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Kentucky Bob

A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense

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Thanks for the input, Adi.  Please feel free to add information when you like, this isn't intended to be a one-man thread.  Input from anyone with useful information and practical experience that should prove valuable to our members.

 

You are very correct in your observation that you will see some of the most atrocious firearms handling when it comes to Americans with handguns.  People all too often forget that firearms in general and pistols in particular are not play things.  I've always felt that it's best to have an instructor stand where they can instantly take control of a firearm from a beginner when they begin learning the use of a handgun. 

 

Put your penny in anytime!  ;)

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KB I think it would be useful to cover shooting stance with a pistol. There are many different ways on how to stand and hold your weapon when firing. There is often confusion on whether to keep your arms locked out straight or slightly bent depending on which stance you are in or the type of shooting you are doing at that time, whether it is reactive shooting of not.

 

 

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Yup, not to mention carry modes and ammunition.  I think I'll leave things like emergency and tactical reloads for another thread though!  I didn't realize how big a loop I'd thrown when I started this little job.  I've been trying to get some photos with the tripod and the camera on a timer, but it isn't working well.  Ursula has been under the weather so I haven't asked her to help by taking photos.  I may get KW to help me out with some of the photography.

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yeah it is one hell of a big subject. Just remember this thread title... the basic. I'd keep the tactical stuff out of it for the time being

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every one therer is a great deal of wonderful information here. corecty if i am wrong but i did not see anny mention on safter ger (ie hearing protection eye protection) andchoosing wht is best for you. i also have not seen any mention on gun cleaning equipment.i have spent ammy an hour lookinginto  these itmes my self and wish to ask the gun masters of this sight of there input on  few itmes im looking t picking up when i get a gun or more into shooting.

 

for one the otis gun cleaning system. otisgun.com they have a great dill of diffrent kits out there including ones that are roughly the size of a can of shoe polish.( compact  size wich would be perfict for bob and the such.) what about there all in one bore solvent and oil ll in one.

 

and another product im looking at is from surefire i there er protectors suh as the ep3/ep/4 or simular product. http://www.surefire.com/EarProProducts

 

i found this one on county comms websight an from what i have seen from the videos there should be one in every gun cleaning kit. its called the norton u.c.s http://countycomm.com/ucs.htm

 

what other simular ger d oyou sugest?

i look forward to the advice on all mebers of this sight and i hope this gets the old noodle going good for some of yu ld tiers that dont think about the products they youse because its ben the same for ever. i also hhope this helps the new gun uyermake sound decisions. a glean gun can be a matter of life and death

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I hope to get to all of that sooner or later, HB.  It's a lot of information to try to get together and type up, so bear with me for a while.  I've gotten some better photos thanks to some help from KW, but I still need to organize the next piece on the article.  When it comes to eye and ear protection I've stated in other areas how important they are, but there is enough to cover in the topic that it deserves it's own thread.  If nothing else I recommend getting some of the cheap foam earplugs and some shooting glasses at Wal Mart.  On some firearms I actually double up on earplugs and earmuffs, wearing both at the same time.  Soon I hope to cover ear and eye protection and cleaning supplies in their own threads, those are both topics that deserve attention.

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Bob heres a tip. Type out your article on your windows note pad. You can add or subtract as you go and also save it for future content. Than when its just perfect (like your other information)  :P  than copy paste it into your reply.  :thumbup:

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K bob I w*nted to m'e saure that it was noit a topic forgotten sence this is for beginners. I have an old large pill bottle filled witht he foam ear plugs and a pair of sfety glasses from walamrt in a plastic tupawear container. Ill pm you in a while about some gear I'm looking at for myself

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Thanks Holly, glad you like it!   :thumbup:

 

Adi mentioned shooting stances earlier, and I've tried several myself but prefer the "Modified Isosceles" or "Modern Isosceles".  The way to look at these is to remember that all involve leaning slightly forward from the waist, knees slightly bent.  The differences will be in how the feet and shoulders are positioned.  I've found that people generally recognize at least the "Weaver" and "Isosceles" stances, but some folks may not ever try to use them.  Kathy Jackson's website is really very good and she demonstrates these stances pretty darn well.

 

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.corneredcat.com/Images4/S_WeavSideLoose.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.corneredcat.com/Basics/stance.aspx&usg=__Oi6v3-egdJ1I1AUU4VMenFvK5Fs=&h=196&w=139&sz=16&hl=en&start=17&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=F9NTbCj9GeB0oM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=74&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dweaver%2Bstance%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26tbs%3Disch:1

 

I think most folks could find a lot of good info on her website. ( www.corneredcat.com )

 

For new shooters, she has one particular photo of a stance she calls "Faux Isosceles".  I find this sort of thing to be VERY common among those who are a bit intimidated by firing a firearm and I've seen versions of it with rifles and shotguns as well.  Before putting a real gun into a new shooter's hand, any instructor should take time to put the newbie into the different stances. I've also taken a few photos of the proper and inproper way of gripping a pistol.  I had to show my own wife why she should never wrap the thumb of her left hand over the back of her right hand.  You'll see what I mean.

 

To me, the main advantage of the Modified Isosceles (MI)  is that it has a more natural feel than the full-on Weaver stance.  I can control a pistol, move comfortably, and stay in the position longer than I can a Weaver--I find it less fatiguing.  Think of the MI as a boxer's stance, with your feet apart and your lead foot--the one opposite your strong hand--forward.  Some folks lock their arms out straight, others bend their arms a little.  I do the latter because I find I can get the pistol back on target more easily because the recoil is attenuated.  MI is also a more natural way for your body to react to danger to my way of thinking.  When confronted by a threat the natural reaction is to crouch, usually with head and shoulders forward.  That's why an Isosceles or MI may be superior in some ways to the Weaver.  A lot of Weaver shooters will disagree and that's fine, but how many shooters will really take the time to practice the stance to the point that they enter it naturally?  I've located a plastic toy gun that I'll use to get some photos that I want to take of these different stances and how they'd look from the front.  I kind of hate the idea of pointing a real gun--even if I've just checked to see if it's loaded--toward the camera and anyone who might be holding it.

 

I've got some other photos that I have to transfer to a jump drive, and then I can finish up the article on semi-autos.  I also want to begin the work on eye and ear protection as well as cleaning, but those may take a while to get together.  Then there's still rifle and shotgun artilcles to work on.

 

More coming up on semi-autos and stances!

 

 

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K bob I am not a well seasond shooter by anny means and I apreatiate this tthread and what you hav to say in it. Thwres so much to think about and learn that so manny people don't realise. I'm thinking about pringting this out some day for my wife to read as she has never shot a gun befor I look forward to reading more as it comes

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I am going to throw in another stance.

 

Imagine you have to teach an entire population of a nation to shoot pistols accurately and effectively in a very short period of time for each person. That is a tall order but there is a system that works.

 

This system is often dismissed by many in the States, mostly because it is misunderstood. Saying that there is at least one school in the States that teaches it and many police and swat schools use it.

 

The system is the called the Israeli Point Shooting System. Every person, male and female has to do military service in Israel and they are all taught this system. It is very fast and easy to teach, ensures a very stable shooting platform and is naturally very accurate.  

 

The basic stance is from the standing position; take a step to the left with the left leg so your feet are slightly wider than shoulder width with you feet pointing towards the target. As this is done the knees are bent but not as bent as you see some images and film shows as this limits your movement.

 

As the knees are bent, raise the shoulders and hunch your head down between your shoulders as your strong arm withdraws the weapon from its holster. The weak hand goes across your body and grasps the slid as the weapon is thrust forward, cocking the weapon. As soon as the slid is fully back let go with the weak hand and move it to support the weapon hand on the pistol grip.

 

The arms are pushed out until the elbows are locked out. This position will pull your weight onto the balls of your feet making a very stable stance. This should be done in one fluid motion. If this is all done correctly the weapon will directly in front of you in line with your vision and naturally pointing at your target. This allows the trigger to be pulled without having a sight picture, providing you are stood square on to the target, you should hit it. For longer shots or for follow on shots, acquire a sight picture and take aimed shots.

 

I have described this very basically and in its most basic form, there are advanced skills to this system which makes it extremely versatile.  

 

If you are already a shooter it may feel strange using this system but give it a go and I think you will see good results. I use the Israeli, Weaver and modified stances depending on the situation.

 

I have described cocking the weapon as it is drawn because the Israelis and most western militaries and police do not carry weapons with a round in the breach. This is often known as the Israeli Carry.

 

If you feel you do not have the weapon skills to cock a weapon as it is drawn, have a round in the breach. I feel there is no excuse for carrying a weapon with a loaded round though. Some time ago I read that a skilled person cocking a weapon only added 3 hundredths of a second to the process. I say that if you own a weapon you have a duty to yourself and others to be skilled with it.

 

One argument I have often had even with US police is that because weapons are so freely available the police don’t have time to cock their weapon to react to a threat. My reply is, watch many of the videos of police being shot. They have not been tactically aware and have put themselves in a position to be shot. I had this argument at the Northwester University Police Training School and the instructors were in agreement with me and after showed police shooting videos the whole class, many of which were very experienced officers agreed. The sad fact is that in the States there is no standardized police training, many officers are not taught about tactical awareness but learn by trial and area, ultimately some don’t learn that lesson in time to save their lives. If you CCW there is no need for a round in the breach providing you are competent with your weapon and are situation aware. A CCW has a far lower chance to using their weapon than any police officer, if they are aware they have plenty of time to draw and cock their weapon. Having said that many modern pistols can safely be carried with a round up the spout the problem is not the weapon but with the person that forgets it's there. Most accidental shootings happen because the weapon has not been cleared properly.

 

 

 

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I once read an article about the Israeli style, and the stance resembles the Modern Isosceles in a lot of ways if I recall correctly.  Very natural looking style, and I have to believe a lot easier to learn than a Weaver.  If I understand correctly it was developed by the Mossad.  Of course, my memory isn't as good as I'd like. 

 

 

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I’m not sure who first developed the stance but it was designed to teach people with limited weapon skills to meet the primary threat in Israel, the suicide bomber.

 

The only way you can stop a stop a suicide bomber is to attack the Central Nervous System (CNS). By disrupting the CNS you stop any chance, conscious or unconscious, reflex action which may be needed to detonate an explosive device.

 

To disrupt the CNS you need to put rounds into what is sometime described as the Killing T. This is a line from the sternum, up to between the eyes and across the forehead just above the eyebrows.

 

This requires fairly accurate shooting. The Israeli system achieves this by this point and shoot system, which is always done from the static position. Fire and movement or running and gunning are not accurate enough to engage the CNS and shutting it down.

 

It is important to know that movement is part of the training and the methodology of engaging the target. The Israeli system dictates that you close on the target and engage quickly to limit the loss of life from an explosive device in very built up and crowded areas. It does not teach to run for cover. Once recruits have mastered the draw and stance they move onto running and shooting. These drills are initiated by the command of ‘Mekhabel’, the Hebrew word for terrorist. Once this is mastered the trainers start to introduce stress into the training. This stress is often in the form of a good kicking by two trainers or fellow recruits.

 

Another important part of the system is how to move quickly and safely towards the target through a crowd of none combatants running away from the target. The recruit is faced with walls of other recruits that will resist any attempts to barge through. This is important because barging in a panicked crowd will lead to people falling over, being injured and becoming a hazard and slowing down others trying to escape. The secret is to find the path of least resistance through the crowed. This is combined with weapon retention skills by simply shielding the weapon with the hand whilst it’s still in the holster.   

 

Getting punched about then running through a crowd before engaging a target is great training for the real world but to teach this sort of thing normally takes a very long time. In fact pistol shooting to this standard is normally only taught to specialist units of police or military who often have years of experience with fire arms. In Israel, conscription for boys is 3 years and 2 years for girls. Large numbers of recruits turn up for training every year and have to be taught these skills in a very short period of time. The method works very well.

 

The more experienced weapons handlers of the regular police and military advance their weapon skills but it still based on this initial training. Since the specialist units moved to Glocks pistols the condition 3 carry mode often know as the Israeli Carry or no round in the breach has been dropped. Partly due to the better weapon skills shown by these people. But, mainly because with good weapon skills the Glock is an extremely safe weapon.     

 

The Israeli system would be excellent for anyone wishing to learn to shoot for CCW but aren’t practically interested in shooting for any other reason. This system is also well suited for women.

 

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You've probably noticed, but it's almost always easier to teach women to shoot than it is to teach men.  They usually haven't formed the bad habits and big egos the men carry around.  Whether it's riflery, wingshooting or handguns, women seem to pick things up more quickly.

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Very true and I think that goes for all self defence systems. Firstly women listen better. Secondly they have not been preconditioned in the school playground playing Cowboys and Indians and watching TV and thirdly, as you said they don't have that ego.

 

In the unarmed defence arena women do not naturally punch, they fight with a more open hand style which is easier to transform into good defensive skill.   

 

Lastly with a bit of training they are more willing to use verbal judo opposed to just throwing punches.

 

Incidentally there is often a lot of talk about which is the best martial art. The debate will rage on for years to come but verbal judo is the number one martial art. Disengage and disarm your threat by verbal communication is by far better than going combative. This is true for gun threats too. Saying that, it should not be the only tool in the box, it does not always work. 

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Ok, first thing first.  How do you check to see if it's loaded?  Naturally, you're better off reading the manual for the firearm before you do anything with it.  If your firearm has no manual you can usually get one free from the manufacturer.  Most of the time they even have a pdf version on their websites.

 

This is a Kimber 1911A1-style semi-auto:

100_2584.jpg

 

Remember the rules of firearm saftey--assume it's loaded and keep it pointed in a safe direction.  For a semi-auto, first you need to remove the magazine.  Press the magazine release and remove the magazine.  Some will drop out quickly, others may offer just a little resistance so you may have to pull it free.

 

100_2585.jpg

100_2586.jpg

 

Now, the magazine is out and you may be thinking you've unloaded the gun.  You'd be wrong.  You still have to check the chamber.  To do so you need to remember that some safeties will lock the slide closed, and this is a good reason to read your manual.  The most likely to cause this problem is the 1911 style auto, so if the hammer is back and the safety is on you need to figure that it is likely to have a round chambered.  To pull the slide back the safety has to be off on this type.  Glocks, SigSauers, Smith & Wessons, and most others won't require that you switch off the safety to check the chamber.   Keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction use the serrations on the rear of the gun to get a grip and pull the slide to the rear so you can see into the chamber--the portion of the barrel at the rear where the cartridge is held.  Note where my trigger finger is--away from the trigger!

 

100_2587.jpg

 

Okay, now we know.  I'm re-writing the next section, but hopefully it'll be ready in a little while.

 

 

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Stupid photos are too dark.  Gonna re-shoot (get it?) the thing.  Plenty of sunshine this weekend, I'll make Ursula help me get some better photos.  She may have to do some modeling, too.

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Stupid photos are too dark.  Gonna re-shoot (get it?) the thing.

 

If you'd like Bob, I could do some macro photos of the breach of my old Makarov to show how to correctly visually inspect the receiver of an auto loading fire arm.

 

The two biggest issues I've seen with this are people with improper training thinking that because they have removed the magazine that the firearm is unloaded, and those that believe there can still mysteriously be a round in there somewhere once you've removed the magazine and cycled out the last round.

 

Once my second mother-in-law... **shudders**..., and I got into an argument about there possibly still being a round in a rifle even after I had removed the mag, cycled out the last round out and was holding it in my hand, and had visually inspected the breach and magazine well. After trying to explain the reality of the situation and the functions of the mechanisms involved I still ended up walking away shaking my head.

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Yeah, if you could it would help, Mist.  I'm going to try to do some of these photos out in the natural light.  When we first took these at the station they looked ok on the camera's little view screen, but when I put them on the computer they were too dark to suit me.  Of course if I go out in this weather with a gun I may have to do some shooting, too!  :hugegrin:

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I dont know if this helps KB, the images dont look to bad on my screen but it is colour matched. All i have done is play with the levels to lighten up the images.

100_2584.jpg.d52eff5029552140ef979678b030ad6a.jpg

100_2585.jpg.119cac85bd6f6cd80d54f9736a9bf10a.jpg

100_2586.jpg.04d31887e1c8fd82d94b14d346d84407.jpg

100_2587.jpg.3b39dbca63fb123fddfa83c856615bad.jpg

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There is some very good information posted here and I will link to this thread on both of my blogs!  But there have been a few points made, I would like to respectfully disagree with. 

 

First -  a shotgun is not a point and click weapon.  They are not magical death rays that can simply be pointed and the bad guy explodes.  You do have to aim a shotgun.  Not as precisely as a rifle or pistol, but you do have to aim.  Especially at close range.  The pattern is very small inside of 10 yards.  I've patterned my shotgun with self defense loads (buckshot) and the pattern is typically smaller than a softball at about 10 yards or less.  That means I have to aim it.  As the pattern expands over a longer distance, it gets wider, but then loses power as mentioned after 50 yards.  For those of you who hunt with shotguns, you probably have first hand experience on how easy it is to miss with a shotgun.  The bad guy will probably be moving too, and moving targets can be hard to hit, even with a shotgun.  I've taken tactical shotgun classes and participated in tactical shotgun competitions and I see a lot of people miss their targets (including me.)  Practice a lot with your shotgun.  I do agree that you don't have to spend a lot of money on a shotgun.  Mine is a Remington 870 wingmaster that I got used in great condition for $300 and I bought an 18" self defense barrel for $70 and I'm all set. 

 

As for worrying about where the bullet will end up, I think that concern is overstated.  Here's what I mean.  In a self defense shooting, you will be stressed out!  Stress does strange things to people.  You will only be half as good as you are at the range in a real life self defense shooting, you will be nervous.  Therefore, no disrespect meant...but you will MISS a lot.  So what happens to the bullets that fly when you MISS the bad guy?  You're responsible for those too.  So don't worry too much about over penetration.  Too little penetration is not good either.  I use 9mm exclusively in my pistols (with the exception of one .380).  They won't overpenetrate because I use Corbon DPX hollow points designed to expand and dump their energy into the target.  But even I admit, I may miss a lot and those bullets are dangerous no matter what caliber you happen to be shooting.  Concentrate on owning and practicing with whatever caliber you can CONTROL.  That's more important than anything else.  Accuracy wins a fight every time and if you ever have to use your gun in self defense, you would rather be tried by 12, than carried by 6, wouldn't you? 

 

Hunting is a different matter because the animals aren't shooting back!

 

Self defense is a serious matter and  hopefully my opinions are not taken negatively, but I wanted to inject my humble opinion, as I've studied self defense shooting a lot.  Thank God, I've never had to use my gun.  Hopefully that day won't come, but I will be prepared if it does.

 

Today's Survival Show

http://www.todayssurvival.com

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Welcome to the forum TSS (your new forum name ;))

 

Some good points well made but I think it is all relative to the level of proficiency you shooting is at. I spent a very long time learning instinctive shooting methods which from the outside looks like there is no aim involved. The reality is, you train for so long that muscle memory puts your body and weapon in the very same position every single time so you know where your rounds are going but this takes many thousands of rounds sent down range to master this. Although is is easier nowadays with weapon lights and laser sights, if they are set up right you can shoot from any position and the rounds will strike around the centre of the light.

 

In the majority of self defence shootings the target is engaged at less than 8 meters, in many it is less than 3 meters. If you are missing the target at these ranges even when highly stressed you do not have the weapon skills to CCW in my opinion. Saying that i understand how stress effects people and have seen people miss at those sort of ranges, normally because they have pulled the trigger as they unholster the weapon on just keep pulling the trigger after the target has dropped.

 

Thanks for adding your input

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Very true, Adi.  I guess my major point I was trying to make is that most people don't practice as much as you apparently have.  They think that all they have to do is point a shotgun in the general direction of the assailant and he will blow up.  Perhaps many on this forum have trained like you.  I train very heavily with handguns, IDPA, ISPC and Tactical courses.  I shoot about 700 rounds a month, average and you're right about muscle memory, after awhile you don't even have to think about it.

 

Just wanted to clear up that shotgun patterns are very small at close range.  I've seen plenty of people miss targets 3 meters away in a competitive match, even seen people forget to disengage the safety, if they have one.  So you are so right about that.

 

:)

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Ok, here's a better shot of the empty chamber of a pistol:

 

100_2556-2.jpg

 

Keep in mind, most semi-automatics WILL fire with the magazine removed.  There are those out there that will not fire without the magazine inserted due to what's known as a magazine safety.  The Browning Hi Power and most of Smith & Wesson's autos are equipped with a mag safety, but there are always exceptions:

 

100_2560-1-1.jpg

 

Just remember that removing the magazine does NOT render a firearm "safe".  Always remove the magazine first, then inspect the chamber.

 

 

 

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