There’s a time and place for almost everything. In a defensive situation, there’s a finite amount of time and the clock often starts before you recognize you are on the starting block. In the training realm, there is a time a place for adaptation. There’s a time and a place for one style of training being worked so that it’s techniques can be understood without the often detrimental consequences of making the wrong choice in real life. The reality of situations is that you seldom know what you will be presented with. Attempting a particular punch or kick may reveal that a preexisting injury prevents the efficient use of that particular movement. Better to discover it in the dojo, than in some back alley with Pookie the Crackhead.
That being said, the rigidity of many training programs creates precision responses on a flat range, when in a given situation, those same responses are nothing more than training scars. A given shooting principle can make beautifully placed holes in paper, yet under stress the technique used to gain that result can cost far more than time on the clock.
Pookie Wins flawless victory.
“There’s only one way to do this.”
Lets talk about going over the top for a moment. It’s a technique that’s been called a few different things, by a few different instructors just so they can sound like it’s got their spin on it. (Like when some one raises a firearm exiting a vehicle and calls it ‘temple index’ instead of ‘high ready’ or whatever new term they’re substituting) It’s been called the ‘over the top’ the ‘rip rack’ and countless other things. It begins when the pistol runs out of ammunition, and the slide locks itself to the rear telling the shooter “FEED ME SEYMOUR.” Once the realization that the pistol needs ammunition, the process of extracting the empty mag and quickly replacing it with a fully loaded magazine, begins. With a fresh set of ‘anti pookie pills’ firmly locked into the magazine well, the top most round must be chambered into the weapon. And therein lies the crux of our conversation. What to do now. Well, the over the top, of course! (rip/rack or whatever) With a good primary grip, the support hand firmly grasps the top of the slide, preferably to the rear of the ejection port, and gives a firm tug to the rear. The slide hits its mechanical limit, the slide stop drops free and the slide begins it’s happy trek forward, successfully chambering a round while your support hand returns to its position wrapped around your primary hand. The firearm is now, with the firearm pointed in a safe direction, the front site is brought back into view and more holes are punched in paper. With practice you can perform this technique as quickly as any of your favorite youtube gun bunnies. You are the man. (or woman, whatever the court decrees)
This technique is championed by many trainers that pick up many different firearms in a variety of classes because every student gives you the proud poppa eyes when they show up with their .460 caliber Zombie Slayer that they ‘just had some trigger work done and you just GOTTA try it.’
However, most folks use the same defensive firearm because they carry it every day. There isn’t a need for a ‘one size fits all’ technique. There is however a need for efficiency. Enter, the slide stop. Or as I like to call it, (wait for it….) the Slide Release. Yup, that. If it makes you feel like I’m awesome, pretend I gave it that name myself. Let’s explore its implementation for a moment.
It begins when the pistol runs out of ammunition, and the slide locks itself to the rear telling the shooter “FEED ME SEYMOUR.” Once the realization that the pistol needs ammunition and the process of extracting the empty mag and quickly replacing it with a fully loaded magazine, begins. With a fresh set of ‘anti pookie pill’ firmly locked into the magazine well the top most round must be chambered into the weapon. (see what I did there?) As your support hand completes the task of feeding the fresh pookie pill storage device into your pookie pill delivery system, the support hand simply grips the primary hand in it’s normal support role. With EITHER your support thumb, or your primary thumb, (for those that like options, there’s two) press down on the Slide Release. The slide begins it’s happy trek forward and the firearm is now already firmly within your grip and ready to be safely pointed at the flesh & bone bad guy that is already rethinking their life choices.
Why? Because it’s efficient and timely. Two things that are desperately needed when the you are placed on the starting block and you were unaware that today was race day.
I won’t tell you that one technique isn’t better than the other. What I WILL tell you is that one works faster for me. I carry pistols that fully fill my hand and have easily references control surfaces. Training with the mindset of “I might not have my own gun” has it’s place, but it may not be the most realistic for your daily situation. (I don’t walk down streets with a lot of ‘dropped guns’ laying around. Furthermore, what I will tell you is train efficiently and under stress. Men used external safeties and thin bodied magazines for years, under stress, in the mud, and rain and whatever. Tactics may indeed change, but the fundamentals are for the most part, unyielding. Don’t let someone tell you what your body will do under stress. They will only explain their past responses, not dictate the ones you will make in the future.
Don’t just train ‘hard,’ train right. Train realistically based on your surroundings and available equipment.
Keep your head on a swivel and stay safe.
Let me start off by saying that I am not an expert on handgun training. I train often, have been through some good courses and even have certification as a basic handgun instructor…but I teach Krav Maga. The mindset, philosophy and thoughts on training that we teach for real world violence and unarmed self defense, in my opinion, matches up perfectly for handgun training.
If you are training handgun because you like target shooting, do it for fun or just think firing guns is cool, train anyway you like. If you are practicing with your handgun for self defense, there are some things that you should consider. First and foremost, study violence. Study what stress, exhaustion, the adrenaline dump, fear and pain do to you. As Rory Miller says in his great book on the subject MEDITATIONS ON VIOLENCE “You do not fight like you train unless you train clumsy, blind, deaf and stupid”. These things that our bodies do under stress can be a major game
This was driven home for me when we had our black belt candidates go through an RBT course with us a few years ago. We had a couple of people in this training who were gun geeks. They had been to every shooting course known to man, had very good training. They could shoot the eye of a flea at 100 yards, they knew their weapons. We geared them up, gave them weapons with sim rounds and put them through a scenario. When it came time to make decisions, when the “bad guy” started shooting…they went to shit. They froze, stood there, fumbled with drawing and getting their weapons on target. They had trained for shooting targets that weren’t shooting back. The stress and adrenaline that they faced in RBT was something they hadn’t trained for.
Again, I am not an expert on handgun training. I do know Krav Maga, I do study the heck out of real world violence. For example; When we practice knife defenses we do not practice against a partner who thrusts at us once with a half assed stab and then keeps his/her arm straight and still for two seconds. We practice after already being stabbed by a blitzing attacker who is on us fast and furious. The attacker will keep us off balance, hit us hard, use their off hand to keep us from blocking or getting to the knife, will “hockey punch” with the knife over and under our block and pump that knife like a sewing machine needle. To practice against that first attacker will get us killed on the street because the attack on the street is much more likely to be like the second attacker. The other thing we do is slather KY jelly on both of our arms to mimic the slippery blood that is most likely going to be there. Now, when it happens on the street we have been there and done that.
Let’s start with stance while firing. I dislike the Weaver stance for self defense simply because if something startles me I am going to square up to it, thrust my arms out in front of me and hunch down (yep, just like the isosceles stance). This is a natural body reaction. To think during the stress, fear and adrenaline dump of an attack I will do anything else is a mistake.
Practicing on a range standing still and getting accurate is, of course, what we start with. We have to get basics down. In our Krav classes one big rule is that, once we have the basic technique down, we always go balls to the wall. We always go all out and hit things our hardest. In handgun training once we have these basics down we won’t train like that anymore. In the real world if someone is firing at me I had better be moving and looking for cover. At the range we had better be practicing this way. We had better fire on targets while egressing, retreating and moving sideways to cover. We had better practice firing from cover. You think during a fight for your life there is a possibility that you may trip and fall or otherwise be knocked down? Better practice shooting while lying on the ground as well then.
Again, we need to practice for what we’ll see. Personally, I don’t like shooting steel plates that fall after one hit. In the real world people take multiple hits mid chest and keep coming. I don’t want to train that one hit takes care of the problem.
We had better change our distances as well. Back to that knife attack. I had better be practicing fighting that off, accessing my weapon and shooting close range from the hip with my front arm keeping the target at distance. If this is what I am likely to see, this is what I had better have practiced.
How about time of day and weather? If the only time you ever shoot is on a nice, sunny day you are assuming that’s the only time/weather you can be attacked in. Night training, training in the rain, training during a snow storm when it’s zero degrees suck…but so does having to defend yourself in those conditions.
In a gunfight I had better keep my eye on the person trying to kill me. On the range do you practice reloads and clearing jams while keeping your eyes on the target and not looking at your handgun? What you practice is what’s going to come out of you under stress.
Part of the reaction to the fear, exhaustion and adrenaline (actually a cocktail of chemicals) is that your arms will feel heavy, your hands numb and your fine motor skills will degrade due to the blood pooling to your core (vasodilation). We had better be ready for this, had better practice this way! As a shooter I need to try to replicate this in my training. Instead of standing at a table and firing at a target down range while being all nice and comfortable I need to practice under stress and exhaustion. How do we train? We run several sprints, do push ups, do pull ups, have some partners push us around, knock us down and then, and only then, fire on targets. Get tired, get the pulse rate up, get shook up a bit then see where the holes are in our shooting. Did we keep dropping mag’s? Did we have a hard time getting the mag’s from where we keep them? Did we have things snapped or buttoned that we couldn’t maneuver very well? Our brains will scramble under this stress and exhaustion, we will not come up with plans but our training will surface automatically.
The point is, if we are practicing shooting for self defense we need to educate ourselves on what realistic attacks are, what our bodies will do under this stress and train for what we’ll actually see. We had better train real and not think that blasting holes in paper is all that we’ll need. We want a “been there, done that” feeling. Be safe, my friend.
Chris LaCava and Mark Slane
Mark Slane is the lead instructor for the United States Krav Maga Association. A black belt since 2003 (now a 3rd dan) he has taught thousands of LEO’s and civilians, has written four books on the subject (see his author profile on Amazon) and has had an article published in Black Belt Magazine. To contact email Mark@uskma.com.
I decided that this was the year that I finally get to SHOT. I have been wanting to go for quite a few years and when the opportunity came up, I HAD to take it. Being that it was my first year there, I asked a bunch of SHOT Show veterans what I should expect. They gave me a pretty vague list, patted me on the ass, and sent me on my way. Needless to say, I was not COMPLETELY unprepared; however, I DID manage to make a little list of my own for those who would consider venturing out to Sin City for the SHIT… I mean SHOT… Show.
CINDERELLA, YOUR SHOES SUCK
The single most important thing you should bring is money. The SECOND thing is proper footwear. You are going to spend the better part of you week on your feet, so you might as well have clouds under your toes. Seriously… don’t wear shit that merely LOOKS good but hurt your feet. You aren’t going to get a hot date or further your company based off of your “sexy shoes”. No one cares… And wear good socks, too. Fuck it… Go out and BUY new socks just for SHOT… and not shitty socks either. Get the good ones. Spend a couple bucks. You’ll thank me.
CANT SPELL LOST WITH OUT L.T.
The most dangerous thing on a battlefield is an officer with a map. The most useless thing at SHOT is a person without one. The booths are numbered. 99% of the time, they are in numerical order; however, there will come a time when you have to meet people at a certain booth and it is clear across the vast expanse of multicam and molle, COMPLETELY out of order. I’m still convinced that SHOT does this on purpose just to mess with people. So get the damn map. They have a hard copy that they GIVE you, plus the have an app (for you tech savvy, smartphone friendly, SHOT show-ers) that will not only tell you WHERE the booth is; f you don’t know the number, you can search for the company and it will tell you the number AND where it is. You seriously can’t screw it up.
KILL EM WITH KINDNESS
Having that many Alphas in one place, you would think that it would be a constant bar fight and pissing contests with the ritualistic pounding of the chest and the tooting of their own horn. It’s NOTHING like that. Damn near 68,000 people attend that show and all conduct themselves professionally. You’re there not only to look at cool shit and get stickers, but to converse with industry leaders about their coming products. These guys WANT you to WANT their gear. That’s how they increase sales. “Look at our new vest! It’s so awesome! It cooks bacon and does your taxes!”… They will have more people talking about that at SHOT than on any fan boy forum…. More so if they let you mess around with it. So it wouldn’t make sense for them to be an asshole. Keep that in mind when you are talking to a salesman that has given his pitch to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that walks by.
This is a convention for the tactical industry… Care to guess what will make you stand out like a teenager at Hooters for the first time? That’s right… Head to toe 5.11, or Proper, or Tru-spec, or (insert tactical clothing company here). Unless you HAVE to wear it because you are working a booth or are with you company under their dress code (I’m SO sorry) then wear your street clothes. If those ARE your street clothes, then I feel bad for you and can understand why you are single.
MORE CONVENIENT THAN A 7/11
You won’t realize how much of a pain in the ass it is to drive around Vegas until you get there. It sucks. What sucks more is having to catch a cab at a minimum of twice a day. You know what’s REALLY easy? Getting a room that’s nearby. “But Viking, that’s kinda pricey and I don’t see the point”… Ok. Yes. It is a little more expensive, but it’s far less of a headache walking to your room after your post-SHOT “meetings” than it is to see how many clowns you can fit in one taxi and have them split the cost. Seriously, spend the extra couple of bucks and enjoy more of SHOT, not more of the inside of a cab. Plus, everything that you would need is within walking distance of your hotel. TRUST ME… WAAAY more enjoyable.
YOU HAVE ARRIVED IN THE RABBIT HOLE, THANK YOU FOR CHOSING DELTA
Vegas has ZERO concept of time. It never shuts down. Nothing ever closes. From the time you get there, you might as well forget all about that watch, because the only thing it will tell you is how much sleep you ARENT getting. Oh and there are no clocks in the casinos… You sleep when you are done and you wake up when you’re ready. If Vegas were at dusk all the time, you would have no clue if the sun was coming up or going down. I’m telling you this because it can totally screw you over; If you have to abide by a schedule, you are going to need to make a valiant effort. Vegas won’t help you.
EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK
So you have your airline tickets, booked your room, your SHOT passes, your wardrobe and footwear, all you need to do now is pack your gear. Here is a good tip; pack your stuff in a bag that is too big. Sounds kinda ridiculous but let me explain WHY. While you’re there, you will be grabbing product books, brochures, stickers, samples, patches, t-shirts, and the occasional “We don’t want to ship this back home, so we will trade it for your currency” items. If you have tried to pack as light and conservatively as possible, you won’t have enough room for all your recently acquired “shit you’ll never touch again”. So, bring another bag with you SPECIFICALLY for the swag.
Overall, SHOT is a good time. I met old friends for the first time, I had a few beers with industry leaders, laughed with innovators, created new connections and solidified existing ones. I was given the opportunity to head out to Vegas to see what the industry I love has to offer and I was not disappointed. I look forward to going next year. Why? A few reasons; Vegas and SHOT is a good time overall, I got to meet some damned cool people each with a different back story from all different walks of life. I got to do a little of the Vegas thing AND still get work done. It’s an environment that has the ability to get real fun, real quickly, AAANNNDD, being from a VERY northern state, Vegas is not like Maine in January, so it’s a welcomed “vacation”.
I hope that this aided you in your decision to join us for the SHIT show that is SHOT show. I look forward to seeing you next year… Who knows, I may buy you a beer.
And remember; If you’re looking to buy a new boomerang, be careful when you throw the old one out.
So, How much do you know about AR 15 Trouble shooting?
How much do you know about how your defensive tools work? Is your knowledge base limited to feeding a magazine and the NRA’s Six Fundamentals? Or have you taken the plunge and built your own rifle? With the prevalence of Google gunsmithing experts or YouTube ‘build your own’ AR 15 videos, just about everyone is touting themselves as a gun builder. Let’s face it, assembling an AR 15 isn’t exactly rocket surgery and with the plethora of parts providers, the options for building a badass paper puncher are endless. However with all those different part suppliers come an even larger amount of part materials, specifications charts and quality control variances. Sure the assembly is easy but the devil is in the details and the details mean the difference between a pretty paper weight and a reliable firearm you can enjoy or pass down to your kids. Or worse, your new Frankenrifle could make the loudest “click” in the world at a time you need the most effective “bang” of your life. With that, the ability to trouble shoot a malfunction can help solve the issue of a misbehaving rifle. Most YouTube videos can show you how to assemble an AR 15. There are Lego kits that are more difficult to build. The first trip to the range can illicit the same nervousness as a first date. Will it fire? Will it detonate? (How many folks have held the newly built gun WAAAAAY out with one hand and timidly squeezed the trigger?) Where will the brass land? Many classes and training sessions will teach you to clear malfunctions. It’s an important skill to have. But building a rifle that doesn’t malfunction is the goal. Whole industries are devoted to creating the perfect performing rifle. So far, to no avail. Like any mechanical machine, they all shit their sheets at some point.
Before understanding WHY your firearm is malfunctioning, you need to know the steps it goes through during the firing sequence. The Cycles of Fire. There is eight of them, so hold on we’ll run through them quickly and break them down in short order.
Feeding and Chambering:
After clearing the top of the magazine, the feeding assembly, (the bolt) will move forward and strip a cartridge from the magazine or source, and press it into the chamber at the rear of the barrel.
As the bolt presses closed, the cam pin guides the bolt into the fully locked position, rotating the bolt head inline with the barrel extension. This prevents rearward movement of the bolt during the next phase of the cycle of fire.
As the trigger is squeezed, the hammer moves forward under pressure of the hammer spring, and driving against the rear of the firing pin. This causes the firing pin to strike the primer of the cartridge locked within the chamber.
As the projectile is pushed down the barrel by the expanding gas of the detonated powder within the cartridge charge, gas is redirected, at the gas block. This redirected gas pushes the bolt carrier rearward, pulling and unlocking the bolt from the barrel extension.
As the bolt carrier moves rearward, the expended cartridge is drawn out of the chamber by the extractor claw.
With the captured, spent case being drawn to the rear along with the bolt, the ejector applies pressure on the back of the cartridge case and pushes on the spent cartridge case throwing it out the ejection port.
While continuing to move rearward, the bolt overrides the hammer spring, pressing it back down onto the disconnector thus re-cocking the hammer for the next press of the trigger.
Troubleshooting now becomes a matter of thinking, “What step was the weapon on prior to the malfunction?” and “Where did the breakdown occur?” This could mean the difference between finding the right solution, or wasting time and money. And who wants to do that? That money could be better spent on an upgraded scope or tactical disco ball! Knowing the Cycles of Fire will allow you to properly identify the malfunction and it’s root cause. This allows you to create the right solution to a properly identified cause. Simple really.
So sit down, enjoy your rifle, and keep it running right. It might be needed sooner than you’d like.
Keep your head on a swivel and Stay safe. Higgins
Folks seem to have forgotten an important part of Freedom. Tolerance. Not the “I hate you but you have to tolerate me” kind. I’m talking about the “Oh look there’s two men making the beast with two backs in their backyard, I suppose I’ll go back to my own yard and ask Dan for his hedge clippers later” kind.
But I don’t want to see that!! Whether you WANT to see Dan’s dong or not isn’t the point. It’s his yard so shut up. Don’t like it, plant a shrub. Or if you’re smart, try, “Hey Dan, you know what your yard needs? Shrubs, lots of shrubs” (Unleash a Jedi Mind Trick or two) It’s his yard and as long as he isn’t throwing some love chum your way, live and let live. Don’t like it, avert thine eyes and don’t join in.
Folks have a right to live their life in the confines of their home. It’s their castle, let them rule it as they see fit. Unless their castle is dropping hot oil from the parapets, there really isn’t much you should be worrying about. Seriously, go home and watch Springer if you’re that concerned with what others are doing
My neighbor has a Cross in his front window! I’m an Atheist and that offends me! You lost me at ‘his front window.’ It is his window, suck it up. He hung a non threatening symbol of his beliefs on his personal property. He didn’t burn it into your lawn, stop being such a thin skinned shit sucker. Unless you’re a vampire (the non sparkly kind) you’ll most likely live. If you don’t, I’m ok with that too. I’m not a fan of blood sucking vampires. I have to tolerate politicians and that’s as close as I’m willing to get. (You have to draw the line somewhere)
Religious symbols are for the most part harmless. Taking offense to them is a personal choice, not a right, not a law. Just a conscious decision you’re making on your own.
There’s a group of people gathering and it scares me! Listen, that loitering sign you’ve got in your front yard, is only in effect up and to the boundaries of your yard. That group of folks hanging out in the park? Not your concern, unless it’s a lynch mob and they found out you owe them money. Oh, and if you do owe them money? I highly suggest you pay them before they realize who you are.
If there’s a group of folks, walking down the street, hanging around a barber shop, or just generally fucking off; it’s not really your job to alert the authorities and cause a ruckus. Are they plotting your demise or the demise of some one else? If not, step on Nosy Nancy, there’s a sandwich that needs to be made somewhere.
Homeopathy isn’t real science and doesn’t work! You’re right jackass, the Aztecs weren’t doing brain surgery with rocks and sticks over ten thousand years ago. They needed to wait for Pfizer and Amgen to come along and show them how the body worked. Newsflash, aboriginal cultures had cures that worked great long before modern science showed up to the scene. Yup, some of them were what we now call placebos but guess what? Modern science has far more drugs that have side affects that are worse than what they’re supposed to be treating. Don’t believe me? Listen to the laundry list of disclaimers that accompany the next T.V. commercial you watch or hear on the radio.
Don’t forget that Doctor you trust so much practices medicine.
The rich have all the money and we get taxed to death! Mind your business or go into business, one or the other. Folks don’t seem to mind that Channing Tatum is worth 50 Million dollars. He’s celebrated as a star in Hollywood and considered an idol by many. The president of Pfizer is worth 1.7 million yet is demonized because he’s part of ‘corporate society.’ Makes total sense doesn’t it?
Instead of turning your jealousy into useless noise, why don’t you work a little harder in your own life and become the success you’re jealous of?
I don’t like the way these people talk in my presence, it’s not American! What language did your grand parents speak? Because we can easily argue that unless their native tongue is actually Native American, you don’t have much of a leg to stand on. So sit down, shut up and let’s play a game. Everybody starts somewhere and everyone comes from someplace. Let them work it out. As long as they didn’t cross a border illegally, shut your hole.
Essentially, if someone is harmlessly offending you in some way, man up. (or girl down, whatever) There’s plenty of nonsense going on in the world that is worthy of your attention. Stop making mountains out of molehills and move past the non consequential stuff. Here’s the newsflash of the day, if it isn’t going to cause you grievous bodily harm or death, it’s all non consequential stuff. There’s plenty of things to stress out about, don’t add to the list.
Until next time, Keep your head on a swivel.
Not sure I have all of this right…
We have had a few assassinations of officers, a union president saying to use “extreme prejudice when making arrests”, that the blood of the officers is on the hands of the mayor and a “Reverend”, and social media telling us that our police are militarized and brutal. Well, here is The Viking’s take on it…
The blood is not on the hands of New York’s Mayor OR on Rev. Al Sharpton or even the Presidents; the blood is on OUR hands… We created these individuals due to our lack of accountability and responsibility. WE caused the assassinations of these officers. “But Viking, we didn’t pull the trigger” – Here’s the funny thing about that, we kinda did… We allowed this behavior to reach this point. We refused to condemn the blatantly guilty, but we would rather put the blame on someone else. Listen, the dude was 28, had 2 years in prison for gun possession, 19 previous arrests (at LEAST) in multiple states, and a childhood so violent that his own mother was afraid of him. Hours before assassinating the 2 officers, the gunman shot and wounded his own girlfriend at her home in Baltimore. Yeah… We created that by ALLOWING that behavior. By coddling and saying “You’re right. It IS someone else’s fault.” I watched a video this morning of a 10-12 year old child walking through a Dollar Store, pulling items off the shelves and throwing them on the floor. One douchy little shit mitten turned a large chain retailer upside down. The video went on for a while, no one confronting the disrespectful little bastard… and do you know why? Because some sally (no offense to any actual Sallys) would say “Hey! you cant discipline that child for expressing himself! Its up to his parents!” Guess what, Nancy No-Balls (again… sorry to any actual Nancys) this little diaper destroyer has become a public nuisance has become a public problem. Remember the adage “It takes a village to raise a child”? It will be up to the village to discipline your precious angel for being a fuck.
“But Viking, what about the police brutality?” – What about it? You think its not possible to have assholes on one side of the badge and not the other? How naive are you? Just like anything in life; you have your dickheads that will ruin for everyone else. Oh… since they “took an oath” to serve and to protect that means they are supposed to put up with your “I’m entitled” bullshit? Look, your mom is forced to love you, the police don’t have to. When you have a 43 year old man with more than 30 arrests including (but not limited to) assault and grand larceny; Who, at the time of his death, was out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession and false impersonation, to have a medical history of heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea, resists arrest and is physically restrained by an officer (keep in mind, when you watch the video, the suspect is 6’3″ and 350lbs. The officer CLEARLY is not) who had to make a judgment call based on the situation. Far too many people believe that the suspect was choked to death by the officer… the suspect died in the back of an ambulance due to health complications. Could his health conditions have been exacerbated by being choked? Sure. Its possible. Does that mean the officer is responsible for the death of this man? Nope. The suspect is responsible for his actions. Same with the the other one that has graced the news over the last few months. Here’s something funny about THAT whole thing… The officer, while responding to a robbery, told 2 adult males to move out of the street to the sidewalk. After a few words were exchanged, they continued to walk down the street. The officer noticed that one of the males fit the description of the suspect. The officer attempted to get out of his vehicle, the suspect closed the vehicle door and reached for the gun of the officer. An unarmed assailant has now become armed. He has the intention to kill. So while you are “protesting” with your hands in the air; remember this one thing, the suspect NEVER put his hands up. Actually, he put them over himself and charged the officer. Remember that story I just told you about (its in the paragraph before this) about the village handling your disrespectful waste of loin sauce? This is eventually what happens…
“But Viking, you’re such an asshole” -Yes. Yes I am. This has been your only logical statement. Seriously. I had to write this out over a few days (I have other shit I need to do) and as this was sitting, there have been multiple assassination attempts on officers, a few thankfully stopped by the officers involved. There have been threats, funerals, and police protest. Law Enforcement is evolving to society and thusly, society is evolving to Law Enforcement. Don’t want to live in a police state? Don’t be a uncivilized shitbag with no moral compass. That includes protesting when you have no idea what the hell you are protesting over. Don’t be that guy. Know what the hell is going on before you open your suck and spew rubbish. Much of that rubbish is coming from a source that either A) has no idea what the hell is going on or B) is directing you to think a certain way.
“But Viking, Why would I be led to think a certain way?” – My answer… Social Division. Basically like divide and conquer. Yeah… I know this is a little bit tin foil hat for me, but listen; We are being told that race is a huge issue in this country (it really isn’t), we are being told that gay rights are a huge issue (they really aren’t) there is an attack on the working poor, and due to the fact that the REAL American Dream (succeeding through hard work) being non-existent, businesses are raising prices to cover the cost of having to give shit away. Which will cause a rift between the ones that are working and struggling and the ones that are living off the freebies they get… and what happens when you beat a dog? Eventually, that angry bastard will bite back. That’s where your “Revolution” comes in. Yes, I put that in quotes for a reason. You are seeing it as a REVOLUTION (a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system) when realistically it is nothing more than a WAR (a state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state). You have no new system. You have the only system that you know which is a dicked up form of socialism (keep in mind that Capitalism is no longer sought after because people don’t want to work and fail. They would rather someone else do the work and they reap the benefits). There is nothing for you to put in place. Many of the people of this nation want WAR… and who do you think will protect you and your family from those people? You? Nooo… You’re too busy protesting the slaughter of gay baby whales for Jesus Who ya gonna call?? NIIIIINE ONE-ONE (yes… it works with the Ghostbusters theme) You’re going to call the very same people that you have been protesting against and hope that they are far more violent than the danger you are facing… Whats the definition of HYPOCRITE?
Remember: Taking a knee, drinking water, Motrin, and changing your socks will solve most of life’s problems Jason “The Viking” Wyman
Tactical Medical Instructor Muzzle Front LLC.
This past weekend Muzzle Front experienced another epic growth spurt. That’s right, we made it bigger. The Myrmidon spread our reach just a little further than folks thought we could. We’ve always traveled to where ever we were asked to be, teaching whatever we had the experience to teach to those with the right mindset to use that knowledge for positive ends. But now it’s time we started dropping seed and let things take root. Like a good suit, you’re going to like the way this feels. We held our inaugural training event in Pennsylvania at the Ceterus Training Center. For those that attended we thank you. It was a great time for us, and we hope you had an enjoyable experience that expanded your skills and helped forward your training goals. The weekend was full of great lessons, excellent people and a gracious host. We are looking forward to bringing more training opportunities to the Forksville, PA facility soon. But that’s just the start of our news…
For the Muzzle Front team this year was a huge one. We continue to work with many other organizations in a cooperative manner and look forward to expanding our list of training partners. We’ve worked with great organizations and are most pleased with what is coming. However, we now have established our three primary training Homes. Let me tell you, the possibilities are now truly endless.
We’ve helped establish a training center in Pennsylvania called, the Ceterus Training Center. Ceterus is one hundred and thirty acres of prime terrain for everything from basic weapons manipulations to mounted/dismounted patrol and convoy tactics. The property was created by a well known hunting and outdoors family and is a perfect backdrop for our training style. The local topography of mountains, streams, and prime hunting grounds are perfect for everything from full field exercises and wilderness retreats to search and rescue and orienteering courses. Along with its topography the Ceterus Training Center allows for incredible high angle long range shooting, as well as defensive disciplines. Combative Edge has brought it’s knife and non firearm related skills to Ceterus, making it an extremely well rounded institute of defensive badassery! We’re super excited to get as many of our current students up there and increase their confidence levels.
In Connecticut, Muzzle Front will be opening our CQC and force on force facility utilizing over 26,000 square feet of space with an almost unending amount of versatility. There’s a bank with fully functioning vault, a bar with a raised stage (with an almost incontinently placed brass pole) The restaurant is well stocked and the bridge and tunnel set is amazingly close to the burnt out pick up truck and boat dock. Currently we are building a segregated area that will house are monthly defensive courses. What’s that you ask?
For a while we’ve been holding mostly impromptu courses under the name, Decisive Actions. These courses were designed and built to create better thinkers under stress. The Connecticut facility, located on Kennedy Drive in Windsor, will now house the formalized version of that same course. Defensive Weapons: Decisive Actions. This course will be a membership only program that enhances a client’s ability to think under stress while learning and employing the skills to end high threat situations quickly, effectively and safely. Tired of ‘this will work against your average crackhead’ training sessions? Come see us, it’s time to up your game. Each session will cover a different avenue of attack and counter attack. From improvised weapons and ground fighting, to weapon retention and disarms as well as force on force and after threat medical training, in extremely realistic environments. The Decisive Actions program is designed to cover each discipline while utilizing some of the top names in the industry. Not just big headed instructors that talk about themselves in the third person. Instructors that are devoted to making you better, and not just there to collect a paycheck.
Let’s not forget Maine. The Pitt is always going to be our favorite home because it is owed by one of our instructors, it has that relaxing feeling of home. The Pitt is our diamond in the rough. It has everything we need to give our students a professional environment and make it a more personal class. Based on the local geography, we have the ability to teach a multitude of classes from our basic pistol/carbine to survival to long range marksmanship as well as region specific tracking and search and rescue training.
As we said, it’s been a great year.
And it ain’t over yet.
The Myrmidon are on the march. Are you with us?
Keep your head on a swivel
You can’t deny there’s something ‘bad’ coming down the pike. If you look closely, there are large forces, on a global scale mounting. Their goals are their own, and how they will affect the American way of life has yet to be determined. I’ve never been an alarmist. Life has taught me how the details affect the large picture yet the details many folks call ‘important’ are temporary trivialities at best. If you forget to pay your cell phone bill, it won’t be the end of the world as you know it. It’s inconvenient, not life ending. (regardless of what any 12 year old tells you) The truth of the matter is, it comes down to who is going to win, and how? Us. Or Them.
Russia is aligning itself to become a major fuel contributor. China is creating a currency worth backing. North Africa is becoming less and less stable. The middle east is beginning to embolden itself towards acts of violence, further and further from it’s borders. While I’m not educated enough to speak on foreign policy, I am smart enough to see the effects of actions taken over seas. As recently as the spring, a clarion call was made to those who support radical theist beliefs. That call was heard by a devout group of followers of Muslim believers. The call instructed those who were able, to attack North America inside it’s borders and within it’s homes. Specifically, Military families and sites of ‘great power.’ Within a short few months, the attacks began. Small at first, then with greater efficiency and regularity. Beheadings, modeled after the attacks of Lee Rigby have occurred within the boarders of the United States twice in just the last three months. Canadian parliament was attacked, directly. If not for the actions of a ready mind and willing body, the outcome could have been horrendous. Numerous law enforcement agencies are currently investigating threatening communications on current and former military personnel originating from outside the country. A porous boarder in the south allows easy camouflage for middle eastern individuals with ill intent to enter the country, while our northern border allows the same ingress to Slavic aggressors. Former threats are becoming far more credible when looked at in the fresh light of day.
You can’t deny that there is something ‘bad’ coming down the pike. Yet if you let it control you…
While I’m not saying we need to become isolationalist ninjas, I am saying folks need to be aware of the possibility of things going wrong. No one can walk around in a constant state of high alert and readiness. That isn’t the point of all this doom and gloom. The point is simply this; ignoring it does not make it go away. Evil enjoys ignorance and preys upon it.
The Sergent-at-Arms had a ready mind and a willing body, and he prevented tragedy in the Canadian Parliament building. Where is your Sergent-at-Arms? Is it the soldier fighting in a far off land? Is it the police officer walking the beat in your neighborhood? Or is it you. Confident and willing to protect yourself and your loved ones? Kevin Vickers can not be everywhere. Where is your Sergent-at-Arms?
I’m not an alarmist, but I’m not a gambler either. I won’t put my safety or well being in the hands of others. I walk through life confident in my ability to do so. Those within my circle of friends feel much the same way. We can’t be everywhere, but we try to spread that confidence wherever we go. We don’t foster fear, we foster awareness. Folks need to train. Yet if you let that awareness foster fear, then you allow it to alter your quality of life. At that point, you’ve already lost. Are you ignorant? Are you scared?
Or are you Confident.
Keep your head on a swivel and stay safe.
Accidents happen. When it happens to children, those accidents seem doubly troubling. Adults are there, and expected to prevent such occurrences. Recently there was a tragic accident that forever changed the life of a little girl. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time. Massachusetts and just recently, Arizona have both felt the spontaneous impact of the consequences of progressing children too far, too quickly with firearms.
In October of 2008 an 8 year old boy was attending a machine gun shoot with his father, a prominent doctor from Connecticut. The child was given an Uzi to fire. A safety officer was provided, a brief description of the firearm was recited, and the young boy approached the firing line with the instructor, close at hand. With the weapon on full auto, the recoil over powered the young man’s tiny muscles, and tragedy struck. It struck the child with the full force of a weapon with a cyclic rate over one thousand rounds a minute. Doctor Bizij’s medical knowledge could do nothing to undo the damage the 9mm bullet produced.
As I said, Arizona is only the most recent case of tragedy at the range. A young family on vacation stopped at a burger joint/shooting range. (‘Merica) They saw the sign for the machine gun shoot. What better way to help digest a meal than that? The instructor gives his safety brief, the firearm is carefully handed to the child, camera phones were held at the ready, and a single shot is fired. With that one shot, the instructor made a horrible miscalculation. The instructor flipped the selector switch to ‘full’ and stepped out of arms reach. The child flexed tiny muscles and squeezed the trigger. What happened next was a slow train wreck most experienced shooters could see racing down the tracks. Little arms that simply weren’t ready for the repetitive jerking recoil of the firearm and the muzzle tracked directly at the instructor’s face. He never had a chance.
This is not the norm, this is not a series of events. This is an unfortunate occurrence that should be a wake up call. Firearms are a serious business and should be treated as such. Furthermore it is an important experience that should be shared, between parent and child. No one knows the ability of their child better than responsible parents. Often I am asked to take a capable child out for their first shooting experience and I am almost always hesitant. Not because I fear the outcome, but because it is an experience I was never able to share with my own Father. Firearms weren’t allowed in my home, my mother forbade it. I don’t feel right taking that experience from any other capable children. It’s because of that, I always require a parent to be present, if not perched on my shoulder, during the classroom instruction, as well as the live fire portion. During which I will often have a parent stand within arms reach of their nervous little spawn.
When the first shot leaves the barrel, a smile crosses the face of both parent and child. The smile starts at the edge and spreads from ear to ear, almost always culminating in the same audible sound. “Whoa.” “WOW” or “Did you see that?????”
There are dangers to any sport. Even pee wee football creates life altering concussions once in a while. Stand close to your children, know their limits. Never rob them of their “Whoa”
Keep your head on a swivel.
Keep your children safe.
If you’re a regular reader here at MuzzleFront, you’ve most likely seen us mention Victory Defense Consulting before. Victory Defense Consulting is our goto provider of the industry’s best courses when MuzzleFront instructors need a recert, or other skill updates. They’ve contributed to our programs in the past, and are one of the reasons MuzzleFront can keep our course costs low. They also send us gear and equipment to test out during our courses. Victory Defense is where we go when we find a new piece of gear/kit/tactardedthingydoo that hits the market and we want to try it. We generally keep these reviews ‘private’ and only talk about them with course attendees. However, today, we’re cheating a little bit.
Last month, J.J Sutton, the owner of Victory Defense, gave me a call and offered to send us a unique treat. For the last year, VDC has been building some incredible competition rifles. Their PHNX52 competition ready rifles have been helping shooters score big. Earlier this year, the MF crew got to take the VDC competition gun for a test drive, and we were impressed. But JJ knows us. We like things a little more fast and sexy. So when he mentioned he had a pistol version of the PHNX52 he had our attention. In spades. A few days later we received a tracking number and our Cinquedea model PHNX was on it’s way to the Maine Compound.
The PHNX52 is an AR based pistol, using a foam covered buffer tube, but the Cinquedea adds the Sig SB15 pistol brace,the KAK Industries SIG tube length adjustment kit, a free float rail from Phase 5, and a linear muzzle compensator from KVP. The SIG tube length adjustment kit is used to extend the SB-15 Brace just enough to make it a touch more versatile. Its a $12 upgrade but worth every penny and just the right touch. (like I said, the guys at VDC know what we like) Victory Defense increased the material on the upper and lower receivers in the right places making them beefy enough to take a lot of abuse. It stabilized and balanced the little beasty without making the weapon barrel heavy. It’s a sexy little package from the start. We added a sling plate to the rear, a set of solid flip up sites and an AFG from Magpul to the front fore end. If it could make coffee, we’d take it to bed. (It may already have it’s own pillow, but we’re not at liberty to say)
Last weekend we had our Home Defense 1&2 up in Maine. What better time to test out this tiny little house cleaner! Alongside other common home defense choices such as the shotgun, AR and pistol, the PHNX52 didn’t really look out of place. Nor should it. Being a pistol with a 7 inch barrel not only keeps the package short, but makes efficient use of the PHNX52’s 5.56 caliber. The SB15 arm brace makes the idea of being disarmed almost seem laughable. Having a two point sling may seem a little redundant, but it increases weapon retention abilities by an exponential factor. Paired with a two point sling, the PHNX52 can’t be redirected toward the home defender’s head or upper torso without a complete compound fracture of the arm. Lots of students asked about the PHNX52 and all wanted to see it perform. Who are we to say no?
On the range the PHNX52 was tight and maneuverable, and the KVP muzzle break kept the recoil pulse extremely tame. Let’s face it, 5.56 isn’t jumpy to begin with, but it can get unwieldy under rapid fire unless properly held in place. The KVP linear muzzle break did a hell of a job. Recoil was slight and straight rearward WITHOUT any side facing recoil blasts blowing your shooting partner’s hat off his head. (or pissing him off) Victory Defense’s gun builders put together a reliable little package. The PHNX52 threw 75gr boat tailed hollow points, 62gr xm855 and standard 55gr ball ammo with almost unnoticeable difference in performance. The recoil pulse was negligibly changed and auditory report was consistent.
Once you’re strapped into the SB15 brace you just can’t help but feel like IronMan when you extend your arm and start sending threat repulsing lead towards your targets.
Durability was tested due to extremely sandy conditions and the PHNX52 taking a trip out of the back of a pick-up truck. The result? No change. The PHNX52 rose up and sent lead without so much as needed a dust off.
Naturally, everyone wanted to take a turn firing the PHNX52 and who are we to argue? We passed the PHNX52 around like a hooker during Fleet Week and everyone that tried it came back with that same satisfied grin you can only get from a professional grade magazine dump. The only thing missing is a full boogie switch.
The crew at Victory Defense Consulting have put together a short pistol package that meets all the requirements of a home defense gun. Reliable, accurate and powerful. We may just have to send a few more of these up to the Maine facility and thin out our ‘full sized’ stable a little bit. Hit us up if you have any questions.
As always, Keep your head on a swivel
and Stay Safe