Author Archive for Richard

A New Shooting Experience

I managed to break my ankle while hiking. This has been an ‘interesting ‘ experience. Fortunately, I have friends who are willing to take me to the range occasionally and put up with me shooting from a wheelchair.

And speaking of wheelchairs, I have had a number of students who are in wheelchairs. Being in one myself for this little while has taught me a lot about what those folks go through. I’ve had to rethink how I carry my concealed handgun and adjust my shooting stance to accommodate the restrictions caused by the wheelchair.

June 2020

Another Update… As I mentioned in my earlier ‘Dramatic Update,’ I managed to break my ankle while hiking. As a result, I’m now wearing a boot and have instructions not to put any weight on my ankle for a while. The boot should come off later this month, but I’ll still need to get back to walking and let this thing heal properly. As a result, I won’t be scheduling any initial concealed carry classes, or any specialty classes, until after July 15. I will be doing Renewals and Refreshers on request, assuming we can work out the logistics of getting me to the range since I can’t drive at the moment.

This has been an ‘interesting ‘ experience. Fortunately, I have friends who are willing to take me to the range occasionally and put up with me shooting from a wheelchair.

And speaking of wheelchairs, I have had a number of students who are in wheelchairs. Being in one myself for this little while has taught me a lot about what those folks go through. I’ve had to rethink how I carry my concealed handgun and adjust my shooting stance to accommodate the restrictions caused by the wheelchair.

Upcoming Classes and Events… 

  • Initial concealed carry classes will resume after July 15.
  • I will be doing Renewal and Refresher classes on request since the shooting range is available. Take a moment and check the dates on your license…NOW! It’s amazing how many people are late for their Refresher or Renewal classes.

Specific Individual or Small Group Firearms Training… These will resume after July 15. A big benefit of an individual or small group training is that it can be tailored to your training needs or interests. Contact me and I’d be happy to visit with you about meeting your training needs for yourself, a group of your friends, or for your business, Any of the classes we offer, from Individual Training Sessions, Concealed Carry, Defensive Handgun, Defensive Carbine and Shotgun classes, as well as Basic Firearms Training, can be done on a personal basis for individuals, businesses or small groups. Scheduling is very flexible.

Couples Classes… These will resume after July 15. I have been surprised, and very pleased, at how popular these couples classes, where I work with individual couples, have become in a short period of time. If you would be interested in this sort of concealed carry class please let me know. I’d be happy to discuss with you ways we can accommodate you and your specific needs.

Tip of the Month… When was the last time you shot the handgun you carry? A lot of folks, if they shoot at all, tend to shoot something other than the gun they carry. You need to practice with the gun you carry! You should be very familiar with your carry gun, know the trigger, be comfortable with the sights, and be able to clear a malfunction quickly. Shoot your carry pistol!

A Closing Thought… I’m looking forward to next month when I can get back to teaching on a regular basis. In the meantime, be safe out there..things are getting a little chaotic.

Richard Barbaras
Owner/Instructor

Unforeseen Delay

Last week I was hiking in Dry Canyon and managed to fall when a rock rolled out from under my boot. After hiking out about a mile and icing it for a couple of days I ended up in the emergency room. After x-rays, they told me I had a broken ankle (a fracture of the distal fibula). So now I have this fancy boot on my foot and orders not to put any weight on it or walk for the next 6 weeks.

So…it looks like I’m going to have to delay many of my teaching activities, including the initial concealed carry class, for 6 weeks or so. I’ll keep you posted.

If you do need a Refresher or Renewal class let me know and we’ll see what we can work out.

The Sidney Paul Gordon Shooting Range has reopened, with some restrictions, and things are going well. They have made a lot of positive changes out there. I’ve received word the local gun club (Otero Practical Shooting Association) will start holding matches again at the range, but on a limited basis. This Sunday, May 24, will be an IPSC match. The .22 match and Cowboy match will be held on their regular schedule in June. Masks may or may not be optional.

I’ve been told that fingerprinting for concealed carry initial applications has resumed at Print Plus, but by appointment only.

So…be stay out of trouble out there, and be safe!

Richard Barbaras
Owner/Instructor

April 2020

Interesting Thought… We have been facing some difficult times. I’m sure many of you are getting bored. But we have a great opportunity to improve our shooting skills even if shooting ranges aren’t open. You can still dry fire!

Dry firing is a great skill builder, can be done in the privacy of your own home and is free. What’s not to like?

First, and very important, make sure your firearm is unloaded. Unload it in one room and then go to another to do your dry firing, leaving any ammunition in the first room. Then check again to make sure your firearm is unloaded. Find a safe place to point your firearm and then pick out a point (a nail head, a small screw, a small hole, etc…something small) and use that as an aiming point. Assume your firing position, line your sights up and press (squeeze or pull for you old-timers) your trigger. If your sights move when the hammer falls or the firing pin goes forward, you need to repeat the process until the sights don’t move (or move as little as possible).

Once you master dry firing from one position, start working on another. You can stand, kneel, sit, go prone, use walls and furniture as obstacles, etc. You can practice your presentation(draw) to get it smoother. You can practice lining your sights up and pulling the trigger after your presentation. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

You’d be surprised what 5 or 10 minutes of dry firing a day will do for your shooting skills.

Remember, make sure your firearm is unloaded when you do this!

Upcoming Classes and Events…

  • Due to the current situation, I have no classes scheduled. Once the situation changes, the ranges are open again and fingerprinting is available, I’ll look at scheduling classes again.
  • I will be doing Renewal and Refresher classes on request again once the shooting range is available. Take a moment and check the dates on your license…NOW! It’s amazing how many people are late for their Refresher or Renewal classes.
  • Due to the virus situation, the Concealed Carry unit is extending the grace period for people needing renewal classes from 60 days to 120 days. For more information go to https://www.dps.nm.gov/top-links-for-nm-residents/concealed-carry-licenses. However, once your license is expired you may not carry a concealed handgun until you receive your renewed concealed carry license from the Concealed Carry Unit. But remember, New Mexico is an open-carry state.

Specific Individual or Small Group Firearms Training… These will resume once the virus situation is resolved and the state is opened up again. A big benefit of an individual or small group training is that it can be tailored to your training needs or interests. Contact me and I’d be happy to visit with you about meeting your training needs for yourself, a group of your friends, or for your business, Any of the classes we offer, from Individual Training Sessions, Concealed Carry, Defensive Handgun, Defensive Carbine and Shotgun classes, as well as Basic Firearms Training, can be done on a personal basis for individuals, businesses or small groups. Scheduling is very flexible.

Couples Classes… These will resume once the virus situation is resolved and the state is opened up again. I have been surprised, and very pleased, at how popular these couples classes, where I work with individual couples, have become in a short period of time. If you would be interested in this sort of concealed carry class please let me know. I’d be happy to discuss with you ways we can accommodate you and your specific needs.

Tip of the Month… If you can’t get out to shoot, dry firing is an excellent way to maintain and even improve your shooting skills (I know this is a repeat from my Interesting Thought, but it is something you should really consider doing).

A Closing Thought… Even though coping with the virus situation has been difficult, we’ll get through this. Don’t get discouraged. Look to the future when this is resolved. It may be tough getting there, but we’ll make it. Until then, keep the faith and be safe out there!

Richard Barbaras
Owner/Instructor

Covid-19 Special Announcement

The Sidney Paul Gordon Shooting Range located in La Luz, NM is closing beginning Monday, March 23 and tentatively re-opening on April 10. This is due to the response to the current virus situation.

Due to the range closure and the shut down of the fingerprint stations for concealed carry fingerprints, Concealed Carry classes have been suspended until these situations are resolved.

The closure and suspensions are temporary and are in response to the coronavirus. Renewal and Refresher classes will resume again once the range is open. Initial Concealed Carry classes will be scheduled once the fingerprinting situation is resolved.

Clean Your Gun!

Clean your carry gun! And lubricate it! You’d be surprised how many people show up for their Refresher or Renewal classes with their handgun so dirty or dry that they malfunction. If you carry it every day it’s going to pick up ‘stuff’ from the environment, or your pocket/purse or from your clothing. Clean it on a regular basis even if you haven’t shot it.

Where There’s a Potential for Violence

Interesting Thought… Here’s an interesting comment by Tom Givens of Rangemaster Firearms Training Services, a major firearm training facility in Florida. It is taken from his March 2020 newsletter…

Any place there are people, there is a potential for violence. Every community, no matter how small or peaceful appearing, has violent criminals and mentally disturbed individuals. Accept that fact. Once you accept that fact, it becomes easier to put up with carrying your gear, religiously, every day. You don’t get to pick the day you need your gun. Someone else gets to pick that day, and they will typically only inform you at the last minute.

You don’t get to pick the day you need your gun. Someone else gets to pick that day, and they will typically only inform you at the last minute.

Something to think about. Give some thought to how you go about your day…are you prepared for the day when someone decides you may need your gun?

March 2020

Interesting Thought… Here’s an interesting comment by Tom Givens of Rangemaster Firearms Training Services, a major firearm training facility in Florida. It is taken from his March 2020 newsletter…

Any place there are people, there is a potential for violence. Every community, no matter how small or peaceful appearing, has violent criminals and mentally disturbed individuals. Accept that fact. Once you accept that fact, it becomes easier to put up with carrying your gear, religiously, every day. You don’t get to pick the day you need your gun. Someone else gets to pick that day, and they will typically only inform you at the last minute.

You don’t get to pick the day you need your gun. Someone else gets to pick that day, and they will typically only inform you at the last minute.

Something to think about. Give some thought to how you go about your day…are you prepared for the day when someone decides you may need your gun?

Upcoming Classes and Events… 

  • Defensive Revolver Class…March 14
  • April Concealed Carry Class…April 18 & 19
  • Although I’m taking a short break from the initial regular concealed carry classes (the next regular class will be in April), I am doing the initial class on request for small groups of people (3 – 5). Scheduling is very flexible. Let me know if you are interested.
  • I am still doing Renewal and Refresher classes on request. Take a moment and check the dates on your license…NOW! It’s amazing how many people are late for their Refresher or Renewal classes. I am doing these on request. If you need your Renewal or Refresher let me know and we’ll schedule your class. I have been doing these classes individually or in small groups for some time now and people seem to like this way of doing the classes

Specific Individual or Small Group Firearms Training… A big benefit of an individual or small group training is that it can be tailored to your training needs or interests. Think about this after reading the article above. Contact me and I’d be happy to visit with you about meeting your training needs for yourself, a group of your friends, or for your business, Any of the classes we offer, from Individual Training Sessions, Concealed Carry, Defensive Handgun, Defensive Carbine and Shotgun classes, as well as Basic Firearms Training, can be done on a personal basis for individuals, businesses or small groups. Scheduling is very flexible.

Couples Classes… I have been surprised, and very pleased, at how popular these couples classes, where I work with individual couples, have become in a short period of time. If you would be interested in this sort of concealed carry class please let me know. I’d be happy to discuss with you ways we can accommodate you and your specific needs.

From NM Department of Public Safety… Veterans no longer have to pay for their fingerprints on when renewing their concealed carry licenses.

Tip of the Month… Clean your carry gun! And lubricate it! You’d be surprised how many people show up for their Refresher or Renewal classes with their handgun so dirty or dry that they malfunction. If you carry it every day it’s going to pick up ‘stuff’ from the environment, or your pocket/purse or from your clothing. Clean it on a regular basis even if you haven’t shot it.

Richard Barbaras
Owner/Instructor

Get to the Range More Often!

A lot of folks, when we do their 2-year Refresher class, tell me they haven’t shot since they saw me 2 years ago. And it’s pretty obvious watching them shoot. That being said, most of us have Revolver on our concealed carry license, but how many of us actually spend much time shooting a revolver?

If a firearm is on your concealed carry license shouldn’t you be proficient with it?

If you are going to carry a concealed weapon (or one openly) you have an obligation to practice with it. Think about that!

Hands-on, One-on-One Experiences that Change Minds and Hearts

Guest Editorial… From Coralie Carrier, a concealed carry instructor in Las Cruces…

I was cleaning out files the other day and came across this quote from Senegalese Conservationist Baba Dioum:  “In the end, we will conserve only what we love.  We will love only what we understand,  We will understand only what we are taught.”

I used it a lot when I was teaching Hunter Education.  Then it occurred to me that it applies to just about everything – including firearms.   I hope everyone reading this has experienced introducing a person with little training in firearms and watched them blossom into avid shooters.  It’s really what it is all about!   And it is the key to the preservation of all our firearms freedoms.

Sure, we need to write those letters to the politicians, send them emails and call them when onerous bills are introduced to the state and federal legislative bodies.  But they are really only intellectual reasons and arguments.   And often fall on deaf ears!   We have all seen that happen!

What it all boils down to are hands-on, one-on-one experiences that change minds and hearts.

So my next question is obviously, “When was the last time you took a newbie to the range, let them shoot your guns and ammo, and watched the smiles and grins as they discovered for themselves the passion you and I share.”

That question is even more obviously followed by, “When are you going to do it again?”

Take a kid out and he or she will probably always be on our side when the anti-gunners start running on and on about how terrible guns are.

Take a woman out and you might just create an incredible advocate for our sport and passion.

This fight for the Second Amendment will not be won in our lifetimes but might just be LOST if folks like you and me drop the ball!   Please take some time to do this!   Share your passion (and guns and ammo) …and drop an email or write a letter to your Representative and Senator urging them to stay strong and loyal to the Constitution.

And, of course, keep your powder dry!