October 12-15 2018 AAR from multiple classes

October is always a busy month for KR Training, as we take advantage of cooler weather before we hit our annual November/December “no live fire classes on weekends during hunting season” break.  The last 4 days have been a busy blur of classes and events, planned and unplanned.

Friday October 12 – Force on Force Instructor class

All day Friday, October 12, I ran a session of my Force on Force Instructor course. This class teaches instructors how to plan, script, and conduct live action scenario based training. It’s a skill set that has almost no overlap with traditional “live fire” instructor training, since the purpose of scenario based training is mainly to develop skills not taught or tested in live fire classes, including

  • recognize pre-fight cues
  • identify potential threats
  • manage unknown contacts
  • avoid or de-escalate potential violence incidents without shooting
  • take actions prior to violence occurring to gain better position
  • make legally justifiable and appropriate use of force decisions
  • interact with bystanders, witnesses, and first responders after the incident occurs

These are often discussed in lectures. Properly run scenario based force on force training provides opportunities to practice those skills, interacting with live roleplayers.  Successful scenario based training requires detailed scenario design, careful scripting of roleplayers, and attention to safety.

There are very few programs around the country that offer scenario based FOF training, and even fewer programs that provide training to instructors in how to run that type of training.  My approach is to integrate the instructor training with scenario based training classes.  Instructor trainees attend one day of lecture & exercises with me, and assist with one or more days of scenario based training courses. This gives them the opportunity to see how I run the scenarios, and to work all the different instructor jobs (exercise coordinator, roleplayer, safety officer) in an environment where they can get coaching and feedback on their performance of those jobs.

This fall’s class had 3 students: an LTC/Rangemaster certified instructor, a Texas law enforcement instructor (that already was using scenarios for his Taser, baton and OC classes), and a Federal law enforcement officer.   The small class size gave them ample opportunities on Saturday (and Sunday) to participate in every aspect of the training.  All 3 did extremely well.

Friday night I rushed back to College Station to play a 2 hour solo piano show at a local restaurant, then right back to the A-Zone that night, to get ready for the marathon of classes the next day.

Saturday October 13 – Defensive Pistol 2, Advanced Training 2, Low Light Shooting 1

Once each spring and fall, we run 3 classes back to back in one day. The 3 classes are intended to taken as an 11 hour block of training, but we split them up into three separate events because many have limited funds, time, or stamina.  The three classes are a four hour live fire class (Defensive Pistol Skills 2), a four hour scenario class (Advanced Training 2), and a three hour low light shooting class.

Instructor and podcaster Bob Mayne (Handgun World Podcast) attended the DPS-2 class, and discussed it in this podcast.

Episode 466 – Listener Voice Mails, KR Training and M&P 2.0 Compact Testing Finished

DPS-2 picks up where DPS-1 ends – reviewing concealment draw and general defensive handgun skills, adding in shooting from cover, shooting while moving, one handed shooting, the ‘tabletop’ drawstroke, malfunctions, and reloads.  Additionally, every shooter got a run in the shoot house.

Advanced Training 2 is our original scenario class.  In 4 hours students get to observe and/or participate in as many as 18 scenarios. Some use Simunition and Airsoft guns (outdoors), and some are conducted indoors using SIRT pistols, red guns and other props.  The outdoor scenarios provide opportunity to fire projectiles at others (and be shot at); the indoor scenarios provide opportunity to learn and practice reading faces and body language without the barriers of full face masks and other safety gear that has to be used for the Airsoft/Simunition work.  Both variations of scenario based training have value.

In the second half of the class, students take over all the roleplaying jobs in multiplayer scenarios simulating convenience store and restaurant situations. Roles include employees of the business, customers and criminals – so everyone got to play an armed citizen several times, but also got to see scenarios from the perspective of the unarmed bystander or criminal offender.

Interest in this type of training has increased in recent years. We discuss it in many of our classes to educate students about the value of it and explain how it’s conducted. Those efforts appear to be paying off, as this fall’s AT-2 class filled up with a wait list.

Running quality force on force scenario training requires a lot of gear and a lot of staff.  It takes 6 people to run the four hour AT-2 course, with activities running in parallel in two locations, and the amount of prep time (and clean up time) involved is a lot more than the typical square range everybody-gets-one-target live fire classes most instructors run.

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@hsoisauce gear video from at 2 class

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We offer the Low Light Shooting class once each spring and fall, on dates when the moon is small and the sun sets early (March and October).  Longtime KR Training instructor John Kochan (20+ years on the KR Training team) compresses the history of tactical lights and low light shooting into an information rich hour that goes all the way back to lanterns and double action revolvers with no night sights.

After John’s lecture we get out on the range, running drills without flashlights as the sun sets, until it’s too dark to see.  This part of the class is important, as it provides useful knowledge about what can and cannot be done without artificial light.  Then we move on to techniques using a handheld flashlight, including steel targets at 10-15 yards, one handed, working around cover in many different positions.

Students also get another run in the shoot house in low light, and participate in a ‘red gun’ scenario indoors.  Like the AT-2 course, this class takes 4-6 instructors to conduct, for a 3 hour class, to provide all the multiple events running in parallel. This reduces student down time and makes it possible to expose students to a wide variety of low light training in a short period.

Stray Dogs Join the Class

Around lunchtime Saturday, two stray dogs wandered up to the range house.

No tags, no collars.  Tired and hungry but not starving. Nails clipped, teeth brushed – looked like they belonged to somebody.  Friendly. They hung around during the AT-2 class, and we managed to get glow stick necklaces around their necks before it got dark. I took some pics, sent to all the neighbors I had contact info for, and hoped that someone was missing them and would come get them. When we started the live fire part of the low light class, one dog stayed on site and went and hid, the other took off and disappeared.   When class ended, the one that hid, took off in search of her dog friend.

Sunday October 14 – AT-7 and Low Light Shooting 2

I have two other force on force scenario-based classes in my program: AT-5 (Tactics Laboratory) and AT-7 (More Scenarios).  AT-7 hadn’t been offered in the last 2 years, so I put it on the calendar for Sunday, to give my force on force instructor trainees more opportunity to practice their skills, and for students wanting that course to attend.  The AT-7 course presents scenarios originally developed for sessions at Rangemaster Tactical Conferences, including scenarios I developed with Paul Gomez and Caleb Causey that incorporate medical skills.  We were too busy training to take pics or video for this class.  Had a great group of students, sold out class, and the rain stayed away the whole afternoon.

One of the stray dogs returned Sunday morning and stuck around the rest of the day.  One of my neighbors brought some dog food down, and to avoid her running off during the low light 2 class that night, we managed to get her in the classroom building, which has a dog door and fenced back yard.  Nobody had responded to any of my texts or emails regarding lost dogs. I decided to keep that dog at the range house Sunday night so I could take her to the Giddings Animal Shelter the next day.

Low Light Shooting 2 was the final course of the 3 day weekend run.  Three more hours of more complex low light shooting drills, including scored low light shooting tests from the KR Training and Rangemaster programs, multiple runs in the shoot house (one with handheld light, one with weapon mounted light), and work indoors with weapon mounted lights.  The focus of the weapon mounted light work was on learning to use the light to assess unknown contacts without muzzling them.  It takes additional concentration on muzzle direction to use a weapon mounted light. That class wrapped up Sunday night around 10 pm. It was a very long weekend.  But wait, there’s more…

Monday October 15 – Dogs, Music and Video Simulator

The one stray that showed up Sunday was happy to hang out with me that night at the A-Zone. Overnight the temperature dropped from the 70’s down to the 40’s, with heavy rain.  When I got up Monday morning, the other dog that had wandered off Saturday night was back.  I got that dog in, dried her off, fed her what was left of the dog food the neighbor had brought, and decided to take both of them to the Giddings shelter, since I had a long day on the road in Austin planned.

If anyone is interested in adopting two adult females, very well behaved, friendly – they are currently at the Giddings Animal Shelter and will be eligible for adoption this weekend.  They are holding them hoping someone looking for them will contact them.  I sent pics of the dogs to a KR Training student that is also a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy, and he was going to get the pics to their dispatchers in case someone called.   Still don’t know if these dogs were dumped or ran off from someone that was maybe visiting a neighbor.  Several students in the Sunday class offered various forms of help – and may relocate the dogs to an Austin no-kill shelter this weekend.

My next stop Monday was the Recording Conservatory of Austin.  KR Training student (and groundskeeper) Wade D is studying to be a recording studio engineer, and he invited me into the studio to record some tracks he could use for a project.  I was able to do 7 songs (keys and vocals), and we are going to finish the project with me bringing in some guest musicians to my home studio, recording those tracks, sending to him and he’ll mix and master the complete package.  I’ll be sharing those online as we get them completed.

My next stop Monday afternoon was to see a demo of the Immersive Training Solutions simulator.  They have a projection screen/video/laser mobile training system that includes marksmanship drills and scenario training.  We are discussing bringing their equipment to the A-Zone to enhance some KR Training classes in 2019, if we can work out logistics and costs.

Final stop was rehearsal with Johnny D and the Genotones.  I’ve been a part of that occasional Austin-based band since the early 2000’s, playing 1-2 shows a year with them.  We have a private party coming up October 29th. This year’s version of the band includes Houston-based luthier/guitar guru David Hazlett and Austin singer Julianne Banks.  We were able to get everyone together for one long rehearsal to knock the rust off.

Tuesday – October 16th

I’m at the A-zone this morning, cleaning up from 4 days of classes, and getting my gear packed for a 5 day trip to the Washington DC area, to teach a one day Historical Handgun class, a one day (sold out) Advanced Handgun course (both hosted by John Murphy of FPF Training, who will be coming to KR Training in February 2019) tour the NRA museum, meet with NRA Training Department personnel, and spend some time with my wife Penny, who recently started a 6 month “Special Advisor” job with the Department of the Interior that will keep her up in the DC area until spring 2019.

When I get back from that trip I’ll do another AAR about that.

 

 

School Safety/Active Shooter, Beaumont Texas Sept 2018 – AAR

On Sept 29-30, instructors from KR Training and RW Training co-taught a session of the state certified School Safety/Active Shooter course to a mixed group of teachers, church security personnel and interested armed citizens.  The class was held at the Golden Triangle Gun Club near Beaumont, Texas. Our students had a wide range of experience, from frequent USPSA/IDPA competitors, facilitators with “A Girl and a Gun” chapters, military combat veterans, to carry permit holders with no other training.

BACKGROUND

In 2013, Texas passed a bill that would authorize armed teachers at K-12 schools if they passed a special training course.  In 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety began certifying a limited number of License to Carry instructors in the new course.  This course content is general enough that it has value to anyone interested in active shooter response, and as a state-certified, state-developed course, the training it provides will be more legally defensible in court than other un-certified courses offered by private sector schools. The KR Training version of the course includes two additional live fire qualification courses:  the shooting test from the NRA Defensive Pistol class, and the annual qualification course of fire used by a major Texas city’s police department.  This provides graduates of the course additional documentation that they meet a national standard higher than the Texas License to Carry class (the NRA test), and a standard equivalent to what a typical responding police officer in our state has met.

DAY ONE

With heavy rain expected for much of the day, the class started indoors with presentation of lecture material on the characteristics of active shooters, supported by case studies and video from specific incidents.

By the afternoon the rain had decreased and we were able to get to the range to shoot the qualification course of fire and the “Shooting Under Duress” block of drills, which used photorealistic targets showing school safety & active shooter scenarios.

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Video from day 1 if active shooter class.

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DAY TWO

Predictions of more rain turned out to be incorrect, and skies cleared, allowing us to run the remaining parts of the Shooting Under Duress module, including shooting at 50 yards.  Drawing from a holster is not required in the official state curriculum, but since most teachers (and church security personnel and other armed citizens) are likely to be carrying concealed in a holster, our version of the course included additional training in proper draw technique (dry and live fire).  We also used an assessment of each student’s gear as a way to discuss holster selection and position.   Several students had the usual problems of wearing a holster designed to be worn behind the hip, with a forward cant, at their strong side, forcing the wrist into an awkward angle, or using an AIWB holster that placed the gun so low to the belt that a full firing grip could not be established with the gun holstered, or wearing a holster that closed up when the gun was drawn.  We ended up loaning several students holsters for this part of the course.

After everyone had demonstrated that their open carry draw technique was safe and fast enough for the drills to follow, we ran everyone through the qualification course of fire from a major Texas city.

 

The passing score for this test, which included firing at 3, 7, 15 and 25 yards, was 70%. All 12 of the students in the course passed on their first attempt with a score of 85% or higher, including some that were shooting small / subcompact guns like the SIG P365.

We also ran the NRA Defensive Pistol shooting test, which required the students to draw from concealment.  I’ve used this test as the “national” standard in this course several times now.  Next time I run the course, I’m going to substitute the current FBI qualification course of fire in place of the NRA test as the national standard students have to meet.

The NRA test over emphasizes reloads, does not include one handed shooting, and (unlike any shooting qualification I can find in any of my review of historical qualification courses), can only be passed with a perfect score of 34 out of 34 in the acceptable hit zone of the NRA D-1 target.  The other problem is the D-1 target itself.  Overly sanitized, it has minimal relevance to human anatomy, compared to the FBI’s Q target.

All other tests, from the 1930s to the present day, have a maximum point score, with passing threshold at 70% or 80%. Four of the 12 passed the NRA test on the first attempt, many others dropped a few shots. Of the 8 that reshot the test, 4 more passed on the 2nd attempt with the others challenged by the requirement to shoot a perfect 34/34.

The afternoon was spent indoors, finishing up the lecture material and running roleplaying scenarios that taught tactics related to protecting classrooms against active shooters, building evacuation while armed, and interaction with uniformed responders.

SUMMARY

The state-developed, state-certified class was designed to be appropriate for anyone with a carry permit.  The course content is relevant to anyone interested in being prepared to survive an active shooter incident, not just teachers.  KR Training ran multiple sessions of this course – both the official 2 day state version and shorter non-certificate versions for church security teams – in 2018, and we plan to offer the course in the full 2 day format at the A-Zone in 2019.

I’ll also be presenting a subset of that material in lecture form for the Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) Preparedness Meet Up on November 8th at Riverbend church in Austin.  You do not have to be an ADRN member to attend, and it’s free. Anyone in the Austin area interested in this topic is welcome to attend.

 

 

 

 

 

KR Training September 2018 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training September 2018 newsletter!

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

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.

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER EVENTS

Basic & LTC Courses

Defensive Skills Program

Advanced Classes & Guest Instructors

*Must pay in advance, in full to receive discounted prices for combo registrations.

SEPTEMBER SUMMARY

September began with a drive to Ft. Collins, CO and back to be the guest on an upcoming episode of the Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery show, talking about the Historical Handgun course and upcoming book.  As soon as I got back, Western author James J. Griffin dropped by for a quick visit.  I provide James with technical info about guns and maintain his author website.  He writes traditional Western and modern mystery stories about fictional Texas Rangers, and has an exhibit of his Texas Ranger pop culture collection (Western pulp magazines and other items related to the Rangers) on display at the Texas Ranger museum in Waco.  Taught 4 classes the one dry weekend we had mid-month, and rescheduled some classes that got rained out.  Lots of private lessons, including some for instructor-level students (graduates of NRA, DPS LTC, USCCA and SIG instructor programs), and a special class for a visiting police officer from Argentina.  Then I attended 2 days at the Texas Bar’s firearms law course in San Antonio, teaching an evening lecture course at an indoor range in Bulverde, attended the GOA “How to Testify” class held at Texas A&M, and ended the month in Beaumont co-teaching a sold out School Safety/Active Shooter course with Richard Worthey.

COMBATIVE PISTOL 2 (DYNAMIC PISTOL MARKSMANSHIP) – TOM GIVENS OCT 6-7

Tom Givens has trained over 48,000 students over the past 40 years. 64 of them have been successful in armed incidents, with a hit ratio of over 90% (about triple the typical law enforcement officer hit rate).  Tom is returning to KR Training in early October to offer his level 2 Dynamic Pistol Marksmanship course.  If you’ve taken DPS-2 or a higher level course with us, you are ready for Tom’s level 2 class.  This class is also an excellent defensive pistol course for experienced IDPA / USPSA competitors that have never taken a class focusing on defensive pistol skills. It’s not a “how to draw” course.  It’s a “how to win a gunfight” class.

HALF PRICE REFRESHER SLOTS

You can come back for any class you’ve taken before, for half price.  Repeating a course is a great way to maintain skills for low cost, particularly if you haven’t practiced the skills you learned in our classes due to time, cost, or range limitations.  Retake the class with a different gun, or go as moral support for that friend or family member you finally talked into attending.

“LEARN TO TESTIFY” SEMINARS FROM GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA

KR Training graduate and Massad Ayoob Group certified instructor Rachel Malone recently became the Texas lobbyist for Gun Owners of America.  She’s offering seminars in various locations throughout October on how to be an effective speaker for gun rights at public meetings: town halls, city council, even the state Legislature.  Click here to see the schedule and register (no charge) for any of the events.

NOTES FROM KR: RECENT BLOG POSTS

Don’t miss future blog posts! Visit our blog site to sign up, and they’ll come straight to your email.

BLOG-O-RAMA

2018-2019 SCHEDULE

The KR Training schedule shows most of the classes we plan to offer through late October 2018 and even a few already scheduled for 2019. Registration is open for everything listed.   In November and December we take a break from offering weekend live fire classes due to deer season, but weekday private lessons will be available on a limited basis.

KR TRAINING INSULATED TUMBLERS

Now available: 20 oz insulated tumblers with the KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills program logo.  These will be on sale for $25 at the A-Zone during all October and November classes.   DPS program coin holder price is $20. 

Thank you for sending your friends and family to train with us. Your referrals keep our classes full and help us continue to offer in-demand classes that specifically address the needs of responsible armed citizens. Remember, now you can train with even more purpose through the KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills Program. Start working to earn your coin now.

 

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

How to Testify – Gun Owners of America event AAR

On Sept 26, 2018 I attended the How To Testify seminar taught by Rachel Malone, the Texas Director for Gun Owners of America.  The seminar was intended to teach local gun owners how to prepare for, and effectively testify before the state legislature on firearms bills.  The content was relevant for any type of public speaking, before city, county, state or even national gov’t meetings or media appearances.

She was joined by Teresa Beckmeyer of the Texas Freedom Caucus.

Rachel’s background includes working for the Texas Republican Party and certification as an instructor by the Massad Ayoob Group, giving her great insight into both the firearms and legislative aspects of this topic. She is also a graduate of courses we’ve offered at KR Training.  This month she also received the Grassroots Activist of the Year award from the Citizen Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which is part of the Second Amendment Foundation.

The idea to offer this type of course all over the state is a brilliant one, and long overdue one.  Usually this type of information is only available to those already active in politics, who go to conventions, conferences and other big events.  Reaching out to the local grassroots is important.  This event was held at a meeting room on the Texas A&M University campus, and many attendees were members of A&M student groups: Young Conservatives of Texas, Texas Open Carry, Turning Point USA, and Students for Concealed Carry.

KEY POINTS

A quick overview of the key points Rachel presented:

She explained how bills originate and the process they go through before being signed into law.  In Texas there are many opportunities along the bill’s path for it to be killed, often at the whim of a single legislator who is on the right committee.  More than 6000 bills got filed last session, some of them never got sent to committee, many that made it to a committee never got a hearing or a vote, and even bills making it through that process never get on the calendar.  That process has to occur in both the House and the Senate, and the content of the bill can be watered down and modified at any step along the path.

TLO refers to Texas Legislature Online.    This state website shows all bills that have been filed, along with multiple screens showing their status, sponsors, and any supporting documents.  When the next session starts in January 2019, GOA and Texas State Rifle Association usually send out updates identifying the bills of interest to gun owners.  (Every gun owner in Texas should be a member of the Texas State Rifle Association.  They do as much or more than NRA to lobby for gun owners at the state level and need your support.)

The Texas Tribune website is useful for finding out how to contact your state representatives.

How to Be Effective

Each step on that list is more effective than the one above it.  Email is the least effective. Calling/writing letters is more effective, and any in-person effort, whether meeting with staff or the rep at their district office in your area, or meeting with them at the Capitol, is even more effective.  Testifying during hearings is also important. It indicates that the issue is important enough to you that you made the effort to show up and speak.

Communication skills are critical.  Be professional.  Know the specifics of the bill.  Have an organized list of key points about the bill, back them up with data if you can.  Have a strong closing argument.  Typically you only get 2 minutes.   Write out what you plan to say, and submit that as written testimony to go with your oral presentation.  Practice giving your 2 minute talk so you can manage the time, and stay aware of your time so you can jump to your strong closing argument before you run out of time.

Don’t wing it.

Identify yourself at the start.  If you only represent yourself, explain why your opinion matters.  Gun owner, competitive shooter, instructor, law enforcement, veteran, gunsmith, carry permit holder, survivor of criminal attack…any thing that adds to your credibility on the issue.

Dress up.  Be nice to others that are in the hearing regardless of whether they are with you or against you on the issue.  Try to find others on your side of the issue. Sit with them, network with them.  Make sure all your electronics are fully charged (backup batteries are a plus) and “be prepared for anything”.

Open carry and concealed carry of handguns are OK at the Capitol.  Open carry of long guns is not.

If you can’t get away from regular responsibilities to testify, but know someone that is, give them any support you can.  Publicize their effort on social media, maybe it will motivate others to testify or at least call or email in support of the bill.

UPCOMING SESSION

Goals for the upcoming session are to push for constitutional carry, reduction in the number of locations carry is prohibited (particularly limits on teachers that want to carry being denied that option by school districts), and prohibiting state resources from being used to enforce unconstitutional federal firearm laws.  If you have other firearms related issues you want promoted in the next session, meeting with lobbyists like Rachel and Teresa is a great way to let them know about those issues.

SUMMARY

Rachel is offering many sessions of this seminar all over the state. Follow the link for a full list. If it’s coming to your area in the near future, you should attend this free event.  And if you aren’t already a member of the Gun Owners of America, annual membership is only $20. That money supports Rachel’s efforts in Texas – well worth the small investment in your firearms rights.

 

Texas Bar Firearms Law course 2018 AAR part 2

Sept 20-21, 2018 I attended the Texas Bar CLE (continuing legal education) course held in San Antonio, Texas.  They put a course on this topic on each year, at different locations around the state, and I’ve attended the past few years. They always have top tier national speakers covering recent content.   By attending I picked up another 12 hours of professional development.

Professional Development

Instructors that are serious about excellence seek out professional development (training from others) every year, whether they are required to by a state licensing board or not.  Texas requires License To Carry instructors to attend a 1 day training session put on by the state police and reshoot the qualification course of fire (scored by another certified instructor) every 2 years.  That’s a higher requirement than most states have, but the quality of the biannual refresher training provided to LTC instructors has plummeted from the high standards set in the early years of the program.  The content of the Texas Bar course is much closer to the level and depth of content the state police should be providing to LTC instructors.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to attend. A handful of firearms trainers attended, along with a mix of law enforcement agents, judges and lawyers.

The course comes with a detailed briefing book with long articles written by each presenter, and it’s possible to buy the class notes even if you don’t attend. Check the Texas Bar CLE website or contact them for details.

I am not a lawyer and these summaries should not be considered legal advice.

Part 1 of this AAR is here.

Part 2 of the quick summaries of the presentations I heard, with key points:

Crossing the Cop

This session focused on knowledge useful for criminal defense attorneys when cross examining police officers.  Here are key points the speaker made during his presentation.  Some statements are controversial and represent his opinion on this topic.

  • Police academies tell cops it’s OK to lie to people to get confessions.
  • Cops are taught to write reports to support charges and convictions.  This can often result in information that might be useful being omitted or downplayed
  • Always investigate the officer’s work history (how many years at current dept, frequent moves to different agencies, what/when training was taken, internal affairs files, employment application.
  • Investigate the officer’s social media posts, marriage/divorce records and other public information (some cops have criminal records)
  • May need a subpeona to get unredacted employment and internal affairs files
  • Always look for what is missing
  • Question the officer about what was left out of the report

Clayton Cramer – FBI Statistics

Clayton Cramer discussed why the FBI’s justifiable homicide statistics are a misleading measure of defensive civilian gun use.

The FBI gathers data on justifiable homicide but does not track “justifiable aggravated assault” or lower uses of force. That means defensive gun uses that do not result in death are not tracked at all by the FBI.  The FBI does not “classificy a killing as justifiable or excusable solely on claims of self-defense”.  Many states limit the ruling of justifiable homicide to felony offenses.   A lot of them don’t go into the FBI justifiable homicide data.  They show up as murder or non-negligent manslaughter because of the initial police report.  This understates justifiable homicides and overstates murders.

Cramer claimed that Civilian Legal Defensive Homicides are typically 7-13% of the annual murder rate.  (Murder rate is a subset of the total gun death rate, which includes accidents and suicides.  A rough estimate is that out of 10,000 murders annually, 700-1300 are justifiable — out of a national population of over 300 million.)

He cited a Time magazine story that looked at all gun deaths in the US in a single week. in 1989. 3% of those deaths were justifiable homicides.  One year later, the total of justifiable homicides from that week had risen to 6%, with 43 cases still awaiting trial.

Bonus knowledge: back in 1974, the Texas Penal Code stated that homicide is justifiable before adultery, provided the killing takes place before the parties to the act have “separated”.  (This statute had been removed from the deadly force laws by the time the Texas concealed handgun license began in 1995.)

Firearms in Family Law

Most of this presentation related to situations where a family member may have to give up his or her guns due to mental illness or criminal conviction.  If NFA items are involved, transferring them to an FFL (with the appropriate grade of dealer’s license) was recommended as an alternative to giving them to the police to store.  Active duty police are allowed to retain their duty guns when under protective family orders that would disarm ‘civilian’ armed citizens.  In many jurisdictions, police that are the subject of a case cannot/should not bring their duty guns into the courtroom — that privilege no longer applies when the officer is a defendant.

Firearm Rights Restoration

The next session was on a related topic – the restoration of firearms ownership rights that may have been lost due to mental illness or criminal conviction.  That requires the individual to have their record expunged, set aside, pardoned or some other form of civil rights restoration to occur.  There are only 1-2 pardons per year in Texas, and the way Texas does it, restoration of firearms rights requires a separate hearing. Historically rights have not been restored unless it was required for the person’s employment.  This session was presented by Joshua Prince, who has an excellent legal blog heavy on firearms rights content.

Resilience Training: Performance and Interpersonal Management Skills for a Better Practice, and a Better Life

This was presented by a judge.  It was solid information about managing stress and anger in a career field that has many opportunities for emotional confrontation.  The topic wasn’t specifically related to firearms law, but it was definitely applicable, and included because it counted toward the requirement that all CLE courses include some ethics or ethics-related training.

 

Top Ways Your Client is Violating State or Federal Gun Laws

In the order they were discussed, not ranked in order of most common violations:

1) Selling reloaded ammo without an ammo manufacturing license.  (Generally a bad idea from a liability standpoint. Blow up someone’s gun, or worse, cause an injury, and your homeowner’s insurance or even instructor insurance isn’t going to cover you.)

2) Making or modifying guns to be a prohibited item – such as a short barreled rifle.

3) Possessing, growing, or using marijuana or other drugs illegal under Federal law. Even if they are legal in the state you are in.

4) Committed to a mental facility – makes you a prohibited person.  Texas has NICS mental health reporting guidelines and more than likely being committed will prevent you from passing a background check (which also affects carry permit status).

5) Doing a private transfer (no FFL/no background check) to a person you know is prohibited from owning firearms.

6) A spouse or family member that isn’t on your NFA gun trust using that NFA item without you right there with them.

7) The Kubaton (popular self defense item) could be considered an illegal weapon in Texas similar to brass knuckles.  Possession could be a class A misdemeanor which would result in loss of carry permit.

8) Loaded gun in your carry on bag at the airport.  Texas airports are 3 of the top 10 for this error, nationally(Worse, most of the guns don’t have a round chambered or even a loaded magazine in the gun.  If you are going to carry, carry a gun you can actually use if you need it.  And keep up with where your gun is…all the time.  Have a locking box in your car, all the time, that you can use to lock up your carry gun when you need to enter a premises where it’s illegal to be armed…or if you find a gun in your carry on bag when you give it one more check in the parking lot of the airport.)

9) Posting evidence of your violations, or discussing acts that would be violations on social media.

10) Running or participating in an illegal gun raffle.  There are people that will do gun raffles online – buy tickets and they give the gun away, often making a nice profit.  That type of raffle is only legal when run by a very specific list of approved groups: religious societies, volunteer fire/EMS, non profits.  Only two raffles can be run per year, not at the same time, with no paid advertising.  Specific items must be printed on each ticket: the name of the organization, address, ticket price, date of award, and other information required by law.  It’s not only a violation to run a illegal raffle, it’s a violation to participate in it by buying a ticket.

Witness Dynamics

Massad Ayoob wrapped up the event with a session covering Witness Dynamics.  Unfortunately due to the long drive back to College Station, I had to leave early and missed Mas’ talk.  Looking at the written handouts he provided to all attendees (limited distribution only to those who paid for the training course, sorry), he covered keys to impeaching adverse witnesses in self defense cases.

That includes witnesses that are deliberately lying, have been led, are sincere but mistaken, is a “confabulating” witness.  One definition of confabulation is “a memory disturbance, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive.”

Each requires different approaches, including use of video/audio recordings, expert witnesses, or explanation as to how perceptions can be altered or corrupted during high intensity events.

To learn about that topic, Mas offers his MAG-20 classroom course and the longer Deadly Force Instructor class.  I had the opportunity to be an expert witness in a 1st degree felony case (working for the defendant) earlier this year, and the issue of the reliability of witness memory was a factor in the defense. The training I got from Mas on this topic, particularly in the Deadly Force Instructor course, was very valuable.

SUMMARY

Any Texas License to Carry instructor serious about being informed and competent on legal issues should spend “their own dime and their own time” (as Tom Givens often puts it) to attend this course.  The content goes far, far beyond the meager/minimal training that occurs in the biannual LTC instructor retraining sessions run by Texas DPS. The class isn’t cheap, but the topic of self defense and deadly force is serious business, and deserves serious study — particularly by those taking money from others who expect their instructor to be a true subject matter expert beyond the state minimum.  The tuition for this event was roughly the same as the cost of attending a 2 day live fire class.

The event can be attended by carry permit holders and the general public. It moves around to different major cities each year.  The next opportunity will be a video replay of the content from the session I attended, presented in Dallas in early November.  Check the Texas Bar CLE website for details.

 

 

Texas Bar Firearms Law course 2018 AAR part 1

Sept 20-21, 2018 I attended the Texas Bar CLE (continuing legal education) course held in San Antonio, Texas.  They put a course on this topic on each year, at different locations around the state, and I’ve attended the past few years. They always have top tier national speakers covering recent content.   By attending I picked up another 12 hours of professional development

You don’t have to be a lawyer to attend. A handful of firearms trainers attended, along with a mix of law enforcement agents, judges and lawyers.  From the reaction of the audience to various statements made by presenters (and the number of untucked shirts and jackets being worn), it was clear that most attending were pro-gun.  If anyone was there representing any of the gun control groups, they did not advertise that fact.

The course comes with a detailed briefing book with long articles written by each presenter, and it’s possible to buy the class notes even if you don’t attend. Check the Texas Bar CLE website or contact them for details.

I am not a lawyer and these summaries should not be considered legal advice.

Part 1 of the quick summaries of the presentations I heard, with key points:

Stephen Halbrook

Stephen Halbrook is a nationally known constitutional lawyer specializing in 2nd amendment cases.  He covered 5 main topics:

  • The “Heller III” case – which resulted in several parts of the DC carry permit regulations being struck down
  • The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association case – which upheld assault weapon and magazine bans
  • Multiple cases that addressed aspects of “carrying outside the home”.  There are many and inconsistent rulings from lower courts as to whether the 2nd amendment ‘keep and bear arms’ defines a right to carry outside the home, concealed or open.  If the current 4-4 state of the Supreme Court can be tipped to 5-4 in favor of gun rights, there is hope that a SCOTUS ruling would clearly affirm the “outside the home” carry definition.
  • Applied Challenges to Legal Disabilities – mental commitments and criminal convictions
  • Status of the Supreme Court –  Kavanaugh’s record on 2nd amendment and what it could mean if he is appointed as a justice

Law Enforcement Perspective

The next session was a panel with representatives from the BATFE and US Attorney’s office.

Interesting stats:  less than 1% of FFL licenses get revoked each year.  There’s been a 45% increase in thefts from gun dealers in the past year, which is a major concern.  There is a new “FFL Alert” text message system that can send a text message to all FFL dealers in a county, after any gun dealer in that county is robbed or burglarized.  There are 300 new assistant US attorney’s dedicated to violent crime prosecution — specifically high rate offenders and crews.  The movement of guns from Texas to Mexico remains a big issue, particularly straw purchases and rogue employees of gun dealers.  One case study involving a rogue employee of a Houston-area store that sold guns that were used in a major gun battle in Mexico (43 dead) was presented.

Key Issues in Home Defense

Massad Ayoob chaired a panel that included multiple lawyers that worked on a Texas home defense case in which the homeowner’s use of deadly force was no-billed by the grand jury, and was later sued in civil court by his attacker’s widow.

As part of this session, Sabrina Karels presented an overview of homeowner insurance coverage. In Texas a standard homeowner policy does not include coverage for self-defense cases.  In the case presented during the panel, the homeowner ended up with a final legal bill of $130K+ for the criminal and civil proceedings — being no-billed on criminal charges and winning the civil case.  His attempt to sue his homeowner’s insurance company to recover legal costs failed.

The lesson learned from this panel was: if you are armed for self-defense and don’t have some form of self-defense specific insurance or a membership in the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, you need to make that your highest spending priority. It’s much more important than a new gun, the deer lease, practice ammo, or even training.

Firearms in the Law Office

The lunchtime presentation was on “firearms in the law office”.  I winced repeatedly during this talk, as the presenter (former law enforcement), advocated for many practices I do not recommend, such as:

Leaving loaded guns of varying makes and calibers unsecured in drawers in multiple rooms of the law office.

Supposedly the point of this was to make the guns accessible to any member of the office staff, should they be needed.  But it also results in loaded guns being easy to steal, for any burglar that breaks in, and accessible to clients, cleaning staff, and other unauthorized persons.  A much better solution would simply be for all staff to carry the concealed handgun they are most proficient with, so that gun is immediately accessible to them no matter where they are.

Having a variety of guns only makes the situation worse. It’s the sort of decision someone that doesn’t shoot very well would make, not understanding that equipment does make a difference in proficiency. Proficiency can be the difference between life and death.  Assuming the “gun in every room” approach was worth doing, having the same kind of gun, in the same caliber, would make more sense — particularly if the gun chosen was one with minimal controls and a relatively easy trigger pull (aka a striker fired 9mm).

Planning “using a cheap Rossi .38” as the primary defense gun, out of concern that using “the nice Kimber” would result in it being tied up as evidence.

Again this statement implies that the person is unconcerned about proficiency (or capacity) having any effect on the outcome, buying into the “any gun will do” mindset.  In running my “small gun” classes over the past 5 years, where students have to shoot their preferred gun and their pocket gun on the same drill, the widest performance gap occurs between those that have a tuned up 1911 as their primary, and a  .38 S&W revolver as their pocket gun.  The Rossi, likely to have an even longer, grittier trigger than any S&W, is likely to underperform even more in the hands of a shooter used to the very short, crisp trigger of a 1911.  My guess is that the presenter has never compared his own shooting skill on the same drill with the two guns. Dunning-Kruger is a powerful drug and convinces many that they will shoot “good enough” should the need arise.  Reality is that for most that believe that comforting affirmation, skill, when tested, turns out to be far below realistic standards for speed and accuracy.

Immigration Issues in Gun Laws

This talk focused on issues related to legal immigrants and gaps between state and Federal laws.  While it’s possible for foreign nationals on the right type of visa to own guns and even qualify for  a Texas carry permit, those in that situation should absolutely locate a lawyer very fluent in this topic to ensure all is in order before proceeding.  As with every other aspect of advice, polling random strangers and choosing the most frequently posted answer is not a good way to get the best qualified answer.

Gun Trusts & Estates with Firearms

Takeaways from this session? If you have NFA items, and you want to allow family members access to those items when you are not present, the item needs to be on a gun trust, and they need to be on the trust – even spouses.  Make sure your wishes for what is to be done with your guns is clearly stated in your will (which family member gets what).   Failure to plan for this – particularly if you have no direct family that would want to inherit the guns) – can be a big headache for those dealing with your affairs after you are gone.

Federal Case Law Update

David Kopel and Joseph Greenlee presented a summary of recent firearms cases in the 9th, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 11th circuit courts in the past year.  Unfortunately, most of these cases resolved on the anti-gun side.

9th circuit:

  • California cannot confiscate “high capacity” magazines
  • Handgun ban in Mariana islands cannot stand
  • County ban on gun stores upheld
  • No right to concealed carry
  • Open carry is individual right not limited to security officers
  • Stricter rules on police use of force did not violate officers 2nd amendment rights

2nd circuit

  • NYC may prohibit licensed handgun owners from taking handguns out of the city
  • Dishonorable discharge status can make someone prohibited to own firearm

5th circuit

  • FFL cannot sell handguns to citizens of adjoining states
  • “Fiasco for NFA plaintiff with unrealistic claims”

6th circuit

  • Burden of proof for self defense may be placed on defendant
  • Gun ban for domestic violence misdemeanor upheld
  • No right to sell guns to felons

Others

  • 8th circuit – suppressors and short barreled rights are not indisputably part of 2nd amendment right
  • 10th circuit – qualified immunity for police in arrest for open carry
  • 11th circuit – do not engage in business of selling firearms without a license, including online

More to follow in part 2…

 

 

Shooting Gallery Historical Handgun episode

Earlier this year, Michael Bane, who produces Shooting Gallery and other shows for the Outdoor Channel, invited me to meet with him and his production crew during the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, to discuss the idea of doing an episode of that show that covered the material I’ve been presenting in my Historical Handgun class (and the book in progress).

That meeting led to my traveling to the Great Guns range, near Fort Collins, CO on Saturday, Sept 8 to record a Shooting Gallery episode that will air in early 2019. Here’s a short clip, of my “handgun technique history in 30 seconds or less” demo.

Michael talks about the episode taping as part of this episode of his Down Range TV podcast.

 

As part of the episode taping, I had to shoot a bunch of the historical drills using period appropriate guns and holsters, like the FBI 1980’s qual (shooting Weaver with a DA/SA gun), and the current Marine military police qual using an M9 from a drop leg retention holster.

I also had to shoot the 1930’s U.S. Army qualification. Michael brought a beautiful 1930’s replica 1911, built by Doug Turnbull for him.

As usual, the tang on the grip safety dug a nice divot out of my hand, after shooting 15 rounds out of it. This is why when shooters began doing a lot more live fire practice, gripping the gun higher and harder, that different (wider and smoother) beavertail grip safeties were created.

Some photos of the crew in action.

And some pics of some of the different targets we used during the shoot.

The 1960’s to 1980’s array:

The Austin PD 1990’s target:

The F.A.S.T. target after my first take 6 second run from appendix carry, using a Keepers Concealment holster.

And the Marine military police target after I shot part of that test.

The one target I didn’t get a picture of was the 1940’s FBI target.  My first take on the hip shooting at 7 yards drill (5 shots in 5 seconds or less) put 5 rounds in a nice 8″ group high center chest – exactly where you would want them.  At the end of the day they filmed me re-running that drill using a high speed camera. Hopefully that clip will make into the broadcast episode.

FINISHING THE BOOK

With an expected broadcast date in early 2019, I have even more motivation to get back to work on the book, and get it completed in time for Christmas 2018, or SHOT show 2019.  After I get back from teaching the Historical Handgun class in Culpepper, VA in late October, KR Training will take our usual deer season/holiday season break, giving me time to sit down and write.

 

 

Historical Handgun – S&W model 459 – shooting the 1980’s FBI qualification course of fire

As part of the KR Training Historical Handgun project that teaches the history & evolution of defensive handgun skills, I’ve been purchasing specific guns and holsters associated with specific times in handgun history. The guns will be used in demoing the drills shot in the Historical Handgun course.

The S&W 459

According to Ed Mireles’ book, the S&W 459 was the semiauto handgun model FBI agents had during the 1986 Miami shootout.

I purchased a used 459 that had probably been a cop’s gun. Lots of holster wear.  One magazine had lots of rust on the inside, with a rusted spring, likely from riding in a holster in the Texas heat.

The double action trigger pull was well over the 8 lb max on my cheap trigger pull gauge. The single action trigger pull was just under 7 pounds.  The sights on the pistol were small. Solid black rear with a serrated, ramped blade that was very difficult to see compared to a squared front post.  I painted the front post with some orange fingernail polish before I used the gun to shoot the 1980’s FBI qual for the first time.

Mireles said the standard holster used by the agents of that time was a DeSantis leather belt holster.  I found a ‘vintage’ used Bianchi holster from that period that was very similar in design to use with the gun.

It had a leather snap thumb break – a feature I’m not used to working with.

Shooting the FBI qual

The old FBI quals (from the 1940’s to the 1980’s) all required starting at one distance and running to the next before drawing and firing. When I’ve shot the qual course in classes, that part is usually omitted — but the time to move from one spot to the next is a task that’s included in the par time for that string. So those that have shot the drill without the movement, but with par times unmodified, got additional time the agents did not have.  Since I was on the range by myself, I included the movement when I (literally) ran the course of fire, in the 100+ afternoon August heat.

“Old” FBI Pistol Qualification Course (1980’s)

Target:  FBI “Q”

Scoring: Hits in or touching “bottle” count 2 points; misses and hits outside bottle count zero points.  50 rounds service ammunition.

Qualification: 85% to qualify; 90% (45 hits) for instructors

STAGE I 

18 ROUNDS

Starting Point:  25 yard line

Time Allotted:  75 seconds

Procedure:  Start with a fully loaded weapon. On command, shooter draws and fires 6 rounds prone position, decocks, fires 3 rounds strong side kneeling barricade position, 6 rounds strong side standing barricade position, and 3 rounds weak side kneeling barricade position. Upon completing stage I, the shooter will conduct a magazine exchange and holster a loaded weapon.

STAGE II 

10 ROUNDS

Starting Point:  25 yard line, on signal run forward to the 15 yard line.

Time Allotted:   2 rounds in 6 seconds, come down to Ready

4 strings of 2 rounds in 3 seconds each, from the Ready, Then

 

Procedure:  Start at the 25 yard line. On command, the shooter moves to the 15 yard line, draws and fires 2 rounds in 6 seconds, decocks, and returns to low ready. The shooter will fire 4 strings of 2 rounds in 3 seconds, decock and return to low ready after each string. Upon completing Stage II, the shooter holsters a loaded weapon [without reloading unless gun capacity is only 10 rds ]

STAGE III 

12 ROUNDS

Starting Point: 15 yard line

Time Allotted: 15 seconds

Procedure:  Start at the 15 yard line. On command, the shooter moves to the 7 yard line, draws and fires 12 rounds in 15 seconds, to include a reload. Upon completing stage III, the shooter holsters a loaded weapon. Shooter then arranges remaining 10 rounds to have 5 rounds in the weapon and 5 rounds in a spare magazine.

STAGE IV 

10 ROUNDS

Starting Point: 7 yard line

Time Allotted: 15 seconds

Procedure:  Start at the 7 yard line. On command the shooter moves to the 5 yard line, draws and fires 5 rounds with strong hand only, reloads, transfers the weapon to weak hand and fires 5 rounds weak hand only. Upon completing stage IV, the shooter will unload and holster an empty weapon.

Since I was running the drill by myself, and it involved a lot of movement, I did not take video of the test.  Apparently no one else ever has either, since I could not find a youTube video of anyone shooting the old test, with movement, to include here.

Results

Other than checking the zero on the pistol at 25 yards, and a few minutes of dry practice on both DA and SA trigger pulls, I didn’t do a lot of warm up or practice before I shot the drill with the 459. It was also the first time I had shot the FBI drill with the included movement.  I passed the drill with 45 hits (90%) at instructor level.

After I shot the drill I did more experimenting with painting the front sight, and ended up changing the orange color with some gold model paint that made the front sight easier to see than the orange did.  Running a gold or brass front sight is something recommended in many older books on shooting.

I also realized, after I finished the drill, that I should have been using the Weaver stance as agents were trained to do during that time.  When I get around to doing a video of this drill shot with the movement I’ll run the gun with the gold front sight and shoot using the Weaver stance.  I also ordered a kit of Wolff springs to replace all the internal springs in the gun and the springs in both magazines, which all likely need replacing. Wolff does offer a reduced power hammer spring that will likely reduce the trigger pull a pound or two.  The old gun ran reliably even with the rusted mag spring.

The elements of the test that have faded away in more modern qualification courses of fire – running to position and more shooting at longer distances (25, and even 15 yards is now considered “long” by some), plus the longer heavier trigger pulls on the DA/SA gun made the test more difficult than shooting the current FBI qual with a striker fired gun.  Many that advocate for DA/SA guns in the current era are running guns with 6-8 lb DA and 2-4 lb SA pulls, which are considerably easier to shoot than the 10-12 lb DA and 6-8 lb SA factory trigger pulls.  I’m going to leave this gun as close to factory as I can stand, so that students (and NRA instructor candidates) can gain experience running a duty-grade trigger.

KR Training August 2018 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training August 2018 newsletter!

We have had a very busy month, with a lot of events coming up in September and October!

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

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.

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER EVENTS

Basic & LTC Courses

Defensive Skills Program

Advanced Classes & Guest Instructors

*Must pay in advance, in full to receive discounted prices for combo registrations.

COMBATIVE PISTOL 2 (DYNAMIC PISTOL MARKSMANSHIP) – TOM GIVENS OCT 6-7

Tom Givens has trained over 48,000 students over the past 40 years. 64 of them have been successful in armed incidents, with a hit ratio of over 90% (about triple the typical law enforcement officer hit rate).  Tom is returning to KR Training in early October to offer his level 2 Dynamic Pistol Marksmanship course.  If you’ve taken DPS-2 or a higher level course with us, you are ready for Tom’s level 2 class.  This class is also an excellent defensive pistol course for experienced IDPA / USPSA competitors that have never taken a class focusing on defensive pistol skills. It’s not a “how to draw” course.  It’s a “how to win a gunfight” class.

HALF PRICE REFRESHER SLOTS

You can come back for any class you’ve taken before, for half price.  Repeating a course is a great way to maintain skills for low cost, particularly if you haven’t practiced the skills you learned in our classes due to time, cost, or range limitations.  Retake the class with a different gun, or go as moral support for that friend or family member you finally talked into attending.

“LEARN TO TESTIFY” SEMINARS FROM GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA

KR Training graduate and Massad Ayoob Group certified instructor Rachel Malone recently became the Texas lobbyist for Gun Owners of America.  She’s doing a statewide tour in September and October, offering seminars on how to be an effective speaker for gun rights at public meetings: town halls, city council, even the state Legislature.  Click here to see the schedule and register (no charge) for any of the events.

COOLFIRE DISCOUNT CODE

If you missed the CoolFire/Walther event we ran earlier in August, read the AAR here. The Coolfire kit is a great way to fully simulate live fire at home, using your gun with full recoil simulation and a cycling slide. No more racking the slide to fire multiple dry fire shots! For the month of August 2018, you can save $20 off the purchase of a CoolFire Kit by using the code KR20 at checkout.

“SHOOTING GALLERY” EPISODE TAPING

In September, Karl will make a trip to Denver, CO, to tape an episode of the Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery TV show. That episode will focus on the Historical Handgun course.

NOTES FROM KR: RECENT BLOG POSTS

Don’t miss future blog posts! Visit our blog site to sign up, and they’ll come straight to your email.

KR TRAINING SHOOTING TEAM NEWS

Jason Wilson, who has been a regular at the A-zone summer matches the past few years, earned the rank of Grand Master in the Revolver division of the US Practical Shooting Association in August.  Many of the scores he shot at the A-Zone matches contributed to that achievement.

KR Training shooting team captain Roy Stedman won Gold in the Senior Classic division, Silver in Classic Overall and Bronze in the shoot offs at the IPSC Pan American Handgun Championship held in Jamaica in August.

BLOG-O-RAMA

2018 SCHEDULE

The KR Training schedule shows most of the classes we plan to offer through late October 2018 and even a few already scheduled for 2019. Registration is open for everything listed.

KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills Program Challenge Coin

Thank you for sending your friends and family to train with us. Your referrals keep our classes full and help us continue to offer in-demand classes that specifically address the needs of responsible armed citizens. Remember, now you can train with even more purpose through the KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills Program. Start working to earn your coin now.

 

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

CoolFire/Walther evaluation day (August 4 2018) AAR

COOLFIRE & WALTHER PRODUCT DEMO & EVALUATION

KR Training, in collaboration with Dvorak Instruments, Walther Arms, and Paulus Consulting, offered students an opportunity to evaluate the Walther PPQ M2 pistol and the CoolFire Trainer simulated recoil system.

The event held August 4th, from 9-12, was a beta test for a possible new research study, evaluating the relative benefit of the Cool Fire product vs. live fire for shooter development.

All attendees will shot a live fire pre-test, and were then divided into two groups. One group did additional training using the CoolFire product. The other did additional live fire training on the range. At the end of the training block, all attendees re-shot the live fire test. The data was recorded and scores compared to pre-test scores.

About the Coolfire product

Some video of the mixed CoolFire/live fire training part of the event.

 

Karl Rehn, Dr. David Paulus, and Albert Dvorak (CoolFire inventor) at the A-Zone.

DISCOUNT CODE!

For the month of August 2018, you can save $20 off the purchase of a CoolFire Kit by using the code KR20 at checkout.

TESTING

Testing evaluated split times on two different targets (small and large bullseyes), and transitions (side by side rectangular targets). Each was printed on 11×17 paper.

The tests were all shot live fire, starting at a low ready position.

1) Small circle, 5 shots in 4 seconds.
2) Large circle, 5 shots in 4 seconds.
3) Transitions, 1 shot each L-R-L-R-L in 4 seconds
4) Transitions, 1 shot each R-L-R-L-R in 4 seconds.

Total of 20 rounds, 50 points possible on each of the 4 targets.

Targets were scored, and all tests repeated using a 3 second par time for each test.

 

Par times were set so that shooting a perfect score would be difficult for most shooters at the 4 sec par, and very difficult for most with a 3 sec par. This gave us some room for shooters to improve as a function of training (live or CoolFire) before being re-tested.

All participants used Walther PPQ M2 9mm pistols, loaned to use by Walther for this event. The guns performed well, with no problems.  Participants completed a survey form at the end of the event giving us their feedback on both products.

RESULTS

Full results will be published in a paper we’ll submit to a refereed journal.

Initial results indicated that those using the CoolFire product for the training block improved slightly more than those shooting live fire, running the same number and sequence of drills.   Our sample set was small (11 in each group) and the training block was only 1 hour — but the general trend is clearly that CoolFire practice offers at least equivalent gains to live fire.

THOUGHTS

I’ve had a unit for several months. I use it in classes all the time as a way to introduce beginners to recoil before they fire live ammo.  The laser works with all the different laser-based dry fire products on the market, for those that want that functionality.  I put the kit in my backup M&P (I have a clone of my carry gun as a backup) and the kit basically stays in that gun as a classroom and personal training tool.  Not everyone has that convenience.

Having an exact duplicate of your primary carry and/or competition gun is very useful, particularly if you shoot major matches or attend multi-day courses.  That’s much more convenient than unloading the carry gun, swapping slide and barrel, training, and reassembling & reloading the carry gun.

It simulates the full firing experience better than any other training tool, using your own gun, your trigger, your sights. You can practice reloads and draws with it. (Some holsters may not accommodate the laser that attaches to the barrel.)  C02 fill gives you roughly the same number of shots that a full magazine does, and you can get thousands of shots from a 20 oz CO2 tank.  Academy Sports will refill C02 tanks for $3.49, and they sell the tanks.

The biggest benefit of the CoolFire kit is recoil simulation.  All other dryfire options have no simulated recoil.  Reaction to recoil (pre ignition gun movement and followthrough after the shot to see the sights again) is the biggest problem for most shooters.  I’ve coached many shooters that can dry fire perfectly but will still flinch and blink shooting live ammo, or fail to followthrough.  This provides a way to get used to the gun jumping in your hand without the time and expense of driving to the range.

I occasionally do everything-but-live-fire private classes in students’ homes, either as prep time before a live fire session or for people that don’t yet own their own firearms but want to learn about them.  For this application, the CoolFire kit is very useful.  The NRA now has a no-live-fire lesson plan instructors can use for this type of training.

A few years ago when I finally made the improvement from Master to Grand Master level in USPSA, one of the key things I changed was cutting down on live fire sessions and replacing them with dry fire sessions.   I own my own private range with target stands, steel, props, etc, but it’s 60 minutes from my primary residence – and time is a cost of its own.

COST ANALYSIS

CoolFire kit (with KR20 discount) is under $400.
Tippman 20 oz tank is around $25.
One 20 oz tank fill is $3.50 (round up to $5 to include gas to drive to Academy).
A set of dryfire targets from the Ben Stoeger Pro Shop is $10.
So the minimum cost is $440. You’ll get at least 2000 shots for that investment.

9mm ammo can be found for around $0.20 a round.  So 2000 rounds of live ammo is $400.
The other $40 can easily be spent on targets, pasters, range fees and gas getting to/from the range.

What about cost for the second 2000 rounds?

Cost to do that training with CoolFire is….$5 to refill the tank.

Cost to do another 2000 rounds of live fire training is another $440.

Those serious about achieving high levels of skill, such as IDPA Master, USPSA Master or USPSA Grand Master are likely to fire far more than 2000 rounds annually, making the cost savings significantly larger.

TIME ANALYSIS

To do live fire practice you have to purchase ammo, load gear in the car, drive to the range, set up targets, shoot the drills, reload magazines, tape targets, shoot more drills, pick up brass, tear down targets, drive home and clean guns.

To do CoolFire practice, you stick some dry fire targets up someplace you have a safe direction (much lower risk of firing a live round unintentionally with the kit, since it’s mechanically impossible to fire live ammo with the kit installed), shoot the drills, refill the barrel w/ C02, shoot more drills, repeat, until your hands are tired or you are bored and want to stop.

In my case, not driving to/from my range, doing dry fire (or now CoolFire) freed up 2 hours just from the commute, plus an extra hour per session from all the other tasks.

“But I need holes in targets to know how I’m shooting!” is a common complaint.  It indicates a lack of understanding of the process involved in good shooting.  If you aren’t ‘calling’ your shots (predicting where the shots will hit based on the sight picture you saw when the front sight lifted), you’ll never get really good with a pistol.  With the recoil simulation of the CoolFire, you can develop the skill to pay attention to your sights, at the moment the sights move, without live ammo.  And if you need the additional downrange confirmation, put the (supplied) laser on the kit, and either look for the dot using a target focus (not recommended, as this creates a training scar that teaches you NOT to focus on the sights) or invest in one of the many phone apps, standalone laser targets, or LASR software, to get that confirmation.

One big reason people don’t practice more is lack of time; another is cost. The main reason people don’t dry fire is that they find it boring because of the lack of recoil and noise compared to live fire.  The CoolFire kit is one solution that addresses all those issues.

SCENARIO BASED TRAINING USE

A commonly misunderstood concept is that you have to have projectiles flying in order for live action scenario based training to be valuable.  Investing in Airsoft guns, Simunition kits and safety gear is expensive (one reason why many live fire instructors do not offer force on force training), and projectile impacts damage structures.  Wearing full face gear makes it impossible for roleplayers & students to read the non-verbal cues that come from facial expressions, and decreases the realism of the scenario simulation.  Non firing “red guns”, SIRT pistols, or other simulators can be used, but the CoolFire, used for this application, provides a very realistic simulation, with recoil, limited magazine capacity, and some noise.  If the scenarios are recorded, or simply if the exercise coordinator is paying attention, and the laser is used on the CoolFire kit, the student’s marksmanship on the “threat” roleplayer(s) can be assessed.  Even without hit assessment, the kit provides a way to run full context scenarios, with recoil and noise, in any facility, classroom or home — dramatically decreasing the investment required for instructors or serious shooters to expand their training.

SUMMARY

CoolFire is a great training tool, particularly for instructors and those that plan on shooting more than 2000 rounds a year working to improve their shooting skills.  And it’s a great tool for those that don’t currently shoot 2000 rounds a year who are limited by time and cost.  It’s a way to do that training for equal (or less) cost in much less time – a longterm investment that will yield more skill and cost benefits the more you use it.