January 11, 2019

Vol. 14  No. 01

News Letter

Staying Alive®:  Firearms Training & Texas License To Carry

Michael J Arnold


Scheduled Training:
Subject: Texas License To Carry
Date: CLICK HERE for next class information.
Time: 0800
Place: Bexar Community Shooting Range
Marion, TX  78124

CLICK HERE for directions.

Random Shots:

"Why should I obtain by force that which I can obtain by cheating?"

--Doc Holliday


Israeli Carry?
(It doesn't matter.)

Quick Story:

On more than one occasion, I have had new students who experienced some degree of difficulty just getting used to the basic concept of staying focused on the shooting process and keeping the gun pointed at the intended target.  Most of the new shooters that have fallen into that category have been folks, who have decided to take up shooting, well into their adult lives.  Most have had -0- previous exposure to guns.  All shared practically the same problem - - The very thought that there was a live cartridge in close proximity to a firing pin scared the hell out of them.

One of my "less than confident" students admitted that he was extremely nervous drawing a loaded gun, for fear that he was going to cause an unintentional discharge.

I can't remember the specific article I asked him to read, but it dealt with Israeli Carry.  I told him to look it over, and that we'd talk more about it in our next training session.

Next session:  He showed up pistol holstered and ready to practice.  When it was time to begin live fire, he drew the gun, racked the slide, and fired like he'd been doing it all his life.  Did all of his shots gravitate to the middle of his target?  No.  But, there was a profound improvement in his accuracy.  Similar improvement has been noted in the accuracy of other students, who changed nothing but carrying on an empty chamber.  The change allowed them to overcome a major stumbling block, and gain additional confidence.

-- Mike

Synonyms - C3, Condition 3 Carry, Israeli Carry:  The practice of carrying a semi-automatic pistol with a full magazine and an empty chamber.

I usually wind up in a discussion about Condition 3 Carry, at least half a dozen times a year.

Is C3 a good idea or a bad idea?  Quoting my friend Rudy, "The answer is, YES."

In my opinion, I don't believe, when it comes down to winning a gunfight, an individual's choice to carry or not to carry a round in the chamber of a semi-automatic pistol makes 10¢ worth of difference.

Where did the C3 idea come from?  In his recent "Shooting Illustrated" article, Carry Drill, Ed Head attributes the origins of C3 to military-police and watch-standers, who were once prohibited from carrying a pistol with a round in the chamber.

NOTE:  Those of you who follow current events are now yelling, "The Navy's moronic top brass at NAS Pensacola won't let watch standers even carry loaded guns, at all."  But, that's a sad subject for another day.

Gun writer, Ed Head attempts to make the point that C3 is a bad idea, because you might be carrying something in your support hand that would keep you from racking your slide.

I'm amazed that folks Ed knows are incapable of freeing-up their support hand by dropping what ever life-saving item they might be grasping, at the time.

How about another reason that favors C3?

How about safety?

In his article Loaded or Empty Chamber for Carry for Home Defense, Mike Ox describes C3 as a "base" level of instruction designed to minimize negligent discharges among people who carry but don’t practice, rather than to maximize combat effectiveness.

Heaven forbid, Mike Ox:  I think you just described the overwhelming majority of the licensed handgun carriers in our Great Country.  But, don't take my word for it.  A couple of years ago, Karl Rehn, of KR Training, posted a comprehensive article on the subject, entitled Beyond the One Percent (part 1).

So, let's go back to my assertion that C3 doesn't make 10¢ worth of difference.  Here's my justification for that remark:

Of the relatively few C3 carriers I know, almost all are known to me because they spend a fair amount of time at the range.  They work on techniques that tend to enhance their chances of winning.  They have made a decision and a commitment that most handgun carriers (open or concealed) have not made (see Rehn's article).

They have decided that winning the fight is well worth the extra time and effort needed to develop the skills necessary to win.

Too many others are deluding themselves with visions of being able to rise to the occasion, when the need presents itself.  Wake up!  That's not the way the real world works.

It doesn't matter whether you call it Israeli Carry or C3.  It doesn't matter which method you choose.  Personally, if I have a choice of partners, in a shooting encounter, I'll choose the Condition 3 Carrier who trains and practices regularly over one of the herd, who brags about how that round in the chamber allows him or her to trim 3/100ths of a second off their time to target.

Additional reading on this subject:

In the end, your ability to neutralize your threat won’t come down to whether or not you carry your defensive firearm with a round chambered.  It will rely on the way you train and the circumstances surrounding the altercation.  --Grobman

Train like your life depends on it.

(It could)

Timing…a Missing Component in Training

Greg Ellifritz

One of the hardest things I do as a firearms and self defense trainer is convincing people that their lives are worth defending.  Many students come to my classes with an attitude that displays an extreme lack of self worth.  It’s hard for me to comprehend, but many people do not believe that their lives are worth more than the life of the criminal who attacks them.

Whenever anyone says, “I could never shoot another person,” I know that one of two possible thoughts are going through his or her head…    

Urban EDC

Tatiana Whitlock

More often than not I encounter women who have their concealed-carry permit yet leave their gun at home.  During the first six months after receiving my permit I did too.  Just like so many, I was almost more fearful of being under prepared to bring the gun than I was about my own safety.  I had the gun, holster, belt and more than a few hours spent down range, but had no idea how to transition from the range to carrying every day.  What was missing?    

(sigh) Why Light Triggers Aren’t Recommended

Ralph Mroz

Every time I post something suggesting that you don’t want a light trigger on your carry gun, or that you shouldn’t lighten a factory trigger on a carry gun, I get all sorts of nasty comments.  I’m puzzled why this particular advice strikes such a nasty chord in people, but this subject brings it out like nothing else I’ve written.  Let me address the objections, which are basically of two kinds.  (Note that here I’m lumping SA and DA/SA triggers with lightened ones into the same category.)    

4 Qualities Your Concealed Carry Gun Must Have

Tom Givens

What Are The Requirements Of A Life-Saving Concealed Carry Gun:

Reliable—It must work every time.

Effective—It must be capable of rapidly and reliably putting down a grown man.

Wearable—It must be portable enough to carry at all times.

Ergonomic—It must be easily operated.    

What’s the best distance to practice at for self-defense?  It’s not what you think

Mike Ox

I see the debate of how far out to put the target almost every time I go to a range during public hours.

Put it too close and it doesn’t look very “cool.” Put it too far and it would be embarrassing to miss.

Should I put it at 21 feet because of the “21-foot rule?” Should I put it at 11 feet since half of law enforcement fatalities happen within 11 feet?

Should I put it at nine feet since an “average” self-defense encounter happens within three yards, lasts three seconds, and three rounds are fired?

The answer is a little simpler and a little more flexible than you may think.

There are a couple of distances that are important.    

Help For the New Shooter

Paul Markel

For generations, the tradition of firearms ownership was a family affair—fathers passed down their knowledge of guns and shooting to their sons.  As our nation grew, wives and daughters began taking to the field and learned to use firearms to defend the home.  It was simply expected for every member of the American household to be able to safely and effectively use firearms.    


A lot of years ago, I tried to answer a question concerning how long you can leave magazines loaded before doing irreparable harm to the spring.  Rather than contacting gun manufacturers, I queried the two major spring manufacturers, Wolff and Sprinco.  At the time, neither company jumped at the opportunity to provide very much information.

However, both companies did volunteer that it the act of compressing and decompressing the spring was more injurious to its useful life than was constant compression.

Last August, George Harris tackled the issue.  Following, is what he has to offer:

-- Mike

How Long Can You Keep Your Magazines Loaded?

George Harris

Even when kept fully compressed, a magazine spring will retain its energy long past the operational life of the ammunition.

I have been trying to get a definitive answer as to the recommended time limit that a magazine could or should be kept loaded.  I have contacted Smith & Wesson and Magpul, whose magazines I have, as to get their take on the question and their recommended best practices.  I got two entirely different replies, which makes me wonder if there is a standard for this or just someone’s opinion.  I have also viewed several YouTube videos on the subject, which provided opinions but no clear answers. What is your opinion?  W.J. McShane, Ph.D.t    

The Gas Station Clerk

Greg Ellifritz

I posted the article below on my Facebook page a couple days ago.  I got a lot of feedback and the post generated a massive amount of commentary.  Several people asked me to expand upon my original post and turn it into an article on my site for those who don’t follow Facebook.    

The Squib Load


Last week I had two squib loads.  Both were from the same box of factory ammo.  If you shoot enough, eventually you’re probably going to run into this ammunition-related malfunction.  It’s important to know to recognize this one.  Failure to recognize it could result in serious damage to your gun and serious injury to you.    

About ½ dozen years ago, I had the good fortune of teaching a new shooter who had waited until she was in her mid-seventies to first pick up a gun.

On our first meeting in the classroom, she let me know that, although she had never held a pistol, her brother-in-law had been advising her on shooting matters.

Some of you are already rolling your eyes back and saying to yourselves, "I know how this is gong to end."

You're right!  Every time we started down a new path, my new student let me know:  "My brother-in-law has already taught me that."

More out of desperation, than anything else, I suggested we adjourn to the pistol range, to see how she would perform after having been coached by her b-in-l.

That changed her attitude.  She quickly pointed out that I hadn't even taught her a proper shooting stance.

With that I handed her one of my SIRT Laser trainers, and instructed her to lie on the floor, facing away from a B-27 target.  She was instructed, "On the START command, roll to face the target and engage with three laser shoots, center of mass."

When she complied, I told her, "Nice job.  Now you know how to stand."

As you might imagine, my b-in-law trained student was quick to point out that she was, in fact, NOT STANDING."

I agreed, but, just as quickly pointed out, to her, that the horizontal position might be as close to standing as she was going to get, after her attacker knocked her down.

We finished the session with a refreshingly new attitude.

In the following article, Richard Mann discusses the importance (or lack thereof) of stance, in a defensive situation.

-- Mike

Shooting Stance:  Does It Matter In A Defensive Situation?

Richard Mann

No single shooting stance is the best for a defensive situation.  In turn, you must learn how to fight with your handgun no matter your position.    

Privateer Publications Responsible Information About Shooting, & Self Defense

Chris Bird


White Settlement Church Shooting

Chris Bird

So Texas has provided another case of a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun who was shooting up a church.  This shooting happened during a Sunday service on December 29 at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth.    

Bayanihan Kali:  Fighting and Emergency Medical

Rudy Salazar


Scheduled Training:

CLICK HERE for a complete calendar of scheduled training opportunities.

The Best Tourniquets- A Research Review

Greg Ellifritz

With the growing number of commercially made tourniquets, an increase in availability of medical courses focusing on gunshot wounds, a greater chance of getting caught up in an active killer event, and the classes like Stop the Bleed being offered everywhere, the issue of tourniquets is on many of my readers’ minds.    

Published by:

Staying Alive, Inc.
PO Box 126
St Hedwig, TX 78152


Michael Arnold
Chris Bird
Rudy Salazar

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