Trigger Pin?

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From a fellow Team shooter:

I just gave the Army Training Circulars about small arms training a thorough read through. Bottom line, the TCs are very much like the same stuff we’ve been teaching all along. Very little I can arguably disagree with.

Not really happy about their take on trigger follow through. They almost encourage the “hot release”, repeatedly instructing to not hold back the trigger, stating: “the longer the trigger is held to the rear the longer the Soldier prevents the pistol from functioning and delays reengagement.”

I believe a shooter can’t shoot accurately any faster than he/she can recover from recoil, so there’s no need to get the trigger reset while the sights are off the target. Thoughts?

We’re in agreement. The new TCs are an overall improvement. Now just a matter of getting personnel to read them…

Concerning the “hot release” vs. trigger pin or hold/reset, this issue is a classic example of a useful attempt at a corrective by knowledgeable people being misinterpreted by parrots and creating problems.

Pinning the trigger is taught as a method to encourage followthrough. Feeling/hearing a click is a way to help someone with poor followthrough or recoil anticipation, pre-ignition push, flinch, or other unintended movement disrupting alignment. Used well, it’s a corrective that can help establish control in trigger manipulation.

Apparently, in some law enforcement circles pinning the trigger to rear after each shot became a version of “watch your breathing” in that cadre overemphasized it to the point of it overshadowing trigger control during the shot. I’ve seen videos of struggling LEO shooters being barked at by an “instructor” to emphasize a slow, deliberate trigger reset followed by a sharp, rearward jerk because that’s what someone emphasized to them as “important.” This also needlessly slows shot-to-shot speed. An example:

https://www.facebook.com/USCCA/videos/10155770725824371/

This is rather like someone long ago thought “trigger squeeze” was a useful way to convey the idea of a smoothly-controlled trigger pull and “trigger jerk” a way to describe unintended movement during shot release. The first is sometimes misinterpreted as squeezing with the whole hand as you’d normally do when, say, squeezing a lemon. The second is often misinterpreted by implying the “jerk” is mostly or solely due to the index finger on the trigger and not an unintended reaction from the rest of the shooter’s body.

Any of a number of correctives might be useful if they’re coming from someone knowledgeable enough to make the distinction. These same correctives can be potentially detrimental when overemphasized by personnel that don’t really understand what or why they’re emphasizing it.

As expected, a top shooter like Ernest Langdon is spot on. The error is “training” this reset as a required technique instead of using it to briefly emphasize followthrough for someone that isn’t otherwise getting it.

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Dental Hygiene Level Effort

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One of the most frustrating things I’ve encountered when trying to help shooters (military, law enforcement, and civilian/private gun owners alike) is that it wouldn’t take much effort to make a marked improvement.

My advice to LE students at the academy I instructed for was a simple dry practice routine:
Five careful “shots”
Five presentations from the duty holster

Do this in the locker/ready room at the start and end of each shift. The officers were gearing up/down and checking equipment anyway, so adding this only takes a minute or two. However, even for those skipping half the sessions would end up with well over a thousand quality “shots” and presentation reps before the end of their rookie year taking no real amount of time and costing nothing.

Everybody that bothered to do it reported their next qualification went notably better with a much improved score. Amazingly enough…

I refer to this as the dental hygiene level of effort. Dedicate about the same amount of time it takes to brush and floss your teeth every day to learning a new skill can yield long-term results.

The big problem was how few bothered to do so.

Sightless Shooting

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Point shooters are a foolish lot… Good shooters are already good at point shooting. The reverse is rarely true.

Wanted to push the limits and see how well I could shoot a gun with absolutely no sights. Surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as you would think. Just really had to focus on trigger control. The times I missed were due to me trying to speed up my trigger pull.

The first drill is at 15yards with a plate 7yards to the side.

The second is at 10 yards.

The third is at 25 yards.

Give it a try and see if you can beat my times.

Gear Review Requests

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https://www.facebook.com/notes/raven-concealment-systems/so-you-want-to-be-a-gear-review-blogger-eh/604668529582182/

http://soldiersystems.net/2013/12/30/ask-ssd-should-i-send-gear-to-this-blogger/#comments

Soldier Systems Daily posted an outstanding article today aimed at gear companies who get approached by bloggers wanting free gear. Since they get 20-30 requests for free gear from bloggers each week, use their list of advice for anyone that wants to review gear:

1) Gear blogs are neat, but the old “10 pictures and 5 paragraphs” format that a lot of guys still do is largely being supplanted by videos. Consumers still read text and image blogs, but video reviews result in a much higher conversion rate to sales. Since that conversion rate is what we manufacturers are looking for, you’re more likely to get product from us if you do video. Videos are also much more likely to get shared by the manufacturer via their social media program (like Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail newsletters) because that’s what consumers are most likely to click on. Hell, if I really wanted people to see this, I should have shot this note as a video rather than typing it!

2) Don’t hit me up out of the blue with your hand out for free stuff. Buy product from companies and do reviews first. A blogger who e-mails me cold and asks for something will likely get nothing, while a guy who sends me links to four other reviews he has already done on products of mine is likely to get a big box of goodies. On the other end of that, when you get free gear for reviews, it is a major faux pas to sell that gear online when you’re done with it. If you were given something and no longer need it, the proper course of action is to give it to someone who needs it, or donate it to a charity auction or raffle that supports a worthy gun/gear related cause. I’m not sending you free product so you can stock your own personal for-profit tactical gear store. Pay it forward.

3) Actually know what your viewership/readership is. Be able to articulate the particulars of your audience to me. BE HONEST about these stats; I’m going to check you out before I send anything. If you don’t know this stuff, you’re unlikely to get support from RCS.

4) I’m not necessarily looking for the guy who has a billion subscribers to his YouTube channel. What I want is someone who makes videos that don’t suck. Keep them SHORT. Almost everyone (including some of my friends who are big-time video bloggers) make videos that are waaaaaaay too long, which means people skim them, at best. When someone sends me a link to a 10+ minute “review” video, I won’t even skim it. Never make a video longer than four minutes; 90-180 seconds is optimal. If you can’t buffer it on your smart phone and watch it in the time it takes to roll through a McDonalds drive through, most people won’t bother trying to watch it. One of the best examples of a video done right is this one that Stephen Pineau made about the VG2.

5) Make sure you read the product instructions and relay correct product specs and information in your blog. It also doesn’t hurt to approach the company whose gear you are reviewing and ask them to check for any technical errors. Bloggers that screw up these little details are far less likely to get product support from manufacturers on future blogs or videos.

6) Cultivate a relationship with companies; don’t just chase after the latest new gadget. The guys who I send samples of our new products before they hit the shelves are the ones who have a proven track record and who stay in touch with us on a regular basis. They do follow up blogs on gear from us they have already reviewed. If the only time I hear from you is when I launch a new product, you’re probably not going to get what you’re seeking.

7) I like helping new bloggers get traction, because more successful bloggers means more exposure for RCS. But the surest way to get shut out is to do a bunch of posturing about what a big deal your YouTube channel or blog is. Be honest about being small; don’t try to use smoke and mirrors to dazzle me.

8) Seriously, keep your wife/girlfriend OUT of your videos. If your content is so anemic that you have to put Daisy Dukes on your girl and have her fumble awkwardly with a pistol on camera, you’re in the wrong line of work. It’s a gimmick, like having a a stripper working your trade show booth. Frankly, it distracts people from the product, and it makes you look unprofessional. When you look unprofessional, you don’t get product support.

9) Be knowledgeable. You don’t have to have a background in military or law enforcement work, but you DO need to know about the product you’re reviewing, as well as comparable and/or competing products. The best product reviews are the ones that not only tell the features of the product, but also help the consumer understand how the product works in conjuction with other firearms or gear that they also use.

10) This industry is a small one, and the companies talk to each other. If you conduct yourself professionally and create quality review content, you’ll find that doors open very easily to you. Free gear will flow like water. However, if you get a reputation as being a guy who shakes everyone down for free gear and then doesn’t deliver, or you get caught selling things you were sent as demo items, you’ll find yourself black listed pretty quickly.

Competitive Shooter Wins Fight

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Not an isolated incident. I’m convinced the only reason we don’t see more reports like this is it requires a low percentage event to meet with a low (but top) percentage of the gun owning public.

https://citizentv.co.ke/news/inayat-kassam-meet-the-52-year-old-hero-who-saved-lives-at-westgate-and-14-riverside-227173/

Inayat Kassam: Meet the 52-year-old hero who saved lives at Westgate and 14 Riverside
In a previous exclusive interview with Citizen TV, Mr. Kassam said he was at a shooting competition when his phone rang and when he answered, “the caller said, ‘Shots fired. We’re scared.’”

Mr. Kassam got into his car with fellow licensed firearm user – Peter Bonde – and off they sped towards Westgate Mall where they exchanged fire with criminals, fought side-by-side with Kenyan law enforcement, and led hundred of Kenyans trapped inside the mall to safety.

See also:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/ipsc-shooter-wins-fight/

Guns are Weapons

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Matt at The Everyday Marksman posits that firearm use is a martial art and there is nothing wrong with that. His take on this is spot on. Tip-toeing around the fact that firearms are weapons (insisting on euphemisms such as “Modern Sporting Rifle” as an example) does no good as it implies there is something wrong with skillful weaponcraft and citizens owning personal weapons. The vast majority of humans can learn to use them without harm.

I take the stance that most games and sports involving a ball/disk/puck/dart/etc. are a form of marksmanship as they involve launching an object into a designated scoring area for points. An ability to do that with greater precision, from further distance, and/or faster than others is always an advantage.

As mentioned in the article, a number of these games have direct martial roots. Even Track and Field was created as a military exercise. Consider the Hoplitodromos.

The Martial Art of Marksmanship: It’s Not Bullshido
https://www.everydaymarksman.co/mindset/marksmanship-martial-art/

H.S. Ball Sports and Shooting

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https://www.statista.com/statistics/267955/participation-in-us-high-school-football/
1,039,079 total high school football players (11-player gridiron) in the 2017/18 school year (1,036,842 male, 2,237 female)

High school football participation continues to drop as concerns over cost, injuries persist
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/08/28/high-school-football-participation-continues-to-drop-as-concerns-over-cost-injuries-persist/

The problems facing high school football don’t appear to be going away, and according to new data released by the National Federation of State High School Associations, neither is the downward trend in participation.

Fewer than 1.04 million high school students played football in 2017. That’s 20,000 fewer athletes than in 2016, a 2 percent drop. [emphasis added.]

What does this have to do with gun owners? Compare the numbers.

A two percent drop in high school football player participation is about the total amount of current card-carrying USPSA or IDPA members.

And that’s just gridiron football. High school basketball has about the same total number with nearly one million participants.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/267942/participation-in-us-high-school-basketball/

Add in nearly a million high school soccer players, about a half million high school baseball players, another half million for volleyball, and a 1/3 million for softball and you have more active ball sport participants in high school than the NRA has total members.

http://www.nfhs.org/ParticipationStatics/PDF/2014-15_Participation_Survey_Results.pdf
https://www.nfhs.org/ParticipationStatics/ParticipationStatics.aspx/

And these numbers are active participants and does not count spectators, fans, supportive friends and family, and any other non-player that is involved.

As far as shooting, there are just over 5,000 high school marksmanship competitors (1,025 Air Rifle and 4,238 Riflery). And before you wrongly assume this is due to some anti-gun policy at the schools, consider that only about 2% of NRA members hold a Classification, something that can be earned by merely participating in a Sanctioned (Registered or Approved) tournament.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/nra-classification-fall-off/

These are the real reasons ball sports get media coverage and shooting does not.

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