Condition: Yellow - responsible preparation, and fun, for an unpredictable world

Andy Rutledge

Plates at 10 Yards From Concealment

Just working on drawing from concealment and getting first hit on target at 10 yards. I like to keep this around .95 to 1.2, but I was being careful here since I was filming. 🙂

Uncharacteristically had a couple of fumbled draws here, but got the job done anyway both times. Wearing two shirts is different than wearing one. That’s why we call it training.

The Fifth Rule of Gun Safety

Handling firearms comes with a mandate: habitual, uncompromising firearm safety. Following this mandate keeps us and those around us safe. The rules of gun safety are vital not just for our own safety, but for the fact that often when we’re handling guns we’re surrounded by other people.

Despite this mandate, I see unsafe gun handling every time I go to the range. Not sometimes, not most of the time, but every time I’m at a gun range.

women not minding their muzzles

Safe shooters unconsciously adhere to the four rules of gun safety. These rules are perfect and need no addition to ensure that our actions cause no harm to ourselves or others. What they do not account for, however, is the fact that some of the people who handle guns are incompetent, unsafe, or otherwise fail in their adherence to these important four rules. Therefore, responsibility requires that we follow yet another rule. A fifth rule.

The 5th Rule of Gun Safety:

“Pay attention to where other peoples’ muzzles are pointing.”

 

This “rule” is handwritten on the whiteboard at the outdoor practical range I visit once or twice every week. There are several skills classes taught each week at this range and the safety briefing given to the students in each of these classes includes a reference to this rule. And with good reason.

I understand that this extra rule of gun safety was proposed candidly one day by Brian, one of the instructors there at Proactive Defense. Makes perfect sense. With a number of shooters training on the line in one of the bays—students in a class or just people out for a day’s training and with all of the involved manipulation—there are a lot of gun muzzles for a range officer or an instructor to monitor. There are too many, in fact, from moment to moment. Therefore, he recognized, if we’re going to be safe we all have to keep track of where nearby muzzles are pointed.

Brian’s logical epiphany is not something he coined or otherwise imagined first. Situational awareness is common among responsible people, especially at the gun range. But like the other four rules of gun safety, this one is not something the average citizen thinks about and it cannot simply be learned. Gun-safety rules can be learned in 5 minutes, but this learning is irrelevant until after months of continual forging of unconscious habit. Like the other four rules of firearm safety, this one has to be drilled into the student and rehearsed time and time again until it becomes a habitual action one performs moment to moment, with all manner of manipulations, and under all sorts of circumstances without ever thinking about it. Finally, one becomes almost incapable of unsafe gun manipulation and is, finally, safe with guns. But before this can happen, the idea of a rule must be codified. That codification is precisely what Brian and my friends at Proactive Defense have accomplished, and then train into their students.

So, if you are a gun owner, here is your mandate—the fifth rule you must internalize and forge into an unconscious habit: pay attention to where the peoples’ muzzles are pointing. Despite the continual efforts of organizations and individuals, some of the people around you who are manipulating and firing guns have no grasp of the four rules of gun safety. Your life is at risk and only your vigilance can preserve it.

Be responsible. Be vigilant. Pay attention to where other peoples’ muzzles are pointing. When you observe someone violate one of the vital rules of gun safety, don’t hesitate but offer a kind-but-firm admonishment—or ask a range officer to be your proxy. Impress upon your fellow gun enthusiasts the imperative of gun safety. Live to train another day and help others to do the same.

Short CQB Carbine Drill

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

This is a short CQB drill from 15 yards just to get the blood moving today. Two shooting positions 10 yards apart, each with it’s own target. Going for A-zone hits with competent recoil management so the followup shot doesn’t swing wide. A variation would be to do this with a full magazine rather than stopping after 4 positions.

Having fun breaking in my 14″ build. Looks like I need to remove that muzzle swing while I’m running. It’s not so bad here, but it’s too much. Apparently I didn’t notice my mistake during the drill.

Ten Shots, 25 Yards, Nine Seconds

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

Today I worked some 25-yard drills. Here I’m working from concealment to get 10 shots on target inside of 9 seconds. The wind was blowing hard, moving the target and maybe the shots around a bit, but the effect was likely negligible. Looks like the two lower and one left shot were outside of what I wanted (aiming for top of the triangle). Need moar training!

To be clear, I am not aiming for “the triangle.” These targets are from one of the templates the range has. I used it so I wouldn’t have to make my own. However, that marked area is not a good representation of proper shot placement. Instead I’m aiming for the top of the triangle (and a bit above and blow it). here is my actual target area. So here, 3 shots were (way) outside of what I was going for.

target area

Active Shooter / Hostage Rescue Class

by Andy Rutledge 1 Comment

Had a great time trying to kill bad guys and rescue folk in today’s office scenario active-shooter class at Proactive Defense. Lots of tricky angles, room clearing, hard-to-discern good-or-bad guys, and extremely tight shots. Some of the targets exposed only a tiny sliver of the bad guy’s head (Don’t shoot the hostage in the head! Oh, and don’t shoot the baby either!). Stressful and fun. Can’t wait to do this some more.

Below: Here’s a look at part of the layout for our office scenario. Tricky windows and hallways. The drone got footage of our runs.

office shoot-house layout

 

Below: Here’s Scott working on clearing a room that had an array of windows, while ROs and videographers look on. Had to get just the right angle to tell if it was good guys or bad guys waiting for you.

running the active-shooter scenario.

 

Below: Class debrief with Gunny and Brad. Great folks, great class.

class debrief

Ammo Arrives

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

I love it when the ammo arrives (once or twice a week). It’s been so long since I bought .223 rounds, I forgot how lovely 500 rifle rounds can look.

.223 rounds