You don’t need to be a SEAL to defend yourself with a firearm. You need more relevant skills.

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Last week I got two emails about my front page headline: “You don’t need to be a Navy SEAL just to be safe!” One applauded me for “telling it like it is”, but the other one insisted that I was doing people a big disservice by saying that, because if everyone trained to the level of a SEAL they’d definitely be safer. “It’s a matter of priorities”, the writer concluded.

Sorry, but I really don’t think so.

I believe those of us in ...

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Training Talk LIVE premieres tomorrow night!

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I know that you’re used to seeing the Hump Day Reading List every Wednesday, but today I’ve got some exciting news for you!

Tomorrow night is the premiere episode of my new live webcast show at the Personal Defense Network, called “Training Talk With Grant Cunningham.” Training Talk is all about defensive and preparedness training; it’s a great new way to keep up on the latest news and information about the world of self defense.

Training Talk will focus on self defense, ...

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Airsoft for defensive shooting practice: good idea or a waste of time?

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A question I’m frequently asked regards the value of non-firearm projectile launchers like Airsoft and BB guns as training devices for defensive shooting. This is a discussion that doesn’t lend itself to soundbites; there are some important principles which need to be understood to be able to gauge, for yourself, the value of any non-firearm alternatives.

When we talk about the physical skills of defensive shooting we’re talking about things like drawing the gun, getting it indexed on target, manipulating the ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 24, 2016

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My week has already been a whirlwind, but I came up with some great links for you! We start with looking in the eyes of evil; finishing the fight is more important than worrying about your choreography; how to escape from an active killer incident; the get-home bag and why you should have one; an unexpected benefit of being the “grey man”; Greg Ellifritz looks at one area where violent crime is rising significantly; Ian McCollum shows you an extremely ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 10, 2016

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Hump Day brings us more knowledge! This week, we look at kids who’ve protected themselves with firearms; Ian McCollum with a very unique “automatic” pistol; Claude Werner looks at another negative outcome, this time based on unreasonable fear; tips for handloading ammo for your AR-15; why crowds are dangerous, and what to do if you’re in one; Greg Ellifritz has some lessons from a recent series of terrorist attacks; the repercussions of not having a good teacher; and the fallacy ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 3, 2016

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Another great collection of articles for you this week! Rob Pincus shows you how to take your guns with you when flying; Ian McCollum takes apart a Savage .45 pistol; a look at why safety isn’t in the gear you carry; how to recycle range brass for reloading; a detailed explanation of what “going gray” really means; how to keep your defensive handgun in perfect operating condition; and why 100-yard headshots with a pistol don’t make any sense. Read, learn ...

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Do you carry religiously? You may not be as safe as you believe.

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I know that most of the people reading this blog are here to learn about defensive shooting, concealed carry, firearms training, and related topics. The rest are interested in things like rifles, revolvers, reloading, and other technical issues. In other words, regardless of the group into which you fit, if you’re reading this you’re probably a “gun person” — and despite what the media might try to tell you, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. It can, however, limit your ...

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The problem with defensive shooting is that it’s dominated by enthusiasts. That’s not necessarily good for you.

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I have a confession to make: I once screwed up a lot of people who came to me for advice. Wait, it’s not what you think! It does, however, directly apply to what I do today, and probably why you’re reading this blog. Allow me to relate my short story.

Back in my much-younger days I ran a chain of camera stores and taught photography classes. It was the early 1980s and photography was the fad of the day, spurred mainly ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for January 13, 2016

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Today I bring you some thoughts about getting older; Ian McCollum has a video about a Savage that isn’t a rifle; Greg Ellifritz talks about jammed guns in active shooter incidents; I found a great review of a neat lever-action rifle; Tiger McKee has some pithy words about the gear and training you really need; and a superb article about using your mouth instead of your gun.

 

You’re going to age. Have you factored that into your defensive training?

I recently wrote ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for January 6, 2016

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The first Hump Day List of 2016! To celebrate, I’ve found information on avoiding stalkers; a very forgotten Colt pistol; Ian McCollum talking about some odd rifles from a familiar company; Greg Ellifritz dropping some knowledge about dealing with hostile crowds; Rob Pincus helping you plan ahead; Claude Werner showing how to avoid negative outcomes; and a video about training to overwhelm a shooter even if you don’t have a gun yourself.

 

Would you know how to deal with a stalker?

Recognizing and ...

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What did you change your mind about in 2015? Here’s what I did.

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I’ve come to the belief that one of the most profound questions (courtesy of Rob Pincus) you can ask anyone who purports to be a defensive shooting instructor is “what have you changed your mind about?” This isn’t an easy question to answer, and most people you’ll ask will try to wiggle their way out of it: “well, of course the world is always changing, and I’m committed to keeping my knowledge and skills in pace with those changes, blah ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Dec 30, 2015

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For this last Hump Day List of 2015, Ian McCollum shows us what a real “mousegun” looks like; another Craigslist deal goes bad; what preparedness items to carry in your vehicle; attackers don’t always fit a profile; someone actually likes the SCAR rifle; Joshua Gideon talks about feeling safe; and Greg Ellifritz shows us the guns criminals actually carry.

 

Mousegun? More like ant-gun.

You’ve probably heard the term mousegun applied to many calibers: it’s generally said about the .25ACP and .32ACP, and ...

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Defensive Shooting Myths and Misconceptions: “I shoot that gun really well.”

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If you spend any time around the internet, whether on gun forums or social media, sooner or later you’ll see someone defending a sub-optimal choice of defensive firearm by saying “I shoot it well.” Now of course everyone is certainly free to carry what they deem fit, and I don’t want to suggest they’re not, but my job is to present factual information to people so that they can make intelligent decisions. I don’t really have any stake in what ...

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Defensive DVD Review: Personal Defense When The Gun Fails

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Personal Defense When The Gun Fails DVD

By Rob Pincus
Published by Personal Defense Network

This DVD was something of a surprise, largely because I didn’t quite know what to expect. When I saw the title “Personal Defense When The Gun Fails”, I immediately thought about malfunctions and remediation drills — and while the DVD touches on those, it goes well beyond them and includes some fresh ideas about how to look at the idea of a failure.

The theme of the ...

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The important role of a training partner in your defensive shooting skill development.

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In the defensive shooting world we talk a lot about carry guns, calibers, holsters, belts, and all manner of accessories from flashlights to scopes. A large reason for this focus on things is because they’re easily understood and readily quantifiable; it’s easy to compare things by numbers, charts and graphs.

We pay comparatively little attention to concepts and ideas. They’re harder to understand, sometimes impossible to quantify, and require thought and reflection to properly understand and apply.

There is a combination of ...

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Defensive DVD Review: Defensive Mindset with Rob Pincus

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Review: Defensive Mindset DVD

Over the years there has been much written and said on the topic of the defensive mindset. Many defensive shooting courses start with and claim to develop such a mindset, but usually amount to little more than trite sayings and broad exhortations.

Call me jaded if you will, but to be honest that’s what I was expecting when this DVD arrived in my mailbox. It was a pleasant surprise to find something very different than what I anticipated!

This ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Dec. 2, 2015

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Hope you and your family had a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving! I know, we all ate too much and are now forced to do exercise penance, but I’d do it all over again — and probably will next year! The holiday didn’t keep me from collecting some great articles, however, and for your reading enjoyment this week Claude Werner talks about changing his mind; the SIG Academy has a different way to talk about the relationship of sight alignment and ...

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No, things really haven’t changed: self defense in a post-Paris world.

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The bodies in Paris hadn’t even been buried when the agendas got trotted out.  No, I’m not talking about gun control or immigration restrictions; I’m not talking about refugees or intelligence sharing or air strikes or border checkpoints, either.

I’m talking about the “you need to prepare to deal with this new threat!” brigade.

If you listen to them, the terrorist attacks in public spaces are such a unique and over-riding threat that you must simply develop a new skill set and carry ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Nov. 18, 2015

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What a week it’s been since our last Hump Day! The attacks in Paris have been front page news since they happened, and Greg Ellifritz has some advice on such matters; the attacks will no doubt affect our own country’s election process, and Short Barrel Shepherd gives us some things to think about; my latest article on the Personal Defense Network blog has been posted; some very interesting information on the Soviet Stechkin pistol; some information about hearing protection; and ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Nov. 11, 2015

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This is really a “Hump Day” for me — it’s been a hectic week! Not so hectic that I didn’t collect a few things for your reading enjoyment, however: Ian McCollum has a video about one of the very rarest Colt/Browning pistols, the Model 1909; Greg Ellifritz takes a different view of an active killer response; some myths about women and concealed carry; a high-tech way you might be helping people to break into your own home; some frank talk ...

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My Threat-Centered Revolver class in sunny Phoenix is coming up soon!

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I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here in Oregon it’s already winter: cold, wet, and foggy. There are, however, places in these United States where it isn’t like that — and next month, I’ll be in one of them teaching my famous Threat-Centered Revolver class!

I’ll be in Phoenix, AZ the weekend of December 4th & 5th teaching realistic, relevant defensive revolver skills at the Ben Avery shooting facility. If you’ve never been there it’s a ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Nov. 4, 2015

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Here’s the first Hump Day Reading list of November, and it’s got some gems: Greg Ellifritz talks about hardware vs. software; Claude Werner has a great detailed examination of the most efficient way to grasp an autoloading pistol; some more on the need to train in NOT shooting; Marty Hayes talks about the right to remain silent and what it means for your legal defense; an article about avoiding fads in carry gear; and Ian McCollum touches off a really ...

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What if you disagree with your defensive shooting instructor?

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You’re at a defensive shooting class; maybe this is your first, maybe it’s your twenty-first. Your instructor says (or does) something you disagree with. What do you do?

There are a lot of different approaches to teaching self-defense shooting, and while at least 90% of the mechanics that are taught are the same from instructor to instructor, the way in which they’re taught varies rather considerably. There is very little focus in this business on teaching in and of itself, most shooting ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 28, 2015

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Another Wednesday, another batch of interesting articles for you to read! On today’s episode: I appear on The RoadGunner Podcast to talk about lever action rifles; Greg Ellifritz dissects a violent purse snatching; shooting a gun from a “man purse”; Julie Loeffler talks about other women’s reactions to your gun; and The Handgun World Podcast talks about revolvers and gun-owning doctors. Let’s get started!

 

Lever Lovin’

I recently appeared on The RoadGunner Podcast with “The Un-Named Trucker” (quite possibly the worst-kept ...

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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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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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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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