Category Archives: revolvers

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.

Positive people are a joy to be around

#mindsetmonday

Saturday, I went to a range dedication. Without going into a lot of detail, Corky’s Day, which was the inaugural event for the Hamilton Steel Range in Dahlonega, was a great example to me of how nice it is to be in the company of positive people. In the troubled times that are coming, we all will need to surround ourselves with positive people as much as possible.

The rest is on my Patreon page for Public viewing.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/46101857

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.

Private lesson –Training Modules

I had the opportunity to exchange a private lesson for a haircut today. The stylist is an experienced shooter who has taken a number of classes and can run a pistol quite competently. This made the choice of modules for the lesson a little different than might usually be done for a private lesson. Since we were at her home, no live fire was indicated. I used three different learning modules for her lesson.

Image Based Decisional Drills

The first module was using the Image Based Decisional Drills from The Complete Combatant. http://www.thecompletecombatant.com/image-based-decisional-drills.html Only one category of Negative Outcomes relates to marksmanship, the other ten relate to Bad Decisions of one sort of another. IBDD provides a useful method to practice interactive decision-making. Although it was originally developed for live fire purposes, it can easily be done without live fire by using an inert training pistol.

We set up a small training area with a face target.

3 IBDD layout face circled

It took only a few minutes to run through all 25 cards in the deck.

4 IBDD completed

Using IBDD to put context into the manipulation process showed that some supplemental instruction was in order. The supplemental items we covered were:

  • Correct grip for pepper spray.
  • Trigger manipulation under stress.
  • Sequencing of movement, verbal communication, and firing.
  • Non-verbal communication techniques for dealing with low life individuals.
  • Changing direction quickly (close order drill).

This is an overview of the Image Based Decisional Drill concept, process, and kit.

Using a SIRT pistol is an excellent tool for non-firing sessions with IBDD but even an inexpensive toy gun from WalMart would be an adequate training aid.

Walmart XD Glock

NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training Course

Even with experienced shooters, I am finding value in the NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training Course. https://www.nrainstructors.org/CatalogInfo.aspx?cid=47

By adjusting the laser dot above the sights of a SIRT pistol, the simulator allows the operator to see the effect of their trigger manipulation and follow-through. The sights on my SIRT have been replaced with real metal sights.

SIRT

Any NRA Certified Pistol Instructor can conduct the NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training Course. The Course of Fire is not specified so I use the previous and current versions of the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting qualification test.

Introduction to Snub Revolver

Finally, we did a quick dry practice introduction to the snub revolver. Since she is an experienced shooter, the introduction focused mostly on the differences between the revolver and an autoloader. The overview consisted of:

  • Proper grip for a revolver.
  • Trigger finger positioning and manipulation.
  • Accessing a downed partner’s weapon from both face up and face down positions.

A great deal can be accomplished in a couple of hours when live fire isn’t required and contextual Learning Objectives are established.

To avoid confusion, I won’t list my books in this post because they’re not free. If you would be interested in purchasing any of my shooting workbooks for handgun or rifle, they are available from the menu at the top of the page. As the American Insurgency escalates, you may find having a functional knowledge of the weapons you own to be useful.

Know the rules or suffer a Negative Outcome

know the rules

Whatever side of the mask controversy you’re on, pulling a gun on someone because they want you to wear a mask is foolish.

According to prosecutors, the victim told police he was shopping in the produce section when he saw a man not wearing a mask. The victim told police he approached the man and told him to ‘put a mask on like the rest of us,’ prosecutors said.

After arguing, prosecutors said the man pulled his .22-caliber revolver from its holster, pointed it at the victim’s sternum, said ‘get the f— away’ and threatened to shoot him.

https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/prosecutors-man-told-put-mask-like-rest-us-pulled-gun-fred-meyer-shopper/LKIWZGE5JZGQHOEVM4YPFC5XXU/

Prosecutors are requesting second-degree assault, third-degree assault and resisting arrest charges.

This man is in the process of suffering a Negative Outcome. Whatever the end disposition is, it will be expensive. The Process will probably not be the only Punishment.

Another aspect of the situation is the possibility of someone in such an agitated state having an Unintentional Discharge when they pull a gun. His weapon was pointed at the interventionist’s sternum and not ‘below the subject’s feet.’ Any intervention carries an element of risk associated with it. An alternate Negative Outcome would be springing a leak as a result of giving someone your two cents. Fortunately, the agitated man was carrying a revolver in this case.

As a peripheral issue, notice also the ineffectual positioning of the POlice department spokesperson’s mask.

Screenshot_2020-07-19 Prosecutors Man told to ‘put on a mask like the rest of us’ pulled gun on Fred Meyer shopper

To avoid confusion, I won’t list my books in this post because they’re not free. If you would be interested in purchasing any of my shooting workbooks for handgun or rifle, they are available from the menu at the top of the page. As the American Insurgency escalates, you may find having a functional knowledge of the weapons you own to be useful.

 

Revolver Operator Course – The Pence Drill

We had a very successful Revolver Operator Course this past weekend. One of the two keystone drills of the course is the Pence Drill, named in honor of Officer Skip Pence of the California Highway Patrol. Officer Pence was murdered in the Newhall Incident in 1970. Historical gunfights can be the basis for an important part of training classes. Officer Pence’s sacrifice is uniquely appropriate for inclusion in a class about running the wheelgun.

The Learning Objectives of the Pence Drill are smooth trigger manipulation, calm ammo management, and effective Time Management under fire.

RIP Officer Skip Pence

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

The Newhall Incident anniversary

At 11:55 p.m., April 5, 1970, two Officers of the California Highway Patrol stopped a car for brandishing a firearm at another vehicle hours earlier. Minutes later, they and two other CHP Officers would lie dead in the parking lot of the restaurant where the stop took place. Their murderers would escape into the night, virtually unscathed in the gunfire.

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/the-newhall-incident-april-1970/

RIP, Officers Frago, Gore, Alleyn, and Pence.