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
Even though the role of the job has changed drastically over the past two decades, training for law enforcement officers has been slow to evolve. Many departments still have firearms training programs that are heavily influenced by the methods of the early 80’s and 90’s. Yet the tools available to individual officers have evolved exponentially, far surpassing the training curricula of many departments. With the growing concern of officer or department liability growing, the average academy will spend the largest portion of its training time on things like state general statues, local municipal codes and traffic enforcement. The bulk of which can be traced back to department liability. Arguably these are the topics that will encompass the bulk of an officer’s career. However, few things can alter an officer’s life, community or career as quickly as the improper instruction and implementation, of the tools at an officer’s disposal. In the academy officers spend the least amount of time on the portion of their job that can have the largest impact on both their community and themselves.
Such as the Patrol Carbine. The patrol rifle has been added to many patrol cars. The certification training in many departments has been inconsistent at best. Many departments adjust their training curricula to meet their department’s specific needs and often use other firearms training programs that they have on hand, to create the ‘new’ programs. Basically, taking their handgun qualifier, adding a little distance to it and calling it a rifle qualifier. While I know that doesn’t seem ‘bad’ per se, but many of these handgun qualifiers have been greatly unchanged since the days of the revolver. Let’s face it, times they are a changing.
As a result, when an officer is put into a highly stressful, dangerous and unfamiliar situation, the outcome is a crapshoot. The liability quickly falls on the shoulders of the officer, and the department that trained him or her.
Many law enforcement academies have recognized this trend and have gone outside their normal channels, seeking specialized instructors to fill gaps or deficiencies in their training curricula. When a department is unable to provide adequate training time to a given subject, the officers as individuals, are stepping up on their own.
Recently, we had the opportunity to work with an average size department with a modest training budget and training programs that had (more than a few) gaps in it. Their training and qualification course allowed for a passing understanding of the operation of their patrol rifle. Their program omitted enough time for an officer to become fully comfortable or familiar with the rifle itself. These officers took it upon themselves to use their free time, at the cost of time with their family, to gain proficiency with the tools their department provided them. (insert angry spouse noises here)
Many of our courses start heavily the same way, the basics. Given the enormous disparity between the training programs of many departments, most MF courses start out this way with the proper implementation, understanding and presentation of the tool in question. Whether it is a rifle, pistol, shotgun or tactical combat staple gun, the basics are what the advanced stuff is based on. All officers are taught the manual of arms before the first shots are sent towards targets. Everyone gains a full understanding of different firing positions as well as some fairly unorthodox positions a panicked officer might become entangled in. Confidence is key when fighting against someone that is a sufficient threat to justify the deployment of your patrol rifle. To this end, a lot of time is spent fleshing out what a ‘bad day’ really looks like. Students gain an understanding of moving, accuracy and above all, proper identification of legitimate threats to the public. No one wants to read a story of misplaced shots, and no officer wants to be on the wrong end of a bad shoot.
Hope isn’t dead. There are law enforcement agencies and officers out there that are taking the initiative. These men & women are actively seeking supplemental training programs. Programs that augment and enhance the base of knowledge provided by their local municipalities. When their department isn’t backing them, they’re finding creative work arounds. Like the cost effective MF programs. It isn’t just police departments. Gun clubs, families and civic groups have begun seeking out solid firearms knowledge.
Keep your head on a swivel
And stay safe
February 7, 2014 By
One of my fellow USKMA Krav Maga Instructors carries around a list of UFC fight rules in his gym bag and whenever someone asks him exactly what is it we do in Krav Maga he pulls the list out and says “whatever is illegal to do in the ring!”
I was recently asked about the rules in MMA so here they are….
Should a fighter fail to follow these rules they will be deducted a point or be disqualified from the match.
Theses rules and faults include:
-Butting with the head.
-Eye gouging of any kind.
-Groin attacks of any kind.
-Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent. (see Gouging)
-Striking to the spine or the back of the head. (see Rabbit punch)
-Striking downward using the point of the elbow. (see Elbow (strike))
-Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
-Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
-Grabbing the clavicle.
-Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
-Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
-Stomping a grounded opponent.
-Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
-Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck. (see piledriver)
-Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
-Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
-Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
-Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
-Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round.
-Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
There are rules in the ring to outlaw certain things that could cause injury and end fights quickly. On the street this is exactly what we want to do…cause injury and end fights quickly! So, I guess Krav Maga’s rules would be to head butt, eye gouge, bite, pull hair, attack the groin, put a finger in a laceration and yank (how cool is that?), strike the spine and back of head, strike downward with the elbow, strike the throat, claw, pinch and twist flesh, grab the clavicle, knee, kick and stomp a downed opponent, kick a kidney, spike and throw the attacker, be unsportsmanlike, attack and attack some more and flagrantly disregard the ref…if this is what it takes to survive and BE SAFE!!
See this and other great articles at the official USKMA website.