Labeling canvas gun cases

I have a lot of my pistols in canvas & fabric gun cases, particularly the LA Police Gear cases.  I use those cases to keep all the mags and misc. parts, and manuals together with the guns.  A lot of those guns are used as loaners when students need them for classes, and I’ve gone through several different attempts to find an easy way to label the cases so I can quickly find the gun I’m looking for in the safe.

Simple options like using painters tape, masking tape, duct tape or target tape didn’t work well. The tape didn’t stick and would come off when the cases rubbed against each other.  Using clear shipping tape to hold paper labels on had the same problem.

A complicated solution that worked was having paper labels laminated and then using velcro to stick them on. The advantage to that approach is the labels are easy to take off and can be changed or updated.  The UPS store where I get my mail can laminate documents for a small fee.

Velcro and laminated paper label

Even the velcro & laminate solution was not really what I was looking for.  I had tried some iron on labels before, but decided to try again with a different product.  This time I found something that works.

Ironing these on the cases using medium heat worked well.  (Take the gun and mags and etc out of the cases before ironing, of course.) I used the iron on labels on all the soft pistol cases in the safe, and I’m sure they’ll get a workout over the next few months as those cases get used in upcoming classes.

Shooting the Dallas PD qualification course of fire

Force Science recently published a study looking at performance by Dallas PD in 149 officer-involved shooting incidents.  Several trainers, including Tom Givens (Rangemaster), have commented on the data in the studyThe full link to the study is here.

One issue peripheral to the study is the qualification course of fire used by Dallas PD.  The course of fire is this:

Dallas PD Pistol Qualification Course
Round Count: 50
Target: TQ-15
Passing Score: 80% (200/250)

Stage I – 3 yards: From holster, draw and fire five rounds strong hand only in 10 seconds; transfer weapon to support hand and remain at low ready. When targets turn fire five rounds in 10 seconds, support hand only. (10 total rounds this stage)

Stage II – 7 yards: From holster, fire five rounds in 10 seconds; targets turn away; remain at low ready. When targets turn, fire five rounds in 10 seconds and return to low ready. Targets turn again and again, fire five rounds in 10 seconds. (15 total rounds this stage)

Stage IIa – 7 yards: Set up pistol with five total rounds on board and two five round magazines in pouch. When targets face, draw and fire five rounds; slide lock reload; fire five more rounds, execute a second slide locked reload and then fire five more rounds in 30 seconds total. (15 total rounds in this stage)

Stage III – 15 yards: Draw and fire five rounds in 15 seconds. (5 total rounds this stage)

Stage IV – 25 yards: Shooter starts one step right and one step behind barricade. When targets face, move to cover, draw and fire five rounds in 30 seconds. (5 total rounds this stage)

How hard is the course of fire?

I had some TQ-15 targets and put one up to run the course of fire. When I started looking at the times, I compared them to par times for the Texas License To Carry test.  Similar to Texas LTC, it has 5 shots in 10 seconds at 3 and 7 yards, and 5 shots in 15 seconds from the 15 yard line, with the only difference being that many strings start from the holster rather than a ready position.

As I discussed recently in a post suggesting a modified version of the LTC course of fire, the time limits and standards for the Texas LTC test are so easy that the test is nearly impossible to fail, even for someone with absolutely no prior firearms experience.  The LTC test standards are NOT the answer to the question “what level of proficiency is desired to have acceptable performance in a gunfight?“.  They are the answer to the question “what are the lowest possible standards that can be used to assess whether someone is a danger to themselves or others if armed in public?

I didn’t bother to shoot the test using the original par times.  Instead, I borrowed a idea from Massad Ayoob, who scales the difficulty of his MAG-20 shooting test in higher level classes by dividing the par times by 2, 3 and 4 to increase the drill difficulty. 

Shooting the Double Speed Dallas PD Qual

The double speed Dallas PD qual is this:

Phase 1 – 3 yards
(5 seconds) – Draw and fire 5 shots strong hand only, transfer to support hand and stay at ready
(5 seconds) – Fire 5 shots support hand only, reload and holster

Phase 2 – 7 yards
(5 seconds) – Draw and fire 5 shots, go to low ready
(5 seconds) – Fire 5 shots, go to low ready
(5 seconds) – Fire 5 shots, go to low ready

Phase 2a – 7 yards
Load with 4+1 in gun, two additional 5 round mags on belt
(15 seconds) – Draw, 5, reload, 5, reload, 5

Phase 3 – 15 yards
(7.5 seconds) – Draw and fire 5 rounds

Phase 4 – 25 yards
(15 seconds) – Draw, move one step to cover, fire 5 rounds

Here’s my target. 250/250.

Shooting the Quadruple Speed Dallas PD test

Just to see how hard the test was at quadruple speed, I ran it again using the same target. I didn’t tape up the previous run, because I was lazy and it was cold.  My assumption was that I could easily see any hits outside the center zone, and that I was unlikely to miss the target completely.

Phase 1 – 3 yards
(2.5 seconds) – Draw and fire 5 shots strong hand only, transfer to support hand and stay at ready.  This requires a 1.5 second draw and 0.3 splits.
(2.5 seconds) – Fire 5 shots support hand only, reload and holster. This requires about 1 sec to first shot from ready and 0.4 splits.

Phase 2 – 7 yards
(2.5 seconds) – Draw and fire 5 shots, go to low ready. 
(2.5 seconds) – Fire 5 shots, go to low ready
(2.5 seconds) – Fire 5 shots, go to low ready
For all strings about a 1.5 sec draw and 0.3 splits.

Phase 2a – 7 yards
Load with 4+1 in gun, two additional 5 round mags on belt
(7.5 seconds) – Draw, 5, reload, 5, reload, 5
Assumes 1.5 sec draw, 1.5 sec reload and 0.3 splits.

Phase 3 – 15 yards
(3.75 seconds) – Draw and fire 5 rounds
1.75 second draw, 0.5 splits.

Phase 4 – 25 yards
(7.5 seconds) – Draw, move one step to cover, fire 5 rounds

2.5 sec draw and move, 1 sec splits.  I shot too fast on this string and finished it in under 5 seconds. 

Here’s my target.  248/250 with some points dropped at 25 yards.


Even at quadruple speed, shooting 80% (200 points) on the course of fire should be do-able by anyone capable of passing the FBI agent qualification test, or any B class USPSA shooter or IDPA Expert level shooter. Anyone choosing to use this drill in practice should start with the “double speed” version of this test as a minimum proficiency goal, in my opinion.  Using an IDPA/USPSA target instead of a TQ-15 will increase the difficulty, as would trimming the par times to triple or quadruple speed.

KR Training November 2018 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training November 2018 newsletter!  Class dates for January and February are set, along with guest instructor visits and Karl’s road classes.

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, Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to this blog for more frequent posts and information.


Must pay in full in advance to get the discounts.


Start your new year off right by attending one or both days of preparedness training with Paul Martin, the KR Training staff, and some special guests!

Saturday January 5 is the “everything except guns” day (Preparedness Seminar 1)- medical from Dr. Ben Weger, kubaton w/ Tracy Thronburg, fitness with John Daub, chainsaws with John Kochan, and multiple sessions from Paul on a variety of preparedness topics. $160

Sunday January 6 is the “nothing but guns” day  (Preparedness Seminar 2) – a mix of lecture, live fire and scenario training covering topics specific to preparedness, focusing on how the prepper can better assist the untrained/undertrained in their lives with gun selection, firearms skills and team tactics in an emergency.  Immersive Training Solutions will be bringing their full screen video simulator and everyone will get to run at least one scenario on that.  Paul and Karl will also run a “Get Home Bag” live fire/medical scenario that incorporates multiple skills and gear. $160

Sign up for both days, pay in full in advance and get the discounted price of $250.


We are hosting internationally known Texas-based trainer Hock Hockheim January 19-20.  The class will be a mix of training across multiple disciplines: unarmed, knife, stick, gun.  No prior martial arts training experience is necessary to attend.  The Hand, Hock, knife gun course is a bargain for 2 days at $199.


Jan 12th is beginner day, with Basic Pistol 1 and Gun Cleaning and Maintenance. Take both for the discount price of $120.

Jan 13th is “my new year’s resolution was to get my carry permit” day, with Handgun Coaching in the morning and Texas License To Carry in the afternoon.  Take both for the discount price of $100.  We do not plan to offer the LTC course very often in 2019 so those wanting to take the course from Karl should take advantage of this opportunity.

Another option for completing the carry permit training is to take the classroom portion online. We recommend the Point Blank CHL online course. Those completing the online portion can attend the Handgun Coaching course on Jan 13, which ends with the LTC qualification course of fire. That course meets state requirements for the 2 hours of in-person range time training required for the “blended” LTC course.  We are also working to develop our own online LTC course.


Another session of the state-certified Active Shooter/School Safety class is scheduled for Jan 26-27. This course is suitable for anyone interested in armed active shooter response. For this session we intend to bring Immersive Training Solutions out on day 2 so students can run the active shooter program on their full screen (indoor) video simulator.  $400 for the 2 day course. Teachers attend for half price ($200).  School administrators attend for free.


All events at the A-Zone Range unless noted otherwise


You can also follow KR Training on Facebook or Twitter to see our favorite blog content from other authors as we post it. Here’s a list of what we’ve shared since the October newsletter:


Registration is open for all classes on the KR Training schedule. Weekday private lessons are still 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

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.

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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.


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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.