Tag Archives: firearms training

Handgun for Home Defense?

So when you ask the average person what is their choice for a home defense firearm, I would bet that the pump shotgun tops the list. Many of these respondents typically will justify their answer with, “just hearing the rack of that shotgun will discourage any bad guy”. I’m not here to debate that the shotgun doesn’t have an authoritative sound, but seriously if all you wanted was a sound then get a recording of that sound. For those of you that have chosen the venerable shotgun or maybe a long gun consider the handgun as a go to for home defense. After all, what do we carry when we are out in the public? I know literally hundreds of people that carry concealed (a few carry openly) and that firearm is a handgun.

So let’s suppose this scenario; an unfamiliar noise happens at 2;00 a.m. You want to go investigate it so you grab your long gun (rifle or shotgun) and make your way to the disturbance. Hopefully you have a flashlight (you need to be able to identify your threat/target) and possibly a cell phone (have you ever tried to make a phone call with a shotgun in one hand?). If you’re like me, I don’t tend to sleep in cargo pants so pockets are going to be very limited on our sleepwear. This can be further impacted if you need to open a door while carrying a shotgun. I will continue with this complication by asking you to think about pieing a corner (tactically turning a corner while keeping your body exposure to a minimum) with a long gun. You really don’t want a bad guy grabbing your gun as you turn the corner. Now consider this same scenario with a handgun that has a light mounted on it. Much easier to maneuver through a confined hallway, open doors, keep control of the firearm and to make a phone call if I need to.

Lastly, I own a shotgun that has a 5 round tube magazine plus one in the chamber for a total of six rounds. In my Glock 22 I have an extended magazine with a total of 32 rounds of ammunition. This nears the firepower of a sub-machine (just not full auto) gun.

I’m not saying that shotguns or rifles are a poor choice, rather think of the amount of additional training you need to do to clear your home or business with a long gun.

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So You have Decided to Carry a Firearm, Now What?

concealed carrySo you have made the decision to carry a firearm. Now what do you do? This is not going to be a pro/con over concealed carry versus open carry, rather some information to consider. So if you live in a state that allows the carrying of a firearm it is going to be imperative that you understand fully the law on when and where it is lawful to do so. For example, in my home state of Arizona, that affords very generous carry freedoms, it also takes a very dim look if you do it unlawfully and will not hesitate to prosecute you. Second, train with your gun. Start with the type of holster or carry option. I prefer a strong side outside the waistband holster that keeps the handgun close to my body so that concealment with a shirt is easily done. I can also wear this with shorts or dress slacks.

Now back to the training with your firearm. This issue goes well beyond just shooting at stationary targets at the range. Consider “real world” issues. Suppose you are out and the unthinkable occurs in front of you. Your ability to react quickly and within the boundaries of the law are paramount. The scenarios are plentiful, but remember your actions will be judged by those with the luxury of time and safety rather than in the rapidly unfolding situation in which you were faced.

What I have done is compile for you a short list of training considerations. They are:

1. Know the laws that pertain to the carry of a firearm and the lawful use/deployment of it.

2. Be familiar with your firearm. Don’t carry a gun you have not trained with. Know how to manipulate safeties, clear malfunctions and reload especially under stress.

3. Practice drawing from your carry platform (holster, purse, backpack, etc.) This includes using your weak hand (in case your strong hand is injured or occupied).

4. Train shooting at close distances, typically shootings occur less than 20-25 feet.

5. Practice tasks like bending, lifting, getting behind cover/concealment with your firearm.

6. Carry ONLY quality performance ammo in your carry gun.

Remember train like your life and freedom depends on it.

Women Only CCW

Greetings ladies. I am certain that there are many of you out there that are wanting to get your concealed weapons permits, but you just don’t want to be around all of those experienced shooters, especially those men. I am really happy that trainers out there are taking notice and offering courses and training for ladies only. The facts are that women are obtaining carry and concealed permits in ever increasing numbers and this necessitates more and diverse training opportunities. I have mentioned before that training is a must if one wants to be a responsible gun owner. In looking at the internet for ladies only firearms training I found numerous courses directed to the female shooter and not just basic there are intermediate and advanced courses listed too. Just about every state was represented so finding something in your area looks promising.

If you live in the Phoenix Metro area there is a fantastic course for concealed carry permits on August 30th. The course is taught by Arizona Weaponcraft Solutions and will be held at the Joe Foss Shooting Complex in Buckeye, Arizona. The cost is $50 and has very limited seating. You can register online at www.azwcsl.com.  So get motivated and get some training. The benefits and confidence are well worth the costs.

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Get Some Training with that New Gun

gun trainingSo you finally purchased a firearm. Now comes the enjoyment of using that gun. You hear lots of stories of people buying a firearm then putting it away only to look at it occassionally when they come across it. Firearms are meant to be used. Shooting sports, hunting and personal defense all take practice and skill. These skills take time to acquire and they are unfortunately a skill that can diminish over time if not used. The first place to start is by finding out where to get some training to obtain these proficiencies? Most of us have a knowledgeable friend we can use to get pointers, or who can show us basic safe handling practices, but I am talking about seeking out a qualified instructor to teach us correctly from the first time we handle a gun.

I think one of the most intimidating scenarios is that we tend not to want to look like a novice in front of others. Still others may be uncertain about actually shooting a firearm. We may not understand recoil, or will it be painful to shoot. This is why I encourage anyone new to shooting to take the initiative and sign up for a class. Many training groups offer basic courses as well as women only sessions. One of the most important aspects of many good firearms courses include the legal aspects of shooting, whether it be where to shoot, or the use of force to protect oneself.  Check your local ranges and web sites for a firearms trainer near you. Go out and go shooting, it’s a great sport and fun for everyone.

In the Phoenix metro area check out the following links:

http://www.azwcsl.com

http://www.blackwolfccw.com

 

Follow Firearm Safety Rules; Everytime

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With the current surge in the sales of firearms many people are becoming first time gun owners. Understanding the need to safely use and handle your firearms is of utmost importance and will contribute to a safe and enjoyable shooting experience. And, in doing your part in being a safe and responsible gun owner, it can only help to preserve and protect the rights of all gun owners.

Remember, shooting is a skill that can diminish, so practice and familiarity with your gun and it’s operating system is key to safe handling. Safely loading, unloading, holstering and unholstering or otherwise securing your gun are often the things that are most overlooked. I think many of you have experienced this at one time or another; a person at the range not practicing safe firearms handling. We have all seen and maybe have been the recipient of a muzzle sweep.

Every year accidental discharges occur and in almost all of those cases a finger has been on a trigger.  These reported accidental discharges are no accident and in the vast majority of cases a finger has been on a trigger. Never accept or hand off a loaded gun. If you are handed a gun and told it is unloaded, always verify.

Remember too that a firearm is a mechanical device that needs cleaning and maintenance. Using the proper ammunition can prevent gun mishaps as well.

Here are the four basic rules to firearm safety and regardless of your skill level they apply everytime you handle a gun:

1. All guns are always loaded.

2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger, out of the trigger guard, until you are pointed at the target and ready to shoot.

4. Be certain of your target and what is beyond it.

Follow these rules each and every time you pick up a weapon whether it is to inspect, load or unload, and clean and you will have many years of safe and enjoyable shooting.

Here are some excellent links to learn more on firearm safety.

http://policeone.com/police-products/firearms/articles/59674-handgun-safety-rules-and-procedures

http://thegunzone.com/therules.html

http://training.nra.org/nra-gun-safety-rules.aspx