All training is an abstraction. Is that good or bad?

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A couple of weeks ago someone posted an interesting video on social media. It wasn’t the video itself which was interesting, but rather the reactions to it.

The video was of an exercise from a defensive shooting class. The exercise was a good example of forcing cognitive processing rather than a Pavlovian draw-and-fire response, which is good; a defensive encounter requires far more information processing ...

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“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

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The quote is from comedian Steven Wright.

Wright is right. Think about it the next time someone says that the path to situational awareness is to see everything.

You know what I mean: “Look for out-of-state license plates.” “What color shoes are the people in the restaurant wearing?” “Do you know how many left handers are in the room?”

The trouble is that it’s not the shoes, or the license plates, which are going to hurt you. And, unless someone postulates a very high ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 26, 2016

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Once again, a great crop of stories for you! In this issue: another look at defending yourself from someone you know; an alarm system that will cuddle and lick your face; expanding on the idea of training your kids how to respond; some Halloween safety tips; should you shoot a burglar?; the right way to clear bad guys from your home; Greg Ellifritz looks at how you might respond to a shooting in an isolated area; and Rob Pincus has ...

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Do you need to modify your carry gun? Should you?

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In the dim past (which wasn’t really all that long ago), if you needed to change something on your carry gun you took it to a gunsmith. You’d wait for him to do the work, pay him lots of money, and go home happy — more or less.

That was the state of things largely because making the available guns suitable for concealed carry and self defense required modifications. In fact, not all that many years ago it was difficult just to find ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 12, 2016

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Is it Wednesday already? Well, no fear — I have information for you! Today: a look at the problems with secure areas, especially when they’re really secure; an article explaining striker-fired pistols; a civil suit can be worse than the criminal trial; Greg Ellifritz shares how NOT to take care of your carry gun; Sheriff Jim Wilson looks at “scanning”; what training overload is and how to avoid it; some information about kidnappings; if you’re at work when a disaster ...

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Less-lethal defense options on last night’s Training Talk!

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Last night’s Training Talk episode was full of great information about less-lethal self defense tools!

My special guest, Jarrod Needs, and I discussed the various kinds of less-lethal defensive options: their strengths, weaknesses, along with the silly and the useless. If you missed it, don’t worry — you can watch the replay just by clicking on this link!

– Grant Cunningham

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 5, 2016

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Another Wednesday, another Reading List! In today’s list: learning to fight back; knowing where your line in the sand is; the police probably aren’t going to save you; what not to do when your attacker is in your face; getting your gun ready when you don’t yet need to shoot; a sad case of someone who didn’t understand when the fight was over; preparing for winter storms; and Greg Ellifritz teaches us to look for opportunities. Read, learn, and share!

 

Model ...

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Meaningless increments of precision — and why you should avoid them

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When we talk about self defense (and particularly when gun people talk about self defense), the topic of measurement will eventually come up. In the gun world we love to measure things, and we can measure just about anything. The problem is that the measurements we make may not be important.

I use the term “meaningless increments of precision” to refer to those measurements which don’t add to our self protection knowledge or to our ability to defend ourselves. The measurement ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 28, 2016

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Today’s Hump Day Reading List includes how to deal with negative reactions to your defensive firearms; why you can’t just run down people even if they’re blocking your path; pickpockets are very good at what they do; a look at specialized concealed carry clothing; Greg Ellifritz looks at self defense from a new perspective; how to escape a riot on foot; and Claude Werner points out that killing someone, even in self defense, isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. ...

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Appendix carry, women’s self defense, and MORE on last night’s Training Talk episode!

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If you’re not watching my Training Talk show on Personal Defense network, you’re missing out on some great self defense and personal security information!

Take last night’s show, for instance. My guests were Barret Kendrick from Bearco Training, who showed us how to properly and safely draw and re-holster a gun carried in the appendix position, and Julie Loeffler of Mid-Ohio IMB who talked about how women can cut through the nonsense and get started in self defense training. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 14, 2016

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More great information to keep you safe! This week: don’t take your gun off in the restroom; Rob Pincus has some resources to learn how to appendix carry safely; why martial arts aren’t the be-all, end-all of self defense; Greg Ellifritz considers the importance of medical gear in a class; teaching kids to be safe, not afraid; how to live with a red dot when your vision isn’t perfect; taking the collective mood of your environment; and how to buy ...

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“We face the same criminals the police do!” Yes, but…

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Every once in a while I see the tired old cliché “we face the same criminals the police do!” It’s usually used to justify some particular type of defensive firearms training, too often centered around the trainer’s police experience.

The idea, of course, is that we need to adopt the attitudes, tactics, and armament of law enforcement.  (If you know anything about typical police training, it’s usually substandard — so much so that cops themselves joke about it. With rare exceptions, ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 7, 2016

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More great self defense reading for this week! First, why you need to include a dog in your defensive planning; Greg Ellifritz considers what you should do after you’ve stopped the active killer; why you need a practice tourniquet in your kit; how to carry spare revolver ammunition; dealing with the spontaneous fight; how to properly analyze incident video; and dispelling some pervasive shotgun myths. Be sure to share with all of your friends!

 

How about a defensive tool that will ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 27, 2016

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More great personal security, home protection and preparedness information this week, including: what hunting can teach you about shooting positions; Greg Ellifritz is back with some information about lockdowns; Claude Werner digests FBI statistics and comes up with surprising conclusions; when a cheap gun beats a quality gun; personal safety insights from South Africa; how to protect a church and the people inside it; practicing personal security and preparedness; and why those window stickers might be making you a target. ...

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What do you do with all your situational awareness?

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“Situational awareness”. It’s one of the throwaway personal safety tips that are always trotted out after a horrific news story.

So you work really hard to have it; then what? No, seriously: what do you do with all that situational awareness?

It’s one thing if your situational awareness finds an imminent attack, but that’s not what I (or they) mean. Usually the advice is meant to caution the reader/viewer to be alert enough to spot cues which might signal an impending incident. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 15, 2016

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This week we’re going to look at the importance of first aid during a terrorist attack; a man defends himself with a saucepan; some realities your CCW instructor didn’t tell you; why the pistol caliber carbine is a home defense winner; the fallacy behind night sights; understanding flashlights beyond lumens; senior citizens head to the range, for good reasons; why your defensive shooting instruction may not be all that valid; and finally, it’s not just the drug addict on the ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 1, 2016

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It’s the first of June, and what better way to celebrate with some great articles? I’ll start with yet another example of what NOT to do with your personal defense handgun; a look at what burglars do when they enter a home; should you carry a gun in church?; debunking myths about tourniquets; keeping toddlers safe around guns; a guide to buying a suppressor; keeping safe in hotels; and speaking of suppressors, a look at a cool vintage one.

 

You are ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 18, 2016

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It’s the Hump Day Reading List! To start off, we look at a case where a police officer used his trauma kit to save his own life; a story of a man who shot a neighbor under less-than-perfect circumstances; the horrific incident that started one man on the path to an armed lifestyle; the myth of racking a shotgun; taking apart a classic Savage pistol; a comprehensive look at what cover is and isn’t; what you know determines what you ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for April 20, 2016

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Welcome to Wednesday — and the Hump Day Reading List! Today Greg Ellifritz has some lessons to be learned from recent news events; a look at why what works in the shoothouse may not work in the real world; Ian McCollum examines the pinfire revolver; storing a defensive shotgun; some women and gun myths get busted; how to deal with people who suddenly find that they aren’t as prepared as you are; and a look at why black women are ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for April 13, 2016

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How’s your week going? Well, I’m about to make it a little better with some great articles and videos! This week: women are buying guns, but why?; Ian McCollum shows us a Nagant revolver you might not have known even exists; Greg Ellifritz considers what you should do if a fellow airplane passenger gets rowdy; a look at how guns can be intentionally disabled; a new way to mount sights on a lever action rifle; getting your legal education on; ...

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“It’s a training issue.” I don’t think that means what you think it means.

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Hoo boy, I heard it again just the other day: “it’s a training issue”. The subject at hand was a discussion about the traditional double action pistol, the kind that has a long and heavy double action first shot and a shorter, lighter single action (DA/SA) for each subsequent shot.

I’m not a fan of the things as a defensive tool in this modern age. They are the most complicated of the autopistols in use, owing to the two different trigger ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Mar 9, 2016

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For this Hump Day we have an educational look at an actual attempted home invasion — from the intended victim himself; some resources for learning how to deal with an active shooter; some historical revolvers from a famous revolver shooter; trying to shoot a hole through titanium; a seasoned shooter finds out difficult it is to shoot a small gun; a blogger takes me up on a challenge; Greg Ellifritz analyzes what to do if you’re seated in your car ...

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Choosing the ‘pool gun’ for your family and home defense: what’s best?

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If you keep a firearm for home defense (more specifically, defense of yourself and others while in your home — we don’t use lethal force to defend mere property), it’s entirely possible that there may be more than one person who is authorized, capable of or likely to need to use it. You may have a spouse or responsible children who would need to use a firearm to defend themselves and the family should a threat present itself. It’s under those ...

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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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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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