KR Training July 2017 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training July newsletter!  July/August highlights include Defensive Pistol Small Gun, Handgun Beyond the Basics, and Historical Handgun.

Check the schedule page on the KR Training website for the full list.

If you aren’t already a subscriber to receive this newsletter each month, you can subscribe here or follow this blog. You can also follow KR Training on Facebook or Twitter for more frequent posts and information.

CLASS DISCOUNTS AND DEALS

Deal #1)  Defensive Pistol Skills Small Gun and Skill Builder Long Gun – July 29 for $100 ($35 savings)

Deal #2) Bring a Friend to Defensive Pistol Skills Small Gun — two slots for $100 ($50 savings)

Deal #3) Wednesday afternoon 2 hour private lesson (3-5 pm) and evening (6-8 pm) USPSA Match – July 26, August 9 or August 23 for $100 ($50 savings)

Deal #4) Refresher slots in any July or August class. Re-take any class you’ve taken before for half price!

Deal #5) Bring A Friend Discount! Sign up with a friend, both of you get 25% discount off any July or August class.

For all deals – must pay in full in advance.

JULY & AUGUST CLASSES

July 22nd – Handgun Beyond the Basics (Rehn)
July 29th – Defensive Pistol Small Gun (Rehn) & Skill Builder Long Gun (Rehn)
July 29th – Basic Pistol 1 (9-12, taught by John Daub)
August 5th – Advanced Training 4 (Rehn) & Reloading Clinic (indoors!) (Rehn)
August 12th – Historical Handgun 1/2 day preview (Rehn)
August 19th (9-11) – Skill Builder (Hogel) / Handgun Coaching (Howard)
August 19th (11-1)- Gun Cleaning and Maintenance (Hogel/Howard)
August 26th – Advanced Training 6 (Rehn) & Personal Tactics Skills (indoors!) (Rehn)
August 27th – Defensive Knife Clinic (indoors!) w/ Chuck Rives

Register here.

DEFENSIVE PISTOL SMALL GUN

On July 29th I’ll offer another session of Defensive Pistol Small Gun.  I know many of you have pocket sized guns: Glock 42’s, Ruger LCP’s, .38 snubs, M&P Shields, and others.  Maybe that gun is your primary carry gun, maybe it’s not.  Maybe you know somebody that never trains and never practices but carries one of those little guns in their pocket or their purse.  Those people would really benefit from taking this course.  The class is appropriate for anyone with an LTC whether they have taken our other Defensive Pistol courses or not.

Maybe you don’t have a little gun and would like to have some fun running one of our loaner guns in drills, to learn the pros and cons of the little gun vs. the larger gun carried in a belt holster.

The Small Gun class is more than the DPS-1 drills shot with a different gun.  If you’ve taken DPS-1, you’ll still learn something new from DPS Small Gun.  And if you’ve haven’t practiced the drills we run in DPS-1 (or -2 or -3) since you took the course, DPS Small Gun is a great way to refresh those skills.

If 3 hours of shooting isn’t enough for you, stick around for the 2 hour Skill Builder Long Gun that afternoon.  That class can be taken with any rifle or pistol caliber carbine, including a .22, making it suitable for all levels from the “I bought an AR and haven’t shot it yet” student to the experienced long gun “operator”.

HISTORICAL HANDGUN PREVIEW

I have developed a new program called Historical Handgun, teaching the history of handgun training and skills, 1935-present. The full course is a 2 day program that I’ll start offering in 2018, at the A-Zone and on the road.  I’ll offer a 1/2 day preview of the shooting part of the class on August 12th, and a 1 day preview, co-taught with Tom Givens, on Monday Sept 18 after the Rangemaster Shotgun Instructor course.

AUGUST 19th – MANY OPTIONS

I’ll be on the road August 19th, but assistant instructors Tom Hogel and Greg Howard will offer several classes. From 9-11, Tom will run the 2 hour Skill Builder session on the main range for intermediate and advanced students and Greg will offer a 2 hour Handgun Coaching session in the classroom and the small range for basic and intermediate students wanting to tune up their fundamentals.  Then from 11-1, they will co-teach a Gun Cleaning and Maintenance class indoors.

This combo is perfect for couples or families – the more experienced shooter could attend Skill Builder, the less experienced shooter takes Handgun Coaching, and with the Bring a Friend discount, sticking around for the Gun Cleaning and Maintenance class is an affordable option.

SUMMER USPSA MATCHES

You don’t have to be a USPSA member to attend.
You don’t have be an experienced competitor to attend.
The summer matches are an excellent, new shooter friendly way to try pistol competition.
Summer USPSA matches will continue in July and August.  These are Wednesday evening matches.  We will start shooting at 6 pm but you can arrive as late as 7 pm and still shoot the stages.  After everyone has shot for score, additional runs are allowed for fun and practice.  Follow this link for more information about the summer matches. Matches are limited to 18 shooters so they run quickly.

BLOG-O-RAMA

We look forward to training you!
Karl, Penny and the KR Training team

Book Review – Sixguns and Bullseyes/Automatic Pistol Marksmanship (Reichenbach, 1937)

Over the past year I’ve been developing a new course for KR Training, Historical Handgun, that teaches the history & evolution of defensive handgun skills.  Part of that effort has been seeking out and reading old books on shooting, purchasing copies signed by the authors when possible.

In 1935, WW1 veteran William Reichenbach published a book on bullseye shooting called “The Elusive Ten”. In 1936, he updated the book, re-titled “Sixguns and Bullseyes”, following up with “Automatic Pistol Marksmanship” in 1937.  The Sixguns book was reprinted in 1943, but the other book was lost to history until it was reprinted, along with Sixguns and Bullseyes, as part of the NRA Firearms Classics Library, in 1996. (Another list of books published in this series is here.)

Reichenbach’s writing style is very informal and light. This sample of his description of trigger press, from The Elusive Ten (which you can read online for free), is a good example.

Sixguns and Bullseyes Highlights

In the first chapter, the author explains that the book is for new and aspiring bullseye shooters seeking to improve.  He focuses on .22 rimfire and .38 special centerfire revolvers, primarily the Colt and S&W models.

He extols the virtues of the 0.100″ wide, red front sight — essentially the same kind of narrow, bright front sight used by modern competition shooters.  The value of the narrow front sight has been known since the 1930’s — yet the factory front sights on almost all pistols are 0.125″, wide enough to fill the rear notch.

As common in many books from this era, he recommends a light grip on the pistol, because it “tires you less”.  Modern courses of fire are timed in seconds and hundredths of seconds; bullseye occurs at much slower pace.

Similarly, his advice on stance is very relaxed, with non-firing hand resting comfortably in his dress pants pocket, and advocates shooting with both eyes open.

He provides the advice shooting instructors have been giving students since the dawn of gunpowder:

Practice as often as you can! Maybe, you do not have the facilities for shooting on a range each day — Not at all necessary!  You don’t need a range for your short daily work-out! Any room will do.  You practice “dry” with dummy shells! Stick a black paster up on the wall, at the height of your eyes, stand back and go through the motions.  When the hammer clicks keep your bead and *call* your imaginary shots just as honestly as the real target would. 

The concept of a small amount of daily dry practice producing great results is not new, although we seem to have re-discover it, or have someone of our generation be its champion for the idea to be widely accepted.

He plants the seed of an idea that grew up to be Comstock scoring used in USPSA competition:

My suggestion for competition would be: gun in holster.  Upon command the gun should be drawn and fired once, the shot to hit a rather small target.  The gun should then be re-cocked quickly and held up again at “ready” position, aimed at the same target. The whole action should be timed and the results judged by “time elapsed” and “value of hit”, the weight of scoring to lie with “time elapsed”.

His concept of a “full live fire practice day” is 3 strings of 20 shots each.

Some interesting drawings discussing gun fit for revolver stocks.

Automatic Pistol Marksmanship Highlights

The second book is all about semi-automatic pistols, which he refers to as “automatics”.

The book opens with his definition of two safety rules:

  1. An Automatic is Always Loaded!
  2. Never point the damn thing at anything you don’t want to hit!

These two rules may have been an influence on Col. Jeff Cooper’s development of his “4 rules“.

Even in 1937, the 9mm vs. .45 debate was common:

Just because a few Moros had been tickled with some .38 Revolver shells and had the audacity to survive, the .45 caliber craze became the credo.  And “Shocking power” assumed such importance that it makes one sick.  Less extremely large calibers do more effective work than the .45 calibre.  It all boils down to the question of how good the shooter behind the gun is, and I claim that a calibre unnecessarily larger is not conducive to good handling.

Reichenbach was a big fan of the .38 super cartridge and preferred it to .45 ACP.

The combination of no hearing protection and one handed shooting made training with the 1911 .45 more difficult, as he notes:

There will never be an opportunity for fast firing in any situation, unless it be for the sake of noise or deception.  Ordinarily, after the shooter has fired a .45 Automatic, say 10 times, he is all rattled..shaken up.  Co-ordination is destroyed and he goes to pieces.  To fire 50 shots with the .45 Auto, under target conditions, is an ordeal. 

Despite this, Reichenbach preferred the Automatic as his daily carry gun:

I have developed an arrangement of gun and holster that suits me perfectly.  My chest is thrown bravely forward. My eyes are serene and my mind is at ease.  I know that I have a little steel-thing with me that carries death if need be, death to the enemy. I feel the instrument of utter security along with my waistband, and..alack, sometimes also a wee bit of weariness.  The damn thing doesn’t weigh much, but it keeps it up–all day long.  My tailor also objects to it because, he claims, he can’t get the perfect which which he so desires.

He describes the perfect automatic as one that

weighs 30 ounces, with distinct muzzle heaviness and a scientifically shaped grip, with the center of mass well forward and not near the handle. The insertion of the magazine should not materially shift the weight so far back that the gun becomes butt heavy.

Interestingly enough, the Glock 19 weighs 30 ounces, loaded, and has many of these characteristics, as do most of the modern 9mm polymer, striker fired pistols.

His preferred holster is an appendix/cross draw rig with the gun angled, and trigger guard exposed.

From later discussion, it appears that he carries hammer down on a loaded chamber, and intends to thumb cock the gun as part of the draw.  (Those that followed him down the trail of defensive shooting eventually figured out that exposed trigger guard and thumb cocking during the draw were bad and dangerous ideas.)

The last part of his book on Automatics is all about what he calls “Practical Shooting“, which he defines as “the ability to draw our gun quickly, align it with speed and discharge it without pulling (flinching), at the target.”  His description of how to learn a proper drawstroke should sound familiar to anyone that’s taken a defensive pistol course:

Stand before a full size mirror. The hand goes down to the gun, takes it out of the holster, cocks and carries it to arms length. The bead is at the nose of our adversary. We squeeze the trigger! The whole action may take us fully 3 seconds.  That’s fast enough for beginning.  The thing is to see that the action is carried smoothly.  There should be one deliberate, clean motion.  Start right by starting with the slow draw.  Work from the “Three Second Draw” to the “Two Second Draw” to the “One Second Draw”.  I consider a draw executed with 1/2 second a damn fast draw.  Whatever you do, make it your business never to miss your target! Never fire more than 50 shots a day.   How about using a 5″ bullseye? If you get to the point you can hit a 5″ bullseye at 25 feet (8.3 yards) with a one second draw, you are a deadly shot and no fooling!

(By modern standards, hitting a 5″ target at 25 feet with a 1.0 second draw is USPSA Master/Grand Master level shooting.)

As with other books on pistol shooting from the 1930’s, the book is full of information that really hasn’t changed, and standards for “what is good shooting” that remain challenging today with modern equipment.

If this sort of thing interests you, I’ll be offering 1/2 and 1 day sessions of my Historical Handgun course August and September 2017, with additional sessions to be presented at the 2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference and other locations to be announced soon.  The course is mobile and can be presented in 1 or 2 day format at your location, if you have a classroom and a 50 yard range.

Blocking unwanted calls

Because I have my phone number listed online as my primary business number, I get a lot of unwanted phone calls: offers for credit card processing services, offers for business loans, website builders, office supply companies, promotional product sales, as well as all the common scam calls from “Google” and “Microsoft” and “Windows Support” and the “IRS“.  The national Do Not Call list appears to be completely worthless.

The spam callers change phone numbers frequently, and unfortunately, I can’t screen out incoming calls based on area codes.  It’s very common for people to keep their cell phone numbers when they move.

A few months ago I started looking at different phone apps that can assist with this problem.

The one I’m using now is called Mr. Number.  I’m using the IOS version.

When calls come in, they are checked against Mr. Number’s (large) list of known numbers.  They tag calls as “scam and fraud” (red alert) or “suspected spam” (yellow alert).  You have the option, for each type of call, to allow it to ring, with the alert showing below the number, or send it to voicemail.

It’s super easy to report a new number as spam.

Pull up the number under “recents”, copy it, and open Mr. Number.  It automatically sees the phone number on your clipboard and asks you if you want to do a reverse lookup on it.  If you do that, it gives you the option to block or report as spam, with categories of what kind of spam it was.

After several weeks, lots of unwanted calls have been blocked and flagged, I’ve reported a handful of numbers as unwanted, with no false positives (legit calls incorrectly blocked or rejected), with no problems or glitches with normal phone use.

The app is free.  Highly recommended.

 

 

 

Another loss for the KR Training family

Last Saturday, the KR Training family lost another close friend and team member: Tom Robertson.

Tom was a former Texas A&M police officer, NRA high power competitor, USPSA competition shooter, and NRA instructor, as well as a former homebuilder and skilled craftsman/salesman in the construction industry. He was a pretty good singer too!

Tom was Penny’s next door neighbor during her PhD years at Texas A&M university, coaching her in NRA high power rifle competition and inviting her to join his friends hunting deer, hogs and birds. He
encouraged Penny to seek out NRA instructor certification, around the time the Texas Concealed Handgun License bill passed, so that she could start offering CHL classes in the Bryan. That’s how Penny and I met, which led a beautiful partnership both at the personal and professional level.

During our dating and engagement period, Tom and his shooter buddies in Aggieland served as Penny’s surrogate big brothers. I eventually passed their evaluation, despite being a t.u. graduate, and Tom was one of my groomsmen at our wedding.

As KR Training grew, Tom took my NRA instructor certification class, started shooting USPSA matches with Penny and I with the local Brazosland Pistoleros club, assisted with beginner classes, and helped us develop some of the original curriculum for the Advanced Training 1 and Advanced Training 2 courses.

After we purchased the A-Zone property (16 years ago from the date of this post), Tom convinced several of his friends & customers into helping make the classroom building a reality, and he spent many weekends with us, assisting with construction of the building, fences, and every other project that needed doing, including teaching me a lot about home building and construction.

Tom’s day job was selling door and window units for Weatherford Door Company, and he would frequently talk about KR Training with his customers, promoting our classes.  Ronald Weatherford, Tom’s boss, was an avid hunter and gun rights advocate who also passed away this month.

Even after Tom’s health declined, he would talk about our classes to the doctors, nurses, physical therapists and anyone else he encountered.

Most KR Training students never met “the T”, but his influence and impact on Penny, me, and KR Training was significant.  He will be missed, but never forgotten.

Book Review – Guns and Gunning, Capt Paul Curtis (1934)

Over the past year I’ve been developing a new course for KR Training, Historical Handgun, that teaches the history & evolution of defensive handgun skills.  Part of that effort has been seeking out and reading old books on shooting, purchasing copies signed by the authors when possible.

In 2016, Penny had a chance to visit the Armstrong Ranch to conduct interviews as part of the Legacy of Ranching exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  While there, she noticed a copy of Guns and Gunning by Paul Curtis, on a shelf in the library of what had been Tom Armstrong’s (son of Texas Ranger John B. Armstrong) home. She read a few pages and was impressed – the section on trigger press was terrific.  Capt. Curtis was a WWI veteran and longtime editor of Field and Stream magazine.

 

I was able to find a 1st edition signed copy of the book to add to our library.

Much of Curtis’ book contains advice and observations that remain true 80+ years later. The book covers all types of shooting (rifle, shotgun and pistol), with particular focus on hunting. My comments focus on the pistol shooting part of the book.

Gun buying trends haven’t changed

The pistol buyer who is interested in target shooting is very much in the minority.

The average pistol is bought solely with the idea of having it on hand for self-defense, and the skill of the owner is in most instances highly superficial.

It is sufficient to observe here that it is ignorance and lack of familiarity with the pistol that is responsible for the wrong type of weapon being bought by the vast majority of people.

The Narrative: crime always going up, gun ownership always increasing

Not only are the members of our military and civil establishments devoting more time to practice with the handgun, but bank clerks, messengers and others in responsible positions are recognizing the need of such practice to combat the crime wave which has engulfed the country.

Gun selection advice hasn’t changed either

As a matter of fact, very few of the great number of revolvers and pistols on the market are worthy of serious consideration…

If one requires a pistol for the pocket to be concealed upon the person, the Colt .380 automatic is, in my opinion, quite in a class by itself.  There are those who will prefer a revolver… any revolver is more apt than an automatic to catch in the clothing if one attempts to shoot it from a pocket in an emergency.

Obviously the gun for the civilian who must carry one upon his person at all times must be light. A certain amount of power must be sacrificed.

The average man, however, in buying a revolver is not going to carry it around with him day and night.  He wants one to have in the house, where it will probably remain in a bureau drawer from one year to the next, or be occasionally slipped into the side pocket of his car or overcoat when he believes he might need it.  For such a man the best is emphatically a .38 special…

The householder will probably say, “Why should I bother with such a powerful weapon? I will probably never use it.”  One might just as well ask “why buy fire insurance? My house will probably never burn down”.  The fact of the matter is if the house does burn down, you could not have too much insurance, and if you ever have an emergency in which you need a revolver, there is none made so powerful that you would not be thankful for its additional punch.

I feel that the .38 special is amply powerful for the average man.  Due to its rather mild recoil, he can shoot more accurately with it than with a larger cartridge having a heavier recoil, and for the same reason his wife or any other feminine member of his family can more capably defend herself with it in an emergency.  He is more apt to practice with it occasionally because it less expensive to operate and less objectionable to his nerves and ears. 

Neverending debates: revolver v. semiauto, 1911 reliability

While in the service, as an Instructor with the automatic and Captain of the Ordnance Officer’s Pistol Team in 1918, I fired some 4000 rounds from a Colt automatic in practice with but two malfunctions, both caused by faulty ammunition.  Despite the prejudice which many men still feel against the automatic, this gun has passed beyond the experimental stage and is today as reliable in an emergency as any hand-operated revolver.

Training goals, 1934

It will be long before the novice with the pistol will be able to keep his shots in an 8” group at 50 yards.

A row of bottles full of water set up at 20 yards are splendid targets.  When you can hit 4 out of 5 at 20 paces in 10 seconds, you may consider yourself a good practical pistol shot.

Training tips

(Dry firing) He should begin by learning the proper stance from one capable of coaching , and then devote considerable time to…dry practice…being careful to squeeze off the trigger steadily while holding the sights as near the black as possible.

(Calling shots) The shooter should try also to keep the sight aligned as closely as he with the bull after the hammer has fallen.  That is, he should try to name the spot on the target where the sights were aligned at the click of the action.

(Stance) The position should therefore be upright.  The feet should be set fairly well apart.  I prefer the full extended arm.

(Square to the target) Some face squarely toward the target, while others prefer to stand sideways.  If one was hit, a shot transfixing the body was more deadly than one passing through from front to back.  Not only did the latter make a smaller wound, but these was less chance of its lodging in a vital organ.

(Don’t move your head / eye-target line) The pistol hand should be raised to a line with the eye, rather than the head lowered to catch the sights.

(Grip) The grip of the gun is most important and must be uniform.  If one holds the grip low down for one shot, and with the trigger finger wrapped around the trigger one time and just pressing it with the finger tip the next, he might as well give up practice.  The (dominant hand) thumb should be carried in a line parallel to the trigger finger and the barrel.

Flinching & double action shooting

One cause of flinching which can be well avoided is an excessive trigger pull, which in the pistol should not exceed 3 pounds.    While all but one of our revolvers are double action, this is of no use where a fair degree of accuracy is demanded, and, in consequence, should only be resorted to for the fastest of shooting at a man size mark at close quarters.

Two handed shooting

…though the conventional use of the pistol is with one hand and no rest, it is really capable of very excellent accuracy when shot with two hands.  …hold the pistol in the right hand as usual and then grasp the right wrist with the left hand, while the left arm is pressed tightly against the side for support. The shooter much then face somewhat to the right of his target, with the right forearm across the chest.

(If you do this, what you end up with looks a lot like a Weaver stance.)

Shooting for Women

Women have so firmly established their position…that no book upon shooting that did not consider them would not be complete.  I have made the statement many times that in a rifle or pistol match between teams of boys and girls of the same age and experience the girls will almost invariably beat the boys.  In selecting the gun for a woman, the points to be considered are the same as those confronting a man.

Trigger Press

He preferred the term “press” to “squeeze”, and advocated “riding the slack” in the trigger, similar to what many pistol and rifle instructors teach today.

I use the term “let-off” because trigger “pull”, as it is commonly called, is a misnomer.  “Press the trigger” is better.  Pressure should be lightly applied the trigger with the index finger as the aim is started, and completed when the sights are in line with the mark.

What changed?

The biggest differences I found between his book and modern technique were all related to grip.  Modern shooters use a two handed grip whenever possible, and grip the gun harder. That’s a result of the change in shooting drills and standards migrating from 25 and 50 yard bullseye to closer, faster drills more closely simulating actual defensive handgun uses.

Summary

This book is relatively hard to find but one of the better old books in my collection, since many of Curtis’ ideas and observations continue to be correct and relevant.

KR Training June 2017 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training June newsletter!  July and August are hot so we are offering shorter and indoor afternoon classes, along with some shorter morning classes. We’ve added a LOT of classes to our July-September schedule. Check the schedule page on the KR Training website for the full list.

If you aren’t already a subscriber to receive this newsletter each month, you can subscribe here or follow this blog.

JULY CLASS DISCOUNTS AND DEALS

Deal #1)  Handgun Coaching & License to Carry on July 15 for $120 ($20 savings)

Deal #2) Wednesday afternoon 2 hour private lesson (3-5 pm) and evening (6-8 pm) USPSA Match – July 12 or 26 for $100 ($50 savings)

Deal #3) Defensive Pistol Skills Small Gun and Skill Builder Long Gun – July 29 for $100 ($35 savings)

For all deals – must pay in full in advance.

JULY CLASSES

July 8th – Defensive Pistol 3
July 15th – Handgun Coaching (great for BP1, BP2, DPS-1 refresher!) and License to Carry
July 22nd – Handgun Beyond the Basics
July 29th – Defensive Pistol Small Gun & Skill Builder Long Gun
July 29th – Basic Pistol 1 (9-12, taught by John Daub)

Register here.

HISTORICAL HANDGUN PROGRAM

I have developed a new program called Historical Handgun, teaching the history of handgun training and skills, 1935-present. The full course is a 2 day program that I’ll start offering in 2018, at the A-Zone and on the road.  I’ll offer a 1/2 day preview of the shooting part of the class on August 12th, and a 1 day preview, co-taught with Tom Givens, on Monday Sept 18 after the Rangemaster Shotgun Instructor course.

SUMMER USPSA MATCHES

You don’t have to be a USPSA member to attend. You don’t have be an experienced competitor to attend.
The summer matches are an excellent, new shooter friendly way to try pistol competition.
Summer USPSA matches will continue in July and August.  These are Wednesday evening matches.  We will start shooting at 6 pm but you can arrive as late as 7 pm and still shoot the stages.  After everyone has shot for score, additional runs are allowed for fun and practice.  Follow this link for more information about the summer matches. Matches are limited to 18 shooters so they run quickly.

INTERESTED IN INSTRUCTOR TRAINING?

I will be offering a weekday session of the NRA Pistol Instructor class July 19-20.  We are hosting the Rangemaster (Tom Givens) Shotgun Instructor class Sept 15-17, and I will be offering my Force on Force instructor course Friday, Oct 6.  Attendees of the FOF instructor course will need to attend the AT-2, Low light Shooting, and AT-5 classes scheduled for Saturday Oct 7 and Oct 8 as part of the full FoF instructor course. In January 2018 I’m hosting Massad Ayoob and Marty Hayes (Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network) teaching their Deadly Force Instructor certification course.

ESTATE SALE

A student has guns and ammo from his father’s estate for sale.  Contact him for details.

BLOG-O-RAMA

We look forward to training you!
Karl, Penny and the KR Training team

Minimum Standards for Basic Pistol

Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor, shares our interest in defining useful minimum standards for different levels of pistol training.  Claude recently shared a draft of a new course of fire with us. It’s intended for students at the Basic Pistol 1 level, evaluating the abilities to shoot at 3, 5 and 7 yards, manipulate the pistol, and go quickly to target from different common ready positions.  John Daub recently discussed it on his blog.  A few weeks ago, we recorded some video of John running the drill, to add to our newly revived youTube channel.

Aside: The original KRTraining youTube channel is still live with content from 2008-2010, but due to no longer having access to the email account used to create it, and youTube’s nonexistent customer support, that channel cannot be updated.

 

This drill may show up in future sessions of our Basic Pistol 1, Handgun Coaching, and Basic Pistol 2 classes.

Father’s Day 2017

Thoughts as Father’s Day 2017 comes to a close:

Earlier this week we returned from Anderson, Indiana, where my father in law Mike Riggs was laid to rest.

His obituary is here.  Those who worked with him said he was always “first in, last out” on every call: a role model and a mentor that took great pride in his work, and considered heroic acts just “doing my job”.

Mike spent 34 years working as a firefighter for the city of Anderson before moving to Texas to retire.  The firefighters stood watch over him during the visitation, flew flags at all the fire stations at half mast, and those working at the station where he spent most of his career had other tributes to him as well.  His casket was carried from the funeral home to the cemetery in “Ole Babe”, a 1953 fire engine.  Mike is one of five members of Penny’s extended family have worked for the Anderson Fire Dept over several generations, including one who was on the job when Ole Babe was a working unit.

In addition to Fire Department honors, Mike was honored for his Vietnam-era military service. The Air Force sent an honor guard who conducted a flag ceremony and presented the family with the American flag. American Legion volunteers fired a rifle salute and played Taps.

 

. After the funeral we had the opportunity to visit a historic neighborhood bar, The Polish Club, which was the place Penny’s grandparents were married, and a place frequented by Mike, other firefighters, and others in the community.

Funerals are never fun or happy, but it was good to see their family and friends, meet and talk about Mike with his brother firefighters, and honor his memory in all the ways we could.

Mike’s favorite charity was the Fire Rescue House, a home for fire victims (the first one was built in Anderson).

 

Notes from private lessons (part 5)

In addition to teaching group classes, I offer private lessons.  Here are some of the observations and lessons learned from those classes, which I taught at KR Training’s A-Zone Range facility.  Private lessons are available, by appointment, on most weekdays and weekday evenings.  Often these take the form of private versions of our regular group classes, refresher lessons on group course material, or coaching to get graduates of those courses tuned up and ready for the next course in the series.

Part 1, Part 2 ,Part 3 and part 4 of the series are here.

Recently on the KR Training Facebook page, I was asked about reasons why people would prefer private training to group classes.  Here are a few common reasons:

  1. Weekend workers.  Many businesses, particularly retail businesses, have their busiest days on weekends, making it hard to get away to attend group classes.  Customers in that category range from musicians (including members of touring bands), gun shop owners, police/fire/EMS personnel, and many different retail salespeople.
  2. Refresher/booster training.  Some students want a 1-2 hour session where they can review and refresh skills learned in classes, or get follow up training shortly after taking a group class, to correct a problem identified during the group course, without the time investment of re-taking the entire course.
  3. Special challenges.  Students with poor vision, limited dexterity, limited grip strength, small hands, limited mobility or other physical issues often find private training a better choice.  A private session provides more flexibility to spend as much time as needed, try as many guns, stances, sights, lasers, or whatever is required to find the best solutions for that student.  Often the amount of time and attention required is beyond what is available in a group class.
  4. Privacy.  Some of my private lesson students are individuals that do not want others to know that they are training or carrying.   That category, in the past, has included public officials (judges, public and private lawyers, officials with state agencies and universities), professional entertainers and athletes, reporters, teachers, nurses, doctors, and others in the public eye.
  5. Travelers & tourists.  I’ve done private classes for individuals and groups that were passing through the Central Texas area for business or pleasure, who wanted some training or a fun shooting session using our gear, with coaching.
  6. Nervous novices.  Many that are new to firearms want private training because they think that their level of inexperience will put them too far behind students in our most basic classes.  They don’t want to come to a group class and be ‘that student’ that can’t keep up, or makes a mistake in front of others.  Guns are scary and dangerous, and some students need a pre-class confidence building session to feel ready to attend a group course.
  7. The serious student.  I have several regular private lesson students who are very motivated, training hard on their own.  They contact me when they have specific questions or need coaching on specific skills, often connected with one of the many challenging standardized shooting tests used by many different schools.  Even my most advanced group classes may not cover the exact training they need.

I’m currently booking private lessons for the period July 10-August 31.  Weekdays (mornings, afternoon and evenings running as late as 9 pm) are available. One popular option is to do a private lesson the afternoon of a scheduled Wednesday night USPSA match at the A-Zone. Get 2 hours of coaching in, cool off in the AC and then shoot the match.

Medicine-X Every Day Carry June 3-4 2017 AAR

KR Training recently hosted and co-taught the Medicine X Every Day Carry course, taught by Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics, at the A-Zone Range.  The two day course teaches hands on medic and scene security skills useful in that time between the injury and the arrival of first responders that can provide a higher level of security and care.  The second day provides opportunities for students to apply medic skills in multiple scenarios where shooting, tactics, and communication are also integrated.

Caleb and I discuss the course in more detail in an episode of the Modern Self Protection podcast with Ben Brannam.

DAY ONE

Day one was mostly spent in the classroom, learning patient assessment skills, tourniquet application, wound packing, and other fundamentals.

The topic of what to carry every day, and how to carry it, was covered in depth. One takeaway for me from this course was Caleb’s observation that clotting gauze can be used more places on the body that a tourniquet can, so it may be more important to carry than a TQ, particularly for use on children.  I explained to the class that based purely on likelihood of need and risk analysis that I had changed my own daily carry to prioritize a tourniquet/med gear over a spare magazine, in situations where carrying both on my person was difficult, because the odds of needing the medical gear was likely much higher than the need for the spare magazine.  Obviously having both items available is best, but in non-permissive environments, compromises may be necessary.

Lunch on day one was Texas’ best brisket, from Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, about 15 minutes from the A-Zone.  Snow’s had just been crowned #1 in the state (again) by Texas Monthly. After a 90 minute wait in line, with 200 people behind me, I headed back to the A-Zone with multiple briskets and some pork shoulder.

Part of the afternoon of day 1 was spent working on integrating tourniquet use into a live fire drill where the shooter engaged a target…

retreated to cover (gun placed on ground to simulate the effects of an injury and as a safer substitute for reholstering)…

applied a tourniquet to the designated limb…

picked up the pistol and re-engaged the target.

The goal for this drill was under 30 seconds, with at least 5 hits on the target (3 at start, 2 from cover) and a properly applied TQ.  We ran some additional drills working on team tactics, communication and movement, and one drill integrating that material with the application of a TQ and target re-engagement by one team member.

DAY TWO

After some additional classroom material

and instruction on drags and carries,

we split the class into teams and ran them through a scenario in the wooded part of the A-Zone property, searching for their missing friend (“Rescue” Randy), who was discovered down by the pond, injured, with multiple threats (falling steel targets) nearby.

Randy had to be assessed…

moved to cover…
his injuries treated…


and injuries to other team members that occurred during the rescue had to be treated.

Then Randy was evacuated out of the area back to a vehicle.
Additional scenarios were run in the shoot house berm, using a variety of paper and 3D targets.



KR Training hosts Lone Star Medics classes several times a year, typically offering Dynamic First Aid, Medicine X-EDC and Unthinkable classes every 12 months.   All of those courses are also available as traveling classes available anywhere in the US.