Posts Tagged ‘Firearms’

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As a gun owner/advocate I feel strongly about taking the responsibility of owning and carrying a gun seriously. To me that means being proficient in not only the safe handling of your guns, but also the efficient employment of your defensive firearms. There’s a significant difference between a range gun, one you like to shoot for fun, and a gun you rely on to save your life and the lives of your over ones if needed. The best way I’ve found to determine which category one of my guns falls into is to take it to a class and train with it. Not just practice at the range on my own, but to run it hard it all day, or multiple days, through a variety of drills, positions and weather. At the end of a training evolution like that you should be able to tell whether you’re going to want to fight with that weapon or just plink with it on the range.

Case in point: Last year, I was bitten by the AK bug, and decided that I really wanted to add an AK47 to my safe. Because, you know, all the cool kids had one. I did some research and bought a Century Arms C39v2. One hundred percent made in the USA it seemed like a decent option for a somewhat less expensive AK. Now before I go on, whatever you may have to say about the Internet rumblings about CAI reliability, standby, I’ll speak to that in a moment. Moving on. So, I had my new AK and immediately took it to the range. It ran great, but as an AR15 guy, I realized I was going to have to I spend a good deal of time learning how to actually operate this rifle in the way it was intended, as a fighting rifle. I did a lot of reading, made some functional cosmetic changes – swapping out the nice walnut furniture for Magpul polymer, and adding an optic. After all that, and hours of dry fire and live fire practice, I finally felt ready to take it through some training. I signed up for a one day rifle class at the Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, NH. I’ve taken quite a bit of training with them, so I was confident that I was going to get a good day of work in running this rifle. My goal for the day was to be able to tell if I, as a lefty, could run the AK47 platform as efficiently as my AR15.

First, the rifle, now with over a thousand rounds through it, ran 100% reliably. No malfunctions whatsoever. I’ve found some wear on my bolt and carrier but none of that has affected its performance. All guns will fail at one point or another but so far my experience with this AK47 has been positive. Before getting into the operation of the gun I will add that the C39v2 with its milled recover is heavy, weighing in at just under 9lbs with no magazine. That’s pretty stout when you start adding body armor, sidearm, additional mags and gear. For the class my loadout probably weighed in the vicinity of 50lbs. Definitely doable, but something to take into consideration.

Concerning left handed operation of an AK47. Its no secret that being a left handed man operating in a right handed man’s world takes constant adaptation and improvisation. Running an AK47 is no different, and as such, there are pros and cons to being a lefty with an AK. With the charging handle located on the right side of the gun, if you watch a right handed guy running a reload of an AK you’ll see him doing a couple of different things to reach it to rack a round into the chamber, reaching under or over the rifle to operate the action. So here’s my big win for the AK: since the charging handle is on the right side of the gun I can keep my left hand on the grip and rack the bolt with my right hand after loading a fresh magazine. This makes for a super fast and smooth reload sequence, assuming I do my part.

Here’s what is less awesome: the safety. Unlike the AR15 the AK47 is decidedly less modular and an ambidextrous safety simply isn’t an option without a significant amount of work, and probably a gunsmith. I’ve done plenty of reading that says as a lefty all you have to do is swipe the safety off with your right thumb and go to work. Sounds easy enough, right? Sure, and it does work. The problem I found is that if you want get your support hand out on the end of the rifle for more control, it’s slower than already having an established grip. I recognize this as a training issue, and by no means impossible, but I’m not sure how practical it is in real world employment. From the low ready position, it’s not bad but from the high ready I found it even more difficult to get the safety off, my support hand out and the shot off in any kind of reasonable time. The trained AR guys were smoking me. I eventually gave up moving my support hand at all and just held the magazine. It should be noted that if you’re going to do that, get your thumb out of the way of the charging handle. The charging handle doesn’t care about you or where you put your thumb. Ask me how I know. Lastly, when put into a real world simulation at the end of the class, I found that when forced to moved to multiple firing positions, flipping that safety on and off between moving was clunky and slow. It was obvious how much easier the AR15 thumb safety was to operate in that kind of dynamic environment.

By the end of the day I could draw a few conclusions. First, I knew that I could reasonably operate this rifle, and fight with it if I needed to. I feel pretty good about that. However, I also recognized that as much as I like it, the AK47 is not going to be my go to defensive rifle. Will more training and practice smooth out these issues? Absolutely, and I will continue to work with it. But if you asked me to grab a rifle out of the safe right now and defend my loved ones, the AR15 would be the first one out the door. That realization alone made the cost of admission and ammunition more than worth it.

I have and always will encourage gun owners to get out and train. It’s easily the best money we can spend and best way to tell if your guns and gear are going to work when you need them. I will be the first to tell you that there are plenty of shooters out there, far better than me, that have forgotten more about shooting than I’ll likely ever know. It’s in our interests to seek those people out and learn from them. We don’t exist in a vacuum. Techniques and and technology are constantly evolving. We must evolve with them or be left behind.

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Gear Check

Posted: March 2, 2016 in Shooting
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It’s a popular, and well reasoned opinion that you should clean and inspect your defensive tools often. Keep your folding knife sharp, change the batteries in your flashlight, clean your gun regularly, check your mags, and cycle out old ammunition. These are good practices that will ensure that if you ever need any of your gear, you can count on it to work.

I wrote recently about moving my spare magazines back to my pocket for ease of carry. I haven’t had the opportunity to get out to the range so the other night I had some time to myself and thought it would be a good time to do some dry fire practice, including simulating emergency reloads from the pocket using snap caps (inert training rounds). As I was downloading my mags I noticed the follower was hung up inside the body of one of the magazines. I shook the last few rounds out and attempted to unstick the follower. It wouldn’t budge. I took the magazine apart and found this:

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This small pile of paper somehow managed to work it’s ways inside the magazine causing the follower to get stuck. This is critically important because if I were using this magazine I would have experienced a failure that would have required an immediate action drill: Tap, Rack, Strip, Reload, Bang. If I encountered this failure at a time while relying on the handgun and this magazine for my life, I would have been in one hell of a tight spot. I’m glad I found it when I did.

Preflight your gear people, and do it often.

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A few months ago I went through the somewhat painful process of choosing a new every day carry pistol. After some trial and error, I tabled my ever reliable Glock 19 for the smaller and slimmer Smith & Wesson Shield. I’m pleased to report that after about 1000 rounds the Shield has turned out to be a reliable pistol up to the task of every day carry. Of course, the system doesn’t stop with the gun, it needs a holster, which anyone will tell you is almost as important as the gun itself.

Before making the switch from my G19 I ordered the Incog Holster with the Mag Caddy option from Gcode Holsters. The research indicated that this was going to be a solid, and complete carry system. This is all true. The retention of the gun in the holster is about as perfect as anyone could ask for, and the belt clips lock tightly around the entire belt which means once you clip it in, it’s not coming off. I thought the mag caddy was a great idea to keep a magazine handy so I don’t have to dig through a pocket to reload. It’s a complete system. So when I bought my Shield I ordered the same holster with a detached mag pouch.

So why am I writing about this?

After a few months of carrying in the Incog I found a few problems. First was concealment. It’s good and bad. The way the clips are designed, they push the gun up tight to the body which, in terms of concealment, is a pretty good thing. The downside is that to achieve this, the clip actually pushes the belt out a little bit causing a fairly noticeable bulge under tighter fitting clothes. Add the magazine pouch to this and the result is a shelf like bulge at the waistline, which in the world of concealed carry is a lot like a neon sign screaming “I HAVE A GUN!” This is undesirable. I realize that 97% of people would likely never notice, but to me if feels pretty obvious.

Getting a complete grip. So yeah, this one is important. To make the gun as concealed as possible, the holster is set with a low ride height, meaning the grip of the gun rides almost right on top of the belt. I have two issues with this. First, in the draw stroke I found it difficult to get a complete grip on the gun. I would have to two finger grip it, then reestablish the grip during the presentation. If I actually had to draw my gun in an adrenaline dumping defensive scenario, this is never going to work. Additionally, because I’m left handed the magazine release faces out. This is important because with the low riding holster I had a consistent tendency to eject the magazine in the draw. Kind of a problem here too. There’s not much I can do about the button itself, so I decided to try changing the ride height, and have the gun sit higher above the belt line. This was a notable improvement in establishing the grip without ejecting the magazine, but it’s also where I started to struggle with concealablilty. I ended up ditching the mag pouch and going back to pocket carry, which helped a bit, but it’s not a solution I really like for my mags.

Lastly, is comfort. Not that it’s completely uncomfortable, it’s just not…. Great. Even tucked into the right spot in front of my left hip, I could never get it in a comfortable position, and with the added mag pouch, it was worse. I think it has something to do with the clip pushing the belt out and wearing clothes that actually fit. This is, of course, the least important issue, but as I have said before, if your system is uncomfortable, you’re not going to carry it.

After going out with Beth one night and feeling like I looked like someone getting ready to give birth to…. something…. I decided it was time to try something else. I recently advised my father in law to go with a Crossbreed Mini Tuck holster for his G43, and since I used to use a Super Tuck for my G19, I thought it would be a good place to start over. I put in an order for the appendix holster for the Shield in the hopes that it might remedy some of the issues I discovered with the Incog. In initial testing, the first thing I noticed was that the ride height was about the same as the adjusted setting on the Incog, and once I got the cant adjusted I could get a full, complete grip on the gun without inadvertently hitting the magazine release. That’s a pretty big improvement. Like the Incog, the Crossbreed comes equipped with a strong belt clip, but because the clip doesn’t push the belt out, it creates a less obvious bulge under an untucked shirt. Lastly, I find the design of the Crossbreed, kydex over leather backing, distributes the weight of the gun and holster so there isn’t one point of pressure, making it more comfortable and easier to carry.

Although it’s still early in the trial process, it seems that the Crossbreed Appendix holster is an improvement over the Incog. The only problem I haven’t solved is how to carry my spare mags. I don’t love pocket carry for a number of reasons and finding an IWB mag pouch that is comfortable and actually works is proving to be a challenge. It may be that pocket carrying magazines is a training issue that just has to get worked out. Time and range trials will tell.

Lastly, I feel it’s important to note that the Incog really is a good holster. My findings here are just the result of trying to integrate it into my personal system. Your own experience may be different. I would not hesitate to recommend the Incog to someone looking for a well made, top of the line kydex holster.

Ok, that was more like 1000 words.

A War With No Fronts

Posted: November 14, 2015 in Shooting
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Preamble:

I love Paris. On November 13, 2006 my wife and I got engaged on the Eiffel Tower. In 2010 we went back after a year of unemployment to see more of the city and the French countryside. Our hearts are heavy for a city that means so much to us. 

What can we do?

Beth asked me that last night while watching the coverage of the terrorist attacks in Paris. The truth is that as civilians, in a war with no fronts, no battlefield and against an enemy that strikes with little to no warning, there isn’t a thing we can do to prevent such attacks from happening again. It’s not our job. However, as responsible civilians I do think there are a few things we can do to look after ourselves and our loved ones:

1.) Carry a weapon and train with it. You’ve got a hand gun and some mags? Great. Go get trained up and become proficient in the use of that tool. Then, carry it every day.

2.) Stay alert and aware of what’s going around you. Do this for a while and you’ll know when something isn’t right.

3.) You’ve got a rifle and some mags? Even better. See number 1. If you don’t have a rifle and the gear to go with it, go shopping.

4.) Walk out into the world peacefully, but prepared to return fire.

5.) You’re law enforcement? Carry your creds and your weapon off duty. See number 4.

6). Train. Keep training. And then train some more. This will be the best money you ever spend.

7.) If you’re new to this stuff, ask someone you know who has experience. I always encourage people who are seeking knowledge to come out to the range with me and take the first steps into a larger world. I will never say no to someone who wants to learn.

Am I afraid? Sure. It’s only a matter of time before these strikes come home to an American city. This enemy is clearly motivated and willing to attack unarmed civilians, and their eyes are fixed on the US. These few things are the ways that I choose to deal with that fear. If you happen to be in that place when violence breaks out, you will have a choice to make: Do I die cowering in fear, or on my feet at slide lock?

Truly, I hope it’s a choice we never have to make.

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Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.

The process of finding a quality single stack 9mm concealed carry gun has been surprisingly difficult. But I think I’ve (again) come to a well thought out decision. Let’s recap.

After a couple weeks of research, and irritating my wife in endless conversations, I bought the Springfield XDs. Im still shocked at what a complete failure this gun was. Countless reviews said an equal amount of glowing things about the XDs, and to have it fail so miserably was nothing short of a surprise. Undeterred, I went back to the drawing board. There was one option remaining and that was the Glock 43. As a self disclosed Glock “fan boy” I knew I couldn’t make a complete decision until I had shot it. Fortunately, the public rental range had one in stock, so after dinner a few nights ago, Beth and I went to go try it out.

My impression was this: the Glock 43 is a fine pistol purpose built for the job of concealed carry. We only ran 50 rounds through it, but it never failed and I could shoot one ragged hole at seven yards. My complaints about the pistol are small, but I think important. First, magazine capacity. This has long been the reason I’ve avoided the G43. The six round magazine is just too limiting. Since my initial post, I’ve learned that there are aftermarket extended base plates available which would alleviate this issue, but I have some concerns about the reliability of those parts. Regardless, it’s a solution. Additionally, I noticed that because of its slim profile and light weight, I found the G43 to be snappy. This means that, to me, there was more felt recoil, making it less comfortable to shoot. I think this contests my requirement that my defensive carry gun should be shootable. Could I run it in a 3-400 round class? Sure, but would I love it? Meh, I’m not sure. Lastly, it’s simply more expensive. This isn’t as serious of an issue, but when you’re committing to buying a gun, upgraded sights, at least one extra magazine, and now base plates for those mags, the cost adds up quickly. It’s not a make or break part of the decision making process, just something to consider.

So why the Shield? The gun I shot had two stoppages in two magazines with of shooting, both of them stove pipes. I can’t explain why that happened, but it did. After those two malfunctions, the pistol ran just fine. There are two things I liked more about the Shield than the G43. First, I found the ergonomics of the pistol to be much more comfortable. As I have evolved as a shooter, smaller guns bother me less than they did a few years ago. Having circus freak small hands aids in this, as does a much better grip. The Shield is only 2 oz heavier than the Glock but that little bit of added weight and just slightly larger frame made the gun feel like a softer shooter. Less felt recoil = more shootability. And then there’s the magazine capacity. The Shield ships with a seven and eight round magazine which means no aftermarket parts to bring it up to a more acceptable level. Again, I’m sure those parts work fine, but for a defensive pistol, I’d rather not introduce any possible weakness into the system. The extra round capacity gives the Shield a slightly longer grip than the G43. That means I am able to get a nearly full grip on the gun, which I could not do with the Glock.

So what sucks about the Shield? The trigger. Holy crap that trigger. The free state version isn’t that awful, but I had the extreme misfortune of testing the Massachusetts compliant version. I didn’t have a trigger scale but having owned a Mass compliant M&P trigger in the past, I can tell you it was pulling upwards of ten pounds. That much weight in the trigger adversely affects accuracy, and that is a problem. Of course I wouldn’t buy that model, but it does mean that even the free state version is going to need the Apex trigger kit to get it under control. If I did nothing else, that would still put it ahead of the Glock. That, and I think an upgrade to Trijicon HD Night Sights would be a welcome improvement to its three dot sight picture.

So yeah, about that trigger. It’s not great. I found myself pushing rounds to the right with some degree of flinch. This is mostly me, but I think it’s im some part a result of the heavier trigger. I know, I know Smith says 6.5 pounds, but I don’t buy it. Unlike my short experience shooting the Glock 43, my groups at seven and ten yards were not great. However, after I started to get a feel for the trigger they did tighten up. I had to ask myself today, what is this gun for: bullseye shooting or self defense. These are two very different things. The stock trigger, paired with short sight radius is not going to afford you award winning accuracy over distance. This is just fact. However, inside ten yards in a defensive application, it will serve just fine. My groups at 15 and 20 yards weren’t what you would call spectacular either, but for the first time getting to know this small pistol and its stout trigger, I was relatively pleased.

Having now completed initial testing of the Shield I can draw some conclusions. This afternoons range practice involved 275 rounds of ammunition varying from the super cheap to super expensive. Here’s what I found. One hundred percent reliability. That’s great. Considering the epic failure that was the XDs I was more than happy to see this gun cycle everything I put through it. I say initial testing because I’m a firm believer of at least 500 rounds through a gun before putting it in a holster. So, while I wait on my holster to ship, I’ll get it out to the range a few more times to put it to work.

The only thing left to do is integrate the Shield into my everyday carry system. Updates to follow.

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…when I was pretty convinced that Springfield Armory’s XDs 9mm was the sound choice for a single stack concealed carry firearm? As I recall I made a pretty solid case for it. It was like, last week. Memba dat? I know now that it was probably the codeine talking

Yeah, so weeks of research, reading endless reviews, forums, and advertisements, plus test firing the competition, and watching hours of user reviews led me to the gun shop this morning. I found the best price, and felt as confident as ever in my decision. I filled out the form, passed the background check (yeah, that’s right) and walked out with what I thought was going to be my new carry gun. Then, I got it to the range.

Nope.

What? How could that be possible? All the data pointed to this gun as the right choice, didn’t it? The answer: failures. In 150 rounds I had a about a dozen. I’m not talking about your run of the mill failure to feed or eject failures. These were different. I experienced at least six failures to return to battery. That means that after you pull the trigger to shoot and the gun cycles, it fails to return to the firing condition. And what that means is if you have to pull the trigger again to save your life right after that happens, you’re dead. This is a huge deal. Then, and this may be associated, I had an equal number of off center light primer strikes. Sounds bizarre right? That means the firing pin is not doing its job and the result is when you pull the trigger you hear a click and not a bang. I mean, sure, I know what to do when that happens, but if you’re putting a gun into the role of self defense it has to be reliable. It has to go bang every single time. Anything less is unacceptable.

So what now? I’m out $400ish and I’ve got a gun that is utterly unreliable. I don’t feel right selling it to someone who may rely on it for self defense so I will likely trade it in for something else. What, I don’t know.

I don’t fancy myself a gear reviewer. There are plenty of YouTube channels for that. However, I can not in good conscience recommend the Springfield XDs 9mm to anyone who takes their own personal security seriously. It means I’ll lose money on it, and that’s fine. I’ll sleep better at night.

Shooter Ready

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Shooting
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Unlike a lot of people I meet at the range, I don’t come from a family that embraced gun ownership as a way of life… Or as something even remotely acceptable. My parents, bless their misguided souls, raised me to be a pascifist. Turn the other cheek, talk your way out of problems, don’t start fights etc. To be fair, I credit that upbringing to my ability as a teenage male, to avoid, and escape many potential fist fights in school. Not an easy task. Although, all these years later, I think I probably could have used a good ass kicking.

At any rate, part of that upbringing involved the “guns are bad and only police should have them,” philosophy that persists in my family to this very day. So how did it start? I never shot a gun as a child, I wasn’t raised in the hunting/sporting tradition that much of the firearm supporting country embraces. So how did I become a gun owner? And how did that gun ownership lead me to become an instructor and supporter of Second Amendment rights in this recent fevered push for gun control? I blame Roger Fitzgerald. (Name changed to protect the innocent)

Roger was a buddy I knew college, who for a period of time crashed on my couch. He was a gun owner and if memory serves had a Springfield 1911. While I doubt he would remember, it was Roger that took me to the shooting range in Van Nuys for the first time and showed me how to shoot… Or more to the point, how to go to the range and not shoot myself. Needless to say, I was hooked. Not long after, to my parents dismay, I bought my first gun: a Glock 19. I’d go to the range with my friends when we had time and turned our hard earned money into noise and small holes in paper. Life was good….

Until my car got broken into. I was broke, and realized that if I was going to fix my busted ride, I was going to have to sell my Glock. Drag. So, I sold it to a friend of mine for half of what I paid for it, and fixed my car. Before I moved out of California to start my aviation career, I offered to buy it back from him for more than he paid, but he wanted to keep it. He still has it 15 years later. I’m still a little pissed.

Over the next decade, I would shoot here and there, but because of my transient life, I never settled long enough to get back into shooting as a hobby. About ten years ago I met my wife, and settled back in New England. Not exactly a firearms Mecca, but she was (and still is) pretty awesome, so we set our roots and here we are. Once we settled on a town, I decided that I wanted to explore the licensing process in Massachusetts (no small task), and again become a gun owner. So I did some research, emailed a lot of very kind strangers who offered good advice, and went through the process of getting the License to Carry (LTC-A).

Carry a gun? Who ever needs to carry a gun? There are police to protect you. You don’t need one of those things. More on this later.

I was approved for the unrestricted license and could now legally carry a firearm loaded and concealed on a public way. Awesome. But, there was a small problem. I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, gun goes in holster, holster goes on belt, and all that, but I had never really received any formal training never mind instruction on what kind of gun to carry, caliber choices, what kind holster, how to conceal etc. So I did what a lot of people do. I bought the 1911 I always wanted (Smith & Wesson variety.. thanks Roger) for the range, and a Walther PPK for concealed carry (CCW). If it worked for 007, it’ll work for me.

No so much.

Its important to note that the gun you choose to carry is a very personal choice. Your buddy’s free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it, and you need to try out a lot of guns before you make a decision. Its kinda like dating. Only you get slapped a little less…

With that in mind, finding the right gun to carry involved a great deal of experimentation. While its good to find out what you like, its as important to find out what you don’t. So I eventually arrived at the conclusion that I hate… HATE… tiny guns. Sub-sub compact for “deep concealment.” It’s all nonsense. With the appropriate equipment, you can conceal a full size handgun just as easy as a small one. There’s no need to carry “The Noisy Cricket” just because it’ll fit in your pocket. This learning process started with the PPK, later a Ruger LCP and finally a Sub Compact 1911. All are fine guns and are great for CCW, but they just weren’t for me. My philosophy on choosing a carry gun goes a little like this: If you are going to carry a gun, you have to practice with it, which means you have to shoot it. If you have a gun that you hate to shoot because of recoil, or feel, or whatever, how proficient are you going to be if, god forbid, you ever had to use it. Not very. After much trial and error, I settled on the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm compact. After a much needed trigger job, it was a fantastic gun. Accurate, easy to carry, and reliable. I still had a crappy holster, but the gun was great.

When we finally moved north into New Hampshire, less ridiculous gun laws allowed me to become reacquainted with Glock. I started shooting International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) matches, and picked up a Gen 3 Glock 34. What a fantastic gun. As I shot more competitions, it occurred to me that it would make sense to have a carry gun that had the same feel and features as my competition gun, so I sold the M&P. Re-enter the Glock 19.

Oh, hello.

I stopped buying handguns after I picked up my second G19. Now, people will say that for CCW you need the sub compact G26 because of its smaller grip and ease of concealment. With my limited experience at the time, I decided that the slightly larger gun was worth three extra rounds, a consistent grip and a longer sight radius. Now that I found the right gun, I needed better equipment.

By way of confession, I have to admit that I love 5.11. I know, as a civilian, it makes me a tacti-nerd (I just made that up) But it’s true. Tactical pants, polos, boots, gloves, whatever, they make great gear. I tried one of their leather belts and while it was a solid platform I couldn’t get the fit right, so I went to a reinforced nylon belt. It’s sturdy, carries the weight well and it’s perfect for dialing in the fit. Not the best looking thing ever, but its concealed. Function over form ftw.

In my search for the right holster, I tried several makes and models, and in that process, accumulating a pile of holsters, I discovered that I preferred kydex (plastic)over leather. Leather holsters are slow, require break in, and I found the draw stroke to be less consistent than kydex. The next obvious step was to try out some belt mounted kydex holsters. while a decent improvement, I found they didn’t conceal as well as I would have liked. So the search went on. Finally, my research led me to Crossbreed Holsters. An inside the waistband holster, the Crossbreed Supertuck is a leather platform with a kydex holster. Genius. It is, hands down, the most comfortable holster I have ever carried, and conceals my Glock 19 exceptionally well.

Ok, so, ive got a decent gun, holster, belt, and fancy tactical gear…. Whats missing? Oh that’s right, training. Lots of training. Basic Practical handgun, intro to/and defensive handgun courses, carbine courses, a basic pistol instructor certification, and combat focus shooting/advanced pistol handling. Thousands of rounds down range, rain, cold, hot weather, shredded hands, stone dust EVERYWHERE…. That kind of training. The truth is this, as responsible gun owners, we have an obligation to train. Thats right, I said it. An obligation. We have to learn safe gun handling, learn how to efficiently present and recover the gun to and from the holster, become proficient at clearing malfunctions, and equally important, understand what it means to carry a gun. There are endless sources of information on this topic. No doubt, firearm training is expensive, but well worth the cost in tuition and ammunition. In my evolution from a novice to shooter to instructor, I’ve learned that money spent on training is money very well spent.

Its been a long road since the days at the Van Nuys shooting range in the late 90’s. When I talk to people just getting introduced to shooting I always say that like anything in life, we are never done learning. Every time I take a course I learn something I didn’t know before. While some techniques may differ from class to class, the message is always the same: be smart, be safe, and never stop training. We owe it to ourselves, our families and our community.