The Shootoff at the Tactical Conference saw some great shooters competing on a simple but challenging Course of Fire. It was well worth watching.
Most people, including gunowners, really don’t understand the capabilities of the handgun. The Shootoff is a good demonstration of what can be done when you know how.
If you would like to read about some real shootouts and learn from them, please click the image below to purchase my book.
The Rangemaster Tactical Conference started as an International Defensive Pistol Association Major Match in the late 1990s. The IDPA Indoor Winter Championship, as it was then called, was held at Rangemaster’s facility at that time in Memphis, Tennessee. The organizer was Tom Givens, the owner of Rangemaster, a long time pistol competitor, and the leading trainer for Tennessee Concealed Pistol Licenses in Memphis. It was a large enough event to be featured as a segment on Shooting USA.
Typically, a shooting match consists of a few minutes of shooting and hours or days of idle time. However, the Winter Indoor Championship presented a unique opportunity because it was held at an indoor range with classrooms. Tom Givens’ relationship with the training industry meant that he was able to host various trainers who could present concurrent lectures about Self-Defense and Personal Protection. Some of the earliest presenters were well known names such as Massad Ayoob, Marty Hayes, and John Farnam.
The Pistol Match is still an integral part of the Conference. All attendees are invited to shoot the Match to get an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of their skills. Not everyone shoots it, though, because of the wide variety of other training opportunities that are also available during the three days.
Eventually, the demand for the tactical lectures and training necessitated moving to larger venues. The Memphis Police Academy, US Shooting Academy in Tulsa, and DARC in Little Rock have all been sites over the years. The larger venues allowed a wide variety of instructional blocks, including lectures, live fire shooting classes, and unarmed hands-on training. As the Conference grew, trainers held classes such as Managing Post-Shooting Stress and Trauma, Snub Nose Revolver Skills, Tactical Medicine for the Prepared Citizen, and Home Defense Shotgun Skills.The 2021 Conference was held at the excellent Dallas Pistol Club.
Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make was inspired by lessons learned in an Experiential Learning Laboratory session conducted by Craig Douglas of Shivworks at one year’s Conference. The Experiential Learning Laboratory has become a staple each year as a well-structured Force on Force exercise specifically for Armed Private Citizens.
Starting from just a few lectures at its inception, the Conference has grown to an extravaganza of educational offerings attended by hundreds of people over a period of three days. A vast number of training opportunities are made available for the prepared individual. The 2021 Conference featured 54 different blocks of instruction by dozens of different trainers. Some of the sessions repeated to allow attendees access to them because there is so much going on at the Conference.
There is no other opportunity like it available for the Armed Citizen who wishes to be prepared to prevent criminal violence against themselves and their families. The Conference is held in late March each year. The 2022 Conference will be held at the Dallas Pistol Club in Dallas, Texas. Registration opens in May and sells out by October every year.
Yesterday’s post mentioned the M&P 22 Compact pistol. It’s an excellent pistol and worked well on the range. Once we found the ammo it liked, it worked flawlessly. I suspect it may have had a dirty chamber that caused the initial functioning issues.
Here are some tips about working with .22 caliber pistols, in general.
First of all, keep them clean. The .22 Long Rifle round is dirty. The small size of the ammunition and guns make the gun’s tolerances more critical and dirt in the process isn’t helpful. The gun doesn’t need to be as clean as a dinner plate but gobs of goo certainly don’t help functioning.
Helpful accessories when shooting .22 LR firearms
- Coghlan’s Aluminum Hooked Tent Peg, 7 inch (69 cents at Walmart)
- Dry lube
- Portable cleaning rod and brushes
- Bore snake
- #4 drywall anchors ($3.99 at Home Despot)
The tent peg is for pushing out cases or rounds that don’t eject and the extractor won’t pull out. You could use the cleaning rod but the tent peg is stiffer. It’s aluminum so it’s not going to harm your bore. Until you find the ammo your gun prefers or you’re shooting cheap bulk ammo for practice, this is a good tool for clearing stuck cases. Make sure you lock the gun open before inserting it in the bore.
Using a dry lube for .22 firearms goes a long way to keeping them from getting so dirty. The carbon and unburnt powder doesn’t stick to the dry lube the way they do to oil. .22 firearms don’t get very hot so the extra lubrication provided by oil is unnecessary.
When you get finished shooting, run a brush through the bore and chamber a few strokes. Follow up by pulling the bore snake through. Even if you don’t clean the rest of the gun, doing those two things will keep it running for quite a while.
The #4 drywall anchors are to protect the firing pin and breech face when dry practicing. Most .22s need this protection. Snap caps of the centerfire type are not desirable for dry practicing with .22s, they’re for czeching feeding and extraction. Use a new drywall anchor each session and then throw it away. Rotate it slightly in the chamber periodically during each session.
There are magazine loading tools for .22 magazines that make the task of loading the magazine much less of a thumb buster. I don’t have one for the 22 Compact yet but there are two different types I will be trying in the near future.
Test different types of ammo to see which functions best in your gun. Guns will usually work better with some brands than others. CCI Mini-Mags are a good all-purpose ammunition but even they need to be tested in your gun. If you, or someone you know, keeps a .22 for Personal Defense, use good quality ammo in it for that purpose. Don’t use the cheapest bulk ammo you can find and then say the gun is unreliable.
The pros and cons of using a .22 for Personal Defense have been endlessly debated, so let’s not do that here. The fact is that people do, so let’s do it right. Keep the gun clean, lube it, and use good ammo. Odds are that if the ammo comes in a plastic box with individual rounds separated it will work. Ammo that comes in paper boxes tends to be suspect. That’s okay for practice but use good ammo for Defense.
Shooting a .22 can be a lot of fun. If you have a few accessories; it will be even easier. For some segments of the population, they’re the only viable choice.
FTC Notice: all the products in this article were purchased and no compensation is received for mentioning them.
Merry Christmas to all my friends. On Christmas morning, I enjoy putting on the burning Yule log, watching it while drinking coffee, and not thinking about much. I hope you all have an enjoyable day with family and friends.
Charlie and I had a fun interview.
Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)
- Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com
- Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com
- Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com
- Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice
- Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com
- Package deal of Serious Mistakes, Indoor Sessions, Concealed Carry, and Shooting Your Black Rifle (20% off) https://store.payloadz.com/details/2644448-ebooks-sports-shooting-drills-package.html
Things are starting to open back up, so we can get back to the range. To help you use your time and other resources productively when you go to shoot, here’s a package deal of my three most popular shooting workbooks:
- Indoor Range Practice Sessions
- Concealed Carry Skills and Drills
- Shooting Your Black Rifle
Ordinarily, these three together would sell for $23.97 but as a package, they are 20% off at only $18.99.
As an added Bonus, the ebook Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is included at no extra charge. It’s a free gift with a value of $7.99.
The package is available as an immediate download of all four ebooks at this link:
At one time, shooting was the American pastime, let’s get back to it.
The Mingle is an Invite Only Ladies event for women in the firearms and personal protection industries. It is hosted by The Complete Combatant and sponsored by numerous organizations and manufacturers of the industry. The 2019 Mingle was held on May 18-19. This was the first year that it was a two day event. Day 1, as in years past, was a networking event featuring a short presentation by a guest speaker. This year’s speaker was Chief Deputy Lee Weems of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. He gave an abbreviated version of his ‘Standing Your Ground’ class, which is about the dynamics of using deadly force. Lee’s presentation was sponsored by the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.
After the presentation, a buffet lunch was served and the ladies had some time for networking. Approximately 60 ladies attended and had a good opportunity to meet others from their own and other segments of the industry. At the end of the event, a multitude of door prizes was given away, including a Glock pistol. Each attendee also received a goodie bag with various and sundry small items.
This was the first year that a second day was added. Day 2 was devoted to live fire training at The Complete Combatant’s Dahlonega Georgia range. Day 2 was limited to 24 ladies who had to either be instructors or have had attended a previous training class of some sort.
The day’s events started with a demonstration and trial fire of the VP9 pistol by Heckler & Koch. H&K presented a short briefing about the pistol and then provided both pistols and ammunition for the attendees to try out.
The balance of the day’s activities consisted of three blocks of instruction and finally a short Qualification Course for the ladies to fire at the end of the day. Each block was two hours, with a lunch break between the first and the second. The Qualification was conducted concurrent with the third block. Each lady brought her own pistol and holster. All the major pistol manufacturers were represented in the ladies’ choices. They shot approximately 300 rounds during the day.
The first block of instruction was Developing the Concealed Draw by Brian Hill, head coach of The Complete Combatant. This class focused on Fundamentals and developing a repeatable, efficient, and accurate draw stroke. Some of the ladies had not drawn from a holster previous to Day 2, so this was an important piece of instruction.
Second came Close Range Precision Marksmanship by Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor. This class focused on developing the ability to accurately engage small targets within conversational distance.
Several innovative targets from Advanced Pistol Practice were included in the class to provide a more realistic approach to target engagement.
The final block of instruction was Image Based Decision Drills by Shelley Hill of The Complete Combatant. Each lady had to react to four different scenarios based on images on cards they turned over at random. The scenarios required a variety of responses ranging from disengagement to using deadly force. Tools such as inert cell phones, flashlights, and pepper spray were included in the drills.
The group was split into two and while half were doing the Image Based Decision Drills, the other half shot a short Qualification Course derived from the Los Angeles POlice Department’s Retired Officer Course. In this Qualification, the shooters had to use several different skills.
- Draw from a holster and Shoot
- Challenge an attacker
- Shoot from Low Ready
- Shoot with the Dominant Hand Only
- Make a Head Shot
It was a challenging course but all the ladies were able to make the requisite 70% passing score. Several made clean runs.
After the shooting tasks were completed, the ladies cleaned up the range, had a short debrief of the day, and then departed. All the ladies said the day had been an enjoyable and enlightening experience.
The Mingle 2020 will be held May 16-17, 2020. Interested ladies should contact The Complete Combatant for an invitation.
As some of you know, I have had some very serious health problems this year. The near death experience has taken some time for me to recover from.
I’m doing much better now and I’ll be back to posting.
For those who ordered Advanced Pistol Practice, I completely rewrote it during my convalescence and turned it into a downloadable format. I think the 2.0 version is much better than 1.0.
Everyone who ordered it should have received the download link. If not, please let me know and I will resend it to you. For those who ordered the USB version, I will be refunding you the $3.00 surcharge shortly.
For anyone who didn’t order it but would like some instant gratification, the download is available here http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=2613612 .
Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding. I’m looking forward to putting out some interesting material in the near future. As the Romulans said in The Neutral Zone, “We are back.”
Facebook gave me a good laugh this evening. Last year on this date, I did a podcast on Ballistic Radio entitled Dear Instructor, Get a Real Job. When I linked to it on Facebook, the following message popped up.
It literally made me Laugh Out Loud.
This is the podcast.
I’m not dead serious quite all the time. 🙂