Monday, April 5, 2021

On Being Deliberate

Found on social media.  The pertinence of what is shared is the motivation for this post.

Bat Masterson on Deliberation…

Any man who does not possess courage, proficiency in the use of firearms, and deliberation had better make up his mind at the beginning to settle his personal differences in some other manner than by an appeal to the pistol. I have known men in the West whose courage could not be questioned and whose expertness with the pistol was simply marvelous, who fell easy victims before men who added deliberation to the other two qualities. I will cite a few such instances that came under my own personal observation.

Thirty-five years ago, Charlie Harrison was one of the best-known sporting men west of the Missouri River. He was of an impetuous temperament, quick of action, of unquestioned courage and the most expert man I ever saw with a pistol. He could shoot faster and straighter when shooting at a target than any man I ever knew; then add to that the fact that no man possessed more courage than he did, the natural conclusion would be that he would be a most formidable foe to encounter in a pistol duel.

In 1876 he started for the Black Hills, which was then having a great mining boom on account of the discovery of gold at Deadwood. When Charley reached Cheyenne, he became involved in a personal difficulty with another gambler by the name of Jim Levy, and both men started for their respective lodgings to get their pistols and have it out the first time they met. It looked like 100 to 1 that Harrison would win the fight because of his well-known courage and proficiency in the use of the pistol. Little being known at that time about Jim Levy, Harrison was made a hot favorite in the betting in the various gambling resorts of Cheyenne. The men were not long in getting together after securing their revolvers, which were of Colt’s pattern and of .45 caliber in size.

They met on opposite sides of the principal street of the city and opened fire on each other without a moment’s delay. Harrison, as was expected, fairly set his pistol on fire, he was shooting so fast and managed to fire five shots at Levy before the latter could draw a bead on him. Levy finally let go a shot. It was all that was necessary. Harrison tumbled into the street in a that Harrison was as game a man as Levy could not be doubted; that he could shoot much faster, he had given ample proof, but under extraordinary conditions he had shown that he lacked deliberation and lost his life in consequence. The trouble with Charlie Harrison was just this—he was too anxious. He wanted to shoot too fast. Levy took his time. He looked through the sights on his pistol, which is a very essential thing to do when shooting at an adversary who is returning your fire.

Johnny Sherman, another well-known Western sport and a near relative of the famous Sherman family of Ohio, was another remarkably fine pistol shot. When he happened to be where he could go out and practice with his pistol, he would hunt up a shooting gallery and spend an hour or so practicing with the gallery pistols. In this way he became an adept in the use of the revolver. He was, as everyone who knew him can testify to, as courageous as a lion and yet, when he started in to kill a dentist in a room in a St. Louis hotel, who had, as he claimed, insulted his wife, he emptied his pistol at the dentist without as much as puncturing his clothes, and mind you, the dentist was not returning his fire. Sherman, like Harrison, was in too big a hurry to finish the job and forgot that there were a set of sights on his pistol.

Levie Richardson is another case in point that will serve to show that coolness and deliberation are very essential qualities in a shooting scrape, and unless a man possesses them, he is very apt to fall a victim to the man who does. We were very close friends, and he was thoroughly familiar with the use of firearms and an excellent shot with either pistol or rifle. He was a high-strung fellow who was not afraid of any man. He got a notion into his head one night in Dodge City, Kansas, that a young gambler by the name of Frank Loving, generally known as “Cock-eyed Frank,” had done him some wrong, and forthwith made up his mind to kill him on sight. Frank Loving was a mere boy at the time, but he was not afraid and immediately proceeded to arm himself and be prepared to deal out the best that he had when his man came.

Richardson found Loving sitting unconcernedly on a card table in the Long Branch Saloon and instantly opened fire on him with his Colt’s .45 caliber pistol. He fired five times at his man in rapid success but missed with every shot and was finally shot dead by Loving who took his time about his work. It was the cleanest possible shot. Richardson, like Harrison and Sherman, did not take sufficient time to see what he was doing, and his life paid the penalty. No one, however, who knew both men could truthfully say that Loving possessed a greater degree of courage than Richardson, or that under ordinary conditions he was a better marksman with a gun. Courage, generally speaking, is daring. Nerve is steadiness.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Open Letter On Constitutional Carry

An Open Letter on Constitutional Carry:

On March 29, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed HB 0786 by a vote of 64-29. The Tennessee State Senate version of the same bill, SB 0765, passed on March 18 with a vote of 23-9. Governor Bill Lee is expected to sign the bill into law. As such, it is set to take effect July 1, 2021. It is widely called the "Constitutional Carry" bill. As an NRA certified instructor (rifle and pistol), and a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Certified Instructor, I am completely in favor of this legislation. 

Some purists may note that this bill is not true "Constitutional Carry," as it does not have provisions for the carry of long guns (such as rifles or shotguns), and it does not provide for carry by most persons aged 18-21, among other restrictions. While the point is valid, it also means that as a matter of technicality, no other state has true "Constitutional Carry" either, as there are also some restrictions in place in the other 18 states that have "Constitutional Carry" as of this writing. Some more correctly call the Tennessee bill "permitless carry." And although "permitless carry" is more linguistically correct, the term "Constitutional Carry" will be used in this letter as a matter of  simplicity, as well as a matter of using the most widely known term. 

As with most legislation, there are proponents and opponents to the bill. Proponents include many who carry daily, Second Amendment advocates, and freedom-centric individuals. Opponents include most on the Left side of politics, the Tennessee Sheriff's Association, and a small number of carry permit instructors. 

As usual, the Left is claiming there will be "blood in the streets" - but this claim is not backed by facts: most states that have adopted Constitutional Carry see decreases in crime rates or no change. The Tennessee Sheriff's Association claims they will not be able to tell if someone with a gun is a "good guy" or a "bad guy;" but this claim is similarly not based in fact as law enforcement will still be able to identify criminals and suspects as they do now. 

Those handgun carry permit instructors who oppose the bill no doubt do so out of concern that it will cut into their revenue stream. Perhaps they do not have the means to teach other valuable firearms instructional classes. Perhaps they do not have the means to effectively market their other valuable firearms classes. If you or someone you know fits either of these descriptions, please reach out to me and I will help you change that! 

But make no mistake, a single permit class is not enough. Representative William Lamberth had this to say: "If you think one class, one time in your life makes you a perfectly safe firearms owner and user, you don't know firearms!" The Tennessee Enhanced Carry Permit class is not training, it is a safety class. So do not be fooled into thinking that people who would have been trained will now not be trained, that is simply not the case. 

A person who truly carries a handgun as a form of protection is well advised to be thoroughly trained in use of the firearm, be trained in medical aid, and also be insured. Training in use of the firearm should include marksmanship, presentation (drawing), basic tactics, and firearm manipulation. Medical training should include at the least, ability to stop bleeding through use of tourniquet, wound packing, direct pressure, chest seals, and the equipment must also carried. A person who carries should be properly insured with a carry insurance specialty company, such as the USCCA - no, your homeowner's insurance doesn't cover you. 

A person who carries must devote study to de-escalation techniques, and must be willing to swallow his pride instead of letting ego take over. A person who carries must practice defensive driving, and must be willing to yield despite having the "right of way." A person who carries must realize that buying someone a cold beverage is far less expensive and time consuming than buying a criminal defense attorney retainer. A person who carries must avoid going to stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things. A person who carries should invest time in learning the martial arts and/or carry of less-than-lethal weapons.

Just because one owns a hammer does not mean all of the world's problems are nails. Knowing how to pull a trigger does not mean you know how to shoot. Having served in the military, or having been a member of law enforcement does not mean your knowledge and/or skills are up to date. True experts rarely pass up an opportunity to learn more, and never think they already know all they need to know. 

Self defense is a human right. It is my most sincere desire that you be able to protect yourself and your loved ones with the most effective tools available. Similarly, it is my most sincere desire that you be able to protect yourself and your loved ones with the most effective knowledge, skill, and tactics available. Select a good, quality firearm and ammunition, get some quality training, and keep your skills sharp. 

Clay Howell
Owner and Head Firearms Instructor - Patriot Training 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

One Step Closer

Last night, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed  the Permitless Carry bill. The bill will now be transmitted to the Governor to sign. Governor Bill Lee is expected to sign it.  It would become law on July 1, the public welfare requiring it. 

If the Governor does not sign it, the bill will go back to the legislature for a veto override. An override would require a simple majority vote. Both the House and the Senate passed the bill overwhelmingly, so a veto, although unlikely, would likely be overridden. If this happens, the bill becomes law on July 1, all the same. 

If vetoed and not overridden, the bill will fail to become law.

During the passage of the bill, which took several months, there was some debate. Not much opposition, in all fairness. Primarily, those opposed to the bill were Democrats, the Sherrif's association, and the Tennessee Firearms Association.

Video of testimony for and against the bill. At about 2:06, the representative from the Sheriff's Association testifies. At about 2:40, a representative from the TFA testifies.

Democrats falsely claimed there "will be blood in the streets." This is their usual red herring and just simply hasn't happened anywhere that similar legislation has passed.

The Sheriff's Association is understandably annoyed by this bill. It limits application of Jack-Booted Thuggery. 

The TFA has thrown in with the Rabid Left and the JBTs, all because they know it will render them irrelevant.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Practice Your Turns

During a recent training, several new persons were present. One of them was assigned the middle spot on the right side of the wedge formation seen below:

Also present was another participant who was also new, but also had experience as a US Army veteran. The veteran rightly took it upon himself to offer advice to the first participant. The vet suggested that the participant patrol with the rifle in the left hand, so as to present more quickly, should the team receive contact from the right. 

After awaiting for the advice to end, the author added to the thought, and this is the essence of that conversation.

Direct questioning revealed that the participant in question did not train often using the left hand. Truth be told, most right handed soldiers do not, either - including infantry and most other combat roles. Therefore, the question was asked: "in an effort to present more quickly, is the purpose to suppress, or to make a hit?" It is assumed that in either instance, the end goal is to do so more quickly. 

If the purpose is to suppress, then what kind of time is saved by operating left handed? A few trials demonstrated that the time difference was less than a half second. This was demonstrated using correct left handed grip, and also right handed grip using the "head-body-weapon" turn. 

Make a hit
If the purpose is to make a hit on target, then what kind of time is saved by operating left handed? This became more tricky to measure - because most people cannot easily perform an up-drill with the nondominant hand and make a hit. Targets beyond 50 yards made 5 second par very difficult. 

So, with the goal of making a hit, the following demonstration provided evidence for a best-case scenario. A standard ready-up was performed with the strong hand, while already facing the target. Then a ready-up was performed with a turn. This was performed by someone who could consistently make a hit in under 5 seconds on a target 100 yards away. The time difference was again under a second. 

Patrol with the rifle in your dominant hand, and practice your turns. 

Use logic to dictate your actions, instead of dogma. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Some Data

Masks and lockdowns have not worked in controlling the spread of COVID-19. The jury is still out on the efficacy of the vaccine. Treatments such as HCQ have oscillated between being labeled as "effective" or "dangerous" depending on whom you ask and when and their political and financial motivations. 

So here are some data driven articles on the facts of mask usage. 

This author would point out that all "data" on mask usage prior to 2020 indicated that what little effectiveness masks can offer, has only been studied in a clinical environment, and is always directly linked to washing of hands and keeping distanced. 

Studies produced in 2020 and beyond are tainted with bias, lack of scientific method, and political and/or financial motivation. 

This author had COVID-19. It was a #SpicyCold . Here are some more facts:
80% of COVID hospitalizations are of people who are obese. 
90% of COVID deaths in Tennessee were persons over 60, with two or more comorbidities. 
COVID 19 death rate in Tennessee in 2020 was less than the Flu death rate in 2018 in Tennessee. 
COVID-19 death rates nationally are over reported about 16 times the actual number. 
When you account for over-reporting, COVID-19 is no more deadly than the average flu. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Mask Mandate Ended Here

Wilson county mayor, Randall Hutto, has lifted the mask mandate, effective March 19, 2021, at 11:59 pm Central time. Of course, the #LibNuts are screaming that we are "all gonna die!" A number of level-headed people counter with "if you wish to continue to wear a mask, then you have that right."

This author had several exchanges with Hutto about the mask mandate. He attempted to cite the "SciEncE," but that has all been debunked. This author may or may not have inferred that Hutto was and is a coward... including a question of how it feels to go through life afraid of "every damned thing." 

The interesting thing in all of this was that the Wilson County Sheriff's Department, the Mount Juliet City Police Department, and the Lebanon Police Department all indicated they would not cite people who did not wear masks. To date, this author has seen no evidence supporting even a single citation having been written by these three law enforcement entities. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

How I Know You Are Lying

Over the years, the author has heard some real whoppers when it comes to guns. It is amazing that these persist, even in the information age. Here are some notable ones. 

"The M16 was weak, so I would just kill the VietCong with my bare hands"
- A man who couldn't handle 10 minutes of slow paced jiu-jitsu training. 

"I shot a quarter-sized group at 500 yards with an iron-sights A2 and M855."
- A shooter who didn't know the mechanical limitations of the A2 barrel, or M855. But hey, if he did this, then he needs to get into benchrest-shooting immediately. 

"I shot a 1-inch group with my M16 and iron sights with M855."
- Police officer who clearly just didn't know better. 

"I wore out this hammer after 90,000 rounds. Used a Stainless Steel barrel, which held up the entire time."
- Same guy who shot a 1-inch group at 500 yards. Clearly didn't know ss barrel life is 5-15k rounds.

"I don't have the money to take a $500 gun class."
- Same guy who claims to have shot 90,000 rounds out of a stainless steel barrel, and all in a year. Even at best pricing in the past decade, that would have been $32K. 

There are others, and they will be updated in time. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Artificial Support

A reader and friend pointed this author to a social media post made by Appleseed regarding a change in USMC marksmanship training. Specifically requested was an analysis of the phrase,
Appleseed does not allow artificial support, unlike what the Marines will now start allowing.

The picture used for the post showed a person shooting from a barricade which represents cover, using the barricade to support the rifle.  Naturally, if support exists in a combat environment, one should use the support to steady the shot. It is not the opinion of this author that the statement in the post was directed at the use of the support in the picture. 

It is the estimation of this author that the statement was directed at the change in USMC doctrine away from sling use and toward the resting of the rifle on the magazine on the ground. 

If these estimations are correct, then the statement is highly problematic.  To assume the sling on the rifle is not "artificial support" and the magazine is "artificial support," is disingenuous or uneducated, at best. A rifle may be deployed in combat quite successfully without any sort of sling. However, combat without a magazine would prove exceedingly difficult. 

Make no mistake, the sling is nearly essential for the overall use of a rifle - as most of what the troops do with rifles is not combat (carrying, etc.). Use of a sling as a shooting aid is not a common practice.  As of this writing, the most recent documented use of a sling to steady position on a combat kill was during WWII.

On the other hand, documented use of magazine support is quite common from combat.  Both the Army (basic training, as well as infantry school) and USMC (infantry school) teach magazine support, and have for  years.  If the Appleseed statement is indeed referencing magazine support, then it would be quite unfortunate.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

What Is With The Hype???

 In the middle of this ammo shortage, it is a good time to discuss the public fascination with M855 and clone rounds for civilian use. This author does not understand the hype, and that mostly because this author looks at ammo from a logical point of view. M855 and SS109 rounds have a steel penetrator core inside, and are in widespread use in the US, as well as other NATO countries. 

M855, along with SS109, and civilian analogs, rarely shoot groups smaller than 4 MOA. IMI ammo can sometimes produce 2.5 MOA groups, but that is an exception, and not the rule. Even lowly M193 clone ammo usually gets 2.5 MOA groups, even from some of the cheap variants. 

It is a well-documented fact that M855 and SS109 rounds fail to fragment far more often than M193 ammo. Additionally, because of the steel core, M855 and SS109 rounds rarely expand. Not exactly what you want for self defense effectiveness. 

With M855 and SS109 being less effective, and less accurate, then the only remaining logical reason for there to be a lot of demand is if it is inexpensive. Yet again, M193 variants tend to be less expensive. 

To be fair, the 62-grain projectiles tend to buck the wind better at distance than the 55-grain variants. Also, the M855 and SS109 rounds penetrate WWII steel helmets out to 800 meters. Those are the only advantages this author can find. 

Buy M193 ammo for practice and self defense. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Took Ya Long Enough!

This is part 2 of a 2-part post.
Recently, I applied for a position with a company, and was made an offer. As part of the offer, they hired a 3rd party to perform a background check. Nothing out of the ordinary. If you want to read about "out of the ordinary" hiring practices, here is a good link. The company performing the background check called me a week later, and told me that the University I attended verified different dates than I had indicated. 

My actual dates at that institution were August 1993 to May 1998. That's what I had indicated. However, the company performing the background check was told August 1995 to May 1998. They now said it was my responsibility to prove my claim! My options were a diploma or transcripts. 

I never had received my diploma, and my transcripts were long since misplaced. A quick search online and I was able to purchase a copy of each. I sent the .pdf file of my transcripts to the employment verification company, and that was sufficient. I also ordered a copy of my diploma, since I had never received one. 

For all of those people now writing a comment furiously, it was par for the course for me to not receive something I should have during that time in my life. Plus, no employer had ever asked for my diploma. Looking back, my mom probably took it, based on yesterday's post. Life took over, and I never questioned it. 

Well, on December 10, 2020, I ordered a copy of my diploma. Paid for. The email confirmation said it would be shipped within 3-5 business days. In my mind, shipping might take 3-5 more business days. Again, life took over and I forgot about it. 

On February 2, 2021, I received a package in the mail. It was my diploma. It was postmarked January 29, 2021. So much for 3-5 business days to ship it off. It did, however, only take 3 business days to arrive once my university finally decided to send it.