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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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hallways & Corners Highways to Heaven or Hell? -Clint Smith

If you don't have to, don't go!  Rule #1!  As a trained law enforcement officer this is probably one of the most dangerous things you may have to do.  Remember I said trained!  For a civilian it is definitely the worst and most likely a fatal decision to make.  More likely than not you may wind up in a rubber bag!  When you watch this being done by trained professionals it looks pretty simple but that's because these professionals have spent many. and I mean many of hours perfecting this type of procedure.

The following article by one of the best in the business, Mr. Clint Smith, (Thunder Ranch) will give some insight on the do's and don'ts.  If you decide to get some of his type of training, make sure that the instructor has a complete and knowledgeable understanding of this type of training, i.e. practical working experience or certified to teach this venue. 

Hallways & Corners

Highways to Heaven or Hell?

-Clint Smith (Thunder Ranch)

Hallways are by definition are “a corridor or passage in a building”. Corridors are by definition a passageway into which compartment or room’s open or a restricted lane as in an air traffic corridor. These hallways, corridors, or passageways can restrict flow or movement and are generally found in conjunction with doors and corners. Following are some concepts and thoughts for clearing, working and maybe fighting in and around hallways and their adjoining corners.

Working both sides of a doorway is the same in halls or rooms but halls will be tighter.
Clearing or Offense
When moving down the hall you have two choices. One is to stay close to the wall to minimize yourself as a target. Two is to move down the middle of the hall to reduce the potential of being hit by ricochets but more importantly flying debris. Much of which technique you select will be based on what material the walls of the hallway you are in are made of. If is a hard material concrete or the like, it doesn’t take a mental giant to figure out one may be hit by gunfire or fragmentation and stuff coming down the hallway.  If it is required to move in the hallway then approach open doors and corners with caution. Kick in your program as discussed earlier on doors and doorways. Visually slice the opening with your eyes keeping the muzzle of your weapon in support. Do not lead into the opening with your elbow, foot, hat brim or the end of the weapons muzzle! Work from the right side of the hall to clear the left corner then back up, cross over and work from the left side of the hall to clear the right corner visually. Look as far into the area you are clearing as possible. Use fixtures inside the room to help you clear it. Look at mirrors, windows or anything that would reflect or show the movements or location of possible threats.

Holding or In Defense
In applying defense there are notable assets to engaging your opponent in doorways, at corners and definitely in hallways because their movement is restricted and their exposure is great while their available cover is negligible. The length of your hallway or corridor of course dictates the potential exposure time that you will have to engage the threat. Anything that could be added to slow the forward momentum of your opponent is helpful. As in stairways, furniture, debris, gunfire or bright lights…all serve to retard the forward movement. Once movement is slowed or stopped the only deciding criteria in the hallway is who can provide the best marksmanship to stop and hold the threat’s forward movement.
An example of this is we may be holding safe ground at the end of a hallway on someone who says he wants to commit suicide but in reality wants us to dispatch them because they don’t have the guts to do themselves in. The problem with this scenario is sometimes the dummies kill us also as part of their death wish, hence the reason for giving guidelines like the ones above.

Bad Places
As before when you start down a hallway remember the last safest place that you cleared in case the hallway becomes untenable. There will be a hallway that can’t be cleared by going straight ahead and you had better consider it. You will either back up or be stuffed in a bag. Don’t apply the thought process of “Well, they may get me, but I will take them with me.” The bottom line is the same; you’ll be in the bag. Movement in a hallway that restricts movement and flow is very dangerous. Minimize your exposure time in them by avoiding them or moving through them as quickly as possible.  There are two choices as mentioned before, going fast or slow. Whatever your speed of movement your muzzle should be between you and the threat so you can protect yourself. If you can move with someone in support of your movement to give you supporting fire then do so. Last, but not least the wise and prudent person would plan a method of an organized withdrawal to deal with the worst-case scenario.

 Hallways with door openings and were to be looking

Basic construction of doors, hallways and stairs creates corners. As a result these corners restrict flow or movement. To clear or work around corners compresses the potential threats to close to us. Corners can come singly or in pairs in the forms of a ninety-degree turn or also as one hundred eighty degrees as in a hallway entering a room. Corners are most often found in a vertical plane but can be horizontal as in a stairwell overhang. The same rules apply maximize the distance to the corner and expose the least amount of you while trying to see the most amount of the area your trying to clear. Use your eyes with the weapon muzzle in support as you clear the corner.

Working corners at the pivot point

Home on the Range
This brings us to a point of interest; even as cops you should never have a tactical problem in your own home. Clear it now and practice often so you get it right. Set mirrors and furniture to your advantage to help you clear areas without entering. Proper placement of a mirror can help you look down a hallway before you stick your head in. There is the thought that your opponent could look in the mirror back and see you, but you would rather that they see you in the mirror than shoot you in the head as you attempt to clear an area. A good practice exercise is to have someone hide a full-length mirror any place in your home where a potential human could hide. Go look and find it and what you see in the mirror is the same thing a real threat will see of you. Did you expose your entire body or just a bit of your head with the muzzle in front of it slicing the corner.

All applications of tactics are dangerous and your preference should be to pass on doing whenever you can…then again if you have to do it better to be up to the task required. This skill is acquired over time and practice and the more you practice, the less likely it is that you’ll have to use or do it. One final thought is people shoot you because they see you and they see you because you let them. So don’t let them see you. And if they want to shoot you make them shoot through something to get the job. 
I can be shot, I have been, but I will not do anything to help it happen again.
If they want to shoot us, make the bastards work for it.  ~C

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Skill Set: Simple and Effective....Tiger Mckee, (The Wire)

Skill Set: Simple and Effective
There are no advanced skills. Responding to a threat is a matter of being able to apply the fundamentals. The techniques used should be simple to understand, easy to learn – with the appropriate investment – and easy to apply. For example moving, communicating with the threat - issuing verbal commands, using cover, and shooting if necessary. Don't forget to be thinking too, figuring out how to best solve your problem. These concepts are fairly simple. For some reason though, a lot of people like to look for secret or magic techniques. They try to make it a lot more complicated than it really is.

With most things you have to figure out what you're trying to do before you can determine how to do it. Take the basic fundamental of pressing the trigger as an example. To fire an accurate shot you press the trigger smoothly, without disrupting the sight picture or anticipating the recoil. Hold as steady as possible, press and let the shot fire whenever the firearm decides it's time to fire. You're looking for a "surprise" break on the trigger. This is simple to understand, but if you don't grasp the concept you'll never learn how to press the trigger properly.

You start applying this concept with the basics, firing one accurate round at a time. Try to go too fast – for example pushing to see how quick you can dump the whole magazine on target – and you'll never master the basics of a good trigger press. When you get to the point you can always fire one good shot then start working on firing two accurate hits. Eventually you get to the point that no matter how many you fire, they are all accurate. The same principle applies to drawing the pistol, acquiring a proper grip and every other skill needed to use the pistol safely and efficiently.

A lot of times we'll read about the techniques a professional/competition shooter uses. It may be a new or different way they've come up with to press the trigger. Just keep in mind these guys have been shooting a long time, with thousands of hours racked up on the range. Their job is to shoot. After that much time they have modified the basics, changing them in order to create the best performance they can produce. But, they all started with the fundamentals just like everyone else. Then, over time, their techniques evolved to fit them personally. Often times you'll hear them say, "This is what works best for me." This doesn't mean it's going to work for you. The only way to find out what works is to do it.

At some point you'll begin modifying the way you do things. The way you acquire the grip on the pistol while still in the holster changes as you become more comfortable with drawing. You discover exactly where the support hand needs to be on the pistol. Over time the amount of pressure used to grip the pistol changes. This is good; you're discovering what works best for you. Just don't stray too far from the fundamental concepts.

Don't be afraid to experiment. But keep in mind just because something is new or so and so does it doesn't mean it's better for you. When you change and then realize it's not working go back to what you were doing before. Don't try to force something to work. The techniques you use should be easy to understand, easy to learn, efficient and effective. Practice will make it all better.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pushing Left....Rich Grassi (The Wire)

Editor's Notebook: Pushing Left
This is "pushing left." The target was shot at ten yards with the Ruger SR1911-9mm lightweight "Commander" style pistol."
Part of the joy of this email newsletter format is in receiving feedback from readers – and getting to respond to it in this space. Aside from it being "content," it helps me investigate various issues, learn things from others – getting another take on what I know to be true or what I believe.

In a recent story about "single stack" autos, I mentioned that I was pushing left with the 9mm Commander-size Ruger SR1911. I got the following response:

"The next time you seem to be pushing shots left, put the gun in the left hand and shoot a group. If it still shoots left, it's the gun. If not, go look in the mirror.

"Try pulling the front sight through the rear sight notch with the trigger by imagining a connection between the two. This will facilitate pressure on the trigger parallel to the gun.

"Let me know how it goes."

That's good advice, a firearms instructor's advice from one of the very best in the business. He's been responsible for producing great improvement in a great many shooters – likely saving lives in the process.

It's good advice as far as it goes – and it's very relevant to the piece under discussion. It's not always true and therein lies the problem: whenever anyone says "keep it simple," there's the presumption that the problem is simple. Variables intrude.

Shooting "wrong-handed" can tell you if the tendency to push your shots to the non-gun side is your fault or the gun's "fault."
Variables include physical issues with the shooters: hand size, vision, grip technique and strength – or any combination – and that can be magnified by the size and form of the gun.

In keeping with that view, I wandered back out to the range with the gun in question, another 9mm – the Gen5 Glock 19 I've been having struggles with in attaining zero, and with a .22 revolver.

I used the Birchwood Casey RIGID Precision Square target. It features 9 two-inch squares each with a one-inch square in its center, kind of an 'X' ring. I divided the squares left to right, each row containing squares to be shot with one of the three guns; the SR1911 9mm was on top, the center row was for the Glock 19 and the bottom was for the 17-ounce Ruger LCRx 22 revolver.

Each column was for "handedness." The left column was for shooting left-handed, the center was two-hands using the "dominant" hand to control the gun. The right column was for right-handed shooting; I shot those squares one-handed.

The top two squares, shot with the SR1911 show a left-ward tendency even when fired left handed. The Gen5 Glock 19 had the sights adjusted to center for windage but was high. The two-inch squares were shot at five yards. The additional shot in the top left square was "shooting unlocked" with the Glock.
The distance was five yards. While there's not much variation in windage at that near distance, there is some and five yards is close. The error is magnified the further back you get.

The SR1911 shot just a shade left on each of its three squares. The G19 was going high but was reasonably well centered. The revolver was likewise centered.

What did I prove? While I described the left-leaning tendencies of the Ruger auto, I referred to it as my "pushing" shots left – hence, admitting it was me.

Now – I'm not so sure.

I found three sources that indicate that the leftward tendency – for right-handed shooters – is a "thing" with Glock pistols. And so it is. I've witnessed it hundreds of times. At Glock Professional, the first week of August, I was pushing left with a Glock 17, as was Bob Radecki, National Sales Manager of Glock. This was so unheard of that "Gen1" instructor Chris Edwards had his sight pusher on the premises. It's so unheard of that Glock factory sights for the Gen5 guns fill less of the dovetail so pushing them right doesn't look as odd as it did with earlier editions.

Larry Vickers has commented online that he tends to hit left with Glock pistols also.

Shooting for precision with a very light .22 DA revolver -- the Ruger LCRx 22 -- helps reinforce trigger control and follow-through.
Two sources, one was Pat McNamara, agreed that using the distal joint of the trigger finger was called for on the Glock series of guns. If the index finger is a lever, the pad is further from the second joint – the fulcrum – than the distal joint. Using the distal joint, closer to the "center" has more leverage. This means it's less likely you'll move the muzzle off plumb.

The rounded grip of the Glock is also an issue. One writer described "Glock milking" – loading pressure on the sides of the grip frame instead of "C-clamping" the front strap toward the back strap.

Add the two and you're less likely to push left – unless you do. And it's not 100%: there are many shooters who never experience the "Glock push."

I have it – and as my correspondent noted – it likely migrates to other designs as I try to use common techniques across platforms.

Before you get out the sight pusher or hammer-and-drift, bury that index finger into the trigger guard and check your grip.

- - Rich Grassi 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Skill Set: The Center

Skill Set: The Center
There is a Yeats poem, "The Second Coming," about post WWI years in Europe. In it are these lines: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, …" As we face times of trouble - individually and as a nation - I want you to consider in these times we are the "center." The only option we have is to "hold" and stand firm.

In a conflict, when someone attacks, if avoidance and escape are not options you are forced to defend. At this point in time you must become the center, controlling the action. Initially you may be in a reactive state; you didn't start the fight. As soon as possible you must force the threat to react to you. This gives you control, and once established you're not giving it up until the fight is over.

Obviously you can't control everything. For example if forced to shoot you don't know how many rounds will need to be fired to stop the threat. But, you can control your marksmanship, ensuring that every trigger press produces an accurate hit. In most situations it's impossible to predict where the confrontation will take place. If you knew that you wouldn't even be there to begin with. You can control the environment by using cover to make it more difficult for the threat(s) to attack.

All of this can only be accomplished if you, the center, are mentally in control of your actions. If all you're doing is reacting, using the primitive part of the brain, your ability to efficiently solve the problem is going to be less than acceptable. To deal with the trouble you have to be thinking. "What am I going to do? What will I do when that doesn't work?" Answering these questions requires remaining calm.

We are also the center of our nation. Things are getting crazy out there. Gun owners, now more than ever, need to hold firm, ensuring that our rights remain secure. We cannot let the outer fringes take command.

There will be all kind of cries for gun control. Many "gun owners," and I'm using the term loosely, have come out publicly for more regulations. I don't think many of us really care what Ashton Kutcher thinks, so don't spend time frettin' over that. Ignore the media. I heard one of them saying that if gun control will save one American's life it's worth consideration. Apply that same logic to cars and swimming pools and we still would save few, if any.

Instead of getting wrapped around the axle about what other people are saying spend your time where it will make a difference. Concentrate on being prepared to handle trouble. Focus on staying in contact with your government representatives at a local, state and federal level. Take other people shooting, showing them that firearms are not evil; there is no animism.

The center must hold.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Skill Set: Church Shooting

Skill Set: Church Shooting
The murder and assaults that occurred Sunday last at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee have a lot of lessons for us to learn.

According to reports the "suspect" - Emanuel Samson – was carrying with two pistols, three magazines of ammunition and wearing a "tactical" vest. An AR-15 was in his car, plus a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol. One woman was killed, and seven more injured.

Robert Engle, an usher, "physically engaged" Samson. Engle has a concealed permit, but his pistol was in his car. During the exchange Engle was "pistol whipped;" the shooter was shot in the chest. Engle rushed out to the car, retrieved his weapon, and then held Samson until law enforcement arrived.

1. It Can Happen Anywhere

Engle, in an interview afterwards, said, "I've been going to this church my whole life. I would have never, ever thought something like this would have happened." There are very few places that are truly "safe." Yes, all houses of worship should be sanctuaries, islands of security. Reality is that danger, the life and death kind can happen anywhere, anytime.

Samson had attended the church in the past, but members said they had not seen him in a while. (He wasn't recognized at first because he wore a mask.) He had worked as an unarmed security guard, and had a couple of contacts with law enforcement for domestic disputes. Church members said Samson was friendly to everyone, including one of the victims.

Anyone can be a threat. About eighty percent of victims are familiar with their attacker to a certain degree. Don't be caught off guard if the threat is someone you know, a friend or possibly even a family member. Once they cross that Rubicon they don't deserve any more consideration than you would give a violent, rabid dog that was trying to attack you, your family or friends.

2. Be Prepared

You have to be prepared. Knowing that trouble comes without announcement, regardless so where you are, means you must be ready at all times. Plus, according to FBI stats, the murder rate and "non-negligent manslaughter" has increased by about 8 percent. Other violent crimes like rape, assaults and robbery also increased. In other words, the world is becoming more violent.

Being prepared means a lot of things. You should always know where exits and cover are, and ready to apply our number one tactics – avoidance and escape. Sometimes avoiding/escaping are not options. This is especially true if you're responsible for family, friends, and others unable to defend themselves.

Engle's pistol was in his car. Remember, he never thought anything like this would happen there. He wasn't as prepared as he could have been; yet at the same time he remained in control, and confronted the danger. Being prepared means mentally ready. It won't matter what type weapon you have if your heart isn't into the fight.

Preparedness applies to you, as an individual and to groups as well. In our church there are trauma kits, with comm's, flashlights and related gear. The members of Safety Team know where these are and how to use their contents. All groups should be prepared to respond to danger as a group.

3. Win the Fight

Regardless of the nature of the trouble your only response is to win. Losing, or tying, are not acceptable options. Also, as Clint Smith says, "there's no such thing as a fair fight." Use every advantage available to ensure you win. (Being prepared goes a long way.)

Engle was beaten during his physical struggle with shooter. Even though he was injured, he never stopped. As soon as he had the opportunity he retrieved his pistol from the car and held Samson at gunpoint until the authorities arrived.

Another church member, Catherine Dickerson was shot in leg outside the church. She managed to get back inside the church, never did panic, and played "dead" until the shooting was over. Keep in mind that the vast majority of people shot with handgun rounds survive.

As both these people demonstrated, just because you're injured doesn't mean you're out of the fight or dead. The ultimate weapon is the mind. Stay calm, and make it happen.

Accept the fact that violence can happen anywhere there are people. Man is a viscous creature. Be ready to defend yourself and those you're responsible for. No matter what happens, do whatever it takes to win -- or not.

It's up to you.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Skill Set: Technology & Fundamentals

Good article, by Tiger Mckee
Skill Set: Technology & Fundamentals
The fundamentals are critical to doing anything successfully. Having the proper equipment makes the job easier, but this won't overcome a lack of ability. If you can't apply the fundamentals properly it won't matter what gear you have, it's not going to work out that well.

Everyone reading this probably has a friend or two that are always showing off their latest firearm or new gear. They'll use it for a while, and then end up selling or trading for a new/different/better model. They're looking for "magic" gear. I've gotten a few nice guns and some cool kit from friends like this, because there is no magic gear.

Having the right tools is important, but once you have them it's about settling down, focusing on learning the fundamentals. There is no substitute for discipline and practice, especially in the beginning. You've got to put in the time. Once you've got the fundamentals squared away and actually know what you're doing, then you might start researching for improvements.

When you decide it's time to look into "advanced" gear, research thoroughly to find out what you actually need. For example most people think tritium "night-sights" are mandatory on the firearm. But, if you don't know the principles for working in the dark they're not going to be a big asset. In fact, they could get you into trouble. Yes, night sights help you shoot in low-light conditions. They don't help you identify the target. Just because you see something and have night sights doesn't mean you need to shoot.

There's also a limit on how much technology you can actually take advantage of. For example adjustable "target" sights are good for bullseye, surgical marksmanship. They won't help with defensive work, when you're looking for combat effective hits in a minimal amount of time. Again, they could be a detriment. Target sights are usually small, finer and harder to see, especially in low-light conditions and against certain backgrounds. If you can't see the front sight it's going to be hard to shoot accurately. Your equipment must match the application.

Fighting is problem solving at high speed. It's about making hard decisions, normally in a short amount of time. Technology doesn't help you avoid trouble. It won't make a difference in deciding to present your weapon, issue verbal commands, or move in behind cover. It can't help you can make the decision of when it's necessary to shoot. All of these answers are on you.

Technology can also become a crutch. I've seen some people who shoot their pistol/rifle fairly accurately. But when asked to shoot a different firearm, with a heavier, grittier trigger or different sights their results suffer. A good marksman can hit with anything. Application of the fundamentals always creates good results.

Don't get me wrong. I like good triggers, red-dot sights and a rifle that perfectly fits my body build. At the same time I can pick up almost any thing and shoot it well. I haven't mastered the fundamentals, but I'm getting pretty good. And it's all due to practice.

Start spending some time with lots of dry practice and some live-fire range work. Focus on one weapon, and get really good at the fundamentals. These skills will serve you well the rest of your life.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Skill Set: Skills You Need

Skill Set: Skills You Need
To fight efficiently with a firearm certain fundamental skills are mandatory. You have to know how to present or draw your pistol. You need to be able to shoot accurately, on demand without any "warm up" shots. Manipulations – reloading and clearing stoppages – are fundamental. The key is being able to execute these actions under any and all circumstances. Conditions in a fight will be less than ideal.

Drawing or presenting the pistol efficiently is a fundamental skill. The problem arises in the difference between how most people train and practice vs. how they actually carry. Most of us carry concealed; the majority of people train and practice from open carry, with the handgun exposed. Then, when faced with danger, presenting the pistol is delayed.

Your practice should always reflect the real world. During an actual confrontation there's a good probability you'll need to draw the pistol while in a "compromised" position. You may be sitting, or on the ground after falling or being knocked down. Learn how to safely and efficiently draw from any position.

Accuracy means hitting the target. Regardless of the distance to or size of the target when you press the trigger it should result in an accurate hit. You need to be able to hit moving targets, and from various positions such as kneeling or while using cover.

Hand/arm injuries are common in fights. Someone's trying to hit you with a baseball bat. You get something broken while blocking the blows. The threat has a knife. You get cut. When two people are shooting at each other the hands and arms take hits. Just because you're injured in one hand or arm doesn't mean you're out of the fight.

The same line of thought applies to manipulations. Knowing how to operate the pistol with only one hand is critical. You carry a low capacity pistol; it may be necessary to reload. You have a hi-cap weapon - reloading probably won't be a factor - but malfunctions occur with any firearm. Especially during a fight, when things like your grip and firing position may be less that perfect or, again, you're fighting injured.

Again, think about fighting positions. Learn to reload and clear malfunctions from different positions, while prone or on your back from the ground. Use one hand and experiment to discover how to work with objects in your environment to cycle the slide or strip the mag out when clearing a Type III stoppage or double feed. At the same time you're developing these skills you'll also be learning about your equipment.

Understanding the fundamentals is mandatory. You also have to learn how to apply them under any circumstances. As always, the best way to practice the majority of your fighting skills are with dummy weapons and ammo. These tools allow you to practice safely, developing the ability to perform these actions efficiently and safely. The same principles apply to rifle and shotgun. Remember, it's difficult to acquire new skills in the middle of the fight. Start practicing now, so you're prepared for the future.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy,