Archive for Tip of the Month

Suggestions From What Tom Givens Learned From His Students

Suggestions for the Tip of the Month are from the Tom Givens article mentioned in the Interesting Thoughts article this month.

  • Have the gun on your person, it won’t do you any good otherwise.
  • Solid initial training, followed up with periodic sustainment training with your carry gear leads to a comfort level with the equipment fostering the willingness to actually wear it daily.

What to Learn

  • Learn to access the handgun from concealment, safely, reliably and quickly.
  • Learn to get good, solid hits with the first rounds out of the gun.
  • It would be good to know how to reload your firearm and to fix malfunctions if they occur.
  • Take a good course on legal issues, like one from Massad Ayoob or Andrew Branca,

and then carry on.

How to Survive a Terrorist Vehicle Attack

Take a few minutes and read the full article by Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training on tips on how to survive a terrorist vehicle attack.

Vehicle Attack Survival Tips

  1. Face traffic when walking along the street.
  2. If you have a choice, walk along streets that have vehicle blockades or cars parked at the curb.
  3. Watch for danger signs.
  4. Don’t rush to help the injured.
  5. Move indoors immediately, but don’t stay there.
  6. Stay away from the attack vehicle and be alert for secondary attacks.
  7. Don’t draw your firearm while you are attempting to figure out what’s happening.
  8. Don’t loiter on unprotected sidewalks.
  9. Be able to deal with charging attackers.
  10. Know how to treat knife wounds, vehicle impacts, and blast injuries.

Think about what Greg details in his article and think also about the concepts with the Interesting Thought article. It appears that vehicle attacks may become more and more of a problem.

Practice Does Not Necessarily Entail Live Fire

As a follow up to my tip last month of practice, practice, practice…dry fire, dry fire, dry fire!

And a comment from a reader (and fellow firearms instructor)…

Ref Tip of the Month: you do your audience a disservice by not reminding them that practice does not necessarily entail live fire. In fact, for many shooting skills, dry fire is more productive. That, with the additional benefits of no cost, not having to go to the range, no chance of a negligent discharge, etc.

Very good thought, my friend. Thanks for sending it.

Get to the Range and Practice!

You would be surprised how many students for the Refresher or Renewal classes tell me that they haven’t shot since they saw me two years earlier. And it becomes obvious when they start shooting.

Do the drills you did in your concealed carry class.

  • Practice moving to cover and shooting from cover.
  • Practice malfunction drills.
  • Get out there and practice, practice, practice!

Reread the Interesting Thought

Read Rob Morse’s article as well.

Now think about what you carry daily.

Are you carrying enough ‘equipment’ or ‘stuff’ to survive a self-defense encounter and then render aid to yourself or a loved one if necessary until the first responders arrive?

Is there anything you should add?

You’re On the Ground – Now What?

When was the last time you shot while flat on your back? Yet in a violent confrontation, you might find yourself on the ground with no way to get up. You need to practice drawing and firing your handgun while on your back and on each side. Start by practicing with an UNLOADED handgun. You can do this in the privacy of your home. Once you are comfortable with drawing your handgun from various positions on the ground go to the range and do some shooting.

Caution…this is unfamiliar to many folks so be mindful of the safety rules as you do this and be cautious.

Be Aware of People

Christmas is just days away. As you do your last-minute Christmas shopping, be extra aware of the people in your environment. It can be difficult when you are in a crowded store with lots of people in your personal space, but be extra cautious. Your safety and the safety of the loved ones with you may depend on it.

How Quickly Can You Draw?

Practice drawing (presenting) your concealed handgun. How quickly can you draw it a fire a round? In a criminal attack, the bad guy isn’t going to give you much time to draw your weapon. A good rule of thumb would be for you to be able to draw your weapon from concealment, and fire one shot into an 8 1/2 x 11 sized piece of paper (about the same size as the vital area of an adult) in 1.5 to 2 seconds. This isn’t as easy as you might think. Buy (or borrow) a shot timer and try it. The first few draws will probably be very eye opening and will take a lot longer than you think they will. Then practice your presentation (draw) so that you can get the time down to below 2 seconds. Remember, the smoother your draw the faster it will be. Start slowly and work on accessing your concealed handgun through the layers of clothing concealing it, getting a proper grip, clearing the holster and then bringing the handgun up to your firing position and firing. Strive to be smooth…speed will come from smoothness.

Solve Accuracy Issues with Dry Firing Practice

I know I have said this before, but dry firing is very important. This week we were able to solve an accuracy issue with an AR15 by simply dry firing it. By doing that it became obvious that the shooter was jerking the trigger. Not much of a jerk, but we were shooting at 200 yards and a little bit of jerk at the muzzle can make a big difference at that distance. So the tip is this…if your accuracy isn’t what you think it should be, try dry firing several times. It works best if you have someone watch while you are doing it, but your goal is to pull the trigger, while the sights are properly lined up, without disturbing the sight picture. You’ll be surprised what you can learn!

Five in One – Sight Alignment and Trigger Drill

An interesting drill that will improve your shooting by working on your basic sight alignment and trigger technique…

  • Start at 3 yards (or even closer) and fire one round into your target.
  • Then fire one round at that hole using your typical two handed grip.
  • Then fire one round at that original hole with your strong hand only.
  • Then fire one round with your weak hand only.
  • Then fire a final round with your weak hand supported by your strong hand.

Your goal is to fire all 5 rounds into the same hole.

When you can do this at 3 yards (or whatever your initial distance is) back up a couple of steps and repeat the process.

Try it…it will improve your shooting if you stick with it.