Repost: Skill Set: Finding Your Pistol

Good, common sense advice on a topic that would seem simple

Skill Set: Finding Your Pistol
by Tiger McKee

“I like the way it looks,” he replied. “It’s the newest model,” another said. “When I went into the shop the guy told me this is what “they” carry,” he said, using hand quotations along with a wink. “You don’t see very many of them,” one man told me. “This is what my father carried,” the man said. These are some of the reasons I hear when asking students why they have a particular firearm, something that is out of the norm. None of them are good criteria for selecting a fighting weapon.

When it comes to selecting a pistol there are several areas to consider. Jeff Cooper’s three essentials for the pistol were that it fit your hand, have a good trigger, and a set of sights you can see. Your hand size determines what size pistol is ideal. You have to be able to get the correct grip on the pistol, completely surrounding it with both hands, while at the same time able to operate the trigger properly, with the trigger centered in the first pad of the first finger. It’s essential you can press the trigger smoothly, since this is critical to shooting accurately. Double action/single action pistols are more difficult to fire accurately under stress because you have to learn two presses. The first press is long and requires plenty of pressure, while subsequent shots require far less pressure. You need sights that you can see, especially under low-light conditions. As you age sights become even more important; at some point you’ll need a big dot sight, like the kind XS makes.

Reliability is mandatory. Period. If your weapon doesn’t function correctly then sell it or put it in the safe and get one that does. Just keep in mind that for it to run it has to have good ammo and quality magazines. Some pistols, especially smaller calibers, are ammo sensitive; find what works and stick with it.

Finally, you have to be able to carry the pistol, which is especially a concern for concealed carry, and you should train/practice with what you carry.

The main point here is if you carry a weapon for self-defense then it has to be the correct weapon for you. And you are an individual, so what works for your friends may not necessarily be right for you. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as it does the job. It may not be a good idea to express your unique approach to life in general when picking a weapon. And when your life depends on what you carry, it won’t really matter much who else carries one just like it.

You may have to go through several pistols until you find the “one.” As I’ve often said, don’t stop until you find the idea pistol, the one that seems like it was made just for you. Finally, don’t be afraid to modify it, if it’s necessary and fills a true need. It takes time and money, but in this case the value far exceeds the actual costs.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama, author of The Book of Two Guns, a staff member of several firearms/tactical publications, and an adjunct instructor for the F.B.I. (256) 582-4777

Originally found here

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Repost: Skill Set: My Pistol Never Malfunctions

I found this to be a great article – train as you fight.  But you have to be prepared for malfunctions. They happen all the time – and if you aren’t ready to deal with it and react to it – you’re lost.

At an IDPA match in the last few weeks, we worked in some dummy rounds and I noticed that most people were anticipating a problem instead of correctly reacting to it.  A lot of people complained about it – but I strongly agreed that it was great training.

Skill Set: My Pistol Never Malfunctions
by Tiger McKee

When I hear the statement, “My pistol never malfunctions,” it makes me worried. The problem is your pistol may never malfunction, but the pistol itself is only a part of the whole package. What people often fail to realize is that for the semi-auto pistol to function it has to have ammunition, magazines, and be fired properly by the shooter.

Obviously ammunition is essential to the equation. Your pistol may be in working order, but when you come across a bad round that will create a malfunction, or worse a jam or breakage that can’t be cleared or corrected. I have a collection of rounds with bad primers, fired in multiple weapons to confirm the primer is defective. I have rounds that have deformed cases, a small lip at the mouth of the case that prevents it from being chambered. There is also a 9mm round which was fired in a .40 caliber pistol. Then there’s the ‘too much or too little powder in the case,’ which needs no explanation. The point is when you get a bad round of ammo, you have a malfunction.

Magazines feed to ammo to the semi-auto weapon. They have to work properly, especially if we’re talking about fighting. Things happen to magazines. The follower gets stuck in a cock-eyed position. A small rock gets inside it creating a stoppage. When you were rolling on the round trying to keep from getting kicked in the head, the mag got bent. A bad magazine will create a stoppage. This is the reason I have training/practice mags, which get abused during drills, and my operational mags, which I carry to fight with, after a thorough testing of course.

The semi-auto pistol, at least most of them, are recoil operated, which means it has to have resistance when fired to cycle properly. This is especially true for small pistols with small frames and big bullets. .40 calibers, which have sharp snappy recoil, also require plenty of resistance or you’ll have failures to eject empty cases or problems chambering a fresh round. Providing the resistance necessary for the weapon to function may not be a problem on the range, until you start doing one-hand drills. On the street you may be firing from a compromised position that prevents you from getting a good two-handed grip on the weapon. In a fight, the unusual and unexpected are constantly occurring. This is fertile ground for malfunctions to pop up.

Knowing how to clear malfunctions is essential to being prepared to fight with a weapon. Understanding that you may have a jam or a breakage as opposed to a malfunction is also important. When your weapon breaks or jams, you ain’t gonna clear it during the fight. This is a good reason to carry, and know how to use, a backup weapon. And, who knows, you may find that going to your backup is easier and more efficient than reloading an empty weapon or clearing a malfunction.

If you weapon has never malfunctions, then you’re not training and practicing enough.


Reposted from The Tactical Wire

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Debunking 9 Classic Myths and Whoppers about Firearms (Repost)

So I was off surfing through the magic of the internet and found this article ( and felt that it covered a lot of the points that I feel strongly about.  My thoughts will be bolded and italicized at the end in parenthesis.

Myth #1 – Caliber Matters

First off let’s talk caliber. Let me say that this is one of the hottest topics out there and is bandied about with much fanfare and supposition on all sides by experts and non-experts. Here are some facts and figures that actually do matter.

  1. A .22 has killed plenty of people. So have a .32, a .380, 9-milly, a .357, a .357 Sig, .40 and a .45 caliber. Bullet type (ball vs. hollow point) has more to do with effectiveness that the caliber.
  2. The common term “Stopping power,” is more a measurement of energy and has nothing to do with a dynamic target such as the human body.
  3. Shot placement is key.
  4. The cavity a bullet can make in a block of gelatin, wet phone books, or a water jug, has very little to do with what it can do in a diversely dense target such as the human body. The human body has differential densities i.e. muscle, tendon, bone and voids (lungs and intestines). All of these affect how the bullet performs.

What does all this mean? Well, if you plan on using your firearm in a deadly force engagement then you better know how to use it and where you need to hit them. Do I carry a .22 to serve a warrant? No, but I don’t walk around loaded for warrant service when I go to the store for a gallon of milk either.

Pick the right tool for the job, I wouldn’t want to use the 16 pound sledge to drive out the pins from a pistol on my gun bench and I wouldn’t want to drive tent stakes into hard earth with the brass hammer either. If you need to and can comfortably conceal & carry a .45, good on you if you are willing to do it every day.

I’m not and don’t need to. While a majority of the time a full size P-229 in .357 Sig is my carry option, occasionally in the heat and humidity of FL (and the relatively safe lifestyle and area I live in), the Walther P-22 does fill-in duty for shorts and t-shirt weather.

(Shoot whatever you shoot best!  I’ve seen women handle .45ACP like it’s not a problem and just as many men master the 9mm round.  Whats better – more smaller rounds on target or blatent inaccuracy with a larger, more powerful round)

Myth #2 – Firearms Experts

Next let’s discuss Firearms Experts. Believe it or not I sold appliances, lawn equipment, and was considered an expert by the company I worked for when I wore an orange apron. My training consisted of reading some training manuals for 30 minutes and taking a test.

Here’s the newsflash, most gun stores don’t even do that and there is no way you could begin to become an expert in this manner. I have been around guns for a long time and don’t consider myself an expert and almost never recommend a weapon to a student until I have a chance to know them and see what their needs and physical abilities might be.

So why can I walk into a majority of gun Stores, pawn shops or Gun shows and get a recommendation on the perfect gun for me in less than 30 seconds from an expert? Answer? Because they are trying to sell guns!

Here’s another from the “experts,” send a female into a gun shop or gun show and see how many recommendations for a .38 revolver she gets.

I’ll wait.

Ergonomically a revolver takes more grip strength to hold because of the rounded back strap requiring the pinkie and ring fingers to squeeze much tighter in order to manage the flip of the recoil. Also teaching anyone to reload a revolver versus an automatic is easier and less time consuming, yet most “experts” will treat a female like a 3 year old that can’t accomplish such a complicated task.

Does the 98 lb. female need a full size 1911 with a 24# spring? No but that’s not to say that with proper technique and weapon she couldn’t accomplish the mission.

(Doesn’t everything is this world have experts? Politics, cars, sports – anyone who has an opinion feels that they are experts.  Especially in the world of firearms.  I find myself listening to these idiots without them knowing what I know and my level of competence and getting mad.  Please take all “expert advice” with a grain of salt.  ESPECIALLY if someone is trying to sell you something!)

Myth #3 – Dryfiring Damages Weapons

Let’s move on to a more recent statement I heard from an “expert” here in my area, which also brings up another age old debate. I took a client to a local range for the shooting portion of the FL CCW. We were browsing the weapons and I was giving general info on different weapons based on the clients needs and wants. We asked to see a specific weapon and the gentleman behind the counter (notice I said behind the counter at a gun range, by most accounts this makes him an expert) obliged us.

The conversation turned to trigger pull and he made a statement that blew me away. He said, and I quote, “I never dry fire my weapon, it will damage them.” Lordy, lordy, lordy! Really? What rock have you been under for the past 40 years? The Marine Corps has made dry firing an art form with a week of Boot camp devoted to it, every competitor out there advocates it and I advise everyone in all my classes to do so (in a safe and secure manner with the weapon and ammo in separate rooms of the house, the lawyers made me add this part).

I can’t think of a better way to work on trigger control, which in my estimation is about 90% of the equation of shooting. Yet here we have an “expert” in his field, someone whom I know is an instructor at this establishment, spreading a vicious rumor to a neophyte. Upon hearing this, my client will think this is gospel unless I dispel this rumor quickly before it takes hold in a recess of his brain. I did so vehemently and quickly upon exiting the range.

These off hand statements can hurt the industry and promulgate these myths that I run into everyday.

Myth #4 – “I’m a Great Shot!”

This usually means I can hit the bull’s-eye more times than not with little to no pressure and no time hacks. Is this a good thing? Sure, if you are a professional target shooter. However, if you are carrying a gun for defensive purposes then it bears little on being able to FIGHT with a gun.

( I, too, have seen many “target shooters” who couldn’t draw and engage a target in a timely manner if their life depended on it… oh wait, it would!  Especially training dynamically – on the move, moving behind cover, reloading under pressure – they act like they just finished the Boston Marathon.  The wheezing and shaking makes me think that all they want to do is lay down and catch their breath.  This ties into physical fitness, but thats a whole other article)

Myth #5 – “A (insert gun here) isn’t very accurate”

Unless you’re talking about a Hi-Point or a Lorcin the gun you have will most definitely shoot better than 90 percent of the people holding it. This is a fact that can be proven time and time again. Good ammo and a brand name gun will be a better shooting package than most of us out there can use, unless your name is JJ Racaza.

(I feel that I’m pretty accurate, and I know I have guns that I’ll never shoot to their full potential.  It’s like saying you couldn’t catch the baseball because you have a cheap glove.  I’m sure it factors into the equation – but it’s only an excuse for piss poor fundamentals)

Myth #6 – “I know how to shoot I’m a Police officer, Marine..(Fill in the Blank)”

While this line of thinking initially makes sense, I have seen countless people that “should” be able to shoot well and carry a gun for a living that are absolutely horrible at gun fighting. On the opposite side of that, I know guys that are desk jockeys, lawyers and computer nerds that possess gun fighting skills that are phenomenal.

You want to know what the military teaches 90+ percent of the troops? Discipline and firearms safety, which has more bearing on your ability to learn gun fighting than gun fighting itself. The next time you hear this take it with a grain of salt.

(I don’t know how many countless hours I spent additionally on the range with paratroopers who couldn’t shoot.  Would they ever admit they are a bad shot? No.  They talk a great game.  The proof is in the pudding.  Or for me, the countless bags of sunflower seeds I consumed while waiting for these “highspeeds” to qualify with. or even zero their weapon)

Myth #7 – “Kneeling/Modern Isosceles/Monica/(insert technique here) isn’t comfortable.”

WTF! IT’S A GUNFIGHT! I assure you that getting shot is a lot less comfortable. Is everything supposed to be comfortable and natural? If at all possible, sure, but the mission is to shoot him before he shoots you. End of story, suck it up!

(Sometimes my knees hurt, my back hurts, my elbows hurt, my eye twitches, I’m tired and sore, but I really don’t care to loose.)

Myth #8 – “I can’t shoot a (insert gun here) because of the grip angle.”

Really? Put the front sight on the target and pull the trigger until the threat is gone. I’m not a Glock fan but they shoot. See the myth above this one.

Myth #9 – “Guns need to be cleaned every time they are fired.”

Ummm…No! Keep them well lubed and you will be just fine. Modern weapons run like sewing machines for the most part. My days of “white glove” inspections went the way of my 6 pack abs.

(This is a hard habit for me to break, but sometimes I’ll go a few sessions without cleaning them.  I feel like a bastard, but I see how well they run….  A recent durability test at ran Heckler & Koch’s HK45 50,000 rounds .  Check that out here)



Overall I thought this was a very good article that covers a lot of misconceptions that people hear in the firearm community.. if you listen a little bit, I’m sure you’ll hear and identify these quite often.

Train effectively, train dynamically and be safe!







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“Well, I haven’t shot it in 8 months….”

After speaking with someone who was asking some questions about how often I clean my firearms, I told him that I clean it after every time I shoot it. (At a minimum for the shotgun/rifle that doesn’t see nearly as much range time)

That was his response…. “Well, I haven’t shot it in 8 months.”

It kind of blew my mind.

For me, at least in the slower offseason (late fall, winter and early spring), I try to shoot every week, if not every other.  Now, the reason I can afford that is because I’ve found a range to shoot at that doesn’t cost nearly as much, I reload my own ammo and I only shoot 50-100 rounds at a time.

For me, I shoot IDPA, which is a defensive scenario type shoot.  I enjoy doing that because it keeps me familiar, proficient and “tactically” aware.  It’s more fun than plinking at a bullseye.

8 months is a long time in between practices.  For something so important as a firearm, 8 months, to me, seems like a lifetime.  Don’t think that I’m crazy and feel the need to be ready for the end of the world as we know it, but I’m much more comfortable with doing my best to stay sharp as the tip of a spear.  I know I feel better about what I’m doing and my confidence when carrying concealed.  You should, too.

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Harden Up America (Repost)

This is a repost from Kyle Defoor, a certified been-there done-that.  The language matches him.  Beware.

Original Post Here

1. Don’t blame others for your fuck ups ( ex.- the mortgage situation)

2. Take responsibility for your actions. ( ex. – blaming the “system”, blaming your mommy cause she didn’t hug you enough, playing the race card)

3. Get off the couch and stop playing video games you fat ass! How about go and do it for real.

4. Please don’t offer advice on war or foreign policy if you’ve never been there, done that. ( ex.- President & VP, Any Hollywood actor, any Vietnam era draft dodging pussy (Bill Clinton).

5. Buy a gun and learn to use it correctly. Why do you think it’s the Second Amendment? Maybe because the founders of this nation thought it important?

6. You have canine teeth for slicing meat, so eat it.

7. Ride a chopper, listen to metal – No explanation needed.

8. Please don’t tell a military person how you would- “go over there and kill some bad guys”. The 4 services are still taking volunteers. Man the fuck up. Also, please don’t give lame excuses as to why you didn’t/can’t serve. I have multiple friends who RE-DEPLOYED with a fake leg, one eye, one hand, etc.

9. Hunt, fish, or grow a crop.

10. Don’t ever worry or try to copy how Europe does anything. Most of them suck, especially France.

11. Remember that hard men are the fucking reason you’re not wearing a red jacket, goose stepping, or praying to the East.

12. Act like your Grandpa or Great Grandpa did.


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The Gun is Civilization….

Many people ask, why the need to carry a firearm –  THIS is the best worded response as to why.

Why The Gun is Civilized
By Marko Kloos, German Federal Defence Force, Retired.

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation.. and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

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A bit of something, but a whole bunch of nothing…

If you’re reading this, you’ve reached the end of the internet.

I’m hoping to use this medium as a way to get all the crazy thoughts out of my head and on to (digital) paper.

Mostly it will be firearm-related stuff, sometimes it won’t be.  I’ll try not to bore you too much.


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