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- Alaska CCW Course
Concealed Carry Weapons Course for Alaska CCW permit.
Forum Posts (9)
- Trigger disciplineIn SHOOTING FUNDAMENTALS·October 29, 2022Good trigger discipline can eliminate a large portion of those “I accidentally shot myself in the leg” stories you read about. It all boils down to one thing…keeping your finger off that little curved thingy until your ready to put a hole in something. This needs to be something beyond a conscious effort. This needs to be practiced and driven home until it becomes a natural reflex no matter what gun you pick up, even if it’s one of those arcade games. You want to do it so often that it is permanently committed to muscle memory. The easiest way, and this is the way taught by military, police, NRA and more, is to keep your finger extended and resting up on the slide or cylinder. By keeping your index finger there, you are making it near impossible to accidentally manipulate the trigger. Trigger Pull & Follow Through In a perfect world, you would have a rock-solid grip and ignite the gunpowder by just thinking. But of course, we have to deal with mechanical inputs and human reactions. As a beginner shooter, you know there’s going to be a loud bang with some recoil. So you will likely press the trigger fast to get everything over with, which adds some movement to the gun and barrel. The bullet still takes some time to move down the barrel, and if the gun/barrel moves, your bullet will be off-target. So the trick is to cause as little movement to the gun as possible when you are pressing the trigger. Use the middle of the first index finger pad Remove the initial slack or “pre-travel” in the trigger Slowly squeeze the trigger towards the back of the gun “Follow through” by not immediately letting go of the trigger “Reset” the trigger by easing it forward just enough to hear a *click* Slowly squeeze for the next shot Trigger Pull Stages Now, when it comes to actually pulling the trigger, that’s a whole other can of worms. Every time you pull the trigger, there’s 4 distinct points: The Initial Slack – this is a no man’s land of movement between where the trigger rests normally and where it breaks. The Trigger Break – this is where the gun actually fires. The Stop – After the gun has fired, this is where the trigger stops moving. Most times the stop and the break are the same point. Some guns it’s not. The Reset – This is the point where, upon releasing the trigger, the gun is ready to fire again. During the course of those four points, there about three and a half things that can go wrong with a trigger pull that will negatively affect your accuracy. One of the best ways to work on a good pull is with Dry Fire Practice. This means pulling the trigger without having any ammo in the gun. If you’re going to be doing this extensively, I would highly highly recommend investing in some snap caps. These are dummy bullets with padding on the back that will keep your firing pin from over-extending itself. Pro Tip: Some guns, namely striker-fired guns, require that the slide be cycled after every trigger pull. When doing dry fire practice, you don’t need to pull the slide back to the point that the dummy round is ejected in order to reset the striker. Spend some time with your gun to figure out where the reset is and you’ll save yourself a lot of time chasing ejected dummy rounds around your room when you’re practicing. I find with my Glock that it takes about 1/4 of an inch to reset the striker. Fix Your Trigger Pull Anyway, back to the 3.5 things that can go wrong with your trigger pull… Number 1: First and foremost is jerking the trigger. You don’t want to just yank it all the way back as hard as you can. You want to squeeze it smoothly and consistently every time. When I say “squeeze” I literally mean squeeze it like you’re trying to slowly squish one of those rubber stress balls between your thumb and index finger. You can speed it up later but for right now you need to focus on keeping it smooth from start to stop. Also, don’t just stop the trigger pull when you hit the point where it fires (also called “the break”). You want to keep pulling that trigger until the trigger itself stops then release the trigger to the reset point. If you find that you are consistently shooting to the left of the target (or to the right if you’re shooting left handed), and you have verified that your sights are fine, then it’s almost certain that you’re jerking the trigger. Number 2: Anticipation of the recoil/gun shot. If your shots are going all over the target, you might just be anticipating the recoil. There’s a very easy way to diagnose this one: load some of your dummy rounds randomly into your magazine along with live rounds at the range. Load a couple of mags this way then mix the mags up. What you’re trying to do is make it so that you have no idea if the next round is going to fire or not. When the gun doesn’t go boom, if your gun still twitches like you shot a round then you’re anticipating/flinching. This is a not-so-easy fix. What you have to do is seriously slow down your trigger pull for a while. Expanding on Problem 1: you want the squeeze to be so smooth and slow that the firing of the gun literally surprises you (at least at first). The only way to fix this is to reset your muscle memory on just a consistent squeeze and that’s only going to happen by slowing it down and pulling the trigger a bunch of times. You have to unlearn then learn again. I’ve been through it myself and it’s a pain but in the end you’ll be glad you did. Number 3: The last major thing is “follow through.” As I mentioned before, there will be a definite part where the trigger breaks. In many cases, this isn’t always where the trigger will stop moving backward. In many it is the case. Regardless, you should never stop as soon as the break happens. If the break doesn’t coincide with the stop then continue to the stop. Regardless of where the break/stop is on your gun, you should then release just to the point of reset then start your squeeze all over again. The reset point is different on every gun and it’s rarely the point where the trigger rests when your finger isn’t on it. On a Glock, for example, it’s at almost the same place where the trigger breaks. Number 3.5: Pad of your finger on the trigger. I didn’t classify this one as a full blown issue because it’s rather inconsistent about causing problems for people. A lot of people tend to wrap the indentation of their first knuckle around the trigger. Scholars, instructors and pros will tell you that you should use the pad instead of the knuckle. Personally, I noticed an improvement in my shooting when I started using my finger pad but I also happen to know of some amazing shooters that have always used their knuckle and hate using the pad. This one boils down to “it depends on the person”. Anyone could learn to ride a bike by sitting on it upside down while peddle it with their hands and steering with their feet. Doesn’t mean it’s the best or worst way to do it. It just means that’s how you learned to ride a bike. If you can honestly say that you’re not doing problem 1, 2, or 3 and you’re still having problems, then double-check your sights and double-check what part of your finger you’re using. Conclusion In the end, dry fire practice is a great way to get your trigger pull down without spending a lot of cash on bullets and range time. It is not, however, a substitute for range time. You still need live fire to learn how to compensate for recoil and to see if your dry fire practice is paying off. Keep it slow, keep it smooth and follow through every time. Source: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/trigger-discipline-control-guide/004
- The dilemma of mass shootingsIn TACTICAL MEDICINE·October 29, 2022Mass Shootings (MS)include multiple-victim shooting incidents that occur in connection with some other crime. These may include felony-related shootings where both the victims and offenders may be involved in unlawful activities, such as organized crime, gang activity and drug deals. Domestic disputes are incidents where the majority of victims are members of the offender’s family, not random victims as are associated with mass public shootings. Depending how the MS data is sliced, events associated with domestic violence and criminal activity make up80 to 88 percent of mass shooting incidents in the U.S. with four or more fatally injured victims (Krouse, William J. and Daniel J. Richardson, Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999–2013, Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, R44126, 2015.). Assault Rifles Although the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired on September 13, 2004, in accordance with its sunset provision, the definition provides a basis for identifying how many mass public shooters used this type of firearm. That definition of “semi-automatic weapon” included specific semi-automatic firearm models by name, and other semi-automatic firearms that possessed two or more certain features. Based on the GunFacts.info MPS Database, assault rifles were used in approximately 14 percent of those events. High-Capacity Magazines Per the Heritage Foundation website, noted in The Current Gun Debate: Mass Shootings (March 2018), “Few mass public shooters have used high-capacity magazines, and there is no evidence that the lethality of such attacks would have been affected by delays of two to four seconds to switch magazines. In fact, some of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history were carried out with low-capacity weapons: The Virginia Tech shooter killed 32 and injured 17 with two handguns, one of which had a 10-round magazine and the other a 15-round magazine. He simply brought 19 extra magazines. Twenty-three people were killed and another 20 injured in a Killeen, Texas, cafeteria by a man with two 9mm handguns, capable of maximums of 15-round and 17-round magazines, respectively. A mentally disturbed man armed with two handguns and a shotgun shot and killed 21 people in a San Ysidro McDonald’s and injured another 19. The handguns utilized 13-round and 20-round magazines, and the shotgun had a five-round capacity. Although mass public shootings account for only 0.1 percent of the total firearm-related mortality between 2000 and 2014, they bring national attention to the issue of firearm violence. Then a familiar series of events follow: First, there is a discussion of how that particular event could have been prevented, followed by a public outcry that stricter gun laws are needed. In actuality, existing laws that, if followed, may have prevented the event in question, are often not enforced. In March, based on Michael Siegel Claire Boine’s article entitled “What Are The Most Effective Policies In Reducing Gun Homicides?”, knee-jerk reactions rooted in emotion will not solve the problem. To date, evidence shows that the problem requires solutions that are versatile and grounded in evidence. Analysis shows no significant association between homicide rates and assault weapons bans, large-capacity ammunition magazine bans, one-gun-per-month laws, “stand your ground” laws or prohibitions on gun trafficking. The findings suggest that laws which regulate the “what” (i.e., what guns/products are allowed) do not have much of an impact on overall population homicide. In contrast, laws that regulate the “who” (i.e., who has legal access to firearms) may have an appreciable impact on firearm homicide, especially if access is restricted specifically to those people who are at the greatest risk of violence: Namely, people who have a history of violence or represent an imminent threat of violence. Source: https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/gun-facts-and-fiction/mass-shootings/002
- Four steps to better shotgun shootingIn SHOOTING FUNDAMENTALS·October 29, 2022North American sportsmen have always greatly admired skill with a shotgun, and most hunters aspire to improve their ability to make clean kills. And improve you can, but not without deliberate effort. Only through good instruction and practice can you expect to improve your percentage of hits to misses on waterfowl. It's just that simple. The instructor Scott Robertson of Elm Fork Shooting Sports in Dallas is eminently qualified to coach such an effort. A professional sporting clays and exhibition shooter, Robertson has a long list of competitive accomplishments, including winning the national sporting clays championship eight times and the world sporting clays championship twice. He has been an exhibition shooter for Beretta for 16 years. Robertson is also a lifelong waterfowl hunter, having bagged his first duck when he was eight years old. Today he hunts mainly in west Texas and at his family's duck club in California. The steps "How many times have you shot at a duck and everything felt right — good mount, sight picture and lead — but the duck didn't fall? You're left wondering why you missed," Robertson says. "I coach a four-step process that teaches shooters why they miss and how they can correct their problems," Robertson says. "Good shooting is all about confidence. The more confidence you have in your equipment and technique, the more birds you will hit. And you build confidence through mastering a short list of shooting fundamentals and then practicing enough to make these fundamentals second nature." 1. Correct eye-dominance problems Robertson's first step is determining eye dominance and checking to see if a shooter's master eye matches the shoulder from which he or she shoots. Shooters who are right-eye dominant should shoot off their right shoulder, and vice versa. But some shooters shoot off the shoulder opposite their dominant eye, and this can cause problems. To determine eye dominance, cut a small hole in a piece of cardboard and extend it out from your face with both arms straight. With both eyes open, center a distant object in the hole and slowly draw the cardboard back toward your face while keeping focus on the object centered in the hole. The hole will gravitate to your dominant eye. Shooters who discover their master eye is opposite to the shoulder from which they shoot have cross-eye dominance. Should they learn to shoot from their other shoulder? "I discourage people from changing shoulders," Robertson says. "I think it's easier to continue shooting from the shoulder you're used to and retraining your subdominant eye to become dominant." But the solution isn't closing the dominant eye and shooting with only the subdominant eye open. "If you close one eye completely, you lose peripheral vision and depth perception, and you need these to acquire the target and determine lead," Robertson explains. "Instead, simply put a half-inch piece of cloudy Scotch tape on your shooting glasses over your dominant eye," Robertson advises. "This will force you to sight with your subdominant eye, but will still provide for peripheral vision and depth perception." Robertson says shooters can achieve the same result by smearing lip balm on the outer lens of their shooting glasses. "It should be just enough to cover the center of the eye and no more," he states. 2. Keep your head on the stock The next step is checking to make sure the shooter's cheek is snug to the stock while swinging, shooting, and following through. If shooters raise their cheek from the stock, they will likely shoot high. Robertson says two good approaches to solving this problem are checking how well your shotgun fits you and seeking instruction from a shooting coach. "The old wives' tale is that a shotgun fits if you can hold it in the crook of your arm with your finger on the trigger and the stock cradled in your elbow joint," Robertson says. "Actually, a shotgun fits when you mount it properly and can't see any of the barrel. You should be able to see just the bead. This sight picture means you're sighting straight down the barrel, and the shotgun will shoot where you're looking." Robertson adds that if shooters who have their cheek snug to the stock see any of the rib or barrel, the gun will shoot high. If they can't see the bead, the gun will shoot low. A shooter should also check the length of the stock. With the shotgun mounted, the cheek should rest 1 to 1½ inches back from where the comb drops down to the pistol grip. If that distance is more than 1 ½ inches, the stock is too long, and if that distance is less than an inch, the stock is too short. Robertson stresses that shooters wanting to shoot better should consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor. "A good coach can teach you how to mount a shotgun properly," he says. "He can see if you're keeping your head on the stock when shooting and can check your balance and follow through. Taking shooting lessons is like taking golf lessons. A professional instructor can recognize problems and help you correct them." Robertson says hunters can contact a qualified shooting instructor through a local gun club or by visiting the National Sporting Clays Association's website and clicking on the list of certified instructors. He says lessons with a professional instructor will cost $60 to $150 per hour. 3. Maintain balance while shooting The third problem Robertson looks for is also correctable through help from a shooting instructor. "Some shooters have a tendency to shift their weight from the front foot to the back foot while shooting," he says. "They start off fairly well balanced with more weight on their front foot. But when they stand up in the duck blind to shoot, they shift their weight backwards. This causes their swing to stop and the barrel to rise briefly, both of which can cause a miss. "So shooters should be conscious of not shifting their weight when swinging and shooting," Robertson says. "If you start with your weight forward, keep it forward. Or if you start with your weight on your back foot, keep it there. Again, this is where a shooting coach can help you. You might not realize you're shifting your weight when you shoot, but an instructor can spot this immediately and help you correct the problem." 4. Learn proper lead If shooters correct any eye-dominance problem, shoot a shotgun that fits reasonably well, keep their cheek on the stock and maintain proper balance, there's only one thing left that can cause a miss — improper lead. Many shooters don't apply enough lead and consistently shoot behind their targets. A few use too much lead and shoot ahead of their targets. So how do shooters learn to use the right lead so their shot column and target simultaneously arrive at the same spot? "You can't shoot enough while hunting to master how much to lead your target," Robertson advises. "You have to learn proper lead on the shooting range. You must learn the right sight picture for various shot angles and speeds through good instruction and lots of practice." Robertson says an instructor will tell students if they are shooting ahead of or behind the target, and make appropriate corrections. He will also help them learn proper leads on a variety of target angles, such as 90-degree crossing, 45-degree crossing, incoming/descending and others. "After the lesson, the student must practice on his own before the next lesson," Robertson says. "I try to pace my instruction so a student can shoot 300 to 400 shells between lessons." Robertson also stresses that shooters shouldn't avoid challenging shots. "To develop your game, you have to tackle those problem areas instead of avoiding them," he says. Source: https://www.ducks.org/hunting/shooting-tips/four-steps-to-better-shooting003
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