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Archive for the ‘Conceal Carry’ Category

BillsREGFor those of you that are familiar with the shooter show that Bills Gun Shop and Range puts on every year, you know that due to the state of the industry, they had to scale back a bit this year.  BUT fear NOT!  They are having a Grand Opening Gala in their new Hudson, WI location.  Check out their website and the info HERE

Bills Grand Opening

Bills Grand Opening

Until next time,

Stay Safe…

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Everyone out there has differing ideas on what gear to run when they are training?  Vest? Plate carrier? War Belt?  There are many options out there, so I truly think that you have to decide for yourself.  So with that said, what are your thoughts???

war beltsvestplate carrier

 

 

Until next time,

 

Stay Safe…

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There are approximately 8,000,000 active permits to carry in the United States. (Wikipedia, Conceal Carry in the United States)  There are many different choices when it comes to firearms one could use as a conceal carry gun.   The Sig Sauer P938 and the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield are both quality options for conceal carry, but they have features that make them distinctly different.  There are many things that should be considered when deciding which firearm to carry.  The three elements that will be considered are the size of the firearm as it relates to conceal carry, the mechanics and implementation of the firearm, and the cost value ratio as it pertains to the above two firearms.

Firearms come in every shape and size, but the main focus will be how they fit for the conceal carry criteria.  The definition of conceal carry is “Concealed carry, or CCW (carrying a concealed weapon), refers to the practice of carrying a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner, either on one’s person or in proximity.”  It really comes down to what you as the individual decide to be the right size, shape, and weight of firearm.  The industry breaks the size of the firearm down into three categories, standard or full size, compact size, and sub-compact size.  For this example, they are mentioned from largest to smallest in overall size, and the two specific firearms that are addressed above fall into the sub-compact size category.  There are no clear definitions for what a sub-compact gun is, as it is set and delineated by the manufacturer of the firearm.  The Sig Sauer P938 is considered a sub compact 9mm (9mm refers to the size of the projectile itself, 9 millimeters in diameter).  The overall length, width, and height of the P938 is 5.9 inches, 3.8 inches, and 1.1inches respectively which lends itself to the small and compact nature of the sub-compact variety of firearms.  The specifications of the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield come in at 6.1 inches in length, 4.6 inches in height, and .95 inches in width; making it slightly longer and taller than the P938 which will make it slightly harder to conceal, but the reduction in width will make it stick out from the body less, reducing the overall print or silhouette of the firearm when concealed under a shirt.  The height of the firearm plays a crucial role in the amount of ammo each gun can hold.  The P938 holds seven bullets in its magazine where the Shield holds 8 rounds.  The significance comes down to you as the individual carrying the firearm, do you want to side with the slightly longer Shield and get that potentially needed extra round?  Or is the reduced height of the P938 more appealing due to conceal ability, and sacrificing that one bullet just doesn’t matter as much?  The overall size of the firearms themselves and how it relates to the end user comes down to personal preferences and the options weighed by just that, the person ultimately deciding on what works for them.

The next point that should be considered when deciding what firearm you are going to carry concealed is the mechanics and implementation of the desired handgun.  If you are unable to manipulate the firearm when you need to, then how effective is that firearm going to be for you?  There is such a thing as a gun being to big or to small, triggers pull his to heavy, or you cannot work the safety.  Both the Sig and the Smith and Wesson have manual safety levers to ensure the firearm will not function while in the safe position.  There are schools of thought throughout the industry stating that a firearm without a manual safety will be easier and faster to employ during a critical incident.  With that said, not everyone is comfortable with a gun that does not have a manual safety.  The Sig Sauer P938 and the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield both have very ergonomic grips with careful consideration given to the positioning of the magazine release and the slide lock leaver.  The reasoning behind these innovations is to allow the user to gain access to the fire controls, giving a more fluid and intuitive manipulation of the firearm.  The more thinking you can take out of the equation in the moment of a critical incident, the more likely you are going to put yourself into an advantageous position for survival.

The almighty dollar is the third element to consider when deciding which gun you want to purchase for the purposes of conceal carry.  In a perfect world, money does not matter, because it grows on trees.  But for those who have to think about where their money is spent; getting the most for the money is a common theme.  You are purchasing a handgun to carry on or about your person, not only the piece of polymer and steal that is in your holster comes into play, the manufacturer and the brand that comes along with it.  Sig Sauer and Smith and Wesson are both synonymous with quality in craftsmanship and they stand behind their product.  For example, Smith and Wesson has a lifetime service policy and Sig Sauer has their limited lifetime warranty.  Keep in mind that a firearm is a mechanical device, parts fatigue and parts break.  The cost break down on these two firearms is vastly different.  The P938 will cost you at most retailers anywhere from $850 to $900.  In comparison, the Shield will cost you at most places $449.  Take a moment to push your eyes back into you heads, and roll your tongues off the floor and close your wide-open mouths.  Why such a huge price difference you ask?  The company dictates price, so there are many factors that go into that dollar amount.  For instance Sig Sauer is an Austrian company, so the cost in manufacturing and shipping their product is higher than that of Smith and Wesson, which is an American based company.  Supply and demand plays a part in the price differential as well.  Think about what you are sinking your investment into and remember that it goes deeper than just the gun on your hip.

The road to deciding what firearm is going to suit you for conceal carry is a long and thought provoking one.  Whether it is the size of the gun, how the firearm functions, how easy it is to manipulate, or the dollar amount associated with the handgun; there are many things that should make you stop and think things through.  The consideration comes down to the individual who is making the choice above all else.  What feels good in your hand, the size you want, and how much you want to pay is based on one thing in the end; you!

 

Until next time…

 

Stay Safe!

 

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What limits our training?  For me it’s resources.  Ammo isn’t cheap, and I don’t have a sponsor throwing money or ammo at me (yet).  So how do we address our training needs?  A good option that I have leaned on as of late is dry practice.  Getting those reps in without firing a round.  Another option I have used in the past is AirSoft.  You get a projectile unlike dry practice but it doesn’t give you the same feedback as sending lead down range.  What other options are out there?

The Gander Mountain Training Academy is a GREAT option for getting your reps in without having to spend a ton of money on ammo.  There is the live fire option at the Academy’s but the virtual training gives you the balance of real firearms and that sensory feedback to enhance your training.  (minus the light and sound show)

Take a look at these video’s and see what they have to offer.  (You may see a few faces you recognize)

 

 

 

Until next time,

Stay Safe…

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Stephen Pineau of 21st Century Gunfighter is one of the up and coming kids on the block.  He is making a name for himself within the industry not to mention he is an established 3 gun competitor… Take a look at some of the stuff he’s doing:

 

Until next time,

Stay Safe…

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I recently posted this, but it’s one of those things that needs to get out there over and over again.  The winds of change are blowing and for the good…

 

Code of Professionalism for Defensive Shooting Instructors 
Seven Tenets to Teach by! 
by Rob Pincus 

The number of people buying defensive firearms and the number of them seeking out training and Concealed Carry Permits are continuing to rise. Concurrently, the private sector training industry has never been busier and is also growing quickly. More and more ranges are hosting courses and allowing their members to practice progressively. New Instructors are joining our ranks every day. These are all GREAT Things. As I speak with my peers in the industry about the Ôgood timesÕ, though, one thing that is often lamented is the lack of ÒstandardsÓ among instructors. Thankfully, most of the focus is not on actual technique or doctrinal standards, but on standards of professionalism, safety and business practices. One of the great things about the state of affairs as it exists is the great variety in doctrines, methods and techniques that can be learned from the many professionals actively teaching defensive shooting.  This variety and the differences in what is being taught leads to the examination and critical thinking that is necessary for evolution and improvement. Sometimes, however, those differences go beyond the hard skills and bleed into areas that can cause a lot of heartburn. Areas like safety. Areas like the justification for why certain techniques are taught. Areas that often fall under the umbrella of Professionalism.

 

If you ask a room full of people what ÒprofessionalismÓ means, youÕll get a lot of different answersÉ trust me, IÕve done it several times! Words that are often heard include: Integrity, Knowledge, Expert, Dedication, Honor, Ethics & Standards. Recurring themes include: Attitudes, The Òway one conducts oneselfÓ and Respect for and from Peers & Students.

 

Over the past several months, IÕve engaged many training industry professionals in a dialogue to move towards a clearer understanding, both for us and our students, of exactly what a Professional Defensive Shooting Instructor is or how they conduct themselves. These conversations have taken place on the phone, via email, on a few ranges, in a at least a few bars, at a meeting held at SHOT Show and, most recently, during a presentation I gave on ÒInstructor Development & ProfessionalismÓ at The Rangemaster Tactical Conference in Memphis, TN. There were 40-50 people at the presentation and almost all of them were instructors. Some of their names you would recognize and I consider mentors and trailblazers, others have not had their 100thstudent yet and I might not even recognize if I see them next week. During that presentation, we engaged in a bit of a discussion about the concept of ÒprofessionalismÓ and I proposed seven tenets that are the result of the last several months of interaction. By no means are these tenets my own creation, hatched in a dark study and delivered down from a pedestal. I am certainly  They have grown from three bullet points that started in an email thread between myself, Grant Cunningham and Omari Broussard, two very different firearms instructors who are equally excellent and passionately interested in progress and professional development. Those bullet points were re-written, shared, discussed, changed, added to, taken away from and reviewed by too many other contributors to list here. The list includes names like Robbie Barkman, John Farnam and Marty Hayes, guys who have been involved in the industry since its earliest days and guys like Chris Collins, who have only recently become recognized names amongst the firearms community.  All of those contributors and contributions evolved the idea of a Professional Defensive Shooting InstructorÕs Code into the list of tenets that I presented last week and that I will include in this article.

 

As these conversations have been going on, it became apparent early on that the first thing that might need to be established for some people is that there is such a thing as a ÒDefensive Shooting InstructorÓ in the first placeÉ as opposed to just a generic Òshooting instructorÓ.  I think it is imperative, as we move forward, to distinguish the group of people, the area of study and the gear appropriate for Defensive Shooting. Just as you wouldnÕt show up to a skeet shooting event with a .308 rifle and expect to talk with others about mil-dots versus duplex reticles, we should be able to differentiate between the person who teaches hunter safety, target shooting or competition techniques from those who teach life & death skills meant for a very specific context of use. Similarly, there are differences between much of the gear and the techniques that make the most sense if you are trying to win competitions and the things that make the most sense to a Defensive Shooting Instructor. Once that is established, we can move on to trying to figure out exactly what that person does and how they do it.

Of course, what we actually doÉ the doctrine, the techniques, the skills themselvesÉ will never be standardized. I believe it would be a foolÕs quest to try to establish standards for what is taught under the banner of Defensive Shooting. In fact, I even disagree with those who have proposed that we should have universal standards for safety related issues such as student-to-instructor ratios and whether or not it is okay let students shoot & move on an imperfect range surface. I also disagree with those who would say that things like using foul language or dressing in any particular way immediately mark you as ÒunprofessionalÓ. I do, however, believe that there are some much less objective things that we should be able to agree on. I believe that there are some fundamental things that anyone engaging in this trade should be able to support. Those things are represented in the tenets below. Those things are subjectiveÉ they are conceptual. To echo the words that I have often heard people use to describe and define ÒProfessionalismÓ, they indicate that a person has Integrity, Knowledge, Ethics, Dedication and Standards. They indicate that a person is interested in the ideas of Attitude, Respect and Evolution. They indicate that a person is very aware of how they conduct themselves and their courses. These, to me, are all hallmarks of Professionalism.

 

Over the past several weeks, these tenets have been presented to many instructors. Overwhelmingly, they have responded with ÒWhere do I Sign?ÓÉ and in fact, at both SHOT Show and the Rangemaster Conference many instructors actually did sign a copy of the tenets that was being passed around. Their names are listed below, along with a handful of professionals who have indicated their support but were not present at those times.

 

So, whether you are an instructor or a studentÉ or just an interested observer connected to the firearms industryÉ take a look at these tenets. Please share them in their entirety wherever you see fit, electronically or otherwise, attribute them to theAssociation of Defensive Shooting Instructors. And, if you are interested in being on the list of those who support this code, send me an email.

 

-Rob Pincus

 

The Professional Code of Defensive Shooting Instructors

 

 1. I am committed to the safety of my students, and hold that the expected benefit of any training activity must significantly outweigh any known or perceived risk of that activity.

 

2. I believe that it is my responsibility to understand not just what I’m teaching, but WHY I’m teaching any technique or concept, or offering specific advice.

 

3. I recognize that defensive shooting skills, along with the drills and gear used, are inherently specialized and usually distinct from those of target shooting, competition and hunting endeavors.

 

4. I will encourage my students to ask questions about course material, and I will answer them with thorough and objective explanations.

 

5. I understand that Integrity and Professionalism are subjective traits and I strive to maintain high levels of both. I am capable of, and willing to, articulate the reasons for the way I conduct my courses and how I interact with students & peers.

 

6. I believe that it is valuable to engage my peers in constructive conversation about differences in technique and concept, with the goal of mutual education and evolution.

 

7. I believe that the best instructor is an avid student, and I will strive to continually upgrade my own skills and knowledge. As part of this belief, I understand that my own teachings need to be subject to critique and open to evolution.

 

Charter Supporters:

Rob Pincus, Grant Cunningham, Omari Broussard, Robbie Barkman, Tom Givens, John Farnam, Tom Givens, Mike Janich, Claude Werner, Mike Seeklander, Billy Heib, James Yeager, Chris Collins, Mike Hughes, Alessandro Padovani, Paul Gomez, Jeffrey Bloovman, Larry Yatch, Curtis Dodson, Matt Devito, Justin Johnson, Eli Brown, Brent Wheat, Mark Craighead, Jim Perrone, Bryan Collins, Stephen Pineau, John Jouvelis, Chris Juelich, George Semchak, Jr., Ian Strimbeck, Jeremy Harrison, Dr. Robert Smith, Don Edwards, George Williams, Paul Carlson, Travis White, Jeff Dyke, Ralph Greer, Paul Mehn, Tobin Maginnis, Steven Grundy, Jim Clark, Jack Feldman, Zeph Thull, Tyler Capozzi, Ron Sparrow, Randall Holmes, Marc Seltzer.

 

Until next time,

Stay Safe…


 

 

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