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Archive for the ‘Gunfighter Moment’ Category

Gunfighter Moment – Ken Hackathorn

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

It is of interest that changes in the ‘gun culture’ are always in flux. When the market was concerned about the lost of gun ownership rights, we tend to purchase guns that reflect utility. Examples are the recent high demand for AR-15/M4 style carbines and CCW handguns. Guns chambered for 5.56 Nato, 7.62×39, 308 and pistols in 380, 9X19mm, 40 S&W, and 45 auto all become desirable because supplies of ammo are typically good, prices reasonable, and ballistically effective.

With increase in demand, prices soar and supplies shrink. That is the result of a free market. Now, with changes in politics, demands for certain types of firearms have begun to modify. One factor is that many folks have stock piled guns and ammo over the past decade in fear that they would be prevented from getting them if the anti-gun left had their way. Now, this fear has subsided to most peoples concerns. Sales of ‘utility’ arms and ammo are stagnant.

What has began to take over is the demand for ‘collector/investment’ guns. Simply put, many people have chosen to invest in items that they feel will appreciate with time. Older guns, those that will never be manufactured again due to the craftsmanship or cost of manufacture have become attractive. Old pre-1964 Winchesters have a special following. Smith & Wesson revolvers made prior to 1980, or Colt revolvers made prior to 1990 have taken on increased value. Everyone is aware of the increase in the price and demand for Colt Python revolvers. Without doubt one of the most overpriced and overrated handguns of all time. In the 1990s when Colt was still manufacturing the Python revolver, they couldn’t give them away. They offered them to dealers as a bonus for buying quantities of other Colt firearms.

Certainly, older military firearms have a great interest in the collecting community. As a youngster I used to buy GI 1911 pistols for less than $100 dollars. My first was a Remington Rand 1911A1 that I paid $22.50 for. Nowadays, check out the price of a nice original GI 1911 pistol. The point here is that if you have a closet or safe full of ARs, AKs, and Glocks that will last you for a lifetime, buying quality collectable firearms may be one of the best investment plans you can have. Remember the golden rule of collectable investments; whether it is cars, watches, art, or firearms, don’t buy something that you have to apologize for when you show it to a friend. Condition is the most important factor. Rare is a misused term in the firearms world. Condition is always the goal. A rusty piece of junk, regardless of how rare it is will always be a piece of rusty junk.

If you have interest in US Military history, then consider adding a nice M1 Garand or M1 Carbine to your collection. Even 1903A3 Springfield rifles are still to be found for reasonable prices. You can’t help but feel something special when you handle one of these arms that in the hands of ‘the Greatest Generation’ went off to save the world. Whether it is an M1, Springfield 1903, or M1911 you can actually take them to the range and enjoy the experience of shooting these pieces of history. One of the best kept secrets in military history is how outstanding the British No. 4 Enfield rifle was as a battle rifle. They can still be had for very reasonable prices, and again taking one out to the range for an afternoon is a joy. Don’t be afraid to study some of the excellent books about the history of small arms. I don’t care if you are a treehugger or not, the history of the world is pretty much centered around the use of weapons.

One of the most troubling things I encounter is the number of people that are new to the the gun culture that have no clue about firearms in general and only know what they have experienced in the last couple of years since they became a gun owner. Likewise, vast numbers of vets know about the arms they were issued, but know very little else about small arms. Of course there are hoards of folks that have gotten much of their firearms knowledge from the internet forums. This can sometimes be a good source of information, but sadly it seems to breed a level on knowledge and understanding that is lame at best.

As a firearms instructor, I have always felt that it is not necessary to be a good shot, but it doesn’t hurt if you can demonstrate what you expect your students to do and be able to do it well. Likewise, if you are going to train people about the use of small arms, having a solid knowledge about firearms and their use/history is a desirable goal. Even at my age, I am still learning. I consider myself a ‘student of weapon craft’, and part of that is knowing what the whole ‘gun thing is about’.

It can be an enjoyable journey, why not give a little ‘gun’ knowledge a try.

– 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.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Aaron Barruga

Saturday, May 27th, 2017


Aaron Barruga
May 2017


By his 20th iteration, an Afghan guerrilla with minimal marksmanship training was shooting the 2x2x2 exercise just as efficiently as Instagram tactical celebrities. Only an hour earlier had we discussed some key points of marksmanship, then I gave him a crate of ammo and coached him through each repetition of the exercise. Two weeks later, that same guerrilla fled his checkpoint during the initial phase of Taliban attack. So what happened?

Obviously there is no link between how quickly we can shoot an exercise and our performance in battle. Regardless, as tactical shooters we can be notoriously bad at searching for significance where there is none, or misreading the real importance of a shooting drill. We see this happen quite a bit with speed. Everyone wants to be faster, which is fine, but faster does not always correlate with better.

For novice shooters, static speed shooting exercises help develop confidence and proficiency. For experienced shooters, speed exercises become a measurement of how well we can learn a sequence and perfect our movements. Neither of these are bad, however, the seductiveness of a rapid rate of fire can cause shooters to focus on the wrong aspects of their performance. Moreover, while pursuing speed it can become easy for us to neglect the development of discipline that forces us to proactively see our sights.

We retroactively see our sights by hijacking our natural point of aim. I see this happen a lot at the seven yard line. Whether with a pistol or carbine, shooters just point and squeeze their trigger as soon as they “feel” their sights are in the right spot. We become so focused on beating a time standard that we neglect the unintended development of bad habits. Although it is important to understand where your body naturally presents your sights, it can build a false positive regarding performance feedback.


I experienced these effects as a junior team guy. As a novice, I obsessed over how quickly I could shoot a string of five rounds at two targets, perform a reload, and then shoot the exercise again. Although I was developing confidence, it was at the expense of incredibly sloppy speed. During a force on force scenario I rushed my shots in a shoot house and either missed or landed wounding shots that would fail to neutralize a threat. The cadre pulled me aside and told me to discipline my fire and see my sights. Roger that, see my sights, no issue. The next run through I continued to rush my shots and not enforce any discipline because I had performed so many garbage reps shooting for speed.

Because I had developed quick, but sloppy hand speed, I assumed that the cadence at which I shot rounds against cardboard represented how quickly I needed to shoot a gun against a real threat. The next day, the cadre demonstrated their run through the force on force scenario. None of their shots were rapid fire and their cadence was entirely sporadic. They only shot when they saw center on the OPFOR, and instead made up for speed with efficiency moving in between rooms.

From a tactical marksmanship standpoint, everything comes down to whether or not you can present your sights, and then exercise discipline when squeezing the trigger. That’s it. Marksmanship exercises ensure we understand how to use a weapon, but it is actually really hard—as demonstrated by the Afghan guerrilla and myself—to design shooting exercises that create a reliable baseline for real world performance. Yes, trim the fat and sharpen your mechanics, but do not assume a sub one second draw, or a sub two second 2x2x2 signifies the most important aspects of training.

Unfortunately, it can be incredibly difficult to convince a shooter of the aforementioned. The martial nature of combat marksmanship encourages us to seek out sequences, and then shoot those sequences as fast as we can. Learning a sequence, then following all of the steps to perform that sequence makes us feel good about ourselves. This is also why so many shooters never break their plateau. Because they have a pre-shooting sequence, and a post-shooting sequence, shooters can poorly perform a shooting exercise by shooting as fast as possible, but because they did their pre and post sequences, they mentally check the box and reward themselves for following a list of steps. Pre and post shooting sequences are not bad. However, assuming they signify proficiency is akin to assuming that the pre-lift act of adding weights to an olympic bar, then the post act of removing them signifies our ability to power clean.

We must encourage shooters to develop speed through exercises such as 2x2x2, but all speed must be followed up with discipline. Aggressively driving our sights to the center of an easy hit target helps develop novices, but plateaus the seasoned marksman. Worse, it is easy for experienced shooters to slip into auto-pilot in which they are not truly seeing their sights, and are instead seduced by the rapid rate of fire in an exercise.

Although we need to develop the confidence to shoot quickly while under stress, we must always reinforce discipline. Shooting a string of five rounds at a cardboard target only requires us to drive our sights back to a single plain, and thus we can unintentionally hijack our natural point of aim. But remember, real flesh moves. Shooting five rounds at a living breathing target causes the target to move after each round, and results in five separate plains where we acquire sight picture. If we’ve spent our range time chasing speed and building sloppy habits, we can set ourselves up for failure when we encounter a real target that requires a slower rate of fire in exchange for more precise shots.


Aaron Barruga is Special Forces veteran with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Pacific Theater of Operations. He has trained foreign commandos, police officers, and militia fighters. He is the founder at Guerrilla Approach LLC, where he consults law enforcement officers on counter-terrorism and vehicle tactics.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Frank Proctor

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

– Frank Proctor


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 Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Ken Hackathorn

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

NRA Show Review:

The 2017 NRA Show in Atlanta was a joy to behold. Unlike SHOT, the folks walking the Show floor are the end users, the real deal ‘gun culture’. Unlike the SHOT Show which is oriented towards the dealer/distributors of firearms and related hunting gear, the NRA Show is all about show and tell for the members of the National Rifle Association. This year was of interest for a number of reasons. First the election of Donald Trump has calmed the nerves of the gun owning public. As clueless as the left is about why they lost, make no mistake the five million member strong NRA was a positive factor in the fact that Trump won. For the left to attack firearms ownership and still expect it to ring true for most of the heartland is just plain stupid. The anti-Second Amendment attitude does not sell in the states between the Socialist North East and the Left Coast.

A look at the folks walking the floor was quite educational. First, the bulk of people present were males over the age of fifty. However, more than any other NRA show that I have attended in my lifetime females were in noticeable attendance. Not just the wife tagging along with their hubby, but single and even groups of women, active in the shooting/gun culture. Trust me when I tell you that the CCW movement in the USA has had a profound impact on women. Realizing that with equality comes the responsibility to protect themselves; days of expecting a man to protect them is over. Life is about change, and we have little choice sometimes in the direction our lives must flow.

The second demographic that was very noticeable was the presence of people of color. The NRA has always been a strong supporter of equal rights; even back in the day when civil rights was not always popular especially with the Democratic Party. It was impressive to see both women and blacks asking intelligent questions about firearms and their use. I will wager that during the three days of the NRA Show more people were armed in that building than anywhere else in the USA. And, these folks packing heat all were carrying loaded firearms. In the course of the three days, not one loud noise was heard. Despite the complaints of the ‘anti gun crowd’, it was proof that people can be not only safe but responsible with concealed sidearms.

As a product ambassador for Colt Firearms, I was constantly having people coming up to me in the booth and asking questions about their guns, and they tended to all be loaded. Another thing that struck me was that if you took all the AR-15 (MSR’s for the gun culture political correct) and related accessories out of the show, the show would be less than half the size that it was. The reality is that nearly half of the gun culture has embraced the AR platform firearm. I do know some folks that do not own AR-15 style firearms, but damn few. When I moved to the mountain West, I knew that hunting rifles and handguns would be common, what surprised me was that nearly everyone owns an AR. Often more than one. The other thing that came to light was not a surprise at all: Mr. Obama was the best firearms salesman in history. Sales of the ‘black rifles’ has slowed to a trickle after the election. Nearly everyone in the retail end of the gun business will tell you sales have nearly come to a halt. Ammo demand has also slowed dramatically, prices are finally becoming more reasonable. Handgun sales continue to be solid, again directly related to the CCW market. New introductions of firearms at the NRA is becoming more common as much of the industry has tired of the strangle hold the NSSF has on the industry via the SHOT SHOW. Cost of the SHOT Show soars every year, and most vendors are tiring of the process.

This years NRA show introduction of pistols like the Beretta APX, FNH 509, H&K VP9SK, or Springfield Armory XD-E, and you can see the demand for quality handguns remains strong. The XD-E is directly oriented towards an small, flat, single stack 9X19mm pistol that is ideal for the AIWB crowd. If you plan on shoving your CCW sidearm into an inside the waist ban holster that is pointed at your balls, the XD-E a great choice. The gun that was my pick at the NRA Show was Wilson Combat’s new X9 pistol. What most folks want in a CCW sidearm is a 15 shot 9X19mm pistol the size and weight of a Clock 19, but with the controls, trigger, sights and accuracy of a 1911. The Wilson Combat EDC-X9 is just that, beautifully made of the best materials, a pride to own, but with a price tag more in tune with the Rolex crowd, not the Timex variety.

Overall, the flavor of the NRA show and the ‘gun culture’ was somewhat laid back, in tune with the change of politics in the USA. It seems that when a Republican takes the oval office, gun sales slow; put a Democrat in office and gun sales soar. There are some good deals in guns, ammo, and accessories to be hand in the coming months, hide and watch.

– 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.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – John “Chappy” Chapman

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Building Judgment

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. The question for most of us is how do we make the bad decisions we need to make to get the experience we need to develop good judgment, given that “experience” in our line of work generally involves life threatening violence and is fairly rare here in the US. We can learn from the experience of others, but none of what we see, hear or read is “our” experience. While this does serve an intellectual purpose, it does not create the kind of visceral imprinting necessary to serve as a reliable wellspring of judgment under stress.

So, we are left with a quandary of sorts: in order to be the most capable gunfighter you can be for your mission (be that family protection, police work, etc) you need to experience circumstances requiring rapid judgments, while also being able to make mistakes and learn from them and not be killed.

By now, most of you know where I’m going. Application level training focused on judgment is an absolute necessity, in my opinion, if you desire to grow into a truly capable fighter. Standing up and shooting fast and accurately is only about 10% of gunfighting. While the skills learned, honed and maintained on the square range are of vital, foundational importance, they are merely the price of admission to learn the things that really count… judgment, mindset, and fortitude.

Procedural level CQB, Vehicle Tactics and ECQC courses involving force on force, taught by experienced teachers, is a good start down the path of developing judgment. This is nothing new; every modern military gunfighter was in dozens if not hundreds of simulated gunfights before they ever fired a shot in anger. This does not mean you stop training the fundamentals on the square range, it means you are able to better focus that training on areas you identify as deficient.

After seeking this kind of training, you may find your priorities shifting. What the plate carrier you are wearing looks like or the brand of your pants will seem far less important than working hard to maximize your brain’s processing speed and dialing in your precise shot placement. The lessons learned after receiving a belly full of UTM are not soon forgotten, and serve as the “bad judgment” experiences which will form the core of your good judgment, if you can turn off you ego long enough to internalize them.

Stout Hearts

Born and raised in the tony suburbs of Sacramento, California, John Chapman (Chappy) joined the Navy at 18. After an enlistment served on the USS Memphis, Chappy returned home to Northern California and embarked on a law enforcement career while attending college.

After 16 years of service spanning 4 agencies, with service in Patrol, SWAT, Investigations, Training and Administration, Chappy left full time Police service and began training police officers full time in 2008.

A police firearms and tactics instructor since 1994, Chappy founded LMS Defense as a part time private venture in 2006; and with the help of an amazing team built LMS into a full time venture by 2008. After serving in Iraq as security specialist, Chappy returned to LMS full time and spent the next 5 years servicing domestic and international police and government training requirements, and consulting SWAT teams in Procedural Issues and Equipment Acquisition.

In 2009, Chappy also became a part time adjunct instructor for EAG Tactical, working for his mentor and friend, Pat Rogers. It was through Pat’s mentorship and guidance that Chappy developed his skills as a teacher to the level of becoming a BCM Gunfighter.

In addition to his position as CEO of Raven Concealment Systems, Chappy is best known as a SWAT and Night Vision Instructor and continues to teach at Forge Tactical.

He also maintains his police commission, and serves as an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Alliance, Ohio Police Department, where he serves as a SRT Team Leader.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Kyle Defoor

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

The Long Run

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”
– Steve Prefontaine

Long is of course up to everyone’s interpretation, but for the most part here’s a good way to train for any running event longer than 800 m. I use this formula when I am preparing for ultramarathon of 50 miles, a unit’s PRT test of 1.5 or 3 miles, or a local 5K.

Some terms to familiarize yourself with;

Casual pace- typically two to three minutes per mile slower than your race pace. For example if the fastest mile you can run is a six minute mile your casual pace is around an eight minute 30 sec or nine minute per mile pace.

Race pace- just what it sounds like. As fast as your two little legs can pump for the distance that you going. That last part is important. My race pace for a 1 mile PRT is not the same for three-mile PRT.

Threshold pace- typically a pace that is one minute to two minutes per mile slower than your race pace.

The Long Run

Saturday and Sunday- this is perhaps one of the more important combo training days when running. For the ultra marathoners, this is the key to the kingdom. Saturday and Sunday are back-to-back long days. For the 5K and PRT people these are still back-to-back long days with less mileage. Ultra marathoners should be running for a minimum of two hours each day initially, toward a closer time to race date ultra marathoners should be running somewhere around four hours each day not to exceed 18 miles each day. I’ve never seen any benefit to doing a run longer than 18 miles when preparing for an ultra. The only exception is if you’ve never done an ultra before you need to get a 25 or 30 miler in four months or so before the race. For 5K and PRT folks, Saturdays and Sundays should be a minimum of a one hour run initially each day, and runs no longer than two hours each day not to exceed twice the race distance ( i’m putting this in here for some of the units and organizations to do a 10 mile time to run for their PRT. ) The pace for PRT and 5K folks is a casual pace. The pace for ultramarathon at the fastest is a casual pace, but realistically is somewhere around a 9:30 to 10:30 min pace.

Monday- off (remember that somewhere around 50% of all physical activities gains are from recovery. This is true for lifting weights, running, cycling, anything. This is difficult for runners to adhere to who are training especially after they begin to get runners high.)

Tues- 5K and PRT guys threshold pace for one hour. Ultra marathoners, casual pace for two hours.

Wed- 5K and PRT guys 1 mile repeat sprints at race pace. It will depend on how many of these you can do as to the total work out. For a 5K I will typically work up to doing four or five 1 mile repeats with the amount of rest in between the runs the time that I ran that 1 mile in. I have found way more success in PRT and 5K races using this formula for my “sprint” day as opposed to the typical 800 m, 400 m, 200 m, ethos of old. Ultra marathoners- two hour run at a casual pace preferably doing hill work if possible. I have never found hill work to be a necessary part of of an ultramarathon even when I ran ultra’s in the mountains like the iron Mountain 50. However, with that being said keep in mind that without hell work you will never keep up with the guys from out West.

Thu- 5K and PRT guys one hour casual pace then one hour at threshold pace. Depending on the distance you’re running, this could be 30 minutes and 30 minutes or 45 minutes and 45 minutes, etc. Ultra marathoners three hours at a casual pace.

Fri- off

Throughout the schedule ultramarathoner’s need to constantly be running with full kit (full water bottles, all gus, and salt tablets), and also experiment with wet socks, different carry methods, different clothing, body glide, sunglasses, hats, etc. Shoe choice can also be fine tuned during this. PRT and 5K guys should be occasionally training in a racing flat that they will run in on the day.

Kyle Defoor is one of the world’s most committed and passionate shooting instructors. Literally growing up with a gun in hand he took his talents into the military where he was combat decorated as a SEAL assaulter and sniper. Kyle helped to create and define modern training while along the way personally teaching thousands of military personal and civilians from around the globe. His shooting prowess led to appearances on multiple TV shows including Shooting Gallery, Tactical Arms, and Tactical Impact, and guest appearances on History Channel. Kyle’s outdoor athletic lifestyle includes shooting, ultra running, stand-up paddle surfing and climbing. He  is a sponsored athlete of MultiCam and runs his own company, Defoor Proformance Shooting, which offers tactical training, wilderness navigation, TV and film consulting, and motivational speaking.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Because I’ve heard it said that ‘Holstering’ a pistol is an ‘Administrative’ move, I would argue that there is true merit in holstering a pistol the same way we draw a pistol on two different fronts.

One is that in the tactical world, we must sometimes have to deescalate and go ‘Hands On’. We must do this without taking our eyes off of the threat.

Two, when practicing a draw stroke, the best draw stroke is nothing more than holstering in reverse. This was said to me by Rob Leatham some decades ago. So, when practicing a draw stroke, why not double the amount of meaningful repetitions by holstering the same way we drew?

…Only one is in reverse.

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 Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Glover

Saturday, April 8th, 2017


The Hindu Kush mountain range spans 500 miles along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border with the highest point being over 25,000 feet above sea level. Literally meaning, “Hindu Killer”, the range was the site of the Bamiyan Buddhas, later obliterated by Islamic terrorists. Post 9/11, it was where US Army Special Forces would hunt them down and kill them.

During my time in the Kush, I was the primary gunner(18 Bravo – Army Special Forces Weapon Specialist) on all of my team’s mobile operations. My weapon system was typically a MK-19 40mm grenade launcher, or a M2 .50 Cal machine gun. Both weapon systems have ample power and the ability to reach out and touch the enemy with catastrophic effect at distance.

Dismounted, I ran my issue Colt M4 carbine with a full suite of optic, laser, and accessories that everyone in SF carried. On mission, there were many opportunities to employ magnification to take advantage of the maximum ranges of the 5.56 55-77gr ammunition we were issued, but our options for weapons optics was limited. The M68 Aimpoint and the Eotech 511 were both red dots, with no magnification. The Trijicon ACOG offered a fixed 4x magnification but was not ideally suited for close-in immediate threat encounters.

Not having the ability to positively ID a targets, spot threats, or shoot out to long distances severely limited our capability to accurately engage the Taliban and AQ during the early part of the war.

When magnifiers became available, they became immediately popular with the force. The 3x pushed our ability to ID and spot out further without sacrificing the speed of our EOtech 511s. Magnifiers also were a game changer in urban warfare, and became part of must have kit on a combat rifle. However, they were far from perfect. The ergonomics required an off hand manipulation to bring the sight inline behind the optic, in real settings the 3x magnification only extended the PID range a slight distance and finally, it added a not insubstantial amount of weight.

Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain.

Fast forward a decade and the new go-to warfighting optic has transitioned from the red dot to a variable power optic. With an objective lens that the eye can immediately pickup without shadowing, they can be run on 6x when contact from a distance is the expectation, or dialed to a true 1X for CQB ranges. Today, with true 1x in a variable scope, there is no difference in performance between the red dot and a good 1-5, 1-6, 1-8 variable.

Right now, I use a Vortex Razor HD 2 1-6 on my BCM4 carbine and a Vortex 27X on my Surgeon .308. They have both the flexibility, ergonomics and utility necessary for a real-world engagements. If only we had them in 2001.

– Mike Glover
FieldCraft LLC


A former Special Forces disabled veteran with more than 18 years of military service, Mike has operated at the highest levels of Special Forces. Deploying 15 times to combat theaters, he has served in the following positions: SF Weapons Specialist, SF Sniper, SF Assaulter/Operator, SF Recon Specialist, SF Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC), SF Team Sgt, and SF Operations SGM.

Mike is a certified U.S. Government federal firearms instructor, and has also has trained mobility with Team O’Neil Rally School, BSR Racing, and BW drivers courses. He is medically trained every two years in Advanced Medical Trauma and continually maintains his re-certifications for consultation practices.

Considered a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in planning and executing Special Operations in a myriad of complex environments, Mike has taken his 18 years of experience and is giving the American citizen the applicable training tools and training necessary to better protect themselves and their families here and abroad.

Mike has a Bachelors degree in Crisis management and homeland security with American Military University and is pursuing his masters in military history.

Mike currently lives in northern California, where he continues to consult for the U.S. Government in security and firearms instruction.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.