Long Range Shooting: Understanding Extreme Spread And Standard Deviation

With the increase in interest in long-range shooting, the terms extreme spread (ES) and standard deviation (SD) are being thrown around a lot. What exactly is ES and SD? More importantly, should you really care about them? And what do they mean to the expected performance of your ammunition? I will offer some definitions and examples for the first question and the answer to the second question depends on whether you are a handgunner or rifleman, a plinker or a precision shooter.

Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/tips-tactics/long-range-shooting-understanding-extreme-spread-and-standard-deviation/#ixzz5RH07stIX


What To Do When Your Gun Fails

When your pistol malfunctions during a range session, do you stop and look at it, dumbfounded? Do you set your pistol down and raise your hand for assistance because you aren’t sure how to remedy the problem? These are common reactions for a new shooter, but if you’re going to carry a pistol or keep one in the home for defensive purposes, you need to be your gun’s emergency roadside mechanic. After all, lives may depend on your ability to fix your gun and get back in the fight.

When pressing the trigger of your pistol produces a “click” instead of a “bang,” it’s time to employ the immediate-action technique, also known as “tap, rack, assess.” There are a few ways to accomplish this, but they all share some common traits.

The first step to clearing most malfunctions is to release your grip with your non-dominant hand and use your palm to slam the bottom of the magazine. The rationale is that the malfunction may have been caused by the magazine not being fully seated in the magazine well. “Tapping” the magazine will help ensure it’s locked in place.

Although this is an important first step, merely tapping the magazine won’t enable you to fire the pistol. You need to cycle the action to ensure any obstruction in the chamber is cleared and a new round is fed.

To facilitate this, reach over the pistol and pinch the slide between your fingertips and the heel of your palm. Be sure to grip behind the eject port so your hand doesn’t block the ejection port and induce a double-feed stoppage.

Grip established, rack the slide forcefully to the rear. Racking the slide is easier with the momentum generated by a quick, aggressive cycling action. To ensure the slide travels completely rearward and therefore has the most spring tension to drive it back into battery, at the same time push forward on the grip with your dominant hand.

When you release the slide, allow your non-dominant hand to strike your chest to confirm you don’t ride the slide as it travels forward. Riding the slide decelerates the slide’s forward movement and could prevent the pistol from going back into battery. A popular tweak to this technique is to rotate the pistol to the right—toward the ejection port—so gravity will help clear the spent casings or bad rounds from the pistol.

After tapping the magazine and racking the slide, quickly assess the condition of your pistol and the threat. If you cant the pistol slightly to the left, you’ll be able to see if the slide is completely forward. If it is, your gun should be ready to fire.

At this point, it’s time to determine if firing your pistol is an appropriate response. Does the assailant still present an imminent deadly threat, or has he fled, taken a hostage or given up? Remember your response must be based on the current actions of the assailant. Just because he presented a deadly threat 10 seconds ago doesn’t mean it would be legally justified to shoot him now.

When I was a new police officer 20 years ago, we were taught to clear a malfunction while keeping the arm extended, with the pistol oriented to the threat. This was intended to prevent your adversary from recognizing your pistol was not operational. Also, since your muzzle was still pointed at the threat, it was considered faster to aim your pistol when the stoppage was remedied.

Today, most pistol instructors advocate keeping the gun close to the body while clearing a malfunction. After all, a seamstress doesn’t thread a needle with fully extended arms. Doing so would be quite frustrating and time-consuming. While sewing may not be an urgent endeavor, clearing a malfunctioned pistol certainly is.

In the modern version of the immediate-action technique, bring the gun toward your body and orient the magazine toward your non-dominant side. This positions it perfectly for a firm palm strike to the bottom of the magazine to ensure it’s fully seated.

Rather than racking the slide as described earlier, instructors like Dave Spaulding advocate a different technique. Rather than grip the slide with your fingertips and hand—thumb facing toward you—turn your hand over, thumb facing away.

Grip the slide with your thumb and as many fingertips as you can fit onto the slide. This is a more natural motion than gripping with your thumb facing toward you.

With this method, instead of rotating the pistol to the right—toward the ejection port—rotate the pistol to the left. This may seem counterproductive, but when you consider you are rotating the gun until the top of the slide is in about the seven o’clock position, it’s easy to see that gravity will still help clear the ejection port of spent casings or unfired rounds gumming up the works.

Again, rotating the pistol inward is more natural than rotating it outward. Many equate this to pouring out a beverage. You would almost certainly invert your cup by rotating it inward. It’s easier to turn the cup upside down this way. Your pistol is really no different.

Double Feeds

The immediate-action sequence won’t clear a double-feed. If you’ve already performed the sequence and the pistol still won’t fire, or if you recognize that your pistol has a double-feed before executing immediate action, here’s what you need to do.

First, you must remove the magazine from the pistol. Depending on the pistol and magazine you’re using, you may simply be able to grasp the bottom of the magazine firmly and strip it from the pistol. However, on certain pistols and with certain magazines, this won’t work. In these cases, you will have to first lock the slide to the rear by pressing up on the slide stop while fully retracting the slide.

How will you know whether you can get away with not locking the slide to the rear? Practice with your carry gun and magazine. This is something you need to know before you’re fighting for your life.

My police training taught me to drop the magazine after stripping it from the gun. After all, the magazine could be the culprit. But police officers typically carry at least two spare magazines.

What if the magazine you strip from the pistol is your your only one? When the magazine in your pistol is all you’ve got, secure it under your shooting-side armpit until you’ve cleared the malfunction.

After removing the magazine, invert the pistol and cycle the slide until the chamber is clear. Most instructors recommend racking the slide three times. Once or twice may not be enough, and if the third time isn’t a charm, chances are neither will subsequent attempts. If you see the spent casing eject after the first time you rack the slide, you can move on.

At this point, you have an empty pistol. If you have a spare magazine, load it into the pistol, but don’t forget you still need to rack the slide to chamber a round. If you had only one magazine, retrieve it from under your arm, load and rack the slide. This is not a particularly complicated process, but it must be practiced extensively because it needs to happen ASAP.

Speaking of practice, have you considered that an injury to your hand or arm may require you to clear a malfunction one-handed? If you understand what needs to occur mechanically to fix your gun, the technique for one-handed malfunction clearing is really no mystery.

The immediate-action sequence can be performed by tapping the bottom of the magazine on your knee, hooking the rear sight or ejection port on your belt, holster, boot or other solid object and racking the slide. No big deal, although it’s something you really need to practice.

Safety First

For safety, this technique and the following one should be practiced initially with dummy rounds. You must be mindful that your muzzle isn’t pointed at you or anyone else. Only when you are proficient with these techniques using inert training rounds should you even consider practicing them with live rounds. When you do, start slowly, with safety always being the most important consideration.

The next technique deals with clearing a double-feed with only one hand. For a right-handed shooter executing a right-handed-only double-feed clearance, hook the rear sight or ejection port on your belt, holster or other hard object while pushing up on the slide stop with your thumb and racking the slide completely rearward.

With the slide locked open, hook the magazine on a pocket and press the magazine release then rip the magazine from the pistol. If that’s your only magazine, you will need to pick it up because it’s kind of important.

With the magazine ejected, hook the rear sight or ejection port on something and cycle the slide as previously described to clear the chamber. Holster the pistol. Insert the magazine. Draw the pistol and hook the rear sight or ejection port on an object to cycle the slide and chamber a round.

As you probably guessed, clearing a double-feed left-handed can be more difficult—especially for right-handed shooters but even for lefties, since few guns offer ambidextrous slide locks and you have to deal with controls on the other side of the gun.

The pistol doesn’t care which hand you use to clear it. As far as the pistol is concerned, the same thing is happening.

To lock the slide back with the left hand, you’ll need to apply upward pressure on the slide stop with your left index finger rather than your right thumb. Similarly, you’ll need to press the magazine release with your left index finger while stripping out the magazine with the help of your pocket.

From there, cycle the slide until the spent casing is ejected. If your holster is on your right side because you’re a right-hander, you’ll need to place the gun between your knees or kneel and secure it behind your bended knee (with the muzzle facing away from you). Insert the magazine. Hook the slide or ejection port and rack the slide to chamber a round.

And remember that if you’re dealing with a malfunction in real life while facing a deadly threat, if “tap, rack, assess” doesn’t address the problem, running to cover is an excellent second step when such a move is possible.

Guns malfunction. Murphy’s Law dictates this will occur at the most inopportune time. That’s why it’s important to have an immediate and reliable solution to clear any type of pistol stoppage.

When your handgun malfunctions in the middle of a fight, don’t contemplate it—fix it.


source: handgunsmag.com




Your “mindset” is the foundational part of your plan and will help you dictate and prioritize the steps you take in its formation. You have to decide who (notice I said “who” not “what”) you are willing to protect, how far you are willing to go to protect them and how best to go about it. You have to be clear on your mission so you can train in the skills you will need to succeed in it. Once you hear that “bump in the night” your chance to plan is over, it’s time to act and I guarantee you that you will act according to your plan. So if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

Set yourself up for success by setting goals

So what considerations are needed to build a solid home defense mindset? It’s best to start with your goals, we need to keep those we love safe at home, so we put plans in place to address the most likely dangers we could face there. If you are protecting against home invasion you need to construct a well thought out and thoroughly rehearsed defense plan. Part of that plan has to be your state and local laws regarding self-defense. These laws vary sometimes drastically, from state to state so be sure to do your homework.

Your family has to be not just aware of but well drilled in their individual parts of the plan. Everyone should know what they are going to do and why they are doing it before the plan is in motion. For example, if you have children someone needs to get to them quickly while someone else calls the police. In my house I’ve had the most training (though my wife is pretty formidable as well) so it’s my job to get down the hall  past the kids room to cover the entrance to the hallway while my wife brings the kids to our bed room and calls 911. My kids are still too young to be an active part of the plan but once they are old enough they will be responsible for their own piece of it.

Getting your head around firearm storage and placement

Because speed will be a necessity, firearms should be staged safely but ready to hand and phones need to be accessible to contact law enforcement. Whatever your defensive tools are they should be in a place that allows you to get to them quickly even if you are still half asleep.

Firearm storage is a contentious issue in the gun community and there are many great options out there, but again, think through what your mission dictates and choose accordingly. Remember, part of being a responsible gun owner is safely storing or staging your guns. Just leaving your gun on the nightstand may not be the best choice, especially if you have young kids in the house.

My personal recommendation is to contact the awesome folks at Tactical Walls. They provide practical and stylish storage options that will integrate well with any home defense plan, but whatever storage option you go with, make sure it works for your plan to provide safe but also fast firearm access.

Everyone’s plan will look a bit different but they should all have similar components, but your plan doesn’t end there. If you want to keep your family safe, fire extinguishers should be charged and ready in the kitchen, first aid kits need to be stocked and easy to get to. It’s a big list, but with a clear and well thought out goal and a well-rehearsed plan home safety and defense is very achievable.

It’s all in your mind

Finally let’s talk about the fight after the fight. If you are forced to defend yourself and your family by employing force, there will be some sort of legal, mental and social fallout. Talk about the realities of violence with your family and research together what will happen after a use of force event. If you can afford it, I would suggest some type of insurance to cover lawful use of force. Also, you need to get right with yourself on use of force based on your own ethical and moral values.

Making sure all of these things are in place before you find yourself in a use of force situation will help you act quickly and decisively as well as help prepare you for everything that comes after. Overall, having a good defensive mindset means being honest and objective. We would all love to live in a world where nothing in this article was a necessity but unfortunately we do not. However, there is no reason to give in to fear or become overwhelmed! If you have a solid plan in place that can deal with the realistic dangers you may face, you have nothing to be afraid of.

source: guns.com

Gun Fights are Dangerous — Even if You Win

By Dave Dolbee in Safety and Training


An armed resident and an intruder were both killed. The intruder was killed by the homeowner. The homeowner was killed by a responding officer. Read the following account of what happened. The details are sparse, but the commentary regarding the dos and don’ts in the comment section should be revealing.

It’s about 1:30 a.m. The police have responded to an intruder call. As the police arrive on the scene, they hear gunshots. Fearing for the safety of the home’s occupants, the police rush in and encounter a man holding gun. The police shoot the man with the gun. In doing so, the homeowner, who had just shot the intruder, is shot and killed by the responding officer.

The investigation of whether the officer’s actions were justified is fodder for another place time. We simply do not have enough details, and I have no wish to foster a bunch of comments to bash those who run to, not from, the 911 calls. Nonetheless, this could be most any of us. Maybe you did everything right, perhaps not.

After all, the police shot the homeowner in his own house. Stress levels were high. The officer may not have properly identified himself. In the heat of the moment, adrenaline flowing, the homeowner may have panicked and leveled his gun at the responding officers after they identified themselves. We just don’t know, and there is little benefit to debating the right or wrong actions of those involved without complete details. However, that does not mean that this cannot be a catalyst for a learning moment.

Don’t Get Mistaken for the Bad Guy

You awake to a crash and people yelling. You realize an intruder is in your house. You hear a family member scream and gunshots. Fearing for your safety and that of your loved ones, you move to confront the intruder.

Your neighbors also heard the shots and screams and called the police who, unbeknownst to you, are only one block away. You see the intruder coming down the hall, alone. You confront him and are forced to shoot and kill him as the police pull up to the house

What happens next?

Surviving A Home Invasion

ShieldWall Editorial Note: Once, a group of Antifa decided to break into a home occupied by three skinheads in Pittsburgh. Their home invasion turned bad when my friend Mike Stehle came down the stairs opening fire, hitting one of them in the top of the head with predictable results. Sic Semper Antifa. Charges were dropped in the justified shooting, which you can read more about here. 

Imagine this scenario: You’re sitting at home watching reruns of ‘The Simpsons’ and there’s a knock at your front door.

“Who’s there?” you say. Hello, my daughter is selling Girl Scout cookies to raise money for military veterans and we’d like to show you her selection.”

Being the real patriot you are, you’re tempted to open the door to “do your part” – but are smart enough to look first and notice two tough-looking thugs with guns… and no little girl in a uniform.

You’re about to be the victim of a home invasion. So what do you do? Reach for your .45? Your shotgun? Claymore mine?

As a tried and true gun owner, your first instinct may be to start blasting away, but a home invasion requires tactical thinking BEYOND just the “point and shoot” reaction many gun owners have instilled in themselves from typical range training…

Here Are Four Tips To Survive A Home Invasion

  1. You need a “code word” for your family so that they all know how to spring into action, even if they’re in separate rooms from each other. Forget the Spec Ops secret code – “ESCAPE” works much better than “RED WOLF”. 

Simple…to the point.
  2. Have a “safe room” set up in your house where everyone can retreat to at the same time.
It needs to be stocked with several items to be prepared for surviving the upcoming fight, including a phone you can use to call law enforcement.
  3. DON’T leave your safe room!
 Assuming you have those you love with you, don’t be one of the idiots who puts on his cape and decides to go take the fight to the guys invading your home.
  4. Create a “fatal funnel”. Hunker down in a corner to the opposite side of the opening of the door so you have maximum time to make a shooting decision and are the last thing the home invaders see when busting in.
You have the advantage in this case because they have to assess the room before making a move (is anyone in the room; where are they; recover; reorganize; act)
. You just have to decide whether to shoot or not and you already know that either it’s a bad guy coming for you or the police coming to rescue you (hint: don’t shoot the police)
. Stay in place until the police arrive, even if you think the threat is gone.

The Harsh Reality Of Home Invasions

Look, home invasions don’t just happen in high-crime neighborhoods.

They happen EVERYWHERE (even in rural areas where home invaders know that there’s no one around to hear your screams).
OWNING a gun isn’t the same as knowing what to do with it tactically should you ever be faced with such a violent invasion of your castle.

And I’m not just talking about “point shooting” or getting a 1″ shot group between the eyes – I’m talking about all the other sneaky tricks that support your firing skills and are even MORE important.

source: moderncombatandsurvival.com

Leadership Tips For An Expert

This is especially important for anyone who wished to become a regional coordinator for the ShieldWall Network and develop your own franchise.

I am a strong proponent of the United States Marine Corps Leadership Principles and Traits. I have multiple copies of this list and read it daily.

Although I strive to apply these to my daily leadership responsibilities, I have adapted these principles to my duties as a firearms instructor. I would like to share these, as well as some other principles and traits I have learned.


Before you step into the classroom or range, you must know yourself and seek improvement. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are you doing to fix your weaknesses and build upon your strengths?

One great way to hold yourself accountable is to always provide and promptly review course critiques and evaluations. Of course, you can’t make everyone happy, but if you review class critiques with an open mind, you will learn instructional traits – both positive and negative – about yourself you didn’t know.


Leadership also starts well before the training. You must formulate solid lesson plans and courses of fire that are not only challenging and effective teaching techniques, but also address case law and agency expectations.

The majority of your time should be spent during the preparation phase. You must clearly articulate the learning goals and objectives of the training with the other instructors, as well as the methodology of instruction and your expectations.

Any and all lesson plans or materials should be disseminated to all involved instructors in advance of the training. This will help you earn credibility and respect from the other instructors by keeping them informed. Ask for feedback on your lesson plans well before training occurs. Make sure your vision of the training outcome has transferred over to the written word of your lesson plan.


Whatever you are teaching, you must know the lesson plan and how to perform those techniques upon demand. As an instructor you must be tactically and technically proficient.

If an instructor is repeatedly asked questions and does not have the answers, the students will go elsewhere to find their information and the uninformed instructor will develop a poor reputation. If you are not clear on the lesson plan, ask.

This not only goes for the facets of the Combat Triad of marksmanship, gun handling and combat mindset, but it holds true to instructor methodology, classroom and range management as well as administrative functions. As unromantic as the administrative tasks are, you must be proficient.


One failing that I have as a lead instructor is giving up control. I am very particular when it comes to my lesson plans and content and I have a specific plan in my head on how things will look. I need to learn that by giving up control, you actually gain control.

To develop responsibility among the assistant instructors, I ask which sections of the lesson plan they would like to be responsible for instructing. I usually ask instructors to teach something they need to develop more expertise. This forces them to know themselves and seek improvement.


From time to time you may need to make sound and timely decisions. These decisions could range from when to take a lunch break to the prioritization of the content, or when to remove an unsafe shooter from the range. Decisiveness on the range must be prompt, so make the decision. Improper judgment in regard to an unsafe shooter or even inclement weather could be devastating. Have the ability to weigh facts and possible solutions on which to base sound, informed decisions.


Setting the example is where we get the most traction. Appearance goes a long way and command presence does exist on the range and in the classroom. An instructor that shows up wearing a uniform that their cat slept on the night before will instantly lack credibility. Whereas the instructor that has a pressed and creased uniform with shined boots will develop a leader/follower relationship much faster than the “Soup Sandwich.” If you are instructing in an academy setting you should meet and exceed the academy uniform and appearance standards that the students must adhere to.


An instructor should also wear the same equipment as the students. This means duty gear and body armor, anything less is lazy and demonstrates an aura of entitlement. Wearing an off-duty rig when teaching students who are wearing duty gear can drive a wedge in the leader/follower relationship.

The students aren’t stupid and know that you will be faster with off-duty gear, and a student may challenge you on it. Don’t put yourself in the position where you would need to defend yourself. Wearing the same equipment in the same conditions as the students builds credibility.


The firearms instructor should also demonstrate the courses of fire. You must ensure that assigned tasks are understood, supervised and accomplished. Conducting demonstrations is better than telling the students. Students must truly understand what you are requesting of them.

Some instructors refuse to demo drills. They feel that if they don’t shoot well they will lose credibility.

As an assistant instructor at a fairly big name shooting school, I did so poorly demonstrating a specific course of fire that it still bothers me to this day. I was trying to go too fast and impress the students, but failed miserably. I lost a lot of credibility and respect from the other instructors and students. I lost the credibility because instead of seeking and taking responsibility for my actions, I gathered the pieces of shattered ego and slinked off the line. If I would have explained that I was trying too hard and shot it again, I may have been able to repair my credibility and ego.


When setting the example, you are never too important to do the menial tasks. You should be shagging ammo, setting up the range, hanging targets and most importantly, cleaning up brass. I hate it too, especially as I get older, but I don’t care if you didn’t fire a round. Setting the example means brassing with the troops. Getting dirty and then showing up the next day in a pristine uniform will also build respect.


A good instructor knows the nuances of every group of students. Every group has a specific “temperature.” Are you instructing an understaffed graveyard team that was working a late high-priority call or academy cadets who have a certain expectation of how they should be treated?

Conduct a little recon before class to help you adjust your teaching style. The lesson plans must stay the same, but the delivery should be altered to fully benefit the students.

Make sure you give the students sufficient breaks to warm up or cool down. I understand we should be training in poor environments, but sometimes you will figuratively lose the students or the conditions can become unsafe.


Do what you say you will do, both for students and other members of the instructor cadre. This means getting to the venue early and leaving late. Have the training venue fully prepared and ready to begin training at the scheduled start time. Range or classroom set up should never occur on student training time.


You must be unselfish and professional. As you know, there is a lot of arrogance and negative ego in this industry. There are instructors who think they are better than the students and the rest of the instructor cadre.

Being a firearms instructor is not about you. It is about the students. If at any time you think you are better than anyone else or hold yourself above the training mission and the students, you need to pack your stuff and get off my range.

Smart aleck remarks and speaking in movie quotes can create a positive learning environment as long as it stays professional. It is very easy to take a joke too far on the range. Keep it fun, but never degrading or demeaning, because you can lose a lot of students very quickly.


Be faithful to your agency philosophies and mission. Have faith in the lesson plans and the methodologies you are teaching. If you put down anyone or anything in your agency, it is unprofessional; you may lose the student’s respect.

Be loyal to the cause publically, even if you don’t agree with everything. If you don’t agree with your agency’s decision or direction, don’t complain about it. Be part of the solution and make positive changes that benefit everyone.


It takes a tremendous amount of courage to disqualify a member of the command staff or even a friend. If you don’t appropriately address those issues and others see or hear about it, you will lose integrity.

Courage can also mean staying late with a problem shooter so they don’t leave the range with a negative performance issue gnawing at them. It can also mean helping someone that you may have personal unfavorable feelings toward.


Working the range can be physically and mentally taxing. Have the mental and physical endurance to withstand the pain, stress and hardships of the range. After you check your students and other instructor’s welfare, make sure you check your own. Be sure you are snacking and drinking water. By satisfying your needs after your students, you help your endurance.


I also conduct an instructor debriefing after a training session and cover what the instructor cadre could improve upon, including me. If you are the lead instructor, surround yourself with assistant instructors that will call you out and hold you responsible.


I love to teach and I am very passionate about it. I believe my enthusiasm spreads to the students and other instructors. Physically exuding your excitement about the lesson plan and courses of fire has a contagious effect. So have fun out there, the majority of your students will follow your lead.


The biggest violation of initiative I see as a lead instructor is the assistants doing nothing. Standing behind your four shooters and not interacting with them is not teaching. Interact with them. There is usually something that can be done.


You should have a common practice for reward and punishments. Justice is administering those rewards and punishment in a tactful manner. I like to stop everything to acknowledge successes.

Punishments are different depending on your audience. At in-service, I speak to the individual alone, using tact. I am firm, fair and, most importantly, consistent. Things change at an academy level. I am still firm, fair and consistent, but the cadets pay the penance as a team. I will join them for minor infractions that are deserving of push-ups on the range.

I do not participate in disciplinary tasks at the academy level for major infractions. For the major infractions, we send them on runs. This is the opportunity for the cadet formal and informal leadership to take charge, and own their mistakes and develop a sense of responsibility. If the cadets do not own it, their peers will usually help them understand.


All of these traits and principles are inconvenient, because leadership is inconvenient. All of these principles and traits come from lessons learned. Some are from positive experiences, but more often they are from negative experiences. I did not say failure because as a leader you are either successful or you learn. Learn from your mistakes. See everything as an opportunity to learn.

If you habituate these 20 traits and principles, you should earn credibility and respect. Having the rapport and respect of your students will help you deliver the content much more effectively. In doing so, you allow your students to accomplish great things and that is the truest form of servant leadership.

Molot Short-Barrel Shotgun – Get them before they’re gone!

The Molot shotguns and rifles are in limited stock due to the U.S. sanctions imposed some time ago. There are already a number of models that are out of stock, and there is no telling how much longer this short barrel shotgun will last.

This semi-auto short barrel shotgun with a folding stock is imported from the Molot factory in Russia. Vepr 12 shotguns are semi-automatic designed for self-defense, hunting, and 3-gun competitions. Based on the RPK standard, the Vepr 12 shares the same legendary characteristics of extreme reliability in harsh conditions as the RPK.

Folding Stock
Featuring a factory short barrel, Left-side folding tubular buttstock with cheek rest and sling loop, competition magazine well, one (each) factory 8-round and 5-round magazine included, RPK style windage adjustable rear sight, hinged dust cover with a Picatinny rail, original AK enhanced safety lever (single finger operation), factory chrome lined barrel, chamber, receiver shaft, and gas chamber, factory last round bolt hold open, factory threaded barrel, factory machined bolt assembly, and gas blocks. US factory made parts: polymer lower handguard and upper handguard, pistol grip, trigger, hammer, disconnector, and gas puck.
James Reeves reviews the SBS!
James Reeves from TFBTV had the opportunity to come and shoot the SBS for a video review. Check it out!



Taking a Dremel tool to a firearm is almost always frowned upon. And I agree.

However, butchering a holster might be entirely appropriate, depending on the reason. The other day I shared a story about how the extremely challenging Air Marshal Pistol Qualification test exposed some opportunities for gear improvement. The need for top speed leaves no room for even the slightest hang-up caused by equipment issues.

Well, that started a dangerous binge. No, I didn’t subject any firearms to Dremel abuse. However, I did complete some very minor and gentle performance modifications to an old Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe IWB holster. In other words, I hacked the crap out of it with scissors and power tools.

It doesn't look pretty, but it sure is functional.

Here’s why. This particular holster is for a Beretta PX4, and I’ve dug it out of the drawer-o-holsters to use with a Beretta PX4 Compact Carry 9mm pistol. It’s a smaller gun, so everything is a bit closer together. The grip is shorter, so it’s harder to get a perfect hold while the gun is holstered. If you don’t, you’ll have to tweak your grip while extracting, rotating, and raising the pistol. That’s a bad thing. What I found was that my fingers were being obstructed by the leather back panel and that my middle finger knuckle was jamming into part of the Kydex shell. That definitely fouls up any opportunity for a perfect draw.

Post surgery, both leather and Kydex were well out of the way of my normal grip.

Cut but don’t compromise holster safety

So, feeling industrious, I got some heavy-duty scissors and performed my own “combat cut” to remove leather from under the entire grip area. I then broke out the Dremel tool (gasp!) and ground out a rounded cut to make room for my middle finger. Hey, it’s not as bad as it sounds. I did take care to use the felt polishing wheel to smooth out my surgical cuts after shredding plastic with a sanding drum. By the way, the sanding drum, while not approved by the Leather Workers of America Guild, does a reasonable job of repairing rough scissor cuts on leather. Just sayin’.

Voila! This custom rig now allows a quick and smooth draw with absolutely no interference. The “combat cut” in the leather allows all fingers to go where they need to on the grip and my middle finger knuckle no longer jams into the Kydex shell. It doesn’t look pretty, but I figure it’s concealed anyway, so who cares?

All finished!

The moral of the story is simple. With the exception of pairing Dremel tools and firearms, don’t be afraid to tweak your gear if it will give you better function. Holsters, magazine carriers, belts, and even guns are simply tools. If some surgery (with professional gunsmith assistance for firearm work!) can make them perform better for your needs, then don’t worry about altering the shiny factory finish.


Tactical Pistol Refresher

Pictured: ShieldWall Network Coordinator Billy Roper exhibits his BUG (back up gun) for everyday concealed carry (ECC) usage. 

A difference exists between typical Bullseye marksmanship and tactical shooting. However, the fundamentals remain the same. How we apply them is where we see a division.

Bullseye shooting, or a focus on marksmanship, is typically accomplished on a clear, flat range with a small bullseye-style target set at a specific distance, such as the NRA B8 25-yard target featuring a 5½-inch bullseye. The shooter ensures their upright, Weaver-style, semi-bladed stance is perfect, and a natural point of aim with the target is obtained. Their firearm is presented in a methodical manner, and they take the time to ensure the sights are perfectly aligned. The trigger is slowly squeezed rearward as the shooter’s vision bounces back and forth between their sights and the target, making minute changes to their sight alignment and point of aim prior to the shot. When the shot goes off, the shooter prefers to be surprised. This minimizes any chance of anticipation or flinch, which could disturb their sight alignment. Bulls-eye shooters generally rely on an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster and are not concerned with concealability or cover garments. They also typically reload while at the shooting bench.

The tactical shooter, on the other hand, chooses an athletic, forward-leaning, Modern Isosceles stance that allows them to aggressively shoot and move in a 360-degree environment without changing their shooting style. The tactical shooter relies on an acceptable sight picture given the distance to their intended target and engages that target with multiple rounds in a quick and efficient manner. The tactical shooter’s “bullseye,” if you will, closely resembles an 8-inch circle of an IDPA silhouette target or the 6-inch-wide by 14-inch-long A-zone of an IPSC or other humanoid target. Tactical shooters tend to shoot from concealment or from duty-style rigs and work on obtaining a full firing grip from the draw. They rely on a fast yet efficient draw stroke. Speed reloading their firearm is an important and practiced skill for the tactical shooter.

The following 11 tips will help you become a more skillful tactical shooter:

A good, forward-leaning, athletic stance is the foundation of consistent shooting. Your feet should be positioned approximately shoulder-width apart, with your non-firing foot a half step forward of your firing foot. For right-handed shooters, that means your left foot is forward of your right. Your upper body should be forward enough for you to feel the weight over your toes and balls of your feet, and your knees should be slightly bent. Ensure your upper body remains erect, and your forward lean is accomplished with your lower body and knees. You shouldn’t be bending at the waist when distributing your weight forward.

Clear your clothing
IWB—When the decision is made to draw, both of your hands should be working together to clear your cover garment if your pistol is concealed. If carrying on or behind the hip, use your support hand to lift your garment in an upward motion, and use your firing hand to begin sweeping your clothing in a rearward movement, completely exposing your holstered firearm. Don’t let go with your support hand.

AIWB—If carrying appendix inside the waistband (AIWB), use your support hand to grasp a handful of your cover garment and aggressively pull upward toward your sternum (the higher the better). Place your firing hand on your pistol grip.

OWB—If carrying outside the waistband (OWB) without a cover garment, move your support hand toward your upper chest while simultaneously swinging your strong hand rearward toward your exposed pistol, elbow facing the sky. Place your strong hand on the grip of your pistol.

Full firing grip on the draw
Wrap your strong hand as high on the grip of your handgun as possible, with no space between the web of your hand and the tang of the pistol, and obtain a full-firing grip. A full-firing grip is when your hand is positioned in such a way that it does not require any additional movement or fine-tuning once the gun is drawn. The grip should resemble a firm handshake when folding your fingers around the front strap of the pistol.

Draw, or remove your pistol from its holster, in an upward motion. Once it clears the holster body, rotate the grip of the pistol downward, leveling your barrel horizontally in the direction of the target. Begin pushing the pistol upward and toward the target like it’s riding on an escalator, not up toward your chest like an elevator. Release your support-hand grip on your clothing and allow it to meet with your pistol once it appears in your lower peripheral vision, and drive both toward the target.

Solid support hand grip
The key to shooting multiple rounds as fast and accurately as possible is an efficient support-hand grip. To obtain this, extend both arms toward your target and make a finger gun with your support hand. Point your support-hand finger gun at a 45-degree angle toward the ground. Open your support hand and use it as a clamshell, wrapping it around your firing-hand grip on the pistol; ensure that you do not change the angle of your support hand. The heel of your support hand should cover the exposed portion of your pistol grip, and your fingers should be as high beneath the trigger guard as possible. Your support-hand thumb should be pointed at the target, and your wrist should be nearly locked, relying on bone support instead of your tendons. This is your support-hand grip.

See your sights
If you’re able to attain full extension (i.e., your arms fully extended in front of you with your pistol pointed toward the target), your sights should be utilized. Always. When an efficient support-hand grip is obtained as outlined above, the muzzle of your pistol will not flip up vertically but will recoil rearward. This equates to your sights traveling on a horizontal plane, which your eyes can track as they move throughout the cycle of operation. During rapid-fire strings, your sights will consistently return to the position they were prior to the previous shot being fired, allowing for quick and accurate follow-up shots.

Move toward cover
When in an active shooting environment, it is always a good idea to practice moving toward solid cover. Cover will not only offer some level of concealment, but it will also stop bullets. Good examples of this are concrete or brick walls, larger trees and engine compartments of vehicles. When at the range, time should be allotted to practice shooting accurately on the move, both forward and laterally toward cover. Time should also be spent shooting from behind said cover in standing, crouching and kneeling positions, paying careful attention to minimize how much of your body is exposed when engaging targets.

Carry a reload
Always carry a spare. Extra bullets on-hand are only one of the benefits of carrying a reload. Most malfunctions can be tracked back to faulty magazines. A quick remedy to this is out with the bad, in with the good. Get that malfunctioning magazine out and get a fresh one in, and your functioning problems will likely be solved.

Index your magazine
A good rule of thumb is to carry your magazine(s) on your weak side and ensure the bullets are facing your belt buckle when positioned in a belt-mounted magazine pouch or pocket holster.

When it comes time to perform a reload, drop your support-hand palm onto the baseplate of your spare magazine. Extend your index finger along the front of the magazine as you draw it upward and out of its pouch. Whenever possible, the tip of your index finger should contact the exposed bullet at the top of the magazine.

Everyone can point at objects with an extended index finger, and we do so every day. This orientation allows you to point your finger, and subsequently your magazine, in the direction that it needs to go — into the magazine well. This should be so ingrained that it can be accomplished in all lighting conditions.

Cant your pistol
When it comes time to reload your handgun, pull it into your workspace, which is the area in front of your face. When retracting your pistol into this zone, your firing hand elbow should contact your lower ribcage and your elbow should be bent as if you’re at the apex of a bicep curl. You should be able to view your target through the trigger guard of your pistol, and the magazine well will be pointed toward your left pants pocket. In this position, the mag well will be open to accepting your reload.

Press the magazine into the grip until it stops. With upward pressure on the magazine, utilize your firing hand thumb to sweep the slide release downward to close the slide and chamber a fresh round. If your firing-hand thumb is not strong enough or long enough to complete this action, utilize your support-hand thumb to depress the slide release. These two methods are the quickest, most efficient techniques to reload your pistol.

Be efficient in your movement
Move in straight lines from Point A to Point B. Excessive movement is wasted time and motion. When your pistol clears the holster, it should be riding an escalator toward your target until it meets your line of sight, not being brought up to your chest and then forward in an L-shaped arch. The same is true with your reload: Your magazine should be correctly oriented to the left of your center line, bullets facing your belt buckle (for right-handed shooters), and follow a straight line out of your magazine pouch or pocket and into the mag well of your pistol grip.

Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it
You’re responsible for each and every round fired. Quickly make the determination to shoot or not. If the decision is to shoot, be aware of what is behind and to the sides of your target.

Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/shoot101/11-tips-for-tactical-pistol-shooting/#ixzz5K7z3BIJh

Why Lasers Are Gaining Popularity

ShieldWall Note: We recommend laser usage primarily on AR platform and related carbines, rather than on side arms, simply for the restrictions a laser places on concealed carry. 

Once appearing on the business end of a bad guy’s gun — a la Terminator — weapon mounted lasers and lights have leapt off the Hollywood big screen and onto the pistols of consumers looking to add more capabilities to their concealed carry and home defense pistols.

While training instructors years past discouraged the use of aiming devices, tides have turned and now more and more trainers and schools are coming on board the laser/light train. Why are laser/lights gaining steam in the training community and what advantages do gun owners have in slapping one on their gun?

Laser/light combos are devices that offer both illumination and laser aiming capabilities. The goal is to offer both a lighting solution that enables users to keep both hands on the firearm and a laser that allows users to effectively aim the firearm at the intended target. Laser/lights come in a few flavors but the most popular styles are the rail mounted and grip mounted versions. A rail mounted laser fits snugly just in front of the trigger guard on a rail equipped gun, while the grip mounted device replaces the factory grip on the pistol.

The laser/light market itself has expanded with companies like Streamlight, SureFire, Viridian and Crimson Trace offering more products designed for consumers looking to add-on to their current CC or home defense pistol.

Though instructors have long encouraged the use of handheld lights to identify targets prior to engagement, laser/light combos have had their fair share of doubters. One of the biggest concerns has been that lasers will encourage lazy gun owners who don’t seek out training, solely placing their faith in a mechanical device. A device that some say can easily fail under pressure.

“It’s one more thing to manipulate,” Instructor John Lovell explained while outlining the cons of laser/lights in a video. “You can have it there but you don’t always have it toggled on or it doesn’t have a pressure switch or its another button you have to remember to hit. An untrained person is just not going to remember to do that.

Despite the risk that some users might turn their backs on training in favor of the laser capability many trainers are now advocating for the use of laser/light combo, stating they are more helpful than harmful. In addition to expanding options for gun owners who might not be able to get pistol training right away, laser/light combos also offer the benefit of helping shooters better see their target in low light situations as well as offering a means to better shoot in unorthodox situations.

“It’s great for untrained people who, under stress, aren’t going to look at the sight picture. If it’s built into the grip and they can just point and the laser happens to appear, they have a much higher likelihood of hitting their target —even if doesn’t have perfect zero— than something with iron sights,” Lovell added.

Instructor Rob Pincus said he’s spent the past few decades evaluating and reevaluating his stance on laser/lights and now believes these tools can be a helpful resource for gun owners.

“I currently believe that a laser mounted on a small defensive carry gun expands the circumstances under which you could use the gun for defense much more than a light would,” Pincus said in a post on social media. “For larger guns, having a light/laser combo similarly expands contextual usefulness for the average armed homeowner or CCWer much more than just a [weapon mounted light] would.”

Do laser/lights replace quality instruction and good technique? No. But what laser/lights offer is a fighting chance in low light and unorthodox positions.

source: guns.com