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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The Bullpup Rifle Experiment, Part 2: what did I learn about bullpup rifles?

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If you’ve read Part 1 of The Bullpup Rifle Experiment, you’ll know that I started out this little project with a relatively simple goal: to find out what the bullpup rifle was all about. I wanted to learn what they were good for, what they weren’t, and perhaps even a little bit of why they seem to inflame passions on both sides: those who love them and those who love to hate them. Along the way I hoped to perhaps ...

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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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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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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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Is the old lever action half-cock safety really all that safe?

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We’ve all been taught about the half-cock notch on lever action rifles. How safe is it, really?

When I was growing up lever action rifles (with the exception of the Savage 99) had no safeties. It was assumed, and taught, that the safe way to carry a lever action with a round in the chamber was to lower the hammer to the half-cock notch. When needed, the hammer was thumbed back as the gun was brought to the shoulder.

Fast forward to ...

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What can a foiled terrorist attack teach us about defensive planning?

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By now you’ve no doubt heard about the tragic incident in Garland, Texas. For those who missed it, on Sunday a “Draw Mohammed” Cartoon show was held in that town; contestants vied for the best cartoon in celebration of free speech. There were speakers who are active in the free speech movement, including a Dutch citizen who has earned a spot on an al Qaeda hit list.

Two men — one of whom since identified by the FBI as having ...

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Just what is a “critical skill”?

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I really should stop reading stuff people link to on FaceBook. I really should. It’s like chocolate chip cookies; you know they’re bad for you, but you eat them anyway!

The latest was a linked article which talked about practicing your reloading skills. In it, the other repeatedly referred to reloading the gun as a “critical skill”. That phrase really annoyed me, because his definition of the term and mine were obviously radically different. In fact, I suspect he (like almost ...

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“Because that’s the way I was taught” is never a good answer.

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A few years ago I was teaching a class in which there was a student who’d been to several different shooting schools — including one which, in my opinion, teaches some distinctly odd material. This student was doing a particular maneuver in just such an odd manner and I asked him why.

“Because that’s the way I was taught.”

I resharpened my question and asked what the purpose of the maneuver was, why it was done that way, what specific goal was ...

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Don’t let what you CAN’T do get in the way of what you CAN do. That goes for your children, too.

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A story out of a middle school in Alabama has made the rounds recently. The principal of that school suggested that parents send their kids to school with canned food, which they could hurl at an attacker in self defense.

Predictably, the gun community (particularly certain segments of it) responded with scorn and derision: “Idiotic”. “Stupid.” “Naive.” And, of course, the perennial favorite in the bumper-sticker philosophy department: “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is ...

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The case for buying two identical concealed carry guns. You can thank me later.

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It’s quite popular in the world of concealed carry (CCW) and defensive shooting to say that “all guns break”. As I’ve said before, that’s true — but some guns break more commonly, more predictably, than others.

However, even the best and most reliable gun, like the most reliable automobile, becomes less so as the round count (or the mileage) accumulates. That’s just a fact of life; all mechanical devices experience wear over time, it’s just that some of them handle that ...

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Can you really learn self defense from a video?

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You might not believe this, but self defense videos have been around quite a long time. Massad Ayoob was making training videos as early as 1985, and Jeff Cooper brought out a  full series of lessons on VHS tapes in 1987. I suspect that more than a few readers of this blog weren’t even born when those videos were being watched by the defensive shooting students of the day!

Even with that long experience from notable instructors, questions remain about the ...

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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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What is defensive training really worth? Here’s a very different way of looking at it.

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I got an email the other day from a reader, and the discussion revolved around the cost of self defense training:

“Actually the cost of training may be worthy of a blog article.

I was thinking yesterday that it seems very arbitrary. It’s too high from the perspective of a student out to get training as much as he/she can, to sort out what works personally.

It’s probably too low from the perspective of an instructor trying ...

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Your attacker isn’t an animal. He’s a lot more dangerous than that.

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What’s the opposite of anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism, as you know, is the attribution of human characteristics to animals (or inanimate objects.) People who believe that guns cause people to shoot each other, for instance, are engaging in a kind of anthropomorphism: attributing desire and the ability to command to a metal object. It’s a tendency that goes far back into our history, to a time when people believed in the spiritual powers of amulets and special stones.

It’s the opposite of anthropomorphism that ...

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Can you really know what skills you’ll need? Not exactly, but you can do better than guess.

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One of the more interesting comments I get in the defensive training world is that “you don’t know what the attack will look like, so you have to be prepared for anything.” It’s not entirely true and thus is dangerously distracting in its conclusion.

I’ve talked about the fallacy of being prepared for everything before, so rather than repeat myself I’ll just encourage you to ...

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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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What are YOUR training plans this year? How about joining the Spring Training Tour!

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PDN_tourtruck_oregon2

I talk a lot on this blog about getting good training, and one of the questions I often get in return is “where do I go to get this ‘good training’ of which you speak?”

Of course, the first place to check is our calendar, where we list all of our open-enrollment courses! We’re not the only place you can go, either; if you’re in the Ohio area, my friend Paul ...

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