Father’s Day 2017

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Notes from private lessons (part 5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DAY ONE

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

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

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

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

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

applied a tourniquet to the designated limb…

picked up the pistol and re-engaged the target.

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

DAY TWO

After some additional classroom material

and instruction on drags and carries,

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

Randy had to be assessed…

moved to cover…
his injuries treated…


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

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



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

 

Notes from private lessons, May 2017 (part 4)

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

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

HAND STRENGTH AND FINGER SIZE ISSUES

Multiple students had challenges with lack of hand strength and small hands.  Most of the time, I strongly recommend against pistols in 380 caliber, and against the idea of planning on thumb-cocking a double action revolver in a defensive shooting situation.  However:  I had situations occur during lessons where both of those things turned out to be what produced the best results with students.

I had a student with short fingers: not unusual.  She was able to shoot both the 9mm Shield and Glock 42, but gun fit on the 42 allowed better trigger finger placement because of the 42’s shorter trigger reach.  We ran multiple drills using both guns, and her scores with the G42 were better. It wasn’t hand strength, nor any aversion to recoil.  In the end, ability to get hits has to come first before caliber or capacity, so I ended up recommending the G42.

Grip strength was an issue for one student that could not work the slide on his Walther PPK, and could not handle the double action first shot trigger.  As is very common with untrained shooters that buy DA/SA style guns, he had not practiced with the DA trigger prior to the lesson, only the single action trigger, and had not been told by the gun salesman that the gun was not safe to carry with the hammer back (had to be decocked to carry.)  We tried a variety of 9mm pistols but based on hand strength issues, the little G42 was once again the gun that worked best.

The final case study was an older student with limited hand strength and a mild tremor in the dominant hand.  That student tried a variety of guns but ended up shooting best with their own steel framed double action revolver that was thumb-cocked for each shot (S&W model 36).  The student’s hand strength was low enough that even the G42’s slide was a challenge.  At the end of the lesson I suggested the student try switching hands, shooting the gun two handed but using the left (tremor-less) as the dominant hand.  I am hoping for a report back from the student on whether that worked better or worse.

A side note: New York’s recently proposed “Child Operated Firearm” bill, mandating a 10 pound double action only trigger pull on all firearms, would effectively disarm several of my recent students, as they would be physically unable to fire a pistol with a trigger pull that heavy.

Many of these cases served as reminders to me that the end goal has to be improving the student’s ability to get timely, effective hits, regardless of the equipment used.   For younger, stronger shooters with medium or larger sized hands and good vision, many equipment options are available.  Those with less ideal physical characteristics have to work harder, and often have fewer viable choices for gear.

We are diminished.

Michael Riggs

My father-in-law, Michael Riggs, passed away early Monday morning after a very long fight with cancer. His official Texas obituary is here.

Mike spent his life helping others, as a firefighter/EMT for 34 years, in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, through his church, as a Knight of Columbus, in his kitchen equipment repair business, and in his personal life.  He welcomed me into the Riggs family when Penny and I got married, and after moving to Texas, became a part of the KR Training family, as a range safety officer with me when we worked Lee County Wildlife Association youth shooting events, and assisting me with many behind-the-scenes projects fixing, maintaining and building equipment used at the A-Zone range.  He was the one that drove me to the La Grange hospital ER when I had a bad case of norovirus and called him at 4 am from the A-Zone needing help.

He was a great father-in-law to me, a great father to his children, and a devoted grandfather to his grandson Dusty Tilbury.  I am glad I had many years to enjoy his frequent company after he and Karen moved to Texas and built their home next door to the A-Zone.

Kalen Perez

On Thursday, June 1 2017, Kalen Perez, the fiance’ of my nephew Alan Rogers, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from complications due to a seizure.

Kalen and Alan had been together for many years. Every time I saw them it was easy to see how close they were and how much they cared for each other.   They made each other happy.

In lieu of flowers, her family is accepting donation via their church, The Well to help pay for her services or donations to TGPR-Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue, an organization Kalen spent the last few months of her life dedicated to.

 

Notes from private lessons, May 2017 (part 3)

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

Part 1 and Part 2 of this series are here.

GEAR PROBLEMS

I had an older couple come to class with a variety of guns, including the NAA 22 mag mini revolver with integral holster grip.  We started with those guns, to assess what the shooters could do with them, and they let me do some runs to see what I could do with them.  The fastest I could do, starting with hand on gun in the pocket, getting the gun out of my pocket, opening the grip, cocking the hammer and firing one shot, was a 3.5 second draw, compared to a sub 2 second first shot time with an M&P Shield, starting with hand on gun in pocket.  The tiny bead sight on the NAA pistol was usable for getting hits at 5 yards on a 3″ dot, but shot to shot time was slow because of the single action design.  The biggest problem with the gun was reliability.  It was rare that any of us could get 5 rounds in a row to fire, with difficulty loading and unloading the little pistol.  I finally had to tell them that I simply didn’t consider the gun to be suitable life-safety equipment, even as a backup gun, and we put those guns away and moved on to the other guns they brought (a .380 and a .38 revolver).  Those guns were more typical carry guns, with better sights, better triggers that were safer to handle, faster to shoot, and more reliable than the NAA revolvers.

Another student had been using a soft nylon belt paired with a Comp-Tac holster belt hanger designed for a wide, rigid competition belt.  The end result was more holster movement and wiggle than was useful for the student’s training goals (faster drawspeed).  A secondary problem was the limited adjustment of the stock holster belt attachment.  To really speed up draw time, matching the angle of the pistol to the natural arm/hand angle makes a difference.  That student ended up switching to a rigid Double Alpha Academy belt and BOSS holster hanger to end up with a more consistent, stable holster placement and angle.

 

Notes from private lessons, May 2017 (part 2)

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

Part 1 in the series is here.

USING PAR TIME QUALIFICATIONS TO IMPROVE

One student was working on improving scores on the Massad Ayoob Group qualification test.   Mas has an interesting approach to his qual course.  It can be shot at single speed, double speed (divide times in half), triple speed (divide by 3), and quad speed (divide by 4).  For classes beyond the MAG-20 and MAG-40, such as MAG-30 and MAG-80, students are expected to shoot the test at those faster times.

We were working on the triple speed version (single speed in parentheses)

  • 4 YARDS: fire 6 rounds in 2.6 seconds (8 seconds) – non-dominant hand only (from ready)
  • 4 YARDS: 6 rounds, 2.6 seconds (8 seconds)– dominant hand only (from holster)
  • 7 YARDS: 12 rounds in 8.3 seconds (25 seconds). 6 rounds – reload – 6 rounds. Two hands, preferred standing position
  • 10 YARDS: 18 shots in 25 seconds (75 seconds). 6 in cover crouch – reload – 6 in high kneel – reload – 6 in low kneel.
  • 15 YARDS: 18 shots in 30 seconds (90 seconds). 6 rounds classic Weaver – reload – 6 rounds Chapman – reload – 6 rounds isosceles.

At that level, to improve requires breaking down each string into a shot-by-shot time elements: how fast can you get to the first shot, reload time, and shot to shot split times.  To shoot a perfect 300 point score at those speeds is probably around high B class USPSA level, particularly the 4 and 7 yard parts.

The student could consistently hit 300’s at single and double speed, but had problems with the 4 and 7 yard strings as the times decreased.  Fixes focused on speeding up the first shot time (shaving 0.5 second off the 4 yard drills), covering up the rear sight and just watching the front sight, and trying variations of stance and amount of gun ‘cant’ for the one handed drills.  By the end of practice the student went from only getting 25 points in 2.6 seconds to hitting all A’s (30 points) in 1.7 seconds with a series of small improvements over multiple runs.

The downside to working a par time drill, trying to make X shots in Y time, is that it can cause the shooter to think too much about cadence and too little about simply seeing what needs to be seen.  The magic fix for the “double Bill drill” at 7 yards turned out to be putting away the timer and running the drill with the goal of hitting 12 As with no preconceived pace.   The challenge for the coach in that situation is to have enough feel for the pace that needs to occur that you can get the shooter close to the right speed without actually using a timer.  I must have done OK because after a few clean runs with no timer, bringing the timer back revealed that the shooter was capable of 12 A’s under 8 seconds without feeling that “time is running out and I have to faster” that was producing bad runs with shots fired without an acceptable sight picture.

Notes from private lessons, May 2017 (part 1)

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

DRY FIRING WORKS

I had one student that had fired less than 1000 rounds of live ammo, in 10 or less live fire sessions (ever).  He had taken one basic class from another local instructor, purchased a SIRT pistol and a Glock 9mm.

He used the SIRT pistol and dry fired 10-15 minutes a day, every day for 3 weeks, before coming to me for a lesson.  As a result of that practice, his trigger control was excellent. We worked through drills from the Basic Pistol 2, Beyond the Basics, and Defensive Pistol Skills 1 classes, ending with some group shooting at 25 yards, which is something I don’t typically do with students at that level.  He shot a five shot, 3″ group at 25 yards from two handed standing, with standard practice ammo.

Dry fire practice works.

Red Dot Study – Key Points

In 2015 & 2016 KR Training partnered with the Texas A&M Huffines Institute to jointly fund and conduct an academic study comparing shooter performance using iron sights, green lasers, and slide mounted red dot sights (with and without backup iron sights). This blog post summarizes the key findings from that work.

My motivation for doing the study was that I was one of the early adopters of frame mounted electronic red dot sights in the early 1990s, as a USPSA Open division competitor, and I had observed the benefits of use of a red dot sight in my own shooting and in the overall trends in scores at USPSA and other pistol matches. I also spent 23 years doing research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) on Navy-funded programs at the University of Texas at Austin, including writing and conducting tests comparing commercial equipment against mission requirements. I’ve been a firearms trainer for 26 years, teaching weekly classes, and the number of students showing up with both lasers and slide mounted red dot sights has increased over the past 5 years. I wanted to learn more about both so I could make recommendations based on data, not anecdote, sales literature or even my own experience using that gear. We received no funding from any vendors or manufacturers, and KR Training sells no laser- or red-dot specific training courses.

TEST PROTOCOL

Over a two year period we collected data on 118 shooters, male and female, novice to Grand Master (top 5% in USPSA) level, from 18 to 76 years old, during KR Training classes, local shooting events, and the national A Girl and a Gun conference.

We used S&W M&P CORE pistols, one with iron sights,one with a Streamlight TLR light/laser mounted on the rail,one with a Trijicon RMR and no backup irons and one with an RMR and backup irons

We designed the test based on the most likely defensive use of a pistol: effective first shot hits at 5 and 10 yards, using both hands or dominant hand only. Many advocates of the slide-mounted red dot sight point out that the real value of the RDS is beyond 10 yards. Our concern was in measuring performance gains or losses for the common case, particularly if optimizing gear for the 25 yard shot would cause significant performance degradation for the 5-10 yard usage.

Each trial involved starting at a ready position. One shot drill on an IDPA target in 1.5 seconds. We used USPSA points-based scoring because we wanted to study points and time separately. Actual first shot time was recorded. Late shots were scored as zero points.

The full data set and analysis is in a lengthy study that is still in review and will be submitted to a referred academic journal.  I’ve presented the data at the 2016 Rangemaster Tactical Conference, at the national A Girl and Gun Conference, and to a MAG-40 class. The audio portion of my presentation to the MAG-40 class was recorded for ProArms Podcast Episode 101.

I’ll show the highest level results here with some discussion of issues of more interest to shooters that won’t be in the academic paper.

RESULTS

Did shooters using the slide mounted red dots shoot better than those using irons or lasers? No.

Many, regardless of experience level, had a hard time finding the dot on initial presentation of the pistol from ready, with the most difficulty occurring when no backup iron sights were available.

Those using the green laser (in bright daylight, much of it during summer months in Texas) had no trouble using it to shoot scores very close to what they could with iron sights.

There was not time in the testing to give participants significant training time to learn the red dot or the laser. They were allowed 10 or less dry fire presentations before testing began. Red dot advocates insist that finding the dot on presentation improves with training, and I found that to be true during summer 2016, when I put in the time to earn a Grand Master ranking in USPSA’s Carry Optics division.

The high hit factors for USPSA classifiers in Carry Optics, relative to those in Production division, are typically a few percent (less than 10%) higher, indicating USPSA’s own assessment of the value gained by adding a red dot sight. By comparison, high hit factors for Open division, where the red dot sights are mounted to the frame, can be as much as 20% higher than the Production scores.

(An example: a shooter that can run a 6 second “El Presidente” drill, hitting all A’s, would have a hit factor of 10.00:  60 points divided by 6 seconds. In Production division (iron sights), that score would be 97% of the high hit factor, a Grand Master level score. In Carry Optics division, that score would be 93% of the high hit factor, which is only a Master level score. And in Open division, that score would be 84% of the high hit factor, which is an A class score.  Another way to look at it: to shoot equivalent scores in Production takes 6 seconds, in Carry Optics 5.76 seconds, in Open 5.21 seconds assuming 60 points on all runs.)

Those that want to explore this issue farther can do so using this classifier calculator site, where you can put in a hit factor for any classifier and find out how it ranks, relative to the high hit factor for that course of fire and division.)

A frequent “talking point” for those selling and promoting red dot sights is that they are better for older shooters who cannot focus on the front sight easily. Our data did not show that to be true.

Those with more experience and skill with firearms were able to use the laser and red dot more effectively, with those at the instructor level having the most success with the red dot sight and slightly more difficulty using the laser (likely because it requires a target focus). Those with moderate skill were able to use the laser as effectively as iron sights, indicating that the learning curve for the laser is much shorter than for the red dot.


In a 2016 article, Paul Howe observed that no one has yet passed his pistol standards using a slide mounted red dot sight, and in a recent podcast, Mike Seeklander (another trainer, USPSA Grand Master and experienced Open division competitor) advised listeners that the red dot sight was not an advantage inside of 10 yards, with some disadvantage associated with finding the dot upon presentation of the pistol.

Those observations track with our study results. Adding a slide mounted red dot sight typically doubles the cost of the pistol, providing at best a 10% gain for those at already high skill levels.  For those not already at the USPSA B class, IDPA Expert, 80% on FBI qualification test or higher skill level, particularly those that do not dry fire regularly and do not practice getting the gun from ready (or holster) to target under time pressure, adding a red dot sight to the pistol in an attempt to buy skill with equipment will likely not produce the desired result. Trying to go the cheap route and removing the rear sight, replacing it with a red dot sight, leaving the user with no backup iron sights is particularly poor decision. That configuration produced significant performance losses in all users in our study.

OBSERVATIONS

The biggest takeaway for me from the study was the value of the green laser (not the red dot sight).  There are far more people carrying laser equipped pistols than there are using red dot sighted pistols as carry guns, and in classes I’ve seen older shooters with limited ability to focus at front sight distances gain more capability from the laser than the red dot sight. I shot the 2016 Rangemaster Tactical Conference match using a Viridian light/laser, never getting a traditional sight picture on any target, placing 7th out of more than 150 shooters.  Shooters running lasers in my low light shooting classes have done very well.  New light/laser combo units from Crimson Trace, LaserMax, Viridian, and others are smaller than red dot sights, and can be added to a carry pistol in a way that traditional iron sights can also be used. The rail mounted units allow momentary ‘on’, similar to lights, which solves the “always on” issue associated with lasers activated by gripping the pistol.

The failure of both of the practical/defensive pistol sports, IDPA and USPSA, to allow the use of lasers in their matches makes no sense to me. USPSA, in particular, has tried to maintain Jeff Cooper’s original ideal of being the testbed where all types of innovations in gear can be used and evaluated, to the point of going beyond his original concept of testing street-worthy gear. So frame mounted red dots, magnets worn on belts to hold magazines, and many other gadgets only relevant on match day are OK, but lasers are not.  Given their practicality, and actual use by people who carry, lasers should be the obvious choice for IDPA to recognize in any new “carry optics” division.

ADVICE

My advice to those considering the investment in a slide mounted red dot sight on their pistol is:

  1. Baseline your current performance level.  Use the IDPA classifier or the FBI qualification test as a thorough assessment of what you can do with iron sights. IDPA Expert or 80% on the FBI qualification test are good goals.
  2. Analyze your skills (part 1).  If you can get the gun aligned with the target and are missing because of poor trigger control or grip problems, spend your red dot sight money on training or other gun modifications (trigger upgrades, for example), and invest some time in dry practice. Purchase a SIRT pistol, Laserlyte pistol, dry fire mag, or other dry fire training gear.  Purchase of a red dot sight will help you aim at longer distances a little better. It will not make your draw faster nor will it fix any other problem with your fundamentals.
  3. Analyze your skills (part 2). If your primary challenge is difficulty getting a sight picture, I would look for opportunities to try a laser and a red dot sighted pistol before spending money. Many (most) of the highest skill level shooters I know and have trained with use a solid black rear and narrow fiber optic front sight, like these from Dawson Precision. A narrow front sight provides more light around the notch, and only having a dot on the front sight, as opposed to dots on front and rear, makes it easier to maintain front sight focus.  A cheap way to try this is simply to black out the rear dots on your existing rear sight and replace the front sight. I don’t recommend the fiber optic sights sold at retail stores, as they are all standard width (.125″) and generally not as rugged as the pro-grade sights that can be ordered from online vendors. Get a front sight that is .100-.115 in width. Switching to monovision glasses (dominant eye corrected for front sight length and non-dominant corrected for vision) is another option that can work not only on the range but for everyday wear. All of my glasses are set up for mono vision. That made a big difference in my scores after I turned 50.
  4. If you want to explore the slide mounted red dot sighted pistol, configure your gun with tall backup iron sights, and commit the time in dry and live practice to getting your skill with the red dot pistol up to the level you measured with iron sights (or beyond). Spend time getting the dot sighted in at 15 and 25 yards, and check that zero at 5, 50, and 75 yards, so you understand how the dot and the trajectory of your carry or match load align at those distances. Closer than 15 yards your bullets will strike lower than the dot, similar to holdover with a red dot on an AR rifle.
  5. Evaluate your skills. After you’ve put in the work to learn the dot, retest yourself using the same drills you ran in step 1.  If the scores show improvement using the dot, keep using it. If not, either put in more work, try other sighting options (laser, different irons, different glasses) until you find what works best for you.

KR Training May 2017 newsletter

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JUNE CLASS DISCOUNTS AND DEALS

Deal #1)  Beyond the Basics and Defensive Pistol Skills 1 – Houston area June 17 $160 combo (plus $20 range fee)

Deal #2) Basic Pistol 2 and Defensive Pistol Skills 1 – taught by John Daub June 24 $160 combo ($200 value)

Deal #3) Defensive Pistol Skills 2 (June 10) and Defensive Pistol Skills 3 (July 8) $160 combo ($200 value!)

For all deals – must pay in full in advance.

Register here.

MEDICINE X EVERY DAY CARRY

Recent events in Manchester once again draw attention to the value of medical skills in situations where response from uniformed personnel may be limited or delayed. The upcoming Medicine X Every Day Carry taught by Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics, (June 3-4) is suitable not only for armed citizens but “non-shooter” students, who can learn the skills and learn how to act in a crisis situation whether they are armed or not.

It’s 2 days of medic skills (for armed citizens), combined with live fire and Force on Force scenario training where you apply your shooting, tactics, communication and medical skills in realistic simulations of defensive gun use situations.

You don’t need prior medical training to attend.  The only pre-reqs are a carry license and completion of a class or match where you have drawn from a holster, because you’ll be doing that in the scenarios.

Hsoi’s AAR from a 2012 session of the course tells you more about the class.

Can’t afford the time or money for both days?  Take the first 4 hours for $100, or the first 2 for $200. If you’ve taken it before, refresher slots (1/2, 1 or 2 day) are available at 50% off.

I have over 2000 hours of firearms training, but so far in my life I have used the medical training more times than I’ve used anything I learned in pure shooting classes.

Register here.

DEFENSIVE PISTOL SKILLS 2 and 3

June 10th I’ll be teaching Defensive Pistol Skills 2, and on July 8th Defensive Pistol Skills 3.

DPS-1 was not “everything you need to know about defensive shooting”.  DPS-2 and DPS-3 review and refresh key points from DPS-1, with lots of additional material: shooting from cover, shooting on the move, armed movement in structures, malfunction clearing, one handed shooting and gun manipulation, much more.

Taken them before? Refresher slots available for 50% off.

Register here.

HOUSTON AREA CLASSES

I’ll be offering Beyond The Basics: Handgun and Defensive Pistol Skills 1 at the Orange Gun Club east of Houston on June 17th.  If you have friends in that area, please let them know.

OTHER JUNE CLASSES

Advanced Training 6 – June 10th, 2-5 pm

Basic Pistol 1 & Gun Selection Clinic – June 17th, 9-12 and 1-3, taught by John Daub

Basic Pistol 2Defensive Pistol Skills 1 –  June 24th, taught by John Daub

SUMMER USPSA MATCHES

The first 3 summer USPSA match dates are May 24, June 7 and June 14.  These are Wednesday evening matches.  We will start shooting at 6 pm but you can arrive as late as 7 pm and still shoot the stages.  After everyone has shot for score, additional runs are allowed for fun and practice.  Follow this link for more information about the summer matches. Matches are limited to 18 shooters so they run quickly.  Register for the May 24th match here

INTERESTED IN INSTRUCTOR TRAINING?

As an NRA Training Counselor I’m certified to train others in a long list of NRA courses, and I’ve hosted non-NRA instructor training courses in the past.  If you are interested in adding more instructor certifications, or getting certified for the first time, please take the survey and select all the courses you are interested in. That will help me decide which instructor classes to offer in the future.

THE SCHEDULE

The full schedule of 2017 classes is here.

We’ll be adding more classes to the August-October schedule next month.

BLOG-O-RAMA

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