Dec 28, 2015

Firearm User Network and blog move

I'm finding it superfluous to maintain a personal blog when most of my online efforts are already divided among FUNshoot.com (my startup company), American Gunsmith (my editing job)and the USAR Shooting Team.

http://FirearmUserNetwork.com is the online equivalent of a magazine (news, articles, etc.) for the Firearm User Network service at FUNshoot.com.

I will post all future news at http://FirearmUserNetwork.com.

Feb 5, 2014

2014 All Army Small Arms Championship

FORT BENNING, Ga. - More than 200 Soldiers from around the force competed against each other and Mother Nature at the history-making 2014 U.S. Army Small Arms Championship. Snow, ice and bone-chilling weather, combined with the highest female participation in two decades and the crowning of a five-time champ, made this year's iteration of the Army's premier marksmanship training event one to remember for years to come. "It was interesting," said Master Sgt. Russell Moore "It was great combat weather. It wasn't anything our Soldiers aren't facing around the world. It definitely affected things and you had to plan accordingly. I think it brought out the warrior in everybody." Cementing his legacy within the lore of the "All-Army," Moore won the overall individual championship for a historic fifth time. The Army Reservist and Dept. of Army civilian from Boerne, Texas, edged out fellow Army Reservist Sgt. 1st Class John Buol in a close battle that came down to the final match. "It was very close and we didn't know who won until they announced it at the awards ceremony," Moore said. "This one feels good because there were some phenomenal shooters this year." Moore spends his weekdays instructing combat medics at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He follows that up on the weekends as a ROTC instructor at the University of Texas at San Antonio with the 4-414th Regiment (SROTC) and said he takes the valuable lessons back to the classroom. "I've been very happy to take what I learned here and other matches and, whether it's my students or my cadets, to (explain to them) just how important individual marksmanship truly is to the Army." Hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, active duty, Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers were split into four main categories: pro, open, novice and cadet. Winners received plaques and coins, and their names were permanently engraved on trophies. Moore and the overall high novice shooter for the week, Capt. Nicholas Brunnet, were awarded a Secretary of the Army M1 Garand Trophy Rifle for their accomplishment. Team California won the overall team championship. Snow and ice pelted Fort Benning on the second day of the event, leading to the post closing for a day and-a-half. USAMU personnel scrambled to adjust the schedule so the Soldiers who attended would still receive enough training to accomplish the general mission of the event. "The All-Army is designed to be the ultimate train-the-trainer event for marksmanship," said Lt. Col. Don King Jr, commander, USAMU. "We task these Soldiers to take what they learned this week and take it back to their units to increase the overall combat readiness of our Army." Among the many highlights of the event was the increased participation of female Soldiers. Over the past decade of war, women have contributed in unprecedented ways to the Army's mission and have proven their ability to serve in an expanding number of roles. Those who attended this year's competition hope it opens the floodgates for more female attendance for years to come. "This is my first All-Army but won't be my last," said Army Reservist Sgt. 1st Class Annette Habel, an Army Career Counselor hailing from Clairmont, Fla. "This has been so much fun, and I have met so many great people. I volunteered to come compete and am really glad I did. The (combat pistol) team match was Habel's favorite part of the event, she said. They had to cross the finish line together and shoot together and that's what the Army teaches, to work as a team. "I foresee that we're going to have more females come out next year and give the guys more competition," she added. This championship allows Soldiers to test their marksmanship proficiency in challenging circumstances without the actual rigors of war so that when they are deployed they have the confidence and resources to win those battles, King said. The All-Army is really a training event cleverly disguised as a competition. "I keep coming back because it is not only an opportunity not to meet and interact with other Soldiers from the guard, active (duty) and reserve," Moore said. "It allows me to pass on what we have learned over the years and teach it to novices, especially, to the cadets -- our future leaders -- and the other Soldiers who compete." http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/1391586125gsj3eyhzuph

Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence

Committee on Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence Executive Office Institute of Medicine Committee on Law and Justice Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Edited by Alan I. Leshner, Bruce M. Altevogt, Arlene F. Lee, Margaret A. McCoy, and Patrick W. Kelley Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. A few of the findings in this report, as written up by Kyle Wintersteen 1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker: “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” 2. Defensive uses of guns are common: “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.” 3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining: “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” The report also notes, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.” 4. “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results: “Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue.” The report could not conclude whether “passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.” 5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime: “There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002).” 6. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime: “More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market.” 7. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides: “Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.”

Jan 17, 2014

Why Tactical Shooters Shoot Poorly At Tactical Shooting

I could personally careless about clover leafing or bullseye shooting in respect to the potential of leveling my smoke pipe on a scumbag. Combat effective accuracy has limited opportunity for educational exercise on the square range. Most Civilian and LEO gun fights take place between 3-7yds if you are not practicing at those distance and from a draw you are target shooting not training to carry a gun.

Dec 17, 2013

Feel Good Training

Feel Good Training
by Caleb Giddings

When I was shooting Collegiate Bullseye, I was pretty good. Then I started shooting IDPA, and I realized that I wasn’t very good. So I practiced until I was, and made Master class. Then I went to my first Nationals and got wrecked. I also started shooting USPSA and wasn’t very good at that. So I practiced until I made A-class. I thought I was an accurate shooter, until I started shooting Bianchi Cup.

The point is that shooting well is actually hard and there are no shortcuts to the top. I know if I want to win an IDPA Championship, I’m going to have to train my butt off so I can beat some of the best revo shooters in the world.

The difficultly of shooting well is exactly why guys like Robin Brown or Matthew Temkin exist. Guns get wrapped up in ego, so when you’re suddenly confronted by your own suck, it’s awfully tempting to hear the siren call of these clowns. “Shhh, it’s okay” they say as you dump 500 rounds aimlessly into the berm, “that’s how it will be on the street.” Instead of teaching you to excel, they give you an opportunity to hide from your own inadequacies with their pablum of “the streets.” It feels good to shoot a lot of rounds and have a nice old man pat you on the head and tell you that you’re “combat accurate.” It feels good to do drills without a timer and have the instructor (who doesn’t even demo) tell you that he “felt” like it was faster.

You know what else feels good? Masturbation. But it’s no substitute for the real thing, and neither are these fraud trainers teaching meaningless nonsense that not only won’t make you any better with a gun, but could actually endanger yourself or others.

If your instructor isn’t using a timer to objectively measure standard drills, you’re wasting time and money. If your instructor doesn’t believe in using the sights ever, he’s a fraud. I understand the temptation of “feel good” shooting, and there is absolutely a time and place for that. If you want to feel good about your shooting, train for a year. Then go to a public range. I guarantee that you’ll feel smug about your shooting for at least a week. But after that, go to a class that kicks your ass.

Feelings are liars. Your feelings will almost always lead you down the path of mediocrity. The best way to feel good about your shooting is to look an objective metric like a standard drill and see your performance on it. Or look at your match scores and how they’ve improved. Then you have something that you’re justified to feel good about.

Dec 9, 2013

Beyond Expert: Story Behind The Book

I had always wanted to write a book about shooting. Turns out, I would be asked to publish it. While spending 2003-2010 as a mobilized small arms instructor with the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program I noticed a trend in the different range of skills found among typical military-trained personnel and skilled marksmen, such as those involved in competition. On average, skilled competition shooter were able to exceed Army "expert" qualification standards by 300% or more. Military qualification standards are such that even an "expert" score may still be a novice-level effort as the course of fire isn't capable of measuring higher skill. Note I said "skilled competition shooter." Not National champion or Olympian, just a competent marksmen among competition shooters. As one of my fellow instructors put it, a shooter that doesn't finish in the top ten percent at a match isn't competing, he's participating. Now, there's nothing wrong with participation (I still do it sometimes :) but a skilled competitor will manage to top out in the top ten percent of his/her shooting peers. That is good enough to at least earn "leg" points towards a Distinguished badge, earn a Master classification or something similar. After managing to stumble into the Gunzine game and getting some articles published, I queried an Editor at Harris Publications to write this up. He agreed (see, sometimes gun magazines do publish actual marksmanship material.) I originally wanted it to be a series of articles but was directed to make it a single, very large article. I titled it 300: Tripling Military Shooting Skills and it published as Shoot 300% Better (http://www.tactical-life.com/magazines/tactical-weapons/shoot-300-better) Of course, my originally-intended-series-turned-article piece was considerably larger than most. When it wound up in the word processor of a Harris copy editor, he was directed to cut it in half! He sent me the cut-to-fit revision to review in an email with the subject "Buol Chainsaw Massacre." Turns out this copy editor was friends with the Editorial Director at Paladin Press. While lamenting over hist chopping and dissecting assignment, he quipped that she should ask me to write a full length book for Paladin about it because, "he practically wrote a damn book about it already." So I was contacted, contracted and the rest is the ISBN-indexed dead trees package here: http://www.paladin-press.com/product/Beyond-Expert