Monday, September 26, 2022

Gun Class Pro Tips

 So you are going to take a gun class. You want some pro tips from someone who teaches gun classes and has attended many dozens of them. Here are some pro tips. 

1. Read the course descriptions, requirements, and pre-requisites. 
Read them twice. 
Bring the items needed. 
Bring your glasses / contacts. 
Bring water, food, etc. 
Bring sunscreen, bug spray, etc. 
Bring spares, if you have them. 
Bring more ammo and more magazines than the course description states. 
Bring cleaning materials for your gun(s)
Bring lubricant!

2. Get good rest the night before. 
Don't drink that night before. 
Don't take drugs the night before. 
Eat well, but not too much. 

3. Drink water during the class. 
A gallon per day is usually about enough. 

4. Take notes. 
You have spent $500 to hear what they have to say, write it down!

5. Stick to the course material.
Don't talk about what you think you know or who else you've trained with. Your paying for this particular instructor's take on the subject, try to apply it, even if at first seems odd / "wrong" to you.

6. Don't be that guy.
You do not have to be the only one asking questions on every single thing. 
Slow down. It is not a race. 
Don't muzzle people... not a good way to make friends. 
This is not a competition, it is a class. 
A class is NOT a place to "try new gear."

7. Proper Gear
Bring the suggested type of rifle or pistol - you don't have to be weird all of the time. 
Bring the best quality training ammunition you can afford. Avoid steel ammo in AR15's. 
Make sure your rifle and optic are zeroed to that exact ammunition. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

But Why?

This question was posed recently:  "Why would a martial artist need an AR15?"

  • You're right. A marital Artist doesn't "need" an AR15. 
  • A martial artist can magically defeat any attacker - regardless of size or gender. 
  • A martial artist can defeat multiple attackers. 
  • A martial artist can defend a friend or family member from a distance. 
  • A martial artist can single-handedly thwart a tyrannical government. 
That black belt is a magic talisman. It causes things to happen that cannot happen otherwise. It imbues a person with mystical powers. 

More realistically - this is all satire and the above is laced with sarcasm. You decide. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Not My Account

I received a text several days ago stating my Regions bank account had been compromised, and that they had locked the account after multiple failed login attempts.  The text went on to say that in order to reset my login, I needed to follow the link they sent. 

I don't have a Regions bank account. 

The only question was whether to sent a witty reply. Eventually, I decided against that. But had some in store -

"Did you get both nickels, or just one?"

"Link doesn't work. Try this." (And send a link to my website so they can buy a gun class.)

"NO! You were supposed to send this to John! I'm the one helping you scam him!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

No Regrets

Not one person regrets not getting the "vaxx."

Of course, the #LibNuts would say, "the ones who *would* regret it are dead."

To which, the logical counter is that the ones who died, would regret not having access to proper treatment early.  Like IVM and HCQ.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The AR15 of Choice

From a reader:
"Great stuff this week. What do you suggest for a rifle these days?"

AR15 platform... hands down. 
  • Free-floated barrel. 
  • 16" / 18" / 20" barrel. 
  • Backup sights
  • Sling - Vickers style or Magpul MS1, or similar. 
  • 55 grain ammo - all of the same make and model. 
  • 10 Magpul PMAGs. 
  • Red dot or Low Power Variable Optic.

The LPVO should be a 1-4x, 1-6x, 1-8x, or similar. 
Keep it dialed to "1."

Get some good training with the rifle - marksmanship as well as tactical. 
Get some good training with the handgun, as well. 
Get some medical training and carry medical equipment. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Handgun Selection

From a reader:
"I enjoyed this article. Thank you for the suggestions. What would you suggest for EDC (every day carry)?"

Sig P320 
Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0

Each of these is 15+1. Each of these is well proven, very reliable, and more accurate than most shooters. This author has one of each and does not hesitate to take a class with them, or loan them to students in classes. They simply work. 

Also, for those that want a smaller gun:

Sig P365 
Smith & Wesson Shield. 

  • Avoid .380 and "mouse gun" calibers (.22LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP). 
  • Avoid the S&W "Shield E-Z" - it is NOT "EZ." 
  • Avoid 1911 models for self defense carry.
  • Avoid arming women with revolvers - they are neither more reliable, nor easier to shoot.
  • Avoid falling into the 9mm vs .40 vs .45 debate. They are all pistol calibers. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tourniquet Selection

From a reader: 
"I saw a video recently from a training company that likes RATS tourniquets. At your classes, the medical instructor recommends the CAT tourniquet or the SAM-XT. How do you come to that conclusion? Or do you disagree with your medical instructor?"

The Patriot Training head medical instructor works for one of the largest EMS departments in the southeast. As of this writing, he used just shy of 10 tourniquets just last week to save lives. He has taught Stop the Bleed on many occasions, and several of those students have gone on to save lives with those skills. He has been in EMS for a decade. Even if I disagreed with him (and I don't), I would not have a leg to stand on. 

Understand first that there are no solutions in life - only trade offs. 

Patriot Training only recommends CoTCCC recommended tourniquets. The RATS tourniquet is not CoTCCC recommended. In practice, self-aid with a RATS TQ is nigh impossible for many women, most children, and men in a weakened condition, or a person who cannot move the injured arm. 

Over a series of weeks, this author used a pulse oximeter to determine TQ effectiveness with many models. The RATS was unreliable, until the author made sure to perform two tasks when applying them: 
  1. The author had to make sure the bands of the RATS  TQ were right next to each other. Even a quarter-inch gap would prevent the RATS from occluding a pulse. 
  2. The author had to apply the TQ above or below the bicep. On the bicep meant ineffectiveness. 
Further, the author was completely unable to get the RATS to work on his own thigh. The thigh was large enough to prevent a third wrap, and it was usually the third wrap on the arm that occluded the pulse. 

Additional findings:
  • The TK4 tourniquet was similarly ineffective as the RATS. This author believes for much the same reasons. 
  • The SWAT tourniquet could be effective - if the person using it has a fair amount of strength. The author could make it work on arms and legs. The author's daughter could not make it work on either arms or legs. 
  • The CAT tourniquet is very quick and very effective. About the only weakness is that the TQ must be strapped tight prior to spinning the windlass. 
  • The SAM-XT tourniquet is a game changer. The "click" into place is solid, and it only requires a twist and a half to shut off pulse in the author's arm, and only 2 twists to shut off pulse in the author's legs. 
  • The ratcheting tourniquets - the M2 and the XT8 - were more easily applied to a 3rd party. Self aid with either was more problematic than the CAT or SAM-XT. However, they are a bit more "fool-proof" in that, the strap doesn't have to be nearly painfully tight to begin tightening them. 

Some point out issues with CAT and SAM-XT tourniquets. Here they are, along with this author's commentary on each:

CAT - Some places have seen CAT TQs fail a lot. Of course, the primary reasons for CAT TQ failure are as follows:
  • "El-cheapo" knock-off tourniquet. These are available on Amazon for as low as $7. Get a real CAT from North American Rescue via Rescue Essentials or another trustworthy source. The knock offs have a windlass that can be bent easily with the hands. It cannot possibly twist tight enough to occlude the pulse. 
  • Failure to tighten the strap at the beginning of application. The author has an anecdote here: always advocating people make triple-sure that the strap is tight, including the phrase "if you don't get it tight enough, you cannot possibly spin the windlass enough to make up for it." At a recent medical class, the author overheard a dad telling his son that he would just have to spin the windlass more, since the son had not gotten the strap tight. This was only five minutes after the cautionary statement! Naturally, the author stopped them and corrected this error. 
The only known knock against the SAM-XT is that the strap can fold over on itself. That is possible, but with just a wee bit of training, a person is not likely to do that. 

It would seem to this author that every tourniquet has a level of skill required to make it work. Might as well pick a good model, and make sure to spend an extra few minutes learning how to properly use it. 

And a very few places say that the CAT and the SAM-XT do not work on very small people (infants). This might be true, but the first aid responder can use direct pressure on such a small person to stop the bleeding. Perhaps even using an Israeli bandage and extra-tight pressure to make a makeshift TQ. 

What do you recommend? (at a minimum)
  1. A good TQ - CAT (Gen 7) or SAM-XT.
  2. Compressed gauze for wound packing or pressure. Or both. Alternately, an Olaes bandage is an Israeli bandage, gauze for wound packing, and more.  

Monday, September 5, 2022

We Lost One of the Best

This past Friday, September 2, the Tactical Response YouTube channel had a video wherein it was announced that firearms training icon James Yeager had passed away from ALS. In the video, James' daughter and friends pointed out that James' wish was not that people would make sad posts, but rather, tell funny and happy stories. So here is my story, and later, some thoughts on some of what has been posted online. 

January of 2016, the training coordinator and leader of Middle Tennessee 3%ers contacted me and asked if I could teach a marksmanship class to the group three months later in April 2016. I agreed and immediately started putting together a curriculum.

Partway through, I started having doubts. I was, in my mind, a "lowly civilian," and not worthy to teach guns because I never served in the military. But I saw a YouTube video by James Yeager detailing how his critics said that about him. He read off his resume. Impressive. He told the haters they could go "F" themselves.

The message in that video gave me the courage and inspiration to move forward and teach that class. 

Now you know the rest of the story.

Much has been posted about Yeager. A great deal of it in the past 2 days. 
  • Of course, there have been the obligatory "I didn't agree with all he did, but..." and those statements are as self-serving as the speaker would accuse Yeager of having been. 
  • Possibly the most hilarious are the comments about Yeager taking cover in a ditch during a firefight in the middle east. Funny thing - correct military doctrine is to "Return fire - take cover - return fire." These plebs perhaps suggest he ought to have stayed in a car (which is not cover) and died? Simply put, I have yet to see one real operator second-guess his actions. At "most" - a former infantry guy who probably never saw action. 
  • Some say "I didn't agree with all he said, but..." and I have this question. Please point to me a statement Yeager made that was wrong. I'll wait. 

The man was possibly the largest 2A advocate in our lifetime. He left a positive impact on me and all of those I train with and teach. Our world is lesser for his passing. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Sweet Victory

Yesterday evening, four Republican Wilson county school board members were sworn in. The first meeting after the election is in just a few weeks. Among the new board members was  Joseph Padilla.

The Rifleman has attended swearing-in ceremonies in the past.  Typically they are somber affairs. The ceremony last night had the same feeling as a victory celebration.  A loud, raucous ovation was had for each board member as their swearing-in was complete.  Possibly the loudest cheer was for Padilla - who had become the target of the #LibNuts online. 

The room was packed - over 50 people in attendance.  Not one of the Leftist Wine Mom gang was to be seen, however.  Of course, there were a couple of Sheriff's deputies on hand. But even they knew there was nothing to worry about from this crowd.  Judge Barry Tatum performed the ceremonies as the official. 

There was a time of mingling afterwards, and people got pictures.  The one group photo above had most of the attendees in it. A sharp eye would spot several Wilson county politicians of note in the group - former State Senator Mae Beavers, Mt. Juliet commissioner Bill Trivett, and others.

Make no mistake, there is a lot of work ahead for Padilla and the others. And the next election cycle will have opportunities for true conservatives to make the ballot and oust the remainder of the Leftists still on the board. But for now, freedom is safe in Wilson county schools with the new Conservative majority. 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Life Day in Tennessee

As we start our day in Tennessee, a new law has taken effect here. Tennessee’s abortion ban makes providing, or attempting to provide, an abortion after fertilization a class C felony, which is punished with a three-year to 15-year prison sentence and fines of up to $10,000. The abortion ban includes no exceptions for child rape, incest, mental illness, or to "save the life of the mother."

Of course, abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of the mother - there are other operations which remain perfectly legal which will do that. 

The Left is predictably having a meltdown. Among their arguments -

"Women no longer have control over their bodies."

Their tears are music to my ears.  So here is a meme dump. Enjoy.