Competition for Tactical Training

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I would never have been introduced to [defensive shooting instruction] if I hadn’t gone to a match and met some guys who told me about it. Shooters usually flock to where other shooters are, and USPSA and IDPA competitions are a big deal these days. Matches have largely replaced gun-shop counters as the place where serious shooters hang out. I expect to continue to use matches as an opportunity to meet new people and even grow my training business organically through conversations between stages.

– Aaron Israel

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Army Trainfire: 1963

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The Army adopted the Trainfire model around 1955. The most recent version revamped the program in the late 1970s and served as the primary approach until the new Training Circulars re-wrote doctrine starting in 2016.

Until the new TCs and qualifications for them, all changes to Army small arms standards have reduced the challenge and needed skill. Consider this video where Soldiers conducting routine qualification during Basic are advancing downrange with loaded rifles and expected to take up positions on timed pop-up targets. FM 23-8, which was doctrine when this film was made, included a four table qualification that included shooting while advancing, offhand, and other unsupported shooting. Also note the regular use of peer coaching.

Linda Harris Memorial and Scholarship

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George Harris, International Firearms Consultants founder, SIGARMS Academy co-founder, and former Army Reserve Marksmanship Team member, announced the official launch of the Linda Harris Memorial Scholarship administered by the United States Concealed Carry Association.

“This fund will provide a means to create and further perpetuate the concept of female firearms instructors who in turn will bring more women into the shooting sports and personal defense arenas in the United States and around the world,” George Harris said. “The program will start by selecting a well deserving applicant to an all expenses paid class appropriate for their level of expertise. Initially this will be self-funded by USCCA but will expand with industry support in the interest of bringing more women into the world of safe and successful use of firearms.”

Linda Harris, who passed away at age 68 on September 1, 2018, was well known in the firearms community as an outstanding instructor who dedicated herself and her career to training people to defend themselves and to encouraging women to get involved in the shooting sports. After George Harris co-founded the SIGARMS Academy, Linda joined on as the first female firearms instructor in the history of the company, teaching a variety of firearms-related subjects to men and women alike. After officially retiring in 2011, she continued teaching women in the proper use and safe handling of firearms for sporting and defensive use.

Applicants can begin by visiting the USCCA website (try.usconcealedcarry.net/linda-harris-scholarship) for additional information.

“No greater tribute could Linda have but to be able to have the work she was so passionate about carried on in her name with the same passion and effort that she exhibited,” George Harris said. “Pass this along and become a part of this movement to bring more women into our efforts to keep firearms as part of our heritage.”

“Through the Linda Harris Memorial Scholarship, the USCCA will be able to encourage many new generations of female instructors inspired by Linda’s work,” said Destry Jeter, USCCA’s director of training. “We are truly looking forward to seeing the efforts and determination of these women recognized and rewarded.”

Bullshit is Thicker in Real Life

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“Bullshit has tremendous advantages over knowledge. Bullshit can be created as needed, on demand, without limit. Anything that happens, you can make up an explanation for why it happened.

There was a Kansas football game a year ago; some Texas-based football team, much better than Kansas, came to Lawrence and struggled through the first quarter — KU with, like, a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The rest of the game, KU lost, like, 37-0, or something. The announcer had an immediate explanation for it: The Texas team flew in the day before, they spent the night sleeping in a strange hotel; it takes them a while to get their feet on the ground.

It’s pure bullshit, of course, but he was paid to say that … if it had happened the other way, and KU had lost the first quarter, 24-0, and then ‘won’ the rest of the game 17-14 (thus losing 38-17) … if that had happened, we both know that the announcer would have had an immediate explanation for why THAT had happened. … Bullshit is without limit.

As I saw it, baseball had two distinct mountains of material. One the one hand, there was a mountain of traditional wisdom, things that people said over and over again. On the other hand, there was a mountain of statistics. My work was to build a bridge between those two mountains. A statistician is concerned what baseball statistics ARE. I had no concern with what they are. I didn’t care, and I don’t care, whether Mike Schmidt hit .306 or .296 against left-handed pitching. I was concerned with what the statistics MEAN.

“Sportswriters, in my opinion, almost never use baseball statistics to try to understand baseball. They use statistics to decorate their articles. They use statistics as a club in the battle for what they believe intuitively to be correct.

– Bill James

When James began writing his annual Baseball Abstracts, people all across the game crowed that pitching was 75 percent of baseball. They usually said this after a dominant pitching performance, like the one Madison Bumgarner had against Kansas City in Game 5 of the World Series. In those days, saying “pitching is 75 percent of baseball” served as philosophy, and as good old-fashioned common sense.

To Bill James, it sounded like garbage trucks colliding. Seventy-five percent? What? Who did that math? He wrote a 2,000-word essay tearing apart the nonsense, not because he wanted to but because he HAD to, because that was such unadulterated bullshit that it had to be stamped out for the good of mankind.

“It’s just a number,” he wrote, “picked out of mid-air and plunked down in the middle of a bunch of words in a way that seemed to make sense, provided you don’t think too hard about it – quite a bit like saying that ‘Philosophy is 75% God,” or ‘Movies are 75% acting’ or ‘Sex is 75% mental, 25% physical.’”

There are many parallels here and in the shooting world. Consider the many “truths” espoused by gun owners and how many of them are based on nothing more than people continuing to repeat the same nonsense endlessly.

https://firearmusernetwork.com/tag/qualified-to-teach/
https://firearmusernetwork.com/tag/training-scar/

Baseball and other popular ball sports are carefully controlled and overflowing with carefully-gathered statistics and people still succumb to tribal “wisdom” and superstition.

Vanguard after the Revolution

View story at Medium.com

Rooney Guns FTW, again

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USPSA started creating different equipment divisions in the 1990s. Prior to that, there was almost no restriction on what could be used. While detractors, including the original founders that had purposely created this no-restriction environment to allow for free experimentation, derided the “race gun” that had become the runaway favorite for serious competitors as “rooney guns” as something simply unsuitable for street and service use.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/tag/rooney-gun/

The sad thing about this is these same people always used “rooney guns”.

After other competitors began surpassing their ideas did this evolution of experimentation begin to be deemed unsuitable.

Now, don’t tell anyone, but equipment divisions are far less important than most people realize, especially those complaining about them:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/race-guns-vs-regular-guns/
https://firearmusernetwork.com/skill-classification-works/

Police have begun issuing “rooney guns” already. The military is following as well.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1602348/

Trijicon Inc., Wixom, Michigan,* is awarded a $7,626,587 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year ordering period for handgun reflex sights for the miniature aiming system – day optics program. The handgun reflex sight is a low profile, wide field of view, passive sight for rapid day and night pistol target engagements in confined spaces, while prisoner handling, or in extremis after the primary weapon malfunctions. Work will be performed in Wixom, Michigan, and is expected to be completed by August 2023. Fiscal 2018 defense procurement funding in the amount of $1,158,052 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N0016418DJQ25).

https://www.overtdefense.com/2018/08/15/us-navy-awards-trijicon-a-handgun-reflex-sight-contract/

At the beginning of the last year, it became known that the US Navy has accepted the M17/M18 pistols to become its next sidearm after these handguns were chosen by the US Army. About a year later, the US Navy has announced the procurement of 60,000 M18 MHS handguns. Both versions of the Modular Handgun System pistols have a provision to mount a reflex sight.

All of these guns would be competitive IPSC Modified guns (anything goes, just fit inside the box). Again, this has been the trend for years now and isn’t a new development, just military and police further and formally authorizing their use:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/ipsc-ftw/
https://firearmusernetwork.com/competition-shooting-ftw-again/
https://firearmusernetwork.com/competition-shooting-ftw/

This part from Houston PD is most important:

The resulting data from required qualifications (scores using a red dot versus irons), fielding (models, mechanical/electronic failures) battery life and other variables will be important to law enforcement and civilian shooters alike. Real-world field testing is invaluable when it comes to picking the best guns, sights, holsters and related gear. Let’s hope that Houston PD is willing to share sanitized data.

Here’s the sad downer. The Department of Army first adopted general-issue optics in the mid-1990s and retained the same qualification procedures and course for two decades after. Even the Training Circulars released starting in 2016 that replaced this qualification were not fully implemented for years after that. With a quarter century of common, general issue optics qualification scores did not change. As always, it’s the indian, not the arrow.

Can You Shoot Better Than A Cop?

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From Tamara Keel

Can You Shoot Better Than A Cop?

He cites a published study that “…broke down the shooters into three classifications: expert, intermediate, and novice. Experts had either finished the academy shooting course or had been trained in the military while intermediates had no formal academy training but had shot before in either recreational settings or had military rifle training. Finally, the novices were just that. Many of them had never even held a gun in their lives.”

You can see the problem already, right? Military handgun training, outside of a handful of job descriptions, is laughable. The handgun training from a typical LE academy is better than that, but still unlikely to turn out any pistol wizards, either.

Then comes the part that doesn’t automatically follow, which is that us non-po-po shoot better than that. Well, we probably do… assuming we’re an active competitive shooter and/or have had some formal training ourselves.

But as far as the general run of the mill shooting public? I go to the public shooting range. A lot. I see how the general shooting public shoots. It’s not very well. The average shooter at a public range finds the 7 ring of a B-27 at seven yards to be a less than clout shot.

I am not a very good shooter. I’m the special ed student at gun school. When I walk the prize table at a match, I find myself wondering if the tablecloth is not the most valuable thing left on the table, since I already have a Bore Snake and a three ounce bottle of CLP. But when I go to the public range of a weekend? I’m almost always a veritable ninja compared to the shooters on my right and left.

The average shooter is never presented with an opportunity to find out how bad they are, because things like scores and timers are foreign to their experience. It is possible to go to the range monthly for years and years and never see any meaningful improvement because it’s hard to improve that which you do not measure. There’s a lot of Dunning-Kruger in the shooting world.

It’s worth noting that Dr. Dunning’s solution to the cognitive bias experienced by novices that bears his name is to do exactly what Tamara Keel recommends here.

Solving Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Dunning–Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability or skill maintain illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their ability, skill, and/or experience as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition (an awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes), low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

Dunning–Kruger Effect impacts all humans and everyone (including you and me) is potentially susceptible. It has been recognized by many people over the course of human history. Dr. David Dunning and his graduate student Justin Kruger established a variety of test methodologies to measure this phenomenon and published a formal research paper about their found results.

David McRaney is the host of the excellent You Are Not So Smart podcast. He recounts when he first realized the Dunning-Kruger Effect impacted him.

I remember the first time in my life that I really recognized that [Dunning-Kruger Effect] was true.

In college, I staged a fighting game tournament where I set up all these video game systems and I invited people from around the country to the university to play. We had a group of friends – it was like, 8 to 10 people in our hometown who played this game – and we thought that we were amazing at it. We thought that we were the best in the world and I had no problem inviting the champions at this game from around the country to come to play against us.

Every single one of us lost our matches immediately. Like, we didn’t even place. We didn’t even come close. We were absolutely destroyed. And I remember all of us sort of shaking our heads and rubbing our temples and thinking, “How could we not just be not okay but actually suck? I mean, how is that possible?”

I bet that sort of thing happens a lot amongst people who are sort of at the amateur level and feel that they have achieved something.

Every human is susceptible to Dunning-Kruger Effect. The challenge is to be willing to find the means to overcome it. Because this is a cognitive bias – a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, and/or remembering – nobody can reliably do it on their own. As McRaney’s example illustrates, it was only after he and his friends organized a tournament, invited everyone that was interested and thought they were good, and measured the results did he finally snap out of his delusion of competence.

Dr. David Dunning confirms this is the path to solving Dunning-Kruger Effect.

“Why don’t people know themselves?”

You begin to realize that there are just some really big barriers to knowing yourself. That’s if you make it a private task that only you are engaged in. If you don’t talk to [and engage with] other people.

If you talk to other people, they can be sources of invaluable insight into yourself. Some of these insights may be unpleasant. Also, just watching what other people do and benchmarking what you do versus what they do can be a source of insight. It takes a village, if you will, for a person to know themselves.

We engaged in a number of studies where we exposed people to others who are performing very poorly to performing extremely well and what we find is that the collective is pretty good at knowing who’s bad.

A last hint is to ask, “Are you vaguely embarrassed by things you did 5 or 10 years ago?” And if you are, that means you’re improving. I mean, if you think about the self you were 10 years ago and you’re not embarrassed by something that you did, you might be off the task.

TL;DR
Go shoot a match or compete in something outside your unit or immediate group of friends once in a while. If you don’t, you’re almost certainly a victim of Dunning-Kruger Effect and are not able to even realize it.

Full interview with Dr. David Dunning:
YANSS Podcast 036 – Why We Are Unaware that We Lack the Skill to Tell How Unskilled and Unaware We Are


As measured ability/knowledge improves, so does the awareness and self estimate of that ability/knowledge. The top 20% will tend to underestimate their measured ability/knowledge.

It’s worth pointing out that it is wrong to believe the D-K effect applies only to people who are “incompetent.” This is wrong on two levels. The first is that the DK effect does not apply only to “incompetent people” but to everyone, with respect to any area of knowledge.

It is important to how the D-K effect is interpreted. The vast majority of people who bring it up seem to think that it applies only to dumb people and that it says dumb people think they are smarter than smart people. Neither of these things are true. Further – if you think it only applies to other people (which itself, ironically, is part of the DK effect) then you miss the core lesson and opportunity for self-improvement and critical thinking.

More:
https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/misunderstanding-dunning-kruger/

 

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