Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ballseye's Gun Shots 74 - More Glock Training

I did it again, I just signed up for another Glock Training course. This time it is their 3 day Instructor Workshop. Yes, I am already registered for the NRA Pistol/Shotgun Law Enforcement Instructor Development School in Las Vegas this coming October, so maybe you find yourself wondering why I just signed up for the Glock Instructor Training as well. I look at it this way, the Glock training is additional instructor training from a different point of view than that of the NRA which in my mind just makes my training more diverse and well rounded and therefore so much the better. It is also a great substitute if for some reason I cannot make the NRA course. Finally it is a training opportunity that offers something the NRA course does not - a lifetime certification. With the NRA course a student gets certified for only 3 years (used to be 5 years). Whatever, I figure the additional training and certification cannot hurt. I plan to use it to help myself earn some income once I retire (which most probably will be next year).

As for the NRA course, the one for which I registered will be in Las Vegas. Attending that course has been a dream of mine for years. That is going to be a nice trip that I thought I would be making with my wife and I reserved a nice suite at Mandalay By Hotel for us. She has since backed out, so maybe I'll stay at the Hooters resort in Vegas when I get there (only kidding dear - yeah right)! As for the Glock Instructor Workshop, it is going to be held in Hempstead, NY - less than 4 miles from my home and all of a 10 to 12 minute drive away. My only cost will be the $350 course fee and 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammo. (I will ask work for the ammo but am none too hopeful about getting it.) All in all, the Glock Training is going to cost more than I feel good about spending right now after having almost totally depleted my bank accounts last month to buy a new car for cash but this training may well be worth it if it will help me earn a few bucks now and again once I retire. I have to look at it that way, as an investment in my future, and spend the money with the hope of earning a good return on my expenditures over the long haul. That is the same way I am looking at the Las Vegas trip for the NRA training even though that trip is really an extravagance - but it is also a long overdue vacation even if it will be sort of a working vacation.

There were only 2 slots available for the Glock Training and I am hopeful I got my registration in before anyone else getting who may have tried at the last moment like me. I am pretty confident because as soon as I registered the available slots went from 2 to 1. To tell the truth, I came across this opportunity while looking for something else on the Glock training site. Sort of a fluke I suppose but okay by me. I jumped at the opportunity. For the life of me, I do not know how I missed seeing this Instructor Workshop when I registered for the Armorer's course that I took at the end of May. Oh well, I saw it tonight, got my sights lined up, and pulled the trigger. Hopefully I can get the time off from work - usually that is no problem. The course will run from July 14 through the 16, 2 1/2 days of Paradise as far as I am concerned.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sheepherding It Ain't

The tortoises are two Hermann's Tortoises and three Red Foot Tortoises. The dog is Roxie. By the way Roxie was looking at the camera, I think she had it figured that she isn't a sheep dog and those other critters are not a flock of sheep. Of course that does not mean she does not have the herding instinct just as the tortoises have the instinct to get a move on; it was kind of funny how they all decided to go in the same direction for the most part. Where they were going was no mystery to me or maybe I should say where the big female Hermann's Tortoise was going was no mystery. She was headed over toward the shade under some bushes in the corner of our backyard. After all it was about 85 degrees outside, hotter in the sunlight, and they appreciate a nice cool spot to lay over until it cools down a bit.

The Hermann's Tortoises headed for the same spot. The smaller and younger Red Foot Tortoises spread out a bit but headed, more or less, in the same direction but pausing to nibble on grass and weeds along the way and so lagged behind. Roxie kept with the Hermann's Torts almost as if she was pushing the flock in that direction. I know it was probably more curiosity than anything but I also have to wonder if there was any of the Shepard's instinct in her.

I mean just take a look at her when she realizes on of the smaller Red Foots has not kept up with the rest of them. She breaks away from the rest of them and heads over to the loner to check it out to see what is up with it. Then she gingerly puts out her paw (again, I know more out of curiosity than anything else but it is nice to imagine otherwise) to see if it is okay since it somehow has upended itself and is turned over on its shell.

When she cannot quite figure out what is going on she lays down right next to it and seems to give it a concerned sniff and a nudge. I was thinking she was about to pick it up and start chewing but she didn't. She just laid there checking it out and sniffing it and nudging it a bit almost enough to make one think she was truly concerned about the little tortoise's well being. Who know, maybe that is exactly what she was doing. Maybe she really does have some of that shepherding instinct inside of her. When I think of it, that is not all too hard to believe. I would never have thought she had a pointing instinct either, until just recently when she has gone to point on toys, birds in the backyard, the other dogs, and even on a squirrel (usually she tries to catch them having caught that bad habit from our other mutt - Mimi).

At least she did not try to pick and of them up and use them as chew toys. A couple or a few years back that is just what happened when the dogs were forgotten outside while the big Hermann's Tortoise was roaming around the yard. Mimi chewed her up pretty badly, he shell still shows the scars of the grooves and holes that Mimi had gnawed into it. A lesson learned though and now I try to make sure that both the torts and dogs are out at the same time only when under a watchful eye.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge em if you want a better look at the torts or Roxie.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye's Gun Shots 73 - The Press Check - My Opinion of It

Today, on another blog, I read that the SIG Academy is apparently teaching shooters to use a press check to determine if a pistol is loaded. The following was my reply to that blog. I am posting my reply again, here, because I believe it important for shooters to avoid using the press check method as I have found that certain problems seem to be much more prevalent when shooters use this method.

I have witnessed this type of chamber check, to see if a gun is loaded, over the past several years now. It is truly a worrisome development in that checking the chamber by partly opening the slide can cause problems for the shooter later on in the form of possible malfunctions. This can happen because when you check the chamber in a manner that partially pulls the slide back, you are also partially extracting the cartridge. If the chamber is at all dirty, in some guns, then when the slide is again allowed to move forward (remember this is not with full force as when you load normally) it may not go fully into battery and may fail to fire. SIGS are notorious, in my opinion, as to how sensitive they are to fouling in the chamber that causes them to fail to go fully into battery even when the slide is allowed to slam home with full force. Why increase the risk of a round not being properly chambered by using this method that partially removes the cartridge and then that reseats it but without the full force of the slide from a fully open position. Not a good thing, I am amazed SIG trainers are recommending such a method. I also believe this method leads to failure to extract properly in some guns.

Regardless of the potential for problems, it has always amazed me that someone would want to get into the habit of checking to see the gun is loaded in this manner. I have seen shooters do it on the range during tactical courses of fire. Yep, they got so used to doing it when they loaded their guns at home, or during a qualification course, or at the office, or before going out on an operation that they actually paused – during a course of combat type fire – to check to see if a bullet chambered after combat reloading.

If you are that unsure of yourself to need to check to see if a pistol is loaded, well, there are better ways to do it. If you have a pistol lying around and are uncertain if it is loaded and you are about to holster it for carry for the day – then visually inspect it. On many, many, many types of pistols you can actually see a round in the chamber if you look closely at the ejection port. That brass color you see is not a mirage. In addition, many pistols have a loaded chamber indicator that you can both see and feel. If those choices for inspecting it are not possible then remove the magazine and with the pistol pointed in a safe direction operate the slide. If a cartridge comes out it was loaded. Now reload it – best to use a fresh round and save the ejected one for a range day. Make sure to top off the magazine after reloading it. Want to know if it is loaded now – then watch it as you let the slide go during the loading process – you can see the round being fed.

There is another way to check, if you need to determine if a pistol just actually fed a round, such as when loading at the range (not during practice combat shooting), or loading an empty pistol at home – and it is pretty much a fool proof method for those who can tell when the magazine they are using is fully loaded. You load the magazine to capacity, place it into the pistol and seat it fully, operate the slide properly, and then remove the magazine to inspect it and top it off. If you can fit another round into it, where moments ago it had been fully loaded and would not accept another round, well then it means the topmost bullet is no longer there. The reason would be because it is in the chamber of the gun you just loaded.

Let me reiterate one thing – I don’t recommend checking by any of the methods I just mentioned if you are in a combat situation. If you stop to check then you may well wind up dead. While a life or death defense situation is taking place and someone is shooting at you or otherwise attacking you, it is not the time for you to be checking to see if the pistol is loaded or not. You had better hope you got it right when you thought you loaded it before needing it in such a situation. If it winds up failing to fire then you had best be aware of the actions to take when a failure to fire occurs.

All the best,
Glenn B


Glenn B said
June 26, 2010 at 11:10 am
I forgot to add this: If you are checking to see if your pistol is unloaded never use the press check method. Instead, remove the source of ammunition (the magazine) then fully pull back the slide. If the pistol has a hold open device, use it otherwise hold it open by hand. Then use your free hand to both visually and tactilely inspect to make sure it the chamber is empty and there is no source of ammunition (a magazine).

All the best,

Of course, I am certain there are a large number of firearms instructors who would disagree with me that the press check could lead to potential problems but I have also met a large number who, like me, have witnessed the number of failures to fire and failures to extract go up markedly once shooters under their watchful eyes began using the press check to determine if their guns are loaded. My opinion is this, why take the chance when there are better tried and true methods available.

All the best,
Glenn B