Author Archives: ben

Bad Training

They say there is no such thing as bad training. I disagree. While the point of training is to be able to be deliberately dangerous this means that at all other times and in all other respects you are learning to be safe. Being safe basically boils down to following four rules.

  1. All guns are always loaded (assumed to be and treated as loaded).
  2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until your sights are on target and you have decided to shoot.
  4. Be sure of your target, its foreground, and its backdrop.

To read about these rules in depth click here.

Bad training teaches you to be unsafe, places you in danger, or both.

The following is bad training:

From the beginning you see poor muzzle discipline.

At 1:00 Mr. Magichands is wildly violating rules 2 and three. He is literally waving his gun around with his finger on the trigger.

My favorite is at 2:54 where Mr. Magichands has disabled a sentry (??) and while straddling the unsecured “threat” draws his handgun, thereby sweeping a real person with a loaded firearm. He then sweeps him again while re-holstering. He does it again at 3:16 only this time he traverses the length of the guy’s body with his loaded weapon. At 3:22 it appears that he has pointed a loaded gun at the masked man’s head!

If you see a trainer with a video showing unsafe/DANGEROUS practices like this, don’t go.

Here is the important point. If you are in a class and something seems unsafe SAY SOMETHING. If it remains unsafe LEAVE. Screw the deposit. Screw any uncomfortable feelings or offense caused. We take training classes because we know we are responsible for our own safety. So keep yourself safe.

I will say that the range in the video is one of the coolest looking ranges I’ve seen. I like the wood on the walls.

Police Survey – Gun Control

At PoliceOne they have a fascinating survey of a large number of police officers (over 15,000). What these officers think will and will not be effective seems like a common sense place to start when considering what laws will increase public safety.

Here are some highlights:

I thought this one was pretty interesting. Laws cops don’t want. That indicates cops were probably not consulted. It seems like consulting law enforcemnt would be a common sense place to start.

These last two should be considered when forming an opinion.

There are many more interesting results and I suggest checking them out at

So what do you think? Are these cops way off base? Do they have the knowledge and experience to have their opinions considered?

Guns and Shooting – A Primer (part 2) Different Types of Guns – Pistols

The last article probably left you with lots of questions like “Are handguns the same as pistols?” and “What are shotguns and why does Joe Biden keep talking about them?” Now that we know what a firearm is and the basics of how it works, let’s look at the different types of guns and answer those questions!

Before we get into that let’s get some terms figured out.

There are many different types of firearms and they generally fall into three classes.

  • Pistols
  • Rifles
  • Shotguns



A revolver is the oldest style of the modern hand-held, hand-fired guns. Here is a quick video to give you an idea of how it functions and what it looks like.

As you can see, the piece that holds the rounds (the cylinder) revolves to bring an unfired round in line to be fired. Revolvers are too often discounted as low capacity, slow shooters. As you will see, it’s really just a matter of training.


“??? But isn’t a revolver a handgun? I mean it is a gun and it’s held in your hand. . .right?” Wrong. It is not logical. It seems like “handgun” would be the term to cover all hand-held, hand-fired guns but for some reason it is not. When knowledgeable people are talking about guns and they refer to a handgun they are NOT referring to a revolver. The video below gives you a good idea of what they are talking about.

Some folks maintain that revolvers are better saying that they are simpler and don’t jam. Others say that handguns are better because they often can hold more ammo and can be easier to shoot fast and accurately. The truth is that modern handguns do not typically malfunction and revolvers can jam. And while revolvers do often have a heavy double action trigger so too do many handguns and it is simply a matter of training and practice to become proficient. The argument that revolvers are simpler (often directed at women) is false and insulting. Leaving aside the silly “which is better” argument, each one has applications for which they are better suited. The greater capacity of a double stack handgun is well suited to home defense, while revolvers can be made much stronger than a handgun and can shoot much more powerful ammunition which is good for self protection in bear country.

I was going to cover rifles and shotguns as well but I want to keep these articles short and light. The next article will be on rifles.

The Numbers Are In

From the BBC

US gun homicides at 20-year low, surveys say

Gun homicides in the United States have fallen sharply since peaking in 1993, two studies have found.
The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics said firearms-related homicides had dropped to 11,101 in 2011 from 18,253 – a reduction of 39%.
Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center found gun homicides fell to 3.6 per 100,000 people in 2010 from 7 in 1993.

This graph from the Pew Research Center gives a little more context.
Pew Crime Graph

I spent some time looking but could not find a graph for a longer period of time, but note that the rate hasn’t been this low in the last 30 years.

If you would like to read the Bureau of Justice Statistics report you can find it here: Firearm Violence, 1993-2011
Listed Highlights:

  • Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
  • Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.
  • Firearm violence accounted for about 70% of all homicides and less than 10% of all nonfatal violent crime from 1993 to 2011.
  • From 1993 to 2011, about 70% to 80% of firearm homicides and 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun.
  • Males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of firearm homicide from 1993 to 2010.
  • About 61% of nonfatal firearm violence was reported to the police in 2007-11.

The Pew Research study can be found here: Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware

Despite the attention to gun violence in recent months, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is markedly lower than it was two decades ago.

Kansas Makes Enforcement of Federal Gun Laws Illegal

An article looking at the law quotes a letter sent by Eric Holder who claims this move by Kansas is “unconstitutional.” Since the Kansas law applies only to guns and ammunition made entirely within the state, and since the Federal government’s authority to regulate firearms comes from inter-state commerce, Holder’s assertion seems laughable. However, the consequences are not. Not that this development is bad but the results are weighty and we should all be paying close attention to this regardless of our thoughts on guns.

Guns and Shooting – A Primer (part 1)

Guns and Shooting – A Primer (part 1)

The topic of the different firearms and the various ways to properly shoot them is so broad that it’s hard to know where to start. I think the best starting point is firearms. What is a firearm? Is a BB gun or a pellet gun a firearm? Here is a definition used by the federal government:

The term “firearm” is defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(3), to include (A) any weapon (including a starter gun), which will, or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon….

So, a BB gun is not a firearm because it uses compressed air or a spring to shoot the BB. Interestingly the law’s definition is not actually correct. No modern firearms use an explosive to propel the projectile. Did you know that? While black powder is an explosive, the modern smokeless powders used for the last hundred years are actually classified and regulated as propellants. This brings up another important point. When a round is fired the gunpowder does not detonate, it burns. It burns so quickly that it has a special name called “deflagration” to describe it. When it burns it release huge volumes of gas that push the bullet out of the barrel. I don’t figure you are reading this to get a dissertation on internal ballistics so I found this short 3 minute video that gives a nice overview:

It is a device that propels a device by that action of powder that constitutes a firearm.