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Gunfighter Moment – Ken Hackathorn

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

For much of the gun owning public, the cycles of gun/ammo buying paranoia follows social and political events. In the pass few years we have seen panics follow the election of the current leader of America and events like Sandy Hook. Prices on guns in general and firearms that utilize full capacity magazines goes crazy. Ammo prices go through the roof. Full capacity magazines double or triple in price. Things generally calm down and prices go back down. Note that in the case of ammo, the prices drop but never go back to the pre panic prices. So, there is a message here, It will happen again. Now is the time to stock up. Current prices of AR15/M4 long guns is a real ‘buyers’ market. Spare AR magazines are a steal, so load up now. Lower receivers and uppers are at an all time great pricing level for the consumer. Pistol high capacity magazines are very affordable, so act now. Remember, magazines are like the tires on your car, they must be replaced periodically.

Most important, ammo prices are still dropping. 223/556 ball type ammo can be had for thirty to thirty two cents a round if you shop carefully. 9X19mm is in the twenty to twenty two cents a round if you buy in quantity. The in-expensive Russian steel case ammo for AKs is fine, but for non Soviet designed guns and calibers, I recommend you avoid this steel case ammo if you have a choice. I have seen lots of the cheap Russian steel case ammo used over the years, and have even shot quantities of it myself, unless it is 7.62X39, 5.45X39, 7.62X54R, 9X18, or 7.62X25 I don’t have much good to say about it. The current ‘Wolf Gold’ brass case 223 is made in Taiwan to M193 specs. Based upon its use with students in my classes it seems to be a good buy. MagTect 223 has proven popular with students as well. Training/blastin’ ammo is critical if you are trying to stay skilled and up to speed with your primary. It is impossible to predict the next panic cycle, but wise men prepare now…not later.

-Ken Hackathorn

Old Guy With A Blaster

Ken Hackathorn has served as a US Army Special Forces Small Arms Instructor, Gunsite Instructor, and NRA Police Firearms Instructor. He is currently an FBI Certified Firearms Instructor, Certified Deputy Sheriff with Washington County SO, Ohio, and a SRT member and Special Response Team trainer. Ken has trained US Military Special Operations forces, Marine FAST and SOTG units and is a contract small arms trainer to FBI SWAT and HRT.

Ken has provided training to Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and been active in small arms training for the past 25 years. He has written firearms related material for Guns & Ammo, Combat Handguns, Soldier Of Fortune, and currently American Handgunner and contributed to at least six other gun/shooting journals. Ken was also a founding member of IPSC and IDPA.

To see Ken’s Training Class Schedule visit aliastraining.com.

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 SSD readers hard earned words of wisdom.

Ed Note: This was written before the BATFE decided to restrict M855 ammunition from civilian sale but I thought it was still worth sharing.

Gunfighter Moment – Frank Proctor

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

PISTOL SIGHTS (plural)

What’s up shooters! If you have spent any time at all pursuing the goal of being a better pistol shooter you have heard a lot of things about the sights on a pistol. Many times you hear something like; focus on the front sight or the front sight should be sharp and clear and everything else should be blurry. I don’t subscribe to that theory for a few reasons. One reason is that pistol have front and rear sights, their relationship to each other and to the target are important things for shooters to factor in order to shoot accurately and in order to read the gun and know where the shot went. Another reason is it takes time for your eyes to truly focus on one out of 3 things. I don’t think that for any practical application of a pistol you have that kind of time. What I believe in and what I teach is to see the things that matter in the order that they appear when shooting; rear sight – front sight – target. What I suggest and have found that is very easy for shooters to do is to SEE all 3 and their relationship to each other. The next time you are shooting just put the gun in front of your eyes and SEE rear sight – front sight – target. Don’t over think it or TRY to focus on all 3 just let your eyes do what they are capable of and see all 3.

Another thing I talk about in courses and we explore as shooters is how much sight alignment you need. For most practical pistol shooting 15 yards and in ( I use 8.5” x 11” copy paper as targets) you don’t need perfect sight alignment. For the most part If can see your front sight through your rear sight and it’s on the target you will hit an 8.5” x 11” target 15 yards away. There are a couple factors that can effect this though. One of course is trigger manipulation. The core of marksmanship is to put sights on the target and press the trigger without moving the gun off the target. For most dedicated shooters that isn’t a problem. The other factor is the amount off possible error in sight alignment due to the size of the sights. Many pistol sights these days have really wide rear notches and some even have wide rear notches with a narrow front. These combinations allow for more possible error. Inside 15 yards misaligned sights that are placed in the middle of the target will hit. This is not the case as the target gets smaller or further away and therefore smaller. A couple issues I see with many pistol sights are as follows, a wide front sight say .125 or .135 (most night sights are in this range) the wide front will cover a lot of what you need to shoot at distance. With a wide rear to “ let in more light and make it easy to see fast and work with old eyes etc” you have more opportunity for slight misalignment that will cause big misses at distance. A combination of a wide rear and a narrow front creates a lot of opportunity for sight misalignment that can matter within reasonable pistol shooting distances ( I consider 50 yards and in reasonable). Also added into the equation is sight height. After a lot of experimenting with sights I’m not a fan of tall sights because of what I see as a very sloppy sight picture.

What I prefer and believe make things much easier is less difference between the size of the front and rear sight and nothing taller than .180 on the front. For my style of shooting I want to see through the rear to the front to the target and It be good enough from 10 yards to 50 yards. For the smaller/further targets I don’t want to have to take time to ensure that the sights are good enough by visually centering them. A few years ago I started working on what I call performance grouping at 50 yards. What I wanted to be able to do was deliver 5 hits on a 12” steel target at 50 yards as quickly as possible with accountability. What I found frustrating was misses when what I saw though the gun should have been good enough. The issue was the difference in the width of the rear sight notch and the front sight. I had to take more time between shots to visually center the sights that I felt necessary. Here is a great exercise to demonstrate the issue with small sight mis-alignment due to wide rear notches. If you have or know someone who has a pistol with a red dot and iron sights, this is a great tool! Put the red dot on a target at 25 yards or greater distance, now look down at the irons. Next mis-align the irons even slightly and see where the red dot goes. It’s an eye opener to see what the slight mis-alignment of sights will do at distance even though what you are looking at in the irons should be good enough, the dot tells a different story. Now here’s another experiment to see if it if sight alignment or your trigger manipulation is a bigger issue for smaller targets. Put the red dot on target and run the trigger in dry fire 5 shots in a row, run the trigger at different speeds even. If you are using a Glock use a zip tie to keep the gun out of battery so you can manipulate the trigger. What I have found is that most shooters can run the triggers fast at 50 yards and not move the dot off target. My conclusion after a lot of work and experiments with sights is that most modern pistol sights have a much looser sight picture than I prefer and more than I believe is necessary. If you go shopping for pistol sights you may read things like “ for old eyes or bad eyes or for fast shooting you NEED wide rear notches and or narrow front sights” I did some experimenting with sight sizes. I had a 5” pistol with a .125 wide front sight and installed a .115 wide rear sight on it. Now all the books would say this won’t work. What I discovered for myself was that it did work for all my shooting. I’m a big fan of fast and accurate shooting and this sight combination didn’t slow me down a bit running USPSA stages and when I went to 50 or 100 yards there was still a bit more air on either side of the sight picture than I wanted. But it was much easier to make 50 and 100 yard hits with this rear sight than with the .140 wide rear notch that was on the pistol. Now I do have decent vision at 40 years old so I had to test this theory with some “old eyes” I was training with a fella in his 50s that had never shot fiber optic front sights, so I let him shoot the gun I was just talking about. I should mention that this guy told me at the beginning of the day that he had “old eyes”. I didn’t tell him anything about the size of the rear compared to the front, we just shot. Through the day he performed very well across the board from super fast target transition work to smaller targets at distance. When we were done for the day I told him about the sights, he was surprised that it worked. I let several other shooters shoot that gun with similar results. I think they wouldn’t have tried it or would have said they had issues if I had told them about the sight specs before they shot. It would have all been mental limitations they imposed upon themselves based on theory that they read or heard without exploring for themselves. If you recall it was once believed that the world was flat…..

So after all my experimenting with sights and not being able to buy what I thought would work very well I decided to pursue having some made different. I was very fortunate and ran into a dude willing to build me something different. What I wanted was a set of sights that made it very easy to see what you need for fast and accurate pistol shooting from the muzzle to 50 yards. I now have my own sight design in production and you can check them out on my website www.wayofthegun.us.

Well that’s all the typing I can do for a day, I definitely have more info on this stuff to share come out to the range sometime and let’s explore! Thanks Y’all!

-Frank Proctor

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Frank Proctor has served over 18 years in the military, the last 11 of those in US Army Special Forces. During his multiple combat tours in Afghanistan & Iraq he had the privilege to serve with and learn from many seasoned veteran Special Forces Operators so their combined years of knowledge and experience has helped him to become a better operator & instructor. While serving as an instructor at the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course he was drawn to competitive shooting. He has since earned the USPSA Grand Master ranking in the Limited Division and Master ranking in the IDPA Stock Service Pistol division. He learned a great deal from shooting in competition and this has helped him to become to become a better tactical shooter. Frank is one of the few individuals able to bring the experiences of U.S. Army Special Forces, Competitive Shooting, and veteran Instructor to every class.

All this experience combines to make Frank Proctor a well-rounded shooter and instructor capable of helping you to achieve your goal of becoming a better shooter.

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

We cannot outperform our self-image. Many of us have a predetermined notion of where our peaks and valleys lie. Every once in a while we will outperform our current belief or nose dive and completely shit the bed. Enter the world of cognitive dissonance.

Using my ‘Five Second Standard ‘drill as an example, we should perform fairly consistent with incremental improvements over time. Use IPSC targets and yard markers starting at 7 yards, 10 yards, 15, 20, etc. I call these yard lines ‘levels’.

Set a timer to a five second par time. Start at the 7 yard line (level 1), weapon at a ready position. On the timer’s ‘Beep’, engage your target twice within those five seconds. Next, draw and engage your target twice in five seconds. Next, draw and engage your target twice strong hand only. If all six shots are in the ‘A’ zone, you have graduated level one.

Next move to the 10 yard line (level two) and repeat the same. If all shots are in the ‘A’ zone, you have graduated level two. Keep moving up levels until you shoot outside of the ‘A’ zone.

Sometime, even good shooters will drop out of level one or two. Take your medicine and fail quickly.in other words, get over it. It is a biological requirement for us humans to fail. These failures however, should not be a recurring theme. Learn from the past, prepare for the future and perform in the present.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

Pat McNamara

Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Safety vs. protocol: why safety is safe and protocol can be dangerous

The topic of safety is always at the front of every individual and institutions consciousness. The obvious concern is to ensure people are not injured or killed in the conduct of training but safety has taken a turn years ago away from common sense to rote compliance. Often times range protocol is confused with range safety. Range protocol is that which a range complex will or will not allow individuals or groups to do as well as specific control measures and procedures designed, in the eyes of those that created them, to minimize risk. This is counterproductive to learning and good training because it does not require individuals to think and often violates tactical principles. They are designed to replace individual thought and proficiency. The implied task in all training is safety and that translates directly to operational safety.

A few examples:

• “Point your weapon down range” when actually you mean “Point your weapon in a safe direction.”

o Down range is an administratively designated area where projectiles are intended to impact. Conditions and range status will identify it as a direction where a weapon may or may not be safely pointed and discharged.

o A Safe Direction by definition is a conscious decision to point and manipulate a weapon in a direction where a negligent, accidental or mechanical failure discharge cannot harm personnel or equipment.

o Down range is not always a safe direction so regardless of official status be aware. You are responsible for what your weapon does!

• Not allowing someone to pick up a magazine that has been ejected and bounced 6” over the established firing line.

o If it is so unsafe to reach over the firing line 6” (which I have witnessed repeatedly in institutional training both Mil and LE) then it’s probably not safe to even be standing next to the shooters on your left and right. Statistically more people are shot in parking lots at ranges than on the firing line.

• Requiring shooters to drop a magazine on the ground when unloading. The methodology behind this is “if you drop a magazine into your hand on the range you’ll do it in a gunfight.”

o If you can’t separate the difference between being in a gunfight and needing to reload your pistol/rifle versus clearing your system at the end of a firing sequence then you really shouldn’t have one in your hands if you may ever need it under pressure.

Protocol robs the individual of the authority to think and in doing so people will not think because their actions are dictated. There is no individual more dangerous to themselves or others than those in possession of a lethal implement who are not only not thinking but not allowed to think only follow instructions.

I have been in the presence of negligent discharges, some that have resulted in injury and one of three things that are always the first words out of the shooters mouth are either:

“I didn’t see…”

“I didn’t know…”

“I didn’t think…”

The last one is the only one that counts and the cause of the catastrophic failure. YOU DIDN”T THINK!!

Do not confuse protocol with safety! Protocol may or may not enhance safety but safety itself is a standalone concept. There is safe training, high risk safe training and unsafe training.

• Safe training is that which has been managed in a manner where injury is minimized by design and control measures. It is usually very basic in nature and highly structured.

• High Risk safe training is more complex training with an elevated amount of assumed risk but is deemed necessary for operational requirements. It has specific control measures in place to mitigate the chance of mishap or injury.

• Unsafe training is that which assumes an unnecessary amount of risk or more often than not is poorly designed and managed creating unnecessary and potentially catastrophic results. It lends itself to injury and catastrophic results and must never be undertaken.

There is no time when unsafe training is acceptable.

Safety:

• Treat all weapons as though they are loaded regardless of their perceived condition.

• Never point a weapon at anything you are not willing to kill or damage.

• Keep your weapon on safe and finger off the trigger until your sights are aligned and you have made the conscious decision to fire.

• Know your target, foreground, background, left and right. Be aware of the ballistic capability of your weapon, the intended target and the backstop.

Down range is an administratively designated area where projectiles are intended to impact. Conditions and range status will identify it as a direction where a weapon may or may not be safely pointed and discharged. A Safe Direction by definition is a conscious decision to point and manipulate a weapon in a direction where a negligent, accidental or mechanical failure discharge cannot harm personnel or equipment.

Down range is not always a safe direction

If you have any doubt as to your actions STOP, THINK and then act accordingly because you can’t recall the bullet once it’s gone. Be safe and not a robot. In practice robotic actions are devoid of thought and that is ultimately dangerous. Protocol be damned, think first!

- Mike Pannone

GFmomentpic

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.


www.ctt-solutions.com

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

“It should surprise you when it goes off.”

That’s always seems like bad advice to me. I’ve been surprised when the hammer falls, and it’s usually called a ‘Miss.’

When we train, we should train to the point of knowing exactly when the hammer is going to fall. No surprises. In order to reach this point, proper repetition is paramount. To achieve proper repetition dry fire is necessary. Not the kind of dry fire where you are simply going through the motions, but deep practice and meaningful repetition.

We should work to the point of automaticity.

Automaticity is the ability to do things without occupying the mind with the low-level details required, allowing it to become an automatic response pattern or habit. It is usually the result of learning, repetition, and practice.

Of the fundamentals, one that is sometimes neglected in teaching is presentation. Especially important in pistol fundamentals, the presentation is how you present the pistol from a ready position to your firing position. As part of your draw stroke, the presentation should lie as flat as possible for as long as possible mitigating arching or scooping. In a perfect world, the hammer should fall right at the apex of your presentation.

Only through deep practice dry fire to the appropriate amount of repetition, can one achieve automaticity. When you’ve reached this point, with flat presentation and trigger preparation the dreaded ‘surprised shot’ will surprise you in that it will be an ‘A’ zone hit.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

McNamara_pistol
Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Getting a good deal or how to avoid pistol envy

With Christmas 2014 and all the associated shopping still clear in the rear view mirror I think it’s fitting to talk about getting a good deal when purchasing a firearm. I hear a lot about price comparatively speaking and want to make a few suggestions. There are many quality handguns available today but none in my opinion are without some needed upgrades Let’s look at pistols generically. Aside from price what do we really want? First a pistol that feels “right” in your hand. Without that you will never have a comfortable grip and will fidget incessantly, degrading your consistency and thereby your accuracy and speed. Second is reliability, without that you’ll never trust the pistol and only be able to employ it in certain capacities (even my competition pistols are combat reliable). Third is durability. If you shoot your pistols a lot then you don’t want to be frequently replacing parts or have a pistol that can’t handle +P or +P+ loads for instance. Fourth is trigger press weight which will dictate the amount of input required on the gun to make it discharge. The less and the smoother the more consistent and controlled the trigger manipulation. Fifth and final is accuracy and when you shoot guns at 25m and beyond that is an enormous strength or weakness. Trigger and inherent accuracy are both near and dear to me from my formal training in JSOC where pistol marksmanship standards were extremely challenging . Without a good trigger and an inherently accurate pistol (think barrel fit) that is virtually impossible. I assume you have noticed price has still not been mentioned. That is because price is the least important factor within reason. I say that because the extra $200 or $600 is 1-3 cases of ammunition depending on caliber and in the life of a well used gun that is not much. If you don’t have a list of criteria and evaluate your next purchase based on them then you are buying on impulse and emotion and may very well end up with something less than optimal. You won’t be satisfied with it and will end up purchasing what you really wanted or adding work to it that you hadn’t but should’ve expected. That said I know of no stock gun that will meet all the needs I have completely. I’m finicky about triggers and I shoot even sub-compacts to 50m so accuracy and trigger are critical. I have very few bone stock guns and honestly look at a new gun with the upgrades already in mind. Make sure your pistol is an investment in your training as much as the gun itself. Your guns should do what you want, how you want reliably and consistently or get worked on.

I highly recommend you pick a pistol that meets your own critical criteria and identify the mods and accessories you’ll want and then add it to the price. If you shop wisely you get what you pay for and quality is not cheap but is sometimes elusive . Going cheap always leaves you with pistol envy.

“The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot-It can’t be done! If you buy from the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better. ”
Attributed to John Ruskin 1819-1900

-Mike Pannone

GFmomentpic

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.


www.ctt-solutions.com

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Do you ever get that feeling someone is paying way too much attention to you. Did you ever think you may be drawing that attention because of some poor choices for your method and behavior while carrying concealed.

We run a boatload of students through our Concealed Carry Tactics class and one thing we always get them to do is a “peer review”. This is where they walk the line looking over each other’s method of carry. Some are better than others, but having someone give you a once over is worth it big time. There is a mutual benefit through the feedback, honest feedback. Then the other person becomes more familiar with common mistakes and what they look like for real.

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There are so many things people do that give away the fact they are carrying concealed, but the most obvious is when the gun actually is recognizable through the clothing. You really only see this one with poor selection in clothing options, mainly too tight or too light in nature. However, another method of printing is through what we call a “uniform”. While you may not actually be standing their in your dress blues, you fit the profile. Traveling overseas taught me a lot about this and in some parts of the world I absolutely did not want to be associated with my fellow Americans. Just about every single one of them looked like they stepped out of an REI catalogue. It was actually a bit funny when you stopped to look at it and while working on vulnerability studies it was something I would look for on the bad guy side, so it makes sense we do the same thing.

While we may not be walking around in little clusters of catalog models, I still see a lot of people making poor choices of clothing. So, while yes you want to conceal the weapon well, you also don’t want to draw attention to how you conceal the weapon. A year in the life.

- Jeff Gonzales
Trident Concepts, LLC

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Frank Proctor

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Exercises vs Drills

In my classes one of the first thing I talk about is the fact that I use exercises during training and not drills. Here’s why. Most times when folks go to the range and shoot drills they do the same thing over and over again at the same pace and may or may not reach and end state that they want. For example a shooter goes out and does some Bill Drills from the holster. 50 times they draw the gun and shoot is 6 times in 2 seconds. They miss shots all the way to runs numbers 47-50. Does this mean they trained themselves to get a pistol out of the holster and get 6 hits in 2 seconds or that they trained themselves to fail for 46 attempts? I have done a whole lot of range sessions where I worked this sort of method and what I think I did was train myself to fail then eventually get it right. For example when I was training a lot for USPSA I would set up and run stages. I would bomb the stage a few times then start making magic happen. Guess what happened in matches? Most times I would bomb the first couple stages them settle down and do well. It’s hard to win against strong competition that way.

So here’s my exercise analogy. If you had a goal of benching 400 pounds would you walk into a gym,put 400 pounds on the bar and start doing 400 pound bench press drills? Not for long! My thoughts now are invest your training time, be very analytical about what’s happening when you shoot and identify then attack the things you need to work on to be the shooter you want to be.

-Frank Proctor

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Frank Proctor has served over 18 years in the military, the last 11 of those in US Army Special Forces. During his multiple combat tours in Afghanistan & Iraq he had the privilege to serve with and learn from many seasoned veteran Special Forces Operators so their combined years of knowledge and experience has helped him to become a better operator & instructor. While serving as an instructor at the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course he was drawn to competitive shooting. He has since earned the USPSA Grand Master ranking in the Limited Division and Master ranking in the IDPA Stock Service Pistol division. He learned a great deal from shooting in competition and this has helped him to become to become a better tactical shooter. Frank is one of the few individuals able to bring the experiences of U.S. Army Special Forces, Competitive Shooting, and veteran Instructor to every class.

All this experience combines to make Frank Proctor a well-rounded shooter and instructor capable of helping you to achieve your goal of becoming a better shooter.

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

We guys are notorious for practicing what we are good at. It gives a warm and fuzzy. I’ve made mention of this in the past and have encouraged folks to include more strong hand training in their range time. It is an elusive way to bridge the gap and to sneak off of a plateau.

I have modified the National Match course of fire and have included it in my current curriculum. This is a great bang for the buck drill.

The course of fire is as follows; Use an IPSC target. Firing lines are at 50 yards and twenty five yards.

Course of fire is shot in three strings.

String one is slow fire five rounds from the 50 strong hand only

String two is timed fire from the 25 yard line. Five shots, from the holster, strong hand only in twenty seconds

String three is rapid fire from the 25 yard line. Five shots, from the holster, strong hand only in 10 seconds.

It is a 75 point course of fire.

The scoring system I use is to deduct one point for ‘C’ zone or head shots. Deduct two points for ‘D’ zone hits. Deduct five points for misses.

Way more forgiving than the National Match course of fire but works well for varied skill sets. Good use of fifteen rounds.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

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Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

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.

Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

A classic American trait is we like to customize and modify our prized possessions. Everything from cars, bikes, guitars and of course guns. I would argue it is one of our strong points and goes hand in hand with our quest to make things ‘better’.

My only advice is to know why you are customizing your firearms specifically. If it’s to make it a better range ‘toy’, then that’s okay. Just understand that I see a lot of shooters who think they are customizing their self defense firearms to make them more useful for the assigned task, when in fact they are making them less usable. I see this in every class I teach.

Be careful and do your research before you modify a weapon that you stake your life on. The stakes are too high to do otherwise.

-Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV

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Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical is a retired US Army 1st SFOD-Delta combat veteran with years of experience in the firearms industry as a combat marksmanship instructor and industry consultant. In recent years he has hosted tactical firearms related TV shows on the Sportsman Channel with the latest being TacTV of which Bravo Company is a presenting sponsor. Larry Vickers special operations background is one of the most unique in the industry today; he has been directly or indirectly involved in the some of the most significant special operations missions of the last quarter century. During Operation Just Cause he participated in Operation Acid Gambit – the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison in Panama City, Panama. As a tactics and marksmanship instructor on active duty he helped train special operations personnel that later captured Saddam Hussein and eliminated his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. In addition he was directly involved in the design and development of the HK416 for Tier One SOF use which was used by Naval Special Warfare personnel to kill Osama Bin Laden. Larry Vickers has developed various small arms accessories with the most notable being his signature sling manufactured by Blue Force Gear and Glock accessories made by Tangodown. In addition he has maintained strong relationships with premium companies within the tactical firearms industry such as BCM, Aimpoint, Black Hills Ammunition, Wilson Combat and Schmidt & Bender.

Larry Vickers travels the country conducting combat marksmanship classes for law abiding civilians, law enforcement and military and has partnered with Alias Training to coordinate classes to best meet the needs of the students attending the class.

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 us some words of wisdom.