Training for defensive shooting has changed over the years, but not everyone has kept up!

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Like everything else in life, the field of defensive shooting training has changed quite a lot over the decades. Today we know far more about how attacks happen, and about how the mind and body react in those attacks, than we did at the beginning of this century. We’ve truly come a long way!

Again like everything else in life, there are some who don’t like the change and evolution in this field. There’s a lot of old stuff being taught ...

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Head shots and ricochets.

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Can you count on your bullets always penetrating? You’d be surprised how little it takes to send them someplace other than where you intended!
It happens often in the blogging world: I think about writing on a topic, start collecting data, only to find that someone else has beaten me to the punch. That’s because, in a confined category like shooting or self defense, with enough people active sooner or later two of them will have the same idea. ...
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Is the .380ACP pistol ever a good choice for self defense?

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Walther-380-acp

 

If you’re a new visitor you might not know that I write articles for a number of publications, not the least of which is the Personal Defense Network (in fact, I was one of their original contributors when they started a few years ago!)

My most recent article deals with the idea of consciously picking a .380ACP pistol instead of something larger. Are there situations where I would – or where you ...

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Colt disappoints, but there’s a reason for it.

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Some expected Colt to have a big announcement at SHOT. Here’s why I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t.
As you may be aware, I did not attend SHOT Show last week. There’s lots of news about the show floating around the ‘net, though, from the Gun Digest roundup of the new handguns to last week’s Gun Nation podcast, where we talked live with Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy who was at the show. He ...
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Friday Surprise: History turns on a rock.

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I have a somewhat convoluted tale to tell, so sit back and follow the trail.
My first real career aspiration (after the obligatory “fireman” and “astronaut” phases, of course) was to design optical systems for spy satellites. To be precise I wanted to work for one of the satellite contractors, Perkin-Elmer, which had been responsible for the camera systems on the KH-9 satellite that we were then using to spy on…well, bad people. Like the Russkies, whose ...
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Hammer fired vs. striker fired: what are the tradeoffs?

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The New Remington R-51 is a hammer-fired 9mm pistol. Why, in this age of striker fired designs did Remington choose to go the opposite direction? Possibly because there are advantages we’ve overlooked.

remington_r51_cutaway

SHOT Show is in full swing, and one of the most anticipated guns has been formally announced: the Remington R-51.

I’m excited about this gun: a slim, light single-stack 9mm that fits small hands really well, is very controllable, and is affordable. ...

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Friday Surprise: Metamaterials could alter our perceptions of what’s possible.

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One of the big benefits of the internet has been the democratization of knowledge. As little as ten years ago, for instance, it was commonly believed that the bumble bee somehow violated the laws of aerodynamics, and that scientists couldn’t understand how it flew.

640px-AD2009Aug08_Bombus_pratorum

Today that myth has largely dissipated, thanks to the ability to look it up on Wikipedia. What only the most informed people knew a few decades ago is now common ...

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What about the .380? My new article at PDN!

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I’ve got a new article up at the Personal Defense Network!

With the introduction of the new Glock 42 in .380, many people are asking “why”? Well, there are circumstances in which the .380 may actually be preferable to a 9mm; this article explores what they are, and more importantly explains why.

Personal Defense Network: “When Does a .380 Beat A 9mm?”

Read the article, then let me know what you think in the comments below.

-=[ Grant ]=-

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Smith & Wesson introduces two 9mm revolvers!

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Smith & Wesson has announced several new revolvers to be shown at SHOT Show, and two of them are creating some buzz on the ‘net. Why? Because they’re chambered in 9mm!
Smith & Wesson has announced several new revolvers to be shown at SHOT Show, and two of them are creating some buzz on the ‘net. Why? Because they’re chambered in 9mm!

The first is the Performance Center Model 929, which S&W spokesperson Julie Golob refers ...

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Friday Surprise: Welcome to 2014 – film at 11:00!

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The period around the start of a new year is always one of retrospection: innumerable articles and videos about what happened in the past year (or the last decade, as appropriate.) I don’t really go in for that sort of thing, but someone new to this blog, and my work, may think of me as the nostalgic type anyhow. After all, I’m a champion of the revolver as a viable defensive tool, and what can be more evocative of past ...

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Ruger announces two new revolvers!

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Just in time for SHOT Show 2014 next month, Ruger has added a couple of new revolvers to the line.

First is a version of their 5-shot polymer revolver called the LCRx. The LCRx is, like the original LCR, chambered for the .38 Special +P. It differs from the original in having a hammer spur (the LCR has a hidden hammer, similar to the S&W ‘Centennial’ series.)

I realize they’re simply supplying market demand, and I have no doubt some ...

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Some last-minute holiday blogging: be safe at Christmas!

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I know that everyone is probably more interested in getting their shopping done than reading a blog this week, so I’m not going to lay anything heavy on you today. (I’m also not going to bother writing a blog on Wednesday, when I suspect most people are opening presents, attending services, or visiting relatives.)

A lot of you might be giving the gift of a firearm this year. (If you’re considering doing so, but haven’t yet made the trek to your ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Coffee, tea, or chocolate??

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fighting-chocolate

My mother’s side of the family were (still are, actually) porcelain makers in the Old Country. My mother, being proud of her heritage, collects vintage pieces from the family works and has been doing so for decades.

I remember a particular piece that she picked up early on: it looked just like a coffee pot but was smaller. I thought it must be some sort of teapot until my mother explained that it was ...

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Learning about the legitimate use of lethal force.

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Last week’s discussion about armed intervention by a concealed carrier drew a lot of commentary, and for that I’m thankful. It’s important that topics like this are discussed ahead of time, before an incident unfolds.

I worded the article very carefully to elicit one thing: a careful consideration, by each of us, of what we would do when faced with that kind of situation. I’ll admit, though, at being rather surprised that a good number of comments reduced the options to ...

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Friday Surprise: The law (and how we apply it) changes over time. Sometimes dramatically.

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One of my favorite bloggers, and one to whom I’ve referred many times, is David Friedman. He’s an academic economist and a Professor of Law at Santa Clara University — and, as he proudly notes, “…have never taken a course for credit in either field.”

Friedman’s background is in chemistry and physics (as I recall, his doctorate is in physics), but interests and expertise go far beyond the hard sciences. He’s also interested in libertarianism and market anarchist ...

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The Streetsweeper shotgun: gone and unlamentedly so.

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A couple of decades back there was a shotgun (and I use the term loosely) called the Streetsweeper. It was basically a giant single action revolver chambered in 12 gauge, and it was the AR-15 of the times: politicians paraded it around decrying its deadly intent and capacity (not to mention its chilling name) and calling for its ban.

In 1994 the ATF finally classed it as a destructive device requiring registration and a tax stamp to transfer, like any other ...

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Should a CCW holder get involved in someone else’s fight?

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A week or so ago, Greg Ellifritz (who’s a police officer by trade) posted a story about a call in which he was involved. Seems that a male store security officer (who is also a cop, albeit part-time) had a running fight with a female shoplifter that ended up on the side of a thoroughfare. The suspect got the bright idea of yelling “rape!” in an attempt to elicit some help on the part of passers-by.

She got it in the ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: Gordon Parks – cool like Steve McQueen, but with more talent.

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Gordon_Parks

One of the more intriguing people of the 20th century was Gordon Parks. Born into a poor farm family, attacked and beaten because of the color of his skin, told that trying to achieve anything in life would be a waste of his effort, he nonetheless went on to become an accomplished photographer, writer, poet, composer, and film director – not to mention political activist.

It’s that first career which interests ...

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Keeping the AR-15 (and M4 carbine) gas system running.

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I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who believe that the gas impingement system of the AR-15 rifle and M4 carbine is somehow a liability. So strong is this belief that there is today a growing subset of the industry making good money by adding parts to the original Stoner design in a misguided attempt to “fix” the “problems”.

Over the years (and many tens of thousands of rounds) I’ve not found the gas system of the AR pattern rifles ...

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How should you protect yourself from the knockout game attack?

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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! (Be honest, now: how many of you are taking advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals to get yourself something at a gun or outdoor store? Thought so!)

Over the last week or so quite a number of people have written to ask me about the “knockout game” which the media is making such a fuss over. The common query is about how to defend against this kind of attack, and could I give some ...

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Another reason for not taking responsibility for one’s own safety?

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Allow me to be a bit philosophical on this day before Thanksgiving.

Monday on Facebook I shared this link to a story of an intervention by unarmed bystanders in a knife attack on a young woman. I found this heartening, inasmuch as I’d been following an unrelated story a few days earlier that elicited some surprising reactions.

The earlier story dealt with a training session that’s becoming more and more common across the United States: teaching kids how to ...

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A little teaching trick: memory, feelings, and getting the two to work together.

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One of the tasks of anyone who teaches physical techniques is helping the student physically coordinate the various inputs and actions that are necessary to shoot a handgun. For some this comes easily, but for others it can be a challenge (and I’m speaking of both the student and the teacher!)

The brain takes in a huge amount of information from the various sensors in our bodies to be able to performa and replicate a physical action. This is, by and ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: A place where things that go BOOM used to be made. Emphasis on “used to”.

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If you’re new here, you should know about my fascination with abandoned things. As it happens, the more closely related something abandoned is to something else I’m interested in, the more fascinated I become. Today we hit the trifecta: it’s abandoned, it has to do with munitions, and it’s in my family’s ancestral homeland!

The ICI Nobel plant at Ardeer, in the Ayr district of Scotland (ancestral home of Clan Cunningham), was established in 1873 to make nitroglycerine. Alfred Nobel himself, ...

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Ruger Redhawk vs. Super Redhawk: what’s the difference?

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David L. asked on Facebook about the design differences between the Ruger Redhawk and the Super Redhawk. He says “I love the classic lines of the Redhawk, but the Super Redhawk completely took over. When you feel like a change of subject is in order, please consider a little “under the hood” comparison of these two revolvers.”

The Redhawk (often abbreviated ‘RH’) and Super Redhawk (herein referred to as ‘SRH’) are both large caliber double action revolvers. I’ll start with the ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: When it comes right down to it, everything on the planet is either harvested or mined. Here’s a story about the latter.

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It’s pretty well understood that fortunes (and governments) have risen and fallen on such valuable commodities as oil, gold, and gemstones. What’s probably less known is that the same thing has happened with more prosaic things, like salt (yes, salt. Munich, for instance, was largely built on the fortunes of the salt trade, and Liverpool was just a backwater until salt shipments started flowing through her port. Wars were fought over salt, and even involved some siblings – Venice and ...

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Warning shots: they can land you in jail, and you’ll probably deserve it.

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One of the sure ways to get a certain number of gun owners up in arms is to post a story about someone being arrested for firing a warning shot. The attitude seems to be that if the person didn’t shoot at someone else, and didn’t hit anyone accidentally, where’s the harm?

Warning shots seem to be grossly misunderstood by a large percentage of gun owners, who are confused about their legality and practicality. It’s really quite simple: they’re virtually never ...

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A true story about my Ithaca Model 37 shotgun: it’s all about how much lead you can deliver.

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A number of years ago some friends and I belonged to the same gun club. One day the club was holding a “shotgun speed steel” match, and my friends talked me into going. Since it was a spur-of-the-monent decision, the only thing I had with me was my old Ithaca Model 37 in 20 gauge and some birdshot (perhaps #4 or #6, I don’t really recall.) My Ithaca had a Modified choke tube installed, which is what I normally keep on ...

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FRIDAY SURPRISE: How to make water flow backwards using a video camera.

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One of the interesting things about a video camera is the effect its sequential shutter has on moving objects. A video (or a movie) is a collection of still frames played back rapidly enough that your visual system doesn’t detect the gaps between the images. Each image is a slice of time, but when those slices don’t match the movement of an object you get some interesting effects. (Ever watch a video of a moving car where ...

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Ithaca Gun Company is expanding to South Carolina!

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I’ve made little secret of the fact that I’m a big fan of Ithaca shotguns. The venerable Model 37 is my favorite shotgun of all time; the light, smooth action is just a joy to use, and I’ve said many times that it’s the cure for chronic short-stroking. Hand an Ithaca to someone who’s having trouble cycling their Mossberg and the problem almost always disappears.

Because I’m a fan I tend to follow the company fairly closely. It hasn’t always been ...

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What is an efficient handgun, and why is it important in self defense?

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Last Wednesday we talked about inefficient handguns, namely the Beretta 92 (and variants.) It wasn’t that I was picking on the Beretta, you understand, only that (as I explained) I’d gotten an email about that specific gun. Also, as I pointed out in the article, the Beretta was hardly alone; the older S&W autos were very similar in operation and deficiencies, yet for some reason they don’t have nearly the vocal following!

Let’s start today by talking about efficiency as applied ...

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