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 protected] 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. [email protected] 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.
4.0 hour course
Class fee: $150.00
Limited to ONE attendee, unless from same family residing together, limit three attendees for the price of $150.00, plus $50.00 additional each member for a total of $200-$250.00 total, NOT $150 each.
Next Class will be in Tucson, (Oro Valley), AZ, will be held on an appointment basis only! Due to the Chinese virus we will conduct one on one training only to ensure yours and our instructors safety, unless from the same family where social distancing is not required. Please contact us as to other restrictions and requirements necessary for attending our training. Please contact us for details to reserve seats for these classes, [email protected].
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 [email protected].
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 charge $45.00 an hour with a two hour minimum. If you have a friend or spouse that wants training too you may add them to the two hour minimum for an additional $20.00 for a total of $110.00 NOT $180.00!!
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 protected] 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 [email protected] 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 protected] 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. [email protected]
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 protected]
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. [email protected]
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 protected]
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 [email protected] 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 protected] 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 [email protected] 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 protected] 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 $150.00 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 [email protected] for other arrangements.
Payment of class fee of $150.00 can be made by contacting us at 520-544-2660 by credit card or email us at [email protected] for other arrangements. Class size will be limited to four seats. Payment by credit card must add an additional 3.5%.
March, April May, and June Chinese Virus 2020 News Letter
So it’s been a while and we’ve had some interesting happenings since the February News Letter, to say the least. One would think, the end of the world was approaching, with a “Pandemic” that was less fatal than ANY flu we lived through or the previous influenza outbreaks throughout history and now, a resurgence of Violent Progressive Socialism, I.E. Communism, disguised and shielded by the death of a black man. I find it sad that history is due to repeat itself due to the lack of actual education provided to our youth, so bear with me as to what I’m going to point out. Liberal Socialism, anarchists, progressivisms are nothing new. At the turn of the 19th century we had a wave of these kinds of political movements and their violence appear and alter history throughout the 20th century. First you have, in Russia, two men who brought about the rise of Bolshevism or an attempt at Communism. In truth, true Communism does not exist in this world. What you have are Socialist Dictatorships. The Bolsheviks led an uprising against Russia’s Czar Romanov, executing the emperor, his wife and five children by shooting and bayoneting them 16–17 July 1918 to death. The purveyors of this act were following Marx and Lenin, teachings about Communism. Communism teaches everyone is equal and shares equally. So please tell me if that type of government exists in the “Communist” Nations of the world? The Communists, actually Bolsheviks, purged Russia of the educated, of doctors, of teachers, the military commanders, the community leaders and those who had, in the Bolsheviks eyes, more property and a better life than others in the village. They killed thousands if not millions. Eventually Stalin took charge of the leadership, killing rivals to do so. Stalin built the great Siberian Rail Way, on the bodies of political prisoners. To this day, human remains wash out during flooding. He also again purged the military and intellectuals, not just those that escaped the first wave of killing, but other “Communists” as well. Any and everyone who Stalin viewed as a threat to his rule and power, headed up by secret police and finger pointing by the starving population. Stalin also starved the Ukraine to near death and extinction of her people and hunted down Ukraine Communist Party Leaders executing them as well. Stalin killed more of his nation’s citizens than Hitler killed in his death camps. Stalin was our ally during WWII, but at the beginning of Hitler’s expanse, Stalin was Hitler’s ally and participant in dividing up Poland and the other Baltic countries with Hitler. Hitler was a Fascist, another form of Progressive Socialism. During Hitler’s rise to become NAZI Germany’s Dictator, Hitler fought Communists in the streets of Germany. It ended up he won. Fascism is the same animal as a Progressive Socialism. They are two sides of the same coin and they are both oppressive dictatorships. Both forms of dictatorships rounded up and killed their enemies by the millions. Hitler lost, Stalin did not and was an ally so nothing was done and we had years of a cold war the Soviet Union Lost. The reason the Soviet Union Collapsed is they could not compete with Capitalism and a free market enterprise. Then you have China. China had both Nationalist and Communist Chinese and both fought the Japanese in WWII. After the war, Mao Zedong’s Communists turned on the Nationalists killed them and the Chinese people by the thousands, maybe millions, but the Nationalist made it to Island of Taiwan where they are today and are a constant thorn in the Communist Chinese Mainland. Yet China thrives today, because the western nations use the cheap labor provided by the Chinese. The Chinese harnessed a commodity, and entered into the free market trade, mostly on the backs of human labor. How about slaves with short leases? That’s a better name for the Chinese under Progressive Socialism. Then you have Hong Kong. Yep, Brits gave it back to China, but those who lived there enjoyed capitalism and freedom, under a livable income but are now being oppressed and killed by Communist Chinese today. They are fighting; THE STUDENTS are fighting with bows and arrows, against the Communists. Again, what Communists? Because they’re a Progressive Socialist Dictatorship. So as we continue through our history lesson, you can add Kim Jung–un. A third generation Communist, err I mean Progressive Socialist Dictator. His grandfather Kim Il-sung, was handed the reins of power by the Soviet Union in 1946 and he promptly invaded South Korea to attempt to spread Progressive Socialism in the name of Communism. That led to the Korean War of which we involved ourselves with allies through the UN. That war never ended, a cease fire is in place but the war is not over yet. You have North Vietnam Again after WWII, led by Ho Chi Minh who fielded Progressive Socialists against the French. Again the Progressive Socialists were successful in completely bringing the whole of Vietnam under their influence. The “Communist” Vietnamese killed off tribes of Vietnamese in retaliation for their siding with The United States. Then you have the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia and the Pathet Lao of Laos, Progressive Socialist Dictatorships who killed millions of their own people. Hollywood even made a movie about it, called “The Killing Fields.” Cuba had Castro, who sent Che down to South America who was captured and executed after killing locals in the name of Communism, err again Progressive Socialism. Nicaragua had Ortega, who tossed their opponents into Lake Nicaragua for the fresh water sharks to feast. Of course Ortega was only carrying on a tradition of previous dictators, but hey, Progressive Socialism is “Supposed” to be “Better” is it not? Of course Hugo Chavez took the most modern and successful South American, Valenzuela, to starvation and bankruptcy during his Progressive Socialist reign. Everywhere Progressive Socialism spreads it’s evil, dark touch, death and decay occurs. They have killed more people than any form of governments in the history of the world. In talking about Hollywood and Actors; back in 1908, J. Edgar Hoover had been a federal agent assigned to investigate Anarchists and Progressive Socialists. They were bombing, setting arson fires, killing people and police even back then. But law and order did something about it. Many were deported, arrested, convicted and even executed. Not a new thing, Progressive Socialism. This was called the First Red Scare, from 1917 to 1920. The Second Red Scare was the era of McCarthyism from 1947 through the 1950’s and actually resulted not just in arrests of “Communists” and Hollywood Actors and Directors being black balled, but the arrest, conviction and execution for two spies for the Soviet Union in 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Thousands lost their jobs because of people accusing them of being red. Laws were changed, after this period and the pursuit of Progressive Socialism was mostly suspended. Even one of the leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union was a card carrying “Communist.” We went from one extreme to the other and ignored Progressive Socialism. It’s what the Progressives hoped for and we delivered. Soon the beginning of decline of values and morals of our society, more Progressive Socialist Movements popped up, one after another. One of the pursuits during the Second Red Scare era was against Homosexual behavior. Now it is considered okay and normal to be gay. Back then you were arrested and charged and often ended up in the state run mental health hospitals for treatment. So then we arrive in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We have race riots, riots against our war in Vietnam, cities burning and being looted, extremist groups forming, such as The Symbionese Liberation Army, The Black Panthers and The Weathermen Underground. They ambushed and killed police and military, blew up buildings, destroyed property. Just like what we have now. Straight out of The Progressive Socialism Play Book. History repeats itself. We had the rise of the Hippie Movement and demonstrations and destruction of our educational institutions and even a National Guard shooting at Ohio State University, killing some of the students demonstrating and advancing on the guardsmen, shouting, throwing rocks and so on. With the riots ongoing and violence continuing the police were ordered to shoot all looters and curfew violations back then That happened a few times and things quieted down. In the 1970’s The American Communist Party joined the Democratic Party and when asked why, the answer was the Democrats had totally adopted the Progressive Socialist goals of Communism and since Communism was a dirty word and Democrat was not, oh well you can see the results today. So what about The Weatherman Underground? Here we have two radical Socialist Progressives, married, (Maybe) and founders of the Weatherman. They were suspected of bombings that killed people and ambushing police amongst other crimes. The two founders went in hiding, but surfaced years later were arrested tired and convicted and so they spent their lives in prison. (OPPS) NOT SO. After a short time in prison, they were both rewarded with leadership and teaching positions in Universities, one as a Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Bernardine Rae Ohrnstein and then Bill Ayers, a College of Education professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. So now we let avowed Socialist Progressives educate our youth? Really? Hey, guess what, they’re both good friends of our Socialist President Barry Soto or AKA Barrack Obama, may they be damned. Sounds a little harsh but these people are not friends of our country. So as we skip ahead to today, and we wonder what happened to our youth? Mass shootings, they don’t want to achieve, just have things handed to them, don’t care about much of anything except what is theirs and demand their student loans are paid by the tax payer and believe they deserve it. They love Progressive Socialism and Bernie. They have been brought up, by our public educational schools, as now both parents work so they can afford living in a Progressive Changing world towards Socialism. They are not there for their children, no god in their lives and so on. The people we left to educate them raised them lovingly and carefully. Teaching them America is bad, that America is an Imperialist Colonial Power and we owe the world for all the ills it suffers, as well as minorities, mostly blacks, as they were slaves, the Indians cause we took their land, all because of Capitalism. That makes us more evil than the Muslims, than the Communist Nations, err I mean the Progressive Socialist Dictatorships, that killed millions. They make us out to look like Hitler as he was the Bolsheviks greatest enemy to hate, and so on. Progressive Socialists cannot stand capitalism as it encourages freedom and free thinking, the tools of success. Our children have been brought up to think this is because of “White Privilege” on the backs of the oppressed. That we deserve the hatred and violence and destruction of our society, because they have been taught that by people we trusted, WRONGFULLY trusted. Anymore, any kind of education in our public institutions is not education but indoctrination to Progressive Socialism. We have let it creep in the backdoor. This is what we’re seeing with ANTIFA, Anarchists and Black Lives Matter. We have allowed Progressive Socialists to lead our cities and states and at times our nation. They have written laws that regulate and restrict, all with fancy reasons such as protecting the environment and for the children. So much so, you have to work longer and harder to support and raise a family. Yet if Progressive Socialism is such and good thing, I would simply point out that if this was such a good form of government, then how does that explain Chicago, NYC, and Detroit, most of California or any other “Blue” city or state? How come minorities are still poor, living in violent neighborhoods killing each other and overdosing on drugs for decades? Some of these places have been under Progressive Socialist control for half a century or more? But we need to raise taxes on the rich to pay for reform and redistribution of wealth, common battle cries of the Socialist. They’ve been doing this for decades, how or where have they succeeded? Capitalism does work, that’s what Trump has been doing. A Booming Economy!! First Obama said “What are you gonna do, wave a magic wand? Those jobs are gone.” Then he tried to take credit for Trumps surging economy. They lie and lie over and over. America is great, yet Cuomo says “We were never great!” The Socialists do not want you to succeed. They want us to stand with our hands out for bread crumbs while they eat steak and lobster and be grateful they shared with you. They want full power and control; they have fancy names for what their ideas are and violently attack anyone who dares to disagree with them. They want you to be the useful stooges. Don’t fall for it. The city and state leaders who are Democrats are too far along the path now to reverse course, AOC will bite them. Bernie wants another house too. The leaders of the Socialist Progressives, “Communists” as they are, want you to stand back and do nothing. Let them “Demonstrate.” Demonstrate what? How good of thieves and criminals they are? Don’t let them get away with this. Protect yourselves and your loved ones and protect your lively hood and properties. Remember in November, if we are able to vote, as we could by then; be in our second civil war with these thugs, Progressive Socialist Democrats, VOTE to get rid of them. There will be no more bringing people together, they never have and don’t want that. If you believe this is happening because of a death of a black man wrongfully murdered by police, well I’ll let you have that, but this has happened a few months back, with a white man in Dallas, Texas, same thing, died while the police pinned him down the very same way as George Floyd. No riots then, no wrongful death, no murder charges. George Floyd was a catalyst. They don’t care about him, just look at the number of deaths each year, black on black. You may have heard that the police kill more blacks than whites, whites get a free ride, well that is not true and police are more likely to kill a white suspect versus any other “Criminal.” The facts are there. These millennials out in the streets, shouting the left’s slogans and other slang are the useful stooges of the Progressive Socialists and we put them there. Because we let the Progressives into our schools and raise our children, remember H. Clinton warned you, “It takes a village to raise a child!” Only under Progressive Socialism might that be true. You can hope that not all of our children are like this, and you would be right to assume so. They have served in the armed forces and are serving in EMS and Police Forces. They need our support; we need to have their backs as demonstrated across the county by well-armed citizens standing shoulder to shoulder with the police. Business owners defending their property against looters. Remember the politicians who stood by and did nothing or marched with these criminals, time to deal with them. There is a storm on the horizon and we’re going to get very wet before we stop this wave of Socialism. I suggest you get ready, vote out the left wing and support pro-gun laws and The Second Amendment, arm up as we’re going to need them, likely sooner than later. History lesson over. Stay safe and ready patriots.
January Newsletter 2020
Another year has passed and as with everyone else, we have added another year here on earth to our age. Years of using and carrying firearms, I have relatively little difficulty loading magazines with bullets, racking the slide and chambering the round, handling recoil, but my eyes are older and need help. As you age you hopefully become wiser, but there is wear and tear that you can limit its’ effect a bit, but not totally erase.
I’m fortunate to have handled firearms and still able to do without difficulty as I progress in the aging process. Mostly due to my law enforcement profession and interests in firearms, I am still able to do so but that may change as the years pass.
So we have challenges working the firearm as we get older and then there are those who settle in Arizona from some place where guns are severely restricted. They never had the opportunity to own firearms or shoot the ones they did own. As an example, a recent couple moved to Arizona from Connecticut. They owned a grand total of three firearms, but never fired the pistols and two were given to them by a friend that moved overseas. I’m not going to get into the politics but let me say if you live in one of these states, you are foolish to believe the political left governments are concerned about your personal safety. The control of guns is not about safety, but about CONTROL. Vote them out. Now back to the story. There was a time, in these looney toon states; gun ownership was not a crime. People purchased firearms and owned guns that today just are not the best suited for use and defense, but where inexpensively available and offered some protection. Purchased during an era it was legal for them to do so, prior to the current state of affairs now existing in these “Blue” states.
The working of these pistols, are primitive by today’s standards, hard to pull the trigger and hard to load, but at the time they were introduced, they were the only show in town. Designs were still being worked out and it was an inventive process to say the least. But these were the only guns they had back then and people made them work. Because liberal states have frozen their mentality and heavily regulated firearms, many people just do not want to go through the process of trying to own one. Pistols were not registered or licensed, prior to enactment of these laws. So guns went into the closet and were kept for “Just in case.” The owners never loaded or fired them and mostly they were the dark secret kept in the hush, hush and never talked about. As is the case with the couple from Connecticut.
So moving to a gun friendly state, like Arizona, brings about a transformation to these folks who lived in the dark ages of liberalism and socialist politics. They find they can own firearms, legally, without any serious delays in purchasing a firearm if they are legal and law abiding citizens. That’s great, but they have not one bit of training, they don’t understand calibers and loading of the pistols and so on. So we start at the basics with them.
When you’re younger, likely less than 50, you can pull the slide back on a semi auto pistol, pull the trigger on a revolver and load a magazine correctly without a lot of difficulty. You can operate safeties, handle recoil and properly grip and aim the pistol. But then age creeps up on you, your eyes don’t focus; hands start to hurt and so on. You can deflect some of the problems of aging by having years of continued use of firearms, (Most people don’t fall into this category), or work at other means to keep, continue and improve on an ability that came easy when you were younger, but are slipping and eventually losing as your aging continues. Or does it?
Using an exercise grip strengthener or even a foam or rubber ball you can squeeze can help keep your hands in shape and improve your ability to grasp and work the slide on a semi-automatic or pull the trigger on a revolver easier. You can dry fire and strengthen your hand while improving your sight picture and control of the firearm. You can practice racking the slide and see which method helps you chamber a round easier, as there are different methods of grasping and pulling on the slide to chamber a round. Learning what works and practicing will lead to improvement and strengthen your abilities. Practice with unloaded firearms please.
So maybe we’re past that point and just can’t operate a standard firearm’s controls? Here are some pointers. The larger the Semi-Automatic pistol is, (Not talking about bulk here), the easier it is to retract and pull the slide. Going from standard size to compact, to sub-compact, decreases weight of the firearm and requires stronger springs to operate the hammer, striker, and trigger and handle recoil safely as you are reducing the size of these components in the firearm. You trade off ease of operation for practicality of concealment. Most pistols and revolvers can be tuned, some cannot. Tuning a pistol/revolver can be replacing these springs with lighter rated springs, polishing the moving parts for a better fit and smoother operation, something a gunsmith will do. Trading off by reducing the springs with a lighter rating is causes wear and tear of the firearm.
You have to find a balance to ensure reliability as well. Too light of a hammer or striker spring may not fire the cartridge and too light of a trigger spring for a revolver may not allow the trigger to return from firing causing it to hang up. You will need to be sure and maintain the pistol more, keeping it clean and free of debris that accumulates over time. Reliability is important to maintain and keep present in the pistol of choice, but if you can’t operate it then what good is it? You may need to experiment with different spring weights to find the right balance of reliability and ease of operation. I tuned and set up a Walther PPKS for my wife and in previous newsletters you can see what I did to make her pistol something she could operate.
When you decrease size of the pistol, going from full size to compact and sub-compact, you are going to receive a lot more recoil or kick. When you use a lighter recoil spring to make it easier to rack the slide, you will be getting more recoil and kick that way too. If you go too light on a recoil spring, you could damage your pistol or worse, destroy it. Always try and keep the recoil spring as close to stock rating as you can and operate the racking of the slide. Getting your grip stronger through practice and exercise will help you to do this. You may need to be careful about shooting “Hotter” ammunition out of the pistol you had tuned with lighter springs. Having +P ammunition may be fine for carry and self-defense, but you will not want to shoot a lot of ammunition of that kind out of your tuned pistol, especially if the owner’s manual says it is not recommended for the pistol without modification or tuning. Target ammunition is fine, defensive ammunition almost always hotter and higher pressure loads than standard. So you want to fire a minimal amount; first to see if it works reliably in the pistol and to get an idea how hard the recoil is going to be. It is important to know the pistol is going to work when you need it.
When I have people who have advanced stages of arthritis but still want to carry for personal protection, I recommend a Beretta 3032 Tom Cat in .32 ACP. Not the best caliber or pistol for self-protection but certainly better than none at all. The Beretta has a tip up barrel for loading. You can insert the loaded magazine in the grip, tip up the barrel and insert a round, close the barrel and you are loaded and ready to go. It is a double action, single action trigger operation and for firing you pull the trigger after which it will go to single action mode for a lighter trigger pull. It has a manual safety, which if a person has reached the point they can no longer pull the double action trigger, you can carry the pistol “Cocked and Locked.” To do this safely, first, before putting the magazine in and putting a round in the tip up barrel, you cock the hammer back and put the safety on. Then put the magazine in, tip up the barrel, load the round in the barrel, and close it. To fire, take the safety off and pull the light single action trigger. It takes a bit of training, but this pistol can be safely handled and used and again it is better than no gun at all.
Smith and Wesson has come out with two pistols that are called “EZ” models of the M&P, one in .380 and the other in 9mm. They are easier to operate the slide and chamber rounds into If you can safely use one they are more powerful than the little Beretta I mentioned. Walther had one they marketed a few years back that used a “Shock” absorbing recoil guide which was very easy to chamber, but there were a lot of problems surfacing with the pistol’s operation and I’m not sure if they have corrected them or if the pistol is still available or even on the market anymore.
As the population ages, (Baby Boomers), firearms manufacturers will address and produce firearms to suit their needs so you may see more pistols that are easy to operate becoming available in the future. On another note, I didn’t address how hard it is to load semi-auto pistol magazines. Again, years of doing so allows me to keep at it without any tool aids, but as magazine capacity increases, so does difficultly in loading the magazines. There are tools marketed to ease the loading operation of magazines and in a lot of cases, they are included with pistols when they’re sold these days. If not they can be purchased.
So all in all, as we age, we can still be armed for self-defense. Again nothing replaces training and practice, keeping your hands and grips strong, keeping upper body strength and in shape as you age. Unfortunately, you are more likely to become a victim as you age as you will be viewed as an easy target. Don’t give up your edge because you are older. Keep your skillset polished and abilities sharpened and adapt, working with your age, rather than surrendering to old man time. Stay safe and ready.
December 2019 Newsletter
I live in Arizona, retired from The Arizona Highway Patrol; I am an NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor, receiving training and certification in 1977. I instructed use of force and deadly force, wrote the Deadly Force Policy for the Town of Superior, Arizona back in 1977, taught Officer Survival Instruction and so on. I retired in 2000, took up teaching Concealed Carry Classes when the law was passed for Arizonians allowed to obtain CCW Permits. We now we have Constitutional Carry, meaning you may carry concealed without a license so why teach the courses anymore? Why would you need an Arizona Concealed Carry License? Most importantly, who should you take the class from to obtain the license and do you need to take a class to get a license?
Why you would need and benefit from an Arizona Concealed Carry License, (CCW)? If you only intend to stay in Arizona, you may not want to obtain a license. Some people just don’t want their finger prints on file with government agencies. Obtaining the license requires you to be finger printed, and pay a fee of $60.00, which renews after five years for $43.00. The CCW is recognized in 37 states more or less, but as political leadership changes, so does reciprocity, so that is important to realize this and actually laws differ from state to state. There are some good guides out there that are handy to have if you travel a lot. Arizona is rated the best in the country for your rights to carry a concealed firearm and for your rights to self-defense. So anywhere else you go will have more restrictions. Isn’t it funny how the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is the only Constitutional right that changes and stops at different state’s lines? No other Constitutional right does and this is wrong. So if you travel, having an Arizona CCW License is one of the better licenses in the U.S. Mostly because our State Government works to encourage reciprocity, where other states’ governments do not.
Residing in Arizona, you may carry a concealed firearm into an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. If there are no signs that prohibit carrying and displayed you may do so BUT you are required to have an Arizona Concealed Carry License and NOT consume alcohol. This it required of you and the law applies where alcohol is served. Yes, there are restrictions, even in the best state in the Union, there are laws and rules. We’re not talking about bars, although that can be allowed if no signs are posted, but what about Denny’s or Red Lobster? Out for a meal at lunch? The restaurant serves alcoholic beverages? Better have the CCW License. AND remember, you don’t consume! There are a lot of signs up in places that say no firearms allowed, but there are also a lot of places that are not sign posted either. Realize they don’t have to have a sign posted to ask you to leave. If the person represents the establishment or its’ owner, you have to leave if asked. But if they don’t ask, you’re totally legal as long as you leave the booze alone. If you’re carrying concealed correctly, they will not realize you have a firearm, let alone ask you to leave.
When purchasing firearms, you have to go through a background check I run through the FBI. Sometimes their systems are slow or they’re back logged with calls or some other government reason and you can be delayed. The law says you can pick up your firearm three business days after the delay but some stores a delay is the same thing to them as a denial and you’re done, don’t come back. This happens a lot, but it is not that common and the FBI doesn’t tell me what the reasons are for the delay. But hey, if you have the CCW License, guess what? Your background check has already been completed and you do not need the call into the FBI for the transfer of the firearm to proceed. You’re good to go for five years! But it must be an Arizona CCW, not from another state, for the transfer to occur here in Arizona. Also if you are buying a firearm from or selling to another private party, asking to see their Concealed Carry License and Driver’s License shows you the person is NOT a prohibited possessor and your private party sale is legal. A lot of people are self-policing their private party sales in this manner, in spite of what the anti-gun movement wants you to believe.
So you can see the benefit of having the Arizona CCW, although you don’t need one to carry concealed. But wait. Remember I said while Arizona is the best for your rights to carry and self-defense? Yet there are still laws you have to follow and that is very important to know where you can and can’t carry your firearm. There are some serious penalties if you violate these laws. Now the other aspect is concerning the use of force, what justifies that use and the degrees of use? The wherefores and so on as it concerns the difference of some very fine lines crossed. Understanding these laws and rights are important. There are the criminal laws and there is the civil end of laws. You can be totally cleared criminally, but lose everything civilly. You need to know how to interact with the police, (VERY important), how to safely carry the firearm and live with carrying it through life’s day to day activities. To keep it secure and ready, but accessible by authorized persons, like you and your spouse and not a grandkid or child.
These are some of the basics you need to understand when deciding you want to carry a concealed firearm. You need to receive instruction from a strong perspective as your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, AND your lively hood relies on it.
In Arizona, you can almost fill out the paperwork, ask for and receive the CCW License. If you are and have served in the military, you can ask for it. Former LEO? Same thing. But what about if you moved here from an East coast state LEO? Different laws there folks, better laws here. Been an NRA Instructor, member of a gun club, received an Arizona Hunter Safety Course when you were a kid? Yep you bet ya, but can call the State of Arizona Department of Public Safety to be sure, but I believe it’s pretty much there for the asking. And there courses on line? Take a 15 minute course, answer 10 questions and hell, maybe just answer the 10 questions and they’ll sign off for your CCW License. Prices can range from $25 to $150.00 for these avenues. Some other places give a three hour power point presentation, something put together by a national organization which may possibly be tuned to Arizona, but overall a general class for other states as well. They even offer some shooting too. Again cost can vary but run on average around $75.00. They’ll even do the finger printing, but hey, no problem if the finger prints are rejected they’ll re do them as often as needed until the State and FBI accept them. Really?
So let’s talk about Murray’s Concealed Carry Class. Yes this is a plug, but something you may want to consider. We teach the Original, yes the ORIGINAL CCW Class compiled and required by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, (AZDPS) for CCW instructors to teach to applicants, when the CCW license issue was regulated by AZDPS. Now they only administer the licensing process, not the required training and instruction. So what is the big deal? Well instead of answering “10” questions or taking a general CCW class of instruction, this class is tailored to Arizona State Law. It instructs the use of force laws, covers where and where not you can carry, covers civil law, dealing with the police in basic traffic stops but more importantly with the police after your self-defense shooting, the laws governing firearms and shooting, methods of carry, safe, ready storage and accessibility of the firearm and the state of mind you need to survive a threat encounter and the aftermath psychological effects. These are important for you in today’s world. Don’t sell yourself short for a quick class or access to the license, you need to understand your rights under the law and use of force and deadly force, things like defensive display and what constitutes self-defense and the right to use force. The class is 6.5 hours long or so. They stopped requiring this instruction about 10 years ago so what is the advantage to taking an “Outdated” class. Well we’re dealing with laws written in 1929, so outdated? Not really. If anything, Arizona’s laws have strengthened for your rights to self-defense, use and carry of firearms, thanks mostly to Governor Brewer and a Republican State Legislator, but you need to know them. We charge $50.00 for the class but we don’t do fingerprints. They can be done at local Police or Sheriff’s Offices. That way they’re done right and do not get returned. We don’t offer any shooting in the CCW Class; I do training through the NRA and personal training from my years of experience, if you want these skills. The class focuses on the issues of and legal ends of things you need to truly know, in dealing with threat encounters in regards to Arizona. Save shooting for a shooting course of instruction. Take an Arizona CCW specific course of instruction put together by a Pro Gun State Police Agency and originally required to obtain your Arizona CCW License. Take the Real Arizona Concealed Carry License Course, taught by a professional, a retired Arizona State Patrol Police Firearms and Training Instructor, with years of experience. If you want to learn it right, take our class. You won’t get this in the other offerings out there. Go to azgunsandtraining.com for class information. Stay safe and ready.
November 2019 Newsletter
The world of firearms, use and ownership has changed over the past couple of decades. I hail from a Military period of the early 1970’s and law enforcement from 1977 through today. There was a time I would have told you to stay away from, I mean totally away from the AR15 rifle and in the early years, until the present design changes found in today’s AR platforms were implemented, I would be on solid ground of having the same, early opinion. In the 1970’s AK’s were not yet common and just try and find some 7.62×39 ammunition. During the 1970’s and 1980’s H&K rifles and submachine guns were the in thing in law enforcement, with a sprinkling of AR15’s and Ruger Mini 14’s. In my squad car was an HK91, (G3), so you can guess what I thought about the AR platforms and Ruger’s offerings. The HK91 was also in a much more powerful chambering of .308 or 7.62×51 for you Metric guys. I carried that rifle, it was my personal firearm authorized for use, until retirement from The Arizona Highway Patrol. Today even titles change as the Arizona Highway Patrol are now called “Troopers” and you will see on their patrol cars the same title. A reflection of Eastern and Northern US influence. Highway Patrol was the title used for the western state’s state police and this is a reflection of change that has occurred over a period of time, one I am not in favor of as I am proud of our Western influence versus Eastern US. But such is life.
During the 1990’s the AK rifle, along with the SKS was brought in great numbers to our shores; ammunition became available, at really reasonable costs and extra magazines were priced out for a few dollars. These rifles became great truck guns and something you didn’t have to worry about taking a beating-and they worked. Not many, if any, wound up in service with law enforcement, but I heard a couple of departments authorized carry of the SKS rifle but I can’t name any I recall.
When people asked me what would be a good gun to have on hand and not break the bank I would ask some questions in return. How much do you want to spend? If they said around a thousand dollars or so, I would compare apples to oranges. I’d tell them you can get an AR for that, maybe a good quality AR but then add magazines and ammunition you would easily climb to around $2000.00. (This is Arizona; we don’t buy ammunition at one box a month like other residents of other states are required to do). 5.56 ammunition, before things were crazy in pricing, (Now coming back down to earth), ran around $450.00 a case of 1000 rounds for good stuff. Good AR magazines cost around $30.00 each and this is one area you do not skimp in, you need good magazines. Only question is how many. So when they balked at the cost and prices, then I would say, well, you can get an AK rifle for around $450.00, 1440 rounds of 7.62×39 for $89.00 delivered and a dozen of Chi-Com magazines for $36.00. As a dealer I purchased my first Chinese AK for $239.00. Yep those were the good ole days. So for around $600.00, less than the average cost of an AR rifle, you could have outfitted yourself. For the cost of an AR and the gear, you could also outfit your wife and her brother too, with AK’s. (So nice of you to do so!)
Guns like the M1A and H&K were high dollars and something the average prepper or survivalist or just a plan “I want one of those” kinds of guys, usually would pass on them because of the costs. You had to really want one. A rule of thumb I follow is any tactical rifle I purchase, will have enough magazines and tactical gear to outfit and carry. So that means a lot more expense than just a rifle. Then of course, there’s ammunition. Got to have that too.
So as the 1990’s fade and we enter into the next two decades, we see a large increase in the manufacturers of AR rifle systems, AK rifles are imported and sold with US Parts, which is a stupid executive order implemented by G. Bush Senior called 922r compliant parts. But AK’s are back so we put up with it. So now we see a huge settling of prices. AR rifle systems start dropping hundreds of dollars from their selling prices of just a few years before and AK rifle systems start climbing in prices. I guess those “Hundreds” mentioned had to find a new home. So now it became a more evenly balanced cost factor when it comes to choosing a Tactical Rifle. Magazine prices have dropped and while there was a period where ammunition costs went through the roof, (Obama, the gun and ammo sales man of the decade!), you had to factor in some different thinking.
So when asked the same question I got asked back in the 1980’s-90’s today, there are different factors to consider. The biggest is the improvement of the AR firearms system. It works pretty well now. Guess what? Unless you want to purchase one of the big names, you can buy a standard M4 rifle at the moment for around $450.00, sometimes less, build your own rifle to your own liking by purchasing the parts and a receiver and just plain customize that rifle to your liking. Great quality magazines are less than $14.00 and I see case lots of 1000 rounds of good ammunition for A little over $300.00. Now the good quality AK rifles range from $650.00 to $1400.00 and ammunition it a little less costly at around $239.00 per 1000 rounds. Magazines are pretty much in the same price range as the AR mags are, but you can shop and find some mags for the AK’s at less than $10.00 or even around $5.00 if you buy in bulk.
Then if you want the AR in different calibers, well it is now the most popular rifle in the U.S. Let that sink in Democrats. Another choice is the PTR 91, an HK Clone. Stay away from C.E.T.M.E. rifle produced by Century arms please. The PTR is a solid U.S. built HK91 .308. Magazines for this rifle cost less than $5.00 for the original German made offerings. Back when I purchased my HK91 a magazine ran around $40.00. Same German magazine. It is a solid, heavy rifle and will work. It is another option in the tactical rifle system, with cost of magazines being a bargain, however, the cost of .308 or 7.62×51 ammo is higher than AK or AR ammunition standard calibers. Surplus ammunition is available, but again, not as much as a bargain as it was a couple of decades ago.
What I tell people when they ask the question today, I answer that I prefer the AK rifle system but only because I have so much already invested in it. I also have a lot of other investments including the AR rifle systems as I use then in my firearms training business. However, I now feel comfortable recommending a M4 based AR rifle system. One of the reasons is parts are readily available, they are easy to change out and repair and they are used by the police and military. I’m not saying that the governments’ authorities are a source of supply, but when SHTF and you need to defend your home, family or even assist in protecting your neighborhood, they use the same rifle you have. So yes, they can be a source of supply. As the AR rifle is such a popular firearms system, there are a lot of great and not so great accessories available for you to spend your money on. Again, the police and military field these accessories and so you can expect the bugs have been mostly worked out of the scope, laser and so on the professionals use. Police can choose a lot of what they use, (some guys don’t have the sense to choose right), but honestly, they will acquire the best that they can put to use and they aren’t waiting on command review and congress to pass their budgets. It always amazed me that offerings in the civilian world were usually better gear than what was used in the military. It takes a while for the good stuff to filter in to the T.O.E. used by our military. Often, the Special Opps, guys would acquire civilian gear superior to their issue for use in their missions. The best endorsement available is their acquiring and use of a product.
So what about those of you who lived through the 1970’s through 2019? Do you go out and get rid of what you acquired back then? No, don’t be silly; let the young guys spend their money. You may not be as cool or look as hip as the modern operator/contractor, but I bet, if you can still shoot, your early AK or AR, (Maybe), or other tactical rifle and gear will work fine. So instead, buy a T-shirt that says something like, “I didn’t live this long and get this old because I fight fair, so don’t piss me off.” But if you really want to update to a more modern tactical rifle and gear system, please do so, I bet you can afford it more today, than back then and what else do you got to spend your money on? Sort of like the bumper stickers that say, “I’m spending my kid’s inheritance.” Go ahead and spoil yourself. Have a great Thanksgiving! Stay safe and ready.
October Newsletter 2019
There are constant debates about which handgun is the best, whether it is a revolver or a semi-auto then there’s the argument of what caliber and so on. I will be the first to tell you, not one firearm is suited for all around use and purposes. Depending on circumstances, if you need to worry about concealment and so on the choices are only limited by your range of thinking or if you live in one of those states who restrict your Second Amendment rights. So let me say a few things about this and further confuse but explain the progression to current use of side arms by today’s law enforcement.
I started law enforcement in 1977 as a reserve police officer. I purchased a Smith and Wesson Model 19 .357 and carried a reload of six rounds in addition of six rounds in the holstered firearm. The reloads were in belt loops, but shortly afterwards, I discovered the wonder of speed loaders and purchased two of these loaders, (Safariland brand) and the belt holster to carry them. Now I had 18 rounds. I’m all set. The first thing cops did back then was to junk the wood grips and purchase Pachmayr rubber grips. This was done for two reasons; first to handle the heavy recoil of the magnum cartridge. Second to provide a non-slip surface to hold on to your pistol in case of rain or blood. Yes we thought of things like maybe we could get shot.
I ended up getting hired by the City of Superior as one of their first police officers and was assigned to be their overall training officer for Firearms, Gunsmithing, Officer Survival and Tactical Training. I was a young, unmarried 21 year old and I appreciated the opportunity, but I realize now, really no one else wanted to take up the extra effort and work involved, so “Give it to the kid.” This later came back to haunt the older officers and administration. I wrote the departments’ Deadly Force Policy and set up training programs in accordance with what was required by the State for LEO at that time.
What they didn’t expect, and it was too late to turn back, was I required a very tough qualification course with engagement of multiple targets/threats at distances from three yards to 15 yards with tight time limits and reloads. The one thing I did allow was if you can qualify with it, you can carry it. The department purchased the different ammunition for several different firearms the officers carried. We had issue .38 Special Colt Police Positive revolvers, for those who did not want to carry a personal firearm, but most officers did. We had .357, .41 and .44 Magnum revolvers and 1911A1 Colt Series 70 .45 calibers fielded by our officers. I retired the Model 19 and carried a 1911A1 Series 70 in 45 Auto. I installed a beaver tail grip safety, Pachmayr grips and flat main spring housing, beveled the magazine well, throated and polished the barrel and feed ramp, lowered and flair beveled the ejection port, installed an extended thumb safety and slide release, nickel plated the frame and blued the slide lastly I installed match target sights as well. All but the plating and bluing was done by me. Two other officers carried 1911s too and I worked on those pistols for them similar to what I did with my Colt.
At this time, around 1977, not many agencies let you carry what you wanted and few allowed you to carry a 1911 .45. I remember Pima County Sheriff as being one of those agencies as well as Gila and Pinal county sheriffs. Some of those older guys even carried a Colt Single Action “P” model in 45 Long Colt, old time holdouts. After all we were still the West out here in Arizona and it was a solid man stopping round. It was a modern era, yet times were different back then. Guys who carried an old six gun, qualified under an out dated qualification course which allowed a ton of time to shoot and to “Alibi” your shots. What that meant is if you had a malfunction, you could make up the shot. No real pressures and no real practicality. Usually these older fellows were administration hanging on to a past their fathers and grandfathers grew up in, possibly serving as lawmen from a bygone era.
While working at Superior P.D. I sold my Smith and Wesson Model 19 four times to guys who came and went to work for the town, offering to buy it back if they moved on, less a $50.00 use fee. I made double my money before the revolver finally was sold permanently. Shortly after selling the Model 19, I received the news I was hired by the Arizona Highway Patrol. That was great, except for one thing; I had to give up carrying my Colt 1911.
So in order to carry something with a little more punch, “Arizona Highway Patrol issued Smith and Wesson Model 15 .38 revolvers”, I purchased a newly released Smith and Wesson revolver called the 586. This revolver had the same grip size as the Model 19 but had a larger and more robust frame. First thing I did was get some Pachmayr grips and Safari Land speed loaders. I purchased 8 of the speed loaders and later attached to both my driver and passenger doors of my squad car, two pouches of speed loaders for a reload of 24 rounds including the 6 in my revolver and 12 on my gun belt a whopping 42 rounds! The point I would make is I was assigned in a rural area of the state and back up was often a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes away….The one thing I could get away with was I carried ALL .357 rounds. Officers were only supposed to carry .357 in the revolver and carry .38 special for their reloads. The reason for this is they expected you to resupply other officers who may be out of rounds in a gun fight. The joke was, “What makes you think I want to give up my ammo if they have shot all their ammo and the bad guy is still shooting back?” Lucky for me my Sergeant was a shooter and didn’t mind or ask what the reloads were in my speed loaders.
After about four years, Arizona Highway Patrol decided to upgrade to semi-automatic handguns, but there were not a whole lot of choices out there yet. Glock had not been invented yet, so that left pistols like the 1911A1, (SO what’s wrong with that?) the 9mm’s Browning Hi Power, Smith and Wesson’s Models 39, and 59. That was about it. No one really liked the Smith and Wesson pistols although they were being adopted and carried across the country. The Hi Power had the same issue as the 1911, both were single action pistols and were deemed less safe to use in condition one, meaning loaded, hammer back and safety on. If dropped on the muzzle, they could fire. Colt’s Series 80 1911A1 corrected this with a firing pin block but it increased the trigger pull and was one of the first thing officers scrapped in their new gun. But wait a minute? How about the Sig Sauer pistols?
I had owned a Browning BDA .45 which is a Sig Sauer P220 with a heel magazine release. I loved it, but there were no spare magazines, holsters or other accessories available for this pistol and eventually I sold it. Collectible and worth a lot of money today. Enter the Sig.
Sig Sauer is a German made semi auto pistol that uses a double action pistol pull to fire the first round. After firing the first round it cycles to single action for a much lighter, faster trigger pull for follow up shots. There is a de-cocking lever utilized to lower the hammer to a safe carry, along with a firing pin block as well as three other internal safeties built into the pistol. No manual safeties to worry about, all built into the pistol. The pistol is designed by Sig Arms which is a Swiss Company and built by Sauer Arms which is a German Company. The reason is Swiss law prohibits exporting of handguns. German law does not. The quality is excellent and the pistols offered for us to carry, were the P226 9mm and a P220 .45 auto and the Highway Patrol said we could carry either one as long as we qualified. Wait? Did they say a .45 Auto? I had recently completed a AZ Highway Patrol Class to allow me to carry my original 1911 off duty. What was funny was I attended the class with less than two years on and all the other officers had 15 years or more. I was often asked how I got in the class ahead of the other senior officers. I was an NRA Police Firearms Instructor certified back when I worked for Superior. So they used me to assist with training. The other reason I mentioned earlier, my Sergeant was a shooter and we had a lot to talk about as well as a couple of other officers on the squad. He pulled in some favors to get me into the class.
Okay, they authorized these great Sig Sauer pistols for on duty carry. The only problem was they did not have enough money to convert everyone over to them. So if you were in the Academy, you got them or if you had some time under your belt, like maybe 15 years seniority, you got them. Anyone else, oh well, we had to wait. So it was going to be a while before I got an issued pistol. Instead of waiting, I purchased two of them for myself. I was an FFL and got them for a total of $365.00 each. I did sell my Colt 1911A1 and Smith and Wesson M586 to help with the purchase and totally converted over to the Sig platform. I didn’t leave the Sig’s in a stock condition and you can read more below as to what I did to improve my pistols. I even had a barrel Armorloyed with a Hard Chrome finish inside and out for better wear and corrosion resistance.
At that time, around 1984 or ’85, no one made off duty holsters so I made my own. As I was shooting in the competitive forerunners of IDPA, USPA, USPSA, Steel Challenge and running our own matches for The Copper Basin Sportman’s Club. I made a match holster and rig for my Sig, shooting competition and around 1000 rounds a week of my own reloads, casting bullets from wheel weights and so on. I took training serious and I felt we were not getting enough threat level training from our department.
The State eventually added F.A.T.S. training to our firearms program, which is a room with a large screen, a machine that plays out possible threat or don’t shoot scenarios to sharpen your judgement skills, while you give proper commands and make judgement calls. Your shots are marked with a laser, on the screen. They had one scenario that was a certain death, you were not supposed to be able to survive it, but my skill set did and they repeated it a few times to see if it wasn’t luck, even throwing in the no shoot version. I explained I was shooting matches every month and about 1000 rounds a week through my P220. I got nicknamed Rambo after that. Not because of my skill set, but because they thought I was going overboard on my training. No, never too much training, if you want to survive an armed threat encounter and especially in today’s world where there are often more than two or three assailants.
About four years before I retired the state introduced some steel silhouette shooting which was a step in the right direction and officers began shooting their patrol cars…..opps. Again I shocked the routine by smoking the draw and engagement. Other officers were into the competitive shooting then and still are, after retirement and are often current match winners. Big difference today from 1977 in thinking in regards to officer training and survival. Today it is intensive and officers carry M4 rifles instead of the Remington 870. We had to adapt to a changing world and train to survive, so should you as lawful, armed citizens.
Right before retirement, they issued me a P220 in .40 S&W. I had received my P220 in 45 auto around my 10th year of service and it was new in the box as I carried my P220 I had worked on. You can see the mods by scrolling down into earlier articles on my webpage. I had to turn that issued, new .45 in for the .40 S&W. I retired in 2000 and put my P220 up in the safe and started carrying a Sig P228.
After about 6 years, I went to work at a shooting range/gun store, (Go figure) and they allowed carrying a sidearm and expected you to meet the State Police qualification course. I had started carrying the P228 as it was in 9mm and had extra rounds, 13 plus 1 in the chamber, or new 15 round magazines plus 1. I had said earlier, not one firearm and caliber can handle every situation. I was riding my Harley and carrying all those shots with a round that can penetrate into a car was a better option than the P220 in .45 with a total of 9 rounds. But in a gun store, face to face, I prefer the .45 and switched back to carrying my P220. A better man stopping round for up close and personal protection. Even after not carrying it for around 7 years, I shot a perfect score while out shooting the other employees. That doesn’t sound like much, but I didn’t explain who my coworkers were; retired law enforcement from the US Marshals, US Customs, Border Patrol, State Corrections, and Tucson Police and so on. Some ex-military from various branches of service also worked there, all carried and armed.
So after around 25 years’ service and seeing an evolution take place, still shooting, still practicing, still training, (You never learn too much and there are sometimes developed better and newer techniques), evolving from revolver to semi-auto pistols, shotguns to M4 rifles.
Here are the biggest points I make when asked by people wanting to carry firearms for self-defense;
- Not one firearm does everything and is a perfect match for everyone in your family.
- Calibers and bullets have different purposes and you need to choose the right one for what your intent is, ask someone who knows.
- If revolvers are still a good choice for a carry firearm, then explain why the police and military do not use them anymore? Some reasons are round limitations and reload speed. Most likely they will work when you pull the trigger, but sometimes they do malfunction and usually they are totally taken out of the fight when they do. Revolvers have too many limitations for a modern world, but they are easy to use so you will see them around and revivals of new interest in them. They belong with granddaddy’s Single Action Army Colt Cowboy gun, now part of history yet they have a strong following.
- Police and military carry semi-autos for numerous reasons. They are fast to shoot and reload. If you have a malfunction, you can usually clear it out and continue the fight. The catch is, they require training, hours of it, just to become familiar with the pistol’s operation and how to clear malfunctions. Choosing a modern pistol, there are many out there, all kinds of function type and made out of metal and polymer, still have Colt 1911 style pistols, pistols like the Sig and now striker fired polymer Glocks and other brands. No shortage of choices like there was in 1977.
- Most law enforcement agencies have gone over to using a tactical semi-auto rifle and have replaced the shotgun as the officer’s long gun. I was in a shooting in 1993 where I used an HK 91 .308. I was asked why I didn’t use my shotgun? My answer was I wanted a surgical precision shot(s) I would have with a single rifle round rather than multiple 00 buck shot when shooting into the criminal’s car. This now seems to be a current strategy with law enforcement now that they’ve replaced shotguns with rifles.
Remember; don’t fall for the lies of politicians and other liberals that you don’t need these “Military” firearms for self-defense. I doubt the military or police are going to go back to double barreled shotguns, (Joe Biden’s favorite) or six shot revolvers and six rounds on their gun belt. You deserve an equal opportunity to survive armed threat encounters as the police do. High capacity magazines are a necessity. The evolution in firearms is a continuing motion. So don’t allow politicians and liberals dictate that you must remain in a Jurassic state of being. What they really want is to take all your firearms. Stay safe and ready.
September Newsletter 2019
Red Flag Laws
First let’s get past the disclaimers, I am not a lawyer and legal advice may or may not be correct in all circumstances, especially with Fifty, (NOT 57) state’s laws to deal with, but let’s talk about the most important law of the land; The Constitution. Again I am not a Constitutional lawyer or expert, but I am retired Arizona State Police and as law enforcement officers we dealt with Constitutional law a bit more than average person usually does. We had to learn things like probable cause and reasonable suspicion, search and seizure, fourth and fifth amendments as well as the most discussed first and second amendments of the Constitution, just to touch base with a few. You relied on prosecuting attorneys and judges to ensure your cases were legal and according to law, when time allowed, but more often you made split decisions and did your best to keep it within legal limits. If you didn’t you lost cases and you, as a police officer, were subject to civil actions, while the courts and their agents, were immune from such actions. In other words, it was your ass in the sling.
In obtaining warrants, unless very narrow expedient circumstances existed, such as pursuing a felon into a building and discovering a drug lab, you had a set process to follow. The rules and procedures were clear under the United States Constitution, tested and refined since the beginning of our nation. No shortcuts, and if you did not have good, solid probable cause which could be anything from “Reliable” informants to actually being present when the laws were broken during an undercover investigation, warrants would be denied. You knew you had a bad guy, dirty lowlife criminal, but unless you had good probable cause to get the warrant, it was not issued by the judge. The saying went, “There is always tomorrow.” This is called Due Process, under the law.
Due Process, under the law is what keeps a nation free of Tyranny. Freedom has a price and sometimes innocent lives are lost in a country that values freedom, over security. There is a balance between the two, namely our justice systems and guardians of that system, supposedly the police and lawmakers who make the laws the police have to enforce them for that security. I can safely say Americans value their freedom, to the point other citizens of the world can’t comprehend. That’s one of the traits that make America the greatest nation on earth. We value independence and freedoms.
I am proud to have been and still am a guardian of the Republic of the United States, having served in the US Army and later Law Enforcement, where I still have duties I perform in firearms training and background investigations for current serving officers, agents and applicants in military and federal government positions. I swore the “Oath” at an early age and still wholly believe in it.
So let me bring myself back to the point I am trying to undertake and make known. We have a movement, within the Democratic Party which is just plain lost sight of what being an American is. Matter of fact, they just don’t care. They are the underlying socialists and communists who seem to have pushed aside reason and stepped up to the reigns of leadership of The Democratic Party. This is dangerous and to allow it to continue is lunacy. This grouping of leftist liberals have been screaming about a lot of issues that just are not what this nation needs, down right insane as a matter of fact, they are the exact opposite of what America is.
The left’s attack on gun rights, the Second Amendment, along with laying the blame for the crazies who commit the mass shootings at the feet of the NRA and gun owners, just shows how far they have diverged from normal. If you are pro-gun, you have heard this rhetoric from Democrats before and I won’t bother with readdressing their claims, we all know they want no such thing but total and full confiscation of your firearms. What I’m addressing is the beginning of that process now being discussed in the U.S. House and Senate.
The so called Red Flag Laws appearing across the nation are nothing short of being totally unlawful and unconstitutional. Going back to the beginning, I noted we had to have Probable Cause. That wasn’t enough, you had to bring it to the judge, have a decision made that you were inside the law and the Probable Cause evidence exists, reviewed by the Prosecuting Attorney and then the judge signed off on your warrant. Even then, unless serious reasons could be related, you could only serve the warrant between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM. This is called “DUE PROCESS”, under the law. You had your day in court and likely you would not fare to well unless something was done illegally or inappropriate, such as someone bearing false witness. Red flag laws do not offer that, they go on the word of someone, not facts or evidence other than that word. That someone could be a reliable witness or just somebody ticked off at you. Without Due Process, they would not determine if the case is valid or without due cause or probable cause. They do not determine the validity of the claim they just come to your residence and demand your guns. Once taken, you have to go through a great expense, to show you are not some sort of threat and it may take you years and a lot of money to get them returned. You do not get found guilty in a court before a judge, you do not get a day in court to confront the witnesses against you, who may have lied and you get NOTHING. If you resist, you may get shot and killed as has happened in a Red Flag confiscation recently.
Red Flag laws are not Due Process under the law. They claim this is for safety and to prevent probable mass shootings or some other justification to their ends, to smooth over a person’s violation of their Constitutional rights. Never mind more people are killed on the streets of Detroit, Chicago or some other blue state city on one weekend than one mass shooting, they’re not interested in those facts. They placate people with words designed to make a lawful gun owner look like he is a man ready to commit mass murder. Opps sorry, got to include women in this statement too for all you equal rights feminists. You hear excuses like he had an arsenal, two or three hundred rounds and three or for rifles including one of those “Evil” “Designed for killing humans” “Weapons of war” AR rifles. As if owning that AR Rifle immediately justifies persecution of you or your neighbors, maybe family members because they have these rifles.
The AR 15 rifle is the most owned firearm in America’s gun owning population today. Maybe you didn’t know that. Maybe you didn’t know the reason owners have thirty or forty or higher capacity magazines for their rifles? Well if a two shot firearm was all you need to deal with criminals, how come the police have high capacity magazines in their semi-auto pistols and AR type rifles in their squad cars? Well of course they do, they have to deal with criminals. They need the best firearms available to do so. Here’s some news for you, criminals may come to your home next and break in, rape and rob you. So why should you be any less prepared to deal with this kind of threat than the police you call? And let’s see, criminals are committing these crimes in armed groups now, of three or four, so even more so, the need is there for high capacity magazines. How about another reason to own an AR rifle with a high capacity magazine? The US Supreme Court had ruled Law Enforcement has NO DUTY to respond to your call of emergency. Anymore, when you’re told to call the police, you’re told to call 911. So you wait on hold while grandma calls in her cat up in a tree and wants it rescued? Can you imagine? Being on hold when dialing 911? It happens.
We expect a lot from our government. We want security and safety, we want safety for our family and children, but really, what can you expect from a government who could not stop prohibition of alcohol, could not stop gangs from smuggling dope and illegals across the border, cannot make our capital city in Washington safe to walk the streets at night? That government who “Provides” these services and securities for you? A government who will not make safe our schools with armed security as they do their government offices, with metal scanners and guards provided for the politicians? Folks, it is plain and simple, your safety and your family’s safety and wellbeing rests solely on your shoulders. We may not like or welcome that responsibility but that is a price for a free society or maybe you would like to live like North Korea, or China, or Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany? These are all countries that are under or were under socialist/communist control. Look what they did to their “Citizens.”
Most importantly, do not support ANY Red Flag Laws. Call you elected officials and voice a strong objection to ANY gun control. There are over 23000 gun laws on the books. Are they helping? They must deal with the problem, (Criminals), not an innate object. Understand we have a Constitution and it has served us well, not perfect by any means, but certainly the best document any nation on earth has ever produced for its’ citizens. Due Process of law is part of that Constitution. Don’t let Socialism take that away from us for a supposed security the government cannot supply. That my friend is tyranny. And I would urge you to resist tyranny in any form, regardless of what you are told by the Socialists of the Democratic Party.
As a nation we have resisted unlawful actions by overstepping politicians, often resulting in deaths of our citizens. It started in 1776. I fear we are at a threshold where we will need to fight to keep our Republic and birth rights our founding fathers created the Second Amendment for. It is one thing to be arrested and granted a trial to prove your guilt or innocence, but without Due Process, Red Flag laws are not constitutional and enter the realm of Tyranny. Stay safe and ready.
August 2019 Newsletter
Situational awareness; driving in your car
I’ve been reading about recent attempts of carjacking, by thugs approaching and trying to either open the driver or passenger door and take possession of, or enter into a person’s car. Whether or not the car is moving, stopped at a red light, parking or driving through a crowd, or some leftist political demonstration. I say leftist because I’m not seeing any conservative groups demonstrating and committing acts of violence such as ANTIFA in Portland are involved in.
So let’s talk a bit about your city, state and laws. There are 50 states in the US and each one has some sort of laws to govern illegal actions taken by criminals against the law abiding. Most often any engagement or enforcement of these laws by police, occurs well after the fact, meaning you are a likely going to be a victim. Some victims don’t make it to the hospital, but go directly to the morgue as a result of these attacks committed by criminal thugs. It seems more so in a Democratic controlled city or Blue State. Sad but true. Where you live can govern your response to a threat and attack and whether or not you live through it.
So you must understand what your state’s laws are concerning the right to self-defense and defense of third parties or loved ones. In states that accept and allow Stand Your Ground Laws, you have a right to defend and resist an attack on your person by someone or persons attempting to cause you serious physical harm or death. Stand Your Ground simply means if you have no other option, (Most of the time you will not), you can defend yourself against these attacks without having to retreat. You can use physical force and force up to and including deadly physical force to prevent and survive them. Does it mean you can just shoot someone because they piss you off? No, and it also means you cannot start a fight and use Stand Your Ground as a justification for shooting someone. Does it mean you shouldn’t retreat if you can? No, if you can that may be a better option, but often, you are not given a choice and the attack has escalated very quickly to a lethal force scenario giving you no retreat choice in the matter.
Castle Doctrine is a stronger Stand Your Ground rule of law. It basically means that your home is a “Castle” that you can defend against persons forcing their way into it. It recognizes that thugs or criminals breaking in through your front door have not come to invite you out for coffee but intend to commit crimes or acts of violence against you for which you can defend against. Again it doesn’t give you a license to shoot on site, like most liberals argue that it does, but it recognizes you don’t have to be violently attacked to defend yourself in your home. It also means you shouldn’t open your door to confront someone banging on it and then shoot them. You have a barrier between you and the threat and should leave it in place. If the threat has broken the door down that is a different situation. In some states, Castle Doctrine extends to your automobile, RV, Camp Trailer, Hotel Room and so one. Check and be sure if your state has their self-defense laws rooted in Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine, as it is important. Arizona does not have one law that addresses Castile Doctrine specifically. It has several laws that recognize that physical force and deadly physical force are accepted to prevent these specific crimes. These are taught in my Concealed Carry Class.
If you’re lucky you live in one of the “Red” states where Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are in place and established, such as Arizona. Arizona’s laws are very strong and explicit about what a person can do to use physical and deadly physical force. The real test is do the police use these methods in dealing with criminals and/or should you? The best shooting is the one you avoid but sometimes fate has a different outcome for you. Here are some links so you can review what is required of you in Arizona. Arizona Stand Your Ground was established around 1929 and been in place ever since.
Now the start of the Newsletter we’re talking about Situational Awareness while driving your car. You would think this is pretty easy to accomplish as you are constantly scanning for the idiots behind the wheel to avoid but your mind is filtering out other persons and objects as it is focused on alerting you to the challenges of driving. You can use this with a little fine tuning to keep an eye out for the possible threats or threat that may see you as a target. First thing is you should keep your windows rolled up and doors locked. If they can’t get into the car they are stopped before they become a threat to deal with; possibly they may be stopped. A prepared threat may have every intention of breaking your window and startling you to a point of inaction which is to their advantage. If you are scanning your surroundings, keeping an eye on pedestrians, slow moving cars in the traffic lanes as you approach a light or stop sign, you may alert to and see the attempted carjacking before they are in your passenger compartment. Again, if you’re driving through crowds and they’re banging on the car, windows, hood and climbing up on the car, well, you can accelerate out of the crowd. I’m sorry, if one of them is run over that’s the game these thugs play. Just don’t accelerate into a crowd to intentionally run them over. That would be aggravated assault. Fleeing an attack is self-defense and self-preservation.
When a group of thugs come up to your car and try and get you to open the doors or windows don’t. If they continue to bang on the car or produce a weapon, if you are unable to leave, (drive away), then it becomes a legitimate threat to your person and you will need to act accordingly. You don’t let them drag you out of your car and beat you to death, which has happened in the big Blue State Cities or similar attacks in Portland by ANTIFA. Defend yourself. If you feel threatened with serious physical harm or death, use of deadly force may be your only option. If threatened in such a manner, you do not want to get out of your car. Some jurisdictions will see that as a progression towards violence and a provocation to attack. (Really!) You’re the victim here so you’re supposed to allow them to physically damage your car? You bet. You cannot use physical or deadly physical force to protect property. Your best bet is to step on the gas and go, if you can. I don’t like it either, but these are the rules society has in place and unfortunately we are severely restricted as to our response to violence. Justice it would seem to allow you to respond in kind, but it does not. Rules of civilized behavior. But it doesn’t mean they get to break into the car, hit you with a club and drag you out of the car and so on. At this point you should be responding with whatever force is necessary to prevent and stop the attack, from physical force to deadly physical force as once they’re got a hold of you, you had better believe your life may be in serious jeopardy.
No one should have to suffer a beating from criminals or thugs. When confronted by a large crowd, it is no longer physical force you’re facing, but a serious possibility of deadly physical force and of being beaten to death. Do not play fair here, fight to win and live.
Depending on your state’s laws you may use a defensive display when someone is trying to get into your car as you’re stopped at a light or waiting on a friend in a parking space. If you’ve followed my advice, your car is locked and your windows are rolled up. So their attempt may be just trying to open the door. If you were paying attention to what I have written, you would have seen the person approach and made a quick judgement of what kind of threat they may or may not be. So when they try to open the door, honk your horn, and tell them to leave. They may have made a mistake and forgotten where they parked their car. It does happen. I had a fellow try and get in the passenger side of our White Jeep while my wife was in the bank. His car was a similar sized white Toyota or something. It was parked right next to me as I had pulled in next to his car. He first appeared angry as I didn’t unlock the door for him but soon realized this wasn’t his car. Then you get the “Oh crap” look and apology. Tinted windows didn’t help much either with a quick ID of who was behind the steering wheel. Mistakes do happen.
So there can be honest mistakes so don’t over react. If you’re paying attention, you will not be jolted awake by this attempted entry, but are alert and watching and wondering what this Bozo is doing.
So if you do have someone, at the stoplight trying to get into your car, again, windows up and doors locked will keep most of them out. Honking your horn will draw attention to you that they do not want. If they brandish a weapon, well you will have a couple of choices. What kind of weapon? If it is a stick, club or knife, likely it isn’t going to help him much if he can’t get into the car. You may then want to further dissuade him by showing the thug your nice new Glock, just hold it up and if necessary, point it at him. That is called defensive display and it should send him on his way. But you want to be careful of is if he isn’t alone. You may have another creep sneaking up on your side of the car who used your distraction with his accomplice to come up and tap on the glass with his gun. So keep an eye on your surroundings. Observe and be safe and ready. The best thing to do is leave if you can. You may not be able to go anywhere but straight through the red light to avoid the carjacking. Use caution, lay on the horn and try and move through the intersection. Maybe they’ll chase you and get run over while doing so. Sometimes thugs will pull in behind your car blocking your way out of a parking space. If that is the case, is your car big enough to floor the gas in reverse and ram the thug’s car out of the way? Or may you will need to drive over a curb. If you have a pick up that may not be a problem but with some of the economy cars it would be a no go to both options.
It’s sad to say that most of these car jackings and beatings are occurring in states where citizens are not entitled to be armed and defend themselves against such attacks. They’re Blue states and they’re proud of limiting and even banning your right to bear arms and self-defense. Vote these fools out of office and change your laws. I don’t know what to tell you, but get out and vote to change these laws that protect thugs and criminals and harm citizens. If you move from a Blue state to a Red state, DO NOT BRING the leftist liberal politics that have damaged your city or state beyond repair. If you decide to buy a gun you had better learn how to use it and take defensive classes on its’ use. You will need to practice and roll play on how to survive and react to such an attack or threat. Watching Charles Bronson and now Bruce Willis in the movies “Death Wish” do not make you an expert at dealing with and surviving encounters with thugs and criminals. Practice may give you and edge to survive, however it requires actually practicing and training, not talking about it. One of the statements made by one of the survivors of the recent El Paso attacks was quoted as saying, she is now watching her surroundings, keeping an eye on people, looking for places to seek cover if someone starts shooting and it has changed her family’s world. The reporter said it like it was a horrible thing to be prepared for not feeling safe on the streets or in a business. I agree. It isn’t the world I would want to live in but unfortunately we do and honestly, should you ignore it because it is there and evil exists andyou don’t like it? Or should you be prepared to deal with evil when it presents itself? I prefer the latter, rather than being the victim. Well funny thing is, I’ve been teaching for years to go through “What if” scenarios, to observe your surroundings and persons in those surroundings, whether in a restaurant, at work or on a public street. That, along with the four colors of alertness Col. Jeff Cooper of Gunsite Academy came up with years ago are taught in defensive tactical training to this day. Sounds like someone received a wakeup call to what the world is really like in a hard way. Tragic the way it happened. Stay safe and Ready so it doesn’t happen to you. Understand Defensive Display is exactly that; defensive display, you cannot brandish a firearm just because a homeless person is knocking on your window asking for change. Something like that would be considered aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. However, put a weapon in the hand of the same person, one that can shatter your window and gain entry to the passenger compartment, that is a different story. Remember too, different states, different laws. Not all of you have the luck to live in a free state and society. Maybe voting for Conservatives will keep the laws from getting worse and make them better. In spite of “Mass shootings” violent crime is down, gun ownership and concealed carry is up, since the 1990s when the first concealed carry laws started appearing. You won’t see that in the press will you! Funny how the Second Amendment is the only amendment that stops at state lines isn’t it? Stay safe and ready.
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.
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.
- 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.