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

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

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.

Glock Redux

As a design professional, I care greatly about good design. As a firearms enthusiast and almost-daily shooter, I care about quality gun manufacturing and reliability. Given these concerns, I own, carry, and shoot Glock pistols almost exclusively.

Glocks are the most reliable firearms on the planet. Additionally, they are unadorned by the useless and dangerous features and controls found on many popular pistols. This makes a Glock pistol the perfect carry choice for the pragmatic and responsible citizen. But that logo, though.

Glock logo

Glocks

Just look at the Glock pistols in these color photographs (above). They deserve something better than the terrible logo!

A Glock pistol is plain, elegant in its simplicity, and serious. The Glock logo is …well, it’s bad. The logo is neither plain nor elegant nor simple nor serious. In fact, it’s rather silly. From a design standpoint, the Glock logo is awful design. The type—for both the name and the tagline—is ill suited to the characteristics of the brand and the products. In short, to see the logo is to understand nothing about the brand or the products. As a designer, this fact disturbs me every time I see the logo. It eats at me. So I decided to engage in a logo redesign as a cathartic exercise. This exercise is for me, but I thought some of you might enjoy it, too.

Problems With the Branding

The Glock brand is carried entirely on the shoulders of the products; the pistols, in specific. The current logo is a silly and contradictory intrusion into the brand. It is a needless liability.

Glock’s visual branding is …well, it’s all over the place. There are many typefaces used, and in various ways, and none of them pair well, look good, or represent the brand well. For example:

Glock type

This is a mess. Too many typefaces used too many ways, and with too little consideration for branding.

The only interesting feature in these examples is how the Eurostile Extended font “0” is somewhat similar in shape to the “G” of the current logo. One wonders if that was the origin of the shape for the “Glock” logomark. This shape is also mildly similar to the back end of the slide on a Glock pistol. We’ll circle back to that in a bit.

Glock’s demonstrable or visible characteristic adjectives include:

  • plain (almost spartan)
  • simple
  • elegant (in simplicity)
  • blocky (the common pun for Glock is to call it a Block)
  • efficient
  • reliable (boringly so)
  • classic (Glocks have changed very little over the years)
  • solid
  • serious
  • hard (very little is done to soften a Glock pistol’s lines)

glock logo

The current Glock logo is busy, complex, and visually anxious. Lines are not serious or solid, but whimsical and fragile, and lines within lines speak to complexity, not simplicity. The rounded ends of the type seem juvenile; this font would make a good one for a children’s book. It is badly used as logotype for a firearm brand.

We need something solid here; something simple and plain, but serious and substantial, like the lines and shapes of the product. Let’s redo this logo.

Glock Redux

I’ve long believed that Glock’s logotype should have weight to it. It makes sense that the font’s shape should reflect the product in some way—much like the current logomark is somewhat similar to the slide shape, but without silly aesthetic or light lines. Here’s what I first looked at:

slide shapes

This was feeling right, so I started to try typefaces and later moved onto just drawing the letter shapes. I aimed for the more vertical or square aspect rather than the literal horizontal rectangle shape. I tried to find a way to represent both the rounded corners and the sharp corners…

type trials

With the last effort at drawing the letter shapes, I landed on what I thought had the right combination of width and height, rounded corners and sharp edges…and it even looked a little retro. What it didn’t have was an element of distinctiveness. I played around with a few things, but settled on a deformation of the “G” character as the point of distinction.

So after more trial modifications and iteration, I landed on this for the Glock logo redux:

Glock Redux, by Andy Rutledge

In seriousness, which of these looks like perfection to you?

Glock Perfection redux, by Andy Rutledge

The tagline font hearkens back to something similar to what Glock used in the 30-year anniversary media. Their choice was Eurostile Extended, but I’ve opted for Eurostile. It has a similar feel and shape to the new logotype shapes and utilizes precedent. Somewhat.

Here’s the full complement of logo uses:

Glock Redux by Andy Rutledge

…on Glock pistols, I’ve neither reimagined nor greatly repositioned the text elements. I just changed the logo and the info typeface (from Arial or whatever to Eurostile)…

Glock 19 redux, by Andy Rutledge

Glock 43 Redux, by Andy Rutledge


[I believe the original photo above was taken by Mr. Colion Noir]

And let’s not forget swag:

Glock Redux shirt, by Andy Rutledge

Conclusion

Okay, that was fun. For me, at least. I know one should not go seriously messing with a company’s branding, but this is not serious. It’s just some fun and catharsis for me. I took all of about 5 hours to think about, do the exercise, create the graphics, and write this article. A real logo redesign would take weeks or months and the result would likely be far better than this. But if you’re a designer this all might give you something to consider, and if you’re a designer shooter this all might give you something to dream about.

in seriousness, I do hope folks at Glock, Inc. think about these things and in the future and work to bring a respectable or even mildly appropriate logo to their august brand. In the mean time, we’ll have to live with a crap logo on great pistols.

If you like redux articles, I’ve been known to do a few

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!

The Rules of a Gunfight

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

By Sergeant First Class Joe Frick.

  1. Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.
  2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap – life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap – funerals are expensive
  3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
  4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
  5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)
  6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.
  7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
  8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell “Fire!” Why “Fire”? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause then to lose concentration and will…. and who is going to summon help if you yell “Intruder,” “Glock” or “Winchester?”
  9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun.
  10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
  11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
  12. Have a plan.
  13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work. “No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy.”
  14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.
  15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
  16. Don’t drop your guard.
  17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That’s how you live if hit in your “good” side.
  18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don’t (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)
  19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
  20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
  21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.
  22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.
  23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
  24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than “4”.
  25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. “All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket.” At a practice session, throw you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.
  26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.
  27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.
  28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, “He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I’m sorry, Officer, but I’m very upset now. I can’t say anything more. Please speak with my attorney.”

Negligence at Range365

The shooting enthusiasm blog Range365 published a post recently wherein the author, David Maccar observed:

“With proper training, this kind of handgun is perfectly safe, but there’s no way to train for holster obstructions, short of tactile or visual inspection of the holster before inserting the gun each time—which is hardly practical.”

This is an objectively false and dangerous statement. Not only is visual inspection of your holster before inserting the gun practical, it is a responsible imperative. To suggest otherwise in a gun publication is, at best, grossly ill advised and, at worst, criminally negligent.

Visually inspecting the holster and looking the handgun all the way into the holster—while holstering in a reluctant fashion—is compulsory firearm safety. It’s what safe gun handlers do. Those who do not habitually execute this procedure are unsafe; a danger to themselves and others. As such, they should train in proper fashion to make proper reholstering habitual before strapping on a loaded firearm ever again.

Given the gravity of this mistake, I’m personally appalled at Range365 for letting such an obviously irresponsible statement escape their editing process.

Context Matters

It is relevant to point out that the post in question is one dealing with a new-ish accessory for Glock pistols, called the Glock Striker Control Device (SCD) from the Tau Development Group, commonly called The Gadget. Its effective purpose—one clearly supported by the blog post in question—is to compel Glock owners to dispense with compulsory, habitual safety and instead entrust safety (and their firearm’s reliability) to an add-on accessory.

A firearm is neither safe nor unsafe. Only a person is safe or unsafe. A safe individual is one who adheres to the 4 rules of gun safety without compromise and who never, ever cedes their responsibility to a mechanism or gadget. As this Gadget trains gun carriers to dispense with habitual safe practices, it is—by definition—a device designed to encourage firearms negligence. Responsible individuals must not entertain ideas of utilizing this or any other similarly destructive device.

This ridiculous, dangerous device aside, those who operate Range365 should reconsider their policies and advice. Everyone who touches firearms should adhere to the 4 rules of gun safety and otherwise exercise safe practices and habits with firearms…instead of becoming lazy and complacent; secure in the delusion that a gadget will take up their negligent slack.