Category Archives: J frame

3X3X3 – Level One

Three Shots, Three Seconds, Three Yards has been discussed in the context of gunfights since the 1970s. It is the most commonly cited statistic about gunfights.

Practicing to hit the silhouette every time using the 3X3X3 basis is Level One of learning to shoot the drill well. It is a good baseline for entry level shooters and those who have never measured their performance.

Level One – hit a silhouette consistently

Level Two – hit a sheet of paper consistently

Level Three – hit a half sheet of paper consistently

Level Four – hit a quarter sheet of paper consistently

The dry practice drill was discussed in a previous post.

Here’s the live fire version.

When I wrote Real Shootouts of the LAPD, I wasn’t surprised that NYPD Lt. Frank McGee was pretty much on the mark when he first described it. Almost all of the off-duty shootouts fit into that statistic.

A related note is that I fired about 100 .22 Long Rifle rounds through my 317 snub with a standard (8.5 lb) mainspring. There was not one Failure to Fire during the session. Ammunition for my .38 is precious and hard to come by so I used the .22 for demo purposes. For those who think that was cheating, I also shot with my SCCY CPX-2 9mm.

If you would like to purchase my book about actual shootouts that are not a figbar of someone’s imagination, click on the image below.

Dry Practice on the Road

#safetysunday

When traveling, we can still do our dry practice. In fact, it may be more important when traveling than any other time. We’re more vulnerable and lack the underlying knowledge of our surroundings that we have during our usual activities in our home area.

Since we’re not at home, some of our usual safety protocols may not be available to us. For instance, our usual safe practice area is no longer available to us. Also, if our home practice regimen involves using a target that is generally concealed unless we are practicing, that will not be an option.

These limitations mean we have to use alternate safety protocols for our dry practice. Having an Unintentional Discharge in a motel room or in the home of a friend or relative will certainly lead to a Negative Outcome. Anyone who has run a major firearms training facility has stories of clients who had UDs in their motel rooms and the consequences. At the very least, the POlice will become involved to some extent. At worst, someone is killed and the consequences are grave. Having a UD in a friend or relative’s home may not result in POlice involvement but is unlikely to have a positive effect on the relationship.

Some of our home protocols can be modified but still used to some extent. The most important thing to remember is that safety protocols have the same importance when we are on the road as when we are at home.

In terms of the practice area, we want to choose the least dangerous direction for our practice. Depending on the nature of the building’s construction, a bullet resistant wall simply may not be available. In that case, we must choose the direction that is least likely to result in a casualty if a round is fired. A bullet hole in a door that opens out to a brick wall has less consequences than a bullet hole in a guest in an adjoining room. Consider carefully where an errant bullet might go before choosing your practice direction.

Next, use a target. A sheet of paper with a heart drawn on it is a good target for a ‘3 shots in 3 seconds at 3 yards’ Even more about Skill Development practice regimen. Putting a few small spots on it provides targets for precision aiming and trigger practice work.

A few easily carried training aids are useful for ensuring safe practice with a revolver. The first is inert ammunition. Three different types of inert ammunition are easily carried in an 18 round MTM Ammo case. The Ammo Case is itself a part of the safety protocols.

The first training aid is snap caps. Different varieties are available. If the primer pocket isn’t filled, such as with the ST-Action Pro inert ammo, you can fill the pockets in with a hot melt glue gun and trim the excess off. This will protect the firing pin or hammer nose of your revolver. Good snap caps are easily identifiable by their color. A-Zoom has recently started making their snap caps in orange, which are more identifiable when loaded in a blue steel gun than the darker A-Zoom offering. The spring loaded primer type of snap caps have a limited service life and are not recommended for serious practice.

After unloading the revolver, replace the live ammunition with snap caps. Since two objects cannot fit in the same place at the same time, this precludes leaving one live round in the cylinder, which is not an unknown occurrence, as gunowners sometimes discover. After the snap caps have been loaded into the revolver, put the live ammunition in the Ammo Case and count the number of rounds. If the rounds you place in the case are less in number than the capacity of your revolver, the FBI calls that ‘a clue.’

A second training aid is full weight dummies for reloading practice. Snap caps are a good safety aid and for protecting the revolver, however, they usually lack the weight necessary for effective reloading practice. Dummy ammo should be easily identifiable, which is often a problem with homemade dummies. The dummies in the picture were made from Blazer Aluminum cases scrounged from a local indoor range. The bullet noses and cartridge base are colored blue with a Magic Marker for additional visual identification.

The third training aid is fired cases. Reload practice with revolvers should always include getting the empty cases out in addition to reloading with fresh ammo/dummies. A new speedloader manufacturer that was displaying at the SHOT Show years ago failed to consider this in their demonstration. When asked how the empty cases were to be ejected while holding the revolver in one hand and the speedloader in the other, a blank stare was the only answer.

A pistol case is another training aid for practice on the road. The pistol case is for placing the pistol in after the practice session has been finished and the gun reloaded.

The sequence for finishing the session is:

  1. Declare out loud “This session is finished.”
  2. Take the target down.
  3. Remove whatever snap caps/dummies/fired cases are in the gun.
  4. Set the gun down completely empty.
  5. Again, declare out loud “This session is finished.”
  6. Load the pistol with live ammunition.
  7. Place the loaded pistol in the pistol case. The case does not have to be complete zipped but should be at least partially. This is a visual and situational indicator that the gun is loaded and not available for practice.
  8. Do something else to remove dry practice from your thoughts.

Reading something dry and difficult is a good way to remove dry practice from your thoughts.

Keeping an awareness of safety in mind allows us to maintain our proficiency on the road without menacing innocent people around us.

The circumstances of Unintentional Discharges at home are covered as the third Section of Real Shootouts of the LAPD. Off-duty Officer Involved Shootings and Officer Involved Animal Shootings are the first two. If you would like to purchase the book, click on the cover below.

Helping or hurting your case

The justifiability of this shooting will be determined in the courtroom. However, it’s fairly safe to say that not reporting a shooting/killing to the POlice and subsequently tampering with evidence, i.e., throwing the spent shell casings in the dumpster and concealing the revolver, is unlikely to help your case.

Win, Lose, or Draw; the cost of this killing will be high, both psychologically and financially.

https://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonewsrepublic/news/local/crime-and-courts/woman-accused-of-homicide-tells-sauk-county-investigators-she-acted-in-self-defense-during-sex/article_60167eb2-b368-5cd6-8d0a-93c264bbf957.html

Also, the optics of two shots to the back of the head are not good.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

Dry Practice Safety – Part II

#fridayfundamentals

The LAPD Categorical Use Of Force report about the UD of a snub revolver http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/040-19%20PR%20(NTUD).pdf generated a fair amount of interest. Here’s a follow-on idea.

These three Lessons To Be Learned From The Incident were mentioned last time.

  • While we sometimes have to perform administrative functions with our guns, those administrative actions should mimic our actual handling and firing procedures, whenever possible. In this case, ejecting the rounds straight down as if getting ready to reload would be a better procedure.
  • Count the rounds when they come out of the revolver. You should be aware how many chambers your revolver has. Five chambers but only four rounds indicates a problem. Note that a nickel plated single round in the cylinder of a stainless or anodized revolver is not necessarily immediately obvious. By counting the rounds and then carefully examining the cylinder, the chances of a round remaining in a chamber is mitigated.
  • Dummy ammunition not only protects the firing pin, hammer nose, or striker of a handgun during dry practice, it also provides an additional layer of safety during the practice session. If a visually identifiable dummy is in the chamber(s), then a live round cannot be. This is also physics. Dummies are available from A-Zoom and ST Action Pro. They can be found on Amazon or better gun stores.

Keeping a speedloader filled with dummy rounds accessible allows you to accomplish all three of these tasks. You could do the same thing with a Speed Strip, pouch, or loops.

J box dummies arrow

  1. Put your speedloader where you might carry it. If you don’t habitually carry a speedloader for your reload, just put it in your pocket.
  2. Eject the live rounds from your revolver on the ground.
  3. Reload with the dummies using the speedloader.
  4. Holster your revolver.
  5. Put the live rounds in the speedloader and secure it with your other live ammunition.
  6. Go to your dry practice area, which is a place where there is no live ammunition.
  7. When you have finished your dry practice, put your revolver away without reloading it.
  8. Do something else to remove dry practice from your thoughts.
  9. When dry practice is distant from your thoughts, reverse the reloading process and reload your revolver with the live ammunition. Replace the dummy rounds in the speedloader. This gives you a reminder that your revolver is now loaded with live ammunition.
  10. Put your revolver away or immediately exit your home to preclude the last repetition that makes a loud noise.

Using this procedure helps protect you, your gun, and gets in two good reloading repetitions.

Tactical Professor books are NOT FREE but if you would be interested in knowing how to better operate the firearms you own during the American Insurgency, they can be purchased from the menu at the top of the page.

Dry Practice Safety

#wheelgunwednesday

There are many valuable lessons to be learned from the LAPD Categorical Use Of Force reports. http://www.lapdonline.org/categorical_use_of_force Most of those lessons relate to the dynamics of Officer Involved Shootings. However, the reports also provide a detailed account for every Unintentional Discharge by a Los Angeles POlice Officer. This particular incident relates to the UD of a snub revolver.

http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/040-19%20PR%20(NTUD).pdf

Incident Summary

Officer A brought his/her back-up service revolver home with the intention to clean it.

With the muzzle of the revolver pointed toward the ground, Officer A held the revolver with his/her right hand and used his/her right thumb to push the cylinder release button, disengaging the cylinder from the revolver. Once the cylinder disengaged, Officer A placed his/her left hand under the open cylinder and used his/her left index finger to depress the ejector rod, releasing the live rounds into his/her left hand. Officer A did not count the live rounds and placed them on top of the kitchen counter directly behind him/her. Officer A then closed the cylinder.

Officer A held his/her revolver with two hands in a standing shooting position. He/she raised his/her revolver and pointed it in the direction of the vertical blinds covering a sliding glass doors, which led to an exterior patio. Officer A placed his/her finger on the trigger and pressed it to dry fire the revolver. Officer A conducted two dry fire presses of the trigger.

According to Officer A, he/she normally conducted dry trigger press exercises approximately three times per week, on his/her days off. However, Officer A stated that he/she usually practices with his/her semi-automatic service pistol, and this was the first time that he/she practiced with his/her revolver.

According to Officer A, believing his/her revolver was still unloaded, he/she placed his/her finger on the trigger and pressed it a third time, which caused the revolver to discharge a single round. No one was injured by the discharge.

Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners’ Findings

The BOPC determined that Officer A’s actions violated the Department’s Basic Firearm Safety Rules and found Officer A’s Unintentional Discharge to be Negligent.

Lessons To Be Learned From The Incident

The value of reading about incidents like this is not to criticize or heap scorn but rather to learn hard lessons from someone else’s Negative Outcome.

  • Revolvers have multiple chambers not just one like an autoloading pistol. Especially if the revolver is dirty, either from firing or carrying, it’s not uncommon for one or two rounds to remain in the cylinder when the rest eject. Two factors can contribute to this. One, the ejector rod of a snub is shorter than the cases so it doesn’t push the rounds completely out. Two, gravity has effect when loading or unloading a revolver. If the revolver is not held completely vertical when being unloaded, gravity causes the cases to drag on the bottom of the chambers. This is simply physics in action.
  • “Officer A placed his/her left hand under the open cylinder and used his/her left index finger to depress the ejector rod, releasing the live rounds into his/her left hand.” This is pretty much impossible to do with the revolver held vertically. It is also a bad repetition of reloading procedure. While we sometimes have to perform administrative functions with our guns, those administrative actions should mimic our actual handling and firing procedures, whenever possible. In this case, ejecting the rounds straight down as if getting ready to reload would be a better procedure.
  • Count the rounds when they come out of the revolver. You should be aware how many chambers your revolver has. Five chambers but only four rounds indicates a problem. Note that a nickel plated single round in the cylinder of a stainless or anodized revolver is not necessarily immediately obvious. By counting the rounds and then carefully examining the cylinder, the chances of a round remaining in a chamber is mitigated.
  • Dummy ammunition not only protects the firing pin, hammer nose, or striker of a handgun during dry practice, it also provides an additional layer of safety during the practice session. If a visually identifiable dummy is in the chamber(s), then a live round cannot be. This is also physics. Dummies are available from A-Zoom and ST Action Pro. They can be found on Amazon or better gun stores.
  • Dry practice should always be conducted at a specific target located on some kind of bullet resistant backstop. “[V]ertical blinds covering a sliding glass doors [sic] leading to an exterior patio” DO NOT fulfill this requirement.

Dry practice is a valuable way to build skill, especially with a wheelgun. Make sure that you are alert and focused on the task and observe safety procedures rigorously.

Tactical Professor books are NOT FREE but if you would be interested in knowing how to better operate the firearms you own during the American Insurgency, they can be purchased from the menu at the top of the page.

Snub Dry Practice During the Beer Plague

#wheelgunwednesday

We can use our time at home productively during the Beer Plague by doing some dry practice. Here’s a regimen for snub revolvers that’s quick and useful. It’s derived from the LAPD Back Up Firearm Qualification Course. There are two targets at 3 yards.

Use Double range square

String 1

From a concealed holster, using two hands, draw and snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.

String 2

From a concealed holster, using two hands, draw and snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.

String 3

From a concealed holster, using the Primary hand only, draw and snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.

String 4

From a concealed holster, using the Primary hand only, draw and snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.

String 5

From Low Ready, using the Support hand only, snap twice on the right target, twice on the left target, then one snap on the right head.

String 6

From Low Ready, using the Support hand only, snap twice on the left target, twice on the right target, then one snap on the left head.

Use Chief 2

You can use fired cases as snap caps to protect the hammer nose (firing pin). Marking the case head with a black Sharpie provides a visual indicator that the case is a snap cap and not a wadcutter. Having a specific container for them keeps them easily accessible.

tacticalprofessor header promo

Upcoming Class Announcements

Personal Performance – May 3, 2020 (Dahlonega, Georgia)

$99 class fee, payable in advance. $20 range fee, payable day of class.

This Course is designed to give clients a clear measure of where their skills are at and what they need to do to improve their current skill level. It is based on the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and all shooters will receive NRA awards, based on their achievement during the Course. Shooters do not need to be NRA members to receive their awards. Clients will receive a take home program to maintain and improve the skills exercised during the Course.

The Course is taught in conjunction with Brian and Shelley Hill of The Complete Combatant.

To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/may-2020-personal-performance-tickets-86377997917

Pocket Pistol 101 and Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (A weekend with the Tactical Professor) – May 30 – 31, 2020 (Weatherford, Texas near Forth Worth)

$300

Join us for two full days of practical skill development, theoretical concepts, and realistic application of both skill and theory to Personal Protection Problem Solving with Claude Werner, AKA “The Tactical Professor”. All instruction is based on twenty years of research and analysis of over 5,000 actual incidents involving Armed Citizens rather than the Police.

Pocket Pistol 101 (Day One): Learn the skills needed to effectively use SMALL handguns for Personal Protection.  Pocket Pistols, such as snubnose revolvers and .380 and small 9mm autoloaders, have manuals of arms and performance limitations that differ significantly from service-size handguns. They are very frequently carried for Personal Protection but often not trained with. This course is designed to teach students proven gunhandling techniques unique to Pocket Rockets, increase the students’ understanding of the shooting characteristics associated with handguns that are smaller, shorter, lighter, and often equipped with sub-optimal sights, and how to enhance their ability to make timely and accurate hits. Both firing line drills and scenario-based exercises (NOTE: Man v. Man Drills) are used as skill builders in the course.

Strategy, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (STOPP) (Day Two – Morning): This classroom segment focuses on helping clients define the Strategies, Options, and Tactics that are appropriate for them personally in the area of Personal Protection. By defining personal Strategies and being aware of possible Options, the Tactics appropriate to a person’s goals and lifestyle can be chosen. These are unique to each person and no one size fits all. Being aware of a range of possibilities in advance of criminal encounters helps the client avoid Serious Mistakes and achieve Positive Outcomes. All clients taking the class will receive a copy of the book Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes by the Tactical Professor.

Scenario Based Live Fire Exercises (Day Two – Afternoon): The ability to perform effectively on an individual basis is a fundamental aspect of Personal Protection. Each client will have the opportunity to individually examine their performance envelope in re-creations of actual incidents that involved Armed Citizens. The re-creations will mirror the conditions and difficulties that Armed Citizens face when protecting themselves and their families from the criminal element.

To register, visit: https://www.ptgtrainingllc.com/store/p48/A_Weekend_with_the_Tactical_Professor.html

Revolver Operator Course – July 11, 2020 (Dahlonega, Georgia)

$149 class fee, payable in advance. $20 range fee

Small revolvers are often carried for Personal Protection. However, their size and light weight make training and practice difficult. This class uses service size revolvers as the principal training tools for learning the general principles of trigger manipulation, reloading, and gunhandling with revolvers.

After learning the general principles for Revolver Operators with service revolvers, small revolvers will be introduced into the curriculum. The differences between using service revolvers and small revolvers will be explained and practiced. An evaluation test will be shot at the end of the course to allow clients to establish a baseline for their own future performance evaluations. Clients will be given a handbook to guide their practice efforts after the course.

To register: email tacticalprofessor@gmail.com You will be invoiced for the class fee. Once the payment is received, your spot is reserved. The range fee will be collected in cash the day of the class.

First shots of the decade

First shots of the decade for me. I was invited to a local indoor range, so I shot the Ill-Annoy POlice qual and the Swiss CCW qual with a .22 revolver and .22 autoloader.

The ammo was Winchester M22. The 43C had one Failure to Fire so I applied Immediate Action, to wit: press the trigger again. That solved the stoppage.

With the M&P 22 Compact I had no Failures to Fire or other stoppages.

The Ill-Annoy qual is 30 rounds and the Swiss qual is 18. The target for the Ill-Annoy qual is a piece of legal size paper in portrait mode, so I used my letter size equivalent. The specified target for the Swiss qual has a hit zone approximately equal to the -1 zone of an IDPA target so I used my letter size target to increase the challenge slightly.

They are both timed courses, which can be problematic on indoor ranges. I used theDry Fire Par Time Tracker phone app and corded the phone to Howard Leight Sync Muffs. That solution worked reasonably well.

It was nice to get out and do some shooting.

 

Getting more out of your Snub’s Sights

#wheelgunwednesday

If you can’t see the sights on your snub, you can’t use them. While there are some ways gunsmiths can put better sights on a snub, careful application of paint and perhaps Magic Marker can go a long way to improving your ability to see the sights. Most snubs’ sights are not of a color to contrast against the target. The lack of contrast makes it difficult to pick up a quick visual reference. Fire trucks and school buses aren’t painted blue or silver for a reason. Silver generates glare easily and blue doesn’t contrast against a dark target nor in limited visibility.

Colored nail polish or paint is an old trick to increase the visibility of the front sight. If you paint the sight first with white paint as an undercoating, the color will stand out much better. Degrease the sight before applying paint to ensure the paint sticks. Let the white paint cure completely and then apply the color paint over the white.

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Running the Snub – Recoil Management

First in a series about ‘Running the Snub.’

In a discussion of revolver reloading techniques on my 1000 Days of Dryfire Facebook group,  I posted a video of myself shooting the Alabama State IDPA Championship with a snub revolver.

The video generated the following question, which I think is worth some discussion and explanation.

Claude, I watched your video, and to me, you display amazing recoil management – the gun hardly moves. I was under the impression that snubbies are especially hard to shoot and control, particularly in this skill area. Can you share what you are doing to control recoil so well? Maybe details on how you grip the gun, and what kind of load you are firing?

Let’s deal with the simple questions first. I was shooting a two inch K frame at the Championship, which weighs almost twice what an Airweight J Frame does. That has some effect on the recoil management. The load I was using was my IDPA handload, which is ballistically equivalent to 158 grain Round Nose Lead standard pressure. I prefer not to use lead bullets so my load used a plated bullet.

The next issue to deal with is “snubbies are especially hard to shoot and control.” That’s been ‘common knowledge’ among the shooting community for as long as I can remember but how true is it? Like many other aspects of ‘common knowledge’ among gun industry common taters, I’m skeptical about that. So, I decided to do a little more Comparative Testing.

The test I chose was 5^4 (5 rounds in no more than 5 seconds at 5 yards into a 5 inch or less group). The 5^4 protocol was originally developed by Gila Hayes of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network for her book, Effective Defense: The Woman, the Plan, the Gun and subsequent later editions. .

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