All the better to see you with, my dear… to better watch the rectangle become a square.
While the white ramp from the factor isn’t a bad front sight, the white isn’t the most contrasting of colors against all backgrounds. Fluorescent orange on the other hand…
My J-frames have orange ramps, so I’m hip to the concept and it was my first thought. But I did want to see what options existed in the aftermarket for the LCR. In the end my search didn’t yield much that I liked: made of plastic, sharp edges ripe for snagging, etc. And after some talking with Darryl Bolke and Rhett Neumayer to see if I missed any products, I ended up back where I started going with the orange ramp.
Used an appliance touch-up paint marker to lay down a white undercoat (a couple coats). Then a couple coats of Testors orange fluorescent paint. Done.
And now when aiming it’s much easier to see… not just see the front sight, but see when the rectangle becomes a square…
When I hear guys like Chuck Haggard, Darryl Bolke, Rhett Neumayer talk… I listen. Much good heard about the LCR.
I don’t have lots of revolvers, but every one I have is a Smith. (well, there’s that Cimarron I have for demoing single-action revolvers to students; which I got a Texas Jack’s in Fredericksburg). So to get a Ruger was nice for the simple variety.
Yeah, the 351 C and the 43 C. I wanted to try the LCR. I have an LCP II and… it’s cool but too small for me to operate well.
Plus the Ruger’s cheaper.
Scuttlebutt is the Ruger’s more reliable.
Smiths I want to care for; I want to hand them down. The Ruger, given how it’s built I’m happy to subject it to the sweat of the Texas summer… it’s a tool.
I gave up being a caliber snob.
Not everyone is me. Not everyone is you.
Cool. You can sub-2 Bill Drill with your Roland. Congratulations, your dick is much bigger than arthritic grandma’s. 🙂
My change of mind was my aging Realtor. The job of Realtor can be dangerous: intentionally taking strangers into other people’s homes… why should grandma with the weak and arthritic hands not have SOME chance of defending herself? She’s not out to go hunting, she just doesn’t want to die at the hands of some dude in a strange house, y’know? If all she could manage was a little .22 Derringer, fuck it – it’s better than nothing!
It’s one reason I’m glad Texas removed the minimum caliber restriction for getting a License to Carry (LTC). I understand why they that existed; still the side-effect was it shut out people like my Realtor. So I’m glad it was removed.
If self-defense is a human right, she deserves every opportunity just as much as the young and able-bodied.
Modern .22 LR ammo has come a long ways. I’ve been shooting almost exclusively Federal Punch, and it’s been mostly trouble-free. A couple hard extractions, but that’s all (I probably need to clean my cylinders). Punch passes the FBI tests. I have shot Velocitor. It runs alright, I just have only so much and it’s scarce… not enough to run through to build up and do. I can get lots of Punch, and even practice with that load. There’s also something in the bullet construction that differentiates Punch (look at things other than weight…).
I do want to practice. I need to practice. Dot Torture is good. 5^5. The Wizard. Passing my own Minimum Competency Assessment. 3 Seconds or Less. Start there.
Everything’s a trade-off somewhere, somehow.
For my context, this provides me the right balance of things. The Underwear Gun is a thing. I’m certain down the road context will change and so my choices may (need to) change as well. Between now and then I will learn.
I have been playing with the PHLster Enigma Express for the LCR… and let me just say, this is actually comfortable…
I’ve been carrying a Ruger LCR .22 LR since November 2022. Why? Necessity, then interest.
September 5, 2022 I was dumbbell bench pressing the 95s. I start going down for rep 7 and something felt weird in my left wrist. I immediately stopped. I don’t know how to describe it, but… something… shifted? All those little bones in your wrist (carpal bones); if you know what the carpal bones look like, just imagine something… shifting, getting compacted by 95# of steel. Yeah. Makes you wince, doesn’t it?
I went shooting soon thereafter. Shot my P365XL with the Wilson grip and inserts. After 100 rounds I couldn’t stand it – the pain was too much.
I’ve been hangin’ with a few guys into revolvers (GuG, Hizzie). I mean, “the underwear gun” is a thing. And with the stuff Rhett‘s been doing. Well… I figured now’s a good time detour and play with this concept.
Yes, the LCR is hard to shoot it because it’s lightweight with a heavy-ass trigger, craptacular snub-sights. But I can shoot it… a lot. I can even shoot Federal Punch (my defensive load) and not feel bad about the money.
My wrist is getting better. No, I don’t think it will ever be the same. In fact, as I write this, something happened and getting up from the dinner table last night the wrist complained hard at me. But I can wrap my wrists and lift weights (straight pressure is ok, it’s angled-wrist – like I could do a push-up from knuckles not palms. Getting up from the table had a bent wrist). And I could probably shoot my other guns but… I’m kinda enjoying exploring this.
Not gonna lie. I just don’t always want to wear a gun. That whole “a gun’s supposed to be comforting, not comfortable”? Well, sometimes I want to be comfortable (don’t you?). A big-ass Roland Special in my crotch isn’t the epitome of comfort. 😂 But I get it. As I said, underwear gun is a thing. Mark wrote:
A reliable gun with a trigger I can use, sights I can see, with a weight that can be held by a pair of drawstring gym shorts, and with support gear that doesn’t require a belt. Caliber is irrelevant for this gun.
Drawstring gym shorts. Dude… that’s what I wear all day. I’m on Zoom all day – pants don’t matter. 🙂
There’s things about the LCR .22 that appeal to me:
I can shoot it without pain (.22 LR, negligible felt recoil)
It is small in size – unobtrusive on my body, in feel and appearance.
It weighs about a pound, full loaded… a smidge more if in a holster (and every ounce matters in this context)
It has a capacity of 8 rounds, which is pretty good all things considered.
Modern ammunition like Federal Punch change the game for .22 LR.
I like the “plastic” construction. It’ll hold up better to sweat and stuff, which is a thing with Texas summers.
I have no real attachment to the gun, it’s not some treasured heirloom nor will it ever be. It’s made to be a functional machine/tool (see comment about sweat).
And so, I’ve been carrying it. In fact, I’m now looking at picking up another. I have been carrying it in a City Special. I just ordered an Enigma Express for it, as well as an Apollo.
Playing around with grips. Don’t care for finger grooves. Rubber hangs up clothing. Rogers is great (minimal grooves, pinky, textured yet smooth hard plastic), but it’s a little big, especially for pocket carry. The Hogue Black Rubber Bantam Boot Tamer Cushion Grip without Finger Grooves contains my acceptable trade-offs: slim, small, conceals well in pocket or on torso, no clothing hang-ups, ok no pinky but it is .22, can still shoot the gun acceptably.
Look… I’m at a point in my life where I’m not so interested in hunting. I just want people to leave me and mine alone. One block I loved from TacCon23 was Darryl Bolke’s “Mousegun Mindset”. Darryl frequently refers to guns of this type as “rule 1” guns (i.e. what’s the first rule of a gun fight? have a gun.). His block provided excellent perspective on tools, modes, and mindsets of carry with regards to so-called sub-optimal guns. It resonated well with where I’m at. For example, my wife will never go hunting for bad guys, but getting the rapist off of her is another matter.
Plus, it’s a new challenge. Something different to pursue. I know revolvers are becoming hip again. I don’t care about that. I was provided an opportunity (my wrist injury) and I’m answering the door, opening it to exploration. So far I dig it.
That said, I haven’t been putting in the work. Re-reading Mark’s writing provided me with some direction. While I do have access to the KR Training A-Zone Range, it’s still an hour drive. There is a small indoor range in town, and something like working Dot Torture from the ready is do-able and beneficial. I need to take better advantage of this. As I settle more into the new job, I may have the flexibility to make this happen.
It’s also been interesting to TEACH with this on my hip. I generally always teach with and for semi-auto since that’s 99.9% of students. It’s been surprisingly non-issue.
My video series – It’s Cold Drill Time Again – is now available on YouTube.
I learned the value of cold drills from Rangemaster’s Tom Givens: when the flag flies, you’ll be cold – what can you do then? Understanding one’s cold performance has merit towards knowing and application of your real-world skill.
It’s Cold Drill Time Again aims to demonstrate the value of cold drills, and provide ideas on cold drills one can do.
Season 1 is about starting. It’s about me building the habit to shoot cold drills – and video and post them – as a regular thing. It is as much about the performance work as it is the video production: going from Instagram stories with no idea what I was doing to do, no preproduction, to IGTV with some idea of a script and a smidge of editing. It was a good place to start, and while I love Instagram, YouTube is the place to be. I am bringing Season 1 of It’s Cold Drill Time Again to YouTube.
To celebrate the YouTube debut, here are the first 5 episodes of It’s Cold Drill Time Again (which I guess I now refer to as Season 1).
Yes, I’m a fan of the hottest band in the world, KISS!
One day at the range as I was motivating myself to shoot a cold drill I said in my head… “Welp… it’s cold drill time… again.” Instantly the song “Cold Gin” by KISS popped into my head.
It’s cold gin time again
You know it’ll always win!
Cold gin time again
You know it’s the only thing that keeps us together.
Hear in your head, Gene Simmons growling that out.
Yesterday was a Defensive Pistol Skills 2 day at KR Training. I was assisting Karl with class. After class, a few students reshot the Three Seconds or Less test, and I joined them on the line.
I shot with the Sig P365XL Holosun from my Enigma/JMCK. I finally picked up a Sport Belt (where have you been all my life you sweet thing!). I also chose to rotate my carry ammo, so throughout the day I shot up my Gold Dot 124 grain +P.
First thing I noticed was I was going back into the holster by the time students were just breaking their first shot. Getting out of the holster quickly has merit.
Second, I way failed the test.
Where was the fucking dot?
That’s all that kept going through my head.
Where’s the fucking dot?
I tried playing with some things like slide/window indexing. But still… where’s the fucking dot?
During class, I was running the shoothouse. Afterwards I cranked off some 25+ yard rounds to the 3-D reactive targets – behold the power of the dot.
If you can fucking find it. 🤪
I’ve not been dry practicing for a couple weeks. I’ve been massively burned out due to sleep issues. If I can’t increase my reserves I have to cut expenditures. It’s why I took the last week off from the gym, and why I’m readjusting my gym work with regards to fatigue management. In fact, I’m writing this on a late Sunday afternoon, where I’ve napped most of the day and am starting to regain myself. I rewatched this from Rob Leatham:
and I’m feeling a rise within to want to get back to work.
That’s a good sign.
Oh another thing. It’s ok to suck in public. A couple students stayed after and spectated the shooting. I – the instructor – failed and sucked in front of students/clients. On the one hand, I get the ego involvement and protection. On the other, as Jake the Dog said:
Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.
On June 1, 2022 I was a student in the Rangemaster Practical Tactical Course presented by Tom Givens, hosted by Karl Rehn at the KR Training facility. I took this class not only because I appreciate a refresh on Tom’s doctrine, but it’s also part of my journey of the red dot pistol.
The Rangemaster Practical Tactical Course is 8 hours of intensive training in defensive marksmanship, proper gun-handling, and personal tactics. The class started in the classroom with Tom speaking on the importance of mindset. Tom dove into the 1986 FBI Miami shootout and the lessons it holds. Home security matters were addressed (tl;dr “lock your damn doors”). Staying safe in public. Who is around me? What are they doing? Active shooter realities. This classroom portion is the money of the class (or really, any class with Tom Givens) – the mechanical skill of shooting is, relatively, easy. But to have what? 5+ decades of direct knowledge, professionalism, and experience laying it down for you? People… that’s where it’s at.
I get the feeling the design of the class is half-classroom half-range. I say “feeling” because we experienced sudden, unpredicted downpours throughout the day and were confined to the classroom for a fair portion of the day. Tom of course being a wellspring of knowledge there was no shortage of things for him to teach, and so he did. Eventually the rain stopped and we went out. It’s a pleasure watching Tom run a range – I got reminded of a few places I need to tighten up.
Range work was strong on fundamentals. Note: Tom had the following prerequisite for the class:
Registration is strictly limited to students who have had any prior Rangemaster handgun course, such as Combative Pistol, Intensive Pistol, or Instructor Development. This assures that everyone is on the same page on Safety and Basic Marksmanship procedures, so we don’t have to use time in this class to cover those topics. This assures everyone of a better learning experience in this course.
(I think a KRT DPS1 grad would be minimal for this course)
In range work, Tom went over the 4-count drawstroke, refining technique. We did a lot of drawstroke, dry work, present from low ready, DTFAH, multiple hits, Parrot Drill. Good stuff. Very fundamentals, very much ensuring people have (minimum) competency.
For me, the range work wasn’t anything I couldn’t already do… but I had the dot. More on that in a moment.
I’ve taken around 150 hours of training from Tom – I’m familiar with what he teaches. I think this “Practical/Tactical” class makes a fantastic entry into the world of “The Gospel of Givens”. It is solid and well-considerate of topics for a 1-day class offering – it is rich in appropriate and relevant skills and information. I am happy people were introduced to Quickly, Carefully, Precisely. And again, the real money is the classroom material. Folks… THIS IS THE SHIT YOU NEED. And I’ll be real for a moment: I dunno how much longer Tom’s gonna keep doing this, so get your ass into one of his classes.
If you are more on the experienced side, this is still a valuable class. You can ALWAYS stand to hear the classroom stuff again – plus the way Tom tells it, well… you can tell he’s an articulate motherfucker who knows his shit. And the range time is excellent work on fundamentals – you will learn something new, that will help you along.
People go to classes because they want fun: a class has to be fun. It is a bit of an escape for most of us (e.g. I came home refreshed, actually! a day outside away from the computer…). Practical Tactical provides fun – you’ll get “pew-pew time”. But this is one of those classes where your satisfaction comes later, after class, when you realize how richer you’ve become for the experience.
Bottom line: a solid 1-day offering beneficial to those who wish to become richer in their knowledge of defensive handgun
I shot my Sig P365XL, curved trigger, Wilson Combat grip module, Holosun 507K (circle-dot), PHLster Enigma & JMCK Enigma Shell (recently adjusted).
My biggest problem was eye focus: I’m heavily myelinated on front-sight focus, so I wound up doing dot-sight focus. I’m also learning how to acquire (hunt for) the dot. I’ve been mostly working on the press-out, which implies ready positions like “high-compressed ready” (which is what is done at KRT). Tom works from the low ready – I haven’t worked that with the dot. The “on press-out” techniques to help you find/acquire the dot like starting slightly muzzle-up waving/dropping the muzzle as you get to extension to allow the dot to “drop in” – you can’t do that from low ready. So how the F do you manage low ready? What’s the trick there? Seriously, I’m asking – comment below.
I just have to continue to (un)learn it. I think I need more live-fire at this point, because recoil, sun, etc. It’s just going to take work – I need to get my eyes/brain seeing what needs to be seen here. I was thankful Doug Greig was AI’ing, as he was a solid resource for dot-specific tips.
To that… remember. The old man is 70, still uses irons, and outshoots all of us. Take that to the bank.
I was better in my grip… almost too good:
Blood blister, I reckon from a bottom-corner on the mag well. I’ll be taking some sandpaper to round off edges. I like the WC module, but it’s a trade-off for the part vs. something like a Boresight module. I have an off-the-shelf BS module, but I think to work in my hands I need a custom job, which is time and money so… yeah.
After adjusting the Enigma/JMCK setup, it’s working better. I need to get a sport belt…
It was an informative time. Things I see I could stand to do:
Do more dry work “at speed”
Think about that DTFAH skill.
Drive the gun, especially during dry work.
Small gun issues…
Continue to work on eye focus
Live work – use Gabe’s 4 technical skills, perhaps.
It was good to see Tom. I’m privileged to know and learn from him.
An update to my eBook “Drills, Qualifications, Standards, & Tests” – including the Minimum Competency Assessment – is available for download!
In 2013 I published my original work on Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol. At TacCon22 I lead a discussion on the topic of Minimum Competency. There I presented my original work along with my recent thinking on the topic. I introduced a Minimum Competency Assessment as an attempt to quantify my evolving thinking. For example, while “multiple hits” remains in the definition, I now believe the draw-to-first-acceptable-hit (DTFAH) skill needs to be emphasized. In this update to DQS&T, I present the Assessment and my thinking behind every bit of it: target selection, par times, distances, equipment, biases, uncertainties, etc. Give it a read and let me know your thoughts here – I don’t have the answer, but I am exploring towards one.
This update contains over 100 pages of content and drills, adding the 3456 Drill, Snub Assessment, Hip to be Square, and The Common Tater Drill. Old favorites like the 2019 FBI Qual, Three Seconds or Less, and a plethora of Rangemaster stuff are included as well.
Copies of the eBook are available for FREE download at the KRTraining.com website.
I taught 4 blocks: 2 AIWB Skills (live fire), 1 panel with Lee Weems & Erick Gelhaus, and my presentation on Minimum Competency. I participated in 1 live fire class, and observed a few presentations. I stunk up the match. Of course, being able to hang with “the family” for a few days is what makes this awesome. So many hugs given and received – my heart is full.
I first presented at TacCon21. Tom asked me to step in for brother Spencer Keepers (Spencer had some medical issues to tend to; all good). I was quite surprised yet honored to be asked. My imposter syndrome skyrocketed to 11. I was honored to be asked back for TacCon22.
AIWB Skills went over well. Saturday lunch, Scott Jedlinski asked me if I had any open slots in my Sunday class – I did, and Scott joined. Imposter syndrome 12. It was cool tho. My first time really hanging with Scott – my fellow large Asian mammal – and it was good. He gave me some excellent feedback, and taught me the meaning of “cheater”. 😉
Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol is something I’ve been researching since 2013. I presented my original work, along with my recent thinking. I also presented my “Minimum Competency Assessment” and thinking behind it. My present thinking is to write this up in long form and update my “Drills, Standards, Qualifications, & Tests” eBook. Matter of time and priorities. Stay tuned.
The Aftermath, my panel presentation with Lee & Erick. This was… special. I spoke about my 2015 home invasion. Erick about his incident. Lee about 2 incidents his deputies were involved in. Funny thing about this is we did barely any planning/organization work prior to TacCon: each made a few slides, Lee collated, Lee projected them… and then the 3 of us stood in front of the audience figuring out how we wanted to do this presentation. 😂 I went first, then Erick, finally Lee, each giving a short account of our incident focusing heavily on issues of the aftermath. Erick turned to me and asked if he could reference one of my slides (of course!). Before today, Erick and I were strangers to each other. Our stories are different, yet our aftermaths are similar. We didn’t plan our presentation, and I think the organic nature of it all made for a special and emotional session. Erick and I (and those deputies) are in a club, for better or worse. I’m fortunate to have found a new brother. Love you, Erick.
Shot the match with my franken-P365: WC XL grip, curved trigger, P365 slide with irons. Scored paper: 245/250, tie: 35/50 4.49 sec: 252.795. Finished 76/174. On paper, dropped the first WHO shot to just outside the box; tie had 3 just outside 6 o’clock. With that gun, basically cold, after the emotional drain I just went through? If this is where my skill degrades to, I can accept that.
Took class from Wayne Dobbs (HiTS) channeling Larry Mudgett; most excellent stuff, giving me new tools to diagnose problems and help students improve. The excellent learning resources Jon & Sarah Hauptman (PHLster) are producing through their Concealment Workshop will become industry reference. I finally got to partake of John Holschen’s wisdom. I listened to Erick present research. Greg Ellifritz had an informative session on medicine under austere circumstances. Good learning being had.
And of course, seeing old friends, making so many new ones. Eating good food. Having to eat Whataburger. Many many selfies. Endless hugs. More selfies. Hot AF tents (Meadhall Range cookies!). Going to bed late and getting up early. Big thanks to the Dallas Pistol Club for the facility and contribution. Thanks to Tiffany Johnson, Martin Hoffert, Aqil Qadir, the RSOs, the crew. And of course, Tom & Lynn Givens of Rangemaster. What a special event; I am truly blessed to be a part of it. ❤️
Next week is TacCon22. I am presenting 4 blocks on 3 topics: 2 AIWB Skills live fire blocks, 1 panelist with Erick Gelhaus and Lee Weems on “The Aftermath”, 1 presenter on my pet project: “Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol” including presenting new thinking on the topic. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little stressed. 😬
When Tom Givens asked me to step in for Spencer Keepers at TacCon21, of course I answered “Yes, sir!”. My imposter syndrome spiked to 11. But I presented 3 live fire blocks and I guess I didn’t totally suck because I was asked back for TacCon22. I’m almost finished with my prep (as prepped as I can be). It’s been stressful, but I know the Conference will be good.
Some people are surprised to learn I’m not an extrovert. Sure, I’m good at peopleing, but it consumes a lot of energy, and I need alone/quiet time to recharge (introvert). TacCon is a LOT of peopleing. It’s good, I have a great time, but it’s still a lot of peopleing. Then the added energy of teaching (“being on stage”), and it’s a draining time for me. Doing the math on that right now is building up some anxiety. I know it’ll all be fine and I’ll live, nevertheless I’ve had the stress-tick of bouncing my foot/leg creeping back in.
The Aftermath stresses me minorly. I’ve told this story before, so it’s a matter of ensuring I mind time constraints and ensure topic mindfulness. That’s all that gets me. Plus it’ll be nice to meet Erick.
AWIB Skills stresses me a bit more, but not tons. I developed the curriculum, but I don’t get to run it much so it’s not as “in my head” as say a KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills 1 class. I also made some iterative refinements, and I think it’ll work better this year. One lesson from last year? Print it out, put it on a clipboard – I can do it from my head, but there’s a lot of details to convey so having a reference on-demand is good.
But the presentation about Minimum Competency? That’s got me stressed. It’s not the public speaking part – I’m good at that. It’s the topic – but meta stuff about the topic. The original blog post has been around since 2013 and the reprint in our 2019 book. I reckon if I was totally off base someone might have called my ass out by now? Or maybe no one gives a shit – my brain naturally gravitates towards the latter. Thing is, I termed the session “a discussion” because I want to present but I want to then open the floor. I want to be questioned! The audience is the right one to ask this to, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little intimidated by the potential of who may be in the audience and the questions that may be asked. But that’s what I want and why I’m doing it. I want to seek truth, this is how we get there. It’s uncomfortable to go through, but ain’t gonna grow otherwise.
It’ll be a good time. I’ll be thankful for it when it’s over, but right now I’m prepping and managing my stress/anxiety about it. 😄
There’s a video of Tom Givens explaining the Parrot Drill and how the 8″ circle is shot quickly, the 4″ is carefully, the 2″ precisely. His choice of words matters – not just in instruction, but actual cues to use under those conditions.
For a while now, when I administer the Texas LTC Completion and live-fire qualify people for their LTC, when we’re at 3 yards I tell them to shoot quickly. When we step back to 7 yards, I tell them to shoot carefully. When we’re back at 15 yards I tell them to shoot precisely.
I don’t have to explain some new gun-world concept; they know what I mean by those words. Just uttering those cues absolutely changes the mindset about how the students think and approach what’s before them. It’s an effective teaching tool, that leads students to improved performance (outcomes). I SEEN it!
Look up The Complete Combatant’s drill: The Trifecta.