Monthly Archives: July 2013

Defensive Handgun or Play Toy

I doubt anyone is using this for a EDC. It is almost this bad though.

I doubt anyone is using this for a EDC. It is almost this bad though.

When do you cross the line of adding accessories to your defensive handgun to turn it into a more of a play toy?  What do you actually need to add to your handgun for the context of a defensive shooting situation?  Let us take a look at all of this.

What do you actually need on your defensive handgun? Ideally, you would pick a handgun that fits in your hand. This means your finger can lay flat on the trigger, but not go past the second knuckle.  Secondly, you can reach the slide lock lever and magazine release without shifting your hand. If you do this you are at a great start.

What if you can do two out of the three? One of the two should be lay your finger flat on the trigger. A extended slide lock lever and/or extended magazine release is an option.  This is an option as long as you’re not able to accidentally press the magazine release when establishing your grip.  The same goes for the slide lock lever as long as your grip does not interfere with the slide locking to the rear after the last shot from an empty magazine. If it does it once, take them off.

Now we need to look at the sights on the gun. Pretty much it is standard procedures to replace the plastic sights on Glocks.  Over time the front sight will become warped and have seen the rear sight to break. All you really need is plain steel sights to replace them with.  That will suffice.  There are a few concepts I am open to, such as the I.C.E. CLAW™ rear sight and Lumi Square Front Sight.  The CLAW rear sight is designed for emergency gun manipulation, such as racking the slide with off of pretty much anything.  This is primarily done with the use of the rear sight.

Two handgun Walther sent me. One has a close to 90 degree rear sight. The other has the slanted rear sight.

Two handgun Walther sent me. One has a close to 90 degree rear sight. The other has the slanted rear sight.

There are handguns sold and marketed as a defensive tool with the slanted rear sight.  I do not know why gun manufactures are putting these on guns that they are marketing for that. Having a close to as a 90 ⁰ angle where the rear sight meets the slide is good for emergency gun manipulation.  The slanted sight makes it much difficult, more difficult than it needs to be.  These sights just need to go away.

Everything I talked about so far is what should be done first. The reasoning behind that is you are most likely to have a threat from 9 to 15 feet and shoot from 2 to 5 rounds. You could shoot from closer to farther away and shoot more and less rounds.  At this distance, it takes a small about of skill to stop the threat.

Now let us talk about what’s completely unnecessary for a defensive handgun.  Trigger modification is one of first things I see.  Generally, people up in a lighter pound and/or a competition trigger.  If it is a Modern Striker Fire, leave the stock trigger in. This modification takes MORE time to learn to manipulation the trigger.

When I was teaching on the last two days of Paul Howe’s Tac Pistol Instructor course, an end user student was having problems all day with his trigger press. I tried his gun out. He had a widely known instructor’s 1911 style trigger for a Glock in his gun. I’m not going to lie. It scared me how little movement was required to press the trigger.  I was able to shoot it without a problem after a few rounds.  This guy was not that good of a shooter and was trying to replace practice with a mechanical device. I had him put his stock Glock trigger in after the first day.  On day two, with his stock trigger, he was able to get the hits he needed to get.

Cool to have to play with but not need to spend if you are training for self-defense.

It is vey cool, but not practical for everyday use.

Threaded barrels, suppressor sights and red dots are not needed.  When are you going to have a suppressor attached on a regular base? If you aren’t going to have them on regular base, you do not need suppressor sights.  Red dots designed for the use on handguns generally have a big MOA (Minute of Angle) dot. This could become an issue if you need to be really precise due to the distance of the target or the size.  If that wasn’t bad enough, they can cost around $500 to $700.  If you have one of these on your EDC gun without taking a civilian firearm training class, shame on you.

There is a lot more I could go into but I won’t. We can make our defensive tools into toys really fast. All I ask is know why you have the handgun and what it is going to be used for.


U.S. Army Combatives, Level One: Day Two

If you have not read Day One, please click here to read it. 

Army Combatives

Army Combatives

The day started out with another hour session of conditioning. I could really tell who was in shape or not. The people who were struggling on day one were struggling even more on day two. As long as you didn’t quit, you stayed in the course.  As I stated before, I disagree with this concept if the student is not in good physical condition.

EOs. This was a pretty good little exercise.

EOs. This was a pretty good little exercise.

What I did not like about the conditioning is it allowed our muscles to get cold and tight. This became a problem for me when we started going over the physical drills. The workout was not hard for me, but, I was not able to do a cool down to mitigate this problem. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person with the problem.

We started learning Drill Two.  It included Arm Push and Roll, person in full mount to go to rear mount and Escape Rear Mount. After we had time to go over Drill One and Two, we went  into a classroom to watch a few fights from UFC 1. SSG Sliger which discussed many different topics; fighting styles, martial arts, physical fitness and competition vs. combat. I was a bit surprised to see this.  If you go back and look that the first picture, it is two people fighting with gloves.  I think of competition fighting and not real fighting.

This was a nice break for many of the students.

This was a nice break for many of the students.

                This is was great video to see two people fighting. The only problem is that it’s not a real fight. I would think the Army would have videos of soldiers getting into hand to hand fights while on mission. They could always get some from Special Operations. Special Operations generally wears a camera on each mission. I believe this promotes too much competition mindset.

We started to do teach backs.  This gave us a better understanding of the movements. The only problem I have with this is only after four days with these complex concepts, the student is now an instructor.  One thing that always got me when I was in the guard was if you did not have a title behind you, many would not take it hart.  If you are not certified to teach in something, you cannot teach it. This is too much of administration getting in the way of training.  Many of these new instructors will never be given the time and day to teach this back to their units.


Written by: CEO, Tyler Grant

Kinesiology Tape and Shooting

With the recent partnering of Chris Costa and Rocktape, I wanted to write a little something about how it can aid in firearm courses.

Kinesiology tape is elastic therapeutic tape that was invented by a Japanese Doctor in 1979.  Dr. Kenzo Kase, Kinesio Tape. The tape combined with the method to which it is applied, lifts the layer of skin and attached tissue, such as the fascia, to increase blood flow. Also, if applied to joints, it can add stability to the joint. Finally, it can take some stress off of ligaments and tendons. All of this can aid in recovery time.  This information can be found with a few Google searches. This tape is widely used by chiropractors, athletic trainers, and others in the health/fitness community.

Around two years ago I discovered a brand of kinesiology Tape, KT Tape. KT Tape can be found in Wal-Mart and sport retail stores. I started using KT Tape and did not have too much success with it. My buddy, Aaron Janeetti of Endeavor: Krav Maga and Crossfit, told me about Rocktape. I only use KT Tape when I run out of Rocktape. I found out that Rocktape is pretty much the standard for this kind of tape. Rocktape holds much better and do not have to try to keep it dry when taking a shower.

Since I started to use it at my box (Crossfit gym), many other people have started to use it. They have fallen in love with it like I have. I use it all the time. Some may think I use it too much, but I have a lot of wear and tear on my body. Also, I am trying to reach Regionals for Crossfit Games in 2014. So, I’m getting pretty cautious of joints/muscles hurting and  using it more often.

I used way too much this time around. This is real problem area for me and it really does help.

I used way too much this time around. This is a real problem area for me and it really does help.

I am seeing a mix of active and un-active people in my courses.  My students will see me wearing it and ask about it. I’m not wearing full kit or anything I wouldn’t normally wear every day.  I mainly wear in it on my elbow(s) and shoulder(s). I give them a brief explanation of how it works. I also tell them, I have some shoulders problems and it helps me rolls my shoulders forward, within the Combat Focus Shooting program, to get the gun to full extension. Another thing I will do is Rocktape a student’s hand because of getting a blister or worn spot on their hand. Once I taped a friend’s shoulder  for is prior injury before a shotgun course we were taking.

Rocktape can help with raw spots. Most common spot is the web of the hand.

Rocktape can help with raw spots. Most common spot is the web of the hand.

Something else I am somewhat afraid of, Rocktape or any other kind of tape will become the “New Thing” is classes. Meaning, people only wearing it because they are taking the course.  I get it if you have a joint bothering you because you hurt it. It’s kind of the same thing of people wearing full kit when they never wear that, unless they are taking a class. What I’m sure we’ll see is, people taping their forearms and other places that show skin. Kind of, “Hey! I’m wearing Rocktape!”

I don't think it will be this bad but here is Camille Lebalanc-Bazinet poking a little fun at Rocktape. She uses it all of the time and that's cool.

I don’t think it will be this bad but here is Camille Lebalanc-Bazinet poking a little fun at Rocktape. She is one of the top Crossfit competitors in the world. Camille uses the tape all of the time.

Here’s another thing, Rocktape is throwing around the word “tactical” way too much. There is no such thing as a tactical athlete. If you do any activity that requires athletics or athleticism, you are an athlete. Some are more so than others. Some are better athletes than others.  They are throwing around the idea of Law Enforcement and Special Operations guys using it, so it must be good. Believe me when I tell you this, not all Law Enforcement officers are the best role models for athleticism. Also, just because Special Operations does something, it doesn’t always means it’s the best. I have had a few intense discussions with former Special Operations guys in the past about opposing concepts.  Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing but respect for anyone who puts on a uniform every day, but know what to use something instead of, “They use it. So it’s good to go.”

Rocktape or any other kind of this type of tape does and will help if you have a hurting body part during a class. All I ask of you is to use it when you need to.  If you’re sore or a joint is hurting during or after day one, throw some Rocktape on.


Written by: CEO, Tyler Grant