Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 James Kash
 Where We Live
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Behind The Scenes
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Meet The Staff
 Meet The Authors
 Disclaimer and
 Privacy Policy


Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Links
 Feedback
 Radio Show


Link to BHM

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.



Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Massad Ayoob

DEFENSE OF SELF AND OTHERS VALIDATED IN WINDY CITY

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

In Chicago a few days ago, an armed citizen not only stopped a murder attempt, but it appears, may have also prevented a mass murder.

Coincidentally, I happened to be in Chicagoland when it happened.  As you might imagine, advocates of the right to self-protection are smiling rather smugly.  Being one of them, so am I, all the more so because of my long service on the board of trustees of the Second Amendment Foundation, which funded the landmark US Supreme Court case of McDonald, et. al. v. Chicago, which paved the way for concealed carry permits for law-abiding citizens in Illinois.

More details on that aspect here, from my old friend and Second Amendment advocate Dave Workman.

What brought me to Chicago in the first place this trip was the largest conference of police instructors in the world, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, in Wheeling.  This coming Friday morning, I’ll be on a “train the trainers” panel chaired by Don Alwes, whose topic is dealing with mass murder attempts in progress.  The shooting mentioned above has already been discussed at this seminar, with much the same approval as is being seen from the law-abiding armed citizenry.  It promises to be an interesting discussion.

By the way, as is usual in seminars that cater to actual working cops, the National Rifle Association had a booth showcasing their current and long-lasting support of police training, and the anti-gunners were conspicuous by their absence…

Massad Ayoob

RANGEMASTER TACTICAL CONFERENCE

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: http://youtu.be/8jBiemCQKC4

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

PolSocWinner2015

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: http://www.rangemaster.com/2016-tactical-conference/.

Massad Ayoob

LESSON FROM A HELICOPTER CRASH

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

In the blog entry below this, you’ll see a retrospective on a helicopter crash a couple of years ago, with links to discussions on it at the time.  You’ll also find what we didn’t have then: the Go-Pro camera’s recording of the crash, and how quickly and unexpectedly it happened.

A profound lesson from it relates to the third of the now-standard Four Rules of Firearms Safety created long ago by the late Col. Jeff Cooper – so long ago, apparently, that some today neglect to give Cooper credit for creating them.

Rule Three was to keep the finger off the trigger until one’s gunsights were on target.  Today we go a little more depth into that; I for one teach it as “Keep the finger outside the trigger guard until you are in the very act of intentionally discharging the weapon.” In any sort of moving vehicle, that’s all the more critical…and in a small helicopter aloft in the wind, it’s even more so.

When the aircraft went down, there were three fully loaded hunting handguns on board, two of them holstered; only John Strayer’s was drawn. He was the one who had spotted the first quarry of what none of us could have known was going to be a shorter day of hunting than we expected, and his gun was appropriately drawn and ready.  It was a Smith & Wesson Model 29 Mountain Gun, a relatively lightweight .44 Magnum loaded with powerful, deep-penetrating hunting ammo. Powerful enough that if it had unintentionally discharged in the wrong direction, it was totally capable of killing both the man on his immediate right (the pilot) and the man to his right, which would have been me.

It was John who was wearing the Go-Pro camera, and if you look closely, as the Hiller was coming over the copse of trees looking for the hog he had spotted, there’s an instant where he glances down and the camera catches his .44.

John Strayer holding revolver.

You can see that the double-action revolver is in his right hand.  The hammer has not been cocked. His gloved left hand (it was cold in that open-side-cockpit helicopter on a January morning, even in Florida, with the wind coming through) is securing the gun in place, grasping it around frame and cylinder.

Then, the rotors hit the trees and the aircraft went down. (Helicopters, it turns out, don’t have much of a glide path.) At about the instant of final impact or just before, what may have been a reflexive reaction to the rotors hitting the treetops caused John to reflexively duck his head, where the Go-Pro was mounted, and the camera catches a very brief glimpse his revolver in hand.

John Strayer holding revolver during helicopter crash.

John Strayer’s hand, still holding the .44 Magnum, was driven through the front of the cabin’s Plexiglas bubble by the impact, the jagged shards cutting his hand to the bone, including both the middle finger (primary grasping digit) and the trigger finger.

THE GUN NEVER DISCHARGED.

This photo, taken shortly after the crash, shows the severe damage Strayer’s hand sustained. John is grasping that very gun, with his index finger along the frame, as it was through the crash, and after, until he was able to exit the wreckage and re-holster.

John Strayer holding revolver post helicopter crash.

Let’s review Col. Cooper’s rules, not exactly word for word but close enough:

Rule 1: Every gun is loaded. (Even if you’re sure it isn’t, treat it as if it was. Strayer’s most certainly WAS.)

Rule 2: Do not point it at anything you are not prepared to destroy. (Strayer never let his gun come inside 90 degrees toward his partners.  The muzzle of his S&W did punch through the “bubble” of the cockpit, but that part, along with the rest of the bird, was destroyed by other forces in about the same fraction of a second by forces beyond his control, so…)

Rule 3: Do not let your finger inside the trigger guard until your sights are on target. Or, ideally, until you are in the very act of intentionally firing.  Here, I think, is the most telling lesson of this particular incident: Strayer’s self-discipline in this regard was simply extraordinary.

Rule 4: Be certain of your target and that which is beyond it. (John Strayer had that under control, too.)

John Strayer is not, by any means, just “a guy with a gun.” He owns a gun shop. He has won more shooting matches and championships than he can remember. In the International Defensive Pistol Association, he is one of about only a couple of dozen people who’ve earned “Five Gun Master” status, out of more than 20,000 registered competitors.

And he is a “poster boy” for firearms safety, as at least one reader of this blog has already pretty much said before now.

Somewhere, I like to think, Col. Jeff Cooper is reflecting on this, and smiling…

Massad Ayoob

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

We pause for a brief commercial announcement.

An attorney friend wrote me this morning to say, “… been following your blog, great stuff.  Forgive my crass, sniveling, pond-scum lawyer attitude BUT, you ought to be plugging Deadly Force in the blog to boost sales …”

Which does, frankly, make sense.  My new book “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense,” just came out.  So far, according to Amazon, it’s doing well, and listed as their best-seller in its category.

Deadly_Force

I grovel in gratitude to my beautiful and long-suffering editor, Corrina Peterson, who managed to get it out in time for Christmas.

SafetyWebIt’s actually my third book this year, all from the same publisher (FW Media, the Gun Digest folks).  The earlier two are “Gun Safety in the Home” and “Gun Digest Book of SIG-Sauer,” second edition.

One more class to finish this week and another mid-month, and the old guy here is gonna kick back for Christmas. SIGbookWeb

And if anyone says, “OMG, you self-promoting SOB,” well, I guess I can honestly reply, “I did it on the advice of a lawyer.”

 

Massad Ayoob

BLOWING A SHOT

Friday, October 24th, 2014

A few weeks ago in Arkansas, I was teaching a 40-hour class for armed citizens and off duty cops. The course finishes with a tough written exam on deadly force law and tactics, and a 60-shot live fire qualification encompassing dominant hand only, non-dominant hand only, speed reloads, shooting from cover positions, and cetera.  Before the students shoot, the staff runs a “pace-setter”: we shoot the timed course of fire while they watch, so they can get a good mental image of what the stances and techniques they’re expected to perform look like, and how fast they’ll have to do it to score well.  Given that there are fixed time limits, this also lets the observers kinda “set their internal clock.”  Part of the incentive is, whatever score I shoot, if the student ties me they get an autographed dollar bill inscribed, “You tied me at my own game,” and if they outshoot me, they earn an autographed five-dollar bill that says, “You beat me at my own game.”

Nothing makes me prouder of my students than giving them one of those dollar bills. I confess, however, to mixed feelings about having to pay out a fiver.  On the one hand, as I tell them beforehand, there’s no greater compliment a student can pay an instructor than to outperform the teacher in the skill being taught.  On the other hand, there’s the personal excoriation of “Oh, crap, I blew it!”

I normally shoot it with a perfect 300 out of 300 points score, as I damn well should, having run this course for decades.  But – less than half an hour after telling them to stay at a “conscious competence” level and think about every shot as they’re squeezing it off, I violated my own rule and let myself slip into the “unconscious competence” mode sometimes called “automatic pilot.”  The sight alignment was hard and solid from the fifteen yard line, but my stance wasn’t quite perfect for natural point of aim apparently, and about the time that I saw the well-aligned sights had drifted to the right and realized that I was automatically pressing the trigger, there was a very brief instant when I thought, “The sights need to come more left but my finger is pressing the trigger and”  — BANG!

The sights told me the story before I saw the bullet hole: I had broken the shot prematurely with the gun aligned to 3 o’clock of where I needed the shot to go, and that was exactly where the 230 grain Winchester .45 ACP hardball bullet hit…just outside the maximum 5-point zone and into the four-point zone.  I did what I should have done beforehand, and turned off the auto pilot and went back to conscious competence – thinking about what I was doing.  The rest of the shots went center, but I finished with a 299 out of 300…and yes, that cost me more than one five-dollar bill.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.