Meeting and Maintaining Acceptable Standards

We recently modified our Basic Pistol 2 course to offer a two-hour version that serves 3 functions:

Basic Pistol 2

The BP2 course is the class we recommend for people that know how to shoot, but have never had a formal handgun course where fundamentals were taught in depth, and/or have never shot on a structured firing line running timed drills. Many years ago we came up with a list of questions students could ask themselves to determine whether they would benefit from attending the course:

  1. Can you score 90% on the Texas LTC shooting test?
  2. Do you understand how your pistol works? (For example understanding cocked and locked carry for a 1911, or using the decocker and firing DA for the first shot with a DA/SA style pistol).
  3. Do you do any “dry fire” practice with your pistol at home?
  4. Have you practiced starting at a ready position, finger off trigger, and getting the gun quickly to the target and firing?
  5. Are your grip and gunhandling skills up to date?
  6. Do you really know what your trigger finger is doing before, during and after each shot?
  7. Do you follow through after the shot is fired?

The vast majority of carry permit holders answer “no” to several (or all) of these questions. A well trained armed citizen should be able to answer “yes” to all of them. The primary objectives of the course are to teach those skills.

Online LTC Completion

Texas now allows carry permit applicants to do their classroom training online, needing only a short in person course (minimum of 1 hour classroom, minimum of 50 round shooting test on the range, with range test time NOT counting as part of the 1 hour classroom training).

In the two-hour version of the course, we spend one hour covering the required classroom material, and the second hour is 100 rounds of shooting: 50 rounds of drills to practice and develop skills necessary to perform well on the LTC test, and then the LTC test itself. By adding an extra 30 minutes to the state minimum, we provide significantly more instruction and improve student skill. The full 100 round program includes the first 4 drills from our Top 10.

LTC Refresher / Annual Tune Up

The two hour course can also be used as an annual tune up for students at any level. For those that have gone beyond the state minimum and had formal training in how to draw from concealment or open carry, by changing the state mandated B-27 target for our KRT-2 target, and having the shooter run the LTC starting each string drawing from concealment, making two of the 5-shot strings mandatory head shots, they can join lower level students on the firing line as they run the state test, but get much more training value from the more challenging version of the course.

I recently shot the Texas LTC test this way using our KRT-2 target. It’s considerably smaller than the B-27. The videos below show the KRT-2 pasted on top of a B-27 for scale. Only the grey and white parts of the KRT-2 count as hits. Anything in or outside the black border is considered a miss. The white section is the “X ring” with the grey area counted as an “acceptable” hit.

Firearms training is not a “one and done” thing, although many carry permit holders treat it that way. Taking a short course to verify that your skills are maintained at a reasonable level is a good thing to do each year, whether you do that by taking our 2 hour course, shoot an IDPA, USPSA or Steel Challenge match, or run some structured, timed drills in your own practice time.

Preparedness Study Resources

Here are several online resources useful for preparedness.

Ready Citizen Manual – free e-book from Paul Martin’s website

After a Disaster – free e-book from Texas A&M Agrilife

and Paul & I have curated more than 14 hours of videos on preparedness topics available online for minimal cost on vimeo.com

In the coming weeks I will be collecting up lessons learned from all who want to contribute their thoughts, to provide a group after action report on what measures we took to prepare for the current crisis worked, what did not, and what we need to do to be better prepared for the next crisis, which could be spring flash floods or a summer heatwave once again taxing our electric grid.

KR Training February 2021 Newsletter

2021 OUTLOOK

We have reduced the number of rounds required for most classes, and will continue to offer many no-live-fire defensive skills courses. Taking classes with .22 caliber guns will be allowed, and dry firing is always a good way to maintain and develop skills. COVID restrictions are still in effect, limiting class sizes and mandating masks indoors.

UPCOMING CLASSES

Here are the classes we have scheduled with space available through end of April. Some classes are already sold out. We will announce May-June classes in the March newsletter.

Don’t see the class you want here? Let us know. Many classes can be taught as weekday private lessons, or we can add it to the schedule if there’s enough interest.

JOHN MURPHY CLASS IN MARCH

We are bringing national trainer John Murphy to KR Training in March, for his two day Street Encounters Skills and Tactics course. He has lowered the round count for this course to 250 rounds, and he has limited ammo available to sell to students. Slots are still open.

REFRESHER SLOTS ARE HALF PRICE

Want to take a class you’ve taken before to keep your skills sharp? Refresher slots for most courses are half price!

Register for any class using our online system.


KR TRAINING ON PODCASTS

RECENT BLOG POSTS

New blog posts and Facebook article links since the last newsletter:


SONG OF THE MONTH

Back in 2008 I released a CD of original music called “Respectable” (link goes to amazon Mp3 version, physical copies of the CD are available from me at the A-Zone). Penny and I collaborated on this song, all about her experiences surviving a terrible winter storm when she was attending Purdue University. This week’s weather inspired us to make a video for it, featuring Penny’s photos of current and older Texas ice and snow.

FOLLOW US ONLINE!

With the recent trend in Facebook and Twitter deplatforming and shadow banning firearms-related content, I strongly encourage you to subscribe to this blog, as direct email and blogging remain the best ways to get un-filtered, un-suppressed information. The link to subscribe is on the right hand side of every page of the blog, including this newsletter.

Keep up with the interesting articles, links, and stories we share in real time. Follow KR Training on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe to this newsletter or follow this blog (right) for more frequent posts and information. Send me an email to schedule your private weekday training session.

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

Book Review: Unintended Consequences (Ross, 1996)

This controversial work of fiction was written in the late 1990’s, after the assault weapon and magazine capacity bans were signed into law by Bill Clinton: after the Waco/Koresh standoff, the Ruby Ridge standoff, and the Oklahoma City bombing. Anti-government sentiment within the gun culture and the right was strong, and the militia movement was the focus of law enforcement attention. Also during this period, many states passed shall-issue concealed carry laws. This period of US history can be considered the transition from Gun Culture 1.0 (hunters and target shooters) to Gun Culture 2.0 (urban concealed carriers). It’s an artifact of that era, published independently and largely sold through gun shows and other non-traditional channels. I don’t recall ever seeing a copy on a shelf at Borders or Barnes and Noble or any other bookstore when it first came out.

Depending on your perspective, Unintended Consequences either tells the fictional story of patriots who rise up to force the Federal government to restrain an out of control bureaucracy, or the story of terrorists that succeed in forcing the President to bow to their demands through political violence. The protagonists are a small group of wealthy, highly skilled, lifelong “gun guys” who prevent a Waco/Ruby Ridge style raid on one of their properties, and then using news releases and recordings, combined with targeted assassinations of government agents, ignite a national rebellion and widespread targeted violence against Federal employees working for regulatory agencies. This puts so much pressure on the Executive Branch that the President gives in to the gun guys, enacting a set of policies that reads like the standard wish list for anyone in the gun culture:

“…a Presidential pardon to all persons currently serving time fo or how have been convicted of violations of the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986, the firearms and magazine provisions of the Crime Law of 1994, and all other Federal, state and local anti-gun laws, including any and all anti-concealed carry laws.”

Like many books from that era, from Tom Clancy military novels, Stephen Hunter action-mysteries, and men’s adventure paperbacks, Unintended Consequences is full of “gun and gear nerd” content: African safaris, long discussions about guns, loads, long range shooting, and plots that are structured around technical nuances. Taken purely as another book somewhere in that genre of “action thriller”, it’s a well written, long (863 pages), entertaining read with an ending written to please its intended audience.

If you search for the book on Amazon or Abebooks, they will tell you that it’s out of print. It’s not. Signed softcover copies are available from this website. A free PDF version is also available.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, and President Biden has chosen to use this day to attempt to turn the clock back to 1994, with a policy goal of putting the semiautomatic long gun and magazine capacity bans back in place, along with other restrictions that go beyond what was passed in 1994. The policies in the executive orders he has signed since taking power are implementing progressive, not centrist policies that will further divide the nation and outrage those now in the political minority.

During the past year, anti-government rioters and mobs have attacked government buildings in Portland, Seattle, Washington DC and other cities. Gun sales have hit unprecedented levels. Ammo is scarce and selling for 500% of pre COVID prices, when it can be found. The country is sharply divided, with more public figures calling for acts of revenge, cancellation, re-education, and other Orwellian measures against their political opponents. Government regulation of many aspects of our lives has increased because of the pandemic, with no specific end in sight. The positions and policies of the extreme Left are now the default for Big Tech, colleges, public schools, entertainment media, “mainstream” news, professional sports, Fortune 500 corporations, the Executive branch and the House of Representatives. Trust in government is at record low levels, and outrage builds as scandal after scandal results in no significant penalties for elites and high ranking government officials, regardless of political affiliation. Lower tier elites and other expendables are ruthlessly cancelled for WrongThink or WrongSpeak, with careers ruined, but those at the top face no consequences for any offense, from simple lies to corrupt acts for financial gain to decisions and statements that result in significant property losses and deaths (of property and lives of the non-elites).

In many ways the situation is far worse than what existed in the mid 1990’s, when John Ross wrote this, in the introduction to his book:

Today in America, honest, successful, talented, productive, motivated people are once again being stripped of their freedom and dignity and having their noses rubbed in it. The conflict has been building for over half a century, and once again warning flags are frantically waving while the instigators rush headlong toward the abyss, and their doom.

Should you read the book? It’s entertaining as clever escapist fantasy. It’s educational, teaching about the history of gun laws and technical details about many different rifles and machine guns. And I think that it’s also relevant to current events, as political discussion about gun rights may soon sound like a repeat of 1994.

Book Review – Why Meadow Died (Pollack, 2019)

On Valentine’s Day, 2018, a school shooter attacked Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The attacker’s trial is still in limbo, 3 years later. The attack was noteworthy for several reasons.

Law enforcement response was terrible. Slow and ineffective, with officers remaining outside the school, not entering to stop the shooter, who stopped the attack on his own, attempting to escape the school by blending in with those fleeing the building. This article from the Miami Herald details all the failures.

Sheriff Scott Israel was fired. Officer Scot Peterson retired but has faced criminal and civil trials for his inaction. Other officers that were fired for failure to act have been rehired with back pay. Some of the Parkland students became media celebrities, getting funding from anti-gun groups to be the new faces of the gun control movement. (March for Our Lives leader David Hogg recently announced his plans to start up a “woke” pillow company.)

I’m certified by the state of Texas to teach the School Safety class – the course developed by the Department of Public Safety to train armed teachers for active shooter response in schools. In the past I’ve reviewed other books on other active shooter incidents. They all tell the same story: warning signs ignored by bureaucrats and law enforcement, slow, ineffective response by law enforcement, refusal of those same administrators and cops to consider or support the idea of allowing teachers, staff or school visitors with carry permits to carry on school property, and the usual demands for new gun restrictions from elites, the media and the professional gun control lobbyists. Most often the requested law changes would have had no impact on the outcome of the incident, since the type of gun used or the capacity of the gun really doesn’t matter when the victims are unarmed and have limited capacity to fight back. In the past, I’ve written about the “reloading fallacy” – the myth that reducing magazine capacity can produce any change in outcome in an active shooter incident.

Most recently, a judge ruled that the school district and gov’t officials had “no duty” to warn students about the dangers posed by the potential school shooter.

Why Meadow Died

Grieving father Andrew Pollack encountered all the problems and standard roadblocks common to every school shooting, and he documents all of them in depth in his book. The book provides insight into the life history of the shooter, the numerous institutional failures, the ignored warning signs, and the bureaucratic CYA mentality more concerned with protecting careers and protecting the myth that partisan policies were “working” than with protecting the students in the school.

The Broward county situation, as explained in the book, is particularly awful, with those at the top eager to make their county a nationally recognized poster child for ending the “school to prison pipeline”, even if it means manipulating the numbers, ignoring crimes, and “mainstreaming” students that would have received better attention at special schools instead of being pushed back in to the general population at a public high school. Their approach certainly advanced their own careers but did nothing to help the at-risk students in need of extra attention, nor to protect the regular students from school violence.

As with the life history of every other school shooter or mass killer, the murderer had a long history of bad behavior, obsession with violence, abuse of animals, threats and injuries to those around him, bitterness, hate and a total lack of empathy for others. His family, other students and teachers that had to deal with him were all scared of him, and many predicted that he would eventually become a school shooter. Somewhere between 25-49 law enforcement interactions with him — early warnings – were ignored or deliberately hidden.

The third part of the book details the attempt of the Parkland parents to mount a political challenge to replace many of the school board members and other county officials responsible for all levels of the policies that failed to protect the students. Broward residents in a strongly Democratic county, cared more for maintaining partisan control than improving public safety, and all the candidates the Parkland parents organized and supported were defeated.

Reading this book will probably make you depressed and/or angry, as it tells the same story that is repeated over and over again in school districts all over the US. The names change but the behaviors remain the same.

Why should you read it? As a cautionary tale, to understand how these situations develop. It can motivate you to pay attention to local school board elections and sheriff elections, not just state and national politics. As of this writing, most Texas school districts do not allow graduates of the state-police designed School Safety (armed teacher) program to carry on school property, even though they have been trained to a higher standard defined by our state’s experts on firearms and deadly force. In that regard, most of Texas, certainly the major metro areas, are no better than Broward County. There’s still work to be done, and what happened in Parkland is a grim reminder of why that work needs to be done at the local, county and state level to do more to protect students.

Since writing the book, Andrew Pollack has spoken at major national events, appeared on news programs, has written for the Federalist and other publications, and briefly served as president of John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Institute when John Lott was employed by the federal Department of Justice during the Trump administration.

Student incident report

I recently had a student contact me with details about an incident he was involved in. He agreed to share his account of it, with name and location removed. It’s an excellent reminder of why awareness and “managing unknown contacts” (a skill we discuss in our Personal Tactics Skills course) are so important to avoiding situations that might deteriorate into more serious actions.

Details

I recently had an experience that confirmed why I carry a firearm for defense and why I train physically and mentally to respond to a bad situation that I hope never happens. 

I was taking my usual workday lunchtime walk, and noticed a guy walking my direction that pinged my possible threat radar.  The items that caught my attention were: big unzipped black hoodie, generally sloppy looking, and something about his walking gait that I just did not like.  So, I gave him the sidewalk as he went by and nodded politely when he made eye contact.  He continued his way, as did I. I thought it was over and a non-event.  I was wrong. 

On my return leg back to the office, I noticed the same guy ahead of me again, this time traveling the same direction I was.  I slowed my roll a little to re-assess and he stopped and looked over his shoulder at me.  At this point I realized I really did not like what was happening.  The sidewalk we were on was on a busy street.  On the other side of the sidewalk was a construction site.  He then walked on a few more feet and sat down on a piece of construction equipment that was just off the sidewalk and took another look at me.  At this point my only route was past this guy.  So, I slowed up until I had a bit of a space in traffic to my left (in case I got forced into the street), I dropped my hand into my pocket and took a light grip in my little S&W 642, which is what I carry most days.  I then began to move past with purpose.   

The moment I passed him I saw his body tense up and start to move, so I took a big step off his axis and spun to meet the threat.  He had tried to lunge; my best guess was to push me into the street/traffic.  I put my non-dominant hand up close to my body in a conciliatory gesture and said “have a nice day man” as I backed away to create space.  At this point he started moving toward me yelling “Are you ready for Hell? I’m gonna send you to Hell! Heaven is waiting for me! Hell is about to take you! etc.”  All the while, he was moving toward me making lunging moves, and gesturing with his hands like he wanted to attack.  I kept creating space and just shook my head at him without saying anything and watching his hands closely.  In that moment if he had reached in his hoodie or made any other indication of bringing a weapon into play, I would have fully drawn my gun (which by now I had a firm grip on and was nearly clear of the pocket holster).  This went on for about 10 seconds before he seemed to stop for a second and he suddenly took off to a tattoo shop that was just close by.  At this point, I got out of the area quickly.  I was back in my office parking lot within another 10 seconds and had reached for my phone to dial 911.   I checked my 6 again and noticed that he was running back again, yelling and shooting the finger at me, so I got inside behind a locked door and made my 911 call.  I did let the 911 operator know that I was a licensed carrier and was armed but had not drawn or used my weapon.  I told her that prior to speaking with the officers, I would secure my weapon and it would not be on my person when I they arrived.  She communicated this with the officers in the responding unit.  When they arrived, I went out and we had the conversation.  I had my license ready for their inspection and offered it.  The whole conversation went smoothly, and they were quite supportive, even complimenting me for my self- control.  The adrenaline dump started to hit right around that time, and once the I was done talking to the police I went home for the day, and a badly needed whiskey drink! 

Since the incident I have seen the offender hanging around the area of my office quite frequently.  He appears to be staying with someone in the area and may be with us for a while.  I no longer take walks, and we always watch out for each other when we leave the office to go to our cars.  The incident has caused out company to review safety protocols and improve surveillance camera coverage around our building. I am grateful for the training I have received from some amazing coaches who helped me be better prepared for what happened.  These folks are Karl Rehn of KR Training, John Correia of Active Self Protection and my shooting coach, Joe French.  Karl has provided me with outstanding training on how to use my firearm in a defensive situation.  Karl also turned me on to John’s YouTube channel, which has been invaluable in helping me improve situational awareness, adopt a serious attitude as a self-defender and to better understand the dynamics of defensive incidents.  I look forward to one day being able to train with him in person.  Joe has helped me improve my shooting skills tremendously, particularly with the little snubbie I carry.  It takes a lot of work to get competent with these little tools and having the confidence of knowing I could take care of business with the little thing made a huge difference in my mindset that day. Most of all, I thank my Lord Jesus Christ for being my Rock and for being so good to me despite me. 

 I was very fortunate that day.  I went home and got to hug on my kids and kiss my wife.  That is what matters.  I have a long way to go on this journey of learning to protect myself and my family.   I hope nothing like this happens again, but I now know even more clearly that I absolutely must continue to grow my skills, attitude, and spiritual fitness.  You never know what is going to happen or how it’s going to go.  You cannot be over-prepared to defend your life or those you love. 

Addendum

After discussing the incident with the student, I encouraged him to carry pepper spray in addition to his firearm, as it could be a very useful intermediate tool in dealing with a potentially mentally unstable person such as the one he encountered.

Also, when carrying a snub revolver, having a “speed strip” with additional rounds with you is a good idea. Reloading the revolver this way is significantly slower than changing the magazine on a semiauto or using a revolver speedloader, but the strip carries very flat and small in the pocket and provides some capability to reload the gun if needed. This excellent article from Lucky Gunner explains the correct procedure for using this type of loader with a revolver.

Special thanks to the student for taking the time to write this up and share it.

KR Training January 2021 Newsletter

2021 OUTLOOK

Ammunition has become very expensive and scarce. We have reduced the number of rounds required for most classes, and will continue to offer many no-live-fire defensive skills courses. Taking classes with .22 caliber guns will be allowed, and dry firing is always a good way to maintain and develop skills. COVID restrictions are still in effect, limiting class sizes and mandating masks indoors.

UPCOMING CLASSES

Here are the classes we have scheduled with space available through end of March. Some weekends were left open to add more courses as students request them or to reschedule in case of weather-related cancellations.

Don’t see the class you want here? Let us know. Many classes can be taught as weekday private lessons, or we can add it to the schedule if there’s enough interest.

NRA BASIC PISTOL INSTRUCTOR FEB 1-3

I’m offering the full NRA Basic Pistol instructor class Feb 1-3. This certifies you to teach the NRA Basic Pistol class, which is a pre-req for both the DPS License To Carry instructor course and the NRA’s CCW instructor class. A limited number of slots are still open in this course.

JOHN MURPHY CLASS IN MARCH

We are bringing national trainer John Murphy to KR Training in March, for his two day Street Encounters Skills and Tactics course. He has lowered the round count for this course to 250 rounds. Slots are still open.

REFRESHER SLOTS ARE HALF PRICE

Want to take a class you’ve taken before to keep your skills sharp? Refresher slots for most courses are half price!

DOUG GREIG CLASSES IN CONROE

Doug Greig will be offering classes on Saturdays at Thunder Gun Range in Conroe. Topics include Basic Rifle/Pistol, Intermediate Rifle/Pistol, Red Dot Pistol and more! His full schedule is here.

Register for any class using our online system.


RECENT BLOG POSTS

New blog posts since the last newsletter:


SONG OF THE MONTH

In early January I had the opportunity to play with national touring drummer Tom Brechtlein, who has recorded and toured with Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, and Chick Corea. Tom joined me and bassist Brian Lippman for a special show at the Third Floor Cantina in downtown Bryan (a venue where Tom and Robben Ford performed in the early 1990’s . We recorded the entire show live to multitrack, and Midnight Express lead singer Greg Patterson recorded a few video clips. I used the soundboard audio and Greg’s clips to make this video.

FOLLOW US ONLINE!

With the recent trend in Facebook and Twitter deplatforming and shadow banning firearms-related content, I strongly encourage you to subscribe to this blog, as direct email and blogging remain the best ways to get unfiltered, unsuppressed information. The link to subscribe is on the right hand side of every page of the blog, including this newsletter.

Keep up with the interesting articles, links, and stories we share in real time. Follow KR Training on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe to this newsletter or follow this blog (right) for more frequent posts and information. Send me an email to schedule your private weekday training session.

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

1998 Combatives

During the 1990’s, several schools, including InSights Training, Tactical Defense Institute (Ohio) and Modern Warrior (New York), began offering classes that integrated gun and unarmed skills. In 1998, KR Training hosted the 40 hour Close Quarters Confrontations class taught by InSights Training. It included sessions on groundfighting, standup defense, live fire drills, and several days of integrated work using the big padded suit. By the final day, drills involved one student wearing the suit (the trainer role) and one working the defender role. Here’s some vintage video and photos from that week in KR Training history:

Groundfighting pics

Standing

Live Fire

Some of the techniques and drills shown in these pics may look familiar to graduates of Shivworks’ ECQC courses. Both Paul Gomez and Craig Douglas (who co-developed the original ECQC classes in the early 2000’s) credited the InSights curriculum as an influence on their own curriculum, and KR Training hosted several of the early ECQC courses taught by Craig and Paul.

Small Gun class data 2019-2020

Each year at the start of summer I offer a small gun oriented defensive pistol class.  The intent of the course is to provide an opportunity for people to practice with the smaller gun that is more convenient to carry in the hot weather.  Use of pocket holsters, purses, fanny packs, and any other mode of carry that’s not a traditional belt holster is allowed and encouraged, since practice drawing from those methods is typically not allowed at commercial ranges and discouraged in other defensive pistol classes due to range safety concerns and the additional time/complexity associated with reholstering.

Earlier articles about this course can be found here.

Part of the course includes shooting our 3 seconds or Less test (3SL) with both the small gun and a full size gun drawn from a belt holster, to measure the performance change (usually a loss) that occurs when switching from the larger gun to the smaller one.

Data from the 2019 and 2020 sessions

31 shooters

Small Guns: 2 DA/SA, 3 snub revolvers, and the rest were all striker fired polymer guns. The typical “small gun” was a single stack 9mm striker fired gun.

Large Guns: 4 single action (1911, CZ75 or Wilson EDCX9), one SIG 226, one CZ P01 fired DA/SA, one S&W Model 10-8, and a lot of striker fired polymer 9mm handguns.

Scoring: 5 points for each acceptable hit (20 hits possible, 100 pts possible). Earlier versions of the 3SL test shot on USPSA and IDPA targets awarded points for hits outside the 5 point zone. Current version is scored on a 5 or 0 basis.

Average small gun score: 69.17 out of 100 possible
Average large gun score: 79.63 out of 100 possible

Performance loss from shooting the smaller gun: -10.4%

The best shooters in the classes dropped 5% or shot the same with their small guns; the worst dropped 30-50% more points with the smaller gun.

Students passing the 3SL test with 70% or higher score using their small gun: 19 of 31 (61% passed).
Students passing the 3SL test with 70% or higher score using their primary gun: 24 of 31 (77% passed).

Students passing the 3SL test at the 90% level (desired) using their small gun: 3 of 31 (9.8% passed).
Students passing the 3SL test at the 90% level using their primary gun: 12 of 31 (38.7% passed)

Historical average of the entire data set of 91 shooters:

Small Gun score: 74.9/100
Larger gun score: 83.5/100

The 2019-2020 classes included 11 shooters assessed as “low” skill level based on their primary gun scores, 11 assessed as “medium”, and 9 ranked “high”. All had Texas carry permits, carrying one or both of the guns they used for the course at various times during a typical year.

Looking at the historical data set, those in the “low” skill level (unable to pass the 3SL test with the primary gun), dropped an average of 3 points switching to the smaller gun, indicating a general lack of shooting skill regardless of which gun was used. The spread of points dropped ranged from +15 to -30, as a few shooters shot significantly better with their small gun than with their primary.

Those in the “medium” skill level (70-89 points on the 3SL test shot with their primary gun), dropped an average of 6.5 points switching to the smaller gun, with the spread ranging from +12 to -38.

Those in the high skill level (90+ points with primary gun) dropped an average of 7.8 points with differences ranging from +17 to -48.

Interpreting Data

The Three Seconds or Less (3SL) test was designed to define an acceptable minimum performance standard for concealed carry pistol shooters. I describe as a simple go/no-go assessment. If you can pass at 70% with a particular combination of gear, that configuration is probably OK to carry in public. Being able to shoot 90% means you are well prepared and not just “OK”. 90% on the 3SL test is roughly equal to IDPA Expert or USPSA B class skill.

64 of the 91 shooters using their small guns could pass at the 70% level. Only 16 of the 91 could pass at the 90% level.

79 of the 91 shooters using their primary guns could pass at the 70% level, with 37 of 91 passing at the 90% level.

The data shows what we already knew: smaller guns are harder to shoot. Those with lower skill level shoot poorly regardless of gear. Those at higher skill levels shoot higher overall scores, but drop more points on average when switching to the smaller gun. That’s a result different from what was observed in years past, with a smaller data set. More than half the shooters capable of shooting 90% with their primary gun couldn’t do it with the smaller gun (19 of 37).

Conclusions

It’s convenient to have a large and a small gun, used as weather and type of wardrobe dictates. It’s good to be able to shoot at least 70% on the 3SL test with both, better to be able to shoot 90% with both. Being able to shoot a 70% or a 90+% score with the primary gun and gear configuration does NOT guarantee that you’ll be able to do it with the small gun.

Small guns are harder to shoot fast and accurate, deep concealment carry methods slow down draw times — but violent attackers are not going to attack more slowly to compensate for the difficulties imposed by the gear you’ve chosen.

Try this:

  1. Shoot the 3SL test from open carry with your primary gun.
  2. Shoot the 3SL test from concealed carry with your primary gun. Assess the difference in score. More than likely draw time will be the problem, which means dry fire practice, changes to holster, cover garment and/or draw technique may be needed.
  3. Shoot the 3SL test from open carry with your small gun. Identify which parts of the test need improvement, and work on those skills with the small gun.
  4. Shoot the 3SL test from concealed carry with your small gun. Assess whether the concealment method and draw technique you are using needs changing. Or in some cases, accept that the wardrobe or other restrictions forcing you to carry in a way that has to be compensated for in other ways than changing carry method: being more cautious, reaching in your pocket to grip a pocket pistol earlier in a potential situation than you had in the past, giving yourself more space and time.

If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it, as the saying goes.

More Chuck Taylor historical docs

From Bob Hanna about central Texas firearms training history:

In 1975 I bought 49% of the Marksman indoor Range in South Houston, TX. That’s when I really became involved with the Houston gun scene and folks like: Fred Rexer – Wikipedia, machine gun dealer, screenwriter, movie consultant (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn etc.). https://www.joebowman.net/ Joe was an exhibition shooter and trainer, taught movie stars (Sammy Davis, Jr, Robert Duvall etc.) and law enforcement. Herman Mueschke, who designed the ambi safety used by Colt. Several deceased gun writers whose names I no longer remember unless they are mentioned. Col. Cannon, former OSS, inventor of the Glaser Safety Slug, several very interesting conversations over coffee in his kitchen.

Became involved in “Combat Shooting” matches about this time with The Brazos Practical Shooters, a sub group of the Sugarland Sportsmans Club, a long gone competition club. I was Competition Director in 1978 when Jeff Cooper sent me “…the First Draft of the IPSC rules for practical pistol competition.”

In 1977 and 1978 I was Co-Manager for Collectors Firearms, probably the nicest gun store in Houston. Founded by Mike Clark, Jerry Fountain, Gary Green and a guy I can’t remember, they started with $20K. Two of them dropped out and it left only Mike and Jerry. They split up shortly after I left Houston in the early 1980s, Jerry took his half and opened Fountain Firearms.

Around this time I was an assistant for a Police Defensive Tactics course at San Jacinto College. Primarily, I knew how to do break falls and the students practiced Judo throws on me until they learned how to be thrown without being hurt.

Jeff Cooper and my Uncle, Mike Ryan were stationed at Quantico together and Mike, Jeff and their wives, Marjorie and Janelle played cards weekly, Pinochle if I remember correctly. Jeff Cooper came to Houston to teach what he called an extension course in 1979, I scored Expert.

Then in 1980 I went to Gunsite for the 499 Advanced Class, I believe I have given you some paperwork on that. This was I believe the first class after Chuck Taylor left, he had been the Operations Manager and Lead Instructor. He and Jeff had a serious disagreement and parted ways abruptly. Chuck ran things and Jeff would teach some things, but also ferried people around from range to range where the different instructors were teaching. The class, in my opinion, did not seem well organized and were not worked near as hard as in the 250 and I blamed that on Chuck’s abrupt departure. I was not the only one in the class who thought so. I mentioned it to Jeff in private and he took exception to it. This and some inappropriate actions to the wife/girlfriend of a student by two students in the class, Presidential Bodyguards from Guatemala, that was just ignored sort of turned me off to Jeff/Gunsite at the time. I guess Jeff and I parted ways as did Chuck. I had told my uncle about my discussion with Jeff and his response. My Uncle said “Jeff is very opinionated.” When my uncle died, Jeff wrote a nice comment in Guns & Ammo and his Commentaries, article attached, and twenty years had passed, I mellowed on my opinion of Jeff/Gunsite.

Around 1981, the Harris County DA’s Office asked my assistance as a Professional Witness on a couple of cases, though none actually went to trial.

In 1981, I was looking for more training and contacted Chuck and we came to an agreement that I would bring him to Houston to teach classes. I partnered with a friend, Wally Gorman, owner of Alexander’s Guns, we put on several classes a year through about 1985 or so. I moved to Wimberley in late 1982 and we put on classes in Houston and Austin. I had assisted Chuck in his classes since 1981 and in 1984 I was invited to an Instructor Course, certificate attached.  Teaching Scuba full time at Southwest Texas State and teaching gun classes on the side was keeping me pretty busy and so we ended our promotion of Chuck Taylor classes at the end of 1985 I think.

Took a class from Ross Seyfried just after he won the 1981 IPSC World Championship. I don’t recall any handouts, Ross suggested some things Chuck did not agree with.

Around 1984 I was a guest Instructor for a SWAT Class at San Antonio College with officers from small departments, The class was so they would be familiar with operations if they interacted with SWAT teams , I taught most of the firearms section. The 1991 IPSC World Champion, John Dixon, put on bowling pin matches at the Marksman Indoor Range one night a week while I was part owner.