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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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Interesting article by Dave Spaulding

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
The Three S Test and preparing for the fight!

For many years the words “survive” and “survival” have played a major role in how we think about inter-personal conflict. Phrases like “Street Survival,” the “Will to Survive” and “Survival Mindset” is quite common. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of survive is “to remain in existence,” which is insufficient to en- capsulate what survive really means. I want to go home the same way I left... unharmed, unscathed and psychologically fit. No wheelchairs, medical aids, crutches or coffins for me, thus survival is not what I want to instill in my mind. I want to win, to prevail!

According to Webster, prevail means “to be victorious,” which sounds awfully good to me. What does it take to prevail in a confrontation, especially ne involving firearms? The truth is no one really knows since each confrontation is different and it’s impossible to train for every potential life-threatening event, especially since most situations are outside our control. One thing I can say with confidence is that the individual will have to take foundational knowledge and skill, and adapt it to the situation they face. There is no such thing as too much training or preparation.

I have seen a trend on the Internet where “experts” (i.e. tactical knuckleheads who have never faced anything more dangerous than a paper cut) discussing how common sense and sound judgment are the critical skills to have when facing a threat. While these are certainly good attributes to have, what these so-called experts seem to miss is that under the affects of fear, the reasoning brain goes to mush and that sound judgment and reasoning are fleeting.

My believe many expound such things on-line, as it offers an excuse to possess mediocre skills; thus the effort needed to purchase proper gear, practice ammo and spend time in the gym or at the range (we won’t even talk about the time and expense to seek proper training) to build skill is less important. Anyone who has ever had to face an armed assailant, whether it be on the battlefield, in an arrest situation or on the street while trying to mind your own business, will tell you that having confidence in one’s combative skills offers a peace of mind that cannot be taken for granted. Possessing the ability to fight and shoot is an important component of having the proper mindset and don’t let anyone tell you differently no matter how knowledgeable they may seem as they type on the Internet. Internet popularity does not necessarily translate to being skilled. In the end, having confidence in one’s ability, backed by a solid, easy to use skill set is the single biggest deterrent to the onset of mind- numbing fear.

History has shown us that it’s not necessarily the person with the fastest draw or the ability to shoot tight groups that will win a gunfight. The person that will prevail is the one that is more ruthless, has no reservation to take a shot, will go “toe-to-toe” with an opponent, will not hesitate when the fight starts to seriously injure or kill their opponent. The fact is this is not most people. The majority of us are raised to be good and kind, which are certainly qualities we want to give to our children, but what about those who are not raised this way?
During my 30 years as a cop, I came in contact with many children who knew who the local crack dealer was by age five, knew their mother was a prostitute at an age when they should have been watching Saturday morning cartoons and saw gun violence before there were two digits in their age. Do you think these people, as they grow into adult life, will think about the world the same way you or I do?

After serving seven years (at different times) in the county jail, I got to know how criminals think and the biggest mistake anyone can make is to apply their thoughts, morals or feelings to a street criminal. A police officer in my area confronted an armed suspect and tried to defuse the situation by putting her gun on the ground and dropping to her knees, thus showing a less threatening posture. The suspect responded by shooting her through the neck. Never base a decision on how to deal with an armed opponent by applying your logic.

Noted combative skills trainer Kelly McCann sums up how we need to think, as “Combat is 10 percent skill and 90 percent attitude” but don’t think the possession and mastery of skill is not important to this attitude... it is! If not, McCann would offer courses in Yoga or Zen in his Kembativz’ training courses instead of hard-core, down and dirty hand-to-hand combat. Physical skill affects mental performance. It’s as simple as that. But you do need to be mentally prepared to use the skill—you can’t have one without the other.

Back to Webster’s Dictionary, the word combat means “to counter or actively oppose; to fight back,” while combative means, “ready and willing to fight.” Mindset is defined as “a course of action based on a previous decision, a set path based on reason and intellect.” Thus, it would be fair to say that the combative mindset could be defined as, “a previous decision based on reason and intellect to be ready and willing to fight back.” What’s wrong with that? It doesn’t say a thing about attacking others or behaving like a schoolyard bully. It means if attacked, you will be ready and willing to fight back, prepared via reason and intellect. Where does reason and intellect come from? From life experience, formal education and training. Teaching citizens to have a combative mind is not the “wild west” waiting to happen, it’s a wise investment in our ability to live unmolested. That said, it is easier said than done and most people who “type a good fight on the Internet” have no idea what this process really entails…they merely recycle information that got somewhere else and make it sound as if they have aid something profound. Tactical Assholery…

How does one develop a combative mind? The words “previous decision” are the most important. Deciding this is the path you want to take and actively pursuing it via quality training is crucial. The more skill one possesses, the more likely they’re able to fight back in a life-threatening event. Cops, soldiers and armed citizens must be confident in their ability if they wish to overcome the fear they will experience in a conflict. Make no mistake, you WILL feel fear but fear is your friend! Anyone who says they are never afraid is a liar or a fool, period! In addition, a person who does not have confidence in a particular technique will not try to use it in a fight, which makes them more vulnerable.
Combative skills range from verbalization through defensive tactics, chemical sprays, electronic devices, impact weapons and finally deadly force via firearms. Being as skilled as possible in all levels is a worthy goal but one that is tough to achieve due to time and monetary constraints. After all, we have lives to live with all of the wonderful things that entails. What do you do? You do the best you can with the assets you have, but don’t dismiss it by saying; “I will be more alert and aware so I can avoid a situation.” You might as well put your head in the sand and fart upward.

I dismiss the individual/instructor that unnecessarily bashes others in order to raise their profile and in this day and age there are too many of them. I blame the Internet for this, as it is way too easy and hide and throw bombs. Spirited but cordial debate is always welcome but trashing others is unprofessional and should be dismissed by anyone looking for life-saving training. No one teaches something because they think it is stupid, thus it is up to the reader or student to separate the solid information from the garbage. Since solid information is important to mental preparation and skill building, how do we do this? For a number of years, I’ve used the “Three S Test” to evaluate techniques I’ve been exposed to in various training programs, whether firearms, hand to hand or offensive driving. I think it’s a valid measuring device anyone can use.

What are the three S’s? The first is simple. Is the technique being taught simple to execute or perform? If not, what’s the likelihood the technique will be easy to utilize in a fight? What’s the likelihood that the average officer or armed citizen will practice the technique once training is over? Simplicity will make this more likely. Oftentimes less is more.

Second, does it make sense? You’re a person with a great deal of life experience and possibly some combat-grade training. Some have extensive training or even military experience. If it doesn’t make sense to you, talk to the instructor and express concern. After all, you (or your agency) are paying to be there. If the instructor can’t address your concern, you’re wise to dismiss the technique and move on to something else.

Is it street proven? Has the technique been used in actual combat of the type you may face? Be cautious. While Airsoft or Simunitions training is excellent, it is not a real fight so I don’t rate things seen in such training the same as actual combat. Also, luck should not become doctrine…a single success should not be viewed as something to train and anchor. Ask the instructor if the technique has been proven in combat; if not, do you want to be the guinea pig for this new technique?

This is not a foolproof way to evaluate a given technique, but it is a good place to begin. A solid evaluation will help anyone be more confident in his or her abilities. History has shown that anyone who faces an armed threat will respond in one of four ways: fight, flight, freeze or posture. Fighting back or fleeing is a sound, even wise, course of action. Don’t underestimate the advantages of withdrawal.

As Dirty Harry Callahan so aptly said, “A man’s got to know his limitations,” but freezing and posturing are unacceptable, likely suicidal. The dangers of freezing while in danger are obvious, but many feel they can bluff their way out of a confrontation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider that right now someone is training so that when they meet you, they beat you. I suggest that you, too, train hard and stay on guard.
Posted by Dave Spaulding 

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Skill Set: "Press"
The more I practice, train and teach the use of firearms the more I realize just how important the trigger press is to shooting accurately. Regardless of what you're shooting you always have to apply the fundamentals. But of all of the fundamentals – in my opinion – the trigger press is the most important.

This is mandatory in the beginning, learning how to smoothly press the trigger without tensing up muscles in anticipation of the recoil before, during and after the shot. The sights are always going to be moving; all the other components will never be perfect. As long as you press the trigger smoothly, letting the firearm "release" the shot, you'll get good hits.

In the beginning it's also important to take time to obtain the proper placement of the finger on the trigger. Position the finger so the trigger is centered in the pad of the first segment or "distal phalanges." This allows you to "feel" the trigger as you press and reset it, and helps ensure you're pressing straight to the rear without pushing or pulling the trigger and moving the muzzle. With consistent practice this placement becomes habit.

As you progress you learn what speed you can press the trigger in order to get good hits. With a close, large target you can press fairly quickly and get the hits. As the distance increases and/or the size of the target decreases you learn that a slower press is required to make the shot. Regardless of the speed of the press it always has to be a smooth press.

There are other trigger techniques used, and one can produce acceptable results with them, but these are more for specific applications. For example skeet and bird shooters will "slap" the trigger to release the shot. Some competitive shooters will "tap" the trigger. But to shoot as accurately as possible you're going to want to press that trigger.

I don't know how many thousands of rounds I've fired in my life so far. But still when I'm trying to shoot accurately – regardless of the type firearm, caliber or distance - I will say "pressssssssss" out loud, hissing like a snake while pressing the trigger. Verbally saying it out loud, extending out the last part of the "pressssssss" always produces good hits.

Also, keep in mind that as things get more complicated, such as when moving and shooting, the trigger press becomes even more important. For example when moving there's a greater tendency to go "now" on the trigger in an attempt to fire the shot as the sights move across the target. This leads to the dreaded anticipation, and is going to negatively affect your accuracy.

For defensive use it's important that you get accurate hits. Good hits stop the threat quicker. Accuracy ensures the safety of those in the environment; remember you're responsible for where each and every bullet ends up. The only way to produce this type accuracy under stress is to drill it on the range, under a variety of conditions. Then, when facing a violent attack and lives depend on you, "pressssssss" that trigger, and repeat as necessary.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - 

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Keys to a Successful Shot
I had some email traffic with the author of our Guest Feature from March 26, 2013 regarding the point of aim/point of impact of the new Trijicon HD-XR sights. He reminded me that we'd been over this before -- in this very feature, submitted to us then by Action Target. As a reminder for me -- and for those who've come aboard since, I run his well-written feature again.

By George Harris

Photo courtesy of Action Target
Much has been written about precision shooting in the world of combat skill development and pistol shooting in general. Perspectives and definitions of how and why we hit the intended target vary so greatly that two people involved in a heated discussion regarding precision shooting may be very parallel in their thinking, but they don't recognize it. In this article, I will talk about how and why our views concerning this subject work. Ultimately, the goal is to bring us all a little closer in defining this controversial subject and understanding what we need to see in order to deliver a successful shot.

All of my training methods stem from simplicity in firearms training. I like to cut through all of the fluff, and present concepts that make sense and are easily reproducible by the average shooter. Most of us subscribe to the age old premise that most likely originated with the invention of firearms in that the objective of shooting is hitting your target.

Let's start by discussing the two absolutes of hitting a target. They are muzzle management and trigger finger discipline. Since the bullet exits the muzzle on the way to the target, it seems likely that from zero to fifty yards (plus or minus), if the muzzle is pointed at the target when the bullet exits, then we will have ourselves a hit where we want it. Trigger finger discipline refers to how we release the bullet toward the target. If you stabilize the muzzle of the pistol on the target and operate the trigger without disturbing that stability, you will experience success. Make sense? My students think so!

Precision shooting is a total mystery to some simply because they are confused about what they must see to consistently hit the target. Sight alignment and sight picture are two regularly used terms in the precision shooting world, but they aren't always fully understood. Sight alignment is nothing more than the front and rear sight as viewed by the eye. Perfect sight alignment is the front sight vertically and horizontally centered in the rear sight notch. Sight picture is the target, front sight and rear sight as viewed by the eye. Perfect sight picture is the front sight centered vertically and horizontally in the rear sight notch superimposed on the desired point of impact of the target.

In studying human vision, we find that the eye can clearly focus on a single plane, plus or minus an inch or two. Everything else ranges from a little to a lot out of focus. Relate this to a camera lens. The camera has clarity at its primary point of interest and everything closer or further away is less than perfectly clear. A little known fact is that the eye can pick the center of any object, regardless of its shape. It can do this without having total visual clarity of the object and can be accurate down to one minute of angle (a half inch circle at fifty yards).

Photo courtesy Action Target.
Now, let's take a closer look at how and why precision shooting works. The muzzle of the pistol must be square with the target to hit the target. Think perpendicular with a very slight upward angle to account for the effects of gravity on the bullet, and horizontally centered. We use our sights as a guide to position the muzzle on the target. The more precisely we align our sights, the closer the muzzle is to square with the face of the target, and the more likely we will hit our desired point of impact, assuming that the pistol is already zeroed. The clear focus on the front sight as viewed through the slightly out of focus rear sight allows us the best chance to position the muzzle square to the target. The target should be out of focus, but its shape should be apparent. As stated above, the eye will automatically find the center of any object.

What this boils down to is that precision sight alignment will square the muzzle (where the bullet exits the gun) on the center of the target, which our eye automatically finds, for a hit in the desired location.

Bull's-eye shooters that shoot the blank side of their target and shoot better groups than when they are shooting the target side prove the concept that the eye will naturally find the center of an object consistently. By keeping the eye focus on the sights through the release of the shot, the muzzle remains square with the target, and a consistent impact point is hit again and again.

A simple and extremely effective sight picture that we developed for the aged-eye shooters (those in bi-focals and tri-focals) has become the standard sight picture for all of our students who aren't happy with their present method of hitting the target where they want to. We recommend a dot on the front sight and the widest notch available for the type of rear sight to be used. This allows us to use the eye's natural ability to center round objects in square openings with incredible precision. We zero the pistol for the strike of the round to hit whatever we put the front sight dot on, just as we would a red dot sight system. The regimen is to center the dot in the rear sight notch and float the dot on the target. With a smooth trigger press to release the shot, the thrill of a center hit is felt again and again.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Action Target as a company.

About George Harris

George Harris has spent his entire adult life working in the world of firearms. For over 30 years he has been a successful and motivational educator and trainer in all aspects of small arms. His simplistic approach to firearms training has an unarguable track record in extracting performance from his students of marksmanship, tactics, and maintenance.

As a business developer in the firearms field, George co-founded the world renowned SIG Sauer Academy and led it to become a profit center before retiring after twenty-one years of service.

George has the enviable record of leading industry test programs for multiple government and military agencies achieving successful results and contracts for firearms 100% of the time.

Many of his innovations and ideas in firearms design features have evolved to production firearms improving function, ergonomics, and aesthetics.

George has served as the subject matter expert involving firearms and related matters on television, radio, and in legal proceedings.

Among his personal accomplishments, George earned the coveted U.S. Army Distinguished badges for both Service Pistol and Service Rifle. He also Coached and was a firing team member of the World Champion U.S. Army Reserve International Combat Team before retiring with 40 years of continuous Military Service. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Avoid and Escape!

This is an excellent article and excellent advice.  This is something that I always stress and highlite during my level 2 and more advance handgun classes.  Thanks Tiger for passing this information along.
Skill Set: Avoid and Escape
Often, with all the training and practice we do - using our weapons or body to defeat the threat – we tend to ignore our number one tactic: Avoidance and Escape. Fighting is the last thing we want to do. Anytime you fight there are great risks. Avoiding or escaping allows you to win the "fight" without risk.

In his books Dave Grossman talks about the four natural responses to danger: Submission, Posturing, Fight and Flight. Submitting and allowing the threat to harm you or family members is not acceptable. Posturing, puffing up and trying to scare the threat without being ready to back it up isn't a good idea either. That leaves us with Fight or Flight.

We train and practice in order to fight, learning how to use our weapons as efficiently as possible to stop the threat. The presence of the weapon and verbal commands may provide a "psychological" stop. The situation may require you to put accurate hits on "target," physically stopping the threat. At the same time we need to be learning how to move, use cover, manipulate your weapon and all the other skills required to employ your weapon effectively.

"Flight," avoidance and/or escape, must also be thought about and practiced in advance. Fleeing may not be as simple as you first think. You pay attention to the environment so that when you spot a source of potential trouble you modify your plans to completely avoid something that might happen. A situation explodes right in front of you without warning. You immediately "haul ass," running as quickly as possible to get to a safe area. A "tactical" retreat may be called for, visually and physically covering an area or possible threat(s) as you back out to safety.

Even if you are forced to "fight" part of your response should still include "flight." As you engage the threat you back up to create distance. The fight is sudden and unexpected and you're trapped, but once the threat is down you leave for a more secure area. Plus, just because a threat is down doesn't mean the fight is over; they could have partners, so again you leave for safety.

When it comes to "flight," or avoidance or escape, there are a lot of different variations. If your plan includes family members then it becomes even more complex, requiring additional thought, planning and practice in order to be prepared.

As you think about your response remember that it's much better to be mobile than stationary. If you need to escape run fast and far. Moving targets are hard to hit. Distance greatly reduces your chances of being injured, regardless of what type weapon the threat has. Dropping down to the ground might not get you out of harms way. Start making it a habit to know where exits, cover or easily defended areas are located. Keep track of where all your family members are at all times. Initially these things will require conscious thought, constantly plugging back in to the task. Eventually they'll become habit. Then, like with all your other skills remember to practice.

For an armed citizen the list of reasons to fight is very short. Avoidance and escape are your tactics, so studying them accordingly.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Handgun Caliber - Again.... Rich Grassi

Editor's Notebook: Handgun Calibers – Again?
What's old remains old: the old ".45 versus 9mm" again rears its ugly head.
A friend raised an interesting point as to defensive handgun calibers. He noted that an argument against the .45 ACP is that it's "no longer effective due to advances in bullet technology in 9mm (and like) calibers." He wondered if that same technology upgrade didn't produce "better" .45 ammo.

I have friends in the bullet business and in the ammunition business. I imagine when they realize that I'm hitting the keyboard in a discussion of defense handgun ammunition, the stores of intoxicants dwindle because I don't believe in 'handgun stopping power' – and I say so.

It's not like religion. Faith involves believing in something you can't see, touch, smell, measure, test . . . in terms of people getting shot there is quite a bit of scattered information accumulated over a century.

Keeping empties in the air with a 9mm is a little easier than with a .45 -- especially as we age. That's not necessarily the best metric for fight-stopping potential.
But, let's go back to the technologically challenged .45 ACP. You can measure and collect data about the new-issue .45 Auto. Various bonded HPs, all-copper rounds and improved bullet designs make for some impressive performance in the artificial environment of the FBI tests – just like in smaller calibers. There are things they seek, among them penetration, and the new ammo is built to pass a test. How the test relates to the world varies: for many of us, no longer on the job, much of the test lacks relevance. For many police shootings, the test doesn't really say anything – but it is a test and it gives one a basis for comparison.

One argument against the .45 is "less barrier penetration" including vehicle engagements. I've not seen compelling data to indicate that non-law enforcement has a compelling need for 'barrier penetration.' As to cars, those who shoot lots of them tell us that handgun calibers really don't "kill cars:" there are too many intervening variables (braces, supports, steering wheel cores, etc.). There is a difference on auto glass which, again, is largely irrelevant for most of us.

Another thing is "less recoil, higher capacity" for the 9x19. Sure. That's a thing for a good many (see the FBI), but the capacity argument is not a big deal overall according to the few who examine shooting reports in some detail. Does this mean a two-shot 'derringer' type pistol is a good idea?

You might ask why I nearly always carry a compact-service auto with a spare magazine – and it's a fair question. It's unlikely I'll need a gun at all: if I knew I was going to need any gun, I'd avoid the situation completely. The battle never fought counts as a victory.

A shotgun or rifle-caliber carbine is a better choice if fighting is actually necessary.
It's said that bigger handgun projectiles have a bigger impact and "transfer more energy." – No, they don't. Look at the size and speed of the projectiles: 147 grains weight versus 230 grains weight: that's nearly no difference, at 83 grains (.19 ounce). Compare both to a one-ounce (437.5 grains) lead Foster slug at around 1400 fps – well, there isn't a comparison. The difference in diameter is likewise irrelevant: 0.097" is nothing about which to write home.

Remember, if it "knocks" the attacker down it has to knock you down too.

Staying away from crossed platforms, by comparing Glock 21 to Glock 17, S&W M&P45 to M&P9, Ruger American .45 to Ruger American 9mm is helpful. If you throw the whole 1911 versus "fill-in-the-blank" thing in there, it's a whole different kettle of fish.

Likewise, measuring the difference in split times is of little help. The difference between .15 and .30 is one-half the blink of a human eye. And no fight stops on a fraction of a second – it takes more time for the human attacker to close up shop.

Is the .45 Auto a good cartridge? Sure. It's not for everyone, no more than the 9mm is – and we should be glad we can make the choice (in Free states). It's one of the most accurate handgun rounds in existence due to its extensive development as a match round as much as anything. It's as good as anything else for defense use, but my standards are pretty basic and have been often repeated here.

The load selected should fire, function the gun, penetrate enough and hit to the sights -- the last being critical as bullet placement is king.
Suffice to say, the round has to fire every single time (the best single reason for premium defensive ammo), it has to function the gun, it has to go deeply enough in the attacker to wreck important stuff and it needs to hit to the sights. Expansion, barrier penetration and other stuff is okay I guess but it's hardly critical.

If there's just got to be a fight – and I really don't recommend it – I'd prefer a slug-loaded 12 gauge or a centerfire rifle-caliber carbine and some people with good attitudes who are likewise equipped.

I greatly respect many of those who stake out one position or another as to handgun ammo, but it's just handgun ammo: it sucks in a fight. The pistol is handier than a rifle/shotgun and there's where we hit the wall. There's no significant difference in results downrange regardless of the service handgun calibers. And there's no need to give up if you have to use a 9mm for defense – or a .380 or a .22.

If you ask why I carry 9mm, it's because it's cheaper, it's plentiful, and it'll do if you will. If carry of the .45 (or .40 or .357 SIG or .38 Special) warms your heart, I won't disparage you anymore than I would if you chose the 9mm.

-- Rich Grassi 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

UPDATE.... Larry Vickers Training Course

The  three day Vickers training class that is scheduled for March 2017 at USANA, Elmer, NJ is over half filled.  If you are still considering taking this class I would suggest that you go to the web site AZTEC TRAINING SERVICES. COM and sign up and register for the class.  Once this class is filled there will not be any openings.

For Law Enforcement Officers only,  if you cannot make all three days, but can make at least two of the three days a special price of $500,00 for the two days will be available.  You may select what two days of the three day class you would be able to attend. Remember Saturday the 11th will be the day dedicated for the Shoot House Training.