Saturday, August 19, 2017

GLOCK is promoting the Four Rules: Good for them.

As readers know, I push the Gunsite Four Rules whenever I get the chance. Glock is on the same bandwagon now. Welcome aboard to them. Avoiding accidents is in everyone's interest.

If they feel they must rephrase Rule One, I would say "Treat every gun as a loaded gun!" is better phrasing than what they went with, but hey, it's the thought that counts.

GLOCK Safety Pledge | #FollowTheFour | GLOCK USA:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Media misrepresenting Trump? Surprise, surprise!

Quoted from The media couldn't be more blatant in distorting Trump's words on Charlottesville | TheHill:
Has the media ever so deliberately and consistently misinterpreted what a president said?
It certainly seems as if the media finally found its proof that President Trump is a racist. ABC News’ coverage was all too typical:

Trump quickly blamed both sides for the conflict, adding that there were "very fine people" among both the protesters — which included white supremacists and white nationalists — and the counterprotesters.
"I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame on both sides," Trump said today. "You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides," he added.

With wall-to-wall news coverage repeating this misreading of Trump’s statement, it’s not too surprising that politicians from both parties quickly condemned the “very fine people” comment. NBC’s headline read: “Democratic, Republican Lawmakers Decry Trump’s Latest Charlottesville Remarks.” Ohio Gov. John Kasich attacked Trump: “This is terrible. The President of the United States needs to condemn these kinds of hate groups. The president has to totally condemn this."
Does anyone even listen to comments anymore before commenting on them?
I'll answer that last question. The press people, at least, do not listen, they stop their ears, they will not take in anything that does not reflect badly on Trump. The article quotes an exchange at a press conference:
Trump: “And you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. “OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” 
Reporter: “You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? (inaudible) understand what you're saying.”
Trump: “No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. . ."
Trump has said, as clearly as anyone could have, that not everyone opposed to tearing down old statues is a neo-Nazi, and not everyone in the antifa thing is an angel, which is just what a leader of all the people should say. And it drives the leftists nuts!

Read all of John Lott's article at the link above. It is clear that the press is in hit-piece mode and can't seem to find their way out of the awful nightmare they have concocted, in which Trump is a devil.

It is by now clear that the press pack is in full cry after Trump and bending the record out of shape is okay, in the minds of the reporters and editors involved. It looks to me like the news people have gone crazy. There is something really dysfunctional going on in how Trump news is reported, as if through a lens that presumes him to be an ogre, a fool, a lunatic. Editorialists and celebrities have at least stopped saying Trump is Hitler, so perhaps such people actually possess a learning curve--are just slow to climb it.

'via Blog this'

Shooting the snubnose -- three how-to tips

The snubnosed double action revolver is my favorite type of concealed carry gun. It's durable, simple to operate and, if it is given periodic function checks, highly reliable.

Here are my top three tips for shooting the snubnosed revolver--a gun widely acknowledged to be a handful to shoot. Using the right techniques will make it behave.

  • Crush grip

I suggest you squeeze the handle of your snubnose as hard as you can. This has several good results. It keeps the gun from jumping so much in your grasp--for snubnose recoil is brisk. It prevents the gun from shifting in your grasp as you perform the long and heavy trigger pull needed to fire the weapon. It also keeps you from hitting poorly due to tightening your grip momentarily, in anticipation of recoil, because if you are already squeezing as hard as you can, you cannot make that mistake!

  • Deliberate trigger

You do not want to dawdle when a shot needs to be fired. But an even, steady rearward sweep of the trigger, followed by relaxing the pressure to allow the trigger to swing fully forward, is what is needed to get hits in a hurry, and that calls for a deliberate, steady trigger stroke and release.

What is to be avoided is hurriedly mashing the trigger, for that has the result of making the shot fly just anywhere--and most likely not where you need it to go. "Take your time because you don't have time to miss" is a maxim worth remembering.

The problem with "prepping the trigger," in which you pull the trigger most of the way, pause just before the gun fires, then carefully squeeze off the shot the rest of the way, is that it entails a pause.

  • Shark sights

Most uses of a defensive sidearm are at close range. Yet it is still possible to miss, so it is best to aim. How to do that in a hurry?  I think the shark method is a good balance of speed and half-decent short range accuracy.

Raise your revolver until it is very slightly below eye level, so that you see the front sight standing up above the rear sight--rather like a shark's fin is visible above the water. Aim with only the front sight, as you would use a shotgun's bead. When firing using the front sight alone, I find the shots strike slightly high, so the answer is to aim slightly low to compensate.

If you have plenty of time you can refine this coarse sight picture by raising the gun slightly or ducking your head slightly, so that you see the front sight centered in the rear notch. That is quick to do once you have acquired the front sight in your vision, with the rear sight beneath it.

Off to the range

The above three-ingredient formula will tame the snubnose. All it takes is practice. It is purely a myth that the snubnose is good only for a few yards and is wildly inaccurate. Many people shoot it inaccurately, but that is only because they do not know better. Range practice using the above principles will soon yield decent groups at 15 yards, and continued practice will only improve your results.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Two tomahawk techniques and some further thoughts

My previous post about the tomahawk's use drew several responses, none of them showing any clear indication that the commenters had read the article. Apparently they were here to leave links to their own enterprises.

Undaunted, I here make note of something I've noticed since I posted about my tomahawk method. The moves would be useful if you were armed with a kukri or a hawkbill knife. They would, moreover, adapt quite naturally to some improvised and makeshift weapons including hammers, entrenching tools, kitchen cleavers and wooden clubs.

As I implied in the former post, it is all right if you add techniques to the method if you see that as an improvement. If you add things, though, I suggest you keep and rely on the two basic techniques I describe, using them as the core of your enlarged method. Downward tierce and inward carte are very sound and reliable techniques.

Both techniques, as I do them, begin and end in the saber 3rd guard (tierce) and, when used in continuous moulinets, pass repeatedly through that position. The moment at which the hand returns to guard 3 is when you can switch the railroad track, as it were, and transition from a tierce to a carte moulinet, or carte to tierce.

Logic suggests that you think, therefore, of 3rd as your ready or en garde position, as well as the position to which your hand returns at the conclusion of each technique and, simultaneously, as the beginning of the technique that follows.

 (Picture links lead to ads on Amazon.)

Today's yuk

Via JR24 on The High Road

Thursday, August 10, 2017

SIG P320: progress marches on.

I'm sure you've heard all about the SIG fiasco from other sources. What I find interesting is that, despite changes in technology, and dissimilar mechanisms, the SIG 320 is prone to the same failure mode as the Colt Single Action Army pistol of 1873. If dropped rearward at an obtuse angle, either is prone to fire on impact. Plus ça change, mes amis, plus ça change.

Something I find interesting is that this matter was reported from the grass roots, from the gun enthusiasts and amateurs. So I count this as a victory of freedom of speech, of amateurism in its best sense, and of the Internet. The company will retrofit all affected pistols free of charge. That, surely, was not something they expected but I think it is very good of them to fix the problem on their dime.

If someone or other is spared the consequence of being clumsy and dropping his pistol and taking a bullet behind the ear, then the Internet has justified its existence.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Self defense using the tomahawk

Executive summary: This post outlines a very simple method of tomahawk use in self-defense. The method is one of continuous attack by means of moulinets. 

I have elsewhere suggested that the tomahawk or hatchet was more often used as a tool than a weapon on the American frontier. It was a frontier weapon simply because it was an ever present tool. There were better weapons available. The cuttoe, the smallsword, the hanger or even a properly fashioned wooden club was a superior weapon. Those were purpose-made for fighting and carried for reasons quite apart from day to day utility. A hatchet, though, was something every forest traveler found useful for routine tasks, to get kindling and cut up game for the cookpot, and so on.

I further opined that present-day attempts to make elaborate martial arts out of the tomahawk's use are neither historical nor practical. The weapon offers too few possibilities, too little variety in its practical uses, to make so much of a big deal over the matter. In its day, the tomahawk was most likely used, when used as a weapon, in a simple and straightforward manner, by people more accustomed to use it for mundane purposes. They would not be likely to employ it in a mode resembling video game ninja assassins.

That view was assailed by some people who appeared to have rather a romanticized notion of frontier life and events. My strongest support came from a martially minded American Indian--whose ancestral weapon it is.


No good parries belong to the tomahawk, just a few half-workable ones. You can attempt to beat-parry with the side of the ax head, that is, with the cheeks of the ax, or to intercept with the top surface of the head. You can attempt a hooking, pulling action by placing the heel of the blade over the opponent's weapon or his arm, or his neck, etc. That, though, entraps your own weapon at the same time.

There are some defenses that are patently unsound. I saw online something that claimed to be the "A-frame block" defense using the tomahawk, a set of parries supposed to be a sound defense to protect your head. It was instead a sure way to lose fingers. 

I think the healthiest approach is to use distance, timing and counter-attack as your defense, or find something to use in your off hand as a shield. Experiment with parries if you like, but I do not think you will be well satisfied. A hatchet is powerful on the offense--and that is the best that may be said.


The best plan of action that I have come up with is one of continuous attacks. In its simplest form: Make a cut at the opponent, and repeat the same attack over and over, in rapid sequence, by means of moulinets. If you find that is not working, try the same tactic in another line of attack. Raining blows on the opponent in this manner will keep him busy, and a whirling ax head does at least some service in closing the line to his counter-attack.

Timing is everything. The best outcome is that, before he injures you, you achieve a stop cut that takes him out of the fight. Attacks on his weapon hand, wrist and forearm are the most promising to that end.

The tomahawk is best used in horizontal blows to the inside line, and vertical blows in the outside line. (The outside is to the right-hander's right, and the inside is to his left. That is of course reversed for left-handers.) The reason is familiar from saber fencing and proven anew by every beginner at that art. Your weapon-bearing arm is very vulnerable to counter-attack when you make horizontal blows outward (left to right, for a right-hander). Likewise, vertical cuts you make on the inside line leave your arm more exposed than if you cut horizontally. 

Therefore the most suitable attacks with the tomahawk are inward horizontal cuts in carte and downward vertical cuts in tierce. The vertical downward blow is the better of the two. It is easily and rapidly repeated by means of moulinets (inside or outside moulinets). The horizontal blow also requires a moulinet for recovery and repetition, but a less convenient one. It is best if the moulinet turns clockwise for a right-hander (the reverse, counterclockwise, if left-handed). Turning it the other way feels clumsy. For a limbering drill, and for familiarization, try feeding a horizontal cut's recovery into a vertical downward blow, then recover from the downward tierce blow by steering the weapon into a horizontal carte blow, so on over and over.

The tactic of repetition of the same blow can thus be altered into assorted blows, to increase the confusion factor for your opponent. For example, you can fire off a sequence of tierce-tierce-carte-tierce-carte-carte--or any other sequence you like. As above, continuous attack is the key element of your defense.

For speed, your moulinets may be shortened; there is ordinarily no need for them to be full arm's-length rotations. For power, though, they should be more than mere flips of the wrist.

Some indirect corroboration of my ideas can be found in literature and reportage. Phrases like "repeated tomahawk blows" and "repeated (or multiple) hatchet blows" suggest that frequently, the blows were numerous. The rhyme about Lizzie Borden also suggests that multiple hatchet blows were an expected outcome in assaults with that weapon.


You may, if you like, explore the use of all the rest of the cuts of saber fencing, not just the two I consider most suitable for use with the tomahawk. You may moreover explore their combinations and permutations. In what may be an overabundance of caution, I limit myself to the two safest lines, supposing them to be enough to get by on. That may be excess caution because in our times, as in the frontier era, few real-world opponents would know enough to exploit the vulnerability of, say, your sideways-outward cut or some other risky move. Likely few people, long ago, had heard of the issue or thought of it. I doubt very much that academic fencing was a topic of much thought on the frontier.

The details of the method are best sorted out with practice and experiment. The tomahawk really is a simple weapon, made so by its inherent limitations. If you are looking for something to do fancy fencing with, hey, a sword is just the ticket for that. 

The hatchet's limitations are not inherently disastrous to its effective use. You have, at the least, two attacks, horizontal and vertical (with their natural variations such as slightly diagonal) and any number of feints. The shell game player, or three card monte operator, manages to be deceptive with no more to work with.

Do not try to extract more variety of use from the weapon than its nature permits, that's how to get the most out of it.