Author Archive: tacticalprofessor

Stay out of trouble

My latest interview on Ballistic Radio.

“One of our very favorite guests, The Tactical Professor Claude Werner returns to the show to discuss a myriad of important topics that we should all consider. What is O.O.D.A. and how do people get it wrong? Why is it important to measure personal performance? Has everyone been pronouncing Claude’s 5x5x5 drill wrong? ALL THAT AND MORE!”

Who’s there?

“Who’s there?”

Learn to say it in your sleep.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/breaking-news/2020/11/05/stuart-man-thinks-he-hears-an-intruder-fatally-shoots-pregnant-wife/

“When you have a home where you have family members, you have to be even more careful and wait that extra second and do everything you can to make sure you know what you’re dealing with when you’re about to use deadly force,” [Martin County Sheriff] Snyder said.

Well said, Sheriff Snyder.

Many of my colleagues disagree with my assessment that decision-making is far more important than marksmanship and technical proficiency but I’m sticking to my guns on the subject. Every incident like this I read about makes me more of a ‘bitter clinger’ to my opinion.

“Daddy, where’s Mommy?”

“I accidentally killed her before you were even born. I’m so sorry I took your Mommy from you.”

If anyone thinks that man will ever sleep through the night again, they’re wrong. My prediction is that he will also die young, leaving his child without any parents at any early age.

Have a plan

As the late William Aprill was fond of saying,

Spontaneity is overrated.

“That’s what heart surgery is,” he said with a soft laugh. “It’s a script. To you, it probably looked like I was just sewing those collars into Meeko’s chest any old way. But every motion was planned, tested, practiced. Turn my hand eight degrees and poke the needle through; swivel my hand back 22 degrees and draw the needle up four inches; turn my hand back just so and bring it to the left a half inch: a precise number of stitches, pulled just so tight and no tighter. What heart surgery takes is remembering an incredibly long and complicated script and following it exactly, step by step.”

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/no-pulse-how-doctors-reinvented-the-human-heart

The idea of having a script, i.e., a very specific game plan, doesn’t just apply to heart surgery. One of the learned aspects of firearms competition is to develop a plan ahead of time and then follow it through.

https://www.20min.ch/story/schusswechsel-nach-einbruch-in-geschaeft-eine-person-verletzt-108142673425

The quaint Google translate version of the story’s precis reads:

That’s what it’s about

* On Friday [note that the incident actually occurred the previous Wednesday] night there was an exchange of fire between the owner of a gun shop and burglars who had tried to gain access to his shop in Wallbach AG [Switzerland].

* What the perpetrators did not expect: The owner is a marksman and former Swiss champion in dynamic shooting [IPSC].

* One person was injured in the shooting. The POlice assume that this is one of the perpetrators, as no injuries were found on site.

Whether it’s IPSC, IDPA, GSSF, ICORE or some other form of competition is largely irrelevant. What is important is the concept of having a game plan ahead of time and then putting it into action when you get the ‘GO’ signal.

Before there was an FDIC

In the days before the FDIC, if banks didn’t protect their assets they had no assets.

“They aim to welcome bandits with hot lead.”

https://www.mcall.com/la-me-fw-archives-1928-pistol-training-for-bank-tellers-20171120-story.html

Feb. 18, 1928: Los Angeles Police Chief James Davis, left, with First National Bank teller Madeline Morneau at the police shooting range in Elysian Park. (Los Angeles Times)

Thanks to Michael de Bethencourt of I’m With Roscoe for pointing out the article.

Once you can shoot…

Some instructors, including myself, had an interesting discussion on Facebook about the phrase “once you can shoot.”

My question to the group was ‘What does that mean?’ I asked it as a serious question. The personal journey I’ve made in answering that question over time has been interesting. My answers to myself about it have changed dramatically as a result of some related research I’ve done. The two most significant areas of research were Negative Outcomes and what higher level thinkers in the POlice community had to say. The discussion was involved enough that I wrote a Patreon post about it.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/43213970

I’m making the Patreon post public because I think it’s a much neglected philosophical discussion. At The Mingle this month, I asked the ladies present to write out their personal policy about when to draw or present a weapon. It was the first time that many of them had ever been asked to do that. We need to realize that ‘Have Adequate [Hard] Skills’ is only one aspect of the issues we face.

Marksmanship is a hard skill but soft skills are important too.

Teach your children to shoot

In the current political situation, if you have teenage children and haven’t taught them how to shoot a rifle adequately, you’re wrong, PERIOD.

I have taught a number of teenage boys to pass the Ohio POlice Rifle Course in just a couple of hours. Girls could do it just as easily. It’s not the greatest qualification course but it’s short, easily administered, and someone who can pass it is a force to be reckoned with, especially from a fixed position or support role.

With the exception of the reload in Stage Six, the entire Course can be done even using a tube fed autoloading .22 rifle with iron sights. The reload can still be done with a tube fed autoloader but probably not in the time frame allotted. Although many people think that a .22 rifle can only cause a bee sting, they are sadly mistaken. Rifles in .22 caliber are highly lethal within 25 yards, often even with only one shot.

Our great Nation is in perilous times and it behooves us to be ready for what’s to come.

Gripping an autoloading pistol correctly to reduce malfunctions

Gripping the gun firmly, including stiffening the wrists, is important in terms of running autoloaders without having malfunctions aka stoppages (Unintentional Interruptions in the Cycle of Operation). This has been demonstrated several times in classes I’ve taught this month; Personal Performance http://www.thecompletecombatant.com/personal-performance.html  and The Mingle. http://www.thecompletecombatant.com/the-mingle.html During both classes, simply increasing the tension in a shooter’s wrists completely eliminated malfunctions in guns that had previously been troublesome.

Rob Leatham gives an excellent explanation about gripping the pistol in this video. Although his video addresses shooting speed, the concept applies equally to increasing reliability of a pistol.

Note how he tests the tension of the shooter’s wrists at 1:05. With a handheld recoil-operated firearm, tensioned wrist(s) are a key input for the gun’s functionality. If the shooter’s wrists are not adequately tensioned, the receiver of the gun moves at the same time the slide is cycling. When the receiver moves simultaneously with the slide cycling, the possibility of the slide not completing its travel fully to the rear increases. Failure to maintain tensioned wrists is often referred to as ‘limp-wristing.’

Knowing the mechanical steps in the operation of an autoloading firearm is useful to understand this problem. Once a loaded magazine has been inserted, the eight steps in the cycle of operation for a locked breech firearm are:

  1. Feeding
  2. Chambering
  3. Locking
  4. Firing
  5. Unlocking
  6. Extracting
  7. Ejecting
  8. Cocking

The steps most affected by limp-wristing are Feeding, Chambering, and Ejecting. Feeding is the step wherein the round rises completely up in the magazine and presses against the feed lips. Chambering occurs when the breech of the firearm strips the round from the magazine’s feed lips and pushes it completely into the chamber. Ejecting occurs after the entire case has been pulled from the chamber and the case is completely expelled from the firearm.

If the slide does not move fully to the rear because the receiver is moving at the same time, the breechface may not clear the rear of the cartridge. If so, Feeding will not be complete. The front of the cartridge will rise to the feed lips but the rear of the cartridge cannot because the lower part of the breechface is obstructing it. This is a Failure to Feed. Then, when the slide moves forward, friction between the bottom of the breechface and the cartridge will push the nose of the cartridge into the feedramp. However, because the round is presented at the wrong angle, a Failure to Chamber occurs with the nose of the round jammed against the feedramp. In some pistols, a Failure to Cock will also occur but this is incidental to the problem.

This stoppage must be cleared by using Remedial Action.

Remedial Action

  • Strip the magazine out. This may or may not require locking the slide to the rear, depending on the type of pistol. There are two schools of thought about what to do with the stripped out magazine, however, neither is relevant to reducing (clearing) the stoppage.
  • Work the slide several times to ensure that no fired unejected brass remains in the gun.
  • Insert and seat a magazine.
  • Operate the slide completely to chamber a new round of ammunition.
  • Get back to work.

An even more exaggerated of the issue can occur if the slide’s rearward travel is so shortened that that the base of the cartridge doesn’t make contact with the pistol’s ejector. This then will result in a Failure to Eject in addition to the Failure to Feed and Failure to Chamber. This stoppage must also be reduced by using Remedial Action. The Failure to Eject aspect is why the step of working the slide several times is included in Remedial Action. Theoretically, a Failure to Extract could occur but this is almost universally ammunition related (oversized, dirty, or grossly underpowered) rather than due to Operator Error.

Working with a partner and a completely unloaded pistol or Blue Gun, as demonstrated in the video, to test and increase the tension of the wrists is a simple way to increase the reliability of the pistol.

Gripping the wrists while moving the pistol.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

Riding Shotgun with Charlie

Charlie and I had a fun interview.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

Fall without breaking things

Learning to make contact with the ground (breakfall) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breakfall without becoming a casualty is one of the most important Personal Protection skills we can learn. How to teach that to senior citizens who have no experience is outside my lane but its importance in hand to gland combat is undeniable. It’s also very useful if you live in an area where there is ice in the winter or if your house has any steps, as I can personally testify to.

Police: 80-year-old man dies after being shoved to the ground during mask dispute in New York bar

https://www.kptv.com/general/police-80-year-old-man-dies-after-being-shoved-to-the-ground-during-mask-dispute/article_c8f908a4-65ba-5d08-a71d-43fd2585c7da.html

Another lesson in the incident is that discretion is the better part of valor, especially when you’re a senior citizen. This poor gentleman was concerned about decorum to the bar staff and coronavirus but the cause of his death was a broken skull. According to the District Attorney, the two were familiar with and disliked each other. In all likelihood, this was an example what Rory Miller terms ‘the monkey dance.’ It’s foolish and dangerous.

Note that the person charged with his death is also a senior citizen so don’t think that it’s only ‘White Punks On Dope’ who can cause your demise.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

Your Best Defense: Staying Out of Trouble

I was able to spend some time talking with Michael Bane last week about ‘Staying Out of Trouble.’ That means emphasizing the ‘Avoid’ and ‘Escape’ steps in the Avoid, Escape, Confront, Resist paradigm.

We had a great conversation that will be of interest to new gunowners, those who have been at it as long as Michael and I, and everyone in between.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)