Category Archives: skills

Chicago Concealed Carry in the news

It pains me that my hometown of Chicargo has now become infamous as perhaps the murder capital of the world. The situation is so outrageous that I give thanks regularly I no longer live there.

Nearly 50 Shot During Weekend in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/11/08/nearly-50-shot-during-weekend-in-mayor-lori-lightfoots-chicago/

The good news about Chicago now is that Private Citizens have the legal capability to carry firearms for personal protection.

Elderly retired firefighter with concealed carry [License] shoots Chicago robber dead: police

https://www.foxnews.com/us/chicago-elderly-man-firefighter-shoots-kills-robber

Chicago conceal carry [License] holder guns down car thief after being shot at in the street

https://www.foxnews.com/us/chicago-licensed-carry-holder-guns-down-car-thief-response-being-shot

It’s always entertaining when the media uses the term “guns down.” Makes it sound like an unlawful killing, even when it’s not.

Those of us who wanted to carry when I lived there either had to do so illegally or go through some rigmarole such as working an unpaid shift as a Cook County bailiff each month.

The story about the elderly firefighter defending himself pleases me so much that I’m offering Concealed Carry Skills and Drills and Indoor Range Practice Sessions along with a face target of the notorious BTK murderer for only $7.99. As always, my most important work, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is included at no extra cost.

Link to package:

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3384555

The custom face target, included as a PDF in the package.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

The direct purchase link for the STOPP Presentation is:

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting (Part 2)

#fridayfundamentals

Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting (Part 1)

The first Fundamental of Pistol Shooting is:

  • Grip the pistol firmly.

The proper grip for any handgun should accomplish several objectives:

  1. Maximize our hand friction on the handgun. The way we prevent the handgun from moving around in our hand(s) is simply via friction. Therefore, the more hand surface we have in contact with the gun, the more friction we can achieve.
  2. Minimize the gun’s motion during recoil by stabilizing the supporting joints, principally the wrists, when the gun fires.
  3. Reduce the distance between the line of the handgun’s bore and our hands to the smallest amount possible. This diminishes the rotational torque generated by the handgun upon firing.

After establishing the appropriate grip, a series of index points can be used to feel when the grip has been properly achieved. Especially in defensive encounters, there is no time for visually checking whether the proper grip is in place. Having a set of index points allows a shooter to establish a proper firing grip in the holster and during the drawstroke to know that the grip is as it should be.

A previous blog post covered the grip in detail with illustrations. Click the image below to go to that post.

There have been endless discussions and opinions about how tightly to grip the pistol. These range from the ‘convulsive’ grip of the Fairbairn-Sykes-Applegate technique to the percentages of grip with both hands as explained by the Modern Technique/IPSC/USPSA school of thought.

Probably the easiest way to think about it is to grip the pistol as tightly as you would a hammer or baseball bat. Both hammers and baseball bats require you to grip the tool tightly enough to prevent it from moving in your hand before, during, and after an impact. That’s the same thing we’re trying to accomplish with the pistol.

The next segment will cover ‘Visually index the pistol on target.’

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

The direct purchase link for the STOPP Presentation is: https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting (Part 1)

#fridayfundamentals

Fundamentals Bookmark

During my time teaching at the elite Rogers Shooting School, I refined the Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting down to Four elements. In order of doing them, they are:

  • Grip the pistol firmly.
  • See the sights.
  • Press the trigger smoothly.
  • Follow through.

Any time a shooter missed a target before it went away, (disappearing targets do that) not performing one element on that list was the cause.

Over time, nuances of those elements have changed in my mind about how to explain them but the basic concepts remain the same. Now I break the process into two phases, ‘Preparing for the Shot’ and ‘Making the Shot.’ The reason is that between the two mechanical, i.e., physical, phases there are two decisions that have to be made; 1) the Don’t Shoot/Shoot decision and 2) whether the preparation for the shot is adequate to make a hit. The concept of making a decision about adequate preparation was developed by my colleague Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant http://www.thecompletecombatant.com/ and it’s right on target, no pun intended.

The overall process could be described as:

  • Prepare for the shot
    • Grip the pistol firmly
    • Visually index the pistol on target
  • Decide
    • Don’t Shoot/Shoot
    • Whether there is adequate preparation to make a hit
  • Make the shot
    • Press the trigger smoothly and straight to the rear
    • Follow through

The decision step is a mental process, not a physical one, so it will not be included in this series.

Training aids and Memory aids are useful tools. As a Memory aid for the Fundamentals, I’ve created the bookmark shown at the beginning of the post to provide a quick reference guide to the mechanical aspects of the Fundamentals. The PDF is attached so you can download it, print it, fold it, and use it as an everyday reminder to keep the Fundamentals fresh in your mind.

This series will have an additional four Parts on the next four Fridays. Each post will explain one element of the Fundamentals in greater detail. I hope you will find the series useful.

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

The direct purchase link for the STOPP Presentation is https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Skills involved in the Oakland Incident (Part I)

#saturdayskills

An aspect of POlice Use of Deadly Force incidents is that they tend to receive more media and other coverage than successful Private Citizen incidents. Captain (Ret.) Ersie Joyner’s gas station shootout in Oakland https://www.ktvu.com/news/retired-oakland-police-captain-wounded-1-other-killed-during-gas-station-gun-battle is no exception. Given the media’s bias, if this had occurred to a lawfully carrying Private Citizen, it’s unlikely it would have received the degree of favorable coverage it has. The amount of coverage works in our favor when viewing it from the standpoint of Lessons to be Learned.

The surveillance video of the incident gives us a very definite view of the skillset Captain Joyner used. It also gives us the opportunity to wargame other skills or tactics that would have been desirable.

  1. Wait for an opportunity to escape or counterattack
  2. Create distance while maintaining visual contact with assailants
  3. Establish grip
  4. Make the Draw Decision
  5. Draw to the eye-target line
  6. Engage Mr. Red, preferably with at least two rounds
  7. Transition 60 degrees and engage Mr. Black, preferably with at least two rounds
  8. Actual Positioning – pursue into the open
  9. Alternative Positioning – pursue to a position of cover or at least concealment
  10. Desirable Positioning – create even more distance
  11. Desirable Positioning – take cover

Tasks 3, 5, 6, and 7 constitute the solution to the shooting aspects of the incident. Individually, they are very similar to the 6 and 10 foot Stages of the Louisiana Qual Course video.

Just as with the off-duty incidents chronicled in Real Shootouts of the LAPD https://realshootoutsofthelapd.com/, it’s not hard to picture a Private Citizen becoming involved in exactly this same scenario. If Kalifornia had a Shall Issue system for issuing licenses/permits to carry handguns, it’s probable that more such Outcomes would occur.

An interesting aspect of the incident was that despite three robbers physically searching the victim, his concealed handgun was not discovered. This seems unusual. A distinct possibility is that he carried a small pistol in his pocket. At the moment he began to access his handgun, his elbow position is much more consistent with a pocket draw than either an Appendix or Hip carry draw.

Task 3, Establish Grip, is the most time consuming part of the drawstroke. Surreptitiously being able to Establish Grip while creating distance and prior to making the Draw Decision would explain how Captain Joyner was able to Draw and Engage so quickly. The ability to Establish Grip without making the motions commonly associated with drawing a pistol is one of the strengths of pocket carry. In many cases, it’s possible to shield an attacker’s view of Establishing Grip by slightly blading one’s body, although Captain Joyner didn’t do that in this case.

Captain Joyner must be exceptionally coordinated because when executing Task 2, Create Distance, he was actually able to take three steps backward without tripping over his own feet. He was able to do this even while he was in the process of Establishing Grip. Humorously speaking, since we’ve been told that tripping over one’s feet when walking backward is almost inevitable, this was an absolutely amazing display of physical prowess. In actuality, using a dragging shuffle step probably would have been more of a giveaway to his assailants than simply walking backward.

The mother of the deceased robber made the statement to the press, “death was not the answer. many people act unruly and even commit crimes in young adulthood, but go on to lead productive lives.” Captain Joyner clearly felt that his own death was not the answer and good for him for making that decision. Even if a criminal doesn’t intend to shoot you, it doesn’t mean they won’t have an Unintentional Discharge and kill you ‘by accident.’

More about the skills involved and how to practice them will be covered in a future Part II.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) — Note: bad links fixed

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

The direct purchase link for the STOPP Presentation is https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Breaking Contact (Part 6)

#walkbackwednesday

It makes me happy that my thoughts about the explicit difference in the missions of Law Enforcement and Private Citizens are becoming mainstream. I appreciate the various members of the training community who are amplifying my concept that Breaking Contact is the fundamental mission of Private Citizens in self-defense or defense of others. My colleague John Correia has produced an excellent video about a recent incident with numerous learning points in it.

My initial takeaways from the ASP video.

  • pay attention and recognize when you’re in a transitional space
  • when your gas gets started pumping, step around to the other side of your vehicle
  • purposeful compliance until your counter-attack or escape opportunity arises
  • counter ambush (i.e., counter-attack)
  • different missions between law enforcement officers and private citizens
    • the mission for a private citizen defensive encounter is to break contact
  • only hits count (close range precision marksmanship)

The close range precision marksmanship of this incident are particularly noticeable in the video. Although Mr. Red was only double arm’s length (5 feet) away, he was also in profile. His target area in total was no larger than a sheet of paper in portrait mode.

Mr. Black was about triple arm’s length (8 feet) away. Like Mr. Red, he was also a profile target and his target area was not very large.

The ability to hit an eight inch circle or even smaller target at close range with the first shot can be essential to survival. Regardless of what one thinks about using the sights under stress, it’s obvious that Captain Joyner had his pistol in his eye-target line. He did this despite both attackers being within proxemic Social Space. An important note about Captain Joyner is that this wasn’t his first rodeo; Oakland is a tough place.

Over his career, Joyner was involved in five shootings as an officer

KTVU

Breaking Contact is one of the fundamental concepts of Thinking Clearly about Self-defense and Personal Protection https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3377208 It’s a strategy in the sense of doing the right things, as opposed to tactics, which are doing things right.

CCW Safe https://ccwsafe.com/ did an excellent series of blog posts about the concept of Breaking Contact. The key principle and goal is contained in the first post.

Our goal in personal protection is to force a break in contact. We want them to go away, or we want to go away. One or the other.

My article about the basic philosophy of breaking contact is here.

The Oakland POlice Department has posted a clear picture of the getaway vehicle.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

The LCP Project – Ill-Annoy CCL Qualification (5 yard stage)

Continuing The LCP Project, this video shows the 5 yard stage of the Illinois (Ill-Annoy) Concealed Carry License Qualification shot with a Ruger LCP. This stage was shot by drawing from a concealed holster, although a concealed draw is not required when shooting the Qualification to obtain a CCL. The 10 required shots were fired as 3 shots in 3 seconds 3 times. The 10th shot was a shot to the face in 3 seconds.

The 5 yard face shot reminds me of something my Dad once said to a would be robber, “Do you want it in the belly or the teeth?” The robber suddenly remembered an appointment he was late for and left. No shooting was necessary in that incident. My shot placement on the Qual was unintentional but brought back a memory.

Ammo for the LCP Project was furnished by Ammoman https://www.ammoman.com/

The 10 yard stage video can be seen at https://youtu.be/3EKAoExWDE0

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

The LCP Project – Ill-Annoy CCL Qualification

The Ruger LCP is a far more capable gun than it’s given credit for. The LCP Project is intended to show what the gun is capable of and some modifications and equipment that are useful when carrying and shooting it.

This video shows the 10 yard stage of the Illinois (Ill-Annoy) Concealed Carry License Qualification shot with a Ruger LCP. The target was a standard B-27 with the addition of a legal size sheet of paper. The sheet of paper is the size of the scoring area of the Illinois POlice qualification that the CCL Qual is derived from. The score on the legal sized sheet was 100%. Note that when the Course is shot to obtain a CCL, hits anywhere on the silhouette count and only 21 hits (70%) are required to pass.

Ammo for the LCP Project was furnished by Ammoman https://www.ammoman.com/

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Defense of Others

#fridayfundamentals

‘Self-defense’ is only one subset of Personal Protection. Defense of Others is the other subset. September’s Armed Citizen column of the NRA Journals Shooting Illustrated – September 2021 has two incidents involving Defense of Others. Both occurred in public places outside the home. One was successful, the other Not So Much. Defense of Others situations often do not fall in the 3 shots, 3 seconds, 3 yards paradigm.

In the successful incident, a man and woman were in a Madera, California Wal-Mart parking lot. The man was attacked, the woman pulled out her pistol from her car, fired one round, and dropped the attacker in his tracks at 10 yards. In the words of commentator Raymond:

In the Not So Much successful incident, Calvin ‘Mad Dog’ Gonnigan shot at three people in Chicargo who were celebrating Independence Day. A nearby Concealed Carry Licensee shot at ‘Mad Dog’ but only peripherally wounded him several times. ‘Mad Dog’ left but then came back to murder one of his victims by shooting her in the face and even further seriously wounding the other two victims. Eventually, the POlice arrived from the District Headquarters, which was a block away, and took ‘Mad Dog’ into custody.

Photo: Chicargo POlice Department

Madera County is largely rural. It’s a likely bet that the woman had practiced her aim before. Chicargo, being an urban area, is unlikely to result in much practice. That’s probably why ‘Mad Dog’ did most of his shooting at close range and probably why the CCL was not particularly successful. The Illinois qualification course can be passed by only hitting one shot out of 10 at 10 yards and that only has to hit an arm of the silhouette target.

For those who carry a gun not only to protect themselves but also to protect their loved ones and friends, getting in a little structured practice can be useful, maybe even life saving. Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com has a series of drills that could be done even in Chicargoland. And Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is included with your purchase.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/09/14/stopp-presentation-now-available/ https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

Recognition Primed Decision-making (part V)

As stated in Part IV https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/07/31/recognition-primed-decision-making-part-iv/ of the series:

A predator also has a group of Options/Reactions when the intended victim begins to Confront or Resist rather than being caught up in the Victim Mix.

Since Boyd’s Process is iterative and interactive rather than static, a predator takes a ‘turn’ in the process after the intended victim’s response. If the intended victim Freezes or Complies, the predator will exploit the opportunity. Even if the intended victim chooses to Confront or Resist, the predator still has a group of Options/Reactions available, unless he has been instantly put out of action by the intended victim’s Resist choice. These options are similar, but not identical, to the intended victim’s list.

  • Fight
  • Flight
  • Comply
  • Freeze
  • Increment

An example of the criminal’s possibilities would be if an Armed Citizen responded to an armed predator by shooting the predator. If the predator was incapacitated by the shot, it would be a version of Comply because they are no longer threatening the Citizen. If the predator wasn’t incapacitated, he could also choose Flight, which is probably the most common response to armed resistance. In either case, the incident is no longer a gunfight. The Citizen must choose a different response than if the predator chose to Fight.

The sad case of Caroline Schollaert https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/suspect-held-at-gunpoint-temporarily/ makes clear that sometimes predators do choose the Fight option. Fight and Flight are not mutually exclusive. The unfortunate incident involving Lieutenant Williams in Chicargo https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/02/26/using-cover-effectively/ makes this abundantly evident. The lack of mutual exclusivity is another reason why chasing a predator who has taken flight can be dangerous.

Another possibility to consider is that youthful or first time predators may simply Freeze in response to an Armed Citizen Confronting or Resisting. When this happens, it’s neither Fighting nor Failing to Comply but rather simply becoming overwhelmed mentally when the predation doesn’t go according to plan. Initially, this may look like Compliance, say, to a command of “Don’t Move” or “Freeze,” but then when further commands are given, there is no response. We need to recognize the possibility that predators may not be completely in control of their own bodies once actual conflict begins. The attempted home invader in Hesperia, California https://www.foxla.com/news/shocking-video-captures-shootout-between-suspect-who-tried-to-break-into-home-homeowner-in-hesperia probably did not intend to pee in his pants during the gunfight. Even though he had enough presence of mind to use cover and to recover ammunition he had ejected on the ground, he wasn’t completely in control of his body.

Consequently, commands like “Get on the Ground” or “Hands up, Manos Arriba!” may not result in the predator doing what he’s told to do even if he wants to. The predator may not be able to do what he’s being told to. One of the best commands may be “Get out of here.” The idea that a predator will then intentionally flee to ‘a position of cover’ or ‘circle around’ to continue the fight is probably a figbar of gunwriter imagination. We can also give the “Get out of here” command to ourselves, if only mentally.

An experienced predator may choose the Increment response when Confronted. This is a dangerous situation for those Armed Citizens who lack experience at dealing with predators. It is the predator’s equivalent of the Negotiate response by a defender. However, the predator’s intent is to close the distance to the defender and gain a more advantageous position for a takedown or weapon takeaway. Two tactics can help prevent a Negative Outcome from such a situation. The first is that a verbal Confrontation must be forcefully delivered. Most people need to practice delivering commands before they actually need to. The saying “He who hesitates is lost” applies here. Hesitation is not necessarily in terms of time but also to being tentative when delivering a command. The second tactic is to have a ‘line in the sand.’ The concept of a line in the sand is the real utility of the Tueller Principle https://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/44-our-journal/86-the-tueller-drill-revisited.

It’s also worthy of note that at any time after the beginning of the predation, third parties can and do inject themselves into the action. The recent case of an Armed Citizen who stopped an Active Killer event but then was shot by a responding Officer is an excellent, although unfortunate, example. Boyd’s Process is far more involved than the simplistic circular diagram usually depicted. Rather, the process then becomes an intricate flowchart that can be very hard to navigate.

Predators have their own array of options that are similar, but not identical, to the Armed Citizen’s. We need to bear in mind what those options are before we initiate our response to the initial predation. Knowing the predator’s possible reactions then allows us to be prepared for their response to Confrontation or Resistance. That response may not be what we want it to be and we will have to either counter it or take advantage of it.

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Books (all PDF)

Friday Fundamentals – Ball and Dummy

My last post about shooting Dots https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/09/24/marksmanship-practice-shooting-dots/ generated a few questions about whether my ammo was bad. No, I incorporated random Ball and Dummy into the Dot Drill, just as I do in most of my practice sessions. Ball and Dummy, both random and alternating, is an excellent method for evaluating how smooth your trigger press is and if you are refining your sight picture adequately. This is not the same as practicing malfunction clearance, as mentioned in the article.

Highly recommended. My favorite dummies are from ST ACTION PRO. They are inexpensive, highly visible, and don’t get lost on the range as much as others do.

Tactical Professor Information Products

STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference
https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/09/14/stopp-presentation-now-available/

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Books (all PDF)

tacticalprofessor

What is ball and dummy?

Sometimes, we instructors take our subject matter knowledge for granted. A friend posted that she was pulling a few of her shots low and left. She’s right handed. My reply was ‘ball and dummy.’ She then asked me what that meant.

Ball and dummy means interspersing dummy (inert) ammunition among your live ammunition during a practice session. It’s a key training tool at the elite Rogers Shooting School. The dummies can be random, e.g., three or four dummies in a 15-17 round magazine. They can also be alternating; i.e., live, dummy, live, dummy, live, dummy, etc. for the entire magazine.

The purpose of ball and dummy is to watch the sights when the dummy round is clicked on to learn how smoothly, or not, you are pressing the trigger. Ball and dummy for marksmanship training is NOT the same as an Immediate Action Drill…

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