Friday, August 26, 2011

Ball & Dummy Drills Work Wonders

Yesterday, I took three members of my shooting club to the ISRA range in Kankakee so we could work on their pistol skills.  One member was a fairly new shooter to the League and had shot one season of our Off-duty matches with us.  This member has the makings of a top notch pistol shooter but she struggled with a being consistent shooter.  She would shoot a couple of X's in a row and then shoot a low eight.  She also couldn't make a lot of her head shots last season.

I started the group out by letting them fire a few rounds to get back into the swing of things and then got them on doing Ball & Dummy Exercises.  For those of you who don't know what Ball & Dummy exercises are, or have never done them yourself, they really work wonders to improve your shooting, and the results are immediate.  Basically you have someone else load your magazine with live and inert (dummy) rounds staggered throughout the magazine.  When the shooter pulls the trigger on a dummy round the shooter will actually get to see and feel if they flinch or have poor trigger control.  Until some shooters see this for themselves, you can tell them until your blue in the face what they're doing wrong but it may not sink in.

Within three or four magazines this particular shooter was shooting one jagged hole in the 10 and X-ring at regulation Off-duty match distances.  The improvement was rapid and remarkable.  These drills also made the entire group focus on weapon malfunction clearance skills (Tap-Rack-Assess).  If you doubt that these drills work, try them for yourselves.

We then started working with the Remington 870 Tactical shotgun.  Since we were being pressed by others for use of the range, I had to have this group fire the NRA Law Enforcement Instructor's Shotgun Qualification course cold.  I had drilled them on the operation of the Remington 870 in my classroom for a couple of hours with dummy rounds.  This was a couple days prior to our outing in Kankakee, so this was all the training they basically got on the shotgun.  I wanted them to warm up shooting some drills with light Trap loads but no such luck.  On the first attempt all three passed the Rifled Slug course with a 100% score.  When I took the LE Instructor course back in June, several LEO’s failed the course on their first attempt, and one instructor candidate quit without even trying to qualify.  Sad really, considering that two of my group in Kankakee were women who had never fired a Tactical shotgun or Rifled Slugs before.

By the way, the Hogue Over-molded shotgun stocks with 12" LOP work great for students of smaller stature, and for shooters wearing body armor, of which we had both. 

We then worked on the AR-15 rifle.  Again, these shooters were drilled in my classroom for about an hour on the nomenclature and operation this great rifle.  The range wasn't conducive to tactical shooting so we had to fire from a bench without support.  Even though all three shooters were new to the AR-15 they all fired fairly tight groups at 50 yards.  One was routinely making head shots.  For a powerful, high-capacity rifle, the AR-15 is a joy to shoot, especially for new shooters.  

The entire group did exceeding well and everyone present enjoyed themselves.  We were all ecstatic with their performance.

The point of this story is that Dry Drills do work wonders!  You don't need to fire live rounds to become a proficient weapon handler, especially at first.  On the contrary, I believe new shooters need to learn how to operate whatever firearm platform they are intending to use, dry with dummy rounds long before they ever step foot on a range to fire live ammo.  Dry practice will give them the confidence required to operate the firearm safely, efficiently and exceed as marksman and top-notch gun handlers.

At least that's my opinion.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Society Unravelling Quicker Than Expected.

After the "Wilding" attacks on the Chicago lakefront, at the Wisconsin State Fair, and the civil unrest that's going on in the UK, there is no doubt that the fabric of society is unravelling.  It's also unravelling faster than I had predicted.  We are in the downward spiral of a decaying society and our current Presidential administration's policies isn't helping matters at all.  With all that has happened to our economy and the recent downgrading of our credit rating, I believe we're in for some very ugly times ahead.  When the Stock Market finally melts down, I pity those who are not prepared.

This is not a time to be investing what spare money you may have in the stock market or low interest CD's.  It's the time to invest in bottled water, long-term food storage, and survival equipment such as Wool blankets, candles, stick matches, flashlights, batteries, and trauma first aid supplies.  It's also a time to stock up on firearms, large quantities of ammunition, and quality defensive training.  I recently purchased several months worth of freeze-dried food from  Hopefully these emergency rations will be enough for us to ride out the initial hail storm that we may be facing.

I do believe in my lifetime (and I'm 56) we will see civil unrest like never before.  I believe we will see roving bands of Have-nots looting and pillaging not only from your Main Street strip malls, but from average people's homes such as your's.  If you and your loved one's cannot defend yourselves and your food cache, you'll be in serious peril.  I'm sorry to say but I feel that women who are on their own will be in for the worst of it, if you get my meaning.  In a full scale upheaval don't be under the delusion that law enforcement will be able to help you.  They will already have their hand's full on the street.

Now if you also think that a few boxes of shotgun shells for your trusty Duck Gun will suffice in warding off evil, then you are sadly mistaken.  You'll need to whack the barrel off of your Old Brown Bess, remove the plug, and purchase several cases of shot shells.  You should also consider the absolute bare minimum to be 1,000 rounds of ammunition per defensive firearm.  Also, if you own any magazine-fed firearms, they are only as good as the number of loaded magazines you have on hand during an attack.  So plan on having at least 10 magazines per firearm.

You will be under enormous amounts of stress if this type of situation ever occurs, and under stress, we tend to regress to our lowest level of training.  If you have no training whatsoever, how do you think you'd fare in an all-out Zombie attack?  Poorly at best.  Seek out a quality instructor who will teach you and your loved one's how to operate firearms tactically and under stress-induced conditions.  This will be money well-spent if you ever become the focus of a mob set on looting your home and ravaging your women-folk.

An inexpensive option for people who are not gun savvy is to shop for used, short-barreled shotguns in their local gun shops.  Many of these used shotguns are police trade-ins and can be purchased for less than $250.00 a copy.  At this price you can afford to outfit your whole clan.  Try to purchase the same type of shotguns so everyone in your home gets trained on the exact same weapon platform.  I've just purchased five Remington 870 Police shotguns for my company.  They were all department trade-ins.  I got the bunch for under $1,000.00.  Add a couple cases of shotgun shells to that mix and your family becomes a formidable opponent for even the most determined band of looters. 

The key to surviving any upheaval is proper preparation and training.  Seek out the training you'll need, spend the money, and gain some tactical knowledge for you and your loved ones.  I truly hope that you and your family will never have the need to utilize this type of knowledge, but if you do, remember that you read about it here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hogue Over-Molded Synthetic Stock With 12" Length of Pull.

Some of you know that I've moved away from the Knoxx Spec-Ops stocks.  While they helped control recoil (something that didn't bother me much in the first place) they were very hard on the cheek bone, and they added a lot of weight to an already loaded down shotgun.  I found that I liked the Knoxx stock best when I shot it in one of the shorter Length of Pull settings.  The setting I preferred was one notch above the fully collapsed position.  That was also the setting I used at the NRA LE Pistol/Shotgun Instructor course in Missouri, and it proved to be deadly fast and accurate. 

I just purchased a Hogue Over-Molded Synthetic Stock with the 12" LOP.  Yes, it's very short, but when you're shooting a shotgun tactically, or when you're wearing body armor, a standard 14" LOP stock is far too long.  The 14" LOP stock was designed for shooting Trap and bird hunting, not for hunting men. 

The installation took about five minutes tops and the stock feels good.  The only adjustment I'll have to make is in my shooting hand position.  I'll have to shoot with a Thumb-forward grip like when I'm shooting a Service Rifle, as opposed to the standard grip of the thumb wrapped over the wrist of the stock.  That's so I don't smash my thumb into my nose when shooting heavy loads such as 00-Buck, Rifled Slugs, or my personal house guest offering of Federal Premium, 3" Magnum, Copper-plated #4 Turkey loads.  Now if I do forget to use my new thumb position, it will probably only happen to me once.

This should also be a good stock for smaller-framed shooters like women and young adults.  They're also inexpensive.  Midway USA sells the Hogue Over-molded stock and forend set for about $55.00.  With an 18.5" barrel my house gun is now much easier to maneuver with a total OAL of only 36.5".