Sunday, July 06, 2008

Florida Concealed Weapon Class

The Basics of Pistol Shooting
Course Fee: $150.00

Defensive Training Group offers the Basics of Pistol Shooting as a 10 hour NRA course designed to introduce the shooter to the fundamentals of shooting with a handgun. This is a comprehensive pistol course and is directed at individuals with all levels of experience. This National Rifle Association certified curriculum meets and exceeds the requirements to obtain a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm Permit. This gun safety course is a mixture of classroom lecture and range exercise instruction and teaches the student how to safely operate a pistol. Students will receive a National Rifle Association (NRA) certificate and workbook upon successful completion of the course.

This NRA pistol course will cover the following

  • Nomenclature of Handguns (semi-automatics and revolvers)
  • Firearms Safety
  • Safe handling and loading / unloading of Handguns
  • Proper grip and stance
  • Trigger control and sight picture
  • Basic shooting positions
  • Situational awareness and conflict avoidance

The student will need the following

  • Handgun (semi-automatic or revolver)
  • 100-200 rounds of practice ammunition
  • Spare magazines or speedloaders (optional)
  • Hearing and wrap around eye protection
  • Hat, sunscreen, and full coverage shirts and shoes (no tank tops, low cut shirts, sandals or flip flops)
  • Rain gear for inclement weather

Defensive Training Group courses are offered at the Gainesville Target Range, Gainesville’s premiere outdoor firearm training facility. We are conveniently located in North West Gainesville, in Alachua County Florida only an hour’s drive from Lake City, Ocala, Chiefland and Palatka, Florida. However, many of our students frequently travel from the Jacksonville, Orange Park, St. Augustine, Orlando and the Tampa Bay Area for our personal protection and concealed weapon training classes.

Defensive Training Group offer classes in Personal Protection and Combat Pistol training. Our trainers are graduates of Gunsite, Lethal Force Institute LFI, Smith & Wesson Academy and others. We offer training from NRA and Florida CJSTC firearm instructors.

At Defensive Training Group, gun handling and the safe training with a firearm is our utmost priority. Most frequently, we are asked “What kind of gun should I buy?” and we hope to answer these and other questions in this basic pistol course. We also offer a Women Only Class and Personal One-on-One instruction for an additional fee. Our philosophy on concealed carry is that you need the best personal protection instruction available, at a reasonable and affordable price. Defensive Training Group offers the gold standard in firearms training in North Central Florida. For more information visit our website:

(352) 318-5308


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Have Gun...Will Travel

Having a gun on your person when you need it, to say the least, is much better than having one in the car or worse, at home! Why didn’t you carry it? Is it because it’s too big, bulky or heavy?

Most people deciding to carry go for a smaller pistol, obviously because of its size / weight, etc. Ask yourself these questions first. Why are you carrying a pistol to begin with? Do you feel a need, or responsibility to carry? If so, what difference does the size or weight matter? If you need one…carry it!

Sure, a full-sized .44 revolver is hard to conceal but let’s be real! If you must carry, get a larger shirt, wear a thick belt, get a good “quality” holster and just carry the damn thing. If you are just starting out though, it’s a good idea to get a full size pistol, and learn to shoot it…and shoot it well. Then learn to carry it. Carrying involves awareness, personal responsibility and “good decision” making. Then, after you can carry a full size pistol, get a small pistol, and learn how to use it…and use it well.

I’ve carried this S&W model 640 .357 mag. as a back-up pistol for about 10 years. It’s been a great pistol and is quite accurate. Here in Florida, where the heat and humidity causes me to sweat, the stainless steel construction is a plus. I’ve come home from work on numerous days, and when I take the gun off, it looks like I’ve been swimming with it. However, I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, and I have arthritis in my hands, the gun just seems to beat me up, more and more. I got rid of the rubber grips for a purpose; they get hung up on my T-shirts. I really like these wooden grips, but it sure does hurt after fifty rounds or so.

Keep that in mind when you buy a pistol for the purpose of carrying. Make sure you can handle the gun that you choose! Weigh the pros and cons against each other for the size gun that you choose. If the pros win…go for it.

Whatever your decision…make a good, well informed choice, and most importantly, be careful.

For more information, view my website: Defensive Training Group

Semper Fidelis.

SWAT Roundup 05

Over seventy Spec-Ops Teams competed in the 2005 SWAT Roundup International in Orlando, FL. Represented were teams from local Police and US Military, also over 20 foreign military and police agencies participated.

Each competitor must attend training classes, in addition to the daily competition. As instructors, we have a chance to meet other SWAT operators, and share various SWAT training tactics and techniques. Firearms trainers from all over the world gather for the five day event, making "networking" an essential part of the program.

Also, teaching pistol shooting techniques through the “language barrier” to our foreign counterparts can be a challenge but with patience by all, it is easily overcome. In our classes alone, we had students from Estonia, Germany, UAE, Spain and Sarajevo.

Many of these competitors have just returned from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, and were able to share their experiences with us, and since this is a "SWAT" competition, all students are experienced members of active Law Enforcement SWAT Teams. It's always good to know that the tactics that we preach are working for those not only on the front lines in the Middle East but also on the streets of our own country.

Here, the shooters work on "smooth = fast" presentation & magazine changes. As always, participation in this type of event is a very rewarding experience. Everyone comes out a WINNER!

For more information, view my website: Defensive Training Group

Back In 1775...My Marine Corps Came Alive...

The following is an excerpt of the "Brief History of the United States Marine Corps."

On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution, established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps.

These Continental Marines’ first amphibious raid was into the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of Captain (later Major) Samuel Nicholas.

Following the Revolutionary War and the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on 11 July 1798, Marines saw action in the quasi-war with France, landed in Santo Domingo, and took part in many operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli" and during the War of 1812 the Marines fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans.

During the Mexican War (1846-1848), Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. A battalion of Marines joined General Scott's army at Pueblo and fought all the way to the "Halls of Montezuma," Mexico City.

Following the Spanish-American War (1898), in which Marines performed with valor in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, the Corps entered an era of expansion and professional development. It saw active service in the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902), the Boxer Rebellion in China (1900). and in numerous other nations, including Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Mexico, and Haiti.

In World War I the Marine Corps distinguished itself on the battlefields of France as the 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of "Devil Dogs" for heroic action during 1918 at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont, and in the final Meuse-Argonne offensive. Marine aviation, which dates from 1912, also played a part in the war effort, as Marine pilots flew day bomber missions over France and Belgium. More than 30,000 Marines had served in France and more than a third were killed or wounded in six months of intense fighting.

During the two decades before World War II, the Marine Corps began to develop in earnest the doctrine, equipment, and organization needed for amphibious warfare. The success of this effort was proven first on Guadalcanal, then on Bougainville, Tarawa, New Britain, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. By the end of the war in 1945, the Marine Corps had grown to include six divisions, five air wings, and supporting troops. Its strength in World War II peaked at 485,113. The war cost the Marines nearly 87,000 dead and wounded and 82 Marines had earned the Medal of Honor.

In September 1950, the Marines made a daring amphibious landing at Inchon, Korea proving that the doctrine of amphibious assault was still viable and necessary. After the recapture of Seoul, the Marines advanced to the Chosin Reservoir only to see the Chinese Communists enter the war. After years of offensives, counter-offensives, seemingly endless trench warfare, and occupation duty, the last Marine ground troops were withdrawn in March 1955. More than 25,000 Marines were killed or wounded during the Korean War.

The landing of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Da Nang in 1965 marked the beginning of large-scale Marine involvement in Vietnam. By summer 1968, after the enemy's Tet Offensive, Marine Corps strength in Vietnam rose to a peak of approximately 85,000. The Marine withdrawal began in 1969 as the South Vietnamese began to assume a larger role in the fighting; the last ground forces were out of Vietnam by June 1971. The Vietnam War, longest in the history of the Marine Corps, exacted a high cost as well with over 13,000 Marines killed and more than 88,000 wounded. In the spring of 1975, Marines evacuated embassy staffs, American citizens, and refugees in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. Later, in May 1975, Marines played an integral role in the rescue of the crew of the SS Mayaguez captured off the coast of Cambodia.

The 1980s brought an increasing number of terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies around the world. Marine Security Guards, under the direction of the State Department, continued to serve with distinction in the face of this challenge. In August 1982, Marine units landed at Beirut, Lebanon, as part of the multi-national peace-keeping force. For the next 19 months these units faced the hazards of their mission with courage and professionalism. In October 1983, Marines took part in the highly successful, short-notice intervention in Grenada. As the decade of the 1980s came to a close, Marines were summoned to respond to instability in Central America. Operation Just Cause was launched in Panama in December 1989 to protect American lives and restore the democratic process in that nation.

In August 1990, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait set in motion events that would lead to the largest movement of Marine Corps forces since World War II. Between August 1990 and January 1991, some 24 infantry battalions, 40 squadrons, and more than 92,000 Marines deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. Operation Desert Storm was launched 16 January 1991, the day the air campaign began. The main attack came overland beginning 24 February when the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions breached the Iraqi defense lines and stormed into occupied Kuwait. By the morning of February 28, 100 hours after the ground war began, almost the entire Iraqi Army in the Kuwaiti theater of operations had been encircled with 4,000 tanks destroyed and 42 divisions destroyed or rendered ineffective.

Overshadowed by the events in the Persian Gulf during 1990-91, were a number of other significant Marine deployments demonstrating the Corps' flexible and rapid response. Included among these were non-combatant evacuation operations in Liberia and Somalia and humanitarian lifesaving operations in Bangladesh, the Philippines, and northern Iraq. In December 1992, Marines landed in Somalia marking the beginning of a two-year humanitarian relief operation in that famine-stricken and strife-torn nation.

During the late 1990's, Marine Corps units deployed to several African nations, including Liberia, the Central African Republic, Zaire, and Eritrea, in order to provide security and assist in the evacuation of American citizens, during periods of political and civil instability in those nations. Humanitarian and disaster relief operations were also conducted by Marines during 1998 on Kenya, and in the Central American nations of Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. In 1999, Marine units deployed to Kosovo in support of Operation Allied Force.

Soon after the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., Marine units deployed to the Arabian Sea and in November set up a forward operating base in southern Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Today, Marines stand poised to fight...around the globe as they have for the past 230 years.

Semper Fidelis.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

CCW Class, 11-05-05

The goal of the Basic Pistol Course is to ensure that the students can safely load, unload, and reload their pistol, however I require that reloading can be preformed from positions other than just standing…this makes for some interesting observations by the students and also it adds some realism to the training day.

What sometimes seems like mundane or routine exercises under "normal" conditions can become difficult and taxing by having to change to a position other than standing.

Consider training under as many conditions as your imagination will allow. Can you perform reloads and magazine changes in the dark? Try manipulating your weapon while holding a flashlight also! This shooter uses a S&W .357 magnum…and quite well too.

This woman shoots while on the move with a S&W 9mm. It’s great to see more and more women taking charge of their own personal security and becoming involved in self defense handgun training. These students are professional, intelligent and are very prepared for their training. They've done extensive research on this subject and usually pepper me with a barrage of questions regarding tactics, and equipment. It's a great way to keep me on my toes also.

For more information, view my website: Defensive Training Group

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Beirut Battalion…They Came In Peace

On Sunday morning at about half-past six a.m., October 23, 1983, the Marines of 1st Battalion / 8th Marine Regiment were about to wake up to the nightmare of their lives.

A large Mercedes stake-bed truck driven by an Iranian, crashed through the barbed-wire barriers protecting the Marines and crashed into the lobby of the headquarters building and came to a stop. The Iranian suicide bomber detonated the 12,000 pound PETN bomb vaporizing himself and destroying the four-story cinder-block building causing it to collapse, crushing the sleeping Marines inside.

Barely had the roar of the explosion, heat waves and concussion subsided as the Marines had to adapt to the situation at hand, and react to the magnitude of this attack. Even while rescue efforts were underway, snipers in the hillsides of Beirut took potshots at the rescuers searching for their fellow Americans.

The Beirut Battalion’s mission was not to fight in this war, but by its armed presence keep the peace between the occupying armies and the several dozen armed militias that were wreaking havoc on the civilian population.

In all…241 Americans: 220 Marines, 18 US Navy shipmates, and 3 brave US Army soldiers were killed. Never forget that “they came in peace” and never forget the Beirut Battalion.

The Beirut Memorial outside Camp Lejeune, N.C., home of the 22nd & 24th MEU's

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Lightning Out of Lebanon

"Lightning Out of Lebanon", written by Tom Diaz and Barbara Newman, is an "essential addition to our understanding" of the current terrorist threats to America. This is a brilliant account of how an FBI agent, Rick Schwein, captured a Hezbollah terrorist operating in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2002.

The authors remind us that "Hezbollah held the record for terrorist murders of Americans before al Qaeda seized that grisly distinction with the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001" and they point out that "a successful terrorist plot can be woven of many threads, some of which appear in isolation to be innocent, or at worst, merely petty crime."

They document how Ismalal Ascari an Iranian member of Hezbollah organization was the suicide bomber that leveled the US Marine Barracks in Beirut on October 23, 1983 and Hezbollah operatives in Saudi Arabia are responsible for bombing the American barracks at Khobar Towers in 1996 killing 19 Americans and wounding 515 others.

The authors give a chilling warning that Hezbollah will "simply adjust their tactics to the realities of the moment without changing their ultimate goals - eradicate the Little Satan of Israel, expel the great Satan of the United States" and they finally remind us that "Al Qaeda did not send stealth bombers to the United States. It sent fanatical men willing to die."

"Lightning Out of Lebanon" is a must-read for your understanding of the War on Terrorism and our responsibilities in fighting it.

Lightning Out of Lebanon, Hezbollah Terrorist on American Soil
Tom Diaz & Barbara Newman
ISBN 0-345-47568-2

For more information, view my website: Defensive Training Group

Police Sniper School - 05'

This year’s Law Enforcement sniper school had a variety of snipers…some with 25 yrs experience and others with less than two. Several of these snipers have performed very well in past state and regional sniper competitions also, for some of them, this was just four extra days of training. And as anyone in a specialty unit knows, most of the officers have to provide their own equipment, while others have only the bare bones necessities that their law enforcement agencies have supplied to them.

As an instructor, this is one of the most rewarding classes that I teach. The amount of knowledge that I gain from each of the students is almost overwhelming at times. It’s great to put the students in situations, and watch them work their way out of it, on their own…finding solutions that I never thought of.

Each sniper brings something to the table, whether its years of actual experience, former US Army & Marine Corps sharpshooters, or seasoned police officers and sheriff's deputies.

It isn’t possible to put on a law enforcement sniper school in four or five days that covers all aspects of police sniping; the Marine Corps scout-sniper school is at least eight weeks long. However, in four days we exposed the new snipers to the basic needs of law enforcement sniper training, and the experienced snipers got an extra four days to hone their skills.

Overall, it seemed that most of the students went away with something more than they came with.

For more information, view my website: Defensive Training Group

Monday, October 10, 2005

Remember the U.S.S. Cole (DDG-67)

On October 12, 2000 at 1118 hrs a small boat approached the USS Cole, moored in Aden, Yemen for refueling, and detonated a bomb, killing 17 of our shipmates and wounding 39 others. Built in Pascagoula, MS and commissioned in 1996, the Cole is named for a Marine Corps machine-gunner killed on “Iwo Jima” in 1945. Fifty-five years after that epic battle, 17 young sailors, male and female, serving their nation would be killed by suicide bombers intent on bringing their Islamo-Facist global jihad against the West.

On this 5th anniversary, let us remember those who gave their all:

Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Clodfelter
Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Francis
Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna
Signalman Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn
Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels
Engineman 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto
Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Ronald Owens
Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer
Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett
Fireman Patrick Howard Roy
Electronics Warfare Technician 1st Class Kevin Shawn Rux
Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester Santiago
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders
Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr.
Ensign Andrew Triplett
Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley

True patriots are like those on the USS Cole that gave of themselves for our freedom, for our way of life. For our children’s safety tomorrow, they gave their lives. Each night we sleep in safety underneath a "blanket of freedom" only because those who wear our nation's uniform are standing ever vigilant ready to give their lives in defense of our liberty just as these sailors did on October 12, 2000. And everyone that enjoys the freedom that we have in America, should stop and say a prayer for the families of the sons and daughters that were taken from us and for those who were wounded. We also give thanks to those sailors who brought that terrible situation under control and praise them for their courage and selfless devotion to duty in such a tragic event.

At the Memorial Service for the USS Cole in Norfolk, Va. on October 18, 2000, speaking to the families of those killed, their fellow shipmates, and President Clinton, Admiral Robert J. Natter CINCLANTFLT stated, "Today we gather and pause as a nation, as a Navy, and as a family to remember and honor our shipmates on the Cole. We remember and honor their courage, and we remember and honor their service. But most of all, we remember and honor their answering of that highest call, and we remember and honor their ultimate sacrifice. Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, when it comes time for our response, remember the Cole."

The sailors of the USS Cole live in our hearts; they live in our souls. Never forget those who died, never forget those who killed them...remember the Cole.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

CCW Class, 10-09-05

Today's CCW class at the Gainesville Target Range went off without a hitch, except for a "squib load." This shooter used his Colt "Police Positive" .38 spl. and a new Kel-Tec P3AT .380 ACP. We couldn't have asked for better shooting weather either, overcast sky with a slight breeze. Normally, it's still hot-n-sticky in Gainesville this time of year.

This Kel-Tec pocket pistol sure is "small" in these big hands. However, this shooter had no
problem putting his rounds on paper at 12 yards. The double action only trigger on the Kel-Tec doesn't lend itself to precise shooting for many new shooters; however this man has a good grasp on the basic fundamentals of pistol shooting (and his Kel-Tec) and applied them very well.

For more information, view my website: Defensive Training Group

"Squib Loads"

Today, I experienced a Squib Load while teaching a Basic Pistol Shooting course. The student was firing a brand new Kel-Tec P3AT in .380 ACP. The ammunition being used was new-in-the-box Winchester, .380 ACP, 95gr. FMJ. While firing a string of five shots, the third shot was “noticeably” less than the all of the others. We had gone over the possibilities of misfires, hang-fires and squib loads in the classroom, but this was the first time I’ve experienced one like this. The report was less than ¼ of what a normal shot would be, and the slide never moved to the rear.

I checked the bore of the pistol and was surprised to find that the bullet had exited the barrel, and we were not able to recover it. Also, the exterior of the fired case and condition of the primer was the same as all of the other fired brass.

The NRA student workbook, The Basics of Pistol Shooting describes a Squib Load cartridge malfunction as the “development of less than normal pressure or velocity after the ignition of the cartridge.” The danger is obviously that the bullet may not exit the barrel completely thereby causing an obstruction. If the obstruction is not removed, the result of firing another cartridge could be catastrophic to the shooter and the firearm. Take Squib Loads very seriously and check the bore if you suspect that you’ve experienced anything out of the ordinary.

For more information, view my website: Defensive Training Group
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