Book Review – The Low Light Fight (Michael Seeklander, 2016)

As part of the KR Training Historical Handgun project to increase awareness of the history & evolution of defensive handgun skills, I read and review important books on pistol shooting and related topics.

The Low Light Fight – Michael Seeklander (2016)

I’ve been a member of Mike Seeklander’s American Warrior Society for the past several years, and I’ve followed him as a competitor and a trainer long before that, during his time at the US Shooting Academy in Tulsa and, before that, when we shot many of the same major USPSA and Steel Challenge matches in the 1990’s.

Mike has written many excellent books on shooting skills, and this one (The Low Light Fight) is another great read / training manual.  Techniques for low light shooting continue to evolve, as flashlights, red dot sights and lasers continue to improve and be re-packaged in many different configurations for handheld and weapon mounted use.

The book is basically split into three parts.  The first third of the book has chapters on basics of shooting, tactics and combatives, low light principles, and gear selection.   These topics define the core building blocks on which specific skills are explained and applied.  The middle third of the book focuses on tactics: the 1-3 yard threat, building & room search, and engaging threats in low light.  The final third covers a topic of great value to the serious student: dry fire and live fire drills that can be used to develop and evaluate low light skills.  Most other books on low light shooting end with demonstration and explanation of tactics and skills.

Much of the material in Mike’s book aligns with the curriculum of the low light shooting class I teach each year for KR Training.  Graduates of my low light course would find this book valuable as a review of concepts taught in the course, and guidance for how to maintain those skills.



KR Training October 2018 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training October 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.


Caleb Causey is coming to the A-Zone November 10th to teach his one day TacMedEDC course.  It’s a great one day class covering material that goes beyond the “Stop the Bleed” course or any online first aid course.  Just like shooting skills, medic skills deteriorate if you don’t practice them.

If you are a graduate of any Lone Star Medics course, you can attend this class for half price ($100).


Election day is Tuesday, November 6th.  As you might expect, I’m in favor of my students voting for candidates that will vote to expand gun rights and who will vote against proposed gun bans and restrictions.  The days when both major parties ran candidates that were “B” rated (or higher) by the NRA appear to be over, and now most races (particularly at the state level) are between “A” and “F” rated candidates.   The NRA has a website where you can enter your zip code and it will show you the ratings for candidates in all the races you would be voting on.  (It doesn’t require you to provide contact information and using it will not cause you get unwanted junk mail or email.)


September and October were incredibly busy months for the KR Training team, with full classes every weekend the weather allowed, multiple trips to other states to teach road courses, and a record number of weekday private lessons.

Due to an agreement with range neighbors, KR Training runs NO live fire classes on weekends during November and December (deer season).  During those months live fire training is only available in the weekday private lesson format & pricing.

We will resume our normal schedule of weekend courses in January 2019. We are still scheduling classes taught by visiting trainers, and confirming dates that the KR Training team will be teaching on the road.   In the November and December newsletters we will be announcing more classes added to the schedule for 2019.

We are still confirming speakers and finalizing plans for both days of the annual Preparedness events we run the first weekend of January each year.  Saturday’s event will include medical, chainsaw, fitness and other non-firearm topics. Sunday’s event will be firearms specific and cover some topics not covered in regular KR Training classes.


All events at the A-Zone Range unless noted otherwise


In October, Karl taught two classes for FPF Training in northern Virginia – a one day Historical Handgun course and a one day Advanced Handgun (expanded AT-6) course. The final day of that trip was spent at NRA headquarters meeting with NRA Museum director Jim Supica doing research for Karl’s Historical Handgun book (in progress).  There will be a blog post (or two) about this trip on the KR Training blog in early November.

Assistant instructor Becky Dolgener attended and passed the Rangemaster Advanced Instructor course taught by Tom Givens.

Congratulations to assistant instructor Levi Nathan, who gets married in November.

Karl and John Daub have already enrolled in the just announced Rangemaster “Master” instructor course to be held November 2019 in Shawnee, OK.

KR Training Shooting Team member and USPSA Grand Master Cory K attended all 9 days of the USPSA Nationals, competing in multiple divisions.


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


The blog-o-rama section where we include links to all the articles I shared to the KR Training Facebook page is on hiatus this month but will return in the November newsletter.  Follow KR Training on Facebook or Instagram to see that content as we post it.

2018-2019 SCHEDULE

Registration is open for all classes on the KR Training schedule, including those already scheduled for 2019. 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.

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

Modified Texas LTC qualification

Flying back from teaching the Historical Handgun and Advanced Handgun classes in Virginia last weekend, I was thinking about how the Texas License to Carry course of fire could be modified to be a better standard, but still retaining most of the characteristics of the original drill.

The Texas License to Carry course of fire is here. The target was changed to the B-27 from the original Texas CHL target (shown in the pictures in the linked article) years ago. The change to the B-27 was a step in the wrong direction, as the original target modeled human anatomy better than the B-27 did.

Target and Scoring

My modified drill will use the IDPA target, which retains the characteristics of the original CHL target, with smaller (and more anatomically correct) scoring zones.

Scoring will also be done with IDPA “points down”, so simple addition/subtraction is all that’s needed to score it.  The drill is a total of 25 rounds (half of the original LTC 50 rounds). To score it, just count points down.  25 (down zero) is maximum score.  18 (70%) is passing, 20 is 80%, 23 is 90% which would be considered “instructor level”.

Misses and late shots are -5.

Unlike the Texas “License to Carry” test, this version of the drill actually tests drawing from concealment.

3 yards

The original test was:

  • From ready, two handed, one shot in 2 seconds (5x)
  • From ready, two handed, two shots in 3 seconds (5x)
  • From ready, two handed, five shots in 10 seconds (1x)

The modified test is:

  • From ready, ONE handed, one shot in 2 seconds (2x)
  • Gun holstered, dominant hand on gun, support hand on chest, TWO handed, one shot in the HEAD in 2 seconds (2x)
  • Hands at sides. On signal step left, draw and fire 2 shots in 3 seconds
  • Hands at sides. On signal, step right, draw and fire 2 shots in 3 seconds
  • Hands at sides. On signal, draw and shoot 2 head shots

7 yards

Original test:

  • From ready, five shots in 10 seconds
  • From ready, one shot in 3 seconds (5x)
  • From ready, two shots in 4 seconds
  • From ready, three shots in 6 seconds
  • From ready, five shots in 15 seconds

Modified test:

  • Hands at sides.  On signal, draw and fire 2 shots in 4 seconds
  • Hands at sides. On signal, draw and fire 3 shots in 6 seconds
  • Hands at sides.  On signal, draw and fire 5 shots in 10 seconds

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7 yard string modified Texas ltc test on idpa target

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15 yards

Original test:

  • From ready, two shots in 6 seconds
  • From ready, three shots in 9 seconds
  • From ready, five shots in 15 seconds

Modified test:

  • Hands at sides. On signal, draw and fire 2 shots standing, 3 shots kneeling in 15 seconds

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15 yard string modified Texas chl test idpa target

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The modified LTC test is more difficult than the original Texas LTC test, but not as difficult as the KR Training 3 Seconds or Less Test, which we use as the standard in our Defensive Pistol Skills program.

My changes incorporated some elements of the 3 Seconds or Less Test for the 3 yard strings and some elements of the current FBI qualification for the 7 and 15 yard strings.

The videos and target shown in this blog were first take, with no warm up, no dry fire. I just put on my daily carry gear, walked outside, set up the camera and ran the drill.  Scored 23/25, with one head shot fired at 3 yards with a poor sight picture, and one shot at 15 yards going a little high out of the zero ring.

The drill can always be made more difficult by shortening the time limits or using a smaller target for those wanting a bigger challenge.  My purpose in developing this modified version of the drill is to give those that stopped their training with the carry permit course (about 99% of Texas permit holders never take any training beyond the state minimum) a course of fire that’s short and challenging enough it could be run multiple times during a 100 round practice that included drawing from concealment.  Those running the drill at ranges that don’t allow drawing should cut a full second off every string time (except for the strong hand only that starts from the ready position).





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.


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.


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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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.


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.


Basic & LTC Courses

Defensive Skills Program

Advanced Classes & Guest Instructors

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


  • 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.


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.