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Weekend Knowledge Dump- May 29, 2020

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


Small-Caliber Handguns for Self-Defense?

I’m looking forward to picking up a Ruger LCP in .22 long rifle after they’ve been on the market for a few more months.



SKS: Variations, Upgrades, & Issues

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the SKS carbine and probably a whole bunch more.



Top 10 Ways to Practice Situational Awareness Everyday

Tips for enhancing your practice of good situational awareness.



The Alexander Weiss Duty-to-Retreat Case

“It’s your right to show support for the Second Amendment. It’s your right to share opinions about guns and self-defense. That said, before you put a bumper sticker on our car, or hang a sign on your fence, or post a comment on Facebook, stop and ask yourself what a prosecutor would think of your sentiment if they were deciding whether to charge you in a self-defense homicide. How would you explain it to a jury? Does it make you sound like a responsible gun owner? Answer wisely, your future and freedom could hang in the balance.”



Why You Should Become an EMT

“Ultimately, having the knowledge and skills of an EMT will make you a massively bigger asset. You will be a huge asset on a hike with friends, as a passenger on an airplane in flight, during a grid-down with your family, and yes, in a gunfight. I get it – sitting in class isn’t as fun as going to the range. But if you’re shooting a sub-2-second Bill Drill but all you know about emergency medicine is “tourniquet,” maybe think about expanding your skillset.”



all_brakes-900x645I’m not a big fan of muzzle brakes on .223 rifles, but I know some of you like them.  Here is a thorough evaluation of 35 different muzzle brakes on the market.



The Levels of Eye Contact

Although this article describes eye contact in the context of romantic attraction, some of the author’s eye contact levels have utility in the self protection realm as well.  You want to be alert for what he describes as Level 1 (Intentional Avoidance of Eye Contact), Level 5 (The Gaze), and Level 9 (The Crazies). 

Criminals often intentionally avoid eye contact when plotting their attack.  They are afraid if you see their eyes you might figure out their intentions.

In the criminal context “The Gaze” is called “target glancing.”  The bad guy is looking at you to determine how good of a target you might be and how best to accomplish his goals.

When you see the “Crazy Eyes” you should be especially alert.  Crazy eyes are an indicator of unpredictability.  I generally try to avoid unpredictable people in a social context.

Watch for these levels of eye contact when you are out in public.  You may be able to stop an attack or even get a date.



The Pursuit of Adaptability and Resilience

Having resilience and adaptability is more important than having stuff.



Baldr EDC Light: A Pocketful of Sunshine!

A new option for those of you who geek out on flashlights.



Just one stab | Pre-attack Indicators Knife attack | Real Violence For Knowledge

 Take a look at how quickly this single stab takes the victim out of the fight.  I was the first officer on scene on a knife homicide last year.  A single stab in the armpit with a steak knife perforated the pericardial sack.  The man died within two minutes of my arrival on scene.



Photo Essay: Lawmen, Actors, and Gunleather

Some very cool photos you revolver enthusiasts will enjoy.



The “approved” list of self-defense ammunition (is your ammo on this list?)

ammo1Handgun stopping power isn’t really as complex as people make it seem.  The foremost researcher in the field is Dr. Gary Roberts.  He compiled a list of handgun rounds that meet his minimum criteria for defensive use (adequate expansion combined with at least 12″ of gelatin penetration across all tests).  ALL of these rounds are just fine for self protection.  Others may be good as well, but Dr. Roberts doesn’t have test results for everything. 


Pick any round on the list that is reliable and shoots to point of aim in your gun.  Then stop worrying about it.  My simplest advice is the same as the article author’s: choose a Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST that performs well in your gun.  You won’t go wrong with either of those loads.




365 SAS Sights

“The SAS sights seem to appeal to people that aren’t skilled or knowledgeable about shooting or carrying. They think that regular sights, which are easier to see, will “print too much” or snag on clothing, or they plan on using the 365 as a pocket gun, with no expectation that they will ever need to hit a target at farther than 5 yards. It’s true that the majority of self defense incidents occur at close range, but even in those situations, the threat may be moving, obscured behind cover, or there may be a family member in between the shooter and the threat. So the ability to shoot with precision should be considered essential.

Similarly, those that aren’t skilled or experienced at shooting often fail to understand that sight radius – the distance between front and rear sight – affects a shooter’s ability to aim. The farther the sights are apart, the less small errors in sight alignment affect the alignment of the pistol with the target.”



Building Pre-Traumatic Stress Resilience – Part 1

Can realistic combatives training give our students PTSD?  I’ll be interested in reading the rest of the article series.



Testing .22LR vs .22WMR

Velocity and gelatin testing information comparing several different .22 long rifle and .22 magnum loads.



Shotguns for self-defense during a crisis (like maybe COVID-19)

The shotgun is my primary choice for a home defense weapon.




An attorney goes into great detail about the dangers involved in a “citizen’s arrest.”  My advice is simpler.  Don’t do it.  Ever.




Life is General. Embrace the Coyote.

An essay on the value in being a generalist.  I agree.  Read my article Skill Development- When Are You Good Enough? for my take on the topic.



Safe Force-on-Force Firearms Simulations: With Minimal Resources

What I’m reading…

my friend Ralph Mroz has compiled a “best practices” document for conducting proper force on force training sessions.  If you do this type of training, I would highly advise that you pick up a copy of this booklet and implement the practices within.  You can check out Ralph’s other books at his Amazon author’s page.



I Forgot to be Human

“One of the biggest mistakes I made that day and throughout my career was I Forgot to be Human. That call would bother most people, if not, you are a sociopath. I did not give myself space to mourn that little girl. Someone’s daughter, grand-daughter, cousin, friend. As we do with our mental garbage cans, I stuffed it down, ignored it and tried to drink it away. I donned the mask of my flight suit and superhero mentality and pressed on. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life. My ego, the identity and pride prevented me from honoring what I was feeling. The booze prevented me from processing that day. It is normal, what I was feeling was normal. It is ok, we see bad stuff and it is ok to be human. Our ego will tell us to suck it up, press on, stop being a b****, etc.; The white hair beads will always be there. It took me a long time to realize and admit that it is not normal to watch a child die. It sucks, to see something so beautiful and innocent be taken so early. To be honest, it is not normal to watch anyone of any age die, but children definitely sting more. I made a mistake and did not allow space to feel human.”



“If your life doesn’t call for a military solution, you may want to look somewhere other than the military for methods.”

You should also read Gear Selection, the commentary from Antifragile Training regarding the same issues.






BCM Triple 5 Range Drill 4K

Larry Vickers shares a fun rifle shooting drill.




“Through analysis of an exceptional survival, this paper highlights the critical role that osteological evidence can play in debates about the effectiveness of medieval archery. The analysis provides dramatic evidence for the ability of arrows to create small entry and large exit wounds in the human skull not unlike modern-day gunshot wounds, and to penetrate through long bones. In the medieval world, death caused by an arrow in the eye or the face could have special significance. Clerical writers sometimes saw the injury as a divinely ordained punishment, with the ‘arrow in the eye’ which may or may not have been sustained by King Harold ii on the battlefield of Hastings in 1066 the most famous case in point.44 Our study brings into focus the horrific reality of such injuries. Finally, the work highlights the need for the detailed examination and recording of potential arrow trauma, including microscopic examination, in order to ensure that it is not mistaken for other types of injury and post-burial processes.”



Fight To Not Be Taken To A Second Location

 There are few hard and fast rules in the self defense world.  This is one of them.



Pensacola shooter had ‘significant ties’ to AQAP, FBI finds

A significant number of academics who study international terrorism believe that there are no Islamist terrorist “sleeper cells” in the United States. I respect the work of a lot of those scholars, but disagree with that conclusion.

Here is evidence of a man in the USA who had been planning an attack for more than four years. How many more are there? We don’t know.



7 Movements That Give Away Your Concealed Carry Advantage (And How To Fix Them)

The types of movements both cops and criminals are looking for to determine if you are carrying a gun.



Collecting Hammers and the Pillars of Skill Building

“In martial training, it’s extremely common to hear the phrase “tools in the toolbox”.

When a student pipes up and asks about a different way of doing things? Tools in the toolbox.

A technique or approach that’s different? Tools for the toolbox.

You don’t see carpenters going around with a belt full of hammers, do you?

No. They select the best possible tool for the task at hand based on knowledge, experience, and desired outcome. The carpenter probably goes through a few different hammers before he finds the one that best suits him, but in general, he doesn’t keep going back out to look for more hammers once he’s got one that works.

He finds one that’s balance, good for a variety of situations, and that is durable enough to hold up to the work, and that’s that. He isn’t out collecting hammers expecting that someday he’ll find the perfect scenario for that niche tool.”



Training for an ECQC event with BJJ

Cecil talks about training for a weapons-based environment in an unarmed  grappling or BJJ class.



Rangemaster June Newsletter

This month’s newsletter consists of an excellent shooting drill, commentary about firearms reliability, and an incredibly thorough recommended reading list.  Opens to PDF.



Choose Adventure book by Greg Ellifritz

Thanks to Dr. Yamane for writing a wonderful review of my new book.

“Choose Adventure is an amazing guidebook to making good decisions while traveling — or in the case of some topics Greg covers like prostitution and drugs, making better bad decisions. Advice about dealing with scam artists and criminals, surviving natural and human disasters (e.g., riots), and using travel and improvised weapons are applicable in 200 countries on 7 continents from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

Even something as basic as food is treated very astutely here. If I had read this book prior to my trip to Mexico, I would have likely avoided getting food poisoning in a restaurant in Mexico City. And if I had read it before going to Ghana, I would have been able to enjoy some of the amazing street food that I assiduously avoided while there.”





Some of the above links (from are affiliate links.   As an Amazon associate I earn a small percentage of the sale price from qualifying purchases.

If you would like to further support my work, head over to my Patreon page.




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