spend your hard earned money on the next gun that is going to limit you? She has a perfectly functional gun. She felt like she could save the money for “her” next upgrade in a couple of months. My recommendation was to wait four months and buy the gun she really wanted.

Almost every gun person I know has a dream gun or two. If I stay in contact with them long enough they almost always end up owning that dream gun. Sadly most of them have spent three or four times what that gun cost on any number of other guns they bought because “they couldn’t afford” that dream gun. Sure there are reasons to buy different guns, but look at what you are doing with it. If you are competing how many matches do you want to lose to the guy that is shooting the gun you want? If your gun is for self-defense how much is your life or the life of the ones you love worth?

As a final thought a long time gun friend of mine said something just in passing that actually got me to write this. He had just ordered a very expensive 22 revolver from me. We had talked about the price and he said “I know, but I am through buying the gun that I almost want.”

Hydra RifleBuy the best equipment for the job and be amazed at how much better you are at that job.

Why Don’t The Police Aim For The Leg?

Good Kyle

Why Don’t Police Aim For The Legs?

The answer, of course is that this is not the fastest, most effective way to stop the threat.

So why am I about to tell you that this exact thing should be part of your training?

That answer takes a little more thought.

 When I started carrying my main concern and my focus on training was the common street punk. A lone mugger or a crazed ex out to punish the world for his failed relationship. I trained like most for fast accurate shots center mass to stop the threat. If the threat did not stop quickly then most of us trained for a head shot. The “two to the chest, one to the head” is a very old drill. This is still a main stay in my training. However as I have talked about in several articles, the world has changed. I now carry, and train, not only for that situation, but for things more dangerous. I think if you are carrying today you must realize that common street punks now work in groups. Crazed ex’s now actually try for suicide by cop, and terrorist are a real possibility at our local mall. The kicker is, there is a very real possibility that any of these people may be wearing very effective body armor.

 Yes body armor changes everything. Well that is why I train for that “one to the head” you say. Well I will just tell you that paper heads are easy targets. Yes against a single street punk with a Glock and a vest that is still the option I would go for. What if it is three street punks with vest? What if you are in that mall and hear the gunfire. Yes I know that I am not a cop and I have no “duty” to act. I am a human though. I am a husband, and I feel a “moral” obligation to help. I am also not Jason Bourne, and I am not a fool. I am not excited taking my Sig 9mm into a fight with three or four fanatics with AK47’s. I want the best chances I can make for myself. I am going to sneak, hide, use cover, ambush, whatever gives me the slightest edge.

 This is where leg shots come into play. Think it through. Yes a head shot in most instances is an ultimate end to the threat but in a fight where you are at a definite disadvantage a head shot could be very difficult. It is the smallest target on the body. Legs are pretty much the same size as the core of the body. Yes the legs might be slightly harder to hit because they are moving and there are some gaps but honestly the head may move more, and faster, than the legs in a dynamic situation.

 So let’s look at the positives of leg shots. First about the same area to hit as the body. Legs also can be lethal shots. The first person I ever saw die from a gunshot was shot in the leg with a 38 and made it to the hospital still conscious but did not survive. Leg wounds hurt. Unlike the movies every person I ever went on a call for with a leg wound was within five feet of where they were shot. If I shoot any of the above bad guys in the knee I may not have ended the threat but I have most likely isolated it to that spot.

 obstacles

Three street punks. I put two in one vest one in another and take out the legs of one as I duck between a row of cars. One is out of the fight if I keep moving and the other two have to decide if they are going to help him or come after me.

 Active shooter in the mall. I put one or two in the back of his leg from behind a corner. Now the mall can clear without him being able to chase anyone’s wife or kids and I can leave him for the cops to deal with. If he is there as part of a group, now they have to decide if they help him or continue their attack.

 I hope this shows that while not always an ultimate end to a situation there are times that leg shots should be your go to target and therefore included in your “what if” mental gymnastics and your training if possible. The time to work this out is now not when you are in the situation.

 

Lethal Lace Holster System Review

lethal lace pic

Day one: Received the Lethal Lace holster to ‘give it a try’ (Thanks to Troy at  Amason Advanced Firearms and Training (AmasonAdvanced.com)).  I know there are videos out there to instruct how to wrap it on, but how hard can it be?  I mean really.  So, casual day with family I put on the holster with my Kahr CW9.  I tried several times to position it in an appendix carry but was having a little problem with that so I slid it to side carry.  Wrapping three yards of stretchy lace by yourself is a little tricky but doable.  Pulled on my usual jeans and t-shirt and off I went.  I did get a few little stabs during the day depending on my bending motions but spent a good part of the day driving and the weapon itself was quite comfortable.  I will say however, the lacy band did tend to bunch up in my waistline opposite the weapon.  OK, no big deal but it did make for a slightly less comfortable ‘ride’.  But we all know carrying does not mean it has to be comfortable.  By the evening when I removed it I was feeling it was ok, but not great.  I mean really, I have such high hopes to find that perfect holster.  Don’t we all?

Day two:  I broke down and watched the videos.  I watched several videos on how to wrap the Lethal Lace. Discovered I did it all wrong on day one, go figure.

Day three: Just a day around the house, not intending to go out so am staying super comfy in my yoga pants.  I decide it’s a good day to try again, now that I know the RIGHT way to wrap and at the same time let’s just see how well it can be concealed in yoga pants.  Wrapping is still a bit of a challenge but I’m getting better.  As stated earlier I truly prefer appendix carry.  I feel I can get to my weapon faster and in a more natural movement for me.  I know everyone is different though so bear with me.  This time I wrapped in the correct direction.  I have discovered so far that if you wrap it up around waist level (and ladies if you have a decent waistline at all) the fabric really bunches and wads in around your waist.  Now this in not to say it is terribly uncomfortable because the material in super soft, I’m just saying it does this.  Once I discovered this, I decided to go lower.  I started over to get a good tight wrap and went down more toward my hips but with the weapon still positioned in front of my hip bone.  It still rides up and bunches somewhat at the waistline.

Shifted it to my calf to see how that works.  It is very secure.  However, with the Kahr it is obvious that I am carrying.  Not concealed from anyone with the gift of sight.

Day four:  Headed back out an about town today so going with the jeans and loose shirt today.  I’m getting better at the wrap!  Woo Hoo!  Didn’t take me near as long today and the weapon is very secure in a low appendix position.

Pardon the pun, but here is my wrap up on the Lethal Lace holster. It is a good sound choice for a holster. It does keep the weapon secure and for shorter periods of time it is comfortable.  Let me be clear though if you have a curve it does migrate and bunch and after a few hours I felt like I had to keep adjusting it.  It wasn’t uncomfortable but it felt ‘out of place’.  My suggestion and where I would definitely turn to this method of carrying would be on short term, special occasions. Gotta put on a dress or a nice business suit, grab Lethal Lace.  You can snug it up nice and tight and not worry about printing for a few hours. If you foresee this situation, buy Lethal Lace early and allow yourself time to practice the wrap. I do like Lethal Lace and will recommend it to friends. Personally though, it will not become my full time, everyday method of carrying.  My quest continues.

You Are Not The Police! Oh Really?

IMG_0451

“You are not the police.” This is a sentence I have heard many times in gun classes and in pretty much every conceal carry class I have ever been in or audited. Interestingly enough it is also one of the few sentences that gun instructors and anti-gun liberals have in common. Well what I am about to say next is going to have many of those instructors pulling their hair out or maybe wanting to set mine on fire. Much of the time YOU are the police or at least you should be.

I have seen this discussion for many years but it seems to really be resurfacing now with all that is going on in the world, and I want to try and give a reasonable but minority view.

The idea that it is the police’s job to protect each and every one of you is fantasy. Law enforcement is one of our most basic needs in society but there is no possible way that they can serve as personal body guard for each and every individual. Yes they are there to protect us in the general sense. They are there to stop and deter localized crime. They investigate and arrest crime doers so that they don’t keep doing, but this protection is mostly a broad general term. Very necessary, but not likely to help you in the spur of the moment.

When you are faced with imminent danger you are your police. No matter what tool you use to resolve the situation it is very unlikely that the police can arrive in time to help. This means you will be required to make the right interpretation, and react in a reasonable manner, just like the police. Don’t think you will be held to the same standard by a jury? Well good luck with that. Train and play the “What If” game extensively.

Those people that live in the “you are not the police” world don’t take responsibility for their selves. They hope that nothing happens. They hope a policeman will be there, and they rely on luck to get them through. If you are reading this then you are probably not one of those people. Most likely you have gone to class and are armed. If not then I hope you reconsider, get trained, and get armed. If you are though then you really need to think about this. I have seen so many concealed carry individuals that are taught and believe that that gun is strictly to protect them. No matter what is going on around them they only use their gun in defense of their life. Really? No I am not advocating that you go out on patrol. You are not looking for trouble and in fact you ARE actively avoiding trouble in every way possible. Be smart. Don’t frequent places where trouble is a frequent occurrence, but this does not mean you have to abandon your common decency to your fellow man. If something happens and you are the one that is there, are you really only concerned for yourself? Most people extend that to “my loved ones”. So if you see a punk holding a gun on the clerk at the gas station too bad for her? What if I was the conceal carry guy and the clerk was your wife or daughter? Are you ok with me leaving her on her on because I am not the police?

That guy

Recently a conceal carry holder saw a man beating a woman inside a car on the street. The conceal carry holder drew his weapon and stopped the beating. He ordered the man out of the car and held him until police arrived and arrested the abuser. So was this risky for the conceal carry holder. Oh my god yes! There are a ton of scenarios where this goes horribly wrong. He could have ended up in jail, injured or dead. The sad truth is life is risky. Any of us could end up injured, dead or even in jail at almost any moment. The fact is he did the right thing in a moral sense. Were there risks? Yes so he did everything he could think of to manage those risk but again what if that were your daughter in that car?

There are suddenly shots in the theater I am in. I can see a man framed in the exit firing a weapon, I have a great angle and a clear shot, but I am not the police so I duck and escape out the other exit. I go home safe and sound to my wife. A huge success by many instructors’ standards. I did the exact thing they teach. On the news I discover that he fired till he ran out, reloaded and fired some more. Seventeen people died. I personally don’t think I could live with myself. I wonder if my original conceal carry instructor would be pleased with me if one of those seventeen was a family member of his?

In the end I am not telling you what you should do. This is always going to be a situational, and VERY personal choice. Don’t just sacrifice yourself. Don’t exceed your training and ability. I expect myself to do the right thing, and help anyone I think I can, so I TRAIN as much and as hard as I can. I personally just hope that everyone considers doing what you know is right regardless of the cost and I hope that you support anyone else that tries to do the same. As always feel free to comment, and check out my facebook and website.

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The Great Divide

The Great Divide

CriminalsSo why is there such a huge divide in the people that think that cops are riding around looking for people to kill, and the cops themselves? This can be simplified pretty quickly. First you must eliminate all the fringe. The anti-whatever as well as the truly bad cops that are in fact on a power trip. I honestly believe that both are in the minority.

After that it really comes down to the fact that those people feeling oppressed are dreamers. I am not condoning nor condemning them rather just trying to describe them. They are the people that think everyone should just get what they need. If you need healthcare then someone should give it to you. If you need a job then you should get it. When you need more money then you should get a raise. They think from an emotional place where things just happen.

The police on the other hand are realist. Like firemen, soldiers, and doctors, they think in terms of their experiences. So if 90% of all the calls they go on, the bad guy is black, then they start watching out for black people. No it does not make them think that every black person is a bad guy but yes their radar is up. This goes for any experience they gain. If most bad guys wear hoodies then they watch out for guys in hoodies. As simple as that. The more they see it, the more they believe it.

That creates the catch 22. The dreamers think that the realist should just stop that, or they will punish them for it. They riot, or attack them with violence. The realist just see this as more proof of the dreamers’ violent anti-social ways and they gear up to deal with it, and protect themselves. You are never going to convince a realist that you are a good person deserving of respect by trying to kill him or applauding as others do.

So how does this affect those of us that I am really talking to here, my customers and potential customers? Well most of us are realist as well. We might feel that we are immune to a lot of these troubles since we relate to the police and generally agree with them. Sadly this might not be true. We need to realize just what a heightened state of alert everyone might be in. The dreamers of course are looking for an excuse to teach us a lesson, but even the police are amped up as they feel under siege. They don’t know that you are on their side. At this time with the administrations and attitudes they are forted up and everyone, from all sides, is a potential enemy. As rational reasonable people we need to recognize that this is just the reality. That cop, that a year ago might not have batted an eye could now go into adrenalin dump over the slightest thing. Is it right? Maybe not, but we need to realize it is the reality. As an adult we need to be more considerate and careful than normal to avoid pushing these situations.

Good KyleJust think it through. You are stopped by the police in Texas for no inspection sticker. Your car has Michigan plates and needs no sticker so the cop is wrong. For whatever reason he grabs your arm to cuff you. Well again he is wrong and has no reason to act like that. Now here is the thinking part, you can resist him grabbing you and the fight will be on. How are you going to win that fight? You going to shoot him? The end result here is you will be beat up, tazzed, and maybe killed, by this officer or some of his back up. Even though he was completely wrong at the start. Option two, you let him turn you around and cuff you. You comply with his instructions and talk to whomever you are given the chance to talk to. Most likely a Sargent is going to show up on the scene and start asking what is up. So his car wasn’t in violation? He didn’t actually do anything? Sir we are sorry for the inconvenience and you are on your way. You can now decide if you want to pursue a complaint or just move on with your life. The point is while you may not be happy you are not beat, tazzed, or dead, and making sure of that is what my job is.

 

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