September 11, 2020

Vol. 14  No. 13

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:

“You may have a bag of tricks and a bag of tools, but if you’re mentally not prepared to do it, you’re going to die with a lot of knowledge.”

-- Jake Freeman,
Former Royal Marine
sniper and counter-
terrorism operator


So, your friend wants your advice on picking out a new gun.

The first question a lot of folks will ask their friend is, "What do you intend to use the gun for?"

While that's a great question and good information to have, before offering advice, it might be better to ask yourself:

Other than about my own carry gun, do I have enough general firearms knowledge to give this advice?

Am I knowledgeable enough to offer advice that my friend might depend on to protect his/her life?

If the answer to either of those questions is some what less than a "shout it from the rooftops, OH HELL YES," give a lot of consideration to prefacing most of what you say with, "In my opinion ..."

Make sure, also, too ask yourself if you can be objective.  Can I be certain my advice will not be skewed by either loyalty or my not refusal to admit "buyer's remorse" over the piece of crap I mistakenly bought?

Then, there's the issue of caliber fixation.  Again, in an effort toward maintaining objectivity, can I resist the urge to tell my 75 year old friend, that if the caliber doesn't start with a "4", it's not worth owning, or some other equally nonsensical bit of advice.

Here's an idea:

  1. Invite your friend to join you at the range.

  2. Let your friend test fire (with adequate supervision and instruction) all of your guns.

  3. Suggest your friend try out as many guns as possible.

  4. Stick to the facts about the guns.

  5. Point out problems areas like your friend's small hands that can not properly grip the gun or fingers too short to properly reach the trigger.

  6. In the end, let your friend decide what works best for the purpose they have in mind.

I have included an article by Greg Ellifritz (below) that does a great job highlighting some of the problems faced when choosing that "First Gun."

Train like your life depends on it.

(It could)

The Firearms Manifesto Part One:  Your First Gun

Greg Ellifritz

“I’m worried about (your choice:  crime, the declining economy, right wing politicians, mutant zombies, societal collapse, left wing politicians, etc) and want to buy a gun.  I don’t have any experience or training with firearms.  What should I get?”    

Concealed Carry:  Point Shooting Vs Aimed Fire

Massad Ayoob

For more than a decade, this is a topic that has been guaranteed to not only sell gun magazines, but to generate a flurry of angry letters to the editors.  Gun expert Dave Arnold was the first to make a key point about it.  “A lot of this argument,” Dave said, “is simply a matter of terminology.”    

NRA-ILA: Record-Setting Interest in Self-Defense in US


Two trend lines related to our issue have diverged in a remarkable way that indicates that firearms and the 2nd Amendment are fundamental American mainstays.  We’ve covered the string of record-breaking NICS background check numbers since the onset of the pandemic, and July NICS data continues that trend.  New data from Gallup shows that gun control has slid further down Americans’ list of most important issues, and a deeper dive into NICS data suggests that new gun owners and the need for self-defense are driving the 2020 surge.    

I've taught very few classes during which I did not feel it necessary to rebuff the effectiveness of scaring bad guys with the "sound of a 12ga being racked."  Here's my explanation as to why it's likely to be an ineffective ploy:

  1. If the bad guy has never had occasion to have heard the sound, he might not know you think he's supposed to be scared.

  2. If the bad guy is stoned (not all that unlikely) he might not even hear your attempts to scare him out of your house.

  3. If he does hear and properly identifies the sound of your 12ga Super-Blaster's pump action, he might take a few pre-emptive shots through your bedroom door, just to make his entry a little safer.

I've enjoyed articles like the following one by Greg Ellifritz long enough not to try improve on them.  Rather, I offer these points as affirmation of what he says.


Your Tactical Training Scenario- Racking a Shotgun

Greg Ellifritz

How many times have you heard this statement?

“Just get a 12 gauge pump shotgun for home defense.  The noise of the slide racking will make any burglar piss his pants and run.”    

Choosing Pepper Spray for Everyday Carry

Chris Baker

If you carry a gun, you should carry pepper spray.  So today, we’re testing 12 different options for OC/pepper spray you can include in your everyday carry.

As always, details are in the video below, or you can scroll down and read the full transcript. In the video, I mention links to more resources about pepper spray.  You can find those at the very bottom of this post.    

The What & the Why – Rack It – Methods of Closing the Slide

Doug Larson

What is the best way to chamber a round and close the slide on a pistol when it has been locked to the rear in the open position?  This topic generates a lot of heated discussion at times because so many people believe that the way they do it is the best and that everyone should do it their way.  I’ve witnessed arguments between very experienced people, both instructors and competitors, advocating a certain way to close the slide.  But no one ever wins the argument because there is no one right way to do it.    

3 Other EDC Items Worth Considering

Joshua Gillem

I think it's safe to say that most of us have the EDC gun thing down pat.  I think that if you're here reading this blog that chances are great you don't need me to tell you that you should be carrying a gun on your person for self-defense.    

With 9mm ammo selling for near $20/box (when you can find it) more and more folks seeing the advantages of dry-fire training.

The need for safety remains every bit as important as with any live-fire training


Dry Practice Safety [Part I]

Claude Werner

Officer A brought his/her back-up service revolver home with the intention to clean it.

With the muzzle of the revolver pointed toward the ground, Officer A held the revolver with his/her right hand and used his/her right thumb to push the cylinder release button, disengaging the cylinder from the revolver.  Once the cylinder disengaged, Officer A placed his/her left hand under the open cylinder and used his/her left index finger to depress the ejector rod, releasing the live rounds into his/her left hand.  Officer A did not count the live rounds and placed them on top of the kitchen counter directly behind him/her.  Officer A then closed the cylinder.    

Dry Practice Safety - Part II

Claude Werner

These three Lessons To Be Learned From The Incident were mentioned last time.    

(My thanks to Jerry A for submitting the following (low round count) article)

A Four Drill System to Make You a Dramatically Better Shooter

Michael Seeklander

I am going to give you a measurable, simple, four drill progressive training program for concealed carry shooting skill improvement.  But before I begin my article, let us develop an air of honesty between us.  I will break traditional writing rules here for a second by using all caps.  Imagine that I am being loud and direct:  YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK.  There, I said it.    

Privateer Publications Responsible Information About Shooting, & Self Defense

Chris Bird


Drawing the Gun Part II

Chris Bird

Last month, we took a look at drawing a handgun from a concealed hip holster.  This month we will look at drawing a gun from holsters in other positions.    

Bayanihan Kali:  Fighting and Emergency Medical

Rudy Salazar


Scheduled Training:

CLICK HERE for a complete calendar of scheduled training opportunities.

PTI Advanced Hand vs. Knife: Part II

Bill McGrath

Pekiti-Tirsia Empty Hand vs. Knife technique is based on the following principles:

Train as if your attacker has been trained in knife work:  The Philippines is a blade culture and blade attacks are common.  Pekiti-Tirsia empty hand vs. knife techniques were developed by those trained in blade work, based on how a trained fighter may attack.    

(In case you missed Part I, CLICK HERE)

Skill Set: Knives for Defense?

Tiger McKee

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Don’t carry a knife to a gun fight.”  However, there are some locations/environments where you can’t legally have a firearm.  For these type situations, instead of carrying nothing, you might want to pack a knife.    

Published by:

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


Michael Arnold
Chris Bird
Rudy Salazar

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