In my last post in the “Shoot Like the Pros” series, I covered the old FBI Qualification course of fire that every agent had to complete annually with an 85% or better score. It was a decent test of skills at various distances and even included a couple of situations where the agent needed to reload and get back into the fight. The problem is that it did not represent the kind of gunfights that FBI agents actually saw. Study after study has shown that most gunfights happen up close. It is rare to have a situation where an agent needs to fire his/her pistol at 25 yards. Instead, they need to be able to deploy and use their gun in close quarters, so a new standard was developed and implemented in 2013 . . .
Over time, I find shooting at the same old targets to get a little bit boring. I wanted to find something that would hold my interest and at the same time give me some sort of gauge as to how my skills were coming along. Sure, I could keep shooting at those old bulls eye targets trying to get higher scores, but let’s face it, I don’t compete (just yet) and my interest in firearms is more on the defensive side of the house as opposed to the target shooting side. With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to compare my skills to the professionals . . .
The other evening, the idiot box aired a program about Maksim Gelman, also known as Mad Maks or the Butcher of Brighton Beach. Gelman, besides being nuttier than a squirrel turd, gained fame by going on a stabbing spree over two days in February of 2011. The interesting thing about this particular show was that they had interviews with both Maksim as well as his victims. It’s rare that you get to hear from a truly unhinged person, and boy did he love to do some talking . . .
My name is Robert Farago and I am a keyboard commando. You see the slick way gun guru Jabo Long loads his gun, does a press check, knocks it on the ass and puts the safety on? Long’s precision, deliberation and automation makes my gun handling look like a baby fumbling with an apple. FWIW, this KC has nothing against appendix carry. I personally prefer outside-the-waistband carry and a reversible vasectomy. But I understand the carry method’s practical advantages. That said, I still have a bone to pick (so to speak) with this demo. MOVE! Whenever I practice my draw on a non-square range . .
Wait…first there’s a reasonable column about guns in the Washington Post and then CNN runs a piece that shows responsible parents and adults teaching kids as young as five how to shoot safely? On the same day? What kind of upside down, bizarro-world is this we’ve happened upon? Best segment from the CNN vid: interviewer Gary Tuchman asks Okeechobee Shooting Sports owner Jeff Wait if there isn’t something inherently dangerous in a tyke pulling the trigger on a firearm. It was probably a question he hoped would be a gotcha moment. Wait’s answer: “It’s only as dangerous as the person that’s doing it with them.” So…good training techniques and rigorous attention to safety mean a good time is had by all. Who knew?
The sturm und drang has been flowing freely since Charles Vacca met an untimely end earlier this week after allowing a 9-year-old girl to fire an Uzi with the giggle switch engaged. Reactions have fallen somewhere on the spectrum between ‘you deserve to be dead, you moron‘ to ‘all gun owners should be imprisoned and their children taken away.’ But taking a more measured view of the value of teaching children to shoot is Dan Baum, author of Gun Guys: A Road Trip. He’s out with a piece at time.com today, ‘Letting Kids Shoot Guns is Good for Them,” in which he extolls the virtues and benefits of teaching kids to shoot . . .
Shooting instructor Charles Vacca apparently didn’t read the news much. If he had, he might have known about the tragic case of a Massachusetts 8-year-old boy, Christopher Bizilj, who lost control of an Uzi back in 2008 and shot himself in the head. The boy was simply too small to control the little sub gun’s full-auto muzzle climb. Vacca was showing a 9-year-old girl how to shoot the same type of gun in Lake Havasu City, Arizona yesterday. When he told the little girl to pull the trigger, the gun climbed uncontrollably, shooting Vacca in the head. The video above stops just before Vacca is struck. . . .
Those of you concerned about the Internal Revenue Service’s information processing and archiving practices should probably be just as worried – if not more so – about the training of their agents who carry firearms. As cnsnews.com relates, “Special agents at the IRS accidentally shot their firearms 11 times between 2009 and 2011, and at least three of the cases ‘may have resulted in property damage or personal injury.’ Agents actually fired their guns accidently (sic) more often than they intentionally fired them in the field, according to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).” It’s been said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. It seems that our friends, the revenoors, are doing their best to demonstrate the truth in that old adage.
Team FN champion shooter Dave Sevigny disagrees with trainers who insist that focusing on your front sight (i.e. putting it on the target) is the be-all, end-all for accurate shooting. Dave reckons that shooters should vary both the speed at which they shoot and their sight picture depending on the distance to the target. Close-in quick shots? Blurry sight picture. Distance shot? Look for the gap on either side of the front sight. Practice both sight pictures so you have both available. (There is a third picture but if he told you he’d have to kill you.) The trick . . .
A lot of SPEC-OPs guys are high-ready types. But there’s high ready and there’s you-must-be-high ready. I believe this is an example of the latter. But what do I know? I don’t own a single knee-pad. Yet.
Last week SIG SAUER gave both Tyler and myself a crash course in using firearms in CQB situations. Using some UTM training rounds and some of SIG’s firearms, we spend a good part of the day endlessly clearing rooms under the direction of the SIG SAUER Academy’s instructors — the same guys that teach this stuff to SWAT teams and military units on a regular basis. We weren’t anything even resembling what you would call good at it, but we got the basics and I figured some of you armchair operators might be interested in what we learned . . .
I didn’t want to go into the maze. The last time I’d entered Patriot Protection’s simulated house a simulated homeowner shot me with simulated ammunition that really, really hurt. By that point, I knew the training ground’s layout well enough. I also knew the chances of adding to my collection of painful welts and bloody dings during the room clearance drill was extremely high. The pretend bad guy was an experienced role player, skilled marksman and high-level tactician. He knew what I was likely to do better than I did. Even in the dark. Especially in the dark. Yes, there is that . . .