I am really enjoying getting back into the habit of structured dry practice. Revolvers are great tools for dry practice, in some ways better than autoloading pistols.
This month, I am serving as the Match Director for the I’m With Roscoe http://imwithroscoe.com 2019 Internet Match. It’s based on the Pocket Revolver Championship of the US Revolver Association. The Championship, along with the other USRA Championships, is described in A.L.A. Himmelwright’s 1915 book Pistol and Revolver Shooting. https://www.amazon.com/Pistol-Revolver-Shooting-L-Himmelwright-ebook/dp/B00AQM9SK0
The course of fire is quite demanding. Originally, it consisted of five strings of five shots in 30 seconds at 50 yards on the original NRA B-6 bullseye target. It is shot one-handed. Since not many people have access to a 50 yard range, I changed it to using an NRA B-2 target at 50 feet. The B-2 is the 50 foot reduction of the B-6 so this was an easy change. Official Rules are available on the IWR Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/370742620287566/
Since it is a demanding course of fire, I’ve been doing dry practice for when I have the opportunity to shoot it live. My preparation is to work on the fundamentals. I practice with two revolvers each day, my pencil barrel Model 10 and my Model 38-2 J frame.
I created a reduced size target for dry practice, scaled for use at 10 feet. It is printed on a 5×8 index card. The target is stored behind a plaque for safety reasons. I take it out and position it when I start the session. Immediately after finishing the session, I conceal the target back behind the plaque prior to reloading my gun.
Since they’re both older guns, I protect their firing pins (hammer noses). For the K frame, I’m using a piece of plastic that fills in the rear of the cylinder. It was manufactured years ago by a gunsmith in New Jersey, long since out of business. The plastic has proven remarkably durable though. For the 38-2, I’m using ST Action Pro Dummy Rounds that I filled the primer pocket in with hot melt glue.
For a timer, I use the Dry Fire Practice Par Timer, from the Google App store, on my phone. It’s set to give me five strings of 30 seconds each with a six second delay between strings. At the beep, I snap five times single action. My actual times are working out to about 25-26 seconds per string. This allows some leeway to accommodate recoil management when I live fire. I rest briefly between the strings.
What I am concentrating on when snapping is minimizing my wobble zone, pressing the trigger smoothly, and following through. These are especially important when shooting one handed. The follow-through is the aspect I have to personally work hardest on. Of those three fundamentals, follow-through is the hardest to learn in live fire so the dry practice is doing me a great deal of good.
It’s been good getting back into daily dry practice. I include dry practice in my shooting workbooks for a reason; it works. If you would like to try your hand at it, this is the reduced scale target. IWR Internet Match dry practice target 5×8 10 feet
Tactical Professor books
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/
Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com
It’s all hype by the media to boost their ratings. The active shooter possibility is so small it wouldn’t even be worth talking about if the media didn’t stir up such a (you-know-what) storm about it. Look at the breakout for 2017, the latest year exact numbers are available. Note that the mass shootings number for 2017 includes the Las Vegas concert incident so it’s higher than other years.
Source: CDC and Time
In comparison, how often do you hear about multiple fatality car crashes on the news? They rate one minute, once. Then they’re out of sight and out of mind. In 2017, the CDC figure for car fatalities is 40,231. Dead is dead, period. Run an internet search for “multiple fatality car crash” and limit the search period to the past month. The number you’ll find is shocking.
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.”
Because I’ve been asked for it so often, I’ve created a Skill Development practice program that goes far beyond my first two books, Concealed Carry Skills and Drills and Indoor Range Practice Sessions. CCSD and IRPS were intended for newer or inexperienced shooters.
The new Program is called Advanced Pistol Practice. It is intended for those shooters who are familiar with their handguns and are serious about taking their skills, both Technical and Decisional, to a much higher level. Although many people would like to take a high level training course, that’s often difficult or impossible because of resource constraints. While it can’t provide the practiced eye of a good instructor, Advanced Pistol Practice provides shooters with a practice approach similar to those used by many good trainers. It uses an integrated approach to Skills Development incorporating both Live Fire and Dry Practice that is found in many high level training courses.
The Live Fire component consists of Technical Drills, Decisional Drills, and Scenarios. While numerous technical shooting drills are widely available, drills that develop the skill of ‘thinking with a gun in hand’ are much less common. The Decisional Drills included in APP are intended to fill this gap. They consist of both Don’t Shoot/Shoot exercises and target identification/follow-up hit assessment exercises. Scenario shooting should be a part of every shooter’s practice but creating realistic scenarios isn’t always easy. The Live Fire Scenarios in APP are based on actual shootings, gunfights, and gunbattles involving both Private Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers, especially off-duty LE incidents.
Snub revolvers continue to maintain a healthy presence as backup and hideout gun among knowledgeable guncarriers. The Snub Revolver Program Of Instruction that I developed and used for many years is included in APP. Snubs are neither “arm’s length guns” nor “one-shot close range shotguns.” Given a structured practice regimen, shooters can learn to accomplish good work with a snub revolver. Dry Practice exercises for the snub are included in the Program, as well.
Dry Practice is often the most challenging practice component of Skill Development because it tends to be unstructured and boring, leading to unproductive “grabasstic gun-clicking.” To combat this, APP includes a series of different structured audio programs in different voices with different sound effects to keep dry practice focused and interesting. Since the space available for dry practice is usually limited, APP also includes reduced scale targets to facilitate the dry practice.
Proficient shooters are frequently asked by new or prospective gunowners to provide an introduction to shooting. To assist the proficient shooter in setting up a new shooter for success, APP includes a short training outline suitable for those with little experience with firearms. Setting up a new shooter for a productive and enjoyable session is an important part of growing our community. The New Shooter Outline can help a proficient shooter do that.
Recognizing that firearms are periodically involved in unfortunate situations, Advanced Pistol Practice also includes the entire Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes recording as MP3 files. The potential personal disasters that can result from poor decision-making and not thinking ahead are often overlooked among firearms owners. Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes challenges the gunowner to think ahead and avoid the pitfalls that can occur during ownership and incidents.
Advanced Pistol Practice is more than a book and contains many audio files and graphics. Consequently, it’s not feasible to offer it as a download. It’s available on my webstore in two formats; CD and USB flash drive. The CD version is $19.95, shipped. There’s a $3 additional charge for the USB flash drive option.
The Program is about the price of one box of ammunition and will pay for itself many times over by saving time, ammunition, and perhaps even lives.
One of the challenges with rifles is evaluating proficiency with limited resources. One approach is the US Army Scaled Target Alternate Qualification Course. The Course is found in Field Manual 3-22.9 . It can be shot on any range that has 25 meters (28 yards) of space. Even if your range only has 25 yards, it’s still a good course; just recognize that the targets are 10 percent closer than the values on the target.
There are three Tables (stages) totaling 40 rounds.
As [the Officer] struggled with Villalon, [the homeowner] drew a handgun and fired in their direction, striking the officer on his right arm, according to police.
This is the Negative Outcome I categorize as ‘Downrange Failure,’ i.e., hit someone downrange who wasn’t the criminal. It’s the smallest category of Negative Outcomes but the consequences tend to be high.
Becoming reasonably skilled with a handgun isn’t always a fun process. A lot of it is simply repetition of basic techniques until we have achieved automaticity, which is frequently and incorrectly referred to as ‘muscle memory.’
The reason most POlice and CCW qualification courses consist of high round count strings is simply to get the testing over with as quickly as possible. The underlying object is to facilitate the evaluation process, not to ‘train’ the shooter. When we’re practicing on our own, ‘getting it over with’ doesn’t have to be our primary concern, nor should it be.
When we’re practicing for skill development, almost all of our time should be spent firing one or two shots at a time. For competitive shooters, using Bill Drills to practice recoil management does have value. For purposes of personal protection, however, the reality is that learning to put the first shot on target every single time has a lot more value.
When learning to shoot at distance, single shot drills are almost mandatory.
As a refresher, here are some links to previous articles about aspects of learning to shoot well.
Most of the drills in my eBooks are three shots or less. They’re workbooks, which implies to use them, you have to do some work. Work is not always fun. Sorry, that’s just adult life. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun shooting but rather that learning to shoot well isn’t always a fun process.
For those who carry a concealed firearm, Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com
For those who don’t carry a concealed firearm but keep a handgun for home defense, Indoor Range Practice Sessions, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com
My downloadable recording, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, http://seriousgunownermistakes.com is particularly appropriate when analyzing incidents, not necessarily Defensive Gun Uses, involving firearms.
The discussion of shooting someone in your home without warning or identification has reared its ugly head again. “I’ll shoot anyone in my home” is probably the second most foolish and ill-considered dogma among gun owners today; “It’s not loaded” being the first.
During the Sack of Béziers in 1209 AD, the Abbot of Citeaux, Arnaud Amalric, head of the Crusaders, is reputed to have said: “Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own [Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius].” Although it is disputed whether the Abbot actually said this, it is the source of the quip, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” If you consider it for just a few seconds, “I’ll kill anyone in my house” is philosophically not very far from this. Hopefully, we’ve gotten a little smarter and humane over the course of nine Centuries.
Children sneak in and out of the house, spouses get up to go to the bathroom, friends try to surprise you, and people who are mentally challenged, either permanently or temporarily by intoxicants, enter into homes without malicious intent.
I now have close to a hundred Negative Outcome mistaken identity shootings in my database in which someone shot their spouse or child. Those people will never get another good night’s sleep as long as they live. For the ones where the shootee survived, I doubt the relationship will ever be the same. For those who think they’ll check to make sure all their family members are in bed first, that doesn’t always work, either.
And shooting some poor old geezer who has Alzheimer’s isn’t any better, just because he’s not a member of your family. In that particular case, there was no prosecution but the Cost of Killing was still enormous.
On average, my research indicates that someone mistakenly shoots their spouse, child, or other innocent person in their home every single week in the United States. Two words, “Who’s there?” and a flashlight would go a long way to prevent these tragedies. “Challenging will give my position away,” “The flashlight draws fire,” “blah-blah-blah;” that’s all foolishness parroted by people who have no understanding of METT-TC. Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time available, and Civil considerations.
Veterans who should have learned about METT-TC, but didn’t, annoy me greatly when they prattle this kind of foolishness. To be fair, I really didn’t understand it until I was a Staff Sergeant and even then only vaguely. This is another reason not to listen to opinions from people whose only real claim to fame is that they qualified Expert with some weapon in the military. Someone’s ability to Qualify with a rifle has ZERO to do with their understanding of any tactics at all, much less tactics about highly ambiguous situations. A better criterion than Qualification would be “How many Operations Orders have you written?” If the answer is Less than ten or especially None, then the person’s ability to plan any operation is questionable.
The odds that the bump in the night are an intruder are low. I’ve calculated them at three percent but I can accept other numbers. More likely, it’s an innocent party. How many of us have investigated a bump in the night as compared to how many of us have then found someone who needed shooting? The stakes are very high, the life of a loved one or innocent party. Some localities are now prosecuting Mistaken Identity shootings as Manslaughter or Second Degree Murder. Even when there are no legal consequences, the psychological toll will most likely be for a lifetime.
The Flashlight chapter of Indoor Range Practice Sessions is a FREE download. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2505573-ebooks-law-indoor-range-session-11-flashlight.html Please get it, practice using your light, learn to speak while holding your gun, and think about identifying people before shooting at them.
You could even buy the whole book, if you want to learn something about shooting. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2501143-ebooks-education-indoor-range-practice-sessions.html
I’m running a Black Friday weekend special on both my eBooks – Concealed Carry Skills and Drills and Indoor Range Practice Sessions. Through Sunday, they’re 20% off. Ordinarily, priced at $9.95 but for the weekend, $7.96.