Firearms

Yesterday, the president announced another plan to prevent gun violence. Of course, as with every other gun scheme the focus was not on the offenders. Notice no one ever suggests lessening armed robberies by outlawing convenience stores or banks. Some will argue that the president’s plan does address potential offenders by “keeping guns from those with mental health problems.” Sure, provided they’re in a magic mental health database which is only accessed by reasonable and detached psychologists and psychiatrists, and not the local NGO nut with a mental health worker certificate from a community college. The problem is that the right to keep and bear arms is primarily for defense against tyranny. Now we must trust the tyrant to be fair when deciding who may possess a gun. Lunatics should not have firearms but I fear we are not speaking of those who have been legally determined incompetent through a medical/legal process. Every child custody dispute, VA treatment for PTSD (a disorder the military almost promotes amongst veterans), or restraining order (a process often with little judicial scrutiny) will create a whole new class of “crazies” everyday. A database depends on the integrity and restraint of those who determine the entrants. Do you think discretion and care of the rights of the governed are going to be the primary concerns of whatever agency oversees the magic database? As a former peace officer I assure it doesn’t work that way. Continue reading

Gun ownership is rising and with it, goes the perennial question, “Which gun is best for home defense?”  Here’s my answer.

  1. Size-The one that fits your hand and allows you to keep perfect trigger finger placement and easily retain the weapon with a normal grip. Controls should be reachable with the shooting hand and with very little repositioning of the firearm.
  2. Continue reading

As you may have noticed, men and women are not the same. Thank God. At any rate, these differences extend to learning how to shoot a handgun safely and accurately. Women have a couple of advantages, such as a lower resistance to accepting firearm education, and a general tendency to not make training assumptions. At least, that’s been my experience. Men, on the other hand, tend to do better with physical replication of technique and training endurance. There are some particular difficulties that seem generally peculiar to women and are worth a woman being mindful of during her training:
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There is a popular complaint going around about police touching their weapons or drawing their weapons during routine traffic stops. For private defenders, this discussion is worth having because drawing the gun irrevocably alters confrontations. It is being suggested that cops are too eager to touch sidearms when confronting “unarmed” citizens.  Every case is different but here are some things to consider: Continue reading

We miss because we don’t properly sight. Sighting is everything in marksmanship. You may talk about grip and stance until your lips fall off but you will not shoot any better if sighting is not your marksmanship priority. Proper sighting controls grip, stance, breathing, and even the effect of wind on the body because fanatical sighting allows the shooter to see errors before they occur. Good grip can be practiced while wearing a blindfold which means it cannot be the primary source of accuracy. Proper grip is extraordinarily important. Bedrock stuff. Even so, grip is nowhere near as important as proper sighting skills. You may say, “we’ve heard all this before.” And there’s part of the training problem. Continue reading

I like pistols and pistols are here to stay. Having said that, there are millions of revolvers out there and many home defenders wonder whether a revolver is worth keeping. For my two cents, it’s tough to beat to revolver for the following reasons:

  1. Fixed barrels lend themselves to better accuracy. Some pistols have fixed barrels but all revolvers do, and they’re truly affixed to the frames providing better and more consistent accuracy. There are extremely accurate pistols but taken as a class of weapons, revolvers are accurate.   Continue reading

When I was a kid, gun people would describe the .45 ACP as having a kick “like a mule.” That myth probably arose from WWII and Viet Nam era basic military training wherein recruits may have had a few rounds of familiarization fire rather than a full pistol training and qualification. Instructors, desiring not to be shot would order the recruit to squeeze the grip as hard as possible. The results were the myth of a hard kicking pistol. Today, the 1911 .45 is everywhere and known for gentle recoil with standard ammunition. The point is, attitudes and expectations about recoil can be self-fulfilling or at least self-deceptive. Continue reading

New York Police Department and the FBI have done a good job of keeping statistical records concerning police shootings. In fact, compared to NYPD, the FBI is a little light on data. New York has been tracking shootings for more than a century.  The point is we know that for good or for ill, four rounds pretty much wraps it up.
Bear in mind that most shootings occur within 6′ or less, so it makes sense  that  the ammunition expenditure would not be all that great. Continue reading

Welcome to Practics. This blog focuses on matters relating to defensive use of firearms and the surrounding social issues. For my Amazon readers, this is something of a change. The marksmanship blog is still active at www.perfectpistolshot.com but will be replaced on my Amazon author’s page with www.practicsusa.com. I’ve enjoyed all the correspondence from Perfect Pistol Shot readers over the last couple of years and your emails are always welcome.

Practics is a system of firearm defense that has some unique characteristics: Continue reading

After the The Perfect Pistol Shot was published there was some reader interest in a defensive handgun book. I have just finished the manuscript and it’s currently with the editor. This is a large book, about 300-350 pages. Instead of a collection of techniques, the book offers a a full handgun self-defense system. The book will be available in trade paperback and Kindle. Spring 2015. In the meantime, I’ll periodically update the book’s progress here. Thanks for the interest; readers certainly influence my writing projects.

Winter is coming. Stored weapons need to be cleaned, oiled, and properly stored. Avoid humidity as much as possible.

I’ve noticed many firearm bloggers sharing targets and discussing accuracy. Slow-fire at seven yards with a service weapon should produce one ragged bullet hole. Unfortunately, that’s not what passes for decent shooting today. Shooters who accept an 8″ circle as a good measure of a group are endangering those around them. At 25 yards, you’re bullets will be all over God’s creation. Let’s be clear. Measuring groups by the distance of the furthest round to the center-most round may produce a “four-inch group” that is actually an eight inch group. Your full-sized handgun is probably capable of a five-shot group within a three inch circle at 25 yards. Work toward the mechanical accuracy of your firearm. Marksmanship takes effort, just like learning to drive a car. Most people don’t drive particularly well at the extremes, such as bad weather or high-speed. Likewise, most shooters can’t shoot when the target is smaller than an Elvis poster and farther away than the length of a Hyundai sedan. You CAN become a marksman if you will endeavor to study marksmanship and train instead of plink. It does you little good to take advice from other shooters who are unable to shoot accurately. Marksmanship is the basis for all shooting. Your enjoyment of your handgun will rise exponentially if you will invest the time, discipline, and effort to become a marksman. You can do it!

The Author
Al
Albert League is a former Marine and law enforcement firearm instructor who consults on a variety of security topics.