Category Archives: Handguns

NEW: Western Powders Handloading Guide

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Western Powders has released its new Handloading Guide, Edition 7.0. Plus a Hazmat Special from Midsouth Shooters This Weekend Only! READ MORE

western powders loading guide

This $2.99 print resource contains the latest load data for Western’s propellants.

You’ll find load data for over 100 rifle cartridges. The cartridge listings are up to date — including the popular new mid-sized competition cartridges, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua, and also .224 Valkyrie, along with many popular wildcat varmint cartridges, such as the 20 Vartarg, 20 Tactical, and 20 BR.

This resource also features helpful articles on handloading methods and rifle maintenance and cleaning.

Click HERE to take a look!

Midsouth Shooters is also offering a FREE HAZMAT promotion this weekend only! Get $140 of any Western Powder, like Accurate, Norma, or Ramshot (including Blackhorn 209) and you get FREE HAZMAT!

Check it out HERE!

Do You Have the Right to Stand Your Ground?

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How clear are “stand your ground” laws? Jason Hanson shares his thoughts. KEEP READING

crime scene

by Jason Hanson

On July 19, 2018, Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed outside a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida, after a confrontation with a legally armed citizen.

The man who shot him was identified as Michael Drejka, who McGlockton shoved to the ground for confronting McGlockton’s girlfriend over a parking space.

Initially, Drejka was not arrested because the Pinellas County sheriff stated that “stand your ground” law applies to this case since Drejka feared a further attack after being shoved to the ground.

After a review of the case by Florida State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Drejka, 48, was charged with manslaughter and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. His bail was set at $100,000.

A Matter of Seconds
You’ve probably seen the surveillance video of this incident all over the news. According to law enforcement, there were four–five seconds between Drejka hitting the ground and him firing the deadly shot.

In addition, detectives estimated the men were about 10 feet apart. Here’s the thing. McGlockton no doubt violently shoved Drejka to the ground. In the video, it appears McGlockton did not back away after shoving Drejka until he saw the gun.

This begs the following questions: Could McGlockton have seriously injured or killed Drejka if he continued attacking him? He could have. Even though Drejka was shoved to the ground, was McGlockton still a threat? Maybe. Was Drejka truly in fear for his life? He says so.

The thing is we could talk “what ifs” about this case all day, but the fact remains that one man is dead and another’s life is devastated over a parking spot and a shove to the ground.

While this case will play out for a long time to come, I want to share with you the basic elements of stand your ground laws and the “castle doctrine,” which relates to protecting yourself at home.

Protect Your Person
Remember, I’m not a lawyer and I’m only stating my thoughts regarding these types of laws. You should always consult with an attorney in your state regarding these laws.

One of the most well-known states with a stand your ground law is Florida because of the case mentioned above and similar cases such as the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Many states have laws similar to Florida’s, which basically states a person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or others. It also states a person does not have a duty to retreat as long as they are in a place where they have the right to be.

So if we use this definition to examine the case above, both men were in a place they had the right to be. The question that remains is did Drejka reasonably believe that he had to use deadly force to prevent death or bodily harm to himself? Imagine if you were Drejka. He was forcefully shoved to the ground, he was probably afraid, his heart was pounding — what would you do?

On the other hand, could Drejka have simply stood up and walked away from McGlockton? Was McGlockton going to pursue him? Obviously, these are answers that will play out in court.

However, the key thing to remember is that you have to believe the person is still a threat to justify using deadly force.

Protect Your Property
In addition to “stand your ground,” another controversial law is the “castle doctrine”. Many states have some type of castle doctrine law, which says a person has the legal right to defend themselves with the use of deadly force against an intruder in their home or other property.

Under this legal theory, the homeowner is not required to retreat, but may stand their ground to defend themselves, their home or their property. Now, this law is more straightforward than stand your ground because it’s pretty reasonable that every person should be able to defend his or her family from an intruder in their home.

In other words, if someone is inside your home, they are committing a crime and you have every right to protect your family.

However, one of the times this law was disputed was in the 2014 case of a Montana man named Markus Kaarma, who shot a young man in his garage. Kaarma had been the victim of a home burglary, so he stayed up at night in case the burglars came back.

Prosecutors argued that Kaarma lured the young man into the garage by leaving it open and that Markus was staying up all night to enact revenge for the previous burglary. The young man who died was committing a crime when he entered the garage, but the jury decided the homeowner deliberately lured the young man there before he killed him.

The Bottom Line
These types of laws will always be contested and are easily affected by our political climate. But what it really comes down to is common sense: Is the person still a threat, and can they still kill you?

If someone kicks in your door at 3:00 a.m. and runs at you in your house, then by all means they’re a threat. But if someone tries to kick in your door at 3:00 a.m. and you yell that you’ve got a gun and they take off down the street… Don’t go chasing them and shoot them in the back because they’re no longer a threat.

WHAT YOU YOU THINK?

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

SKILLS: When Small Is All…

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…that you have to carry. Read what professional trainer Steve Tarani has to say about making the most of a small handgun HERE

steve tarani

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Steve Tarani

Why carry a .380 when you can carry a .45 or 9mm pistol? Looking at it from the opposite end of the spectrum, why carry a .45 when you can carry a .50 caliber handgun? Why carry a pistol when you can carry a rifle?

It all filters down to personal decision based on deference to why and how you carry a gun. Further introspection should draw your attention to three important defensive carry factors that you’ve got to consider:

Accessibility
Concealability
Personal Comfort

ACCESSIBILITY IS A MUST
First and foremost is accessibility. Depending upon what you’re wearing, whether it be a business suit, a pair of running shorts, or perhaps a skirt or dress, attire plays a critical role in accessibility.

Accessibility is defined as the speed with which the weapon can be acquired and drawn.

Accessibility is directly affected by the location of the holster on the body, the body position of the shooter when the weapon is drawn, and the ability to establish the proper grip on the weapon while it is still in the holster.

A handgun used specifically for self-defense must be readily accessible. In other words, you need to be able to get at least one hand on it quickly and easily. The more time it takes for you to get to your carry gun, the longer it takes you to respond to the threat and not defending against it.

Will you be carrying your protection piece in a shoulder holster, belly band, ankle holster, IWB, OWB, appendix holster, cross-draw holster, fanny pack hol­ster, handbag holster, thigh holster, or pocket holster? The list of holster types and styles is quite lengthy and how and where you carry will determine your weapon accessibility.

Springfield Armory’s 911 .380 affords you several viable, easily accessible carry position options, including the recommended pocket holster. Depending upon the threat level, pocket carry of the .380 allows you to position your hand on your gun with your hand inside your pocket. Designed for defensive use at extreme close range, the .380 allows for immediate accessibility in stressful close-quarter situations.

springfield armory 911

CONCEALABILITY
Concealability is defined as the ability of the holster to be worn without detection. Concealability is a major consideration to plainclothes (under cover, off duty, etc.) law enforcement officers as well as defense-minded citizens. The smaller the holster and gun, the easier to conceal, especially if large, over-sized cover garments are not an option.

If you’re at the beach or someplace where you may be wearing a pair of shorts, or maybe running or working out, how concealable will a full frame .45 be? And what carry configuration is best should you find yourself in demanding physical exertion or dynamic movement. Again, the .380 may be an optimal choice given your operational environment.

Are you carrying in a place that is predominantly not gun friendly? In some states, if a gun prints through your shirt, either from a larger framed pistol or perhaps due to an OWB holster with a snug cover garment, it may be construed as “brandishing” and could land you in hot water.

COMFORT
Last but certainly not least is comfort. Shooter comfort is defined as the ability of the holster and gun to be worn for extended periods of time without discomfort. This factor is important in that if a holster/ gun combination is too uncomfortable, the shooter may choose not to be armed.

If you’re planning on driving for eight hours a day for the next three days, how comfortable will that full-sized .45 caliber handgun be in your appendix holster after the first ten minutes, let alone a couple of hours?

Unloaded, the 911 .380 weighs slightly over 12 ounces. Given a height of just under four inches with a barrel length of less than three inches, plus an overall length of 5.5 inches, the small lightweight construction of the 911 offers you one of the best concealable options in the industry.

Overhearing one of my students speaking to another student (while attending a forty-hour defensive handgun course), and referring to his .380, one asked, “Hey Joe, what possible damage would that little pea-shooter do against a determined attacker?” Joe’s reply was a pithy, “Well, go ahead and attack me and find out!” #PointTaken

Bottom line is, if you find yourself in a violent physical altercation and he is (or they are), within arm’s reach, things have taken a turn for the worse and are pretty darn serious — especially if you assess it to be a life-or-death situation. Withstanding such duress and imminent danger, your last line of defense must be equally accessible as it is effective.

PROS OF SMALL
Concealability provides you the element of surprise, especially when the odds are stacked against you. Carrying inside the pocket or in your purse, allows for hands-on accessibility while maintaining concealability before even coming out of the holster.

When it comes to comfort, nothing beats small and light — a combination of desirable personal defense attributes that will almost cause you to forget you’re carrying.

The Springfield 911 .380 is approved for the most-advanced and modern .380 defensive ammunition available in its classification.

The 911 also comes with a 6-round and 7-round extended magazine. Add the “plus-one,” and those aren’t bad numbers for a small defensive handgun.

When small is all, it doesn’t matter how tough-guy your assailant(s) may be. A few rounds of .380 hammered in succession will undoubtedly get their attention and cause them to change their course of action.

To learn more about training conducted by Steve Tarani, go to Steve’s websites:

HandToGun.com

SteveTarani.com

About the author: Steve Tarani is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail and is the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), and others.

Conceal Carry Permits Surge to 18 Million, Democrats Rush To Get Them Too

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A nation on edge has driven a surge in concealed carry gun licenses, but those getting them aren’t the usual suspects. READ ALL ABOUT IT

concealed gun

SOURCE: Washington Examiner

According to the United States Concealed Carry Association, which trains and insures those legally allowed to pack heat, there are now some 18 million with permits, up from 11 million four years ago.

Founder and President Tim Schmidt estimates that up to 40-percent of his 300,000 members are Democrats. What’s more, he said that of another three million who have sought information from his group, half are Democrat.

“A lot of new people are getting permits,” Schmidt said.

Of his prospects, he added, “Half of them align themselves with the Democrats. So this whole concept of wanting to defend yourself doesn’t go straight down Republican or conservative lines. I think everyone wants to defend themselves. We have all sorts of folks who say they are Democrats but want to carry a gun.”

He said that when USCCA sends out emails critical of Democrats, his phones light up with members who stress that they are gun advocates and Democrats.

“It’s less about politics, I think, than freedom,” said Schmidt.

5 TIPS TO UP YOUR SKILLS

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Team Springfield Armory’s Steve Tarani shares martial arts secrets to more effective training for defensive handgun use. READ MORE

steve tariani

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Steve Tarani

Back in my early Filipino Martial Arts training days (in edged and impact weapons), I would put in anywhere between 40 to 60 hours (sometimes more) of hard skills training every week.

During that time, one of my Masters, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite (founder of the LAMECO fighting system), would always remind his committed disciples, that at any level of training, “Repetition is the mother of all skills.”

We’ve all heard the adage “practice makes perfect” or more accurately “perfect practice makes perfect.” The back-story to this axiom is practice makes PERMANENT. If you practice something that is not correct thousands of times, you will burn it into your system exactly as you trained it — incorrectly.
Making permanent, can include the imprinting of training scars.

SCIENCE OF TRAINING
As with any effective self-defense training, at the higher skill levels, defensive shooting is as much a martial science as it is a martial art. Taking your skills to the next level requires raising your level of understanding, as well as your level of performance. The only way to up your skills is to put in the number of correct reps it takes for you to measure a desired change in performance.

Following are 5 tips from the masters that can help you get there more effectively.

TIP 1: SET AN ATTAINABLE GOAL
First off, you need to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. In other words, what is your objective? If your objective is to draw from concealment and make accurate and rapid round placement on a target, then you will need to establish a few performance parameters such as how many rounds, what target size and distance. Once you’ve decided upon the parameters, you can then determine your baseline performance.

TIP 2: FIND YOUR BASELINE
To establish your baseline, execute the drill at a comfortable speed with which you can guarantee the hit from your starting position. Run the drill multiple times — again guaranteeing each hit. After you can do it reliably without missing, then measure how long it takes you to execute this skill on demand.

Running a timer to determine how long it takes you to make that guaranteed hit gives you a measurable start point. Let’s say it takes you 4 seconds to guarantee a successful run. You can then set your goal to reduce that time to 3.5 seconds. You now have everything you need to set a training foundation upon which to build your next-level skills.

In that foundation you know exactly what your baseline is, what the training parameters are, and your desired result of guaranteeing a hit at 3.5 seconds on demand. All that remains is to crank out an unknown number of correct repetitions.

TIP 3: ISOLATE YOUR MOVEMENTS
One crucial tip that will help you tremendously in building your repository of correct repetitions, is to cut out any wasted movement. When I asked my martial arts masters and shooting instructors how they can move so quickly and with such accuracy, they replied in kind, “No unnecessary movement.” Doing only what you need to do to accomplish the task is all that is required. Any additional movements do not contribute in any way to your task and further add unwarranted time to the process.

Cutting out unnecessary movement is simply a matter of training. Isolate each individual movement in your presentation from concealment by running them a single step at a time:

Clear cover garment

Defeat any retention devices

Establish a positive grip


Draw from the holster


Align muzzle with your target


Make guaranteed round placement


Mindfully practice each one of these individual tasks standalone. Remain vigilant about eliminating any wasted movement. Forget about the timer — stick to the process.

TIP 4: ELIMINATE LAG TIME
The next step in your skill-building repetitive process is to reduce the lag time in between each of the isolated steps until the entire process is one fluid, purposeful motion. The master says, “Training without purpose is no training at all.”

Why you are doing what you’re doing is just as important as what and how you are doing it. It is said that the “why” is the mortar that holds the bedrock of your “what” and “how” together. Being mindful of why motivates you to run all the individual steps together with focus on reducing any wasted time in between those steps.

TIP 5: DETERMINE NUMBER OF REPS
What’s the exact number of reps needed to make a difference in your performance? According to the experts, repetitions vary from shooter to shooter. Some trainers say it takes a minimum of 3,000 reps while other say 7,000 and still others suggest over 10,000 repetitions.

How do you know how many reps it is for you?

After multiple training sessions, chipping away at less time between the steps, removal of any wasted movement and guaranteeing the hit on demand, you will have accumulated sufficient repetitions that may make each movement feel more comfortable, easier to execute and effortless.

When you start to feel yourself reach that comfort zone — ease of movement with very little effort — you may then want to re-measure your process time. These are personal indicators that the mother of all skills may have just moved you up a notch in your level of performance.

To learn more about training conducted by Steve Tarani, go to Steve’s websites:

HandToGun.com

SteveTarani.com

About the author: Steve Tarani is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail and is the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), and others.

SKILLS: The Perspective of BALANCE

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Choosing a gun for concealed carry is a very important decision. Here are some ideas on carefully considering all pros and cons to select the best for you. READ MORE

handgun choice

SOURCE: Team Springfield, by Jason Burton

Somewhere, some time ago I read or was told “Everything in moderation, nothing in excess.” The statement and its underlying sentiment has been something that has stuck with me for years, even if I didn’t always apply this principle in real life. The basic concept I get from that statement is balance.

Everything can and should have balance and recently I found myself once again contemplating the idea of balance as it relates to carry guns.

USER PREFERENCE
To state the obvious: I am a die-hard 1911 user. For the better part of the last 20 years I have used a full-size 1911 in a concealed carry role. To also say it has been my main shooting / range gun would be appropriate. I’ve willingly given up a high-capacity magazine in exchange for the exceptional ergonomics of the slim yet full-length grip. Regardless of events or weather or circumstances, the 1911 has remained my constant companion. If I had to choose one principal attribute that has made carrying and concealing this large gun as easy as it has been, it would be the relative slenderness of the pistol.

PRACTICE MAKES PONDERING
After a recent range session with the Springfield Armory® 9mm RO® Elite Compact, I once more was reflecting on pistol performance, ergonomics, and employment in a concealed-carry mode. I contemplated the idea of balance as it relates to carry guns and our individual responsibility of personal defense.

So in this increasingly high-capacity world, could a single-stack gun be the perfect embodiment of balance and moderation and do they actually make the most sense when used in a concealed carry role?

PROS AND CONS
Here is where we start down the road towards balance and we should be practical in acknowledging that every carry gun is a compilation of trade offs in one form or another. Whether it is caliber, capacity, size, weight, ergonomics, trigger type, or other attribute — like most things in life you may have to give something up (or at least part of something) in order to gain something else.

My personal choice of the 1911 is a good example. In exchange for carrying a gun that is powerful yet easily concealable (provided by the relative slimness of the single-stack design), I give up capacity when compared to other platforms. Same comparison can apply to the size and weight. I choose a full-size pistol due to the positive performance and shooting aspects in exchange for carrying a relatively heavy gun. We can continue with these comparisons, but you get the point.

BEING YOUR OWN FIRST RESPONDER
By now, I’m sure someone is reading this and thinking, “No way a full-size 1911 is a balanced or moderate choice,” and in fairness, the commitment to carry an all-steel, full-sized 1911 may not be for everyone. However, if you consider what one truly needs in a personal defense gun, you may find that a single-stack gun of some type fits the bill.

Before you can define your needs you should begin with the understanding that you will likely be required to be your own first responder. What you bring with you as your own first responder will help give you options. Since you can’t save anyone if you don’t save yourself first, your equipment can become an important factor. The aforementioned balance of “pros and cons” comes into play here.

EVALUATE YOUR REALITY AND YOUR NEEDS
So what is needed in a personal defense pistol? All else being equal (reliability, accuracy standards, etc.), the gun should fulfill some basic requirements:

The gun needs to be easy to conceal, not just easy to carry. By that I mean the gun can’t just be small and light, although those things may help. I fully understand the ideas of proper holster selection and dressing around the gun, but the point is that the overall bulk and size element of the pistol should help to make it easy to dress around. The same principle applies to spare magazines as well.

The gun needs to be ergonomic. The “grip” and how the gun interfaces with the shooter is of tremendous importance and should be especially considered when using the pistol as a reactionary self-defense tool. This can be a pretty wide field because so much depends on shooter’s hand size and potentially overall physical size. There is such a thing as a gun that is too big or too small. I have found that when a gun doesn’t physically fit a shooter, it typically becomes less shootable for them and much worse when it is fired under stress.

The gun needs to hold enough ammo to solve your problem. Capacity is important primarily because it gives a shooter the ability to manipulate the pistol less. However, care should be taken not to over emphasize capacity in lieu of other basic requirements. Something to keep in mind is that in many fights, the last shot fired is the one that wins the fight. If the gun works well and is easy to shoot in a reaction mode, the first shot and the last shot might be the same, negating any remaining capacity. Even still I would strongly advocate carrying a spare magazine, if for no other reason than the magazine in the gun could malfunction. Along those lines, being easy to carry and conceal said spare magazine might make one more apt to bring it with them.

BE WARY OF EXCESS
There are extremes that can be born out of all of these factors, so try not to get bogged down in excesses of one direction or the other. What I mean is this, while a derringer is slim, easily carried and concealed, its inherent capacity limitations and required manual of arms don’t make it a viable option for personal defense. Keeping the aforementioned factors in mind and remembering moderation, an ergonomic and concealable gun that has a minimum capacity of 7 rounds — while being readily reloadable — is probably a choice that one can stake their life on.

RO Elite

For me, single-stack guns of all types have always embodied an ideal balance of moderation. My recent test drive with the Springfield Armory® RO® Elite Compact 9mm reminded me once more of the practical benefits of a slim, compact gun that is easy to handle and shoot.

With the continued popularity of the 1911 platform in general, as well as newer offerings such as the XD-S®, and XD-E™, and 911 .380, it would appear that slim is in!

So when it comes time for an honest evaluation of what you need for personal defense, ask yourself if a slim or single-stack gun fits that role? You might be surprised by the answer.

3D Printed Guns Should Be Legal, But Are They Safe?

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There’s a lot being said about this new technology-trend, but let’s keep it simple. Safety first! Read more about what’s wrong with 3D printed guns HERE

3d gun

Jason Hanson

There is an ongoing debate in the news related to 3D printed guns. This argument started years ago — when Cody Wilson first shot his 3D printed gun in 2013. Once Wilson had developed the plans for his gun, he wanted to share them with the world. He planned to do this through his company called Defense Distributed.

His goal was to create a website where people could download and share blueprints for do-it-yourself gun manufacturing. Once the federal government caught wind of this, they immediately shut down the website based on export regulations to censor technical information. (Yes, that sounds like a load of crap to me too.)

Over the last few years, Defense Distributed and the U.S. State Department have battled back and forth over the legality of 3D printed guns. However, in July, the U.S. State Department settled a legal case and allowed Defense Distributed to go ahead and release the 3D printing plans online.

The problem is once this issue was settled, 19 states sued the State Department and Defense Distributed in an attempt to stop the release of the blueprints. At this time, a judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the publication of the blueprints.

What’s All the Fuss?

As the name implies, a 3D printed gun is a gun made mostly of plastic from a 3D printer. Now, the key word is “mostly” because the gun still requires a firing pin and a piece of metal. The purpose of the piece of metal is to ensure the gun complies with the U.S. Undetectable Firearms Act.

Essentially, it is a federal offense to “manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive” a firearm capable of defeating airport metal detection. However, I realize most criminals probably don’t care about following the law.

Now, you may be wondering what the big deal is about 3D printed guns and why some people are so against them. Well, even though the gun requires a firing pin, you could technically hide the firing pin and the small piece of steel separately. Then you could carry the gun and walk right through security checkpoints.

And since these guns are homemade, they don’t have a serial number. They are basically “ghost guns.” Also, people wouldn’t have to go through a background check to get a 3D printed gun like they would if they were buying a regular firearm from a retail location. Anyone could simply print one in the privacy of their own home.

The reality is a 3D printed firearm is definitely not the easiest way to get a gun. Plus, the majority of criminal lowlifes aren’t going to have the means (or the patience) to 3D print a gun.

What I mean is if a responsible gun owner wanted to build a firearm, they could simply go the 80% receiver route (commonly offered for AR15-style firearms). In other words, simply buy a receiver that is about 80% of a working receiver. You only need to use a drill press or hand tool to finish the remaining 20%.

Finally, 3D printed guns aren’t dependable and can easily fail. The plastic simply isn’t strong enough to withstand the explosion caused by a firing cartridge.

In fact, many people have tried to develop plastic guns only to have them explode upon firing. So while I love guns and fully support 3D printed guns, they’re just not quality or sophisticated enough at this time.

I have no doubt they will be in the future. But right now, I wouldn’t trust one with my life if someone was kicking down my front door at 3 a.m.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

SKILLS: Dry-Fire Practice With Lasers

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Not everyone agrees on laser sights for handgun defensive use, but Kyle Schmidt thinks it’s a great training tool. READ WHY AND HOW

SOURCE: Team Springfield,  by Kyle Schmidtlaser sightAlthough some people seem to disagree on whether or not a laser on a pistol is a “good” aiming device for self-defense shooting. One thing about them is undeniable: lasers are a great training tool.

Occasionally, when I am training friends, clients, or co-workers how to shoot, I will attach a laser to their gun to help them better understand some basic shooting concepts.

Before using the laser though, I like to make a target that has multiple areas to aim at with some level of contrast so it is easier to identify exactly where the laser is aimed.

LASER TARGET TIME
I make a dry practice target out of 2 USPSA targets. I use USPSA targets because they are different colors on each side. USPSA targets have an upper head with an A and B-zone and a body with A, C, and D-Zones. You will need a razor or a pair of scissors. You will only cut one of the targets, the other will remain intact. For simplification, we will refer to the target that we are cutting as Target 1 and the target which will remain intact as Target 2.

TARGET 1 CUTS:
Cut out the A-zone of the head (upper target zone).
Cut the C-zone out of the target. The body A-zone is included in this cut. Be careful to leave the head attached (don’t cut off the head); You need to razor / cut under the perforations while trimming near the head.

Target 1 should now have two big holes in it; one where the A-zone head was and one where the body C and A-zones were.

Cut the body A-zone out of the C-zone piece you previously removed (Step 2). Keep the body A-zone, but discard the left over C-zone piece.

COMBINE TARGETS:

target 1

Stage Target 2 with the shoot side (tan side) facing up.
Stage Target 1 with the no-shoot side (white side) facing up.
Place what remains of Target 1 on top of Target 2.

This should make a white colored target in the D and B-zones, with the tan colored target in the C and head A-zones. Use small pieces of white tape to tape the top, bottom and sides of the two targets together.

This is your new Laser Target 1.

ALMOST DONE:

target 2

Flip the targets over so Target 2 (white side) is facing up. Place the tan colored side of the body A-zone (that you cut from Target 1, step 4) on top of Target 2 A-zone. If you have trouble lining up the A-zones, you can push a small push pin through the diagonal corners of the A-zone on Target 2. Use the push pin holes to align the corners of the body A-zone.

To finish the dry practice target off, I add a one-inch black square piece of tape to the center of the corresponding scoring zone. I like to measure the center of the C-zone’s height, as the perforated “A” is NOT the center of the A-zone.

This is your new Laser Target 2.

Now you should have one practice target that has 5 distinctly noticeable scoring zones; A-zone body, A-zone head, entire head, C-zone body, and the entire target. Additionally, you have a one-inch black piece of tape on each side of the target.

ATTACH AND ZERO LASER
Before you begin your laser dry practice, attach and zero the laser at the distance you plan to practice. This is critical for some of the drills we are going do with the laser. (Check out sights HERE.)

Here is how I zero the laser for dry practice:

Choose your distance and target.
Point / aim gun at specific spot on target.
Line up the fixed notch and post sights on target.
Adjust the dot (from the laser) so it is 1) centered (left and right) on the front sight and 2) the front sight covers half of the dot (up and down). Only the top half of the dot will be visible.

Because the laser is mounted so far below the fixed sights, the laser will need to be realigned with the sights if you want to try a drill at a different distance.

HOLDING / AIMING LASER DRILL
When I was writing this, I had just returned from Camp Perry where I was learning about shooting the sport of Bullseye. This is the ultimate challenge in fundamental pistol accuracy. It requires execution of some of the most fundamental techniques required for extreme accurate pistol shooting. If you are not familiar, all of the strings of fire are shot with your strong hand only, at 25 yards and 50 yards, on a target with the 10-ring measuring just under 2.5 inches. Bullseye, in short, is a very difficult shooting discipline.

One of the things I noticed as I am trying to shoot the 50-yard line strings is how much my gun is moving (or appears to be moving) compared to the center of the target. This is not only a problem in bullseye shooting, it is just greatly magnified due to the distances.

A shooter must know what their ability to “hold” on a target is, with varying degrees of difficulty. One of the best ways to test this is with a laser, and generally, it is easiest to see the laser in reduced lighting. Try this “holding” drill:
Get your Laser Target 1 — with the C-zone side visible.
Set the target up at the distance of your choice, let’s say 15 yards for this example.

With the laser turned off, use the iron sights to aim in the center of the C-zone. Make note of how stable the gun is while you are aiming in the middle. We are not pressing the trigger yet, only aiming the gun.

Now turn on the laser and shift your focus to the laser’s dot on the target. Make note of how stable the dot is on the target while you are aiming. It’s probably moving around more than you would think or like.

Try to keep the dot inside the C-zone — hopefully this is fairly easy. It should be readily apparent when the dot leaves the C-zone and enters the white background of the D-zone on the dry practice target.

When you can easily do this, flip the target over to use Laser Target 2, and repeat the drill.

First steady the dot in the body’s A-zone.

Once you are able to keep the dot in the A-zone of the body, move up to the head and see if you can “hold” the dot in the head reliably. This may not be as easy as it seems.

Once you have mastered the entire head, move to the head’s A-zone (on Laser Target 1).

Finally, test your hold on the 1-in. black square of tape.

target 3

You can continue to experiment at different distances to see how well you can hold in the different scoring zones.

WHY DOES HOLDING MATTER?
Quite simply, if you can’t “hold” or keep the gun aimed in a particular target zone, it is unlikely that your bullet will impact the desired scoring zone reliably.

You can use this dry practice tip to determine if you are improving your ability to keep the gun steadily aimed in the intended target area.

HERE is a great laser sight!

 

 

How to Safely (and Legally) Buy a Firearm From a Private Citizen

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Simple as it might seem purchasing a firearm from a private citizen still has to satisfy state and federal law, and that responsibility is squarely on you! READ MORE

money

Jason Hanson

Last year, a Florida man named Brown Dimas was looking to purchase a firearm. So he did what many folks do and looked at a gun classifieds website called FloridaGunTrader.

After purchasing a gun from a man named John Michael, Dimas called the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and asked them to check the serial number on the firearm. When the Florida deputies ran the serial number, they discovered the gun had been reported stolen in Tennessee.

In other words, Dimas was in possession of a stolen firearm. That’s pretty serious. As Dimas told local media outlets, “I could’ve been riding home and got pulled over and went to jail because I had that firearm on me, even if I had just purchased it.”

Dimas is incredibly lucky he contacted the sheriff’s office and wasn’t stopped by police with the gun. Since he did the right thing and called the police himself, he wasn’t criminally charged for having a stolen firearm.

That being said, he did have to turn over the gun and he’s out the $500 he paid John Michael. Not surprisingly, after this incident no one — including the sheriff’s office — was able to get a hold of Mr. Michael.

Many gun owners prefer to purchase guns through private sales for a number of reasons. This is exactly what I do — I’ve bought a number of guns from private sellers. If you decide to go the second-hand route, it is your responsibility to make sure you do so legally.

background check

The first thing you need to do when considering buying a firearm from a private party is make sure it’s legal to do so in your state.

In California, for example, all private sales are required to be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer. Even if you are selling a gun to your best friend, both of you need to go to a licensed dealer together for them to process the transaction. So make sure you know the laws in your state.

Next, no matter what state you live in, you can only buy a firearm from or sell a firearm to a private party if they live in the same state.

Since I live in Utah, I can’t sell a firearm to a family member who lives in Nevada. If I want to sell my out-of-state relative a firearm, we both need to use a licensed dealer — one in each state.

Basically, I need to send the firearm from a licensed dealer in Utah to another licensed dealer in Nevada. (Keep in mind licensed dealers will typically charge a transfer fee, usually between $20-30.)

Now, let’s say you’ve found a firearm that you are interested in purchasing from a gun classifieds website in your state. Once you and the seller have agreed on a price and you are ready to make the purchase, ask them for the serial number on the gun. (Anyone who is legally selling a firearm should have no problem giving you this information.)

Once you have the serial number, call your local police department and ask if they are able to run the serial number through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). This is a law enforcement database where all stolen firearms are supposed to be logged.

This is how the Lee County sheriff’s office was able to tell Mr. Dimas that the gun he purchased was stolen. Most police departments will run the serial number through NCIC as a courtesy. They should be able to tell you right away if the gun you want to purchase was reported stolen.

After you have determined the gun isn’t stolen, set up a time and place to meet the seller. I recommend choosing a parking lot or somewhere there is a lot of traffic. You want to conduct the sale in a public place. In addition, I suggest noting the license plate number on their vehicle in case you need to help police identify them at a later date.

When meeting with a potential buyer (or if you’re the seller), bring along a bill of sale to fill out. You can find a sample bill of sale online. Be sure to include the make, model, caliber and the full names and addresses of both parties involved.

Lastly, the most important thing to remember when buying (or selling) a used firearm is that if it sounds like too good of a deal, don’t go through with it. If someone is selling a gun for $100 that normally sells for $500, it could be a sign that it’s stolen.

Likewise, if someone offers you $800 for a firearm you only paid $300 for, it could be a sign that person can’t legally buy a gun so they are willing to overpay.

Either way, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

REVIEW: Why I bought A S&W Governor

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With the huge popularity of the Taurus Judge, Smith & Wesson has its own take on the “multi-cartridge” revolver. Find out how well it works HERE

S&W Governor

Major Pandemic

The S&W Governor was a gun a publicly said I would never buy. I thought it was a pointless gun that can shoot a mixed 6-round cylinder of 2-3/4 .410 shotgun shells, .45 ACP, and .45 Colt rounds with dubious utility. In essence a Swiss Army knife, not particularly good at anything but marginally handy at everything when otherwise empty-handed. I thought why would anyone want a gun that shoots .410, 45 ACP, and 45 Colt and none of them extremely well as a dedicated gun? Owners report typical 3-inch 10-yard groups — not great. My accuracy results were about the same, but notably the Governor does deliver acceptable combat accuracy with .45 Colt rounds and some slug shells. With shotshells of shot a pattern or hole of some sort is delivered downrange with the accuracy limits of a 5-inch sawed-off shotgun. Of course the droves of Governor owners did not agree with my initial assessment.

S&W Governor
An effective and versatile personal arsenal, or a tourist trap? You decide, but I came to see its merit!

Indeed the Governor is not a 25-yard gun and instead is a highly effective 7-yard gun. You would not want to be downrange when it goes off, but do not be fooled that you are going to drill 25-yard A-Zone groups like with a Glock or shoot clays with any regularity beyond 15 yards like with any typical shotgun.

WHY WOULD I WANT THIS?
Maybe I needed something to shoot down misguided drones, use up the surplus ammo from a retired cowboy, or prove to my 1911 friends that the .45 ACP cartridge is not an inherently accurate round.

Maybe I just wanted the thumb-breaking and nail-ripping experience of removing spent .45 ACP rounds from full moon clips when I forgot the moon clip loader.

Maybe I wanted to wreak destruction. If you are on the wrong end of the S&W Governor, the gun can be a nightmare. All of the projectiles exiting theGovernor are devastating. The gun may not be accurate, but it makes a big hole in anything in front of it.

S&W Governor ammo supply
The .45 ACP can be shot with full 6-round or partial 2-round moon clips.

DUMB TV SHOWS & MY ADDICTION TO THEM
Actually it was the character Daryl Dixon in the AMC Walking Dead television show that made me buy it… That and my dealer had a screaming deal on this used night-sight’ed S&W Governor. On the AMC Walking Dead show, Daryl pulls the gun off a dead bad guy and realizes it is apparently loaded with explosive incendiary rounds and blows stuff up with it. Though my FFL did not have any of the explosive rounds used on the show, we did pop off a few buckshot rounds on his range and the raw insanity of the gun sold me. Like many people, I saw a potential survival appeal of having a gun that can shoot three different rounds including shotshells and with caliber conversion inserts can even shoot everything from .22LR to .38 Special. Anyway I have named this gun “Daryl.”

DARYL — JACK OF ALL TRADES, MASTER OF NONE
The Governor is not a “master of all” as many would hope. Despite all that, shooting the Governor is a blast.

Shotshells are the best to have fun with if you can manage the sharp recoil of this lightweight 29-oz. revolver. To me the .410 shotshell recoil seems similar to a 44 Mag round. Watching fruit, coke cans, water bottles and clay pigeons explode with the shotshell rounds is a laughter producer. The Governor can realistically teach how to point shoot when loaded with bird shot. Place a few clays on a backstop and hammer through point shooting them and you will become a better point shooter with a pistol.

Governor ammo
A mixed cylinder of .45 Colt, .45 ACP, Buckshot, #4, and slugs.

AMMO & WHERE IT WORKS
The original marketing from S&W noted: “Highly accurate with .45 Colt and .45 ACP,” but the MajorPandemic.com marketing would have read “Shoots most ammo pretty well.”

The .45 ACPs were some of the least accurate, good plinking rounds, offer really fast reloads with full moon clips, and deliver minimal recoil. If you want to shoot the Governor a lot, you will likely be shooting .45 ACP. Through all my testing, the .45 Colt rounds were by far the most accurate through the S&W Governor, producing 3-4-inch 7-yard groups, reliable center of mass hits at 15-yards, and accurate enough to hit a full sized silhouette out to 50 yards. .45 ACP groups were roughly double that size. Surprisingly some .410 slugs were also pretty accurate. If I ever chose the Governor for defense use, my choice would be the devastating Hornady Critical Defense Triple Threat slug/buckshot or those in a mixed cylinder with .45 Colt.

For an outdoor trail gun there really is nothing better for quickly handling everything from snakes to wolves to general personal defense. There is also utility in being able to easily swap ammo based on the need out on the trail or load a mixed cylinder of shotshell, bucksho,t and .45 Colt round. This is where the Governor is like the proverbial Swiss Army knife. Where I really see the lightweight Scandium alloy Governor as a relevant firearm is in the hiking, trail, packing, or trunk gun category that can be slipped into the pack.

Despite being considered “old fashioned” the new breed of defensive .45 Colt rounds are similar is power to the .40 S&W. Notably the Governor is not suitable for the insane 1200 ft/lb Buffalo Bore .45 Colt +P rounds or any other .45 Colt +P rounds, but there are plenty of standard .45 Colt defensive, bonded hunting, and hollow-point rounds with energy in the 550 ft/lb+ range.

The Governor can be a small game getter with #4 shot if you are decent at close-range stalking. The flexibility of shooting .410 shotshells opens up the Governor to a enormous range of ammo types including birdshot, BBs, slugs, combo defense rounds, survival flares, rubber/plastic less-lethal ball shot, mace/pepper rounds, rock salt, and yes even Dragon’s Breath incendiary rounds. In reality, though, being not the ideal tool, the Governor can be extremely useful in a lot of potential situations when you have nothing else.

allen rifle ammo pouch
The Allen Rifle Ammo Pouch perfectly holds a ton of ammo.

To carry a variety of ammo simply, an Allen 14-round ammo pouch for rifles makes for a convenience belt or MOLLE-compatible ammo carrier in a backpack. I found that each pouch could carry a variety of 14-shotshells, 2 full speedy-loading 6-round .45ACP moon clips, and 2 2-round partial moon clips straddling the bottom flap to hold in the .45 moon clips. This overstuffed pouch setup didn’t add any more bulk and provides a mixed variety.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This is a blast to shoot and I can see it can deliver good enough utility that it is a worthwhile gun. Would this be my “one and only gun”? Emphatically NO! I would rather have a high-capacity striker-fired pistol, AR15, or shotgun first if I could, but the S&W Governor fits into the category of a Swiss Army Tinker knife. A real set of screw drivers, a full sized knife, an actual working can opener, and hole punch would be superior in every way to the Swiss Army Tinker except one — the Tinker allows you to carry the base utility of all those tools in your pocket without a tool belt. The S&W Governor is a lot like that. Toss the Governor into a pack as a survival option with a variety of shotshell, and .45 ammo backing up a hunting firearm or bow or as a camp or trunk defense tool and it is plenty good enough when you have nothing else.

SEE COMPLETE SPECS HERE

CHECK OUT AMMO HERE

OTHER SOURCES
Allen Cases –www.byallen.com
Hornady –www.hornady.com

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]