Target Evolution: B-21, B-21X, to B-27 and beyond

In the spring 2021 Historical Handgun course Tom Givens and I co-taught, Tom presented some information about the history and evolution of the B-27 target. After that course, a retired Indiana police instructor named Bob Givan found one of my blog posts about the B-21 target and contacted me. Bob shares our interest in the …

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Book Review: The Search for an Effective Police Handgun (Bristow, 1973)

During the recent Historical Handgun class Tom Givens and I co-taught, Tom mentioned a book I hadn’t heard of: “The Search for An Effective Police Handgun”, by Allen Bristow, published in 1973. This book came out prior to his more complete Modern Police Firearms book (previously reviewed on this blog). It’s basically a collection of …

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Book Review: Jelly Bryce: The Legend Begins (Conti, 2014)

Firearms trainer Mike Conti has written a three-book fictionalized history of the life of famous FBI agent and gunfighter Jelly Bryce. “The Legend Begins” is book 1 of that series. Bryce was an influential figure in the history of shooting training. His techniques became the core of FBI firearms training, which were taught to law …

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Historical Handgun class April 2021 (part 2)

As part of the 6 days of training Tom Givens (Rangemaster) taught at KR Training’s A-Zone Range in April 2021, Tom and Karl co-taught a one day session of Karl’s Historical Handgun course. The course consisted of a 4 hour lecture from Tom, and a 4 hour block of live fire drills from the 1910’s-1980’s …

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Historical Handgun class April 2021 (part 1)

As part of the 6 days of training Tom Givens (Rangemaster) taught at KR Training’s A-Zone Range in April 2021, Tom and Karl co-taught a one day session of Karl’s Historical Handgun course. The course consisted of a 4 hour lecture from Tom, and a 4 hour block of live fire drills from the 1910’s-1980’s …

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Book Review – The Book of the Pistol and Revolver (Pollard, 1917)

In 1917, WWI veteran and British gunwriter Hugh Pollard published “The Book of the Pistol and Revolver”. Pollard wrote for magazines and authored shooting books from 1912-1945. He was a soldier, possible spy, firearms expert, widely published author, sportsman, social butterfly (son of a surgeon), forensics and ballistic expert, historian and collector. This particular book …

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TacCon 2005

Back in 2005, the Rangemaster Tactical Conference was featured on an episode of Shooting Gallery. The event was held at “the mothership” – the original Rangemaster facility in Memphis. Back then the event was called the “Polite Society Conference”. Sharing these videos as I and several on the KR Training staff head to Dallas for …

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Exhibition Shooting

For the first half of the 20th century, exhibition and trick shooting was a common and popular form of entertainment. Famous shooters from Annie Oakley, Ad and Plinky Topperwein, Ed McGivern and Bill Jordan put on shooting demonstrations as part of Wild West shows, circuses, county fairs, and later, on TV shows. In the second …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Holiday Bullet Art

The exhibition target shooters of the 30’s and 40’s would create bullet art, tracing shapes with bullet holes. Texas shooting showman Ad Topperwein would draw an indian head, like this Back in 2002, I created a bullet art “Merry Xmas” sign for my office door decoration, with fake snow as “trim”. If I remember correctly, …

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John Pepper’s original “Pepper Popper” drawing

Here’s another historical document from the early days of practical shooting. This is a scanned copy of the original design document for the “Pepper popper” – the most commonly used falling steel target in USPSA, IDPA and other practical shooting matches. The target’s name came from designer John Pepper, who was active in the founding …

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Vintage shooting timers (1980s)

Timers from the Bob Hanna collection: two early electronic shooting timers. Par Timer The first one is a simple par timer with a headphone output. Controls are simple but complicated: start button, headphone jack, and a row of DIP switches you use to set the par time. To get a 1.0 second par time, for …

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1989 Texas Challenge USPSA match

I started shooting USPSA competition back in June 1988, with the Hill Country Practical Pistol Club. Since the early 1980’s they had run a statewide match called the “Texas Challenge”. The 1989 match was the 8th annual, and the club ran the match every year into the mid-1990’s. Unfortunately I don’t have any pics from …

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Book Review: The Modern Technique of the Pistol (Morrison, 1991)

The Modern Technique of the Pistol was written by Gregory Morrison, as part of his PhD work. It compiles many of the techniques and concepts taught at Gunsite in the 1980’s. The book is available direct from the Gunsite Pro Shop. The contents of the book are listed below. It covers the standard topics found …

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1978 First Draft IPSC Rules

More from Bob Hanna: a copy of the first draft of the IPSC rules for practical pistol competition, sent to Bob by Jeff Cooper, when Bob was competition director for the Brazos Practical Shooters, a sub group of the Sugarland (Texas) Sportsman’s Club. The rules are interesting, in historical context, as so many of them …

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1980 American Pistol Institute (Gunsite) class notes

Another artifact from Bob Hanna – notes from classes he attended at the American Pistol Institute (aka Gunsite) in 1980 and 1981. Here’s their recommended twice-a-month practice drill. API dry practice drill. Another practice drill. The advanced practice drill. Turning draws were emphasized a lot more in courses (and matches) in the 1980’s than they …

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1980 Chuck Taylor course notes

KR Training student Bob Hanna recently gave me his copies of class notes from training he attended with the late Chuck Taylor. Taylor was one of the early traveling trainers who spun off from Jeff Cooper’s American Pistol Institute (Gunsite), bringing that curriculum to a national (and international) audience. In 1980, Taylor had just started …

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