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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Massad Ayoob

MIRROR IMAGE SHOOTING

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

When I say “mirror image” shooting, I mean the right-handed shooter running the gun left-handed in every respect, and the southpaw shooter doing vice-versa.  It’s useful for a number of reasons.

  • An injury to anything from eye to hand may, someday down the road, force you to shoot this way. It would be nice to know how to do it beforehand, and not have to learn it while suffering through a recuperation period.
  • For defensive shooting, particularly with a rifle or shotgun, if vertical cover must be used mirror image shooting will give the practitioner minimum exposure from behind the cover.
  • For those of us who teach, how will we teach a student with opposite-side dominance to shoot if we can’t teach ourselves to do it?
  • Many professionals and serious users carry a backup gun on their non-dominant hand side, in case they ever have to shoot weak-hand only. One should be prepared to do so, no?
  • I ask my staff instructors to teach a class, compete in a match, or at least shoot a qualification once a year “mirror image.” It’s my insurance that they continue to master the techniques they teach, and aren’t overcoming bad technique with physical strength or constant repetition. (Either of the latter can eventually work for an individual, but they don’t lend themselves to transmission to students.)

In the latter vein, I got in my own mirror image run while shooting the pace-setter for my third MAG-40 class of August, and it being a “retro month” for me, I did it with a Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolver drawn from a left-handed High Noon thumb-break holster.

It brings you back to basics, the “conscious competence” level of performance where you are thinking about what you are doing.  Yes, we all seek the zen state of “unconscious competence” – perfect performance on auto pilot – but it’s not something any of us can achieve on demand 100% of the time.

Managed to finish with a 300 out of 300, on the ASAA (American Small Arms Academy) target used by our hosts in Connecticut, Defense Associates. The group measuring about five inches.  That’s a bit sloppier than last week’s, shot right-handed on an IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) target in South Dakota, which tells me I could stand a bit more southpaw shooting time.

 

Southpaw Model 19 gave 300/300 in approx. 5″ group.

 

This pace-setter was author’s “mirror image” run for the year. Left-handed holster by High Noon.

 

The Connecticut MAG-40 class, August 2017.

 

Massad Ayoob

REPORT FROM BEHIND ENEMY LINES

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

I recently had the pleasure of teaching another class in New Jersey (or, as some of my colleagues in the gun owners’ civil rights movement elsewhere might put it, behind enemy lines.)  There are few places left in America where the gun laws are more Draconian than they are in the Garden State.

The class had been arranged by my usual host in that state, Anthony Colandro, a tireless fighter for gun owners’ rights.

NJ is a classic example of why egalitarian “shall issue” permitting is so important, and why more than a dozen states now have followed the Vermont Model in which no permit is required to carry a loaded handgun concealed for protection in public.  New Jersey is one of the relatively few remaining states which requires the applicant to show that they customarily carry large amounts of cash, negotiable securities, etc., or have already been attacked or received serious death threats, to have any hope of getting the permit.  This “may issue” policy has, predictably, resulted in a situation where practically speaking, only the rich and influential are likely to get the permit to protect themselves and their families in public.

Not surprisingly, NJ does not recognize carry permits from any other state.  Moreover, the lucky few who do have permits to carry there are forbidden to load with hollow point ammunition, though the state attorney general’s office has supposedly approved expanding bullets with nose caps (Hornady Critical Defense, Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket, Cor-Bon Pow’rBall). Yet another reason to hope for the passage of national reciprocity.

There are a few bright spots. Governor Chris Christie seems to have given up on BS gun control theories and has repeatedly granted relief to innocent people who were licensed to carry and got jammed up because they didn’t realize that, unlike their marriage licenses and drivers’ licenses, their licenses to carry were not recognized in New Jersey.

Fortunately, gun owners’ groups like NJSAFE continue to be voices of reason, with positive activism as manifested here.

As I told my students there, “Pennsylvania accepts refugees!”  That said, though, I admire the determination of those who have decided to stay in New Jersey and fight for their civil rights.  Their mission is a righteous one.

The beautiful South Jersey Shooting Club

The beautiful South Jersey Shooting Club

Massad Ayoob

NOSTALGIA TIME

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

June, 2017 was definitely “nostalgia month” for the old guy here.  You saw how many blog entries I devoted to The Pin Shoot, the reincarnation of the iconic handgun/rifle/shotgun match Richard Davis founded more than 40 years ago. For about two dozen years, that match was the one vacation I guaranteed myself annually, and nineteen years later going back to it was like a high school reunion.  Hell, I’m still buzzed over it.

However, my “nostalgia month” had begun earlier in June, when I taught a MAG-20 (Armed Citizens Rules of Engagement) class at the great old Wilson Hill Pistol Club in Manchester, NH. Back in the ‘60s, I was nineteen years old when my friend Nolan Santy took me there to give traditional bulls-eye pistol shooting a try.  My only suitable gun at the time was a pre-WWII Colt Match Target Woodsman .22, and on the first try I managed to score a 263 out of 300 possible points…and was promptly hooked.  Earlier in my teens I had shot informal competition at the “turkey shoots” held by local sportsmen’s clubs around the Granite State where I grew up, but formal competition was a new high.  I’ve been doing it in one form or another ever since, though I had gotten into the more practical “combat shooting” games by my mid-twenties.

The club was much the same as I remembered it, which in turn is much the same as it was when Wilson Hill was founded in 1935 and has become something of an icon among traditional  shooters. For many years, the club hosted the annual NH State Gallery Pistol (.22 caliber) Championship.

Don Mara

Don Mara

I learned more than I can say from some of the great shooters there: Al Payant, Fran SanSouci, Ken Howard, Stan Dzadura, and many more.  Perhaps the one guy I learned the most from was a local hero, Don Mara, USMC.  Don won many medals as a combat Marine in Vietnam during that period, and as a shooter, he was the guy to beat for the State Championship, which he held God knows how many years.  While all the other heavy hitters were shooting expensive target pistols, Don used a $57 Ruger Mark I and kicked mucho boo-tay, proving it’s about the shooter a lot more than about the gun, the Indian more than the arrow.

I got to meet Don again in June, after almost 40 years. He retired from the Corps as a Sergeant-Major, and is still globe and anchor through and through.  And he still, at about 78, mentors new shooters.  He’s the kind of person who makes you proud to be part of the gun culture.

Under training director Al MacArthur, Wilson Hill has become a local hub of firearms safety and self-defense training. It was great to see this iconic gun club keeping up with the times without losing its sense of tradition.

Even if it did make me feel kinda old…

INFO ON THE CLUB HERE.

 

MAG20 Classroom Class this last June.

MAG20 Classroom Class this last June.

Massad Ayoob

HIGH TECH DRY-FIRE

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Rifleman and pistolero agree: dry-fire – pressing the trigger of a gun confirmed to be unloaded – is important for marksmanship in everything from the introductory phase to advanced skill maintenance. If you see the sight dip or jerk to the side at the “click,” you know what you have to work on.

As a new shooter in California, Jakob Kishon was disappointed that this was all the feedback dry fire afforded, so he has been working on something he and Kevin Creighton call IPTS: Interactive Pistol Training System.  It includes a recoil simulation system that disturbs sight alignment and forces the shooter to come back on target,

It’s electronic, wireless, and comes with a couple of interactive targets.  The Glock-ish pistol gives assorted feedback metrics, and doesn’t require you to lift your head from your sight picture to see where a laser dot is hitting, a downside with the laser-based dry-fire trainers now available.  MSRP is projected at about $400.  Diligent dry-fire work could pay that off in ammo savings on the first day of use.

It’s still in very early stages and looking for investment funding, but seems to have promise.  See lots more info about it on IndieGoGo.

Offered for your consideration.

Massad Ayoob

ANOTHER NEW BOOK

Monday, May 15th, 2017

The Evil Princess reminds me that there’s another new book out this week, my own latest.  I think of it as my “Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence” book.  Teaching at venues like the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and the annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, I’ve been able to get to know – and pick the brains of – the best and the brightest of subject matter experts in the world of threat management.  Thanks to those folks, the new book coming out this week is a most useful compendium, if I do say so myself.  Here’s what the publishers, the Gun Digest folks, have to say about it:

 

Straight Talk on Armed Defense

 

Acquiring a defensive firearm and a concealed carry permit is only one very small part of the armed lifestyle equation. Straight Talk on Armed Defense equips you with the knowledge to responsibly defend yourself and those you love.

 

This volume gathers the advice of Massad Ayoob and 11 other highly respected armed-defense authorities to deliver decades of information from one convenient source. You will come away with a solid grasp on how to avoid becoming a victim, the mental make up of assailants, the psychological preparation for self-defense, the legal details of using deadly force, post-incident trauma management and much, much more.

  • John Hearne takes us “inside the defender’s head” and reveals the most effective route to train and prepare for self-defense incidents.
  • Dr. Anthony Semone discusses post-shooting trauma and necessary steps to develop resilience and symptom reduction following a deadly force event.
  • Dr. Alexis Artwohl explains why understanding how the mind operates is critical to surviving an attack and the legal and emotional challenges that follow.
  • Dr. William Aprill describes “the face of the enemy” to help us understand violence and those who traffic in it.
  • Craig “Southnarc” Douglas details the conditions present during the typical criminal assault and how to incorporate those conditions into your training.
  • Massad Ayoob discusses power, responsibility and the armed lifestyle.
  • Tom Givens underscores the importance of finding relevant training, through case studies of his own students involved in armed encounters.
  • “Spencer Blue,” active robbery/homicide detective, reveals patterns that emerged during his investigations and describes the differences in tactics of citizens who won versus those who lost.
  • Ron Borsch presents dozens of actual cases of armed and unarmed citizens single-handedly stopping mass murders in progress.
  • Harvey Hedden provides insight and advice on lawfully armed citizens and interactions with law enforcement.
  • Jim Fleming, Esq. describes the criminal trial process and how it plays out in a “righteous use of deadly force in self-defense” case.
  • Marty Hayes, JD, provides the critical questions that must be asked to choose a reliable post-self-defense incident support provider.

——————————————————————————————————

EDITED TO ADD: Should be available jUNE 8 from Amazon, BUT AVAILABLE NOW FROM http://www.gundigeststore.com/straight-talk-on-armed-defense-r3599 .

 
 
 
 
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