News and Information 2018-06-03T07:08:12+00:00

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Holiday Safety Tips

 

Holiday Safety Tips

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

The days are getting shorter, the morning cooler.  It’s that time of year…

The time each year where we point out a few things to help keep you safe throughout the holiday season.

It bears repeating, the bad guys love the holidays as much as the rest of us; only because it affords them more opportunity for crime.

For those that have been reading our Situation Report for the past several years, some of these tips will be a needed refresher, for some of you – new material.  And to start off the season of Thanks Giving – Thank you to all of you; new readers and those that have been with us from the beginning.  We appreciate your support and your loyalty to Saddle River Range.

We have segmented the following tips based on the location, activity and age group.

Shopping:  Shopping centers and malls are ideal locations for criminals as the environment is “target rich”.

  • Stay alert and aware of what is happening around you, in the store and in the parking lot
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash: I suggest getting a debit card and limiting the amount loaded on the card.  There is no identification information and the loss is limited if stolen.
  • DO NOT overburden yourself with packages. Keep your purse closed and held tight, not dangling from straps.  Guys, put your wallet in your front pocket if carrying stuff for your gal.

 

 

At Home: We have all heard of someone being followed home, or having their home burglarized.  Some neighborhoods stand out as targets because of the displayed affluence.

 

  • When arriving at home be alert for suspicious vehicles on the block. Be alert for strangers approaching you in the drive way or at the front door.  Remove hiding spaced, by illuminating shadows.
  • Not to be alarmist, but someone at the front door may not be whom they seem to be. Criminals do pose as delivery personnel; and those asking for charitable donations may not be representing others in need.
  • After you open the gifts from your holiday spree, don’t announce your new toys to the world by putting the boxes on the front curb for collection. Break down the boxes and bind them.  This prevents a bad guy from noticing you have a brand new 70 inch flat screen TV.

 

Children:  It’s an exciting time for the little ones; plenty of colorful lights, and magical sounds and lots and lots of people.  It’s easy for you, and them to get distracted and get separated.

  • It will happen, regardless of the effort you make to prevent it; children will wander off. Teach your children that if they turn around and mommy is not there, they should seek out a store clerk, a security officer, or as a last resort another mommy with children.  Play a game with them, and stop on occasion and have them point out a safe person they might approach if you were not with them.
  • For the older children, have them be mindful of what they post online. Pictures of the house portraying all the stuff under the tree just points out to a criminal where they might want to shop.  Also, be especially considerate of posting pictures of grandma and grandpa’s house online.

 

Winter and the holiday season is a special time of year.  With a little thought and attention, you will be rewarded with wonderful memories of a joyous occasion; and the bad guys will end up with coal in their stockings.

Oh, yeah!  Don’t forget to load up on stocking stuffers for your family, friends and loved ones.  Gift certificates are now available for a new something special, an outing at the range or some instruction for a new shooter or archer.  Come in now and load up for the holidays.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved.

 

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

The Use of Force

 

The Use of Force

 

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these:  First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.”  Samuel Adams (No, not the beer, the patriot that helped found this country).

 

So, the fundamental principles of our society and culture provide for us to be able to defend our right to life, liberty and property.  And built into the legal structure of each state are laws and statutes that define when we, as citizens can use force; even deadly force if necessary.  However, those laws are also based on what a “reasonable person” may do in a confrontational situation.  And those same laws are written with ambiguous language such that a prosecutor can second guess your actions.

 

We know we are allowed, as free men to be able to protect and defend; so let’s look at the progression and escalation of defense and “force”.

 

We are not going to espouse legal advice; nor are we going to present options on how to address a situation.  We do want to make you think.  Think about awareness.  Think about your situation.  Think about how you’d respond.

 

Initially, we want to avoid a potential situation in which a confrontation may develop; but if we find ourselves in such a situation; probably ninety percent of the time we are going to be able to do one of two things to evade any use of force.  If we find that we are in a situation which could develop, or has developed into a confrontation; consider de-escalating or retreating from the situation.  Both are non-force responses to a confrontation; and we want to attempt these actions if we have the ability.

 

There are numerous stories about a guy’s ego getting out of control in a situation as he feels he must defend honor and then gets the snot beat out of him; or worse.  There is no shame in ignoring a comment or gesture and walking away.  However, if as you’re walking away, your antagonist decides he must make an example of you; use of force is needed to end the threat.  But, and this is important, how much force can you use to end the threat?

 

Your personal safety and security is at risk; how much force is necessary to neutralize the threat?  Reasonable force is the force necessary to stop the threat, but not “exceed” the threat.  Given any situation where you are at risk of harm, you are not going to stop and determine the legal aspect of balancing your force against the threat.  But you need to maintain a situational awareness regarding the threat and be prepared to escalate or de-escalate your force as necessary given the situation.  And NO; we will not provide examples, as every situation is different and it will be your responsibility to protect yourself and your loved ones as you deem necessary given that situation.

 

But we should consider and discuss “Reasonable” and “Deadly” force.

 

Reasonable Force as Defined by The Legal Library

 

The amount of force necessary to protect oneself or one’s property. Reasonable force is a term associated with defending one’s person or property from a violent attack, theft, or other type of unlawful aggression. It may be used as a defense in a criminal trial or to defend oneself in a suit alleging tortious conduct. If one uses excessive force, or more than the force necessary for such protection, he or she may be considered to have forfeited the right to defense. Reasonable force is also known as legal force.

 

One might consider that reasonable force would be matching the tool of the attacker.  You might still get the snot beat out of you, or worse, if you are not as skilled as the attacker with that tool.  It’s not tool versus tool.  It’s what you have to do to survive!

 

Deadly Force

 

Deadly force is generally thought of as escalating beyond “Reasonable Force” and includes the penetration of a weapon, or projectile into someone and of course the killing of someone.

 

With any responsive force; you must follow rules; else you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law even if you were just trying to protect yourself from a threat.  Some food for thought; you’re about to enter your car in a parking lot when you see an unsavory character approaching you with a knife in his hand.  Are we at risk of a threat?  If so, what “force” might we present given this risk of threat?  (And if you didn’t think about how you would respond to this threat when you walked towards your car; you are already two moves behind your antagonist!)

 

Our safety and security, and the safety and security of our families will depend on you presenting force as necessary when needed; but you don’t want to find your livelihood and liberties lost for not being responsible in your use of force.

 

Our safety is our responsibility.  The ability to defend ourselves is our right.  Knowing how is our challenge; and knowhow not only includes defensive fighting and weapons use, but an understanding of the laws that frame our rights.

 

Learn more about training programs to help you understand how best to protect yourself and your family here at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

 

 

By | October 5th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Practice Makes Perfect

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

(Downloadable Dot Torture can be found here)

What is the difference between being able to ride a bike and engaging in a sport such as tennis, golf or fly fishing?

The ability to ride a bike is base predominantly on balance; a function of a part of the inner ear that allows us to remain upright.  Our ability to play a sport requires an enforcement of consistent engagement to keep the muscle memory active for peak repetitiveness – ‘practice’.

Regardless of your sport or activity, if you took a month off, two months off or maybe a whole year; you’d still understand the fundamentals of the activity, but your capability would deteriorate from lack of ‘practice’.  You will have lost your ‘groove’.

The same can be said for our capabilities in firearm marksmanship and archery accuracy.  If we do not practice the activity, our level of competency – our skill – deteriorates.

Skill is important, regardless of activity.  Bow or gun, competition or hunting, for fun or protection; enhancing and maintaining a level of competency in our ability to perform is important.

Ask yourself; ‘Is getting to the range every three years to requalify for the License to Carry enough practice to establish a level of competency to react to a deadly threat?  Similarly, can you realistically think you’ll drop that trophy buck when you haven’t nocked an arrow since you put down the bow last season?  We don’t think you need us to answer those questions for you.  You know.

  1. We’ve justified the need to practice. If you want to maintain your level of skill; whether that skill is in competitive marksmanship, hunting accuracy or consistency of arrow flight – we need to practice.  We take the thought further; how much and what kind of practice?

If we compare our marksman and accuracy activities to any other sport; we quickly realize that the top golfers, the top tennis players, the top football players all practice.  They practice daily, or at the very least weekly.  They also incorporate another element to their practice – they employ a ‘coach’.

Do you engage a shooting coach?  If you golf, I’ll bet you have an instructor you go to when your game is off.  Do you have an archery coach?  How do you assess, evaluate and identify your weaknesses and incorporate adjustments to improve your ability if you are focused on the activity?  You cannot.  You cannot see yourself from behind and notice the slight twitch of your left arm when squeezing the trigger causing you to miss the target.

A coach can see you from all angles, can assess your foundation, can evaluate your actions and help get you into a groove.  A coach can also push you.  Take you outside your box; up your game.

We maintain muscle memory from punching holes in a sheet of paper ten yards away in an isolated lane.  We enhance our level of capability by stretching our range; and a coach/instructor can help us with that.

We just sent the kids back to school to enhance their learning; let’s go back to school ourselves to enhance our abilities.

And now is an opportune time to go back to school; Saddle River Range is offering Labor Day specials on memberships.  Come in, sign up and hire a coach.  You owe it to yourself to get to the range regularly and practice.

Check out Saddle River Range training programs here for firearms; and here for archery at Saddle River Range.  Club memberships can be found here.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe.

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | September 2nd, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Meet our Team: Gunsmith Brian Meidal

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

We are going to take a detour from our regular topics on safety and training and introduce you to Brian Meidal.  For those readers unaware; Saddle River Range has a fully functional gun smith operation; and Brian is your go to guy in the shop.

In a conversation with Brian last week we asked about what he does, and can do for a Saddle River Range customer…

“We help with failures on the range; helping shooters see how things are supposed to work.  Additionally, we replace a lot sights, adjust trigger pulls or repair a broken part.”

But if you ask what excites him; Brian answers: “The custom work.  I’m working on a custom competition cowboy rifle that the owner uses during shooting competitions.  The intimate work and intricacies of honing a firearm for competition requires the expertise of a skilled mechanic as well as a visionary artisan.”  He showed us that rifle; and it is a work of art as well as a fine example of engineering.  I think it’s safe to say that customer will be winning shooting competitions soon.

We asked Brian how he got started as a gun smith and his answer was surprising.

“I was working at a sandwich shop when I learned about the gun smith program at Colorado School of Trades in Denver.  I mentioned the program to the shop owner and he encouraged me to call and ask about enrollment.  The next thing I knew, I was back in school learning how to work on and build firearms.”

Brian shared with us that shortly before graduation, he was offered a job with GunSmoke; a gun store and custom gun builder in Denver Colorado.  We’ve heard of that place!  GunSmoke was the setting for a reality show on the Discovery Channel.  Readers may remember the show named American Guns.  Brian was with GunSmoke for a number of years and was with them during the filming of the show.

Naturally, we had to ask; what was his most memorable experience in working at the iconic shop.

His response: “There’s a few: I presented one of our Presidential 1911s to President George W. Bush, I got to meet Ted Nugent – he filmed an episode of the show; and we built a black powder axe mortar gun with a Damascus Steel Tabar blade mounted to the forend.”  Of course we had to go back and research that episode to comprehend a ‘black powder axe mortar gun’; a very interesting piece of firearm engineering and craftsmanship to say the least!

We asked Brian what was next.  His response was a desire to expand the operation of the shop with ‘made to order’ firearms.  He wants to expand on the shops capabilities to build ‘made to order’ custom firearms; with more build to spec ARs, hand guns and rifles for sport and competition.

Brian is one of the many team members Saddle River Range, here to help with your shooting experience.  Next time you visit, stop by and say hello.  Ask him to build a custom gun for you.

Click the link for more information on the services offered through our gunsmith department; or to learn more about the only NSSF Five Star rated Indoor range in Texas, head to our web site.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | August 1st, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Are You Ready for Bow Season?

Bow Season Kick Off is July 14th!!

Our favorite time of year is fast approaching and I’m sure that you are as excited as I am. Right now you are busy finding places to hunt, scouting out places that you already have, planting food plots, working extra hours to build up some time off or any one of a thousand other things to get ready.

I have been doing this for a long time and have probably (hopefully) made every possible mistake, so I thought I would make some notes and hopefully save you some disappointment.

While you are hustling around doing the multitude of things that have to be done, DO NOT overlook your equipment. What follows is my list of things to check and things to do so that you can keep the infamous Mr Murphy from joining you on your next hunt.

BOW:

  1. Check the strings.

How long have they been on there? If you don’t know, change them. Now. If it is more than 2 years, I would change them.

Look at the serving. Is there a gap in the serving in or around the D-Loop? Does it show a lot of wear from the nock? If so, have it re-served.

Check the axle-to-axle length, brace height and cam timing. If they are off, the strings have either stretched from extended use or they are worn out. Each bow make/model are different so you may need to bring it to us if you are not familiar with these specs. If they are off too far, the strings will need to be replaced.

Check the actual stands of the string. Are any of them broken or loose? If so, replace. Are they “fuzzy”? If so, apply a good coat of string wax and rub it in.

Is the D-Loop tied correctly and in the right spot? Or does it look like it was tied by a stock boy at a box store? If it’s tied CORRECTLY it will not move. If it does move, your “shot of a lifetime” just went down the drain. Is the loop in the right spot?

Check your peep sight. Make sure it is tied in securely. A tiny shift in the rear sight is huge downrange. Is it set so that you can see through it at full draw?

  1. Check the limbs. Are there any cracks? Splinters? Anything that looks suspicious? I so, get it taken care of now! If you are thinking “It’ll probably make it through another season,” you can bet that it won’t. Any issues with limbs will require replacement parts that may take some time to get. Even longer as the season gets nearer. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  2. Check the riser (handle)

Is everything tight? Rest? Sight? Stabilizer? Quiver?

Are there any shiny spots that will glare and get you busted?

Does the grip squeak or creak when you draw the bow?

  1. Check the cams/wheels.

Are they bent from when you dropped it out of your stand last year?

Check every bolt/screw on the cam. Are the modules tight? WARNING! Steel screws into aluminum cams are easy to strip out. Don’t over-tighten.

Check the string and cable tracks. Any dings or dents on the inside of the tracks will wear the string, possibly cut it. If there is any debris in the track, remove it. This could cause a derailment and turn you into a spectator in the blink of an eye.

ARROWS:

  1. Are they the CORRECT spine for your bow? Or did you buy them on close out on your way to the lease last year?
  2. Are they the correct length? Will your broadhead make contact with the bow at full draw? If so, disaster awaits.
  3. Are they all identical? Any variation in the arrows WILL effect accuracy.
  4. Inspect the fletching. Any holes or tears? Is the glue joint secure?
  5. Are they cracked or “dinged”? Inspect them. Flex them. Twist them. If you see ANY or feel ANY cracks, dents or dings, do not shoot that arrow! Ever. Destroy it and throw it away.

I’m sure most of you have seen some gruesome pictures of what a broken arrow through the wrist or hand looks like. 99.9% of could’ve been avoided by following # 1-2-5 above.

BROADHEADS

  1. Do you have enough? Pick a quality broadhead and make sure that you have plenty and that they are all identical.
  2. Are they sharp? I’m not talking sharp like the average pocket knife. I’m talking sharp like a surgeon’s scalpel. My dad always said “If it’s not so sharp that you’re afraid of it, it’s not sharp”.
  3. Are they “true”? Broadheads must be straight, no wobble when they spin. There are lots of ways to check them and most of them are not OSHA approved. Go on YouTube and watch a few different techniques. You will see people spinning them in their palm. Not OSHA approved and if you use this technique have lots of bandaids handy (See #2)

RELEASE AID

  1. Does it work? If you threw it in your pack after that hunt in the rain last year, doubtful. At the very least it will be rough and jumpy. A drop or two of oil will smooth it out.
  2. How does the wrist strap look?
  3. Is it torn?
  4. Buckle OK?
  5. If it’s Velcro, does it snap crackle pop like a bowl of Rice Krispys when you draw?
  6. Does it stink? All that sweat from summertime practice is soaked up in that strap. No amount of cover scent will mask it if smells like a truck stop bathroom.
  7. Do you have a spare? If you shoot a fancy/expensive release and loose it, you will be upset. If you loose it and then end up having a huge buck walk by as you are trying to pull your bow with your pinkie in the D-loop, it’s even worse. Carry a spare.

SIGHT

  1. Is it sighted in? Are you as accurate as you can be? Or is it “close enough”?

“Close enough” is not close enough. Put in the effort to get it right.

  1. Is everything tight on the sight? Remember… steel into aluminum.
  2. Does your sight light still work? Or did you leave it on last year and kill the battery?

BOW QUIVER

  1. Is it tight? Or does it rattle?
  2. Will the arrow clips hold your new micro diameter shafts?
  3. Does the hood completely cover those ridiculously sharp broadheafs that we discussed earlier?
  4. Are you sighted in with the quiver ON the bow or OFF? Decide now which it will be and sight in accordingly. It will shoot differently with or without the quiver.

 

This list could go on for days, but I think I’ve covered most of Murphy’s favorite equipment failure opportunities. Look over your gear. Bring it in to Saddle River Range and let’s get everything ready to rock. Do it now! Don’t do like a lot of bowhunters and wait until the last second. Do it now! That’s right. You are probably reading this on your phone. There’s no cord tying you to the couch. Stand up. Take your phone with you. Go dig that bow out and look it over.

Come See Me!

Toby

By | July 4th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments

Summer Youth Firearm Safety

By Thom Bolsch and Ron Mullins

 

It has been shown that the lessons learned in our youth remain with us for our entire lives.  For many of us, we can remember, and cherish, the time spent with a senior member of the family learning about guns, how to shoot and the safety issues surrounding those guns.  And we have a healthy respect for the safe operation of those guns as a result of that experience as a young person.

In consideration of that experience, Saddle River Range has launched another summer of Youth Firearm Safety courses.

We could tell you about the course; but let’s hear what the instructors have to say…

Jonathan Wyatt and Joshua Moore are the instructors and when we sat down with them to learn about the course; here’s what they had to say.

SRR: How would you describe the Summer Youth Firearm Safety class?

The course is a basic firearm safety class providing basic fundamentals of firearm safety and operation.  It incorporates a modification to focus on a younger participant, even someone that has never handled a firearm – allowing them to get their “feet wet” so to speak in a safe and comfortable environment.

SRR:  When is the course offered?

There are several classes on the calendar each month during the summer.  Check out the calendar for the next class here.

SRR:  Is each class the same, or do they vary based on attendees?

The core of the program is standard.  We want to be able to bring a participant’s skill level to a recognized fundamental level within the time frame of the class; and for some attendees we are starting from the very beginning.  Depending on the size and skill level of the attendees, we sometimes are able to add to the program to introduce some competition for bragging rights.  This become interesting when siblings are attending together.

SRR:  How did the program get it’s start?

Interestingly, it was requested by parents and grandparents.  They remember learning firearm safety as a youth and want their children/grandchildren learn the safe operation of a firearm as opposed to learning from Hollywood or a video game.

SRR:  For whom is this program best suited?

It is designed for 10 to 15 year olds.  However, many of the adults sitting in on the class with their child learn a thing or two as well.

SRR: Why would a parent or grandparent want their child/grandchild to attend the program? 

Today’s youth are exposed to guns in a negative light, more so now than ever before, through bias news media, movies, games, and other social media.  This course provides some practical “real life” experience for them in regards to shooting, but more importantly, it discusses the aspects of proper firearm safety and use. All under the watchful eyes of an NRA Certified Instructor and range safety officer, kids can experience what it is like to shoot a firearm under safe, controlled conditions, while taking away any worries and concerns that parents, grandparents, or other adults might have if they took them out to shoot their first shots somewhere else.

SRR:  Can parents or grandparents attend the class?

Absolutely.  The encouragement of a parent or grandparent helps to promote the importance of the class, and gives them topics to discuss on the ride home as well as instilling a common interest for years to come.  We’ve also had some parents return for a fundamental class of their own; as they picked up points they hadn’t learned.  And you know you can’t have your child “school” you when you visit the range together.

SRR:  What should a participant expect from attending one of these classes?

We will spend about 40-45 minutes talking about firearm safety, storage, types of ammunition, nomenclature of both a pistol and rifle, and the fundamentals of shooting properly. Following that, we’ll take a quick break and then everyone will head to the range.  The instructors will demonstrate and perform how to unload and load both a rifle and pistol, as well as load magazines.  They will get individual coaching to ensure they are performing the tasks properly. Once everyone gets that one-on-one, the attendees are then able go back and forth between shooting the pistol and rifle, shooting on their own, right under the watchful eyes of the Instructor and Range Safety Officer. This is certainly the best part according to past participants!

SRR:  What would you tell a reader if they are thinking about signing up a couple of their children or grandkids for the course?

 

I would say look at our website or come in to Saddle River Range today to book a slot in the next course! Not only will the kids receive the fundamentals of shooting and begin to establish safe handling skills, they’ll have a great time on the range and will think that you’re the greatest grandparent in the world!!  Plus, it will give you and them a common interest in which to discuss and experience together for life.

 

SRR:  Thank you for an interesting discussion on an interesting program.  I am sure our readers will be calling to get their child in the next class.

 

For more information on the Summer Youth Firearm Safety program, contact the training department at 936-271-2620 or via email at training@saddleriverrange.com.

Stay Alert, Stay Safe,

 

© Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

All rights reserved

By | July 4th, 2018|Categories: News|0 Comments