Tap-Rack is an action, not a dance. You don’t need to add moves to it.

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I recently read a blog post about a trainer who got into trouble talking about the “tap-rack” methodology for clearing malfunctions. It seems this person, as many do, added a step to the procedure: “squeeze” (or some term which implied pulling the trigger.) This resulted in a virtual spanking from the internet experts, who decried that pulling the trigger was never the proper ending to a tap-rack, and that it should be “scan”, “assess”, “move”, “decide”, “bang”, or something else.

In ...

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My new book of defensive shooting drills, HANDGUN TRAINING, is almost here!

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We’re just a couple of weeks away from the official release of my NEW book — but some people will get it early!

Handgun Training – Practice Drills For Defensive Shooting is my latest book and I’m quite proud of it. It’s a collection of drills for the average person who wants to practice relevant, plausible defensive shooting skills.

I wrote this book because my students would always ask me what they should practice after class; my answer was “all the ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 21, 2015

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Congratulations — you made it to another Wednesday! Here’s this week’s collection of tips, information, and enlightenment, including how you can best use online articles and videos in your skill development; what ammunition you should carry in your .38 Special revolver; some alternative thoughts about pistol caliber carbines for self defense; a new concealed carry pistol makes its debut; how to deal with a threat that’s in contact with you; and some fun bullpup rifle shooting!

 

How to get the most ...

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How many self defense classes have you taken this year? They may be holding you back!

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One of the common recommendations in the training world is to study with as many different people or schools as you can, to get as many different perspectives as possible in order to get a more fully formed opinion of the subject of defensive shooting (or self defense in general.) I think the idea is sound, but the execution is often lacking.

I see a lot of students come through my classes as part of their own effort to get that ...

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Meopta Optics, Part 2: the MeoTac 1-4×22 RD tactical scope

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In the first installment I told you about the Meopta M-RAD 3 MOA sight, which is what originally attracted me to the line of rifle sights from Meopta Sports Optics. For a red dot sight it’s great: rugged, reliable, holds zero. (I keep mentioning the “holds zero” part only because I’ve used some red dots which wouldn’t!) This review will cover their MeoTac 1-4×22 RD tactical scope and how it differs from the M-RAD.

The problem with the electronic red dot ...

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Your Weekly (More Or Less) Hump Day Reading List for October 14, 2015

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Happy Hump Day! I’ve decided to move the “Weekender” to Wednesdays in the hopes that it will help ease you over the hump and get you to Friday unscathed!

Here are some things I’ve found recently that I think you can make use of: what we can learn from the Umpqua Community College killings; a new ruling about self defense versus your employer’s policies; a young girl who defied stereotypes; a prominent activist perpetuates the stereotype that the young girl smashed; ...

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Meopta Optics, Part 1: the M-RAD red dot sight

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Early in The Bullpup Experiment I mentioned that I had a few issues with the stock Steyr optic: while a good product, it fit neither my physical make-up nor my eyesight issues. I also mentioned that I contacted the folks at Meopta Sports Optics to find an alternative, and that they had sent out a couple of their products for me to use and abuse as part of my little experiment. Today I’d like to tell you a little ...

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The Bullpup Rifle Experiment, Part 4: do they have a place in the home defense arsenal?

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You can probably tell from the contents of this site, and from the books, videos and magazine articles I’ve done, that my focus is on a specific part of the shooting world: that of private sector self defense. I bring this up because there are big differences in the skills needed (and the way they should be taught) between this and the military, law enforcement, and competition parts of the shooting world. There is some overlap, of course, particularly when ...

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The Bullpup Rifle Experiment, Part 3: what did I learn about the Steyr AUG?

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(If you’re coming in late, please read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Bullpup Experiment for some background on the project!)

While I got to play with several bullpups during the last few months, the vast majority of my hands-on experience was with the Steyr AUG A3 M1 model. As I noted in Part 1, I picked the AUG in part because it was the first — the original — modern bullpup rifle and really set the ...

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The Bullpup Rifle Experiment, Part 1: why would I do such a thing?

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As you may know, I’m a proponent of the rifle as a defensive tool — particularly for what I refer to as “perimeter defense”, which are threats at distances beyond which we think of the pistol as a more suitable tool, and for defense of a fortified or ensconced position (like being barricaded in your safe room.) The rifle’s greater power, greater precision, and corresponding ability to deliver both at extended distances makes it a formidable tool in the correct ...

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The Weekender for 9/25/15: new SCCY pistol; a unique training opportunity; and support Forgotten Weapons!

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I’m initiating a new feature here on grantcunningham.com: every Friday (or as close to every Friday as I can get) I’ll be bringing you the Weekender: a wrap-up of stories and links that I’ve found during the week, items that I believe you’ll find informative, inspiring, and sometimes even entertaining — all of them, of course, related in some way to the topics on my site!

For Friday, September 25, 2015:

A NEW ENTRY IN THE .380 ACP PISTOL MARKET: the .380ACP ...

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Self defense ammunition selection: how important is accuracy?

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An interesting question came into my mailbox recently: why don’t I ever list accuracy as a criteria for picking ammunition for self defense or for concealed carry?

It’s a valid question. After all, when you see a defensive ammunition test (either in a magazine or online), one of the prominent features is almost always an accuracy comparison  — how accurate it is compared to competing brands, how accurate it is out of various guns, and occasionally how accurate it is at ...

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What’s the difference between tasks and skills in defensive shooting training? Does it matter?

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When training defensive shooting techniques, it’s common — too common, in fact — to focus on the skill used rather than the task to be performed. Now some people will say that those are the same thing, but they’re not. In fact, they’re very different.

I recently read an article on the importance of and the procedures for practicing reloading a handgun. The article started from a bad premise (reloading during a fight is a vital skill when the best information ...

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More questions you should ask your defensive shooting instructor – and why.

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I recently received a note asking about questions to pose to potential instructors, questions that would tell a prospective student whether a shooting instructor (and their material) was worth consideration. That process is called “vetting” an instructor: assessing his or her background and suitability. It’s incredibly important for prospective students to do, yet there’s no easy way to do it.

Because of that, most people fall back on the instructor’s resumé: what shooting courses he’s attended, what military or law enforcement ...

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Incident Analysis: family threatened, attacker shot at home in rural Oregon.

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Oregon is a wonderful state, generally very peaceful and tranquil. That isn’t to say crime doesn’t happen here, however, and there is the need to be prepared — just like you would anywhere else. Today’s case comes from the Medford Mail-Tribune and offers some lessons to heed.

On the evening of July 14th, a man tried to break into the secluded home of Charles and Jeanine Buckman. The Buckmans heard a man — later identified as Matthew Durbin, a transient ...

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What I’ve been doing lately, and some new class announcements for Threat-Centered training!

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Whew! It’s been crazy around here lately!

I just got back from an unplanned consulting trip. As some of you might know, from time to time I do a little work with companies in the shooting industry. Some of those jobs have resulted in products, some will in the future, and occasionally there’s the company that decides maybe their product idea isn’t as good as it could be. In this case, I’m happy to say that I think we’ll see a ...

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The first shot isn’t necessarily the most important, but you’d better train as if it is!

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It’s been said that the most important shot in a defensive encounter is the first one. I’m not sure I agree with that; I believe the most important shot is the last one, the one which leads you to determine that you no longer have a lethal threat in front of you and that you don’t need to keep shooting.

I’ve taken the attitude that the best thing I can do is to teach my students the most efficient ways to get ...

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Defensive DVD Review: Secrets Of The Snubby with Claude Werner

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Secrets Of The Snubby
Presented by Claude Werner
Produced by Armed Response Training Inc.

One of the pleasures of my job is getting to review the work of my esteemed colleagues, and today I get to do just that!

Claude Werner, who I consider to be one of the more important people in the defensive training field, has put out a DVD dealing with one of his areas of true expertise: using the snubnosed revolver as a defensive tool.

Claude has a long ...

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Are fists deadly weapons? Is a punch a lethal assault? You might be surprised!

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Whenever police shoot a knife-wielding attacker there are cries of excessive force because the suspect “only had a knife.” Somehow the reality that a knife is in fact a dangerous weapon escapes many people; they see the gun as a more powerful tool and therefore only to be used against equally powerful tools.

The trouble with this line of thinking is that perceived power has little to do with how deadly something is. The knife, within its range, is likely more deadly ...

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Is the prone position useful in defensive shooting? I don’t think so, and here’s why.

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It happened again just the other day: someone asked me about my Perimeter Defense Rifle class and was surprised when I told him that I didn’t teach the prone position.

He seemed both offended and perplexed (which is an interesting combination of emotional states, I’ll admit.) He simply couldn’t fathom that someone teaching a rifle class wouldn’t teach his students to shoot from the prone position. That is, after all, the most stable rifle shooting position, isn’t it? They teach ...

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Sometimes training is about learning NOT to shoot. That frustrates some people.

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I taught a Threat-Centered Revolver course in Phoenix last weekend. It was a pleasant trip, especially going from cold and rainy Oregon to sunny and warm Arizona! I had a great group of students who came to learn how to shoot a double-action revolver in self defense. We certainly did a lot of that, and they all came away with tremendous shooting skill development.

What some of them didn’t expect, however, was that a certain segment of the ...

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Defensive Revolver Fundamentals – get a copy while you still can!

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Of the books I’ve written, Defensive Revolver Fundamentals is still my favorite. It’s the book that takes you from the basics of operating your revolver in the context of a defensive shooting all the way through what you need to do to practice your revolver skills.

Along the way it talks about some of the conceptual ideas of defensive shooting, how you should train to deal with a criminal attack, some information of sighting techniques that might be a bit new to ...

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If the police can’t come, what will you do?

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All over the country, police budgets are being slashed. For some counties here in Oregon, tax revenues have declined so sharply that police patrols are no longer 24 hours per day. What would this mean if it happened in your town?

A recent story out of Dallas, OR — a small town west of Salem, our state capital — illustrates the issues facing many people who live in non-incorporated parts of the country: there ...

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Self Defense news from the 2015 SHOT Show!

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Unless you’ve been under a rock with regards to social media recently, you probably know that the 2015 SHOT Show happened in Las Vegas last week. I was there!

I almost wish I hadn’t been, however. It seems whenever I go to SHOT, I pick up a bug. No, not bedbugs — colds and flu!

With over 60,000 people in a fairly confined place, all of them handling the same products (especially products like rifles, which you put next to your ...

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Can you shoot an unarmed person? Should you?

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bad-guy

The Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin cases centered around the outrage many people felt that someone could justifiable shoot an unarmed person. How valid is that outrage?

There are a lot of confusing topics when we start talking about the justifiable use of lethal force. The legalities of things like warning shots, citizens arrests, taking someone at gunpoint, coming to the aid of others with your firearm, shooting fleeing suspects, and more ...

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Do you know what to say when the police show up at your defensive shooting?

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“Wherever you have two lawyers, you have three opinions.” (Paraphrasing an old Jewish proverb.)

Law is a complicated subject. (The more cynical in the crowd would point out that law is written by lawyers, who certainly have a financial disincentive in making it easy to understand!) It’s complicated because it deals with human interaction, which is the only thing which is more complicated than the law itself.

Because of this complication it’s understandable why people would want to simplify it to the ...

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Defensive DVD Review: Legalities of Non-Lethal Force

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Defensive DVD Review: Legal Considerations Of The Use Of Non-Lethal Defensive Force
Presented by Marty Hayes, Kerry Tanner, and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series

This is an interesting DVD in the Personal Defense Network’s series, interesting in the sense that it doesn’t deal with the use of lethal force. It does, however, address the idea of using the threat of ...

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Sometimes, defensive shooting is all about NOT shooting!

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One of the realities of life is that not every problem is a shooting problem. Those of us who teach this stuff often forget to emphasize that to our students, or more precisely we downplay it a bit because it’s hard to sell a shooting class where you learn not to shoot!

(I’m not kidding about that last bit, either. Lots of folks go to shooting classes because they’re fun, and once ...

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Do you know what to do when you’ve shot someone in self defense? This story will open your eyes.

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One of the trickiest self defense concepts revolves around “disparity of force”. Do you know what it is, what it means when you’re faced with it, and how you’d defend it in court?

In the training world we have two separate but very interrelated disciplines: the mechanics of defensive shooting, and the legalities of the use of lethal force. I say they’re interrelated because the latter determines when we are allowed (and to what degree) to employ the former. Having a ...

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Do you know how to prepare for self-defense in cold weather? Here’s your chance to learn from an expert!

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This week saw record-cold temperatures in parts of the U.S., and we still have a couple of months of winter to go (at least!) Ever thought about how this changes your training?

It’s cold out there! Well, to be honest it’s pretty normal here in Oregon, but the east coast has already seen some seriously cold and snowy weather. Not many people go out training this time of year, and that’s actually ...

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