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Aproved instuctor for N.J. & Pa. for the Retired LEO Programs. Approved instructor for both Florida & Delaware. Former full time contract Firearm and Defensive Tactics Instructor/Trainer. Working at the FAMS Training Service Ctr. Atlantic City NJ. Retired Deputy Conservation Officer, N. J. Division of Fish & Wildlife, Bureau of Law Enforcement. Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor; Handgun, Shotgun, Patrol Rifle, & Certified Tactical Shooting Instructor, with over 20 years of experience. Certified by N.J.Police Training Commission (D.C.J.), NRA Law Enforcement Division,& NRA Civilian Instructor Division. Glock Certified Armorer, Affiliate Instructor for THE ARMED CITIZEN, LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK, Certified Expandable Baton and Defensive Tactics Instructor.OC Training Instructor, For information regarding Training Courses, Contact me @ 215 416 0750 or e-mail me @ rotac2@gmail.com AUTHORIZED REPRESENATIVE FOR THE FOLLOWING PRODUCT; ZERO TOLERANCE TACTICAL KNIVES

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Anyone who has ever taken any of my classes, from beginner to advanced skill level know how much I emphasis the importance of working that trigger smoothly and consistently! "PREP, PRESS, RESET". The attached article by Tiger Mckee is a great explanation of how it should be done!

Skill Set: Trigger Slack
A common problem with shooters, both new and experienced, is the "slack" or "take-up" on triggers. A lot of pistols, especially striker-fired handguns such as Glocks, XD's and M&P's have "slack" in the trigger. This slack is rearward movement of the trigger, a sort of free travel that must be removed or taken out before the actual trigger press begins. Confusing this slack with the trigger press is the cause for a lot of bad shots. The shooter presses the trigger. There's not a lot of resistance to it. When they actually get to the point that they start feeling resistance – where the real trigger press should start – they jerk the trigger, forcing the shot to fire. The shooter anticipates the recoil, tensing up their muscles and moving the sights off target. The result is an inaccurate shot.

The key to shooting accurately is pressing the trigger smoothly without anticipating when the shot is going to fire. A good trigger press fires the shot without moving the muzzle. Jeff Cooper called this a "surprise break." You press the trigger and let the pistol fire when it's ready, as opposed to you making the pistol fire. (The same thing applies to any firearm.) The time it takes to press the trigger, how smoothly it needs to be pressed, depends on the accuracy you need.

Trigger designs that have slack or take-up require you to press the trigger lightly to the rear, removing this free travel. Once the slack is out you begin pressing the trigger to fire the shot. Think of it as a two-stage trigger like you might find on a precision rifle.

At the start of a class we have shooters verbalize this process. During dry practice they come on target and place their finger on the trigger. They say out loud, "Slack out," or whatever words work best for them as an individual. At the same time they apply light pressure to the trigger until feeling the actual resistance start. (Verbalizing this slows the mind down, forcing the conscious mind to think about the process.) Then they release the slack out and take their finger off the trigger. This is done numerous times so they get the feel of taking the slack out and releasing it.

Once this is working well we move to the actual trigger press. This is a two-step process. They are on target, finger on the trigger. Step one: they say, "Slack out." The slack or take-up has been performed. Step two: they say out loud "Presssssssssss… ," hissing like a snake and steadily increase pressure on the trigger. At some point the trigger "breaks," moving all the way rearward. Remember this is done dry, so they get to the point that the sights are steady throughout and after the trigger press. (This is normally done in a team format so the "coach" can cycle the slide, allowing the shooter say out loud "Reset," releasing the trigger far enough forward to reset the internals.)

After plenty of dry practice to figure out how their trigger works we go hot, performing the same drill live, one shot at a time with students still verbalizing their actions. "Slack out," takes out the free travel. "Pressssssssss… ," fires the shot. They recover from the recoil; get the sights back on target, and say "Reset," to reset the trigger. This sequence produces good, accurate hits for beginners and experienced shooters improve their trigger manipulations.

"Learning" your trigger is a never-ending process. You're always trying to improve. Any time you pick up a different type firearm it's going to take some time to become familiar with that trigger. If you're helping out a friend or new shooter make sure they understand the principles involved. Knowing how to work the trigger, both before and after the shot, is the key to getting good hits. Practice this often.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Springfield Day Sep't 24, 2016. Held at the Philadelphia Training Academy

This past Saturday the Philadelphia Training Academy
 held it's annual Springfield Day.  There were two guns given away and this one of them.  A Springfield 1911!  Congrats to the lucky winner!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Break It Down....Tiger Mckee

Skill Set: Break It Down
The techniques required to operate your firearm efficiently and safely are made up of a series of steps, individual actions combined to perform the necessary sequences. This is true for drawing the pistol, loading your AR or any other techniques you use. When there are problems it usually isn't with the entire process; there will be one step in the sequence that isn't working exactly right. You break the steps down, examining each one to determine where the problem is, and then isolate and practice that one step until it works in conjunction with the others to create a seamless sequence.

Let's look at reloading an empty pistol as an example. In the beginning everything is broken down into a series of steps. After repetition one step smoothly flows into the next. The biggest issue with shooters, especially in the beginning, is pressing the magazine release to get the old mag out. The other steps before and after releasing the mag are good, but the whole sequence - reloading the pistol - is slower than it should be because they are not efficiently releasing the mag. The solution to making the whole sequence efficient is spending time practicing this one step.

While there are exceptions, most pistols have the mag release on the left side. Normally a right hand shooter uses the right thumb to press the mag release. The button must be pressed in, towards the center of the pistol to release the magazine. Most people will have to shift their hand around the pistol – keeping the muzzle pointing in a safe direction - to hit the mag release. Think of this one step - releasing the magazine – as a set of smaller actions: Shift the pistol, release the mag and reacquire your grip.

Dry practice, as usual, is the best way to practice this act. You don't even need to use dummy ammo for this practice. Make sure you have a safe area to practice, with no live ammo present and a backstop capable of stopping a round if you do make a mistake. You put an empty mag in the pistol. Acquire your regular grip on the pistol. Shift the hand around the pistol and press the mag release. (Some pistols mag require you to strip the mag from the pistol.) Once the mag is out reacquire the proper grip on the pistol. Set it up again, and repeat. Do this a lot, until releasing the mag becomes a fluid action.

If you only work on the mag release as a part of reloading, working fast in order to get a shot on target, you'll be thinking about a lot of other things as opposed to releasing the mag. Isolating and concentrating on this one step improves the learning curve, instead of thinking about what needs to be done before and after the mag is released. Once you're working the mag release cleanly then you plug it into your other sequences such as unloading, reloading and clearing malfunctions.

This learning technique, isolating one step of a sequence to practice, works with any skill. The key is identifying where you're having problems. Once you discover the source of difficulty you break it down and concentrate on that one step, which may itself be a series of small steps. After practicing you plug it back into the complete sequence.

Learning requires discipline. You have to practice. During practice you critically examine your actions to find problems. You isolate the problem and practice until it's working. Then comes more practice, making sure your technique is flowing smoothly. Now it's time to find the next problem. The more "problems" you solve in advance the better your performance is when "that" time comes.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy

Thursday, August 18, 2016

For the Ladies....Good information From Tiger Mckee

Skill Set: Ladies' Carry
Today's column is for the ladies, or for you guys who are going to help a lady get started with a handgun. The big news is that men and women are different. Yes, you know this, but apparently when it comes to helping a lady choose a pistol and how to carry it guys have a tendency to forget this. Women will have completely different requirements for a pistol and how they are going to carry the weapon. Here are some important things to consider.

According to Jeff Cooper, the three important features of a pistol are size and fit, good sights and a crisp trigger. First off, the pistol has to properly fit the hands so the shooter can acquire a proper grip. A pistol that "fits" means you can efficiently operate any features such as safeties. For example, smaller pistols have small thumb safeties which are more difficult to switch from "Safe" to "Fire" and back. A lot of women don't have the hand strength to work the thumb safety properly. With the various designs in handguns today I really don't see that a traditional thumb safety is needed, as long as the shooter has received the proper training and the accompanying practice.

A pistol that fits allows the shooter to get the proper position of the finger on the trigger. Ideally the finger is positioned with the trigger in the center of the first pad of the finger where it can press the trigger straight to the rear, as opposed to pushing or pulling it to one side, which will affect accuracy. Also, can you actually press the trigger? Most ladies have a hard time pressing the ten to twelve pound trigger on a standard revolver. In order to shoot accurately you have to press the trigger smoothly, and spend a lot of time doing it.

"Fit" also comes into play for manipulating the pistol. Again, think about hand size and strength. A pistol may fit the hand, but can the shooter operate the slide, manipulating it in order to load, unload or reload? Can they press the mag release without having to struggle or juggle the pistol in their hands? All of these actions are necessary to operate the pistol safely and efficiently.

You also need to think about "Fit" along carry lines. Will the pistol fit the way they need to carry? I've heard guys tell ladies, "You have to carry it in a holster on your belt, otherwise don't even bother carrying it." What? Again, women and men are different. Most ladies can't carry a handgun on the belt, either due to their size and shape or the way they have to dress. There are a lot of different options for carrying, and while a lot of people – guys – don't like carrying in a purse or bag it does have advantages. A lady can walk through the parking lot with their hand in their purse – and grip on the pistol – without attracting any attention. When your pistol is on the belt it's hard to do this without attracting attention.

Another factor to consider in the "Fit" department is recoil. Yes, carrying a big fast bullet is great, until it keeps you from shooting because it hurts the hand. Again, practice is mandatory. In my opinion a .380 pistol that "fits" someone - they'll actually shoot and practice with it – is much better than a lightweight .357 that they only shoot a few times and never touch again. We usually start beginners, both men and women, out with .22's and then have them move up to larger calibers.

"But," the guys complain, "Now I have to buy more pistols." Or, and this one really kills me, "My wife shot my XXX and now she wants one." What? You're complaining that your wife wants you to buy more pistols? Get that girl whatever she wants. If it's something she likes she'll probably shoot and carry it more.

Ladies, you need training. Guys - don't try to teach your wife or girlfriend how to shoot. Training is necessary to learn how to operate a firearm safely, the number one concern, and efficiently, which is mandatory for self-defense. I actually recommend new shooters to get training before buying a firearm. Most places will have pistols you can rent or use in the class, and the instruction will help you determine what type pistol is going to work best for you.

A great source of information is The Handgun Guide For Women by Tara Dixon Engel. This book has chapters on almost everything you need to get started. (Guys, I recommend you read it too.) It even has a chapter on "How To Visit A Gunshop," which is a difficult thing for most women.

Ladies, you need to be armed and ready to defend yourself and family. Guys, remember helping may not actively involve you. Everyone who is capable and ready should prepare. It's getting ugly out there, and I don't see it getting better any time soon.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

One Gun....Rich Grassi

One Gun
The first Glock 19s in the stable: the Gen 2 (right) was the first and it's very old. The second is the Gen 3, which saw lots of use in the waning years of my law enforcement career.
Are you the type that buys "one of these, one of those?" – A collector? There's not a thing wrong with it. Those who like guns often like lots of them and they enjoy the variation, learning different operating systems and simply enjoying range time or collecting.

There seem to be increasing numbers of practically minded folks who slavishly adhere to one type of handgun on the basis that they can only really learn one system – and there's something to be said for this as well.

The likelihood of a 'battlefield pickup' – snatching up a gun from someone who's down to use in an on-going emergency is currently (and thankfully) very slim. It's far more likely you'll need to dance with the one you brought along. Will you ever have all the skill you need? Is it possible to wish you hadless skill with the piece you have when the fight starts?

I don't believe so. I think you'll have more than enough to worry over. Having to learn your weapon system during the battle is just too much.

The story I always tell is my own experience. I yawned at the appearance of the early Glock pistols in the 1980s and shook my head as I watched them take over the US law enforcement scene in the 1990s. As I was teaching at seminars around the country in the middle and the latter half of the decade and into the 21st Century, it was Glock everywhere the eye could see. I was confronted with the fact that showing up with a "traditional double action" (trigger-cocking) pistol was just a source of confusion for folks who had the Wonder Plastic.

The current 'duty' gun is the Gen. 4 Glock 19, as refitted. Some parts were installed to bring the gun into line, others as a test.
I got a Glock 19 used in 2000 and worked with it some. Mike Rafferty was to attend a Glock armorer's recertification class. He'd looked my prize over, noted that it was an early U.S. G19 and took it along. The instructor did all the "updates" – and there were many. I got a Gen. 3 Glock 19 in the summer of 2001.

That gun accompanied me to an annual conference of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors and I took every shooting class I could get into, including one from contributor Dave Spaulding. A set of XS Sights was installed and it went to the following IALEFI Annual and to Gunsite Academy on a media event. I consumed every bit of 3,000 rounds of ammo to get accustomed to that thing and it later became my "most trained with" firearm of all time. As a writer, I was pulled away from the gun to test others. I always seemed to go back to it.

Is it ideal? Well, I'm no 'caliber commando' – so the issue of the 9mm chambering is no issue for me. The gun has to function and hit to the sights. It has a consistent trigger shot-to-shot requiring no 'transition' from trigger-cocking to single action. It holds fifteen rounds in the magazine, can accept the 17-round magazine of its bigger brother – something I seldom take advantage of. That's in a form factor that the manufacturer calls "compact." The first auto I carried in police uniform – a Colt National Match – had a standard capacity of seven rounds.

The Glock 19 has a smaller sibling, the Glock 26, which accepts the magazines of the G19 and G17 – making it an ideal backup gun. I carried that way on the job, the G19 as the main holster gun and the Glock 26 in an ankle holster made by the late Lou Alessi as the backup. I supported them with two spare Glock 19 magazines. The older 2nd Gen Glock 19 waited in a safe in case my up-front gun was held as evidence in a shooting and to back it up at shooting classes.

Primary changes were sights, extractor and trigger -- but only because the factory action was substandard. The slide cover plate is simply vanity.
Since then, I've taken almost four years to get a Gen. 4 Glock 19 in shape to move to the front of the line. The trigger was the worst I'd found in the Glock line and it got replaced with the Glocktriggers.com duty trigger. The ejection was "so-so" and I installed the Apex Tactical Specialties Glock 'Failure Resistant Extractor.' That solved the issue. A Vickers slide stop, magazine release button and magazine floorplates were installed, as were Spaulding CAP sights from Ameriglo. I had to make a 'factory adjustment' to the rear sight as I have always shot decidedly left with this gun – something that never happened with the Gen 3 version or the Glock 26. This year, the Gen. 4 went on paper at the retirees' LEOSA range.

Your primary artillery doesn't have to be a Glock of any kind. I found the S&W M&P9C to be a perfectly fine carry gun – and nothing was done to the trigger, though it too has Ameriglo sights. I like and have carried 1911 pistols of various flavors. Which gun you choose isn't the point – my solution may not be good for you.

The gun I've fired most in training and practice is the Glock – the gun I have the most handling hours on is the double-action revolver, specifically the small, snub-nose five- or six-shot .38 revolvers from S&W, Colt and Ruger. I have one on now as a spare gun.

It's not the gun, it's the reps you have in. The dry practice, handling and competent disassembly for cleaning and maintenance and the live practice. That's what will carry the day because it's something you won't have to think about in the fight.

-- Rich Grassi 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Good article....by Rich Grassi

Editor's Notebook: Handling Post-Encounter Issues
Shooting at the range and training can be fun, but consider the aftermath of a lethal encounter -- that takes planning.
Much of the training, writing, internet videos explore gear and applications of force. It's necessary of course, but it seems that the least addressed aspect of deadly force is every bit as critical to success: what happens after the shots are fired and your ears are ringing?

This is not a simple, one-dimensional thing: how do you not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by an improper post-shooting procedure, how do you ensure that you're not destroyed by the offender's confederates, responding police, other armed persons nearby – or if you are bleeding out from gunshot wounds? After all that, we consider the legal reality.

Dave Spaulding is known for saying that you must an active participant in your own rescue. That's relevant in the fight – and all that precedes it – and it's relevant in the aftermath. It's all on you and you can't rely on others to prepare for the ugly eventualities on your behalf.

I'm aware of the bleating in big media about the horrors of the stupidly named "stand your ground" laws. Ask them, they'd likely tell you the Castle Doctrine upon which the "no need to prove inability to retreat" laws are based is just as bad. There are states' attorneys who have no love of self defense law and likely believe that you have no right to defend yourself from an attack – particularly if you're forced to use the ultimate force option to save yourself or others you have a duty to protect.

And it doesn't stop there. Anyone who believes you can only be tried once for a single event has real issues. I'm no lawyer and I know about 'double jeopardy,' but the armed citizen can face criminal and civil liability. The police officer can – and does – face criminal and civil liability at both state and federal levels. That's four potential trials before we examine the potential employment liability in internal agency investigations.

Any idea why someone wouldn't choose a career in law enforcement?

Some light reading and the ID card from the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network.
I attended Deadly Force Instructor in 1998, taught by friend and mentorMassad Ayoob. I annually took – and taught – instructor level training in uses of force by police. Let's say I became a little acquainted with the law.

I'm no lawyer though, nor is Mas. His second great book on the topic of understanding the rules of the road in terms of deadly force, Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense, is as important a work as you can find on the topic. There's another text on the topic, a complementary work – not a replacement, and that's attorney Andrew Branca's The Law of Self Defense.

The Foreword of the text is written by the aforementioned Ayoob and sets the context of the two books – and the two instructors, as Branca teaches a well-attended course based on his book.

He goes beyond Mas's book in the sense that he breaks down various legal elements on a state-by-state basis – yes, there are differences and you better know the rules where you live – and the rules of locations to which you travel.

The context of the legal battle is set in terms of competing narratives, the state advancing a theory of criminal behavior behind your use of deadly force and your defense creating the image of defendant as a crime victim in perilous straits. Branca sets the five links, essential components of a successful self-defense claim, as innocence, imminence, proportionality, avoidance and reasonableness.

This sounds remarkably like the 'circumstance that justifies homicide,' as put forth by Ayoob: "immediate, otherwise unavoidable danger of death or great bodily harm to the innocent."

Branca examines these in turn, then explores issues like 'defense of property.' Instead of quickly dismissing the concept, he explores it with a keen analysis – showing you "his work" and how he arrived at the conclusion most of us in the field share. He advances a legally sound defense strategy – minimizing your exposure to liability entanglements completely. His state specific information – which, as Ayoob points out is alone worth the price of the book – covers provocation/aggressor laws, 'regaining innocence' laws, justified deadly force, the duty to retreat in deadly force cases, legal presumption of reasonableness, justifiable use of force in defense of others, use of non-deadly force in defense of property – and use of deadly force in defense of property.

Taking the class to get your permit doesn't make you ready to roam about armed in public no more than simple citizenship allows a blanket pass to armed self defense on your own property. As a Natural Right, self defense requires some thought, soul-searching and consideration.

Understanding this, you need to study both texts. Add to that some active and ongoing protection, like membership in theArmed Citizens' Legal Defense Network.

Failure to do so can move you down the road to negative outcomes in the form of civil and criminal penalties.

Get both books, read them. Be an active participant in your own legal rescue.

-- Rich Grassi