The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Fun Training Exercises To Try This Summer

BY PGF
9 months, 4 weeks ago

These look like fun family handgun exercises or for an Independence Day cookout with friends. These drills are functionally important, and a challenge with other shooters is an opportunity to sharpen your skills.

Have you been to the range in a while? If you have, did you do any fun drills or did you just stare at a paper target and dump ammo downrange? A lot of us don’t go to the range as much as we should because life just gets in the way. Work and other activities make it hard to find time, but the cost of ammo is also a contributing factor.

I remember buying ammo by the case and shooting until there were blisters on my finger. But that was back in the day when ammo was about the same cost as candy. Now, ammo is equivalent to little gold coins that make you cringe every time you pull the trigger. I recently sighted a hunting rifle and every time I fired the gun it cost me $1.50. That adds up quickly when you’re not paying attention and get the trigger jitters.

But the good news is there are plenty of fun drills you can do that don’t burn through gobs of ammo. Getting some quality training, having fun, and not spending all your money sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. You just need to spend a little more time setting up the range for various drills. Drills and exercises on the range are designed to improve specific skills. This could be accuracy, weapon control, speed, or a mixture of them all. And the good thing is most of them do not require a ton of ammo. Let’s look at some fun drills you could be doing this summer.

Mag Change Drills are discussed along with transition drills, but what he calls the Big-Little Drill can be important. It’s good to train your mind in a few things when shooting targets of various sizes and distances. One aspect of handgun shooting distance is to train your mind that the target is just smaller, not further away. The distance challenge can change the mind’s perspective on handgun shooting and cause less accuracy than simply viewing it as a smaller target at the same range. Also, our perception of a threat not standing squarely to us, presenting a quarter turn or only their side, can change our perception of how to hit the target when we can simply view it as slimmer; center mass is center mass. Those are some mental things to consider for practice; it may help.

Shooting at items you can find in the trash.

Here’s the Big-Little Drill, you can always improvise or modify targets as resources dictate:

I have no idea if this is a real drill or if my drill instructor in the police academy made it up, but it’s fun. For this drill, you can use metal targets or random bottles and other items laying around asking to be shot at. This is an accuracy drill, so you start out with the largest item on the left and move to the smallest on the right.

Mixing the sizes up or shooting from the outside in or inside out for subsequent rounds is a good idea.

I set mine up at 25 yards to make it more fun. I normally use a pop bottle or milk jug followed by a 16oz bottle or something comparable. Next a pop can and then a shotgun shell for the smallest item. If you want to add more items in there, go ahead. The idea is to start with the biggest item and move to the smallest. This drill will also work with rifles, you just set it up further out.

I have metal targets in different sizes, but there is something more satisfying about watching the bottles fly through the air when you hit them. I like to run this drill with my lever action rifle at 50 yards and 75 with my AR-15. One of my old instructors would use the drill at the end of the day so we could shoot at the bottles and cans from our lunch break. Golf balls are also fun to shoot at if you want a really small target.

Check out his other drills at the link, and remember, gun time is a fun time.

The Best Drills to Try at the Range this Weekend

BY PGF
11 months, 1 week ago

I disagree with starting from the low ready. A total change in training and practice needs to take place in the shooter training sphere; always train from drawing. Ranges need to work on this; it requires all of us, trainers, facilities, YouTubers, political activists, and others, to make this switch. Drawing from low ready is a legacy training approach that needs to be abolished. If the IDPA and others want to run competitions from low ready, that’s one thing, self-defense carry needs to be practiced from the draw. This will force competence not just in drawing, time to muzzle on target, and shooting but will force less experienced shooters to consider more seriously the very limited window in which a self-defense encounter can present itself and the best carry option for them, not the easiest, but best.

There are several drills at this link; the two most basic entries are mentioned below.

Do the 5×5 from the holstered position, not low-ready. Attaining 5 seconds may not be doable for the 5×5 drill, but taking longer than five seconds, if realistic for real life, is what better training should simulate and prepare you to face.

Know Your Basics: 5×5

The 5×5 (or 5^5) drill is a true test of your foundational skills. If you do well, it’s a good reassurance that you have your basics covered, and a sign that pursuing intermediate to advanced drills may be a good idea. If you struggle with this drill, it can help you realize where improvement is needed. Remember, as nice as it is to see perfect drills, it’s also good to find out where you need to improve.

It’s simple: starting from a low-ready position, stand 5 yards from your target and fire 5 rounds within 5 seconds. Simple, right? The target usually has a five-inch diameter circle, but not always. The overall goal is to make all shots within the said circle.

If you want an added challenge, draw from the holster or try it four times in a row (passing would be 25 shots without missing).

Don’t Flinch: The Coin/Brass Drill

This drill is super simple and great for beginners. To do this drill you need an unloaded gun and a penny (or, alternatively, you can use spent brass). Rest the penny on [or near] your front sight so it’s balanced. Your goal is to aim and pull the trigger without letting the penny fall. This can be a great way to weed out flinching in beginners and help commit to squeezing the trigger properly. Trigger control is vital to hone, and you’ll find the further you are from a target during live fire, the more trigger control problems will become clear. Say it with us: dry fire is your friend.

Wilson’s Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency Drill

BY PGF
11 months, 2 weeks ago

The below is not the Bill Drill. Previously at TCJ, this post includes the Bill Drill

Designer: Bill Wilson

I saw this new drill from Bill Wilson online the other day, so I set it up and shot it. He calls it the “Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency” drill, which aligns with our interest in minimum competency and standards generally. It includes a concealment draw, emergency reload, engaging targets at 7 and 12 yards with 12 yard head shots (simulating 24 yard body shots), stationary target transitions within a single target and across a wide space, shooting on the move, and thinking (surprise reload).

It’s an easy drill to set up if you have an outdoor range and space to move. Not a drill well suited to single lane practice at an indoor range. This stage will definitely be set up and run during one of our summer USPSA matches.

CHP DRILL (Comprehensive Handgun Proficiency)


Purpose: This drill is designed to test as many basic defensive shooting skills as
possible with a quick to administer single string of fire and minimal ammunition required,
that can be shot on basic ranges, even indoors.

What This Drill Tests: Draw/presentation, multiple shot control, target transition,
movement under time, shooting on the move, target acquisition after movement,
emergency re-load and precision shots.

This practice starts from the holstered position using IDPA targets with variable scoring for head or body shots. The complete drill is at the link.

El Presidente and Other Handgun Training Drills

BY PGF
1 year ago

Training Drills, by Rob Leatham

Here are several, perhaps, warm-up drills

Slow Fire Drill — Five shots on target, unlimited time, two hand standing position. Done once each from 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 yards. Each shot reinforces the basics and the shooter also verifies sight zero.

Five-Second Drill — The shooter has five seconds to draw and fire a single shot. This is an opportunity to refresh muscle-memory and make sure every moment from the draw to the shot placement is correct. Then the shooter repeats the Drill with three rounds, then with four rounds, then with five rounds, etc. all the way up to ten rounds in five seconds. Distance begins at 3, then to 5, 7 and 10 yards. All shots must be in the A-zone of the target.

Three-Grasp Drill — The shooter draws and fires two shots from their preferred two-hand stance, then shoots two rounds strong hand only and then two rounds weak hand only. (An alternate version is to fire one shot from each position). This is conducted from 3, 5, 7 and 10 yards, all shots in the A-zone of the target.

Shoot And Move Drill — Fire five shots moving forward. Then five shots retreating. Then begin at the 10 yard line and leave a magazine on the ground at the 3 yard line. At the start signal, move forward firing until you have reached the point where you placed the fresh magazine. Pick up the magazine from the ground and reload and then fire as you retreat back to the starting point.

Shoot – Reload – Shoot Drill — At ten yards, facing a single target. Draw and fire six rounds, reload, and fire another six rounds. The shooter should fire as fast as they can and still keep all hits within the A-zone of the target.

For the average CCW holder, drawing and shooting while retreating could save your life. Practice this because, innately, you may begin to withdraw from a surprise situation. Thousands of rounds down range in training scenarios can help to mitigate this desire, but you just won’t know until heaven forbid, you’re there.

Mr. Leatham offers El Presidente as a concluding drill in this set, but we thought to provide Jeff Cooper’s version below.

El Presidente, Jeff Cooper

El Presidente was designed by Jeff Cooper as a rough benchmark of handgun skills. It is probably the most widely known handgun standard around.

Setup: three IPSC targets, spaced one yard apart, 10 yards distant.

Starting Position: gun holstered, spare magazine on belt, hands held above shoulders (surrender position), facing away (180 degrees) from targets. With standard IPSC comstock scoring.

Drill: At the signal, turn and draw, firing two shots into the A-zone of each target. Reload, and fire two more shots into each target. As originally specified, the Drill only counts if all shots are in the A-zone. A missed A-zone counts as a missed target. But when shot in competition, all hits on the target usually count, Grandmaster.

This set of drills comes to you via Handgun Law dot US. Always check their webpage before traveling between states to make sure you know the latest and important laws of the states you’ll be in.

 

Texas DPS 25 yard course of fire (Jan 2021)

BY PGF
1 year ago

This drill is better described as a Course of Fire and comes via Active Response Training. It’s (was?) used by Texas DPS in their handgun training program.

It’s intended to be shot on the giant B-27 target [full-size man silhouette], scored like the Texas License to Carry test (8-9-10 rings score 5, 7 ring scores 4, on target but outside the 7 ring scores 3). To make it harder I’ve been shooting it using a Shoot Steel target center, where the B zone (center circle) scores 5, the C zone (roughly same size as the 8-9-10 ring on a B-27) scores 4, and everything outside the C zone scores zero (unacceptable hit). The images below are NOT to scale, since the B27 is 24″x45″ and the Shoot Steel target is 18″x24″.

The course measures the quality of shot placement in multiple situations, including switching hands, more than one body position, and several distances up to 25 yards. I don’t like the scoring system. I prefer a tighter scoring system with less allowance for poor shot placement in the time allotted. I’ve not shot this course or the Texas Carry Qual. It looks like a better challenge with the more difficult target (pictured above) that the author uses. It would be fun to run against buddies as a friendly challenge. Go to the link for more background and full instructions.

Drill: Finding Your Level

BY PGF
1 year ago

Found this Handgun Drill through Active Response Training. This drill is designed to increase the shooter’s accuracy and speed with a simple pass-or-fail score. A nice thing about this drill is that it requires no extra equipment. Depending on the legality in your area, it can be practiced in the backyard.

There are a lot of good drills out there. Some are designed to develop a skill, some are designed to test a skill. “Finding Your Level” I am pretty convinced as more of a test than a skill builder drill, at least if you shoot it as written. Essentially it test a shooter’s ability to get quick hits on small targets, and their ability to control recoil over a longer string of fire. It has become one of my favorite benchmark drills for basic fundamental shooting processes at speed.

Finding Your Level is not a very widely known drill despite being a really good one in my opinion. The drill originates from a user at pistol-forum.com, and I have not seen the drill used or mentioned outside of p-f.com. There are a lot of really solid shooters on p-f, so if you aren’t a member, you should at least troll the place for info, if not join up. Just don’t be “that guy”.

Photo: Priority Performance

You can find the target to use at the source, which has a table for each level. Included are specific instructions for running the drill. I’ve not tried it. Looks challenging.

The U.S. Air Marshal Pistol Qual

BY PGF
1 year, 1 month ago

Source:

What You Need

First and foremost, you will not only need a gun and holster, but you will be shooting from concealment! You’ll need a concealment holster. The Air Marshals carry a Gen 5 Glock 19, and it seems like the famed P229s are still in service as well. Generally, any gun that’s in that compact realm is a good way to go.

You need 30 rounds of ammo, so it’s not absurdly demanding in the ammo department. You’ll need at least two magazines and a concealable magazine carrier to make things happen. You’ll also need all the appropriate safety gear, including ears and eyes, as well as a shot timer to keep track of par times. Finally, you’ll be using the FBI QIT target, and you’ll need three of them.

There are many versions of the FBI QIT target, but most appear to be similar to this.

Scoring

Scoring is simple. You get five points for hits inside the bottle of the Q target and two points for hits that touch the edge of the inner and out bottle and shots inside the outer bottle but on the target. The maximum possible score is 150 points, and the minimum qualifying score is 135 points.

There is also an interesting way they score the times. You’ll shoot most of the drills twice, and your times for each drill are combined, and they cannot exceed a specific time. For example, the first drill is shot twice, and your two times have to equal less than 3.3 seconds total. If you shoot one string in 1.3 seconds and the second in 2.0 seconds, you pass.

Shooting Like an Air Marshal

All right, let’s stop talking and start shooting. This is shot cold without a warm-up, with concealment being used twice. Prepare and ensure you can safely draw your firearm from concealment. I won’t make fun of you for going OWB for safety’s sake or to follow range rules. This qual is shot entirely at seven yards, which makes plenty of sense for an Air Marshal. Planes can be big, but even in a big plane, the lines of sight are fairly short.

I have not shot this qual. Looks interesting. There are eight stages and clear. Check it out at the link.

Concealed Carry Drill: Basic for Beginners and Warm-Up for Experienced Carriers

BY PGF
1 year, 1 month ago

By Ben Findley:

Concealed Carry Drill Description

My Concealed Carry Drill is from a usual close-up self-defense distance of 3 yards and the shooter fires 15 total shots from the draw. It tests your accuracy, precision, and quickness for safely getting 3 hits each on 5 targets, using 4.5 inch, 3.5 inch, 3 inch, and more challenging 2.5 inch targets at the close-up tactical, bad-breath 3-yards distance.

3-3-3 Rule

Remember the 3-3-3 Rule: Most deadly-force self-defense encounters occur at 3 yards or less, 3 shots are fired, and in 3 seconds it is over.

This is why martial training to gain separation if grappling or in tight spaces is essential. Click on the link at the top for how to run the drill.

TCJ is not a for-profit webpage, but in the interest of honor, at the author’s request, “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” Copyright © 2019 FLORIDA HANDGUNS TRAINING – All Rights Reserved, is mentioned here.

What I Learned From My First Shooting Competition

BY PGF
1 year, 1 month ago

Source:

I’ve always wanted to shoot in a competitive environment. I’ve done trap and skeet, and in the mid-2000s, some bowling pin shooting, but nothing ever really got my motor running. Things like USPSA appealed to me, but clubs were always few and far between. Imagine my shock when I found a local group called Asymmetric Solutions. They are primarily a training outfit for police officers and military forces. They hosted an Action Steel match at the end of January, and I finally dipped my toe into the world of competitive shooting.

In the first stage, I instantly began learning, and by the time the day was over, I had learned a handful of lessons that would make me a better shooter. I’m planning to pursue competition shooting in a more aggressive fashion, especially if it can keep making me a better shooter.

Preparation Pays Off

Knowing how your rifle, optic, sling, and gear are set up makes a huge difference when it comes time to start shooting under pressure. You have enough human error to worry about when it comes time to compete. Knowing how my belt was set up and where my mags were allowed me to compete quickly and efficiently. On top of that, it was cold at the range, so I wore a Propper jacket with a zippered section at the sides that allowed easy access to my gear.

[…]

I’m pretty good at a number of shooting skills that are straightforward. I never knew how bad I was with one-handed shooting until someone put me on the clock. I also could have done better when it came time to shoot from a position somewhere between standing a kneeling. I figured it out but noted that breaking out of the standard positions and working with barricades would be useful.

[…]

Competition shooting reminds me of a military operation. Not necessarily the same exact skills, but similar skills are involved. Planning and prep, fitness, weapon knowledge, weapon handling, and being able to think all matter. It’s scratched an itch I’ve long had, and I can’t wait to see what I learn at the next competition.

“The Ability to Think While Shooting is a Skill” is an interesting point. Competition shooting is a good way to mix in new skills adding to tactical training and standard handgun and rifle drills. More at the source.

Handgun Drills, Part Nine

BY PGF
1 year, 3 months ago

Source: The X-Drill

Range: 7yd
Targets: two targets each with a head (3×5 card) and torso (8″ plate) scoring zone
Start position: holstered or ready
Rounds fired: 32

This is another variant of the Changing Gears drill. The purpose of this drill is to build realistic multiple target shooting skills, and to further develop a shooter’s ability to regulate the balance between accuracy and speed necessary to get hits against different size and distance targets.

You’ll create two targets, A and B. Each target will have a 3×5 card as a head zone, and an 8″ plate as a body zone. It should look like this:

There is no scoring listed but you can make your own with friends. Click on the source for the drill procedure.

The X-Drill

H/T “Thomas” in comments


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