Firearm Training at Murray’s Firearms
Just a few bits of correct information about the real truth about guns and the results of lawful ownership in our society.
I am now officially a member of the Board of Directors for Pima Pistol Club, located in Catalina, Arizona website at http://pimapistolclub.com/. I grew up in Catalina and have been an off and on member at Pima since 1970 as my career in Law Enforcement moved me though different towns and areas of the state. We have a new majority on the board who have varying backgrounds and interests in the shooting sports. We have a retired U.S. Marshal who is one of the four other persons, including myself, coming from a law enforcement and training backgrounds. We have two owners of firearms businesses, again including myself. The other fellow has a very interesting business you can see at www.pyrocowboys.com. There are Arizona and New Mexico State Pistol Champions, we have certified NRA Firearms and Police Firearms Instructors along with certified NRA Range Safety Officers and Match Directors, IDPA Certified Match Directors. A new Board Member is the Chapter President of the “Well Armed Woman” which promotes, trains and encourages women to enjoy the shooting sports and self defense involving firearms. What beings everyone together is the love of the shooting sports, hunting, wanting to improve and train in the use of firearms in a safe and family friendly environment and just plain plinking. We have a lot of good ideas for the club. Our board meetings are at the Pima Pistol Multi-purpose room on the second Tuesday of the month at 6:00 PM. The public are invited and please feel free to attend and share you thoughts, concerns and ideas for the direction of the club and shooting interests. Pima Pistol has grown to over 1200 members and has a high standing and recognition as being a premier, well run, shooting facility. We have several small business NRA Certified Instructor training companies for a wide selection to choose from to improve your skills. So come on out and see what we’re about.
Murray’s Firearms and Ammunition is the trusted choice for firearm training in Tucson. Our current Tucson firearm and ammunition training classes are listed below.
If you don’t see what you’re looking for – just contact us. We have more than 4 decades of experience in AK, AR, HK, FAL, (Tactical Rifles) and WWII Small Arms Platforms, as well as concealed carry methods, firearm maintenance and care, tactical defense situations, and more. Let us know what your training needs are and we’ll find or create a class for you. Darrell is now on the Pima Pistol Club Board of Directors. Feel free to contact him about any questions or concerns in regards to membership or information about Pima Pistol Club not answered on the club’s website; here is the link to the club’s website: http://pimapistolclub.com/
- Classed offered for training individuals or groups for church and school armed teachers and security. Classes will be catered to your needs and fees will be based on those needs. Contact us at email@example.com for more information or call 520-544-2660 or 520-235-3213 to discuss your security requirements and needs.
Arizona Concealed Carry Classes, Originally Prepared by the Arizona Highway Patrol and The Required Instruction Course. We are Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act Certified Training Instructors; (LEOSA; HR 218.) Call 520-544-2660 or email us for questions and to schedule training. firstname.lastname@example.org Fee for LEOSA Qualification Certification is $50.00.
Concealed Carry Classes. Originally developed and required by the State of Arizona Highway Patrol for the Concealed Carry License. This class covers a lot more than other classes offered for the same permit courses provided by other outlet franchises and gives you a better understanding of your rights and what to expect under the law.
6.5 hour course
Class fee: $50.00
Limited to ten attendees
Next Class will be in Tucson, (Oro Valley), AZ, will be held on July 20th from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM. August’s class will be on the 17th at 08:00 AM. Please contact us for details to reserve seats for these classes, email@example.com.
In response to a previous question:
“Having introduced laser instruction in our classes allows us to work with anyone wanting to develop their grip, trigger pull, stance and or sight alignment before ever getting out on the range.
Even better, the laser system allows our students to become familiar with their own pistol and shooting that pistol without the need for live ammunition.
Laser instruction is given within the classroom. Once the student exhibits the proper technique on the laser course we then progress to a live range and have the student become familiar with recoil and other aspects of shooting.
Our personalized, private instruction provides valuable training for the beginner as well as improved results with those who’ve had experience shooting.”
Give Murray’s Firearms and Ammunition gift certificates. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One on One and Small Group Instruction
We offer training for individuals and groups for all firearms disciplines, though the NRA Courses or through our own training programs. For one-on-one or small group training, please contact us so we can build a customized training course for your specific needs.
We offer classes as follow:
Firearms Maintenance class in Tucson, (Oro Valley) AZ, where we will teach you the correct methods of disassembly, cleaning and long term storage of your firearm(s). The class will be limited to five seats and you may bring two firearms to the class unloaded that you would like to learn how to maintain. It will be a four hour class starting at 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The fee for the class will be $75.00. Please email us for further details. We will supply some cleaning material but you will need a cleaning kit for the type of firearms you wish to learn to clean and maintain. Email us at email@example.com for details of what kits you may need and payment options.
All classes can be scheduled to your needs. You do not need to wait for a class date or to go to the NRA Instructor website to sign up. Contact us and we’ll work within your needs.
Firearms Instruction Class on the M4/AR rifle systems; disassembly, maintenance, accessories, magazine and optics options, gas impingement versus piston operation, rifling twist rates and various caliber offerings. It will be a four hour class. You may bring your rifles to the class unloaded. This is an informational class on America’s most popular rifle. It will be four hours long and the fee for the class will be $75.00.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and payment options.
Firearms Instruction Class on the AK47/AK74/AKM rifle systems; disassembly, maintenance, accessories, magazine and optics options, various caliber offerings. It will be a four hour class. You may bring your rifles to the class unloaded. This is an informational class on Kalashnikov’s rifle, the most mass produced military rifle in history. It will be four hours long and the fee for the class will be $75.00.
. Email us at email@example.com for details and payment options.
We do not have to fill up a class to offer classroom instruction. However, recent increases in range fees will require a minimum of four students to offset range costs as such, depending on class fees and size, range costs may be divided up between the students. Our fees for the cost of instruction are reasonable and are intended to bring people of all experience levels together so as to enhance their shooting knowledge and skills at a cost that encourages you to receive professional training by professionals. If you’re willing to pay the range fees for one on one training instruction contact us for more information about the costs and range use options. firstname.lastname@example.org
Firearms Training, Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun
We offer classes more advanced than what the NRA Basic Classes provide, both Defensive and Tactical Threat encounter training. If your skills are at a level where you’re ready to get beyond the basics we can help. email@example.com
Home Protection and Defensive Classes
Personal protection skills, inside and outside of the home. The NRA Classes do cover this well, but we know there’s always room for improvement in reaching a skillset and preparation. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ammunition Types and Needs for Particular Situations
Not one gun, one type of bullet or caliber addresses all the situations you may find in a threat encounter. There are a lot of possibilities and dynamics to consider. We offer classes explaining what works and what doesn’t. email@example.com
Concealed Carry Methods
Understand there are good, better and bad ways to carry a concealed firearm. In forty plus years of carrying a firearm for protection, as an officer and as a citizen, Darrell Murray has tried them all. Before you go out and spend money on holsters that may end up sitting in a drawer, come see what’s offered and works best for men and women. Brenda Murray is an NRA Instructor and Concealed Carry Advocate experienced in many methods women use to meet their needs for carrying concealed.
We offer a concealed carry method and holster class. The class is about two to three hours long and we’ll discuss types of concealment carry holsters. Fee for the class is $40.00. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to set up a date for instruction.
NRA Firearms Training
Our NRA Instructed Classes can be found at nrainstructors.org. Fees and class dates are listed. To sign up follow their instructions and we’ll email you additional information concerning payment options.
We offer courses in NRA Course in Home Firearms Safety, in Tucson, (Oro Valley), AZ from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. To sign up for the course; https://www.nrainstructors.org and look for classes in Oro Valley and Tucson Arizona with Murray’s Firearms and Ammunition as the provider. Class fee is $65.00 per person. Or call 520-544- 2660 by credit card or email us at email@example.com for other arrangements. Class size will be limited to eight seats.
All classes can be scheduled to your needs. You do not need to wait for a class date or to go to the NRA Instructor website to sign up. Contact us and we’ll work within your needs.
Look for our classes on Personal Protection in the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home. To sign up for the courses; https://www.nrainstructors.org and look for classes in Oro Valley and Tucson Arizona with Murray’s Firearms and Ammunition as the provider. Or call 520-544- 2660 by credit card or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for other arrangements.
Payment of class fee of $150.00 for Personal Protection in the Home and class fee of $200.00 for Personal Protection Outside the Home can be made by contacting us at 520-544-2660 by credit card or email us at email@example.com for other arrangements. Class size will be limited to four seats in each class.
Basic Pistol Class, starting at 0800 AM and ending around 5:00 or 6:00 PM. Class fee of $125.00 per person. Limited to four seats. To sign up for the course; https://www.nrainstructors.org and look for classes in Oro Valley and Tucson Arizona with Murray’s Firearms and Ammunition as the provider. Or call 520-544- 2660 by credit card or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for other arrangements.
Payment of class fee of $125.00 can be made by contacting us at 520-544-2660 by credit card or email us at email@example.com for other arrangements. Class size will be limited to four seats.
July Newsletter 2019
I have been fortunate to train over the years with almost all of the tactical rifles available to police, military and later to the American public. I purchased my first AR rifle at age 18, in 1974 when I was headed into the US Army, so I could have a head start of understanding the weapons system. It was a Colt SP1. I have owned AR rifles throughout their evolution, have various models I have kept, but my favorite rifles are the POF Piston Driven 415. It gives you all the ergonomics of the AR platform along with the reliability of a piston system, instead of gas impingement. I enjoy other country’s rifles too, such as the Tavor X95.
So is it any wonder I would enjoy, a whole lot, the AK rifle system? I know the ergonomics aren’t there, and if you fire them full auto sustained firing, you will see videos of forestocks over the gas tube catching fire and other sorts of issues noted about accuracy and so on. Realistically, you are not going to fire these rifles to such a degree of abuse to start a fire. Accuracy is not an issue either, most open sight rifles are not going to be fired out past 200 to 300 yards and the AK is accurate enough.
Until recently, AK’s were the best value for your buck; magazines were cheap and so on. Right now they actually cost more than the AR rifle platforms. Ammo is still fairly inexpensive though.
I have both the 7.62×39 and the 5.45×39 AK’s and enjoy shooting both calibers. So let’s talk about an AK 74 I’ve had fifteen years or so. It is a Bulgarian plum colored synthetic full stock, with a mounted EOTech, over a Russian 45 round RPK magazine. It has a lot of fire power and has never malfunctioned in the years I have owned and shot it. The rifle was put together by Waffen Werks before their quality control started to suffer. You are better if you go looking, to find these with a NoDak Spud Receiver, which will be an earlier and more respected problem free build. My rifle has a Waffen Werks receiver. It was made before they started slipping in quality control. Never had any issues as I have already said.
I have a lot of East German and Russian magazines for the rifle and they all fit and function as they should. I can’t tell you if any other aftermarket 5.45 Mags will work or not. In any of my AK rifles, whether or not they are 7.62 or 5.45 I purchase former Eastern bloc magazines. I have had issues with American brand magazines, such as Tapco, but I haven’t tried them in a while. I haven’t tried the other brands that came along after I “Acquired” my needed magazines, but I have used MagPul Magazines for my 5.56 rifles and love them. They are my exclusive mag used for my 5.56 rifles, with the exception of some Surefire 60 round mags I have on hand. These were copied off the Russian magazines and I have a couple of the Russian 5.45 mags that are 60 round AK 74 magazines.
The 5.45 round has an interesting history. After encountering our M16 in 5.56 the Russians came up with their own .22 caliber round, (actually Sub caliber 22) for their “New” rifle. Most of the AK 47 components are used in the AK 74 and we really didn’t realize the Soviet Union had come up with a new rifle caliber.
Back when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989, we were supporting the Muslims because the “Enemy of your enemy is my friend” mentality. Most noted was a scandal involving shipment of portable ground to air missiles, “Stingers” acquired and sent over to aid in shooting down the Soviet Hind Helicopter. Col. Oliver North, with the blessing of our government was trading with the Contras, down in South America, drug money and so on but it was for a good cause right?
We had an American magazine, called Soldier of Fortune. It was founded by LtCol. Robert Brown and had several ex-military type contributors who wrote articles and traveled the world, including Afghanistan. We were seeing wounds in the Mujahedeen that were horrific. Back during WWII the Soviets and the Germans shot each other with explosive bullets. Very brutal wounds. Now we were seeing similar wounds surfacing in the Afghans. It was almost to the point we were going to file a formal protest to the UN.
A fellow working with SOF Magazine, Peter Kokalis, (RIP 2017), obtained some of the Soviet 5.45 ammunition was able to test it and determined it was the newly designed ammunition that was causing the horrific wounds. It saved an embarrassing moment for the US Government.
So let’s see, what made the 5.45 so lethal and horrific? They had copied the idea from the M16 round which could also cause some serious wounds but often it didn’t, just punching right on through without any real results. It took a few more generations of development to get a truly successful 5.56 round for the now more modern M4 rifle. What we did was increase the bullet weight, the energy behind the bullet, (Made it hotter and higher pressure) and importantly, left a hollow tip plugged by a “Green” synthetic compound. When the bullet strikes, the tip deforms and the round tumbles. So what did the Russians do to get their round right from the start? They made their bullet thin and long and created a hollow space under the tip of the full metal jacket. Often they would put a metal rod inside the lead, (Not an armor piercing round, saving on cost of making the bullet). Their bullet worked right from the beginning. We ended up copying the principle and adopting it to the 5.56 round. As soon as it hit, the Russian tip crushed and the thin bullet tumbled. A side benefit of the metal core was that it helped to cause more damage as the bullet was able maintain more of its’ shape and mass while tumbling.
As far as range and stability, the 5.45 round’s thin bullet was considered more accurate than the Russian 7.62×39 round. Sure wind would affect it more, just as it does the 5.56 round and again neither are the perfect rounds and neither is the AK or the AR the perfect rifles, suited for all environments and ranges. If you want to shoot long distance, get a bigger gun that shoots further. But they will do and we do have some bigger guns.
Remember, the left has become a real threat to our freedoms and you need to do more than just talk about it. Maybe you need to get some rifles and ammo, train with them, if you want to keep our Republic. Stay safe and ready.
June Newsletter 2019
May has come and gone, summer still hasn’t hit us with the famous Arizona heat, but it is coming. Most went through May, going about their lives in the usual manner, while May 15th came and went like any other day. May 15th is a day set aside as a memorial for fallen police officers. It gets small mention in the evening news and some agencies do have a ceremony of remembrance of fallen brother and sister officers who lost their lives serving as The Thin Blue Line between criminals and victims.
I have served law enforcement now for over 36 years, first as a sworn officer and later as a contracted background investigator for current federal officers, applicants and civilian contractors. In my service, I have lost friends, coworkers, supervisors, fellow acquaintances, along with officers close enough I would have considered them family. All are brothers and sisters in the uniform, but some are more than that. A bible I have lists 33 names of fallen officers I knew and served with throughout my career.
This is about one of them, who died 9 years later, from a line of duty shooting. The fellow I’m going to write about was a longtime friend, partner and later supervisor when I was a cop for a small town, before I became a State Highway Patrol Officer in Arizona. His name was Donald Lee Mauldin or Donny Lee to friends and family. My history dates back to the beginning, before my career started in law enforcement.
It was 1974; I was a young, 18 year old kid, long hair and weighed in about 130 pounds. I was headed into the US Army and had a friend who was a cop and was over at his house playing poker for 38 special brass as chips. Dennis O’Brien was a Community Campus Police Officer and had a couple of friends over playing poker too. One was a Sheriff’s Deputy, the other a Detective both for Gila County, Arizona. Their names were Don Mauldin and Charlie Touchstone. I didn’t pay too much attention to that as I was leaving in the morning for my service. The guys let me drink some beer, (Underage), because if you’re going to serve you’re old enough to have a beer. I remembered that most of all, because they were cops and letting an underage kid drink beer.
So I finished my service, got out just before my 21st birthday and ended up starting my police career, while I was waiting for college to start. I never made it to college. Instead I ended up in a police academy and became an Arizona Certified Peace Officer. I was hired by The City of Superior, Arizona as the first police officer for that newly formed town. It was 1977. I was badge 4. Badges 1, 2 and 3 were the Chief, Lieutenant and Sergeant. A total of 9 uniformed officers formed the core of the new police department.
The Sergeant was Donny Lee Mauldin. A couple of the other officers hired, had worked with Mauldin in Gila County, AZ and in Texas, where Don was originally from and would return, back and forth, throughout his law enforcement career.
Mauldin and I hit it off pretty good and became fast friends. As I did with the other officers and supervisors I was working with while counting on them for backup as Superior was a violent mining town. Nobody placed under arrest went peaceably; there were some that did, but not too often and most of the time it was a scuffle or fight to take them into custody. It toughened you up and separated the guys who you could count on from the ones you couldn’t and often those officers would move on somewhere else pretty quickly.
I couldn’t help but feel I knew Don from before and our friendship was solid, knowing we had each other’s back. We would often work a two man unit on the night or graveyard shift and had some pretty hairy arrests and fights. Just on a side note, Superior had 13 bars at the time, not including restaurants and was the number one city in the US per capita for consumption of Coors Beer, a city of 5000 residents of mostly Hispanic descent, who were Copper Miners. A tough mining town.
After about nine weeks of working together, I had already met Don’s wife and her family who resided in Globe, Arizona and was out practicing with our firearms as often as we could get away with. We both liked guns and shooting, hunting, camping, almost two peas in a pod. Still couldn’t shake the feeling though I had known Don, rather than had just met him.
One night, he had another police officer friend ride with us. I was introduced to Detective Touchstone, Chief Investigator, for Gila County Sheriff’s Department and a good friend of Don’s. We were riding around about an hour and it clicked. “Hey, you guys know Dennis O’Brien?” They both look at me and say yes and “How do you know him?” I explained I was that skinny, long haired kid going in the Army three years before. “No way!” (You see, I had a mustache, short hair, had filled out to 155 pounds and was solid, thanks to the Army.) Eventually I convinced them, it was indeed me and one and the same as that kid they had met at O’Brien’s.
We all became friends throughout our careers, often working together. Don got mad at the town council and left for Texas after about two years with Superior, but he would be back and forth between the two states. Charlie “Feelrock” Touchstone later became Chief of Police for another small town, called Kearny, where I was assigned as a Highway Patrol Officer in 1980. Don came back, went to work for Gila County Sheriff’s Department again, left them for Globe Police Department then divorced and remarried a girl, who had a crush on him when he was a deputy years before, when she worked a summer job as a clerk for The Gila County Hayden/Winkelman Justice Court.
We continued our friendship throughout the years as best we could. Don settled down and went to work for The Pinal County Sheriff’s Department eventually becoming a Corporal and worked in the Apache Junction area of the County.
I last saw Don at my home in November of 1993. My oldest son’s Birthday was 11/3/82 and I had named him Brian “Lee”, (Couldn’t bring myself to name him Donald), and Don was visiting that day. He was troubled, having some difficulties, with his marriage and knowing it was his fault. In the near 20 years I have known him; he jumped from department to department every couple of years and was complaining he didn’t have any retirement time to show for it. He was disillusioned over how things were turning out and now it looked like he was headed down the road to a divorce.
During our visit,Don also reflected on how exciting his career was and of our time together at Superior PD, as being the best of friends working in one of the toughest towns he served in. He was thankful I had found a career with the Highway Patrol and had 13 years in towards retirement. Something he didn’t have and although he now had near 25 years of police service, he was no closer to being able to hang up his guns. We talked some more about our friendship and Maggie as I worked the area where she and her family lived and knew them, I told him he should work it out, they had something special together. Our visit ended on that note.
December 11th 1993. My highway patrol squad was having a Christmas Party. My wife and kids were there, with the other guys and families I worked and shared the job with. They had become friends, although most often you mostly relied on the local police and sheriffs, seeing and working with them more often. My squad worked different shifts and days off, so you just really didn’t develop much more than a professional relationship. Don’t mistake my saying this, as a negative, as they and I would have each other’s back as best we could in spite of the distance we were separated by miles of highway. They were some of the finest Officers working for the State and I’m proud to have served with them. They were state officers and wore the same uniform I did.
At the party, my longtime patrol partner and now supervisor received a phone call from our dispatch. I could see his face darken and knew we had some bad news. He pulled me aside and advised me first, that two Pinal County Deputies had been shot, line of duty, in Apache Junction. He told me one of the deputies shot was my friend, who I had talked about often, when working with and for my Highway Patrol Sergeant. He told me to take some time off and head over to the hospital in Phoenix where Don was, as he wasn’t supposed to make it.
Here’s how the shooting went down. Don and a few deputies went to a family fight, a call where they had been before previously and had dealt with this guy and had to fight him to make the arrest. The suspect was considered dangerous. A couple of deputies were positioned by the back door to assist in the arrest and were armed to do so, because of this suspect’s history and should he flee out the back door. Don and another deputy then entered into the residence and walked back to the kitchen area to make contact with the wife and find out what happening. As Don stepped through the doorway, the asshole stood alongside the doorway and shot him in the head. He then stepped into the doorway and shot the second deputy between the eyes. Then the scum ran out the back door and was shot by the deputies in the back yard with double ought buckshot out of a 12 gauge shotgun.
The results of this shooting; the asshole lived; none of the buckshot hit any major organs or vessels. The second deputy had eye glasses on and the bullet stopped on the frame in the middle of the glasses. Life spared, angel on his shoulder. Don however, would recover to a slight degree. I didn’t know this at the time and while at the hospital Maggie, Don’s wife, came to me and we wept together over my friend, my brother and her husband. Those of you that have been there, know it is hard to look on a brother, hooked to all those machines and tubes. I said my goodbyes to my friend and brother, gave Maggie my numbers and told her to call me for anything. The usual offers family receives from those who worked and served with the fallen. I never got the call to attend the expected funeral. Sometimes surviving isn’t always the best thing to happen, but I’m not god and I don’t pretend to know his will and reasons things work out the way they do. Don survived, if you could call it that.
The next I saw Don; he was at a full assisted living facility. He could talk a bit, greeted you friendly and offered for you to “Sit down and visit a while.” His Texas draw was still present. Don however, could not remember his children, wife or wives, friends and family and had lost decades of time. He would converse but it really never would go anywhere and the best way to describe it was if you had a tape recording playing and you hit pause, then let it play and finish the recording minutes later. Mid word Don would stop, stare and then a minute or two, finish the word and sentence. Although he greeted you like a long time friend and family, he really didn’t know why.
Don lived almost another 9 years after his injury, passing 08/24/2002. He’s buried in Florence, Texas. Don’s father was well to do, but estranged from him because of Don’s career choice. Although so, he provided for his care until Don’s passing.
Shortly after Don was shot, The Pinal County Sheriff’s Department “Terminated” his employment. Because Don was not killed outright, his family did not receive any line of duty death benefits, nothing for his two sons and two daughters. Being “Terminated”, Don had no more medical coverage or care, dropping that responsibility on Maggie. Lucky Don’s father stepped in. There’s a saying out there, “You’ve been paid for your two weeks, now it starts over for the next two weeks.” No department owes you any loyalty and it showed with Pinal County. Not every department is like this, but don’t expect much from those that employ you.
All in all, Don had a pretty wild ride as a peace officer in Arizona and Texas and I remember those days fondly, stories related of his adventures and misadventures, of service with my brother. Don liked the show Miami Vice and I think he was trying to live his career the same. We know TV just doesn’t reflect real police service, but Don was trying. Unfortunately, Don was not the first or last friend I lost during my career in law enforcement. I have too many other stories to share of loss and of those sharing those losses.
When it comes down to service, whether it is as a police officer or a soldier, line of duty deaths are losses we all feel, some more than others. Remember this, when you see a veteran or retired lawman, a serving soldier or police officer. Understand there is a sacrifice they pay for their service, to keep you safe from evil in the world. They and their families experience this, it is a hard career path and it takes someone strong and of good moral character to hold fast, although some don’t and rot sets in. They don’t last long once that shows up. Those that do last, consider their service a duty, a responsibility held dearly and close to heart. Few can serve and they are a special breed of individuals. Thank them honestly, for their service and their families’ sacrifices. It is a package deal. To all those line of duty deaths, friends and acquaintances soulfully written in my bible I remember you all. Your families remember and you are honored. Your sacrifices are not forgotten. Those of you still serving, stay safe and ready. Make sure you hold fast and make it to the end of your career and retire. You would have earned it.
Officer Darrell D. Murray, 3032 Retired, Arizona Department of Public Safety.
April 2019 Newsletter
There are a lot of “Experts” on the internet who claim to “Know” how to instruct firearms and self-defense training. If you’re seeking out knowledge, the internet can be one of the best sources for it, but then again, stupid and downright dangerous instruction is just as abundant online too, even more so.
I see the better instructor’s share videos these self-made “Gurus of Firearms Instructors” make and post online. Sometimes at first, I believe it is a joke and intended for a laugh, but then you realize these videos are of someone actually trying to impart training on inexperienced persons seeking to learn how to use firearms for self-preservation and protection and do so safely. Very scary that these people are out there supposedly offering solid firearms training and self-defense instruction to people seeking needed training and don’t know better.
As a gunsmith, I often head to the computer to bring up suggested ideas for repair and disassembly of firearms I have limited experience with, but I do know how to tell apples from oranges, as there is a wealth of information available. All my gunsmithing repair manuals are pretty much gathering dust, but I still go to them often, as needed.
But training is a different animal. As an experienced and a long term experienced Police and NRA Firearms Instructor I have a skillset I’ve developed as ideas come and go and improvements in training are advanced. In other words, I feel I have the ability to separate the “Wheat from the Chaff” so to speak. I’m open to new techniques and will learn them, but a lot of times the wheel is being reinvented. Something you see if you’ve been around a while.
Seeing the curse of the Internet Guru Instructor’s videos has brought me quite a few laughs, but then, it deeply concerns me that people actually think they’re learning from these idiots and then if they’re paying them, their money is better spent elsewhere. A good instructor is worth paying for. The cheap one on one instructor or cookie cutter, mass training instructor, (The lone wolf guy who will accept training 20 or so students, but without help or trained assistants to keep an eye out for safety and correct technique), are not bargains. They are dangerous disasters waiting to happen.
So how do you tell the difference? That can be hard as these so called “Experts” can be pretty convincing and tell a good story. Look at the reputation the instructor should have established. Longevity of training is another way, especially those who were Law Enforcement Firearms and Tactical Training Officers and those who served in specialized military units. We receive training that is intended to increase our odds of survival and it differs from NRA Basic Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun Classes. Those classes are good to get started in to learn the basics.
The NRA classes are all good training and if you didn’t realize it, the NRA laid the foundation for firearms training at all levels of police and military firearms programs. Of course the police and military have expanded, broadened and train to suit their needs and have come up with specific instruction addressing their missions. For one thing, military training is aggressive and offense preparations suited to attack and destroy an enemy. Police and civilian training have more to do with defensive and reactive training to an attack or threat. You as a citizen are not out to destroy a threat, but to defend reasonably, to save your life and possibly other lives within the laws of your jurisdictions. So there is a difference in the skillset of training between military soldiers and the civilian world training to include police and the average citizen. Not that you cannot learn both, but you will need to learn the difference and how it is applied in the use of force.
In short, you really have to do some research into the instructor and their abilities. Ask around and find out what people say about the instructor. Understand too, while some instructors attempt to give a better deal on pricing to their students, it always doesn’t mean the instructor is a good instructor. Find out first before spending your hard earned dollars. Pricing usually is not the issue, but the quality of the instructor is. Pricing is pretty competitive. A lot of “Experts” out there fishing for your dollars.
As I conduct recertification training for LEOSA HR218 which allows current and retired police officers to carry in all states, (Although some states are being real jerks about it, sounds like the “Blues” to me), I get to see a lot of cops who learned their skillset from their departments in other jurisdictions and outside of Arizona. I’m surprised by the low standards some of these departments have for their training and the lack of abilities the officers have in their skillset. When they’re faced with the Arizona required qualification course for LEOSA, they are astounded by the course of fire and amount of ammunition needed to qualify. I guess being in Arizona and a “Red” state comes as a shock to them in more than one way versus what was required of them in their state and departments firearms training programs.
Essentially it is your responsibility to obtain training in the use of firearms. We understand that, but sadly it is still a challenge to find the right and skilled instructor. What makes it hard is the “Internet Guru Instructors” spewing out “Training” that they’re passing off as valid methods of instruction. You have to separate the “Wheat” from the “Chaff.” Spend a little extra to learn from the best. Remember, you get what you pay for and watch out for those “Gurus”. Stay safe and ready.
Defensive Firearms Training and Statistics
I recently was asked a question from a retired law enforcement officer who was an elite member of his department’s training and firearms tactical unit, an instructor himself. He enjoys competitive shooting sports especially IDPA (International Defense Pistol Association) which is shooting from a concealed carry position and limited to a 10 round magazine with interesting and challenging stages of fire. His question had to do with; “I’m trying to restructure my defensive tactical training to be more in line with competitive shooting as my scores keep slipping downward?” “Any pointers you can suggest?” This is what I told him. “I believe you answered your question in the wording of your questions.”
First and foremost, Defensive Firearms Training, (Being somewhat politically correct in terminology here), is centered around surviving an armed encounter and dealing with one or more immediate threats, often occurring within a couple of seconds, no tactical planning, mostly instant reactive responses ingrained through repetitive training. Hence the word “Defensive.”
You have other forms of tactical training, Offensive Tactics, similar to what the military use and S.W.A.T. upon entry of a building and you see these tactics involve the use of long guns, such as M4 rifles and 12 Gauge Shotguns, as well as submachine guns, like the H&K MP5 series, a very popular subgun for military and police use in the 1990’s. Notice you’re not bringing a handgun into a known threat. A rifle or shotgun “Trumps” a handgun every time. The obvious observation is however, you’re not going to walk around with those kinds of firearms in your back pocket. They are great for home defense which is something to discuss in the future.
Here are some interesting facts about armed encounters;
- If you stand still in a gunfight you have an 85% chance of being shot, and 51% chance of being shot in the torso.
- If you move and shoot you have a 47% chance of being hit, with 11% chance of a torso shot.
- Seeking cover and returning fire reduces your chance of being shot to 26% with a 6% torso hit rate.
- The most common caliber to be shot with is 9mm
- Most gunfights average 3.59 rounds per incident.
- Most deadly shootings occur within 3-6 feet! Usually you are within conversation distance and how far is that person from you? Usually at “Arm’s length”, maybe closer or slightly further away from that distance.
- Even the best of Skilled Defensive Trained personal will take approximately 1 and ¾ of a second to recognize, draw from a friction type holster, (Not from Concealment) and engage a threat. On average it takes over 3 seconds if you have little or no training and you are not practicing to be aware of your surroundings and recognizing possible threats.
To survive these types of encounters requires a lot of training and practice. Unfortunately, this is the most likely situation an individual will face during a threat encounter. It may differ somewhat, as sometimes the treat may have a less lethal weapon, like a knife or club, (Still can harm and kill you), but if you have time to plan for an attack, it is under unusual circumstances, maybe like a riot, or home invasion where you’re alerted by cameras, alarms etc. Not a lot better, but still more time to implement a plan you have rehearsed with your family. Role playing and dry firing; (Please don’t have loaded firearms when doing this), reduces your reaction times in both recognizing a threat and dealing with it. This is one aspect of Defensive Tactical Training, what ifs and how to react and deal with them. There is a lot more to this, but we’re not really covering that in this article.
So back to the question? How to improve shooting in competition? First you need to understand it is competition and NOT how to deal with everyday carry and the possibility of threat encounters. You have to break your habits, (Do you want to do that?) Habits learned through years of training to survive armed encounters. IDPA has some funny rules; like you can’t drop your magazine with a few rounds left in it as you move to another position to have a fully loaded pistol. Something you may or may not do or have time for in an armed threat encounter. They make you do a “Tactical Reload” putting the partly empty magazine in your pocket before charging your pistol with an new magazine, or just shooting the pistol dry, then reload and continue. You can drop the magazine when it is empty. While Defensive Training does include tactical reload training, often the attack is finished before that need occurs. If you’ve fired, moved to cover and still have a threat to deal with, my thinking is, the quicker I have a fully loaded pistol the better. I’m not entirely sold on Tactical Reloads.
In IDPA and competitive shooting as a whole, you have to follow rules set down for the sport. Move here, move there, shoot low through an opening, lean this way, lean that way. If you follow your Defensive Training sometimes, it will fit in with the stages of fire found in the match but often you will find you are trying to revert to your Defensive Training which may cost you time and lower your score. So you have to choose. Am I there to win a match or training to win the ultimate competition? A fight for surviving an armed encounter. You can pick up needed skills shooting IDPA or other shooting sports, like reloading faster, getting the pistol out and presented quicker, shooting faster, clearing malfunctions and so on. This was how I polished my shooting skills early on in my Police Career. Police Tactical and Defensive Training was almost nonexistent. So you had to find other ways to improve your survivability for on the job threats. Today police are being trained and trained well, but in Defensive Tactical Threat Encounters, not sport shooting. If you’re a current Police Officer or Military, don’t sacrifice your ingrained training to try and win a civilian sport match. Just shoot to polish your Defensive Tactical Skills, within the rules of the match and enjoy.
Some of the differences between sports shooting are pretty obvious, such as no “hot” guns until on the firing line and instructed to load. At the end of the stage you unload, empty and show the person running the timer, who is looking over your shoulder, you have cleared your firearm. You will pick up ingrained habits due to competitive competitions that do not apply to your professional training. You don’t want to be in a gunfight, win, then empty your gun, just as another threat comes around the corner or appears in the fight. You as a professional, always have a loaded and “Hot” firearm. It is how we train, both in Defensive and Offensive Tactics. Range safety is VERY important, but Law Enforcement and Military personal are not beginners in using firearms. Some have to be trained from never shooting or owning a firearm in their lifetime and caution is used in teaching the basics, but once they’ve advance in their career, they should know and have a developed skill set. Although I’ve met plenty I’ve often wondered about their abilities. There are a couple of different animals here. Those who take firearms training and skills seriously and those who think it is just another accessory on their duty belt. I don’t understand this mentality as it is often the difference of surviving an armed threat or having a large funeral. The problem with this thinking is as I said, you usually do not have the ability to do anything but react to a threat and let your training take over. There is one exception to this; the criminal has planned his attack and executes it on his terms and timing. Think about that. Lucky a great many of these animals, never go to the range and train. But at 3 to 6 feet, they can be just as lethal as the best trained officer or armed citizen. You’re kind of leveling the playing field just a bit, by going out and training. Maybe getting a little better advantage; but realize. Armed Threat Defensive Training and Tactics are not the skillset for Competitive Shooting Matches and as such, neither are Competitive Shooting Matches a replacement for Defensive Training and Tactics. It can polish your skillset, but they are like comparing a wolf to a dog, both similar, sometimes dangerous, but the wolf is the survivor in the real world. Stay safe and ready.
Sig Sauer P228 Build
As an Officer for years I carried the Sig “P” platform pistols on duty, mainly the Sig P220. I have owned the P226 and carry a P228 as a concealed carry firearm. As I have trained and used these pistols for years, don’t try and convince me to switch over to striker fired pistols such as the new Sig P320 or Glock Firearms—it’s just not going to happen.
The Sigs I like to work with are German made, either pre-fall of the Berlin wall, (West Germany Marked) or post reunified Germany, (Marked Germany). You can bet the quality of these pistols is the best out there.
I look for those pistols that have little use or wear and tear and start there. You can expect to pay anywhere from $650.00 to $1000.00 depending on model and condition. Not cheap, but they are the best out there, the ones Sig Sauer’s reputation is built on.
I fully strip the pistols; polish areas of moving parts, the feed ramp breech block, feed ramp on the barrel and throat the barrel slightly to aid in feeding rounds. I would first state, the standard version Sigs I’ve owned feed just about anything, but this is added insurance. I take the edge off the trigger by rounding it. I install the Sig Sauer Short Reset Trigger Components as well. Then we change the hammer main spring from the stock 24 pound to a Wolff Spring. What I’ve found 19 or 20 pound springs seem to work the best, but you can try 18, 17 or 16 pound springs too. However, with the lower spring ratings, light strike misfires can happen and you need to use a pound rating which ensures this does not occur. Also note, the older style hammer main springs are difficult to change. They had a modern design change, which makes it a lot easier to deal with but it is not a straight change out of the retention unit and requires a different hammer strut as well as a different spring. So if you pistol already has this upgraded unit, be sure you purchase the correct spring and if you’re changing out the old one for the improved version, ensure you buy all three parts, hammer main spring, hammer strut and the new Retention/Main Spring Seat.
So after we’ve done the basic polishing of the parts, we send the whole pistol to Robar Companies in Phoenix, Arizona to have their NP3 finish applied to all metal parts except the anodized frame. They do not plate the sear as that part itself can be too slick for safe use. The advantages of this finish are first, it is a nickel plating that is impregnated with Teflon which makes the surface self-lubricating, reducing the overall drag and friction of the moving parts, incredibly so. Second the nickel itself is corrosive resistant, but in the desert, that is not that important. It, with the added work done prior to plating, makes for a very smooth working firearm. It is also easier to clean and maintain as shown in the photos; you can wipe the fouling off of the parts. I still clean the pistol after firing, but as slippery as the NP3 finish is, it makes cleaning easy. Here is their Website: https://robarguns.com/.
After Robar has finished with the Sig, you can see how well the finish looks, besides all the qualities mentioned with NP3. We ended up with a 19 pound hammer spring and installed a Sig Number 10 front sight as my wife needed to raise the point of impact approximately four inches. The stock Number Front and Rear sights on the Sig are Number 8’s. Raising the numbers on either the rear and or front sight increases bullet height impact and the lower numbers lower the impact point. Each number difference, down or up will lower or raise bullet impact approximately 2”. Simple enough.
Another change to the pistol is the addition of Hogue Extreme Aluminum Grips as they are about the slimmest grips on the market which fit both our hands best with the wider body of the double stack magazine Sig P series. The grips are not easily marred or damaged and while if it is a constant carry firearm, cold weather may make the grip, well cold, but there’s not too much of that here in Arizona. Here is what they cost and where to order: https://www.hogueinc.com/sig-sauer-p228-p229-aluminum-matte-black-anodized.
Another option that will follow and is an easy change out of the recoil spring guide rod is adding a LaserMax Green Laser which replaces the guide rod with an internal laser, which is index finger activated. https://www.lasermax.com/lms-2291g.html. The trigger pull for the Sig with a 19 pound hammer spring is now for Double Action 10.1 and Single Action 4.1. There wasn’t a whole lot of difference in reduction from the stock 24 pound spring from 11.4 for Double Action and 5.8 for single action however; double action is smooth all the way though with a very crisp release on single action. With over a pound difference between stock and tuned it feels like night and day from tuned versus stock. Understand if you don’t have the skills for these kind of modifications a gunsmith MAY know how to do this, but it seems as time goes by, there are less and less competent smiths out there, especially in dealing with older iron, versus the poly age. In training classes I see fewer hands raised when I ask if the students have handled firearms like “Revolvers.” It’s interesting and scary to see a passing of an age that I once was very familiar with and the ongoing new fascination with poly striker fired handguns. As always, we’ll stick with the German “P” series Sigs rather than try and relearn shooting habits and adjust years of muscle memory. Stay safe and ready.
Our take on Gun Control and the Left Wing
- Well here we go again. The fight to keep our rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment and the US Constitution, those very rights the Anti-Gun, left wing liberal, Marxists-Socialists, Democrats want to end permanently. It has been an ongoing war, that’s what it is, a prolonged attack on yours and my rights. It doesn’t stop and never will stop. Understand there is no “Reasonable” discussion or dialog with these lunatics. It’s their way or no way and that doesn’t just apply to firearms, but to every aspect of what Obama openly said he was going to do, change the nation though social reform.
- Folks, the left have called us haters; they have called us racists and have been very successful at blaming us for their social troubles and harmful life style. They want to blame the United States for being a great nation, a world leader and country that does not take crap from other nations. They say it has been at the expense of other nations, this success of ours, that we enslaved and exploited other peoples and nations, (We’re not doing that slavery thing but there are several other nations that still do), that we have extorted at the expense of other nations and so on. That’s their excuse for their lack of success, it is America’s fault.
- Well heavens, after Europe destroyed itself during WWI and WWII we rebuilt much of the world’s nations off of the generosity of our country’s citizens and as of yet, have not called in the debts they owe us. So when we talk about wanting them to carry some of the burden of running their countries, now we’re evil. Look, as far as I’m concerned the rest of Europe, Africa and the Middle East can save their own asses, but if they threaten our security, we should utterly destroy that threat.
- Stop sending our monies overseas to those nations who look at us with hate, but still have their hands out. Of course the same Anti-Gun, left wing liberals, Marxists-Socialists, Democrats will cry colonialism and capitalism are the evil destroying the world but hey, we know the truth. Capitalism is what built the United States and made it strong and a world leader. There isn’t a nation today that wasn’t taken and settled by other peoples in colonial expansion. That was the way of the world.
- It is forgotten that Eastern Europe has been at the root of both WWI and WWII wars and continues to be a hot spot due to conquered cultures sharing the same borders. What I’m talking about here is gun control, but it doesn’t sound like it.
- You need to understand the thinking and reasoning behind the left wing. These people are not promoting your safety; they don’t care about your wellbeing. What they want is a dictatorship control over the people they govern. They do not follow the true ideology of Communism however, as that cannot exist with human nature. But it is obvious they want the power, to be the elite and in control of the useful stooges, (You), to further their agendas. Understand, the Anti-Gun crowd is a child of Marxism and Communism. It is not about making life better or even saving lives; it is about furthering their idea of what a perfect world is FOR THEM! Know that Communism, Marxism, Socialism, Progressivism has killed more people than all the wars of the 20th century, not Capitalism, not the Republic form of government, but Democracy under the influence of Progressive leadership, i.e. Socialism, Marxism and Communism.
- I always get a kick out of some college, indoctrinated youth commenting on when I’m calling the left Communists. They say “Lol, you don’t know what Communism is!” Well at least I had an education, not a political left wing agenda indoctrination which it seems their so called college education is reflecting and awarding degrees on. Look at all the Bernie Sanders supporters amongst the college kids and tell me I’m wrong. Look who’s been educating them for the last 60 years. And we’ve allowed it.
- The left wing politicians scream for gun control after mass shootings, saying “We don’t want to take your guns but want reasonable gun control.” So what is reasonable? We already have over 22,000 gun control laws on the books. We have laws against assault, aggravated assault, rape and murder on the books. We have the liberal agenda’s addition of “Hate” crime when a white person is involved with an attack and/or death of a minority, (Have you seen any of the haters on the left charged with their vicious attacks on white people with a hate crime?”)
- So how can a law have stopped the shootings in Vegas? It could not and while they say they don’t want our guns, every proposed Anti-Gun Bill introduced since the Vegas Shooting does that very thing, ban or take away our rights, opening the door to outright confiscation. Well for one, I’m tired of hearing this crap and being taken for a fool. Don’t piss on me and call it rain! Crime will not stop because they’ve passed a law or thrown a magic switch.
- So they say, look at England, Australia and so on, we need laws like they have. Well folks they’re not telling you the full facts, all kinds of violence in these nations have gone up and people are left defenseless at the mercy of criminals.
- What they don’t want you to know, is since the 1990’s and passage of concealed carry laws, here in the US, violent crimes have and still are decreasing in this country. What they don’t want you to know is the kind of firearms used in Vegas are used in less than 1% to 3% of crimes in this nation.
- They want you to depend on the police and government for protection but that never will happen. The US Supreme Court has ruled the police and the government has no lawful requirement to respond to your emergency or 911 call. They can’t be held accountable for ignoring your pleas for help. So guess whose shoulders it falls back on? You are the only person who can stop the attack or threat to you and your family. That’s just how it is.
- So when you have four armed thugs kicking in your front door for a home invasion, what would you rather have for a defensive firearm? A bolt action hunting rifle? If the left is allowed to have their way you won’t even be allowed a firearm at all. But that’s all they think you need, is your Deer Rifle right? Of Joe Biden’s double barreled shotgun the wife just emptied on the back porch to “Warn ‘em” we’re armed! What you need is a firearm that has a lot of ammo capacity, one that can meet, stop, overcome and defeat the attack. Sorry to say for you in the revolver crowd, your six or seven shot Smith won’t be enough. Maybe a double barreled shotgun like Joe said? Might be okay for one guy, maybe, but it’s empty remember? Having a good tactical rifle or high magazine capacity pistol is a minimum for this type of threat.
- It doesn’t matter how good a shot you are or how much you practice, the facts are human physiological reactions to danger kick in and as such you lose the fine motor skills, with the flood of adrenaline, tunnel vision and such to name a bit of what happens. Very few people can handle that kind of situation with a calm approach. Our human bodies are not designed for it.
- So the so called, Anti-Gun crowds who say you don’t need high capacity magazines or those tactical rifles that have no other purpose than to kill as many people as you can, well honestly, they’re right to a degree, you need that kind of firearm for your self-defense. The difference is YOU are an HONEST and LAW ABIDING citizen and have every right to have the best defense possible against a violent criminal attack you can afford at your disposal.
- I like the looks on their faces when I tell them that’s what I have these firearms for, the best available defense possible at mine and my families’ disposal. It’s what the police use in dealing with criminals so why should you sacrifice the best firearms that can be used to protect your loved ones and yourself, just because you’re not a police officer? I ask them what does the Secret Service carry or other armed security for our nation’s leaders rely on and they don’t know the answer but often say the political leaders are important and deserve that type of protection. Well what about my family or your family, aren’t they important too? Their arguments are hollow and they resort to the usual left attacks like cursing and calling you a fascist or some other nasty words as they can’t follow your sensible argument.
- I further explain that the founding fathers created the Second Amendment so our nation’s citizens have a means to resist the very kind of government they’re attempting to force upon our Republic. We do not want a Socialist Regime that controls every aspect of our lives and leaves us at the mercy of criminals, which is what England and Australia have become, along with several other European nations who are subjecting their citizens to the threats of Islam.
- What is interesting is the former, under Soviet Control, Eastern European countries like Poland, Croatia, Bosnia, and Ukraine to name a few have refused the European Union’s call to have stricter and tighter gun control, including registration of firearms. They flatly refused to enact or bring changes to their new constitutions to accept the EU’s totalitarian control of their new nations. They’re too fresh out from under Communism to go back under the Socialist flag. So to resist the Left’s ideas about sensible gun control, TOTALLY, is our only course. Call your representatives, call Trump’s White House and tell them no! NO more gun laws and get on with passing Reciprocity as Constitutional rights do not stop at state lines and pass the Hearing Safety Act so possessing Silencers and Suppressors are not a NFA controlled item.
- Do not let the Anti-Gun arguments sway you; do not think they have your interests and safety on their minds, that’s not it. That’s your job, not theirs, as the US Supreme Court has already noted. What they want is total control. Let’s not let them have it. Make sure the NRA, who jumped too quickly in saying Bump Stocks should be illegal and BATFE should have never allowed them into being legal to purchase, knows how you feel about caving in to the left! Call the NRA and tell them to stop selling our rights away. We already know the left is not someone we can negotiate with and honestly, we won last November, didn’t we? Time to start making our “Republican” politicians to start acting like we won and stop treating the left like we need to include them in with our agenda, we don’t want their idea of what America should become.
- Make America Great Again is a positive statement. Let’s do it and start by stopping the left’s attempt of “Progressing” their/Obama’s agenda. No thanks, I’ll keep my guns and money, you can keep the change. I’m afraid our country is headed towards dark times and this is no time to discuss ANY kind of gun-control or cave in to the demands of the left. All they’re looking to do it disarm the masses for control. They won’t say that and of course they’ll say thinking like this is paranoid, but I’ve watched these “Progressives” progress since the 1970’s and honestly, all they’ve done is succeed in tearing down our nation and turning our people against one another. Time to “Stand and Fight!” Stay safe and ready!
Internet Personal Security
- In using computers and being on line I’m not that new to the idea. I Started way back when you paid to dial up with a modem. However, I’m relatively new to Facebook and that has always been a privacy issue to me as why would I want to join? I never wanted to seek out and post my laundry on line for anybody to read and comment about. I never felt the need to cultivate friends though the internet, but we’re expanding our home based business, azgunsandtraining.com and were told that in addition to our website, get on Facebook. I’ll say I’ve been missing out on some interesting news and information, now that I’ve joined, but my strong beliefs and support of the Second Amendment, causes me pause. My politics are conservative and strongly so. What I’ve found and feel, it’s good to see a large group of like minded individuals, standing up for what they believe in. Especially amongst the new and younger firearms’ owners, learning and seeking out new skill sets, becoming avid shooters and strong Second Amendment supporters.
- Now for some observations; Mistakes are often repeated and many times I wondered why I see “New” ideas that have been “Recently” discovered that I have “Seen” years ago. In my firearms classes I heavily teach you to keep your finger off the trigger. In all the training I’ve ever done, as a Police Firearms instructor, as a tactical instructor, range officer, you name it, been there and still doing it. There is a reason for repetitiveness training and instruction. Yet during my career, we had an accidental shooting, (They don’t call them that anymore, they’re called “Unintentional Shootings”), when a highway patrolman was making an arrest and had a reflex shot fired killing the suspect. Under stress, what one hand does so may the other and the officer had to fight the suspect, finally drawing his Sig Sauer and pointing it at the suspect who surrendered. The officer grabbed the suspect with his left hand and spun him around and bent him over the trunk of the car with is pistol still in his right hand and finger still on the trigger. When he grabbed the suspect’s shoulder to position him better the Sig fired and killed the suspect, shot though the back of the head. The squeezing of the left hand together caused the right hand to contract and he pulled the trigger, never intending to shot or kill the suspect. All that stress, all that adrenaline, the loss of fine motor skills, that’s what happens in a fight or flight situation. What I’m getting to, is I have an old WWII photo of a German soldier talking with a squad of other soldiers with his Luger out. In the photo, you see his trigger finger extended rigidly alongside the pistol’s frame, the pistol pointed to the ground in a safe direction. Retraining our officers commenced after determining the factors of the shooting were known and again, it was emphasized, finger off the trigger! Something new, but something old and should have been remembered, as that highway patrol officer had been trained and retrained throughout his career, never to do that very thing that killed the suspect. It should not have happened. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
- I have served in Law Enforcement for going over four decades now and maybe it’s an old habit, but I take my privacy and security very personal. Very few friends will be privy to who I am, my martial art skills or even what I did in the Army, what I can do now and just exactly how many firearms we own, how much ammunition for those firearms or where all my interests in life are placed. I will say, it will give the liberals a heart attack, but luckily for them, I’m one of the good guys, just as the majority of you are too. However, I believe personal privacy is paramount and goes hand in hand in personal security. I’ve been shocked by the amount of information gleaned from posts and pages from the now friended users of Facebook and the groups I’ve joined to further those interests I have, most of which have to do with firearms. I understand the nature of people is to want to believe the best about others and to trust them, but that really is a mistake. Even the most trusted of friends can violate your friendship. Some may do so unintentionally, others because they think you seriously wronged them in some manner. The same applies to your family, your cousins, in laws and sometimes your brothers and sisters. Your politics may differ greatly and they may hate you for it.
- You may have something you’ve acquired that is rare and collectable, maybe quite valuable and just have to let your friends know about it. The urge is too great not to. How much you paid for it and what a bargain it was, what you think it is worth and so on. Back before Facebook and other social medias arrived on the scene, you would share “This keeping up with the Joneses” with your crowd of friends that knew you face to face a personally. It was called “Blowing your own horn.” A lot of people have fallen victims to burglaries and even robberies because that information was passed on and “Shared” with others who didn’t mean harm or worse, those who wanted what you had but didn’t want to work for it. It was easier to make you a victim than for them to try and buy it for themselves. A good friend whose son had died placed the funeral information in the paper and came home after, to find everything of value was hauled off by burglars including his prized firearms collection. Thieves look for these types of victims, people who are going to be away at a certain time, knowing that they can commit their crime without chance of interference. So maybe you’ve heard of these pointers I’m going to note to you;
- Do not post or tell someone where you’re going, when you’ll be back and update while you’re out on vacation. Don’t post that you’re eating here or what hotel you’re staying in; don’t be taking pictures of the food you’re eating, (Really?) and so on. A lot of people post or text while their events are ongoing during their time out as it is being done, like we’re eating at this restaurant, lots of good food and it automatically shows up on their page as where they are right now. They just got to have those “Likes.” Why not wait until the vacation is over and then talk about how much fun you had; don’t offer any of that information before or during the event. Thieves are looking for that kind of information and it doesn’t take much to figure out where you reside these days. Just an internet search away!
- While we all like a good deal, don’t post that up on Facebook. Don’t be tempted to price your item. You’re just advertising you’ve got something to steal! Remember that commercial when the young lady tells her friend about the couch she “Just had to have”, “It’s so you”, says the other lady, then later two guys are burglarizing the house saying the same thing? It might be hard to resist the temptation, but you shouldn’t blow your own horn, how much you paid or worse when you’re not there so the crooks can be stealing you newly acquired treasure!
- Don’t post you’re going to attend this event or go to that party or shooting match. Or even when you’re going to someone’s wedding or funeral. It’s sad at the passing of a loved one, but you’ve already called those who you want to attend the funeral, so why not wait until after the services to announce their deaths in the paper or social media? Talk about how much fun you had afterwards and certainly don’t say we’re going to be there next year too, same time, same place!
- There are a lot of great devices available to defeat thieves. Doorbells that connect to your smart phone by video so you can see who’s at the door and even answer while you’re away; giving the appearance you’re home. Thieves are catching on to this type of technology, but it gives you an opportunity to call 911 and have the police respond to your home to catch them. So now when they see this configuration at your front door, they’ll go and knock on a window somewhere to see if you really are home. There are security devices that react to loud sounds and/or motion. There are outdoor cameras that see in the dark and provide excellent resolution so the criminal can be identified, so most likely all but the dumbest criminal will move on to easier pickings. There are great home security systems, lighting systems, alarm monitoring systems that are affordable for you to consider for your family’s safety and home’s security. But don’t go posting on line, “Look at what I bought” and start showing how great your system is. Again, you’ll be aiding the thief in defeating your system. Yes they learn from their mistakes and improve on their capabilities too. Don’t give them that edge.
- I’ve seen people post that they’ve got a lot of collectible and antique firearms but only a lousy locker to keep them in and need to get a safe. Or they post photos of their firearms collection sitting in a cheap locker which is their attempt for security. It might keep an unauthorized child from getting to them, but showing the thief what you own and what it’s kept in is a mistake. While you’ll enjoy the “Cool” replies and likes, and it is very unlikely you may be a victim of a crime, it can and does happen and it’s no longer just word of mouth, but lots of social media posting and bragging. I myself worked too hard to make it easy on the criminal to obtain an easy addition to his income, so I don’t post my guns on line. I am an FFL dealer and you can bet I have firearms, but most of what you’ll see for sale are the photos of consignment firearms where I took the pictures to sell and returned them to their owners so I would not be responsible in the event I am victimized. It also keeps them secure from becoming common knowledge to the thieves as they’re dealing though my business and I am the point of contact for both seller and buyer.
- You can say let the bastards try and I’ll be ready for them when they do. That’s fine, I feel the same way, but I won’t make it easy for them.
- They’re catching a lot of these neighborhood thieves through technology that was cost prohibitive for most people 10 or even 5 years ago but now affordable. Realize many local burglaries are committed by your neighbor’s teen aged children and technology is and has been a great aid in apprehending these budding career criminals. They may catch them, but often it’s too late for you to recover any or all of your property. Don’t make it easy on them by broadcasting where you are and not are, by showing what’s valuable to you and how easy it would be to steal. By all means enjoy your fun, let your few, in person friends who you trust in on your recent acquired toys and fun. Know that’s still risky, but my few friends know better than to go about telling everyone else about what I own and they expect the same from me. Understand too, a great many of these friends are law enforcement or longtime friends I’ve known for a very long time.
- Always remember, social media, is social. There are a lot of people viewing your posts and those are forwarded on to others and so on. Clicking on the post will often being up the person who made it, their page, showing what town they call home and then it is just a few clicks away to actually knowing where you live. A lot of people have been victimized by thinking everyone else is the victim and it won’t happen to me and they’re “Friends.” More people than your “Friended”, Facebook friends see your posts, especially when you post to a group site. The bad guys are watching too, not just here, but those who hate us in other countries too. Take care, stay safe and ready.
- Questions and answers:
- I’m going to be adding points of instruction which you may find useful or may not to this column and pass that on to you for your experience and skills. Please pose questions in relation to firearms and training to us as we’ll try and answer them with in our expertise and help you along, so check back often. Pose your questions to; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- September training post;
Carrying a Sig Sauer
- Simple enough title for this article, however here is the explanation. Back years ago, maybe before some of you were born, (Jeesh, never thought I’d be saying that!), I started my law enforcement career in 1977. The police department issued Colt Police Positive .38 revolvers, but allowed you to carry whatever you could qualify with. (It pays to be the department firearms instructor and armorer!) I elected to carry a 1911A1 Colt Series 70 45. I worked there over three years, nearer four and left to go to work for the Arizona Highway Patrol. They issued Smith and Wesson Model 15 .38’s but again, along as it was on their approved list, you could carry a Colt or S&W revolver and I carried a Smith Model 19 .357. When the Smith Model 596 came out I switched to that and about the same time, the Highway Patrol began to authorize off duty carry of approved semi autos and I carried the 1911 again, off duty. Before that we were limited to a Smith and Wesson Chief or Colt Detective, little five and six shot .38 revolvers.
- In the mid 1980’s the Highway Patrol started the switch over to a modern, semi-automatic handgun, which was either the Sig Sauer P220 in .45 or the P226 in 9mm. I, of course, chose the .45. I was already familiar with the Sig P220, as it had been marketed prior in its European form a few years before as the Browning Double Action or BDA. I eventually got rid of it, although I was very happy with the pistols design and function, but no one, I mean no one, made holsters or provided spare magazines for the new import.
- The only problem encountered with the switching over to the Sig automatics was the Highway Patrol did not have enough funds to provide the pistols to every officer. So what they came up with was issuing them to the senior officers first and the cadets in the academy. We officers with five to ten years on the department would have to wait. I didn’t and I purchased my own Sig P220 for a whopping $365.00!
- Before I qualified with the pistol, I did some Gun Smithing, polished the action, rounded and removed the ribbing from the trigger, bobbed the hammer and sent the barrel out to Armoloy for plating in hard chrome inside and out. The slide and other metal components were sent to Robar in Phoenix, AZ for NP3 plating, which is a nickel impregnated with Teflon, making it a very smooth and self-lubricating surface. Thus increasing the already reliable Sig’s platform to ensure near 100% performance and function while reducing wear and tear on the pistol.
- At my assigned duty station, in Kearny, Arizona, I founded the Copper Basin Sportsmen’s Club. I was its president and match director, chief instructor and range officer. I became involved in the early start of the now highly competitive sports involving pistol shooting and later three gun matches. I spent a lot of time and money shooting in these events, always with my Sig Sauer P220, as it was the pistol I carried and depended on as an officer. I did not build any race guns and even though handicapped in such a manner in competitive shooting, (By my own design), I shot well enough to win several matches, advancing to a Master Class Shooter. At that time I was reloading, casting, sizing bullets and shooting so on to the tune of 1000 rounds a week to obtain the level of skill needed to compete in the matches. Not just at the club, but several other ranges and matches across Phoenix, Tucson, Casa Grande, Coolidge, Florence and Catalina, where we have one of the finest ranges available, The Pima Pistol Club. I competed in these matches with my Sig, good old stock carry pistol against the hotrod 1911 shooters. Today you will find often matches held for Street Carry Guns Only, which were not offered back then.
- I guess what I’m getting to, is I depended on this pistol for my life, if I should encounter an armed threat in the line of duty, I wanted to be the one who came out on top. Often my partner was 45 minutes away in his assigned area and maybe, if we needed help, we could rely on a local police officer or county sheriff to respond, but often it was just you. So you can bet I was going to know how to shoot that pistol.
- Over the years, since the mid 1980’s, I believe I have shot near 60,000 rounds though this P220. Granted most of the competition ammunition I loaded were reduced loads with a 200 grain lead bullet, but never the less, I had to shoot and qualify with the Sig using department training ammunition four times yearly. On average 400 rounds, 50 practice and 50 to qualify at each training session.
- I used the pistol faithfully until they issued .40 Sig Sauers, in the later 1990’s. While I had finally been issued somewhere in the late 1980’s a department Sig Sauer P220, I still carried my Sig. The department Sig was kept so I could purchase it upon retirement. When I had to turn it in for the .40 Sig, I didn’t like the .40. When I retired I declined to purchase the .40 Sig at “Market Value”, not because it wasn’t a good pistol, but for two reasons. I am an FFL and purchasing a new Sig for me was well below the “Market Value” offered by the department and the second reason is it was also a .40. My logic was I had so much invested in the .45, I didn’t want the expense of obtaining all the needed components for reloading and so on. What is discouraging was I had been injured of off work and decided to retire and did not have access to our department’s internal emails so I missed a law change. Law change? Yes sir! The state legislators had passed a law stating we could purchase either our rifle, shotgun or pistol for a dollar starting 04/01/2000. Before it was required to sell them for “Market Value”, to the retiring officer. Of course I had set my retirement date as 03/31/2000 and everybody had assumed I knew about the law change so no one told me. I would have taken that Sig .40 for a dollar, but likely would have chosen a Colt AR 15. I would have likely sold them anyway as I wasn’t fond of either and didn’t like the department issued Remington 870. I carried an HK 91 in .308 for my patrol rifle, authorized, but not supplied by the State.
- So I retired the P220 I had carried in the safe and picked up a Sig P228 and started carrying it. It didn’t have anything to do with full size or compact, being a concealment issue. The truth is, the Sigs are not that much difference in size. What I was considering is I was riding a motorcycle, and wanted the extra magazine capacity and penetration the 9mm offered. There really is not one pistol size or cartridge that fills all needs. There are a lot of things to consider and you try to accommodate the best percentage of need to be fulfilled.
- Well about six years later I started working part time at a shooting range and gun store, (Gee imagine that), and they authorized you to carry armed and ready on the premises. You had to qualify monthly, the same police qualification I had done for pretty much 23+ years. I picked my Sig P220 again, as the .45 is the man stopping round all others are held up to for comparison. In the store, I would be up close, no cover, no car doors but face to face with any threat I might encounter. So again I picked the pistol that most suited my needs—the Sig P220 in man stopping .45.
- At my first qualification I maxed and outshot the other employees in the store. Realize, out of about ten employees, seven of us were retired officers from US Marshals, US Customs, Department of Corrections, and Tucson PD. This is a reflection of the years of training and shooting that P220, intending to survive an armed threat encounter.
- So let’s talk about the problems encountered with the Sig. It really didn’t like the 200 grain semi-wad cutter bullet but that was an issue I worked out and finally ended up with reliable function, after adjusting seating depth and using a taper crimp seating die. The Sig shot everything else with no issues. During one qualification, at the gun store shooting range, I had the slide stop spring break. Okay so I called Sig and ordered replacement springs for every one used in the pistol. I asked Sig how often should replacement occur? Oh, about every 5000 rounds or so was their answer. Well with close to 60,000 rounds fired though that pistol I think that says something about the reliability of the Sig P220. Especially the German ones as all my four Sigs are either West German or German made pistols. On the outside of my P220, you have the normal holster wear on the anodized frame’s highpoints, which are now shinny aluminum. The frame is solid and no signs of fatigue or cracks. I replaced the takedown lever as it was loosening up from where it is riveted to the pivot point. The barrel shows very little wear due to the hard chroming as does the slide which is plated with NP3. I replaced the Night Sights as they only last about ten years before fading out. The original sights were not Night Sights but I had change those years ago for the night sights. Other parts, not worn out but replaced, are the trigger components replaced with the Sig Short Reset Trigger grouping. All my Sigs have had this conversion. We added Crimson Trace Laser to the P220’s and have Laser Max laser guide rods in the P228’s, simply because the fatter grip on the P228s do not fit our hands with the Crimson Trace Laser grips.
- I have built and all four of my Sigs and one of the reasons we have four of them is my wife shoots my original carried P220 like a pro. I told her I would build her one but better, now benefiting from my years of acquired learning and understanding of Sigs. I did this, but guess what? I still don’t have my old buddy back. It’s in the family and the new P220 I built is near perfect in my eyes. Again, I built the P228 9mm Sigs and my wife also has one of those too. It’s nice to have a wife who doesn’t cringe or worry about how many guns we have. She is an NRA Instructor to boot! She’s taken guys, sorry. But we’ll teach your other half to enjoy shooting and it might be more comfortable being taught by another lady.
- People may say, Glock or some other newer design striker fired pistol it better than the double single action Sig Sauer and so on, but after years of carry, we’ll never switch. The cardinal rule is simple. Train and carry what you train with. You have set memory patterns conditioned to the firearms you use and train with and while you can break those patterns, the alternative pistols have no real appeal to make us go through the change. The investment to retrain those memory patterns is not worth the cost or time need to obtain the proficiency needed that we already have with the Sig. The Sig will win the day for us. It has proven its reliability beyond any doubt, still functions and is very accurate, something the P220 is already well known for. The old saying, you don’t fix what isn’t broken holds very true with the Sig pistols. Enjoy your Glocks, S&W’s, FN’s, 1911’s, KK’s, Walther’s and Revolvers, if that is your thing—they’re not bad pistols. But they’re not Sig Sauer either. For more photos head over to our Facebook Page, Murray’s Firearms and Ammunition, LLC.
- Stay safe and ready.
Project Gun for Home Defense
When you think of protecting yourself, your family and your home you come up all kinds of ideas and solutions to which is going to be the best firearm and methods for that defense. You’ll hear people’s ideas about self-defense, types of firearms they use and think “That’s great but I need something that works in my situation.” A lot of people will buy a revolver because it doesn’t take much effort to use and they often will always fire. True but you’re limited to five or six shots and you have to be very precise in your aiming and hitting the threat, something that will be very difficult under the stress of dealing with an intruder bent on harming you and your loved ones. The other issue is limited shots. You’ll hear arguments that all you need are six shots and some will justify their choice by saying something like, “If I haven’t dealt with the attacker with six shots, well I don’t deserve to win anyways ‘cause I can’t shoot worth a S**T if I miss them after firing six shots!” You can miss at point blank range, all six shots, but that is something we will teach in our classes as to the reasons why. The other thing to consider is there may be more than one attacker, as home invasions are occurring more often and usually involve 2 to 4 attackers. Some will tell you a shotgun is the best choice and you don’t have to aim either! But load it with bird shot so you don’t over penetrate your walls! Birdshot is a bad idea as you’re defeating the take down force provided by the shotgun’s ability to fire buckshot. Birdshot may just piss the bad guy off and worse yet, may not stop the attack. If we’re going to worry about over penetration of the fired round put away your revolvers and tactical rifles, as they likely will penetrate out into the street when you miss your shots. Very few items in the home will stop a bullet. And honestly folks, you do have to aim even when using a shotgun as the shot spread at room distance will only be about 6 to 8 inches. That is a better chance of hitting the threat/attacker, but you still need to aim. No point and shooting, thinking you’ll clear the opposite side of the room because that’s what happens on T.V. And you do want buck shot. Whether it is 00, number 1, 2, 3 or 4, you’ll want the buck shot, not bird shot. Buck shot will mean a one shot stop if it is a center of mass strike on the attacker. But the problem with Shotguns is they are large, unwieldy, hard to maneuver with and kick like a mule. Okay if you’re a young guy but what about your wife, or mother? Way too much recoil for them use so it becomes useless unless you’re there to handle the attack yourself. Being large and unwieldy means they’re difficult to maneuver with in the home and can easily be knocked aside or pulled out of your hands. Tactical rifles are another choice and one I preferred over all others simply because you had more options and magazine capacity. You could mount lights, lasers and have 30+ rounds available to deal with an attack and recent events in Texas show their worth where a gentleman killed two thugs and seriously injured another thug who drove by and opened fire on him in his neighborhood. He used an M4 and took them out as they shot at him while driving by, crashed and then advanced on foot firing pistols at our homeowner. Don’t let anyone tell you their deer rifle can do the same thing, unless it is an M4 type hunting rifle. Don’t believe that B.S. from the anti-gun crowd that you don’t need high capacity magazines either. You need the extra firepower and high capacity magazines to defeat these types of attacks. But wait, this isn’t what this article is about. There’s a new game in town. Sawed off shotguns are not really new but that, according to BATFE, is not what the Mossberg Shockwave 12 Gauge shotgun is. It is not classified as a pistol as it is a smooth bore. It is not a long gun as it was not designed to accept a shoulder stock. The barrel on the Mossberg is 14” long with its overall length totaling 26.37”. It is a very compact shotgun without requiring a National Firearms Act tax stamp and restrictions. Its magazine holds five 12 gauge rounds but it is fired from the “Hip” or extended in front of you as there is no stock to shoulder fit. Trouble is, if you load it with 12 gauge 00 buck or other powerful loads it will kick hard and painful. Often kicking too hard for a lady or older person to handle, so firing it can be difficult to master and handle comfortably. So what’s the advantage here? Well there is a new shell on the market called 12 Gauge Minis, light recoil shells. However, the Mossberg will not cycle these short 1-3/4” shells so a clever design marketed by Opsol, a company located in Texas inserts as an adapter to allow use of the minis. You can purchase this item for around $20.00 shipped and it is easy to install for use of the mini shells or removal for use with the larger, standard shells. Well folks might say you’re defeating the advantage by taking away the full power load. Not so. Mass and energy is what we’re dealing with and that is for another class we teach, but suffice to say the multiple projectiles coming out of the Shockwave using the mini shells will be a lot more powerful than the shots fired from your revolver. We ordered a Mossberg Shockwave, purchased the Opsol adapter, a Magpul fore stock, M-Stop adapter for rail mounted lasers/lights and a Laser Lyte Rider laser to mount onto the Shockwave. We put them all together to create a good home defense, compact and lethal firearm. With the mini shells, the magazine tube capacity is now 9 shells. When you load it with #4 Buck which is 14 pellets to one shell you end up with nine shots totaling 126 projectiles. Aiming with the laser simulates the approximate spread of the shot on target. You hit the threat with one shot, center of mass; they’ll likely not be a threat any more. A lot more knock down power than the one shot out of your pistol. While your tactical rifle can shoot a lot of rounds too, it is still large and bulky. The pump action of the Mossberg Shockwave is compact and easily to manipulate. Turning the laser on is very intimidating to the attacker and with the nine shells, you should have a better advantage in dealing with multiple threats. Most importantly, the recoil with the mini shells is very well manageable, by the elderly and ladies. And we guys don’t have to flinch as much when shooting them, (Likely not flinch at all!) The Mossberg Shockwave is an interesting animal in a world where firearms of its ilk were highly regulated. For instance, it is not a NFA Tax Stamp required firearm as it is and out in the open. However, if you conceal it, regardless of your license to carry concealed, BATFE considers it to be a NFA firearm subject to all the rules, restrictions and regulations that govern short barreled rifles and shotguns. In your home however, that would be open to discussion. So if you’re looking for a good firearm to utilize as a home defense tool, properly modified with a laser to improve sighting on and intimidating a threat, self-defense has just gotten more interesting and manageable. The issue to note is the Magpul is not a drop in fore grip replacement as it is. It requires a lot of removal of the interior ribbing to mount to the magazine tube of the Shockwave. They don’t tell you this as of yet when you purchase one. There is talk on line about buying a Hogue castle nut adapter to use with the Mossberg to fit the Magpul. The truth of the matter is it will go on, but then, the action will not close as the Hogue Castle nut strikes the attachment point of the barrel to the magazine tube. What it requires is removing about 1 ½ inches of material of the Magpul fore grip to allow the Mossberg castle nut to reach the threads of the magazine tube and be able to clear the barrel attachment point to cycle the action. Even when doing this, the Hogue castle nut is too long. The work requires about three hours to complete as you need to be careful as you remove material. At this point, we can sell you the Mossberg Shockwave with the attached accessories for $760.00. Cost breakdown is as follows if you want to do it yourself;
Mossberg Shockwave- $400.00
Magpul fore grip and M-Stop rail- $40.00
Laser Lyte Rider Laser- $299.99
Opsol Adapter- $20.00
This is a doable project but if you don’t have the tools, patience or skill, it is best left up to someone who does. It was a pain in the neck, as the original thought was these items would simply mean replacing the Shockwave’s fore grip. As with any new idea, the accessory world will need to adapt to the fitment to the Shockwave. The reason we’re attaching the Magpul fore grip and Laser Lyte Rider is simple. In the darkness of your home, it will allow you an almost positive strike on the threat. Without the laser, you still have a better option than the pistol or revolver, but you can miss. Having sighting aids like lasers and firearm mounted flashlights improve your odds at identifying the threat and taking out the attacker, saving yours and your loved ones lives. Anything you can do to improve those odds is better and the Mossberg Shockwave stands to be a big plus for that very tool needed for surviving a home invasion and attack. Offered in our listings under shotguns for sale.