June 29th, 2008

We Like Glock


Glock 22 in Comp-Tac holster, G-19s to the right.

(Click any photo for a larger view.)


What, in your opinion, is the single most important feature of a self-defense pistol? 


In our humble opinion, the most important feature is that it go BANG!, without fail, each and every time the trigger is pressed. In other words, reliability is paramount.


Glock pistols are legendary for their reliability. To prove this, there have been numerous and extensive “torture tests” preformed over the years. If you’re interested, simply Google “Glock torture test” and see for yourself. Glocks pass with flying colors.


I have personally fired thousands of rounds through a Glock 19 and I have witnessed many more thousands of rounds fired through Glocks during training events. I have never had a failure, but I have seen one Glock fail due to a broken spring guide rod. So, Glocks are not infallible, but they are very, very reliable.


Gaston Glock, an Austrian engineer, in an effort to provide a handgun to the Austrian Army, started design of the Glock 17 in 1980. In 1982, the 17 was officially adopted by the Austrian military and Gaston’s pistol rapidly spread across the globe, arriving in the US amid much hysteria among the misinformed, around 1985. Do you remember the “metal detectors can’t pick up a Glock” myth?


I especially appreciate the simplicity of the pistol, not only in its basic components, but more importantly its straight forward simplicity of operation. After training with Gabe Suarez for a week in 2007, we saw the wisdom having a pistol without extra external safeties. Guys who had to manipulate an extra safety lever during a stressful drill often missed it and found themselves desperately pulling the trigger to no avail. This was especially evident in force on force drills with air soft pistols. Please note that more than half the class was made up of professional warriors, city and state police, military and private contractors on leave from Iraq as well as Mexican law enforcement. Those who had to operate safety levers (as well as retention holsters) failed to consistently neutralize the threat during stressful drills. In sharp contrast, those with “safe action” pistols, such as the Glock or S&W M&P (and no retention holster) had no problem presenting their handgun and putting rounds on target. 


The first time I saw the negative side of an extra safety lever was in a news report of a jewelry store robbery. The reporter used footage from the store’s surveillance camera, which had recorded the incident in detail. In the video, the bad guy is seen entering the store very much fitting the “bad guy” profile. The owner immediately went on alert while the BG turned his back pretending to check out the showcase. BG is then seen reaching in his front waist band. The owner reacts to this and beats the BG on the draw and is pointed in on him as he turns, revealing that he is indeed armed. The owner is then seen desperately pulling the trigger to no avail. The BG has no such problem working his revolver and proceeds to pop off 5 rounds before running out the store. The owner survived the incident and recounts that he did indeed miss the safety lever.


So there you have it. If even professionals occasionally miss the extra safety how much more are you and I subject to these kinesthetic glitches when faced with deadly force?


Please note, if you have never been in a life threatening event, much less a bona fide gunfight, do not confuse what you can do during square range practice sessions with what you may be able to do when your fine motor skills flee in the face of possible violent death.  If you’d like to experience a bit of Adrenalin dump, come join us for an introduction to force on force and find out if you and your gear are up to the challenge.


More Glock Goodies


Another reason to like the Glock is that magazines that fit the larger models will also fit the smaller models of the same caliber. For example, I prefer the Glock 19 and carry it with the 15 round mag that comes with it, but I carry one or two 17 round Glock 17 mags for reloads. In addition, the Glock 18, 33 round mags also fit.

Glock 19, below right to left, 15, 17 & 33 rnd mags



Another advantage of the Glock is the availability of the Advantage Arms .22 rimfire conversion kit. This kit allows us to use rimfire ammo for economical practice, as well as for low recoil/low noise handgun instruction. Installation of the unit is simple and takes about 15 seconds. We own the LE model and find it very accurate.

These kits are commonly available for $250 or so. At a savings of about 20 cents per shot, you’ll have paid for the kit after 1,250 rounds of rimfire. For more details check it out here



            AA kit comes with one 10 rnd mag and cleaning kit.                


Finally, KWA makes a very nice gas powered airsoft replica of various Glock Models. We’ve had great success with two of these units and have found them to be very reliable over the last 18 months. The gun with starter kit can be found for around $120.00.

 KWA airsoft above, Glock 19 below


Now let me temper my Glock enthusiasm by saying that some folks do not like what they call the “block-like” feeling of the Glock grip. Too, the one size fits all Glock grip really doesn’t fit all. In this case, we highly recommend the Smith & Wesson M&P for its ergonomic design and interchangeable back straps. The M&P is also a “safe action” pistol.






As always, if you do a class with us, you are welcome to try one or all of our various handguns before you run out and buy.


Best regards,







Practical Concealed Carry

June 1st, 2008

Practical Concealed Carry

In words attributed to Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch (, “Guns are not meant to be comfortable; they are meant to be comforting.” The most common complaint we hear from folks who begin carrying handguns for defense is that it is uncomfortable. Well, yes, at first it is uncomfortable, but in the same way that a new pair of boots is “uncomfortable”, the handgun will “fit” if you persevere.

Here are a few ideas that will help. First, a sturdy belt is a great help in distributing the load. There are many folks who make gun belts, but for the last two years, I’ve been using the 1.5” Wilderness Tactical Products Instructor belt.

This belt has worked very well for me, but I must caution you that if you wear it with open front cover, people “in the know” will “make you” as a gun person. This happened to me twice when I first started wearing it. I have since gone to closed front cover, and to my knowledge, I have not been “made known” since.

A sturdy leather work belt, made by Cahartt for example, will also support a handgun and I have also heard that Dickies’ work belts are up to the task.

An inside the waistband holster works very well at smoothing out the bulge of the pistol.I like the Hideaway by High Noon Holsters, for my preferred carry method, forward of the hip (2 o’clock) carry.

High Noon customer service is excellent. When one of the snaps broke on my Hideaway they sent me another immediately. In addition they had me return my broken strap for repair and sent it back to me as a back up. The staff was very friendly and fast.

Please note the turnaround times on non-stocking items at High Noon can be long.Patterned closed front cover.

A gentleman, whom I have trained with a couple of times, carries a full size S&W M&P in a CompTac Two O’Clock. He gave me the opportunity to try it for myself during a recent training event and I found it worked well. If I didn’t already own a High Noon, I would probably have skipped the seven month wait and gone with the CompTac Two O’Clock.


I also use the CompTac Pro Undercover for behind the hip (5 o’clock) carry.





CompTac also has excellent customer service. I once had occasion to return a paddle holster to them because it was slipping on my belt. They were fast on the turnaround and took care of the problem with apologies.

On cover garments, remember that one important goal in carrying concealed is that no one knows you’re carrying, right? Well if that isn’t one of your goals, it should be! So, avoid anything “tacticool”, like the cliché photo vest. There are a couple of local guys around who sport the photo vest. I can’t help but smile every time I see them.

So, what should you wear? I suggest wearing everyday clothing in order to blend in and pass completely unnoticed. It may be necessary to purchase clothing one size larger than you normally wear. Check yourself in the mirror for printing and have your spouse or a friend check you too. Shirts with patterns as opposed to solid colors tend to conceal better.

 A previous student has opted to carry a Seecamp and another carries a Kel-Tec P-32. These pocket pistols are very convenient and work well carried in the front pocket of pleated style pants. I haven’t carried pocket pistols, but those that do insist on a pocket holster. The holster covers the trigger, eliminates printing and keeps the firearm free from lint etc.

Just this week (mid May 2008) I obtained a Kahr PM9 at a steep NRA instructor discount. I felt it was a good opportunity to expand my knowledge of this type of defensive weapon with one of the best representatives of the genre in 9mm.

After consulting with Glenn Matthews of Practical Defense Concepts, in Tyler, Texas, I ordered a pocket holster from Robert Mika. I am initially impressed with Mr. Mika because he called me at home within 5 minutes of me sending him an e-mail query. He answered my questions and I ordered immediately. I’ll post a review of his product later.

This is by no means an exhaustive discussion of the valid ways to carry a handgun concealed on your person, but it represents what I have learned from folks I respect and what I have found that works for me.

Remember, yuu are your own first line of defense. Stay alert and aware.


The Wilderness : Instructor Belt

Hideaway Holster

Comp-Tac : Pro Undercover Holster

Comp-Tac : Two O’Clock Holster


Kel-Tec : P32

Mika’s Pocket Holsters












Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm

April 20th, 2008

 It’s no secret that we like Glocks, but occasionally we get folks in class for whom the Glock doesn’t work well, especially folks with smaller hands. To help us accomplish our mission of teaching new shooters, we needed a defensive pistol that would fit a greater cross section of students. Our research turned up one good contender, the Smith &Wesson M&P. We purchased this pistol in 9mm at the beginning of February 08 and have used it in our last four classes. In addition, my kids have shot the last couple of Practical Pistol matches at Southern Shooting Center with it. After 1,500 plus rounds with zero malfunctions we’re liking it more and more. The M&P may be purchased in 9mm, .40 and .45. Each come with three ergonomic interchangeable grips. We installed the smallest of the three grips and find it works very well for the greatest number of students.  You can read a more detailed review of the M&P here


I’ve seen the M&P locally at Southern Shooting Center. 





Product Review

April 10th, 2008

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