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Way of the Gun PSM (Performance Shooting Match)

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Frank Proctor and Way of the Gun is running a 2-gun pistol and carbine match in Eastaboga, Alabama on July 11th. It will feature 6-7 stages, similar to USPSA or 3-gun courses of fire. The pistol stages will feature all steel targets. The rifle stages will be 300 yards and in with steel targets. Close range rifle, inside 25 yards, will be paper. Scoring is 2 hits inside the C on carboard, A/C steel requires 2 hits, round steel requires 1 hit.

Divisions will consists of Limited and Open. If it’s legal in USPSA production, limited, or limited 10, it’s Limited division. Everything else is Open division. Center fire only – no minimum power factor.

Match fee is $20 – stop by the shop to sign in. Gates open and registration starts at 8 am, with shooters meeting at 9am – all central time.

Address and directions:

Address is 1581 Richeytown Rd Eastaboga, AL 36260. Your GPS may not take you to the address so use 0 Cunningham Lane Eastaboga, AL as an address and when you get to the intersection of Richeytown Rd and Cunningham lane, look across the road for the red and black WOTG sign.

For more info go to

Blauer Tactical – S.P.E.A.R. Scenario Trainer’s Summit

Thursday, June 25th, 2015


Blauer Tactical is holding an upcoming Scenario Trainer’s Summit for their S.P.E.A.R. system in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 26th – 28th. Through this summit, participants will:

  • learn how to use natural movement to create space during a close quarter confrontation;
  • learn how to create safer and more realistic scenarios. Remember: Scenario-based training is the only way to stress-inoculate your personnel–this will improve their precise and confidence and to help them faster strategic judgments during confrontations;
  • learn a behaviorally based training model that will help them weather an ambush, create tactical space and making use of force choices;
  • learn a simple formula to reverse engineer scenarios so that they improve perception and reaction time;
  • Attendees will also receive a participation diploma, with hours listed so they can apply to their CEUs;
  • and SPEAR System coaches can use this training as re-certification.
  • For more information visit

    Mike Pannone – New CTT-Solutions Class Policy

    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

    No student was injured in a CTT-Solutions class or any other Alias class. This is to ensure it stays that way.

    There have been several incidents where students in handgun classes carrying in a concealed appendix holster have discharged their pistol while re-holstering with subsequent injury. Therefore, I will be instituting a much stricter program of instruction and range policy designed to make every effort to ensure that all holsters in class are properly worn and safe for use both in and out of class. My evaluation will be based on body type, holster design/location and trigger design/weight. It will be in your best interest to have a belt slide holster and a cover garment suitable for use with it if you are planning to shoot from appendix in the event I deem your set-up unsuitable.

    The above mentioned problem is the result of one or more of the following factors:

  • Holster selection- certain body types cannot wear an appendix holster without their stomach forcing the gun into a position where it is pointed at their legs or genitals. When I carry appendix my pistol is not pointed at any part of my body unless I get in an awkward position.
  • Holster location- the holster genre is call “appendix” and if one looks on an anatomical chart, your appendix is not in the center of your body where your navel is. Improper wear causes it to be a safety concern by orienting the muzzle at the legs or genitals.
  • Trigger weight and design- a striker fired gun with a chambered round and an aftermarket lightened trigger is NOT suitable for concealed carry in an appendix holster with a round chambered in my classes. You can carry what you want on your time but NOT IN AN OPEN ENROLLMENT CLASS. I am quite confident in my skills and
  • 1.) I carry a DA/SA CZ P07 which gives me a much greater level of inherent safety.
    2.) When I did carry a striker fired gun the trigger was of stock weight with stock parts.

  • Technique and skill- when one is learning he/she should be going exceptionally slow so as to be able to identify EXACTLY the method by which they manage their gun and garment in conjunction with each other. With bad technique any firearm related task becomes risky and when learning new skills, speed can injure or worse.
  • Attention to detail- Don’t paw at a garment or gun to draw it or try and stuff it back in your holster like a sandwich into a bag. Think of the desired end state and never forget the nature of the device in your hands.
  • When re-holstering strictly adhere to the following steps:
    S-low down, straighten your trigger finger along the frame and well outside the trigger guard
    A-lways ensure the garment is completely cleared from the holster and surrounding area
    F-inal visual check that gun/holster are clear of clothing and finger is outside of trigger guard
    E-nd the action by slowly re-holstering the pistol

    *Other than a mechanical failure of the pistol, negligent discharges when drawing or re-holstering are always due to a mistake by the shooter. These mistakes are overwhelmingly caused by excessive speed and sloppiness. From this point on in every Covert Carry Class I will reserve final say on whether or not your holster is worn properly, in a suitable location and is appropriate for your body type and the pistol being used. It will be a requirement for all attendees to bring a belt holster along with their desired appendix holster. An inexpensive belt holster is worth the investment and should be integrated into any concealment training regardless of primary carry method.

    Words of Wisdom

    Saturday, June 20th, 2015


    Thanks to our friends at RE Factor Tactical.

    Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    Saturday, June 20th, 2015

    Feeding Eugene Stoners Brainchild

    This is just a quick one over based on my experience using for both training and operationally just about every magazine that will fit in the M16/M4/AR15.

    First let’s look at the 3 critical components of a magazine: spring, follower and body.

    Follower– A great deal of the early M16 magazine issues was due to bad follower geometry and design. Legs that were too short allowed them to tilt and bind causing failure. This portion of the magazine has seen the most changes and advances over time and has a great deal to do with reliability. The anti-tilt followers are pretty much the gold standard. It is so much so that nearly every aftermarket magazine I can think of and the new USGI magazines have anti-tilt followers in them and from field reports the new USGI magazines perform extremely well. All my mags in IZ were USGI with MAGPUL no tilt followers and they performed flawlessly.

    Spring– Modern springs will easily outlast the body of the magazine. Early magazines suffered as well from older and less refined spring technology. Modern springs take an initial set when loaded but are not dramatically degraded by being left loaded for a very extended period of time (think years). Springs will fatigue when they are compressed and released in the firing cycle. Think of a piece of flat metal stock. Bending it doesn’t make it crack or fail. Bending it back and forth repeatedly causes metal fatigue which eventually will cause it to break. Over time and repeated use (and I mean a long time and lots of use) magazine springs will eventually fatigue enough to fail but not from being left loaded.

    Body– Singularly the biggest cause of malfunctions in the modern incarnation of the USGI M16 and really any others for that matter is the body. If the feed lips begin to separate they change the original design geometry and will cause double feeds. This is not fixable in any consistent and reliable manner and so they should be replaced.

    Common mistakes people make:

    1.) Loading 31 rounds into a 30 round magazine. If you can’t press the top round down about 1/8” then you have overloaded the magazine. If you try and seat the magazine with the bolt forward on a live round it will be extremely difficult because the bullets cannot do down the required 1/8” or so. What happens if you hammer it in is they go out and at the weakest and most crucial point of the magazine, the feed lips. This causes accelerated wear and can permanently damage metal or polymer magazine which I have witnessed personally on more than a few occasions.

    2.) Putting 550 cord loops under the base-plate on a GI magazine. It was not designed to be held by the 4 metal tabs at the base. Those tabs are only there to keep the base plate on. If you feel the need to do it, tape the 550 cord to the outside of the magazine with riggers tape.

    3.) Not maintaining magazines properly. They should be cleaned when they have been used in field environments and left dry. DO NOT LUBRICATE MAGAZINES IT WILL HOLD DIRT AND DEBRIS AND CAUSE FAILURE TO FEED MALFUNCTIONS. Side note- do not over lubricate you rifle because it drains into the magazines causing said problem.

    4.) Kicking, throwing, or generally abusing/misusing them. For instance, they can open bottles but they are not bottle openers. You fill in the rest from your experience. The only use for a magazine is to hold bullets and reliably feed your rifle.

    5.) Not marking magazines. If not then people never really know which one failed and just keep recycling. Once a magazine malfunctions and it cannot be traced to debris, it will only get worse. Get rid of it. A little paint marker goes a long way.

    6.) Believing magazines that don’t drop free are still serviceable. If you bought “non-drop free magazines” for your M4 please let me know where. One of the requirements for the US Military was that the empty magazine had to fall free from the rifle when the magazine release is pressed. If it doesn’t it means that on a GI magazine the feed lips are beginning to separate or on a polymer magazine the body is beginning to swell. Both are by that very fact unserviceable.

    7.) GI magazines are crap. In the picture below you will see 3 magazines. The one with yellow marking is what I call the “magic magazine”. The only magic is if you don’t abuse your kit it will treat you well. It is marked 1-92 and I got it from a bucket of s#*t magazines in OTC. To this day it still runs fine and I have used it for 18 years. The other two “new magazines” are both 12 years old (5/03 & 6/03) with the only additions being one has a MAGPUL and the other a CMMG no tilt follower and I can’t even begin to estimate the round counts on any of them.


    USGI magazines were only designed to hold 28 rounds. FALSE

    Does anyone really believe that the US military would buy 5.56 magazines by the millions over the last 45 years (official fielding of the 30 round magazine in RVN was approximately 1970) that are spec’d for a 30 round capacity but (wink, wink, smirk) only really hold 28? That is absolutely absurd. The biggest current problems are stated above, overloading of the magazine, poor reloading technique (if you can’t get a 30 round magazine to seat with 30 rounds in it…news flash…it’s not the magazines fault) and third in the ultra-rare instance where the specs of the lower receiver, upper receiver and magazine don’t line up correctly. This can happen if the upper and lower are fit very tightly from the factory but is exceedingly rare. The looseness of the upper and lower by design actually allow damn near any magazine to fall within the collective specifications necessary to allow positive lock-up of a magazine…but back to short loading magazines. I once carried 28 rounds in all my magazines…that is until I went to the Operator Training Course at JSOC. There a gruff guy named Sam E. wasn’t buying it and told us we could do whatever we wanted IF we made it across the hall but here “you will have 30 rounds in every magazine you carry and 30+1 when you enter the breach point on every hit.” I never had a problem and never witnessed problems other than genuinely unserviceable magazines and that is with the incredible amount of shooting we did in that course. He was correct…it was a useless action based on out of date information.

    So what do I use? I use primarily USGI magazines because they work great, they’re cheap, I already have a ton of them, they will fit in anything that has the appropriate lock-up geometry at the mag release for an M16/AR15 and they drop free very consistently. I designed the MagCap for USGI magazines (with the Marines in mind because of the IAR mag well not accepting many aftermarket magazines) so that the base was protected from dirt and damage and for an additional gripping surface without giving up any capacity. As I say “it’s the best thing to happen to the GI magazine since the no tilt follower.”

    On the polymer side I used just about everything available but prefer Tango Down ARC Mk2 magazines. The 3 pictured were given to me to T&E in the summer of 2009. They were immediately loaded and were kept loaded or were fired and immediately reloaded nearly non-stop since then. Having been loaded and fired over 300 times each none of the 3 have malfunctioned or failed to drop free. Some people say the sealed bottom will hold water but most people carry magazines bullets down so dust doesn’t settle in them and if you put an ARC magazine in water, pull it out and fire it through your M4 there will be about 2.5 oz. of water in the bottom. The space is displaced by the bullets. It’s a non-issue as far as I am concerned.

    There are lots of great magazines out there so whatever you choose to feed your rifle with then have at it. My biggest problem is that the entire magazine topic is littered with misconceptions based on conjecture, urban legends, improper use or abuse or driven by bad technique. Know why you do what you do and vet your own kit. Go out and test what I have put forth on your own and see what you come up with. Mine is based on lots of shooting and lots of record keeping.
    – Mike Pannone


    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

    EraThr3 Presents The Ultimate Fathers Day Gift

    Sunday, June 14th, 2015

    TR Experience

    EraThr3 has partnered up with Clint and Heidi Smith of Thunder Ranch to offer what they call the ‘Thunder Ranch Experience’. The TR Experience is an all-inclusive package which offers top-notch gear and multi-day instruction, including a Clint Smith signature “skinny gun” rifle.

    The all-inclusive package includes the following:

  • EraThr3 “Clint Smith” Signature AR-15 with Optics Package
  • PROOF Research 14.5″ Carbon Fiber Barrel
  • Schmidt & Bender 1-4×20 PM Short Dot
  • Custom Sphur Offset Mount
  • Magpul Furniture & Magazines
  • 800rds Prime Ammunition
  • 3 Days Instruction
  • Lodging/Meals Provided
  • 1 Year Subscription to RECOIL Magazine
  • For further details, visit

    Protected: Shooting The MP5

    Thursday, June 4th, 2015

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    Dynamis Alliance – Freedive And Fight

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

    Dynamis Alliance is holding its first ever Freedive and Fight event in Wilmington, North Carolina. The event consists of a Level 1 Freediver course taught by Freediving Level II Instructor Alex Llinas, and a Combative Pistol 1 course taught by Dom Raso. Freedive and Fight is taking place June 16th – 21st.


    Level 1 Freediver

    June 16: 1700-2100, 17: 0800-1200, 18: 0700-1600

    This highly effective course covers everything from safety & problem management, breathing techniques & equipment selection to correct freediving methods for gradual depth progression. It provides new divers with a solid foundation to freedive confidently and safely up to depths of 66 feet/20 meters with breathholds up to 3 minutes. For divers already achieving these depths, it will provide an enhanced understanding of the sport and new techniques to dive more effectively and, most importantly, more safely. This program includes academic presentations, confined water training and one open water session.

    Combative Pistol 1

    June 19: 1830-2030, 20&21: 0900-1700

    This course will teach you the skills required to fight inside “spitting distance,” where most altercations occur. We will teach you simple, yet brutally effective, unarmed combative skills designed to counter common attacks. We will also incorporate the handgun in these situations. To test your skills, we will put you through realistic scenario training using marking cartridges. This is NOT a typical shooting course and will be physically demanding. This is the only way to ensure that your skills will work when your life depends on it.

    See more at:

    Matt Landfair Discusses Weapons For Home Defense

    Saturday, May 30th, 2015

    We’d like to welcome Matt Landfair, Veteran Police officer and firearms/tactics instructor and founder of It’s not the kind of thing you’d generally see on SSD, but we thought it was worth a share.

    The ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones at home is of paramount importance. With this in mind it is best to understand the options available to maximize your effectiveness if you need to use deadly force in defense of yourself and your family while at home.

    Before delving into weapons, it is important to understand the need to have a plan already established and practiced before you need to use it. If you hear that bump in the night, or you hear an obvious entry into your home or hear people that don’t belong – do you call 911, bunker down with a weapon and lock yourself in? Do you arm yourself and investigate? If family members (specifically children) are in other rooms, can you communicate with them or reach them without putting yourself or them in potential danger?

    Whether you bunker down or investigate you need the ability to identify potential threats. Optimally we all have night vision goggles with infrared lasers mounted to our weapons so we don’t give away our positions, but not many have that luxury. For the rest of us normal people, we need light. That light can be activated by a wall switch, a handheld flashlight, or a weapon mounted light. Don’t depend on any one option of these. Have backups in place because you might not be able to reach a switch, power might be out, batteries might be dead in the flashlight, etc.

    Half of our life (roughly) is in the dark. Sure we might be asleep during most of that darkness, but we know it isn’t scary. We also know the layout of our homes, minus the Legos and toys on the floor that reposition themselves frequently. We know where people would be during the day or in the middle of the night. This knowledge helps us as the protector of our family.

    We still need to act safely in defense of our home and loved ones when we handle weapons.

    An unloaded weapon is of no use in this situation, treat it accordingly. If you are afraid of handling loaded weapons, or you prefer to keep the chamber unloaded during your investigation of the potential intruder, you should not be responding to anything with firearms. Please get professional training as soon as possible to help you become more comfortable with a loaded weapon.
    Never point your firearm at anything you are not willing to kill/destroy/pay for – this also applies to people on the other side of walls. Point the weapon at the bad guy, not an innocent or your kids/spouse.

    Always be sure of your target including thing in front and behind it. This is an important aspect of the rules. You need to be able to identify the intruder is a threat and not your child who got up for a glass of water, or your teen who is trying to sneak back into/out of the house late at night. This is where light is important. Again, we know the layout of our homes, we know where people might be, take that into consideration if you need to fire indoors. Be aware of the X, Y, and Z axis of where your projectiles might go.

    Triggers are not touched until you are on target and you have made the conscious decision to fire. At this point you have positively identified this is a threat using light and you will press the trigger to stop the threat OR you have positively identified the person not to be a threat – you do not touch the trigger.


    This is not a wall you want rounds entering.

    Now that the safety rules are out of the way, you need to go through each rule while you do a walkthrough of your response to an intruder within your home. This is the time to think about those walls that can’t be a backstop to your weapon’s fire. Know the longest open distance within your home. This is a distance that you should be able to engage targets and achieve intended accurate hits. Does your flashlight or weapon light illuminate that far end of the house sufficiently to determine if there is a threat – would you be able to see what is in their hands? If you are using a shotgun, do you know what type of pattern will be produced with the shotgun shells you use for home defense at that distance? Don’t only train for this distance; the ability to shoot further and closer are important. Don’t set yourself up for failure by assuming there will only be one intruder or home invasions only occur at night.

    I mentioned the need for training. To maximize your effectiveness and efficiency with your task as home defender, you need training. You need training with the weapon you are going to use. Truly this is unavoidable, but it is also rewarding and enjoyable. Instruction from a professional is the responsible step as a firearm user.

    Now is the time for the information that can either educate or upset people. If you find you are upset by any of this information please assess it, check it, and go test it. People who are emotionally attached to this stuff have a difficult time accepting fact.

    There are three possible factors that stop the bad guy- psychological (giving up – which we have no control over), bleed out (which does not immediately stop the fight), and a shot to the brain (instant stoppage). Those are the only ways to stop the bad guy- no kinetic or hydrostatic or magic. I forgot to mention, warning shots do not stop the bad guys – don’t do it.

    Our weapon choices are really limited to three main categories: pistol, shotguns, and carbines/rifles.

    Photo courtesy of Dr Gary Roberts.

    Pistols can provide excellent maneuverability, decent capacity, but are the worst performers of the three. Modern ballistic ammunition designs provide wound channels that are indistinguishable between 9mm, .40, and .45 acp. I will repeat that – Modern pistol ammunition design places 9mm, .40, and .45 acp all roughly within the same performance of each other. With that in mind- 9mm allows for greater capacity (gun dependent) and less recoil which means getting back on target for faster follow up shots.

    Modern effective defensive pistol ammunition provides a combination of penetration and expansion while retaining mass; that combination with shot placement provides the desired results though narrow permanent wound channels. If pistol ammo is without mass to begin with or the bullet comes apart causing a smaller main projectile the penetration suffers. Frangible ammunition also falls within this category as less effective. Very light and fast pistol ammunition has been introduced many times to the market and it still does not replace modern defensive/duty hollow point ammunition. If you are wondering what specific ammunition to use, contact your local police department and find out what they issue. Ballistically handgun projectiles tend to travel through multiple residential walls fairly easily, causing them to be dangerous for use indoors for other people on the other side of those walls.

    Shotguns are a favorite for many for home defense. The size of a shotgun does not stop it from being able to be used, but some configurations with longer barrels cause issues in confined spaces. Shotguns can have a slower follow up shot compared to the other two options as well as a limited capacity and very slow reloading. Unfortunately shotguns are a more complicated weapon to use under stress without training compared to the other two options. They are not a simple point and shoot weapon – you still need to use the sights. The sound of just racking a shotgun will not stop a determined attacker – don’t do it. Murphy’s Law says you will face the determined attacker.

    Ammunition choices for shotguns provide many options. Duty ammunition fired at a single attacker can be devastating causing wider permanent wound channels (depending on distance to target). Bird shot is a bad idea due to lack of penetration – it will not stop a determined attacker just like the pistol ammo without mass. There are studies that place #4 shot all the way to slugs as effective to stop an attacker. Ammunition deemed to be effective to stop determined assailants also has the danger of penetrating multiple residential walls making it a less than optimal choice for home defense.

    For this next section, I am going to use a 16” AR15 as the example for carbines. Depending on where you live, you can have reliable magazines from X capacity to Magpul’s new D60 (I said reliable). Being semiautomatic no additional actions are needed to fire once it is loaded and the safety is switched off. AR15’s have lower recoil than other weapons which allows for faster follow up shots. The design of the weapon allows for easy use within confined areas as well as increased accuracy. AR15’s are the best option for use against multiple assailants.

    Depending on your choice of ammunition, you can have that combination of sufficient penetration and permanent wound channels on aggressors without excessive over penetrating residential walls like pistols and shotguns will do if you miss. That training will reduce the chance of you missing by the way.


    So here is the score:

    Pistols are smallest, have less death power and more penetration of walls.

    Shotguns can be devastating on a single target with duty ammunition; they are slow with limited capacity and can penetrate walls.

    Carbines have most capacity, most accurate, most stable shooting platform (less recoil), provide desired ballistic results, less penetration than other options with walls.

    No matter what you choose, go with a proven option. Don’t settle on junk when your family may depend on you and the performance of that weapon. Store your weapons so they are accessible to you without being a danger to those that shouldn’t have access. Get training. Don’t buy another gun – get better with what you have. Follow those firearms rules as outlined – be sure of your target, identify the target is indeed a threat.

    This article was originally published on and reprinted with permission from Matt who retains the Copyright to his work.

    Rampart Range Day – Crosstac

    Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

    The Recon Mat from Crosstac is available in padded (1.9 lbs) and nonpadded (1.2 lbs) versions.  It is reversible from A-TACS AU to MultiCam and both sides feature bipod stops for bipod loading.  

    A multifunctional item it can be used as a shooting mat, expedient shelter or sleeping pad.  The nonpadded variant will roll up to about the size of a newspaper and both integrate PALS attachment. Finally, it’s Berry compliant.  All this at under $100.