The Bell-Curve: Shooting Practice by the Odds | Growing Up Guns

Defensive Daddy’ blog, Growing Up Guns, continues bang out great material that is well worth reading. I strongly suggest giving his FB page and blog a gander. Defensive Daddy’s latest post, “The Bell-Curve: Shooting Practice by the Odds,” is well worth your time.


Active Response Training article about weapon mounted lights

Weapon mounted lights have become part of the “tactical Gucci” that many shooters want on their home defense pistol and even their EDC pistol of choice. And depending on agency policy, they are also increasingly common among patrol officers. At the same time, there have been a number of recent reports about officer-involved, negligent discharges/shootings with guns equipped with weapon mounted lights. The media doesn’t often dig quite that deep into negligent shootings with civilians as we always here, “the gun just went off.” We all know that’s not what really happened but, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training offers some very candid commentary on this issue.

Here’s the dirty little secret about police training…it rarely happens. If the common citizen knew how poorly trained the average cop is there would be complete anarchy. Most agencies have a wholly inadequate firearms training program. In talking to cops around my state as a firearms instructor for the last 15 years, I’ve found that most departments do very little firearms training. Shooting more than 100 rounds per year is unusual.

via Weapon Mounted Lights and a Dirty Little Police Secret | Active Response Training.

Ellifritz’s commentary can be applied to the average armed citizen as well. We all are quite ready to claim our right to keep and bear arms. And most of us do so specifically with self-defense in mind. And yet, so many of us carry guns as some sort of talisman to ward off the boogieman. Because we are familiar with firearms, many equate that familiarity to being competent enough to fight with them. The reality is something different but, since so few of us ever have or ever will get into a gunfight or defensive use of a handgun, people don’t know what they don’t know. As a CHL instructor (when we still were doing renewals) less than one in ten of my students had ever bothered to fire their handgun since their previous class, four to five years earlier. As Ellifritz points out, cops shooting more than 100 rounds a year is unusual. I find that civilians shooting more than 100 rounds in five years is unusual. Adding weapon mounted lights to this mix is not generally a recipe for success. You can read the rest of Ellifritz’s commentary at


Paul Howe may soon retire from CSAT

howe_tactpistscreencapNoted trainer and former Delta Force operator, Paul Howe may be planning to retire from Combat Shooting & Tactics in the not too distant future. Howe founded CSAT shortly after retiring from the Army in 1999. His career dates back to the earliest days of Delta and some of his experiences were translated into the book and film, Blackhawk Down. He announced his intentions in his most recent newsletter.

“I will be 55 this year and don’t want to be a 60 year old running around in body armor tryingto keep up with 30 year olds.I am too long out of the arena.I like to think that from 40-55 isa good age to give back to those who helped teach you and thus bring up the next generation.”

Paul Howe via Combat Shooting & Tactics.


I’ve had the opportunity to train at CSAT under Paul’s direct tutelage and it is an experience I hold dear. They were hard days for everyone in the classes I attended. But they were especially hard for me. I was the “fat kid.” The “heavy drop,” as he called me and I really probably shouldn’t have been there given the shape I was in. But I managed to keep up and did it running a big .30 cal FAL the whole time the first time I was there. Granted, I was there with friends and mutual suffering makes almost anything possible. Still, I learned a lot about my own strengths and weaknesses in addition to a new understanding of the differences and overlaps between playing the game of USPSA and IDPA versus the real world in the days I spent training with him.

While there are/were schools with bigger names, there are/were none that provided better, more relevant training then or even now as far as I am concerned. Some fundamentals simply don’t change even if tactics do. Paul may feel it is time to retire but, if you read his newsletter, you’ll see that his commentary is still quite valid and that can’t be said for some better known trainers who are older and better known but, far less relevant. Folks, if you can, I strongly suggest to get into a CSAT class now to experience Howe’s wisdom and candor while you can.


Pa. trooper’s pregnant wife dies in accidental shooting

The officer pulled the trigger while taking apart his .45-caliber handgun for cleaning but did not realize the gun was loaded, police said.

via Pa. trooper’s pregnant wife dies in accidental shooting.


Our thoughts and prayers are with this trooper, and his family.  A husband has lost his wife and child. Two children have lost their mother and an unborn sibling. That said, this didn’t have to happen. This is not an accident. It’s negligence on the trooper’s part and he’ll have to live with that for the rest of his life. No one who owns a gun wants to be in this position and it is preventable.

Even if he did everything else wrong, had he simply kept the gun pointed in a safe direction, we wouldn’t be reading about it. A safe direction can be defined as a direction in which a bullet launched from a firearm will cause no unintended personal or property damage.  Again, no UNINTENDED personal or property damage.  A guy breaking into your home at night need some personal damage so pointing a gun at him may in fact be the safest thing you can do at that moment. But this allegedly happened while the officer was “cleaning his gun.”

Assuming that’s what actually happened, here’s the process for those who don’t know.  First, while keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction, REMOVE THE SOURCE OF AMMUNITION. That means, remove the magazine for semi-autos or open the cylinder and give the extractor a full stroke for your wheelgun folks. Single-action guys will need to turn the cylinder and press the extractor rod all the way through for each chamber.  If you skip this step, will likely here a loud boom toward the end of this process. The very next step for semi-autos is to lock the slide open and check the chamber, breechface, and magazine well to be sure there’s no ammunition left in the gun.  Again, with the gun pointed in a safe direction and only after completing the steps above, you can close the action, align the sights with something that will safely contain a bullet (i.e. file cabinet, old CRT monitor/TV, ceramic toilet) and press the trigger to the rear to relax all the springs. Then disassemble as directed per your owners’ manual.

Here’s something else guys, we’re all human. If you are tired/fatigued, get some rest. Maintenance is certainly important but, incidents like this highlight the fact we often get our processes confused when we’re tired and not thinking clearly. Weapon maintenance can wait if you’ve just worked a double!

And be aware of distractions. Chances are with two kids in the house and a pregnant wife all demanding Dad’s attention, the trooper may well have been distracted from the process of unloading/clearing the gun. As a cop, there’s a six in ten chance his service weapon is a Glock.  So it is also possible that when he came back to the gun, without thinking, he picked it up and pulled the trigger to disassemble it. Folks, anytime a gun has been out of your your sight or you’ve been distracted from the process of handling that gun for even a brief moment, start the the unloading/clearing process again. Make sure you’ve removed the source of ammunition, opened and inspected the action, and never, ever, allow the muzzle to cover/cross anything you are not willing to kill or destroy.


▶ How to Win a Gunfight – Shoot a Gun – Shooting For Survival FBI Training Video – YouTube

▶ How to Win a Gunfight – Shoot a Gun – Shooting For Survival FBI Training Video – YouTube. posted a link to a pretty cool YouTube video today.  It’s a late 60s early 70s training video from the FBI. There are those who would dismiss advice from the old days but, there’s actually some amazingly relevant info.  Take a look…See if you learn anything.