Advice From A Novice Shooter

Advice From A Novice Shooter
I started working for Calibers about a year ago. I had no experience with tactical shooting and let’s just say I had entered into a whole new world of firearm use. Having hunted for years, I knew the basic firearm safety do’s and don’ts. I am talking the very basic ones, like “Don’t point a gun at someone or shoot at a target unless you know exactly what’s behind it.” When I saw the level that some of my co-workers were shooting, I realized that I had my work cut out for me. I did not expect to be at the same level as someone that had to use their skill set in combat situations, I just wanted to be able to hold my own.
I did jump the gun a little bit with my first training class. Instead of starting with an intro level handgun course, I went straight into a concealed carry class (CCW). The information I garnered in this class was unforgettable, it also proved to me how little I knew in terms of the shooting world. I went from maybe shooting a handgun three or four times in my life to talking about use of deadly force. Most people would think this to be overwhelming; I thought of this as a chance to get a jump on my training. The instructor was more patient than he probably should have been. After spending a short time going over basic handgun fundamentals, I felt ready for anything. At the time I had no idea how wrong I was. I passed the qualifications just fine. I left feeling empowered and enlightened. I have since paid for my mistake. Not to say that taking that class was a mistake (far from it really), but I should have started with a fundamental hand gun course.
As time progressed I became more and more confident with my shooting skills. I practiced as often as I could not realizing that the only thing that I was doing was reinforcing my bad habits. I had a horrible grip and even worse trigger control. I hit a wall. I was not content anymore with just hitting the paper target in a somewhat uniform manner. I wanted to start putting rounds exactly where I wanted them to go. Making them in just the silhouette was no longer an option. I wanted precision. Head shots. Center mass. I wanted to make them count.
We all know the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and hopefully we all know this is not true. Thankfully here at Calibers we have a group of very tenacious instructors. After working with them for quite some time I was able to develop a proper shooting technique. Now when I am practicing I am doing it correctly.
One of the most important things that I learned is that training, in the firearm world, is always evolving. There are a few things that are static in the world of shooting, but more often than not someone will develop a new and better way to shoot. With all this being said it is important, I believe, to start with the basics. Even if you think you know what you are doing out on the range there will always be something that can be learned from an introductory level course. It is also very important to take time to become acclimated to the shooting world. For a lot of people that are new to this kind of environment it can be very overwhelming and intimidating.
Take your time, Train right.


Lead Plant Closing- SAVE YOUR LEAD!

It’s official, people. The Doe Run Lead plant in Missouri is closing due to over regulated EPA rulings. How does this affect you? Save your lead!!

What does this mean for you? Well, it means all lead for bullets will have to come from overseas. This move will also make the cost of 100 LL (100 low lead aviation fuel) UNAFFORDABLE. Approximately 2 g of lead is added to each gallon of aviation fuel!

Remember we warned to connect the dots as to why Dept of Homeland Security AND EPA, IRS, and other government agencies were buying up millions of rounds of bullets etc. There are numerous alarming reasons why the US government and the military have been buying up all the ammo. Here’s one of them.

Obama and the EPA just shut down the last lead smelting plant in the US. They raised the EPA regulations by 10 fold and it would have cost the plant $100 million to comply. You can own all the guns you want, but if you can’t get ammo, you are out of luck. The best assault on the second amendment!

Remember when Obama promised his minions that he was working on gun control behind the scenes?

Welcome to it. Now, all domestic mined lead ore will have to be shipped overseas, refined and then shipped back to the US. Not only will ammo now be even harder to come by, the demand and the process of supply will cause the price to skyrocket even more.

And ponder this- There is an excellent chance that Obama will rig the market to where all ammo has to be purchased from a government entity instituting de facto ammo registration.

So much for the Second Amendment. There has not been a peep about this in the major news outlets and it is done.

With the US no longer producing lead, all supplies will now have to come from China, Australia or Peru, with the overwhelming emphasis on China. More redistribution of wealth; more economic and liberty crippling of the US on tap.

Marxists will do or die and are doubling down on the destruction of energy in America, our way of life and the Constitution.

The smelting plant has known since 2010 this was coming. They couldn’t stop it and no one else rose up to stop it either. The business had been in production for 120 years and now goes the way of our auto industry.

The military’s obsession with ammo was related to security and supply. They knew this was coming too, so they bought up all they could get before the plug was pulled. Screw the average American. Its as Chris Muir said, he’s not as worried about where the bullets will come from, as much as how the government will deliver them and I’m right there with him on that one.

So, back door gun control is moving forward and while we are all distracted with shiny stuff, our Second Amendment rights are just about gone. Obama is one Marxist dictator who is savvy at political chess. He has flanked the Second Amendment. Now it’s our move.

You can Google this if you don’t believe it, or read this article:

Long term what this means: Your investment in ammo may be your best investment. Guns will be plentiful but ammo will be another story. How does $3.75 a round (that’s for one bullet) for a 9mm work for you? Box of 50 would only cost you $187.50

And in addition to the impact on aviation fuel and increased airline ticket costs, don’t forget about what this will do to the price of batteries too!

Do we have a great president or what?

The first to actually work to alter or destroy our founding Constitutions’ Bill of Rights.

Thoughts for the Defensive-Minded Civilian

Training, especially where firearms are concerned, is a process more than it is anything else—a continually changing paradigm that must undergo constant evaluation and revision if it is to stay relevant. There is a reason, beyond the changes they engender in the people participating, that training scenarios in the military and law enforcement fields are often referred to as “evolutions”. One such evolution may differ drastically between classes or academies conducted only months apart, even though it uses the same designation and is engineered to impart the same knowledge or teach the same skill set. Once instructors garner feedback and revise their curricula based on new experiential knowledge, a “defensive handgun” course taught in September of 2014 may bear little resemblance to a “defensive handgun” course taught by the same instructors, using the same facilities and equipment, in September of 2013.
Obviously, there is a reason for this: knowledge gained in the field (and too regularly paid for with blood) often trumps theoretical knowledge. When special operators conducting building clearing operations in Iraq in the last decade observed an unacceptably high number of casualties resulting from hits taken in the side (the weak point where their armor plates converge), they modified their tactics by adopting what is now commonly known as the isosceles stance: feet shoulder-width apart, balanced but leaning forward, directly facing the threat, so that if hits are taken, they are taken in the plates protecting the front of the thoracic cavity, rather than in the weak points on the flank, beneath the arms. Similarly, most professional gunfighters and competitive shooters have moved away from the isometric-tension -based grip popularized years ago by the Jeff Cooper school of thought, and instead utilize an almost white-knuckle grip that extends the support hand wrist towards the muzzle, because (at least for most) this grip offers a much greater degree of control over recoil and muzzle flip.
Most people reading this are, like myself, probably unlikely to do any room-clearing or serve high-risk warrants in the immediately foreseeable future. So, what does all this mean to the defensive-minded civilian or CHL holder? To answer this question, let’s take a look at some ideas you are likely to see in civilian-based training programs.
Most professional firearms instructors will do their best to instill the mantra “Train like you fight” in their students, and with good reason. What does this mean? At the end of the day, it means train hard, train often, and train with consistency, so that if you find yourself in a potentially life threatening situation, your skill set will be so ingrained in your muscle memory that it comes naturally and (hopefully) carries you through safely. If your best failure drill was shot in 2.93 seconds, then train hard to make sure that the next one is at least that fast, and preferably faster. If, when you attend training classes or dedicate time on the range to practice, you shoot Glocks exclusively, it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to use a Smith & Wesson 642 as your main carry gun. Yes, the Smith is lighter, more comfortable, and more easily concealed, but imagine your dread when a threat reveals itself, you deploy your pistol, and it fails to go bang when you apply five and a half pounds of pressure (a la the Glock) to the Smith’s eight pound trigger. This dread, of course, will only be compounded when you find your gun empty after only five rounds, you having only trained with guns that have ten, fifteen, or seventeen round capacities. Forget about trying to reload quickly and smoothly.
Train with the same pistols, holsters, and mag carriers that you intend to carry. Consistency is key; consistency is your friend. However, don’t allow trying to be consistent to cause your training to plateau. If your best failure drill is 2.93 seconds, shoot failure drills every week until you can cleanly perform them in 2.5 or 2.6 every time. A famous quote attributed to Bruce Lee says something like “There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there. You must go beyond them. A man must constantly exceed his level.” How do we keep ourselves from plateauing?
Another mantra often instilled by firearms instructors is “When the s*** hits the fan, people don’t rise to the occasion, they sink to the level of their training.” If your training has been inconsistent and/or sporadic, you’re probably not going to fare well in a life-or-death defensive encounter. But is maintaining a high level of consistent, industry-vetted training enough? Something as simple as the way we are used to living our lives can have a tendency to get in the way of our carefully regimented training programs.
My own day-to-day is a perfect example of this. On a typical day at work at Calibers, I wear a button-down shirt, tucked in. Conversely, on my own time, I usually wear a t-shirt, tucked in, and a looser-fitting button down or polo, untucked, as concealment garb. During the colder months, this is often covered by a jacket or sweatshirt. What does this mean to me as a gun store employee/concealed carrier? A couple of things:
1. If something were to occur while at work, I could conceivably waste valuable seconds trying to clear a concealment garb that isn’t there, since my shirt is tucked in under my IWB holster.
2. If something were to occur while out and about during the colder months, I will probably have two garments to clear, rather than one.
3. Depending on how I practice clearing my concealment garb, I can find myself in a world of hurt, depending on the situation. If I practice drawing my pistol with my shirt unbuttoned, sweeping the bottom right flap to the side to access the firearm, I’m not going to have the correct muscle memory to reach across my body with my support hand to lift up the concealment garment, as I would need to if my shirt is buttoned up or I’m wearing a polo. LEOs can run into the same types of problems, even if they use the same model for on- and off-duty carry. Most cops I know carry inside the waistband, their gun covered by a concealment garment of one type or another, while off duty; quickly and smoothly drawing a firearm from this set up is a whole different animal from drawing one from a level-3 holster openly carried on a duty belt.
So to answer our question, “What does this mean for us as CHL holders?”—well, there isn’t one single good answer. If you “train like you fight” with all of the above points in mind, you’re going to have to bring a whole wardrobe to the range every time you practice and your carefully maintained consistency is going to go out the window.
The point here is that no amount of training can prepare you for the truly unpredictable. There is no way to know what scenario will unfold if you run into that one-in-a-million situation we all hope we never encounter. Yes, you can and should prepare yourself as best you can: get your concealed carry license, buy a pistol and accessories that make sense for you, get yourself trained up, and practice, practice, practice. Stay on top of current techniques, because they are constantly evolving. But let’s all be honest with ourselves: we are probably not going to completely change our mode of dress and other daily habits to accommodate the fact that we now carry a firearm. I’m not going to freeze my butt off in mid-December just so I don’t have to worry about clearing two concealment garments rather than one. Cops aren’t going to wear their duty belts with their firearms in full view when they go to family barbeques. You should train consistently with the same gear during your normal practice sessions, but you should also get outside your comfort zone from time to time. This is how you keep yourself from plateauing. Put on a heavy jacket over your normal concealment shirt every now and again, and practice drawing your pistol. Blow the dust off that old Colt Python Uncle Bill left you for the nightstand, and put some rounds through it once in a while; you never know when you might be faced with a situation where the Glock 17 you’ve spent so many hours training with is inaccessible and the wheel gun is all you’ve got.
Jeff Cooper’s mechanical techniques might be somewhat outdated, but we still owe him and his contemporaries a great debt, for two reasons: if he had not developed the techniques he did, we would have no starting platform from which to develop the newer, ostensibly better techniques that are widely used today. But more importantly, Cooper gave us a concise, easy way to internalize the most important tool in our tool bag: situational awareness. Having a good defensive mindset is a far greater asset than the latest and greatest $1000 pistol, or even the most up to date technical training. Some contemporary instructors may consider Cooper something of a dinosaur, but he wrote the book on personal defense (literally—and you should read it) and the color code he expounded within has informed the “gun guy” consciousness ever since.
Carrying a gun does not make you a badass—even if you can deploy a pistol from concealment and shoot a FAST drill in five seconds every time—and the end-goal of every defensive minded civilian should be to avoid those situations where these skills are necessary. The only gunfight you are guaranteed to win is the one you avoid.

-Joe Byrne

The Benefits of Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaners have been around for a number of years and have increasing uses in the firearm industry. Ultrasonic cleaners are used by ammunition re-loaders at home, major manufacturers and everyone in-between. Their primary use is to clean gun parts using ultrasonic technology in a solvent mixture. Here at Calibers, we use our ultrasonic to clean customer’s firearms as well as our rental firearms. The ultrasonic cleaner reaches places that are difficult to clean despite the firearm being completely stripped. Complete dis-assembly is required for proper cleaning to ensure all liquids are dried out before detailing and reassembling the firearm.

Stop into our gunsmith department to get your firearm cleaned by our state-of-the-art crest ultrasonic cleaner. We can accommodate barreled actions and parts up to three feet. Our biodegradable solvent is used to clean parts made out of a variety of materials. The most common materials include steel, aluminum, plastic, and brass. Factors that need to be considered for how often a gun needs to be cleaned include but are not limited to: number of rounds fired, conditions of range, weather, humidity, ammo used, and time in storage. The more often a firearm is cleaned the better the performance you can expect to see from it.

Keep shooting, keep your guns clean, and stay safe.

-Lloyd Waggoner