Wisdom from Nate Perry

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From Nate Perry

I love the practical sport shooting side of things because there is nothing to debate about. You either win or you are trying to. You can’t weasel out of anything, because your name has a “XX%” next to it.

In the world of defensive training, the goal post moves a lot. “Cops can’t shoot”, “gamer shit will get you killed”, ” Most military people are dangerous with a gun”, “you work in a gun shop?LOLGTFO” “Dry practice and timers just aren’t contextual”, etc.

If you ever need a good hobby/pastime/art where you can never lose, just claim to be a defensive firearms instructor. If anyone questions you, just play mental musical chairs with their legitimate questions about your credibility or skills until they just go away.

You’ll always have customers and the best part is your ego-cushioning curriculum is a great place for the participation trophy generation. In the extremely rare event you have a student who has to get their gun out and is the least terrible of the two parties involved, you can swoop in and take credit for it.

Custom Sight Picture

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Introduction to determining your optimum optical correction for shooting with Dr. Alan Toler.


Czech government tells its citizens how to fight terrorists: Shoot them yourselves

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Guns from a previously held firearms surrender are displayed at police headquarters in Manchester, England. (Andrew Yates/Reuters) [Editor's Note: I'm noticing a few non-firing orange and blue guns turned in to the firearms surrender.]



More “games’ll getcha killed”


I am very pragmatic when it comes to realistic training. My training partner is a Combat Pistol Gamer and we are on opposite poles when we discuss training for an armed encounter and Matches. I participated in Matches–and still do sometimes–but always used my duty gear and my duty pistol. I would come in 4th or 5th in the Locals but people thought it was strange.

Anyway you cut it, competition is not training…one can come close by using AirSoft and paintball…rubber knives and Force on Force exercises but paper targets usually do not move and never shoot back. I would equate this with heavy bag training vs training with a sparring partner. “Tactics” used in matches are not remotely realistic and would get one killed in a real encounter. The most important element is extreme stress which can not be duplicated at a Match event. I began my research on this topic when I was in a deadly force encounter on 2 occasions where, after the fact, my entire upper torso and arms froze up in a contraction about 10 minutes later during the de-briefing. (No one was shot but 1mm close) Some people have experienced this DURING the encounter.

When I joined the military, Dad confessed something to me: He said, “It’s no dishonor to “mess yourself” in combat!” He was a WW II combat veteran had several very close encounters with the enemy and with what he described as a Komodo Dragon that nudged him while he was asleep in tall grass in SE Asia. I learned that the body is lightening its load before Flight or Fight. You may publish this letter.
– Ted Sames

>> Anyway you cut it, competition is not training

Preparation for competition is. It is literally a dictionary definition of the word. Scores and results provide useful objectivity as to the effectiveness and progress on one’s training.

>> I would equate this with heavy bag training vs training with a sparring partner.

Good boxers and martial artists are wise to incorporate both. Just because a given training or practice approach doesn’t incorporate everything that might possibly be useful doesn’t invalidate what it is useful for.

>> “Tactics” used in matches are not remotely realistic and would get one killed in a real encounter.

Prove it. You claim this is injurious so the onus is on you to provide proof of documented injuries.


If you can’t cite specific, by-name examples this is empty conjecture.

Topping that off, I can cite numerous successful fighters stating their competition experience was directly beneficial.

Just for starters, every member of the US Army Reserve Marksmanship Program that has deployed and saw combat has stated their experience with the Teams was beneficial to their personal training and the training of their subordinates. Not one member has made any claim this competition experience was detrimental in any way.

Besides, “tactics” are merely an expedient towards a goal. The context matters.

The most important element is extreme stress which can not be duplicated at a Match event.

Or duplicated in any environment where the trainee doesn’t truly believe he will be killed. If nobody is actually being killed (or realistically perceiving they might be) then it is a simulation. Of course, there are those with both competition and combat experience that have said they felt competition stress was greater…

>> I participated in Matches – and still do sometimes – but always used my duty gear and my duty pistol. I would come in 4th or 5th in the Locals…

Fascinating. You mean this experience has not yet gotten you killed? Or forced you to instill “training scars” upon yourself and students?

>> When one believes that matches are realistic they really fooling themselves.

Good training is that which builds better usable skills and capabilities. The only people fooling themselves are those failing to measure if skills and capabilities are actually improving or maintaining. Group shooting and zeroing and other range exercises aren’t “realistic” and they don’t simulate lethal encounters. Shall we abandon this as useless as well? How about fitness. Chin ups, deadlifts, and fitness tests aren’t simulating lethal encounters either.

Observations From 5,000 Gunfights


From John P Correia

I’ve watched about 5,000 gunfights at this point, and the patterns that emerge are pretty clear. Some thoughts you might want to consider that I don’t think that the training community really wants to hear:

Safety – Safariland 7390 holster

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From John Tate.

Please immediately discontinue the use of the Safariland Holster 7390. A problem has been identified when holstering the weapon. During the holstering procedure, it is possible for a small piece of the holster, located internally (pictured below), to catch the tip of the trigger and move it towards the rear. While we do not believe it possible for the trigger to travel far enough to cause the weapon to fire, such movement clearly should not occur at all.

Safariland has been notified of the problem and is actively working on a solution.

Please advise your personnel to immediately discontinue the use of this holster and return to the holster that they were using prior to the 7390.


Evolution Of Firearms Training

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Start at 20:15

“Why are we going to go all the way out there? We’ve got guys right here that are just as good.”

This may point to how the myth that competitive shooting causes bad habits started to be invented. I’ve pointed out how this myth continues to propagate as people continue to make up reasons/excuses but how did it start? Among contemporary instructors, I believe Jeff Cooper and Gunsite may be among some of the first to blame.

The question was raised about why a person would travel across the country and pay for a class when as-good or better learning could be had locally. Yes, the school has a cadre and curriculum, but the knowledge there is developed in the same manner as anyone learning a subject and practicing skills. When your local shooting club has regular participants as skilled and knowledgable as the cadre in that school, people that have the same variety of training background, real-world experience, and demonstratable skill, there isn’t a compelling reason to spend money and time going. Failing to have a good answer to this response led to some people to manufacturing a reason.

Jeff Cooper first developed his school and curriculum by hosting organized competitive events and testing what consistently worked best. Local groups affiliated with a national body involved in something similar will likely have equally-good and motivated participants.

This video was the first instruction tape (on VHS!) I ever owned. As Cooper mentions, it was filmed just after Jimmy Von Sorgenfrei won the 1979 IPSC World Championship. Notice how his points are based on who wins major competition, as the Weaver stance was the preferred approach by winning SWPL and then IPSC shooters (USPSA and IDPA didn’t exist yet) up to that point.

Within a few years after this, the preferred approach by winning competitors started to change. Interestingly enough, the switch from Weaver to modern isosceles in practical competition in the early 1980s took about as long as the switch from point shooting to Weaver did in the late 1950s and for the same reasons.

In the 1950s, everyone “knew” point shooting was “better” until Jack Weaver consistently won events using a different approach. It took some years but shooters adopted to this new approach as it consistently proved better by actual test.

In the late 1970s, everyone “knew” Weaver was “better” until Rob Leatham and Brian Enos consistently won events using a different approach. It took some years but shooters adopted the new approach as it consistently proved better by actual test. This is the same way Jack Weaver started.

Cooper did another series of instructional videos some years later, right about the same time he declared IPSC/USPSA as guilty of using “rooney guns.” Never mind that 1950s era practical/combat shooters were using competition-specific rooney guns and gear. Of course, those damn gamers were also using an “incorrect” isosceles stance. “Everyone knows” that the Weaver stance is not a “range technique” it is a “street technique” for when you don’t know what type of situation you’re getting into…

Never mind that Jack Weaver says his entire motivation for creating the approach that bears his name was to win the Leatherslap and other competitions organized by Jeff Cooper at Big Bear and the Southwest Combat Pistol League. And success in competition was considered a great point for proven effectiveness, up until competitors started using something different. To continue charging students money to learn The Way, even if a different way might be better, there needs to be a reason why your The Way is best.

Kark Rehn has more info here:

Lest anyone think I’m hating on Cooper and Gunsite/API, my thoughts on this are best summed up in my review of The Modern Technique of the Pistol. It did, and still will, work just fine for anyone willing to put in a little bit of on-going work to learn it. If the bullets go where they’re supposed to when they’re supposed to, the technique used is good. Developing actual, measurable skill with your chosen technique is the most important part. Jeff Cooper adds to this here.

The best approach to evolving your own training is to commit to on-going work, even if it’s just one or two minutes-long sessions each week, and get involved with a group of skilled practitioners hosting regular, on-going events. Attend those events as often as you can, practicing what you learn and training your skills between events.

Start at 19:40
This sort of community exists at every place hosting organized shooting events. Go find those events. Your attendance will improve your ability, put you in contact with the most skilled locals, and support the future of such events and places being held in the future.

Competition is critical. Take a class if you like but you’ll be better served in the long run by going to matches where you’ve got guys right there that are just as good. Even if you do take a class, you’ll still need to go practice somewhere once in awhile.

More here: https://firearmusernetwork.com/competition-shooters-and-techniques-win-fights/

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