How much training do you really need?

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_EP30170

Claire Wolfe, the well known libertarian writer, recently penned a piece for SWAT Magazine where she questioned the need for extensive self defense training. She has a point: how much training is enough?

I could be excused, I suppose, were I to tell you that you definitely need self defense training — and the more the better. I say that because I am in the business of educating people to keep themselves ...

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Incident Analysis: the case of the Indianapolis TV Burglar.

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A woman in Indianapolis had a little trouble defending her home during a late-night break-in. What did she do wrong, and what can we learn from her experience?

Marta (last name not given) lives with her two children in an older two-story home in Indianapolis. She has a gun for the protection of herself and her kids, but as we’ll see owning a gun isn’t the same as knowing how to use it properly!

Late one night she woke to the ...

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Can you draw your gun one-handed? Should you be able to?

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SONY DSC

One of the overlooked aspects of getting the gun into play involves things we do that impede the draw process. Here’s why I think you need to pay closer attention to how you draw your handgun.

In my Threat-Centered™ courses I teach a block on one-handed (strong hand) shooting and the plausible reasons it might be necessary, but I’ve never really been as diligent about applying the same logic and analysis ...

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What’s the best way to pick ammunition for self defense? Here’s how I do it.

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dsc08007

I received an interesting email the other day asking how I select defensive ammunition. Here’s how I go about picking the load that rides in my self-defense handguns!

Dustin asks:

“I was wondering if you could give an overview of how you select defensive ammo for your revolvers. Do you accuracy test different loads? If so, at what distance do you expect the rounds to perform? How do you handle POA/POI issues with ...

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Can you really be convicted of defending yourself? Yes, when it’s not really self defense.

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The firearm is a lethal force tool that has a very narrow range of application. Knowing and understanding that fact may keep you out of jail!

It’s incumbent upon those who keep firearms for personal protection to know the legalities of the use of deadly force. The firearm, when aimed at another person, is a deadly weapon — and there is a pretty well-established body of law (both common and statutory) which deals with the use of that weapon. Not knowing ...

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Illustrating the issue with off-body carry.

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Off-body carry, such as in a purse or handbag, brings with it a peculiar risk. Sometimes all we need to do is look at the news to understand it!

As I’ve mentioned previously, Off-body carry (OBC) is a convenient way to tote a defensive firearm. It doesn’t require any changes to one’s wardrobe, and the gun is ostensibly “always” there.

Except when it’s not.

A news report out of Austin, Texas chronicles a series of violent purse snatchings that have made the ...

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A rare discussion about defensive shooting education and the instructor-student relationship.

Posted by:

_EP30161

It’s been said that being a student make you a better teacher. Does it work the other way around?

I recently returned from a teaching trip at Safety Solutions Academy in Cleveland, Ohio. My host, Paul Carlson, brought me in to teach his students how to use a revolver to protect themselves and their loved ones.

This was an interesting class, as there were several students for whom the revolver is their primary (and ...

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Making good training decisions is important to your well-being. Here’s why.

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bad_use_of_resources-2

Is there really any harm to preparing for things that don’t really happen?

Last week I broached the subject of preparing for the likely and plausible defensive scenarios. At the end, I asked a rhetorical question: Is there anything wrong with going beyond the plausible?

Yes, I think there is.

At the heart of the answer is the fact that none of us have unlimited resources for training, preparation, practice, and maintenance of all ...

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You can’t do (or carry) everything. The sooner you accept that, the better decisions you’ll make.

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plausibility

Comments on Monday’s discussion revealed that there is some confusion about the word “plausible” and its application to armed self defense. Let’s take a look at what that word means and why it’s important!

In the article on how much spare ammunition to carry, I used the word “plausible”. Believe it or not, that one word has tremendous meaning to those of us who carry a defensive handgun, and it’s one we can’t ...

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How much spare ammunition is “enough”?

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a850_10391

If you carry a gun for personal protection, you should always carry spare ammunition — but how many rounds should you carry?

Contrary to what Hollywood might lead us to believe, our guns do not carry an unlimited supply of ammunition. If you’re forced to use your gun against an attack it’s plausible (though in private sector self defense not likely) that you might run out of ammunition before that attack has finished, ...

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Ladies, the guy behind the gun counter is not your friend. Really.

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DSC07708

If you’re new to the shooting world, and have decided to purchase a handgun for self defense, you’ll need to do your own research — because the guy behind the gun counter won’t do it for you!

Eleanor Roosevelt and Annie Oakley notwithstanding, shooting is a male-dominated activity. Most of the people in the industry, from presidents of firearms manufacturers down to the counter clerks, are men; most of the writers in the ...

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How do you find self-defense blogs that are worth reading?

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There is no end of information on the ‘net regarding self defense, personal security, prepping, and other self-reliance topics. How do you find the usable needles in all those stacks of hay?

It’s no secret that the internet is chock full of information: good, bad, and ugly. It’s served to get rid of some of the most egregiously outlandish stuff that was common before the world wide web came into being (for instance, ...

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The most under-used word in the field of defensive shooting: ‘context’.

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DSC06503

If you’re not training in context, then you don’t really know what you’re training for. How is that a wise use of your time, effort, and money?

One of the subjects I cover in my defensive shooting classes is the idea of training in context — that is, training in relation to your expected use. This seems like it should be self-evident, but surprisingly it isn’t.

This idea of context actually burst into my ...

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What is the first, most important thing you need to have for self-defense?

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429px-Skull_and_brain_normal_human.svg

 

Whether we’re talking self defense or the larger concept of self preservation, there is one thing that stands above all others in its importance. You can’t buy it, though there are people who will try to sell it to you!

I came to the self defense arena through the firearms world. That wasn’t intentional, it just worked out that way! People in the shooting community, some of them very sincere and accomplished, ...

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The two questions your defensive shooting instructor should be willing and able to answer.

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DSC00331

There are a lot of questions you can ask your defensive shooting instructor, but I believe there are two which will tell you more about his teaching ability and dedication than any others.

In the defensive shooting world, critical thought or introspection are not often celebrated. There is, in fact, a certain (and vocal) segment of the CCW and self defense fraternity that ridicules anything other than a regimented, don’t-ask-questions military-like ...

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Some important thoughts about “Stand Your Ground” laws.

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You’ve probably heard news reports about “stand your ground” (SYG) laws, particularly in Florida. In the wake of several high profile shootings these laws are under scrutiny. Should they be?

“Stand Your Ground” laws became a source of debate all over the country after the George Zimmerman case, and the recent Michael Dunn “loud music” shooting has intensified calls to modify or repeal the Florida statute. Activists in other states who have similar laws are also calling for revamping their local ...

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Do you shoot a SIG, Beretta, CZ, or other DA/SA pistol? You need to read this.

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There are a lot of autoloading pistols which have a double action (DA) pull for the first shot and a single action (SA) pull for all subsequent shots. Training for that transition is important, and here’s one way to do so.

I’ve been pretty outspoken about my dislike for what we call “traditional double action” autoloading pistols: pistols that start with a long, heavy double action shot and then present a short, ...

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Preparing for violence means learning about how it happens and how we look at it.

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What is your schema, your way of looking at violence? Your point of view determines how you prepare, so working on your point of view may be as important as anything in your defensive preparations.

William Aprill is a mental health professional who has made it his business to study how and why violence happens and how we react to violence. He combines that with his background in shooting ...

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Who should call the police when a gun is drawn?

Posted by:

a850_10722

Let’s say that you’re out for a walk with your concealed handgun on your person. You’re minding your own business, enjoying the fresh air and the pretty flowers, when suddenly someone with a knife jumps out from behind a parked car.

You’ve trained for this kind of ambush attack (at least, we hope you have) and your instinctive reactions give way to the learned, intuitive response you’ve practiced: you move laterally as ...

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Answer this question: why do you carry a concealed handgun?

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A while back the blog When The Balloon Goes Up had an interesting article: “Why do you concealed carry?” That’s actually a more involved question than you might think, as the article showed, and I think I’ve identified one reason why that’s so.

I’ve asked many students (and prospective students) why they carry or want to carry (CCW) a concealed handgun, and the most common answer I hear is that they do so to “be safer”. While I understand the sentiment, ...

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Staying safe in the depths of winter

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p1070119
The cold weather gripping much of the country this winter should serve to remind us that safety isn’t always about the gun, but you’d never know that listening to some people in the self-defense business!

One of the things I often touch upon in classes is the need to look at your personal security in a holistic manner: that is, that everything is interrelated and you can’t ignore ...

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Focus on the need to shoot, not whether you can.

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A lot of people in the defensive shooting field are overly concerned with when they are allowed to shoot in self defense. I don’t think that’s the right approach; I believe instead that we focus on whether we need to shoot, not whether we can.

Some time back I wrote a short little article on the topic, along with some links to what I think is the best education that is available on the topic.

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-

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Can you afford a good defensive shooting course? Yes!

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I know quality training seems expensive, but it’s something you need to do to develop and maintain your critical defensive skills. Still, many people feel they can’t afford (or justify the expense) of good defensive shooting instruction.

I wrote a short piece about affordable training options some time ago[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Content goes here[/author_info] [/author] , and linked to an article that discusses the misconceptions that surround the notion that you can’t afford to train. You can’t afford not to, ...

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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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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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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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