The following guest article was written and submitted by Elizabeth Waddell.


A Blowout Kit for Shooters

by Elizabeth Waddell

This past weekend I attended a two-day tactical training course at T.I.G.E.R Valley in Waco, Texas with members from my shooting league, A Girl & A Gun. The experience was nothing short of outstanding. Our instructors T.J. Pilling (TIGER Valley’s President) and Bruce (one of the Assistant Instructors) emphasized reinforcing the fundamental skills. You know what I am talking about. The things we think we have ingrained in our heads but sometimes get lazy about: trigger control, stance, grip, second sight picture, etc. However the lesson that truly struck home with me did not occur on the field. It came while sitting in a classroom when they showed us one of the things they always carried on their belts: a blowout kit.


I think we sometimes take for granted that our experience keeps us safe. That could be a deadly fallacy. Accidents happen. How long would it take you to get help? Those first few minutes after an accident occurs are crucial. The majority of accidental gunshot wounds occur to the leg. A puncture to the femoral artery can cause a person to bleed out in less than two minutes. Is that enough time to get to the medical kit at the range? What if you are practicing outside of a facility? Is that enough time to get to your vehicle or even to your range bag to grab a first aid kit? These are very scary questions whose answers could mean someone’s life.

The items you carry in a blowout kit are simple, effective, easily attainable, and inexpensive: Kerlix (put the white stuff on the red stuff), EMS Shears (clear the clothing from the wound), a tourniquet, and an Israeli bandage. Those basic things could mean the difference between life and death. Of course just carrying those on your person is not enough; you need to know how to use them.

Yes, the Combat Application Tourniquet is a fabulous piece of trauma equipment, but if you are unfamiliar with its implementation, then it is of no use to you. Stick to the basic tourniquet (which is frankly much cheaper) if you have not been trained in the use of the C-A-T. Don’t operate outside the level of medical training that you have. What would be even better: get some medical training! We should all be able to take responsibility of a situation and make a scene safe. The more we think about situations, the more we can have a plan in place. And a plan is the most important thing you can have.

For more information, on course at T.I.G.E.R Valley (and to purchase a ready-made blowout kit), visit

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