Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Private Instruction

As a firearms instructor, it is not uncommon for someone to reach out to me and ask for private instruction and / or coaching. In the past, I have been glad to do this as schedules allow. Moving forward, however, I have decided to only do so under very specific circumstances. Rationale to follow. 

1. It will be small - group. 
Why? Simply put - the Billy Graham rule. Some also call this the Mike Pence principle (there may be a book of that title for sale). Not long ago, indirect allegations of impropriety were made, and I was happy there was a witness. Never without a witness. The small - group principle will enable me to hire an assistant for the time. 

2. It will be small - group, for a minimum and maximum number of hours. 
Why? Simply put, my time and effort is worth a minimum amount money. Why give all of the benefits of a class without making class-sized money? Many people are trying to do one of two things when avoiding a class: pay a certain amount, or stay away from a crowd. My classes are capped out at a specific (low) number of students for maximum effect. There is no reason to avoid them. 

3. This is the best way to maximize efforts when it comes to bringing supplies, etc. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Gun Yahoos

From social media, Reid Henrichs of Valor Ridge makes a post and states, "Ensuring students get a solid 100-yd zero here at the Ridge."

Of course, there is some gun yahoo that showed up on the post and asks, "Why are you such an advocate for the 100 yd zero?"

A good reply by one of the other followers is to be had - "take a class and find out."

Of course, the yahoo replies: "thanks. I’ve taken many classes at other schools. None that mandate which zero you must have for the class."

Here are the reasons this guy is a Gun Yahoo.
1. How does he know the shooter doesn't have a scope with a BDC that calls for a 100-yard zero? One cannot see the rifle in question from this angle. And many scopes call for it. 

2. As one who has really taken many classes - often with current and former SEALS, Special Forces, MARSOC, and similar - never once have I met a top tier operator that suggested they could not learn something from taking a class. My money says this yahoo has only taken "free" classes... and got exactly what he paid for.

3. If the shooter is using a red dot sight, then here is why have a 100 yard zero: most RDS are 2-4 MOA. Meaning if zeroed at 50/200 for the center of the dot, then the top center edge would be the zero (or darn close) at 100 yards. This yahoo would know that if he had taken "many classes," as I've heard that discussed a lot!

4. The drop difference on an AR15 between a 50 yard zero and a 100 yard zero is only a 3 inch difference at 300 yards. In Rifleman 1, shooters only shoot to 300 yards.  The difference in the holdover is unimportant. 

Any halfway knowledgeable individual would know most, if not all of these reasons, and would keep his mouth shut. Of course, Yahoos cannot help but try to prove someone wrong.  Gun gammas.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Know Before Paying

On a social media post demonstrating the insanity of the statement captured in the above screenshot, the following comment was made:

I know of three guys in this situation.  All three thought they were raising their own. One guy was paying $1k a month in child support for 10 years until a medical emergency came up and he offered to give blood...once the Dr came back with "sir your blood won't work because....." did he realize what was up. He then took her to court to get his money back...$1k per month for 10 years....the judge told him "yes you were lied to yes this is wrong but it's just bad luck this happened to you and there is no way the state is going to ask the mother to pay you back..."
Let that sink in...over $100k she took from him and he can't do anything........

There is a lesson here - get a DNA test prior to paying a dime of child support. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

What Not To Do

 Posted by a friend on social media:
"Random thought:
As you climb the ladder you have to get really good at NOT doing things.
I know it’s crazy. For years I always worked on the “to-do” list.
Today I have a “not to-do” list. I’m serious. I have a written list that I look at every single day of things that I WILL NOT DO.
I have noticed as I have climbed the ladder that more people want to sell me more stuff. They want more appointments with me. More of my time. More comments on Facebook. More of…. Everything
I have to screen ALL calls. Limit interaction. Delegate authority to my team and allow them to act on my behalf.
I’m as proud of the things I don’t do as the things I do!!"

He is correct in every aspect. There are some things that are simply not worth my time. Everyone also thinks that just because they have an idea or need, that it is worth some of your time - and it simply isn't. 

When I was a manager in corporate America, everyone thought they needed to speak to me. Yet I would empower my reports to make these decisions, and I would implore them to make them. Sometimes they would - and these reports did well for themselves. Sometimes, some reports would absolutely refuse to make a decision - and they never got ahead. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Karen Speak


"I am never going to recommend you again!"

One of those phrases uttered almost exclusively by Karens, that customer service persons, managers, and business owners know will not harm their business one iota. Because if the Karen ever actually did recommend them, it would probably not have resulted in business in the first place. And they probably did not recommend them to begin with. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

More Training

Last weekend, I attended another Appleseed clinic. This one was in a different location than my first three. The instructor cadre was also completely different. The Shoot Boss has taken a class with me, and is one of the more friendly gun guys you are likely to meet. Took the class with two friends, neither of whom had been to an Appleseed before. 

One of my friends shot a Rifleman score, using my souped-up 10/22. The other showed great improvement. 

As expected, I shot the score both times there was an AQT. My second score was "only" a 218 - and the scorer and I agreed there was a double and that would have increased my score to 228 - but we only counted it as one hole, not two. 

For the first time at an Appleseed, I heard the Three Strikes of the Match. The presenters made it very entertaining. Not sure why all of this material was not presented at previous events. To be certain, parts were told - but way less than half. 

This event was a one-day event, and there was a different sequence of instruction and shooting at the beginning, and it yielded far better results. It was similar to what I had suggested earlier. The IMC presentation was very well done, and most everyone got it and could apply it. 

I used my MK12 Mod 0 Clone pictured here:

Of course, I removed the bipod and affixed a USGI web sling. On the opening drill (Redcoat targets), I estimated my dope and got pretty close. Cleaned the redcoat target. Here's how I did it:

The 300 yard dope on my rifle is up 1.1 Mils. The 400 yard dope is up 2.1 Mils. I would be shooting 55 grain ammo, although the rifle is zeroed for 77 grain - but this setup is usually within 0.2 Mils of being on the money with different ammunition choices. Since my experience is that 55 grain ammo out of 18" and 20" barrels is closer to the 400-yard mark than the 300-yard, I decided to split the difference and shade a bit more toward the 400-yard comeup. 

I shot with 1.8 Mils of elevation. After my first 3-shot group on the 100-yard simulated redcoat, I realized that the group was nearly 0.5 Mils low - so I just applied a holdover. Clearly it worked, as I cleared the drill (no misses). 

After that, I applied 1.5 Mils up in elevation, and that was pretty much on the money. 

Also of note - there were 8 instructors there all day, 2 Green Hats, 4 Red Hats, and 2 Orange Hats. One Red Hat came in at 10 am and left about 2:30 or 3. The newer shooters got lots of good advice. I got a couple of good pointers. And a couple of them watched me fire the final AQT. 

Overall - Good instruction, good class, good teachers. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

10 Commandments for a Firearms Trainer

This was posted yesterday by Instructor Zero on Facebook.  It is duplicated here in its entirety just in case Facebook deletes it, deletes him, or deletes me, for the purpose of saving the information.


The first duty of a trainer is to create, provide and always guarantee, everywhere and in any case, solid and essential safety standards in any technical point, drill or action.
Firearms training is carried out in facilities built for the safe use of firearms, but still requires the application of safety standards and rules by anyone handling a firearm.
There are no exceptions or compromises, safety is an absolute guarantee that a trainer must impose, manage and enforce.
Especially in civil courses, the technical level of the participants is always very heterogeneous, but we must remember that the safety and strength of a chain depends on its weakest ring and not on the strongest one. This must lead us not to push the technical level of the course on the most skilled and experienced elements, but on the most insecure and inexperienced ones, otherwise we would push the latter to do something out of their possibilities, exposing everyone to a risk.

This is the second fundamental step for a Trainer, that is to say to filter everything he teaches and shares through the simple and aseptic logic.
What we teach must have a clear logical application and need to correspond to the needs of the students.
If in order to understand a technical point, a student must be an "Special Force" and he is not,  this means he joined the wrong course.
Any principle or technique that will be explained must have its logic application in the context in which it will be applied.
If it is a "sport shooting course" for example, everything will have to make sense in the shooting range context.
If, on the other hand, we are talking about a subject who carries a firearm every day for defense or in his work, the logic application must find a sense in the real context.
Indeed if it made sense only inside the shooting range context (training environment) it would not be effective and useful for him.

This is in my opinion an essential duty for a trainer, to explain the "why" of things, to explain the why of every single gesture, detail or technique is explained or shared. A trainer has the duty to simplify the matter and not make it even more complex. Normally, those who tend to complicate the matter by making it often incomprehensible is because are probably the first who don't know why of things.
A trainer must push his students to ask questions, to do so, he must create a comfortable and friendly didactic environment, he must not in any way inhibit his students from asking, asking and asking again until the point is understood.
The greatest failure for a Trainer is that students copy or imitate without understanding why they are doing that thing.

If a trainer speaks badly of another trainer in front of his students, without giving the other the right to reply, it is the most shameful and anti-professional thing that a trainer can do from an ethical point of view.
If this happens, no matter who the trainer is in front of you, know that he is a really bad trainer.

This is an extremely widespread pathology in this industry, many, too many believe they are the absolute possessors of the truth.
Unfortunately, there is no absolute truth or absolute standard and therefore there cannot even be an owner. The world is too vast, the environments are infinite and with them the variables contained, every truth is always relative and most of the time it depends on the context and on who we are, where we are and what we need to do.
Be wary of anyone who poses as the absolute possessor of the truth, because it means that little or nothing knows about the rest of the world.

The details and the level of technical depth are what make the difference between a professional and prepared Trainer and an improvised one. The technical level of the subject must always be deepened to the maximum of the technical detail required for the segment being taught.
Always expect from your trainers a high level of technical information, solid, in-depth and rich in details, do not be satisfied with fascinating war stories, tales of fantastic secret operations, those must not find space in a technical course, but eventually after the course in front of a beer.

Many trainers trade the technical subject, the education and the discipline of the matter, for the "bang, bang, bang".
Shooting is certainly more fun than learning by listening to a Trainer who explains complex concepts that do not require the use of tactical cool equipment, but a simple correct use of pen and paper.
Usually shooting a lot or pushing students to do exercises with great tactical choreography but totally useless for educational purposes and sometimes even dangerous, makes a certain type of customers happier, because it makes them feel more operators, pushing them to buy more tickets for the "amusement tactical park ".
After many years as a trainer around the globe, I have come to the conclusion that people very often don't really want to learn, many times they just want to wear a costume for a few hours or a few days and experience inside a shooting range a projection of a job or a life they have chosen not to live and they will never live.
Learning very often is boring, but a professional trainer is not an animator, jester or entertainer and the fun is not included in the price of the course.
Remember that the more you shoot the less you learn, shooting takes time and if you have fired 1000 shots in a day, you will probably come home with your bags empty of knowledge, but for sure you had a lot of fun .

The day a trainer stops being a student is the day he should stop working as a trainer.
The study, the update of the knowledge and the comparison should never run out.

A trainer should always be honest with their students and should always tell them the truth. If a student has worked poorly, has made little effort, has particular difficulties in applying or is carrying out a training segment that is too advanced for him, the trainer has the duty to tell him.
A trainer should not give false pat on the shoulder to make the customer happy in the hope that he will come back to buy another course, he should say things as they are,  because the safety of the student is at stake.
There is nothing worse than a person who thinks he is prepared or capable of handling a firearm and is not.
If the Trainer is honest and tells them the truth,  when he gives them a pat on the shoulder telling them they did a good job, they will appreciate it more than anything and this will reward them for every effort and sacrifice made.

If you are a trainer or have a company that provides training, your duty is to offer the best service to your customers, but that does not include your ego.
If you aren't prepared enough or don't have enough experience to design a certain training segment or topic, don't sell your ego, but provide them with the best professional you can find for that segment or topic.
Push your students to attend other courses and other trainers, do not be jealous of them if you have given them 110% of yourself and you have done it with seriousness and competence, you have done everything you had to do.
If a trainer is jealous of his students or has a too big  ego or has mere commercial interests, whereby every student is simply a source of income, in both cases it is deeply wrong.
Be a trainer is not only a job, it’s a lifestyle!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Unpopular Opinion

Recently came across one of those "post your unpopular opinion" threads on social media. Some of these quotes will have been edited for clarity. 

These opinions mirror mine:
"Extremely overweight people are on the same level of drugs addict."

"Not everyone should be allowed to vote."

"Women should not be allowed to vote."

"Banks and governments should be held accountable for intentional market manipulation and systematic institutional poverty and depression."

"Donald Trump was far better than Joe Biden is as President."

"Patriarchy is the only way humanity will survive."

"Thanos wasn't wrong."

"When a woman sleeps around too much she struggles to pair bond later on in life. It messes with her psyche."

"Black people are more racist than white people."

"If your vaccine works, why do I need one? If your vaccine doesn’t work, why do I need one?"

"There is nothing virtuous of making yourself a victim and blaming trauma for all your ails in life. You actually do have agency in your life."

And some of these were funny, or thought provoking, though not necessarily in line with mine:
"The 'N-word' shouldn't be a racial epithet since black guys use it all the time when speaking to each other."

"Every other time the person renews they should also have to take a driving test. There should be a listing of all changes in driving laws that must be studied before each new exam and the exam should have questions about the new changes."

"Birthdays should be called birth day anniversary."

"Strangers should be allowed to discipline your child. The moment you bring them out the house, they're no longer just your problem."

"Some dog breeds should not exist."

And these here make me weep for society:
"Most pro-life people are not pro life at all. They only care about the child being born and not what happens afterwards. Several children either go hungry or are waiting to get adopted, which is also an expensive and sometimes political process."

"Karl Marx was right."

Monday, August 30, 2021

Strange Way of Looking at Things

Some time back, when speaking with an acquaintance, it was mentioned that this author had a strange way of looking at something. 

The specific in question here was regarding human interaction. This author stated that it is inadvisable to enter into any sort of interaction where the best possible outcome is a "break-even." To be certain, the acquaintance was 100% accurate on a technicality - not many people look at interactions this way; therefore, the point of view is "strange" by every sense of the word. Definition of strange:
1. unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand.
2. not previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien

To expand further on this point of view, one must understand the underlying premise. It has been said that all things can be classified as either assets or liabilities. And while many would argue that reality is more nuanced than that, and that circumstances will dictate the standing of something as either an asset or liability; the fact is that most things can be easily and readily classified as either at a given point in time. Among the things that can be classified as assets or liabilities are interactions with other people. 

Many interactions have the possibility of gain, loss, or neither ("break-even"). For example, if a person speaks with a loved one, that would generally be a gain for both. Similarly, if a person gets assaulted, that is clearly not usually an improvement in life, and would be a loss. 

Looking at the entirety of possible human interactions using this simple scale, and applying logic, one understands quickly that any interaction can be classified as an asset ("gain") or liability ("loss"). There also exists the possibility that an interaction may result in neither ("break-even"). 

If, when analyzing an interaction, one determines that the best possible outcome is a "break-even" (ie - you are not subjected to a loss, but there is no possibility of a gain), then it is only logical to want to avoid such an interaction. Particularly if the interaction has any level of possibility of loss. 

Advice: Don't enter into any interaction where the best possible outcome is a break-even.

Friday, August 27, 2021


The inspiration for this post came from this YouTube video. At about the 11:00 minute mark, Navy SEAL Jason Pike discusses the Hollywood moment of the Michael Murphy character announcing their next move to the possible enemy sympathizers. Of course, discretion would dictate that you would never do anything like this. 

A lack of discretion used to be a character flaw in our society. These days, it is far more common to lack discretion than it used to be. As an example, this blog post, written here at this blog two years ago, about an event from 2005 in which an employee who was over the age of 40 at the time demonstrated a complete lack of discretion. 

Some things are better left unsaid. Whether I am carrying a firearm. The constitution and consistency of one's last defecation. What another person does well and not so well in bed. The list goes on.