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Two Directions From Concealment

Here I’m just working on directional fundamentals here, ensuring that I’m turning from my hips and not my waist to engage targets spaced far apart in two directions.

Using my EDC pistol: Glock 19. I was pretty consistent today with good hits at 2:10 or so, but I was working on getting consistent hits under 2 seconds. It worked out.

New Folder Knife: The Kershaw Flourish

by Andy Rutledge 1 Comment

I picked up a new pocket folder knife, the Fourish model from Kershaw. While not a switchblade, it’s a spring-assisted-open pocket knife that is at the upper end of advisable carry size. It is by no means too big, but it is about as large a knife as I’d want to carry in my front pocket. It opens very nicely and quite easily, but not so easy as to come open in your pocket.

The steel is 8Cr13MoV, which is not awesome, but darn good for a budget-priced knife. It should hold an edge fairly well. The blade has a black-oxide wash finish that I find attractive. Mostly, I just like this larger knife as a potential defender (I have another, smaller pocket knife for boxes and such). The Flourish has G-10 grip panels with carbon fiber overlay.

Kershaw Flourish

Kershaw Flourish

Note: (above) This is *not* how you hold a knife, I’m just trying to get my thumb out of the way for the photo.

Kershaw Flourish

Here is the Flourish (on the bottom) as compared to the CRKT Outrage, a Ken Onion design knife, which is of average size (top). The size difference seems minimal, but there is a significant difference in the hand.

Three-Way Pistol Drill

This is a simple drill to use cover for reloads while delivering 9 rounds on target: 3 with both hands, reload strong-hand only and 3 rounds strong hand, then reload weak-hand only and 3 rounds weak hand. Always ducking behind cover (hard to see the wall in the video) for the reloads.

Yeah, I didn’t notice that my shirt was off kilter and my pistol was not well concealed. Stuff happens. 🙂

Your Weapon’s Status

In what condition is every gun you own right now? Unloaded? Loaded? Loaded and chambered? Is the external safety gadget on or off, for each firearm? Are they in different conditions or all the same? How do you know? Are you 100% certain or would you have to do a press check to be sure? Does everyone in your household know with certainty the condition of each firearm you own without touching it? How?

This is not a situation you can treat with casual negligence. If you own one or more firearms, responsibility requires that you and everyone in your household know at all times with 100% certainty the condition of every one of them. If you or they do not, you must fix that situation. Right now.

rifle and pistol

This means that for any of your firearms, holstered on your person, stored, staged…no matter where or how they are placed, located, or carried, there should never be a moment where you or anyone else in your household has to wonder whether it is unloaded, loaded and/or chambered, or if a “safety” selector is on or off. In the event someone in your household finds a firearm they did not expect to find (in a closet, in a drawer, etc…) or if they grab it in a time of desperate need, they can be certain of its current condition even without touching it, and be able to act deliberately rather than tentatively.

And, by the way, this is an easy standard to maintain when you use a system of simple conventions.

Note: As a matter of responsibility, you and everyone in your household should regard all firearms as loaded, and should regard any “safety” lever as irrelevant; something to be kept in the “fire” position at all times and otherwise ignored—except with semi-auto rifles.

A System of Certainty

Here is a simple system that I know from experience works well to ensure you and those in your home never have to lean on discrete memory in order to know any of your guns’ condition. So long as you have no children younger than 6 to 9 in the home, even if just on occasion, System 1 is likely best for you. Otherwise, System 2 is likely best.

System 1 Conventions:

  1. All guns are always loaded, except while being cleaned, no matter whether they’re currently carried, stored, or staged.
  2. All pistols in a holster are loaded and chambered, whether on your person, stored in a safe, staged for home defense or even if in a range bag; holstered means chambered.
  3. All semi-auto/auto rifles have the bolt closed on an empty chamber (with a full magazine loaded, per convention 1) and the selector is on safe (this convention includes any “pistol”-configured AR or AK firearms).
  4. For pistols, bolt rifles, and shotguns, if there is an external safety control, the control is set to fire. Always and without exception.

You might use slightly different conventions. Maybe your pistols in holsters are not chambered. Maybe your semi-auto/auto rifles are chambered. I don’t recommend those approaches, but they may be appropriate for your situation. The point is to have as much blanket consistency as is practicable.

If you’re going to keep any of your guns unloaded, it is then imperative that you keep ALL guns unloaded (convention 1 must be 100% applicable to all guns not currently on your person) and perhaps opt for System 2 (below).

A System Variation

System 1 conventions might not work well for you if you have young children – and/or young children are sometimes in the home, like grandchildren, neighbors’ kids, or friends’ children. As such, System 2 might be best for you.

System 2 Conventions:

  1. All guns stored or staged, are always unloaded (and yet always treated as though they are loaded).
  2. A pistol carried on your person is always loaded and chambered (and in a holster).

It’s no more complicated than this. Once your children are of a certain age (that you determine, perhaps around 6 to 9 years old) and properly trained, it is best that you change to the more relevant and appropriate System 1 conventions.

Note: if children of any age other than yours are ever in your home, you have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure they have no way of gaining access to your firearms. They do not know your system and are likely wholly unsafe with firearms. Take appropriate steps.

For Carry & Training

If you don’t have an inviolate rule regarding the condition of your carry gun at all times, you cannot act deliberately when required. Instead, because of ignorance or second guessing or a simple mistake, you must act tentatively or mistakenly. This sort of irresponsibility can easily cost you your life, or the life of someone you love.

Component to the aforementioned systems, to gun safety, and to carry competence is the fact that one should never reholster an unloaded pistol; not at home, not in training, not in a class: never. When you’re training at the range and drawing from and returning to a holster, and run empty, you must either reload the pistol before reholstering – or – place the pistol on a barrel, table, or bench and pointed in a safe direction with the action open until you are ready to reload it.

No exceptions.

If you get into the habit of sometimes, even rarely, having an unloaded pistol in your holster, you will never again be able to be sure of your gun’s status. You may think you can, but you are wrong and 100% guaranteed to fail.

And yes, this means that if an instructor requires that you have an unloaded or even un-chambered pistol in your holster during a class, don’t take that class. It stands to reason that if you are unsure about the conventions of an instructor’s class, discuss this matter with them and explain your inviolate personal rule before you commit to the class. It is likely that accommodations can be made. If not, you know your choice.

Dry-fire Practice

To engage in dry-fire practice you have to introduce a mild variation into your system. While the gun carried on your person will still be loaded, it will just be loaded with snap caps rather than with live ammunition.

For dry-fire practice you will unload your firearm and take it, your magazine(s), and snap caps into a different room where no live ammunition is present, and charge your magazine(s) with the snap caps, which you will load and chamber into your pistol before holstering it. If you have a gun that has a workable trigger and doesn’t need to be charged for each dry shot, use mags loaded with snap caps anyway so that you don’t get into the habit of being okay with an empty gun (you must never put an empty gun into your holster).

When you’re finished with dry-fire practice, reverse the process and take your now-empty gun back to where your ammo & mags are (the one place where you load, unload, and clean your guns) and return it to its proper condition; be that loaded or unloaded for storage – or loaded, to again be carried on your person (in which case I highly recommend repeating, out loud, “My gun is hot now, and loaded with live ammo,” a few times before getting on with your day.

sbr

Conclusion

Human beings are creatures of habit. The only way to eliminate negligent habits is to forge unconscious, deliberately uncompromising, safe habits (as described in the 4 Rules of Firearm Safety) and to never rely on gadgets, mechanics, or technology in place of individual responsibility.

A firearm cannot be safe or unsafe. A person is safe or unsafe. No firearm gadget or lever can make an unsafe person safe with a firearm. Graveyards are filled with the victims of those who negligently believed otherwise.

You do not want or need the anxiety of ever wondering whether your gun or one of your many guns is loaded or unloaded, chambered or un-chambered, safety on or off. These are things that responsibility requires you and your household members know with 100% certainty at all times.

Use a system. Make sure everyone in your home knows the system. Conduct periodic pop quizzes to ensure everyone is on the same page. Be safe and be certain.

New SBR Upper

Today I assembled a new upper for my .300 BLK SBR. It currently has a 10.3″ barrel, but I wondered how it would run with an 8″ barrel. So I now have my 8″ upper:

  • Aero Precision upper receiver
  • Faxon Firearms 8″ hammer-forged barrel
  • BCM MOD1 muzzle brake
  • ALG 8″ handguard

.300 BLK 8" barrel upper

.300 BLK 8" barrel upper

I’ll put it through its paces on Saturday. We’ll see how she runs.

It’s possible that I won’t like it as well as the current upper/barrel, as I really like the way I’m setup now. But it’s possible I’ll really like the shorter barrel. We’ll have to see how it works for recoil impulse (for targeting), accuracy, and just how wieldy it is.

Two Targets at 15 Yards

This morning I worked from 15, 20, and 25 yards exclusively, all from concealment (of course). This is a snippet of some 15-yard work on two 8″ targets set 7 yards apart, 15 yards away. I was trying to stay under 2.4 seconds and mostly did. I think my second rep here was delayed a bit because I didn’t hear the start of the beep (drowned out by Kevin’s shots in the bay next to mine). Whatever.

Pistol Drill: Three Bad Guys

Here I’m engaging from concealment each of 3 bad guys at 9, 12, and 18 yards with 2 shots each, then re-engaging each with a shot to the head.

The first/closest I’m just point shooting. The others I’m paying attention to the sight picture. Couple of not-so-great head shots on the 2 distant targets. That’s why they call it training. Need Moar!

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.

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