The Gringo Pistolero

Andy Stanford performs “The Gringo Pistolero”

Seriously, this is some epic storytelling. Highly entertaining.

I learned about this during the Historical Handgun class.

2017-09-26 training log

It’s so interesting to manipulate carbs and how they affect performance.

I’ve been trying to keep my caloric balance in check, and of the three macros that ultimately comes down to carb manipulation. Ideally, given I work out in the early morning, I’d have lots of carbs around the session then taper off throughout the day, maybe even having no carbs by evening. For numerous reasons that’s not working well for me, so what I’m trying is having carbs around the workout session, avoiding carbs during the day, then allowing myself carbs in the evening. So far it’s been working well. I can feel when I do skip the mid-day carbs I end up feeling less bloated, etc.; when I do have them, I feel more bloated, I can see it in the mirror and on the scale. So it’s interesting.

And so since I didn’t have much for carbs yesterday, I felt it today. It wasn’t bad, but for sure I wasn’t gassed up. That top set went up slow, not horribly slow, but slower than last week – when I wanted this week to be faster. So I may do a little more carb-up on Monday, then allow the rest of the week to taper off.

But still, progress is being made, so I cannot complain.

And dude — proper stiff-legs like that just kick you hard.

I opted to close out with bodyweight squats over split squats or lunges. I wanted to spend some time reinforcing the movement groove: spreading knees, pushing hips back, driving out with hips, chest up/out, and depth by feel not by looking in the mirror. I may stick with this for a while to continue breaking the novelty of visual cues and get back to kinesthetics.

  • Squat
    • bar x 10
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 4
    • 195 x 3
    • 245 x 2
    • 275 x 1
    • 305 x 1
    • 325 x 1
    • 300 x 3
    • 255 x 11 (AMRAP)
  • 1″ Deficit Stiff-Leg Deadlift
    • 265 x 8
    • 265 x 8
    • 265 x 8
  • Bodyweight Squats
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 10

2017-09-25 training log

I’d say a solid 80% type of day.

It’s always nice when things get better as you go along. Inclines were “meh” but the DB presses felt so good — even cranked out more reps with the 95s than I thought I could. And on the DB presses I really sank them deep, good stretch, good effort out of the hole.

One thing I’m thinking strongly about is switching from inclines to flat benching. The main reason I did inclines was that flat were causing me all that arm pain, but overhead pressing was not. I figured to try inclines to see how bad it was, and it was not. So, I programmed inclines to give me some sort of pressing, and it does have a decent carry-over to flat. My arms are feeling really good, I’m sure aided by all the rolling and stretching work I’m doing. So I’m getting curious to try flat pressing again. Not going to switch JUST yet, but it’s on my brain. I wouldn’t change much else in my programming, just a swap and probably starting really light and maybe even more basebuilding-style-programming (e.g. model 1: working up to a single 85%, then 5×8 @ 75% using my incline weights to program from, since in theory one can flat press more than incline, so that should start me out extra light).

Anyways, a good day overall. Progress is being made.

  • Incline Press
    • bar x 10
    • 125 x 5
    • 145 x 4
    • 165 x 3
    • 185 x 2
    • 205 x 1
    • 225 x 1
    • 235 x 1
    • 195 x 9 (AMRAP)
    • 195 x 5 (50%)
  • DB Bench Press (pause at bottom, get the stretch)
    • 40e x 10 (warm)
    • 60e x 8 (warm)
    • 95e x 10
    • 70e x 13
    • 45e x 17
  • DB Flat Flies
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 11
    • 30e x 11
    • 25e x 6 (drop)
    • 20e x 5 (drop)
  • Press
    • 125 x 10
    • 125 x 8
    • 125 x 7
  • Front Plate Raise (tri set)
    • 45 x 13
    • 45 x 9
    • 45 x 10
  • DB Lateral Raise (tri set)
    • 15e x 10
    • 15e x 7
    • 15e x 8 + partial burns
  • Rear Lateral Raise (tri set)
    • 12e x 12
    • 12e x 10
    • 12e x 8 + partial burns

Sunday Metal – Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies – “Living for Life”


Concealed Handgun Licensing: Asset to Texas

My friend, researcher Howard Nemerov, just published a  new paper: Concealed Handgun Licensing: Asset to Texas. The abstract:

Collating conviction data reported by Texas Department of Public Safety, crime data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and census data, it’s possible to determine relative criminality of handgun carry licensees to their equivalent non-licensee population. This paper analyzes Texas carry licensees versus non-licensee Texans over age 21 to determine relative criminality, and also cites research enabling a comparison between police officer malfeasance and carry licensees.

For the tl;dr crowd: license holders are overwhelmingly more law-abiding than non-license holders (as a group/demographic).

A few points from 16 years of data:

  • Non-licensees committed FBI major crime felonies 20 times as often as carry licensees.
  • For all non-FBI crimes—other felonies and misdemeanors—non-licensees committed crime 11 times as often as carry licensees.
  • Since 2006 (last 10 years) non-licensees committed non-FBI crimes 14 times as often.

Why might that be? Howard’s paper discusses it, and it’s something I wrote about over 8 years ago, because to hold a carry license in Texas says a lot about a person.

Everyone seems to worship facts, at least when facts suit their cause. Funny thing about facts: they continue to hold when they don’t suit your cause. Give Howard’s paper a read – it’s full of facts.

2017-09-22 training log

Today went overall well.

Close-grips felt weird. I’m thinking about bringing a micrometer to the gym to check the diameter of a few bars, because even 1mm makes such a difference in feel. 🙂 But setting that aside, just something right-shoulder-wise felt a little unstable. Not bad, just not totally in the groove. I do think in part it’s equipment related, but life rolls on.

Anyways all in all I’m digging how arm day goes. Pump is real. Really focusing on quality of movement, muscular contraction. It’s good stuff.

  • BB Curls (elbows in, wider grip)
    • 55 x 8
    • 65 x 7
    • 75 x 6
    • 85 x 5
    • 95 x 4
    • 105 x 3
    • 90 x 8 (AMRAP)
    • 90 x 4 (50%)
  • Close-Grip Bench
    • bar x 10
    • 115 x 8
    • 135 x 7
    • 155 x 6
    • 195 x 5
    • 215 x 4
    • 235 x 3
    • 205 x 9 (AMRAP)
    • 205 x 5 (50%)
  • Incline Hammer Curls (3 second eccentric, go to failure, then stand and do AMRAP alternating supinated curls)
    • 25e x 12 (and a bunch of standing)
    • 25e x 12 (more standing)
    • 25e x 10 (only a couple standing)
  • Standing French Press
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 15
    • 85 x 10
  • Cable Curl (hold/sqeeze at top)
    • 50 x 40
    • 50 x 26
    • 50 x 22
    • 40 x 5 (drop)
    • 30 x 6 (drop)
  • Rope Pressdowns (First 20, twist out hands at bottom; remainder straight hands pushed to failure)
    • 65 x 40
    • 65 x 31
    • 65 x 27
    • 55 x 6 (drop)
    • 45 x 7 (drop)

2017-09-21 training log

I haven’t been feeling it with my back sessions, so I opted to change it up. Today marks the first outing with the minor changes. So far, I like it. I’ll need at least another session to settle things in but so far so good.

Face pulls are kept light and minimal, just to get things warmed up. Then into some heavier rows, which I’ve really been enjoying getting back to doing. Shrugs continue to be amusing to me as I try to find the right weights to work with. I’m thinking I may adjust this where I do the 2 heavy sets, then drop to the light sets and let the light sets just crank to failure instead of straight-sets.

Cable rows. This is a new addition, and I just love cable rows. No back movement gives me as much feel in my lats and such as cable rows do. I did want to do them with a wide, neutral grip, but couldn’t find the bar — until after I had finished my rows, of course. So I just used the same old narrow neutral grip handle, which was fine. I should be able to get the weight dialed in by next session. Then curl-grip pulldowns I opted for for a little more variety/angles on the back, but curl grips also give me a lot more feel in my lats for whatever reason. So them, with some drop set work, great.

All in all, not bad. I still feel like I need a bit more volume, but I think I can get there with some continued small adjustments. Plus, this is fine to be a bit on the lower side as it gives me somewhere to go and lets me stretch out the training cycle longer.

  • Face Pulls
    • 65 x 25
    • 65 x 25
  • Barbell Rows
    • 135 x 8
    • 155 x 7
    • 175 x 6
    • 195 x 5
    • 205 x 4
    • 215 x 3
    • 175 x 10 (AMRAP)
    • 175 x 5 (50%)
  • BB Shrugs
    • 295 x 8
    • 295 x 8
    • 215 x 20
    • 210 x 20
  • Cable Row (low, wide neutral grip)
    • 120 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 150 x 14
  • Curl-Grip Pulldowns
    • 105 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 105 x 5 (drop)
    • 90 x 5 (drop)

AAR: Historical Handgun, September 2017

Historical Handgun: Karl Rehn, KR Training

I have not had this much fun in ages.

I participated in Karl Rehn’s first offering of the Historical Handgun (1-Day) course at KR Training on September 16, 2017. The half-day version was offered this past summer, but I was unable to make it due to prior commitments. There was no way I was going to miss this one.


FBI 1945

As one of Karl’s assistant instructors, I’ve been hearing a lot about this course. Karl spoke to me about it frequently as he was working on it, and I was happy when he got things done and could finally offer it as a class. You see, I didn’t grow up with guns. Oh sure, they were around me to some extent or other, I played cops and robbers as a kid, watched The Lone Ranger, and all those things. And in my almost-decade working for Karl, I’ve learned a lot about the development and history of handgunning. But I know there’s still much to learn, especially about the earliest of days.


And let’s be frank. As one of Karl’s assistants, I ought to know and have taken every class KR Training offers. 🙂


Army 1935, part 1

Karl is able to offer Historical Handgun in 3 formats: half-day, one-day, two-day. The content is basically the same, just when you have more time you can get more content and dive a little deeper into topics. Another twist on the class is striving to replicate the time periods. You shoot drills, qualifications, and standards from the eras, and you can shoot them with somewhat period-appropriate firearms. You could shoot the course with one gun, or you could shoot with a revolver, a 1911, a DA/SA semi-automatic, and a modern striker-fired gun (different guns for different courses of fire, as appropriate for the time-period). It’s a really cool twist and puts a different spin and challenge into the class.

Army 1935, part 2

Material was broken up by decade, starting in 1930 (if I remember correctly) and working up to today. Karl would point out significant events of that decade, things that were pivotal in the history of handgunning, affecting and influencing where we are today. Karl also pointed out significant people of that decade and what they did that earned them the right to be enshrined in the history books.

Karl would lecture in the classroom about a couple decades, then we would go outside and shoot. The courses of fire we shot came from those time periods, and if you had an appropriate firearm for the time period, you could use it to shoot the course. After we shot a couple courses, we’d go back inside. That was the rhythm of the day.

Gunsite 250

Weather was good, but a bit hot. Class had only four students, which was a shame. Y’all missed out on tons of fun.

Range Time

Gunsite 350

Two of the four students had taken the half-day class, and two of us (including myself) were first-timers. Three of the students opted to shoot the 4-guns. Me? I stuck with my M&P 2.0 9mm all day. I don’t own a DA/SA gun (I own the others), and while I could borrow one I opted to just keep it simple for the day. I actually think doing that gave me some good perspectives, which I’ll talk about later. I did shoot from my IWB holster, but there’s no concealment drawing in class so I tucked in my shirt.

We shot 9 courses of fire:

  • FBI 1945
  • Army 1935
  • Gunsite 250
  • Gunsite 350
  • FBI 1986
  • Marine (Advanced) Combat Pistol Course 2013
  • A local police department’s qual
  • FBI 2013

FBI 1986

Ran through about 400 rounds of ammo.

What Did I Learn?

This is not a class for learning how to shoot – this is a history class. You’re here to learn history.

US Marines (Advanced) Combat Pistol Course 2013

There’s no time spent on teaching you how to shoot, correcting your problems, or other such things. You need to come to this class already knowing how to shoot. But if you’re not awesome that’s OK – come anyways, because shooting the drills is really more about the experience and having a tangible aspect to the history lessons. If there is any “skills teaching” it’s to teach skills of the time period. For example, we spent some time with SIRT pistols to learn the proper FBI “hip shoot and crouch” position. We also did some dry work on the Weaver stance, not so much to teach it, but to help overcome our ingrained use of Isosceles. So again, you’re learning history.

When it came to the classroom portions, it was chock full of information. Yes I recognized a lot of events and names, but then it was cool to hear about some pivotal person and have a “Oh, so that’s where that came from!” moment.

One especially cool thing? Seeing how much “the times” affected the state of handgunning. Like developments in printing (magazines), or the advent of home-video, and how those cultural and technological changes outside of the gun world ended up having a big impact on the gun world.

It was also cool to see how one decade fed into the next. How things like cowboy quick draw gave rise to IPSC, and why the Gunsite Standards put so much emphasis on fast draws and fast shooting.

In fact, that was a neat thing to observe in terms of the courses of fire. You could see why a qual was developed as it was. Where emphasis was placed (and where it wasn’t). Seeing the qual in its (historical) context gave deeper understanding of the qual. Then to see how quals changed over time, especially since we shot three versions of FBI quals.

As for shooting…

Local PD qual

Those guys back in the 30’s and 40’s could shoot. You had to! They were shooting double-action revolvers, they were reloading from loose rounds, and were shooting at 25 and 50 yards under tight time constraints and tough scoring. You had to move quickly, and be highly accurate.

That’s where I had some interesting insight in shooting my M&P. When we were shooting at 25 and 50 yards, of course I was going slow. When it was time to reload I would do a reload, but of course mine was much easier than reloading a revolver from loose rounds. Even still, I’d find myself feeling the pressure of the timer. I found myself thinking that here I am with all this modern convenience and still feeling it, when those guys had double-action revolvers, loose rounds, and then even less time to get things done. And they managed to do it. It’s some tough stuff!

Pictures of the targets afterwards and simple point scores don’t tell the complete story of my shooting. No problems out to 15 yards. But 25, 35, and 50 yards? That’s where I lost points. I am happy for the time I’ve spent in the past year on longer distance shooting, because I finally figured out what I need to do, what I need to see, and how to do it — I just need to do it more consistently. So I was pretty happy with a lot of my longer distance shooting, I just have a lot of room to improve.

Another good thing? The work I put in towards my USPSA classification paid off with my drawstroke. I can get the gun out of the holster pretty quick, then slow down and shoot. The quick draw gives more time for slow shooting, y’know? Or in the case of something like the Gunsite standards, the quick draw just lets you do the course of fire.

FBI 2013

When looking at my performance, we were joking that I came into my own around the 1970’s. Seems about right. 🙂

What didn’t I like about the class? It’s too short. Karl could really only touch lightly on some topics, but that makes sense. I mean, covering almost 100 years of history and there’s only so much you can do. Some things got missed, and Karl made notes to himself about people and events to add. Some things we’d start going down a rabbit hole on, but Karl’s pretty good about time management and would cut things off and keep things moving. The one-day format is good, but I know the real gem is going to be the 2-day version of this class.

Karl also provided us a list of books, which he’s going to continue to expand. My reading list is pretty backed up as it is, and now it’s got even more in the queue.

Really folks, this was a fun one. Most other times when I take a class there’s some point or purpose. I’m trying to gain a certification, or I’m trying to focus on getting better at something. But here? It was just fun. The history was fun. The shooting was fun. The whole day was just so much fun. Nothing but smiles from everyone there all day. Even when we were stinking up the joint, it was so much fun. It was great to just get out and shoot, and gain some deeper knowledge about the history of handgunning.

What’s cool? Karl’s taking this course on the road. Stay tuned to the KR Training website, Facebook page, and get on the mailing list to know when it will be coming to a range near you.

My scorecard. Shot my M&P 2.0 9mm (full size). 25yd, 35yd, 50yd shooting is hard (for me).

Ed Head’s Practice Drill

A little while ago, Karl and I went out and shot a drill from Gunsite Instructor Ed Head. It’s a good drill in our continued study of Minimum Competency.

Here’s a video of us demonstrating it:

And here’s Karl’s analysis. Karl has a few suggestions to make it a stronger standard, and how you can use the drill in your own practice to improve your skills.

2017-09-19 training log

It was a jack-shit sort of day.

Squats actually went pretty well. The work up was pretty smooth. The 325 went up better than prior sessions, a little slow out of the hole, but accelerated nicely. A period of pause squats may be in my future. The triple was good and about where it should be. Then the AMRAP was upped in weight, and I could have gotten 1-2 more but I fell forward pretty bad on the 9th rep, even taking a step to regain my balance. Not good. So I racked it.


On the way home I thought about it. It’s gym novelty. The racks are up against the wall, which has full-length mirrors over the run of it. Thus, I’ve been using the mirrors to watch for depth, ensuring I do NOT cut anything short. That’s been great because I’ve been certainly sinking every squat, which is also cool because I know sometimes I’ve had confidence problems when the weight got heavier and cut depth. No more. I also have increased confidence because I have real racks, able to set catch-bars exactly where it’s correct for me so if I do miss it should be simple to set the bar down. So I’m watching myself, I’ve increased confidence, and as such, I’m losing a few things — like kinesthetic feedback. I’m being driven more by visual feedback, so I’m focusing more on what I see and less on what I feel. I shouldn’t do that. I should be using the kinesthetic, and only using a glance of visual just to confirm what I feel.

Again, it’s the novelty of the new gym, the new equipment, and being able to have all of this. So, just something I have to be aware of and focus on.

Anyways, I jack-shitted the day because I’m tired. I’ve been thinking “gee, do I need to deload”? and no I really don’t, because gains and progress is solid. But I am worn out, because of my sleep issues. So I figured to not dig my recovery hole that deep today. Just squat (and ellptical, and foam-roll/stretch) and head out. It was a good day, so end on a good note.

  • Squat
    • bar x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 4
    • 195 x 3
    • 245 x 2
    • 275 x 1
    • 305 x 1
    • 325 x 1
    • 300 x 3
    • 225 x 9 (AMRAP)