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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Monday, March 2nd, 2015

I’m still sorting voluminous notes taken at the annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, held last week at the Memphis (TN) Police Academy.  Though police and to a lesser extent military folks were certainly represented, the majority of the turnout was comprised of law-abiding citizens who keep and carry guns to defend themselves and those within “the mantle of their protection.”

Host and founder Tom Givens makes this conclave an extraordinary mix of participatory hand-to-hand work, live fire defensive shooting, and classroom lecture by subject matter experts. The attendee picks his or her chosen classes from an agenda too big for any one person to take everything. A good overview can be found here  from Andrew Branca, who presented articulately there on his signature topic, the law of self-defense.

As always, a side event was the famous Polite Society Match, named after Robert Heinlein’s famous quote that “An armed society is a polite society.” For 2015, 136 of the 180 or more participants shot the match. This year’s event was deceptively simple: two targets at only three to seven yards, timed including mandatory draw from concealment, with hellacious penalties for hits outside the relatively small (and indistinguishable) “five out of five point” boxes in the center of the targets’ heads and chests.  What made it tricky was extremely dim light.  As you watch one attendee go through it, bear in mind that DrZman, who took the video, had to use his techno-magic to brighten the scene up considerably so a viewer could see what the heck was going on in the first place:

Or Click here to see video:

Congratulations to Tim Chandler, who won with an awesome score fired with a 9mm Glock 17.


February weather was ugly in the mid-South, so next year they’ll be putting it closer to spring. You can’t get a better deal on a smorgasbord of America’s top self-defense trainers. It’s now a regular stopping point on my own learning calendar. Sign up here:


  1. Two-gun Steve Says:

    Watching target shooting where the decision to shoot is made before presenting: My experience is, if a real-life threat appears active, you always have time to to start to PRAY FIRST (atheists are on their own here) as you present with whatever, while you decide to “SPRAY,” or not. This way you won’t need to regret not praying, no matter how things turn out. Not such a joke after a shooting. This policy has worked for me several times in outlaw country, saving me from acting lethally in dicey situations with genuinely homicidal, worse-than-“Deliverance” types. Brrr!, they were bad. IMHO, the late “Two-by-four Bob” (Robert) Truswell of Dawson City, Y.T. (you can Google articles about him) was probably the worst threat you would ever want to meet, when menacing you with a pick handle. He eventually became a fatal case of a neighbor’s allegedly errant decision to fire. An important lesson about deciding NOT to shoot.

    The Mas article on the RTC really whets the appetite for training. I wonder confidentially if Patriot Nurse made it to this one (hopefully). Love her heart and her generous medical expertise.

  2. Marc-Wi Says:

    Thanks for Branca’s link. It’s a great overview. I know you’ve posted on this before but for some reason I didn’t think it was open to all.

  3. Law of Self Defense Says:

    As always, thanks for the kind words, Mas! It was a pleasure to get to both see you and hear you present again after so many years.


  4. Randy Says:

    Mas, Do you know what Mr. Chandler does for a living? A G17 would not be my choice for all day concealed carry. If he is an leo it might make sense if it was also his duty gun. Otherwise, gamesmanship?

  5. TXCOMT Says:

    Mas, thanks for the post, but I’m still waiting to hear a little about your presentation…the need to recognize what’s sitting plainly in front of us could be helpful info for all!


  6. Mas Says:

    TXCOMT, let me see if I can work some of that in somewhere in the future.

    Randy, lots of people carry full size Glocks concealed regularly. Remember when folks in our age group thought the Lightweight Commander .45 was the epitome of a carry gun? Length and height are roughly comparable to a full size Glock 17.

  7. Old NFO Says:

    One of these days… sigh… Thanks for the update, and the videos. Envious!!!

  8. Randy Says:

    Mas, you certainly know what people are carrying better than I do. In IL we are still learning the ropes. Recently, in the burbs, a fellow was arrested because his covering garment was blown aside to expose his piece and he was arrested. Section 10, subsection C, part 1 says fully concealed or partially concealed. Eventually the man was released. If he had had a badge it would have been a trip to the coffee shop. I have noticed that you keep your badge in a prominent position and usually carry a G30.
    Off topic, but when inserting a fully loaded mag into that G30, with a loaded chamber, do you find that you have to hammer that mag in? I noticed in that video that the shooter had his fall out. My G30 mags have unusually heavy springs.
    I never had a lightweight Commander, but do have a Star PD and it still shoots good.

  9. Mas Says:

    Randy, you do indeed have to hammer a full ten-rounder into a G30. To get ten rounds that fat in a magazine that small, well, there wasn’t room left for spring flex. When I carry spare G30 mags with my 30 pistols, I download them to 9 rounds for fast, positive insertion with the slide forward on a tac load. 9 for sure beats 10 maybe when hands might be wet or shaky. My usual spare is a 13 round Glock 21 magazine, which inserts fine into a 30 when filled all the way up.

  10. TXCOMT Says:

    Randy, down here in Texas, we actually have a law that covers such unintended brandishing…now whether or not a viewing (and subsequently arresting) officer takes that into consideration at the time is anyone’s guess.


  11. TXCOMT Says:

    Thanks, Mas…lookin,’ as always, to anything you post!


  12. Randy-Republic of Illinois Says:

    Mas– good idea, thanks. I have them loaded with 10 hoping that the springs will weaken to the point that insertion would be easier.

    This brings to mind: In the old days when the 1911 ruled, the bottoms of the magazines were spot welded. It wasn’t all that unusual to see the mag bottom fall out, spring ammo and all. Very embarrassing during a match or otherwise.

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