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Weekend Knowledge Dump- October 4, 2019

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Knowledge to make your life better. If you have some free time, check out some of these links this weekend.


Revisiting The 21-Foot Rule

The “21-foot rule” has been widely misunderstood and misapplied in the years since it was first published.  Here is a good discussion of the evolution of this “rule” with links to a lot of contemporary articles describing why the “rule” might not be all that useful.



AR-15 Magazine: A “Five Years Loaded” Test

It’s a myth that keeping your magazines loaded for a significant period of time decreases that magazine’s reliability.  Springs get worn by the act of constant expansion and contraction.  Magazines that are fully loaded or completely empty are not likely to have spring/feed lip problems.



The Special Application .22LR for Home Defense


A thorough examination of the issues around using a .22 rifle for home defense.  Part two discusses how the author’s personal rifle is set up.



8 Life Lessons From a Primal Elder to Younger Groks

Some very good health advice from a man who has been teaching and coaching folks for a very long time.



Low Light Flashlight Shooting – Old School vs. New School


Some well-articulated thoughts on shooting with a flashlight from Mike Seeklander.



The Outsiders’ Gift

I’ve long considered myself an “outsider” in many of my endeavors. I just don’t neatly fit into a single box. As Walt Whitman said: “I am large. I contain multitudes.”

This is a good read about people like me (and maybe you). I really resonate with her idea of being a “positive deviant.

Some of you will also like her latest book Basics of Resistance.



AR-15 Basics: Where To Place Your Support Hand

This is a hotly debated issue in the tactical community.  There is no simple answer.  The “correct” way of holding your rifle depends on what you are trying to do.

That far-forward, locked elbow support side stance optimizes “driving” the gun between horizontally-oriented multiple targets.  It is also fatiguing and can expose too much of your arm when shooting behind some types of cover.

The scorned “mag well grip” is not very good for target transitions or weapon retention.  It’s really useful if your rifle gets hot on extended firing strings.  Holding the mag well isolates your support from the hot parts of the rifle.  It’s also faster than moving your hand farther out on the forend.  After doing a reload, using this grip will get you back into the fight in the shortest amount of time.

Don’t be doctrinaire.  I hold my support hand in the middle of the forend for most situations, but I know how to fire from other positions as well.  I will use these alternate hand placement strategies if they provide me with an advantage on any particular rifle deployment incident.



Gen5 Glock heat issues

I’ve mentioned that it seems that the Gen 5 Glocks get hotter than previous generations. Here is the science behind why that happens.



You Are The Weapon (Force Readiness, Part 3)

A massive number of my readers would benefit from taking this course.  Classes like this one teaching pre-fight verbal skills, basic combatives, flashlight use, emergency medical skills and pepper spray would be far more beneficial than taking a carbine course.  Unfortunately, not many instructors teach these skills in a format like this.  Check out the Complete Combatant’s class as mentioned in the article and John Murphy’s Advanced Skills and Tactics class.  They would be the next natural step to take after you do your concealed carry training.



Tips for properly installing a Glock front sight

In this video, Dave Spaulding presents some really good tips for changing a Glock front sight.  I’ve installed hundreds of Glock sights over the years and I still learned some new tricks.



Long-Distance Practice: A Good Idea for the Armed Citizen

At what distance do you practice when shooting your handgun?  If you want to be prepared to defend against active killer or terrorist attacks, you probably should be pushing the distance out a bit farther.



28 Ways to Find the Stillness You Need to Thrive

I cultivate most of these stillness exercises into my daily life as much as possible. I think all of them are valuable.  If you find the tips valuable, check out the author’s new book Stillness is the Key.



The Rimfire Report: .22LR Shotshells – Are they worth it?

.22 shotshells are almost completely worthless.  I spent many a weekend in my misspent youth tramping around in the woods with a .22 revolver.  I shot snakes, birds, squirrels, and rabbits with .22 shotshells.  I rarely got a clean kill and quickly decided that Stinger hollowpoints were a much better choice.

Beyond five or six FEET the pattern is so large that very few pellets will hit your target.  You should definitely not rely on them for self protection.  They should be relegated to tasks like shooting a pest animal inside your house while causing minimal collateral damage.

If you have a safe backstop, I can recommend one other use for these shells.  You know those big carpenter bees that make holes in your siding or wooden deck?  It is incredibly challenging and a fun sport to shoot them with a .22 shotshell out of a pistol.

The .38 shotshells offer a higher level of performance.  For those of you with kids, they make for some fun “trick shooting.”

When I was the police training officer and had to do range tours for youth groups, I always used .38 shot shells to do a little trick.  I’d lean an old axe up against a target backer with the edge facing towards me. I’d then blow up a couple balloons and tape them on either side of the axe head.

I’d tell the kids I was such a good shooter that I could “split the bullet” on the axe edge and pop both balloons with one shot.  It was fun and they all thought I was a shooting god.  No one ever figured out that I was using a .38 shot shell.



Decoded Without Tools: Master Lock “Safe Space” Key Box

If you have one of these key safes, you’ll probably want to upgrade once you watch this two minute video.  For those of you who don’t have one, the video shows you how to easily obtain the pass code and break in.



Roundup of Active Shooter Statistics

Links to eight high-quality studies covering active killer behavior and tactics.



Not Paying Attention Could Make You A Target

The lack of awareness is bad enough, but the more important point is to never insult or challenge a potential attacker.



5 Best Pistol Drills for the Armed Citizen

While plinking is fun, the majority of your training time should be using structured drills.  Timed and scored drills like these give you a benchmark for improvement.  For some more options, check out Drills for Pistol and Revolver.

If any of you use a single action pistol for self protection, try the Single Action Failure Drill.



The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping

What I’m reading…

As I occasionally travel into areas where political kidnappings occur with some regularity, I find it useful to educate myself about the process.




This is probably the single most common question students ask me in beginning handgun classes.  I think too many people make a big deal out of nothing.  Shooting a pistol with both eyes open is the better option as it provides superior peripheral vision.  Doing this, however, in nearly impossible for some people without considerable practice and training.  Some folks have to partially or fully close their non-dominant eye.  That’s OK.  I’d rather you get accurate hits with one eye open than miss doing things “the right way.”



Notes from a Sun Tzu Skeptic

Sun Tzu wrote one of the world’s most popular battlefield strategy books called The Art of War,  Not everyone is a fan of the author or his teachings.



Don’t Rest Mag on the Ground! Whaaaat?!

He’s right.  Using your rifle mag as a monopod won’t cause malfunctions and will significantly decrease the size of your shot grouping.



Training With Light Loads

One of my older police officer friends once told me a story about a situation a guy in his department faced in the early 1980s.  The department issued hot-loaded .357 magnum cartridges in their duty revolvers.  They only practiced with lightly-loaded .38 special reloads.  The officer had to shoot a guy in a dark bar one night.  He pulled the trigger on a .357 magnum round.  He heard a much louder report, saw a whole bunch more flames, and felt much harder recoil than he was used to experiencing.  The guy thought his gun had blown up!

The officer dropped his revolver and ran out the door.  It turns out he had never fired even a single .357 magnum round in practice.



Tip: Being Fat Is Your Fault

“The barbell teaches you a different lesson. The barbell holds the opportunities for getting stronger, changing your body, and building resolve. But (and this is the important bit) the barbell also doesn’t give a shit about you.

You pick it up and you get positive, life-changing results…. or you don’t and you get nothing. The bar doesn’t care one way or another. It looks you right in the face and says, “This is going to be hard and it’s going to take a lot of work but the payoff is awesome. Take it or leave it.”

In today’s society, it’s a lesson many need to learn. Life is a barbell. The opportunities are right there. You just have to pick them up and start grinding. It’s all on you. Always has been. Always will be.”



Marksmanship Mediocrity

“At the end of the day – whether you are a shooter or an instructor, you have the ability to determine what type of standard you or your students will be held to. It is easy to shrug off that peripheral hit as “good enough,” but it is intellectually lazy and it won’t cut it on the street. Don’t set yourself or your people up for failure, don’t delude them into thinking their mediocre performance on the range will somehow work out for them on the street. Encourage them to pursue a higher standard.”

The author’s post “One Man Assets” is a worthwhile read as well.



Concealment Principles

An incredibly valuable presentation about what holster/belt features really help you conceal your gun better.  Link opens to Facebook video.



Strategies to Escape an Active Shooter

My friend Ed Monk has been researching active killers for a very long time.  He’s amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of active killer response tactics.  Read his interview here (opens to PDF).  I promise that you will learn something useful.

While you are on the site, consider becoming am member of the ACLDN.  Membership provides you the cash you need to hire an attorney following a self defense shooting.  This is not an “insurance” policy per se, but is a relatively inexpensive source of funds you can use to pay an attorney to represent you.

I am a member of the ACLDN.  I think it would be a good idea for you to join as well.



Tampons for Trauma

All of you who still think tampons are a good treatment for gun shot wounds need to watch this video. Then you need to read The Tactical Tampon.

Tampons can be useful for minor nosebleeds.  They are not useful for packing wounds.  Video above hosted on Facebook.








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