Firearms are relentlessly unforgiving of the smallest lapse in attention or good judgement.
The shooting of a special police officer during a training exercise at a D.C. library came as the group of trainees had gathered to take a picture and were ‘joking around,’ according to court documents.
[The shooter, a retired POlice lieutenant], who conducted the training as a private contractor, was arrested Friday and has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Manyan’s death.
Before, during, and after training or dry practice, there’s no room for “joking around.”
One of the very first things I learned in the Army from the men who had just returned from Vietnam was:
F8ck around, f8ck around, get yourself or someone else killed.
It’s a lesson I’ve kept in mind for 50 years. RIP Officer Manyan.
In my book, consistency does not mean 70%, it means 100%. I’ve written about it before https://wordpress.com/post/tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/173323 but it’s worth mentioning again.
That’s the reason I prefer evaluation protocols that involve short 100% standards that are done repetitively. I would rather someone know exactly what they can do to a 100% standard and stay within those boundaries than have two rounds out of six going into someone else’s house.
Two NRA standards come to mind.
- the Red, White, and Blue Levels of the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting
- the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program – Defensive Pistol I
Naturally, I love the 5^5 standard I developed, based on Gila Hayes‘ original 5 times 4 idea.
Work on learning to do one thing consistently well, then move on to more Cool Kid Cosplay stuff.
Although dry practice (aka dry fire) is often recommended, many shooters are unclear about the specifics of dry practice. Here is a short video, first in a series, to get gunowners started.
This series will include a video about safety procedures and a few sessions. I hope it will be useful to my readers and clients.
If you enjoy my content, please consider supporting me on Patreon. I post more in-depth material there for serious students of Self-Defense and Personal Protection.
The LAPD Categorical Use Of Force report about the UD of a snub revolver http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/040-19%20PR%20(NTUD).pdf generated a fair amount of interest. Here’s a follow-on idea.
These three Lessons To Be Learned From The Incident were mentioned last time.
- While we sometimes have to perform administrative functions with our guns, those administrative actions should mimic our actual handling and firing procedures, whenever possible. In this case, ejecting the rounds straight down as if getting ready to reload would be a better procedure.
- Count the rounds when they come out of the revolver. You should be aware how many chambers your revolver has. Five chambers but only four rounds indicates a problem. Note that a nickel plated single round in the cylinder of a stainless or anodized revolver is not necessarily immediately obvious. By counting the rounds and then carefully examining the cylinder, the chances of a round remaining in a chamber is mitigated.
- Dummy ammunition not only protects the firing pin, hammer nose, or striker of a handgun during dry practice, it also provides an additional layer of safety during the practice session. If a visually identifiable dummy is in the chamber(s), then a live round cannot be. This is also physics. Dummies are available from A-Zoom and ST Action Pro. They can be found on Amazon or better gun stores.
Keeping a speedloader filled with dummy rounds accessible allows you to accomplish all three of these tasks. You could do the same thing with a Speed Strip, pouch, or loops.
- Put your speedloader where you might carry it. If you don’t habitually carry a speedloader for your reload, just put it in your pocket.
- Eject the live rounds from your revolver on the ground.
- Reload with the dummies using the speedloader.
- Holster your revolver.
- Put the live rounds in the speedloader and secure it with your other live ammunition.
- Go to your dry practice area, which is a place where there is no live ammunition.
- When you have finished your dry practice, put your revolver away without reloading it.
- Do something else to remove dry practice from your thoughts.
- When dry practice is distant from your thoughts, reverse the reloading process and reload your revolver with the live ammunition. Replace the dummy rounds in the speedloader. This gives you a reminder that your revolver is now loaded with live ammunition.
- Put your revolver away or immediately exit your home to preclude the last repetition that makes a loud noise.
Using this procedure helps protect you, your gun, and gets in two good reloading repetitions.
Tactical Professor books are NOT FREE but if you would be interested in knowing how to better operate the firearms you own during the American Insurgency, they can be purchased from the menu at the top of the page.
I recently had the opportunity to overhear a friend helping home school her grandchildren via telelearning while we’re under House Arrest during the Beer Plague. It was obvious that the lesson involved firearms. I was fascinated because I said to myself “Whoever wrote that lesson (I didn’t realize it was a book) actually knows something about guns.” When the lesson was finished, I asked what the source of the lesson was. It was Julie Golob’s book Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules: A Children’s Book About Gun Safety. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078TB9RJB
My thought was “Well duh, Tactical Professor, yes indeed Julie Golob knows something about guns.” The meat of her bio is
Julie Golob is one of the most accomplished professional shooters in the world with more than 150 championship titles and top scores in international, national and regional marksmanship competitions in 7 different shooting disciplines.
For new gunowners who have children in the house, this book is highly recommended. Long time gunowners will find it useful also. I was impressed by how it explained very fundamental safety rules that kids need to know. Be aware that because it is a color picture book, the Kindle version is not compatible with all Kindle devices. A list of compatible devices is on the Amazon page for the book.
FTC Notice: I don’t receive any compensation for mentioning Julie’s book. I just think it’s an excellent resource for gun owners, new or long time.
More correctly, the title should be Locking the Slide to the Rear. For a new gunowner, this is not nearly as simple as is often believed. Locking the slide to the rear is an integral part of checking whether an autoloading pistol is loaded or not. For new gunowners, this is worth practicing every day until it can be done readily.
My ebook, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is an excellent purchase for new gunowners or as a present if you know a new gunowner.
Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com
The Polite Society Podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkVLaQzRB5DKDzZ05J7o2KQ on YouTube has created a series for new gun owners called Guns 101. Each segment is a short (less than 10 minutes) standalone lesson in various fundamental aspects of gun ownership and usage.
The Tactical Professor did a segment on storing guns in cars when it’s necessary. For instance, if a gunowner needed to go into a courthouse, the Post Office, or other denied area, the time to think about what to do with the gun is before you get there.
Also, my book Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com is an excellent primer for new gunowners who actually want to shoot their guns. When the ranges start re-opening, you can have a plan for when you go.
Muzzle direction is the primary safety. Always has been and always will be.
–Bill Rogers of the elite Rogers Shooting School
“He told police he was oiling a handgun and had put a magazine in it and racked the slide when it fired, hitting his wife as she sat on a couch nearby.”
I absolutely despise the meme from Blackhawk Down that shows a trigger finger with the phrase “This is my safety.” Trigger finger discipline is a good thing but there’s a reason it’s Number 3 in the Four Rules of Gunhandling. Muzzle Direction is Number 2, as it should be in the scheme of things.
A colleague of mine had the opportunity to give a short (15 minute) informal block of instruction to a friend of hers. Most firearms instruction in the US is informally done between friends or relatives.
Their session didn’t involve any live fire and was conducted in their office. It was simply a short briefing on basic safety rules, gun handling, and model specific instructions on how to operate her handgun.
An interesting comment came up in our discussion about the session. It’s worth keeping in mind any time we teach somebody something, whether the subject is firearms related or not.
I talked with her not at her.
When we teach an adult, it’s always worth remembering to approach it that way. Even if we are a Subject Matter Authority, the person is one of our peers and deserves to be treated respectfully. They should be treated like a client in an Adult-Adult relationship, not a grade school student in a Parent-Child relationship.
Mutual respect will garner the rapport necessary for the instruction to be effective and add value to the person’s life.