Three Seconds Rule Cliche?

Is Three Seconds Rule the norm to Train with a Pistol?

When it comes to gun fighting most gun coaches/teachers will advise the “three shots in three seconds within 3 yards” rule of thumb for gun fight training.
How did these gun trainers come up with this rule of thumb? Some of these gun trainers like Claude Werner and Tom Givens speculate from their deep data diving provided from the LE agencies like the FBI, NYPD and other local agencies.
From the data a certain amount were broken up to display incidents that had occurred at certain ranges. The following images below illustrate this. Now just so everyone understand these data don’t really tell you the whole story (context) or its accuracy. Interpreting the data may be another discussion in itself.

Image from LuckyGunner

LAPD Image from LuckyGunner

NYPD Image from LuckyGunner

Looking at the above charts from the different LE agencies, there is a wide gap when trying to see the common core of the distance within the 3 yard. (9 ft.)
  • FBI – shows it at 25% of the crime
  • LAPD – shows it at 5.5% ” ” “
  • NYPD – shows it at 23% ” “
The data below is from Tom Givens gun trainer guru. This chart is from his book called “Concealed Carry Class”. The incidents from this are from his former students that he had documented. Yes, there isn’t as much incidents compared to the LE agencies, but it might be the most accurate. As you can see his chart really tells you where the range of these incidents had occurred at.

Rangemaster Image from LuckyGunner

Not sure if the Rule of Three term originally came from Tom Givens but the rationale behind this rule of thumb seems to be evident for self-defense with a pistol. This rule of thumb gives you a gauge to work(practice) on increasing your shooting skills for self-defense.
KR Training had a spin off of this training with a full size pistol supplemented with a pocket pistol. They also did their own analysis on this as well. You can read about it below.

Source: Some great reads to check out if you’re into this type of insights. Go to KR Training. As a matter of fact this short article was inspired from the great work that they have put into. Another one to check out is Claude Werner of Tactical Professor, John Correia of Active Self Protection and Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner blog.

Always be the Uncommon Man

Words of wisdom from Black Belt, Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor and Bladesmith Ernest Emerson

Story and Photos by Paul Pawela

In the 2003 movie Secondhand Lions, a young boy played by Haley Joel Osment goes to stay with his two great-uncles for the summer. Although living modestly on a farm, it is rumored that the uncles, played by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall, are extremely wealthy and all the family members want their fortune The backstory is that Hub McCann (Duvall) was a legendary warrior for the French Foreign Legion for decades and was in many battles and wars.
He fell in love with a princess, married her, and fought off a powerful sheik in order to keep her. Unfortunately, she and their child died in childbirth. Hub tells his nephew this story, and gives him a speech that he’s titled “What Every Boy Needs to Know About Being a Man.”
The speech goes like this: “Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most: That people are basically good. That courage, honor and virtue mean everything. That power and money, money and power, mean nothing. That good always triumphs over evil. And I want you to remember this: That love, true love, never dies.”

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I HAD THE honor and privilege to hear a similar lecture by a real-life American legend, Ernest Emerson, at the 2021 Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia. For those who don’t know who this American treasure is, Emerson is the founder and owner of Emerson Knives, Inc. and is considered “The Father of Tactical Knives,” as he has designed the most iconic and well-known combat knives in history. Emerson Knives have been issued to and used by the most elite counterterrorist teams in the world, including SEAL Team 6, Delta Force and the British Special Air Service, to name a few.

Amongst Emerson’s many achievements, he is a lifelong student of all deadly combat skills and has been bestowed with the title of Master-at-Arms. He is inducted into the prestigious Black Belt Hall of Fame and is a member of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Emerson is a tier one hand-to-hand combat and edged weapon instructor who has taught all branches of covert special operations and counter-terrorist teams.
Emerson also serves as an expert witness for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in deadly force encounters, he has appeared on TV and radio too many times to count, and has been a technical expert on numerous award-winning movies. And that is not the half of this great man’s career, but for now it will have to suffice.

HIS SPEECH AT the Blade Show should be given to every red-blooded American boy who is about to become a man. I give you “Be the Uncommon Man” by Ernest Emerson:
“You are responsible for everything that happens to you – everything!
If you can make negative things happen in your life, then you can make positive things happen in your life!
Personal responsibility is your greatest responsibility.
“Self-discipline is the foundation for the strength of character; true self confidence and self-esteem is gained by seeking out the struggle against adversity – never by avoiding it.
“How do you know what your all is if you have never been pushed to your limits?
If you never pushed yourself past those limits?
“Humans need adversity to grow stronger.
‘If something is necessary, do it every day. If it isn’t, don’t do it at all’ – Dan Gable (one of the greatest college wrestlers of all time and the winningest college wrestling coach of all time!).
“Always be honest with yourself and be true to yourself and true to others. You can never be honest with others if you can’t be honest with yourself.

Author Paul Pawela (left) and Emerson
“Brutal honest self-evaluation is the foundation for becoming a better person. You can never improve yourself if you can’t admit or identify where you need improvement.
“Face your own worst enemy. The greatest opponent we will ever face is ourselves, for that opponent knows all our weaknesses and that gives him a strategic advantage. “Never blame anyone else or the system for your shortcomings or failures. If you do, then you will never be able to change the things in your life that will affect you in a positive way.
“Never practice easy; embrace the suck! “True self-confidence can only be gained through self-discipline. Be willing to accept sacrifice and suffering as the wages you must pay for accomplishment. Make discipline a habit.
“Moral integrity means always do the right thing no matter what the consequences; moral strength, like physical strength, is lost when not exercised on a regular basis.
“Impeccability, what is that? It’s a state where no one can find any faults in your behavior or character; strive for impeccability.
“We used to be a society and a country based on the ideas of selfsufficient, rugged individualism – today that is called toxic masculinity.
“The uncommon man is a man of honesty, personal responsibility, self-discipline and moral integrity.
“Never become civilized and always be the uncommon man!”

I HOPE AND pray to the Creator that I am alive the day I can give this very speech to my grandsons. If not, may it forever be immortalized in the pages of American Shooting Journal.
God bless America and all of its sons! And that’s my two cents!
Editor’s notes: For more on Ernest Emerson, contact Author Paul Pawela is a nationally recognized firearms and self-defense expert.

5 Quick Tips to Better your Pistol Aim

We all love to shoot and have fun doing it but sometimes we suffer from a lack of knowledge on how to correct our mistakes when shooting our pistol. Many times we’re not aware of these mistake in the mechanics or finger placement but we are very aware of their effects on paper. (our groupings)

Here are some quick tips to turbo charge your basics that you may have forgotten.

    1. Slow Down – Everybody wants to shoot fast, but when shooting that fast you give up accuracy. Get into a rhythm then you can speed it up.
    2. Dry Fire – This is a very boring drill but its a prerequisite to solidifying your marksmanship, plus it’ll save you ammo ($)

    1. Trigger Control – This may be one of the most important basics of any firearms marksmanship training. The basics is with trigger control is to get that “surprise break”.

    1. Sight Alignment – Is the relationship between the front and rear sights with respect to your eyes. Obviously you must keep the front sight post centered vertically and horizontally in the rear sight aperture.


  • High Firm Pistol Grip – The grip is accomplished by placing the web of the firing hand high on the pistol grip and wrapping all fingers except the trigger finger around the pistol grip of the weapon. Its real important to maintain a firm grip.

Sources: Omar Gonzalez, Travis Haley

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My Two Cents on Revolvers and Gunfighting (Part One)

Lessons from Yesteryear that still Apply Today

Story and Photo by Paul Pawela, Featured Image from The Economist

Due to the political climate and potential gun bans, revolvers have become fashionable for concealed carry once again. So I thought I would add my two cents on the subject.
The first thing that needs to be addressed is why we are 1) practicing with revolvers (or any gun for that matter), and 2) carrying them. Yes, shooting guns safely both in practice and competition is fun, but really the intent is for self-defense purposes.
Many a well-known lawman of yesteryear made the revolver famous, including James Butler Hickok aka Wild Bill, Wyatt Earp, Frank Hamer, Bill Jordan, Jim Cirillo and Edmundo Mireles Jr.
These men are all legends in the law enforcement world and have the most quantified performance and experience using revolvers, as they used them for their intended purpose: surviving gunfights.

IN REGARDS TO Hickok, Earp, Hamer and Jordan, all references and advice in this article are from their written accounts, as these men were born before my time. However, the late Jimmy Cirillo and Edmundo Mireles are another matter, as I have interviewed, trained with and become friends with both.
Cirillo’s book, Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights: Lessons and Tales from a Modern-Day Gunfighter, should be required reading, as should Mireles’s book, FBI Miami Firefight: Five Minutes That Changed the Bureau. These books should not just be read, but reread, highlighted and used as a bible on the subject of gunfighting. Mireles and his FBI team were in that horrible gunfight and are the true fathers of reality gunfighting training.

Cirillo, meanwhile, was part of the famed New York City Police Department stakeout squad whose unit was involved in 252 armed confrontations. Cirillo himself was involved in 17 armed confrontations, including 11 gunfights that resulted in the deaths of 11 felons.
Cirillo was not only a famed lawman, he was also a national shooting champion, a bodybuilder in his younger days, a national firearms trainer, author and a devoted family man. In his book, Cirillo outlined common denominators of lawmen/gunfighters who have become involved in such encounters. These include:
  • They were competitive shooters with a high degree of skill;
  • They were successful hunters who got their quota every year;
  • They loved and collected firearms;
  • They reloaded ammo;
  • They loved the outdoors and sports;
  • They were family men;
  • They were outgoing and liked people;
  • And they had great compassion for the underdog, including helpless victims of crime.
MOST OF THESE characteristics can be found in the lawmen I mentioned earlier. But two of these men – Hickok and Hamer – were not only involved in shootings as lawmen, but also as civilians in self-defense altercations.
Hickok was said to be a virtuoso with any kind of handgun. When Tom Lewis, a magazine writer who knew many famous gunfighters of the Old West, asked Earp, Bat Masterson, Billy Tilghman and Charlie Siringo who was the deadliest shot of them all, all four without hesitation said Wild Bill.
In his autobiography, Earp was quoted as saying, “There was no man in the Kansas City group who was Wild Bill’s equal with a six-gun.” Hickok was fascinated with firearms as a boy; his first gun was a flintlock pistol, which he used for hunting. His fondness for guns became an obsession and at the age of 12, he acquired both a rifle and a Colt revolver. Hickok soon became the best marksman in the area using his percussion revolver.
As a lawman, Hickok was described as a walking arsenal, originally sporting a pair of .44s (carrying a backup gun is something most gun aficionados do; you will see this again). He also carried two .41 Derringers in his side pockets, a Bowie knife in his belt, and either a shotgun or repeating rifle in his arms when walking the beat as a police officer. Hickok believed in firepower and it was reported that when he cut loose, it sounded like a Gatling gun spraying the landscape. It was rumored Hickok did that for psychological effect, as such a fusillade was often necessary not only to dispose of one opponent but to dissuade the man’s friends from joining in the argument.

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As a civilian, his very first lethal encounter was against three men, of which he killed one and wounded two. Hickok would often come up against multiple adversaries in these encounters. Hickok was a firm believer in shooting his antagonists in the head, saying, “A man shot in the torso can keep firing, even if fatally wounded, but a bullet in the head usually put him out of action.” In FBI Miami Firefight, Mireles describes how one cop killer was shot a total of 12 times before he stopped fighting and died. The other was shot six times and died quicker. Why? He was shot four times in the head and neck!

On one occasion Hickok faced multiple opponents. He was in a saloon in Jefferson County, Nebraska, in 1867, when four men started a confrontation with him. When the men went for their guns, Hickok shot and killed the man to his left, but was wounded in the right shoulder. Because Hickok was ambidextrous, he obtained his other gun with his left hand and killed two with bullets to the brain. One antagonist lived but was shot in the cheek and had part of his jaw shot off. Lessons learned here:
• Close distances in lethal confrontations are common, so practice shooting to the head;
• Practice your shooting skills to be equally proficient in both hands;
• And get medical training so you can administer immediate first-aid to yourself and others.

ANYONE WHO CARRIES a gun for self-preservation and defense of others should know the limitations and capabilities of their firearms. One should be equally proficient at long-distance shooting as they are at short distances. It has been said by some that the guns of the Old West were not that reliable and their accuracy was horrible; this is pure nonsense. Earp testified that he watched Hickok shoot 10 rounds both left- and right-handed at a target 100 yards away. He was shooting the letter O of a police station sign, and all 10 rounds hit inside the O.

Hickok was known to shoot a revolver out to 400 yards effectively. This practice saved his life, as he was in the classic street gunfight that made him the legend he is today. In the infamous Hickok-Tutt quick-draw duel, Tutt missed but Hickok struck his opponent directly in the heart at 75 yards.

And he was also equally proficient in all forms of martial arts: with his fists (he beat many a man senseless, including a professional boxer who challenged him), with a knife (he is credited with killing at least two men and one grizzly bear with a Bowie knife), and of course with firearms. Here are some lessons to ponder:
• Hickok knew his guns and their limitations and practiced with them daily;
• He could shoot proficiently with either hand and always carried a backup gun;
• And he was deadly at close range and at long distances with his revolvers, again because he practiced with his guns religiously.
The word gunfighter is a misnomer in the art of self-preservation. One should be equally skilled in using all forms of weapons, as Hickok was in frontier-style combat. This included eye-gouging, ear-chewing and groin-kicking, as well as knife, pistol, shotgun and rifle skills.
For more information on Wild Bill, I highly recommend Legends of the West: Wild Bill Hickok by Richard O’Conner and Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier’s First Gunfighter by Tom Clavin.
Editor’s note: Paul Pawela is a nationally recognized firearms and self-defense expert.

Why Instructors Lie about Disarming Techniques

You’ve got a gun to your head. Your heart is racing. Everything hinges upon a single moment of action and reaction. Compliance is no guarantee of survival. You have a window, a moment in time, an instance to act…your confidence is shaky, you’ve entered paralysis by analysis a million thoughts go through your head. You’ve lost control.

In this demonstration, Ryan Hoover a Krav Maga instructor candidly explains the reason why there are endless disarming techniques. In short, its to sell more courses. More classes. More DVDs. Its meant to make you feel like a commando ninja without actually improving your chances at survival. This is the great deception in the world of disarming techniques.

Let’s be real. You do not have an eternity to come up with all the what ifs and have an answer to each and every one of them. This is the inherent problem with collecting techniques rather than skill building and focusing on acquiring time tested principles. Enjoy the video and please leave us a comment.

Good Disarm Principles are:

  • Redirect
  • Control
  • Counter Attack
  • Disarm

Video Transcription
How new Techniques Get You Killed

“How’s it going everybody? GN Here today and I am joined by Ryan Hoover. We just had a seminar here in Markev, and one of the stand-out lessons here that really spoke to me was the idea of having just one or two techniques for a wide variety of situations. So first, can you take us through the basics of disarming? There’s three or four compartmentalized concepts there, which are…”

Ryan: “Yeah, we’re gonna start coming from the front, right-hand gun center mass to the chest kinda, keep it relatively basic. So, the basic principles are, I need to redirect line of fire– I need to get that half an inch that’s the only real dangerous part off of my body. So I’m gonna do that two ways: I’m gonna physically move the gun, and then I’m gonna move me. So redirect. Control, I need to get a second hand on the gun, in this case. In some other positions, it may be the gun arm.”

“What does your hand being in that position do to the firearm?”

Ryan: “Yeah, it does a couple of things. One: it allows me to secure it. Two: in most semi-automatic weapons, if the first round goes off, it’s gonna render it kinda out-of-operation, so he’s gonna have to tap-rack to make it work again. But more importantly for this context, it makes it very difficult for Josh to pull this gun back.”

“Because that’s what he’s gonna do.”

Ryan: “Yeah, for sure. About right now he’s going ‘Aw shit!’ and that’s the moment in time that I need to capitalize on. So I get that second hand on, he’s holding the part of the gun that’s meant to be held. I’m not. So by getting that second hand on, it allows me to have real control. Next part is counter-attack. I need to hit him.”


Ryan: “So, as I’m getting that second hand on, here, I’m looking to counter. I’m fixing to kick straight up the middle. Finally, disarm, least important. I need to shut him down. I may kick him again, I may headbutt him or whatever. Line of fire should continue to move away from me, and come back to me. Here.”

“So that’s redirect, control, counter-attack, and take-away.”

Ryan: “Yep.”

“Let’s apply those four principles, let’s say if he’s got the gun to the back of your head…”

Ryan: “Yep. So it’s here. This is a really crappy place to find myself. So, redirection now, obviously no kinda hand defense, body defense, is gonna make much sense. If I try to redirect with my hands, this is very much in his line of sight. Remember, I’m not trying to beat the trigger pull, I’m trying to beat his reading my movement and then reacting to it. So if I make a big movement in here like this, he’s gonna see that, big time. So I may talk to the guy, I may try to figure out what he wants, because he wants something, he wants a wallet, he wants to move me from one place to another, he wants my truck, whatever. So from here, my redirection is I turn my head in. I get my head out of the line of fire as quickly as possible. I know, just like the other one, he’s gonna wanna pull that gun back, though, so I need to be there. I can’t stay in this place. So now, redirect, control becomes getting two-on-one here. You saw my counter-attack, right? Same knee at the same time, I wanna get outside here, and I look to make the takeaway. I chose to go inside of the elbows that time, I may go outside of the elbows, just based on totality of the circumstance. Maybe I’ve got some third parties next to me or whatever, maybe this is just the way that I looked, so the same thing I just go this way. I move my head, bring that knee in, punch over the top, break, take the gun.”

“Ok, so this is where– this is the part of the seminar– because you did the same concepts. Gun here, gun here, gun to the side, right? And then you said, ‘what if you can’t redirect to the left because you’ve got a loved one there, and you can’t redirect to the right, because there’s someone else there too’, and I thought you were gonna say ‘this is what you do, boom!’ like… but you’re not about having a billion techniques for a billion situations, because…?”

Ryan: “Yeah, it– look, let me borrow both of you guys for a second. If Josh is on one side, Amber’s on the other. So Paulo, you’re the badguy. You put the gun on me. So this is like, one of the most stressful situations I’m ever gonna find myself. If these are people that I love, and people that I care about, and whatever move I make is gonna put them in more danger, that’s gonna be really stressful. So do I now want another technique to have to remember under that kinda stress? No! So if this is what works for me alone, and maybe it’s what works if it’s on Amber and I can do this, then I don’t want another technique just because we’ve introduced a third person to it. So it’s perfectly normal, it’s perfectly natural, you put a gun on me, it’s ‘Ok, Ok bro, I’ll get you whatever you need, just, my wallet’s right here, let me get you my keys–‘ and now we’ve got this same thing. And all I did was change the environment. It’s, it’s– I don’t think anyone’s gonna think ‘oh man, I’ll get you whatever you need…’ now I’ve changed, I don’t have this huge long side anymore, I can redirect off my body, I don’t need a new technique. New techniques are great for selling seminars, selling DVDs, that kinda thing, having big fat curriculums. But I’m trying to make people safer, not sell a bunch of other stuff.”

“Awesome, so I just wanted to share that with you guys. For me, that was a really eye-opening concept in Ryan Hoover’s seminar today. I think he’s absolutely right, you know, I guess it’s fun, it’s kinda cool, it does sell more seminars and more DVDs, the more techniques that you have. But this is something different. Like, you’re changing the context of the situation to– it’s, I’m kinda speechless. So…”

Ryan: “I think we’re changing the way you think about it. Because everybody thinks ‘well we introduce a new problem, let’s come up with a new solution’, no! I don’t need a new solution! I can work within the framework that I already have if I start thinking that way.”

“Right, because if I wanted to shoot you, if my intention was just to shoot you, it would be from this far. It would be bangbangbangbangbang.”

Ryan: “Even if you walked up on me, we’re turned, you walk up, bang. Boom. Once the gun is up, if you want to shoot me, I’m shot. For this moment in time, you want something. And maybe I’ll give you that thing! I don’t know. If you wanna take one of my people with you, well that’s not gonna happen. We’re gonna fight. So context is always gonna dictate my response.”

“I like that. So we’ll end it with that. Context should dictate your response. I’m GN, Thank you guys for watching.”

Source: Ryan Hoover, Krav Maga

Ranger Roll to lift an Unconscious Person in Seconds

Are you into lifting weights? Then picking up a 200 pound person is no problem right?, But what if this person was unconscious? Now we’re talking dead weight which is totally different. Due to the awkward distribution of weight and flexible nature of the human body, it’s nothing like dead lifting barbells in a gym.

There have been methods that was developed to rectify this challenge. However, none have come close to being effective as this Ranger Roll method by Wil Willis.

Wil Willis is a former Ranger and USAF Pararescue specialized in tactical trauma emergency care. Wil came up with this quick method which uses momentum to roll the body onto his shoulders.

You can see the instruction here and some bad ass skills. Though the video is 7 minutes long, it is quite informative for an EMT trauma specialist that has to move a body quickly.

The downside to this method maybe that the person needs to be in average to good conditioning. The skill does require some practice to fully understand using momentum combine with good body technique.
Getting up to the stand up position is similar to the Turkish get-up exercise. This technique may not be for everyone but if needed when the situation arises, could be a life saver.

Video Transcription
Alright guys, I’m gonna show you a quick way to get a guy in a fireman’s carry. How many here have ever executed a fireman successfully on an unconscious casualty by yourself? By yourself. By yourself. Come on out. You ready? [Flops. Laughter]

What do you weigh will?


Hundred eighty? That’s it?


You’re doing a good job. You’re doing great, man.

[laughter] He really gets into it!

Stop, stop, stop. You get the point here?

Real dead weight!

Ain’t nobody here going to the gym and grabbing 180lb of pudding with sticks in it, snatching it of the ground, and putting it on their back. Because that’s what you have when you have an unconscious casualty. 180lbs or whatever he weighs of puddin’ with sticks in it, wrapped in hard-ass plastic gear, ok. So getting a casualty up isn’t that easy. Especially when they’re unconscious, uncooperative, not working with you. And to show you a couple of techniques, and if you don’t practice them, they’re not gonna magically come to you. Come on down here. How much do you weigh?


So we’ve got a casualty that weighs one-sixty-five. (just take a step to the side so I never have to teach this again. [laughter] Thank you. I’m old, dude.) Alright, so this guy weighs 165lbs, I’m gonna do this at speed, and then we’ll back it off, ok. This is a technique I learned from when I was in the ranger battalion, I didn’t magically come up with this, ok, and if you don’t practice it, it’s not a viable thing for you.


“WOAH. [laughter]”

Again. At some point it’s gotta work.

I guess I kinda overestimated. Relax your body.

“That’s some ninja shit!”

You see I could feel that guy gettin’ stiff, ok, a real casualty isn’t gonna roll with me, it’s just gonna be dead weight, alright. He rolled with me. Alright, he weighs 165 lbs, you can get him up like nothin’. It’s just a combat roll across his body. Anybody here weigh 220?

Come on down.

This guy outweighs me by 40 lbs. If you practice technique-

[strangled noise]

I can get him organized, I got him nice and stable, I’ve got my hips underneath my freakin’ shoulders. All I gotta do now is post up here, stand up with him.

“If you’ve ever done a turkish get-up, you’ve gotta have everything in alignment. If you’re off a little bit, it’s an injury waitin’ to happen.”

Now I could probably move out 100yards with this guy, keep up with the team, but what’s gonna happen after 100 yards?

“Muscle fatigue.”

I’m gonna get smoked. What’s the advantage of this?

It’s quick. What else? You maximize in guns in the fight, right? Maximize the security. But now I’m smoked. Guess what? Come on out here. Go back to back with me. Let me know when you have the weight. He’s got the weight. Somebody else try it out.

“Did he just shit himself?” [laughter]

Alright, set him down. So here’s how you do this slow. So gimmee somebody who weighs about– come out here.

Ok, so I’m gonna do this leftie, just so everyone can see and I can play to the video. But you can do this from standing and kneeling, or a lying position. If the situation dictates that I need to low-crawl up to this guy, or whatever, then I can. And all I do is turn my body to his. I get my hips on the ground, I rest my back on his chest, or on his gear. Can you breathe?


I don’t care. Why? It’s not a priority right now. Moving him is a priority! All I’m gonna do is reach back, grab this leg– I grab high on the cargo pocket, and I grab whatever material is there. Why? I’m gonna be draggin’ it with me. I’m bringing his thigh over my shoulder, and I’m throwing a pitch in that direction. So I throw a pitch– hip and the elbow stay down. Hip and elbow stay down. Do not roll over to your face, alright? If you’re flat like this, you’re not gonna get him up. So you’ve gotta keep your hips under you, so that when you transition, it’s a quick little standup. Ok?

“And you’ve got a hat.”

Easy day. Don’t leave anything behind. Alright. Come on out.

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From the kneeling position, here’s what it looks like. My knee goes next to his hip, I scissor him. [occasional snickering] This arm loops through his thigh, I grab ahold of that thigh, whatever I can grab, ok? I put my ear on his opposite hip, roll through. Nice and slow. Relax your body. Alright. Ok? And then last one… [laughter] Getting my workout for the day! Woo! And then the last one– I want you to be 100% unconscious. Remember that game I was playing in the beginning? I wans you to do that. Nice and easy. You come in– secure that arm– he’s got some stuff here.

If you do this shit and it’s caught on video you’ll be a youtube sensation.

That’s probably where this is going. A lot of editing.

You can do this with gear, without gear, the problem is, it’s crawl-walk-run. You gotta be really good at the crawl part before you can walk, and you better be a damn olympic walker before you run. Ok. You can do it with your weapon, helmet, body armor, the only limiting factor, really, is like a rucksack or something like that. Are there any questions?

Everybody feel confident they can do this?

Alright, let’s make it happen. [laughter]

“So many injuries. So many LODs. …The tactical Nut-drag. Only SEALS can do that. ‘HANG ONTO MY NUTS I’M A SEAL'” “I’m like ‘Grab onto his nuts, he’s a seal!'” [Group laughter]

Sources: Wil Willis Facebook, Good Guys in Badland Facebook

Pistol Shooting Drills

Improving your Skills

Do you want to get good at shooting a pistol? And, we’re not talking about just standing in front of a paper target shooting at your leisure. You want to be able to defend yourself and loved ones. What do you do?
There are many shooting drills out there for every skill level, but as with any hobby or skill, the basics are the most important. Without basic proficiency, one cannot become competent, let alone get actually good..
Getting good means you’ll need to attend all of these top of the line defensive firearms courses offered at Joe’s Tactical School.
Reality is these courses are expensive and if you’re like most of us we don’t work for an agency that will send us to these courses every week.

Here’s a few pistol drills to keep your skills sharp and build a solid base and you can do this without paying big bucks to stroke your ego.

There are many rifle/pistol drills out there on the internet (Youtube). Most are just junk for entertainment, start with these in the following list as they have been taught at real-world law enforcement and military schools. Yes, there are some that have been modified which the world doesn’t know about.
Anyways, here’s a few to start with:

  • 5×5 Drill

    This drill was developed by Bill Wilson, its really useful for assessing your basic skill level with a pistol. We mean for the type of pistol/caliber that you want to be proficient with. For example, shooting a .22 cal pistol would be faster than shooting a .45 ACP. The faster and more accurate shots tells the shooter that they are competent to use for personal defense with that type of pistol/caliber.
    This drill basically is take 5 shots at a 5 inch target from 5 yards within 5 seconds.
  • Slap Rack Bang
    Most semi-automatic handgun and AR type rifle malfunctions are cleared with the “Slap Rack Bang”.
    Actually without the bang first action is to slap the bottom of your magazine to make sure that the magazine is in place.
    Then, Rack the slide to the rear to remove a possible round that is obscuring at the ejection area.
    -Shotgun – With a pump shotgun pull the pump fully to the rear, and if necessary reach in and remove the malfunction. With an automatic lock the bolt back to the rear and clear the malfunction with your hands.
    Put another round in the chamber and fire a round.
    The object if this drill is to ingrain this into your neuro-muscular system as a primary action to do when malfunction comes up, especially if you were in a personal defense situation.
  • Mozambique Drill

    This drill is more fun to do as it stresses shot placement into critical areas of a perp.
    Commonly known as “Failure to Stop Drill”, incorporated by the late Jeff Cooper at GunSite Academy. Which has been taught at every level of law enforcement agencies to Joe Tactical wannabes.
    The drill has the person in front of the target at 7-10 yards with a pistol or 15 – 25 yards with a rifle or shotgun.
    You fire your firearms and put “two to the body, one to the head”, the idea is to stop the aggression. The third shot is a last option if the perp was still advancing.
  • The El Presidente Drill

    Another drill developed by Jeff Cooper specifically for the handgun. This is used as a benchmark to gauge a shooter’s skills, as it tests the draw and reload, and requires good transitions and follow-through.
    -Three silhouette targets are placed 1 meter apart in a line 10 meters from the shooter.
    -The shooter starts with six rounds in a holstered handgun, and a spare magazine or speedloader with another six rounds.
    -The shooter begins facing directly away from the targets, often with hands clasped in front or over the head.
    -Upon the starting signal, the shooter turns and draws, fires two shots at each target, reloads, and then fires two more shots at each target.
  • 1 to 5 Drill

    This drill was designed for using an AR but can be adapted for handguns as well. Kyle Lamb gets the credit for this drill. Kyle was a Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army as a Delta Force Operator, and participated in numerous deployments, including the Black Hawk Down Incident back in the early 90’s.
    Here’s the how the drill works:
    Space three targets, preferably human silhouette targets, about one target-width apart and place them five yards away from you. Start with the rifle butt on your shoulder and the muzzle down, as if you are exiting a vehicle or entering a building.
    At the buzzer, shoot one shot on the left target, two shots on the center target, and three shots on the right target. Then shoot four shots back on the center target followed by five shots on the left. That’s a total of 15 shots at five targets, and only “A” or center hits count. Most experienced shooters will do this in about five seconds the first time out. Scoring under 3.5 seconds is getting pretty good. Three seconds or less is excellent.
  • The Box Drill

    There are two different types of box drill that you may have seen.
    -First version is that you run to four corner of a box and fire off a round to a target. This works your ability to run, stop and fire. You put your fundamentals to use when you make that abrupt stop to fire off a round.
    -Second version is to fire two rounds to the chest per target at two targets. This drill stresses shot placement, and multiple target engagement. There are versions where you take a head shot as well. The video below highlights Tom Cruise in the movie Collateral. He does a box drill on two targets.
  • Action – Reaction Drill

    Many of these gun/pistol drills are based from a stationary position.
    This particular one from PFC Training is based off of charging (moving) towards the target and fire off a few rounds. The beginning stages is charging forward, later you can incorporate moving at a 45 degree angle and firing at the target.
    The drill is two-fold, each shooters ability to go from zero to full speed with accuracy will be enhanced.
  • Bill Drill

    Originally created by Bill Wilson and is intended to improve speed without sacrificing accuracy. (action starts at 1:31)
    The drill teaches sight tracking, proper visual reference, recoil management, and trigger manipulation. Draw and fire 6 rounds as quickly as possible to a target at 7 yards away. Goal is to get all 6 onto the target at 3.5 seconds.

  • Come at Me Bro Drill

    This drill starts at 7 yards. When the audible synaptic response module is triggered, the operator will advance and engage all targets in tactical order within designated weapon system deployment area.
    The idea actually comes from an immediate action drill when you are being attacked (ambushed) at close range while on patrol. Once engaged you would turn toward the threat and attack.
  • Tactical Blind Fire

    This drill is a fun drill and you probably have seen this in the movies. Its where you get the hero just blindly sticking out their gun from a corner and fires away. This is just showcasing the flashiness of the firearm. Youtuber Dynamic Pie Concepts gets the credit for turning this into a drill, is it really a legit drill for the real world? Who knows, but why not, its great to spend some time to blow off some rounds. Though the video shows the guys from DPC using an automatic weapon, this can be used with a pistol as well.

Well there you have it, this is not the complete list of pistol shooting drills. But, some of these can form as a foundation to learn from. And, there are some drills just for giggles.

Aiming is Useless

According to Rob Leatham 7x IPSC World Champion!

That’s right coming from Rob Leatham. When it comes to shooting, few are at Rob Leatham’s caliber so when he’s got something to say about shooting, we should pay attention. Or, shouldn’t we? Without questioning Rob’s shooting ability, there has been debates on the different school of thoughts when it comes to “instinctive” shooting to precise shooting, or, accuracy shooting to speed shooting. Is this a myth when it comes to gunfighting? As you can see the list goes on, we have written one piece when the NYPD shooting program came under fire when their officers were missing their shots in actual incidents, when lives counted.

For the normal Joe that conceal carry, how much of this advise would work out on the streets when it really counted. There are other variables that comes into play such as the distances and movement. Circumstances can also dictate whether you’re shooting sighted or unsighted. For example if both people are wrestling for the gun, at this close range there is no need for lining up your sights. Hitting a target while stationary is one thing but while on the move is another skill set.

Which ever side of the fence you stand on, Rob’s statement is sure to perk your interest and opinion on shooting. Here’s 3 things that Rob talks about to make you a better shooter.

  1. Hold the Gun Really Tight
  2. Point the Gun at the Target
  3. Pull the Trigger w/out Moving

Take a look at the video.

Here’s what they’re all saying about Rob’s shooting method.
Earlier we mentioned shooting while on the move. Maybe, we’re getting off course here and shouldn’t compare two different things. Stationary shooting vs shooting on the move. Anyways, here’s Gabe White a highly proficient shooter that shoots at a Master USPSA level. Its just amazing to see a guy with some mad skill, yes, it would take a lot of work to be at his level. But one thing about this, Gabe does admit to using his front sight while acquiring the target.

Ok, back to Rob.

Video Transcription on Rob Leatham

[Rob Leatham] An instructor comes in, and the first thing they tell you is, “Focus on the sights, squeeze the trigger, pin the trigger to the rear, ONLY release the trigger, and try to relax. It’s all Bull[BLEEP]. As a rule, the first thing you should learn is to pull the trigger without moving the gun. You don’t even need to load the gun, you don’t need a target. You need to be able to fire the gun without altering the attitude, and the direction the gun’s pointed. Until you can do that, aiming is meaningless. Think about it, if you’re shooting a shot, you’re focused on that front sight, you’re looking at that front sight, You’re lookin’, lookin’, lookin’, you say “I’m gonna shoot…NOW.” And you jerk the gun six inches low, eight inches low, it didn’t matter if you aimed to begin with! So it’s pointless to focus on aiming until fire control is in place.

Ok, so the first thing I teach a new shooter is always the same thing: First off it’s safety, keep the gun pointed the right way, all that kinda crap. At that point, we turn into ‘Now listen, what I need you to do is hold the gun firmly’ and I put their hands on the gun, I show ’em how I want ’em to grip it, I don’t even need ’em to bring it up to eye level. I tell ’em ‘hold the gun right there, cycle gun, now pull the trigger’. Click. Nothin’, move. Click, nothin’ moves. Click, nothin’ moves. ‘Cuz they’re not aiming, so they don’t care about aiming. So you’re not letting the process of aiming affect their shooting as they’re pulling the trigger.

Then it’s “Ok, now extend the gun, point the gun at the target, don’t care about the sights yet, and pull the trigger. Click. Click, click.” So now we’re gonna shoot some shots, and I don’t care where you hit, we’re gonna shoot some shots now, live fire. And almost immediately, guy will start shooting, and I’ll see him aim, aim, aim, and I’ll say “Stop. You’re aiming. I don’t need you aiming, you’re gonna hit the target at three or four or five yards without aiming, so don’t worry about it. You can’t miss from lack of aiming at that distance. You’ll miss by moving the gun out of alignment by jerking, flinching, pushing, pulling. And it’s not ‘jerking the trigger’ either, I hate it when people blame everything on not seeing the ffff– the sight. And jerking the trigger. To shoot fast you’re gonna jerk the trigger, so learn how to jerk the trigger without moving the gun! It’s that simple! It’s just not easy to do.

So fundamentally if you’re trying to teach somebody that; this is one of Springfield’s new OSPs, the gun I shot at the Nationals; so the guy that does this motion right here, sights, everything looks good, and then they say ‘I’m gonna shoot NOW’, It won’t matter if te dot was where I wanted it or not. Because I moved it eight or ten or twelve inches when I moved it. So what I need the guy to do is forget about aiming, point the gun out at the target, and do this. Learn how to do this motion right here. Ok? So now even though I’m poorly aimed, the shot’s going to go where it was directed. And NOW aiming will matter.

So this is what it looks like live-fire. So you put it on here, you do everything right, you put the dot on the target, and you pull the trigger. Pull the trigger, pull the trigger, pull the trigger. Ok? At that point, I’m not trying to see a perfect clear dot. In this case, it’s a dot, not ironsights. I’m not trying to make the dot motionless.
I’m not trying to fixate all my conscious thought on that aiming point. It’s about thirty percent on the visual, and the rest of it is all on feeling the trigger. ‘Cuz if I can move the trigger without moving the gun, I’m gonna have a good shot.

Now, shooting’s really simple, guys. It’s not necessarily easy, but there’s only three things that you have to do.

Hold the gun really tight, okay, don’t try to relax, hold the gun tight.

Point the gun at the target where you want to hit it.

And pull the trigger as fast as you can without moving.

That’s it. That’s all the secrets to shooting. And if you do it right, while it’s not necessarily easy, it is very simple.

I’m holding the gun as tight as I can, locking the gun, the sight’s in the target, pull the trigger, pull the trigger, pull the trigger, like that. Ok? And I just keep pulling the trigger.

Now you come look at the target.

[Cameraman] You’re fairly confident that this is gonna look like it’s supposed to?

[Rob] Well, I mean, it’s gonna be– the dot moved about this much when I was shooting. So if you look at the target, where are the shots gonna be? In that area. Now I could shoot it faster, and I could also shoot it more accurately, but the first thing isn’t learning this precision slow-fire crap. The hardest thing to do is to take somebody, who you forced them to focus on slow-fire and precision, and say ‘now just do it fast’. Because you don’t do the same things for precision that you do– The concept is, and it’s fault, it’s false– is that you do the same thing shooting faster that you do shooting accurately. It’s not true. The process of pulling the trigger is different when you’re shooting fast than when you’re shooting accurately. Now, can I pull the trigger slow? Yeah, ‘course I can. But the process is based on the ability to hold the gun, so the most important part is not aiming, it is pulling the trigger without moving the gun, it has little to do with the trigger, it has more to do with gripping and how you hold the gun and how motionless you can make the gun.

Alright, so I’m Rob Leatham from Springfield Armory, and thanks for watching Funker Tactical.

by J Hines

Source: Funker Tactical Youtube, Rob Leatham and Gabe White

SIRT Training Pistol


Article by J Hines Photos from SIRT – Next Level Training and Accelerated Firearm Training

SIRT is a laser training pistol that allows training almost anywhere providing immediate feedback to the shooter. Take advantage of dead times during the day to implement training in almost any unused room or area at your facility. Fight the potential boredom perceived in training with a simple, but versatile, training tool that makes pistolcraft fun.

Take Your Pistolcraft to the Next Level with the SIRT Laser Training Pistol
while NLT knows that dry fire training is no substitute for live fire training, neither is there a need to rely on it exclusively thanks to the Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger (SIRT) Laser Training Pistol and the exclusive laser feedback mechanism. Designed to complement, not replace, live fire training, the SIRT Dry Fire Training Pistol brings together a host of patent pending technologies critical to improving shooting accuracy while addressing issues of cost and liability.

The SIRT Training Pistol does not fire any projectile, and the lasers are not harmful. This is a complete system Critical features provides effective, consistent and rewarding training.

  • Patent pending shot indicating laser
  • Resetting trigger combined with the simulated weight of the pistol and magazine
  • A red trigger take-up indicating laser (that can be conveniently turned off)
  • Replaceable sights, all in a self-contained package

The SIRT Training Pistol 110 Pro is designed to have a dry weight of 24 ounces with the center of gravity positioned slightly vertical of the trigger pin. (When engaging at full speed transitions and draws, a simulated weight and center of gravity is imperative for training to accelerate and decelerate the pistol while engaging in precise fine motor movements).

BODY MOVEMENT Maximize deceleration while maintaining control of the pistol to teach yourself to present the pistol and prep the trigger to minimize time to placing shots on the target.

LOW IMPACT – SHOCK ABSORBING MAGAZINE Magazine can be dropped on many types of flooring surfaces without damage.

TRAIN GUN HANDLING: DRAWS AND RELOADS The integrated lasers allow for proper training of draws of various pistolcraft skill sets. The SIRT Training Pistol comes with a weighted magazine to simulate the weight and center of gravity of 10 rounds of 124 grain 9mm ammunition, a fully loaded 15 round .40 caliber magazine with 180 grain bullets.

Built tough with sturdy steel construction, the SIRT Laser Training Pistol looks and feels like the real thing by matching the size, weight, and center of gravity of the live fire pistol. In addition, the SIRT Laser Training Pistol even offers a host of features including weighted training magazine and replaceable sights.


Unlike a standard live fire or Air Soft pistol, the SIRT Laser Training Pistol provides instantaneous performance feedback and no need for ongoing expenditures such as ammo and targets through laser feedback. Because of its flexibility and cost-effectiveness, the SIRT doesn’t just permit additional training — it encourages it, view the video to see the drills.

Simple to use, the SIRT Laser Training Pistol is applicable to a range of training exercises including shooting accuracy, sidearm handling, integrated cardio and live course programs, and even force-on-force training scenarios. Because it does not discharge any type of projectile and instead uses laser feedback, the SIRT Laser Training Pistol can be used safely in nearly every environment and situation. Get the SIRT training pistol here.

Accelerated Firearm Training
If you’re looking to combine this SIRT training pistol with an app that can record and act as a timer. Then take a look at what the good folks at Accelerated Firearm Training have to offer.
Yes, inside your home you can place these 6 electronic targets anywhere to practice and get instant feedback. This is the excerpt from AFT website:
Choose a Course Of Fire from five available in the app: Steel Training, Saturday Steel, React, Practical Shooting, and Friend Or Foe. Range Officer commands can be enabled to direct the start of the Course Of Fire: “Are you ready?” “Standby!” followed by a 300ms start signal “Beeeep!”. Press the Start button on the Shot Timer screen and begin shooting at the start signal. Even a par time stop signal can be configured for time limited shot strings.

A Shot Timer view captures and displays target hits, cumulative times, split times, and overall scoring for each Course Of Fire. A Targets view shows target hit locations and features a sight picture visualization tool and shot correction chart overlays for analyzing shot groups.
The app is available for compatible Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

You can check out their awesome training app here – just click on Accelerated Firearm Training.

What I Learned at Counter-Terrorism School

Inspired by a legendary senior operator, our 58-year-old author signed up for an intense, three-and-a-half-week-long course with students half his age. Here’s what he experienced.

Story and Photos by Paul Pawela

Recently while doing research on paramilitary operators, I came across a book written by Annie Jacobsen titled Surprise, Kill, Vanish – The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins. I was delighted to discover that more than half the book was about the exploits of one of my long-time mentors, Sergeant Major Billy Waugh (retired).

Now 90, Waugh had 25 years in Special Forces as a leader of the elite Military Assistance Command-Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) unit that would go deep into enemy territory and disrupt their agenda. He retired from Special Forces at the highest enlisted rank, after being wounded in combat and receiving eight Purple Hearts.

Not a man for sitting still, Waugh went to work for the CIA for another 25 years. In that amazing second part of his career, he was directly responsible for capturing the most wanted criminal/terrorist in the world at the time, Carlos the Jackal.
After 9/11, Waugh, now in his 70s, participated in Operation Enduring Freedom as a member of the CIA team that would help topple the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda at the Battle of Tora Bora.

I often pondered where individuals such as Waugh are able to receive specialized hands-on training to be able to do these brave acts. I found my answer after having a conversation with a good friend by the name of Jason Brooks. Jason arranged for me to meet with Doron Benbenisty, the owner of Crisis Response International Counter-Terrorism Training School, who has been doing this type of training for almost two decades in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Benbenisty, a man of seasoned combat experience who does not mince words, was direct and to the point: “Yes, Paul, I would be delighted for you to write an article on our program, with one caveat. You must go through it as a student.”
At 58 years old, I was not relishing the thought of going to an intense, three-and-a-half-week counter-terrorist training school with people half my age. Then again, Waugh was 71 years old working with the CIA and roaming the roaming the mountains looking for terrorists. So I enrolled in what would become one of my greatest experiences in nearly four decades of training.

CRISIS RESPONSE INTERNATIONAL (CRI) is an Israeli-based counter-terrorism training school with its roots deeply embedded with the Mossad. The Mossad is the national intelligence agency for Israel and works with Aman (Military Intelligence) and Shin Bet (International Security). All together, they are responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations and counter-terrorism – basically the same mission as the CIA.

CRI offers comprehensive instruction to the military, law enforcement, dignitary protection and private security, and has been involved in training state and federal agencies, as well as other governments from around the world.

Right out of the gate, the first day of training is Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape, better known as SERE training. The first part of the class simulates being captured by terrorists, which includes having a hood put over your head and your feet and hands bound, while being waterboarded. You are asked a series of questions and if your answers do not match up to the pseudo-terrorists who are conducting the interviews, you are shocked with a taser.
I experienced being hogtied on the ground, tied up by being hung, put into a small box in isolation, and strapped in a chair, all while handcuffed, blindfolded, interrogated and shocked by a taser.
Why would anyone want to go through that? Many of my classmates were contractors going overseas to the Middle East and needed realistic training in case of abduction. We not only experienced being bound, gagged and tortured, but we also watched 10 different videos of actual beheadings and murderous executions.

Why would a civilian want to attend? Almost every one of you carry a firearm for home defense or personal protection, but have you ever thought of what would happen if you or someone in your family was taken hostage? Think being bound and tortured and brutally murdered does not happen in the United States? The CRI courses are designed for anyone who may find themselves in a hostile situation.

CRI ALSO OFFERS firearms training with handguns, rifles and shotguns. Since most shooting in these situations is very close-quarters, instructors taught instinctive fire techniques, rather than aimed fire, and the results were amazing! Firearms training included: shooting on the move in all directions, shooting from moving vehicles, shooting in and around vehicles, shooting through windows of vehicles from all positions inside the vehicle, dismounting from vehicles and covering your team while shooting and moving, shooting while moving and holding onto a hostage, shooting one-handed, and shooting on the ground with both handgun and rifle.

Students also learned Israeli hand-to-hand Krav Haganah combat techniques, including long gun, handgun and knife disarms and takeaways, ground fighting tactics for both offense and defense, surviving counterattacks from the rear, knife defense, and knife throwing skills as a last-ditch option.
Another course covered offensive and defensive vehicle tactical driving and pit ramming maneuvers. The course also included how to take over the driver’s position if he has been shot and is seriously wounded or killed, which in 35 years of LEO training was the first time I ever witnessed these techniques.

A variety of other subjects were taught, including in-depth classes on tactical first aid, personal protection teams and formations, covert intelligence gathering and much more. All trainings were drilled to perfection by CRI instructors and capped off with physical and demanding “stress tests.”

The one I liked most was the driving test. The instructor would play loud music, yell and scream, pour water over the face of the student/driver, and use a shock knife on the driver, all while the driver was having to complete the vehicle obstacle course, which simulated driving while being shot at. This was similar to all the tests performed.

STUDENTS WHO ENTER the CRI Counter-Terrorism Training School are generally seasoned combat veterans, many of whom are seeking to go back overseas as a contract security specialist, where the pay is higher but the risk and danger are higher as well.

For jobs like these, one must have physical endurance and great marksmanship skills in all weapons, including those of the enemy, and they must undergo memory training and psychological tests, medical examinations, driving tests and lots of verbal interviews.
Hysteria and aggression have no place in a job like this; one must do everything calmly, deliberately and tactically. Strategy, tactics, endurance, techniques and close-combat fighting are honed until it becomes second nature.

Those who can resist stress and strain are well on their way into working in this type of field; in calmness lies strength, flexibility and endurance. At the end of the day, the objective for the individual is to fit in and be a part of a well-refined team to accomplish the mission. While this is a high-speed personal protection course, could civilians benefit from all of the blocks of instruction taught by CRI? The answer unequivocally is absolutely yes!
For more information on the CRI Counter-Terrorism Training School, go to