Oh, The Iron E!

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The press is having a junior-grade field day about this one:  Gun safety instructor accidentally shoots student during class!  See?  Guns can’t even be trusted in the hands of a safety instructor!  Ban em all!  No guns for anyone, except the Only Ones Professhunul Enuff To . . . oh, wait. 

Hat tip: Sipsey Street Irregulars.  Please say another Prayer for Mike at Sipsey Street – his health needs some fixing up, and we need as many like him as we can get these days.

The Things Worth Believing In

The Tactical Preschool series is a Good Stuff. For those who don’t know, you should all have been reading this here for quite some time. I expect you all to go and get caught up with the rest of the class.

Too often these days, we find the adjective “tactical” on anything that is a) black, b) fitted with rails, or c) both. In case you were wondering, ^that is tactics. Black with rails is equipment.

What To Wear and Bring To Gun Class

Here is a short list of what I want to see when my students show up to one of my gun safety/familiarization/marksmanship/etc. training classes.

Respect: no cussing, no fighting, no shooting people. Obey the Four Rules. Make a nuisance out of yourself and you may be asked to leave.

Food: bring enough lunch for you and maybe a little extra. Sandwiches are an easy and quick meal, well suited to eating out of doors (which you might want to do here).

Guns: bring yours if you have any. If not, you have to at least bring yourself (or get a ride). Bringing ammunition for other peoples’ guns keeps the classes free -please bring ammunition unless you are dead flat BROKE.

Eye & Hearing protection: if you have impact-resistant glasses or earmuffs, bring them. If not, I can lend you a set.

Hat: a boonie hat or cowboy hat are preferable because they have a brim all the way ’round. A baseball cap will work, but your ears and neck stand a good chance of getting sunburnt. Also a brim behind your head can prevent hot brass going down the back of your shirt

Shirt: something with a high collar. A button-up shirt that buttons all the way up, a polo shirt, a non-stretched-out T-shirt, are acceptable. A V-neck or stretched-out collar are not. It is entirely possible to get a burn on your . . . well, on what a low-necked shirt doesn’t cover. Guns sometimes send hot casings out faster than you can see, and when I say hot, I mean 2nd degree burn hot. I usually wear long sleeves but you don’t strictly have to.

Pants: the shooting range has scrub mesquite on the grounds. You do NOT want to catch a scratch or puncture from a 2 inch long thorn. Also some firing positions call for lying on the dirt (these positions are optional).

Shoes: closed toes, for the same reasons as you want a proper shirt and pants. Wear some shoes you don’t mind getting dusty or dirty.

Sunscreen. Texas summer, ’nuff said. Be sure to get your hands ears, and neck, especially.

Ammunition: Please bring, at a minimum -if you can afford it-
a box of .40 Smith & Wesson a.k.a. 40-caliber,
a couple of boxes of 7.62x39mm, and
a box of .22 Long Rifle a.k.a. 22LR.
Tell the guy at the gun store counter you want plinking ammunition, not specialty, hunting, or self-defense ammunition, unless you plan to use it for that, later.
It is not uncommon to have a few rounds left over at the end of class, and leaving these with the instructor is always appreciated and helps out for the next class. It also happens sometimes that the instructor will have to dig into his own ammo stores. Bringing your own ammunition keeps class fees to $0.

Feel free to bring as much ammunition as you want in any of the following calibers:
7.62x39mm <– Men tend to like this one; we burned up 5 boxes last class
.40 S&W <– Goes pretty fast sometimes
.38 Special <– A favorite for beginners
.380 ACP
12 Gauge

If there are other guns at class, there may be a limited supply of ammunition for them. If you are bringing a gun, please bring a box or two of ammunition for it.

This page is for me, so I can just send students coming to my classes a link instead of having to type up an email for everybody. It’s also for you, if you found it by accident 😉

Marksmanship Training for Girls (and Women)

This weekend I put some advice into practice and found it to work beautifully. We took my barely-teenaged sister out in the front yard to do a little shooting, and my dad had her mount his rifle to her right shoulder. She couldn’t see through the scope at all.

I threw a red flag and had her give the rifle back to dad.

I told her to make a gun with her hand and aim it at me. Left eye, right hand. That is the fastest test I know of to help discover what is referred to as cross-dominance. I said to him, “She’s cross-dominant,” and to her, “Shoot from the left shoulder.” She did, with the resultant (expected) zero difficulty using the scope.

As we found (for her using that rifle/scope combination), sometimes using a scope is near-impossible for a cross-dominant shooter using the “wrong” shoulder. Using open sights is somewhat easier but no less awkward, with the rifle on the “wrong” side. For someone with cross dominance, advise and train them right from the start to mount ALL long guns to the shoulder on the side that has the dominant eye. Most people have enough manual dexterity to be able to work the controls on a gun with their hands switched up.

From what I have heard (from Col. Cooper I think) about half the women out there will turn out to be cross-dominant. Don’t freak out over it, it’s no big deal, just have her mount long guns on the other shoulder as required for easy aiming. Handguns do not require holding with the “wrong” side hand; they can hold with their dominant hand because all you have to do is adjust your head a little -which comes naturally- to use the “other” eye.

Now get out there and train!

Police vs. Police Homicide In New York City

When you are dressed in plain street clothes while carrying out your duties as a policeman and see a man in plain street clothes with a gun chasing another man, do you say:



b) Police! Drop your weapon!


If you chose b) then you are obviusly not this particular New York Police Detective with four years of service under your belt.

Say it with me now: when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. And the Only Ones will shoot at the outlaws.


As an aside, I’ll mention that there are FOUR BULLETS unaccounted for in the middle of a densely populated residential area of NYC. I guess 2 hits out of 6 shots is good enough for New York’s Only Ones.

Also, they played it but you have a pretty high standard of proof if you want to make the Race Card work here. Cops shooting a man who was chasing someone else with a gun doesn’t automatically scream racism to me, regardless of the level of melanin in the shooter’s and shootee’s skin.

Col. Cooper On Pistol Stances, Weaver vs. Isosceles

In his July 2005 Cooper’s Commentaries, he wrote:

“There is a great deal of foolish discussion bouncing around concerning the proper arm position for serious pistol work. Jack Weaver’s classic contribution consists in power control. If you crank that left elbow down and pull positive counter-pressure, you dampen recoil very considerably. If you use mechanical means of reducing recoil, and if you lay great importance upon very rapid bursts of succeeding shots, this may matter, but in the overall picture, I do not believe it does. It hardly matters whether you use the Weaver Stance or the Isosceles “with both arms straight” as long as you get hits, and those hits should be delivered with a major powered sidearm under controlled conditions. The argument is silly, and I wish it would go away.”

Considering that he was a master shooting instructor, it almost goes without saying that, in order to be able to get those hits, you must train to get hits.

With no less an authority than Jeff Cooper agreeing with me, I consider this matter to be Officially Closed.

You’re welcome.

Weapon Readiness Conditions

From Wikipedia

Colonel Cooper favored the Colt M1911 and its variants. There are several conditions of readiness in which such a weapon can be carried. Cooper promulgated most of the following terms:

Condition Zero: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.
Condition One: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
Condition Two: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition Three: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition Four: Chamber empty, no magazine, hammer down.

Some of these configurations are safer than others (for instance, a single action pistol without a firing pin safety should never be carried in Condition 2), while others are quicker to fire the gun (Condition 1).

This firearm condition system can also be used to refer to other firearm actions, particularly when illustrating the differences between carry modes considered to be safe for various actions. For example, DA/SA weapons are designed to be carried in Condition 2, which is not safe for 1911s. The Glock and actions like it, with no cocking or external safety mechanisms, do not have a state like Condition 2 or 1. They are 4, 3, or 0. We should go over that fact in detail when we have our safety briefings.