Product Information

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Hi everyone. It is rare that I openly endorse any products but I am going to do it now because part of the reason I post articles and comments is to potentially help anyone who reads them.

I just received a pocket holster for my “J Frame” Smith & Wesson sized revolver that is absolutely flawless. I would like to pass my compliments to Robert Leahy of “Simply Rugged Holsters LLC” for his outstanding workmanship. When you get a chance, check out his product line. There are great pictures of all his product line in his website. Here is his contact information:

Simply Rugged Holsters

928-227-0432

Robert Leahy

simplyrugged.com

rob@simplyrugged.com

Facebook: Simply Rugged Holsters

All my best and be safe!

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

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Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

Well, this has been a hectic week and one that has been filled with violence happening in many places around the world such as in France. For those of us who deal with these issues by training people to have active ways of trying to surviving these violent incidents, the events are absolutely no surprise.

I won’t take up too much of your time with this article but want to discuss a few points that could be useful for you. There are a number of great resources available that provide information about active shooter scenarios and I will no rehash that information here. Please seek out as much information as possible from as many sources as you can so that you can gain varying perspectives about the nature of these active shooter incidents. Some suggestions may work for you and you may not like some of the suggested responses. Knowledge is power and use your judgment to sort through it all.

So, let’s set up the discussion. You are minding your business enjoying a night out in any venue you want to place yourself. You hear what you think are gunshots. What should you do?? If you have waited to figure that out until then, you may be in trouble. Under the type of high stress that comes with being in the middle of a nightmare like a mass shooting, many people will have a hard time figuring out what the best course of action is to respond to the scenario. As many of you already know, some responses may not always be the best and making decisions under duress doesn’t always give us the best responses. Our perceptions may be distorted due to the perceptual narrowing (tunnel vision) that can present. Other affects of the “sympathetic nervous system “activation may cause us to make decisions void of the ability to think clearly and perform physical tasks with the same acuity and dexterity that we normally have available when not under duress.

As in all that we do when preparing to deal with violence, prior preparation will greatly determine how we respond in a critical incident. As I have mentioned in past articles, “our goal is to perfect simplicity”. Applying that statement to these acts of raw violence will lead us to simple principles to follow that will help minimize our exposure to violence and increase our ability to survive. I am sure many of you already incorporate prior planning in your training protocols. Let’s look at a few ideas that can help us be better prepared. If you already do some of these suggestions, GREAT! Then rehearse and practice them more. Immediate action drills (the execution of planned responses to given scenarios) need to be practiced often and ingrained into our mind and body. The more practice the better. Try doing your responses in a force-on-force environment (safely and professionally done under competent supervision by those who know how to supervise these training events). This will help you iron out any issues that may arise when done in real time and with real people.

One important consideration that we can examine is what our actions should be when the moment of truth happens and shots are fired. Here are a couple of things we can do in our prior planning that will be extremely helpful when the attack is initiated:

  •  If indoors, where is the nearest exit to leave the “kill zone”?
  • If outdoors, where is the nearest point of cover and concealment that can be used? Cover by definition should be able to stop incoming bullets. Concealment keeps us out of sight of the attacker(s). Even if cover is not immediately available and concealment is the only choice, it is better to be unseen than out in the open. Remember, a firearm is a “line-of-sight” weapon so the attacker needs to see you to determine you are a target.

Please feel free to add any other consideration to the above. What is listed are but a few considerations that should be included in your “prior planning”.

In your planning, you should include adhering to the principle that creating distance from the attacker(s) will be a significant way to improve your chances of escaping the “kill zone” and avoid injury. It will be more difficult to hit you with gunfire if you are moving and you have to remember that even if you get behind cover, it doesn’t mean that at some point their bullets won’t penetrate your cover. How much damage can your cover take before it is incapable of stopping bullets. We have seen block walls disintegrate with multiple hits. So if there is a way to create distance from the attackers, if should be a priority.

Another issue that I think needs to be considered is if you are armed, should you engage the threat or not. First and foremost, YOU can be the only one to make the decision about engaging the attacker(s) with your firearm (in virtually all cases, it will be a handgun since it is portable enough to carry concealed). You have to understand a few things that might help you in forming your decision to engage with your handgun as part of your immediate action plan.

If you are with your family, what is your primary consideration? I would think that the first thought we have is that their safety is paramount. So, if there is an exit that can be immediately used to get out of the kill zone, how should that affect your decision? Well, if you engage that threat and fail, what happens to your family? If you open fire on the attacker(s) and your family is directly near you, you will become a bullet magnet. If there is an immediate exit and you can leave, is that a better overall plan to better your family’s chances of avoiding injury or death? Only YOU can make that decision. Try to work through a variety of scenarios prior to having to make that sort of decision when the event is happening. Try to decide when you would elect to engage the attacker(s) or simply leave the area. If you are attempting to evacuate your family form the “kill zone”, I would suggest engaging only if necessary to stay alive because your ability to leave is no available. Another potential reason to engage the attacker(s) is to try to delay the attacker(s) while the remainder of your family continues to create distance from the attacker(s). In essence, you are engaging in a delaying action to allow your family to escape. This will be YOUR decision and the scenario will dictate what is the best option.

The point of this discussion is to get us to think of courses of action PRIOR to being in a position that these decisions must be made while under the duress of an attack. Simple plans well executed work better under stress especially if you have had the opportunity to rehearse those plans under realistic conditions. Of course, the true reality of being in a direct assault by heavily armed terrorists cannot be completely duplicated in a training environment, but we can at least test out our plan and make whatever adjustments need to be made to make the plan more viable.

There is no way to plan for every event. Our prior planning developing realistic plans will greatly enhance of survivability. I hope this helps stimulate your thoughts on this issue. It is up to YOU to determine the best course of action that works for YOU. Prior planning and being prepared both mentally and physically is our best chance of avoiding injury or death in the type of terrorist events that have been unfolding world-wide.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

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Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

In this article I want to explore the drilling that we use to develop and hone our skills with the various firearms we use for self-defense. I think it will be beneficial to discuss what drilling is designed to do and how we can maximize on our time spent in practice.

As with many endeavors that we do that requires practice to develop skills, combat shooting is no different. One of the first steps in the process is to define what skills you are attempting to develop so that a methodical plan can be formed to guide the training process.

So to start the process, I would recommend that you make a list of the skills that you would like to develop. This is an important part of the process because it is important to define what you intend to use your firearm for so that you can develop drilling that will assist you in increasing performance. There are many reasons why individuals use their firearms that will impact what drilling needs to be included in training. As an example, a person who is using their handgun for concealed carry purposes   will have very specific drills that must be included in training. Likewise, a person who is using their firearms for home defense will need specific drilling included in their program to meet their requirements.

No mater what use we have for our firearms, a baseline set of skills must be developed. These skills will be the foundation of all other applications. The important thing to remember about developing these baseline skills is that they must be based upon simple, straightforward principles that have been tested in combat.

The drills that need to be included in “baseline” training must include the spectrum of starting positions that one can find themselves in at the beginning of hostilities. Also, appropriate methods of engagement based upon the distance to the target must be included in this drilling process. It is important to practice “Target-Focused Shooting” as well as appropriate use of the sight system. However, if you are drilling with methods when at 3 yards from the target that are the same as when you are 20 yards from the target, your drilling may prove to be inadequate preparation if you are involved in a spontaneous close-quarters shooting that someone else starts. Practicing one method and excluding the other (“Target-Focused Shooting for close-quarters engagements and the use of the sight system for extended distance engagements) can be a fatal mistake. Your program needs both and if someone tells you different, simply do what I have done in the past. Throw them into force-on-force training and let them experience what happens when one eliminates methods in their training that are designed to work effectively in specific scenarios. There is nothing like seeing someone who is so adamant about what they believe to be true find out in about one second that what they have believed in simply doesn’t work.

As a quick example (there are many that I can write about), many people do multiple target drills by planting their feet, remain stationary and upon signal draw their handgun. They do a great job putting rounds downrange and hitting the multiple STATIONARY paper, cardboard or steel plates downrange in a known location and distance. They also know the scenario that they are going to shoot. I have seen some impressive shooting done in that mode. The important point is that they know what is going to happen BEFORE they perform “the drill”. Now, I take these same people into a force-on-force- environment (safely done and controlled) where the multiple targets are human, initiate the fight at an unknown time, and have the ability to shoot back. Guess what? The drill doesn’t work like on the range. The point? Drilling is to help develop skills. Those skills have to integrate into appropriate tactics or you may be in for a BIG surprise. Superior performance on known drills doesn’t necessarily translate into superior performance in real or simulated scenarios. I only hope the “surprise” is not in a gunfight with real bullets in the air.

I could go on for a long time with examples of this but I think the point is made. The important thing about training and drilling is that we use that training time to prepare us for reality not fantasy. The real world isn’t a game. The drilling we do must increase our ability to win by increasing skills that can integrate into the scenarios we face and the tactics we use.

So, what should we expect to gain from the drilling we do on the range? I suggest that the range be used to develop “baseline skills” that can be honed by repetition so that when those skills must be applied in unknown and spontaneous scenarios, the application of the particular skill can be delivered with speed and combat accuracy. Here are a few “baseline skills” that need to be integrated into training via the “drills “ we do at the range:

  •  Smooth, rapid drawing of the handgun into the appropriate position based upon range to the threat (extended position when the threat is not close enough to deflect or attempt to take control of your handgun or a close quarters position where the handgun is not extended but remains closer to your body for retention purposes).
  • Develop primary hand only and two-handed grip shooting positions
  • Develop support hand only skills in the event that your primary hand is injured or incapable of controlling your handgun
  • Develop skills in both “Target-Focused Shooting” and sighted shooting methods to cover the spectrum of distance to the threat as well as account for the affects of the sympathetic nervous system on our mind and body during a real confrontation.
  • Develop shooting while moving skills
  • Develop the ability to shoot effectively from cover
  • Drilling that continually develops greater speed of engagement while increasing the combat accuracy at that speed

Please feel free to add any other skills you want to develop in your drilling. This is just a few of the “baseline” skills that are extremely important to develop in training.

The last point I want to address concerns a trend I have seen developing over time that needs to be discussed to keep this issue of “drilling” in proper perspective. I see many training programs that place a significant amount of time using the “run and gun” approach in the training process. While these courses are fun to shoot, they do not do the drilling that is necessary to help a person develop the skills that I have discussed. While there is absolutely noting wrong with adding these “run and gun” courses into an overall training program, they should NOT be used if the “baseline skills” have not been developed. Also, time management is critical because training time isn’t limitless. Many agencies and individuals only have limited time to train. Priorities must be established and the time available must be used to develop critical skills first. Performance in a “run and gun” course or force-on-force scenario based program can only be as good as the person’s ”baseline skills”. If a high degree of skill isn’t attained in drilling of the basic components of the program, much lower performance levels can be expected when a person participates in the “run and gun” type of course, scenario based training, and most importantly, a live combat shooting against a real threat.

To summarize this article, I would simply advise that “drilling” and the repetition that is done developing the “baseline skills” is the gateway to increased performance in any other training that is presented. In past articles, I have referenced a principle that guides the curriculum I use in training programs. I will include it here again:

OUR GOAL IS TO PERFECT SIMPLICITY

I hope the information in this article helps in your training.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master