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Posts Tagged ‘Gunfighter Moment’

Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV

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.

With over 300,000 subscribers, his Youtube channel features a new firearms video every Friday. 

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

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, February 4th, 2017

I just got back from the SHOT Show 2017; have only missed three or four over the years. Always great to see old friends and see what is new in the firearms industry. Turnout was down from 2016, but this was expected. Back in the day, I wandered the isles like the rest of the nomads at SHOT, a gun writer of an earlier time (I was a pretty poor one at that). The media room at SHOT rarely saw more than 50 people seated at a time. Nowadays, thanks to social media and the blogger world, they are present in huge numbers and the role of ‘media pass’ means very little. As a gun writer, vendors were all over themselves to give me guns, ammo, and gear to test and hopefully write up in whatever firearms journal I was working for at the time. I quickly learned that nothing is ‘free’, and would not accept anything I did not see merit in or could actually deliver on.

Back in the day, there were many items that were just crap; the difference today is there is ten times more items that fit that description. It should come as no surprise that a trip through the new products display area was pretty much dominated by AR-15 style rifles/carbines/pistols, plus tons of accessories. When you hear the term ‘America’s Rifle’ applied to the AR-15 series of long guns, a trip to SHOT will really bring that point home. For the life of me, I don’t see how all these vendors of ARs and accessories can survive in the marketplace. The boutique makers of ARs, particularly the $2000 plus ones really amaze me. I have learned to take much of what I am told by the vendors with a grain of salt. Remember these salesmen will promise you anything including free delivery via alien spacecraft to make the sale. Details like “used by special operations or Navy SEALs” is a common line about the proof that their product is vetted. What they really means is that their product may be used by SF types in video games, or in the movies, but the last time I checked the arms rooms of the places I was training, I didn’t see Glocks with holes machined in the slides or M4s with exotic muzzle breaks or hand guards out to the muzzle of the weapon. It appears to me that everyone in this industry is building guns that look ‘cool’ for video games, or will give top level competition shooters a few milliseconds advantage in a major tournament.

I love the terms “it really shoots flat”, and “it doesn’t have any recoil”. I must stop and scratch my head on these dill rods. How can a recoil operated rifle or pistol not have recoil? Maybe they should adopt the term ‘lighter recoil’. An I am sick of hearing the reference to ‘flat shooting’. In the real world (the place where there is NO firing line and the targets are shooting back) flat doesn’t mean sh*t. The 1911 45 auto has never been referred to as ‘flat shooting’, but we have been shooting bad guys with it for over a century. I get it, softer recoiling guns are easier to shoot for most people. This can lead to better hits on target, but sadly for most end users it is just about launching more rounds down range quicker. Despite everything I have been exposed to in my career in this business, accurate effective hits on target is the heart and soul of Combat Marksmanship.

The extent of new products at SHOT is always exciting, but I have to wonder what will one more polymer frame striker fired pistol on the market really do better than the ones already for sale; some slight improvement, maybe, but make no mistake: GLOCK owns the market. In the USA, Smith & Wesson has second place with the M&P, while everyone else is sharing the remaining bread crumbs. The new CZ P10 C was pretty neat; I’ll probably own one. One individual at the CZ booth described the CZ P10 as the ‘Glock killer’… dream on. CZ would be successful beyond their dreams if their new pistol cost Glock just a flesh wound.

The Hudson H9 looks interesting, kudos to Cy and Lauren Hudson for thinking out of the box, and trying to do something different in self defense sidearms.

Many folks were jazzed about the announcement concerning SigSauer’s P320 winning the DOD Modular handgun selection. Is it going to end up in GIs holsters any time soon? I kind of doubt it. Just spending money on ammo and training would be far more beneficial, but the green machine has never had much interest in making soldiers skilled with handguns, for the most part they don’t really care if Pvt. Timmy or Tammy can use one effectively. They will end up being carried in condition three (empty chamber, loaded magazine in place) so overall, color me un-impressed with the whole military pistol topic.

News of anything really impressive in service/assault style rifles was limited to different flavors of ARs and AKs, however there were plenty of 9X19mm AR carbines. They are great fun, and new competition oriented pistol caliber carbine divisions may make them popular. AR and AK pistols seemed to be present in many booths at SHOT. I think they are stupid; in my opinion, zero valid reasons for owning one. Of course, if you are a gang banger you need at least three. If you want to buy a AR/AK pistol, go for it. I just don’t know anyone in my circles that will take you serious if you show up with one, and prepare to be labeled a ‘jerk-bang’.

Overall SHOT is always entertaining, full of new ideas often on old platforms, and a great place to meet new people that are part of the Gun Culture.

– 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 – Frank Proctor

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Eye of the Tiger Part Deux -­ A Visual Agility Exercise

In order to put bullets on targets fast and accurate we need to see and process information fast. This is visual processing speed exercise and eye agility exercise. To perform this exercise -­ move your eyes as quickly as possible through the numbers 1-­20. To get the work that is there for you, make sure that you are seeing the numbers and not just moving your eyes around. There are many possible ways to run the exercise. 1-­20, 20-­1. You can put the numbers in this sequence on 2 separate target boards and vary the distance between the targets to force more eye movement and even head movement. With creativity there are many ways to get some great visual work with some very simple tools. The ultimate goal is get your eyes moving and processing information as fast as possible.

Exercise

– 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 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 – Larry Vickers

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

In the spirit of post-SHOT Show coverage, check out the series of videos Gunfighter Moment contributor Larry Vickers did for the Vickers Tactical YouTube channel, covering SHOT Show 2017.

You can check out the rest of the videos at the Vickers Tactical YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/VickersTacticalInc

Gunfighter Moment – Frank Proctor

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Gun Handling etc…

What’s up, shooters!

Today, I want to talk about safe gun handling and some of the valuable tools I have taken from competition, back to my world as a tactical shooter. Some of those main tools are aggressive vision, efficiency in movement and very safe gun handling under pressure. There is a video clip attached to this showing me running a stage in the shoot house at my range. This is a stage from my monthly 2 gun (carbine and pistol ) match. This is NOT CQB. But, some of the things it takes to do well at this game translate to tactical shooting. Aggressive vision and efficiency play a huge role but what I’m going emphasize in this article is safe gun handling under pressure.

In some other articles and videos, I have seen some push back about putting the rifle on safe during a reload with some folks even having an SOP of leaving the rifle on fire because “it might be too difficult to take the rifle off safe under stress”.

Well, I live by some simple gun handling rules and I find them very easy to do with just a little training. Rule number 1 is to keep the pointy end of the death machine (AKA the muzzle) in a safe direction at all times. Rule number 2 says that if your eyes are not connected to the gun then your trigger finger is connected to the frame of the gun with some positive pressure. For rifles, the gun is on safe with some positive pressure up on the selector lever using your thumb or finger, based on whether you’re a right or left-handed shooter. Those things are super easy to do and I have long said they will not cost you anytime in an engagement.

If you watch the video, you will see my firing hand moving every time I disconnect my eyes from the gun. I’m putting the gun back on safe. The movement you see is the firing hand grip loosening to allow the firing hand thumb to go forward and hook the selector lever and sweep it back to safe. Historically, I didn’t always do this in a competitive shooting environment.

Around 2008-2009, I shot some 3 gun and I did get into the habit of leaving the rifle on fire during a stage like all the other 3 gunners did and still do. It bugged me that I did that but was easily able to switch techniques come Monday morning when it was time to be a tactical shooter to train and teach CQB again. In 2012, I started my training company where I emphasized my 2 easy gun handling rules. I didn’t have time to compete, which hurt my soul a bit, but when I started again, I noticed that I was putting the rifle on safe every time my eyes disconnected from it and it wasn’t slowing me down! You can see that for yourself in the video. I had the fastest stage time against some pretty dang good 3 gun shooters and I was putting the gun on safe during every transition.

As mentioned earlier, this is NOT CQB and NOT TACTICAL shooting. It is a game or sport requiring fast processing, control over the gun, efficient mechanics, efficient movement and a strong mental game. ALL of those things translate to tactical shooting. This is also Competition Speed as opposed to CQB Speed. In my opinion based on my experiences, CQB Speed is 25% of Competition Speed so it’s much slower. If we can manipulate the selector switch at Competition Speed, we can certainly do it at CQB Speed.

In summary, I truly believe that it won’t cost you anything to put the rifle on safe every time you disconnect your eyes from it. It does take training to make it a habit but it is easy and fast to train it, if you train right. For many years, I kept the rifle on fire during bolt lock reloads. One day, I watched a video with Pat McNamara talking about putting the rifle on safe during reloads. I immediately saw the value in it and trained my hands to do it in about 30 minutes!

As always, I want to thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say about shooting. I hope that some of the things I have figured out, through experience and trial and error, will help you reach your shooting goals!

– 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 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 – Larry Vickers

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Night Sights

I’ve shot pistols long enough that I feel a tritium front sight is mandatory on a self defense pistol. Frankly, it fits in the low light range, that plain black and fiber optic front sights won’t work in, and using a white light at times can be very hazardous to your health. What I mean is that using a white light for long enough to align your sights could get you shot.

Tritium on the rear is optional in my book, and up to personal taste. At handgun night fighting distances a tritium front will get the job done in addition to being fast to employ. My buddy Hackathorn was the first to turn me into to this and I like it. Try it the next time you get the chance.

Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV

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.

With over 300,000 subscribers, his Youtube channel features a new firearms video every Friday. 

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

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, December 17th, 2016

9x19mm Pocket Rockets

It is all the rage these days to pack small pocket size compact 9x19mm pistols. Nearly every manufacture offers one in the lucrative CCW marketplace. Most are good, some acceptable, and a few terrible. Competition between handgun vendors pretty much insures that only quality pistols last very long in the marketplace. Two pistols that seem to have captured wide acceptance the American market are the Smith & Wesson Shield and the Glock 43. Both are really good choices.

I own samples of both and have to admit that while I was not really excited by the Glock 43 when it first was introduced, after taking possession of one, I am now a big fan of the G43. What has gotten my attention is the fact that these really small compact pistols have very reduced slide travel, and extremely fast cycle time. The result that they can be ammo sensitive if you choose to feed your pocket rocket +P or +P+ 9x19mm ammo. Understand that really hot ammo can speed up slide velocity to the point that the slide is moving faster than the magazine can feed the next round up to the proper position in the feed lips for proper function. The result can be a bolt over base feed way stoppage or even the slide closing on an empty chamber.

Based upon my observations, I will select only standard velocity 9x19mm JHP ammo. Do to the real short barrels of these pocket blasters, many folks think that going to a real high velocity round will make up for a lost in impact velocity do to low velocity in a 2″ barrel. The barrel on these little guns may be listed as three inches or so, but remember that includes the chamber; actual bore length is much less. Ammunition makers have went to great lengths to provide hollow cavity bullets that expand properly in flesh-like mediums, but this is very much a function of velocity. Slow a 9x19mm down because of a very short barrel, velocity suffers and expansion fails as well.

So, ammo selection is an issue with these little ‘pocket rockets’. Select yours carefully and most important, test fire the ammo you select in your pistol to insure that it works the way it is supposed to when you need it.

– 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 – Mike Glover

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

The Battle Rifle
Evolving at the Speed of War

In 2007, during the height of the war against extremists in Iraq, I was a sniper with the Commander In-Extremis Force (CIF)[a] operating out of Baghdad. We conducted unilateral operations against HVTs, targeting these as part of a larger task force known as TF-16. While conducting these operations we began identifying inefficiencies in the way we executed our roles as snipers.

An immediate issue was the multitude of different weapon systems and equipment necessary to carry out our main duty during different phases of missions – as snipers, we were tasked with containing the objective prior to a raid, which meant seeking high ground and containing from the top down providing coverage for the assault force. We used .300 Win mag MK13 sniper rifles, which were cumbersome but effective against enemy personnel. However, it was impossible to assault with these weapons, meaning we had to bag them in rifle packs and use carbines to make our way to high ground – complete with accessories and combat loads of ammunition.

battle_rifle_02

Our carbines utilized SOPMOD accessories – but on a 16-inch long M4 with a 6-inch picatinny rail, fitting a light, optics, BUI sights, lasers, and pressure pads as well as a universal night sight proved difficult. We had to work out how to overcome this issue, and work out a way to optimize and evolve our equipment to allow us to conduct an offset, assault a target and provide adequate coverage in and around a 300-meter area, even at night.

We began work on optimizing a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), chambered in 5.56mm, that not only met but far exceeded these requirements. We purchased and mounted free-floating 15-inch rails, and had the JSOC armor optimized to in order to keep a 75g Hornady round as flat as possible. In testing at Accuracy First in Canadian, Texas, we found the rifle successful at a thousand meters, after deciding on an optic setup that brought the whole package together.

battle_rifle_01

After extensive testing we had a rifle that gave us a platform allowing us not only to assault, but to effectively engage targets at a distance, at night. This was put to the test on a rooftop in Sadr City in 2007 when my senior and I, a legend in the sniper community named ‘Irish,’ took a shot from a couple of hundred meters out on a maneuvering insurgent after clearing the house. I looked at him, he looked at me and we shook our heads in mutual agreement. Our hard work had paid off.

– Mike Glover
FieldCraft LLC

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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.

www.fieldcraftsurvival.com

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.