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
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