Catastrophic Training Scars From Competition Shooting

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The “training scar” fallacy is a popular myth that refuses to die. It typically stems from making unsubstantiated claims against some aspect of competitive shooting. El Presidente remains a popular target.

Review how a school like Gunsite uses a drill like this:

Set up three silhouette-type targets with an identified and reasonably-sized center zone (about 8 inches across) at around 10 meters away. At the command to start, turn, present, engage each target with two shots, reload, and re-engage each with two more shots.

Use a par time of 10 seconds for self-loading handguns and 12 for revolvers. Score 5 points for hits in the center zone, 2 for shots outside that zone but hitting the silhouette, and 0 for misses. If completed faster than the suggested par time, add a 5 point bonus for every full second faster; if slower than the par time, deduct 5 points for every full second.

Completing the course on par with 12 centered hits scores 60 points. Gunsite Operations Manager Ed Head says, “Jeff Cooper felt anyone capable of performing this drill on demand, with a suitable carry pistol, achieving a score of 45 or better, was probably an expert with their firearm and carry gear.” Gunsite uses 40+ points as “Good” and 50+ points as “Great” for their students.

By practical competition standards, this isn’t terribly great shooting. Shooting in Production division (which resembles carry gear) completing CM99-11 with a Hit Factor of 6 (60 points as described above, which is “Great/Expert” among Gunsite students) will be competitive with C Class shooters, a Level 2 Classification and the second lowest skill bracket.

The only considerable “training scar” impacting most military, law enforcement, and civilian gun owners is a general lack of skill. A simple review of the very low standards that declare one as “qualified” on typical public sector courses exposes this. Very few military, law enforcement, and CCW people lacking competition shooting can consistently hit that 40+ point level Gunsite recommends, and even that would put you with the Level 1 (D Class) shooters.

The potential problems highlighted against competitive shooting are interesting to consider but do not become relevant until a base of ability is built. Using the El Presidente course highlighted here, a handgun owner that can’t consistently pull it off with decent hits (all on the silhouettes, most of them centered) in under 12 seconds can not have a “training scar” because they do not yet have anything resembling training.

Kim Rhode vs MSM


Memes about Kim Rhode and her lack of mainstream media attention have been circulating recently.

It’s easy to blame MSM for lack of pro-gun coverage. It is also inaccurate. First, this ignores the demographics of shooting and pro-gun involvement compared to more mainstream interests, such as sport ball athletes and movie celebrities. MSM does not care about you or your issues. They care about three things:

  1. How many people watch/read/use their outlet/broadcast.
  2. How much time those people spend on viewing/reading/listening.
  3. How many dollars marketers will pay them for access to those viewers/readers/listeners.

The same can be said for all media outlets. Replace the name of any broadcast or print media outlet or news program and this is still true. I’ve found some pro-gun media outlets resistant to publishing information on competition shooting because it doesn’t cater to their readership. If it’s true for pro-gun publications and websites, even though they are focused on the specific niche and demographic of “gun owner” instead of the public at large, then it shouldn’t be surprising that general media at large is disinterested.

After Kim Rhode medalled in six Olympics in a row, some claimed her lack of media coverage was due to media bias. However, USA Today, the New York Times, CBS Sports, SB Nation, NBC, WGN, People Magazine, NBC 9News, and the Chicago Tribune published articles about her. Other publications such as Time, Forbes, the Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR published articles about Rhode’s accomplishments that highlighted her views on the Second Amendment.

Tokyo 2020(2021) Olympics

NBC Sports: Shooting Highlights
NBC Sports: Shooting Replays

Shooting Sports USA Wrap up:
U.S. Earns Six Olympic Shooting Medals In Tokyo, Best Performance Since 1964

On Her Turf: Olympic Shooter Mary Tucker
An exclusive interview with Team USA Air Rifle Shooter Mary Tucker, who competed in the first medal match of the 2020 Olympic Games. Tucker talks about gender equality in her sport, and how YouTube helped her train. Mary Tucker discusses Olympic, Collegiate, and Women’s rifle competitions.

Wall Street Journal: Mary Tucker

Washington Post:


ABC News (from AP)
Olympic air rifles turning heads with futuristic looks

Metro (Schneps Media publishes the leading free weekday daily newspapers in New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Tech Radar: How to Watch Olympic Shooting

BBC Sport

The Bridge: Olympic Shooting overview

Republic World

British Olympic Association (Team GB): Olympic Shooting guide:

The Guardian: Gun rights and Gold medals

NBC Today Show

NBC Today Show: Amber English and Vincent Hancock Skeet Gold Women, Skeet Gold Men

Will Shaner:
USA Today

Boston Globe:

Denver Post:


Fox News:

NBC Sports: Will Shaner
NBC Sports: Vincent Hancock


NBC New York: Kayle Browning (USA) and Alessandra Perilli (San Marino)

NPR: Alessandra Perilli (San Marino)


Star Tribune: Patrick Sunderman

How Japan’s gun laws impact competition shooting

This isn’t some nefarious anti-gun plot, it is simply catering to the majority. Gun owners are largely ignorant of organized shooting activity. Non-gun owners are even less aware and interested. This is the simple result of a market in action, not back-room politics trying to steal your guns. If the issue is controversial but of interest to a small minority, it’s probably easier to just avoid dealings and prevent alienating the majority, and especially alienating people and companies buying advertising/marketing trying to reach that general public.

Even among those gun owners that are active, activities such as golf eclipse them by a large margin. Again, the market speaks. If more people golf and are willing to pay for it, then more golf courses are built and more golf coverage is seen in the mainstream media because more people are voting with their dollars and feet. Gun owners are simply not as active, even when various reports claim that they are.

This is not an anti-gun plot. Garnering publicity and inspiring public interest is a tough row to hoe for every organization.

Common, accepted estimates place somewhere between 50-80 million Americans as owning at least one firearm. I don’t know why there is such a vast lack of interest in organized shooting events among them but given that there is, shooting will never be a mainstream activity. It’s not politics. It’s not anti-gun policy. It’s the result of the market voting with their dollars and feet.

Read another take here:

Marksmanship Training and Publicity


What does a 50-foot NRA range for .22 rifles in Oklahoma have to do with the combat effectiveness and survival of a Marine in Vietnam? In the young life of R.S. Hildreth, almost everything. Hildreth at 17 qualified as an NRA junior sharpshooter. He fired his score at Tulsa on a 50-foot NRA range.

Hildreth at 19 qualified as a hero. He fired against a Viet Cong machine gun at 175 feet. With only his rifle, he “literally fought a duel” with the machine gun crew. When his accurate marksmanship wiped them out, other Viet Cong manned the weapon. Hildreth coolly picked them off in turn.

The Silver Star Medal was awarded Hildreth for his “resolute fighting spirit, bold initiative and unwavering dedication to duty … in the face of overwhelming odds.” What the citation clearly implied, without saying, was: “He had faith in his rifle and himself.”

As brought out in the Arthur D. Little Company research report to the Department of the Army, “We found that the more marksmanship instruction trainees received prior to service, the higher their record scores” in military shooting.

American Rifleman, November 1966

Shooting organizations like the NRA used to write and submit News articles like this to local media on behalf of successful shooters. When was the last time NRA, CMP, USPSA, IDPA, PRS, NRL, ICORE, WA1500, SASS, IHMSA, IBS, or any other alphabet soup organization charging membership fees did this for you?

Under the programs administered through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship and NRA, nearly 6,000 civilian clubs participate in making firearms instruction available to more than 400,000 Americans annually. The participants fire annually 62,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition issued by the DCM.

The 1966 national convention of the American Legion, composed of men who know war, commended the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and the NRA “for their work in organizing adult and junior clubs, furnishing trained instructors, and conducting marksmanship tournaments throughout the country.” The veterans organization noted that “actual experience has proven that men entering military service with previous rifle training are more capable in combat, thus improving their chances for survival … .”

Those words should make people like J. A. Perrin, Jr., of Loveland, Ohio, an NRA Life member, feel pretty good. Joe, Jr. saw to it that Joe III learned to shoot well enough to win the junior Expert Rifleman Medal at the age of 9. Although Joe III had not fired a shot in the 10 years since then, he easily qualified as Expert with a service rifle as a Marine “boot” at Parris Island.

Wherever Joe III serves next, he stands a better chance of coming home alive and hearty because of what his dad calls “good old NRA training.”

That is what the National Rifle Association is about. It is not all that NRA does, but if it were, it would be enough.

The NRA used to be primarily concerned with marksmanship. Good times.

Canadian Rangers

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The Canadian Rangers compete in Service Conditions competitions using their issue Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles, recently replaced by the Colt Canada C19, a license-built, Finnish-designed Tikka T3 CTR bolt action rifle.

Here are links to examples of them shooting at CAFSAC, Connaught Range (CRPTC)

Skilled Online Gamers Needed (spam)

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All Soldiers in the Army received several spam emails about this. I’m sharing two that I personally received.

The U.S. Army not only authorized this spam, they shared name and contact information of their Soldiers and paid money to put up the supporting websites. I know this because I have never signed up for anything related to this activity, military or civilian, yet the email was addressed directly to my Army ( account and addressed by my current rank and full name.

Marksmen in the Army (the few of us there are) wonder why the Department of Army would spend money to fund video game eSports. Simple: demographic reality.

I’ve since learned that eSports not only attracts large numbers of active and dedicated participants, the best players can make a good living streaming their gameplay to their fans. I once attended a Meetup Group for programmers thinking the subject was going to be about video game design but turned out to be a discussion panel of professional video gamers. While they had all won money in tournaments (some eSports tournaments are valued at $10 million USD), their primary, regular income was derived by ad revenue from spectators watching live and recorded streams of their play online. Noone on that panel had a corporate sponsor or another outside source of income.

Pause and consider that: video game players drive enough spectator interest they can remain unsponsored and still make a living. Now consider the vast majority of these players and fans are of the demographic most sought after by military recruiting.

So, how many shooters were at that last match you attended?

Shooting failure example 1: The NRA Competition Division reports that only 2% of the card-carrying membership holds a Classification, and you get Marksman class by merely shooting the match. Anyone shooting two matches without being disqualified for a safety violation will receive a Marksman Classification, even if they post the lowest score ever recorded. 98% of the NRA has never bothered to do this.

Shooting failure example 2: Team members of the U.S. Army Reserve Entitlement Team (oops, I mean “Marksmanship Program”) routinely fail to submit an AAR for shooting competitions or training they attend while on orders. Public Affairs grants our Team unlimited access to official Army Reserve News, with every article guaranteed to appear on official Army websites, in the official Army Reserve news feed, and on the USAR Double Eagle app. But articles can’t be written if info is never submitted. Submitting an event AAR (a junior enlisted task expected to be done for all training and events) is even routinely disregarded by Team leadership and senior NCOs in charge. Talking with other public affairs personnel supporting other programs tell me this is the norm for them as well.

eSports players build and support their activities. Shooters, with a head start of over a century, fail to do the same. That’s one reason why Army leadership pushes eSports instead of shooting.

Spam 1

Skilled Online Gamers Needed



The U.S. Army e-Sports Team is a highly successful, DA sanctioned program run by the United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). The organization fields competitive teams & gamer streaming talent to represent the U.S. Army both online and at events across the country. The mission is simple: connect America’s Army to the American public through a passion for gaming.

We are looking to expand our talent pool of Active Duty, Army Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers across select e-Sports titles and platforms. Current e-Sports titles include:

 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
 – League of Legends
 – Apex Legends
 – Rocket League

We are also interested in Soldiers with exceptional abilities in other titles, Soldier gamers with significant social media followings, and Soldiers who have very strong streaming/commentator abilities.

Soldiers selected for the team must be prepared for a PCS assignment to Fort Knox and understand that joining the team will involve outreach engagements and interaction with the public on a daily basis. There is also an opportunity to be a part of the “at-large” team if you are not selected for the Fort Knox based resident team and/or cannot PCS to Fort Knox. The current U.S. Army e-Sports at-large team represents dozens of additional game titles.


 – Active duty, Army Reserves, or National Guard
 – E-1 to E-8, O-1 to O-3, and WO1 to CW3
 – Must be in good standings (no flags/pending actions)
 – Able to compete at the highest level of e-Sports competition in their perspective title and/or be talented as a streaming personality.

To be eligible for TDY opportunities:
 – Must have up to date DA 705/ DA 5500 and Active Government Travel Card and DTS account


To inquire about joining the U.S. Army e-Sports team at Fort Knox or join the at-large team, join our Discord server at

All interested Soldiers should join the Discord server no later than 01 DEC to be considered for the team. Additional instructions on the selection process and timelines will be put out through Discord.



Social and streaming accounts are twitter, Instagram, Facebook @usarmyesports.

Streaming channels: 


********** To remove yourself from the mailing list click the following link **********

Please do not respond to this email. Replies are routed to an unmonitored mailbox.

© 2020. Paid for by the United States Army. All rights reserved. Information subject to change.

Spam 2
Talent Call – Join the Army eSports Team


U.S. Army eSports is a highly successful, DA sanctioned program run by the United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). The organization fields competitive teams to represent the U.S. Army both online and at events across the country.

We are looking to expand our talent pool of Active Duty, Army Reserve, and National Guard soldiers across all games and platforms. We have regular tryouts for our competitive teams and are looking to maximize participation in order to maintain our competitive edge.

Teams that are currently or soon to be in the process of tryouts include:

 – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC)
 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4)
 – Overwatch (PC)
 – Rocket League (Cross Platform)
 – Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (PC)


 – Active duty, Army Reserves, or National Guard
 – E-1 to E-8, O-1 to O-3, and WO1 to CW3
 – Must be in good standings (no flags/pending actions)
 – Able to compete at the highest level of eSports competition in their perspective title

To be eligible for TDY opportunities:
 – Must have up to date DA 705/ DA 5500 and Active Government Travel Card and DTS account


To inquire about opportunities or to interact with other soldiers in an active gaming community, join our Discord server at


Social and streaming accounts are twitter, Instagram, Facebook @usarmyesports.

Streaming channels: 


This message was sent to:

To stop receiving messages about Army eSports please use the link below:
********** To remove yourself from the mailing list click the following link **********

Please do not respond to this email. Replies are routed to an unmonitored mailbox.

© 2020. Paid for by the United States Army. All rights reserved. Information subject to change.

Being A Gun Professional

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By Steven Cline
The Deadeye Method

What’s it take to be considered a gun professional? Should that term be reserved for law enforcement or military members only? Maybe only top end competitors? How about being a full-time firearm instructor with pages of credentials? Can a gun professional be only someone of some elite status? Certainly those suggestions might give the appearance of being a gun professional. But, I humble submit for your consideration that a person can be defined as a gun professional by the following 5 tests. And, no matter how professional a person claims to be, if they fail one or more of these test, a professional they certainly are not.

1) The Professional follows all gun safety rules, always and forever.
In some case law the gun is declared an inherently dangerous object. This places it in a unique category of items because their very use (shooting them) imparts a serious risk of harm or death. Extra care is required in the handling and shooting of firearms. For practice we have specifically and carefully constructed ranges. We have rules that demand that we be certain of our target, and what is beyond it. The first of Coopers Rules demands that we treat the firearm as if it were loaded, even when it is not. A firearm can kill and we must always remind ourselves of that. It is why were never point the gun at things we are unwilling to destroy (innocent people being foremost on the list) and we don’t place our finger on the trigger until we intend to fire it. The professional is intentional about every handling of the gun. This brings us to the second rule of being a gun professional.

2) The Professional is never cavalier about un-holstering.
Properly holstered, the firearm cannot be discharged. Removing the firearm from the holster makes it “fireable” and therefor un-holstering should always be an intentional act. The reason or purpose for un-holstering should always be reasonable and the professional considers how they will un-holstering and conduct all subsequent handling before “skinnin’ that hog leg”. A professional gun handler never finds themselves with an un-holstered gun in hand and then tries to figure out what is the safest way to do whatever they were trying to do. Examples of cavalier gun handling includes things like, “Hey check out my new gat/holster/ammo.” Or, “I am the only one professional enough in this room (that I know of) to carry this Glock 40.” Please know that the constant carrying of a gun can quickly lead to a very cavalier attitude towards the firearm with the resulting unintentional discharges. Professionals can discuss a particular model of gun, holster, carry ammo, or anything gun related without yanking the gun. Speaking of holsters.

3) The Professional uses quality equipment.
A professional does not carry a gun of dubious reputation or in an inferior holster. A high end holster is essential. Professionals do not carry in low cost, poorly designed holsters. Tom Givens of Rangemaster will not let you participate in classes with a cheap, floppy, nylon holster. I will tell you that the holster is the most under rated piece of safety equipment and that you should be spending around $50 or more on your holster alone. I’ll also tell you not to string a cheap, flimsy, light-weight belt through that holster. Some instructors will not let you attend instruction with a Serpa holster (rightly or wrongly). Of course, the Professional invests in a firearm of sufficient quality and then confirms that quality with much practice.

4) The Professional improves.
A professional constantly seeks improvement and is not satisfied with attending a single Conceal Carry class. The professional practices regularly; weekly if not more so. Are you aware that the FBI interviewed criminal who had attacked cops and found that they practiced, on average, 23 times each year? That’s almost twice a month. If you are not practicing at least that much how could you ever consider yourself a gun professional? The professional is above average in skill amongst the gun carrying community, not the general population. It’s entirely too easy to be better than the average American. The average American sucks at gun handling and shooting.
The consensus amongst quality trainers is that you should be able to draw and place an accurate shot in under 2 seconds, and the closer you get to one second the better. Most persons who carry will be at three to four seconds when tested cold and rarely approach the sub two second standard when warmed to the draw. We’ve all watched in horror as the West Freeway Church of Christ safety team member fumbled his draw for four seconds before being shot. Four seconds and he hadn’t even managed to bring the gun to bear. I can’t believe if the man knew his draw was that slow he would not have been carrying under a suit jacket and an untucked shirt. He didn’t know his ability.

5) The Professional knows their ability, intimately.
A professional is not afraid to know their real skill level by competing in shooting competition, under a timer, and in front of witnesses to hold them accountable. Many a cop and military member got a rude awakenings attending a shooting competition and found that virtually everyone there was far better (faster and more accurate with less fundamental errors). Many took the lesson to heart and sought to improve. Sadly, the unprofessional ones offered excuses and never returned less the truth be reinforced. A professional knows how fast their draw is. They know their ability to make a shot at various distances. The amateur cannot tell you how long their splits are (the time required for them to recover from recoil, reacquire a sight picture, and reset the trigger and properly press it a second time). This knowledge comes from practice and competition with a timer.

In summation, you could say that the professional is never lazy in their thinking or doing as it relates to guns. If you are careless an inattentive when you un-holster your gun, sweep others while touching the trigger, carry in a cheap holster on a flimsy belt, never practice, never improve, have no idea how poor of a shooter you are, and are relying on a single training class years ago then you are the very definition of an gun amateur. If that observation convicted you, then buy a better holster and belt, practice, get some additional training, compete, and start following the fundamental rules of firearm safety. If you passed the above five tests, welcome to the ranks of the gun professional.

Does Carrying A Pistol Make You Safer?

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It’s puzzling that so many Americans are choosing to arm themselves at a time when the FBI tells us violent crime and property crime have been falling dramatically for two decades.

John Burnett, NPR

“It’s puzzling that so many homeowners are choosing to maintain fire extinguishers at a time when the data tells us fire incidents have been falling dramatically” would sound about the same. Also, this has been the trend for three decades, since the early 1990s.

There is no correlation between homocide and gun ownership. Tools don’t do anything by themselves and their presence can not make you more or less safe. BJ Campbell has a tremendous article on this that thoroughly looks at the numbers and analyzes how a series of less-thorough reports got this wrong.

Everybody’s Lying About the Link Between Gun Ownership and Homicide
There is no clear correlation whatsoever between gun ownership rate and gun homicide rate. Not within the USA. Not regionally. Not internationally. Not among peaceful societies. Not among violent ones. Gun ownership doesn’t make us safer. It doesn’t make us less safe. A bivariate correlation simply isn’t there. It is blatantly not-there. It is so tremendously not-there that the “not-there-ness” of it alone should be a huge news story.

Gun Murder Rate is not correlated with firearm ownership rate in the United States, on a state by state basis. Firearm Homicide Rate is not correlated with guns per capita globally. It’s not correlated with guns per capita among peaceful countries, nor among violent countries, nor among European countries.

BJ Campbell


Gov’t Study: Buyback programs do not work

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My conversations with shooters in Australia indicate that their massive buyback program was used by many to dump unsellable firearms they no longer wanted.

Government agencies that have formally studied the result found the scheme failed to produce claimed results.

“Although gun buybacks appear to be a logical and sensible policy that helps to placate the public’s fears, the evidence so far suggests that in the Australian context, the high expenditure incurred to fund the 1996 gun buyback has not translated into any tangible reductions in terms of firearms deaths”

– National Criminal Justice Reference Service

ABOUT National Criminal Justice Reference Service
Established in 1972, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) is a federally funded resource offering justice and drug-related information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.


Anti-gun Professor Stops Stereotyping Gun Owners After Talking To Gun Owners


Even though this English professor still claims to not like guns, even after learning the basics of shooting, she does admit that she no longer stereotypes gun owners. Not ideal, but it is progress. And it’s something we hear of often. If people are willing to be open-minded and try shooting or even just talking to gun owners they often walk away with a vastly different take on the Second Amendment and those of us who believe so strongly in it.

To that end, we as gun owners need to do our part to win over anyone willing to hear us out. That means being open and friendly to those who may not necessarily share our exact views on freedom, gun ownership and self-defense.

This happens one person at a time, and one conversation at a time. But before that process can begin those non-gun owners have to feel comfortable approaching us. And more often than not that process begins by being open and approachable.

Major kudos to the instructor at the Butch Olafson Range who took that phone call from a very nervous English professor. And kudos to Ms. Spaulding-Kruse for owning up to and overcoming your fear, as well as moving past your preconceived stereotype of gun owners. You still may not like guns, but if you ever want to go shooting again look us up. We’re happy to continue your education on shooting sports and gun ownership.

Strength Training Effects on Endurance

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Three groups of runners were equalized as Novices (layoff from any training for an equal amount of time) and then conducted the same running program. The training difference was the three groups used a 5×5 strength training program (“heavy strength training”), 3×5 lifting with plyometrics (“complex training”), and high repetition (“endurance strength training”).

The two group training with sets of five (5×5 or 3×5 with plyo) had similar good benefits to their running results while the high rep group had the worst results despite being novice trainees in an endurance sport.

“HST (heavy strength training) and CPX (complex training, mix of strength training with plyo) produced similar improvements in maximum strength, power (as ascertained through the squat jump and countermovement jump) running economy and vV02max. Additionally, HST and CPX resulted in greater eccentric strength and running economy improvements than the low weight, high repetition EST (endurance strength training), which showed some marginal and not significant improvement. This adds to the body of literature that overall favors heavy and/or plyometric strength training being superior to low weight, high repetition strength training specifically for running (and in many cases other types of endurance) performance.

“In addition to this, one of the interesting ways the research team standardized the groups was that all of them abstained from strength training for the prior 6 months before the intervention. Normally when this is the case, any intervention results in a meaningful positive adaptation simply because the training stimulus is novel as well as an overall increase in training load (you are adding strength training on top of your normal run training). So, when you look at the fact that the EST (low weight, high rep) produced basically no response despite the intervention being additive to the underlying run training load and despite it being novel, you could easily say that it was a waste of the athlete’s time.

“The literature is starting to demonstrate more and more, you are better off taking that time you are spending doing a billion bodyweight step-ups and redirecting it into a handful of heavy squats”

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